Friday, August 27, 2010

A Latte Love Music Festival, pt 1

I love finding new music artists from fellow blogger recommendations and since months ago I was asked this on Formspring, but never answered--here is a little snippet.

I don't listen to anything terribly indie, so maybe this is nothing new. But here are some selections from a few favorites, old and new.


Mumford and Sons

A Fine Frenzy

Amos Lee

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

so sweet

I saw this video on youtube earlier this week--referred by a mutual friend.
The star of this video is the son of an acquaintance of ours. (his father is a classmate of E's) They are a really talented family so it doesn't surprise me a bit!

I planned to post it this week, and then i saw last night that Joanna from A Cup of Jo beat me to it! So if you haven't seen it already, you must check out the sweetness that is this smart three-year-old.

can you believe it?
I also love the part where he drop the toy and says, "oh! uh oh" and his excited squeal at the end.

I secretly loved memorizing poetry in junior high, but I could never imagine anyone that young memorizing so much (and with such great expression).

Just goes to show how spongy those little minds are!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Evolution of a Book Club

I always loved the idea of a book club, but my limited reading during my undergraduate career (after I changed my major from English to Business) made me feel like I wasn't well-read enough to be an asset to any book discussion.

With E so busy studying, I decided to pick up reading again and just grabbed something that looked interesting off his bookshelf: The Age of Innocence. So I brought it to work to read on my lunch break.

Barb, a co-worker joined me in the lunch room a few minutes later and commented that she had just began reading the same book, so we started chatting about it.
Then another co-worker joined us, and was curious about our book discussion. It turns out he is extremely well-read, and had read Age of Innocence several times.

We started discussing our progress in the book regularly at lunches, and when we finished the first book, I mentioned that I thought it was time I finally started reading Harry Potter (since it is one of my husband's favorite book series).

We all agreed to read the together--although Dan(the 2nd co-
worker) had already read them several times. After discussing the books gradually at lunches, we decided to have an official meeting to discuss the whole series.

And that is how our book club began!
Each of us takes a turn picking out a book and leads the discussion. We usually hold our meetings at each other's houses.
I've been really enjoying the varietyof books that have been chosen.

Since we started last July, we added another member--the wife of another co-worker who is also an avid reader.

Here are some of the other books we've gone through so far: (if you're reading in Google Reader you'll have to click through the blog post to see the images)

It has been a really great opportunity for me to be involved in this--I'm reading more than I have in a long time, and I'm stretching myself by reading books i would have never picked up if they hadn't been assigned. It's also a challenge to lead the discussion--we try to research the author as well as bring up some observations and discussion questions. For the first time, I'm taking notes of books while I read them.

We have a fun, little group, even if it is somewhat unconventional and eclectic (middle-aged man married with no kids, a 30-something single woman, a young married woman with no kids[me], and a 30-something mom of 2!)
But I'm looking forward to many more book discussions this year!

Are you an avid reader or belong to a book club? Do you have an book recommendations for me?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Colorado Scenes

E and I got back early Saturday morning from our trip and life has been a whirlwind since then.
Its hard to believe the summer is coming to a close, and even harder to believe that I'm looking forward to it seeing it end. (heresy, I know!)

Thanks again to Kelly from The Startup Wife for guest blogging for me last week!  I loved her post about her promise to play with her husband.  E and I are a really goofy couple alone--we share hundreds of silly words and inside jokes. I've never really thought about how much that is a part of our intimacy as a couple. But it is, and it's an important part for us.
Is it for you?

I'm still recovering back to normal life, so for now, enjoy these scenes from our trip to Colorado.

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I edited some of these pics, but the 3 below are SOOC. Wow.
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Can you believe we saw rainbows twice (technically three of them since the second time was a double rainbow!).  What a blessed reminder!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A very happy 27 years

Today is my parent's 27th anniversary.

I do not just consider it a blessing that they are still together, and have 'made it' so far.
I consider it a blessing because they are head over heels in love. More, I'm sure, than they were on their wedding day 27 years ago, and certainly more than they were five or ten years ago.

I have watched my parents, particularly over the last ten years, fall more and more in love with each other. We never never talked in detail about their marriage (though the conversations come up much more frequently and flow more freely now that my sister and I have gotten married as well), but it has been one of the greatest joys of my life to have parents that kiss in front of the kitchen sink, and get a kick out of the grossed-out groans that emulated from us as kids.


They have always been a team...even when three siblings and I have ganged up to pit them against each other. They have always leaned on each other when facing grief and heart ache.
They have fought, and cried, and learned from each other. And for 22 years I had a front seat look at the growth of their marriage. They have worked at it, fought for it, and loved it.

(my parents watching my baby sister play volleyball--my parents played together all through college)

And it has made me appreciate my marriage infinitely more.

Thank you mom and dad for setting an imperfect example of marriage, and through it--teaching me so much about self-less love.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Guest post: Kelly of The Startup Wife

Hi everyone! :) I'm thrilled to be posting here at the ever-stylish and adorable Latte Love. I'm Kelly, and you can find me at The Startup Wife, where I write about life married to (you guessed it) a startup employee. I live in the SF Bay Area with my husband J, I'm a fiction writer and grad student, and I spend way too much time with my Google Reader. I blog about marriage, relationships, health, faith, social justice, cooking, race/culture/ethnicity, writing, and money-saving tips.


In the wedding vows he wrote and said to me just over 2 years ago, at a beautiful park surrounded by our family and friends, my sweet husband J included, "I will laugh and play with you."

At the time I thought it was cute, but what I was really focused on at the time was his vow to kill for me every spider I ever saw (because spiders=the worst thing in the world).

And, you know, things like loyalty and love and perseverance and service and all that.

But the longer we've been married, the more I appreciate the times we play together, and the more I come to see it as an important--and maybe even central--part of our marriage.

It took me by surprise, really, that 'play' matters the way it does. I love heart-to-heart conversations, and deep, intense bonding, and when I was younger I pictured marriage as a sleepover party every night: sharing whispered secrets, spilling your deepest soul. And I tend to be rather reserved in social situations; I hate dancing or cheering or otherwise letting loose. When someone asks for audience participation, I'm the one slinking down in my seat and avoiding eye contact like the plague.

And J? J's a PhD student turned startup engineer. I think if you ran an MRI of his brain, you'd find a bunch of equations. Or facts about science. (I'm the complete opposite, which is why 'facts about science' was the best I could come up with.) I'm not saying he's a nerd, but some things I've caught him saying over the years include, "Take a solute, ANY solute ..." and "Don't act all surprised that there are histamines in alcohol!"

But when we're together, it's different.

We love to tease each other about slips of the tongue, or dumb questions we ask, or clumsy moments. The other day I heard a truly awful commercial on the radio, a man speaking earnestly about a grocery store: "What could be better than a festival? ... A FRESHTIVAL!" J and I lay in bed that night and spent a good twenty minutes trying to repeat the commercial with a straight face, and dissolving into giggles every time we tried. (Seriously, you try it! FRESHTIVAL. Who paid for that one?) Last night we played an impromptu version of mad libs until both of us were laughing so hard we could barely breathe.

Sometimes I look out our window and wonder if anyone can actually hear all the inane things we're saying, and it freaks me out. (We live in a small apartment complex, after all. Neighbors, I apologize.)

But then I think, who cares? Here are the two reasons I love playing together in our marriage: one, it's fun. It makes us enjoy each other's company. I love spending time with J, and I know that even if we're just hanging out at home (which we usually are when it's just us; we're homebodies. Or maybe it's just that we're poor) we can have a blast together. We can be forming inside jokes and giggling all night long.

And two, it's a sort of intimacy, really: no one else really ever sees that side to us; it's something we reserve for each other only. It's a way of saying, I trust you and I don't care if I look completely stupid in front of you. It's a way of saying, I know you get me, even the weirdest parts of me. It's a way of saying, you are the only person I will ever act this silly around.

And I love that.

And, hey, J promised to do that with me, forever, in front of like a hundred and forty people. (Sucker.) NO TURNING BACK NOW, buddy. We'll be giggling like maniacs together when we're old and gray.

How about you--is there anything you've unexpectedly found that you value in your relationships?

Thanks so much for having me, Katie! Can't wait to hear all about your trip!

Friday, August 6, 2010


E and I are heading off for the week on vacation--a family reunion in Colorado!
I'm excited to reunite with my family in this setting.  I see my extended family once or twice a year, but our big reunions only happen every three years in different places all over the country. 

We'll be roughing it at a mountain ranch and camping.  E and I have never gone camping together (although I have been dozens of times).  I hope we make it!

I can't wait to be surrounded by nothing but nature.

This week I scheduled a post and Kelly from A Startup Wife will be stopping by--so be sure to say hello, and visit her blog!

See you next week :-)

Adventures with Alex

We only get to see E's best friend Alex a couple of times a year, so it was really fun to hang out again.  When we were all in college E and Alex were roommates and I lived on the floor below them.

I recorded every day from what we ate that day, so I'm sorry if you're reading this post hungry!

 Tuesday we went to Claim Jumper (I used MyPoints to earn a $25 gift certificate).  I think this may just be a California thing--but we LOVE this restaurant. great food, and always great service.

We started with potato skins--I've never had better than these:

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The boys ordered the Widowmaker burger (thankfully, no widows were made :-) and I had Gold Miners Chicken (similar to a chicken marsala?) with cheesy potatoes, garlic bread and roasted vegetables.

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and you can't forget about the sugar-rimmed strawberry lemondade.

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After stuffing our selves, we headed down to The Old Globe in Balboa Park to see The Taming of the Shrew

I wondered how a modern crowd would take to Petruchio's masochistic, manipulative treatment of his wife so she would be compliant. Thankfully its a comedy and I think people could appreciate the exaggeration and comicality.  The acting was really great, and we got a funny surprise.  The actor who plays Gremio was Jeffrey the Butler on The Fresh Prince of BelAir!

Wednesday I made Pastor Ryan's Pasta Carbonara, which is weirdly my husband's favorite meal of all time.

The boys went the Wild Animal Park on Thursday and saw Ryan's (E's brother) show.  He is the main actor in a daily show called The Wild Animal Misadventure --his character is a guy named Lloyd who is kind of a dimwit.  It was pretty entertaining.  I was really surprised at the animals they brought out: camel, warthog, kangaroo, and even a cheetah!


The only animals Ryan handles are the dog and a cockatoo


The night we headed to Pizza Port in Carlsbad for dinner with more college friends.  It's a really fun place with open seating, a brewery and good pizza (and that's saying something for this Chicago girl).
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Beer Buddies (breadsticks)
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Pizzas Carlsbad and Roma
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Friday was a wine and cheese party turned game night.  We're amateur wine drinkers and this was a really informal get together with a few friends

Wine/Cheese night

The game we played is called "Bang" and it's a spaghetti western, which means everything is in Italian.
After a couple of glasses of wine it opens itself up to plenty of inappropriate jokes and references

bang collage

Saturday took us back to one of our favorite hiking places (which will now always remind me of Hot Wings)

But not before a stop at Juanitas in Encintas for Carnitas ;-)
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Saturday night we had a birthday party for E and Alex's other college roommate.
They made some AMAZING food!
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the stuff in that pitcher is blueberry vodka limeade. it. was. heavenly.

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creamed corn, stuffed chicken, tri tip? fruit salad, orange rosemary biscuit

Doesn't this plant look right out of Dr. Suess?
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And then Alex had to leave.
I had a great time having house guests and I'm all the more excited for my entire family to come out and visit us over Thanksgiving!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Go check out my interview (and learn how E and I started dating!) and say hello to Jenna

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where am I going?

I was kind of throwing myself a pity party last week. Facebook is a silly thing, and I came across a friend of a friend (whom I don't even know IRL) but who obviously is doing big things with her life.
Things I will never get the opportunity, or have the resources and ability to do.


I was reminded by a post on WifeyLifey, wondering if she should have gone on to pursue a graduate degree like almost all of her friends.
I'm at a young enough stage in life that I don't really have a lot of friends pursuing graduate work, but I still sometimes feel the tension of "what am I really doing with my life?". I'm not sure that doing what I feel passionate about is what I want in a career.
I'm not even sure I want a 'career'.

I'm currently supporting my husband through an education that, one he is finished, will almost assuredly make our lives somewhat unstable (financially and locationally). I have a good job that works perfectly for our current circumstances, even though it is not even related to what I planned on doing.


When I was in school (2 years ago), I was an extremely motivated student. I was over-involved with academics, extracurriculars, an internship and a job. And I loved it, because every minute counted. I worked hard, and I was proud of my accomplishments. (I was also 15 lbs lighter and stressed to the max)

I feel like "adult life" allows in some measure for me to be lazy and less accountable. I hate my current auto pilot mode. I miss the feeling of personal satisfaction from a job well done, and being pushed to do my best.

There has be some sort of compromise, right? I've found some inspiration in the blogosphere. Natalie is a great example for giving up t.v. to go back to grad school. I'm grateful for Sugar and Spice's admission about a lazy life, and it makes me wonder if my lack of purpose and tired/laziness lately are connected.


E is incredibly supportive of my dreams and goals. And he's encouraging me to keep thinking about what could be next for me and us.

I'm not sure what the answer is: grad school, different work (once E is out of school), learning to make much more of my free time, or just a shift in attitude. So I'm seeking it out, we're praying about it, and we'll see where things lead. Even though marriage changes a lot of priorities, I'm so thankful for a spouse who thinks its just as important for me to be fulfilled in my calling as he is in his.


Anyone else feel like they're in a personal or professional funk? What are you doing to stay motivated, active and engaged?

(all sunset photos take by me from the 15 freeway on July 4)

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