Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Family in Town

John's parents drove up north to visit us this past weekend. On one of the nights we went to dinner at Wild River Grille and sat in the outdoor patio area. There was a life music performer and the evening was perfectly warm with a slight breeze.

The restaurant is one of the popular dining spots downtown because it sits along the Truckee River nestled underneath some trees. Before tonight, I have only dined there for lunch and happy hour but not yet dinner.
We ordered a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner and I can't remember all we ordered (but I got some photos!) and it was delicious. I really liked the ahi tuna appetizer I picked for dinner. Light and it was plenty of fish. Their two salads were also good (one was the beet salad and the other I cannot recall at the moment).

John and Daly 
As always we love our time together. Whether we're out and about, having dinner, or breakfast.
While my mom-in-law and I worked on their business website, John and his Dad ran errands and stopped for ice cream.

And on one of the nights we grilled filet mignon at home. I made a black bean salad and for dessert, vanilla ice cream with toasted walnuts, coconut flakes, and Maggie's homemade strawberry jam!  Note to self: I will never leave fresh strawberries soaking in a bowl all day and had Maggie not saved them, they soon would have been dumped in the trash.
Grilled Dinner 
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Family Wedding in Corona del Mar

Last weekend we drove to Grandma's in Corona del Mar where we met John and Maggie who drove out from Boulder City. There we had the chance to finally meet Minnie, Grandma and aunt Jan's new kitty.

Dinner with family
At first, Minnie was very shy but then became really affectionate and playful once she warmed up to us.
John and I enjoyed riding our bikes through the Upper Newport Bay Regional Park...
Bike ride along Upper Newport Bay Regional Park
...dinner at Zubies Chicken Coop...
Dinner at Zubies Chicken Coop
...and a walk along the beach.
Walk along beach of Corona del Mar, CA
While John went to the movies with Dad...
I went shopping and to lunch with Mom and Grandma.
Thai food lunch and shopping
The highlight of our weekend was the wedding reception for our cousin Hilary Fenn to the love of her life Thomas Fenn.
Rusty Pelican in Newport, CA

It was a beautiful evening and one of the loveliest receptions at the Rusty Pelican in Newport. We caught up on our lives with our family and had a great time!
See you soon!
Mono Lake

Monday, July 08, 2013

Going the Distance

It has been a long time since I rode my bike on a regular basis. Then at the start of July, I rode every day. I rode to and from work, around our neighborhood, to the grocery store down the street and far away in Dayton, NV.  By the end of the week I had logged 100 miles!!

Yesterday we rode our bikes from our house past the Sparks Marina to Victorian Square and ate breakfast at the new B Street Cafe.
On some parts of the streets, there was a divided pedestrian/bike path so it was nice (but still, we watched out for cross traffic like always.)
In Victorian Square there is this really neat amphitheater that, by the accumulation of pidgin droppings, appeared defunct but we had heard that it is still in use. I guess I will have to keep an eye out for events happening there.

Then we continued along the Truckee River path to downtown Reno and rode to our old neighborhood in south Reno and looped back towards home on McCarran Boulevard.
Though it seemed as if we rode around the two cities, we had only traveled 28 miles (which doesn't seem like much compared to the miles I rode when we lived in Vegas). Don't let me kid you, however, that was just enough miles for me considering that I haven't ridden much.

Just to give you a perspective of how far John will ride sometimes, and how small Reno-Sparks is...he will ride from home (1) to Lake Tahoe (2) or Carson City (3) or Kingsbury Grade (Highway 50), and on the celebration of Independence Day, he rode from home past Virginia City almost to Dayton (4) where I met him and then we rode around Dayton on our bikes.
Dayton is not what I had imagined. The town is larger and there are more large retail establishments than I had thought. There's also a really nice golf course in what seems like a newer community.
Golf Course in Dayton, NV (click for larger view)
On our way home we stopped in our state capitol to eat lunch at The Firkin & Fox, a traditional English-style pub located in the Historic St. Charles Hotel in downtown Carson City, Nevada.
The 4th of July marks our 12 year dating anniversary going on 13 years since we met!  Then we drove home and made Bobby Flays' recipe for potato salad and grilled hot dogs with all the fixings we love. Yes...the hot dog is buried under there LOL!!
"Bike" sticker on garage door opener reminds us not to drive into the garage with bikes on the roof.
And of course, it wouldn't be a 4th of July celebration without fireworks which we saw from our house.  I hope you also had a nice holiday and may the rest of the month go just as well!

Fireworks in the background and foreground and also at the Sparks Marina too.
Photos from the Picasa Albums:
2013-07-07_Bike Ride in Sparks to B Street Cafe
Independence Day

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Mini Patio Project - Cinder Block Bench

~ July 7, 2013 ~

I have dragged this Cinder Block Bench Project on long enough, LOL.  I am almost done with it.  Just need to sew a few more pillows to add some color and the bench will be finished!  This weekend I made the chevron print pillows.  It was fun!

cinder block bench

finished cinder block bench

More fabrics to sew!

~ June 29, 2013 ~

Outdoor fabric..foam...plywood.
Fold over the fabric and staple.

Fold over the corners and staple.
I now have seat cushions.
Each pad lifts up to reveal hidden storage underneath for wood, bags of charcoal, lighter fluid, or even the pillow cushions (I have yet to sew).
Sit back...or lie back and enjoy!!

~ June 23, 2013 ~

This is the beginnings of a small project on the first floor patio just outside of the living room window using 17 cinder blocks and 2 half blocks from the hardware store. I would have the supplies to finish it if my favorite fabric store was open today. When it is completed I will post an update with details.

~ Update October 9, 2016 ~

The dimension of the bench is roughly 8 feet wide by 2 feet deep and 19 inches tall including the pad (a comfortable height for sitting). Specifically, 7'10 inches wide by 1' 11.5" deep.

The concrete blocks don't really shift and if they do I just tap it back in place with my hand so the bench is pretty sturdy if you sit on it and stand up from it as you normally would with any patio furniture. But we don't have children who may jump on and off of it.

I used 16 concrete blocks (8 inch x 8 inch x 16 inch) and 2 concrete blocks that are half the size (8 inch x 8 inch x 8 inch). If you look at the last photo, you can see where I used the half size concrete block.

The foam, I got from a fabric store and they cut it to the dimensions that I needed which is half the width and dept of the bench so each foam piece is just under 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep. I purchased high density foam, fit for indoor furniture, but less dense and more economical foam for outdoor furniture would work just fine.

Filling the concrete blocks with sand (or small stones/pebbles) may be a good idea so the blocks don't shift. I haven't joined the blocks together because I have not decided where I like to position the bench permanently. I have found over the years that spiders make webs inside the cavities of the concrete blocks and somehow, animals make nests where I store the firewood. That said, you may want to set up the bench away from the house and filling the cavities with pebbles/stone may crowd out the livable space for pests.