Monday, September 29, 2008

A lovely weekend get-away.... :)

David and I had a relaxing, fun filled weekend in Calistoga for our anniversary! We stayed at The Roman Spa & Hot Springs, which has 3 natural mineral pools exclusively for guests. We soaked in the mineral baths, explored downtown Calistoga, did some wine tasting, had a couples massage, and enjoyed an amazing dinner at Greystone Wine Spectator Restaurant. The culinary school and restaurant looks like a castle! The highlight of the meal were the "Daily Temptations" (amuse bouche), which are an array of small bites created by the chef each day. Saturday's Temptations included fried green tomatoes, salmon mouse on toasted chips, foie gras pate brioche, mashed potato croquettes, and a tiny cup of spiced butternut squash soup. YUM! And of course we ordered dessert - Chocolate Molten Lava Cake!

If you're in need of a weekend getaway and/or an amazing culinary experience, I highly recommend a trip to Calistoga and a meal at Greystone. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Off to Calistoga for the weekend!

David and I are leaving this evening for a weekend get-away in Calistoga! We are celebrating our 6-year wedding anniversary this Sunday 9/28, so we figured that a weekend of relaxing and indulgence was in order. We'll be staying at the Roman Hot Springs, getting a massage at Calistoga Day Spa, and then enjoying an elegant dinner at Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. I am looking forward to soaking in the hot spring, taking in the beautiful wine country views, doing some shopping, and enjoying some QT with my hubby.

Happy Anniversary David!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alameda - My Home

I absolutely love this Island city, and I am so proud to call Alameda my home. There are so many awesome features and benefits to living here - friendly people, a great sense of community, lots of tasty restaurants, the popular Antique Fair, great schools, the Alameda Town Centre & Park Street shopping, gorgeous Victorian homes, and of course our very own beach with views of SF. And now we even have our own movie theater. Plus the town is very pet and family friendly.

Along those lines, David and I love Alameda so much that we've decided this is the place we want to buy a home and raise our future family. We are now in the market to buy a condo - updates to come!

My old pets....

This week I've been thinking about my old family pets Buster and Mittens quite a bit. Buster was the only dog I ever had, and Mittens was a tough kitty who lived almost 15 years. She also had a sister Sophie who passed away many years before that. I miss you my furry friends!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Have you always wanted a stuffed animal that looks exactly like your pet, only smaller and made of wool? Well you're in luck!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leah & Hayden came across this cute sign yesterday during a morning walk in their Redwood City neighborhood. She thought of me and took this pic to pass along - too cute.

I love unicorns!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend in Manteca

It always feels so good to go home. Had a wonderful visit with Mom, Dad, Leah, Hayden & Desi. xoxo

Friday, September 19, 2008


Miracle Dog Adopts Tiger Cubs!

Hey, if humans can drink cow's milk, then why can't tigers drink dog's milk? ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The word of the day is.......

tintinnabulation \tin-tih-nab-yuh-LAY-shuhn\, noun:

*A tinkling sound, as of a bell or bells.

Usage: "One found oneself immersed in the infinitely nuanced tintinnabulations of clapping cymbal rhythms passed from one player to the next, in the barely audible, rain-like patter of drums that suddenly grew into an overwhelming mechanical onslaught.
-- Tim Page, "From Japan, The Thundering Drums of Kodo", Newsday, February 24, 1995

Tintinnabulation derives from Latin tintinnabulum "a bell," from tintinnare from tinnire, "to jingle."

Thanks :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Personality Type/Career Quiz

Interested in learning more about your Personality Type and careers that match your preferences? Then check out this Career Quiz from

As a Career Counselor, I am usually very weary of these online career assessments, but this one utilizes the theory of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a theory that I strongly believe in and find extremely insightful! And actually, the related book "Do What Your Are" played a key role in helping me discover my current career passions!
(P.S. I am an ESFJ)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tiki FAB!

Saturday night 9/13 = Full moon Tiki-party success!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Great Blue Heron

I am completely in awe of this amazing bird. Seriously, when I see the Great Blue Heron that lives down at the Alameda Beach Bird Sanctuary near my home, I literally stop in my tracks and stare in awe. It looks so powerful yet delicate, prehistoric yet spiritual and majestic.

I recall a vivid, relevant memory from my childhood. One day when I was out for a hike with my dad at Caswell Park, I saw what I believed to be a Pterodactyl fly above our heads amongst the tree tops! I yelled out in astonishment, "Dad, look its a dinosaur!" He proceeded to explain to me that it was actually a bird, not a dinosaur, but my creative childhood imagination was convinced otherwise. In adult retrospect, this bird must have been a Great Blue Heron. Looking at the picture below of the Heron in flight, it is easy to see how a naive, imaginative child could make this mistake. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My babies....when they were babies! :)

I am so excited to be posting this pic! When we first adopted our girls Aimee and Molly back in August 2004, we were given a copy of this photo from their foster mommy. However, we somehow lost or misplaced the photo a couple years ago....which made me sad. :( But I was finally able to contact someone at the rescue agency we got them from, Island Cat Resources & Adoption (ICRA), to get the contact info for the woman in this photo - their sweet foster mom who saved them from being attacked by raccoons in the abandoned car where they were born. Aimee is the little tabby in front (look at that baby face!), and Molly is the tabby in the middle of the kitty puddle. :) They were the only females in a litter of 6 kittens......I wonder where all of their brothers are today?

And here is a pic of our little Oliver when he was 2 months old, just so he doesn't feel left out... :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The saga comes to an end.....

"Berkeley tree-sitters finally down to earth"
(09-09) 13:48 PDT BERKELEY -- With a short jump onto a scaffolding platform, four tree-sitters peacefully ended a 649-day standoff with UC Berkeley on Tuesday over the university's plan to cut down a grove of trees to build an athletic training center.
The protesters voluntarily climbed down from an 80-foot redwood next to Memorial Stadium about 1:30 p.m. after four hours of negotiations with UC Police Chief Victoria Harrison as she hung in a basket suspended from a 200-foot-tall crane.

After shouting "We love you!" to a crowd of about 500 supporters and onlookers on the ground, the sitters surrendered to police, who arrested them on misdemeanor charges of trespassing, violating a court order and illegal lodging. They were taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin......(more)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The book I am reading......

is awesome! Highly recommended.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My ladies

Some of my favorite ladies - Cari Lee, Andy, Little Miss Hayden, Reyna & Leah. I love you girls...xoxo! We had a great day out at the Skills Day Party in Civic Center, 8/3/08.

Sunday @ Ocean Beach

Michael and I had a lovely picnic at Ocean Beach on Sunday - it was a full experience including great conversation, surfer watching, plenty of SF fog, a quick toe dip in the icy water, and even I even took home a lovely present from the seagulls.... ;)

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My sister turned me on to this amazing website a few months ago called Hungry Girl. This site was started by a woman who is a self described food addict, yet a "normal woman, not a nutritionist". She and her staff seek out the best tasting, healthy, low cal foods on the market today, and they also create some amazing recipes, many that are healthy versions of some not-so-good-for-you restaurant meals and homemade favorites. Check out their site and sign up for their daily E-newsletter to get healthy eating tips, snack suggestions, letters & FAQ's from readers, and tasty'll be glad you did!
P.S. You can also purchase their famous cookbook, but I opted just to print various recipes from their website and from their awesome E-newsletters.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kitty bubbles!

So by this point, I am sure that all the cat-haters of the world have learned to stay clear of my I'm writing yet another kitty post today. :)

Last night David and I were playing with our kitties, and we broke out the catnip bubbles! We had forgotten about these, as they were tucked away in our box of random cat toys and accessories. My sister Leah bought these for us a couple years ago, and initially the cats weren't very interested in them. But that has all changed!

David had lots of fun blowing the kitty bubbles all around the living room, and the cats watched in curiosity and eagerness as they blew and bounced around from the circulation of the fans - too cute! If you have cats, definitely check out these catnip bubbles...very entertaining for both you and your feline friends! :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I am in love with......

Berkeley Bowl! Any other fans out there?

Seriously, this store is like heaven on earth for a food lover and home chef like myself. :) It is like a cross between a health food store, an international market, a fresh produce market, and your average local grocery store. Prices for produce are amazingly cheap, their selection is out of this world (especially bulk foods, vegetarian items, and fresh produce), and I can always find those less common ingredients often called for in certain ethnic/international cuisines. And another plus is that it's located just down the street from my office - very convenient for making a quick stop on my way home from work. Oh, and they have a really cool logo, that I think would make an awesome tattoo.

Thank you Berkeley Bowl for enhancing my culinary life! :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


During my morning commute to Berkeley yesterday, I was reminded of my initial motivation to start this blog last Fall - the randomness of daily life. Hence the name of my blog, I am a careful, inquisitive observer of my world. I love catching moments of humor, excitement, love, anxiety, connection - human emotion, period. People are strange yet amazing, don't you think? Especially here in the Bay Area, the diversity of thought, opinion, culture, life experience, values, etc. leads to an ongoing plethora of opportunities to experience this randomness on a regular basis. Especially given that I work in downtown Berkeley. :)

So on my drive to work Tuesday morning, I saw these 3 different bumper stickers within a 15 minute span....nough said. ;)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Beautiful Labor Day @ Point Reyes

What a gorgeous Labor Day in the Bay Area! It was completely clear and sunny throughout the Bay, including the coast and Marin County. So given that David and I both had the holiday off work, we took the opportunity to head up to Point Reyes to explore, go for a hike, enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean and the beaches, and soak up some quality time in the outdoors.

We went for a challenging 5 mile hike up to Mt. Wittenberg, starting from the visitor center at Point Reyes/Bear Valley park. It was a lovely (yet strenuous) hike up through the trees to the top of the peak, about a 1,300 foot elevation climb (to the highest point in the Point Reyes National Seashore!) We then headed back to the wooded picnic area near the visitor center to enjoy a well-deserved lunch - yummy sandwiches with homemade chicken salad.

Then we drove all the way out to the tip of the Point Reyes peninsula to the lighthouse. It was a long, windy, twisty drive passing through a variety of dairy farms, with expansive, impressive views of the ocean and the cliffs. The lighthouse is no longer in operation, but is open as a visitor center and tourist attraction. We hiked another mile round trip to the lighthouse and back, including the LONG flight of concrete stairs leading down to the lighthouse on the tip of the cliff. Getting down wasn't an issue, but climbing back up the stairs (which were equivalent to a 30-story building!), was a bit challenging after our tough hike earlier in the day. But it was well worth the adventure!

Needless to say my legs are a bit sore this morning, but we had a fantastic time yesterday. I am now inspired to get out and go hiking much more often given the amazing array of options we have here in the Bay Area.