Cheers to all the fabulous times in 2008! Cheers to all the great times that lie ahead in 2009! Have a safe and fantastic New Years Eve!

Looking Ahead to 2009

Looking ahead to the new year...I have a few goals for myself for the New Year. A few carried over from last year since I wasn't able to accomplish everything on my 2008 list (so much to do, so little time)... 1. Travel somewhere amazing! And it must be outside of North America (I'm not going to limit myself to Europe alone, but that would be my destination du jour) 2. Run a half marathon - this is the year! (I was slated to do another triathlon in 2008, but I broke my pinky toe - of all the bones to break)... 3. Save money for my own place...While I have a fabulous apartment, I'd love to have my own place, that allows pets so I can get a little furry friend. 4. Treat myself to nice restaurants, good wine, and not-so-practical-but-have-to-have accessories (every once in a while...) 5. Make more of an effort to get groups of friends together more often. Any of these happen to fall on your lists as well?? image/rodneysmith

Shelve By Color

I usually organize by books by type. Education books - shelf one. Children's books - shelf two. "Beach reads" - shelf three, etc. etc. Don't know if I would ever be able to locate the book I was looking for with this organizational tactic, but it certainly has some aesthetic appeal... image/freshome

Snowy Fun

It seems like our Seattle blizzard has finally come to a close...after a week and a half of consistent snow, the ice and snow have finally melted, and roads have once again become travel-able. I have to say, I did get a lot of holiday exercise in, as I had to walk everywhere - my coffee place, grocery store, video store, etc. etc. Here are a few highlights from the snow days...

To All A Good Night!

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas & Happy Hannukah everyone!!


Snowed In

With the snowy and icy roads preventing extensive travel, it's unofficially movie night. We haven't seen this kind of snow in Seattle since I was 7, and needless to say the city is overwhelmed by how to cope with the atypical conditions. My family is almost all together, awaiting the hopeful arrival of my last sister who has been puddle jumping about the country in search of a way home to Seattle (she's been from Boston to DC to Los Angeles)... It's almost Christmas!!!images/amazon

7 Things

I was recently tagged by That Unreliable Girl to indulge in the the *7 Things You Don't Know About Me*, here goes nothing. #1 - In 2005, two of my best friends and I took a post-graduation backpacking trip to Europe. We were gone over a month, saw everything from Amsterdam to Barcelona to Rome and all that lies in between...including Salzburg, Austria, the lovely city that played host to one of our favorite movies, "The Sound of Music."

Upon our tour we saw the Von Trapp household, the cathedral, the abbey, and of course the gazebo. Our timing was impeccable, as the actress who played Liesel herself in original movie was there, filming a 40th anniversary spot. We had the unbelievably good fortune to sing alongside Liesel herself, "I Am 16, Going on 17," in chorus with about 25 other tourists. Defintiely a moment I shall never forget!#2 - I took and competed in Scottish dancing for 5 years as a kid. The kilts, the sashes, the stockings and lace-up shoes, you name it, I wore it! I used to attend outdoor tournaments that felt like you were transported back in time to the era of William Wallace himself. #3 - I am related to the scarecrow from the original Wizard of Oz (he is a cousin on my mom's side and shares her maiden name).#4 - I am every inch a sorority girl. I joined a house a week before starting my freshman year of college, lived in for 4 years, and loved every second. While I don't fit the sorority-girl stereotype in the least, I could still sing at least 20 sorority songs upon request.
#5 - I love, love, love banana milkshakes. Yes, banana. Not your typical vanilla or chocolate, no sirree, I'd opt for a fresh banana milkshake anyday of the week.
#6 - I have a little bit of an obsession with travel magazines, and reading travel paraphernalia. I have a monthly subscription to Budget Travel, Travel+Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveller. Unfortunately I do not take vacations as often as I'd like given my teacher's salary, but I'm always saving for the next getaway.#7 - My original career plan before I became an elementary school teacher (which I absolutely love)...was to become a curator. I majored in art history and enjoy learning about all types of art; paintings, sculptures, architecture, installation...I soon realized that Seattle wasn't quite the market for a career in art history, but thankfully I happily landed in the field of education, and haven't looked back since.Next...
tagging these 7 people whose blogs I love...
1. Melisa of The Lil Bee
2. Lilie of Enroute
3. Melanie of You Are My Fave
4. Leigh of Marvelous Kiddo
5. Rachel of Heart of Light
6. Baillie of Mrs. Bliss
7. Summer of Design is Mine

Cocoa Me Crazy

What is it about this season that makes us drawn toward a steaming cup of chocolaty goodness? I think I am a recent cocoaholic, as I've drank at least two piping hot cups of hot cocoa, or some other steaming beverage (coffee, tea, EmergenC) at least twice everyday this past week! Granted, I attribute some of those sips to curing my cold, but otherwise, it I think in spite of our chilly tempretatures, and snow treks everywhere since the roads are frozen still, it just plain feels good. 'Tis the season I guess! image/ffffound

Snow Days and Gingerbread Ways

My weekend was spent snowed in, cozying up in front of pumpkin pie & apple cinnamon scented candles (my alternative to a crackling fire), trekking to the neighborhood bar to share a pint with friends, playing in the snow with my boyfriend, and baking gingerbread cookies for the first time ever.

School was already been canceled 3 days last week, and we just got word tomorrow is yet another snow day...I'm sure my students are joyously frolicking in the snow, much to their parents chagrin. Truth be told, it isn't looking too likely that we'll be back in class before the holiday, one more day to go... Cheers!image/flickr


Have a sweet weekend!
No school again today, so I'll be playing in the snow!image via rubypress

Just Around The Corner

Get ready to hang those new calendars, just a few more days until 2009! Loving these simple, hanging monthly designs by OrangeBeautiful.

Wish List

I would love to find this lovely scent hiding inside my stocking...oh Santa?


Oh the Pastels

Snippet & Ink featured a wedding that will definitely mix it up! Instead of your traditional matching dresses, the bridesmaids wore vintage pastel prom dresses! Definitely unique! Thoughts? images/snippetandink via ohappyday

It's Actually Green!

Iceland is definitely not the first place that comes to mind when you think of an exotic vacation. However, it definitely has an unusual appeal. Perhaps the deceiving "ice," in the country's name deterred visitors from seeking out this Mid-Atlantic emerald gem. My grandparents have visited the country twice, and to this day continue to share tales of the lush landscapes, bubbling hot springs, and gorgeous people.

It's definitely on my list of must-see destinations.

images via smitten

Furnish Envy

Right now as my friends are becoming grown-ups and buying their own places, I'm yearning for a place of my own to furnish. I am currently renting a small studio apartment in the city, and was fortunate to inherit most of my furniture from my parents who recently downsized, leaving me (their only child in the area) with all their goods!

I love the vintage look, but never seem to be able to find those unique, vintage pieces on my own. My sister has all the luck, she found a vintage dresser in a random LA boutique, and I'm still on the prowl...I am in love with these Pottery Barn dressers, partly I think because it reminds me of that episode of Friends where Phoebe loves Ross's apothecary table but hates that it's from Pottery Barn? Anyone remember that one?


Better With Bacon

Who doesn't like holiday appetizers? The season when comfort food reigns, trumping anything with the word "healthy" in it, is definitely the season for eating. I first sampled bacon wrapped dates at this fantastic tapas restaurant Alta in New York City. My sister and I were voracious for more, unabashedly ordering ourselves another side.

Imagine my excitement when I heard that Martha herself had a recipe for bacon wrapped dates, like I should be surprised...I'm definitely trying this recipe out for the next holiday party on my calendar.

Bacon Wrapped Dates


Makes 24
  • 24 pitted dates
  • 24 whole blanched almonds
  • 8 slices bacon


  1. Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Stuff dates with almonds. Cut bacon into thirds crosswise. Wrap each date with a bacon strip. Place seam side down on a slotted broiler pan.
  2. Broil until crispy on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn; cook until bacon is crispy throughout, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Chocolate Quest

Finding the perfect hot chocolate is a very serious undertaking indeed. Don't think that simply because I live in the birthplace of Starbucks that I would dare consider their commercialized recipe the best. While I admit, the new Espresso Truffle is quite flavorful, it surely does not compare to what's out there...

I happen to be preferential to marshmallows, a sizable handful that add that melty, gooey "foam" to my cup of steaming chocolate, that even when completely melted give it that rich, creamy texture. Rumor has it that Holy Chocolate is just the ticket for this HC craving.

How about you, any hot chocolate fans out there? How do you like it?
via cookiemag

I Like To Eat, Eat, Eat...Waffles & Paninis

BoldJust purchased this little guy as a "Merry Christmas" to myself. Check it out, a 3-in-1 grill, waffle, sandwich maker, on sale for $20.99. Gimmick? I think not! This is my officially my new BFF, well...when it arrives in the mail that is...

I encourage you to jump on the 3-in1 bandwagon!



I'm! It's 4:30 and I've been drowning myself in EmergenC and taken about 10 naps already today... Hoping to feel better tomorrow. image via zest & thyme

Sweet Hearts

Love these save the dates! Perfect for high-school sweetheart wedding.image/brooklynbride

Forest Friends

Fancy a forest friend? Send a friendly critter to a friend today, you know the thrill of having actual mail in your mailbox!


Love Actually

Remember back in July when I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friends' wedding? Here is the absolutely stunning, gorgeous highlight video from her wedding day. It gave me goosebumps the first time I watched it, it's an amazingly perfect flashback of their blessed day. The cinematography, music, light, and love of their special day is captured exquisitely! Courtesy of videographer Casey Warren.

Sarah + Nathan || Highlights from Casey Warren on Vimeo.

Have Your Fill

Who doesn't like filling? Pies, cream puffs, eclairs, basically any fattening dessert, is delicious because of filling. How would you like to add filling to your pancakes at home? The ultimate stocking stuffer, I'll say. William Sonoma's latest great find is the traditional Danish Ebelskiver, maker of light, puffy pancakes filled with jam, curd, fruit or cheese. Mmm.

Imagine the possibilities...


Get Your Feet Wet

Can you believe this? While the romantic city of Venice is prone to flooding, this is the worst case the city has seen in 20 years. Venetian life seems to be continuing as best as can be, under the circumstances. If you're planning a visit, be sure to back your high-water pants and rubber wellies.