Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Finishing 08 with some calmness

To ring in the new year, we decided go to Napa to get away from everything. This will be my last post of 2008 so I thought I'd end it with a song that always made me feel warm inside, regardless how sad I got.

Thank you once again for all of you who helped me not fall off this roller coaster! I know next year will be filled with lots of joy and happiness!

See you on the other side!


Sunday, December 28, 2008


I wanted to take a moment and congratulate one of my best friends and fellow rebel child on her engagement!

I know you will make a beautiful bride and plan the most fantastic wedding!

photo source

Winding down the year...

I always start the year with the best intentions about staying healthy, last year I think I did a fairly decent job until this fall. The last few months I fell off the wagon and then had an unfortunate health issue to deal with. Now I'm almost at the 2008 finish line and gained the lbs I lost last year by being active and eating well. So I've decided I'm going to once again put myself on a regimen in January so I can once again not get winded by walking stairs or running excess mileage. On top of my usual list of things to do, I'm going to put a list to do before Feb. The majority will be health related while I'll try to knock off some other things from the Yearly list.

I will also figure out some reward if I complete my challenge. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Santa,

During these hard times I've tried not to ask for much but there is one thing that has come to mind. During our last vacation, our dear camera passed away in Costa Rica. While it served us well, It just couldn't handle our crazy life style.

On it's final breath, it gave us all 600 photos it took but now, it's sleeps with the fishies.

So, hoping I was good enough to receive anything, could you please tell your elves in the tech dept to make one for me? All I ask is that it's over 8mp and easy to work on the fly.

I'll be leaving you pizzelles and almond dulces with a cup of FF milk by the fireplace.


little miss planner

Sunday, December 21, 2008

one word..........

Where is your mobile phone? night-stand
Where is your significant other? kitchen
Your hair colour? brown
Your mother? loving
Your father? good
Your favorite thing? cooking
Your dream last night? sad
Your dream goal? secret
The room you're in? media
Your hobby? running
Your fear? failure
What do you want to be in 6 years? here
Where were you last night? here
What you're not? sad
One of your wish-list items? slippers
Where you grew up? small_town
The last thing you did? sleep
What are you wearing? PJs
Your TV? new
Your pets? funny
Your computer? pc
Your mood? content
Missing someone? yes
Your car? white
Something you're not wearing? hat
Favourite shop? amazon
Your summer? Hot
Love someone? forever
Your favorite color? blue
When is the last time you laughed? today
When is the last time you cried? yesterday
Current Mood? content

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Because I'm procratinating my to-do list...

I found this at A bit of this A bit of that and decided to play along...

If you want to play along, copy and paste the list then put the things you have done in bold

1. Started your own blog .
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (--only halves for me)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language still working on it
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (in general) --Funny thing about this is I made less money then when I felt this way...
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (ran my own, does that count?)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check --I was young...
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt --Didn't finish though

73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House --the outside counts right?
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

me hearts a bargain...

Yesterday I got my Travelzoo top 20 newsletter and it had the most FANTASTIC savings in it! I had to share:

Whether you're on vacation or just going out for a nice dinner, meals make up a significant portion of our leisure budget. That's why we were thrilled with this 80% OFF offer from, allowing us to dine at some of our favorite restaurants for just a fraction of the cost. sells gift certificates to select eateries at a discounted price -- the most common $25 gift certificate can regularly be purchased for $10. Through Dec. 25, if you apply the promo code GIVE, you can receive an additional 80% OFF, bringing the final price down to $2 for a $25 gift card.

Other denominations are also available for some restaurants, and certain restrictions apply. With more than 9500 participating restaurants nationwide, you're sure to find a favorite or two near you.

Plus, these certificates make great gifts for the holidays!

Offer expires Dec. 25, 11:59PM PT, but many of the most popular certificates will sell out before the deadline.

To purchase:

1. Click here and enter a zip code or city to find the local participating restaurants
2. Select the gift certificate amount (if more than one choice is available), then add it to your cart
3. Once you're ready to check out, enter the discount code GIVE on the Shopping Cart page
4. After completing the transaction, you'll be taken to a page where you can print your gift certificates


I went ahead about bought 5 gift certificates (spent 10$ and got $125 in GC) for myself and the hubby. You won't fine big chains (TGIF's, Chili's, etc) but you will find really good restaurants in your area. I'm soo excited about this I can't wait to try some new spots out in our area and save a little dough!

Looking for inspirations...

Back in the day, I used to do a weekly inspirations post about centerpieces. Well, now that we are gearing up for Christmas, I need to make two centerpieces. Here I found some love inspirations for our table:



or how bout a few of these:




Which ones do you like the best?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Checking my this year's to do list

So far, I've pretty happy with the amount of things I've done this year... I've completed 14 of the 17 things. The ones I didn't do, will get bumped to next year.

To Do List before 2009
1. Join a boot camp--DONE
2. Paint the guest bedroom --Done
3. Travel to Central/South America--Done
4. Cycle 2000 miles -- 44 miles complete (need to ride more!!!)
5. Complete 4 half marathons --DONE (did 6)
6. Organize Closet --DONE
7. Set up wireless network in the house --DONE
8. Do one triathlon
9. Blog more frequently--Currently Doing!
10. Find out what a set of good abs look on me! ;) --not even close
11. Get the Holga up and running
12. Workout at least 10 times a month for 3 straight months! --DONE
13. Cook at least two meals at home a week --DONE
14. Start taking lunch to work. --DONE
15. Get a baby brother for bruno! --DONE
16. Finish all wedding related tasks --DONE DONE DONE!
17. Run 300 miles -- 295 miles complete

At the moment I'm putting my 17 things to do in 2009. At the moment it isn't that exciting but things I always needed or wanted to do. How did you fare for this year? What things have you always wanted to do and have yet to do? I need help with some suggestions for my list! ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Linda tagged me last week to share some details about myself.

First of all, here are the deets:
1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

So here are 6 random facts about me:

1. I'm a closet gamer. I LOVE video games and loathe playing them with others in fear of losing. Because I can easily become obsessed with them, I try not to keep them around. Now that I got a brand spanking new Wii, I'm slowly being pulled back in. I think I'll cave to my addiction once the Wii Fit arrives next week on my door step. I'm also addicted to my solitaire game on my iPhone. I play it at least 1 hour a day.

2. I've learned that I love to shop, my preferred spots are all online. I've purchased 85% of my holiday gifts there. How bad could it be? Well, lets put it this way, the hubby thinks we're getting married again with all the boxes streaming into the house and he has no clue where they came from!

3. My favorite moment of each day is when we just got up and are in the kitchen waiting for either the coffee to brew or the oatmeal to be done. I get a nice lingering hug from the hubby that feels like eternity and wish I could stay there all day.

4. If we ever won the lotto, I'd quit my job and open up a floral shop.

5. I love reptiles and hate birds (scared a little of them too!)

6. My favorite book is Way Of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman. I borrowed it from a friend my freshman year of college and read during a hard time in life. It changed how I looked at life. Since then, I've bought the book 5 times, keeping lending it out and never getting it back. I've read it a total of 25 times, each time I've found something new and exciting I never caught before. The book always wakes me up from the slumber I was in.

I'm tagging....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taking a few deep breaths...

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately... I know I've gotten a bit bad about blogging. Not only have I gotten bad about blogging, I've gotten bad about responding to all my blog emails! (if you've written, sorry, I'm not ignoring you and will try to respond soon!)

I have a good excuse for it. I've been a bit under the weather. I wish it was a cold but have had some health problems as of late that needed immediate assistance. I can't even tell you how many pokes and prodding I've gotten in the last few weeks and it all ended with a minor surgery. I'm better now and while it wasn't life threatening, it's left me drained and a bit mentally unglued. Usually I'm rather chill (at least I hope I am...) but lately, life's curve balls are a little harder to take.

I guess what I'm just tired of this year. As much as I've thrown myself into the holidays (decorated the entire house by December 4) and even wrapped the majority of my presents except for the ones I haven't bought yet for the hubby, I'm just done with this year. This whole health problem was just the icing of this day-old moldy cupcake that you can call 2008.

What a great year it should have been... first year of marriage but it's like if there was some "test of strength" that could be thrown at us, we had it. We lost a sibling this year, had our roof cave in during the "stormy season," sister-in-law in critical condition, lost a family member's house in the fires, had a cousin go through a horrible pregnancy only to lose one of her babies and have her other one have surgery and live in the hospital for a few's like the list goes on and on! I think if anything I'm angry for all these things happening. All these bad moments overshadowed some great ones, one of best friend's beautiful wedding, an amazing Caribbean vacation, and lots of running weekends with my other BFFs. Now, it's December and I find myself just taking deep breaths and counting down the days till the holidays, hoping everything will be okay and we can make one final happy memory for this year.

So, while I'm going to try to keep the rest of the year's post more upbeat, I think I just needed to one little post to vent and say I'm tired of 2008 and now it's time for me to look forward and hope 2009 will bring the yang of happiness to the yin of this year's hardships.

Okay... don't venting... thanks for listening!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Simple Christmas Dinner

This is my first official holiday meal I'm cooking and as always I need to start planning now. I only have around 9-12 people over for dinner but want to make sure I have everything!

For the Main course: I'm doing Ham, not sure to do honey ham, pork loin roast, something along the lines. I'm not a ham cook since I barely even started to learn how just in the past 6 months.

Now side dishes: Green Bean Casserole (not a fan but my family is), and mashed potatoes. Maybe gravy...and dinner rolls.

Salads: Waldorf Salad (or just a simple salad)

Appetizers: Spinach Dip

Desserts: Cookies and hot chocolate. Maybe some eggnog.

Recipe help: Here and Here and Here

Now that I have an idea of what to do for food, onto decorations for the table and the rest of the house!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

so how was it?

We are finally back from our trip and while the camera is dead and the photos are half uploaded to the computer, I figured I'd do a quick recap of the trip.

Day 0: flight canceled-- bumped to the next day flight

Day 1: flight was okay... landed and Costa Rica = GREEN!!! waited 3 hours for our flight to Arenal... when we got there it was rainy... no biggie cause our our hotel was sweet!

Day 2: Did a real life Jungle cruise: Cano Negro Tour. Saw monkeys and sloths, caymen, tons of birds and the Jesus Christ lizard (runs on water). Had dinner in town (quickly realizing Costa Rica is NOT a food destination!!!) Bought my new favorite cap.

Day 3: Did the Hanging Bridges Tour. Rained TONS!!! super cool though!!!

Day 4: Leaving Arenal without seeing the volcano! Half of Costa Rica is flooded because of a bad storm that came through. Flew back to San Jose to barely catch our flight to Tamarindo. Once in Tamarindo, see the sun again and was welcome with open mouths by TONS of mosquitoes.

Day 5: Happy Turkey Day: Did a snorkeling tour and within 5 minutes I was stung (on my arm) by a mysterious tentacle floating in the water. Guide later tells everyone this is normal and doesn't know where all the mysterious tentacles come from. I proceed to swim with arms tucked around me. Saw sharks, sting rays, tons of fish, star fish, and played volleyball with a few puffer fish! Upon getting out of the unusually cold water (guide couldn't even handle it) I get stung again on my leg. Go back to room to find construction going on RIGHT next to our room. Lucky us! Complained and they stopped for 30 minutes. Had a thanksgiving day feast on the beach. Soo yummy!

Day 6: Breakfast,then walk on the beach to the village to get some pampering. The hubby got a massage, I got a coffee/sugar exfoliation! Sooo nice! Found a new favorite lunch spot! Dinner was a beach BBQ with folkora dancing! Really neat!

Day 7: Time to check out. Construction still going on and now we think they hit a sewer pipe. Bathroom has a bad smell to it because of the bathroom window left open. Complain and nothing is done. Leave and have our last lunch at our favorite restaurant in the village before heading to the non-airport airport. Tamarindo to Liberia to San Jose. Finally get to Marriott. AWW... nice! Quickly ran to the gift shop to buy coffee and misc souvenirs at a jacked-up price and go back to room to order room service. :) Room is at the end of the ENTIRE hotel. No view (which was requested months ago) and could hear everything. Barely slept.

Day 8: Woke up from our little sleep and checked out. Upon complaining, hotel desk man tells me this is what is charged. Uggh. Grab the shuttle and head to airport. Wait an hour and finally check in... to totally different seats on first flight. :( Upon arriving in San Salvador, we grab a bite and head to our next flight. Arrive at LAX at 1pm and out of customs and with our bags by 128. A friend picked us up with the puppies at 130... SOOO HAPPY to be home!

So what did I think about the trip. We had lots of fun... just had some issues. Would we go back,YES! In fact, we want to try to go back Next year! :) You loved Costa Rica... and oh, I think I even might have lost a pound!