Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 243: August 30, 2011

Tonight was a champagne night. 
Every night should be a champagne night.
I absolutely do not understand when I hear that someone doesn't like sparkling wine. I know that not everyone has the same taste in beverages...but it's just so good!

We popped a delicious bottle of bubbly from J, ordered pizza, and watched our full wedding video for the first time. Such a fantastic night!

"I drink champagne when I'm happy, and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it...unless I'm thirsty." -Lilly Bollinger

My sentiments exactly!

Yesterday I was thankful for champagne. Today I am thankful for champagne. And tomorrow I will be thankful for champagne.

Guest Blogger: Mike's Thanks

This post is courtesy of my friend Mike. You might know him from here. But he's more famous for his engagement stint on youtube.(If I could only find the link! Boo!)To my knowledge, this is his first stab at blogging, so feel privileged, people! Thanks Fujii!

It's all about me!  It's finally my turn and I'm going to tell you like it is.  I've been waiting, and waiting for Emily to ask that I join in on the festivities and write my entry for her blog.  She finally did after some encouragement from her hubby…and campaigning from my wife…and a few Hail Cesar bloody Marys.   Anyway, all I'm saying is, it's about time!  After finally getting the nod for a contribution, I started talking to Stephanie, my wife, about some possible ideas.  We discussed the upcoming football season's benefits to humanity (this is before we heard about the thugs and gangsters shooting and fighting each other at the 49ers vs. Raiders game).  Then we talked about golf, Taiko, our home, bowling and a few other things that I am thankful for; but nothing really spoke to me (I do only have one entry into this one year blog so I want to make sure this ONE is really indicative of what I'm thankful for).  I continued the thought process over the next few days and it started to dawn on me that pretty much everything we discussed and that crossed my mind had one common theme.  
Today I am thankful for friends and family.
Without my friends and family, I don't have anyone to suggest me as a guest writer, or accept me as one for that matter.  I don't have anyone to discuss my ideas with or enjoy football seasons, rounds of golf, great bowling scores, home or my awesome dog with.  Honestly, giving high fives and screaming at my favorite teams' games, myself or others doesn't feel quite right without another participant.  Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with individuals I have the highest respect for and with whom I thoroughly enjoy spending my time.  No matter what we decide to do, whether it is just sitting back and relaxing for a moment or going out for an epic vacation, I appreciate, respect and couldn't enjoy life without them. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 242: August 29, 2011

Today I am thankful for "Waterfalls" by T.L.C. 

The moment I hear the opening beats I am instantly reminded of a slumber party with my favorite girls in 1995 or 1996. I have heard the song thousands of times, but I always go back to that same night. It probably has something to do with the fact that we played it over and over and over again. Yes, that's definitely it.

The memory is so clear in my mind that I can hardly believe it was fifteen years ago. Time flies when you're having fun, I guess! I can see the five of us, circled up in front of the stereo in the living room of my house, playing Chinasa. We knew every word. My Dad knew every word after that night. There were fits of laughter induced by my family's rapping Dad's: hilarious, mine star-worthy. ;)

Just a weekly slumber party, a normal night in the life of a Mandro, but forever ingrained in my mind.
Pretty awesome.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 241: August 28, 2011

Today I am thankful for a made bed.

Because no matter what state of disarray the rest of my home (or life) is in, when the sheets are tightly tucked in and the pillows are placed "just so", everything seems more right.
So, I make my bed every day, and every night when I slide under the covers, I am thankful.
Two minutes well spent!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 240: August 27, 2011

Today I am thankful for butter, sugar, flour. 

Are there any other ingredients that fit together quite as seamlessly?
When those three get together, the outcomes are endless...and almost always delicious.

Today I made these beauties~ Lemon Ice Cream Sandwiches with Blueberry Swirl.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 239: August 26, 2011

Alright, this is not a glamorous post, nor is it exciting in anyway. But sometimes the things I am thankful for in life are simple, everyday things that make my days easier.

Today I am thankful for the new trash and recycling cans in Golden Gate Park.

I have always said that there are not enough trash cans in that place! Puppy and I walk there all the time and I end up walking much too far than I care to carrying a bag of Zoe poop. (Hey, I gave you fair warning that this post was not glamorous!)
There are now perfectly spaced trash and recycling bins, and I couldn't be happier!
It's the little things!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 238: August 25, 2011

We took ourselves out to the ball game tonight and had so much fun! I scored some crazy awesome seats from my boss and got a glimpse of the good life. The bleacher seats will never be the same after seeing the view from these seats.

While I sat in the said fabulous seats, the Giants announcer's voice boomed over the loud speaker. But maybe 'boomed' is not a very good descriptor because her voice is just so darn lovely.

The cheers from the bleacher seats made their way faintly to my ears.

The sea gulls flapped and cawed above.

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was played.

The peanut/Crackerjack/hot dog vendors yelled their sales pitches in the classic style that must be taught in baseball vendor orientation.

The fog horn sounded. (It's San Francisco!)

The bat cracked against the ball.

I am thankful for the sounds of baseball today. And thankful that I have a nice boss with good seats.

I hope she's thankful for the wine I brought her...thankful enough that she'll part with her tickets more often.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 237: August 24, 2011

Today I am thankful for the Bay Bridge at night.

I don't really have anything against it during the day (although it does sort of conjure up thoughts of traffic for some reason), but at night...stunning!
I love its twinkling lights that stretch across the bay. So beautiful!

Day 236: August 23, 2011

Today I'm thankful for salad bars. 

I love eating salad, but I HATE making salad! It requires entirely too much washing, chopping, and ingredient-buying. I am a huge fan of the variety of different salad toppings that the bars provide to dress my lettuce. Jicama, corn, beets, Chinese noodles (oh, yes...I do go there), shredded carrots? Yum-o.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 235: August 22, 2011

Today I am thankful for my bamboo french rolling pin. 

Simple, beautiful, effective.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 234: August 21, 2011

Today I ushered in my twenty-ninth Birthday and so far it feels pretty good! 
We arrived at Foreign Cinema at nine-thirty, ready to conquer that place...but no one was there. 
Trash cans in front of the restaurant, red carpet rolled up in the corner, doors locked. 
The husband had graciously made the reservation days before. For nine-thirty. PM. Oops!

Luckily, Ritual Roasters was right around the corner, so our coffee cups were half-full instead of half-empty! Maybe even all the was full...a latte makes everything great.

Today I am thankful for no reservation. 

Sometimes it takes a little "oops" to make a perfect day. And a perfect day it was!
This is what it looked like:

Hail Caesar

Strawberry Tarragon Pop Tart



Beautiful Birthday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 233: August 20, 2011

I was pretty inspired by the food tour Nick and I took in New York. So inspired that I considered creating one for my city.
Shoot! Someone already thought of that!
Awesome! I get to enjoy it without all the hard work of doing it myself!
Shoot! It's sold out on Saturday! But I Must. Do. It. Now.
So, the Roses took on Hayes Valley. Amateur food tour style.

We were armed with two strong appetites and a rockin' itinerary of drool-inducing eateries.
We had a few snafus (we are amateurs, after all) but we had a great time and can't wait to go back and really master the that the kinks are worked out!

Smitten with Smitten

That's what I call fresh!

Candied jalapeno garnish for the hubs
One of my favorite stops on the tour was Smitten Ice Cream and their made-to-order dessert!

Today I am thankful for Hayes Valley.

I couldn't have chosen a better location for our first self-guided food tour!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 232: August 19, 2011

Today I am thankful for Fridays.

Everything seems to move a little bit slower on Friday. In anticipation of the weekend and the fun that is just around the corner, none of the hassles of the workday seem as annoying. Then there's the "casual" part of Fridays...I usually wear scrubs...uber casual!
Yippee for pre-weekend!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 231: August 18, 2011

Today I am thankful for snails. 

I know they eat gardens and leave trails of slime wherever they pass, but I think they're adorable.
I've heard they aren't too shabby to eat either. 

Day 230: August 17, 2011

Today I am thankful for bowling. 

The shoes...awesome. But gross.
The bowling...awesome. But usually embarrassing.

So fun!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 229: August 16, 2011

Today I am thankful for the stuffed kitty that meows.

My cutest pooch has a stuffed cat that she snatched from my sister's toy chest when she was just a bitty baby dog. It is a black cat that was originally a Halloween toy that has an arched back, looks a little bit scary, and meows when you squeeze it.
For some reason, for Zoe it was love at first meow and it has been her favorite toy since.
The kitty is dying a slow death. She is missing one eye, missing her nose, and she now has quite a pathetic meow. But all of her stuffing is intact (quite a feat as many of her stuffed toys have not fared as well) and kitty can still often be found "snuggling" on Zoe's bed.
Pretty darn adorable. I guess it holds a special place in my heart as well :)

Day 228: August 15, 2011

Today I am thankful for an empty refrigerator. 

I am absolutely starving in my own home, but it looks fantastic!
We always clear our refrigerator out before vacations so we don't waste food, but after this trip we have not had time to restock.
I like the feeling of starting fresh.
"Empty" may not be the best descriptor because half of the shelves are filled with wine...
Do we have a problem?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Blogger: Lindsay's Thanks

This week's guest post is courtesy of my blog swap partner Lindsay from The Boomerang Kid. Thanks Lindsay!

Today I am thankful for the freedom to set my own schedule. 

After years in the corporate world where I had set work hours and no flexibility, I am thankful to be working for myself where I have the freedom to set my own schedule. I still work hard (and sometimes harder) now, but I have the freedom to choose how my day goes.  I can workout in the middle of the day when my energy level is low instead of sitting at my computer wasting time or chugging yet another cup of coffee. I can write at night when the house is quiet and my words flow. I can put in more hours on Monday and Wednesday so that I can hang out with friends at the local water park on a Tuesday (yesterday's fun activity). It can be stressful when I look at all the things I need to accomplish, but the freedom of deciding how and when to tackle the to-do list motivates me to keep going and is something I'm incredibly thankful for!

*Check out Lindsay's blog: The Boomerang Kid to see my post!*

Day 227: August 14, 2011

Today I am thankful for a flight through the clouds. 
I like that even up close, as they zoom by the airplane window, they look like clouds, not just droplets of water. 
I like that when the plane levels out above, you get a view of the tops; they look like mounds of cotton, some wispy and some dense, some gathered like sea foam. 
I like that when you fly through, you get a sense of just how fast the plane is moving, unlike most of the flight when I have an unrealistic feeling of moving slowly. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 226: August 13, 2011

Today I am thankful for new vocabulary. 

I feel like the universe really wanted me to know the word septuagenarian.
It is not a complicated word; I deciphered the definition right away, but it is one that I never would have used before today.
Now I will use it. I don't know when, but it will happen.
Because what are the odds that I would encounter this word twice in one day? I'm not statistical genius, but I feel confident guessing that the odds are low.
Maybe I should ask a septuagenarian...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 225: August 12, 2011

Today I am thankful for family history.

This trip has been filled with it!
We spent part of our day exploring West Point and Garrison, where my Dad grew up. My Dad is a regular historian, so as we drove through the area he would interject random historical facts about the area, the family, and other tidbits he found relevant.

I have not spent much time in the area, but many significant events in my life have taken place there and the Haskell family has a long history.
We visited the West Point Catholic Chapel where I was baptized, the cemetery where my Grandfather is buried, and stopped to take peak at the house where my Dad grew up.

Baptismal font. They had it engraved for my baptism ;)

West Point Cemetery

 I loved walking though my family's history for a day. Learning about the past, and particularly my family's past, uprooting some of the memories and facts always makes me feel a little bit more rooted myself. I suppose when you know where you come from it is more clear as to where you are going.

Love the old photos too! 

Day 224: August 11, 2011

Today I am thankful for brunch.

Breakfast is by far my favorite meal to eat out for because it takes way too long to make myself. But add a touch of lunch in there, and it is pure awesomeness. And by lunch I mean champagne and dessert. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 223: August 10, 2011

Today I am thankful for Broadway.

No matter how many shows I see, I still manage to get goosebumps each time when the show starts.
Today my Grandpa took us to see Anything Goes, which brought back memories of watching my High School perform it when I was in seventh grade! I had forgotten how "De-lovely" the music is!

I am a musical theater lover to my core and I don't think I've ever left a show feeling unsatisfied, but this show was so quintessentially Broadway with the glitz, catchy tunes, lights, tap dancing, and spontaneous breaking into song. I was glued to the stage and downright giddy for the entire three hours.

One of the best parts for me was watching my Grandpa's toes start a tapping as soon as the orchestra started playing the prelude. Clearly, they just don't make music like they used to because those Cole Porter beats really got him moving and put a huge smile on his face.

Love, love, LOVE Broadway!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 222: August 9, 2011

Today I am thankful for fireflies. 

I think they're little bits of magic and one of the only bugs I like. 
They is nothing more romantic and purely Summer than seeing the night dotted with spots of light.
How can I get them to migrate West?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 221: August 8, 2011

Two years ago today Nick and I tied the knot on the shores of Lake Tahoe.
The saying, "time flies when you're having fun" has never rung more true. I can hardly believe it's already been two years, but when I look back at all of the great times and experiences we have shared since we said "I do" I'm surprised that we managed to squeeze it all in.

Today I am thankful for my second year of marriage.

It's been our best yet and I can tell we're just getting started!

Day 220: August 7, 2011

Today I am thankful for family the form of weddings!

I've never been to a family reunion, but something in the words makes me think of warm potato salad and old people. Weird, right?
Well, I attended a reunion of sorts that included absolutely no potato salad and only super crazy and zany Haskell Family fun!

We all had a great time dancing the night away and celebrating the happy couple as they became 
Mr. and Mrs.
The setting was incredible and the company even more so.

Thanks for including us in your big day Mike and Amy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 219: August 6, 2011

Today I am thankful for Grand Central Terminal.

I have been to a lot of train stations in the world and Grand Central is without a doubt one of the most beautiful. I found myself staring up at the teal blue sparkling celestial ceiling and admiring all of the station's intricate details.

The terminal is almost one hundred years old---great design never goes out of style!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 218: August 5, 2011

Today was a perfect, food-filled New York City day. The highlight was the Foods of New York tour that guided us around the neighborhood. I am already dreaming of our next trip so I can try another neighborhood's tour! 

I cannot get enough of this city. There is an energy that just can't be duplicated anywhere else in the world. I'm waiting for someone to gift me a townhouse so I can move here without having to live in a three hundred and fifty square foot apartment. 

Today I am thankful for (and envious of those that live in) Greenwich Village

We started the morning there, sampled a truly ridiculous amount of neighborhood specialties, left briefly to walk the Brooklyn Bridge, then returned to the village that evening because I hadn't had my fill!
The food (oh, the food), the architecture, and the "feel" all tugged at me to linger. So we did. We walked, taking it all in, and hopped from little park to park. 
What a day.

I'm not kidding when I say we ate our way through Greenwich Village. 

My faves:

Joe's Pizza: Simple, classic New York Pizza. We tried the basic tomato and cheese...divine.

Murray's Cheese Shop:  If you look up heaven in the dictionary, this place would come up. I'm totally not kidding. One of the cheeses I tried was up there on my "best cheese ever" list. 

O & Co: Best Olive Oil ever. And I learned so much!

Paticceria Rocco: Holy Cannoli! 

Wafels and Dinges: I'm a sucker for a food truck, and when I saw this Belgian waffle spot on wheels (actually, I smelled it first) I had to have it. I had de bacon-syrup wafel. Scandalous. 

L'arte del Gelato: This place had me reminiscing of Italy. 

Milk and Cookies Bakery: Lots and lots of cookies. And milk, I presume. 

Amy's Bread: Yeasty goodness. 

I could go on and on. But I'm getting hungry again. Just go. And take me with you. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 217: August 4, 2011

Nick and I are in New York City for a couple days and I am so excited to be here! I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it here as it seemed like the Flight Gods were working against us: delayed flight leaving SF, missed connection in Chicago. But both our bodies and our bags arrived (only pieces of our minds made it...the red eye claimed parts). 
I consulted Yelp for a hotel recommendation because I was having a hard time finding a decent spot in the city that I wouldn’t have to sell my soul in order to pay for. Yelp hardly ever lets me down, and this trip is no exception. After several New York experts suggesting Bed and Breakfasts, I redirected my search from hotels to smaller Inns and found the highly recommended Inn on 23rd in Chelsea. This place is right up my alley, an old brick house converted to an Inn with a resident cat greeting guests and mismatched, funky decor. Each room is “themed” (in the most non-creepy way) and when you book your room you choose the room you would like to stay in. We are staying in the Rosewood room with a canopy bed, exposed brick walls, and a strange excess of places to sit. Seriously, there are a lot of chairs in this one room :)  
Today I am thankful for Bed and Breakfasts.
We have stayed in family-run B&Bs all over the world and generally prefer the home-like atmosphere to bigger, chain hotels. In some cases, we have gained charm and quirk at the expense of function, but have always been pleased as punch to do it! 
Shower right next to the tub? No problem...the splashes from Nick’s shower were a much gentler alarm clock than I usually wake up to!  
Bathroom not connected to the room? We can work with that!’s down the hall and across the breakfast room? 
Amazing Inn on the canal in Amsterdam with a penthouse room? Fabulous! Hmm...that stair case is really skinny. And really windy. And my bag weighs seventy-five pounds. Remember that Brittney?
One of my favorite parts is talking with other travelers at the big dining table while eating a home-cooked breakfast and chatting up the Inn Keepers about must-see local sights and restaurants. We always end up having a trip infused with lots of local flare and unplanned experiences. I also love poking around the Inn’s common areas, reading the guest books and checking out the chotchkies that always seem to adorn every nook and cranny.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 216: August 3, 2011

Today I am thankful for my vacuum. 

It's the best vacuum ever. For real. A couple years ago the thirty dollar vacuum I bought in college literally went up in smoke and died. I contemplated buying another thirty dollar vacuum since the first one had worked out pretty well. Or so I thought...
Enter the incredible Dyson Vacuum.
It was kind of life changing when I vacuumed for the first time, I'm not going to lie :)
It sucked up stuff that I did not even know was lurking there. It snatched the pet hair like it was made to do it. Ok, maybe it was made to do it. Whatever. It's amazing.
It almost makes vacuuming fun. Solid investment in my book.

Day 215: August 2, 2011

Today I am thankful for paying house guests.

That's right people, someone is paying to stay at Casa de Rose while we are away on vacation.
After I got over the initial thought that it's super weird to have someone I don't know stay in our home when we aren't here, I was convinced that it was a great idea when I heard how much they were willing to pay! Why did I never think of this before? It's brilliant- a subsidized vacation!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 214: August 1, 2011

Today I am thankful for orchids.

I try to keep one perpetually blooming in my house at all times. They are so simply beautiful but if you look closer, intricate.
They remind me of cats in that the less you pay attention to them, the more they reward you with affection. A little water, some good sun, and the blooms hang for months.

Day 213: July 31, 2011

I spent the day cheering on my hunky husband as he ran the The San Francisco Marathon!

So Proud of him!

Cheering Squad

I met him at miles four, seventeen, nineteen, and finally at twenty-six point two!
He powered through and finished with a smile on his face. Superstar!

Last November my good friend and I rocked the Santa Barbara Marathon (and I use the term "rocked" very loosely). People had said that I would finish one and have the marathon "bug" and want to do another...I don't. That being said, most everything about it was a good experience.  The energy can not be duplicated and the feeling of accomplishment I felt when I drug myself through the finish line was almost enough to inspire a second try. 

Today I am thankful for marathons.

They show you just how strong your body can be, but also that the mind is even stronger.

Nick and I agree that we will most likely leave our marathon-ing as a once in a lifetime experience, but I guess I caught a smidge of the so-called "bug" because I just signed up for the Santa Barbara Half Marathon! Or maybe it's just an excuse to have a weekend in Santa Barbara with friends...