Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Friends! 

I hope you had a wonderful day and were able to spend it with your loved ones!  
I could write out a list of things I'm thankful for, but that would take all night and I know I'd forget a few things.  So, I'll sum it up with this ...

for the opportunity to spend time with my family, for the warm weather, for the sunshine and for the fact that today brings me one day closer to the end of this deployment!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Turkey Time!

Happy Tuesday Friends!  

And Happy Thanksgiving week!  I've made it to my aunt and uncle's in Houston and I'm ready to start celebrating :)  And relaxing.  And Christmas shopping!  I love the holidays.  But first, I need to participate in this week's Ten on Tuesday.  The questions for this week were provided by one of my favorite bloggers, E., and are about Thanksgiving (how fitting!).  To join in the fun, visit Roots and Rings to find the questions and link up!  

1.  What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?
For the first time ever, my sister and I are visiting my aunt, uncle and cousin in Houston and spending Thanksgiving with them!  I am so excited to be doing something new and also to have an extra week to spend with my family this year.  My grandma is not in the best health and with the big move coming up, I am so happy for the opportunity to spend some extra time with her this year.

2.  What are you most thankful for this year?
I have a lot to be thankful for this year ...
1.  My amazing family (they're at the top of the list every year!)
2.  My fabulous friends - both old and new :)
3.  J. - he's a saint for putting up with me (but then again, I also put up with him!)
4.  Miss Addy and Miss Lucy - who I would not have survived this deployment without, those little girls are hands down the best thing in my life right now :)
5.  And I am SO thankful that I have almost survived my first deployment ... the past few months have had their ups and downs, but they are almost over and for that I am so thankful.

3.  Do you have any traditions on Thanksgiving?  The parade?  Football?  Long naps?
Well we used to spend every Thanksgiving at my mom's house with her side of the family, but that changed last year when I moved out west.  I don't have any particular traditions, per se, but I like to put up my Christmas decorations as soon as Thanksgiving is over and I've always wanted to go out shopping at midnight or something crazy like that for Black Friday, but I don't think I could handle the crowds.  Now that we live out west, I think we should start a skiing on Black Friday tradition!

4.  Is it called stuffing or dressing?  Is it in the bird or a separate dish?
I call it stuffing ... I don't particularly care for it, so I don't put much thought into it.  I've never made a turkey, but I think I'd make the stuffing separately.

5.  Do you cook?
I do, but not usually for Thanksgiving!  I leave it to the pros ... you know, the one's who have been doing it every year for the past 20+ years :)

6.  What is your favorite dish?
My mom makes an amazing sweet potato casserole.  YUM.

7.  What is your dessert preference?
Well, I love dessert, but not really Thanksgiving desserts.  I am not a big pie person.  I think I'd like a pumpkin cheesecake or piece of apple pie on Thanksgiving.

8.  What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?
I think I'd have to say the last one we spent with my dad.  My parents had just gotten divorced but he came to Thanksgiving and he was so thankful to be there with us that year and it ended up being our last holiday with him.  Last Thanksgiving was also a good memory - we stayed out in Washington and had a big Friendsgiving.  The boys fried a turkey, everyone brought their favorite Thanksgiving dish and we all drank wine and played games.  It was a lot of fun!

9.  Do you plan to shop on Black Friday?
Maybe online?  I am not really sure.  My cousin and sister aren't here yet, so we haven't discussed our itinerary yet!

10.  What are you most dreading about Thanksgiving this year?
Flying back to Washington's cold and rainy weather on Sunday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Purse Love

It's no secret that I have a slight obsession with Marc by Marc Jacobs.  I've got a few purses, a work bag, a laptop case, an iPhone cover, sunglasses and perfume ... ummm can we say obsessed?

Unfortunately, since we moved out west, my budget no longer includes a Marc fund.  So I hadn't been keeping up with Marc, because I didn't want to tempt myself.  And then along came Pinterest.  And a trip to Chicago.  And now I've got serious purse envy.  Look at these little beauties that I've got my eye on:

And I'm also crushing on this Tory Burch beauty:

Now let's just hope Santa reads my blog :)

What's on your Christmas list this year? 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Washington Wine Country - Day 2

We slept in on Day 2 and had a delicious breakfast before heading out for our second day of tasting.  Staying with parents = the royal treatment :)  We headed back into downtown Yakima for our first stop of the day - Gilbert Cellars.  Their tasting menu features 5 wines and you can also taste their limited release wines for an additional fee.  Their menu features mainly red wines, so again, if you aren't a big red wine drinker you might want to skip Gilbert.  However, if you like reds .... go!  The tasting room is super cute, the service was fantastic and the wines were delicious.  It was a great start to our day. 

I loved the writing on the windows

M.C., R., me
(I'm looking a little special here)

After Gilbert, we headed to Dineen Vineyards.  While I really enjoyed all of the wineries we went to, we had the best time at Dineen.  They were hosting their annual open house and we got the royal treatment.  They had a cheese and cracker bar, free tastes (which were more like half glass pours), a buffet of delicious salads and pizza straight from the brick oven.  It was amazing.

The view from Dineen

The tasting room

Grapes on the vine

Dineen Vineyards truck

After we'd eaten our fair share of pizza, salad, cheese and tasted our fair share of wine, we headed off Windy Point Vineyards

The tasting room was in such a neat building.

With a fabulous view ... 

I bought two bottles of wine here and am very excited to drink them with J. returns!

And with that, we headed back into Yakima to have dinner with M.C.'s parents.  We loved all the wineries, but the highlight of the trip might have been our home-cooked dinner ... it had been awhile since we'd had such a delicious, home-cooked meal (and complete with dessert!)  

I told you, staying with parents = royal treatment :) 

Have any of you been out to Yakima Valley?  Do you have any winery recommendations for our next trip?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Washington Wine Country - Day 1

I started October on the right foot ... wine tasting in Yakima!  Visiting Washington Wine Country has been on my to-do ever since we moved to Washington.  I was excited to not only cross another thing off my Seattle Bucket List, but to do it with a local!  R.'s friend, M.C., grew up in Yakima and graciously invited us to spend the weekend at her parent's house.  We packed up the car (and her super cute dog) and headed out on Friday evening.  We woke up early Saturday and hit the road.

We started our tour at Desert Wind Winery in Prosser.

I loved the style of the tasting room!

R. and M.C.

Our second stop was Cote Bonneville.  This winery was SO good, but also not your typical wine tasting experience.  We drove past the winery several times before finally matching the address on the mailbox with the address we got from the winemakers.  We pulled up to their house(!) and were ushered into the barn for our private tasting (it's by appointment only so call ahead if you plan on going).  We tasted with the mother of the winemaker and met the winemaker as well as their two dogs. It was a really personalized and unique experience, but the wines were a little bit out of my price range.  

Our third stop was Cultura Wine:

The adorable tasting room

I liked their wine glasses :) (and their wine!)

And their floral arrangements

Loved this fall inspired centerpiece! 

Cultura is red wines only, so that is something to keep in mind if you aren't a big red wine drinker!  The tasting room is open every weekend or you can call for an appointment!

Apple trees across from Cultura

After Cultura we headed back into Yakima to attend the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival - it's considered one of the nation's ten best fall beer festivals!  The "tastes" of beer were pretty decent pours, so we sampled a few beers, had some pizza and listened to live music!  Then we headed over to M.C.'s sister's house to spend some time with them and then headed home to rest up for Day 2 in wine country!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekend in Pictures

On Friday night, I headed down to Seattle to celebrate M.C.'s birthday.  We had dinner at Tilth and sprung for the five course tasting menu.

Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Then we met up with another friend at Shelter Lounge in Ballard and stopped by King's and The Noble Fir.  Shelter Lounge was my favorite ... they had the best cocktails!  But King's is a lot of fun as well.  They have skee ball, a heated patio and yummy burgers. 

The next morning, R. and I went to Eastlake Bar & Grill for breakfast sandwiches and a morning cocktail :)  We got there before the crowd, so we were able to sit by the windows and enjoy the view of Lake Union and Gas Works Park.

And then we headed over to UVillage for some Starbucks and shopping.

Pretty fall colors.

And then we stopped by the library to pick up a documentary on Tokyo that R. had requested.

I LOVE this library ... what a beautiful building! 

And we ended our day with the documentary, Crazy, Stupid, Love and some chinese food!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

I am a day late, but I couldn't let Veteran's Day pass without a post.  I've really enjoyed reading all of the blog posts, Facebook statuses and Twitter updates, but my favorite quote was this one by Maya Angelou: 

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"

I don't think it could be said better.  Thank you to everyone who has served or is currently serving and thank you to the family members that put up with the lifestyle and make it possible for heroes and she-roes to serve ... I know it can be hard.

J. getting his wings 
April 2010

J. with the Growler
September 2010

J. with the Growler on his first deployment
September 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy November!

Hello Friends!  

Happy November ... or should I say Movember?!  I cannot tell you how happy I am to get this month started.  Miss Lucy is finally starting her obedience training class, we are one month closer to J. coming home and one month closer to Christmas!  And for the first time in YEARS, I will be going to Texas for Thanksgiving!  I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my family (the big move will be here before we know it) and getting some sun and warm weather! 

November started off on the right foot out here in farm country.  I spent all day yesterday cleaning the house, cleaning out both of our cars, washing sheets and towels and the yard people came so the yard is in shape as well.  I think this may be the first time ever, that the house, both cars and the yard were all clean/mowed in the same day.  Yay November!

Today Miss Lucy finally started her obedience classes (we signed up back in September and have been patiently waiting ever since!).  The first class is people only, but Miss Lucy was asked to come and be the demonstration dog (clearly the trainer could tell that Miss Lucy is a star just from her application).  Lucy was the literally the picture of perfection ... several people asked why I was even bringing her to the class.  Well, let me tell you ... we stopped by Petco on our way home from class to stock up on the treats the trainer uses and a clicker.  We get home.  I open up the sausage to cut it up into little pieces.  I work with Lucy for 5 minutes and then go check on Addy.  What does Miss Lucy do while I am gone?  She gets up on the counter and proceeds to eat half of the sausage and then turns around and throws up on my new black and white rug.  That, my friends, is why Miss Lucy is signed up for obedience classes.  Let's hope she learns something.  

Miss Lucy at the park ... she is in her element!

A close-up of my sweet baby girl

We still have some time left in this deployment, but we are inching closer to homecoming.  And, let me tell you, I. CANNOT. WAIT.  I know I said the deployment wasn't that bad and it's been good for me, blah, blah, blah.  And it's not that bad and it has been good for me, but I. AM. OVER. IT.  I've done my time, I've conquered my fears and I'm tired.  Bring my boyfriend home!

And last, but not least, we are inching closer to Christmas as well!  Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love, love, love spending hours thinking of the perfect gifts for people and then going out and doing my shopping.  I think it's because I love to shop and I don't feel guilty when I am buying for other people :) 

I hope November treats you as well as it's going to treat me :)