Happy girls are the prettiest girls


Set it free

"When you love someone, and you love them with your heart, it never disappears. When you’re apart, and when you love someone, and you've done all you can do, you set them free. And if that love was true… when you love someone, it will all come back to you."
--Forget Paris


So....you know how the other day I said I had puppy fever and could not. stop. looking. at dogs online? Well, Billy and I made a trip to Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation yesterday to meet Jim, the dog I shared pictures of. Once we found out a little more about him, we realized Jim was a little more than we wanted from a dog. Can you imagine a 12lb dog that can scale 6 foot fences?? A little Houdini and leash reactive dog wasn't really in our perfect pet description, so we found out more about some of the other dogs that had caught out eye. One of our top three was O Susanna, a 9lb, {almost} 3 year old Papillon mix. We decided to meet her first. 

Let me tell you, there were no other dogs on our list after meeting this little sweetie. 
We had met a lot of little dogs in the few trips we had made to shelters, and none really showed any interest in us. When this cutie came out, she was super excited to see us, putting her paws up on our knees and taking our pets with tail a-wagging. She let me pick her up, and cuddled right into my lap, then climbed on Billy and snuggled into his beard. Love. Instant, heart melting, adoring love. Of course we took her home.
She snuggled in Billy's arms the entire hour long ride home, content to lay her head on his arms. Billy was in heaven. All he wanted was a dog that liked him, and he took home a cuddle bug who is more than happy to see him and love on him. 
We named her Sadie. It only took us 24 hours to decide on it!
When adopting a rescue dog, you really don't know much about their past or what kind of animal they will be. Thankfully, Sadie seems to be completely house trained, as she holds her business until I take her outside. She also likes her crate enough to sleep through the night, and spend time in there while I am away. She LOVES cuddling, playing with toys, going for walks, and following us around. When I let her out of the crate, she zooms around and then dive-bombs into my hands for love. 

The only thing we aren't sure about yet is how she will be with the cats. When we first introduced Sadie to the cats, she barked, and then got nervous and threw up on me haha! {Probably from way too many treats at the shelter} We have the baby gate up keeping them separated for now, and plan on continuing with a slow introduction to ensure good inter-species relationships :)

More photos and stories to come, I am sure! 


Have and Haven't

Well, hello there, blog friends!  I was totally dying from the plague sick and hating life last week, so I am freakin' thrilled to be feeling better and wanting to do life again!

Ready for this? It's a total brain dump of what I have and haven't been up to lately.

 I've got puppy fever. I miss having a dog. I know, that was quick, right? If you were wondering, Marlo is doing fantastic with C and her brood of animals. She is happy, and enjoying life, so she will be staying with C, which means there is a little hole in my family where she used to be. Billy and I have made a few trips to our local animal shelter and the Humane Society to visit with some sweethearts, but haven't found just the right pal for us. We want a small dog that warms up to us quickly, and really likes Billy, as you can imagine, Marlo not liking him seriously hurt his feelings. So that is where my online time has gone, searching pet finder and the shelter lists for adoptable dogs, and even craigslist for cuties, but buying from a breeder isn't our favorite option. Want to see one of our top contenders? His name is Jim. Adorable, right?!

Confession: I haven't run in over a week. I have a half marathon scheduled for Sunday, and don't think I will be able to make it through. The longest run I have completed since my April 1st half has been 4.5 miles. Couple low, sporadic mileage with the chest and congestion cold from hell, and you get me, unready to run a 13.1 mile race. I think I will head out on a run tomorrow and see how I feel, but dude, I am not optimistic about finishing the race! What are you thoughts, fellow runners?

Man, I just can't get back into cooking regularly. Ever go through those days {weeks, months}? I've made the occasional dinner here and there, but it hasn't been a Pinterest party every night as I would like. I think I need to spend less time looking at doggies, and more time perusing recipes on Pinterest to get the cooking mojo back.

I've also been terrible about healthy eating. I remember a time when I was all about health and fitness. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, or some such thing.

And that's a wrap for now. Hopefully I'll be back in regular blogging action soon. I just have to organize my thoughts, give myself a schedule, and figure my ish out. Easier said than done, yeah?


Stop before you fall

"Do you ever put your arms out and just spin and spin and spin? Well, that’s what love is like. Everything inside of you tells you to stop before you fall, but you just keep going."
--Practical Magic


You're the only one for me

"Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some time, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me."
--Runaway Bride

Around town

Hey!! How on earth did this week slip through my fingers without me posting? I was so on top of things last week, somehow this week just fell off my to-do list. Also, Instagram came into my life, which may have something to do with my lack of blogging as I have been busy living it up to snap photos.

I've been having some fun adventures while I've been away. 

I took two of my oldest friends to afternoon tea at Lisa's Tea Treasures, a beautiful little Victorian tea shop that specializes in taking very good care of girly girls like us. Sarah is 40 weeks pregnant, and ready to give birth to her sweet little girl any day now. Diane recently suffered an incredible hardship that I can't even express how broken hearted we were for her. It was the perfect girls day, a way to heal, and to enjoy each others company before a brand new baby and life make us too busy to get together often. 
We sat at the settee table in that picture.
We ordered afternoon tea that came with a pot of tea for each of us, and a selection of tea sandwiches, a petite savory, a scone with Devonshire cream and preserves, and a dessert. I had the King Louis XIV's favorite, which had a Parisian chicken croissant tea sandwich, a Roquefort pecan tea sandwich, and brie en croute. My tea was a pomegranate green tea called Tea of the God's and was delicious. For dessert I picked the chocolate mousse cake, and wow, it was good. We just had so much fun chatting, drinking tea, and getting our fancy on! 
Sarah, myself, and Diane, friends since middle school!

Today, Billy was off work, so I convinced him to take me in to Los Gatos, a little town in the suburbs of San Jose that has been my stomping grounds forever, for lunch and a little walk around downtown in the rain. We ate at Andale, which as two locations on N. Santa Cruz Ave, the main strip of downtown. I had never eaten there before, but was very pleased with my burrito. Billy thought it was just OK, but that's his deal, as fresh California style Mexican food isn't up his alley. 
After lunch, we headed down the street, where we stumbled on a newer shop called Amour Patisserie and Cafe. They had the most beautiful desserts and really cool chocolate truffles with this incredibly shiny and almost candy like coating. The shop itself is very modern, with rich brown walls, and a very clean display case, and great tables and decor. 
I ordered the coconut passion fruit cake, and Billy had the chocolate peanut butter cake. We were both super happy with our treats! 
 Billy even got a hot cocoa which came on a cool wavy plate with a spoon that had a a bend in the stem so it rested on the rim. Pinkies out for good cocoa drinking!
 I took some French macaroons home with me, because believe it or not, I've never had a macaroon!! The pistachio flavor was excellent, definitely my favorite of the trio.
We continued our walk around downtown, and spotted some beautiful sparklies in a shop window. I personally love the one on the bottom row in the very center the best. Billy wouldn't let me go in the shop. Bad things would have happened with my credit card, he's sure.
Being in the bridal mood after looking at beautiful rings, I was stopped in my tracks by a gorgeous Jinza ruffly wedding gown in the window of Haute Bride, a new bridal shop. Um, Billy, we need to get married again, because this little number seriously was made for me! I'd take the sash and jewelry as well, no complaints.
I went in just to get a better look, and ended up chatting with the clerk inside, Denise, and we bonded over our mutual wins for the Knot best of weddings plaques. She invited me to the store's grand opening in a few weeks, and I can't wait to go back! She gave me lots of information, like the owner makes all of the accessories, and they sell in 1,000 bridal salons across the country including Kleinfelds. I also found out they loan out wedding gowns for photoshoots, which has my wheels turning on how I can make something happen soon! I'm pretty sure this is the same dress off of the Jinza website. I'm in love.
Definitely check out Haute Bride's site, it's beautiful, just like their amazing gowns and accessories!

We then left Los Gatos to run some errands, and ended up seeing American Reunion! Definitely raunchy, but had it's moments. It was fun for Billy and I because we feel like we've grown up with the characters. I say Netflix it. If you want a really good theater movie, see 21 Jump Street, that was fantastic!

And now I am home, listening to the thunder storm that is raging outside, and getting my kit together for my first big wedding of the season tomorrow. I did have a tiny wedding two weeks ago, which was bridal hair only, so this is the real deal for the start of the season. Can't wait!

Have a great weekend! 


Nike Women's marathon 2012

Have any of you dolls ever thought of doing the Nike Women's Marathon {or half marathon}? Registration for the lottery opened up on Monday, and closes on Friday April 20.  I hadn't even considered trying to get in until my running group posted a group ID on their Facebook page. Registering with a group makes your chances of getting in so much better, because if anyone in the group gets in, ALL of the group get to participate! So the more people who use the group ID code, the better the odds. 
So guess what? I registered. Yup, I'm in the lottery and hoping the odds are ever in my favor. I have a good feeling about this one. During the registration process, there is a portion that asks you to complete the sentence "I run to be..." Of course I wrote "happy"! I will find out at the end of April if I got in :) 
If you happen to register just for the heck of it also, and get in, you can bet I will be giving tours of the Bay area, and keeping you company while you are in town. And don't forget the 3 day expotique in Union Square leading up to the race, it's said to be amazing! 
Just think, 13.1, or 26.2 miles of beautiful San Francisco scenery flashing by, 25,000 runners pumping you up, awesome spectators cheering for you at every mile, the famous chocolate mile where Ghiradelli chocolate is given freely to all runners, and that iconic little blue Tiffany's box containing your finishers necklace handed to you on a silver platter by tuxedo clad firemen at the finish line. How sweet does that sound?! 
Via Mile Musings Hello, handsome devils with presents!
If you want to tempt fate {like me!} and register for the lottery, do so now at this link, and use group ID code SP9LAT to increase your chances of getting in. Registration closes on Friday April 20, so register soon.


How I feel for you

"Take love, multiply it by infinity and take it to the depths of forever.. and you still have only a glimpse of how I feel for you."
--Meet Joe Black


Effied up

Hopefully you didn't read the title as "Effed up" because there is definitely an "i" in there.

The Hunger Games. You know I loved the books, and was eagerly awaiting the movie's release, and had plans to dress up. Well, here are the photos!! 
 My "before" transformation photo
 The products used  to achieve my Effie look. 

These pics were from my practice run
 Close up of my pink and purple eyeshadow
Weird focus, but a shot of the back of my hair
All set in my hunger games thermal hoodie!

And day of! These are cell phone pics, sorry the quality is poor!
In the theater, ready for the movie!!!


Santa Cruz Half Marathon recap


Those exclamation marks up there? Yeah, that's how I feel about this race.

I'm pretty sure I had mentioned on this blog, at least in passing, that I was training for a half marathon, but hadn't said anything last week leading up to it. Actually, I really didn't post at all last week because I was a basket case. If you happen to follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend, it was a different story as I professed my nerves the night before the race, and then the morning of. This was a big deal for me, being my first ever half marathon and the longest distance I have ever run. Of course I was nervous, anxious, giddy and excited.

My alarm went off at 5:30am and though I hit the snooze out of habit, I was wide awake. I got up before the snooze went off and started getting myself ready, which included making sure I got my potty time in {TMI? have you read my running posts before, this is tame} force feeding myself strawberry lemonade flavored Nuun water, a banana and 2 clementines, and popping 2 Imodium pills. Do any of you runners have trouble eating the morning of a race? I swear it's like my body almost refuses to accept nourishment. I later found out that 2 Imodiums is 1 pill too much, says Billy, but whatev, I didn't poop my pants or have to stop to use a port-a-potty, so I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

I made Billy get up early with me, as he is my official stuff holder. He's so funny. When the first alarm went off he snoozed and dreamt he had gotten out of bed. When I came in the first time to get him up, he fell back asleep and thought he was already in the car, so the second time I came in he laughed and said thanks! I had Billy drive me, as I would have been speeding, probably getting a ticket, and winding myself up even more than I was. On the way to the car, the cold air and my nerves had me shaking so badly my teeth chattered!

The weather cooperated and was beautifully clear, sunny, and in the 40s. The day before had been super stormy, so I had worried about wet weather and wind. We parked near the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk and found my friend Nicole and her boyfriend Matt. We made a quick potty stop, ate some Clif shot blocks and downed some water before winding our way into the crowd to await the start. 
I promised to run the whole way with Nicole, even if she hadn't been training to run as fast as I do, so when the race started, I set our pace to push her a bit and slow myself down. There was a quick hill in the first half mile to get us up onto the course, and from there the first 3-4 miles were flat. The course was GORGEOUS! It wound along the ocean, and the waves were crashing against the rocks. I felt incredible! The pace felt comfortable and I wasn't pushing myself too hard, my body felt fresh and good, and I just enjoyed the run.
Hello, beautiful course scenery!! Via Rise to Run 
Nicole was seriously doubting herself in this first section, so I had to stop letting her know our pace, as it was faster than she was used to, and also made her focus on what we were doing then, not the past or what was ahead. By mile 4.5 she was golden and knew she could do it! We kept up a conversation the whole race, which was such a wonderful distraction from pounding out the miles by yourself. We totally cheesed it up for all of the race photographers, I can't wait to order some prints, not because I have stellar form in any picture, but because we look like we're having so much fun!
My favorite photo!
Miles 6-8 were a loop on a paved bike trail, and then onto a dirt trail that was strewn with HUGE puddles from the previous day's rain, and lots of mud. We had to dodge people who slowed down to prance around the puddles, and it was a super twisty part of the course so our time slowed down. Around mile 8.5 we made our way back to the bike trail for the return part of the course, and knew exactly what to expect. I made Nicole lean into and push up the few hills, and maintain a steady pace on the flats. I still felt excellent at this point, and was surprised that by mile 10 I wasn't wanting to die like I usually am in training runs.

Mile 11-13 were WINDY! I kept having to grab my hat before the wind blew it off, and maintaining our pace felt really tough. We definitely felt like we had run a half marathon at this point, but kept going as the finish was so close! The finish of the race was down a hill and onto the beach for a short, soft sand sprint, which was difficult but hilarious, and I had a huge grin on my face the whole time! 
My Garmin said we had finished in 2:04:14, but the finish line clock said 1:50. I later found out they started it with the 10k that started 15 minutes after the half marathon. My official time was 2:04:15, so only a second off my watch time! My splits were decent and pretty consistent, which is all I could ask for for such a long run! 
I was 2,452 out of 3,818 racers
450 out of 2,446 women
157 in the 20-29 age group
Nicole crossed right in front of me, so she beat me, but we he had the exact same finishing time.

The woman who won was 30 years old, and ran it in 1:24:50 with a 6:28min/mile pace! 
The man who won was was 28 years old, and ran it in 1:11:33 with a 5:27min/mile pace! Both of those people are just incredible in my mind. I can't even imagine running 13 miles at a sprint. I'm incredibly happy with my pace and results.

The technical shirt and the medal are both super awesome! The shirt is super soft and has a great design, and the medal is equally cool. 
Via Rise to Run
Around mile 11 Nicole and I had said how we were hurting then, but would be so ecstatic afterward, and we were right! Once we got our food and shirts, we were beaming with pride and the endorphins were insane. I had a perma-grin on my face, and even though I had just run over 13 miles, I was bouncing around and talking a mile a minute. My rush didn't end until we had dropped Nicole off at home and I was able to sit quietly in the car. I so could have used a nap at that point, but had to go into the salon that afternoon! I know, crazy, right?!

What I learned from my first half marathon:
*My HM PR is 2:04:15, and I plan on beating it in the future
*Taking 4 days off running before the race left me feeling energized and fresh
*Drinking Nuun the night before and morning of the race, + taking water at every station kept me hydrated and feeling good, no cramps or major fatigue 
*A banana and 2 clementines, + a shot block before the race, and at mile 8 is all the nutrition I need
* Having a buddy to run and chat with is a huge motivator and made the miles pass easily
*Keeping an easy pace makes the miles less grueling on your lungs and body; sometimes slower is better, especially for these long runs. 
*I definitely enjoyed the race far more than any of my training runs where I was running sub-9min/miles. 
*I am already looking forward to my next half marathon, which will probably be at the end of the month if I sign up in time!

Sweet Shower

Last weekend I helped throw a baby shower for one of my friends, whom I've known for a very long time. Sarah and I met at church, in 7th grade, and have remained friends ever since. She moved away to New Mexico for a few years with her husband who was in the Air Force, and I was thrilled when they moved back two years ago. 

I am super thankful I didn't have to plan and execute the entire party, I would have been ridiculously overwhelmed coming up with decorations, making all of the food, and creating tasty treats. I was one of three to throw this shower, and I was in charge of the desserts for the party. 

I used Pinterest to collect baby shower ideas. I knew I wanted to create quite a spread of sugary sweets, so I needed lots of inspiration! 

I made dark chocolate cupcakes and pink champagne cupcakes, both had vanilla buttercream in pink, blue or green. I also made chocolate chip cookie cups, double chocolate and walnut cookie cups, and candy coated pretzel rods. 

I forgot to take photos of the pink chocolate fondue, and the pink marshmallow fluff and cream cheese fruit dip I had made. I had trays of cut up apples, strawberries, and grapes to dip in the fondue and the fruit dip with bamboo skewers. 

I included some Trader Joe's goodies as well. They were yogurt covered stars cookies, iced lemon cookies, salt water taffy, and shortbread cookies with apricot and raspberry centers. The spread looked fantastic!

 The pink champage cupcake recipe came from CoCo Mi's, which can be found here. I used Barefoot Bubbly pink moscato champagne, and they turned out DELICIOUS! Like, holy moly, how good are these? I would definitely make them again. They would be perfect for a girls night, a bridal shower, bachelorette, or birthday party. 

The dark chocolate cupcakes were a simple box mix, but was decadently rich. I topped both cupcakes with Life of Meg's Magnolia vanilla buttercream, which can be found here.

The candy coated pretzel rods were super easy but look adorable! I bought 3 medium bags of Snyders of Hanover pretzel rods and pulled out all the broken pieces. I got bags of different colored candy melts, and would pour them into a coffee mug, microwave until melted, dip and spoon  the candy onto a pretzel, and then dust with sprinkles. I laid them flat on a wax paper covered cookie sheet to harden, and then slipped them into little plastic bags I had found at JoAnne's just for pretzels. They turned out so cute and colorful!

I made little description cards by searching for printables on Pinterest, and found this set of ombre hearts that was adorable. You can edit the text and change the colors before you print, which was good for me, since I have no idea how to manipulate images without help! You can find the printable here.
 The buffet area, with sweets on the left, savories in the middle and the fondue and fruits on the right.
 The beautiful momma-to-be and I. It was hard to take a picture of us, so you get this silly angle!
 I just love this photo of my friend Shelley telling a story, and Deborah laughing
 Presents and decor 
 Beautiful Sarah
 Me, Sarah and Diane, friends since middle school! 
 It poured buckets most of the day, so it was sweet when a rainbow showed up in the afternoon!
A bobcat decided to make an appearance and walked through the neighbor's yard. I caught this through the window and zoomed way in.

I simply can't wait to meet baby Cameryn! 

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