Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekends: Whiskeytown

One of the many great things about meeting Rob was that he introduced me to camping! I now love a weekend spent sleeping in a cozy tent, exploring the outdoors and chatting around a fire. 

Rob and I headed up to Whiskeytown this weekend for a mountain bike race and camping trip.  We got in late on Friday night and set up our tent.  Early start on Saturday in order to get geared up for the 9:00 Shasta Lemurian race kickoff.  I spent the morning in the shade catching up on New Yorkers while Rob pedaled in the 90 degree heat.

He finished three hours later covered in a thick layer of mud and dust.  Snuck in this kiss while I was attempting to document the mess!

Yes, you're right that I was fairly overdressed for the Whisketown race crowd.  It's just a cheap maxi dress from Old Navy, sunglasses from Target and a big sun hat...but Rob called it "Emily being Emily."

We sat by the water on one side of the lake and then on the other for the rest of the afternoon. Nice to just rest and too hot to do anything else. In the evening, we caught up with the rest of the riding crew from San Francisco in the campground. Big burger dinner followed by s'mores. Sat around the campfire until about 10:30 and then called it a night.

Slept in until 8:30 on Sunday and joined the crew for breakfast complete with turkey sausage, bacon, french toast, berry compote and scrambled eggs.  Packed up the gear and drove over to Redding to see this adorable baby:

Rob's close-friend Rich lives in Redding with his wife, two boys and adorable 9 month old baby named Jean. We had a fun time hanging out with the kids and eating lunch. Rob raced the boys up and down the road on his mountain bike.

Quick drive back home. I slept through most of it - the heat really wore me out.  Back in the city in time to clean house before Nicole came over. We walked down to the mission for Sunday dinner and ice cream - enjoying the warm night in San Francisco.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earthquake Memorial Dinner

We had our 7th annual 1906 Earthquake Memorial Dinner last Thursday!  13 guests came over for our traditional candlelit meal.  I set the table with dark napkins, the good silver and so many candles:

The menu was in line with tradition too: Tadich Grill-recipe cioppino full of salmon and shrimp served with plenty of sourdough garlic bread. Followed by strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream. It's such an easy meal to prepare. I make the tomato broth  and butter the bread the night before. Before the party, I just had to heat up the broth, add seafood and warm the bread in the oven.

Rob started the party off with a quiz about triage during an emergency. Then we all sat down for dinner and dessert. This is one of my favorite traditions every year!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekends: Circle of Life

Well, this was a big one!  We started the weekend with a funeral and ended it with a brand new baby boy.

On Friday morning, I took Jean and Trent to the flower market to buy supplies. Trent's uncle passed away a few months ago and a massive group of people were coming to town to celebrate his life. His aunt asked me to help with the flowers. Jean was really excited to find fiddlehead ferns for sale:

We loaded up the car with flower supplies. I barely fit alongside the baby seat:

The three of us made 12 tabletop arrangements and three very large altar arrangements from blossoming branches, green hydrangea, yellow and white garden roses, young almond branches, white stock and orchids:

Back to work at noon for a busy Friday in the office. Rob and I had pizza delivery for dinner that night.

I spent Saturday morning at the hair salon. It was a gorgeous warm day. Check out this happy city dog I saw on my way out:

Back home to clean house and take occasional breaks to read in the sun on the porch. Rob returned home from a big bike ride and we walked over to Jordan's house. Oops, we thought their housewarming party was on Saturday, but it was actual Sunday. It was fun to catch up for a while on the stoop anyway!

In the afternoon,  Rob and I lazily watched Django Unchained and worked on our taxes (our accountant filed an extension).  We went to bed early with no idea about the 3:30 am text we'd get from Trent and Jean at the hospital. Rob and I dressed quickly and drove down to Palo Alto:

We arrived at Stanford Hospital at 4:30 am and Jean called me into the delivery room at 5:00. I helped with her labor for two hours until baby boy Everett was born weighing in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 21 inches. Amazing! She did the whole thing with no meds:

Breakfast together in the maternity ward while the baby was off acing his  first exams.  We had a nice little chat when he arrived back in the room:

Rob and I drove back to Jean and Trent's apartment to take the dogs for a walk and catch an hour of sleep before my parents arrived from San Luis Obispo. Jean got upgraded to a private maternity suite and we had lunch in the cafeteria.

We left them at the hospital to rest in the afternoon and drove back to the city.  Another nap at home (I don't do well with 3:30 wake ups) and a mani-pedi down the street. A busy, happy week ahead!

Monday, April 15, 2013

What to Wear: Black & White for Spring

Inspired by Louis Vuitton's black and white checks for spring, I picked up a mod little black and white dress at Club Monaco a couple weeks ago. It's a super fun piece to wear to the office this April:

Jacket - I'm too chicken to invest in a quality leather jacket. This coral number from Theory breaks the bank, but is so gorgeous!
Dress - Striped jersey dress with an exposed zipper from Club Monaco for $150. The hourglass silhouette adds curves to my stick figure. A much better deal than Louis Vuitton!
Clutch - A foldover basic from Forever21 for $19
Shoes -1960's style low pumps are a lady-like match for work and so much more comfortable than platforms. $60 from DSW.
Glasses - Retro readers.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekend: Pool Time

Rob and I kicked off the weekend with two startup parties on Friday night. First, a big product launch party at my office. Then, a tiny startup's office-warming party in Berkeley. My company was this size (7 people) when I started, now we're 260!

Jean and Trent invited us to spend the weekend with them, hanging out by the pool. Rob left early Saturday morning to bike to Palo Alto and I stayed home to bake cookies. As I have mentioned before my baking is fraught with technical errors...and this was no exception. I accidentally used twice the amount of butter when making chocolate chip cookies. The final result was delicious. A chewy, brussels-style cookie that we dubbed the "double butter."

I ate about 10 during the baking process for quality control. Had an easy favorite for lunch: avocado with balsamic, olive oil and sea salt:

Continuing to only be moderately productive, I took a long bath and spent a good amount of time deciding on an outfit for the pool party:

Drove down to Palo Alto. Rob beat me there by about 15 minutes. We helped prep for the party and met Jean and Trent's friends by the pool at their apartment complex.  Jean is at 38 weeks in her pregnancy and ready for it to be finished.

BBQ dinner out by the pool.  When the guests left, we spent the rest of the night watching HBO Go online and relaxing.  On Sunday morning, Jean made us a giant breakfast with pancakes and an egg scramble.  Her dog, Porter, is being accidentally adorable in this photo:

After breakfast, we walked over to the Stanford campus to visit the Rodin sculpture gardens and then over to the fancy shopping center. Jean started to get worn out and was having the occasional, irregular contraction.

Back home to their apartment in time for our brother Joe and nephew Cameron to arrive for a visit from Sacramento. We had another BBQ meal next to the pool together and caught up on old times. Rob and Trent went for a quick bike ride in the afternoon. We drove back to the city at 7:00. The annual earthquake memorial party is coming up later this week - so there's lot to be done!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Weekends: Balance

This weekend was pretty ideal! I started Friday night with the black tie dinner for the Bay Area Tumor Institute. It was held at the Ritz-Carlton ballroom, so fancy.  A very elegant affair with my company's table easily coming in at 40 years below the average guest age.

I love award ceremonies in all forms. This one combined excellent food, live music, dancing, speeches and really pretty flowers:

Our group walked up the hill to the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel after the dinner ended. This famous (infamous?) tiki bar is centered around the hotel's former swimming pool, barely disguised as a "lagoon" complete with tropical rain storms and a band floating on a tiny raft. It's pure camp and classic San Francisco.  Cab home at midnight.

It was cold and rainy on Saturday morning - perfect for a very lazy day. I really needed to take a "sick day" after the busy-ness of last weekend and a tough week at work.  Breakfast in pajamas, lunch at the neighborhood sushi restaurant with Rob. I proceeded to nothing but nap, watch episodes of Cheers on demand and have a hot bath while he ventured out in the afternoon for some mountain biking - and came home caked in mud from head to toe:

Casual home cooked dinner. My favorite broccoli pasta:

At 9:30, we took a taxi over to the inner richmond for a friend's birthday party. The bar, Buckshot, was a far cry from the Ritz. It's full of arcade games and taxidermy animal heads!  Cheap drinks and good conversation around a picnic table:

Slept in a bit on Sunday morning. Rob brought me the paper, tea and cereal in bed - my favorite!  Determined to not have another very lazy day - Rob and I drove across town for a hike on Mt. Davidson.  It was a lovely, moorish hike in the heavy mist and fog, surrounded by wildflowers and ferns:

We explored all the tiny trails and muddy hills for a couple hours. Amazing that this is right inside the city!

Back at home, I made a pot of pozole chili for the busy week ahead.

In the late afternoon, Rob and I took the car over to Seth and Amy's house for Sunday supper.  Hung out with their girls and enjoyed a delicious meal of steak, brussels sprouts and quinoa. Their two year old adorably thinks that my name is "Robinemly" since we're always referred to together.  We ended the evening with the world's most amazing pie:

It may look a little rough, but the country peach and berry pie with creme fraiche from Chile Pies blew our minds. We couldn't help ourselves and ate the whole thing! Back home in the rain.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

What to Wear: Black Tie Fundraiser

Alright, votes are in and the gold dress is your winner for tomorrow's black tie work event.  I purchased a clutch and shoes tonight for a dress rehearsal:

My hair and makeup are a little sloppy - but you get the idea. I was worried that the bow on the back made it too fun for a work event, but it looks okay:

It's a lot of sparkle for a $15 vintage dress!

Monday, April 01, 2013

What to Wear: Black Tie Work Event

I completely forgot about a black tie event this Friday night. Luckily, I have a collection of gowns on hand. Unluckily, it's a work event and most of my vintage pieces seem a little too funky for the occasion.

I would love to pick the brocade dress on the left - I got it for $15 at a store in Carmel and haven't worn it out yet - but the white sheath on the right - I had it made for the last Black & White Ball - is a better match (after a good ironing). A fun problem to have! Which would you pick?