Monday, April 30, 2012


This morning Mikey and I acquired some more veggies at the farmer's market. I'm totally loving trying some new things. Last week it was stinging nettles.
This week...
...fava beans! And, from the left, tiny cauliflowers, bok choy, asparagus and spring squash. Although the favas will be the only newbies.
Are you enjoying a spring bounty in your neck of the woods? I got some more strawberries too and look forward to the cherries that should be coming in about a month.
I actually didn't cook any of this haul tonight, opting for some left overs from last week's bounty instead. I did triy cooking tofu for the first time aaaaaand : not too shabby!
I hope that your work week starts off delightfully!
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, April 29, 2012


In February Mikey and I made a quick jaunt to the coast on a Sunday. I think we did this twice, now that I mention it, and I chronicled one visit HERE but somehow didn't say much about the other. We're lucky {for many reasons, actually} that we can do this. I made him stop at a beach I hadn't been to for over ten years {which isn't saying much if I was only 18 in 2002 but still...} that I had been thinking about.
How could you not love the name "Bean Hollow"?
This beach has teeny tiny pebbles instead of sand; how extraordinary! 
These are examples of large stones, not pebbles.
I did not do justice to this phenomena unfortunately, though, since I failed to take any up-close images of the pebbles themselves.
Imagine millions of itty bitty stones.
Much like that other visit mentioned up in the second sentence of this post, the lighting was loverly and it was just as nice to get over to the Pacific on what would normally have been Just Another Sunday. 
The lighting was glorious. 
Since this was three months ago it might seem a bit odd to be bringing it up but a} I'm always behind at sharing things and b} I was browsing through the pictures I've taken this year and became re-enamored of the ones I captured that day.
For your my enjoyment.
Good Saturday to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, April 27, 2012

Quite the combination.

For our Friday date night Mikey and I went to...COSTCO. It was delightfully uncrowded, actually. One take-and-bake pizza later along with The Office on-demand and I am loving life.
I also love looking around stores and seeing how products are organized according to the season. Tonight the warehouse giant's "foyer" was chock full of summer accoutrements; BBQs, camping equipment, plants, water toys, drink coolers...
I do see the connection.
...and toilets.
We ourselves walked out with the winning trifecta of athletic socks for the mister, said pizza pie and fruit snacks for my lunches.
Good weekend to you and may you enjoy suburban errands as much as we do! 
xoxo, natty ♥


Tonight I steamed nettles as a side dish.
Steaming them gets rid of their pokies which is good because those buggars are SHARP and insidious. They were yummy with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Then again everything is.
I also cracked my phone screen today. This is the second time I've done it and I probably shouldn't be trusted with another opportunity phone.
At least this time there aren't glass shards EVERY where and I can get away with using the thing and not shredding my ear to bits.
I'll have more to say later because, for now, it's laundry, sugar cookie baking and then BED time!
Good almost weekend to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For the Future.

xoxo, natty ♥

Greenery and soup.

The title of this post really does belie exactly what you are about to read.
This time of year SPEAKS to me in our Bay Area. It's when GREEN comes out in full force. I think that in other parts of the country {where it's humid? where there are actual winters?} summer is when plant life really becomes verdant. Since we don't have snow and our summers are drier and hot, March through June is when this color of life abounds.
These are some of my grandmother's many {many} plants. 
Bee Tee Dubs, here's the gang at her birthday celebration last Saturday.
Everybody say "Thai food!"!
Her garden certainly does grow. I love the contrast of red brick, beautiful kelly-green and maroon leaves and the glorious white blooms.
There is even a bit of purple sneaking in there!
Side note : UGH...Photobucket recently changed their format and I can't, for the LIFE OF ME, figure out how to make a collage! Aye. I can start the collage and begin bringing in other layers but I can't figure out how to re-size the individual photos. Any ideas lurking out there?
Are you enjoying your local vernal flora? Fauna, perhaps? Ha ha...this is my year-round fauna.
On a completely unconnected note, we just finished a very European-Latino dinner; tortilla {Latino! Or at least Tex-Mex but I've certainly had tortilla soup IN México.} soup at 9:30 PM {Euro!}! Times have been busy {it's that time of year in a teacher's life} but I was dedicated to this meal so late soup it was.
I rarely have the forethought to actually prepare and set out my ingredients prior to beginning the cooking process but sometimes I do.
Tonight was one of those times.
Look at the pretty spices!
The finished product appearing not very appetizing but the avocado makes me so happy!
How's your Tuesday winding down? Last night I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that it.was.still.Monday but with Wednesday right around the corner I'm feeling a bit more optimistic.
xoxo, natty ♥

Monday, April 23, 2012


After a long day, without any fanfare, I thought to myself...
What the heat does NOT do to me, fortunately.
1} This past weekend was great because we experienced some gloriously toasty temperatures. If you know me then you also are aware that I'm fervently praying that this was merely a taste of what's to come.
2} We had a lovely celebration of my grammy's #$st birthday; HAPPY birthday to your dear one!
3} Guinness needs a bath. This isn't so super fabulous but it is just about the best thing since sliced bread to watch him go nutso right after we dry him off a bit.
4} I got myself a 200 puzzle book of crosswords whilst traveling last week, courtesy of Will Shortz; this puppy's gonna tide me over for a loo-oo-oong time.
5} My brudder turns one-seven today; happy birthday Thomas!!!
He's a bit more mature these days. And taller.
What was nice about your weekend? Did you have high heat as we did or did you experience a winter flasback?
xoxo, natty ♥

So late!

This girl did NOT mean to stay up this late on a Sunday but the glorious day got ahead of her! Good night, good night! Good work week to you!
xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Mikey has to work this morning; womp womp...for him at least. I'd like to hang out with him, of course, but I am glad to be on the couch catching up on the weekend news. Don't worry, though, Karma comes to get me in a very reciprocal manner since I am the one who needs to go into work next Saturday.
Anyway, I was tempted by a new Saturday farmers market at the same place we had dinner last night which is an indoor/outdoor market place that focuses on organic/granola-y type purveyors {of course} while also acting as a food court of delightful proportions {last night : organic short rib sliders with braised kale and frittes}. On Saturdays now they have a farmers market and on this particular last day of the week they're also hosting a "food truck jamboree" {which is my own description}. 20 or so gourmet style roach coaches should be there later this afternoon and I FULLY intend on returning to get a snack. Or two or three.
For now, though, I'm enjoying berries.
And hand poured drip coffee. As an aside, the dog is staring longingly beneath the coffee table which I moved closer to the couch so it can hold my breakfast. I'm assuming I covered up one of his mangled and raunchy toys but I REFUSE to get up and move it out for him. Poor creature.
Have a great Saturday wherever you are!
xoxo, natty ♥

For the birds.

Well I sure am glad that Friday came around. I hadn't been feeling tired since we got home but I think that last week's red eye flight, many miles covered on foot all around D.C., a long day of travel back to California and then four days of teaching finally caught up to me. I kind of hobbled through my last class today and even needed some back up; how embarrassing! 
I made it home and after a couple of hours of being horizontal and a long shower I was feeling much better. I met Mikey Mike for dinner and since his work is so close and there are fun restaurants all around I walked. The 15 minutes in the {warm} sun did me well and it didn't hurt that these honkers were enjoying the scenery.
Continuing with an avian theme, while we were waiting for our food I looked up and saw this little guy.
There were tons of these pewter hummingbirds hanging from the ceilings! I thought of Becs and my mother-in-law and our great hummingbird class almost a month ago. Have a great weekend!
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, April 20, 2012


Fellow Blogger bloggers; were you holding out the way I had been? I'm referring to the, ahem, changes
He represents my feelings.
Much like other Google applications Blogger has been updated, streamlined, made more modern, whatever. How do you all feel about it? This wasn't an unexpected incident; they let us know quite a while ago and gave the option of switching over months before today's official launch. I took a look and decided I wasn't a fan. But now reckoning day has come. Oh well. It's probably better, more intuitive, user-friendly, whatever. 
On a brighter note, tomorrow's supposed to be gorgeous and also is supposed to be Friday; double whammy of awesomeness!
Good weekend to you folks.
xoxo, natty ♥

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Eleven presidents.

xoxo, natty ♥

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The National Museum of Natural History and pretty green trees.

I had a few days to wander all by my lonesome in Washington D.C. last week while Mikey was doing some important Mike Stuff. I found my freedom so much more enthralling than I had anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed taking the metro and hopping around the various {& free!} museums available.On Wednesday I even tried a bit of a run {one minute on, one minute off for 20 minutes total; I'm a beast} before heading out. I couldn't help but take a few furtive shots of the verdant foliage. I've talked before about how beautiful and varied green can be in Spring.
People around here don't have screened in porches like there are in other cities. At least I think so.
Aren't these homes cute?
I am enamored of the public transportation I was able to use. In San Jose there's not much available. Or rather, what is available isn't easy to use {in my opinion} since our light rail isn't very far reaching, neither is the train and buses aren't super direct. Maybe I just like my car too much. No matter what, riding the D.C. and Boston metros was delightful to me; it seems like everyone actually uses them! They go almost everywhere! How novel!
I took the red line to the National Mall and checked out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. I had been to this museum several times prior to last week's visit but never before by myself. I had a great lunch of Maryland crab soup and set out, first perusing the gift shops. I didn't buy anything and actually rarely do in gift shops but I always feel a strong urge to look at everything just to make sure there's nothing I can't live without. I was able to find some stuff for my pops.
He has such weird interests. Good thing I didn't inherit any of that; HA.
Within the actual museum this massive Boa Constrictor was kind of a let down.
It's eating a giant lizard.
The exhibit seemed more cartoonish than informative. But in my desire to leave no sign unread, I still had to check it out.
There was a super interesting area all about our bones and the history they can tell. A great portion of it focused on colonial history {think Jamestown era} which FASCINATES me. I didn't take pictures, though, and I'll spare you any attempt at recapitulating anything else; Smithsonian does a much better job than I do. I will share these stuffed rodents.
So maybe I did inherit something from my dad.
Oooh oooh oooh I just remembered - there is one more thing I took a picture of. In homage to my hummingbird class I took in Arizona with my mother-in-law and Becs.
It's a swift and a hummer.
I'll explain the class later this month. I realize that "hummingbird class" may sound odd to the unsuspecting reader and that an explanation may be in order.
I also popped into the National Museum of American History as well but at that point I had been on my little feeties for WAY too long, school groups were everywhere and thus I could only manage so much. Three highlights, in no particular order.
Dorothy's shoes.
Archie Bunker's chair.
Pretty Art Deco jewelry.
I really do ♥ museums. I could wax poetic for days about these glorious places but, again, I'll spare you. I do want to state, for the record, that it's such an enjoyable way to learn; walking through a building and rooms that are chock full of juicy little tidbits of information. Images of dry and stuffy art museums may come to mind for some but there are so many interactive and engaging places out there. The greatest aspect of D.C.'s Smithsonian museums is that they are FREE. Add in that their curators seriously know what they're doing and this city is right up my alley.
What if you're not in or around the District of Colombia, you ask? Well, locally I love the Oakland Museum of California, the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose {a throwback}, San Jose History Park, The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose {mummies! lots of them! a walk-through tomb!} and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Each is quite different from the other but I've spent many happy hours in my youth and young adulthood within their walls {or gates!}. And then there's the Musical Instrument Museum in the Phoenix area, as talked about in a similar-to-this-post HERE.
Please don't be intimidated by how hep and on-the-scene I am. Which museums make your heart sing? 
xoxo, natty ♥

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yippee Skippee!

Oh what a glorious feeling it is to get home after a horrendously long day of travel! I always think that there can be no better feeling than a Friday afternoon at the end of a long week but after 16 hours of being out, about and in the air today, I can't think of any place I'd rather be. So, in honor, here are five things that I'm digging this week.
Just for fun, a blast from our past.
1} It has to be repeated : we made it home!!! After three separate flight and several hours of a layover in LaGuardia we are safely ensconced in our little apartment watching The Voice and mentally prepping for tomorrow's return to work.
2} Happy Patriots' Day/Marathon Monday!
3} For maybe the only time in my life that I'll feel good about saying it : I'm SO happy that I wasn't running in Boston today...temps were in the high 80s.
4} A huge congratulations and Way To Go to all of those people who did slog it out today. You are SO inspirational to runners everywhere!
5} Aaaaand once again : I'M HOME AFTER 16 HOURS OF TRAVEL.

What's been lovely about your day? What might you be looking forward to this week?
xoxo, natty ♥

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strikes & Gutters.

Mike and I are still in Washington D.C. though we have a heinous and gnarly day of travel ahead of us tomorrow. Had a direct Sunday flight home been several hundred dollars cheaper then this would not be our situation. Alas.
Our journey home coincides with my dear brother-in-law's birthday; happy birthday!!! To celebrate today, before we leave, we and some of his friends went bowling.
I bowled somewhere in the 30s. Mike, on the other {very adept} hand bowled somewhere in the 150s. 
We balance out each other.
There were some great pictures on the walls of our little alley. 
There are only two lanes but tons of fun! Our two teams played one round and our team almost won.
This has been a fabulous trip and like I mentioned a few days ago, if I were you, dear reader, I'd expect more details in the next week. I also owe a 101/1,001 update though since we're more than half way through the month I might just do a March/April combination.
Anyway, wish us luck getting back to the Bay and go Giants!

xoxo, natty ♥

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Warmer days.

Today was lovely. We had a little breakfast and walked around the zoo some more; when it's a free zoo I could go every day!!
I especially enjoyed the small mammal house; the hedgehogs were a highlight for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the statue out front of the building.
The lions were very focused on several little duck families that were floating in their moat {no rhyme intended}.
This gorilla was having a bit of a munch.
I feel very conflicted about zoos. Morally, I have some issues but going to the zoo growing up is one of my FAVORITE memories. My papa would take me to the San Francisco Zoo and I was so happy there. I still am; we go every year or so <3.
Then we went and saw The Hunger Games. I can do a bit of a review at a later date since I'm ready for bed now but it was exactly what I expected.
Happy weekend to you! We're bowling tomorrow and heading home on Monday.
xoxo, natty ♥

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lovely days.

Well we've certainly been enjoying Washington D.C.. We saw some great friends yesterday and did more exploring today. I'll have legitimate updates in a day or two or three but I will tell you that tonight, after grown up milk shakes, we had a private tour of the West Wing of the White House; thanks so much to our intrepid tour guide!!!
The lighting makes me look as though I'm missing a front tooth. I still have both of them in case you're curious. Good night y'all!
xoxo, natty ♥