Friday, August 29, 2008

Nightmare

*part 2 of vino's bridal weekend will be up later this weekend*

While they don't happen frequently, I do have nightmares every so often. Vivid ones that leave me crying or petrified to go back to sleep. There isn't usually a trigger for them, they just come and go as they please.

I had one last night and it was one of the scariest things I've ever encountered in a dream or in real life. In the dream, I was taking a cab back to our house because I felt bad calling Jim and having him pick me up. After sort of going in the right direction, suddenly the driver took a hard right turn and we were in a dark garage on a dark alley. And he leaned over to me and asked "So, you want to have a little fun?"

I froze and my voice caught, but I was finally able to shout "Get the F*** off me!" and then I woke up.

I couldn't go back to sleep because I kept seeing the man's face in my head. So I tossed and turned for the next 3 hours or so until the alarm finally went off. I know it was just a dream, but I'm still really shaken up over this today. I've never been attacked in a dream or in real life and while I know it's not real, it's still really scary.

I just hope the rest of the weekend starts to look up a bit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Part 1: Vino's Bridal Shower

We packed A LOT of stuff into this past weekend, so I'll break it up into two parts - the shower and the bachelorette party.

Friday morning I was up super early to squeeze in a walk and straighten up the house, before jumping in the car and heading down to SD. By 12:30 or so I was finally there, dropped off my car at Blondie's parent's house, jumped in her car and we were off to grab lunch before heading to the hostess' house to start setting up.

Set-up went surprisingly well. Vino's sister and mom, Dressing Queen and Crafty, were there to help and by 4:30, the seating area was done and we had a good game plan for the last minute stuff we needed to do the next day.

At that point, Blondie and I went to run last minute errands with her sister Sporty and then met back up with the whole gang at Crafty's house that night.

In the meantime, we learned that Vino seems to have a bit of "wedding brain." When she went to check in for her flight that afternoon, they told her that she had booked the flight from SD to LV, not the other way around. Um, oops! Thankfully, they were able to get her on a later flight that evening and all was well. And yes, we all had a good laugh over this when she finally made it back to the house. We all sat around chatting while Dressing Queen finished up the food prep and most of us were in bed before 2am. That's really early for our group the night before a shower and we were all pleased to get about 5 hours of sleep that night!

Blondie and I were up and at 'em the next morning at 7am and by 9am we were out the door. After a quick stop at Starbucks (yay caffeine!), we were back at the house and helping Dressing Queen set up the appetizer station and other food stuff.
As we neared noon, we all jumped into our dresses and finished setting the table with the centerpieces, putting the sign out in front of the house and pouring the wine for each course.
Before the guests arrived, we managed to squeeze in some group pics!

Dressing Queen did an amazing job with all of the food. The afternoon started off with appetizers in the family room right off the kitchen.

Cheese platter
Crafty stamped these cute signs to label each cheese
White peaches wrapped in proscuitto and drizzled with white balsalmic vinegar
White wine, cucumber water and limeade

Enjoying the food and drink


In addition to the food, Crafty put out a framed copy of the application Vino's fiance filled out way back in high school to date her! Crafty gave it to him as a joke, but he filled it out anyways. So funny! The formal luncheon started with a very funny speech from Dressing Queen and then it was time to eat! She put together a lovely spread for lunch.

Brie-stuffed strawberries with a balsamic glaze paired with rose sparkling wine

Sadly, this is the only picture I have of the food :/ After we finished the first course, we were up clearing plates and bringing out the rest of the food. None of us have ever worked in a restaurant before, so we were all really nervous about the serving as you can see.
It all went well, of course, but I was too busy to take pics. Booo! The rest of the courses were:
* Watermelon gazpacho with seafood salad and lemon-ginger dressing paired with chardonnay
* Berry sherbet with berry sparkling water, fresh fruit and a berry meringue cookie paired with sparkling wine
The food was delicious!!

Once lunch was completed, Vino opened all of the lovely gifts that everyone brought for her. To keep everyone entertained, we played the bingo game.

The loot! Filling out the bingo cards

Waiting to open the presents

Vino got some beautiful gifts, although I have no pictures of this either as I was in the kitchen repacking them so that she could get them home easier. Before we knew it, the guests started to leave. To thank them for coming, Crafty put together a really cute folder of recipes of the food enjoyed at the shower and a wine charm in which to remember the day. It even says "vino" on it! ;)
It was a great shower and Vino had a wonderful time. After everyone left, we hustled to clean and put away all the rental stuff and get the house back in some semblance of order. Thankfully, Crafty and her husband had already planned to go back the next day and help the hostess put the house back together as the rest of us were going to be recovering from the bacheloretter party. Little did we know just how much "recovery" some of us would need!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend - the super short version

Saturday afternoon was Vino's bridal shower.

Saturday night was her bachelorette party.

It's Monday morning and I'm still hungover.

A full recap to come soon. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Like being a kid again

I love books. Like, LOVE books. I could spend hours in a bookstore without batting an eye. I love looking at them and reading them and most importantly, taking them home with me.

The problem with the taking them home part is a) they take up space and b) they cost money. Hmph. I'm really trying to make more of an effort on both fronts, but it's not like I'm going to give up reading or anything... and then it dawned on me. Way back when I didn't have the luxury of buying books whenever I darn well pleased, there was a place that I practically lived in.

The library.

I can honestly say up until a few weeks ago, I hadn't stepped foot in a public library in years. Probably since high school. Which is just odd seeing as how it was one of my absolute favorite places to visit when I was a kid. The local library was just a few minutes drive from my house and a quick visit was a real treat. Sometimes there was a school project that prompted the trip, but more often than not, it was just for fun.

Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club books were checked out in large stacks alongside National Geographics and reference books for school stuff. As I got older, we stopped going as much and I'm not completely sure why. I'm guessing it had something to do with buying more books from the local bookstore and having the high school library to use in a pinch.

Those warm memories from childhood have definitely stuck with me though and I made my first visit to our local library soon after we moved into the new house. It's much smaller than the one I used to visit as a kid, but it still felt familiar and it put a smile on my face right when I walked in the door. The purpose of the visit was to check out the 3rd book in the Twilight series and reserve the 4th book, but I've since been back several times. I still get that same kick out of bringing home a stack of books that I did back when I was in elementary school.

I've also discovered audiobooks. When I'm on my training walks, plain music starts to get old after awhile, but switching to audiobooks has helped immensely. I prefer books that I've already read once, but there are enough of them that I don't think I'll have problems finding new material. I'm almost done with Twilight (the series is so good that I'm not ready to give up that world quite yet) and figure I'll eventually move on to the HP series.

I have a feeling that the library is going to quickly become one of my favorite places again. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yummy yummy, in my tummy

My co-workers and I often like to go out to eat on Fridays. Makes the weekend seem that much closer, you know? Anyways, I had never had Vietnamese food before - I know, it shocks me just as much as it does you - so my pals took me to a cute little hole in the wall place a few weeks ago. I was kicking myself for not having a camera then, but I did today!

We all ordered the cold vermicilli rice noodle bowls. Mine had lemon-grass beef, egg roll and shrimp on top. This is what it looked like when it was set in front of me:
This is what it looked like when I was done with it:

Needless to say, this place is SO GOOD! My Friday just got a whole lot better :)

Life ain't a track meet, it's a marathon*

That statement seems to perfectly describe my life every few weeks or so. Things get beyond busy to the point where I have lists for my lists. Pathetic really. There is still a lot of blogging that I want to catch up on. Even to eventually finish the Peru trip reviews (Blondie and the hubs have both asked me about this and seeing as how the end of the trip is crazy, I'd like to have it written somewhere for later).

Instead though, I've been cramming must-do tasks into bits of time I have here or there, just trying to stay on top of everything. The problem is that I have lots of projects/events all happening at the same time. If they were spaced out a bit more, it wouldn't be an issue. But they're right on top of one another and it's a lot to keep track of. Normally, by this point, I would be a stressed out mess. I'd be snippy and overly worried that it all wasn't going to get done. On the contrary, while I'm busy, I feel relatively good about everything. Now, I'm not sure if this is due to a new found maturity on my part (snort) or the fact that Jim is out of town this week so my schedule doesn't have to involve another person. Either way, it's a welcome change from how I normally function during extremely busy times.

So yeah. Not many exciting posts right now, but hopefully a whole slew of them in the next few weeks. Once things settle down again. And my schedule isn't planned out to the minute so I can squeeze everything in. Sigh.

I can't wait for September.

* bonus points for whoever knows the song and/or artist name

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gumby has nothin' on me

While I've been intrigued by yoga for awhile now, I've been too intimidated to try a class for fear I wouldn't know what I was doing or I'd make an ass out of myself. However, with the increased walking I'm doing, it seemed that adding yoga to my weekly workout might be a good thing -- help to keep me flexible and allow me to get in some low impact strength training as well.

Now that we've moved, I'm much closer to one of my friends that has been practicing yoga on and off for over 6 years. She was nice enough to volunteer to accompany me to a basic class at her favorite studio in the area. Sweet! We were all set to go last night after work.

Instead, she pops by my desk in the morning and says she wants to try a different class that night. She found out about a free outdoors class offered in our area every Tuesday night and thought it was worth a shot. Seeing as how I wasn't interested in trying my hand at yoga without her, I said I was game.

So, we tried the class last night, neither of us really knowing what to expect. The class is held on a small portion of grass at a local sports facility. There were at least 15-20 people there, but from the get-go the vibe was relaxed, friendly. Not pretentious at all.

The instructor came around and introduced himself to all us newbies, explained how the class would run and told us to just do our best. It was longer than I expected, 90 minutes, but it was so much fun. I was shocked to find that a lot of the poses were familiar to me from years of dance and dabbling in mat pilates here and there. Not to say they it wasn't strenuous, but I didn't feel completely like a fish out of water. At the end of class, I felt like I had a good workout and my hips and hamstrings felt nice and bendy.

Being outdoors was a welcome change from doing a normal fitness class inside. We found out most of the other participants are from a local running club and they're mostly in the novice range like the rest of us. The instructor was a really mellow guy that kept the class moving, but didn't push too hard.

My friend and I immediately set a standing date to take this class once a week. Not only is it a great workout, but the price is definitely right. Oh, and did I mention that my friend is single and the instructor is a hottie?! ;) She went up to ask him about the inversion we did at the end of class and I kept myself busy introducing myself to the other participants while they chatted. We totally giggled like little girls on the way back to the car. I teasingly asked her if she was going to dress a bit different for next week, to which she responded with a resounding "um, duh!"

I see lots of fun times ahead for us in this class.

Monday, August 11, 2008

3-Day

After years of looking at the brochures, wishing I had the time to participate, knowing that one day I would participate, the time is finally here. In November, I'm walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day!

For those of you not familiar with this event, participants sign up to walk 60 miles over 3 days while raising money that goes to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure and The National Philantropic Trust -- both of which support breast cancer research. My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was pretty young and while it was treated in the best manner possible for that time, compared to treatment standards today, it wasn't enough. After a brief remission, it came back several years later, eventually metastisized to various parts of her body and she ultimately lost her battle with cancer almost 20 years ago.

The idea of being able to do something to not only honor her memory, but to also support research that will hopefully lead to a cure for this awful disease is inspiring and exciting. I'm also excited to be participating in this event with my fellow blogger buddy, Alyssa! We've started a team called 'Bloggers for Healthy Hooters' and we'll be showing our love of pink and enthusiasm for this cause throughout the 3 day event. I can't wait for November!

Training and fundraising go hand-in-hand and I started both 2 weeks ago. To the right, I'm keeping track of the number of training miles I've walked and there is also a link to donate if you're so inclined. A big thanks to those of you who have already donated! I really appreciate it and you should be receiving something in the mail shortly.

This blog isn't going to turn into a running diary of my prep for this event, but I'll post progress notes here and there. This is a huge deal for me and I'm so happy that the timing has worked out where I can finally participate in this event -- something I've wanted to do for years now. :)

Thanks in advance for all of your support over the next few months!!

Weekend Recap

So many things to blog about, so little time. :( I still need to recap my b-day celebrations last week and the weekend before and some other fun stuff that is going on, but since those posts have fun pictures and this weekend doesn't, I'll just start with this one.

Friday
Yay for a day off! Still had to get up early to make it to Westwood for a morning doctor appointment (all is well, just a yearly check-up). After that was wrapped up, I headed home to run some errands, then I picked up lunch and vegged on the couch while watching Project Runway.

That night, we met up with some friends for sushi and then drinks afterwards at Trader Vick's. Mr. Metro is still in town from jolly 'ol England and it was fun to catch up with him and the rest of the group. Trader Vick's has totally changed since the last time I was there -- the bar is now right next to the pool at the Beverly Hilton and there is lots of space to hang out and unwind with a group of friends. As a bonus, they were playing the opening ceremony of the Olympics on the side of the building, so we didn't miss anything. So fun!

Saturday
Up early. Again. Our realtor was hosting a housewarming party at our place that afternoon and we needed to finish cleaning up the house, both inside and out. While our family and some friends were invited to the shindig, the main purpose was for us to meet our neighbors, but more importantly (although he wouldn't admit to this) was to help him meet new people and maybe get some business out of it. Totally fine by us. He paid for everything and all we had to do was be gracious hosts.

However, while our friends and family all showed up, only ONE set of neighbors showed. ONE! :/ Ah well. What can you do, right? The taco cart food was yummy and it was a chance to show the house to friends and family, which was fun. Thanks for making the trek out to the new pad R, Wan, Trish and WeeMo!

By about 6pm or so, everyone had left and the exhaustion set in. After having another round of tacos for dinner, we got ice cream for dessert and collapsed on the couch to watch the Olympics.

Sunday
We got to sleep in! Finally! The morning and afternoon passed in a lazy haze. We had some breakfast then Jim started working from home while I finished up some laundry and worked on making a batch of 'thank you' cards.

Later that afternoon, I went for a walk in the blistering heat and made a beeline for the pool once I got back. So refreshing. Makes the walks a lot easier when you have that to look forward to ;) That night, we trekked out to Yard House for dinner - mmm framboise and burgers -- and then somehow drug ourselves home and collapsed on the couch to watch more Olympics.

Weekend was fun, but too short. What else is new, right? ;)