Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another marathon teaser

Someone I know - let's say his name rhymes with Moe - made me this rad sign for the marathon. Look familiar? Quite the artist if I do say so myself. (Although in looking at it now, it appears I'm having some major foot problems, but I still love it.)

Petes sure did run. And she's addicted to it. The Burke or Green Lake loop is already calling her name. Hal's post-marathon schedule is whispering sweet nothings into her ear.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Are you going to take the picture?

I'm sure you've had one of these moments. You think someone is taking a picture, so you flash a cheesy grin at the camera.

Keep smiling, keep smiling, wonder why the picture hasn't been taken yet. Leaning toward the camera, ready to give up on the picture even if he looks like he's just about to take one...

Seconds later: "It's in movie mode."

Awesome. My coolness caught on video.

Even cooler? Maddie and Benny singing karaoke to Toto's Africa. Good times at the Waterwheel.

Sidenote: I know you are all just dying to hear the play-by-play of the marathon, but I'm sourcing the archives to entertain you for now. A lot of work to be done and not a lot of time - it's the name of the game here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I finished

Full report to come, but I wanted to let you know that we finished the Seattle Rock n' Roll Marathon alive. As expected, it felt amazing. (The finishing part, not necessarily the whole running part.) The finish time was 5:04, right on target with what I hoped for. Slow by some standards, but perfect in my mind.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Remember when I had a moment of temporary insanity? Yeah, the moment when I voluntarily signed myself up to run 26.2 miles. I must have a few screws loose.

Last year after my first half marathon, I wrote:

Where the full marathoners split, there was a man yelling, "Come to the dark side" and all I could think was, "Oh, hell no!"

Somehow I forgot about that moment and signed up for the race way back in DECEMBER. It's crazy to look back and see how far we've come. (My amazing running buddies and me.) How we have a bit of a skewed perception of long these days. "Oh 10 miles. Cake." A year ago, 10 miles was my longest training run. This year it was a random Wednesday run.

I can honestly say that this might feel like one of my greatest accomplishments yet. I'd put it up in the "graduating from college" level of accomplishments. Partially because until last year, I had never really considered myself a runner and my max run would be a jaunt around Green Lake. Now, I can run 26.2 miles (knock on wood).

So send me your good running vibes and get my wheelchair ready at the finish line because I'm ready to run*!

**I think.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Good beer. Check.
Good company. Check.
Good food. Check.
Good weather.... no check.

For Father's Day, my mom and I took my dad to the Washington Brewers Festival. While the weather didn't exactly cooperate, we still had a blast.

My dad had some "connections" so we basically had unlimited tokens for tasters. In other words, after mom said she'd drive, dad and I tasted our little hearts away.

My favorites were:
Iron Horse hefeweizen
Lazy Boy pepper beer (so odd tasting, but still good)
Rock Bottom raspberry wheat
And a blonde and an oatmeal stout that I can't remember the names of. But really good.

Cheers, Dad!

The brew crew.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things.

  1. Prive finishing texture spray. I've always been a "no frills" product kind-of-gal, but Lianna gave an extra bottle of this once and now I'll always want it. I rotate between a cheap hair spray like Aussie, then back to Prive. All in moderation.
  2. Smith's minted rosebud salve. If you know me well, you know that I use this daily. I've gone through so many tins, it's crazy.
  3. Old-fashioned H. Upman cigar box. Autumn made me a "box of adventures" out of this cigar box and I love it. It's a dresser staple.
  4. Smart women coffee mug. Erin Straube would probably agree, but this mug rocks. We got them from our grand big sis in the sorority. I really don't know why I like it so much, but I do. Erin likes it so much that when Matt accidentally broke it, he didn't even think twice about googling it and adding it straight to his shopping cart. I guess Matt is a smart guy.
  5. My lucky bamboo. My parents got me bamboo as a congrats when I was elected President of Chi O and now it's only a foot away from touching the ceiling. I can't believe I've kept it alive for so long.
  6. Asics Gel-3010 running shoes. I'm on my second, maybe third pair? They are just the perfect shoe for my foot. Like a Cinderella kind-of-fit. I'm going to attribute my injury-free marathon training to these puppies.
  7. Nike tempo running shorts. I literally have five pairs. (Purchased all on sale though.) They are just so comfortable, but also quite stylish.

**It's a good thing I have several posts queued up for busy days like today. Sheesh!

Monday, June 21, 2010

crying baby + dad wanting to stop crying + magical idea = stuck in crib.

In honor of Father's Day being yesterday, I present you this adorable little video.

I can imagine my dad doing the same thing and I can imagine my response being the same as well. (Where do you think you're going? Stay right here.)

When I have more time, I'll tell you about all the fun my Dad, Mom and I had at the Washington Brewers Festival in Kenmore yesterday.

Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day, Super Dad! And thanks for being the designated driver, Mom! Especially after the hefty donation to our token stash, thanks to Mr. Beer Commissioner himself.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I can't wait for Chelanigans this summer- filled with boats, sun, floaties, good food, wine tasting, Lizzie's visit (!!), relaxing, more sun, beer, fun people, jello shots and more. In the meantime, I'll settle for Friday.

And yes, that photo is of a jello shot in a solo cup with a lid. Yes, it floats and doesn't let water in. It was a craft taught to us by the folks of Grand Lake, Oklahoma. James had a brilliant idea to bring some along. Please don't judge us for eating jello shots post-college. And thank you, James. I hope to enjoy another orange flavored one this year.


Do you wanna know what's cool?

When your boyfriend doesn't work normal hours, so he takes you out for a quick lunch on occasion (Note: People at my work rarely take lunches. We eat at our desks. I'm trying to break this habit on occasion, considering we're in the office 9 hours anyway.)

Those 11am text messages that ask if I've eaten yet make me quickly forget about my lean cuisine. Then quickly think about the dude below and what tasty treat he might bring or where we might pick up some grub. Today's grub was a greek/burger joint called Stell's by the Seattle Pacific University campus. It was delish. Thanks for lunch, Joe!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Petes eats fish. A lot of it.

Hands down, one of my favorite recipes from the recipe bible. And that's comparing to even the Easter risotto, Greek lamb burgers, and egg white omelette with goat cheese and salsa!

Stephanie has been touting it for awhile and when my Dad sent me home with freshly-caught cod (from Deception Pass) this weekend, I had to give it a try. (BTW, thanks Dad! I'll have to make this for you sometime.)

And boy, am I glad I did! The fresh, grated ginger gives it an amazing flavor that makes me want to eat until I can't fit a single bite more in my tummy. And then take like a dozen more bites just for good measure. It's that good. Oh, and it's SUPER easy.

Steamed Cod with Ginger and Scallions

4 skinless cod fillets, (6 to 8 ounces each)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
Coarse salt and ground pepper
6 scallions, green parts cut into 3-inch lengths

In a large skillet, combine 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger.

Season both sides of 4 skinless cod fillets (6 to 8 ounces each) with coarse salt and ground pepper; place in skillet with vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover; cook until fish is almost opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut green parts of 6 scallions into 3-inch lengths; thinly slice lengthwise. Scatter over fish; cook (covered) until fish is opaque throughout and scallions are just wilted, about 2 minutes more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Awhile back, I asked my cousin to send some of the photos she had scanned of my grandparents. Unfortunately, her computer crashed so she lost almost all of that hard work to create digital versions. I guess that's what is good about old photos, you aren't going to have a computer malfunction and lose them all!

One of the photos that she did have was from their wedding day. I'm in love with it. I wish I could jump into a time machine and throw rice at them on their way out. Or maybe I'll throw birdseed since that's the more appropriate thing to do these days :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

DIY: Picnic Basket

It's no lie that I love me some picnics. For the past several summers, I've taken part in countless picnics at Green Lake or Golden Gardens. And while reusable grocery bags do effectively get picnic items from Point A to Point B, I love the idea of getting a cute little picnic basket.

So I've been on the search for a cheap option, but no one seems to be getting it right. Actually, those that do, are like a zillion dollars, which I'm not willing to spend. Last year, I looked at JoAnns and Target, but nothing won me over. This year has been just as fruitless.

What's a girl to do? Well, this girl asked her mom if she had a basket that I could snag. She did, but it looked like this (this is the bigger version, same design of the actual basket that I spruced up, but I forgot to take a before shot):

Needless to say, we're not in 1993 anymore when grape vines were cool. Today, well, it looks dated. That's when this DIY project came to light.

First idea, paint the top. So I sanded it down and painted it blue. It looked ok, but it wasn't as I had envisioned. Then my mom had the brilliant idea of gluing fabric on it. So we riffled through her collection and found some scratch fabric from an apron she made me for Christmas. Perfect.

Next update, the handle. Conveniently, it broke off which got me thinking of how to remedy that situation. Ah-ha - an old belt! So I cut up an old belt that was on its way to the Goodwill. I think I like it better than the original handle!

Meet my new picnic basket. This, my friends, calls for some major picnicking.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I miss this face

Miss Alisa Ann is in Sea-town for the weekend. I missed lunch with her yesterday due to meetings and it's looking like our evening plans might not materialize. (Sad day!) Bonding with the in-laws in Enumclaw might be what's on her (full) plate.

At any rate, I miss my little Oklahoman, turned Montanian! (Is that what they call people from Montana?) Look at her on her wedding day!
Alisa and her hubby, Chuck merrily riding a two-seater. Is it just me or do you want to go out and rent a two-seater right this instant? While also having someone take cool photos of you. And wearing such an adorable coat.

Quintessential photo of Alisa. Making any situation just a little more exciting, even if it's chillin' with a brew in a bathtub.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Introducing Kathryn Bradley Photography

It's official. Kathryn Bradley Photography is in business! If you're looking for an extremely talented photographer for weddings, engagement sessions, families or more - contact the lovely lady. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Check out her website for more amazing photos!

A note to you, Kathryn: I'm so inspired that you're following your dream. It's been so fun to watch you over the course of the last year to really make it happen. I'm glad I could be a part of it, even if it's just my opinion on logo design or cardstock for your business cards, it's been very exciting! The classes, the booked weekends and looong nights have most certainly paid off. Your talent AMAZES me and I'm so happy that I can now officially direct someone to your work after talking their ear off about your awesomeness.

And a little more information from her "About Me" section.

My fascination and curiosity for the stories that make each of us unique is what fuels my inspiration to document life through the lens of my camera. Studying journalism in college, I became absorbed in documenting people’s lives and their stories. Yet, as a lover of photography since childhood, my greatest joy was always behind the camera, capturing people as their pure, authentic selves. I held tight to my love of storytelling and it remains at the core of my photography.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I picked some flowers for you.

I picked them from this little garden.
You're welcome.

On an unrelated note, here's another picture (via Steph's camera) from L.A. that I haven't had the chance to post. I guess now is as good a time as ever.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

S'more Brownies

Summer is quickly approaching. Do you know what that means? Campfires by the lake.

Do you know what campfires mean? S'mores!

If you're anything like me, it's hard to build a campfire in the middle of the city. And it's not like I can go camping every weekend. Yes, there is the microwave option, but it doesn't toast the marshmallow quite the same way.

Solution? S'more brownies. They are gooey and delectable, but messier than you'd believe. I could have been mistaken for a 2-year-old with all marshmallow everywhere. But I'll tell you what, they are WELL worth it.

S'more Brownies


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt

Brownie (Erika's note: I'm a cheater. I used a brownie mix. My patience level was low at the time.)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups large marshmallows


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the brownie. Put the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick and glossy batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.


top picture and recipe via food network

Monday, June 7, 2010

little letters

dear legs,
thanks for carrying me through 22.7 miles of running yesterday. i really appreciate that you didn't let me collapse.

dear fork in the trail,
please don't ever confuse me again. that added mileage due to a wrong turn was not appreciated. i curse you.

dear friendly runners,
thanks for your words of encouragement as we passed you along the burke gilman trail. you felt our pain as much as we felt yours.

dear water,
i'd die without you. (literally. i'm not even being dramatic.)

dear cookies and cream powerbar,
you taste like heaven after 10 miles.

dear seattle weather,
thank you for holding off until the last mile or two to start dumping rain on us. at that point, it was welcomed to cool us off and wash off the salt. (yes, you become rather salty when you run long distances.)

dear fellas (joe, ryry and james),
thanks for welcoming us stinky girls as we made it to redhook brewery from BALLARD. i hope you enjoyed your bonding time since we were late. (damn fork in the trail.) and joe, thanks for making us medals. that's why you're awesome.

dear redhook brewery,
thanks for having the most amazing nachos on this planet. it may have been the severe lack of calories in my body, but they blew my mind. so did the guacamole.

dear autumn and maddie,
we're crazy. but at least we're crazy together. thanks for being the best running buddies.

dear marathon,
three more weeks and i'll be done with you and resume a life that might resemble normal.

and finally...

dear monday,
how much would it cost to convince you to magically become friday? i'm willing to pay big bucks.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Gotta love a picture of us taking a picture.
Also gotta love our excitement. Especially Susannah's.
(P.S. I hope you're not sick of vacation photos yet. Who am I kidding? You can't ever get sick of these 3 faces, can you?)

That's how excited I am that it's FRIDAY!

Shockingly, you know what else I'm excited about? Running 20 miles on Sunday. I'm so ready to beat the living poo out of that 20 miles. And then eat a cheeseburger.

Brunch is my fave

Brunch cannot be beat. I honestly don't know if there is a brunch (ok, breakfast) dish that I don't like. It's that good. So when we decided to have a little brunch action outdoors in L.A., I was pumped.

We had blueberry cornmeal pancakes, buttermilk pancakes, fruit and bacon. Please, please, please try the blueberry cornmeal pancakes because they are amazing. Not sure how this compares to the recipe Suze used because I would imagine she sprinkled in some rainbows, fairy dust and love. (She does things like that, ya know.)

Brunch in the backyard. Very cute set-up.

Don't you love their old-fashioned stove?!
(Mom, there are your measuring cups!)

Master pancake flipper. Look at that concentration... 1....2.... 3!

Chow time.

Don't mind us, we all just woke up... From left, Rob, Michelle, Gene, moi and Steph.

The vegetarian eats bacon TOO?!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cary Grant is quite the ladies man

Last Saturday, we went to the outdoor movie at the Hollywood Cemetery to watch North by Northwest. (You may remember the outdoor movie scene from the movie Valentine's Day? Same place.)

Here are the reasons I liked it:
1. I'm kinda smitten with Cary Grant. He's adorable.
2. Old movies have such a fun vibe.
3. We got to picnic with wine and cheese.
4. Vegetarian Susannah ate a piece of salami! (And bacon at breakfast) It was the first time I've ever seen the lady eat meat.
5. We were surrounded by palm trees which invariably means warm weather.
6. Since we were in the Hollywood Cemetery, we were undoubtedly visited by famous ghosts. (Why hello, Lucille Ball! Funny seeing you here.)

The crowds of movie-goers.

The loooooong line. So glad we got in!

Taking a seat in line.

Why not take pictures when waiting in line?

Cary Grant looks like he's kissing her face off here, but I still like him. Plus, don't the palm tree shadows look rad?

Good times.
More L.A. adventures to come!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

California Dreamin'

To prove I haven't in fact fallen off the face of the Earth, I will share a couple bloopers from our weekend in sunny L.A.

Full report to come. (But seriously, AWESOME vacation filled with fun people, sun, relaxing, good food and drinks.)

But while you wait, here are a few to hold you over.

Picture #1: Suze is giving Steph "talk to the hand" or "brick wall" - take your pick. Steph thinks it's hilarious. I'm about to either take a nose dive or I really, really, really want to be in the "brick wall" picture.

Picture #2: Mid-photo shoot a big wave SOAKS Susannah. Karma from the "talk to the hand" picture? Quite possibly.
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