Sunday, June 19, 2011

After an unsuccessful attempt at Family Nap Time earlier, we ended up going to McDonald's for playtime + fries.  We then hit up Home Depot for a SUPER SPECIAL LIGHTING PROJECT.  I turns out nothing is available at the store so we walked out with a pot and some rosemary!  See?  Sorry for the blurry picture.  One day, I will upgrade to one of those nicer cameras all the cool Mom Bloggers have...  :-) 

Little A and the Husband walked down to see G-ma, so I fixed myself a snack.  
Papaya Snack.
From Saturday's $50 fruit run to Costco.  haha.  I love that place.
I am ALWAYS eating.  Something.

So here is the potting soil.  Keep in mind, I am NO expert.  I just shoved a bunch of the dirt in the pot, tore off half the biodegradable peat pot, broke up the root ball, and dropped that sucker in the hole.  Then I watered it.  I probably won't water the rosemary again until the soil is dry.  I don't want to drown the poor thing.  It's already been through the shock of being re-planted.

Look who I found nibbling on the rosemary bush!  It's a little visitor!

I stuck a seashell from the Purdy beach in there too.

Here is the final home for my rosemary, for the time being at least.  Remember the first plant from my succulents post?  The second one is a cactus my husband has had forever.  The pot, although not my style, was from my mentor at my last job.  I got a little plant when I moved to a different job, but the plant died.  My husband's cactus needed a real pot (he still had it in the cheapo plastic pot) so it got the upgrade to my pot a few years ago after I couldn't keep the original plant alive.  The cactus is MUCH easier to handle, thank goodness! 

On a side note, the lamp to the left is something I thrifted at a local flea market for a buck.  I should have tried to talk them down to 50 cents because the darn thing is crooked.  Unfortunately, I had a cold and wasn't up to my full bargaining strength.  I planned on upgrading it to a white shade from Target, but the husband hates the lamp.  EVERYTHING about the lamp.  Maybe I will just stick it in my office, once I find something nicer for that credenza. (?)

Art: By Little A and Mommy

I have been carrying around this canvas since college...or was it high school?  Either way, I've hung this blank canvas in the bedroom of my apartment in AZ, then in my bedroom in my first house, then in the living get the picture.

Well, it is blank no more!!  We hauled it up from the in-law's a few weeks ago, and Little A and I took a few paint brushes and a palette knife to its surface.  


Little A did the left portion with all the red, and I did the right side with all the white.  We met in the middle  :-)

It's on the mantle next to my vintage birdies and our *Purdy bridge stick*  from 
our beach visit on the 5th of June.

Food for the Upset Stomach: Chicken Pasta Soup

I got sick last Tuesday night, so Wednesday was chicken broth, Costco rotisserie chicken, garden greens, and bow-tie pasta.  Little A actually ate hers all up!

Monday, 6/13: Rabbit Food + Shrimp on a Stick

Here is last Monday's "dinner".  
I hate cooking on the weekdays.
I just throw some stuff together on a plate and call it done.

In retrospect, I wonder if the shrimp was not cooked all the way?
Little A and I got pretty sick last week. 
It was ridiculous.  Crazy ridiculous.


Little A is in love with shrimp on a stick.  
She didn't touch her veggies.

Also Last Sunday: In Search of Pizza

SO, remember how the Seattle trip was a disaster because nobody at U-dub had mind to communicate to the public (i.e. via internet) that the greenhouse is closed (except for the poorly hand-written signs on campus)?

WELL...Add to that The Upper Crust Cafe.  A pizza place on 21st Street in Tacoma which we have been trying to eat at for the past couple weekends.  The first time was on Memorial Day (Sunday).  I know, alot of places are closed, but some are open in hopes of drawing the business of people out to have a good time.  So me being the super-prepared person I like to be, I called ahead.  Nobody picked up, but the answering machine said The Upper Crust is open on Sundays.  I figured they were probably overflowing with patrons and couldn't get to the phone.  So we drove over the flippin Narrows Bridge (paid the toll and everything) only to find The Upper Crust closed.  BUMMER.  We went to The Rock instead.  Okay pizza, but quite a few notches below my gourmet tastebuds.  ha!  Just not my slice of pie I suppose, but guess what?  The Rock got my business on Memorial Day.

SO, fast forward to Sunday, June 12th...We were in search of provisions [grub] after our escape from the U-dub campus.  We decide to give the Upper Crust another chance.  Guess what?!  Those f*ckers are closed yet AGAIN.  And yet AGAIN their answering machine claims they are indeed open on Sundays.  JESUS, what a drag!!!  So, my husband is pissed.  We are still hungry.  We settled for a layman's pizza in downtime Gig Harbor.  It was okay.  It was garlic chicken with white sauce.  It just wasn't gourmet enough.  :-(  In fact, we only really get gourmet pizza when we make it at home.

**side note, The Upper Crust is NEVER open, and Fondi's has HORRIBLE service.  Why are all gourmet pizza places this crappy?!**

This place we went to was super-kid friendly.  Little A got a free little "appetizer" plate and crayons without us having to ask for anything!
**She ate those olives right up!**

Below is our pizza.  It looked really good, and my husband liked it.
But I really wanted a marinara, wood-fired pizza.
From The Upper Crust D-bags that cannot seem to run their business to support my schedule.

Did I mention the The UC has the best coffee?  
They serve Caffe Vita from Seattle.  I have it at home.  It's so good.

Our pizza came with a bowl of noodles + sauce for her.
Look at those cute teeth!!

Uh-oh...the spaghetti looks a little dubious.
How to get it on the fork as efficiently as possible?

This meal ends in a grumpy baby and us going home before finishing our food.
The joy of children.

Oh well.  It happens.

Next time, I'm bringing bow-tie pasta with us to the restaurant.

For reals.

Last Sunday: In Search of the Corpse Flower

I try to post throughout the week, so I apologize that these posts are basically a week behind.  I was sick, and Little A was even sicker.  Still is a little sick, actually.  So this Sunday I am posting last weekend's activities.  

We were supposed to visit the great Corpse Flower at the University of Washington.  The trip was pretty much disastrous!  First of all, I called the U-dub greenhouse ahead of time to verify they were indeed open on Sunday.  According to their message, they were.  I EVEN checked the website to cover all my bases.  But when we got to the campus (like a flippin 100 miles from our home), the place was completely shut down due to graduation ceremonies.  To make matters worse, there was an inadequate amount of proper signage/maps to help you find your way to the greenhouse.  And all the buildings were on super-lockdown so I couldn't find anywhere to pee.  I finally snuck into some fancy event/catering building to relieve myself.    

Way to go U-dub.  And you call yourselves professionals....?!  Maybe you should provide some extra value to validate your rising tuition rates.  But hey, everybody else is doing it, so just join the rest of the [mediocre] schools and jump on that bandwagon.  You are not distinguishing yourselves.  

(Seriously, on a side note, a U-dub MBA is not worth $50k+  It's like walking around with a knock-off Coach just to "seem" cool - when in all reality, Coaches are really NOT that "cool").  

************************************************************ the afternoon was NOT a complete disaster.  Little A had a ball in search of this flower.  And I followed her around taking pictures.  Because she is so cute.  See her walking ahead of us?  She reminds me of Dorothy walking down the Yellow Crick Road, or maybe Alice in Wonderland.  Where is she headed?  What magical things are waiting around the corner?

I absolutely love some of the architecture...look at this castle below!

Little A asked me to help balance her while she walked on the curb.

Below, after Daddy finally helped us find our way to the mysterious hidden greenhouses of U-dub.  He is a good guide.  I think I will keep him.  haha 
I LOVE the photo below...I think this is one to blow up  ;-)

So, the great Corpse flower, at the very end of its bloom cycle.  
Reminds me of Harry Potter...
I am surprised there was no Dragon-Guardian at the window here.  

Maybe it was napping deep within the Greenhouse Jungle.

Here is a shot of the greenhouse from afar.  See the Corpse flower?

Below is Little A, with her jacket on her arm like a little lady!
Daddy is impatient and grumpy from all this searching.
He cannot wait to escape the evil clutches of the University of Washington's campus.

Luckily, the evil warlocks and ogres of the University did not take it upon themselves to capture us - this time!

However, we will remember to bring defenses with us next time.  Pepper spray, Garlic, and a magical map of the University.  Maybe a Black Lab-Pitt for protection from the brainless retards of the campus grounds.  Add to that list the long lost key to the Greenhouse, and some food/bait for the Dragon Guardian inside.  

What a fun post. I got to rant about stupidity of others.  I also turned our disappointing Seattle visit into a great adventure into the unknown.

All in a day's work. ha!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Who Knew?: Asparagus + Olives

Just a little tid bit of a post here...I discovered a new snack while chopping pizza toppings last Wednesday.  Raw asparagus sliced diagonally + chopped greek kalamata olives!  Simply toss + serve!  No extra seasoning needed!

Sunday, 6/5: At the Beach with Little A

I worked a half day on Sunday.  I got home and stuck Little A in the car and turned right around.  The tide was SO low, I thought she would really enjoy running around the shore.  We brought her white sandals.  Yes, Mom and Dad, these are the same ones we left in your closet, just a size bigger.  If I find something she likes on the sale rack, I usually buy multiples.  I don't mind spending 15 bucks on baby shoes, I just like to get more than one pair in 15 bucks.  Has anyone seen those $29.99 toddler sneakers at Target?!  It's completely ridiculous.

I hope someone up in Minneapolis reads this and takes it to heart.  Target is usually a waste of money.  It's made in China, not Italy...

Which begs the question, why isn't there a retailer out there with WALMART prices, yet a TARGET feel?!  I would shop there.  I would give that place all my business.

Anyway, let's get back to the point.  I brought the sandals.  We somehow had NO backups in the car.  How did this happen?  I don't know!  The outcome was that the Baby Brat refused to walk on the sand.  She plunked her diapered bum on a rock, took off the sandals, and proceeded to throw sand/rocks at me while i politely tried coaxing her to "say cheese for the camera"...I ended up with sand all over my clothes.  On the flip side, I got a really cute picture of the Little She-Devil.  haha

See her pointing out the boats above?
See her climbing up the rocks below?

She's cute.

She got it from me.  ;-)

The curly hair is also from my side of the family.

We all started out with curly hair like that.
But it straightened right out as we got older.

Here she is at the top, smiling because Mommy let her climb up by herself.

At one point, her right sandal got caught between a couple large rocks, and I had to move one over to "rescue" her!  lol  :-)

We ended up bringing home a cool looking stick.  I plan on carving the time + place into it.  For now, it's on the mantle below the painting she helped me create.  :-)  We will have to do a post on both of these sometime soon...

That's all for now!!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Saturday Tractor Ride

I drove the tractor DOWN the BIG hill!!!  Littler A rode with me.  It was totally fun, yet terrifying at the same time.  I kept thinking that sucker was going to tip over.  Little A was not scared, but she emphasized the point that "Mama is scared, she doesn't want to be on the tractor going down the hill".  Sorry about the blurry resolution, mom and dad.  My camera does that in certain lighting.

In this picture below, there is a little ghost running in front of her daddy across the bridge.  My camera is so strange, but it makes for some interesting perspectives.  

Little A should be very proud that her very own Daddy built the bridge.  I should scrounge around for the "before" snapshot.  It was dangerous.  The wood boards which sat on the railroad track were rotten with holes eaten through.  People were actually actively avoiding this way out of the woods.

Yes.  It was THAT bad.

So, with the help a couple neighbors (it's the neighborhood bridge, after all), we re-did it.  The wood was replaced with steel grating, AND a simple "fence" was put up.  My husband did most/all of the welding, and he installed the fence.
Yes.  The prior model had NO fence.

I LOVE how raw and modern it looks in the middle of the trees.  

Below is the view of the creek below.

Little A enjoys throwing pebbles down there.  We watch them fall.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From the Weekend: Ball Jar Tea

My version of Sweet Tea.
Earl Grey with honey & fresh thyme.  Over ice.  YUM.  

See the Thyme?  It's just too cute.  

I love the late afternoon light in this picture.  It's cloudy outside.  
It's Seattle!!!!  (duh)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kitchen Update: Change is Good. Progress is Better.

So in the interest of keeping this post easy to view, I have opted to scale down the pictures (because I have so many to show you!!!).  However, for better detail, just click on the pic, and you can see the full-size version.  :-)

Below is a view of the cabinets along the "coffee/tea bar"....

Remember what this side of the wall USED to look like?! (Look at the difference new flooring, counter tops, and paint can do!! *Please note, we are obviously not done with all the trim work.  Some of it is still in the original light-Tiffany-blue...but at least this is change for the better  :-)

Look at this Thrifty pendant!  $3.99 at Goodwill!!!  It replaced the dubiously-built Urban Outfitters starburst pendant, which is now installed in the pantry (ha!) until we figure out where we really want it.  Yes, I know there is more trim that needs a coat (or five) of Dove White Gloss.  One day, we will get there...

This corner of the kitchen looks good when it gets dark out too!
BUT I think I like it better in the daytime, with its Callie Dog companion.

I love my vintage knockoff Tulip Table (but the Bertoia Side Chairs are totally really.  Nothing in our house is knock-off Bertoia.  So far, it has been totally easy to find and/or repair on the cheap).  ***STILL searching for 4 Bertoia barstools though***

Here is the AWESOME tile we chose (Lowe's) for the backsplash along both the main kitchen counter and coffee/tea bar.  My father-in-law suggested Tiffany Blue grout, but I think we will stick to plain old white.  LOL

By the way, IKEA train set = good investment of your $

DRUMROLL please.....(imaginary drumroll)....
Here is the main kitchen counter.  The glass cupboards and butcher block counter are both IKEA.  The white cupboards are original to the home, but dressed up with IKEA hardware (2 handles for $10, VS Lowe's/Home Depot where the same style will run you $30+ to $70, depending on size.  

For the drawers in the kitchen, we plan will be splurging on brushed nickel "whale tail" pulls from Rejuvenation.  YAY!!!

The white tile will run along the entire counter, cover the windowsill by the sink, and probably go up halfway between vintage stove and ceiling trim (still in the process of being painted white).

Yes, I thought one side of the island should be pop-you-in-the-face YELLOW.  One day, some Bertoia barstools will look really sleek up on that yellow.

The bright window-looking thing on the ceiling is a set up of about 8 fluorescent light bulbs.  I only use it if I am cooking something complicated, otherwise I prefer the little globe lights or the larger globe pendant above the tulip table.

Yup, 2 stoves.  The gas stovetop in the island is for practicality, while the vintage electric stove is just for looks.  I'm taking this one to my next house.

The two cutouts above are for skylights *someday*!

My Tea Cupboard.  Above the tea bar, next to my coffee mug cupboard and teapot cupboard...but my old Fire King teacups & coffee mugs are actually hanging on the other side of the kitchen - because they just don't fit all in one spot!!  

Yet another thrifty find: $10.99 Goodwill painting.  Do you see a pattern here?  I flipping LOVE the Goodwill.  I find some kick*butt stuff there.  This one is really interesting when you get up close to it.

Just don't fall in!  ;-)

Callie in the Kitchen

This is my original Baby Girl, Callie Dog.  Daddy does not like her being in the kitchen.  Mommy doesn't give a sh*t.  As you can see, even going on 10 (human years!), she is still puppy-licious.  ;-P

This post is really JUST pour moi.
So when I am frustrated at work I can pull up this page online and remember Callie Dog ALWAYS wags her butt when she sees me  :-)

Nobody gets me like she does, seriously.