Trying On Trendsend

Over the past few years, subscription clothing services have cropped up online everywhere. They are a great option for anyone that cannot always find time to get to the mall to go shopping or for those that dislike shopping for clothes (which I could never understand). The first time I really heard about this type of service was with StitchFix. I heard about this pre-Caleb days so finding my way to the mall wasn’t particularly hard. Even so, I was intrigued by the idea and wanted to try it out. What drew me was the idea of someone stylish helping pick out outfits for me and choosing items that I may not have picked out on my own.

I ended up trying Stitchfix out and I was impressed with the overall experience. Over the years, I have ordered a few additional boxes (box 1, 2/3, and 4). I even did a box for maternity wear and ended up keeping the whole box. However, the past couple StitchFix boxes I received, I was less than thrilled. It felt less personalized and like they didn’t read my requests. Perhaps as StitchFix has grown bigger, the stylists are not as experienced and there is more of a service model that has taken out the specialness of the experience. I don’t know, but I was disappointed and I haven’t felt very motivated to order another box.

Recently, I have been seeing advertisements for Trendsend, which is a similar subscription service. One of my favorite stores, Evereve (formerly called Hot Mama), created Trendsend so it’s their stylists and clothes that they send to you. At the Evereve store I go to, the sales ladies are so helpful in helping you find great outfits, so I wanted to give this service a try. I received my first box this week.

When I opened the box, there was a very personalized letter that explained why the picked the pieces they sent me, and how to make them into outfits. Not to mention, they sure know how to get to a mom’s heart because they said how adorable my son is in the letter (*heart swells*). They described how to accessorize the outfits as well.

I did feel that they read my profile and provided outfits that looks good on me and fit what I asked for. I ended up only keeping two items, but if I had all the money in the world I would have kept it all – just that darn thing called a budget. Overall, I was quite pleased with the experience and would consider trying it again.

What Did I keep? 

I kept the Gidget shorts from outfit one and the Skies are Blue dress from outfit three. I almost didn’t keep the shorts because I was so unsure about how I looked in them. I tend to get shy and doubtful about clothes on me, but Josh insisted they looked great. Then as I was looking at the photos for this post, I saw myself in them and thought, “hey, I do look pretty good in them.” I only own three pairs of shorts and none of them actually fit me well, so I was in need of new shorts. They have a raw hem, which apparently seems to be a trend right now – who knew?! Not me! They fit great, something I would have passed over in the store on my own, and are a great addition to my closet.

The Skies are Blue dress is the other item I kept. It’s cute and surprisingly comfy. In fact, I think I can still chase Caleb around in it. I plan on wearing it for a photoshoot we’re doing as a family for my dad’s 70th birthday.  It’ll be nice for the summer weather that seems to finally have arrived to the Pacific Northwest (fingers crossed).

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I would recommend Trendsend to others. If you’re looking for some updates to your wardrobe, why not give it a try (no styling fee like StitchFix, which is nice!). They cater to moms and have some great options for us moms-on-the-go!

Reading Rainbow #4

Believe it or not, I have found time to read while having an infant. Are you shocked? I am! I thought once I had a baby my reading days were numbered. I'm glad to be wrong in this case (usually, I hate being wrong!). I have found I can squeeze in some reading while I'm nursing, sitting on the floor while he plays, or right before bed. I use the Kindle app on my iPhone to read, and it works great. I do pretty much everything from my phone these days - isn't technology amazing?! 

Boy, do I have some good books to tell you about. Grab a coffee or tea, sit back, and let's talk books...

Echo - This came highly recommended to me from my mom. I was a but doubtful at first since she said it was young adult, but I trust my mom's opinion and know we like similar books so I went for it. I'm so glad I did, too. It's so well written and you really get drawn into the story. If you saw the movie The Red Violin, then you'll enjoy this book as well. It basically follows a harmonica through the hands of three children. There is history (WWII) woven into the story, too. I totally didn't think I was reading young adult, in fact I questioned it when I was reading it. 

The Nightingale - There has been a lot of hype about this book. It's been on the best seller list for awhile. It took me some time to start reading it because it's a WWII story and I wasn't sure if such an intense topic was what I felt like with a baby. I also knew it was going to have some sad parts and crying while nursing would be awkward. However, every time I needed to pick a new book, I thought and thought about this one, so I finally gave in and read it. It's truly a wonderful story. Yes, it's sad but it's full of courage, strength, and resilience. After I read these war stories, I'm always in awe that there were people out there that did these types of things. People can be so strong. Definitely worth a read (even if it means a few tears...because yes I did cry, but not while nursing).

Storied Life of A.J. Fiery - I picked this book because it looks light-hearted and heart-warming. I didn't want to get into any too deep or heavy since I was often reading while holding a baby. It made me think of You've Got Mail and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  It did fulfill these expectations, but it wasn't so completely light-hearted as I thought. It actually made me a bit tearful, but that's because you get so connected with the characters. I enjoyed reading this and would recommend it, but I say pick up Echo or The Nightingale first. 

Dead Wake - I have enjoyed Erik Larson's other books, so I figured I probably would like this one as well. I generally don't read much non-fiction, but I do like how his non-fiction still reads like a story. I learned a lot reading this book, and I absolutely love it when I can learn something when I read - entertaining yet educational! I wouldn't say it was my favorite Larson book, but I certainly thought it was worth reading.

Outlander: Drums of Autumn - Ah yes, my guilty pleasure book. This is book 5 of the Outlander series. I have 3 more books to go! The adventures of Claire and her Highlander, haha, I love it. The books are pretty long, so I like to read a few books in-between. These aren't too heavy, in fact if it weren't for some of the history in them they'd be labeled romance novels. So yea, guilty pleasure but you gotta indulge in these every once in a while. ;) 

The Night Circus - This book was so spellbinding. It's really hard to describe. Maybe a mix of Harry Potter with a drop of Hunger Games and a sparkling of The Prestige. Or, maybe just more of an adult version of Harry Potter. I don't know, but it was exquisite! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I got swept into it. It was pre-baby, and I recall staying up far too late (to my husband's chagrin) when I neared the end of the story. 

I've also ready Bringing Up Bebe, but I think I'll leave this review to a more parenthood or mom-focused post. 

Now, I'm starting to read The Martian since my hubby encouraged me to read it. I enjoyed the movie, so why not!

Are you liking my reviews or the book ideas? Check out past Reading Rainbows:

What I'm Watching

One thing in our life that has changed with having a baby is that it takes 2-3 days for us to watch a movie. That's right, no more watching a movie all in one sitting - either we get interrupted or we get tired. This is our new normal. However, this makes TV shows perfect for us since they generally are shorter and we can usually get through a whole episode at once! #smallvictories. Here's what we've (or just me) have been watching lately. 

Gilmore Girls

I love love love this show. I started it when Caleb was a few weeks old. It become my nursing TV show. You just fall in love with the characters and the small town, Stars Hallow. It's so warm and fuzzy. Also, did you know Melissa McCarty is in it? I didn't realize it until I started the first episode. Ha! I have only a few episodes left before it's all over...tear. Luckily, I hear there is a revival of the show coming later this year. Hurray!

Fresh off the Boat

This is one Josh and I watch together (nope, he doesn't watch Gilmore Girls. I know, huge surprise). There are quite a few 90s references that make us chuckle - and other good humor in the show as well. It's light and fun, so it's easy to watch and doesn't take much brain power (you need these kinds of shows). 

Parenthood

Apparently I like any show with Lauren Graham in it (just kidding, I just looked on IMBD and some of it looks pretty bad, but she scores high points for this and Gilmore Girls). This show is heart warming, and the family and events are so relatable - sometime too real life, really. Josh even watches this one - score! I saw this trivia on the IMDB description: "In almost every episode, someone makes pancakes or waffles." Now that I think about it, it's true...love it.

Here's some other shows...

Check out some of my past TV watching posts: Couch TV, On our TV, and Jolly Good British TV.

Now tell me, what are you watching these days? Any recommendations? Do tell! 

Reading Rainbow #3

I realize now that my last Reading Rainbow post was January 2013. Say what??? Inconceivable! But it's entirely true and entirely embarrassing. BUT, and this is important, I have not stopped reading since my last reading rainbow (that's a relief). I have gone on ready and yet failed to inform you of all the fabulous books I have read. I have basically two full years worth of books to tell you about. 

Before I share all these books, I have a confession: I'm horrible at ratings. I am not good at giving bad reviews since I really try to see the good in everything. On the flip side, I am not good at committing to a full five star review either. That leaves me with 3.5 to 4 stars as my go-to rating. Luckily, I think everything I have read since last Reading Rainbow is four stars. Seriously. Yes, pinky swear. I have not been disappointed in a book in a very long time. I think I must be a great selector of books. Sure, there have some better than others, but over all they have all be good.

That said, it does take me for.ev.er (Sandlot style) to decide what to read. I generally check reviews a million times. My go-to review resources are friends, Amazon, and Good Reads. I sit. I ponder. Then I download a couple samples, and then read a sample. And then...then I start reading. For realsy.

Okay, enough babbling an let's dive in...

I'm not sure if you want to hear about each one. Do you? Yes? No? Okay then, I'll just do a small blurb for each..

  • Boys on the Boat: Wow, these boys were aaa-mazing. And I loved that I knew most of the places since they were from U-Dub (aka University of Washington). This is along the same lines as Unbroken. They give me goosebumps - the dedication, courage, strength. I learned a lot about crew as well. Man, that's a tough sport!
  • How to Raise the Perfect Dog: This was in preparation for Asha. I frantically read it before we got her. The theory & strategy is great, but not as practical and day-to-day as I may have hoped. Cesar is my hero.
  • The Century Trilogy: This is one of my favorites in the list I have here. Pillars of the Earth is probably one, if not the very favorite books of mine and these didn't let me know. I learned so much about World War I and II as well as the third book that dives into more about Vietnam and more recent history. 
  • All Souls Trilogy: I admit this has witches and vampires, but so much better than Twilight (yes, guilty of reading it!). It's fun and has a bit little bit of history in there. Completely enjoyable. 
  • The Outlander Series: This is the closest I get to reading romance, sappy novels. Claire is just devious and delightful. Jamie is hot and sexy. And it's in Scotland. Oh so steamy! But, it's historical, too. The book are better than the Starz TV series, but I still liked the show.
  • Girl Boss: This was part of Oracle's Book Club and OWL (Oracle Woman Leadership). I liked it, but I felt she kept repeating the same thing. I really just think she made the right decision, at the right place, and at the right time. Luckily girl. 
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: Totally different and rocks your brain...in a good way. The way Neil Gaiman tells this story is captivating - magical and real join together. 
  • Tender at the Bone: My boss recommended this book based on my love of food and cooking. He didn't steer me wrong. I'll probably read some of her other books, too.
  • The Thirteenth Tale: Totally intriguing book and a nice twist to it. It has great descriptions and you just keep reading because you've got to know the end!
  • Lost Wife: I'll be upfront with you - this is not a cheerful read. It's sad and beautiful. I really dislike books that have really sad, depressing endings. This is sad, but you leave satisfied. 
  • Coming Home: I loved this book. It's a bummer the cover makes it look so sappy. It it were for my friend encouraging me to read it, I would have waived it off. You just fall in love with the characters. You can just cuddle up on the couch and read all day with this one.
  • Where'd Ya Go Bernadette: If I were a beach reader, this would be as close as I get to a beach read - just totally fun. And it takes place in Seattle so I can relate. A quick read that's totally worth it.
  • The House of Silk: Who doesn't like a good mystery? And Sherlock, well, he's the best detective out there. Enough said.
  • Confederates in the Attic: I really learned a lot in this book about the South and the Civil War. The writing is fun and the stories so crazy and fun. 
  • Shadow of the Wind: Dark and mysterious and lovely. One reviewer on Amazon wrote, "A mystery story, a fairy tale, a love story (actually several love stories), a passion for literature, a treatise on politics, a bawdy tale, with love, hate, courage, intrigue, loss of innocence, humor, cowardice, villainy, cruelty, compassion, regret, murder, incest, redemption, and more." That pretty much covers everything.
  • Unbroken: Louis Zamperini's story is unbelievable. Seriously, it's hard to believe this is a true story after you see all that Louis goes through during (and after) WWII. What an amazing man! Please read this and do NOT watch the movie first! (The movie is fine, but doesn't quite cover the whole story).
  • The Witching Hour: This book takes you through the lineage of a very strange and interesting family - that have a special stone. You will get caught up in the characters and family and the places that go - especially New Orleans. I am just made that it was so long and the end sort of lets off like you need to continue to the next book. More reading to do!
  • The Kitchen House: This takes place on a plantation before the Civil War. There is a Irish orphaned girl that grows up in the Kitchen House. A story of story of class, race, dignity, love, and hope.
  • Killing Jesus: Don't poo-poo this simply because you see Billy O'Reilly and immediately write it off (come on, I know most of you are). I learned a lot about the life of Jesus and the political backdrop of his life. I'm a dork and took notes when I read this one.
  • Who Do You Think You Are?: This was to go along with the sermon series our pastor was doing last year. It was good, but really no need for you to read it unless you want to follow the sermon recordings. 

Not pictured - I'll stop my descriptions now. But all good books!

That was a lot. Like, A LOT of books. I'm going to have to start writing these posts more often so as to avoid bombarding you with so many. But now you have a good reading list on your hands.

Any good books you've read lately that you'd recommend to me? Write a comment and share!!


Stitch Fix Boxes 2 and 3

Here's something about me: I love to shop. Love, love, love it. I have always loved it. Even when I look back and realize I wasn't always so fashionable or the best dressed (although, I hope/think I've gotten a bit better these days), I still know I enjoyed shopping for those things. I enjoy walking around and touching the soft and smooth fabrics (I swear, my hands are clean!).

That said, when it comes to Stitch Fix, I have a huge dilemma. I means putting aside my love for shopping. BUT, and this is a huge but, I LOVE to get things in the mail. It's like getting a gift in the mail - and it's not your birthday. And when I know I have a box on the way, I'm filled with crazy excitement. What will I get? Will I like it? What will this shopper gal think fits my style? Did I do a good job pinning my style? All this excitement and anticipate, is just so much fun.

I've now officially received three Stitch Fix boxes. Remember my first box? And I have to say, they do a pretty dang good job at finding some cute things. I have yet to keep the entire box, but I've kept a few things each time. I can also imagine what a great service this would be if you just don't have the time to shop (maybe you have a lil' one in the home). Or, you hate to shop (this I cannot comprehend, but I guess there are folks out there). 

Without further ado, let me share my recent boxes.

Box #2 - November 2014

Can you guess what I kept? I'll give you a hint: grey (and pink). Let me show you another angle:

Unfortunately, with the recent move, I lost the sheet with all the names and brands. I'm sure it'll show up and that I put it somewhere "safe" but for now it's lost).

While I liked the jacket and scarf, I wasn't in love when I put them on. I ended up keeping the grey sweater, grey pants, and pink/blue tank. Grey was the winner for me in this box - and with it being February, it seemed fitting.

They grey sweater was completely comfortable, and was my favorite of the box. It has a cute design on the back, too. The tank was a nice layering piece and I didn't have any grey pants so those were a win as well. All and all another successful box.

Box #3 - February 2015

Here's the line-up:

Here's the items:

  • Market & Spruce Chaplin Hooded Anorak Jacket
  • Gilli Auden Ikat Print Dress
  • Moon Collection Shia Beaded Trim Top
  • Kut from the Kloth Emmett Boyfriend Jean
  • Tart Brigette Raglan Top

I kept the least from this box, but not because I didn't like all of the pieces. Mostly for budgetary reasons. If I had all the money in the world, I would have kept it all (sadly, I don't). I kept the blue jacket, which I love now that it's spring. It's not water resistant, but on non-rainy spring days it's great. I also kept the beaded top as it was another great layering piece. You need lots of layers in the Pacific Northwest, my friends. Our days can be bi-polar - starts cloudy, then sunny, getting some rain, and then back to sunny. No joke. 

I actually asked specifically for the Tart top, but I thought I would get it in black and white. I liked the blue, but it wasn't what I wanted/needed and so I passed. 

The boyfriend jeans were also great and I've been pinning them. The stylist did a good job, but I had to make a decision and they weren't top two. 

I'm definitely going to order a fourth box in the next few months. It's just too fun not to. If you want to try it out, then use my referral link (I love you forever if you do!).

My Warby Parker Glasses Decision

So you might recall that Josh got some new glasses last year. I told you all about how he used Warby Parker. I figured after my annual* eye appointment I would skip getting them at the eye doctor's office - they get pretty pricey, even with insurance applied - and try Warby Parker for myself. 

*My mom instilled me in the necessity of going to the eye doctor regularly every year. If you knew her eyes, you'd know why.

I actually ended up getting two boxes of glasses to try - one a few weeks after the other. The first box I ordered included two sunglasses, but then I decided to pass on the sunglasses and just get a back-up pair of glasses. Plus, I figured if I put a pair of glasses in my car and a pair in my purse, I was more likely to wear them. And, let me tell you, I really should wear them more often - it was a secret 2015 resolution of mine. 

Being the indecisive person I am, I had to get a second box to have even more options to chose from. Yes, it seems backwards to give a girl with decision problems more options, but somehow it makes me feel better. I get paranoid that if I don't exhausted every single option that I'll make a horrible, horrible decision - one that I'll regret forever. I mean, I can't possibly buy a pair of glasses AGAIN. Right? Right? Okay, I know. I'm just a bad making the final call. 

Here's what my first box looked like...

Sorry, not the best photos. And don't judge my face, it was night-time and it was poor lighting. POOR LIGHTING PEOPLE. Okay?

The second box, well, I forgot to take photos. I think I was in a hurry to make my decision and didn't think I'd end up writing a post. Silly me. But here's what I ordered in my box. Notice how the At-Home Trial is Free. Yes, you can get a box delivered with 5 pairs of glasses delivered free of charge - even shipping is free. 

If you're more indecisive than me (I'd find that really hard to believe), then you can use their virtual try-on tool. Here's me trying on the Marshall in Rum Cherry. I almost got these...but then I didn't.

I ended up with the Nedwin in Summer Green.  Do you like them? I do! I do! 

And guess what...I AM wearing my glasses more now. Yippee! Here's me wearing them while out for coffee. 

All in all, I had a great experience with Warby Parker. I even got to use my out-of-network to get some money back, so in the end they were pretty cheap glasses (cheaper than getting them at the eye doctor, in fact!). So if you're in need of glasses, give Warby a whirl. 

Get Your Spook On

Someone at my office said, "I'm going to spook on you." So, of course, in total office professionalism, we decided to go around and say this to one another. This was the inspiration behind, "Get your spook on."

To be totally honest, I don't love with scary movies. Surprised? I know, I know, I seem the type. But let me tell you, when my friend asked me to watch The Ring with her in college, I thought it would be a romantic comedy about marriage. WRONG. Or the other time when my co-workers / neighbors invited me over to watch Silent Hill. I thought it was after a video game (which it is), but what horrible video games are they playing? Gah! Where's Mario?

Needless to say, I prefer comedic scary movies or ones that are more psychological thriller than horror. So in honor of Halloween I thought I'd share some of my choice "scary" movies. 

The Sixth Sense: I will always remember my reaction at the end of the movie - shock. I can't say more since maybe you haven't seen it. Wait...did you just say you didn't see it? Heavens! Please watch this now. So anyway, this one runs more on the psychological thriller side of the spectrum. For me, some parts were scary, but it wasn't like blood and gore scary. I think you can handle it.

Ghostbusters: Okay, circle of trust, when I was little this scared the gaw-jee-bees outta me (time out: Josh says gaw-jee-bees is not a word... uhh, whatever). Then we saw this last weekend at Central Cinema and I realized it's actually a comedy. Bill Murray and marshmallows...well, you can't go wrong. 

Interview with the Vampire: I had a nightmare after watching this - so vivid, so real. In the dream, I said I didn't believe in vampires, but then one came floating outside my bedroom window to prove me wrong. Yikes! But this is one of my favorite scary movies. The history and characters really intrigue me. A good vampire flick and one without teenage angst. 

Shutter Island: Here is another one that's a thriller, but more of an atmospheric thriller. It takes place on an island and there are insane people...I'm not going to say more. Believe me, you'll enjoy it and it's higher on the scary meter for me.

Practical Magic: This has Halloween movie written all over it. It's a good mix of fun and scary with witches, curses, and true love. Not to mention Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. I honestly haven't seen it in a long time, but I'm tempted to rent it. 

The Others: I think this is one that Josh and I will watch this year. In fact, Josh owns it, and I swear I haven't seen it yet. I'll report back, but I'm pretty sure it'll be great to cozy up on the couch with candles (and most probably rain outside).

What Lies Beneath: This is a great thriller. It's not necessarily scary, but it'll certainly startle or surprise you. Isn't always the more realistic movies that are scarier? Oh, the suspense! And look at the movie cover, the hand...oh my! And who doesn't like Harrison Ford movies? 

Lady in White: This used to be THE scary movie the O'Neill family watched. It would freak me out as a kid. I went a number of years without watching it, and then one Halloween Josh and I watched it together. Well, sadly it's seeing it's age in some of the scenes (can we say greenscreen). In result, it's a bit cheesy, but I still like it. 

Hocus Pocus: Moral of this story: don't steal witches brooms. This is definitely more slap sticky and more child friendly. It's goofy and funny and all that warm fuzzy stuff. Silly witches. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bahahaha! This is a movie Lindsay and I used to watch together. It cracks me up. And I love her name is Buffy. This is not the same of the tv series - so much "better." All the classic vampire stuff with wood stakes and whole shabang. This is just ridiculously hilarious. 

So I ask you this.....Do you like scary movies?

Have a Spook-takulor Halloween! 

Josh's New Specs

Last month Josh broke his glasses. Unfortunately, at a concert they fell off and basically got trampled on. The poor glasses. On the bright side, he was still able to wear them until we were able to get replacements. 

He decided to use Warby Parker to find his next pair of glasses. The service is pretty neat. You pick out five pairs of glasses on their website, and they ship the sample glasses to you for free. If you have a hard time deciding which glasses to pick, you can upload a photo and try them on digitally before selecting your favs.

Josh picked his favorites, and then the samples were on their way to our house. We are suckers for good packaging, so we were happy to see the way Warby presented itself at our doorstep.  

You open the box, and there are the five samples for you to try on in at home. Again, nicely done presentation. We're liking what we see (get it, "what we see" - I'm so witty, wink wink).

Josh modeled all the glasses on. The photo shows the top three. The fourth shows the broken glasses for comparison. Oh, the decisions! What pair do you think he chose? There was a pair that he really liked that I didn't. Can you guess which pair? 

The pair he liked that I didn't was the third from the left. That leaves two. Can you guess?

I'll give you a hint. He seems to be smiling more in the photo.

One more second to make a decision.

Got it?

Okay - here is the winner:

 

Did you get it right? Well done! (or not)...

Once you decide, you send all the samples back to Warby. Then you hop online, tell them your pick, share your prescription, and then they ship you your new glasses. Easy breezy.

I am still getting used to the new look, but it's a fun change. 

And Warby...well done. 

Trial & Success: Stitch Fix

I caved in and tried it. I've seen Stitch Fix on a lot of the blogs I read - Joy the Baker, Shutterbean, Eat Live Run - the list goes on. It sounded pretty awesome, and yet I was so hesitant to try it. They could never get my style. They could never get my size. It's probably way overpriced. But the lure was too much to handle, so I decided this month to just do it.

Not sure how, but maybe you haven't heard of this fascinating company yet? Well, it's an online stylist. You fill out the profile, a personal stylist picks out five items, and they ship it to you. Then you try them one and keep what you want. They give you a pre-paid package to send whatever you don't want back to them. 

In order to get to know your style, you sign up and fill out a sizable profile. They ask about your size, age, what you like, what you don't like, etc. Then they show you collages of clothes and you can say how much to like that group of clothes. You even can tell them a price range for items, and if you want them for work, home, or wherever. Here's a glimpse of the profile survey I filled out:

You also can share your Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. This way the stylist can see what your like and your lifestyle. After your satisfied with your profile, you schedule your first "fix" to be delivered. I hadn't made up my mind yet after the profile, so I waited a few days. But then the curiosity overcame me and I order my "fix." 

Once I committed to the order, I was giddy with excitement. What would they send me? Would I like it? Ahhh, I can't wait. And it came pretty fast. 

Props to Stitch Fix ... their style even translated to their packaging and presentation. I opened the box and inside was a letter from my stylist. I was impressed with the personal touch they added -- a note from the stylist just to me. She even called out my worry about sensitive feet and blisters. Plus, they give you a style card on how to wear each item they send to you. Nifty! 

The delivery was great. They had a lot of nice touches. Like the insert about how to wear the items, and the how-to guides. Made the experience fun and easy.

My box had everything I had hoped for and more. They clothes were cute, totally "me" fit great, and at decent prices. You get five items in a box, and here's what I got:

Love. Love. Love. It was hard to decide what not to keep. After trying them all on, decided to just send back the blue cardigan. It was actually similar to something I had pinned, but although I like it on the hook, on me it was a wee bit frumpy. The rest was stellar. Here's some of the pieces in real life:

I ended up getting 4 of the 5 items. However, in looking back at the pricing. If you go that far you should seriously consider just getting the whole box. I realized afterwards you get a 25% discount if you get the whole box! Also, one thing to know, is there is a $20 fee for getting a "fix" but they'll apply that amount if you get an item. And believe me, I'm pretty sure you'll like something.

What a great idea for a business. I loved it! And I can't wait until I can get my next "fix" (Word of caution: you could get addicted to this). And if you want to get me a gift, you know what now - wink wink).

P.S. My Personal Referral Link: http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3533685

Jolly Good British TV

Hey mate! Let's have a spot of tea, shall we? 

So what, maybe I have been watching too much British TV. Deal with it. It's jolly good. What British shows, you might ask. Well, let me tell you..

Downton Abbey

I know I've already told you about Downton Abbey, but I need to remind you about it. I must admit, I was first incredibly sad mid-way through last season, and then terribly angry by the end. How could they do that? ANGRY. I was wary heading into Season 4. I thought maybe it jumped the shark at that point. Season 4 proved me wrong. It's back on track, thank goodness. This season I loved Mrs Hughes and Dowager Countess of Grantham. The Countess really makes me chuckle - especially when she's speaking to poor Isobel Crawley. And Mrs Hughes was the peacemaker and everyones confident. Not to mention the lovely Lady Mary. Now come on Season 5, impress me!

Sherlock

What I hate about this show is that it's only three episodes. Luckily they are longer episodes to make up for it. They are almost movie length. We watched the last episode of Season 3 last night. It had a nice twist that surprised me. I just love Sherlock and Dr. Watson together. They are great actors and the mysteries always captive. The mustache at the beginning was pretty funny. Here's a Season 3 teaser. If you have an Apple TV, there is a PBS station and you can watch it for free (Same with Downton, by the way). You're welcome.

Foyles War

I just love Detective Foyle. I think he laughs on the inside; you can see it at the end of the episode when they end the episode on a light note. Or when Sam says something was she's driving him away from a crime scene. Sam just makes you laugh that way. Gosh, I sound like I am friends with these characters. Is that sad? Well, who cares, it's fun to watch. The mysteries are fun and it takes place during WWII, so you get to learn as you're entertained. Can't beat that. And it's on Netflix streaming. You're welcome, again.

Call the Midwife

So, Josh doesn't like this one. I do think this is more of a chick show. They often have babies being born and they show the mom screaming or sweating in labor. So there's that. I get a bit squeamish myself sometimes, but it doesn't stop me from watching. Hello, it's a midwife show...babies are bound to be born. The setting is East London during the 1950-60s. Th midwifes and nuns helping the community (riding their bikes). The main character, Jenny is so practical and down to earth. Love her & I am just hoping she falls in love. And Trixie, Cynthia, Chummy, and the sisters...everyone brings to the story. And again, it's on Netflix streaming. 

They are all PBS, and mostly Masterpiece. Well done good sir, well done. If you want more Brits? My friend the Pioneer Woman talks about British actors and how they're invading there as well.

Best of 2013 - Your Favs

At the end of each year, I always like to sit back and reflect back on the year. What was my favorite moment? What trips did I take? Who did I meet? Favorite songs, books, and movies? I wonder, did I capture it all in my blog? Probably not, but I hope I was able to share most of it. So I took a look at my Google analytics from my blog and thought I'd see what your favorites were from my blog for 2013. Let's take a look:

1. heatherjoyus - [Page views: 1,568] Not surprising that most people just head to my main page. This shows the most recent posts, and you can scroll and check everything out. It's a good place to check in on what I've been doing. I've been trying to make the top image change more often to give it some jazz. The below is one that I had up for a large part of the year. We were in Georgetown (just south of downtown Seattle). 

Heather in Georgetown 

2. A Spot of Tea: Cederberg - [Page Views: 141] This little tea shop popped up in upper Queen Anne this year. I just love it. It's South African roobios tea that's made into delicious drinks. It's made like espresso so they do some magical stuff with it. This was probably popular because the owners posted it on their Facebook page. It's so great to support local businesses, and the owners are so nice. 

Iced Roobios latte & Roobios Fresh from Cederbergs

3. It's Not Pulled Back - [Page Views: 89] Wow, I had no idea you guys were interested in my hair! This year was a big change for me with my hair style. I got it shorter and more red. I'm quite happy with it. 

Heather at Joshua Tree 

4. Christmas Letter 2013 - [Page Views: 81] I was really thinking this would be at least #2. We put the link to the Christmas letter on our Christmas card. If you want to hear about our 2013, check out this post. You should watch the slideshow, too.

5. 2 Year Anniversary - [Page Views: 80] Two of the happiest years being married to my best friend. I know, that was super cheesy, but it's incredibly true! He makes me laugh, we have long conversations, we can have no conversations, we venture around - love this guy.  

Heather & Josh in Victoria (where we had our 2 year anniversary!)

6. Baker's Corner - [Page Views: 63] You also seemed to like this Baker's Corner post as well. Do you like sweets as much as me? I think I need to share more baking goods with you if you like these posts! More yummiest for me, and more eye candy for you. This also helps me work on my food photography skills. It's a win-win for everyone!

Making Macarons

7. Goodbye Home - [Page Views:59] This was a momentous event of the year. My parents moved away from the home where I grew up. I loved the house and it has so many good memories of my childhood, but I think it's a good move for my parents. The memories will still live on. 

Goodbye to my childhood Home

8. 2013 Fall - [Page Views: 56] I moved away from Flickr and started to post my albums on my blog instead. I didn't know you even looked at my photos! This warms my heart. I work hard on my photos. One of my goals in 2013, and again for 2014, is to improve my photography skills. 

Kayaking on Lake Union

9. 2013 Summer - [Page Views: 52] Re-read #8 above. Dang, now I know I need to get Winter 2013 up! 

Parents Visit in the Fall

10. Baker's Corner: Cake Balls & Pops - [Page Views: 48] Of course! Who doesn't love a good cake pop. I have had none believers eat one of these pops, and realize they might have been mistaken. These are the real deal people. Delicious! 

Cake Balls

Thanks for reading my blog in 2013! More to come for 2014. :) Cheers!

America the Brave

I'm feeling extra patriotic this year. I think this is due to a direct correlation to the amount of U.S. History I've been reading and watching lately. This sprung up a few months ago after I finished reading my third-something World World novel. I realized I'm always reading about the history of other countries, but I never really read much of things closer to home. This moved me to start reading about my country. 

Motivated by my new mission, I started asking for recommendations on Civil War books. My family, being history buffs, had a bunch of recommendations. I landed with Confederates in the Attic because both my mom and a co-worker mentioned it. So that's where I started.

If you don't know anything about this book, let me lend some insight. The author, Tony Horwitz, is a war correspondent who is back living at home in Virginia. He wakes up one morning to find a reenactment happening in his backyard. 

This triggers his boyhood passion about the Civil War, and he embarks on a trip throughout the South. He visits battle sites, participates in reenactments, and makes conversations with all sorts of folks on his way. The funniest part is when he goes on a Civil wargasm -- Tony and a diehard enactor follow the war in a week dressed the part.

While reading,  Josh and I started watching the Ken Burn's series The Civil War.  This series is jammed packed with facts and stories. Although, I have to admit, it's pretty slow. And they do play a lot of images with music and quotes. Not quite action-packed, but interesting nonetheless.

Oh, and we also watch Lincoln recently, too. I thought the movie was very good, but should have been called the Thirteenth Amendment instead. Daniel Day-Lewis does a great job, too. As a kid Lincoln was my favorite president. I don't think much has changed. 

Side Note: Doesn't that man look angry on the cover? Geez. 

About a week or two ago, Josh and I finished Mad Men, and were in a TV dry-spell. Did I ever tell you we don't have cable? Well, now you know.

Josh mentioned John Adams, and after watching a preview, I was onboard with the idea. We watched the first episode on Sunday. I was hooked.

Wow, I never KNEW all this about John Adams. What an amazing man. And I'm learning so much. I can't believe how much I have not retained from my education. It's sad. Luckily, I have great parents that took me to historical places on trips, so I remember more from those experiences than anything. But, still, I have a lot to re-learn! 

I keep thinking about how brave our founding fathers must have been. Think about it - Britain versus the 13 colonies. Holy cr*p. That's like a chihuahua going up to a great dane (or Josh's analogy - David & Goliath). It's like rebelling against your parents. They protected and financed you, but they punished you as well (ha!). It must have taken a lot of guts to declare our independence. 

 

I really thought that there was just a bunch of patriotic guys running around deciding to go to war. But in reality, they tried to be peaceful and the decision weighed heavily on them. It also makes me realize how glad I am that I live in present time - can you imagine!?

Anyway, I won't go on much more about it. I love how when I watch or read history it inspires me to go online and learn more. It's like a learning domino effect. You should try it! 

So, as I said before, I'm feeling very patriotic. The lengths our ancestors went through to give us the country we live in today. I'm so proud of our country and what we have built. 

God bless America! And Happy 4th of July! 

Summer Jamming

photo.JPG

I think it's here.

By golly, I think it's here.

That's right, SUMMER.

And I'm really to roll down my windows, put on my sunglasses, and start to jam to some hit summer songs. Yeehaa!

Let me share some of my latest jams with you. I know you want to hear since everyone knows my taste is music is spot on. Eh hem, except for that phase I went through in my younger years l when I listened to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys...ummm yea, that happened. But I've grown in my music tastes, and I think you'll like my Summer Jams. 

Let's do this! 

Imagine Dragon - It rarely happens that I like every song on an album, so this is pretty big folks. Big. I'm having a hard time telling you my favorite songs. It started with Radioactive (which I heard on the radio, which prompted me to buy the album). Then On Top of the World, and Demons. Or maybe It's Time. You get it; this is a awesome album.

OneRepublic - Again, this caught my attention with a song on the radio, Feel Again. But when I checked it out on iTunes, I thought I might like the whole album. I am very selective when I buy songs. Sure, it's only $0.99 or $1.29 a song, but it generally takes me a few days to decide if I should buy or not. Silly me! Anyway, I took a dive and bought the whole album. And I'm enjoying it, especially Counting Stars and If I Lose Myself.

Alt-J - You probably have heard Breezeblocks on the radio. First, I liked the song, then I thought it was okay, and now I like it again. It's definitely a different sound. Josh bought the album this time. I really enjoy this one while I'm working since it's so chill. And my favorite song is Taro. 

What do you think the album cover is? It looks like the inside of an eye to me. That's weird. 

Daft Punk - I haven't bought this album, but I still might. I actually need to go preview all the songs. But I like the one song so much I thought I'd share it with you, and I did buy this one song off the album. It's Get Lucky

Mackelmore - Seattle in the house!!!! Guess what, this is a Seattle band. I probably should buy the latest album, Heist. I did buy the song Can't Hold Us. I'm grooving to it in my car (nah nah nah nah). You might have also heard of Thrift Shop or Same Love. Pretty catchy.

Put down that sunroof, and get jammin' (or groovin' if that's how you roll).  

Back Looking at Glass

We were back looking at glass. And why not? We enjoyed our visit to Chihuly Glass Exhibit earlier in the year (see post). This time we looked at glass at the Museam of Glass in Tacoma. We went down there on Sunday during Memorial Day weekend. Forget Sunday laundry and groeries, it's a 3-day weekend...be crazy. We're rebels like that.

So we headed to Tacoma for the afternoon. Want to hear something else crazy? Josh and I have not been to Tacoma yet. We've lived in Seattle for just about three years now, and have only driven through Tacoma. Sorry Tacoma, but you have an aroma (I kid, I kid). Oh, wait, I lied. I was there before we lived here. I stopped with my mom for dinner as we took at break from traffic to go look at apartments in Seattle. But still, not a real visit.

Sorry, I went on a tangent there - back to our recent visit. We started our visit to Tacoma with lunch at the Art House Cafe. Or should I say brunch (oh yea, it's Sunday). It was a cute, artsy restaurant (ha, Art House is artsy; had to). I enjoyed pumpkin panckes (yes, pumpkin in May, totally acceptable) and orange creamsiscle tea. {Time out} The tea. Now, that was something different, yet tasty. I discovered it was from the Mad Hat Tea in Tacoma. But, sadly, it was closed (oh Sundays).

Lastly, before heading to the museum, the drug store next to the resturant caught our eye. It was very retro-cool. I snapped a shot for you to enjoy. However, it was closed (oh come on Sunday, catch us a break).

 Cool Tacoma Drug Store

Cool Tacoma Drug Store

 Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass

Now onto the Museam of Glass, the main reason for our visit. Unlike Chihuly in Seattle, this museam was a collection of different glass artists. I do not know why, but the Pacific Northwest is a pretty big center for glass making. There is even a school in the area, Pilchuck Glass School. This museam features 92 works, which were all pretty amazing. And for reasons unknown to me, there is a big link to Austrialia. So the Pacific NW and Austrialians know their glass. This article talks more about it.

The coolest part, however, was the Hot Shop where they blow glass live for visitors. We watched as they created cool glass creations. For a kid, one of the guys made a little horse figurine in under five minutes - get outta here.

Another cool part was the Bridge of Glass. It was basically an exhibit on the bridge outide the museum with cubbies of glass creations. The setup was snazzy. Oh, and I bet the fountain out front is awesome at night.

 Bridge of Glass

Bridge of Glass

 Outside the Museum of Glass

Outside the Museum of Glass

The last thing I want to share about the museum is the structure of the museum itself. It's shaped like a big cone. When you're watching the glass live in the Hot Shop, you look up through the top of the structure. I think it's supposed to be shaped like a kiln. Either way, another very cool thing about this museum. {Side Note} How many times have I said cool in this post? Quite a few...it's a good word. Cool.

 Museum of Glass

Museum of Glass

I do have to say, though, having to decide between Chihuly Exhibit or Museum of Glass better, I'd say Chihuly. But, this was a very neat museum and a fun Sunday afternoon.

And Tacoma was nice, too. And thanks Memorial Day for giving us Monday off so we could enjoy Sunday sans-chores.

Prost! Cheers! Slainte! Živjeli!

Okay, I admit it: I like foofy drinks. Beer, yuck. Wine, meh. Cockails, oh yeah!

Josh and I have been pub crawling around Seattle. Okay, pub crawling might be an exaggeration. Now in days we really only make it to one bar on a given evening; maybe two if we're feeling crazy. So, this list was a long time coming. But, let me tell you, it's a good list. A very good list indeed.

I decided to write about my favorite bars when I discovered a drink that I really enjoyed one night at Re:public - it was the Corpse Reviver #2. Finally, a drink that wasn't a lemon drop or a cosmo. This is a drink that's more hip and sophisticated (not to say lemon drops or cosmos are bad, they are perfectly good girly drinks, too). but Corpose Reviver just seemed less girly, and had more umph. A serious cocktail, if you will. 

At first, I was just going to get Corpse Revivers at every bar, until Josh convinced me that I might find another drink while I'm at it. 

Please keep in mind that this is mainly a list for places was great cocktails; not necessarily a place with a huge wine or beer selection. Here goes nothing...

 Voltare at Leary Traveler

Voltare at Leary Traveler

 Maylie at Oliver's Twist

Maylie at Oliver's Twist

The Leary Traveler (Ballard) not only has good cocktails, but it is a place for beer lovers, too. The drink pictures is the Voltare, which was the drink special for the day. Honestly, I don't remember everything in it. However,  recall it definitely had mint. The important part was that it was oh-so-tasty. But my favorite thing about this place is the yam fries. Died and gone to heaven yam fries. A cocktail with yam fries...classy.

The cocktail on the right is from Oliver's Twist (Phinney Ridge). I think this place has the best cocktail list - big selection! So big that there are several drinks that I like on it. The one I've featured here is the Maylie - vodka, lemon, pear nectar, absinthe, and rosemary. Besides the selection, the other great thing about this place is that happy hour goes until 7pm. Can't beat that!

 Ruby Slipper at The Gerald

Ruby Slipper at The Gerald

 Tasty Drink at Tavern Law

Tasty Drink at Tavern Law

When I'm at The Gerald (Ballard), I feel like I could be Don Draper, and the Seattle Met feels the same - read on. However, I don't think Don Draper would choose the same drink as me. I went with the Ruby Slipper. I was unsure about this one with since it had  pink peppercorns, but the bartender said if I liked Corpse Revivers, I would like this...and I certainly did. Another plus is that this place is also a great dining option.

One of the more popular bars for a cocktail in Capital Hill is the Tavern Law. We got there before the major crowds, so it's hard to know if you'll always be able to find a seat. The cocktail list here is quite extensive - as in pages of drinks. I actually don't remember the drink I had. I thought they would have the menu online, but they don't. If they had, I would be able to tell you since it had many ingredients that I enjoy. Nonetheless, you'll be sure find something you like here. 

 Corpse Reviver #2 at Re:public

Corpse Reviver #2 at Re:public

 Corpse Reviver #2 at Essex

Corpse Reviver #2 at Essex

Okay, so Re:public (South Lake Union), was where I discovered the Corpse Reviver #2. I'm hesitant to say, but darn it, I will. I think they have the best Corpse Reviver #2. Hands down. Not to mention the delicious cherry at the bottom. Yum! I also enjoy the chicken dish they serve - it has spätzle (shout out to my German friends).

Now Essex (Ballard) is just a great bar. First off, their wallpaper is fantastic. It has whales on it. You heard me, whales. Their website has the whales on it, if you're curious. Oh come on, I know you're curious - check it out. There drinks are great, it's a fun place, and better yet....the pizza next door is the best. 

 Corn n' Oil at The Innkeeper

Corn n' Oil at The Innkeeper

 Limoncello Cocktail at Cornuto

Limoncello Cocktail at Cornuto

We went to the Innkeeper (Belltown) for dinner one Friday afternoon since we wanted to unwind from a long week with a beverage. I tried something totally wild (for me) called Corn n' Oil. Since it has blackstrap rum and something called falernum which separate from each other to give a layered look. It was very refreshing on that rainy day. ;)

I wouldn't necessarily called Cornuto (Phinney Ridge) a bar, but more of a pizzeria with some good drinks. When I saw it had limoncello, I had to get it. Limoncello just draws up great memories of traveling to Sorrento in Italy...ohh Italy... This was like a done up lemon drop. 

 Wandering Monk at Revel

Wandering Monk at Revel

This drink, the Wandering Monk, at Revel (Fremont) was super good. Actually, I guess I should say it's from Quoin, which is the restaurant's bar next door. However, I drank it at Revel while eating a delicious dinner. Seriously, delicious dinner. Anyway, back to the drink. It was like a mojito, but with a twist. I believe their drink list changes seasonally, so if this looks appealing you better get going. 

Well, this does it for my drink tour with you. This doesn't mean I'm done exploring, though. The next up will probably be the Sitting Room , and/or the Clever Bottle.

Also, not featured, but still top notch: Zig Zag Cafe and Local 360.

So....chug chug chug. Oh, eh hem, what was I thinking; I mean  cheers my friends! Or, Prost! Cheers! Slainte! Živjeli!

Couch TV

I'm going to share with you a great relaxation tip. I know this is probably one you've never heard before, but I'm feeling generous. The technique is called "couch TV" - which is pretty much how it sounds. Basically, you lie down on the couch, and watch TV. It's actually quite an amazing way to relax. I try to do it every night after around 9pm.

A key component to couch TV, is a show. Actually, it's quite pivotal. If you don't have a good show, you won't stay on the couch. Here's some recommendations from yours truly:

Once Upon a Time

I love fairy tales and Disney, and this show is the mother load. It takes every Disney or fairy tale character and brings them into one show. It's awesome.

I was definitely a Disney show watcher when I was younger. And I was in love with all the Disney movies - Aladdin, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty...I watched them all. And what's great, is this show is a bit more grown-up, so I don't feel too silly watching it. 

Although, I think Josh regrets telling me about the show since now he has to watch it, too. (We only have 1 TV in the house...)

Downton Abbey

Warning: This show is dangerous. It sucks you in, and then you can't stop. You'll end up watching episode after episode. The good news is that it is totally worth it. And another plus, men will watch it - or as Josh says, "it's like a soap opera men will watch." Pioneer Woman has some fun things to say about the show, too. 

This show is full of drama, love, tragedy, and happiness. Although, Season 3 had me crying a bit more than usual...and the season finale, well, just watch and then we'll talk.

downton.jpg

New Girl

This one cracks me up. I seriously laugh every episode. And guess what...this is another one Josh will watch with m! He played off the first season like he was uninterested, and then all of a sudden when discussing what to watch, he suggested New Girl. HA!

You need to watch it. Nick is my favorite character. Okay, all of them are funny. It's takes the small things in life and makes an episode about it (similar to Seinfield). Watch this clip and get hooked.

Modern Family

When I first saw an episode a while ago, I thought I didn't like it. Then I just decided to start watching it a few months ago. Now, I am excited when I see there is a new episode to watch on our Hulu Plus account. It's just a fun, everyday type of show. Another one that just takes real life things and makes a show out of it. And the characters are pretty funny. I think I imagine myself like Claire, in a way. 

Watch a bit about Phil...

Reading Rainbow #2

Reading Rainbow returns! I can't believe I last wrote about books two years ago - check it. What have I been thinking? I need to share the awesome books I read.

When I read a book I love, I get totally SUCKED into it. I generally read at night before bed, but then I end up staying up way too late - Josh loves it (cough, cough). This happened with the past few reads lately. Now you're curious, I know.

Unbroken

by Lauren Hillenbrand

OMG (and I only use OMG on very special occasions), but OMG, this is the most incredible story - and it's true. Louis Zamperini was an Olympian - ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics - anticipated to be the first man to break the 4 minute mile, until WII broke out. He joined the Air Corps as a bombardier. His plan crashed in the middle of the Pacific, he and two others were on a raft for 47 days (a record), and was then was a POW. Truly an amazing man, and his journey is one that you must read. Preview his story with the Jay Leno interview, or on the CBS morning show.

Winter of the World

by Ken Follet

You really ought to read the first book, Fall of Giants, first because that is generally how series work (yes, this is a trilogy). Although I really feel that the second book was almost better than the first. It really brings you into WII Berlin and what life was like living through a war. I learned all sorts of new things, too. I love it when I learn when I read - entertainment and education, double whammy. 

(yes, I'm on a World War II kick)

Outlander

by Diana Gabaldon

This book came recommended to me by my office mate after we discovered we had a similar taste in books. This is another history book (fun fact: I was a Medieval Renaissance history minor in college), but it's historical fiction. This is a crazy long series, and I do plan on reading more of them. The main character is fun, and it keeps you reading. Careful though, there are parts that might make you blush. I liked how it brought you to Scotland and introduces you to the clan way of life. I

The book has you thinking, what decision does she make?  Now you have to read it to find out. I'm evil.

Shadow of Night

by Deborah Harkness

Before I start, I have to say, my sister know the author. She's a professor at USC and Lindsay covered her class while she toured for this book. Lindsay is cool like that.

I love this series. It's got witches and vampires (and some other creatures), but not like Twilight. You're taken on a journey back into time where the characters meet actual people in history. It's a fun time travel, love story, vampire-witch story.

I've read some other books, which I might also tell you about in another Reading Rainbow session. I'm trying to get back on the Good Reads wagon - find me

Now GO READ!!

Looking Glass

Yesterday Josh and I along with our friends Aaron and Liddy went to look at glass. Now, you might think that sounds boring, BUT it's not. I swear, it's crazy awesome glass and it's at the Chihuly Gardens & Glass exhibition in Seattle Center.

You may think, "oh, it's a bunch of boring glass bowls and vases." Um, no. It's towering spirals and psychedelic forms. Sure there is a "bowl" here and there, but most entire displays of glass. Look at this display of glass. It's called Mille Fiore - Italian for “a thousand flowers” It's a strange garden, but a cool garden.

 Chihuly Mille Fiore 

Chihuly Mille Fiore 

 Chihuly Floating Boat

Chihuly Floating Boat

There was about nine rooms all with something new and amazing. I think my favorite was the Ikehana and Floating Boat exhibit. The boat with the balls made me think of Venice and Murano, and my visit there - what a great place. It's no wonder it made me think of Murano - it's the island of glass. Chihuly visited Italy and found lots of inspiration. But the idea of putting the glass balls into the gondola just screamed Italy at me.

Another cool thing about these exhibits was the reflective surfaces they used throughout the rooms. Sometimes you couldn't figure out where the glass stopped. If you looked down you saw the glass reflecting back. The Chandelier room really captured the use of the reflective surfaces and the black room. Can you tell that these were handing from the ceiling?

 Chihuly Chandeliers

Chihuly Chandeliers

 Space Needle and Chihuly

Space Needle and Chihuly

There was a sealife room - made me think of Little Mermaid. Here's a close-up of the little sea creatures hanging out on this sculpture.

The art continued outside, where there was the Chihuly gardens. Out of the gardens sprang up reds, purples, greens, and all sorts of swirls and spirals. On this picture, I was able to capture the reflection of the Space Needle. I was also able to grab the Space Needle with the red swiggles. Or check this out with the garden and random blue neon spikes.

Being in the gardens made me wish I had been there for the Top Chef episode where they ate some tasty food in the Chihuly gardens. Wouldn't that have been nice. Aww well, we had a lovely day even without Top Chef nibbles. 

Dale Chihuly makes some pretty awesome glass. Now, go look at it. See all of my pictures on my Chihuly Flickr album. Or, better yet, go visit (there's even a free audio tour for your smartphone).

 Heather and Josh at Chihuly Gardens

Heather and Josh at Chihuly Gardens

 Aaron, Liddy, Josh, and Heather at Chihuly

Aaron, Liddy, Josh, and Heather at Chihuly

You had me at Pumpkin

It's no secret, I love pumpkin. When fall hits I get super excited because it means pumpkin time. If you add pumpkin to any food name, I'm instantly attracted to it. Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin latte, pumpkin pasta...you get the idea. 

For me, Saturday was a pumpkin-full day. For breakfast it was pumpkin pancakes, then a pumpkin smoothie in the afternoon, and to top it off, Pad Pumpkin for dinner. Can it get any better? Well, getting dessert would have been nice, like a pumpkin froyo, but I guess you can't get everything.

 Pumpkin Day

So the pancakes were quite good. Next time, I might add more sugar (maybe double it) because I have a pretty crazy sweet tooth. If you put maple syrup on top, though, that does a pretty bang up job. Here's the recipe. It's actually pretty quick & easy. You should do it.

Then there is the pumpkin smoothie. When I had my first sip, I knew there was a reason why I was stalking Jamba Juice the past few weeks. It was heaven...pumpkin pie in a smoothie. Can I even call it a smoothie? It's so creamy, good I think it must be a shake. Oh man, go to Jamba. Do it.

A tip from a girl that loves Thai food: get the pumpkin stuff. Pad pumpkin, pumpkin curry, pumpkin whatever, it's guaranteed to be delish. They use kabocha pumpkin, and it's so tender and sweet. Yumm.

So, anyways, that was my day of pumpkin. But, it doesn't stop there. Pumpkin must be had all season. Here's so ways to get more pumpkin:

Pumpkin Beer and Cider - Now, I don't like beer. Not one bit. Josh is always trying to get me to drink beer. So, I tried pumpkin cider. It was awesome. This had none of that hoppy stuff, just plain sweet. Go try Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider, you won't regret it. Or, if you like beer, so far, Josh's favorite is Pumking

Pumpkin English Muffins - My mother in law told me about these precious things. How can you go wrong? With a lil' butter or cream cheese. A nice late-night snack. Oh yes, these do exist.

Pumpkin Froyo - This is my FAVORITE. If you know me, you know why. My two loves froyo + pumpkin married together in total awesomeness. 

The list is endless, here is all sorts of Pumpkin Treats, but I have my eye specifically on this one next, Pumpkin Cinnamon Strusel Coffee Cake. Oh gosh, or these bad boys. Or, have I died and gone to heaven cupcakes. Eh hem, muffins anyone? Too much to bake, too little time. 

Pumpkin is the best. Now EAT IT.

Pumpkins

 

On Our TV

Want to know what we do after about 8:30/9pm on weekdays? The TV turns on and we hunder down. I cosy up on the couch with my blanket, while Josh sits in his IKEA lounge chair with his laptop. Picture it? Good. Now, here's just a few things we watch:

Downton Abbey

This show is my recent addiction. I absolutely adore it. I remember first learning of this show on the flight home from my training in Chicago. The lady next to me pulled out her laptop and started watching it. I couldn't help but watch from the corner of my eyes.

Then, I was reading the Pioneer Woman, and she brought it up (psst, her post has some funny quotes from it, read it). Plus, I saw it had Hetty King from Avonlea (I think only my sister will understand this one). I'm now convinced I'll like this show.

So, I mentioned it here and there when Josh and I went over the "what do you want to watch?" quesiton. Finally, the other week, Josh agreed to it. And thus began our new TV obsession (notice, I saw "we").

SYTYCD 

Only the cool kids know that SYTYCD is So You Think You Can Dance. I've been watching this show since season 2 - I'm dedicated. It's like American Idol, but dance, and better. Oh so much better. The dancers are amazing. They have them paired up and choregrapher's having them dance all sorts of styles. I love watching it. And Josh doesn't mind it either (score!). This season is looking promising. It's only been auditions, and the season starts next week. I dare you to watch it! P.S. Funny that the ad before the clip below is Kodex. That sure tells you about the audience).

Star Wars

Josh is on a mission. He is on a mission to made me a Star Wars geek just like him. Okay, I think he'll settle with me just being able to identify scences and charaters accurately. Rather than me just saying stuff like, "you know, the blobby snail guy. That guy, you know!" (answer here)

So Josh treat on our last Target visit, was the full DVD Blu-ray Star Wars set (it was on sale!). Last night the watching began with The Phantom Menace. Please note: It was a huge debate which to start with, Episode 1 or 3. Oh the dilemmas. And now ask yourself this...Who shot first? (This is Josh's new favorite question).

Stay tuned for more on another post.