Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #18

Happy Tuesday friends!  I hope you liked the past two posts on the house.  We've gotten a lot of work done lately, both inside and out, so I will try to do a few posts soon on the improvements we've made.  I don't know about you guys, but I am TIRED today.  I haven't been on a good routine since I got back from Indianapolis.  I need to get it together!  Anyways, let's get on to the main event.  If you want to link up this week, visit Roots and Rings!

1.  What's the recipe for your favorite drink?  (Smoothie, alcoholic, coffee, whatever.)
My favorite smoothie recipe is 8 strawberries, 6 peach slices, a handful of blueberries, a carton of Greek yogurt and a little bit of water.  My favorite coffee recipe is Iced Coffee with 2 pumps of Caramel syrup and a splash of non-fat milk.

2.  What kind of razor do you use?
Bic Soleil!

3.  Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?
I don't have a favorite?  I can't remember the last time I watched Sesame Street.  Sorry.

4.  What makes the perfect salad?  (Lettuce type, toppings, dressing, etc.)
Currently, I am loving Organic Spinach with toasted almonds and Kraft Toasted Sesame dressing.  It is delicious.

5.  What was your favorite subject in school?
Hmmm, I really liked my U.S. Government class in high school.  In college, I took a wine tasting class and that was pretty cool :)

6.  What's your favorite summer tradition?
I don't really have any special summer traditions.  I just love a few months of heat and sunshine!

7.  Do you suffer from season allergies?  How do you combat them?
Not really.  If I get stuffy, I generally just take a Benadryl or two.

8.  How often do you have to charge your cell phone?
Every night!

9.  Do you have a bucket list?
Yes, but it's not written down.  It's all in my head.  I've been thinking about doing a blog post at some point in the future to get everything down in one place and have somewhere to keep track of the things I've done.  And also to be able to write about them!  If they are important enough to be on my bucket list, I should probably have some kind of written recap of them!

10.  Do you have any desire to go back to school?
NOPE.  I am overeducated for this job market -- hence my self-employment.  And I am not giving one more penny of my money to an institute for higher education (well, at least until my children go to college).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

House Tour - Part 2

Welcome back friends.  Come on upstairs! 

The guest room.  We have removed J.'s surfboard and have the room painted.  I'll have to post the "after" pictures after we get everything up on the walls :) 

Reading nook in the guest room.

 The main bathroom.  We would LOVE to completely redo the bathroom but that will have to wait for awhile.  For now, we've gotten a new light fixture and a new toilet seat.  The new light fixture is amazing - putting make-up on before was like a guessing game.  It was rough.

The sweet paper that lines everything upstairs -- all of the cupboards and drawers in the bathroom and also the shelves in the linen closet.  I am going to leave it in the bathroom since we eventually want to replace everything anyways, but we need to figure something out for the linen closet.  ASAP.

Our bedroom.  It's not a great picture and you can't really tell, but the dark wall was painted an awkward maroon-ish brown color.  We have since painted it navy blue and are looking for new bedding.  If anyone finds bedding in any sort of navy/gray/yellow combination, let me know!  I'd also like to get a ceiling fan/light fixture combo - we don't have A/C out here so a fan would be nice in the summer.  And I'd like to paint my closet.  J. just painted his and it looks really good.  And now I'm jealous.

 My super cute built-in dressers.  And no, that does not mean I gave up my regular dresser :)

And that's the upstairs.  It's small but it's all we need.  We've got a huge room which is awesome and a good sized guest room -- I'd rather have two decent sized rooms than three small ones!  I'll be back soon with some pictures from the yard -- including a before, during and after photo shoot of my GIANT flower bed.  I may or may not have spent over 20 hours weeding the bed.  For real.

Friday, June 24, 2011

House Tour - Part 1

I've finally uploaded the house photos to my computer so I can blog about the new house!  It only took 2 months.  Geez.  To catch you all up ... we started the house hunting process in March and closed on our house in April.  We wanted an older home, but one that didn't need a ton of work.  We didn't mind having to do cosmetic work, but re-doing a kitchen/bathroom/etc. was not in the budget.  We got SO lucky and found an older home that the owner's had completely re-done.  New paint, new carpet, stainless steel appliances.  What more could you ask for?  We are still in the process of completing lots of little projects around the house -- painting, new light fixtures, landscaping, etc. -- but I thought I would show you the "befores."  Hopefully, I will have some "afters" to show you soon, but my motivation comes in spurts, so who knows when that may be :)  

Anyways, I decided to split the house tour into two posts - I don't want you guys to get bored!  This post is the tour of the downstairs.  Welcome to our new home! 

If you look VERY closely, you can see Addy and Lucy in the window.  
They love to sit on the couch and look out the window ALL day.

A close-up of my craftiness.  I was VERY proud of this work:

A close-up of the mantel.  Not sure if I am going to keep it like this, but it works for now.

The kitchen.  I LOVE the color we painted it - it's so cheerful in the mornings - especially when it is sunny!  It's the only room that is "done."

 The kitchen is small and has lots of cabinets so we took the doors off the cabinets and painted 
the shelves the same color as the kitchen walls.

The very tiny half-bath.  I am SO happy that we have one though -- while we were house-hunting I noticed that most houses only had one bathroom.  At least now our guests don't have to traipse upstairs.

The office.  Big changes are in store for this room, however it may take awhile for them to come to fruition.  We've got other priorities unfortunately.

And that's the first floor!  Most of the home improvement projects that we are currently working on are upstairs and outside, so you probably won't be seeing many changes on the first floor in the near future!  Eventually, I'd like to paint the living and dining areas and get some artwork hung on the walls in the dining area.  We'd also like to get rid of our desks and get one big desk for the office and paint it as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

From the Pacific Northwest to the Southwest ...

When I flew to Indianapolis a few weeks ago, I made a little pit-stop in Phoenix.  I wasn't thrilled about the 6+ hour flight, but it was a gorgeous day and I had a window seat.  I was pretty much glued to the window for the majority of the trip.  

Taking off over Puget Sound:

Bellevue with the Cascades in the background:

Mount Saint Helens ... if you look closely, you can see the crater that formed when the volcano erupted:

Flying over a valley in the Cascades (it looked much cooler in real life):

We flew right over Mount Rainier so it was hard to get a good picture, but still cool:

Mount Hood with the Columbia River in the foreground:

The Columbia River (aka the Washington/Oregon border):

Crater Lake:

Cool canyons north of the Grand Canyon:

The North Rim of the Grand Canyon:

A gorgeous lake in Arizona:

The sun setting somewhere over the Midwest:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #17 - Perfection!

I'm taking a little blogging break, but I thought I'd participate in this week's Ten on Tuesday!  I fully intend to start blogging again soon, but I've just been so busy that I haven't had time to sit down and write lately.  I was in Indianapolis for two weeks and now that I'm back, J. and I have been attacking our house projects left and right.  It's been great to see how little changes can make such a big difference, but it hasn't left much time for blogging.

Anyways, I hope that this week is treating you well and you are enjoying the first official day of summer!  If you want to play along this week, head over to Roots and Rings to link up!

1.  What's the perfect meal?
It depends ... maybe a filet and lobster tail?  With some delicious mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side.  With some really good wine and a delicious dessert.  And a dessert drink with dessert.  Yum.  Now I'm hungry!

2.  What are the perfect pair of shoes?
Fabulous heels.  I found two pairs last time I went to DSW and it took all my willpower not to leave the store with them!

3.  What is the perfect afternoon?
Maybe an afternoon at the beach?  Just soaking up some sun and having a fruity, frozen adult beverage :)

4.  What is the perfect house?
A house that is good for entertaining!  A big, open kitchen and living area.  Three or four bedrooms.  A GIANT walk-in closet :)  and a nice big backyard for sunny summer days and nights!

5.  What is the perfect outfit?
Either a cute dress or skinny jeans and a cute top with heels!

6.  What's the perfect wedding song?
Hmm ... I don't know.  I'll let you know when I get married!

7.  What is the perfect job?
Something that would pay me to travel!  Maybe travel writing?  Or reviewing hotels/spas/activities, something like that!

8.  What's the perfect hairstyle?
Well, if my hair would do it, I would love to have long-ish hair that has great waves.  I'm working on growing it out right now so we will see.

9.  What's the perfect music festival?
Something like Lollapalooza, but all my favorite bands would be playing.  Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Lady Gaga, U2, Adele ... definitely some others that I would love to see but can't think of right now.

10.  What's the perfect day to yourself?
A full day at the spa would be WONDERFUL.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #16 - Cellphones!

Happy Tuesday friends!  I spent the day having a late Mother's Day with my mom!  I decided to wait and give my mom her Mother's Day present while I was in town this month.  We went for a four mile walk this morning, spent a few hours at the pool soaking up the glorious Midwestern sun, did some browsing at Nordstrom's and MAC, ate some delicious cupcakes, got our nails done and had a date at her favorite Mexican restaurant!  

Our delicious cupcakes ... if there is a Gigi's Cupcakes anywhere near you, you MUST go!

Anyways, on to today's main event.  As always, if you would like to play along, go over to Roots and Rings and link up!  

1.  What type of phone do you have?  Do you like it?
I have an iPhone and I love it!  It's got everything I need on it - texting, email, Facebook, Google Maps.  I think I'd have a hard time switching back to anything else!

2.  How old were you when you got your first cell phone?
I think 16 ... when I started driving.

3.  How many cell phones have you owned since your first?
I can't remember ... I remember my first phone, the last one I had before I got a smart phone, my Blackberry and now I'm on my third iPhone (not by choice!)  There were probably a few phones in between my first phone and the one I had before I got my Blackberry.

4.  How much is your average monthly phone bill?
Well, we have a family plan with my mom and sister and I think it's $275.00/month.  My portion is much smaller of course :)

5.  When you were a kid/teenager, were you allowed to have a phone in your room?
Yes, I had one of those super cool clear phones with the colored wires inside and I also had my own phone line!

6.  Do you like talking on the phone or do you despise it?  Or somewhere in-between?
It depends on the day.  I don't really love talking on the phone, but I do like catching up with everyone!

7.  Do you text a lot?  Is texting/talking while driving illegal where you live?  Are you guilty of it anyway?
Yes, I text way more than I talk on the phone.  Texting and talking while driving is illegal where I live ... I think it's stupid that talking is illegal ... I find my commuting time to be the best time to talk to people!  I am very guilty of talking while driving.  I should probably invest in a Bluetooth or something similar.

8.  What sort of texting keyboard do your phone have?  Touch screen, slide out or something different? Do you care?
My phone has a touch screen ... I'd say it's the only feature of the iPhone that I don't like.  I miss my Blackberry keyboard!

9.  Look at the last call in your carll log - who is it?  What were they calling about?  Who calls you the most?
My mom!  She was calling because she couldn't find me in the store we were in.  I'd say my mom and my friend L.Rae call me the most :)  L.Rae and I try to have weekly phone dates.  When I'm not in Washington, J. calls me a lot too.

10.  What is the longest phone call you can recall having?
Hmmm, I don't know.  Sometimes L.Rae and I can talk for 2+ hours.  Our lives are so exciting that we just always have so much to catch up on!  Haha.

Have a great week everyone!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Salads

Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I discovered two delicious summer salads over the weekend that I couldn't wait to share with you all.  I stayed with my friends Sonya and Jordan this past weekend and we went to one of their friends house-warming parties.  Sonya made this salad for the party.  You need organic spinach, toasted almonds and a bottle of Asian Toasted Sesame dressing (Kraft).  Toss the ingredients together in a bowl -- you don't need to add the entire bottle to the salad, just enough to coat the spinach.  It's that simple!  You could easily add to the salad if you wanted something a little more elaborate!  

The other recipe is for Fresh Corn Salad with Spicy Shrimp and Tomatoes.  The recipe was featured on Tasty Kitchen this morning - and is not your traditional salad, which I like.  I made it for dinner tonight and it was delicious.

The salad was great as is ... but next time I make it, I think I'm going to add some feta cheese or some avocado and black beans.

Happy Eating friends!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Europe at Night

I'm currently over the middle of America ... I've lost track of exactly where we are, but we should be landing in about an hour or so.  Things that I am loving today are: 

  • A beautiful Pacific Northwest morning ... it made it so easy to get out of bed and head outside for a jog before heading to the airport!  
  • Hitting the seat lottery on my Southwest flight ... I found 5 magazines in the back of my seat!  And not boring magazines, but good gossip-y magazines.  Thank you whoever sat here before me! 
  • Gorgeous weather for flying ... I saw Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helen's, Mount Adams, the Columbia River, the Grand Canyon (for the first time ever!) and the gorgeous desert surrounding Phoenix.  I took plenty of pictures and will post sometime this week.  
  • Wi-fi on my flight!  It's super freaking slow, but it's kept me entertained!
  • Super fun plans for the weekend ... apparently Indianapolis knows I am coming for a visit and decided to hold all of my favorite summer activities during my two week visit.  Thank you Indianapolis!  Tomorrow, I will be brunching at my favorite spot, Hoaglin, with one of my law school besties and then we will be hitting the Vintage Indiana Wine & Food Festival.  It is always a good time :) 
  • And finally, I am LOVING this photo I saw on A Cup of Jo
It's a satellite picture of Europe at night ... how cool is it?

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!  Seattle-ites, enjoy the gorgeous weather that they have been predicting!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Does anyone else think this week flew by?  I sure did.  I've had about a billion thoughts running around in my head all day, so here you go: 
  • Addy and Lucy had to go get their flu shots today.  Addy did fine (she will do anything for food).  Lucy had a ROUGH time.  So rough, that the vet recommended that I bring her to the vet once a week for "happy visits" so next time she goes to the vet she won't freak out.  Seriously.
  • I had the Washington license plates put on the Jeep today ... no more blaming my bad driving on being from out-of-state.  Sad face :( 
  • The lady at the grocery store told me I had a good driver's license picture ... compliment of the week!  Thank you Mrs. Grocery Cashier.  
  • I have the world's most annoying client.  And I'm going to leave it at that because I don't want to get disbarred for breaching my duty of confidentiality.  
  • My packing philosophy for my big trip was this: go through my closet, pick out everything I have not worn since I moved here, pack it in my suitcase.  I overpacked.  MAJORLY.  But hey, I've got a closet full of clothes for a warm climate and I want to wear them.  And if I take any pictures while I'm gone, you'll have a whole new wardrobe to look at!  
  • I am nervous about my packing job ... I seriously cannot fathom wearing anything less than jeans, a cardigan, a coat and a scarf everyday.  I brought 4 cardigans with me and I'm freaking out.  I'm terrified I am going to be cold.  
  • I got an email today saying that my flight tomorrow with have wi-fi!  Which is SUPER nice, because it's a non-stop flight and 6.5 hours long.  Let's hope my computer battery is on it's best  behavior tomorrow! 
  • Since my flight is one million hours long (or 6.5) I packed myself snacks.  For real.  I might look like a huge dork, but I'm sure my fellow passengers are going to be jealous when I don't have to pay one billion dollars for a snack pack.  
And, I'll leave it at that ... I think that's enough crazy for one day :) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday #15 - The Summer Edition!

Memorial Day might signal the start of summer to most people, but not to us up here in the chilly Pacific Northwest.  Summer doesn't actually start until July 5th (and no, I am not kidding ... it happens overnight).  But, since it was relatively sunny this afternoon, I didn't have to wear a coat today and I'm heading towards Indianapolis and 90 degree temperatures later this week, I think I can partake in this week's edition of Ten on Tuesday.  As always, head on over to Roots and Rings to play along.

1.  From your childhood, what do you miss most about summer vacation?
Hmmm, well I think I miss the innocence of summer as a child.  No responsibilities, no guilt trips, vacations paid for by your parents, no worries except whether or not you had to go in early to take a bath ... we didn't know how good we had it as kids!

2.  Are you going anywhere on vacation this summer?
Not really, I'm going to Indy in a few days but I don't really consider that a vacation.  However, I do hope to come back with a fabulous tan.

3.  What foods do you like to barbecue?
Anything ... especially veggies, salmon and shrimp.  And kabobs.  Yum.

4.  How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?
However I want ... it's my birthday!  I don't have any sort of tradition, just whatever happens to be going on that year.

5.  What's your favorite beverage to drink in the summertime?
Lemonade, mojitos, frozen fruity beverages.

6.  What movie are you looking forward to seeing this summer?
Well, I've seen Something Borrowed, the Hangover 2 and Bridesmaids ... so I'd say I've covered all my bases.

7.  In the car:  windows down or AC?
Depends ... if you're in Washington you can usually have the windows down.  If you're in Indy, you need the windows rolled up and the AC on.

8.  Have you ever had a summer fling?
Not really, I had a huge crush on my swim coach the summer after 9th grade and he took me on a date but I think it was a pity date.  My parents were getting ready to move me across the country and he never had to do any follow through :)  But it was still a good date.

9.  Do you wear sunscreen?
Yes, I do not want skin cancer!

10.  Do you have any favorite summertime activities?
Soaking up the sun!  Going hiking.  Going to the Farmer's Markets.  Being outside super late because the days are long.  Pretty much anything outdoors.