Sunday, August 31, 2008

Perfect Gift!

Tim's mom Marsha bought us the most amazing engagement gift! We saw it for the first time in Chicago when we went to dinner at Capri's. They have one on each table for properly serving aerated red wine. Tim's mom loved it so much that she talked them into selling her one for her house. And after seeing how much we loved it, she bought one for us as well. You pour your wine into the top and it floats over the glass ball into the decanter. Then you put your glass under it (or your serving vessel) and push the lever to dispense. If you prefer white wine, you can freeze the glass ball and pour white in - and the frozen ball helps to chill the wine. And of course, she threw in a bottle of 2003 Silver Oak which means that maybe, just maybe I will open the 2002 sometime soon because I have a back up now. It looks so perfect on our bar!

New Home

I love this table. I loved it at my mom's house in her backyard, where it used to live. And she loved it at my grandma's house in her backyard, where it also used to live (my grandma bought it at a garage sale, I think). My sister must have loved it too because it wound up at her house where I found it last time I was in San Diego for a visit. She was tired of it and so, I gladly took it off of her hands. I haven't found the exact right spot for it yet, but I am convinced that it is here to stay. I love everything about it from the moulding on the base to its grey and white marble top. It's fun to think of all of the places it has been and people that I love who have enjoyed it too.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Five on Friday

1. I'm so totally tired. Thank God for 2 - almost 3 days off of work to get back into the swing of things.

2. My boss quit last week. What is totally ironic is that she is going to work for Hallmark as a District Manager. After working for Carlton Cards for 10 years, even mentioning the "H" word seems offensive. I wish her well though - she will certainly be missed.

3. OH deer - when I was driving home tonight, there was a sign at the gate entrance to "Slow down to avoid hitting the deer" YIKES - something tells me that must have happened in order to post a sign about it. That would be all I need - to take out bambi on the way home. Good lord. 4. Diet is slowly coming along. I finally had a good weight loss week last week - almost 2 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

5. I love John McCain's running mate. Call me crazy. I think she looks like a cross between Tina Fey and Karen from Will and Grace.

What are your weekend plans like? Tim's family is all getting together tomorrow night at Opah to celebrate our engagement and Tim/his sister Erin's birthdays. Sunday we are going to go look at more wedding locations and Monday, after work, we are going to a barbecue at Tim's dad's to celebrate his/Erin's birthdays. Poor kids of divorced parents - everything has to be celebrated twice. Not to mention, Tim gets a third birthday dinner from me on his actual Birthday. Look out, diet plans!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

OH Barack

I watched the democatic national convention today and here and there for the past three days. Did you catch it? If you did, I am sure you can relate to what I am talking about. Barack Obama is a ham - yeah, I said it. I think he should have been an actor, because of his ability to whip people into a frenzy over...well, I'm not uncanny. His speeches and his appearances seem so scripted - even his conversations with his little girls during Monday night's speech by his wife Michelle (who I do like in a way). To me, his policies and goals seem very vague. I do find myself buying into the hype for a minute or two every now and then. Like tonight when he and Joe Biden were up on stage with "The Rising" playing in the background. Then, I think, what rising is he going to bring? Taxes? And I feel...well...shmoozed and manipulated by the fanfare of it all. I just want to see more substance and less shmooze. Honestly!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Tribute

I never knew Alison Kline, or even knew of her before a few days ago. But she, simply by being her and writing about her life (as we all do here in blog world) changed my life. I stumbled upon her blog on Saturday evening and read it cover to cover. Her blog, not unlike my own, chronicled her day to day, from her love of peach ice cream to her dilema over which color to paint her adorable kitchen. It followed her husband to Japan where he was stationed for 6 months and was her sounding board during his time away - the place where she confided all of the things she wanted to do to surprise him when he finally got back home. And then, it took a turn that you would not expect it to take. That you could not imagine happening to someone so beautiful, so happy and so young. Alison was diagnosed with cancer after going to the doctor for back pain. She fought a battle with courage and bravery and never made one post that had the least bit of self pity in it. She was full of hope and grace. As I read posts closer to August of this year, her husband started posting in her place, implying that Alison was simply too sick to write. Alison lost her battle with cancer on August 5,2008. Her story reminded me how simply fragile life is. How one day you can be worrying about something small, never thinking that you may only have one or two years left to live and enjoy your life. We should all live our lives in a way that brings us joy and not sweat the small stuff. The things that really warrant worrying are the things that blindside us when we are least expecting them and not one ounce of worry can change that.
Although I didn't know them, I am devastated for her husband and family. What a tragic loss of such a remarkable person.
To read more about Alison's touching journey, visit her blog at

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Sunday

Tim and I had the pleasure of babysitting our little nephews Shane and Zack today. Their parents went to Del Mar for a day of fun in the sun and we got to run after these two balls of fire. We played Cooties (the game), built Tinkertoys (my favorite when I was little) and went to the park to eat dinner and play on the playground.
Here is my little Shanie on the swings. They are so photogenic, aren't they? What you don't get pictures of is Zack trying to climb up the slide and me saying "No, Zack" and "Play nicely you two." After about an hour of making sure they didn't kill themselves (or anyone else) at the park, Tim looked at me and said "Let's just be those people who travel and don't have kids." Our quiet and clean little lifestyle won't know what hit it when we finally decide to become parents.
But it was all worthwhile at the end of the day when I sat down on the couch and they fought over who got to sit on my lap while we watched Blue's Clues. I convinced them that there was room enough for both of them and so, he we are. Snuggletime is always the best part of the day, wouldn't you agree?
Hope you found time to get a little snuggling in this weekend.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's never too early

I say it every year, but this year I really mean it. I am going to be prepared for the holiday season early this year so that I can sit back and enjoy it all a little bit more than I have been. I will not be found at the mall searching for those last gifts or wrapping for hours on end to get caught up on Christmas Eve.
So, how is this for a cute start. I ordered these fabulous gift tags last night from becreativestationary shop on Etsy. They are so me - I love the cranberry colored damask pattern and the best part...
They are personalized! So classy. I had her do chocolate ribbon with them and I am thinking they would pair well with a solid brown paper. Be sure to check out her store - her prices are great and she has tons of other items, including cute party favor tags for those of you moms out there. As my dear friend Jonathan reminded me today - "Life favors the prepared"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Eagle Has Landed

Or the pumpkin butter, I should say. These little jars of goodness are a fall staple in a lot of houses out there, including mine. I tried it for the first time last year (after witnessing the pumpkin butter frenzy at my store when the first few dozen jars came in) and have been a fan ever since. Williams-Sonoma customers stock up for the whole season and our stores always sell out. I think the appeal has something to do with the versitility of pumpkin butter. The options are endless - pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin spread, and our favorite, the dessert squares can all be made using pumpkin butter. I also like to use it on my toast - yum! If you haven't ever tried it, I recommend that you take a trip to your local Williams-Sonoma and pick up a jar or two. Be sure to visit for tons of amazing recipes to put that pumpkin butter to use.
And let the fall baking season begin...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ring Bearer-s?

What do you all think of this idea?
Multiple ring bearers! That way, we don't have to leave out any of the little nephews. One six year old, two almost four year olds, and an almost two year old? It's do-able, don't you think?

Blush and Bashful

Hello and Happy Sunday to you, friends. I had a nice day off and that gave me a chance to visit a lot of you and find out what is going on in your worlds. I wish you all a fabulous last couple of weeks of summer. I hope you join me in being so thrilled to welcome fall - my very favorite holiday. I am counting the days - sorry, summer. I love my crisp fall afternoons, pumpkins, and comfort food. I can't help it.

Tim and I spent the afternoon doing wedding stuff. We went to visit Orange Hill, which I shared with you in my last post. It is lovely and fits perfectly in our budget which is great. I don't think it is the right place for the ceremony itself though. There just isn't a rightful spot for such an important part of the day. So, off we went to research churches nearby. We stumbled upon the First Baptist Church of Yorba Linda. There is something so "southern" and "cottage-ish" about it.

It reminds me of the church in Steel Magnolias. Cute, isn't it? I know what you are thinking...Kristin loves cottage AND all things southern.
It is definately a contender.
I have given myself a month deadline to book a site and with that, to finalize a day.
I'll keep you all posted.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Breaking Bread

Tim and I have been dating for almost three years and our families still haven't met yet. Weird, I know. The truth is I have a little anxiety about it because my mom had so much difficulty getting along with my ex husband's family. My mom is amazing and most people really love her - but I think sometimes she can take a while to warm up, which makes an initial meeting a little bit difficult. So, as we begin to put our wedding plans together, we think it is time for our parents to finally meet. Tim's mom Marsha and her husband Mike are in town from Chicago at the end of this month and we are planning a Sunday lunch for them and for my parents at our house. We decided not to include all of the sisters/nephews because we really want them to have time to get to know one another. If anyone has any advice on helping them connect, I would love to hear from you. If not, wish us luck. If nothing else, it will be a story to share, right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A First Look...

I thought I would share two wedding venues that Tim and I are considering for our big day. We sat down this past week with a pen and paper and hammered out our budget, our guest list (which is 75 people strong), and made some tough choices. We decided that we do not want children (other than our little nephews) and that Tim would have to pass on inviting some of his more casual friends in order to keep the number down. We also went through about 100 venues online and narrowed our choices down to a few favorites, and these are the front runners.
Orange Hill Restaurant has a lot to offer, including a garden area for the actual ceremony and one of the best views in Orange County. I think the banquet room is quite elegant and sophisticated. What do you think, be honest!
Just imagine having a cocktail overlooking the city lights.
Lovely, isn't it?
And then there is Cannon's in Dana Point. This restaurant has a very different beach classy feel. We would have to move the ceremony to a church (we may do that anyway) because I think the ceremony space here looks way too cramped for my taste. I like the slightly non-traditional feel in a way and let's face it, who doesn't love the ocean?
So, if any of you have ever been to either of these places or just want to weigh in with your opinion, I would love it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Got secrets?

My name is Kristin and I have a mild obsession with the whole "post-secret" craze. For those of you that are not familiar with the concept, it is a collection of anonymous post cards sent by people around the US who want to confess a dark secret. There are post secret books and a website, which I just really love and check at least once or twice a week. I thought I would share two of my favorite post secrets from the website. This one was a classic...
What confession would you make?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister Athena's 35th Birthday
and I couldn't let the day pass without sending her a little birthday wish. I hope today was chalk full of rest and happy things.
See you tomorrow, you spring chicken.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Just amazing...

I don't have a million friends - I never have. I'm more of the have a few close and dear people who really knock your socks off kind of girl. The older I get, the more I learn about true friendship and what it truly means to be a friend.
I am so blessed to have a handful of amazing people who I call friends. One of those dear people is my beautiful friend Katrina. We have only been friends for a few years, but I really feel like I have known her my whole life. We have a lotin common - including ten years of growing up with the same jobs at the same company. We had the same role model - Marilyn Price - who taught both of us so much and was someone we both patterned ourselves after. We left our company around the same time and helped each other get over the hurdles of leaving the nest - and believe me, it has been a rocky road for both of us.
She is there for me and I am there for her. Period. And even though she is in Texas, I know that she is just a phone call, text, or IM away.
And tonight, I got the most amazing box of goodies from her. Three gifts to celebrate three milestones - birthday, engagement and new home - all from her new company - Lush cosmetics. I can hardly wait to try each and every bit! The packages are all so lovely, I feel sad opening them!
Katrina, I hope you know what your friendship means to me. It is something I truly treasure. I am so excited to have you come out soon and be here for my wedding. Thank you for my goodies and for just being you. Simply an amazing friend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

RIP and Help Needed...

Well, those of you that know me or have read my blog a time or two know that I dreamed of a fall wedding. Not kitchy Halloweeny fall wedding, but classic pumpkins and warm fall colors. I envisioned little jars of pumpkin butter as favors and warm apple cider served as an after cake treat. Well, it looks like we will have to put that wedding idea to rest.
Unfortunately, getting engaged in July has posed an awkward time constraint for having the fall wedding of my dreams. Either we rush rush rush and plan things fast and furious for this fall (no thanks, I have enough stress in my life) or we wait over a year (Tim says no way). So alas, I am on the hunt for a new theme. So, I need your help my fellow blogger friends - some of the most creative and inspiring women I know! If you have suggestions on themes, please share. If you come up with a theme I wind up using, I will send you a prize! Good luck and get creative!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm back...

I had a great time in Scottsdale - and I thought I would share some of my favorite moments of my trip with all of you.
Here we are at the People First Awards all decked out in our formal attire. I bought a new dress for the event because I am in between sizes. My dress from last year was too big (woo hoo), and I still have a few pounds to go for the other dresses to fit. I think it turned out classic and nice.
Here is the food sampling seminar that we attended. Kind of a sneak peak at the food items that will be new to our stores this holiday season. Three cocktail mixes, including my favorite (far left) which was the Spiced Pineapple Cooler. In the candy box, my favorite treat was an artisan toffee - oh my goodness!
This guy is part of our holiday line this season. All decked out in his Williams-Sonoma fineries - complete with a beautiful Mauviel copper hat. Don't you just love it.
And last but not least, I thought I would share a photo of one of my heroes - our founder - Chuck Williams. Fifty two years ago, he brought his dream to life when he opened his very first store in Sonoma, California. Today it is one of the most successful retail establishments in existance. At ninety-four years old, he is still living his dream. What an amazing life he has had. Chuck, we love you.
"And, like any good traveler, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."
Hope your week is off to a smashing start, friends.