Foodie shopping destinations during BlogHer Food 2009

If you’re traveling to San Francisco for BlogHer Food 2009, you might want to leave a little extra room in your suitcase. Not only is this a city of great eating and drinking, this is a terrific city for culinary shopping and tourism. ...more

Gudrun, some of these places were totally new to me, too, and yeah...there are some field ...more

Living Vicariously

I've always been a social creature. In fact, all my 5th grade report card said in the comments section was "My darling Katie. If we could get her to stop talking and start working, her grades would improve." A life-long challenge, I'm afraid. ...more

lol! So true, I love this analogy. I think many of us can totally relate. My parents are ...more

Whoever said getting there was half the fun had a transporter

Last week Mike and I finally got OFF our collective asses and decided to spend a little time ON ‘em: a week on the beach, just us and the girls renting a cottage on the rugged, majestic Oregon Coast. It was the perfect getaway: for weeks, I’d envisioned our sun-washed days of building sandcastles and chasing kites, afternoons of children napping while I worked on the novel and Michael made continuous, thwarted advances, and evenings of sunset walks on the sand followed by homemade meals and games and everyone falling exhausted into bed after a full and fantastical day ...more

In fact that is my whole deal being ahead of the future mark my words this will take ...more

September Giveaway: Name My Minivan to Win Stuff From Japan

I’m excited to announce that the monthly giveaway of care packages from Japan has officially begun on my blog! (If you're new to my blog, Welcome! ) Why I am I doing this? Because there are way too many awesome things here in Japan to hoard to myself. I had to find a way to share! ...more

Picking up hitchikers

It's not as if we needed another pet. We already have cats and a pond full of fish, the occasional insect pavilion (ladybugs to hatch, caterpillars to metamorphize, whatever the kids catch and bring in for temporary housing). But when a little fuzzball of a kitten found us on our first rest stop some 200 miles from home, how could we just leave it behind? (Read more...) ...more

Friendly Folks on the Road

An interesting thing happens when we leave California - people are friendly. I don't mean your everyday California friendly. I mean, happy to have jobs no matter how menial, openly expressive, welcoming to strangers, curious about the people around them. They make eye contact. The girls noticed this on last fall's big adventure. One year later and in an economic world apart that observation still holds true. (Read more...) ...more


Southeastern Tennessee offers a number of shopping options, most of them in the Chattanooga/Cleveland area. Chattanooga has four major shopping malls, as well as a burgeoning, revitalized downtown area. The largest mall, Hamilton Place, is just off I-75 on the north side of the city; Eastgate is a little further south off Brainard Road;Northgate is off Highway 153; and Warehouse Row, a converted commercial district now an outlet mall, is on Market Street just outside the downtown area. Chattanooga’s downtown district has ...more

The Directionally Challenged

Ok, so today I had a working lunch with my boss at Dorm Suite Dorm (Sheri) and her sister (my previous boss, Vikki. Funny I know). We ate in downtown Birmingham at Urban Standard. (So good. Eclectic atmosphere. Cool vibe. Great food. Totally recommend it if you are in the Ham.) Anyways, I got completely LOST! What else is new in my life?? A simple, "It is on 2nd Ave N between 23rd and 24th Streets" did nothing for me. NOTHING! I walked around looking like a tourist in the city I have lived in for the past 3 years and, not to mention, an idiot. And... I have a GPS on my phone. ...more

À DÉTESTER: les macarons

Cloying.   ...more

Oh, Canada. British Columbia, Actually.

My sister in law is visiting me here in the Pacific Northwest; yesterday morning I fell out of bed early to take her to the train station to catch the Vancouver, Canada bound Cascades line. It's only a few hours from Seattle to Vancouver -- I've done it for the day, a bit much, but doable, that's how close it is. ...more

As a British Columbian I have to say thank you for your kind words about my province. As for ...more