Oscar Gold

So excited for the victories of Colin Firth and Natalie Portman for best actor and actress. For once I've actually seen and enjoyed the award winning movies (something I admit does not happen often). Colin Firth was so deserving, and his acceptance speech so collected and eloquent. And gotta say, I thought Miss Natalie really rocked the baby bump in a ball gown which does not seem an easy feat. Way to go, or in the words of the ho-hum host Anne Hathaway "Woohoo!"

Who were the big winners in your eyes?


The 41 Places to Go in 2011

As you know, since I'm always game for anything travel. I was pleasantly surprised to see the New York Times published "The 41 Places to go in 2011." Not sure why *41* was the magic number, but regardless, there are some unique locations topping the list. Another side note: Washington made the list twice, way to represent! Coming in with two locations, #2 San Juan Islands, and #27 Olympic Park, Washington.

While I realize my travel desire usually exceeds my travel budget (insert sad sigh here), and it's unlikely we'd be able to visit all 41 of these Places to see, I picked my top 5 (you know, just in case).

3. Koh Samui, Thailand
4. Iceland
17. Sopot and Gdansk, Poland
19. Hyderabad, India
40. Budapest

So I'm curious, of the NY Times Top*41 list, where would you want to go?


Quote of the Week

"Where there is love, there is life."
~ Gandhi

Dinner Last Night: Pad Thai

Last night was my first attempt ever at making pad thai. Since I've quite a Thai food fiend, I figured this might be a good way to save myself some money and learn how to make it myself in lieu of always reverting to take-out. I was pleased my attempt was mostly successful. While I didn't quite master that spicy-sweet flavor that makes good pad thai great, I think I did pretty well considering it was my first time. Once I had all the appropriate ingredients, it wasn't too difficult using this recipe via cup and table.

Happy Weekend

Have a happy weekend all! On the agenda: today I had lunch with one of my out-of-town besties - Marissa, who popped into town for a quick weekend. Tonight we're going out for German beer + pretzels with good friends. Tomorrow I have a blissful plan-free day, perhaps some shopping? And Sunday, excited for wedding cake tasting, and registering at some of our favorite stores. Shaping up to be a great weekend!

Snow Day

Today was a "snow day," if you can even call it that. Scattered flurries and dustings on and off for a few days constitutes a snow day, right? My fiance took the day off and we enjoyed the entire day off together. It was fabulous!

Our agenda didn't consist of anything out of the ordinary; we ran a few errands, picked out his birthday to me (a darling pair of Kate Spade sunglasses), made dinner together (salmon with pesto-butter, yum!), and watched a few episodes of Season 1 of The Wire. All in all, a perfect Thursday, albeit so much better because it was all in good company.

Baking Woes

I attempted to make Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake last night. Sounds delectable, right? The baking process went fairly well, and my final product should have turned out something like this lovely picture....Instead, somehow during baking the dense Nutella "swirl" did not stay swirled throughout the batter, and instead sank to the bottom. Thus leaving me with a pound cake with Nutella crust. Yes, you heard me write, Nutella crust. Despite my efforts to Pam the dish, the Nutella really stuck on good to the glass baking dish. Not quite what I was going for. While it still tastes fine, the presentation is less than desirable. I even toyed with including a picture of the final product, but it's just too sad. Despite my efforts to Pam the dish, the Nutella really stuck on good to the glass baking dish.

Bummer, huh? So I ask fellow bakers, any suggestions for how to keep the Nutella swirl intact?


Who doesn't love heart shaped food, right? Here's simple how-to make a heart-shaped hard boiled egg via Anna The Red.
Wouldn't this be an egg-cellent surprise to find in your fridge?...sorry I couldn't resist!


Wednesday Pretty

Love this engagement photo shoot of a lovely New York City couple frolicking around Central Park picnic basket and tea party in tow.

Ol' Wobbly

There's something charming about this wobbly bicycle print, affectionately entitled, "Ol' Wobbly." I think this would be the perfect reward for the kiddo that just mastered his or her first two-wheeler.


Planting Season

I've been using my time off to get lots of projects done around the house, including planting! I ventured to the local nursery yesterday and picked up some new, fragrant herbs; mint, lavender, and basil.
Now I've got quite the little herb garden. Adding these new 3 to my already blooming rosemary, thyme, and sage. Excited to put my new herbs to use in my cooking!

Royal Reading

In preparation for the royal wedding, which is just around the corner on April 29, 2011, I've been doing a little light reading on the royal couple. Recommended to me by my friend Carol, I've been indulging in William and Kate: A Royal Love Story. Normally, I'm not one for historical biographies but since I'm looking forward to watching this historic wedding on TV, I'm brushing up on the royal couple.

P.S. Did I tell you this fun fact? My parents got married the year Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married...And I'm getting married the year of Prince William and Kate Middleton. What an exciting milestone for us to share!


Something Borrowed

Can't believe this movie is almost here! I devoured these books; Something Borrowed & Something Blue by chic lit writer, Emily Giffin. Now, the first book, Something Borrowed is hitting the silver screen. Think they did a fab job casting Kate Hudson as the demanding Darcy and Ginnifer Goodwin as the sweet and too-kind hearted Rachel. Can't wait to see this with all my girlfriends!

Paris Love

I know this Parisian video has been circulating the blog scene, but it's just too lovely to not post! Makes me want to start saving for my next trip starting NOW!

EF - Live The Language - Paris from Albin Holmqvist on Vimeo.

Potted Pudding

On my week off school, I'm looking forward to checking many things off my to-do list including hitting up the nursery for some spring flowers and herbs to pot and plants to brighten my window boxes. While blog browsing to select my plants du jour, up I came across Martha's edible potted puddings. These adorable desserts are cleverly disguised as seedlings. Chocolate mint pudding topped with cookie crumb "dirt" and flowering herbs. What an appropriate treat for a Spring garden party!


I went out dancing with my girlfriends last night. We got all dressed up, put our dancing shoes on, and went out on the town and had the BEST time! However, our late night shenanigans have turned my day into a very lazy Sunday. My long to-do list has been replaced with the following...

Transit Maps of the World

I need this book! I don't know what it is, but there is something fascinating to me about subway maps. I find these intricate underground networks captivating, everything is connected! I think it all stems from the fact that I'm actually quite envious Seattle DOES NOT have a transit system like this.

I'm proud to say I've successfully navigated transit systems in quite a few cities, domestic and international; New York City, London, Prague, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo. Of all I've experienced, London is the fanciest, and Tokyo while the cleanest, is definitely the most complicated. In the big cities like Osaka, there are entire cities underground; malls, department stores, it's utter insanity, navigating the subway is truly an art form in Japan.
Tokyo subway map
Paris Metro map

Happy Weekend

Happy Weekend, sorry I've been a sporadic blogger this week. Been busy doing assessments, tying up loose ends, making sure I've got everything done before our week off next week. This weekend I've got some wedding appointments on the agenda as well as a girls night out on the town Saturday night - can't wait!

Hope you've got something fun on your schedule! Enjoy your weekend!


Hot Dog of a Valentine's Day

My fiance and I have a tradition of doing a low-key night out for Valentine's Day, which I love! Throughout most of HS and college, I've spent many a Valentine's Day single. Rather than chocolates, roses, and the like, I'd spend my lovey dovey night watching movies or doing takeout with my best girlfriends as opposed to a significant other in years past, I appreciate all the pink and red of the holiday but was never big about going out for a fancy Valentine's night meal.

Therefore, B & I have started our own tradition - a casual dinner and a movie. Two years ago we dined at our favorite burger joint - Red Mill, last year we were in Cabo and enjoyed nachos and fish tacos on the beach, and this year we hit up Po Dog in the University District. (Added bonus: this counts are New Restaurant #4 in my restaurant challenge!)
They have every kind of crazy hot dog you can imagine - mac & cheese, PB & J dog, fajitas dog, even a wasabi-egg roll dog. We tried some unique dogs, but we were not THAT adventurous.
French fries and deep fried pickles to start.
My Dub-T dog; cheese sauce layered with crushed potato chips, ketchup, and mustard. The potato chips gave the dog a satisfying crunch, super yummy!
B in true MidWest form ordered the Chicago dog, topped with peppers, onions, tomatoes, spicy deli mustard, and relish. We capped off the evening with The Kings Speech, very good!

Happy Valentine's Day my love!

Dinner Last Night

Dinner last night was a success thanks to Food Network Chef, Guy Fieri. My mom joined my fiance and I for a dinner of pepita encrusted halibut with cilantro-serrano cream sauce with green chile mashers on the side. I watched this episode of Guy's Big Bite, and was intrigued by the unique play of flavors - pepitas to fish and chiles to mashed potatoes. It sounded delicious so I was excited for an excuse to try these recipes at home. Admittedly, before purchasing the ingredients, I had to google was a "pepita" was. Surprise, surprise, pepita is only a fancy new buzz word for pumpkin seed, which were pretty easy to find at a local organic market. Dinner was splendid! The dishes turned out nicely, the pepitas added a pleasant crunch to the texture of the fish.

Restaurant #3 - Long Provincial

My 2011 Seattle restaurant challenge continues! Saturday night was ladies night out! My friends and I headed to Vietnamese restaurant Long Provincial for a delicious family style dinner. We sipped tangerine martinis and guava champagne, and ordered a spread of dishes that were all spectacular! Tamarind tree rolls, beef lemongrass noodles, coconut curry prawns, lily blossom halibut, and the long provincial crepe - delicious! 3 restaurants down, 22 to go!

Here's a recap
1. June
3. Long Provincial


Reasons I Love the Grammys

Discovering new bands like Mumford and Sons.
Awaiting the latest Lady Gaga stunt/wardrobe change.
The appearance of Muppets when you least expect to see them.

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone out there! While this was never a favorite holiday of mine, it has grown on me substantially since I became a teacher. The magic of sharing valentines just shines with a new luster in the eyes of 7 and 8-year olds. We'll be having our Valentine's Day party today; decorating cookies, playing musical chairs, and delivering valentines to respective classmates. Looking forward to an afternoon of pink and red, and lots of sugar!

Last year we were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico over Valentines Day, but the year previous we V-Day dinner at our favorite gourmet burger place in Seattle, which was refreshingly low key but still fun and romantic. This year, he surprised me with a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a sweet card yesterday when I came home from running errands. We'll be doing dinner and a movie tonight, details TBD.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sweet Heart

Isn't this the cutest tee for V-Day?

Salad Savvy: Mecca Azteca Salad

This is my sister's favorite quinoa recipe. I made this Mecca Azteca salad the other night, and it was light and healthy. There is a variety of textures going on in this salad; quinoa, jicama, avocado, currants, and mango, and the lime-mango vinaigrette was very refreshing and delicious. Yum!

Found It!

I think I found it! My wedding dress. {And no this picture is not my dress}. Many friends told me you'll know it's the one, when you find yourself "petting" the dress non-stop. I thought that was a myth, but I did indeed do this, as odd as it sounds. Secondly, you'll find yourself gliding, walking, strutting, twirling, dancing all around the store because, you really don't want to change out of it. Check to both of those!

Yay! My mom and I are going back on Saturday to confirm and hopefully purchase. So excited!

Feel Good Movie

Fever Pitch is one of my favorite feel good movies. It's one of those movies I've seen a dozen times, yet can still watch it over and over again. Even after my umteenth viewing, I still find myself laughing out loud at parts - what can I say, I love Jimmy Fallon! I have a handful of these kinds of go-to movies, but Fever Pitch is definitely one that can uplift a downer mood.

What's your go-to movie?


What are you up to?

Engagement Inspiration

Another beautiful engagement photo shoot. What a blissful day; biking to a lovely little picnic in a field, fresh cheese, lavender, and French whimsy. Love it!

Pants ≠ Capris

I needed this at my sewing class last night! Sewing class: Part 2 was a success. Unfortunately the girl at the fabric store short changed me with fabric, and I ended up with pajama capris instead of pajama pants, but what can you do? I'm beginning to wonder, why does this always happen to tall people like myself? I specifically made a point to explain to the salesgirl I might need extra fabric because of my height. Call me crazy, but I was actually looking forward to one of lifes little luxuries, extra fabric to cover my ankles. Alas, not this time, guess I'll settle for yet another pair of capris...

My capris actually turned out excellent, and they're fairly fitted and attractive as pajama pants, part of which I attribute to my excellent blue and grey polka dot pattern.


Clothing Cleanse

I'm in the process of cleaning my closet and purging the clothes I no longer wear. As I'm doing this, I'm realizing I'm finding many more "What was I thinking? Why did I buy this?" items than long lost treasures I simply misplaced. Hmm... You know your clothes are no longer the height of fashion when even the consignment store won't take them! I experienced this over the weekend when I took a heaping load of clothing to Buffalo Exchange, and walked away with more than half of my items. (Insert sad face here).

Hopefully this clothing "cleanse," will help me make better wardrobe choices in the future. Here's hoping...