Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stats and Blogs

Thanks to Josh Griffin's suggestion, I registered this blog with Google Analytics so I could see a little more about the readers. It actually tells me how many page views I have had each day/week/month and WHERE the readers ARE, as well as a whole lot of other information!

In January 2007, there were 2,535 page views to this blog!
These page views came from
81 different domains
53 cities across California
28 States in the US
21 different countries
(including India, Estonia, Kenya and United Arab Emirates!)

The only thing Google Analytics doesn't tell me is...
Who are you? Thank you and please keep coming!

Heather Locklear

I just finished reading an article about Heather Locklear in this month's issue of SHAPE magazine. I was surprised to find out that Heather Locklear is TWO YEARS older than I am! All I can say is, I hope I look just like her when I am her age...she is absolutely stunning.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I have to get Tivo

On February 11th, The Police will be reuniting--for the first time in 22 years!--to perform on the Grammy work anniversary party is that same evening.
It's time.

Sunflowers in Brugge

No regrets.

Zac and I had a really good conversation the other night. At one point, he asked me if I had any regrets...I told him that being his mom, and Allison's mom, is the absolute greatest thing that had ever happened in my life. That I enjoyed each and every second of the last many many years of being room mom, team mom, carpooling, cooking 3 different dinners, helping with homework, catching him as he learned to pitch in our back yard, watching every Christmas program, violin concert, class play, learning to play nintendo, driving them to two different schools for years and years and years and even teaching them to drive. LOVED having the house FULL of all of their friends. Allison and Zac BOTH have REALLY great, out-loud laughs! I truly love hearing their laughter.
I told Zac that I delighted in every bit of this last quarter century.
And, short story, I sincerely have no regrets. My kids are the best thing that ever could have happened to me. As much as I loved being their mom when they were little, it's even better now! They are GREAT adults! Funny, happy, intelligent, productive, successful, Jesus-loving people. (And now I get to hang out with Matt Jensen too!)
...regrets? No way.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Using the self-timer

Alanna, Annie and I had such a great afternoon together. I cooked up a little lunch, poured a few beverages and they provided wonderful conversation which lasted into the evening.
Of course, before they left I invited them to join me (and Michael Buble) for a little dancing in the kitchen...
And then a few attempts at the self timer.

The Office

I finally watched The Office. Season one last night, watching season two right now. Absolutely hilarious.
Allison, you are right. SO dang funny.

What the Deuce are you looking at?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Things that are underrated

*a good steak knife *honesty *the comics page *Vin Scully *flannel *ice cream sandwiches *a hand written note *public schools *holding hands *an Amazon box at the front door *a super large and absorbent bath towel *silence *fireworks night at the baseball game *living alone *a good bed *"The Reason" by Hoobastank *being a Cal State Fullerton Graduate *a great belch *spicy tuna rolls *living close to your family *a hot bath *a cold beer *rainy days *apologies *Fight Club *sleeping through the night *peanut butter M&Ms *not having to make the bed *soy nut butter & blueberry jam on cinnamon bread *a good barbecue *Trader Joe's *automatic deposit *staying in all day *Chris Farly *frozen bananas *a day at the Orange County fair

Friday, January 26, 2007

If I were a cartoon...

Apparently, this is what I would look like...and I would be at a baseball game, with a beer in one hand and a mitt on the other...lucky cartoon.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Grandpa

They put my Grandpa into a hospice care facility last night. He is 92 years old and he says that he is "ready to go"...but somehow, that doesn't make it any easier.

We were so high-tech!

I honestly remember playing this for hours with my sisters...

And then THIS came along...
We were sooo good at it...

And then...we freakin' loved Ms. Pacman!

I think this was about the time that we got "ON TV". Anyone else remember that? If you wanted to add MTV, you called up and said, "I want my MTV!"
The good old days.
Actually, I like these much better.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Good thinking!

I read this book several years ago while on the Children's Staff at Saddleback Church. Together our team read one book each month, usually on the topics of leadership and innovative thinking. Obviously, the ministry is phenomenal--the result of GREAT leadership and an amazing amount of creative thinking!
THIS book was always one of my favorites and I decided to re-read it this week. It's the ultimate "how to" book for creative thinking, which is basically just discovering new ways to look at old things! Your job, your church, your home, your life! "Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different."
Whether you are running an organization, a ministry, a household, or just living life!--there are times when we NEED to be creative and generate new ways to accomplish our objectives. Most of us strive to be more productive, resourceful and imaginative and this book is an AMAZING jump start to that goal. It will whack you with inspiration and excitement for what CAN be.
You may also want to pick up the sequel to this book: "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants"

Lucille's Restaurant

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." Luciano Pavorotti

We took this advice and devoted our attention to some incredible eating tonight. Allison, Matt and my mom and dad met me at the brand new Lucille's restaurant in Lake Forest and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!
Fantastic menu, giant portions, and incredibly unique flavors!
I think one of life's greatest pleasures is getting together for dinner with wonderful people who really enjoy good food! Yep, it doesn't get much better!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Another good movie. I know. Hey, I tried to resist another romance...but I can't help it...I just love love. Keeps me hopeful.
Plus this one has a great soundtrack, including, of course, the Cure song of the same title.

Things I AM afraid of

learning to do my own taxes
hitch hikers
The Shining
baseball strikes
kids running around saying redrum
gaining weight
checking my bank account balance
losing internet access
becoming someone who blogs all day

Monday, January 22, 2007

Things I am not afraid of

unexpected pregnancy
getting a tattoo
the future
the dark
public speaking
living alone
becoming materialistic
my biological clock
running out of things to blog about

RIP Diedrichs

When you look carefully, you realize what it really says:
"Starbucks Died rich"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's official--I have everything.

Every Sunday morning I spend a couple of hours "reading the paper." OK-let me confess something: unless it is baseball season, which is the only time I read the Sports section, "reading the paper" on Sunday morning consists of skimming the new books section, glancing at the movie times and then DEVOURING the advertisements. And each week, I save the best part--the heart of the Sunday paper--for last: The Target Ad.
Only today, as I read through all of the ads, I had this strange NEW enlightenment: I own everything I need. Every thing I want too. I need nothing! From the Lamps Plus Ad to the Best Buy Ad and even the Payless Shoes Ad--I don't need one thing. And, as I reached for the heart, and page by page scanned the Target Ad, I came to this simple conclusion--I have it all.
Everything that is on sale this week, everything they want to sell me...I already have or don't need. I have enough work out clothes, bras, and underwear. I have a DVD player, color printer and an IPod. I have a toaster, coffee maker and microwave. Plenty of towels, sheets and a good vacuum. Don't need a baby stroller or diaper genie (thank God!) And CERTAINLY do not need any Doritos, Snickers Bars or Dove Chocolates...
I am good! I am fine! I am blessed! I know that I have everything in the world that I could possibly want or ever need...
So, why is it then that if I went to Target right now...I would spend $200???

Friday, January 19, 2007

Here to stay

In fact, I have never lived further than 10 miles from where I am sitting right now.
Why would I?

The Illusionist


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dr. Mario

I am on the lookout for a Nintendo 64 (or maybe Super Nintendo) system and an old Dr. Mario game! I mastered Dr. Mario and completed all 21 levels several years back...I think it was when I needed something to do while waiting for teenagers to get home!
Allison and I used to play til all hours of the night. (We even made up a song to sing with the background music!) Zac would play with me too, but only out of sympathy...he hated the game. I think I beat just about every kid who came into our home and could be convinced to play with me. I would even play on more difficult levels and STILL beat everyone. Until one night when Allison's friend, Chris Glinsky OFFERED to play with me. I should have known. He knew defensive strategies for Dr. Mario that I had only dreamed of...I was stripped of my crown...and I am still in awe.
Any other Dr. Mario fans out there? I am ready to play again.

Julie & Julianna

This is my friend, Julianna with me at Salt Creek Grill tonight. She was my co-Event Concierge at Montage until last year when she moved to North Carolina to be with the love of her life. Julianna was in town tonight for a quick visit with the Montage gang, and to pick up her wedding dress...Julianna and Theo are getting married in May. Congratulations!
Julianna's first words to me tonight were, "I love your blog and I read it every day!"
I knew I loved her.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dinner and a movie

A most enjoyable night beginning with dinner at Pei Wei (pronounced PAY WAY and DELICIOUS) with two of my most favorite people in the whole world, Allison and Matt. AND, they brought a new friend along with them, sweet Elizabeth from did not take long for me to understand why Allison loves her so much...

When I got home, I watched, "Must Love Dogs"...I know, I know...I don't love dogs. But I loved the movie. Yep, kinda hit home, I even cried a bit (shocker). But I was encouraged and uplifted...and, I don't know that I must, but I liked the dogs. OK, the ending is beyond predictable and even kinda corny
...but I really like 'happily ever afters' these days.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Went in to buy some cold medicine

...and decided to buy myself some roses too.

Happy Birthday Heidi!

This past Sunday a bunch of us went to The Bluewater Grill down on Lido Isle for Heidi's birthday brunch! For the first five months I was at Montage, I actually worked as Heidi's assistant...I must say, it is much more fun to just be her friend instead.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let's do lunch!

I was at Claim Jumper today for an incredible lunch with some of my very favorite people...all very good old friends, the best kind...
Thankfully, we all love food as much as we love each other...we had planned for several weeks to get together and have dessert!
Ok, so we had TWO of them! Aren't they gorgeous??
Thanks was a pleasure! Let's do it again soon!!

The Heath bar cookie fudge sundae The long anticipated Chocolate Chip Calzone

Beautiful Courtney
Brian and Brent

Before Sunset

My friend left a DVD on the porch for me. She emailed me this afternoon saying that it reminded her of me and that I should watch it as soon as I could. I put it on, no idea what to expect. What a very special treat it was.
"Before Sunset" written by and starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Imagination required,ok? --They enjoyed a brief romance several years they've met again, and there's so much they remember and so much they want to tell each other. Despite the fact that he is married and she has an out of town lover, they share that they never forgot the other and how deeply and profoundly they still love and care for one another. Though they had only known each other for a short time in the past, it seems that they've been dreaming of each other all these years, and now fate has brought them back together, if only for a brief conversation, before sunset. They do not kiss, they only talk, and sing, and gaze. It has one of those ambiguous endings, (like life?) so you're not really sure how it "ends". It is simple yet deep and their conversation is brilliant, lovely and amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I was indeed, reminded of the absolute "hopeless yet hopeful" romantic that I really am. Of course, maybe it just reminded my friend of me because of it's filmed entirely on the beautiful streets and rivers of Paris...
When you have a chance, please watch this movie, and then, if you can, let me know how it ends.

And here I had planned to blog about the "all-you-can-eat hot dog bleachers" at Dodger Stadium...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The sausage king of Chicago

I just finished watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off...yes, I have seen it at least 10 times, and it still made me laugh out loud tonight...
"Never had one lesson", "Do you have a kiss for daddy?", "Speaka Da English??"
The "Bueller...Bueller..." edition is available at Target for $9.99.
It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Really good music...

I watched "The Wedding Date" a few nights ago and though the movie is highly forgettable, the song at the end is what I have been thinking about and singing all week. It was a gorgeous version of "Save the Last Dance for Me" and the VOICE was just so smooth and beautiful, I knew I had to get it for my Ipod.
So tonight, I got on Itunes and found out that the stunning voice belongs to Michael Buble...and, not only does he sing the song from the movie, he has two albums full of silky smooth, jazzy songs as well as alluring renditions of some of my absolute all time favorites...
His albums include Stevie Wonder's "You and I", George Michael's "Kissing a Fool", and, a beautiful version of Ray Charles' "You don't know me", which I think might be my favorite song ever...
Micheal Buble's extraordinary voice is similar in style to Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, but honestly, even smoother and sexier...
These are the kind of songs that have me dancing in my living room...and kitchen ...actually, I have been singing and dancing around my house with Mr. Buble all afternoon...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Quick Questions

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Finishing my college degree. It took 17 years.
What is your greatest regret?
Probably the giant tattoo.
What is your greatest dream?
That I would not have to constantly watch my weight.
What is your greatest fear?
That true love will elude me.
What is your dream vacation destination?
Cooperstown...with stops at as many baseball stadiums as possible.
What is your greatest secret?
That I am much more of a girl than I let on.
One of life's greatest pleasures is...
My magnificent featherbed.

Five reasons why last night was our last date

1. You showed up empty handed.
2. You were wearing a gold necklace.
3. You left the toilet seat up in my bathroom.
4. You stopped my story and said, "Wait, who's Willie Mays?"
5. You were wearing a gold necklace.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My favorite co-workers!

Speaking of pictures, I love this picture of Laura and Michael and I taken at our Banquet Team Christmas Party last month. Laura and Michael are my two favorite co-workers and they are also two of my closest friends...
Micheal is my co-Event Concierge and is brilliant to work with. He is a master at movie and TV trivia and he also KNOWS and LOVES baseball, which makes him the absolute best work partner I have ever had!
I love Laura because, for some reason, she thinks I am hilarious. I can make her laugh til she starts snorting, which then makes everyone laugh. For the last year or so, Laura, our banquet captain, has been my pseudo counselor as well as my genuine friend.
Laura was kinda doing a Marilyn Monroe thing that night.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Get the picture?

I don't think there's been a day in my life that I didn't have a camera with me. Up until six days ago that is, when my camera was knocked from my hand and broken on heart following right behind. It's been a long six days...
I received my first camera, a Kodak Pocket Instamatic, with its 110 film and flashcubes, as a gift on my 10th birthday. I INSTANTLY became hooked on the incredible power of photographs.
People love pictures of themselves more than they will every admit. I think we all LOVE our ability to capture moments in life that we know will not last. Pictures help us to remember the good stuff in life and give us stories to tell for years and years. Pictures prove that we have LIVED.
I have a trunk full of pictures from high school and literally thousands of pictures of times with my children. There are pictures of all the special (and even the not so special) moments and events of our lives. I look through these pictures all the time!
I have nearly 100 framed pictures of my friends and family on one of the walls of my home. THESE are the people who I love and who love me.
They remind me of what makes life worth living...these people ARE my life!
Pictures remind us of this truth and cameras take these pictures.
If you know me, then there is a good chance that I have a picture of us together. And no one ever takes a picture of something that they want to forget. That's why I had to go buy a new camera last night.
I have so much that I want to remember.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thanks Google!

If you Google "Julie Hibbard", 153,000 results come up.
Tonight, I am the first one on the list.
Hmm...who are all those other Julie Hibbards??

Thirty years!

I just got home from dinner (including mud pie!) with my friend, Kelly.
Kelly and I met in 1977--when we began our freshman year at Mater Dei High School. The two of us enjoyed each minute of our high school experience and nearly every recollection I have of those good old days, includes Kelly.
She was the maid of honor at my wedding, our first babies were born three months apart and our second babies were born four months apart...Kelly and I grew up together--along with our children--and are still to this day, the closest of friends. We have been there for each other, through thick and thin (and FAT and thin!)
Kelly has been especially supportive of me these last couple of years and this summer we spent many nights laughing until we cried while making phone calls and creating name tags for our 25th high school reunion. Oh the stories we have...Kelly can make me laugh like no other!
Tonight I shared with her that I had a date with someone new this past weekend...
This friend, who knows me better than just about anyone on earth, had just one question... "Does he like baseball?"
She knows me. There is nothing more comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying than spending time with someone who truly understands you, loves you, and wants the best for you...a life-long, loyal, sincere and indisputable friend.
Someone with whom you can share the joy and the pain, the secrets and the successes.
And a big piece of mud pie.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Welcome Home Randy

Randy Johnson is a Diamondback again. I love this picture of him (and really like the new uniforms) It's so good to see him happy again!
Randy hasn't smiled much the last two seasons. He's been on the Yankees, which you think would make any ball player happy, but it was not a pleasant two years for Mr. Johnson for many reasons...Despite the fact that no one ever made the pin stripes look better (Randy is 6'10), it seemed, among other things, that Randy had left his heart in Arizona.
Randy has five Cy Young awards, is a 10 time All Star, has over 4,500 strike outs and has 280 wins under his belt. He should be able to hit 300 wins in the next couple of years easily...and he'll happily do it as a Diamondback. He was his BEST in Arizona.
I was fortunate enough to see him pitch against the Angels TWICE last year and he is absolutely unbelievable to see in action! I watched those 98 mphs pitches over and, I just love it! Seriously, he's amazing to watch.
But what I love the most about Randy Johnson is that he is the same age as me.
43 years old and incredible.
Good Luck Randy! I'll be rooting for you! Even when you are pitching against the Dodgers and especially when you pitch to Luis in a Dodger uniform...I can't wait!!

Monday, January 8, 2007

13 going on...

This is a picture of my adorable and very sweet nephew, Thatcher Ellis Vistaunet.

On January 7th, Thatcher stepped into a new dimension--entering the great unknown--
the ever-anticipated teen years--Yes, Thatcher is now 13!
Thatcher's father is 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I swear, Thatcher has been measuring himself next to me all of his life--hoping and looking forward to the day that he would be taller than his (favorite) aunt Juju...
Wait no more, the fateful day has seems as if all of a sudden, he has hit his goal in life--he is, indeed, taller than me...
At a whopping 5'2, I am used to young family members measuring their growth success by achieving the ability to stand back to back with me and have people yell-- "YES! You've done it! You are taller than Julie!"
Thatcher was so happy, he picked me up! Hilarious.
I know that this will no doubt, be the last time Thatcher and I are ever this close in height. His dad, uncles, brother--and even his Grandma--are all well over six feet tall and I know Thatcher will tower over me in a few short years...
I just hope he will still want to stand next to Aunt Juju and take a picture...

Sunday, January 7, 2007


This painting is on the wall of a North Carolina Wal Mart...
Besides the obvious omission of St. Brad, I am not sure what to think...
My 12 years of Catholic School makes me feel like I need to go to confession just for being so intrigued.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Cooking up a dream vacation!

A good friend of mine just called. “Wanna join me for a pleasure-packed weekend of cooking demos, food samplings and wine tastings all in the spectacular setting of Aspen?” she asked. She was reading the description of the “Food & Wine Classic” being held in Aspen this June. "Hmmm, let me think...Absolutely!" I said.
I got on the website with her and we scanned the weekend itinerary--spectacular!
It's a three day festival filled with music, art and entertainment...but the BEST part is that the festival is sponsored by “FOOD AND WINE” magazine and the entire weekend is jam-packed with wine pairings, sushi samplings, cheese tastings, “chocolate explorations” and multiple cook-offs!
As a bonus, a choice of four classes is included in the weekend. I printed off the course selection and among MANY other choices are cooking classes with Giada DeLaurentis, Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse! Wow! I really like the sounds of some of the other classes too--“Under the Southern Italian Sun”, “Like Wine for Chocolate”, “Everything’s coming up Rosé” and (my favorite) “Green Grapes and Ham.”
So, let’s see…do I wanna go to a festival filled with music, wine, cheese, chocolate and attend cooking classes with Giada and Emeril? Holy Cow, I don't think I could custom-design a better weekend for me...Those are my favorite things!! (LOVE Giada!)
Unfortunately, the cost may be a bit prohibitive…it’s a tad pricey (but worth it I am sure!) and then, of course, in addition to the cost of the event, we’d have to pay for airfare and hotel…
We're looking into the possibility of receiving an "industry discount" since we work at Montage...and we're gonna see if maybe we know someone who might know someone who works at a hotel in Aspen...we just might be able to make it happen!!
...Que Syrah Syrah...

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The five sisters...and Zac!

Just got back from yet another family gathering. Met my family for dinner at Fuddrucker's to celebrate all the January birthdays...always a reason to get together and eat!
The picture on the left is of me and my sisters...yes, my real sisters and yes, we have the same mom and dad. We're just all completely unique...
From the left is Leesa, me, Gina, Sarah (who is 6 months pregnant) and Debra. It's a rare occasion anymore for all of us DiLallo sisters to be together. Leesa lives in San Mateo and Sarah lives in Pahoa, Hawaii...the rest of us (including my parents and grandparents) live within 10 miles of each other! When we ARE all together, we take lots of pictures...and have a lot of fun.
The 5 of us have 7 children with the 8th one due in March. Allison is the oldest at 24 and Sidney is the youngest--we celebrated his first birthday tonight with the help of all of his cousins, except for Zac. He's in London today, with Matt Jensen and a couple other friends. The picture on the right is Zac in Amsterdam over New Year's ...I am sure he's going to be very sad that he missed the party and a chance for a Fuddrucker brownie.
It was loud and crazy and there was crying and laughing and lots of presents and lots of french fries, lots of picture taking...and a big ol'chocolate birthday cake!
Never a dull moment with a big family. Kinda nice.
Another place that I know I belong.