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!


Weekend Update: Pumpkin Patch Fun 🎃

Happy Monday everyone!

The countdown to HALLOWEEN is on! One week from TODAY! 🎃🎃🍃🍁🍂🍃🍁🍂🎃🎃

The hubby and I actually had a 3-day weekend which was awesome! Originally, we were going to try for a mini trip to Seattle, but it just didn’t work out. Luckily the trip fell through because Chris wasn’t feelings too hot at the end of last week and really need the weekend to sleep, rest and relax.

On Friday 10.21.16 we mustered up some energy and headed to Half Moon Bay for lunch and then a dog-friendly pumpkin patch! It was the most perfect day in Half Moon Bay! Plenty of sunshine, a few clouds and just the perfect crispness in the air. We found a sweet pizza place called Pizzeria West that was just delicious! Nothing beats NY style thin-crust pizza-by-the-slice. Mmmmm Mmmmm. This place is definitely worth coming back too.

Then it was off to Farmer John’s Pumpkin Patch. This place was awesome! Not only was it DOG FRIENDLY, but they had a great selection of pumpkins! So many different varieties. Since it was a Friday, it wasn’t too busy which made it nice for taking lots of pictures with our pups and taking our time selecting pumpkins. 🙂

As a lover of October and Halloween, I am also a big lover of PUMPKINS and pumpkin patches! You can check out my pumpkin patch posts from 2015 and my first ever blog post. Farmer John’s had gorgeous orange pumpkins and then a bunch of specialty pumpkins. Check out the list of pumpkins they grow…it goes on and on!

The pups had a blast at the pumpkin patch and I can’t wait to take them back next year! It was also wonderful to have an extra day this weekend, even if we spent the rest of it laying low and not doing a ton. Sometimes you just need to recharge and take it easy.

What did you all do this weekend? Something fun and festive? I noticed over the weekend lots of pumpkin patch postings on social media. I guess it was a good weekend to go. Happy Monday! Hope you all have a great week.



Blog Update with Pictures: 2 of 3

Hi friends! I’m back with more pictures and updates! My goal is to get these last two posts on the blog today so here we go…2 of 3!

UCSB All Gaucho Reunion 4.29-5.1.16

Olé.., Olé, Olé, Olé

Gauchos, Gauchos!


As many of you know, everyone in my family went to UCSB for college. Yes, that’s right we ALL went to UCSB; Mom, Dad, me and my sister Ari. The Gacuho line is very strong in our family haha. I also have an uncle and cousin who went there as well and Ari and I both met our significant others at UCSB. We both married these UCSB boys so the tradition of an all Gaucho family is continuing on!

Every year UCSB holds an alumni weekend that they call the All Gaucho Reunion. We’ve actually never gone down to Santa Barbara specifically for the All Gaucho Reunion. But this year we decided we just had to go because it has been 10 years since we’ve graduated from UCSB! Holy cow! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years! Where has the time gone?!?!

We ended up not participating in any the All Gaucho Reunion events. Instead, we just did our own thing during the alumni weekend with some friends who joined us on the trip. Of course we had to visit campus, purchase lots of stuff from the bookstore and hang out in our old stomping grounds Isla Vista! I love this definition of Isla Vista from urban dictionary. Ha Ha Ha it is in fact “an almost too-good-to-be-true college student playground nestled in fabulous Santa Barbara.” We ❤ IV!

No trip to Santa Barbara is complete without visiting our favorite places such as UCSB, SB Mission, State St., the beach and of course  eating at some of our favorite places: Arigato-best sushi EVER, Daily Grind and of course FREEBIRDS.

I always feel so nostalgic when visiting beautiful Santa Barbara. That’s where I spent 4 years going to college and 2 more years working as a professional at UCSB. That’s where I made some of the best friends I have today and where I fell in love. It also happens to be the place where we got married and somewhere I hope to retire too someday. Santa Barbara and UCSB will always have a very special place in my heart! Proud to be a Gaucho and to have graduated from the best UC around!


Nisha’s Baby Shower 5.21.16

I had the pleasure of co-hosting one of my best friends baby shower! Nisha and I met when we both lived on the same floor of the San Miguel (5th floor) residence hall freshman year of college. We’ve been close friends ever since.

Love planning parties/celebrations for people, but this was my first baby shower. Luckily I had some help from Nisha’s mom. Everything came together so well and the elephant theme couldn’t have been any cuter! Check out my Pinterst page for your own ideas. Loved being able to create such a cute and fun shower for one of my dearest friends!

In 2014 I hosted her bridal shower (you can read about that here) and also had the honor of being a part of her wedding! Nisha is one of the sweetest people I know and someone who I feel so lucky to have as a friend. She and her hubby Simon are going to be and already are the most amazing parents! They welcomed their sweet baby boy ASHER AOYAMA on August 25, 2016 in NYC. I can’t wait to meet their new little man soon. ❤

Giants Game with Dad 7.29.16

Happy belated Father’s Day to my Dad! This year Chris and I got the three of us tickets to a Giants game! Waaahoooo! GO GIANTS!

One thing my Dad loves is BASEBALL so this was the perfect belated present. We had a blast riding the train to AT&T Park and rooting for our San Francisco Giants! Thank goodness I didn’t marry a Dodgers fan haha.

Happy Belated Father’s Day Dad! We LOVE you! 


LAST Disneyland celebration for the big 60th diamond celebration! So glad that we got to squeeze a Disney trip into our busy summer/start of the school year. Chris and I both LOVE all things Disney! We used to have season passes when we were both living in Southern California…oh how I miss those passes.

Disneyland is one of those places that I will always just LOVE! I can’t get enough of it! There really is something that’s just so magical about that place. No matter when we go, who we are with or how long we are at the park, we always have a great day! This quick day trip was filled with lots of fun, laughs, minor terror/stress (hubby made me ride Tower of Terror), lots of water (it was pretty warm), endless rides on Big Thunder Mountain (it’s my favorite ride and the wildest ride in the wilderness!) and of course plenty of churros!

At the end of the day, I can’t imagine spending 15+ hours and 25,937 steps with anyone other than my best friend/love Chris (Tof)! We always have so much  fun together and I know we will always make time for trips to Disneyland!

A big THANK YOU to Chris’ moms neighbor Amy who hooked us up with the park hopper tickets! She works for Disney and knows how much we love going to the park. Any time she gets the chance, Amy gets us tickets. THANKS AMY for helping us have a truly magical and wonderful day at the Happiest Place on Earth!

To view our other trips to Disney, check out posts from 2015 and 2014.

P.S. We hope to make it back to the park one more time this year to see everything all decked out for Halloween. We both love Halloween so what could be better?!

Ok that’s a wrap for my second series of blog updates. Hope you enjoyed!


Happy Mother’s Day! 

Happy Mother’s Day to this amazing lady that I get to call Mom! I seriously can’t imagine life without her. She’s so caring, loving, full of wisdom and tells the best stories! I hope that some day I can be just as good of a mom as is.

Thank you Mom for everything that you do! I love you so much and feel so lucky to have you as my mom! 💕

And Happy Mother’s Day to all the other moms out there! It’s fun to have friends with babies now…they are all such rock stars and fabulous moms! 💕


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 ❤️ 🌹 ❤️ 🌹 ❤️


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!


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!