Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Things

Hello Friends!  

Let's talk about my week.

1.  My hard drive crashed on Monday.  So I've been computer-less since then.  That is a long time my friends.  I was so bored that I finished painting my office and started painting my downstairs half-bath.  Two projects I've been putting off for over 10 weeks now.  The good news is that I have a brand new hard drive and ALL of my data was recovered and transferred.  And I purchased an external hard drive so I will never have to worry about losing all my data again!  I also managed to get a new battery out of the deal, so basically I have a brand new MacBook Pro.  And I got it all for free ... I NEVER buy extended warranty's, but apparently, for some unknown reason, when I bought this laptop 2.5 years ago, I sprung for the extended warranty.  2011 Sarah would like to send a big THANK YOU to 2009 Sarah.  Now let's just hope this hard drive decides to last longer than the first one. 

2.  I found some super cute Missoni for Target manilla folders on clearance at Target this week.  I tried to talk myself out of the purchase because really, who needs fun manilla folders?  But luckily I went ahead and purchased them and I am so glad I did!  They make my desk look so much prettier.  Poor J. ... this desk no longer looks like a shared space.  It looks like Sarah's space :) 

3.  Luckily we are moving soon so he will get over it. 

4.  While we still have quite a few more weeks of this deployment left, tomorrow is the last day that we can send mail to the ship.  So, being the nice GF that I am, I asked J. if he had any specific requests for his last box.  He wrote back and said "if you can make little bags for A., D. and W. that would be very nice of you.  I know they would appreciate it."  Well, that is not exactly what I was expecting to hear and, I have to admit, I was a little peeved.  I mean, who is he, asking me to spend my day going out and making "little bags" for his friends?!  Doesn't he know how busy I am cleaning his house, taking care of his dogs, paying his bills?!  But then I got this brilliant idea to make them "Happy Movember" bags and send them stick on mustaches.  All the guys in J.'s squadron are growing mustaches from now until they get home so it goes along perfectly with that.  So I literally spent my entire afternoon yesterday, driving around the MV/Burlington area looking for mustache stickers and stick-on mustaches, along with snacks and candy to put in the bags.  It was exhausting.  Do you know how hard it is to find stick-on mustaches or mustache stickers?!  Apparently scrapbookers are not into the mustache trend.  I finally found some cheap stick-on mustaches at Michael's and this is how the bags turned out:

I was very pleased with them!  I made the bags from Addy and Lucy so I made them pose with them.  It was next to impossible to get a picture with both of them and the bags so here is Miss Lucy.

5.  My kitchen is a complete disaster at the moment and instead of cleaning it, I'm telling you all about my week :)  And breaking in my new TOM's.  I started with black sparkly ones, which I loved, but decided they just weren't for me.  Then I traded those in for navy to go with my navy puffy vest (winter uniform = puffy vest).  But the navy's just didn't match very well so I traded them in again for gray.  And I think I'm going to stick with them.  But I really hate how they are tight when you first buy them. No, I don't want a pair of shoes that are tight and eventually loosen up.  I want a pair of shoes that fit when I buy them!  

6.  Have you seen this electronics trade-in program on Amazon?  If you have, have you traded anything in yet?  I was super excited to learn about this program - I have a bunch of old cell phones and iPods that I didn't know what to do with!  I am totally going to trade them in and buy myself something nice from Amazon :)  

7.  Whew.  That was a lot.  This week has officially made me feel like a desperate housewife.  Luckily, next week is a court week so I will hopefully feel more like a lawyer :)

I hope you all had a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deployment Photos

J. has sent a few photos our way since he left for deployment:

J. and his jet

Practicing mid-air refueling


Flying at sunset

Take two

On the flight deck, getting ready for take-off 

Ready to go!

If I get any more pictures, I will be sure to share!

Monday, October 24, 2011

September in San Francisco - Part 3

Hello Friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I meant to wrap-up my September in San Francisco series last week, but got caught up with work and travel.  Let's finish posting about September so we can move on to October :)

On our last full day in San Francisco, we packed a lot in and rode the public transportation all around the city like locals!  It was awesome.  R. and I met S.B. and her boyfriend in Chinatown for dim sum.  It was intense (and good practice for the next 2 years :)) We had to squeeze our way into the little dim sum shop, interpret the menu and jostle with the locals to get our orders in.  And I got an entire meal for less than $3.00.  I love Chinatown :)  After dim sum, we walked around and saw the sights:

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Co.

Map of Chinatown


Chalk Street Art

The entrance to Chinatown

After Chinatown, we rode the bus over to Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies.  Also known as the Full House house!

Painted Ladies

The girls :)

And then we took the bus over to the Mission ... we did some walking around, had some Mexican and saw the Mission Dolores.  It is the oldest intact building in the city of San Francisco and the Mission Cemetery is the only cemetery that remains in the city limits!

It was a gorgeous old building!

After our stop at the Mission, we said good-bye to S.B.'s boyfriend and headed back to the hotel to rest up before dinner.  We met L.Rae in her neighborhood for some Vietnamese at Aux Delices.  

We ended the night with L.Rae over a bottle of rose at Amelie Wine Bar.  We said our good-byes and then headed across the street to a very fun gay bar :)  We were the only females in the place and we made lots of new friends.  It was the perfect ending to our weekend!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Foodie Friday

I interrupt the September in San Francisco series to bring you Foodie Friday.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my obsession with Pinterest before ... you can find me here.  At first, I was just pinning things to my boards and enjoying browsing the site.  But over the past few weeks, I've actually started using recipes off my Eat Drink and Be Merry board!  So, of course, I had to share the recipes with you.  I don't take pictures while I cook ... I'm not good at it, I make a huge mess in my small kitchen when I cook and I do most of my cooking at night when the lighting is bad.  So all pictures below are compliments of Pinterest!

Sadly mine do not look this perfect.  My dog bone shaped cookie cutter is a little big and when I was rolling the dough out, I had cookies in mind not dog biscuits.  Next time, I will remember to leave the dough a little bit thicker!  However, Addy and Lucy don't care what they look like ...they love these biscuits!

O.M.G.  These are delicious.  And the batter is delicious.  I may eat the entire 13 x 9 pan myself.  My mom makes tasty pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, so this recipe reminded me of her and since I love the muffins, I figured the bars couldn't be bad :) 

I only made a half recipe because I was afraid I would devour all of the cookies immediately.  And I was right.  I had to hide some put some aside and take them to L.Rae in San Francisco so I would stop eating them.  Amazing.

YUM.  The Pioneer Woman inspired me to start making my own pizza crust last year.  I've made hers a couple of times, but was looking for a new recipe.  This was just what I was looking for.  I like that the recipes give you enough dough for two pizzas, so you can make one and freeze dough for the future :)  What I don't like about homemade pizza crust, is that it's best to let the dough sit overnight.  So if I get a pizza craving, I can't just whip up a pizza (unless of course, I've thought ahead and have dough in the freezer).  Overall, I liked the dough better than the pizza, but the white pizza was pretty good.  And, of course, you can always put whatever toppings you want on your dough.  You don't have to follow the recipe!

Two things ... I overcooked mine (whoops) and also cooked it in our cast iron skillet, so it wasn't as pretty as this picture.  With that being said, it was very tasty and I would make it again.  The original recipe calls for grilling the pork tenderloin which I wasn't going to do, so I loved how the recipe also gave instructions for how to make it in the oven!  I love it when people are thoughtful like that!  So, next time ... going to not overcook the meat and also maybe J. will be home and he can grill it for me! 

YUM.  I liked these better than regular lasagna!  They are like a big pan of lasagna, but pre-cut and easy to take for lunch the next day!  I made mine with italian sausage instead of pancetta or prosciutto and next time, I'm going to saute fresh spinach instead of using frozen.  There's something about frozen spinach that grosses me out.  And really, you could put anything in them that you want too ... more vegetables, meat or cheese!  I would also use more red sauce next time.  I used vodka sauce for mine (yum), but the rolls were a little dry, especially after being re-heated the next day.  I think more sauce would solve this problem!

Whew, I love Pinterest!  Just look at all these fun recipes I tried that I never would have known about without it!  Plus, now I have new food bloggers to follow.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

September in San Francisco - Part 2

So after our big first day in San Francisco, we needed some rest.  We slept in and got breakfast from the cutest little coffee shop around the corner from L.Rae's apartment, The Nook.  I wish I'd time to return ... everything on their menu looked amazing!  

After a delicious brunch, L.Rae's new boyfriend, Bruno, graciously drove us up to Sonoma for an afternoon of wine tasting.  It was just R. and I ... S.B.'s boyfriend returned from deployment Friday and flew down to see her in San Francisco! They stayed behind to see the city and spend some time together!  

We started our afternoon at Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa.  It was a gorgeous setting, with lots of lavender fields in front of the tasting room.  It smelled amazing and provided a good backdrop for photos! Their wine was really good but, our service was not.  It was very obvious from the beginning that the woman who did our tasting did not like us and she did absolutely nothing to make our wine tasting experience enjoyable.  I think one of the best parts of the tasting is interacting with the person doing the tasting ... they are so full of knowledge about the wines, winery, etc. and I always love learning about what I'm tasting.  We also didn't make any purchases because of her rudeness.  However, when we got home, we were happy to see that Trader Joe's carries Matanzas Creek wines!  

Bruno and L.Rae perusing the wine tasting book

L.Rae, R. and Me :)

The group outside of Matanzas!


Bruno and L.Rae in the lavender fields

And this is the after shot .... after the rock wall went tumbling and so did L.Rae :)

After our lavender field incident, we decided it would be best to leave ASAP.  So we headed to stop number two, Ledson Winery and Vineyards.  Talk about an even more gorgeous setting!  Ledson is a gorgeous castle with several different tasting bars and tasting rooms.

The vineyards


me and r.

At the tasting bar

L.Rae, me, R.

Loved this place!

And then we were on our way to winery #3 ... Gundlach Bundschu.  Of the three wineries we visited that afternoon, this was my favorite!  And, in case you are unsure how to pronounce their name ... try now:

Gun Lock Bun Shoe!
(Photo courtesy of their website)

I love it!  And felt much more confident talking about the winery once I knew how to pronounce their name!  We had such a great experience here ... the person doing our tasting was super friendly and knowledgeable, we got a free tasting because Bruno and R. have Visa Signature cards, and my favorite band had played their the summer before!  And they were setting up for a wedding and it was GORGEOUS.  Makes me want to get married at a winery!

L. Rae, me, R.

Ra Ra Riot

A little post-wine tasting, pre-dinner picnic!

And then we headed into Sonoma for dinner.  We had a little bit of time to kill before dinner, so we headed into Murphy's Pub.  If you've been following since last year, you may remember that we spent a fun night at Murphy's Pub when we went to Sonoma last year!  We went and had a toast to B. and J. who sadly weren't with us this year.

Dinner was at La Salette, a Portuguese restaurant that Bruno wanted to try.  Since he drove us around all afternoon, we thought the least we could do was let him pick the restaurant!  We had a delicious dinner ... starting with a traditional Portuguese dish of Bolinhos de Bacalhau (cod cakes) and then each trying something different for dinner.  Everything was delicious!

And then we headed back into San Francisco.  R. and I spent the rest of our night watching Louie and videos on YouTube :)  Saturday night is always exciting with us :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

September in San Francisco - Part 1

Back in September I spent a long weekend in San Francisco with my friends R. and S.B.  We visited my friend L.Rae, but she was busy with work and studying for the GMAT, so we were on our own for most of the time.  It felt like a real, touristy, vacation ... and it was awesome!  Especially since we got lots of advice from a local :)

We flew in on Thursday night and headed to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.  They do an event every Thursday called NightLife - each week features a live band or DJ and a theme.  I can't remember what the theme was when we were there, but they were celebrating Claude (the albino alligator's) golden birthday ... he turned 15 on the 15th!  We wandered through the exhibits and had some delicious cocktails before heading to a sushi dinner.

S.B. and me at the California Academy of Sciences!

Friday, L.Rae had to work so I met up with R. and S.B. and we took the cable car to brunch.  Except we got on the wrong cable car line and took it too far so we decided to forego brunch for sight-seeing around Fisherman's Wharf and lunch at In-n-Out :)  In-n-Out was worth the change of plans!  We wandered around and then took the ferry over to Tiburon.  As promised, the weather in Tiburon was gorgeous in spite of the slightly dreary weather in San Francisco.  We wandered around Tiburon, did some shopping and headed to Sam's Anchor Cafe - a must do if you're in Tiburon!  We indulged in a little pre-happy hour happy hour before heading back to San Francisco and meeting up with L.Rae and friends at Palomino for happy hour.

Cable car photos courtesy of R.

We had a lovely little photo shoot :)

Love this one!

Fisherman's Wharf

Accomplished our goal ... we saw sea lions!

Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry ... notice how gloomy and foggy it was

and how nice it was in Tiburon!

Can you see the San Francisco skyline behind the boats?

2 Beach Road
I am in love with their address!

S.B. and R.

R., S.B. and me :)

I'd like to retire here :)

Sam's Anchor Cafe


Me and R.

San Francisco from Tiburon ... if you enlarge the photo, you can see two little jets flying over the city!

We saw a pelican!

Golden Gate Bridge

Me and my mini coffee

Golden Gate Bridge

The Bay Bridge

After happy hour we went out to Blondie's in the Mission which was a lot of fun.  Sadly, there is no photographic evidence of this part of our evening :) 

Come back tomorrow to read about our afternoon in wine country!