Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I've been home since Saturday and will be in NYC until the 31st. Since my arrival there has been a foot of snow and the temperature has not been above 35 degrees. Saying it's cold is an understatment. Nonetheless I have been braving the cold to head out and see friends, or shop in the city. I always try to make most of my time when I am in NYC but I think the cold is making me take things a little slower. I brought home three books and I've been spending time laying in bed in pajamas and socks and reading. It's nice to take time to relax and unwind.

My family has never had many traditions when it comes to Christmas. We usually go to midnight mass at Saint Patricks Cathedral. I grew up Catholic and so while I am don't consider myself Catholic anymore (another conversation for another day) it's still something that I do with my parents out of respect to them. My parents also don't decorate the apartment. They did when I was younger but it's been a long time since I lived at home so I don't think it's something they get excited about doing. The one thing that is always a staple is that my mom cooks Christmas dinner which is a favorite of mine since I find her to be an excellent cook. Most importantly it's nice to be able to spend time at home.

RSlo is coming to visit NYC a couple days after Christmas. It's always fun to have him in NYC because I get to take him around to different places in the city and it's like I am seeing these places for the first time again. Our itinerary so far includes: go kart racing, vintage shopping in Brooklyn and going to his favorite Chinese restaurant that serves table wine with dinner. We are also going to cook dinner for my family one night. I am looking forward to it all.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friends: how many of us have them...?

I have spent the past two weekends with friends and it got me thinking about friends. In grade school, high school, and college making college was no big deal (at least for me) I gravitated towards people who had things in common with me and I always enjoyed the friends I had. Never any drama, just about hanging out, having fun, and being supported.

As I have gotten older I am happy to say that I have stayed pretty close with a few of my friends from high school and several friends from college, but how do you make friends in the real world? Are your friends your co-workers, friends of spouses or partners, parents of your children's friends, how do you do it? I think all of those ways are true, I have friends that I became close to through RSlo, and I am really happy to say that I have had some great luck with meeting people and connecting with those that I work with. I have made some really close connections since I have moved to SLO and it feels great to have a social circle that makes me feel appreciated and I have fun with. Because of these connections I know that there are people across the country that I can visit and spend time with, which makes me feel incredible. For example, I spent Thanksgiving with some people from work that I have grown very close to and have become really good friends of mine in a short time. The weekend was filled with funny stories, lots of laughter, and really good restaurants. Spending time with them as well as my two great friends that I visited last weekend in LA makes me thankful for the awesome people I have in my life and that I need to work on cultivating and preserving the great friendships I have. I am not always the best at calling and keeping in touch but it is something that definitely plan on working on because it is always so sad when you think about that great friend you had a long time ago that you lost touch with. It's never to late to reconnect!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A very Disney Birthday!

I just got back from the most amazing vacation/birthday! RSlo and I spent my 25th birthday in the happiest place on Earth and I was definitely happy!  We took off for Disney on Monday morning and headed down south, we decided to first drive down to Santa Monica and spend some time at the beach.  RSlo loves the water, so he got into his bathing suit and played in the water, I knew the water was going to be way too cold for me, so I sat on the beach and read my book and then eventually fell asleep (the sound of the water always does that for me).  

We left Santa Monica and made our way back to Anaheim.  One of my good friends Emily was in Anaheim for a conference so I was so excited that we were able to grab dinner with her over at Downtown Disney.  We had a great dinner and then had the opportunity to walk around and catch up.  The weather was amazing for walking around and we went into one of the many Disney Stores and walked around, it definitely got me excited for our day of fun!
My birthday was Tuesday and I woke up so excited. It's the way I used to feel on Christmas morning when I knew that I was about to open my presents.  RSlo and I got to the park at 9:30 got our tickets (and my awesome birthday button) and stood outside of the park waiting for it to open.  The park opened at about 9:45 and we got to walk through the gates.  While the rope drop didn't happen until 10 (this allows you to get to the rides) we used our down time to take pictures with the characters.  I can't believe how excited I got to see Mickey and Minnie and Goofy I felt like a kid again and not the least bit embarrassed or silly, just fun! 

We had made a plan of attack the night before (with a great deal of help from lots of SoCal friends), and so we got some maps and got ready to go!  Thankfully the park was not as crowded as I expected it to be so our plan worked really well and we got to do everything we wanted.  We started at Space Mountain which we thought would have a really long line but didn't.  We proceeded to go on all of the big Disneyland rides: Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn, Haunted House (which was so cool since it was the Nightmare before Christmas), and the Teacups.  

We were able to get through all the big rides at Disney by 12:30 (so surprising!) and we headed over to California Adventure.  I think that's when we had the most fun.  We went on the California Screamin' ride 3 times, and the Tower of Terror 2 times.  We definitely both enjoy roller coasters so we definitely got out fix and Cal Adventure.  We spent most of the afternoon there doing everything we wanted to do as well as partaking in some culinary treats : turkey leg and corn dogs!  

We ended our day at about 6 and headed back to our hotel.  We spent some time laying around before we went Tony Roma's for dinner.  It was such a great day and really nice to talk and have drinks with RSlo at the end of it.  I had an incredible day, this by far was the best birthday I have ever had and it took the sting of turning 25 away and made me feel like a kid again!   I have also included some sweet pics of our day! I think I am still glowing! 

Friday, October 30, 2009

New Traditions

I have never been much for Halloween.  Never really got into the costumes, going out, or doing much of anything.  I would usually stay in doors during the "holiday" and didn't participate in any festivities put on by friends.  This year has been something different.  While I am on duty for the weekend and can't go to the Halloween party one of my friends is putting on, my friend Veronica and I decided that we would do some pumpkin carving. Prior to this, as you can imagine I had never carved pumpkins so I thought it would be fun.  While I did have to respond to a situation while everyone else carved  away when I got back I made my pumpkin.  I had a great time doing it and I think it'll be something that I do every year.  Who knows maybe next year I will wear a costume! The pic above is a picture of all of the pumpkins we carved ! Happy Halloween!!

 Veronica and Jay the lovely couple we carved pumpkins with 

Me and RSlo 

Monday, October 26, 2009


So I have never been too attached to my hair, in fact I am usually really annoyed with it. I always kid around about chopping it all off. Last Friday I stopped joking and actually decided to hack it off. It wasn't sentimental, I didn't cry as I watched my hair stylist take the scissors to my hair, I wasn't interested in keeping the cut strands of hair (although my hair was way too short to donate), and I definitely didn't regret my decision. Quite the opposite, I love my new hair do. It's different yet I still have styling options and most of all it won't take me hours to do my hair. It's always fun to change it up and try a new hairstyle, and I have gotten good reviews from everyone I know. I like taking risks with my hair and not getting bored, who knows what I will do next!
Not the best picture, but once I take better one's I will post!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Turning 25....

And I am going to Disneyland!!! It's my bday gift from RSlo and boy am I excited! I have never been to Disneyland California, and they have this great deal that you can go for free on your birthday. We're taking off two days of work and driving down to Anaheim, I originally wasn't excited for this year's bday because I didn't have any plans, but now I get to celebrate a quarter century in the happiest place on Earth!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I need an apron!

Now that things have settled down I am doing a lot more cooking which is exciting for me! I enjoy cooking for two and it cuts down on the amount leftovers I have. 

Friday Night:  I have done the usual stuff (pasta, baked chicken, etc) and I thought it was time to take on a bigger assignment: scallops.  I had the most amazing scallops on my vacation to Hawaii and something about seared scallops sounds like one of the most delicious things to eat.  I talked to RSlo about trying out a recipe and he was all for it.  We took our lunch break and headed to Pismo beach where we knew we could get the best scallops and we did, they were huge and expensive. For 17.99 a pound, I knew I needed to make sure that I did a good job on these suckers.  

The Verdict: The scallops were ok, I sauteed them pretty well however I wasn't in love with the butter taragon sauce I made to accompany them.  I still haven't found a fish recipe that has been really great so I am still on a search.  

Sunday afternoon: After the scallops and the lovely fishy stench that has lingered in my apartment, my next assignment was going to be a soup, butternut squash to be exact.  I had bought all of the ingredients last week but never got the time to make.  Sunday was a lounging day for me, and when RSlo threw out the idea of eating Hamburger Helper for dinner, I knew it was time to make my soup.  As I roasted the butternut squash, I had a feeling that this soup was going to make my Sunday night the best.  The smell of onions and garlic sauteing in the pot and created a  beautiful flavor and smell emanating from my kitchen made me feel like a genuine cook! 

The Verdict: I loved the soup! So much I kept burning my tongue trying to eat it.  There was a great creaminess to it that I think adding both butternut squash and sweet potatoes to the soup.  I loved it and I am excited to eat the rest of it throughout the week! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm not getting any younger...

More and more I am hearing about so many of my female friends who are getting engaged.  I never paid any mind to hearing about engagement stories, learning about people I know who have gotten engaged, who wants to be engaged, how big (or small) was the ring, and on, and on, and on.  My freshman year roommate got engaged my junior year of college and for the life of me I couldn't fathom the idea of paying for a wedding, much less spending the rest of my life with one dude.  I would always kid around with my friends who were in serious relationships about whether or not their partner was "the one" and if they saw themselves getting married to that person (unfortunately for my GLBT friends the answer to that question has yet to be yes).  Because I myself wasn't in a relationship I never really thought about the meaning behind the questions I was asking.  

Fast forward about 4 years when I now am in my own serious relationship. I find myself feeling very unusual when asked whether I see myself marrying RSlo.  My go to answer (I have been asked so much, that I needed to formulate one) has been that RSlo and I have talked about it and we both aren't ready for it.  Don't get me wrong I am in no way prepared to be anyone's wife, partially because I am not all the way sure what it means.  But the more I am asked about marriage, the more I have to think about what whether marriage is something that I want, and in taking on a husband, does that I mean I also want children,  how will we figure out where we are going to settle down.  I am not getting any younger so some would say the time is now and if these are things I want I need to make them happen for myself.   I don't have any answers to any of these questions right not, all I pretty much know is that I am happy in what I have right now and the more I hear about others the more I will think about what my next steps are...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2 years

RSlo and I are celebrating our 2 year anniversary on Saturday!

It doesn't feel like it's been 2 years and I love hanging around him, seeing him smile, and laughing with him. He really is my best friend and I am my happiest with him even if we aren't doing anything. We've been through the end of grad school, a year of long distance, and now working together and I feel like we've gotten stronger. Nothing is ever perfect and we've both got faults but we work hard to communicate, respect, and love each other.

Happy Anniversary RSlo :)

Date night

So RSlo and I decided to do date night a while ago (who has time for that now?) and treated ourselves to the movie Julie and Julia. We talked about grabbing dinner after the film but were so inspired by the film and the cooking that we decided to make our own meal! We got out of the movie sort of late and had to rush to the supermarket to get all the ingredients, but we decided on Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce, roasted potatoes, and bruschetta for appetizer. We split up and took on tasks, RSlo was in charge of the appetizer and nervous as I was about messing it up, I took on the entree. One of the things that I learned from the film was that you want to give mushrooms room to cook when sauteing them so I kept saying "don't crowd the mushrooms" as we cooked. Not only was the meal delicious and I was starving, but it was fun having a cooking partner. RSlo even let me wear his apron, which is a very big deal. It was a great date night and I was able to see the results of my hard work! I have included pictures for all of you to enjoy!

RSlo's apron, I am in the process of getting my own which will be a whole lot cuter

Bruschetta, Yum! RSlo did a good job 

Hard away at work cooking 

Finished product 

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Move- In

The students are moving in today! The past two weeks have been the busiest, but I am loving every minute of it...except when I have meltdowns.

Reminds me of when I first moved in to college and how excited I was and how everything was beginning to change. I love this time of year!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer's Over

So summer is coming to close and my what a summer it has been....

Awesome vacations to new and old places. Spending quality time with friends and family, and a major move.

With the end of summer brings new experiences. In 4 days, I will get 250 new neighbors, in the form of residents of my building. I am excited and while many people would think I am crazy to be looking forward to living with so many 18 year olds, I think it will be fun and they will keep me young....

Famous last words...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chef Hamlett

Trout from Cafe Claude in San Francisco

I have decided to dedicate myself to becoming a better cook and baker! 

I LOVE food.  I really enjoy eating at great restaurants but in this dismal economy, eating out was one of the first things I decided to give up in an effort to be more financially responsible. Because of that I decided that I should motivate myself to become a better cook.  While I was home in NYC I rummaged through all of my mom's old cooking magazines and took the recipes that I thought would be cool, and put them my new cooking binder.  I have also acquired a brand new food processor thanks to my mom, which no doubt will be used to slice, dice, and mince new and fun ingredients.  

My dream is to become one of those cooks that can sprinkle a little of this and a touch of that and voilla!  I have an amazing dish. However, I am taking baby steps and will start using the recipes that I have in my binder, and maybe borrowing some cookbooks from the library.  There is a great farmers market in San Luis on Thursday evenings that I will utilize for great fresh products and  I'll chronicle my dishes and let you know how they turn out.  Here's to not burning down my kitchen! 


So much has happened in the past couple of weeks! 

I had a great time going home.  Going home is always a mixture of stress, happiness, comfort, and love.  There is an urgent need to want to see all my friends, spend time with my family, and spend time alone.    From hanging in candy shops with college friends, to dinners and updates with best friends, to shopping time with my mom, I had a really great trip and I was happy to be back in my hometown.

By the time my trip was over I was very ready to return to my new home and unpack and get settled.  The chaos of boxes and stuff everywhere in my apartment was definitely overwhelming and challenging and I just wanted to be done.   It took me a few days but I was able to put everything in its place and I am currently blogging in my living room  and loving my apartment!

 The other big part about setting up in a new place is meeting new people.  In the past few years I have become a lot more introverted and shy, so meeting new people is stressful and sometimes overwhelming.  Over the past couple of weeks I have gotten the opportunity to get to know my new coworkers in both work and social settings.  This has been quite an experience! Everyone is so different and brings different qualities to the table.  It's been fun hearing their stories and little by little letting them get to know me and my story.  I think it's been about two weeks now and I would say I am starting to warm up to people and the fun, sassy side of Alana is beginning to show.  I am always a work in progress so being in big group settings will always be a little weird and uncomfortable for me, but the people here are great and I think this will be a really fun year socially and professionally.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Home

Monday was the big day. It was my last day at my job and then RSlo and I packed up my stuff and took off. I had given a lot of thought to what it would it feel like to say goodbye to my coworkers, they were so wonderful and supportive when I made the decision to to move on. I was thrown a really fun pool party, and they put together a wonderful scrap book for me filled with inside jokes, pictures, and well wishes, so my last day was definitely very emotional. I was reminded of the year and all that I had learned and how much I have grown since I moved to San Jose.

I had given so much thought to what it would be like to say my goodbyes and leave San Jose, however I hadn't thought about what it would be like to be in a new place. I spent Tuesday unpacking all of my stuff (there are way too many boxes), and getting accustomed to this big change. I realized that in a couple of days I will be meeting new people and creating new relationships and that this is definitely the beginning of a new chapter. The best part of the day was at 5 pm when RSlo got off of work and we had dinner together. He cooked a great meal and it was nice to eat together, we didn't really have much to talk about since we had seen each other most of the day, but I wanted to appreciate the moment since I also know what it feels like to not have that time together. Our fun was short lived as I headed to the airport Tuesday evening to catch my flight back to NYC, but I can't wait to be back, unpack all of my stuff and get settled.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

To the best couple I know...

Happy Anniversary Josh and Alie!

They are two of my favorite people and awesome parents to the ridiculously adorable Maggie, and I am just so happy for them so I want to share that!

I hope you guys have a great day!

New York, New York

Next week I am heading back to my hometown of NYC for a little vacation. NYC is my favorite place to visit, because not only do I get to see my friends and family, but I feel complete in a special way when I am back. Here are some of my favorite things to do while I am in the city:
  1. Sleeping in my bed at home- it's the most comfortable thing ever
  2. Cupcake eating (Billy's Bakery, Magnolia, Crumbs, it doesn't really matter which one)
  3. Mani/Pedi at my favorite place in the West Village
  4. Shopping with my mom- she has the best style and it doesn't hurt that she'll buy me things
  5. Catching up with my best friends

I haven't been back since December so this trip is long overdue and I am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Is a nickname that my coworkers came up with for my boyfriend. San Luis Obispo where he lives is also called "SLO", so they took the first letter of his first name added SLO to it, and hence the nickname RSlo was born. He won't admit but I think he kind of likes it...

Thanks Alie for reminding me to explain that better :)

Reflections on my Race

I survived my first half marathon!

I was nervous, excited, and petrified all rolled up into one. My training had only gotten up to 5 miles and in the midst of training I went on two major vacations and ate a whole lot of food that you probably shouldn't eat when getting your body ready to run 13.1 miles. We spent most of the weekend prepping for the race, Saturday afternoon we headed to SF and made our first stop at the Pre Race expo to pick up our bibs and t-shirts. The expo was so overwhelming, so many people and vendors trying to sell you race related materials (shorts, energy drinks, etc), and my nerves set in. This did the opposite for RSlo, it pumped him up! I swear he was bouncing off the walls, and I couldn’t get him to be quiet. But it was so cute I couldn’t help but be happy with his positive energy around.

Sunday was race day! I checked my phone and saw that several of my coworkers had sent text messages wishing me luck. My favorite came from my supervisor who wrote “Good luck tomorrow!! Run like a fashionista at a sample sale”, she knows me so well! When we arrived at the starting area there was a buzz and energy that felt electric. So many people were there stretching and talking to their friends and loved ones. We took off at 6:06 am pumped and ready to go. RSlo and I decided that although his running pace was a little faster than mine we were going to run the race together. We saw some interesting people along the way, a man dressed up in costume like the Hulk including the green paint on his face, and a woman dressed like Superwoman to name a few. The route was amazing, we ran along the water by Fishermans wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and on the rolling hills of the streets of San Francisco. I really could have done without the rolling hills because they came at miles 11 and 12, but I made it through. We met an amazing 70+ year old man who was running his 20th half marathon. He was the sweetest guy and smoked past us every time we saw him. I was inspired by the strangers running all around me and ecstatic that I was finally getting to do this!

I have to say this experience would not have been the same without RSlo. I love this man so much, and it grew as we ran beside each other during this race. He was so excited, positive, and supportive every step of the way. Every so often he would look at me and ask how I was doing, and would tell me how proud he was of me and what a great job I was doing. He was there at mile 12 when I hit the wall and didn't think I could do it anymore, and he held my hand as we crossed the finish line and gave me a big hug. Although we were not able to train together for the race, we were together when it counted and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The feeling of accomplishment once I completed was paramount and I knew that it was something that no one could ever take away from me. My official time was 2:29:31, and I do intend on running again with the hope of getting a better time that that!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Beginnings

After a year of living in San Jose, CA, I am moving to San Luis Obispo, CA. It's 3 hours south of SJ and happens to be where RSlo lives (now you understand the nickname!). Not loving being in a long distance relationship, we were both very eager to get back to seeing each other longer than a weekend and it worked out that in this ridiculously awful economy (particularly in the state of California) I was able to get a great job. It's with mixed emotions that I move, I have loved the friendships and connections I have made up here with my SJ peeps, but I am looking forward to this new chapter: exploring a semi new place (I have lost count how many times I have been done there), starting a new job in a new area of student affairs that I don't have a whole lot of experience with, and readjusting to seeing RSlo all of the time.

Moving date: August 3


So I am running my first half marathon on Sunday. Prior to training for this race, the most running I had ever done was for a bus or any sort of public transportation. My friends would make fun of me because when I would run, it would be on my toes and hardly looked like a run at all. However running a race has always been something on my bucket list, so there happened to be one taking place at the end of July in San Francisco. The best part of it is that I'll get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge which if you've ever seen it in person is a sight and amazingly long. While I have had to work on my motivation throughout my training period, the one thing I have loved about running has been how I can clear my mind and my thoughts while I run. I leave all of my stress, drama, and worry behind and focus on the task at hand: getting from point a to point b. I smile at the people I pass by, I cross the street so dogs won't chase me, I appreciate the wind when a cool breeze comes along, running has been cathartic and a great workout. While I am absolutely nervous to be running 13.2 miles on Sunday, I am relived to have an amazing running partner. My bf who I lovingly refer to as RSlo will be running alongside me and will serve as my motivator. Our motto for the race is the following:

"when we get tired we'll walk and when we get thirsty we'll drink. We're not going to run each other into the ground. And if we're in bad shape we'll say f*** it, and find a breakfast place along the route so we can watch all of the other poor schmucks slog through it."

I think I can handle that...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First Time Blogger

I have always wanted to write a blog. I have enjoyed the blogs of many of my friends because it's a great way to find out interesting pieces of their lives. Now it's mine turn to chronicle my experiences and adventures. I have a lot to say (usually), so I think it will be fun to use my blog as a vehicle for my thoughts, opinions, and whatever else is going on!

I may have a special blogger from time to time. It may be a bit of a challenge getting him to write, but I can be very convincing when I want to be ;).