28 February 2015

Be our Guest

We are cleaning/organizing/decorating our guest room this weekend in preparation for Nate's sister to move in for a couple months and first on our list of "things to buy" is a dresser for her. The guest room closet is packed full of our stuff, so I doubt she will be able to use it (sorry sis!).

 I have a soft spot for the Ikea Hemnes collection (our bedside tables and downstairs coffee table are Hemnes) so I am leaning towards buying this dresser for the guest room. (undecided on white or brown)

I follow a blog about re-doing furniture and I fell completely in love with this dresser that she rescued and updated. I wish it was still for sale! That would have been perfect for the guest room. 

I hate the bed frame that is currently in our guest room (the color is the light beachy brown wood, yuck)- but it matches the bedside table and the desk... so if we changed the bed, I'd have to essentially change everything. 

Things I may add/change this weekend besides the new dresser: the room could use a rug, I might hang curtains (it has one small window so we will see), and hang something on the bare walls.  I need to sew new covers for the throw pillows on the bed because we recently updated the duvet cover in there. I also think I'll pick up a new sheet set or two. Everyone loves new sheets. 

What else should we do to make sure she feels welcome and comfortable in her new room?


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

27 February 2015

Friday Happy Hour

Lets order these blood orange margaritas, shall we? And snack on this Cajun Shrimp Guac

How has your week gone? Tell me everything.

Wait. This is on my mind. I realize that creating too many parallels between parenting an infant and raising a puppy is likely diminishing the overwhelming effort it takes to be a new parent. I get that. But seeing as I am not a parent, all I know are basic facts about bringing home an infant and now also what life looks like with an 8 week old puppy....I digress.

This is whats hard for me right now: making time for myself. The past two weeks have been a daily/weekly repeat of caring for Louis. He adjusted the time that I wake up in the mornings. He adjusted my work schedule. He adjusted my normal routine after work (shopping, groceries, making dinner/juice, anything really). And you know, it's hard to carve out time for myself right now. I am definitely on the introvert scale (which I really should write an entire post about realizing and accepting that fact) which just basically means, I get a lot of restorative energy from doing things solo (I lovingly refer to shopping at Value Village by myself for a couple hours as "therapy"). I just feel my feelings pretty heavily and because of that, I also emotionally shut down fairly easily. Hows that for good dose of introspection?

Watermelon mojitos, anyone? You know, go ahead and just bring me two.

Also, have you seen this article? It's all I've ever wanted. Girl Scout cookie wine pairings.

 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

26 February 2015

PUPdates

I wish I could in good conscience go to Taco Bell for dinner. This is me imagining I am tucking into a bean and cheese burrito right now. yumm. 

Honestly I think we are starting to see the light with our new "Life with Puppy". He is sleeping through the night (praise Jesus, hallelujah) and I don't feel quite so overwhelmed. Puppy class went excellently on Saturday and he started daycare this week (which he loves, and we love because he is exhausted in the evening). My sister-in-law is moving in with us in the next week-ish so that will be fun and also a HUGE help with Louis. I have been coming home from work every day in the afternoon to spend time with him/go on a walk- which is getting really exhausting. I do zero actual eating on my lunch hour and 100% picking up dog poop. The up side is that I normally don't leave the office all day, typically eating lunch at my desk while working, so the mid-day fresh air is nice.

Because of Sir Louis....
-I haven't been shopping, literally since he arrived in my life. This is not normal. I usually am at Value Village at least once a week (twice if Nate doesn't notice, sorry babe). I am itching.
-I haven't made fresh juice since he arrived! I neeeeeeed some fruits and veggies.

I sort of feel like we are merely surviving puppyhood. I assume, just like with infancy, we will get the hang of it and get into a rhythm and I will get my life back. Right? RIGHT?! 


Saturday afternoon naps.


I just want to pinterest and blog and shop at value village- that's what I want to do with my days. Throw in a hearty cup of coffee and a splash of wine and I think I'm all set. Is that too much to ask?

 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

25 February 2015

Antipasti

Wine, Olives, and Cheese, theeessseeee are just a few of my faaavorite things (meant to be read in a Sound of Music fashion).

Moving along.

Occasionally a friend will come over just for a good long girl squawk and a class of wine (or 3) so we definitely need something to snack on. And while I am content in almost every situation just snacking on saltines...I understand that most don't feel the same way. And presenting saltines to your guest is, well, anticlimactic at best.

Enter the wine, olive, and cheese paring. Throw in some cured meats like prosciutto and salami and voila, you look like an advanced entertainer. I usually just pick up most of my meats/cheeses/wines for this type of thing at Trader Joes.

Here are two of of my favorite wine, olive, and cheese pairings (one white, one red)-

  1. Olive Medley with Parmigiano-Reggiano (also known as plain ole Parmesan cheese) & Chardonnay. The olive medley would be something like California green olives, Jumbo Calamata olives, Mammoth Black Greek Olives (the dream team of olives) – with big shavings of Parmesan cheese, washed down with a cold glass of refreshing chardonnay. 
  2. Extra Large Pitted Calamata (seasoned, optional) Olives with Feta & Pinot Noir. I can't get enough of this Greek inspired pairing. Calamata olives with feta cheese, a generous pour of Pinot Noir- put a fork in me, I'm done. 

Oh, and don't forget the starches: a loaf of crusty baguette or bruschetta (sometimes even a good cracker), you know the drill. 

Happy entertaining!

 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

10 February 2015

Wishes Granted.

"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times". Charles Dickens clearly had just adopted a puppy.

If you follow my instagram you know that our family has expanded by exactly 7.1 pounds of puppy. 

His name, is Louis. 

We brought him home from a rescue this weekend at a bitty 8 weeks old.  He always wants to be near one of us, ideally in our lap or in our bed with us. Lou has gotten feistier as the days go by, which I like to think is a sign that he is getting more and more comfortable in his new home. And we are exhausted. We don’t know much about what to expect, as we are new at this puppy parenthood thing and were given a vague description of his breed; He is part Beagle, part "your guess is as good as mine". It doesn't matter much to me. He is our little Louis. 

I immediately teared up when his foster mom brought him into the room to meet Nate and I. We instantly loved him very much and also felt a little overwhelmed that he was ours and we got to take him home. ...What do we do now

Louis is such a sweet little boy. He parties hard for 45 minutes or an hour- then conks out for a nice long nap. We are wading through the murky (disgusting) waters of potty training this little man and attempting to close the door on his crate without him bawling (quite unsuccessfully, might I add). He sleeps in our room with us (and in bed with us at 6am when I'd like a little more sleep). 

He had his first doctors appointment last night (nice and healthy) and will start going to a lovely daycare with his older girlfriend Nellie (our friends dog) 2 days a week starting the first week in March. 

Puppy parenthood is similar to what I know about bringing an infant home. It is overwhelming and exhausting and I typically feel like I have no idea what I am doing and that it will be a miracle (or random good luck) if he turns out okay....but I love him very much and am so happy to have him in our life. 

And it was pretty darn wonderful when he laid his head on my pillow this morning and tucked his little nose under my chin. Cue the heart explosion. (also note, puppy breath is a real thing)

He's our pokey little puppy.

Also, I feel like the walking dead currently but I fully plan on taking pictures of him with my real camera this weekend. Nate will be off skiing in Canada for 5 days so it will just be me and little Lou with nothing to do but go on walks and snuggle.


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

09 February 2015

Chatbooks

I view instagram as a modern day scrapbook- it helps me document moments otherwise forgotten. About 2 years ago I had 50 of my favorite instagram pictures printed....but Nate and I couldn't agree on a great way to display them.
Enter: Chatbooks!

I kept seeing Chatbooks pop up in my instagram feed and finally decided to look into them myself. I am a big fan of printed photo books (I made a couple of our wedding photos for our coffee table and as gifts for our parents), so making books out of my instagram photos just made sense. Plus, so affordable (60 page books for $6!). They are tiny, treasured time capsules.

I made 3 books: one for each year I have been on instagram. I titled them by year (2012, 2013, 2014) and hand selected my 60-70 favorite pictures from that year. I can't wait until I get them in the mail! They will be great memories for our coffee table. I'll definitely post pictures once they arrive.

Oh, did you want your first book for free? Okay! Just use this code for you order: M39T77A7


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

06 February 2015

Happy Hour

Listen, it's been one of those weeks. am I right?! Holy crow am I happy to see you, Friday. This week can GTFO.

Ordering this cocktailimmediately

Lets chat.

First I need to get this off my chest. I can’t dislike Taylor Swift. 

Also, I haven't read any of the 50 shades of grey books, nor will I see the movie- but I am still somehow irritated that Jax Teller backed out at the last minute. He's clearly the best (looking) guy for the part. Anyone else binge watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix right now? I'm in deep. Don't send help. 

Then how about I order this Cobb Salad Sandwich. I'm craving the avocado and blue cheese. Know who has the most epic wedge cobb salad? Greenlake Bar and Grill. I need something to soak up the alcohol, because we all know I am ordering another drink. Like this one.

Can someone send me a good garlic aioli recipe that doesn't have mayo as the base? Grosses me out thinking about dipping brussles sprouts in mayo. Speaking of that, who thought Waldorf salad was a good idea? Mayo on fruit? Hard no. 

I think our family is finally ready for a puppy. And I don't say that lightly, as its been an ongoing conversation for (give or take) 10 years. Its a simultaneously exciting and scary decision. I know exponentially more about bringing an infant home than a puppy. Why am I so weird. (rhetorical) 

Embracing this cake with my whole heart. 

My current Friday wardrobe consists of an oversized wrap sweater and zero fu*cks. haha. Don't get my sisters started on my lack of foundation wearing tendencies. 

I'm turning 29 next month and I'm not ready to talk about it.

This was fun. Let’s do it again.


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

05 February 2015

What's for Lunch?

Nate and I both pack our lunches in the evenings so that we don't have to buy lunch at work every day. I have been loving my big quart sized mason jars recently for bringing juice to work. But the other day, I read a post all about packing the perfect salad in a jar, using the same big mason jars! Yes, that's right, leafy green salads. Dressing goes on the bottom, veggies and other salad goodies get piled on top. Everything stays separate and dressing-free until you toss the salad together in the bowl. Even better, these salads last for days in the fridge so we can make a week's worth of lunches ahead of time. The salads look so yummy and fresh, I've been just dying to try.


Here is a good How-To excerpt from the article: "How do the greens not get soggy? The basic idea when packing salads in jars is to start with the heaviest and most non-absorbent ingredients with the dressing on the bottom of the jar and work your way up through the lighter ingredients until you end up with the salad greens themselves. As long as your jar doesn't accidentally tip over you in your bag, the delicate greens will be well-protected from the dressing until you're ready to eat."


Instructions: (here are additional really detailed instructions)
  1. Salad Dressing: Pour 1 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing in the bottom of the jar. Adjust the amount of dressing depending on the size of the salad you are making and your personal preference.
  2. Hard Vegetables: Next, add any hard chopped vegetables you're including in your salad, like carrots, cucumbers, red and green peppers. 
  3. Beans, Grains, and Pasta: Next, add any beans, grains, and/or pasta, like black beans, cooked rice, and pasta corkscrews.
  4. Cheese and Proteins (optional): If you'll be eating the salad within the day, add a layer of diced or crumbled cheese and proteins like tunafish, diced (cooked) chicken, hardboiled eggs, or cubed tofu. If you're making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you're planning to eat the salad and add them on top of the jar.
  5. Softer Vegetables and Fruits (optional): Next, add any soft vegetables or fruits, like avocados, tomatoes. If you're making salads ahead to eat throughout the week, wait to add these ingredients until the day you're planning to eat the salad and add them to the top of the jar.
  6. Salad Greens: Last but not least, fill the rest of the jar with salad greens. Use your hands to tear them into bite-sized pieces. It's fine to pack them into the jar fairly compactly.
  7. Storing the salad: Screw the lid on the jar and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If you're including any cheese, proteins, or soft fruits and vegetables, add these to the top of the jar the morning you plan to eat your salad.
  8. Tossing and eating the salad: When ready to eat, unscrew the lid and shake the salad into the bowl. The action of shaking the salad into the bowl is usually enough to mix the salad with the dressing. If not, toss gently with a fork until coated.

Here are some seriously delicious Salad in a Jar recipes I found:

  1. Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato, Pasta, and Spinach
  2. Greek Chicken Salad
  3. Chopped Black Bean and Corn Salad
  4. Chopped Taco Salad
  5. Chopped Cobb Salad


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png


04 February 2015

Wedding Season

I've noticed that as I get older, the bridal showers and bachelorette parties get more and more creative. It's a "been there, done that" type thing- a bride doesn't want the same thing as her friend/sister/cousin/friend of a friend...you get the point. I have been a maid of honor 3 times and have thrown 2 baby showers, which gives me first hand knowledge about how hard it is to make the event you're hosting original (not to mention, fun).

My brother in law is getting married this November and I have become really good friends with his fiance in the years they have been together. Her family lives across the country so I eagerly offered to host her Seattle bridal shower this summer. If I've learned anything about throwing bridal showers, its that you need to start early. The details make the difference and like I said earlier, it needs to be original.

You never want to throw a shower with a theme that is totally opposite the wedding/the couple. For instance, a hot pink, zebra print, blinged out bridal shower for a gal who plans on wearing cowboy boots under her wedding dress...that's tacky. You want the bridal shower to reflect the bride, right? In this case, their wedding venue and invitations inspire fancy cocktails, live bands, a little art deco, the 50's and 60's.

So, what would I do if I had to decide today? I'd throw her a "cocktail party" bridal shower. I imagine Gene Kelly pandora playing in the back ground, cocktail napkins and fancy glasses, and appetizers. Points go to guests who dress up! She used to be a bartender in college at a place called The Old Fashioned, so the cocktail angle fits really well and she was also in a band, so the music element also works perfectly.

I found an awesome article on how to prepare pitcher cocktails (because when you're hosting a bridal shower, you do not have time to also be a bartender!). And a couple great pitcher cocktail recipes here.

Wouldn't this banner from Etsy be perfect? 

Also I think these cocktail napkins are fantastic. 

Anyways, I can't give away too many details- I'll have to save that for after the bridal shower! Don't want to ruin the surprise. 


 photo kalea-signature_zpsa98976ab.png

Blog design by Get Polished | Copyright 2016