Sunday, September 30, 2007

Christmas?!? Already?

Hello from Nancy - up here at the North Pole!

OK - Really I have just started noticing the Christmas cards and decorations starting to slowly trickle their way into our stores. I have been trying to pre-plan and pick up stocking stuffers because those are always the hardest things to buy and then to top it off my mom asked for my Christmas list yesterday. Let's face it folks, the time to start preparing for the holiday's is approaching quickly.

I was driving home from the parents last night reminiscing about some of the gifts from Christmas past and thought I would share to get us in the merry mood. There was the I-Pod fiasco of 2006, turns out if you whine enough you get what you want... and I whined a lot! So I got two I-pods, it was a fiasco because my mom asked what Leiha got me and you could tell by her face that she had also gotten me an I-Pod and was disappointed. Luckily my parents had more memory so I ended up giving the second one to my brother for his 30th birthday and all was well.

The fluke best gift of 2005 was the wind up flashlight. You know the kind that doesn't need batteries, you just wind it up and shazam - you have light. (Why don't they have vibrators like that?) This was the surprise hit of the year because that was when my car fell apart. Every time I drove through a puddle my car would break down -- usually in the dark. Then there is the constant overheating - I had to keep a gallon of water in the car to refill at every stop. This obviously lead to frequent use of the flashlight. Now I keep it in the house because my new car runs... but I still highly recommend this as a gift for everybody.

Whining for a gift made me think of a gift I worked really hard for... a remote control car track for the Christmas of 1980. I was so excited when I opened the box. I ran straight to the basement, set it up and started racing! That is when I found our if your back molars are covered in stainless steel crowns you can conduct electricity. It was like shock therapy, I wanted to play so badly, but it was so uncomfortable... I would play, get zapped, quit for a while and repeat. You know the whole pleasure pain thing LOL

I will have you know that whining didn't always work for me... there was one Christmas I was angling for a bathrobe. A big box that was soft and squishy showed up under the tree for me and I KNEW it was my bathrobe. My mom kept asking what I thought it was but I wouldn't tell her because I would be able to tell from her face what it was. Can you imagine my face when I opened up my box on Christmas morning and instead of the snugly terry cloth robe I was expecting there was a bath mat? LOL We still laugh about the shock on my face that day.

One favorite thing we have every year is the stocking. At our house everyone is in charge of helping Santa and stuffing them. It is such a treasure trove of goodies, and Edgar and I look forward to them every year. There are practical items like underwear, razors and toothpaste; and then the fun things like candy, wind up toys, pens, jewelry, you just never know and I love that!

Now that I have lulled you into the Christmas spirit way to early tell me about what your unexpected favorite gift was. What is the can't miss gift we could give one of our family members? And then let's get with the American Christmas way and shop our little hearts out!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A feast for the senses...

Last Friday I had a meal I've been fantasizing about for years. What, another post about food? Imagine that! Nancy has relatives that live 45 minutes from where we were staying so we had to go visit them, especially when I heard they were planning on making Buford stew, otherwise known as a crab boil! Shwing! I saw one a long time ago on PBS and have been salivating for one ever sense.

On her mother's side Nancy is a McClellen from McClellenville. How cool is that? Now I've heard of these relatives, after all Nancy and I have been friends for 18 years but haven't met them. Actually, Linda has met Uncle Billy before me, LOL. Once we got to town we drove around while Nancy gave us a tour and then went to Aunt Carol's and Uncle Dan's (her relatives are mine after all LOL) and from there we went to Uncle Billy's. Here is the tree in his backyard, the house Nancy's mom grew up in.Some of the girls headed down to the docks to get some shrimp for dinner while some of us walked to the local store to browse then it was back to Aunt Carol's. Nancy, Su and Aunt Carol were off to go kayaking (with a little help from Mich).

As you know I'm not a big water person. Mich and Linda hung out on the docks chatting with Uncle Dan while Barb, Brenda and I stayed in the house chatting with Daneille, ther daughter who was in town for the weekend. I was worried about bugs. Let me just say, there are a heck of a lot of mosquitos in South Carolina! Of course, once Danielle told me that she goes crabbing off of the docks using a weighted string with chicken tied around it I said screw the bugs, let's go crabbing and Barb and Brenda were all for it.

Here is Uncle Dan with the crap trap that they have tied off of the dock. This is how I'm used to crabbing. My brothers love to go crabbing and I've been with them but all it consists of is throwing out traps and hanging out. Now I get to wait and FEEL for the crab. I was stoked!


I was the first to catch a crab, actually I caught the first two but then Barb started hauling them in. Brenda says she wasn't going to leave until she caught one, thank goodness she finally did and both her and Barb had twofers. Barb was the great white hunter with a catch of 5. We of course, counted the ones we had to throw back, LOL. How cool is it that you can go out in your backyard and get some crab when you are in the mood?

When we came back there was a spread of spreads laid out for us. I do love me my dips! Speaking of which, we had the best shrimp dip from the dock there! We need to see if we can get Nancy's relatives to get the recipe or I may have to drive back just for that LOL. While we were chatting and snacking Aunt Carol was putting together our dinner. Look at some of the goodies that were going in.Also in their version (I guess there are different versions depending on where you live) was 2 kinds of sausage, crab, corn and potatoes.
I bet you can guess I was in heaven. What Barb you can't finish that crab, let me help, LOL. It lived up to my expectations.

After that Barb made her pavlova and we feasted some more. It was such a wonderful day with wonderful people. I knew seeing my long lost relatives would be great and it was! I am looking forward to our family reunion next May, LOL.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fine dining at its best

Who needs to go out to a fancy restuarant when we have gourmands in the house! Wednesday night Linda and Lina did a 7 course dinner based on the 7 deadly sins, complete with accompaning wines. I wish I could remember the entire menu but I will do my best: a salmon filled croissant with capers and cream cheese, a shrimp and avocado citrus salad, crab cakes, sorbet, a beef tenderloin with pasta, mixed berries with ice cream, chocolate fondue with pound cake and fresh fruit, and I know I'm missing something (there were 2 desserts). Hopefully someone else can remind me. Su will be sending in pictures and I'll add them so you can see for yourself the feast.

Brenda also arrived late Wed night. To make her feel right at home we greeted her with undergarments on our head. OK, we had more fun waiting for her then anything. We sat around the card table with boxer shorts, bras and panties on our head just cracking ourselves up while playing spades. No you won't be seeing those pics, the girls would kill me, LOL.

On Thursday Barb took over the kitchen. She started the night with montery jack, gorgonzola and pear quesadillas served with a mango chutny and a mango salsa. I wanted to devour all of them but I saved room for the main dish. I can't remember what it was called but we wrapped risotto, scallops, asparagus and tilapia in parchment along with butter, white wine and some seasonings and baked it in the oven. A lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat.

and for dessert she made a chocolate pavlova which had me totally excited. I've been wanting to try one ever since Sarah posted about it on her Xmas post and let me say that it doesn't disappoint! I'm not a big dessert person and this one was fabulous!Because I loved this dessert and I love my Mannions I'm going to type out the recipe for you.

Chocolate Pavlova

chocolate meringue base:
6 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

topping:
2 1/4 heavy cream
1 very full pint of rasberries (she used strawberries on Friday and I preferred that)
2-3 tablespoons coarsely grated bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Beat the egg whites until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the cocoa and vinegar and the chopped chocolate. Then gentyl fold everything until the cocoa is totally mixed in. Mound onto a baking sheet in a fat circle approximately 9 inches in diameter, smoothing the sides and top (Barb uses a springform pan to shape hers). Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees and cook for about one to one and a quarter hours. When it's ready it should look crisp around the edges and on the sides and be dry on top but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess (excellent word) beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely.

When you're ready to serve, invert onto a big, flat bottomed plate. Whisk the cream til thick but still soft and pile it on top of the meringue, then scatter over the rasberries. Coarsely grate the chocolate so that you get the curls rather than rubble, as you don't want the rasberries lucious color and form to be obscured, and sprinkle halfhazardly over the top, letitng some fall, as it will, on the plate's rim.

Serves 8-10

Sunday, September 23, 2007

it's hard to blog...

when I'm spending all of my time eating, LOL.

Monday we got to the Isle of Palms safely. We had to take 2 cars but it was fun. Especially when Su and I mooned the other vehicle. I think Mich's vision still hasn't recovered. If you look closely at my back passenger window you'll see my butt imprint. I wanted to make sure they could see my ass, as if there was any chance they couldn't, LOL.

The house is fabulous and large, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, it is heaven! We're located right on the beach with a screened porch and a porch swing and a swimming pool which we broke in Mon night after dinner. We dropped all of our stuff off at the house, marked our territory and headed out to eat. We had asked the guy at the rental office where to eat. Bad decision. The food wasn't that great but the compan was. We kept having to get shushed, if you can imagine, we tend to get a little loud, LOL. Most of the girls didn't want their pics taken since we were road weary but that didn't stop Nancy, Barb and I from taking pics of ourselves, LOL.
Barb and Nancy went to the store. The other girls stayed at the restaurant to relax at the bar to let me get some work done at home then Nancy headed to the bar to catch up. It was funny when the girls got home being a tad more sober then them. Of course the first thing Su did was fix me a drink. I didn't try to play catch up like Nancy (which she did very successfully) but it was a fun laughter filled evening.

Tuesday the plan was to go to Charleston for the day but instead we decided to chill out at the house, lay by the pool and read, lay on the hammock and read, lay in bed and read or lay in bed and nap, you get the picture, LOL. The girls also went to play on the beach. For dinner we did go into Charleston. The chef for the Peninsula Grill had been on Martha Stewart and I wanted to check out the coconut cake he had made. This is the last pic taken before my battery died. Don't I look fabulous? I guess the other chick, Su what's her name looks ok too.Su took pics of the next couple of nights but I won't be able to get them til she goes home. We had champagne at the bar before dinner and then they sat us in the middle of the restaurant! So we actually made an effort to behave, LOL. What a concept! I have to say I was a little disappointed in the dinner, I thought the sauces were overly salty but some of the girls really enjoyed what they ordered. Su, Nancy and I shared our meals so we could order more things, lobster 3 ways, crab salad, mushroom and grits, soup trio, duck and scallops. For dessert we had the cocunut cake and homemade ice cream. The cake was wonderful but I'm glad I only ordered a piece instead of buying the whole thing online, LOL. We also met a couple from the UK who were curious about how we all met. I guess we weren't as quiet as we thought, EG.

When we came home we pulled out the cards and it was on! I love spades but rarely play it anymore so it was fun being with other card players. Barb was a little nervous, thinking we were going to beat each other up but the trash talking is part of the fun. After that I do believe there was some karaoke and some dance dance revolution. I love having a house for us all to play in!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I have been derelict in my duty...

I know, I know, I've been slacking. The good news is, I've been having a wonderful time, the bad news is, I forgot to bring my camera battery charger. Luckily my cam takes AA, unluckily, I keep forgetting to buy them. Su has taken some pics but I haven't downloaded them yet.

Sunday we woke up and after we all got ready we went to have lunch with Dao at the French buffet. Luckily Franklin had been warned we would need his bathroom, hello, 7 girls, 1 bathroom! Actually, I must say, we did pretty dang good getting ready. Because there were 8 of us and we didn't have a reservation we actually sat at a table outside of the main restaurant part. The problem with this is it was hard to talk to the people at the end but no worries, our voices carry, LOL.

I spent the rest of the day lounging around with Ana and Linda while the rest of the girls went shopping. I was too tired and had had a successful shopping adventure the night before. Of course, the girls had a wonderful time shopping. Mich said it's a good thing we all don't live closer together, she'd be poor, LOL. It's so much more fun to shop with girlfriends.

For dinner we did pizza at my favorite local pizza joint Elwoods. The conversation wasn't necessarily appropriate for a public place (the hell you say) but we kept ourselves wonderfully entertained. Unfortunately, Ana had to go home after dinner, she has a young son (who I heard on the phone, so CUTE!) who she needed to get back to. It was wonderful that she was able to come up for some girlfriend time, her first real non-family getaway since our New Orleans trip.

The good news is, as Ana was leaving, Su was coming in. Ana timed her departure to coincide so only one trip to the airport that day. Once we got back to the pad we had to catch up with Su and the next thing you know it's 1am. Now most people would think this is the point where we go to bed. Not us. This was the point where we decided to go out and eat at the Tofu House (in honor of Su being in town). Luckily no one else was there so we could be as loud as we wanted to be but then a couple came in halfway thru and Nancy says they kept laughing at, I mean, with us, LOL. 3am we went to bed with full bellies and a smile on our faces.

The plan had originally been to leave for Charleston at 10am, we'll see if that happens.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

OK, there is so much to talk about...

I don't even know where to begin. I'm exhausted so it's going to be a pictorial for you today.

We went shopping at Nordstrom's yesterday and then ate at the Nordy's bistro afterwards. As you can tell by the bags behind us, it was an extremely successful shopping day. And for dinner we went back to Phipps (which is the mall where Twist and Nordy's is located and down the street from my house) and ate at the Tavern. Dianna Love Snell joined us which was awesome. and here are some other fun pics from dinner. Dianna took the first picture using the angle I have shown her is the most succesful (as in no double chin)
and then after dinner we came home and accosted Franklin in his home. Being the southern gentleman that he is, he offered us moonshine! That's right! You read that correctly. You know we couldn't pass up an opportunity to try it. It was apple flavored moonshine which explained the coloring (it scared me at first, LOL). and then Franklin was kind enough to take a pic of all of us.And then after that, it was off to Swinging Dick's! Can you believe Nancy was shocked that they got fully nude? Has she not read my blog?

Friday, September 14, 2007

The gang is almost here...

Linda came in last night hence no blogging. We were too busy catching up and at 2:30am I crawled into bed (OK I did bless her with some karaoke before bed, LOL). Today was spent picking up the rest of the girls after I took Linda to the post office to meet my co-workers, LOL. Lina, Ana and Mich came in at the same time and since Barb only came in an hour later we hung out and ate waiting for her. The afternoon was spent lounging around and talking about things that can't be shared here, LOL.

Eventually we got motivated enough (by our hunger) to head to Twist for dinner and drinks. Or should I sad drinks and dinner since we had to wait for a table, LOL. Lina, Linda Leiha, Mich, Barb and Ana

The problem for me with hanging around a bar is I'll drink my drink like water. I need to be able to set it down or chug chug chug. Luckily we got our table before our second drink. We ordered tons of food which was really good. It's a tapas bar so thedishes weren't big. Some of what we ordered is: scallops, salt and pepper shrimp, beet salad, spinach salad, mac and cheese, truffled mashed potatoes, herbed gnocchi, chicken satay, mini-hamburgers, spanish potatoes, cauliflower parmesan gratin and sushi. All that food made us positively giddy.

And for dessert we ordered 4 to share, chocolate fondue, a berry cake, lime cheesecake and tiramisu. Once dinner was over we headed to the liqour store to stock up and then home to sing some karaoke! What a way to start a party!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

OK I'm starting to feel road rage...

So today was my driving day which means I spend hours on the road. It was all good until I was almost home. Not once but twice I had someone almost run into me because they were merging into my lane without bothering to look to see if there was anyone already in the lane! Luckily I was aware since they weren't. Then when I get home there's a truck blocking the way into my driveway. We have a U shaped driveway around the building that is one way. I had to go in the wrong way and wasn't able to park in my spot. So I see the guy who's truck is blocking the way and he says he's leaving right now. Of course when I leave 10 minutes later the truck is still there, he's so lucky it wasn't there when I got back home. What really irritated me is there were plenty of spots for him to park in so there was no need for him to block the driveway! Thank goodness I was almost home when all of this happened.

OK I didn't get much done today. There is always tomorrow, LOL.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The birthday adventures continue...

Today Dao along with our friend Christine went out for my birthday lunch. I was in the mood for steak! I needed a nice hunk of barely cooked meat LOL. We went to a new place for us called Dantanna's which is a sports bar but they have great steaks and seafood. I was going for the steak. I very rarely go out for a steak dinner or rather lunch as the case may be, LOL. I ordered the ribeye rare (after that debacle with my overcooked prime rib the last time), D had fish tacos and C had the crab cake. We all agreed mine was the best. Of course we sampled everyone's dishes. Since we were celebrating the birth of me we decided to split a dessert. Do you know how tought that is? We had to go all the way down the menu before we all agreed on one. The winner was a white cake with almond sprinkles and strawberries. I thought the cake was a little dense but the frosting was great so I kept eating, LOL. The waitress had put a candle in my cake so the girls started singing. I told them the best present would be if they didn't sing so of course they sang LOUDER! Thank goodness the place was practically empty.

The had a cigar bar in the back and D wanted me to ask the hostess for a cigar box for her. I wouldn't so she did it herself and turns out they have a pile of them that they throw out so back we went to the cigar bar and started rummaging through them. They were awesome! Some wooden ones, all different colored ones all in great shape. We were going crazy. One would be great to hold my computer cables, another to hold the soaps in my bathrom and some just decorative. The guys who were hanging out in the cigar bar were laughing their butts off but we didn't mind, even when we all walked out with a stack of cigar boxes up to our heads, LOL. What a great lunch! The best part was the company, we spent the entire meal laughing and joking and just enjoying the girl time.

I received my new phone in the mail. It's a verizon xv6700. I decided earlier this year I needed a new phone so I could have bluetooth capapbility. I got tired of replacing my headsets. Then Lina came alone with her internet accessible phone and I decided I needed it once I saw she could update my blog while we were driving! Oh the joy! For you of course, LOL. So I get my phone yesterday and what can't I figure out? How to hook up the bluetooth and how to set up my email. Shoot, it took me awhile just to figure out how to dial the sucker, LOL. But the guys at verizon were so helpful and I'm almost good to go. Still somethig off with my email but other then that I'm cruising. Which is the perfect time because it's almost vacation time!

This Thursday Linda will be joining me, on Friday Mich, Ana, Lina and Barb will be flying in and Sat will be Nancy and Sunday will be Su. We're going on a road trip to Charleston! Why a road trip and not go directly to Charleston? Umm, because where is Swinging Richard's located? They can't come so far and not check it out, LOL. I really wish we could take pics there just to take pics of some of the girls' faces but it'll be burned in my memory for awhile.

So I will have a houseful off girls, thank goodness for BAM who had air mattresses and sheets aplenty (she'll be joining us in Charleston later) which mean this week I have spent cleaning. And you know I don't like to over exert myself so yesterday I swept. Today I swiffered and tomorrow the dreaded tub. OK, it's not that dreaded I just have to go buy scrubbing bubbles, LOL.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

7 Deadly Sins, 30 yr. olds, Traffic Delays, Oh My!

Sorry Ladies, Linda here, better late than never. However that brings me to my rant today! Freeway traffic and everything else!! This weekend My parents & I drove to Seattle for my Nephew's birthday. It even included a guest appearance by Nancine! More on that later! We have a routine that we always follow. Keep in mind my parents are in their 80's and Mom just had her hip replaced...So they drive to my house about 45 mins. and then I drive from Portland to Bellevue. We always stop at Shari's in Kelso for Breakfast.

Well, I get up (blearily) because the cute twentysomething neighbor boys had a party Friday night and I stopped by after I got home. Of course it was loud, drinking games were played and I tripped and fell....HUGE Bruise!!! My Dad calls, they are running late...Oh good! Time to get coffee..Oh wait, I don't have any milk.. Then we get on the road after our Starbucks run and stop for Breakfast, everything is overcooked, they wouldn't bring the check etc. Back on the Road. My Bro wants us to check out a new Marriott Courtyard instead of the old reliable. My parents room is not ready. It's just one of those days. They party was nice, about 20 for dinner and Banana Splits. Nancine comes over, I had offered to have her stay with me and go to Brunch on Sun. So she fits right in and there are fireworks too! After than my parents are ready to go, so we go back to the hotel. Just enough time for Last Call at the Bar.

I'm going to avoid talking about trying to find 2 parking spaces in the Hotel spots because there was an "event" going on! After a while the Bartender finally takes out order. We are chatting and talking about what's been going on. After a little bit of shared personal info, we try to think on what are the "7 Deadly Sins". We are brainstorming, the cut guy who sat next to Nancine was helping. We were stuck at 6 for the longest time. Finally I couldn't believe we had forgotten greed! Ladies - if you need conversation starters - This one worked like a charm. FYI Then we got into chatting about other things and the Bartender was joining in as well. We then were guessing his age. Nancine said 27, I said 31. Gabe was 30. In the past week, I have spent more time with 30 yr. olds than people my own age. What's up with that????

We have a nice Brunch, go back to my Bro's and then my Dad of course wants to get back on the road. It is only 11:15. Yes, Nancine had to get up early!!! LOL He gets overruled by a classic car show and my Niece's Soccer Game. Which they won, she made 2 goals and got a penalty called on her!! So we are leaving around 2:30 pm. Normally it takes 2.5 hrs. In Tacoma, there is a Freeway sign saying "ALL LANES ON I5 SB are closed" Find and alternate route! OK - That's fine for people who live there, but we were stuck on the Freeway in Tacoma for 1.5 hrs. until we finally were routed around. There had been a major accident, but my question is why does it take so long to gather the evidence?? At least after another Starbuck's stop, Dad did not bring up that had we left when he wanted, we would have avoided it. Oh well! I can't believe all of the bad drivers out there! So sorry to vent, but I just got home and am having a glass of wine!

Can you name the 7 Deadly sins? Do you hang out with people considerably younger? Do you get Road Rage? All in my weekend apparently!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

grey be gone!

Just ignore that big black splotch on my forehead. And the splotch on my glasses, I can still see out of them. Can't figure out how to get it off of my glasses LOL. The forehead gunk will eventually wear off, I've learned that lesson from the many other times I got coloring all over myself but hey, the grey is gone!

You can see the floor in my office now. I'm so proud of myself, LOL. Really, it didn't take that long which makes it more of a shame that it was so messy for so long. It was my throw stuff into room. I have storage space in the basement, not a lot but I should at least put the box of Xmas decorations in there, LOL. There's still a stack of pics that I pulled out that I never put back into the albums after I scanned them, I left them there cause I'm not ready to deal with that project yet. I'm over a year late in getting my pictures developed and my albums need to be re-done, ugh! Maybe next year LOL.

In case you missed it, my friend and faithful Mannion Boadicea had her baby on Sept 5th, yep, Brenna Eileen and I now share a birthday. Now how in the world will the rest of you top that gift? She came 3 weeks early just for me. Of course, I am a little disappointed that her name wasn't Leiha. Bo named her daughter after a romance heroine (Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey) so I really have to work on getting written into more books! Although I am in a scene in PC's upcoming one as the restaurant hostess, I think that qualifies me to have her named after me, LOL. That and because I am so cool, LOL.

From Auckland to Tauranga and back again...

Hey, thought I’d hog Leiha’s blog to share my big adventure of last week. I went up north on a work trip for a whole week! No boys and no dirty socks it was all terribly exciting!

We flew north to Auckland, from where I live in Wellington, very early on Monday morning which meant I had to get up at 4 in the morning. What a mare. I cannot get my butt out of bed early at the best of times!Had a great 1st day in Auckland and was sharing a room with a colleague who is very cool so had a good night. 2nd day was busy seeing lots of really amazing things for work and heaps of very cool IT ideas to go and try for myself including pod casting and video conferencing between classes, too groovy!

In the late afternoon we went through to Tauranga which is on north east coast of NZ. Had the most gorgeous meal that night, beautiful fresh breads and spreads/dips and then roast pork pizza, and blue cheese and pine nuts. Yum. The rooms where we were staying were straight out of the 70’s and dead sexy! The 3rd night was even better for food. We went to a vineyard called Mills Reef and for my main I had Lamb fillet, watercress salad with caramelised pears, walnuts and the BEST kikorangi (blue) cheese and walderberry syryp.My giddy aunt, if that was not enough for dessert we had what they called an “Ode to the mighty lemon…. burnt lemon cream, lemon and chocolate tart and lemon confit ice cream. I had a Viognier to drink, which was divine. Felt somewhat corpulent on the way back to the hotel and rolled into my bed!

On our last night we spent it at the most gorgeous spa just north of Auckland and the meal was just as amazing. Did not get photos but trust me it was stunning. For starters it was char grilled vegetable terrine, crostini, herb whipped goats cheese and basil pesto. Yum, especially the goat cheese whip. Tart and creamy. For my main I had Roast chicken breast WITH SKIN (I feel terribly bad for eating it!), filled with apple fennel farce (like stuffing) on herb polenta, watercress and parmesan salad. The main was stunning. I LOVE fennel and it tasted so goooood! Making me a bit drooly thinking about it! For dessert it was lemon again…they’re in season here at the moment. Glazed lemon tart, citrus sorbet, candied lemon and berry coulis. Between each course we had sorbet, mine was a plum one. Was again feeling somewhat corpulent after tea. Was pretty tired too, so did not stay up to play porn scrabble where you were allowed to spell words phonetically. I am sure I would have been up to the challenge if I had not needed some beauty sleep!

Stayed another 2 nights at my aunts before coming home. Not up for much partying in and one night had to share a motel room with my dear brother who snores and kept me awake ALL night. I also assed over in the car park not looking where I was going in front of what seemed like the entire north shore and to give him credit my brother did ask if I was ok in between laughing his ass off at me. Cheeky. Crawled off the plane on Sunday and went straight to bed after giving the dh a kiss. Now its Friday, a week later, and I am finally feeling like I am catching up on my sleep. When the hell did I turn into such a nana!


Hope your weeks been a good one and have a groovy weekend.


Leiha, happy birthday chick and love the hair, it looks good! And if its any consolation I cannot see the grey from down here in NZ! Love and smooches, Sarah.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hair today gone tomorrow:)

OK I didn't really chop it off LOL. I did get lots of hair chopped but that was because I got more layers, I wasn't blown away with my last hair cut so I made sure I told her exactly what I was looking for and she delivered. I was getting a little nervous watching chunks of hair being cut off but I love the finished product. These aren't the greatest pics, my batteries were dying but it'll give you the gist of it.
I told the hair dresser I was coloring my hair tonight (D was appalled that I went in with all of my grey hairs, it's pretty bad, LOL) and she said to wait til tomorrow, mainly because she had styled my hair and wanted me to enjoy it for a day. Of course I enjoyed it from the comfort of my home but I told her I would wait. The plan tonight was to do some new self portraits, it has been awhile but I got distracted chatting. How in the world did that happen LOL.

I also went to Nordy's today and got a new dress. I know, I said I don't need a new dress and I really don't but it was my birthday so why not? It makes my bosom look fabulous (when you have bosoms as awesome as I do it's not difficult) and the best part was, the dress was marked $20 and it rang up as $10!!!!!! It really is my birthday!

After that I went to Target. I spent $40 at Nordy's (also bought some cool long shorts) and a $100 at Target! I know I always mention how much I spend there but dang! Of course I got a lot of cool things so it was worth it. Not only did I buy necessities but I needed new towels and then there were a bunch of sweat pants on sale and since my thighs chafe on the rare occasion I exercise I needed them, one of each color, LOL.

So my $10 dress wasn't my birthday present to myself. That would be the new phone I got. Hopefully it comes in the mail tomorrow if not then then Friday. I swear, this thing is like buying a new laptop! I got $200 off and it still cost $200! Once I get it and use it I'll come back and give you more details.

The best part of the day.... I have a 2 hour nap! Talk about heavenly. I am lucky to get half an hour lately so I was a happy camper!

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!!!!!!!!


It's your favorite day of the year and mine. Time to celebrate the anniversary of my birth! Since I'll be going on vacation soon it's time to work on Leiha beautification. I'm off to get my hair cut today. Had a pedi yesterday. The last place I went to won't be seeing me again, there is no way I should have had to get a pedi two weeks later. My toe polish was chipped like crazy so they're gone. Plus, it's much cheaper at this place so I gave her a bigger tip. I desperately need to color my hair and as an added bonus, I just may do some cleaning today too but I really don't want to get too crazy, LOL.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Wow, you would never guess!!!!

Those would be the words from the bartender who carded me last night when he checked my age. Not bad for a woman on the verge of turning 37. I told him he could card me anyday, LOL.

To celebrate the beginning of my birthday month I'm sharing the love. Chez put together a birthday month calendar of yummie Australian men for me. What a great way to start off the month! Click on the pic to enlarge.

I've spent the weekend blissfully reading. I can't tell you what I'm reading but let me just say, it's good to be friends with the ARC bitch *EG*. I spent most of Saturday in bed reading and it's so thick and juicy and theres still so much of the book to read which is great but not because I needed to get stuff done which I didn't because if I have a choice between a great book or chores, well, we all know what will win.

Sat night I went to a party with some friends and it was a total bust! It was supposed to be a big party in a warehouse. Well, it was in a warehouse but there were only a few people there. I felt bad for the guy who threw the bash, he lost a lot of money and no, we didn't pay to get in, thank goodness! But you know I have fun no matter what so we still stayed til 3am (party didn't start til after 11pm) then we came back to my place and sang karaoke. Yes, I'm sure my neighbors hate me but it was tons of fun for us, LOL. We didn't sing too long, no worries. OK, the real reason we stayed so late is because when I was ready to leave out came the food, we couldn't leave then, it would be rude *G*.

I missed the vanpool...

OK, truth I have missed the vanpool more than usual lately. I think it is a sign that my tight schedule to get from bed to the car in 15 minutes is jut a little too tight.

Incident number one... I lost my pants. How does someone loose their pants you ask? I am not really sure, it is not like I am taking them off at strangers houses or anything. Part of the plan in the morning is to plan what I am going to wear during the awake/dreaming I do while snoozing my alarm for a half hour. Most mornings by the time I HAVE to get out of bed I know what I am going to throw on. I only have a few pairs of pants that fit right now, so if the planed pair of pants is missing and the others are dirty that throws a serious wrench in the 15 minute schedule. That morning I did finally find an old pair of khaki's that were baggy enough that everyone noticed I had lost weight that day. The good news is I did find my pants that night when I was not running around like a crazy woman, they were in the dresser drawer. Really - who looks where they should be first?

Incident two... My shower gel was to bubbly. I swear, it took so long to rinse off it made me late and I missed the darn van. They have this great new body wash at Bath and Body works, it is Mentha Body - it smells wonderfully minty and is a little tingly like the menthol lip gloss they have. I figured this might give me exactly the jump start I needed in the mornings. The first time I used it though, I really wanted a jump start so I put lots on my scrunchy. Turns out more is not better, and I was rinsing the tingly suds from me forever. LOL I smelled so minty I was waiting for people to ask if I was chewing gum. I have since learned a small amount goes a long way and not over lathered.

It was after this incident that I started thinking perhaps my morning schedule could use some work. Maybe add 5 more minutes? Perhaps some of those cute new contract workers we just hired might be more interested in me if I didn't go to work with wet hair, no makeup and wrinkly clothes... Heck - at least I am clean and smell good, right?