Tuesday, December 27, 2011

XC Skiing

Joe and I went cross country skiing today up on Mount Spokane! It was really fun, plus its a good work out. Nice to get out and see the snow, and go for a nice drive in the country. Looking forward to more XC ski trips this winter! We both did way better this time than we did last year, I had properly sized equipment which made a huge difference and Joe is getting the hang of it. It's really different not having any edges while you're turning. For two days off we've packed alot in. Yesterday, we went and saw Adventures of Tintin in 3D which was really fun, they did a really nice job with it, felt just like the books. The Tintin books were some of my favorites growing up! Looking forward to re-reading some of them. It was snowing afterwards, it felt like a real life snowglobe outside, huge flakes coming down and all the lights on. We walked around downtown and then had dinner at Luigi's which was a whole different experience. Good tiramisu though!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Finds!

Have been doing lots of thrift store shopping, antiquing and well, just general shopping recently. I need to take a little break from it. Which shouldn't be too hard since I go back to work tomorrow, for five "12s" which equals no time to go shopping. And probably not much posting either, we'll see, just finished painting our kitchen today (YAY!) so maybe some pics of that soon. Absolutely love the new color, it's brighter and more cheerful than dark hunter green. With all that said, here are some pictures of my new finds! (Be warned, there's a bunch...)

Little end table from the Antique Mall in Edmonds, and my newish book on top, a birthday present from my mother in law. (Can you find the cute kitty in this one?)

Little two tray server I found at Value Village. This is after it got a nice bath. Trying to decide if I want to paint it or not... (also shows the old kitchen color)

Another Value Village find that is already mid-makeover, this is now a definite before. :)

New scale from the Antique Mall, I love it! My friend Jenn spotted it, she has such a good eye! Also, the white pitcher is a birthday present from her. (Thanks again!)

This is the whole corner, finally filling out a little. The little retro highchair I found at Northwest Christian Thriftstore for twenty bucks! I love the color and it is the perfect spot for my "stereo system". (and no, I'm not trying to send any messages by buying a highchair). The red cookbook stand on the bottom shelf is also new, found at the Seattle Value Village for a few bucks, super heavy, which is awesome, we use it all the time now.

This is also a before picture. A GIANT embroidery hoop. The after will have to wait until later...

And lastly, just a pretty sunset picture. Taken out at Fishtrap area off of I-90.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Posole Night

Well, I took a mini-vacation from the computer the last couple days which was nice. Sometimes, it just seems like I need a break from the constant electronics everywhere. Anyways, we had a nice evening today. Made a huge pot of posole, a Hispanic soup (recipe was from the most recent Bon Appetit magazine). Probably not the most authentic but it was delicious, warm and filling. After, Joe made a fire, we got to relax and catch up with friends and have a nice cup of tea!

Found the Jarritos for 30 cents each at Safeway! I like mine mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with sparkling water. Such fun colors!

The last two pictures are of my clean kitchen and newly painted frame and Katie Daisy art! I've been admiring all her lovely art on pinterest for a while now. Last week, I found a box of her greeting cards at TJ Maxx and immediately knew I was going to frame one of the mini versions for my house! Love how it turned out!

It's CLEAN!! = super happy!! (and this is not just a picture of the clean part... the whole kitchen, dining room and living room are clean!)
P.S. A big thank you to Mark and Rachel for helping with the kitchen after dinner!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Conversation Between a Girl and Her Cat Malcolm

This is how I imagine my conversation with my cat went this evening - that is if he could talk.

Malcolm: Hey you, hey you, hello? are you listening?
Girl: What?
Malcolm: I'm bored. Come play with me.
Narrator: Girl walks over to the carpet, and throws one of the cat's mice for him to play with. Cat looks   
   indifferently at the mouse...
Malcolm: Hey you, you're boring. I wanna go outside and play.
Narrator: Cat walks over to the door. 
Malcolm: Hey, let me out. Hey. Come on, let me out already.
Girl: Alright, fine go outside. Be safe. Look both ways for cars. Don't stay out all night like you did 
   last night. Love you.
Narrator: Girl gives cat a hug and lets him outside.

Brief Intermission:  It's cold outside and the ground is covered with snow. Girl is inside cleaning the kitchen. Eventually cat comes back to the window

Malcolm:  Hey you! Hey you, will you let me in? It's COLD out here! Please!!
Girl: So you want back in huh?
Malcolm: Come play, come play!
Narrator: Cat walks back over to the rug, meowing annoyingly. Girl finally stops cleaning and walks over.
Girl: What do you want?
Malcolm: Obviously, I want to play! Duh... That's why I'm rolling around on the carpet and trying to attack your hand.
Girl: Alright, alright.
Narrator: Girl picks up the cat's new favorite toy, a fake fishing pole with sparkly fish on the end and waves it about, the cat goes crazy trying to catch it.

The End.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Work Space

Yay for a newly organized work space! Since apparently I'm trying to kill time today, thought I would list all the updates to my work space! I'm finally making some progress in here... it's so much easier to get motivated when your stuff is all in place. This picture is of the organized side (still have a few more corners to tackle). I thought this might be more interesting to all you crafty ladies out there than my organized fridge :), hence two posts in one day.

1. My made over frame is now holding photos so the pictures aren't cluttering up my work area.
2. Metal bin I found for $2 at Value Village, holding paints, paint palette, glues, other crafting stuff I use regularly but not scrapbook specific. Love this one because the sides are straight.
3. New laminate board from Home Depot, cut to size, which gives me a little cubby in the middle to stash stuff, infrequently used stuff in the back and cute containers up front, plus my paper cutter.
4. All time favorite blue glass mason jars, storing twine, ribbon and bling from an old candelier.
5. Kitchen organizer from old apartment, fits my 2 photo boxes up top and my paper container below. Everything slides out easier without having to move everything else.
6. Wire hanger that used to hold ribbon (that didn't work out so well, the cat unraveled it all). Was about to pitch it yesterday, then decided it would look cute covered in scraps (inspired this lampshade made by Ashley here). Painted some mini clothespins and voila ~ a clip up organizer!
7. Garage sale basket, holding yarn, finished cards, and other bits and pieces.
8. Little laptop case I found on sale at Pottery Barn that I use to store my *Smash book stuff, so it's all ready to go when we travel.

Clean Fridge = Ridiculous Post

It would not be an exaggeration to say that I'm super happy we finally cleaned out our fridge. ... and no, I'm not going to gross you out with any before pictures. Just some proof that it's done! We cleaned, we organized and then labeled the shelves and pockets on the doors! For labels, I just used green masking tape, a sharpie and some deco scissors, may do something better when we figure out which categories work well for us. We also designated a shelf just for leftovers, since we've been trying to cook more in bulk so there is food for lunch the next day at least. 

Here it is all clean and organized...

And the funny find of the day, apparently we have enough hot sauces for their own dedicated bin... is that crazy or what? Like father, like daughter. Maybe we should start a 'Bring Your Own Hot Sauce' rule for family dinners...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mission Gallery Wall

I love all the gallery walls you see everywhere these days. I got permission to make a gallery wall in our mini-hallway. Right now, I'm in the "collecting stuff for the wall" phase. The only thing I had so far was framed picture of the VW van under a tree, originally posted here. After seeing various versions of state art on Pinterest, I decided to try making a painting of Washington state. I didn't want a solid color though, more of a blended, watercolor look. A trip to Joann's later, I had acrylic paint in 3 different colors of blue and 1 green, a 99 cent artist palette, a 50% off canvas and a little brush. A little down time one afternoon this weekend and I got it finished. Nice to have fast projects! I really like how it turned out, exactly what I had in mind! The photo doesn't look quite the same, but you get the idea.

When we were done at Joann's, we stopped by the Antique Mall in Edmonds. What a neat place! Packed full of cool stuff! I found some fun vintage postcards, one of Southeast Boulevard in Spokane and one of Madrona Park in Seattle. Will be repainting some frames for these, but thought I'd share pics of the postcards, they're kind of interesting! (You can tell my desk is kind of a mess too... started reorganizing last night, hoping to finish up today, or tomorrow)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cafe Vivace

Just back from Seattle, had a wonderful weekend. Saw a bunch of Joe's family, our friends. Celebrated two birthdays, went antiquing and shopping with the girls, fit in some scrapbooking and got to sleep in and relax! Today on our way out of town, we hit up Cafe Vivace, initially introduced to me by my friend Jenn a few trips back. Probably my all time favorite coffee! So smooth, and not bitter at all. Anyways, hope to be back with more pictures soon, hopefully will have some decent light tomorrow.
Love madelines, should make some soon!

Pretty foam art!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Featuring - Kimberly Taylor

Kimberly is a fellow Washingtonian with an amazing photography blog. She is also hosting an amazing giveaway today! If you love gray or ruffles, you will love the purse she is giving away. Head over to her blog "Around the Table on Blackberry Farm" and check it out!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Be Back Soon...

... so I've been busy working on projects and busy with my real job too. It's been fun working in the ER the last two days, but a new kind of stress is always more tiring. Makes you have to think a littler harder when you're working a different floor than usual. Totally different pace. But a nice change of pace for a few days. I became a nurse because I loved the ER (way back in the day), ended up getting sucked into the world of ICU nursing. Anyways, got a couple days of R&R now, should be nice!! Hopefully, this weekend, I'll get around to some pictures... who knows, might just sleep for a few days though. :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Legal Notepad for My Fridge

I'm sure that someone else has dreamed this up already... but today I realized while looking for a new notepad for my fridge that I could easily make one myself. And I could make something that I like for less than what I could buy at the store anyways. I whipped these two up in five minutes or less with decorative tape and sticky magnet strips for the back. I'm thinking maybe cute scrapbook paper leftovers for the next one. Not bad for 50 cents each huh? ...cheaper than the dollar store. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day of Thanksgiving

I love everything about Thanksgiving, it's always been my favorite holiday. This year I was so grateful to celebrate it out at Grandma's house with everyone again. Everyone made it except for my brother who is down in California. My sister and cousins and I grew up going out to Grandma's house the night before Thanksgiving. We would help make the rolls, decorate and set the table and watch (and try to help) Grandma get the turkey in the oven. These last few years things have been changing. We still go out to Grandma's house, and we still spend the night but now Grandma gets to relax and watch us work. We make sure she still has her apron on, she's always helping out with something. Things have changed a little, but it's still a wonderful day spent with family. Of all the things I'm thankful for this year I'm most grateful for the time we get to spend together!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fake Lake

I just got back from a quick trip to Southern California visiting some friends and family. I stayed with Jen, we were both feeling a little under the weather but had a good time anyway! Before I left, she took me to a park that she calls "Fake Lake", we walked around the lake and looked at the birds, geese, etc. Was nice to get a chance to stretch my legs before flying home.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Refried Black Beans and Spanish Rice

Refried Black Beans 
This is a recipe I found online today and adapted. I've been craving Mexican rice and beans recently and figured it couldn't be too hard to make. I like that there is no added fat or lard in this recipe besides what is naturally in the beans. 

- 15 oz black beans (1 can)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 onion diced

Rinse and drain 1 can black beans. Put 1/3 beans and water in medium pot on medium heat. While it is heating up mash the rest of the beans in a small bowl. (I used the back of fork). When the water is heated add the garlic, spices, onion and bean paste and mix all together. Let cook 15 minutes (helps mellow out the onion and garlic).

Spanish Rice
This is a recipe my mom has been making for years, she got it from a Mexican lady who stayed with us once many, many years ago. Today, I decided to use brown rice, so I also used 1.5 cups of pureed tomatoes from our garden. After the stock/tomato water had evaporated, the rice wasn't fully cooked so I added another cup of water and cooked another 45 minutes or so, stirring every 15-20 minutes so it didn't burn on the bottom. White rice cooks significantly faster, so this isn't an issue with white rice.

- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups med or long grain rice
- 3 cups chicken stock*
- 2 T tomato paste OR 1 cup diced fresh OR cooked tomatoes, strained.
- Pinch oregano
- 1 tsp salt

In large skillet brown rice in olive oil, med/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook mixture, stirring frequently about 4 minutes or until onions softened.
In separate sauce pan bring stock to simmer. Add tomato, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes depending on type of rice and instructions on rice package. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes.

*Check instructions on rice package for proportions of rice to liquid. Can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If rice calls for 2 cups water for each cup rice, use 4 cups stock for 2 cups rice.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Some Scrapbooking Layouts

Thought I would share some recent scrapbook pages using my new favorite paper, Sassafrass Lass, which somewhat ironically is going out of business. Rumor has it, they don't enjoy producing things, but they may be designing products for other companies? ... I sure hope so, they have some talented folks.

*** "Cover page" for our recent road trip to Oregon ***

*** A page with some mini-pics from last fall ***

*** Some gardening pictures from last fall ***

*** Another page about our Oregon Coast trip ***

Back to work the next two days, then taking off for a quick trip to Cali to visit a friend. I'm going solo, Joe and Mal are staying behind to guard the fort. Side Note: Mal is becoming quite the little hunter, has been bringing in more "presents".
Joe and I are trying "No Fast Food November". We got started a little late, but better late than never. We're interested to see what it does to the food bill... I do get one exemption to go to In-and-Out while I'm in California though. We usually do one freebie to Dicks Hamburgers or something like that if we know we will be in Seattle.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Weekend in Seattle

A few pictures from our weekend in Seattle! We had a really nice trip, got to visit with a lot of friends and Joe's family. Just thought I'd share a few pictures. Haven't gotten used to busting out the new camera as much as I'd like but getting there. Got some thrifting in too! :)

My friend Jenn with her DSLR practicing with a manual focus lens.

One of Jenn's cats. Flash likes to pose for the camera :)

Wouldn't be a real Seattle experience without slow traffic on 520.

The view while creeping along - not bad! Nice fall colors :)

Kiko Sushi in Bellevue. Joe's favorite Japanese restaurant.

Carne asada tacos from our favorite Mexican joint in Shoreline! Did not disappoint!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fall Flowers

Simple flowers in simple vases. I love flower displays like this, so easy for us florally challenged folks. Most of the bottles I found in the recycling bin, then just add a few simple flowers, nothing fancy or expensive!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Trader Joe's is opening its new store in Spokane today! Yay!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Went to a new coffee shop with Joe today on our way back from REI. It's close to the Spokane Courthouse. Neat little place, we both got a London Fog but next time we stop by I'll try one of their lattes. It's attached to a bookstore and appears to have wi-fi also. Looks like a nice place to study, wasn't overrun with screaming kiddos. Closes at six on weekdays and at five on the weekend. Still haven't found a late night coffee spot here in town yet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Manito Park

Tiff and I went for a walk up at Manito Park and Manito Boulevard yesterday. The leaves are starting to change around here. It would be fun to go back in a week or two when the fall color is in full swing!
***Old cobblestone streets and giant trees***

*** Funny signs ***

*** Sun starting to set behind the trees***

*** ...and of coarse the random kitty picture ;) ***