Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It's possible that I'm about to rock your world...

A post by a good friend reminded me how much I like, no, LOVE shopping online. I love doing it from the comfort of my home, sitting on the couch with my socked feet on the ottoman, watching tv in my pajamas with a steaming cup of tea in one hand without the crowded stores, parking lots, dressing rooms, never finding what I want in my size, standing in line at the checkout and rude or impossible to find store clerks (even though I have a special place in my heart for those who work retail). And even though I am crazy about the holidays (I honestly start to crave holiday music around July), and enjoy the cold and bustle of downtown shopping during that time of the year for the experience alone, I do NOT love shopping for Christmas presents among the crazed and panicked shoppers who MUST have this or that item and don't care who they have to trample or offend to get said item. So Erich and I do a great deal of online shopping and mostly through Amazon.com (most of our family and close friends have wish lists through this amazing website, so shopping for them is a breeze!)...that, and my dear, dear husband is slightly agoraphobic (by my diagnosis) and would rather chew off his left arm than go to the mall.

But, I digress.

Awhile ago I was doing some shopping online looking for shoes for my wedding (that's the excuse I use, but truthfully I just love shoes...I think I might actually have a problem) and stumbled quite by chance on an
amazing website. They only sell shoes (womens, mens and childrens) and handbags (oh, the handbags!), but it is the most comprehensive, user-friendly, reasonably-priced, magical website EVER!

First of all, they have


There is even a counter on the webpage that tells you how much time you have left in the day to put in your order to get your purchase the next day.

Secondly, if you're looking for something specific there are many different search options to narrow down your choices including style or category, specific brands, color family, size, width, heel height and price range. And you can select more than one option at a time (example, white pump in a size 8 1/2 or 9, with a heel height of no more than 1-1 3/4", 2A width, and preferrably by Steve Madden or Chinese Laundry and under $100). It couldn't be easier.

Thirdly, let's say you find a pair that you think look cute but want to get a better look at. Click on the picture and you will be whisked away to an area where you can see images of the shoes from every conceivable perspective...you can even scroll your mouse over the picture itself and see a close-up view of whatever area of that shoe (or handbag) your cursor is over. This is also the area of the website where you can select to add the item to your cart, save for later, email a picture (and information) of the item to yourself or others, or even have them email you should your size become available.

Fourth, let's say you get the shoes next day and they're the wrong size...


I believe they only do credit and not cash returns, but still...that's pretty freaking awesome!

So check it out and let me know what you think of the site. But if you're like me, you'll be in shoe and handbag heaven!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fruity goodness...

Our friends the Montgomerys came over yesterday for our weekly Saturday game night & catch-up time. Yesterday was really gorgeous, and marked the first day of the season that the pool in our complex is open. So Dylan and I spent a little bit of time with our feet in the water (the pool is heated and was the PERFECT temperature!) before it became overrun with other residents. We also spent some time kicking around the soccer ball on the lawn outside of our building. It was a really fun afternoon.

Whichever of us hosts the day figures out and prepares dinner for everyone. So since they were coming up to our place to check out Wii Fit (which is a total blast...working out was never so fun!), Erich made chicken and cheese-filled tortellini with peas and bacon in a pesto alfredo sauce and I figured out dessert.

I took a trip to the local Thriftway to get some inspiration and found some really lovely, reasonably priced seasonal fruit and a premade Bavarian pound "tart" cake. So, I thought I'd try my hand at a mixed-fruit tart.

I started by taking the cake and adding a thin layer of apricot preserves as a base for the fruit. (In the future, I would probably take some of the reserved juices from the strawberries and saturate the cake since it ended up being a little on the dry side.) I then added a layer of Fat-Free whipped cream (note to self: be sure to take out of freezer at least 30 minutes before trying to assemble). Next was the fun part...arranging the variety of fruits in a pretty fashion. No real rhyme or reason. I used all fresh fruit; strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, plums, seedless green grapes, and raspberries.

To add a nice shine and a little bit of sweetness, I combined 1/4 cup of the apricot preserves with 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly, until the preserves are melted. Then I brushed the top of the tart with the sauce giving it a lovely glisten.

All in all, it was the perfect ending to the first of many beautiful summer days.

What kinds of desserts are you all falling in love with?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I got it!!!

I'm so excited! I got the call today offering me the position I interviewed for on Tuesday and I'll be starting work Thursday, June 5th!

Better savor these last couple of weeks at home...


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's a nail-biter...

I have an interview today from 11-12:30 at my alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. It is for a Student Financial Services Representative and is a job I think I'd really like...but I'm nervous.

Incredibly nervous actually...

I haven't worked a really real job since July of last year and feel a bit rusty.

Here's hoping!

I think the interview went well but won't find out till the end of the week (at the earliest) or the first week of June (at the latest). I'll let you all know when I find out!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So it's been a little while...

I'm lame.

I spend between 30 minutes to an hour each day checking other people's blogs, catching up on what's going on in their lives, melting with each post about their children's recent adorable-ness, and being envious of the enormous photographic talent out there in the world. I get antsy when I see that someone hasn't updated their blog in awhile, and feel (neurotically) left out of their daily comings and goings.

So I thought that the least I could do was update our own page since it's been (gasp!) over a week since the last post.

I spent the majority of last week at our good friends Marcus and Tiffany's house painting their nursery in preparation for little Blake Steven who is due to be born in a scant 4 weeks (ack!). For those of you who might not know this about me, I actually really enjoy painting...the whole process. Imagining an overall change for a space, picking out coordinating colors, the tools, the cutting, the rolling, the touch-ups, and especially the finished product. So when Tiffany asked me if I would consider helping them get the nursery ready for Blake's arrival, I was more than happy to oblige. I didn't get any pictures of the room (none that are good enough to post anyway), but the room turned out really lovely. I think it's going to be a wonderful space for Blake to grow up in and I was so happy to be a part of the whole process!

My future sister-in-law, Monique, had her bridal shower on Saturday at The Painted Plate in Olympia which is an adorable store where you can purchase bisque-fired pottery pieces and glaze them yourself. The party didn't start until 7:30pm so my good friend Jen and I drove down to Centralia to visit with friends of hers from college, Michelle and Neil, who are both teachers there and who have recently brought their own little bundle into the world. His name is Owen, and he just turned 2 months old...and boy, is he adorable!
Their house was custom-built by Neil's stepfather and it is AMAZING! It sits on top of a hill that overlooks the entire Centralia-area. We could actually see the rain move across the town and head right for us...it was beautiful.

They also have a sweet little dachsund name Winnie who is just a hoot. She craves lots of loving (as you can see in the picture below). What she loves best of all is to sit on your chest with her neck in your face so you can give her zerberts. She could just sit there all day long...too funny!

After a really fun time meeting and hanging out with that adorable little family, we headed up to Olympia for the bridal shower. I used to really be into ceramics in high school and then took some additional classes in college, but that was over 5 years ago so I was a little rusty. But the idea for the shower was really cool. In lieu of a gift, each attendee was to come prepared to paint a piece of pottery for Thomas and Monique. Everyone was given a 4-inch square tile that would eventually end up as the frame for the mirror in their guest bathroom. We were given some loose perimeters regarding color (primary blue and green) and theme (frogs), but mostly left to paint whatever we liked. Now, I don't think I'm terribly creative, and I'm really glad that Thomas and Monique have a sense of humor because this is what I came up with...
(ha, ha...poop)

Jen and I wanted to do something else for them so we decided to paint a plate for them. A very long time ago when Erich and I were first dating we had gone to dinner at Cucina! Cucina! where they give you crayons and encourage you to draw on their paper tablecloths (classy!). I sketched a rough cartoon drawing of Thomas that I thought was so funny that we still have it hanging on our refrigerator today! What better than to eat off that face! So Jen and I painted the rim of the plate red and yellow stripes and I tried to recreate my cartoon rendition of Thomas...what do you think? (Oh, by-the-way, Thomas made an appearance at the bridal shower, but it wasn't co-ed)
All in all, we had a really great time. Erich and I miss Jen & Berto (Jen's boyfriend) terribly since we used to hang out all the time when we lived in Wallingford. So it was a real treat to spend such a fun day with her (the margaritas and wine helped too!).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Remember Baskin Robbins?

It is a super sunny, beautiful day in Seattle today so Erich and I got dressed and (gasp!) went outside for a walk. We crossed Bothell/Everett Hwy into the Sheridan Beach neighborhood and drooled over the gorgeous homes that are along the Lake Washington waterfront.

On the way back to our car we stopped in Baskin Robbins for some yummy ice cream. Sorry the picture is so blurry...I wanted to snap the picture and start eating as quickly as possible before it melted all over my hand!

Shown is a scoop of World Class Ribbon (vanilla and chocolate ice cream with ribbons of caramel throughout, on top), and York Peppermint Patty (peppermint flavored ice cream with miniature York patties throughout, on bottom).
If you haven't been in awhile, I highly recommend stopping in this summer. It's a great place for reminiscing and people watching...oh, and the ice cream is pretty darn good, too!

Jenga & Breakfast for Dinner

Last night we had the Montgomery clan, Melo & Shea, and Kara over for some MarioKart, Mexican Train, Jenga and breakfast for dinner. I spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon tidying up our small abode and rearranging items that live on our kitchen countertop. *Sidenote* We have a stainless steel sink with what resemble rust stains that I can't seem to get out...any suggestions?
When people finally arrived, they all basically congregated to the living room to play MarioKart (which is totally fun, by the way). I started making "dinner" which consisted of pancakes, bacon, link sausage, and omlettes...how awesome is having breakfast for dinner?!?

The group started to dwindle and eventually Erich, Josh, Teresa, Kara and myself played a round of Mexican Train and snacked on queso & chips and watermelon. Then, we broke out Jenga!

We all started to fade so Josh and Teresa collected a sleeping Dylan...

...and we crashed.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

This is my brother...

Those of you who know me (and I assume everyone who reads this does) know that I have an older brother, JB, who is a merchant marine. I do my best to describe what this means, but truthfully I have no idea. To the best of my knowledge, it means he works on a boat doing boat-related things...it's hard work, I know that much, but I couldn't say exactly what it is.

Well, he just posted a few pictures on his myspace page from his current stint in Saipan. I don't know if this picture is doctored or not, but it's definitely my new favorite of him. He is who he is and I love him for it.