Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pintuck My Heart!

Tim and I had just one mission in mind when we counted up the Christmas money we received from our very generous relatives: new sheets!  And when West Elm began a 20% off bedding and bath sale right after Christmas, it was almost fate!
I had been drooling over pin tucked duvets ever since I started seeing them crop up all over Pinterest, such as this one from Anthropology:
Or this DIY version:
And then I saw this one, and I was in love!

It's organic, which is a major bonus for me, and it comes in a bunch of gorgeous colors.  We opted to play it safe with white again, because it feels hotel like to us. 
Then we decided to just get a little curaaaazy and get the matching organic slate colored sheets to compliment the new duvet.  I am also dying for some "sea spray" sheets as well (a very light seafoamy blue green) but those will just have to wait!
The sheets are ammmmmmmmmazingly comfy!  I never knew sheets could be so wonderful!  Unfortunately, it makes it that much harder for Tim to drag me out of bed in the morning, but whatareyagonnado?

We've had the new duvet for a couple weeks now and are still in love with it!  Thank you for having a sale West Elm!

Since Tim picked out slate colored sheets, that must mean that he is just dying to paint our room charcoal gray, right?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why I love Seattle (and reasons we're cooler than your city)

I mean, look at it:

If that doesn't make your jaw drop, then you must be made of stone.  Or hate beauty.

1. Let's look at the landscape again.  See over there?  Mountains.  Gorgeous.  See over there?  City life.  Boom.  See over there?  Forest.  Nature.  Close by.  Wanna go for a hike?  Alright, be there in 30.  Wanna go lay on the freezing cold but totally sandy beach with gorgeous views of the Olympic mountains (from Golden Gardens) or of downtown Seattle (from Alki Beach)?  OK, let's do it!

2. Freshly ground peanut butter.  Ever heard of it?  Yeah, you probably have because it's not a Seattle-only thing.  If you haven't heard of it, get yourself to the closest Whole Foods and get some for yourself.  Only one of the Seattle locations has my particular obsession:  honey roasted peanut butter.

Yeah.  Honey motha f!ck!n roasted peanut butter.  It's the bee's freaking knees.  You can buy a big huge tub of it for like, $3, and then eat it all in one sitting with a pile of apple, fighting over who gets to lick the container after.  This may have already happened multiple times in the Kroeger-Gihring household.

3. Greenlake.  Feel like running 3.5 miles?  Feel like doing it outdoors?  Wanna do that while dog watching?  Better get yourself to Greenlake.  And after you've burned off those calories, keep on running to Greenlake Bar & Grill and enjoy some tasty happy hour.

4. Breweries.  Seattle is famous for their breweries (not as famous as Portland).  The beer is superb, the food is heavy and delicious.  Naked City Brewery is our favorite- they have a lot of vegan food on the menu but plenty of "normal people" food as well.
5. Vegan/vegetarian food.  I never have to worry about going out to eat in Seattle because 99% of the restaurants have at least one vegetarian dish on the menu, and they're good!  Not your standard old veggie burger- although everywhere has at least that!  

6. But more important than veggie food...Thai food!!  Oh my god.  Tim and I are literally obsessed with Thai food and would eat it every single day if possible.  Thankfully, we live in the teriyaki capitol...which totally just means we have ton of Thai food.  Scratch that, we just love Asain food.  You know you're from Seattle when you can articulately describe the difference between Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian food. 

7. Lenin.  We have a statue of Lenin in the neighborhood of Fremont.  Pretty weird?  Definitely!  Very Seattle?  Definitely.  We also have a troll.  Sup dude?

8. Soccer.  Now, I don't like sports, and I won't pretend I'm some sort of soccer fiend.  But, soccer games are the sh!t.  They're so energetic, fun, and full of skinny type lads that happen to be just what I like to look at- have you seen my husband?  Soccer body.  He also fit in really well when my best gay guy friend took us around to some gay bars in NYC.  Just sayin.  Anyways, soccer games are so much fun and all the cool kids love soccer.  It's a little theory I've developed when I learned that most of my favorite people prefer soccer over football and baseball.  I won't finish that theory so that I don't insult the football and baseball lovers out there. 
Tim's very enthusiastic

9. Damn liberals.  No matter what your political affiliation is, that's fine, but it only feels right to me to be in a place that shares my beliefs.  I love being surrounded by people who celebrate diversity and don't love to carry guns everywhere. 

10. On a completely unrelated (but oh so related), we're smart!  The list changes on every site you look at, but I'll choose this article from 2006 to showcase how Seattle is the smartest city in America.  Oh sorry, I mean we have "the highest concentration of brainpower."  But seriously, we always make the top ten list.  Maybe that's why everyone here loves to read.

11. The summer.  OK, Seattle has some amazingly gross weather sometimes, but it does not always rain like Grey's Anatomy makes you think it does!  I can count on one hand the number of times I've walked outside and it's pouring as many buckets as it always is in that show.  It drizzles.  Occasionally.  Seattle should be called the city full of gray clouds, not the city that's always raining.  And the summer...oh my gosh the summer is so ridiculously gorgeous that you forget those last nine months you spent sobbing over the ugly gray clouds.  Or as this hilarious guy says, "Those clouds were artificially pumped in because there were out-of-towners visiting and we didn't want them to stay."  Also, we have the most amazing skies and sunsets ever!  I've seen a lot of sunsets from a lot of areas in the world, but Seattle has the best.  I'm serious. 

12. Now I could also go on about the same things most people talk about in Seattle.  Pike's place market, sure, it's awesome.  But the Ballard and U-District farmer's markets are also open year round and easier to get through without the fuss and muss.

Or Starbucks.  Yah, Starbucks rocks my socks off.  But the best part about Starbucks is the way they paved the way for smaller coffee shops to open up all over the state.  If you've never tried organic coffee, you better find yourself some right now.  Organic coffee and organic tomato products taste sooooooo good.  Amazeballs.  So much better than non-organic tomato and coffee products.  But back to coffee...smaller non chain shops tend to have the best tasting latte's and drip coffee.  Yum!!
13.  And last but not least (because I have 18 more reasons but needed to stop talking eventually)....Seattle is home!  Nothing feels as good as landing down in the SeaTac airport and smelling the fresh clean air of the Pacific Northwest.  Because we freaking rock.  Now excuse me while I go check out the Space Needle from my window. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pho-king Delicious

A post with few words...I have no recipe here, I just threw a bunch of stuff in a pot and called it a day!

Happy Friday! 

More vegan recipes here!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Travel Checklist

North America
Antelope Canyon
Grand Canyon

British Columbia, Canada


KauaiVegan Kauai



Las Vegas

New York

Zion National Park (and Part 1)


South America
Costa Rica



United Kingdom

Thursday Thoughts

I'll be back in a bit with another recipe...or I might not be back until tomorrow so I can show you a new addition to our home!  Guess you'll just have to sit on the edge of your seat waiting!

Right now, I'm linking up with Sar for Thursday Thoughts!

This week's reading in class is all about water.  And it's as boring as it sounds!  But after sludging through the chapter, I got to the section about oceans and was reminded why I wanted to go back to school in the first place, oceanography!  I feel that everyone is aware of how important it is to protect our land (even if they don't do anything to help!) but not a lot of people give any thought to our oceans- which are just as important!  I don't want to give turtles tumors and suffocate the dolphins, so I only stick to natural/non-toxic sunscreen on vacation and anything else that goes down the drain at home!
Dolphins we saw during our trip to Hawaii

I've talked about how Washington is putting gay marriage, or, marriage, on the ballot soon.  Now a handful of companies have come out to show their support for the cause!  Nike, Starbucks, Group Health, and Microsoft- all Seattle based companies, have all said that they support same-sex marriage in Washington.  Woo!!  

I did our taxes, and we owe again!  I can't remember the last time I got a return...don't get married people, it's not really true what they say about getting tax breaks when you get married!!  We pay a lot more grrrrr!  At least we owe less than $200 this time as opposed to the $1500 we owed last year...(my work was barely taking any taxes out the year before for some reason so we owed a ton!).  I really thought we'd be getting a return because we paid way more into the system this year but apparently we've moved up a tax bracket without noticing a pay increase anywhere....hmmm?
Edit:  I am all for paying taxes!  I just hate how we keep owing no matter how much we have withheld each year!

Tim and I are going to finish building a piece of furniture this weekend!  I can't wait to share it with you!!  That reminds me, I need to go call my grandma and see if she has an old electric sander I can borrow/steal.

Malena and I signed up for a ballet class for the next three months!  I love it, it's slightly challenging without being un-enjoyable, and since it's not a drop in, we have to force ourselves to go!  Also, I went to yoga yesterday during lunch, and I did a big run on Tuesday, so I'm proud of my fitness this week!  I've gotta get my running mileage up before Lindsey starts lapping me...oh wait she already does!

I've decided that if Tim and I ever buy a real house, I want aqua shutters and a purple door.  Except I've always wanted a yellow door.  Or berry blue.  Hmm I better keep thinking. 

I've had We Found Love stuck in my head for three days....I think I finally got it out last night when I jumped over the kitchen counter while dancing to it, and now I have Good Feeling stuck in there!  Ohhhhhhhhhhh sometimes!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boy Choy Fried Rice

Fried rice is a great way to use up leftover rice and anything else you have lying around the kitchen!  I rarely have rice leftover, but since I've been trying to make big batches of it to have on hand lately, we usually end up with a little leftover pile that's perfect for yummy fried rice!

Another plus of fried rice?  It's easy to throw in just about anything you want/need to use up in your fridge!  That's where today's creation came from; I had bok choy I needed to use up and some leftover faux bacon from making mini quiche.
Bok Choy Fried Rice
  • Leftover rice
  • Olive oil
  • Onion, diced
  • Veggies and other fixings (whatever floats your boat)
    • Bok choy
    • Mushrooms
    • Frozen Corn
    • Spinach
    • Faux bacon
Heat some oil in a skillet, then saute the diced onion and leftover fried rice for a few minutes, stirring to lightly coat the oil over everything.
In a separate pan, fry the faux bacon up- you could easily do this along with the rice and onion, I don't know why I used another pan....Tim must have made this dish.
Throw in the rest of the veggies and allow everything to heat through!

Note: when dealing with bok choy and spinach, they only take a minute or two to cook, so throw them in at the very end!

Yum yum yum!
Yup, Tim must have cooked this meal, look at that fuzzy pic :)  Just kidding Tim, you're a great "picture taker" as you call it!

Check out the rest of my Vegan Recipes here!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Strawberry-Orange-Banana Smoothie

Is it really only January 24th?  I'm just counting the days until I'll be laying in sunny Kauai, or until the weather begins to warm up here in Seattle!  In the mean time, I've been fulfilling my sunshine needs with smoothies!

Today's recipe is pretty basic- frozen strawberries, one banana, protein powder, ground flax, and orange juice!
Blend it up and it looks nice and yummy!
...except I forgot to throw in some yummy green superfoods!  So I added some spinach or kale, and got this lovely green tinted color:

Check out more recipes here!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples

When I was making slow cooker cinnamon apple oats, I had to warm up by whipping up a batch of cinnamon apples first!  I took this super simple recipe from Clean Eating Chelsey and got the work!

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apples
  • 6 apples
  • cooking spray
  • 1/3 c agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
Core each apple and cut into wedges, and then cut each wedge in half.
Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray, then place the apples in the pot.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in the pot and stir to combine.

Cook the apples on low for 2-6 hours and enjoy!
Check out my Vegan Recipes page for more great dishes!