Friday, July 31, 2009


erika's little list of 10 things that make her terribly happy

{The inspiration of this post (formatting and content) comes from a blog I was introduced to: rockstar diaries. Thanks ladies, I love it!}

1. waking up and realizing I still have 2 more hours to sleep
2. sunsets, especially at Samish Island
3. runner's high
4. laughing until my stomach hurts
5. going to the cash register and learning that the dress you were about to buy was an additional 20% off
6. wasting the day away on the water
7. freshly washed, clean and crisp sheets
8. printing new photos of fun adventures
9. giving good presents
10. the 3"-4" I gain by wearing high heels

bonus #11. the very end of a yoga session: savasana

What are yours?

{here are lovely Samish Island sunsets from our deck}

{via dad's camera}

It's my party

And I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to. You would to if it happened to you! Do-do-do-do-dooo!


It's not my party, it's Stephanie's! (and she's not going to cry, don't worry.) Are you coming?! Is it weird that I feel like I am more excited than the actual birthday girl??

We're starting off with a little BBQ in Greenlake for some hot dogs, watermelon and beer. Then, we're going out in Capitol Hill at Havana for some dancing! I love dancing; I don't do it nearly enough. Lucky for us, our friend Phil knows the owner, so he reserved the VIP section for us. Wahoo!

Birthday Girl!

Me with the birthday girl!

A preview of what is to come tonight at Havana.
We're good.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I feel like I'm 5 years old today

For a few reasons:
  1. I used color crayons at work today while legitimately working.
  2. I ate a popsicle (Kathryn and I got them for the office).
  3. I can't stop watching the planes.*
  4. I'm really giddy and excited about my friend's birthday party tomorrow.
  5. I've posted about Hannah Montana more than once this week.

*The Blue Angels practice right outside my office window.

Don't be fooled by the floats that I got...

I'm still, I'm still, Erika from the block...

Fred Meyer Special: Whale

Target Special: Hannah Montana Guitar raft

Hannah and the whale?!

We do love our Hannah

Someone doesn't have AC

Came across this sign as I drove through Fremont last night. It read: Too hot to live. Closing early. Thanks, Mg.

I think it was just an excuse to join the fun while floating in Greenlake...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Like whoa

Man, it is hot, hot, HOT.


This morning, Maddie sent me this Cupcakes and Cashmere blog post and said that it reminded her of me. And Stephanie seconded that.

I like that my friends consider me quirky, so in their honor, I have made a list of some of the quirks that first came to mind.

  • I don’t know lyrics at all as you learned here. As a matter of fact, Maddie just got me a book called “Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza and Other Misheard Lyrics.” The best part was that her mom suggested she get it for me. Yes, even my friends’ mothers know I am bad.
  • I hate feet touching me.
  • I only like to set my alarm for odd times like 7:07 or 7:23.
  • I have conversations with others while I sleep. One time I even answered my phone in my sleep and had an entire conversation with Josh before I woke up to him laughing hysterically at me. To this day, I don’t know what I said.
  • I can’t tell a joke without somehow messing up the punch line.
  • I really don’t like touching raw meat, but I can make myself do it when necessary.
  • There are some coffee cups at work that I refuse to use, mostly because they just aren’t pretty.
  • I can make this incredibly unattractive face where my lips go in opposite directions of each other.
  • I call it Ross Dress for Less, not just Ross.
  • I find it easier to toot in public (that's right, I'm not afraid to admit it!) because you can always pretend it was that “weird guy in the corner.” BUT, I always fess up if called upon.

That’s just a sampling of my quirks. Did I forget anything major?

What are your quirks?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I can't stop sweating

I begrudgingly woke up this morning to go for a run... A run that I have been putting off for days because I can't make myself run in this intense heat. But I figured my next half marathon is only 9.5 weeks away, so I need to pick up the pace.

It wasn't unbearable during the run, but post-run, I could not stop sweating. I even took a cold shower to try to cool off, but being in my hot apartment combined with blow drying and flat ironing my hair, you would have thought that I just finished a marathon. As a matter of fact, I don't think I even was that sweaty after the half. There was no way I was cooling off... so I did what I had to do. I cooled off using poor man's AC: leaning my body into the fridge and face into the freezer. Ahhhh....

What I really wanted to do was go jump in the lake like last night. Steph and I hit up Greenlake with this Fred Meyer Clearance Special: a Hannah Montana Raft. I'm pretty sure we got a few looks of jealousy by the pre-teens that walked by. And from bus friend Scott who joined us, although I think he would prefer a Jonas Brothers raft or water wings. I think he could rock them.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Overall, fantastic weekend! I was able to spend time with so many different groups of friends and enjoy the crazy, nice weather we've been having. The order of events went a little like this:
  • Pre-poker Starbucks and chatting at the lake with Steph.
  • Poker night at the 304 with pretty much the usual crew: Steph, Holden (who recently googled himself in vain and came across PetesSpeaks... unbeknownst to him, I've posted on the world wide web about him more than once, but good thing I deleted that one post before he found it!), Phil, Jaison, JJ, James, Justin and me. I lost, JJ won. We hit up Teddy's for some ping pong and pool after the game. Classic poker night.

  • Wedding dress shopping with Christina and Olita on Saturday. Christina is going to be a beautiful bride!

  • Viking-themed Beer Pong Tournament for Nick's 26th! (Ironically, my 2nd beer pong birthday bash of the summer.) It was fun to see all of the guys we hung out with in college... but I'm disappointed at the lack of Kelly Clarkson tunes. It was a great tradition. Ben didn't even get the chance to punch a hole in the wall while going crazy to "Since U Been Gone"


  • More beer at the Ballard Bar & Grill where Maddie, James and I discovered the best game ever: Big Buck Hunter.

  • BBQ and lakeside fun on Mercer Island at Ryan and Tyson's place. A lot of sitting in tubes, eating BBQ, drinking beers and even tubing!! And if you know me well enough, you know I love me some tubing! Now my legs (but only the front) are burnt to a crisp, almost as red as this.

Sarah and me

Tronics and me

  • Ultimate Frisbee at Greenlake with Maddie, Holden (2 mentions in 1 post - aren't you excited?!), James, JJ and Kenny. It was awesome, but extremely hot.

Is it bad that I'm already gearing up for this Friday when it's only Monday?!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Special Edition: Double Day Post

And because I know if I don't post now, it's going to be "old news" on Monday... Pretty cute!

I love fun summer outings

Last night a big group of my coworkers (Katie, Andy, Olita, Christina, Frances, Maru, Scott, and significant others) and I went to happy hour and then an outdoor movie at the Redhook Brewery for Katie's going-away celebration. They were playing National Lampoon's Vacation and I must admit, I had never seen the movie and while it was a little corny, I did enjoy it. It's such a fun experience because you get good beer, good BBQ, it's nice and warm and overall, people just seem happy to be there.

They have a pretty good line up of movies this year including Tropic Thunder, SuperBad, The Big Lebowski, Jaws and on ladies night they will be showing Sex & the City. Unfortunately, I'll miss ladies night because I'll be in Hawaii... but I can't complain because, well, I'll be in Hawaii.

Last year, I went to Ace Ventura with Stephanie and Holden and it was quite fun! I'm always up for a fun summer outing!

The outdoor theater

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Farewell, Katie!

One of the reasons I love my job is because of the people I work with... Unfortunately, we're losing one. Today we have to say goodbye to Katie Gilliam. She's moving on for an amazing opportunity at Seattle University and I'm super excited for her, but it's still bittersweet.

Her loss begs a few questions:
  1. What am I going to do without Katie?!

  2. Do I stink? (First Maggie, then Meredith, now Katie!)

  3. Who is going to go on endless transWashington road trips with me now?

  4. Who is going to inspire the office to ride their bikes to work or do 100 consecutive push-ups?

  5. Who will I talk with about how inspiring Biggest Loser is? Or any other reality show for that matter...

  6. How will Andy deal with this? (We're going to have to keep a close eye on him during this transition...)

  7. Who will convince me to go to Taco Tuesday, even on the days that I have brought my lunch?

  8. Who is going to help coordinate an anti-tobacco flash mob event of some kind?!

I could go on and on, but I'll spare you the details.

So, Katie, you have to promise to steal us away from our desks for lunch on occassion or bike to Red Hook Brewery for an outdoor movie. Just because you're leaving, doesn't mean you're off the hook! Thanks for imparting all of your wisdom (though I know I can't soak it all up!) and making it just a little easier to come to work on a daily basis. We'll miss you!

GMMB outing - Wine Tasting

Katie and Pete at her roller skating birthday bash

Posing at one of our many No Stank You events...
I know you probably love this picture :)


Last weekend was magical. A big group of us (Maddie, Stephanie, Autumn, Brianna, Lizzie, Lianna, Ryan, James, Nick and myself) all headed east to Lake Chelan to do the following:

Lay on the boat, enjoying the sun... with tons of SPF (except for a weird patch I missed on my chest, ouch.)

Float on tubes for hours at a time.

Drink some margaritas.

Aside from this picture representation of the weekend gloriousness, we also celebrated Maddie's birthday, went wine tasting and ate our weight in food! It was so much fun, I am tempted to go buy a floatie and relax in Lake Union on my lunch break...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


You would think that I would be posting today about my fabulous trip to Chelan, but I don't have time to explain the glory of the Chelanigans, so you'll have to wait... kind of how we waited on I-90 in traffic yesterday... I'm not bitter about the 2 hour wait between Bellevue and Mercer Island... The 2 mile stretch is rather, well, not cool. Let's not forgot, our stereo wasn't working. But I must say, we managed to entertain ourselves with the witty comments all around.

So today, I will entertain you with this:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Today is awesome

For two reasons:
  1. I was on the radio today! Yes, I straight-up called the Brooke & Monti show at 6am after my run to the airport for a '5 calls says it all' debate they were holding about the new Capitol Hill non-Starbucks. They wanted to hear if people thought it was a total scam or super idea. Personally, I think it's a super idea, but I don't have time to explain my logic... (I'm fitting this blog post in between deadlines.) But I will say this, they asked me if I worked for Starbucks, maybe because I was so convicted with my answer??
  2. After dropping padre off at the airport and making it onto the radio, what better way to celebrate than hitting up....

Where I bought these lovely beauties...

And also got another pair... or two... of my favorite running shorts. They are so comfortable and I do get a lot of use out of them!

It's been a great day to kick-off an highly-anticipated weekend in Chelan!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bon Voyage!

Every summer, my dad takes a trip north to the great state of Alaska. While some assume it's for sport fishing and fun, it's actually tough, scary, think 'Deadliest Catch' commercial fishing. Well, not really, it's not the super dangerous kind, but it's definitely hard work - or so I've been told. He's been doing it since before I was born, starting out fishing in the Puget Sound in high school and eventually moving up a level to Alaska. Now he has to continue fishing to support my mother's puppy habit.

When I was little, I thought he went up and caught millions of pounds of fish (one year he actually caught 1.2 million pounds!) with a pole because I didn't know any better. Now I know he actually works on a seiner which essentially means there is a big boat, huge net and skiff (or smaller boat) - the net is connected to the big and small boat and the skiff goes out and spreads the net throughout the water. Then eventually circles back to close the net and catch all of the fish! Then they are brought on the big boat and the crew "picks" the fish or sorts through all of them, getting stung by tons of jellyfish. My dad drives the skiff, so he doesn't have to worry about the jellyfish anymore. (Note: I'm not a seiner expert, but this is how I envision it.)

Tonight my dad is crashing on my couch so I can take him to the airport at the crack of dawn. My reward: He's bringing down fresh crab (caught this morning!) for dinner. Yum!

Dad with a halibut score, 300+ pounds!

This is where he bunks for 6 weeks, eek...

His boat

Great picture from the skiff

Completely unrelated: Dad and me in San Francisco. Not sure what we were going for...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oh my rodeo!

Last Sunday, I went to the Sedro Woolley Junior Rodeo. Why, you may ask?? Well, a couple of my cousin's kids were in it, so I couldn't miss their rodeo debut! (Actually, I don't think it was their debut because these girls were serious cowgirls!) I'd throw out some rodeo jargon about some of the events that I watched, but let's be honest, I really don't have any idea of what I'd be talking about. So instead, I'll talk about the funniest event: Goat tying.

So goat tying goes as such: Cowgirl (as the announcer always referred to them as) rides horse really, really fast toward this poor, innocent goat who is tied to a rope that is staked into the ground. Cowgirl jumps off (while horse is moving quite swiftly) and chases the goat until she stops him. Then, she pulls the goats' legs from underneath him and ties 2-3 of the legs together with a rope as fast as she can and throws her hands up in the air. The judge throws a flag in the air and then everyone watches in suspense... the goat cannot come untied in a certain timeframe. If it doesn't, SUCCESS! The goat is then untied and the next cowgirl takes her turn. Umm, isn't that a little crazy? I have to turn off the Seattle animal activist inside of me and remember my roots in the Skagit Valley. But in the end, I think it's super funny and quite entertaining. This one girl did it in 10.2 seconds! Whoa.

My cousin's daughters are 5 and 7 years old, so they took part in a modified goat tying exercise. The 7-year old had to tie a rope on the goat's tail and the 5-year old had to take a tie off the tail. I'm telling you, the 5-year old in particular, is quite a ball of fire on a horse. She rode that horse so fast, I feared for her safety! (My aunts took some great pictures and if I can get my hands on the pics, I'll be sure to post.) I overheard someone saying, "Why couldn't they have just gotten into tennis?? I would feel a lot better about their safety..." I would too, especially for the 3-year olds that were sliding down the side of a horse to go pull the rope off the goat. Seriously, tiny 3-year olds riding and jumping off horses. They were probably born with spurs on...

For a visual on goat tying:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Congrats, Jake and Bobby!

It was a long time coming (7 years to be exact), but Jake and Bobbie finally got hitched! The wedding was gorgeous - on the Western Washington University campus in front of Old Main and the bride and groom were shining themselves.

It was fun to see everyone there - Robby and Jeff were both in the wedding, looking all handsome. Of course, it can't go without being said, how awesome it was to have Susannah there who flew all the way up from the big city of Los Angeles (who would have ever thought that she would be the big city girl?!) The 3 of us (including Steph) rode up north together, so we could catch up on the way. Other peeps from our graduating class - Brian, Tito, Sarah and Steven.

So, I feel like it's necessary to share some of my favorite memories of Mr. Jake Harris. There are plenty to choose from like honing my pool skills in his basement nearly everyday after school, popcorn and grilled cheese feasts from his dad, him as my Winterfest date Junior year, playing Catch Phrase at Aaron's place with the gang, even taking him to a Chi Omega function in college (with Bobbie's permission, of course) - We had some good times!

Jake and Bobbie

Friday, July 10, 2009

Watch out, Tom Douglas

Last night, Stephanie had Maddie and me over for dinner for this black bean tortilla pie. Delish! (P.S. When I googled black bean tortilla pie, I found this pic at a blog called "Stephanie's Kitchen" and totally thought Steph was hiding the fact that she blogs... but then I saw it wasn't her. How ironic though?!)

It comes from this amazing cookbook that I bought about 2 or 3 months ago, but still have yet to make anything from it. However, I thumbed through it the other night and realized that I have tried a lot of the recipes... but only because Maddie, Stephanie and (I think) Autumn have tested out its' recipes on me. I bring the wine, they cook me tasty goodness. (I realize that I totally have the better end of the deal...)

Then it got me thinking, those girls are amazing cooks! I've always known this (and my stomach knows best), but seriously? Homemade cheesecake? Slow-roasted pork tacos? Homemade gnocchi? Man, I am lucky to have such fantastic chefs as friends.

I should probably experiment a little more. I mean, my taco soup does bring all the girls to the yard, but I need to up the ante! (Editorial comment: One time, my cousin's daughter told her the day after we had a huge family dinner that my taco soup was better than the chocolate ice cream she had for dessert. That's right. Take that, Ben & Jerry!)

One thing I know for sure - I do like to bake! I once made banana cream chocolate chip whoopie pies with cinnamon cream cheese filling for my office. Man, they take awhile to make, but they turn out so pretty! And fairly tasty...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

An ode to Extra Strength Tylenol

Just two days ago, I asked my mom to get me a piece of paper so I can begin writing my will. Today, I am happy to announce that I am now down to a little coughing and raspy (Phoebe would call it sexy) voice. Since you got me through this flu-like ickiness, I dedicate this song to Extra Strength Tylenol.

How do I
Get through one night without you, Tylenol?
If I had to live without you
What kind of life would that be?
Oh I…. need you in my system
Need you to cure me!
You’re my health, my friend, my savior
If you ever leave the shelves of Fred Meyer
Baby you'd take away everything I count on when I am sick.

And tell me now
How do I live without you
I want to know
How do I breathe without coughing
If you ever go
How do I ever, ever survive?
How do I
How do I
Oh how do I live?

If you'd like the background music... You'll just have to sing over the real lyrics.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oh, Charlie...

This has to be one of my favorite clips ever. Enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The countdown begins again: 363 more days until my favorite holiday

The weekend, along with my favorite holiday, just flew by! And as expected, it was another fantastic 4th of July weekend! It was kicked off on Friday with a BBQ on the rooftop of Kathryn's apartment building - stunning view and good company!

Then Friday night, Maddie and I made the trip north, stopping at Big Lake for the annual 3rd of July fireworks show. The guys and us all packed into a boat and sat back and watched thousands of dollars explode before us.

Saturday morning/afternoon, we headed to North Beach of Samish Island for the annual 4th of July parade. (It's tradition to set up shop at Stephanie's grandparents' beach cabin.) The parade must have set a record this year - it was almost an hour long! Granted, there were periods of breaks because some floats/parade spectacles were slower than others. A couple pics are below, but check out the full album here. After eating, chatting and going for a little walk with the crew, Maddie and I headed back to my house to relax before the next phase of the day.

This year, Mike Inman decided to throw a party for the night at his house - complete with red-checkered picnic tables with centerpieces (when did he become domestic?!) and he even hired this guy to sing and play the guitar. There was quite an eclectic group of people, ranging from some of our friends' parents to people a few younger than us. Overall, it was really fun!

The crew

Man in dress, pushing stroller with a beer in cupholder. Gotta love the Samish Island Parade.

The party strip of North Beach. You can honestly walk up and down to any house and be welcome. It's a zoo.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Erika, the Beautiful!

Oops, I mean America, the Beautiful. (That one is for you, Maddie)

It's pretty well-known that the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. You get to spend time with family and friends, eat good food, watch the amazing (read: cheesy) Samish Island parade, compete by trying to hit a golf ball in a boat out in the water, watch phenomenal fireworks (courtesy of Norm Nelson), bring home Maddie (she can't get enough of the pirate floats or maybe just the man who walks his goat with a beer in hand in the parade) and that's just the tip of the iceberg! I'm sure I'll report the details next week, but I just can't stop thinking about it now.

One thing I know for sure, never go to Gas Works Park for the fireworks. I mean, the show is pretty cool, but doesn't compensate for the treacherous crowds. It's so not even worth it. Some Seattle hippy was trying to have the show canceled due to "enviromental" reasons, but he lost that battle. Apparently, this is interesting enough for Colbert to report on - check it out. (It wouldn't let me embed it... or I'm just out of it.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This one goes out to you, Kathryn Bradley!

You mentioned how much you like being in my blogs, so I am dedicating this post solely to you!

So here are some of the reasons I like Kathryn:
  • I can break out in song or dance in our office and not be judged. Sometimes even joined!

  • You laugh at my jokes. Actually, I like the fact that we laugh a lot in our office.

  • I can say, "I kind of want to go home and stir my meatballs" and you understand.

  • You support my wine habit by buying me wine glasses on more than one occassion.

  • You helped me get through the half-marathon, especially the last 2 miles.

  • All of your random acts of kindness like when you bring me back chocolate from the foundation. There are days that saved me. (Hmm, you're at the foundation now... I wonder if today will be another lucky day?!)

  • Your efforts to convince me to do a triathlon... that's still TBD.

  • I can count on your to not only get a latte in the morning, but also cash in our Starbucks $2 treat receipt in the afternoon.

  • I can trust that you'll let me know when I'm wearing something that isn't work appropriate. ("Is it ok to wear sandals to work?!" Is it ok to wear a mini-tube dress with go-go boots? I'm just never sure.")

  • We can trash talk our former landlord, Joyce. I'm glad you moved because you never know when that lady will throw an eviction notice at you for no reason.

  • You're willing to take part in "top hat bad days"

  • The fact that you're game for the Little Red Hen on a Wednesday night.

  • And for being understanding of my fragility the day after this said night. Well, I think it helped that we were in the same boat.

  • Lastly, for being so awesome!
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