how was halloween two weeks ago? i think i say this every post but time is just rushing by me as i am running to catch up.
this halloween was a mellow one. we went to a party the weekend before and then passed out candy to our cute neighbors on the day of. we also may or may not have binge watched walking dead (got sucked back into that show after missing 1.5 seasons).
as i mentioned previously, b recently took a trip to india for work. while in india, he picked up a few souvenirs since i am obsessed with all things indian. there is something about their vibrant culture that intrigues me. b knowing this, picked up a saari for me. a perfectly pink saari that made me feel like royalty. this feeling is what inspired me with our halloween costumes this year.
can you guess what we went as?
presenting queen mahal and her taj.
the taj mahal was made for queen mahal by her husband. and i do think we represented them both quite nicely. what do you think?
few people got that i was queen mahal but usually recognized the taj fairly quickly.
what were some of your favorite costumes you saw this year?
until we meet again, halloween.
next year i promise to decorate the exterior of my house as much as the interior.
i have been a bit mia this summer. it was a busy one filled with family travels, long work hours, birthday celebrations and summer loving. but let’s just pick up right where we left off, shall we? like that friend from middle school / high school that you haven’t seen in some time. you get a little nervous to reconnect and then once you start talking it is as if no time has passed at all.
i honestly can’t even believe it is already fall and only a couple weeks away from halloween. there are no truer words than ” the days are long but the years are short”. at least that is how i feel now.
facebook recently reminded me that it was 5 years ago yesterday that b and i took our first road trip to las vegas for fall break. one of my church leaders growing up always encouraged us to date at least four seasons and a road trip. i love this woman and cherished her guidance to me.
b and i took our first road trip in our third season of dating. it was only a 5 hour road trip but i do agree that road trips can let you get to know a person even better (especially if there are a few travel hiccups). this las vegas road trip made me further realize how lucky i was to be dating a man like b. we not only completely fit together in day to day life but we also vacationed the same way (lots of activities but a good amount of down time). i will never forget our week in vegas. i actually cried a little when we had to head back to salt lake city. i didn’t want to go home and be apart from him.
when we arrived back in salt lake city late that night i remember b dropping me off at my apartment. he grabbed my luggage and gave me a kiss at the door. then he said, “i just have to go home and drop off my luggage and i will be right back.” it was the best feeling to know that he wanted to spend every second of every day by my side too. happy to report that even after four years of marriage, the same is true.
sorry for the sappy post. b left yesterday for a work trip and i guess i am just missing him like crazy. i should be used to this by now but it never gets easier.
while b is away i decided to binge watch the mindy project and decorate our home for halloween. i have a few more things to add (there are pumpkins currently wet with paint in my backyard and i am trying to find a good hallows inspired drink stirrer) but so far i am pleased with the outcome and honestly all the crafts were so easy!
those ghosts are just styrofoam balls, cheese cloth, string and brads.
i am still working on a costume this year. think i can top last year?
what are you being for halloween? have you started to check things off your fall bucket list?
life has been busy with visitors around here!
two weekends ago b’s sister and her sweet family visited us and this past weekend my sister and her darling daughter came for a visit.
we have been feeling the love this month and will treasure these special memories for many years to come.
b’s sister and my sister both have daughters around the same age so i knew we would want a low key weekend with lots of kid friendly activities — not to mention b’s sister and my sister are pregnant and due within a few months of each other. can you believe that? can’t wait to smother some more nieces and nephews in the coming months!
so after much planning, here is what a weekend with a couple pregnant ladies and toddlers looks like. basically lots of playing outside.
my little niece has me wrapped around her finger.
i have this connection with her that i have never felt with a child before. she calls my name at all hours to know that i am close and we giggle until we can’t giggle anymore. her little hugs and “thank you auntie emi” melt my heart completely.
children are such a blessing. they make you remember how amazing this world really is and that ice cream can cure anything.
check back tomorrow for a full list of kid friendly activities in the bay area!
ps hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend.
memorial weekend, why did you have to end?
weekends in december are even more of a blur than usual and this weekend was no exception with so much to do before the holiday.
we did sneak in our first nfl game in between christmas shopping, gift wrapping and delivering goodies to friends + neighbors. we rooted on our 49ers through over time but in the end had to hand it to the chargers for a great comeback. it was a a thrilling time with friends.
the new levi stadium is beautiful and modern. the food in the club level is quite tasty. i am crossing my fingers b gets more tickets to 49er games next season!
i indulged in gourmet mac and cheese with rotisserie chicken and garlic fries. yummm.
love this unofficial mascot of the 49ers. he roamed the whole stadium playing his banjo and pumping up the fans. that would be a fun past time!
sunday was my last time teaching my little 4 year olds before i get a new class in the new year. i love these little ones and the sweet spirit they bring. i taught them about christ’s birth and the reason for the season. it was a great reminder to me that christ is the greatest gift of this season.
the boys refused to be in the picture but i am so glad i was able to snag one with the darling girls. my heart is so happy being surrounded in their pure love and excitement to learn.
christmas sunday is one of my favorites. i love the singing and the merry spirit felt in the halls. i love how the children dress in their christmas best. i love wishing everyone i love a merry christmas.
we started the weekend festivities a little early on thursday evening by heading over to our local tree lot to pick out our fresh christmas tree.
i have grown up with a live christmas tree and it has always been one of my favorite traditions to pick a new one out every year.
b grew up with fake christmas trees but he now sees the error in his ways.
i love the smell, the tradition and the diversity of picking out a christmas tree every year.
i do envy those that can just whip out their pre lit christmas tree and start decorating on a whim and maybe i will give into fakery once we have a family and water is being spilled everywhere but for now a tiny live tree it is.
i begged my parents every year to get a flocked christmas tree.
growing up in southern california you never really see snow so you gotta take what you can get. they always denied my request– claiming it is too much of a mess. now i beg b every year and he has the same response…
well at least i can hideaway in a forest of flocked trees and pretend i am in narnia for 30 seconds.
that tiny beauty is our tree for the season. i love how full and shapely it was for being so small in height. b loved that it could fit in our trunk.
this season makes me giddy.
on friday, we went out to los gatos for dinner with our friends. following dinner, we decided to make gingerbread houses. i have only ever made gingerbread houses with graham crackers so this was an extra special treat.
great friends + excellent thai food + gingerbread house constructing = one perfect friday night in december.
saturday it was time to christmas shop and decorate the tree. i think i may have overestimated the amount of christmas lights i needed to fill a 2 foot tree…
i think christmas crafts may be one of my favorite parts of the season. this sunday was filled with fresh rosemary wreaths and a pom pom garland.
& my sunday night was completely made by our darling friends who brought over home baked sugar cookies. yummmmm. i may or may not have eaten two right away.
and those cute coasters are from ikea. who would have thought?
you know those people who can instantly make a day fun and happy? that’s what these two do for me.
i have the opportunity of teaching the four year olds at my church on sunday with keri. it is always the best part of my weekend. i love hearing their crazy stories and feeling their endless energy. one of our darling students will be going to another church and will no longer be able to attend our class on sunday. she is the light of our class. she is everyones friend. she makes me instantly happy with her whispered secrets and contagious smile.
keri and i decided to take her to ice cream as a little send off on saturday. she requested bubblegum flavor so off we went to baskin robbins. i love this little one and am so happy i was able to teach her and feel of her love.
isn’t she darling? some kids have old souls and i think she may be one of them. she can connect with people of all ages. we are three peas in a pod (three can happen sometimes right?).
and then there is my darling friend keri that i thank the heavens for. we are so much alike but different. i cherish the days of christmas party planning and co teaching. you may remember she was the friend who got me to participate in our church’s talent show. every girl needs a keri as her friend.
so saturday was filled with christmas lights, target runs and a girls afternoon with the two best.
for sunday we decided to host an afternoon of games + brunch with three other couples.
can you tell i love hosting? i love the planning that goes into it with the menu and decor. i love opening our home and creating memories. i love strengthening friendships.
and i swear i always forget to take a picture of the yummy food. i guess i am just too excited to start eating! i decided to try two new recipes (one paula deen and one ina) this time around and think one was a hit. can you guess which one?
yes, ina. always ina. the paula recipe was pretty good but for some reason it has the entree served cold and i think i would have preferred it hot.
oh and can you believe those flowers up there are made from coffee filters? my sister and her husband made them for me for my birthday a couple years ago and i use them all the time. so pretty and a little less fuss than real flowers. and with us leaving for the holiday, i didn’t want flowers to die while we were gone.
all in all it was a great weekend with great friends and one amazing husband. i love this time of my life. i am soaking up every moment because you never know when things could change (i feel like our lives are ever-changing).
okay i think it is completely official that we belong in silicon valley.
but let’s not get ahead of ourselves on why just yet. let’s talk about what a lovely november weekend we had.
saturday morning i woke up with a craving for waffles and pancakes and french toast oh my.
finally settled on french toast since i had a honey wheat baguette to use. but to make it just a little fancier (and more fattening) , we decided to replace milk for heavy whipping cream and add a couple of tablespoons of honey to the batter. it was heavenly. the baguette style bread + heavy whipping cream is the wow factor. do you guys have any secrets to spicing up french toast?
oh and don’t be fooled, those lovely blooms were not arranged by me (i wish). i actually coordinated an event at work and we had left over centerpieces so i took a couple home to freshen up my dinning room. i would strongly suggest karen of huckleberry designs for all your flower needs in the bay area. she was a doll and so artistic. she also worked really well within my budget.
she inspired me to perhaps take a flower design class. it is so amazing what great florists can throw together with a drop of a hat and i would love to learn at least a couple tricks of the trade.
okay, so you obviously are thinking how on earth are they silicon vallians? most people around the world adore flowers and eat french toast. but that is not why.
after breakfast, we headed to the chevy dealer to test drive the spark. we have been researching electric cars for a couple weeks because of the great leasing deals you can get and my commute to work is really wearing on me (i am talking 15 miles = 1 hour and that is ridiculous.)
we test drove the leaf last week and enjoyed it a lot more than we ever thought we would. in order to make a sound decision, we had to look at the competitors and so we happened upon the chevy dealership this sunny saturday morning.
you guys this sounds a bit crazy because we have two functioning cars and b swore he would never lease a car in his life but we fell in love and are now proud owners of a 2015 chevy spark.
and seriously proud.
it is like a clown car in size and adorably funny looking (similar to a pug puppy in my mind) but it is quick and fully electric! i will have to go into more detail of the benefits of an electric car in another post but after weeks of debating we are completely happy with our decision (and carpool lane here i come).
and if you aren’t from silicon valley than the reason this is so huge is i would say about 40% of silicon valley residents drive gas efficient (volts, prius, fiat, smart car) or electric cars. going green is pushed pretty heavy in california.
and we are now a walking stereotype of silicon valley.
and there is no better way to celebrate our new purchase than with in-n-out and pedicures.
our two days consisted of many trips to target and costco for various needed items (christmas lights of course being one of them ha) and hosting our first dinner party! it is starting to feel like home and i really love that feeling.
saturday morning started off with an early morning donut run to stan’s donut shop in santa clara (less than 2 miles from our home which could be dangerous). it was actually my first time going to stan’s and it won’t be my last. the line was a bit long for 8am on saturday but it was worth it! we tried old fashion, buttermilk and sprinkles. they each tasted so fresh. i loved watching the baker prepare the donuts to be cooked.
what is your favorite donut flavor?
i have been in a complete baking mood as of late and decided to make these pumpkin cookies. and although mine did not turn out as pretty as hers they were just as delicious. b is pretty particular about his cookies and he kept on coming back to them so i know it was a recipe to save for future use. we ended up giving away most of the cookies to our neighbors as a way to introduce ourselves and not gain 5 pounds ha. warning lots of butter and shortening in these babies!
then sunday morning i was craving these pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes. emily of cupcakes and cashmere has never steered me wrong with a recipe before and this time was no exception. the pancakes were heavy and rich. i couldn’t eat more than two but i enjoyed every bite. b said it was like eating cookies for breakfast in pancake form.
so i totally forgot to take a picture with all the amazing food on the table but wanted to document our first dinner party in some way. there are still some items i need in my kitchen to be the perfect host (like charger plates and more of one type of place mat) but that will all come in due time.
it was the first time i got to use my table runner from the oh joy christmas collection and i think it may be a staple for all dinners in the next coming months. i love the neutrality of the piece but paired with the right decor can look holiday-esque.
it was a lovely evening full of laughs, pumpkin cornbread and homemade jeni’s ice cream.
yes, pumpkin cornbread. made from the box a la trader joe’s. you just add eggs, milk and oil and you have yourself some delicious pumpkin cornbread. it does not have a strong pumpkin flavor – the spices are what really sets this apart from your traditional cornbread. i usually make cornbread by scratch but i just had to try this trader joe’s creation and it was a gem. everyone was asking me for the recipe so i had to spill the beans. it had more of a cake like consistency than corn bread but it was wonderful. no butter or honey needed.
this weekend we officially moved into our new home. it was a daunting task but we had so much support from our friends and mothers that the move went seamlessly. we loaded up the truck and unloaded into our new home in about 2 hours! that my friends is success.
we were so lucky to have our moms fly out and help us unpack and organize. moms truly are heaven sent. it reminded me just how much i miss being around these two amazing women.
we are loving being in a bigger space and having a garage and washer / dryer! who knew those two things could make such a difference!? we have never had any of these things our whole 3+ years of marriage and so i feel like we are finally moving on up.
another bonus with being a home dweller? the garden!
we scored with a garden already flourishing with lemons, oranges, tomatoes, rosemary and some kind of cousin of a grapefruit.
and look at the size of our lemons! they really rip you off at the grocery store.
yes, our lemon tree produces lemons the size of a nerf football.
we are getting more settled and realizing that we do not have enough pieces to furnish a home. i am hoping to check out some estate sales and go about furnishing that way. anyone have any tips on finding good estate sales and how to bargain? will keep you posted on my findings!
these two women bring me so much happiness. i love them both so dearly.
this weekend was a productive one.
we checked 1.5 things off of our fall bucket list & started packing up our apartment for our move next weekend. but packing is long, tedious and boring so let’s move on to the fun fall list.
b and i attended a halloween party at our church. we (mainly i) thought long and hard about our costumes for this weekend. i didn’t want to have to spend too much money but wanted to be creative. i promised on my fall list to create a costume for halloween and so create we must. we shopped around thrift shops and walmart and came up with a magician and his bunny!
yes, i realize he should have worn a top hat so he looked more like a magician and less like hugh hefner and a bunny. we couldn’t find a top hat we liked for the price and decided him being in a tux rather than a robe would be a strong indicator. the guests at the party were split on who we looked more like ha.
i got to hang with some of the cute kids i teach on sunday which was my favorite part.
the .5 point i gave myself was attending a halloween party instead of hosting one. i truly wanted to host a haunted dinner party but with this move happening the day after halloween it just didn’t seem like it was in the cards. i do plan on hosting a house warming party though so maybe that can count toward accomplishing my fall bucket list.
and sundays are for long walks. this charming house in palo alto made me remember why this time of year is so treasured. i can’t wait to truly decorate for the seasons once we have a home. i am already telling b what christmas lights he will need to put up.