Moving Day!

It's official - the house is mine! All is right in the land of closing, and today is Moving Day! I move into MY new house today - pretty exciting, woot woot! Can't wait to finish the moving process and begin unpacking and getting settled.


B.Y.O. P.S.L.

Translation: Bring Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte
...Or make your own at home! While I've tried the pumpkin spice creamer available in grocery stores, it really isn't the same delicious flavor as coffee-shop variety pumpkin spice lattes. Now here's a recipe that is sure to bring the coffee shop to your kitchen.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute - you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don't have an espresso machine.)

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it - just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.


Cookbook Crushing

I'm hoping to expand my cooking library in my new house. Somehow the idea of cooking in my very own kitchen inspires a new wave of culinary inspiration. Here are the next few cookbooks I've been eyeballing...

1. Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
2. Hot Sour Salty Sweet - (a culinary journey through Southeast Asia)
3. Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
4. The Ski House Cookbook - (warm weather dishes for cold weather fun)

Any others you might recommend for my cookbook shelf?


Twilight Weekend

Here's a few pics from the girls weekend in Forks, woot woot!! With 9 of us girls, we literally looked like a parade everywhere we went, needless to say we stood out! But we are not alone - Twilight is everywhere in this town, storefronts, menu items, window displays, apparel for sale - you name it!

We may have been a big group, but we're definitely not the first gaggle of girls to invade Forks. Believe it or not, people flock here from all over - as far as Japan even! I guess we can call ourselves "Twilighters" or "Twihards" now.

Velvet Pumpkins

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for decorating. I absolutely adore the fall color palette, brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows echoing the trees as the leaves begin to fall. For my new house, I think I need one of these darling velvet pumpkins, such a clever concept!

via designcrush

Case of the Mondays

I had a wonderful weekend...Wicked was AMAZING, my trip to Forks with the girls was fantastic (pics to come soon), but today I'm dragging...

Up early, tired, wishing I was here, pool and ocean side in Costa Rica, pina colada in hand, listening to the the lull of the ocean waves splashing against the sand. Anyone else feel this way?


Wicked Forks

This weekend I'm excited to go see Wicked. I adore musicals and this is one of the few I haven't seen. My boyfriend and I are going out to dinner and then popping in to sing along to "Popular."

On Saturday morning, my girlfriends and I are road-tripping to the one and only Forks, Washington. Yes, you heard me right. If this city is unfamiliar to you, it's the setting of the famed Twilight books, and home to vampires, werewolves, and plenty or other supernatural creatures. I realize it's a tad dorky, but we're so excited for our girls weekend away! I'll let you know if I see any vampires or werewolves! ; )image/inforks


I can't get enough of Glee!! It was even better last night. My favorite quote from the episode was when the standout glee club member Kurt became the starting football kicker to impress his dad. While warming up for the football game he announced, "My body is like a rum chocolate souffle. If I don't warm it up right, it doesn't rise," before he busted out Beyonce's "Put a Ring On It," on the field preceding the big kick.

While I couldn't find the clip from the game dance sequence, here's the rehearsal...

*UPDATE* - here is the football game link!


Storm in Sydney

Have you seen the latest pictures from Sydney's red hued dust storm. Named one of the worst dust storms in Australia’s history, travel in and out of Sydney has essentially shut down, causing citywide chaos as many major flights redirected or canceled. The intense red has an eerie, mysterious quality, awfully reminiscent of Mars, don't you think?


Happy Birthday Sis!

It's my middle sister Katie's birthday today. Happy Birthday Katos, hope you have a fantastic day, wish I could celebrate with you!!

1 More Week!

Officially one more week 'til moving day! My apartment is a jumbled mess of boxes, piles, and random stuff! Hopefully I'll get it all sorted out before Moving Day. Wish me luck!


Wedded Bliss

My former colleague Rachel's wedding was featured on Junebug Weddings yesterday! Rachel and Patrick - recent transplants to West Texas, celebrated their wedding back home in the good old Northwest in Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Check out the pictures of their beautiful day!


Flavors of Fall

Wake up to Autumn with these pumpkin pie pancakes. Talk about getting into the season! And I thought I was excited when Starbucks brought back their pumpkin spice syrup...I am definitely going to make these one windswept fall morning yet to come. Picture it: pumpkin pie pancakes, cozy house, blankets, and a movie - my ideal way to enjoy the flavors of Autumn.



This weekend was epic in Washington football. My alma mater the University of Washington Huskies defeated #3 ranked USC in the ultimate Pac-10 upset of the season! USC is a tough-to-beat, all-star team that historically pretty much destroys everyone and everything in their path. Led by our new coach Sarkisian and QB Jake Locker, the Huskies managed to out-match the Trojans 16-13 at home. Now USC is out of the top 10, and Washington is ranked (for the first time in 6 years). Quite a milestone!

Seattle was a frenzy of excitement Saturday evening, with the new catchphrase "Bark for Sark," on everyone's lips! It was a great day to be a Husky!!


Gourmet Lunch

While school lunches have improved light years since I was in elementary school, they're still nothing fabulous to write home about. Check out this school lunch menu in France, courtesy of fabulous blogger stephmodo...
Instead of Taco Tuesday or Pizza Friday, try Rabbit with Mustard Sauce, Zucchini Flan and Chocolate Mousse? And Roasted Duck with Haricots Verts and Chocolate Cake? And all for 2€ ? These divine lunches are almost enough to make me want to teach in France!


Lovely Weekend

Have a lovely, elegant, fabulous weekend my dears!


Can You Say Yum?

These Banana Doughnuts with Dried Banana Streusel are making my mouth water - talk about the perfect Friday treat! Yum!


Go For Glee

I watched Glee for the first time last night, and I'm hooked. This dark comedy is hilarious with lots of subtle humor. The characters are sassy, sarcastic, and make plenty of clever pop culture references. Looks like I just found my new Wednesday night show!


8 Places Every American Should See

Isn't this natural wonder gorgeous? It's Canary Springs at Yellowstone National Park. Have you ever been here, because I haven't and I would love to go! This month Budget Travel magazine is featuring an article entitled "8 Places Every American Should See." The list includes the likes of Gettysburg, Graceland, and Monticello among others.

The only place of the 8 I've actually been to is Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. Have you been to any of these national landmarks?


Yoga Novice

Good news, I survived my first power yoga class! My friend Anna and I sweated through our 90 minute class in the heat of a 75-degree studio last night. I felt pretty good last night after the class, challenged, stretched, and this morning I woke up to find my arms were incredibly sore! Turns out this Vinyasa yoga is pretty challenging stuff! Hopefully I'll get some sweet toned arms as a result!


Speaking for Autism

In this day and age, autism is increasingly in the forefront. Today, it is estimated that one in every 150 children born is diagnosed with autism. Being an elementary educator, I've encountered many students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Working together to provide for and support children with autism is something I strongly believe in, Autism Speaks in particular is a charity I support and give to every year. I'm fond of these posters promoting Autism awarness by the Rugh Family Workshop. I can relate the content of these artistic representations to the uniquely creative thinking of students I've worked with.

"The Rugh Family Workshop was started by Jaime & Jeffrey Rugh for their children. Collaborating as artists with family, old friends and new friends, the workshop started making posters to promote awareness, support and compassion for individuals, families, and communities living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The posters vary widely in range, focus and design as does the spectrum itself."


Argyle Love

A turning point for fall is putting away the flip-flops and bringing out the shoes and socks. Not just any old socks - fashion friendly argyle socks! Why not warm up your home accessories as well for a cozy fall look!


Color me Chalkboard

If you've read my blog for a while now, you know I'm obsessed with chalkboard paint...(see here, here, and here) Maybe it's the teacher in me, but having I love the idea of a chalkboard wall in a home, a flexible surface available for list making, doodling, drawing, you name it.

Cookie Magazine just announced Hudson Paint now carries colored chalkboard paint! The new line carries 24 fantastic colors including "Sweet 13" a.k.a. bright pink, and "Ocean Blue" among others. Now that I'm moving into my own house in less than a month (!!!) I may just have to find a wall to paint...chalkboard, of course!
via fiddlesticks and funny girls

Fab Weekend!

I had such a fun weekend celebrating Carrie's bachelorette party in Vegas! It was a crazy, hilarious time, gathering up 20 sorority girls for a spectacular send off from singledom. My pledge class has stayed incredibly close since we graduated in 2005, and it was such fun to be able to dance the night away with all my best girls.

Now I'm home, exhausted, and back to the real world. I'm giving my tired, worn out soles a rest and hanging up my high heels until the wedding in a month, where we'll spent another fabulous time dancing the night away!


Girls Weekend

I'm so excited it's the weekend. Off to celebrate my friend Carrie's bachelorette party, looking for some good times with some of my favorite girls. Have a good one!


Dinner for One

Per Joanna's recommendation, I picked up Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant - Confessions of Dining Alone, at the library to read on the plane en route to my weekend in Michigan. Since I currently live alone, I do end up making meals for myself fairly often intermittent with nights my boyfriend and I either grab take-out, or make dinner together.

The book I thought was okay, some of the vignettes are very interesting, tales of unusual foods scavenged on when no one else is around. My favorite was the story from the title itself, "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant" by Laurie Colwin.

Eggplant was her solo meal of choice, and actually that is a vegetable I cook quite often for myself as well. Here is one of my favorite quick and easy, dining-for-one, eggplant dishes - Parmesan-Eggplant Crisps. It's light, healthy, and I believe originally a recipe recommended by Weight Watchers. Try it sometime, that is, if you ever find yourself alone in the kitchen with an eggplant...


Keepin' it Spicy

Like it spicy? If you do, life is made a heck of a lot easier with these new gallon-size jugs of Tabasco, heck out these gallons of hot sauce? I'm a mild-medium spice kinda girl - I rarely use Tabaso, and if I did, I'd need the tiniest vile (not the jug)...


Dinner Last Night: Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Arugula, and Prosciutto

I made this lovely dish for dinner last night, Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Arugula, and Prosciutto. It really should have grape tomatoes thrown into the name since they are a main ingredient, but hey, I didn't make the recipe. It was healthy, light, filling, and pretty easy once I assembled all the ingredients.



Anyone else feel this way? I'm not a grammar goddess by any means, but when people incorrectly use your/you're it drives me crazy! Must be the teacher inside of me.



It's official - we got the house!!! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. We received mutual acceptance Friday morning, and got the inspection completed this weekend. Everything is going according to plan, and I'm excited to move in at the end of the month. Here's to the next step, my adventures as a homeowner!


Happy Labor Day Weekend

Happy Friday and Labor Day weekend! I'm trying to soak up the last of summer weather, going to a friend's wedding tonight and enjoying Seattle's famous music festival - Bumbershoot - later this weekend with friends. As for my offer on the house...still waiting to hear back from the sellers, but I'll be sure to keep you posted on house happenings!

Have a lovely weekend!


He Said, She Said

I'm such a sucker for a fun label - I'll usually buy that over the recommended wine anyday. Loving this label "He Said, She Said," Australian wine by Lake House Denmark Wines.


My Next Move

So blogging friends - I feel like I should let you in on a little venture I've been working on... My wonderful parents are helping me to purchase my first home, which is exciting in itself. I can't believe I'm already at the age where I could be a homeowner! I finally feel like a grown up.

We've been looking in various neighborhoods, touring countless houses with our Realtor, and in the last 2 weeks - we found one I love! The best part is...yesterday I made an offer!!! Talk about scary! I sat down with the Realtor and signed many a document, read over a lot of fine print, and now I'm eagerly awaiting the results...

Cross your fingers for me! I'll keep you posted.


Lemony Goodness

You know how there are some products you just love, despite all the other appealing bottles and containers available in the aisle at the store...often times I try out the new ones, wooed by their intriguing labels or shiny packaging, but afterward I always find myself gravitating toward the same reliable products...Such as C.O. Bigelow's line in lemon scent. My absolute fave is the lemon hand wash, it's fresh, citrusy, and clean, perfect for your guest bathroom. The best part is - this line of products is available offline at Bath & Body Works.


Meeting the Parents = Success

So in case you were wondering, meeting the boyfriend's parents went fabulously! His parents were friendly, easy to talk to, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all the childhood stories my boyfriend somehow neglected to tell me...(hmm, it was also enjoyable to watch him blush at some of these funny tales). We had a great time hanging out in South Haven, Michigan - despite the uncooperative weather, it was windy and drizzly, but we spent plenty of quality time exploring the town, taking pictures, and eating plenty of fried foods. Here are some pics from the town.