Archive | June, 2011

Where do you want to retire?

29 Jun

My dad and Vicki have been working hard on the home where they have decided is where they will retire.  I got to spend the night with them last weekend and enjoy the space that they enjoy so much.  It was such a fun experience to see them living the life they have dreamed of and where they can grow old together.  It’s in a place called Valley Springs, CA and not your typical retirement plan.  Valley Springs can be incredibly hot in the summer and cold in the winter but it’s made a home for two people that I love very much and they have truly started to transform their place into a amazing oasis.

Here is part of the back part of their lot now.  Right outside of the house, they’ve worked hard to put a spa and other recreational areas so that when it isn’t so hot out they can enjoy evenings out in the yard.

  Here’s the neighbor’s dog that visits over the fence and plays with my dad and Vicki’s dogs.  They only have this one neighbor close by who they enjoy talking with.

Here’s Buster and Harley.  Harley is named after my dad’s love for Harley motorcycles.  My dad actually custom made one of his saddle bags to be able to let Harley come for bike rides with him.  It’s a cozy pouch with a hole in the top for him to be able to have his head out and his dachshund ears flapping in the wind.

Here’s Buster who is primarily Vicki’s.  Even though they are a package deal, when they got the dogs it seemed that they gravitated to different ones.  Buster is sitting in one of my dad and Vicki’s first backyard pieces.  A beautiful rock well that with their designing and own backyard, the duo built together!

Here’s my dad adding some rocks to the top of the well.

He searched the yard for tons of large pebbles to decorate the well with.  He also did this for the walls of the well.  He searched for large stones and took the time to perfectly piece them together to create this beautiful stone well made out of their own backyard!

Here’s a good example of some of the rocks he used to fill the top of the well.

Here he is smoothing them out.

The final product, all made from the very same back yard!  It looks so great and it’s so nice to have the hot tub too.  My dad put the hot tub in himself, too.  One night we went out and soaked in the hot tub which was so peaceful and relaxing.  Watching the day turn to night in Valley Springs is another relaxing moment to enjoy.

Every time I have visited Valley Springs the sunsets get more and more unreal.  The colors are just so beautiful.

Here’s Vicki, my dad and I (and the dogs of course as well) enjoying a morning coffee in their “sun” room.  It’s so open and walled with windows so you can look out on the property and enjoy from a cooler or warmer space depending on the season.

My dad likes to play with his technology toys in this room, too.  Now maybe I see where I got my love for technology toys!

After waking up, having coffee, and enjoying a long morning of good conversation we decided to hit the nearby town of Jackson.  It’s a VERY small town but it’s where my dad and Vicki have made friends with the local shop owners and have really started to form their retirement life.  There are a lot of antique shops and only a restaurant or two.

Here is the main street of Jackson.  Very small but cozy.

They found a great house in a very small town far from any city and have started to build their next phase of life.  It’s so cool to watch it all unfold because they have really made their house into a home and strangers into friends.  I look forward to spending more time in Valley Springs with them!

The Poor Man’s Latte

22 Jun

I have the coffee addiction that I think the rest of the working world shares.  On those mid-week mornings that can be hard pulling through with the motivation that I started with on Monday, I look to coffee to be a happy thought and surge of energy.

Any coffee place in San Francisco charges well over $3 for a latte which adds up by the end of the month.  I just learned this helpful tip from a family member and some may call me cheap but I call it a good deal 🙂

This tip works at any coffee place where they have a milk bar (they also usually keep creamers, sugars, stir sticks, etc. in the same area).

You can order a double espresso over ice in whatever size cup you’d like.  Then you just take it over to the milk bar and fill with the appropriate amount of milk!  You will save about $2 each time doing this! Simple enough and economically efficient for the caffeine addicted.

It’s the little things in life, right? 🙂

How To- On the Go Fast Easy Hairstyle

20 Jun

I seem to always be on the go and am always throwing my hair back in the same pony tail or messy bun.  I finally found a new on the go solution that is also great for the summer weather that has finally hit!  This take about 3 minutes to do and it really wrangles my wild hair.  It’s basically half of a french braid so it keeps your hair out of your face but still let’s some hair down.

Here is what my hair started like…

Step 1.  Section off a small portion of hair from the top front pieces.

Step 2. Start a braid with weaving just 2 or 3 pieces to begin with.

Step 3.  Pull pieces from the sides of your face to inter-mingle with your loose braid.  This helps the braid look consistant.

Step 4.  Braid down as many layers as you’d like.  I went about 3 or 4 layers down making sure to not pull it tight but leave it a little bit messy to match the pieces I left down.

Step 5.  Once your done braiding, you can put a rubber band in and be on the go.  I do this to my own hair in about 3 minutes or less.  It’s perfect for being out in the sun because it pulls your hair back but allows you to still put a hat on if needed for sun protection.  It also keeps you much cooler on a hot day.

The final product!


17 Jun

Sometimes at work, we share funny pictures and for some reason they all seem to be fixated around cats.  Today I found one that I just love.It’s not my photo but I love it.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!!


What to do on a sunny day in San Fran

16 Jun

With no Spring to ever really arrive, Summer has hit us full force!  Yesterday and today have been so warm in San Francisco hitting close to 80 degrees.  So what is the best thing to do when you get good weather in San Francisco?? Enjoy it!!

I went for a stroll all along the Embarcadero and explored the area around one of the most romantic pieces in San Francisco (one of my favorites), Cupid’s Span.  Here are the photos:

One of the best view of the bay bridge you can get comes from the end of Pier 14.

Walking out to the end of the pier.

A view of the Ferry Building from out on Pier 14.

Bring your lunch!  You can sit in one of the many swivel stools and soak in all the amazing sites to be seen here.

The end of Pier 14.  People are fishing, shooting photos and enjoying this scenic area.

Another view back from the pier.

A view of Cupid’s Span from the pier!

LOVE this piece.

Two of my favorites… The Bay Bridge and Cupid’s Span.

And of course, if you are going to be on the Embarcadero you can’t forget to visit the Ferry Building.  It’s overpriced but has some amazing food spots.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, there is an amazing Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building where all of the local produce is sold.  It’s cash only but there are ATM’s all around the Ferry Building.

Underneath Detroit Airport

14 Jun

In the Detroit Airport, there is a really cool walkway under ground that connects terminal A and B.  I’ve been to Detroit Airport quite a few times but never had to use this walkway until my last trip to Michigan.  You walk down a set of escalators and walk into this trance like walkway.  There is very calming music that plays but it makes you feel like in such a busy place you found this peacefulness under the terminals.





SF pics from last week

13 Jun

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in where I’m going, I forget to recognize the area that I’m wandering.  I love when I look up and see the light hitting buildings perfectly like the picture above.  This was around 5pm and what I also love about this building is the way it was built.  So symmetrical but modern, I really have a fascination for architecture.  It’s something that I seem to always notice in new places.

Here’s another building but I don’t even think this one looks like a building because of the windows.  I’d love to go to the top floor of these buildings and see their views.  I can only imagine how amazing they would be.

Some co-workers and I went to the Trademark one day after work.  It is in the cutest corridor (pic below) and really made me feel like I was back in Europe!  They people who work at the restaurants try to sell you on their restaurant and reel you in.  A co-worker of mine suggested this place and it was a great spot to enjoy the city.  I took the first photo of this post from the same spot as well.  You can sit in this corridor and just look up at the beautiful concrete monsters that surround you.

Here is part of the corridor lined in umbrellas.  There are about four or five restaurants in this tiny block corridor.

After stopping in the corridor, we continued on through the streets.  There are so many florists that line the streets and the flowers are always so pretty I have to stop and smell them.  Even though the weather has been crazy, it sure has brought some BEAUTIFUL flowers this year!