Monday, December 27, 2010

Photography for beginners

This year for a joint Christmas gift to each other along with money from my parents went towards our first digital SLR camera! So many of you are such great photographers and its really inspired me get into photography and learn a new hobby!
image: B&H

Merry Christmas!


A belated Merry Christmas to everyone! Nick and I had a wonderful first Christmas as a married couple and are looking forard to many more!

We spent the holidays with both families, went to our midnight Church service and had lots of great food and good times with family. And yes, I learned how to knit! (Much harder than it looks!)

Hope everyone's was wonderful as well!
image: WeHeartIt

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Garden d'Lights

Last weekend Nick and I went to check out the Christmas lights at Bellevue's Botanical Garden which they rename Garden D'Lights (get it, Garden Delights, haha). Anyways, it was so cool and only $5 tickets. We are definitely going next year.

There were over 500,000 lights are here are some images of a few of them.






Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Knitting adventures


Over Christmas weekend my sister-in-law is going to teach me how to knit! It's literally been on my to-do list for the whole year and I'm so excited to finally learn.

And to make it even more fun, this week multiple friends had beautiful, healthy babies!! I am so so happy!!! I can't wait to knit little things for babies! Please pass along any knitting suggestions if you have them.
Congrats again to my dear friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shane and Carrie's wedding

Going back into the archives, pictures from our friends Shane and Carrie's wedding back in November. Shane and Carrie went to UW with us, but now live in Boston. Even though they live on the east coast now was really great they decided to have their wedding here becaus so many people were able to make it.

The wedding was so beautiful and was at Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle. It was a rainy day (but luckily they still got their outside pictures done) and the hotel is so modern and cozy, the atmosphere was perfect: during the cocktail hour we were drinking wine by the fireplace!








Friday, December 17, 2010

PS22 Chorus

Ok, I love all your blogs but I have to be honest that I have found a new favorite, the PS22 Chorus blog. My friend and office mate Meghan introduced me to the PS22 chorus and they are awesome!

If you haven't heard of them yet, you will when they perform at the Oscars! Prepare to be amazed and you can check out their blog here.




video: PS22 Chorus

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowflake Lane

Last night Nick, Meghan and I met up after work in Bellevue for their annual Snowflake Lane parade. Meghan described it as "like being at Disney" and I couldn't have said it better myself.






And it even "snows" during the parade!
images: Bellevue.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday filled weekend part 2

Another busy and fun holiday weekend! It was filled with Christmas parties including Nick's holiday party !


I also finished almost all of our Christmas cards - woohoo!



On Sunday I went to a baby shower for my good friend Brooke who is due in January with a girl and it was so fun seeing all the cute things she got. Brooke is really into all things French so she got a lot of cute Parisian style outfits so she will have one stylin' Seattle baby!

I also had my 6th annual ADPi ornament exchange party. Check out this adorable penguin I got from Michelle! I think this is penguin #2 I've gotten from our ornament exchange party - I love penguins!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday filled weekend


This past weekend was full of holiday activities and I am officially in the Christmas mood!

On Friday, Nick and I went to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Nutcracker with our friends Jackie and Chris. It was awesome! I did ballet for so long and I still love it so much! The PNB is in Seattle and is actually considered one of the top 3 ballet places in the country (I didn't know that until I read it in the program).

Then on Sunday, I went to the 5th Avenue Theater with my mom to see A Christmas Story The Musical. I love this movie and watch it multiple times in December. It was hilarious and my mom and I still have some songs stuck in our heads.


image

And to top off a great weekend, the Huskies beat the WSU Cougars in our annual riverly game, the Apple Cup. Holiday Bowl here we come!



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Club: The Art Of Racing In the Rain


Last night was book club hosted by my friend and fellow blogger Michelle. She made us a delicious mushroom lasagna that I can't wait to make myself and I brought over some easy Parmesan and Thyme Crackers I made.

Michelle picked out the book and I really liked it. It was a quick and easy read and any pet lover can totally relate to it. It also takes place in Seattle which was an extra bonus since I knew all the landmarks and neighborhoods that were mentioned. The book is told from the perspective of a dog, Enzo, who understands everything humans say, but of course can't talk back to them - very cute!


image: bing

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Seattle snowed in


Some crazy weather has left Seattle and surrounding areas quite the winter wonderland! I'm very thankful I've been able to work from home and haven't ventured out of the house minus a couple of neighborhood walks to avoid cabin fever.

This past weekend were were going to head to Canada for Nick's birthday weekend, but sadly the snow prevented that. But I had a full weekend of cooking and baking for him and there is a rain check in the future!

A few weeks ago I made the purchase of Hunter boots with fleece liners and yaktrax and they have all come in handy the past 48 hours. Things are still cold, but the snow has left us and we are onward to Thanksgiving!
image: WeHeartIt

Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 Fremont Oktoberfest


Goal for November: catch up on blog posts! I posted some pictures on facebook today and realized I've been bad about fall blogging! (And I still need to post honeymoon pics!!) My mom is my most loyal reader and since she is not on facebook, I have to keep everything updated for her! :)

Here are some pictures from the annual Fremont Oktoberfest held in, well, Fremont here in Seattle.

They section off blocks of the neighborhood and have various beer stations set up where you use tokens to get tastings. Last year it was pouring and this year it was a beautiful fall evening. Already looking forward to next year!

Deanna, me, Tara, Ashley


Erin and me

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wet tailgate

Last Saturday we had quite the downpour here in Seattle but that didn't stop my friends and I from huddling under a tent and getting our tailgate on.

Sadly the game wasn't as fun as the tailgate and so Nick and I left at halftime. Here's to a better game next time!



Michelle, Ashley, Jessica, Erin and myself

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tag!

One of my favorite bloggers, B of I.M.T.L.Y. tagged me a few weeks ago and I didn't forget! So here we go, all about me:


see - it is all about me in this picture! haha!

1. What would your dream day consist of?
-Sleeping in (but not too late), spending time outside, a panini sandwich for lunch and then a full day of cooking for an amazing dinner and a movie. I'm pretty simple!

2. What's your favorite reality tv show?
-Easily Top Chef. I love this show and am just waiting for them to come to Seattle. Please!!!

3. How tall are you? How tall would you like to be?
-I'm 5'5'' but I tell people I'm 5'6''.

4. If you were stranded on an island, what would be 2 things you wish you had with you?
-Hmm that is tough. I would say an ipad and chapstick.

5. Do you look at the keyboard when you type?
-No way, I'm a typing pro!

6. What's your favorite ice cream?
-Anything homemade with chocolate in it! My friend Carrie gave me an ice-cream maker for my bridal shower and we use it all the time. A book with great ice-cream recipes is The Perfect Scoop.

7. Are you afraid of flying?
-I get a little nervous in small planes, but not afraid of flying in general. Nothing will stop me from a vacation!

8. Which restaurant has your favorite french fries?
-The truffle fries at Canlis restaurant here in Seattle. I could eat a plate everyday!

That was fun - thanks B! My tag goes out to all who are reading! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Club: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Out most recent book club choice was mine, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I hosted book club and made Pioneer Woman's mac and cheese for dinner along with parmesan roasted broccoli and a salad, to lighten things up from the mac and cheese.

I gave this book four stars, and had a hard time putting it down. It was a pretty dark book, but seriously, you can't put it down.

Interesting fact: the original title was "Men Who Hate Women."


reading the book on the honeymoon (yes, pictures are coming soon!)

image: Amazon

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cakes, cakes and more cakes

The final baking class in my series was the one I was looking forward to the most, cakes and frosting. I have to say, we did an amazing job!

Brooke and I made a fluffy yellow cake with real buttercream frosting. It was a little complicated, but totally worth it.




Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) cake flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs, separated
plus 3 large yolks, room temperature

1. Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch high round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Grease paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/4 cups sugar together in large bowl. In 2-cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together butter, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and 6 yolks.

2. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With machine running, gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar; continue to beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

3. Add flour mixture to now empty mixing bowl fitted with whisk attachment. With mixer running at low speed, gradually pour in butter mixture and mix until incorporated, about 60 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape whisk and sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium-low speed and beat until smooth, 10 to 15 seconds.

4. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.

5. Bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pans and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pan with small knife, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.


Chocolate buttercream frosting
16 ounces semisweet chocolate , finely chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (cold)


1) Melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Increase heat to medium; add sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and stir with heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes. Add melted chocolate, butter mixture, and cream to clean bowl of standing mixer and stir to thoroughly combine.

2) Place mixer bowl over ice bath and stir mixture constantly with rubber spatula until frosting is thick and just beginning to harden against sides of bowl, 1 to 2 minutes (frosting should be 70 degrees). Place bowl on standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula until completely smooth.


Meghan and Brynn did a beautiful strawberry cake and Miss Brynn did an awesome post about the cake you can check out here.


I am sad classes are over, but I have a feeling there will be more baking and cooking classes in the future for us.


The two best cakes in the class

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homemade bagels


Success in baking class last night! Homemade egg bagels from Brooke, Brynn and me! They turned out pretty well and were really easy to make. It's a pretty basic recipie, knead it, shape it, boil it, bake it and voila - homemade bagels!

Next week is our last class: cakes and frosting which I am so excited for!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Baking classes

It's probably pretty obvious from most of my posts that I love to cook. And while I like to bake, there is so much more precision and accuracy that is needed, my baked goods never seem to come out right.

Enter the world of "continuing education." Baking classes! My friends Meghan, Brooke and (fellow blogger) Brynn signed up for baking classes.

Our first three hour class was an intro and our latest class was pies. This was my first attempt at making a pie crust (and the tricky lattice topping" but I think our blueberry pie was a success for a first attempt!


Blueberry pie made by Brooke and myself

Meghan and Brynn's coconut cream pie



Brooke and baby enjoying the baked goods

Yeast recipes and cakes (including butter cream frosting) are next on the agenda!

Speaking of cakes - Nick and I decided to fast forward the tradition of saving the top layer of wedding cake for the 1 year anniversary and dove into it last weekend when we did dinner at my parents! (Yes, that is the University of Washington Huskies mascot cake...we are big fans!)




Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Matt and Meredith's wedding

I am so far behind in blogging so going back to the beginning of the month, pictures from the wedding of our friends Matt and Meredith!

Matt and Nick were friends from their fraternity and Meredith and I were friends from our sororoty (I was her first roommate)! So even though we are friends with them as a couple, we were both friends with them before Nick and I even knew each other. And now Meredith and I are work colleagues and volunteer for ADPi corp board together!

So here are pictures from their lovely wedding on Sept. 4 at the Artic Club Hotel in downtown Seattle.

the beautiful dome ceiling

serenading the bride





candy bar!





ADPi ladies

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