Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You gotta know your limits.

Today... today was an interesting day. It started out fairly well, I was very proud of my whole wheat english muffin with pumpkin topping, I drank only one cup of coffee, and felt like I'd had plenty of water. But somewhere, something went terribly wrong.

I met up with my trainer at the gym at a quarter to 1 p.m. We did all of the exercises I'm used to, but this time, my body revolted.

Halfway through my second circuit and I was light-headed. By the time we finished the third, I was feeling queasy. Ten minutes later, my trainer had called the paramedics. Awesome.

I had gone into the women's locker room to try and not vomit, and I leaned on the counter. After leaning on the counter I discovered I couldn't not lean on it, every time I stood up my vision swam, I became insanely cold, and was literally unable to walk. I couldn't even make it over to the benches to sit down.

The manager brought in a mat, made me lay down, put my legs up, and then force fed me Gatorade.

I don't have any idea what happened to me, but I got better, and didn't need to endure the embarrassment of the paramedics because I got better before they got there. But, it's definitely not how I'd imagined my day would go.

Note to self: don't be so stubborn you ignore what your body is telling you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bambi... with crust.

Ah... pizza.

Venison pizza to be specific.

So, here's the deal. I've been reading some new blogs recently. Ohsheglows and Healthytippingpoint to be specific. They're written by two amazing ladies. I decided I should try to read some healthy blogs, and I'll admit, I find them super fascinating and fun. But at the same time, I'm feeling guilty. Guilty for my cheese eating... guilty for my meat eating... and this past weekend... guilty for my cheese and meat eating. But it was so good.

So, sorry to my new found blog fascination. But this past weekend, my husband and I had a pizza topped with three types of cheese, a horseradish sauce, and venison. And it was good.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coming soon to a mailbox near you...

My Christmas (not holiday) cards!! Anyone else see last week's 30 Rock? It must be seen to understand reference :)

Well, at least the first half of the holiday cards are addressed... I have plans to finish the rest tomorrow night. I'm so excited that it's finally feeling like Christmas!! Cards, trees, lights, and best of all... family!

Thursday and Friday night I get to host my Dad and step-Mom at my house. I have high hopes that these two days will be filled with the following:
  • Advice on my sadly lacking garden
  • Snarky comments
  • "The drive"
  • Clam chowder from Malibu Seafood Co.
  • Busting open the 1 gallon bottle of Galleano Zinfandel (not a joke, a truly ginormous bottle of wine has been on my counter for a week or so now)
  • Cribbage games
  • Air Force 1 at the Reagan Library
  • Merriment in general
  • Rosemary rolls

Added bonus, my fabulous Momma helped me secure a person other than myself to clean the house prior to their arrival (since it's Finals week at school and all.)

P.S. One final, and then four weeks sans school for me!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's been a long time...

Wow! I can't believe how long I've neglected my little blog. It's been very busy, and because of that, I haven't taken the time to chronicle my every day ramblings. But... finals are two days away, and blog, I promise not to neglect you after that.

The past 30 days have been full of studying, working, thanking, grieving, missing, and making it through the day.

The next 30 days will be full of celebration, giving, loving, and remembering.

Yesterday, things started to feel more normal for me and my hubs. We stuffed an 8 foot Christmas tree into my Prius, and came home and rearranged our living room to make it fit! Today, I finished up my homework by mid-afternoon and even got to get some Christmas shopping in. It's beginning to look and feel like Christmas.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Power of a Hat

Cutest. Picture. Ever.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Road Rage Decreased

My commute used to drive me batty... and now I can't wait to get into the car. Because, I have found, Audible. Despite a crazy job that requires travel, and going to school, and having family in town for 50% of the past month, I've actually been able to read books. Or "read" them meaning listened to them...

Oh yeah, reading, that thing I used to like to do before the dreaded courses begining with MBAA or MBAB or MBAG started. Road rage is no more, satisfaction with life has increased, and I don't have to listen to Ryan Seacrest in the morning (which I think we can all agree is a bonus.)

So in summary:
Audible = good
Bill Bryson's "At Home" = ridiculous good
Jane Austen's "Persuasion" = early 19th Century good
Emma Donoghue's "Room" = darkly good
Alexandra Ripley's "Charleston" = good reminder that people approaching 30 shouldn't read young adult romance novels

All in all... good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Deep Thoughts

My day started out so well... egg white omelette split with my Auntie P while sitting across the table from my grandparents (so sad they're flying back home, it was a good visit!) and my brother.

But then, it turned into the worst day I've had at work in a very. very. very. long time. Long story short: we can't be perfect, but man do I wish I could be.

But now, at the end of the day, it's funny how things that were overwhelmingly overwhelming just a few hours before somehow become inconsequential when you're at home, in your own environment, hearing the hum of your appliances and sitting in your favorite chair.

Deep thoughts... by me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Failed Experiment

I'm always amazed at how friendships evolve over time. My friend Marsha and I met in Jr. High, and remained good friends through High School. But as she went away to school, and I stayed locally, we drifted apart in our day-to-day interaction. For some reason however, we ALWAYS met up at Christmas time to do our holiday shopping together. One year, we decided to do our Christmas baking together instead of shopping, and the tradition has stuck.

This year while coming home from a road trip together (during which this happened) we started talking about our plans for this year's holiday goodies.

There was one cookie in particular that was causing us concern. One that we make (and that is a favorite) is a mini Snickers wrapped in chocolate chip cookie dough and then baked. It's a crowd pleaser for sure, but is most definitely NOT upscale. So we thought to ourselves, we could make a layered cookie incorporating all of the snicker elements. And that is how it came to be that last weekend Marsha was standing at my stove stirring a batch of caramel.

And that this layered beauty came to be:

The layers look amazing, the elements are all there, the ingredients have been elevated. This was to be our signature cookie, known forever after as the "Turtle Dove!"

The only problem with this little cookie? Put simply, it's inedible!!!

The chocolate layer oozes, the crust crumbles apart upon cutting, and the caramel is so thick that you could break a tooth!

Test kitchen #2 is yet to be scheduled, but we have some ideas for improvements.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It was my fabulous hubby's birthday celebration today... and would you believe it, I forgot to take pictures!! For shame!!!!

So, while I took ZERO photos, I can share the other numerical factoids of the day:

18 people
9 racks of ribs
7 chicken breasts
30 rolls
3 quarts of pasta salad
1 fruit salad
1 green salad
1 dozen cookies
2 quarts of salsa
3 kinds of cheeses
4 football games
2 layers of german chocolate cake
5 bags of leftovers
1 happy birthday boy

Note: Picture was from last year... just imagine him 12 months older!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Day in History

It's been nine years, but like all other Americans alive on that day, I remember it like it was yesterday. Waking up to the news, seeing the towers fall, trying to comprehend the enormity of the events unfolding, and walking through the day like a zombie, hungry for any news - and asking "why?"

One of the things that struck me that day was the air full of yellow, and pink, and white paper. I couldn't help but think that just a few hours ago, those pieces of paper floating in the air were the highest priority for the 3,000 people that would never have the opportunity to go home.

My feelings turned bittersweet in the days following 9-11. I remember an having an intense feeling of American pride. I had never before seen our country pull together the way we did in the days following. I would drive down the street and see people on street corners waving flags, and there was a man in my town who would drive through busy areas playing patriotic music on a loud speaker, flying an enormous American flag. They're small gestures, but at the time, it meant a lot.

Today, I was reading The Pioneer Woman's blog, and she talked of the importance of Remembering today, and mentioned the History Channel coverage.

I personally just had a good cry on the History Channel website "This Day in History" which gives a simple text account of that day.

May we always remember.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate and Lemon

My brother's birthday was Monday, and as the nice sister I am, I asked him what his favorite flavors were, and then scoured the internet for an appropriate tasty dessert that would be worthy of his birthday.

(He is after all getting pretty old... so I should do nice things for him...)
The only problem with my brother's taste preferences is that they're... well... ODD! He likes chocolate and lemon. Really? What kind of combo is that?

It turns out... a really. really. good combination! Introducing, a chocolate and lemon tart!

Mmmmm... I want to eat it again! Oh, and my brother called it his favorite dessert ever. EVER.

That's right, I'm a good sister.
NOTE: I modified this slightly, mainly due to time constraints. The recipe called for individual tarts... and I made one big one. Also, the recipe called for chilling the dough and then rolling it out, however I pressed the dough into the pan and shaped it until I was happy with how it looked. It turned out fine... and since I didn't graduate from Le Cordon Bleu I felt comfortable with the shortcut.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Only took a year...

Behold! After a year... countless trips to furniture stores... one insulted antique dealer (who didn't appreciate my idea to use a 200 year old trunk as a place to put my chips and drinks)... a brief time of debating whether or not to have something made... and did I mention countless trips to furniture stores? We. Have. Purchased. A. Coffee Table!

Isn't it purty?

Monday, August 30, 2010


So, this post is a bit late. Or, really really late. But I have to gush about our long weekend in wine country at Demetria Vineyard's guest villa. (Okay, so it was a double-wide... but it was a 10 minute drive through the vineyard to get to it, and black as pitch at night when you turned out the lights - good stuff!)

The inside was so cute! Very shabby chic, even though kitcehn supplies were limited, we managed to set a pretty cute table for our family dinner on Saturday night. My hubs went all out for the family. He grilled fish and pork, corn and potatoes. Then for dessert my fabulous sis-in-law made us ice cream sundaes to die for.

The guys enjoyed sipping wine outside while they waited for us ladies to get ready for our night at the Hitching Post.

In the morning, we hiked on a trail that meandered through the vineyard. It was so incredibly pretty.

And of course, my account of the weekend wouldn't be complete without a photo of the doggie that visited us while we stayed. He was pretty awesome. I have to admit, I didn't get his name, so let's just think of him as Buddy. He looks like a Buddy, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Cold

So... today I'm dealing with a summer cold, and am running into a question I ask myself when I'm sick.

To exercise or not to exercise.

According to Prevention Mag, if your symptoms are above the neck, you're okay to workout, and if they're below the neck, you should wait.

With this advice, I put my name on the list for spin tonight at the gym. And then texted the instructor to let her know she's not allowed to yell at me to turn up the resistance tonight!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moment of Truth

My last six weeks have been tough. Not prison tough. Or training for triathlon tough. But for this girl, pretty darned tough.

New job coupled with two summer school classes. Over the past six weeks I have doubted my sanity, my intelligence, my time management skills, and my common sense. But here I sit, 2.5 hours away from my final (as in last) final. Oh how happy I will be in four hours with a glorious three homework-free weekends to enjoy!

Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Procrastination... you make homework so much fun!

Today I am in the throws of some serious procrastination. I have two finals this Thursday, and a term paper as well as a presentation due on Tuesday. Yet, I feel the need to do just about anything instead of my homework.

Scrub the tile on the kitchen island? Yes please!

Laundry? You betcha!

Randomly scroll through photos on Facebook? Why not!

Buckle down and find out the details of franchise law in China... and analyze the risk of franchising in a society that doesn't have laws protecting corporate intelligence... and juxtaposing those risks with the tremendous growth of the emerging market? Naw... I think I'll post to my blog instead.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

You're Welcome

The title is my preemptive response to how appreciative you're going to be that I'm introducing you to this site. It's a pure time waster, and I think I'm in love with it.

Enter at your own risk:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Flight 888

Flight Triple 8 from Burbank to Oakland is apparently my new commuter flight. As this is becoming part of my monthly, or semi monthly routine, I thought I should share my thoughts on it:

  • It leaves at 7:10, which means I get to wake up at 4:30 to catch it.

  • Flying still freaks me out, and I'm usually so nervous before a flight I have trouble sleeping.

  • Last night was not an exception.

  • I'm exhausted.

  • The flight attendents on commuter flights appear to be wackier than those on longer hauls.

  • One of them sang "It had to be you" to us over the intercom.

  • I'm tired.

  • The length of the flight is exactly the amount of time it takes to consumer a tall latte.

  • Despite the latte, I'm exhausted.

How was that for uplifting?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spiffy Feature

Just wanted to point out a new feature... I subscribed to FeedBurner, so now you can opt into to an email that will alert you of a new post.*

And then you can come and read the post.

And then you don't have to check the blog when I'm being lazy and neglecting it.

It's a beautiful thing.

To get email alerts, please enter your email address into the box on the left-hand navigation bar under the question "What to get emailed?."

*Disclaimer: I did not create the FeedBurner email feature and have no clue how well it actually works. Should it behave funkily (yes that's a word) you should let me know so I can try to fix it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Lands

On Sunday I took a break from school work to "sharpen my saw" and went to the Autry Museum of Western Heritage for an exhibit called "Home Lands" about the role women played in shaping the American West.

The exhibit was full of a lot of women artifacts... like this pressure cooker that appears more like a torture device than an item off of a wedding registry.
As well as statistics that showed the stark reality of being female in years past. This portion of the exhibit is a reminder that less than a century ago, 4% of women died in childbirth or immediately thereafter. How lucky we are to live in the times that we do.

So after all that stark reality I had to have myself a little bit of fun... so I decided to pretend I was in jail...
Check out some cowboy art - yee haw!

And listen to live music courtesy of local musicians. I wish I could put in a clip of the song this guy's music on here, but I couldn't find it...

I hadn't been to the Autry since my fifth grade class visited. It was too fun to rediscover it this weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Misty Water Colored Memories

So for whatever reason today I couldn't stop thinking about this picture.

This was taken at the end of the canal in the Versailles gardens on my honeymoon. All of the sights, smells, feelings of that trip can be wrapped up in this photo. For ten days we roamed, and like these cruisers, we had no need for a different gear, or a faster pace. We ate amazing sandwiches on crusty baguette in parks, strolled through the most amazing galleries in the world, and enjoyed having no agenda or schedule.

One of the things I made sure to do every day of the honeymoon was to write an email about the day and send it to our wonderful parents, who gave us the best wedding and honeymoon two people could ever have wanted. Below is my email from the day I took this picture:

Today was a wonderful day! Our first order of business was to find the nearest train station and buy a ticket to Versailles. We quickly learned that you have to be quick on your feet in the public transport systems, as we were standing on the platform in front of the train, and were completely unable to board the train because of all of the people, and had to wait 20 minutes for the next (that's how QUICKLY the train stopped and then left!!) During our train ride a saxaphonist and accordion player played classic French tunes for a few minutes, it was very thematic and fun. When we left the train station we walked a few blocks to Versailles, which is enormous and grand. I had incredibly high hopes for the chateau. I love antique furniture, and in my mind, I could see myself getting to stroll through rooms as they were when Louis XIV lived there. Alas, it was basically a museum for art... the rooms themselves were gorgeous, but really, there are only so many empty rooms you can walk through before you say, "oh, another empty room!!" Also, they had work from a modern artist, Jeff Koonz throught the chateau, so you'd be trying to admire the painted ceiling, and there's a glass case in the middle of the room with a statue of Michael Jackson and his monkey Bubbles. Super strange!

When we left the chateau for the gardens we were more than happy however - they are immense. Truly crazy immense. I mean BIG. (Larger than life seems to be the theme for today, FYI.) And what's more, is that we had an expectation of manicured formal gardens, and instead, the gardens were really passage ways sourrounded by trees or water features. Very wild and fun (you could tell some of them were built for hunting more than gazing at flowers.) We picked up a couple of sandwhiches, and then rented bicycles. We rode for about 20 minutes, and finally reached the end of the Grand Canal, where we set up our picnic. To give you an idea of HOW large the gardens are, at the end of the canal, you could no longer even SEE any people at the chateau! We looked and noshed, and then Rick started wondering whether or not there were fish in the lake - haha. We rode back to the house along a side path, and spend a good ten minutes without seeing another person (and sang silly songs from musicals at the top of our lungs along the way - "The sun will come out... tomorrow!!") We decided if we come back to Paris Versailles is a MUST, but we'll skip the house and go straight to the garden.

One of the train stops on the way back was at the Effiel Tower, so we decided we may as well stop there. (Now it's time for that theme again.) The Effiel Tower is HUGE! massive! ENORMOUS! And no matter how much people tell you that, when you get there, it's still true. I was very proud of how not freaked out I was by the heights, even though it did kind of sway in the wind! After viewing the city from the second level of Tour Effiel, we decided to hang out in the park below it for a while, before heading over to Rue Cler, a really fun street with a bunch of shopping and markets. It has all the boulangeries, and fromangers, and patisseries that you think of when you think of Paris! After stopping in a few stores, we took Rick Steve's guidbook up on a suggestion for a brasserie for dinner. That's two strikes now against Rick Steve's it was cheap, but it wasn't worth the Euros, or the calories! So from now on we'll stick to our cheapskate sandwiches mixed with decent dinners!

Well, a couple of metro transfers later we're back at the hotel. Still officially jet lagged, we've decided a good 8 hours of sleep is in order before hitting the Louvre tomorrow.

Au revoir!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

beep beep

Snapshots of a Messy Modern Life

Today is a typical Saturday for me, and for something so typical to me, at a couple of points today it strook me that my day is not exactly normal. (Strook me... striked me... is that right? Anyway.)

My huband and I apparently don't think working Monday through Friday is quite good enough, so we try to see how much we can manage on the weekends as well. (While simultaneously completely neglecting our home, and social lives.) But I digress.

In an effort to still be "together," when we both have work to do we trek downtown so we can work in the quiet of his office. While we're not actually spending time together, the physical nearness is a good facsimile, and at least tricks us mentally into thinking we are.

On Saturday's like this, I'll often go with him to his gym. But this is totally not a normal gym, it's an Irish gym. ( You know, since the Irish are so known for their physical prowess, this makes sense. It's on the 57th floor of the US Bank tower downtown, and they're known for a 25 minute workout.

The concept of the 25 minute workout is still very strange to me. Essentially, I spend more time showering and getting ready afterward than I did for the entire workout. But that's where my first "snapshot" comes in.

Check out the view from the women's locker room! (Okay, it's kind of hard to see.) But there's a view of all of East LA while you're doing your makeup and hair.

After we finish at the gym we walk over to my hubby's building, where are able to make and enjoy free sandwiches courtesy of his law firm. (It's Saturday, I'm allowed to have bread people!) And then I set up shop in the office next door to his that is conveniently empty.

About five minutes before posting this I looked up from my book and realized that I have three computer monitors within three feet of me.

Behold, work laptop, school laptop, company desktop.

You gotta admit, it's kind of ridiculous!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Poor. Neglected. Blog.

In the past couple of weeks I haven't blogged... but I have...

Seen my niece Ava!
Had my kitty cat shaved for the summer.
Made a froggie cake...
Had dinner with all my brothas...
It's been a busy couple of weeks! I need to blog more! There's been too much going on!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sneak Peek... Baby Shower Centerpiece

Can't believe July 1 is this Thursday! When my coworkers and I started talking about throwing our friend's baby shower that date seemed really far away, but it's this Thursday!

Here's a peek at the centerpiece, not 100% positive if this will be the final incarnation of her Princess and the Frog centerpiece, but I've got five of these suckers and I'm thinking they'll be cute!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Bar Jar

Today is Monday... but kind of an awesome Monday filled with stuff I wanna blog about.

  • The official announcement went out that I will be leaving my current position as a Marketing Manager for a new spot at my company... as a Senior Consultant... That's right, go me! It's kind of a scary move, I've been in the marketing trenches for a while now, and this is an opportunity to be a bit more strategic. I can't wait to grow into this new position, but I have a feeling it's going to be quite the transition.
  • I got to the gym today. Not an accomplishment? Okay, you're right, but it's my blog and I'll write it if I want to!
  • Today is the first day of week six of clean eating. No sugar, no wine (but I kind of fudge that one a couple days a week), no grains, no beans, no processed anything. Protein, fruit, and vegetables only. I am down 12 pounds, all of my clothes are loose... and the crazy part, I had baked trout with steamed broccoli and cauliflower for dinner, and it couldn't have been yummier.
So in honor of the last item, I'm saying good bye to a dear possession of mine, the Bar Jar. I bought this beauty at Home Goods for five bucks. And for three years I've kept an ever rotating supply of bars inside... Think Thin, Kashi Go Lean, Zone, I even threw in some granola every now and then for kicks.

But it's been empty now for six weeks, and I'm officially retiring it from it's spot on my counter.

Good bye bar jar. Thank you for your service. I hope you enjoy your retirement in my cupboard.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

AZ Smith Celebration

June is a special month in our family... My nephew, Ross, was born on the first day, and my brother, Will, was born on the last. And then in between, there's a whole mess of goodness happening with the "AZ Smiths."

Their birthdays are the 17th and the 21st, and their wedding anniversary is the 25th. This year, it just so happens to be their FIFTH wedding anniversary. We have a no interstate gift policy in our family, but I couldn't just let it go by without doing something for them, so I created this little video.

Had to share.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It's Almost Lion Cut Time!

Two years ago, while away at a bachelorette party my husband took our gorgeous Maine Coon cat, Cisco, to be groomed.

The groomer asked him, "would you like to have her hair cut?"

My husband, knowing summer was coming, and thinking Cisco would appreciate a little relief, said "sure!"

The groom asked him, "would you like a lion cut?"

My husband, not knowing what one was, said "sure!"

So a day later, I came home, to a shaved cat! She was shivering and completely indignant that we had cut off her coat and left her cold and naked.

But the thing is, we kind of got used to it. And more than that, the look started growing on us. And even more than that, it reduced the times per week we had to de-hair our home by a million and a half.

So, it's that time of year again. In the next week or so (as soon as "June gloom" is well past us) our little kitty is going to go get her annual haircut.

And she will look like this.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Words of Wisdom

"Live passionately, even if it kills you,
because something is going to kill you anyway."
~Webb Chiles

Quote sent to me by my husband today... he thinks I worry too much. And he's right. I think these are some pretty good words to live by!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Theodore Payne Nursery

My fabulous sister-in-law gifted me the best planter for my birthday. It's an enormous rugged barrel, that she picked up in wine country. The inside is stained a gorgeous dark purple, and when it arrived it still smelled of cabernet - needless to say, I love it!

But the first step to loving it more was to fill it with dirt. So sad to cover up that beautiful stain, but it was necessary.

I want to fill my garden with native sustainable plants, so I went to the once native sustainable nursery I know of... Theodore Payne. While there, a wonderful woman helped me and my mother make sense of all the plants. Because they're natives, they weren't all in bloom, so it took a little imagination to put together an arrangement (unlike commercial nurseries where plants are purchased in bloom.)

I decided on four plants:
  • Salvia "Allen Chickering" Sage - a tall, purple, fragrant bloom
  • Firecracker - a mid-height red flower
  • San Bruno Mountain Golden Aster - a low, yellow daisy-like bud
  • and Manzanita

After planting them in a mixture of cactus soil and gardening soil, I gave them a good soak.

And then sat back and enjoyed how pretty it looks! I can't wait to see all the colors in bloom!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Night Randomness

The strongest of all warriors are these two—Time and Patience.
~Leo Tolstoy

I'm in the middle of doing homework this evening and ran into this quote from War and Peace. I think this might be my new favorite.

Oh, and here's a picture of my cat, she's definitely a favorite as well... and has lots of time on her hands... but isn't really patient.

Alright, that's enough procrastination - back to homework!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bestest Birthday Present

My sweet wonderful niece, Ava Mae, said "Happy Birthday Aunt Sheryl" - bestill my heart!! I love that little girl. I didn't catch the full sentence on video, but here is my precious Ava helping out with the birthday song!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You say it's MY birthday!

Today is my birthday!

Last Saturday I got to celebrate with friends, cake, and table linens.

I got to buy new napkins, break out the wedding china, and arrange flowers. The Victorian in me loved every minute of setting that table.

My wonderful hubby made shrimp gambas, chicken roulade with arugula, feta and roasted red pepper, and lemon pasta.

My fabulous friend, Marsha, got me a Suburban Cowgirl cake, yee haw! It was chocolate with champagne strawberry filling. Um, can we say "yum"?

And of course, the best was just getting to sit down for dinner with my fabulous friends!

I do love a dinner party :-)

Just sharin' a few pics!