2010 Christmas Card & Letter

In an effort to make my Christmas easy and stress-free this year, I ordered photo Christmas cards though picnik.com and QOOP.com. I chose a beachy California shot from our vacation to Pismo Beach this past September and used the "Ortonish" effect to make it all soft and dreamy, then went step-by-step though picnik + QOOP's  greeting card maker to create & order the cards. It was super easy and FAST; I got the box of cards in about three days! I did just a brief Christmas letter this year incorporating photos from my trips to Green Bay, Vegas, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay as well as a before and after shot of the newly landscaped back yard (using picnik.com's "Vignette" effect which is one of my favourites!). My new printer did a great job on them even though it's not specifically made for photos, and the whole thing was simply a piece of cake! Now I'm all done and can just sit back and relax! Merry Christmas!!!

Beach Weekend

My friend DeeDee is down visiting from Oregon with her two adorable, super-sweet foster daughters, and that's as good as an excuse as any to spend a couple days at the beach! Well, okay, we didn't really spend any time on the beach, per se, but we did settle outrselves down on the patios of a couple nice beach-front restaurants and enjoy each other's company.

Saturday we went to Pismo Beach, where the parking situation was pure, unadulterated HELL, but finally found a place (legal or not we never knew, but Pammie's car wasn't towed, so whatev) and hiked several blocks to the beach. The downtown area near the pier was PACKED with people and the line to get into Spash Cafe was around the corner and down the block. We showed the girls all the fun and funky places to shop, left them on their own, and headed to the Pierside Restaurant where we planted our bottoms at the patio "bar" and commenced drinking and visiting for about two hours.


The Valley Girl. I'm pretty sure it's just a fancy-pants Cosmo.


A margarita and a mojito. They had fancy names, but I don't remember them now.

We never made it onto the sand and we didn't even walk down the pier, but I did manage to get a little pink on the tip of my nose!

Sunday we headed to Avila Beach. Parking was once again horrific, and I ended up along the side of the highway the hiking into town. I had planned to take some pictures and relax on the beach for an hour or so before meeting up with DeeDee & Pammie Sue for dinner.


I had a chance to quickly browse the variety of art displayed along the sidewalk before meeting up with the girls back at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort where DeeDee was staying. Yes, that means I had to hike back out to my car! DeeDee started having us (me, Pammie Sue & her hubby, and the girls) all hike up this hideous, steep hill, but Pammie Sue and I gave up halfway and went back down to sit and chat in the garden! Later, we had dinner at the famous Custom House Restaurant.



We opted for covered patio seating because it was starting to get cold, so we didn't have much of a view.


I started with a delicious Lemon Drop martini.


DeeDee had her first Cosmo EVER!


Then she later tried a Peach Paradise.


Delicious clam chowder. I personally think it's better than Splash Cafe's.


DeeDee's Coconut Jumbo Shrimp.


My New York strip steak. It was huge (and delicious!) and I ended up taking half of this dish home!


This demonstrates just how poor my vision really is. I couldn't even tell by looking at the back display screen of my camera how out of focus this glass of Opolo Mountian Zinfandel was.