Wednesday, February 29, 2012

happy leap day!

These last two photos were taken by the oh-so talented Jeremy Leffel. The rest were taken by patient friends and family...and one Northern California security guard (true).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

off the grid

We went snowshoeing this past weekend with Anders' sister and her husband, and we got to spend the night in their super cozy cabin in the woods. I feel like the weekend was straight out of a movie. Their cabin sits on the edge of the National Forest, is heated by a wood burning stove and lit at night by kerosene lamps. It seemed to me to be the most picture perfect example of a cabin in the woods, and we had such a good time relaxing and drinking wine by the fire. We left on Sunday morning for a 5 mile snowshoeing hike and, to make things even more magical, the whole area was covered in a new blanket of snow. It even snowed on our hike, which just added to the overall picturesque experience. We go on a snowshoeing hike every year and, out of the last four years, this one might have been my favorite.

I'm still very much a beginner at taking pictures. I'm learning my new camera, and while I'm slowly understanding it better and better, I will tell you one thing. Trying to shoot a white dog in white snow yields a lot of pictures that look like this...

Ha! Hilarious! Where's the dog!?!?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

in our kitchen

One of my favorite things
is fresh herbs in the window.

Hope everyones' weekend is off to a good start! We are leaving tonight for a snowshoeing adventure. I'm really excited as I'm in need of some natural light. These indoor winter days can start to get to a person. Anyone else ready for summer?

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Are you familiar with Bloglovin' yet? This site seriously upgraded my life. When I first started reading blogs, I would visit each site individually checking for new posts. Usually you don't know when a new post is going to happen, so sometimes I would even check those sites multiple times a day. As my blogroll got bigger and bigger, it would take me forever to visit each site. I finally discovered Bloglovin' which allows you to see all new posts from all the sites you visit in one spot! All you have to do is search by the blog name and then click "follow" to add it to your list. Then, when you log in to Bloglovin', you'll have a list of all new posts along with a preview of what it's about. If you don't want to go to that site and read the blog, simply click "mark as read" and it will disappear. 

Genius site I tell you. Genius.

And if you need some reading inspiration, here is a list of a few of the blogs I visit daily. 
Grab a cup of coffee and waste some time!

Healthy Eating

Other Food Blogs (not so healthy but always look amazing)



Just for Fun

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

garden show

I'm still working on my New Year's goals. One of the biggest ones for me is to landscape our backyard. Since spring is right around the corner, we are going to have to get that goal in gear soon. Anders and I spend a lot of time in our yard and really want to make it as cozy as we feel about the inside of our house. We headed downtown last weekend to get some inspiration at the Seattle Garden Show, and we were blown away by what people were able to create. Here are some of the highlights:

A chicken coop made out of a van was my favorite display. They had popped the hatch and added a ladder to the back so they chickens could nest. Also, these might have been the cutest chickens I've ever seen if one could call a chicken cute. And check out the Paris scene!  All I needed was a cafe au lait and a macaroon.

See! Cute, right?

Potato seeds grown in actual potato bags. So simple, but so cute. There was also a "rock" garden, and the drums were the fountain. The curved pipes above the drums slowly dripped water which caused the drums to be lightly played.

I'm in love with these hanging pallet gardens! This is a serious contender for our garden if I can figure out where to hang it. I found this tutorial online, and it doesn't sound too hard. I also loved the tree made out of recycled bottles. Sometimes I feel like I should never have to go out and buy anything. It's amazing what you can create with a little bit of imagination.

Another hanging garden. This one with a chevron design. The way to my heart is through chevrons. Well, that and vacation time.

Giant glass flowers made my heart skip. I wouldn't hate having that shed either. 

And meet our newest addition! This is Domio, and he will live in our garden. He is made of stone so Maggie can't eat his hat. Quincy, the last garden gnome, was not so lucky.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

technical difficulties

This blogging business is a lot harder than it looks. Seriously. You have to work with codes involving weird symbols, and you have to know all sorts of other technical stuff. Guess who has zero technical abilities? ME! Which is why one minute I had a banner and now I don't. Hmmm....Until I get this all figured out, here is a cute picture of our pup that Anders took via his Iphone. Also, if anyone knows anyone who knows anything about Blogger...please send help! Thanks for your patience in the meantime!

Friday, February 17, 2012


Photographer, Christopher Bachmann, came to the market and shot the most beautiful pictures of the guys working. His pictures have such a unique tone. I don't even know how to describe this style, but I would love to learn the technique. I really love these photographs. Here are some of the shots of Anders. You can see some more of his pictures (including the other guys!) on the Pike Place Fish website.

and one outtake...a man has got to eat!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

slim's last chance

Anders and I seem to like to spend holidays in dive bars (remember New Years?). They just seem to be more "us." Less fussy and crowded and expensive and...and...and...

We spent Valentine's Day at Slim's Last Chance, which just happens to have the best chili in the entire city if I do say so myself. They have five varieties, but we settled on the white chicken chili over macaroni and cheese and a Kobe beef hot dog topped with the traditional red bean chili. Follow the entire meal up with nanaimo bars (quite possibly the best treat ever) eaten in the car next to a bouquet of flowers from your husband, and you've got yourself a mighty grand holiday.

(you might be wondering what's up with the Valentine's themed skulls in my art display for my husband in the top picture. It's not as weird as it may look. We love Day of the Dead stuff, and we just got back from Mexico. As I've mentioned before, I like themes!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope your day is filled with LOTS of love and candy!

*Pictures are from Valentine's Day two years ago in Thailand! We spent the day in Railay; eating tuna skewers, and, afterwards, watching a Thai musician play American classic rock on the guitar. We are a little (okay a lot!) more low key this year, but I'll be back later with this year's Valentine's pictures!

Monday, February 13, 2012

new ways to sleep

For her next trick, Maggie will show you all how to sleep around a coffee table. Ta-da!

See her other talents here, here and here.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

late night date night

Went for late night happy hour to Setsuna with our friends Dina and Jake. It was a little hole in the wall place with some pretty good happy hour prices and sake. Turns out, Saturday night is Japanese karaoke, and we got to witness one of the most enthusiastic patrons perform. Not exactly sure what song it was, but the performance included running around the room AND fist pumps. Amazing. I love stumbling upon things like this. I'm from the Midwest, and I don't recall ever seeing fist pumping Japanese karaoke while eating $4 spicy tuna rolls in any of our local restaurants. Midwest, you don't know what you're missing. We'll be back for.sure.

Friday, February 10, 2012

spicy thai coconut chicken soup

It all started when I went to the store and bought two cans of black beans only to come home and find out we had FIVE cans already in the back of our pantry. I mean, I like black beans, but I don't like them that much. It became clear that we needed to have a pantry month, so Anders and I set out to use up everything in our pantry before Mexico. Our rule was that we could only buy fresh produce. We turned it into a bit of game, and, while it did make for some interesting dinners (buffalo taco salads anyone?), we were actually really successful with our mission. Putting away groceries no longer makes me cry.

We just got our first issue of Cooking Light magazine, and the feature story was about healthy chicken dinners. So, when we were actually allowed to buy a chicken, we decided to try out this Spicy Thai Soup from the magazine. It was easy to make, with just the right amount of heat and tasted great. My only issue with it is that it doesn't use black beans. kidding..kidding.

Cooking Light's Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 (3-inch) stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise (we actually left this out)
3 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
1/2 cup green onion strips
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients (through lemongrass); cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chile paste; cook 1 minute. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Discard lemongrass. Top with onions, cilantro and juice. Munch.

Serves four
224 calories for 1 1/3 cup

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


You know those articles you read about staying fit while on vacation? Um, yeah, I never pay any attention to those. I'm pretty healthy for most of the year just so I can avoid anything resembling broccoli while on vacation. Vacations are reserved for 8am cocktails, big bowls of white pasta and two, okay three, trips to the dessert table (during one meal). It has taken me a few days to get back into the swing of this thing called NOT-vacation, but my carb-filled, sugar-cracked-out body is asking for some health. So, here's to getting back on track...homemade smoothies for breakfast, these protein bars and big veggie salads.
Goodbye margaritas...hello ice water.