Galentine’s Day

When I told my husband I wanted to have a little Galentine’s Day celebration, he had no idea what this was. “What is Galentine’s Day? You get together with your girlfriends, dress in black and vent about men?” I couldn’t help but laugh. I think he was thinking more of an Anti-Valentine’s Day celebration which isn’t what Galentine’s Day is at all. It’s about celebrating the girlfriends in your life, getting together and showing your love for each other.

Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec explains it best, “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas!”

And the best part about Galentine’s Day is you can make it whatever you want. Brunch + Mimosas, Wine Tasting, Movie Slumber Party, Pot Luck, Game Night. It’s a chance to recognize the impact that our friends have on our lives and celebrate!

We wore our PJ’s, drank some bubbly and wine, ate charcuterie and sweets, gave some toasts, played some games and just talked and hung out with each other. I also made pasta from a recipe I saw on TikTok (yes I caved and downloaded TikTok) and it was pretty tasty! You can find the Baked Feta Tomato Pasta recipe here.

Of course we can and should celebrate our gals anytime throughout the year. It’s just something about wearing your PJ’s while sipping on pink champagne with your besties that makes this holiday feel extra special. ❤️

Hot Tub Boat Adventure – Seattle, WA

My husband Tommy and I celebrated 1 year of marriage last weekend! It’s so crazy to think a year has already passed by. I feel like we got married just yesterday and can’t believe how quickly time is going. I wanted to surprise Tommy with something fun and unique for our anniversary and stumbled upon Hot Tub Boats which is exactly as it sounds, a hot tub in a boat!

We rented our private Hot Tub Boat and cruised around Lake Union. It was SO MUCH FUN! Also so very easy to drive. There is a small joystick which you maneuver around to determine where you want to go. It felt like a video game. The boat goes about as fast as kayakers and felt very safe. It’s large enough to hold 6 people. There was also plenty of room around if we got too hot and wanted to sit outside the tub (I jumped into the lake to cool off).

We brought some boxed wine (super classy but ya know it’s a hot tub), put some music on the speaker and soaked in the views. Our rental was for 2 hours and this allowed us to make a loop by Gas Works Park and back.

We had an absolute blast! This was such a unique experience and definitely an adventure I won’t forget, especially to celebrate our 1 year of marriage. If you are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend renting a Hot Tub Boat, no matter what month it is. We are already looking forward to doing this again with a group of friends!

Ain’t No Party Like A Disco Party!

Welp, it happened. I can no longer say, “I’m in my 20s” because last week I turned 30. THIRTY! Everyone always says this is such a big birthday. A milestone. A new chapter. That once you hit 30 you become an adult. What does that even really mean? (#foreveryoung) I was honestly looking forward to turning 30 because I love birthdays and celebrations in general. Plus most of my friends are already 30 so I was looking forward to joining the club.

Originally I wanted to spend my birthday traveling with my husband. When this was no longer an option due to everything going on in the world, I thought it would be fun to go to the beach or go someplace close to get away. From my 14th to 18th birthday, every year for 5 years I had a party at the beach/park close to where I grew up. We would swim, float, play games, run around in the sand + sunshine and of course eat endless fried chicken. If you are reading this and you know me from high school, chances are you were at the beach one of those years. 😉 Well instead of a beach party, my close friends and I decided to rent a house for the weekend about 2 hours away from Seattle. We had a themed Disco Dance Party and it was absolutely AMAZING! Seriously. So much fun.

We stayed at the most beautiful rental in Leavenworth, WA. Right on the river. Private beach. Hot tub. VolleyBall Court. BBQ. And enough bedrooms for everyone to sleep comfortably – because ya know, we’re 30 now and sleep is important.

We spent the days at the beach, blew up a bunch of inner tubes and floated on the river. When I say floated I mean we were either tied up to a rock or my husband ‘rope boy’ was making sure we were all attached and pulling us along. Well, until that moment when we weren’t and tried riding the current. A couple of us went a little too far but luckily rope boy ran down and got everyone before the extreme rapids. Later we barbecued, went in the hot tub, popped some champagne and played games. The day turned into a little beach party after all.

Saturday night was DISCO TIME! My thoughtful sister-in-law surprised me by bringing decorations for the living room Disco. All the classic 70s music was playing, pictures everywhere, balloons, glow sticks and of course the disco lights. She also had everyone contribute to a 30 Things We Love About You gift which made me feels so special (I made myself wait until I got home to read them because I knew I would get emotional. The night before I got teary-eyed when everyone was singing happy birthday. I was completely overtaken with happiness from being surrounded by my friends. Just feeling so very, very grateful and literally couldn’t speak. Tears of joy ❤️ ).

Everyone dressed up in 70s inspired outfits. Jumpsuits, Sparkles, Hoops, Fur, Tie-Dye, Bell-Bottoms, Sunglasses, Gold Chains, Wigs. Just the best.

We danced + sang all night. I had an absolute blast and still can’t stop thinking about all the fun moments from the weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to enter this ‘new chapter’ of 30s. I have a feeling it’s going to be great.

4th of July on Lake Washington

When I think about the 4th of July, fireworks, BBQ’s and sunshine typically come to mind. I think about coming together on this holiday and spending time with loved ones. This year though, making plans to celebrate the 4th of July felt…different. Not only are we in the middle of a pandemic but leading up to this holiday, thousands of people across America have marched to protest the death of George Floyd, police brutality and systemic racism.

When the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, many Black American ancestors were still slaves. I question – what is this holiday truly about? Is it mainly for White people to celebrate their patriotism? How are Black, Brown and Indigenous people represented? How can I celebrate freedom and independence when this is not the case for everyone, even today in 2020?

Leading up to this 4th of July I thought about these questions frequently. I talked with my family to understand their thoughts on this while scrolling Instagram to try to share other peoples perspectives with them, and to learn more. Instead of having a big typical 4th of July celebration, Tommy and I decided to spend the day with our close friends. It didn’t quite feel right completely decking ourselves out in patriotic clothing so we opted not to. We went to an outdoor BBQ in the afternoon then later cruised around Lake Washington and caught the sunset on our friends’ boat.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time! We ate the most delicious slow cooked brisket and the classic BBQ foods (hot dogs and all the salads..fruit salad, mac salad, pasta salad). Tommy jumped into Lake Washington off of the Bow even though the water was frigid. We watched the sun go down behind the trees while seeing pockets of fireworks light up the sky above local docks. Also the moon has never been brighter. It was a truly beautiful night.

So I think about the 4th of July today, and yes – there is a lot to celebrate. But there is also a lot of work to do. I think it’s important that we keep listening and keep having the tough conversations with each other as we reflect on what this holiday is all about.

Bachelorette Party – Austin, TX

Today my sister-in-law texted me a video of us from a year ago. It was nighttime, 78 degrees outside, all dressed up, sitting in a cycle rickshaw (where the person pedals on the bike and you are in the back), smiling, laughing, celebrating my bachelorette in Austin, Texas! It’s crazy to think one whole year has already passed since we were there. I can’t wait until we can take another girls trip. In the meantime though I thought I would write a quick blog post from that weekend reminiscing on my time in Austin with some of my besties. Also, because who says you can’t write a blog about a fun trip that happened in the past. 😊

My friends surprised me and organized everything. From planning, communicating with each other, getting the house, tickets, food, goody-bags..just everything. They are amazing! We stayed in a big house with a pool (quirky place with an elevator to get to the main living space) in between Lake Travis and downtown Austin.

One day we rented a huge boat (and I do mean HUGE, I think the boat holds around 20-30 people). The driver took us all around Lake Travis which was a blast. Another day was spent at the pool, floating around, drinking mojitos and playing games.

At night we went out to Sixth Street and it reminded me a little like Mardi Gras; craziness. Highlights from the nights include: Delicious dinner, Champagne Bottles, Bull Riding, Table Dancing, Photo Booths, Unlimited Free Drinks, Strip Club Stories and Cracking up with my best friends.

It’s hard to capture everything when you are having so much fun but below is a video of a glimpse of our weekend (with some of the footage that was appropriate enough to share 😜).

I would love to travel back here again someday (and listen to live music since we never got around to this!). Definitely recommend traveling to Austin, Texas because there is something there for everyone. But really, anywhere you go as long as you are surrounded by the people you love will be amazing.

Mother’s Day 2020

This year I am lucky enough to say I have not one, not two, but THREE amazing mamas to celebrate Mother’s Day with (my mom, my stepmom and my mother-in-law). Three beautiful women whom I admire and adore dearly.

On Saturday, my husband and I + my sister-in-law and her boyfriend planned a Mother’s Day brunch at my in-laws house. I made Norski Crepes for us to enjoy (a special recipe to my family that I used to make with my stepmom when I was little). I love to save this recipe for special occasions. Lots of butter, lots of sugar, so delicious.

Norwegian Pancakes/Norski Crepe Family Recipe

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk

Mix butter and sugar together before adding other ingredients. Use 1/4 measuring cup to scoop batter out and cook on a medium high heated pan. Slightly move the pan around so batter thins out to one even layer. Once you see small bubbles, flip and cook on the other side for about 1 minute. Add your favorite filling, roll up and enjoy!

You can enjoy these with just about any filling/topping you like. Below is a list of what I used to compliment the crepes:

  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Sliced Bananas
  • Raspberry Jam
  • Nutella
  • Maple Syrup
  • Chocolate Sauce

Click here to download and print recipe.

On top of this we had bacon, deviled eggs, bloody marrys and mimoas. So, so good and so much fun enjoying brunch and each others company to celebrate this day.

Sunday was the second day of the Mother’s Day celebrations. This time I decided to order crepes from the amazing caterer I used at my wedding, The Tall Chef. I did this to support his business, for convenience and to compare my homemade crepes from the day before. Plus, the packaging and everything that came with it was adorable and perfect for what I had planned.

We had a lovely picnic at my favorite neighborhood park, took Edgar swimming in the lake and enjoyed the views and the sunshine. We also order and brought Ivars Fish + Chips to have a salty element mixed with all the sweets. Plenty of food, so very delicious. It was a wonderful early afternoon to celebrate my mom for Mother’s Day.

My final Mother’s Day celebration was a surprise visit to my dad + stepmoms house, complete with a sweet card and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Dandy Flower Co. Of course Edgar also joined me and we all spent the late afternoon chatting and catching up (we hadn’t been able to talk or really see each other since the stay at home order in March). It was the perfect way to end the day and to celebrate my stepmom for Mother’s Day.

The weekend was full of lots of family time, lots of delicious crepes and spent with three incredible women who I am lucky enough to call mom.

30th Birthday – Quarantine Style

It’s challenging to plan a birthday party in the middle of a pandemic, especially a 30th birthday. My husband Tommy turned 30 on April 10th and for his birthday we were planning on taking a two week road trip from Seattle to the Grand Canyon and back.

We were going to travel to Helena, MT to visit our friends, hike and then camp around there in this log cabin. From there the plan was to drive to Yellowstone, head to Salt Lake City, go to Antelope Canyon, travel to the Grand Canyon and end our trip in Portland. We wanted to rent a van from Escape Campervans (with a queen bed, kitchenette and everything you need for a great road trip) and we were planning on bringing our pup Edgar to make this a family adventure. Unfortunately we canceled since we’re in the middle of a corona crisis and had to come up with plan B for Tommy’s birthday.

I saw this Birthday Parade idea from a teacher I follow on Instagram who posted about celebrating her sons birthday. They had a parade of cars driving by, honking, yelling out the window, cheering, etc. So I thought, why not have a Surprise Drive by Birthday for my 30 year old hubs. This way he could still see all his favorite people while still maintaining social distancing. And WOW…it was amazing.

We started his birthday like any other person in quarantine would; by sleeping in late, lounging around the house, not getting dressed and staying in our pjs. We purchased the game Crash Bandicoot for xBox and played this for a good part of the day (I was obsessed with this game when I was younger, if you’ve never played I suggest getting it). Between racing on Crash Bandicoot for hours and getting up for parts of the day to be productive, I baked Tommy a birthday cake and we had Bloody Merrys (he still had no idea about the surprise planned for later).

Eventually I asked Tommy to shower and put on real clothes (remember we were lounging living the quarantine life) because I told him I wanted to take a picture of him opening his gift. For part of his gift I needed to have my laptop projected onto the TV and asked him to help me with this. At this point he was starting to wonder what was going on and said he was getting worried. He thought I was going to surprise him with a Zoom Birthday Meeting with all of his friends (something he specifically said he did not want).

I assured him we would not be having a Zoom meeting and instead played the video I made for him; 30 Reasons Why I Love You. By the end of the video we are both teary eyed and cracking up and I told him it’s time for his second surprise. Oh no, what. Oh no what are you planning, what are we doing; was what Tommy kept asking as I had him walk outside to the street.

I showed him the sign and balloons on my car and told him this was the surprise, to wait there so I could take his picture. At this point he’s starting to get suspicious, looks down the hill and sees the long row of cars about to drive up. He couldn’t believe it.

So many of Tommy’s closet friends and family members came out to celebrate him on his 30th! Cars were decorated with balloons + banners + streamers, bday signs were out, dogs + kids + babies in the backseats, sunroofs open, gifts passed through car windows (lots of delicious baked goods because ya know great quarantine hobby), lots of honking, lots of cheering. 14 cars total. It was awesome.

Among all the balloons and gifts was a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, so naturally Tommy got down on one knee and chugged it. After the parade a group of friends and family members parked on the street and the drive by parade turned into little block party (all while maintaining social distancing), with some champagne and cake to follow.

After everyone left, Tommy and I enjoyed the cake to ourselves since he blew out the candles and we didn’t want to spread germs to anyone. But dang! Three layer cake…it was good. Recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Highly recommend and I’m not usually a baker.

His final surprise was a Virtual Birthday Card from a website called Group Greeting (Thanks Brann for recommending this site!). You can choose from a variety of cards, send the link to friends + family to have them sign and then it gets emailed out whenever you schedule. You can also turn it into a PDF to print out and deliver in person. (Some offices have been using these to stay connected. Also there are more than just birthday cards on this site, could be used in lots of different ways).

Perhaps a Birthday Parade will become the new normal for a while. It might sound like a silly idea, but the impact of seeing the people who mean the most to you on your birthday is just incredible (even if it is just for a quick drive by moment). I definitely recommend planning or participating in this if you know of an upcoming birthday and are looking for a creative way to celebrate. Great for all ages, something to look forward to, gets the whole family out of the house, very unique, lots of laughter, lots of fun and so very memorable.

Bridal Shower Dreams – Mercer Island, WA

Today I was reminiscing and looking through photos of my bridal shower in June 2019 and thought I would share! My in-laws hosted the shower (my husbands cousins) at their moms home in Mercer Island and it was the perfect day.

I had my makeup done in the morning (for the first time ever besides one time when I got fake eye lashes glued on for Halloween). The makeup artist was the same artist who did my makeup for my wedding so this was my wedding day trial. I loved how it came out! (Future brides – I recommend scheduling your makeup trial the same day as you will be out and about. This way you can see how well it lasts and can show your friends/family.) Joey Van Pelt was amazing and made me feel so beautiful. Check her out if you are looking for a talented makeup artist in the Washington area.

My best friend picked me up and we drove to my in-laws house. Once we walked through the door, I was immediately greeted by my closest girlfriends and beautiful women in my family.

We drank champagne from the “Bubbly Bar” (because who doesn’t love a Bubbly Bar), mingled on the patio in the sunshine, took some photos (Dress is from Lulus-find it here) and played some games before sitting down to eat together.

My bridesmaids but together 3 games. 1. How Old Was The Bride? The girls guessed how old I was in each photo (even my mom had a hard time remember my age on some pictures) How Old Card Template found here. 2. Advice for the bride. We took a polaroid together and then they put all the photos and advice cards in a scrapbook. I also put all my cards in the book because I love saving cards and looking back on them. You can find the Advice Card Template here. 3. Does the Bride really know the Groom? I always get nervous being the center of attention but this was a fun game to play. And for the record I know Tommy pretty well 🙂 Bride knows the Groom Template found here.

We ate a delicious lunch and enjoyed each others company (my cousin in-law gave a little toast that made me tear up a bit). It felt so special to have had many of the important women in my life all eating together in one place.

Later I opened gifts in front of everyone in the living room. (Always nerve-racking being the center of attention but I felt at ease with my best friends there). I just remember feeling so grateful and so very loved.

We had dessert that my talented sister-in-law and mother-in-law made before saying goodbye to everyone. (I don’t have the exact dessert recipes but here is one that looks similar if you are interested). Then after the shower some of my girlfriends and I went out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in Edmonds, 190 Sunset for dinner and martinis.

To say I felt the love this day is an understatement. I will always cherish these memories and I feel so very lucky to have many beautiful women in my life who I can call my best friends and family.

Leavenworth Weekend Getaway

If you are looking for a quick and cozy weekend getaway that’s not too far from the city, Leavenworth might just be the perfect place. About a 2 hour drive from Seattle, Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains. The village is of full of incredible buildings, great restaurants-featuring many German style foods and beer, local wineries and shopping boutiques, making this stop not only unique but also beautiful. We’ve traveled to Leavenworth a handful of times and always have had the best experience. This time we went to celebrate our friends 30th birthday, and it did not disappoint.

Tommy and I hit the road around 2pm. On the way to Leavenworth, we stopped at Sultan Bakery to pick up some sweets for the car ride. They have the BEST cookies (we got three) and amazing desserts. Highly recommend if you have never been.

We arrived in Leavenworth around 4pm and went to our first stop, Icicle Ridge Winery to start our weekend. From there we went to Icicle Brewing Company (definitely an icicle theme here) and had some German beer and a hot pretzel with cheese sauce…so good! They recently remodeled the brewery to make it more comfortable to sit inside (Tommy sat in a ski lift/converted to chair swing-loved it). They also have live music every Friday and Saturday night!

Even though we came to Leavenworth in February, all the Christmas decorations and lights were still up throughout the town. It felt like a little winter wonderland.

We rented a beautiful, secluded cabin that was about 10 minutes from town and stayed there with 10 of our friends to celebrate. We ate a lot of food, played a bunch of games, went hot tubbing, went on a little hike, played with our friends pup-Knox, watched movies in the theater room and enjoyed hanging out at the cabin with each other.

On Sunday we packed up, checked out and ventured back to town for breakfast. We went to Louie’s Cafe (amazing bloody marry) and took a short scenic walk along the Wenatchee River. Overall, a great place to celebrate a 30th birthday and a great place to travel to for a quick weekend getaway!