May 26, 2020

It's Been a Million Years

Ruby 2 years old

I really don't know where to begin because it's been almost a year since I have been on here. I never intended to abandon this blog, because I swore I wouldn't ever do that unless I wrote a post signing off for good. I decided to hop back on to document some of my thoughts on this crazy global pandemic. Guys.....we are living through quite a historic event. My first day of realization that things were getting a bit crazy was probably March 11th. I had the news on 24/7 at that time. I saw things rapidly getting scarier and scarier as the days went by.  On March 11th, I started to gather  food, because they were saying on the news to get a supply of at least two weeks to a month. They were never clear from the get go, which is why I think a lot of people panic shopped and cleared out everything like it was the end of the world, which to be fair, it really did seem like that. News was not clear really on what we all should be really doing. We heard all the scary news from Italy and how their hospitals were all at a breaking point, and trying to plead with the world, that this was coming for us and to pay attention. I was getting increasingly worried about Nicole in London, because the UK decided they were going to let it roll through until they got herd immunity. This deeply disturbed me. When Boris Johnson contracted Covid-19, things got serious in England, and they followed what the rest of the world was doing.....lock it down. I recall the day I saw in the news that Italy locked the entire country down. It was a very sobering day. Nicole finally went into lockdown around March 21st. California had locked down on midnight March14th.  
 We were told not to buy N95 masks, as all the hospitals were in short supply and that they probably wouldn't protect us unless we knew how to wear them. Then came the information that the virus could live on cardboard for at least 24 hours and other hard surfaces for 3 to 4 days. This meant wiping all groceries and delivers down with disinfectant. Since then, they say that you can do it, but it isn't necessary, and to just wash your hands after handling packages etc. Day to day we have learned more and more about this virus. They have also realized that in order to open up the country, we need to social distance and wear masks. I made 13 masks for family.

My thoughts are all scattered as to what to include here, so I'll just say that since our lock down they have learned that the virus isn't just respiratory , but now affecting other organs. Scary stuff, and enough for me to hunker down in my house and follow the rules. 
This is day number 74 of our quarantine. Since then, we have celebrated Caitlin's thirtieth birthday, Ruby's second birthday, Easter, and Mother's day. Caitlin's birthday was the saddest, since we had planned to surprise her with flying Nicole to California from London to surprise her. Nicole hasn't been State side since 2015, due to her getting her permanent residency. You aren't allowed to leave the country when you are going through this process. Anyway.....we had to cancel the flight, then we hoped they would have more guidelines by May, so we switched the flight for Ruby's birthday, and it was still going to be a surprise. Sadly that didn't pan out either. I know a lot of people had to cancel wedding and some can't even attend a loved ones funerals, but we were sad none the less. 

David, and Cyrous have been solely working from home thank god! We have all our groceries delivered and have only had contactless take out. We have all taken this very seriously. We decided this past Saturday that we were going to form a quarantine pod/bubble.  Since we have been solely at home with no contact with others and they have done the same, we thought it would be good for all of our collective mental health to have something to look forward to one day a week. I won't lie, it still scared me to make the decision to do it, but we assessed the risk and it's very low. Ruby was so thrilled to leave her house yesterday! She couldn't get in the car fast enough according to Caitlin. They came over for Memorial day dinner. It was so nice to have them, and for a little bit we forgot what was happening. I'm hopeful that if we adhere to how we have been living, we will be ok. The minute one has to go outside to work, we will probably have to end our pod/bubble to be safe. 

This is just a very brief summary to get my feet wet and get back on here. They other reason I have not been on, is because my computer is super ancient and it's very difficult to work with. I'll be getting a new laptop in June, so hopefully will be on more.
I've been sewing and embroidering a lot. Those who have Instagram, have seen all my makes since the lockdown. I feel actually more focused and able to get more work done. I've always been an introvert at heart and a big time homebody, so this isn't that difficult for me. I feel for those who are more social and have no hobbies, because it would be much harder. 
I'm going to sign off for now and and do my best to work with this poor old lap top to document life during this global pandemic. Until next time friends.............

When we stood behind the gate to visit during this crazy global pandemic.

October 10, 2019

Carmel Trip

Hi guys!   We went on a little trip to the east coast right after my last blog post, so I did not get to do this Carmel by the Sea post that I wanted to document on here. So here are some photos and thoughts on the trip.

I use to work in Carmel back in the late 80's when my husband was doing his graduate degree at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).  Carmel was such a different place then. Filled with beautiful unique shops, including the gallery I worked in. Today it's a bit different, and I was saddened to see that the beautiful space that I worked in was now a darkly painted shoe store. The space before was the epitome of Carmel. It was filled with the cream of the crop American Handcrafts. Beautiful turned wood bowls, blown glass, gorgeous hand made furniture, pottery etc. filled the shop. We were not the only shop like this, and that is what made this storybook village so special. Granted, we didn't walk the streets of Carmel this visit, and only had dinner near my old work place, so maybe the criticism isn't fair, but from what we saw,  there wasn't anything that special. The things that still remain from the past are, good food, the cute little thatched roofed tea house called The Tuck Box, and another shop that we use to love called Carmel Bay Company. Perhaps I'm seeing the past through rose colored glasses and I need to spend more time checking out the new shops. The only constant though.........Carmel is still drop dead gorgeous!  The  homes that were there in the 80's have stood the test of time and still look just as beautiful today.  On this visit we stayed in a two bedroom cottage at Lincoln Green Inn. Click on the name and check out the site. They have four cottages that are decked out inside with all kinds of comfort. It's been a while since I stayed somewhere where the bed was equal to my own cloud bed. Four stars for this place! 

We took Ruby to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the first time. She was very overwhelmed, and it didn't help that it was a weekend, but I think she did have fun.   One thing they have added since we were last there, was a whole area for little ones that are Ruby's age, which made it fun for her. I thought she would really love the wall of jelly fish, but there were just too many people, and it slightly scared her. I'm sure when we take her again at an older age, she will have more fun, and perhaps we can go mid week instead of the weekend, because what were we thinking?! We were members of the aquarium when we lived there and took Nicole there when she was  little. Weekdays were the prime time to go. 
We ordered take out that night,  because another restaurant outing with a toddler was just not going to cut it, and we were all so wiped out chasing Ruby through the exhibits. We had some good food from a place called Yafa. We liked it enough that we would recommend it to anyone who likes Mediterranean food. You can't really go too wrong with the food in Carmel though. 

On our last day we drove through 17 mile drive through Pebble Beach, and then found a spot to get out near Carmel to walk on the beach for a while. Again, I think it was overwhelming for Ruby, because she didn't want to walk at all in the sand and only wanted to be in her daddy's arms. Maybe next visit we won't be able to tear her away from the beach. We had lovely weather and enjoyed the short amount of time we stayed. I'm glad that the overall feel of Carmel is still there even though some of the favorite shops have moved on. We will definitely go again soon, and not wait 11 years!

I'll be doing a post on our trip to Pennsylvania and Boston, so if you would like to come take a virtual trip, check back soon.

September 10, 2019

London Trip





Hello! It's been a while, and life has just ticked on as usual. We had a pretty decent summer this year with a couple of fun trips, the first being London, second one to Carmel. I took a lot of photos as you can imagine, but I don't want to dump a ton of them on here and bore people with vacation pictures. I decided to just put some of the highlights up. Our first full day in London, we went to visit Kew Gardens. It was so hot and humid that day, so it made for a slightly uncomfortable visit, especially when you went inside the greenhouses!  The grounds were gorgeous and lush as you can imagine. The roses took my breath away! So many varieties and colors.
The following day we spent at Nicole's flat, then we went to see a classical music concert at Saint Martin in the Fields. Known for its acoustics, it did not  disappoint. David has been wanting to go to a concert there forever, so he got to check off something on his bucket list.
Next up was some fun shopping at my beloved Liberty of London, and some other shops. I was so lucky on this visit because Liberty was having a summer sale, and I got to pick some beautiful yardage for future projects. We had tea there as well, and it was very tasty and a fun place to rest and fuel up for more shopping adventures.
The following day we went to Old Spitalfields Market with Nicole. It's a vintage market place with many vendors. We found the most beautiful vintage silver coffee pot that we gifted ourselves for our anniversary this year. The vendors were so fun to talk to, especially the ones where we bought our treasure. If you would like to see the coffee pot, you can go on my Instagram feed. After we spent sometime at the vintage market, David and I headed to Covent Garden to check out the new Mariage Freres tea house, and have lunch as well. The tea house was gorgeous, and of course I had to load up on some unique blends that I can't find here in the US.  St. Paul's Cathedral was a short walk from Covent Garden, so we took the extra time to go see if we could go in, but the doors were shut sadly.

One of the other things we wanted to do while in London Town, was to get David a pair of English dress shoes for his birthday. We went to Joseph Cheaney & Sons, one of the oldest shoe makers in England. We had so much fun talking to the sales lady there, and got a full history of the company and shoe making. David walked out with some gorgeous shoes! I love men's shoes in England. I just can't get enough of the eye candy. If you walk around London, or ride on the tube, you will notice how nice the men dress there. I noticed that, unlike American men, clothes are more slim cut to the body. It did not matter if the man was heavy or slim. Over all they all seemed so smartly dressed, even their casual looks, and of course the shoes!  When we landed back in the US, I noticed right away the glaring difference. David's shoes are, in a way, a gift for me as well, because now I get to see a little piece of what I love about England every time he wears them.
Our final day in London was celebrating Nicole's birthday. We went to the British Museum earlier in the day and spent a chunk of time there. This was the birthday girls wish for the day. For dinner we went to Ottolenghi in Spitalfields. I have two of their cook books, so I was really looking forward to going there. Overall I liked the food, but the service was very odd. Hard to explain, just very uneven service, and the waiter was just not very pleasant. The dishes were very creative and tasty though.  All the places we visited are linked, so you can click on the name and check out their web pages if you are interested. More pictures are on Instagram.

Finally back home, we celebrated 4th of July with Caitlin, Cyrous, and Ruby. Look how cute she is all dressed for the day(of course I made her outfit). I made our favorite rib recipe this year, and the usual salads that everyone likes in our family.
I'm leaving the post here, because I wanted to do a separate one of our Carmel trip that we took the first week of August.
After our visit to Carmel,  August was mostly consumed with helping Caitlin and Cyrous move to their new house. Lots of Ruby watching, which was really fun, and hauling things over to their house.

Super happy that summer is in the rear view mirror, and I can now enjoy the beautiful fall light and slight crispness in the air. I feel as I always do in the summer, non productive and uninspired to do very much.
Next post will be Carmel trip, so stay tuned for that. Until next time.......

May 13, 2019

Ruby's First Birthday


And just like that Ruby turns one! Caitlin put together such a beautiful little cherry picnic party for little miss Ruby. All the little details were so charming and it was such a pleasant day in the park. My contribution was Ruby's dress, which was so fun to make, and I was so happy she looked like an absolute little vintage doll baby in it. Because I took pictures with my phone and regular camera, these photos uploaded out of sequence, and blogger makes it so difficult and time consuming to get them all in the right order, or I'm just not that tech savvy enough to fix it haha. The cake pictures with Ruby of course are out of order, but she is such a doll in all of them that it doesn't really matter what order they are in. Ruby loved all the attention and her first taste of cake. Caitlin invited family and Ruby's little friend Ari and his parents. I think this is perfect for a first birthday. She loved ripping into her little gifts and loved all the unicorn gifts that Grandma and Grandpa Ahmadieh gave her.  We were all dead tired at the end of the day, and so was the birthday girl, but we all had such fun celebrating this little lady!
I don't have any pictures of Mother's Day this year, mainly due to being tired from the next day. We went to brunch at Dona Tomas then hung out at our house for a bit. Ruby wouldn't take a much needed nap, so we decided to get take out and head over to Caitlin and Cyrous's house for dinner, so Ruby could get her dinner on time and to bed. Mother's day spent with all the important people in your life is always the sweetest. It's always sad that Nicole is so far away, but I did get to Skype with her briefly before heading out to brunch.

Last post  I didn't talk about what projects I have been working on and what I want to start. I'm still slowly but surely getting pieces done to revamp my new look for my Etsy shop. It's not easy when you are working part time and having more fun sewing for Ruby haha. It's been very slow at work, so they drastically cut everyone's hours. I for one am happy to have the long stretch of time off so that I can get some things done around the house and start more sewing. Now that Ruby's birthday is out of the way, I can focus more on the shop. For fun, I'm working on MMMcrafts 12 days of Christmas ornaments. I'm a bit behind, as you should at the minimum make one a month until you get to Chistmas. I'm currently on number three. I will do a post on these soon, because they are so charming and fun to make. Click on the name and it will take you to her blog. I have also posted some of my finished ones on my Instagram feed. I think this will be my next post, so tune in for that. If you love embroidery and felt combined, you will love these little ornaments. All the info for these are on her blog. It's not too late to start on them!

I'm pretty pleased with myself that I actually did a blog post when I said I would! Woot,Woot! Until next time my friends (which will be very soon!)