Friday, July 29, 2011

Instant Gratification

Autumn brought her little Fuji Instax camera to the wine and cheese party a few weeks back. Aren't the photos just great? Polaroid-type photography is really the original "instant gratification photography" that we are so lucky to have these days with digital photography. But the best thing about this - you get the actual print right away vs. having to wait until the next time you print photos, which can sometimes be months later.

Can't wait to bring the Polaroid out for Chelanigans!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I covet

This dress makes me reconsider my wants vs. needs. Do I want it? Absolutely. Do I need it? Not sure if I can survive without it. Well, that might be taking it too far, but I do think it's stunning. Throw on a pair of Jackie O glasses, pearls and a bright-colored pair of pumps, and you can pretty much take over the world, right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The rest of the weekend

So my friends, here's how the rest of the magical weekend went down:
1. We hiked up to Fragrance Lake and Lookout Point for a little picnic. I can't get enough of that hike. It is so peaceful up there!
2. We took a stroll around downtown Fairhaven in Bellingham, where we ate gelato and did some wine tasting at Purple Smiles.
3. We had a lovely dinner with my Mom on the deck with the sun shining down on us. Bonus: My neighbors were having a wedding, so we listened to great music, toasts and laughter all night!
4. We visited The Old Edison for live music and a beer.
5. We went out to Kathy's house on Clear Lake for kayaking and floating. Pure relaxation.

Fragrance Lake - so still and calm

Does she fall?!

No fall by this lady!

Lookout Point with Samish Island in the background

The Old Edison

It's Kayak:30!

Off on a kayak adventure.

Now it's float:30!

Can't wait for the next magical weekend!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Magical Weekend

We had such a magical weekend up in the Skagit Valley. I've been closing my eyes and reliving it all day. Part of it involved a hike on Chuckanut Mountain where there were ginormous boulders. So we had to snap photos of them. I know what you're thinking - photos taken from this angle are extremely flattering. They don't make you look like you have cankles at all. Or were you thinking, "did she photoshop herself to make herself look translucent white?" For the record, I didn't. I really am that pale. My former tan self... only a fleeting memory now. (But tantastic Erika will return for Chelanigans!)

More to come on the magical weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blue-eyed cutie patootie

I tend to obsess over things at times. At one point, it was cupcakes. Then there was Martha Stewart's cookbook. And of course, there's the obvious recent obsession: Sweden (which isn't over as evidenced by yesterday's post). And now? Kittens. Don't you just want to squeeze this little bugger?! She's such an itty bitty kitty. I'd name her Jane. Or Kitty Purry (oh wait, that's Katy Perry's cat's name). Or Cuter-than-a-bug's-ear-Peterson. Something along those lines.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scandinavian Grace

Please just tell me when you're sick of hearing about Scandinavian things. Seriously, I realize that it's a little out of hand lately, but I can't help myself. I recently came across the online store, Scandinvanian Grace, and want to magially export everything from the store into my apartment. At the snap of a finger. Ok, ready? SNAP. Nope, that didn't work. (Better freshen up my magical powers.)

I just love the clean simplicity of Scandinavian design with a few splashes of fun patterns. What can I say? I'm a simple lady with some... sass? Yeah, sass. I have to tell you though - my cousin had this exposed bulb lamp at her place in Sweden and I couldn't stop looking at it. The picture doesn't give it justice. It's perfect. When I came home, I Googled everything I could think of to try to find it, but had no success. Then magically, one day I found this site and immediately looked at lighting - and BAM - there it was. It's pretty pricey for what it is, but I'm still considering it. Don't judge me.

I'm also considering these bath towels, flatware and champagne flutes. For now though, I'll just put them on my "one day" list. (That list is getting way too long!)

The New Girl

Is anyone just as intrigued/excited/curious about this new show? I adore Zooey Deschanel.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Unbeknownist to me, Stephanie took my camera hostage at Autumn's wedding and snapped some photos of Joe and me dancing. I'm sort of in love with all of them because they capture the moment so nicely. Aren't candid photos the best?

(Thanks for taking photos, Stephers!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wine & Cheese, Please

One item on my summer to-do list is to throw a wine and cheese tasting party. Well, this Friday I was able to give that line item a big, ol' check mark! I had the ladies over to do some blind wine tasting, as well as eat delectable treats, including cheese & crackers, grapes, walnuts, dried cherries, olives, salted Italian chocolates and thanks to Baker Erin, some tasty almond-roca-like-goodness.

Ever since I worked in a wine shop years ago, I've wanted to throw this kind of bash. I don't know what took me so long, but I can't wait to do it again! We all brought a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, between $10-$20, but I also threw in a $3 bottle to see how it'd fair. Then I hid the bottles and we got down to business, deciding whether or not the wines were earthy or fruity or dry or tannic. Often times we'd pick up on the same characteristics, which made us feel like we kind of knew what we were doing (even if we didn't)! I also taught them the 6 s's of wine tasting: see, swirl, smell, sip, savour and spit. (But we didn't spit because that's just plain nonsense.)

Now for the party details. I made labels for the wine glasses because it was inevitable that we'd mix up wine glasses throughout the night without them.

Some of the treats, including water to rinse our glass between tastings. (Oh yes, we're so sophisticated :))

I provided a list of possible cheeses and everyone signed up for a different kind, so the cheese platter was perfectly varied - from hard pecorino to ultra-soft triple cream to the favorite of the evening, the drunken goat. Not your typical goat cheese, but very delicious!

An intermission from the food shots. This is when Autumn was trying to "savour" by kind of bubbling the wine to get the full flavor. Yeah, it makes you feel really silly. And you can't help but laugh.

Erin's scrumptious almond roca treat. (Yes, Mom, it's the same recipe you use.)

Concealed wines waiting to be judged.

This is how they ranked, best on the left - which was actually Autumn's wedding wine! The $3 bottle got 5th place. And mine got last! Oops. The wine shop lady must have led me astray!

And the ladies of the evening, right after Erin let out our infamous "there's-no-way-you-can't-laugh-after-hearing-this-crazy-laugh" laugh. Let's just say you'd never think that sound could actually come out of such a sweet face, but let me assure you, it can.

Next time I think we'll taste whites. Chardonnays, perhaps? Or maybe even choose-your-own-white? At any rate, I'm sure it will be equally as fun. Thanks for coming over, ladies! Can't wait for the next wine night!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Back in the groove of things

But I must admit, it hasn't been easy. The long runs feel long, even if they are half the length of my training runs last year. But, I guess that's why they call it training. Less than two months until my next half marathon!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

La Casa del Mojito

Awhile ago, Joe and I were in no mood to cook. I got off work a little late and he had just gotten off a long stretch of work over the weekend, so we thought we would treat ourselves to dinner at La Casa del Mojito in Maple Leaf - a Latin American-inspired restaurant that offers drums to play at your table and the perfect summer evening cocktail, the mojito - not too sweet, not too strong and incredibly fresh.

It's extremely difficult to choose an entree on the menu because everything sounds so tasty. We decided to just point to a couple dishes at the next table when we ordered, "We'll have what he's having and what she's having." Very sophisticated way to order, I must say. We ended up sharing the pabellon (shredded beef dish) and some sort of pork dish. Both were scrumptious, but we agreed that the beef dish took first place.

I will definitely be making it back to this hidden gem - the little yellow building off of the I-5 exit to Lake City is not to be missed.

P.S. This is how wow'd Joe was with the menu options :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer BBQ Picnic

I've told you time and time again, how much I love me some picnics! So when there was talk about a Friday evening picnic last week, I was all over that. Bring on the grilling, sun, fun people and Straube's amazing peach cobbler shortbread bars! Of course, we also had a special guest appearance from Zeke, who could not get enough of the local wildlife (read: squirrels). It was a delightful picnic that lasted until dark because we didn't want it to end. Let's do this more often, kapish?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Midnight Sun

Going back to the Sweden archives because I hear my aunts are sad that these posts are over. And honestly, I'm sad they are over too! I occasionally find myself looking up the weather in Stockholm or looking up language classes at the Swedish Cultural Center - as if my next visit is around the corner. I do miss their delicious cinnamon rolls, casual biking culture (no Seattle spandex bikers!), fantastic fashion and the midnight sun. Oh, the midnight sun of Ă–stersund. We always talk about wanting more time in our day, and they most certainly do. The sun dips below the horizon for what seems like a split second and then - poof! - it's daylight again. I needed evidence of this phenomenon, so here's what I got. (But geez, I don't like my voice on camera!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Americana on the Island

The Samish Island 4th of July festivities are a little slice of old-fashioned Americana. It's one of the many reasons I am a proud native of Samish Island. A small town celebration of our nation's independence filled with a quirky parade, the star-spangled banner in every direction, delicious food, beachfront relaxing, sun, and friends and family (though mine was in Montana this year!).

Since we had a wedding last year, this is Joe's first experience. He just got off a 9pm-9am shift and somehow I managed to convince him to join despite the extreme exhaustion he would inevitably face. I don't think he regrets it one bit because he already said he's ready for next year! At one point, he said, "wow, this parade makes the Port Angeles parade look like the Macy's Day Parade!" Yep, that's about right.

The traditional ladies photo. (Sorry, Mads, my hair is taking over your face!)

The Samish Island marching band. They play a whoppin' one time per year!

There are a lot of tractors. An unofficial symbol of the Skagit Valley.

Kids get to dress like whoever they want - a devil on the 4th of July? Sure, why not?

They throw us a lot of candy.

The Knutzen's serve up some tasty food - like this frosting with a side of cake.

Greg likes to make what we call "nacho oysters" - grilled oysters with cheese, a slice of bacon, salsa, and green onions. (Greg is also the biggest HUSKY fan I know!)

Can't wait for next year!

Eight Years

At the young age of eight, Kamron is mere inches from outgrowing me. (He's also quite a goofball, as you can see.) He was a head above everyone in his second grade class this year and nearly the size of his teacher! The kid is growing like a weed and eating like a high school boy. Makes me wonder how tall he'll be one day. Maybe 6'1" like his mom? Or 6'5" like his dad? If I had to bet, I'd say even taller. Only time will tell. Love you, Kam!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Favorite Holiday

My favorite holiday has come and gone and I have yet to blog about it. Crazy, right? A full post to come, but for now, a snapshot of the amazing Samish Island 4th of July parade. Can't get much better than mini-horses and cute children! Try not to get too jealous.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Meet William, Harry, Pippa and Kate

Lizzie gets to keep William and Harry. I guess that leaves me with Pippa and Kate? :)

Oh, I wish. One day, I tell you. One day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Matt's in the Market

Last week, Kathryn, Meredith, Olita and I had the rare opportunity to hang out together. With Kathryn now in New York, Meredith moving from Philly to San Fran and Olita and I holding down the fort in Seattle - these kind of get togethers are few and far between. (It's very, very unfortunate!)

We decided to go somewhere that would be considered "very Seattle" for our relocated friends. How much more Seattle can you get than Matt's in the Market, seated right in front of the Pike Place Market sign? We just ordered wine, cheese and salads, but it was all very delicious. The ambiance there is so lovely. Then we ended our night with the one and only, Molly Moon's. Nothing beats their salted caramel ice cream!

I look forward to the next time we can all share stories and a bottle of wine!

The view from our table. Not too shabby, eh?

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