Last weekend my mom came into town and we were trying to figure out how we could entertain her, and what she hasn’t seen yet. I’ve been in the bay for 8 years now, so she has definitely seen most. Now I’m a sucker for factories. I love shows like Unwrapped, How it’s Made, etc., that take you into the factory to see how things happen. Figured I hadn’t ever visited the Jelly Belly Factory, my mom loves candy….perfect. It is Fairfield, California, so its only a 45 minute drive from Oakland.
Note to anyone who hasn’t been there. I’d recommend not going on the weekend. Two reasons. 1) Full of tourists that can only get away for the weekend, but most importantly, 2)The factory doesn’t work on the weekend. There are no people in it, so you take the tour…but dont get to see the magic happen. Thats what I love about factories…guess I’ll have to go back. We also werent able to take pics in the factory…just the store and outside. So apologies for the lack of cool photos of millions of jelly bellys IN the factory, though there was no movement anyway.
We had to wear silly hats just to even get in the tour.
We also bought 8 lbs of Belly Flops, which are basically the reject Jelly Bellys, either too big, too small or just mishaped. They are cheaper than the others…and taste the same, so who cares.
They also have all this art displayed..that people make out of Jelly Belly Beans. Such detail and crazy accuracy! I took some photos of examples, but there were a ton more too.
If there is one thing I would have done differently, it would have been remembering to have someone film our wedding. I don’t need a professional video of the event. We even brought our Flip video camera with every intention of having someone in the front rows record at least the ceremony. But we got caught up in the moment, and the excitement of the day got the best of us, and we forgot to hand off the duties. Everything was great, and I have all the memories I need, but hearing our off-the-cuff wedding vows again would be nice. Even hearing the speeches again that our friends and family gave during the reception would be pretty cool. Alas, if there is anything you soon to be marrieds take away from this, record those moments, even cheaply.
My mom however, read a poem she wrote, so even though I don’t have it on video, I have the poem to keep. She has been known to do this at anniversaries, for school, on cards…its what she does, and she is pretty good at it. I debated sharing it, as it is a personal poem to Mick and I, but I figured that this is my way of recording some of my wedding details, so I’ll post it. At least it’s not embarrassing.
Its weird living up north..in an apartment..without a backyard…with no friends who have pools..and where its so foggy that we cant ever see fireworks anyway.
Its one of the main things I miss about southern california. If YOU didn’t have a pool, you knew someone who did. Someone was always BBQing, there were parties growing up at friends of families houses, there were parties on the (sunny) beaches when I was in school in SD. Since I moved to the bay almost 7 years ago…the 4th of July has kind of fallen by the wayside, and not been as important to people up here. It’s never been about the actual holiday for me…I just heart BBQ’s, eating outside, fireworks, and warmth.
I have tried to go and see fireworks 2 times since I moved here…it was always too foggy, and couldn’t see anything. A few years I have gone to High Sierra Music Festival, which is where I’m heading this holiday for a few days as well. Last year we went to Austin.
Its funny though because I think mentally, I’m always preparing for a day where I can have the BBQs, pools, and fireworks again. Even in our registry, we registered for outdoor silverware and condiment caddies. We initially registered for outdoor acrylic plates as well, but Crate & Barrel stopped carrying the ones we wanted. I don’t even have a patio, much less a backyard…but I think I’m preparing for the 4th. For a 4th of July in the future.
I want lemonade in a pitcher of ice. I want cupcakes frosted to look like the American Flag. I want kids running around and swimming. I want families of friends coming over to eat ribs that we have been cooking all day. I want to eat a burger, hot dog AND a rib…just because its all there, and thats what people do at BBQs. I remember when it was all about the party, and that stuff didnt really matter. I’m ready for it now. I guess first things first…and I need to get out of this apartment.
So I don’t think its a secret anymore, but Brody (my pooch) is going to be our ring bearer. We aren’t having any children at our wedding. It’s not something we necessarily planned for, but Mick’s nephews can’t make it, and we decided that it would just be easier to make it a kid free wedding. With that though, we needed someone to carry our rings. Enter Brody. It makes it super easy to have him, as the venue is only a mile from our apartment. That way, he comes, he walks, hopefully he doesn’t poop, and then someone can take him home (taking volunteers now).
He is going to be a dapper looking dude. Question I have for you though…is do I go FULL tuxedo, or just the bandana. If you read this in RSS, click through so you can take the poll.
Introducing Leeloo Dallas Multipass. The newest addition to our family. She is a wee one at 6 weeks, and its going to take her some time to get acclimated. We are slowly introducing her to Brody and Gertie (see photos below), and she is definitely the most squee worthy kitten I’ve seen in ages!!
Brody turns 5 tomorrow. Its weird to think that I’ve had him for 3 years now, and I’ve known him to be the boy in my life longer than Mick. Yes…this is a post about my dog’s birthday.
Its an arbitrary birthday date. When I got him from Wonder Dog rescue, 3 years ago tomorrow, Linda (the woman who runs the rescue) said he was 1.5 or 2. I made that day his 2nd birthday. It was the day before Easter Sunday, April 6. Now I always remember that its that time of year when the Easter Bunny and candy come out.
Since that day, I haven’t been lonely. Even when Mick is out of town…I always have a friend to cuddle with me on the couch. And cuddle he does. He keeps me warm at night, follows me around, and ALWAYS brings something to greet me at the door.
We have been the proud owners of our pain in the ass cat for 10 months or so….and while we do love her, for whatever reason we have neglected getting her a house of her own till now. We have a scratching post she ignores, countless toys and non-toys that she prefers to play with, and more love than we can give. However, due to her incessant whining and complaining that she didn’t have a house, we caved and went in search of a discount cat house. They are so expensive!!
I wanted to share this site with all the cat lovers, and let you know that you don’t have to build your cat a McMansion for a ton of money…its a buyers housing market.
CatBedandToy.com is based out of Australia, but the time it took to get the house in didn’t feel like international travel. Some of these homes are pretty extravagant, and unless your home has vaulted ceilings, a 72 inch house might be a bit big for your cat. I personally wanted to get this one…I thought Gertie would like the hammock (or I would just want to see her in it)
I opted for the shorter one, but still multiple levels, and when all was said and done with shipping and tax, it cost me less than $70. Compared with the $150 + price tags I see in the stores, that was quite the deal. She looks happy doesn’t she?
I know right?!??!? I knew this day was coming, but the fact that its here is sooo exciting! I can’t wait for all the things that start now. We have already started diving in head first with the planning but that’s neither here nor there…that comes later. Trust me you will all hear about that too. What I want to share is the awesomeness of the evening that happened this past Saturday.
I’ve been expecting this for a little bit now. He asked my dad for permission on Fathers Day. Needless to say the past 6 months have had me wondering what was going on, when the proposal was going to happen, and every time we did something special, or he acted a little off I thought “tonight is the night!” I was always wrong. He even told me on a day that I was upset, that it was going to happen soon-ish, but the ring that he had custom designed hadn’t arrived yet, and it wasn’t ready. Thats right…he custom made a ring for me! (not in the photo below, but that will be explained later.)
So Saturday comes, and he tells me that he is going to head into the city to help our friend work on his house, and do man things. Perfect. It gave me some time to finish some Wunzee commissions, and just have bad TV watching time.
I drove into the city that night to meet up with them and go have fun at our neighborhood bar, The Mini Bar. I texted a few of our friends that are local to the bar, and told them to meet up with us, thinking it was a normal Saturday night.
Little did I know some scheming was going on…and a surprise was waiting for me at the bar. We walked into the bar, and I started to see some of my friends, and walked to the back of the bar where a large majority of my good friends were waiting there for me to show up.
He hadn’t helped out with the house at all! He had gone ring shopping (to buy a placeholder till the one he designed arrived), and his scheming earlier had been texting friends to come and be there by 9. It was spur of the moment, and unfortunately his excited brain forgot a few, but it wasn’t because he thought they were any less important (take note if you weren’t there….it wasn’t because we don’t love you).
He got on a knee…and asked me if I would marry him. Of course…I said yes.
It was awesome to be surrounded by my friends, and I was thrilled that he found a way to surprise me.
It was the first engagement in that bar, and the bartender even gave us a bottle of champagne to help ring in the good news!
I couldn’t be happier, and I can probably guarantee that you will all hear much more about this planning and the wedding on my blog. I have more to say now!! My life is moving forward.
Anyone who has met my pet collection will tell you that they are absolutely adorable. “Your kitten is such a lover!” “Your dog is the perfect size and such a cuddlebug!” I mean…they are pretty cute aren’t they?
Its all very misleading however. Sure they put on a good front for guests, and actually most hours are pretty well behaved pets. But they plot. They scheme. And they try to figure out the best way to annoy us EVERY morning. So far…they have been pretty successful.
Lets start with Brody. He is a great cuddle bug in the bed, but he HAS to sleep there. He makes a point of manipulating us into letting him. We have tried to have him sleep in the other room. He barks. We have tried to put him on the floor. He ends up on the bed anyway. No big deal though, I’ve gotten used to being in a sandwich at night, but getting out of bed is a trick. I have to slip out from uptop the covers, because he doesn’t move, and I dont want to wake Mick up. He grunts and groans like a curmudgeon if we even think about switching his sleeping position. God forbid we mess with the prince.
We let him out every night to go to the bathroom. Yet, every morning, around 5 am or so, he decides he has to go again. He stands up on the bed, walks up to my face….licks it, jumps off the bed and paces. Just paces. Now we have hard wood, and the sound of his nails on the wood is probably one of the most annoying sounds out there. Not a big deal during the day…but in the morning, when I’m sleeping…Hell no.
Then there is Gertie. Sure she is cute. Sure she is a kitten (she will be one year old in March). Sure she sometimes wakes me up by walking up to my face and licking my face (not gross…actually sweet). All well and good. But…and there is a huge but. We have started calling her “6:30 Gertie”. Not only because its catchy and rhymes, but because thats when she decides its time to get up. She also decides its time for US to get up too. Sometimes its earlier…but its NEVER later.
A few months back in her kittenhood, she started successfully sleeping with us without issue at night. We keep our door open, so when she wants to she sleeps at the foot of the bed, sometimes in between us, and its fine. Till around 6:30, when she gets up and decides to play music with the mini-blinds. The sound of Brody’s nails on wood, is nothing compared to this. Its right at our heads, she reacts to us throwing her off by just coming right back to continue with her concert…and then she starts crying and letting us know that she is hungry. I think that she is teaching us a lesson. “You want kids? Well..this is nothing. Just wait till its a baby crying, and you have to get up to feed the baby! Get used to it.”
The animals win. Every morning. I’m considering moving the furniture around in the bedroom so she doesn’t have access to the mini-blinds, and I sit angry till I either work out or have my coffee. My mornings start off wrong. Because my home has become a place where the pets call the shots. So don’t let their cute little faces fool you. They are manipulative little bastards. Mick and I are planning a coup. Stay tuned.