Monday, December 31, 2012

Samish Santa

Once again on Christmas Eve, we made the rounds on Samish Island with Santa (my dad!) to give all of the little kiddos a candy cane and add a little magic to their evening. The looks in their eyes was priceless. While the ride is cold (we stand right behind cab so we can wave at everyone as we slowly drive past), it's well worth it. I love the traditions of my home.

Stay tuned - I'll be playing blogging catch-up the next few weeks!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Oh, Christmas Tree

We were a little late in getting our Christmas tree due to work trips and a visit from the flu bug, but we finally brought it home last weekend. I knew it had to go smack-dab in the middle of the window because I love when you drive past homes at Christmas and see the pretty trees inside. Now whenever I drive home, I get a dose of holiday spirit the moment I park my car and an extra dose when I step inside and smell the Christmas pine.

Hope you are all enjoying the Holiday season with all of the smells, traditions and family time.

On the search for the perfect tree.

So many to choose from! But we ended up with a gem.

The kitties loved decorating time. 
Goose: "Why is there a tree inside?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Santa Bachelorette

One of my favorite traditions post-engagement and pre-wedding is the bachelorette party. It's our chance to celebrate the bride without competing with 100 or 200 other people at the wedding. It's our chance to meet all of the important women in her life that we may not know, so we can dance the night away at the wedding. And it's our chance of getting "Santaed" by a random stranger. (This man was hoping the hat would get him an invite to the party. Sorry, buddy.) Merith's bachelorette party covered it all. We ventured to Ballard for cocktails, a nice Italian dinner and a smidggen of dancing. A kick-back bachelorette party, but super fun nonetheless.

Now only a week and a half until Miss Merith Kallshian will become Mrs. Merith Hall. So excited!

P.S. We played the "how well do you know each other?" game, so I emailed Andy several questions beforehand and he sent his answers. We then quizzed Merith to see how many she'd get right - considering how tough the questions were, she did well :) But my absolute favorite Q&A was:

Q: What excites you most about marrying Merith? A: Knowing that the rest of my life is going be with her and that we are going to have so many fun adventures ahead of us!

Queue: Awwwww.... 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simple Pasta and Sinful Drinks

A few weeks ago, Maddie and I decided that we wanted a night of good homemade food and drink. We scoured the food blogs for a relatively easy dinner option and only found a recipe for a delicious-sounding cocktail: The blackberry and meyer lemon gin and tonic. Since our focus turned to the beverage of the night, we opted for one of Maddie's quick, go-to recipes: Pasta with peppers, mozzarella and arugula. With only a handful of ingredients, this dish certainly packs a flavor punch. In fact, I liked it so much, I made it for Joe two nights later.

So next time you're looking for an easy meal or a fancy drink, I'd suggest both of these recipes, but the key ingredient: enjoying it all with good company :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Nutcracker

Once again, my cousins made me proud in the Nutcracker. This year, their roles were reversed: Miss Jenna was the lead as Clara and Miss Audrey was the Snow Queen. Both were absolutely stunning. These little ladies have serious talent. Since graduation is knocking on their door (where does time fly?!), I hope they are both able to continue to do what they love - dance. Lord knows, I'll be cheering them on from the audience!

P.S. The Nutcracker from last year.

The final curtsy and bows - both of them front and center!

The dancing queens with my grandma and me :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

The White House

One of the perks of my job is that our boss can move mountains. When we found out that our office tour of the White House wasn't coming to fruition, the boss man steps in, makes a call and within 5 minutes has us on the guest list for the very next day. Needless to say, we were all very excited!

Lucky for us, the White House was all decked out in holiday cheer. We learned it takes 150 volunteers several days to complete the decorations. Each room has at least one tree, wreaths, poinsettias and a Christmas smell that instantly puts a smile on your face. While I didn't have any run-ins with the man himself, a few of my coworkers spotted the first dog, Bo, sneaking out of top-secret territory before being taken away by the Secret Service. 

All in all, it was an incredible experience; you really do feel like you're walking through a little piece of history.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My View

I'm working out of our DC office this week and am currently perched at a desk with a view of the Potomac River. While I do like the view from my office a little better, it's not too shabby for a visitor.

Hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Local 360

On Saturday, Joe and I had the opportunity to try out Local 360 in Belltown. As the name subtly implies, everything they serve comes from within 360 miles of Seattle. Sort of a fun concept, huh? And conveniently for us, one of the neighboring businesses was giving out $50 gift certificates. Hot damn! So we treated ourselves with a delicious pork chop and the most amazing risotto I've ever had. In fact, I've already been scouring the web for a similar recipe. Who wants to test this recipe with me? If it fails, we'll just have to head down to Local 360 :)

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