Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'80s Prom!

Happy Halloween, everyone! The theme for our spooky weekend getaway in the woods was '80s Prom, and it was totally radical!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, mostly because getting dressed up in costume is so much fun. Last year Stew and I went all out as Mario and Princess Peach, but this year since Halloween falls mid-week (and Stew has to work), we don't have as many opportunities to bust out amazing alter egos. However, our trip to Kachess Ridge last weekend provided the perfect opportunity for a Halloween costume party... with '80s Prom as the theme.

I started prepping earlier in the day with bright pink
nail polish and an accent nail... I hear that's what the
kids are doing these days?!
Traditional awkward photo shoot for our arrival at prom.
We both had extra special hairstyles for the occasion.
Now that is some masculine '80s hotness.
More photobooth fun.
Instead of dancing, we organized some drinking games.

Who can resist a man with a mullet?
Business in the front, party in the back!

Happy Halloween from the Always!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: In Defense of Food

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Seems like simple enough advice from Michael Pollan in his book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. These words can help us consider what to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health.

Pollan argues that humans used to know how to eat well, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists and journalists — all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals.

Although I found this book very fascinating, I thought Pollan repeated himself a lot and I wished he would have given more specific advice about day-to-day eating, rather than vague generalizations. However, I learned quite a bit of new information about organic foods that I plan to apply to our diets in the future, and I thought his advice, "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food," was extremely relevant. I plan to try to keep that in mind the next time I go to the grocery store.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend Getaway 2.0 - Kachess Ridge Resort

We spent the weekend at Kachess Ridge Resort, a luxury mountain retreat just east of Snoqualmie Pass.

This 6,000 square foot one-of-a-kind resort features 360 degree views, a huge great room, two full top of the line kitchens, a top floor library, media room, two king master suites with fireplaces, a queen master suite, two queen guest bedrooms, and a bunkroom located in a secret room hidden behind a moving bookcase. It has seven fireplaces, a private wine cellar, and a game room.

It was the perfect location for Weekend Getaway 2.0 with a big group of Stew's oldest friends. As you can see from our original Weekend Getaway with this group, we always have a blast, and this time was no exception.

We basically spent the weekend lounging around, drinking, eating, and playing games. Well, at least up until the point that we started getting ready for '80s Prom! More on that to follow...

Friday, October 26, 2012

More TMNT Fun

Ever since I posted about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, people have been sending me photos of random TNMT awesomeness, which they seem to come across quite frequently!

Note: must find out where these are sold and get myself a set.

Absolutely amazing street chalk artwork!

And in honor of Halloween next week...

Stew and I are headed out of town tonight for a weekend at Kachess Ridge Resort, which we have reserved with a group of friends for two days of eating, drinking, lounging, sports watching, and '80s Prom Night. This trip is actually "Weekend Getaway 2.0," but click here to see highlights from the original Weekend Getaway. We're super excited... Catch you next week, dudes and dudettes!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: The Last Child

This stellar recommendation came from my aunt, who never steers me in the wrong direction when it comes to books (or matters of life in general, really). The Last Child by John Hart was absolutely fantastic! What a page turner. Here is the first sentence: "Asphalt cut the country like a scar, a long, hot burn of razor-black." I was immediately sucked in.

The story follows 12-year-old Johnny Merrimon as he looks for his twin sister who has been missing for a year. Her abduction has ruined his family, but while everyone else has given up, he continues to search for clues and strongly believes in the chance that his twin is still alive. He is determined to discover the truth, although it takes him to his farthest limit.

This book moves along very quickly and I felt almost immediately connected to Johnny, his mother, his best friend, and Detective Hunt, who has taken a personal interest in the case. The elaborate plot twists kept me guessing until the very end, and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I will definitely be reading more by John Hart in the near future. Highly recommended!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ugly Naked Guy

If you were a fan of FRIENDS back in the '90s and early '00s then you are familiar with the recurring minor character Ugly Naked Guy. Well folks, we are now the proud owners of our very own Ugly Naked Guy.

I first noticed him a few months ago when we had some friends over. I glanced across the street at the condominium building across from us and was greeted by an extremely large, pale, fleshy, male butt. Our neighbor was mooning us! As I began to react and screech, and some of our other house guests began looking out the window at him, Ugly Naked Guy proceeded to pull his shorts up and down, giving us special glimpses of his crack and cheeks. Ew!

Since then, Ugly Naked Guy has kept up his performances, which lately have been increasing in frequency. He quite often shuffles around his apartment in his birthday suit, but the other night as I was standing at the sink doing dishes he gave me a special show. He turned his back to the window and began to pull his shorts up and down while seductively looking back over his shoulder. "OMG OMG!" I screeched at Stew. "Ugly Naked Guy is mooning us again!"

But last night I realized that what was kind of funny when Stewart was home is, in fact, not so hilarious when I'm alone in our condo. Ugly Naked Guy was up to his same antics, standing in his apartment briefly pulling his pants down to aim his big ol' backside at our condo. But even creepier, he also spent quite a bit of time right up against his window, just staring across the street at me, occasionally waving frantically. That's when I closed all the blinds.

For obvious reasons, this situation is not nearly as entertaining as when Miranda played "peek-a-boo" with her cute across-the-airshaft neighbor in Sex and the City. But I suppose maybe it is self-centered to assume that Ugly Naked Guy is trying to get MY attention. Who knows, perhaps he's actually attempting to flirt with an Ugly Naked Gal who lives near my unit.

In any case, he's really starting to creep me out, and if it continues I'm going to take a video and call the cops.

Ugly Naked Guy in full naked glory.
(Apologies for poor picture quality... or maybe you'd rather not see more!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekend Update

A few weeks ago Stewart and I realized that we had this entire weekend free. I'm not sure that this has happened since before we got married. But somehow Stew had both Saturday and Sunday off work, and we had managed to not pre-plan any big activities or trips. Although my first instinct was to start making plans and scheduling appointments, I went against my instincts and left the calendar blank so Stew and I could spend the weekend together checking off some to-do list items.

First on the list: Quality Time, check!

When Stew got home from his shift Sunday morning we cleaned the entire house top to bottom and then went over to Duke's Chowder House for lunch and a walk around Green Lake. It was an absolutely gorgeous crisp fall afternoon, our lunch was especially delicious, and the lake was particularly serene. We even stopped to watch the kids play soccer for a while.

I hadn't been to Duke's in forever...
I forgot how much I love that place!

I lovely fall day for a walk around the lake.

This is one of my favorite times of year, with the changing leaves and
crisp autumn weather.

Up Next: Errands, check! This included a stop at Goodwill to buy "'80s Prom" costumes for a trip we're taking next weekend. (How we managed to spend almost $80 at Goodwill is still confusing to me.) We also got new windshield wipers for my car and ordered the iPhone 5 at the Sprint store.

Back At Home: Wedding Book Photo Selections, half a check. We are incredibly overdue in making our photo selections for the albums that come with our wedding photo package. But picking just 30 photos out of more than 2,000 is a daunting task! We did a first round and were able to select 80 photos, which we now need to narrow down to just 30. We hope to get that done this week.

That Evening: Get DVR Down From 98%, check! Wow, were we behind. Were y'all aware that Christina won Hell's Kitchen, and that Rachel and Nick emerged as the victorious couple on Bachelor Pad 3, only to have Nick NOT share the $250,00 prize with Rachel? Scandalous! And after one of the most boring seasons of The Real World ever, the cast of St. Thomas ended up absolutely hating one another at the reunion show, and even resorted to physical violence! Wow. So yeah, we spent Saturday night watching reality television, and we loved every second of it. Don't judge.

I may have dozed off at one point...

On Sunday: Join the Smart Phone Generation, check! We went back to Sprint to pick up our new cell phones, and we are each now the proud owner of an iPhone 5. We're still not quite sure how to use them, but they sure are new and fancy!

Afterward we grabbed lunch and watched some football at Hamburger Harry's (have you had their burgers? they're amazing) and then went home to finish up some more chores. I was able to prepare lots of pre-packaged meals for the week including crockpot chicken curry and lots of fresh veggies, and Stew spent some time reading the warranty information on the new house... super exciting.

It was a pretty nice little Sunday. (I thought maybe we'd make it to Bed Bath & Beyond, but just didn't know if we'd have enough time.)

In all honesty, we really needed this weekend to restore our mental sanity. We've been going a million miles a minute for months and months now, and a nice quiet, productive weekend was just what we needed to get ourselves back on track. I feel energized and prepared for the week... I hope my positive attitude lasts!