… shaking it off… and heading out in search of balance…

Archive for December, 2009

the grand finale!!

i am sneaking in a quick post at work before i head out to celebrate NYE (i’ll give you a not so subtle hint how i’m ringing in the new year)

but before i jet, i just HAD to post the grand finale of THE TOUR DE TACKY!!

i’ll keep you in suspense just a bit though… in my christmas posting i realized i never shared the most exciting gift i received!!

WHA WHA!!! so clearly i’m like the last person trying to transition to a much healthier lifestyle to acquire said equipment, but hey, i was proud of myself for waiting until christmas rather than just buying it for myself (i in fact received TWO magic bullets… apparently i whined to everyone i knew about how much i wanted one)

SO this morning i thought i’d whip out the bullet and make a madre guisante smoothie bowl for breakfast!!

my friend JR scooped me up a jethro sized almond butter from costco last night…

mmmmmmmmmmm YUMMMMM

so i knew a hefty dollop of that would be involved!

i measured nothing and just tossed a few things in (b/c of course my ride was already waiting for me)…

*greek yogurt
*almond milk
*frozen mango chunks
*couple ice cubes
*large-ish dollop of almond butter
(i’m not a big sweetener fan, so i didn’t add any extra sugar or sugar substitute)

i watched the bullet work its magic… tossed in some bear naked fit vanilla almond granola…

and enjoyed along side a nice cup of coffee………………

wait, if you missed any of the previous installments…

Introducing, The Tour de Tacky (2 mugs)

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7


…………………………. are you ready???




ok, so it just dawned on me this may not be as funny for people who do not know the person on this mug (and although i wouldn’t call him “innocent” i have covered part of his face to protect his identity… although if you know this person, you can still totally tell who it is!)

but seriously?!?!?

this mug is a big conversation piece at work… who will use the mug? (the last person was the “new guy” on his first or second day! brave that one!)

having a mug with your children on it is one thing, but yourself on the mug too… and shirtless no less???

tacky zjf… TACKY!!

but hilarious… so please let us keep the mug!

in case you wanted one more look…

and so we bid farewell to The Tour De Tacky!!

happy new year!!!

christmas for 40?!?!

helloooooo puppets! so my original plan was to finish posting photos from my christmas excursion last night… but when i walked out of work and found this:

i knew it was going to be a long night.
rather than spend the next 4 hours in storm-ageddon traffic, we opted to hang downtown in hopes the traffic would clear. so naturally, we went to a bar…

we waited until after 7:00 and it still ended up taking us over 2 hours to get home! people of portland, if you’re out there, STOP VAPOR LOCKING IN 3 INCHES OF SNOW…
that being said, i didn’t get any photos posted last night.

so here i go, but first, i, of course have to kick things off right… with the second to last installment of the tour de tacky!!! i only have one more mug after this, and trust me, there’s a reason i saved it for last!!!

but for now…

i know this isn’t completely offensive, but we’re talking office coffee mugs here… how did this flowery teacup get into the stash??
oh, perhaps you can’t appreciate the best thing about this “mug”…

really? what kind of a cup of coffee is this tinkerbell size thing supposed to hold!?!??!

like i said… trust me… you do not want to miss tomorrow’s mug! it was the original inspiration for the tour de tacky, and is actually a real conversation piece at the firm!

as for my christmas photos… here goes nothin!

my family has a pretty set christmas tradition… get up and open at mom and dad’s house, then the other siblings and their kids come over for round two, and then we all have breakfast together.

last year i decided to start a tradition… i am going to get my nieces christmas pj’s each year for them to wear to bed christmas eve. i was excited to see when they made their way to my parents’ house this year, they were still wearing their jammies!

has anyone else noticed addie is into doing a LOT of posing these days??

some highlights from the gift extravaganza…

(yes a metal detector, and yes he was excited)

(ooooh awwwww quarter zips just like our daddy likes!!)

(fancy nancy!!)

(super cute nikes purchased at a super discounted rate!)

then we all enjoyed christmas breakfast…

(did you notice the “last supper” picture with the gangster lean?? oopsie!)

then given that my sister threw her back out and was supposed to be hosting 40 of our closest family members for dinner, i headed over to her house early and began setting the tables.

again, addie greeted the guests and monitored the appetizers…

i made pomtinis with the LARGE jug of POM juice i conned my sister into buying for me at costco!

(oh, sidenote** speaking of pomtinis… right around the time the first round of pomtinis was poured my medicated sister sideswiped my glass and poured an entire pomtini all over my little camera… so blame her, or the pills, for the quality of most of these photos. it limped along for a while, but the camera is completely nonfunctioning now. i’m hoping if i take it and have the booze residue cleaned out of it i can get it going again)

anyhooo… moving along…

dinner was kicked off with my father saying grace (ok, maybe he led us in “my country tis of theeeee” in true “christmas vacation” style), and then we all got our grub on!

later we had a small game of “apples to apples” going…

dawn (yes, still “hopped up”) enjoyed a small bite of dessert

i’m not sure how this happened, but apparently there were then some ropes being jumped in the living room???

then a hot game of scattergories was played, during which dawn tried to explain to us just how milking a cow could legitimately fall under the category, “leisure activities”…

we pretty much closed down the place with the completion of the scattergories game.

the next morning i woke up to find addie admiring her new polly pocket structure

we quickly decided a candyland tournament was in the cards!

she appears angelic, no? but trust me, when you’re 5… it’s REALLY hard to not win at every game of candyland! my favorite was when we were both nearing the end of the trail and addie pulled the dreaded gingerbread man card (that means you have to go back to the beginning of the game)… she clutched the card close to her chest, her eyes stared straight ahead… the card came slamming down onto the table and i heard, “I QUIT”… done, out, game over!! hahahahaha DRAMA

but she quickly changed her mind and was back once i started shuffling cards again!

there was only one thing that could have busted up the candyland marathon… and it was a trip with the girls to see “the squeakquel” (that’s the second chipmunk movie for those not in the loop!!)

given that alexis was still recovering from the tonsilectomy, and had overdone it on christmas, she had to stay behind and rest =(
addie made herself comfortable in the van…

(notice those cute shoes from the nike employee store… i wonder who would have given her those for christmas??)

it was mission accomplished!!

the next morning i had to get up early and make my way to the airport… an uneventful hour flight, and i was back in portland…

christmas is definitely a time i want nothing more than to be with my family! we have so much fun, and this year was no exception! thanks for allowing me a couple days of reliving the shenanigans.

family, i love you!

christmas pre-funk

happy post holiday recovery period!
for the life of me i could NOT get into work today, luckily i had a trio of tacky mugs to help get me in the mood…

what you can’t appreciate in this photo is that these mugs are actually a lovely shade of pale pink with shiny gold trim… oooooooooh awwwwwwww beeeeautiful!

and because i’m less than enthused about getting back to the post holiday grind, i thought i’d do a couple posts to recap my trip home for christmas. i kind of detached from the computer altogether while i was home, so i have lots of photos and fun to share.

i landed in boise on wednesday just before lunch, and was happy to see that it was more “wintery” there than it was in portland

my sister and cousins scooped me up and we went to do just a little bit of last minute shopping at costco…

i sometimes forget how great costco is!
exhibit A:

seriously with that price for the jethro size jar?? i may have cruised by this free sample table more than once for the almond butter/cracker combo!

we made the 40 minute trip to my hometown. i immediately made my way to see my nieces!! alexis had just had her tonsils out, so while she was excited to see me, she was obviously feeling less than superb… but she’s adorable nonetheless!

addie was sportin some excellent socks!

ummm good pose addie, but we can’t see the socks!

there we go!
sock model anyone??

my mom had planned a dinner to celebrate my arrival, so my brothers and sister and the kiddos all came over. i stopped to marvel at the randomness of the christmas lights…

and i was so excited to see that my old basketball hoop is still good for something!

we popped in “christmas vacation” and the girls went right to work sorting and manhandling the gifts!

it was a really fun first night at home, and even lego got to join the festivities! at 14, she’s still beautiful!!

the next morning (christmas eve) i popped out of bed early to head down to the family biz with pops where each morning he and his cronies gather for coffee and solving the world’s problems.

this was one wave of visitors… the photos cannot possibly convey the amount of jokes, old stories, new gossip, and laughter that happens with this group!!

after the coffee clatch, my dad and i enjoyed about an hour walk around our little town. it was great to just spend some time with him, walking and chatting.

as tradition would have it, we all attended christmas eve mass and then got together for a christmas pre-funk of finger foods and drinks, a random christmas movie, and plenty of laughter!

addie and alexis greeted everyone…

addie may have been into just a little bit of chocolate…

my sister threw her back out, so we got her primed up with pills and booze… i think by this point, she wasn’t feelin too much pain!

her boys got into the southern comfort…

and then once the beverages started kickin in… the brother talk got a little more serious…

but that didn’t last long…

aren’t they just so handsome? total goobers… but handsome nonetheless!

my brother in law was staying mentally sharp (santa search and find)…

and luckily when he got stuck, alexis was there to lend a hand…

my brother passed out shots of boones farm wine (that’s what i said… it’s kind of a family joke) for a christmas pre-funk toast (pay special attention to the very end where my aforementioned sister who was hopped up on booze and pills added a finishing touch)…

and when we were all pre-funked out…

we called it a night!

blowin this joint!

greetings from PDX! i love to travel, i love to fly, i love to pack up and go new places, but for some reason i am ALWAYS so nerved up about getting to the airport and getting on my flight! i don’t understand it… it doesn’t fit my personality, but there you have it!

so, given that… and the fact that the news totally freaked me out this morning about how long the lines at security were getting, i’m at the airport, in the “service center” with wayyyy too much time to kill before my quick flight.

a quick flight to where you may be asking… well the great state of IDAHO of course! let the potato jokes begin…

anyway, b/c i was visiting with old friends (SO good to see you jen and danielle!!!) and packing and generally being lazy last night, i am just now getting down to it…

first, a confession, of sorts… i have an extra installment of “the tour de tacky” this morning, but not b/c i found it in the cupboard at work, but b/c i purchased it for anne for christmas.
although the mug will likely speak for itself, i feel compelled to state… ANNE IS A TREKKIE!! i won’t go into how i discovered this by looking for wrapping paper under her bed one day and instead came across the motherload of star trek memorabilia stashed under there in rubbermaid bins.
OMG… i was dumbfounded!! but of course now i just feed the fire…


this was one of anne’s christmas presents, which she immediately washed and used for her morning coffee! apparently it was a good gift.

and here’s some good news… the next photo is NOT greek yogurt and granola!!
spicy oats came a callin!

then i spent the next… oh… sayyyy hour and a half of the morning at work trying to find who these lost children belong to!

and the outcome… NO ONE in my office knows who these children are or who they belong to!
poor unclaimed children of the tacky mug!!

then i got more gifts (so no, i still was not doing any work)

and these were about the highlight of my day!

perfect for our parties downstairs in our retro bar!!!

nikki and i had a craving…

there’s an indian buffet about a block from our office, and their food is SO good! they always have different options and they are usually equally amazing!

i did really well as far as not eating way too much goes (which can be a problem at this spot), and decided to have a little bit of dessert

this dish is where i discovered my love of cardamom… totally yummy! and just a little bit is perfect to finish off lunch!

the rest of the day consisted of an embarassingly small amount of work, and mostly bopping around, chatting, opening gifts, sampling little holiday goodies in the kitchen!

then at 4:30, by order of the boss, the entire firm headed downstairs to have what i thought was a simple retirement party for karen, who has been with the first 18 years and is leaving us dec. 31st! karen is such a sweet lady, and we will miss her.

the firm gave her a sweet send off… i basically just took pictures of the spread b/c i was kinda blown away that they went all out and everything looked so amazing!

OMG my flight is boarding! i’ll be back later with THE SPREAD, but for now, i’m blowin this joint!!

oh, and as i’m closing this down, the Idaho State men’s basketball team is on my flight… a couple of them are sitting next to me talking about whether or not they’re going to be able to squeeze in some goose hunting tomorrow… IDAHO HERE I COME!!

nona anita’s italian crack!

did you miss the tacky mug shots over the weekend!?!?!
i’m sure you did… so let’s get right to it!

in case you can’t tell what kind of dog that is..

i enjoyed a cup o sludge in this gem of a mug, along with something that will shock you…

hey! it’s my thing.. for now!

and then the gifts started rollin in…

homemade pomegranate jelly from ryan and melissa

a bucket o’ sin from Nikki

for this Nikki will pay! she knows i can’t eat sugar at work… or I crash harder than Rusty the Narcoleptic Dachshund!!

pressing on…

then sharnel, my most favoritest person in my office, brought me a gift!!!

omg sharnel is THE BEST! it’s so cute…

and a lil ornament from her son…

lunch was a necessary gossip session with the girls so we could rehash the weekend’s events… too much chatter and solving of the world’s problems to take photos, but it’s really all about the dinner tonight anyway!!

JR was off work, so he promised me weeks ago that he would make me Nona Anita’s famous lasagna… it’s widely known that i have a deep and abiding love for lasagna. i’ve been dying to try this Tarabocchia family recipe, and tonight was the big night!!

i do not have nona anita clearance for the recipe, but you probably don’t want it anyway… this is definitely a once a decade indulgence, but i loooooooooove JR for taking the time to make it for me, homemade noodles and all!!


nona anita ought to sell this italian crack on the streets of jersey!

hey, i combined it with a large amount of salad…
with every green you add, it makes the lasagna healthier, right??

and some fruit…

(i love this old photo of haley and cody with santa in the background… what cute brats! haha)

so NOT a healthy dinner, but hey, it’s all about balance right?!?!?!??

we all had dinner and watched my favorite holiday movie… (which JR had never seen and i have NOTHING to say about his serious lack of holiday movie culture!!)

and while we watched the movie, haley was going to brush porter… b/c she just knew he would be cooperative…

when she could see success slipping away… she got serious…

and we’re done!

puggles galore!

oh everyone in my office is getting into the TOUR DE TACKY!
today i had a number of people assisting me with the most recent installment…

oh there’s more…

wow, i can’t believe that kid’s not losing it… raggedy ann and andy are kinda freakin ME out!

this one took us a while to piece together, but in the end, mary helped us determine the parent of these unfortunate youngsters doesn’t even work at our firm anymore. so i confirmed with my boss, and she said, “oh i’ll call marshal and see if he wants us to send his mug over.”

SEE the tour is bringing families back together!!

then i enjoyed breakfast..

i know i know… boring, and you’ve seen it before
but it’s sooooo good!
i dont know where i was for so long, but i was wayyy late in coming to the greek yogurt game. it’s so much better than un-greek yogurt!

ok, so i dont have anymore food photos for the day, but i do have something even better!! today my friend paige at work invited us to go home for lunch with her to see the two most recent additions to her family…

she bought us lunch at a little tiny bento place, Du’s Grill. we got it to go and headed for her house (i didn’t take lunch photos b/c i didn’t want everyone to think i was crazy… although really, who am i trying to kid??)

i did, however… take lots of photos of her children!!



henry is the lighter one… and his sister sophia is the darker/more pug-ish one

MOMMMMMM, where have you been?!?!?!?!?

booty shot!!!!!

look he’s already got it!!

take down!! 2 points sophia!

and finally… THE photo of the day!

cute Cute and CUTE!!

we did some more quick christmas shopping after work, and rather than go home and make dinner, we decided to make a quick pass through the Raccoon Lodge with nikki and jr… this place is nothing super special… just close to our house, good food, and incredible beer!! ok fine i’ll say it… we’re regulars! if you’re in the area, cruise in. you won’t be disappointed!

as for me, i’m taking a queue from porter…

and passing out…

introducing… the tour de tacky

i’m on a mission see…

we have a cupboard full of coffee mugs at work… and as long as i’ve worked there i’ve often come across a cup and thought, “really???” so the other day i decided, i am going to, one by one, use all of the questionable, inappropriate, odd, ugly… in a word, TACKY coffee mugs in our office.

i will call it… THE TOUR DE TACKY

yesterday was the inaugural day. if it was to be the first, it had to be special.

that’s right! i found this gem hiding in the very back of the cupboard… Square Dance Tonite

talk about starting off right! that first mug might be hard to beat, but don’t worry grasshoppers… there are plenty more where that came from!

take one last look before we move on…

so this morning after day 3 of doing “The Shred” with Jillian, and gulping down a random and only marginally satisfying breakfast

i found day 2’s dose of tacky!!

can you appreciate the off white nasty color of this mug? you may be thinking, well this mug isn’t so bad… oh but you haven’t see the other side yet!

bwahahahaa seriously? who leaves this mug in an office of 45 people!??!!? it took us a few minutes, but we figured out who these sweet childrens are, and it tells you how long the mug has been at the office… the kids in these photos are about 22 years old now!

i think i’m going to enjoy the TOUR DE TACKY…

so lunch was from what i call “little pazzo” b/c it’s next to and is like the little deli side dish to a fancy restaurant in portland called “pazzo”
they have various salad/veggie/panini/soup/bread choices

i got the special where you pick which 3 side salads you want

*roasted root veggies
*spinach/fennel salad
*roasted sweet potato salad

their salads are SO good and so not drowning in oil/butter etc.

the spinach salad with red onion, fennel, pine nuts, and a little parm cheese is pretty much my favorite thing on their menu


after work i hiked up to Powell’s to meet anne for some swift holiday shopping… after a serious book hunt, i was SO hungry, and we were two blocks from Whole Foods. you know what that means… HOT BAAAAR

i snagged a few items i’ve been wanting to try but have not found at other grocery stores (i really try to avoid Whole Paycheck but sometimes you can’t find things anywhere else)…

*new flavor of bear naked fit granola (my usual haunt only has vanilla almond)
*tempeh bacon… look Mama Pea… i finally get to try it!!
*sunshine breakfast burgers! i blame a certain Chica who Snacks for making me hunt these down!

WF hot bar served at home…

*curry tofu
*roasted mixed veggies
*rice AND 1 piece of naan (yes, i know that’s carb carb, but i was hungry and had to save some of the veggies for everyone else)

curry tofu = pure joy

i also snacked on some blue corn baked chips and tequila lime salsa, but dove into it so fast i wasn’t able to snap a photo

after dinner i thought i’d take the dogs outside to run around.
i decided farley probably didn’t want to go…

so it would just be porter and me. we got outside and he chased the ball two times, then spent 10 minutes like this

and mustered enough energy for this

people ask me if porter’s wild and hard to handle b/c he’s such a big puppy… HA! right, a real fireball!

i guess that’s about it!

OH, but since we’re talkin tacky… i wanted to leave you with this… that i spotted sitting in my neighbor’s yard the other day


reasons to love portland

now i’m back lemme hit it!!

ya so it’s been a while. but i’m here now, and i’ve come armed with reasons to love my fair little city of portland!

so let’s get to it!

well the obvious one:

*le sighhhhhhhhh*

some recent events have left me thinking, “i love portland”

first was CRAVE… an event with the tagline, “an urban girl’s guide to all that you CRAVE”
it’s basically an evening where you show up at a warehouse and inside are little setups and representatives from local boutiques and businesses run by women (lots of unique jewelry, hats/gloves/scarves all made out of recycled sweaters, vintage clothing etc) and then of course some featured boozy delights.

oh, and a fashion show… which we didn’t stay for, but the stage was real purty…

so we shopped, sat in “the park”

and of course, enjoyed some vino…

it was a fun event (minus the arctic-ish temps), and good to spend time with the hill, wallace and kralj girls!

next… the KINK Holiday Benefit Concert!

KINK is a local radio station, and they do a great job of playing local, up and coming etc. artists. they put on the holiday benefit concert each year. it always draws a large, diverse crowd, and usually presents a great lineup!

confession… we originally were not going to attend the concert this year b/c the lineup was less than exciting, but we were holding out hope b/c there was going to be a “special guest” they had not announced yet… *crossed our fingers, toes, eyes*

and the special guest was… BRANDI CARLILE
SOLD… we immediately scooped up tickets! DUH!!

when we got there, we kind of made our way to the front of the masses b/c as the lineup progressed some people would leave their spots in the crowd so others could fill in.
i ended up in a bit of a passive aggressive elbow match with an older woman who was sufficiently intoxicated but very funny… she informed me she was there to see THE BOB. ummm the who!??!?!

Bob Schneider she informed me was the best act there and assured me i would soon be in love.
SO i cut her and her posse a deal… i give you the front for THE BOB, and you give me the front for BRANDI. i’m so glad i made this deal b/c it allowed me to snap some photos of her drunken antics, and her friends’ attempts at getting her under control!

THE BOB came out…

and homegirl got her boogy on!!

her friend managed the “empties”

she even danced and stumbled herself to the front row!!

can you see her up there??

bob schneider was good… very entertaining… although i got a little confused when his trumpet player suddenly pulled out his bag of tricks this out of his bag of tricks…

that was a first for me at the holiday BENEFIT concert!

OMG i forgot to tell you!! not only was brandi carlile the surprise guest, the original headliner, bruce hornsby (i know, who even knew he was still around?) lost his voice and they asked brandi to step in as headliner… DOUBLE SCOREEEEEEEEEEEEE

she was AAAAAAAAAAmazing, of course…

she played one of my favorite songs:
(sidebar: the big headed guy in front of me who ruined my video actually got kicked out b/c he was recording the entire show with some little audio device… turd!!)

she ended the show with her rendition of “Hallelujah” (which Paste Magazine voted 13th best cover of the decade!!)… i love when she does this to end a show that has lots of people who have probably never heard her play before. she is mesmerizing, you can often hear a pin drop, you get goosebumps, and when she’s done, you can hear the collective “WOW”
this isn’t my video, but here’s what i mean:

love Love LOVE me some Brandi Carlile!!


did you know you don’t have to be christian to get through the big gate in the sky???
if you aren’t a nike employee, but can sweet talk your way into a guest pass, you can get into HEAVEN!

we go each year before christmas, compliments of nikki’s aunt (aunt suzie, i haven’t met you but you’re one of my favorite people!!!)

we all showed up in the proper gear… no competing brands!!

waited in line, until they opened the doors…

isn’t it wonderful!?!?!?

we have it down… you hit shoes first, then children’s clothing, then adult clothing, and make your way toward the checkout before the line wraps around the whole store!
we did pretty well!

the pictures don’t really do it justice… this place is HUGE, and it’s all Nike, and all about 50% off what you pay in the stores for it. Seriously… looooooooove!!


and no matter how much i tell myself i’m not going to do 2/3 of my christmas shopping via Nike, the aftermath always looks something like…

(that’s only part of the loot people!)

so that’s kind of what the happs have been around here.

i leave you with an important update… PORTER’S FIRST VET VISIT!!

remember this guy??

fuzzy was a big hit at the vet, and he officially weighed in at a lean mean 34 lbs!!

more soon…