Sunday, May 31, 2009

say cheese

bryce and I went for a light tapas style meal at Thea the other week and I took a quick shot of their best dish saganaki opa! flamed asiago cheese served tableside with brandy and lemon... delicious!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

guess who got a new camera... :D

here's a few shots I took on the drive home from Bass Lake last weekend with my early birthday present from bryce - thanks baby!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hitler plans Burning Man

happy friday

it's definitely a day for driving the convertible with the top down!


well we missed out on the vargas property... we put an offer in for $28k over asking and thought we were a really strong bid, but no... they had 14 bids - someone offered $101k over asking and the person who won put a deposit of $200 000 down!!! who has that kinda money just sitting around???

we're still waiting to hear back about the los olivos place, but it's looking like another no :(

anyway... back to the house hunt

Thursday, May 28, 2009

alfalfa (aka cooper)

cooper is a broken coat long legged jack russell terrier or parson russell terrier and when we got him as a puppy his hair was much shorter and he just used to have scruffy facial hair like a little old man... in the last year though his coat has gotten progressively longer and scruffier - the alfalfa on top of his head is the latest funny change we have noticed in his appearance...

Animal Collective

What Would I Want Sky


my poor old mac is finally full - it's a 120 gig hard drive and being the photo addict that I am I keep getting that horrible 'your start up disk is almost full please delete some files' message that just makes me cringe...

so I was just doing some spring cleaning and came across an old chat message from christina and had to laugh (and of course share) :)

me: hello
christina: sends file (pictured here)

christina: looks better in person
me: cool, looks awesome
christina: it's freeakin great
me: but is it missing the cross on the t...?
christina: omg (followed by me laughing uncontrollably and her swearing profanities...)

she was so annoyed with herself for not noticing, and at the time I told her that she would laugh about it one day...

I still can't decide what tattoo I would get and where... but I think this one is very cool.

here is the final version

who knew???

that when I bought my uber kitsch starbucks cup I was actually making an investment...
for the record mine cost me about $12

Down 6.1 Pounds!

Hooray! I'm down 6.1 this morning and am furiously ordering my first reward: Philosophy Vanilla Bean bath gel and I'm also scheduling a mani-pedi (I added an extra treat to my treat). True, the weight came off from a brief, but violently athletic bout of food poisoning, but who am I to complain when I feel so skinny? My next goal is 5 more pounds and my treat will be a facial from the Plum Day Spa.

almost forgot

one last treat from the bay to breakers race the other week, this little chicken was having a great time dancing out the front of her house

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shoes for dancing

I found these cute, pin-up style shoes at Plasticland and thought hey would look very cute for a night of salsa dancing! Now if I can only get Cody to take me to my favorite salsa dance night at Agenda on Wednesday night...

latest chapter of the househunt saga

it's much easier when you take the 'I want' out of the house buying equation and replace with the 'we should buy'...

we now have offers in on 2 houses and are thinking about making another...
Los Olivos is a charming original 50's 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch located on a huge corner lot, has plenty of charm (in the form of many different types and layers of wallpaper...) gorgeous hardwood currently covered by thick carpet and would be a great place to live. Bryce loves it as it has a 2 car carport as well as a detached garage.
Vargas is also a 50's 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch with gorgeous ceilings and has had some cosmetic work done - it's pretty much move in ready.. the yard needs work but that sounds like fun to me :)

now we just have to wait and see which one, if any will be ours...

isn't he cute

and I love him so...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some pictures from the boat

I'm still recovering from our super fun long weekend out in Bass Lake and wanted to make sure I post at least a couple of pictures from our trip before too much time went by. Above is Gino playing in the sand with a very big stick. This must have been taken before his tail stopped working because you can see it is still in working condition in the photo. By the time we left Bass Lake he was swimming like a champ and you'd never guess he had just learned how to swim days earlier. He's such a strong swimmer (I know, duh, he's a Lab) that we even donated his bright green lifevest to our friend Adam's pitbull, Caution, to use on his daily swims.

Here are Kate, Bryce, and Christina at my friend's bbq. This was taken right before we had to load our stuff, unload our stuff, haul our stuff up a beach, then load our stuff once again.

Here is Kate smiling for the camera with a stubborn Cooper in her clutches and Cody and Gino driving the boat w/Kate, Cooper, and a small portion of Bryce's awesome green stripy pajamas in the background. Gino is camera shy so it took a few tries to get him to even face the camera.

We'll definitely be back a few more times this summer - hopefully in Cody's new boat.

poor little guys

For those of you that know me know I am a bit of a water conservationist, as most Australian's are these days... growing up on tank water, the 2 minute shower, watering the garden with the washing machine water and never letting a tap just run is totally normal to me. So when I got this email this morning I just had to share with you how precious water can be...
These photos were taken during the recent heat wave in South Australia and have apparently circled the globe via email. these little guys were actually approaching strangers begging for water which they usually get from the gum trees they live in. they are totally shy by nature. Learn more about Koalas here

Utter exhaustion

Cody and I finally made our way home from our long weekend in Bass Lake. We're slumped on the couch and Gino is laying in a heap at our feet barely able to lift his head to peek at us with his red droopy eyes. Gino learned to swim and played in the snow for the first time and he loved every minute of our trip. In fact, he had so much fun that his tail is probably broken and he's in for a trip to the vet tomorrow if it doesn't perk up. I have lots of fun memories from the weekend to share, but really can't muster any energy to do more than a really quick update now. Why does having fun have to be so tiring?

thank goodness for cappuccino

it's hard getting back into it today, thank you cappuccino for helping me through the morning after memorial day long weekend...

Monday, May 25, 2009

I heart the chain of hearts

after the Bay to breakers on the weekend, we strolled around the city (because walking 12kms was just not enough for us) and visited some cute stores. one of these cute stores was Paxton Gate where, amongst the jackalope, the two headed taxidermy mice, and the duckodile (duck with a crocodile head) I found this gorgeous chain of hearts plant and just had to buy it. if my family are reading this post, they'll know why...
my nanna Pat used to have this plant in a pot at the front door upon a ledge and it would drape down these beautiful long chains of heart shaped leaves - so pretty. I can't remember how many times we pulled that pot down off the ledge and it hit one of us on the head and yet we never killed this plant...

so now, I have my own chain of hearts :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

pet peeve...

ok, so one thing I don't really get about living here in california is the 'compact' car parking spaces... on what planet would these 2 cars on either side of my little car consider themselves 'compact'...??? sigh....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

outer space...

I saw this a while back and saved the pic to my laptop for inspiration (as I do with all things cool I find online) and re-discovered it tonight while searching for something and knew I should share, isn't it cool! I want one in my garden, under a big shady tree with a comfy beanbag inside...

buy one here

A poem for Daisy

Giver of light,

you arose in our hearts,

dancing in the dawn.

Black, you were the night.

You opened your heart.

Winking an eye

we were all drawn in.

A glance of your eye,

we were drawn in.

As the light of your day set,

I yearn to believe the bricks

were still warm

beneath your shoulder.

Written by my aunt Christine Aramburu for our Daisy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

happy friday

it's a long weekend here, hope you get some down time in...

Melita and Kate Sweat for 8 - Update

yes, we're still working out and sweating it out...
here we are after an intense cardio kickboxing class this week. hot!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

guess what!?

anthropologie is having a sale!
say no more

could you imagine...

walking 12kms (or about 8 miles) like this???

the ostrich or the egg?

I guess you could feed a whole family on a one ostrich egg omelette...
look what I found at whole foods on the weekend - who knew someone would 1. want to eat an ostrich egg and 2. pay $29.99 for an egg... I am not the adventurous type when it comes to food, but I did think it was cool that you could go down to your local store and buy ostrich, goose, and duck eggs along with your chicken eggs.
bryce and I just opted for some yummy chicken skewers, tuna salad, egg salad (I assume chicken eggs - but now I am not so sure...), chicken curry salad, australian cheddar (or tasty cheese to the aussies in the room), rasberries, strawberries, blackberries, and a slew of assorted bottles of wine... hmm makes me hungry writing about this...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

house hunting is an emotional rollercoaster

bryce and I have been seriously house hunting going on about 6 months now... it is a frustrating process and we have learned so much from it. there is the financing stage, the making sure your credit is good stage, the learning which areas are not the ghetto stage, there is the reality check stage, the finding a good agent stage, and then there is the making an offer stage (not necessarily in this order...) - when do I get to the move in and start decorating stage???
a few months ago we made an offer on a gorgeous house in the Shasta-Hanchett Park area of the Rose Garden but we were a day too late and we lost it to the first bidder... but, we were given the hope of being the 'back-up offer' and that the first bidder was 'a bit flaky' so we waited for them fully anticipating them to forget his offer and go with ours... I was truly in LOVE with this house, I saw us growing old there (well at least getting to 45 there), I had plans on how I was going to decorate every room, where cooper's doggy door would go, which washer and dryer I would put in the cute laundry room, how the garden would look and even what parties we would be able to throw... sigh

after waiting about 3 weeks we got the heartbreaking news that it probably wasn't going to happen. :( our agent continued to show us places that she thought compared to the Shasta House, that could replace the hurt we felt about losing out on the Shasta House and funnily enough the price just kept going up and up. We were actually convinced that if we loved it we could afford to never eat, drink or do anything ever again just to get the 'house of our dreams' as she liked to call it... and honestly it was really easy to get caught up in the beautiful houses in the beautiful neighbourhoods, and hey, what's another $100k on a 30 year loan - interest rates are low right??? and 'they' said we could actually afford it (don't even get me started on this point). we even spoke to a financial advisor to get some advice and he said 'go out and buy a house that you love and be happy', so we thought OK!
so then we moved on to 'the purple house' in Naglee Park a great little neighbourhood downtown full of century homes, californian bungalows, ornate mansions, beautiful architectural treasures, tree lined streets and just a nice stroll to downtown - seemed like everything we were looking for. the price was way over what we first set out to pay, but it was a house we could 'grow into' and we were about to make offer number 2...

the Purple House had been renovated completely from the front walkway. the kitchen was all granite (which I am not a fan of but since we were searching for the one, was somehow happy to overlook), the 1 tiny bathroom had been renovated, the floors were all new (again not a fan - love the old school floorboards), pot lights put in, it looked quite gorgeous and grand - what anyone would want in a home, until you got to the back step (and here is why the house has now been on the market for over a year) they just stopped renovating... the back of the house has not been finished, the yard looks like a construction site and the shack (which they refer to as a 1 car garage) would fall down if cooper ran past it fast enough. apparently the couple who renovated got divorced at this point, but I don't want to speculate here... we, however saw this as a plus, a way to put our own personal stamp on this house... it is so easy to get wrapped up in an idea of a home of your own...

so Bryce and I sat down and wrote a pros and cons list of this house and realized that we were considering putting off things like travel, study and even children just to buy a house that we didn't particularly like the floor plan of! talk about scary! so we reeled ourselves and our budgets back inline and decided to get a new agent - someone with a mind for investing in real estate and someone who has our financial goals in mind instead of a huge commission.

Then we met Jane. Jane is like the angel on our shoulder saying 'to make the most of your money you should be doing this, this and that' instead of the devil on our shoulder saying 'buy your dream home - you deserve it...'

yesterday we made our second offer on a much more affordable home in the burbs and are waiting anxiously to hear back... stay tuned for more developments :)

We Need Girlfriends

We Need Girlfriends is an online web series about three guys who recently graduated and are living in New York. I just started watching and they're pretty funny. Also check out "I Live With My Parents" - Episode 2 - MY ZOMBIE CAREER from Steven Tsapelas here on Youtube. Apparently chainsaws don't really work on zombies. It's better if you use a crowbar instead, who knew?

Veggies for Victory!

Planting a Victory garden has been a dream of mine for quite sometime now. I found this site where for $99.99, I can buy an amazing variety of vegetables and herbs to plant. Sadly I was too slow this year to order my seeds and they sold out, but I'm absolutely going to place an order for next year's garden. Here's a sample of the seeds they send when you order a Victory garden:

BEANS (6 varieties): Black Turtle, Bush Blue Lake, Commodore, Fordhook Lima, Old Homestead Pole and Pencil Pod Black Wax
BEETS ( 2 varieties): Chiogga and Early Wonder
BROCCOLI (1 variety): De Cicco
BRUSSELS SPROUT (1 variety): Long Island Improved
CABBAGE (2 varieties): Early Jersey Wakefield and Red Danish
CARROTS (2 varieties): Amsterdam Minicor and Autumn King
CAULIFLOWER (1 variety): Early Snowball
CELERY (1 variety): Golden Self Blanching
COLLARD (1 variety): Georgia
CORN ( 1 variety): Golden Bantam
CUCUMBER (2 varieties): National Pickling and Tendergreen Burpless
EGGPLANT (1 variety): Black Beauty
GOURD (1 variety): Ornamental Small Mix
KALE (1 variety): Dwarf Blue Curled
KOHLRABI (1 variety): Early White Vienna
LEEK (1 variety): American Flag
LETTUCE (5 varieties): Black Seeded Simpson, Buttercrunch, Freckles Romaine, Gourmet Salad Blend, and Mesculin Mix
MELONS (2 varieties): Jenny Lind and Sweet Passion
MUSTARD GREENS (1 variety): Southern Giant Curled
OKRA (1 variety): Clemson Spineless
ONION, BUNCHING (1 variety): Evergreen White Bunching
PARSNIP (1 variety): Hollow Crown
PEPPERS (4 varieties): California Wonder, California Wonder Gold, Jalapeno and Long Red Cayenne
PEAS (3 varieties): Early Frosty, Mammoth Melting Sugar and Sugar Daddy PUMPKINS (1 variety): New England Pie
RUTABAGA (1 variety): American Purple Top
RADISH (2 varieties): Easter Egg and Crimson Giant
SPINACH (2 varieties): Bloomsdale Long Standing and New Zealand
SQUASH, SUMMER (4 varieties): Dark Green Zucchini, Golden Zucchini, White Patty Pan and Yellow Crookneck
SQUASH, WINTER (2 varieties): Butternut and Spaghetti
SWISS CHARD (2 varieties): Lucullus and Ruby Red
SOUTHERN PEA (1 variety): California Black-Eyed
TOMATO (6 varieties): Besser, Big Red, Giant Beefsteak, Homestead 24, Pink Brandywine and Roma
TURNIPS (1 variety): Purple Top White Globe
WATERMELON (1 varieties): Sugar Baby
HERBS (10 varieties): Basil, Chives, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Summer Savory and Thyme
Can you believe you get all of these seeds?


It's Wednesday so Coop is off to doggy daycare today, he sits at the door in the morning and guards it with his life just in case today is the day I take him with me... yes Coop today is the day!
here he is doing the same thing at our door in Toronto when he was just a puppy

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

yummmmm reminds me of italy

seaside daisy

I am going to plant these in our new garden

Down only .6 pounds

sigh. Today's weigh-in wasn't as thrilling as last week's. I'm down only .6 pounds even though I have been exercising everyday practically. At least it's still going down I guess, but I was really hoping I'd be able to buy my first wonderful treat this week. I'm re-dedicating myself to working out and eating light this week and am hoping next week I'll be lathering myself in my new soap!

Awkward Family Photos

Wendy just sent me this link to the some very, very disturbing family photos. My favorite is the chilling birthday cake with the shadowy figure peering out the window, brrrrrr.

Monday, May 18, 2009

bay to breakers costume awards

elmo, cookie monster, burt and ernie
dick in a box
lady in red
one of those air thingies that attracts your attention to car yards etc - what are they called I wonder...
cowgirls and indians?
whoopie cushions (I think my favourite)
lady in purple
elvis has left the building
I found him! where's waldo or wally or someone with a name starting with W

Canadian bacon
this guys costume was genius - he was a chef with a loaf of hollowed out bread where he inserted his hip flask...
I am not sure about this one, but I think these guys have a problem...
3 amigos?
beaker and the blue man group
peas and a pod

swine flu (but if you have to write it then the costume is obviously not that great...)
loved this one! octamum - he had a octopus backpack and the babies were strapped to the legs
michael phelps
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