This past weekend was Bottlerock.  As you may know from my previous post, we had planned to attend only Saturday of the three day festival .  The weather turned up to the 90s and the town of Napa was primed and ready for this epic event to take place.  The lineup was awesome and everyone was really looking forward to it.

My boss planned on going all three days.  He of course had Platinum level tickets.  We had single day VIP tickets.  As I was driving to work on Friday morning, my boss and his wife called to say they were not going to use their tickets on Friday, and asked if we would like to use them.  DUH!

We scrambled for a sitter.  We put on our festival wear.  I cancelled my nail appointment and spray tan.  When you are offered Platinum, you pull out all the stops to make it happen.  And it was so much fun.  We clinked glasses with Gordon Ramsay in the lounge.  We watched Michael Franti from high above on the sky deck.  What an unexpected fun night!

Saturday was equally as amazing, with an afternoon in the hot sun, with all of our dearest friends.  Florence was beyond anything I could ever imagine.  She has energy and spirit like none other. I danced so much my calf muscles will take a week to function normally.  I have unexplained bruises all over.  I lost my voice.  I am sunburned and my feet smart.  But boy oh boy, it was a blast.

I cannot WAIT until next year!

may redux

Where did this month go?  There was a lot going on, for sure.  But it seemed like the first part of the month just flew right by.  G’s birthday was mid-week, so I sent him to the spa during the day.  We both celebrated a few days later on my actual birthday, which was on a Saturday this year.  Dinner at Cole’s Chop House with an amazing bottle of Shafer Relentless couldn’t have been more perfect (thanks, my very best in-laws for the  juice).  We met friends later at the Mansion at Silverado for more celebratory cocktails.  Our neighbors gave us a ride home, and of course joined us for a nightcap.  That last little sip turned into a late night house party at our pad, with other friends stopping by to join in.  Let’s just say it was a banner celebration for a silly forty something birthday.

What’s even better, G and I had been talking about joining a club or a rec center so we would have access to a pool for the summer.  We have friends at each local country club; really dear friends.  My mom has been a member of Silverado for nearly 30 years.  But, Napa Valley Country Club is a very young, family friendly place.  Silverado is primarily a resort.  They cater to people coming to Napa for vacation.  It is beautiful and stately.  It feels like a classic “club.”  Napa Valley CC is also picturesque, but there it is just the members.  No resort.  No fluff.  The pool is for the families.  The clubhouse is small and understated, but the popcorn machine runs all day and the kids have a ball in complete safety.

I received one gift for my birthday: a NVCC membership!  It is a gift the whole family will enjoy year after year.  Half of our friends are definitely disappointed that we picked Napa.  The other half is so thrilled.  They have been including us in events there for the past two years, and we have always had a ball.  Today, Memorial Day, we went to the pool for their annual celebration.  Between the hot dogs, water balloons, cannon ball contest, parent/kid swim relays…I would say we’ve found our happy place.  Happy Birthday to ME!cannongirlsnvcc




We have the best friends.  I am sappy today, because we really do.  I think G and I are pretty easy to get along with, we are super casual, we are easy going, our kids are well behaved (most of the time).  We seem to be closest with people just like us.  What is most fantastic, our friends are effortless.

Flash to yesterday.  I decided to clean the garage after picking up the kids from their care spot.  As I am shoving things around, one of our besties pulls up in her mini, she was dropping something off to a friend down the street.  After a quick chat, we decided to do an impromptu family dinner at our place.  It was a school night, and all four of the adults work full time.  Now, this is totally horn tooting, but it is my damn blog and I can toot away.  In about 30 minutes time, we planned a pretty fantastic menu of grilled pork chops, porcini polenta, asparagus and green beans.  We put together an amazing cheese and charcuterie plate to start.  Even the wines were paired.  The kids were thrilled with pizza, strawberries and cookies plus tons of outdoor fun.  There was little effort put out by any one person.  We all just took a little part and did it while chatting about upcoming fun. I know some people are completely incapable of putting together a home cooked dinner for just themselves, on any night.

What was so awesome about last night, it was so easy because we have such incredible friends.  We always have a great time: at home, on the town, at kid events, at school!  So cheers to our friends for being ours!  Couldn’t ask for much more.

springing into summer

There are 19 days of school left for my kids.  I turn yet another year older in just over a week.  Per the usual, we have only one real vacation on the books.  However, given that we live in a place that people take vacations seriously, the weekends will be filled with all kinds of sun and fun.  I have not considered my body tone in months.  The holidays flowed right into hard work.  I reward all the hard work with wine.  Workouts have been pushed right to the furthest corner of my world.  Considering exercise used to be paramount in my life, this whole work/stress/drink/exhaustion/repeat cycle has to be adjusted.

While it takes a lot of time to plan for, the “clean” diet really does work.  And by work, I mean you lose inches, weight and you do feel great.  It can get super repetitive and it can be challenging when dining out.  Paired with a barre3 online class, or a Dailey class taught to myself or in the rare instance that I can actually make it to the studio, for my body, it is the fastest and most effective way to see results.

Here I am, three whole days into my health kick.  I am not dry.  That’s not going to change. Instead of the four (honest) glasses of wine each night at 500 calories and residual sugar, I am having one vodka on the rocks or a skinny margarita.  One drink makes me feel relaxed, and I don’t feel like I drank at all the next day.  I am avoiding gluten, grains, dairy, soy, legumes and sugar.  But keeping it in perspective is my main focus.  That way, no one else is impacted by my program.

I will post progress, highlights and pitfalls here.  Let’s hope I can greet the beaches of Lake Tahoe with a comfortable and content self.

mother’s day

Mother’s Day weekend, because it is a full weekend in my opinion, not just a day, was quite lovely.  We tried out a new sitter on Friday night, which worked out really well.  Our collection of reliable kid care was dwindling.  I put an ad on and voila, a few great gals came from that.  G and I went to Ca Momi and literally scooped up burrata cheese with pizza skin for a few hours while the  local band played some fabulous acoustic music.

Saturday, I came home to flowers and lots of goodies from the Ferry Building.  Candles, lotions, candies, honey and a new knife set were all in the mix.  We grilled lamb chops and watched a movie in front of the fire, because of course, it was pouring rain.

Sunday, we took my mom to Bottega for lunch.  I had not been to Bottega in a long time, and it did not disappoint.  Even their take on the Bellini was fabulous: prosecco with Cabernet foam on top!  We all had a great time nibbling and laughing.  No Mother’s day would be complete without a good two hours at the baseball field.  Harris had a game, which means lots of cheering and sunflower seeds.  Kind of a fun way to finish the weekend.

Here are some photos of the fun.belhbcmday


Wow.  It is already May.  I am not too sure where April went, but it is gone and I am already feeling behind.  This month started “off” because the first day of the month was on a Sunday, a day I reserve for cooking, prepping and planning for the week ahead.  We had family in town on May 1st, and while I loved every minute of it, the double whammy of a Sunday that’s the first day of the month really fouled with my focus.

Also adding to my disarray, there are just 23 days of school left.  Summer break is really a break for no one.  Because I am a full time working person, summer just means camp and extra organization.  We take one trip to Tahoe at the end of July, which I literally start planning again for the day the trip ends.  A week in Tahoe without responsibilities sounds amazing.  Well, the only thing that needs to be done is lunch making.  Laundry, because it is sandy at the beach.  That’s really it.  I think about the week in Tahoe all the time.

But you know what I realized today?  Greg and I never, and I mean ever, go anywhere just the two of us.  We go as just adults to meet other friends for a weekend.  But there’s others and we have a pretty structured plan when we do those trips.  Every other time we go out of town, or even out of the house, it is a full family affair.  Heck, lately we don’t even go on date nights, just the two of us.  I have a handful of friends that don’t have kids and I wonder what they do with all of their time!  Because of the work I do, I am constantly taking care of others.  It is my job, and I love my job.  But I have completely forgotten about me. I get my hair done five or six times a year, that’s all about me. So I guess it isn’t so bad.  It was just sort of in my face today, and I got sad about it.

I will try and perk up.  I will face May 3 with verve and gusto.  I will try.