Peach Cupcakes & Apples to Apples

Josh and I went to a small group BBQ on Wednesday and it was such an answered prayer. We met a bunch of young married post college couples.

#1 they loved my cupcakes (which means I already liked them)
#2 I mentioned Josh and I liked to ride bikes and one girl (with gusto and excitement that I normally use for things that scares people) yelled WE RIDE BIKES TOO. (which I loved) So we even found active bike friends
#3 One of the girls said she was surprised Josh isn't awkward since he's an engineer- I gave him up and said that he was but that he also thought it was funny to be awkward just to watch people squirm. Then another guy said he liked to do that too and then proved it further along in the night.
#4 They all gave us their phone numbers without us asking, one girl even said if we do something fun to invite her and she'll come (so I'm taking that as she means she'll actually hang out with us :)
#5 We could laugh and joke with people that got us, made fun of us, and some live near the best gelato place that Josh and I bike to a lot so we can call them when we go and have friends.

So I didn't say what the list was - sorry- I think it was just me being so excited to have met some really great active our-aged people in Seattle and that was just some of the great parts of the night.
Josh and I have really been struggling with how we make friends here and how to make sure that we don't attack new people we meet with the sole intention of wanting them to like us so they'll be our friends. We've prayed about it a lot together and last night God just threw an amazing blessing at us. We're so so thankful. I know He can be subtle and wait but it is really nice sometimes when He just throws it at you. And I really hope that we stay conscious of that.
We were walking to our door and Josh started to talk and then stopped because someone passed us-  I asked what? He replied am going to exurte my excitement by dancing but I want him to pass first (funny hubs)
O and we were invited back!
So thank you for your prayers for us and I just wanted to share this because sometimes it feels hard and like you're pretty alone and we were starting to feel really down about finding a support system out here and how to connect without just wanting something but instead by sharing ourselves with others.
I apologize I know this is a little scattered but it follows how our thought process haha.

We're thinking of and missing you all. Happy 3 day weekend planning!

Josh teases me that this is turning into a food blog, 
but my peach cupcakes just made us friends 
(I'm joking!) 
 but seriously they were good- Peach Cupcake with brown sugar frosting recipe- didn't love her frosting with the cream cheese didn't suit them well enough. I'd make a regular brown sugar frosting next time. I like cupcakes where the icing just suites the cake not decides it wants to compete, but maybe that's just me.


State Fair

Saturday we went to the Evergreen State Fair. I've never been to a fair and now I understand why - it is expensive and if my parents took all of us it would have been $70 before we ate or rode anything. But I'm so glad Joshua and I went. It was one of my favorite days with him. We ran around eating blooming onions, bbq, cotton candy mmmmmm. We rode the ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl (which I always remember my dad being good at getting us to whip around), and a fun house (I'd never done one). We also played  the carnival game where you shoot the star out (my sister has it on wii carnival and we thought we'd give it a try in real life) Neither of us won, but I beat him :)There were cows, pigs and pig races!, goats, cats, dogs, horses, flowers, vegetables, race cars.
It was an absolutely amazing day- felt like kids running around in the gorgeous sunshine all day and buying fried foods.
I took 178 photos bahhh so I posted only some below!
THEY HAD PIG RACES! It was just too stinkin cute
They were actually fast

I wanted one of everthing!!! He was so fuzzy

cliche, yet always pretty ferris wheel photo
Josh was making cute noises at the sheeps

I love cows and they were everywhere.


Watermelon Lemonade! & Sculpure Park

We started the weekend off right with watermelon lemonade, caprese, and bread sitting on our porch. Yum!

Watermelon lemonade:
1. cut up a whole mini watermelon (seedless is best or you have to pick them out :/ )
2. mash the watermelon until all chunks are gone; I don't have a masher so I use a whisk
3. add a 1/4-1/2 cup sugar and mix; your preference
4. add 10-12 lemonade; not the koolaid kind the real stuff
5. add 1/2-1 cup cold water & mix it all
6. dip rim of glasses in water and then in sugar so they look cute
7. pour in glasses and enjoy, it rocks!
 We also happened upon Bike Polo promo downtown. I think we're actually going to go. The Bike Polo World series are in September here. My bike loving hubs was sold :)
 Really fun smashed pottery wall in Pike Place Market

 Sculpture park was so fun it was a gorgeous day and although  Hempfest (hahaha) was happening and ruined some of our plans we had fun running around the park. It slopes down and reveals more sculpture and paths as it gets down to the water. Plus we could just hang out in the grass. Anyone shocked I'm trying to catch the orange one :) haaha

 And of course gelato was involved. Raspberry and Blueberry!

We walked around downtown all day it was great but exhausting.
We miss all our friends and family a lot lately. But we've been skyping and such which has been really nice. Plus my friend Kayla sent me a bunch of Chicago newspaper crosswords which I'm obsessed with! How sweet is that! We really always think about how great the people in our lives are and when we feel down you guys always unexpectedly come through.

And my little sister Erika is in college already! Josh and I are so excited to skype and see her dorm soon. I know I'm not old but that makes me feel like I can say I do soon. I really hope she loves it and lets everyone see how awesome, amazing, and beautiful she is



A  G  A  T  H  A !
my orange kitchenaid mixer and I think I'm in love. I was so excited to use it. My work, ZGF architects threw me a wedding shower/graduation party before I left to come back to Cincinnati and they pitched in to buy me the one gift I never thought I'd get. It is truly one of the nicest things that has ever been done for me. I will always be thankful and now I'm even more thankful because they hired me and I get to work with some really awesome people.

 I made espresso cupcakes and then I didn't think the buttercream that the recipe said would go well on top so I made a white chocolate ganache then topped them with chocolate covered espresso beans or roasted cocoa nibs. I brought them in to work because I promised everyone that I would make them something with my mixer. They seemed to go over well and Joshua and I loved loved loved them. They were crazy moist from the cup of espresso I put in and they are just so cute!!
Well now you've met our Agatha, Josh named this one. You'll be seeing many more of her creations I'm sure. We really want to make my dad's bread soon and she has a part for that.  O and our cow, Felix, creamer was involved because it was 1 am when I was making these and I was feeling a little goofy, plus he's a cutie.

It was beautiful and warm here this weekend! We went to Capitol Hill on Friday and had tacos and went to a microbrewery it was really tasty. We biked like ten miles on Friday and then ran 5 miles on Saturday morning so Sunday we treated ourselves to banana nut and mocha ice cream- we deserved it.
Have a great monday!


Stuffed Peppers, Perogies, Chicken Alfredo, Skyline Dip

So here is some more crazy tasty food that we've been (I've been) creating lately.
1      stuffed peppers I used the linked recipe for how to cook them but I didn't really follow the ingredients. I put feta cheese in with the meat, red onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and I put oil and salsa on top and then grated on asiago cheese. We added more salsa later because it added really fantastic flavor.
Josh love love loved these.

2      perogies we made shitake mushroom, from our farmer's market, and garlic ones the first night and then later made spinach and chicken perogies. We used pre-made won ton doughs and then I made a white wine sauce to drizzle on top of them. They were so easy and fun to make together.

3      more pizza- a staple at our little apartment. This time with basil, roma tomato, pesto, kalamata olives, onion, garlic, oil pizza

4      homeade chicken alfredo with fresh made noodles from Trader Joe's and I used a recipe my sister and brother got from foods class in high school. Now my family uses it all the time. And I've never had fresh pasta before but man o man was it worth it. It cooks to perfect al dente and doesn't disappoint.
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. cream cheese
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 pint heavy cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
broccoli or mushrooms
fettuccine noodles

1   Melt butter in saucepan, add cream cheese
2   When softened add heavy cream
3   Add seasonings and simmer 15-20 minutes over low heat, stir frequetly
4   Put oil in another saucepan and cook chicken throughly then add broccoli or mushrooms and saute
     until cooked
5   Boil water and cook pasta
6   Serve noodles with sauce and top with chicken and veggies

5      Skyline dip with the leftovers from when we made it a few weeks ago and froze some. YAY it was like eating home :)
Use skyline leftovers or a can of it - Seattlites regular chili won't work I promise!
Spread 8oz cream cheese on bottom of a dish until even
put skyline over cream cheese
sprinkle or douse top in shredded cheddar cheese
put in oven or microwave until cheese is melted and chili is hot
eat with tortilla chips!
I dream about cooking and obsess over food blogs. Thank you to everyone who gave us kitchen stuff I'm putting it all to good use. I even use the sifter Josh swears I don't need haha

Happy Friday we're off biking to Ballard for some gelato and snacks!


Apartment updates

We've done some craigslist shopping and thrift store thrifting since I posted our apartment photos. For instance we now own a real couch...So I thought I'd share some photos.

I'm going to post some wedding photos soon and share a little bit about it. Our family and friends helped Joshua & I make almost everything. We had so many loving hands helping our wedding happen and it meant so much to us. I'll share more about it soonish

Until then here are living spaces updates

 I have had this fruit hanging thing for 3 years and I finally hung it from the ceiling and put fruit in it for the first time ever this week. Those bananas are bound for banana bread next week and I can't wait.
 Our bedroom art wall is growing! It has- a ticket stub collage I made from highschool, a photo print that our awesome friend Aurora sent us as a wedding gift, a painting I bought from a woman in Chinatown in Chicago, E is for Elrod, a music poster collage I made for DAAP freshman year that Josh loves, a gas gauge from our gas can money that Dave and Nick put together for a wedding- fantastic reminder of all the great people we have supporting us!
 A COUCH! It is purple but sometimes it plays tricks and seems brownishy. Also Dahlia pillows that I got from etsy- MARIESCOSYCUSHIONS she hand printed them and shocker they are orange :)
I found this sweet hanging mirror ball for $2 at an antique store near our apartment. It is being reserved for my air plant that I will be ordering soon!!!

Tomorrow is our 2 month anniversary of being married and I must say that I am still very happy that I married my hubs. We think we're really good together I cook-he cleans, I hit snooze-he shakes me awake, I buy-he saves, I bake-he loves sweets, I like him-he tolerates me= love :)


Comfort Food

I'm laying on our kitchen floor waiting for my cow timer to go off indicating that the espresso cupcakes I have created are done, it's midnight. Josh had to do some work tonight so we made espresso, jamming to the Decemberists and Ra Ra Riot and then I just ended up baking- no surprise there. I'm so excited these were the first desserts I made with Agatha, My orange mixer. I'll explain in another post. She is very photogenic.

As I'm sure is evident by now Joshua and I name everything- cacti, ducks, mixers, miniature snowmen- we can't help it- it's a gift.
This weekend we took naps- lots and lots of them while watching Big Bang theory and eating coffee flavored ice cream with roasted cocoa nibs (I bought them at Whole Foods a year ago because I liked the packaging, thank goodness they are actually crazy yummy) We also got Indian Food because we were missing home and we decided that is our comfort food.
Since I was feeling homesick this weekend my hubs stepped up to save the weekend and took me for donuts, another major comfort food (someone at my work said comfort food was proven by science to help- I agree)

 I love taking photos of him eating it's so amusing, he doesn't agree- or know I'm putting this on here :)
One of our neighbors has 2 cats that roam around. They like to visit and came into our apartment to play the other night. They found our closet and seemed to enjoy it the most. We like pretending we have pets. Cats aren't the favorite but we swear these act more like dogs.
So overall relaxing, lazy weekend, but it totally rocked. Hope yours was awesome! We're thinking of all of you!


Shakespeare in the Park

I love going to free Shakespeare shows. My friend Laurie and I went to see one in Boston and it was a huge production with a stage setup. But this one in Volunteer Park is simple. Pretty much no set but they do such a great job. And it really showcases how great the plays are. We saw Anthony & Cleopatra. It was actually really funny. Of course everyone dies in the end but Cleopatra was such sarcastic drama queen and when it happens in Shakespearean talk it is a riot!
Plus we are now IN LOVE with macaroons. I didn't get it they looked so hard and uneventful in flavor. But man o man they are sweet and soft and crunchy and melt in your mouth. We now dream of them!!!!
Since Pike Place Market is only a few blocks from work I went during my lunch hour and bought us goodies from my favorite places there. We had quite a fantastic spread of all things terrible for us.
Still putting our wedding napkins to good use. My mom packed them in our stuff :)

I love old soda bottles, plus they are super tasty



I read on someone elses blog recently that it's hard to be honest in a blog and that most people aren't real. I agree and it is really hard to do that I think. You only take pictures of the good stuff or you just set it up to look good. I didn't start this to make Joshua and I look perfect or to become some great blogger. I thought my family might like looking at our pictures and feel a little bit closer to us and like they weren't left out of our lives being so far away. But in all actuality it has become that for me. I feel closer to family and friends doing this. I feel like I am still sharing my life with them and that Joshua and I aren't alone. We miss everyone in Cincinnati a lot. We know God has a plan for us out here and that we need this so we can create a strong family with the two of us. We are happy, but it is hard. We don't just go on picnics and smile. We fight, we're selfish, we shower every 3ish days and wear sweats as soon as we get home. I don't want anyone to think we live in some cute bubble. I'm not trying to portray that here. We just got married so a lot of stuff does feel perfect and joyful to us and we're in a new place where everything is an adventure right now. So the cute bubble feels real sometimes right now but I don't want it to seem as if I'm portraying that we are perfect. I think the blogger was right. I think it is hard to be real, but I will not make this about looking like Joshua and I have a perfect life or marriage, I don't want this to be in any way a place to boast but a place to share.

James 1:16-18 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


Arboretum and Chocolate Martinis!

We biked to the arboretum this Saturday. It was a ridiculously gorgeous day!
The Arboretum has floating bridges that we walked across to a marshy island. It has trees growing all above you and then docks poke out from it to hang out by the water.
Please note how stinking adorable the duckling is! His mom was close by it was as if she took him to the playground for the day. He kept crawling on the lily pads. I'm pretty sure I spent 10 minutes repeatedly telling Josh to look at how cute it was!
We caught part of the Blue Angels show from Seafair. They flew over us in formations a few times. Man o man they are so loud!
 The rest of the park has a ton of paths that wander all over. We took a long rest in the grass. The sky was so blue. We ate fruit snacks too :)
 Josh had never seen this blue of flowers before, He wasn't sure what to do with them.
 Dahlias are my FAVorite flower!! The button orange dahlias are my all-time favorite. Seattle has a few dahlia gardens and they make my day.

 We headed to volunteer park to check the garden out. I smelled and touched pretty much all of them.

We biked to capital hill and ended the night with coffee chocolate martinis! Just YUM yum yum yum


Chocolate Caramel Pocket Cookies, Black & White Cupcakes, Caprese, Dimply Plum Cake

I love to cook, more specifically I love baking. I made a chocolate hazelnut cake and then Josh had to tell me I was banned from baking until we made friends we could give it to (he's right, the 2 of us should not eat a whole cake alone!) So I've started to have more fun with our dinners. I think we eat pizza 2 nights a week but we put on kalamata olives, roma tomatoes, pesto, fresh mozzarella, basil, prosciutto and such- they look fancy.

1      chocolate caramel pocket cookies
Josh took these to work, they were a hit

2      pizza! with Trader Joe's pizza dough
3      black and white cupcakes- always been a crowd favorite, I like to make them in mini cupcake pans too because then they are bite size! 
4      Polenta, green beans, onions, asiago cheese crisps- so easy to make
put a little butter in a sauce pan and melt.
Then sprinkle grated asiago cheese in a circle
Let cook until it browns and flip to other side.
Then take out and place on plate to cool and harden (30 seconds)
You can also drape it over the bottom of a bowl so it dries in a shape!!!!
5     caprese, favorite snack
slice up 2-3 roma tomatoes (or regular one's I'm biased to roma)
slice mozzarella approximately 1/4" slices
either lay them to look like finger food seperate snacks or lay them tomato, mozzarella, basil, ....
Then drizzle evoo (extra virgin olive oil) over it and add a little salt & pepper
6      dimply plum cake- we couldn't decide which type of plum so we bought 3. This was really tasty and it is a coffee cake so we took it for breakfast all week. AH seriously so good. As we were walking to the store to buy plums so I could make it Joshua informed me it is one of his favorite fruits. So then we exchanged childhood stories about how we ate messy plums and such. We really liked this one, will make again!
Mallorie gave me this apron for one of my bridal showers. I frequently wear it when baking because I'm definitively one of those messy bakers! Drives Josh crazy because he hates crumbs :) I Always clean up though!!