HelloFresh · Week Recap

Oh Sunny Weekend

The title says it all.  You give me a super sunny weekend in the middle of winter and my mood is bursting with joy.  Add to the sunny skies the birds chirping, the rose buds blossoming, and all signs pointing to spring and I will forget for a time that it is still chilly with highs in the mid 40s and that we still have months to go until summer.  But sometimes its A-OK to be fooled or even foolish.

Bryan deserted me Friday night and Saturday to go skiing with Mark at White Pass just past Mt. Rainier.  I say “deserted” but I’m only joking because I have basically been begging him to go as I don’t want to hold him back from going out and enjoying something I know he loves.  So Friday night I had a date with myself to see I, Tonya, enjoyed a Subway sandwich and then got home in time to catch as much as I wanted of the Opening Ceremony.  All in all, a pretty good night.

Saturday was S.T.U.D.Y. day with Bryan away.  With only breaks for brunch at home, talking to my mom, and a 4-mile easy run in the sun, and making of some healthyish chocolate peanut butter oat bars to snack on this week, I was in the house studying away on structural steel from 10 am until when Bryan got home around 5:30 pm.  But it was a good and productive day that I’m glad I had and I sat in the sun next to the window the whole day.  Once Bryan was home we caught up with one another’s day before making an easy but super delicious dinner thanks to Hellofresh of moo shu pork tacos with some delicious hoisin aioli while watching  the first night of the Olympic events and my personal favorite; ice skating/dancing.  I was happy to have my husband back home to fight over space on the couch.

These little tacos were super good…and not little.

Sunday was typical and atypical.  We went to church (typical) but there was a guest speaker (atypical).  Nevertheless, the talk hit home and was a good one for both of us to hear (typical).  We drove off in the sunlight (atypical) and headed south to Ikea in Renton (atypical…we haven’t been to Ikea since we first moved into the house 3.5 years ago) with a stop first to get more Subway for lunch (atypical…I don’t normally have a craving for Subway).  We spent the next two hours browsing and shopping Ikea and managed to get everything we came for without breaking the bank.  Our grocery cart was:

  • Two new nightstands for our bedroom that match the style and color of our bed frame.
  • An actually beautiful dresser (also in the same style as our bedroom furniture but in white) for use in the “nursery” as a dresser and changing table per inspiration from a blog I saw to multipurpose.
  • A shelving unit to use in the “nursery” closet for books, toys, etc that was also per inspiration from the same blog.
  • Drawer insert organizers for the wee little baby clothes in the dresser.
  • Cloth bins in adorable polka dots to use for storing away the toys, etc in the shelving unit.
  • Two rod racks with hooks to hang certain elements in the kitchen to give us more counter space along with a cute little hanging basket to hang on the rod.

I think we came out winning for sure.  We headed back north, stopping to see an open house right down the street from Seward Park that was well-priced, in a neighborhood we like, and pretty cutely remodeled but we just aren’t sure about putting down an offer right now.  We headed home to unload the Jeep in the middle of our living room where it still rests.  Bryan went for a run in the remaining sunlight and I walked up the hill to get items for dinner.  We made one of our favorite calliloo stews together, did a few household chores, watched more Olympics and of course relaxed to more TV before wrapping up the weekend before another work week.

Sun is in store for the week ahead and I’m so happy about that!


Week Recap


This week was a transitioning week for me with work and with social a bit.  I feel like my schedule this week didn’t allow for much to get done and yet most nights I arrived home late in the evening.  I didn’t fit in many workouts and I didn’t get very many hours in studying.  Hopefully this weekend allows for a little of both.

Part of the reasoning behind lack of studying was a few scheduled nights of girl time.  After one night at home on Monday I met Polly for dinner at Palomino’s before seeing the movie Lady Bird together.  I also spilled the beans to my dear girlfriend who was very happy for us and very excited.  The next night I grabbed dinner at the FareStart Community Dinner before heading to church for yoga and a meet and greet for the winter season of our women’s Practicing Presence group.  Pretty much the same girls with a few additions, which is a good thing, and I was glad that I made the effort to go to this first one, even if just to tell them the reason I won’t be making them all; the test.  We were led through 50 minutes of gentle yoga and stretching, which I realized were needed after having a few days of mostly office work with little exercise and very tight muscles.  An enjoyable session but one that didn’t really leave any time for chatting or getting to know one another.

Thursday night was a good night at FareStart, as it always is, with a fabulous meal and both of us getting to perform our favorite roll of food running.  And today we were greeted by sunny skies!  I’m back at the main office for the day for our monthly staff meeting, and moving forward I will be spending Fridays, and hopefully as many others as I can, in the main office and so happy to be here instead of up the hill.  I’m looking forward to settling in to watch the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.  I’m looking very much forward to the weekend, even if that means I have a lot of studying to do.  At least I don’t have to clean.  Bryan’s going on his first ski day tomorrow with Mark to White Pass and they have decided to spend the night there tonight so I’m thinking I might go see I, Tonya on my way home for work for a solo date.

Amazing FareStart dinner thanks to Rider restaurant. Beet and burrata salad with beet hummus, steelhead with hazlenuts and fennel puree, and the most amazing chocolate semifreddo with cream, cherries and brittle.

My three days at the Seattle Municipal Tower were not the most fun.  The office is quiet and sterile and no one talks to our group from MJA.  There are a maximum of eight of us up there at any one time but that number fluctuates throughout the week.  It is super strange to me to work in a building where you have to take an elevator up to the 40th floor to then get off and get on another elevator to take you up to the 47th floor.  Our floor has spectacular views of the city, however, I really only get to see these when I walk around or are in meetings because in Seattle Public Utility’s contract “no consultant is to have a nicer desk than an SPU employee”.  Thus, we are in the middle with super tall partitions and certainly no windows.  There is no coffee here either so Bryan makes me an espresso to take with me to work, although there is a Starbucks on the first floor if I was really desperate (but I am cutting back on caffeine intake).  My main issue with it though is that there is no conversation or social aspect to this office like there is at First Ave.  Our group talks some but everyone is so quiet around us we stick mostly to business, versus the main office which can get very rowdy and loud on a regular basis.  Absolutely no one eats lunch together in the kitchen.  The work here is mildly interesting which is the one saving grace but I’ll be looking forward to getting back to 1st Ave full time.


Week Recap

Finally February

January has seemed long, it really has.  I’m not sure if it has been all of the wet weather we have had or that it has been more or less uneventful, what, without all of our ski trips and whatnot, and the studying, but it has dragged on.  For the first time in forever I’m glad we are finally to February.  Not that February has that much more exciting in store for us than January did…

This week was a good work week for both of us.  Bryan is getting a lot of momentum moving forward with his big idea and what could be a huge project.  He finally has the support he needs, the time to work on it, and the urgency to get it done.  I, on the other hand, am finally wrapping up my two-year-long design project for E360.  And I am so looking forward to having it off of my plate.  It will still be there throughout construction, requiring answers to requests for information and to respond to submittals, but that is a much different capacity and scope than what it has been for two years…and certainly less of a full-time job.  There are a few other things on my work plate to diversify so I don’t think it will feel too slow.

Aside from work we each had some of our own things going on after our one and only night of dinner at home on Monday.  Monday I tried out a lower body workout on my ClassPass at Bassline Fitness in Capitol Hill.  I regrettably followed that up with another cycle class at Riot Cycle, by the office, on Tuesday evening, which left me walking like a crab the rest of the week.  Two classes in a week is fine…two classes back to back with both focusing on the same body part = ouch. Bryan was getting happy hour with Philipp Tuesday night so I got a mystery shopping dinner at McMenamin’s Six Arms in Capitol Hill on my way home.  Delicious fish and chips while tuning into some of the State of the Union address.  And Wednesday was solely a study night for me.  I managed to study more or less from 4 pm until 9 pm when Bryan graciously picked me up from Veggie Grill.  Aside from getting study fuel of BDubs wings and Veggie Grill tempura green beans, I was at it studying and felt accomplished but exhausted by the end of the night.  Bryan was so kind as to do so much around the house to help out.

Some amazing fish and chips for a post workout dinner.

So by the time Thursday rolls around I feel like I am in the clear.  Workouts and study nights are done for the mid week and I’m in a light-hearted mood.  Thursday’s FareStart night was a good one with a chef whose restaurant we still need to hit with food flavored and focused around MiddleEastern cuisine.  It was a great meal and we both had an easy night captaining.  We spent Friday evening getting Chef Holly Smith’s amazing and unique lamb burger from Lil Woody’s before heading to finally see the latest Star Wars movie downtown.  Good burger, good movie and good walk home rain-free.

The weekend was fairly busy with making a lot of headway getting ourselves and the house organized.  I scheduled a Groupon-discounted housecleaning service to come on Monday so I wanted to make some progress with odds and ends around the house.  And we did good with that, without spending our whole weekend on this task.  After spending the morning studying and Bryan at Men’s Group at church we started to tackle a few projects.  What we accomplished this weekend:

  • Organize our mail bin
  • Stabilize dining table
  • Put away clothes
  • Measured our “nursery closet” for a new storage unit
  • Moved guest bed to wall to figure out space
  • Moved side table from guest room to office for use as a filing cabinet
  • Organized the “laundry room”
  • Cleaned out our “miscellaneous” drawers in the kitchen
  • Cleaned and organized bathroom cabinet downstairs
  • Organized miscellaneous stuff in our bedroom
  • All of this resulted in quite a bit of stuff that we have set away either for Goodwill or are dumping and I feel great about that

After a lot of progress was made we did an interval training set at home with the row machine and weights and then set forth for Everett to get dinner with Billy and Valerie before catching Valerie’s musical of The Newsies at the Village Theater.  It was a great show with a ton of talent and of course the best violinist in town.  It was also great to be able to see her, even for just a few minutes and we got to see the backstage scenes of the orchestra pit and stage.

Sunday morning at church we were back to normal without the table conversations and after church Bryan and I got a great brunch at the Macrina Bakery in upper Queen Anne, with Bryan getting the Italiano sandwich and I tried their Mediterranean benedict with artichokes, spinach and a tomato hollandaise on a pizza bread.  After brunch we headed home, getting a few more things done around the house before settling into a lazy night watching the Super Bowl by ourselves.  Nothing fancy for our solo party other than chips, salsa, guac and queso.  We were both wanting the Patriots to win but in the end are more than fine that the Eagles got their ring.

Great brunch at Macrina on Sunday.

Back to work and not too happy about it.  Especially since I have been moved  up to the Seattle Municipal Tower a few days a week to help finish out the Ship Canal Project with Seattle Public Utilities.  Back to being a consultant in a rather unwelcoming government agency.  Hoorah!



Eventful Weekend

We had our first pretty eventful weekend honestly since December.  We took Friday night to chill at home with a good pasta dinner and movie in between FareStart night and plans Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was a double-hitter.  Bryan and I had purchased tickets to the Seattle Rep’s Special Club 20/30 performance of the latest play, Two Trains Running, midday.  The ticket prices were cheap and included free drinks and snacks in their VIP room before the show and during intermission.  It’s good to be young in the realm of live theater.  The play had a long running time of three hours with one intermission so immediately afterwards was our scheduled Girls Night, the first of the year.  Ewelina graciously offered to host in her apartment, while I brought all of the supplies for candle-making and others chipped in with some essential oils.  It was my idea to make pumpkin spice candles back in November but the baking night was a little too full to cram them in.  The girls still wanted to make them though so we had a large selection of scents to choose from to make our candles smell wonderful.  It was a fun night catching up with just the women and enjoying each others potluck dishes.  Some of the boys, in the meantime, enjoyed several drinks out and at David’s, along with a Mexican dinner out.

Sunday morning began like many with church.  After a month spent on “Margin” we have moved on to “The Centrality of Christ” in the book of Colossians.  This week was the occasional table talk at church which means the message is short with time to discuss questions among a table.  I think everyone gets nervous and worried when they see the tables set up like this but I’ve enjoyed them every time.  We get to know members of the church a whole let better and we get to talk to one another about meaningful things.  We actually exchanged numbers with one of the couples, one of the girls from my women’s group and her husband, to get together another time.  After church we picked up some soups for lunch from Met Market before heading home.  I managed to squeeze in some studying Sunday afternoon after none on Saturday.  We had another night of plans though that cut that short.  We had reservations at the new-to-us Ethan Stowell restaurant Marine Hardware for their Lobster Hip Hop night they do on occasion.  For $55 we were treated to a full lobster and tons of delicious sides, hip hop tunes, cookies for dessert and a really good time.  Here was the menu:

Old Bay Fries
Goat Cheese Crostini with tomato jam
Roasted Baby Beets with avocado, grapefruit, and pickled shallot
Little Gem Lettuce with red wine vinaigrette, radish, and walnuts

Whole Lobster with drawn butter and lemons

Assorted Cookies

I really enjoyed this experience.  We had a great date night out, we enjoyed delicious food and went to a new restaurant.  This also met my standards for splurging a bit more on experiences (whether they be food or other) instead of just meals.  Great fun!  A great weekend with very little studying in…whoops.  Oh well, hopefully I can get some in this week.



18 for 2018

Per my mom’s idea (and some podcast) I made an 18 for 2018 list in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions.  The list was finalized a while ago but here it finally goes on the blog…so now it is real.

  1. De-clutter the house and organize the garage.
  2. Cook 20 meals at home every month.
  3. Revamp my wardrobe, making it easier to pick out outfits by getting rid of what I don’t like and storing away seasonal stuff. Focus on buying quality pieces in the store versus cheap items online.
  4. Visit my grandaddy.
  5. Buy a family car.
  6. Prepare with organization and structure for the SE exam. Prioritize this for the first three and a half months of the year.
  7. Have fun learning guitar.
  8. Make at least six girls nights happen.
  9. Maintain a healthy skin routine.
  10. Re-learn our lindy hop choreographed dance from the wedding.
  11. Pack five picnics somewhere.
  12. Work through my devotional book and pray nightly with Bryan.
  13. Read ten books for fun or learning.
  14. Swap reading/music/puzzles for TV one night a week.
  15. Cross stitch something.
  16. Make at least two recipes from three different cookbooks.
  17. Travel to visit a friend.
  18. Dine at five new-to-me restaurants.

I like my list and am feeling confident that it is not out of reach.


Week Recap · Weekend

Catch Up Time

Wow, the time has flown.  And not because I am having fun.  On the contrary, there has been so freaking much to do and my brain is split a thousand different places…most often with “you need to be studying” on repeat, which doesn’t help anything.  But January, as a month, seemed nice and long.  Not usually my favorite month by any stretch of the imagination but I’m also needing time to go nice and slow for a few months, at least until April.

While the weather has been mostly wet we haven’t had that many chilly days and we have had some breaks in the rain that help keep me sane.  It hasn’t been the worst weather this January, nor the best.  Probably perfect for studying and working, which is more or less what both of us have been doing.  Since being back we have had a little bit of fun in the form of:

  • Saw the Book of Mormon at the Paramount Theater and loved it!!  Enjoyed a Mexican happy hour beforehand at Rioja with Mark and his girl.

    Book of Mormon
  • I took a cycle class complements of Yelp and really liked it.  Since then I have started ClassPass and have checked out two more spin classes and a barre class.  I like the philosophy of ClassPass and being able to do a variety of workouts at a variety of places with a very flexible schedule.
  • Enjoyed a dinner at home with Billy and Ainsley.
  • Dined at Eastlake Bar and Grill twice with Groupons.
  • Enjoyed FareStart community dinner for the month of January and there have been many stellar meals at FareStart already in this new year for Guest Chef Night.
  • Have had fun and love our Google Home.
  • Obsessively watched the entire last season of Top Chef – Charleston, made bets on the winner, and now I owe Bryan two GOOD massages.

    Love Top Chef
  • And watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia all over again because even though it is vain and vulgar it is quite possibly the most hilarious show on television and puts us in a good mood every single night.
  • I’ve been rowing for short stints when I can, mostly for a break in the study action to break up the doldrums.
  • We got sushi with the whole gang for Carina’s short return to Seattle this past Sunday.  Everyone (except Mark) I hadn’t seen since well before Christmas so it was great to catch up with everyone all at once.  Sushi was meh.
  • We had our first Novelty Hill/Januik wine club member party of the year and like usual we collected our wine and enjoyed the always delicious dinner feasting.
  • And we have been cooking as much as we can at home, per one of my goals for “18 for 2018” to come shortly in the next post.  My goal was 20 dinners at home each month but with FareStart every week and other occasions with friends or fun that are just not right to turn down I have modified it to 20 meals at home, which works because we do have brunch at home most weekends when we could (and sometimes do) go out for brunch.  And we have been doing pretty good with this with only a few quick dinners scattered in there.  We have been doing a lot of the cooking together to get Bryan some recipes under his belt.  We started off the year with a trio of meals from Home Chef delivery service, we made an awesome and simple hot sausage and fennel pasta, callilloo stew, beef stroganoff, chicken paprikash, moussaka, steak and potatoes, Thai turkey lettuce wraps, and others and they have all been delicious.

As you can see, for an entire month we haven’t been that active.  Largely that is due to my study schedule (which isn’t all that strict but just needs to happen) and that Bryan was pretty darn sick for a good long time.  He even had to take two days off of work because of how awful he felt.  But being stuck at home isn’t too bad with good company.  At some point we are going to start going stir crazy though.  Fortunately, we do have some exciting performances and dinners out ahead in our future.


Christmas · Michigan · New Year's Eve

Christmas in Chilly Michigan

I’m back at work today and feeling relaxed!!!  Our trip to Michigan was a good one and filled with a lot of long slumbers, seeing family, a little exercise, a bunch of good food, and a lot of football.  I wouldn’t expect really anything less.  We left late on the night of the 23rd and got home just before the ball dropped (on the Pacific) on New Year’s Eve.  Here’s a little recap of what fell in between.

Chelsea is reprioritizing time, price, and ease of travel in future flight itineraries based on this trip.  Bryan and I flew the redeye to Chicago, getting in on Christmas Eve with a two-hour flight delay and a 3.5-hour drive to East Lansing.  We both arrived red eyed and out of it but also glad to finally be there and ready for the holiday.  There were many presents to wrap but we got cleaned up and my grandparents came over to have the usual king crab legs and clam chowder for dinner.  It was an excellent meal and Bryan and I had just enough energy to make it to the 9 pm Christmas Eve service at People’s Church.  We didn’t walk there this year because the snow was still coming down and the temperatures were dropping!

Christmas Day was the same as it always is.  Open presents at home, clean up, be the last family to arrive at Grandma’s, take two hours to go around opening presents, and eat way too much good casual Christmas food; chicken wings, beef sandwiches, my aunts baked beans, cheesy potatoes, coleslaw, and of course lots of Christmas cookies.  Bryan and I braved the cold to stretch our legs with a walk just as the sun was going down.  This was when we realized we were in for a very cold week, something we haven’t had in Michigan yet.

The middle part of the week is where a lot of relaxing and conversation comes in.  Activities include two trips to Court One to break a sweat, getting out for cross country skiing once to Birchfield Park in Holt for some fresh air and serenity, getting the legendary topopo salad and margaritas at El Azteco, middleeastern food, pizza at home, Jersey Giant subs while watching the MSU bowl game at grandparents’ house, Louisiana food and excellent jazz in small town Owosso, a puzzle, and lots of football watching.

We said goodbye to Chad on Thursday so he could head back to Chicago to pick up a friend coming in for New Years.  The parents and us went to Detroit for the day on Saturday and had a good time.  We started with a great Spanish lunch of tapas in Midtown at the cute La Feria.  After filling up we stopped at the Detroit Institute of Arts and I was blown away by how good it was.  I haven’t been to a ton of museums in the U.S. but I must say of the ones I have been to, I think I enjoyed this one the most, even more so than MOMA in New York.  After several hours of exhibits, including the special exhibit of Monet which was wonderful, we drove downtown to park and ride the People Mover, Detroit’s elevated train from 1987, just for fun.  And we rode it around twice.  It was interesting to me and you could catch a lot of the sights around Detroit, the Renaissance Center, the Detroit River and Windsor across the water, Joe Louis Arena, Comerica Park, Ford Field, Grand Park, Greektown, etc.  It was fun people watching too, mostly of those going to the Pistons game at the new Little Caesars Arena.

Getting off we had one last stop to get the famous Slow’s BarBBQ on Michigan Ave.  Without a reservation, we sat at the bar and ordered a wide variety of items.  Food was amazing!  Especially the brisket (even said so by the uber-particular Bryan and Dad), the ribs, the BBQ sauces and their baked mac and cheese.  We barely finished it all but of course we did.  The ride home was something with all of us so full.

We had to leave East Lansing Sunday midday but were able to get one more needed workout in before doing so.  With bags packed and turkey sandwiches packed for us we picked up our rental car to make the drive to Chicago.  We hit one pretty snowy band of lake effect snow in Michigan City that slowed us down and stressed us out but we still made it to O’Hare with plenty of time to get a great Mexican dinner at the famous Rick Bayless’ La Frontera Grill for a torta and taqueria salad that were both amazing and to watch the Seahawks lose.  Our flight got in early and we had an easy route back home to get in with an hour to spare before the ball dropped (on the Pacific) to ring in the new year.

2017 was a good year but I have a feeling that 2018 is going to be even better!