All I can say is WOW! Kate you looked simply stunning, there are no words. That gown is impeccable. I couldn't have imagined it any different...

I was already excited for my own wedding this fall, but my excitement has tripled as I'm even more thrilled now that I chose a lace wedding dress!

P.S. Did you see her reception dress?


Fab Friday

This Friday I'm excited about the Royal Wedding. I wish I had the gusto to stay up all night, but alas, I had to work Friday, and a sleepless teacher does not make a happy teacher! Instead I've DVRing all the coverage. I'm very excited for Kate + Wills, and their royal life together as future King and Queen!

Even more excited to ring in the celebration at a Royal Wedding party this evening. Here's hoping for Pimm's, tea, and chocolate biscuits!

Happy Wedding Weekend All!


Kate + Wills

The royal wedding has arrived!
What part of this royal affair are you most looking forward to?
For me, it's Kate's dress...I can't WAIT to see it!

P.S. Have you tried this royal name generator? I'm Duchess Michelle Arabella of Seattleshire

Weeknight Baking: Strawberry Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins

Remember when I bought the 3-lb box of strawberries? Yeah, I've devouring those berries like it's my J.O.B., but today it became pretty clear I couldn't eat the entire box alone. So I came up with a new game plan before they go bad. Solution: strawberry cinnamon-sugar muffins! They turned out delicious, definitely a recipe to repeat!


Dinner Last Night: Orange-Glazed Salmon with Rosemary

Dinner last night was orange-glazed salmon with rosemary. The best part - how quick this recipe was to make! Honestly, I was a tad reluctant to make this recipe as it called for maple syrup. I'm usually favor savory over sweet anyday, but the citrus/maple syrup glaze was surprisingly delightful. I think the acidity in the orange juice balanced out the sweet of the maple syrup just right. Another fish dish to add to my repetoire!


Keeping Up With the Royal Wedding...

Are you following the royal wedding action play by play like I am? My DVR is jam-packed with Kate and Wills specials! It's actually little embarrassing... However, if you're anything like me, here's a helpful tip. With the countless Kate & William specials airing this week, you must prioritize! Here's a go-to guide so you don't miss a beat! Enjoy!


Strawberry Season

I was totally scoping out the strawberries at the grocery store today. Plump, red, juicy, and the best part - ON SALE! Woohoo! Happiness is all about life's little thrills, right? Now I don't know about you, but I can find an excuse to put strawberries on anything! Cereal, oatmeal, toast, or my favorite indulgence - dipped in chocolate.

So since I stocked up on plenty of this delicious fruit, I'm curious...What's your favorite strawberry recipe?

Backyard BBQ

We enjoyed ourselves a grand little backyard BBQ this past Saturday! Smack in the middle of a rainy, overcast Seattle weekend, the sun decided to shine it's little heart out! Temperatures even got up to the early 70's, it was marvelous! Bleu cheese jalapeno burgers, pineapple & avocado salad, and my new favorite (coconut infused beer). Pair that with a rousing game of cornhole, and we had ourselves a time! Gotta love the brink of summer!

What's your favorite thing to make for a BBQ?

Easter Mail

Next year, I'm totally doing this for my out of town family + friends.
Easter egg love in the mail...
Wouldn't that be the best surprise?


Weekend Baking: Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lately, I've been in a baking mood on Sunday afternoons. It's that welcome lull between go-go-go an getting back into gear for the Monday workday. This week was no different. This time, I made banana-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies via this recipe. I was expecting a more pronounced banana flavor, but not so much.

My recipe revisions for next time: use 1 cup of oatmeal instead of 2, use 1 cup of chocolate chips rather than 1/2, and mash 2 bananas for that extra punch of chocolaty-banana flavor. However, now I have to eat the entire first batch so I can move onto the new and improved recipe!


Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

Weekend Bliss

Hooray, it's the weekend! This has been one LONG week, so I'm ecstatic it's Friday! On the weekend agenda: dinner + drinks at this local/sustainable restaurant with my girlfriends, followed by a showing of Water For Elephants. I'll also be enjoying some much needed quality time with my wonderful fiance - who is coming home after being away the entire week. Throw in a workout or two, coffee with a friend and her new babe, and double-date night to this new dumpling house hot spot. Finally, wrapping up the weekend Easter dinner with the family.

Wow, it didn't seem so busy on my calendar, but once I write it out, that's a busy weekend!


Here's a clip that's good for a laugh on this fabulous Friday.
I'm so looking forward to seeing this movie!

Restaurant #7 - Mr. Gyros

Hello Mr. Gyros! My fiance had been raving about this place for ages, but somehow I resisted. Until recently, I'd never been a big gyro fan to begin with, so I was a bit hesitant to jump on the Mr. Gyros bandwagon. But after hearing a smattering of friends echo the praises my fiance had been singing, I finally gave in.

One visit later, a lamb gyro for him and a falafel sandwich for me, and a heaping plate of feta cheese fries. Say no more. I'm officially a convert! Now, I can't even remember why I waited so long!

Here's my restaurant challenge rap sheet so far...7 new restaurants in '11 and still going strong!

The Return of Sweet Valley High

Have you heard? Sweet Valley High is back! Then sequel of sorts - Sweet Valley Confidential - is reportedly a "where are they now" check in with the famous blond twins, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield.

While I was definitely more of a Babysitter's Club kind of girl, I did read a Sweet Valley High book or two, so I'm tempted to pick up the sequel just to check it out. Not gonna lie, the reviews of the new book are pretty rough. However, this New York Times article gives it a little bit more love. It sounds like the all-encompassing viewpoint is, reviews aside, if you were a SVH fan back in the day, you'll likely still be one 10 years later.

Anyone else going to read it?


Wednesday Pretty

Wouldn't it be magical to get married in Paris?
In theory I think it would be lovely - but then of course many of my family and friends wouldn't be able to attend- so there's a definite downside.

But I'll ask anyway...if you could get married in another city in the world where would it be?

Wednesday Wondering: Coconut Water

Ever heard of coconut water? It's the hot new item crowding the shelves of natural markets a la Whole Foods? I just sampled my first taste of the boxed coconut water, and I'm not quite sure what I think of it.

Back in the day, I remember my dad would occasionally pick up a coconut at the grocery store. When we'd get home, he'd hammer a screw driver into one of the holes, and we'd pour out the milk (or so I thought it was called) and drink. Next, we'd crack that puppy open and split between us the fresh slices of coconut meat. However, I stand corrected, apparently the clear liquid found inside young coconuts is coconut water.

While in California last week, I watched my 5-year old cousin Alani devour a young coconut. Litearlly, she slurped up the water and gelatinous young coconut meat like it was a cherry slushie. Mind you, I was intrigued, but I slurped with significantly less enthusiasm.

So what's the verdict? Love it it / hate it? I think my mind is more boggled I've been calling it coconut milk for all these years. Where have I been??

Downton Abbey

Thanks to Abigail of Gus & Other Things, I'm totally addicted to the show Downton Abbey. It's a British period drama by the BBC, boasting a splendid cast, amazing sets, and quite a storyline.
The first episode is a bit slow, but after that it's fast paced, dramatic, with plenty of cliffhangers, leaving you anxious to find out what happens next. Those kinds of shows are the best, aren't they? The bummer however is - there were only 7 episodes in season 1, and season 2 is due to premier in 2012! Talk about a long wait!

If you have even an ounce of interest in this post, I encourage you to check it out! All of the episodes are available online via Netflix streaming.


How Do You Like Your Eggs?

How do you like your eggs? I'm growing bored with my tiresome order of eggs scrambled with black pepper and grated cheese. Occasionally, I mix it up and consider myself a benedict girl, but truly, that's only on special occasions at worth restaurants. Scrambled eggs is my usual M.O.

Yet, I don't want to bail on eggs altogether, often they suffice as my #1 source of protein when I'm feeling it's a veggie-meal kind of week. So...any creative ways to spice up morning eggs? I'm not going to lie, I'm definitely loving the flower shaped variety!



Royal Wedding Swag

I want this royal wedding tote! It shows the map of the wedding procession for Wills & Kate to Westminister Abbey and back to Buckingham. Maybe if I sported this around town, people might think I had an official invite and this swanky tote was a wedding favor... Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Quote of the Week

"In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a days work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years."
~ Jacques Barzun

Weekend Baking: Blueberry Yogurt Cake

This recipe for blueberry yogurt cake caught my eye on a fellow blog and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So rather than do the sensible thing like wait until the weekend to try it out, I decided to make it at 8:30 at night, just to fulfill my curiosity.

Thankfully it was worthwhile, as it turned out delicious! Plus, don't you just love the way blueberries bake, they're like little surprise bursts of flavor!


Happy Friday

It's Friday! Happy hour anyone? It's been one, long, draining week, and I'm thinking this little grapefruit margarita sounds mighty fine right about now to ring in the weekend! It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?

DIY Cadbury Eggs

With Easter, comes one of my favorite candies from childhood: Cadbury eggs. Yes, the milk chocolate, egg yolky cream-filled delicacies that no longer seem quite so delectable as an adult, well, those were were my favorite thing when I was little. This was the check-out line treat that would merit the "please mom, can I have one? Pretty please, with a cherry on top?" please.

While I'm not the biggest Cadbury egg fan as an adult, I still have a soft spot for these seasonal Easter candies and the memories they trigger. I'm intrigued to try these DIY Cadbury eggs at home - for old time's sake. :)

Thai One On

My present to my mom for her birthday was a Thai cooking class that we could do together. Since we're both HUGE fans of Thai food, we signed up for a Thai cooking class, affectionately entitled, "Thai One On." As in traditional Thai cuisine, we cooked with only fresh ingredients; lemongrass, lime juice, fresh tumeric, kaffir lime leaves, and beyond. We were definitely satiated by the end of the class, as there were 4 courses including desserts.

Here's a peek at the menu we made:
* veggie spring rolls with tamarind dipping sauce
* coconut sticky rice with shrimp
* chicken satay with peanut ginger sauce
* green papaya salad
* pad thai with tofu
* green curry with Thai eggplant and shiitake mushrooms
* red curry with chicken and peanuts
* forbidden rice with coconut cream

Delicious! Can't wait to (hopefully someday) have a Thai feast at home.


Wednesday Wondering

Who is your favorite Disney movie couple?
I might have to go with Ariel and Prince Eric...
or Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip...
or Jasmine and Aladdin...
It's a toss up.

What's yours?

Dinner Last Night: Broiled Tilapia with Mustard-Chive Sauce

I'm on a fish kick, can you tell? Dinner last night as broiled tilapia with mustard chive sauce a la Giada de Laurentiis. Now that I've managed to acquire the confidence to cook fish, I'm on a roll!

What's your favorite fish dish?

Droolworthy Dip

This dip is brilliant - pizza dip! Ingenious! Why didn't I think of that?? While this scrumptious little snack does not coincide with my mission to eat healthier, but I'm totally drooling nonetheless. Maybe I'll have to have people over as an excuse to splurge...

My Recent Queue

I'm a Netflix subscriber, but with the busyness of wedding planning, my Netflix queue has had a slow turnaround lately. As I'm posting these various movies and shows I'm realizing the randomness of my queue; crime shows, rom coms, and beyond. Typical... So here's a snippet on my recent queue...(all said movies are rent-worthy by the way)

What's in your queue? Any suggestions on what I should rent next?

Snapshots of Los Angeles

Night 1 - Went out to dinner at Prado in Larchmont with my aunt, uncle, cousins, significant others, and their kids...unfortunately no photos.

Day 2 - Disneyland! Took my fiance to the "happiest place on earth," (he'd never been!). We did all my faves: Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mt. Railroad, It's A Small World, Materhorn, and beyond...
Night 2 - Dinner and drinks with my fiance, my sister, her bf, and my friend Lindsay at Katie's fave Mexican joint, El Carmen - known for its super spicy jalapeno margaritas, and man were they spicy!
Day 3 - Visited my sister at on the Fox/Fx lot where she works. What a cool job, huh? Unfortunately didn't see anyone famous (just my luck) but did get to tour the lot and some impressive fake facades where they film shows like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Modern Family.
Night 3 - Sushi happy hour at La Grande Orange in Santa Monica, followed by a night out on the town in Santa Monica with a big group of friends (unfortunately didn't get a group shot). We ended up at a chill bar on Main Street, drank some vino, and had a fun time.
Last day - Went on a bike ride with my sister through the Venice Beach canals while the boys went surfing. My fiance's first time surfing!
Doesn't he look like a pro in the wetsuit?
All in all a great trip, and a perfect way to escape the rainy cold (and snow) that was happening in Seattle. Can't wait to visit again!

Dinner Last NightL Lemon Tarragon Salmon over Asparagus

Dinner last night was lemon tarragon salmon over asparagus. The secret of the dish is wrapping the entire thing in parchment paper. Salmon over fresh asparagus spears topped with a concoction red onions, fresh tarragon, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper...wrap it in parchment, bake, and voila - dinner! The salmon was really brightened up by the lemon and just tasted fresh and healthy (in a good way).

Chalkboard Hearts

Love this blackboard engagement photo shoot. Can you tell one of the engaged is a teacher?