Monday, April 30, 2012

The Weekend

Everything from relaxing to house-hunting and fishing to sushi-making - it was one of those solid weekends when you go to bed on Sunday night and think, "wow, what a fulfilling weekend." But then you wake up on Monday morning and think, "you're kidding me - it's already Monday?!" Do you know the feeling?

At any rate, can't wait to share my fun adventures from the weekend!

P.S. Fun random fact: Did you know that Henry Ford standardized the 5-day work week? Before him, 6 days was the norm. Thank you, Henry.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

happy list

Because it's been awhile and I love happy lists, I decided it was time for a little Spring edition. In no particular order, here are a few things that make me happy:
  1. Impromptu bands at Green Lake - within minutes, there were dozens of children surrounding these guys and it melted my heart. 
  2. Staying true to my new goal: getting some fresh air at least once a week during work hours. It makes a world of difference.
  3. Black tea lemonade, half the sweetener, light ice. Starbucks, I hope you love my detailed orders.
  4. The grassy knoll.
  5. This adorable swimsuit.
  6. Overhearing really funny conversations when running or walking around Green Lake. Seriously, people. We can hear you. (Makes me also think twice about my conversations?)
  7. Getting back into the groove of things and feeling good about it.
  8. Opening day of fishing this weekend with my Dad!
  9. My iGoogle countdowns for weddings - Lizzie in 58 days and Jessie in 156 days!
  10. The sun. How can it not make you happy?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Farewell, Sambar.

With Sambar right down the street from my place, it's no surprise that I've stopped in on occasion. (Actually, for two Valentine's Days in a row!)  It's a cute, tiny establishment with crazy rotating cocktail concoctions - in fact, I usually only know about half of the ingredients! Turns out, they will be closing in June, so Maddie, Steph and I decided that we should get a final visit in. We ordered some sort of sweet and spicy cocktail - I'd give it a 6 or 7 on a spicy scale of 1-10. And if you know me, you know I like spicy things, so it definitely hit the spot!

But the side of frites didn't help our hunger pains, so after cocktails we walked down the street for Chinese. (True story: I have never been to a Chinese restaurant in Seattle! Crazy, huh?) While the people were downright hilarious, the food... well, it looks far better in the picture than it tasted. I think we might have been better off picking up some Chinese at Safeway. I don't know about Mads and Steph, but my stomach was definitely singing me a song (growling like crazy!) that evening. But a lesson learned, I suppose!

Overall, perfect evening to kick off the weekend!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Quick, Easy Go-To Recipe

After a long day at work, it can sometimes be difficult to think of healthy, filling, and quick meals. But we all have them: our go-to recipes. You know, the meal that never sounds too time-consuming and always sounds delicious. For me, that's taco salad. (Or taco soup for the winter, but I'll get to that another time!) Just pick out your fave veggies, cook up some ground turkey with low-sodium taco seasoning, throw it all onto some romaine lettuce and top with a little salsa and fat-free sour cream. Talk about DE-licious.

Oh, and don't forget to pick up tortillas. The leftovers are perfect for a burrito for lunch the next day.

What are your go-to recipes?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Signs of Summer

A sampling of the many signs of summer this weekend. And this is just the beginning! With that, here is the start of my summer to-do list:
  • Plant some flowers.
  • Rock a Duck Dodge. (Eh, Autumn and Ryan?)
  • Rock the Rock n' Roll half marathon.
  • Soak up some Hawaiian sun (with sunscreen!)
  • A trip to Greenlake Pitch n' Putt.
  • Enjoy dinner and a sunset on the deck at home with my folks.
  • Dance the night away at a few weddings!
  • Hit up an outdoor movie.
  • Perhaps a little more wine tasting somewhere fun? Yes, I think so.
  • Make delicious homemade popsicles.
That's just a start. Any other ideas I should add?!

Friday, April 20, 2012


At first, I named this post, "TIGF" Then it became "TTGIF" And I'm not even kidding, it was back to "TIGF" What am I trying to say here? Well, it's been a long week and Thank God It's Friday, friends. I'm ready to cut loose! Seriously, who's with me on this one?

P.S. Picture from Green Lake a few weeks back!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Subway tile and open shelves

I was looking through my Future Home pin board on Pinterest the other day and noticed a theme: I really like subway tile and open shelves. Unintentionally, almost every kitchen image I post has at least one or the other. The combination looks so clean and fresh, and you get to display your pretty dishes! But for the record, I'd definitely want some closed cupboards - all open shelves could get unwieldy, don't you think?

P.S. I also love it in the bathroom!

pics | 1 (lost source!)| 2 | 3 | 4

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Dorothy Moment

If you could close your eyes, click your heels three times and magically appear somewhere else, where would you go? I think I might find myself on the bow of a boat on Lake Chelan with a Corona in hand. Chelan is the definition of relaxation. (Or I might go here!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Ribollita Cure

Someone was feeling a little under the weather yesterday, so the doctor ordered SOUP! I fished around for some delicious, healthy, vegetable-filled recipes and then remembered a recipe Katie had sent me years ago - Ribollita. She continues to taunt me every time she brings it in to work, so it was about time that I gave it a stab myself. (Carol, for the record, it's a Giada recipe!)

Surprisingly, I had a lot of the ingredients at home already, so I just had to pick up a few remaining items. I made several modifications (as noted below), but it turned out great! I like to think that it's the reason a certain someone feels better today. Have you heard of the Ribollita Cure?!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (I added another because why not?)
4 ounces pancetta, chopped (I used diced prosciutto)
2 cloves garlic, 1 minced and 1 whole
1 teaspoon salt (didn't add)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (used 1.5 TB - I didn't want to waste it!)
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I forgot to thaw, so I threw it in frozen)
1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence (used Italian Spice blend instead)
3 cups chicken stock (closer to 4 cups made it soupier/allows for even more leftovers!)
1 bay leaf (didn't add)
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind (didn't add)
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, pancetta, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onion is golden brown and the pancetta is crisp, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the spinach, beans, herbs, stock, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fancy Park Picnic

What better way to end the weekend than a picnic? You all know how much I love my picnics! We met up with Erik, Johan and Shelly for a picnic at Medina Park on Sunday, where we enjoyed bagel sandwiches, fruits, veggies and limonata. Before we could digest lunch, we were out playing with the stomp rocket, building gravel castles (turned mountain turned volcano and back to a castle) and playing a rousing game of soccer. Team Johan (with Shelly and me) won with flying colors - that little bugger can certainly dribble a soccer ball!

For a little cool down, we decided to walk down to the water
in search of Bill Gates and look at the pretty homes. Joe and I are really torn between this home and this home - what do you think? I guess it all comes down to who would we rather have as our next door neighbor, Bill or Jeff? :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Grassy Knoll

It's that time of year when the grassy knoll outside my apartment gets a lot of action. All you need is an adult beverage, homemade salsa, chips, camping chairs and a pair of shades - then just sit back, relax and soak up the Vitamin D. It's a lesser-known oasis in the heart of Seattle, I tell ya.

P.S. Remember the World Cup party on the grassy knoll?
P.P.S. Recognize my clogs?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caine's Arcade

If you have a few minutes to spare, you have to watch this. It's about an adorable 9-year-old boy who makes a cardboard arcade, and ultimately attracts the masses. My favorite part is that for $1 you get 2 turns, but with the $2 Fun Pass, you get 500 turns. What a steal.

If you live in LA (cough, Suze, cough), please visit the arcade for me. And buy the fun pass :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blast from the Past

Last Friday, I got a text message from an old friend, Adriana. Turns out, she was in Seattle for her Bachelorette Party and wanted me to come - how could I turn this invite down?! Even though we already had a going-away party that night, I was up to the party-hopping challenge.

Adri has been on the East Coast for school since we graduated high school, and now works as a veterinarian in Alaska. Needless to say, we haven't seen each other since GRADUATION. (I know, a little embarrassing.) Despite this, Adriana is exactly the person I remember - smiles, giggles and all.

Adri, wishing you a happily ever after! Let's not go another 10 years without seeing each other again, kapish?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Egg Titanic

Nothing says Easter like a delicious brunch. (Except maybe "He has risen" - that certainly says Easter) Nonetheless, my folks came down on Easter Sunday to enjoy brunch, featuring The Egg Titanic. What is this, you may ask? It's basically a cheesey, bacony, oniony, eggy concoction that is poured into a long, hollowed out baguette. Then you throw it in the oven and watch the magic happen.

The moment you pull it out of the oven, you feel like The King of the World. Then you take a bite and you think to yourself, "I'll never let go, egg bake." It's that good. The only tragedy with this Titanic was that I forgot to take photos of the finished product.

A big shout out to Stephanie who reminded me about the delectable Baked Egg Boat recipe from her blog. As you can see, she used individual baguettes - hence "boats" - but we could only find an ultra long baguette - hence "The Titanic." The new name also seemed fitting since Jack and Rose were recently introduced to a whole new generation of tweens. Kids, I have a vintage poster of Jack Dawson that I'll sell to the highest bidder.*

*Ok, not really. It's actually of this guy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Purple Smiles

When we were home for my Mom's 60th a few weekends ago, we took a nice, leisurely stroll through downtown Fairhaven before dinner. It didn't take us long to make it to Purple Smiles, a cute local wine shop we have visited before. They were tasting Pinot Noirs from Washington and Oregon - and I have to say, the PNW knows how to make wine. They were all delicious!

P.S. Do you like the plaid twins?
P.P.S. I promise we don't spend every waking moment drinking wine.

Friday, April 6, 2012


I've had this note on my computer for well over a year. It's a little Kathryn memento that I never plan to take down. Even though she's no longer at the desk next to me, she's with me in spirit :)

Though quite simple, the note really helps psych me up on Fridays. And today, I've had a particularly wild case of the Fridays. You know when you get that shrill of excitement that rushes through your body and comes out in the form of a giant smile? Yeah, that's what's happening. It's like all smiles here. Smile:30. Smile o'clock. Smilearathon. (Ok, you get the point.)

Here's to a smile-filled weekend, filled with friends, a run, brunch and maybe even a visit by the Easter bunny! TGIF.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Baby Interrogation

He tries and tries and tries, but to what avail?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cali Sandwich

This California Sandwich has been making the rounds on Pinterest and every time I see it, my mouth waters a little. A bell is to Pavlov's dog as Pinterest is to Erika. The recipe is pretty basic: bread, chive spread, avocado, tomato and sprouts. (The original recipe also called for pepperjack, but I nixed it.) I followed this recipe for the chive spread, using low-fat cream cheese in an attempt to keep it healthy. For a little more substance, we paired it with a cup of tomato basil soup. You guys, it was delicious. I think this sammy has made it on the quick, easy and scrumptious list, which means that it'll likely be a regular on the weekly menu.

P.S. Do you like the red wine shadow in the first pic? I'm just keeping it classy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Putting my running shoes back on.

It's that time of year again: training time. My running buddies and I have committed to another half marathon in June, so I've been lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement. I'm not to the point where I think, "wait, the run is already over?!" but I'm getting back into the groove and that's what matters. My perpetual runner's high is just around the corner (I hope!).

P.S. I'm a little nervous that I still have to do another marathon in the next year and a half. My list has already committed me to it!

P.P.S. Picture from the Leavenworth Half Marathon.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Coffee, beer and taxes

If you have to do taxes, might as well make the most of it, right? That's why we decided to set up shop at Aster Coffee Lounge in Ballard. We started with a foamy latte and eventually moved onto a cold brew. Combined with the Al Green soundtrack, taxes have never been so much fun!
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