Friday, February 28, 2014

Noted on a Friday

I've been playing catch up all week. We were at my parentals' until late Sunday, which meant we didn't get any grocery shopping, laundry, grading (on my end), cooking, etc. done over the weekend so I spent the weeknights attending to our standard weekend chores. Point being, I meant to get on here sooner but didn't manage it.

We've had a rainy couple days and I'm thrilled we're supposed to have a stormy weekend ahead. I've done my best to stock the house with provisions so we barely have to leave. Firewood ready, soup on the stove, breakfast goodies in the fridge, and movies cued. I plan to venture out solely to see Nebraska - one of the few best picture nominees we haven't seen - and then we'll be in Sunday watching the Oscars. This is slightly insane, but I love to dress up in my comfiest pajamas and put on sparkly jewelry for my own little Jammies & Gemstones Oscars viewing party (we used to do this in college). Champagne will flow.

PS: Loved this infographic - Every best actress gown since 1929.

Here a few little things that made my week...

Listening to the rain in bed. My favorite way to wake up.

Coming home to these two about to go on a mid-week walk. Guiri loooves walking in her backpack.

5:30 AM Workouts with my favorite trainer.

This tea. For helping me get through many a sugar craving this week. 

Currently wearing: These socks and leggings, and a ton of Guiri's fur. Perfect outfit for cuddling a shedding pooch on this rainy Friday.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Noted on a Friday

Greetings from Las Vegas! After a hectic and sleepless week, we're resting, eating, and generally be spoiled in my parents' nest. Heaven. We're here until Sunday and I'm savoring every minute.

Here are some of the little things that made my week...

This nighttime spooning - melts my heart.

A Tuesday happy hour at Polite Provisions.

A sunset road trip, The Smiths on pandora, feeling beyond peaceful.

A selfie with kisses.

An obligatory stop.

This specially-purchased-just-for-me decaf for my parents' Keurig. It's making me unbelievably happy. I have missed the taste of coffee dearly. Thank you, mom!

Two cuties, enjoying.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekending, In which Guiri has a cold

It was a somewhat stressful weekend, and I tend to not take pictures of stressful. On Friday Guiri started coughing and by Saturday morning she had what sounded like full-on bronchitis accompanied by fatigue and phlegm. We debated taking her to the animal ER as our regular vet was closed, but decided to make her our magical chicken soup with extra bone marrow and let her sleep in hopes she would heal herself. Sleep she did. All weekend. It was sad to see our usually bouncy, smiley girl looking so miserable. She slept most of the day Saturday and Sunday, but then would be up all night coughing and snorting. We were so worried - I kept asking Flavio to get up and make sure she was breathing - so needless to say we got very little sleep. We think she might have kennel cough. On the upside, our friends brought over a humidifier, so hopefully we'll all rest better tonight, and Flavio's taking her to the vet first thing tomorrow morning.

Despite this bummer, we did carve out a few happy moments. We brunched with dear friends this morning, watched Thelma and Louise and a lot of House of Cards (holy crap! Season 2 is blowing my hair back!), ate way too many chocolate covered treats, and generally lazed about at home while nursing our little lady. It was nice quiet time.

Get well soon, Guiri girl. xo

{Valentine's squirrel from Anya}

Friday, February 14, 2014

Noted on a Friday

Thanks for playing along with my Week o' Valentiney Nerdiness. I hope you do something happy today, either to celebrate yourself and your loved ones, or to make fun of the whole thing - whichever suits your fancy. I actually spent two long hours at the dentist today, which was not romantic, but I'm looking forward to a low-key night. We'll be celebrating with Chinese takeout and a House of Cards Season 2 marathon. I'm about to get going on making a batch of chocolate covered strawberries and we'll be popping those and champagne for dessert. I hope you have a wonderful weekend with the ones you love. xo

Here are a few little things that made my week...

A valentine from my bestest in Boston.

Baking my traditional red velvets for Flavio's work, and keeping one for me.

I am still missing coffee/caffeine, but I'm loving the motivational messages on my morning tea.

This AM surprise - V-Day loot and a dystopian novel by my favorite author. Sweet!

This festive polish - for lasting all week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Valentine's Day always seems to show up right when I need it most. When Christmas is a distant memory and Spring Break is still a long way off.  By February, the short days and long nights are losing their magic. But then...chocolate to the rescue! And nothing says Valentine's Day like chocolate covered strawberries. I'd never made them before today (and my chocolatier's technique definitely needs some work), but I followed this easy recipe and Flavio was impressed - he kept calling them "fancy."  They're rich and decadent, but also healthy and fresh. I bought some long-stemmed strawberries for tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to making another (hopefully prettier but equally euphoric) batch for our special dessert.

{test batch}

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It's Complicated Valentine's Day cards

Did you see this HuffPo article on 21 Awkward Valentine's Day Cards For Your Confusing Modern Relationship? Some of them are hilarious...


I still need to get Flavio's card.. I have grand plans of making a truly amazing one at home with glitter, watercolors, and warm fuzzies, but I may have to pop into Target after work and just buy one instead. We'll see.

Here's the Valentine I got him last year.

PS: I also really loved this infographic on How To Have A Happy Relationship

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Ideas

I admitted Sunday (and last year) that I love Valentine's Day. It makes me warm and fuzzy, but not in a romantic, overpriced dinners, Hallmark holiday sort of way. Rather, I see it as a more platonic day to spoil yourself and those you love. Flavio and I don't really do gifts, or anything too fancy, but we do exchange cards and celebrate with simplicity. We haven't quite worked out what we'll be doing this year, so I thought it would be fun to brainstorm ideas here, mainly based on past V-Day experiences, and then see what he wants to do.

Some ideas:

*Order your favorite takeout, have a floor picnic, and do a movie marathon. We did this last year, ordering Indian food, and watching the Princess Bride with red velvet cupcakes.

*Set a festive mood by decorating with these easy hearts on a string

*Make chocolate lava cakes and pair with some bubbly

*Treat yourself - new book, mani/pedi, or massage?

*Do a post-V-Day brunch and/or hike

*Go for an evening walk past an expensive restaurant and try to pick out the couples that are newly dating and thus awkward and uncomfortable. Thank your lucky stars you don't have to do that shit anymore. ;)

Sunday, February 9, 2014


We spent Saturday in Temecula at a friend's wedding, which was lovely. The groom is Flavio's childhood friend, so it was like a high school reunion for the guys. It was a love-filled night, with great food and lots of celebratory booze and in the midst of the party, a couple things occurred to me. (A) We are getting older - lots of people there, our age, have children who talk and play and entertain themselves. People kept asking whether we have kids and I just showed multiple photos of Guiri. :) I know I've said it before but it was a reminder: It's time start making some decisions about children, but this book is scaring me off.  Also, it shocked us all to realize it's been 18 years (!) since Flavio graduated from high school. Whoa. Yep, getting older. (B) Flavio gave a beautiful and heartfelt toast to the newlyweds and I couldn't have been more proud. There were multiple points in the night where I'd look over at him telling a story or a joke, and I'd be struck by how handsome he looked, and how funny everyone thought he was. Sometimes, in a crowd, you get to see your partner through other people's eyes, and realize how lucky you are.

Nothing too terribly exciting on this Sunday, actually, but it was nice. Flavio went to play paintball with his friends in the morning while I slept in and lazily nursed my hangover with eggs and a marathon of DC Cupcakes (so embarrassed to admit I love that terrible show). This afternoon, we went to the dog park, cooked this delicious chicken, and slowly got ready for the work week ahead.

Valentine's is a comin'! I'm excited. I think I might do a week of heart-filled goodness on the blog. I realize some people are skeptical, or hate the holiday, but maybe just play along. I promise I'll try not to trigger your gag reflex.
{tulips, Trader Joe's}
{wedding, end of the night}

Friday, February 7, 2014

Noted on a Friday

Today was dreary and cold and there was a lot of grumbling in the teachers' lounge (most Southern Californians do not do well in inclement weather). I find that it's oddly more common for people to complain about the things they dislike, than to take note of special moments throughout the day. We all have pet peeves, but do we have to verbalize them constantly? What if we all tried to focus on the things making us happy, and verbalize those? So I'm starting a new thing on the blog. Each week, on Friday (when I'm typically tired and tense), I'm going to note some of the things that made me happiest during the week. I think this will be a fun exercise in gratitude, and start the weekend off on a positive note.

Here a few things that made my week...

Today's barely-there rainbow brightened my winter morning.

Guiri and Anya love the park, even in the rain
{photo by Michael}

Chocolate chip cookies in progress. Enough said.

PS: 10 of my favorite little things, noted

PPS: 24 hours of no complaining

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Currently loving

...this song. Perfect for a rainy day. Wish I was home with a cup of tea watching Good Will Hunting..

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Gold Medal Cocktails

The Winter Olympics start this Friday, and though we'll probably boycott due to Putin's anti-LGBT legislation and the whole killing of innocent dogs in Sochi thing, any excuse for a cocktail. How fun would it be to mix up these gold medal cocktails? :)

A perfect White Russian

A Moscow Mule (my fave)

Or just a classic glass of Sochi Gold (sugared prosecco)

Let the drinking games begin!

{Photos via Pinterest}

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekending, quick notes

It was one of those beautiful wintry weekends, with moody skies that were sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy. If only I'd gotten pics.

Saturday Flavio worked so I held a cleaning party at home (I like to add music and/or movies and snacks to my cleaning extravaganzas) while this awesome chili bubbled on the stove. Saturday night we warmed up with said chili and then watched Drinking Buddies on Netflix, which we both liked. Cold nights at home together, in socked feet tangled on the couch, are my favorite.

Sunday morning I baked cookies for a friends' Super Bowl party. I was really there for the company, snacks, drinks, and commercials - while everyone else was really into the game. My favorite part: Bruno Mars and the Chili Peppers in the halftime show. Dancey!

We're now home for the second half of the game, Guiri sleeping on the floor, Flavio with beer in hand, eyes glued to the TV. Meanwhile, I'm watching highlights from the Puppy Bowl, blogging, and eating leftover cookies fireside. Delightful.

PS: I haven't seen all the Super Bowl commercials yet but I did see this one and loved it. :')

PPS: I love the time capsule aspect of blogging, that I can scroll through the archives and see what last year's Super Bowl weekend looked like. Re-reading old posts brings past memories and feelings right back.

{Sunday night, cookies and crackling fire}