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Grandpas Are The Best

20 Feb

The hubby’s dad (aka my father-in-law) is here visiting this week. Cy and Sadie have quickly figured out that grandpas are the best. They take you on walks, play with you, and even give you beer. Yes, I said give you beer. Let’s just say, I think Cy is an alcoholic. πŸ˜‰

Today, we took time out from playing and beer drinking to visit the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens near Pasadena.

Huntington Entrance

You can find out more about the history of the Huntington here, but in summary, it is the estate of an old rich guy. πŸ™‚ On the estate is the old rich guy’s mansion, plus 120 acres of gardens. There are several different types of gardens, including Desert, Australian, Japanese, Rose and Chinese.

Hubby and me in the "shelter thingy" in the Chinese garden. "Shelter thingy" is a technical term.

Pathway in the Chinese garden.

Chinese Garden

Pathway in the Children's Garden

The Mansion

Staircase inside the mansion

Me outside of the Japanese Garden, which unfortunately was closed for renovations.

"Cow's Horn" cactus in the desert garden. Ouch!

The trunk of the "butt crack tree" as hubby called it, in the desert garden.

Now after a fun day, I am SOOOO dreading going back to work tomorrow. Mama needs more vacation time! πŸ˜₯

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Happy VD

14 Feb

When I was in college, I earned my beer tuition money by working at a grocery store. While there, I had a brief stint helping out in the floral shop during Valentine’s Day. When we would write-up customers’ orders, we would abbreviate “Happy Valentine’s Day” with “Happy VD.” Then my boss started calling it “Happy Venereal Disease Day.” For some reason, this memory always pops into my head on Valentine’s Day. πŸ™‚

I got some Valentine’s flowers from my sweetie at work today. πŸ˜€

(Please excuse the mess of papers on my desk in the background. I have a bit of a hoarding problem.) Hopefully my lilies will be open when I get to work tomorrow.

Cy had a fun V-Day at daycare today. Check out these valentines they sent home with him. So cute!

(Sorry about my tragic looking nail polish. I put this super sparkly nail polish on and now it is a total bitch to get off!)

Sadie, on the other hand, is her own valentine. She’s single and loving it. πŸ˜‰ Or maybe food is her valentine. She does seem to have a long-standing love affair with food. Here she is giving me her best “I’m super cute and sweet, don’t you want to give me some food?” look.



How are you celebrating VD?
Valentine’s Day, that is. πŸ˜‰ As for me, I have a date with this little book I ordered on Amazon that came in the mail today.

Oregon vacay, here I come!

A Dog’s Life

31 Jan

Like a lot of women, I tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. Whenever I’m stressed, my neck and shoulders tighten up. Sometimes it happens before I can even recognize that I’m stressed. Today was one of those days, so as I sit here with a heating pad on my neck, I’m thinking I need a dog’s life.

This, ladies and gentleman, is how my furry kids spend their days:

Snuggling with friends

Going for walks

Playing with friends

Taking a snooze

Sharing with friends

And did I mention playing with friends?

But, alas, I’m a human and not a dog, so maybe I will de-stress by planning my spring vacation. We’re thinking maybe Oregon this year. Beer and nature, here I come! πŸ˜‰

Kicking Off The New Year Right

2 Jan

Tomorrow marks the end of Christmas vacation. πŸ˜₯ But at least I can say we have made the most of our time off!

On New Year’s Eve, we headed up to Hollywood for a matinΓ©e of Wicked at The Pantages Theatre.

It was awesome! I was definitely tearing up during parts of it. Plus the Pantages is a gorgeous venue, so that made it extra special! After that we headed home to ring in the New Year with a little champagne and some New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on the tube.

Yesterday, we kicked off the New (healthier) Year right with a hike and veggie-filled lunch at Panera. This was the same hike we went on during Thanksgiving weekend and my leg was much stronger than it was then, just over a month ago, so I was pretty happy with my progress.

Today, we had a once in a lifetime experience – we went to the Rose Parade. And I say once in a lifetime because we are never going back again. πŸ˜‰ Seeing the Rose Parade is one of those things that is very nice to say you have done once, but in my (and hubby’s) opinion, it is simply not worth the hassle when you can easily watch it from the comfort of your couch. We had grandstand seats, so we didn’t have to camp out overnight to get seats, but we were seriously crammed into those seats like sardines! I was literally straddling a rather large man who smelled like his last shower was… well, not today. 😯 Complaining aside, the floats were beautiful! And as a former band geek, I enjoyed and had great sympathy for those poor kids walking miles in those hot band uniforms. πŸ™‚ Here are some photos of the festivities:

Smiling through the pain of sitting in the bleachers.

Trader Joe's Float - one of my faves.

Some band geek love - Wisconsin Badgers Band

AIDS Foundation Float with Liz Taylor's face in flowers. Very cool!

My fave float! It was called "If Pigs Could Fly" and the pigs were so cute!

And now I’m off to prepare for the workweek ahead. Blah! 😦

p.s. Still working on my New Year’s goals list (and, yes, I’m calling them goals instead of resolutions). Will post later this week. πŸ˜€

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I have to ask, what are your goals for 2012?

The Gift of Relaxation

28 Dec

This year, since we had just gotten our house back in order after our water damage and were totally ill prepared for Christmas, we decided to give ourselves the gift of relaxation. We headed out to La Quinta, California, land of sunshine, beauty and golf courses, to stay at the La Quinta Resort and Club over the holiday. We ultimately decided after this trip that we aren’t really “destination Christmas” type of people, but that did not make this trip any less special.

This resort is absolutely gorgeous! The surroundings immediately bring you into a state of zen.

Our furry kids (aka dogs) especially loved it. They did a lot of this:

Basking in the Sun

Cy in the Sun

And this:

Going for a Walk

I think Sadie is actually smiling in this one. Maybe she and Cy are planning to pack up and move to La Quinta without us.

The hubby and I did plenty of basking in the sun and walking, as well, along with this:

Sitting in front of the fireplace.

And this:

Sitting in the beautiful hotel lobby, pretending I know how to play chess.

As if this wasn’t enough, the place is totally “Christmas-ed Out.” Apparently, Frank Capra was staying here back in the day when he wrote It’s a Wonderful Life, so the resort has a few “Wonderful Life” touches, like this Bedford Falls sign:

Now I’m looking forward to 2012 and thinking about what resolutions I want to make. I’m going to go ahead and say that updating my blog more frequently will definitely be on the list. πŸ˜‰ Stay tuned for my resolutions. I’ll be sure to post them once I come up with a full list. Maybe that way I will be shamed into actually accomplishing some of them. πŸ˜€