Sunday, November 30, 2014

Simply Sunday - Simple but Superb

In a way I'm glad that Thanksgiving is over because I cannot look at another turkey until next year.  For whatever reason, I am not as excited anymore as I use to.  It must have been my last year's bad experience with the turkey dinner that we got from Boston Market.  Everyone did not have a problem after except me.  The good part is that I still love food and not afraid of trying new things.  When my friend Maria was visiting she was so helpful in the kitchen.  Sometimes we had eat out for lunch but breakfast and dinner is at home.  Let me show you some of the meals that I remembered to take photos.

San Francisco Chicken made by Maria.

Maria's lunch - bacon and tomato sandwich.

Mixed greens with a nice home made dressing by Maria.

Tacos al pastor on the left and Carne Asada tacos on the right.  The lunch I served on Maria's first day.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Succulent Saturday - Not the prickly ones

After this year of not having enough rainfall, Jeff and I are beginning to think of how we are going to change the front yard so that plants won't need a lot of water.  Once he removes those damn ivy, then we have to make sure that replace it so that ivy don't grow back.  You may recall about our visit to the a garden when my friend was visiting.  There was a particular section of just succulents and this gave us an idea of how we might be able to have something similar.  Our only problem is that there's not enough sunshine in the front of the house.  But if we can pull it off, this type of plants does not require lots of water and will be less maintenance.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving USA

A fresh 20 lb turkey, special stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, yummy gravy, steamed veggies and fresh dinner roll.  That is our thanksgiving dinner prepared by Jeff.  This is one of those holidays that I don't get involved.  If needed, I will help with table setting and clean up.  Since our kitchen is small and there's not enough room for two cooks, I am going to step aside and let Jeff have the kitchen all to himself.  I will probably sew more items for the up coming boutique sale.  One thing for sure we won't be doing is shop at midnight nor wake up early to take advantage of the black Friday sale.  I am happy to announce that we have done our Christmas shopping early this month.  From our home to your...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wild Wednesday - Can't help but show

If it wasn't for my friend Maria who is an avid gardener and just loves flowers, exotic plants and more, I would have not seen some of these wild plants.  I know that photos won't do justice to the actual plants but I can't help but brag the ones I have taken.  Instead of writing about it which I probably will not be good at it anyway, let me just show you some of these wonderful natural beauty.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tackle Tuesday - So behind

Tackle as a football term or tackle as determined efforts to deal with.  Today I am doing both. I decided to watch the Patriots and Lion's game from last Sunday while doing my sewing and some housekeeping chores.  I am so behind with my blog posts, email, sewing and I haven't played golf since November 13th.  Please don't take this as me complaining, I just wanted to catch up and tackle as much as I can.  That means today I am also all over the place. Although this will be a short post. I have some photos to share to show what I have been up to.

My latest collections to wear when my team gets to the Superbowl.
My new Cranberry Portage coffee mug and Maria's new spoon rest.
The little girl's apron I made for Maria's granddaugther.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fitting Friday - Happy Birthday Maria

It is fitting that I do this special post for my friend Maria who is celebrating her big day today.  She arrived last Sunday and we have been doing a lot of different things as part of her birthday week.  If you have been following my blog, we have been to a winery and did some wine tasting.  We spent three hours at Petroglyph making our own piece of ceramic item that we painted.  It will be ready on Saturday and we can't hardly wait to see the finished product.  She managed to prepare two dinners for us (San Francisco Chicken - so fitting) and (Cannelloni - she's Italian).  Yesterday we had our spa day at Preston Wynne and had a bit of time left to walk in their downtown area to check out special shops.  This morning was breakfast with my friend Nikki which is also fitting because Maria's BFF in Canada is also named Nikki.  There's still a few more days before she returns to freezing cold temperatures. We were able to do quick manicure last night before going to bed.  She received a lot of text messages, emails and phone calls this morning.  The sweetest one is from her mother who sang her a happy birthday which I recorded on my phone.  So, happy birthday Maria.  This is your special day and today is all about you.

*Remember to look back and appreciate what you have done in your life.  Don't waste time regretting what you haven't done.*

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tasting Tuesday - Gilroy Wine Trail

On the second day of my friend's visit, we decided to take a mini road trip and check out the Gilroy Wine Trail.  Since I am not comfortable driving all the way to Napa or Sonoma, I thought it would be great to just take her to somewhere local.  It's a shorter distance and we can still do other things during her second day.  When I did some research there were so many wineries within the Gilroy Wine Trail.  Although some of them are only open on weekends, the rest were open daily from about noon to 5 pm.  The tasting fee are very similar and I guess you really have to search hard to find that are free.  Times are tough.  We had five different wines - Pinot Noir, Lila Cuvee, Zinfandel, Cabernet Blanc, and some other mix I cannot remember.  The best part about this Winery - Clos LaChance is the view.  It is overlooking the Corde Valle GC.  Maria loved the garden, the view and of course the wine. There were two other ladies sitting at the bar doing exactly what we are doing.  We all started chatting and sharing lifes stories. We also took photos outside. It was a great day.

Almost forgot.  Happy birthday to our friends Lulu and Liliana who are celebrating their birthdays today.  We send our happy wishes and our hugs.  Our apologies to the weather they are having today.  Cold, blustery, freezing temperatures.  Maria was thankful she's here with me in sunny San Jose.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Metallic Monday - Silver and Black

Before I start my post about nails, I would like to wish my favorite son in law a very Happy Happy Birthday.  I did not forget to send him a card but I did not send him a gift because I am not sure what he needs.  For now, I wish him all the best and a year filled with good times and special moments.  Happy birthday Mike.  Today is all about you so enjoy your day.

Just a quick post about metallic, silver and black.  I am talking about my new nail art for this week.  Not really sure if you are like me when it comes to nail polish, but I cannot stand chipped nails.  Lucky for me, I can reapply the same color or just do a complete manicure. This weekend we were invited to Jeff's relative who is celebrating her 24th birthday.  She had a 90's theme party and I needed to change my polish as they were a few that was chipped.  As for dressing up for the party, we tried to find something that was 90's.  Jeff actually said that it's like his day to day clothes.  Wait a minutes, I wanted to share my version of metallic nail in silver and black.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sixties Sunday - Is 60 the new 50?

Is it really? I prefer that 60 is the new 40, this way I can still have many more years to enjoy retirement.  My friend who is visiting will be joining the 60's club.  There's a few of us that are in this group.  Most of my friends, believe it or not are still in their 50's and some are in their 40's and a few are in their 30's.  As most people says, age is just a number.  I believe that it's all about how you feel when you reach a particular age.  When we were growing up, I thought my mother looked older when she was in her 60's.  But when she was in her 70's people didn't believe her age.  My mom's sister is now in her 80's and she has still that special genes that makes her feel and look young.  I keep telling her that I want to be just like her when I get older.  Her positive attitude in life is amazing.  She still loves to sing, dance and have a great time with their friends.  This week I will try and make sure that my friend has a memorable birthday.  Since she chose to travel the long distance to spend her birthday here in sunny San Jose.  I am hoping that the weather will be warmer so she can really enjoy the warmth of the sun.  Her schedule is already getting pretty busy, although she doesn't know that yet.  Hanging out with her this week is like being on another holiday. I am very happy for her that she took the leap and decided to get away for a week because she really deserves it.  Maria welcome to the Cranberry Portage Bed and Breakfast. Do you ever have one of those moments when you look at a photo and you say "who is that?" This is one of those moment.  Who is the girl beside Maria?  

This was taken 16 years ago. Maria is the one in the middle wearing a white Tshirt.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Steady Saturday - From left to right

Designing nail art on your own nails requires a very stead hands specially when you are not ambidextrous.  It has been a while since I have been doing nail art for my fingernails and toe nails.  One of the things that makes it easier to try out new design is having the proper tools. Lucky for me there is a really good nail supply store that I found with great prices.  Although I have not been there for a while, I still have the tools that I originally bought when I first started doing my nail art.  Last week I noticed that my brush that I use for cleaning the edges is starting to get dull.  I might have to stop by there sometime to find out if they have new tools, new colors, and latest brushes for nail art.  So here's my latest nail art.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Truthful Thursday - Annoying golf issues

Morning Drive on the golf channel is one of the shows that I watch in the morning while having my breakfast.  It was so timely that today they talk about those annoying phrases that golfers and or fans say or do when it comes to the sports of Golf.  While I agree to most of those phrases, I have my own collections of golf issues. When I am out on the course I really like to enjoy the game, the surroundings and the company of my friends.  That is why I am now making a rule that if I don't enjoy the round due to some annoying golfers, then I don't join their group again.  I am not a good golfer but I really love the time I spend on any golf course.  Following the rules of golf is very important whether you are a beginner or not. So please do not ruin it for me by being one of the following.
  • The Talkers - I don't know how to block these sounds. Even if they are whispering, I could still hear them.  I'm sure they won't appreciate if I take out my phone and make a call while they are ready to strike their ball.
  • The Pretend Pro aka "know it all" golfers - Unless you are a PGA pro or amateur golfer, I don't need your help.  It's going to take a lot of coaching to get me where I want to be.
  • The Commentators - It's nice to hear a compliment once in a while when I get a shot but I really don't need to hear if they made a great shot over and over.  Sometimes we have moved on to another hole and I still hear them complaining or commenting.
  • The Pushers - Those golfers who has no etiquette and thinks they can push you to play faster if they hit right where you are.  They don't even have the courtesy to yell "Fore!
  • The Turtles - It's very simple, whether walking or driving a cart, people still have to keep the pace of play.
  • The Instructors - Maybe these golfers were teachers before they retire. They seem to like telling you what to do.  "Mark your ball, go ahead and putt, you can hit first, etc."

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wasteful Wednesday - It's time to make a change

Do you find that you are spending precious time doing useless stuff?  Are you getting bored with the volunteer work you are tasked?  Is this the right time to make a change?  I am sure you know where this topic is going.  For the past two Wednesday, I have been taking out staples from the pieces of paper in a file folder.  This is my task for at least four hours.  The section I am with is trying to be paperless, so everything has to be scanned. Then why am I doing it?  Because I am still committed to helping out and giving back to the community.  I have made placed my name in some other opportunities in a different section and actually got an interview.  Unfortunately, Jeff is not too thrilled with the type of work I'll be doing, specially when it's for free.  So back to the drawing board.  Honestly, I love the section I am in and the people in that unit are so wonderful.  There are times when some other unit asks if I could work for them and the supervisor is very protective so I don't get transferred.  It has been over two years since I started at my current volunteer and technically I could end it now because I have given them the two years they require.  Maybe things will be different when I return in a couple of weeks.  For now I have some time off to think things through. What is good about this dilemma is that it's a volunteer work.  I can do whatever makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thoughtful Tuesday - Remembrance Day/Veterans Day

A day to remember those who served, those who are still fighting to protect our freedom and all their families who are waiting patiently for the return of their loved ones.  We pause to say a prayer for their safety and for peace.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mistakes Monday - Outback is OUT

Many years ago when Outback first arrived in Canada everyone was so impressed about the restaurant.  Although some of my friends were not impressed, I thought I would give it a try. Well, my friends were right, I never did come back.  When I moved to San Jose, Jeff took me to an Outback near his home. I was very hesitant to go because of my previous Canadian Outback experience.  He asked me to at least give it one chance.  I did and I was quite impressed because the service and the food was great.  We continued to go there every now and again for maybe a couple of years.  Even my MIL was enjoying our dinners specially when she uses her gift certificates that she receives during the year.  Unfortunately we started experiencing the decline in service and food quality.  But since it's Jeff's go to steak house, we continued for another year.  Last Sunday was our last day there.  Although we never wait for a table since we like sitting in the bar area, the service was so poor.  We had to ask for everything we needed, from the bread, to our cutlery, to the little wooden table that they place in the bar when you opt to dine.  Not only that the service was terrible, they made so many mistakes with our dinner.  We all ordered medium rare steaks with different sides.
When our food arrived, my steak was so well done it was tough.  Jeff's was medium-well and although my MIL's got hers medium rare, it had a lot of grizzles and a little tough to chew.
It took a few minutes to get the bartender/waiter's attention so I can have him correct the issue.  When my steak came back, it was RARE, lots of grizzles and it seems like they just picked some cut of meat, slap it on the grill and took it out. By this time, I have finished the micro mini lobsters and half of my rice.  Everyone agreed that OUTBACK is out of our list.  I am sure they are not going to miss us, but we will definitely not miss them ever.  We are never,never,never going back there ever.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Snuggle Sunday - It's time to bring out the electric blanket

Some of you may think that it doesn't get cold in California.  For me it's a different type of winter.  It's actually very deceiving because when I wake up in the morning (late morning), it's sunny with blue skies, most of the days.  So when I look outside, to me feels warm and if there's no snow, it's not cold.  November is the month we I start feeling a bit chilly in our home.  So far we have not turned on the heat but I have taken out my fluffy and comfy blanket.  Last Friday, the day started with so much fog that it was difficult to see what's up ahead.  But by mid morning, the sun came out and the skies became blue, and it was warm. At night when we are just chilling and watching some of our favorite TV shows, we like to have our electric blanket at low.  Jeff bought two blankets last year, a blue and a red one.  In the evening, the temperature in our home is about 62 and during the day is about 69.  It's actually comfy specially when I am busy doing a bunch of things and constantly on the move. I know it's still considered Fall/Autumn but we are still getting some really nice warm days. Hopefully it doesn't get too cold yet because my friend from Canada will be arriving soon.  I cannot promise that it won't be cold, but I can promise that there won't be any snow.  What kind of blanket do you have that keeps your warm during the winter months?  Do you have one of those SNUGGIE?  Maybe you just need someone to snuggle with.  Winter is definitely a snuggle season.  Many of the people in this part of California is really hoping for lots of rain during the winter months.  I'm sure everyone here can take lots of rain instead of the white fluffy kind aka SNOW.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Super Saturday - It's huge

Have you seen a really huge pomagranate?  I cannot believe that my friend Byddie picked this fruit from their tree?  She gave me two large and one small size.  I got so excited that I had to open the really huge one.  My sister should me how to take the inside of this fruit using a wooden spoon.  A very easy way and it only too me ten minutes to get all the seeds out.  You can see how much I have collected from this one fruit.  Since my friend is the one I call the Master Gardener, this fruit is very sweet and she has a secret way with her fruit trees. 

This container was filled right to the top. I couldn't wait to taste it.

The small one is the usual size you see at the stores.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Trick Thursday - Coat rack

Trick or treat smell my feet, there's so many candies left to eat.  That's because we only had a total of 6 kids.  I can blame it all to the rainy weather.  Although some of our neighbors did get more kids, they must have just turned around as they did not want to go uphill when the roads are slippery.  The benefit of having lots of leftover treats, I won't have to make dessert for Jeff since he can just have one or two from our big bowl of assorted Halloween candies.  Now to our latest creative addition to our home.  We have been wanting an additional coat rack for our front entry way but since we were not in a hurry, we just took our time.  Last week we finally found one that we like even though it was the wrong color but had the right amount of hooks.  This one is from Target and I'll be showing you the before and after. 

Brainerd 27

This is after we covered the white part with fabric which blends well with our wall.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Foodie Friday - Ladies Luncheon

Finally after a few years of making all those sewing projects, the ladies in our neighborhood are getting together to have a Holiday Boutique Sale soon.  Our first meeting was held at my house around lunch time.  I'm trying some new recipe and my guests enjoyed my cooking.  We are all going to be busy for the next few weeks trying to make sure we have enough items for the sale.  Hopefully I can sell most of the items I have been creating/sewing.  Check out the food I served.  No dessert was needed since they were full after eating these foods.

Butter Chicken served with Basmati Rice

Naan pizza with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil from our garden.

Strawberry/pineapple pink sangria with Soho(lychee) liquor

Roasted cauliflower with different spices topped with pumpkin seeds

Monday, November 3, 2014

Multicolored Monday - Pretty soaps

Halloween last weekend, three more weeks will be USA thanksgiving, then it's the ridiculous Black Friday Sale, and we cannot forget Christmas.  On Saturday, Jeff and I attended a Holiday Boutique sale at one of the high school near our home.  My friend had a booth and we wanted to check it out.  It was a big event and lots of crafts and gift items for Christmas.  Some of the items were a bit expensive but there are some great deals that are so unique and special.  I was thinking about all the sewing items I have made.  But when I think about all the work that one has to put into it, it's like working which really defeats being retired.  I bought a few gifts for Christmas but I cannot show them in case my family checks my blog.
But these soaps that I bought are so pretty and the scents are amazing specially the Lychee one (middle soap on the second photo below). 

These soaps I bought from the Octoberfest in Campbell three weeks ago.
These are the ones I bought from this weekend Holiday Boutique Sale which were a better deal.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Softness Sunday - Your baby needs one

During my last visit with the SOLON family (my daughter's in laws), I was so excited seeing all the new additions to their family.  If you remember at the beginning of the year, I posted about making some bandana bibs for the first time for Dianne's third child.  After seeing Brantly, it occured to me that he would be needing a bigger bib since he's grown so much.  So when I returned home, I started checking out some fabrics that was left over from the set I made for him.  In addition, to making a bigger big, I promised them that it will be much softer fabric.  A combination of soft flannel and soft baby towel cloth made these new creations the softest baby bandana bibs you will ever have.  It's one of those item that I believe every baby should have.  I hope that they both like the ones I will be sending them.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Soulful Saturday - Remembering our loved ones

In some countries today is celebrated as All Souls Day.  When I was growing up this was the day to spend time with relatives at the graveyard aka cemetery.  We start early in the morning cleaning around the area where our relatives are buried.  Candles are lit for the whole day and beautiful fresh flower arrangements are laid in front of the tombstone.  This particular place that we go to is one of the largest memorial park (I prefer this name).  Since we spend the whole day there with our family and even friends, we end up having lunch and dinner there - kinda weird now when I think of it - but then everyone is doing it.  Another thing that is so different is that there are people playing music, or playing their guitar and other instrument.  It becomes a happy event but still very respectful of the dead.  There are also people who pray continuously throughout the day.  There are those who chose to have a priest or minister stop by and bless the soul of their loved ones.  When darkness comes, it is a peaceful sight to see with all the candles lighting the whole area.  Today let us pause for a moment to remember our loved ones, our friends and all those who gave up their lives for us.