I am already thinking about Valentine's Day...

(you know it's certainly not to early to start planning (or making reservations) for your special lunch/dinner celebration)

Valentine's Day falls on Sunday this year, so those of us who work full time and normally celebrate with dinner after work, have some more options for our celebration. A lot more options--no football on TV either. Right?

We usually go out for a nice dinner, and then Bruce suggested the idea of going on another Hornblower brunch cruise. Then the realization that that this, being an El Nino* year, might bring rain, wind or more ugly weather for our cruise around the harbor, and for that reason, we reconsidered and are going to plan something else.

* plain and simple explanation more rain for California. You can go to NOAA for the real deal facts and figures

Summer is a much better time for harbor brunch cruise. I can attest that sunning yourself on the top deck of a large boat along the San Diego Harbor is glorious in July! And for you photographers...there are some perfect photo ops of our city and bay from out there!

So back to the drawing board...but I have an idea churning in my busy brain. I just have to go surf the web and see what pans out...stay tuned.

Do you have plans made yet? Homemade dinner or Reservations? Inquiring minds want to know...



Oh my....look at these cookies by Cookie Crazie. The girl's got mad skillz! I seriously want to start making cookies that look like these. B-e-a-utiful! I just had to share...I'm dangerous like that...


I was blog surfing this weekend...

Blog surfing is a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon (when you should be writing something for your own blog, but just don't have anything to say). You can certainly lose yourself in this activity in an afternoon. I add the blogs I want to read more of, to my 'favorites' and then I can go back later to each one.

I found several wonderful baking/cooking/foodie blogs that got me excited to try their recipes and ideas. Here is one such blog that I found myself drooling over several recipes. Check out those stuffed mushrooms, and the apple cinnamon rolls...oh yeah, keep scrolling down....until you get to the pumpkin ice cream!! Thanks, Amber, I cannot wait to try these out!

I promise to share more of the gems I have discovered in my blog surfing adventures...and feel free to share the blogs you love, with me too!

Happy trails to you.....



We woke up to sunshine and blue skies. Our temps were still chilly and there were some scattered gray clouds in the sky that delivered some sprinkles, but all in all, it was a beautiful morning!

We are supposed to have three sunny dry days before the next two day storm arrives. Enough time to let our soggy soil dry out and for us to clean up the debris in our yard and get some quick yard work done.

We have been in a long drought, so this rain storm was both welcome and much needed. Our plants really needed it. I love the rain. I love how clean the air smells after it rains.

This morning, we ran out and took care of our errands at Costco -- we had a short list and filled the Jeep up with gas. While we were there, we also found a good space heater to use in our garage during our evening workouts. After our grocery run and a stop at Kohl's we were home for the rest of the day.

Tonight, we are meeting some friends downtown in the Gaslamp for dinner at Blue Point and then walk to a couple of other places and check out the bands and enjoy our local night life. I'm looking forward to getting out of the house after a housebound week of rain.

What are your plans this weekend?



We've been getting a lot of rain all week and it's soggy out there now. Last night I awoke to the sound of it raining hard against the house and our (very large) dog curled up between us. She started out at the foot of our bed, but I think all the noise outside made her feel uneasy, so she decided that scooting up between us was the best place to be.

I got her settled back at the foot of the bed and closed my eyes and that is when the lightning and thunder began. That is certainly not San Diego weather. This much rain is not normal for San Diego either, but anyway, the thunder storm moved out quickly and I went back to sleep until the next one rumbled overhead, this time I barely came awake before falling back into deep heavenly slumber.

Today, we are supposed to get more rain, more wind and more thunderstorms. We've had downed trees, power outages, flash flooding, and just lots and lots of rain. Snow in our mountains will be falling at the 3,500 foot level. It's gonna be another crazy weather day in Sunny San Diego...



Start with one drowsy dog...

And this is how it usually ends.....
Sweet dreams, Kona.



Kelly at Kelly's Korner is asking for her readers to share some ideas for diets, excercise and weight loss ideas in her Show Us Your Life episode this week. I have decided to participate as this is something that is relevant for me.

I am not going to claim to be an expert, because I am not. But I have had years of practice losing (and gaining) weight and I finally know what doesn't work AND how to do it right. I began eating differently in September and have lost close to 25 pounds. Its working and I know that the reason is because this is a change in the way I think and view food. Here is what I know.

First. Stop calling it a diet. Stop thinking that you can go back to eating all the junk that got you this way in the first place.

Change the way you eat. Forever. Eat healthful delicious food!

I believe in balance in the way you eat. I am not a proponent of "gimmicks".

Eat whole, fresh foods as much as you can. Stay away from processed foods. If it comes in a box or a can, try to avoid it. I know that it is tough when you are working full time but if you can do it most of the time...it's not a big deal.

Eat whole grains and pastas. They really do taste good and are so much better for you!

Eat your veggies and fruits. Your mother was right. They are GOOD for you! Include them with every meal and use them for your snacks!

Drink plenty of plain water. Personally I try to drink 3 1 liter bottles in a day...from the time I wake up until I go to bed (but you may want to lay off drinking a lot of water a couple of hours before your bedtime, for obvious reasons).

Portion control. Too much of any food is not a good idea. So you do have to eat smaller portions than you were. It will be tough at first, but pretty soon, you will wonder how you ate all that in one sitting.

If you eat this way, you can include that sweet or indulge in a glass of wine and not have to feel deprived. Real life happens. Enjoy it.

Now....all that being said. You must excercise. Your body was made to move, not to just sit on the couch watching reality TV. Calories in, calories out.

Strive for 30 to 60 minutes of excercise a day. You don't need fancy equipment--it helps, but its not necessary. And for Pete's sake, have fun with it. Challenge yourself. This is about YOU! Again, balance. Spending your entire day inside of a gym is not healthy either--make the most of your time while you are there. More is not always better.

And mix it up, take a hike, swim when the weather is good, run with your kids, walk your dog, train for a half-marathon. Do what works for you!

The internet is a an excellent source of information and support. Educate yourself on calories, excercise, cardio, resistance training. Its all out there. Find a network and connect and learn and get moving!

If you can follow this prescription 80% of the time...you have made great strides. No one is perfect. When you fall down, get back up and keep moving forward. That is what I am doing. It works.

Here is one of our favorite "go to" healthy meals.

Brown rice and Black Beans (or your favorite beans)
Cook rice, add drained, rinsed beans, sprinkle with chili powder (to your liking) and salsa (again to your liking).

Top with fresh chopped tomatos, chopped red onion, a dollop of sour cream and salsa. You can also add a sprinkling of shredded cheese on top, but this dish is so flavorful, that you won't need to!




Well, we are back home from our fabulous weekend with A & K and Grace, celebrating lil Miss' very first birthday. I know that A will post birthday photos on her blog, so I will share some other pictures that we took while we were there.

I found some Sesame Street games and videos on my laptop and Grace was completely mesmerized by the Muppets and all the music. Here are a couple of pics of her watching them...she was so much fun to watch.

Grace has changed so much since we saw her in August. Besides walking everywhere and babbling away, she has 4 teeth (the last one popping out about halfway) and she is so busy and smart. She loves music and dances away when she hears it.
She is the happiest little thing too! See that smile? She is beaming like that most of the time. She loves to laugh and imitate us when we laugh! A cute little character.
We were glad she liked the fire engine we got her for her birthday. I think she will have a lot of fun this spring and summer out in the yard and filling up the tank with water and getting wet on warm summer days.

Gosh, it's so hard to be back at work here in San Diego when I'd rather be playing with Grace in Utah!



I am counting down the hours until we leave on our flight to Utah tomorrow. I am so excited!

And, there is snow in the forecast! :-) Coming from San Diego, snow is a big deal to me. I love the white stuff (in moderation of course). Sure seems more like winter with snow on the ground and cold temperatures. (It is supposed to be 19 degrees when we land tomorrow night).

I cannot wait to see our sweet grand-daughter and give her snuggles and kisses from her Memaw.

It is hard to believe that only a year ago, I was catching a plane so I could arrive before her birth. I made it! I was there when this sweet girl was born. Has it really been a year since she was this small?

And look at her now! Walking everywhere, Little Miss Independent! And starting to talk. And still just as darn cute as ever!

Stay tuned....we are taking our camera and I'll be posting more pictures while we are away!