Thursday, March 31, 2011

Swedish Family

View from Norra Berget (via)

I've been communicating with my family in Sweden to get a few details hashed out for our upcoming visit and let me tell you - it's been SO FUN! (I have family in Ostersund, Sundsvall and Stockholm.) I can't even tell you how gracious they are - letting us stay with them, taking days off of work to be able to visit and now trying to plan fun activities during our stay!

My cousin in Sundsvall asked what I was interested in and I mentioned I had read about this beautiful vista from Norra Berget, Sundsvall's Central Park. She said, "Norra Berget, is it! But I think we'll have to think about something else too, Norra Berget is a small hill but for us in Sundsvall, but it's really a gigantic mountain! :)" Awesome factor: 10

Another cousin said they would take us to a baby moose farm in Ostersund! Plus, we'll be staying in a cottage by the lake. And I'll see the house that my great grandma grew up in. Ummm, how awesome is all of that? Awesome factor: 10

All these little details are making me more and more excited about this trip, including the fact that we've booked a night here! I realize that it's 44 days away (not that I'm counting) but that time will fly by and before you know it, I'll be back in Seattle dreaming about my next vacation :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I covet

I've eally been eyeing cross body bags lately. They just look so comfortable to carry, but also cute! For the last several years, I've been lugging around this ginormous bag from Banana Republic (as seen here), but I think I might be ready to switch it up. Plus, I think a cross body bag would be a perfect travel companion for my upcoming trip.

I also absolutely love this Marc Jacobs bag, but probably shouldn't splurge right now.

Oh, decisions.

bag 1 via & bag 2 via

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

21 things I'd like to accomplish or tell my 37 year-old self

Awhile ago, I made a list of things I'd like to tell my 17 year-old self, so I thought I would fast forward 10 years and make a similar list. Erika at 37, here goes.

  1. Travel as much as your bank account affords.
  2. Buy a home.
  3. Decorate that home prettily. Make one room unapologetically girly.
  4. Be happy and content with work. We spend far too many hours in the office, so we better enjoy those hours, right?
  5. Learn how to sew.
  6. 37 is the new 27.
  7. Still adore your amazing friends.
  8. Grow a garden for fresh, tasty ingredients to use for all the recipes you're still experimenting with!
  9. Get hitched to my adorable fella.
  10. Have a babe or two.
  11. Enjoy motherhood. I hear it flies by, so soak it up.
  12. But also plan "us" time and let the grandparents take care of the kiddos.
  13. Keep running.
  14. At some point, take at least a month off of work and go on an adventure.
  15. You better not be shopping at Forever 21. Sure, an item here and there at 27 is acceptable, but 37 is another story.
  16. Kam is going to be graduating from high school. (eek!) Convince him that UW is the place to be.
  17. Remember Facebook? That was (is still?) huge.
  18. Remember leggings/skinny jeans/oversized sunglasses/large purses? (I wonder what 2021 fashion will bring?)
  19. Continue to take lots of photos. They are so fun to look back on.
  20. Never underestimate the power of a healthy glass of red wine. It works wonders.
  21. Remember that at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is having the people you love in your life.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Sometimes when I dream about my future home, I find myself browsing design blogs for inspiration. Adding picture after picture to my "future home inspiration" folder - bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Until recently, I never realized how much of an impact a staircase can have in a home. Then I came across these suckers. They're so simple, but bring it up a step. (Ha, get it? A stair step.)

I especially love how the light comes through in the one below. Isn't it great?

all pics via/My Scandinavian Retreat

Friday, March 25, 2011

Oh yes, it's ladies night

In celebration of my Mom's birthday (Happy birthday again, Mom!), her girlfriends are throwing her a ladies night bash filled with wine, good food and lots of laughing. No, more than laughing, they howl from having too much fun. And guess what? I'm invited! I feel so honored. I hope they start a lemon drop throwing fight like they did last time. That made my night.

TGIF, friends!

Pic compliments of my cousin's wedding photobooth - Sister, Mom and me :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet Grace

She was one of the first bloggers that I really started following (and lost track of, but recently found again) and now she's turned into some crazy, slightly famous vlogger for MyDamnChannel. Her name is Grace and I wish I could be kinda like her. She's crazy funny, works as a comedian and actress, and always looks awesome. And now she goes and starts her own fashion blog called Daily Grace Gets Dressed?! Even cooler in my book. The best part? She's uber-budget friendly, but still puts together fun outfits, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


So I've only seen a small handful of their pictures, but I'm obsessed with Maddie, Steph and Kimber's road trip around Iceland. The beautiful, sweeping landscapes, bright blue skies and warm, wintery clothes - it all makes want to pack up and catch the next flight to Reykjavik! In due time, Erika, you'll make it there. Only 52 days.

I'm glad you ladies has such an amazing time. We missed you here, but can't wait to hear all of the incredible stories!

P.S. You guys look like another Emo band album cover. I love it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


My friends, if you haven't heard about Rockbox, then you're missing out! It's incredible for these reasons:
  1. It's karaoke. You know how much I love my karaoke.
  2. You rent individual rooms for your group so all of your karaoke fears or nerves vanish.
  3. You can hog the mic as much as your heart desires. No waiting for the karaoke DJ to call your name once every hour.
  4. You can try that song that you'd rather not try in front of people you don't know. Who knew I'd ever think of rapping Timbaland's Ayo Technology?
  5. You finally get to see your boyfriend karaoke. And boy, does he did a killer Monster Mash. And ABBA. Awesome.
We went for Gwynne's birthday and I can't wait to go back. The pictures below were taken with a flash, so they don't give off the true bluelight ambiance. Oh, and the mustache on Tom is fake, but those really are the lyrics to Aladdin's "A Whole New World." Such a great birthday party idea. (Maddie? This is calling your name.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

A stroll along the shore

What a lovely weekend. It got off to an early start because I took a half day on Friday so Joe and I could make it north at a decent time to visit my parents. After the delicious dinner (Mom, send the recipe!), we went into Edison to get a drink at the Longhorn and Edison Tavern.

On Saturday, Joe headed back to the city to prep for his next interview and I spent the day with my parents and their two little terrors, oh, I mean, terriers :) We first went to Compass Wines in Anacortes to pick up some new wines for my dad and then took a stroll at the Padilla Bay Shore Trail in Bayview. It reminded me of 1) how pretty my hometown is and 2) how awesome my parents are. Love you guys!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Looking forward to a glass of red wine with my parents and Joe tonight. Maybe from this winery? Yes, that sounds good.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


1. If you had 10 million dollars, what would you do with it?

2. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?

3. If you can take back anything you've ever said or done, what would it be?

4. If you could only eat 1 thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I love playing the "if" game. You really learn a lot about a person.

Feel free to answer any and all! Maybe, I'll share later :)

(Oh, and Happy St. Patty's Day! Go drink some green beer.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who knew?

Who knew that blowing your nose is equal parts scary and funny?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My friend posted this picture on Facebook with the caption, ", is this what I pay for? Really?"

So I just had to share.
Match works for some (ehem, me), but not all.
That's all I have to say.

The Green Monster

I joined the Green Monster movement.

I've had the recipe flagged in my Google reader for months, but I was finally reminded by Lovely Little Things just yesterday. Since my evening plans consisted of a little workout and grocery shopping, I figured it would be the perfect dinner to make it an ultra-healthy night.

Yeah, sure, a little skeptical of spinach in a smoothie, but I'm always willing to give things a try. And boy, I'm glad I did! It was tasty. And it completely filled me up! You really oughta try it, like, now.

2 Cups Raw Baby Spinach
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed (I forgot this ingredient, but will add next time)
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Banana

Combine all ingredients into blender and blend away. Drink up!

(plus ice & flax seed)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pike Place Market

To pass the time on a rainy afternoon this weekend, Autumn and I went to Pike Place Market to hunt for pussy willows for her wedding. (The end product for how they'll be used is still TBD, but I think we have some good ideas!) It was a successful, in-and-out trip, but it reminded me of how beautiful the market's flowers are. And better yet, how cheap they are! A bright bouquet of flowers can always bring a smile to my face. I need to hit up the market more often. Wanna join me?

Friday, March 11, 2011

little letters

dear natural disasters,

dear people of japan,
i'm praying for you.

dear relief crews,
thank you for what you're doing.

dear people i love,
i love you.

dear anyone,
why does it take something like this to put things into perspective?

This weekend, take a moment to be grateful for all the things you love. I'm grateful for my health, family, friends, and Joe.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Up, up and AWAY!

I was a big fan of the movie Up, so when I saw these real-life photos of an Up-inspired floating house, I couldn't help but get excited. I'd float my little house onto a little tropical island. Or maybe Santorini? Or maybe by a Swedish fjord? Nah, because I'll be flying there instead. Oh wait, I didn't tell you? IT'S OFFICIAL! We're going to Sweden! More about that later. For now, where would you like to float to in your Up-inspired house?

project by National Geographic

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Someone needs to be cut off.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Inspired by Steph's Potato Leek Pizza on Oscar night, I decided to peruse PDubs for another tasty find. It didn't take long to find a copycat of CPK's BBQ Chicken Pizza. But even better! It's the perfect blend of homemade crust, BBQ, cheese, chicken, fresh cilantro, red onion and BACON. The recipe didn't call for bacon, but we added it because, well, bacon makes everything better. It's a proven fact. Even vegetarians, like Susannah, love bacon.

I would also recommend making extra because even the leftovers are tasty!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 whole Recipe For Pizza Crust (Makes Two Crusts) (Find the full crust recipe at her site)
2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ cups Barbecue Sauce
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Salt For Sprinkling
16 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thinly
½ whole Red Onion, Cut In Half And Sliced Very Thin
Chopped Cilantro, to taste
BACON (You just gotta add it)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Salt chicken breasts on both sides, then place in an ovenproof dish. Pour BBQ sauce over the breasts and turn them over to coat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove from oven and cut into a fine dice. Set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees.

Roll/stretch out one pizza crust. Lay it on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle a little olive oil on the crust, then sprinkle on a little salt.

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of extra BBQ sauce on the crust and spread it evenly. Top sauce with half the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle on half the diced chicken and thinly sliced red onion.

Sprinkle again with a little salt, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle on plenty of chopped cilantro. Cut into squares and serve immediately. Repeat with other crust and other ingredients, or save for another time

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A new season

A couple weekends ago, we went snowshoeing at Snoqualmie Pass, probably for the last time this season. At the time, I was a little disappointed that the snowflakes were damp (not fluffy) and the temperature wasn't near as cold as it's been on past snowshoeing adventures. But then I got to thinking, this means that Spring is closer. I am happy to give up winter and all the snowy adventures it brings, to be able to wear fun sun dresses, retire my winter coat and actually leave work when it's light out.

As I've gotten older, I've realized that I am not the same winter-lovin' gal that I once was. I like me some sun (with sunscreen) and summer, filled with Chelanigans, weddings, and picnics.

What's your fave season?

Monday, March 7, 2011

The tragedy of first position

I started ballet when I was 3, so this definitely struck a chord with me. She is so stinkin' adorable.

House Hunting

Yesterday, Joe and I decided to visit a few open houses around Seattle. We are, by no means, looking to actually buy right now, but it's kind of a fun Sunday afternoon activity. Stephanie and I went condo-shopping (for her) a few weeks back and it got me hooked on the idea. One day, when I'm all grown up, I'll own a cute little house with a nice kitchen, pretty decorations and a yard and/or big deck for entertaining. One day. A girl can dream. In the meantime, I'll be content pretending how I'd spruce the place up and add my mark while strolling through open houses.

Our faves were a little Tudor in Ballard and a Craftsman in Maple Leaf. Aren't they cute?

pics via RedFin

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old photos

I've always loved the look of old photos. Now, thanks to new technology, we can kind of bring them back in a sense. Kimber used an iPhone app called Hipstamatic to create these photos - you can choose different lenses, flashes or films - all of which determine the hue, saturation and overall feel of the photo. Much like the Diana, I guess it's near impossible to recreate the same image. When I finally get my iPhone, I think this will be one of the first apps I purchase. (Oh, and The Stranger's happy hour finder that tells you the nearest HH that is still going on)

Do you have any favorite apps?
P.S. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I love the view from my office.

P.S. Goodbye gray clouds, hello blue skies.

pic compliments of Kathryn's iPhone

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My inner wedding planner

I'm happy that Autumn is tapping my inner wedding planner. Pretty dresses, beautiful venues, fun flowers, mechanical bull and more. (Ok, no mechanical bull at the wedding, but wouldn't that be funny?) After our run last night, Maddie, Autumn and I did a little inspiration searching. She's thinking yellow and grey, which automatically made me think of yellow pom pom flowers. And then we came upon this. Isn't it simple, funky and classy all in one? I love it.

pic/via Wedding Bee

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Super Mario

If you are anything like me, you probably enjoyed playing Mario growing up. I personally didn't own a Super Nintendo, but remember playing it for hours at a time at friends' house. So when Joe shared the real-life version of Mario Kart, I couldn't help but laugh. You've got to watch it - it'll bring back good memories.

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