Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Be Jammin'

Fall is here and it's almost time for the Napa Valley to harvest grapes. Today I helped pick a few grapes so my mom and I could learn how to make Merlot jam.  Check out the step by step pictures below, as I learn from my Aunt Jayna how to turn seven gallons of Merlot grapes into 56 jars of jam!  

The Merlot vineyard with barn.
Don't these grapes look delicious?

My mom and I picking the grapes (and eating them too!)

Alyssa aka " The Crusher"

It may look like blood, but this is the juice from our beautiful Merlot grapes!

The left over skin and seeds from the grapes after the crush.

Once the juice starts to boil add sugar and pectin .

Me trying to stir the jam.  Wish I would have lifted weights before volunteering for this job! j/k
After jars are filled with jam, they 're submerged in a boiling water bath so the container will be sealed.

Our finished product.  Yum yum!

A group effort!  Here I am with Aunt Jayna, Uncle Ron, Mom, Dad and Alyssa. I think the display is awarding winning  Don't you?

Me relaxing in the pool after working so hard!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Life Lesson #453

When backing up someones car, always check your rear view window; you may just end up backing the car into the side of your in-laws house (or into a canyon, as pictured below)!  

My poor husband (who I'm sure is cringing that I decided to post this story for everyone to see), accidentally reversed my parents car into the side of the house!  Well.. say "side of house" is an exaggeration, but he did hit the gutter bending it into a new shape. 

Oh well... at least we were able to bend it back, with little aesthetic damage.  Good thing Bill and Marge had a few glasses of wine, before the accident happened, it really didn't bother them too much.  Besides the car didn't even have a scratch on it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Members Only

What do you do when your husband is studying to become an art teacher and you live in an amazing city like San Francisco? You become a member of SFMOMA

A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art. The museum’s current collection includes over 26,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. 

As a member of SFMOMA we get to enjoy the following perks:
1. Express Entry (who wants to wait in line?)
2. Member preview days for selected major exhibitions
3. 10% discount off of the Rooftop Coffee Bar (did I mention they serve blue bottle coffee?)
4. Free admission for you and a guest to select film screenings and lectures
5. 10% discount off of merchandise at the Museum Store (Who doesn't like a discount?)
For more info visit:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chance Encounter

So you would simply assume because a dog is a mixed breed , aka a "mutt," he or she may never encounter a dog as similar on an everyday walk.  Of course, you have the "popular" mixed breeds of the "maltipoo,"  "labradoodle," or "cockapoo," to which one may get lucky some day and perhaps see, but what about the not so famous, " boxador"?  You see, our 55lb bundle of joy, Stella, is just that, approximately half boxer and half lab, and to be quite frank, Jenn and I never imagined we would see another just as similar.  This was all until we met, "Shaky Jake", a 70lb male "boxador", as we were walking along the embarcadero in our favorite city by the bay, San Francisco.  Other then the day we picked up Stella at the shelter with her 4 fellow litter mates, we had never really confirmed seeing another boxer/lab mix.  Sure we had seen a few online when typing in "boxer lab mix" in the Google search engine, but to actually see one coming up on us as we were walking on this beautiful Saturday afternoon, was like encountering a long lost sibling that you knew you had to be related to.  The meeting was brief, but confirming, boxers and labs, when the right opportunity arises, can produce beautiful little puppies that grow up to be a perfect mix of playful energy, wit, and curiosity.  Take a look at our pictures below, of our first official "boxador" encounter, we hope you'll appreciate the significance...but don't be sad if you don't.

Stella and Shaky Jake meet for the first time, you can clearly see the similarities.

Both boxadors are ready to move on and could really care less about this chance encounter.

Stella still knows she's the only "boxador" who's walked across the Golden Gate.

Saturdate in the City

What happens when you have to plan a date encompassing the words: batter, north, red and new adventure

First  you go to Stable Cafe and eat scones made by Batter Bakery.  Second you drive north to that big RED landmark.  Third instead of driving over it, your adventure is to walk it!  Although walking the Golden Gate bridge is a tourist thing to do, as a Bay Area resident everyone should try this once. Views are breathtaking and even though we started the walk in fog, before we knew it the sun was out and it felt like summer (for like a minute).  Here is our Saturdate in pictures.

Stable Cafe located in the Mission 

The Golden Gate bridge with fog

Street light on the Golden Gate Bridge with the fog

 The north tower of the golden gate bridge looking up to the sky

An up close photo of the top of the Golden Gate Bridge north tower looking up

The texture of the Golden Gate bridge

I think this is postcard worthy...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cool Shoes

Happy Friday!!! I had to share this great picture of my nephew Drew and his new Nike shoes!  Judging by the BIG smile on his face, he may never want to take them off!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Love To Picnik

Photograph has been a passion of mind for several years.  Although I understand the basics, I'm far from an expert.  That's why I love to Picnik!  This awesome website allows you to adjust the exposure, color and can even help you fix those unfortunate crooked lines in your pictures. Not to mention can also remove red eye and has a fantastic cropping tool.  Take a look at my before and after pictures of a bench I took in Nice, France.  They almost look like two different pictures! 
Before Picnik: Ugly  
After Picnik: Not so bad 

Caffe DeLucchi

Breakfast Pizza

Ever go to a restaurant and they run out of the dish you were about to order? Well that happened to me today.  When I saw Caffe DeLucchi was serving buttermilk biscuits and gravy my mind and tummy was made up.  As I gave my order to the waitress, she told me the table next to me just got the last one. Darn it!  As I skimmed over the menu one last time, I decided to try something different and ordered a breakfast pizza.  Not really sure how the flavors would work for breakfast, I was overwhelmed by the tasty goodness this breakfast gave me.  My only complaint.... It was HUGE.  Next time I go back this is something I would definitely split with someone.

After breakfast, I went for a nice walk with Stella and took a few pictures of Sts. Peter and Paul Church before my battery ran out.

Name: Caffe DeLucchi
Where: North Beach, located on the corner of Columbus and Stockton
What I had: Black Forest Ham pizza with cheddar cheese, green onion and two sunny side eggs.
Did You Know: Caffe Delucchi has won SF Weekly "Best of 2pm Breakfast"

The front window of Caffe DeLucchi over looking the corner of Columbus and Stockton
My pizza with black forest ham and cheddar cheese

The "here goes nothing" taste test

Stella giving me "the look" wanting a piece of my crust

Sts. Peter and Paul Church (Nick and I got married there)
Candles at Sts. Peter and Paul Church