My Husband the Wiz

While I was busy watching The Real Housewives.. Tim was busy building a computer. This is not something that would have been personally be enjoyable to me (not to mention that there is no way I would have ever figured how HOW to do it..).... I am still so in shock that he made a computer. I keep laughing out loud, and honestly, when he told me he wanted a "motherboard" for Christmas I just smiled and nodded because I had no idea what a motherboard was.. who knows, it could have been a fancy new surfboard.. but I have to say I am very impressed with his dedication to this project and with how amazing our new "custom" computer is! Sometimes I wish I could take a sneak peek into the workings of his mathematical mind!

Oh, also, I do have to say, Elle was there barking instructions to him.. I am sure that helped too!

I believe this is the motherboard

Elle, the mastermind behind it all

At Last

Congratulations Barack Obama! I just love this picture of the family! I was all smiles when I heard that Michelle was wearing J. Crew throughout Inauguration Day.. hopefully she's a fan of Ann Taylor too!!

January hike in Santa Barbara

View from the top and Bud Light break (and hummus and peanut butter sandwich break)
View on the way up

Elle and me

View from the top - you could see the islands!

Last weekend I went on an amazing hike in SB with Kathy, Monika, Molly, Leonie, Susan, Bert, and Elle called Inspiration Point and Seven Falls. Although the Seven Falls were mostly dried up Inspiration Point was amazing! We beat the 2.5 hour expected time for the 4.7 mile hike (not counting the Bud Light break at the top). Elle was helping to pull me, so I credit her for getting me up so quick! If I only had her energy! After the hike, we were all looking our sweaty best (did I mention it was 77 degrees and a very steep hike) and showed up at Long Boards at the end of the SB pier, where we proceeded to finish our very yummy (22 oz) Bud Lights. Some of us ..uh humm.. had more then one. It was an amazing day and great way to get some fresh air and exercise outside. It is one of my favorite hikes, but Kathy has promised to introduce me to more in this area. Can't wait for the next one!!

Where has Guitar Hero been my whole life?

(Rockstar hair is a must ...and yes .... primary color plastic wigs scream rockstar)

So thanks to Jonathan, Jason, and Molly I finally “get” the rave about guitar hero (probably the last person on the planet to play it, if anyone hasn’t IT’S NOT TOO LATE). But anyways I had been stressing for weeks when Jonathan invited me over for his Wii party. I honestly thought I was going to have to sing and know how to actually read music. Anyone who knows me, knows I get sweaty hot when I get nervous, and so I have had my fan on all week. I was hoping that J & J were going to “ease” me into this guitar hero/karaoke nightmare that I was certain was in front of me. When I got there Jonathan promptly handed me a lemon twist with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a salt/sugar twist on things (that even Debbie would be proud of) that I proceeded to down that in a mere seconds. THEN a moment later the infamous guitar hero was popped in (not even a second to ease into this Wii party with a more familiar game like bowling or tennis). It was to my amazement that there was so singing, and no C minor anywhere! I watched as you didn’t need vocal cords or musical talent whatso ever! As soon as I “completed” Steve Millers “Joker” I was hooked. Despite Jonathan clapping notes and stomped his feet (envision: a crazy intense stage mom) behind me and Molly complaining behind me “My brain doesn’t work like that!” I wanted to rock on, I was a superstar!! Now when I hear songs on the radio I can see them in three beautiful colors (I’m still on easy) green, red, yellow, with the notes and the frets flying at me. Oh how I wish I had that whammy right then and there. My world has changed and I am happy to embrace guitar hero into it. Wonder what Ben and Annett are doing this weekend?

Although the above is a view into my personal epiphany about guitar hero, I have to mention what wonderful hosts Jonathan and Jason are, and how I gain at least 5 pounds every time I go there (so much weight in fact, that my feet have been under extreme pressure lately and have grown half a size in the past 6 months). I also have to mention what a wonderful husband I have. Tim was supposed to come over too, but stayed at home to wait for Stanley Steamer to clean our carpets and couch (envision: a dog chewing on a pen, the pen exploding into blue ink puddle [on white carpet], and then dog tracks that blue ink all over the house [including all over the white] couch]). While I was participating in an impromptu dance party to Scissor Sisters [a few lemon twists down at this point] and posing for [over a hundred] photo booth pics , my amazing hubby was at home, caring after the [devil] doggie and ensuring our white [need to rethink our white choices] house got cleaned… not to mention knocking off at least half of the household “to do” list! You really couldn’t ask for a better other half, and I am so lucky! So of course I dedicate all my guitar hero “rocking on” to him… he is forever my muse.

Scissor Sisters show down

Negative Nancy

Boxing show down

Jason in all his glory

Do rockstars really sit up that straight (PS notice "Stage Mom" to my right)

Blue Ribbon Tallboy

This pic was inspired by Ben's recent blog post: (This pic was taken in New York, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw someone else with the tallboy, had to have one... or two.. or three).

Hot vacation needed

Does anyone agree it is painful to get a live text picture like this to your email, while you are stuck at work with no upcoming vacation in sight:

... not to mention getting an email from Debbie this morning with her beautiful Shutterfly collection of her recent Mexico trip. I swear if Ben and Annett sent me anything from their gorgeous honeymoon today, I might snap! When is it going to be summer again??! (BTW, the picture is of my aunt Barbara who is living it up in Hawaii as we speak).

New Years in the Big Apple

This year for my first winter "shutdown" at work Tim and I decided to head to New York to experience the city during the holidays and to be there for New Years! We had a nice long trip and got a lot in during our trip. We stayed with Mandy at her cute Astoria apartment for part of the trip, and then we spent the last part of the trip at the Sheraton in Times Square. Anne and Mike Malone met up with us our third day into the trip, and it was nice to spend time with them and Mandy in NY and we got to share in on Mike's birthday too! It was a wonderful experience to visit Rockefeller Center and see the huge sparkling Christmas Tree (it really does sparkle)! Some other highlights were seeing Mary Poppins on Broadway and the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular Show! The solider dance they did was incredible!

We also ate like crazy, thanks mostly in part to Michelle and Wolf's amazing recommendations and to the W's restaurant, Blue Fin, with the best waffles and pancakes in town! Blue Fin is a must do breakfast place in Times Square! Ben Bensons, Macao Trading Co., and Corner Bistro are also highly recommended! Thanks Michelle and Wolf (we also hit up most of the bars you recommended on our all day pub crawl the first day we were there)!

The art we saw in NY was also a huge highlight to me. The MoMa had a special exhibition called Starry Night, with famous works by Van Gogh, and some of the same exact paintings that we saw in Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum! Tim and I felt well "cultured" (that doesn't happen too often) seeing some of his paintings twice! But, then again, we soaked up a lot of "culture" in Amsterdam! At the Met I took a small tour group on American artists and learned about Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, and Mary Cassatt. We also took a tip from my fav book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, and hit up the Frick Museum across from Central Park. This was an incredible private collection, buzzing with art buffs, and socialites. I love seeing private collections and learning about why the collector has chosen certain pieces, and how they came to acquire the works!

New Years night we went to a intimate concert with Blonde Redhead (which Tim knows from Bumbershoot) at the Terminal 5 venue. Mike and Anne got VIP seating, while Tim, Mandy, and I stood at danced the night away. At midnight the opening act, Elvis Perkins sang Auld Lang Syne and they shot out paper white doves from the stage. Tim got a sweet new years kiss because I bought some fruit punch lip gloss especially for him and that kiss! Meanwhile, back at our empty hotel room at Times Square we had a full view of the Ball drop, and all the crazies standing outside in -20 degree windy weather. The good news is they were practicing the ball drop all week, so we saw the practice run the night before! We learned they are leaving the Ball up year round, so anyone visiting NYC will be able to see it! It was a memorable New Years, and such a fun trip!

Of course I can't forget this classic pic of Annett and me (and rapper picture faces on) with our new bff.