Monday, January 31, 2011

Shout out to a Hidden Treasure

I guess without revealing too many details about my whereabouts {for those of you that don't already know it} I would like to tell you a little tidbit about a treat I had last night. Yes, that's right people, I think a beer after work is a treat. It's not like some kind of problem. {I don't think.} Anyway, my friend and I decided to go tot he restaurant next door for a wind-down libation and as the bartender was rattling off the beers on tap, one stood out. "Two Beers Jive Espresso Stout." Yes, please! It makes me giggle a little bit because my friend {I won't reveal her name, but if you know me, you may know her and as I tell this story, you will giggle too.} pretty much only drinks light beer. Really light beer. She asks as we are walking in, "Are they going to have any light beer or only barfy dark beer?" Oh, friend, you make me laugh.

We are sitting my the fireplace in the bar, relaxing our feetsies, chatting about the night and here comes my tall, chilled beer glass filled to the top with dark, luscious, yummy stout. I enjoy my beer as it has hints of espresso, but not overpowering, it is definitely a stout but I didn't feel too full {in fact I probably felt like I could have another one}. We chat a bit more, finish up and leave.

I get in the car call Hub and we chat about his travels, what he is having for dinner and then I ask, "Have you ever heard of Two Beers Brewery?"

"Yes! That's that one {my friend} has been trying to get us to try out that her friend runs."

"Ohhhhh, ok. Well, I had the Jive Espresso Stout and it was really good. We should go there sometime."

Evidently it's a pretty small brewery but they have pretty good beer and quite a few different types at different times. It is interesting how the creative types interpret their creations and what brings them to create what they do. I read through the philosophy of the company and definitely agree with what they are bringing to the table.

We like beer. Hub brews beer sometimes so it's always fun to try different types and figure out what ingredients are and aren't tasty in the beer.

Hopefully next time I am back and talking about this brewery it will be because I visited and can maybe even chat about a couple of different kinds. I don't know though, that stout was pretty tasty.

What are you favorite brews? Are you a beer sampler or do you stick with what you know? Have you discovered any new treasures lately?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here Little Piggy, Pig, Pig

I hadn't mentioned it but last weekend Hub and I spent the majority of Saturday at my parents house helping to build a pig pen. {Actually, my mom and I ran a couple of errands while the guys built the pen. But I helped a little when we got back.} My parents were planning to get two pigs to raise and eventually slaughter. Hub and I said we wanted in on the deal so we would help and get some yummy pork.

Fast forward to this weekend, yesterday we arose slowly after Hub being out of town all week, had some coffee, caught up on some shows. {Sidenote: I am quite proud of myself because I watched the pilot episode of:
the other night and had planned to just watch them all myself however after I watched it, I thought Hub might enjoy it so I saved the rest of the first disc to watch with him. What do you know? He liked it.}

After we enjoyed our lazy morning, complete with homemade corn pancakes by Hub, we headed over to my parents' house to meet the pigs. Well, they weren't there when we got there so we threw the ball for Holly, sat on the front porch and waited. {Yes, I have a key, we were just kind of enjoying being outside even if it was pouring. Hub works in an office all day everyday in front of a computer so he likes being outside as much as possible.}

Finally they pulled in the driveway with the pigs in the back. We went out to see them {still, lovely, pouring rain} and they are so cute. There are three now because my mom just thought they were so cute she had to have one more. But I mean, take a look, they are pretty cute.
Rooting around already

Already hungry. Look at their little, piggy backsides!

Holly is not quite sure what to make of them
So there were a few finishing touches to put on the pig pen since they ended up being younger and smaller than my dad anticipated. Apparently pigs are quite the little escape artists so we don't want them squeezing through any areas in the gate and such. I think all in all this should be a pretty fun experience for the family and  it will be nice putting in the time and effort for some delicious pork to be enjoyed most like in late summer.

{Hub and I are actually kind of interested in getting a pet pig. Like a potbelly. We hear they are very smart and fun to have around the house. Any info in this area?}

On another note: Please look at this beautiful sunset off my back porch the other night...

Do you have any experience with "farming"? Has your family ever raised lovestock?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hot Mess

My mom's good friend is an artist. I mean a real artist. She is so creative and always thinking up some new project and comes up with some really impressive stuff. Her most recent interest has been encaustic art. Takes wax, a blow torch, wooden canvases and has a hay-day. {literally because she kind of lives on a farm.} So, I, recently became an owner of one of her pieces and I love it.

Definitely up in the air over whether this is a "final" art arrangement for the family room {yes to the star, no star, move the star. Hang the wax art, don't hang it, move the wax art. Oh, the many decisions.} Anyway, I do love the way the colors go with the room still kind of clash. {i.e. the teal and turquoise colors.

Just wanted to take a moment to say how talented I think this lady is and how I hope that her business/love will just continue to grow. I also LLLLLove original art pieces as well as LOCAL pieces. There really is nothing like the feeling of falling in love with a beautiful art piece while knowing that I am supporting local and most likely no one else will have it in their family room. Here are a few more of her pieces for you to oogle over. I know I do. 
Ok, people, go ahead and "Like" The Wax Slayer  on Facebook, follow her endeavors, see what she's up to in that adorable, creative and fun studio of hers set on her farm in the middle of a wooded area. Oh ya. And she has chickens. Love.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday
Alrighty, folks, time for another edition of "Tasty Tuesday!" This recipe was actually made a few months back for my dad's birthday. I have not done much cooking this week as a result of Hub's work schedule so I decided to pull from the archives. It is from one of my favorite cookbooks Taste of Home: Baking Classics.

Applescotch Crisp
350 degrees for 45-50 mins.
4 C sliced peeled tart apples
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. plus 2/3 C all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 C water
1/4 C milk
1/2 C quick-cooking oats
1 package (3-1/2 onces) cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C butter, cubed
Ice cream, optional

1. Place the apples in an ungreased 11in. x 7in. x 2in. baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, 1 tbsp. flour, water and milk. Pour over apples.

2. In another bowl, combine oats, pudding mix, sugar, cinnamon, salt and the remaining flour. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until topping is golden brown and fruit is tender. Serve with ice cream if desired.

This dessert was super easy and super yummy. There really is nothing like the scent of apples and cinnamon baking to make your home feel warm and cozy.

What desserts have you been baking lately? What is your favorite go-to dessert? What fruit do you prefer in a dessert?

Feel free to link up and share your favorite dessert!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Small Reward

So this week has been a little crazy. This is Hub's busy time of year, so in turn, apparently I got it in my head that I need to work a lot too. Where did I get this idea?! No idea. Anyway, I am a little tired right now and had a short time to browse through my blog reel and what do I do? Come across this post at Newlyweds Next Door and make a snap decision that I need this:
1 Corinthians 13 4-8  Purple
but in green. We started a frame collage in our family room a couple months back and right now it just consists of some color and black and white photographs. I cannot wait to add this verse to the mix and for it to play off some of the green we have in the room. I definitely do not think this is my last visit to this shop on Etsy! I figure this was a small amount of money well spent for our hard-work this week and the fact that I did not hesitate to hit the buy button {like I always do. Literally like, think about it forever before I hit the buy button.} tells me that it is a good purchase for our home.

I also really like this print:
Love Grows Here
as it plays off the colors in our family room as well. This could be making an appearance on our wall in the near future as well. {Note to self: browsing blogs and Etsy during a Friday afternoon daze may be detrimental to my checking account.}

Happy Friday Everyone!

What new wall art have you found these days? Do you like "wordy" art? Do you like to make some of your wall hangings?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to the girls who entered my giveaway and being part of my FIRST ever giveaway! I love hearing what gals spend their money on and now to announce our winner! Chosen at random by the random number generator was:


Thank you for entering and I will be emailing you the information to obtain your CSN Stores gift certificate!
Thanks again to those who entered and have a wonderful rest of your Thursday!

Bread Alternative

Hi, my name is:
Flatout Flatbread and I am delicious.
Flatout Traditional Packaging
Seriously, I am loving this stuff. I have made yummy wraps, tacos and filled it with veggies, meat, cottage cheese and beyond. I have had bad luck in the past with whole-wheat tortillas because I always think they taste like cardboard or fall apart. And Hub hates any whole-wheat tortillas I have brought home in the past but he likes the Flatouts! I purchased mine at Costco but it looks like you can buy online at their website and they even have a blog. I first saw these at my in-laws over Christmas and came home and gave them a try. Well, yum. Give them a try, I don't think you be sorry!

**I was in no way compensated for this rave and all opinions expressed are my own.**

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Being Fit

All through my life I would say that I have been "active." Maybe not every single day or the same type of exercise all the time but for the most part--active. I like to run and love to run with my dog. There really is nothing like a beautiful, sunny Washington day whether it be in the spring when the birds are chirping and I can feel summer warmth just around the corner or in the fall when the air is crisp and the leaves are crunching beneath my shoes.

Last year I outlined some goals I had set and of course, leave it to me to not complete the goal. I thought I would be able to complete a sprint triathlon and I never did. I started swimming in the mornings and really liked it. Why did I quit? I don't know. Hub turned my mountain bike into a road bike for my birthday and I rode it...once. Why? I don't know. The one thing I can always manage to stick with is running. However, when my back pain flared up again a few months ago, I let that go a bit too. I am getting back into the groove of things and although it may sound a little weird to some, I enjoy working out at my parents' right now while the weather is crappy. They have a Bowflex, an elliptical, a treadmill, free weights and exercise balls. I know, right?! Oh, yeah, my brother also has a bike trainer because he is training for the Ironman in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Yeah, he's kind of crazy like that. So basically, what I'm saying is that I really enjoy the privacy of the parents' house and the lack of membership fee. I mean, it might cost me a dinner for them here and there...which I think I can handle.

It's nice when I go over there and my brother is there to help with some workouts and make sure I am being efficient at my workouts. It was his idea for my heart rate monitor for a Christmas gift and now that I am getting to know it, I am liking it more each time.
Suunto t3d Sporty Red
The reason he knows about these things is, well, he was an Exercise Science Major, but now he works at an exercise performance testing facility called:
Click on the image to head on over to their website
He really enjoys this job and it's really nice to have someone so knowledgeable about exercise and nutrition around all the time for me to just call up and bother. I ask some really dumb questions, I'm sure, but he doesn't ever seem to mind. It's also really nice when I'm getting bored of certain workouts to just be able to ask him and he rattles them off the top of his head.

Back to my point, I am getting really motivated right now and I want to keep it that way so that maybe, just maybe, there will be some races in my future. Maybe a 10k, maybe a half-marathon or even a triathlon. Maybe I'm just the type of person that just needs to sign up so I stick to it.

What tricks do you have for staying motivated for working out? Are you signed up for any races in 2011? What is your favorite type of race?

**Thank you for all the entries in the giveaway. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning!**

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

I have not been very diligent about posting recipes lately so I am starting a weekly post called "Tasty Tuesday." I will hopefully be posting a recipe that I have prepared that week, however, it could also very well be something I have saved my archives that I am pulling up.

Tasty Tuesday 
Yesterday I woke up with a sweet tooth. I don't know what it was because usually I am a savory breakfast kinda girl. I went and looked in my trusty
and found this recipe. We have only used our waffle maker maybe once before so I am not so familiar with it. It took a couple of tries and they didn't turn out perfectly, pretty but they sure tasted good!

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and set aside.
2. Slightly beat the eggs and add milk, oil and vanilla.
3. Pour wet mixture all at once into dry mixture and mix. Batter will still be slightly lumpy.

I used a 1/3 c. measuring cup to portion my waffles into the maker and I also added blueberries. I topped mine with butter and boysenberry syrup, Hub used regular maple.

Feel free to link up with your favorite, your go-to, or you family's favorite breakfast recipe!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shows, Shmows

I don't know what it is about certain TV shows that I just can't help but watch. I have been watching Desperate Housewives from the beginning and even though the past few seasons have been going strain down the spiral of ridculousness, make-believeness and boringness all in the same, I keep tuning in. Why? I don't know. I find myself distracted during the show, doing other things {like blogging} yet I still record it.
The next show that keeps showing up on my DVR week after week despite my lackluster attitude toward it is Brothers and Sisters. At first I loved this show. I loved the idea of such a big family that always got together for dinner and while they had their little tiffs here and there, they always loved and supported each other. Sally Field as the mother can get to be a lot to handle, but even she is pretty cute most of the time. I find myself feeling the same about this show--I am doing other things during it, nothing is going on and its boring. 
Brothers and Sisters
I just haven't found a dramatic show that I am head over heels for lately. We watch the comedies Modern Family and The Middle which we love but no dramas. Maybe I am looking on the wrong channel for gosh sakes!

On to the show I am still excited to watch. Obviously, The Bachelor. Yes, that's right, I am totally sucked back in and can't wait to see what unfolds tonight. I definitely have some front-runners on who I think will win Brad's heart and some loonies who will most likely be sent packing pretty soon. My current favorites include:
Ashley H.
And the gals I don't think will last quite as long:
Haven't really had a chance to make decisions on some of the others yet since these girls seem to be stealing the show so far. I will be tuning in tonight for what promises to be another dramatic showing with tears, gowns and roses.

What are your favorite shows lately? Is there a favorite drama of yours that I am missing out on? Is it really just time for me to turn in my remote and stick to the paperbacks for my drama?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Musings

My thoughts are kind of all over the place, so I thought a listing post might be sufficient.
1. Hub and I did some budgeting this morning and are both feeling much better about where we stand. Sometimes it just takes a little time to make sure all our ducks are lined up in a row.
2. I have about three projects I want to get started on and keep finding reasons not to start them. {sewing some cloth napkins, picking a project out of One Yard Wonders, choosing a paint color for some furniture and painting it, painting our office.} Oh, ok, that was four projects.
3. Our Target is getting remodeled into a Super Target and when I went in for a couple of toiletries the other day, I came out with a few other items because everything, I mean seriously everything, had clearance signs. I picked up a cozy sweater ($7) and a big, round tablecloth to be cut up and turned into a one yard wonder ($3).
4. Hub and I spent a nice Friday evening at home since he has been working so much. I had originally planned to get a pizza so that I didn't have to cook but then at the last minute opted for turkey gravy over mashed potatoes and I think he appreciated the home-cooked meal since his late nights at work include eating out every night.
5. I finally got around to cleaning the bathrooms yesterday and it made me feel so happy. Nothing like a clean place to do the business! 
6. Looking forward to a couple of things this next week: Thursday night = birthday/spray tan party for a friend, Friday = heading to the new restaurant in the company, Anthony's, to help the new employees with answering questions and using the computers. Should be a fun time since I hear the restaurant is beautiful and it's always fun to take part in the high-energy of a new team. Saturday = 80's Murder-Mystery birthday party for one of our close friends.
7. Today marks one year of blogging for me. I am committed to being more dedicated in this year because, slowly but surely, I am loving the small community I am building {hoping it expands even more}, I like having a slightly creative outlet and I just enjoy writing.
8. I am going to extend my giveaway for a couple of more days, so entries will close on Wednesday night, January 19 at 8pm Pacific time.

Sorry for the randomness of my post, just some things on my mind and couldn't think of a cohesive way to put it all together. I hope you have all had a restful weekend and are ready for the week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CSN Stores Giveaway!

As I have become more involved with this blogging world, I see the popularity of CSN Stores more and more. I am obviously still a "newbie" at this whole blogging game but I was contacted by CSN Stores promotions and asked to do either a review or a giveaway and I figured it is a lot more fun to share with readers so I am hosting my first ever giveaway. I guess I will see how it goes! CSN Stores has over 200+ stores with everything from patio furniture, kitchen essentials, rugs and to spice up your counter seating area or have your guests belly up on a Friday night, modern bar stools. Really this website is a one-stop shop. To enter this contest, just leave a comment telling me what you would use a $20 gift certificate from CSN Stores for. The winner will be chosen at random, entries close Sunday night at 8pm Pacific time and the winner will be announced Monday morning so check back!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Window...Er, Website Shopping

I never used to be much of an online shopper because I like to see, touch, smell, carry my purchase up to the register and walk happily out of the store with a bag. I still don't really order too much offline, however it did prove to be convenient this holiday season. Every now and then I catch myself typing in the Nordstrom website, sometimes Target {even though this actual store is less than 10 minutes from my house}, and even sometimes Old Navy to see what super deals they have going on. In these times of peeking at these websites I have put together a small grouping of some of my favorites right now. A girl can always window website shop can't she?
Frye 'Melissa Button' BootFossil 'Key-Per' Printed Coated Canvas Shopper

Snowman Cocktail ShakerEtched Glass Container, Small
{click on any of the photos for their sources}
I just love getting ideas from different places, putting different looks together and adding them to my wishlist. I feel like the apparel items above are all staples to a wardrobe. I am loving rose gold right now and think it is so beautiful. I don't wear a watch currently and I think that is because I kill them. They always die on me. This happens to my mom too. Anyway, this Michael Kors watch is beautiful.

There is nothing like a good pair of workout/lounge pants in the winter and I love these Zella black pants. This purse is on my list because I got a wallet with this same look for Christmas and I love that the fabric has a coating over it for easy cleanup and the look is so fresh and bright. The boots and the sweater kind of go without explanation, I mean everyone needs a comfy sweater and good pair of riding boots.

I added the decor items because I always love peeking at the sale items at PB and these glass containers, although in the holiday section, could be used all year 'round and the shaker is just too cute.

I did receive a couple of cute wintery items for Christmas that I love. This beautiful scarf from my parents-in-law:
UGG® Australia Shearling Scarf
I opted for some knockoff grey, knit UGGs so as to hopefully get Hub and I a new camera. I love this pullover that Hub got me:
{am I going through a grey period?}
and he also got me these rainboots:
that I also love so much! I feel like I am pretty ready for the next couple months of winter we have to endure.

What is on your winter wishlist? What were your most useful Christmas gifts? Do you online shop or prefer the store itself?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saturday Night In

Lucky Hub and I both worked yesterday morning but we had a yummy dinner planned for last night so we were both eager to get home. We watched the Seahawks win their first playoff game and then set about making Beef Bourguignon. Yes, we were inspired from this movie:
Julie & Julia Poster
and since we got a Dutch Oven for Christmas, we figured it was time to tackle this meal. Such a fun Saturday night with a few libations and cookin' in the kitchen with my honey. We decided on this recipe from Simply Recipes and it was delicious. For some reason, I thought that it was only going to take a couple of hours but it ended up taking about four so we did eat a little later than we probably would have like but it was well worth it. Here is Hub slicin' up the beef:
Isn't he a cutie?!
I figure since the recipe was already written with pictures over at Simply Recipes, that I would just provide some pictures of our experience. We were so happy it turned out so well because after that long of waiting for dinner, it would have been slightly disappointing if it hadn't turned out. When the aromas started filling the house, I figured if it tasted half as good as it smelled that we were in for a treat and it sure did deliver.

Salt pork

Prepping ingredients-creminis, beef, shallots, carrots

Searing the beef

Preparing part of the sauce

A whole bottle of wine!

If you and yours enjoy cooking, I would definitely recommend making this meal together for a date night. We both contributed to the meal, we could chat, watch the football game and take breaks while different parts of the meal were cooking. It isn't a super high level of difficulty, we didn't think, there are just a lot of steps involved so it is time consuming. Just what were were looking for to spend some time together!

What are your favorite meals to cook together? Do you like trying new recipes for date nights? Have you made this meal before?