Fab Friday, Part 2

I can't help it.  Kate looked so fabulous how could I resist a little photo post about her?  She truly looks like a princess - elegant, regal, classic.  Perfection.

But does anyone else think Chelsy Davy looks just a bit ... um ... tacky?  Hard to imagine these two as (potentially) part of the same royal family.

Harry looks much better with Pippa, don't you think?  The Queen needs to make this match happen asap!!  She can do that, right?

Fab Friday

I should call this particular post "Food Friday" because, starting today, I'll be nom-nom-nom'ing my way through the weekend.  First, we're having a firm-wide lunch today for Staff Appreciation Week, then it's off for margaritas and Mexican food to celebrate a friend's birthday.

Tomorrow?  Oh, tomorrow gets even better!  I'm planning on checking out SactoMoFo even though I have no idea what that stands for.  Sacramento Mobile Food probably.  Because that's what it is.  A festival of food trucks!  I think I'm most excited for Curry Up Now and Fat Face.  Tikka Masala burrito?  Yes please!  Popsicles on our first 80 degree day?  Sign me up, lickity-split!! (Get it?  Lick-ity?  Hee hee...)  After that we're going out on a fancy-pants date to Ella.  All this, plus I promised The Boyfriend I'd make him an apple pie.  I may need to bust out my looser-fitting dresses for work on Monday...

What about you?  Fab plans for the weekend?

Here are some of my fave food photos:



Awkward & Awesome

--Me, in front of the camera.  I loved my Easter outfit because it combined the new Oxfords with the dress that made me squeal (it's hidden by the sweater - it was chilly!) but this is precisely why I don't do outfit shots.  I'm trying to get more comfortable with it but I'm just better behind the camera.  

--Blackberry Lemonade.  Homemade.  Basically take this lemonade recipe, add in half a cup of smashed blackberries, and stir!  It's delicious and makes the prettiest little pink drink.  The little bits of berries float along the bottom and kinda look like bubble tea.  Of course, if you don't want that, just pass the smashed berries through a strainer before adding to the lemonade!



52 Weeks: Week 15

It may not look like much, but after 40 days without caffeine this was the most glorious cup of espresso in all the land.  So frothy and creamy...

Week 15: Little Cup of Heaven


Molly's Easter Trick

Ok, this isn't really an Easter post but I'm a proud mama and wanted to show off my genius guinea pig.  After a couple evenings of holding blueberries over her head and saying "up" over and over, she finally learned what it meant.  Then after just a couple seconds, she figured out how to be lazy and just lean on her food dish while looking up.  She didn't get any blueberries for cheating!



Fab Friday

Oh my gosh it's finally Friday!  This week has felt so long but I think it's because I'm so excited for the weekend.  I love Easter.  Even though spring officially started a month ago, to me, Easter is the true sign of spring.  We're having a full Easter celebration weekend (both days!) and we're also having a little birthday party on Sunday.  The Boyfriend's grandfather (we call him "Nonno") is turning 90!!  Can you believe it?  90 years old????  And he's still so happy, healthy, and full of life.  He loves telling jokes and making everyone laugh.  I'm sure he'll have some great zingers for us.  He loves to say things like:

The Boyfriend: "Hey, Nonno, how does it feel to be turning 90?"
Nonno: "Dead."

or another of my faves:

Nonno (talking about his experience during World War II):  "I had shell-shock from the war.  I ate too many peanuts."

I can't wait to have a full day just celebrating him.  I'm fully expecting a few more classic quotes and some memorable photos, too!

This was taken just a month ago.  Isn't he great?  Definitely does not look or act 90 years old!

What about you?  Any fabulous plans for Easter?


Thursday Morning Thoughts

Here's your weekly dose of Awkward and Awesome!

--I've spent the last couple of days on an urgent doc review assignment at work.  Basically this means 8-10 hours of my day are dedicated to searching through hundreds of documents looking for any information that's helpful/hurtful to our client's case.  Sound totally boring?  It is.  Unless the client's employees choose to send personal messages from their work email addresses.  I saw many personal messages this week - some were sweet, some were boring, and some were ... *ahem* ...quite amorous if you know what I mean (wink wink, nudge nudge).  As awkward as it was reading multiple amorous messages with many "loving" innuendos (some not so subtle), it was also very educational.  What's the lesson?  Don't EVER send personal messages from your work account!!!  You just never know when your employer will get caught in a lawsuit, which means you just never know when someone like me will get paid to read your ... um ... love letters.
--I almost accidentally stole toilet paper from work.  Yes, you read that right.  Almost.  Accidentally.  But wait, I can explain.  After a little tinkle tinkle, I exited the stall with toilet paper roll in hand.  Oh, it gets better.  I then put it down on the counter to wash my hands, then picked it up again and walked out of the bathroom.  I got about halfway down the hall before thinking, "Why the hell am I carrying a roll of toilet paper!??"  I still don't know the answer to that.
--I woke up yesterday morning to find I had no milk, no eggs, no cereal, no bread, no fruit - basically no breakfast food.  So I ate a chocolate bunny.  With peanut butter.  Breakfast of champions, right?

--My Kissing Deer shirt.  I just love that shirt so much - the bow necktie, the loose-yet-flattering fit, the deer nuzzling noses.  It reminds of Bambi.  I've worn it to work once a week since I bought it.  I swear, people at my office must think I don't own any other clothes.  Little do they know I would wear it everyday if I thought I could get away with it. 
--I'm using Easter as an excuse to bake.  I love baking!  I have an idea for some Easter cupcakes.  If they turn out, I'll post the recipe and photos next week. :)
--Bright pink nail polish.  Need I say more?

Looks like I've lost my head!  Nyuck nyuck nyuck nyuck.
In case you're curious - Shirt (H&M) & Skirt (Express)

A close-up of the Kissing Deer.  As Stacy London would say, "Totes adorbs."


Easter Lilies

I have some very interesting news for those of you who gave something up for Lent.  There's a dirty little secret about Lenten promises that no one ever told me about (or I forgot it, which is entirely possible).  I checked many Catholic websites and found out that technically, Lent ends on Holy Thursday, i.e. TOMORROW!!!  Did any of you know this?  Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday are traditionally fasting days and that's why Lenten promises are extended until Easter Sunday.  I knew it was too good to be true.  I've been counting down the days till Easter since, oh I don't know ... Ash Wednesday because I just love coffee (and Coke and tea) so much.  Like, THIS much even.  I know some of you are right there with me - just waiting to indulge in alcohol, cheese, etc.  But don't worry, just four more days till you can have your guilty little pleasures!

To keep your mind off your various temptations, I picked some very pretty pink Easter lilies just for you.  (Well, the sign at Safeway said they were Easter lilies but I don't actually know if that's true.)  I hope you like them! 

 Textures courtesy of Kim Klassen Cafe


Now I Know My ABCs, Next Tme Won't You Sing With Me

I've seen this floating around the blogosphere a lot lately and, not one for being left out, I decided to give it a go.  Plus, I'm having writer's block today (blogger's block?) so this seemed like a fun solution!

Age - 29.  I'm trying to be happy about this but it's tough...
Bed size - Queen.  Because I am one.  In bed.
Chore you hate - Cleaning toilets.  Does anyone like this chore?
Dogs - Yes please!  I wish I was allowed to have them in the apartment but Molly makes a very nice puppy alternative. :)
Essential start to your day - Chocolate milk.  Did I mention I'm a 5-year old stuck in a 29-year old's body?
Favorite color - PURPLE! Always has been, ever since I was three years old and had purple Care Bear sneakers.
Gold or silver - depends on the day, the outfit, the planets' alignment, etc. basically I like both.  Why choose just one?  (However, for serious long-term jewelry like a wedding ring or something, I am not a fan of yellow gold.)
Height - 5'6.  5'7 at the doctor's office.  I stand super straight when I know someone's measuring.  You know you do, too.
Instruments you can play - Clarinet.  I was actually really good at it ... when I was 13.  I've also perfected the cowbell and I totally rock the bass on Rock Band.
Job title - Associate Attorney by day, Superstar Blogger/Photographer/Guinea Pig Mama/Lover by night.
Kids - Someday but not yet.  And probably 3, unless I can't stand the pain...
Live - Northern California.  Known as NorCal to the cool kids.
Mom's name - Lisa Eileen.  She has a great "name" story.  My mom was named after my Grandma's favorite soap opera character.  Her first name was the name of the character on the show and her middle name was the name of the actress who played that character!
Nicknames: Steph, Floopse, Uncle Fester (I was bald when I was a baby.  My uncle was not very nice to me about it.)
Overnight hospital say - Not since I was born. (*Knocks on wood)
Pet peeve - When the toilet paper in the bathroom comes out from under the roll rather than over the top.  It's inside out that way people!  Sometimes I even change it in other people's bathrooms.
Quote from a movie - "Don't tell me my business Devil Woman!"  The Boyfriend loves this quote and said it at least ten times this weekend.  He even made me watch the clip on YouTube so naturally it's the first one that comes to mind.
Righty or Lefty - Righty.  
Siblings - One younger sister, Megan.
Time you wake up - Monday through Friday it's around 6:30am.  On the weekends, whenever I feel like it.  You don't want to mess with me if I have to wake up before I'm ready. 
Underwear -  Are fun-derwear!
Vegetables you dislike - Raw onions.  How someone can eat raw onions I will never know.  So icky!
What makes you run late - I hate running late.  With a passion.  I feel like a failure if I'm not somewhere on time.  That being said, I'm easily distracted.  Wait, what were we talking about?
X-rays - Chest, teeth, ribs
Yummy food you make - Apple pie and Mushroom risotto
Zoo animal - Baby tigers and baby monkeys.  I love those little critters!

Me in my Care Bears t-shirt and matching purple Care Bears shoes.  


52 Weeks: Week 14

For some reason, this is one of my favorite photos of Molly.  She looks like a little jailbird planning her next prison break!

Week 14: Little Jailbird

Hope you all had a Fab weekend.  Happy Monday! :)


Fab Friday

Gnocchi with melted butter and grated Reggiano cheese
Lucky for me, ol' Mr. Headache left just in time for the weekend.  We're keeping it pretty domestic these next two days.  The Boyfriend and I are making gnocchi and limoncello tomorrow and not much else.  Mmm ... Nom nom nom .... If you ever have a lazy day and want to try making gnocchi, I definitely support you in that endeavor.  This recipe is super easy and you'll have enough to freeze for quite a few extra meals!

We're also planning on watching the premiere of the final season of Friday Night Lights.  Does anyone else love this show?  FNL is a gift from TV's little angels.  I'm pretty bummed to see it go.

I'm also thinking about doing a little thrift shopping on Sunday.  There's an interesting place not too far from The Boyfriend's and I'm hoping it holds some hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them.  What about you?  What are your Fabulous plans for the weekend?  Will you be low-key?  High-key?  Somewhere in between?


Thursday Morning Thoughts

Not too many Awkward and Awesomes this week so I'm hoping you Lovelies have some good ones to share!  I need some reading entertainment for my work breaks. :)

1. I actually squealed in the dressing room at Anthropologie because I liked a dress I tried on.  I then told my friend I hated her for finding it because it was outside my budget.  I bought it anyway.  When a dress makes you squeal like a happy little piggy, you have to break some budget rules.  So what's awkward about this besides squealing in public?  Now I have buyer's remorse. :(
2. My headache has lasted for 6 days now.  SIX!!!  It feels like it's finally going away but come on.  (Ok, maybe that's not awkward but it's definitely not awesome.)
3. My dancing.  This needs no explanation once you see the photos below.  You'll understand why I only dance in "safe" areas.

1. My office looks for any excuse to have a party.  Tomorrow, we're having one simply because it's spring.  I can't think of a better reason.  It's also a jeans day (we don't have casual Fridays usually).  Double whammie!!!
2. The Boyfriend and I are planning our Costa Rican vacation for this upcoming fall.  I love having something to look forward to!
3. Teaching my uncle the Macarena at his wedding last weekend.  The Macarena is so not awesome, but seeing my uncle that happy definitely was.
4. Molly the Guinea Pig Extraordinaire.  Coming home to her squeaky little face brightens up my day.
5. The Boyfriend teaching my nephew to make spit bubbles.  It was awesome in its own boy-bonding sort of way.

This is why I should never be allowed on the dance floor.  I'm lucky The Boyfriend indulges my "Dirty Dancing" moments.  Notice how no one else is on the dance floor...

My little Molly, waiting patiently for an evening treat.



Spring Photo Feature

Hello Lovelies!  While you're browsing around them Interwebs, stop over and check out Outside Voice.  Lauren is hosting Shades of Spring, which will feature photos illustrating a fabulous spring color each week.  Here's the rundown of the weekly colors:

April 13 - Blue
April 20 - White
April 27 - Pink/Lavendar
May 4 - Yellow/Orange
May 11 - Final Collage

If you're interested in participating, email your wonderful photos to Lauren.  I sent in one for this week and am working on the upcoming colors.  Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


52 Weeks: Week 13

Not too long ago, The Boyfriend made asparagus for dinner.  After great food and many glasses of wine, my bladder was obviously quite full.  I relieved it, then asked The Boyfriend whether asparagus was in season.  He nearly fell on the floor laughing.  I, of course, was totally oblivious to the timing of my question.  (Apparently, after eating asparagus then peeing is a funny time to ask, "Is asparagus in season?"  Guess I should add that to my list of Awkwards.)  Now every time we have asparagus, The Boyfriend always asks, "Is asparagus in season?"  Well guess what.  It is.  It's lovely and delicious and I took a picture of it!

Week 13: Is Asparagus in Season?


Remember the Alamo

I couldn't tease you last week and not give you the full story so here goes.  Growing up, my great-grandmother used to tell me stories about how her grandfather survived the Battle of the Alamo.  I wanted to believe her, but it was quite a story.  To a kid growing up in San Antonio, the Alamo was the pinnacle of cool.  In elementary school, we took field trips to the Alamo almost every other grade.  We also went to the Institute of Texan Cultures and learned about the Alamo there as well.  Having a direct personal connection seemed way too awesome to be true.

Well, grandma was right - her grandfather (my great-great-great grandfather) did survive the battle.  He was 11 months old.  His mother (my great-great-great-great grandmother), and her sister (my great-times-5 aunt) also survived.  His name was Alejo Perez, Jr. and his mother was Juana Navarro Alsbury.  The Navarro clan (Juana's father and his brothers) played a major role in the birth and growth of San Antonio.  They served as alcaldes (Spanish mayors) and other elected officials for the city, and as legislators for the state.  Two of them drafted and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

I often wondered how Alejo, his mother, and his aunt came to be in the Alamo in the first place.  Grandma had stories for that, too.  "We're related to Jim Bowie."  Um ... what??  That was it?  That was her explanation?  As if that were a plain old vanilla reason for why her grandpa was at the Alamo.  After discovering her other stories were true, I definitely believed her but I needed more info.  After some research, I found out Bowie was married to Juana Navarro's cousin, Ursula.  Bowie's wife and children died during a cholera outbreak, but he was still concerned about Ursula's family in San Antonio.  He decided to bring them to the Alamo in order to protect them.  Juana nursed him when he was injured and Bowie later died during the battle.  Out of all those who fought at the Alamo, only eleven survived.  Of those eleven, three were my ancestors Jim Bowie tried to protect.  Learning this history made that cold stone building feel much cooler and more personal.

The Boyfriend did the research to uncover my family's history.  Going back to San Antonio and visiting the Alamo with him was amazing.  He was so excited to see my family's name on the city's monuments and that made the trip even more exciting for me.

We took a lot of photos over Christmas last year.  Pay no attention to that wild windswept hair!

This timeline is right out front of the Alamo and shows the events leading up to and following the battle.  Alejo Perez's date of death is noted for all visitors to see!

Jose Antonio and Jose Francisco were two of Juana Navarro's uncles.  Her father (my great-times-5 grandfather) was the Alcalde of the city (mayor).  (His brother in-law was the lieutenant governor.)

 Me and my great-times-6 uncles.  Just chillin'.

We weren't supposed to take pictures inside the Alamo but we were sneaky little critters.

List of the original fifteen Spaniards that came from the Canary Islands to Texas.  Joseph Antonio Perez is Alejo Perez's ancestor on his father's side.  We've been in San Antonio for a looooooooooong time!!

Eugenio Navarro, another of Juana's uncles, was the first elected treasurer of San Antonio.  He's entombed in the Cathedral of San Fernando, the church founded by the original 15 Canary Island families.  Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett are also entombed here.

As Pee Wee learned, there is no basement in the Alamo.  But there is a bar called The Basement across the street!


Fab Fridays

My Italian Word of the Day emails have officially come to an end.  (Actually, they ended about a month ago but who's counting?)  I'm thinking about a new weekly series but I need your help!  Are you in?  It's required, you know.  Ok, it's not required, but I sure would love it. :)

So what's the new series you ask?  Great question!  Introducing ... Fab Fridays!!!  We all look forward to Fridays (TGIF anyone?) but it's more than just Fridays we look forward to, it's the whole weekend, right?  So (here's where you come in) let's share something Fabulous we're looking forward to this weekend.  That's Fabulous with a capital "F."  Chilling by the pool?  Cuddling on the couch with a blankie and a movie?  Road trip?  Whatever it is you're excited about, no matter how small you make think it is, feel free to share.  Because if you're excited about it, I know I'll be excited for you!

For me, I'm looking forward to going back to Texas (in about three hours actually) for my uncle's wedding.  I'm excited to see my family, shoot some wedding photos, and be silly in a plane with The Boyfriend.  We're very good at entertaining ourselves.  Especially when we have free drink tickets from Southwest.

What about you?  What are you excited about this Fab Friday?

(Here's a photo of the Alamo from my last visit to Texas.  Someday, I'll tell you about the family connection to this little building right here.)


Thursday Morning Thoughts

I have a lot more awkwardness to share.  And just a little awesomeness too. :)

--I stopped for gas after work yesterday.  As I was exiting Greta (yes, I gave my VW a German name), my heel got caught on the seat belt strap and I sort of just ... tumbled out.  I never claimed to be graceful but this takes clumsy to a whole new level.
--After returning from my gas-getting adventures, my new neighbor and I pulled into our building's parking lot at the same time.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce myself.  I figured since we share a wall we should at least know each other's names.  I looked her way and smiled, all prepared to compliment her on her parking job, when that Beezy catches my eye then chooses to look down at her phone instead.  She didn't even get out of her car until I went inside!  Who does that???  I'm a perfectly nice gal (most days).  Why wouldn't you at least smile back???  I mean, we share a wall.  That's gotta mean something.
--While at lunch with my assistant and another associate, I dropped my chopstick.  No, "dropped" isn't the right word.  More like somehow-made-it-fly-three-feet-in-the-air-doing-flips-and-flinging-soy-sauce-everywhere-then-landing-in-my-lap.  Hey, at least it was my lap and not someone else's.

--My new Oxfords were finally delivered.  They're about half a size too small so I'll need to exchange them but still ... new shoes are awesome even when they don't fit perfectly.
--Molly, my genius guinea pig, decided she wanted to be potty trained.  I usually let her run around in the evenings to get some exercise and she's learned to come give me a little bite when she needs to go back in her cage and do her business.  She's basically the smartest guinea pig in all the land. 
--Inspirational messages on tea bags never fail to brighten my day.  Today's message is "Your choices will change the world."  Please note my "choice" to drink my tea from the office's Ballerina Bear mug.  Wonder if that's what Mr. Tea Bag had in mind?

Your turn! :)


What's Your Level? {Plus a Chance to Win $100 from Amazon}

Two posts in one day?  OMG what's going on!?!?  Well, I'll tell you what's going on ... I have a little treat for you!  The lovely Slice of Pink is offering a chance to win $100 from Amazon, courtesy of BlogHer.  Click here to read all about it.

Here's the skinny on the contest - stop on over and read Janet's review of Seattle's Best's new system of coffee labeling.  Then just leave a comment to let her know your "level" and up your chances of becoming $100 richer!  It really is that simple people.  You can thank me when you win! :)  And if you're truly a caffeine addict, you can use that $100 to buy lotsa coffee.   Mmm ... coffee ... Is Lent over yet?

{Not So} Teeny Weeny Bikini

A little bit of heaven was dropped in my mailbox yesterday in the form of an Anthropologie catalogue.  I wish I could live in that catalogue.  Can we make that happen?  No?  Oh well.  A girl can dream, right?

I particularly loved this season's swimwear offerings.  Thank you, Anthro, for bringing back the one-piece.  Oh, I'm sorry.  I mean maillot.  Whatever you want to call it, I love it.  I also love the retro high-waist bikinis because, let's be honest, we don't all feel comfortable showing off the belly.  I love that there are now quite a few cool, sexy alternatives to the itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini.  (I bet my new bright red lipstick would go well with some of these!)

What about you?  Bikini?  Maillot?  Retro?  What's your poolside style?

1. Natalie One-Piece
2. Pop-Of-Dots Bikini
3. Plunging Halter Maillot
4. Sailor Stream Bikini

(*Note - after writing this post last night, I noticed The Glamourai also has swimsuits on the brain.  Must be that time of year!)


When Life Gives You Lemons...

... make lemonade!  This requires a little bit of back story - The Boyfriend's next door neighbors are his great-aunt and great-uncle.  They are a wonderful San Francisco Italian couple in their mid- to late-80s.  Auntie brings food over to The Boyfriend on a regular basis and every now and then they ask us to help them out with something around the house.  It's basically like living next door to your grandparents, which is awesome!

So, over the weekend, they asked us to come over and help pick some lemons off the tree in their backyard.  Uncle makes homemade limoncello so he needed fresh ripe lemons for the next batch.  In return, we walked away with a grocery bag full of lemons.  The Boyfriend is going to attempt the limoncello recipe but, in the mean time, we made lemonade.  Such a simple, refreshing drink - perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Homemade Lemonade (not from powder or concentrate!)
What You Need:
2 and a half cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 cups of water
1.5 cups sugar

What to Do:
1. Boil 1 cup of water and all the sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Place the syrup in the fridge (or freezer if you're short on time) to cool.
2. Squeeze those lemons!!  Add the juice to the remaining 7 cups of water and stir.
3. Add in the chilled syrup and stir.  If you like it really sweet, you can add another 1/4 cup.
4. Pour into a tall, cool glass and garnish with a slice of lemon.  Enjoy!!


52 Weeks: Week 12

I shot this while on my walk to work last week.  After months of rain, we finally had beautiful, warm, sunny spring weather.  I decided to take advantage of it and walk to work.  The morning sun on this old Victorian house, with the blooming tree out front, was just so lovely I had to snap a quick shot.  Hooray for spring!!

Week 12 - Morning Sun


Friday Foto - Uomo

UOMO (m.)
Translation: Man

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