Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I covet

Don't you love this print? The best things in life are most definitely people. (Well, and wine and cheese!)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Say cheese!

Just goofing around with my parents. Gotta love em!

P.S. Don't you love how you can gradually see my Dad understand what exactly is going on?

via/PopBooth iPad app

Monday, February 27, 2012

A New Chapter

Folks, we made it official. Joe is officially my new roomie. It's a long time coming considering we've played, "your place or mine?" for the past few years, but we're both incredibly excited. We were going to wait until we found a perfect home to buy, but that process takes forever and a day, so we just cut straight to the chase.

So now I'm down to one closet (yes, I'm fortunate enough to live in an apartment that has two closets!) and up one IKEA dresser. But most importantly, I'm up one incredibly awesome fella... who is willing to watch the Oscars over a nice glass of red wine and Italian Wedding soup :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Sunriver Finale

There were many a cheers, relaxing by the fire, strolling through Bend, a trip to the Owl's Nest, delicious homemade meals, snowblasting on a sunny day, snow boots a plenty, and a beer to top it off. Sunriver, I love you.

Now we're all looking forward to Chelanigans!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downtown Bend

Because we can't stray from tradition too much during our Sunriver trip, we spent one day casually roaming the streets of the little town of Bend. We love us some Bend. It's quaint and has cute little restaurants and shops, so what's not to love? From happy hour cocktails at Tart to dinner at Common Table (a cool nonprofit restaurant that donates all proceeds to the community and is run by volunteers!), the day was exactly what we hoped for.

To come, Sunriver via Instagram!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunriver: Snowblasting

Ok, ok, it's really called the Snowblast Tubing Park, but I truly believe we should all call tubing, snowblasting. Why? Simple math. Snow + having a blast = snowblasting. At any rate, you start with a few glorious minutes of relaxing on your tube as the rope tow brings you to the top, then you jump off and go down a GIANT hill, breaking the sound barrier within seconds! I'm not even kidding people, we created some sonic booms on our tubes, especially when we went down FOUR AT A TIME. So if you ever find yourself at Mt. Bachelor, heed this advice: go snowblasting. It's breathtaking (literally and figuratively - at times you go so fast that you can't catch your breath due to the wind resistance!).

Stephanie and Lizzie finding the perfect tube for optimal (fast!) speed.

Lizzie and Lianna ready to take on the hill.

Stephanie rope-towing up the hill.

What you can't really see in this picture is that the snowblasting hills are at about an 85 degree angle. I don't lie. And that hay? That's to make you slow you at the end, so you don't launch into outerspace or something.

Before we parted ways to ski and snowblast, all the ladies at Mt. Bachelor. Good times.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Sunriver, as usual, was magical. It was hard to come home, but at least we had the chance to enjoy the beautiful Central Oregon scenery on the car ride home. (It was way too dark on our way down.) Details to come, but I will say this: snowblasting (AKA tubing) is awesome and so are my girlfriends. Both make me smile.

Hope you had a wonderful 3-day weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Suits and Boots

The weekend notoriously known for suits and boots*, Goody's candy, skiing or sledding, aimlessly exploring Bend, OR, bad (bad!) chick flicks**, homemade breakfast and dinners, quality girl time - well, that weekend is upon us. Sunriver or bust!

What are your President's Weekend plans?

A note to the Doherty's: We don't thank you enough for letting us stay at your place each and every year. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year. So thank you!

*An annual tradition in which we put on our bathing suits and snow boots and high tail it to the hot tub across the complex.
**Just so you understand the caliber of bad movies we pick - if it features Miley Cyrus or Selena Gomez, we have a winner. Just bad. But usually quite comical.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Penne a la Erika!

We've made Penne a la Betsy from PDubs' site before and it's scrumptious and sinful. Heavy cream, butter, oil - oy vey! We thought we would attempt to make a slightly healthier version - much less butter, oil, replacing heavy cream with half and half, and skipping the salt. Maybe a not-so-healthy replacement, we also substituted turkey sausage for the shrimp. It just seemed quicker, rather than deveining the little suckers.

To be honest, I don't think I could taste the difference from the original! Maybe if I had them side-by-side, but these slight modifications still made a heavenly dish. Yes, I admit, it's still not healthy, but it's healthier. There has to be some indulgence on Valentine's Day, right? A little Lilyhammer, pasta and your main squeeze? Perfection.

P.S. Please don't judge my portion size above. This lady was hungry! And I wonder why my pants are feeling tighter this week? :)

Penne a la Erika! (Original recipe)

3/4 pounds Penne Pasta (if you use the full 1 lb. box, add a bit more tomato and half and half)
1 pound turkey sausage
1 Tablespoons Butter (was 3)
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil (was 3)
1 small whole Onion
3 cloves Garlic (was 2, but we wanted more)
1/2 cup White Wine, Or To Taste
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
1 cup half and half (was heavy cream)
Fresh Parsley, to taste (we tend to add more because we can never finish a full bundle, so we want to get some get use out of it!)
Fresh Basil, to Taste (ditto, above)
Pepper To Taste

Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.

Brown the turkey sausage. Remove from pan onto plate.

Finely dice one small onion. Mince two cloves of garlic. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your white wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of half and half. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.

Chop your herbs, about 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and about the same amount of chopped basil.

Now add the turkey sausage into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add pepper to taste. Throw in your herbs and stir until combined. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Picture this: New York mobster becomes everyone's target after he decides to do the right thing and testify in a trial. Quickly, he realizes that he won't survive in the Big Apple and enters the Witness Protection Program. Where does he request to be relocated? Lillehammer, Norway because "it looked pretty in the '94 Olympics." And you find out another small reason he chose "Lilyhammer", but I won't ruin the surprise.

A mobster in fair isle sweaters, trying to become a better person? It's like The Godfather meets Northern Exposure. Sounds like the recipe for a fun flick, huh?

We watched the first episode last night and I'm definitely itching to watch #2. It's a Netflix original, so it can only be watched on Netflix streaming. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

valentine's day happy list

A few things that make me happy on this Valentine's Day.
  1. The nostalgia and memories of elementary school valentine's days.
  2. Wearing this red skirt with red lipstick to work today.
  3. Google's valentine's day video. Sometimes the answer is simple.
  4. Knowing that the people who surround me in life are so supportive, inspiring and thoughtful. How'd I get to be so lucky?
  5. The "fax me" conversation heart. I like that even though the fax machine is semi-archaic, they still hold onto it.
  6. Laid back valentine's day plans with my sweetheart tonight. (Or swedeheart as my mom calls my dad?)
  7. This flashback memory: In high school, I remember telling my friend Robby about how I never had a Valentine, which was a week away. I wasn't sharing because I was bummed, just a matter-of-fact statement. So on the big day, he left flowers, chocolates and a balloon at my desk in 1st period. What a great friend, huh?
  8. The red and pink color combo. It's so bright and happy.
  9. Cute Valentine's Day cards.
  10. This unromantic, stinky gesture made me laugh.

pic/via pinterest

Monday, February 13, 2012

Macrina Bakery

Since we had an early morning on Saturday to sign some papers in Queen Anne, we quickly ducked into Macrina Bakery to share a sweet roll. They have some of the tastiest treats in Seattle. Even though I've only been there a handful of times, every time I get something different and every time I find myself wanting more. Next time, I'd like to try one of their savory scones. But considering homemade breakfast is just as tasty, it might be awhile before I get back :)

P.S. For the record, my favorite bakery is Cafe Besalu in Ballard. Next time I go, I'll document! Their pain au chocolat just melts in your mouth.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thinking Warm Thoughts

It's inevitable. Every year, I get to a point when I'm just ready for Summer (or an unseasonably warm Spring). I've hit that point way too early this year. To fight the rainy, gray weather blues, I reminisce of tropical vacations. Hands down, my favorite tropical vacation was Hawaii with Stephers back in 2009. Aww, the beaches. The cocktails. The warm sun. The snorkeling. The relaxation. The surfing. The naked baby. (Our daily beach visit was always at the same time as an adorable little family with the cutest little baby - and she mostly ran around in her diaper or just butt naked. Adorbs.) You guys, it was magical.

What is your favorite tropical vacation?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bathing Beauties

As a follow-up to last week's post, seriously, can it get any cuter than this? My Nama and my Mom, soaking in the sun - absolutely adorable, right? My grandma must have been close to my age in this photo (Am I right, Mom?). I wish I could jump into a time machine to join this timeless moment. But I'd definitely have to bring sunscreen! Lord knows I can't survive without it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We came, we dipped, they conquered.

Some like Super Bowl for the football. Some like it for the attractive players (ahem, Tom Brady). Many like Super Bowl for the commercials and the commercials alone. But to a few dozen people, Dip-A-Palooza is front and center on Super Bowl Sunday. The competitive dip-making contests brings in the best cheese dips, onion dips, jalepeno popper dips, cilantro dips, buffalo chicken dips, Snickers dips, curry dips - the list does on for miles.

This year, the competition was FIERCE. There had to be over 30 dips in total! We made Queso Blanco (thanks for the recipe, Steph!), which was very tasty, but by no means a winner. But even more impressive was the presentation of winners - Aaron impressed us all with his suit, top hat, booming music and scripted performance as he revealed the winners of Dip-A-Palooza VIII, one of the founding fathers himself (and wife!), Chris and Chrissy Barrows. It was well-deserved. Congrats, you two.

P.S. Past DAP posts.

DAPers. Many new faces this year, but still many old.

I was honored to be able to help tally the votes!

Aaron kept the crowd in suspense for a full minute before opening the envelope to reveal the winner.

Victory for the Barrows' - waving the flag and raising the DAP plaque!

The queso blanco. There is a whole lot of American White Cheese in this sucker. Healthy? No. Delicious? Yes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Bainbridge Adventure

A few years back, those of us who had Veteran's Day off decided to go on an adventure to Bainbridge Island. It's the perfect, quick escape to get out of the city on a sunny day, so we decided to recreate it on a Saturday afternoon. We had no agenda, just quality girl time - in the form of wine tasting, aimlessly walking through town and lots and lots of cheesy Mexican food. Oh, and did I mention girl talk? Yeah, lots of it. In fact, I feel bad for the bartender at the restaurant who was in earshot of all of our girly conversations. I'd like to think it was the highlight of his day :)

Excited for our next adventure!

The ferry ride home was dark!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Seriously guys, this is cool. Follow the instructions and be amazed.

1. Stare at the red dot on the girl’s nose for 30 seconds.
2. Turn your eyes to a plain surface (your ceiling or blank wall, preferably white, preferably sort of close by, maybe in a decently lit room).
3. Blink repeatedly and quickly.
4. Whoa.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I covet

These babies need little explaining. Who would have thought that light teal, patent loafers would make such an impression? But I have to keep my eye on the prize: save for a house.
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