Thursday, April 29, 2010

Anniversary Countdown

Saturday is E and my 10-year! Right about this time, ten years ago, we were boarding a plane for Hawaii with our family and friends. Preparing to take the plunge, as we did, in an open air ballroom on Kaanapali beach in Maui.

We had toyed with traveling to Maui, with Miss P in tow, for a week this year to commemorate the occasion. But timing wasn't right (and neither were our funds!) So instead we will be zipping out here.
We leave tomorrow afternoon and will come back on Sunday. Not a bad second choice!!

On the marriage topic, I am a fan of Tori and Dean's Home Sweet Hollywood.
This season is all about how they are balancing parenthood and careers, as their whirlwind romance -- meeting, getting married, and having two kids in, owning a b and b, relocating, moving twice, and balancing their various projects -- catches up with them. They are starting to turn into more of - what looks like to me - a typical couple. She feels like he corrects her too often. He feels like she is distracted and tired. They are still overall sweet and loving to each other. But they definitely have moments of strife. They are both separately saddened by this. They feel that they are so disconnected compared to their early days. They are eager to do something about it.

This was a wake-up call to me. I watched them and thought - that looks like me and E. Sweet some of the time, but bickering sometimes too. You're probably thinking, yes, that's normal life. And I agree. However, I know, I could be doing a lot more to make our relationship better. I don't really feel like I put that much effort or work into our marriage at all. I naturally want to spend time together, listen, and am kind, but I don't really push myself to be the best wife I can. My list of goals used to say, 'Be the best mom I can be,' but only 'be a pretty good wife.' I work really hard at being a mom, but not at being a wife.

I recently read something some marriage advice on a blog to a newly married couple. It basically said, 'don't stop doing cute things - leaving notes and making his favorite treats.' I'm going to try and take this advice. I began last night. I told E I would be coming home late from work, and instead ran to the mall in search of some cute nightgown/pj's for the trip. After a frustrating experience, I finally found two things at Nordy's that I was excited about. Let the romance begin!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Your favorites?

Please share with me.....

1) Your favorite healthy and tasty big-name chef (Giada, etc.)

2) Favorite cookbook

3) Favorite cooking show

3) Favorite way to prepare vegetables, or favorite vegetable dish

I'm doing research!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Goal Update

So a quick update on my new year's resolution cooking challenge and my 'workout poll.'

My current cooking goals are to find more lunches that I like that contain protein. Here's a simple one: Slice up cooked chicken with a cup of chopped celery, half a tbsp of mayo, and some sliced grapes. Mix together and you've got a tasty, easy little chicken salad. I have to say, though, it feels like it is missing something. A friend has made this, and it was better. Another alternative is to do tomatoes instead of celery.

And of course, I'm doing my fruit and vegetable challenge. See here. (And currently failing miserably!)

Good news. I opted to do morning workouts as the afternoons just weren't happening. It's been actually easier than I thought, partly due to my personal trainer, Jillian. (She's never met me, but I see her every week on Biggest Loser.) I visualize her responses to my excuses and/or lame attempts, and she gets me going. Anyway, I've been running and walking and am sooo sore. Good sign, right?

Is anyone else keeping up with their resolutions? Updates?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Black Eyed Peas

We finally got our Black Eyed Peas pics. See post here. What a night!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A 'sweet' spring break day

Last Friday we enjoyed a leisurely morning before heading to Gilroy Gardens where we enjoyed a mellow afternoon of rides and park play from 2:00 - 5:00. In the a.m., while I cozied and finished the book Lift, Miss P concocted a plan. A special treat to be specific. She has been super into making books (everything from mini-books using post it notes to pop-up books with 3-d figures). Anyway, this day she sketched a plan for a desert involving 'waffle style' pretzel crackers, pretzel sticks, a piece of chocolate, and marshmallows. See results below.

So our plan became: Gilroy Gardens, quick trip to the store for indgredients, late-ish dinner, then we all watched Secret of the Mountain (nbc family movie - little old for P, but she stuck with it), and built/ate our treats during commercials. Very fun night!

Trip to Gilroy Gardens...
she has 'posing' down.

My version of our treat below. It was harder than we expected. Then again, I'm all thumbs!

P and E had a harder time. Not sure what that is. However, P was so pleased with it, she saran-wrapped it up and placed it in our fridge. No eating the (uuhh) masterpiece!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Break and a new blog!

I've been on spring break for a lovely week, and just have not been in the mood to blog! I've enjoyed reading blogs, and have thought of tons of things to blog about, but the one time I chose to sit down and actually bang out a post, I was blocked.

Not so tonight. But first - a quick catch-up - for all that may be eager to know what I've been up to (you, mom).

Speaking of mom, we had a very nice kick off to the break at her new retirement resort. Over two days we lounged, hung out at the indoor pool, ate, drank, played games and watched a movie. Uber relaxing! Upon arriving home Sunday night we toyed with doing another overnight somewhere - Monterey, San Francisco, Palm Springs? Road trip?? But ultimately decided to stay home, work a little on the house and lay low. We had a pretty great week - Happy Hollow Zoo, Gilroy Gardens, some playdates for P, some entertaining of friends for us, finally signed P up for swim lessons, and made tentative summer plans, got Dr. appt out of the way, cooked, cleaned, exercised, and read. E was thrilled that we finally hung our new big, flat screen TV (cue Heavenly music!) We've arrived!

I tend to sloth around when I have lots of downtime, and then feel frustrated that I didn't accomplish enough. So as the break comes to a close, I found myself revving up full gear tonight. I have been just itching to do something about my health - desire to exercise and eat healthy. Remember my cooking focused New Year's Resolution? I haven't forgotten it, but moving again did throw me off. I've been getting back on the wagon and will report about it soon.

I am very habits-focused and right now my habits are all about eating/drinking chocolate in order to pysch myself up for the morning push or the afternoon slump. However, tonight I think I came up with a plan that may finally work. It involves family support and actually holding myself accountable. I even started a new blog for it: The Riley's Food Revolution. Check it out!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Very fun Easter this year. Festivities started with a Spring Egg Hunt on Thursday (no school Friday). As tradition with all holidays that we acknowledge, either clearly 'Valentine's Day' or vaguely - "Spring Bunny Hunt' - I am up late the night before. This time, due to ridiculous complications, I was up until 1:00 a.m. finishing bunny hats (this is after the birthday Mom's night out. You play, you pay!) I then failed to pack them in my car. So guess what we will be doing tomorrow. Photos in bunny hats and a second egg hunt (with all of the extra eggs we got). Don't worry, I am tying it all in academically with a big egg estimation math lesson. Anyway!

P's teacher also had some bunny hat issues, but did manage to tie her hats on kids. I again had a chance to pull some 'mom' duty. Actually attending my first event of the year as a parent! Thank you, student teacher!

Back at the home front, we ended up kind of last minute hosting my brother and sister in-law and their almost three year old boy/girl twins for Easter weekend. Despite being tired from the Peas concert and the house not being totally ready, it was a blast. Brother and sister-in-law - J and K - dropped off the kiddos at our house Sat afternoon and headed off to do their Easter shopping. E, P and I had fun playing with the twins outside. P reveled in her 'biggest cousin' role and enjoyed telling the little ones how to do things. She even gave her girl cousin a bath. A little segway - it is really sweet and funny to see P demo her nurturing skills. She is a big-time nurturer! Whether it is comforting a frustrated daddy (or mommy), or tending to a little cousin.

After J and K got home we ate dinner, played indoors and colored eggs.

I always have fun making Easter baskets and this year was no different. After egg coloring I snuck out for a final shopping trip for one last minute basket item. I wish I would have taken up close pictures of all the baskets. You can kind of see P's below (this is after she ripped through it). I didn't really do candy in any of the baskets, mostly small toys and activities. This year I assembled baskets for E and I too, and had soo much fun. Yes, you read that right, I assembled my own basket and presented it to myself Easter Sunday!

E's basket contents: A San Diego beer - Karl Strauss - (the restaurant brew pub he worked at when in college in San Diego), a Sports Illustrated magazine, a little golf game and a chocolate bar.

My basket: Three books! Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Lift by Kelly Corrigan, and Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella, and a starbucks card!

P's basket: some of her beloved 'Littlest Pet Shop toys' and the first in a series of new books by Laura Numeroff 'Jellybeans'

I am a major book nut! The pictures just did not turn out. P looks like she is being pinched. Her dress, what you can see - is very cute.

We headed to my in-laws for some brunch later and to see the rest of the family. The day ended with my cleaning the house thoroughly and then falling asleep to the Princess and the Frog in front of the fireplace.
The day did not have as much of a spiritual component. I am embarrassed that we didn't make it to church, but only miss P and I would have been able to get there. Since we moved, church is about a 15 -20 minute drive, and with the crowds it would have meant leaving too early for our guests. We did talk about the true meaning of the day and I'm hoping we will do better next year!

Choo Choo!

P's first field trip! A train ride to Palo Alto. Kiddos hiked to the station, and explored a cool new park at our destination. I pulled double duty - leading my class, and a little mama time!

Tonight's gonna be a good, good night.....

It's been quite the party weekends lately for this couple of schoolteachers/parents!

Friday night E and I danced all night at the Black Eyed Peas concert. The name of their latest album and tour is The E.N.D, which stands for 'Energy Never Dies.' This concert was all about positive energy and having fun! This was only the second concert E and I have been to together. And the first since for me since P was born. We did it up in style! Our Christmas gift to each other was tickets to this show with the VIP package. So we arrived early (no camera! Can you believe it?????) and were treated to dinner, open bar, and other perks before the show. One of the most fun and random things about the experience was that we met all kinds of fun people. We chatted with a roadie for the peas who gave us down low on other musicians she's worked with (Britney: nice, but a little crazy, required bathrobe fluffing, and didn't remember her name until day 90). Her fiancee has worked with Pearl Jam - E's all-time fav forever, so he freaked.

Last weekend Miss P was invited to her first ever sleepover birthday for her darling friend's big number 6! P was all over it, and had an awesome time. Quite convenient for us, as we were also invited to a grownup birthday dinner for our good friend's 34th. Her we are at Rosie McCann's enjoying dinner and dancing.

I'm only posting this as it is not a frequent occurrence. At least outside of our living room!
Finally, last Wednesday was a little reunion for my (oh, I mean P's) playgroup. One of the moms turned 50 (she's the youthful looking blond with the long hair sitting down in the middle). We met at the V-Bar at Santana Row. Go us!

What have you been up to?