Happy 7th Birthday Emma! 🐾💕🎂

Today our sweet pup turns 7!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!!

bday girl

Awww I just love that sweet, sweet face. Words can’t even describe how much I love this pup. Emma is such a wonderful dog and I can’t imagine life without her! Here is some of the very best pics of our sweet pup!

emma

 Happy 7th Birthday Emma! We love you so much!! 🐾💕🎂🐾💕🎂

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Happy National Puppy Day! 🐾🐾

Today is National Puppy Day!!! Woof Woof! ❤️ 🐾❤️🐾❤️

We are the proud owners of TWO wonderful white miniature schnauzers Emma & Dash. Here are some adorable pictures of them both as puppies.

Emma

This girl picked me out 2.5.11 ❤

Dash

Went to “look” at this cutie on 2.14.15 and of course ended up taking him home with us! ❤

These two are always up for a road trip or adventure with us and no matter what LOVE us unconditionally. I can’t even imagine life without either of them. They are so very much apart of our family and we love them dearly!

One of the things I love most about having dogs is the companionship. I feel so close to each of my pups. There is also nothing better than coming home to their smiling faces! They are so precious and mean the world to me!

Last year I shared that our pups are pure bread mini schnauzers and actually share the same dad. We always get asked if they are siblings and technically they are (partially haha). Emma & Dash came from Skansen Kennel in Sebastopol. You can read about when we got Dash two years ago here. If you want to read/learn more about mini schnauzers you can read about how awesome they are here.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about dogs to round up this long post about how much I love my schnauzies.

“We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.” — M.Facklam

“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” — John Grogan

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras 

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” — Charles M. Schulz

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” — Milan Kundera

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” — John Grogan

Awwwww. Dogs are so wonderful! ❤️ 🐾❤️🐾❤️

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Happy National Puppy Day Emma & Dash! We LOVE you oh so much! The two of you make our lives so much better. Thank you for being so loving, spunky and full of personality!

Xo ❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️

Happy National Puppy Day! 🐾🐾

Today is National Puppy Day!!! Woof Woof! ❤️ 🐾❤️🐾❤️

Owning a dog (two for me) is seriously one of the best things ever! My life feels so much more full and complete with my pups by my side. They are always up for a road trip or adventure with us and no matter what LOVE us unconditionally.

As many of you may know, I’m the proud owner of two wonderful white mini schnauzers Emma & Dash. When I look back at when I first got Emma in 2011 I can’t even imagine that at one point I had no dogs. Now I have two and wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world!

Top Left: Puppy Dash at 13 weeks old            Top Right: Emma pup at about 8-9 months old

Dash is almost 1.5 and our girl Emma will be 6 in April.

One of the things I love most about having dogs is the companionship. I feel so close to each of my pups and love them dearly. Don’t get me wrong sometimes they get in moods and drive us bonkers, but at the end of the day I always have their smiling faces waiting for me when I come home (along with my hubby 😉 ). I really believe that there is a bond between a human and their dog. I experienced that first hand with Emma and now I have that with Dash. These two seriously make my heart swell with love. They are so precious and mean the world to me!

Our pups are pure bread mini schnauzers and actually share the same dad. How funny is that?! We got them both from Skansen Kennel in Sebastopol. You can read about when we got Dash here. If you want to read/learn more about mini schnauzers you can read about how awesome they are here.

Since it’s national puppy day I thought it would only be fitting to share some of my favorite quotes about dogs to round up this long post about how much I love my dogs.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
Roger Caras 

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.”
M.K. Clinton

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
― Charles M. Schulz

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
― John Grogan

Awwwww am I right folks? Dogs are so wonderful! ❤️ 🐾❤️🐾❤️  I mean look at these two!

 

Happy National Puppy Day Emma & Dash! We LOVE you oh so much! The two of you make our lives so much better. Thank you for being so loving, spunky and full of personality!

❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️

Valentine’s Day Weekend Update ❤️🌹❤

Happy Tuesday everyone! So glad to be starting this week on a Tuesday and for it being a short one! Here’s a recap of our weekend:

Saturday 2.13.16 ☀️ 🍷 ☀️ 🍷 ☀️

On Saturday we headed to the wine country to spend the day at one of our favorite wineries, Bella. We are currently club members here, so tasting is FREE. Over the weekend, Bella was going to be pouring their 2015 Late Harvest barrel samples in the wine caves! Yes this winery has wine caves! The Late Harvest Zinfandel sells out every year, so it was awesome to try it before we made a purchase (which we did!). I absolutely LOVE this winery and Saturday ended up being just the most perfect day ever!

Bella is an awesome winery and we seriously LOVE it! They farm some of the most distinct vineyards in Sonoma County; two in Dry Creek Valley and one in Alexander Valley on the edge of the Russian River. Both my hubby and I really prefer the Dry Creek and Alexander Valley over Napa. This side of wine country is just more calm, relaxed and easy going. Now, I still like a lot of wineries on the Napa side, but don’t really love all the crowds of people any more. I could seriously spend every day hanging out at Bella or anywhere along the Dry Creek/Alexander Valley side. Maybe some day we can move to the Healdsberg area and I can work at a winery. How awesome would it be to spend your day talking with people and pouring wine?! I’m totally down!!

My good friend Maddy (from UCSB) was in town from Rhode Island just for the night/day before going off to Davis to visit with the rest of her family. It was so great to see her even if it was for a short visit! Since she’s been living on the east coast, I haven’t seen much of her. One thing that I love is that when we get together it’s just like old times! We pick up right where we left of. I’m so glad we took her to Bella and spent the day drinking good wine, taking in the gorgeous views, picnicking on the lawn and just enjoying each others company. My bestie from middle school, Ashley also came with us and we had a blast!

 ☀️ 🍷 ☀️ 🍷 ☀️

Sunday 2.14.16 ❤️ 🌹 ❤️ 🌹 ❤️

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

Chris and I realized that this is our 10th Valentine’s Day together! Can you believe it?!?!? We have been together for so long and really don’t need/want to go all big on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, we still celebrate, but often it’s more low key. Even though it was our 10th vday together we kept it mellow and still had an awesome day. We ran errands, ate lunch at a restuarnat in Santa Row (yummy margaritas and Mexican food), spent time with our pups and watched Bridge of Spies and The Martian in the evening. My guy always sends me the most beautiful roses and this year was no exception! I love you Chris McConnell and am so thankful I get to be your forever valentine! ❤ ❤ ❤

This guy and these pups make my world complete! Love you all!

And just for fun, here’s a picture of us from our very FIRST Valentine’s Day in 2007. We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (where we had our first date) called Chad’s on Chapala. Sadly the restaurant is now gone, but we sure had some great times there! OMG we look like such babies!

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What did you all do to celebrate?

Monday 2.15.16 🌼☀️🐾🐾🌼☀️

Happy President’s Day! I actually didn’t have the day off from work (boo SJSU for making us work on President’s Day), but decided to take a much needed vacation day! I must say it was the best decision ever!

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous out and pretty warm for February. Dash had a vet appointment (just some vaccines) up in San Carlos, so we decided to do a hike at a favorite spot, Water Dog Lake. When we used to live in San Mateo, we would take the dogs here all the time! It was super close to our house (and my parents) and is a great place to get outdoors. There are several trails and lots of people walking/hiking/biking/exploring. We miss Water Dog so much now that we live down in San Jose. I think especially since we haven’t found “our” hiking spot in San Jose yet. Whenever we get the chance, we jump at any opportunity to hit up our old favorite places in San Carlos!

Clearly from the photos, our pups had a wonderful time too! Can’t wait until our next family hike.

Well that’s a quick recap of our 3-day weekend. Looking forward to having a short work week even though it’s going to be busy for my hubby and maybe me too! In other news, I’m looking forward to my BIRTHDAY tomorrow!!! Can’t believe another year has come and gone…haha. We will be celebrating on our own tomorrow night, having dinner out with my co-workers on Thursday (yay for Benihana’s) and then celebrating again with my family this weekend!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that your week is off to a great start!

XoXo

 

Weekend Update: Anniversary Addition 🌲🐾🐾🌲

Happy Monday everyone! We got back from our weekend away yesterday afternoon and I’m surprisingly not too tired today haha. Must have been all that fresh air and relaxation I got. Here’s a recap our our wonderful celebratory weekend.  💕👫💕

10.01.15 I came home from work and found these gorgeous roses on the kitchen table! 🌳 🌹🌹🌹🌳 Chris always manages to surprise me every year! Honestly, I don’t expect flowers every year…but the hubby always keeps me on my toes. These are seriously so stunning and very romantic. Along with the roses there was also another box…inside that box was a small tree! This little tree can grow to be 15 ft. tall! Where the heck are we going to put this one?!?!

After walking the dogs and feeding them dinner we headed to Los Gatos for an early anniversary dinner. I found this great place called Coup de Thai and boy was it delicious! We both really like Thai food, so this was perfect for our celebratory dinner. We got all dressed up (even though the place was super causal) and enjoyed a delicious meal. During our anniversary dinners we always talk about how much fun our wedding was, funny moments from that day, where we thought we would be today and what we think the next year will hold for us. It’s always fun reminiscing and just talking so openly with each other. I feel so lucky to have someone like Chris as my husband. We are both each others biggest cheerleaders and supporters. After dinner we headed to Yogurtland for dessert and then home to open a few presents.

Like you may have read from last weeks post, the “traditional” anniversary gift for 5 years of marriage is wood. We always manage to stick close to the theme and this year was no different. This year I got a “wooden” card and a “wood” box with a beautiful necklace! The necklace has 5 interlocking rings to symbolize our 5 years of marriage. OMG who is this romantic guy?!?! So glad he’s mine! I got Chris a “wood” cheese plate that has a slate inlay. It also has our names + wedding date engraved in the wood.

I think I did pretty good this year! Normally I go more for the funny/joke side of whatever the theme is. For example, our first year (which was paper) I mailed Chris rolls of toilet paper. Pretty funny HaHaHa right?! I certainly thought so! Chris on the other hand tends to go the more sentimental and romantic route. That first year he got me a beautiful paper journal and wrote our wedding vows inside…melts my heart! He pretty much wins every! It’s been so much fun following the “tradition” anniversary gift guide.

10.02.15  We both left work early and then headed to Truckee, CA for the weekend to continue our “wood” themed celebration. Luckily we had a free cabin (thanks Dr. G!) to stay in for the weekend. After arriving, we unpacked a little and just hung out. Had to take some pictures with our babies…aka Emma and Dash of course. This was Emma’s second time to the cabin and Dash’s first. They both LOVED it. We could have left them outside on the deck to just sniff all night haha.

Friday night was absolutely perfect just hanging out at the cabin with our pups and enjoying a delicious Round Table Pizza, salad and some wine. For dessert we had an AMAZING pie from Ikeda’s with vanilla ice cream. If you are ever on your way to Tahoe via Auburn you MUST stop at Ikeda’s and get a pie. They are seriously the most delicious and yummy pies I have ever!! They also have a ton of fresh produce and the burger joint isn’t too bad either! Best curly fries around! Stopping at Ikeda’s was a tradition of my family when we used to vacation in Lake Tahoe for a week every summer. That pie was even more delicious as the weekend went on. Yum! great way to spend our actual anniversary!

10.03.15  We slept in a little and then enjoyed bagel sandwiches from the Truckee Bagel Company and some Starbucks. Chris got to be Mr. Marisa on his coffee cup! After breakfast the pups were ready to get going. We promised them great views, good sniffs and lots of hiking!

We decided to do something new and headed over to Northstar for a day of adventure! I read online (and called to ask just in case) that Northstar offers a dog-friendly gondola ride. So that’s what we did. We took Emma and Dash up the mountain in a gondola and then went hiking! Although they were a little nervous on the ride up, they sure were excited once we starting hiking! It was absolutely GORGEOUS the entire weekend! Really felt like fall with the cool temps (high of 68*). Chris and I both loved having to wear pants and jackets the whole weekend! A nice change from all the heat we’ve been having.

We took the Big Springs Express Gondola from the Village at Northstar up to the Lodge at Big Springs (6,850ft.). After consulting with our trail map, we decided to hike the Sawmill Lake Trail (6,981 ft.). It was beyond beautiful hiking up to Sawmill Lake and the dogs loved it! So much stuff to sniff and pee on haha. They both did really great considering the altitude.

Along the way, we made sure to stop for breaks, have water and of course take some pictures! Sorry for a few repeats.

Sawmill Lake was so pretty and the perfect place to end our hike. Dash loved checking out the lake and even took a walk through it! He loves the water! If we let him off the leash I bet he would jump in! It was quiet and just breathtaking at the lake. However, the water level was really, really low. Almost kind of eerie seeing where the water line was previously. This CA drought is pretty serious. Hoping for lots of rain soon and a snow pack that will stay! Either way, we had a blast taking a little break and enjoying such a beautiful place.

After our hike we had lunch at the Downhill Grille and enjoyed watching all the crazy/serious mountain bikers come down the face of the mountain. The pups did much better on the gondola ride down the mountain (even though they look irritated in the picture). Next up we headed over to Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe to check out the pretty views of the lake. The lake was looking crystal blue as always, but man the water was low. I seriously couldn’t get over it! Kings Beach is definitely a place to go if one wants “to go to the beach,” but there seemed to be way more beach than ever before! It was a little sad to see the lake so low, but we did get some great pictures!

10.04.15 Sunday morning consisted of bagel sandwiches and coffee again for breakfast and a lazy morning at the cabin soaking up our last few hours in the mountains. We took a few family photos and then packed up to head home. It was a little sad to be leaving because our trip was so short and we both felt so relaxed and rejuvenated. I’m just thankful that we were able to get away and celebrate our “wood” themed anniversary in style! I love you Chris McConnell! ❤ ❤ ❤ Thank you for such a wonderful weekend. Can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us!

Well that wraps up our weekend in the mountains. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and did something fun. Have a great week! 🌲🐾🐾🌲💕👫💕

XoXo

Weekend Update: BUSY 

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you’ll had a wonderful weekend. Ours was fun, but oh so very busy! We literally had plans every day/night. Here’s the recap:

1. Friday 9.11 — DMB

FINALLY!!!!!!!! I had been waiting ALL summer for this concert! If you didn’t know already I am a HUGE DMB fan! I remember in high school I was going through my parents cd tower and came across a cd called ‘Under the Table and Dreaming’ by a band called Dave Matthews Band. Interested, I put it on and the rest is history! I have been seeing DMB every single year since 2002 and I plan on continuing that tradition! 🙂

The concert Friday night was at Shoreline Amphitheater, which is a great outdoor venue. We love getting there early and camping out on the lawn before the concert starts. This year we had a pretty big group which included, me and the hubby, my bestie Ashley and her boyfriend Anthony, Christina and her boyfriend Brett and then my co-worker/boss Sara and her hubby Joe as well as two other couple friends of theirs. Quite the group! WE had an absolute BLAST as you can probably tell from these pictures!
Ashley (my bestie) and I have been seeing DMB every year since 2002! It’s something that we both really look forward too each summer and I honestly can’t imagine not seeing DMB with her! Chris (my hubby) and I have been seeing them since 2006, again great concert going partner. I’m a huge DMB fan so going to these shows is seriously so much fun and I just love it! I’m sad it’s already over and done with.We had awesome lawn seats thanks to getting there early that we also had a great shot of the big screen! Love these photos of Dave! Always a good show no matter what the set list is.
This pictures is probably by far my favorite of all time! Thanks to Christina for the nice collage! We totally recreate a picture we took at Dave in 2013 and it turned out awesome! Seriously on point! Can’t imagine going to Dave with anyone else other than these peeps! We’re already looking forward to next summer. WE LOVE DMB! ❤ ❤ ❤
2. Saturday 9.12 — SJ Earthquakes

Chris scored some tickets to the San Jose Earthquakes soccer game Saturday night so we took advantage! One thing I love about his job is some of the free tickets he gets.

Avaya is a brand new soccer stadium and since moving to San Jose we have watched it being built. It was fun to finally go to a game and see the new stadium. Unfortunately, we didn’t partake in any of the eateries or adult beverages, but enjoyed our sweet seats and the soccer game. It got pretty chippy towards the end when the Quakes were up 1-0, but the game ended in a tie 1-1. Looking forward to maybe more free tickets in the future. Next time we are going to be sure to enjoy the eateries and adult beverages.

Previous to the soccer game we watched the USC-Idaho game and we got another WIN! All is well after a USC victory! 

3. Sunday 9.13 — Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves Pickup

After a few wine tasting trips in the Alexander Valley, we finally decided to become members at one of our favorite places, Bella Vineyard & Wine Caves. Bella is located in Healdsburg, CA and we just love everything about it! The location (quiet and off a small dirt road); the laid back atmosphere (not crazy busy like most of the places in the Napa Valley…although we do like some wineries in that area too); and the beyond friendly staff (everyone is so kind/nice and always let you sample some off the menu wines). These are just a few of the reasons why I love Bella.

Anyway, we went up there to pick up our wine club shipments and made a little day out of it. We took our two pups and packed a little picnic (stopped at Dry Creek General Store for sandwiches-yum!). Although Bella is far away, it’s always so nice to get out and relax in wine country. And it’s always gorgeous! Despite all the terrible fires that are happening in that area, it was still so beautiful and really peaceful. Emma and Dash did a pretty good job with us and certainly made friendly with the staff. Can’t wait to go back later this fall to pick up another shipment! We sure do love wine and have a growing collection! Who wants to come over for a glass of wine?

Well that was our BUSY weekend! Almost a little too busy for us, but we had a ton of fun doing everything that we did. What did you all do?

Wishing everyone an awesome week!

XoXo