friday letters

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dear teeth: Please stop hurting. I am extremely tired of going to the dentist every week. There is no need for this due to my obsessive dental care regimen. This needs to stop or I will be forced to knock you all out of my mouth with a hammer. 

Dear Seattle rain: Please please please stop raining. This is ridiculous, even by PNW standards.

Dear Mega Millions lottery: Please pick my numbers? I know it is a 1 in 176 million chance but someone has to win, right?

Dear Duggar family: Please stop making babies. No matter what defense you come up with, it is still absurd and I don't care if you aren't on government support, 19 kids is too many. 

Dear July: Please hurry up and get here. I need to go to Maui. This depressing, rainy weather isn't helping.

Happy Friday!

last thing thursday

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bought for Myself:
Oh yeah I did. Who has one of these bad boys? Are you just in love?

THEIT camera bag
New case for my MBP

Yes... I shop a lot, ok? Don't judge me. I have no self control. 

Ate (that was bad for me):

It was dark chocolate... that is ok, right?

Ate (that was good for me):

I could eat these until I get sick. Seriously. They are SO amazing. 


I could really use one of these mojitos right now.


"LOVE" frames over our bed. I traced wooden block letters on to gray, textured scrapbook paper. For the inside of the letters, I used tiny letter stamps and stamped the 'L' out of little L's, the 'O' out of little O's, etc. I framed them in white shadowbox frames from IKEA. 

Felt Nervous About: 
Really nervous about? My root canal yesterday... it was as painful as I imagined. I am such a wuss when it comes to pain or shots or anything of that nature. It took 2 and a half hours and about 20 shots in the ole' gums (not kidding). Glad that is over.

Swooned Over:
This gorgeous sofa from Resto

Antropologie candles

bucket list

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What kinds of things are on yours??

  1. Travel to Italy
  2. Travel to France
  3. Travel to Germany
  4. Travel to Spain
  5. Travel to England
  6. Travel to Ireland
  7. Travel to Norway
  8. Travel to Greece 
  9. Travel to Japan
  10. Travel to Thailand 
  11. Visit New York
  12. Visit Boston
  13. Go on a Safari in Africa
  14. Learn to speak another language 
  15. Own a dog
  16. Learn to play tennis
  17. Buy a nice DSLR camera
  18. Get better at shooting in manual
  19. Run a half marathon (training for my 2nd!)
  20. Start a business
  21. Learn to drive a stick 
  22. Perfect creme brûlée
  23. Own a business
  24. Write a book
  25. Own the blue Manolos from SATC
  26. Make every single Ina recipe 
  27. Eat at French Laundry
  28. Own a winery when I retire
  29. Try CrossFit
  30. Buy a house
  31. Try surfing
  32. See a Broadway play
  33. Get a Brazilian wax
  34. Buy a Tempur-Pedic bed
  35. Grow a garden
  36. Own a convertible 
  37. Live somewhere other than California
  38. Shoot a gun
  39. Plan a wedding
  40. Have beautiful art in my home
  41. Go to a Super Bowl game
  42. Swim with dolphins
  43. Feel confident in a bikini 
  44. Get professional photos taken
  45. Own a Chanel bag
  46. Make a craft from Pinterest 

life plans

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Everyone has dreams and wishes and visions of how they see their life playing out in five, ten, fifty years. I think goals and dreams are important and I think that planning for the future and having certain things to accomplish by certain milestones in life is fulfilling and necessary. With that said, life just doesn't work that way. 

I've always been the kind of person who has a plan (see my about me- type A all the way). I'm a planner and I hate the feeling of not having plans at 4pm on a Saturday when you've already made tentative plans with someone but they haven't touched base yet about the actual plan. You sit around wondering if you will actually end up doing anything at all but things always work out, it seems. I like structure and deadlines and budgets. I like lists and I like my chalkboard in the kitchen with the week's grocery list. It is not only there for decoration, it is very functional. Sometimes I think I'm controlling to a fault and I don't quite know why that is, but it keeps me sane and keeps everyone safe. No one will die of a dryer fire on my watch, I can promise you that much and the lights will always be of when no one is home and I'll have the Costco card when we are in line and "who remembered the Costco card?!?". I did. I always do. 

In my life, looking back, I thought I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what the plan was when I graduated from high school. I was going to this college and everything was going to be perfect. I just knew how things would go and how my life was supposed to turn out. After being at this college for 2 years, meeting someone who was the best and worst thing about that experience and not ever really feeling like I belonged or feeling like myself, I transferred to another, better college closer to home (I said closer not so close that my parents could pop over whenever they wanted) - a college that my parents always wanted me to go to but that I insisted would never be in my plan. I finished college with the Interior Design Major which was what I knew I wanted to do and the only thing that made me happy. I had big plans, let me tell you. 

After 2 job offers in the design industry, I turned down both of them. It broke my heart because I wanted nothing more than to work in the design industry but timing, salary offers and the rest of my life never seemed to work out with these offers. I thought I was going to marry said person who I met at that first college and that didn't work out either (arguably, for the best). I thought I'd hate the second college because it was so not me but I met my best friend at that school and had an amazing last 2 years of college. 

I think that no matter how hard you try, how much you think that you have everything figured out, life never ever goes according to your plan. Life has its disappointments but with those come its surprises, good surprises. If you had told me back in college that I'd be living in Seattle working for an Oracle consulting firm, I more than likely wouldn't have believed you but now, I know that this is my life and this is how it was meant to be. Things will always be changing. Problems will come up and I know I'll never be able to plan for everything. All you can ever do is be prepared for as much as you can and take things as they come. Sometimes I still don't know what is in store for my life but I guess if everything was planned out and I knew what was going to happen tomorrow and in 5 years, the journey wouldn't be as fun. 

wine tasting

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Since it was such a beautiful day on Saturday, there was no way I could bear to stay inside. I rounded everyone up and we all headed out to Woodinville to go wine tasting. Everyone else in the greater Seattle area seemed to have this idea too because it was crowded!

Back in California, one of my favorite things to do was wine tasting in Napa. Since we lived about an hour away from Napa, we were able to drive over for the day and spend all day hopping from one winery to the next. Woodinville is very similar to Napa. All of the wineries are along a very pretty highway and it is very easy to make a day of wine tasting. It reminds me of California and its no secret that I love wine anytime of the day. 

Our first stop was Chateau Ste. Michelle. This winery is on an amazing piece of property with huge grassy areas and gorgeous buildings. Since we have all been here several times and the tasting room was so crowded, we decided just to get wine by the glass and go sit outside in the courtyard. When we first arrived, it was still a little overcast and I was worried that it wouldn't clear up. The Vitamin D gods must have been looking out for us, because it cleared right up and was warm and sunny the rest of the day. 

Even these sweet ducks were enjoying the sunny weather

Our second stop was a modern winery down the road from Chateau Ste. Michelle. Januik has a great vibe and fabulous wines. The tasting room is very open and has floor to ceiling windows looking into the barrel room. We all wanted to be outside soaking up the sun enjoying our wine, so we grabbed a few bottles, cheese, salami and olives and we went outside to spend the afternoon chatting and enjoying this lazy day. 

Happy Friday

Friday, March 23, 2012

Right before Evan and I moved to Seattle, my family got a new Golden Retriever pup and I miss him and what joy he brings. I know my mom and dad live for him now that my brother and I are out of the house. He keeps them active too, so its a win/win. I miss having a dog around. I think that dogs keep you sane and no matter how terrible your day was, you come home and they are always there, ready to love you. I keep telling Evan that it is medically necessary for me to have a dog, but he says that we can't get one until we get a bigger yard. 
Fine, let's move. Right now. 

Oakley was very pleased with his Christmas loot. Yes he did unwrap his presents. 

I just can't get over him. He is so darn cute and I'm convinced that he recognizes me when I go home to visit. He even knows how to open the screen door and let himself out into the backyard... we are still working on teaching him how to close the screen behind him- he hasn't quite mastered this one yet.  

We are off to enjoy the sunny Seattle weather this weekend. It may be several weeks before we see this again. 

Happy Friday!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

I don't know how many of you are on the Birchbox train, but I just discovered it a month or so ago and all I can say is I'm addicted after my first shipment. What a great idea- I don't know why I never come up with these ideas first...

This lovely little monthly shipment of amazing samples of every and any kind of beauty samples changes every month. It is like getting a present in the mail once a month and I sure do love surprises. 

This month included some body balm, nail polish, hair oil, tea, perfume and tinted moisturizer. Every shipment also comes with a little card to explain the product. It is all wrapped up in a sweet little box with hot pink tissue paper. 

I imagine the logic behind this business is to let you try all of these different products in hopes that you will love one and purchase a full size. I, however, just love a little of everything. I'll be sure to let you know if anything is just too amazing not to have the full size version. 

Filet of Beef with Gorgonzola sauce

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ina Garten is some kind of genius. She is on my list of 'people I'd like to spend a day with'. I mean EVERYTHING she makes is out of this world. 

Her recipes use very simple ingredients that you can find at any store. She doesn't make you buy a whole huge container of one spice that costs $15 that you will never use again. Most of her recipes even call for the same ingredients such as olive oil, kosher salt, garlic, fresh meats and fresh vegetables. Her recipes are very simple and very time consuming because of the detail that is required to prepare them. I promise, they are worth every minute of your time. 

I own all of her cookbooks and decided to try a new recipe- filet of beef with creamy Gorgonzola sauce, green beans (done Ina's way, of course) and mashed potatoes. 

The recipe for the beef is out of her Parties cookbook. It calls for a 4-5 pound filet of beef but since it is just the 2 of us, I decided to get 2 small filets and just grill the meat until medium rare. 

Gorgonzola Cream Sauce: (I cut this in half since we didn't have as much meat)
4 cups heavy cream
3 to 4 oz. crumbly Gorgonzola (not "creamy" or "dolce")
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then continue to boil the cream rapidly for 45-50 minutes until it is thick like white sauce, stirring occasionally. 
Remove the pan from the heat, add Gorgonzola, Parmesan, salt, pepper and parsley and server over sliced beef. 

I think that this Gorgonzola sauce would be great on chicken or fish as well. It is creamy and cheesy but still has the punch from the Gorgonzola. 

when it rains, it drizzles

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Living in Seattle could not be more different than living in California. I mean seriously. It rains (although not as much as everyone thinks), it is dreary a lot and people cannot drive. Thats right, people are HORRIBLE drivers. 

When it rains it pours drizzles, at best. We don't have torrential downpours. We have misty, light sprinkle. I think that the real reason Seattleites tell everyone "oh its awful, it rains SO much" is because they are sick and tired of people moving up here, creating more traffic and this is their secret way to make people think Seattle is awful.  

In California, you go 80 on the freeway. It's just how you drive. If you are in the fast lane, people better not be passing you in the other lanes or you are sure to get a finger and a horn. California kindness all the way. Up here in the PNW, people cruise along at 60, the speed limit. It almost seems like people like to take their time... just cruising along, not a care in the world, in no real hurry to get anywhere. Oh, and when it rains or heaven forbid, snows a little, everyone FREAKS out and forgets what to do with a car. I really miss the California drivers. I miss the horns and the middle fingers, oh how I miss the rude California drivers. 

I don't want you to think Seattle is all bad, because that couldn't be further from the truth. Seattle is probably the prettiest state I've ever seen. Everything is green and we are in no shortage of trees (this is one benefit of all that water). We really do have a little of everything. We are 30 minutes from good skiing, 20 minutes from lakes (Lake Washington and Lake Union) and the Puget Sound and we even have a nice little beach that reminds me a lot of Santa Rosa, called Alki Beach. Also, Canada is a short drive north and Vancouver and Whistler are both great spots to get away. 

Seattle is also known for its seafood. Any day of the week, you can cruise down to Pike's and pick up any kind of seafood you want and you can be sure that it came right off the boat. Also, the flowers and produce at the market are amazing and the different vendors carry every variety of veggie and fruit imaginable. (More pictures and another post on the market to come later). 

Seattle has a large market for the IT industry as well. Companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, REI, Costco, Microsoft, Expedia and T-Mobile are all headquartered up here so the job market is fairly strong compared to other parts of the country. People up here really like their nerds, I can tell you that much. 

All in all, Seattle is a gem up here in the northwest corner of the USA. I am still learning my way around the city. I'm learning to adjust to the people and the drivers and the weather. It has certainly been a change for me but everyday it feels more comfortable. Sometimes when I am driving home and I can see the skyline of Seattle, lit up at night, with the Space Needle shining brighter than any other structure, it really just makes me appreciate the beauty of this city and all of the wonderful things up here that we are so close to and so fortunate to be able to experience. Seattle may be different than California but that is a good thing. I am excited to continue to discover things to do, great spots to eat or grab a drink and other unique things about this city. Also, the convenience of having a Starbucks every 2 blocks? You really get used to that.

Number One

Monday, March 19, 2012

My very first post! I am officially a blogger now, right?!

I decided to start this blog for a few reasons, really. Since we moved up to Seattle from California in December of 2010, I feel like it has been a challenge to really stay as close and as connected as we had always been to our families and friends. Instead of Sunday dinners, weekend trips to Lake Tahoe and quick and frequent meals with friends, we find ourselves explaining our weekend, our jobs and our lives to our families over the phone or Skype... a HUGE change from what we were used to for so long.

I am extremely close to my parents and friends in Sacramento. I never managed to get too far away from home and was always anxious to get back because it was the one place, no matter what, where I felt like myself. I was comfortable and it was home. It still is and I think it always will be.

There has always been something inside of me that felt like if I never moved outside of my bubble, never had the chance to experience life in a different city, I would always wonder. I would always regret not doing something different and not doing something for myself. When the opportunity to relocate for work came up one Friday afternoon in November, I decided to think about it. I thought about it long and hard for a weekend and talked it over with Evan. I was sure he would be on the fence about the whole thing but surprisingly enough, he was on board right away. I decided that if he was that excited, I could be too and this was my chance.

A month later, we were all packed up in a big truck and off we went. Now, 15 months later, I am so glad that we made this decision although it has taken a lot of getting used to. It has given us a different perspective on life and it has shown us how to live our own life and make decisions for us. I am sure we will move back to California someday but for now, Seattle has quickly become our new home... just us doing our own thing.

With this blog, I hope to make new friends and develop relationships with all of the amazing people of the blogging community, stay close to family and friends back home and give them a more colorful and descriptive look at our lives up here and to create a space for my pictures, my writing and my life.

My photography skills are DEFINITELY still getting better (goodbye point and shoot, helllloooo Canon T2i... well the point and shoot can be for those times where lugging around a big camera would just be dangerous). I am taking classes and learning how to see the world through this new camera. Bear with me on this one.

I hope that you find yourself coming back for more. I hope that this blog is entertaining and fun and I hope that I find what I'm looking for too.

I love new friends and I'd love to hear from you! 
E-mail me: insearchofsunshineblog{at}
Ask me anything: HERE

Thanks for stoping by and until next time...

 Lake Tahoe- how could you not miss this view?