Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Trip to Visit Ashley

I returned home from my trip to visit Ashley on Sunday evening. Here it is Thursday and I am finally blogging about it. Re-entry to the grind was hard. I am still doing laundry and battling a nasty head cold. But it was all worth it.

The trip was anything but relaxing. She lives in the Bay Area and there is a lot to do. Ashley had us booked every minute and I never knew from one minute to the next where we were headed. But she is a great hostess and I had a blast.

Here is what was waiting for me on her bed (we sleep together when I come!)

There are movie passes there, warm socks, trashy mag, and an assortment of other goodies. When she comes to my place, she is lucky to find a clean towel.

Here are the highlights of the trip:

The Eating:

The meals are a big deal for me and Ash. This time we shared almost every entree so we both felt better about eating out for every meal. This trip wasn't quite the binge fest that we've done in the past..but the food was still delightful. We ate at a place called Xanh with the Mostess (Kaari) and another friend from the blogging world, Kristine. The food was to die for. Here we are outside the restaurant:

We went straight from dinner to see Moneyball..fantastic.

We also got to go to lunch with one of Ashley's old bosses who we are friends with on Facebook. He is hilarious and he definitely entertained us. We ate at an Italian restaurant in a shi shi little area of town called Santana Row. Ashley and I outside the restaurant:

We also ate at our beloved CPK (where the waiter thought we were twins. We got that A LOT on this trip). We also ate at Chevy's. We split the fajitas and Ashley admitted to me she has never had fajitas before...what the?

We made a short trip into San Francisco and ate at Boudin Bakery in the basement of the big Macy's there. We were impressed with this new diet coke fountain machine that makes your diet coke to order with lime, orange, cherry, etc...snazzy.

The Shopping:

Ashley and I did a ton of shopping. That's what we do. I won't bore you with all the stores we went to but we did find 40% off at nearly every one of them. Ashley was completely bugged by this. "Oh look! Another 40% off way!"

Here we are in one of our favorite stores..can you tell where we are?:

I love the Container store's Christmas gift wrap festive:

Ashley spent her time looking for a brown cardigan to go with some brown riding boots she is getting. I teased her the whole trip about how the brown boots are a mistake and she will call me in a month and tell me as much.

Here I am in my favorite store WHBM. I shopped so long they had to bring me water:

Ashley did find this awesome canvas in TJ Maxx for above her bed. I have to admit I was horribly jealous of it and was trying to think of any way I could to buy a matching one and take it home with me....but no dice.


Hot stone pedicures: These are the bomb ladies. We went on a rainy day and I loved being in a cozy place getting a pedicure.

The Temple: Ash and i did a session at the Oakland temple. It was nice and I felt better about all of our shopping. I also went to church with her for all three hours on Sunday so that should count for something.

It was just really fun to have all that time to chat with Ashley. Everytime I am with her, I am reminded what a good person she is. Plus, we laugh a lot and she just gets me. I can't wait for our next trip.

A very hearty thank you to my mom and dad, Sam and Tyler, who made this trip possible!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Our family usually goes out to dinner for Thanksgiving (yeah..we're weird) but this year, my mom cooked dinner at her house (everyone helped with something) and it was really relaxing and nice. We fed the kids first and then sent them downstairs to watch a movie. The adults got to eat their meal in peace and then we all hung out around the fire and chatted and ate pie, etc.

On this day of gratitude, I just want to say how grateful I am for my family. My friends are always always telling me how lucky I am to have my mom (she deserves her own post!) but I am grateful for the rest of my family too. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such loving, fun, supportive people. I am also grateful for Sam. He is a great dad and he does so much to help me. Sam has a wonderful family too and I'm grateful for them as well. My kids are the joy of my life and make me a happy lady.

Here are some photos of our Thanksgiving dinner (I wish I would have taken my good camera..these photos are the worst...and I apologize for not getting any photos of the menfolk.)

These are the placecard turkeys my mom made with the kids a few days before the big day:

My obnoxious boys:


Ashley and my mom hovering over the bird..I wish I had gotten an action shot of everyone in the kitchen working on their different assignments:

My mom with Ashley's boys:

My sis-in-law Katie made these darling candy turkeys for the kids to eat for dessert:

Look at Buster's face..can you tell he loves Katie: onto Christmas. I put up my tree this morning!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Doesn't that song make you miss John Denver?...may he rest in peace.

Tomorrow morning, I am getting on a plane to go visit my sister Ashley for a weekend of eating, shopping, eating, pedicures, eating, movies, meeting up with friends and did I mention eating? It has been nearly two years since I went down to see her (though she comes here a lot.) I am so excited.

Thank you to Sam and my mom for making this trip possible. I think they know my sanity depends on it.

In the meantime, check out some of my new (to me) favorite blogs: This is written by my very talented, fashionable friend Andrea and her uber talented husband. They both cook, redo furniture (I have no idea what the correct term for this is) and have the most stylish modern home. Check it out..they post almost daily. This blog is written by one of Mitt Romney's daughter-in-laws. I may or may not have a small crush on Mitt. If you do too, you will love this blog. The daughter-in-law, Mary, has amazing taste and you get a glimpse into their very fun life. Go Mitt 2012! This blog is about love, divorce, forgiveness, infertility and life in New York. It is written by a husband wife duo (it is a second marriage for both of them.) I love their happy love story and their optimistic outlook on life. If you are going through a divorce, or struggling with anything really, this blog will appeal to you.

Enjoy! I will be back soon with a full report!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Which Brad Do You Prefer?

I am dying to see Moneyball while it is still in the theater. Has anyone seen it? Is it worth my time? Generally, anything with Brad Pitt is worth my time.

My sister Ashley just saw Moneyball and gave it the thumbs up. That doesn't mean the movie is good. It just means Brad was good.

The tricky thing is, sometimes Brad can be totally hot in a movie..think A River Runs Through It:

and Ocean's Eleven:

(gratuitous photo of George!)

and sometimes he can be on the edge of nasty..think Legends of the Fall:

Angelina has not done good things for that man.

I much preferred him in his Jennifer Aniston days.

How cute were their his and hers highlights?

I guess I just prefer a more clean cut Brad:

Damn Baby!

This one, I have no use for:

Which Brad do you prefer? And if you don't prefer Brad, please refrain from bagging on him in your comments. This blog is a bagging on Brad free zone.

11 Things on 11/11/11

1. I met a guy at my gym's spooktacular who told me I look just like Keesha. I had no idea who he was talking about. I went home and googled her and found stuff that looked a lot like pOrn. Unfortunately, I kind of see the resemblance:

2.I am almost done Christmas shopping for my kids. I love shopping for them because they are so easy to please and I know just what they would love. This time of year, I have this neurotic condition where if I buy anything...(think underwear or a clock radio) for one of my kids, I have to fight to urge to save it for Christmas. Anyone else have this problem?

3. Buster is finally taking steps....not walking. But this is not nothing people! The kid is 18 and 1/2 months old and heavier than a load of bricks. He is one lazy mother and I didn't think he would ever turn the corner.

4. Snapfish has the best customer service on the planet. I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed to admit that I have called them twice in the past week to get price adjustments for various things. Both times, I spoke to some guy in India who I could barely understand but both times the dude totally hooked me up...yesterday I got $19.99 in shipping refunded to my account just because I called and asked him to do it.

5. I am the proud owner of a new yellow handbag! Thanks mom. Isn't it cute?!

6. I've got my eye on a Shellac UV nail dryer on Amazon for about 50 bucks. If I bought my own Shellac polish, I could do my own manicures and save a ton of cash. It usually costs 2o bucks to get a shellac manicure and that is if you are getting a Groupon deal and it doesn't include anything except getting your nails painted. So my friend Lisa recommended buying my own dryer and doing it myself...what do we think folks?

7. Are flower headbands still in style for adult women? I am guessing no. I was going to wear this to the Spootacular and then felt silly in it. These headbands are much cuter on Sammie.

8. I love Tiny Prints Christmas cards. This year, their selection of cards are colorful, modern and original. You will pay more, but they are the cutest. I went with Snapfish this year (thanks for the free shipping Rashan!) but I still think Tiny Prints are #1.

9. Ryan recently went on a field trip to a fire station with his preschool where they each got to hold the hose and knock down orange cones with the water. This was heaven for a little boy who is obsessed with being a fireman.

10. I love Fall and this year was no different. I love the leaves on the ground before they get raked. I wish it could be fall year round. Notice Luke is in his cub scout uni. I am his Akaela...for those of you not down with cub scout lingo..that is his leader. Shoot me now. I am trying to learn to love it.

11. Is it totally tacky to return a giganto unopened bag of candy to Costco? Good, because I am doing that today. The alternative is that I will eat the whole damn thing before Thanksgiving.

American Soldier

On Veteran's Day, I always think of my Grandpa Poole...a great American Soldier. I have talked about him before on my blog. He served in World War II and was captured by the Japanese and forced on the Bataan Death March. He was a prisoner of war for 3 1/2 years and endured all kinds of suffering and starvation. When he was finally rescued at the end of the war. He came home to lead a quiet, humble life as a mailman.

Miraculously, he was able to forgive his tormentors and carried no hatred in his heart. It was only in his last few years that he spoke of his time as a POW and his war experiences. Yet, he always spoke of his love of this country and what it meant to him to serve and fight for our freedom. He is a true hero. He died last March and Mitchell (Buster) was born the next month. Mitchell's middle name is Harold after my grandpa.

Please take a minute today to think of all of those who have served and continue to serve out country so courageously. Many made the ultimate sacrifice and I am so grateful for them today.

One of my favorite videos:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Mini-Me

There is no question that Sammie is her mother's daughter. Here is why:

Like me, she hates pain. Her front tooth has been dangling for the last few days. Everyone has wanted to yank it out. She has been such a baby about it...holding a tissue on it, not eating, crying. FINALLY, the tooth came out at school yesterday.

She is waaaay too smart for mythical things like the tooth fairy. She went and got in my wallet and told me she was making change for a fiver because she has lost two teeth.

She is constantly asking in a very loud voice in front of her three brothers whether Santa is real. She is a born cynic. And Sammie, since I know you are reading my blog, he is!

She is all about going shopping with me and getting new clothes. She alternates between two backpacks at school just because she gets bored. Since the poor kid wears a uniform to school every day, her life is all about accessories and shoes. I indulge her.

She is always reading blogs on my ipad or texting Sam with my phone. Where does she get it?

She has no self-control when it comes to presents. I especially relate to this one. When I was a kid, I would find the xmas presents no matter how crafty and sneaky my parents got. I remember one year standing on a ladder on top of my dad's car to get into a box on the top shelf of the garage where all the presents were. I was also known to unwrap things and re wrap them before xmas. Sammie is getting an American Girl doll that looks like her for xmas from my mom and dad. It got delivered to my house and she wouldn't rest until she got a peek at it. I was completely beaten down from a day of badgering and she finally got my mom to show it to her.

She is constantly doing cartwheels, performing dance routines and various tricks in the house. I mean constantly. It makes me batty until I remember doing the same thing down the grocery store aisle or doing pirouettes in my mom's kitchen. Last night, Sammie insisted on performing the entire first grade program for me including all of the dances she is not in. It was my greatest achievement in patience as a mother.

So there you have it. I love that sassy girl but I understand now what I put my parents through. Mom, I'm sorry!

Magic Pants Revisited

Apparently, I only own one top...sorry. The ridiculous side pose is so you can see the back pockets.

I bought my five pocket leggings at Gap today with the Friends and Family pass. They let us super important, super classy, Gap Silver card holders in a day early. Don't be jealous.

These pants are the bomb diggity. I love that the leggings are a little thicker and have the pockets in case my sweater creeps up and my bum is out there in all of it's jiggly glory.

I wish they came in a long, which they don't. But I plan to wear them with tall boots or black booties when I want to dress them up...what? You don't dress up leggings? I do!

Anyhoo, please go get them. You will love them! You can copy this image and print it out and take it to a Gap store:

ps. Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions on the grey boots. I am still fasting and praying about them...I'm kidding. But I did order the boots Greg suggested and I am waiting to compare. I will keep you posted!

pss. White House Black Market (my favorite store of all time) is having a friends and family sale that starts tomorrow..20% off. Leave me a comment with your email if you want in and I will forward it to you. I got the sweater I am wearing in the picture above there.