Bay Area Buddies

Bay-Area-BuddiesA number of years ago I posted about a couple of my favourite blog reads, today I’m doing the same. Starting 2015 off on the right foot, I decided to read less blogs, clear out my feedly RSS feed and focus on less quantity, more quality. Know what I’m gettin’ at here? I want to dive into the new year being a better friend, whether it be online or in person. I’m horrible at leaving blog comments, and I usually scroll through a lot of blogs I read without truly reading them.

I’ve put together a list of my blog friends from the San Francisco Bay Area that I’ve met and thoroughly enjoyed their company, had good laughs with, and cannot wait to spend more time with in 2015. Hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do!

TeamWikingJessica | Team Wiking: to her gorgeous photography to her impeccable style, Jessica is someone who I look up to, not only in the online world, but also offline. I’ve known Jessica online for 10+ years until a few years ago we had the chance to meet in person one weekend when we planned a girls trip to San Diego. Never once did I think I’d be moving to her country 3 years later, let alone her neighbourhood! I mean, we’re kind of walking distance from one another (I drive there #GotACarWhyNotUseIt), and I love just heading over there just to hang out. Because really, her house is just as gorgeous in person, too.

CarlaCarla | Alyssa & Carla: Carla is the person I run up and squeal to whenever I see her. Carla and her best friend Alyssa run a blog together from their weekly updates to their creative DIY’s. Carla lives here in the Bay Area but her best bud Alyssa lives in Japan! I love it.

MontgomeryFestAnnie | Montgomeryfest: After reading Annie’s blog for a few months and missing each other at blog meet up’s, we finally met last month at an event. I admire Annie because she is a creative individual who pumps out incredible content on her blog. I love just heading over there and oggling at her photographer and styling.

A-side-of-sweetKelly | A Side of Sweet: Kelly is someone I truly admire, she has to be one of the most friendliest person I’ve met. One thing I cannot get over is how much of a go-getter she is, especially considering she runs her blog full time, and she is a full time pediatrician.

a-lady-goes-westAshley | A Lady Goes West: Is also new to the California area as she and her husband relocated from Florida, so we’re all pretty new here. I enjoy when she blogs about the restaurants she goes to, and adventures she goes on since I still want to take my husband out to new-to-us places. Ashley is not only a healthy living lifestyle blogger but she’s also a personal trainer. I always stop by her blog to get ideas on workouts she’s come up with.

Pink-on-the-cheekLauren | Pink on the Cheek: Lauren’s blog is full of ways to grow your blog with tons of tutorials, or ideas on how to get out of a blog rut. This year I plan on takin’ Lauren out to the rock climbing gym and go for a climb, or for me to join her at a CrossFit WOD. I want to hang out with her more often!

Snixy-KitchenSarah | Snixy Kitchen: I think I need to drive over to Sarah’s house and get her to teach me her ways. As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t really have a knack for coming up with recipes on my own, and throwing in whatever ingredients I have laying around and have it come out amazing. I feel like Sarah can whip up the most intricate meals without looking into a recipe book. It’s crazy, and I love it.

2014 year end reflection

scott-nancy2014 was a complete game-changer on so many levels. Starting off the year, my husband and I had been married for a little less than 48 hours, and were planning our move across North America from little ol’ university town of Waterloo Ontario, to smack dab into Silicon Valley, Amurica.

Never in my wildest dreams, had I ever thought about, or even imagined that I would be living in the United States, let alone breathtaking Northern California. Nevertheless, I must say 2014 was the best year yet — although it went by in such a blur I cannot believe we moved down here 11 months ago. We’re no longer newly weds, and we’re no longer new to being in California! Crazy!

My main goals when moving to the USA was to push my introverted self out of my comfort zone and say yes to more things, speak up to strangers and meet new friends (check, and check!), and overall embrace the change. It wasn’t scary to move down to California if we’re going to be honest. Especially easy since we moved during a Canadian winter. I wasn’t overly fond of living in Ontario, because I was stuck in a rut. I didn’t have many friends, and I certainty didn’t like the place we lived. We were already a 4 hour flight away from family, what’s another 6 added on top of that?

Okay okay, before I get all mushy let me walk you through all last year had to offer, shall we?

surpriseJanuary was full of panic and packing. It was when we came back to work, told our bosses we would be leaving our amazing wonderful jobs to pick up and move to the USA. I still miss my co-workers so much. I continue to e-mail all 30 of the staff on a weekly basis (every Thursday as a matter of fact), to keep them updated. I’m not sure if everyone is on board with my random ramblings, but for the most part a lot of them seem to be enjoying the updates. We skype, we BBM video, and we chat as though I am still part of their team. I loved that I was completely caught off guard by my going away/wedding/surprise party thrown by some of my co-workers, while I was at the mall with Aimster (who just so happened to be my bosses daughter and my co-worker).

imageFebruary was the time we took the swift 3 day drive from Canada to California in our 17 foot u-haul with my little Mazda on top of a trailer attached to the u-haul. I’m surprised we weren’t pulled over and asked for a truckers drivers license. That thing was a beast to drive, and so scary — I definitely white knuckled driving that monster. I looked back on my archives and it looks as though I blogged just the once. Guess that goes to show how busy we were driving across the continent, looking for places to live, and having our internet hooked up. Luckily we found a spot in no time, thanks to Jessica a hundred times over for helping us out from driving me to all kinds of apartments to me leeching off her internet to find apartments to look at. Couldn’t have done it without her help. By the way, can you not get over how amazing California looks in February?!

MonksMarch was another fun month. I got the chance to have a complete makeover at the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara at MAKE UP FOR EVER which was pretty sweet. I walked around Santa Row a lot, checking out all the stores readily available just waiting for me to whip out my pocket book. Man, the shopping is excellent here. We drove out to Lake Tahoe for a day trip so The Guy could get in some last minute cross country skiing done before the season ended. I had enough of the snow at this point, I wasn’t about to get on a set of ski’s especially after leaving the wretched cold winter up north. I was ready for some sun! So I got some at Capitola Beach when our friends from Ontario came down to visit their in-laws. My old co-op student from my previous job in Ontario was in San Francisco on a work term, so I visited him for a day and we were treated like celebrities, it was fantastic.

Golden-Gate-JumpApril I stepped out of my comfort zone as Ellen, a blog reader e-mailed me out of the blue one day mentioning she had been reading my blog for some time, but has never left a comment. She is also a climber, and suggested we meet up some time for a climb at the local rock gym. Of course I’m going to say YES. It was awesome, and I hope to continue to climb with her again this year! Our first Easter in California was a success, and pret-tee delicious if you ask me, gotta say… I’m a great cook ;) This was also the month my blog received a complete overhaul and re-branding, I love how it turned out. April was pretty memorable because Jessica took me out to see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time in my life!

birthday-bannerMay ah my birth month, where even my local pizza place delivered me a heart-shaped pizza for my birthday, sweet. I got a membership to the local rock climbing gym and climbed more with Ellen. On Mother’s Day The Guy and I went to the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos so I could make some Thank You cards to send out to our wedding guests. Not only that, I got to eat breakfast at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay!

June I bought a pretty sweet gym bag and bouldered a V4 for the first time in years, pretty happy about that. I visited Google for the first time, that place is so fun! I swore during yoga class. My husbands younger sister came by (and the older one came in July as their trips overlapped). The Guy and I finally have a grown-up bedroom, with a headboard and all. Now we just need to upgrade our bed from a double to a king.

BlogHer-BloggersJuly is when I went to my first BlogParty in San Francisco and met so many awesome Bay Area blogging buddies. I also attended the BlogHer conference where I spotted Khloe Kardashian in person, kinda fun. My two sister-in-law’s (husband’s sisters) came down for a visit and we totally bonded, froze are buns off in San Francisco on the Fourth of July, and had a laugh, it was amazing having them both here. I cannot wait until they both come down again, hopefully SOON!

BlogHer14-Day2-005August was a slow month in the blogging world. Jessica and I teamed up and hosted a giveaway together, and I posted the outfit photos (here too)that she took of me at the blogging conference. Total fav. Then there was a whole whack of talkin’ and reviewing of some Dior products. Nothing much to report in August, really!

Swimming-IMTahoe-2014September The Guy made his featured appearance on the blog and starting reviewing running shoes. I was back to Newfoundland for most of August and a little bit of September. I still haven’t recapped our non-wedding wedding reception that we flew back for, in August. I didn’t take many photos from the day, so there isn’t much to look at really. But I did take you around to the little fishing place called Petty Harbour, and then showed you the most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear. I blogged about going to the annual Flatrock Festival (climbing fest) too. The Guy was going for his 6th Ironman in September, out in Lake Tahoe but it ended up being cancelled due to smoke from forest fires, and we came face-to-face with a bear at our hotel. Scary stuff.

Alfie-shower-cap-1October onto my husband’s birth month. For his birthday I surprised him with a two day honeymoon to the romantic village of Carmel, an hour or so south of us. The views from Point Lobos had to be my favourite spot of our trip. October is when I introduced Pomeranian Friday’s to the blog, which seems to be a huge hit with the readers. Glad you’re enjoying Alfie as much as we are!

Bloggers-at-UniqloNovember was a fun month because not only did I received a ton of lip glosses to play with courtesy of bareMinerals, I attended a pretty fun event for the grand opening of Uniqlo in the Milpitas mall. I also started exploring coffee shops, which I’ll continue to do as a feature throughout 2015. The Guy, Alfie and I hit the trails one afternoon, and then I showed you what my “uniform” looks like on weekends. Then I did a flashback to the summer where I  talked you through beautiful Conception Harbour, Newfoundland.

napkins2December is my favourite month of the year! For our first American thanksgiving (although in November but blogged about in December) we hosted our first dinner guests, ever ever!  We invited our Canadian friends to join us as I cooked us a feast! I attended a really cool event in San Francisco and received the utmost royal treatment getting there. I ended up taking my hair dye woes into my own hands and doing an at-home dye-job, how did it go? In December we hosted some more family and friends, and after they left I showed you how I like to unwind after a long day. I visited another great coffee shop! December was pretty awesome, we got to fly home again to be with our family. Although arriving later than expected with many airline troubles, we still enjoyed our time in Newfoundland.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! That’s the end of my 2014 recap. I’m feelin’ good about you, year 2015. I sure am.

23 hours door to door, and we’re back!

Well, after some radio silence on the blog — we’re back in California after a lot of flight delays, 1 cancellation and many many flight changes. The Guy and I were supposed to fly back from Newfoundland to California on January 5, but our luck of the draw there was a snow storm, which cancelled our flight as soon as we went through security, waiting at our gate for the flight. I thank our lucky stars we have our family directly located in St. John’s, so it wasn’t like we had to travel too long to get to the airport unlike some other poor ol’ souls.

Newfoundland is coldStating the obvious: Newfoundland was cold.

January 10 was the earliest we could get out of St. John’s. Without making the story boring and long winded, American Air co-shares their flights with WestJet and it was the earliest one available that we could get on, with Alfie, and with it in a one day trip flying to San Francisco. Our flight coming back to California was laughable by the end of it. The entire trip door-to-door from Newfoundland to California took us 23+ hours. It was rough going, especially travelling with Alfie. We took good care of him, especially with the 9 hour stop over in Toronto taking him outside his kennel to piddle, eat and drink in the family washroom since we were through security/customs. He was a fantastic little trooper, the little guy didn’t cry or bark the entire time. I think he had it rough going, being in his kennel for so long. Let me tell you, he was some happy to be home in our California home. Free reign!

We’re so glad to be back in the California warmth, and after a good nights sleep on Saturday night, we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed only to realize our heat wasn’t working, 17°C/63°F (inside) has never felt so cold. I’m heading over to the office this morning to ask the management if they can fix that for us again. We had them coming in on December 22 or 23 to fix it, but clearly it still doesn’t work, and who wants to really call someone in on Christmas Eve to fix your heat? Especially since we were leaving for Canada the next few.

I checked our mail box yesterday and it was overflowing with parcels and of course bills and flyers. To give you a preview of what I’ll be blogging about within the next little while, I snapped this photo on Instagram of our nice surprises.

I’ll be back to regular blogging later this week! It’s good to be back :)