Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Then & Now...

One of the best parts about visiting a place in which you once called home, is the ability to re-live your time there and remember and reminisce. While visiting some of the places which at one time seemed so ordinary and everyday to me I realized that with time and now full of memories they are just as, if not more, extraordinarily beautiful than I remember. Some hold memories so sweet and innocent, others capture the beauty of a place and time perfectly, and so easily you can be transported back to a moment in just an instant when all the elements fall perfectly into place.

Day two of our SoCal adventure involved a few of my favorite people and places in San Diego...beautiful beaches and coastal scenery paired with an amazing hike.

Time with this lady...

And visiting our Alma Mater to watch Mr. Jones play soccer just like the old days..

He's in the red boots in all black ;)

The "old" guys actually beat the current team twice! One of Mr. Jones' old teammates is also the current coach of the team which was pretty cute in my opinion.

Many an evening was spent down at this field watching him practice or play...

The one and only...

And for all of its faults...this place is still standing, holding one too many laughs to count, a million memories and one very special moment...the night Mr. Jones and I met ;) This was Melissa, Tina's, and my first apartment which we lived in, in the year between the dorms and the sorority house...good times were had.

Visiting these nostalgic places made my heart hurt just a little bit I can't lie. It's always a little bittersweet to be physically in a place yet feel so far away from it at the same time. Luckily for me though, for one sweet weekend I could be back in that moment as well as celebrate how far we've all come all at once.

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday...full of happy thoughts and beautiful memories.

xoxo- miss v

Monday, April 25, 2011

SoCal Spring

We just returned from a long weekend away in SUNNY Southern California. It was warm, it was full of quality time with dear friends, and it reminded me of how lucky I am to count Southern California as a place where I once lived and that it will forever feel like a little piece of home to me. We headed to LA and San Diego to visit friends and so that Mr. Jones could participate in his Alumni Soccer game at San Diego State, where we both went to college. It's only the second time we've been back together as a couple since both of our graduations (a long time ago ha!) and I love visiting because San Diego is such a huge part of our history as a couple.

Let the road trip begin! Sunny day check! Starbucks check! Relaxing on the passenger side check and check! Ha!

Some of the gorgeous scenery on our way down!

We stopped in LA on the first night Thursday to break the drive up... and because it was the perfect excuse to visit Mark & Meredith. It was a perfect night out with friends for some yummy Mexican and margaritas sadly there are no pics to prove it...luckily I snapped some on our return visit on Sunday that I'll share later.

Friday afternoon we arrived in Sunny San Diego just in time for lunch and we headed down to the Point Loma fish market for sandwiches on the waterfront and a little strolling ;)

Catching up with our hostess with the most-ess Melissa!

Beautiful walking trail along the water and in front of some seriously amazing dream homes

I told you so. Swoon...when can I move in?

We also found a fun tree swing... well fun for Melissa..especially when she was pushing me and laughing her most evil laugh..I am in no way a dare-devil and this felt a little too risky for captain safety over here.

But it sure made for some cute pictures!

Pretending to have fun and be care-free...

Ahhh this is much more my pace ;)

Some pretty door ways in a quiet alley

In the evening we got all dolled up and headed downtown for a delicious and interesting dinner ... interesting because Melissa insisted we order the "Cowboy Caviar" I'll let you figure that one out on your own...minus the "caviar" dinner was a smorgasbord of amazing bites, great conversation and beautiful scenery!

The newly engaged couple! So happy we could celebrate and toast to you two this weekend!

Loved the crazy chandeliers

My love and I.

The rest of the weekend was just as lovely...more to come in the next post! Off to enjoy a little Easter quiche I whipped up for dinner and a little couch time ;)

xoxo-miss v

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday...Lifes simple pleasures.

Happy Wednesday my loves! I'm teaching a half day today so thought I would actually sit down and write a post! It's been a few days! In any event it's been busy but I've also tried to slow down amidst all the chaos and really enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Thought I would share them in this installation of What I'm Loving Wednesday! Enjoy!

I'm LOVING fresh flowers on the windowsill

Happy Spring!

I'm LOVING showing up to an assignment and finding out I get a 2 hour break in the middle of the day!

Catching up on a good book and a little Starbucks ;)

I'm LOVING using my new bundt pan to make a delicious lemon and blueberry cake and then sharing it with friends ;)

Shared this treat with Kylie and Danes as an after school treat and then gifted some to Missy at our Monday night dinner party! Love you friends!

I'm LOVING enjoying a little alone time at an outdoor cafe with a coffee, pastry and my planner!

I'm LOVING using the rest of my roast chicken last week to make Ina Gartens yummy curried chicken salad! So good!

I'm LOVING that I planted my spring flowers on Sunday and enjoyed a little sunshine and coffee on the balcony this morning!

My mini garden ;)

"Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things"
- Robert Brault

XOXO- Miss V

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go...Chinatown.

Prior to working at the YMCA Chinatown last summer, sadly Chinatown was not one of the SF neighborhoods that I frequented on a regular basis. It tends to be incredibly busy and bustling and on the weekends is over run with tourists. However, after spending an entire summer working in this community I have a totally new perspective on this part of town and have such a deep appreciation for it's community and the YMCA there for sharing their families with me and teaching me the value of neighborhood organizations like the Y.

It was here that I taught my very own class of kindergartners, where we grew flowers, learned our ABC's, played games, visited the park and the library and where I went from student to teacher in a mere 8 weeks.

I love the families and the children that I met while working there, I loved my teen volunteers and the energy they had at recess with my little ones. I loved Friday field trips, our talent show and our end of the year party.

I loved getting to know a new neighborhood, feeling a connection with a place that before I avoided at all costs now and will forever hold such a special place in my heart.

Heading into the brand new YMCA on Friday I was overcome with excitement as I saw before me the giant mural that my students helped to create. Forever a piece of me and them lays in this place. Forever that first summer of finding my voice as an educator, stumbling over obstacles and learning how to overcome them will be represented in this building. One of the most important things I learned in my teaching program was that in order to be a successful teacher you must immerse yourself in the surroundings of your students and become a part of where they live, learn and grow. I am so lucky that I was able to do just that last summer.

I was also lucky enough to be there this past Friday while the sun was shining and the crowds were scarce. I took the opportunity to walk around and relish the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown. There isn't a corner that hasn't been adorned in bright colors and intricate architectural detail. Every shop window is filled with an endless array of goods.

Hanging lanterns every shade of the rainbow

The park was being enjoyed by families, people on their lunch break and furry friends chasing balls.

Perfect day for a stroll through the garden.

I loved visiting with my Y co-workers and getting excited for summer to begin. With one summer under my belt I feel more confident in my approach but the butterflies are still there. One thing is for certain though, I feel connected to the neighborhood where my students live, I know where the local library is, where the parks are, I know parents, grandparents aunts and uncles, I know the students from last summer and I know that for 8 weeks out of this year I will be exactly where I am supposed to be with my kiddos at the Y.

Hope you've all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend, and remember to take time to step outside of your comfort zone and discover something or some place new, you never know how it will impact your day or your heart.

xoxo- miss v

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday... Life is good ;)

There is so much to love this Wednesday! Head on over to Jamie's blog to link up or check out all of the entries!

I've had a great week/weekend re-adjusting to being home and I've been in full on nesting mode, baking, cleaning, organizing etc. It's so nice to be home with friends and loved ones!

I'm LOVING that we had Dad Jones as our guest on Sunday and Monday! He was in the city for a conference and decided to just stay at ours rather than making the 45min drive home back and forth for the event. Knowing we would have company I wanted to bake something to share over cups of tea and conversation and I found this delicious cake/loaf which was a major hit!

Chocolate/Chocolate chip pound cake!

Here is the recipe, it is so moist and delicious and I'm already planning on making another in a bundt pan for mothers day to share with Mum Jones!

I am LOVING that almost as soon as I returned from my trip I had a get together planned with our friends! My friends Tina and Rachel threw a going away party for our friend Kristin who is moving to Canada to be with her Canadian. Although I am totally devastated by her leaving I am also so incredibly happy for her and all of the adventures that await!

Kristin & I

I am LOVING that this family of three officially became a family of FOUR on Tuesday! My beautiful friend Whitney and her husband Adam welcomed baby girl Brinley into the world! I just missed her birth by a week! I had hoped that she would have been born while I was in New York...I guess Brinley had other plans... and yeah.. my comment about not going back to NY until the fall suddenly sounds like a terrible idea! I can't wait to get out there as soon as possible to see her!

I am LOVING that I have been a cooking queen! Last night I made Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) Roast Chicken and Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti!

Chicken Spaghetti...mmmm

I was going to post a more "posed" picture of me..but it was totally unnatural and awkward this is really what our little dinner photo shoot looked like...blurry laughing like a hyena..typical.

I had hoped to snap a pic before we carved the chicken but I totally forgot in my cooking frenzy.

And you might be asking a whole roast chicken and pioneer woman's chicken spaghetti all in 3 hours! YES because I was gifting the chicken spaghetti to this new mommy today!

Mama Kylie and baby Ryland!

I am LOVING that I was able to spend some time with this lady and this little man today after work..pure heaven. I'm pretty sure her husband was on crazy baby lady patrol with me, making sure I didn't run off with their little man. I could have stared and cooed and snuggled with this little bug all day long. In.Love.

Ryland just being precious.

Me, the baby whisperer telling Ryland he can come home with me whenever he wants!

So tiny.

It's been a busy and wonderful week already I can't wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for me! Right now it's blog hopping and watching the Giants game! Hope you lovelies are having a lovely day!

XOXO- Miss V