Back in June, we went camping with some friends.

We went to Lake Wenatchee...

And we liked it so much that we're kicking ourselves for not doing this sooner!

The weather was less-than-ideal and the mosquitos were brutal, but everything else more than made up for it...great friends, yummy food, pretty scenery and a relaxing weekend unplugged from the "real" world.

Next on our list is going camping up in Canada. I can't wait!

(the photo above is of our cute friends that we went with...I just love that I captured a picture of them like this, kind of like a behind-the-scenes peek into the weekend)


Best Gift We've Ever Given Ourselves

I mentioned a few posts back that we celebrated the paying off of my car by purchasing new bedroom furniture. Well here it is!

There was a bit of uncertainty as to how well I actually liked the new mattress the first night we had it, but it turns out that the heat was impacting my judgment (and my nighttime comfort) because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE NEW BED!! So much so that it makes me want to cuddle up and hibernate for a few months. It’s so comfy, I can’t even get over it. Oh so nice to finally have an adult bedroom!

Since the new bed is too tall for Henry to be able to jump up on his own (unless he's really excited, and then that little dude can jump up on just about anything), Hobbes can stretch out as much as he wants without fear of being pounced on by the puppy.

But of course, once he's up on the bed then little Henry has to be all up in your grill:

While I’m on the subject of our furniture, may I go on a bit of a rant?

Over the last year, we’ve had one less-than-ideal large purchase experience and three fabulous ones. The less-than-ideal one was with La-Z Boy (henceforth known as LAZY Boy). The living room furniture took 9 weeks to arrive after we ordered it (even though they said it would be 6-8 weeks), then they damaged our chair during delivery and it took an extra 6 weeks before they got our chair re-upholstered. And on top of that, we had to pick up the re-upholstered chair ourselves or else face an extra 1-2 week wait until their delivery schedule opened up. Talk about inconvenient! And I encountered nothing but a bunch of bureaucracy and runarounds whenever I’d call them. Needless to say, I’m just hoping that nothing goes wrong with the furniture over the next 10 years so I don’t have to deal with the LAZY Boy warranty people!

On the flip side, we’ve been pleased as punch with the service we received from our other large purchases.

The bed and dresser came from Underhills, our favorite local furniture store. They were so accommodating that they were going to try and deliver the furniture a day and a half after we bought it! But since we didn’t have our mattresses purchased yet, we asked that they wait an extra week and they happily obliged. Oh, and they were having a great sale during the month of June so we got a killer deal…and that always makes me happy!

Our mattresses came from JC Penney, and the sales lady there was so helpful and friendly but not at all intrusive or annoying. They delivered the mattresses to us within 2 weeks of purchase (would have been even sooner had it not been for the 4th of July holiday), and their delivery guys were very friendly and speedy.

Finally, our bedding came from Garnet Hill (my favorite source for quilts that make everyone think I made them myself….ha!). Because the quilt I ordered was on clearance (the only way to go, in my opinion), they didn’t have king-size pillow shams and I didn’t realize how silly it would look with just 2 standard-size pillow shams on the bed until the order had already shipped. Never fear, the friendly Garnet Hill customer service rep added an additional pillow sham to my order and didn’t even charge me extra shipping!

So to sum up this long and rambling rant, LAZY Boy Furniture was a huge disappointment for us. But Underhill’s, JC Penney and Garnet Hill? I can’t recommend them enough! Oh, and 12 months same as cash is my new best friend (just have to keep track of that best friend to make sure that I pay it all off within the 12 months so it doesn't become my enemy!).


inspiring me today

:: made this on Thursday night and I’m already craving it again...so, so, so tasty and healthy! ::

:: I’m in loooove with this kitchen…especially those curtains! ::

:: these patchwork towels and aprons make me swoon ::

:: Joel Dewberry fabric is so yummy ::

:: dreaming of a land called Hanalei ::

:: drooling over these clothesline photos...I want one for our yard! ::

free concerts are the best!

I scored free tickets to see The Fray last night!

So after work, we headed into Marymoor Park and kicked off our shoes...

..then ate a picnic dinner on a much-loved quilt...

...and settled in to watch some fun live music.

(notice what Karl's wristband says? it's hilarious, because if you know anything about him then you know that that wristband was definitely on the wrong wrist!)

The venue is nice and cozy - not too big, ample parking and surrounded by gorgeous trees.

What a great way to spend a Friday night!


The End of an Era

Just finished reading the last Harry Potter book (that's how we choose who goes fist, Carrie....I'm a much faster reader than Karl!). I'm not going to give anything away, so I'll just say that it was a very fitting end to a great series.

I really hope that J.K. Rowling writes another series of books - I had so much fun with the Potter books!

Okay, now who else is finished with it? I'm guessing Philip probably finished it before me....so what did you think?


Maggie, I think I've got something to say to you

Meet Maggie:

Don't worry, she's not ours! :) We're pet-sitting her for the weekend, and she's so darn cute that I had to share a picture of her.

And here's a pic from a few minutes ago of the Henster...with a fresh haircut.

Much to the dogs' chagrin, I can't continue playing Frisbee with them in the yard because (a) it's starting to rain again and (b) the mailman just delivered the final Harry Potter book to us!

Okay, off to read of some wizardry... :)


How Does Your Garden Grow?

I was getting worried that our tomatoes weren’t going to produce any fruit this year, because a certain somebody’s tomato plants were already producing red tomatoes and mine didn’t even have a single one sprouted even though I planted mine so much sooner than she did. Jealous, much? Nah… :)

But lo and behold, my worries were unwarranted!

Ain’t she pretty? We’ve now got so many Early Girls and cherry tomatoes going that we bought a canning cookbook to prepare for the “harvest”. I’m so excited!

Here are a few other pictures of the yard:

…hydrangeas in the most lovely shade of blue. I love being able to see these outside of our bedroom window…

…the rock wall in our backyard that my mother-in-law weeded and hand-clipped for us (since we still don’t have a weed whacker). HAND-CLIPPED, people!…

…the rose bed, also recently weeded by my mother-in-law. We laid down fresh mulch and planted the moss after they left, and we’re hoping that the moss expands outward to cover up that whole area eventually. Unfortunately it’s had a bit of transplant shock and isn’t doing too well (something I’m hoping our rain this week will help with, since nothing beats rainwater for grass and plants)…

…the planter wheel in our front yard with lots of purple and orange daisies…

I’m really loving the idea of growing most of our own food, and would like to stretch our gardening muscle next year. Here’s what I’m daydreaming of planting in our garden…zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, leeks, lettuce, bok choy, kale, bell peppers and strawberries. I don’t even know if all of those things grow well in the Pacific Northwest (or if we’ll have room for all of that), but I’m willing to give it a try! Oh, and I’d love to mimic Philip and Jill and grow an herb garden like theirs – it is amazing. I’ll have to try and convince him to send me some pictures so I can post them here (hint, hint).

Other things I’m dreaming of for the yard are installing rain barrels off our drain spouts, removing the roses from the lower part of the yard and replacing them with something more suited to that shady spot (and also something that’s more pest-free, hopefully) and drawing out plans (with Karl’s help, of course) for the patio out back and for the flower beds in the front. Oh, to have unlimited time and money (and energy) to work on the yard!

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the one-year anniversary of the closing on our house. In some ways it feels like we’ve lived here for so much longer, and in other ways it feels like we’re still just getting settled. We’ve come a long way in one year, and I’m excited to see what we do in year two!


Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Happy, happy birthday, Dad!! You've taught me a million and one life lessons, you are my go-to guy when I have questions about pretty much anything, you've helped me out in more ways than you could ever know....and I hope you have the best birthday ever! Good luck at the video poker today!

I love you!


Easy Breezy Beautiful

We installed some window screens!

With the summer fast approaching a while back, and with no screens on any of our main windows, it was pretty miserable in the house. So we got the materials to make screens and we bought a sliding screen door to go on the French doors at the back of the house.

Cooper was pretty happy about the windows being open, that's for sure.

It wasn’t exactly easy, but we did ultimately figure out what to do. Mostly. Thankfully my dad came up here and fixed what we did wrong on the screen door. Thanks, Dad!

Although I must say, as nice as it is to be able to open the windows....it was even nicer to keep the house closed up and let our little window a/c unit do it's work when the temps soared in Seattle last week! We bought the a/c unit last year and it took us many, many moons before we got around to actually installing that little sucker, but we were so thankful to have a cool-ish house when we needed it.

I'll leave you with a few more photos of Cooper the cutie-pie enjoying some sun. Happy Saturday!

(I think Cooper is admiring the new baseboards in that last shot...)


Mine all mine

Oh yeah, baby!!

To celebrate being car payment free (for the Rav4, anyway), we're taking that $350/mo that would have gone to Toyota and applying it toward some bedroom furniture. This will be the first time in my almost 30 years that I've had a brand new mattress to sleep on, and I can't wait! :)

Pictures to come shortly of the new furniture. We do have our new computer in, but we haven't gotten Photoshop installed yet...and I don't like to post without photos!


My compliments to the chef!

We went to see a matinee showing of Pixar's latest movie, Ratatouille, on Sunday.

I loved it! L.O.V.E.D. it. Every last bit of it. Can't wait to add it to our DVD collection!

The story was great - lots of good laughs for the grown-ups, which is always a plus.

And the animation was superb. Those geniuses at Pixar really know what they are doing. Such a great breath of fresh air, and so nice to have them bounce back after the disappointment of Cars.

Karl and I walked out of the theater craving good food and good wine - truly a sign of how good the movie was if a cartoon can make us crave these things!

So we had a wonderfully simple dinner of spinach salad along with crusty bread smeared with French cheese (wonderfully creamy and slightly stinky stuff...perfecto) and a good red wine, followed by Ranier cherries for dessert. So good.

The look on Remy's face here sums it up perfectly - good movies, good food and good wine = great Sunday!