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Happy New Year!


1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Took a 2 week trip by myself. I was visiting family but it was my first time to Guam without ANYONE.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't generally make NY resolutions. I just wish for the best year possible.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Two of my girlfriends had babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my aunt and godmother, Janet. She died suddenly of a stroke and anyeurism. I miss her so much.

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada and Guam (tho Guam doesn't really qualify as another country, I did fly 13.5 hours to get there)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A less hectic schedule? With all of the kids' therapies, school, & my workout schedule, we were running around a lot and there wasn't much of a chance to just hang out together and be lazy. Although I'm grateful for all the things we did do and the fact that I was able to stay home with my kids so we could run around and do these things!

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 2010 when my aunt passed away.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Losing 19 pounds.  

9. What was your biggest failure?
I would say that with my hectic schedule, I wasn't around for my friends as much as I would have liked. My friend E and I are like sisters and there was a little strain on our relationship, mainly because of our conflicting schedules and my unavailability. I feel sad about that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My knees got knocked out when I was taking Aaron out of his car seat. I reached in to take him out and Roman didn't see me and closed the car door behind me. It knocked both of my knees into my SUV causing really bad bruising and some PT when I started working out. My left knee still gives me trouble occasionally! R felt so bad about it. :( He kept apologizing and tellinge me he didn't see me when he closed the car door. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
airline tickets. I love to travel and I probably went on six trips this year.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Roman's. We've seen a huge improvement in his development and behaviior after implementing PT, OT and Speech Therapy. He's almost a different kid! The speech has been the best. He had an expressive language delay and now he spouts off about his day, is really descriptive about things, etc. I didn't even know he had a delay since he didn't have trouble actually talking. He just had trouble getting the words out.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I can't think of anyone, which makes me really happy!

14. Where did most of your money go?
On my Amex for all of the traveling I've been doing!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Running a 5K in under 30 minutes. That was a huge accomplishment for me!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Candlelight by the Maccabeats (the Hanukkah song parody on YouTube that my kids made me play over and over and over again)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner
iii. richer or poorer? just a tad richer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
read. I fell off the bandwagon in September--I probably read 30 books this year, but it wasn't as much as my 50 books last year. I would love to read more!

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
yelling at my kids.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family and ILs in Redmond.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
Nope

23. How many one-night stands?
0

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Survivor

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate anyone.

26. What was the best book you read?
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The Dirty Heads

28. What did you want and get? 
A slim body

29. What did you want and not get?
A kindle

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter 7?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
How sad is it that I don't remember what I did for my birthday? And I don't have an LJ entry to remind me? I turned 33 so obviously not a big birthday by any means. :)

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Fewer friends and family who have suffered. This was seriously a horrible year for so many friends that it broke my heart each time I heard of some new bad news from someone.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
Nicer jeans. I've splurged on some premium denim in the last three months! Also, a few sparkly items that have been the trend. Oh, and short booties. I actually bought a pair (never thought I'd do that) and love them.

34. What kept you sane?
Girls nights out.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not sure

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The abysmal state of our public school system (on a national level)

37. Who did you miss?
My dad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Mindie, a gal who works with Steve. We bonded at his xmas party and will definitely get together in the new year. We instantly clicked! Love people like that.

39. A valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Stolen from Amy--Sounds cliched but life is so precious, you never know when the rug will be pulled out from under you, so you MUST live in the now.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
I see you shine in your own way, go on, go on, go on.

Tags:

Public post for new friends...

Since Ang (prfctlyimprfct) was so kind to introduce me to some of her dearest friends in Seattle and NY, I thought I'd make this recent meme public so they can get to know me a little bit. :)  


So that's me in a nutshell. I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Tags:

The Amazing Race is on Guam tonight!

For all of you Amazing Race fans, don't forget to tune in tonight as the final teams race through the island of Guam. Some of the promos look like they were filmed on my BFF Nadia's family beach, Urunao. 

I'm so excited to see it!

Happy 30th to me!

This weekend was the weekend of my best.birthday.ever.

Friday
Friday night we were supposed to have my friend Lavina over for dinner. She called me at 8PM to tell me she'd be late b/c her sister had to run a last minute errand and asked her to watch her boys for her. She didn't show up until 9:15--with my BFF Cori and friend Thesha (both live in Southern CA) in tow! It turned out Steve has been planning this best.birthday.weekend.ever for over a month now and asked some of my friends to come in to surprise me! My other gf from high school, Emmeline, who lives in Renton, also joined us.

So after much shrieking/hugging, we enjoyed a nice dinner of lemon shrimp fettuccini and various cheeses. We also opened our last French wine (one of the ones we brought back from Paris in 2004) to celebrate. I think I went to bed at 1:30 that night!

Saturday
Saturday was Girls Day. Steve took Roman to pick up bagels while Cori and I spent some QT together. Cori planned a luncheon at a cute little tea house in Redmond so the girls met us there around noon. We had four pots of amazing tea and a really great lunch! I think I ate a chicken, mushroom and spinach crepe which was just excellent. :) After our tea party we headed back to my house to hang out with Steve and Roman before heading back out again for the evening.

Lavina planned a dinner at the Pampas Room--a swanky jazz bar with a great menu. We ordered a bottle of sparkling wine and enjoyed  a dinner of diver sea scallops over fettuccini, mushroom risotto, escargot, and wild shrimp (are you seeing a food/alcohol theme here?). The head waiter served us a fruit and nut tower and roquefort cheese course on the house and then we finished the night off with a round of bananas foster. :) Yes, we were rolling out of there. Since none of us were in the mood to go out to any more bars, we headed back to Lavina's and promptly put on sweats, opened another bottle of bubbly and watched Marie Antoinette (yawn!). It was so great to have a Girls Day! We spent the entire day talking about anything and everything...it was really just what I needed! Steve ordered a car service to pick up Cori and I and we headed home at about 1AM.

Sunday (my actual birthday!)
On Sunday Steve hosted a brunch at our house so he spent much of the morning cooking. All of my girlfriends came over and we spent the morning/afternoon drinking mimosas and eating delish fritatta, various cheeses, crepes, bagels, bacon, and CAKE of course! I had a white cake with strawberries and white/dark chocolate shavings on top. Roman ate all of the shavings, of course. :) We spent much of the afternoon talking before I said my goodbyes to all of my girlfriends. :( It was so nice to see them and have a wonderful weekend together!

My friend Marie came over to watch Roman that afternoon so Steve and I could go to dinner at The Herbfarm! The menu for the evening was centered around Wagyu Beef (Kobe beef as it's also known). We were of course excited about eating. :) The evening started off with a tour of the wine cellar and gardens. The owner Carrie Van Dyck personally took us on the tour so we learned how The Herbfarm started. She also took us through the gardens to point out the various herbs that would go into our dinner that night.  I *love* The Herbfarm because they are really focused on organic foods grown, raised and farmed in the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant itself was very eclectic but homey--it's a 5 star restaurant without the stuffiness. Here was the menu for that evening:

First course
Westcott Bay mussels with mint (my favorite of the trio)
Razor clams with sunflower shoots
Paddlefish caviar on sunchoke flan (also super delish!)
2001 Argyle Oregon Brut (served with your choice of herbs sprinkled in your glass--I chose the pineapple sage)

Second course
Nettle-cloaked Alaskan King Salmon with burdock and beets
2005 L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon
- this dish was soooo lovely--the salmon was slow roasted with the nettles on top and the burdock was perfectly marinated.

Third course
Wagyu beef carpaccio with winter greens
2003 Brian Carter Cellars Tuttorosso
- this was one of my favorites of the night. The carpaccio just melted in your mouth.

Fourth course
Oxtail Pot au Feu with crisp marrow
2004 L'Herbe Sauvage Pinot Noir, Grapes of Wrath
- another amazing dish. The oxtail was so tender and the broth was just delicious. The 2004 Pinot it was paired with was my favorite wine of the evening. It was made especially for The Herbfarm and there were only 94 cases produced. 

Fifth course
Wagyu Beef Ribeye with truffled leeks, potato croquette, pickled yellowfoot mushrooms and bloomsdale spinach
2002 Northstar Merlot, Columbia Valley
- the ribeye was so delicious--served rare and amazingly tender. The potato croquette was really good, but the pickled mushrooms were overpowering the rest of the flavors of the dish. 

Cheese course
Grilled crater lake blue cheese and spice bread sandwich with tart cherry compote
- this was probably the best "grilled cheese sandwich" I've ever eaten. :)

Palate cleanser
Apple and Shiso ice

Dessert course
Chocolate and chestnut souffle with bay custard sauce, carrot Halwa with cardamom yogurt ice cream, huckleberry cobbler with rose geranium ice cream
- the desserts were divine, of course. My fave was the souffle!

Final course
A selection of small treats (lavender truffles, caramels, profiteroles, etc.)
Vintage 1916 Barbeito Malvazia Madeira
- the vintage Madeira was excellent!

And that was my best.birthday.weekend.ever. I have to give my husband props for orchestrating such a weekend. I have never felt so appreciated, cherished and loved! I think Steve gets the prize for the most thoughtful, amazing husband!

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I did not want to come in today...

The weather here has finally turned. Yesterday we had beautiful, sunny, 70 degree weather and now we are hit with clouds, rain and cold. Yucky. Especially when you have to wake up at 6:30 AM and drive to work. I'd much rather be in bed.

Last night my friend L came over with her baby daughter. Her little girl is SO CUTE. She was wearing the cutest little white fur coat and matching hat. She looked like a little Russian baby. :) L came over specifically to look at jewelry and ended up buying eight pieces! How exciting.

----

I am sooo ready for our trip. I talked to my dad yesterday and he let me in on some of his plans for our visit. He is going to take us crabbing (for coconut crabs), hiking, deep sea fishing, golfing and camping on the beach.

Here is more info on coconut crabs, if you're interested:

COCONUT CRABS
The coconut crab is a large edible land crab related to the hermit crab, and are found in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. They eat coconuts for a living! How would you like to be on an island and come across a crab that is more than 3 feet from head to tail and weighs up to 40 pounds, with a pair of large pincers strong enough to open coconuts! They can climb trees too, but they only eat coconuts that have already fallen to the ground. Coconut crab meat is considered a local delicacy.

just dropping this off...



I took this 80's music quiz and scored pretty poorly. :) Of course I recognized most of the songs but for the life of me could not insert the proper words...

Weekend Recap

Another busy weekend...

I had my dentist appt. at 4 on Friday, then headed to Steve's office to pick him up (if I am in his area, we generally leave a car at his office and carpool home). The poor guy was frazzled from the week, so the minute we got home we walked to this Italian restaurant called Barone's. It's a cute spot off of Main St. They have live jazz on Friday nights, which is nice! We had a couple of cocktails and appetizers and I had a seafood bisque for dinner. It was YUMMY.

We walked home and I made more jewelry while watching Miss Match, the new sitcom with Alicia Silverstone. She wears cute jewelry! I should watch just for inspiration. :)

Saturday we woke up early and cleaned the house. Steve went shopping while I put the finishing touches on some jewelry and my biz partner M came over with her stuff. She had great pieces as well. We tagged and priced our items, then our friend L came by (she couldn't make it to the party but wanted to see our stuff while she was free). She fell in love with all of the jewelry and bought six pieces from us! Very cool.

Soon everyone arrived and the party was a hit! We had such a great time--the last person left at 5PM (the party started at 1 and I didn't expect it to go over two hours!). After the party, the ILs came over for dinner and Steve's mom and I baked two apple pies.

Sunday I slept in, then headed to David's Bridal for a bridesmaid dress fitting at noon. I cannot believe I am in another wedding next year! We bought our dresses then headed to Michael's for favor ideas.

When I finally got home, Steve suggested going wine tasting at the local wineries in Livermore. Since I am always up for wine tasting, I agreed. We bought a bottle from each of the three wineries we visited. Granted, the wines are not as great as Napa or Sonoma wines, but we did have a great time.

Nov. 7th, 2003

I watched more uneventful sopranos last night. :(

Other than that I watched part of my usual Thursday night line-up (Friends, Scrubs, Will & Grace - didn't catch ER) and then promptly passed out without doing anything I needed to do for my jewelry party on Saturday. Nice.

Steve and I had a very long, frustrating conversation about housecleaning this morning, mostly because I need to get the house in tip-top shape for Saturday and have had NO help from him at all in that department! Granted he has been very busy and very stressed this week, so my whining and complaining probably didn't do him any good. Maybe I'll make up for my bitchiness by taking him out for a martini this evening. Even though we have lots to do at home, his and my mental health is so much more important!

I have a dental appt this afternoon, which means a short day for me (well, short even though I came in at 7:30 and am working through lunch - well, who are we kidding anyway?). I hope binging on Halloween candy this year didn't do much damage. :)

sopranos

Season 4 of the Sopranos sucks! I am on episode 4 and NOTHING even remotely interesting is happening.

Last night was pretty low key. I got home around 7 (traffic has been horrible since the time change!), cleaned up around the house and then planted myself in front of the TV. I love nights like that!

Steve came home around 8 and started cooking dinner. We had mac & cheese with chili. What a nice, gourmet, healthy meal, no? :) We were both soooo lazy to cook. After dinner we watched more TV, then went to bed.

I keep waking up late every morning. I usually like to get up early so I can take my time getting ready. I love lounging around after my shower and slowly getting myself dressed! It takes me about an hour to get ready and out of the house each morning. Thankfully Steve puts together my lunch and makes me breakfast. What a wonderful husband. :) If it weren't for him I would probably skip breakfast every morning and go out to lunch every day...

As I left this morning, my neighbor and her daughter were outside, waving goodbye to the garbage man. They are so cute. :) Her daughter totally loves me, so of course I had to stop the car and step out to say hi to them. She gave me a huge hug, then proceeded to poke my belly button (through my blouse, of course) for fun, so each time she did it I roared with laughter. It totally cracked her up. :) Sigh, this type of interaction makes me want babies NOW. :)