|A Yin and Yang Weekend|
I arrived at Fearless yesterday at 6:30 am to film a FFIT@home workout. The cold that took my voice away a few weeks ago has been hanging on so the workout was far more intense for me than usual. It felt good to sweat though. I've been taking it easy the last few weeks to try to kick this cold once and for all.
After the workout, we experienced a full house of students as they helped us film a "commercial" to post on Fearless' website. It is a testament to how cool our students are that they would be willing to come in for a few hours on a Saturday to help us out. Filming wrapped up at around 2:30 pm. I was pretty much couch bound for the rest of the day. In fact, Paul and Dante were just as happy to hang out and watch a few episodes of the 2nd season of Castle along with me.
Today has been a much more relaxing and laid back day. Paul and I spent a chunk of time working on the front door frame project that I mentioned in Thursday's blog post. Our house is over 80 years old. There are so many layers of paint that it is taking us a long time to get through them, even with a hot air gun. It feels good to make progress on this project that has been hanging over me for too long.
Later tonight we will have raviolis for dinner and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Now we just need to decide if we will spend the rest of the evening watching movies or playing cards or a board game. Decisions... decisions.
|The Tosetti Family Home Projects List - 2011|
For the past few months, Paul and I have systematically purged and organized our house and studio attics as well as the shed in the backyard. As we do every year, prior to Christmas and Dante's birthday, we go through all of his clothes and toys and donate what he no longer plays with or needs. We rented a dumpster and cleared rock, debris and other unusables left over from our studio remodel and backyard installation. As with most of our projects, we didn't try to do it all in one weekend. That was a lesson I learned a long time ago. When I try to do too much at once, I become overwhelmed. Instead, we would pick an area or project that we wanted to focus on for an hour or two and together, we would tackle it. As I mentioned above, it did take a few months, but the results are priceless.
Now that the decluttering has been completed, I am looking forward to tackling a handful of projects around the house. Right away I know that I want to:
There are more items on the list, but these are the top three that grab my attention each time I walk past them. This weekend, Paul and I will sit down and create a list of tasks we want to complete within the next two months. Then, we will prioritze them by urgency (i.e. The rain gutter needs to be fixed before it starts raining again) and finally, we will price each task and estimate how much time it will take to do. Then, when we have a few hours on a weekend, we will take a quick look at the list and based on the time and funds we have available, we will pick a project to do.
This Home Projects List is a habit we created after our initial remodel when there was so much to take care of, we were overwhelmed. The list lets us see everything that needed to be taken care of and allowed us to tackle the projects one by one.
|Heading to the North Bay Today|
My good friend Matt Broadway of Edward Jones invited me to speak today at the San Rafael Rotary meeting. I am a big fan of the Rotary and always look forward to working with them. I admit to also being excited about traveling there. It is a beautiful day here in California and the drive over the Golden Gate Bridge should be gorgeous!
|Wheeze, Cough, Hack, Hurray!!!|
The last seven days have culminated into one of the coolest, yet grueling weeks of my life!
As I mentioned, we held a Book Launch Party at Fearless Fitness on Saturday to thank everyone who helped us get the book off the ground. Sixty of our friends and family members joined us as Kevin and I each gave speeches thanking everyone for all of their help, encouragement and support.
My speech was touch and go. I had been sick that entire week and completely lost my voice after the Affordable & Nutritious Grocery Shopping seminar on Wednesday. It wasn’t until about an hour before I was to speak that I decided my voice was strong enough to do it. In fact, I wrote my speech out for either Kevin or Paul to give on my behalf in case I couldn’t talk.
After our speeches, we signed books and enjoyed visiting with everyone. My wonderful friends, Chef Mark Parker, Chef Jennifer Whitmire-Parker and their son Sam catered the event. The food was delicious, but their smores cookies stole the show! If you have read Living the Savvy Life, their names may sound familiar as they contributed a great piece on what you do and don’t need in your kitchen for the Food chapter of the book.
Although Saturday was a blast, it was a long day! I started working on the party at 7am and we ended up getting home after 7:30 pm that night.
The following day, Paul, Dante, Kevin, Coach Erika and I piled into cars and headed to the Barnes & Noble in Merced for our first book signing.
You may wonder why I chose a bookstore that is 140 miles from my house to launch our book. Well, about 20 years ago I spent two fantastic years working at Waldenbooks in Fresno. During that time, I made lifelong friends and that experience greatly enriched my life.
I had heard that Vicky, my manager at Waldenbooks was now the manager at the Barnes & Noble in Merced. I called her up, told her about the book and asked her if I could do a signing at her store. I think she would have said yes anyway, but I sweetened the deal when I told her about all of the family that I have in Merced and that I was sure I could get a decent crowd.
Here is one of the coolest parts of the story. When we walked into the bookstore on Sunday, I was blown away to be greeted by three of my dearest friends from my Waldenbook days. In fact, Gina and Russ drove all the way from San Francisco (even farther than our drive) for the event. Over the next three hours, there was steady flow of old friends from high school and family members that joined us for the signing!
An article in the Merced Sun Star brought in even more book buyers. In all, we sold 46 copies of Living the Savvy Life and I had one of the most enjoyable days of my life – so far!
Unfortunately, the long weekend took its toll and I spent Monday and Tuesday a walking zombie. I didn’t trust myself to recap the weekend intelligently… or even legibly, so I decided to wait until I was feeling better to write about the weekend.
I am much better now and think I’ll be 100% by Saturday – just in time for the Living the Savvy Life Seminar. It’s going to be another great weekend!
* From book seller to author! Me and my former manager, Vicky.
|Book Launch Party|
Yesterday's book launch party was - AWESOME! It was such a blast for me to be able to thank all of the people who played a role in getting Living the Savvy Life off the ground.
I will write much more about the party tomorrow. Right now we are getting to ready to head to the Barnes and Noble in Merced for a book signing. If you are in the area, please come by, say hi and if you would like, buy a book.
|Gymnastics and Groceries|
For the last few months, Dante has been taking the kid's class at Fearless Fitness one day a week. He does pretty good for a four year old who is in a class taught by both his parents. Paul and I talked about it and decided to sign him up at the Redwood City Community Center for a children's gymnastics class. The first class starts today. They place a maximum of six kids in each 45 minute class. Paul and I are glad for the ceiling on headcount. Back at our old martial arts school, there were days when 30 kids would be in class with just two instructors. When it comes to kids as young as Dante, it's very difficult to teach and to learn in 1:15 environment. This particular class runs six weeks long. It will give Dante a taste for gymnastics. If he really likes it, we will sign him up again. The class is $70 for the six weeks because we are residents of Redwood City, otherwise it would be $90. It is a worthy investment for branching out Dante's physical and mental horizons - most importantly, we hope he has fun!
After Dante's class, I'll be heading over to meet Coach Erika at Safeway in Foster City for our 2:00 pm Affordable & Nutritious Grocery Shopping seminar. We are both so excited about this event. We are also grateful to Safeway for allowing us to do the seminar in their store. We believe the process of taking the attendees down each aisle and pointing out the various ways to save on nutritious food will be incredibly beneficial.
|1-11-11 – A Good Day to Launch a Book|
Although we have had promotional copies of Living the Savvy Life for several months, it wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I really felt like an author. I like this feeling!
During the week between Christmas and New Years I decided to read Living the Savvy Life in book form which is very, very different than reading it on 8 ½ x 11 pages. I felt a little dorky reading my own book at first, but after a few pages, I got over myself. I am very proud of the final product.
Although I love what we do at TheSavvyLife.com, I have long felt that the core of The Savvy lifestyle was lost among the volumes of information. With the publication of Living the Savvy Life, I believe we have created the playbook for savvy living. Step by step the book:
This Saturday we are having book launch party with our family and close friends to thank them for helping us along our publishing path. Right now, I would like to thank all of you, TheSavvyLife.com readers who inspired us to write Living the Savvy Life. We are grateful for your continuous support and hope you find the book instrumental in helping you craft the life you want to live. As posted in the final paragraph of the Introduction of the book:
What do we want you to get out of this book? We want you to gain control of your finances, focus your spending on what you truly want and enjoy your life to the fullest! We want you to stop worrying about your credit card bills or how you are going to make it to the next paycheck. Life is a wonderful adventure, regardless of how much money you are making. Together we can create a plan to finance it properly.
|Baked Broccoli - A New Tosetti Favorite|
Although I'm home sick tonight, I'm enjoying having Dante to myself. We are watching Monsters vs. Aliens - a favorite of ours and not just because it pokes fun of Fresno, my hometown.
I wanted to cook something really healthy for us tonight, but I'm tired of my usual steamed broccoli. I found this recipe on AllRecipes.com: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Baked-Broccoli/Detail.aspx. I loved it! Although it has a bit of a kick (it has cayenne pepper), Dante really liked it too.
I tweaked it by reducing the brown sugar to just one teaspoon and also added a carrot. If you are looking for a new side dish, give this one a try!
|A Successful 4th Birthday Celebration|
I'm not sure who had more fun at Dante's birthday party - Dante or his guests. At one time or another, just about everyone played a game with him or participated in a Lego build. It really was an action packed, fun filled day. Our mission (as with anyone’s birthday) was to make him feel special and I think we accomplished it.
We did come up with one more drawback to having a winter birthday - pinatas! We ended up having to do it in the house.
* That’s me in the background trying very hard to protect the TV.
|Happy Birthday Dante!|
As most people who have a December or early January birthday know, it's a bummer. With so much focus on the holidays, birthdays tend to get lost in the shuffle.
Today is Dante's 4th birthday and we are making it a very special day for him. We have invited family and a few close friends over to help us celebrate. We have a pinata ready to go. Also, Dante chose a handful of his favorite games that we will play during the party including Gator Golf and Paul's favorite - Elefun.
We spent yesterday cooking for the party. Paul made his dad's famous meatballs for meatball sandwiches. I made a simple macaroni salad and a Red Velvet Cake.
Compared to many birthday parties, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area, ours is a homemade event and I like that. As Dante gets older, we have plans to take him on birthday adventures with his friends, but for now we are enjoying having a much more intimate get-together for him. Dante is the type of kid that could have fun in a paper bag. Whether throwing him a huge party or a small, close-knit one, it's just in his nature to have a good time.
Paul and I are very aware of just how lucky we are to have such a sweet, wonderful, happy little boy in our lives!