Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old Pictures of Me

 I am hoping one of those bowls was my brothers because those are some big bowls.

 I was so bad at ballet. The teacher was always having to tell me to fix my form. It very much blows in this picture.

This last one is of me and my little sister. This picture is one of my favorite of us. We used to play a lot on this bed though I am not sure why. I love her lots.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Possible 2012 Movie Release

A play that is very close to my heart after seeing it in London will be adapted into movie form to be released in 2012. I am already so stoked for it. If you haven't heard yet, I am talking about Les Miserables. Tom Hooper, the director of The King's Speech (which I haven't seen and am still dying to see), will also be directing Les Miserables. That gives me high hopes as everybody loved The King's Speech and he also did John Adams which was amazing.
Casting so far: 

Hugh Jackman - Jean Valjean - Sounds good to me. 
Anne Hathaway-  Might be Fantine - I could see her doing well in this play. Hopefully I am right.
Helena Carter -  Madame Thenardier - After her role in Sweeney Todd I have no doubt she will be successful at this. 
Russell Crow -  Inspector Javert - I am still trying to get my head wrapped around this. 
Emma Watson - Rumored to be Cosette - Another one I'd almost have to see to believe. 

I know what I am seeing on the big screen next year (now that there is no Harry Potter) and I can't wait.

Side note to the producers: There will be no excuse good enough if this show gets canceled or put on the back burners. 

I have included a video for your viewing pleasure.

Samantha Barks was in the production we saw in London! I miss it so much. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day Six of Trip to San Fran

Monday, the day we headed home, was a crazy day so I had to blog about it for my own sake.

We had planned one hour to get to the airport but found out just as we were leaving that it was actually an hour and a half. Add that to the fact that we left a bit late and we started out the trip stressed.

We punched the address into our gps and began to go. Then we saw we were low on gas but the decison was made to keep on going and hope we could make it. Then I remembered we needed cash to go through the tolls and we had run out of cash. Again the decision was made to not get cash and hope we didn't need it (I don't remember what the logic was there but it doesn't matter now).

I was so stressed!!!. I only continued to get stressed as the gps started taking us a weird way and the trip got longer and longer. We had actually started out using my phone's gps because our gps was taking forever to work but when it did start working we started to follow it. Our gps was taking us a different way than my phone and I knew it and I was worried we were getting lost. We finally figured out that the gps was set to avoid all the tolls, which is why it was taking us a strange way. AHHH!!!

It was at about this time that we figured out we were too low on gas to continue very far so we had to find a gas station. At the gas station we couldn't get the dumb tank open to fill up the car. We were freaking out!!! We got to the point where we didn't know what to do except call the rental car company. Thankfully I found out how to open it thanks to the internet and we didn't have to go through the process of trying to contact someone.  We filled the car up, got some cash, and were on our way with the gps settings changed so it wouldn't avoid the tolls.

At this point we were an hour out from our flight time. I just KNEW we wouldn't make out flight.

Once we changed the gps it was a short trip. We got to the airport and dropped off the car. That took less than 10 mins but then we had to take the tram to the terminals. When we finally reached the terminal we had maybe 40 mins left. Thankfullyyyyyyy the airport wasn't that crowded at this time so we checked in and got through security in enough time to make our flight with time to spare.

We were soo blessed. Had the airport been any more crowded I am not sure we would have made it.  I am so thankfully too that the San Fran Airport had efficient and fast security.

Our flight was okay and we thought we were home free. But then when we landed we found out our connection flight was going to be late and at about that point I started to feel super sick. I spent the next half hour in the bathroom. After that we went and got food (I can't fly on an empty stomach. Yuk!). When we finally headed to the terminal, after getting more caramel apples, we saw the weather outside. It was pouring rain and apparently they had been getting bad rain off and on for while. I didn't think we would get out of there anytime soon and was ready to stay put for many hours.

Thankfully we were blessed again and the weather cleared up enough for us to take off.

The only problem after that was how long it took to get our luggage at the Dulles airport. Doesn't it suck to sit around and wait forever for your luggage? Blah!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day Five of Trip to San Fran

Short post for this day as it was Sunday so we didn't do very much.

We started the day with early morning Sacrament Meeting with the hubby's sister's family. And then went home to rest. We spend a better part of the day just relaxing. After a delicious mexican dinner, we went on a long walk to a glass beach. I don't remember what body of water we were near but it is home to many birds and the land around it has some pretty strange plants so it made for a pleasant walk. Plus the tiny glass beach was awesome. And yes I kept a few of my favorite pieces of glass. Not sure what I will do with them but that's besides the point.

After the walk we had some key lime pie, a new favorite of mine and relaxed with one of our nieces. After she headed to bed we were treated with key lime pie ice cream bars. Those are an amazing invention. It's like an ice cream sandwich but the outside is graham cracker and the middle is key lime pie gelato (At least I think it was gelato. Maybe it was ice cream.). It was stupendously good.

Bed time after that.

Here are a few pictures:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Four of Trip to San Fran

Day four of our San Fran trip started with some relaxation and then a trip to the Oxbow Public Market to get some tacos at CASA. They use fresh produce and I believe they do use free range meat as well. Between the hubby and I, we ate three tacos. He got the lamb taco, I got the steak taco, and we split the Mahi Mahi taco. The hubby loved his taco, I loved my taco, and we somewhat enjoyed the Mahi Mahi taco. For me the problem with the Mahi Mahi was that it was too fishy, but the vegetables on the taco were outrageously good. So I skipped the fish and ate the vegetables. But I would get the steak taco all over again.

 After that we wandered around a bit and picked up some ice cream at Three Twins Ice Cream. I am usually not that much of an ice cream critique. I like my specific flavors that only certain places carry but cookies and cream is pretty much the same anywhere you go. Or so I thought. After we had both taken bites, we looked at each other and exclaim, "Oh my goodness this is so good. How? How can it be this good." The flavor was amazing. The texture was amazing. It was just amazing. In fact, I want some right now. Ice cream will never be the same again. By the way, look at these ice cream specials you can purchase the next time you are at Three Twins Ice Cream:

After that we met up with the hubby's sister and her kids and headed out to do a bit of touring of the Napa area. We saw many famous stores and restaurants including The French Laundry, Bottega, Napa Style, and Bouchon. Later, the hubby and I also made a stop at The Culinary Institute Of America. It was fun to learn about this area. I had no idea about all these famous foodie meccas. I felt so uneducated. I just wish I had more time to eat at the places and to explore the stores.

Random, but one of the stores, Dean & Deluca, had a counter of truffles and chocolates. I'm usually not much of a fan of these but some of them looked outrageously amazing, almost like gems.  Too much for my wallet though. 

After the school we stopped at the famous winery, Castello di Amorosa, that is designed to be like an authentic castle. The hubby loved it! I have to say they did a great job building it. Wish we could have gone inside but we didn't want to pay the money as it mostly consisted of a wine tasting fee and we don't drink. 

Dinner that night was uneventful. Just some lame Italian restaurant. But after our evening activity we got an oreo dessert at Rutherford Grill that was pretty good. The picture below didn't turn out well. The whip cream stole the show. But it gives you a hint as to what it was like. 

Our evening event had to be one of the highlights of our trip. Calistoga, near Napa, is famous for their mud baths so we decided to try it out. Paying $80 (half price), we thought it would at least be at a nice spa. But nope! The spa looked like an motel. Inside it looked like a spa (a cheap one) but the actual room where we took the mud baths looked like a utilities room. This is probably for easy cleanup but it makes it so unromantic for a couples spa. The mud was a bit claustrophobic as I suspected it would be, but I got used to it and it was actually kind of fun. Supposedly the mud is healthy for you and good for your skin and muscles. It's just awkward because you don't really sink in the mud so you have to kind of wiggle your way in and push the mud up around your body, all while not touching the heated bottom of the tub. The only question I can't get out of my mind is how that mud could be sanitary in the slightest. Ugh!

Afterward, and after a shower, we got in a hot tub that was actually too hot to be fun after a few minutes. Next, we relaxed while wrapped in a blanket to slowly cool our body temperature down. Finally it was the hot tub outside in supposed mineral spring water. That was nice because by then we had cooled down and weren't so overheated and could take as long as we wanted.

It was a strange experience but it was fun. If you are in the area and want to do something different, do the mud baths. But don't think it will be the slightest bit romantic.

Sorry no pictures of it. Mud baths aren't necessarily pretty.


Most interesting thing learned: Have you heard of The French Laundry. If not, click here.

Most random experience: The mud baths of course. So strange!

Wish we had done: Taken a class at The Culinary Institute of America. Eaten at one of Napa's famous restaurants (This trip was last minute so there was no planning involved. Before your trip to Napa take a moment to make some reservations). Bought food at one of the stores in Napa and had a picnic.

What I miss: Their grapes. So good. But lets not forget the ice cream and steak tacos. Yummm!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Social Issues to Consider

I would not consider myself a feminist by any measure, or at least not by today's scale. In fact, I think many aspects of feminism have been taken to the extreme. But that doesn't mean I don't believe women have rights and that I don't feel strongly on some social issues dealing with women. Because I do.

My friend Sally shared the article, Marry-Or Else, on facebook and I felt the need to pass it on. We in the U.S. sometimes forget that some of the problems women face in the Middle East also occur on our soil. We forget because the problems occur on such a small scale with limited to no impact on us, making it easy to ignore and forget. But that doesn't make the problems any less important. These problems include slavery, forced marriage, and honor killings. All wrong, and all still occurring around the world.

Do educate yourself and if you feel like you can help, act now! And if you know of a way we can help, please do share.

Words in red have links attached. 

Call Me Crazy But...


My day turned right side up when I received the news that tonight was the season premier. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Am a Certified Bum Today

I have been overworked (never left work on time this week) and sick so today I did nothing. And it felt good.

I had planned to go to the farmers market and maybe a yard sale but my husband rolled over in bed this morning and exclaimed, "It's ELEVEN!" WOOPS! Most farmers markets and yard sales close around noon so instead of rushing, I relaxed and took my time getting out of bed. It ended up being a rainy morning anyways.

I then bummed!

I watched Jessica Simpson's movie Major Movie Star, not because I thought it would be good but because nothing else was on and I was going to allow myself to enjoy wasting time for once. Then it was Lifetime for a few hours. Then the movie Prom. Then more Lifetime. Then the new X-Men movie. Then the rest of a historical movie entitled The Couple.

This blog post, my finger nails, and washing our towels were the most productive things I did all day. And its been amazing. I feel like I haven't taken a day to bum like this for almost a year.

As for what I recommend out of all the things I watched, my reviews are as follow:

Major Movie Star: Watch it if it's the only thing on, and even then, you probably shouldn't.

Prom: I like lame chick flicks and teen movies sometimes and this movie would be one of those. It was such an unrealistic movie and so typical, but still so cute.

X-Men First Class: A must!!!!!

The Couple: If you like WWII movies about the Holocaust this is an interesting movie. It's a bit slow, and by far, not your typical movie on this subject. But it is very interesting and leaves you on the edge of your seat at parts of it. Plus, it's streamable on Netflix.

Jon and I are leaving town for a few days. When I get back I will finish up the San Fran posts. Until next time.... :)

P.S. I think BYU is losing the football game. There is lots of yelling upstairs. But I confess, I don't care. I'm not a sports person.  Though I do love BYU!

P.P.S. Just to spruce this post up a bit, here is one of the best things I have seen on the web this week:

Click on the red. It will take you to the instructions on how to accomplish this adorable candle holder. I can't wait for an excuse to try it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Worst Lunch Ever

A kid that takes lunch at the same time as me but usually says little, was complaining to me today about Chef Boyardee. I was really confused until I figured out what had happened and how upset he really was.
He, already to eat, opened up his can of ravioli. In it was a can full of sauce and ONE ravioli. ONE!!! 

There went his lunch. 

I told him to call or email them an complain. Either he is just that unlucky or they had a serious breech in quality control one day. He called right that moment and I think they are sending him coupons or something to compensate him.

Now I know some of you out there would say that Chef Boyardee is, in itself, the worst lunch ever. But I do feel for him. The ravioli is is the only Chef Boyardee product I haven't given up. As gross as that may be. 

A Senior Moment

The hubby showed me a cute and funny video today and just on the off chance that you haven't seen it yet, here it is: 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Did You Know...

Did you know that if you have drivers insurance, as you should, you probably don't need rental insurance? We didn't for a long time. In fact, it wasn't until I randomly looked up some information online, and verified it with my insurance, that we knew. And that was just a few weeks ago.

The hubby and I have rented many cars in the last few years. That means we have spent hundreds of dollars on rentals that we didn't have to, being that it's the insurance that really drives up the cost. That is hundreds of dollars we could have saved. Bummer! But you live and learn I guess.

If you have any questions or want to verify what's covered (including whether international rentals is covered), call your insurance. They will be happy to let you know. And don't let the rental car company talk to you into it if you don't need it. It is such a waste of money. Unless you plan to go off roading or something, in which case it's probably against you rental contract anyways.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day Three of San Fran Trip

Friday the hubby spent the morning getting our rental car. As transportation is expensive into the city, we needed somewhere to store our luggage for the day, and were going out to the Napa area, we decided to get a rental car. And we were lucky enough to find a very good deal.

When he gets back and I walk out of the hotel with the luggage I kind of stop, pause, and say "That wasn't the car I rented." I had rented just your typical small compact car. He came back with

 "Oh they just asked if I wanted to upgrade it for a few dollars a day and I kind of impulsively said yes." Well it's a good thing we got a deal on it in the first place. The hubby sure did enjoy driving it though. 

We drove to the Golden Gate Park which is a huge park inside San Fran. I had wanted to see it the trip before but our GPS hadn't been able to find it. It took us a bit of work to make it there this time but we did. And for anybody who might want to go and is driving, there is parking inside the park. In the more popular areas of the park you may have to pay, but there is parking. 

We drove and walked around a little and then went to see the Japanese Tea Garden. We had to pay for parking here because we were too lazy to drive all around looking for a parking space as it was the most popular area because of the Gardens and the museums. But that's okay. 

We very much enjoyed the Japanese Tea Garden. It was really pretty. 

Someday when I have my own secret garden, part of it will look like a Japanese Tea Garden. So peaceful, so pretty. 

We then went and relaxed and walked around this beautiful lake. It had a waterfall, gorgeous bridges and many boaters. I really enjoyed seeing all the cute old men relaxing by the lake, listening to their music, and just enjoying the day. And the cute young couples on dates!  

After that we hopped back into the car and drove to another spot. This part of the park was less populated so parking for free was easy. We walked around, saw the bison, saw some fly fishers, and finally found some bathrooms. Never the easiest thing to find when you actually need one.

I do have to say that the bison were lame. There weren't many, at least that you could see, and they have a billion fences around the land. I know it's for safety purposes to protect them and us, but it's more depressing than cool to see.

The park was really awesome for being in a city. It was huge and very lovely. You could hike for hours in it. We didn't though because my feet and legs hurt from wandering around San Fran for hours the previous day. Maybe another trip. I highly recommend stopping in at the park for at least a few hours, if not the whole day. Bring a picnic too. It's a lovely place for one. 

After that we drove around and viewed the park a bit more and then headed on to Jon's sister's house. 

Jon's sister lives near Napa so that evening we went on a double date with her and her husband. She wanted us to have a taste of the Napa experience and took us to this new restaurant called Kitchen Door in the Oxbow Market

Dinner was amazing. The food was so flavorful, fresh, and delicious. I ate two whole plates. Not even kidding about that. I had the Tomato Salad with cucumbers, red onions, and feta cheese as well as Korean style Short Ribs with fried rice. Yummy! Everyone really enjoyed their food. Our only complaint was that you have to spend a lot on drinks because they only sold specialty sodas. Which, unless you have amazing taste buds, there isn't always much difference between those sodas and your typical sodas. But who cares about that little problem. It sort of makes it fun anyways. 

I crave that food everyday now. I will miss it. If you are ever nearby, GO! You probably won't regret it.  

After that was a movie at his sister's home and then bed. It was time for sleep that was very much needed. Dang time zone difference. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away....Please Come Back Another Day

It has been an insane year for weather and weather disasters, especially here in the United States. I thought we had gotten all we would once the hail came, the earthquake hit and the hurricane passed. People got hurt and damage was done but not to the extent that was possible. But it seems that these crazy weather incidences just wont stop.

Please keep those states that are dealing with wild fires, including Texas, in your prayers. They could use it.

Also keep the east coast in your prayers. We are dealing with torrential rains that are much worse than anything we experienced from the hurricane. It's quiet now, and hopefully will remain so, but we just never know.

I can't think of the last time we have had this much rain. Homes are flooding, some washing away. Cars are in the same situation. A few lives lost, hopefully no more. We joke about it. Where is Noah's Ark when you need it? But really, it's a bit scary, especially for those that live near any body of water. Luckily for us, we live in a pretty safe zone if there was to be any flooding in my town. But not my work. I took the following picture after work.

There is a creek near my work that I usually don't think twice about because it's never too high and I can almost never see it from where I am. But today was a different story.

Will this nutty weather ever end? I fully expect a crazy winter now....filled with lots and lots of snow.

I took this picture during the hail storm we had. Looking at it now, it seems to lame. But at the time the ice chunks seemed huge and the storm came out of nowhere. 

I just can't believe that classes are already being canceled this year for weather. Lucky ducks. Such an East Coast thing though. Canceling class because of the weather. But you should be jealous West Coast. Your missing out. Really truly though, once you work full time, sucky weather is just sucky weather. You still have to drag yourself to work. :(  And that's when being an adult stinks!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day Two of San Fran Trip

Most of day two (Thursday) was spent wandering the city. I got an early start thanks to the time zone difference which was nice. Taking their transit system from the airport to the city isn't cheap. There and back is almost $20. Ouch! But I bit the bullet.
In the city I pretty much just wandered around and did some light shopping. I hit the following neighborhoods: 

Union Square : Got a sweater & scarf at Forever 21. Hit up an awesome stationary store and got postcards. Stayed away from the dangerous and above my budget stores. Awesome shopping area though. 

China Town : Got some small items. Didn't want to eat there by myself and all the stores became the same after a while so I toured it for a bit and then headed back to Union Square. I wish I had remembered to go to the fortune cookie factory or kite shop. Maybe next time. 

Mission : Took the BART here. Had to get help because I still didn't understand the transportation system. Wandered around. Hit up a thrift store that was huge but I didn't feel like looking very much. Area is known for thrift stores though, I think. I felt a bit out of place in this part of town. I felt like I was the only one that didn't actually live there. Cool Spanish vibe though. I hadn't eaten all day and I was beginning to feel it so I said a small prayer that someplace I could eat would catch my eye. A few minuets later it did.

I ate at Weird Fish. They are known for their fish tacos and local sustainable dining. I don't like fish that much but wanted to give it a try. I started with a beet salad that as amazing. And then got some fried fish tacos. The fish itself was so so but everything else on the taco was so delicious. I would high recommend those tacos to anybody who likes fish. I am glad I ran into this restaurant and recommend it for a light lunch if you are in the Missions. 

Noe Valley : I think this was the last neighborhood I went to. It was a nice neighborhood with lots of cute homes and fun stores. Just grabbed a doughnut here and browsed the shops until my feet started hurting. I then wandered around a bit while looking at my map, trying to find another BART to take back. I had walked here from the Mission and didn't want to walk all the way back to the station I started at. I headed toward a station on the map, couldn't figure out exactly where I needed to go, and decided just to head back so that I wouldn't get too lost and because I was too tired to walk up more hills. Thankfully there was one right in the Missions at the bottom of the hill I had walked up to on my way to Noe Valley. It was much closer than the one I had originally been in and was such a blessing. 

I got back home after only having to backtrack once on the BART! Not to shabby. I was going in the right station but had to switch trains one more time and didn't know that. 

I hit up the lame gift shop at the hotel and then rested with my hubby back at the hotel until dinner. We drove into San Fran and ate at a restaurant in the Westin Hotel with Jon's coworkers. The Westin is right in Union Square, has 3+ places to eat in it,  and even has a Victoria Secret which I think is pretty convenient and smart. I got some sort of steak and they had a herb butter on the side that was sooo delicious on the meat. I just recently found out how good butter is with steak. I highly recommend it. The meal was top notch and the company was enjoyable. 

Upon going back to out hotel we borrowed a knife from one of the restaurants and ate our caramel apple. It was so delicious. I highly recommend caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. They are my absolute favorite treat.
Weirdest quote I heard : A sales lady on the phone giving advice to a friend "that's so capitalism of you...don't do it." So fitting for San Fran.

Most random find I didn't buy : Velvet Toms at Neiman Marcus

Lesson learned : Super fresh veggies really are the best.

Thank you to : The super nice guy who helped me find the BART at the airport. To the nice lady who told me which BART to take to the Mission. To the nice waitress who didn't make me feel awkward for eating alone. To the other nice waitress who let us borrow a knife without judging us.

Sorry to : The guy in the elevator. I might have scared you when I started pointing with the knife. I forgot it was in my hand.