Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday Flowers

Related Posts with ThumbnailsMy son and daughter sent me some very cool flowers for my birthday.  As you can see this is not your run of the mill floral arrangement. They know I like the more unusual types of flowers.  This arrangement will last a long time.
Hubby and I went out to "The Counter" for dinner.  I've heard a lot about it so thought it would be fun to check it out.  I love the skinny fries and the milk shake wasn't bad either. I'm ready to go into a food comma now!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Spa Weekend - The Lodge at Sonoma

Related Posts with ThumbnailsHad a great weekend doing the whole spa experience at The Lodge at Sonoma and spending time with my daughter for my birthday. 
We had dinner at the girl & the fig which was a fun place.  The portions are small (French style of eating) so you will be able to try a lot of different things and not get over stuffed.
 Burger with shoe string fries - what Michelle had.
Cheese sampler
During our dinner my daughter and her roommate's mom ordered steak tartar - yes raw beef chopped up.  Marta said the steak was way too salty and she didn't eat after the first bite.  She had a really hard week and was very tired so not very hungry.  When the bus girl was picking up our plates, I asked that she tell the chef that the tartar was over salted. My daughter was horrified that I would say anything.  Our waitress came over a few minutes later and said that the chef sampled the tartar (can't believe they would eat somthing coming back into the kitchen) that was left on the plate and said we must have added something to it at our table.  Turns out that Marta doesn't like to wear her eyeglasses in public, so what she thought was chopped onion in the little bowl served with the steak was really coarse sea salt.  She had covered the whole thing in salt!  After we got done laughing, I thanked the waitress for solving the mystery about our "user error" at the table.  It was totally our fault the steak was over salted but they didn't charge us for that part of the dinner, which I thought was very nice.  The  handcrafted cheese assortment and shoe string fries where my favorites.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Party Bags for Big Girls

Related Posts with ThumbnailsMy daughter has planned a spa weekend for us and her roommate and her mother.  Our (the moms) birthdays are this weekend so the girls decided to  take us up to Napa. I'm not much of a spa kinda of girl but I've never done this before so I'm looking forward to it. 
The event planner in me couldn't pass up coming up with a cool party bag.  I decided since we are all adults, I would make the party bags functional and practical. I filled the Nine West leather purses (I'm sure they have a name but I'm not sure what it is - maybe a clutch?) with Chapstick, floss picks and Kleenex.  Thought we would need them to carry our room keys and tip money when we go get our massages and pedicures.
Have to decided if the girls should get the green ones or the mother/daughter should have a matching set. What do you think?

Monday, February 21, 2011

When a good dog goes bad

Annie is my shadow so when she's not in my sight for more than a few minutes, I know she's up to something.  When I'm working out in my very messy studio, Annie likes to nap under the table. When she gets bored, she also likes to take rolls of ribbon and aged them out in the backyard. Annie was so happy to show me her handy work.  It took her less than 3 minutes to make this mess. I have to hide the other roll I have so Annie won't be tempted again.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

One Pound Apple

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI never know what I would find at my local produce store.  Today when I went in to get my stash of dried apricots (over ripe slab dried are the best) there was a stack of boxes of these super sized Fuji apples from Seattle Washington. This apple weighs over a pound! I can't decided if I should turn it into a XL caramel apple covered with nuts or just eat it as is.

Light vs Dark Honey?

Ever wonder why some honey is light and others are dark?  Have you ever noticed it before?  If you haven't, then you are probably buying mega store honey and not from a local beekeeper.  The big commercial honey processors super heat  honey in order to get a uniform color.  Once honey has been heated, all the active enzymes are killed off and most of the taste.
Urban beekeepers call light honey "Spring Honey" when the food source for the bees are limited.  Dark honey is called  "Fall Honey" when the bees have a wider source for food.  Fall honey has a stronger taste and better for those with allergies.  It's a different taste (especially if you only use to store brought) that you have to get use to.  It's like white wine vs red wine, both wines are made from grapes but taste very different.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rainy Day Activity

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI've had a cold for the last few days and all I want to do is stay in bed but with a young high energy dog in the house that's not possible.  To top everything else, it's also raining.  I take Annie out rain or shine even when I'm sick.  I can't run her as long because of my cold and the rain so I have to find other things to use up her energy.  One thing that gets Annie wound up is the vacuum.  I don't know what it is but she goes nuts and runs around like it's going to eat all her tennis balls if she doesn't kill it first.  Try vacuuming while holding back a 73 pound GS.  I tell her to go find her ball while the vacuum is running and she goes into a high alert manic search and rescue mode looking for her ball.  Annie acts like if she doesn't find that ball within seconds the nasty vacuum will suck it up and she will be down to only 99 balls.  It's suppose to rain the rest of the week so I will be doing a lot vacuuming.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Honey Bee Swarm Season

Related Posts with ThumbnailsSwarm season for the honey bee has started in California.  The beekeepers are tell us that in the next two weeks we should start seeing a whole lot more bees as the weather warms up. The  picture above is a swarm.  If you see a swarm please go to the the Santa Clara Valley Bee Guild website and click on their swarm list.  There are several members who will  come out and pick the swarm. Make sure to ask if they charge anything for coming out. Some charge, others don't.  The photo below is what is call an "extraction".  The bees are established, so most of the beekeepers coming out will charge to remove them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Wish

Related Posts with ThumbnailsThis is what I would like for Valentine's day.  Doesn't it make your tummy hurt (in a good way) just thinking about it!
Bakerella will be coming to San Francisco for another book signing on Saturday (2/19/11).  Sure wish I could bake let she does. Not only can she bake but she make everything look so creative.
 Anyone want to car pool up to Chronicle book on Union Ave to have our books signed?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Washi Heart

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI still have tons of this washi paper, so I made a super simply card for the ladies down at the Japanese Senior Center. It's close to Valentine's day but I know the ladies don't like over fussy cards.  It does take a lot of strong tape to hold everything together.

CAS Card 2011

Related Posts with ThumbnailsPart of the new Stampin Up punch bunch set I got for my class down at the Senior Center.  Super simple card to make.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How important is the sheet thread count?

Related Posts with ThumbnailsOn my recent mystery vacation, I asked a lot of questions about random things where ever we stopped at. The B&B innkeeper told us that people under the age of 30 always ask what the thread count of the sheets were.  I could only guess the thought was, higher the count, the better the inn.  I buy a high thread count sheets for my bed, but it's because they last longer (don't pill) than the cheaper brands. I'm guessing people don't know that hotels can't use cheap sheets because they would not last very long in the commercial laundry machines they have to use.  B&B by law (in CA) have to have their linens dry cleaned, cheap sheet would not last.  Do you think it's true if the hotel/inn uses high thread count sheets the better the place will be? Just wondering if people really make their decision on where to stay based on the sheet thread count.  What do you think?

Second Owl Card

Another card for the ladies down at the Japanese senior center.  I'm really working on using up my huge piles of scrap paper.  I'm always amazed how big those paper piles can grow!
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New Owl Stampin Up Set

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI got the new  Stampin Up owl set and punch for my class down at the Japanese Senior Center.   It's a fun set and I think the ladies will like. This is one of the cards we will make on Thursday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mystery Vacation Part Two

Related Posts with ThumbnailsOn day two of our mystery vacation we drove up to Ano Nuevo State park to see the elephant seals. This is something my hubby likes to do every year so I included it in our trip.  After the hike we check into the Costanoa Lodge up the road for their  day spa package. The package includes a massage for two, dinner (2 for 1) and a discount on an over night stay. We've never had a massage before so that was fun, but for me it was a "been there done that" type of moment. I have to say the lodge is not the best place to stay if you want peace and quiet.  The walls are paper thin (the front desk will tell you that) and even if the 65 room lodge only has 10 rooms booked they will book everyone next to each other.  Around 10:00 pm I had to go down and asked to be moved to another room.  Interesting that all the rooms had some sort of damage (missing hair dryers, missing curtains, cracked sinks, running toilets) for a lodge that looks nice on the outside, it's not taken care of on the inside.  Dinner at the lodge restaurant was super good and our server/bartender Ryan was great. There were only a few people (3) in the restaurant on Monday night so I chatted him up.  Ryan was a good sport answering all my silly questions. He made me a Hornitos Tequila Jalapeno Margarita which was an interesting sweet but peppery drink.
In the morning we drove through Half Moon Bay to pick up donuts and coffee as we headed home.  I was anxious to get home to Annie and a good night sleep.

Mystery Vacation

Related Posts with ThumbnailsJust got back from our mystery vacation. I planned the whole itinerary for our mini two day vacation to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. My hubby had know idea what we were going to do and really he didn't care.  Never asked what we going to do and acted bored most of the time. But we did do some fun stuff IMO. We live near some of the oldest redwood tree groves. On Sunday we went zip lining through the big redwoods.  Not as scary as I thought it would be but it was something we've never done before.  We had perfect weather and I was surprised that we had sea legs after we were done.  Didn't know the redwoods were swaying so much while we were zipping.  After that we went to a B&B in Moss Landing  called  "The Captain's Inn".  Again something we've never done before.  It was very warm along the coast that day. Since we were the only people at the Inn that night, we could leave all the windows and doors open.  We had dinner at The Whole Enchilada" (a restaurant we have driven past a thousand times before and never stopped at) and during the super bowl game had Mexican Cioppino and pear margaritas. Both were very good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Annie - One year later

Related Posts with ThumbnailsIt was a year ago that I found and adopted Annie.  A family posted on Craig's list they had German Shepherd puppies.  When I called, there was only one female left so I beg for them to hold Annie for me.  They lived across town up in the hills so it would take me an hour to get there. The minute I picked up Annie (she was only 15 pounds then) I knew I found the puppy I've been looking for the last 10 years. Annie is the best dog ever and I'm a very lucky person!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bulletin Board

Related Posts with ThumbnailsWhen I go to the auction houses, I look for really big framed pictures.  Usually when they come into the auction junk lot area, the art work is not very good, so don't fell bad about pulling it apart.  It doesn't matter what color the frame is since I can paint over it.  I liked the way this frame was so I left it as is.  It's helpful if you can find framed art with no glass.  One less thing you have to get rid of.  It does take some time to fit the fencing into the frame. 
Bolt cutter, medium size wire cutters, large staples or tiny nails.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Camera Shy Squeaker

Related Posts with ThumbnailsWhen I'm working in my office processing and tagging items for my antique booths or working on the computer, Annie and Squeaker like to hang out with me.  It's hard for Squeak to find a place to sit since all the flat surfaces are usually piled with stuff.  She can't sit on the floor with Annie, not enough room and Annie would want to play. I keep my light box set up and it was a good spot for her. When I pulled out my camera, Squeak decided to be camera shy and clean her face.
I've been holding off getting a new camera.  All the reports talking about stand alone cameras will be the thing of the past for everyone but professional photographers.  Cell phone camera are getting better and better. Think that's true?  With what the Kindle and Nano is doing for books and music makes you wonder.