Tag Archives: house


It finally consistently feels like summer here. A very warm summer, actually. Our highs are averaging in the 80’s and there’s been nonstop sunshine. We’re enjoying having less plans and just hanging out outside a lot more too. So here’s what we’ve been up to.


20140710_144246We’ve been hitting up the library a lot, mostly because I’m trying to watch less TV. It’s only half working, but either way, reading more is good, right? I’m currently in the middle of Gone Girl, and I’m not super absorbed by it like I thought I’d be, but it’s good. I’m also reading the stories from Three Minus One, which I like because they’re all only a few pages so I can read one at a time when the mood strikes, mostly when I feel like a cry. I’m also reading The Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and Curious George at the Baseball Game, both at least 10 times a day at Cormac’s insistence. They are his clear favorites right now.


20140706_172321Cormac is obsessed with his bike and rides up and down the block almost every evening. Brent has a bike and has mentioned us getting me a bike and a bike seat for Cormac, but I’m not sure. I’m kind of terrified of riding a bike in the street (which I know makes me very un-Seattle). So we’ll see if that happens.


When the temperature outside inches toward 90 degrees and you have no AC, you tend to seek out other ways to cool down. We’ve been hitting up the Green Lake wading pool pretty frequently. It’s a mad house, but it’s only a 15 minute walk from home, so we love it.

20140708_162901(He stole that kid’s football, and he was not happy.)

We also hung out at the Magnuson Park swim beach last weekend, letting Cormac throw rocks into the water to his heart’s content. Also, I’m pretty sure anyone who has been to an actual beach would laugh at the characterization of the little bit of rocks as a “swim beach.”


20140704_113002Cormac loves “the beach.” He actually waded right in to the lake up to his waist before I pulled him back out. I always think how lucky Cormac is to grow up in such a beautiful place. The Chicagoland area is great for a lot of reasons, but I definitely wouldn’t call my hometown “beautiful.”


I’ve been obsessed with doughnuts lately, particularly the raspberry raised ring from Top Pot.

10371388_10103847965123860_3944452874293112134_nI think Cormac and I might institute Doughnut Fridays for the remainder of the summer.

We (and by we, I mean Cormac) have also been eating our weight in berries.

20140705_110932He ate half of that half flat from the Farmer’s Market within 24 hours. I have not been feeling particularly adventurous in the kitchen lately. Who wants to stand over a stove when it’s 85 degrees outside? So I’ve been making super quick one-pot meals like this sausage with peppers and onions, taking inspiration from this recipe and this recipe.



I believe I suggested when we bought this house almost two years ago that we paint the front door a fun color (ridiculously bright yellow was my first choice. I was willing to compromise on red), but Brent vetoed that idea repeatedly until this past weekend when he suddenly agreed. Afraid he might change his mind, I decided it needed to be done immediately.

20140706_203611My previously black front door is now a bright and cheerful yellow, appropriately named “Instant Delight.” We’ve been keeping the front door open (with the addition of a baby gate) to help cool down the house and get a cross breeze.

20140708_132059The dogs love it, obviously. I also took the opportunity to suggest that Brent replace the old black shutters with white ones to further brighten up the front of the house.

20140710_144403Ignore my “in progress” landscaping. I’m also tearing out all the half-dead front bushes. I only wish the front door was actually on the front of the house because the grey and yellow go so well together, but you can’t see it from the front.



I’m currently planning /thinking about planning Cormac’s 2nd birthday! It’s less than a month away and his party is going to be really small, but I still like to decorate and make a ridiculous cake, so I’ve got to get on that. Pretty sure I need to make a truck cake.

AND we’re going on vacation the second week of September, just to have something to look forward to and to get out of town over Alfie’s due date. We’re probably going to the San Juans, but maybe the Oregon coast or Hood Canal instead? Either way, we just want fairly secluded and waterfront. I’m already excited, but we should probably get something booked soon!

So that’s what we’ve been up to. How about you?

Weekly Recap

How awesome is a three day weekend? So awesome you guys. I love having Brent home for such an extended period of time. For purely selfish reasons, of course. The toddler can be quite exhausting.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some baking, which is a nice return to normalcy. I made a batch of the brioche dough from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. (Still obsessed with this book 5 years later!) With that, I made cinnamon rolls on Thursday morning.


The important thing to remember when making these cinnamon rolls, is that they are best made for a large group of people so that you do not eat the entire batch yourself. That’s my experience anyway.


Yeah, so definitely no leftovers to be had.

Thursday afternoon the guys from SurroundsLandscaping.com helped me with some yardwork.




We’re still working on that gross moss-covered patio. C and Larry got in on the scrubbing too.


We’re making steady progress. You can tell below which sections of the patio have been scraped and cleaned, and which have not.


Saturday morning we went out for pancakes followed by a trip to Swanson’s Nursery to scope out possible trees for Alfie. We’ve narrowed down the type, but I still have to get the area ready for planting and finish off the weeds.


Cormac mostly just wandered around saying “Teeeeeeeeee” (tree) and pointing. We also walked over to the U-District Farmers Market to grab some veggies for dinner.

I used the same dough mentioned above to make some burger buns for our dinner Saturday night. Brent made Alton Brown’s Burger of the Gods recipe and we grilled them along with a bunch of asparagus and spring onions. Oh, and potato salad using Tyler Florence’s recipe.

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A burger on a buttered brioche bun is pretty much always a winner. That’s just a little life wisdom from me to you. Cormac, however, was much more interested in the tomato.

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Sunday was another full day starting with a trip to the zoo.


We spent about 2 hours there and managed to see almost everything I think. Cormac was pretty fascinated by the orangutans eating lettuce below.


And then we grabbed lunch and headed home for a nap. Brent did some house projects while I made dinner.


I made this Mexican Chicken Soup from last month’s Food & Wine.

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It was super easy to make and I really liked it, but I’d double the cumin and coriander next time. Definitely a make-again.

And we had a pretty laid back Memorial Day over here, starting with bagels at Eltana. (Brent is still mad at this week’s crossword.)


Cormac is apparently obsessed with bagels and ate even more than we were expecting.


And we spent the rest of the day mostly finishing house projects. We bought customized closet organizers from the Elfa line at the Container Store, and Brent spent all weekend painting the closets and installing them. I consider it life-changing.


Have you ever seen anything so pretty in your entire life? No. No, you have not. I’m in love. Our closets before were such a sloppy ugly mess. Mine just had one bar across the top, and Brent’s had some bent up hot mess of a cheap organizer, so this was a huge improvement. And each of our master closets fits our own needs now. Have I mentioned I’m in love?

As a result, we were able to move our huge dresser downstairs into Cormac’s room, freeing up a ton of floor space in our room, and giving Cormac a lot more storage.


Because of that, I was able to clean out his closet, so I threw a cozy blanket and pillow in there along with some of his favorite books to make a little book nook for him. He seems to like it.


Oh, and Brent made delicious barbeque chicken for dinner, but I don’t have a picture, which is a shame. He made the sauce using “all the stuff in our pantry that looked like it went in barbeque sauce.”

And now I’m drinking a glass of wine and watching a BBQ Pitmasters marathon and looking forward to a shortened week. Hope you all had a great weekend!