Monthly Archives: January 2011

Gettin’ Silly in Sonoma

I think you can tell from my last post that I was in a pretty good mood and had some awesome plans in store for the weekend.  Dare I say was drunk with happiness?

I chose to fortify my drunken oblivion with some wine tasting on Saturday!

Zach planned the whole thing.  Usually I am the one that takes lead on organizing all events, transportation, food, invites, destination points, etc.  It was more than refreshing for him to take the wheel and let me just come along for the ride. And by “ride,” I mean minivan.  Ohhhh yeaaaah!

Kelley and I proudly standing next to the superfly minivan

Though I adore pretty much every wine region in this area, I wanted to revisit Sonoma since it had been a couple of years.  Zach prepared in advance and scoped out the wineries that specialized in Pinot Noir (my fave) and also sparkling wine.  Score!

We started at Viansa:

Incredible iron work all over the estate

Gorgeous property, less than stellar wine.  Very meh.  The Italian varietals are generally not my favorite anyway, so at least expectations were low.  They did have cheese, mustard and tapenade tasting, which was phenomenal.  It wasn’t a total loss!

Next up was Gloria Ferrer, which is one of my absolute favorite affordable sparkling wines.  So tasty. I drink their wines often, but have only been to this vineyard once before — back in 2002 when I first moved to Cali!

But first, we had to pull over for this photo op:

This chair didn't look that big until I got in it!

Okay back on track.  We snagged a small table at Gloria Ferrer and decided to share a bottle of the Brut Rose, which is limited in sales and cannot be found in stores.  Loved it!  Crisp, light in fruit, not too sweet.  It was downed by all pretty darn fast ;)  Along with our champagne, we broke out the snacks: hummus, pita chips, maple smoked cheddar, salami, chocolates, carrots.  It was a healthy feast =)

Since we quickly snarfed down the champagne, we decided to get a bottle of Pinot to share as well.  This didn’t knock my socks off, but I wouldn’t kick it outta bed.

Kelley, Josh, and the DD ;)

Rachel, Me, Zach

Next up was a small little winery called Anaba, where the volume was loud and the atmosphere was fun.

Moving on, we headed to Schug because we heard that had Pinots.  I would summarize this place by saying it was rapid fire wine tasting.  The wines were good, but the tasting room was cramped and just didn’t have an atmosphere that screamed “stay! drink more!”  But I did end up buying a Pinot and snapping a pic of our group by the minivan turned hummer.

The driver didn't want to switch rides :D

Onward to Ravenswood.  This was the most mainstream winery we went to and while I do enjoy their Merlots, they were primarily serving Zins :P  Yick!  Zin is easily my least desired vino.  The others liked it though!  Win!

We had to end on a good note, so I convinced (severe arm twisting you know) to go Domaine Carneros, which also specialized in sparkling wines and Pinots.  AND it is modeled after the wineries in Eperney, France, birthplace of Champagne, and our vacay spot in 2007.

It’s safe to say I was silly at this point.

I will melt you with my mind

We had an incredible server who offered us a lot of extra tastes — surely a full 2 glasses more, including their premium $100+ bottles.  Nice!  I would have easily purchased a case of sparkling wine, but hubby isn’t much of a fan, so we went with a pretty spectacular Pinot.

One last group shot before hitting the road:

Domaine Carneros

When all was said and done, we only walked away with 3 bottles of vino.  2 Pinots for me and 1 Zin for the hubby.

Vino!

I had a lovely and exhausting day and it was well worth the wait for my Birthday celebration.  Thanks friends :D

What is your favorite wine?  Least favorite?

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Happy happy happy!

I was  in a freakin’ fantastic mood last night and it’s carrying over into today :D

Why?

Let me share…

1.  I took today off.  I’m not working…at all.  I refuse to.  I decided that today will make up for me traveling for work on my Birthday ;)

2.  I’m loving my cute lil’ Netbook and loving my new cover even more:

 

Netbook and cover presents from the hubby

3.  I get to see my Bestie next week.  (Really this should be number 1 if we’re ranking things here).  We both have the squirmmies just thinking about it :P

 

4.  My hubby has planned a trip of us and 4 friends to go wine tasting in Sonoma tomorrow for my Birthday.  Who isn’t happy going wine tasting?

5.  Zach made me dinner last night using a Hungry Girl recipe:

 

Chicky fingers (now just add a huge dollop of BBQ and that's what I ate)

The lazy girl's way of posting the recipe

6.  I did some major online shopping this week and have been getting packages on a daily basis…here’s what I got to name a few things:

 

  • Grey foldover boots
  • Gold strappy wedges
  • Multicolor peeptoe wedges
  • VS bikini bottoms (no need to wonder why I only got the bottoms)
  • VS foldover capri yoga pants
  • VS peacoat
  • Off the shoulder blush dress for my friend’s Kauai wedding
  • New color of eyeliner from Bare Escentuals called “Patio Party”

7.  I can finally wear makeup! ;)

8.  I have had no problems with my Lasik that I got last Thursday.

9.  I’ve been able to workout 3 days in a row.

10.  I’m trying a fabulous new wine bar this afternoon.  Vino o’clock starts at 3p.  Cheers!

What is making you happy today?

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Merry Maid Me

Thank you for all your great comments on yesterday’s post.  I like the idea of changing up my meals a bit, doing more weight work, and perhaps even edging up the calories…gasp! :)

Have I ever told you that I’m a clean freak?  Yep, serious OCD when it comes to being clean.

Think Monica on Friends.

Source

I do believe the phone pen should remain by the phone (err if you still have a landline).  I do like being the friend that comes to help you pack.  I do get excited when it’s time to clean.

I have been like this my whole life.  Just ask my Mom.  There wasn’t a day she wouldn’t come home from work and I hadn’t fluffed the pillows, vacuumed, dusted, organized her closet, or simply straightened the fringes on the carpet (yes I was that OCD).

In college I would do my roommates’ chores in exchange for them paying my part of a bill (Electric, Cable, etc).

Life feels more in control when things are clean.  I feel like I an breathe deeply and maybe even relax!

And luckily I happened to marry a guy that is fairly clean.  Granted, he may need some reminding now and then, but he is pretty good about his set of chores: making the bed in the AM, taking out the trash, scoopin’ the kitty poo, and folding his own laundry.  I usually would do everything else, which I didn’t mind terribly.

Then life happened.

I was busy.  Hubby was busy.  Finally one day, he suggested getting a cleaning service prior to our wedding.  I relented because that period was super hectic as you may well guess ;)

Source

To say I was impressed was an understatment.  They were in and out in less than 75 minutes and the house was sparkling.  Yes, I had to go around afterwards and put things (precisely) back in their place, but I was able to relinquish that control of cleaning.  Liberating, I tell you!

Now, we’ve realized that our “free time” is so precious and rare that it may just be worth to make this a regular thing.  Over a year later, we have a cleaning crew come once every 3 weeks and I can’t imagine ever going back.  In between cleanings, I still vaccum (a few times a week for all the pet hair), scrub counters, and do laundry, but the deep stuff, I leave to them ;)

I guess you could say I never thought I’d be the type to give up something I actually enjoy, but let me tell you it’s for all the right reasons.  The small amount of money is so worth the extra time I have to just be.

Are you a clean freak?

Do you use a cleaning service?

What’s your least favorite chore? Mine has to be laundry.  I feel like it’s such a pain in the arse!  I’d rather clean the bathroom than fold clothes..any day! (Okay, scoopin’ cat poo is up there as the worst too)

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Food/Fitness Feedback

It sounds like people would be interested in a shoe giveaway!  This makes my heart sing :)  No, really it does.

As you know, my life has been beyond hectic for the past 2 month and the prior 6 months to that was no walk in the park.  I’ve been working weekends, long nights, traveling more times than I can count.  And now?  Now I fear I may be getting bored.  Yes it’s only been 2 days since I’ve delivered the big proposal and I still have things on my plate to tackle, but I already am feeling restless.  I can come up with all these ideas to make use of my free time, but nothing feels quite right.  Ho hum, woe is me :P

The last couple of weeks I have documented *all* my eats and exercises and it was pretty easy to see a pattern:

  • I eat breakfast about 2.5-3 hours after waking up.  It’s almost always oatmeal and totals under 200 calories.
  • I snack a lot, 99% of the time on healthy things.  I never go more than 3 hours without eating a little something.
  • Lunch may be varied but is usually soup, salad, or leftover tofu stir-fry.  My lunch calories are around 350 calories.
  • I tend to eat majority of my calories after 3p starting with a 200 cal snack and then going on to a 500 cal dinner around 630p. 
  • Vino makes a daily appearance.  That will obviously go away if the family expansion thing happens, but until then, cheers!
  • I have tons of food guilt if I overeat in the slightest.
  • My workouts have been on the tame side and only are 35-50 minutes in length.
  • I don’t do nearly enough weight lifting.

Throughout the past couple of weeks, the most common comments I received were regarding my calorie intake, suggesting it was not nearly enough.  On a daily basis, I get about 1400 calories (weekends are more like 2200).

I should mention that I have gone to a nutritionist before and she said something somewhat similar.  She suggested my food intake should be closer to 1600 cals during the week and about 200o on the weekends (less yo-yo-ing).  This is difficult to do because I sit so much at my job that I feel guilty for eating more than my normal intake.  And, as of late, my schedule is so packed that I can’t seem to fit in anything more than a 40 min workout at my apartment gym.

Oddly enough (or maybe not) in those 2 weeks, I only fluctuated 0.5lbs, which is unheard of for me.  I tend to swing 2-3lbs up and down every week.  I ended up weighing myself today, however, and am down a solid 3lbs (or 6lbs if you consider my high fluctuating weight).  While admittedly that makes me happy, I feel less healthy since I’m not getting in the workouts I desire and my food intake has been a little predictable. 

What’s a girl to do?

Logically I know that I can make use of this extra free time I may have to actually use my gym membership, go to Bikram, try the Barre Method, but I just don’t know. 

If you’ve been reading about my Eats and Exercises, what suggestions do you have for me?

Any ideas for high-intensity, short-duration, satisfying workouts?

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Shoes-Day!

Thanks for the Birthday wishes!  Bloggers are such incredibly sweet people and I love you all :)  Admittedly it was a bit of a boring day overall, but I did score free vino on United.  For some reason they flight attendants gave me 3 glasses (and actual glasses with the first-class vino).  Nice :)

Did I tell you I bought a pair of shoes last week?  Yep, I did.  It’s actually the first pair I’ve personally bought in, well, a month or so.  That must be a record.  And what is a record is that I found them online (endless.com) in less than 5 minutes and purchased in 10.  Score!  I’ll showcase them soon enough , but they will probably make their debut in Kauai just a few short weeks away.  And, er, I may have bought a pair of boots on Sunday.  Dang ShopItToMe emails.  They lure me right in.

Today I’ll hit ya with another business look and day-to-night shoe.

Work wear (yes it's still dark out)

Doh!  You can barely see the shoes.  This is what they look like close up:

JS Brown Pumps

I bought these probably 2 years ago at Marshalls for about $40, which was half of the retail price.  I have a similar pair that I showed you back in June that are black and white polka-dottted as seen here.

Here’s another look — more casual Friday.  And what do you know, recycling the same jacket.  ‘Spose I like it much?

Casual Friday look, Jan 2010

It’s no secret that I have a love for shoes.  And from what I gather, so do many of you bloggers out there, so I ask…

Would you be up for a shoe-giveaway (from me, to you)?

I’d either highlight a favorite shoe of mine to give away (in your size of course) or have you give me an idea or two of the shoe you are looking for and be your personal shopper/buyer.  Thoughts?

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Where’s my cake?

Hey hey, guess what today is?  It’s my Birthday!  31 years of living for this girl :)   And where am I?  In Canada.  Without family/friends.  Doing work.  And it’s -10 deg.  I’m thinking I did not plan this out so well – what do you think?

Last year my hubby planned a little surprise birthday for my 30th.  He set up dinner reservations and told me it was just going to be us and the Bestie and bestie-in-law.  When we got to the restaurant, more friends were they waiting :)  We ate, drank, and got silly on the dance floor.  Good times if I do say so!

Ladies at Straits, 2010

This trip was short and sweet though.  The sole purpose was to hand carry technical documents to an Embassy in Canada for an International Proposal we are trying to win.  I sort of felt like “Men in Black” all suited up, meeting high up officials and doing a handoff of fully packed black suitcases.  Crazy right?

And now, after a $1000 change fee, I’m getting back on  plane to head home one day early.  Guess this means I won’t be spending my entire Birthday sans family!  Yipppeeeee!

Here are my Saturday eats, which will conclude my 2 weeks of documenting all eats and exercises.  Later this week, I’ll give you my assessment and hopefully you can share your inputs too!

Saturday Eats:

  • 9a—16 oz of home brewed maple nut coffee with 1+ tbsp vanilla creamer
  • 1030a—small Braeburn apple
  • 3p—1 packet TJ’s cinn-apple oatmeal, 1 tbsp pecans, 1 tbsp raisins (I was freakin’ starving at this point!)
  • 730p—On the Border Mexi: 2 chicken fajitas, handful of tortilla chip, and some black beans and rice.  Stuffed to the brim.  But oh did I pay for it.  I proceeded to get violently ill from 830p-230a and pretty much “got rid of” all of my eats.  Lovely right? This is the THIRD time I’ve gotten extremely sick after eating Mexi.  I refuse to stop eating my favorite food though!

Saturday Exercises:

  • 2 mile walk with Naava (long day at work prevented a workout..boo!)

What was your most memorable Birthday?

What is your favorite kind of cake? Mine is probably angel food, followed by a simple white cake.  But honestly, I’d prefer pumpkin pie :)

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My Lasik experience — part II

Before having the surgery, I was prepped by the doctor for what I might feel afterward.  He indicated that I could feel no pain at all, to something akin to getting an eyelash in your eye, all the way to the extreme of having someone literally rub raw onions in your eye.  I silently prayed that would not be me!

When I was done, I had my nifty sunglasses well in place and kept a tight grip on the hubby since my vision was not quite crystal clear.  Go figure that it would be a sunny cloudless sky on the day I get Lasik and have to keep my eyes firmly shut.  I kept them closed and had the hubby lead me to his car and then he kindly gave me a piggy back ride from his car to our home.  Moments after entering, I changed into comfy clothes and popped 2 Ibuprofen (per the doctor’s reco).

The doctor told me that the ideal situation is to sleep for 5-6 hours so that my eyes would remain closed, but if I could not sleep, I was to keep my eyes closed and only open them every hour to put in artificial tears (and of course, go to the bathroom, eat, drink).  Luckily for me, my coworker had let me borrow a John Grisham book on DVD so I parked myself in the bed, put my super groovy sped eye protector glasses on, and listened to disc after disc of The Confession.

Can I just tell you how extremely terribly difficult it is for me to spend hours upon hours doing absolutely nothing?  Especially when I had worked like a mad woman 13 hours the day before?  Yeah, boredom hit me hard!

But honestly that was the worst of it!  While my eyes did feel itchy and a little irritated, I wouldn’t say it was painful.   For the ladies out there, it’s as if you just put on your eye-makeup and got some eyeshadow or a mascara-ed eyelash in your eye.  More annoying than anything else, right?  I did have a dull pain-like sensation around my eyeball where the “evil contraption machine was applying pressure.  Again, nothing I couldn’t handle.

After being confined to my bed for just about 5 hours, I gave up and decided I needed to get moving.  I dropped a dose of anti-inflmatory meds and antibiotics in each eye.  To do so, I had to make sure my hands were extremely clean while I carefully pulled my lid up to insert the drops.  There are a heft handful of rules that I have to follow for the days and weeks to come:

  • No rubbing my eyes for 10 days.  After 10 days, I can lightly dab them (this is so the flap doesn’t move out of place)
  • No submerging my head under water for 3 weeks (yes I realize I did this just in time for my February Kauai vacay)
  • No sky diving for 3 months.  (And dangit, I wanted to go this weekend ;))
  • No make-up for 7 days (GAH!  I was upset when it was just eye makeup then I found out at my follow-up appointment it’s all makeup (minus chapstick))
  • I better get used to this no makeup thing...

  • Protective eye cover must be worn to bed for 10 nights (just in case I like to poke myself in the eyeball while sleeping, ya know)
  • No sweat in the eyes for 2 weeks (guess Bikram is out of the question)
  • Anti-inflammatory meds and Antibiotic drops in both eyes every four hours for 5 days
  • Artificial tears every 1-2 hours for 10 days (not while sleeping..obviously)

The evening of having my Lasik, I felt quite good.  My wooziness was gone, my vision was improving steadily hour by hour, and the “pain” was extremely manageable.  I was slightly sensitive to light and my eyes did feel quite dry, but I think that is because I wasn’t being generous with the artificial tears.

Friday morning when I woke up, I could see the alarm clock plain as day.  I could see my bed head in the mirror 10 feet away.  I could see the ridiculous amounts of cat hair we have on our comforter (I’m thinking this vision thing is going to make me an even cleaner neat freak!).  I had no pain.  Zero, zilch, nada, none.

After an easy 3 miles on the treadmill (not too sweaty for this girl), I got on with my day.

I had a follow-up appointment at 1215p on Friday where they checked to see where my vision was at and to address any questions/concerns.  In just 24 hours, my right eye was slightly better than 20/20 and my left eye was better than 20/15.  Holy moly!!! :D  Neat!

And get this, my vision will continue to improve for another month or so!  The only thing that is not quite up to par is my near sighted focus, which is completely normal.  It’s not blurry, just takes a second or two.

I absolutely give Dr Hyver an A+ and would highly highly recommend Lasik to anyone that qualifies.  The minimal pain I felt was so worth it and this is coming from a chronic fainter :P

Please let me know if you have any questions!

What else is cool is that although I felt naked without any eye makeup (not even able to use an eyelash curler), a stranger came up to me in the grocery store (think The Bachelorette’s fiance’ doppelganger!) and said that I was beautiful.  Awww.  I don’t get compliments like that with makeup on.  WIN!

Fri Eats:

  • 8a—2 cups of home brewed maple nut coffee with 1 tbsp creamer
  • 10a—smoothie made with 1 very ripe banana, ½ cup spinach, ¼ cup frozen blueberries, and blueberry whey (approx 250 cals)
  • 12p—Nature’s Valley granola bar on the go
  • 130p—Peach Chobani and ½ orange
  • 4p—Peet’s large 4 pump vanilla non-fat latte
  • 530p-9p—handful of wheat thins with TJs roasted red pepper eggplant spread; mixed green salad with slivered almonds and dried cranberries along with tortellini and TJs Garlic & Herb chicken sausage and marinara; 3 glasses of vino; 1 small square of Lindt chocolate  (estimated calories during this time 1400 cals)

So I gotta say, I feel sort of guilty for eating all this food.  Yes I was enjoying myself and having fun drinking vino with a friend, but I really wish I had planned for some lower cal, lighter snacks, knowing I’d get carried away.  This for me was not a “Fat Kid” moment, but was simply me not being fully aware of all that I was eating.  I’m trying not to beat myself up over it, especially since I plan on savoring my Mexi dinner tonight ;)  You live, you learn, right?

Fri Exercises:

  • 3 easy miles on the treadmill + walking cooldown
  • Ab work on balance ball: side lifts, extended back crunches
  • 25 minute walk with Naava

Do you feel guilty when you over indulge?  How do you cope?

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