Halloween Comes Early at the Huffs August 31, 2014 I’ve had it in my head that I wanted to make a Halloween wreath. Yes, I’m aware of the date but I would not be deterred. After two trips to Michael’s, where I stocked up on all things that were glittered and thankful for lots of coupons and store discounts, I was left with this pile of random. I had wanted to find some vintage style masks and wire them to a wreath, add a ribbon and call it an afternoon but Archie McPhee’s let me down in a big way. I found the felt Frankenstein and decided that was as good as it was going to get. After first thinking I had seriously over purchased, I made this: and only have 4 different Halloween stems left. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Sophy declared “I love it!” My work here is done. Note: this wreath is hanging INSIDE the house until at least late Sept. No reason to advertise the crazy. Be Brave August 28, 2014 I think I’m going to finally work my way through Flora Bowley’s book this long weekend. I’ve been dying for an art retreat but it’s out of the budget for awhile so working through my massive art library seems like a decent substitute. I’ve been putting anything painting related since I feel completely I talented in anything I think of as actually arty. But her blog and book have really been speaking to me lately so I think I’m going to go all in since I have a giant canvas, card table for outside, paint and nothing to stop me except a cranky toddler. She might get her own mini canvas! I’ve got some Project Life catch up, Halloween wreath making and some jewelry gifts to do on the agenda as well. Can’t wait to jump in. Note bracelet has been in my drawer for a long time but it’s been coming out more and more lately. It’s a new motto and accessory favorite thanks to Kelly Rae Roberts for making an awesome bracelet! Happy Thursday! Goonies Never Say Die! August 25, 2014 Saturday we took a day trip down to Astoria, Oregon. It’s a lovely coastal town that also happens to be the home of the Goonies! If you are unfamiliar with the Goonies you should rectify that immediately. The view from the Astoria Column base. Incredibly gorgeous. And pretty much all you need. Below is the Astoria Column which is an odd column on the top of a hill that offers an amazing view. You pay $2 to park for the year (an excellent value with the picnic tables for lovely seaside views) and then you can climb the tower and hang out at the top, or on the grounds, as much as you’d like. We made it halfway up the unbelievably rickety stairs and bailed. Major anxiety attack. I don’t enjoy heights, and am increasingly disinclined towards tight spaces, this column offers both. Rolland was also carrying the toddler up with super winding stairs and agreed with the decision to abort. Those stairs were crowded and wobbly. I swear, my knees start shaking just thinking about it. Our column tour guide. Quick snuggle with the tour guide. Unrelated to the tower but our primary reason for the visit was a quick house visit. I’ve had a pilgrimage to the Goondocks on my to do list since moving to Seattle. I can now check it off the Seattle list. The house is pretty awesome and lives up to the vision. The experience itself is kind of meh. You just walk up a gravel hill driveway, take a pic and move on. A bit of a let down but I’m not entirely sure what my expectations were for said house. Prior above house visit. We ate lunch at the Rogue Public House which was also meh but primarily an awesome experience irrespective of our actual meal. You drive over the rickety pier and eat lunch in the brewery / canning factory. Rolland said the beer was super tasty but the food was just ok. A big hit at the Public House, untasty food aside, was our lovely lunch companions. The sea lions were cavorting outside our window and offering an awesome show. You could hear them barking through the window. They were adorable and looked like they were having a fantastic time in the water. It was chilly or I would be tempted to join them. Please note I realize this is a total pipe dream as one doesn’t hug a wild animal, particularly a super sized sea lion. Astoria was awesome and we want to head back and travel even further down the shore to check out Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Still, a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Road Trip Mini Edition August 22, 2014 We’re heading out tomorrow on a mini adventure and this little girl is super excited. She’s become a road trip fan. McDonald’s stop for yogurt and juice, her Nabi and snacks are all she needs for hours of riding entertainment. Hope you’ve got an awesome line up of weekend goodness ahead! Woodland Park Zoo August 20, 2014 We visited the zoo on Mother’s day for a birthday party and Sophy loved the free carousel rides for a couple of hours. She loves riding on the horses, the faster the better! The zoo was really pretty but it was still chilly for May and we had dressed appropriately until the toddler threw up as we pulled into the parking lot. This required using back up clothes that only included a short sleeve shirt. Gift shop sweatshirt to the rescue! It tells you something that I thought I got out cheaply at under $25 for the toddler size sweatshirt. The zoo is specifically designed to make it feel like a natural habitat for the animals which often meant there were no animal sightings. Disappointing for all visitors. Luckily we had free admission for the birthday. I would recommend the zoo for older kids who have better lines of sight over fences and willingness to push through crowds. Someone got tired of pictures Good times. First Haircut August 16, 2014 This post is from a May outing, Mother’s Day weekend actually, and we had a big weekend. Sophy had a birthday party for twins in her toddler class, we had dinner reservations for Salty’s and it was decided the long hair that kept ending up in her mouth as a chew toy had to go. Sophy’s a big fan of Legos and we needed a couple of gifts for birthday party so we decided to take the bribery approach. We had Top Pot doughnuts pre-cut and found a salon dedicated to kids. Legos post cut if she didn’t have a total meltdown. Luckily, it wasn’t really needed and she handled the haircut like a pro. We were the first appointment in a kids salon, she picked out her toys, sat on the horse and settled in for a super cute summer bob. Summer being a relative term as we all wore coats to this outing. Here she is post hair cut and triumphant with her Lego selection. Post haircut with her barrette that didn’t last the trip from the stylist to the mall. I think she may have seen an even bigger Lego bag heading out. Next post, birthday party at the Zoo! When to Call a Professional August 13, 2014 So I’m a little behind in my Project Life. By 3 months, but let’s keep it moving. Anyway, I’m still loving project life, life is just causing delays in said documentation, and one of my favorite things about being behind is I can order some of the prints from a professional print service and I’m very excited at the prospect of having super good photos. My printer does a pretty good job yet it’s just not quite the same. How can I not have some super awesome prints for this? My all time favorite printing service is Mpix and I’ve rhapsodized about them previously but it’s a strong enough love I feel ok continuing to profess it. Yet, I’ve taken my photos to a different service and feel the need to purge my guilt. Shutterfly has no issues with giving away the goods.For free. FREE. I’m the mother of a toddler living in an expensive city with an expensive craft habit and several more shopping monkeys on my back. I cannot pass up free. I’ve mentioned free right? So, this latest shipment was of 50 4×6 prints, 2 5×7 prints, 1 8×10 and 25 photo cards. I paid $10 in shipping and taxes. People, I cannot tell you how much it pains me to step out on my photo service of choice but that is a good deal. I also ordered a photo book of our road trip (2 actually) and saved over $75 bucks on said book. I still paid $70 but again, let’s not linger on that. I’m ashamed my loyalty is for sale but not enough to not take advantage of my free goodies and run. Said points were accumulated by my beloved husband stockpiling pampers points and coke rewards. I actually had a coke rewards expire and I’m still traumatized by it. The entire point of this is to say, I will put up with a sub-par UX and divided loyalty if you’re willing to buy my love. I feel better for getting this out there and sharing my shame. Also, any other super good deals I should be made aware of ASAP? Note: Yet again none of this pimping of product was purchased by anyone but if this post does nothing else, it clearly makes you aware of the fact I’m easily bought by free goodies. Professing My Love for the Tartine Cookbook August 12, 2014 So it turns out that when people in Seattle say summer doesn’t start until after July 4th they aren’t exaggerating. We turned our heat on in June for several days. It was crazypants time for these Texans. Rolland had started wearing shorts in May but had to retreat to pants shortly thereafter. June included shorts, and a refusal of long pants, plus a space heater in his office. Principles over rationality was a thing thing in the house for a while. All of this is a large build up to the fact that I could easily turn on my oven in June without fear of melting. Giddiness ensued. Using this new found oven freedom, I immediately took requests from co-workers and dove into my Tartine cookbook to make Banana Cream Pie. I hadn’t realized how many steps would be involved, not difficult, but time consuming. This pie required: Pie Crust Caramel Melted Chocolate Pastry Cream Whipped Cream Now, the benefits included finding my go to pie crust from the Tartine cookbook. It’s super easy and now I try to have several crusts made and in the freezer for a quick quiche, pie, tart, etc. Quiche is hands down a favorite in our house and a favorite weeknight dinner with ham, cheese and a little parsley or other herb of choice. I use Susan Wittig Albert’s Tex-Mex recipe as my basic base and wing the ingredients after that. But, I digress. Pie in progress. Crust coated with melted chocolate and caramel ready to pout on top of the melted chocolate. The bananas are kind of an after thought as they’re simply sliced and laid on top of the pastry cream then covered in whipped cream. Banana haters like my hubby could easily skip it and have a tasty cream pie. I also had leftovers from said pie for a chocolate pie with the second pie crust and extra whipped cream. Plus, leftover caramel was used to top brownies since the fudgy goodness wasn’t decadent enough on it’s own. I also used Tartine’s brownie recipe for this but it was almost too rich for me. It’s just too sweet in the sweet/salt ratio. I’m now considering making it salted caramel brownies… hmmm. If you’re in the mood to take the baking up a notch, Tartine is a good book to add to the collection. It’s beautiful with gorgeous food pics. And highly useful in wooing co-workers to your will. Finished second chocolate pie with help from toddler. I also recommend one of these for a sous chef although she hogs the wooden spoon. Note: I received no bloggery goodness for pimping out the cookbook. Or the weird Seattle weather, although only people from the South would really see this as pimping out the weather. Further Note: I still don’t own Tartine Book 3 after desperate pleading to the editors in case anyone wanted to add it to my Christmas list. Hello blog, how I’ve missed you. August 11, 2014 In the time we’ve been apart it’s been crazy. Settling in to Seattle, just to discover we’re not going to settle in and it’s time to think of an exit strategy, fall of 2015 is it! Major road trip, first with the toddler, for a dear friend’s wedding and a follow up to Sin City. All of it awesome. Visit to Seattle by beloved DFW’ers. Regular park visits, lots of cooking and baking, photo taking, project lifing… so much going on and the blog has seriously been neglected. No more, I miss you. Photos were taken. Documentation after the fact can happen. You’re my happy place to share all the good stuff no one else cares about, like my love for my Silhouette Cameo, this could be an entire post by itself. Why I still love Xyron as my favorite adhesive option. How LuAnn is becoming my favorite housewife and is owning that reunion. Sigh. It’s good to be back. It’s also scary how big this toddler’s getting. She has a lot to say about everything. She rejected her outfit this morning and demanded new options. Sigh. I’m also going to pretend I’m not desperate for central AC on this rare 90 degree day in Seattle. Most of the summer is beautiful but when it’s hot, it is really hot. Now, I’m off for FaceTime with the grandparents and a cool bath with the toddler. We’ll pretend we’re back in the pool in Vegas. I’ve got pics. It was heaven. Prepare for major longing to pack the bags for the city of Sin. Or of cabanas, tasty frozen hot chocolate and pre-fall Ugg shopping. Heaven.