28 October 2009

It's Almost Time!

The snow is almost here!
We have all of our gear!

Oh I am so ready to hit the slopes.

I love that Kylee is a snow bunny too.
This is truly a fabulous family sport.
Fun to be had this winter - for sure!

Pics from last snow fall.

Ahhh! We can't wait!
See you on the slopes!

27 October 2009

Oh no! First the Tooth Fairy and now Santa?

Our munchkin is growing up.
She is asking questions.
I thought I would be excited for the time to come
when I didn't have to seperate Santa from us.
Tonight, I got butterflies.
I was kind of sad. A little.

Kylee: "Mom, if Santa REALLY got me these earrings how did he get them from Claire's?"

Me: "He probably sends his elves out to get some special stuff for him."

Kylee: "Well I have never seen a boy in Claire's. That would be funny. A boy in a girl's store."

Me: "Daddy has gone to Claire's."

Kylee: "Ya, he was with you and me.  I have never seen a boy in there by himself."

Me: "I bet the elves do the special shopping."

Kylee: "They look kind of funny. It would be weird to see them in the mall."

Me: "Hmmm, maybe there is a Claire's next door to Santa's workshop.  Santa probably doesn't like to be seen."

Kylee: "Hmmm...Did you know he has special cookies? If you see him you have a cookie then you won't remember that you saw him when you wake up in the morning."

Me: "Oh really?" 
         Who told her that one?

And that was it. 
I think she has an idea.
I am not asking.
I'm going to let her do the talking. 
I am nervous.
I know the day is coming.

26 October 2009

Green Your Home - (Part 3)

Landscaping! Yes, you can be green in the yard too!

The outside of your home also consumes energy—and often has the potential to harbor harmful chemicals.  Wow! Who would have thought?  Here are some ways you can keep the outside of your home as healthy as the inside:

Be water wise: Many people overwater their lawn and garden. An irrigation controller can read the weather and adjust the water level accordingly. Harvesting rain water with a rain barrel and then reusing it in the lawn is a great way to conserve water and get your plants the nutrients they need. 

Plant native plants: They have evolved within the local weather and soil conditions, so they require less water once established, and generally are more disease-resistant than hybridized plants.

Mowing: If you have a lawn, get some exercise and save the air quality (and your neighbor’s sanity!) by using a push mower. Leave the cuttings on the lawn to naturally compost and add nutrients.

Homemade pest control: Instead of using pest control products that can contain an abundance of harmful chemicals, repel bugs and weeds with simple, homemade repellants, such as hot peppers and water. Sprinkling extra grass seed on a bare spot of lawn can get rid of unwanted plants.  My inlaws are THE pros with hot peppers. Seriously, I have been to tears eating some of them!

Organic compost: Using organic compost instead of fertilizer means you won’t be overexposing your plants to all their nutrients at once—over-fertilizing, especially with synthetic fertilizer, can contribute to algae bloom. A worm bin also is a great way to break down organic matter that later can be used for compost; local and city governments often sponsor or provide these at low cost.

Think about it. These simple steps aren't that hard to do especially once you get a routine down.  These are cost effective ways to make a difference.
Just jump in - Give them a try!

Pumpkins, Scarecrows, Hay Bails OH MY!

This is a great time of year. 
I love the pumpkins.
I love the decorations, especially the scarecrows.  
I love the food. 
The pumpkin patches.
Apple Hill. 
I really heart Apple Hill

Saturday Kylee and I met our great friends at Fog Willow Pumpkin Farm.  It's a little place just south of us and they have animals too.  The kids fed the goats.  Wasn't too busy so we were in and out in just a few hours.  Kylee wanted a pumpkin so we searched.  And searched.  Then she found THE perfect pumpkin.  It's shaped like a 'super plump strawberry' as she says.

We took that super plump strawberry pumpkin home, she drew a face on it then we started to clean and carve. 

She wanted to clean! The pumpkin.

This weekend we are going to get out our fall decorations & I am so excited about it!  I am a little late this year as I normally have this done already.  Truth is, we have been too busy to get the stuff down from the garage. 

Well wait no more! Come Sunday my house will be festive again! 

Happy pumpkin hunting to all of you!

23 October 2009

A Fascinating Place

We have so many NY favorites.

The buildings.
I was so amazed at all of the streets lined with towering buildings.
Stores with apartments for stories high above them.
Wow, the views some people must have.

The neighborhoods.
They all look alike.
Even the trendy ones.
I really loved all of the neighborhoods.

Park Avenue – Beautiful.

The sites.
The history.
The history of the sites.
So much history in New York
and so much more to learn.

The food – oh the food.
We ate at so many great places.
The café in Little Italy.
The Harvest Brewery in the Empire State Building.
Max Brenner.
And the number of diners & delis.
Eskimix for a frozen desert.
Crumbs for the cupcakes.
I especially loved all of the outdoor seating.
Little tables at almost every eatery.
No matter how small or how large, there were tables outside.
Ohhhh and there are so many more places to try.

The shopping.
So many stores.
I got THE cutest purse I have ever seen.
(in my opinion).
I am a sucker for the small boutiques.
Not sure if it is the merchandise or the atmosphere that I like best.
Guess I will have to go back to figure that one out.

Grand Central Station.

Central Park.
We need to see more of Central park.
So big and spectacular.
We were only able to see about a block worth.

The subway system.
It’s not so scary after all.

New York is truly a magical place
in a busy, highly populated kind if way.
Funny thing is the people were one of the best parts.
New Yorkers are great!
They were so nice.
Everyone we came in contact with was splendid.
I love their accents.

The two things I wanted to bring home
and didn’t were
the big piano from FAO Schwarz
(250k – seriously? Yes, saw it with my own eyes.)
and the New Yorker accent (priceless).

Ahhh… Definitely one of the best vacations
we have had.
I want a do-over!

21 October 2009

New York Football!

Day Four: Score!

Sundays are great this time of year because, well, it IS football season! Woot! I really heart those 49ers!  Sundays are expecially great when you can watch a game. Live. Out of town.

On this day we went to the Giants/Raider game with a pack of Raider fans.  My inlaws are members of the Sacramento Raider Rooters and the club travels to 1 away game a season.  This time was New York! Hello?! How could we pass this up? Jamie is a Giants fan so without hesitation we said, "sign us up!".

A bus picked us up from our hotel and away we went. Jamie and I as Giants and Kylee as a Raider.  She likes those Raiders.  I say her Grandparents have corrupted her.

Us in front of Giants Stadium

Kylee with her Grandparents

We had so much fun. Kylee met 3 old players at the tailgate and got their autographs.  She was so excited. 

Her and daddy played catch.
(not with the autographed ball)

We were sitting on the third level but seemed so close to the field.  The stadium is steep.

After the game was over we went to our hotel and took a much needed nap. 

Feeling rested we met the inlaws and another couple and headed to Bonefish Grill in NJ for dinner.  This place is so good!  Guess what? The owner happened to be from Northern CA. He treated us like we were famous.  It was so nice.  The food was excellent and the service was AWESOME!  Kylee liked her dinner so much that she wrote a note to the chef.  She wouldn't show it to me but I did catch a peek. Part of the note said, "you should be on Top Chef." Ahhhh so cute!  Our server took Kylee back to the chef for personal delivery.

Well dinner was done and it was time for bed.  We had to pack the next morning.  sigh...

15 October 2009

A Super New York Saturday!

Day three: Hello Tim & Staci!

Jamie's sister Staci and her husband Tim drove over to spend the day with us. We were so excited! We only see them once a year and twice every other year.  So as you can imagine we started our day bright and early.  We had to soak up as much of them as possible! 

Jamie, Kylee and I hopped on a subway and headed towards their hotel.  By the way, we really heart the NY subways. Once you get to know the routes, you are set!  We met them almost immediately, they have good timing. 

Jamie and Tim set off for the NY Wine and Food Festival. They had a great time and got nifty gift bags complete with a mini skillet! True story.

Staci, Kylee and I headed off to do stuff. Just great stuff.  We started with a stop in Crumbs.  Staci heard that the first 300 people to tell that location Happy Birthday would get a free cupcake.  Kylee and Staci both got a free cupcake. 

Then we were off to get some food at Max Brenner.  This place is FABULOUS! It's a chocolate place. Lots of chocolate. Chocolate displayed like I have never seen chocolate before. Chocolate in a syringe. Seriously.  Enough about the chocolate (YUM-O) they have real food too and it was very good.

Kylee's pasta was displayed so cute!
Her sauce is in that syringe!
Great idea. She never used to order red sauce.
Presentation is key.  Thanks Max Brenner!

Next stop on the Girly Tour - Dylan's Candy Bar.  One word: Spectacular.   This is the sweetest candy shop I have ever seen. Then again, it is in New York. :)  Three stories complete with a cafe.  So much candy. So many cute candy things. WOW! Kylee got some goodies here. 

Check out the stairs!

After Dylan's we went towards Central Park, The Plaza & FAO Schwarz.  Staci pointed out some spots from Sex and The City. I was very greatful! :)  The Plaza looks so beautiful. We will stay there some day.  FAO is huge! Full of people but so big it wasn't super crazy. 

By now we were ready to meet the boys for lunch.  Staci had told us about a diner where the servers sing Broadway.  They are actually trying to get on Broadway.  Very cool.  It's called Starlight Restaurant & Diner.  Great food and awesome entertainment.  Kylee requested a song from Wicked so one of the girls came out and sang the song right to her.  Very nice.

That sure is a big sucker. Dessert!

After lunch we headed towards another entrance of Central Park.  This is by one of the Trump Towers and has a nice play area for kids.  Next time we go to NY we definitely want to see more of the park.

An entrance to the play area.

Play time!

Time for more food! I was told that Grimaldi's in Brooklyn was excellent pizza. Since Jamie was wanting some good NY pie we decided to head that way. 

Times Square...again.
I can't get enough!

Grand Central Station.
Amazingly huge!
This is where we hopped on the subway to Brooklyn.

Hmmm...ya...Grimaldi's + Saturday at 8:00 pm = a line to get in a half a city block long.  Guess what? We didn't want to wait.  The good thing is since we were in Brooklyn we decided to walk back to the City via the Brooklyn Bridge.  What a great experience.  At night the views are fabulous!

Uncle Tim carries Kylee for a while.


We ended up getting pizza at a tiny little place called Joe's.  Grabbed our slices and ate them across the street in a little seating area around a fountain.  It was nice. 

Last stop, Eskimix. A frozen yogurt place.  Very yummy! They grind all of the ingredients you pick. Literally, they have big cork screw looking things.  I didn't get one of my own but I tried a little from Jamie and Kylee.  Mmmmmmm goodness!

That was the end of our Super NY Saturday. We said our goodbyes ...sigh and headed back to our hotel.

I'm still smiling.

14 October 2009

Another Day...Another 50 miles. On foot!

Day two: Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

We started this day bright and early - out of the hotel at 6AM.  First stop - the Today show.  We asked the NBC store on Thursday what time would be good to arrive; they said about 7:00.  We needed to be there early to get a good spot, so up and off we went.   After a bus, some foot fuel and a cab, we made it at 7 and there were so many people already there! Wowzers! Luckly we got right on the rail thanks to a nice lady who noticed Kylee standing behind her with our sign.

Kylee wrote "Hi" and listed some of her friends. Ahhh
Notice security behind us? I didn't do it! :o)

Our Today show experience lasted about a half hour.  We hadn't had breakfast and it was a little boring for Kylee.  We decided to give up our prime spot and headed off to see more of amazing NY City!

Wish I knew how to ice skate. I would be all over this!
Rockefeller Center

We took a city tour which also included a ferry boat tour on the Hudson. Ferry boat was our next stop. Guess what? We walked all the way to the pier.  Lots of walking to be had in this city!  We learned a lot about Manhattan, Brooklyn, how they vent the tunnel (yes, you can drive under the river), where super pilot landed the plane, where they evacuated people via boat on 9/11, where the Titanic was supposed to dock and up close to the Statue of Liberty.

On our way to the ferry Kylee made a,
well a lot of wishes in this fountain.

We sat down in Times Square for a few minutes too and took in all of the billboards, honking horns and the people.  
On the ferry...
The brown thing to the right is a vent.

Once the ferry tour was over we walked, yes walked, back to Times Square to hop on the city tour bus. This was cool because we sat on top of the bus and had a tour guide giving us some really good info!

Us on the bus.

Once on the bus tour you can get on and off the bus wherever they stop.  We took this ride in to Little Italy.  We had lunch at a little place that served brick oven pizza and we did a little shopping. Then back on the bus to finish going around the city.

After the tour we went to the Hershey store and to a sports store to get Jamie and I a couple of NY Giants jerseys for Sunday's game.

After more walking, and a few trips on the subway - at night I might add, (hey, it's not so scary after all), we went back to our hotel to meet my mother and father-in-law for dinner. 

Another great day!

13 October 2009

Well Hello New York City!

Day one: Wow!
We flew in to Newark, NJ. On the way in we were lucky enough to be in the back of the small, not so full plane.  One of the flight attendents was sitting right behind us pointing out the spot on the Hudson where super pilot landed the plane, where the Twin Towers once stood and we got a good view of the Statue of Liberty too! As you will see, we eventually saw all of these things up close and so much more. But it was cool to get the quick glimpse right before touching down. Kylee was so excited!

We took a redeye flight in so we could have an extra day in the city.  Once we landed we went to the hotel and checked-in. They had our room ready at 9am - NICE! We changed and hit the ground running.  A city bus picked up right outside of our hotel and took us to the Port Authority bus station. From there you can catch a subway. However, we did not know much about the subway routes at this time so we hit the streets, with our feet.  1st stop - lunch! We ate at a cafe on 44th and Broadway - philly cheese steak - YUM-O! After lunch we HAD to find the American Girl store.  Really, we HAD to find it and find it ASAP. Kylee was so excited to go there.  22 blocks later - on foot - there it was! 

I love this picture. It looks like she is hailing a cab, which she is very good at by the way. 

On our way to Kylee's favorite NY store we walked through Times Square - AMAZING! Stopped in Toys R Us - WOW! And went to the NBC store.
Next stop, the Empire State Building. Funny thing is we passed it on the way to American Girl and didn't even know it! HA HA HA

The view from the top!

Then we hopped on a subway down to Ground Zero (which is completely closed off now. errr) From there we walked to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty at night. 

Very pretty.

And watched a couple of ferrys go by.

We were pretty tired by now so we made our way back to our hotel and went to sleep.

06 October 2009

New York! New York!

Time to take a few days off to get things in order.
New York is not so easy to pack for.
I have what we all need in mind.
Now I just have to put it all together.

It's going to be a late night!

We are looking forward to being
in the hussle and bussle of the city!

I am sure that while they are
all moving so fast,
we will be moving so slow.
Well maybe.
Definitely will be trying to
take in as much as we can.

Have a great weekend everyone!

05 October 2009

Simply...A Great Weekend!

Have you ever had a day? A night? A weekend?
A week where everything just fell into place so perfectly?

This past weekend everything just fell into place so perfectly. We didn’t do anything extravagant. Actually we were busy. Perfectly busy.

Friday night we went to Mikuni for dinner – yum! I didn’t get my bbq albacore this time. However, the sushi chef made us a custom roll that was amazingly delish! By the way, that roll will now be a permanent item on the Leppanen Memory Menu. After Mikuni we went to Nikki and Ray’s to visit. They recently (finally) moved to the area – so exciting!

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and volunteered at the Blind and Low Vision Special Olympics. One wordWOW! What an awesome group of people. I will definitely do it again next year. Kylee was going to volunteer because she wanted to go to Starbucks on the way. I reminded her that I had to leave the house at 6:20am. She said she didn’t care, she wanted Starbucks. I told her Dad would take her to Starbucks when they woke up. She instantly said, “OK”. She is not a morning person. I thought it was funny that she was going to get up with the roosters just to have Starbucks. I do want her to volunteer with me this year. I know she will have fun and gain a lot from helping others.

After the Olympics I had to show property. We looked for hours with a break for lunch. After house hunting my clients with their daughter and Jamie, Kylee and I all met up for appetizers and drinks. Since we were in Citrus Heights I called one of my besties, Jen and her boyfriend, Dave to come join us (we have been friends since 4th grade). We talked, told stories from our ‘younger’ days and laughed a lot! Five hours later we headed home. Yes, 5 hours later.

Sunday we hosted a bbq for Kylee’s softball team. There was not a game this weekend so we decided to get the kids and parents together for some fun. The weather was perfect! We supplied the meat and everyone else brought items. Not everyone made it but we had a good turnout. The kids and parents got to socialize without worrying about keeping score! So nice. We enjoyed getting to know the parents and the kids outside of softball practices & games. It was a fabulous day! Side note: the crazy kids went swimming. Our pool is not heated. I am betting the water was about 68 degrees! brrrrr

As I get older I really cherish my relationships so much. Friends and Family, well friends are family so it’s all the same. It doesn’t matter if I see you all of the time or hardly at all, I adore everyone in my family (friends too remember).

I hope you had a great weekend too!

02 October 2009

Green Your Home - One Room at a Time (Part 2)

The bathroom is a great place to conserve water!
Here's how:

No dripping: Fix leaky toilets and repair dripping faucets—a leaky toilet can waste up to 600 gallons of water a month.  Yikes!

Go Low-Flow: High-efficiency bathroom sink faucets and accessories such as faucet aerators can reduce your standard flow by more than 30 percent, without sacrificing performance. Woot! Other areas where you can reduce your water flow include the toilet and shower. Install an aerated showerhead and you could cut water use by up to 70 percent.

Did you know an old-style, single-flush toilet can use more than three gallons of water per flush? Wow, so someone like me who drinks a lot of water in a day and I mean A LOT, resulting in many trips to the potty, is flushing mucho gallons per day for sure. Modern reduced-flow or high-efficiency models average a little more than one gallon. I can’t wait to start our bathroom remodels. Next on our list. Guess I know the kind of toilets we will be getting!

Turn off the water: Try to remember to turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving. You could save up to four gallons of water per minute! Yep, here is another thing I need to do.

I hope you find these Green tips as helpful as I did. And again, remember the light bulbs in your bathrooms too. Go CFL or LED baby!

Your Realtor,

Source: CAR's Green Web Site

01 October 2009

Green Your Home - One Room at a Time

Lets start with the Kitchen. We all spend a lot of time in this room. Most of my time in the kitchen is spent talking to my husband while he is cooking or cleaning up after he has cooked a fabulous meal. Are you getting this? I don't cook! Anyway........

Between the refrigerator, oven, microwave and lights, kitchens can consume a lot of energy, but here are some ways to reduce your kitchen’s energy usage and save some $money$:

“Right size” your appliances: The larger your appliances, the more energy they consume. And, large appliances take up more space, meaning you’ll need to heat and cool additional square footage to accommodate them. Finding the “right size” appliance to fit your needs—instead of just buying the largest one available—can help you to save energy.

Replace old refrigerators: If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it might be time to consider replacing it. Old refrigerators can account for up to 15 percent of a home’s energy consumption. Newer refrigerators, especially ENERGY STAR ones , consume significantly less energy than older ones—sometimes as little as one-quarter of the energy. And try not to be tempted to keep the old refrigerator running in the garage—running two refrigerators will just increase your energy costs! Many local utility companies offer rebates to pick up your old refrigerator if it’s still operational.

Use your dishwasher: Although dishwashers are energy intensive, they also use less water than hand-washing, so as long as you use your dishwasher wisely, running the dishwasher can be a good thing. Dishwashers today are built to handle food remnants, so resist the urge to pre-rinse before putting your dishes in the dishwasher—basically you are just doing double-duty (and increasing your water bill). Also, always make sure you run a full load—dishwashers always use the same amount of water, so the more dishes you can fit in a load, the more energy efficient it will be. As with a refrigerator, if your dishwasher is old, consider replacing it—replacing a pre-1994 dishwasher with an ENERGY STAR model can save $30 a year on utility costs.

Cook smart: Making small changes to the way you cook can definitely increase your energy efficiency. For example:
* Put a lid on pots and pans: it will decrease time on the burner.
* Unplug appliances: Even when not in use, some appliances may still be consuming standby energy.
* Size matters: If you are making a meal, think about using a toaster oven or the microwave—both consume significantly less energy than a regular oven.

Don't forget to also check your light bulbs. CFL or LED bulbs are energy efficient.

I hope you find this helpful. Please check back for more Green updates for your home.

Your Realtor,

Source: C.A.R's Green Web Site