Life in Photos: Sunny Winter Weekend

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It was a beautiful weekend here in the PNW, and it made me so grateful to be in a region of the US not being pummeled by snow and crazy cold temps. My weekend went like this: relaxing, crafty Friday evening, followed by a busy Saturday, and topped off with a “friends and football” themed Sunday.

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Tray table progress

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Reading in the bed

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Housewarming gift

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Celebrating a bestie’s birthday with beer and bowling

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Sunday relaxation

Also very exciting, NFL playoffs games this weekend…crazy, craaaazy games, but the highlight for my hubby was the 49ers win. I’m not a 49ers fan, but I do love seeing a happy hubby.

Have a great Tuesday!
xo

2014: Not Bad Day 1, Not Bad

Happy 2014 everyone! I hope that you had a fun and safe NYE, and that you spent the first day of 2014 doing something that makes you happy. I opted for an at home spa day and couldn’t be happier with my choice. I started with a face scrub made of coffee grounds, yogurt and coconut oil, and I got the recipe from this pin. Then I made a mask of gelatin and milk, which is essentially a giant pore strip, and that came from this pin. I finished off my at home spa day with a detox bath. There are a ton of different detox baths out there, but I kept it simple –with this one— and used lavender Epsom salts and baking soda, and the result…glorious relaxation. The day also included breakfast with our next door neighbors and a Dutch Baby demonstration, serious lounging, the start of a new book and Chinese takeout.

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Gelatin & Milk Mask // 2014 Mantra from Pinterest // Chinese Take-Out // New Book // Dutch Baby

How was your day 1 of 2014?

xo

Happy NYE!

2013, you threw us some curve balls, but all in all we cannot complain because with every difficulty presented, we landed on our feet, happier, stronger and a little wiser. For me, this was the year of “letting it go.” I have been working really hard on not having to be right all the time, on realizing that some things are simply out of your hands, and on learning from your mistakes but always moving forward. It takes so much energy to dwell on negativity and the bad things that have happened to you, but guess what…it changes nothing. Harboring bad energy isn’t good for your mental or physical health, and it can affect the well being of those closest to you. So, thank you 2013, for being my year to learn to let it go. I’m not a resolutions kind of person, but I am a big believer in goals. In 2014, I have lots of hopes and goals, but knowing that a theme like “letting it go” will emerge, makes me happier than you could possibly know.

Enjoy ringing in the new year tonight, whether you plan on being home in your jammies with a bottle of champagne, or if your going to be at a party with friends and family. Above all, be safe out there!

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Goodbye 2013!

xo

Life in Photos: Pike Place Market

We always have to visit Pike Place Market when we have visitors because it is such a colorful, lively stop on the Seattle tourist circuit. It never disappoints and always inspires.

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We had such a fun day at the market, but we regretted going there on full tummies. Rookie mistake! The food options are endless and so delicious, so we may, or may not have gone back before taking our family to the airport, just so we could eat. No more sightseeing. No more photos. JUST.EATING. My favorite food stops include Pike Place Chowder (the Seafood Bisque is heavenly), Le Panier (the pastries are divine), Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (life changing mac and cheese), and of course, the original Starbucks is a must see.

Do you have a favorite spot in Pike Place Market?

Happy Monday!
xo

Life in Photos: Snow Day!

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We don’t get much snow here in the burbs of Seattle, but it does grace us with its beauty every once in a while. Last Friday was a magical day, being so close to Christmas and seeing the snow fall. Although I was headed into the office like any other day, I took some time to snap a few pictures of the pups enjoying the snow.

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Mia loves to run in the snow and try to eat it as she runs.

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Dodger just loves being outside in the snow.

The snow day really set the stage for Christmas. As I drove through my neighborhood, I saw snowmen building and people going for walks, and I can only imagine that these activities were followed up with some hot cocoa. And the combination of snow and Christmas lights…gorgeous.

Have you had any snow in your hometown?

xo

Cookie Day Success!

On Thursday night, I made one more batch of cookie dough, this time, oatmeal m&m cookies. Oatmeal and chocolate is a delicious combination, and the Christmas m&ms make them look so festive.

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On Friday night, I decided to make some chocolate bark to take for the cookie exchange, and I’m definitely making more. IT’S.SO.EASY. I found the recipe on Pinterest here. I think my favorite part of the chocolate bark is being able to customize it. I used dried pomegranates and walnuts, peanut butter chips, and coconut with caramel sauce. Yum! Sorry, I totally dropped on the ball on the chocolate bark photos, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it is easy, it looks great, and it tastes delicious.

Okay, on to cookie day! It was a fabulous day. Saturday morning was cold and frosty but the sun was shining, and our friend’s home was being adorned with Christmas lights as we baked. Does it get any better? We laughed, baked, ate, drank, and walked away with a TON of cookies. We had the best variety, and I can’t wait to put my cookie platters together to share with everyone.

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This was an Instagram pic taken by cookie day alum, Jamie.

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Bubbly for baking // Pic courtesy of Jamie

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Oatmeal m&m & Lemon Pecan Shortbread // Pic courtesy of Jamie

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Gorgeous sugar cookies // Pic courtesy of Jamie

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Lights & sparkle // Pic courtesy of Jamie

I whole heartedly recommend that you and your girls plan a cookie day. There’s still time! These would make a fabulous addition to any Christmas spread, they would make great, affordable gifts, or maybe…just let this marinate for a moment…they could be perfect to enjoy with a giant mug of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace for you and your loved ones.

This is an inexpensive way to spend quality time with the bakers in your life. A little planning goes a long way, so prepare your dough ahead of time, make sure you have cooling racks set up, and be sure to have plenty of cookie sheets and a roll of parchment paper on hand. Most importantly, take the time to bake at least 1 batch of sugar cookies ahead of time, and then put out some fun Christmas themed sprinkles, frosting, etc so you can decorate the sugar cookies and chat over some champagne. That’s the best.

Have a great night!
xo

Cookie Day Preparations

Every year, a couple girlfriends and myself get together for a cookie day. It’s a glorious day filled with champagne, cookie making/baking/decorating and apron wearing. When all the cookies are completed, we do a little exchange and leave with a great variety of cookies to take home and share with family and other friends. These make great gifts, alongside a mug and yummy coffee or hot cocoa mix. In order to get the most out of this year’s cookie day, we have all decided that making our dough ahead of time would be most efficient. Now, we will have ample time to decorate our sugar cookies and sip champagne. Tonight, I’m whipping up some Lemon Pecan Shortbread, and I’m using this recipe.

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I’ll be sure to post some pics of the finished cookies. But until then, please share…in the spirit of the holiday, what are you baking??

xo