Sunday, December 20, 2009
We're actually doing quite well. There is no history of cancer in my family, so this was an absolute shock that turned our world upside down. But my prognosis is good and already Friday marked the halfway point for the aggressive chemo regimen, which I decided to do through a clinical trial. We are praying that my MRI tomorrow will show a reduction in the tumor before I go on to the second round of chemo -- so pray with us!
How can we thank so many of you that have sent cards, meals, care packages...? It has truly left us humbled at the amount of love and well-wishes. We hope this holiday season brings you much joy and peace, and we are excited for the new year with new adventures and opportunities to create memories!
All our love-
Gaby, Steve, Evan and Alec
This photo was taken on the day I lost my hair. I'm actually getting used to the new hairdo and my 2 and 4 yr old boys swear I'm still a Mommy-princess :)
Well I found the Pegasus Rising Program and as it turns out this is a herd of Arabian horses that were rescued last year and is now being rehabilitated to serve as therapy horses for U.S. veterans and others in need.
I had a chance to visit the herd a few weeks ago and it was amazing to see that despite enduring such terrible conditions before being rescued, this herd is still friendly, positive and offering their kind souls to help humans. These are wild horses in the sense that they have not been "broken" or ridden, and I admire the project's goal to keep them this way as they also train them for therapy.
One horse in particular came to me immediately and was so intense in taking in my scent and standing firmly next to me as if to let me know she understood and would help. This was Lady Avalon (above) the lead mare in the herd. As the organization's president, Gary, explained to me this horse also has cancer and seemed to innately understand that I faced the same hardship.
Please take a moment to learn more about this wonderful organization: http://pegasusrising.org/ I went to their site to "adopt" Lady Avalon and can't think of a better gift than helping to keep this herd together so that they can in turn help others in need.
I'll be sure to post more photos and info as I plan to help this organization with the same passion I brought to Habitat years ago. And as I get better I will surely take any opportunity to visit the herd again and embrace the strength and support that only a noble horse's spirit and soul can provide. (below is the herd in therapy with a veteran -- there are heroes all around us!)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
In addition to Steve, my boys, two sisters, parents and family, I am even further humbled to see what a wonderful community of friends we have. So many of you have just been amazing in reaching out to see how we're doing, sending books that have helped me keep a grip on things, bringing a meal over when I was just too sick from chemo to cook for my boys, sending lovely scarves for my bald head, cozy socks, mindless magazines and movies to help pass the time...
My long-time gal pals from high school (Ali, Brooke, Beth, Kathryn, Amy, Staci, Molly, Dana, Michelle, Keri) have been relentless in their support from all corners of the country, and the moms in my playgroup (above) have only known me since Evan was born but have just been there getting me through each day. My firm GovPartner has been amazing, and so many of you that I met through FWClass have also been incredibly generous and supportive: Laura at VPG, Liz Dang, my SDBargainMama Stacy... my apologies now because there are just too many to list and there really is a thing called "chemo brain" where I swear my brain cells are most affected by these strong drugs...)
As always you all responded then with generous hearts and showed up at a bone marrow drive here in San Diego to sign up and become part of the registry -- a national registry that ultimately DID find a match for Lisa!
Well, I kept getting emails asking "How is Lisa doing?" and am so happy to report that she is doing great! In fact, Lisa has been a tremendous support for me now, especially since I know the words come from another mom who has been in the same situation....
One message in particular that Lisa sent me sticks with me every single day - as a nurse at Sloan once said to her: "A positive mental attitude won't heal you, but a bad mental attitude will kill you."
Yes scary thoughts come all the time, but thanks to the support from so many of you I have been able to keep a positive attitude and know that I too will make it past this difficult time.
Please be sure to read about the Pegasus Rising Project, which has has provided me support from four-legged friends, and I will post more pics of these new members of my support team soon :)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'm in this beautiful city for the 95th annual ICMA conference, and maybe it was the stormy skies last night or the fact that everyone is back to work... but we finally have to admit that summer is over :(
September sure snuck up on us, and the long-awaited Moms in Business conference is tomorrow Sept 16. But guess what? You can win a free ticket... click here to learn how.
One person that is happy September is here is Chef Mark Gold because Eva Restaurant is finally open!
And not just open, but OOOOpened to absolutely rave reviews. Click here to see photos of the beautiful new restaurant and read more... And with the end of summer means time to stock up on a new KleenKanteen and other green favorites at Natural Kidz.
A big THANKS to our friend Kathryn for the awesome 20% off from your full order!! And thank you also to Jill at Facelogic for extending Spa Week - we will be there to face the Fall fresh-faced and ready!
See you again soon!
Gaby & Steve
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Many of you will remember Kathryn from her hard work to create Walk Their Walk, which has raised over $60,000 that went directly to building two fresh water wells and an elementary school in a remote village in Zambia. In 2008, Kathryn was inspired to launch her new company, Naturalkidz.com. After her son was diagnosed with a serious food allergy, it became necessary for Kathryn to become more conscious of the items she purchases and the lifestyle choices she makes. In order to ensure the health of her son, Kathryn began making small changes toward a “green” home and lifestyle.
Kathryn is fully committed to giving back and will donate a portion of every purchase at Naturalkidz.com to benefit Nature Bridge and the Surfrider Foundation. These charities are dedicated to educating children about ways to preserve the environment and connect with the natural world.
THE TIP: Shop at http://www.naturalkidz.com and Save 20% Off your entire order with an exclusive offer from Friends With Class.
Coupon Code: friendswithclass (input coupon code upon checkout and press apply to see your savings!) Coupon expires December 31, 2009.
LA Weekly - "I just left the open house at Eva...it was packed, great vibe, very intimate, gorgeous black & white prints on walls, and of course the food was amazing! I don't know what Mark puts in his dishes, but I always want more...this guys food has soul!!!!"
Urban Daddy - "Just settle in by a window, and soon you'll see what he felt like cooking for you—all the food will come out on platters, to be served family-style, and yes, the all-inclusive price includes some free-flowing wine from bottles opened that week."
Mattatouille - "My dad's main course was a thick slice of poached beef tenderloin, nearly sous-vided (not exactly that preparation, but similar), and sided with an array of browned cauliflower and tender broccoli... My father was completely enamored by this dish, marveling at the combination of earthy vegetables and the stellar tenderloin."
EAT: Los Angeles Food GPS Review - "Gold grabbed the keys only three weeks ago, but the space is already camera-ready."
And our favorite YELP - "OMFG! This restaurant JUST opened and it's amazing! The hospitality of the staff is 5 stars alone!" and "OMFG is soooooo right!!! You know how you usually read these & think...should I believe this? IT WAS AMAZING from start to finish, every delectible little bite of food we ate, appetizer to entree to dessert was inspiring. Eva is your FAV. NYC corner restaurant that you miss so much...smack in the middle of LA... go figure... and the wine... who knew....such a deal... go now before...the masses find it...hurry...why are you still at your computer????? go........"
But when we think of our favorite summer moment, it is without a doubt a night that the we spent away from the kids, at the Coldplay concert in July.
It was so much fun, we had great tickets, the band was just terrific and we got to see them with my cousin Poncho and his wife Alicia who were visiting from Guadalajara (they loved it too!)
Click here to see a video we took at the show, and submit your favorite moment via the comments box... we can't wait to hear it!!
Gaby & Steve
THE TIP: Never park in the free parking at Coors Amphiteater where we saw Coldplay! We thought it was pretty cool that free parking was provided fairy close to the theater, but didn't realize that they let out every other lot before that one and so we sat in the car for one hour after the show until they finally opened up our lot!!
Moms in Business Unite (MIBU) Conference (About MIBU) September 16, 2009
University of San Diego, Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Conference Sessions: 10:00 a.m. -- 4:45 p.m.
Networking & Awards Reception: 5:00 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m.
Highlights of this Wonderful Conference: Guests will enjoy a keynote presentation by Julie Pickens & Mindee Doney, successful mom inventors and business owners known as Boogie Moms®: Check out their latest blog-post about MIBU and enter to win a free trip to the Conference!
The Educational breakout sessions will be focused on four main areas:
Track A -- Getting StartedIdeal sessions for the mom who wants to learn how to start her own business. These empowering sessions will provide a solid foundation for a mompreneur to get started!
Track B -- Running EfficientlyIdeal sessions for the mom who has her own business but wants to learn how to run it more efficiently. These sessions are packed with useful information providing immediate value to any business!
Track C -- Next LevelIdeal sessions for the mom who has an established business and is considering taking it to the next level. These motivating sessions will help inspire you to take the next step!Track D --Inventor Fast TrackThese sessions, presented by MIBU Keynote Speakers, will give attendees a tangible action plan to bring their inventions to market and cover all major components to take their "concept to cart"!
The evening reception will feature: Maria Bailey, host on Lifetime TV Internationally know Award winning speaker, author of "The Women's Home-Based Business Book of Answers" and many other publications. San Diego women inventors will be invited to showcase their "new" product or service and allow conference attendees to select the "best" new product of the year. The winner will be announced in a post conference press release and be featured on the Moms in Business Unite website for a year.
Register now to attend this value-packed educational conference.
Follow MIBU on TwitterJoin MIBU Mailing List!!!GIVEAWAY!!!
THE TIP: MIBU Awards Director and long-time FWClass friend, Elizabeth Dang-Samuel, has purchased a ticket for one of you! Email Elizabeth at email@example.com anduse subject: "FWC MIBU TIX!" The tenth email will win a FREE ticket to the conference!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki teamed with Disney to create this animated story of Ponyo, a magical girl-goldfish (voice by Noah Cyrus, sister of Miley) who is rescued by an adorable 5-year-old boy named Sosuke (voice of Frankie Jonas, the little brother of the Jonas Brothers).
Sosuke's mom is voiced by Tina Fey and father is Matt Dillon, add in Liam Neeson and Cate Blanchett and it's a star-filled endeavor, but it is the pure imagination and love and honor of a little boy that is what you will remember.
The drawings are so creative and mesmerizing, it truly is a piece of art. And if you like the modern, hip anime this is a very cool way to spend a few hours.
Click here to check out the movie trailer, but honestly, no matter your age - go see this beautiful film!
THE TIP: It takes a great theater to host a great movie, and oftentimes the surroundings can make or break your movie experience. So I have to give a shout out to UltraStar Del Mar Highlands 8 theater, where we saw the movie.
It is not the most modern theater, but the guy working the concessions actually came INTO the theater to find me to let me know the latte machine had been fixed (very sweet gesture, he must have seen the sadness in my eyes at the lack of caffeine after carting around with the kiddos all day - thanks!)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Date: September 16, 2009
Place: University of San Diego, Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Conference Session Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Award/Grant Presentation and Reception: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
More details at http://www.momsinbusinessunite.com/
We were excited to learn that he had received an "excellent" rating by the LA Times Food Critic and are even more excited now to learn that he is achieving his dream of opening his own restaurant on Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles.
The foodie blog and news world is abuzz with info about this hot new restaurant... Read more at: http://www.foodgps.com/mark-gold-claims-hatfields-space-for-eva/
THE TIP: Mark has something very special planned for Sundays... menu based on what was most fresh at the Farmer's Market that day and free-flowing wine, love it!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Check these gals out now that they are regulars on one of San Diego's best news outlets: San Diego Living, FOX 6 weekdays 9-10 am.
Join our friend Isela and some of the hottest new designers for a fabulous night on Thursday, July 30th at Float Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel (207 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101) between the hours of 5pm-9pm.
Enjoy an evening filled with discount designer shopping and pampering spa services while indulging in some delicious cocktails at the hottest rooftop bar San Diego has to offer. Featuring SPECIAL RECESSION SAVINGS at up to 80% off designer name-brand jeans, jewelry, clothing, handbags, makeup and much more.
Advanced tickets can be purchased at http://www.sassycitychicks.com (2 for 1 Offer) $20, which includes early entry into Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Rooftop Bar, VIP Gift Bag (valued at $30), drink specials and complimentary spa services.
This event is sponsored by Fredericks of Holly wood, Borba, Pop Beauty, Nailene, Cozmocard and Hpnotiq. See items from some of the following designers: Juicy Couture, Ella Moss, Splendid, French Connection, Miss Me, Michael Stars, Hudson Jeans and many more.
More info at www.sassycitychicks.com or call (310) 318-1731.
THE TIP: To be entered to win a pair of VIP Tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Friends with Class’ in the subject line. Entries accepted thru July 28th
Monday, June 8, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
But what is it that always gets in the way when we're trying to get organized?? It's usually ourselves abd our inability to get rid of the clutter that will free up the space we need to be organized!
This is the theme in our latest organization class taught our favorite Organizational Coach, Miss Organized (Tracy Paye of www.miss-organized.com).
Students from her previous organization class at a friend's home in San Elijo Hills said: "Tracy knows her topic - would recommend this to family and friends!" Julie M.
And: "It was an unusual format to be in someone's home but it turned out to be very useful and interesting to see actual organization needs in person. Great instructor!" Wendy S.
As Tracy explains about this next installment in her Organization Class: "By getting rid of a few belongings, it will motivate and inspire you to do more and create momentum to continue once you get home."
Class will be held on Wed, June 10 from 6-8 pm at a private home in Banker's Hill.
CLICK HERE for all details and to register for the class.
THE TIP: For many of us, it is our office space that gets out of control keeping us stuck in clutter where productivity should reign!
Check out the before and after shots of an office Tracy organized as showcased on our friend Stacey's website. This client of Tracy's saw his business increase by 50% within 2 weeks after the completion of the project: http://sandiegobargainmama.com/miss_organized.html
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
THANK YOU to Jill Johnson, owner of Facelogic Spa for hosting. Stop by her fabuous new spa at 208 N. El Camino Real, Suite C or call them at (760) 840-3223 to book a facial (just $59!!). You can have them host a spa party for your group or just enjoy an amazing spa experience. Click here to read my review on my facial :)
THANK YOU Friends With Class for making the funky Mom-osas (don't ya love the ear plugs tied around the stem??!!)
THANK YOU Stacey of San Diego Bargain Mama for bringing awesome giveaways, providing a great spread and Twittering live at the event! (see our updates @sdbargainmama and @friendswclass)
THANK YOU to all the ladies that brought accessories to swap and donate to a women's charity. Check out Alexis (author of Baby's Little Log Book) below browsing the wares -- we all went home with some cute new accessories!
Monday, May 11, 2009
I've had great facials at La Costa, Spa MD, The Well in Palm Springs etc and my facial at Facelogic last week was a wonderful little retreat without having to splurge and head out of town to a resort :)
Maybe I expected just a standard facial like I've also had at the places I sometimes get my haircut. But as I stepped into a dark, quiet space with relaxing music and aromatherapy scents all around I could tell this would be different...
First was the "zero gravity" weightless chair which was AMAZING in and of itself. The NASA design makes it so that you take all weight off of your back even as you lay back to enjoy the facial.
The rest was an awesome mix of cleansing, head, neck and hand massage, face mask, steam, a treatment, etc. It was really amazing and much more than I expetced -- be sure to ask for Melissa, she was awesome as are all of the gals there!
Stop by to see them at 208 N. El Camino Real, Suite C - Encinitas, CA 92024 (TJ Maxx/BevMo shopping center). Or call them at 760.840.3223 (FACE) to book a facial.
THE TIP: Faceogic also carries great products (I bought a moisturizer with SFP 15 and foundation coverage) and makes a great spot for a spa party for your group.
We held our "National Mom's Nite Out" party there and it was awesome to hang out with the gals, enjoy a bite and a drink and the disappear for the awsome facial to rejoin the party glowing and relaxed :)
Products and "Mom's Spa Party" photos above by Rowell (http://www.photosbyrowell.com/)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Take a regular Mimosa, add a splash of pink w/ cranberry juice, tie a pair of earplugs around the stem and VOILA, toast with all the ladies around you!
This special night is being celebrated by Friends With Class, San Diego Bargain Mama and Facelogic with giveaways provided by the National Mom's Nite Out group. All details below, it's going to be a blast :)
WHEN: Thursday, May 7, 6:00-8:00 pm
WHERE: Facelogic Spa in Encinitas (208 N. El Camino Real, Suite C)
**Call them at (760) 840-3223 to book a facial that night for $10 off**
WHAT TO BRING: Your gal pals and three or more accessories to swap for the Accessories Swap (anything we don't trade among ourselves benefits charity)
CLICK HERE for more details and photos from a past frock swap to see what it's all about...
THE TIP: You will also get to meet Jill, owner of Facelogic whom you may recall from a recent BRAVO TV show, and her famous musician husband Wayne who was just profiled in Carlsbad magazine http://carlsbadmagazine.com/
What an awesome couple - thanks so much for hosting this fun evening :)
Monday, May 4, 2009
Our friend Jen can't say enough great things about her trainer Marko and is recommending his Boot Camp to all of her friends :)
Marko Sanchez, CSCS is a certified Strength & Conditioning / Performance Coach and Personal Trainer who typically works with clients in sports therapy or on one-on-one sessions. But Jenny has convinced him to start a Fitness Boot Camp at Balboa Park and everyone is invited...
As Jen and Marko describe: "This is not your average boot camp in the park. We won't step on your shoulders or shout in your ears. We aren't drill instructors. Or mad babysitters. We are fitness partners. Our boot camp will help you build strength, power, and agility, increase flexibility, and lose weight."
"This is a comprehensive workout designed for anyone who wants to improve his or her fitness, change their exercise routine, and have fun doing so! You will have a great workout no matter your fitness level."
Class is Saturday, May 16th, 8:30 am at Balboa Park (corner of 6th and Laurel). Class is $15 or four classes for $50. From that has not worked out in AGES, I will see you there!!
We are working on setting up the online payment, for now email Marko at email@example.com to RSVP!
THE TIP: Bring plenty of water and a towel and be ready for a great time! Did we all forget how much fun exercise is supposed to be?!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
This was my favorite picture in an email I received today which hit home to the daily trials and joys of parenting two boys!
The photo actually also reminds us of what it feels like to wake up every day and imagine the craziness that awaits us... but somehow we take it all on and it's a fun ride after all :)
We are happy to support ACT - San Diego (Actors' Conservatory Theatre) www.actsandiego.com in their latest production: "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."
Our friend Staci's daughter is in the play and she has scored $5 tickets for us and our friends :) We had a blast seeing little Julia in the play Annie last year (my boys' first play) and we can't wait to see this one too!
This Broadway version of the lovable Charlie Brown and his beagle runs May 8 through May 17 at The Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. The play is based on Charles Schultz's Peanuts comic strip, and chronicles the lives of old favorites Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, Linus, and Schroeder. This production is filled with music designed to warm your heart and tickle your funny bone.
The show touches on childhood dilemmas, pondering such questions as growing up and puppy love. It provides audiences both young and old opportunities to sit and relax, laugh, and remember the days when the backyard was as big as the entire world.
THE TIP: For the special $5 tickets for Friends With Class, call Beth at (619) 508-5556
Sunday, April 19, 2009
But I just finished a presentation on the "Style Stage" at the Head to Toe Women's EXPO in Del Mar with our instructor Marcy Morrison (that's us in the photo above presenting and then me blogging!)
We talked about "Finding Your Dream Job" and it was such a treat to share my own experience from jobs in Washington DC, Los Angeles, with governments all over the country and now launching Friends With Class.
THE TIP: Get out there and network, listen to other people's struggles,success stories and get inspiration from those going through the same situation as you. I learned so much from the questions audience members asked us. Thanks everyone who came out!!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
You can just how up and walk, or if you want to walk with a team we recommend that you make some donation and do it through one of our favorite local groups: Stroller Strides. They are having three teams walk this year; Central/South County, North County and Corporate. CLICK HERE to see the "Team Stroller Strides" page on the March of Dimes website.
April 18, 2009
Cannon Park -->100 Cannon Rd.Carlsbad, CA 92008
Walk Distance: 3.1 miles
Registration Time: 8:00AM
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Chapter: San Diego - Imperial Division
Phone #: (858) 576-1211
THE TIP: More than 1 million people do this walk every year, and the money raised supports programs that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. Since 1970 more than $1.8 billion has been raised through March of Dimes to benefit all babies. WOW!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
THANK YOU to San Diego's top PR firm, Katz & Associates, for hosting this class. It was great to learn from an SEO expert alongside PR professionals, a Corporate Communications Director for a national technology firm, a mompreneur, small business owner...
Some in the class were already taking off on Twitter and others had barely heard of what it was! But everyone had positive things to say about our instructor and the class:
"I liked everything about this class -- it was very informative and I loved the class size!" Dani
We will definitely be doing another class soon... stay tuned for a date and location (we have requests for La Jolla on a Saturday or Rancho Bernardo on a weeknight....)
THE TIP: I finally GET Twitter now... it is like a huge, cyber cocktail party with some pretty amazing people. And the real power is not just in tyhe numbers (8 million) or the sheer simplicity, but in the power that all of the Twitter-apps provide you....
I had a big "OHHH" moment as Anita covered TweetDeck, HootSuite, Tagalus, Ping.fm ... etc etc etc
**Be sure to follow us at @FriendsWClass - Tweet you soon!