Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

So I didn't intend to take a blogging break, but multiple things have kept me away from my computer (one of which may or may not have been Hoarders: Season One). Anyways, I hope that each and every one of you had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday!  I've had lots of "Friends Thanksgivings" in the past, but I've always been at my mom's house with my family on Thanksgiving Day ... we've always done the traditional turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, etc.  But, this year, we stayed out here in Washington and had a big Friends Thanksgiving ... and it was SO MUCH FUN!  I am totally a fan.

My mom had to work (she's a nurse), so my sister came out and spent the week with us.  We didn't get to do a whole lot because the Seattle area was snowed in but we had a good time and managed to keep ourselves occupied.

We made it to opening weekend at Mt. Baker:
Me & The Sister

J., Me & The Sister

J. & I

We watched Baby Lucy sleep:

 We took the dogs for a walk in the snow ... it was cold!  

We went out for Italian in Burlington and had Bellini's:

 And we went into Seattle and saw Post Alley:  

and Pike Place Market:

We wine tasted at The Tasting Room in Seattle:

And we had Thanksgiving with all of our wonderful friends!  I don't have any pictures because I left my camera in G.S.'s car when we went to Vancouver a few weekends ago :(  We really had such a great day together and it was nice to spend the holiday with new friends and to learn about their traditions!  I think I also enjoyed this years Thanksgiving because it wasn't a ton of work for any one person ... everyone pitched in and brought something and we all helped the host cook the turkey, serve and clean up.  All of the food was SO good and it was great to try some new dishes!  And of course we all said what we were thankful for before we ate ... and also what we were going to be thankful for NEXT Thanksgiving!  It was a great new tradition that I will be adding to my future Thanksgivings!

A lot of changes have occurred in my life since last Thanksgiving ... many that I never would have imagined ... and I am continually reminded how lucky I am!  I know everyone thinks this about the people in their lives, but I truly am so very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends.  So, it's only fitting that this year, I am most thankful for all of the PEOPLE in my life (and my four legged friends!).  I am blessed with a wonderful family ... one that is supportive and loving and has been there for me every step of the way this past year.  I have amazing friends ... friends that I've known for years, friends that have seen me through high school and college, friends that I've traveled the world with, friends that are living in many other states and countries and new friends that I've made since we moved to Washington ... each and every one of you is so important to me and I am so thankful to have you in my life!  Thank you for being there for me whenever I needed you.  And I am especially lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend who puts up with me on a daily basis and is especially kind and supportive right now during my very stressful job search :)

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday with your families, got fantastic Black Friday deals if that is your thing and are ready to kick-off the Christmas season!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Deals, Deals, Deals ...

So many good deals today!  Piperlime is offering 25% off all boots today ... and they have free shipping and free returns (love this site!) and today's Groupon is $25 for $50 worth of clothing and accessories from American Apparel!  I LOVE American Apparel and have already been perusing their website to see what I am going to purchase :)  Ann Taylor LOFT is also offering their favorite sweaters for $25 ... for a limited time!  I'm sure there are TONS more great deals going on out in the world but these three caught my eye!

Happy Thursday!

The Mother Visits the Pacific Northwest - Part III

I couldn't let my mom come out and visit without taking her hiking!  The weather was not the greatest while she was here, so we picked a day and crossed our fingers.  It was very dreary looking when we rolled out of bed on Monday morning, but we decided to take our chances and headed east on U.S. 2.  We had decided to hike Wallace Falls which is about 5.5 miles roundtrip and would be perfect since our days had just been drastically shortened due to daylight savings time.  

Small Falls ... the first waterfall that we came upon

Mossy trees

Addy, me, Lucy

Waterfall #2 ... Lower Falls
They are very creative with naming around here :)

My mother in front of Lower Falls with Middle Falls in the background

Middle Falls with snow covered trees above it!

Take #2 ... it was absolutely beautiful!

 Sun coming through the trees

and Take #2

Lucy and her backpack!


Middle Falls

The top of Middle Falls

The sun was trying its very hardest to peek out


We finally made it to Upper Falls and to be quite honest with you, I thought Middle Falls was much more impressive

I really liked this trail ... every half mile they had a mile marker telling you how far you had gone, what the next half mile would be like (easy, medium or hard) and a trail map for you to look at.  It was great!

Lucy playing in the river

I got a few good pictures of the peaks around Wallace Falls on our way out ... they are ruined by the gigantic power lines running through, so please ignore those :)

We were SO lucky that the weather held out ... there were several times it looked very dark and ominous but we had a great time and the scenery was beautiful.  Wallace Falls was a great hike and very easy to get to!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Throwdown with Bobby Flay

I don't watch the Food Network very often, but I will not be missing it tonight!  Bobby Flay is going to throw down with Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman on his show tonight!  They are going head to head to create a Thanksgiving Feast AND it was filmed at The Lodge.  It airs at 9:00/8:00 CST which is 6:00 out here for us West Coast folks.  It's also airing at 9:00 PST.  Set those DVR's!

The Mother Visits the Pacific Northwest - Part II

Back to posting about my mother's visit to my little corner of the world ... over the weekend I took her and J. to Leavenworth.  My roommates and I had a great time there and it's hard to find a lot of outside stuff to do during the rainy season!

We started our trip at the waterfront park ... even though it was gray and cloudy, we still had a good view!

 And then we headed to the main street and wandered around for a few hours ... it was considerably more crowded then when I took my Purdue girls.

We had lunch at the same little cafe ... J. was excited to have a German beer.

After lunch, we headed to the Nutcracker Museum (J.'s favorite part of the day!)  But honestly, it was a really cool museum AND the curator was Conan O'Brien's first guest on his new show ... no joke!
J. and Karl

J., me and a GIANT nutcracker

The Mouse King

The Mother and J. with their Starbucks Holiday Cups!

 On the way home we stopped along the Wenatchee River to take some pictures ... it was beautiful!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a friendly reminder ...

Oprah's Favorite Things show is set to air this Friday, November 19th!  It is sure to be a good one since it is Oprah's last season ... and Oprah does NOT disappoint when it comes to gift giving!  I cannot wait to see what she comes up with this year!

Happy Birthday Aunt Kim!

I am a little late with my posting today but this weather is making me LAZY.  I don't know how I am going to make it until July 5th.  Good thing my next visitor isn't coming until Saturday night!  Anyways, today is a very special day -- it's my aunt's birthday!  My aunt is one special lady --- she is my dad's little sister and she's the glue that holds my dad's side of the family together.  We've had a lot thrown at us in the past couple of years and she's holding down the fort VERY well.  I don't know how she does it all.  Plus she's a lawyer and the mother of one of my favorite cousins :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT KIM!  I hope you know how much you are loved and respected.  Next time I visit, I'll treat you to the Chocolate Bar!  (hmmm, is that selfish??)

The birthday girl (the blond), her husband, my grandma and my other aunt last Christmas ...

The birthday girl and her mother :)
Love you two lots! 

I hope you had a FABULOUS birthday!
Lots of love from the Pacific Northwest,
J., S., Addy & Lucy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese ...

Last night, on our way home from Vancouver, we stopped by W.'s house for dinner.  He made us this AMAZING macaroni and cheese recipe, which I highly recommend.  I've tried to make "fancy" macaroni and cheese multiple times and it's never turned out, so I was excited to (1) find a good recipe and (2) see someone make it successfully!

Now, go whip up some macaroni and cheese and make your tummies happy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Mother Visits the Pacific Northwest - Part I

My mother just left after spending a week out here with J. and I.  We did a lot during her visit, but also managed to squeeze in some time for relaxing!  She arrived on a beautiful day, so we headed out to walk the dogs.  We had a great view of the sun setting over the harbor.  Those are the Olympic Mountains in the background:  

Me and the Mother

Sometimes I can't believe I live here!

 The next day we lounged around all morning and then headed north to visit Deception Pass.  I'd walked over the bridge a couple of times but had never hiked down to the beach.  We decided to head down and check it out:

And I was so glad that we did ... there was a seal playing in the water about 5-8 feet from the beach!  That little black speck in the middle of the picture is his head!  Someday, I will get a better camera and be able to take much better pictures :)

Looking at the bridge from the beach

My mom on the beach with the bridge in the background

Looking out towards the San Juan Islands from atop the bridge

While we were walking across the bridge, we happened to look down and noticed that our seal friend had joined another seal and were frolicking in the water ... it was so much fun to watch!
Those two white things amongst the kelp are the seals!

 When we finally tore ourselves away from the seals, we headed to the base to see J. and his jet.  The mighty Growler:

J. and The Mother

She fit under the wing!

The squadron patch

A Growler painted for the Yellow Jackets squadron

After our visit to the base, we headed into Anacortes and gave The Mother a quick tour of downtown before heading to Adrift for dinner.  We had a great meal with G.S., N. and Mr. R. and then came back to get a good night's sleep for the weekend!