the [modern] game of Life.

The game of Life.  Remember it?  The spinning wheel, cars, weddings, and babies.  Check the cars from my boys' recent match up.  They decided to marry a boy and adopt their kids along the way.  I am calling it the [modern] game of Life.  Thing is, I was telling the truth when I said, "You can marry a girl or a boy.  It's your choice."  That's life. [And it's pretty damn awesome!]

Truth be told..they were pretty repulsed at the idea of getting married at all.  Boy or girl?  Who would want to get married and have kids?  Plenty of giggles. 


play-well. party on.

Little Man had a birthday.  It happens to fall late in December, so we party with is friends in January.  This year it was a full on LEGOpalooza!  I would highly recommend Play-Well TEKnologies.  The kids built a motorized LEGO mini-walker with the help of an extremely, patient instructor!  For 90 minutes the kids built, played, laughed and created.  It was dreamy!  [All I did was take pictures.  What is more dreamy than that??]

He also requested ice cream sundaes for his sweet treat.  When it comes to a birthday dessert, it can't get much easier [and fun] than a sundae.  The more toppings...the better!!

Sources for ice cream fun:
1.  Shop Sweet Lulu- sweet little striped spoons and ice cream cups.
2.  Mark & Graham- gold chevron paper placemats

[Additionally, in following my own party tradition, there were no goodie bags! We spent a little more on the party and got rid of the junk.  Read more about my answer to the goodie bag dilemma.]


read it. make it. eat it.

I love to read.  I love to cook. And I love to eat. [good thing I like to run.] Lucky for me the world seems to have gone cookbook crazy!  While browsing in my local book store a few new cookbooks caught my eye.....

1  Savory Sweet Life by Alice Currah.  [A book spinoff from Alice's acclaimed food blog- Savory Sweet Life.]

2  What Katie Ate by Katie Quinn Davies.  [A spin off from the blog What Katie Ate.  The photos and typography had me the moment I opened the book!  It is a work of art.]

3  More from Macrina by Leslie Mackie.  [Favorites from a local Seattle bakery.  Macrina for brunch, lunch or pastries.  You can't go wrong!]

4  The Truck Food Cookbook by John Edge [ Mr. Edge seems to have worked hard sampling food for this book.  The food truck revolution makes me smile.  This book promises 150 recipes from the best food trucks in America. I am all in.]

One cookbook was sold out on my visit....
I adore the Smitten Kitchen blog and cannot wait to own this cookbook.  This blog is a must read.  You must try this recipe for the best rice crispy treat you have ever had! 

Which cookbooks [new or old] are your favorites? 


a little TLC

Does it seem like everyone is sick?  My husband is down and out.  Luckily he just a nasty head cold and not the flu.  I decided soup would be a great remedy and an easy dinner.  Just a little TLC.

This spicy bowl of soup did wonders.  Hearty - with a bit of kick to clear the nasal passages.

Stay well.  Make soup.

[PS. In my humble opinion, sick men are probably the most pathetic creatures on earth.]


a first time.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Yesterday, I set aside my total aversion to winter sports and strapped on a pair of snowshoes [for the first time]. And you know what?  I am so glad I did!  It helped that I had the good company of a dear friend who had never been before either.  We thought of it as an adventure.  She had two pairs of snowshoes sitting in her garage needing some attention, so we thought, "Why not?"

[a quiet, foggy start]

We really didn't know where we were going, but had a vague idea where to start.  Starting our walk, we followed a quiet lift line up to higher elevation.  There may have been one major technical difficulty, which proved that wearing my new snow pants was a brilliant idea.  Through a team effort we got my snowshoe back in working order. Being mid-week, to say it was quiet is an understatement of grand proportions.  We saw only one other person.  We trekked along groomed Nordic trails and for two hours we only heard the scraping of our shoes.  

As middle age starts to sink in, I see how easy it is to just stay comfortable.  You don't get hurt or embarrassed or scared doing the same thing day in and day out.  You stay safe, but you lose your spark!  For trying something new yesterday, I was rewarded.  Rewarded with a great workout, a long uninterrupted conversation with a friend, and [eventually] abundant SUNSHINE!

Try something new.  Do something for the first time!  Who knows, you might actually like it!


chopped winter salad.

It has been cold around these parts!  When I saw this recipe for a winter salad with warm, roasted butternut squash I knew it would be perfect on a chilly evening.  It was hearty, filling and delicious.  My husband thought so too!  [There were actually quite a few recipes in the January issue of Real Simple worth checking out.]

Need other ideas for using a butternut squash?  Look no more!  My love for the other squash is not a secret. 


where will they take me?

Mama got a new pair of shoes.  Where will they take me?

In 2002, I trained and finished the Portland Marathon.  26.2 miles of determination.  While the race itself was exhilarating, the training was arduous.  Months and months of pounding the pavement and punishing my body.  In the time leading up to the marathon I experienced chaffing, the wrong shoes, a horrible 18 miler spent hallucinating in sweltering temps on Spokane's Centennial Trail, and stomach turning nourishment for long runs called goo.  However, since I was determined to finish the run healthy [and with a little left in the tank to run strong across the finish line], the training had a purpose.  I knew why I was pushing my body to the limit. 

After finishing the marathon, I hung up my racing shoes.  There isn't a desire to train for another.  There isn't a desire to train for any END event.  Being physically fit and active is the only objective.  But there in lies the problem.  When you don't have an end goal-motivating yourself everyday is more challenging.  It also is freeing.  My new shoes can walk, they can run, they might be able to climb. Maybe I will wear them to a Crossfit gym and push myself through a WOD.  I might possible wear them to a yoga studio, slip them off and find my zen.  They could take me on a walk with a great friend or help me clock my fastest mile time since I was 16 years old.  Who knows?!? 

My shoes could take me just about anywhere...and they sure are cute!

**update** My shoes are Brooks PureFlow 2 


hawk nation

Seattle is buzzing with Hawk excitement!  Our infamous 12th man will be in full effect Sunday...this time making some noise in living rooms, pubs, and sports bars.  I love it when one single unifying event brings us all together.  Why not cheer for really big men trying to knock the snot out of each other?  I am confident they will win on Sunday and this cheer train can keep on rolling!  [And PS. we have the best damn quarter back in the NFL.  It doesn't hurt that he is pretty darn cute to boot!]

I have fond memories of watching the old school Hawks with my dad on Sundays.  The 80's gave us Steve Largent, Dave Krieg, Curt Warner.  And who can forget Brian Bosworth?  There were a few playoff runs, but no Super Bowl appearances when I was a kid!   And now my kids are watching the games with me.  I am feeling it this season.  Big W will be sporting his Earl Thomas jersey on Sunday.  We are convinced it is lucky.  Since he started wearing it on game days, the Seahawks haven't lost.  [It's only weird if it doesn't work.] 

Looking for something to serve at game time?  Spotted these at Top Pot Doughnuts.  Perfect for a 10am start. 
Go Hawks!

top image :: via


maximum washing results

That to me looks like a perfectly loaded dishwasher.  Loaded for maximum occupancy and maximum results.  I have an eye for these kinds of things.

I read in the January issue of Real Simple that 40% of couples squabble about how to load the dishwasher.  We are of that 40%.  Sort of.  It is my belief that I know my dishwasher the best.  I load and run that thing at least once a day. [It is currently washing away right now.]  There is an exact way to place our dishes, cups, cookware and silverware into our dishwasher to maximize the washing effort.

My husband cleans up after dinner.  I cook.  He cleans.  For the most part he does an excellent job.  However, there are times when I just quickly make some adjustments and fit a few more items in.  It would be criminal to leave a dish or cup in the sink if you don't have to.   We are only sort of the 40% because I don't say anything to him.  I don't critique his efforts or tell him how to do it.   I just change it.  He knows that I do this and he doesn't seem to mind in the least.  Quite simply, we don't squabble.  It remains unspoken.  It works for us, so why change it?

Do you rearrange for maximum washing results?

image :: via


enjoy it.

[Little Man turned 6!  Not so little anymore.]

When my boys were really little, it would irritate me to NO END when someone would say,
"Oh, enjoy this time with them.  It is so special."  It more often then not would come at time when I literally felt like I was losing my mind [and most likely needed a shower.]  Enjoy it, huh?  Treasure it?  Have you been at my house around 5pm?  Living in the moment and enjoying them was the furthest thing from my mind.  Sadly, I felt like I was simply surviving.  My husband and I used to joke, "We're just making it to bed time." 

And now I get it.  I get what they were saying.  I feel it everyday.  I feel my boys getting "big".  Gaining independence.  Forging their own way in this world.  I'm not sad about it.  But now [outside the world of the dirty diapers and the witching hour],  I can recognize that my time with them as young boys is fleeting.  And I am going to do my very best to just enjoy it!



pop art.

I use my phone as my point and shoot camera almost daily.  More often than not, I use Instagram to jazz up the pictures.  The filters and the square shape.   I am a total addict.  I use many of the images here on my blog, post them to facebook, or save them on my camera roll.

While looking for a unique gift for an exchange during the holidays, I came across canvas pop.  I may have a new addiction!

My Instagram image of Seattle's Public Market....

became this.

A 12" x 12" piece of art!  Wrapped canvas, amazing colors and all for $35!  I was so impressed by the quality of the work and the image looked fantastic.  It was hard to give it away.


Hanging alone or in a grouping- these little beauties are worth their weight in gold!  Check out the options on their website.


twenty thirteen

Do you feel like this?  I am not sure why but for some reason...I do.  There is this inner voice chanting to me..."It's gonna be awesome!"  There is nothing life changing on the horizon for me this year.  No milestone events, anniversaries or birthdays.  And that's why I am so darn excited.  I feel like nothing is out of the realm of possibility. 

I am not making any resolutions, because I feel like they are always attached to some sort of guilt.  The world doesn't need more people feeling guilty.  Our world needs happy, fulfilled people loving life and those around them!

Things I would love in 2013:  more glitter, long runs, day trips, finished projects, a home full of joy, getaways with my husband,  delicious meals, time alone with each of my boys, no homework, a snow day, time to myself, tons of average moments free of worry,  a super hot summer, great books, cups of hand-crafted coffee,  strong arms and toned tummy [the tummy is a long shot!], patience, abundant creativity....

What things would you love to come your way this year?  

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