Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Down, Eleven To Go

I know January done already?  Crazy fast right?  Let me see if I could recap the month that was.
  • Went to dinner at Villa Romano in Napa - great food and wonderful company.
  • Attended 3 church meetings.
  • Watched football at Heather's and Robert's.
  • Hosted viewing party for the NFC game.
  • Went to the annual company party that my husband's company throws every January.  
  • CNY dinner at Tammy's and Quyen.  The best Vietnamese food is at Tammy's table - hands down.
  • Emma got a cold, boo hoo.  Was worried sick.
  • Had spring-like weather 80% of the month.
  • Started to read 2 books, didn't get past chapter 1 on either of them.  
I'm looking forward to a February that will bring in some rain out here and snow up there.  A February that would inspire me to read.  A February that would give me some relief from "pain". 

Here's hoping you have a February to remember. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday

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This is how I began my Monday. After a restless sleep (feeling fluish and coughing all Sunday), I decided to dress nicer than usual and wore my white tunic shirt I got from Turkey as a souvenir. My mom commented I look nice in my "barong tagalog like" shirt :)

And then I splashed coffee over my white shirt, just a few yards from my driveway. You see I eat my breakfast on the go. Today it's nuttela sandwich and coffee. My usual routine.

Monday started with coffee stains all over the front of my white shirt.

I vow never to let small things bother me. So I'm wearing a lab coat today to hide the stains that didn't come out when I tried to wash it out in the bathroom upon arriving at work.

I'm also looking at my window today and all that is outside is gray gloomy sky. Rather than get me down, I posted a picture of blue skies. Today and this year, I'd rather see blue skies and find love in everything.


Never sweat the small things.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

One of the things............

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......I'd like to try is kayaking. But not in open sea, nor even the bay. I'd like to first try it in a river.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I feel like I've been away............

IMGP0084 I feel like I've been away from blogging forever and not just for a few days. I am surprised to find that I missed it. But the weekend has been really busy that I didn't have a single minute to even turn on the computer. Still am struggling with finding more free time to blog that I consider putting my meme blog on hold for a week or so until everything settles down.

Let me tell you about my weekend. First we finally got some rain. It's the middle of January and that's the first rain - substantial rain - we had. We needed more but it's a good start.

The rain made me lazy, but I had to clean the house for Sunday's viewing party. The local team, San Francisco 49ers, were competing the following day in the NFC championship. We have just started watching this sport so we're pretty ignorant about rules, but we were hosting a viewing party on Sunday. That meant I have to do some cleaning.

I made sure that I finished cleaning and had showered by 4 pm because I was going to my husband's company party that evening. I don't know why, but I even put polish in my fingernails. Somehow, it's not a real party without red nails, yikes.

And so the party that my hubs company hosts every January is for the Holidays, except they're too cheap to host the Holiday party during the Holidays when the prices are high. It's always cheaper in January you know.

It would be my 3rd party, in the same location, at Craneway Pavillion, next to the bay. At night you could see the lights in San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's not wise to go outside and enjoy the views though as it's always cold and windy near the water. Thankfully the sides of the structure is made of glass so you can enjoy the views without getting cold.

I would have to blog separately about the food because I have photos.

This year was the company's 60th anniversary. Upon entry they have a table of goodies. The gents can get a hat while the ladies can choose between a tiara, a ring that's like 50 carats, and a necklace bling that would make the hip hop artists bling shy. I of course chose a tiara and I wore it majority of the time while in the party.

They also have a few photo booths, which we were lucky to find early on so the line wasn't long. The party was probably attended by about 2,000 people. It's a big company - global - but has its HQ here in the Bay.

So we ate and drank and chit-chatted. I was introduced to new people and got reunited with people that used to work with the hubby. We took photos and then it was time to dance. My hubs doesn't dance and I wasn't in the mood to dance. We never stay for the dancing. Many people didn't either. It was kinda boring too you know.

Anyhow, we left for home about 10 pm. I drove because I hardly drank. I had a glass of red. My hubby had more than 2 so I was the designated driver.

I couldn't sleep until about 3 am. The waiter lied to me when I asked if he's pouring me decaf after dinner. At 1 am I knew he poured me real coffee.

Still raining on Sunday when we went to church. The 49ers game were at 3:30 and we had 6 people watching the game with us. Unfortunately the home team lost.

The week started in hectic fashion. Am so busy and hubby got me a book to read. Yeah I think I can find time to read.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happiness Is.........

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Spending time with your gal pal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekend Warrior

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When I left a comment on Prinsesa's blog today, I told her my weekend was busy. Then I gave it a thought as I needed to write something here. I realized it wasn't as busy as I first thought it was.

On Saturday I had my weekly driver duties to mom. We skipped dining in because of time constraints. Instead we just ordered food from drive through and ate while on the way to the grocery store.

Saturday was the San Francisco Forty Niners game against the New Orleans Saints, American football if you must ask. We are not followers of the game, heck we hardly know the game. But it's jumping on the bandwagon time, it's being one with the community. Regional pride here people. Plus, we got invited to a viewing party, and we went. Needless to say, it was one of the best football games. The lead kept changing in the last 2 minutes of the game. Fortunately, the 49ers prevailed. They're headed on to the NFC championship this weekend. If they hurdle this challenge, then they go to vie for the Superbowl cup.

The game was so thrilling and tense I was exhausted. There was yelling and slapping and putting both hands on face, in the end my legs could hardly support me.

Still, we managed to hug our friends goodbye and told them next week's game is at our house (OMG!!!!).

They live in one of the neighborhoods that we looked at when we were house hunting. Furthermore they are just one block away from the house I fell in love with. We didn't put a bid on the house because it was next to a dancing hall. Yes, there are still dancing halls here. But the house is next to the bay, from the master's bedroom your view is the bay. Plus the attraction of the house for me is the entryway. It's like a cottage entry, but the interiors is definitely modern with high ceilings.

And so when we left our friend's house I asked the hubby to drive to the house and see if there are changes. OMG, the street was packed with cars, there was party in the dance hall and the charming gate/cottage entry has been replaced with suburban blah. Just looking at the noisy party made me realize how lucky we were for not putting a bid on this house, or even buying it.

Because we ate very little, we had to have dinner... and a movie. Our Netflix movie DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 arrived and we watched it and enjoyed it.

On Sunday was the usual routine, we went to church and wanted to do nothing else. I went to soak the laundry (very exciting eh?) and then vacuumed the downstairs. Then I put the Harry Potter movie again, I never tire of watching it. By the time it ended, the Golden Globes was about ready to begin. However, we needed to run to the grocery store for some last-minute necessities we need for the whole week.

Monday was Holiday for me. Hubs had to work. It's a me time. I woke up, stayed in bed and caught up with REVENGE. Then came down and had rice and sardines (Ligo). I only get to eat this breakfast if hubby is out. He thinks my eating sardines and rice for breakfast (it's nearly 12) is weird. Surfing and doing laundry while eating breakfast. Then its time to line dry my laundry. Do you line dry your laundry? I do.

Then I rang up the pharmacy to see if they were open that day bec I neede a refill on my Rx. They were. It's a very short drive, 5 minutes tops. And the wait was nonexistent. I got my refill in 5 minutes.

And here is where I should have exercised self control but I didn't. I went to Taco Bell and ordered Nacho Bellgrande and coke. I know I should stay away from fastfood but Taco Bell nachos are my most fave and I couldn't resist. I told myself it was holiday anyway.

The rest of the afternoon was spent watching dvd and editing photos for uploading on my Flick'r.

See it wasn't a busy week.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Of Dreams

What a weird dream I had last night. I don't remember much of it, but some parts of it were clear.

First, I have a baby. It doesn't appear to be a biological child. But I have a baby in my arms that needed to be fed.

Second, I have 2 more children in my house, ages ranging from 4 to 12.

Third, my niece was in the house helping with the groceries while I battle with preparing baby formula and at the same time making sure I don't drop the baby.

It was really weird.

But I think the answer to my baby needs has been answered.

I think it's time I look into adoption more seriously.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Food Craving Wednesday

Trio of Lamb Tacos
How about a trio of lamb tacos?

What are you craving for today?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Of Weekend Eating

It's Monday again, drat, I haven't even digested the weekend yet.

Oh the weekends of adults are mostly running around doing errands and performing chores at home. If I knew it was going to be like this, I'd have delayed my adulthood (wink).

Kidding aside, I'm already feeling run down early in the year, and this despite the gorgeous atypical weather we've been having. 70F in January, no kidding. I was wearing short sleeve! I cannot remember when our weather was this gorgeous. However, all this beautiful weather has some bad side to it. If we continue to have this spring-like and summer-like conditions, we might get in trouble come summertime when we need our water. Our water reserve mainly rely on the snow in the Sierra in the winter and rain down where we are during fall and winter months. We haven't had rain down here, nor did it snowed in Sierra yet. All the snow that's in the resorts right now are all man-made. Somehow, we need to get our winter going here.

Still, the gorgeous weather makes one want to be outside. Which meant that we found time to remove our "lightings" from the Holidays. We didn't really put many stuff outside, so when I was done, hubby was surprised that we put in too little time getting the decors back in their boxes.

I have to still get our Christmas tree down, maybe one of these nights. Not tonight I have a church meeting, which means I may have to miss CASTLE.

Let me tell you about some eating I have done this weekend.

Every Saturday I take my mom around to run her errands. Among her errands is lunch in either Chow King or Jollibee. Now that she completely dumped Jollibee (price is high for the serving they give you, she said), she has found a regular lunch place in Red Ribbon. She simply adores the combo meal - half an order of arroz caldo and 2 mini siopaos. I on the other hand either gets the palabok by itself or the half palabok + half arroz caldo.

So you see I don't really miss so much of the Philippine food scene. Next door is Max Fried Chicken. There are plenty of other restaurants that serve cafeteria style Pinoy food around.

On Saturday evening we took our newly widowed friend Gay to a little dinner over at Villa Romano. Our plan was for lunch but for pete's sake the restaurant doesn't open for lunch on the weekend.

So dinner it was. We drove to Napa where the restaurant is located. You see we pass by this restaurant each time we drive to Napa and every single time I let out a sigh wanting to try that restaurant. We never got around to it, until last Saturday.

We made reservations at 5 pm the time they open. There was one table already occupied. It's an old house converted into a restaurant. It feels like eating at a friend's house.

The waitress said we have to have the garlic bread, it's a must she says. So we had it. It's actually like a half of a round french sweet bread that was baked until the crust was crunchy and brown and it was topped with cheese and served in a nice platter. The waitress then took a broiled/baked whole head of garlic, pinched it and all the goooey garlic goodness oozed out and was spread thickly on the bread. It was too die for. Not only was the bread really delicious, the presentation was superb. Never had a garlic bread done this way before.

For appetizers, we got only one order of fried calamari, which in my experience is always enough for four people. I was right. There were only three of us, but we ate the whole thing all thru the meal, we couldn't seem to finish it.

Caesar salad followed. I didn't really want a salad, but said okay when hubby suggested we split one order. Thankfully we did that because as always the Caesar salad itself looks like an entree portion.

For our entree I chose risotto with chicken. The husband had the three cheese tortellini with pancetta. Gay had the seafood linguini.

I simply adored my risotto. The serving was large, the chicken was delicious, I don't usually order chicken in the restaurant. The creaminess of the risotto was wonderful. Although it's not the traditional big grain risotto that we're so used to. It was marvelous.

Gay's seafood linguini looks very soupy, which didn't escape her notice. But it's supposed to since she ordered seafood and seafood is watery. Anyway we asked the waitress to give us some extra cheese to counter the soupy nature.

Hubby's tortellini dish was right on the spot too. However, there was more pancetta than I or he wanted and needed more tortellini, but otherwise a good dish.

After all these dishes and wine, we had room for dessert. We ordered one sampler dessert and that was just fine serving. The dessert plate had a sorbet, which was a palate cleanser, an espresso tiramisu and flourless chocolate cake. While the chocolate cake was good, the best flourless choc cake I had eaten so far is at Ristorante Due Rose, Italian restaurant in my neighborhood.

And so it was a fun 2.5 hours of dinner we had. We even saw the sunset while sipping wine.

You know I do have photos of the dishes, although I don't think they turned out well. I was only using a point and shoot, because I cannot bring myself to whip out a DSLR when dining, do you?

I'm going to keep track of all our dining out expenses this year. While we were really good with budget last year, we didn't really know how much of it goes to eating out.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Year-End Report

2011 was a year of many ups and downs.  It was also the year of discontent.  Here's my report of how the year went for me personally:

HIGH:
  • Bought my very first DSLR - Pentax.  I love it.
  • Got a hybrid car.
  • Anniversary get-away was fantastic - wonderful hotel and fabulous food.
  • Cruise to Mexico - a haphazardly planned trip - turned out well.
  • Eco-tourism tour of Costa Rica - a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Hope to repeat visit someday.
  • Hubby's promotion.
  • The Big Bang Theory - kept me sane.
  • Eating out with friends.  Meeting new friends.
  • Church fundraising where I designed the flyer and the tickets.

LOW:
  • Failed fertility treatment.
  • Out-patient surgery.
  • Many doctor visits and procedures.
  • Did not read a single book.
  • Did not clean out garage.
  • Lack of inspiration.

In the previous years I have stayed away from making New Year's resolutions because I know for a fact that I have no inclination to follow them. 

This year I am writing down goals for this new year in the hope that with goals I will have the drive to achieve them. 

GOALS
  • Complete pending "hobby" projects, i.e. cross stitch project and photo book project.
  • Learn how to knit.
  • Start baking more.
  • Find a way to make money from my passion - photography.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Clean out the garage.
  • Find a new hobby.
  • Start making to-do lists.
  • Unclutter.
  • Send Christmas cards again - I got feedback from FB that my friends who used to get regular cards from me missed my Christmas cards. 
  • Take long drives and short trips - so good for the soul.
So very hopeful at this start of the new year.  Let's see how the situation is by December.

Monday, January 2, 2012

I Got Dragged

Before the 3-day NY holiday weekend was over, I got dragged to see Tom Cruise's MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie.  It is I believe my husband's idea of a revenge at his being tortured to seeing BREAKING DAWN.  Only I fully enjoyed the movie, despite my dislike of Tom Cruise.  Don't ask.  He just rubs me the wrong way, I guess.

Moreover, I find the movie well made.  There is some loopholes in the storyline of course.  The most obvious would be that the codes would be still on paper.  In this day and age of advanced technology, the transfer of dangerous codes would be written on paper baffles me.  Really?  Even us ordinary people, don't we just digitally transfer information with each other?  We don't print out stuff anymore.

Regardless of that, I find the global locations very interesting.  I've seen the trailer of the movie but never realized that they went to Mumbai.

Another pleasant surprise is the inclusion of LOST's Sawyer, Josh Holloway who played the fallen agent at the beginning of the movie.  Really appreciated seeing his handsome mug in the big screen.  He could totally do this kind of movies.  I hope he gets more movies like this.

There was humor too.  And I didn't got bored.  There's always something going on.  No spot for a little loo break, not that I needed one.

So far the first movie I've seen in 2012 is a big hit, a two-thumbs up success!!!!