Let me tell you about my life.

Wow...I meant to post  earlier in the week but I have had a hard time sitting down at my computer this week. It was gorgeous outside for the most part and it was my last day of working with the kids. On Wednesday I worked at a big community carnival for kids. It was pretty warm out so I was thankful for any shade during my breaks. It the morning I was running the "Dino Dig" (aka Easter eggs with toys inside hidden in kiddie pools filled with sand) 

exciting? I know.

I had doubts that any kid would enjoy digging around in a few inches of sand (where is the challenge/fun it that). Boy was I wrong! These kids loved it because first of all it was practically an invitation to get covered in dirt, and you came away with a prize every time! haha. Perhaps it was my lack of excitement over plastic dinosaurs and little monster finger puppets that caused me to doubt the game's enticement. We had many repeat customers and I was thankful to switch to my next job for the day after spending four hours refilling eggs and burying them again. 

My next stop was face painting. The kids simply came up to us and told us what they would like on their faces and we did out best to oblige. 

Things I feel capable drawing on your face:
  • kitty
  • puppy
  • flower
  • butterfly
  • rainbow
  • baseball
  • football
  • basketball
Things that I DO NOT feel capable drawing on your face but attempted anyway:
  • a llama
  • an airplane
  • an entire ocean scene across your face
  • Lighting McQueen 
  • The Incredible Hulk (and by this I mean the kid wanted to look like the incredible hulk. He informed me he had this done at Disney World once. I did my best but also informed him that Disney World probably has better skilled face painters...on salary) I managed a green face.
  • pro wrestler masks
you get the idea...

It was a fun day but I was glad to put down my face paints and head home for the day. 


Seattle Part 9: Olympic National Park

We spent an entire day on the paths of the Olympic National Park in Washington. It was amazing to be walking around in the forests. The trees were so tall it almost made me dizzy to look up while walking. The trees were thick with moss, and seemed to glow beneath the sunlight. It started to rain lightly towards the end of our hike, but we hardly noticed it under the canopy of trees that shielded us. At one point there was a sign giving us a few "tips" on avoiding problems with cougars. First, we were encouraged to make some noise while walking so as to not sneak up on a cougar. Also, if a cougar was spotted you were encouraged to pick up any small children. Needless to say this advice was not very comforting, but we never did see one. My camera lens began to fog up at one point during our hike so I was limited with taking a few photos.


Stella's Fish Cafe and Tornado Warnings

Back in April, after my sister's wedding, Ben and I went out to lunch with my parents at Stella's Fish Cafe in Minneapolis. I took a few photos of our lunch date but never posted them since they were on my point and shoot camera. (the battery was dead on my SLR after the wedding and I forgot to recharge it).

We had never been to this place before, but had wanted to try it out for awhile. We do not eat a lot of fish in our household besides the occasional broiled tilapia, so it was nice to have a chance to try new dishes. It was cooler and windy on the day we went so we sat indoors, but if you ever get the chance to go in the summer they have a beautiful roof seating area.

Ben always has a hard time not squinting when it is bright out.      I cheat: sunglasses.

In other news, a pretty nasty storm rolled in this morning around 4am. I am not sure what woke me up, perhaps the lightning show out our window but I was laying awake when my phone alerted me to a text. It was telling that there was a tornado warning for our county. I figured I should get out of bed to watch some weather, but I did this pretty unhappily since I had only fallen asleep around 1:30am anyway (hint: don't take long afternoon naps and then expect to fall asleep at 10pm) 

Sure enough there was a storm rolling over us. I watched the news for awhile and it looked like it was going to miss us but I figured I should stay up to be certain. At this point I woke Ben up and gave him a heads up so that if we did have to flee from a tornado he was somewhat aware. (This proved pointless because he didn't even remember me waking him up this first time when I asked him about it later)

It started to rain pretty hard and the news people were telling me that due to it being 4am and therefor still dark and would be almost impossible to "spot" a tornado until it has touched down. They also informed me that their "facebook friends were alerting them to any sightings". Great. Relying on their facebook friends...so comforting. At this point I woke Ben up and made him come sit out on our couch with me so that he was a little more coherent. At this point a powerful gust of wind (50-60mph gusts we later found out) blew our grill around out deck and then proceeded to tip it over. (I must admit I was more worried about the state of my plants then the grill) We decided to head down to the first floor at this point, and Ben called and woke up our friends on the 2nd floor and they joined us downstairs. We waited downstairs for about forty-five minutes while watching the radar in our workout room. Needless to say there was no tornado, but it was an adventurous night/morning. I didn't think I would be able to fall back asleep...but I did. 

I then woke up for work only to be called and told that our morning session was cancelled due to the weather. That is why I am able to writing this at 10:30 in the morning while sipping my coffee fresh from the french press.

P.S. In case you were wondering my plants are fine.

Oh and our grill survived too, there are a few pieces/doors that need reattachment but we decided to wait until it wasn't pouring to worry about that. 


The air is thick

The entire day I tried to remind myself how "wonderful" this current weather is when compared to the winter months. It is currently still 86 degrees outside...at 10pm. According to my weather station with the humidity it feels closer to 101 degrees. Now take this information and apply it to the middle of the day. Every time I stepped outdoors I was shocked at the drastic change. Thankfully our little air conditioner allowed for the apartment to be much cooler.

evening sunlight spilling through the curtains

projects being finished while watching sappy love movies

It was a lovely weekend, and I am sad to see it go. Tomorrow is supposed to be 92 degrees, and after factoring the humidity it may feel closer to 120 degrees. I am dreading spending more than a minute in our building at work. There are no windows that open and only two fans to blow around the sticky air. Needless to say we will probably convince the children to spend time outdoors where maybe we will be graced with a slight breeze.

Bring it on summer. 


Baseball and Chocolate Baking

We started the weekend early by going to a Redhawks game on Thursday night. The weather was questionable for most of the day, but thankfully the rain never came. It cooled down nicely too...so much so that I enjoyed a nice hot chocolate during the game. Hot Cocoa in July?! Why not?

Oh and don't worry we also ate some hot dogs and mini-doughnuts. I couldn't remember when the last time was that I had mini-doughnuts. Needless to say it will probably be awhile before I give in to having that form of greasy goodness again. 

Oh and I also made these delicious cookies as well...
They look similar to chocolate crackle cookies, but these are made without flour so they are a much denser and fudge like cookie. 

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
Found at Divine Baking


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips (save the other 1/2 cup for later)  in glass bowl in microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until mixture resembles soft marshmallow creme.

Whisk 1 cup sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl to blend. On low speed, beat dry ingredients into meringue. 

Stir in lukewarm chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dough will become very stiff).
Place 1/2 cup sugar in bowl. Roll 1 rounded tablespoon dough into ball; roll in sugar, coating thickly. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake until puffed and tops crack, about 10 minutes. Cool on sheets on rack 10 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.

**If dough is difficult to roll into balls, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Yield: Makes about 18



Seattle Part 8: Driftwood and Sunsets

After driving for a few hours we arrived at the coast. We stayed at Kalaloch Lodge which was right along the water. We spent the evening exploring along the beach. It was absolutely gorgeous here, and it almost seemed surreal to be walking along the water's edge. The wet sand reflected the sky perfectly and even the wind didn't keep us away. We went inside to make a quick dinner and then grabbed a cup of coffee to bring back to the water.


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