Ma Vie En Photos 004: Sacramento Color Run

 

I can't recall where I first heard about it, but I've always been enamored with the Holi Festival held in India.  Seeing such joy and celebration makes me feel alive--it makes me feel connected to strangers halfway across the world, it makes me feel bonded to other human beings.

Here's a little peek at Holi:

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/40123818 w=500&h=281]

Considering my chances of going to India to celebrate Holi are slim (but not impossible!), the Color Run is the next best thing.  I heard about the Color Run back in March and feverishly signed up and solicited some friends to do the same.  It was one of the best decisions I've made this year.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EERSfHiqT8?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

The Color Run was my first 5k and it delivered its promise of being the "happiest 5k on the planet".  I had so much fun!

Before: 

During:

After:

In every picture I'm in I have the most derpy looking grin and my eyes are closed.  Oh well.

Thanks to all the ladies (plus Dan) of Team Gang Green for making the Color Run great!  Can't wait until next year!  I'm already looking for coordinating outfits for us all and witticisms to put on signs...

Thanks Color Run for coming to Sac!  See you August 2013!

(Thanks to Staci, Jessica and Lynn for the photos.  All others are taken from the Color Run's Facebook page.  Check our their site here.)

Ma Vie En Photos 003: Kitchen Edition

This post is waaaay past due. My other and I bought a house back in 2009. The listing for the house was as follows:

Move-in ready 3 Bedroom, 1 Bath home in a convenient location.  With a minimum amount of TLS [sic], this will make a nice starter home or investment property.

Allow me to breakdown the realtor speak:

There's nothing great or worth mentioning about this house other than the fact that you could move in if you can deal with its dated, hodge-podge interior. The location is made convenient because one of the busiest streets in your area is right in your backyard.  The word "minimum" is used at liberty and is subject to interpretation. "TLS" was the intended acronym and is short for "Tears, Labor and Sweat".  This will be a nice starter home because as a first time buyer, your expectations should be lower.  Investors: this is a steal 'cause you won't have to live in it.

Despite my fluency in "realtor-ese" we bought the house anyway.  Oy vey. There's a lot of work to be done and a lot to cover, but for this first post about my home, we'll focus on the kitchen.

The kitchen when we bought the house had the original cabinets from the late 1950's that were complemented by a mustard countertop. There was a weird soffit, broken stove, peeling linoleum and a junky fan.  Impressive!

One day a friend stopped by to check out our newly acquired home.  She was so moved by the appalling nature of my kitchen, that we had an impromptu demolition session.  Bless her heart--if we hadn't done the demo then, we knows when it would've happened.

Phase One: Remove cabinetry.  (The ugly aluminum shade outside the window has also been removed. Thank goodness!)

Another view of the mess.

This is where the oven was.  Goodbye!

This is the subflooring after the linoleum was torn out.

There's no photographic evidence of the tear out of the lower cabinets since we were apparently having a ton of fun applying blunt force trauma to those scary cabinets.  We were surprised to find gravel under the cabinet bases.  Gravel.

With the demo complete, it was on to my favorite part: designing and shopping!  We wanted something fresh, modern and unique.  I love, love, love this stage--there's something about creating and executing a vision that is really gratifying.  I certainly enjoy picking paint chips more than painting.

I'm very fortunate to have AMAZING in-laws and friends who helped us tremendously through the kitchen renovation process.  This could have never happened  without them.

Here's one of the only progress shots we have. All new cabinets, paint, soffit, hood, and recessed lighting.

And here's the after shots after we installed the flooring, countertop, appliances, lighting fixtures, decorations and furniture.

We still have some things to check off the list before we're finished: Tile backsplash, under cabinet lighting, perhaps a new kitchen table.  And maybe one day I'll get to ironing and hemming those curtains...

Ciao!

Ma Vie En Photos 002: Portlandia

 

Dan and I decided to take (another) mini vacation.  Hey, we deserve it.  Instead of just saying we were going to Portland, we actually went.  Despite the fact that we drove (which equals misery for me since I get VERY car sick) and Dan got a speeding ticket in Weed(83 mph in a 65 zone), it was good times.  Next time, a plane ride is in our future--in my mind, it's not a bona fide vacation without one.

We stayed in Downtown Portland at the Hotel Lucia.  Modern Decor with excellent photography on display. Nice hotel in the middle of everywhere we were planning on checking out. Plus fresh green apples ripe for the taking.

We arrived around 5pm on Friday and apparently everyone was getting out of work.  From our vantage point, we had arrived in Hipster Mecca.  Men in capris, handlebar mustaches and neon framed glasses.  Women vintage looking dresses, torn tights and thrifted cardigans. It was almost painful.  Fortunately, the tragic hipster vibe mellowed out the longer we stayed.

The trip in short: Naps, food comas, cool places and boozy drinks.

Dan and I ate at the Original Dinerant (Diner/Restaurant) when we arrived in Portland. As luck had it, we made it in time for Happy Hour. Score. On top of that, it's Dine Downtown in Portland, so we each opted for a Three-Course menu for $25.

Me: Appetizers: Scotch egg + Pimiento Cheese + Arugula Salad. Delish! Pretzel Bites filled with Cheese Curd + Tomato Bacon Relish. Yum! Entree: Farmer's Pasta. Some of the best noodles ever. Booze: Barb Daly Cocktail (Vodka + Rhubard & Meyer Lemon Soda + Meyer Lemon. Refreshing. Dessert: Sour Cream Peach Cake. Very moist and tasty, but I was hoping for a little tart kick. Booze II: Tom Collins (Gin + Citrus Lemongrass Soda + Amarena Cherry). Tasted a little like soap, but I drank it anyway.

Dan: Appetizers: Beef Wagyu Hot Pockets. Tasted like an upscale version of the original. House Smoked Baby Back Ribs. Dan ate it all. Entree: Braised Pork Shank + Apple Bacon Fritters + Brown Butter Sherry Sauce. Seriously, those apple bacon fritters were amazing! Booze: The Copa (Flor de Caña + Rum +Velvet Falermum+ Zwack + Grapefruit + Absinthe). Dan drank it all. Dessert: Nutter Butter Pie. Tasted like Peanut Butter Heaven.  I wanted to steal it. Booze II: Heminingway (White Rum + Ginger Tarragon + Lime + Soda + Star Anise. Very tasty!

We came back again for a late night snack Saturday night.  We had the Poutine (Fries+Gravy+Cheesecurds) and Buffalo Wings.  The devoured the Poutine, which was delicious in that guilty sort of way.  The buffalo wings were good, but nothing to write home about. I opted for a Boozy Milkshake called the Salty Jim (Bourbon + Salted Caramel + Vanilla Ice Cream) and Dan ordered another Hemingway. We switched drinks midway through. We ordered a Nutter Butter Pie(!) and Dulce de Leche Brownie to go, so we can eat in shame without others looking on at our gluttony.

Portland Japanese Gardens. We've been to other Japanese Gardens before, so I wasn't expecting much. Shame on me.  I will venture to say that the Portland Japanese gardens were BETTER than the SF version.  It was well laid-out, with secluded pathways and benches all throughout.  Gorgeous and peaceful.

Dan also bought me an anniversary gift there for me:

It's yellow and ochre and I love it. Plus no sales tax!

Powell's Books. A haiku about Powell's City of Books:

So many books here

Treasures are easily found

Money, quickly lost

Seriously, there were aisles and aisles, rooms and rooms, levels and levels of books.  Dan & I dropped over $100 here.  This place is dangerous.

Sizzle Pie: Thin Crust Pizza with Snazzy Names.  Good eats. 

Food Carts. If there's one thing I'll miss most, it's the food carts.  So many options in a compact space.  Korean? Thai? Ethiopian? South Carolina BBQ? Cuban? Mexican? Euro-Fusion?  It's all there.  I'll look at empty parking lots more wistfully after visiting Portland.  Sacramento, get on the boat.

Voodoo Doughnuts: One place we knew we were going to visit.  I was expecting more kitsch than actual deliciousness, but I was wrong. Maple Bacon Doughnuts forever! The Mexican Hot Chocolate, Grape Kool-Aid, and Butterfinger were also good.

Portland in review:  Great city.  Felt like a bigger Midtown Sacramento, cleaner San Francisco.  The food was good.  The shops were cool.  Downside: Annoying street kids with a huge sense of entitlement, but I'll forgive you on that front Portland.  Maybe you'll be in my revised 5 year plan.  We'll see.

Until next time,

Ma Vie En Photos 001: Hello 2012

 

As January draws to a close, the New Year is finally looking up for me.  Since December 1st of last year, my life has been colored mostly by this:

And a lot of this:

All because I decided to do this:

Because I was so damn into The Art of Dancing.  Kids, the Charleston c'est dangereux!

Meanwhile, I've discovered you can buy happiness AND it smells delicious. Targét never disappoints:

Work has been made better through moments like this:

I also have an inspiring new workmate at the office:

Stoked about getting these babies in the mail. Thank you Coastal.com for carrying my ridiculously high prescription and charging only 1/4 of my typical costs for glasses:

Started school again this week.  Which means Office! Supplies! Yes, those are color coordinated folders and notebooks. I have a strict one subject, one hue policy.  No, not any notebook will do. Yes, I'm a nerd:

Finally here's me, pretty pleased with life, my haircut, and new shirt:

Onward & upward,

P.S. My knee hurts...