Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Holiday House

Our little house dresses itself up quite nicely for the holidays!

Monday, December 27, 2010

San Gregorio

We stopped by one of our favorite beaches on our short trip down to California for the holidays and got to take some beautiful pictures with our new Canon S95 camera, consider this a test run for New Zealand.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blondie's Knits: One Thick Cotton Scarf

So as you may have noticed by our post about our first Seattle snow, it's certainly chilly up here in Seattle. Most of my scarves are also fairly thin on the width side of things, so I decided it was time to make a really thick one.
I can't stand wool, with the exception of cashmere, so I used on of my favorite yarns, Araucaina Nature Cotton. I did a simple 1x1 rib stitch for about 6 feet with 4 inches of fringe on each end. It turned out beautiful, heavy, and very warm!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The First Seattle Thanksgiving

Our first Thanksgiving in Seattle was wonderful!  The first turkey we've ever cooked was a success and we had Mary, Zeke's mom, in town visiting. We made pretty much all of the traditional dishes with just a few tweaks to them to fit with our tastes and my food issues, you can find all the recipes we made at my Gluten Free Travelette Blog.

The day before, we brined our turkey in a maple sage brine that we concocted.

We cooked up a pecan pie in a gluten free whole foods pie crust.

We also cooked up some eggnog which stayed cool in the fridge overnight for us to enjoy later in the evening on Thanksgiving.

The day of we got a nice fire going and had the house all cleaned out.

We got all of our recipes lined up and ready to go for the day.

The turkey ended up being done about 2 hours early, so we ended up pushing our whole dinner to more of a "linner". We set the turkey aside under tinfoil for awhile, so it stayed warm until it was time for Zeke to start carving. Which he did with excellent skill!

Our Thanksgiving spread, minus the turkey, of gluten free stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with all the fixings, lingonberry, and gravy.

We had our table set up in the little breakfast nook we've got, with some hot mulled cider.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The gentlemen (and lady) getting ready.

The morning of the wedding was, at least for me, surprisingly un hectic and a lot of fun. Even though we were going to see each other before the ceremony I thought it would be fun to get ready separately from Adina and (i forget whos idea it was) have a "first encounter". So shortly after waking up that morning Adina left to get her hair done and get ready in the upstairs bathroom. Everything was going great until I decided I wanted to get some breakfast - the kitchen was directly across from where Adina was getting ready. As I rounded the top of the stairs I was met by girlish screams and immediately ordered to cover my eyes. Our truly awesome photographer was, of course, there to capture the moment.

Finally with breakfast in hand I retreated back down stairs, collected my groomsmen, groomslady and the officiant to get ready. Despite more than a few difficulties with finding a good, and affordable suit for everyone to get Nate got all the guys on board with irish linen Ludlow suits from J-Crew and even pulled off some extra swank by going all out and having the vests delivered last minute, giving me a run for my money, and rocking the thee piece suits.

Monica had a dress made for her by Amanda Archer , the same person who made Adinas and the brides maids dresses. It was a "tuxedo" cut, brown to match my suit with green trim to match her hair, and our wedding colors. Very awesome.

The first time I went up to Al's Attire it was supposed to be to just check out a cool little shop that Amanda Archer suggested to us because we couldn't find a brown suit ANYWHERE. Al, on the other hand, thought I was there to get fitted for a suit. Turns out Al was right.

The ties were all made by Adinas mom, Kim. And because we couldn't decide on the green or the blue ones generously made us one of each for everyone.

For groomsmen/lady gifts I had to come up with something appropriate for the occasion and that showed the meaningful nature of them supporting Adina and I that day. I settled on cufflinks made by Sherry Truitt. In each set one cufflink had a map of Point Lobos and the other custom from each person. Nate and Geoff were where they were married, and George was where we met and bonded, Los Altos Hills. For Monica Sherri made me a pendant necklace, in the same style, with a map of Point Lobos.

So thanks everyone, it was an amazing day and you all looked the part.

Our First Seattle Snow

As I'm writing this the temperature is supposedly dropping to 13 degrees.  Mighty mighty chill for us California kids!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 Holiday Napkins & Tablecloth

Since this was our first Thanksgiving in Seattle and our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, I wanted to make something special for it.

So I used the this pattern from the Purl Bee as inspiration and bought 4 yards of a cotton plaid fabric and 4 more yards of a cream muslin fabric. This is my first try ever making napkins or a table cloth and I think they turned out pretty okay for a first attempt.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Amazing Family

Our family is amazing. They all got in on the hilarity of our formal pictures and that sure makes them special.

This one is actually my favorite though, I love the looks on everyone's faces and just all the fun and movement that's going on in this picture.  I'm sure this one will be getting some wall space in our house soon.

My dad's side of the family.

My mom's side of the family.

With Zeke's side of the family.

With my grandmother, from my dad's side.

With my grandmother, from my mom's side.  Isn't her outfit stunning!  It makes me think of Diane Keaton or someone else classy like that. 

With my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother aka the Ibarguen Girls.  Having the four of us all together was really special for me since we haven't all been together in one place at one time in quite a few years.

With all the Pease, Beckstrom, and Zwan cousins!  I thought this photo would be fun since it captures a generation of Zeke's side of the family.

With my stepsisters.  They played an important part in our ceremony in starting our binding together.

With Zeke's brother and sister-in-law and our adorable, and highly active, niece and nephew!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Sundays: Bean and Potato Chili

This was fully experimental chili as I've been feeling a bit meated-out as of recent but they had a chili cook-off at my work which left me craving some chili and cornbread!

Perfect timing too as today was our first snow of the season here in Seattle!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large sweet onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cans kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 large yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped with skin on
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 bay leafs
1 tsp salt

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions.
Cook on medium low heat until translucent and softened.
Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, and ginger.
Cook on low heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture into the slow cooker.
Add the crushed tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, beans, chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, bay leafs, and salt.
Set time for 5 hours on high.

We'll be serving this tonight with the same cornbread recipe we made here along with honey butter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Holiday Banner

I've been trying to think of ideas of what to do with the 200 feet of burlap bunting we made for the wedding and one idea I came up with was to do a little holiday banner to hang in our living room window.  My favorite holiday items are of course the ones that say "peace", so I decided to use that.

First, I cut out the letters from a tomato cotton fabric by hand. Second, I cut the jute twine in between each  burlap triangle, because they were over a foot apart and it wouldn't have looked too good that way.  Third, I sewed the letters onto the each burlap triangle with a fairly wide zig zag stitch with a tomato colored cotton thread.  Fourth, I tied the flags together and cut the ends short.  Fifth, I made little slip knots on each end to hang it!

The banner fit perfectly in our living window and I'm thinking of making a smaller one for our kitchen on the left.  I think "joy" might be the appropriate holiday word!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wedding Party

We had an awesome wedding party.  

While we could have easily had a huge one, we decided to keep it small to make it easier on us and so we wouldn't burden too may of our friends with the extra expenses of being in a wedding party. 

Our wedding party was perhaps a bit unconventional and further proof that you don't have to do what you see in all the wedding magazines.  I had a maid of honor and a bridesmaid.  Zeke had a best man, a groomsmaid (yes, you read that right groomsmaid...), and a groomsman.  We also included our officiant in our wedding party since if he wasn't officiating the wedding, he would have been a groomsman anyway.

Further proof that our wedding party is awesome.

And if you really needed's a bit more!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Brides Side

Here I am with my lovely ladies!  Right next to me is my maid of honor and then my bridesmaid.  They're dresses were also made for them by Amanda Archer and I actually pitched the idea for these dresses because I wanted one myself!  I had actually found it and bookmarked it on etsy to save my pennies for about 6 months prior to the wedding.

Looking through all of the photos of the three of us, I notice that there are a really high proportion of them where we're all laughing. And I realized that those are actually my favorites and why these two are my favorites.