#19- A Jolly Happy Soul!

Edna, our Pleasantly Plump Snow Woman!

Edna, our Pleasantly Plump Snow Woman!


I’m not much of a Snow Bunny these days.  I love the sight of snow, the idea of snuggling up with hot drinks and sitting in a cabin next to the fire as the snow falls outside sounds great.  But if you ask me to spend an extensive amount of tine in the snow…. I’ll politely pass.  Not sure where my internal thermal heater disappeared to, because in my college days I was trekking to Tahoe and snowboarding with the rest of my friends all the time.

But this past Christmas when I jumped out of the car in Truckee, I promptly jumped back in a minute later.  It sounds pretty dumb blonde of me, but I don’t remember it being so cold!  Natalie thought it was great and proceded to frolick without so much as gloves or snowboots on yet.. “Are you crazy?” I hollered at her, sounding like my own mother.

I sat in the car, quietly cursing at myself. How was I going to pull this off?  My memory failing me, this was stop number 3 and attempt number 3 at building this d*mn snowman.  Each time I forgot just how cold it  was outside which was the reason why I kept giving up.   Blake, already flabbergasted with me, had pulled into a parking lot where there was a sparkling, untouched white meadow ahead and a restaurant behind us.  He opted for the bloody Mary.  Natalie & I were on our own.

I got out, put on my mittens that were about 5 inches thick and set to work.  Luckily this time around the snow stuck. And rolled. And grew. Did you know that snow has to be just the right kind of fluffy in order to work? I admit, I googled it.  About 11 months ago I went into snowman building blindly, and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t roll a snowball.


snow woman

We had fun!

I built a snowman in 1988, when I was 6 and it snowed in Fairfield. I guess I should say it was a group effort.  It seemed so easy in my memory!  I’m sure Natalie will say the same thing when she one day brings her kids to the snow to play.  The good news is, we built our Snow Woman, added some flare and viola!  Happy Memory for my 4 year old for a lifetime! #19 is checked off my list!


#29- ink’d

could have taken a nap!

could have taken a nap!

Is it true what they say? Tattoos are addicting.  I don’t really feel compelled to get anymore, but I do know what I would get if I did.  I’ve been tattoo’d a total of 5 times now, which includes the one I recently got as part of my bucket list.  I knew I would get this tattoo for years now, so it wasn’t much contemplation on my part.  It’s nothing remarkable either.

When I was 20, I had a “Jesus Fish” tattooed on my upper left shoulder.  It’s pretty self explanatory as to why, but funny story- every once in awhile a stranger comments to me, “So you’re a Pisces, huh?”  Which is also true. Yay for double meaning!  Though technically, I always understood the Pisces symbol to be two fish, facing opposite directions….

So, not long after getting this tattoo I saw that some car owners took their display of faith a step further and would put smaller Jesus-fish decals following along behind the bigger fish decal to represent their children.  I liked it, and it’s one of the few trends I didn’t mind following (#29)… So shortly after donating blood, I headed on down to my local tattoo parlor. Now if only I can get to Church on time!




#84- Who wants my blood?!

Donating Blood at Bloodsource


In all my years I have never donated blood.  At first it was a loosely-held fear of needles, but then I got a few vaccinations and a few tattoos and realized I didn’t REALLY have a fear of needles.  So then my excuse was that I kept tattooing and piercing myself, therefore rendering me disqualified for donating.  I wasn’t too distraught about it at first.  But, those Bloodsource buses kept popping up where ever I happened to be and I almost felt like I was getting shamed.  People I worked with sported the “I gave blood today stickers” and High Schoolers manned up by the dozens when the bus rolled on to Campus.  I felt embarrassed that I wasn’t being a good example.  I like being a good example!

Donating Blood at Bloodsource

you are so welcome!

Then, I had myself a little medical issue in 2011 that forced me to offer up my blood to be inspected every week.  This was getting ridiculous.  I told myself, when all is said and done I am donating blood! (#84) No more excuses!

I wasn’t allowed to give blood during my pregnancy, or for 3 months afterwards as recommended by my Doctor.  But when I finally went in a few days ago, I participated in a short questionnaire, physical and interview and was deemed healthier than most that walked through the doors at BloodSource.  It was literally painless and took less than an hour.  Side perks include snacks, of course, a full free work up of your blood to determine if you have ANYthing lurking in your system (if I do, I get a courtesy phone call informing me of my impending death) and the feeling of doing something good for fellow mankind.  Thank you BloodSource, I will be sure to hop onto the bus whenever I see you in the future!  Or, after 1 year passes after getting my next tattoo 😛

#92- Sand Turtle

Sand Sea Turtle HMB State Beach

Finishing Touches

Only a small mountain separates our home from my  most favorite thing on the planet:  The Beach. On most quiet nights we can hear the waves crash. Maybe not so surprising is that most of our beach visits are spontaneous, and consist of walking along the shore collecting shells or exploring caves. Not very often, do we actually have the time, materials or determination to really sit down and sculpt something in the sand.  In fact, I can honestly say most “sand castles” for me have turned out to be big holes and testing to see how much we can dig before a rogue wave comes and fills it back up. I’ve never built a true sculpture.

Sand Castle

She LOVES the beach!

Last summer we checked out the Sand Sculpting Competition in Santa Cruz- it was so much fun!  I felt inspired…. but when to find the time?  On this particular day, it was a Mommy-n-Me date day, just Natalie & I while the newborn stayed home with Blake.

The weather was perfect.  Only a few wispy clouds in the sky.  At first, Natalie wanted to recreate a Mermaid.  I, too, was feeling ambitious but about 5 scoops in with the shovel and bucket  I realized I needed to change the blueprint to something more Natalie-friendly.

The Sea Turtle was way more do- able, and got a lot of compliments from passerby’s.  Natalie thoroughly enjoyed it and thought to add the goggles that had mysteriously found its way into our sand toy bag….

So here is #92- accomplished!

Sand Sculpture Turtle

Our Sand Sea Turtle 🙂

#16- Playing Santa Claus

Shopping for Coastside Hope

Family #3

I drive past Coastside Hope several times a week with my School District work and Natalie’s Dance class.  I volunteered a few times in the past with Sacramento Food Bank Services, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and whenever I passed by Coastside Hope, I figured I would also enjoy volunteering with them as well (#16 on my list).


Playing Santa!

When I called and inquired as to how I could help, I was greeted by a very enthusiastic and grateful staff person, who quickly explained how they were in desperate need of someone to spend all their monetary donations and turn it into Christmas gifts. Say what? You want me to go on a Shopping Spree? Sign me up!

I was sent a list of several anonymous people and age groups to shop for, and was sent off to Target.  Now, don’t think that this Non Profit handed me a credit card.  No no.  I simply had to submit my receipt and got a reimbursement right then and there.  Apparently this very affluent town, as it was explained to me, sends lots of money to Coastside Hope out of the goodness of their hearts and for Tax Write Off purposes, but not as many people had the time to do the shopping part. Funny, it seemed so easy to shop for these people.  Whereas I sometimes agonize over each and every gift I give to my family.

Natalie was a good sport for it, and I let her pick out her own treat since it was a little tough on her to see the shopping cart fill up with so much beautiful girls things and not having any of it be for her.  On the flipside,  Natalie seemed very eager to volunteer as well, and loved the idea of helping wrap gifts.  I can’t wait until she is a little bit older and is able to really get involved in charities of her choice.

Coastside Hope Gift Wrapping Line Up

Coastside Hope Gift Wrapping Line Up

The second part of this Holiday effort is to wrap each and every gift.  There were several time slots to sign up for over the course of the week.  Let’s just say I was super impressed by how well organized this group is, but I suppose that’s what happens when you do this year after year.  Coastside Hope is a well oiled machine, and I am definitely looking forward to helping out more often!

#74- As Good As it’s Going to Get

A few weeks ago, I set in on my gingerbread recipe, with every intent of being awesome and creating a phenomenal gingerbread house that not only would delight my daughters but win me a free one night stay at the Ritz from their Annual Gingerbread House Contest.  It was all so perfect in my head!  I KNOW I have a great design that WILL be a winner one day, so I still plan on keeping that part a secret. But, in the meantime…. I will blog about how I failed at #74 (create a elaborate and detailed gingerbread house). At least, failed myself.

It seemed to start out well. I had a great gingerbread recipe, I made several batches and froze the dough, bought tons of candy, so when I started it, I had everything I needed. But, despite shaping everything the way I wanted and having it all glued together perfectly with marshmellow creme (to start), it all soon started to slowly fall apart.  I plugged along, thinking I could save it… but alas…. after consulting some chefs I learned the humidity plus my recipe and frosting was not a match made in gingerbread heaven.

So, then I thought I’d start over, and at least do a basic house. But that wasn’t too successful either.  So ultimately, we settled for a store bought house and Natalie & I had fun going crazy with decorations on THAT.

Round 3

Round 3

Round 2

Round 2








So, here’s to hoping next year’s attempt is a little more successful…

#53- On Patrol

I can’t disclose much information, but I can confirm that I did in fact ride in a Police Truck- bringing back fond memories of my youth. #53 on my list is scratched off!