Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

Spent my afternoon in Old Town celebrating a Christmas Eve lunch with a friend and thought I'd share the sights with you.

We started with lunch at Cafe Coyote and I had tamales. Forget fruitcake (many people do!) but the making of and finally eating tamales is a Christmas tradition in many Mexican families. I decided to forgo my usual carnitas or enchiladas for chicken tamales and I was not disappointed, it was soooooo yummy. I topped it off with a Margartia blended to perfection.

Cafe Coyote y Cantina

A wonderful meal like that needed to be walked off so we headed to the many shops that help to make up Old Town San Diego.

I know a lot of cities have their versions of an "Old Town." Our Old Town is considered the birthplace of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California.

I always have to visit the Wells Fargo Museum because I find it so fascinating. It is so Wild Wild West! Can you imagine traveling by stagecoach?

The marketplace in Old Town all decked out for the Christmas holiday.

I was so happy to see an actual nativity scene without any controversy surrounding it

Festive Mexicanpaper cutout banners line the walkways

Cute water feature

Some of the gorgeous landscaping

The interior of a friend's garden shop

An interior shot of the Whaley House according to the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted, the house is the number one most haunted house in the United States.

You can see it's a clear day in San Diego BUT it was chilly!

I love Victorian houses and there are a few in Old Town in a section called Heritage Park

The Immaculate Conception church built in 1917

Beautiful, isn't it?

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Hope you are taking time to enjoy the holiday and Holy Day with your friends and loved ones.

Peace, love and happiness from Bonnie, Sadie & Kitty

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Chick Flicks

Oh, how I adore a good chick flick especially during the holidays! Here are two Christmas themed chick flicks that I heartily recommend.

Love Actually...

...which I loved, actually! The movie takes place the frantic few weeks before Christmas and is made up of several love stories and most have a happy ending but true to life, sometimes love doesn't always work out. The stories are inter-related, loosely related and some of them unrelated to each other. One of my favorites is Bill Nighy as an aging rock star and the other is Hugh Grant as the unmarried prime minister.

Love Actually

The story culminates with a children's Christmas pageant and a mad dash to the airport. You'll have to see the movie to find out what happens at the airport!

The Holiday

I never saw The Holiday at the movies and in fact only caught it in drips and drabs whenever it appeared on TV. I didn't care much for it but that was probably because I had never seen the whole movie in one sitting. And then, one day, it happened! I saw the film from beginning to end and fell in love with it!

So it goes something like this: two women trade residences (one in California and one in England) over the holidays. Although they are strangers they each find themselves in pretty much the same predicament, meaning of course, problems in the romance department.

I know you'll like it, who doesn't love a good love story? Add the fact that part of it takes place in a snowy cottage in England with Jude Law and, well, I was hooked.

The Holiday

I might also add that I found Jack Black quite the cuddly teddy bear in this movie as well!

Christmas at Nigella's!

And now to Part 3 of Nigella Lawson's Christmas Kitchen. On having a stress free holiday, Nigella recently said...People are predisposed to have a great time, you almost have to go out of your way to have a horrible time. Nigella loves being in her kitchen, but even more so during Christmas where she "wallows" in the holiday. She loves her house to smell of gingerbread - cloves, cinnamon, ginger and orange. Her mother always did a ham and so the tradition continues. What Nigella tries most to do is create the nostalgia for her children and remember the magic.

Nigella's Christmas Kitchen - Part 3

In a recent interview Nigella said she'll be spending Christmas in London. Anyone up for a quick trip?

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hallelujah and Pass the Cheese Grits!

My niece Jamie and I spent a fun Sunday morning (yes, I know I'm a little late in posting) at the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. It was an awesome way to spend the morning. Take a look...

Jamie and me at the House of Blues

Oh, yummy...the omelette station!

The closest I will probably get to a gospel service. The music and voices raised the roof!

There is a rolicking finale where you are invited onstage.

Visit the House of Blues to find a Gospel Brunch near you!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, some of the awesome artwork at the House of Blues

A portrait of Frida Kahlo

Scenes of downtown San Diego

The San Diego trolley

And lest I forget it is the holiday season which means the continuation of Nigella Lawson's Christmas Kitchen. You can't help but feel festive with Part 2!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's the holidays!

The holiday spirit is swirling around me after spending the day after Thanksgiving watching all the HGTV decorating specials. Forget Black Friday, it is my annual day to splurge and do absolutely nothing but soak up all the Christmas decorating ideas I can! It's become my tradition.

I was reminded of Nigella Lawson's Christmas special that aired about two years ago. I enjoyed following along by watching Nigella cook up some of her holiday traditions. I love Nigella Lawson because she is straight forward with her recipes, they are uncomplicated and unfussy. I thought it would be fun to follow Nigella over the next few weeks with her Christmas special that appeared on the Food Network.

Nigella in the kitchen

A quick nibble

This and that about Nigella Lawson:

Did you know that in 2001 Nigella declined an OBE from the queen? However as the daughter of a life peer, Nigella is entitled to the courtesy title of "the Honorable."

Her son Bruno recently told her, You have no idea how delicious KFC is.' And she said, 'I'm sure you're right, but I'm not gonna give it to you.

Is an avid supporter of the Chelsea Football Club.

Here's part 1 of Nigella's Christmas Kitchen:

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3

Look forward to visiting everyone's blogs for more Christmas inspiration!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful to spend this Thanksgiving with all of you!

May your stuffing be tasty, may your turkey be plump
May your potatoes 'n gravy have nary a lump
May your yams be delicious, may your pies take a prize
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bonnie, Sadie & Kitty

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Twofer Review - New Moon & Precious

I was first introduced to Twilight by a friend from the office. She was quite the rabid reader of serious novels so the day she came to me touting a book called Twilight I was quite surprised. I know, she says almost apologetically, it’s a book about teen angst, high school and…VAMPIRES! She gave me the book and, well, I gobbled it up in two days flat and wanted more! I loved the books and with great agony waited for Twilight the movie to be released. We went as a group from the office the day it premiered. At the conclusion of the movie we found we were split 50/50 as to who liked it and who didn’t. I was in the I LOVED IT camp although to be honest I really cut Robert Pattinson's acting a lot of slack because he was so darn cute.

New Moon

I waited like most Twi-hards for the return of Bella, Edward and Jacob with baited breath. The fact that the best I can say about the movie is that it is…Ok…kills me. Listen, I am not a professional film critic and though there is a lot to like about New Moon for me it was as flat as a pancake. There were great visuals, loved the wolves, the scene in Bella’s bedroom as she watches time pass is great, the Volturi (kind of aristocratic, ruling class vampires) were pretty interesting and it’s no contest that Dakota Fanning (wearing red contacts yet) can out emote Robert Pattinson any day. There is a great supporting cast which we see too little of, maybe that was the problem for me. Go see the movie if you are a Twilight fan, I promise Taylor Lautner’s six-pack is worth it! Apologies for being sexist!

The Volturi (Dakota Fanning in foreground)

The Wolfpack

Team Jacob - yummylicious

A clip from New Moon

A far better movie to recommend is the life affirming, Precious. There is a great story going around that Oprah had contacted Mo’Nique and asked her if she has picked out her dress for the Oscars yet. Yes, she is that good and equally stunning is Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe as Precious. Everyone associated with Precious should go home with an Oscar, the film is that worthy. This is Gabby Sidibe’s awesome fledgling debut and Mo’Nique is better known for her comedy but her gritty portrayal will leave you breathless and her final monologue in the film will stun you. The film is literally and figuratively dark and I winced, grimaced and gasped out loud and surprisingly even laughed a few times. This movie will break your heart but is essentially about the triumph of the human spirit and trust me you will fall in love with it. The film is dedicated to precious girls everywhere.

Gabby Sidibe as Precious

Mariah Carey as the social worker

Lenny Kravitz as Nurse John

Paula Patton as teacher Miss Rain

The Mother of all mothers, and not in a good way, Mo'Nique as Mary Jones

Clip from Precious

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Random thoughts on a Sunday

Good morning blogger family! Enjoy these sunrise pics of San Diego while I take a sip of coffee.

It's a beautiful Sunday morning and Sadie and I have just come back from our walk. The weather is beautiful, still a chill in the air but the skies are clear promising a warm afternoon.

Tell me what you had for breakfast! It's only 8:30 in the morning here. I decided to make some cinnamon toast which takes me back to my childhood. Guess you could say it's comfort food, anything's a comfort when your mom makes it for you. I had a friend that made her cinnamon spread this way...a bowl of softened butter, cinnamon and sugar to taste...mix till incorporated. The end result was a whipped mixture. It looked wierd but as soon as you spread it on your toast it melts to yumminess; and if you put it on English muffins, it will ooze into all the nooks and crannies!

Above is the end result of the cinnamon mixture served on whole wheat toast with a little unsweetened applesauce on the side. I got the little glass and its twin at a garage sale. The toast is waiting to be gobbled up on my favorite Franciscan plate in the Desert Rose pattern. It is my favorite everyday dinnerware and I have loved Desert Rose since before I can remember. Did you know this pattern has been around since the 1940s?

As much as I enjoy living in San Diego, America's Finest City, its roads leave something to be desired. I have come to this realization only after having my tires balanced! I somehow have managed to find every pot hole and uneven street there is here since taking care of the tires.

Ok, no potholes here, just a massive traffic jam as I leave San Diego Airport - see the Southwest jet making its approach on the left? I didn't realize there was a Veteran's Day parade downtown so got caught up in this lovely mess.

The niece came to visit me this week and we met for lunch at Seaport Village. Enjoy a few pics while I continue with my coffee and have some toast...

One last random thought....I think the state song I Love You California (a little boring) should be replaced by Low Rider! I love Low Rider, it's so SoCal, who doesn't love a car that jumps around!

The words are really easy to remember since there isn't much to it, just some fun music...

All my friends know the low rider
The low rider is a little higher
Low rider drives a little slower
Low rider is a real goer
Low rider knows every street yeah!
Low rider is the one to meet yeah!
Low rider don't use no gas now
Low rider don't drive to fast
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip and see
Take a little trip
Take a little trip
Take a little trip with me

And if it's good enough for George Lopez, it's good enough for me!

Have a great SoCal kind of day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger - that's me!

I have seen this award many times in many blogs.

And guess what? I was just given this fabulous Kreativ Blogger award by Ruben at Rattus Scribus a blog that is dedicated to thought and inspiration or as he also likes to put it "Writing is an Itch. This is a place to scratch."

Part of the process in being given this award is to come up with seven things you don't know about me. So cinch that seat belt tight, it's going to be a bumpy ride! Here we go...

1). I am a lover of all animals but when I was younger I LOVED horses. I collected little figurines and I even had a fanciful one that was pink with a white mane and sat upright on her haunches. She was bejeweled and bedazzled with scattered rhinestones and wrapped in a “fur” stole. I enjoyed reading books like Misty of Chincoteague, The Black Stallion and my all time favorite National Velvet. I used to dream that one day a little pony would come walking up our driveway; who knows it could still happen.

2). My mother introduced me to my love of reading. One Christmas she bought me The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew. A few years later, she brought home a slightly tattered paperback from a thrift shop (my love of thrifting goes way back). She said it was her favorite book as a young girl, the book was Anne of Green Gables.

3). After school, my friend Gail and I would high tail it as fast our oxfords could carry us to the fountain at Woolworth’s where we would enjoy such fanciful drinks as Green River, Cherry or Chocolate Coke. We would stuff our book bags under the counter and just gab the rest of the afternoon. We would also explore the makeup counter and sniff exotic perfumes that came in little bottles. I remember one in particular that was called Blue Danube and it stunk to high heaven!

4). My neighbor and I used to perch ourselves in her mango tree where we would write little stories. When we discovered 16 magazine and Tiger Beat I’m afraid we took the low road and began writing our own gossip columns featuring outrageous stories of our favorite celebrities like David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman! The Star and the Enquirer had nothing on us!

5). I used to play the piano and actually loved it. What I didn’t love was the teacher, Sister She Shall Be Anonymous. She had a habit (hehe) of hitting me with a ruler because of little infractions like maybe I didn’t wash my hands before playing. I would go out of my way to avoid her if I saw her walking down the hallways. This was 4th grade, when I became a freshman, she was my homeroom teacher. She told me “you still have a chip on your shoulder,” ah well; I guess you could say nothing changed.

6). When my dad retired, our family accompanied him on his last flight (he was a pilot). It was a very short trip from Honolulu, Oahu to Lihue, Kauai but very exciting. I had flown with him many times to many places but this was the first time I was on a plane he piloted. He actually had his own plane but gave it up because it made my mom nervous. He was a very kind, well liked and generous man who would give you the shirt off his back even if it was his last one. He enjoyed working with his hands and if he wasn’t working on cars he was working on our house. You could say the house was his pet project! At his funeral, a second parking lot had to be opened up because there were so many people. He had many friends and I can only say it’s because he truly exemplified what we call the Hawaiian Spirit. I really do miss him.

7). I grew up in a family of seven kids that eventually expanded to become eight. I’m not kidding when I say my parents were everyone’s favorite aunt and uncle! Our house was always stuffed to the gunnels spilling over with kids, friends, family, neighbors and animals. Each summer the house was pushed to its limits with the arrival of our cousins from the Big Island. (Think Brady Bunch but double that.) Our family lived by this Golden Rule: What’s one more!

Hope you enjoyed the ride and hope it wasn't too bumpy! The last portion of the blogger rules is to pass the award on. That will be forthcoming in another post. I must put on my thinking cap as I'm afraid I don't get out much!

Thank you again to Ruben for being so kind as to honor me with the Kreativ Blogger Award. Ruben is the lucky husband of The Lovely Anita at Castles, Crowns and Cottages. You can read all about Anita in a post I did entitled She's All That at my other blog the Bhive Buzz!