Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fashion Friday

I went to work on my birthday and since I was still pretty new to this company, I decided not to wear my tiara, although I totally wanted to. Instead, I opted for a little more subdued way to say "It's my Birthday, Look at me!!!" by rocking the RED! tights (repurposed from here). I've featured this skirt before, and I really do love it. I had forgotten about this ruffled shirt until I ran across it in my closet looking for something else. I love being able to rock something girly. The red heart earrings get a lot of wear, and I scored the red bracelet one day for 50 cents at Goodwill. The scarf is an old one of my mom's, circa the mid-70s (just like me!)

After work I had to wait downtown for my mom to arrive on the Max and it was super sunny out, so I purchased these little red babies to rock until sundown.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thinking outside of the (bread) box...

I am totally inspired by the 3KMtD blog, or as I refer to it, the MIL blog. The recipes all look delicious and to know that other girls, just like me (read: non-cooks who are busy and cute :)) can do it, makes me feel empowered and challenged to keep up, at least a little. I currently have a little stack of their recipes printed out, waiting to be tried.

This week, my mom came to visit and something different than the past few years when I worked from home and then didn't work at all is that this time I was going to have to take off every morning and instead of us driving to our favorite coffee shop, she'd be on her own for breakfast. I didn't want her to have to depend on our standard staples (Luna Bars, almonds, and chocolate soy milk) and she loves all thing bread, so I decided to give her something unexpected. I bought a nice loaf of bread (I didn't have quite enough time to commit to that one) and decided to make MIL's Apple Butter.

I have a spot near and dear to my heart where my apple butter memories live. JJ and I went back for his Grandpa's funeral in Ohio and spent a week cleaning and doing what you need to do at the end of an era for a family home. We all met there each morning and had breakfast in the kitchen. It was the first time I'd ever tasted apple butter and I couldn't wait each morning to toast my english muffin and cover it in apple butter (I might have used some real butter on there too). I also had it for more than one afternoon snack during my time there. I remember sitting at the kitchen of a grandma I didn't even know and feeling as comfortable as if I was at my own grandma's home as I looked at her kitschy decor and nibbled my buttery muffin.

I was looking forward to chefing up this treat. I was going make a smaller batch and I didn't have all the spices so I knew that I'd be doing a little winging it. I used three apples that we already had (Fuji) and added Cardamom to the spice list and there was some Chinese All Spice in the spice cupboard (where did THAT come from?) so I threw some of that in too.
I used 60% of the apple quantity in the recipe and about 80% of the spice quantity, so I knew it would be a spicy batch. It was already yummy looking as I put the lid on the Crockpot. I chose to cook it on low overnight and I woke up a couple times during the night and as I walked downstairs, I was greeted with a wonderful aroma and I'd go lift the lid and give it a stir.
In the morning I smashed it all together with a potato smasher and put it in the fridge. I tried some that night on an english muffin (yum) and then had a brilliant realization. It was like squished apple pie. So instead of it's next taste being as a breakfasty treat, I heated some up and poured it over ice cream. OMG. It was amazing.
*Not my ice cream picture, but the pics I took of the apple butter over ice cream don't do justice to it's spicy, creamy deliciousness.

♥PLATE IT, ATE IT, GRADED IT.♥

scale: 0 (not at all) to 5 (very)

Cupboard to table time: 11 hours

Difficulty: 1

Deliciousness: 5

Impressed Husband factor: 5 "Shannon, that apple butter is really delicious" (you know he's serious when he starts the sentence with my name!)

Impressed Mom factor: 5 "This is really, really good. I'm going to have to get the recipe from you"

Leftover-friendly: 5

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!!

Today I am 35! I am happily married and happily employed and a healthy and fit 5'4" 120 pounder. I couldn't have hoped for more. Well, actually, when I was 10 and calculated that in the futuristic world of 2010 that I would be 35, I did envision myself having some sort of space car. Oh well, the Hyundai will have to do :)

Also, in this wonderful life of mine, I got flowers at work last week. Delivered by the receptionist, sent by husband for no reason.
and today, my friend Joi had this waiting in my inbox..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
YOU LOOK LIKE A REALLY FANCY MONKEY
AND YOU DANCE LIKE ONE TOO
XOXOXOXOXOXO

Monday, March 22, 2010

Perfect.

We knew Saturday had the potential to be motorcycle weather and woke up happy to see the sun. We walked over to Mt. Tabor and then down Hawthorne to Common Grounds for breakfast and then back home. It was gorgeous and we admired all the flowers and cool houses and kitties we encountered on the way. Once home, and certain that the weather would stick, we got everything ready for our day of adventure. Our first stop was downtown at Pazzo. We love to sit there and drink a beer and split a pizza and watch the people go by. It's also one of those places where we walk in and they know what we want, which is cool :) After lunch, we headed up to Prost, where we sat at the bar and drank some delicious German beers for dessert. John had some sauerkraut and I took a bite, which I immediately regretted. He says it's an acquired taste, and I'm just not sure I even want to acquire it. ick.and because Prost is so conveniently located to another of our haunts, Saraveza, we stopped to enjoy the coldest Hamm's in town since we were in the neighborhood. After that, we grabbed a mocha down the street and then hit the road out to Sauvie Island.
It was gorgeous out there and we stopped for a restroom break and happened to encounter seemingly all of the birds on the island in the same place. It was amazing...
The sound as well as the motion of them all flying was simply breathtaking.
We headed back towards town and got stopped at one of the bridges and took full advantage of the time delay from the passing barge to have a super fun little photoshoot...
After one more stop to see our friends at Hawthorne Theatre, we made our way to a recommended new bar in the neighborhood, The Observatory. When I texted the recommenders (none other than the lovely Jens), we discovered they were on their way as well and we got to enjoy a lovely dinner with two of our favorite gals. We maximized every minute the sun was out and can't for the summer to start.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fashion Friday

I know that corduroy is more of a fall thing, but I have two corduroy skirts that I just love and will not put them away unless I have to. Something else is that these new boots are one of my new favorite items. I love them with skirts and have rocked them for a couple weekends with jeans. If I feel bad that they don' t match my usual choice of a black shirt, I just bust out my brown cowgirl belt (also shown here) and viola, boots and belt match and it becomes an outfit instead of just clothes that I put on. I have had this denim shirt for a long time and I love to pair it with pinstripe pants but this is the first time I've worn it with color. Actually, this is a lot of color for me in general. Note that nothing is black! I loved this outfit all day and the parts that you can't see from the picture is that I have red dangly jewel earrings to match the skirt and of course my wedding ring and hair also match the red theme. I also rocked some of my favorite Labradorite rings to match the denim and navy tights.

I also love that I didn't have anything to do after work on Tuesday and when I got home, it was warm enough and light enough to take my little tripod outside and pose under the grapevine :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tease and Tone Goodness....


We love us some P!nk :)
(I don't know why it is all squished.. but if you want to see the full screen (and more importantly, the version where the lovely Carrie isn't cut off, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Tn9-n7l04U)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I saw the sign....

do you want to take a little break and sing it? its' OK.

In our last two road trips, we've run across some awesome signage. So awesome, in fact, that we've turned around a couple times to take pictures of them. This is likely to be a blog theme that resurfaces. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that John and I have 2 big regrets in our life. 1) Once upon a time when we were traveling through the Midwest, we saw, but did not turn around to take a picture of, a sign that said "Garage Sale and Body Piercing." 2) While traveling through Oregon last fall, we saw, but did not turn around a take a picture of, a dead deer on the side of the road with a sign above it that said "Free Deer" with an arrow pointing down. that's funny, dude. So that brings us to now, where we are going to take the pictures of the funny signs and compile them into blog posts to share with y'all.

gross:
I wasn't sure whether this guy was proclaiming that we should worship his savior or if he was advertising himself to be a sexy Casanova. the Jesus fish license plate holder makes me think it's the former...
I laughed every time we passed this one. well done, guys.
God Bless America Oceanview indeed. Lov God probably stays at this hotel...
HELL YES.
I wonder if Jesus is pissed that they posted his text message. I don't think I'd like it if someone did that to me.
oh dear. It kind of looks like that fish is smiling, but I believe those diagonal lines insinuate slicing by the knife above him. poor fish.
The original food group. genius.

One reason I love my husband...

This is what I got when I checked my email this morning :)

Weekend recap...

Holy awesome weekend, Batman! Our Hawaiin cohorts, Nic and Kim, flew in this weekend for Nic's sister's wedding, which was going to take place at Cannon Beach. In the interest of maximizing our coast time, JJ and I decided to take off on Friday and spend a night at one of our favorite places, the Rogue Brewery in Newport. OK, we actually stayed at the La Quinta next to the Rogue, but the brewery was our main destination and we were looking forward to hanging out with our friend, Handsome Bartender Chris. We were lucky enough (because our jobs rule) to be able to hop out a little early and so after driving through some rain, wind, and snow, we arrived safely to the bar (but a little concerned about the next day's wedding weather).
We had a lovely night which ended with a stumble to the local hamburger shop, a drunken swim, and falling happily into our king size bed at 9:00. We woke up early to our lovely view of the sign pointing to the aquarium and decided to grab a quick morning outing to capture the sunrise and earn the free waffle breakfast that came with our room.
We headed north to Cannon Beach where we took a brief stop at the outlet stores and had a lovely lunch in Garibaldi (known in our car as Ghirardelli) where we learned about the local event of the day, the Crab Races! almost unable to finish our burger and beer fast enough, we headed over to witness this phenomenon. We didn't have time to stay for more than one race, but saw enough to know that it was certainly worthy of visiting next year. We continued our trek north to the wedding destination and hooked up with Nic and Kim and Tracy and Trevor to get ready for the big event. We had a couple drinks and put on our fancy gear. The ceremony was going to take place in the sand, so we made a group decision to save our heels for afterwards and rocked boots with our dresses.
The wedding was short and sweet and everyone looked great. Love was in the air :)
The fun continued as we changed into our heels and made our way to the reception and back and forth from the reception to Tray and Trevor's trunk bar.
There was much hugging....
and much dancing and singing....
We turned into ninjas....
After the reception, the Sensational Six of us went for a nightcap and then home to our hotel. John and I woke up early enough for a lovely morning beach walk...
When it was time, we said our (kind of hard) goodbyes and made our way back home. Unable to give up the coast without one more stop, JJ and I stopped at the Rogue pub in Astoria for a final pint and a delicious lunch.
We're so lucky to have such good people in our life and are super thankful to be included in this little family :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fashion Friday

My grandma had tons of jewelery. It was almost all costume jewelery, which is awesome because that means it came in every color, size, and shape imaginable. When she died, my mom when through her stuff and sent me a giant box of it. Some, she put in smaller boxes and labeled with memories or stories about the piece; if she remembered Nana wearing it, or if she knew where it came from, etc. I saved the notes with some of the pieces that I kept whole. A large part of the box was a bunch of random pieces that she sent with the sole intent that I could take them apart and re-work them. One of the little baubles I have always liked has an unknown origin. I honestly don't know if this used to be part of a ring or necklace or bracelet, or maybe even a button..? Regardless, it's second life is being lived as a ring:
I think the fact that it's missing two of the little stones makes it endearing, like the scars of living a life with an unknown history. and no, I don't have one of those fancy solderers....
:) I admired it all day while I wore it with a purple summer-y dress with sweater over it and tights and boots to accommodate the blustery weather. Nana would have told me I looked smart..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Party!

It was time! After a hiatus caused by cancer and unemployment, we got back on the party train! We have kick ass parties, and usually do so quite regularly. This was our first one since being "back" and it was a blast. We had old friends, new friends, red friends, blue friends.... People who came in and made themselves at home and people who had to have their very first tour! (Yay for tours! I credit my old days working in the dinosaur museum for my love of giving them) The one thing that I did not do this time was take pictures. It's odd for me, but I just didn't get it done with all of my busy-ness visiting and tour giving. Luckily, trusty BFF, pro-to-be, Curly Jen swooped in and saved the day. She took a ton of great shots.... I love every picture of me and Mindy and here I am giving her a hug/strangle hold (why do I always do that?)

John was listening intently to someone and looking handsome.
Jen and I were sexy.
I love our friends :)

More here. If you want her to come shoot your party, you should totally ask her about it. She's pretty awesome.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Macarooned

I've been following fun friend Jessica's new blog where she and her sister-in-law attempt to re-create tasty snacks assigned as missions from their mother-in-law, who is a chef. In the interest of playing along, and hoping to add a new treat to my repertoire (OK, maybe I can't call my mini cupcakes from a box mix a repertoire), I decided to try to make macaroons! I knew right off the bat that I would include chocolate chips in my version and gathered all of my ingredients.
Macaroon is a fun word to say, and husband chanted "macaroon, macaroon, macaroon, I like to make macaroons!" or some variation each time he passed through the kitchen. This was a super easy recipe and a snap to make. I even multi-tasked by drinking a beer while I mixed my ingredients.
One thing I immediately wished I would have done was use mini-chocolate chips instead of regular sized ones. I eagerly awaited them to come out of the oven and give them a try. I had never had a macaroon before so I had no idea what to expect. They were yummy! I wished that I would have cooked them a little less. I cooked them for 19 minutes, but I think 17 would have been better.
I was all proud of my baking skills and patting myself on the back for my culinary mastery when my lovely friend Sarah showed up with these:

Hers had orange zest in them and were a little moister than mine and they had frosting! Last night I was quite certain that hers were way better but in a sober taste test this morning I've concluded that while her baking skills are superior to mine, the recipes are equal. Although next time I will definitely use the mini chocolate chips. ..and I might also try adding some craisins....

♥PLATE IT, ATE IT, GRADED IT.♥

scale: 0 (not at all) to 5 (very)

Cupboard to table time: 30 minutes for the first batch, 20 for the second

Difficulty: 1

Deliciousness: 4

Impressed Husband factor: 5 (partially for the number of times we got to say "macaroon")

Leftover-friendly: 4

As good as Sarah's? no, but I will try again :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fashion Friday!

I had two outfit options this week, but decided to go with this one because it shows off something that there is a fair amount of in my closet: Altered stuff. I wanted a pair of cool baggy capri trousers but most of them are cut weird. They flare under the knee or something. So I purchased this pair of long pants at Goodwill and chose them for the way they fit from my waist to my calf and then promptly brought them home and chopped them off and hemmed them. and I love them. They are cute with boots or heels of as shown here with fancy socks. Also a DIY item in this outfit? The necklace. I recently found it in my jewelery chest and remember putting it together from an old chain of Nana's and some random pieces from other jewelery. I made the clasp out of a cute little ball. I altered the belt too. I was one Steph got me a long time ago. It's gorgeous, but too small to sit low like I like to wear my belts. So I carefully cut it in a place that made sense with the design and added a piece of elastic the same width as the belt. You'd never notice if I didn't point it out.

The socks aren't altered, of course, but remind me of the striped pair that I wore when I was cast as the Dodo bird in our 8th grade play.

Happy Birthday Scabby Fever!!!

I love you because you're so classy.
PS: Last time Eddie Spaghetti was here, this was us. Wanna re-do?