Truths and Life

I was just telling Josh the other day how I felt bad about my blog. I feel like I've neglected it a bunch lately...well, since Caleb was born. On top of that, it's has somewhat become a Caleb and family style blog. Not that this is bad, but maybe you're getting tired of it. I went on to talk about how I didn't know what else to write about anymore and not to mention my time feels much more limited. If I write a blog post lately, it's usually been for Hellobee. The time that I have to write is now in the evening, but by that time I just want to veg on the couch. I felt like throwing my hands up in defeat. 

However, as I was walking with Caleb and Asha this afternoon, I realized I do have things to write about in this blog space. Now, tell me if I'm wrong here, but I think you enjoy posts about the foods I cook and bake - remember Baker's Corner? Or how about what books I'm reading or shows I'm watch (like when I'm vegging on the couch). Maybe you're curious about my garden (it's growing). I could also tell you about Asha's new collar. The blog will go, to find the time to write. But I have the motivation and ideas!

That was my truth, now about life. Here's some ramblings...

  • This article rang true for me. I'm tired.
  • Caleb does something everyday that cracks me up. Watch him after swim class in the YMCA locker room. 
  • Simply Recipes is a great blog and I have yet to have a bad experience with her recipes. This Vietnamese Style Noodle Bowl looks delicious. I have a crazy obsession with noodle bowls in the summer. Please make this for me.
  • I have never liked kombucha until this month. I think my taste buds changed after having Caleb. I like red wine and now kombucha. What's happening to me? Specifically, I like the Rainbow Cloud kombucha and have been sipping the Rose Jasmine flavor. I feel so healthy. 
  • I am pretty sure I am the tannest I have ever been in my entire life. I have a tan on my feet with lines for my flip flops. I should have a good store of vitamin D before we head into winter (because Winter is Coming, my friends).
  • I am on the eternal quest for good face lotion to use in the morning at night. I have some specific requirements - the AM lotion needs to have SPF and the PM lotion needs to help my aging face. I also don't want it to be so thin, I like to really think I'm getting moisture. Any recommendations?
  • I'm reading Business Boutique right now. Well see where it takes me. 
  • We're going to Kauai this September. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Now, can somebody fly with Caleb for me and just meet me there?
  • I bought these leggings in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. I have this want to be a yoga mom, apparently. But really, I want to buy all. the. things. in the Nordstrom sale.

Okay, enough jibber jabber. Fingers crossed Caleb stops teething and starts taking longer naps again so I can use nap time for "me" writing on this blog. 

P.S. I fear the time when nap time ends.

P.P.S. Here are some random photos for funnsies.


Blueberries from our backyard.

I've been baking bread lately and it's delicious!

Breakfast at a new neighborhood bakery.

The broccoli is coming in my garden!

Sweet peas and roses from our garden. Blue hydrangeas from a friend's yard..

Snapshot: Life Right Now - February 2017

I'm not kidding when I say that every weekend this year we've had something planned. It's been a busy 2017 so far! Sadly, this means I've neglected my blogging. (Although, I have posted a few things over here if you're into baby stuff). 

So, I thought I'd fill you in on my life right now...

What am I reading?

The Rook. Josh persuading me to read this and we're both actually reading it together. I'm ahead of him though. Not that it's a race (yes, it is, shhh). So far I'm really enjoying the book! 

The book I read before this was The Woman on the Orient Express, which I enjoyed. I wouldn't say it's a must read or my favorite book, but it was fun and kept me turning the pages (or tapping).

What am I watching?

I've just finished a bunch of shows, actually. By far my favorite was The Crown. I highly recommend this one if you're into history at all. Very well done and well acted. 

This is Us is another one I've been watching. I finished season 1, but can't figure out where I can watch season 2. I would put this in the same category as Parenthood, although I enjoyed Parenthood a bit more since it has some lightheartedness to it whereas This is Us is all drama all the time. I still would recommend it, though!

Now that I've finished these, what's next?!? 

What am I wearing?

I'm absolutely loving my Hunter boots. I got them from Josh for Christmas. They are so much easier to slip on then I thought and they keep my feet so dry. I can hop in puddles without a problem, and believe me, I've needed them. 

What I am eating during the week?

I'm totally crushing on this Thai Beef Bowl recipe. I've made them two weeks in a row and I'm not a huge beef eater person. I think it could work with chicken or pork, too. I don't have a spiralizer, so I cut the veggies into strips and I cook them a bit. I served it on top of coconut quinoa instead of rice. Uh yummy in my tummy!

That said, I made this creamy kale mac and cheese tonight and I it just hit the spot and I can't wait to eat leftovers tomorrow. I did add chicken sausage to it, which is a must in my opinion.

What am I snacking on?

Loving this green pina colada smoothie! I love that it is sweet and delicious yet I get some good fruit and veggies, too.

What am I looking forward to?

Going down to San Diego to visit my parents for a week with Caleb at the end of February. It'll be good to see my family, catch some sun rays, and get some help with Caleb during the week. Although, I'm a bit nervous about the flight on my own with Caleb. Wish me luck!

What am I missing?

I haven't seen movie in the theaters since before Caleb was born. The last movie we saw in the theaters was Star Wars: The Force Awakens on New Years Eve 12/31/15 -- yup, Caleb was born 1/2/16...two days later.

There you have it! That's my life right now. What's going on with you?


Time for Yoga: Stretch it Out

So yea, I’m totally sore and tight. I had no idea how taxing having a baby could be on your body (eh hem, beyond the actually giving birth part that is). I knew my arms would probably get a bit sore from carrying a baby - yea, that’s a story. I think it was one of the first time I held a baby, and it was for a gal at church at one of our community groups. I think she was glad to get her hands free because I held that baby a long time, but I was so nervous and was holding so tightly that my arms were sore for days afterwards. Haha!  

But back to what I was just saying…oh yea, I was complaining about being sore. But seriously, guys, my shoulders, back, legs, neck are all sore – actually, I should really say what’s not sore!

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for a few years now, so I’m still a beginner. But I’ve picked up some moves from my yoga classes. I really enjoyed my prenatal/postnatal yoga class. I haven’t really done much yoga since Caleb has gotten more active and doesn’t sleep like a newborn anymore. However, I did just sign up for a mom and baby yoga class here in Tacoma. I’m curious to see how Caleb does in a yoga class with me. I fear that he might be too needy and I won’t get any benefit from it. But if anything, though, it’ll be quality time to spend together and maybe I’ll meet some new mom friends in the process.

I wanted to share some of the poses and stretches that I wrote down from the yoga class. Please remember that I’m still a beginner so my form may not be perfect and I might not be calling the pose as an instructor would. Also, I am not a professional nor a doctor, so please be sure you’ve got the green light from the doctor before doing any yoga or exercise.

When doing these, I suggest keeping the pose for at least 30 seconds or longer. Take a break between with baby pose or laying flat on your back.

  • Baby Pose – Arms out in front, legs in a wide V
  • Table Top – Keep your back flat, pull your tummy up & in
  • Cat Cow – Arch your back up and then down
  • Arm/Leg Extension – Extend arm and lift your opposite leg
  • Arm Up/Leg Out – Extend leg out perpendicular, lift arm up
  • Arm Under – From above pose, bring your arm down and under
  • Baby pose for a break
  • Pelvic Lifts – Lie on your back, and lift your pelvis up & tuck your arms under
  • Clam – Lie on your side, lift knee but keep your heels connected. Bring your knee up & down
  • Lie Flat for a break
  • Tree – Stand straight, bring your foot to your thigh or calf, try to balance
  • Pigeon – Bring your leg up towards your chest, and lie down
  • Forward Bend – Legs spread out, bend forward
  • Warrior 2 – One leg forward and bent, the other leg straight out, your body facing outward, arm out
  • Triangle – From Warrior 2, lean down with arm opposite of bent leg and put your other arm up
  • Squat – Squat down with arms pushing out at knees
  • Eagle Arms – Cross one arm over the other, palms face each other (like a twist)
  • Downward Dog – Butt up, slight bend in knees, push down on heels
  • Baby pose or lie flat to relax

Take it easy and be nice to yourself! Don’t stress and if you can only fit a few minutes in, that’s still awesome. Comment and share if you have any great stretches/poses, or if you’ve found other ways to work out those sore muscles!!

Fall Foliage - Is my Quest Complete?

You may recall my quest to find fall leaves back in 2014. Well, I actually get like this every year. There is something about the change in colors that gets me so excited. I just started to see a few leaves turning this past week. Yaaahhhh! Maybe I'm excited because it means I can eat all the pumpkin and apples without guilt that it's not the right season. Anyway, Josh shared this super cool fall foliage map predictor with me last night. You should check it out and be obsessed with leaves like me.

By this, you can expect me to be dragging Josh and Caleb out somewhere around October 14th...maybe it's Whidbey Island according to this blogger.

I feel complete now.

Man's Best Friend #NationalDogDay

A dog deserves his day, right?! And apparently it's today. I saw on the social medias that it was National Dog Day today. In honor, I'm going to share some love of the dog...

Let's end with a few, recent photos our our lovable, neurotic dog, Asha. You can also check out her hashtag #asha_pup on Instagram. I think I'll go give her a treat now.

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). 


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 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! 

Blogger Love

I recently shared with you my weekly meal planning strategy. I was pleasantly surprised by the reception I got from it. In fact, a co-worker told me it was a "game changer" for her life. Wowza! I had no idea and it fills me with joy that I may have been helpful in some way.

But don't go thinking I'm so some of miracle person that is just "so together" - heck no! I have my struggles, too. Like sometimes I just don't want the meal I had planned, or I had to work later than I thought and the meal I had scheduled is just not going to feed me fast enough. In fact, being pregnant I come home way more hungry than before so it's a real struggle bus. 

Luckily, I have my blogger friends to help me. Did you know there is a whole community of bloggers out there? It's a thing. For real. They even get together for conferences and they all seem to be friends or connected somehow. These gals (and some guys, too) are so talented, and have some great ideas to share. This is one of my biggest sources of new recipes and help me through the week. In fact, Pioneer Woman is starting to share these bloggers on her site with her Food & Friends section. Bloggers, bloggers everywhere!

I share a few in my meal planning post, but I thought I'd dive into it some more.

Mel's Kitchen Cafe

These bloggers are real people and also talk about their week meal planning struggles. Mel talked about it recently on her "Let’s Talk: When There’s No Time {or Desire} To Make Dinner" post. She really struck home with me on what she had to say. Not to mention, she gives some great tips on quick meals when you're in a bind. I noticed one thing we do in common is panini's (grilled cheese supremes, as I like to call them) for a quick meal. She has a whole list of "Quick Recipe Solutions" that I plan on referencing. Also, she also has these menu plans and a side dish planner because isn't it the sides sometimes that just get you? 

I think she has some great homestyle meals. No crazy ingredients and using tools you already have at home. The food is filling, delicious, and full of heart. There is a good mix of main dish, side dish, and sweets on her recipe collection. The Best Recipe collection is handy, too!

Here's a few recipes that have either caught my eye or have tried (and know to be true):

Foodie Crush

Heidi from Foodie Crush always seems to help me find some good recipes. She shares the blog love her Blog Crush series - here's her most recent 5 Food Blogs I'm Following Now. Check out those Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars on that post - that looks like something Josh would love. I like her style and everything I've tried from her site has worked out! She has her recipes categorized by season (like fall) which is pretty handy. In fact, all her categories are nicely organized. 

Here's some recipes that I've tried or want to try!

How Sweet It Is

I was so bummed when Jessica was in Seattle earlier this year, but I did get her cookbook. She makes the best stuff both savory and sweet. She is one of my favorite blogs, and I drool at most of the recipes in her cookbook. Seriously, you need to check her blog out.

Blog Management Tip

Now that I've told about a few of my favorite blogs, you're wondering how I manage them. I highly recommend a blog reader. You subscribe to whatever blogs you're interested, and then when that blogger posts something new it pops up. Then it disappears after you read it (you can mark as a favorite, though). If it's something good, then I usually "pin it" to my Pinterest board. And that's that. 

Right now I use Feedbin as the service, but then use ReadKit as the tool for reviewing/reading the blog posts. I love that you can look at the blog posts either on your phone (like when I'm on the bus to/from work), or at home on my computer. Although, Josh is trying to get me to move over to Reeder instead. He'll probably convince me to move over to it soon. 

At the start of my blog reading, I used Google Reader until it went bye-bye. I wrote a little post about it and some alternatives. You might try some of those instead, if you're interested. Whatever you choose, I hope you choose to follow some blogs. It's fun!

And I'll share some more of my favorite blogs again soon. I'm not stopping here! 

Farmer Brown

As you know we moved into a rental home earlier this year - an actual house with a yard and everything. Dang, we're so grown-up now. Having a yard gave us the opportunity to have a garden, and better yet there was a empty garden bed. It was screaming for us to plant veggies (not literally, that would be weird). So, we headed to the garden store, got our hands dirty, and started a garden. 

We started out by hitting up Swanson's Nursery. We grabbed a cart and got some starter plants and some fertilizer. Generally, a good way to start, right? 

When we got home, Josh was good enough to do the digging and fertilizer job. That's my macho man!

Then he came up with the idea of doing a grid system. He's pretty clever, too! 

We planted all sorts of goodies including spinach, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, strawberries, zucchini, parsley, thyme, and sage. Off in another area we planted basil and rosemary as well.

Once it was all safely in the ground, of course, we had to let it grow. 

Can you identify what everything is? I hope you can at least guess the onions above. 

The weather turned pretty hot here for a few weeks so it was a struggle to keep things alive. Some made it, some didn't. We learned that when the weather gets hot, spinach can "bolt" - not running away bolt, but just grow upward and flower. Basically, it was not edible (Sad Trombone). Our strawberries didn't quite make it either but the plant lives on so they may still grow something. But sadly our tiny pepper dropped off the plant. 

On the bright side, we got some tasty kale, lettuce, zucchini, and carrots. Seriously, the was massive. And there is more zucchini in-the-works. Yay! Here's me picking the carrots. Ta Da! 

It was a good first harvest for us first time gardeners. I used our kale in a yummy pasta dish, the zucchini we grilled on 4th of July, and the lettuce we used on turkey burgers. Yum yum freshness!

I'd like to dedicate the garden success, though, to Josh. He diligently waters every morning. I think I watered it like twice. I'm not the greatest gardener, but together we did pretty good. Maybe next time we'll feel brave enough to start from seeds instead of starters. We'll see.

Puppy Love

Asha has now officially been with us over a month now, and we still love her as much as the first day we got her. In fact, maybe even more so! We took her to her first vet appointment the other week, and she has also officially doubled in size. Wowza! She is still such a puppy and full of puppy love (and energy!). I guess they do have to grow up eventually, but we're hanging on to these adorable puppy moments (except when she's gnawing on your hand or running out the door and down the street).

Of course, I have been taking a TON of photos of her. I'm probably annoying the heck out of my Instragram buddies. However, I've asked a few friends & co-workers, and they said that this was socially acceptable - apparently there is no limit to puppy photo sharing. Even with their assurances, I feel a bit guilty posting so many Asha pictures. But then again, I keep posting them because gosh darn it, she's the cutest. So, I thought I ought to get this Asha-photo-sharing out of my system and post just a sh*t load of photos. 

Doggie Cuteness

Those eyes. That face. They get me every time. Isn't she the cutest?

Sleeping Pup

We don't have a puppy webcam, but I'm about 99% sure she is sleeping most of the day. She is pretty much crate trained, which I highly recommend. The times I have worked from home, I glance over and she's just snoozing. 

She also likes to do puppy yoga - she'll do downward dog and frog legs. It's hilarious!

Out and About Pup

When we first got Asha, she didn't like getting into the car. Now, she just hops in and gives us a look that says, "hey guys, where are we headed?!" I'm so glad she likes to travel with us! 

Outdoor Playtime

Asha loves herself some good outdoor playtime. One of her favorite things to do is roll on her back and wiggle all around. She also knows how to play fetch (well, sorta...we're working on it).

Walking the Dog

Asha has a great dog life so far. She gets three walks a day. Needless to say, we're getting our exercise, too. So far my favorite walks have been at Discovery Park and to the Ballard Locks.

Pup and Us

Now that we have a dog, plenty of our time is walking and playing with her. It's a good life change and we're so happy she's part of our little family.

Asha Expressions

Gosh darn it, her facial expressions are the sweetest. It's hard to capture them on camera, though. My favorite is when you make a funny noise and she crooks her head left and right quizzically. 

Asha Kisses

And sometimes she just wants to give you a kiss. 

I warned you. Don't say I didn't warn you...So many photos! And this wasn't even all of them. More will come. Take that as a warning or a choose.

Summer's End Sunset

They are saying that this weekend was the last hurrah of summer (boo). But if there was a way to end it, it would be with tonight's fabulous sunset sitting next to ones you love.

To set the scene: My in-laws were in town this weekend and we had a great time wandering Seattle & the surrounding areas (more on that later). Sunday night, to wrap up an already great weekend, we had dinner at Little Water Cantina. This is one of my favorite summer restaurants because it has a great patio on Lake Union....and it didn't disappoint today. We watched a fabulous sunset as we enjoyed each other's company, a cocktail, and delicious tacos. Can't beat that. 

And here's another. I couldn't stop taking photos!

We also saw the sea planes taking off and landing. Too cool for school.

Oh and here's us. I tried with two waiters to get us with the luck. I desperately wanted to be a control freak and tell them exactly where to stand, how to angle the camera, etc. I thought they might spit in my food, so I ended up letting it go (queue the song).

Great end to the weekend. Thanks sunset. And goodbye summer.

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. 

Strolling through Gardens

A few weekends ago, Josh and I checked out Seattle's Japanese Gardens. Luckily, it was one of Seattle's more sunny spring days. We'd worked hard during the work week, and we needed to seek out some tranquility. And we found it. 

We'd been to Portland's Japanese Gardens years ago and we were impressed. These were not quite as large, but still very beautiful. It was so peaceful walking around enjoying the gardens. One of my favorite moments was resting on bench and just soaking in the sun for a few minutes. So pleasant.

When you walk into the gardens, a few feet in and you come up to a large pond. The path takes you all the way around the pond. 

When you cross over the bridge, you can see all the koi fish - these were big guys. They'd bop up to the surface and look at you. I feel like they are frowning at you. Like they are saying, "stop looking at me, and get off my pond you silly human." 

Frowing Koi Fish

Whereas the turtle was more stoic and looking out upon his pond. He was definitely staking his claim as king of the pond. I wonder how the koi feel about that. 

Mr Turtle, King of the Pond

As usual, I enjoyed the flowers. These little red ones caught my eye. It's neat how the moss is on the branches. I feel like it was the spring flowers breaking through the mossy winter. 

Or this bright white flower. This one reminded me of Hawaii. I think I have a very similar photo of this flower there...must mean something about me. 

And what's a Japanese garden without some stone lanterns. Guess what, there are pennies in the lantern. Is that like throwing a penny into a fountain?

I took a few photos of the lantern and bridge. I could decide which photo and angle I liked better. The one that shows more of the bridge, or the one that shows more of the lantern. What do you think? 

All in all, it's a great afternoon stroll. If you find the sun shining, go for a walk. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

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:

Spring Flowers and Watercolors

Happy Spring! 

Yes, today was the first day of spring. And by golly, the sun was out here in Seattle. Can it be? Is it true? It's spring? Well, yes, but I don't think that will totally stop the rain. I mean it did hail last night, so there's that...not to mention April showers brings may flowers. So I fully expect more rain & showers, but it's nice to think that flowers will start blooming and the sun will peek out and say hi more often.

One of my favorite parts of the spring is all the flowers, especially the cherry blossoms. They are all around here in Seattle, and I love driving down roads where the cherry blossoms line the street. It's glorious.

Anyway, I recently found a neat app that features flowers beautifully. It actually turns them into watercolors. Of course, you can use any photos, but I find flowers are my favorite. The app is called Waterlouge. I have it for my iPhone, but you can also get it on your iPad. Here's some before and afters with the app.

One of my favorites with the app so far is from our walk through Pike Place last weekend. I love all the flower vendors. I pretty much take a photo of them every time I go.

And there is another app I wanted to tell you about as well called Studio - good news, it's free. It allows you to add text, texture, frames, graphics in any old way you want. Some folks have made some neat creations. I'm still playing with it, but it's fun. My Happy Spring above was made with it and Waterlouge - crazy. But "Stay Golden" is another one I created recently from a picture I took in Joshua Tree.

Don't be like someone else I know that tends to spend way too much time on her phone playing with photo apps, eh hem. But I hope you enjoy them. It's my gift to you for spring. Now go take some beautiful flower photos!

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!


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.

Sweet & Simple Valentines

Valentine's Day. The day were people talk about how they are single/married, eat chocolate, have way overpriced pre-fix dinners, try cooking fancy-dancy meals at home, or say how they are boycotting it all and watching TV alone. Yada yada yada. But I do think it's nice to have a day to really stop and be thankful for all the loved ones in your life. 

Josh and I made a pact not to give each other anything for Valentines Day. Of course, we broke it. I snuck a card in his laptop so when he opened the top a card was waiting. He had flowers delivered to my office.

I secretly love getting flowers delivered to my office. It really make for a lovely surprise and everyone oohh and ahhs over them. And you get this pleasant floral smell as you work. (Until said flowers have been at your desk unattended for too many days and begin to rot at the stem. Then it takes you a day to figure out what the horrendous smell is at your desk. Not that this has happened to me or anything, cough cough).

Flowers delivered to my Office

For dinner, we kept it simple and went to Thai food. Then went to a Hazelwood for a cocktail together and finished it all up with some gelato. Nice and simple, and better yet, didn't break the bank.

Cocktails at Hazelwood

We finished it all up with an episode of Sherlock (love this series!). 

So, how was your Valentine's Day?

Olympics in the Movies

When I was a kid, I felt like there was a lot more hoopla about the Olympics. Oh sure, people still talk about it and the Today Show is giving me updates, but I really felt more Olympic spirit as a kid. Have things changed? Or have I changed? 

In the mornings, while I eat my bowl of cereal, I watch the Today Show. This has been my main "news" feed on the Olympics. So when I came home the other day, I turned on the TV, and low and behold there was the Olympics. It was like the Olympics was telling me to watch since the same channel I watch in the morning plays the Olympics at night. So I left them on, just to see. They were showing speed skating...and it was at moment that I remembered that little kid Olympic spirit. That was the night the Dutch took all the metals for men's speed skating, which is cool because I have a Dutch friend. But even cooler was that it was twin brothers that won.  

From that night one, I've been watching it a little bit each night. I saw some figure skating, halfpipe, and ski jumping. I was bummed about Shaun White. But get to what I really wanted to talk about: Olympics in the movies. There are some great movies about the Olympics. I say go Olympic crazy. Watch the Olympics and then watch a movie about the Olympics. Totally crazy.


The Cutting Edge

Have you seen this movie? Please say yes. I grew up watching this movie. My sister and I love to quote it. You gotta love Doug and Kate. Here's some favorite quotes:

  • Toe Pick!
  • If it was forty below and that button meant the difference between a long satisfying life and a cold horrible death from hypothermia, I still wouldn't give you the satisfaction!
  • What difference does it make? The difference is...I'm in the mood to kick a little ass.
  • I- I b- I been doin' a little- I been doin' a little figure skating....(chime in old man) Finger painting?

I think I need to watch this again now. Oh, and I also own the soundtrack. 

Cool Runnings 

Now, I know you've seen this one. I mean, who hasn't? I say, "Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! COOL RUNNINGS!" Yes, a Jamaican bobsled team. This is a good old family favorite - it's got everything...laughs, soul, encouragement. Not to mention John Candy. 


This is more recent movie compared to the ones above. I've actually only seen this once or twice, but it's a genuine, feel-good, Olympic movie. Oh and totally inspiring. Isn't that a given with an Olympic movie? And it's also a true story. Gotta love true stories. Now, if I only knew the rules of hockey. 

Chariots of Fire

I saw this a long-long-long time ago. I think my sister was watching it, so I just started watching it, too. I probably should watch it again. I remember a lots of running and the song (you know, THE song). But, most importantly, I do remember liking it. So there's that.

I think those are the best of the Olympic movies. Here's another, longer list of Olympic movies (and yes, I have seen National Velvet), but I can't vouch for them - especially not Blades of Glory. Hmm. Or, you can check out this list as well. But seriously, with the above, I've got you covered.

P.S. There are some sequels...don't do it.

'Stache Status - Final

November is over so that means Movember is over as well. Which also means Josh finally can shave the 'stache and grow back the beard. - hurrah! But...I bet you're wondering how the final 'stache is lookin'. Even though I'm not a huge fan of the 'stache, I have to say Josh did pretty good. 

I'm not sure what he co-workers were thinking about not voting him the best moustache. The Josh 'stache has style. But the best thing is that he raised some awareness. And so did my work team, 'Stache of the Titans - we raised $380 buckaroos! 

Goodbye Movember. Hello Beard again. 

(and no more blog 'stache updates. happy? sad? maybe again next November, maybe.)

Summer Look Back

As a farewell to Summer (because let's just all admit it, summer is over), I decided to do a look back with pictures. Here's a trip down memory lane. 

Starting from top-left...

  1. Hiking St Edwards State Park
  2. Fourth of July Celebrations 
  3. Visiting Northwest Trek 
  4. Fun times at Ballard Seafood Fest
  5. Wine tasting at Kirkland Uncorked
  6. Touring Snohomish 
  7. Go Sounders! 
  8. Rat City Roller Derby 
  9. Go Mariners!

Starting at the top-left...

  1. Random Lunch in downtown
  2. Josh's dream...we found a Sonics 
  3. Take me out to the ball game
  4. Discovering Snohomish
  5. Lucha Libre 
  6. Visiting Chicago & Grandma Ruth
  7. Jeremy's Wedding 
  8. Happy Hours on Patios - cheers!
  9. Kayaking on Lake Union

Wow, when you look at this way, we did quite a lot this summer! And I didn't even post about everything -- missing stuff like the awesome day kayaking on Lake Union, the Mariners game, hiking, happy hours, and roller derby. Man, we're awesome! 

Not enough photos? Check out my Summer gallery on Flickr...or, since I'm slowly transitioning my photos to just be on my site! So you can find even more photos here!

Stop and Remember

As I was driving home from work Tuesday, my mom asked if I remembered 9/11. I said, of course! But then we realized, it's been twelve years - an entire decade! Someone that is a teenager today, about 16 or 17 years old, would only have been like 4 or 5 years old when the attacks happened. This just blows my mind! They probably won't remember where or when they were when they heard the news. They don't remember watching the television in shock & horror. They don't remember the lives that were lost and the tragedy. Do you remember?

So, for those of us that do remember, let's put so much brainpower into it that we make up for all those that are not able to remember. Stop and remember - just take a minute today. 

God Bless America!