Legends of Summer

Last Friday I headed to Candlestick Park with Adam and Eva to see Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z on their “Legends of Summer Tour“. I’ve seen JT in the past and his show was amazing – even if you don’t like the music, he is a great performer. After reading Jay-Z’s book “Decoded” I became a fan, as he discussed in great detail the meaning of his songs and lyrics. I’m convinced he’s a really smart dude.

The sound was less than stellar, partly because Candlestick Park is such a huge, open venue. I didn’t realize until after, but this tour is strictly a stadium tour, which I think is an interesting choice. The show itself was awesome. I think the really neat part for me was how they wove the show together. Instead of the traditional opening act, they had a DJ for about an hour. He was not the best in the world, but came up with some good (and interesting) song combinations. “California Love” by Tupac followed by “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie, anyone? Then the show kicked off. The stage setup was great – it was this massive shiny red stage that they projected all sorts of things on depending on the song.

Stage Setup
Stage Setup

There was definitely some thought put into the flow of the show – rather than JT doing a set and then Jay-Z doing a set, they innerwove their music. This was really cool for me because the two styles of music, while different on the surface, actually flowed really well together. They also made it super easy for the guys to switch back and forth via a trap door/elevator on the stage. Most of the time, you never saw the guy leaving. It was a great show as evidenced by the following picture:

This Is What Fun Looks Like
This Is What Fun Looks Like

Finally, we had something really cool happen as we were leaving the show. We were walking through the parking lot when we heard sirens. Around the corner came roaring a couple of motorcycle cops, cars, and two black SUVs. We started trying to figure out who it was when Adam flashed the shaka (ie. hang loose sign) and none other than Jay-Z popped his head and arm out the window to give it back. Too cool!

Words of Wisdom

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and as I started to read through them I realized what amazing advice this is. This is a high school teacher’s list of 100 wisest words. It’s a bit long, but well worth reading!

1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs are not one of them.

2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.

8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

9. Don’t dumb it down.

10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.

12. Never park in front of a bar.

13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.

14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.

15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.

16. A suntan is earned, not bought.

17. Never lie to your doctor.

18. All guns are loaded.

19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.

20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.

22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.

23. A handshake beats an autograph.

24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.

25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.

26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.

28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.

29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.

30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.

31. Eat lunch with the new kids.

32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.

33. It’s never too late for an apology.

34. Don’t pose with booze.

35. If you have the right of way, take it.

36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.

37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

38. Never push someone off a dock.

39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.

40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.

41. Don’t make a scene.

42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

43. Know when to ignore the camera.

44. Never gloat.

45. Invest in good luggage.

46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.

49. Give credit. Take blame.

50. Suck it up every now and again.

51. Never be the last one in the pool.

52. Don’t stare.

53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.

54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.

55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

56. Admit it when you’re wrong.

57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.

59. Thank the bus driver.

60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.

62. Know at least one good joke.

63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

64. Know how to cook one good meal.

65. Learn to drive a stick shift.

66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.

67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.

68. Dance with your mother/father.

69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

70. Always thank the host.

71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.

74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.

75. Keep your word.

76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.

77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.

79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.

80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.

81. You are what you do, not what you say.

82. Learn to change a tire.

83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.

85. Don’t litter.

86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.

87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.

89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

90. Make the little things count.

91. Always wear a bra at work.

92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.

93. You’re never too old to need your mom.

94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.

95. Know the words to your national anthem.

96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.

97. Smile at strangers.

98. Make goals.

99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.

100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.

Favorite Song Friday – “SexyBack”

Today’s favorite song Friday pick is a throwback to 2006 and a shout out to tonight’s upcoming concert. Yup, it’s “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. I’m so so so excited about the show – it’s at Candlestick Park and features Jay-Z. Stay tuned in the next day or so for the concert review!

“SexyBack” was the ultimate summer jam… it came out in July of 2006 and was super catchy. Happy Friday!

Book Review: If I Stay

I just finished reading a couple of pretty good books that I thought I’d share. The first is called If I Stay, by Gayle Forman. I think this was another Amazon editor’s top picks book and I was not disappointed at all.

Synopsis: (from Amazon.com)

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces – to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.

My Thoughts

I really liked the story… the idea of having to choose between life and death when it seems like your world has been completely changed is such a great struggle for a main character. To force that decision on a seventeen year old is even more incredible.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is how music plays such a huge role. Mia is an extremely talented cellist and although young, her passion for classical music reminds me of my own at that age. While at times I found the writing a little simplistic, all in all this was a good book and definitely worth reading!

My Husband Is A Stud

That title reads true for many different reasons, but today it’s because he completed all five passes of the 2013 Death Ride. In case you’re wondering, it’s a 129 mile bike ride over five mountain passes with 15,000 feet of climbing. Yeah, definitely a stud.

He and our friend Mark (also a stud) have ridden it together for the last few years and this year was no exception. I headed up to Carson Pass to be the photographer and cheerleader extraordinaire.

Before I get to the pictures of the studs, here’s a little gem… no way on earth Mike would pull my slow butt up five mountain passes…

No Way
No Way

Ok, on to the serious pics. This is Mike on his way up the last pass. He looks like he’s smiling, but I think it’s actually a grimace. Although this could have been when I yelled “You look just like Lance Armstrong. On steroids.”

My Stud
My Stud

Here’s us when he was done:

Love This Boy!
Love This Boy!

And, finally, the two studs together:

Two Billy Goats
Two Billy Goats

We stopped on the way home for burgers at this little place across the street from Kirkwood… they were delicious! Now that we’re back home it’s time to catch up on the Tour!



Cookie In A Cup

I love to make desserts. I have a serious sweet tooth. My husband prefers salty, so when I cook some fantastic dessert, there’s a TON. I have no self-control, especially when it comes to chocolate and I discovered this cookie in a mug recipe on Pinterest. It’s easy, it’s quick, and you probably already have the ingredients in your cupboard!



1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

3 splashes vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons chocolate chips


Start by melting your butter in the microwave. Butter should just be melted, not boiling. Add sugars, vanilla and salt and stir together. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Add the flour and stir again. Add the chocolate chips and give a final stir.

Cook in the microwave for 40-60 seconds. Mine have all taken about 40 seconds, but make sure to check… like a regular cookie, it cooks a little bit once it’s done.

Book Review: The Light Between Oceans

I told you I was behind on my blogging… the book I finished last night is called The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I think I found this one by searching the top downloaded books on Amazon or something along those lines. It was one of those “I’ll guess I’ll give it a try” books and I’m so glad I did!

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

My Thoughts

I loved this book. In fact, I actually laid in bed last night and cried as I read the last few pages. M. L. Stedman draws you into the love between Tom and Isabel, then promptly breaks your heart. I loved learning all about lighthouses and the lifestyle of a lighthouse keeper. I was shocked to read that this is her first novel – it is beautifully written and makes you want to read late into the night because you can’t put the book down. If you read only one book this summer, make it this one!

Book Review: Defending Jacob

One of the books that I’ve recently read is called Defending Jacob by William Landay.

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

My Thoughts

I’m not normally a big legal thriller kind of girl, but this book really hooked me. First of all, William Landay did an amazing job of developing his characters. You truly feel the pain and confusion of Andy and Laurie as they struggle to understand the facts – and come to terms with the fact that their son might be a murderer. It also highlights the struggles between parent and child as they try to understand each other. There is a phenomenal twist at the end of this book… one that changes everything for Andy. This is definitely a must read book!