Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

missing you

We had such a fun time in Big Sky and as much as we enjoy skiing, we really went there for the family. Being in Big Sky, however, always conjures memories of my mom and I think every one of us misses her a bit (or a lot) and thinks about her (often) while we are there. The timeshare there was one of the things my mom and Ralph decided on together, and as Ralph says, it was was one of her favorite places. I remember flying out for a few days each year while I was in college to see my mom and do a bit of skiing. Another year in Big Sky, and mom, we missed you as always.

I'm glad Little Miss J got to see her Papa Ralph and meet aunts, uncles and cousins. Uncle Roger was a favorite - but she enjoyed her time with Aunties Annie, Jodi, and Jenny as well. She managed to eat two of Uncle Chad's sandwiches because I guess Auntie Annie makes the best sandwiches. Here is Little Miss J having fun with her family - with as much as she talked about Uncle Roger you would have thought I could have gotten a photo with him.

Auntie Annie

Auntie Jenny

Papa Ralph
 Mom, even though you aren't able to ski with us I hope you can see us all together and happy to be sharing time with loved ones. We all miss and love you!

Monday, February 18, 2013

my little valentine

We arrived home from our mini-vacation the night before Valentine's Day. Luckily, this mama planned ahead and we had Little Miss J's valentines all ready to go for the next day. I did make a failed attempt at heart shaped Rice Krispie treats in the wee hours of the morning. Who knew that when you added food coloring to the almond bark candy coating it got all wonky? Anyway, Little Miss J is pretty obssessed with Hello Kitty, like any good little Asian girl is - and she was so excited to wear her Valentine's Day Hello Kitty shirt. When we picked her up from preschool, she had two bags of Valentine's loot to sort through. I was a bit surprised at how many candy/treats came home with her considering the preschool asks for only healthy treats for birthdays. I thought perhaps that would carry through to other holidays. We managed to limit Little Miss J to one chocolate heart with the promise of more candy the following day. I managed to stash her treats in the cupboard and it has been out of sight out of mind, thankfully. What I was most impressed with was as we were going through her Valentine's, Little Miss J was telling me who sent her which Valentine. My little smarty pants.

While Little Miss J was sorting through her "stuff," Gus was out picking us up our Valentine's Day dinner ... heart shaped veggie pizza!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

great carl caper

Carl Rove doesn't get much blog time these days. It's hard to compete with Little Miss J, but apparently Carl has learned a new trick. While we were on vacation, Carl was left at home with the neighbors to watch him. It turns out my amazing dog can jump over a 5 foot fence and into the neighbors' yard. While there, he likes to take a dip in their pool.

It also turns out that he doesn't mind sneaking in through their dog door and running through their house. Last night, there was a knock on our door and it was Peter, our neighbor, returning Carl to us. He had once again hopped the fence and gone into their house. This morning I let him out at 5:00 a.m. and he immediately jumped the fence. That dog! Gus and Little Miss J are out looking for a dog fence as I blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013


My family has a timeshare in Big Sky, MT and we decided we would partake in the trip this year. We packed up our ski boots and all our winter clothes and headed for the  mountains. Little Miss J had been talking about going to the mountains and seeing Papa Ralph for a couple weeks and I was so excited to let her play in the snow. Almost as soon as we arrived at the condo, she insisted that she "needed to go snowing." Luckily, she got a few days to go snowing and it was so fun to watch her awkwardly walk around in her snow gear and crawl through the powder pushing it with her little mittened hands that had somehow gotten turned around because she couldn't figure out how to put her little thumbs in the thumb holes. We went sliding one day and the other days we played in the snow park at the bottom of the ski hill that had lots of slides and tunnels to explore.


Pretty much every three minutes or so of our "snowing" adventure involved putting on a boot that had fallen off, fixing her mittens or pulling her hat off her eyes so she could see where she had to plod slowly to next. Little Miss J might have looked like Randy from A Christmas Story -

but by the end she was trotting around on her own pretty well. We did, however, still have to drag her little butt up the sledding hill. As you can see, she clearly enjoyed her time snowing.
 Next year, I hope to put her on some skis!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

dancing queen

I posted this video on Facebook already, but it is so darn cute I think it deserves its own blog post. Little Miss J has been talking an awful lot about ballet. She's always loved music and bopping around dancing, but she seems to have a particular interest in ballet. Both dance and soccer lessons are offered through her daycare at an additional cost, and since she has been in soccer before we thought we'd sign her up for that rather than dance. After all the ballet performances in our living room, I guess I need to reconsider.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

eating our way through east sac

I found a local food tour and bought tickets for Gus's birthday. One of the things we love best about Sacramento is all the great local food and fantastic produce available. This tour was a great way to try some new bites as well as get some Sacramento history. As you will see from my photodocumentation, I was more in it for the food.

We started at Cafe Bernardo. We had been here once on our scouting trip. They have a dog friendly patio, which is a plus. The chef came out and talked to us about where she gets her produce, protein, dairy, etc. Of everything, the only thing that isn't local is the salmon. Our tasting here was amaretto french toast. A good starter since the tour started at 10:15 am.

After Cafe Bernardo, we stopped at the Paragary Bakery. Paragary's is a restaurant group, of which Cafe Bernardo is a part, and this bakery sells almost exclusively to the restaurants in the group. They make all the bread from table bread to buns, as well as all the desserts for all the restaurants. We learned that their carrot cake has pecans and not walnuts because Lauren, the pastry chef, is allergic to walnuts - this was great news for Gus, who is also allergic to walnuts. Perhaps some carrot cake is in order for his actual birthday? I also learned they have a cupcake of the month, which I can definitely get behind! Our bite here was a salty peanut butter cookie.

Next we got a little history lesson - Sutter Fort and St. Francis church. Notice how I forgot to take pictures of these things. I was a bit chilly and was waiting for more food ...

Centro, was my favorite spot on the tour. We got a teeny tequila tasting, which was infused with several types of fruit that I cannot remember. It was very smooth and even someone who doesn't like tequila would probably like this. Chef Leo talked to us about how they make regional dishes and the executive chef goes to Mexico twice per year to develop dishes. He also said that if he can't find the right chile for a dish, he doesn't make it. There are some types of chiles that are only grown on private land and he said that people sneak on to "steal" them making them expensive and hard to come by. We had black beans, rice, and some really delicious carnitas. The tomatillo salsa was also amazing.


After Centro, we got a bit of a break to walk off the food and ended up at La Bombe, which sells Gunther's ice cream, which is a local company. They gave us a gigantic scoop of ice cream that I couldn't even finish. FAIL. Gus had to finish it off. He had banana (not surprising) and I had chocolate chip cookie dough.

birthday boy!
We got another little history lesson on a water tower, that I had been trying to convince Gus was Sutter's Fort for months - but really it kind of looks like a fort and I honestly thought it was the fort because the sign at the fort reads "State Indian Museum." Anyway, I had to skip out on the last two stops because our babysitter needed to get to her next gig with 8 month old triplets. Luckily, the tour was through our neighborhood so I just walked home!

My next impressions are second hand based on my discussion with Gus ...

Formoli's is a little bistro in our neighborhood that I have driven by and wanted to try. After Gus's experience there I kind of think we won't be going there though. I do think it is cool that the owner goes to a farm in Napa twice per week to pick all the produce. The food ... "a shot of lamb chili in an espresso cup and shredded pork on a piece of bread that they call bruschetta." Direct quote from Gus. He wasn't impressed.

The last stop on the tour was Coffeeworks, which they said was only one of two local roasters. Gus explained to me there roasting process - hot air that kept all the beans suspended or something. He said the coffee was pretty good. As an aside, I do think that the other local roaster is Temple, which is actually my favorite favorite coffee shop - more of the tea than the coffee though.

I would definitely recommend Local Roots food tours. Gus and I agreed that we would want to try another one. It would also be a great thing to take visitors on ... in case any of you want to come visit! HINT HINT ...

Happy Birthday, Gus!

hop on pop