12.30.2016

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and how they saved Christmas

Frozen slow cooker meals and how they saved Christmas!

And when I say "saved Christmas" I am speaking figuratively (not literally).

The story goes like this:

On a dark and stormy night T and I were discussing holiday plans which included a trip to Mammoth where we would be joined by his brother Jay and then his other brother and his wife and two kids. Jay, T, and I would be staying with the Fish-whisperer and his wife and the other brother and family had rented a place in town. We were all arriving and leaving at different times. T was talking about making crock-pot meals that would be easy cook and eat. I was on board and took it upon myself to shop and prep everything. Mistake number one because it ended up taking me almost four hours to prep everything by myself. T has said he will help next time….but all that prep work paid off and slow cooker freezer meals were a hit AND success.

Here are the ones I used (thank you Pinterest!):

Seven nights of meals and they worked out so well. The slow cooker meals from sixsistersstuff.com were freezer meals that you prep ahead of time and put in a gallon size zip-lock bag in the freezer on a cookie sheet to freeze flat. The other slow cooker meals were not freezer meals, but I turned them into them. I prepped the recipes as much as I could, including browning meat and making sauces like the mole for the chicken, before cooling everything and placing it in zip-lock bags to freeze with everything else. A few nights I made casseroles to go with the meals because I wanted to make sure there was enough food and the Fish-whisperer’s wife made some rice and salad on a few nights. We fed between 6-10 people with these meals each night and except for the long prep work to make the freezer meals, everything was really easy. The trick was to put a meal in the fridge for 24 hours and then cook it. I would pull something out of the freezer in the morning before snowboarding and put whatever the meal for that night was in the slow cooker on low before leaving. The few times I forgot I would call the house to see if someone could start the slow cooker for me. So it was a circle of freezer to fridge to slow cooker over a 24 hour period. It made the holidays a lot less stressful and saved Christmas because everyone had spent the day skiing and we got to come home to a hot meal with minimal work!

Slow cooker freezer meals are awesome and are going to become staples in our winter snow activities and in our slow cooker at home. If you have any recipies you think we should try, please tell us about them in the comments below!

If you are new to Slow Cooker Freezer Meals (like I was) I HIGHLY recommned reading this blog post from Six Sisters Stuff to get you started. It was the post that pushed me down the rabbit hole with Alice. Slow Cooker Freezer Meals: Make 8 meals in 1 hour.

 

12.23.2016

Video: It's snowing in Mammoth! Hello White Christmas.

Happy Holidays! It is snowing in Mammoth and we are going to have a White Christmas for sure.

 

First time June

The good news is the I kept my 2016 theme of “try something new” going strong for the whole year. The not as great news is that it is December and I am writing about June. Sorry about that….

June was the first time in eight years that I worked during this month. I mentioned in another post that I used to have a job with a 178 day (10 month) contract and my new job is a 221 day contract. I still get some time off, but not nearly as much time as I have gotten off in the past. So it was not new to work in June, but is was the first time in eight years that I worked in June.

In June I went to graduation for the first time at my new college. I love graduation and went every year at my old job. I think it is great to cheer on students as they reach their goals.

I also bought a bike that I ride to work most days. In the cold months (like now) I try to ride my bike to work at least two days a week. With the short days I adjust my schedule so I am not riding in the dark. You can read about my new bike HERE.
The Library is a great place to review cookbooks. I check them out all the time. In June I checked out the book Paleo Planet and made such a big list of recipes to try that I decided to buy it. I posted the following photo on instagram and the author responded and told me some of her favorite recipes. I have never had that happen before and it was pretty cool! Social media for the win! So far my favorite recipe is the crispy chicken with onions. I think it is the pollo al forno in the book, page 88!

12.07.2016

November Photos (via the iPhone)

November photos from 2016, in my 39th year.

Early morning at John Wayne airport on my way to Richmond, VA.
airport window

View from the window at Pop's on Grace in Richmond, VA
fall street view

The Middle Sister threw a holiday cocktail thing...
holiday buffet

Lights at Design Within Reach where T and I went to an art event.
hanging lights

Tree of Life by Kate Creely.
Tree of Life mixed media


Miscommunication of the Pumpkin Pies found five of them in our fridge.
five pies in fridge

For real.  This cat is the best lap warmer....
cat near fireplace

Adventures in Nevada at an old mine.
old house

Snow on the ground in Bodhi, CA
us in Bodhi

First tracks!  Snow near Mono Lake.

The sad day Basillico's closed...

11.29.2016

Film Museum in Lone Pine and a photo with John Wayne

Greetings and Happy Winter!

At least it feels like winter and this past weekend T and I were in the snow in the Eastern Sierra mountains. On the way up we drove through Lone Pine and FINALLY stopped at the Film History Museum in Lone Pine, CA.

We must have driven by this place over a hundred times. Many times T would say, we need to stop there one of these days…. He was starting to say the same thing this time as we passed the museum and then he said, I think today is the day. And so we went!
Us at Lone Pine Film Museum
Us at Lone Pine Film Museum

Lone Pine is a small town and it might strike you as odd that they have a film history museum but right behind the town is an area known as the “Alabama Hills” and tons of movies and TV shows have been filmed there. Made famous by early western movies I catch glimpses of this area in current movies (Iron Man) and lots of car commercials. The museum was filled with movie posters and memorabilia from movies filmed in the area. A short film really shows how much the Alabama Hills were utilized by Hollywood.

Movie Poster

old movie chairs

movie poster

The Film History Museum was a great stop on our trip north. For a $5 donation you get to see a piece of old Hollywood and even might see John Wayne….T and John Wayne

x

11.06.2016

Richmond, VA. Or never eat dinner at the same place when traveling for work

Just back from Richmond, VA.

I had been here once before for a wedding and that was pretty RAD! This time I was here for a work conference and that was a very different experience. Where as before I had access to a car and we rented a house, this time I was in the middle of downtown and in a hotel. The hotel was awesome by the way. It was the Hilton Richmond Downtown and everyone who worked there were really friendly and helpful. I am the queen of questions and they always answered them or found someone who could. If you are looking for a place to stay in downtown Richmond, I recommend the Hilton.

I love to travel, even if it is for work, and this trip to Richmond was no exception. I arrived in the evening and asked if there were any restaurants the hotel would recommend that were close. They had a list of restaurants within a four block area and I used this list and Yelp to find places to eat. One of the Hilton employees also mentioned two places and those made my list.


I have this thing that I try not to eat at the same restaurant for dinner when I am traveling for work. When I travel for fun I am usually in a place for so long that going to a restaurant a second time is not that big of a deal. Not the same thing with traveling for work (except for the time I went to the Red Iguana in Salt Lake City two nights in a row. It was THAT good, and there were not too many other choices……). When traveling for work I (99% of the time) make a choice to try new places for dinner. This trip to Richmond was no different.


My travel day to get to Richmond included a breakfast of string cheese and a lunch of string cheese and water. When I arrived it was dinner time in Richmond and I was hungry!


I think I should mention something odd here that my parents are probably going to say something to me about……. My shuttle driver from the airport was pretty cool and as I was his last job for the night, he took me the scenic way to the hotel because I asked if I could sit in the front and told him I like to be able to see a new place. He showed me the capital and also told me some areas to stay away from. I am pretty independent, but I like to think I am not dumb. I was listening. He said some of the areas were okay if you were in a group, but he would worry about me being alone. I get along pretty well with everyone and he said at one point that he had a daughter and he just wanted to make sure I was safe. He also thought I was in my late 20’s when I am actually almost 40, so maybe that had something to do with it. He told me to be cautious around my hotel, but then called and left me a message after he dropped me off to let me know he was confusing some of his directions and when he left he realized I should be okay. I thought that was sweet, but it did make me more conscious of my surroundings.


For dinner the first night I went to Julep’s which was just around the corner. I ordered the hanger steak and a glass of wine. I wasn’t a huge fan of the glass of wine, so after a bit I ordered the flight of wine. I had just finished a wine tasting weekend in Santa Barbara and must of been in the habit of having all this wine to taste….

Wine flight
Red Wine Flight

I usually sit at the bar when I travel alone and the bartender Abby was really nice. My order ended up getting kind of lost but it wasn’t a big deal, I wasn’t in a hurry. I asked her if the neighborhood was safe and said my shuttle driver had warned me a little. She said it was fine. There were some homeless people who might ask you for money, but she had been walking it for over a year and been okay. It was a city and it came with some of the typical things associated with a city.


Dinner, when it arrived, was good. I had ordered the hanger steak with bacon baked beans and brussel sprouts. I guess the restaurant is seasonal and had just changed to the fall menu. Game 6 of the World Series was on the one TV in the place. The TV seemed like an afterthought as the restaurant was pretty swanky. I ordered dessert and had the Virginia Peanut Butter Pie. Wow. Like a whipped peanut butter cheesecake with a chocolate crust. Pretty good. Abby “bought” my wine because she said it was ridiculous that I had to wait so long for my food and I had been so cool about it. That was nice.

Virginia Peanut Butter Pie
Virginia Peanut Butter Pie

The next day I skipped breakfast and made the mistake of eating the boxed lunch at the conference. Or trying to eat around the boxed lunch at the conference. I mentioned recently that I had completed my 4th Whole30 and that things had kind of stuck. Now Peanut Butter Pie is not Whole30 approved, but I made a choice to eat that. The boxed lunch choice was based on not making good breakfast choices and then being pretty hungry at lunch. I ate around a lot of things in the boxed lunch, but the food wasn’t amazing so I decided the next day I would have a really good breakfast and skip the boxed lunch.


That same day I left the conference a little early to do go on a walk. Here are some things I saw:

Walkway with windows
The Conference Center bridge
Library of Virginia
The Conference Center bridge
Library of Virginia
Library of Virginia
Library card catalog
Old school library card catalog
Old City Hall
Old school library card catalog
Old city hall and blue sky
Old City Hall
Inside City Hall
Inside City Hall
Walking around the Govenor's house:
Old school library card catalog
The white house of Richmond,VA
I think this is the Governor's house
Statue on horse
George Washington
Statue of people
Asking for equal education

That night I had dinner at Wong Gonzales, a Chinese / Mexican restaurant. Yes. I know it sounds strange. Someone at the hotel had recommended it and the reviews on Yelp were good. I wasn’t sold until I read the menu. I didn’t think I was hungry, but my stomach started grumbling and my mouth started watering when I read the menu so I took that as a sign.


This place had a hipster vibe and the bartender admitted to me that they were a new restaurant and still trying to “find themselves”. Aren’t we all buddy. The menu was so interesting I wanted to order way more food than I could eat. The bartender gave me some suggestions and I went with the beef skillet, kind of like a fajita platter but with pineapple, no tortillas, and an interesting blend of spices. The crab cake tacos (a bartender recommendation) and the fried bao buns. I picked a medium beer and all my food arrived at once. Really quickly. The crab tacos were amazing. An interesting flavor combination that worked really well. They were smaller, like street tacos so it took about five bites to eat each one. Whole boiled peanuts with guacamole and crab cakes in a small flour tortilla with spiced red cabbage…. yes please! The beef skillet was also good with some spice that wasn’t mexican or chinese. A little spicy that the pineapple blended with perfectly. The fried bao buns were not what I was expecting and had similar spices to the beef skillet. I tried one, but didn’t need to finish the other. For dessert I had the miso ice cream sandwich with churro cookies. This place was pretty good and I texted my brother-in-law who comes to Richmond a lot to make sure he tries it next time he is here.

Wong Gonzales food
Yummy food!

While I try not to eat dinner at the same place twice, I have no such rules when it comes to breakfast. I had skipped breakfast my first morning and later that day I walked by a place called Pop’s Market on Grace (Grace Street) and stopped in to look at the menu. Breakfast looked amazing and the gentleman I was talking to said I should add kale and the house made fennel sausage to the frittata I was asking about. House made I questioned and he said Yep and that he was heading back to make it soon. Turns out he and his Mom own the place. She told me later that when they started it in November of 2015. The next morning the place was hopping and I ordered the frittata with housemade fennel sausage. It was delicious. Very big with a great flavor profile. The seasoned potatoes adding a great dimension in the dish.

Frittata
Frittata and work

I skipped the boxed lunch that day and instead walked to the James River. On my first trip Jay took me running here and it was nice to visit again.

James River
James River

The conference finished about 4pm that day and I found myself back at Pop’s Market on Grace. They make their English muffins from scratch and I was hoping they had some left. They didn’t, but I ended up hanging out there for a few hours working on some stuff. It was the best version of a coffee shop / neighborhood place I have seen in awhile. Pop’s is big with lots of tables and windows. The Mom said they tried to make a place that people wanted to come and use. A neighborhood place where people could linger. I saw teenage ballerinas there, some medical students, and other people stopping by on their way home. It was pretty cool. Before I knew it seven o’clock rolled around and the few snacks I had at Pop’s ended up being my dinner.

Cafe

The next morning I was at Pop’s soon after they opened and ordered some english muffins to take home with me for T. They were not out of the oven so I came back when the conference was over and before I headed to the airport to pick them up. If I lived in the area, Pop’s would be one of my go to places.

English muffin
I had to try an english muffin...

The weather my last day in Richmond was brisk compared to the hot first few days and I had the same shuttle driver on the way back to the airport. On my layover in Chicago I eat at Tortas Frontera, a Rick Bayless restaurant inside the airport. You know, to keep the good food coming.


I ate at the places in the area I was in, and luckily there was some good choices. If I am in the area again there are some new restaurants I can try next time. Eating at a new place for dinner each night when traveling keeps the evenings interesting and full of flavor. I highly recommend it!


-elizabeth


A few travel notes to myself:

  • Bring yoga mat or towel. Maybe find a local yoga class.

  • Pack vitamins

  • Review sunrise / sunset times to see about running

  • Bring swimming stuff it there is a pool

  • If there is too much food, remember to skip a meal.

  • Bubble baths!

  • Ear plugs and eye mask. Even for hotel rooms.

 

11.02.2016

September Whole30. Or 4th time's a charm

Greetings from Richmond, VA.  I am currently here for work and I find it kind of ironic that I am writing about my September Whole30 because it is always hard to eat clean, whole30-ish, when at a conference.  But it is always about doing the best you can and that is what I am doing…… mostly.

The September Whole30 was my fourth time completing a Whole30 and this time it kind of clicked.  Fourth time's a charm I guess.  I did it on my own.  No buddy system and T for sure was not part of it.  Remember he started this Whole30 thing originally? He has adopted this philosophy that the Whole30 is more extreme and that it is not needed to do more than once.  When I do it he always tells me this and this time was no change.  So I was solo, but it was fine.

This month wasn't hard.  I skimmed It Starts with Food to review the basics and started on September 1st.  I got the usual hard time about not drinking wine, but at the end of the month I had lost 7 pounds and was feeling pretty good.  

When the month was over I kind of decided to keep it going.  I actually got a little push back from some people in my life and I said, "I feel good and lost weight.  I am not asking you to change anything.  Just support me."  I was kind of surprised actually by a few comments but everyone got on board. I tried to quietly adopt it as a lifestyle and not make a big deal out of it. I work my way around food when out, and if I can't, I just eat and move on.

After this Whole30 I REALLY noticed how food made me feel.

This was kind of the 4th time's a charm thing.  When I do a Whole30 I am 100% committed.  When this one ended I would have something that was not Whole30 approved and really notice how it made me feel.  Bread one day at a picnic.  So full and bloated I couldn't eat the rest of the day.  Chocolate - peanut butter pie (I KNOW!) a little acid-reflux-ish.  Red wine.  Fine as long as I had a lot of water.  A little dairy?  Jury is still out.  

After finishing this Whole30, I have noticed how food makes me feel.  Like really feel!  And that has made me aware of food at a different level.  A level I am happy to be aware of.  I believe that our bodies are our temples and our health starts with food.  I also think that we are all different and that what works for me, might not work for you.  You can ask me about what I am eating, and I am happy to tell you. But I know we are all different and different things work for all of us.  As long as the food you eat makes you feel healthy and strong, you are good to go.  If it doesn't it might be time to look into that and find some different things to eat.  Because at the end of the day,  our health really does start with what we eat.

Bon appetite!
-elizabeth

10.17.2016

MaxLove Farm to Fork: or that time I bid on a trip to Africa and almost won

Life has been busy and full. I am trying new things and happy to report back after my first ever fundraising experience. A group of us got a table at the MaxLove Farm to Fork dinner and it was an experience! From the beautiful tables at Tanaka Farms to the great appetizers and food. Silent and live auctions and I bid and almost won a trip to Africa! The weather was magical and I was happy to be a part of it.
The MaxLove story started when a friend of mine found out her four year old had a brain tumor. Instead of being victims of this awful news, Audra and Justin (Max's parents) set out to educate themselves and empower Max and other kids like him. Their journey has been a remarkable one and they now run the MaxLove Project non-profit to help kids and families thrive against the odds. They have partnered with Choc Hospital of Orange County and numorous other organizations. In the early days I was a guest blogger at Fierce Foods and you can see some of my Farmer's Market post HERE. When I saw the Farm to Fork invite I was happy to organize a table and check it out.
Farm Chic outfits!
The dress code was "Farm Chic" and here we are before the tractor ride up the hill. The weather was pretty nice and the parking was a little nuts, but we realized that was because the pumpkin patch was open and everyone was getting one.
Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch
At the top of the hill we checked in and got a Farm to Fork tote with all kinds of goodies. So a note; when we checked in each couple put a credit card on file. I was a little surprised when they asked us and they explained it was for the silent auction and the live auction to bid. Like I said, first fundraising event so I didn't realize this would happen, but no big deal. At the time I thought I wouldn't need it....silly me.
We found our table and then proceded down the hill for appetizers.
Tables at Farm to Fork
Photo by Alan
Photo by Alan.
We had drink tokens (purchased) and enjoyed listening to Communal Contact and trying food from four different chefs. ModelMeals.com, Zov's, Electric City Butcher, and Haven Gastropub. It was a very HAPPY happy hour!
Parks and I
Middle Sister and friend
T and I
Me with wine and beer!
During happy hour we met the auctioneer (yes a real auctioneer) and every once in a while there would be some announcements about the silent auction items. This was a modern silent auction and you could bid on your phone from an app called GiveSmart. Slowly our group started to bid on items and T and I started bidding on a trip to New Mexico. "Because we should go to New Mexico" he said... The thing about this app is that it texts you when you have been out bid. Dangerous! So we bid a few times but then decided New Mexico was not really worth all that money and stopped bidding on it. But the flood gate had opened and soon I found myself bidding on a Yoga Love package...
Dinner was good and educational. There were short videos and presentations about MaxLove and some of the projects they were working on. It really is an amazing organization. Food as Medicine was a theme through out dinner and Chef Azmin Ghreman of Sapphire Laguna kept that theme going with the food served that night. There was also some heartbreak when they did a video of some of the kids that were lost this past year. There is no sugar way to coat it. Cancer is a bitch and seeing it take children seemed like one of the most unfair things in the world. It also showed me how strong Audra and Justin have been and how important what they do for other families is.
The main fundraising event that night was for the Ohana Project for Comprehensive Integrative Medicine with Open Mind Modalities Ruth McCarty, MS, L.Ac. MaxLove is looking to create a culinary medicine center and if possible, to create them around the country so all families dealing with cancer can have the same kind of support the families in Orange County receive. It was an incredible goal. They were hoping to raise $250,000.
This is where the auctioneer came into place.
It was incredible to be sitting there with all those people and to have a call for pledges go out. The first amount was for $10,000. And people did it. The pledges went for less and less, but the amount of money was truly amazing. So many people gave money. And then they started the live auction. This is where the auctioneer really did his thing. I have $500, do I have $600? $600? Yes! Bidder 18. I have $600, do I have 7? Again amazing to watch. And during this the silent auction still going on and three people at our table bidding on three different things.
The last item of the night was a South African Safari and I was kind of paying attention. I had not raised my bidding paddle once during the live auction when all of a sudden I heard that the Safari was going to go for under $3000 dollars. And I had this moment where I though, "A South African Safari for $2700? Yep. I could do that". And next thing you know I was bidding. My table went crazy and the auctioneer was going nuts. The table I was bidding against discussed some things and brought it up to $3000. As that was my stopping point, I stopped bidding and the other table won. But I was SO CLOSE to winning a South African Safari! I did end up winning my Yoga Love package and the other people at the table also won so I wasn't that disappointed about South Africa..
Winning auction bid
The festivities went on after dinner but we had all carpooled and I might have been turning into a pumpkin. We ended the night and my first experience at a fundraising dinner.
I had a really good time and laugh about almost gettng that trip to South Africa. Can you imagine? I loved the snacks in our tote from Quest, Keto Kookies, and Lily's Chocolate. I also left thinking a lot about food and food as medicine. I completed my fourth Whole 30 in September and have continued to eat mainly plants and animals. I came home after the event and ordered a few books and read some articles to really look at what I am eating. Food is fuel, right? I think food as medicine is a much better idea.
Thanks for the inspirarion and motivation MaxLove. I am excited to see you next year "on the farm" and to see what amazing things you do this year.
If you are interested in donating to MaxLove, you can see all their options HERE. Or see if volunteering is more of your thing. You can see the history of the organization and all that they do. It really is amazing and helps me remember how much good a few people can do.

Update: As of this writing MaxLove was able to earn $206,808 of their $250,000 goal. If you are interested in supporting this cause you can donate HERE.

9.30.2016

Cheap airfare. Or the time I bought the same flight 3 times

Hi all and Happy Fall. I recently had an odd experience purchasing airfare and wanted to tell the world about it. To....

  1. Help you to learn from my odd adventure
  2. Maybe have someone tell me some better tips for purchasing airfare

The background is that I needed to buy six flights to New Orleans in February. I was using the flight feature in Google to see some prices and finally decided to buy. There are probably multiple ways to use the flight feature in google, but to find flights I just enter the departing and arrivng airport code (example = LAX to JFK) and when the google search comes up one of the first options is to enter dates of your trip and see more flight from google. Once you see your flight options, you can then pick what you want and then book with that airline carrier. A few notes about this. First, you have to visit Southwest Airlines sepearatly as those prices do not show up in Google. Second, I have been using sites like Kayak and Expedia for years to purchase flights. The prices were simular enough on this adventure, but I wonder if I would have had as much headache. I guess I will have to test that out next time...

 

So there I am, about to purchase a flight on American. Potential problem #1: When I was first looking for flights I was only looking for one passenger to see the price. When a good price came up, I decided to purchase six tickets. I went to American Airlines and purchased six tickets. When I divided the price by six each ticket cost $115 more dollars than the price I had seen on Google! I immediately called American and and was NOT helped by customer service when I was told that only a certain number of tickets were sold at the price I had seen and when I increased the number of tickets I needed to buy, I had been bumped to the higher priced tickets as they had six of those available. I asked why at least some of the available cheaper tickets had not been purchased with my order there was not a good reply. I was told I had 24 hours to cancel my tickets for a full refund and my airfare game began.

 

Early the next morning I was back on google flights and my cheaper price was back! I went to the American Airlines website and tried to cancel one of the flights. I didn't realize this until later, but I ended up canceling all the flights because we were all on the same confirmation code. I then started buying cheaper flights for each person. That morning I purchased three flights and that afternoon, three more. Not all of the flights were the cheaper cost, but they were less then they had been, so I purchased them. Now we all had separate flights and separate confirmation codes.

 

Canceling a flight and getting a refund for that flight are two different things. First you have to cancel a flight and then you have to go through the website and submit a form to see if you qualify for a refund. For each individual ticket, even if you were originally all on the same confirmation code, you have to do this process. This was round one of the cancel / refund process.

 

That evening I was back on Google Flights and the cheaper flights were back! And the American website was having trouble because I couldn't cancel a flight on it any more. I also found going back through my email confirmations that I had tried to purchase a new ticket for someone in the group (for a cheaper price) but the computer (or big brother) had seen they already had a ticket so the ticket they sold me again (charged again) was for the same more expensive cost! What the hey! No! What is this crazziness? So I called American (again) and cancelled two flights over the phone and was able to purchase two more cheaper flights. Then I did the refund dance again.

 

Six hours later cheaper prices are showing up again. Called American again, cancelled two more tickets, repurchased tickets, did the refund dance, went to bed.

 

About this time three of us have tickets at the original price I tried to purchase them at. Three are higher. I wake up early in the morning and look at that..... the cheaper price is back!!!!! By this time I have talked to a lot of customer service people at American. I even bought a ticket through one of them when the website was down before I realized there was a $25 fee (per ticket) when you purchase with American via phone. On each of these phone calls I asked the prices of availble tickets and they would tell me that only one ticket was availble at the price I was looking at the next thicket would cost XXXX more. And I understand airfare is a floating numbers game, but come on! Really.

 

So I am back at it and call, cancel one flight, purchase the cheaper price, do the refund dance, going running and come back to AN EVEN CHEAPER FLIGHT!!!!!!

 

For real.

What the heck?

 

Immediatly call, cancel, repurchase, refund request. And call it done.

 

It was nuts. It consummed me. And in hindsight made me think I should try Kayak again. Also, the refund request could take up to seven days so I had thousands of dollars unavailable to me. You know for twelve flights! I actually think it was for fourteen flights because two of the people I had to purchase flights for four times. Not to mention that all of a sudden flights started showing up in my email that I had tried to purchase but had not gone through, and all of a suddent they did go through and five of the six people were booked on the flight twice. Called customer service AGAIN to cancel those flights and make sure the other flights were booked.

 

And when everything had settled out for a few days and all refund requests had been submitted and each person only had one flight, I called customer service again to see if we could sit next to each other and to try to link, or make a note that we were all traveling together. Fingers crossed that the flight works out.

 

And that is the story of how I bought the same flight 3 or 4 times. Do you have any tips about buying airfare? Have you experinced this before? Do you have an airline you love with excellent customer service? Do tell. Because my days of being the travel agent -booking everyone's flights are limited...

 

 

9.22.2016

Happy Fall

The days are getting shorter and I beat the sunrise with each morning run.  Today the moon started my day.  Here is looking forward to an awesome fall season!

9.11.2016

First time May

May was a great month to continue my 2016 theme of "Try Something New". I continued the Kombucha making and bottled my first batch and made a second one. In May I discovered Farm & Culture, a local Kombucha place and ended up getting a growler that I have filled up every once in awhile. Farm & Culture have four Kombuchas on tap and I have a flight and taste all of them before I decide what to put in my growler!

In May I also tried some new restaurants. The first was Park Ave. in Stanton, CA. Mo and Russia AC took me to dinner here to celebrate my new job and it was very good. A swanky steakhouse, but they have a restaurant in the back called "Il Garage" and we all agree that we want to try that one next time!
The garden out back by Il Garage.

I also tried Restaurant Marin for breakfast and was very impressed. Decadent and european feeling. A great space close to home.

On the office / work related front I also did a few new things for the first time. One of those things was making "Engineering Prints" that I hung up in my office. Engineering Prints are big black white prints on thin paper that can be printed at Staples or Office Max. I used THIS blog post from a beautiful mess as a guide and printed five of my iPhone photos from a Joshua Tree trip and they now decorate my office. Big shout out to the Middle Sister for helping me decorate my office. We brought in some lamps and my "office chair" one weekend to create the zen office I now have. Everyone loves it!
My office before:

My office after, it is a little dark but you can see my prints on the wall, my bike, and my chair!

I also set up a Google Voice account for work during May and that is awesome! It allows me to have a phone number that rings on multiple phones and has been instrimental in alowing me to work remotely when needed.
And there are all the things I did for the first time in May. It was a full month!