Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day friends!  I hope that each of you had a wonderful and relaxing three day weekend.  And I hope that you took some time to remember that Memorial Day is more than just BBQ's and the start of summer.  It's a day to remember those who have fallen defending our country and those who continue to fight for our country.  Out of all of the Memorial Day posts I read today, I thought the Pioneer Woman's was the best.  I hope you'll take a minute to read her post and look over the pictures.  They are such beautiful photos and so emotional. 

I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of our weekend and this week's Ten on Tueday! 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Baked Buffalo Chicken Pasta

I made this pasta for J., G.S., N and their houseguest last night.  I was slightly nervous because the cheese sauce didn't look like it covered the pasta very well, but it turned out better than expected.  And it was really good!  I had compliments from all the boys - but maybe they were just being nice? - who knows.  All I know is that the pan was empty after dinner.  

The pasta in the picture above looks MUCH better than mine looked.  I think next time I am going to add some more cheese, I used about a cup of the shredded Monterey Jack so next time I am going to try two cups and also a little bit more Frank's hot sauce in the cheese sauce.  The recipe calls for 1/3 cup, which was a good amount but I could have used some more heat in my pasta!  I loved the addition of the green onions and gorgonzola on top.  Yum.  I only wish there were some leftovers (wait, did I just say that out loud?)

I served it with some strawberries, but I also think a salad or vegetable would go well with it.  I never know what kind of sides to serve with a dish like macaroni and cheese, especially when it has chicken in it.  It seems like a meal and side already.

Happy Eating!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Have you seen Portlandia?  J. has me hooked.  

... and seriously considering a move to Portland.  I'd be considered retired instead of unemployed.  I could just get a part-time job at the co-op or a coffee shop!  We've been watching clips on Hulu and I did some research and found that you can download the first episode, "Farm," for free on iTunes!  Of course, it's a great marketing tool ... once you watch the free first episode, you'll be inclined to go buy the remaining five.   

These are some of my favorite clips ... let me know what you think!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #14!

So, I've been slacking in the blog department lately ... sorry about that friends.  My absence is partly due to the fact that the weather was so beautiful last week that I spent every second that I could outdoors, soaking up the sun and doing lots of yardwork and partly due to the fact that I've had a steady stream of clients lately that have been taking up all my time that hasn't been spent in the out of doors.  Now let's hope these clients actually pay me :)

I promise to spend some time documenting the projects we've done to the house and hopefully taking pictures and doing a house tour at some point in the near future.  Things are looking pretty good in the new house, but it is by no means anywhere near "finished."

Anyways, on to this weeks Ten on Tuesday.  If you would like to play along, visit Roots and Rings to see this weeks questions and link up!

1.  Have you ever used Craigslist?
Yes!  In fact, I just used it last week to sell some Groupons I wasn't going to use.  I also use it to peruse furniture for sale, look for apartments (back when I rented) and look for jobs!  I think Craigslist is great and I've never had a bad experience.

2.  Can you sew?
Kind of?  I can sew a few stitches if I have too, but I usually leave that for someone with more skills.  Like my mom.  I would eventually like to get a sewing machine and try to tackle some DIY projects around the house but that probably won't happen anytime soon.

3.  Do you pour syrup on your pancakes or dip your pancakes in the syrup?
I just recently started eating syrup (I know, I know, I'm weird).  I usually dip my pancakes in the syrup.  That way I don't get soggy pancakes.

4.  Rain storms:  Love them or hate them?
Well, until I moved to the Pacific Northwest I enjoyed a good thunder storm.  Now, it rains WAY too often for me to say that I like the rain.

5.  Do you like swimming?
Yes!  I used to be on the swim team and in college J. and I used to swim two mornings a week for our workout!

6.  What kind of drink do you order at Sonic?
It's been a long time since I lived near a Sonic, but I used to order Cherry Limeade or a slush.  I LOVE a good Cherry Limeade.  Does anyone know where I can get a Cherry Limeade around these parts?

7.  Are you funny?
I'm going to say no.  I'm sarcastic and sometimes people don't get it.  So that's not very funny.

8.  At what age will your children get cell phones?
Well, my hypothetical children will get cellphones when they have their own cars that is for sure.  And potentially before then, I will have to see what other parents are doing and at what age I feel like it's necessary for my kids to have a phone.  And if they are willing to contribute towards the bill!  Having a cell phone could be a good way to teach kids about responsibility, the value of money and paying bills!

9.  What's your favorite vegetable?
Hmm, this is a tough one.  I really like organic spinach, zucchinis, asparagus, green beans, corn, carrots, bell peppers ... the list goes on.

10.  Were you a Girl Scout?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Congrats Stevie!

Happy Monday friends!  I know it's late, but I wanted to write a quick post and say 


to Seattle Stevie!  She planned a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend this past weekend and he turned the tables on her and proposed in front of everyone!  She blogged about the night's events here.  Go read about her special night and send her some happy wishes!

I can't wait to read about your wedding planning, Stevie!  
(you are going to blog about it, right?!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Norman Rockwell @ Tacoma Art Museum

I think I talked about First Thursdays in Seattle awhile back ... like maybe in January?  Anyways, most of the museums in Seattle offer free admission on the first Thursday of the month.  Likewise, in Tacoma, most museums offer free admission on the third Thursday of every month.  I didn't really pay much attention to the Tacoma museums because Tacoma is far away, but I read in Seattle Weekly about a Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum.  And the exhibit was huge ... so J. and I decided to jump in the car and head to Tacoma on the third Thursday in April.

I am certainly not an art critic, nor would I say I love art ... usually museums make me tired.  But, seeing these works in person was truly amazing.  Rockwell was so creative and such a great painter ... there was so much detail in every painting.  He said that he wanted people to see something new every time they looked at one of his Saturday Evening Post covers and I truly think you could look at the cover a million times and not see everything.  I would love to own some of his pieces one day.  How cool would it be to find some in your parents or grandparents attic?  Some of the covers in the the exhibit even had their mailing labels still affixed to them ... it was so neat to see where these covers came from!  New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama, and even Indiana!

We couldn't take pictures in the exhibit but here are some of my favorite Rockwell works: 

J. and I decided this was the world's first creepy man ... eavesdropping on a bench with a little dog in a sweater!  We loved it:

I also love this one ... the disheveled looking girl, the black eye, how you can just barely make out the word "Principal" on the door:

So sweet ... and I love Rockwell's use of dogs :)

And, of course, the famous portrait of Ruby Bridges:

Going to the exhibit on the Third Thursday was exhausting ... there was a huge line and it took forever to get into the exhibit, but it was nice to see such an amazing collection of art for free.  The exhibit will be at the Tacoma Art Museum until May 30, 2011.  I highly recommend the exhibit!  The third Thursday in May is this coming Thursday, May 19th and Ruby Bridges will be speaking on Saturday, May 21 at the University of Washington - Tacoma campus if you are interested in seeing her!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Recap

I hope you all had a good weekend!  We weren't treated to any beautiful weather like I hoped, but we still managed to enjoy our weekend :)

Friday night we had dinner with one of J.'s friends and his wife.  They have been wanting to get together for dinner for months now and we finally made it happen!  It was a really fun night filled with new friends and good food.  It's always nice to make another friend in the Navy community!  

Saturday we did some chores around the house ... we haven't had a typical Saturday at home since we moved in.  I did some cleaning and painting and J. worked on our new compost bins.  We are going to give composting a try ... I want to start a vegetable garden and apparently composted soil is the best soil out there.  I will report back in a few weeks (or months?).  Saturday night we had plans to hang out with Mateo and R.  They wanted to go check out Bellingham, so they picked us up and off we went.  We really did a Tour de Bellingham.  We started at Temple Bar in downtown Bellingham.  They have happy hour on Saturdays (YAY!) and their special was a bottle of wine and a cheese plate for $15.00.  We just couldn't pass up a deal that good!  We also happened to have the nicest bartender you could imagine who gave us recommendations for the rest of our evening.  Unfortunately, the restaurant he recommended for dinner (The Prospect Street Cafe) was closed but we drove out to the bay and had dinner at the Harborside Bistro.  It was in a beautiful hotel and we had a great view of the water while we dined.  From there, we stopped at Cap Hansen's and Rumors to check both bars out.  Cap Hansen's is a small dive bar and Rumors is the gay bar.  We enjoyed people watching at both.  On our way out of town, we stopped at the martini bar in the Best Western.  It was a really fun night and we got lots of valuable recommendations for our future trips to Bellingham.  I can imagine how beautiful the view at Harborside will be on a sunny, summer afternoon! 

Today (Sunday), I ventured into Seattle with my friend Mrs. S.  She wanted to go to the Ballard Market and we were going to wait for a nice day, but decided to go in the rain.  One of her good friends from home is in town for the next three months, so we picked her up in Queen Anne and had lunch at Homegrown.  It was a great place to grab a quick sandwich before heading out to the market.  I didn't take a single picture, but it was a nice market with lots of beautiful flowers and fresh produce.  Mrs. S. and I got very cute headbands from one of the vendors.  We wandered around a few more stores in the area before heading back up north.  

Slowly, but surely, I feel like I am learning my way around Seattle and finding the cute, hole in the wall places that really make up a city.  I love exploring all of the neighborhoods and can't wait to show all my finds to our next visitors!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #13!

It's that time again ... Ten on Tuesday!  And who doesn't love today's topic ... movies!  Very fitting since my post yesterday was all about how much I loved Something Borrowed!  As always, visit Roots and Rings to link up and play along!

1.  If you could watch only one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hmm, that is a hard choice.  I've got Something Borrowed on the brain, so I am going to pick it.  I can't remember the last time I sat in a movie theater, did not think once about how long I had been there and both laughed and cried.

2.  Let's say someone wrote a screenplay about you; what actor/actress would you choose to play you and why?
Hmm, maybe Rachel Bilson?  I think she is super cute (just like me obviously!), has great style and seems really down to earth.  She seems like someone I could be friends with, which I think is an important quality in an actress playing me.  It's got to be believable!

3.  What's the first movie you remember seeing?
I don't know ... I remember watching Clueless with my sister when I was little and thinking we were so cool.  And also seeing Twister at the Drive-In (in Kansas) during tornado season.

4.  Did you ever make out at the back of the movie theater in middle school/high school?
I don't think so ... if I did, it clearly wasn't that memorable.

5.  Are you a Netflix-er, Blockbuster-er or a Redbox-er?  (Or none of the above?)
I am a Netflix-er!  I love it.  I've seen so many more movies and television shows than I would have without it.  J. and I have been watching seasons of TV shows since we started Netflix.   We've seen Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter, The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and we're currently watching Mad Men.  I also like Redbox but I don't use it as much since we got Netflix.

6.  Name one actor/actress who you would give anything to have a dinner date with.
Javier Bardem.  Yum.

7.  What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
I can't remember the name of the movie ... maybe it will come to me later ... but my friends and I literally got up in the middle of the movie and walked out.  It was that bad.

8.  Do you sneak snacks into the theater when you go?
Not usually.  I try not to snack but sometimes I can't help it.  Plus I like movie theater popcorn so I like to get my snacks at the movie.

9.  Movie theater popcorn: love it or hate it?
Love it!

10.  What's the all-time best Disney movie in your opinion?
Hmm, are we talking the classics or any?  I loved all the Toy Storys and Shreks.  But, if we are talking classics ... Little Mermaid.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something Borrowed

Happy Monday friends!  I usually do not like Mondays, but today was the best Monday I've had in a long time ... possibly ever?  Who knows.  Anyways, it was more like a Friday than a Monday and I couldn't have asked for a better way to start my week.  I meant to write a post about ALL the fun things I did over the weekend, but since I haven't uploaded the pictures to my computer yet and it's 10:55 on Monday night, I think the rest of the weekend will have to wait.

So, let's skip right to Sunday, shall we?  I met my friend, Mrs. S., for lunch at Calico Cupboard in Mount Vernon and then we went to see Something Borrowed.  Perfect afternoon.  I'd been to the Calico Cupboard in Anacortes and while I liked it, I wasn't overly impressed.  However, I loved the one in Mount Vernon.  It's in a huge old building, it's very opening with lots of seating and part of the restaurant overlooks the store next door.  The super cute, house decorating, store next door.  And the food was so fresh and delicious.  I can't wait to go back.  If you are ever in the Mount Vernon area ... you must stop by!

And ... you must go see Something Borrowed.  It was such a good movie.  It was hilarious and heart-breaking all at the same time.  And they followed the storyline of the book, which I always like.  Seeing the movie made me want to go re-read the books, but they are at my mom's house in Indianapolis so I'll have to wait until my next trip home.  Which just happens to be right around the corner :)  Yay!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #12

Well, I started this post on Tuesday, but didn't quite get it finished.  Whoops.  So, Happy Wednesday friends!  As promised, I am blogging from the new house!  We have been SUPER busy since I last posted.  We spent all day Thursday and Friday taking car loads of little things, boxes, clothes, pictures, etc. to the new house.  Four of J.'s friends came over on Saturday to help him move all the furniture.  I had to baby-sit Saturday night, so I didn't get a lot of organizing done.  Sunday, we spent the morning getting organized, but it was so beautiful out that we spent the afternoon and evening with friends in La Conner.  We've found this amazing little wine shop that has a patio overlooking the channel, so we like to go and have a glass of wine while watching the sunset.  It's absolutely gorgeous on a nice day.  This week will be very busy for me and then, starting next week, I am going to have a lot of free time.  I am looking forward to getting settled in, doing a little painting and organizing and enjoying my new house!  Anyways, let's get on to the main event.  If you'd like to play along, visit Roots and Rings to link up!

1.  What is the weather like in your city today?
It's actually sunny today!  It was a little bit cool, but nice enough to spend some of the afternoon outside. And it is ALWAYS nice to see the sun around here!

2.  Do you like the zoo?
I guess so?  I don't know, I don't love it but I don't hate it either.  I think it's fun to go see all the animals, but I don't go that often.  I can't remember the last time I was at the zoo.

3.  Do you eat coconut?
Not regularly, but I don't mind it.  I have heard a lot of hype about coconut water so I would like to try that sometime.

4.  Have you ever hammered a nail?  Are you good at it?
Yes, in fact, I just hammered a nail this evening!  I don't know if I'm good at hammering nails, how do you judge that?

5.  Does your family have a vacation destination that you visit often?
Not really, my grandparents always had a vacation house when we were growing up so we would go there sometimes and on other vacations other times.  They had a house at Innisbrook in Tampa, Florida when I was really little and then a ski house in Angel Fire, NM for about ten years when I was 8-18.  Now the only places I "vacation" are Houston and Indianapolis to see family.  I am DYING to go on a real vacation!

6.  How many pillows do you sleep with?

7.  What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Put on my glasses.  And then check my emails.

8.  Will you send your kids to summer camp?
If they want to go.  I went to a two week summer camp one summer and it was slightly traumatizing.

9.  What do you put in your baked potatoes?
It depends -- if I am making twice baked potatoes I add butter, cream cheese, shredded cheese, green onions and sometimes bacon.  If I am just having a baked potato, I add butter and shredded cheese.

10.  Did you take swimming lessons as a kid?
Yes!  I was on swim team for a few years as well.