Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ladies Cook-Off Prep

It's the day after Hump Day! That means it's ALMOST the weekend!!!! :)

On Saturday I will be participating in the Ladies Cook-Off at our church. I'm excited! It's going to be so much fun. Reason one being that I love to cook and reason two is that I will get the chance to meet many lovely ladies! We are still brand spankin' new to the church and this cook-off will allow me to mingle. Yea, so....ummm. Ignore the crossed out text above. Not sure if "spankin" should ever be used in the same sentence as "church"! LOL I can have a strange/crude sense of humor at times; please excuse me while I laugh at myself (HAHAHAHAH). I'm done. For now.

Now to more wholesome topics like-cooking.

Here's what I plan to make for the Ladies Cook-Off.

Layered Casserole with Beef,Cabbage and Potato
Recipe can be found here:

Looks good doesn't it! I adore ANY RECIPE from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich.

As I write this post, the dish is cooking away in the oven (test run). The house is filled with the aromas of the aromatics - sage, rosemary and garlic. I can hardly wait to taste! I plan on also practicing the presentation of the dish. For the competition I will be serving tasty bites of my dish to ~100 people. I want to present similar to above, with a sprig of rosemary and a small leaf of sage. With it being such a small taste I just don't want the garnish to overpower the dish. We will see.

Can't wait for Saturday; wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun in Seattle! 5-14-11

On Saturday the Seattle Aquarium was offering free admission to Boeing employees so we decided to take advantage of the free ticket and go. It turned our to be a perfect sunny day too!

Here is the HUGE fish tank that was the length of the wall. Shelby was captivated! Sorry the pics are so dark.

We also went on harbor tour!

"Since 1949, the Seattle Harbor Cruise has been a favorite attractions for millions of locals and visitors. Guests enjoy this special cruise that departs from Seattle's historic waterfront. Learn about Seattle's history and facts of the area while viewing the colorful waterfront, spectacular city skyline, one of the world's largest shipping terminals, and the majestic Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges during this 1-hour live narrated cruise of Elliott Bay and the Seattle Harbor. A fun, quick way to learn and take a cruise tour of Seattle. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase on board. The Harbor Cruise departs daily from the pier on the Seattle Waterfront, rain or shine. "

Cool with her shades!

If your curious about the weird ball thing, hold your horses. I will have a guest blogger here to explain it to you towards the end of the post.

The tour guide told us many neat facts about the buildings seen here.

We got the best seat in the house! Seriously...we had the best view of anyone on the ship and the tour guide was on our deck the entire time. He was funny too. :)

Jason was playing with the camera. COOL pic. He needs to teach me how to do that!

They were actually having tugboat races that day.

The 27th Annual competition is the largest tugboat race in the world and is one of many free family festivities that takes place as part of the Seattle Maritime Festival. "The festival is designed to celebrate and showcase our maritime industry and the important role it plays in the Puget Sound region's economy," commented the Seattle Propeller Club President

Because of the races the water was very rocky. It bothered both Jason and I but didn't seem to phase Shelby.

The Space Needle
Go HERE for the history of the Space Needle and some fun facts!

Our awesome tour guide took this picture. :) It was a little chilly on the cruise but "Brat Child" refused to wear her jacket.

Uhhh, this has something to do with Boeing, a contract, fixing something, and retro-fitting (whatever the heck that is). Jason knows what this weird looking thing is so here he is to tell you....

Attempt 1. (Man of few words.)
Sea-based X-band (SBX) missile defense radar.

Attempt 2.
Boeing began maintenance and upgrade activities last week in Seattle for the Sea-based X-band Radar (SBX), which arrived in port on May 10.

SBX is an oceangoing radar that identifies, tracks, and assesses the flight characteristics of ballistic missile threats. It provides an advanced capability to the United States' overall ballistic missile defense system.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded Boeing a $27.1 million sole-source contract in April for the shipyard maintenance efforts, which are scheduled to be completed in August. Boeing has been the prime contractor for the SBX since 2003 and is responsible for all development, integration, testing and operations for the vessel platform and radar.


That's better, Jason! Thanks so much!!!

We had so much fun and it made for a wonderful weekend. I'm loving Seattle!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jason's Bday 5-13-11

Happy Birthday to Jason!

To celebrate Jason's 25th birthday I had planned to surprise him with a camping trip. After we moved that plan became unrealistic because all our camping gear is on a moving truck! So instead, I thought we could just have some outdoor fun and enjoy nature.

Read and enjoy....

One our way to __________ we saw this house. (I can't tell you where we are headed yet! You have to read on!) This is just one of many HUGE homes in Bellevue, WA. Bellevue is the headquarters of Microsoft so there are a lot of very rich people there.

Shelby was having the worst tantrum!
Were did we go you ask? Saint Edward State Park is a 316-acre (128 ha)-park in Kenmore, Washington and is part of the Washington State Park System. Before becoming a Catholic seminary and later a state park, the area was logged in the 19th century and again in the 1920s. A series of trails runs through the park for bicyclists and hikers. The forest canopy is primarily made up of the Coast Douglas-fir, Western Redcedar, Bigleaf Maple, Pacific Madrone and Western Hemlock. Its dense carpet includes many varieties of fern (mainly Western Sword Fern), shrub and moss. It is flanked on the west by an undeveloped beach on Lake Washington. The park surrounds the Saint Thomas Center, which houses Bastyr University.

Jason had me take a picture of the map just in case we got lost. Haha! He's smarter than he looks. ;)

The park surrounds the Saint Thomas Center (pictured here), which houses Bastyr University. We saw some hippy college students playing the drums and dancing barefoot with hula hoops in the grass....gotta love them hippies! Shelby loved the music and started dancing too!

Ready for the hike! It took a bit of convincing but we finally got Shelby into the backpack contraption. I'm not going to mention that we had to bribe her with just forget I mentioned it.

First we hiked a STEEP trail downhill which ended at Lake Washington. I got the backpack thingy at a garage sale for $2! BEST FIND TO DATE!

Lake Washington is a large freshwater lake adjacent to Seattle. It is the largest lake in King County and the second largest in the state of Washington, after Lake Chelan. It is bordered by the cities of Seattle on the west, Bellevue and Kirkland on the east, Renton on the south and Kenmore on the north, and surrounds Mercer Island. The lake is fed by the Sammamish River at its north end and the Cedar River at its south.

We hiked back up on a different trail because we're not crazy people! It wasn't near as steep but still enough to make our legs sore the next day! Shelby walked the whole way back. She loved every minute too.

Birthday surprise dessert! It shouldn't have been a surprise because he requested cheesecake but then he thought I forgot! So I guess is was a surprise after all. :)

Help Please!

None of the links on my blog are working for me. Are they working for you? Does anyone know how I can fix it?

A Frustrated Blogger

A Day with Mrs. Escobar 5-12-11

A few weeks ago I saw on Facebook that Mrs. Escobar was going to be visiting Tacoma, WA. I immediately contacted her to see if we could get together. She hadn't realized yet that we have moved to WA. We decided to get together and catch up!

The itinerary was as follows:

10:30am - Pick up Mrs. Escobar at her son's house in Tacoma
10:45am - Arrive ot the Tacoma Museum of Glass
12:15pm - Lunch at Grassi's Garden Cafe
1:45pm - Dessert at Hello, Cupcake
2:20pm - Head to Pike's Place Market in Seattle
(I also had planned to check out the Botanical Gardens in Wright Park but we ran out of time.)
5:30pm - Return to the house

Entering the Tacoma Museum of Glass

We started by watching the live glass blowing demo!

There was a gentleman narrating what the artists were doing as well as answering questions.

The room was very hot!

After that we were able to see the different indoor exhibits. The work was copyrighted so we were unable to take pictures. :(

MARTIN BLANK'S FLUENT STEPS - Fluent Steps is poetry in glass that celebrates the many moods of water, from the delicate wisps of mist that rise from a meadow at dawn to the crashing cascades of a waterfall. It spans the entire length of the 210-foot-long Main Plaza reflecting pool and rises from water level to fifteen feet in height and consists of 754 individually hand-sculpted pieces of glass mostly created in the Museum’s Hot Shop during Blank’s 45-day Visiting Artist residency in 2008.



MARTIN BLANK'S FLUENT STEPS - Great sculpture is like music; all you have to do is feel it.
— Martin Blank

MARTIN BLANK'S FLUENT STEPS - The sculpture includes four individual islands of glass that interact with one another to portray Blank’s interpretation of water in its various forms. Cascades rises above the viewer to a height of 15 feet above the water like a surging waterfall. Echo languidly flows across the surface of the pool, creating an intimate dance of texture and reflective light. Crystal Skin, created by molding glass around a 20-foot madrona tree, quietly floats atop the water surface, and Wisps, a field of hundreds of small glass forms, breaches the surface like rising mist.

MARTIN BLANK'S FLUENT STEPS - The project required the invention of new tools to handle the massive amounts of glass and a team of 41 artists, architects, and engineers to create and install the work. For both Martin and the Museum, it was a marathon that demanded vast amounts of imagination, creativity, persistence and resourcefulness. The result is a magnificent sculpture that captures the fluidity, light, motion and transparency of water in clear glass. Ultimately, it is a work of art that is as imaginative and exuberant as Martin Blank himself.

MARTIN BLANK'S FLUENT STEPS - This monumental installation opened April 18, 2009 and is part of the Museum’s Permanent Collection of 20th- and 21st-century glass art.

She was taking video; it was so beautiful!

CHIHULY BRIDGE OF GLASS - Three distinct installations comprise the Bridge of Glass. Furthest from the Museum is the Seaform Pavilion, a ceiling made of 2,364 objects from Chihuly's Seaform and Persian series. Placed on top of a fifty-by-twenty-foot plate-glass ceiling, the forms are suspended in midair and make dramatic use of natural light. As visitors walk under this pavilion, they experience a seemingly underwater world of glass shapes and forms a few feet above their heads.


CHIHULY BRIDGE OF GLASS - The bridge is the gateway that welcomes people to Tacoma.
We wanted something unique in the world, something that
is full of color and offers a joyous experience to passersby
both night and day.
—Dale Chihuly
CHIHULY BRIDGE OF GLASS - A partnership between the Museum of Glass, legendary Studio Glass pioneer Dale Chihuly and the city of Tacoma resulted in the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a 500-foot-long pedestrian overpass links the Museum to downtown Tacoma and its cultural corridor. Austin-based Arthur Andersson, architect of the Washington State History Museum, designed the bridge in close collaboration with Chihuly, who directed the artistic concept. The bridge provides a means for the internationally-renowned Chihuly to contribute in a very public way to his hometown.


CHIHULY BRIDGE OF GLASS - At the approach to the Museum is the Venetian Wall, an eighty-foot installation displaying 109 sculptures from three of Chihuly's series: Venetians, Ikebana, and Putti. The Venetians are exuberant sculptures with origins in Venetian Art Deco glass. Ikebana are quiet pieces, created in the spirit of traditional Japanese floral arrangements. Putti were popular figures in European art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and represent Cupid, the Roman god of love. The Venetian Wall is a collection of some of the largest blown-glass works executed in the history of the medium.


CHIHULY BRIDGE OF GLASS - Marking the center of the bridge are the Crystal Towers, which rise forty feet above the bridge deck and serve as beacons of light for the bridge and city. Illuminated from below, the forms glow at night. The 63 large crystals in each tower are made from Polyvitro, a polyurethane material developed to withstand the elements. The Crystal Tower elements are raw, brutal forms, monumental and bold, that appear as if cut from mountain peaks or taken from frozen alpine lakes.



Pike's Place Market in downtown Seattle ~ Time to shop till we drop!
Here we are back at the house with Dr. Escobar and some of her grandkids. We had a wonderful day! I can't wait for her next visit to Washington.