Thursday, December 11, 2008

November Recap

Sorry it's taken so long, but I'm finally catching you all up on the Bennett happenings last month. We enjoyed our last official weeks in Colorado and then drove out to California for our usual camping trip, this year at San Mateo State Campground.
After Thanksgiving, David flew back to Colorado to continue working until he gets a job out here, where Gigi and I are waiting (im)patiently for him. We were stoked to have my mom, aka Yaya, fly out the week before our move to help us pack to and to accompany Gigi in the back seat on the long drive. This was especially helpful since I was also attempting to write a novel (I know, I'm crazy) at the time.
Now that I'm basically caught up here, I promise to post more frequently! Enjoy the pictures (I even did some captions this time!).

Click for: November Photos

Click for: Thanksgiving Weekend Photos

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's the Christmas Season Officially!

So I jumped on the holiday bandwagon and decided to "elf" us!! Enjoy!
Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Forget!

Hi Everyone!
Just a reminder for those coming to Make Something Day on Friday... see the post below for details...

We'll be starting around noon on Friday, Nov. 28th, at San Mateo Campground-- Call me when you're coming so we can arrange parking. Email me if you need my phone number: gidgetblog[at]gmail[dot]com.

Bring: a container to decorate, and any scrapbook paper and embellishments. I'll have details on what we're making, but if you have another (portable) project to work on, that's totally cool, too!

You can also bring your lunch and eat and craft with us!

Note: There will be a big poker game going on too for the guys!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Come Make Something Fun at the Beach!

Join Me for Make Something Day
I have a fun announcement!

What & When? I'm going to host a Make Something Day party at our campsite at San Mateo Campground (part of San Onofre State Beach) on the day after Thanksgiving (11/28/08)~ time: TBD.

Who's invited?
Anyone who's camping with us or who would like to come spend a couple hours hanging out and crafting.

Why? Make Something Day is an alternative to Black Friday, or the day when people get up ridiculously early to risk life and limb to buy a cheap DVD player and and other random and often useless on-sale items, contributing to our consumer-frenzied culture.
In a time when our economy is suggesting we live a more frugal lifestyle, Make Something Day is a great alternative. Instead of buying something, make something, whether it's a gift or just something fun for yourself.
Those of us who camp every year for Thanksgiving don't usually do much shopping on that day, but this year I wanted to make a pointed decision to not shop on Black Friday.
I'd much rather craft with my friends anyways!

More Details: Since we will have somewhat limited resources at the campground, I have a specific project in mind for us to do (although it can easily have variations). We can pool our supplies together, have some snacks, and have some fun!

What to Bring?
  • Boxes with lids (a cigar box would be perfect if you know someone who has some!) or other containers (like cylindrical tin containers with lids- like the ones that chai and hot chocolate from TJ's or baby formula comes in).
  • Scrapbook paper, buttons, ribbon, ric-rac, and other fun embellishments
  • Glue/glue sticks
  • Check craigslist and/or freecycle for containers if you don't have any, rather than buying new!
Please RSVP by leaving a comment so that we know how many to expect. {NOTE: I have temporarily changed the blog settings so that anyone can comment, so please leave one if you'd like to join!} Thanks, and I hope to see you there!!

Parking info: A day pass at the campground is $10 but there is a parking lot a mile away where you can park, call us, and we can pick you up. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween! {+ Oct. Photos!}

Tonight Gigi went trick-or-treating with her best neighbor friend, Keira! They were adorable!
Here they are this afternoon in their matching pumpkin shirts, and then later this evening dressed up as a Chargers cheerleader and a 50s girl {note: it's virtually impossible to get these two to smile at the camera the same time!}.

Gigi finally got the hang of it after a few houses. She liked carrying her little bag of treats around, and had fun examining "her" loot. :)

One of our neighbors was nice enough to give the little girls Teddy Grahams, so we let Gigi have a "treat" when we got home! {p.s. This picture shows the first time she said "cheese" when posing for a photo!}

October was a fun month in Colorado, and included two of Gigi's other best friends, Wyatt & Brooke's birthday parties!
Here are the rest of the month's pictures:
http://flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157608547716184/

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Argentina - La Tierra de Bife


Hola, friends and family. As some of you know, I recently traveled to Argentina for a business meeting. I am used to going to Alabama and Mississippi, so this was a pleasant deviation from my normal trips. The company I work for, United Launch Alliance, will be launching an Argentinian satellite on one of our rockets so I got to go down there to support a meeting with the spacecraft manufacturer.

The meeting was held in Bariloche, which is in the northern part of Patagonia. Bariloche is roughly opposite from Denver in latitude across the equator. We had to fly from Denver to Atlanta, Atlanta to Buenos Aires, and Buenos Aires to Bariloche. The flight to Buenos Aires is 10 hours, but my company's travel policy allows for flying business class on international flights so I was able to sleep in my seat that folded almost flat. My travel plans gave me two days in Buenos Aires - one on either end of the trip.

I knew very little about Argentina before I left for this trip so I did some cramming with one of those travel guide books (I think it was Frommer's). While those books have a ton of great information, you really don't get a feel for a foreign place until you are actually there. Here are a few examples of guide book tourism versus the real thing (I am paraphrasing the guide book versions, but you will get the point):

1. Transportation
Per the book: Traveling by car in Argentina is much more dangerous than in the United States. Think about calling a taxi or taking the bus before considering driving in Argentina.

What it should say: Traveling by car in Argentina is absolutely insane. If you are the least bit faint of heart, do not even get in a car. No one pays any attention to lane lines, stop signs, or pedestrians. The only hint of obedience to the law is at stoplights. If you want to walk across the street, your head must be on a swivel or you might as well be dressed as a speed bump.

2. Food
Per the book: The cornerstone of Argentinian cuisine is beef. You will find many traditional meals consisting of tender, grass-fed beef.
What it should say: Bife, lomo, and carne are all words you will find on a menu that mean 'beef". Kind of like Hawaiians having all those words for "waves", it seems fitting to have all these words for beef since Argentinians love to eat steak. We had a huge steak lunch two days in a row in Bariloche at a local BBQ place. The meat was absolutely fantastic - so tender you could cut it with a butter knife. No sauce needed for this steak. And to get the party started, we had beef turnovers (no joke). As an aside from the beef, they have soda in glass bottles in Argentina. The country is dominated by Coke products so I ordered"Coca" at most meals and drank it from a wine glass since they also have tons of that. For dessert, you will find many types of chocolate treats. I partook in several of these goodies, the best of which contained dulce de leche, a caramel-like liquid made mostly of sugar.

3. Shopping
Per the book: Argentinians as a whole are a very fashionable people. You will find many botiques, as well as larger stores to get your fill of shopping.
What it should say: While you can buy clothes to dress like the Argentinians, it is much harder to be as good looking as most of the people there. There are hardly any fatties in Argentina and it seemed like every woman, young and old, had a beautiful complexion. If you still want to shop after seeing all the beauty, be prepared to buy something leather. Whether you are prepared or not, the store owners will be in your grill trying to get you into their store to buy a jacket that used to be the wrapper on the steak you ate for lunch.

4. Sports
Per the book: Soccer (fútbol to the locals) is by far the most popular sport in Argentina.
What it should say: Soccer is basically the religion of the Argentinian people. "Sporting goods" stores are actually soccer stores with a couple aisles of random equipment for tennis, basketball, and maybe golf. The only "sports bar" we saw - and ate at - was a soccer bar which could have doubled as a disco joint. Argentina was hosting Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier on the day we left so every other person on the street was wearing at least a jersey - usually accompanied by a hat, scarf, or face paint - sporting the colors of the Argentinian national team.

A few other random notes:
- Be thankful for the budget that is dedicated to public works in the US. The sidewalks and streets (as you will see in a few of the pictures) are not taken care of nearly as well as they are in the US.
- There was a disturbingly large number of stray dogs. Not sure what to say about that one...
- Speaking Spanish is very helpful, even if you are not fluent. I had four years of Spanish in high school and I was able to get myself and my three co-workers around just fine (especially considering one of my co-workers had to ask me how to say "please" in Spanish).
- I ate wild boar stew. Awesome.
-We had time on the last day of meetings to do a hike to the top of El Mirador (in the Andes Mountains). Bariloche is in the foothills of the Andes and we drove through one of the parks and took a bunch of pictures.

As a whole, this trip was very enlightening and interesting all at once. I was able to see the large city of Buenos Aires as well as the small ski village of Bariloche. I had fun trying to speak in Spanish with waiters, bellhops, and others who spoke absolutely no English. I took a bunch of pictures while I was there - here's the link:
http://flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157608469189825/

I am very thankful for the chance I had to go on this trip and I hope you enjoyed this synopsis. If the opportunity to travel to Argentina ever presents itself, take it and enjoy the country of great complexions and tender steak!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week in California

Sorry for the delay on this post~ still waiting for a few pics to get emailed to me, but I figured I can just add to it when they arrive!
Gianna and I spent a week in California at Yaya & Papa's house while David traveled to Argentina for work (more on that later!).We had a great time! We saw lots of friends and family-- Granny & Granpa came down for dinner one night and Unc A & Tia spent most of the week with us, too. On Thursday we had a very full day visiting some friends in Orange County which was very fun. We even went the San Diego Zoo on Friday -- Gigi loved all the "amuls" (animals)! Oh, and Gigi fell even more in love with Sydney (aka "Ninney").Gigi Bri did awesome on the plane rides (sleeping most of the time!). The only bummer about this whole week was that we came back to significantly cooler weather. Let's just say I currently have 2 tomato plants and 1 jalapeño plant in my kitchen trying to survive ~ I'm always in denial that winter is coming!

As usual, I have lots of pictures to share from the week away...

My album from the week:
http://flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157608242781930/
Al-Buddy also has some great shots too:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/14000165@N05/sets/72157607946938560/

P.S. I wrote a guest post for Green & Clean Mom last week. You can read it to find out how/why I decided to go green...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun with SNL from hulu.com

So, I haven't posted in quite some time, but I couldn't resist after seeing this bit on SNL a few weeks back. They have a segment called "SNL Digital Shorts" - they are basically random clips of really strange and funny situations (once you watch a few you will find out how hard it is to describe them with words). I am convinced that they can only be the brainchild of someone who writes for SNL.

I hope you all enjoy this clip from hulu.com (you can view it fullscreen there). If you have never looked around or even heard of hulu.com, you will find that it is a great place to watch all kinds of movies and TV shows. They even have very recent stuff, like the most recent episode of The Office...

P.S. If you look around on hulu.com you will find another Digital Short that is a spin-off of The Office. Enjoy!

Friday, October 03, 2008

September

Just a quick post to deliver all of September's pictures... there are a lot! I will try to be better about posting updates this month! :) Enjoy!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157607611273404/

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Forget Obama or McCain... Vote for Al-Buddy!

I was going to post some recent pictures, but they will have to wait until later this week because this is much more exciting.

My awesomely talented brother has two t-shirt designs in a contest and you can help him win. Please go and vote for his two designs!! If he wins they will actually make and sell these shirts! You do have to create a login but Alex ensures us that it will only take a few minutes.

Here are the ones you're looking for:Here's the link one more time: http://www.c28.com/Canvas/DesignListing.aspx

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From the desk of Stacey...

Hey Friends & Fam ~
If you don't regularly read my other blog, you'll want to check it out today as I have a guest post written by David's sister, Stacey.
Fun stuff!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Celebrity Look-Alike- Go Dodgers + Denver Bull version!

There can be no doubt about this celebrity look alike... it's Manny and the Manny-ette!








Seriously though, we had a fun time at the Dodgers/Rockies game on Sunday. (Gigi's actually signaling "home run" in that shot, although #1 would work too!)Gigi even took a nap in the mei-tai (thanks, Stacey, we still love that thing!).
And the day before we also went downtown to a really neat park with our friends, the Matthews (and later David went to another Dodgers game). To say that Gigi loves little Wyatt would be a gross understatement.David has a beef to pick with whoever coined this statement... he thinks it's a lot of bull.It's written on a cool Denver landmark though! Periodically they repaint this bull; I like this version about why Denver's unique.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Giveaway!

Sorry for the shameless self promotion twice in one week, but hey, this is for your own good... it's a giveaway on Gidget Goes Home!
I'm finally opening up my Etsy shop and I'm celebrating with free stuff for one lucky winner!
So, go check it out, if you haven't already!

Oh, and here's 2 recent shot of Gigi with her new-found love... the phone! Every time she gets her hand on one, she holds it up to her ear, places it awkwardly on her shoulder (must be copying something I've done!) and says, "uh-woh?" So serious. It is adorable.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

¡Hola, amigos!


Today is Translation Tuesday over at Gidget Goes Home. It's where I give a fun word-of-the-week in Spanish and also an update on Gigi's learning of Spanish.

I've also started a newsletter that will go out weekly where you'll get the Translation Tuesday update and maybe some other newsletter-subscriber-secret-stuff. :)

Click to SUBSCRIBE!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

August Pictures

I got three photo albums in my email today and that reminded me that I hadn't posted the link to my August album yet! Silly me!Here you go; enjoy!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157606861654093/

Celebrity Look-Alike- Grandparent's Day Edition

Okay, here's one I don't really agree with... but in honor of Grandparent's day I thought I'd post it. My grandma is a big tennis fan, and she always tells us that Andy Roddick reminds her of David (she says it's the hat). What do you think?













And yes, I've got more of these up my sleeve still... :)

Happy Grandparent's Day, to all my awesome grandparents!! Love, Gigi

Friday, September 05, 2008

Please Pray!

Quick prayer request shout out...
Please pray for my dear friend (one of my oldest friends!), Sharla and her family as her husband Davey deploys on Saturday to Iraq for a year. Davey is an officer in the Army and he's leaving behind quite the flock of girlies in Colorado... Sharla, daughters Serenity & Aylah and 2 doggies!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labor Day Camping Trip

We had a really fun weekend camping at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which is only a little over an hour from our house. It was a weekend full of friends, doggies, hiking, and good food.Our friends the Matthews came for Friday night and Saturday, and our friend Tom & his puppies came up for the day on Saturday too. Then on Saturday, our spontaneous friends from HB, the Riedels joined us for the rest of the weekend (a trip they planned the week before!!).We even had a nice thunderstorm on Sunday evening. Gigi passed the time reading while we played Scrabble and snacked.On Monday we went downtown with the Riedels for the Taste of Colorado, and we even found the perfect truck for Alex & Angelina.
View all of the weekend's pictures here:
http://flickr.com/photos/bennettars/sets/72157607092174510/

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Does Jake Have a Long Lost Russian Sister?

Since some of you didn't agree with my last celebrity look-alike match-up, here's another.

David & I have really gotten into watching tennis this past year, starting with the Australian Open. Today my favorite player, Dinara Safina, won her quarter finals match in the US Open, so in her honor I wanted to point out how much she looks like a family friend of ours.
In fact her brother is a pro tennis player too, but I think she looks more like my brother's best buddy from HS, Jake.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yogism + Cute White Shoes

Here's a classic Yogi Berra quote we heard last weekend:

"It's hard to make predictions, especially about the future."

On a totally unrelated note, here are a couple of cute shots of Gigi in her "new" (read: hand-me-down from Keira the neighbor), snazzy, white shoes. She was all dressed up for church in these pics (dress made by Yaya!).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

15 Months Old

Our little girl is getting big! In addition to her relatively large vocabulary (those listed above are just a sample), she also continues to sign (please, all done, more, yes, music... and now, "home run!" She's working on "safe!" too). A new trick is pointing out the things she knows and saying it, like a hat on a person in a book, water on the TV (olympic diving), etc. It's really cool to see her continue to develop into such a smart little girl!
Side note: this scrapblog is the first one I made from scratch! You can use their pre-made layouts or you can start with a blank slate and use all their cool backgrounds, "stickers," etc. It was a little more work, but more artistically satisfying and fun! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Muffin-Tin Lunch!

This idea has been going around the blogosphere so I decided to try it!
Gigi can be a little picky at mealtime (drat! we were determined to not have picky eaters!) so I thought I'd mix things up a little. I say at mealtime because I know she likes these things, she just seems to get out of the mood for somethings at times. Like for example, she'll munch a piece of watermelon at Farmer's Market, but then does not want to eat it at mealtime. Weird girl. It was a really good watermelon too.
She seemed to enjoy the muffin tin (said, "woooow" when I first set it down), so I'm going to try to implement Muffin Tin Mondays, just for fun. I just gotta stay close by though for when she starts to pick up the tin! Has anyone else tried this?