Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating Birthdays and Easter

It has been a busy two weeks of birthdays, traveling, Easter, running and eating. I started off eating Mac & Cheese with friends, complete with a sundae from Chick-Fil-A, went to church for Palm Sunday (granted it was Saturday night), then enjoyed baked cabbage and Dickey's for dinner. On Palm Sunday I went to Sam's Club and Costco to start looking for glasses and ended up getting a couple of pairs at Costco, before heading to my brother's house to celebrate my nephew and mom's birthdays. After fish tacos, wine and cake on Sunday night, we went to Rubio's for more fish tacos on Monday before heading to Stanford Medical Center with my grandma for some quick tests (all is well). On the way home, we stopped at WinCo for my favorite fried chicken and potato wedges (I wouldn't want my mom to have to cook on her birthday).


Once back to my house, I was busy planting my garden for the spring/summer, and got to have lunch with a former colleague at Smashburger ... Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake = tasty. With the stock market closed for Good Friday, I was able to work in the morning and then take the afternoon off to run and go through the Stations of the Cross at Bayside before dinner at The Habit (fresh albacore) and back to Bayside for my first of three Easter services. After the service we decided to have dessert ... lots of milkshakes (a theme for the week).

On Saturday I made a giant circle of the Sacramento region ... from my house in Roseville to the Sacramento Republic FC offices to pick up my season tickets with my parents, then we headed to Firestone Public House for lunch. After lunch I was off to the gym and took the opportunity to run along the American River. I was fortunate to run on the scenic trails all through high school and still have some nice places to run in Roseville, but it's always fun to get back to the American River Bike Trail. After the workout (and shower), I went to Folsom to have my new glasses fitted (they were both ready within five days of purchase, amazing) and then to Rolling Hills Christian Church for Easter Service number 2.

Sunday was busy, starting off with Bayside's first service at the Galleria at Roseville. The lineup was great with Lincoln Brewster leading worship, Francis Chan speaking and David Garabaldi painting a portrait of Jesus, but beyond that the message of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection was made abundantly clear. After the service I drove to Lodi to meet my family for our Easter celebrations (sorry, for some reason I didn't take too many pictures). There was an Easter Egg Hunt, plenty of food, lots of fun and great family memories were made.
Photos for those with iPads.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Peanut Butter, Fish Tacos, Friends, and Doctors

I think it can safely be said that almost everything goes better with peanut butter and, if you know me, I will add it to almost anything for any meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, ... ). This week I tried a few new ways thanks to Facebook. I added it to oatmeal (along with bananas and craisins), plus made a quesadilla, also adding bananas (this would be better with dark chocolate peanut butter ... I'll have to do that next time for a dessert).

I also found time to run and have friends over a few times for some spectacular semi-homemade fish tacos. Using some gourmet fish sticks, we added a yogurt salsa dressing, fresh cabbage, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole, and cheese. All I can say ... two of us liked them enough to have them again two days later with another friend.

With a weekend full of friends, food and work, Monday brought more work, my first doctor appointment in about a year (might as well make use of the expensive healthcare I now have to pay for), plus a trip to Trader Joe's and Fleet Feet. Tuesday I was able to work, run and watch the Sacramento Republic FC win their first game, I'm looking forward to their home opener in a few weeks. In trying to catch up on everything on Wednesday, I made it to the optometrist at Costco too (first time to see one of those in almost two years), although not covered under the expensive healthcare, Costco offers a great deal and a friendly optometrist. After getting my new prescription (I'll be shopping for new glasses next week), I headed to Papa Murphy's to support Shriners Hospital by purchasing a pepperoni pizza for $5, and then finished the night at BloodSource ... giving blood and eating junk food, plus Costco's new BBQ sandwhich. With enough junk food eaten for awhile, today was slightly healthier ... peanut butter, bananas, chicken, vegetables, and freshly steamed artichokes from my Trader Joe's trip.
Pictures for those with iPads.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Kid-Sitting Around the World

It was a crazy week of traveling around the world, but all I had to do was head to my brother's house with my mom to kid-sit my two nephews and niece in Redwood City. After I finished up with Good Day Sacramento, my mom and I headed to the Livermore Premium Outlets (shopping and quick break so I could work) and then kept going to Redwood City. My brother and his wife left for a quick trip to Europe Friday morning, and my mom, dad and I took care of the kids, while also giving them a taste of other parts of the world.

Before I get to the tour around the world, I also must say we did lots of other fun things. There were swim lessons, taking kids to school (and picking them up), Opening Day Ceremonies for Little League, complete with mascots from the San Francisco Giants, the San Jose Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and the Oakland A's, fireworks, and a whole lot of kids with their parents. My dad and I also took the nephews to see The Lego Movie, my mom and I went to martial arts class, and there were a few trips to Target, Costco and Safeway (for essentials ... like Boston Cream Pie, Häagen-Dazs gelato and Redbox movies).

As for our "travels" ... we went to Italy a few times with pizza and pasta (complete with kid-made meatballs); France with French Toast and dessert crêpes; tacos from Mexico; Teriyaki chicken from Hawaii; stir-fry from Japan; waffles from Belgium; and, of course, hot dogs with macaroni and cheese from the U.S. With each meal my mom showed everyone where the country was on the map, we made flags and then sampled the cuisine. It was a fun way to get the kids to try new foods, while also making them feel special while their parents were half-way around the world on their own adventure.

Once I was back home, I kept up with the worldwide travels, after a dentist appointment. I had found a dentist in Rocklin that was good, but then was able to get in touch with my life-long dental hygienist (she's been the only dental hygienist I have had since I started going to the dentist) and decided it was best to stick with someone I knew and trusted. Since I didn't have any food at home, and I did have coupons for Chinese food, I stopped by CJF for honey walnut shrimp and sweet and sour pork for dinner (and lots of leftovers). Then on Friday went with a friend to Sam's Club where we decided it was time for Mexican. We bought the ingredients for enchiladas and then prepared them once we got back to my house. Over the course of the weekend I also found out that the new Ben & Jerry's "Core" ice cream flavors were on sale at Raley's ... needless to say, I bought (and shared) five of the flavors, all were amazing. My favorites included ones with chocolate, peanut butter and caramel. Finally there was a trip to Chili's (more Mexican, I had a quesidilla), church at Bayside and Rolling Hills, lunch at La Fiesta Taqueria, and I finished with sushi from Mikuni Kaizen at The Fountains.
For those with iPads see pictures here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Celebrating One Year with Food, Friends, Family and Good Day Sacramento

Over the last two weeks I celebrated one year of MrAndrewBradley Communications with friends, family and Good Day Sacramento. On the actual anniversary I had dinner at a friend's house ... pasta, salad and a mouth-watering peanut butter dessert. On Friday I went to where my friend was house-sitting, we took a sunset walk around the neighborhood and saw the sunset over Folsom Lake before meandering back to the house where I cooked turkey burgers and we had dessert while watching a few episodes of 24. On Saturday my parents and I headed to Lodi to see my grandma and try out a new restaurant thanks to Groupon. Our tapas style lunch was a fun mix of flavors, all served in creative ways and paired with wine.

After all of that eating and a few burritos from Chipolte and Freebirds, I enjoyed a run, corned beef for St. Patrick's Day and then showed off the cooking skills of Chef Krisztian Karkus from The Meritage Resort and Spa on Good Day Sacramento. He took a traditional slider for March Madness and made "Wiener Schnitzel Slider with Cucumber Salad and Lingonberry Jam" ... not only did the anchors love it, but the Jr. High students loved it as well ... so much so that we ended up making them all sliders before leaving.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Renovated Room and Women of the Vine

I headed back to The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa this week to meet with a few reporters and to attend the Women of the Vine event hosted by MORE Uncorked® (More magazine). On Thursday I checked in to my newly renovated room with a balcony and vineyard/pool view before meeting up with a visiting reporter from Southern California. We shared drinks and an appetizer at Crush Ultra Lounge before I headed to dinner at The Commons: A Wine Bar. The schnitzel sliders were fantastic and the desserts (Green Tea Crème Brûlée and Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake) were also great and I was glad I was able to share them.

On Friday, after a day of working I met up with my colleague who does social media for The Meritage for a Friday night wine tasting with the MORE Uncorked® group and guests of The Meritage (every Friday night all guests are invited to a complimentary wine tasting). After the tasting, we headed to the Trinitas Cellars Library for more wine tasting (and found out they have wine glasses that can fit an entire bottle of wine ... new meaning to the phrase "I'm just going to have a glass of wine tonight"). After our "glass of wine" we headed back to The Meritage and Siena for dinner ... roasted beet salad, crispy squid, poached lobster with gnocchi, chocolate decadence cake and angel food cake with lemon verbena with berries. Since that obviously wasn't enough food, I went to Crush again for a glass of wine and beignets with a raspberry sauce.

Saturday was a little more leisurely. I started with a trip to the fitness studio and walk around the hillside vineyards up to the Grape Crusher Statue before picking up a bagged lunch from the chef and heading to Napa Smith Brewery. I had wanted to go to the taproom of the brewery since I met their team at Oktoberfest, but this was the first time I had the opportunity. I walked in with no real idea of what to expect and decided to order the 10 beer flight for $10. All were great beers and I headed out with a four pack of beers to drink once I got home. With a few extra minutes to spare, I decided to take my lunch to Kennedy Park and eat along the Napa River where I had kayaked a few years ago.

When I got back to The Meritage I met up with a reporter and headed back to the Trinitas Library for my favorite wine and chocolate pairing, then back to Crush Ultra Lounge with a reporter for a Crab Louis Salad. Next up we headed to the Grand Tasting Event with 30 of the Napa Valley women winemakers and proprietors. After the tasting event, talking with reporters and Amelia Ceja, I was a little too late to make it into the Estate Cave for dinner, but again ended up at Siena for dinner alongside a few reporters. The duck confit flat-bread was mouthwatering and the lamb osso bucco fell off the bone and into my mouth.

Sunday I slept in (thanks in part to daylight savings time), went to Crush Ultra Lounge for a chicken Panini and salad, then headed back to Roseville for a long run and some rest.
Photos for those with iPads.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Celebrating Peanut Butter and Pancake Days, Skiing and Friends

It was a week of varied experiences. I used my Chick-Fil-A Calendar Card for an order of free fries (and also ordered a wrap and ice cream sundae) while out to dinner with a friend, then joined my parents for the weekend at the Bradley Lodge. My dad and I got a beautiful day of skiing in at Bear Valley ... beautiful since so much snow had fallen. My mom and grandma went all out on dinner and we celebrated Peanut Butter Day with a dessert of Reese's Chips Ahoy Cookies and Reese's Peanut Butter Pie (funny part ... we had no idea it was going to be Peanut Butter Day in advance, we just already had those items and it made for a good excuse to eat them). On Sunday I met with with friends at Rolling Hills Christian Church for a night of worship and baptism and then we headed to dinner at Casa Ramos ... my plate of food was giant (I actually brought leftovers home). On Tuesday I found out it was Pancake Day and figured I should celebrate. I made a few pancakes for my roommates and me to enjoy ... I topped mine with berries and peanut butter.
Pictures for those with iPads.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Scandal, Running, Moving a Friend and National Margarita Day

Some weeks start off with no plans and then end up incredibly busy. This was one of those weeks. On Monday night I got a text from a friend that invited me to hear Judy Smith as part of the Sacramento Speaker Series. On Tuesday we met at Pronto to have dinner, headed over to Devine Gelateria & Cafe for dessert and then walked to the Convention Center Theater to hear Judy Smith speak about her experience working in the White House, handling crisis PR for a variety of high profile clients and even learning more about the ABC television show, Scandal. Although there wasn't much I learned from her PR wise (hours are crazy, do what's right, manage a crisis, ...), her stories were interesting and I'll have to start watching Scandal on Netflix soon (after I catch up on House of Cards).

On Wednesday I downloaded the new Outback Steakhouse 365 iPhone app and found out the special was a three-course dinner for $11.99. I don't pass up nearly free meals out, so I met a friend at Outback, enjoyed their French Onion Soup, a steak with side of vegetables and cheesecake for just $11.99.

Although it wasn't Outback, I did make enchiladas for the first time as well, a pre-National Margarita Day celebration and an effort to use up the enchilada sauce and olives that I have had in my pantry for awhile. I'm happy to say that they tasted amazing!

There was also running (including jumping over a creek), shopping at Old Navy for additional workout shirts (and the longest receipts ever). I also found time to clean out my closet and celebrate National Margarita Day with friends at Chevys after helping another set of friends move into their new apartment and even tried out some nachos from Taco Bell.

Now ... time to try out Chromecast.
Photos for those on iPads.
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