I have left you all hanging... and I didn't really care!

Day 4...
    Today we rode the bus back to downtown SF.  We decided to go back down to the Pier area so we could really see all the shops.  This time we stopped at Ghiradelli and bought a bunch of chocolates to take home as gifts and goodies for co-workers!  It was hard to resist opening the bags and eating it all!!
We basically just did a lot of sightseeing this day... without looking like total tourists!  It's a LOT of walking!!

    We decided to see Chinatown... There are a lot of people!  Kinda like being in China I imagine!  Lots of dead things, fish, chicken & ducks hanging in windows too... and then little tubs of water with fish swimming around in them. Fresh is best!
I think the lamp posts were the CUTEST things there! I wish lamp posts everywhere looked like these!

Isn't it the CUTEST?!  I love the little dragons!  I think all lamp posts should look like this!

We shopped and walked the rest of the day and at the end this is what that looks like...

Old Navy was having a KILLER sale!!!



I know you have all been dying to hear the continuing story of our fabulous vacation, so on to Day 3! The first day in San Francisco!! Whoo-Hoo!

We didn't have to get up too early this day since San Jose isn't terribly far from SF. We checked in to our hotel, armed ourselves with maps, info and plans and took off to see the sights!!

We rode the Cal-train for the first time... we felt like tourists trying to get tickets from the machine! :/ We got into Downtown and then caught a bus to go down toward the pier! (We bought tickets online for Alcatraz, so we wanted to kinda check out where it was so we wouldn't miss it!) Here's when we REALLY felt like tourists since we were asking the bus driver where we get off to get there! They all were really helpful and nice though, and it wasn't all that bad.

We got off at Ghiradelli... MMmmm! We thought about having ice cream, but never got around to it... it was pretty chilly! (52 degrees... which isn't bad normally, but next to the water made it colder and that was at noon!) Anyway, we headed down along the waterfront and, of course, had to stop at Boudin for some AWESOME sourdough bread bowl chili! YUM! I just wasn't used to seeing so many darn birds! And they are brave too! Some dork left his bowl unattended and the birds went for it!! He managed to salvage it, but just barely.

We walked the rest of the way down the pier, past Pier 39 and all the shops (that was for another day!) And then, TA-DA! There was Pier 33! We got here early so we hung out in the souvenir shop for a bit checking out all the stuff. (I'm not gonna lie, I usually get sucked in to buying something!) We started a habit of collecting magnets of places we travel to. It's cheaper than clothing, and lasts longer too! After getting our souvenirs safely ensconced we headed out to board the ship!! I won't really say much more except to label the photos!!!

Soni on our ferry ride over

Leaving SF behind!!

Caught a bird in flight... it was following our boat and yes, it was WINDY!

View from behind

First close up view from the ferry

View of The Golden Gate Bridge from our Ferry over to the Rock!

These are the showers... where a convict was first taken... Wonder what missionaries would have thought if it was like this at the MTC!

Just an empty cell.

You know me... I gotta be different! I would hate to have to really use a toilet in a cell like this!

Soni chilling in a cell... she was reluctant to lay on the bed! HAHA!

A cell someone tried to escape from.

Cell Block D.. I just wanted this picture b/c that's where the hardened criminals stay (& where Sean Connery's character supposedly was when they filmed The Rock). The guards told us they actually filmed it in Cell Block A which was dark, gated and kinda off-limits. Oh well.

Me in solitary... it smelled musty and was DARK! *shiver*

View of the outside tower

The view as we were sailing away... Goodbye Alcatraz!

After Alcatraz (no we weren't scared after seeing it... we don't believe in ghosts!) came the daunting task of getting back to the Cal-train station and making our way back to our hotel! Let's just say, easier said than done! We got miserably lost, saw a rat, walked past a crazy lady having a fight with some girl that wasn't there (she kept saying the B word and making threats), walked past some tough looking guys having a fight, and finally got directions from a drunk, that turned out to be okay, to Cal-train. It was a different station, but it got us where we wanted to go!! HOME!

Slacker! Resolutions update...

So, I haven't been the best at updating/reporting on how I'm doing with my resolutions, but I'm here to report today!

Things are MOSTLY going pretty well. Here's how I stand as of today:

1. Relationship with HF...
I started out really well with this one. It has tapered off slightly, so I need to get back on it. I still feel good about it since it hasn't gone back to doing nothing, but I'm renewing the scripture reading and praying TODAY!! Soni & I did go through our schedules for the whole year and planned 9 Temple trips! That exceeds the goal! Whoo-Hoo

2. Body
I have been to the store and have stocked my car, purse and work with healthy snacks! Raw Almonds, granola bars w/ little sugar and Trader Joe's Fiberful bars... I LOVE those! Soni and I sit down at the beginning of each 2 weeks and plan out dinners for every night we are home. So no more wondering what's to eat or snacking until bedtime. The only thing that I have not felt any motivation for is the exercise. (For Shame!) I did try a yoga video and felt pretty okay afterwards, but then it took until Friday for me to stop having back, neck and leg muscle pain! So, no more for me. I did mention walking tonight... and WE WENT! 30 minutes, which was twice around our condo complex. Feels pretty good. No ankle pain, so I think I'll try to keep that up at least 4-6 times per week!!

3. Money
I have really stuck to it on this one! I only went on two trips to Target in January and that was it. (I've been 3 times already this month although on one trip I used a gift card and only spent 33 cents so I'm not counting it!) I'm really keeping to the list which is good. I could be better so I'll keep working on it!

4. Doctor
I had some trouble with this one b/c the website was not making it easy. I finally have some numbers for new doctors that I will look into. In the mean time I have made 2, yes, 2 Dr. appointments with my old Dr. in Long Beach. One for a physical and one before to discuss ankle, dermatologist, etc... (sinus! I've been having problems since December!!)

5. Family
I actually made this goal b.c I thought my family was putting the kabosh on monthly birthday dinners and wanted a way to still stay close to everyone, but turns out not EVERYONE thinks the monthly dinners are too much, so they are still on. So, this resolution is moot.

So, to sum up (wow! Sounds like I'm writing a report for school or something!) I'm on the right track! Just need to keep up with number 1 and now that I'm finally motivated to walk, number 2. YAY!


The Rules:
1.Post these rules
2.You must post 11 random things about yourself
3.Answer the questions set for you in their post
4.Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5.Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them ... You legitimately have to tag 11 people! (I'll tag as many as I can who have not already been tagged!)

11 Random things about myself:

1. I'm allergic to strawberries, but eat them anyway!
2. I was born with & still have 4 kidneys and 4 ureters. (Most people know this about me, I had surgery at 6 to connect a ureter that was MIA... I leaked.) :(
3. I am a complete Original Star Wars NERD... with action figures, trivia books, playing cards, drinking glasses, etc...

4. I try them all the time to see if my tastebuds have changed ... but I hate raw tomatoes.
6. I think I was born in the wrong era... I love all the things my parents love... old movies, musicals, old singers like Dean Martin, Sinatra, Torme, Andy Williams, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald etc...
7. (Goes with 6) My dream job would have been to be a lounge singer... like Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas.
8. I have a fetish for scissors, pens and mascara... I'm always on the lookout for the next best thing!
9. I have slept with 2pillows under my head since I was 12... I suffer from vertigo and labrynthitis and can't lay flat ever! (I get dizzy blow drying my hair sometimes!)
10. I am sooooo afraid of spiders that I have taken to spraying my room ALL OVER 1/month. (I'll probably develop some lung disease from the fumes).

11. I will /have eaten green beans & lima beans out of the can... and liked them!

My questions from weighward:

1. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It was a love affair from the start... 3rd grade I discovered it and have not tired of it yet!

2. What is your go-to breakfast meal (the one you have most often)?
I eat once I'm at work so I can sleep in longer... yogurt and Pb crackers.
3. If you could interview one person from history, who would it be?
Joseph Smith Jr. He went through so much and saw God & Jesus Christ... I bet he would be a treasure trove of information and it wouldn't be boring!
4. Who inspires you to workout?
I do. Which has been a big problem lately. It has to come from me, so I know that I'm doing it for me, not someone else ... otherwise I won't stick to it.
5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Rainbow Sherbet... and YES. It is ice cream! It has milk in it.
6. If the whole world was one big country and everywhere was peaceful and safe, where would you want to live? (you can take your family and friends with you!)
Alaska... I like cold weather... and I want to stay in the Promised Land!
7. What is something that you have always wanted to do but were/are afraid to do it?
Move! I would love to just get up and start over somewhere. Somewhere where money goes a longer way than in CA!
8. If you could choose one food that would never make you fat no matter how much of it you ate, what would it be?
Bread! In all it's glorious forms... pastas, bagels, crackers, chips, tortillas you name it!
9. What is your favorite non-fiction book?
I know it's cheesy but The Book of Mormon. It has so many different stories and so much for you to learn that it never gets old.
10. What is your favorite fiction book?
I don't really have one. I love reading too much to get hung up on one book. There is too much out there... A few of my favorite series are: Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, and the Culinary Mystery series by Josi Kilpack. I also love Georgette Heyer right now and have read 4 or 5 of her books.
11. If someone made a movie about your life, who would you pick to play you? Who would you pick to play your significant other?
I was told once I looked like Mary Stuart Masterson so I guess she gets the gig. I have no significant other, just my sister who would be played by Dana Delaney circa China Beach. :) She got that from all the elders on her misson.

My 11 questions for others...

1. What is your dream job? Why?
2. Favorite TV show ever?
3. Who are your top 3 favorite authors?
4. Describe your dream home location.
5. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
6. Tell me 2 things that fascinate you.
7. What is your biggest fear?
8. Who is your hero and why?
9. Name 5 things you could not live without.
10. What is your favorite color and also most hated color?
11. What super power would you most want to develop if accidentally bitten by a spider/fall in a vat of acid? :)


We stayed the night in San Simeon. Meh... that hotel placed every guest right next to each other & the walls were paper thin so we got to hear everyone most of the night! (That's why I never leave home without earplugs! Greatest invention EVER!!)

Anyway, we had already decided to drive up the 1 to San Jose with a short stop to see Hearst Castle, only once we got there we decided we didn't really want to do it. It was rainy & we had a lot of miles to cover & sometimes you just wanna get there, ya know?! Here's the funny thing... We only had like 2 gallons of gas which I noticed and said aloud, and we were wondering if we should backtrack or just hope we would run into a gas station. Long story short... The gas light came on, we FINALLY found a station, the gas was $5 something/gallon!!! I guess out in the middle of nowhere they can charge whatever they want!!

We finally got to San Jose and headed over to the Winchester Mystery House. I had been here previously in the mid 90's with my BFF Katy & you were allowed to take pictures back then. I guess someone took video and then made a not-so-nice movie with that footage, and now they have a no photos rule. (I still took them with my phone camera when our tour guide wasn't paying attention.- Shameful, I know.)
Here are all the pictures:

Outside views of the house:

This one is my FAVE... It's the bell tower. I took it from inside the house.

Inside the house views:

Soni by the pantry and some statue thingie.

The super cute daisy windows!

Outside/garden tour views:

Sad, I can't remember how this tree was split, but that's how it grows now.

Mrs. Winchester loved horses so the weather vane had a horse instead of a rooster.

A replica of the Winchester tombstone. Meh.

We also went on the tour of under the house... the basement and such, but the tour guide was Boom! right there wherever we were so I couldn't get any pictures. Oh well... it was dark anyway.

After this we checked into our hotel and then found a Target and a Trader Joe's (Soni said she could live in San Jose b/c it has those 2 stores!)
Then we watched a Christmas movie and drank hot chocolate...

Resolutions Week 1

This week has gone well. I didn't feel overwhelmed by my resolutions which is usually why people give them up. (Okay. which is why I give them up). I knew that I wanted to make them attainable which is why I wasn't super strict about having to do them EVERY SINGLE DAY! Especially when they haven't been getting done at all.
Church: I've read only twice this week, but I was planning on reading today before bed and tomorrow which will be 5 times this week. Perfecto! Right on goal schedule. Prayers were good too. I haven't missed a day. Eventually, I know I'll be doing AM & PM, but like I said when you haven't been doing anything at all... it's easy to get overwhelmed, get down on yourself, and get negative! So, baby steps for me. I want things to STICK LIKE GLUE! The only thing I've ever decided I really needed to start doing daily and just did it was flossing. Decided I needed to be better and BOOM! Have only missed like 3 days and that was 3 years ago. I wish all things were that easy to stick with!
The bad: I didn't read my Ensign. Not even once. It should have been read at least twice. I will need to be better about that. No temple, but I still have the rest of the month and only 6-8 trips to complete.
Exercise: None. :( What? How is that possible? I did skip (Yes. Literally.) across the parking lot to get a referral from the dentist over there. (twice). Does that count a little? I was hot. I broke a sweat. (A little one). Also, I put away all the office stock the other day which is lifting boxes, unloading, getting into cupboards, etc... I totally was hot after that one. I really just need to DO IT! Right when I get home... Change clothes, grab my ipod, and head out the door. How hard can it be? Apparently, it's REALLY hard!!
Money: I have already used up my 2 trips to Target for the month!! Yes! Seriously! I wasted one. I went really quick for a dollar bin oil pan and they were out!! I only spent $4o so I guess that's not too bad. I went with Soni today. Got yogurt and sour cream. Whoo-Hoo! Also, I spent my last penny today at Bath and Body Works. The Clearance sale is just too good to pass up. Bonus: I think I have enough wallflowers for the next year!! (maybe 2) :)
Work on:
  1. Reading my Ensign when I don't study scriptures
  2. Getting in the 30 minutes of walking or physical activity
  3. Making & sticking to a list for Target
  4. Make an appointment this month to go to the Temple!


I know! I should have blogged this vacation as soon as we got home, while it was fresh in my mind, but did I? No. Of course not!! I am now. So, here goes:

We left Saturday and drove to Solvang, CA... Whoo-Hoo! I've never been here before. Seriously? I didn't even know it existed. My family IS Danish (along with a lot of other stuff), so how could I be so in-the-dark? Anyway, it was a totally cute town and I would die to go back and stay longer (any takers? Probably when one of the festivals is going on!)

We parked here... and there was a mural on the wall with lots of Danish people...

This is the bakery our Aunt told us about... She said the pastries are TO DIE FOR! She was right!! They were so unbelievably good! The sunlight hit it just right.. it's like heaven was shining the sun on it.. "ahhhhhhh" (heavenly music)

I just liked the street name...

Cute windmills all over! I especially loved the Days Inn as you drive in.. So adorable. I'll have to get a picture next time.

There was a little shop where you could look up your name... this is The Christensen Coat of Arms. I thought that was pretty freakin' Awesome!

Anyway, after getting some aebleskivers (that were AMAZING!!!!) we hit the road heading for San Jose. (Follow the aeblskivers link to see how these SUPER DELISH BEAUTIES are made!)

This is all along the 1. We stopped along the coast... we only had like 2 gallons of gas and a LOT of highway! We were sooo nervous we would run out. Finally we found a place that had gas for over $5/gallon!!!! Crazy! But, we had to pay! Or else push the car the rest of the way!!

To be continued...
San Jose, Winchester Mystery House! Ooooo!!

100 Book Challenge

Remember this list?
My Book List

1. The Grimm Legacy -Polly Shulman
2. School of Fear -Gitty Daneshvari
3. The Graceling -Kristin Cashore
4. The Clockwork Angel -Cassandra Clare
5. The Lost Hero -Rick Riordan
6. This Book Is Not Good For You -Pseudonymous Bosch
7. Red Riding Hood -Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
8. Emma -Jane Austen
9. Getting Away is Deadly: A Mom Zone Mystery -Sara Rosetti
10. The List -Melanie Jacobson
11. Mobbed -Carol Higgins Clark
12. I'll Walk Alone -Mary Higgins Clark
13. Lemon Tart: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
14. English Trifle: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
15. Devils Food Cake: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
16. Key Lime Pie: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
17. Blackberry Crumble: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
18. Cross My Heart -Julie Wright
19. Why Shoot A Butler -Georgette Heyer
20. The Circular Staircase -Mary Rinehart
21. School of Fear:Class is not Dismissed -Gitty Daneshvari
22. Jane Eyre -Charlotte Bronte
23. Hide In Plain Sight -Marta Perry
24. Sight Unseen -Mary Rinehart
25. Children of The Lamp: The Five Fakirs of Faizabad -Phillip Kerr
26. K -Mary Rinehart
27. The Help -Kathryn Stockett
28. Behold, Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer
29. Pumpkin Roll: A Culinary Mystery -Josi S. Kilpack
30. The Gathering (Darkness Rising) -Kelley Armstrong
31. Footsteps In The Dark -Georgette Heyer
32. The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel -Michael Scott
33. Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1) -Lorena McCourtney
34. Sprinkle with murder -Jenn McKinlay
35. Buttercream Bump Off -Jenn McKinlay
36. Death by the Dozen -Jenn McKinlay
37. Envious Casca -Georgette Heyer
38. The Unfinished Clue -Georgette Heyer
39. The Witch of Agnesi -Robert Spiller
40. Mama does time (A Mace Bauer Mystery) -Deborah Sharp
41. Spying in high heels -Gemma Halliday

It was supposed to be a list of 100. I only got to 41 which means I read 3.5 books per month. I don't think that's too shabby.
I was also thinking any more than 3 per month would be ridiculous with trying to live a life also! I think I'm going to stick with the 40 books since that is more reasonable.
You are welcome to join me in a 40 book challenge if you want... Happy reading!

New Year Resolutions!!!!

I NEED to be MUCH better this New Year in the following areas:

1. I have really neglected my relationship with my Heavenly Father for years and really want to get that back on track! So to fix that I will:
A. Read my scriptures at least 3-5 times per week.
B. Read the Ensign on the days scriptures are not read.
C. Say at least a morning or night prayer or both.
D. Go to the temple more than last year... so 6-8 times this year.

2. In addition to other neglected things? My body. Some idiot 'helped' me sprain my ankle a second time 3 years ago at our annual turkey bowl. It was a BAD one. (Let's just say I fell on my ankle and someone fell on me. So twice the weight on it. It seems like it will never be the same.) But I don't want that to be an excuse anymore. So, I will:
A. Walk at least 3-5 times per week even if it's just leisurely. (Seems to be the only thing that doesn't kill it!)
B. Make a menu for meals for the week to avoid snacking.
C. Carry healthy snacks with me at all times so when a hypoglycemic attack hits I won't be tempted to shove anything and everything in my face!

3. Spend less money!
A. No more quick trips to Target. 1-2 stops per month only!
B. Make a list and stick to it! If it's not on the list it shouldn't be in the cart!
C. Delete all saved credit/debit card info from all accounts.

4. Find a new doctor and GO! ... We moved over a year ago and I should go for multiple things I just don't since old one is in long beach and I tell myself it's too far away. :/
A. Get referral for dermatologist (Chances are pretty much 100% that I'll develop skin cancer.)
B. Get referral for podiatrist...for Ankle obviously & since I'm on my feet all day at work... couldn't hurt.

5. Stay close with family.
A. Schedule visits with each family. At least 2/family/year.

That's all for now. I'll be updating once/week or at least trying which means my blogging habit should be better this year also. I'll try ot to make the updates too boring! :)