Random Acts of the Month: November 2015

So I'm waayyy behind in getting this post up. I'm not going to lie, life has been pretty busy juggling Christmas, work, and baby preparations. So let's keep it simple, shall we? 

Here's a quick snapshot of November:

Starting from the top-left, going across, and then down each row:

  • My good friend, Tricia, threw a beautiful Seattle baby shower. It was a lovely afternoon with friends, games, and good food. I feel so blessed by all the love!
  • We had our maternity photoshoot with Kristen Honeycutt. She's the same photographer that did our wedding and it's so great that she was able to capture this stage in our lives.
  • Oh baby boy is growing so much - we're reaching pineapple, butternut squash, and cantaloupe sizes now! 
  • The guys eating some delicious turkey on Thanksgiving!
  • The gals cooking up the Thanksgiving feast. 
  • We headed over to Whidbey Island the Friday after Thanksgiving to do some exploring with Don & Nada (my in-laws). 
  • Asha the curious pup!
  • I think I found my favorite pumpkin latte and it's from Cupcake Royale. Oh man, so good! 
  • The family exploring Langley on Whidbey Island. Oh what fun! 

And now we're in December. This year flew by...so fast...too fast...it's craziness. And so much coming ahead! 

Random Acts of the Month: October 2015

Here I am again with my jaw dropping at how another month has flown by. Seriously, it's crazy that it's already November. It really feels like it should only be September. Before I know it we'll be celebrating the new year (and a baby about to arrive). 

Writing this October look back made me realize how utterly behind I am on my blog. I still need to continue telling you about our babymoon and about my San Diego baby shower. Plus there are other random things still to share like fall sweets I've baked or quick dinner ideas. If only I had more time! Well, for now, let's keep it simple and share some photos from October.

Here's a few smiles from the babymoon. One photo from each city: Charleston, Savannah, and St. Augustine. Those popsicles were delicious, by the way. I had a pumpkin popsicle since I'm pumpkin obsessed.

My co-workers totally surprised me with a baby shower. Look at my surprise face - yes, I actually put my hands up to my face in utter surprise. They brought in all the stops with cute decorations and blue mini cupcakes (from Trophy Cupcake - da bomb). Boy do I have some very thoughtful, generous, and kind co-workers (friends, really). 

I told you I was pumpkin obsessed. Do you see that delicious pumpkin crumpet? It was heavenly. They are serving it at a new place in Queen Anne called Queen Bee Cafe. Then I got together with my friend, Sarah, and we made these awesomely delicious Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies. They were pretty easy to make and seriously do melt in your mouth. 

Oh, and I do eat none pumpkin things (sometimes). Like that bowl of chicken pho. We found our new favorite Vietnamese place called Bahn Town. It was just what we needed on a cool, fall day with our sniffly colds. Yup, both of us had colds - boo. 

And I can't let a month go by without some Asha pup photos. She's growing up so fast. 10 months now! Our friends got her that little doggie bed when they were gracious enough to dog sit while we were on our babymoon. She L-O-V-E-S this bed. It's her little snuggle zone. We have to tote it around the house so she can sleep on it when we're in different parts of the house.

So there we have it, October. It probably went by so fast since we had a great month - time really does fly when you're having fun. Looking back like this makes me realize how wonderful life is. 

Go enjoy November, my friends. I'll report back soon.

Random Acts of the Month: September 2015

I was hoping to get this post published before vacation, but as you can see that didn't happen. I did get a start on it before the trip, but I'm sitting here in Orlando airport finishing it up. Yup, you heard me right, Orlando. That's for a later post, though. Right now, we're looking back real quick at September. 

You might remember that September started with Labor Day. Our good friends, the Maben family, invited us up to some property near Lake Stevens to hang out. It's a little oasis away from the city with lush grass and a river. We brought Asha along for the fun. We had a good time relaxing and hanging out with friends.

September brought the fall season. I love, love, LOVE the fall. I love the colors, the favors, the scents...ahhh sigh. I think I point out every tree when we drive around to Josh that has changing leaves. He's good and smiles and says it's pretty, too. 

I took another calligraphy class in September with my friend, Shweta. I learned how to connect the letters to form words and sentences. I need to keep practicing! 

Oh boy! I got a new laptop! So fast. So light. So sleek. This is all part of project nursery. We need to have one room serve as baby area and office, so we needed to reduce our desk space to fit in one desk, hence the laptop. 

It was Sweet Week in Seattle and I tried two sweets. On the left you'll see tea infused macarons from Fresh Flours. Then on the right, you'll see the apple ginger crisp from Hot Cakes. YUM!

Here's more food. For fun one night we tried out Big Chickie for dinner in Hillman city (near Columbia City...all south of Seattle). Then the Mighty-O donuts opened a store in Ballard. So far my favorites have been the french toast donuts and the apple spice donut. 

I did some baking at home. I had some ripe bananas, but I couldn't resist pumpkin season so I made pumpkin banana bread. For my co-workers I made those funfetti cake balls.

For the last weekend of September, Josh and I headed down to San Diego. I had a wonderful baby shower to celebrate Baby Boy Brown. I felt so blessed! I got to see so many good friends and family members, not to mention I got a lot of awesome things for the coming 'lil one. 

Before we left, we stopped for some good SD Mexican food at El Indio. A SD classic / institution. 

Asha pup turned 9 months old...holy cow! Isn't she the cutest? She got her first professional bath and she got a "A" from the groomer. I hardly believe that because for me she basically flunked - a big fat "F." They must have some tricks up there sleeves there (or just like our business, heehee).

And we reached a whomping four big years of marriage on September 29th. We've been together since 2003, so really 12 years. And you know what, I love Josh more than ever (sorry, too much lovey dovey there). We enjoyed a dinner with our families when we were visiting to celebrate as well as our own romantic dinner the actual day of the anniversary. 

There we have it. September was great! I can already tell you that October has been even better!

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! 

Random Acts of the Month: August 2015

Yes, yes I know we're already halfway through September and I'm talking about August. Can we blame pregnancy brain? I'd like to do that. (Although, it's not that I forgot, it's just that I haven't had the time). Anyway, here's a look back at August...fashionably late. 


Here's our little Asha pup. Well, not so little anymore, but frankly not as big as we thought she'd be at this point either. Fingers crossed she stays this size (that would be about 45 Ibs...she just looked at me and shook her head for sharing her weight). 

Her other names are as follows, but not limited to: Pupadoo, Asha P. Pup, sweetie pie, our little terrorist. She goes from sweetie pie to terrorist pretty quickly. The photo on the far left is our walk home...sans walking. 

Here's some drinks we had in August. I had a lovely mocktail - seriously, it was delicious. While Josh enjoyed a margarita. And our favorite rooibos tea lattes from Cederberg (remember this post?) with a crunchie bar and fudge.

We went to our annual Mariner's game with our church. And they won! Woohoo. Before the game, we got lunch at Rain Shadow Meats in Pioneer Square. So meaty. 

I'm growing....and I'm bigger now than I am in this photo. AHH! I got some great clothes from Stitch Fix, though. I was very happy with my box and would definitely recommend it for maternity wear. Here's a rant: maternity clothes. ARGH!! Expensive and not easy to find (as in not many stores carry their maternity clothes in their actual stores; you have to go online). I could go on, but it'll likely bore you. It bugs me and makes the sassy preggo Heather speak out. 

My company participated in Wayzgoose again. We did it last year and the year before. The theme was man vs. machine. I thought our B-Bot Battle poster was pretty cool, but sadly no winning this year. It was a fun time, though.

I'll keep it short, but we had a great August. 

And now September, probably one of my favorite months. Did I smell pumpkin??? 

Random Acts of the Month: July 2015

July was pretty awesome. There was some big news, some summer weather, some good food, and some other stuff. 

For the 4th of July we took the pooch out to Magnuson Park where the dog park has some water. Asha was uncertain at first, but ended up chasing another dog and found herself in the water. Once she was wet, she was loving it! 

We enjoyed some tasty food. On the left, we enjoyed some fish & chips at Chippy's. Then we battled the crowds to get some Chick-Fil-A - yes, I mean crowds and the drive through is out of the lot! And I had a prego hankering for dumplings so we headed to Din Tai Fung. Ah so good. 

We grew stuff! We were pretty proud of our produce. I'm calling us Farmer Browns

Of course lots of time was spent with little Miss Asha. Oh, and she graduated from puppy kindergarden. We're proud puppy parents.

We had some pretty big news. Take a guess - here's two hints: (1) bun in the oven and (2) Bump!

Find out how I'm doing with my Q&A post, too! 

There was some random fun, too. I took a calligraphy class, we went down to Georgetown (South Seattle) for lunch, and we saw lots of people picking the wild blackberries. Would you pick and eat blackberries from the side of the road?

As always, I spent time in the kitchen (only on the days that were not crazy high temps - which weren't many).

Those pancakes are my favorite - Oatmeal Buttermilk - they remind me of the pancake I enjoyed at Alana's Cafe in the Bay Area. Here's the recipe!

Oh July, you were good. Can't believe we're already in August! This year is flying by!!!!

Random Acts of the Month: June 2015

Oh my, it's July! July is usually when summer starts arriving in Seattle, but this year it came early and we had some warm summer June days already. In fact, I have a "tan" - meaning I'm no longer as white as a vampire. I can see a slight mark on my feet where my flip flop straps are and to me, that's a tan. Summer! 

June was a great month. Let me share some of the moments with you! 

We spent the first weekend of June down in the Sierra's (kinda, sorta near Lake Tahoe) for our friend's Chris and Tori's wedding. We got to see a bunch of good college friends. It was a great weekend. I have a post with more about all the fun plus some great 10 years ago vs. now photos.  


We've made taking Asha to the dog park a regular thing. She l-o-v-e-s it there. But the walk home is a struggle. She's usually worn out and with the heat, we have to stop at every shady spot and/or if there is lush grass for her to roll around. 

And to continue the Asha talk...she turned half a year old (aka 6 months) in June. She's still full of puppy, but look at that baby face! She's growing up so fast. 

June is also my birthday month. I'm not one of those people that tries to sneak by her birthday. I love celebrating! My co-workers treated me royally with gifts, a card, and delicious Trophy cupcakes

Josh really treated me like a Queen for my birthday, too. We had a most wonderful meal at Cascina Spinasse. I died in food coma heaven. Every little morsel was delicious. I think my favorite was the mushroom pasta - Tagliatelle alla spugnole. But the trout, oh the trout - Trota alla piemontese. The trout was bellissimo! And gosh, the dessert was perfection - it was a lemon tiramisu - Zuppa Inglese al limone to be exact. The pasta was all fresh and homemade. Even the bread was good. I just made myself hungry writing all this. 

I also did some baking, but of course I'll share more in my next Baker's Corner. And Asha got her own playpen in the backyard. 

And that's a wrap. Bring it, July! 

Random Acts of the Month: May 2015

Dun dun dun, another one bites the dust. 

I have a song for everything - just ask my co-workers. I also like to take songs and then make my own words to the beat. So in this case...Dun dun dun, Mayyyy bites the dust.  

May was a great month and we did quite a bit actually. For starters, I saw the Avenger's with co-workers. Also, I took an afternoon break one day to get these funny yet tasty BeanCake treats with some co-workers. Mine was filled with spiced apples. 

We ventured out one Saturday night to the Taco Libre Taco Truck challenge - read the post. We ate at Budda Bruddah, which ended up winning with best taco. Yum!

April showers definitely brought out some beautiful May flowers. 

We did it! We put together a garden in the front yard planters box. We are growing all sorts of fruits and veggies like zucchini, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, onions, and some herbs as well. Wish us luck! I have a horrible green thumb. Thank goodness Josh has picked up the watering chore.

Asha had some firsts in May. It was her first time at the dog park - we're regulars now. She is just Little Miss Social and just loves it. Another first was her putting her head out the window. It's so funny to see her ears flapping in the wind. She's growing up so fast! 

I made some pies. Soooo good. Lemon Meringue and Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. Read about it at my Baker's Corner post.

We went down to Tacoma one afternoon to pick up a father's day slash birthday gift for my dad at Chamber's Bay Golf Course. It's where the US Open is going to be this year. It was quite beautiful with a view of the water.

Roaming Tacoma was fun. It was a gorgeous day - clear and warm. I love these days because you can see Mount Rainier standing stoically in the background. We also walked around some interesting areas of downtown. That bird is actually a mural on the side of a building! 

There is a lighthouse at Discovery Park and we found it once a few years ago, but I haven't been able to find it since (albeit I didn't look that hard). I found it again with a friend on a Memorial Day hike. As you can see, Asha approves of lighthouses. 

Sorry, I can't help it, here's some more Asha love. She hates it when either of us leave the house. Isn't that just the cutest? 

My in-laws where here for back-to-back weekends. The first weekend we walked at Discovery Park. We also went to the University of Washington to see the Husky Clipper at the Conibear Shellhouse. Nada, Don, and I had all read The Boys in the Boat, so seeing the clipper really brought it to life. Check out my other book recommendations.

The other weekend with the in-laws we took a jaunt down Chuckanut Drive. I'm going to share more about that on a upcoming post. In the meantime, you can read about the drive Josh and I had on it last year.

And that's a wrap. May was great. I hope you had a good month, too! 

Random Acts of the Month: March & April 2015

I have two months to post this time around. I just never got to March. It's not that I forgot, I just didn't have the time. By the time I could post, it was already April (tossing my hands up In the air). I figured I'd just combine the two. 

March and April were quite busy - from moving to getting a new pup, then from my grandma to my mom. It was busy and emotional.

March 2015:

I'll keep this one short since it was over a month ago now.

Top Row: We got some great spring days in March. I love seeing the flowers bloom. We have a magnolia tree in our yard and cherry blossoms all around. Love it.

Middle Row: Asha entered our lives at the beginning of March. And I've been taking lots of photos of her - see more here

Bottom Row: Work was busy. Our company hosted a Women's Leadership Panel and I was in charge of food & drink. My work team signed up for a 5K, showed up, saw it was pouring rain, and ended up getting brunch instead. And Josh and I enjoyed our first fire in our new fireplace.

April 2015:

Now onto April! It was a busy month. It started with Chicago and family. My Grandma Ruth passed away so I went out to Chicago. Since it was over Easter weekend, I got to be with family for Easter. We went to my Uncle Chuck's church, Messiah. I got to see my cousin Jenny and her family.

Of course, there were Easter lilies and I thought the Java with Jesus was pretty funny!

While in Chicago, I saw lots my O'Neill family. We stayed with my lovely cousin Erin and her family (middle). We spend Easter dinner with my Uncle Mike and Aunt Ann (left) & family. And for the first time in a long time, all the cousins were together (right).

And I got to spend Easter with my parents and sister, too! 

We got some Of my favorite Chicago bites. Lindsay, my sister, and I had a few hours to spare one day for lunch, and headed to Top Chef winner Stephanie's restaurant, Little Goat Diner (left). I was sure to grab a tea latte from my favorite tea spot, Argo. (middle). And of course, got some Frango's (Macy's Frango shop, right) - a Grandma Ruth favorite!

As I mentioned, Lindsay, and me had a few hours to getaway to downtown Chicago. Some good sister bonding time.

I just got my camera (I left it in Chicago by accident - ahh, I felt so lost without my camera), so I'm seeing the below photos only now. I will try to post about those few hours sometime soon. They were a fun few hours. 

Josh and I tried some new restaurants this month that were crazy good. We enjoyed brunch at Brunswick & Hunt (left) - we were originally headed to Fat Hen, but the wait was too long for our rumbling tummies. Then we had a romantic dinner at Damn the Weather (middle). We enjoyed EVERYTHING - that includes drinks, salad, dinner, and dessert. We went all out and it was sooo worth it. See me biting that rib? That's me chowing down at Bourbon & Bones (right). The food was meaty and delicious. Oh, and we did have bourbon, too.

Oh course we spent lots of time with little Miss Asha pup. 

And more time with the pup on walks. Plus her escape under the bed. 

And there you have it. Now it's May - hard to fathom. This year is going too fast. Just way. to. fast.

Random Acts of the Month: February 2015

The fact that I'm writing my February Random Acts in the middle of March should tell you something...I can't keep up! The struggle is real people. Life has just been super crazy busy. Yes, super crazy busy. But better late than never, so here we go...

Oh yea, the Super Bowl...that happened in February. I think everyone in Seattle has been trying to forget about that upset. I enjoyed all the enthusiasm that lights up the city; they really get into it. I even went to a rally during the lunch hour. Check out the photo of the guy with the cat wearing a Seahawks outfit. HA! Win or lose, Seattlities are true blue.

We enjoyed some treats - made by yours truly. You're seeing Red Velvet Cookie Bars (recipe) for Valentine's Day and S'mores Cake balls (recipe) for, well, just because. I'm not going to lie, they were both delicious. I guess I need to do a Baker's Corner again soon.

And we also went out to lunch at El Camion, and I ate those gorditas. Yum! 

Most of our month was consumed with the move. We moved into a new rental home mid-February. It was a lot of packing, unpacking, cleaning, organizing, etc. We're still not all the way done (sigh), but we've made lots of progress. Read this post for more.

We meet the newest member of our family for the first time in February. We didn't bring her home until March, though, so more on that later. But, we meet her and feel in love.

With every move, there is always an IKEA trip. Am I right? My treat for making it through the maze alive was a frozen yogurt cone. 

P.S. See my beautiful nails? Yea, I had a manicure in February, too.

Well, the lack of photos makes it seem like February wasn't all that busy. But there is a LACK of photos folks, so that means I was so busy I didn't take as many photos. Sayyy whaaatt? Yea, that's totally unlike me. Usually I'm taking so many Josh is annoyed (shh, don't tell him I said that). Anyway, hopefully I'll catch back up with life and be more normal again soon - and start post more again.

Random Acts of Month: January 2015

Holy Moly! We've already burned through a month of 2015. Eecck! I say this ALL THE TIME, but where does time go? There is no keeping up with it - it flies!!! 

So without further ado, here's my Random Acts of the Month for January 2015! Nothing too crazy this month, but I had some good times. 

We started out the year, and I had some goals for the year - like yoga and trying something new in the kitchen. We'll see how that goes...

Football season was in full swing. The Packer's game was exciting. I'll talk about the Superbowl in February's recap. Maybe the city of Seattle will have recovered a bit by then.

Josh's company had their holiday party. Honestly, after a week into January the holidays were long gone, but the party was still fun. It was at Teatro ZinZanni, which is basically a dinner show slash cabaret show with a Cirque du Soleil twist. We had some good laughs. 

I started a new series that will run occasionally on my blog called Daily Dinners. Two meals have been posted so far: Kale Mac 'n Cheese and Creamy Fennel and Pork. Did you make either of them?

We tried out a new coffee place in Pioneer Square called Elm Coffee Roasters. Tasty and totally hipster.

At work, our neighbors Blue Kai (also recently acquired by Uncle Oracle), invited our office over for lunch. On the way back, we lost our boss. Okay, well, we didn't lose him (he was hiding on another floor), but we thought we were pretty funny.

We have had a LOT of fog this month. There was one day that was really cool, and the fog changed by the hour. I captured this shot with the fog hanging out over Elliot Bay. 

Then that same afternoon, I caught this shot of the fog hanging over the city. There is no picture of it because it would have been just plain white, but the fog also just swallowed us all. When we looked it was just white. 

Josh and I enjoyed dinner at Cafe Turko. Super good and I loved the yam hummus. We also both enjoyed a spot of tea - Josh had sage tea, and I had pomegranate. 

And now we're already in February. Sloooowwww down 2015. Sloowwwww it down. 

Random Acts of the Month: December 2014

Dang, December was jam packed with fun and adventure. When I think about all the things we did, I get a bit tired. It was sooo worth it, though. There was lots of travel, cooking, eating, and time with friends and family. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say it was my favorite month of 2014 (of course, my love for Christmas certainly helped).

Here's my new approach to the Random Acts of the Month series. Fingers crossed you like it. 

Okay, I know you're dying to know what all the photos are, so starting with the top left. Then to the right and down by row. 

  • Una Noche en Espana at Hipcooks with my co-workers.  We were stirring up some lovely sangria in that photo. Read the post.
  • Imagine Dragons rocked it at Deck the Hall Ball. Read the post.
  • Exploring Death Valley with my hubby and in-laws. Our after Christmas trip!
  • For my mom's birthday, my parents and sister visited us in Seattle. Together we went on a weekend getaway to Orcas Island, which is part of the San Juans. It was completely beautiful. 
  • You can't have Christmas without Christmas cookies. My favorite cookie this year was the gingerbread macarons made by yours truly. Read the post (plus more cookies).
  • In-N-Out, now that's what a hamburger is all about. We spent some holiday time with my parents in San Marcos (North County San Diego) and ate some California food (and it wasn't avocados).
  • We saw A Christmas Story at the Seattle 5th Avenue Theater with my family when they were in town. The production was really well done, and it was a ton of fun. Don't shoot your eye out!
  • A lovely family photo on Christmas morning.
  • More Orcas Island beauty. Ahh, sigh.
  • Keely, my parent's Golden Retriever! She is such a love. I want a dog!!!!
  • The Sand Dunes in Death Valley. 
  • We stayed at the Outlook Inn on Orcas Island. I would definitely recommend it. It was a great room, and the view in the morning was even better.
  • Scotty's Castle in Death Valley. A post to come as Death Valley Part 2. 
  • Oh, hello there.
  • I had a blast at our Oracle Christmas Cookie Swap. I made the chocolate cookie at the bottom, a peppermint crinkle. Yum!
  • The O'Neill family Christmas tree. Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...you know where I'm going with that...
  • A pot of coffee at our favorite Encinitas coffee shop, Lofty Bean. Oh man, those salted caramel lattes are heaven.
  • Driving to Orcas Island!

See what I mean...a busy month. A fantastic way to end the year 2014! 

Random Acts of the Month: October

Another month bites the dust. Time to share way too many photos. Are you ready? Okay...GO!

First up, Josh's birthday celebration dinner. 

My pumpkin cravings are out of control.

Sprinkle's Pumpkin cupcake // Jamba's Pumpkin Smash // Homemade Pumpkin Cookies

Work visit to Irvine and got to squeeze in family time

Dave Ramsey in Seattle // Rainbows from the Office // More Dave

More Pumpkins! (A post to come)

Fall is here! Beautiful Skies while waiting at the bus stop // Fall leaves // Fall walks

The rain has come...Get out the hoodies.

Random Acts of the Month: September

Oh me, oh my, I almost forgot to do my Random Acts of September. I remembered last night in the shower. Does that happen to you? Remembering things at the worst times like in the shower or right before you fall asleep. I usually end up repeating the thing I want to remember in my head over and over in hopes the next day it will re-surface from the depths of my mind. 

Anyhhooo, back to September. I can't believe how fast it went. I love the fall and I hate when my favorite months go by so fast. Fall is just too great - the best flavors (uh, hello pumpkin), awesome smells (fireplaces, cool air, pumpkin), and beautiful colors (leaves). Love it. 

At the beginning of the month, Josh and I visited my parents. {post}

While visiting my parents, we made a stop in La Jolla. It was just a beautiful day.

And I enjoyed the sunshine, which according to a stranger in Seattle stopped to tell me I needed to get more of (oh yes, that happened). 

My mom, sister, and I discovered a dog park near my parents new home.

Of course we stopped in downtown Encinitas (to get some breakfast at Honeys). FYI -This was a photo I took and then used the Waterlouge app to make it a water color.

Oh darn, another beautiful Seattle sunset. It was fun watching the sea planes take off into the sunset. 

My in-laws came to visit - yay! We ate lunch at Luna Park in West Seattle and enjoyed some delicious shakes.

My coworker got married and Josh and I got to join in on the special day. It was very pretty along a lake and in a barn (well, sorta a barn...very hard to describe actually. Trust me, it was nice).

My friend Sweta and I took a Macaron Macaroon class together. Yup, I've taken a class before but that was like 2 years ago. And this was with a new gal. I learned some new skillz. 

Hard to believe, but Josh and I have been married now for 3 years. Josh sent me these very beautiful flowers for our anniversary. Awww. {post}

We exchanged love notes for our anniversary, too. 

And little did the barista know it was our anniversary weekend, but he gave us his and her coffee (clever guy since he didn't know our names). 

And September welcomes the beginning of PUMPKIN season. We all rejoice! 

And there you have it. That was September. The end.

Random Acts of the Month: August

Okay, I admit it. I'm a wannabe photographer (or, let's say aspiring photographer...I like the sounds of that much better). As I've been learning, I've been told that you need to take a lot of photos to get a few goods ones. That means I whip out my camera everywhere. I'm pretty certain that this annoys the heck out of Josh. In fact, I have photos of him sticking out his tongue or frowning. But I caught him the other day looking through all my Instagrams and enjoying the memories. 

The point in telling you all this is: I have a lot of photos. And I sometimes one photo doesn't justify an entire post. That's why I'm doing these random acts of the month...because I want to share all my random photos. 

Here's my randomness for August! 

We tried a new Mexican restaurant for lunch called TNT Taqueria. And we discovered the most delicious churros. Horchata and churros on a hot August day was heavenly. 

One weekend we found ourselves in Pioneer Square around lunch time. As we figured out where to eat, I saw this "Just be your Selfie" sign. Now that definitely called for a selfie.

On that same outing, we found our lunch place, The London Plane. I fell in love with the atmosphere of this restaurant. I was wondering around as we waited for a table, and turned and smiled at myself. (Note: This restaurant was recently a nominee in Bon Appetit for American's best restaurant in 2014).

Outside of The London Plane (yes, I was picture crazy that day) was a cute, little dahlia cart. Adorbs.

Okay, last one from that afternoon (gosh, maybe this did have enough for it's own post...oh well). This was a shot as we walked in the alley. Pioneer Square has the coolest architecture!

My office participated in the Wayzgoose event again this year. We got runner up with this awesome print. But I already told you all about this awesomeness

We went to the Seattle Street Food Festival with our friends Aaron & Liddy. Food trucks are the hip thing now. We're so cutting edge!

We randomly stopped at Kerry Park, and it just so happened to be the day before the super moon. I didn't have my camera, but my iPhone did a pretty good job. Check out some of these super moon photos in Seattle...super moon is super cool. 

We stopped for lunch in Fremont and came across this awesome graffiti. I was feeling pretty hipster with my hat and all the graffiti. 

We meandanered over the water to Kirkland to check out Lady Yum since I go gaga over macarons. The flavors were awesome. Besides the below, here's another photo (via Instagram) with me be artsy-fartsy.

My office went out to a Sounders Game. We're such cool Katz. Read more about it.

We went out again to Vashon to see the sheepdog trials. Remember it from last year? I'll share more about this outing later. Smart dogs rule!

This was a wonderful Friday treat at the office...Yellow Leaf Cupcakes. And look at that fab view from my desk.

Look at this catch? Isn't he so handsome? I enjoyed some tapas and wine with this fine fellow at Bottle House.

Roar! Or maybe it's a meow? But meow doesn't sound so fierce. We caught a glimpse of this leopard at Point Defiance Zoo. But I'll tell you more about this day later.

And I'll end with another gorgeous Seattle sunset.

Goodbye August!

Random Acts of the Month: July

July actually didn't seem to fly by like some recent months. I think back to the beginning of the month when I was on vacation, and it seems forever ago. But gosh, I then think about how we're already into August, and then it seems went way too fast. So I can only conclude that the month when by fast-slow. 

July started with vacation (yea yea yea, I still need to post about that). I don't want to show you a ton of vacation photos here because that would then just make this my vacation post. But this leaves me having to chose favorites, which I have a very hard time doing. I'm not a great decision maker - see above paragraph where I couldn't decide fast vs. slow. Or ask Josh...decisions for where to go to dinner last way to long (actually, don't ask Josh and let's just forget about this whole thing - nervous giggle).

Vacation was in Deer Valley, UT (right next door to Park City) and we joined my parent-in-laws. We spent some good times outdoors and also just relaxed a bunch. One of our outdoor activities was rafting/floating down the Provo River.

We also got these unbelievably good shakes at some random diner called Hi-Mountain in Kamas, UT. My mouth waters just thinking about the Banana Cream Pie shake. Dying. 

Utah is simple beautiful. We went out to Sundance (as in the film festival) and took the ski lift up for some great view. I snapped this shot while on the lift up the mountain. 

We went out to Sy's Ranch (Sy is a friend of the Browns) and meet some Utah animals.  This horse just got a kick out of my jokes. 

This is me before the Heber Train ride. Yippee! As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

The week after our Utah trip, I went down to San Fran for the Interact conference. The flight in to SF was quite beautiful (psst, here's my post about it)

Not to brag, but John Legend was one of the keynote speakers. You know the guy that sings this song. And yes, he sang All of Me plus some other hits. 

There was also the B-52s rocking out to Rock Lobster and Love Shack for the conference's evening entertainment. 

Generally at conferences / work travel, I rarely see any of the city. But I did get to see the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge since our client dinner was at The Slanted Door. Love how they added the lights to the Bay Bridge. 

I also got to see our good friends before heading back home. Miss these faces... 

Saturday morning we got brunch at Portage Bay Cafe with good family friends of the Browns, Vince and Jonita. I got to me Julie and Marshall. Apparently Julie used to babysit Josh - awww.

The last weekend of July, thanks to slightly lower temperatures and not being away, I finally got into the kitchen. Sometimes a nice blueberry galette is all you need to settle down.

I also got the "You Did It' cone award at work. Apparently, my co-workers think I did it. Let's do a little celebratory dance and sing, "Go Heather, go Heather, go go go Heather!"

Then because it was such a fast-slow month, I got a cocktail (ok, that's most weekends but this one was especially good and got a photo). We tried a new restaurant called Bell + Whete. I loved the seating which was inside, but huge windows so I felt outside - perfect for a Seattle Summer evening. 

Did I say Seattle Summers? Oh yeaaaaa. They are the BEST. We get some awesome sunsets to boot. This photo barely captures the colors and beauty. 

The very last day of July, we hit up the Queen Anne Farmer's Market. I only took one photo, and it was of my dinner which was some good Tandoozy Indian street food. Eaten by me on the grass on a lovely, warm summer evening. 

#tbt - Thursday, 7/24

I've been horrible at writing lately...sorry! I have plenty to tell you and I'll get to it soon, I swear. To tie you over until then, I thought I'd do another Throwback Thursday. Who doesn't like a photo? I'm sure you'll get a kick out of this one. Like...the longer, blond hair. Most of my friends in Seattle would hardly recognize me. 

This gem is from our November 2005 UK trip. We were visiting Cambridge University. Aww good memories. 

Check out my last TBT post

Random Acts of the Month: June

Another one bites the dust. June is past and we're already in July. Oh time, quit playing games with me. 

June was pretty dang good. We certainly jammed a lot into June.

For starters, we finally got to taste The Cheese Wizards. It was everything we had hoped for...cheesy goodness.

With good weather now in Seattle, I decided to buy some new shoes and start running more. Wish me luck!

I did some pampering with my friend, Tricia, to celebrate her birthday. I love the mint green color right now - so springy and summery. 

Don't I have a good hubby...getting out to pump the gas. Thanks Josh!

Ahhh, a drink to end the long work week. 

And here is me enjoying the above drink, and then noticing it decided to rain. This tasty restaurant is The Innkeeper

June ended Responsys' time in the Oddfellows building in Capitol Hill. It was a fun, quirky, and unique building. It fit our creative agency vibe, but we won't miss the death trap elevator, the intense heat during the summer, and the slow water dispenser. More to come about this transition in a later post.

Then there was my birthday. My birthday landed on a Wednesday, a work day. So heck no, I'm not cooking. Instead we headed to Essex and Delancey. I got lots of lovely cards and gifts. 

We celebrated again over the weekend with a fine meal at Terra Plata. Read more about how I Turned Older.

Seattle has the best summers. Part of these summers are awesome sunsets. It's hard to get a great shot from our house since there are so many wires, but this still seems to catch the essence of the colors and clouds.

Our office landed in a new location, which is right dab in the heart of Seattle. I scored a window seat, and when I look out I see the Space Needle, and if I turn my head a bit, I also see the waterfront & Elliott Bay. Not to shabby.

We went to the South Park Bridge opening festival, and tried some pupusa

At the same festival, we saw the luchadores. Remember them from last year?

We enjoyed a fine brunch at The Fat Hen. My favorite was the cardamon twist. Oh baby.

Aren't we adorable?

One of my favorite places for dessert is the Fainting Goat in Wallingford. This was lemon grisbi and sour cherry. Deeeliishhh.

And to end the month, a sunset on the Duwamish River.

Random Acts of the Month: May

Need I say it? I say it every month. Okay, I'll just say it. How is it June already?! 

June is a good month though, so I'm not disappointed. But May was full of fun, so let's not just throw it aside so quickly. Let me tell you about some of it.

We went to my co-workers boat house (aka floating home) to watch Seattle's Opening Boat Day. Yes, it's a thing - boats go on parade, there is a race, and all sorts of boat things. It was also my first time in a boat house (you know, like in Sleepless in Seattle). 

Oh Hello Robin...we found a delicious cookie and ice cream sandwich shop called Hello Robin. Cookie flavors like lemon poppy seed, orange jalapeño chocolate chip, and mackelmore.

We explored Luther Burbank Park one fine, sunny day. 

I went on a business trip out to New York for a few days. I didn't get much sight seeing in, but I caught a few sights in the evening. I wrote all about it

We had a lovely dinner and cocktail at Roux, which is just as good as any NYC restaurant. So there. This little delight was A Necessary Means. In my mind: totally necessary. 

For Memorial Day, we went out for a drive on Chuckanut Drive. Can't beat our wonderful State. See more of my photos and thoughts on my post

On the Chuckanut Drive, we also came across some paragliders landing. Pretty cool.

I've been using this app/site called Sosh, and found some fun activities such as Schimitz Preserve Park. It turned out to be a nice walk, and very green. 

And a sunny afternoon in West Seattle is quite nice. 

Of course, I did some baking. I need to do another Baker's Corner! This recipe used cherries. And my other favorite spring/summer ingredient: lemon. Yum!

I also went down to Pleasanton for another client visit. My co-worker insisted on stopping at Freebirds Burritos after just having lunch with the client. Oye!

We found the marina area near us in Magnolia, and enjoyed a lunch at Maggie Bluffs with a view out to the marina, cruise ship, and water.

And to end May, some dangling shoes. 

And that does it for May. I don't know about you, but I like these little recaps. Sometimes I feel like a boring person (after seeing cool things others do on Facebook and Instragram), but this helps me remember that I do some pretty neat things. 

Random Acts of the Month: April

How did it happen? How did May come up so quickly? Let's say a quick goodbye to April. Here's some randomness from my April.

I tried out my green thumb and put together my first terrarium. It's May now, and it's still alive. Success!

I meet this beautiful cat while at Sound Spirits picking up a gift for a friend.

I found graham cracker frozen yogurt at last at Zoe Yogurt! This was one of my favorite flavors back at Yumi Yogurt in the bay area. 

I'm going around to pizza places and trying to decide my favorite. I'll write to you about it once I've made a a few more stops. Can you guess where this one is from?

We enjoyed some great, sunny days. We grabbed Molly Moon's and then walked down to Kerry Park for a view of our beautiful city.

The cherry blossoms started to bloom. I love these flowers!

We went to the Japanese Gardens for peace and tranquility. I'll tell you about this afternoon soon, I promise. 

After buying Marge's delicious granola at the farmer's market, I decided I could totally make my own granola. And I did! Totally good, too. Go on, try it! I'm now on a bit of a granola "kick."

My sweet hubby brought home Trophy cupcakes one weekday...just because. Awww.

We celebrated Easter! And decorated eggs.

I tried out Stitch Fix and loved it!

I found some love while walking in Capitol Hill.

Saw some fish, otters, and all sorts of sea creatures at the Seattle Aquarium. A post about this adventures soon. 

A pretty fun-filled month if I don't say so myself. ;) April...it was good.