Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30th

The alternate title for this post is "No, please don't go!", referring to June being over. 
Attempting to blog every day in June was a whim. It came to me as I was writing a post early in the month and I realized that I had done one every day so far which was like, two or three. I wondered if I could keep it up; I did! I loved it, too. There was one day where I posted the next morning, but I'm letting it slide. I have really enjoyed getting out some thoughts each day, even though it's pretty mundane stuff and my writing has never been great- I can't organize my thoughts super well. I kind of feel as though some people have this image of a blueprint of whatever they write; I don't have that. Oh well. It is my blog, after all.
I'm going to aim for July now. I think I might have mentioned that some lurking fear of commitment (& a job that starts in August) is keeping me from attempting a true 365 (posting once a day for a year), but month-by-month I can warm up to. Honestly, the biggest challenge I see in the next month, 11 months even, if I'm really toying with the idea of a 365, is that I'm leaving the country for a week. There will be an internet cafe situation, but those one or two random days of no access might happen; I can just post twice the next day, right?
Anyway, July, here we come. I'd like to ring in each new month with a quote. June had her month in the sun (though we saw quite a bit of rain here!) and every other month deserves that too I'm realizing. Tomorrow I can talk about why I like this month and today I give you July's quote/poem/something to ponder/whatever I can find for each month. This is something I had never fully read until now and I think it's a beautiful and very strong piece of work. Do you know where this is found in our country?

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus, 1883

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Oooops! I forgot to censor my little tush in the last post, so, there you go, all better now =)
Yesterday was a beautiful day. It POURED for hours. I know that in some climates, summer rain is normal, but not here. The clouds with the strong sun hiding behind them made for ethereal, ephemeral, epidural {?} light {I needed three e-words}. I just sat and watched for a bit.
Then I went to the mall. I'll be the first to recognize the mall as definitely not a bastion of culture and critical thought, but I still love it, as much as a fabulous museum even. If you think about malls, they are museums, but more like anthropological museums than art or hands-on science ones. To me there seem to be all sorts of people in a shopping center, even depending on the time of day one goes. 
I think I love the morning crowd the most. I notice many mothers of babes in strollers with toddlers in tow. In my imagination they are just dying to get out of the house and go somewhere different. Perhaps they have a rotation every week; the mall, the library, a certain playground, a grandparent's house.
There are older folk in the mornings as well. They make me think of a different generation that did things according to rules. If you need something new, go to appropriate Macy's department. I love that they take advantage of the less crowded AM hours; I so don't blame them.
The people who work at the mall make up the backdrop, getting displays ready and chatting amongst themselves. I've always been fascinated by the community they form, knowing who works where, getting deals from the food court, being privy to the back hallways and exits that comprise the behind-the-scenes scene.
The afternoon and evening hours belong to them, those who are associated with the mall in countless movies and those who also so often help to keep the mall running with their labor, those who roam in groups and really go for the socializing and maybe the cuisine, but definitely not for the shopping; the teenagers. This is where anthropology comes into play considering the intricate group dynamics this crowd is involved in and which I will not be focusing on today, considering that it could fill several tomes. Or Teen Beats.
As I mentioned briefly in an earlier post, the mall is kind of like suburban comfort food. I actually stole this phrase from a friend a while back (you know who you are!) and it perfectly named the way I feel about those places. It's nice to know that there is so much, practically anything you ever needed, under one roof. It's nice to know that you can just go and walk around, get a snack, do some people watching or find an obscure corner to make out in (for the teens, duh). 
I think it also makes me think of the department store of yore where one could REALLY get everything necessary. I have a few memories of these behemoths and I'm talking about the department store that would have everything under the sun inside, kind of like Sears but on a grander scale. There are some relics of this way of shopping left over here and there; Macy's has their food court (in certain bigger stores) and furniture department and the aforementioned Sears has appliances and tools. Chicago's old Marshall Field's which is now Macy's is the best example that I can think of that I've been to recently, with a candy department and toy store, but then again, I've never been to NYC and I'm sure things are even more amazing there. 
These old stores would have a grocery department, a toy section, a fishing/hunting area, an electronics department, a pet store, a book store, a cafeteria to eat in, a nicer restaurant to eat in on nicer days and experts in their area tucked away behind each counter (or so I imagine)...when my grandmother took me to England, I was ten and we would go to the shops everyday. One of the best was Harrods, obviously, but a cheaper locale we favored was Marks & Spencer because we could get food for dinner as well as some new socks since we hadn't brought enough. We also favored this heavenly place, seven stories of toys and candy, and went to Liberty a few times for good measure. I digress for sure, but how in the heck can I remember these things? I can hardly recall last night's dinner.
I love the idea that one could get all one needed in one place. It's not the most logical idea presently and I think that most people shop around for deals and different styles. With the internet it's possible to get practically anything our minds can dream up, especially with sites like Etsy where custom-made is merely one of thousands of choices. Choosing from the five available styles, colors or options that the old department store had, though, simplified things(at least I like to think it did) and maybe my life would feel less cluttered I weren't able to order whatever type of two-and-a-half person couch with Micronesian baby down feather stuffing and hand woven twine threading.
Waxing poetic on malls and shopping centers is certainly not a high point in my life, but something does need to be said for them and my accompanying thoughts.
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ho hum.

Again, I come to you with not much to report on the home front. I'm taking off today from running because I do that once a week. I also have a sore spot on one shin and time-off is the cure for that...along with some ice. The trouble on these days for me is that I get restless, even if I'm doing stuff, my body can tell that there's a bunch of energy that isn't being used but I need to remind myself that rest is good.
I'm continuing the great scam of summer 2011. Prior to digital, we folk would take pictures with a film camera. Therefore the pictures of me up through parts of college are all actual prints, roaming around the house in boxes and envelopes; some are even in albums. I want to do a sort of project with old pictures of me and the mr for our big day, so I'm scanning them all in so that I can print them out and cut them up to make a collage or something cute. Yesterday I tackled baby shots of yours truly that were conveniently in the hall closet; today, I need to delve into the dank and swampy basement. I suppose its a good thing to do on a day like today, considering that rain is in our forecast (Why, oh weather gods, why???).
I'll leave you with a picture I stumbled upon.
Glory be; I just can't get enough of this pool!

xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, June 27, 2011

Not a whole lot, not even a little lot.

The title of this post sums up what's going on right now, so this post shall be short, much like the last. I just finished my run. This morning run thing I did last week because of the heat has been kind of nice and we'll see how long it shall last. Guinness and I are about to take Mike to work and then come home to do the Monday crossword and drink coffee. Boring but that's "ok" by me!
Good day to you all.
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Today, Mike and I are trying to cros off things on our list, a to-do list, not a bucket list or anything fun like that.. We got in our run and we're about to go to Mike's office to get some wedding stuff planned and taken care of.  It's easier there since there's a big table and open space. We're picky about our work environments.
There is some fence painting and grocery getting to be done as well.
Hopefully backyard bbq-ing will happen tonight, heavy on the vegetables ideally. With the kitchen being worked on last week, we ate out a lot. Despite healthy choices, it doesn't feel that great after a while and I'm sooooo looking forward to at-home eating which is much better for us and can include yummy grilled stuff.
That's all, this is the really short post I set out to write yesterday.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pretty flowers, patriotic toes and king of the mountain easy chair

I had brunch this morning with a good friend in the Big City. After driving home in a warm car (our Big City is notoriously foggy/cold in the summer all the time so I was enjoying the ambient warmth of my car) with delicious noms in my tummy I am sleepy. As a prelude to a nap, I'm blogging.
I snapped some shots of the flowers in our driveway.
These are trumpet flowers; that's what I call them because they look like these:

Note the resemblance. Photo courtesy of here.
They are night bloomers and smell beautiful in the evenings.

They flower several times throughout spring/summer/fall so we get to enjoy them lots.
I don't have a name for these.
They're just pretty.

Yesterday a different friend (see: first paragraph above) and I got pedicures since we hadn't seen each other in a while and that's what you do upon reuniting.
I had patriotic nail stickers and asked my nail lady to add them to my toes. I like to add flair to myself, especially holiday flair. Don't mind the freaky-deaky sandal marks on my feet. Also, don't mind the feet pictures. I'll never do it again, I promise {I might be crossing my fingers as I write this!}.
On second thought, as I just looked at the pictures on photobucket, I rescind the pictures without ever even putting them up. Some things I shouldn't post, I realize. You're welcome.
We have two smallish dog beds for our hound. They sit next to each other in our family room. One usually has some toys in it while the pooch will laze in the other. A cat will sleep in one at night too. While cleaning was happening yesterday both beds were stacked onto a chair we have and when I looked over at one point, I saw this:
Let me give you a better angle.
I hate (kind of) that I'm one of those pet picture takers, but he's just so ridiculous to me, I need and must document it.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, June 24, 2011


As in a short post, not a girl. 
I'm mired in summer and loving it, even though it's back down to the 70s; am I such a freak that this is "cold" to me?? 
Yesterday I had lunch with friends, dinner with a high school alumnae group and killed an hour {or two} in tar-jhay. I love these days so much because I don't need to worry about being prepared for the next, I can just float about and do what I like. Don't get me wrong, work is a fabulous thing and as I've mentioned before, it always feels good to return, but an eeentsy part of me just can't wait for retirement.
After lunch yesterday we walked around downtown Sunnyvale, where we ate and walked past Willy's {see yesterday's post}. My inner grammar-demon came roaring out {disclaimer: I know that I don't always use perfect grammar here [and in life], I split my verbs, use indicative when I need subjunctive, over-use superlatives and run-ons, blah blah blah...but I can still be picky if I has a hankerin' to!}. This:
needs to be this:
It sure is a good thing that they have me to fix things.
Today I get to do more summer. Tomorrow, even more. Next week, EVEN more. I'm seeing three great friends this weekend which I'm really excited about and we're looking at rental stuff for our big partay coming up. Next weekend we're hoofing it down to Phoenix for the fourth which should be right up my alley: HOT. 

I'm also looking forward to the Obon Festival in two weeks time. I blogged briefly about it last year and you can check out more genuine information here. I realize that I'm a fool for festivals, though not all. A festival needs a specific food-type to be worthy. Those traveling food booths that are the same for all street festivals are whack; these are not to be confused with food trucks, those are wonderful. Back to festivals. The food must shine. Now that I think about it, I'm drawn to cultural festivals. That must be it, the food AND the ethnic diversity just reel me in.
We are LUCKY to have many in our area and the Japanese Obon ranks high on my list. The food I've had there and deemed drool-worthy, in the order it should be consumed, is: Gyoza, beef Teriyaki, Udon, strawberry shortcake (yes, strawberry shortcake!). 
I can't wait. 
If you do go, it's in our beautiful Japantown so try the light rail so as to avoid parking which can be difficult to find. Or, if you're like most everyone and drive {guilty I am}, park in the neighborhood, you'll need to walk a few blocks but it will go towards canceling out all of the calories you'll consume. There's fun dancing to watch, beautiful flowers (& leis) to buy, BINGO, and game booths for kids.
This was longer than intended. Happy weekend y'all!
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scenes from a summer place, our place.

As is known by many some, we in our family have a thing for the Goodwill. Also, for the Salvation Army, the Savers, garage sales, estate sales, rummage sales, you get the picture. There is just SO MUCH stuff to be found. Exhibit A: the window dog.
One of them is real...
I think it's supposed to be some sort of Afghan dog.

one of them is not.
My auntie dear, she who perpetuates this second hand addiction of ours, got this at Willy's, as we call it. She claims they're somewhat expensive in real life which I don't doubt, and then somehow it ended up in the window. I guess it might be embarrassing, but I think it's pretty high-larious. There's a fake dog in our window!
Once, in random internet land, I read that it's a southern US thing to keep a mannequin in one's front window and to change its outfits season-to-season, or day-to-day if you have more of that time stuff people are always talking about. This is just our version here in San Jose my family.
xoxo, natty ♥
Le post script: please don't mind the poor exposure, picture wise. There is only so much that the iphone camera can do and I'm not feeling into excessively tweaking dog pictures in the photo programs I have and the real camera has gone away for a while so here we are.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At the drive-in.

Last night Mike and I {& the dog!} loaded up the car, grabbed some take-out and headed to the drive-in to catch the Hangover part deux. I had a blast. For those of you in the area, this is such a good deal! Normally it's like $6/adult but on Tuesdays it's less than $5. They tell you the radio station to tune-into {there's no shell like in the Flintstones :(} and which screen to go to. There actually is a lobby/snack area, but you can bring what ever you want in your car, so we had burritos! We backed in the car and opened the trunk {we have an suv thing} and settled into the couch cushions we brought {class, all the way}; it was fabulous and a great way to spend a hot night.
In line waiting to get in.
Screens waiting for darker skies.
The movie was as it should be, raunchy and laugh-worthy, and the chocolate chip cookies I stashed in the back were delicious too.
Some randomness, Wednesday style:
• Today I'm taking a running day off, I do one a week {at least!} so hopefully I can get other stuff done. 
• The kitchen continues it's transformation, though it will be at least a week until we can get back in there and stop eating out. I guess we could be really creative about grilling and rinsing stuff off in the bathroom sink (or the shower like Cosmo Kramer), but with the heat and everything piled under tarps and not where it normally is, it's just hard.
• I think my aunt and I may go to the mall today, sweet suburban comfort.
Happy middle of the week!
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice.

Happy longest day of the year, y'all! This is the greatest day of the year, I think, along with a few others (my birthday!our to-be wedding day!), because there is the most light and it's (usually) warm- a perfect combinatino in my eyes☺(how did I EVER survive at college in the arctic tundra?).
What are you doing/did you do to celebrate this day? I ran early, again, which is a feat in mine eyes. I'm not normally a morning runner, which is ironic since all races are in the morning! If I have the luxury of a morning with no schedule, I like to enjoy my coffee and the paper and maybe some reading then I can get in a run at my leisure. Despite loving the heat, I don't love running in it so I try to be responsible on these days and I was succesful again today- yea me! It's supposed to cool-it a bit so maybe my mornings will go back to relaxed, but I realized, as I do whenever I run before my day starts, that I actually like it this way, being able to do anything I need/want to in the day and not have to worry about getting in those miles.
I also ordered our wedding invitations; it's for real now! Though I said that when we ordered the save-the-dates it's more real ♥.
I ate a Trader Joe's cold lunch (southwest salad with sonoma style chicken salad and pita chips...and an apple!) and have been watching an SVU marathon; what is up with these tv marathons on during the week? Don't people work?
I'm going to go splash around some more and go on a date with my sweetie; the video is a clue to what we're doing, you'll have to read tomorrow to find out what we did! A great official kick-off to verano (that means "summer")!
I hope you're enjoying the season too!
xoxo, natty ♥

Changes and two dinners.

Today wasn't super productive, at least wedding-wise. It was a boilermaker, weather wise, so I tried and was actually successful in getting my run in before it was too hot (yes!). Mike was at work and my grandmother was at an appointment when I realized my car keys were locked in my car (don't ask why) and I needed wanted to go buy a quick lunch and then meet her at my aunt's house. The reasoning behind this intricate schedule today is that my grandmother is having the tile in her kitchen re-done (hence the "changes").  
Demolition our kitchen.
With the noise of sledge-hammering the old counters (shed a tear, they're all I've ever known here) and the heat, we decided to go to my aunt's quiet house with a pool to let the dogs relax a bit (the tile guys really stressed them out!) and me splash around a bit. 
So, despite getting in my run before the heat, I had to ride my bike under the hot sun to go to Mike's work to pick up the spare key. A run and bike ride before noon.
The 1970s were hiding behind the old tiles.
We relaxed all afternoon and I swam and it was great. Mike and I did yoga later in the evening and it was also great.

I kind of love how bright and cheery 30 years ago was.
Since the kitchen is out all week we decided to try to eat healthy since we're eating out (hence needing the store-bought lunch earlier today!) we had planned to go to this "lighter-fare" restaurant which I'm so-so on for dinner tonight. I realized tonight that I'd NEVER be able to go on a diet. I may be able to eat diety-light-salady stuff for lunch just fine, but I guess I'm just one of those people who must have something delicious, cheesy, possibly meaty, and warm for dinner. Mike is not like this at all and can have salad or something equally boring for for any meal of the day. Maybe I just need the warm carress of comfort food at the end of the day? So, after a disappointing dinner #1, Mike took me to In 'n Out and waited with me and then watched me eat my almost 800 extra calories worth of dinner #2; I'm not a counter, but in California now the restaurants have to post them and I sometimes can't help but notice, not that it ever stops me! That was my last official day of Spring. Tomorrow on the agenda: welcome Summer!
xoxo, natty ♥
PS how cute is google's manga-styled (??) theme today? 
The answer is: super cute!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Dad's Day, Dad!

Happy Father's Day to all those wonderful dads in our lives; you mean so much to your children, biological, adopted and any sort of father in between. I wish a great day to my own dad especially.
He's a wonderfully sweet and sensitive man.
He loves his kids and family fiercely...and enjoys a good swing in the backyard ;)
He surprises me at work. He is an EXTREMELY hard, dedicated and loyal worker. He makes a mean BBQ rib. 
He's my dad and I love him.
Thank you Dad, so much.
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I guess you shouldn't post when you're exhausted and can't formulate your thoughts well...I keep thinking about re-writing last night's post, but a blog is a blog, so in the vein of keeping it real, there it stays.
We're enjoying a lazy Saturday morning and gearing up for a run later today and a friend's party tonight.
We also tasted our cake pops for the wedding last night, they were very good!!
More on the weekend tomorrow!
xoxo, natty ♥


This is what I attempted to write in the car on the way home last night and this is what made me car sick. I should' have known better but it was night and dark out so I thought I could be "ok"; I was wrond woh woh. Anyway, this is a brief thought that's been bouncing around in my head for a bit.
Nice. Critical. I can be both. I've never heard anyone describe me as the latter, which is a good thing, I guess. Perhaps the critical is merely a self description. As a teacher it's my job to correct mistakes in writing and speaking and I sometimes worry that I can be too aware of errors I see and that's when I start to wonder if I"m too critical. If it weren't part of my job then maybe I wouldn't be worrying about it. What also bothers me is that feel as though I'm too critical in my real life. I may not express this criticism, so it's mostly in my head which is probably why I"m hyper aware of this part of my personality. Some people might call this trait by another name, a name with more positive connotations such as "detail-oriented" or "thorough", so I suppose it might all be in the spin. Why am I even writing about this? In my self-induced frenzy of thinking I'm overly critical I want to try and be nicer.
I was running a few days ago and passed many people in my run. Usually when I pass someone I look down or away, I might give a small smile but not a direct look. I think that as young girls we're urged to not make eye contact with strangers, especially men, and this must have carried through to being an adult. It's not as though I run in a place where I feel unsafe, I'm generally on city streets with many people and cars around in our familiar neighborhood. Maybe I don't want to extend myself because it's too involved and it's easier to focus on myself and continue on my way not thinking about or worrying about anyone else. If I were to "get involved", even though it's just a glance and a smile, I'd have to get involved with everyone I run past. I would be overwhelmed with all of the people around me, I couldn't focus all of my attention and energies on myself, I wouldn't be able to be entirely selfish. I could also be worried to be vulnerable. When I break that mask of the serious young woman, I've let a wall down, I'm more available. What happens if I'm rejected? If someone doesn't smile back or even look back? Will someone think less of me, that I'm not as "cool" as I'm trying to look? Now that it's written out for the whole world to see, not a dang thing would happen in those situations. I would keep going and probably that other person would soon forget about me and vice-versa; life would go on. So what do I have to lose?
On this day earlier this week (or was it last week already?!), though, I smiled more directly at a few people; it felt great! The person smiled back and we both went on our way. I didn't make a life-long committment to any person or persons, I didn't lose my concentration or my focus and I wasn't bogged down by "all the people" out there. I actually felt good, not an instant spike in energy or something like that, but buoyed a bit and it took no extra energy; I put myself "out-there" and benefited from it. What I thought about during the rest of that run was how I'd like to be nice, less critical (especially of myself), more often. Even just "little things" like putting the grocery cart back to where it belongs instead of just propped up on a curb in the parking lot fall into my idea of being nicer. Conversely, if I'm not as nice as I wish to be at times (hey, it happens), I don't want to beat up myself, I want to let it go and accept that I can't be perfect all the time.
If you're still reading- thanks! This was longer and heavier than usual (and not as well written or organized as I'd like, but that's not new), but something I'd been thinking of and want to remember later down the line.
On a lighter note here are two pictures to end the post and evening.
On another run this week I ran past this sign and literally did a double take.

We thought this was HILARIOUS but thought we'd do a google image search for "possum" to see if either of these two pictures show up and sure enough, there they were, so, there's a prankster out in the neighborhood. Cat/possum jokester: we dig your sense of humor.
Like I said, we were in the city last night for a fundraiser for this new organization.
It was chillllllly since we were right on the bay, but it was fun and beautiful.

That's all for now, happy weekend y'all :)
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, June 17, 2011


It's still Thursday in Hawaii so this counts as Thursday's post.
We went to the city (San Francisco) tonight for a BBQ. I tried typing on my phone while Mikey drove home =
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


That means "cookies" in the Spanish. 
Monday night I made the dough for shortbread cookies. I tried to roll it out but it needed more butter. By virtue of being shortbread cookies, more butter was adding to an already high amount of butter in said dough, but butter is always better. I was using her recipe, by the way. Quick de-railing, a while back I needed some plain cookies and had kind of been thinking of sugar cookies, they being a nice back drop for accoutrement like Nutella. I was perusing PW's cookie recipes since her recipe collection is a go-to one for me and my mind saw "s" and "cookie" so these I made only several months later to realize that they weren't even sugar cookies but they sure are delicious! Yesterday morning I took the dough out of the fridge and tried to roll it out but it was cold, so I worked it a bit with my hands and then it was good but it turned out to be a BOOGER (only figuratively) of a dough to roll. It might have been the extra butter, who knows, but I had a horrible hard time getting the stuff not to stick on the rolling pin and the board I was rolling onto. 
It was worth it though because oh-my-gawsh these were DECADENT, buttery, crispy, dreamy...all of the above. 
Getting ready!
They were SO good! 
Then I bagged them up
and we used them as bribes around the neighborhood for signatures of our neighbors so we can get hitched and party it up in their street. The wedding will actually be in the backyard but who's counting? We are so blessed to live with such great people. I already knew most people on the block and that they're so awesome, but our neighbors were so kind and interested last night that I was able to reaffirm my belief that people are good, patient and kind. What a fun way to announce something!
I also made another batch while I had the Kitchen Aid going 
Nom nom nom!
and I thought I'd try to make them hearts too, which wasn't so easy since they're drop-cookies; some came out ♥-like
and others, blob-like.
The post on niceness is tomorrow, get excited.
xoxo, natty ♥

I had a feeling.

I had a feeling that this would be a busy week and I was right, even though it's only Tuesday. I realize that during the school year I do so much every day and that one or two committed things a day would be no big thang, but during vacation, it's a lot! 
I baked this morning, cookies, to be specific. I'll explain the cookies tomorrow or Thursday maybe. I went to the dentist (clean bill of periodontal health, yo) and met a friend for some coffee and catching up. We grilled burgers and went house-to-house to get signatures for our block party and we're going to bed, that's all there is to it and until tomorrow =)

xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We partied...

too hard! The blog birthday festivities took their toll on me which is why, like a bad, bad girl, I didn't post yesterday. This is supposed to be my month of daily posting! I hate losing accountability! Ah!

OK, I'm over it; this is yesterday's post y'all, and it's a doozy of a short one.

More to come later in today's post.
xoxo, natty ♥

you do really know that there was no blog party? That's just an excuse I made up to cover up what I really did on Monday - ¡nada nada limonada!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

¡feliz cumpleaños!

That's "happy birthday" you, little blog!
(Very Random) Source HERE
A year ago today I started this thang and I'm very glad with what it's come to be, a place for me to write down little things. I read my first few posts several weeks ago just for fun and this is what we were up in June 2010:
* the world cup was happening; what fun!
* some friends from Texas had just visited and some friends from Pennsylvania were visiting.
* I had started summer school
* we were about to move to my grandmother's house
* things were good!
* the NBA finals are coming to an end
* I'm not doing summer school but I am planning a wedding ♥
* we still live with my grandmother
* we're so excited to celebrate in a matter of weeks with our fabulous friends
Also, in the greater San Jose area:
It's been a great year and I'm so glad I started this kind of on a whim and look forward to many more posts!
To come later this week: that stuff on being nicer and I'm going to start one of those blog things where you do a special thing on a certain day of the week. It might be short lived, but it could also be something fun to try.
Have a great Sunday night!
xoxo, natty ♥

Being time.

I had a great day today. I slept in, ran and went to an end of the year BBQ hosted by a coworker. A few other coworkers and I carpooled since it was a ways out and we had a blast. It's so nice to foster community outside of the physical walls of our school community.

I thought a lot on my run today about being nicer and more deliberate and how that's something I want to focus on, but I haven't the time to write more beyond that tonight, hence the title of this blog; next time or in the next few days I'll be able to ruminate and put thoughts together on paper online.

Mike got home which is what made the day extra great. I really missed him but I'm so glad that he had an awesome trip with his brother.

That's all for now, we're both just home from the airport and tired.

Happy weekend!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Things I love to do and things I don't love to do.

First of all, I decided to get things festive around here. I honestly love holidays and decorating for them but without a little home to call our own {for now!}, I kind of have to let my yearnings subside. In cyberspace though, I am a home blog owner so let the kitschy knickknacks pile up! On a more serious note, I think that Independence Days are great; it's a chance to ponder what independence of any variety entails and also to think back on and be grateful for our fore-bearers and their foresight (ha, I said it!) so the bloggy-blog reflects that for now. I had some formatting trouble with the header and the width of the whole page, but oh-well.
Today I did things, as the title mentions, that I love to do and things that I don't heart so much.
Things that I don't like to do that I did today:
*picked up a prescription: the pharmacy line is always as slow as frozen molasses.
*got my brows done: if left to their own devices, my eyebrows would span from eyelashes to hairline. This may be an exaggeration, but not by much. My friend Monica first took me to the place I like to go to. It's an Indian grocery store in the Santa Clara/Sunnyvale/El Camino area. Yes, I said grocery store. They have a side room where women do threading. You can read about the process here. I ♥ threading because it's not hot, scented wax that might aggravate my skin (it certainly isn't completely pain-free, though!). I keep driving out to this grocery store despite the trafficky 15 minutes it takes me because it doesn't annoy my skin and because it's the best deal in town; $8 for brows! Threading has seen some popularity in recent years, popping up in mall kiosks and beauty salons but it's waaaaay more than my $8 and these grocery store ladies are good so I'll keep going back. I don't like the drive or the little pinpricks of threading out hair, but it's near my pharmacy which was where I was today anyway and I feel just great after so there I went.

Things I did that I like to do:
*went to the farmers market downtown & bought fresh/local fruits and veggies and Thai BBQ sticks for lunch
*went shopping briefly with a friend...that's you Audrey!
*ate Vietnamese food for dinner (grilled pork with rice noodles-yummy!)
*watched an old repeat of Law & Order SVU...I always want to say SUV, ha!
*took Guinness around the block
*caught up with a couple of other good friends ☺

The things I like list is longer than the other list; woo hoo!

Mikey Mike comes home tomorrow and the wedding planning continues; I'm really excited <3

xoxo, natty ♥

PS my mom and I found her a cute and colorful dress, nice enough for a wedding and casual enough for a backyard; now for the shoes!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A book and a snack.

This is what I did tonight after Guinness and I had our constitutional around the block:
Annie's cheddar snack mix = ♥

An ooooold favorite, checked out from San Jose Library way too many times.
It was great.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Some warmth has finally arrived to our parts, but being so close to the water (SF Bay and the Pacific), things are always subject change so I'm greatly enjoying this.
Today I did some wedding planning, most specifically a plan of what the table centerpieces will look like. I would like for our reception tables to be themed and so far I'm having a great time putting together things for each theme. Ideally I'll put the stuff for each table in a bag or box for easy assembly and clean up, whomever is helping us can just unpack each bag/box of stuff onto a table.

Over the years I've gotten good at collecting things I realized today, not necessarily collections but just crap (arguably so to some, I realize). It's mostly older home ware, Pyrex and vintage cookie plates and vases. The upside to this, ahem...habit, is that I've got a great supply of centerpiece decorations to choose from! I can use the bowls and vases to hold things in, obviously, and the other tchotchkes fit in to my various themes. This sounds a bit jumbled, but trust me, it works!

The great thing is that it's forcing me to organize a bit. Does anyone else have as much stuff as I do? I never know what to do with all of the notes and greeting cards and little mementos that I get. If I were better organized, I could pare things down so that I could have a neat little box for the different phases in my life, like a high school box or fun kitchen stuff box {we're not living in our own place yet}. Since we moved last year I kind of started this and 'box' is more like a big rubbermaid tub , but this way things are contained, easy to find and unpack in the future.

So I'll get some more tubs since I have a few already half full and when the wedding is over then I can disassemble the centerpieces into their respective boxes or donate what we probably don't need anymore. I don't want to sound as though I'm not sentimental, I'm too so much so considering all the stuff I hold on to. I'm finding things from when I was in grade school, not much, but there still is some and I'm just so blown away by how many things we accumulate. When I would visit Mike in El Salvador while he was living with pretty poor people, they often had as much stuff packed into their homes as they could, which means it must be only human to gather and gather and it's not just unique to US culture?? So I'm inspired to live more minimally but it's going to take some digging out to begin. More than some, actually. Wish us luck and watch out Goodwill donation stations!

I grilled a lovely late spring dinner for me and my grandmother, including my first go at grilled fruit! We had some bitter apricots and I thought the heat might help to bring out the natural sugars. It didn't, but it looked kind of pretty
Don't worry, the fence is being repainted soon.
I tried out this contraption that a coworker lent me, it's for making baby cupcakes in a short amount of time, though if you do a full box of cake mix, it will take as much time as baking a whole cake in the oven, but baby cupcakes are cuter so yay! ***UPDATE***After getting the hang of it, this is quicker...
Cupcake machine.
Trying to be ready...
My only complaint is that the little buggers were sticking like crazy, so I used some cooking spray which helped a bit. It was fun to try, though I probably wouldn't buy it.
Crumbly mess =(
***UPDATE*** I wrote this while "baking" and figured through trial and error that my "babycakes" were not baby enough, they were too big, so with a bit less batter and the spray, they came out awesomely!!
Mo' bettah =)
Of course, everything's even better with chocolate frosting.

I'm going mother of the bride dress shopping with my mom tomorrow and then later seeing a friend; vacation is wonderful!
Trying-to-be-artistic side of house and cat shot.

xoxo, natty ♥