Tag Archives: San Jose

Vegas. SJ. Palm Desert.

31 Jan


Just because my journal has ended doesn’t mean my blogging has to stop. I am going to continue to recap the things I am most grateful for each month. It makes me happy sharing my life.

January was a whirlwind. This month I found gratitude in:

  • Peyton’s 5th Birthday.
  • A successful work trip for CES.
  • A second successful work trip in Palm Desert.
  • Time reconnecting with dear friends.

Looking forward to some wellness in February. I am doing a yoga challenge and focusing on eating clean. My body is craving it after Italy and the holidays. Namaste! Thank you for stopping by.
























Not So June Gloom

20 Jun

39f986e088a7f31af9b7b419b221a7caThe last time I blogged was over a month ago. A thousand apologies for the lag time in writing. I have been in a fluttery tornado of fun fun fun and I haven’t had time to write. As I flipped through my journal as I always do before I write (to jog my memory) I felt a little overwhelmed. So much has happened over the last month its kind of nuts. I am going to touch on the happiest moments. I will begin highlighting them for your reading pleasure in 5…4…3…2…1



Santa Barbara is where the craziness started.

We had a quick visit in Santa Maria with my G&G Q that included golf, too much red wine, Panda Express, American Idol, and a dash of Fox News. There is something so special about my Grandparents house. Its like a time capsule that never changes and it makes my heart happy to just sit at the kitchen table. As you all know from my previous blog, Mike and I are not married. It is a known fact that when you stay at G&G Q’s you will be staying in the guest room with two twin beds. The famous line once told to my Step Brother by my Grandma when he was having a girlfriend stay the night in the very same room was, “There are no bridges between these beds”. As she watched us bring in our suitcases and let us know what room we would be staying in I repeated that line to her. She laughed. It made my day. I was sad to have such a short visit with my Grandparents. I need to visit them more often. I really do. They are the BEST.




After the Santa Maria Fun we headed to back down the 101 to start the 60th Birthday celebration for Diamond Dee. Dee knows how to celebrate. We felt like we were at a wedding. The three day celebration was coordinated by Santa Barbara’s True Blue Events. There we so many beautiful touches that screamed Dee in every way. Dee surrounds herself with the best people. All of her close friends pitched in and helped. It was impressive to witness. I just love spending time with Dee and her entire family. It was such a fun weekend and it was so great to be back in Santa Barbara. Mike really struck the lottery when he became Long Time Forever Friends with Marco Pollo (Dee is his Mom). Not only is he the coolest but its totally clear why…his family is too. I’ve seen via a few recent Facebook posts from Dee’s husband that she was on day thirty three of her birthday celebrations. That is AHHMAZING! She keeps the celebrations going long and strong. I want to be Dee when I grow up. There were so many fun memories made on this trip but I think my favorite was with Marco and his super cool lady friend, Sadie. We all were face down in Gelato on Sunday night laughing hysterically about how we all had grand plans to exercise each day while we were in SB. How many times did we work out?…a big fat ZERO. We were going to hike. We decided to skip that and go to the Polo Fields instead. As we smashed Gelato and laughed till we cried I thought to myself that this is the GOOD STUFF. This is what life is all about. Fun with the very best of friends.




Side Bar: My previous blog entry was in celebration of some very BIG BIG NEWS! While we were in SBeezie I got a text from by Bestie, Smalls. It was a picture of her holding up her had with the caption “So, this just happened”. I screamed so loud I totally freaked Mike out. I called her instantly to get all the dets!

We got back from our trip the same day that Pedro & Smalls were flying in from Chicago. We were overjoyed to pick them up from the airport to shower them with love. I just adore them as a couple so much. They really compliment each other in the best way.

Smalls is so special that I have come out of bridesmaid retirement to stand by her side on her special day. Love is the best thing on Earth.




SAN HO (YOOOOU KNOW) is where the craziness continues.

After the Santa Barbara road trip we headed back to San Diego for a three day work week. Then we hopped on a plane to San Jose to spend time with my familia. Peyton was the local celebrity I was eager to spend as much time with as possible. He really is the sweetest baby on earth. I couldn’t believe how much he has grown. He has tripled in size since he was born. Its crazy! Uncle Mike was excited to formally introduce himself. As expected, they got along smashingly. It was great to watch my GG Sue bond with Peyton. She traveled such a long way to meet him face to face. The number one thing we do when my family gets together is laugh. Jokes & Jokes & Jokes and non stop belly laughs. A little family drama happened. But I like to think we put the “fun” in dys-fun-ction. I have a Southwest airline gift card that is burning a hole in my pocket. I may need to book another trip home soon. Time with family is the one major thing Mike and I know we are missing out on by living so far away. As I cried in at the airport gate Mike had to talk me off the ledge. Auntie Erin does not like to leave Peyton behind. Tissues are a must.




Sandy-Egg-O with YAAAAAAAY-YO!

Hurricane Yazzolino (Mike’s other Santa Barbara Bestie, Joey) picked Mike and I up from the airport on Monday evening. He was in San Diego for a wedding and needed a crash pad. We happily offered up our Tree House. Joey is such a solid individual. I always enjoy time with him. We had a “date night” at Petco Park watching the Padres play the Seattle Mariners. We rocked our Giants gear of course. His special lady, Natalie, flew in for some San Diego fun as well. If there was a theme for the night it would have been GAMES! GAMES! AND MORE GAMES! We played bocce, pool, and buck hunter all in the same night. I have never played so many games in my life. I stayed up way past my bed time on work nights but it was 100% worth it. I told Joey that when I look back on my life I will never say that I wish I had got more sleep. I will wish I spent more time with my dear friends!






CHAR, Work Perks, & I’m on a Boat

After Joey and Nats left I took sometime to recharge my batteries. Not for long though because things got busy once again. The love of my life, Sir Charles the True Gentleman Dog, came to stay at The Tree House for a four day stretch (his longest yet). I was so excited I felt like it was Christmas. I just love that little dog so much. When my girlfriend asked if we could watch him I jumped for joy. As always he was a perfect gentleman. It was a pleasure to shower him with my affection for such a long stretch.

Work got a little crazy but in a good way. I am a co-chair on gap intelligence’s charity committee, The 3Ts. gap intelligence won first place in the Small Business category at the San Diego Business Journal’s Heilbron Awards for our charity work. It was awesome to be recognized for all we do giving back. I felt super proud when they announced our name. The day after the Heilbron awards, I was a co-MC at our in house annual conference, gapCon. gapCon is always a fun day but the real fun started at the new Stone Brewery World Bistro and Gardens afterward. If you are in the San Diego area you definitely don’t want to miss out on checking out Stone. Its SAAAAAAAAWEEEEET! Patio galore and such a sic vibe.





The day after gapCon was a day to celebrate for it was my dear friend’s Birthday! Pedro decided that he wanted to toast his 26 years of awesomeness in style on a boat. Its really funny how they seem to just rent a boat to anyone. There are no qualifications that need to be met other than money. I took Charlie the Dog on the boat because Charlie loves a good party. Smalls was the boat captain for the day. She may have started out timid but she got the hang of it pretty fast. Smalls even earned a new nick name, “B.G. Smalls”, which stands for Bond Girl Smalls. We had so much fun puttering around the bay. I took a million pictures of the Coronado bridge. We capped off a perfect night with cheese cake and sparklers on the roof top of their apartment building overlooking the city while singing the Birthday Song to the Birthday Boy. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Side Bar: This very same weekend I had not one but TWO more close girlfriends get engaged! Love is in the air. Congrats to Tini & Paul! Congrats to Bridge & Steve as well! Such wonderful news. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and love all around!



Things to Come

I have a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks. Tonight I am headed to Pigment in North Park for their grand re-opening party. Pigment is hands down my favorite store. They just moved a few doors down to an even bigger and more BEAUTIFUL location. This event must be toasted! Can’t wait. Friday I will be celebrating my dear friend KTCO’s Dirty 30 Birthday and the Summer Solstice on the Patio at Buona Forchetta in South Park. Saturday I am going to a party in honor of my friends successful product launch of Java Tea. Sunday I will be going to dinner with Smalls and Pedro to cap off a super fun weekend. Its going to be a busy one but tons of fun fun fun.


I am in the middle of a very heavy birthday season in my life. My boyfriend, Step Dad, Brother, Niece, and two girlfriends all have their Birthdays marked on my calendar over the next couple of weeks. I’m stretching my budget to make sure everyone feels the Birthday love. I love Birthdays so I think its important to make those I care about feel extra special. Birthdays are a big deal.

Mike and I will be spending the 4th of July in Lake Tahoe at a Boat In Campground. Mike’s fam bam are master campers. I have never been to Lake Tahoe for the 4th but I hear there is nothing quite like it. I can’t wait for fireworks! Our niece turns 1 years old on July 5th. I’m so excited for more family time and to soak up the beauty of the outdoors.


Way Waaaaaaaay Ahead

My Brother, Seeeeester, & Peyton booked tickets to come to San Diego over Labor Day weekend. I am sooooooooooooooo excited I could jump up and down like a crazy person. I told Peyton when he was a new born that I would take him to the Zoo. Looks like that promise will be coming true. Auntie Erin loves Peyton and can’t wait for him to visit The Tree House!

Blog done! Boom! Stay happy my friends! Thank you for reading!




I Left My Heart in Santa Barbara

16 May

This blog is going to make you happy.

Stop whatever you are doing right now and read it.


I’m taking a long weekend to spend time with the love of my life in my favorite city, Santa Barbara.  The car is packed.  We are ready to start our journey up the 5.  Before I begin on our adventure though I feel like an official blog about Vogel’s Happiness Project is long overdue since my journal is bursting!

My journal has proven to single handedly pull me out of low spirits time and time again.  No matter how low I am feeling, I can always find a happy moment in my day.  There is always something to be appreciative of.  Here are my top ten…



The Earth Day Fair at Balboa Park was a day full of non-stop smiles.  Smalls and I have an ongoing joke whenever we are taking full advantage of the amazing city we live that the activity we are enjoying warrants an “SDFYEAH”.  If there was a meter on our day, it would have been off the charts.  We started the day by biking to the Hillcrest Farmers Market.  We enjoyed a little Giant’s baseball in the afternoon.  We then joined in on Earth Day fun at Balboa Park.  We closed the evening off with a BBQ at The Tree House.  Totally SDFYEAH all the way!  There were many amazing pictures capturing the all fun but the one of us sitting on The Tree House kitchen counter is my fave without a doubt.



My Birthday was fabulous.  My friends and family sure know how to make a gal feel special on the anniversary of the day she was born. We toasted my thirty-one-derful-ness with two nights of Giants games. My name even flashed upon the right field screen at Petco Park.  Having company season tickets really does have its perks.  Even though the Giants got swept by the Padres I still had a great time.  Also, as I have said before, they always lose on my Birthday.  I’m fine with it…as long as they win it all at the end of the year.  GIGANTES!  Thank you to Smalls, Pedro, Bets, Brigid, Aaric, Chow, and Jez (& Mike too) for making the birthday baseball fun muy fantastico!




Mike and I have made a point recently to make how we spend our time together count.  We can get a bit lazy sometimes (we have been dating for a very long time now).  We both love to explore San Diego.  When we get out and try new things we find a special zest for life together.  My favorite date night recently involved a bike ride through Balboa Park during Sunset.  We ended the night chatting next to the fountain.  It was just a really nice night with my guy.

When we were moving to San Diego I was not familiar with any of the neighborhoods Mike was pushing us to call our home.  I even inquired about how parking would be living next to a popular tourist attraction.  I’m glad he took the bull by the horns and pushed me to live where we do.  It’s allowed us to make so many magical memories.





The weekend following my birthday turned into a super fun time.  My girlfriend, Chow, came to SD from Orange County for some fun in the sun.  Even though it wasn’t sunny while she was here we still had a great visit.  I genuinely enjoyed catching up with her.  She moved out of the country for two years for work and it was so weird having her away.  Now that she is back, I feel as if she never left.  I took her to my favorite bar in University Heights, Small Bar.  Girl time is good for the soul.

My journal also highlighted back to back nights of fun with the Hickerson Brothers the same weekend.  I had the pleasure of Aaric’s company for Cinco de Mayo.  We dined on very American fajita’s to celebrate the very American holiday (GASP! Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico).  The following evening, Aaron alerted me to the fact that tickets I had to the Aziz Ansari Buried Alive comedy show were in fact not on Wednesday as my brain thought for some reason.  I’m so grateful he texted me asking us to go to dinner on Monday night.  I would have felt really dumb come Wednesday all dressed up with nowhere to go.  Aziz Ansari is HILARIOIUS.  I laughed until I cried and almost fell out of my chair several times.  You know that laugh where you are laughing so hard there is no sound?  That was so me.




It is known that I am an incredibly passionate individual.  It is a blessing and a curse at the same time.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  It takes a lot to get me to a place of anger though.  I really have to be pushed.  When I snap it isn’t pretty.  A major issue happened at work that made me see red.  I was not happy and I made it known.  Thankfully, I work at a company that values culture above all.  The wrong has been more than corrected and all is right in the land of gap again.  I’m so grateful to work at a company that cares so much and values its employee’s opinions.  I’m back on the Kool-Aid and it’s just as delicious as ever.  Culture first and culture always.  Being accountable for a mistake is something to admire and applaud.  Snaps to gap for being gap-tastic!




A large part of the reason I love my job so much is because of the people I have the pleasure of working with each day.  I spend more time at work during any given week than anywhere else.  I feel blessed that I call my coworkers friends.  They are a remarkably fun group.  I made a point to support my coworker/friend/blogger inspiration, Betsylife, at her bake sale in support of No Kid Hungry.  We stocked up on all sorts of yummy treats including her famous Somoa Bundt Cake.

Last Friday evening, the ladies of gap decided it was time for a night out on the town at Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla for a movie.  We enjoyed Baz Luhrmann’s the Great Gatsby in 3D.  It was a so good.  I loved it!  If only my girlfriend did not wake up with pink eye from the 3D glasses the next day, it would have been a perfect night out (not to worry, she has fully recovered).




Despite my RDdetox concluding I’m proud to say that I have still been hitting the gym hard.  I have allowed myself to be a bit more relaxed on my diet.  However, I have not fallen back into the habit of more is more.  It makes me so happy to feel my jeans getting roomier.  I’m committed to making healthy choices.  I’m proud of myself for not dropping the ball.  It’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.  With the weather warming up in San Diego I’m excited to put on my bikini and soak up some sunshine.  I’ve already been getting vitamin D while enjoying the view at beautiful Bird Park.  I live for San Diego summers.  San Diego is paradise.




This Mother’s Day I felt very appreciative of the amazing women that have shaped me and made me.  Not everyone is super close with their Mom.  I call my Mom my best friend.  Many friends of mine definitely do not have a good relationship with their Step Mom.  I have a great relationship with mine.  It was easy showering both my Mom and Cyn with praise and love on Mother’s Day because each of them fully deserve it.



I wrote a blog last week to honor my best friend, Sarah Hurth.  This blog had four times as many views as I am used to.  This made me happy beyond belief.  Sarah always loved to be the center of attention; she lite up like a Christmas tree when the focus was on her.  It’s fitting on her “angel-versary” for her to be celebrated in the blogosphere and it touched me deeply that so many people took the time to read.  It brought me great happiness to hear that her family appreciated the blog so much.  It especially made me happy that Sarah’s Sister, Jenny, loved the blog.  Jenny misses her sister every moment of everyday because not only is she an only child now but her son and daughter will never get to have Sarah as an Auntie in their lives.  She would have loved them beyond words.  A moment of peace in a heart full of heartache is all we are granted sometimes.  My blog being able to give a bit of joy on a day so sad made my heart smile.




Mike and I have two super duper fantastic trips planned over the next two weeks.  We are going to begin our fun in Santa Maria with my Grandparents.  Mike and my Grandpa are going to get into lots of trouble golfing.  I’m going to enjoy some long overdue quality time with my Grandma Q.

After a quick trip to Santa Maria we will be off to Santa Barbara to toast 60 years of awesomeness with Diamond Dee.  Mike’s best friend from college, Marco Polo, is a very rare breed because he is actually from Santa Barbara.  We became super close with Marco’s family after an exceptionally fun Easter Sunday dinner many moons ago.  Marco’s Mom, Diamond Dee, is turning 60 and she has planned a series of celebrations to toast this milestone.  I’m so excited to spend time with her.  When we met we instantly clicked.  I just adore her (Happy Birthday, Dee)!

Sidebar…I’m so excited to spend time with Mike in Santa Barbara.  Going back to where it all began is just so fun.  We have so many fun memories there.  I’m looking forward to sneaking in time at a few of our old haunts.  It’s a just a great city to fall in love.  We are so lucky that our romance started in such a beautiful place.


Memorial Day weekend will be spent in San Jose with a very special guest of honor.  My Grandma V. made the four day journey by train from Missouri to San Jose to meet her Great Grandson, Master Peyton.  I figure if she can make the four day journey, Mike and I can make the hour and ten minute plane ride.  I’m looking forward to seeing her interact with Peyton.  It will be something to cherish.  Of course I am super duper over the top EXCITED to see Peyton.  I am obsessed with him so any time with his handsome lil’ face will be time well spent.  It will also be Mike’s first time meeting Peyton face to face.  I apologize in advanced for the pics.  Expect one or two or twenty.


Top ten done!  BOOM!  I have one last thing to share with you.  It’s something simple but awesome.  Next time you see a rose, stop and literally smell it.  It sounds silly but it’s an instant mood booster.  My office roomie brought me roses from her garden and the intoxicating smell made me happy all week.  Now, every time I pass a rose bush I take a moment to breathe it in.  You should do it too.  I swear, it’s a game changer.


Hope you all are finding happiness in your life.

Take a moment.  Pause.  Reflect.  Be Happy.

Thank you for reading.