Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cupcake Royale

After a delicious homemade meal, we hit up Cupcake Royale for our anniversary last week - the very spot of our first date. While two years ago, we walked to the Irish bar down the street (we didn't want it to end!), this year the old folks inside of us thought we'd call it a night. Besides, we had some Peterson Winery Zinfandel from our road trip to finish up, not to mention a Thanksgiving meal to prepare for the next day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A night out on the town

What do you do when two out-of-town girlfriends come to visit? Well, you plan a happy hour, of course. Then happy hour inevitably turns into getting another drink elsewhere, which turns into dinner at Serious Pie, which turns into hanging out at Steph's until the wee hours of the night. What can I say? There was a lot of ground to cover. Love you girls!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Feast

Friends, I'm checking something off my 30 Before Thirty list: Hosting a big holiday! This year for Thanksgiving, Joe and I mastered the traditional turkey feast for our parents. We started bright and early; I had the apple pie in the oven just after 9am and then moved onto the mashed potatoes shortly after (using PDubs delicious recipe).

We opted to keep they turkey simple with butter, rosemary and a tiny bit of garlic, then filled the turkey with Grandma Novak's famous stuffing. Add in the cranberry sauce I made the night before, plus a few more side dishes brought by our parents, and we were ready to give thanks. Good food. (No dry turkey!) Delicious desserts. Great company. I can definitely say that I have a lot to be thankful for. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

P.S. Don't you love my place setting? It's my grandma's old china that will one day be mine. It would have been her 82nd birthday on Thanksgiving, so my mom brought it down for the occasion. I think she'd be happy it was put to good use :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two Years

When this man strolled into my life two years ago, I had no idea how much he would change my life for the better. He's the most thoughtful, caring, intelligent, funny, and handsome man - I couldn't have asked for a better partner-in-crime. While last year, I recounted our first year together, this year I'm going to share a few reasons why I love this man so much.
  1. Have you seen his beautiful blue eyes?
  2. And that smile. It certainly lights up a room.
  3. We make a killer cooking duo.
  4. He's proud of his Swedish heritage, which is uber-convenient for me to keep it alive in my family.
  5. He's a perfect travel buddy.
  6. He sits through a chick flick now and again.
  7. He values education, which is important to me.
  8. He knows the perfect response to, "does this look ok on me?"
  9. He's a total gentleman.
  10. When he's killing me on the tennis court, I can tell he gets a little loose on what's in or out. (Giving me the advantage, thank you)
  11. My family adores him and I adore his family. Ditto in the friend department.
  12. He is a genuinely good, good person.
  13. Nurse Joe takes care of me when I'm sick. (Plus, let's me take care of him when he's under the weather.) He also has this crazy, quick instinct to ask if I'm ok when I hurt myself.
  14. Tech Joe takes care of my technology.
  15. He likes going on adventures like snowshoeing or finding new hikes.
  16. We laugh together a lot. A lot.
  17. In every situation, he has such great perspective.
  18. He still gives me butterflies.
  19. We want the same things out of life.
  20. He's absolutely perfect.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Joe, I thank my lucky stars I found you. I love you dearly. Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Snowy Getaway

On Saturday, we trekked up to Snoqualmie Pass to celebrate Tom and Emily's birthdays. We stayed at this amazing cabin, which sleeps 12, but we managed to fit close to 20. It was quite an eventful night, including tons of food, karaoke (yes, someone actually has a legitimate karaoke machine), dancing, games (umm, Bananagrams is so fun!), drinking, and tubing - which may or may not have resulted in an epic face plant by the birthday girl. I didn't witness it myself, but like most embarrassing moments, it was caught on camera. Overall, good times.

After the snowy getaway, we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of Fall in Seattle again. Isn't it weird how quickly the seasons change? Before we know it, it'll be Christmas! Until then, I'll enjoy the last few weeks of Fall.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Non-traditional Thanksgiving

For this month's edition of Cooking Club, Stephanie chose the theme of non-traditional Thanksgiving. So we each signed up for something traditional and had the option to spin the recipe. I quickly signed up for potatoes - making twice-baked potatoes instead of standard Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. Paired with glazed turkey breast, stuffing, brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, and miniature pumpkin cheesecakes! It made quite the spread. I'm drooling just thinking about the warm and hearty meal. Yet another successful cooking club!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who would have ever thought that rap would be the cure?

I imagine that people would do just about anything to stop a baby from crying. If playing a little Biggie Smalls does the trick, then I say go for it. Shoot, this baby already has some swagger, if you ask me.

Remember when the dad got into the crib to stop his little one from crying? So stinkin' cute.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Healthier Brownies

As soon as I heard about Diet Soda Brownies, I knew I had to make them pronto. You just mix a standard brownie mix with a can of diet soda, cook a smidgen longer than the box instructions, and end up with gooey, delicious brownies. I'll admit, there is a slight hint of soda flavor, but I don't think you'd notice if you didn't know it was a key ingredient. The brownies also have a little more of a cake-like quality and are somewhat sticky, but ditching the oil and eggs saves quite a bit of calories and fat, so it's totally worth it.

What do you think? Would you give these a shot?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Young at Heart

Yes, this is in fact my full-grown boyfriend in a ball pit. I'll address the questions that are most likely coming to your mind:
  1. Where is he? Oh, you know, just at his full-grown buddy's house.
  2. His buddy has a ball pit?! Duh. What else are you going to do with an empty basement?
  3. Does he have children? Nah, he is just young at heart.
  4. Umm, what about making a bar in the basement instead? Don't you worry, there is also a fully stocked bar. Like fully stocked. And a personal movie theater.
  5. Ok, back to the ball pit, how deep is it? About 4 feet. You could lose a small child in there. Luckily, this is a bachelor pad, so there will be no children lost in the sea of plastic, colorful balls.
  6. Can I visit this house?! I'll have to get back to you on this one, but I have a hunch that he wouldn't turn away any good-lookin' ladies.

Any other unanswered questions?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To be or not to be cool

Talk about coolest high schooler ever. Her class was required to memorize Hamlet's "To be or not to be" sollioquy, so she figured it would be easier with a melody. And a ukelele! Why didn't I think of that back in the day? Who knows, maybe chemistry would have been my thing if sung to the tune of "In Da Club" or "Cannonball"? Please don't judge me for my taste in music; it's gotten worse better with age, I promise.

Oh, and the teacher's verdict? A+

Monday, November 14, 2011

Höganäs Keramik

Don't you just love my Swedish teapot? The graphite grey, matte finish and imprint of Höganäs Keramik (clearly Swedish) made it seem like the perfect souvenir from our trip last May. Plus, I've become a big tea drinker, so it was basically a done deal. Signed, sealed, delivered, it's mine!

Next time, I'm getting some of the matching teacups to add to my collection...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nine Years

This little man is certainly growing up. I can't believe that he's almost in the double digits! We didn't get to spend his birthday with him like in years past, but I was thinking about him all day long. And in his honor, I even played Xbox Kinect. My game-addicted nephew would be proud.

Kamron, I love you to pieces and I hope your birthday was everything you hoped for. Sending you many hugs and kisses. And no rubbing off my kisses! Not all girls have cooties :)

Photo circa 2006/Dad's camera

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This guy...

...makes me smile on even the greyest of days.
(P.S. Best app ever.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A letter for Amanda

Dear Amanda,
We all voted and it was unanimous: you must move back to Seattle. Admit it, you're more of a west coast kind of gal anyway. Sure, you guys bought a house and all. Oh, and you just got a new, rockstar job out yonder. (Congrats!) But I will go on record and say: it's still not as cool as your home state of Washington. Mostly because I live here, but your family and other friends have something to do with it too :)

Until you reach this revelation, I'll accept the fact that you are dillydallying around North Carolina. I'll accept an occasional phone call or message. And I will also accept your invitation to visit at some point in the future.

At any rate, it was so good to see you this weekend. I sincerely hope we don't go as long next time around!


P.S. Amanda's brother is who gave me my nickname, "Herk", years and years ago.
P.P.S. The picture is from Halloween 2K7. It's sadly the most recent photo I have with Amanda! And for the record, I was Lindsay Lohan. Remember those lovely photos the paparazzi caught of LiLo in the grey hoodie? That's what I was going for.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I've told you before that I liked Up. But I think this little man has won me over even more than the movie. Isn't he the perfect rendition of the old man?

Hope you all have fabulous weekends!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hello 1980s

Just add a scrunchie and acid wash jeans and you'll find yourself in another decade! Alternatively, you can pair this bright top with some chic black ankle pants, a lovely necklace and black flats, and you're instantly back in 2011. What do you think - would you try rocking this?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hi Hat Cupcakes

Do you have a recipe that you've flagged for a long time, but have yet to make it? Perhaps because it intimidates you? Well, I do. And this is it, folks: Hi Hat Cupcakes. There are so many reasons it intimidates me and one look at the directions and you'll know why. But with mixer in hand and friend by my side (Thanks Mads!), I was ready to take. them. ON!

It's a rather lengthy process - making the cupcakes, licking the batter bowl clean, mixing the frosting at exactly 160 degrees, licking that bowl clean, piping the cupcakes, freezing the cupcakes, dipping them in molten hot chocolate, praying the frosting doesn't slide right off into the chocolate, rejoicing, then cooling the cupcakes to serve. Friends, this process is not for the faint of heart, but the finished product is absolutely incredible!

Top pic/via, other pics my own

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We Prescribed Party

As a doctor and nurse, we prescribed everyone a healthy dose of Halloween party. And party we did. With cupcakes and cocktails and a game of Apples to Apples! We were joined by Dorothy, a retro Tennis star, Archie and Betty, and a welcoming door mat :) All in all, another successful Halloween!

Sidenote: I must say, scrubs are quite possibly the most comfortable things ever. Part of me wishes that scrubs were the daily garb of us communications folk. I envy you, doctors and nurses. You have a good thing going on.

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