Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Saturday ... in pictures

Jon and I started our Saturday by finishing the first annual Alzheimer's Aid Socirty Memorial 5k Run/Walk in 39 minutes and 28 seconds ... a new personal record for me (all that training is paying off )!!! The run started and ended at the highest point in Sacramento, East Lawn Memorial Park. The course wove through the fab forties and down M street and then back. The weather was perfect ... definitely not as hot as the last race we ran and I got to run for about five paces with KEVIN JOHNSON! This is the fourth 5k that Jon and I have done together and the 7th I have participated in since last November. We're looking forward to the next one in August.


This is us after the end of the race.







After the race we headed back to Elk Grove and stopped off at the farmers market. We picked up some fruit and veggies and corn on the cob and some very lovely dahlia's. I love going to the farmers market and getting local produce ...


These are the dahlia's we picked up for super cheap! I'm not much of a flower person ... but sometimes it's nice to have fresh flowers sitting on your kitchen table :)





After the farmers market we headed home to shower and grab some lunch ... then we made a quick stop at Target and then headed to ...
where we saw ...
This was a great movie and I think Christian Bale is my new favorite actor ... but that might just be because I've seen three of his movies in the past week (3:10 to Yuma, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight). I highly recommend this movie to everyone! I can't wait to see it again ...

After the movie, Jon and I headed downtown to the Crocker Art Museum (we're members) so that we could see the current exhibit before it ends (The Language of the Nude: Four Centuries of Drawing the Human Body). We had been talking about going to this exhibit all summer and I'm glad we were able to make it - today is the last day of the showing. The sketches and drawings were wonderful! We always enjoy going to the museum and browsing through all the different styles of art they have on display ... not to mention just enjoy the beautiful house that is the Crocker Art Museum.
After our trip to Crocker Art Museum ... we headed out to West Sacramento to our favorite home furnishing store ... IKEA!
I love going to Ikea for the great deals ... Jon loves going to Ikea because of their amazing shopping carts ... here he is spinning the shopping cart in the parking lot ...


After Ikea, we headed back into downtown Sacramento across The Tower Bridge ...
We decided to have dinner at Nishiki's ... undoubtledly our favorite restaurant. When we use to live downtown (that seems like it was ages ago) we would have sushi at Nishiki's atleast once a week. It still remains our favorite restaurant ...
It's located on 16th street at the corner of P Street ... check it out ... you won't be disappointed!

We had an early dinner ... so after dinner we decided to head over to the State Capitol building and take some photos ...
And then we also stopped by the Capital Rose Garden for a few more photo opportunities ...
On our way back to Elk Grove to call it a day, I received a text message from my buddy Z.Ott who was in town from Florida - so we made plans to meet up with him at the Elk Groves Sports Bar for a few drinks then drove him to his mom's house in Galt ... it's always good to see Zach ...


All in all ... it was a great Saturday ... a long one, but great just the same :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

TGIF

I don't have much to talk about.

I'm in a rather foul mood ... it was a bad week at work and although its Friday and the beginning of the long awaited weekend I'm already dreading Monday and the next few weeks at work.

This upcoming week is a co-workers last week ... I'm sad to see him go especially since he's the one that been helping me keep my sanity for the past few months. Also, Monday is the first day of our internal audit. The management "team" (I use that word very loosely when describing the individuals that work in my terminal who have the word manager in their title) has predicted that the audit will last anywhere from three to four weeks. Our last audit lasted only about 1 and 1/2 weeks ... but things have changed. We're going to fail. It's pretty much certain. Our management "team" is reactive instead of proactive about every aspect of business in our terminal - everyone's been in a frenzy to get things ready for the auditors.

Well ... not everyone.

My "work" is in order.

As if it wouldn't be.


Don't even question it Mr. Boss Man.

Enough about work.


It's Friday after all ... maybe a glass of wine will help me unwind while me and the husband-to-be watch Batman Begins ... so that we can go see Dark Knight tomorrow!!! Actually, Strack and I have a very full Saturday ... I'm extremely looking forward to it. It's going to be a long day ... but I'm really excited for each and every second of it!

I guess I had more to say than I thought ... happy Friday and here's to the weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I <3 Tiffany's

... and presents! Especially the ones that are given "just because".

Yesterday on my lunch I drove to our local postal annex near our apartment to pick up my "package" that I have been waiting for. It contained two little blue boxes ... each with a little blue bag in them ... each with a piece of lovely jewelry :)

My husband-to-be bought me two new additions to my Tiffany jewelry collection ... well, it wasn't really a collection until I had these new items - seeing as now I have three pieces of Tiffany's jewelry. Jon purchased my Loving Heart ring for me a few years ago as a gift for our first anniversary. He purchased these two new additions, just because!

Without further ado ... here are the lovely new items!




These are the Loving Heart earrings that match my ring!





This is the Double Loving Heart pendant!






I love them both! The necklace especially because of its resemblance to an infinity sign!

Monday, July 21, 2008

-8.4

Monday's are my weigh-in days ... ah, the dreaded scale. Each Monday afternoon when I get home from work, before my run or afternoon snack, I step on that cold scale in my bare feet. So far each week there has been a nice little decrease in the magic number the scale shows ... nothing too major, but progress nonetheless. Today I stepped upon my trusty scale and read these four little numbers ... 159.6!!! That's right ... after more than a year, I'm finally under 160! I know it may not seem like much, but that makes it 15 lbs lost since last November and 8.4 lost since Jon and I started this crazy whirlwind we call a diet back in the beginning of June. That means I'm only 8.6 lbs away from my 10% goal of 151!!! I should be going for a celebratory run ... but I'm going bridesmaid dress shopping instead. The best part is that even after all the "over" eating I did this weekend (I really didn't, but I definitely went over my points) I still lost 1.4 lbs. It was those 3 Sierra Nevada's and that ├ęclair on Friday night and that BBQ goodness along with those 4 Tecate's and that chocolate cake on Saturday and that last slice of cake last night that kept me from an even lower loss ... but each of those was well worth it :)

I think I'll have some low fat graham crackers and sour cream and onion rice cakes with some nice cold water to celebrate while I wait for Jon's sister ...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Vanilla Fudge Marble Cake with a Semisweet Chocolate Icing


Vanilla Fudge Marble Cake
Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Oven: 350 degrees
Cool: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup chocolate flavored syrup
1 recipe Semisweet Chocolate Icing

Directions
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on low to medium speed about 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low to medium speed 1 minute after each addition and scrapping bowl frequently. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition until just combined. Reserve 2 cups of batter. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine chocolate syrup and reserved 2 cups of batter. Beat on low speed until well combined. Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan. Do not mix.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Drizzle cake with Semisweet Chocolate Icing.

Semisweet Chocolate Icing
In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of light-colored corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Use immediately.

Both recipes from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book Special Edition: In support of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

An event-filled weekend in Oroville

Friday afternoon Jon and I left the blue skies of Elk Grove (despite my persistent summer cold bug) to head up to the smoke filled skies of Oroville for a Retirement Party on Friday night at the Gold Country Casino (which we attend with my mom and her husband - the honoree was a long time friend and co-worker of my mother's - someone very dear to both of us) and a birthday BBQ for my brother on Saturday.

The retirement party was a good time. Dinner was good, dessert was good, the "roasting" of the honoree was good ... gambling afterwards - not so good ... but all in all, we had a good time. There were a lot of familiar faces at the party - the retiree worked in the banking business for 45 years and my mom has worked in the business for 25 - she's worked with a lot of different people over the years and it was nice to see some of them again. It was also very nice to see the retiree surrounded by so many people that have touched her life and love her! Here's a few photos:

Saturday we had a BBQ at my mom's house in honor of my brother's 36 birthday! We BBQ'd chicken, hamburgers, bratwurst, zucchini and yellow squash, red potatoes and garlic bread!

It was very yummy! I cooked the zucchini and yellow squash and red potatoes in foil packets (my NEW favorite way to cook) on the BBQ. Despite it being over 90 degrees, and BBQ in the direct sun, we had a great time! After dinner we ate some yummy Vanilla Fudge Marble Cake!!!

I don't think anyone liked it very much ...

It was topped with a Semisweet Chocolate Icing ... and it was good! I think Jon and I will finish off the last two tiny slices tonight :)

It was a good weekend, despite the cold I've been fighting! I've gotten a lot of rest the past 4 days and I'm feeling better - which is good considering tomorrow is Monday and back to work I go ...

And, I almost forgot ... here's some photos of the construction work from I-5 that I took on our way home this afternoon, currently southbound lanes are open, and northbound lanes are closed:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Footprints on your Heart

This is very similar to the Reason, Season, Lifetime poem I posted a while back. Nonetheless, it's still very touching ... and true. At a retirement party I was at last night someone recited part of this peom when speaking of the honoree. When hearing it, it makes me think about the people in my life that have helped me become the person I am today.

SOME PEOPLE
Some people come into our lives
and leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never ever the same.

Some people come into our lives
and quickly go... Some stay for awhile
and embrace our silent dreams.

They help us become aware
of the delicate winds of hope...
and we discover within every human spirit
there are wings yearning to fly.

They help our hearts to see that
the only stairway to the stars
is woven with dreams...
and we find ourselves
unafraid to reach high.

They celebrate the true essence
of who we are...
and have faith in all
that we may become.

Some people awaken us
to new and deeper realizations...
for we gain insight
from the passing whisper of their wisdom

Throughout our lives we are sent
precious souls...
meant to share our journey
however brief or lasting their stay
they remind us why we are here.

To learn... to teach... to nurture... to love

Some people come into our lives
to cast a steady light
upon our path and guide our every step
their shining belief in us
helps us to believe in ourselves.

Some people come into our
lives to teach us about love...
The love that rests within ourselves.

Let us reach out to others
and feel the bliss of giving
for love is far richer in action
that it ever is in words.

Some people come into our lives
and they move our souls to sing
and make our spirits dance.

They help us to see that everything on earth
is part of the incredibility of life...
and that it is always there
for us to take of its joy.

Some people come into our lives
and leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never ever the same.

~Flavia Weedn~

Friday, July 18, 2008

My favorite pictures

My cousin, Farina, took these photos for us to use as Engagement Photos! We spent the day at the Elk Grove Park back in February and ended up taking about 200 photos. Of those 200, we ended up with about 20 really great photos! Here are our top 3!!!





My new favorite dinner

Introducing my new favorite, quick & easy, & Weight Watcher's friendly dinner ...

BBQ'd Salmon (cooked in foil packets).

This meal is so easy to make and is very yum-o (yes, that's a Rachael Ray word - and yes, I love Rachael Ray).

Place the salmon, skin side down, in the foil packets (the first time we cooked this the salmon burned a little, so the second time we sprayed some Pam Olive Oil Cooking Spray on the foil and it didn't burn) and place on the grill. Cook about 15 to 20 minutes. Open the foil packets and the salmon actually pulls clean off the skin leaving the skin stuck to the foil. Serve and enjoy! Yummy :)

Speaking of Weight Watchers - Jon and I started "counting" our points back on June 9th. Jon has lost 16 lbs so far and I've lost 7! We've had a few setbacks - but we are still going strong! The best part is how much fruit and veggies we've been eating - thanks to the Elk Grove Farmers Market! We've got a birthday BBQ for my brother this weekend so hopefully we won't get set back too far with that ... except I did make a very yummy looking marble cake last night ... we can't wait to have a slice on Saturday at the BBQ! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Run, Jesse, Run

Jon and I began running last fall - when we first started, we were following a strict training schedule and working towards running 5k's. It's been almost a year. Sometime since we started running and now - life got in the way and we stopped following our training schedule. We still run. We run as much as possible. In the fall, winter and early spring we ran in our neighborhood. Now that its summer - we run on the treadmill at the gym in our apartment complex. Together we've completed 3 5k's (November 2007 - The Run to Feed the Hungry, May 2008 - Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, June 2008 - Shriner's 5k) and I've completed an additional 2 more (April 2008 - Sac Zoo Zoom with Linsey and June 2008 - Nike's Women's Fitness Festival with Linsey and Farina). My personal record is just over 41 minutes (Nike's Women Fitness Festival).

I hate running. Actually, let me rephrase that - I use to hate running. But now ... I'm learning to love to run! Yesterday Jon and I ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill. I walked the first two minutes (0.10 of a mile) and then I ran the rest. 3 full miles in 40 minutes. It was amazing! I've never, ever done that in my whole life! I can't wait to do it again ...

Here are some of the reasons that I've learned to love running:
~It's something Jon and I do together
~The more I run, the stronger my muscles, my back, and my lungs get
~It's a great way to get rid of the stress from work
~The more I run, the more weight I can loose before the wedding
~Everytime I finish a run, I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment
~The more I run ... the more I can run!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday's

Here are a few reasons why Saturday is my *NEW* favorite day of the week:

-Sleeping in, even if its only till 6am!
-Not having to work!!!
-The new Elk Grove Saturday Farmers Market
-Watching TV and movies in bed until noon THEN taking a shower
-Shopping at Best Buy, Ikea, and Super Wal-Mart (and spending WAY too much money)
-BBQ'ing salmon and corn on the cob
-Spending the night at home with my future husband watching movies on the new double air bed :)
-Knowing that I have one more enjoyable day off work, Sunday ...

Today is what I call a GREAT Saturday!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tomates, Smoke, AND a haircut

Tomatoes
Tuesday night I was able to pick the first two tomatoes off my plant growing on our porch.



The skin was a little tough and I probably left them on the plant a few days too long, but they were yummy!



There are 7 more little tomatoes growing on the plant ... I can't wait until they are ripe and ready to eat :)



Smoke
The smoke from the fires was the worst yet today in the Sacramento area. Here are a couple of pictures from my drive home from El Doraldo Hills.





My dad lives near the fires burning in the Paradise area and has been put on a precautionary evacuation ... with this heat and humidity and lack of wind, the smoke and fires are just getting worse. Today, the air looked like dirty fog ... ewww!!!

Hopefully there will be some relief soon ...

Haircut

Today I drove to El Doraldo Hills after work to have my haircut by a friend of friend ... Lisa was referred to me by one of my bestest friends and bridesmaid, Linsey. Since we are getting married in Folsom - I was on the search for a someone to do my hair the day of the wedding close to the venue and that is when Linsey referred me to her friend. Lisa was great! She gave me a little trim and experiemented with curling my hair to see how it would hold. It's holding up pretty good ...



She used a flat iron to curl it and I think its going to look great all curled and half up / half down on our wedding day! What do you think?!?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A reason, season, or lifetime

Often, when reflecting upon the relationships in my life, I recall this poem. It makes me recall those that are dear to me or have been dear to me in my life. Friends are the siblings that God forgot to give you. They are blessings - each serving a purpose in your life as you serve in theirs. I am grateful for every freindship I have ever had and grateful for those friends that have become my family :)

"A reason, a season, or a lifetime" ~Arthur Unknown

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason, you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON,
it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (any way); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.