Friday, June 22, 2012

Engagement AND baby!

Bet I freaked you out with that title, huh?  (snicker, snicker)  But no, my friends, we are not engaged nor am I with child.  This is in reference to one of my very best friends, Kristin, coming in town with her brand new baby and newly diamond-clad left ring finger!  Kristin (who you'll hear me refer to as "Kissy", old nickname from FOREVER ago) and her fiance Matt brought their new baby boy, Ryder, home to St. Louis to visit!  They currently reside in Toronto, as Matt plays for the Toronto Marlies, the minor league team of the Toronto Maple Leafs (that's hockey, for anyone who doesn't know - although I'm sure you do.  And YES Dad, I know there are no touchdowns in hockey.  You make ONE mistake a hundred years ago and you can't ever live it down....) but Kissy is from St. Louis so they've brought baby Ryder home for all of us to meet for the first time!  I cannot wait to meet my little nephew, he's already stolen my heart  : )  The grown-ups (weird) are having dinner tonight and then we're all getting together for a little party tomorrow afternoon.  I'll be taking plenty of pictures then but for now, here are some faces to put with the names:

Matt and Kissy (they're really ugly....)

Matt, Kissy, BABY!

Baby Boy!!  Ryder Matthew  : )

Kissy and I (VERY pre-baby)

Kissy and I with two of our other besties, Neely and Syd (long before Matt could save her from our corruption...)

More pics of this sweet, little family to come!  Hope you all have an amazing weekend  : )


Thursday, June 21, 2012

California Adventure - San Francisco Chapter.

As you all know Tony and I spent about 9 days covering 7 or 8 cities in California, starting at the northern end and working our way south.  The first three days were spent in San Francisco, Sonoma and then Napa, with activities consisting of city-exploring, picture-taking, wine-drinking, vineyard-hopping, and just plain luxury-lapping.  We spent our entire day in San Francisco off of the Embarcadero at Pier 39.  Lucky for us the weather was GLORIOUS and the scene complete with sail boats, music and a Farmer's Market with the juiciest strawberries we had ever tasted.  After much exploration of the food and shops we decided it was absolutely necessary to take a ride on The Rocket Boat - which goes 50 miles/hour and really pumps up the jams from the "Rock of Ages" era.  I have to say, despite poor Tony catching a cold due to the splashing and the high, chilly-despite-the-blazing-sun winds, this was one of the coolest, most-thrilling things I have ever experienced!  I couldn't stop laughing at the man next to us dropping the F bomb every 10 seconds and the constant "Wooooooooo!" from the crowd (mostly from yours truly, of course).  I'm telling you, it's worth the cheese for this half hour of joy.  Once we made our way back to land we headed back to the hotel to get changed for dinner with friends who also happened to be in town.  After a delicious dinner complete with local brews, white wine, oysters, calamari and what I'll refer to as chorizo roll-up thingies (yeah i wasn't paying attention...) we walked the Embarcadero and admired the Bay Bridge all lit up as well as the other city lights.  Though we had only less than 24 hours in the city it was an amazing time.  Hope to be able to explore San Fran a little LOT more next time!

farmers' market - we bought ourselves a bushel of those sweet strawberries!


See, I knew watching "Singin' in the Rain" would pay off....

Wow.  Well maybe not....

banana pancakes topped with pecan butter and strawberries from the farmers' market  : )

Good-bye, San Fran!  We're off to Sonoma (more on that soon!).

Monday, June 18, 2012

we're back!

Well, friends, we're back from our 9-day adventure in California and it could NOT have been better!  Seriously, people should pay Tony and I to plan their vacations.  Can you imagine?  Anywho, we started in San Francisco, drove to Sonoma and then Napa, hopped a plane to LA, then drove to Laguna Beach/San Clemente, then off to Palm Springs (where Tony lived for about 8 or so years growing up), then drove to our last stop, San Diego.  Is there such a thing as being car-lagged?  Because I might have it today.  Along with that, I also came home with a neck injury and found myself at the chiropractor today (I blame the haunted Hotel del Coronado in San Diego....long story, I'll explain in a later post).  So we only took about a thousand pictures so I'll be putting a good chunk of those up in parts.  But for now, please enjoy these pics from my phone!

The Bay Bridge all lit up!

Castello di Amorosa - Napa

Hotel Yountville - Napa (we had a private terrace with a fountain!)  *please disregard the mess....

Ceelo Green and Goodie Mob concert after Jimmy Kimmel!

Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles

Laguna Beach - heaven

Chandelier in the lobby of the Coronado - San Diego

Boy loves his brew  : )  At Stone Brewery in San Diego

Hope you all had a fabulous past week!  Anyone else go on a stellar vacation recently??  Feel free to share some stories!  XO - Gina.

Monday, June 11, 2012


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Friday, June 8, 2012


HOLLA for Friday, people!!  The end of the work week is finally here.  Even better than that - Tones and I will be in this place at this time tomorrow:

Yep, sunny San Fran!  Then off to Napa and Sonoma to do a whole lotta this:

Hopefully we (by "we" I mean "me") won't look like this at the end of the weekend:


After that we're off to explore the rest of the beautiful state of California so if we're m.i.a. for a bit that is why.  And don't worry we'll be taking a boatload of pictures which we'll be eager to post as soon as we get home  : )

Hope you all have great weekends, as well!  Get out in the sun, enjoy an adult beverage or two, hang with your family and friends, and MOST importantly - don't forget to watch/DVR The Tony Awards on Sunday night, June 10th at 8/7 CST!!!!  Come oooooon, Laura Osnes for "Bonnie and Clyde:  The Musical"!!

Catch ya later, taters!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

movin' up in the (blogging) world!

We're so excited - we are getting a custom-made blog design for "our, old familiar place"!  The lovely and talented Em and Nat of The Crafty Bees have taken our little blog under their wings and we cannot wait to see the final results!  If you need anything custom-designed - blogs, stationary, anything hand/digital-made - I'm telling you, these are the gals to see.  Hopefully our design, which should hopefully be up and running in a few weeks, will prove it to you  : )  Take a look at some of their samples of work:






What are you all excited about this week?  How about the beautiful, sunny St. Louis weather??  Can't remember the last time we were sans humidity in June!  Just lovely  : )

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the store.

I thought I would give you all a little more info on my hunky, man-snack of a boyfriend (you're welcome, dear) since he has been a bit of a ghost on the blog, lately.  Reason, of course, being that he is a very successful business owner here in St. Louis and, unlike me, does not have oodles of time on his hands!  But, he does love the blog as much as I do and can't wait until he gets some free time to post some thoughts and ideas of his own  : )  Anyway, back to the man.  Tony is a third generation co-owner of J. Viviano & Sons, Inc., a specialty grocer specializing in fine, Italian goods (holla if you love wine!), located in the Italian heart of St. Louis, otherwise known as The Hill.  This neighborhood is where Tony's family, as well as my father and his family, grew up, and also the place where Tony and I met and fell in love (on church grounds, by the way).  But that's a story for another day  : )  This past Sunday Tony and his brother, Johnny, put on a wine dinner (Tony's also a certified sommelier) at their store for about 10 people affiliated with Saint Louis University who had won the dinner at an auction.  This night can be summed up in a few words:  vino, cheeses, the smell of garlic, rat pack radio, ravioli and laughter.  But since I am a firm believer that a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the evening.

Johnny V. - the chef for the evening.

Tony V. - the resident sommelier.

Marco - the wine rep for the dinner.

fyi - that fruit marinated in amaretto overnight....oh yes.

The Brothers Viviano.

Monday, June 4, 2012

sunday (fitness) funday.

Yes I know, we've been M.I.A. for the past week - it was a crazy one!  Work, a wedding, and prepping for our upcoming vacation (woop woop!) all consumed our lives this past week but we finally got to have a day with each other on Sunday.  Tony has been wanting to take me to Castlewood State Park for a while now so we decided to grab a delightful breakfast outside at Winslow's Home before we headed west for a nice, long was interesting.  First, at breakfast, I clumsily ran into the outside server, who was trying to move his way through the maze that WAS the patio, and knocked multiple things out of his hands (one being a basically full can of soda, which brings me to my next point).  Two, that very can of soda hit the ground with vengeance, taking prisoner the sweet, little family next to us by exploding all over them.  Who knew one, little can of diet coke could do that?  Anyway.....three, we get to Castlewood and wait what seemed like 100 hours for a truck to back out of it's spot, only to have it stolen by one of those small, annoying cars that can whip in and out of small spaces quickly.  And FOUR, no one would ever know that I was a former ballerina based on the amount of times I fell, slid, tripped, what have you.  At least I got a workout in??  Which by the way, if you're wanting to get over your plateau in your fitness routine, GO ON A HIKE.  It was so fun and our legs and derrieres will thank us one day.  Anywho, hope you all had a wonderful Sunday, as well!  Feel free to share some stories from your weekend and enjoy some pictures from ours  : )

hubba hubba

why yes, it was delicious.

Ballerina Project - St. Louis Chapter (ha! i wish...)


now you see me........ you don't!


"can we go home now? I'm tired....."

".....aren't you?"