Tuesday, July 28, 2009

because we can...

In a couple weeks Josh and I will be taking a little jaunt up the freeway to wine country. Main reason?
For the wine? ... Of course, but no.
For the experience? ... Sure, but no.
For the food? ... YES! And let me tell you why.

Lately I've been stalking some food blogs and came upon a Chicago lawyer whose true passion is food. Well, her and her husband took a little vacay over to our neck of the woods (San Fran and Napa Valley) for some R&R and the one place they were determined to go was Ad Hoc in Yountville. This is how I fell in love with this restaurant...

Every night they are open is a completely different menu. It's served family style (aside from the dessert - honey - I don't share dessert...) and it's supposedly FABULOUS. It's owned by Thomas Keller of French Laundry fame. I immediately got on their daily email list (they send out their menu daily) and I called a month in advance for their much anticipated "fish and chips night" - apparently it was so good that people have been asking to bring it back! So August 23rd we'll be there... living the Napa dream... reminiscing of our New Zealand fish and chips days... and I'll be sure to report back on our findings... YUM!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

my Dailey routine

So in search of the perfect work out regimen, I started to do a lot of research... my first thought was Bikram Yoga... that's doing yoga for 90 minutes in a room that is set to 100 degrees.

I hear ya... WHAT?? But it's supposed to really flush out any toxins, obviously be good for flexibility (especially with the heat warming up your muscles), and hey - I could lose some water weight and be happy... but then I started thinking of some concerns that Joanna pointed out to me... what if I pass out mid-session? Now THAT would be embarrassing! Or what if my sweat smells worse than everyone elses? And really - WHAT IF I PASS OUT?? So in explaining these new concerns to my mom, she happened to mention this new craze, the Dailey Method.

I'll use the website's description to give you better understanding -- "This challenging one hour class effectively strengthens, tones, and lengthens the entire body. (Yes please!) Light weights are utilized to define the upper body while mat and ballet barre work target thighs, seat, and abdominals. (My seat needs some work...) After each muscle group is worked, through high repetition using small range of motion, it is alternatively stretched to lengthen the muscles. (boo ya!)" - FYI - parenthesis added by moi... those aren't actually on the website...

And I have to say... so far, so good, so SORE!! It's a really fast paced workout, similar to pilates but with no breaks and go go go!! It's great! I love it! I have a 30 day pass and I'm going to try to use it as much as possible... I've already used it both days and will hopefully keep it up! I know it's working because today I shake when I try to stand up or sit down because my legs are so sore... and my back aches (but good aches...) when I correct my posture... and when I try to sneeze I can FEEL it in my abs! Feel the burn baby!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I could change even Joey's mind...

There is much to blog about, but the meal I just created surpasses all those items. I just made a dinner that would rock your world. Picture this...

Lemon and Pepper Pappardelle Pasta from Trader Joe's (see above visual)

fresh rosemary and thyme from the herb garden

lemon from neighbor's tree

1/2 and 1/2 with creme fraiche

onion, spinach, and asparagus

wild salmon cooked on the grill...

Put it all together and we created a delicious pasta dish that could change even the biggest fish-phobe... (Joey!). Anyway - a definite must make again and SO simple.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm a tiger! Roar!!

This weekend is a milestone in Josh and I's relationship... we are running a 10K together! The Jungle Fun Run in Los Gatos to be exact!! I'm picking up our bibs today and am very excited about it! It's been HOT lately, so we're thrilled it's at 7:15AM so it's as hot as it could be. But yes. We are runners. The sweetest part was last night when I asked Josh what time he was hoping to finish the race in, he said "We're running it together, silly! So whatever time WE get is fine with me!" Precious... or an excuse for him to run slower... but I'm gonna go with precious. Thanks honey!

It also marks a big investment day for Josh... he's driving to Monterey to (hopefully) buy his kayak!! He's been saving for some time now and the day has finally arrived... he's so excited to get out on that water and improve his skills and he's been waiting for quite some time to do it. For his birthday I got him a gift certificate to a kayaking store that not only sells everything that is kayaking but also provides classes and group trips and what not. It's like I bought him play dates for his birthday :) So while he's drooling over kayaks, I'll be lunching with Becca. Lovely!

Sunday is the race and then we'll follow that with perhaps some Los Gatos Cafe to be followed by farmer's market and the topped off with a concert at the White Crane vineyard. A perfect end to a perfect weekend. Hooray!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Feeling the quake...

Birthday weekend!! We celebrated exactly the way we wanted... with great friends! We had food, we watched Canada dominate San Jose, and we had ice cream sandwiches. Simple, fun, perfect!

(Sarah, thanks again for the pics!! Man. I should just hire you as a personal photographer... and make up artist... and candle buyer... and movie quote generator... and the list goes on... )

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Birthdays! Woo woo!

As of this week Josh and I are officially 27 and 25, respectively. Woo woo! I've always loved summer, but I'm realizing more and more with weddings and anniversaries and birthdays that I LOVE summers now. Lots of celebrating and lots of friends.

The birthday plans? Pretty quiet 8th and 9th, but this weekend we'll be heading off to a San Jose Earthquakes game (pro soccer... I didn't know that either until a couple months ago...) with a bunch of friends and filling up the Corona Beer Garden. Apparently it's the first time they've opened it up to seating and they're giving us a great rate for the seats. One minor issue... it's ON the field. Like, you-could-get-hit-by-a-ball-if-you're-not-paying-attention "on the field"... So, we'll just have to be VERY aware of our surroundings. But should be fun!

We're excited to celebrate with friends and if these past couple days are any indication of how these 27th and 25th years of our lives will be... they'll be really really really great years...

Monday, July 6, 2009

America's Canada Day... er...

Happy 4th of July!! We had a great (and exhausting) 4th of July weekend! It all was kicked off with Audrey being a really great wife... otherwise known as a late night viewing of Transformers 2 because all of Josh's man friends had already seen it and he had no one to go with. I heart Optimus... and Josh...

Friday was our day off and we headed up to Oakland to go hiking with Mel, Adam, Aaron, and Sarah. Oakland... hiking...? YES. It is possible and it was gorgeous! We were up in the redwoods so it was nice and shaded. And we stumbled upon a really cute little town up there that we just may have to go have brunch one Saturday... yum! That night was spent making pizzas on the grill (what? Sarah's a genius.) and good company... finished the night at Miss Laurel's house which is always a treat.

Saturday was b-fasting with Laurel's house, wine tasting by noon, and finished with a collaborative dinner at chez Monkowski with friends. Headed over to the Scales for a view of the fireworks... And sparklers!

** All photographs courtesy of (and without consent/permission from) Sarah Bonnel...
Thanks Sarah! :) **

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy (Belated) Canada Day!!

Yesterday was the big July-1.... Canada Day!! Brings back many a memories for Josh... for me, only memories from the past 6 years as that was the first time I even heard of such a holiday. Regardless, Happy Canada Day (yesterday)!! We celebrated with beer and burgers... and probably will do so again on the 4th. Such healthy holidays, eh?
Also - this pic was from Redwood Camp circa 2005... I was in Europe so Laurel took it upon herself to make Josh feel at home. Nice work Laurel!!