February 2015 in Pictures

Creativity Strikes!

The shortest month of the year more or less breezed by. Hard to believe we’re just about getting through the first quarter. I tagged fewer photos with the #365infocus project hashtag, but still managed to do a pretty good job of posting daily.

The format changed a bit because for some bizarre reason, the application I was using to download Instagram photos started spitting out files that couldn’t be opened up by Photoshop. I found a work-around through Lightroom, but it takes a few extra steps.

Without further ado, here’s February 2015:

February 2015 in Pictures

Lots of Fresca photos. She’s somehow managed to injure herself, but we haven’t yet found the cause. The spot right above her nose has gotten scraped up. Any close-ups of her now will reveal a missing patch of fur.

Ryan and I enjoyed Valentine’s dinner at our friends’ pop-up in Oakland. We also saw the Keith Haring exhibit at the de Young before it left town.

If you get a chance to see Batkid Begins, I highly recommend it. It’s an uplifting movie that will make your eyes water just a little bit. We were invited to the local screening for participating in a Clever Girls campaign awhile back.

I wrapped up the month by attending the informative and inspirational Women’s Travel Fest over the weekend.

How was your February?

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Currently – v.02 {2015}

Being Suki

Loving the cleaner and more organized bedroom these days. Right before Chinese New Year, we tidied up our clothing using the method described in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. In the KonMari method, you take all of one category of belongings and go through every single item to determine whether or not it brings you joy.

The book has been a good resource for staying on track. We were able to get through clothing and books before the new year.


My clothing pile


Part of the donation pile

Loathing allergies. The weather has been incredible in the Bay Area, and with it comes the next round of allergies. Aside from the typical sniffling and sneezing, my skin has been getting pretty irritated lately. Not fun.


View of San Francisco from Berkeley this past weekend

Watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls. I reactivated our Netflix account to watch it from beginning to end. I am still in the first season since I’m not really marathoning it.

Feeling sleepy. I haven’t been getting enough hours each day, and I’m really feeling it.

Planning to sleep more. Also planning on finishing up tidying the house KonMari style. Other than that, no big trips until late April.

Working out. I bought a deal for Pop Physique classes, so I have to use those up before they expire. I also decided to make the move and join ClassPass. Despite this being a new monthly expense, I’m hoping that going to these classes will end up reducing money spent doing other things. I’ll see how a few months go to decide if it actually saves money or if it’s just wishful thinking.

Wishing to see results quickly for all the moving my body is doing. Perhaps one day I will not dislike doing planks as much as I do now. No upper body and core strength makes them so very difficult.

Looking forward to Women’s Travel Fest this weekend!


Fresca smiling for the camera

What are you currently up to?

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See New Mexico : Bandelier National Monument

Travel

Bandelier National Monument

After spending our morning hours at Petroglyph National Monument checking out ancient graffiti, we made the 110-mile drive up to Bandelier National Monument to view ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people. It took about two hours, so by the time we got up there, we had a limited amount of time to explore.

Bandelier National Monument

During the hike, we contemplated the origin of the name. At first, we thought maybe it was named after a belt of bullets worn across the body. Clever and creative (those canyon walls do look like they’ve got bullet holes all along them), but incorrect. It’s “bandolier,” so definitely misspelled!

Bandelier National Monument was actually named after Swiss-born American archeologist, Adolph Francis Bandelier. He was the first to study and report on the dwelling sites in Frijoles Canyon. With the aid of more prominent archeologists, he illuminated the importance of preserving the heritage in Frijoles Canyon. He was recognized by President Wilson who established the area as a national monument and named it after him.

Bandelier National Monument

With our time at Bandelier limited to about two hours, we opted to explore just the Main Loop trail and the Alcove House. The Main Loop trail takes visitors through archeological sites, and ladders along the trail allow access to human-carved alcoves in the rocks. For a $1 donation, you can pick up a trail guide that describes the sights along the trail.

Bandelier National Monument
View from inside one of many alcoves

The Main Loop trail is only a mile long, so we headed out towards the Alcove House. This alcove is located 140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon. The elevated site can be reached by ascending four wooden ladders and a number of stone stairs. It’s quite steep and not for the faint of heart.

Bandelier National Monument

There is a reconstructed kiva in the alcove, but for safety reasons associated with the structure’s stability, the inside of the kiva is not open to the public.

Bandelier National Monument
Up in the Alcove

After taking in the views at the top of the Alcove House, we made our way back to the visitor center to wait for the shuttle bus pick-up. If we had more time to spend in the park, there would have been plenty of other trails for us to explore. Next time!

A heads up – To keep the number of vehicles at Bandelier National Monument during the early summer through fall months in check, visitors are required to park at the visitor center and take the free shuttle in. If you’ve accidentally driven yourself into the park, there are signs along the road urging you to turn around.

Visit Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road
Los Alamos, NM
505.281.7655
More info: website

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Revisiting The Pub at Ghirardelli [giveaway]

Giveaway!

It’s Valentine’s and Galentine’s season. Time to not only celebrate your significant other, but also to celebrate love and friendships with the ladies in your life!

The first of my Galentine’s season festivities took place on Saturday. Annie of MontgomeryFest threw her Galentine’s Day Soiree at Ampersand, an adorable flower shop in the Mission. It was a delightful occasion – lovely decor, bubbly drinks, and a friendly group of local bloggers gathered.

Galentine's Day Soiree Galentine's Day Soiree Galentine's Day Soiree

I have a few more get togethers this week with lady friends. Ryan and I are keeping things low key as usual with dinner plans and potentially helping his mom move!

* * * *

Earlier in the week, I had been reminded of one particular Valentine’s of the past. 2008.

It was the Valentine’s before I met Ryan. I’d been through a few non-relationships [not worth revisiting], so I was leading the single life. That Valentine’s, I decided to do something different. I put myself up on the chopping block for a date auction. A little nerve-wrecking for an introvert, but the auction was for charity, and I was part of a date package with a friend. We went to beautiful Point Reyes with a picnic lunch. Years later, we are still friends with the guy who won the date, so not a bad deal!

Why the sudden reminder?

Last week, I attended the reopening party of The Pub at Ghirardelli Square. The space just also happens to be the latest incarnation of the spot where that date auction was held. SEVEN years ago… pretty crazy.

The Pub at Ghirardelli Square – Before and After

The Pub at Ghirardelli Square The Pub at Ghirardelli SquareBefore [left] and after [right] shots courtesy of Remark Media Relations – these were the stairs we walked down when our date package was announced.

The space has been revamped from the darker and more classic Irish pub to a brighter rustic feel. It’s light and welcoming.

The Pub at Ghirardelli Square The Pub at Ghirardelli SquareBefore [left] and after [right] shots courtesy of Remark Media Relations – the bar where people gathered their liquid courage to bid on dates with strangers.

In addition to a new face, the food and drink menus have undergone a lift as well.

At the reopening party, we had a chance to sample items both old and new to the menu. Some of the items joining the menu classics [such as Tommy Tots and The Espresso Burger]: American Cassoulet, Pete’s Pot Roast, The Quinoa and Kale Burger, and Teriyaki Glazed Pork Wings. New cocktails on the drinks menu, all inspired by life in San Francisco: Fired Up, Orange Pride, Day on the Bay, Old San Francisco, Golden Gate Stroll.

The Pub at Ghirardelli

The Pub at Ghirardelli

From what we’ve heard, they’re trying to make the space as attractive to locals as it is to tourists. The decor and the view of the bay from the restaurant is certainly inviting!

The Pub at Ghirardelli Square – Giveaway

In celebration of the reopening, we have teamed up with The Pub to give away a $50 gift card to the restaurant! Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was invited to the reopening event at The Pub SF. No compensation was received for attending, and all opinions on this blog are my own.

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January 2015 in Pictures

Creativity Strikes!

Wow, how did January fly by like that? I decided to participate in the #365infocus project once again. Like last year, I plan on recapping each month with a post. Here’s January 2015:

January 2015 in Pictures

January has been full of weekend hikes, doggy play dates, and cooking at home. Our first hike of the year was along the Dipsea Trail to Muir Woods. Weather-wise, it’s been sunny, and there’s nothing better than fully appreciating the sunshine by getting outdoors.

One of our many meals cooked at home in January: mussels from our Sea Forager subscription!

January 2015 in Pictures

I surprised Ryan with tickets to a Sharks/Rangers game. He’s a Rangers fan, and it’s rare that they play on this coast. Luckily, they won.

Another meal I prepared at home: homemade lasagna! It looks a little messy, but it was tasty! Even though the dish I used didn’t seem very large, it yielded quite a bit of lasagna. I was eating it for days (no complaints!).

January 2015 in Pictures

Our second weekend hike was short and easy. We explored Maxwell Farms Regional Park in Sonoma before heading to HelloCello for a limoncello (and other strong boozes) tasting.

We bought new-to-us furniture through MoveLoot. It’s an app and a website where you can buy or sell furniture, only it’s a much sleeker experience than Craigslist. All the items have been vetted by the employees and are stored in a warehouse waiting for a sale. When you buy furniture over a certain $ amount, they deliver AND assemble the furniture for you. Super convenient.

After our MoveLoot delivery, we hopped on a ferry to cruise around the bay. We definitely took advantage of the beautiful weather.

January 2015 in Pictures

Even though they weren’t featured in my daily photos, we experimented with Forage for two nights. We made Chicken Pho and Braised Rabbit.

The sister also came over one night for dinner, bringing with her the delicacy of spot prawns. So good!

January 2015 in Pictures

We wrapped up the month with a fundraiser at the Exploratorium called Science of Cocktails. The event raised over $175,000 for the museum, while celebrating the artistry of mixology with the science behind the craft. We partied responsibly and made it to our third hike of the month the following day – Tilden Park in Berkeley. No hangover, AND we hiked about six miles. Ryan’s plan was to hike twice a month, so we definitely hit our target in January.

How was your January?

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