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Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Favorite Things Party


I came across one of the cutest party ideas on Pinterest. It's called a "My Favorite Things" party! This past week, I hosted one of these parties and it was a huge success. Here's how it works. Guests are asked to pick a favorite thing, costing no more than $6, purchase five of that thing and bring all five items to the party. Once there, everyone’s name is put in a bowl five times. Each person picks five names from the bowl, careful not to pick her own name or any duplicate names. Next, one by one, each guest shares her favorite thing, why she loves it, where she bought it, etc. and proceeds to pass it out to the five names she picked from the bowl. Each party goer ends up leaving the party with five different items that are someone else’s favorite thing. Plus, each person received a swag bag with a few extra items that I provided to my guests.


There were 11 ladies that attended the party which was a perfect number. Each person also brought their favorite dessert or appetizer to share.  We had such a huge spread with way too much food. But everything was delicious!


The best part of the party was learning about everyone's favorite things. Everyone brought such different items. It was interesting to learn about items that other ladies love. It was a fabulous night filled with great conversation, bubbly champagne, delicious food and sweets and information about great products. My friend Trish said "it felt just like Christmas" receiving her new goodies. Here are a few of the items that people brought to the party...
bright colored metal colanders from Marshall's

peeler for delicate skinned produce like tomatoes and kiwis

bread dipping sauce recipe with dipping bowls

smart water, kind bar and detox drink for on-the-go working moms

considered the gold-standard of lip balms - rosebud salve

fast drying nail polish

french rose mints

hydrating, cooling lip soother with spf

cucumber facial wipes to remove makeup when you're feeling lazy
Thanks to all the wonderful ladies that attended this party (and extra special thanks to Shannon Elise for helping me set up)!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Forever Friends

Friendships come in all different shapes and sizes. High school friends. College friends. Work friends. Neighborhood friends. You talk to some friends often and others not so much. But there are a few friends that remain close even when you go months without talking and even years without a visit. When you see each other, everything just picks up where it left off. I call these...forever friends. I am lucky that I have that type of relationship with three of my girlfriends from college.


Even though we live sprinkled throughout California - LA, SF, Sac and SLO, we get together as much as possible. One of those get-togethers was this weekend. We met in Avila Beach at G's house for a fun-filled, beautiful, and sunny weekend.


After spending hours catching up on each others' lives, we played and explored on the central coast. Shopping. Dining. Mani/Pedis. Beach. Wine tasting. Amazing girl time!

Luckily, we also got to spend some time with G's gorgeous kids and hubby.

I can't believe it's been 15 years since I met and became friends with these girls. We've been together through break-ups, weddings, graduate degrees, career changes, babies, step kids, infertility, miscarriages and much more. I am so grateful to have these lovely ladies in my life to celebrate the good times and support each other through the bad times. Forever friends are priceless!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Valentine's Day in Pictures

Today was a good day. Here is a glimpse of my V-day!

bright red tulips

delicious dinner with A

action-packed flick
sweet dessert

yes, today was a good day!

How was your Valentine's Day?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Choosing Freedom

Photo Courtesy

Several of my mommy friends have told me that I am lucky because I am free. Free to sleep in as late as I'd like. Free to go to the grocery store alone. Free to read a book in silence for hours.  Free to travel at the drop of a hat. Free to pee by myself without being interrupted.

Enjoy it while it lasts they say. I do really relish and appreciate these small pleasures. But I would gladly trade all of them (and more) to become a mother. Sometimes I feel like saying "trust me when I tell you, my mommy friends, those of us that aren't childless by choice do not feel free".

Too often, I feel the opposite of free. I feel caged by infertility. Held back from my dreams of having a baby. Trapped by my fears of never conceiving. Confined to a life of status quo. Unable to move forward into the next chapter of my life. Exiled from motherhood.

Maybe those of us with a desire for babies in our hearts are all shackled by something. Some are tied down by the needs and demands of children while others are suffocated by the weight of infertility. Perhaps, we must choose to feel free regardless of our hardships or suffering. Today, I will focus on trying to fly, to feel free and to soar high despite the weight of my circumstances.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Turning House into Home

Almost three years ago, A and I bought our first house. While househunting, we saw so many different styles, layouts and design schemes. At the onset, we didn't really know what we were looking for and our tastes evolved as we visited different houses. We learned what we couldn't stand and couldn't live without. All of that information-gathering brought us closer and closer to finding our perfect first house.

As soon as we set foot in our "soon to be home", we knew it was the one. A and I walked into the master bedroom and gazed out the picture window at the gorgeous, green rolling hills. We were in love and had to have it! Now keep in mind, we fell in love with the view which blinded us to some other features of the house. Like the wall to wall, sea foam green carpet and pale pink walls throughout. But paint and flooring, is easy. We could handle that. Right?

Keep in mind that A and I are not handy people. To illustrate how "not handy" we are, I'll tell you a little story. Prior to finding our little gem of a house, our realtor, K took us to see a house that he was sure we would like. When we arrived at the house, we were impressed. It had great curb appeal, remodeled interior and a nice, big yard. Then we walked into the master bedroom and saw a hole had been punched in the wall. A and I both looked at each other and said "no thanks." K couldn't believe that we were going to walk away from a good house because it had a hole in the wall. But from our perspective, neither of us knew how that hole was going to get patched and we really didn't want a holey bedroom wall. It was a "no" for us.

So you can see that landing on a house that wasn't completely move-in ready was a big deal. I'd like to tell you that we got all DIY and tackled the improvements ourselves. But that's not how this story goes. After months of researching flooring, painting sections of the wall to see the colors in every possible light, and getting tons of vendor estimates, we were ready to commit. Alcazar colored Ralph Lauren carpet in the bedrooms and dark hardwood flooring throughout the rest of the house. Pottery Barn paint colors. Tans. Beiges. Blues. Greens.

It's amazing what a new coat of paint and flooring will do for a house. A and I were thrilled with the way that our little house remodel turned the place into our home! My next door neighbor who had seen the house before our changes said she couldn't believe how different it looked. What do ya think?

Walkway between Living Room and Kitchen


View from kitchen into the living room




Monday, February 6, 2012

Disappointment

To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement. Another negative. Another month. Another cycle. Same result. This time stung worse than usual. Since I had the laparoscopy, I allowed myself a little more hope. I thought maybe since the endometriosis is cleared out, this would be the month.

A part of me feels like we should just move onto IVF and get it over with. But if we don't try naturally for at least a few months, then I underwent a painful surgery for nothing. Sure, the surgery cleared the endo (temporarily) but if it doesn't help me get pregnant...who cares!

I ovulated so soon after surgery that my body might’ve been too beaten up to conceive. There is still a chance. What’s a few more months considering everything we’ve already been through?

I'm always looking for the silver lining...and for me, it's strength.  Every month when I face such disappointment, it breaks me down.  Then I pull myself back up and trudge forward. Infertility has strengthened my spirituality, my faith, my patience and my ability to see the good in every situation.

Photo Courtesy
"Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it." - Eliza Tabor quotes

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Go Palladio

A long-awaited shopping center in our area called Palladio at Broadstone is finally starting to fill up their vacant storefronts with wonderful new shops and restaurants. Yesterday, I had a fabulous day at Palladio exploring, playing, and tasting. Here's how it all went down...

gatherin some groceries. First stop was Whole Foods Market! If you have never been to this store, get there quick. It is the Ritz Carlton of grocery chains. They have a vast array of delicious prepared foods, organic, fresh produce and all kinds of health food products.  Since A and I are both vegetarians, this is our fave spot to shop for groceries. A's quote of the day - "you feel healthy just walking down the aisles in this store."



great deal tuesdays. I treated my grandmother to a movie and it only cost me ten dollars TOTAL. That's it. I can't even buy us each a coffee drink at Starbucks for that price. Yet, we spent two hours watching a cute chic flick, One For the Money. Apparently the movie is based on the Stephanie Plum book series (which I haven't read). It was funny and entertaining. But I am still not sure that I buy Katherine Heigl as a jersey girl. What do you think?

grubbin. Met my girls for dinner at Blue Nami Sushi and enjoyed a phenomenal happy hour deal. $4 appetizers and $2 draft beers. You can't beat that! Normally, happy hour ends around 6pm which is the absolute earliest that most people can get to a restaurant after they get off work. What a scam! Not this place, happy hour is on until 8pm. And the food was very inventive and creative. 4 stars.




ga ga over gifts. A store called Kirkland's caught my eye so I had to go check it out. This place has THE cutest home decor and unique gift items. Finding this hidden gem is going to cost me. In fact, it already did cost me...over $200 yesterday on artwork and other cute stuff that I couldn't pass up. I mean let's be serious, where else can you find a cowboy boot night light? How cute is this?


green tea swirly goodness. Last but certainly not least, it's impossible to get in the car and drive away without indulging in a little Pinkberry on the way home. Even during the winter when it's freezing cold outside, ya gotta crank up the heater and take that baby to-go. Yummy tart, frozen yogurt topped with granola and coconut! Nuff said. (and if you're still looking for a deal, show them your movie ticket stub and receive 10% off)



Needless to say, yesterday was a good day! Thanks Palladio. In the next few months, more stores and restaurants will be opening so check back for more reviews. Coming soon...

girl's night out. Toby Keith's new country bar will have all the ladies out in their short skirts and new boots for a night of live music and dancing. And my girlfriends and I are no exception!

glam garments. British inspired frocks from H&M and always classic wardrobe from White House Black Market. We'll be checking out what's hot this season!
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