Sunday, January 31, 2010

San Francisco Dine About Town 2010: Sauce

I very luckily realized in the middle of the week that it was the FINAL week of San Francisco Dine About Town where you can get a 3 course meal for $35 at some of the city's best restaurants. I wish that I would have figured it out sooner so that we could have enjoyed two meals in the city but at least we had one.

I choose the restaurant due to their online menu selection offerings. Too bad for those places that didn't list anything because they were not even in the running. The finalist for this year was the restaurant Sauce. It COMPLETELY exceeded our expectations. The one drawback was that we had a tough time parking- it is down by the Symphony and Ballet, both of which had performances that night- and it was after they had both started at 8 pm and we arrived just after 8. We spent 20 minutes looking for parking and FINALLY found one so that we were still on time for our reservation.

The food was INCREDIBLE. I would call it contemporary, upscale American cuisine. I have even included the wording from the restaurant of the dishes. William and I each shared our appetizers and desserts and then we each got the same entree. We loved every dish and will definitely return on another occasion.

First Course
Scallops wrapped in Bacon & Portobello Fries Gravy & Fat Boy Ranch
Tomato Bisque White Truffle Grilled Cheese Toast Sticks

Second Course
Baked Mac & Cheese David's Old World Ham & Pulled Ham Hock Tillamook Cheddar & Four Cheese Cream Sauce Served with Green Beans & Bacon

Third Course
Cookie Dough Bon Bons- Cookie Dough Sandwich with Vanilla Ice Cream Center
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts Vanilla Bourbon Dipping Sauce

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Head Start

The love of reading starts early in the Kunz family. Our little 20 month old nephew, Charlie, already "reading" on his own.

He has even mastered the art of page turning with a book that is nearly as big as he is

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cartier and America

After a LONG week of pretty much non-stop RAIN, I just had to venture outside of the apartment and so I went up to the Legion of Honor to see their special exhibit entitled "Cartier and America." It was so unbelievable the amount of jewels they had in one exhibition. The exhibit began in December 2009 marking the 100th anniversary of the opening of Cartier's New York store. The exhibit had a room containing the sketches and designs of the jewelry- each having to be approved by the customer (if it was a couture piece) and Cartier. They had a short film illustrating the complicated process of making fine jewelry. I never realized the huge amount of craftsmanship that each piece has. First, a wax replica of the piece is made and then a metal cast of it. The metal cast is then carved to hold the stones and then each stone is put into place. I never realized just what a steady hand you need to have inlay the stones. After all the stones are set, it is then polished. And the pieces from this workshop are so seamless and beautiful. Of course, no photography is allowed in the exhibit so I have taken photos of a few of the postcards I bought which DEFINITELY do not these artistic creations justice- you need to see them with the light reflecting off the different facets and literally sparkling.

Cartier is generally associated with the intricate diamond and platinum settings (although he did experiment with both white and yellow gold as trends demanded). I think that these bracelets exemplify this style. Yeah, I could definitely wear these (some of the pieces I couldn't see myself wearing since they are so gaudy and extreme)

I wish that they had a postcard of one of my favorite pieces- this diamond jaguar bracelet that was completely bendable, yet appeared so fluid (at least on the surface). Just pretend that the jaguar from this photo is fully extended

Cartier was also a genius at making pieces multi-functional. For example, there was this bandeau tiara that could be separated into a bracelet and a necklace. I also liked his pieces that incorporated diamonds with other stones like this brooch with gorgeous emeralds. They had one necklace that had a 143 carat emerald! That is ginormous!

Cartier went through a couple of "phases" that I appreciate from an art/fashion standpoint but I was not a big fan of them. The main one was the "Tutti Fruiti" style (I'm not making it up- it was featured on the exhibit plaques) where it combined pink, blue, purple, and green stones. He also did some Egyptian style pieces after King Tut's tomb discovery as well as some Chinese jade work. The pieces were definitely beautiful but I just prefer his own characteristic style.

They also had Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco's over 10 carat diamond wedding ring as well as several other of her more extravagant pieces. They also had the ruby jewelry of Elizabeth Taylor who received Cartier from several of her husbands. I found out that she gave the huge 45 carat stone from Richard Burton to raise money for hospitals in a developing country.

My favorite unexpected discovery was Cartier's "Mystery Clocks". I had never heard them associated with him but he created many- at least a dozen were on exhibit. They call it a "mystery clock" due to the hands appearing to be suspended within the quartz. It turns out that each hand is placed in a unique cut in the quarts- but it didn't give anymore detail than that.

It was an incredible exhibit- I wish that they would have included the appraised value for the works just to kind of bring it back to the "real world."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Revenge of Chris

But I would have to say that Chris did get his "revenge" this year with William's gift. It looked innocuous enough

The package said

Stud . . . . . $1.39
Duck Tape . . . . $3.37
Watching Bill unwrap this . . .

Last year you "trained" me
This year I'll "sour" you
Can't wait until next year!!!

You definitely can't tell that there is a war going on between these two :-) There was one small layer of duck tape (I love the smirk on Chris' face just knowing what lies ahead)

and then was this wooden box that was completely nailed shut.

William had to use a CROWBAR to open it!!

He finally managed to pry it open and get out another duck taped package

William kept unwrapping duck tape for quite awhile

this one gift produced this huge ball of tape!

It says
Whats the
Matter Feeling
a Little Sour

Try looking in the front seat of the Ford

Chris also had William go on a little treasure hunt. They actually ended up hiding their gifts in the same room- the laundry room- but in different places.
All for this little gift card to Chili's

It took over an hour just to unwrap these two gifts. It was a good thing we had Charlie open his gift first since he was entertained by it the entire time

William has already started thinking about what he is going to do next year . . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

William's "Snotty" Gift

William and his youngest brother Chris have this ongoing Christmas gift giving feud. It is ALL about HOW you give the gift in the most creative yet difficult way possible. Two years ago it was the infamous diaper, last year it was the train theme, and this year, William decided to take it back towards the diaper vein.

I came up with the idea of placing a number of coins with letters on them inside the toilet paper layers and so Chris would have to unroll the whole roll to get the coins. Chris starting to unravel

And still not done

He then had to unscramble the letters to find the location of the next part of the "gift"- this tissue box.

It looks innocent enough- but let me show you some of the behind the scenes shots of William assembling it. I love the look of absolute glee on his face- he could not stop laughing and smiling about how "awesome" this gift would be.

Off to the right of the photo is a cup of pudding- "Juicy Pear Jelly Belly" to be precise. Just look at that unique color which made a great base to look like "boogers" or "snot." William placed several coins with letters on them into the tissues that Chris has to unscramble.

I thought it was pretty gross and I knew that is was just pudding. (No one ate the other 3 containers of pudding after this incident)

Chris was very disgusted by the appearance of the "used" tissues. He subsequently flicked the pudding around the room in an attempt to get out the coins without touching it.
He ultimately succumbed and had to handle it.

Let's just say that Chris would definitely be "getting" William back as evidenced in the next post

Stanley Lloyd Kunz

We flew out to Utah the morning of December 20th for the blessing of our 2nd nephew- Stanley Lloyd Kunz. The blessing was at 2 pm Utah time and down in Santaquin and so our flight leaving at 7 am California time would have left us with buffer time to get there. The plane pulled back from the gate at 7 am but the plane experienced engine problems (at least they figured this out before taking off). We all were taken off the plane as they attempted to "fix" it- something that we thought would take awhile. We started to panic a little about making the blessing but FORTUNATELY, they had a spare plane available and we were only a couple of hours late getting in to Utah. And we made it ON TIME for the blessing.

I just noticed that ALL of the photos I have of him during the break are when he was asleep. I love his white blessing outfit

Already getting into the holiday spirit- what a cute Christmas gift

He is just such a sweetie- we are so happy he is a part of Kunz family!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Deck the Halls

Since we live in such a small apartment and were going to be in Utah for the holidays, William and I helped his family "Deck the Halls." We put a garland and lights down the staircase (not pictured) and also above the stone arch way.

William's parents did the whole set-up and decoration of their beautiful and huge 12 foot tree (that doesn't even make it all into the photo :-)

But, the inside would not suffice for William. To my utter concern and fright about becoming a widow, he climbed up on the roof to put up the lights on the eaves.

Still "Decking the Halls"

FORTUNATELY for everyone, he only put lights on two of the peaks (he could have done several others). Imagine my utter horror upon his getting down when he said that he slid partway off the roof and had difficulty getting traction with his shoes! Good thing we just live in an apartment to curb this "adventurous" actions

Friday, January 15, 2010


While watching movies or chatting with William's family, we would complete puzzles. You could say that we became kind of obsessed with them- especially William and me who would stay up until sometimes 3 am to finish the puzzles. Here is William on the first one- so happy that it was not longer puzzling us

It was great because EVERYONE in the family- even little Charlie- participated. Which is good since the first puzzle was the most difficult

What a great helper

The first one of Jesus was the most difficult- it was 1000 pieces and the section of stones on the far left didn't have very many distinguishing colors or features and so it was basically trial and error.

Santa was about 500 pieces and the red gradations were a little tough, but a breeze compared to the first

Old Time Bear Lake

Festival of Trees

This random Japanese puzzle of a ship (William has no idea when or where he got it)

And another Jesus one- which was also fairly difficult (I think because they are more abstract expressionist type paintings and backgrounds)

ALL of the 3,ooo puzzle pieces put together

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cards, Cards, Cards

I used to be very into scrapbooking but with the advent of blogs and being able to print your own photo books, I have kind of given up on actually scrapbooking anymore. But, I still have SO MUCH STUFF that I decided that I would use it to make cards. I went on a card making frenzy over the holiday break since the bulk of my materials are still at my parents house (due to space limitations in a 500 sq ft apartment). And as much as I have done, I still have LOTS of materials left so I will probably not need to buy any more cards for the rest of my life (yeah, that is literally how much I have).

more thank-you/note/miscellaneous cards

holiday cards

and even more holiday themed cards

And I consider these cards to be VERY basic- not like some of the elaborate card creations of some of my friends who literally could sell their cards for actual $$$$$- but it has been a fun creative outlet for me and have a purpose for correspondence. Thus, many of you might see some of these cards in the future . . . or some other variation of them :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My parents gave to me


A beautiful nativity for all to see


[Many thanks to my sweet mother-in-law for this very fun and thoughtful series of gifts! We absolutely loved it and appreciate your kindness!]

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eleventh Day of Christmas

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My parents gave to me

One soft furry blanket to cuddle up by our tree
And to think about Jesus that first Christmas morn
Oh how I wish he could have been so warm

Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas
My parents gave to me

A bottle of disinfectant to clean dirt that is seen
And remind me to wipe away evil and keep my mind clean

Ninth Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas
My parents gave to me

A bag of Snickers candy
To remind me of laughter and joy
That while growing up as a little boy
Christ still knew Eternal Life is the ultimate joy

Eighth Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas
My parents gave to me

A shiny bell to hang on my door and ring
To remind me of the joyous sound Christmas bells ring
As they ring each Christmas morn
In remembrance of Jesus Christ our King