Exciting news…we’re MOVING!!!

I (we) can finally share the exciting news that the McConnells are moving to Santa Barbara! Chris (Tof) actually already moved down to SB and started his new job as a PA in the Student Health Center at UCSB back in March. This Friday will be my LAST day at SJSU 💙💛👌🏻and then I will be joining the rest of my family! It’s been a great 4 years at SJSU and an even more fabulous 7 years living back in the Bay. We are going to miss our friends and family dearly, but are really looking forward to this new adventure and chapter in our life as well as all the future visitors. Thank you all of your love and support these past few months! It’s been quite a whirlwind since the start of 2017 with the selling our SJ condo and then buying a new one in SB. None of this could have been possible without the endless support, patience, encouragement and LOVE from my AMAZING husband. Tof, I love you more than words can ever express. ❤️❤️THANK YOU for leading the way for our family and for making the past 3 months apart not feel that way at all. Here’s to our next great adventure in SB!


Will be sure to do a follow up post about selling our SJ condo, buying our SB one and just more about our MOVE!


Happy Valentine’s Day


Wishing everyone a day filled with lots of LOVE!

I feel so fortunate to spend my 11th Valentine’s Day with my forever Valentine…my wonderful hubby Chris. Tof, I love you to the moon and back! Thank you for always loving me and making me feel so special. You’re the most wonderful man a girl could every ask for. So lucky to call you my best friend and love of my life!  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤  Happy Valentine’s Day! Looking forward to dinner tonight; spending time with you, drinking wine and snuggling with our pups!

Today we are also celebrating TWO years ago when we had the best Valentine’s Day picking up our second mini schnauzer pup, DASH! You can read all about when we first got him here. Dash turned out to be a big love bug haha maybe because we got him on Valentine’s day. He loves to give lots of kisses and snuggle with his sister Emma and us of course! 😉 LOVE both of our sweet pups and our little family! ❤





Holiday Traditions: SF Nutcracker



Tis the season…SF Nutcracker time! This marks our 6th year going and truly one of my favorite holiday traditions! You can read about our previous visits here: 20152014, 2013. Sadly, no blog posts from 2012 or 2011.

As always, the SF Nutcracker is so much fun and a truly beautiful production! I love going to the ballet and this is the perfect production to get you in the spirit of the holidays. I say this every year…if you haven’t seen the SF Nutcracker, I highly recommend it. There is also nothing better than seeing the War Memorial Opera House all decked out in lights and holiday trimmings. Going to see the Nutcracker really is one of my (our) favorite holiday traditions and I so look forward to it every year! I can’t believe the hubby and I have been seeing it every year since 2011; what a treat!

Each year, we hold true to our tradition in every part of the way. Dinner is always at our favorite Thai place, Lers Ros. The subject of switching it up always comes up, but we always end up back at Lers Ros. It’s too good of a place to say no.

One of the best things about going up to the city during the holidays is all of the LIGHTS! I love holiday lights, especially City Hall! It looks so magical when it’s all decked out in red and green lights. We always have to get a few pictures of it and a few selfies 😉 .

Of course, the best part is taking a few pictures in front of the gorgeous tree inside the War Memorial Opera House ! So glad my hubby is always willing to pose for pictures…I sure got lucky with this one! ❤

We decided again this year to purchase the orchestra section seats becuase you just get a better view of the stage. I really love being closer to the stage and seeing all the beautiful costumes and little details. Before the show we checked out the front of the stage and the orchestra. It was fun seeing the musicians come in and get warmed up. Kinda makes me miss my clarinet playing days….

The SF Ballet sure didn’t disappoint this year. They put on another fantastic show and now I feel all ready for the Holiday Season! Can’t wait until next year!🙂

I love making and keeping up with our holiday traditions, espeically going to the ballet! We still needs to bake cookies and look at Christmas lights. Crazy how fast this month has flwen by…only one more weekend until Christmas, yikes! Wat are some of your favoritae holiday traditions?


Hope everyone has a great start to the week! I’m counting down the days until I’m off work and can relax/celebrate with our family and friends!


Kitchen Reno

I’ve been delaying this post for several reasons, but mostly because I wanted to wait until our kitchen was ACTUALLY done. Well my friends, it’s finally FINISHED! Waaaahooooo! On October 24th we did the final walk through with our contractor and signed the final paperwork. Kitchen reno is DONE. I’m so excited to share with you the entire process. Get ready for lots of pictures.

After looking at a variety of different options and places to do our kitchen, we decided to go with IKEA . Overall, I wold say the entire process went really, really smooth. There were only a few hiccups along the way…like a fridge that didn’t quit fit into it’s space and waiting WEEKS for the darn counter top. IKEA for the most part was also great to work with. They contract out to a company that does the actually work for the kitchen (Tremond was their name). We worked with Domingo through Tremond, but he’s originally from DZ Cabinets Inc. (that’s his company and they work with IKEA). Domingo and his crew got in right away and got the job done. The longest and most annoying part was waiting on the counter tops to be templated and then waiting for them to be installed. Again, IKEA contracted this work out to a company called Stone Etc. so we didn’t have a choice of who to work with. Sadly, I have to report that Stone Etc. was the absolute WORST! They never returned our emails or phone calls. Additionally, it took forever to get an appointment for the template and for the actual installation. We got lucky and didn’t have to wait as long as other customers. Right now folks are waiting over a month just for counter tops! Other than the issue with Stone Etc., I don’t have much to complain about our entire kitchen reno process. In the end, it was worth all the waiting, living among chaos and basically not having a functional kitchen for over a month. We absolutely LOVE our kitchen and are beyond excited to use every aspect of it!

Kitchen Delivery 9.2.16 – The first step in our reno process (after purchasing the kitchen) was the actual delivery of everything. Never in my life have I seen soooooo many IKEA boxes. Hubby was so excited I had to hold him back from opening them up and starting to put everything together. We did take a sneak peak at one of the cabinet doors. Love it already!

Packing/Demo 9.3-9.4 – Nothing like spending Labor Day Weekend with a nasty cold and needing to pack/demo your kitchen ugh. Major props to my AMAZING hubby for not only doing ALL of the packing but also doing ALL of the demo! He’s such a stud! What I thought was going to be the hardest part of this reno turned out to really not be that bad. Kitchen was packed in one day and demo done in another. Not bad, not bad at all!

Building & Attaching Cabinets 9.6-9.9 – Domingo and his crew showed up first thing Tuesday morning and got right to work building our cabinets and getting them on the wall! We were shocked to come home that first day from work to see that we had cabinets going up on the first day. It was pretty crazy having cabinets all over the house, but man did they look good! We both just LOVE the grey color too! Pretty exciting to see the slow transformation of our kitchen.

NEW Appliances Delivery 9.10.16 – So freaking excited to have new appliances! Fancy stainless steel fridge! New microwave! An actual RANGE!!! And last but not least…FARMHOUSE SINK!!! 🙂 🙂 It’s so nice to have brand new appliances! We got them on mega sale at Pacific Sales. Along with good prices we also got FREE delivery and takeaway from some of our old appliances. Score! If you need any appliances, I highly recommend Pacific Sales.

Counter Top Template 9.14.16 – By September 9th our kitchen was pretty much done. Minus of course the counter top and backsplash. There was a bit of a hold up in getting our counter top template appointment and then the actual installation. See my comments above about Stone Etc. The below pictures is how they do the templates for the counter tops. Pretty cool! I had no clue how this was going to be done. From the pictures we were a little nervous if this was enough information to cut our counter tops…

Counter Top Install & Appliance Placement 10.4.16 – Quite a a few weeks later and we finally got our COUNTER TOPS! It was such an amazing feeling to come home and see that we had counter tops! The finish line is sooo close! Along with the counter top installation, Domingo’s crew was able to put all of our appliances in their place! Yay!!! Our kitchen actually looks more like a kitchen now!

Speaking of appliances, we were successfully able to get the fridge to fit in its place! Waaaahoooo! We ended up having to remove the door frame molding, but after that we got it to fit perfectly. I don’t even notice that we don’t have door frame molding any more.

Backsplash 10.10.16 – Can you say SUBWAY TILE?!?!?! Yes!!! Tile day finally came!! For the kitchen we went with your basic white subway tile from Lowe’s. Super easy to pick out, pretty cheap and looks fabulous! Domingo’s tile guy did a great job! Just the perfect finish touch to make our kitchen look even better!

Now it’s time to unpack our kitchen and get everything all set up! Can’t wait!

Totally Finished Kitchen 10.24.16 – Monday night we had one last walk-through with Domingo to make sure everything was OK and singed our final paperwork. KITCHEN.IS.COMPLETE!

Here are some pictures of the completed kitchen! All the scribe work is done as well as outlets put back in place. Looks so clean and sharp!

Chris and I are beyond excited to use our new kitchen and are so very thankful that this reno went so smoothly! We feel very lucky that we didn’t run into a bunch of problems or serious delays. Hey, we barely even a fights during this whole process! I say that’s really good too! 😉

Lastly, here are a few pictures of the kitchen a little more broken in! LOVE that pantry style cabinet we have and seriously love every aspect of this kitchen! ❤ ❤ ❤

Has anyone else done a kitchen reno or other major projects are their house? If you have questions, let us know! After this big reno we feel like we can tackle any project now! #joysofhomeownership

Happy Wednesday!



Weekend Update: Anniversary Addition 💕👫💕

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Over the weekend we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! Yay! 10.02.16 Hope you caught Sunday’s post about it.

On Sunday we spent the day at our favorite winery, Bella in Healdsburg, CA. We were planning on bringing the pups with us, but my parents offered to watch them so we took advantage of being dog free! Bella totally allows dogs, but sometimes it’s nice to just relax, drink wine and not have to worry about what the dogs are doing. I’m sure we will feel similar when we have kids.

It was a perfect fall day at Bella. Crispy air, big white fluffy clouds, sunshine and lots of delicious wine! After doing some tastings, we enjoyed a bottle of wine out on the lawn along with our picnic lunch. When we visit Bella, we always stop at the Dry Creek General Store. They have the best sandwiches, cheese selections and other yummy treats! Not to mention all the cute stuff they have in the store! There is nothing better than a relaxing day enjoying good wine and spending time with the one you love! ❤

Like I mentioned before, since our first anniversary we’ve been following the “traditional” anniversary gifts. This has made each anniversary so much fun and very entertaining. Ha Ha Ha. The theme for this year was candy/iron and I have to say the hubby and I did really well. Normally I go more for the funny/joke side of whatever the theme is and Chris goes for the more sentimental and romantic route. We both went more sentimental/romantic with our gifts this time.

This year I got an iron sign with C&M, a box of all our favorite See’s candies and the cutest Kate Spade knot earrings and bracelet. Chris said the earrings/bracelet are for when we “tied the knot” six years ago. Awwwww too cute! I got the hubby personalized M&Ms with a few messages, hearts and a picture of us from our wedding day. At our wedding my mom got personalized M&M’s with our wedding date and faces on them, so another set of M&M’s was prefect for this years anniversary! I also got Chris this awesome iron lock I found on Olive & Cocoa. I had to resist buying all of the Halloween decorations! Some day I hope we can put this lock somewhere special. Maybe in Paris or another place we travel too. We ended the day with a relaxing night at home and of course enjoyed a slice of cake from our favorite place, Susie Cakes!

Well that wraps up the weekend update. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a great start to this week!





Happy 6th Wedding Anniversary! 10.02.16 💕👫💕


Hard to believe six years have gone by since our beautiful wedding in Santa Barbara, CA. Last year I did a big blog post all about our wedding. You can catch up on all the details here.

It’s been a crazy six years, but I can’t imagine going through life’s ups and downs with anyone other than my hubby Chris. He’s caring, supportive, loving, funny and my best friend. I LOVE YOU TOF and feel so lucky to call you my hubby! THANK YOU for everything that you do and for always loving me! ❤❤❤

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.  ~Author Unknown

Today we are celebrating by going to our favorite winery, Bella in Healdsburg, CA. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than a day spent drinking good wine and picnicking with our two sweet pups. Later, we may go out to dinner or just spend a relaxing evening at home.

Since our first anniversary we’ve been following the “traditional” anniversary gifts. This has made each anniversary so much fun and very entertaining. Ha Ha Ha. The theme for this year is candy/iron! Can’t wait to see what the hubby does with this time.

Cheers to us on six years of marriage! Here’s to many more years together filled with LOVE, LAUGHTER and HAPPINESS! ❤57d95f2377a2fc6bc7df956fe4f89df1