Surprise Birthday Visit

Thursday after the park party hubs made me stay up and play rummy with him, then he made tea, and kept making me play cards and said I couldn't go to bed. He also said he couldn't tell me my birthday surprise yet, and he had promised to...then our buzzer rang and MY PARENTS CAME IN!!!! I cried, got mascara on my mom's shirt and hugged them for way too long! It was the PERFECT surprise! I've been feeling so so homesick for my family lately and it was just what I needed!
So sneaky too Joshua kept throwing me off the path, my parents scheduled a skype date on my birthday, my sister asked if her gift had come in the mail yet-- tricky people!

Then!!! They said we were going to San Juan Island for the weekend!

we hopped the ferry (photo by madre)

(photo by madre)

visited an alpaca farm, Joshua thinks they looked like where the wild things are guys, especially when they run
(photo by madre)

saw quite a few eagles (photo by madre)

hiked up to views where we could see Canada!

had dinner by the water

when I ordered ribs Joshua almost died, He absolutely couldn't believe I'd eat those!
(photo by madre)

sculpture park at sunset (photo by madre)

ice cream with cows in it!!!!!
lavender fields

our all wood cabin, taught them how to play settlers of the catan in which we all schemed against Josh so he wouldn't win :)
(photo by padre)

went back across the ferry to Seattle and checked out Snoqualmie Falls

We also had a picnic with striped straws and thai food in the park, played ukere, watched TinTin, grilled out, watched the sunset, bought climbing shoes at REI sale,played king of the log, went to a lavendar farm and.......

WENT KAYAKING!!! Which I will post soon!

It was beyond amazing to have the time to spend with my parents. but more on that in the next post too!


24th Birthday Park Party

It was my 24th birthday last Saturday but since hubs had secret plans all weekend he threw me a friend's party in the park on Thursday. Rain almost forced us inside but at luckily moved away before party time.
It was really fantastic to have all the people that make Seattle rock in one place!

I packed the party straws, and I was teased, but they loved them :)

Liz made me a jellyfish pinata!

Joshua grilled on his new $20 grill (he's proud)

I blew out sweet candles! (Joshua made the cake!)
He's cheering because Liz said however many candles I left lit were how many kids we were going to have hahah, he was excited I got them all. (A joke between our friends)

homeade funfetti cake (more pics soon)

Best pinata ever- it had taffy, frogs, tea, lychee treats, toys, AND mini bottles of whiskey, rum and vodka
a grown up pinata! It was so cute!


Scratch-off cards + DIY

As I've expressed before I love sending mail. But sometimes I don't have a ton of new things to say...
So I recently made a batch of scratch off cards to send to my friends. They are just kind of goofy and say that I miss them but they get to help finish the message

I made a template on the computer and printed them out. I made a fun note and them made 3 options for parts of each sentence and put a number above the options. Then I made scratch off tape:

2 parts acrylic paint
1 part dish soap
clear packaging tape
foam brush (dollar store has them)
wax paper

1   put tape on wax paper
2   mix the paint and soap
3   using the foam brush paint the tape
4   let dry and do a second coat
5   then cut into desired shape
6   peel off wax paper and place on card

I had trouble getting the paint to not streak and leave open spots on the tape so I put a little less dish soap in and that seemed to help.
Also when cutting the tape you want to use avoid the very edge because some paint could have gotten underneath and if you use it the paint underneath will show up even after you scratch the top coat off.

Then I cut the tape to fit over the options and voila!
Now when my friends recieve them they get to scratch off 1-3 to see what their unique message ends up being...but it's left up to them.
Plus who doesn't love scratch offs! Just makes me smile, which is what I wanted to achieve.

P.S. The cutting does take a little while but just drink some peach lemonade and put on some tunes- you might have fun
Also I was thinking they'd be postcards but then realized they would probably get scratched in the mail, so I'd recommend and envelope!


Garden Updates

YAY most of my plants are surviving. The basil has shriveled and the cat has dug in the back corner a few times and the bok choi is being eaten by something... BUT

My strawberries are forming and so far there are about 10

The parsley and cilantro are full and I've been able to start throwing them in our meals.
Plus a dahlia bulb from a plant Joshua got me last spring is starting to sprout! It sat outside in a dirt filled pot all winter and I thought I'd give it a go, so far so good.


Now for the little guy below- I named him Ricardo.
We bought bok choi from the farmers market over a week ago, then we went to Portland and forgot about it. We came back and I thought I'd put it on pizza. When I pulled it out I noticed it looked like it had been eaten (which it hadn't looked like when we bought it). I opened the twist tye to chop those parts off and out came this brown thing. I flicked in onto the counter and then.....it's little feelers started to pop out, and then.....it started to move! It was a slug!!! Still alive after a week in our fridge! He stretched out to be an inch long and left a trail of slime behind him when he moved.
I made Joshua put him outside. ICK
And no we didn't eat the bok choi- unless you were curious


English Pea Pasta

I've never really liked peas, peas in chicken fried rice is fine but a giant helping of peas is not!
But the dinner I got for our 11-versary happened to have English Peas in it- and I loved them!
Therefore I scooped up a bunch of pod of them the next time we were at the grocery store.

English Pea Pasta:

15-20 english pea pods; shelled
1/3 red onion; diced
1 package of cubed pancetta
3 shallots; sliced
1 tbs butter
1 cup of dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
handful of fresh parsley
egg noodles
S&P to taste
feta cheese

1   melt the butter in a pan and throw in the pancetta
2   cook for 3 minutes, add the onion, and cook for 3 more minutes
3   add the peas and cook for 5 minutes
4   add the shallots
5   boil water and cook the egg noodles
6   then pour in the wine and heavy cream
7   add salt and pepper and cook for 4-7 minutes; stir frequently
8   put the noodles on a plate, spoon the sauce mixture overtop
9   add the feta cheese and parsley on top

This turned out to be delicious and the peas really stood out in flavor. Joshua asked me to make sure I remembered how I made it becasue he was a big fan. I think part of the reason it was so good was because I bought really good heavy cream. You could really taste that it was a good cream in the dish.
It is a really great light dish. Could serve 4 people if you served it with bread and oil!
 I may have spent 1/2 and hour photographing the peas for fun  :) They're so cute!



Last Friday was our 11-month anniversary! So I suprised Joshua and took him out on a hot date :)
We went to Bottleworks in Wallingford which has a bunch of local beers

Then we went to a place called Tilth for dinner. It was so so good! They have a seasonal menu and it was all so fresh! We were even fancy and got appetizers. Plus hubs got salmon and I ate a whole bite- I even chewed it.

Then we of course finished off with gelato.

Part of me can't believe it hasn't been a year yet while part of me can't believe that I'm married to this fantastic man to begin with.
I was talking to a friend recently who went out with his wife for his anniversary. He was talking about how nice it was to go out and celebrate themselves and being proud of themselves. (Sorry, He worded it much more eloquently) But I knew what he meant, it was really  nice to have a night where we went out  for the sole purpose of celebrating our marriage. Dating anniversaries never meant anything to us but I think celebrating our marriage, which is hard work and continually taken to another deeper level and which constanly has life getting in the way, is an accomplishment that I'd like to keep celebrating.



Little meats

We crave tacos at least once a week! But we had just gotten home from Portland and wanted to eat in so we gave it a shot ourselves. It turned out delicious!
Our favorite are the tacos carnitas (which means little meats)

Tacos Carnitas:

small tortillas
1 can of black beans
pecorino cheese; grated
carne asada (we got it from Trader Joe's but you can also buy a flank steak and marinade/rub it in spices)
lime wedges

1   dice the meat into bit size pieces and cook in a skillet until brown
2   cook a can of black beans over the stove, once done rinse them and mash them with some salt and pepper
3   put the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes to warm them and crisp the edges a little
4   pile the cheese, little meats, and beans on top of the tortilla and sprinkle with fresh cilantro and some fresh squeezed lime juice

I it sounds simple but it tastes divine!

The place we love going to has the best salsa, it's super simple but amazing. This is our version

Fresh Salsa:
5 roma tomatoes; diced
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 jalapeno; diced small
1/3 red onion; diced
generous amount of cilantro; diced
1/2 lime; juiced
a few pinches of salt and pepper

mix them all together and serve with tortilla chips and/or add to your tacos

And of course we washed them down with mexican cokes :)