Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh hi, Ojai

On October 1st, Derek and I celebrated our second year of dating each other. Being the gigantic sweetheart that he is, he of course had something amazing up his sleeves. He planned a surprise weekend getaway to Ojai, CA.

We left late Friday night and traveled by night, like western bandits fleeing across the desert. Alas, we arrived at the surprise location. Just off the "main road" in Ojai was our home for the weekend, The Ojai Rancho Inn.

The Ojai Rancho Inn

Imagine Sunset Magazine Marketing and Instagram had a baby. The offspring would be this precious roadside hotel. So many simple details that made it beautiful and unique. Upon checking in the uber hippie chick offered us incense to cleanse our room. Derek got into the "cleansing" and showed a pyro side to him I have never seen before.

morning coffee bar

this leather chair on our porch

We spend our mornings enjoying coffee from the coffee bar, catching up on the Ojai Vally News, and burning incense (told you he was into the incense).

local newspaper, succulents, and incense

cup o'joe

this handsome and intellectual creature

headboard art

of course they had mason jars

is this fireplace for real? get in my apartment!

After enjoying our morning brew, we decided to head into town to grab a bite to eat. We used our favorite mode of transportation, bike (duh). The inn even had cute little white bikes to borrow.

bikes on bikes on bikes

We rode down the street to a fantastic little bakery, Knead. Surrounded by locals and the pet dogs, we enjoyed a lemon riccota tart (basically lemon cheesecake for breakfast).

After breakfast, it was time to work off that little pastery. We headed up into the hills for a mid day hike to a waterfall. The further up we went, the further away it felt from all our problems. It was so peaceful and quiet.

Derek is way more of an "explorer" than I am
Upon desending from the mountains, it was pool time. Derek has compared my pool lounging to that of a lizard on a rock; verb tense "lizarding". I sure did lizard hard by that pool.
forever summer in California
For our anniversary dinner, we hit up local hotspot Azu for some amazing Tapas. We ended the unforgetable day with smores at the firepit by the pool.
Sunday started off with a quick check of the fantasy team lineup (goodie), then continued with mimosas and more lizarding by the pool.
breakfast of champions
poolside #2
It was such an amazing weekend, I was sad to come back to reality. I couldn't think of anyone else I would have rather spent the weekend with, or better yet, the last two years. I love you very much, Derek. Looking forward to many more adventures with you!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bachelorette Bits: S9E1

Since when do they give away the whole season at the very beging of the first episode?

Check your office pools, who had under 5 minutes before Des’s first starts to cry? It’s going to be a wet season.

Did the bachelorette get a new house? I like the digs. Overlooking Pepperdine, and, wait, “this that the ocean?”.

Do you think she gets to keep that car? No wonder people go on this show for the wrong reasons.

Shout out to the guy from Missoula, MT!

The first episode is basically a do/don’t on pickup lines. Take notes gentlemen.

That awkward moment when you think you are being smooth and you rip her dress.

Speaking of that dress, it looked like a debit card and a disco ball offspring.

The custom tailor could have stepped up his suite game a little more.

Knight in shining armor; good thought, bad execution.

Dude that got down on one knee to tie his shoe, nailed it. Well played (golf clap).

 Bold move bringing your kid, still figuring this one out.

I can’t even fathom what it must be like to walk into a room with 25 guys clapping for your presence.

Berkeley doctor guy can’t decide if he wants his glasses on or off.

I repeat, there are no fantasy suites on the first night!

Social Media guy - #are #you #going #to #do #this #all #season ?

All and all, very excited for this season, bring on the dude quarrels and bro tears!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Big Apple

Last Christmas, Derek gave me a plane ticket to New York City for mid-May. The trip was to be two fold, one for Kebra's (Derek's sister) graduation from Yale and two to see Manhattan, which neither Derek or I had been to before. Finally after months of waiting, it was time for the big trip to the big apple! Here are a few pictures of our time back east. 

The pre-planning process. If you know me, you can understand how much fun I had putting this together. 

We have arrived! 

Excited that we made it! Out and about. 

While getting lost in Greenwich Village, we stubbled upon a "Cheese Bar". Set up just like a sushi bar, with a specific person cutting the cheese (no pun intended).

 Strolled down Wall Street

Empire State Building 

Zero visibility at the top of the Empire State Building, due to the rainy spring day, but that didn't stop us. We hung out in a cloud!

More Empire State Building, beautiful. 

Walked down the High Line for a bit, very cool.

 More High Line, over looking the Meat Packing District

 9/11 Memorial, a very moving experience.  

Concrete Jungle


 Grand Central Station. Gorgeous. 

 Blocks and blocks of skyscrapers.

Derek loves 4 hour graduations.


This happened.

The Bull on Wall Street.

Rockefeller Center.

 NBC Studios.

 Radio City.

Hot Dog on the streets on NYC.

Congrats Class of 2013! Way to go Kebra!

Balls of Steel.

Manhattan Bridge.

Gelato... Yummy! And seductive. 

Home sweet home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Takeaways from the Bachelor: S17E4

1. Bucket seats are not created for cuddling

2. Semi cruel to make a one armed woman participate in a roller derby

3. Tierra is Tierrable

4. Team "Drunk-Party-Girl" every week

5. Sometimes fit models don't fit

Monday, November 14, 2011

cooking is a scary word

I am blessed. Blessed with a roommate that loves to cook (and is darn good at it too). We have a non-contractual agreement that she cooks dinner and I clean up afterwards. I will pop my head into the kitchen to chat and refill my wine glass while she slaves over the stove preparing a delicious meal for us BOTH to enjoy. I am super grateful for her cooking.

Then the inevitable happened, she went on a vacation. Leaving me home alone for 4 whole days to feed myself. Lost and confused, the first night I traveled back in time to my "college cooking" and prepared a sad meal of cheese melted between a tortilla shell via the mircrowave. After 15 minutes of eating this pathetic meal, I was still hungry. Weird. I topped off my night's dining with a bowl of frosted mini wheats. The roomie would be disappointed. Night 2 was a little better, I bought a frozen California Kitchen Pizza and a bottle of wine. At least this meal had a theme. We'll call it Italian. Night 3 I skipped dinner all together. I had a big burrito from a man in a van named Jose for lunch. Don't worry, it was legit (I think).

It was brought to my attention by a loved love that this was my opportunity to rise to the occasion of cooking. Prove it to myself that I wasn't a complete loser in the kitchen and prepare an actual meal for myself, all by myself. Feeling motivated from this pep talk, on day 4 I cooked.

The decided meal for me to tackle was 2 fold. How ambitious, go big or go, uh, out of the kitchen. Boyfriend helped me pick a meal that was still in my league. Settled over an email, Breaded'n Baked Zucchini Chips and Garden Fresh Lasagna would be my dinner.

I pretended like I had gotten a killer work-out in before heading to the local QFC, meaning I took off my make-up, put on work-out clothes, and went to the store appearing to have just hit the gym. Even if it was a lie, it made all the calories I was soon to consume seem justifiable. I found my victims (groceries) which took way longer than it should have. Multiple trips down the same aisle. Bellevue housewives were judging. Whatever, I just worked out and that was my cool down lap. Finally I was homeward bound for an adventure in the kitchen.

One final text of encouragement and I was off...

Cooking meat is scary. I feel like there are so many unwritten rules when it comes to cooking meat, poltry, etc. You have to get the right temp/color/moisture. Some meats don't require cooking all the way, others it is mandatory. And god forbid the thing is frozen, I will be completely lost on where to start. Luckily, tonight's dinner called for ground beef, which I remember my mother saying, you must cook all the way. No pink. Ok, got it.

I doubt I am alone when I say that having a glass of wine while cooking is a must. It eased my nerves. Also to avoid picking at the meal while it was cooking, I enjoyed some bread dipped into evoo (*please note my trendy use of cooking terms) and balsamic. Who am I kidding, I had bread because I love carbs. The bread and oil alone could have been a satisfactory meal for "day-1-of-missing-roommate's-cooking Erin", but this wasn't the case tonight for "food-network-motivated Erin".

You see that very large knife, well I managed to use it with injuring myself. Another personal feat tonight.

I came to a conclusion during my time spent in the kitchen. I am a very "organized" cooker. I like to pre-measure everything out well before it is needed, as if I were on a cooking show or something. I spent way too much time making all my slices of zucchini, bell pepper, tomato symmetrical. The only thought getting me through this dinner was "it is just following directions, I can follow directions", oh and my stomach growling. I also found that I practice the technique of "clean as you go". Must be the years of being the cleaner-up-er in me.

Breading is a very difficult and a messy experience. That is all I am going to say.

After much work, probably more than this particular meal would require from a season pro in the kitchen (if you are one of those, please be kind to this post), it was complete.


To my surprise it was quite tasty. I ate the whole thing. I even have left overs (2 points for self control). It was a tough few days on the lack of roommate's cooking front, but I think this come from behind game winning meal totally redeemed myself. Who knows... maybe I will prepare a meal for my roommate in the near future.