Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cuter than a bug's ear.

During the holidays, I looked through hundreds of old family photos. I'm one of those people who can look at stranger's photo albums and become instantly enthralled (which I do regularly on Facebook, admit it, you do too). But when it's my own family, I become even more intrigued. When I came across this gem of my Dad with his brothers and sisters, I was in love. Such an adorable, happy family!

So, whaddya think? Do I look like my dad? :)

From left to right: Aunt Jeanie (baby), Uncle Doug, Aunt Nancy, Dad and Aunt Barb.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Swedish Winter

One of my Swedish relatives posted a picture of her home on Facebook recently. It looks magical! It's not uncommon in Ă–stersund to get several feet of snow at a time. Makes our Seattle freakout look a little pathetic ("But we have hills!" says the Seattleite). But honestly, doesn't this make you want to warm up some hot cocoa, cuddle up by the fire and gaze outside at the winter whiteout?

Friday, January 27, 2012


I literally chased this rainbow around Green Lake awhile back. I was driving, saw it out of the corner of my eye, stopped the car - parking very illegally - to snap a few shots. (I wasn't alone, there was another car that did the exact same thing!) The picture doesn't do it justice, but it was perfect. A good reminder of how the small things in life can totally boost your mood. I had no agenda for the day, so I just drove towards it. Never really making it even an inch closer. The 4-year-old in me was hoping, hoping that I would eventually reach the magical pot of gold. No such luck, but nonetheless, it was a fun adventure!

Hope you have a weekend filled with chasing rainbows and finding gold, whether that's a golden brew, golden hand or golden john (seriously people, is this even necessary?)!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Zebra Stripes

There once was this girl named Autumn. She was an adventurous soul. So for high school graduation, her dad decided to take her on a safari in Africa. Since her father was an avid hunter with deer and elk mounts covering the walls of their home (which stare you down when sleeping at their home!), their safari was a bit different than some - they carried guns.

For everyone's sake, let's fast forward a bit. Autumn's prized zebra rug! It's style, accomplishment and pure awesome all-in-one. And after a little searching, I'm sold on the versatility. Don't you agree? (I like the first picture best!) Well, I guess I gotta go on an African safari now! Or I suppose I could go the easier route and buy this one? Nah, safari wins. Who wants to come?

pics via 1 2 3

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Last Friday, I stayed home sick, but even worse, I had completely bare cupboards. You know your cupboards are bare when you think to yourself, 'I wonder what peanut butter would taste like on pasta?' - trying to make a meal out of the few things you actually do have. But instead of going down that path, I waited. Worked a little, rested a little, etc. Joe said he'd come over and help make dinner after work, so I was watching the clock like a hawk.

Now the question was, what should we have? What tastes best when you're under the weather and the snow won't stop falling outside? Soup. It's a no-brainer. With that in mind, I scoured Martha for a tasty-looking soup and landed on the Spicy Black Bean Soup. I've had bland black bean soups before, so I knew we'd have to keep in the zing (spicy, but not overwhelming) and add some flavor - like avocados, ham, sour cream and cilantro - all of which, make me want to file away this recipe for another wintery day. Yum!

Want more soup recipes?

(Note: The online recipe is very different than the cookbook, so I updated based on how we made it. Use the cookbook, if you have it.)

Spicy Black Bean Soup


3 cans of black beans, drained
3 cups of water (more to taste, consistency preference)
1 medium red onion, diced small
1-2 jalapenos, minced (keep in the seeds! gives a good zing)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
4 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I didn't add this, but I would imagine it would be good?)
Diced avocado, cilantro, low-fat sour cream, ham, and tortilla chips, for serving (optional, but required if you want it to taste the best it can be!)


In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and onions; season with salt and pepper (or just pepper) Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and golden brown. Stir in jalapenos, cumin, and stir for a few more minutes. Add beans and water. Season with salt and pepper (or just pepper). Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are soft, like 10 minutes or so.

Transfer 2 cups soup at a time into a blender and puree until smooth (keep the hole on your blender open, covering with only a dish towel - the heat can create a mess if air can't be released). Place in large bowl. Continue to blend the remainder of the soup based on your preference in consistency. (We liked it all pureed.) To serve, top with avocado, cilantro, low-fat sour cream, ham (slightly browned on each side) and tortilla chips, if desired.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lianna and Matt Tied the Knot

On Saturday, we celebrated Lianna and Matt as they took the plunge to become husband and wife. I am pretty sure that Lianna had a smile on her face the entire time, which naturally put a smile on my face. These two are perfect for each other.

The wedding was at Pravda Studios, which was filled with candles and classic wedding white. It was simply gorgeous, as was the bride! Gorgeous. Top it off with catering by Veraci Pizza, some awesome dance floor moves, catching up with old friends and late night burgers from Dick's - it was a great time!

P.S. This was our third wedding at Pravda - first Carol, then Meredith!

Li and her Dad :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Birthday Boy

This amazing fella is blowing out 33 candles on his birthday cake tonight. 33! We were talking about how 33 sounded to us 10 years ago - it sounded so old! But now that he's there and I'm a few years behind (cough... five years... cough), it doesn't sound old at all. We're still youngins!

Joe, I hope this is your best year yet. Love you to the moon and back, then to Mars and back, then to Venus and back, etc. For the record, that means "a WHOLE lot."

P.S. I usually prefer post-birthday blog posts (like this, so I can talk about the birthday party), but I couldn't help myself. It's a very important... palindrome birthday? Yeah, palindrome birthdays are very important, don't ya know?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Last weekend, we went snowshoeing again. We couldn't help ourselves. The fluffy white snow was calling our names, "Erika! Joe! Come play!" (If only we knew it would hit us hard later!) So we packed a picnic, hot cocoa and headed east. But I apparently forgot to pack my common sense because my hair turned to ice. Next time, tuck it in your hat, Peterson. I had hairsicles.

But seriously. We love snowshoeing and want anyone and everyone to join us sometime. Except for the man running up the hillside in snowshoes. I would consider that self-inflicted torture. (Says the girl who willingly did this.)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Seattle and Snow

If you haven't already watched the Seattle snow parody videos, then you're missing out. They are hilarious! I never really comment on YouTube videos, but I couldn't help myself because I felt like there were some major omissions in their first two videos. So here's my comment verbatim (as you can see as the current top rated comment here!):

"Seattle just isn't prepared for this. We only have like 15 snowplows for the ENTIRE city."

"We just don't have enough de-icer."

"Remember that one year when we were being so eco-friendly and wouldn't use salt on the roads? We need to protect our fish."

"Why does the Metro bus always have chains on 24 hours before the snow starts?"

"I just keep drinking coffee to keep my hands warm."

"Should I leave a note? It was just a baby tap on their bumper... Uh, damn guilty conscience."

Well, today they posted a third installment - using many of my ideas! Watch to see just how many they used :)

Dip-A-Palooza VIII

You know what's right around the corner? Dip-A-Palooza VIII! Or DAP8, take your pick. And thanks to Holden, we have another video to jazz us up. I think I'll go on record by saying: best video yet.

It is hard to believe it's almost here - Superbowl Sunday is a mere 2.5 weeks away. I don't know about you, but I've been scouring recipes for MONTHS. I might just try to add another tally by my name. I have some tough decisions ahead of me. (I will not be making this dip, that's for sure) Savory or sweet? Fancy or classic dipper? If you know of any killer dip recipes, please send them my way!

P.S. For past year's DAPs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The exact place you do not want to be during a Seattle snowpocalypse.

That place is in an airport trying to go home, even if it's home of the snowpocalypse. I left for Spokane for work on Tuesday with a sneaky suspicion that I might encounter some challenges when trying to get home today. My suspicion was spot on. Our flight was canceled this morning, but luckily we made it to the airport early enough to be booked onto another flight, which was (not surprisingly) delayed.

As Katie and I waited in the terminal, watching the tractors clear the runway, we were thinking of our Plan B: if we can't leave via plane, should we rent a car and drive? Nah, too dangerous to cross the pass. Should we visit the self-proclaimed Vegas of Spokane? Yes, that's it. That would be our Plan B.

But eventually, when we made it on the plane. The flight took forever as we circled and circled before they could finally clear a runway for us. When we touched down, I saw what we were up against. Several inches of snow (don't make fun of us, you midwesterners) and it was hard for the crews to keep up.

Then, the cab ride home. In a Prius. A Prius! Those puppies are definitely not made for the snow. He dropped Katie off at the bottom of Queen Anne hill (he laughed at the thought of actually driving up the hill) before he slowly inched along to my place. Making it home never felt so good.

But I have to admit - it wasn't that bad. A lot of people had it worse than us. It was just unexpected - a trip that should have taken less than two hours start to finish took us almost six hours. Hope others made it to their final destination safely!

Speaking of Seattleites and snow, have you seen these clips? Quite funny.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pub Squat, part deux

I pretty much said it all in part one, but our pub crawl mission to Fremont breweries and distilleries ended up with stops at 9 Million and Norm's. Nothing beats impromptu brews and burgers on a Sunday afternoon (turned late night), especially when you meet new friends in the process!

After many hours of Fact or Crap (game at 9 million), witty banter, Golden Globe viewing, cheersing and dancing on tables (ok, not really, but it's funny to picture Barry doing it), we weren't done, so we ventured to Autumn and Ryan's for some hot buttered rum around their fireplace. While I tried my hardest to ignore my yawns as queues to leave, the night had to end eventually. But I'm ready for the next squat! Here's an idea, maybe we can even crawl to a few other places next time? Well, maybe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pub Squat

This weekend we attempted to go on a pub crawl through Fremont, but it turned into more of a pub squat. Several hours at 9 Million and then a few more at Norm's. We blame the weather - SNOW! - for not wanting to move from our warm, cozy booths.

Keeping with tradition, Autumn stole my camera (or iPhone) to document the evening. She discovered a great new use of the photobooth app - start rolling the camera and aim it at everyone around the table. Most people had no idea what the heck she was doing, but I caught on quick - hence, the cheesy smile. (Must remember this for future gatherings!)

But one my my favorite discoveries is the photo strip of Autumn... and Autumn alone. LOVE it.

More to come on the pub squat!

Friday, January 13, 2012


What a week! Busy, busy, busy. But you know what? It makes long weekends that much better. And any long weekend that is expected to deliver the first SNOWFALL of the season has to be good. On my agenda: dinner with my parents, a snowy Green Lake walk (crossing fingers!), cocktails at the Space Needle (!!) and possibly a little work (hopefully not too much). In other news...

Last night, we celebrated Joe's dad's (Joe, the 2nd) birthday with a mile high mud pie and bread pudding from The Ram. Despite his resistance to celebrating, I think it was a lovely night. (Lilian, I'm resisting in posting the picture per your advice... though I know he'll make it on thee ol' blog eventually!)

This list of Seattle's best burgers is missing two very delicious options: Red Mill and Lunchbox Laboratories. Am I right or am I right? UPDATE: I stand corrected. I guess they both did make the list (amen!), but I was drooling over the few pictures too much to see the "click here for the list" link. Now I want a burger.

Is it weird that I want to see this movie? Maybe it will balance out the ebby jeebies I get from this movie.

Fun idea! I think I like the s'mores one best.

Do you like this bag better or as much as this one?

Have a wonderfully AWESOME weekend!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pancake Facts

Fact: Swedish pancakes rock my world.
Fact: My grandma would take first place in any Swedish pancake throw-down.
Fact: We make them almost every weekend. (Alternating with these crepes or some other fun concoction. Breakfast is fun to cook!)
Fact: Homemade syrup makes them taste even better. Dousing them with jam or lingonberries is also delicious.
Fact: They often put me into a food coma. Are naps acceptable at 11am after breakfast?
Fact: Before heading to Snoqualmie, the snowshoe crew went here for their pancake feed last weekend. It's the place to be.
Fact: They give you superhuman powers. Seriously.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NYE: The Finale

I realize it's already the 11th and I'm still posting about NYE, but I captured some priceless moments and I can't help but continue sharing... in small doses. I even have a couple zingers of Karen, Maddie and Erin dancing, but for my respect and love for them, I'm not posting. You're welcome, ladies. But now for the finale of NYE. One of my favorites yet!

Is this not the sweetest shot? Oh, you newlyweds, you.

SURPRISE! Karen's midnight entrance! So perfect.

Yes, we had a breathalyzer at our party. No biggie. It was more for educational/entertainment purposes than function because we all had our "getting home" strategy. At one point, we all felt we were at a point that we probably wouldn't take the road, but we were only half the legal limit! Umm, makes me think about the people who actually drive at the legal limit.

Laura and Drew better hurry up and finish grad school and med school (in different states, nonetheless!), so they can move on back to the best coast, the West Coast. Aren't they cute?

And I'm definitely stealing this photo from Maddie, but I liked it too much not to share. With the crown in place, I can see how my family in Sweden said he looked a lot like this guy. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Snowshoe Crew

On Sunday, Maddie, Casey, Joe and I took on Gold Creek Trail up at Snoqualmie Pass. We ordered up some blue skies and mild weather for the most perfect afternoon. It was a fairly easy trail and ended with a beautiful view. Throw in some picnic action, complete with hot cocoa and marshmallows (and great company!) and you've got yourself a successful winter outing. Gotta make the best out of cold, sometimes miserable weather, right? What do you do to fight the winter blues?

P.S. More snowshoeing adventures.
P.P.S. Maddie's take.

Joe likes to "off-road". Or maybe pretend like he's Bigfoot?

Hot cocoa tastes like heaven in the cold and at high elevations. Trust me on this one.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

NYE: Instagram

New Year's Eve through Instagram. Gosh, I love that app. But even more, I love reminiscing the night. Hope you like it too because it's not quite over!

Noisemakers and sequins to bring in the new year.

The night was complete when Karen came as the ball droooooppppppped.

Just some more sassy dazzle.

¡Ay caramba, Ryan!

What does that taste like?

Nothing says 2012 like sparklers.

Decorations make every party 12x better, especially when they are 75% off. (Nice find, Autumn.)

Perhaps the best "decorations" of the night. The headbands Maddie made for the ladies! (Idea spurred by Oh Happy Day.)

Cocktails are not complete without sparkly swizzle sticks, right?

So festive!

And for good measure, Mads.

Friday, January 6, 2012

NYE: Photo Booth

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking, but seriously: aren't homemade photo booths so darn cool? Autumn, brilliant idea. I heart you.

P.S. More on our amazing head pieces, compliments of Maddie!

Just shaking our grove things.
Related Posts with Thumbnails