Friday, September 18, 2015


I'm taking a page from some of my favorite bloggers this week and doing a quick recap of the week behind and looking forward to the week ahead.

HIGH - The high of my week was just how quickly it passed. This week flew by! Our fiscal year at work ends at the end of this month so things are a bit crazy. But I don't mind because the time passes so fast.

LOW - The low of my week was recovering from a weird virus I had last week. I had a horrible sore throat that I thought was strep. The strep culture was negative, so it was just a virus that I had to let run its course. It was incredibly painful and I had some flu-like symptoms along with it. It wiped me out!

BOOK - A book I'm reading is The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster. I got it through an Amazon Review Program in which I'm involved (they send me free books, I read them and review them, they pay me! Use that link if you want to be a part of it too!). It's a really fun read - part old western, part murder mystery, part sci-fi/time travel. The characters are delightful and there's some great dialogue.

WORKOUTS - Pretty much non-existent this week due to last week's virus. I'm freaking out a bit because I have a half marathon next weekend and I haven't been running nearly as much as I should. But I have survived several half marathons and done fine, so I'm hoping next week will be the same.

 MONEY - The best money I spent this week was on an Airbnb in Washington, DC at Thanksgiving. Andy and I are going to visit my brother, sis-in-law and nieces and nephew (and hopefully Becky and Alice!) for a week at Thanksgiving. We'll be staying with them most of the time in Northern Virginia, but Andy's never been to DC so we're going to spend our last two nights in the city exploring the monuments, museums, and neighborhoods. We found a really good deal and a great flat that's close to everything. DC is one of my very favorite cities and I can't wait to show Andy around!

WEEKEND PLANS - Tomorrow is the last official Saturday of summer, so Andy and I are throwing a party to celebrate the occasion! We haven't had a party at our new place since we've moved in and I've been itching to host a fun event. Initially we were going to have it on our rooftop, where there are tables, barbecues, lounge chairs, and a fire pit, but the weather is looking a bit iffy so we're having it in our building's community room instead. There are still barbecues and an outdoor space, plus a full kitchen, pool table, and a theater room (some kids are coming so we'll throw 'em in there and put on some movies). We have a good crowd coming and I'm really excited to see everyone! And the Emmys are on Sunday! So it should be an all-around awesome weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2015


As of last Wednesday, Andy and I officially closed on our property! Thanks everyone for your well-wishes and congratulations!

Here is a picture of the land. Doesn't show much - it's just trees and brush right now - but it's OURS!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Land Owners

Puget Sound is home to countless islands - 172 named islands, to be exact (fun trivia fact from a local coffee joint)! Growing up/living in the Seattle area means spending a lot of time on the islands, whether it's a family cabin, camping, attending a wedding (or getting married, as the case was with Andy and myself), or just enjoying a weekend getaway.

I have always dreamed of having a family cabin. It was never something that my family could afford growing up, and as an adult I've still not been sure it was an attainable goal. Until now.

Andy and I happened upon some cheap land on a smaller island in Puget Sound. The island is home to freshwater lakes, swimming holes, hiking trails, beautiful beaches, and a wonderful mix of retirees who live there full time and families who own vacation homes. It's not as developed or popular as some of the other islands in the area (such as the San Juans or Whidbey Island), but it still has that idyllic island paradise feel to it.

We put an offer on it yesterday and if all goes to plan, we will close on September 8th of this year. Our long range goal is to eventually build on it and use it as a family cabin, as well as for making some extra income. There are plenty of other houses on the island that are popular among the VRBO and AirBnB set, and we would like to do the same.

It's so exciting to think about what the future holds with this little plot!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Masks to the Rescue!

The older I get, the more concerned I am about taking good care of my skin. I've always washed my face regularly and moisturized religiously, but that was the extent of my skin care routine until I reached my late twenties. But as I approached my 30s I knew I needed to step up my game.

These days, I love trying new skincare products. Whether it's a luxurious night cream or an eye serum that promises the reduction of fine lines, I'm on board.

One product in particular about which I've been hearing a lot of buzz is the sheet mask. A sheet mask is a thin piece of material that is designed to fit over your face. It's pre-soaked in wonderful nutrients and oils and is much cleaner and easier to use than traditional mud or clay masks. The masks are also vegan friendly, never tested on animals, and 100% biodegradable (the packaging is recyclable, too!).

My sister-in-law, who has worked in the cosmetics industry for over 20 years, recently began representing MaskerAide and is working hard to make them a household name in the US. MaskerAide has an amazing line of sheet masks that cater to all your skincare needs. Some are designed to use during the day, like the Pre-Party Prep. Others are a bit richer and are better suited for night time use. I love I Don't Wanna Grow Up, which makes my skin so incredibly soft and glowy.

Ok, so on to the good stuff. To help MaskerAide promote their product in the US, I'm giving away a sheet mask to three lucky people and offering a 10% off discount to anyone who wants to buy the masks.

To Enter:

  1. Leave a comment with your favorite skincare product or tip.
  2. Share the link to this post on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @SeattleStevie , using the hashtag #MaskerAideBeautyUSA 
  3. Visit the MaskerAide site and sign up for their newsletter (your information will not be shared).
  4. Giveaway is open to US and Canada only.
  5. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday June 24th at 9 pm Pacific Time.

For 10% off:

To receive 10% off your MaskerAide order, just use the coupon code stevieseamasks when you checkout. The code is valid until July 9th.

Good luck and cheers to happy, healthy skin!

*I was not compensated for this post, I just really believe in this product and want to promote the business and my fabulous sister-in-law.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Release

Spring has officially sprung, and we're now entering one of my favorite times of year - winery spring release! This is when all the wineries release their newest wines to the public and hold fun events for trying and buying the wines.

The Washington State wine industry is absolutely booming right now, and many of the wineries have tasting rooms in Woodinville, which is in the Seattle area. (the grapes are grown in Eastern Washington, on the other side of the mountains).

Andy and I are avid wine drinkers and in the past year we've joined a few wine clubs. Most wineries have a wine club, and the perks are generally the same - free tastings, discounts on bottle purchases, special members-only events, and regular wine shipments throughout the year.

The three wineries of which we are members are:

Sparkman Cellars - We receive two shipments per year of three bottles each (reds and whites) for a total of six bottles per year. I love Sparkman for their bold reds. Their "Darkness" Syrah is my favorite! For local folks, Sparkman has two tasting rooms in Woodinville, one in the warehouse district, and one in the Hollywood Schoolhouse district.

Barrage Cellars - The environment at Barrage is what initially brought us in. Everyone who worked in the tasting room was so fun, and loved to talk about wine in a non-pretentious way. And their wines are fabulous! We receive two shipments per year of six bottles each (reds and whites) for a total of twelve bottles per year. Their Woodinville tasting room is in the warehouse district, next to Sparkman.

Columbia Winery - Washington State has two very large wineries, Chateau Ste Michelle, and Columbia Winery, which are likely familiar to anyone in the United States as both wineries distribute their wines across the country. We like Columbia because their every day wines are delicious and affordable, but they also have an excellent selection of reserve (smaller batch) wines that are amazing. The winery is also much bigger than most of the local tasting rooms, so they hold a lot of great events and the tasting room is really fun to visit. They recently re-branded for a fresher, more modern look (both the wine labels and the tasting room itself). We receive two shipments per year of three bottles each (all reds) for a total of six bottles per year.

We received our Columbia shipment a few weeks ago but we have our Sparkman and Barrage to look forward to in the coming weeks! Both wineries will be holding their spring release events, which include lots of wine tasting, tasty food, and live music. It'll be a fun way to ring in the spring and enjoy some tasty wine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I tend to enjoy lists and short snippets when I'm reading blogs. So today I'm returning the favor by answering ten random questions. I saw Nilsa and Amber and I think a few others have posted these over the past several weeks or so. And like Nilsa, I can definitely appreciate how easy these questions generate blog content! So here we go:

1. Twitter or Facebook? 
For awhile now I've barely even opened Twitter on my phone or my laptop and have only been using Facebook. I miss Twitter, but I'm having a hard time jumping back in.
2. Morning person or night owl? 
Definitely a night owl. Occasionally I'll have a morning when I'll wake up early, refreshed, without an alarm, and enjoy those morning hours, but that's quite rare. I'm a much more productive person at night.
3. How do you drink coffee? 
I like my drip coffee or Americanos black or with half and half, but I also love a plain latte (no sugar or flavoring). And I prefer it in a giant mug.
4. It’s 9pm and you’ve got the house to yourself, what do you do? 
Depending on my mood, one of two things. Open a bottle of wine and watch some mindless TV, or make a pot of tea and lose myself in a book.
5. What’s on your nightstand right now? 
Chapstick, hand lotion, and my Kindle.
6. What smell do you love? 
The ocean has always been my favorite smell. I've always lived close to the ocean or salt water so it just reminds me of home. 
7. What smell do you hate? 
Cat pee. Especially when it's found in a pile of clean laundry (I should probably get better about folding and putting it away...)
8. Other than your current home, where would you most like to live? 
Orcas Island. Or perhaps my place of birth, Hawaii.
9. If you could eat only one nationality of food for the rest of your life, which one would it be? 
Ethiopian or Indian! Give me allllllll the spices.
10. When you were six years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A marine biologist (still kinda do).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Moving Day!

This weekend we are moving into our new apartment and I could not be more excited. After 6 years of living on the east side, we will now be back in the city. It's a move we've been wanting to make for several years, but just didn't make sense financially or logistically. Now that we both work in Seattle and are bringing in a decent income, we decided it was time.

Our new neighborhood is fantastic. We can walk or take the bus anywhere and everywhere - a lifestyle that's really important to us. We'll be close to wonderful parks, restaurants, bars, shops, and best of all, many of our friends! The apartment itself is smaller, but the location can't be beat.

Life has been pretty hectic the last few weeks with boxes and packing paper everywhere (much to the cats' delight), but after this weekend we will be done! Our plan is to stay put for a few years in the new place, and hopefully buy a house or condo after that.