Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Candy Stripes


I had just enough time for this post in front of our sacred Indian rock near home. I've been cramming in some writing, running, and running last minute errands like gathering bakery rolls, marble popcorn, and making a veggie tray for Thanksgiving. This will be my first Thanksgiving in 10 years with family! That sounds horrible doesn't it?! But that's why I'm super thankful for it!! It is also the first time EVER I will be bringing a guy around too for a holiday with my family! Double thankful!

I've never braved the early shopping hours for Black Friday,
& this Friday will be no different. 
I'll be on my way to Oregon again so soon!
My friend / former roommate gifted me a ticket to the Civil War game to see my alma mater 
Oregon vs. Oregon State!
 I'm super excited to be headed back up to my old college town and favorite restaurants. 
I may just make a whole Northwest vacation out of it and hit up the Oregon Coast, Portland, & Seattle while I'm at it!! 
So I may not be able to post very much next week. 

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 21, 2011


We received some harvest goodies from our neighbors this week including persimmons and a homemade sweet potato pie! We are also hosting a blue-eyed furry beauty in our home this week, but my green-eyed feline has not been the perfect host. So I'll be enjoying some pie, while mediating the battles between the princesses!

Have a great Thanksgiving week!

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Breaking News & Where I'm at...

I thought it was about time to share a bit of my personal life, answer some questions you may have been wondering, and tie it in to some current local events that recently made national news.

Burned barn off Highway 267 between Truckee and Sierraville.

Why Cal- Nev?

Technically my address reads California, but I spend a good portion of my time in Nevada seeing as Reno is the closest city for shopping, and I cross the California border patrol less than five miles away. Which is frequently since our expensive little community charges $4.29 for a gallon of gas versus $3.69 in Reno. This is also the case for groceries and other amenities. Plus, a new special person in my life also lives in the Carson City / Reno area.

How it all ties together...

It started on September 7th when I drove home for lunch and turned on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (not an everyday event), but as I was prepping a tuna sandwich, I heard a Breaking News report about a gunman who went into the Carson City IHOP and starting shooting throughout the restaurant and parking lot. It stuck with me being only an hour away and knowing it would make national news. I turned up the volume and watched the report, without realizing I was probably staring at the man I would meet just a week later.

I wasn't really ready to meet anyone seriously. I was still grieving a broken relationship that I wasn't even fully sure in my heart was closed. But I also didn't see any point in letting myself becoming a spinster either, and figured it would do me some good to get out there. So I signed up on again more out of curiosity, and eager to get out of the house so my parental figures wouldn't drive me crazy.


Because I don't go to the bars, if I did I wouldn't want to meet anyone there for a serious thing. Girls want to feel special and I hate to be hit on. I'm not a forward or aggressive girl, therefore never pick up on a guy. Though I've always had the fantasy of meeting someone at a book store, let's face it... it rarely happens. So, it becomes easier to browse the local area like an online shopping cart. First "the item" has to grab your eye, then you have to read scrutinize the description. Let's just say the whole caliber of men in my current location is.... hmmm.... slightly different then what I was used to in South Florida, not that it's a bad thing, just very different. But after a couple of weeks of browsing and just about to blow the whole thing off, there was a reserved guy that expressed some interest in me, and I thought he may be worth at least meeting. He was wearing my favorite outfit in his photo, just a plain white tee and jeans. He had the high receding hair line I've always been secretly attracted to. He had a kind smile and dreamy arms.

So on September 16th, as I was nervously rushing to get ready to meet him face-to-face for the first time on a Friday after work, Mom yelled at me while I was curling my hair. There was another Breaking News report, this time it was a crash at the Reno Air Races. That's how I remember when we met... within the hour of the crash at the Reno Air Races.

I had butterflies in my stomach when we met at Sand Harbor Beach on Lake Tahoe, mainly because it was my first 'first' date in about four years. I never thought when I first stepped foot on the beautiful Sand Harbor Beach two years prior or returned two weeks prior that I would be meeting someone for the first time there who would become an important part of my near future.

He was a little rough around the edges, a former competitive bull rider. Super easy to talk to, mellow, and I knew I instantly liked him. As the sun set behind the mountains glimmering over the lake, he told me he was part of Carson City's law enforcement and confided in me that he was one of the first few to arrive on scene to the IHOP shooting the week before, and how devastating it was to walk into the restaurant within a mile from home and see the innocent people laying there before any ambulance had arrived. His eyes captivated me and I knew I was smitten after a few short hours.

The past couple of months have flown by, and I'm feeling more settled in this area, which I never thought would happen nor planned on making this area a permanent stop. After all, I'm accustomed to wearing flip-flops year round... but as the months have gone by I've grown to love segments of Reno more and more, and I'd finally come to love a particular area where I could have maybe seen wanting to put down some roots.

Until the night before last, as the high winds kept me up from falling pine cones hitting our roof. This storm we were bracing gave me an unsettling feeling. I woke and discovered more Breaking News of the exact neighborhood I'd been scouting last week with hopes to possibly move to was in a state of emergency due to a 400 acre wildfire, not to mention one of the streets where my guy sold his house one year ago. Though his old house suffered only a little bit of charred paint... but 25 other homes nearby were burned completely, and the neighborhood I thought about settling in is no longer on my radar.

As far as my next chapter, it's still very much up in the air... but just thought I'd share what's really been going on in my life the past few months.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Kate Spade

Holiday Wish List

We're just one week away from the biggest shopping day of the year! Black Friday. With winter on it's way, I'm thinking lots of color from the Kate Spade collection would gear up any girl for the holidays! It is a wish list after all...

The Flicker Melinda bag ($345) would be a great choice for beating the winter blues.
The problem is deciding between dark spearmint, berry, or firefly!

Left: Crystal Kaleidoscope Bangle $178. Right: Latrice shoes $298.

From top left counterclockwise: Short bow gloves $125, Karolina shoes in Dark Spearmint $298, 
Prizeball Thermos $35, & Karolina shoes in Berry $298.

What's on your wish list?

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sir Francis Drake

Travel Thursday

I've got San Francisco on my mind with the Write-a-thon this weekend, though it doesn't look like I will be attending, though I'm officially over the half-way mark on the novel in just two short weeks! However, I did want to share one of my favorite places in the city... the Sir Francis Drake hotel, a Kimpton Hotel in Union Square.

I treated my Mom a few years back celebrating a landmark birthday, and we had such an amazing time! Nothing says girl's night like cocktails on the 21st floor overlooking the city at Harry Denton's Starlight Room. Anytime I go to San Francisco, the Sir Francis Drake is at the top of my wish list for places to stay.


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Monday, November 14, 2011

Work Space

Happy Monday! Yes, it's pretty happy for me in fact. After waiting about 5 long years, I've finally made a commitment... to a desk and chair! I'm so excited... Plus, I had an interview this morning with Vail Resorts, and crossing my fingers for the job. Who has heard of "ski breaks" for a benefit? (Two hour ski break on the slopes!) Sweet!

Details about the work space:
Desk - Micke from IKEA
Chair - Verner from IKEA
Recycled pencils & Flower Pencil from Anthropologie
Snow Postcards & magnet of Chenonoceau (my French inspiration for Photography Getaways & the chateau I was driving to when I had my fender bender in France).
Mason Jars from my dad's canning goodies.
Little penguin from my sister-in-law.
Bamboo with rocks from the Oregon coast.
Rocks from Mono Lake.
A copy of when I was in the Good Morning America crowd from the Royal Wedding.
One drawer for my photography card making, I store my photos in a Magnolia Bakery box from NYC.
A drawer for writing inspiration, including a draft of the first portion of the first novel I started.

Have a great week!

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Friday, November 11, 2011


Happy Friday!

Hope everyone has a great weekend in store. Here are some of my favorite internet findings this week...

12 Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments & Decorations

Glamour in the Skies: Behind the Scenes at Virgin Atlantic Stewardess / Steward Training Facility.
Only red lipstick allowed!

Making Me Hungry! : From Emeril's Table this week - Chicken Cutlets in Dijon-Tarragon Sauce with Classic Lyonnaise Potatoes. Also the standard salad dressing that takes me back to France. Shallots, dijon mustard, and one part red wine vinegar to three parts olive oil. Mmm!

Ladies... Can it get any better than baking bread with Martha Stewart & People's 2008 Sexiest Man Alive -Hugh Jackman? I'd vote for him every year.

I'm over 20,000 words on the novel! So excited, and having a blast writing. Next Sunday is the Write-a-thon for National Novel Writing Month in San Francisco. I'm trying to raise $250 by then to benefit young writing programs.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oregon Coast II

Wildlife on the Coast

Here is another series of photos from my Oregon Coast Getaway... 

Have a peaceful day!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Villa Saint Exupery Gardens

Nice, France
Travel Tuesday

It occurred to me that I never shared one of the best bargains of France. After traveling solo staying in a Kensington Flat in London courtesy of HomeAway Vacation Rentals, in an architect's home with a charming English garden in a neighborhood covered with wisterias in Ozzy Osbourne's first wife's neighborhood of Birmingham, my own 17th Arrondisment Paris apartment, an old chateau turned fencing museum turned into the affordable but peaceful Chateau des Sablons, then the quaint Les Quatre Pins B&B in Dordogne... I finally decided to try a hostel in Nice.

Photo via

I spent less than $100 dollars for 3 nights, and had a fantastic time. Of course, Villa Saint Exupery Gardens (an old monastery turned hostel) set the standards high for my first hostel experience, as it was in beautiful Nice, and rated The #1 Hostel in France in 2010. The food was fantastic, affordable, and so easy to meet people in the dining/ bar area.

In this month's newsletter, they mentioned they had 2 marriage proposals there this year, 3 babies born from parents who met at the villa, 148 couples still going strong after visiting, and millions of friends who've stayed in touch over Facebook. I realized I was one of those statistics as I am also now Facebook friends with two fabulous girls I met during my stay.

Point is... if you want to do the French Rivera in an affordable fashion... Villa Saint Exupery Gardens is definitely the way to go! If I had designed the rest of my trip to Europe this way, I may have never come back!

Happy Traveling!

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Author Interview

I'm very excited to be able to share my author interview with you! Many people have asked questions about my book, 'Running Away to ...