It’s that time of year where the weather is beginning to get warmer! This also means the Cherry Blossom Trees are in full bloom. If you are looking for something to do, I recommend finding the famous trees to take some photos. Maybe not necessarily the place we went but you can find these trees all over the city. Plus we got these adorable pictures which is pretty much the only reason I wrote this blog post-to share these photos and memory☺️.
Around this time last year, my husband and I took our son to UW to see the cherry blossom trees. It was insanely busy (my husband described the crowds as his own personal hell, haha) but I still made him walk around with me. We saw a very diverse group of people from students to grandparents to babies and kids. We noticed some families had an entire picnic set up with a tea kettle and tea cups and others brought in dim sum and take out orders. It was wild but also great to get out of the house as new parents and walk around with our 4 month old at the time.
I told my husband that we now have to do this every year and recreate the pictures of our boy since they turned out so great. Maybe this year we’ll try for a week day and will miss out on some of the crowds, but we will definitely be back to visit the cherry blossom trees and will carry on this new spring tradition!
My sons nursery was originally used as a room for storage, filled with unpacked boxes from when we first moved into our home. When we first moved in, we ripped out the stained carpet, closed the door and let the room sit for months. This was until we found out we were pregnant and knew we would have to get this room ready for our baby!
All of our bedrooms in our home are small with limited closet and storage space. I knew I wanted to transform the closet into something more functional, especially since babies need so many things. This was when I discovered the IKEA Pax closet system. Very affordable and customizable to fit your design and your space. It took a couple of weeks to get all the parts I wanted due to supplies being out of stock but I’m very happy with the end results and happy with how much we are able to pack into this closet (The Pax systems were also easy to build and put together-I did this 8 months pregnant)! I also ended up getting the Billy Book Case from IKEA and used it on the left side of the closet since there was more space but the smallest PAX base didn’t fit. This worked out great for toy storage and other misc. items. The bins in the bookcase are also from IKEA and fit perfectly. I added wallpaper to the back to make it look more like a finished custom closet and used drawer inserts to organize clothes.
The other huge transformation to this room was the hardwood floors. My husband rented a sander and sanded them all down, trying his best to get the deep stains and paint off. He used a clear coat to finish them off. The floor transformation is night and day!
We also decided to give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Choosing a color was very challenging since this room looks completely different depending on the light and the time of day. I also have a very hard time making decisions and being pregnant didn’t help (ha!). We went with the color Evergreen Fog from Sherwin Williamswhich was also the color of the year of 2021 when our son was born.
We ordered some new shades for the window, added a new light fixture, replaced the door/doorknob, replaced the trim and added quarter round to cover the small gaps on the floor, added trim around the closet (we may add bifold doors one day), replaced the light switch with a dimmer and then this room was ready (we finished everything probably about a week or two before our son was due-always last minute around here but we get it done)!
We love how this space turned out for our son and feel so proud to call this his room.
On the left is my last “bump picture” before my son was born and on the right is our son in his finished bedroom!
On Sunday we had our baby shower to honor our baby boy that is due in November. It’s hard to believe that in just two short months we will have our baby. A BABY!! Wow has the time flown by. Seeing our close friends and family made everything feel much more real and much closer to our due date. Am I feeling all prepared and ready? Definitely not! But my husband and I greatly appreciate all the love and support we received on Sunday honoring our baby boy and we feel more ready as each day goes by.
We couldn’t have asked for a better party for Baby K! We decided to have a co-ed shower (since my husband Tommy is just as important) and planned the party during the Seahawks game since we thought it would be fun to watch with our favorite people. Tommy set up one of our TVs outside and made a couple of seating areas with tables and chairs under a large canopy tent on the patio. Somehow the weather held up throughout the day right up until the hawks went into overtime. Then came an intense downpour and we ended up loosing. But for a Seahawks loss, we sure had an amazing time.
All of our immediate family pitched in to to make the day very special. We had an abundance of sweets since Tommy and I both LOVE dessert. Cupcakes, chocolate chip blonde bars, espresso cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and the most delicious vanilla cake with chocolate filling that my mom ordered from a local bakery nearby. She also brought some sides and made endless pasta salad, her staple. My sister-in-law created and planned some fun games to play during half time (Guess Who: Mom or Dad, Baby Trivia and Who is the dad?). And my in-laws hosted everyone at their house on the patio and made some delicious pulled pork and food that was served.
We definitely felt the love from the amazing people in our lives and are feeling so very excited to meet our son soon!
I turned 31 two weeks ago and my husband threw me a surprise party! I’ve never had a surprise party before and I couldn’t believe it, he actually got me! This birthday was completely different from my 30th (check out my post Ain’t No Party Like a Disco Party! to read about that wild party). To be honest, this year I wasn’t really in the celebrating mood since I was 20 weeks pregnant and not feeling like myself. Also, our summer has already been so busy and then still everything going on with Covid. Luckily my husband knows me well and knows that typically I am ALLLLL about birthdays, so he went above and beyond (and so did my mom and friends!) to make me feel loved and special.
We started the day being tourists in Seattle walking along the pier. We saw a caricature artist on the side walk doing drawings and decided to go for it. I have always wanted to do this! Welp, in the picture I look like a crazy person while my husband looks like Mr. Incredible. 😂
Our first stop along the pier was the The Crab Pot which you should definitely check out if you are ever visiting Seattle. Crab, fish, salmon, muscles, clams..seafood galore. We went with the Crab Louie and Fish and Chips and split everything (One of the best things about having a partner is sharing food at restaurants so you always get to try two meals instead of one, agree?). We also got a side of melted butter to dip some of the crab from the salad in. Mmmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about this meal.
Our next stop was going to MoPOP, Museum of Pop and Culture (which I still call the EMP). This is a unique place if you have never been. My husband knows I love everything Disney and they were having a special Heroes & Villains exhibit showing many costumes from Disney movies and TV shows, so he decided to get tickets. The last time we were at the EMP was for a NYE party in 2017. Again, this year was a little different from the last time we were there 🙃. It was fun reminiscing on those memories (the photo below of me in the vampire coffin was from the NYE party in 2017!). After walking through all the exhibits at the EMP, we made our way to another classic tourist spot, the International Fountain and lounged around in the sunshine.
At this point I was feeling pretty tired and ready to head home, but what I didn’t know was that my husband was trying to kill time before heading back for the surprise party. He suggested we go to UVillageto get some maternity clothes. Shopping? Sure! Also, the past couple of weeks I had been feeling a little down about my clothes and what was/wasn’t fitting me (was using hair ties to keep my shorts buttoned) so I was excited to find some pieces that actually fit my changing body.
After shopping we made our way back to our house and at this point my husband was acting a little strange but I still didn’t know about the party. (Some strange things: Our Ring Doorbell was covered in tape so I couldn’t see the camera, he told me I should wear one of my new dresses out of the store home, he asked me to look at some marble tile on his phone as we were driving so I wouldn’t see all the cars parked on our street). When we walked inside, I noticed some balloons and decorations on our deck when I looked through the window. I turned the corner into our back room and everyone yelled SURPRISE! I was actually shocked. So excited and so so happy to see my friends, my mom and my favorite pups there to celebrate.
After all my questions of “How did you you guys pull this off? Wait, you made this?! Aww you guys! Tommy how long have you been planning this?” everyone brought out the food and snacks. Watermelon, 7-layer bean dip that one of my friends makes and is always BOMB!, and my absolute favorite – fried chicken and jojos. Mmm also my friend brought a dozen cookies from Crumbl Cookies and they were absolutely incredible. (Get the pink one always and their menu changes each week to mix and match the rest. I’m seriously about to order these right now just to have around the house because they are so delicious).
This birthday was much different than the last but in the best way possible. It was a surprise party that I won’t ever forget and the perfect celebration for this time in my life right now. My husband, my mom and my friends outdid themselves and I felt SO much love. Very memorable and a very special day turning 31!
The last time my husband and I updated our fireplace was last year when we were living in our townhome. We gave that fireplace a facelift with some fresh tile, paint and a new marble hearth. We were only able to enjoy it for a couple of months before renting to our tenants but I still love the way it came out! You can read about that DIY Project Here.
The fireplace in our current home is much different. It’s covered in brick, much larger and is used for real fires instead of gas. (One day randomly, a women who used to live in our home when she was 4 years old dropped by and told me the story about how her dad built the house and fireplace. She said the fireplace looked similar to how she remembered it over 60 years ago!) I know this meant it needed a bit of an upgrade. 😊 We wanted to keep this project as inexpensive as possible since we had (still have actually) many other projects to complete throughout the house.
A quick paint job, an updated mantel and some decor items was what I was envisioning. But there was a little more to this project than just that. We bought our house knowing there was a leak in the fireplace/chimney and had that fixed right away. But what we didn’t know was that the leak had been there for years and years causing moisture ants to take up residence behind the wall.
Luckily we discovered the ants because my husband wanted to add an outlet above the fireplace for our TV which meant removing the drywall and rewiring the electrical outlet close by. When he removed the drywall, we discovered the most disgusting amount of ants hidden behind the wall where the leak used to be (way more than in the photo even!). He used a shock vac to vacuum all the ants up and then we left the drywall off for a couple of days to ensure everything was completely dry and no longer leaking.
Yikes! After that mess my husband added an electrical outlet to the center of the wall, added new drywall, learned how to do knockdown texture and then painted everything. He is incredible! From there him and my father-in-law used pine boards to extend the mantel, taking inspiration from this blogto make it look a bit more modern. I found these Wood Sheets on Amazon which we used to cover the seams on the ends for a perfect match.
When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant, we immediately decided we would find out if we were having a boy or a girl. (There is absolutely no way the teacher/planner in me would be able to wait). And we love to have parties so we decided why not have a little gender reveal party!
At 14 weeks, we did the NIPT blood test which screened our baby for the most common defects, including Down Syndrome, trisomy 13, and trisomy 18. We added on the option to find out the sex and then had the results put in a sealed envelope which we got on May 23rd. That very night we gave the envelope to our friend Amber since it would be way too tempting to sneak a peak at the results. (We had our party on June 19th and waited 3 weeks after we received the results to accommodate our schedules). Waiting was hard but also fun because during that time we would go back and forth discussing if baby was a boy or girl and why.
We invited our immediate family and some of our close friends to keep things small and intimate. I made a Balloon Arch to use as a background and love how it turned out. I also got these Gender Reveal Buttonsfor friends and family to guess if they thought baby was a boy or girl. We had some charcuterie boards and snacks and did a pasta salad bar with a bunch of different cold pasta salads to eat. For dessert, funfetti cupcakes! And I had to somehow include our pup Edgar so I got him a Big Brother Bandana (totally unnecessary but I think was very cute).
For the actual reveal we used 10 Confetti Cannonswhich Amber ordered for us since she was the only person who knew the sex. Instead of releasing the cannons ourselves, we had our friends and family circle around us and count down while we watched under the balloon arch. This made for such a special and memorable moment. Honestly it was incredible watching the colors fly in the sky and a day we both won’t ever forget.
And we are having a baby boy!!! We had such an amazing time and this party made us even more excited for our little babe. Now to think of and decide on a name. Any suggestions? ☺️
If you’re looking to get away on a relaxing vacation, lounge by the pool, maybe do a little shopping and be in the hot sun, I know just the place….Palm Desert, CA! (Or Palm Springs). My husband and I traveled to Palm Desert in the middle of May with four of our close friends. This was our first trip flying somewhere new since our honeymoon to Thailand back in January 2020, 16 months ago. (Wow that is wild to think about!)
Palm Desert is full of restaurants, colorful shops, swimming pools and many luxury cars! Oh and golf, lots and lots of golf. My husband said the courses here were some of the nicest golf courses he has ever played on.
The six of us stayed at Embarc Palm Desert which was right in the center of everything and close to the main strip, El Paseo Shopping District. The community was right next to a couple of golf courses and had multiple pools to lounge by. This was great for the guys to head to golf in the morning and the girls to go for a swim.
We went out to eat almost every night which was new for us since we hadn’t dined at a restaurant in so long with covid restrictions. My three favorite restaurants from the trip were:
Guillermo’s Restaurante – Delicious Mexican food! The chips, salsa, guac, margs…all amazing. I had the chicken fajitas and would recommend.
Ristorante Mamma Gina – Incredible homemade pasta and Italian food. They even gave us a complimentary slice of cheesecake for desert!
Wilma & Frieda’s Cafe – Everything you can imagine for amazing brunch food and drinks. Short rib eggs benny, churro waffles, home-made buttery flakey giant biscuits with raspberry jam. Yum!
One memorable night was when we out to eat at the The Nest in Palm Springs. We sat out on the patio in 70 degree weather (my favorite temperature) and watched live music while eating dinner. As we were getting ready to leave, one of our friends recognized a woman at the bar from the show: The Real Housewife of Orange Country, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas. My sister-in-law and I went up to her and got a photo. Even though neither of us watch the show, we pretended like we did and pretended like we knew who she was 😀 (She was very friendly and we can now say we had a celebrity spotting).
On our second to last day my husband and I took an early morning drive to Joshua Tree National Park which is about an hour away from Palm Springs. The park is full of beautiful scenery, places to camp, rock climbing and lots of trails to explore. In mid May it was 100+ degrees outside so we didn’t do much hiking but enjoyed driving through the park and taking in all the sites.
About a 20 minute drive from Joshua Tree is a place called Pioneertown which was such a unique town to visit. This historic landmark is an Old Western Town built as a 1940s movie set that has all the Westworld feels. Surround by frontier stables, saloons, a jail, and a church along a dirt road; it truly felt like a step back in time into the wild wild west.
We were there for 6 nights and like any vacation the time always flies by! Most of our days were spent relaxing in the sunshine, eating out at a bunch of different restaurants and spending time with each other at the resort.
The best part about any vacation is who you spent it with and I had a great time vacationing with my favorite people!
Have you ever heard of the place called Poulsbo in Washington State? Poulsbo is a charming little town in the northern part of Kitsap County. A beautiful ferry ride from Seattle and then a quick drive to town makes this spot a great place for a weekend trip. And what better time to take a weekend trip than to celebrate one of your friends getting married?! (because we all know girls weekends are the best weekends)
The four of us stayed at the most beautiful modern farm house that was close to town to celebrate our bride. We decorated the house with all the classic bachelorette things, ate a ton of bomb food, played some games and danced and talked all day and night.
The weather was incredible! It was our first taste of Seattle summer and we couldn’t get enough of the sun. We started the morning by meditating together in the grass to get us awake and energized for the day. Blankets, pillows, sunshine, your girlfriends…what else do you need.
Later we surprised the bride with a virtual tarot card reading over Zoom. This was a first experience for me and I loved it! Each of us had very different readings with one main connection, that we are all on a journey to find joy and happiness in life. The woman told me my mantra is to Following the Callings, so this is something I will take away from the weekend. If you have never done a tarot card reading before, I highly recommend! It’s all about perception and reflection. To me, it’s where you think about what each card could mean or represent for your life in this moment and then determine how you want to move forward with those ideas. Check out RaDonna Reed if you are interested in using the same Tarot Reader.
After our tarot card reading we packed up a picnic and headed to the beach called Point No Point. I highly recommend checking out this beach if you are in the area. It’s HUGE with plenty of space to spread out away from others and so very beautiful.
Later in the evening we played some of the classic inappropriate bachelorette games, (won’t be sharing those photos here 😉) put on our cozy matching outfits, drank lots of wine and had a dance party. It was a perfect bachelorette weekend celebrating the bride-to-be with some of my favorite girlfriends!
When I told my husband I wanted to have a little Galentine’s Day celebration, he had no idea what this was. “What is Galentine’s Day? You get together with your girlfriends, dress in black and vent about men?” I couldn’t help but laugh. I think he was thinking more of an Anti-Valentine’s Day celebration which isn’t what Galentine’s Day is at all. It’s about celebrating the girlfriends in your life, getting together and showing your love for each other.
Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec explains it best, “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas!”
And the best part about Galentine’s Day is you can make it whatever you want. Brunch + Mimosas, Wine Tasting, Movie Slumber Party, Pot Luck, Game Night. It’s a chance to recognize the impact that our friends have on our lives and celebrate!
We wore our PJ’s, drank some bubbly and wine, ate charcuterie and sweets, gave some toasts, played some games and just talked and hung out with each other. I also made pasta from a recipe I saw on TikTok (yes I caved and downloaded TikTok) and it was pretty tasty! You can find the Baked Feta Tomato Pastarecipe here.
Of course we can and should celebrate our gals anytime throughout the year. It’s just something about wearing your PJ’s while sipping on pink champagne with your besties that makes this holiday feel extra special. ❤️
And just like that..it’s 2021! Wow, what a year 2020 was. To me, this past year flew by because many of my memories blend together (staying home each day, teaching online, Zoom meetings, lots of Netflix shows, more Zoom meetings, walks with my pup, mixed in with a couple of weekend trips with my close friends). And although it was definitely challenging, I still have many positive moments and experiences from 2020 to reflect back on. One significant event that stands out is we bought a house in November!
My husband Tommy and I have lived in our current neighborhood the past 5 years. We have loved the location so much that we decided to buy a little fixer upper right down the street (I literally walked to the open house). Throughout those 5 years, we made small changes to our townhouse to make it feel more like us. We began to realize just how much we love DIY projects and decided we wanted to take on more! But before we could begin any new project in our new home, we had to get our townhouse ready to be rented out. This made for a couple of insane weeks. Packing, moving, painting, cleaning, townhouse tours, tenant screening…all while having just one week to get our new home painted and livable. I blinked and somehow we did it.
But anyway, with this blog post I wanted to put together a list of everything we did in our townhouse to look back and reflect on. Many of the DIY projects were very simple but I think made a big difference. A little paint goes a long way! If you are thinking about tackling your first DIY home project, maybe this list will give you some inspiration.
Painted kitchen cabinets, extended to ceiling with crown molding and added hardware