Monday, December 31, 2012

Lily's Garden - A New Favorite

Erik likes to make a big Ham or Turkey every Christmas.  One year we had a Deep Fried Turkey!  (Seriously good.  One of the Top 3 Best Turkeys Ever.)  

This year though, he wanted to try something new for Christmas Dinner -- go out for Chinese.  We thought, "How fun!  Just like 'A Christmas Story'!"  

We picked Lily's Garden for 3 Reasons:
  1. We'd ordered their delivery before and it was tasty.
  2. It's nearby.
  3. (Most importantly) The sign said they were open on Christmas day.

Lily's Garden is almost at the very Northernmost tip of Everett.  Like I mentioned, we'd ordered delivery from Lily's before, but hadn't been in their dining room.  Cloth tablecloths, cloth napkins, wine glasses!  So much fancier than we imagined!  Erik said he felt a little under-dressed in his "ugly Christmas sweater" t-shirt. Hehe!  Next time we'll know better.

The food was delicious, as expected.  The staff was very friendly and helpful.  But the best part was the entertainment!  (I'll bet you didn't know there was entertainment.  Oh yes!)  Our adorable, friendly hostess greeted us in a traditional Blue dress, and showed us to our table.

Later, she returned to fill our water glasses, wearing a... Flowered Dress.  What, wait?!  Wasn't she just in a blue dress??

Of course that left us speculating as to whether that was her, or her twin, or we were just crazy.  We were pretty sure all three of us couldn't be crazy.  She had to be twins, or a quick-change artist.

So then when we got up to leave, she was back behind the front counter, in a Red Top!  LOL!  

Really good food, really entertaining staff.  If you're in North Everett, don't miss Lily's Garden.



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Day

Miss Pretty Bear all decked out in her Christmas Finery
Erik's Mom, Kim, who is basically the most awesome woman I know, spent Christmas Day with us.  She's pretty much a bad ass, you guys.  I know shared with some people about how she confronted a burglar who was in the process of robbing her home, tackled him, then took off after him with a hay hook when he got away.  See?  Bad ass?  Did you doubt me?

She works, runs her little farm, and has a successful handmade jewelry business too.  She is an artist and her designs are gorgeous!

From what I understand, it's sort of unique to like your mother-in-law, but mine is pretty much awesome.  I love her.  On top of all that, she completely overwhelmed me on Christmas.

I've mentioned a few times when we were out shopping how much I love Gurgle Pots.  They're these fun fish-shaped pitchers that make a gurgling sound when you pour!  They're the funniest thing ever!  I first saw them a few years ago at a friend's bridal shower and have been lusting after them ever since.

On Christmas, she handed me a pretty white box with a gold ribbon.  I pulled off the ribbon, and inside...  my very own RED GURGLE POT!!!!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHH!!

I took it straight to the sink and filled it up to listen to it gurgle.

I couldn't believe she remembered that I loved those Gurgle Pots!  She remembered!!  :)  

But that was not all... oh no no no!  There was more.  So much more!

I ripped into another package and found these adorable Mushroom Lamps!!

I mentioned on my blog a few weeks ago how cute they were!  I love them!!  Not only does she listen, she reads my blog.  I'm still not sure how she got them here in time for Christmas.  She must be magic.  :)

But that wasn't all either!  She makes beautiful Dia de los Muertos bracelets.  My next package was my very own red and black Dia bracelet!!  I love, love, love when she makes these and posts them for sale on etsy.  They're gorgeous!

But that wasn't even everything!  There was a another package with a pretty polka-dot shirt inside.  She has the same one, and I tell her how much I love it every time she wears it.  She got one for me too!  I adore it and wore it the very next day.

Honestly, it's really overwhelming to have someone pay so much attention to you, to love you that much.  So much that they listen, and pay attention, and want to make you happy.  I'm not used to it and it scares me a little.  Ok, it scares me a lot.  She really cares.

Erik says this is how family is.  We love each other and we don't stop.

Love you, Mom.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year's Nail Polish

For New Year's, I wanted to do something fun and sparkly with my nail polish!  Last year for Christmas, Erik got me OPI Muppet nail polishes.  I love, love, LOVE them all!!  But there was one that seemed perfect for New Year's Eve - Rainbow Connection.

I've played with Rainbow Connection before and it's very translucent.  This time, I decided to use a colored coat underneath Rainbow Connection.  I picked a nice, festive teal:  Glee by Jesse's Girl.  It has a nice amount of sparkle on it's own, so it seemed like a good match for Rainbow Connection.

I ended up doing two coats of Rainbow Connection, just to get all the big, glittery chunks all over each nail.

On top of that, I used Sally Hansen Dry Kwik.  This stuff is a miracle!  I am forever smudging my polish because it takes so long to dry.  I really, truly think Dry Kwik is going to let me do my nails a lot more often in the new year!  Awesome product!  Totally recommended.



Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Morning

Rusty ponders life and Squeaky Toys

Erik and I spent Christmas morning at home with our puppies, sleeping in and opening presents.  This year, they surprised me with cinnamon rolls and a latte in bed!  YUM!!  They're the sweetest.  :)

There were so many pretty package to open!  Santa was pretty good to Erik.  He got the new Wii U and a ton of games.
A very serious helper

Santa also surprised him with the new Series 9 Lego MiniFigs that just came out last Wednesday!  He didn't even know they were in stores yet.  Santa is Magical!  ;)  He never disappoints!

The Disney Christmas Day Parade was on tv while we opened presents.  "I was psyched," is the understatement of the year.  Pretty much, I turn into a 13 year old girl when Newsies appear.  "Carryin' the banner!!"

Santa was very good to me too!  :)  I love, love, love these furry Betsey Johnson slippers!  The insides are squishy, bright pink quilted material and sooooo comfy!

Such an unbelievably cute collection of goodies!  I love all things Paris, and Santa didn't pull any punches. He brought the adorable suitcase too!  Erik had the sweet iphone case made with a photo my Red Man on the back.  LOVE!  :)

And the piece de resistance?!  My new diamond band!  We picked it up a few months ago, but I've been waiting to wear it because it's my Big Gift this year.  Pretty sure I couldn't love it more if I tried!

Thank you Erik, Puppies and Santa!  You're the best!



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas Eve Traditions

Although days and times have moved around over the years, Erik and I usually spend Christmas Eve with his Dad and family.  This year, the cast of characters included:

Dad - Big Rudy
Step-Mom - Annette
Sister - Lisa
Brother - Little Rudy
Brother's Girlfriend - Abby
Friend - Tom
The Corgis - DJ and Charlie
Various Kitties from Parts Unkown
All Decked Out for the Holidays
We didn't put up a tree this year, so I was looking forward to visiting their tree and  playing with my camera.This seemed like a good opportunity to bust out the star filter for my Rebel, and boy did I!  Have you ever seen so many stars?   How many stars is too many?  Seriously, tell me, because I have no idea!  This seems about right.  Hehe!
For dinner, Little Rudy made delicious BBQ steak, and Annette made a ton of seafood.  

Big Rudy loves brie cheese, so they always have a wheel on hand for holidays.  As a cheese connoisseur, the brie is a highlight for me.  That, and the spirited "eat rind on, or rind off," discussion that follows.  We "rind off" people tend to make a lot of gagging noises to support our point of view.

After dinner it was time for presents!!  Annette goes a little crazy shopping for everybody.  Erik and I go a little crazy too.  There were literally presents flying through the air, a shower of tissue and exclamations of delight as everyone opened their goodies.
Miss Wesley Surveys the Scene
Last year for Christmas, we got an introductory Flying Lesson for Miss Lisa as her "big gift".  She was completely surprised.  Shocked really.  She had no idea we were doing that, and she had really, really been wanting to take a flying lesson. 

This year, she gave us the most wonderful gift.  While she was flying, she took photos of Seattle from the air. She had this shot of the Space Needle and Seattle Center printed on a wood slab from  They do an AMAZING job.  The wood is top notch, just beautiful, and the photography is fantastic too.  We absolutely LOVE it!  :)
It was so good to see everybody all together again.  We had such a nice time visiting over dinner, and everyone was so generous with their gifts!  Thank you, Dad and Annette, for the theater tickets!  Thank you, Lisa, for the beautiful photo! 



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Morning!

I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas!  I woke up to the sound of elves rustling around in the kitchen.  I'll be honest, I had to pee REALLY, really bad, but I didn't want to pop up in the middle of whatever they were up to.

So I snuggled back under the covers and waited...

A few minutes later, they burst through the door with cries of, "Merry Christmas!!" bringing piping hot cinnamon rolls and a vanilla latte!  YUM!!!

Thank you, Santa Erik and Elf Helpers!  It was delicious.  :)

Merry Christmas!



Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Playlist

Merry Christmas, friends!  We're just finishing up wrapping lots of gifts and prizes here.  The dogs, of course, are helping, which means several of the gifts have been re-wrapped.  :P

Erik and I have our favorite holiday songs that we listen to every year, so I thought I'd put together a playlist of our favorites to share with you.  

Merry Christmas Eve!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Adventures at the Garden d'Lights

I posted a little bit the other day about visiting the Bellevue Botanical Garden's Christmas Celebration - "Garden d'Lights".  This was our first year visiting, and it was lovely!

From the moment we arrived, we were surrounded by lovely little groupings of lights.  This was before we even entered the gardens themselves.

Entering the gardens, you're pulled down this magical path filled with lights and promise of the beautiful displays that wait.  I felt like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.

First in our travels we came upon this little Japanese Tea House.  It was built of beautiful wood and looked out on both sides.  It was open to the gardens below, and there was a window looking up to the gardens above in the back.
Such a pretty little space.  I would love to live in a little garden Tea House with beautiful lights and flowers in every direction.
The showplace of the Gardens is this expansive pond of blue, shimmering lights, complete with waterfalls, lily pads and dragonflies.

Beside the beautiful pond is a light garden with every imaginable type of flower represented.

At the end of the light garden are a Peacock and Peahen.  Erik and I were standing there contemplating the fan of the peacock's tail when this Mother/Daughter duo walked up behind us.

Daughter (loudly exclaims):  Is that a TURKEY?!  

Mom:  Hmmmm... I think...

Daughter (louder):  I LOVE TURKEYS!!!

Ahhh what would we do without strangers to entertain us?  :)

Our tour of the Garden d'Lights, ends as we walk out beneath this pretty archway.

There's still time to visit the garden if you haven't yet been this year.  They don't officially open till 5:00 pm, but we got there at 4:30 and it was just perfect.   By 5:00 pm the place was flooded as we were on our way out.  Perfect timing.

They're open every day from now until December 31.  Admission is $5.  Hope you have as much fun as we did!  :)



Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Fur Monsters Visit Santa

"The Fur Monsters Visit Santa".  It sounds like some deranged claymation holiday film, doesn't it?  Well, not quite, but close.

We were at Petco getting our nails done (since Mommy and Daddy aren't that great at wielding a dremmel with successful results), when we saw Santa!  He was just sitting there waiting to hear all about the the Squeakies and Bully Sticks everyone wanted for Christmas.

Sheila and Rusty weren't too sure about this set-up, but they'll typically oblige our whims, so it was on.

I warned Santa that Rusty Red Dog can be a little reactive to other dogs, small children, rocks, whatever... so keep a firm hand on him!  I stood on that side Just. In. Case.  I was ready to grab him if anything went down.

Sheila Sweet Blue Girl hopped up on Santa's other side like the good little princess she is.

What happened next, nobody saw coming.

The Photographer's Helper started jumping around trying to get the dogs' attention.  Then she grabbed a Squeaky and started squeezing it like her life depended on it.  Squeeeeekin!  Squeeeeeekin!!! Squeeekin!!!!

Sweet Blue Girl must have ALL squeakies.  ALL SQUEAKIES are belong to her.  This is not a point for discussion.  This is a fact.

Sheila's ears popped up as she zeroed in on the "squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeekin" sound.  Her paw went down and her little doggie nails dug in, ready to propel herself toward the squeaker... right on poor Santa's Christmas Package.   He wasn't expecting Sweet Blue Girl to go crazy and wasn't ready to hold her tight, or remove her from his personal area.  I'm pretty sure I heard him go, "Oof!"

Sheila may not have gotten the Squeaky Ball, but I'm pretty sure she got Santa to squeak.  Poor Santa.

Merry Christmas from the Fur Monsters!



Friday, December 21, 2012

A New Tradition

We're at Starbucks tonight writing last minute Christmas cards to all our friends and family.

Our Starbucks is in a grocery store, so we picked up stamps too! Super convenient! We're plowing through them assembly line style and should finish in plenty of time to get them to the post office tonight.

It's so nice to sit with my sweetie and a peppermint mocha while we work through our stack of cards.

I'm so glad we were able to get out of the house, but still find a spot we can sit and focus. I think this might just be a new tradition.



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snowflake Lane

One of our yearly Christmas Traditions is visiting Bellevue Square to see their Snowflake Lane celebration.  

The streets surrounding the mall are gorgeous!  All decked out in snowflakes and lights for the season.

The Snowflake Princess greets all of her subjects before the show.  Her really cool wand LIGHTS UP!  They were for sale; only a $1.  I almost came home with one.  Almost.  ;)  Every princess needs a snowflake wand!

This tin soldier girl was adorable!  She handed out suckers to everyone and would not be swayed when we said no thanks.  Suckers For Everyone!!!  She danced and bopped her way up and down the street for the entire show.

Love me some giant, stuffed polar bear!  This guy was a crazy dancer too.  Up and down the sidewalk for the duration of the show.  That's gotta be one sweaty bear at the end of the night!

The drumline sets the beat as they get into position for the show.

The buildings are lit up with a rainbow of lights and dancing snowflakes, as Christmas Carols play over the speakers.

Mr. Friendly Bear is back to hug and dance with all the little kids.  He was adorable, posing for pictures with everyone.

...and then the real magic began.  She clapped her hands and looked up in delight as...

Snow started to fall from the sky, even though it was about 45 degrees out... Hmmm... curious!  Must be magic!  :)

A friendly Mousie makes his way through the celebration, posing for pictures and giving hugs.

A girl drummer!  Too cool!  I took a few drum lessons as a kid, but was never good enough to be in a professional drum line.  Hooray for girl drummers!

Another delighted face can't believe it's really, really snowing!

As the celebration comes to a close, this elf rounds up the drumline, leading them her cute, furry suit.

...and they disappear out of site until next year.

Thank you to everyone at Snowflake Lane!  You have put on another wonderful show this Christmas.