Friday, January 31, 2014

Blog Contact Cards

In May, along with Kara and Katie, I'm attending my first blog conference, Elevate.  I want to have contact cards to hand out to all the other awesome bloggers I'm sure to meet but I can't decide if I want a photo on it or not.  I'm a visual person so I know if I came home with a pocket full of business cards it would be helpful to have a photo of the person but I just can't decide if I like how the photo looks on the card so, I'm asking for your help.  What do you think?  With photo or without and if with, black and white or color?

Anything else you think I should add?

Thanks for your help!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Surfing in the USA

This past weekend there was some awesome surf in San Diego so I made Jason go check it out with me.  Surfing is something I will never do, so it fascinates me.  If I'm being honest, I hate the ocean.  Salt water makes me want to vomit (Literally, if it gets in my mouth, I will gag & dry heave.  I hate it.  If I get in at all, I chew the strongest mint gum I can get my hands on, just in case!).  Anyways, I wanted to see the surfers take advantage of the huge swells so we biked the 4.8 miles from our house to Pacific Beach, where we had lunch at the PB Ale House, but sadly, didn't see any surfers.  So after lunch, we biked 4.3 miles to Ocean Beach, our home beach, where we knew we'd find surfers.  And we did.

Riding along the bike path in PB.

I love the way these footprints looked in the sand.

 It was fun to take some "aerial" shots from up on the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier.

This is a zoomed in version of the shot above.  Do you see the water shadow on his face that looks like a man.  It freaked me out at first but then we had fun trying to figure out who it looks like.  Go ahead and click on it to make it larger and let me know who you think it looks like. 

This gives you an idea of how huge the waves were (not Hawaii huge, but definitely huge by SD standards)

We had a fun day watching the surfers.  It reminded me of why we moved to California.  While all our friends and family are buried under massive amounts of snow and fighting through power outages, we're riding bikes, catching some rays, and watching surfers.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pacific Beach AleHouse

First of all, thank you for all of your kind words and prayers on yesterday's post.  Suicide is not an easy topic to discuss but it's one I feel needs some attention.

For round 2 of San Diego Restaurant Week we decided to check out PB AleHouse.  Too bad I massively failed at the research on this location.  When we arrived we were informed that the Ale House only participated in SDRW for the 1st 5 days and, well, the day we went was day 6.  OOPS.  Since we had biked the 5 miles to the restaurant and were already seated when we found out, we decided to stick around.

We had hoped to have this view from our table but the upper deck was completely full and it didn't look like anyone was going to be leaving any time soon...

So we settled for this view.

I big, pink, puffy heart reflections!

We started with fried pickles, one of my appetizers ever.  I'll order these every time they're on the menu.  Jason and I agreed these fried pickles were some of the best we'd ever had.  (And a beer sampler for Jason, we were at an "ale house" after all)

Jason had the sausage plate for his meal and he loved it!  The pretzel bread was super fresh and the pickled veggies in the middle were fabulous. 

I ordered the bbq chicken flat bread and it was...ok.  A little dry, it could have used more sauce.
(If you're keeping track, that's twice now that Jason's made a better choice than me!  Maybe I'll just start letting him choose what I eat.)

I couldn't finish all of my flat bread so we decided to share the leftovers with someone who would appreciate it more than we would.

Overall we loved this place.  If there weren't so many other great places to check out in SD, we'd probably return.  And who knows, maybe we'll return anyways.  Don't take my word for it though, check out what Katie thought of the PB Ale House when she visited last week for SDRW.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Adam's Song

Last week we received some news that shook me to my core.  A friend of Jason's, who was stationed in Japan with us and left the Army just a few months before us, took his own life here in SoCal.  I didn't know him very well but we lived in the same small community for 3 years and he was my husband's peer and friend.  I know suicide is, sadly, a rampant problem in the military and among veterans but this is the first time it has closely touched my life (unfortunately I cannot say the same for Jason).  This is not the first time I've been effected by suicide, but for some reason, this one seems to be more difficult to wrap my head around.  I think that in some irrational way, I feel like, what if it had been my husband?  We don't know why Chris made the decision he made but my mind immediately goes to the possiblity that years at war, on some level, had an affect on him. (These are my own personal thoughts and assumptions, not based on any known facts, but this is my blog so I'm sharing what I feel)  What if war had affected Jason in that way?  What if he was in a dark, lonely place?  I've never been so grateful for my husband and every day I share with him.  If you believe in the power of prayer, please pray for Chris's family (he was unmarried and didn't have any children).

The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that over 1 million people die from suicide each year.  It is believed by some that suicide is preventable.  Here are some signs that you can look for in someone that may be considering ending their life:

Suicide Warning Signs
Talking about suicide
Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off dead."
Seeking out lethal means
Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with death
Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope for the future
Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way out"). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing, self-hatred
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden ("Everyone would be better off without me").
Getting affairs in order
Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbye
Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.
Withdrawing from others
Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behavior
Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."
Sudden sense of calm
A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to commit suicide.

In college, I had a friend who decided one day that he was going to give away everything he owned.  He literally put all of his belongings on the lawn in front of his house.  3 days later he attempted to take his own life.  I didn't know then that he had been displaying outwards signs of desperation for weeks.

Please take the time to educate yourself and be vigilant of the signs others are putting out there.  You never know when a friendly gesture can change someones life.

We hadn't seen Chris for a couple months and looking back, I don't remember seeing any of these signs.  I don't know that there was any indication this was going to happen, and perhaps then there wasn't any, at least not then.  No one will ever know.

Chris, your radiant smile will be missed by many.  May you rest in eternal peace.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Blo Blate

This weekend I attended, by far, my most favorite San Diego Milspouse Blogger date (or blate if you will).  Katie had the great idea to have an afternoon of pampering at Blo, a blow dry bar in Carlsbad.  The staff at Blo could not have been more accommodating or friendly.  We had the entire salon to ourselves and they were certain our glasses were full of water, tea, or champagne at all times.  Some of the ladies brought treats (lemon cookies and chocolate covered strawberries, yum) which made for the perfect casual social hour.  We had 2 new ladies join us, including Jordan with whom I've been chatting via the interwebs for at least the past 4 years.  It was so nice to finally meet her and see all the other awesome ladies again this month (we missed you Ines).

I spy at least 3 DSLRs in this photo...we're bloggers, it's what we do!

Standing, L to R: Kathryn, Erin, Jordan, Kara, Elizabeth, Emily, Nicole, Katie
Sitting, L to R: Me, Victoria

After we were all looking fabulous we headed over to The Crossings at Carlsbad for a late lunch/early dinner.

I tried to catch Katie mid selfie but she busted me.

I had a huge, tasty, grilled cheese with truffle fries.  This was my first time trying truffle fries and honestly, I don't get the hype.  They were ok but not worth the price, IMO.

You can't tell here but the view from the Crossing is stunning, all that blown out background is gorgeous sky and ocean!

After lunch we had a mini head shot photo shoot so we could all have some updated photos for our blog side bar.  By the time we took the photos my hair was flat, it looked a gazillion times better when we left the salon.

If you are a military spouse blogger in San Diego and would like to join us, please send me an email at (or contact any of the other ladies) and we will be sure to include you in our next event!  Seriously, this group of women is awesome, you should to be a part of it.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Chedi Thai Bistro

Back in September I celebrated my birthday at the San Diego Restaurant Week kick off party and had a blast so when we heard it was coming back, we immediately started researching which restaurants we wanted to check out this go around.

First up on the list was Chedi Thai Bistro in LaJolla.  I absolutely love Thai flavors (except the chilies, you know, one of the main ingredients) so this was a no brainer for us.  I wish we had gone during the day so the photos would have turned out better but we both work full time jobs so dinner time it was.

The ambiance was great, the service was fantastic and most of the food was delicious.

If your town doesn't have a restaurant week, the idea is that restaurants sign up to participate and then choose a set menu (or at most, a very limited menu) and a set price.  Chedi Thai Bistro had a 3 course menu, a choice of starter, entree and dessert.  Depending on the entree you choose, their were different prices.

Jason started with the smallest chicken wings I've ever seen, but boy of boy were they delicious!  I would have loved a huge plate full of them.  I chose my favorite Thai dish, Tom Kah Kai.  It might have been the best Tom Kah Kai I have ever had in my life.  A giant bowl of this to go with a giant plate of those wings and I would have been set for the night.

Unfortunately I finished the soup and it was time for our entrees,  black pepper lamb for him and a tummeric curry noodle seafood for me.  Jason LOVED his and about licked his plate clean.

 Mine had a good flavor but the curry was a tad grainy and even though it said "mild" on the menu, it was so spicy I couldn't eat it.  I ate about 5 bites before I gave up and just ate my husband's rice.

We finished with a slice of chocolate cake and ginger creme burlee.  I had really high hopes for the ginger creme burlee but I didn't taste any ginger what so ever.  After another really long and stressful week at work, this was the perfect date night with my main squeeze.  I'm so glad we tried this place and I'm sure we'll be back.  (The drunken noodles the guy next to us had looked and smelled SO good, I have to try them)

Happy Friday folks!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ms. Independent

Today I had one of those days when I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry.  The irony of my current situation caught my totally off guard.  For nearly 6 years I was married to a man in the Army, thus earning the title of "dependent".  I've always thought of myself as fiercely INdependent, in fact, the first time my husband asked me to marry him, I said no. Why?  Because the thought of quitting my job and moving to another state where I would be totally dependent on someone else FREAKED ME OUT!  Obviously my love for him overcame those initial fears and I eventually grew not to associate "dependent" with "weak" or "incapable".  While we were in the military, I still managed to maintain some sense of independence by involving myself in activities that were independent of my husband.  Sure we had many couple friends and enjoyed lots of activities together but I still had a part of my life that was separate from "us" (PWOC, this blog, etc).

Now that we are separated from the military and I am no longer deemed a "dependent" by the US government, I find myself more dependent on my husband than ever.  Sure, I'm the main income earner in our family now, so financially I'm less dependent on him, but in every other way, I find myself more and more dependent on him.  I find that I'm relying more and more on my husband for my social interactions and thus, for this extrovert, my happiness, and it's putting a lot of pressure on our relationship.  Luckily for me, I married an awesome man and more than 6 years after saying "I do", he loves me more than I deserve.  And you know what, after all these years, I've learned I'm O.K. being dependent on him.

photo courtesy of Loft3


Weekend in LA

Another post titled with a song title, anyone know it?!  It was by far the most played song on my iPod this weekend.  Last week was one of those weeks that started off rough and just kept getting worse.  When I found out on Wednesday that we were off for MLK Jr's birthday, I wasted no time booking Jason and I a hotel room in LA for the weekend.  Not only was our wedding anniversary on Sunday but I just really needed a weekend away.  We went without a plan and it ended up being the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation, exactly what we needed.

I found a spot that I knew my husband would go gaga over, the Old LA Zoo.  When they opened the current LA Zoo and moved the animals, they left behind the old enclosures and some of the cages at the Griffith Park Zoo.  Jason LOVES the zoo and he's a giant kid at heart so I knew he'd love this.

I was correct.

From there we headed to Olvera Street, one of the oldest streets in Downtown LA.  We had some wonderful Mexican food at La Noche Buena, and that means a lot coming from me because I don't normally like Mexican food.  The avocado cream sauce and the cucumbers on the tacos won me over.

Jason had a midterm due that night so after dinner we went back to the hotel so he could do some school work then headed out in search of a bar for a few drinks.  Our original destination was a complete bust.  It was in a seedy part of town and everyone going in was 50+ and dressed like they were still trying to be 25.  We decided to just drive toward the coast and stop at the first respectable looking bar we found.  We ended up having a great time at the place we found but we were reminded how lucky we are to have found each other at a young enough age.  Watching 30 year olds try to pick each other up was both comical and depressing.

Sunday we had a bit of split personality.  We spent half the day being tourists and half of the day blending in with locals.

First up, the epitome of tourist traps, Hollywood walk of fame.  We were there for less than an hour and that was more than enough time for us.

Then we did a little vintage shopping at the Melrose Trading Post.

Had lunch at the farmers market (my burger and pickle chips from Short Order exceeded my expectations and the Yelp reviews).

After a quick stop at our hotel to let the puppy dog out, we spent some time walking around Venice beach.

Where we were treated to the most spectacular sunset I have EVER seen in my life on our way to dinner.

I stopped so many times to take photos I thought we were going to be late for our reservation (that and the fact that I thought the map said 1.7 miles but it turns out it was 4+ miles from where we parked to the restaurant, oops!)

Seriously?!? It was perfect!

We had dinner at The Lobster.  It was a last minute decision so I was thrilled they had room for us and even managed to find us a table overlooking Santa Monica Pier.

The food was delicious and the service was spectacular.  It was the perfect celebratory evening.

After dinner I was chilly so we stopped for some warm drinks to hold while we walked around a bit in Santa Monica.  We I didn't last long, after the 4 mile trek we made to dinner, before we hailed a cab.

Sunday we had a few last "must do" things to check off our list before we headed home, starting with a trip to see the Hollywood sign.  We didn't end up where we had intended but we got close enough to take a few photos and call it a check in the completed column.

Apparently LA has some wicked food trucks so we headed to "Miracle Mile" area where a dozen or so food trucks hang out for lunch.

I had a sandwich and spring roll from Banh in the USA and Jason had currywurst and fries from the No.1 Currywurst Truck.  I should have had the curry, it was SO GOOD, mine was just fine.

And with that, we were out!  LA, you won, I thought you'd be O.K. but it turns out I kind of love you!