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.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Clearing the Cobwebs, Wiping Off the Dust...

I haven't logged into this space in over a year! I've thought about it from time to time but I've been enjoying living "offline", so to speak, for the past year. I've still been reading my favorite blogs, but rarely commenting. I still scroll through my Twitter feed, but rarely post. I love seeing everyone's Instagram photos, but I don't post photos very often and when I do they're usually photos of my cats. It's been refreshing but lately I've been itching to get back into blogging because I miss the connections I've made.

And now, a few highlights from this past year:

  • Started a fantastic contract job last January that turned into a permanent gig in June. The company is a large, well known corporation that treats its employees like actual, real people and the perks and benefits are freaking fantastic. I've never loved my job so much. After struggling the last several years with trying to find permanent work, I feel so incredibly thankful that I landed where I did. It still seems almost unreal.
  • Andy started a new job in August - on our wedding anniversary! After working for the same company for over a decade, it was time for a change. He now works for a fairly new bio-tech company that's making great strides in genetic research, specifically breast and other types of cancers. He's loving the work and the location, and we commute together on the bus every morning. Awwwwww.
  • Andy and I have been fully enjoying our apartment that we've now lived in for over a year. It's a brand new unit and a wonderful building, but the neighborhood leaves quite a bit to be desired. So we're moving! Again! Our lease ends the beginning of March and we've already started looking. We want to be in the city instead of in the 'burbs where we've been for the last six years. We'll be closer to friends and can have a more walkable lifestyle, which we just can't get from our current neighborhood.
  • We took a trip to New York for my birthday in October. Andy's sister and her husband live in Brooklyn, and several of our friends live back there too. We spent six days wandering through Manhattan and Brooklyn, eating, drinking, catching some shows, and taking in the whole "New York experience."
  • We spent a few glorious weekends up in the islands, our favorite place in the world, celebrating a wedding, staying in our wedding venue from two years ago, and camping with some friends. 
  • Andy's mom moved up to Anacortes now that she's retired. She grew up there and her mom still lives up there, so she loves being back and we love visiting! She hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas in her new home and we all had a great time.
  • My brother, sister-in-law, nieces, and nephew spent two weeks out here in July. They are currently stationed in middle-of-nowhere Louisiana so they had a blast being back home in the gorgeous Pacific NW during one of the best summers on record. We went out to the coast for the fourth of July, played tourist in downtown Seattle, and celebrated my nephew's 5th birthday. I miss them every day!
It was a busy year and there is a lot to look forward to in 2015! 

I just realized this reads like a Christmas letter. 

What have you been up to? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Vacation!

We're all moved in to our new place and it's wonderful! There's still a bit of chaos in random corners as we try to get everything organized, but the key pieces of furniture are in place and the kitchen is fully functional - what more do we need?

As of last Wednesday evening, I'm on a month long break from school and Andy and I both have all of next week off to enjoy the holidays. I have all sorts of plans to enjoy the festivities! Holiday parties to attend, spending time with family coming in from out of state, Christmas baking, a pile of books that I haven't been able to tackle while school was in session, and Home Alone and Christmas Vacation on repeat 24/7. There is even snow in the forecast for tonight!

The holidays this year have been a bit hectic so far with the move and school, but now that those are both behind me I'm ready to fully enjoy the season (what's left of it)!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Moving Out and Up

Today we put a deposit on an apartment, into which we'll move in two weeks! Our original plan was to stay here with the MIL through the holidays. We looked at this building a few weeks ago and loved it, but the upfront move-in cost was pretty steep so we decided to wait a bit longer. It's a newer building and the units are leasing quickly, so we decided to move forward in order to get into the type of unit we wanted. And we're SO READY to be in our own place again.

A few highlights of our new place:

  • Washer and dryer! In our unit! No more communal, coin-operated laundry machines! I've dreamed of this my whole adult life.
  • A bathtub. Our previous apartment had a stall shower only. Same with our bathroom here at the MIL's house. I see many baths in my future.
  • High ceilings
  • Big windows
  • Fitness center
  • Outdoor patio with firepit and barbecue (this is the building's, not our own private space)
It is a serious upgrade to our previous apartment complex, which had zero amenities. 

I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nope. No Way. Never.

As I try to get back into blogging more regularly, I'm noticing that I appreciate the little memes going around the blogosphere much more than I used to. They can be great prompts if you're at a loss for what to write, and are also a fun way to connect with/meet new bloggers.

One of my most favorite bloggers, Sarah (who also happens to be a local gal), posted this fun one today so I thought I'd play along.

Never, Ever, Ever...

Will I give up my addiction to buying house plants. I don't where this obsession came from. We had a few house plants in my house when I was a kid, but I never paid much attention to them. As an adult I can't go to a nursery, IKEA, Fred Meyer, hell, even the crappy floral department at my local Safeway, without buying a new plant. Which also means I can't walk through a nursery, IKEA, Fred Meyer, hell, even the crappy floral department of my local Safeway, without buying bright, colorful, ceramic pots to go with my plants. Unless I have a Little Shop of Horrors situation on my hands, I don't see any of this changing.

Will I stop playing the flute. I've been playing since I was 10 and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I was in band all the way through high school and have played in community concert bands as an adult (though not currently). Lately, I've been itching to play more than usual. I may just have to join the band again. #bandnerdforever

Will I possess a Type A personality. It must derive from the fact that I was conceived, baked, and born in Hawaii where life is so much more laid back. For a long time I tried to change this, but I'm pretty sure it's in my blood. I refer to it as both my Type Z (opposite end of the alphabet) or Type I (for Island) personality.

Will I enjoy eating Nutella. Here's the thing: I love trying new foods and exploring new flavors. My tastes have changed drastically since I was a kid, and even since late adolescence/early adulthood. I think I might even like mayonnaise some day. But I still think hazelnuts possess one of the most disgusting flavors invented. So good news for you Nutella lovers - more for you!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sending Holiday Cheer

This post is sponsored by Minted. For writing this post, I have been compensated with a credit toward my holiday card purchase. All opinions are my own.

I can't believe November is already half over and that Christmas is just a little over a month away. I'm starting to get really excited for the holidays this year, and part of that excitement comes from selecting our annual Christmas card to send to family and friends!

The selection of photo holiday cards from Minted is wonderful. The designs are fun and cheery, and I've heard great things from friends about the quality of the products Minted provides. It's going to be a challenge to narrow it down to just one choice!

For each card you select, you can customize your options to suit your  needs perfectly - you can select the type of paper (extra thick, pearlescent, etc.) and whether you want a flat card or a folded card. There are also multiple shipping options, so you'll get your cards in time to ship them before Christmas even if you are a procrastinator like me.

Here are some of my favorites:

This one is simple, but bright. And I love the font and layout!

I like this one because it's not your typical Christmas card. It's fresh and unique, and would probably work well with any photo you choose.

This card is beautiful! It has a more traditional look to it, and reminds of Scandinavian or German designs.

I love this one because it's so festive. It makes me want to get dressed up in sparkly attire and head to a holiday party.

Have you used Minted for cards or invitations? What did you think?

If you'd like to receive a holiday card from me, please fill out this form!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nut Job

I love Indian food. So does Andy. We both enjoy cooking, and we're constantly trying to perfect some Indian recipes. We have a pretty decent stock of Indian spices, but one thing we've really wanted to add to our collection is whole nutmeg. Ground nutmeg is great, but grinding it straight from the nut brings out more flavors. Plus, it just seems like a cool thing to do. Especially since my kitchen idol, Alton Brown, seems to go out of his way to point out how great it is to use the whole nut in just about every single episode of Good Eats. If Alton Brown does it, I want to do it.

Andy and I recently visited our local Indian market to stock up on ingredients for some recipes to try. We were wandering the narrow aisles (all four of them), perusing the spices and taking in the aromas of cardamom and curry, when I came across several packets of whole nutmeg. I grabbed one and brought it to our cart, proudly showing off my find to Andy. He scrunched his face and pointed out that they looked odd. They did, indeed, look odd, but only in a slightly shriveled, not as fresh as they could be, way. I threw them in our cart and we proceeded to the check-out line.

The checker proceeded to ring up our various items - rice, turmeric, garam masala, etc. When he arrived at our bag of nutmeg, he held it in front of him, looking slightly confused, and asked us, "What is your purpose for this?"

Andy was taken aback at such an odd question regarding such a ubiquitous spice, so he responded rather curtly, "it's nutmeg? You know, for cooking?" The man looked at us, looked at the bag of nutmeg, and let out what I can only describe as a guffaw. "This is not nutmeg! This is special treatment for your hair!"

As the checker continued to snicker, along with the customers in line behind us, I'm sure both of our faces turned as red as the tomatoes in the produce section. We couldn't get out of there fast enough.

My ego may be bruised, but I have a plan. Next time I visit the market, I plan on filling my basket with this mysterious product. If asked about my "purpose" for buying said product, I'll nonchalantly hand over my debit card and let the checker know my hair is in desperate need of some special treatment.