Sugarloaf Open Space Walnut Creek

I went for a quick hike recently at Sugarloaf Open Space in Walnut Creek.  This is a great spot just outside of the downtown area.  While I will say the space is not very large, it was still nice to get outside and move around.  The hills were a bit steep in some areas, so bring a walking stick or make sure to take a break along the way. And it was a bit muddy when I was there, so bring your hiking shoes or a pair of old trainers.

I will also say there was a nice picnic table area and a few benches situated along the trails. Great for a light lunch or a quick snack. Also bring your camera along! Great views of Mt. Diablo off to the East.

And one quick picture from my visit. This spot made me long for a journal to write in, a good book to read, and possible a good glass of wine to watch the sunset.

Be Bold!!

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!”  – W. H. Murray

This is one of my favorite quotes that has helped me when I am challenging and questioning what is going on in my life.

I made a big decision to stop looking for work and start working on my dreams.  It was not an easy decision at all. And I have questioned and worried about it more than I can write about. But it is my decision, and I am taking it in both hands and running with it until I fall over.

I have had numerous friends tell me I am delusional, that all this California air has gone to my head. How can you not work they say? So I remind them, I am “working”; I am just working on my dreams and what I want to do. How many people have an opportunity to do that? How many people are bold enough to do that?

Am I scared at times? Yes! A millions times yes! But I refuse to let fear run my life!

Be bold! Begin it now!

My Favorite Things

So you know how Oprah is always doing her “Favorite Things” show around Christmas?  I was thinking about that last night, and realized I should do the same thing on my blog.  I have just as good of taste as Oprah, but my taste is at real people prices.  So here you go, one of my favorite things.

One of my favorite things is made by a company called American Spoon.  American Spoon started in Northern Michigan in 1981, and you can read their story here.  Now I was introduced to American Spoon around 1999 when my husband and I decided to take a trip “Up North” as we use to do as kids. This was our first introduction into the growing foodie town of Traverse City, as well as, American Spoon.

The first thing I remember when walking into their store was the smell of all fruity jams and spicy salsas making my mouth water.  The second thing was the fact you can try every product before buying.  I hate wasting money, so I love when I can try before I buy. A BIG bonus for those of us on a budget.

This year I was introduced to their Heirloom Tomato Preserves.  I was looking to add a little something to our homemade pizzas, and noticed this was recommended for pizza.  Now I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of buying a “tomato jam” but that quickly changed.  The sweet and tangy taste had become a staple for our homemade pizzas.  My husband has also started to use it on sandwiches and caprese salad. So don’t grab the mayo, grab the tomato preserves instead! I promise it will become one of your favorite things too.

I will also point out; American Spoon also has their own blog and list of recipes.  On nights when I am missing the Midwest, I will look at the blog and recipes for a little nostalgia and inspiration.

So there you have it, one of my favorite things. Actually, most of their products would fall into my favorite things category; but for now I am just going to talk about the Heirloom Tomato Preserves.

Please note: I am not making any money for posting this blog; I am merely trying to promote some companies and products I love and support.


Two of my best friends from back home are visiting for the weekend. So what is on the menu of fun this weekend? LOTS!

Friday will see us touring Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Warf. We are then heading over to the Ferry Market Building for macaroons at Miette. YUM! Our dinner reservations are at Wexler’s, which has become one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco. As for post-dinner entertainment, I would really like to head back to The Hidden Vine for a final glass of vino.

Saturday will see us heading up to Napa for some wine tasting. All of us have been to Napa/Sonoma a few times, so we are going to visit a few of our favorites. We will start at Elyse, and then over to Groth for their Open House, Stag’s Leap after lunch, and finally Sequoia Grove to finish out our Cabernet adventures. Dinner is planned for Bouchon, which I have never been, so I will have to give a review. And since we will be so close to Bardessono, I might have to stop in for a post-wine tasting drink.

Sunday will see us brunching somewhere before my friends leave. That is still being planned, as I hate brunch. And yes, I know brunch is a HUGE thing to do on Sunday mornings in San Francisco. But I never know what to order – breakfast or lunch? I always feel like I am being cheated out of a meal.

So what are your plans this weekend?

Month Five

Five months ago, my husband and I sold our house and moved across the country to San Francisco. Looking back, I cannot believe how fast everything happened.  We placed our house on the market and it sold within three weeks.  We then had three weeks to pack and move 12 years worth of memories. Not an easy task when you are moving from a house to an apartment, but somehow we did it.

So why did we move?  We moved due to my husband’s job.  And while his career has blossomed in a tech friendly city, my professional career has withered. So I find myself Tweeting, Pinning, and now blogging my way through this adventure.

So what can you expect to see here? Posts  and thoughts about wine, food, restaurants, hiking, out-and-about in San Francisco, hockey, books, music, and life. I will try and make it interesting.  I will even try and make it informative. But I am kind of new at this, so I am sure my starting post will be very different from my final post.