Thursday, June 26, 2014

Desk Essentials

Working a full-time job can be draining, here are some of the items I keep at my desk that help me power through each day!

1) Hand Lotion - this is a must especially for Seattle weather! My hands get dry so easily, so I find myself constantly reaching for lotion. My co-worker used to love that I kept this stashed at my desk and would always reach out when she needed some as well.

2) Thank You Cards - when I keep a box of thank you cards at my desk, I have no excuse to not send them. My mom was so good at writing cards and I would love to continue her card "legacy". Plus, who doesn't like getting a card in the mail?

3) Washi Tape - not an "essential" necessarily, but I do like the pop of color it adds to my walls!

4) Mug - find a good mug that holds a lot of pens and pencils. Bonus if you can add your scissors in there as well!

5) EOS Lip Balm

6) Protein Bars/Snacks - to help fight the afternoon munchies! Also nice to have if you forget your lunch or have to delay your lunch break.

7) Contigo Water Bottle - I drink a ton of water during the day, so a water bottle is always close by.

8) "5 Days a Week" Desk Pad - I still love my monthly calendar, but this pad helps me focus on each day and allows me to write detailed "must-do" notes. I also like that it includes a section for weekend "to-dos"!

What's on your desk? Read more about my office and work tips here

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

10 things to do in West Seattle

I have always loved West Seattle. I feel so blessed that Dustin and I had the opportunity to live there this past year. There are so many things I will miss about our little town! If you ever venture over to West Seattle, here are some of my recommendations ...

1) Matador - go here for the best margaritas, nachos and butternut squash quesadillas! A great birthday celebration spot as well.

2) Husky Deli - a specialty store and ice cream shop all in one. Dustin loves the Husky Flake and I love the cookie dough flavor! 


3) Salty's Happy Hour - if you make it over to West Seattle between 3 pm-6pm make sure to enjoy fish tacos out on their deck.

4) Marination Station - my absolute favorite low-key spot. Enjoy Hawaiian BBQ with a view of the Seattle skyline. I go crazy for their ginger chicken tacos and shredded kalua pork sliders, yum! Log-on to the Facebook to see their daily specials!

6) Have pizza at Pegasus, Talarico's or Pizzeria Credo.

7) Go on a walk/run along Alki.

8) Rent a kayak or paddle board.

9) Grab a beer and pretzel at Prost.

10) Explore to Lincoln Park!


Yesterday, we picked up the keys to our new home. Let the moving and craziness begin!!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hope Floats

"Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will." - Hope Floats

I recently started following the blog Baby Boy Bakery and stubbled across the above quote from her post today. The author (a mother) is grieving the tragic loss of her 3-year-old son. Although our losses are different, I feel comforted when reading her blog and I am constantly nodding my head as I agree with what she writes.

This quote from "Hope Floats" is a perfect way to describe where I am at in life. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Survival Mode

The last 8 weeks have felt as if I have been dog paddling endlessly through rough waters. Trying to not drown in both emotions and a tackling a never-ending list of "to-dos". I have learned to be okay with what was accomplished and what was not at the end of each day. I have learned to listen to my body and understood my limits. I have given myself time to rest, time to grieve and time to work. I have learned to be okay asking for help and delegating tasks. These things are a big struggle for me but it is so rewarding to know that I have people all around me who are there to catch me when I fall.

This weekend I was a busy little bee prepping wedding crafts and spastically communicating with everyone around me as I tried to keep my own thoughts straight.  It was overall a very productive weekend!

Today, I am mentally preparing for the week ahead of me. This upcoming week involves work, packing, buying furniture, moving and driving to Crescent Bar for the weekend to be a part of Marissa and Tyler's wedding. We are officially entering survival mode people!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Our First Home!

I am excited to announce that Dustin and I purchased our first home! The home is located in Seahurst (a community in Burien, WA) and we will still be walking distance from parks, shops, bars and restaurants. Even better, we are 1/4 mile away from Seahurst Park along the water. We should close on Monday.

Here is a house tour, if you would like to see. I thought it would be fun to share these before photos before I get my hands dirty (and Dustin's) in house projects!

Re-doing the kitchen cabinets is definitely on my list!

Master bedroom

En suite

Room that will soon become a pretty office!

Guest room

Main bathroom

Dustin's fabulous garage!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

Yesterday, on my lunch break I went to Pike's Place Market and pick up veggies for last night's dinner, stuffed peppers! I used this recipe as my "foundation" and altered it a bit. My biggest time saver was using this instead of rice. To be honest, I completely forgot about the rice and didn't have the patience to spend 15-20 minutes to boil up a pot of rice when everything else was already prepped and ready to go! In the end, it actually helped enhance the flavor and texture of the peppers, can't complain! This recipe was amazing, I cannot wait to make it again!

Turkey Stuffed Peppers


1 lb lean chopped turkey meat

1 garlic, minced - I used 2 cloves
1/4 onion, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley - I used parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
3 large sweet red bell peppers, washed
1 cup fat free chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato sauce - I used tomato paste
1 1/2 cups cooked rice - I used quinoa/brown rice mix
Olive oil spray - I used olive oil
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheese


    Heat oven to 400°. Spray a little olive oil spray in a medium size saute pan and heat on a medium flame. Add onion, garlic and cilantro to the pan. Saute about 2 minutes and add ground turkey. Season with salt and garlic powder, and cumin and brown meat for several minutes until meat is completely cooked through. Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, mix well and simmer on low for about 5 minutes.Combine cooked rice and meat together.

    Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, and remove all seeds. Place in a baking dish.Spoon the meat mixture into each pepper half and fill it with as much as you can. Placeall stuffed pepper halves on the baking dish and pour the remainder of the chicken broth on the bottom of the pan. Cover tight with aluminum foil and bake for about 35 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy.

    Links I Love

    Photo via Style Me Pretty 

    1. Sports Nutrition Discussion 

    2. 25 Signs You're Succeeding at Life Even if it Doesn't Feel Like It

    3. How to Pack for a Summer Weekend

    4. Faux Calligraphy and Office Essentials

    5. Paris! 

    6. This Coffee Table is a Must Have.

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Gift Idea - Text Book

    My text book came in the mail! This is a great gift idea for anyone. You can create a book out of your text messages between yourself and a selected phone contact.

    The book I created has all of the text messages my mom and I exchanged from October 2013 up until May 9th, 2014. What a cool memory this is.

    Make one here!

    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Weekend in Spokane

    It always feels great to return to Spokane (where I attended Gonzaga University.)  My sister and brother-in-law live on the South Hill near Manito Park (pictured above) and I love when I visit them. I absolutely adore this neighborhood, endless flower gardens, the beautiful homes and water ponds that makes this area so quaint and charming. I also noticed that Megan had a Peony Bush in her front yard and wasted no time before putting together a bouquet for her home.

    We were in Spokane to celebrate Megan's graduation from Eastern Washington University with Master's Degree in School Counseling. Dad, Karen, Uncle Greg, Craig, Dustin and Aunt Becky all joined in our weekend long celebration.

    Our first night together took us to Luna, where each room housed had fresh peonies, the kitchen housed glass canisters, the decor was shabby chic, the ceilings were adorned with chandeliers and clean white dishes were hung on the wall. I was in heaven.

    The next day, we scurried out the door and drove to Cheney, WA (where the EWU commencement took place.) Surprise! The weather was rainy and blustery for the OUTDOOR ceremony. We were all very happy that Megan was one of the first names to be called, shortly after we were all in our warm cars with heat on full blast! Soon after, we all took over her home to decorate and prepare a spread for her guests that would be arriving. 

    That evening, after Aunt Becky and Uncle Greg left, the remaining crew enjoyed a pasta bar (+ GF) dinner + live music at Huckleberries Natural Market. The low-key setting was perfect since we all had full bellies from grazing all day long.

    Before heading out the next morning, we all celebrated Father's Day together over breakfast.

    From a previous EPR post, however this sums up my dad perfectly!

    It is easy to love my dad.  He is strong, patient, loving, generous and kind.  He is the rock that my sister and I will always need.  He is always there to listen to us, love us and support us.  He is a stand up guy.  My dad has helped many people over the years both financially and emotionally.  He is a giver and a helper.  The one you call with any problem when you need a solution.  The one who will always believe in you, even when you don't believe in yourself.  The one who will drive with you to work and then bus back home just so that you can drive in the carpool lane.  The one who brings the beer to the party.  The one who buys always picks up the tab. I will always love my dad through the good and the bad.

    What a good weekend it was!

    Friday, June 13, 2014


    One month from today we'll be in Maui! We are ready for some serious relaxation, the beach, a luau (big thank you to Grandnan!) and poolside drinks!

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    One Month

    The church where my parents were married and where both my Gran's and mom's memorial took place. Holy Angels in Dayton, Ohio

    Today's date has trapped mixed emotions in my heart. It has been one month since mom passed away and it also marks one month away from our joyous wedding celebration.

    This week, I have been either extremely sad or extremely angry. There is no other emotion I have felt besides these two. Often, I feel empty inside and find myself craving my mom's maternal love and her motherly instinct to protect and care for me. I long for her to tell me one last time how proud of me she was.  Truly, there is only one person who can fill that void in my life and now she is gone.

    I have these unrealistic expectations of those around and wanting them to try and fulfill her maternal instinct. These expectations are setting me up for even more distress and anger. There is no one who can love me as she did.

    Another wound that that is still "open" is comprehending that my physical communication and contact with my mom is gone. Imagine losing the person you have talked to almost every day for 24-years? The one person who knows exactly what you need. 

    Today, I am hurting. Tomorrow, I continue to pray for peace to lead me away from these angry emotions.

    My morning devotion, how perfect is this?

    via Jesus Calling

    "Let Me help you get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace..."

    Luke 1:79

    "To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    The Dash

    The Dash
    By: Linda Ellis

    I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on her casket from beginning to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
    For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
    So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?
    For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.
    If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real
    and always try to understand the way other people feel.
    And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more
    and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.
    If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,
    Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
    So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash…

    Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

    Monday, June 9, 2014

    Cavalinni Wrap - Decor Idea

    A big thank you to Morgan for introducing me to these lovely Cavallini Papers & Co. gift wrap sheets. I was excited today to see that new designs came out and the two that I can't wait to get my hands on include their "Florence" and "Italia" designs. The Florence design holds a very special place in my heart after living there for the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year. I love the colors in the "Italia" wrap design as well!

    Currently, I have this blue world map in our living room. I told Dustin when I look at it, it reminds me how small our little world is and how I want to do more traveling!

    These maps sell for less than $5.00. It's a great design idea when looking to fill a large frame and add unique pieces to your wall that hold meaning.

    More designs here.

    Easy Dinner Idea: Tilapia Tacos!

    Now that I am spending weekends in West Seattle, I want to create easy summertime recipes that I can whip up quickly after work. Since Tilapia is a staple in our freezer right now, I thought a taco bar sounded fun, easy and festive! Pair the meal with a Corona + lime and you'll enjoy one perfect dinner combination.

    I realize there are many ways to put together a taco, however I found this recipe most helpful in regards to how to prepare the fish before hand!


    4 whitefish fillets
    1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
    1 teaspoon creole seasoning
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1/4 teaspoon oregano, dried, crushed
    1/2 lemon, juiced
    1/2 lime, juiced 
    corn tortilla shells
    grated cheese
    limes to garnish
    shredded cabbage

    For the Sriracha Sour Cream:

    1 cup sour cream
    1 tablespoon sriracha sauce


    Rinse fish and pat dry. Place fish in a bowl, add seasonings, olive oil and juice to fish, mix well. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. 

    Wrap tortilla shells up in foil paper. Place on prepared grill until fish is ready.

    Grill fish for 6-7 minutes per side until flaky.

    Serve with sriracha sour cream by mixing ingredients together. 

    Serve with cheese, coleslaw and a squeeze of lime. 

    What I liked most about this recipe:

    - Making it healthy! You can use whole wheat tortillas or corn tortillas versus flour tortillas.

    - Adding fresh toppings! I dressed my tacos with avocados, fresh lime and lemon juice.

    - The siratcha sour cream (could be swapped for greek yogurt). Fish tacos need a kick and this was the perfect way to kick it up a notch.

    Friday, June 6, 2014


    Back in October/November 2012 (pre-diagnosis) my mom had recently lost weight, started a new career and was feeling like her happy and healthy self again. She has mentioned a few times that she wanted all of the girls in the family to get "ILYTP" tattoos. Please keep in mind that my mom was neither a tattoo or piercing type of gal. But, she really had her mind set on the girls getting this tattoo and we were all on board. For some reason, we never made it happen.

    ILYTP is a phrase that stands for "I love you to pieces". My Gran has been saying this since, well I am not sure when she started it, which shows how long it has been. After she passed (I was in 4th grade) the whole family continued to use this phrase on birthday cards, social media posts and saying it in person to one another. ILYTP is even on my Gran's headstone and the title of her book of short stories that was put together after she passed.

    So, in my mom's honor, we all got matching ILYTP tattoos. The cool part about this is that we selected the same font that was used in my mom's memorial program.

    I love it! I feel as if I am constantly carrying a piece of my mom with me.