this is happening

Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger.  After overthinking it completely, truly, overthinking a silly little break, and thanks to my Mom for giving me the final encouragement, I booked our Spring Break trip…to Disneyland!  My Mom had been asking if I could go with her to her Uncle’s birthday party in Los Angeles.  Her uncle is the last of her Mom’s living sibling, so it is kind of a big deal.  Trying to figure out how to include the kids and make this into a trip, it became obvious that I needed to get serious.  With a little internet trolling and quick thinking, it all came together for what might be a really fun vacation.

We are staying at the Grand Californian for two nights.  It has been a bit of a crash course, and I am so grateful to my friends that have been to Disneyland enough to steer me in the right direction(s).  Who knew there is a real science to planning your time at Disney?  We had to stay at the Grand because the hotel is literally in the park.  With my Mom joining us, we needed easy entry and a spot to rest that wasn’t miles away.  It will also allow us to take advantage of the Magic Hour and experience the most popular rides before the real crowds arrive.  Apparently, there is a very nice pool at the hotel and the weather is supposed to be spectacular.

Mr. Christensen isn’t saying a peep about the trip, matter of fact, he doesn’t even want to talk about it.  I am hoping the spirit of Disney will take over once we arrive and that he will end up having a wonderful time.  Thank goodness for ESPN Zone and beer all over California Adventure.  It will make a big difference!  Considering what I do for a living, the planner in me is out in full force.  I am trying to decide what shoes to bring and what clothes to wear.  I have the kids figured out, I think.  As much as I hate Crocs, several websites note them as a favorite choice for kids.

I am so excited, I almost feel like a kid again.  Thanks, Mom, for putting the wheels on our Spring Break!

spring break

Every year, I have the same battle: internally, externally, personally, professionally.  What should we do for Spring Break?  This silly war happens with all the other breaks as well, in the winter, and the entire summer.  I am a planner.  It is part of my actual job to be very well versed in the sequence of events for every single day – from grand to routine.  When it comes to my own life, I just sit in limbo, going over all the possibilities and never pull the trigger on anything until it is too late.

Here’s where I am currently: my friends all have elaborate vacations on the books, to Mexico or to Malibu.  They are getting on planes and heading out.  It seems like everyone I know was in or is in Sayulita, which looks swoon worthy.  Our Spring Break is earlier than most, taking place the week before Easter.  We don’t have a week in April, since Easter falls in March this year.  Both Greg and I are working hard on projects professionally, so taking time off right now isn’t the best idea.

The hardest part is that we have options.  We tried to reserve a condo in Palm Springs that we bought at our school auction last year, but it is already booked.  This year, I bought Disneyland tickets at the same auction (last weekend) that are already burning a hole in my pocket.  The house we rented in Sea Ranch has a great buy four get the fifth and sixth nights free deal going on, which sounds tempting, minus the curvy drive there.  Finally, we live in a spectacular place that a lot of the world visits during these types of breaks!  I have an awesome “in” at the California Academy of Sciences, which could be a great day experience.  Last, two of my very best friends live in Scottsdale and their doors are wide open.

So here I sit, with the break just a week away and we have no plans.  It is eating me alive. Flash to next Friday, when it really sinks in and I might just be a puddle.  That’s all. Thanks for listening.

birthday, baby

This little bunny turned six today.  If you read my old blog, you would know she didn’t arrive until 5:45 p.m. on March 1.  It was a Monday when she was born, and it was a scheduled event.   I walked back to the operating room all on my own at 40 weeks.  I crawled up and laid on the table, I had my arms strapped down, my freshly washed hair shoved into a cap, I was completely naked from the waist down.  The anesthesiologist told me to breathe – he said he couldn’t give me a spinal with my hear rate that high.  So turned to G, and we talked about something silly like June, our cat.  The music started to play.  Dream Girl. A few minutes passed, I calmed, and before I knew it, E-Weezer made her debut.  Plump. Red.  Loud. With so much hair.

Here’s the thing.  She is just like that. Effortless. She is her own self with little coaching.  She needed no help arriving, other than a little lift, and she has always been stare-worthy.  Thankfully now it is because of her gorgeous looks and not because of her furry back.  She is still my dreamer and my sweet love bird.  I cannot imagine life without Le Weez.  Happy birthday, girl.  Momma will love you forever.

life changer, and jewels

I am very particular about my hair.  I do not like washing my hair very often, because when it is wet and clean, the process to get it to a state that I can deal with is lengthy.  There are stages it goes thru to get a few days on the books without a washing.  First, I do a stick straight blow out followed by the flat iron.  That style lasts two days.  Day three I will add beach waves with my arched flat iron.  I have owned two in my life, and have used it over the course of ten years.  If I am lucky, I can get two more days out of the curls with a healthy dose of dry shampoo.

Lately, my arched flat iron isn’t cutting it.  I am not sure what the life cycle is for such an appliance, but I think it isn’t heating properly, which makes the curls barely there.  At this point I should in this post, I should probably introduce my dearest friend Julie.  She and I have exchanged beauty secrets, amazing finds and all kids of other things over the past twenty years we’ve known each other.  She too extends her hair without wash for long periods of time.  She sent me a video of her curling her hair with the Beach Waver Pro.  Immediately I was on board.  I went to Ulta, bought exactly what she said (get the pro not the S because it has a longer barrel), and ran home to try it.  I love the results!  Perfect beach waves and saved me so much time.  Worth every penny.  If you like beach waves too, this is a product you must have!waves.jpg

new in the hood

We live in the Silverado Country Club community.  Most of my life, the club has been a part of it.. Because of the proximity, we dine at the Grill a lot, grab cocktails in the Mansion bar, if I am out of Moroccan Oil, I will run up to the spa and get some.  For months, the club has been advertising this new cafe that was coming to the grounds.  It was supposed to open last fall before the big golf tournament.  Like most things, there were delays and I was convinced it would never come to fruition.  The club really does need a little casual spot for people to grab coffee without a waiter, or the usual formality.  It is a big resort in addition to a country club, and I think they are finally starting to realize that.

Last Thursday was the soft opening of the Market & Bakery.  We of course had the art show to attend at rival Napa Valley Country Club, so we missed it.  I promised the kids we would go check it out on the weekend.  Since the weather was nice enough, we hopped on our bikes and cruised over to the new spot.  It is perfectly placed in the center of the grounds.  It has red awnings that dot the familiar white siding that’s on all of the other buildings.  There is a fire pit, tables with lots of chairs, and built in heaters hanging from the patio columns.  Inside, there’s a typical counter where you can order.  They have breads, pastries and cookies from Bouchon Bakery.  You can order specialty coffees made to order.  They have pre-wrapped sandwiches and salads that looked yummy.  Plus, there’s an actual market.  Chilled wines, craft beers, artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, nuts, ships, crackers plus nice tequila and vodka!  They have Napa logo gear, the tasteful kind.  I was so impressed.

We sat outside and enjoyed the surroundings.  H ate his pain au raisin quickly, Weez dismantled her muffin.  The coffee was strong and hot.  To have this option when wine reserves are low, or when dinner just needs a bag of pasta…this market could really become an asset.  When otherwise I would have to get in the car and schlep to Whole Foods.  Same goes for the morning.  On the weekends, we might scoot down to Model or Starbucks.  Why bother when we can ride our bikes to an even better spot!  I am so thrilled the Market & Bakery are open.  Good job, Silverado!


month of love round-up

I haven’t done a real list of love yet on this silly bog.  Here it goes, before the month is over.

  • DREAMS: I have the funniest, most bizarre dreams.  They are so real, and last for so long, I often times reflect throughout the week what was real and what was in my dreams.  Funny the people your mind allows into those unconscious moments.
  • FAMILY: Being close to family is just amazing.  We can travel an hour and be with our closest in age family.  Up the street is my own mom.  We are lucky and love it.
  • FRIENDS: My tribe has continued to swell, however the additions fit in like they have always been a part of the fabric.  My Napa friends are just irreplaceable.  30 years ago if you would have guessed that all of these folks would be my tribe, I would have laughed.  Stay classy, Napa.
  • CARE: Between my nails, my hair, let’s go spray tan, my chiropractor (aka my Love Bomb), the Dailey, even the folks at Whole Foods have my back.
  • FOOD: between the high hat sumo mandarins, and the driscoll strawberries, the bounty has been unreal.  While at our best Auntie’s house, she made us overnight oats with all kinds of amazingness.  We have tried to copy.  Still working.
  • PETS:  June is the most lovey dovey cat these days.  She is old, that’s true.  Every morning you can count on a snuggle that is tough to get away from.  Max, the cat at Auntie and Uncles is still such a gem in our minds.  Take a look.  Huge love.
  • RANDOM NOTES: I love my job.  I love the new WHO WHAT WEAR line at Target.  I love what I bought at Coast Carmel.  I love Church Key wine.  I love having a blog again.


weekend redux

This past weekend was a bit of a tradition, transformed.  When we lived in Utah, our dear friends Eddie, Katie and their daughter Taylor would come to visit us.  We would ski and dine around.  The kids would have a ball day and night.  It became our tradition.  We were so thankful and excited for their visit each year during President’s Day weekend, coming all the way to Utah to be with us.  Shift to now.  We obviously don’t live in Utah any longer.  So we’ve adjusted to California.  Instead, now we go to Carmel for the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach; the boys walk the course while the girls spa.  We meet up later for dinner and fun.

This year, much like last year, the weather was unbelievable.  Sunshine and warmth abound.  My spa time with Katie was so fantastic; the best salad with prawns, a glass of wine, peanut fruit bars before our massages.  We sat in the fireplace room at Casa Palmero until we needed to meet the boys back at Katie’s place in town.  There, we had a true cocktail hour with her parents – cheese straws and vodka tonics.  Dinner was wonderful and the revelry after, even better.  The Hog’s Breath (an essential part of the tradition) was packed with all kinds of fun folks from the tournament.  It was a blast.

You are probably asking, where were the kids in all of this?  Good question.  We dropped them off at G’s brother’s house in Morgan Hill Friday night.  They recently purchased a compound of sorts that has land for miles, including an old, funky house they are making their own, plus tractors and bugs and lizards.  Oh, and a 25lbs cat named Max.  They never looked back when we left.

Memories were made by all.  This is what life is made of.  See next post for further weekend details…

star sighting

Michael Chiarello is a good looking older gentleman even if he follows the typical star-in-real-life rule, being shorter and much smaller in person.  However, I have always been a fan of his.  He has such an engaging personality, perfectly built for a Napa restaurant (like Tra Vigne-RIP, or Bottega), or for television.  If he was in town, and happened to be working at Bottega when we were there, he would always make an effort to say hello and air kiss.  He likes ladies, that’s no mystery.  Regardless, we always left charmed, blinking and gesticulating about the wine he poured for us, gratis.

As I was sitting at the car wash today, I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a late model Lexus with writing on the side “Official Car of Bottega Restaurant.”  Well, well. How official indeed!  He was at the driver’s seat, blowing his nose, picking his teeth.  But I watched and swooned, noting in my mind that everyone has a runny nose or lunch in their teeth.  After he got out and paid, the small talk began.  I desperately wanted to ask for a selfie with him.  But, I didn’t, even though I knew there was snot on his hand and that his porchetta sammie was still in his mouth.  I smiled and agreed with passion as he talked about the weather and the lines and the taco truck.

It was my Tuesday Star Sighting.  At the car wash.  Don’t judge me.


I am not embarrassed to admit that currently:

  1. I smell like a campfire from dinner at Rutherford Grill
  2. We went there after the bar at Auberge because they were rude and well, rude
  3. I have horrible dandruff around my hairline
  4. My skin is terrible
  5. I didn’t lose a pound from 30 Clean
  6. My anti-anxiety medicine no longer works
  7. My favorite wardrobe items are from Target
  8. I need to stop following supermodels on instagram
  9. I haven’t brushed my teeth before bed in several days
  10. I brush my teeth around 3am
  11. Toenail polish is non-existent
  12. I am praying for no rain for our trip this weekend
  13. I am singing a song in my head that I made up to Hot Blooded by Foreigner
  14. The song is about hot feet, that I call “tutahs”
  15. I miss my mom even though she lives just up the street!

win, win

My husband loves the Broncos, has forever.  It is his team, and he has never cheered for another.  Ever.  We have experienced three Superbowl wins together over nearly twenty years.  This week was much like the others in the past.  My husband also has the nickname, Dr. Doom, for his usual lack of enthusiasm and less than positive attitude.  This time, despite the consistent commentary directed toward a Panthers victory, he kept a great attitude and listened quietly.  The victory was so sweet.  He was beyond happy.  The joy on his face is obvious.  Oh what a season!