Monday, September 29, 2008

Giada's Kitchen

Giada has a new book coming out and she is making the rounds to sign copies for her loyal fans. She will be at Williams-Sonoma in South Coast Plaza on October 14th and I have been asked to help out with the event. We are expecting over 500 fans who have pre-purchased their books. I can hardly wait to meet her.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Feeling Blue

I am feeling blue tonight. I had an absolutely terrible week, topped off by an upsetting day today! Tim is out of town on business, and I am feeling lonely and sad. It has been a difficult year in a lot of ways. So many life changes and a lot of goodbyes to people and things that I loved. Tonight, I am missing one of those friends, my cat Roxy who we lost on December 12,2007. She was a gentle soul with the loudest purr and the purest heart. I adopted her in 2000 - I used my big windfall from a tax refund to buy her. There were so many kittens to choose from at the shelter, but I chose her because the shelter worker told me they were going to put her to sleep because she was so ferile. She was only a little over three weeks old, scared and shy. When I brought her home, she was sick with a respiratory illness and after two days of loving care, she was healthy and tame (although she was forever shy around strangers. She loved to steal bites of chips - she loved cuddling with her baby sister Rio. She loved my old purple slipper that she cuddled with and she loved hanging out in my closet. She loved Tim from the day I met him - he definately got her stamp of approval.
Roxy weighed nearly 25 pounds but was never sick - until about December 10th. I started to notice that she wasn't eating - and when she refused treats, I knew there was a problem. I took her to the vet and after examining her they realized that she was very dehydrated and had impacted bowels. They kept her that night to monitor her and I was at work until 1AM getting ready for an executive visit. I stopped by on the way home from work (the vet hospital was open all night) and when I looked at her, I knew she was very ill. They called Tim at 5AM and told him that her organs were starting to fail and that she didn't have long. She was suffering from Fatty Liver Syndrome and it was causing her body to shut down. He had the horrible job of waking me up to tell me that news - the unthinkable. We drove to the vet and stood with her as they put her to sleep. I had my hand on her and I told her how much we loved her and thanked her for the joy she brought us for so many years. I sobbed at the emptiness of knowing she wouldn't be home when we got there. I sobbed at the empty carrier we had to take home and at the kindness of the vet tech who made a plaster imprint of her paw for me to have. I sobbed when I saw that empty closet and her beloved purple slipper laying on the floor where she had left it. I cannot believe it has been almost a year since I lost my dear friend.
Back on it’s golden hinges
The Gate of Memory swings,
And my heart goes into the garden
And walks with the olden things.
Not a day goes by that we don't miss you, Roxy girl.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Closet Fan

Okay, I am coming out of the closet with my love for Neil Diamond. I love every sequins wearin', cracklin' rose singing bit of him. Loving Neil kind of runs in my family in a way. My Aunt Joyce who passed away when I was very little loved him and for that reason, his music has always struck a chord for my mom. His best hits CD used to play on rotate at my old job and I guess that was my first real introduction to his music. The music became a sort of soundtrack to my life at that time - which happened to be the first few months I was dating Derek. After he and I broke up, I made all of my stores take his CD off of rotate because I couldn't handle listening to the songs. Now, a few years later, I can listen to them and remember the good times and think of my Aunt and my mom and all of the things that Neil's music reminds me of. The song Morningside makes me teary eyed everytime I hear it - it was my Aunt's favorite. So you can imagine how excited I am that I get to go and see him live a week from tonight. Tim's friend Kevin was kind enough to share amazing suite tickets with us. So what if we will be the only people there under fifty. I am counting the days until I can belt out Sweet Caroline and be in the same room as the man that my dear Aunt loved so much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's A Boy!!

Well, most of you know that my sister is expecting Baby #2 this March and we were all counting the days to find out if it will be a boy or a girl - and it is official - it's a boy! This makes nephew #7 for Tim and I. When I told Tim, he was saying that he thought it was great because as a brother to two sisters he really missed the opportunity to have another boy in the house. He is absolutely right. And someday, if we ever need something heavy carried or something fixed, we will have 7 strong boys around to give us a hand, right? Congratulations on a healthy baby #2, Athena! We can't wait to meet him this spring.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Things I love right now...and some things I don't.

One of my favorite fellow bloggers (the amazingly talented Jen at Cottage Nest) came up with a fun list of things she was greatful for and some other things she could live without. I thought it was a fun idea and so I decided to share my list with you.
Things I love right now:
1. Barefoot Contessa recipes - how simple and terrific are they?! This one in particular is just to die for. Plum-raspberry crumble. Just as good as it could possibly be.
2. Fall arriving not a moment too soon.
3. Thinking about the amazing Indian take out that Tim and I had last night (sorry Jenny Craig!)
4. Comfortable Pajamas
5. Thinking about going to see Neil Diamond next Saturday!
Things I don't love right now:
1. Lame work politics which are disappointing and unnecessary.
2. Weird headaches - I have one right now.
3. Family bickerments (also disappointing and unnecessary.)
4. Daylight savings time - where did my sunlight go?
5. The thought of weighing in tomorrow after my food splurge this week.
What are you loving (and not) loving right now?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So Inviting!

So, yesterday I was talking about our Halloween party that we are are starting to plan here in Dove Canyon. Tonight, while I was etsy-ing, I came across these super cool invitations and had to share them with you. Planning a party of your own? You can wow your guests with some amazing invitations from Etsy Shop Nouveau Designs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Fall Y'all

I just can't contain myself - I love fall and I am so glad it is finally here! Tim and I decided to host a Halloween open house this year on Halloween night. I am hoping we can get both sides of the family together for food, scary movies, and trick or treating for the kiddos in the family. My street has a big block party and there will be plenty of friendly neighbors to visit. Tim decided he wants to be the incredible hulk for Halloween (his sister Erin's idea). What a big kid he is. Thought I would share more Halloween decorations - this is another Bethany Lowe piece. I thought it was cloche worthy.
This is my fall tablescape. I had so much fun putting it together.

I think I stumped the cashier at the grocery store who looked at me like I was crazy for buying $40.00 worth of pumpkins already. She glared at me as she searched for the codes. Oh well, that's what I get for being the Queen of Halloween, right?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Porch Appeal

It was a busy and fun day in Dove Canyon. I spent the afternoon unpacking all of my Halloween decorations (including some that I purchased in July/August) and did my front porch scape. I can't put into words how much I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday by far! For me, it brings back some of my fondest childhood memories. This year marks my first Halloween in my new home and preparations are well underway to get my home all dressed up in its fall best.
I thought I would share with you what I have done so far -

I hope your week is "spooktacular" so far!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Handmade Halloween

Last year, my sister turned me on to Etsy (, and let me say if you haven't been there before, it is addictive. So, don't say I didn't warn you. I've ordered a few things but more than anything else, I like the thrill of the search. And, I have a handful of things in my "favorites," one of which is this girl - Amelia the witch from the seller maddoxandklaus. She is on my list of "don't need, but would love to have." I may order her in the next few weeks if no one else claims her. And, I should give an Etsy tribute to my friend Julie (of Etsy's own Joyshope) and also a fellow blogger at Joy's Hope. She was my very first Etsy purchase. She sold me a darling Thanksgiving wood sign for the door (I will post when it goes up after Halloween), and did such an amazing job I ordered custom signs from her for all of my employees for Christmas presents. Miss Julie was so kind that she hand delivered the last batch to my home just to make sure that I got them in time for the holidays. Amazingly kind, right? I urge you to support your local artists and make a wish list of your own.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hooray, My First Blog Award!

Well, when I first started blogging this past January, I had no idea how much I would love it and love the people I would meet and get to know. Your stories have made me laugh, cry, think, change, and be a kinder, better me. I have also been able to stay in the loop on the daily events down in San Diego with my sister's blog Soul Impressions.
And today, I won this very sweet and special award from Melissa at Sunbonnet Cottage. Please take a moment to visit her blog - it is one of my daily blog stops. Thanks again Melissa! You are just too kind.
And rather than pick and choose certain people to share this award with, I wanted to share it with all of you. Thank you for being a part of my world. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

DIY and Halloween on Hold (for now)

I am new to the world of do-it-yourself. I love to craft and to decorate, but I haven't delved into any major projects...until now. I rescued this cute little drop leaf table from Tim's dad's house - where it was about to be thrown away. I think it has potential - what do you think? I want to do it in a plain white or white with a shabby chic finish. I would love any tips or suggestions. No tip is too basic, because I have never painted or refinished anything before. Thanks in advance for your help - my crafty and talented blog friends. I went for a walk tonight in Dove Canyon, and no one has set up their Halloween yet. I guess it is still a week or two too early to start setting up. But I had to share one of my new Halloween finds. I bought this a few weeks ago at Homegoods - it is Dee Foust for Bethany Lowe. "Charming" - isn't it?
Also, for those of you Halloween fans out there, I highly recommend you pay yourself a visit to my friend Rosemary's blog "Rose's Petite Maison." Speaking of talented bloggers, Rosemary takes the cake and her handmade Halloween and french themed decorations are out of this world. Rosemary, thanks for the inspiration - you rock!
Here's to a great week ahead, friends.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy 3 years together!

So, Tim and I celebrated our three year anniversary today. You can read more about our story in my last post. Here is a picture of me, all dressed up and ready for a night on the town.Bluewater Grill in Newport Beach is an amazing seafood restaurant with a very classic New England feel. The food is so fresh, we watched them catch a swordfish and drag it from the boat into the restaurant! They even gave the sword to one of the diners who was so amazed by the whole thing.

This was our appetizer - scallops on the half shell. So good!

And the classic mixed clam chowder. Tim and I like to add tabasco sauce to it.
I'd like to show you my fish and chips platter and Tim's halibut but we were so hungry, by the time I thought to take a picture, we were halfway done. We also popped into one of my favorite gift stores and I bought a cool "prop" for my Halloween decorating. Don't worry, there will be halloween pictures soon enough, and once I start with that, there is just no stopping me! Hope you are all doing well, friends.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Story and a confession...

Tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of my first date with Tim. I thought it would be a really nice time to share our story with you. I had been single for almost one year to the day following my divorce from Derek and had truly begun to believe that there weren't any nice men left out there. I always say that someday I will write a book about my year as a single woman - it was filled with fun and eye opening experiences about men and the single life. I'd always had a boyfriend, but had never really dated per say. In one year, I tested those dating waters - my friend Tonya and I painted the bar scene (that was how she met her husband) and I just had zero luck. I even had something slipped in my drink on a first date, and thankfully came out of that experience unscathed. And when you work in the greeting card industry, single men aren't really readily available to meet and get to know. So, I decided to jump into the wonderful world of online match making. I was almost 27 years old and I knew what I wanted, an honest person without children, preferably not divorced, with a decent job who lived locally. My first two online dates were just okay - nothing great, nothing terrible. Then I met Tim. We talked on the phone a few times before deciding to get together for dinner. We had to do it on September 4th because the 3rd was his birthday and his family was having a bbq. The night of the 3rd, after his party, we talked for hours. Through three different phone batteries - talking about everything and nothing. I knew that he was different. He didn't just want to go to a bar for a drink like a lot of the other people I had met - he wanted to go to dinner somewhere great and he wanted to pick me up because that was chivalrous. He got lost on the way to my house and I wound up meeting him for the first time in my driveway. I don't know if it was love at first sight, but I knew he was different somehow from everyone else I had ever dated. Warmer, kinder, different. We went to Laguna Beach for our first date and had dinner at a restaurant called Five Feet. We were waiting to be seated and he grabbed my hand and when I looked up at him, he kissed my forehead. It felt like we had been together for years. So comfortable. After that night, Tim and I started dating. By October, we were an official couple and I was already starting to think of him as maybe the one.
At the beginning of November, I found a note on my car at work left by my ex-husband asking me to call him. I didn't. Two days later, he sent me flowers at work. I threw them away. Then he came to see me. He told me that he made a mistake and wanted to give our marriage another try. I'd only known Tim for 2 months and had spent a whole year wondering what it would be like if Derek changed his mind. I had no choice but to give it a try. It broke Tim's heart, but I was honest with him and he gave me my space. He would come to see me at work and we would talk every now and then but I was enjoying the fact that Derek was back. After such a painful split, I thought I would finally get some resolution on the pain I was feeling. Tim never gave up. He brought my Christmas presents to my store and bought me a ticket to go to Texas with him and his friends for the new year, but I didn't go. He should have given up on me, but he loved me. I treated him terribly and he still loved me. That January, Derek had started showing signs of being his "old self" and my trust was so frayed that I started to realize that I couldn't put our marriage back together. There were too many cracks and too many hurt feelings. I couldn't forgive. Period.
I came down with a terrible cold and was all alone at my apartment, talking to Tim on the phone. I told him how I was craving red clam chowder and how it had been the only thing that sounded good to me for days. Tim showed up on my doorstep that night with a big bag full of medicine, magazines, sourdough bread, and the best homemade clam chowder you have ever had. He found the recipe and made it himself. For me. That was love. And three years later, it still is. I'm so glad he never gave up on our love. I know that I have found the perfect person for me.
Tim, I love you. Thanks for the soup and for three years of happiness, surprises, patience, kindness, love, friendship, understanding, and laughter. I am so lucky to call you mine.

Happy 34th Tim!

Today is my fiancee' Tim's 34th Birthday. Our 3 year anniversary is tomorrow and we are going out to celebrate at our favorite restaurant in Newport Beach. So, we decided to do a quiet dinner at home, topped off with Tim's favorite dessert of all time - The I De'clair from Claim Jumper. It is a jumbo dessert to say the least, complete with three tubs of homemade whipped cream, a tub of vanilla bean ice cream, the eclair, and a tub of fudge. I tried to make it pretty, but the chocolate sauce was so thick, it wouldn't cooperate. Oh well, at least it tasted amazing! It even peaked Rio's interest - she hardly ever gets up on the counter, but she just couldn't help herself.
By the way, the cherry on top for me was watching the National Convention tonight. I've been watching it since 4pm getting all of the behind the scenes scoop. My brother and sister are both die hard democats, so I will spare them my rant (and hopefully they will spare me a rant) and just say...someone has a new hero!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pretty in Pink?

We have another neice or nephew due this spring - my sister Athena is pregnant with baby #2 (seen here below). With six nephews between the age of 16 and 6 months, we have our share of experience with little boys. A baby girl in the family would be pretty special, but regardless of whether it is a boy or girl, our newest baby in the family will be loved. A lot... So little baby, even if your Auntie K can't buy you one of these (from etsy shop
fairytalesunlimited), we will welcome you into our hearts and lives just the same.

See you in March/April Baby!