Category Archives: Random

Reflecting on 2012 (Part Two)

Continuing from the first half of reflecting on 2012…

In July, we headed up to Portland for the World Domination Summit. Like my experience in New York about four months prior, life altering. I’m glad Ryan was also in attendance because it was great having someone around to bounce ideas off of once the weekend was up. There was also good eating and drinking in Portland because that’s what we do. A few weekends later, we headed out to Yosemite with his coworkers, but aside from that, the rest of July was spent volunteering or catching up with friends around town.

August began with a trip to New York for BlogHer. Outside of conference activities, we caught up with friends, watched circus acts over dinner, and learned all about picklebacks. The seester and I signed up for a 3-month Best Buy Women’s Networking program that ended up being a lot of work. My role on the Board began… We like to balance the craziness with relaxing weekends, so we jumped at the chance to hang out with Cassie and Kevin in the South Bay whom we met at TBEX months earlier.

Reflecting in 2012: September Reflecting in 2012: September

September, like many of the other months in 2012, began with travel. I visited Austin over Labor Day weekend. Linda was so kind to let me stay with her all weekend long. She introduced me to good queso, and even though we waited in a long line on a hot day, Ramen Tatsu-Ya was worth writing home about. The following weekend was a quick trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” – Disneyland!

Reflecting in 2012: OctoberOctober – my birthday month! Thanks to the generosity of my friends, I raised over 140% of my charity:water goal. Ryan and I took a trip down to Big Sur and Carmel for my birthday weekend, but that wasn’t all the travel I did for the month. A week earlier, I was in Charlotte learning all about NASCAR through the Toyota Women’s Influencer Network. It was SO COOL. There were also a few weekends of wine tasting too. Aside from being one year wiser, there’s not too much to complain about!

Reflecting in 2012: NovemberNovember was the first month in a while that I didn’t fly somewhere. Early in the month, Ryan and I drove down to the Central Coast of California for Outstanding in the Field, and it was quite the experience. We still think it’s crazy that we randomly got to sit next to the farmer at the 150+ person table! After Thanksgiving festivities, we hosted an unofficial Crabsgiving dinner to celebrate the seester’s birthday. We tried to take things easy the rest of the month with the holidays approaching.

We took it easy in December – relatively speaking. There were holiday parties and dinners, but it was a month that I felt more grounded. My calendar was full, but not terribly cluttered. I had to say “no” to a lot of things, but it was much needed. In December, I took care of other personal business – had my teeth cleaned and my epidermoid cyst removed. While I spent Christmas with my family instead of joining Ryan at his, the last few days of the month were spent up in Mendocino and Sonoma together, exploring a different wine country.

Reflecting on 2012: December

*PHEW* That was a lot. Wishing everyone a fantastic start to the new year!

Happy New Year

Reflecting on 2012 (Part One)

Happy New Year, friends! With a week off between Christmas and New Year’s, I took the opportunity to tune out the internet noise and let my attentions focus on what was right in front of me. Now that it is 2013, I am ready for reflecting on 2012 aka the busiest year ever.

January began 2012 with museum visits. I also hit the ground running in January by committing to 12 changes in 12 months and taking Zumba classes. They were unrelated activities/goals, but I didn’t get very far with either of those. I did, however, take a photography class, which helped encourage me out of manual mode for a while. It was in January at the Fancy Food Show and Food Fete where Ryan and I were so inspired that we planned a trip up to the Oregon Cheese Festival in March!

Reflecting on 2012: FebruaryFebruary began with my first Beach Blanket Babylon show. February was also our trip to Costa Rica. We travel quite well together – a real blessing! We spent one and a half weeks in three different parts of Costa Rica, eating and absorbing as many experiences as we could. When we returned, we went on our second foraging expedition, but I only wrote about our first foraging expedition, which really happened back in December. Even though February’s the shortest month of the year, we gladly stood for hours in line for good beer.

Reflecting on 2012: MarchMarch began with Mamma Mia the musical with the seester. Two months with shows to kick them off?! I’m a lucky girl. I was also beyond lucky to be chosen through the Toyota Women Influencer Network to attend the Women in the World Summit in New York City. I didn’t write as much as I had intended to about that experience, but it was pretty mindblowing. Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Meryl Streep, Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg to name only a few!

I also wrote my first post for Art of Backpacking. Later in the month, Ryan and I drove up to the Oregon Cheese Festival to eat a lot of cheese and drink plenty of beer and wine. I can’t seem to get enough of it!

Reflecting on 2012: MayApril ended up being a low travel month, but it seemed more like an eating month. Meals I enjoyed in the month ranged from the low key, such as having friends over for wine and cheese, to dining about town and discovering places like Beast and the Hare, to even a little adventurous with bugs! I also brunched with bloggers in Suisun City. At the end of the month, Ryan picked up a new [to us] car!

May kicked off the summer of travel. We spent the first weekend up in the Shasta and Southern Oregon area. We drove a roundabout way to get to Lava Beds National Monument because of the snow. Later that day, we met the equivalent of the “most interesting man on Earth” at a brewery up in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He fixed us up a delicious BBQ plate and invited us to his off-the-grid ranch, which we have yet to visit. May was also Bloggers in Sin City. I’d been counting down to the event for quite some time.

Reflecting on 2012: JuneIn June, the seester and I ran a 5K and followed it up with a brunch with bloggers. Ryan’s birthday was also this month, and we spent a week in Colorado split between Denver, Boulder, and TBEX, soaking in all those have to offer. We were super lucky to have Ashalah house us while we were in town! On the local front, I was finally able to refinance my house. It was a long process, but I got through it! June is also the time that I basically signed my life for the next year away when I ran for a Board position with the social and philanthropic organization. Lots of work, more than expected!

To be continued in Part Two!

Wine and Love #66

Wine and LoveWine and Love is a weekly series of the good “Love” and bad “Wine” for the week. Participating is simple. Post two lists – one with what’s making us w(h)ine and one all about the love. Add your link below!


* We have a rodent problem. The rain probably drove them into the house, and then we supplied them with food by keeping our emergency pet supplies within reach. Hopefully they’ll leave once we remove the food source.

Wine and Love - crab destruction unit* Our Crab Destruction Unit #1 has a hole in it. We promptly replaced it, but not after paying homage by not cooking any crabs on the second Crabsgiving. It was really the strike that kept us from preparing fresh crab, but it definitely made for a funny photo.

The note reads, “On this day, Crab Destruction Unit #1 has finally reached its own destruction. We will remember the 101 crabs to grace this steamy aluminum sauna. In honor of its service, it has been decreed that no crabs shall die in this house today.”

* 1,000 piece puzzles that are not terribly colorful. I’m working on a puzzle that’s mostly tan, beige, brown and then blue or white for sky and water pieces. Ugh.


* Crab fishermen are no longer on strike. It looks like our last Crabsgiving should be just fine!

* Holidays = holiday parties!

* Christmas music. There are stations of all Christmas music! I’ve been listening for such long periods of time that I’m getting multiple versions of the same song.

* Making a terrarium this weekend. SO EXCITED. I love succulents.

Wine and Love #65

Wine and LoveWine and Love is a weekly series of the good “Love” and bad “Wine” for the week. Participating is simple. Post two lists – one with what’s making us w(h)ine and one all about the love. Add your link below!


* Busy at work (worked until late several nights in a row) and with many other things. I’d love a second to just relax. It’s the end of the year, so I’m catching up on all the things I need to have finished before 2013 comes around.

* Crab fishermen are on strike around here. That means low supply or more expensive crabs while they’re available. It puts a damper on Crabsgiving, but we’re still looking forward to having friends over.

Wine and Love - Holiday Ball


* Fancy holiday party was this past weekend, and fancy parties mean fancy dresses! This time, I rented from Rent the Runway. I basically look like a purple ornament, which I don’t mind since I love purple.

Wine and Love - Holiday Ball

* My backup dress was not available, and they took it upon themselves to send me a different backup. That was actually really nice of them, but the dress didn’t fit. Thankfully my first choice was a hit, and I was able to wear it to the ball. They sent me a second backup after I told them about the first backup, but it didn’t arrive until Monday morning. Guess who was sitting around the house in a ball gown on Monday night? See evidence below.

Wine and Love - Holiday BallWine and Love - Holiday Ball

* I have officially declared my annoyance with garage sales. I have, however, discovered a love for the Salvation Army and Goodwill. When looking for specific items, it’s so much easier going into one of those and walking to a particular section of the store. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Ryan and I went photo frame hunting and after a few hours thrifting, we went home with 10+ frames (spending only $20-$30). My frame wall will come to life over the holidays!

Wine and Love #64

Wine and LoveHi friends, sorry I missed last week. It was time to get off the internet and spend quality time with family and friends. I hope you were able to do the same. Wine and Love is a weekly series of the good “Love” and bad “Wine” for the week. Participating is simple. Post two lists – one with what’s making us w(h)ine and one all about the love. Add your link below!


* At Starbucks, I asked for one of those plugs so I could walk back to the office with my holiday beverage, and I still managed to spill out of the little hole on top. I’m such a clutz. :/

* Work and other extracurricular activities have been busy during the holiday season. It’s never a bad thing to be too busy, right?


* Spending time with the seester all weekend long. It was her birthday on Tuesday, and prior to that, we basically spent all Thanksgiving weekend together. She introduced me to the joy that is Purple Kow, which we’ve both lovingly dubbed “Fat Kow” because that’s how you feel after consumption. They’re amazing. It’s unfortunate that they are all the way across town, and there’s no quick way to get there.

Wine and Love - Fat Kow

* My obsession with Just Dance 4. It’s fantastic exercise, and you look ridiculous doing it. In other words, awesome. Of course, like any other form of exercise, I wish I was a little more diligent about doing it.

* Christmas music!

* Dungeness crab season! It’s that time of year again, and I just sent out an email to friends to check on their availability. Since I don’t like fitting more than 15 people in the house at one time, and preparing crab and cleaning for more people than that at one time is a LOOOOOT of work, we have to host a few a year. Last year we were up to three. This year may be four. We shall see!

Wine and Love - Crabsgiving