Posts tagged ‘friends’

July 1, 2013

Ten Things to be Happy About 7/1

I need a healthy dose of gratitude today. It’s been one of those days where every nerve in my body seems to be agitated. From large life issues to the post office changing their lunch hour, everything I do today seems to challenge me.

So I think it’s time to sit back and find a little thanks. Life is beautiful and often far too short to be taken for granted.

 

1. Tomorrow is my last day of work this week! I’m very excited about this. Short weeks are the best!

2. Wednesday, Husband and I head to Alaska to celebrate a birthday, a wedding and the 4th of July! Below is a photo of beautiful Prince of Wales Island.

alaska1

3. I got pretty new rain boots for our trip! I just hope they fit! Cute, right? You need rain boots on the boat. It’s wet and miserable if all you have a tennis shoes.

rain boots

4. My freezer will soon be filled with fresh, wild salmon, halibut, shrimp and crab! The best part about having a family fishing lodge in Alaska is you pretty much have access to really good quality fish whenever you want it, all year round.

5. We have so many tomatoes on our plants! And we harvested two cucumbers and two jalapenos this weekend…oh, and one strawberry last week that went right into my mouth! These were the first tomatoes that popped up on our Early Girl. The plant is full of them now!

tomatoes

6. I get to see my mommy this week! I haven’t seen her in almost a month.

7. I have the most amazing husband ever! Just saying… )

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8. I am alive. I’m going to stop at number eight today. Because what more matters? I have this day. I may not have tomorrow, but I have today and I’m going to stop writing now, and go out and enjoy the heck out of it!

May 30, 2013

Ten things to be happy about 5/30/12

I haven’t written one of these posts in a while. I’m not really sure why. But I thoroughly enjoy them and it’s a good practice in gratitude, which everyone can use a healthy dose of every now and then.

 

1. My  brother is bringing me Starbucks! I can’t wait. I am seriously dragging today.

2. Tonight is yoga! When we started, I was nervous about the heat because the place we go to basically only does classes with some amount of heat. It’s been okay, though. I’ve actually been really enjoying it.

3. This weekend is my friend Stephanie’s bachelorette party! We rented a house and we’re spending the weekend relaxing, eating delicious food, and doing all sorts of girly fun stuff.

4. I am almost finished editing photos from Jim’s dad’s wedding! And they turned out pretty great. I’m happy with them. This is one of my favorites so far.

jim and nancy

5. My friend Reanna and I are Costco shopping for the weekend today. I know maybe that makes me kind of lame, but I love Costco!

6. Jim and I are going to Alaska this year! We’ll be spending the 4th of July there as well as attending a wedding of close family friends of mine. I’m beyond excited! Below is one of my favorite photos from our last trip in 2009…too long ago.

alaska1

7. I joined a new book club! Two might be a bit to keep up with, but that’s okay. Just another excuse to read more! And I’m really excited about meeting and getting to know a new group of girls. You can never have too many friends…or read too many books!

8. We got a new juicer! Not that there was anything wrong with our old juicer. We’re donating it to a friend, and we upgraded. Our new one can do more greens and also can make almond butter and ice cream, which is really exciting!

juicer

9. I made a really yummy quinoa salad two nights ago. We’ve been eating it for dinner the past two nights, and I have it for lunch today. Just another hour and a half! P.S. I’ll be posting the recipe soon!

10. I got my wedding ring cleaned yesterday! And its so shiny and pretty today.  It’s an amethyst, so it’s purple, and when it’s clean the stone turns to such a dark color. It’s almost like a different ring.

Your turn! What are some things you’re really happy about today?

April 12, 2013

Life Altering Change

Jim and I have been making some major changes over the past month. I told you a little bit about our juice reboot, but it’s gone beyond that. We’ve decided we need to overhaul our entire attitude toward food and change what we put into our bodies while we still have the chance to make a difference in our own lives.

It all started on St. Patrick’s Day as we sat down to feast on processed food and plenty of beer. I was scrolling through Pinterest during a commercial on tv and the following image popped into my screen.

fat sick and nearly dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. “Interesting,” I thought, and checked Netflix to see if they had it. They did. And we watched (you can watch on Netflix if you have it, or through Amazon, free with prime or a $2.99 rental).

It’s about Joe Cross, an Australian who suddenly realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. He goes on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the USA promoting healthy living. For whatever reason, this film struck a chord with us and we embarked on our own 4-day juice fast the very next day.

But somehow that wasn’t enough and through the “Reboot with Joe” website, I learned about a new documentary, Hungry for Change, that was showing for free for a limited time that week (also available for rental through Amazon).

hungry for change

This one was huge for us. Not only did it tell us a lot of stuff we already knew was bad for us, but it explained why, and that’s huge when you’re talking about stuff like diet soda, which I knew was bad for me (sadly, other people think it’s good for them), and I already stay away from, but did you know that it causes blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss and seizures and for those reasons pilots are not allowed to drink it while or prior to flying? Holy Cow! I won’t go into all of the details of the movie, but I highly recommend it. It features many prominent figures in the health/wellness world and Jim and I both found it to be insightful and eye-opening.

Along with these two videos, I read a book.

crazy sexy dietThe word “diet” turned my head the other way when I first saw this one. I didn’t want to read a diet book, but after reading the first few sections of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, a book devoted mostly to recipes whereas Crazy Sexy Diet is mostly information, I decided I needed to read Crazy Sexy Diet too. Carr never thought she was going to be a diet guru. She was an actress and photographer and when she learned she had cancer, her entire life changed. Doctors gave her a prognosis and she said screw that! From there, she transformed her life, started following a plant-based diet and claims she’s never felt better, cancer and all. But that’s her story, and you should get her books and let her tell it. Check out her website too. It is an amazing source for information, recipes and community support.

But back to Jim and I, because we don’t have a book and if you want our story, you’re going to find it here. Granted, our story isn’t that long yet, and you’ll have to keep coming back if you want to learn more, but here it is so far.

As I mentioned, we did a 4-day juice fast just after St. Patrick’s Day. I felt more energy after the second day of that fast than I have in so long. But then we had a crazy Napa 30th birthday party to go to, and we needed to quit the fast so we could have some fun (also, we weren’t so sure about fasting for longer than that at a time. We want to be healthy, not crazy and dangerous with our bodies). Having fun, by the way, is okay. We also went to the Food Trucks event in Roseville last night and had Po’Boy sandwiches from the Cajun truck. It’s okay.

We did another juice fast last week and we plan on doing one next week. The weeks between, we’ve been replacing one meal with juice and eating healthfully the other. We have smoothies for breakfast (usually filled with fruit, spinach or kale, protein powder, chia seeds and spirulina…it’s a seaweed) when we’re on the fast and when we’re not, and sometimes a little snack like a handful of walnuts and raspberries if we need it. We’ve also been kicking up our workouts, and by kicking up I mean doing them. We take Katie for long walks or go to the school down the street and play basketball. We both kind of hate working out, so we try to make it fun.

We’ve had very few desserts in the past month. We cut our added sugar down to almost nothing (okay, sometimes I have a few chocolate chips with my walnuts, but again, its okay!), and in the month we’ve been doing this, I think we’ve had caffeine twice. We’ve almost completely cut out dairy products and eggs and started eating more quinoa, wild rice and tons and tons of vegetables!

Mostly, I feel amazing. I have energy (except when I can’t sleep at night, like last night…argh!), I have a positive attitude toward the world. I want to get outside and do things. I want to cook. When I find myself craving something, it’s not tater tots or ice cream, it’s walnuts or carrots or oatmeal (oatmeal, people!). I was on such a tater tot kick before I started this and they don’t even sound good anymore!

As I mentioned before, though, this doesn’t mean we won’t partake in foods we’ve enjoyed in the past. Jim fully intends to continue eating meat when we’re out with family or friends or on special occasions. And I don’t see myself passing up roasted figs with goat cheese and honey come fig season. But we’re no longer okay with putting so much crap into our bodies. There’s increasing research that concludes that filling up on fats, simple white foods like pastas, breads and sugars and the plethora of lab created, chemical “food” products on grocery store shelves these days causes cancer and chronic diseases, and we just don’t want to risk it. It’s like stepping into a fire and just hoping you don’t get burned. We’ve seen too many people we care about…and so many people those people care about get diagnoses of cancer and heart problems that it seems stupid to us not to do something to stay off that increasingly long list.

So stay tuned for more tidbits and tales of our journey to health. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it won’t always be easy, but we’re going to make the trek and hopefully come out on top as a result.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy my “lunch.” I’ve got carrots, oranges, fennel, red cabbage, baby kale, spinach and sweet potatoes today all wrapped up in a pretty purple juice. As Tucker would say, “Aaaaahhhh.”

If you find yourself intrigued, please ask me about our experience. I have tons of information, recipes, opinions, and advise if you’re interested in making a change like this in your life.

March 15, 2013

Food Truckin!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m lovin’ the food truck craze that seems to be going around. Gone are the days where you can only find a hot dog or a burrito in a food truck. Now they come in all shapes, sizes and varieties of gourmet cuisine.

food trucks8

Every second Thursday of the month, Sacramento Mobile Food Events (SacToMoFo for short) comes to downtown Roseville and sets up shop on Vernon Street (Roseville’s main drag) where people flock in for a delicious culinary treat. There are about thirty different trucks that make the rounds with SacToMoFo, and about seven of them were on Vernon last night. Jim and I and my good friend, Reanna, took to the streets in search of the perfect food truck dinner. Jim and I had never been to the event before, but they also go to Reanna’s place of employment sometimes, so she was a seasoned pro. We had our choice from wood-fired pizza, tacos, southern BBQ, hot dogs, burgers and, of course the one we had to pick: gourmet grilled cheese.

food trucks6

Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen is famous for their “Hemi” sandwich. I did not get the hemi because, along with some delicious items like mac and cheese, grilled onions and cheddar, it also includes pulled pork. You can probably guess that Jim did order this one.

Reanna ordering all expertly

Reanna ordering all expertly

I ordered the “Prius.” Of course the veggie sandwich would be named after the “greenest” car known to man. It had green apples, smoked almonds, brie cheese and honey between two slices of wheat bread. And, of course, it was grilled.

I enjoyed it. I was half tempted to order the “Hemi” sans pulled pork, but I figured I’d give the offered veggie option a try first. It did sound good, after all.  Along with the sandwiches we got an order of tater tots. Yes, tater tots. Jim and I are, well, kind of tot crazed right now, so when we saw they had garlic rosemary tater tots, we had to try them. We had already made our way through half of them before I thought to take a photo. They were delicious, too, and I’m still tasting garlic this morning.

Garlic Rosemary tots

Garlic Rosemary tots..they look a little lacking in toppings in the photo, but trust me, there was PLENTY of garlicy goodness.

Lastly, and probably my favorite part of the entire meal, we got the s’moreski. It’s like a grilled s’mores sandwich. It was fantastic. Marshmallow fluff, nutella and graham crackers grilled between two slices of bread. I could have eaten three all by myself.

mmmm.....s'moreski

mmmm…..s’moreski…

Don't you hate it when you have someone take a cell phone photo and it comes out all blurry?

Evil s’moreski eaters!

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience…with the exception of the hoards of mosquitos that came out for the event. The food was delish, the weather was perfect, the atmosphere was great. I can’t wait for next month!

February 27, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

gluten free cupcakes

Is there anything that will cheer you up better than a cupcake? There are few things that can put a smile on my face quicker than a delicious mountain of frosting perched atop a perfectly individually sized hunk of cake.

That being said, when I found out a good friend of ours had been “couched” with a ski injury, I knew just the ticket to make him feel at least a little better about the whole ordeal.

CUPCAKES!!!

It’s fortunate for him that I suffered a wheat allergy and had plenty of random, non-wheat flours hanging around the house. And it’s fortunate for me that I got to use some of them because I’m certain they don’t last forever!

Since I’m not a full-time non-wheat-eater, I haven’t spent great amounts of time practicing and testing different combinations. I mostly stick to good ol’ Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour when I am baking because I know the combination works the way I need it to. Well, of course I wouldn’t have anymore of THAT in my box! So I had to improvise. And I have to say, I’m pretty dern proud of how they came out.

gluten free cupcakes

Gluten Free (and also, as luck would have it, vegan) Chocolate Cupcakes with (not vegan) Peanut Butter Frosting

2 cups Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour (see recipe below)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup coconut sugar (feel free to go ahead and use regular old white sugar if you wish. I use this because my mom is allergic to the white stuff and she usually likes to taste test)

sprinkling of salt

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

3/4 cup almond milk

Yep, that’s it. Now throw it all in your mixer and let ‘er rip! Scoop into a lined muffin pan and sort of flatten it out in there (use all the batter among the 12 spots). I also opened the oven and patted them into the correct shape just as they started getting firm on top, just to make sure they didn’t come out all hoaky. The batter is THICK, and it seems wrong, but it’ll be okay. Have a lil faith. Anyway, bake for about 20 minutes…the tops will be firm and you can poke them with a toothpick and the pick will come out not soupy. Let them cool all the way before frosting.

Mr. and Meatless’ all purpose gluten free flour

2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup sweet sorghum flour

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup potato starch

Whisk all the flours and starch together. Use what you need, then store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for ultimate freshness.

Peanut Butter Frosting

I have a hard time with frosting recipes. I keep adding stuff until it tastes right, but this is more or less the gist of it.

1 stick of butter, softened.

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup  milk of your choice

5 cups powdered sugar

Combine the butter and peanut butter in a largish bowl. Next add the powdered sugar and milk and stir until just mixed. It IS possible to overmix and then your butter gets all melty and your frosting is too soft and it’s all a big mess. This is also why I use a spoon and not my mixer. If you’ve mixed a reasonable amount and your frosting is too thick, add a little bit more milk…like a splash at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

gluten free cupcakes

Wasn’t that amazingly easy? I’ve always been intimidated by gluten free baking. But these, my friends, were both incredibly easy to make and completely delish. Enjoy!

gluten free cupcakes

January 4, 2013

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate for Christmas

This year, Christmas was hard. I already told you that part. I wasn’t in the spirit at all and we were short funds because of the house. But we still managed to give everyone something…something I thought was pretty dern awesome. And we made it ourselves.

cocoa1

We made salted caramel hot chocolate! Jim made the caramel sauce and I made the hot chocolate mix and we wrapped them up together. I even stamped the little cards myself. It was a lot of fun, working with Jim and creating something special to give to all of our friends and family. And honestly, so much less stress than your usual shopping forever, wrapping late into the night and then stressing some more than people won’t like their gifts…or maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I thought this hot chocolate was to die for. The caramel sauce was smooth and rich and the hot chocolate was creamy and with the addition of a little something extra, it was more than your average packet of Swiss Miss.

Hot Chocolate Mix

1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups powdered milk

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Before dividing the mix up into whatever containers you’re using (if you’re giving this as a gift), make some up and taste it. Before I got mine right, I tasted it a few times and added more cocoa powder because I like my stuff less sweet than most people, I think. Also, you can add more or even omit the cinnamon. Try other things, too. Pumpkin pie spice would make this a more spicy cocoa. I think it might be delicious to grind up some orange zest to add in. Or maybe some ground up chocolate chips to make it more chocolatey. You can also add more things as garnish.

For the salted caramel sauce, I used Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe. I’m going to just send you right over to her page because she does such an amazing job of instructing you on the process, complete with photos. I chose her recipe because she doesn’t use corn syrup. Since I had that issue with corn last year, I’ve tried to stay away from the stuff as best I can. We’ve made this recipe twice now and it has come out magnificently both times. And it’s delicious to boot! I also consulted her recipe (among others) for the hot cocoa mix when I was researching how to make it. Check that out too. That girl is amazing in the kitchen! You can always trust her recipes to come out (which cannot always be said, by the way) and be as delicious as they look in her photos.

Anyway, back to our gifts. We added cinnamon sticks and mini marshmallows as toppers, but as I said before, you can add pretty much anything that strikes your fancy. The hot chocolate powder (minus the cinnamon) would go with tons of different options: peppermint, orange, I might even try pumpkin because I love pumpkin that much.

cocoa2

A little late posting, but that was our gift to people this Christmas. I think we’ll do something similar next year…making something, I mean. It was fun and I think people enjoyed it.

Does anyone else do this for Christmas? Make something for each family and/or friend?

December 30, 2012

End of one chapter, Beginning of another

I’ve written before about how anti-Resolution I am when it comes to the new year. And I maintain that position because of how particularly useless traditional resolutions are. That does not, however, mean that I am completely oblivious to the convenience a new year provides for making goals and starting fresh.

And this year, in light of having a new house and a new pooch, I’m feeling a fresh start with an acute ping. How could I not? My entire life has been flipped upside down. Where I once was a newlywed living in a 900 square foot apartment, now I’m a full-fledged wife with a 1500 square foot house, an adorable black lab mix and a million new opportunities that I didn’t have a month ago.

I don’t necessarily mean that all of a sudden huge doors have opened. I don’t suddenly have contacts in high career places or anything like that. But I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s the small things that matter most. Like inviting friends over for dinner and dog sitting for my mom while she’s out of town (for better or for worse…..). I have enough space in my living room to bust out my 30 Day Shred DVD without having to rearrange the furniture to do it.

These little things can be as life changing as huge things. And I’ll keep you posted as I make this journey to finding my new self in my new circumstances. But since it’s a new year, I decided to do something I’ve thought about but never actually done until now: make a vision board. And I invited my friend, Reanna, over to make one with me (something I wouldn’t have done at the apartment).

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

The stack of magazines we were working with. It took HOURS to go through them all!

I’ve seen multiple people do them. And people all seem to have their own philosophy and strategy when it comes to content, layout, purpose. I know people who look at the vision board as a request to the universe for the things that they want. Some are almost superstitious, being careful not to use words or images that might be taken too literally. I look at it as more of a reminder of the things I wish to accomplish in the year to come, an organization of thoughts and goals in a place where I can see them on a daily basis. I don’t expect them to come true simply because I put them on the board. But they’re there. Sort of like a paper Pinterest for the new year (anyone else see the irony of a “paper Pinterest?”).

Getting there

Getting there

While I don’t believe that the universe is taking note of my desires, nor do I believe that by putting my wishes/goals on a board that they will come true, I did notice that certain patterns emerged. I do believe in the psychology of our choices, the subconscious repetitions based on things we don’t necessarily notice at first sight. Like my friend Reanna. She got all of her photos and phrases on her board and realized that her overall theme was more of self-improvement than it had been in previous years. She also had far more wording than she was used to. She left our house with a lot to think about.

Since I haven’t done a board before, I didn’t have anything to compare to, but I did notice patterns. Like I cut out more than one phrase about “fear.” Likewise with “happiness.” I had many photos and phrases about travel and a handful about food and several about photography. While some people feel that using words on a dream board is a bad idea, I feel like my board without words wouldn’t be MY board. Words are such an important part of my life, it would just seem wrong not to have them present. I like my board. I think it feels very “me.”

The finished product

The finished product

I’m really excited for 2013. The past twelve months have been challenging to say the least, but I am really optimistic about the coming year. I think there is a lot of growth, a lot of fun, a lot of excitement and a lot of change on the horizon. For the first time in my life I feel like I might just be where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I might be getting a clear picture of who I am and who I want to be. And I can’t wait to see how the next year unfolds.

Happy New Year, everyone! Do you have any goals for 2013? Do you make a vision board every year?

October 29, 2012

Crazy weekend #4: Disneyland

Last weekend we was our final crazy weekend in October. And it sure was a doozy!

Friday night when Jim got off work, he and my mom and I piled into my car with our formal wear and a giant sack of healthy snacks and hit the road. Sevenish hours later, we pulled up to our hotel and couldn’t fall into bed quick enough (with one exception: we stayed at the Doubletree and they have those yummy chocolate chip cookies? Yea, Mom and I had to eat ours before we slept).

The next morning we forwent arriving at the park when it opened in favor of sleeping a few more hours, which I ended up quite grateful for. More on that later.

We got to the park just after 10 a.m. and spent a few hours with BJ and Ashley before they went back to their hotel for naps (they DID arrive at the park when it opened).

You can tell my coffee hasn’t hit me quite yet in this photo! I did love all the pumpkin decorations they had up for fall though. You can see Minnie Mouse in the background.

After lunch, Mom and Jim and I took off on our own and hit up our favorite rides: Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion (which had insanely long lines due to its new holiday makeover), and we got fast passes for Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Unfortunately, when we went to use our fast passes BOTH rides had just broken down. What the heck kind of bad luck is that? Not to mention, the rides I listed above are pretty much the only ones we got to ride. We didn’t even get to California Adventure because there were SO many people. I haven’t been to Disneyland in the past few years when it’s been this packed.
It really rather put a damper on our day, and made me both thankful and regretful that we slept those extra hours. If we hadn’t, I’d have been cranky as a hungry bear, but we’d also have had more time to go on rides in the morning. Oh, well. It is what it is.

I discovered one cool thing though: there’s a boat with my name in Pirates of the Caribbean!

Cool, huh? No, we didn’t get to ride in it. Our day wasn’t that lucky.

After we waited for about half an hour for Space Mountain to get back up and running, we gave up and went back to the hotel to change for dinner.  BJ and Ashley picked us up a little early and we headed back to the park for Rome Valley Vineyards’ annual winemaker’s dinner at Club 33.

We rode the train from the main gate back to New Orleans Square

We took our annual photo by the door. (Don’t you love how the humidity got to my hair? I look kind of creepy)

Last year’s photo

I believe this was our second…third?..course. Lobster Bisque and Asparagus Baklava. So delicious!

Dessert!!! So yummy! And so sad I only got two bites. 😦

BJ and Ashley. The girl peeking out from behind Ashley is Rachel, the manager (who was very cool, by the way). The guy is Matt. He was our server for my bachelorette party last year. And me and Mommy.

Bachelorette party: Matt’s hiding in the back, third head from the right. He was quite a trooper that night! 🙂

So back to last weekend. Dinner was amazing. So many courses of delicious food, such good wine and a great group of people. Despite some hiccups during the day, the evening turned out really well. Ashley turned 21 a couple of days before, so we celebrated her birthday as well as the new wine from the vineyard. I wish someone had gotten a photo of it, but BJ actually presented me with a really nice framed copy of the new label which I helped design as well as helping name the wine.

We left the park well after closing. It’s one of the coolest things. Picture this: it’s dark. It’s quiet. There are no people anywhere, except those who are cleaning and getting everything ready for the next day. Main Street is deserted. It’s one of the most bizarre and fascinating things I’ve ever seen.

Once back to the hotel, we took another annual photo:

The four of us girls.

Last year’s photo.

And one with Jim, because he’s pretty important too. 🙂

The next morning we got up, met BJ and Ashley and some of their other friends for breakfast and then started our seven hour drive home.

The weekend was short and crazy and fun and exhausting and it made me soooo glad to stay home and veg (and pack!!) this past weekend.  Now we’ve got more craziness ahead as we get to the end of our escrow period just in time for the holiday madness to begin. I guess I’d better start working on controlling my stress because the end is nowhere in sight!

Have a great Monday!!!

September 14, 2012

Sooooo cute!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of photographing two of the cutest kids ever! Bekah and I have been friends for several years. Even before her son, Logan, was born.  Bekah’s on the far right on the photo below, and she had just given birth to her daughter, Sabrina, a couple of weeks earlier. Sabrina actually turns 1 year old today. Happy Birthday, Sabrina!

And, since I don’t have heaps more to share with you today (I made a delicious smoothy this morning, but it looked slightly like baby poop, so I didn’t want to take photos…but maybe I’ll include the recipe below. We’ll see), I decided I’ll share some of the photos from the shoot instead.

Logan and Sabrina

Aren’t they cute? We had so much fun playing at the park, dressing up a little, snapping a few shots. That’s my favorite way to shoot kids (that sounds so awful!). Just let them be themselves and have fun and I’ll capture the moment. I feel you get the most genuine representation of their personalities that way. And isn’t that what we are aiming to do? Remember them at this age? Anyway, here are a few more. Enjoy! And happy Friday!

July 23, 2012

Weekend at the Beach

It was another busy weekend for the Sutherlins. Filled with good food, great friends and plenty of family we don’t get to see very often.

Friday night we packed up the truck and headed to Santa Cruz to visit Jim’s grandparents on his mom’s side. We arrived late and went to bed late after talking with his grandparents until after midnight. In the morning, his grandma made us french toast for breakfast (two different kinds: one with regular bread and one with my gluten-free bread) and we spent the first half of the day hanging at the house with them.

They were heading off on a trip with their RV group, so we left them to pack their stuff and headed to the boardwalk.

It was crazy and packed with people and it took us over an hour to find a place to park (although when we finally did it was free as opposed to the $12 fee to park in one of the Boardwalk’s lots). There were so many people, we could barely walk through the crowds as we made our way down to the beach.

Someone had made a really cool shark out of sand. It was impossible to get a photo of it by itself because for some reason, every time someone else was done taking their photo, this lady in black and white in the front had to go in and get more pictures taken of her. People are strange.

Then we went inside and played some arcade games and stopped for a photo with the distorted mirrors. As you can see, Jim wasn’t too interested, and this mirror wasn’t too crazy. Our legs are super long though. We got $5 worth of coins and then gave our tickets to a cute little girl who was there with her dad. She was stoked!

Then we walked out to the wharf. From there we got a better scope of exactly how many people were on the beach. I can’t understand how it can be considered fun to hang out so close to so many other people. But then again, I didn’t grow up in beach culture, so maybe there’s something to it that I’m just not getting.

There were tons of seagulls and pelicans on the wharf, including this fellow who found a comfy spot on top of a trash can for a nap. These guys are mean when you get up close to him. After I snapped this photo, he opened his beady little eyes and followed me with them as I walked away. I thought he might peck my eyeballs out if I didn’t move fast!

There was a display about them in the wharf and I guess they’re endangered and were close to extinction several years ago. I can understand why if they’re such jerks!

When it got too warm and we were both tired of walking in sandals (Jim got a pretty nasty blister from the sand rubbing in his), we headed back to the car to meet our friends Nic and Christie for dinner. I have mentioned Christie before. She’s the one who married us. She’s also my massage therapist. She’s quite the multipurpose friend!

They were in town for the Wharf to Wharf run. They were staying at the house of a friend of a friend. They’d brought wine and snack, and all she could find were these mason jars to serve the wine in. It was white wine, hippie-style! There’s never a dull moment with these two!

We had dinner at a restaurant called Dharma’s. They do all vegetarian and vegan food and they are very sensitive to other allergies, with many gluten-free options. Nic has an intolerance to gluten, so he and I are in similar boats when it comes to eating out.


This drippy droopy sandwich Christie is digging into was made on a gluten-free roll. I had a burrito with no tortilla. Jim had probably the toughest time picking a meal because he’s not used to going out and not having a meat option. He chose a burrito and some nachos. Nic had rice pasta with Greek toppings. We all left completely stuffed.

After dinner we had drinks and headed back to Jim’s grandparents’ house and fell into bed.

The next morning we went up to meet our newest nephew, Jim’s brother Chris and his wife Stefanie’s son. His name is Nickolas and he has the cutest chubby cheeks and more hair on his head than most adults do! I was so distracted I forgot to get a photo, so I jacked this one from Stefanie’s facebook. Isn’t he a cute little monkey face?

I only wish we lived closer to them so we could see them more often and watch this little one grow up!

The weekend was all sorts of fun, but now we’ve hit Monday morning, and I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. Both of my brother’s, my sister-in-law and my nephew were all sick last week, and I think I finally caught a bit of it. I’m congested and my chest hurts and my throat hurts and I’m bundled up on the couch with tea and my dvr. Hopefully this will blow over by tomorrow. I don’t do sick very well.

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?