Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flowers brighten my day

I bought myself some fresh flowers at the Ballard Farmer's Market on Sunday and they really brighten my day when I get home, especially after a stressful week like this one. Oh well, one day to go!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A single sheet of paper

All of this art was created with a single sheet of paper by a man named Peter Callesen. It's incredible really.

I think I'd like to move into this castle, but I'm not sure if my shoe collection would quite fit.

Wanna see more?

Singer Spotlight: Bruno Mars

You all are going to think I'm such a sap, but I think this is a really sweet song. I know, I know. I'm a dork, but according to Bruno, I'm amazing just the way I am. And I think you are amazing just the way you are. So there.

Just The Way You Are lyrics, enjoy!

Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying

She's so beautiful
And I tell her every day

Yeah I know, I know
When I compliment her
She wont believe me
And its so, its so
Sad to think she don't see what I see

But every time she asks me, "do I look okay?"
I say

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile,
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

(continues on, but you get the point)


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We like swings.

My second trip to the Puyallup Fair this year was a success. My favorite part of this experience was taking a little ride on the swings, which may have FREAKED OUT some of my company.

As we were lifted off the ground, I hear these cries, "I CHANGED MY MIND. Let me off. I don't know about this. My swing is going to break and I'll go FLYING! AHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Good times.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall = Kimber

Do you have friends that remind you of certain seasons? I do. The season we're in: Fall. This is the friend who wants to stop on the side of the road to collect pretty red, orange and yellow leaves. She can't get enough pumpkins or squash to put on display in her apartment. She's the one that likes to make homemade soups. And the friend who can rock the clothes that Fall brings like boots, hats and big, cozy sweaters.

Meet Kimber. These pictures are from last year's pumpkin patch extravaganza, but I feel like Kimber is synonymous with Fall. Can't wait for this year's visit to the pumpkin patch!

The last one is one of my faves. Seriously, what a glamour shot! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010


So it seems I'm going to overindulge at the Puyallup Fair again tonight. Here I come scones, there's no hiding from me!

A little round-up to start your weekend:

This just in: 5 in 6 kids enjoy sack races. (Thanks, Joe :))

One thing I like about Fall is puddle jumping. Doesn't this make you want to find the nearest puddle and do some damage?

A sad, but very sweet and real story.

There's something about this skirt that says, "Hey Erika, take me home." Then Erika says, "Hey skirt, you should be at least half off."

Ok, now go and have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I covet

These are gorgeous shoes.
(and the picture is too for that matter)

Anyone know the designer based on the gold writing? I realize that I'm completely admitting my lack of designer brand knowledge. It's just not my forte to keep them all straight!

Update: Thanks to
Kathryn Bradley, I've learned they are Christian Louboutin. Umm, duh. How did I not know that?! The gold writing didn't look like it spelled CL. Oh those red soles, very pretty.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shrimp Recipes

As a Washington native, former Samish Island resident and daughter of a fisherman, I think it's only natural that I like seafood. One of my favorite creatures of the sea? Shrimp. So I thought I'd share a couple recipes that I've tried lately.

Stephanie and I made the Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Pasta awhile ago and it was tasty. I would definitely recommend a little more red-pepper flakes to bring up the heat a bit. I secretly did and Stephanie (who isn't a super 'I like hot food' person) thought it was just the right amount. (Well, now it's not a secret, but aren't you glad you liked it Stephers?)

Serves 6
1 pound penne (or other short tubular pasta)
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails removed)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain; return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high heat. Add half the shrimp; cook until lightly browned on both sides and opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and shrimp (reduce heat if browning too quickly).

Reduce heat to medium; add capers, red-pepper flakes, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have softened and sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sauce and shrimp to pasta; toss.

Getting us started.

Taking my turn.

ANOTHER shrimp recipe I tried was the Pan-Fried Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce, which I would give another enthusiastic two thumbs up because it was quick and scrumptious. Seriously, pack up your bag, go home and fry up some of these suckers. I used the frozen shrimp variety and they were still amazing.

Makes 3/4 cup
1 slice (1/4 inch thick) peeled fresh ginger
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted cashews
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
Coarse salt
Pan-Fried Shrimp (click link for these directions, but it's basic pan frying with olive oil and pepper)

In a food processor, pulse ginger until finely chopped. Add 3/4 cup cashews; process until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add yogurt, cilantro, sugar, and curry powder; season with salt. Process until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cashews. Serve with shrimp, or toss with steamed vegetables. Refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From boy to man and everything in between

They shot 60,000 pictures, developed 9,600 prints and then again shot over 1,800 pictures. And apparently without any post production! Stunning, right? (via)

There are so many darn creative people out there, aren't there?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Down periscope

This weekend I did something very few people get to do, thanks for Christina and Andy Warner. I got to tour a NAVY SUBMARINE! It was mind-blowing. I had no idea what to expect or how much I'd learn, but the process and engineering of a sub is very intriguing. (Nerd alert!)

Everything from driving without any windows, air circulation when under sea for months at a time (umm, they have to make oxygen by breaking down CO2 through a complicated process, so weird), missile storage, storing enough food to feed hundreds of men (mind you, perishables like milk and fruit are gone after a couple weeks) and so much more! If you ever have the opportunity, take it because it's pretty rad.


Friday, September 17, 2010

I covet

These are things must have broken into my apartment to see my color schemes (or just seen my blog for that matter) because this map is right on the money. Thanks to You Are My Fave for pointing me in their direction!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I dream of Santorini

If I could go anywhere this instant, it'd be Santorini. Where would you go?

via Cup of Jo

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What time is it? Fair-thirty.

I've always been a big fan of fairs. So last night, Joe and I did the Puyallup. (I suspect another trip around the corner like last year with the girls. Ladies?)

  • Deep-fried Oreos. Joe just couldn't resist. I tried one and it was pretty darn good.
  • Fisher scones, smothered with raspberry jam and butter. My favorite. I hear they sell 80,000 per day! (Need the recipe?)
  • Ferris wheel ride. No amount of convincing could get Joe on the zipper :)
  • The stuffed cow that Joe won me in Skeeball!
  • Giant pumpkins, grange displays, people watching, and more!

Ferris wheels are rad

The fair-goers

Skagit Valley grange display. It got 2nd place!

My cow!

Giant pumpkin AND deep-fried Oreos

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My love for tennis is returning.

I got really into watching the U.S. Open this year. There's something about their crazy-fast serves, major top spin to their forehands, volleys and well, the obvious... Look at the finalists! Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic! Do you blame me for watching intently?

I was hoping for a Novak win since he shares a name with a certain someone. That's fair, right?

via and via

Monday, September 13, 2010

And the rest of the road trip

I realized that I was very eager to post about all the wine we drank, but have yet to post about the rest of our fabulous road trip. So here goes.

Remember these GORGEOUS photos of Crater Lake? And how excited I was to see the bluest lake in the world? Well, turns out, the weather had other plans. We rolled into our campsite at about 10 or 11pm on a nice, clear night, pitched our tent and fell fast asleep. Fast forward five hours: rain. We didn't put on the rain fly. So while I was in my sleepy state and saying, 'it's ok, we'll be fine without it," Joe took care of us. (Thanks J!) But it wasn't soon enough to prevent some water in tent, so we got up early and went to the lake.

Here's Crater Lake. We waited for several hours in the lodge for the rain and fog to clear, but it wasn't going anywhere... The one hiccup of our road trip, so we'll have to go another time.

So, next stop: Pacific Ocean! More specifically, Lincoln City and briefly Cannon Beach.

Being goofballs in the water.

The sunset the first night was perfect. Beach + cheese & crackers + wine + wonderful company = perfection.

We also swung by Portland to visit my sister for coffee and to see her new place! I'm so happy for her. Love ya, sis!

Friday, September 10, 2010


You all remember Dubs? The one and only Husky mascot. Well, it turns out Holden's (my old roomie) girlfriend Stacey wanted nothing more than to meet Dubs for her birthday. (Well, I'm sure she wanted something else, but this was at the top of her list)

Sneaky Holden arranged a special Dubs meeting. Isn't that adorable?

The pictures say it all.

Happy Friday, all! Hope you have fun weekend plans. I'm looking at you, Miss I'm-going-to-the-beautiful-land-of-Hawaii. I'll be thinking of you while you're taking your Ukelele and hula classes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chocolatey gooey goodness

Attention all chocolate lovers who like very simple, easy recipes: This is the recipe for you!

While the picture may look intimidating, it's really a piece a cake. Literally, it's a piece of cake. Get it? Ha. Ok, moving on.

When I would flip through Martha's cookbook, I always passed this sucker because I didn't want to pipe in liquid chocolate to cupcakes - it seemed too difficult. But when my chocolate-addicted boyfriend instantly started drooling when he saw the recipe, I decided we could give it a shot. Turns out, you don't need to pipe in anything - just take it out of the oven before it's fully cooked. So it's a good thing I did try it because they are AWESOME! Even reheated the next day.

Now I'm craving chocolate.

Molten Chocolate Cake


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted (Erika's note: We added a bit more, close to 10 ounces)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Whipped Cream, for serving (optional, I didn't have any so I put a dollop of ice cream on top)
Glass of milk (Erika's addition)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

Place muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

To serve, turn out cakes, and place on serving plates, bottom sides up. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

pic via martha

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Drinkin' the grape juice

A little of Napa and a lot of Sonoma, we tasted our way through California's wine country. As expected, we sported the semi-permanent purple teeth for part of the trip.

As you may have picked up (here, here or here), I like me some wine. Red. White. Verde. I like it all. And I think this trip has made Joe that much more interested in wine too! He loved the whole experience. I mean, how could you not? Jumping from winery to winery to taste really good wines and having the people tell you all about the whole wine-making process, from growing to fermenting to aging. (The geeks in us really liked learning about the whole process.)

Now a sampling of our pictures from the wineries.

Growing grapes at Mauritson Winery

(Had it not been for that piece of dry grass, this picture would have been awesome!)

The gazing ball at Ferrari Carano again.

The vineyard at Ferrari Carano
(Note: they don't allow picnics)

Madonna Estate - organic wines!

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