Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hey

So, guys: grad school is so much work.  It's also possible that I chose a particularly heavy load for my first semester.

That said, IT IS AWESOME, but it leaves me very little time for the internet because I guess my husband is more important than computers or something.

My dreams of a super tidy apartment and reading more for-fun books have gone down the drain, but at least reading my textbooks is actually enjoyable because religion is fun!  Anyway...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Vendors

Caterers.  As I mentioned, our facility strongly recommended using a "preferred vendor" for our catering because they didn't have an on-site kitchen and required our vendor to adhere to their green policies.  We liked that idea because Caleb and I try to live fairly green.  I assigned Caleb the catering job.

Food is the most expensive part of a wedding.  Seriously.  Caleb started talking to our vendors and asking them for proposals.  Based on how responsive they were, we narrowed down some.  I dunno about you, but I am skeptical of businesses that take too long to respond.

After filtering out some businesses, we looked at pricing and then were honest with our caterers about trying to get prices down.  We wanted a vegetarian and meat-eater friendly meal.  We were willing to rent linens and such.

Linen and whatever tangent:  Our facility came with the majority of our tables and chairs.  We could have rented chairs, tables, linens, place settings, etc. separately, but for relatively minimal savings.  What becomes quite clear with wedding planning:  the fewer vendors you have to deal with and the fewer things you need to worry about personally on your wedding day, the better.  So: we rented linens, the remaining needed tables and stuff, the silver and glassware, from our caterer for a minimal margin more.

Anyway.  We quickly found that many caterers are snooty patootie.  They didn't want to work with us on pricing or finding less expensive plate options or meal ideas.  Some caterers would nickel and dime for cake cutting, corkage, etc.  We found a caterer that was GREAT.  Our favorite vendor.  He was frank with us about pricing and ways to keep costs down, he was willing to let us bring in our own alcohol and serve it for us without any fees (except for the staff required to work the bar, of course), he didn't charge for cutting cake, and he was a pleasure to work with.  He made a sample meal in my parents' kitchen for us, he met with us at our reception venue to plan the layout, and all throughout the process, he and his staff were incredibly pleasant.

Flowers.  One of the ways we immediately cut down on flower costs: by not ordering flowers we didn't need.  We knew I needed a bouquet, we knew we needed them for bridesmaids, we knew we needed flowers for the boys and moms and whatever, and we knew we needed a piece for the alter, as was custom at my church.  We DID NOT order flowers for tables or decorations.  Flowers are expensive.

Again, we found a great vendor.  He was honest with us about the more affordable options, worked with my tastes, and was very sweet.

Music.  When Caleb and I first got engaged, we immediately thought of a band that had performed at his company Christmas party.  They were a Michael Jackson cover band with a full band, including a brass section and multiple vocalists.  They had crazy energy and were SO MUCH FUN.

We wrote them to see what their pricing would be and found out that it would be several thousand dollars.  SO MUCH FOR THAT IDEA.

DJ then.  Again: this was Caleb's task.  We sent out some emails to vendors we found online and at a wedding fair and found a guy who was great and willing to perform for about 1/2 of what all of the other guys had quoted.  Done and done.  We filled out their worksheet, made a list of "must play" and "don't play" and were done!  We felt the DJ did a great job and at no point did I think, ugh, I hate this song.

Decor.  We originally thought we were going to do some decorating ourselves, but as it turned out and as the time got closer, we realized how much work that would be, how much more money it would cost to rent the facility for prep time, and how much we didn't want to make all of our friends and family spend mandatory craft time making paper flowers or whatever (especially since most were coming from far or were planning their own wedding!).  We checked on etsy and Michael's and also found that crafts weren't all that cheap.  We contacted our caterer, who had mentioned that he was able to do centerpieces.  As I mentioned, we nixed the flower idea because flowers are expensive.

As it turned out, my caterer was able to produce some beautiful centerpieces for about $15 each, which was dang reasonable and, again, didn't require hours of crafting for either us or our friends and family.  Done and done.

Invitations.  We originally thought we were going to have invitations printed.  We checked catalogs and local printers and found out that it was going to cost a bazillion dollars.  So:  enter Michael's.  We found invitations that matched our color scheme and did them ourselves for under $100 for all 125 guests.  BOOM.  We received a TON of compliments on our invitations and some friends who were planning weddings asked for our vendor information.  They were pretty pleased to hear that we did them ourselves on the cheap.

Did I forget anything?  I don't know.  WEDDING.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wedding Planning Part 2

Before sending out Save-the-Dates, my husband and I had to figure out a date.  In order to figure out a date, we needed to book a venue.

We knew that we wanted to get married at my church.  Because we are members, there was no charge to use the church building; we simply had to pay for those employees who would be working for us.  My minister (who we asked to perform our ceremony) is a gifted speaker and person.  She didn't charge us for her services, but we paid her of course.  She sacrificed her Saturday and evenings planning with us, so we weren't going to let her be that generous.  We were particularly blessed because my church had just undergone a remodel, part of which included new stained glass: trees!  I love trees.  In fact, a nature and science theme quickly developed without us even meaning to.  I guess when you plan your wedding, it reflects who you are.  My husband and I love science and nature.

Anyway.  Venue.

Since it was important to me to be married in my church, we need to find a nearby reception venue, firstly because my church hall couldn't hold our massive families, and secondly because my husband wasn't very excited about using that room: it looks a bit like a high school gym... if your high school gym was not large enough for a basketball court.

Anyway.

We soon found that reception venues are RIDICULOUSLY expensive.  We wanted something that could be both indoors and outdoors because while we love nature and it was very important to Caleb to have an outdoor area, yours truly frakking hates being cold... and defines cold as anything under 70 degrees.  Whatever, I grew up in a climate with a very small temperature window.  I'm spoiled; what do you want?

We found a place that looked nice, but both my cousin and uncle had their weddings there and they required us to use their catering services.  NOPE, WE ARE TOO FRUGAL FOR YOUR STUPID EXPENSIVE CHICKEN.

We looked some more.  We found a garden center operated by the city government (read: reasonable price) that had a room and a garden.  The room was decidedly unattractive, but the garden was pretty and we figured we could be crafty enough to make it look cool with decorations and cool lights.

When we wrote the events staff, the woman working there asked how we found their facility and then made the mistake of asking, "Was it on Here Comes the Guide?"  Nope, it wasn't, I thought.  What is that?  Google.  On that site I found another, incredibly reasonable location that was also run by county government (read: also cheap).  It was a children's science museum with a beautiful room made of reclaimed redwood, right on the bay, and with gardens and animal exhibits... all for the same price as the rec center room (which would have required trimming our guest list) with an adjacent garden.  WAY MORE FOR OUR MONEY!  Remember how I said nature and science ended up being major themes?  Well, plop on the next nature-y, science-y thing we ended up with: a children's nature and science museum as venue.

Everyone loved the facility we chose!  It was a lovely room, provided lovely backdrops of the San Francisco Bay and gardens for our photos, and had river otters, foxes, mountain lions, other local animals, and science toys for our guests to play with.  The otters were the stars of the show for sure.  Well, and my dad's speech because CRY.

AND.  The facility (more or less) let us pick our caterer.  They provided a list of recommended caterers and required that if we chose someone different, they would need to adhere to their "green" policies.  We were into this idea because a friend of my parents had offered to let us use her liquor license, so we wanted to have that option so that we could find less expensive drink options.

Now that we had nailed down a fantastic venue and booked it for the beginning of August, like we wanted, we started going through that list of caterers, finding ways to decorate our main room, finding music, etc.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hey, White Guy Living in the Mission and Talking About Gentrification

Your anger is misplaced.  Let's talk about this.

For those who don't know:  People have been protesting Google's buses (that drive their employees to work).  They are trying to prevent Google employees from getting to their jobs with the claim that Google and other tech companies are gentrifying San Francisco neighborhoods and causing the evictions of low income Bay Area residents.

I want to start with the fact that my family has lived in the Bay Area for 5 generations.  That's really cute that you've lived in the Mission for 6 years.  You're a real hero.  If you'd lived here longer, you'd know that neighborhoods change.  Frequently.  I know you have some idea about what your neighborhood "should" look like or what it did look like in the ancient year of 2007, but my grandmother can tell you that that happy vision of the Mission you have in your head is nothing like what it looked like when she was growing up.    Neither does my neighborhood (the Sunset) look anything like it did when she was growing up here.  It looked different when my parents were growing up, then different again when I was growing up, and now it looks different again.  You're looking at a small cross section, friend.  Your romanticism is cute, though.


In case you're not aware, here in America, we have a Capitalist market.  There's this thing called "supply and demand."  San Francisco is awesome, so people want to live here.  I mean, you moved here, too, right?

San Francisco is my favorite city.  Granted, I'm not well-traveled, because as I've said, my family has lived here for generations and we like it enough/weren't wealthy enough to leave it often.  We have mountains, beaches, snow, desert, forests, and whatever other environments, all within a 4 hour drive.  We have any kind of food you could want.  We have near-perfect weather.  San Francisco is awesome.  Many people want to live here for the reasons I suggested as well as a plethora of others. San Francisco has always been expensive, but I will concede that it has not always been this expensive.

If you read my blog often, you would know that the cost of rent in the San Francisco (and the entire Bay Area) has become fairly oppressive, in my mind.  As I mentioned, my family has lived here for generations and most of us are still here.  I want to stay here, too, but my husband and I can only afford a 1BR apartment in the Sunset.  Since you're Mr. REAL San Francisco, I know you know that my neighborhood is one of the cheapest.  Again, my husband and I can only afford 1BR, despite making the kind of money that would afford us a comfortable lifestyle elsewhere.  We have pretty good jobs, but you see, my husband spent a lot of money on a really good school so that he could get his really good job and we are still paying for it.  We don't have any family money.  In fact, this stresses me the frak out because I am almost 30 and would like to start thinking about having a family, yet I'm reluctant to start making more people to populate our tiny apartment.  It's already pretty squishy.

Here's something else relevant to your story: my husband works for Google.  They have been really good to him.  I know you think they pay him $500,000 a year, but they don't.  Again, his salary and my own have us floating in the fog in our 1BR.  I know, right?  Cushy Google lifestyle.

That said, I'm really happy for him and I'm really happy with Google.  Not only do they create much of the software you probably used to schedule your protest to prohibit him from getting to work on time, but they give us health insurance.  They have these buses (you've probably seen them under your propaganda posters) that cut down on the crazy traffic we have in this area, as well as help our environment.  My husband is always telling me about the good things his company is doing with its money and the ways they are trying to get internet and computers to everywhere to create a world of equal opportunity.  They also continue to create innovative technology.

I know you think that technology is to blame for government surveillance (just like scientists are to blame for weapons technology and war... it's that simple, right?).  Google has spent much effort trying to fight government surveillance, but you're right: they're to blame.  We should just stop technological advancement and go back to living in caves.  Advancement and progress have no tangling with humanity.  It's not as if new technology always poses a threat when it gets into the wrong hands.  It's like how the use of nuclear weapons on Japan is so black and white and we all agree that we did the wrong thing.  Right?  Right.  I'm glad you've stopped using computers and Google products and Facebook and all of the other technology that the companies you're protesting are creating.  Otherwise you'd be a big hypocrite, right?  Right.  Sorry I didn't get your carrier pigeon's message in time to show up for your protest.  You know, I was too busy gentrifying the area that my family has lived in for generations.

My husband and I, even though our lives are largely funded by the biggiantevil Google, like to support our local community.  Pretty much all of the stores we shop in are local and independently-owned.  The people we are supporting are our neighbors and Half Moon Bay farmers.  I know that doesn't matter, though, since our money is tinged with evil and we only pay with $666 bills.

BART workers struck a few times last year and it made us all think about what a livable wage is.  Since you're Mr. Middle Class Rights, I know you sided with them.  Blue collar wages are hard to live on these days.  We need to see wage rates rise with the cost of living.  That's why I think it's a little bit strange that you're getting mad at the companies that actually give their employees livable wages.    
Here are some things you might think about:

Maybe you should vote in your local elections.  I know they're boring and your local elections just don't have the kind of fun advertising as the Obama campaign, but I hope you vote.  Maybe our local politicians wouldn't be giving tax breaks to start-ups with inflated salaries that will inevitably go out of business without bringing those profits back into the area.

Maybe we should think about minimum wage and how our wage rates are kept low because our starting point is still like $10/hr and we all know you can't pay rent with that.

Maybe we should think about rent control.

Maybe we should think about low income housing and how exactly we define "low income" and where we put our poverty line because again, you can't pay rent on minimum wage.

Maybe we should think about how capital gains taxes disproportionately affect Californians and how much money we could raise for our state if they were taxed at a rate closer to that of the income tax.

Maybe we should talk about why our public transportation system in the Bay Area is so disjointed, expensive, and ineffective, making it harder for people living in areas with lower rent to get into the city.

Maybe we should think about what a complicated problem the cost of living in the Bay Area is and acknowledge that no one company, politician, or self-righteous hipster is to blame for it.



You're right, though, we should probably just blame that company whose slogan is "don't be evil."  They try to cut down on traffic congestion, give back to their community, promote healthy eating among their employees, develop free and accessible technology for the world, fight government surveillance, give their employees livable wages, and provide generous health insurance.  We should probably stop those jerks from going to work.

Body Image

Thing I Wrote

Thing I Wrote

Other Thing I Wrote

On Changing My Name

I am not done changing my name.  Apparently the 35647354354 government organizations that exist all need to be informed-- and by me, because cooperation between different government entities has never been a strong point.  A few places may or may not still have me under my maiden name.

So that's fun.  Especially since they're all only open 9 - 5 M - F.  It's okay, guys, I don't have a job or anything.

Despite all of the headache that comes with changing my name, I really want to talk about the stomach ache.

I knew I was going to change my last name when I got married.  I want my family and my children to share a family name.  I don't think I anticipated how difficult that would be for me.

I know many people alter themselves all the time.  We get piercings, tattoos, plastic surgery... and I guess I have similar feelings about those things to a certain extent.  I couldn't get a nose job because as much as I dislike my nose, it's my nose.  It's my face; it's the face that God gave me; it's the face that looks like other people in my family.  When my sisters and I are together, people immediately know we are related because we look so much alike.  It's my face, but it's not just my face.  I share parts of it with my family now, my family that came before me, and my family that will come after me.

So: changing my name was really hard.  Wade has been my last name since I was born.  Changing it felt sort of yucky at times.

I'm still not used to it.  Seeing everything come in for my school under my new name is strange.  I guess in time it will feel normal.

Friday, January 17, 2014

How to Be Broke: Grocery Shopping

Preface: I know many of you guys know this kind of stuff, but I've always been surprised at how many of my friends don't know this kind of stuff.  Like, "Sale!  I'm saving money!"  when they're not or just grabbing things off the shelf without checking prices and whatnot and then wondering why their grocery bill is so high.  

Since my husband and I are losing (less than) 1/3 of our income (yeah, whatever, he makes way more than me) and gaining lots of new expenses, I am taking over grocery shopping for both of us (we used to kind of do our own thing) and, depending on what my class schedules look like, also meal planning for the most part.   I'm hoping there will be 1 day a week that I have enough time to make a "nice" homemade dinner and not just stuff that I can do in 30 minutes or whatever.

I hope to share some recipes, too :)   


My mom is impressively frugal at the grocery store.  I'm going to share some of the ways she taught me to save money.

1.  Buy generic.  There are exceptions to this (I mean, generic mayonaise is always weird), but most of the time, buying off-brand Ibuprofen is going to be cheaper than buying Advil.  Compare the pricing of different brands instead of just grabbing what you're used to.  Also, don't always grab generic.  Check first!  Sometimes it's not saving you money.  Name brands often run promotions that put them under the prices of generics.

2.  Check sizing.  Many things come in different sizes (like mayo, pain killers, rice... lots).  We all assume that buying the biggest size is cheapest, but sometimes it's not.  Pull out your phone and do some math.  Check how many ounces each size is, then divide the price by the ounce.  Some stores even have the per-ounce price on a corner of the price tag.  Check!  

...Now say that the larger size mustard is cheaper per ounce.  Think about how much mustard you use.  If you aren't going to go through the larger size before it expires, it's still cheaper to buy the smaller one, even if it's more per ounce.

3.  Check quantity.  Sometimes a different brand of something looks cheaper, but isn't.  Let's say: cereal bars.  One box might be cheaper than the other, but have 6 bars instead of 8.  The price per bar might be more in the "cheaper" box.

4.  Just because it's on sale doesn't mean you're saving money.  That's only the case if it was something you were already going to buy.  If I buy milk every week and it's $1 off this week, I'm saving a $1.  However, if I buy those aforementioned cereal bars because they are $5 instead of $6.50, but I would normally not have bought them, I am not saving $1.50, I'm spending $5 I wouldn't have otherwise spent.  Sometimes we buy a sale item because it's a treat.  Like, I don't normally buy Pop Tarts, but I love them.  If they're on sale, I might treat myself to them.  Know in advance what your "treat" items are that you will buy if they are on sale.  Don't get caught up in buying sale stuff that you don't normally buy-- you'll end up increasing your bill and not decreasing it.

5.  Plan your meals.  Think about what you are going to go through in a week, how many nights you'll be home, etc.  So much food gets thrown away and we can all do better about not contributing to that.  If you have plans 2 or 3 nights in the coming week, maybe don't buy so much produce since you won't be cooking as many dinners.  That stuff might go bad in your fridge and be a waste of money and food.  If you aren't totally sure, buy things that won't go bad quickly, like dried or frozen ingredients.  Plan on having rice or pasta on a night and if you don't end up eating it, your ingredients will still be good for a long time.

6.  If something you normally buy is on sale, stock up.  My mom is super good at this.  When those chips my dad likes are one sale, you'd better believe she buys like 10 bags.  Now, this isn't super reasonable for my husband and me because we have very limited space in our 1BR apartment.  However, if you have a large kitchen or pantry or whatever, think about taking advantage of that sale and leave it off the grocery list for the next few rounds.

7.  Buy frozen or canned vegetables.  Nothing beats fresh veggies, but buying frozen or canned will generally save you lots of money... although watch the sodium and sugars in canned stuff.  Frozen veggies are often frozen at their peak, so especially in off-season, your frozen varieties might be of better quality than the stuff they had to truck in from thousands of miles away.  Especially for recipes like soups or bakes, fresh veggies can be somewhat of a waste; after an hour in your oven, you won't really be able to tell the difference between fresh or frozen veggies in a casserole.  Also: you'll probably throw less food away if you buy more frozen veggies because frozen and canned veggies last a super long time, so you'll be saving money by eliminating waste.

8.  Check your ads.  We all hate those papers that head straight to the garbage can, but see what's on sale.  Sometimes something you buy all the time will have a coupon... sometimes things you might not have thought of are a great price.  In that case, maybe think about re-working your meal plans around that artichoke that's an amazing price this week.

9.  Try planning meals that are inherently cheap.  Potatoes, beans, rice... there are many things that are inexpensive.  Planning meal ideas around those inexpensive ingredients (which oftentimes are ingredients which last and store very well) can help you keep your overall meal expenses lower.  My husband and I love potatoes and sauerkraut, which is awesome because it's cheap!

10.  You don't need that.  Seriously.  Think about that and try to tell yourself every time you pick up those things you don't need.  You don't need those candy bars or those chips or that cake.  If you resist impulse-buying, you may surprise yourself by how much you save.

11.  Make a list.  Go in knowing what you need and you won't end up spending too much on stuff you don't.  Try not to stray from your list.  Part of why some people spend too much at the store is because they walk through without thinking about what they need for the coming week and end up buying too much stuff... and that stuff ends up in the trash, not their bellies.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wedding Planning

So I think I want to talk about my husband and my journey through wedding planning and the beginnings of our life together.  I have here and there and obviously I am oversharing pictures, but whatevs.

So:

The husband and I got engaged in October of 2012.  He had been planning for a bit.  Since he had my ring custom made, he was working on it for a few months.  Once he got the ring, we had a trip to Yosemite planned, so he decided to wait until then.  He carried the ring around in his work bag so that I wouldn't find it, but it made him pretty nervous to carry it around all the time.

That Friday afternoon, when we arrived in Yosemite, Caleb suggested that we take some pictures before the sun went down (which it was going to do in an hour or so).  He said we should try to find a good photo op and I found a little creek near our hotel.  I tromped down under the bridge to the creek (I'm sort of a climber, so Caleb was behind me trying to keep his footing with a tripod, an expensive camera, and a ring in his pocket).  He told me to look down the water and he would take my picture from behind.  He set the camera up to record and proposed.

We spent time crying and calling my mom and my best friend and his mom and whoever else we called.  It was a blur, but that weekend was fantastic.  We spent time in the beautiful Yosemite Valley, ate at all the best restaurants, and got to tell strangers about our exciting news and get free desserts.  It was an incredible weekend.

We decided not to start wedding planning TOO soon, but knowing that most engagements are 1 1/2 years and that we wanted to get married in 9 months, we only waited a week.

Once we started planning we found out how overwhelming everything was, how expensive everything was, and how many details needed attention.  Luckily my husband and I are fairly frugal and also master negotiators (apparently) so we drove down many costs.

Our first task (that I can actually recall, anyway): Save-the-Dates.

Firstly, we decided to knock off some money by not taking engagement photos.  Engagement photos are expensive (although totally do them if you have a friend who can or you have hella money or something), so we used our photos from Yosemite and printed them at Kinko's.  Little did we realize: 5x7 envelopes are not a thing.  However, recall that I am master frugal negotiator magician whatever.  I went on a hunt for these magical envelopes, most of which, since they were intended for photos, were stiff and pricey.

I finally found what we needed at Michael's: discontinued wedding invitations!  Michael's has a ton of do-it-yourself stuff (totally worth it).  I found a collection of discontinued invitations kits that had 5x7 envelopes for an awesome price!  I bought a few boxes, stole the envelopes, threw out most of the rest of it, and had cute printed envelopes to put things in!  We also hung onto some of the cards (for printing invitations on) and ended up using them later.  My husband and I made a donation instead of having Jordan almonds or whatever as favors, so we printed out (on those cards) information about the non-profits we were giving to.

Bargain master!  Two for one!  Etcetera!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some of My Favorites

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our wedding day:


















































Tuesday, January 14, 2014

history repeats itself

I found this in drafts.  Apparently I wrote it during the 2008 campaign.

We got mad when George Bush abused the power of the Presidency, just like people got mad when the first president to abuse the powers did: Thomas Jefferson.  We get mad when Romney/Obama lies during the campaign, just like people got mad the first time that blatant lies were thrown around in a campaign (Andrew Jackson).  Ladies and gentlemen, history repeats itself.  So when you're shouting about an issue, think about what issues our current issues parallel and how that panned out in the past... How did it pan our when Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, or George W. Bush expanded the powers of the Presidency?  How did it pan out when Andrew Jackson slung mud at his adversaries?  How did Women's Suffrage and the Civil Rights movement ultimately inform our legislation?  What happened to FDR's Presidency after he put through a bunch of stimulus items?  What happened when we elected a domestic-minded president to office and then a huge international conflict put our country in the middle of a war (Woodrow Wilson)?


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies.  I might even go so far as to say that everyone needs chocolate chip cookies sometimes.  After all, what is better comfort food and what better snack after a bad day?  Seriously, do you know anyone who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?  Because that person is an alien and you'd better watch yourself.

This is the recipe I use for chocolate chip cookies.  It's a winner.





Pre heat oven to 300 degrees

Blend 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Cup Sugar

Cream 1 cup butter- soft not melted
2 eggs, 1 T. real Vanilla

combine all above

Whisk together 2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt

Add Flour mix- mix by hand

add chocolate chips

Place onto ungreased cookie sheet, Bake 20-24 min.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Napa?

I don't know if I ever posted this, so here it is.

I love going to Napa.  One of the best things about living in San Francisco is that not only do I live in the bestest city evaaaaar, but living here means I am close to a ton of other cool places: Tahoe, Napa, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Berkeley... As the weather warms up, weekend drives through lovely green California hills are inevitable, lucky for me.






The first time I went to Napa, I was a little anxious about it.  After all, wine tasting seemed like all kinds of fancy, which is something I am not.  I learned, however, that what's fun about wine tasting is: learning new things!  People at wineries are happy to tell you about whatever you might want to know... as long as it's relevant.

Beyond my lack of fancy wine vocabulary, I also didn't know what to wear.  However, while Napa has its share of fancy people, since it has become a tourist attraction, it's also full of people in sweatshirts and Hawaiian shirts.  Never fear!  We're not in high school anymore and most people are nice.








As you can see, we had no problem being our silly selves in Napa.

I don't know how this is relevant, but Jessica Alba has a book out about healthy, eco-friendly living.  It looks really neat and I think I am going to pick up a copy one of these days.  Check out this video explaining the book: