Boys Camping Trip

Joshua's best friend since pretty much forever came to Seattle this past weekend! One of the things he was most excited to share with him was the mountains. They headed up to Mt. Baker area Thursday and hiked the Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm trail.

I was a tinge jealous, it's one of my favorite hikes. The mountain views are beyond fabulous and they seemed to have encountered quite a bit of wildlife. Goats, baby goat!!! deer that wanted to be closer than comfort, marmots & more. They had initially planned for another hike the next day and only completing the Cascade Pass portion but got sucked into how awesome this one is and shifted focus.

They got back to their campsite quite late, made a fire even though it was too hot for one, but cast iron pizza is worth all the heat. Played a new game Nick brought us all night and passed out in the tent. They were a little sore when I met back up with them on Friday evening but it seemed like a pretty stupendous trip!!


Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad

This is a pretty simple meal that delivers great flavor. Also roasted carrots are so pretty so that's always a good bonus. I've made this for us for lunches for the week and also as dinner alongside salmon and it has been great every time. Plus all the colors and flavors give every bite something a little different.

Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad:

2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 carrots; cut lengthwise
1/2 red onion; diced or a few shallots; sliced
6-7 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tbs lemon juice
microgreens & salad greens
1 tsp djon mustard
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1   preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl mix together all the spices, salt & pepper
2   arrange carrots and onion on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2-3 tbs olive oil, then sprinkle on 1 tbs of the spice mixture, roast for 20-25 minutes, should be tender when poked with a fork
3   when the carrots have 3 minutes left place the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them
4   while the carrots are roasting bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then add in quinoa along with 2 tsp spice mix, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender, 15-20 mintues
5   in a large bowl whisk 2 tbs olive oil with 1 tbs lemon juice and mix in the greens, plate the greens
6   then whisk 2 tbs olive oil with 1 tbs lemon juice, djon mustard, 1 tsp spice mix. Add the quinoa, walnuts, carrots & onion, and cranberries into it and mix well
7   scoop the quinoa mixture over the greens


Mountainous Anniversary Trip

We try to take the day off for our anniversary but this year it couldn't work so instead we took the whole weekend to celebrate. Drove up to Mt. Baker area and camped outside our trailhead with a fire, boxed wine, reading via headlamp, and a stunning sky full of stars. The sky was so incredibly clear that night the stars were sparkly and out in force.

Next morning we were up early and packed up to head for a hike on Park Butte. It is a trail used to ascend Mt. Baker so we were hanging out right at it's base. We love being up close to the mountains so this was lovely! Maybe next we'll go to the top ;)

After our hike we headed over to Baker Lake, hiked in a few miles and hung up my birthday hammock for it's first run. Hammocking (word?) is awesome! We swung over the lake, took a nap, and enjoyed being alone with one another. It was an amazing way to spend time celebrating 4 married years together.



Father's Day

my dad's first selfie a few years ago
Happy Father's Day Dad! 

I wish I was there to bear hug you and eat fried chicken. Joshua & I love you & miss you! Thank you so much for all you've taught me and all you've pushed me to be, for believing in me and loving me through it all. You're my rockstar! Can't wait to spend a week with you soon & learn to fly fish like a pro.


The Ladies in Chicago

I was going to Chicago for work, NeoCon, so I had a plan. My mom & sisters were all off work that weekend already -a miracle in and of itself, and they agreed to drive to Chicago and hang out with me for the weekend. I have been missing my family a lot lately so this worked out to be amazing!
We wondered around the mile shopping, eating popsicles, just catching up. Then we went out to dinner and to my favorite bar Violet Hour where we sipped fancy drinks.

We got to  be silly, annoy one another,
and just be ourselves.
My heart was full & happy I'm
so glad they were able to come!

& of course then we got weird

We also went on the architectural boat tour in the blazing humid sun (forgot how bad it could be). The textures and shapes of all the buildings are so lovely from the water, plus it was nice to just sit for awhile and stare. The Blackhawks also won the Stanley Cup while I was there so that was kind of nuts. Then my favorite ladies drove home, but not before they hid notes around my hotel room for me so I wouldn't be so sad when I got back to my room and they weren't there anymore. So thankful for that time with them!


4 Year Anniversary

photo by the amazing Samantha's Studio, website here

For my birthday this year Joshua wrote me a letter, a five page letter. He's a beautiful writer and able to express all that my heart feels in words. I'll never be able to capture my feelings on paper the way he can so I'm going to steal how he started off the letter:

"I don't know what to say about how I feel about you right now. I am thinking back over the last near-decade we've know each other and there is just so much. You are so much more than I ever expected to get out of life"

I love you my Joshua, and thank goodness you accept my show of love, affection, appreciation, admiration & excitement that I find in you and our marriage in forms other than words.


Climbing on the Real Stuff

Last weekend we spent our 3rd weekend in a row sleeping outside, summertime is on! We drove out to Leavenworth with some friends to another of their friend's cabins. Pitched our little tent and then played this game called hammerschlagen for the majority of the night. It's a real game google it, premise: hit nails into a log involves drinking based on your accuracy. Safety wise, actually very safe, we were all safe, swear. It could also be my now favorite pastime.

But really the real reason we ventured out was to go on our first outdoor climbing trip. We had some people awesome enough to let us use their ropes and gear and show us the way. We hiked all the gear to Playground Point, our experienced climbers set our routes and away we went. Luckily we had a shady tree at our base because Saturday was a hot beast, but we slathered on sunscreen and had a really great time. We did an easy crack climb too which added interest.

Then after we'd slathered sunscreen on, been caked in dust, put on more sunscreen to then create mud all over our bodies and sweat in the sun all day we found a good calm spot on the Wenatchee River and endured the cold water to rinse off. Found a sunny giant rock and dried off as the sun set over the mountains. Beautiful day.

We only did mostly slab climbing so now Joshua and I are really interested in getting into something harder since we've gotten our feet wet in climbing. Something so satisfying about pulling yourself up a rock and problem solving the whole way up to a great mountain view reward at the top.


S'mores Brownies

My mom used to make these for all of us.
 One time she asked my younger sister if she wanted to make s'mores brownies with her...
...she responded, mom how can we make more if we don't have any...
...mom, not some more brownies, s'more brownies...
...sister still deeply confused until my mom actually showed her the ingredients
It was adorable and luckily the brownies were made, and then engulfed.

Brownies may be a favorite dessert of mine, nothing beats licking all the brownie batter out of the bowl, Nothing!

Pondering what to make for our potluck this week I realized I'd never made these for all my out west friends. So I went for it, but wanted to try making it all from scratch because on Monday nights I get crazy ideas and halfway through realize that they are in fact crazy but it's too late. Me and the group of people that demolished these though agree they are probably worth it. Also all of the pieces can be made ahead of time to help.

S'mores Brownies:


1/2 cup butter
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar; lightly packed
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
3 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips

1   in a small saucepan melt butter, then stir in chocolate chips until all melted and incorporated
2   remove from heat and pour into large bowl and let cool for about 5-7 minutes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F
3   mix sugar and brown sugar into chocolate mixture, then mix in eggs one at, mix in vanilla
4   then fold in flour, cocoa, and salt only until mostly incorporated
5   then stir in additional chocolate chips
6   pour into a greased 9x9 baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, a toothpick should come out clean

Bourbon Marshmallows:

1/2 cup warm water
3 1/4oz packages of gelatin
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs bourbon
confectioners sugar or cornstarch for dusting

1    spread oil with a paper towel inside of a 9x9 baking dish and then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar until covered and set aside
2   pour warm water into large bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it so that all the gelatin is touching the water's surface and let sit
3   in a saucepan place sugar, corn syrup, salt and water over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is all melted
4   then stir in vanilla and then let sit undisturbed on heat until candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F, soft ball stage
5   remove mixture from heat and let bubbles dissipate some, fix mixer with whisk attachement
6   then start mixer with gelatin mixture in it on low and slowly drizzle the sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the gelatin
7   once all the sugar mixture is incorporated start to turn the mixer up to high and whisk for about 5 minutes so that the mixture is sticky and fluffy white and the mixture forms thin ribbons when lifted. Then whisk in the bourbon
8   immediately pour mixture into 9x9 pan evenly and using a wet finger smooth out the top if need be
9   set out at room temperature, uncovered for at least 4 hours, or overnight, then cut into cubes

Graham Crackers:
from here

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour           
1/2 cup untoasted wheat germ (found in stores that sell grains in bulk bins)
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter; room temp
3/4 cup light brown sugar; lightly packed
2 tbs agave syrup or honey       

1   in a large bowl mix together flours, wheat germ, salt, baking soda & cinnamon
2   in another bowl beat together butter and sugars, then slowly beat in flour mixture until incorporated
3   on a floured surface turn out dough and separate into 4 balls
4   roll out each ball to be about 6"x9" rectangles about 1/8" thick, then cut dough with pizza cutter or knife into about 1 1/2" x 3" rectangles, pierce each cracker a few times with the tines of a fork
5   place rolled out dough in fridge for 30 minutes
6   preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake crackers until dark golden brown on top, 10-12 minutes
7   remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes, then break the crackers apart as desired


1   place oven on broil and cover brownies with marshmallow cubes
2   broil until tops of marshmallows are golden brown
3   remove and top with a layer of graham crackers
4   use your perfect little lines formed by the crackers to cut adorable s'more brownies out for everyone