Honeymoon Booked!

Wahoo!! We booked our honeymoon!!!! It's official, I'm so excited!! The fiance and I are headed to a week of pure bliss at an all inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic. We're usually adventurous travelers who like to soak up the local flair of a destination and it's culture, but we figured this is our one and only honeymoon, so it's high time we kick up our heels and relax! Can't wait to bask in the Caribbean sunshine and enjoy our new status of husband and wife!

Wine and Cheese Puzzle

Wine and cheese party anyone? I love to own a set of these puzzle boards. Grab a baguette or two, an antipasti platter, capped off with a robust white or red, and you've got yourself a party!


♥ Cornbread

My fiance, he loves him some cornbread. I swear, he'd eat cornbread with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert too if he had the chance, (or it was socially acceptable). I'm convinced he used to be obsessed with the Dave Matthews song "Cornbread," simply because of his fondness for its edible namesake.

As such, I'm convinced he is going to love these: Chili + Cornbread in a jar. Looks easy enough, pour in some chili, pour in some cornbread batter, and bake. Add a little pat of butter on top and boom you're good to go. Hoping to try this on a sweet summer day!
I'm sure fiance is going to be salivating the second he reads this post...


R.I.P. ipod

Guess what went through the wash last night? My ipod...awesome. I went for a run last week and apparently forgot my ipod in the pocket of my hoodie. Well - I found it! Waterlogged ipod + headphones does not a happy girl make.

I've heard you can submerge waterlogged electronics in rice to absorb some of the moisture, but I figure after a thorough rinse cycle, I'm S.O.L. Bummer.

So as I'm reflecting back on how I actually let this happen, and feeling like a total arse, wondering how the heck did I forget to take said ipod out of my pocket?!? Grr... Am I alone in this careless mistake, has this ever happened to you?


Dinner Last Night: Spicy Chicken Fried Rice with Peanuts

Dinner last night was spicy chicken fried rice with peanuts. This was my first attempt at this type of rice dish, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Initially, I was very paranoid that I'd overcook the rice before the actual stir fry. I must've checked it every 30-seconds for about 5 minutes, but thankfully it turned out just right. The peanuts and water chestnuts are a must and add a variety of textures to this dish. Would make again!

Cheese Bar

Some brides may go for the cupcake bar. Other brides might opt for the homemade pie bar. And this bride, well, I'm finding myself seriously considering a cheese bar! Doesn't that sound delicious? Cheese might be my favorite food (second to potatoes of course, I can't deny my Irish roots).
I love the elegance of these cheese bars - fancy rind cheese displayed on cake stands - so chic, decadent, and oh-so-French! So I ask, what's a fantastic cheese I could add to my hypothetical cheese buffet?


Royal Wedding

The royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William is exactly one month from today! So excited!! I'm planning on watching the wedding, well, maybe not at 4AM which is when it will be debuting Pacific Time. But most likely DVRing and watching at a more reasonable hour.

I'm curious - are you planning on watching the royal nuptials? Solo? In style with your girlfriends while speaking in British accents? I'm leaning toward the second...of course, while cheers-ing along with Kiss Me Kate beer in honor of our future princess!

Weekend Baking: Banana Crunch Muffins

This weekend I was craving bananas so I whipped up a batch of Ina Garten's Banana Crunch Muffins. Tres delicious. I added coconut-almond granola and shaved coconut to the tops which added a satisfying crunch. Thanks again Ina! I wonder, does she even have a bad recipe?


Quote of the Week

"Those who wish to sing, always find a song."
- Swedish Proverb

Happy Weekend

This weekend I don't have much on the agenda besides a much needed haircut. And it's been quite a while, so I'm actually pretty excited! And if all goes as planned, we'll have a honeymoon booked by the end of the weekend - crossing my fingers everything works out! More details on that to follow...

Happy weekend!!

DIY Peeps

I love peeps. Yes, the uber sugary, fluffy marshmallow little chicks, doused in granulated sugar. Normally I'm a chocolate girl all the way! Crunchy sugary marshmallows are not typically a candy I would gravitate toward, but peeps are somehow quintessentially Easter. Or maybe I'm just conjuring up memories of Easter baskets past.

Lately, I've been seeing DIY marshmallows all over the blog scene, and quite honestly, I never really knew you could make your own marshmallows before I was so enlightened. I guess I always assumed marshmallows were one of those processed wonder foods you could only buy prepackaged. But Martha Stewart has a DIY peep or "easter critter," recipe I'm tempted to try. Let's see if I get around to trying these before Easter...

Anyone ever made DIY marshmallows before? Is it easy/difficult?

Royal Brew

Are you getting ready for the royal wedding? I know I am! We are just under a month away from the April 29th nuptials. And apparently, Prince William/Kate Middleton memorabilia is all the rage now in England! My fave is this Kiss Me Kate beer, which is quickly becoming my unofficial beverage of choice to consume while watching the royal wedding! "Kiss Me Kate," is said to be a "pale beer that is elegant, tasteful, and British to the core." How perfect! I'm kind of smitten with the label itself. Cheers Kate & Wills!

Wednesday Pretty

I love how this photograph! Bride and groom, engaged in a memorable moment amid a dance floor ringed in sparklers, twirling underneath a canopy of umbrellas. How creative!

photo credit unknown
{please email me if you know!}

Temple Grandin

Have you ever heard of Temple Grandin? She's a woman with autism who has become wildly successful by revolutionizing machines in the cattle industry by her ability to think in pictures. I read her book, Thinking in Pictures a few years ago, so naturally I was interested in seeing the movie when it debuted. In the HBO movie, Claire Danes stars as the title character, Temple Grandin. Having seen Claire Danes in several other films, I thought she did a fantastic job! As a teacher, I've seen that students with autism have distinct hallmarks behaviors, and Claire Danes was able to capture many of these in her performance. The film and book are really expand and explain some insight into how brains of individuals with autism are wired differently. If you're in to learn something new, check these out!



What are your thoughts on confetti? I know rice is taboo, but there are plenty of other viable options; rose petals, paper squares, bubbles? These pictures make me want to have confetti just so I can capture that first moment as husband and wife amid a shower of celebration!

Update: Thanks for the idea of sparklers! So clever!!

images 1&3/snippet and ink

Birthday Brunch

Since my fiance is becoming quite the foodie, so it was only fitting that on his birthday, we head to a restaurant guaranteed to deliver delicious cuisine. Kingfish Cafe is a restaurant serving up Southern food and hospitality, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The perfect spot for a sunny Saturday brunch. Dining here was a subtle flashback to our recent trip to New Orleans and the glory that is Southern food.

The brunch at Kingfish amazingly rich and filling - so if you go, definitely go hungry! We ordered the crabcake dewey with herbed hollendaise and good glory grits for the birthday boy. All in all, a great start to a great day.

B enjoyed the rest of the rest of his birthday inviting a few friends over to hang out, juggling a few rounds of cornhole in our yard with the March Madness tournament. As dusk settled in, we ordered pizzas and headed to our local watering hole for some Big Buck Hunter and shuffleboard. This was literally his perfect birthday; easygoing afternoon, sports, and good friends.

Happy Reading

Thanks again to all my lovely readers who gave me so many awesome book recommendations on my book hunting post a few weeks back! I'll be set for summer for sure! I've bookmarked all of your suggestions, and picked up a few that are currently occupying my night stand. The two I'm reading are Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I highly recommend both!

Lunch in Paris is a memoir of a woman who studied in London and fell in love with a Frenchman while in Paris for the weekend. Her story is punctuated with recipes shared during their Parisian romance. The Book Thief is the story of a orphan girl raised in Nazi Germany, whose affinity for books help her survive a difficult time.

Thanks again my blog friends, happy reading!


Dinner Last Night: Beef with Snow Peas

Have you ever heard of the Pioneer Woman? If not, you MUST check out her blog. She's a cowgirl extraordinaire, blogging up some culinary love and confessions about living life in the country. That's where I got found the recipe for last night's dinner - Beef with Snow Peas. I made this last night for my fiance and I served over jasmine rice, it was pretty tasty! Thank you Pioneer Woman!!

Catch a Leprechaun

I am in love with this leprechaun trap cake! Spotting a leprechaun on St. Patrick's day is the ultimate goal for most of my students, let alone catching one! This cake would be quite a hit on St. Patrick's Day! Note to self for next year...


Happy Weekend

Thank goodness it's Friday! I don't know about you, but this has been one LONG week! Now, my report cards are in, it's pajama day at school, and I'm ready to sleep in tomorrow! Plus, it's my fiance's birthday tomorrow, so we're excited to celebrate with a Southern brunch, fancy dinner, and drinks with friends. Have a fab weekend!


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Are you wearing green? You better be wearing green!! Looking forward to St. Patrick's Day at school, everyone will be pinching each other, filling out assignments on green paper, and keeping an eye out for lucky leprechauns that might dart through our classroom. Cheers!


Quote of the Week

"There's always going to be bad stuff out there. But here's the amazing thing -- light trumps darkness, every time. You stick a candle into the dark, but you can't stick the dark into the light."

~ Jodi Picoult

Engagement Photo Shoot

Loving this carnival engagement shoot! Wouldn't that be a fun way to spend a day (and have it all be photographed)? Popcorn, cotton candy, and ferries wheel kisses. :)

Wedding Shoes

I'm on a mission - to find the perfect wedding shoes. Since I'm 5'11" and would like to be shorter than my fiance on the big day, I'm looking for wedding flats in lieu of wedding heels. However, I don't want to skimp on style simply because I'm opting for flats. Having said that, I'm kind of a wimp with shoes, and comfort is important. I mean, I'll probably be wearing these shoes for half the day, so they have to sustain the evening without blisters (if possible).

So I ask all you brides out there - where did you find your wedding shoes? Any recommendations; brands, websites, secrets you're just waiting to share with future brides? I'd love some ideas!

Weekend Baking: Oatmeal White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

My mom made a batch of these cookies for me yesterday evening, and by 7:00 tonight (roughly 24 hours later), I've eaten all but all of them. Oatmeal white chocolate craisin cookies might just be my new favorite cookie! Sweet but with a kick of tartness from the craisins. Wouldn't be surprised if I polished off the entire batch tonight, so much for eating healthy!

image/recipe via m.writes

Green Monster

I did it, I jumped on the Green Monster bandwagon. Who would've though a green smoothie would taste good? But it sure does! The Green Monster if you're unaware is a concoction of this:

2 Cups Raw Baby Spinach
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Banana
Optional: 1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed

And the best part, you can't taste the spinach AT ALL! Aside from the green color, you'd never know it was a part of the drink. Making this smoothie packed with vitamins and nutrients. Ever since I bought my cute little Bella Cucina rocket blender, I've been a smoothie making machine!

Wedding To-Do List

While my weekend wasn't too exciting, I did check a few things off my wedding to-do list including finding and ordering our wedding cake - Check! And booking a string trio to play music during the ceremony! - Check!

As much as I've dreamt about my wedding in the years leading up to today, I truly had no idea have many many miniscule details come into play during the actual planning. Thankfully the planner in me is taking charge and I'm trying to get most details squared away before summer so I can relax and enjoy the anticipation of the few months before the big day!!

P.S. Did I mention we went with a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting? My fave...YUM!


I've been thinking a lot about Japan lately. My heart goes out to the people and families who have been killed, injured, or displaced by this tragedy. It's can't even imagine what they are going through. Having just been to Japan this past summer, I feel more of a connection to this tragedy than I normally would. Immediately after hearing I checked facebook for updates and news from my friends living in Japan, and thankfully they were safe and sound. I know Japan will come back from this, but not without memory of the sadness that's occurred.

Sending my thoughts and prayers to this amazing country and all those affected by this earthquake and tsunami. Thinking of you.
photos from my trip

Workout Routine

While I enjoy working out, I'm not a committed gym-goer. On my own time at the gym, I'll usually do the elliptical, bike, and maybe the treadmill if I'm really motivated. As such, I'd noticed my exercise routine was becoming pretty ho-hum.

A few weeks ago, a coworker of mine raved about her personal training gym, that specializes in targeted cardio/weight loss work-outs à la the Biggest Loser. It sounded intriguing, and since historically I've had more success gaining muscle and flexibility in group classes, I signed up.
And oh man, has it has been whipping me into shape! It's been such a good work out in fact, it's kind of addicting!

On my way to a toned wedding physique!

Red or White?

I don't know about you, but I am sure glad it's Friday. This has been a long, arduous, stressful week at school. I am very much looking forward to tonight and a glass of vino with girlfriends. On another wine note: aren't these etched wine decanters awesome? I would love to buy these and host myself a wine tasting party like this! Want to come?


Book Club

My book club met Monday night to chat about our latest read - The Help. If you haven't read this book, it's a must! Even my friends in the group who are less than keen on reading every book cover to cover enjoyed it.

As for the club itself, typically, the host picks the book, and then provides dinner for everyone who attends. We've been rotating the hostess job and this time, we congregated at Jessica's condo. For dessert, Carrie brought "prison cheesecake," the star dessert in our last read, the true-life prison novel, Orange is the New Black. Surprisingly, prison cheesecake (laughing cow, coffee creamer, and vanilla pudding mashed together in a graham cracker crust) was pretty good!

Excited for our new meeting!


Paczki Day!

Fat Tuesday coincides with the Polish American celebration, Paczki Day. Paczki (pronounced poonch-key) are essentially jelly donuts. While the donuts don't seem too unique from your ordinary bakery donuts, the holiday gives you an excuse to indulge and bring home a box full of jelly and cream filled pastries. Yum!

My fiance grew up celebrating Paczki Day every year. My fiance is from the Detroit area in Michigan, where there is a large Polish community. As a result, many surrounding bakeries prepare paczki for this special day. Here in Seattle, they're a little harder to come by...but we discovered Metropolitan Market carries paczkis!

Now, buying a box of paczkis and eating them together has become a sweet tradition we celebrate together. Celebrate with us and go grab yourself a paczki (or just a donut and claim it's one!)

{pictures of the paczkis we picked up at Met Market}

Happy Birthday Sis!

Happy Birthday Allie! It's my littlest sisters birthday today. Here's a snapshot of her back in the day, can't believe she is 22 today, that seems too grown up! Have a happy birthday Al!

Coffee Hiatus

The season of Lent begins this Wednesday. If you're unfamiliar with Lent, in the Christian tradition, Lent is a period of 40 days preceding Easter. Usually this time is spend investing in sacrifice or almsgiving. For example, many people try and give up something that will help them improve their livelihood; giving up alcohol consumption, avoiding sweets or junk food, or refraining from swearing. Others however use this time to give to others; volunteering, donating books, clothing, or spending more time with loved ones. As a product of the Catholic school system, I always thought of Lent as something mandatory, but I've come to recognize it as a conscious choice to better yourself.

This year, I'm giving up store-bought coffee for Lent. After calculating how much I actually spend on coffee in a month, I was shocked by the amount of money I've invested into soy vanilla lattes! And with my commute over the 520 bridge becoming significantly more costly with the implementation of a new bridge toll ($7 a day roundtrip), I'm hoping my saved money on coffee will help support my commute. My loop hole in my plan is, I'm still allowed to make coffee at home.

If you partake in the season of Lent, what are you planning on doing?

Quote of the Week

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
~ Robert Byrne

The Value of a Dollar

These are photographs from Jonathan Blaustein's The Value of a Dollar Project. Isn't it interesting? Unfortunately, I can see why many eat poorly, it is cheaper to eat unhealthy processed foods than fresh organics. I mean, just look at the blueberries vs. ramen.