Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from our (growing) family to yours!


Yep... We're having a baby!

I have so much more to share with you very soon! But in the meantime...

Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls!

Love Always,
Sarah & Stewart

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Club: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

I know, a book review after such a lame week of posts (or lack thereof) probably seems like a super big cop out, but I promise I've got something exciting in store for you tomorrow... Stay tuned.

My aunt told me about Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ages ago, but I put off reading it until recently because it was our October book club select at work (I didn't want to read it too early and then forget all the details). Man, was I missing out!

I do feel the need to admit that I may have liked this book so much because it is set in Seattle. I tend to enjoy reading more when I can relate directly to the characters or locations. That being said, even without the local connection this book was fantastic. I read it in just a few hours, mostly during my flight home from Denver. And now, for my next trip, I kind of want to book a trip to Antarctica. Let me explain...

Bernadette Fox is a wife and mother with agoraphobia so bad that she hires an offshore personal assistant to handle her day-to-day errands. She wasn't always like this; in fact, she used to be a rising star in the architecture world... but something bad happened, changing Bernadette into a pessimistic recluse. Her Microsoft-guru husband, Elgin, still loves her, and her daughter, Bee, thinks the world revolves around her. Her fellow private-school mothers can't stand Bernadette, but this doesn't bother her as Bee continues to get straight A's and is rewarded with a promised family trip to Antarctica. But then the FBI comes a-knocking, and Bernadette disappears.
 
Where did she go? I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
 
To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents and secret correspondence that is woven together to create an incredibly readable and touching novel about the roles we play in an often absurd world.
 
What I can say is that you'll love Bee, you'll love Bernadette, and you'll love this book. I particularly liked how each character's issues are portrayed honestly, but in a compassionate and heart-warming manner. And Bernadette's intense allergy to the city of Seattle, and her outlines of stereotypical local behavior, will leave Pacific Northwesterners chuckling and nodding.
 
“Hovering over me was the Chihuly chandelier. Chihulys are the pigeons of Seattle. They're everywhere and even if they don't get in your way, you can't help but build up a kind of antipathy toward them.”  
 
Seattleite or not, I hope you enjoy it!


Friday, October 25, 2013

My Home Away From Home

I'm alive, you guys!
 
But I've basically been living at the office for the past week, working on a very important proposal that required all of my time and energy. Seriously, I don't think I've seen my house in daylight (or my husband, for that matter) since last Sunday.
 
Let me tell you, sitting in a high rise, in front of a computer, formatting documents until the wee hours of the morning all week has really fried my brain. I've been living off Trader Joe's salads and takeout food, but I would kill for a home cooked meal (or really anything eaten in my own dining room). And the Starbucks baristas downstairs don't even bother to ask for my order anymore; they just hand it to me.
 
Eyeyeye.
 
 Anyway, I felt the need to inform you that I am, in fact, still breathing, and I plan on finding time to do some quality posts in the near future. Right after I touch base with my poor husband to figure out what the heck he's been doing all week. I did notice some new shelving and a refrigerator in the garage?
 
 
I do apologize for the interruption, and promise to return soon to your regularly scheduled programming.
 
Carry on.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chiro(quack)tic?

It's no secret that chiropractic care has often been the subject of controversy and criticism. Perhaps it's due to the fact that according to the founder of chiropractic, vertebral subluxation was the sole cause of all diseases of the human race. I'm thinking people probably weren't keen on the idea of going to the chiro when they had the flu or cancer.

That being said, I'm totally open to alternative medicine (I hear acupuncture can pretty much cure anything). So when, for the first time in my life, I started suffering from pretty severe back pain, I decided (with the blessing of my doctor), to check out a local chiropractor.
 
My back pain started a couple months after my knee injury, so I figured one had to be related to the other. After all, I was forced to sleep in an incredibly awkward position, and obviously since one leg wasn't functioning property, I was favoring one side. So it wouldn't be shocking if my spine was out of alignment, causing some pain. Right? And I thought perhaps an adjustment would fix me right up.
 
At my first appointment I filled out a lot of paperwork and watched a video about subluxation, and then chatted with the doctor, who took some photos of my posture and then did an exam. He didn't look at any of the paperwork, and he didn't want to hear much about my knee injury, which he insisted was not related to my back pain, and instead "confirmed" that I had a subluxation in my neck, which would need an adjustment to correct. Sweet. The adjustment wasn't bad, and then he moved me to a massage chair with ice on my neck and proceeded to start working on another patient. Eventually the receptionist said I needed to set up a follow up appointment.

My next visit seemed to be scheduled simultaneously with someone else's. I arrived right on time... but so did another woman, and the doc proceeded to start working on her while he had me do some weird neck stretches in the lobby. Then I had another exam and a few more quick spine adjustments, and he said he'd like to see me in another few days. It was at this point I started asking questions.
 
"Um, so what exactly is the course of treatment? Will I need to come back for multiple visits? Why isn't my back feeling better yet? What can I expect from these appointments?" etc.
 
I was told to wait; that these types of inquiries are covered at the THIRD appointment.
 
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
 
Um, okay.
 
So I show up for the third appointment. Again, a quick exam and adjustment shoved in between multiple other patients. Then the receptionist dropped the bomb on me.
 
"So, he wants to see you three times a week for three weeks, two times a week for four weeks, once a week for six weeks and then twice a month for the rest of your life. Oh, also your co-pays are $20, we need $60 right meow, and please sign this treatment plan agreeing to our recommendations."
 
Dude. No.
 
First of all, if you had told me at the first visit that I would need to come three times a week, I would have chosen a chiropractor downtown near my office. I cannot leave work early three times a week to come up to Snoqualmie for appointments. And had you told me this at the first visit, we would not have wasted each other's time. But no, you were too busy checking my insurance benefits and then masterminding a treatment plan that would max them out for the year. Well played.
 
But no.
 
I freaking cancelled every single one of those follow up appointments and walked away.
 
So now I'm uber discouraged. I feel like I got totally taken advantage of, and that every stereotype I've ever heard about chiropractic care is true. I'm so frustrated that I don't even want to deal with the situation anymore, but frankly my back still effing hurts.
 
 
Opinions? Advice? Anyone??

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It wasn't pretty, Hawk fans

Of course we'll take a win in any form, but that was some sloppy football.
 
The Seahawks emerged as winners in week 6, but oh... it was hard to watch. The refs were terrible to us (as per usual), the offensive line was all over the place, and so was the FOOTBALL, bouncing haphazardly here and there... Who knew pig skin was so slippery.
 
I could recount a long list of mistakes, but ultimately Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman came through to keep the Hawks' perfect record at home this season, and for the moment that's all that matters. But as I told quarterback Russell Wilson a couple weeks ago... you need to figure it out, dude! Said with all the good intentions of tough love, of course (Russell, I heart you).
 
With two road games looming ahead of us, I'll admit I feel a little apprehensive. There's only so much the 12th Man can do from afar, you know?
 
Here's some highlights from this week's Hawkwagon Tailgate Extravaganza...
 


 
LET'S GO HAWKS!
 
I'm linking up with fellow Seahawks fan Kristine at Living Barefoot and Crazy today... Please stop by and show her some love!
 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Nice Little Saturday

This weekend we had a nice little Saturday planned...
 
We started off with something I have been dying to try for a very long time... brunch at Salty's on Alki! It's been voted best brunch in Seattle year after year, featuring a world-famous array of the best Northwest local seafoods and iconic brunch favorites. Seafood, hot dishes, breads, fruit, pasta made-to-order, bakery specialties, veggies, Wonka-style chocolate fountains, and of course my favorite, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar! Eat all you want for under $50, kids! I think Stewart thought he had died and gone to heaven.
 
Buffets are usually such a waste on me, because I fill a towering plate with all sorts of yumminess, take a few bites of each thing, and then push it around mumbling, "I'm full..." but at Salty's Stewart was definitely able to eat our money's worth. And I did a decent job on my own fair share of crab legs. YUM.
 
We were celebrating my bestie Tara's birthday, and it was such a fun way to get the weekend started.
 
Happy Birthday Tara, we love you!
 
 
 
 
Next on the agenda was to head downtown and catch The Wizard of Oz at the Paramount. We are really big musical theater nerds, but honestly we love going to shows! Especially ones meant for children.
 
That being said, the main problem with loving shows that target kindergartners is that the audience is filled with evil brats tiny humans.
 
I swear sometimes I don't know what is wrong with people. Maybe I'll be singing a different tune someday when I have children, but honestly I do not understand someone who brings their child to a fancy theater, pays $70 for seats, and then lets the child scream throughout the entire production.
 
The fun-loving dad next to us sat his daughter on his lap (she actually placed one leg over on Stewart's lap) and then proceeded to talk and sing to her AT FULL VOLUME for the duration of the show, as if they were the only two people there!
 
"Do you see the witch, isn't she scary? Oh my goodness, here come the Munchkins! Do you remember what happens next?"
 
Are you effing kidding me??!?
 
Stewart and I both rudely and obviously covered our ears with both hands, but that didn't seem to deter Dad at all. It also didn't block out the ringing of a cell phone that went on for the duration of most of one famous song. I know I've said it before, but honestly what the hell is wrong with people!?
 
That being said, I loved the show and had a great time, albeit the spoiled brats and obnoxious parents in attendance. But maybe next time I should opt for a show that targets grown ups.
 
After the show we headed down to Puyallup to the Ram for a firefighter retirement party. I don't go to Puyallup very often, and we eat at the Ram even less, but it was actually a really fun evening with good food and great people. Plus there was a Hawaiian theme (the guest of honor is relocating to Hawaii), and y'all know how I feel about theme parties! Best.thing.ever.
 
 
Phew. We were feeling pretty tuckered out by this point (god I miss that 20-something energy), but we still had one more party to crash that evening... a housewarming party for Stew's friend Justin at his new place on Lake Washington. Holy moly his place was fantastic! Filled with yummy food, drinks, and peeps, the house looks out over the lake toward Bellevue... gorgeous!
 
Since we're old and lame mature and responsible we didn't stay too terribly late, but we did have fun catching up with some good friends before we headed home to pour ourselves into bed. After all, we had a big day of tailgating coming up on Sunday!
 

I'm a pretty good planner, and I can usually manage to get quite a bit accomplished in a single day, but even I can admit that Saturday was a little excessive... I think I'll try to keep my calendar a little more open in the future. But it was still awesome to see so many rad people in the course of 24 hours.
 
I hope that you had a fantastic, fun-filled Saturday as well!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pump the Jams

Seriously, the one thing that bugs me the most about the music industry is RADIO PLAY, and how stations repeat the same twelve songs over and over and over again. I might love a song originally, but after hearing it on every single local station simultaneously for weeks on end, eventually said song makes me want to tear my ears off and stuff them down the artist's throat.
 
But then something magical happened this summer to the greater Seattle area...
 
The New HOT 103.7 - The Rhythm of Seattle!
 
"A unique, clearly defined station targeting modern Seattle women. It will play today’s hits with throwbacks from well-known artists from the 2000s and 1990s."
 
I literally have not changed radio stations in over a month (sorry KMPS). And now if you see me rollin' down I-90 with my head thrown back, jammin' to today’s rhythms and all my old school throwbacks, you'll know why.


And for today's #backthatazzup Friday, here are some inspirational jams from this morning's trip to the park and ride...

Always on Time (feat. Ashanti) by Ja Rule on Grooveshark

No Scrubs by TLC on Grooveshark

Now That We Found Love by Heavy D And The Boyz Feat Aaron Hall on Grooveshark
 
 

If you haven't discovered this station yet, please check it out immediately. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

Plus it's just a great way to start off another fun-filled weekend.
Have a good one guys and dolls!

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm gonna pop some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket...

I am no stranger to thrift shopping, my friends. In fact, quite a few of our plethora of Halloween costumes came from either Value Village or Goodwill.
 
But my most favorite form of thrift shopping is going to garage sales, a fantastic activity I learned about years ago from my mom and aunts.
 
Just twice a year in the fairly affluent community of Mill Creek (just north of Seattle), residents are allowed to have garage sales. This means that they save up all their stuff all year long, and then on two specific weekends the vast majority of houses open up their garages to all of us peasants bargain shoppers.
 
This might sound kind of weird, but it's so much fun!
 
We start out with a ridiculous sleepover at my aunt's house on Friday night to start things off, and then ignore our hangovers early Saturday morning so that we can leave bright and early to be at the best and most ritzy neighborhoods just in time to see their garage doors lift. That's when the free-for-all begins. You should see the determination of some of these people... Women literally snatching things out of each other's hands! It can be kind of intense.
 
That being said, I did once snag a Prada bag for $5, so you can see where the urgency comes in. These people are getting rid of good stuff for dirt cheap!
 
Honestly though, I go mostly for the experience. I love spending the day with my aunts and cousins, jumping in and out of cars and racing to the next big sale. The streets are filled with other shoppers, along with kids selling lemonade, donuts and hot dogs for their school fundraisers. It's a pretty festive, high energy experience.
 
And we had a really big, fun group this year!
 
 
The weather was also fantastic, which makes it a lot more fun.
And I snagged some awesome deals!
 
 
Two lamps, four purses, thirteen tops, and four books...
All for $59.50 yo!!
 
And once this stuff hits the dry cleaner I will wear it loud and proud. Don't judge. Almost everything is brands that I love from Nordstrom, some of it with original tags and everything.
 
Oh and I also got Stew a few treasures...
 
 
Shut-the-Box is an traditional English pub game (brand new!), the Mac & Jack's growler was just cool (I got one for my dad, too) and of course my aunt couldn't resist getting him "Curious George and the Firefighters."
 
In order to even things out karma wise, I thought Sunday would be a good opportunity to go through a bunch of boxes that have been sitting in my back bedroom since they found a new home there after residing in my parent's attic for the last 10 years.
 
Holy stuffed animals! I might be a hoarder.
 
Most of them are currently on their way to Goodwill, and hopefully a new home soon.
 
 
What I'm going to do with the stuff I decided to keep is a problem for another day...
 
 
Do you thrift shop?
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rocky Mountain Rendezvous

So... Denver was a freakin' blast!
 
Genius idea on our part to pick a random city in the middle of the country and meet up for the weekend.
 
Brooke and I have been friends since we were about twelve years old, and randomly finding the fun in almost any situation has always been one of our specialties.
 
There's just something so awesome about old friends, and that feeling of seeing them and feeling like absolutely no time has passed since you last saw each other. We always just pick up right where we left off, and this weekend was no different.
 
 
I apologize for the poor quality of some of the rest of these pictures... Brooke and I had some issues sharing our photos. And PS I hate Shutterfly.

When we arrived Friday morning it was pouring rain in Denver and absolutely freezing. But fortunately we had an indoor activity planned: pedicures at this super adorable salon I had found for Brooke's 31st birthday. I think we both needed a little pampering.
 
We also grabbed lunch at the Ship Tavern, a super cute vintage pub in the Brown Palace Hotel, which is the second-oldest operating hotel in Denver. It's absolutely gorgeous, and if you're ever in town you should definitely check it out.



We basically spent the rest of that day and most of the next day (the weather eventually did clear up, and we had sun for the rest of the weekend) wandering around downtown Denver. They have this area called the 16th Street Mall, which is an outdoor pedestrian mall that's a little over a mile long and has about 300 locally-owned stores and over 50 restaurants. You can bet that kept us busy (and sent me home with a couple new pairs of boots).


The state capitol building and campus were very pretty.


And we loved wandering around the gorgeous streets in the sunshine. Denver has a lot of super random artwork!


Brooke's four-year-old son has had a stuffed bear named Blue Bear ever since he was born. So of course we had to check out Blue Bear Farm in Denver, as well as the 40-foot-tall Blue Bear statue! And we got a souvenir for Blue Bear himself, of course!


We really liked this gorgeous park which was right outside of downtown next to the river.



And I could not get over the completely random architecture downtown. There were modern buildings everywhere, but they were built around super old buildings and churches. It was such a eclectic mix, but it really worked!


We were absolutely fascinated by a building called the Navaree right next to our hotel. It was built in 1880 as a school for girls, but it later became a hotel, and then a restaurant with gambling and hookers! It's across the street from the Brown Palace, and there was an underground tunnel with rail tracks that went to the hotel, so that businessmen could visit the ladies without being seen entering the building! Now it's home to the American Museum of Western Art and unfortunately isn't open to the public on the weekends, because we would have loved to see the inside! I totally think it's probably haunted...


On Saturday night we were super excited about our tickets to The Dinner Detective. It's a murder mystery comedy dinner show that was hilariously entertaining! When we arrived we were asked to pick an "alias" for the evening (Jessica Rabbit and Betty Boop - HA!) and then begin interrogating each other (after visiting the bar, of course) to try and figure out who the murderer was among us.

Then during dinner actors played out different scenes of murders and investigations, and between courses we were allowed to examine clues to try and solve the case.

Brooke and I totally picked out some of the key players before dinner even started, but unfortunately we picked the wrong killer so we didn't win. Shoot. It was still a super fun evening though.


And on Sunday of course I dragged poor Brooke to a sports bar downtown so we could watch the Seahawks play. Road games are always super stressful for me and every other Hawk fan, and this one was filled with even more anxiety for me, because I was in a bar filled with Broncos. Luckily, they were very involved watching their own team play, and I was quietly able to watch the Hawks come back and beat Houston in overtime!!! I was scared to cheer to loudly and piss someone off. Seriously, these fans were rowdy!


The weekend was over all too quickly, and I headed back to rainy Seattle. Honestly though, Denver is a super rad city and I would totally go back there someday. Plus, it was a great place for me and Brooke to meet up -- just a quick two hour flight for both of us. Maybe we'll go back again next year!

As for me, I think my months and months of incredibly busy weekends is finally coming to an end. It's really been a whirlwind summer! Honestly, I'm ready to spend some time enjoying my own city and settling into my new house. This weekend my momma is coming over to help me go though a bunch of old boxes. And as boring as that sounds, I'm actually super duper excited! I'm also seeing all my aunties for some epic garage sale-ing. More on that later...

I hope you're having a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Welcome to October!

That's right ladies and gents! The month of October (Halloween!) is in full swing, which means several exciting things...
 
Most importantly, Hocus Pocus (the best Halloween movie EVER) is on TV pretty much nonstop, which makes me want to jump up and down like Sarah Jessica Parker, screaming, "Amuck amuck amuck amuck amuck!"
 
 
Also, I was featured today on Susannah's blog, Simple Moments Stick, as one of 15 Awesome Couple Costumes!
 
It's no secret that Stew and I are adult dress up nerds. We love brainstorming, planning, and wearing costumes. Seriously, invite me to a costume party any day of the year and you'll make my day...
 
Here are some of my favorite ones we've put together over the years...
 
Cops.
Mine is obviously a costume, but Stew's looked pretty legit, I thought. So did the girls at the party we went to, who snuck out the back door in a panic after they saw him arrive.

'80s.
I'm no one specific, but Stew went with Tom Cruise in Risky Business, tighty whiteys and everything!

Superheroes.
I've talked a lot about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how obsessed with them I am, so this one was particularly close to my heart. 

Jersey Shore.
Stew as JWoww and me as Sammi Sweetheart.
Watching Stew walk in those stilettos is one of the funniest things that has ever happened to me.

'80s (again).
You'll see that this is a common theme...

White Trash.
This one was for a themed party some of the WWU guys throw every year. One of my favorites for sure.

'80s Prom.
I told you we're kind of obsessed with the 1980s.

Mario and Princess Peach.
This is the one that made it onto Susannah's blog!
 
As you can see, none of our costumes are every complete unless Stew is rocking a wig (and often some kind of atrocious facial hair). We might be the biggest costume nerds ever, but it's such a blast to get dressed up and have an alternate personality for an evening. That being said, it was vaguely horrifying when I had to organize and put away four huge tubs of costumes when we unpacked at our new house. It might be time to purge...
 
Are you excited for what we might have in store for this year??
 
Honestly, for this Halloween the thing I'm most excited about is having a house, which means I get to open the door for trick-or-treaters! For some reason I just think that's going to be so much fun. Little kids in costumes are completely adorable. Now, how to make sure that Stew doesn't eat all the candy before they arrive...
 
I know I still owe everyone a post about my trip to Denver with Brooke, but I've been having some major photo frustrations this week. I'll get it up as soon as I can, promise.
 
Happy October, guys and dolls!
What is your favorite thing about Halloween?