Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag Teamed Twice!!

OK, I get it already! I have been tagged twice, so I guess I should probably respond. I will also take this time to do a little blog housekeeping! I have so much to blog about, but I selfishly wanted to leave the blog of my brother up for a long time. Did I mention how proud I am of him?? Anywho, our household has been major busy, OK, when I say household I really am just talking about myself! Between working, planning parties, soccer, and being an all around incredible Mom, I just haven't had time to keep up on this thing. Because now instead of blogging at night, I have been trying, and I use that term loosely, to do my Pilates video, in a hopes that I can shave some much needed inches off of my mid section, or as I like to call it, "my trouble spot". I need to look fabulous before December 18th, when I may get to go to La La land, aka Hollywood, and eat at my bro's restaurant. I can't show up looking like the frumpy stay at home Mom we all know I am. Oh, and Ryan also started college full time, and starts his training at the hospital next week! Our lives are crazy, but crazy wonderful too! Ahem, Ahem, here goes the tagging! I will start with the more whimsical of the two.

First Tag
From the blogger of all bloggers, Sarah I

What was I doing 10 years ago?

OK, so this was a crazy hectic time in my life! I was going to Southern Oregon University full time, studying Criminology, while working three jobs, yes three! Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights from 3-11, I was hold onto your hat the B.I.N.G.O Manager of the Arc, a nonprofit organization that advocates for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. Did you get all of that? B-15, B one five. I hung out with all of the gray hairs of Josephine county. If I die of lung cancer, now you know why. Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday I worked as the Part-Time Assistant Manager of The Limited. I loved that place more than life itself. I worked there for 6years, up until the day it closed, and I still keep in contact with almost all of the fabulous ladies I worked with. That is where I met my BFF Tee, who can fold a jean wall like no other lady I know, and I have pictures to prove it! And between all of that, if I ever had a free moment, I would provide respite care for families with children who were disabled. They can't just hire a normal babysitter to tend to a child who may be medically fragile or have behavior issues. I did all of this while living in Grants Pass, and driving every morning to Ashland for school.

What is on my to-do list?

What is NOT on my to-do list??

What are my favorite snacks?

Anything with chocolate! I don't see the point in wasting calories on snacks that don't contain that key ingredient.

What would I do if I were a Millionaire?

WOW, this could start some serious day dreaming. After the government took its share, and then I paid tithing. I would buy a house with wainscoting and beautiful hardware, and white cupboards, and a red kitchen, with rich brown furniture all from Pottery Barn (did you hear that Phoebe?) with themed kids bedrooms, and a soaker claw foot tub, and a yard with a pool, so all of the kids would hang out at our house, and a walk in pantry, and dark wide planked hardwood floors. See what you started? I need to move on to the next question before the self loathing begins.

Places I've lived.

Panarama City, CA
Glendale, CA
Canyon Country, CA
Taylorsville, UT
Murray, UT
Grants Pass, OR
Sacramento, CA
Talent, OR
Medford, OR
Murphy, OR
Central Point, OR

Jobs I've Had.

YMCA-Jr Camp Counselor
Alpha Tel-Com-Coin Collector
Geraldi's Deli-Sandwich Maker
ARC Bingo-Manager
The Limited-Asst. Manager
Respite Care Provider
Jackson County District Attorney's Office-Intern
Country Insurance & Financial Services-Insurance Agent
Tuesday Morning-Retail
ColdWater Creek-Visual
Mom-hardest dang job I have ever had!

Conference Tag

My cute friend Allison tagged me a while ago, and all answers are related to what I watched/learned at General Conference, or my own spiritual thoughts.

I am... a daughter of my Heavenly Father, who loves me and I love him!
I wish....I would apply the teachings of the gospel more fully in my life.
I children to grow up with a love for the gospel, and for their Savior, Jesus Christ.
I have....a testimony of the restored gospel and how it has the power to change lives for the better.
I negative I can be, when I am so blessed.

I fear...the unknown (and that Obama will become President).
I hear...the sweet sounds of the children's choir as they sang for all to hear 'I am a child of God'
I when I hear President Monson speak.
I usually...fall asleep during conference, but not this year!
I am not....going to forget the message to triumph in times of adversity, and remember that the Lord is always right their with us, in good times and bad.
I dance.....when the music makes my feet move!
I sing....when it is a song I like or when no one is around.
I never.....regret a moment, all those moments add up to who I am today.
I my scriptures with a specific purpose in mind, I need to work on that.
I cry.....whenever the spirit touches me, which lately, is often.
I am not good of a neighbor as I should be.
I lose.......opportunities to serve, when I think only of myself.
I'm nothing really, life is played out exactly how we prepare for it.
I go to the Temple on a more regular basis.
I reading my scriptures, rather than blogging.
I dream.....for a life filled with family and forever.

I tag for both.....big surprise Christine I.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

XIV Opening

Update: Check out the blog to the left FOOD FASHIONISTA, she has two spectacular reviews of the restaurant and opening soiree, with tons of descriptions and photos.

Yesterday was the 'by invitation only' opening of my brothers new restaurant in Los Angeles, XIV (14 in Roman Numerals), Steve is the Executive Chef, under owner and celebrity chef Michael Mina (this is his 14th restaurant, hence the name). It is a collaboration with SBE, which is a huge entertainment group, and Philippe Starck, who is a designer extraordinaire! The restaurants interior plays off of the XIV theme with a Louise the XIV, futurist feel. They have been working on this project for years, and Michael has had my brother in mind as the head chef since its inception. He knew that someone with that kind of ego could only fit right in in the Hollywood scene. So here goes the hope that my brother doesn't show up on trashy celeb shows like TMZ, or end up hooking up with someone on The Hills!! To say I am not so proud of him would be a huge understatement. I have a series of posts in the works that chronicle his journey up the ranks in the realm of chefhood. He has put in his time. He has also seen his fare share of celebrities and cooked for the likes of Trump, Prince Harry, Martha Stewart, and Snoop Dogg to name a few. But I will give more details later. This post is all about his latest venue. Tomorrow is the grand opening to the public, and as of today, they were over booked, and the reservations were filling up fast through the end of the year! Last night was all about the Wow factor, but the true test will be from those with a more selective palate. Steve has spent countless hours coming up with new and innovative food ideas to knock the socks off even the most snooty of food critics ie, Michael Bauer, for all of those that read the SF Chronicle! It truly is an art form, and I marvel every time I see or taste his food. Here is a photo recap of the star studded event. The majority of the celebs were from Dancing with the Stars, and The Hills, which airs on MTV, super diva Cher also made an appearance. Steve, I know you don't have time to read my daily ramblings, but if you ever do, we are so proud of you. All of your hard work has finally paid off, and you are finally reaping those rewards! Not that the huge paycheck isn't bad either, but now you will get the press you deserve. Thanks Michael for taking a chance on my little bro, he will not let you down.

The front of the restaurant.

Celebrity Chef Michael Mina

The red carpet and press lineup.

The team: Philippe Starck-Designer, Sam Nazarian of SBE/Owner, Michael Mina-Chef.

Audrina Patridge and Kim Kardashian.

Lance Bass and Toni Braxton.

Spencer Pratt, Kimberly Brandon, Heidi Montag and owner Sam Nazarian.

My brother Chef Fretz at the far right.

The interior.

Pumpkin Dumplings-Stewed Cherries, Brown Butter, Sage

Dungeness Crab En Feuille de Brik - Avocado Creme Fraiche, Yuzu

White Chocolate Cube, Orange Blossom Cream, Coriander, Pistachio, Sake

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thanks for the Memories

Yesterday they retired the jersey of the greatest Quarterback of all time, and my favorite player ever, Steve Young, or as we like to call him 'Steverino'. So in honor of #8, here is a recap of my love affair with my Steverino. I have loved the Niners for as long as I can remember, being a West Coast gal born in California, it was just natural to cheer on the city by the bay. The Niners have seen their fair share of ups and downs, and when they are up, they are up, but when they are down, they are down. Who can forget the days of Jerry and Steve, oh the memories, and then came the days of Steve and T.O., what a loser! I don't know how many times I have seen them play at the Stick, or whatever it is they are calling the stadium now, but the routine was always the same. My friend Tee and her family, aka Frankers, had season tickets. Super awesome seats behind the end zone. We would drive down to Camino, and stay with her sister, then wake up early to drive to the city. We always stopped in Vacaville, at the Safeway to buy snacks for the game; sourdough bread, peanut-butter M&M's, water, and some sort of chips. Then we would go to the coffee shop for hot beverages, and bagels. We would arrive at the stadium, and tail gate with all of Tee's Italian relatives, who are crazy Niner fans!! The games were always so much fun, and we were always anxious to see what flavor of the month the guy sitting in front of us would bring to the game. Every game was a different girl. We would secretly compare each one from the other. Maybe we should have shared our thoughts with this poor chappy. He had some random taste in women. Anywho, back to the Niners, and my Steve. Tee and I would take turns using the binoculars to stare at Steverino on the side lines when he wasn't playing, and had his helmet off!! He is truly an all American man. I loved that he wasn't afraid to run with the ball, he was such a dynamic player. He had such presence on the field. Now flash forward to his retirement, we were sad to see him go, but understood his need to get married and start a family. I mean he is Mormon and all, and the tabloids were having a field day with him for years. But his wife, Barbara, (that was hard to write) is so cute, and their three little kids, with one on the way, were perfectly coordinated in their various shades of blue. I would have like to see them in a little Niner Red and Gold, but they looked fabulous, and Steve with his famous smile, made my heart skip a beat.

So for now I will have to settle on being in laws with him, I am betting on a Young/Holley hook up in about 20 years at a little school called BYU. He has a daughter, I have three sons. Adeline might be a little young for the older boys, but maybe the baby in utero is a boy!! So Steverino, thanks for the memories, and here is a shout out to the highest rated QB in NFL history, we love you and your sweet family. And, Frankers, thanks for letting me tag along to all of those football games, those are some of my favorite memories. I am sad that you gave up the tickets, but I understand, maybe when the Niners management pulls their heads out of their you know what, the team will get back on track, but at least we can be grateful for one thing.....the Niners have the hottest Coach ever, Nolan, you are eye candy, and those suits, WOW, you are the greatest thing to grace the sidelines since the Gold Rush cheerleaders.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Choo-Choo This is Who: Ashden Turns Three!!

Monday was our littlest man's Third birthday, and we invited the whole town, OK, maybe not the whole town, but almost 50 people, 32 which were four and under, to help celebrate. We (I mean my Mom!) rented out the Medford Train park, which was a real treat because the park is only open to the public the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 11-3, April thru October, and since our church pretty much takes up the whole day on Sunday, none of us can ever go. I didn't want to be selfish and keep the park all to myself, so I gave an open invite to all who would listen. It was such a fun event. My friend Christine, who's son is Ashden's best bud, was brought to tears from the excitement. The train park is set up like a little miniature town, we went under tunnels and over bridges, we saw 'bears' roasting marshmallows, and squirrels running for cover. The ride is seven miles long, and the track is 1 1/2 miles of continuous track (for all of you train enthusiasts who may be wondering). The train only stopped while the kids quickly inhaled their lunch, and ate cupcakes, and then again while we rushed Ashden through the presents. Other than that, the train was always a runnin'. We even called a couple of Daddies to come and take a ride too!! This was probably one of my favorite birthday parties, the kids had so much fun, and I don't think Ashden moved from his little spot on the train the whole time. Adeline also enjoyed the train, every time we went through the tunnel she would scream with the big kids, and stretch her arms out. Giving me an even bigger reminder that she loves all things boys do, and nothing that girls do. I may need some therapy, where is my sweet little girl that is suppose to love dolls and pink, and only want to be with her Mommy! OK, enough about that, this is Ashden's birthday already! After two hours on the train, the party had to come to an end, so down came the balloons, and off went the paper train placemats, and back to reality. So Happy Birthday Ashden, we sure do love you. Following is a photo recap of the event. Notice that in all the pictures of Ashden, his face is dirty with chocolate. That is our boy, he loves treats, I think he had like three cupcakes, oh well, one for each year!! Thanks to everyone who came, maybe next year we should just rent it out and make it a family affair!

Look at the excitement in his face!!

Ashy, and his best bud Marcus!

All Aboard!!

I don't know who is having more fun, the parents or the kids!!
Going through the tunnel!
Party Time!
Birthday Boy
Yummy, Yummy Cupcakes!!