ideas

To Family, Friends and Feasts

| November 27, 2014

In the spirit of keeping turkey day greetings short and sweet: I hope your day and evening has runneth over with good food, good conversation and a good food coma!

Happy-Thanksgiving-2014

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10 Things: Thankful

| November 07, 2014

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I took this photo at Sunset Cliffs in the middle of May, during the week my husband and I hoped we might finally be pregnant.

Over the past six years, there were many days when we’d hold our breath and gingerly let our hearts hope, “Maybe it happened this time,” only to know a few days later that it didn’t. Slowly, I began to believe my body was broken. Dark thoughts followed, then tears. Sometimes, I was anchored in bed by the sadness of not experiencing what many other women were clearly equipped to go through.

Then, nine days after this photo, my doctor’s office called to tell me the best news of my life. Since then, I’ve savored every day, making sure not to take any moment for granted. A part of me still guards against the worst. But most of me is full of a quiet, sublime joy, one that’s made it easier to be grateful for many things in my life right now.

1. My pear shape. Are you kidding? I love my current figure, especially my profile, and the inner kicks, punches, elbows, jolts, writhes, and wiggles that come with it.

2. My husband. He has graciously made room in our bed for my four pillows. He tolerates (and monitors) my newfound snoring. He remembers to fill and pack a water bottle for me when we’ve got a long day of errands ahead of us. He’s attentive and patient without asking. I’m too lucky.

3. My family and friends. Their excitement for us runneth over.

4. Kind strangers. From one cashier at Michael’s who was concerned at the prospect of me carrying two light but bulky bushels of hay–part of our fall decor for our patio–to my car, to the owner of a Hillcrest boutique recognizing me and congratulating me on my wonderful new condition.

5. Advances in reproductive science. We wouldn’t have been able to conceive without them. We wouldn’t be 99% sure that our baby isn’t suffering from certain chromosomal aneuploidies or spinal bifida without the blood tests I’ve taken. We wouldn’t be positive that I don’t have gestational diabetes. Science may not have been able to explain why my husband and I couldn’t conceive on our own, but it’s been really helpful lately.

6. Hand-me-downs. Thanks to generous cousins who’ve saved their sons’ baby things, we’ve already got a bassinet, plenty of onesies in the 0-6 month sizes, a Boppy nursing pillow, and a baby swing.

7. My pregnancy discomforts. Slightly swollen ankles when I’ve been standing too long. The constant tingling of the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger of my right hand. Occasional upper back pain. Hip pain throughout the night. Forehead acne! They all mean that I’m still pregnant and that my pregnancy is healthy, so I don’t mind that I’m experiencing them.

8. Hapa Yoga. Classes like Prenatal Yoga and Yoga Basics have helped me realign, strengthen, stretch, and relax. I also appreciate how family-oriented the studio is and look forward to the time when I can take Mommy & Me Yoga, a class in which mamas can practice yoga with their newborns!

9. Our home. It’s no McMansion, but with four rooms, we have plenty of space. We live on a quiet street that’s beginning to bloom with more young families. And there’s a clean, safe park two blocks away for walks with my husband and eventual outings with my baby boy.

10. My appetite. I’ve heard that there are some women who never shake the forever hangover feeling that is pregnancy nausea. So, I’m especially happy that mine went away after my 12th week. I love to eat.

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AROUND THE WEB // 5 Thanksgiving Tabletops

| November 03, 2014

Hosting Thanksgiving? Need some inspiration on how to set the eating scene? Then check out these five tabletops, each of which emphasize going small instead of tall so that guests can see each other without obstruction.

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I also like that the decor in each is basically a thoughtful scattering of ingredients that would’t take much time to line up down the length of the tabletop. Practical and unpretentious: who can’t dig that?

1. VEG (AND FRUIT) OUT. A bounty of fresh artichokes, bulbous heads of lettuce, oranges, and an assortment of apples are pulled together with brass candlesticks and branches to create an atmosphere of familiarity and comfort. // Photo by Farra Miron

2. CRISP AND CLEAN. For a calm, sweet setting, opt for creams and whites broken up with pops of yellow Crespedia bulbs, birch branches, and delicate white orchids. // Photo from Elizabeth Anne Designs

3. MOD MOTIF. One way to turn down the stress of hosting? Shoot for simple yet tasteful with a charcoal tablecloth, trios of gray pillar candles, white tea lights, and orange and red berry branches. // Photo from Apartment Therapy

4. OH SO LEAFY. And then there’s lush and bright, as in this tabletop featuring waxy magnolia leaves, persimmons, short vases filled with pops of fushia, and white pillar candles. // Photo from Apartment 34

5. GRAPES AND GOURDS. For a turn on the traditional tablescape, set out a spread of green and purple grape bunches, knobby gourds in yellow and orange, cream pillar candles, and sprigs of green and gold wheat. // Photo from Peter Loves Jane

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RECAP // October 2014 on Dig This Jive

| October 31, 2014

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Trippin’. I was straight trippin’ this month, but in a completely literal sense.

Between South Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Joshua Tree, my husband, me and my growing bump logged in some awesome miles around the southern half of our beloved Golden State. We brunched in a hidden city in LA County and admired classic cars painted in saturated colors of the spectrum. We took in views of the ocean from a part of the coast I hadn’t visited before and picnicked in a park with a fine view of a historic mission. We relived the quiet and calm of sitting for hours in the shade of towering monzogranite boulders. And we did it all just as thermostats began to fall under the 80-degree mark.

October is a great time to hit the road. Does that mean November is ideal for nesting? I guess we’ll see.

TOC-Features

10 THINGS: CRAVINGS | What a preggo wants to eat, a preggo gets, even if she regrets it later.

TEN-MINUTE TRIVIA: HAVE A HORRORIFIC HALLOWEEN | Sharpen your horror film knowledge with this 10-question quiz.

TOC-Food-and-Drink

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS | When pumpkin meets chocolate, it’s a very good thing.

TOC-Travel

MY GO-TO SPOT FOR PAN DE SAL IN SAN DIEGO | The Ranchos Peñasquitos bakery I hit up for Filipino baked goods.

4 SAN DIEGO SPOTS FOR PUMPKIN TREATS | What Bread & Cie, Big Joy Family, Bake Sale Bakery, and Bear Buns Bakery have in store to satisfy your taste for pumpkin.

SOUTH PASADENA | Taking in coffee, brunch and a classic car show on Mission Street in South Pas.

SANTA BARBARA | Places to eat and relax like a Santa Barbara local.

JOSHUA TREE 2014 | Camping and climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

TOC-Philanthropy-Charity

BIKE MS BAY TO BAY TOUR 2014 | My husband goes the distance–150 miles–to help raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.

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Ten-Minute Trivia: Have a Horrorific Halloween

| October 27, 2014

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Halloween is this Friday! To celebrate, see if you can score 10 out of 10 of this quiz put together by my friend, TK. The theme is horror films.

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  1. The casting of Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween” was seen as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, who had cast Jamie’s mom in one of his iconic films. In which film did Hitchcock cast Jamie’s mom? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  2. In John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” what needs to be tested to make sure someone isn’t the creature? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  3. One of the killers in the original “Scream” was named Billy Loomis. “Loomis” was actually an homage to a classic film. Which film was Loomis an homage to: (A) “Nightmare on Elm Street,” (B) “Friday the 13th,” (C) “Halloween,” or (D) “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  4. Zack Snyder’s directorial debut was a remake of which George A. Romero zombie film? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  5. Name all three of Jack Skellington’s assistants in “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  6. One of NBC’s “Friends” started their film career with a credited role in “Leprechaun.” Which “Friend” was it: (A) Courtney Cox, (B) Jennifer Aniston, (C) Lisa Kudrow, or (D) Matt LeBlanc? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  7. What is the name of the main villain in the film “Hellraiser”? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  8. In the first “Final Destination” film, the kids almost died in a plane. Where did the kids almost die in “Final Destination 3″: (A) a roller coaster, (B) a mall, (C) a bridge, or (D) a racetrack? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  9. How many actors have portrayed adult-aged Jason Voorhees in the “Friday the 13th” series: (A) 5, (B) 7, (C) 9, or (D) 12? | CLICK FOR ANSWER
  10. In the film “Insidious,” the song “Tip Toe Through the Tulips” plays as the red-faced demon sharpens its claws. Who is the artist singing this version of “Tip Toe Through the Tulips”? | CLICK FOR ANSWER

(Image from fanpop.com)

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