Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Cuteness in Review

I thought I'd give you all an end-of-the-year treat: a compilation of our cutest animal photos of 2009!

(In no particular order.)

1.) Bean in diapers

2.) Bean in diapers, part deux (with cats)

3.) Waking up

4.) Oliver is a great accessory

5.) Sleeping with toys

6.) Cuddle bear

7.) Walking with dad

8.) All grown up

9.) Clearly, ready for motherhood

10.) Best friends

11.) Also best friends

12.) Loving her new orange toy (and not necessarily getting her picture taken)

13.) Just.... pretty.

14.) Like a lazy coonhound

15.) Like a French prince

16.) Supermodel

17.) Art director

18.) Turd burglar

19.) Christmas cat

20.) Lap dog

21.) And finally... the coonhound spooning the pixie bob

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Spirit Party

With over 30 friends, Christmas shots (cough syrup meets mouth wash) and peppermint bon bons, how could you go wrong? It was a great party, circa 2005 -- and it feels good to be back!

Thanks to all of you responded to my frenzy of texts, e-mails and calls - and who reliably brought bags of ice and limes. I always freak out about not having enough of something before a party. This time it was ice and limes. One week later, I have about 30 limes and 5 bags of ice out on my deck (which haven't melted yet because of the frigid temps!). Whoops!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

It's been months since I've posted anything. Life has been very busy, but perhaps I've also been lazy.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving up in Bellingham. My mom did not fail to impress in her Martha Stewart meal. Now it's nearly December, and I've spent the weekend doing winter yard clean-up, and getting ready for Christmas. I'm feeling more festive than usual, perhaps because it's been a year filled with many challenges, trials and tribulations --- I'm definitely really ready for 2010, and the refreshment that a New Year should entail. I'm also very ready to celebrate this '09 holiday season with friends and family. Next weekend, we're hosting a party for friends--I think we might buy a keg! (to compliment the mulled wine and cranberry margaritas) -- and I am busy making our home feel like Christmas. We have old timey Christmas music on, and I'm trimming our tree (it's a good one this year) and I am struck by how much I love and appreciate... my mom. Christmastime at my mom's house has always been an OCCASION. She unfailingly rocks the garland, the festive tabletops arrangements, the VERY fancy tree, lots of gold ribbon, handmade wreaths, candles, spray painted gold pine cones, miniature Christmas lights --and at one point, a nutcracker collection.

I loved helping her decorate our Christmas tree when I was growing up. She always put on sappy Christmas music and my sister and I pulled out our favorite ornaments, retelling stories and anticipating what gifts might be put under the tree. We always had a near-perfect 6+ foot tree in our living room, decorated with my mom's beautiful selection of trimmings -- which of course, perfectly coordinated with the room. (She usually bought a small second tree that we could decorate with our silly Christmas-themed crap. It stayed in the upstairs hallway or playroom.)

I'm hoping to carry this tradition on with my kids, but in the meantime, I'm actually totally enjoying making a version of my mom's tree in our own home. As silly as it may sound, I'm totally inspired by her Christmas design aesthetic. I don't feel guilty that I mostly hide away the tacky red and green homeade ornaments from my past, replacing them with a selection of very sparkly gold, turquoise and bright pink ornaments (yes, they coordinate with our living room).

My mom is an extremely talented self-taught interior designer and I very much appreciate her ideas and influence. She by no means has ever told me how I should arrange my home, but I have of course gleaned from her vision, and I'm thankful for her impeccable taste, as well as her holiday spirit!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New obsession

I feel like I have a new baby obsession:

Nora Bentley.

Nora is my friend Scott's - and his lovely wife, Meg's - baby. Scott is my friend from high school. The gang of us used to spend entire evenings in Scott's parent's rec room watching awkwardly lighthearted guys build pyramids out of themselves (we were really advanced). And now he's a dad. Weird.

Nora is simply the cutest thing of 2009.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tre chic... and I owe it all to Cori

Thanks to my friend Cori, I now am the new proud owner of these lovely and crazy chairs by Thomasville, circa 1965. I'm soooo in love!

I'm really undecided on how to proceed. They need some work because 3 of them are blue in tint and two of them are yellowish - like somebody tried to get creative at one point. Both work, but I want all 5 to match. Also, they should be reupholstered.

In an ideal 2009 world, what would these look like? I'm thinking a creamy white with gold gilded accents, refreshed but in keeping with their original aesthetic--but I've also heard opinions of bold and black. Thoughts?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ya win some ya lose some

Tonight's dinner. Believe it or not, it was supposed to be pizza. Damn I was looking forward to it, too!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July weekend = dog weekend

We spend the majority of this beautiful fourth of July weekend catering to our dog, Bean - who is approaching one-year old now.

She had the dog weekend of the century, going to different dog parks (including the amazing beach dog park in Edmonds), an overnight in Bellingham with her buddy, Oliver (my mom's dog), and taking a walk on the Interuban Trail.

She even treed her first raccoon!...admittedly from the back seat of our Mazda. But we were still proud.

It was a good fourth of July on Chuckanut Drive, with plenty of good barbecue and delicious cocktails. A relaxing retreat!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A tribute to keyboard cat

Today is officially the hottest June 3 ever. In Seattle, at least.

That sort of record isn't taken lightly. That's some heavy shit. A blog post on June 3, 2009 deserves an equally important record.

What about cutest cupcake ever? I think so.

Seattleites...the general population..... look no further. Meet, keyboard cat (the cupcake):

This was our friend Katie's most amazingly delightful 34th birthday present. Designed and created by Charra (who by the way, is up for, like, top cake decorator of the world contest - literally) this gem brought many laughs and tears of joy to the attendees of Katie's birthday party on the eve. of May 30th.

And just because I ate it right after this photo was taken (3 minutes ago) doesn't dimish its staying power. Keyboard cat (the cupcake) will be with me -- with us -- forever. And for that, we have only Charra to thank.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Dream shoes

Can they get any better?

Chie Mihara, $Too much for me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Flower arrangements

It goes without saying that one of the best parts of spring is the beautiful flowers - and bringing them inside to make fresh arrangements.

It's even better when you can cut them from your own yard!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Springtime yard improvement

This past week we have spent a good amount of time trying to transform our yard. The work commenced last Thursday, when a small team of professionally outfitted men arrived at 9 am to take down our huge conical shrubs on either side of our house. The shrubs were as tall as our 2-story house, yet the guys were done and cleaned up by 11 am!

I felt guilty at first -- it's weird taking down plants that have been established somewhere for probably 40+ years -- and our house looks pretty bare now, but I think in the long run, it's the right decision. Those bushes were really overpowering, and the thought of hiring people to come trim them every year wasn't too appealing to us.

I'm also really excited about free wood for our fireplace. It's amazing how resourceful (a.k.a. cheap) I've become since owning a house. I think I finally know the value of a dollar!

We got hit with the landscaping bug though. (This seems to happen every spring.) My mom was down here so she helped us decide which plants needed to go, and what we could potentially replace them with. My mom has been gardening for years and years, and her expertise is much needed, and appreciated.

We took out this huge ugly juniper shrub that really had nothing going for it. Now we have to figure out what to put in its place.

We are excited to see that "Fabio" came back - and multiplied? Do tulips multiply?? I can't remember why his name is Fabio, but he was a gift from Brian's mom during tulip season last year. He's very handsome.

One more tree is scheduled for removal this week (thank you, stepdad). So, now it's time to be thrifty and figure out how to fill all of our yard's holes with new and beautiful foliage - I can't wait for this part!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A homeade life

I highly recommend purchasing this book by Molly Wizenberg, a local writer of the blog Orangette. A Homeade Life was just released this month, and not is not only a charming, enjoyable read, but it also has excellent recipes. I have made three things so far, and two of them were absolutely fantastic: the buckwheat pancakes and this:

Banana bread with bittersweet chocolate and crystalized ginger. I made it this morning and we've been snacking on it all day. It's incredible.

I won't share the recipe because you should really buy the book!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Estate sale finds

Today I went to an estate sale in my neighborhood of Ballard. I'm really loving my finds!!!

All of it for only $150!

Brian will likely scream "I'm not a French prince!" and worry that slowly but surely, he will find himself living in this room:

But, go to a friend's child's little league game on a Saturday morning, leaving your wife to her own wishes and desires...and this is what you might just have comin' to you.