Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The big 4

Well, it's official...I have been a mom for 4 years.  Ok, a little shy of that but who is really counting?  

Today Lola turns 4.  Regardless of her crazy separation anxiety and complete fear of anything that beeps I plan to keep her around for another year ;).  She truly is the greatest little friend anyone could ever ask for and we are definitely lucky to have her snuggles and love every day.  

On the run from the start!
A day at the art fest was just a little exhausting for the little munchkin.
"hi, I'm Lola and I am VERY cute!" (just look how tiny that nose was-for the record, she was all of 2.5 lbs when I got her!)
It got a little ridiculous trying to go anywhere with her when she was a puppy!  Guys, if you need to meet girls, pick up a little pomeranian puppy!
"Oh, hi again.  I am still VERY cute and intend to stay this way so you will continue to spoil me rotten"

I could post a zillion more pictures of the little monster but I will stop.  After all, we have birthday festivities to get to...a trip to the dog store down the street, a run with mom and dad and some quality snuggle time.  Dad even promised a game of hand fight when he gets home from work.  What a lucky little birthday girl.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long weekend recap

In true "stephanie on the move" fashion I will be recapping yet another jam packed, fun filled weekend!  

Friday we rested up for the busy weekend ahead and just cooked dinner and had date night at home.

Saturday...we finally made the trip and picked up a new (and first) grill.  After reading about a zillion reviews and joining consumer reports (woo hoo!) Scott picked out the best grill for us. However, by the time we drove out of the city to get it, fight Home Depot crowds and collect all of the "must have" accessories we were too beat to put it together so it stayed in the garage.  

Plus, we had GREAT plans on Saturday night.  In our quest to visit new areas of the city and try new restaurants we journeyed to North Beach.  Scott treated to me to a FABULOUS dinner at The House.  But, we need to back up.  We started the night at a bar that has been open since Prohibition called Tony Niks.  It was fun to try somewhere new before heading out for dinner.

Look...I actually drink something other than champagne!
The House...

Ok, back to The House.   If you have the opportunity, pay a visit, but make sure to make a reservation as it is TINY.  The tininess adds to the experience though.  The food was absolutely phenomenal.  You must get the salmon egg rolls as an appetizer (and the eel appetizer if you like eel).  The portions were very generous for the cost and everything was beyond my expectations.  Only was clear that they were trying to turn tables as I felt a little rushed to order, eat, and get out.  All in all, a wonderful night...thanks to Scott for planning it for us :).
Had to make sure we got Scott (on the way home in the cab)

Sunday Funday.  In preparation for our half marathon Scott and I set out for our 4.5 mile run in Golden Gate Park.  We managed to wander our way around the park and eventually warm up (it is officially summer in San Francisco-cold and foggy) and see some great areas of the park. Afterwards, we were HUNGRY so we headed out for a little sushi at a restaurant Scott noticed on the way in (and also had heard was some of the best sushi in the city).  Well, let's just say our food luck continued.  Ebisu was absolutely heavenly.  The fish was to die for and melted in our mouths.  It was a great post run pick-me-up.
Post run...getting ready for my sushi
Scott too (the decor here was really great too)

After lunch...Andronico' (yes, mom, better than Dierbergs by a landslide-beats Whole Foods too)!  Enough said.  

Sunday we finally rallied and put together the grill.  One of my favorite things to do is assemble.  Furniture, grills, kid toys, anything that comes in pieces!  

Monday we took Miss Lola along for our run at Crissy Field and then had the Strand fam over to break in the grill.
Scott tuning it up for the maiden grill.
Here she is.  Note the beverage tray the pops out of the front-very handy!
Lola on the move! (she got a hair cut this weekend-isn't she pretty?!)
Enjoying the sun that finally came out
Miss Sue managing her recordings on TV (what are you watching, Kayla?)
BARNEY of course!
Little Tanner is growing SO fast!
Kayla and Scott playing in the bed (if you're happy and you know it pat the bed!)
Lola was beat after the long weekend...time for bed mom and dad!

More fun next weekend...stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Breaking my rules...

I have always said this blog is not going to be a blubber fest gushing about my relationship. And I intend to hold to that, but I do have to share one thing...

My flowers.  Scott has taken to making sure we/I have fresh flowers in the house pretty much all the time.  They pop up unexpectedly and always make me smile.  He likes to give me trouble because I was once caught saying how silly I think flowers are because they just die.  I guess this is because I didn't get them and now I am whistling a different tune.  There is something pretty wonderful about having Scott walk through the door with a huge bouquet for me.  It never gets old.

Ok, that's it.  The end.


So, as I mentioned, I now have a job five days a week.  While sitting in a cube/office every day is pretty exciting, I think this "work" is much more fulfilling!  

A typical week involves a few trips to the Y for jungle gym (lots of toys and a bouncy castle), swimming, parks, grocery store, breakfast with Enzo, a few miscellaneous errands, and most recently, THE ZOO!  

Scott's favorite

Clearly I ended up being the most excited for the zoo this week.  Although I will say Kayla gave me a run for my money sprinting (as fast as a 16 month old can) around the gorilla area doing her best impression.  It might be the cutest thing ever, but somehow Chrissie and I both failed to capture it on camera (not for lack of trying).  Next time we will get it (Chrissie is now a zoo member so we get to go frequently!).  Who knew the zoo could be so exciting?  I didn't but I sure do recommend a visit to your local zoo.  
All that animal watching tuckered little Kayla out.  

Jax pays a visit

This past weekend I had my first visitor to my new home of San Francisco!  Jax made the journey out for Bay to Breakers (we didn't end up doing it, more on that later) and we were able to catch up and also celebrate her engagement!  CONGRATULATIONS!  

After diving right into the "bridal folder" and evaluating potential wedding dresses, colors, bridesmaids dresses and all the other fun details that go into planning a wedding, Jax and I headed out for dinner in the Marina.  While Boulder has great sushi for being landlocked, Jax was anxious for some coastal fare so we went to Ace Wasabi and stuffed ourselves full of fish, beer, and sake! For any of those looking for a good recommendation, Ace Wasabi is fabulous. Great food, and great atmosphere.  I even hear they have Bingo during happy hour! 
Why go home when you can go to the Final Final?!  We decided to head up the road to meet Scott and Kyle (they were at the Giants game that night) for a nightcap and enjoy the old neighborhood (well, for Scott and Kyle anyway).  

Saturday, what else, Napa!  Obviously it is a place that Scott and I enjoy and we wanted to share that with Jax.  Plus, we get free champagne so we needed to take advantage and keep the celebration going.  
BUBBLES!  The best way to start a day in Napa.
The caves at Nickel & Nickel
Yes, Scott was there too!
Jax and me checking out her ring.  (ps-It ended up being 104 in Napa Saturday...a little toasty!)

As you can imagine, by the time we finished up in Napa we were all beat from two days of being on the go.  SO, the pizza man was called and we enjoyed a gorgeous night in the city chatting on the front stairs and stuffing our faces!  This is also when the decision was made to skip Bay to Breakers.  Dealing with 60,000 people and starting up the ol' liver again just didn't seem appealing.  Plus, sleeping in was a very nice plus of skipping the race.

As a result, we had a nice little Sunday touring Noe and spending some time browsing the shops on 24th and again, enjoying the unseasonal gorgeous weather.  

In conclusion...another great weekend in the great city of San Francisco! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I love running, I love running, I love running, I love running, I love running, I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running,I love running...

Maybe if I say it enough, it will come true?! For some reason I have never taken to running. Sure, I occasionally have a run that feels effortless and pain free, but 98% of the time, I am wondering when it is going to end!  Sounds a little strange for someone who has been doing triathlons for the past 5 years, huh?  Clearly this is why I am not competitive and just do it to stay in shape.

Such is the case with the 1/2 marathon I just signed Scott and I up for!  As I mentioned, we are off to Hawaii in August, so, what better way to get in shape than forced running?!  We will be doing the San Francisco half marathon at the end of July.  It forces my "bikini bod" to peak a bit early but hey, then I just have to maintain!  

This is all so sad, but true!  I am running because, let's face it, most runners look great!  Nice long, lean legs.  So, long and lean, here I come!  

Wish us luck (and knee health-we are both going to struggle with this)!

Jax and me after Longhorn 70.3 (ends in a 1/2 marathon...I figure if I can do it after a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike, I can do it by itself!).  It is a bummer I can't have Jax in San Francisco for the next two months to push me along on my long runs!  Couldn't have done 70.3 without her!

Where have we been?!

As usual...doing a bit of everything!  

Let's start with last week's activities.  I started my "full/part time" job with the Strand fam.  I now GET to watch Miss Kayla and Mr. Tanner EVERY DAY!!!  I can't really think of anything more fabulous than spending each day with those cute little faces (and of course Chrissie!).  

Thursday I had a "work dinner".  I'm telling you, this is one demanding job!  Ok, enough of that funniness...Scott and I headed over Thursday evening for a night of blind wine tasting and some catching up.  We did a tasting like I have never done before...3 wines, all from the same vineyard, same grape, but different years.  Scott picked a 1990, 1999, and 2000 Bordeaux for the tasting.  It was really neat to see what a difference years can make.  AND guess what?  I actually got all the years in order!  I was told not to brag, but I am terrible at blind tastings so I was pretty impressed with myself! 

Friday, the fun continued with a trip down the peninsula for some Burmese food (Indian/Thai-like) with Robert and Karina.  Robert provided a great deal of color for the evening and it was great to catch up with Karina!  
Robert after a day at Sam's and the Final.

Saturday (do we EVER rest?!)...birthday party.  Complete with a jumpy castle, train cake, and BBQ.  I guess I should mention this party was for a three year old.  It was a great day to catch up with more friends (and get a sunburn).  
Tommy volunteered Scott to brave the jumpy castle with the kiddos.
This pretty much sums up how it went!!

Sunday we decided our little girl needed some good exercise so we took her along for our trip to Baker Beach.  We ended up taking a little hike to the bridge and back.  It was a nice workout and gorgeous way to spend Mother's Day.

Not an ugly place!
Me and my little girl!
Family photo

Our lovely day continued with an impromptu, surprise dinner.  Scott whipped up some reservations and we headed out to Town Hall.  We realized we live in a city where there are zillions of incredible restaurants and we continue to visit our same sushi place every week.  We won't be abandoning that any time soon, but we have made a decision to try and get to a different area of the city at least once a week to try some new places out!  
Champagne...surprise, surprise!

Our dinner was SO good and we definitely ate until we couldn't eat any more!  If you ever pay a visit, the veal meatball appetizer is incredible...thanks to Kristina and Nick for that recommendation!  

It was a full week with lots of fun and, of course, amazing company!  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese

On Thursday Chrissie and I cooked up some mac n cheese with a little twist.  The recipe came from Cooking Light (click to see recipe, nutrition info, etc...) but I don't really think I would classify it as "light".  Regardless it is REALLY good so I thought I would share the recipe.  

A few notes:
*if you want it a little spicier, leave some of the seeds in the chipotle pepper, otherwise take them ALL out!
*I use fat free ingredients instead of the "low fat" and it turns out the same
*easiest if you do all of your measuring ahead of time (cheese, chopping, etc...) as it all happens really fast


  • 1  (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  butter
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped onion
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1  (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 4  cups  hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1  cup  1% low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1  cup  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1  large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 3  tablespoons  dry breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from can; set aside. Remove 2 chipotle chiles from can; finely chop to measure 1 tablespoon. Reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped chiles, onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Add reserved 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, pasta, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, milk, Parmesan, and egg; stir to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


Well, the weather decided not to cooperate so no bike ride for me today :(.  I guess I will set up the trainer and pretend I am outside.  
I wonder if Scott will think this is a good addition to the living room decor?
My first piece of Giants gear!

A few movie reviews (I have been watching lots of chick flicks with Scott gone):

Bride Wars-about 100 times better than the previews made it out to be.  Not my favorite girl movie of all time, but entertaining for a night home alone.

House Bunny-AWFUL!!  Beyond awful.  Not clever, or entertaining.  Almost painful to watch. I don't know if I expected more or what, but I was appalled that it was THAT bad.

Not much else to report...

Saturday, May 2, 2009


This week has been a rather relaxing one.  Tuesday night brought plenty of excitement, though, with my first Giants game!!  You really can't beat baseball, a hot dog, and a beer (or a few).  
Pre game beer at MoMo's.  Pointing out my St. Louis loyalty!!

So here is the deal...I live here now and Giants baseball is something that will without a doubt be a huge part of my life so I am officially jumping on the orange and black bandwagon. HOWEVER, I can say with 99% certainty my true loyalty will always be to the Cardinals and I will always be sporting my red when they are in town!  I think this is a pretty fair compromise. In fact, it is kind of fun to have two home teams :).  I am anxious to share the Cardinals baseball institution with Scott so he can why I am so obsessed (although I wish we could go back in time to old Busch...that's where my memories lie). 

We ended up collecting about 5 or 6 of these cups! (ps-why do these "self portraits" always turn out terrible when I take them?!)

The game was great fun and I am excited to attend many more!

In other news...we are officially going to Hawaii!!!!  Tickets are booked, hotel is booked and we are off (in 4 months).  This is going to be one long countdown but at least I have plenty of time to get in swimsuit shape :).  After a San Francisco summer (which I hear is foggy most of the time) I think I will be more than ready to hit the beach.  

This weekend Lola and I are "baching it" while Scott is in Palm Springs golfing.  We have had one wild weekend of chick flick watching, ordering take out, and house cleaning!  Tomorrow I am off on my first bike ride since moving to San Francisco.  Kind of strange not to have been on my bike in six months!!  I think it was a good break because now I am SUPER excited to get out and ride.  I think when I was training for 70.3 I got a little burnt out as my mentality went from, "I get/want to ride" to "I have to ride".  Tomorrow I get to ride and I get to do it at whatever pace I want and just enjoy taking in the scenery the bay area has to offer.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Then, after the big ride (ok, short, easy ride!) I get to pick Scott up!  Excited to have him home...