Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For (The I can't eat another bite edition)

1. I'm thankful for simple moments and the joy I find in them. I had one this morning - downstairs in my pajamas, baking my cobbler in my beautiful kitchen, looking out the window at my garden still wet with rain from earlier this morning. And my beautiful hot pink roses that seemed to be enjoying the first rain of the season. Or the other day while I was walking and saw the trees filled with the most breathtaking fall leaves, all golden yellow and vibrant red, I just had to take a few home with me. I don't think I've picked up a leaf in twenty years, maybe more. Simple moments.

2. I'm thankful for my family - that my family is healthy and that we sat around the table for yet another year and like always, didn't eat a bite until my mom said grace. No one could sum up a year of thankfulness in a few sentences like that lady (and she makes a mean dinner, too.) I'm thankful for my sweet nephew Nick, who let me hold him today (he is almost two, so that doesn't always come easily). I love playing hide and seek with him and hearing him mutter his first few words - today I heard bird and ball. So cute! I'm thankful for little Zoe who is on the way and all of the pinky, fluffy goodness that will come with the first girl in the family.

3. I'm thankful for my Tim and the gift of finding a true partner in life. It isn't always glamorous or perfect, but at the end of the day, we really love each other. Who else would go to three grocery stores to try to track down the right fruit for my cobbler. And I'm thankful for his family who has been so warm and welcoming to me from the very beginning. We are so lucky to have them all close by.

4. I'm thankful for my friends, including all of you, my fellow "blogging" friends. You make me feel heard and I love to stop by and visit you at the end of my day.

5. And lastly, I'm thankful for my Rio, who is so much more than just a cat. She is a trusted friend and companion. Rio, you are a furry little bundle of unconditional love and entertainment.

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and that in the craziness of the day, you had a chance to stop and think of the things and people you are thankful for. Many blessings to you and your families, my dear friends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,
I have been really, really good (okay, marginally good) this year. As for that no crying or pouting thing, I am working on it. I know you understand, after all, we have a lot in common. You have a factory of elves, I have a factory of elves. Your stomach jiggles like a bowl full of jelly, and well, things on my body jiggle too. I know it has nothing to do with those maple donuts I love so much. Anyway, I thought you might need a little help shopping for this very deserving girl this year, so here is my list. Santa, I hope you have a good laptop and a credit card, because this list is meant for internet shopping!
Okay, how cool is this flatware set. Santa, you know I love to entertain, so I probably need 2-3 sets. You can find them at
I love these handstamped bracelets from - at kathrynriechert's shop. I want mine to say "noblesse oblige." Get out your french-english dictionary, Santa. Merci.
And because a girl can never have too many french themed bangles, I think I need this one too.
You can find this also on at dreamsandjewelry's shop.
And what good would 2 french themed bracelets be without this super fabulous fleur necklace. So while you are on, check it out at kellyevansdesign.
Now that I will have perfect accessories, I thought I would wish for a few cute things for my house. Like this
or this...with my address of course. You DO know where I live, don't you Santa?
These can be found on at familyattic. I wouldn't blame you if you ordered one for yourself. They are totally darling.
And last but not least, these glasses have been on my wish list for years. I can't really believe that I haven't broken down and bought them myself. I love the double old fashioned size. And don't tell any of my WS friends, but you can buy these at
Santa, if you don't like any of these options, I am always up for gift cards to my favorite haunts - Homegoods, Steinmart, and WS/Pottery Barn. I also think I might like to join the rest of the world and own an ipod for my walks. I don't need it to be super fancy - in fact the more basic, the better- but I would prefer a silver one. AND, I am working on making a shabby chic tree this year for my living room mostly done in whites, creams, and pale turqouise. So, if you find anything that would look cute with that, feel free to drop it down my chimney.
Oh and Santa, Tim is difficult to shop for. You know it and I know it. He loves gift cards - Men's Warehouse, Best Buy, or Bluewater Grille - they are to Tim what Homegoods is to me.
So, what's on your list this year?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Giving Thanks

It has been a crazy week! I don't know about you all, but I am officially ready for the weekend (which starts tomorrow for me!) I have been working morning, noon, and night to get all of the pieces into place for my executive visit today. It went off without a hitch and I just can't explain how relieved I feel. It was worth every bit of effort to see the looks on their faces - just so great! Tonight, I am so greatful for all of my amazing employees who worked their little hearts out so that I could shine today. I am blessed with a group of very talented miracle workers. And of course, my partner Jonathan - who holds me together and helps me find humor in the madness. I couldn't do it without you, my dear friend.

In keeping with the spirit of Thankfulness, I thought I would share my super cute front door sign. It is one of my fall treasures - hand crafted by the extremely talented Julie of Joy's Hope blog and etsy shop. I could hardly wait to hang it after I finished taking down all of my Halloween decor. If you haven't been over yet, check out Julie's blog and more importantly her etsy shop. She just added lots of fun signs for the holiday season - they are totally affordable, handmade, and make great gifts! Julie, you rule girl.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I've been having a tough go of things lately. Some pieces of my life have not been fitting
quite right - if that makes sense. I have been holding on to some bitterness and letting some pretty silly things weigh me down. I have felt really alone lately and feeling what I can only describe as a "disconnect" with some people that I really love. I need to bridge that gap somehow, but I haven't been able to figure out how that would happen.
I've been carrying a lot of things with me that I should simply set down gently for my own heart's sake. And be honest with people I love and with myself.
My relationship with my family has been so strained lately. I want more than anything for my parents to see who I am, to get to know me as something more than the child they knew. Months and days and years that they do not see when they see me.
The child they see who needs to look both ways when she crosses the street, buckle up in the car, go to the dentist and carry cash just in case.
The woman who runs a business, owns a house, and hasn't carried cash for years.
And has survived anyway.
And I wish I knew them - and I mean really knew them. I want to ask my mom what her dreams are - for herself - now. Because her life (as all of our lifes are) is still a work in progress. And she is so much more than just my brother, my sister, my dad, and I. I want to know what, if anything, of herself that she sees in me. Her loves and losses - probably so many similar to my own - and yet she seems to never understand the ways that love has made me make stupid choices. Stupid choices that she too made once upon a time. That no one, no amount of caution or parental advice can save someone from making. The choices that make a life. That make a person. That defined my character and made me stronger and wiser. And how it hurts when she seems ashamed of my mistakes because I am not.
And to tell her how much our summer nights together meant growing up, when we talked and laughed and were friends. Wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the balcony together, just the two of us. Playing cards every night in the big room until I finally won on my own.
And that if I could, I would go back in time, and be there, even if it was just for a night.
And how impossible that seems.
And how sad that makes me.
And how anytime I do, well, just about anything - I over do! Because she always did. Bigger and better than everyone else - even if it means more time, more energy, more whatever. The daughter of an over-achiever, perfectionist - I see my mother when I take on too much, try too hard, give more than I have to give just because it is worth it to be the best sometimes.
I want to ask my dad what it was like to step off of an airplane and begin a life in a place he had never been. Alone. And to tell him that I am proud of the life he made for us - from so little. When I tell people how my dad came to the US and about the life he built, they are always amazed. He lived the American dream. And yet, when I tell the story, it is filled with so many gaps of things that I do not know, that he has never talked about.
Maybe he doesn't realize I would even want to know.
And how when I work hard (and I mean really hard) I look back and remember him going to work and never complaining about how long his days were. And how even though I wish he had been home more, I am so greatful to have had a dad who showed me that nothing really takes the place of working hard for things.
And yet I let hours and days and months and years go by.
And never say the words.
Why is it so hard to say those words, words that need to be said
but somehow cannot ever be properly said. And how when we talk,
we don't really say anything worth saying.
And all of these layers of words lay beneath and we somehow leave them there every time.
I'd rather say too much than say too little and wish I had somehow said it all.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Good Friendship, Good Food, Good Wine!

Tim is in Atlanta on business, so my friend Deana came over to catch up on life and have a fun evening in. Deana has been one of my very best friends for the eleven years that we have known one another. She is fun, loyal, kind, giving, and so easy to talk to. I honestly don't know how I would have survived the last decade of my life without her! When we get together, we talk for hours on end, so we decided to do dinner at my house - mostly to avoid scowling waitresses who glare at us for tying up their tables for such a long time!
I prepared the fare for the evening -
Thanksgiving style panini sandwiches with cranberry-orange sauce.
A fall salad with cranberries, pears and goat cheese - dressed with a balsamic dressing.
Deana brought the wine - as you can tell, we had some.
If you've never had Sofia before, get yourself a friend, and a bottle and enjoy.
It is a sparkling white wine - just divinely good! I think the bottle is so pretty, I saved it. It would make a lovely vessel for flowers, no?
Carrot Cake - compliments of Trader Joes - totally effortless and delish.
My fur friend Rio says it was "paw" lickin' good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All Around Great Day!

Hello Friends!
I hope you are all doing well. I had a lovely, restful day off today. I finished taking down and packing up all of my Halloween decorations. It is always sad to see them go - the house looks so empty between Halloween and Christmas - my two big decorating holidays! I have a few fun things for fall/thanksgiving - including these adorable plates that I bought at Homegoods a few weeks ago. I also found this super cool vintage looking stand that the plate looks cute on. I bought 3 sets because I thought they would be ideal for serving pumpkin pie on someday when Tim and I host our first Thanksgiving. Speaking of food we love, I thought I would do something mean and cruel (mostly to my sister who will see these pictures and CRAVE this food until she can get some for herself) and post pics of the dinner we had tonight. For some reason, we all love Indian food - if you haven't tried it before, you have no idea what you are missing. It is divine!Samosas filled with potato, onions, peas, and fennel.
Alu Ghobi (cauliflower and potato in a heavenly sauce - Tim's favorite!)
Naan - clay oven bread baked to perfection. YUM!
Not a bite left in the house. We ate at the table by candlelight and listened to Christmas music. It takes so little to amuse us.
Author's Note: The Indian food is from Clay Oven Restaurant in Irvine, which has been a great OC find. I am originally from North Orange County - I used to go to Maharaja Palace in Tustin - which is also super fabulous. Have not tried that one in Corona Del Mar, but we love to go to the beach for dinner, so it is on my list. Thanks!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One last look...

So, one last look at our Halloween - I have to say it was such a great night. My party was so much fun and I got a ton of compliments from neighbors (and even trick or treaters) on our decorations. This was something that I put together at the last minute, but I actually think it was my favorite decoration of the night. It was suspended from a shepard's hook on the walkway that leads up to my house. I called it "Dead Man's Stew" And I was so busy playing the happy hostess all night, I only got one pic - this cute shot of Ryan and I. He was such a darling little bat, but the costume came off super quickly because it was so hot. That's what you get when you celebrate Halloween in Southern California.
I can't wait to hear all about how you all spent the evening. Happy November 1st to you all.