Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunny Seattle weekend highlights

We finally got some sunshine in Seattle this weekend and I spent as much time as possible soaking it up. Friday after work my coworker Kei and I, went to our other coworker, Tami's house. We ate Thai food, drank wine and watched Frozen with Tami's son and her nieces. It was nice to unwind with my coworkers after a long week of work. 
Saturday I went to the gym before heading to my cousin Maegin's (and Matt's) housewarming party. I had to leave early so I showed up early and helped them finish cooking the appetizers and slicing fruit for the mimosa bar. It was so great to get to chat with them before everyone else got there and to see their gorgeous new place. I'm a little jealous they're homeowners (and they're both younger than me). I'm also definitely jealous of their view of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains. So gorgeous!
I had to leave their housewarming party early to go pick up Dustin and head to our friend Dan's house for his birthday celebration. Dan booked a suite at the Mariner's game Saturday night and we all met at his house to ride down there together. Little did we know, Dan's wife Kristen booked a stretch Hummer limo to take us to the game. It was kind of awesome and kind of tacky, but it was a fun little surprise and we all had a good time on the way to the game.
^^The limo ride to the game^^
The limo dropped us off near the stadium a few hours before the game started, so we headed across the street to the Pyramid brewery to have a few beers in their outdoor beer garden before the game.

The suite Dan booked for the game came with a keg of beer and a bunch of snacks. It was awesome. Plus, it was on a private level with super nice bathrooms (which is important during sporting events).
^^the birthday boy pouring me a beer^^


^^Dustin and I during warm-ups^^

I wore a really sweet Mariner's sweatshirt my mom purchased circa 1996 when she went to a Mariner's game with my dad and which I promptly stole from her. I've wore that thing so many times during the past 18ish years. Dustin and I made a pit-stop at the team store during the game and he bought me the sweetest Mariner's windbreaker. I can't wait to wear it with jorts this summer. I need to go to a bunch of games so I can wear it (not that I only have to wear it at games, but you know). Hooray for awesome baseball apparel.

^^My jeans were a little too tight, I couldn't quite recreate the picture next to me^^ 
 ^^There is a really amazing sunset behind us you can't really see...^^
Sunday I woke up and went to yoga, then Dustin came over and we walked around Greenlake before heading to our favorite Mexican place for some late lunch and margaritas on their patio. Afterward Dustin needed a haircut but there was a wait, so we went across the street to the Park Pub for another beer in the sunshine. It was a fun, sunny Sunday. I can't wait for more sunny weekends. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Urban Gardening

Growing up, every year my parents planted an extremely large garden. They still do. There are rows and rows of tomatoes and peas and carrots and onions and corn and it seemed like the rows were never ending when I had to weed them in the summers when I still lived at home. Aren't summers supposed to be for swimming pools and camp outs in the yard and riding bikes and other fun kid things? Definitely not for weeding gardens. Weeding the garden is EW, and it was always one of my least favorite chores. My friend Beth is currently staying with my parents and she said my mom was recently talking about how much I hated the garden when I was younger, and then when I got a little older I wrote something for school that said that maybe, one day, I'd like to have a garden of my own. My mom told Beth felt like she won. Well, mom, I guess you did. Enter the urban garden! All the fresh produce goodness, without the wedding. So really, I win too!

This weekend Dustin and I went to Home Depot and picked up some baby garden plants along with some potting soil and a few pots (we already had a few empties between us). On Sunday afternoon we set to work planting our little urban garden. Most of it will stay at Dustin's because he has a big patio area, but I took one small planter with herbs in it to keep by my front door. Fingers crossed we don't kill everything. I love the idea of having fresh produce to eat this summer.

The rest of the weekend I spent doing healthy things like going to the gym and to yoga, cooking healthy meals instead of eating out, reading (and loving) the Goldfinch, not checking instagram a million times (not at all since Thursday, guys!), and drinking water instead of a beer (which was especially tempting in the Sunday afternoon sun). It felt good. And I'm having a pretty happy Monday too, so maybe the goodness of the weekend is wearing off into my week.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ocean Shores trip

Last weekend Dustin and I decided to take an impromptu over night trip to Ocean Shores, Wa. THE BEACH! Neither of us had ever been before, but Friday afternoon after seeing the weather forecast for the weekend we decided to make it happen. There is just something about the ocean that makes my heart happy. We always went to the beach on vacation as a kid, so the nostalgia of it all might be part of it. I think another part of it is the calming consistency and sound of the big, crashing waves, and feeling the sand beneath your feet, it's all just so good. I love the ocean.
We left Saturday morning and made the 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, stopping in Aberdeen along the way at the Star Wars store #notmyidea! Ha. When we got to Ocean Shores our first stop was at the beach, where we ate the lunch I packed, picnic style, before heading out to adventure. While enjoying our lunch, we saw that you could ride horses on the beach which sounded fun in theory, but after looking at the horses and seeing how sad they were, I just couldn't do it. So we settled on mopeds instead. Best decision ever!

Riding mopeds on the beach is so fun. I would highly recommend it. While I was initially disappointed when I saw cars all over the beach, being able to ride mopeds on it may have made up for the disappointment.

After riding mopeds it was time to check into our hotel. While checking in I ran into a coworker I sometimes share office space with at Microsoft. Small world!

After we got settled into our hotel it was time to find a snack. We headed to Sharkey's for some seafood and drinks. We ended up getting a little crazy and taking Patron shots at dinner. When on vacation, I suppose. So fun!

^^The biggest fried clams ever^^

After dinner we headed down to the beach for the (kind of nonexistent with all the clouds) sunset where I found the most perfect sand dollar. It totally made my night.

We ended up playing bananagrams (I won) and taking advantage of our vouchers for two free beers at the hotel bar when it got dark. Afterward we went swimming since I do that now!! (well I swam, Dustin hot tubbed). And then called it a night.

The next morning we got coffee and breakfast and took it down to the beach for one last picnic before leaving. We also took a walk along the water and I found so many more perfect sand dollars. I was the richest girl at the sea and it made me overwhelmingly happy. I can't quite explain it.
When we got back to Seattle it was still beautiful outside. We decided to take advantage of the extra sunny daylight (I heart daylight savings time) and take our cars to the car wash (it's such a hassle keeping your cars clean when you live in the city and rent apartments and drive a million hours a week in traffic to work, isn't it?). The corolla got so much love on Sunday! It was sparkling inside and out. Afterward we stopped by Chuck's 85th St. Hop Shop so we could sit outside and enjoy a Double Mountain beer and some po' boys from Jemil's Big Easy food truck.
It was an unhealthy, but totally amazing end to a fabulous weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Double Mountain's 7th anniversary party and other weekend goodness

 ^^the view from my parents' patio this weekend^^

This weekend was a good one. After getting caught in a snow storm last time I went "home," it was crazy to have warm(ish), sunny(ish) weather this weekend in the Gorge.

I got to town Thursday night and immediately headed to Double Mountain to meet Sarah and Gaby for some pizza and a cider. My friend Crazy Pete's band was playing there so it was fun to be able to watch friends play live music while the three of us chatted. After dinner we called it an early night and headed home.

Friday I worked from home while I snuggled Fluffy and then Friday afternoon I headed to AniChe Cellars with Beth for a little post-work-wine-tasting. It is located in Underwood, WA, and the views of the Gorge from their tasting room are phenomenal.

Beth and I were the only people at the tasting room so we got to chat with one of the owners (Anais, or Ani - the winery is named after her and her brother, Che) who lives on the property. She even took us up and showed us the Tiny Home her and her husband are building. I was obsessed. I love tiny homes and I think I would really like to live in one someday, so it was so cool talking to her about it.

After wine tasting we met our friend Sarah for dinner at Solstice where we sipped on "Solstice Margaritas" (tequila, lime, and huckleberry simple syrup) shared some gluten free pizzas and gluten free mac and cheese. Solsitce has the Gluten Free thing down! As we were finishing dinner Josh joined us and we all split a wood fire s'more. Yum!

Saturday was packed full of fun. Beth and I met her sister, Emily, at Doug's Sports to help her pick out something for her birthday (Doug's gives you a 40% discount on one item on your birthday and it seems like everyone in town takes advantage of the discount). Afterward Beth and I met Josh and Sarah for breakfast sandwiches on homemade English muffins at River Daze and then we walked Kiva down to the Columbia River.

^^the water levels are really low right now so the sandbar goes over half way across the river, it was fun to walk so far out^^
^^Oregon on the left side of the river, Washington on the right^^
 ^^Sarah and Beth glued to their phones, Josh judging us^^

^^Kiva the circus dog^^
We walked back to town after sufficiently exhausting Kiva and headed to the Double Mountain 7th Anniversary Party. My friend Abby and I decided to get VIP tasting room tickets and it was so fun to sneak away from the crowd and taste a bunch of beers that weren't released to the general public. There were also pork sliders for us to snack on that were really delicious.
 ^^VIP tasting area^^
^^Matt pouring some beers. The IRB was a blend of three different aged IRAs and it might have been my favorite beer of the day^^
After a few hours of beer tasting, listening to music and mingling with friends it was time to head to Dufur for a roller derby match for Emily's birthday. We all loaded into Beth's car and made the trek. This was my first roller derby experience and it was a total blast. We had such a fun time cheering on our friends on the Gorge Roller Girls team and watching them win against Portland! Whoohoo!
 ^^from left, clockwise: Kelly (Emily's boyfriend), Emily, Me, Sean Stuart, Beth and Hillary^^
After the match was over we headed back to Hood River, not before stopping to get Filet O Fishes for dinner and eating them in Beth's car in the parking lot of the Pub. The guiltiest of pleasures. I'm very firmly pro-Filet O Fish. I feel like people either fall on one side or the other, you love them or you're wrong. Ha! I digress...
After our very fancy dinner we joined back up with our friends for the end of the Double Mountain party. When that was over we headed to the Trillium where we sat outside with a bunch of our friends, crowded around a tiny table.
^^Me, Sarah and Beth. Plus, Ryan's rude hand outside the Trillium #worstpicture^^
This, however, was not before we attempted to get into the River City but failed to get there until it was over capacity. So our friend Al had the smart idea to go ask the owner, Joe, if we could just sneak in since we're all friends with him. While he was walking over to talk to Joe, he fell trying to climb the stairs to the door, right in front of Joe, and I think that just sealed the big NO. It was really entertaining regardless.
^^Al and Sarah^^
After the Trillium a few of us decided to go to Jack's to get our dance party on. Gaby and I had an epic dance party to one of our road trip jams after locking eyes and running to the dance floor when we heard it come on. After our dance party we went to the restroom where we found Beth consoling my brother's sobbing ex-girlfriend. They had broken up on Friday and it was drama-city. After trying to find her a ride home, listening to her be upset at ME about their breakup (whhhat?), and in the middle of all of this me having to call 911 on a HUGE fight that broke out in the street, Beth and I decided to go get one last stress-free-beer. All the bars were closing down and we weren't having any luck when we remembered an after party we'd been invited to the night before. We walked to the after party which didn't turn out to be much of a party, said "hi" to a few people then walked back to Sarah and Josh's house to crash.
The next morning the 4 of us got breakfast and recapped the night day before then lounged around and watched Ghost Busters before Beth had to go to work and I had to drive back to Seattle. Such an action-packed, super fun weekend. I can't wait to do it again. And that glimpse of springy-sunny-goodness was just what I needed to get my through the end of this winter. Bring on the summer!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Extra long weekend adventures in the Gorge

Almost two weeks ago I went back to White Salmon/Hood River for the weekend. My friend Beth was moving back from Boise (and into my parents' house) and it was her birthday weekend so some celebrations were in order.

I drove back to the Gorge on Thursday after work. When I got to town I met Sarah, Gaby and Launa for a drink at Brian's Pourhouse. After it was time for Sarah and Launa to go to bed, Gaby and I headed to Double Mountain to say hi to Josh and ended up hanging out with him for a while when he got off work, before calling it a night.

Friday I worked from home at my parents' house. I took advantage of my lunch break and spent it cleaning out my childhood room for Beth. I found so many Beanie Babies and ridiculous clothes and funny pictures when I was cleaning out my room. Oh memories! Needless to say I had a big load of things to go to Goodwill.

And of course Fluffy was there to keep me company during my cleaning.

Friday night Sarah joined me at Everybody's Brewing for some "networking," then Sarah, Josh and I talked about life and our futures over dinner at Solstice. Some commune dreaming happened for sure!
Saturday I got a haircut and then met Beth and her boss, Michael at Chip's for a beer as soon as she got into town. Nothing says "welcome to town" like a beer at a dive bar, amiright?
After we drank our beer and Beth settled into my parents' house and opened her birthday presents we headed down to Henni's for a welcome back birthday dinner with the crew.
After dinner we all headed across the river and met back up at Double Mountain to watch some friends play some music (Smoke on the Water) before heading to River City then eventually Jack's. Needless to say, Beth and I ended up having a sleepover at Josh and Sarah's.
^^alcohol induced inside jokes with some of my girlfriends^^
The next morning we woke up to a crazy and surprising amount of snow. We decided to walk to breakfast at River Daze while we waited for the roads to be plowed and our hangovers to subside.
 ^^Photo cred: Sarah (and her new awesome camera)^^
After breakfast Beth and I braved the roads to my parents' house. We stopped at Thriftway to get snacks along the way because we didn't anticipate being able to leave again once we got home. The drive up Snowden Rd. was super sketchy but eventually we made it and decided we were going to stay in for the rest of the day. There was no way I was driving back that night - the freeway from Hood River to Portland was under an ice advisory (oh yeah, after all the snow the freezing rain started immediately) and traction devices were required. Snowed in. I can't say I was too sad about having to work from home Monday (only a little).
^^My parents' road^^
We spent the evening watching the Oscars with my dad, hunting for ciders in the snow (funny story, we bought a 6-pack of ciders at the store and put them in the snow outside to keep them cold. My parents' have a German Shepard "puppy" who likes to hop over his fenced in area and come up to the house. He jumped over the fence, came up, stole the ciders and hid them in the snow in random places... After it happened we couldn't for the life of us figure out where they went. Such a trouble maker!), and being total fat kids.
I spent Monday working from home, eating breakfast with Dylan and Beth, and taking a break for a lunchtime beer with friends at Double Mountain #dontjudgeme the view was so pretty. That night, after work, I finally headed back to Seattle. It was so nice to be able to be "home" for an extended period of time, even if it wasn't totally planned and I ran out of clean clothes. Ha! I'm planning on heading back this weekend for the Double Mountain anniversary party (and because Dustin wants to go to Portland and we can split gas/driving) and I can't wait.

Friday, February 21, 2014

on other peoples' stress

^^on my way home from work last night at the end of the 520 bridge^^

Yesterday was a stressful day for me, not necessarily because anything stressful was happening in my life but because really stressful things were happening in some of my close friends' lives. Two friends were having job issues, another was going to have to spend the evening in uncomfortable company, and another was threatened/verbally attacked at work and ended up having to call the cops (who weren't much help). Yikes! So before I went to yoga last night I resolved to make my intention "let it go," as in "don't let other people's stress stress you out." So I did just that and every time I started to stress about a friend's stress during class I tried my hardest to pushed it out of my mind. It turns out I was the only person who showed up to that class so I got some great one-on-one time with my instructor and ended up mastering the crow pose which was really exiting (I'm still very much a beginner). I felt much calmer after class.

Later that evening I was eating dinner and I inhaled a piece of onion. Guys, I thought I was going to die. I couldn't breathe and kept gasping for air/coughing and finally I burst into tears, coughed a huge cough and dislodged the onion. I've never choked like that before. It was terrifying. I almost died.

Maybe I'm being a little dramatic.
Don't judge me.

Anyway, back to the point, it's interesting how other people's moods/energy/circumstances can really affect your day. I am pretty empathetic so my friends' stress tends to stress me out a lot. Similarly though, I find so much joy in my friends' joy and accomplishments. Double edge sword I suppose.

This afternoon I took a work break to have a full blown, 4 1/2 minute long dance party to "Blurred Lines" with my coworker (who just recently discovered the song. How?). We were both smiling and laughing the whole time. It was the best. #100happydays

And, on a random note, I'm dying to try these ginger beer margaritas. Who wants to come over for a stress-free drink after work? TGIF!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Have you guys heard of 100 Happy Days Challenge? You participate by submitting a picture of something that made you happy, every day for 100 days. The idea is that by doing this you will become more aware of things that make you happy and eventually you'll become happier overall. Plus, at the end of the challenge you receive a little book containing your 100 days of happiness. How cool is that?

I've read that writing down the things that made you happy at the end of the day tends to make people happier and more grateful overall. I convinced a few of my friends to participate in the #100happydays challenge with me and because doing it together on a public platform will likely keep us more accountable and we'll have a greater chance at making a difference in our lives. I plan on participating via Twitter (and because my Instagram links to my Twitter that makes it extra perfect).

To get this #100happydays thing rolling here's something that is making me happy today: I recently bought a Groupon to Core Power Yoga here in Seattle. I've heard great things about them from my coworker who is also an instructor there, so when I saw the Groupon I decided to go for it. I went to my first class last night and I loved that it was a quick-paced, power vinyasa class in a heated (but not "hot") room, and it was set to fun music. While I'm a little sore from the class today, I'm thankful that my body is healthy and functioning and that I was able to find the time yesterday to practice some Yoga. Also, I'm feeling less back pain today, maybe as a result of my class last night, and that definitely makes me happy.

So tell me, will you guys participate in the 100 Happy Days Challenge?
If you do, please share the platform on which you plan to participate so I can follow your happiness!
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