Monday, December 27, 2010

And the clouds parted

Shortly after posting my last entry on Weds, the rain finally stopped and the sun peaked through. Mark and I were both home early from work, and after suffering from some major cabin fever for a week, Mark had the brilliant suggestion that we get out of the house and go on a bike ride.

And so we rode. We took a route that's fairly familiar to us that passes through a nice park in our neighborhood, where on nicer days, it's fun to bring our gloves and play catch. Mark suggested we travel through the park rather than go around it. I rode a bit ahead, when suddenly I heard a crashing noise and Mark yelling. Man down. That's not what he said, but I turned around to see him on the ground next to his collapsed bicycle. I turned my bike around and walked it back towards him.

Me: What happened?!

Mark: I slipped.

Me: Let me see your hands

(I expected his hands to be scraped, because that's what I remember of every time I've fallen off of my bike.)

It was at this point that Mark (still on the ground) reached over to my bike, put down the kickstand, and lifted himself onto one knee and pulled a box out of his pocket. He made a beautiful proposal, much of which is a blur, as I was so surprised/confused/shocked at the moment. All I know is I said yes and was giggling uncontrollably out of excitement and happiness.

As we got back on our bikes to ride back to the house, we were greeted with the largest rainbow either of us had ever seen, which I have since learned was a double rainbow. I'm not one for mushy, serendipitous talk, but in that moment, I knew everything had fallen into place just the way it was meant to.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Effin' Rain

As you can probably guess by the title, I'm so not a fan of the rain, and the week straight of it that we've had here in So-Cal, I could frankly do without. This is not why I moved to California. The view out my window is dismal. Behold exhibit A:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Best Holiday Gift Ever...

It's no secret that dogs (all of them, not just my own) hold a very special place in my heart. Mark and I have been so lucky with Griffin and Lola, and this time of year especially, I think it's important to remember our furry friends that may not be so lucky.

Both Griffin and Lola came to us from the Baldwin Park Animal Shelter, via Animal Advocates Alliance. The Baldwin Park Animal Shelter receives anywhere from 30 to 100 dogs A DAY, that are either brought in as strays or dumped by their former owners. Unfortunately not all of these dogs make it out, as L.A. County shelters are severely overcrowded, and the dogs (even the adoptable ones) have a very limited time to find their forever homes.

I shudder/cry/dread the thought of what if we had not gotten Lola or Griffin in time? You may think, well they're adorable and well behaved, someone else would have saved them. That's not always the case. Great dogs are euthanized daily at these shelters.

Okay, before you swear off of reading my blog forever because it's just too sad and depressing, I want to share with you the latest networking list of dogs at Baldwin Park. Along with each photo and description, there is a video of the dog. If you are not looking to add to your family, but know someone who might me, please pass the list along.

Latest Networking List

In addition, there will be an adoption event this Sunday, December 12th, at Pan Pacific Park in Hollywood from 11am-4pm.

And please, please, don't shop, adopt!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where cars go to die...

So I've been trying to work out at least three days a week during my lunch. Two of the three workouts are organized by a trainer, and the third I just wander around, making sure to include some hills for good measure. I came across these old cars and trams that are likely used as props now, but I thought they were just awesome and worth sharing.




Friday, December 3, 2010

Eating Naked

Before I tell you where Mark and I went for our anniversary dinner, I'd like to show off some photos.
Appetizer: amuse bouche (single bite) goat cheese-stuffed grape tomato

Salad Course: Mark: Baby green salad with a vegetable springroll, Me: Heirloom tomato salad with cucumbers and prosciutto wrapped melon

Entree: Mark: Fillet Mignon topped with shitake mushrooms, Me: Herb roasted chicken breast

Dessert: Mark and I shared a chocolate lava cake and mango panna cotta

No, there's nothing wrong with my camera... I surprised Mark with a dinner at Opaque. Opaque is a place I had heard and read about, but it wasn't until it was featured on groupon that I took the bait (it's rather expensive otherwise). The concept is unique -the entire dining experience takes place in pitch black darkness and the wait staff are all visually impaired.

The experience was amazing to say the least. Our order was taken in the reception area, and we were quickly greeted by our waitress, Beatrice. Mark and I lined up single file behind her as she led us into the darkness. She mapped out the table for us and explained where each of the items was or would be. There was a lot of nervous laughter -not just from us, but from other diners as well. We quickly acclimated to the darkness -and by that I don't mean that we adjusted, as this was the kind of darkness that you just can't adjust to.

The eating part of the experience was a bit more challenging. First we tried just stabbing at the plate, hoping to pick up some food, but I quickly resorted to using my hands when necessary. The food was delicious. It was hard to tell if I was picking up on more flavor because my senses were heightened, or because the flavors were just plain robust and yummy.

My favorite part of the meal was when Mark commented, "I wish I could eat naked all the time." It was hilarious and the table next to us thought so too. That's just how dark it was. We could have all been naked and no one would have known...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Family Portrait

Mark and I spent Thanksgiving in Austin this year, and it was great! The weather was fantastic, the food was amazing, and we got to spend quality time with the family.

Here are some photos from our family portrait session that Tali took.

This one is just too funny :)




I'm Thankful for the great visit, these lovely photos, and my wonderful family. :)

The way to a girl's heart

is through Sprinkles' cupcakes...



Mark had these sent to my office today, as it's our three year anniversary, not aninversary. (That was my bad, the NI smushed against the A, so I took it out and put it back upsidedown...). We'll celebrate tonight with sushi -we made sushi on our first date, and then tomorrow,for my gift to Mark, I'm taking us to a very special place for dinner. Shhhh, it's a surprise!

Monday, November 29, 2010

I think I'll go for a walk outside...

I decided to go for a long walk around the lot today during my lunch. It's amazing how calm and serene it is once you get away from the noise...


These were taken with the Hipstamatic app.

Photos and updates from our Austin Thanksgiving coming soon...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

That's a Wrap

...for my first generation iPhone, that is. Say hello to my little friend, the iPhone 4. Ok, you can't quite see it, but you can see a photo I took with it (with a flash, in the dark). Mark and my anniversary is coming up, and just so happens to fall on the first night of Hanukkah. My phone was starting to act all possessed-like, so I made the reluctant request for a new one. I say reluctant because if it aint broke, why fix it? -and my old iPhone was just possessed, not broken.

Anyhow, I'm in love. With Mark. -and the new phone, well it's awesome. I'm still learning the ins and outs of it, and am not holding my breath for more of my friends to get it so we can video call each other.


This is a photo I took last night of the gallery wrapped canvases I recently ordered. Tali took these great shots of Griffin and Lola back in August, and I'd been waiting (not holding my breath) for Groupon deals for CanvasOnDemand. If you're not sure what Groupon is, run, don't walk. They offer daily deals for cities across the US. Some are city specific, some are online deals.
Tali introduced me to this website that helps you sort through other cities' deals. And as for CanvasOnDemand, they produce the best gallery wrapped photo-canvases.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Magnitude 5.3

...jackhammering going on...

That's right folks. We're never done. Now that we have the inside at a good temporary stopping point, it's time to divert our attention to the backyard.

Mark's got some sort of aversion to people being able to see into our windows. I just don't get it. The old people need entertainment too! (Kidding...or am I?)

Anyhow, the plan is to plant a living wall of bamboo around the back yard fence to add a few extra feet of height and maximize our privacy. In order to do that, we have to get rid of what appears to be a former dog run (i.e. giant slab of concrete). Once that's done, we (Mark or whomever we hire - as I have an aversion to shovels) will dig and line trenches (line so that the bamboo doesn't take over our yard). Then we (I can be included in this one) will plant the bamboo.

But for now, we're at stage one: get rid of concrete.

To be continued...

P.S. this entry clearly shows that I have no aversion to the word aversion (or parentheticals for that matter)

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Greatest Love of All


I love that Lola and Griffin love each other... and that they love sleeping on my lap :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hannibal Lantern

My masterpiece

Don't eat me, Hannibal Lantern!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tribute to the 8bit Nintendo



Although we lived in our house this time last year, this is the first year we've gotten into any sort of Halloween spirit. Last year, you may remember was Mark's 30th birthday and we spent it in Boston. Thankfully, no disgruntled trick or treaters egged our house. Therefore, we will show our appreciation by giving out candy this year...

We've done some minor (I stress minor) decorating inside and out. Outside, we switched the regular bulb in our entryway light to a black (purple) one. I also (wait for it.... wait for it....) bought a pumpkin! I plan to carve it this weekend -but not sure what I'll carve just yet.


Inside, I just strung up some of that fake spiderwebby stuff, put out a black ceramic pumpkin, some candy corn in a bowl *(I just learned from a friend that combining candy corn in a bowl with peanuts is amazing! If you eat them in the same bite, it totally tastes like a Payday bar. You're welcome.), and a fallish candle.


And of course Halloween isn't Halloween without some costumes! For this Halloween I decided I was going to put together a costume with things I already had. So I'm a duck hunter. Believe it or not, I already had that orange hat with ear flaps. I also have a fake rifle and a stuffed Canadian goose (dog toy). Before you think me super barbaric, hunting Canadian geese prevents overpopulation... and emergency landings in the Hudson. That and my friend Debbie is Mario, so it was only fitting that I be duck hunt. :)
I also took it upon myself to dress up the dogs. Lola aka Lolicious aka Licious is a butterfly. Griffin aka Grifferdoodle aka Puppy is wearing a collar and tie, and a hat which obviously makes him Tony Soprano. Duh!
Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

He was doing so well!

video

...and then he peed on the carpet. GRRRRRrrrrrriffin!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

While you were fishing...

Mark went out of town this past weekend on a hiking and fishing trip with his work buddies and much to his surprise (and hopefully not dismay) I made some decor adjustments to the lily pad.

First, I started that family photo gallery I mentioned a few weeks ago. I love it so far. I plan to sprinkle in more objects and add photos over time.

It's hard to see in the photo, but that 8x10 frame is the color version of Mark as a toddler standing next to the grill of a Rolls, with a license plate that reads "MGB WEST" like the one on the lower right. The black and white one is a photo of my Grandmother shortly after the Holocaust and her chopping off her long honey blonde hair. Cliff and Griffin are missing from the wall -I just need to get some photos printed.

The next project I tackled was supposed to be hanging a wooden ledge in our master bath. 5 giant holes, 2 broken wall anchors, 1 broken screw head, and a blood blister later, I was over it. Instead, I relocated some framed photos that Tali took from the hallway to our bathroom. I wish I had done that to begin with. It looks great, and it helps tie in some additional color. The photo above the toilet is also strategically hiding the evidence of my failed attempt.

It's hard to tell, but the towels are a dark eggplant purple.

I also did some seasonal decorating with fake spider webs, a ceramic pumpkin, witch's cauldron, and painted carnations (I got this idea from Young House Love and just so happened to have some still living from an otherwise dead arrangement). Photos of that to come...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pendantic

Forget that there's a Lamps Plus pretty close to where we live. Online shopping was the way to go on Friday -especially since the pendants came with free shipping. Believe it or not, they arrived on Saturday afternoon. Yes! Trip to store averted.

Not so fast. When Mark took the pendants out of their respective boxes, we discovered that one of them was bent. No biggie. Mark called the store, and sure enough they had a couple in inventory, so he shot over there and swapped it. Phew.

And behold.

The pendants are hung! One of these days I'll stop taking crappy grainy photos with my first-gen iPhone, but that day is not today...

Friday, October 8, 2010

It pays to wait!

It pays approximately $100....

Remember the Capiz Tiffany Style pendants I mentioned wanting to hang on either side of the hood?
Well it's a good thing we were broke patient! The pendants are on sale for $99.95 each! That's a savings of $100 for both! There is plenty of great lighting on sale at Lamps Plus right now!

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

We interrupt this regularly scheduled programming to celebrate Dad!

It all started last Wednesday when I received a call at work from mom -unexpected, but not unheard of. In a calm and collected (stay strong for your daughter) voice, she informed me that dad and her were on a walk on Tuesday, during which he experienced sudden chest pains. He went in to see the doctor, and after multiple tests, learned that he had a 95% blockage in his heart and would need to undergo a triple bypass.

It was shocking to say the least. Dad -the person who doesn't touch fried food with a ten foot pole, the man that eats more fruits and vegetables than a million hungry caterpillars, the man that exercises regularly, the man that is supposed to be invincible- was in need of open heart surgery. I burst into tears. Mom continued to explain that he was in the hospital and that the surgery would take place on Thursday. I immediately booked a ticket to get me to Austin Weds night.

I called Mark and explained what was going on. He rushed home, packed me a suitcase, (did a great job, I might add,) and headed to pick me up from work. When we arrived at LAX, my phone rang. It was dad.

Dad: Is there any chance you can cancel the ticket?

Me: Why?

Dad: I feel fine! If I wasn't stuck in this hospital, I'd be at home gardening!

It was the first time I had laughed in hours.

Me: Dad, I'm coming to Austin. I want to be there.

He accepted my decision and I was Austin bound.

I was unable to see him until Thursday morning. Mom, Tali and I spent Thursday by his bedside until it was time for him to go in.

The doctors and nurses at the Heart Hospital of Austin were amazing. They were in and out of his room, checking his blood pressure, pulse, and all that good stuff every hour. They answered all of our (mostly Tali's) questions and reassured us that all should go smoothly.

And it did! Better than smoothly. Dad was in surgery for less than three hours. We were given constant updates on how he was doing. When we were finally able to see him Thursday night, he was still under the affects of the anesthesia, but come Friday morning, he was good as new. Dad was labeled the star patient there. He only took the pain meds for one day, needed no encouragement to get out of bed and walk around, and grumbled about it not once.

He was able to go home on Monday morning and has been doing great ever since.

This has served as a serious wake-up call for me. This is in my genes. My grandmother underwent a quadruple bypass about fifteen years ago and is still going strong. Now dad. Will a time come when I'll have to have something like this done? Who knows? All we (we being everyone really) can do is take care of ourselves to the best of our ability and take comfort in the fact that medical technology has come a long way, and just hope for the best.

Since I was little, whenever people would come over to my house for the first time, I'd always go around showing them all of the amazing things dad created. Dad has never been one to brag, so I guess I've always taken it upon myself to brag on his behalf. His talent is remarkable, and I want to take this opportunity to share a recent project he just finished.

I don't have much in terms of before shots, but the bathroom was long overdue for an update.

Before: Yellowed "white" cabinets with gold fixtures

After:
The amazing bathtub/plant holder

Window looking out from the shower to the bathtub

Meticulous tile work

Beautiful dark cherry cabinets and detail throughout

My photos don't do this bathroom justice. This is 5-star hotel quality, and dad did it all himself. It may be a little while before he's able to get back to undertaking projects of this magnitude, but unlike the governator, he'll be back for sure.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Relaxin' all cool

a sneak peak from our vacay... more later!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Recovering

The family departed first thing Monday morning. What a weekend! Dahlia had a little bit of a cold, which I and now Mark has subsequently caught. It's amazing how not even feeling under the weather brought Dahlia down from her constant state of happiness.... Unless the bulb booger sucker thing entered the picture -then she was pissed. Here are some photo highlights from the visit. Unfortunately we didn't manage one of the whole family. Hey mom, dad, Tali, Cliff and Dahlia! You guys need to come back pronto so we can get that photo. :)

Mom and her gorgeous new haircut... and Dahlia

Cliff makes us breakfast...


Dahlia in all her cuteness

How I caught Dahlia's cold...

Take 1

Take 2

Take 3

2010 Holiday Card?