Saturday, September 7, 2013

And.... I'm baaaack!

Have ya missed me??  Oops - must have taken another summer hiatus.  Sometimes I'll open Blogger, stare at it, and then close the screen.  {sigh}  Anyway - hopefully I'll have a constantly steam of stuff to write about because... we just returned from a two week cruise to Europe!  :)  We hit "6" countries on this cruise (though one was technically just a long layover...) and had a great time.

I may catch up with my work trip to Chicago and other things that have happened since while sorting through my gazillion (or rather 1,196 on-camera) pictures.  :)  I have also been terrible with my emails, which is usually my favorite form of communication, so I need to tend to that first!

Enjoying the annual 3-ish-days of HOT weather in the Bay Area!  It's like we brought the Mediterranean weather home.  The "warm Mediterranean weather," since the Bay Area technically has Mediterranean climate.  Perhaps more often in the East Bay.  :]

Be back soon!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Printables from Oh Happy Day!

Happy July!  Oh my this summer is flying by quickly!  Since I don't get "summer vacation" anymore, summer is not as awesome, though the weather is somewhat a bit nicer.  (Until the SF summer fog rolls in...)

Oh Happy Day has a lot of craft ideas, but my favorite is the one Amy Moss shared on Oh Happy Day last week!


She also provides a version with "Happy Summer" printed on the popsicles, ice creams, and watermelon slices.  I just printed out a sheet of these - though I don't have a clear purpose for them yet!  Perhaps some cards to send to people!  I also like the ideas she shares for using them as part of the wrapping or packaging for presents.  I'll be sure to report back if I do something cool with them.

Hop on over to Oh Happy Day to download the Summer Printables!

What would you use them for?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Minion Goggles!

I LOVE MINIONS. I'm not sure why besides the fact that they're cute... and I find them hilarious.  :oP

This is a clip of Carl doing his BEE-DO.  CRACKS me up.

Anyway, I found out you can print out your very own minion goggles!!!  :D  Now you're all ready to be a minion geek.  However, don't goggle and drive.


Modeled by yours truly.  If you love the minions, are single and female... my tip is... find a man who will wear minion goggles with you.  :)
Here is another clip of them singing the banana song... which cracks me up as well.  :D
 I think I giggle like a 5 year old when I watch this. 
Despicable Me 2 is coming out next week, July 3!  Are you going to watch it?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Another whirl in DC

Had a work trip to DC early June for our annual convention!  For a staff of 9 + 2 interns and an events coordinator - it was a smashing event with 250+ attendees!  We pulled some really long days starting at 7am EASTERN TIME (ohmygoodness that is early), plenaries and workshops through 5:30pm,  some kind of reception through the evening, and after parties - so I often didn't get back to the hotel until like 10pm!

Here are some mostly non-work related pics.  :)


Full day meeting on a Sunday!

Thomas Circle Plaza from the rooftop of the Donovan Hotel

Our biggest bigshot speaker, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan!

Immigrant rally on the Capitol Lawn
That is all to say... I survived our annual convention!  :)  It was a lot of hard work for all our staff, but I think it went well and people really enjoyed it.  I was told they were at one time hosted in Hawaii... but no one showed up to the workshops.  haha.
Does your work have conventions or do you go to them for work?  Aren't west coast to east coast mornings the worst?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Anniversary Adventuring Part II

Anniversary Adventuring Part II: Dinner @ Osteria Coppa

See Part I here!

We had dinner on the night of our actual anniversary at Osteria Coppa in downtown San Mateo.  We've walked by it at night before and it always looked so fancy pants and nice!  So we decided to splurge for our anniversary meal!

Top: Margherita Pizza
Bottom: Raviolo - Ricotta Cheese, Farm Egg, Brown Butter (left), Tagliatelle Bolognese (right)
The Margherita Pizza was quite delicious.  Super thin crust. 

The Raviolo was unique, but not that awesome (to us).  As you can see, it's one giant ravioli that's filled with ricotta cheese and runny egg in the middle, with brown butter sauce.  Tim actually ordered this one but we ended up swapping since he doesn't like runny eggs.  The ricotta cheese was too much for and the brown butter sauce was way too rich.  :( 

The Bolognese was quite tasty, but nothing to rave about. 
All in all, it was a fun experience but sad to say, I don't know that we want to go back.  It does say that many of the dishes are meant to be shared -- so maybe it wasn't meant for one person to eat that whole ravioli and we were doing it all wrong.  {shrug}  But I want to love my food at $18-20/entrée for pasta!  The service was also meh.  The server had a few tables but even when it wasn't that busy he didn't pay much attention to us - always sweeping by.  However, I think it's worth trying at least once.  They also do lunch on weekdays (only weekdays!) that would be a great way to give them a try at a very affordable price.  (Though I think it's sandwiches and not these pasta dishes.  Check their website!)
Have you been to Osteria Coppa?  Did you love it?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Anniversary Adventuring Part I

Time sure flies!  I can't believe it's been THREE years since we got married.  :)  Our anniversary was end of May but it's been a little busy.  :]

We did some local adventuring since I had a work trip to DC two days after our anniversary, and Memorial Day weekend travel/lodging is so expensive!

Anniversary Adventuring Part I: Pacifica

Pacifica is suuuper close to us but I've (and definitely never Tim) really explored it much.  Not that there is a whole lot to explore... but we got coffee, a hike with a view, and BBQ - what more can you ask for?  :)

First stop - P-Town Coffee!  Recommended by Joe from our small group who lives in Pacifica.  :)  We got a bagel (with way too much cream cheese, but who complains about too much cream cheese) and a coffee for me.  And who doesn't like a train caboose that serves coffee??
Pacifica also boasts having a Taco Bell with the best view!  It was indeed a pretty snazzy Taco Bell and I finally got to try a Doritos taco!  We were planning on having better food for lunch, so I only got one.  The nacho cheese didn't taste too unique with the taco.  I will have to try the Cooler Ranch one next time!

We hiked Mori Point!  Who knew there was a trail there!  There was a "short route" (if you park by the Moose Lodge), but we took the long route which involved hiking up a very, very steep hill thing.  -_-"

Gorilla BBQ!  Also recommended by Joe --- it was a long line and no seats, so we took it home!  Which was just as well since it started to drizzle/rain.  It was pretty tasty!  The BBQ sauce was a bit too tangy for us, but Tim added some honey and it was magically delicious.

Tim's card for me  :)

This is a terrible picture of the leather Bible he got me!  Since the traditional gift for one's third anniversary is leather.  <3
I got him a role playing mat for his table top games (it's got a grid on it and you can draw on it) and a keyboard volume control pedal!  The role playing mat is supposed to be the "leather-like" present.  haha.
My cousin sent us a happy anniversary card!  Isn't that cute??  :D  And she even sent a random piece of leather (upper right pic).  HAHAHA.  :)

Stay tuned for anniversary adventuring part II!  Or dinner.  On our anniversary.  :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lord of the Rings Inspired Graduation Gifts

My one and only cousin (yes, I only have one!) graduated from college last month!  :)  I made her a two-colored puffy ribbon lei, just like the one I made my brother, but in her school colors.  Turns out Michael's doesn't have a maroon colored ribbon in the same texture/size as the yellow, 50 cents a spool for 3 yards kind.  It was slightly wide, half sheer (WHAT, WHY?!) and $1.50 a spool for like 1.5 yards.  MADNESS.  Which is why I spaced it out the way I did.  I think it turned out okay.  :)

And apparently it is not the thing to wear leis at graduations in Minnesota... so she didn't even wear it afterwards!  Though she did bring it and took pictures for OUR SAKES... but... still.   {sniffles}  My mom made her the other spiral lei.
My cousin and her mum!
For instructions on how to make the puffy ribbon lei, visit Penga's blog and see here for tips from me!
 My cousin is a huuuuuuge Lord of the Rings buff!  Like seriously, knows all the lines and watches the extended versions of the movie for fun.  Multiple times.  haha.  So while this is sort of Hobbit-y, it's kind of all the same to me.  :)  So I made her a card of Bilbo's house!  I was inspired by this on Pinterest.

I don't really have instructions or a tutorial since... I just made everything by hand!  I used the one I saw on Pinterest as a guide, especially since the only thing I knew was that Bilbo has a round door for his house.  I freehand cut the door parts/layers and grass.  The flowers were made with a paper punch I got from Daiso.  :)  Tim helped me draw the woodgrain on the door.  I would've liked to include a fence (as in the one Pinterest had) but I felt like it would've covered up my door too much.  And it would've been more intricate cutting I didn't want to do.  :oP

On the inside... I used a Hobbit-esque font!  It's actually called Bilbo Hand from  On the left I wrote a message and on the right, Tim helped me find this graduation-relevant LOTR quote!  It says:
"It's a dangerous business Sharon
Going out your door
You step onto the road
And if you don't keep your feet
There's no knowing
Where you might be swept off to."

On the back I put "Condon Productions" since it was a joint effort.  :)

I couldn't find an envelope big enough for the card, so I just used a brown paper bag I had.  It fit perfectly, actually.  :]

Sealed it up with an owl sticker!
I got her this LOTR-inspired "Prince and Lady of Ithilien" necklace from Etsy since Éowyn is her favorite character, I think.  :)  And of course, there was also a monetary gift since... those are the best, right?  ;)
 Do you ever do themed gifts?  What was your favorite graduation present?

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Week in Portland!

I'm so behind on blogging I don't know where to start!  So I'll just jump in the middle, and figure it out from there.  A couple weeks ago I had a week-long conference in Portland, OR and I finished the weekend off with a trip to Bend to see Tim's family (without him!)

Along the river walkway

The famous maple bacon donut from Voodoo Doughnut!
I also got an "Arnold Palmer" doughnut (with the blue Fruit Loop).  :D

The famous Powell's City of Books.  It was really big... and there was a map for the whole store!  The column featured above has Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's signatures!!!  (Fantasy authors: Jordan wrote Tim's favorite series, "Wheel of Time" and Sanderson finished the series for Jordan who passed away.  I also quite enjoy Sanderson's own books.)

My brother-in-law lives in Portland and took me on a quick tour of Forest Park!  It's like two steps in and it feels like you've left the city and entered a forest.  I was also told it's the biggest city park ever.  :)

My brother-in-law Mike and his girlfriend!  We had dinner at Salvador Molly's.  We alllll got the Jamaica Road Roti which had jerk chicken and roasted sweet potato, with a whole wheat wrap (which tasted just like a tortilla) with potato chickpea curry, with a side of grilled mango chutney.  It was tasty but the roti was reeeeeally spicy.  And we like spicy.  The mango chutney helped alleviate it a bit, but it was still a hot hot meal!

Afterwards, we went to Salt & Straw!  They had the most unique flavors!  I got (top right) the Dandelion Sorbet with Spring Flowers!  And there were flowers in it!  Other flavors included olive oil, strawberry with balsamic, honey lemon with ricotta, cinnamon snickerdoodle, AND MORE.  They also let you try as MANY samples as you want.  Which also means the line can be a bit slow.  :)

I frequently the food trucks a lot during lunch at the conference.  This was day two.  Yep... that's a roast beef sandwich stuffed with fries.  The concept was good/interesting/tasty but the fries were too salty so I pulled off most of them before I ate the sandwich.

Met up with our friend Nate!  He lives close to Portland now but he wasn't around for most of the week.  I happened to catch him and his mum on the one day they were in town before he got shipped off for work (he travels a lot for work).  Enjoying some tasty Lebanese food at Nicholas Restaurant.

Hung out at The Departure with some people from my work's network.  Suuuper swanky and we just missed happy hour so it wassssn't that great of deal.  Let's just say tiny Asian tapas!  But I think if you catch happy hour, you get the same food for like half the price.

Took my co-network folks to Salt & Straw, and this time I got the Almond Brittle.

Food truck day... three?  haha.  I forget but this was tasty.  And it was at the point in the week when I wanted more green stuff and less fried.  Except for those delicious pita fries... they were just too delicious.
Friday afternoon, my conference was done and I met up with brother-in-law and his girlfriend to head to Bend, OR!  :)

It was a beautiful drive and you get a great view of Mt. Hood!

Meeting our newest nephew!  :)

Breakfast at Jackson's Corner with Tim's family!

Our first nephew  :)
Most gorgeous sunset in the park behind my in-law's house

A nice leisurely hike on the Deschutes River Trail.  It was nice and kinda reminded me of Ithaca!

Mother's day brunch at the Black Bear Diner

Happy four months old!!  And homemade strawberry ice cream he can't eat.  :oP

The ride back to Portland (this time not in the dark)
 (All photos taken with iPhone)
It was my first time in Portland and I had a great time!  Definitely more things I want to do and see if I had more time there.  But it was a good taste.  I got to check off Voodoo Doughnuts and Powell Books off my list.  Didn't get around to Stumptown coffee though!  I also accidently did some nice tax-free shopping!  ;)  It was also nice to see Bend not in the winter since I've only been there three times, I think and every time has been during Christmas/Winter!
Have you been to Portland or Bend?  What are your favorite things to do or eat there?  It's not too early to start my next list of things to do/see, right?  :)

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