Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nordys February Catalogue

I finally sat down and looked through the February Nordstrom's catalogue that has been on my nightstand for at least a week.  I love all the bright colors that are still on trend for spring 2013.  There were a few items that I absolutely loved and thought I'd share here.

number one
Coach 'Legacy Mini' leather shoulder bag
This was one of the first things that really popped out at me from the pages of the catalogue.  There are six colors to chose from, and I'm considering getting this 'cognac' color when I finally graduate from carrying a full-on diaper bag all the time (my diaper bag: same style, different color - here).

number two
Freebird by Steven 'Cabcro' Bootie in ivory
This bootie is just adorable, I love the crocheted lace mixed with the leather.  In the catalogue, the 'ivory' color looks a bit darker than it does on the website, and I'd be interested to see the bootie in person to see what the real color is.  It also comes in blue and violet.

number three
kate spade new york square leather strap watch
This bow-style watch is such a blend of classy and trendy - I love it. The gold 'bow' just pops against the bright pink leather band. It also comes in white leather with silver medal, and there is a metal band option in gold and silver.  

number four
Steve Madden 'Shineyy' Sandal in gold/cognac
Despite the somewhat stupid name, I love this sandal with the metallic details and simple leather straps. I would love to order both the gold/cognac color and the white/silver option - both are nice and neutral and would 'go' with lots of outfits.

If you haven't browsed the new spring arrivals at, I highly recommend you head over and do so.  So many lovely things for 2013!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

is it spring yet?

Here in Alaska, it's the time of year when stores like Nordstrom and Gap start filling with spring clothes - strappy leather sandals, floral shorts, and neon tanks.  The problem?  There is still about two feet of snow left on the ground, and it's going to keep snowing for another month.  By the time we are actually able to wear shorts (if we ever do) it's July and stores are already starting to get fall clothes.  I am loving all the spring styles coming out in 2013, but I get sad thinking that I won't be able to wear them for months yet.  

Despite knowing very well that I'm a little early, I'm so ready for the spring and summer months!


Source: via Whitney on Pinterest

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rum Cake

For the last year, Steve has been begging politely asking me to make Rum Cake.  I don't really know why it took me so long, but I finally made him some using this recipe from Michelle over at the Brown Eyed Baker blog for Valentine's Day.  It was amazing and I've made three more Rum Cakes since then, yum!

The thing I love about this recipe is that the entire cake is made completely from scratch.  If you've ever made Rum Cake before, you might know that most recipes call for instant vanilla pudding mix and yellow cake mix.  I'm sure those recipes turn out well too, but I like to know every single ingredient that goes into the food we eat, and I'm sure there are a lot of things I'd rather not eat in the mixes.

Homemade Rum Cake
full recipe HERE

step one
Put your apron on and get ready to bake!
I was happy to spend the afternoon in the kitchen on
a nice lazy Sunday.  Tutka was very interested in the
entire process, and he paid especially close attention to the rum.

step two
Gather the ingredients you'll need, basically a whole lot of sugar, butter,
rum, eggs, and flour, with a little bit of corn starch, homemade pudding mix, 
baking powder, vanilla and canola oil.  Use the empty butter wrapper
to grease the bundt pan.  Flour the buttered pan and then chop up
some walnuts if you feel like it.  I've made cakes both with and without the nuts
and liked it (a lot) either way.

 step three
Prepare the batter as directed and pour it into the prepared pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes.  While the cake bakes,
prepare the rum sauce (yum).  As soon as the cake comes out of the oven,
pour about one-third of the rum sauce over the entire cake.
You should go slowly so that it has time to soak in completely.
After five minutes invert the cake onto a serving platter and smother with
the rest of the sauce (or save a little bit for putting on each slice - your choice).

I've made this cake with both organic white flour and with whole wheat flour.  The first picture is a cake using only white flour and the second picture is a cake using only whole wheat flour.  Both tasted amazing, just slightly different.  I'm not sure why there is a line running around the entire white-flour-cake, but I noticed it in the photos from the Brown Eyed Baker blog too.

In other news, Steve passed his final Journeyman test and I am just so incredibly proud of him and all the hard work he has put in over the last four and a half years.  He came home Monday after his last day of class (ever!) and worked in the garage for an hour or two. Riggs and I went out to keep him company, and Riggs was so excited to sit on Steve's snowmachine all by himself.  When I see Riggs and Steve together my heart just feels so full of love and happiness and pride and joy it nearly overwhelms me. I am so excited to see Riggs develop even more of a relationship with Steve as he grows into a boy and then man.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Today I woke up at about 6:45am from a confusing and somewhat scary dream.  As my mind became conscious again and adjusted to reality, I opened my eyes, blurry with sleep at first as they fluttered open and closed.  Then I really opened them and could see light just beginning to filter through the darkness of the early morning sky.  It was like a wave of gratefulness and peace just flowed over me and I was just so happy to be awake at that exact moment to watch the sun rise from behind the mountains and fill my world with its light and warmth.

I seemed to lose all sense of time, when I checked the clock again it was already 7:20am, and yet I felt as though only a moment or two had passed.  It seemed that as the sky lightened to a yellowish-blue, the darkness had been transferred to the trees - they looked nearly black against the backdrop of the growing light around them.

I watched closely and intently, for anytime I looked away, even for a second, I felt that I had missed something.  The sky was changing that fast.  I don't think I can even describe the joy I felt and feel even now to see the sun rise at such an early hour again.  The light invigorates and motivates me and I feel as though I could really achieve anything after such a perfect start to my day.

There was such a peaceful silence all around me as I lay there, completely still and relaxed except for a little buzzing of excited energy flowing from my chest through my entire body straight out to my fingers and toes.  I was so happy to be, to just be right there in that moment, thinking only of the beauty of the sunrise, suspended in the magic of the dawn breaking.

As the minutes passed the colors changed again, the blue became almost white and the yellow deepened.  When the blue-white became infused with a rosy pink, the birds began to sing and in that moment I was sure I was seeing just a little glimpse of heaven.  I was moved so very deeply by the raw beauty of the morning and felt that each moment I spent there soaking it in was like a gift in itself, bringing something new and beautiful to the day.

It was truly one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember, except for the morning Riggs was born, but it had the same quality about it.  I felt God's love and greatness with such strength and was in awe once again of the great miraculous beauty of his creation.  I only wish I could have captured it better on camera to remember forever.

my oscar recap

So, what did everybody think of the Oscars?  I actually thought that it was the best Academy Awards Show I've ever seen, I just loved all the music! There was one rather large exception, and that would be Seth MacFarlane.  I actually liked about 70% of what he did and said, especially his singing. But I could not stand all of the crude jokes, racial slurs, and insensitive quips about the actors themselves.  The boob song was especially jarring to me, as was the 'joke' about that first person to get inside President Lincoln's head being John Wilkes Booth.  Really?

And the thing is, I have to admit nearly everything he said would have been very funny if it were part of a Family Guy episode.  I just didn't think it was appropriate for the Oscars. What did you think? Agree, disagree? Please share!

The performance by the Les Miserables actors and the Bond tribute were probably my favorite parts of the show.  Also when Anne Hathaway received the award for Best Supporting Actress - I actually teared up a little! She was just so genuine and happy and her eyes were just sparkling so beautifully.

I loved watching all of the Red Carpet action too, and the interviews with the stars were pretty interesting.  Although as a tall person myself, I felt really bad for all the women who had to stand next to Kristen Chenoweth during their interview - since she's so tiny some of them looked just plain big next to her.

favorite dress 
Jessica Chastain
Not really the biggest fan of her, just loved the dress especially with her hair and skin color.

not a fan
Jennifer Lawrence
I know lots of people loved her dress, and I liked most of the dress.
I just didn't like how it looked like it was about to fall off.  I felt like
it fit very poorly through the chest and waist, but maybe that's just me?
I did like her backwards necklace though...

love her
Amanda Seyfried
I just love her, I can't help it.
I think she was so beautiful on the red carpet - I loved
the color of her dress and her hair and makeup.

love them
Naomi Watts & Liev Schrieber 
They were my favorite couple at the show - so cute!
Although Jennifer Garner tearing up when asked about Ben's movie
was pretty cute too.  I'm just not the biggest Ben Affleck fan...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

simple things sunday :: fur rendezvous

The Fur Rendezvous Festival is a seventy-seven year old tradition in Alaska and is a pretty big part of the history and 'Alaskan-culture' in Anchorage.  Every year in February thousands of people gather downtown to watch the parade and sled-dog races, go to the winter carnival and check out the snow and ice sculptures, all while wearing lots of fur, wool and carhartts.  

I've gone nearly every year since I was born, and many great family memories have been made there as a child, teen and now as an adult with my own child.  So crazy!

these are the Fur Rondy Pin Police - the Keystone Cops
back in the day they used to put you in 'jail'
if you weren't wearing a Fur Rondy pin.
I was SO SCARED of being put in jail when I was a little girl!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pink Peonies Giveaway

Happy Saturday everyone!

I just posted a picture of my new favorite pink pants from Gap yesterday, and then opened my google reader this morning to see that Rachel over at Pink Peonies featured them on her blog this morning!  She teamed up with Gap to giveaway a $50 American Express gift card, so head over and be sure to enter!

PS |  I was so excited to see that I now have over 50 followers!  Thank you to everyone who reads my blog even when my posts are boring and filled with a few too many pictures of my dogs. It's so much fun for me to share things here in this space, and I've 'met' some really amazing people through blogging and hope to meet many more!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday, you are finally here at last. For some reason this week just felt soooo loonnggg.  Dear Steve (aka soon to be Journeyman Lineman), I know you are going to do amazing on your Journeyman test today! I am so incredibly proud of you for all the crazy hard work you've put in over the last four and a half years and eight thousand hours. I love you. Dear Miranda Lambert, I am seriously loving your new song, Mama's Broken Heart. I listen to it over and over again and sing along really, really loud ("run and hide your crazy and start acting like a lady" - should have been written about me lol). Dear Riggs, stop growing up so fast! Although you are very fun at 13.5 months, I love your sense of humor especially. Dear Gap, thank you for making such nice clothes. I have been racking up the rewards points lately, for both me and Riggs.

pants |  tank, (similar here) |  jacket |  flats (similar, here)
And finally...dear sweats, thank you for always being there from me, especially when I need a little comfort after a long day in skinny jeans.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

target fail

Let me start by warning you that this is going to be a longggggg post...I apologize in advance.

Don't you hate it when even Target doesn't have what you're looking for?  Usually it's the opposite for me, I'll go to Target with only A and B on my list, and come home with A, C, D, E, and F and then need to go back again soon because I forgot B!

But anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.  The point of this post is that I actually didn't find what I needed when I went to Target yesterday!  Well actually, I found something but don't like it now that I have it home and in the house.  So sad!

Let me start at the beginning...

I rearranged our room this week.  I've been wanting to for a while, mainly because I wanted room to put a chair in there so that I could 'escape' to our room and not have to lay on the bed.  I love laying in bed, don't get me wrong, but I'm getting older (ha) and my back needs a little bit more support sometimes when I read or spend time on my laptop.  I don't really have a great before picture, but this one sort of gives you an idea of how the bed was below the window:

Now it looks like this:

as you can see, we REALLY need some new nightstands...

Yay for having plenty of room for my little reading nook.  I just love how the room is set up now, it's even more peaceful and inviting than it was before.  Steve really likes it too, which is always nice ;).  But as you can see, there is nothing covering the windows except for those dated vertical blinds, which I really don't like.  I can't stand them, and not just because they're ugly - they're also just really annoying to use.  So I went to Target today hoping to find some nice curtains to give the room a more finished look.

Riggs slept nearly the whole time, he is such a good little shopping buddy!  I snapped a few pictures and they were too cute not to share (I warned you this would be a long post!):

I really wanted some white or beige curtains, but Steve requested that they block light for summer (when it's light outside for around 20 hours a day).  I have no problem sleeping even with the extra light, but apparently it bothers him.  So I needed to find some blackout or thermal curtains  and they only had maroon and dark brown.  Sigh.  I don't particularly like either of those colors, but I thought that the brown might work.  They were also about 50% off, so that swayed my decision a little bit too, I think.  They also had some Shabby Chic for Target lace balloon drapes on sale for $14 each so I picked those up too, thinking they would soften the brown a bit.

Once I got home, I set to work taking down the vertical blinds and installing the curtain rods I picked up.  Riggs got a hold of my iPhone somehow and checked Facebook for me while I worked.  He also shared some baby lotion with Tutka (so thoughtful!):

The moment of truth finally came when I slid the curtains onto the rod and put it up above the window.....and I was disappointed.   

They're too dark and hard, just like I worried about.  I'm glad I only did one window since I'm going to take them back ASAP.  I left them up for a while to see if I'd change my mind, and to see what Steve thought, but he agreed with me.  Sigh.  On the bright side, I now know more of what I'm looking for and am scouring the online shopping world to see if I can find them.

I realized too that there is a bigger problem, and that's the paint color and trim color.  I love blue and I thought when we moved in that I'd like the paint color in our room, but it's just too blue of a blue, I'd like something a little more neutral.  I also really need to paint the trim white like the rest of the house.  Just something else to add to the making-this-house-a-home to-do list.

Of course, I couldn't go to Target and not look at clothes.  They had some more Spring items out, and I picked up a dress, cardigan and pants.  I left the tags on because I couldn't decide if I really needed them or not (apparently I was having a really really indecisive day).  What do you think?  Keep or take them back with the curtains? Oh, and I would link each item to the Target website, but I tried, and not a single one is for sale online!

Happy Thursday, if you're still reading, thank you!  I had so much to say and share today and I know this was a super long post :)