Monday, December 31, 2012

Recent Reads

This year has just flown by, between work, travels and just living life.  While I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to have to curl up with a good book, I have lucked out by picking some great books when I did have time.

Here are a couple of those great books where I’ve spent my time:

The Peach Keeper

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Feeling Quilty

I definitely didn’t make it anywhere near 12 crafts this year like I had originally planned in January, but I did finish another quilt that I haven’t yet shared here. 

I gave this quilt to my mother-in-law in May for her birthday.  I forgot to take a picture of it before giving it to her, but luckily we spent Christmas in Casper, and I was able to snap a quick picture while we were there (sorry it is blurry – it was FREEZING outside and my quilt holder, coughJOELcough, was getting antsy.




I’m loving the striped fabric I decided to use for the edging, and have my next quilt all set-up to use striped edging too…pictures of that quilt to come once it is complete!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Casper Fun

We’re spending a few fun-filled days in Casper this holiday season. Here are some of the activities we’ve been enjoying


12.24 - katy & chicken

12.24 - joel & alpaca

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Antigua Guatemala

This Thanksgiving Joel and I headed down to Guatemala and Nicaragua for a little getaway.  I took so many pictures, it is going to take awhile to get through them, but here is the first set. 

We spent the first few days in Antigua Guatemala.  Antigua was the original capital city of Guatemala, but was moved due to an earthquake in the 1770s.  The architecture in the city was incredible; huge, beautiful cathedrals with intricate details everywhere you looked. 

antigua churches 2

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yellowstone (day 2)

More pictures from our Yellowstone trip!


We saw this family of elk enjoying the morning sunshine during our drive into the park from West Yellowstone.

elk family

Castle Geyser

castle geyser

Morning Glory Pool

morning glory pool

We lucked out and saw this geyser going off into the river as we were high-tailing it back from Morning Glory Pool to Old Faithful.  We almost missed Old Faithful going off, but it was totally worth missing because I think this was one of the coolest geysers we saw the whole trip!

geyser into river

Photo opp in front of the Tetons.

jk tetons

Grand Tetons!

tetons (2)

I discovered a cool panoramic feature on my camera during our trip – I was really excited to be able to capture the whole mountain range!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Yellowstone (day 1)

Our summer flew by way too quickly…I can’t believe it is already October; it really feels like it is still August!

I haven’t yet shared any pictures from our summer adventures, so I figured I’d start in reverse…or at least kind-of.

The weekend after Labor Day Joel and I flew out to Bozeman to spend a long weekend in Yellowstone with family.  I took thousands of pictures (no literally, actually thousands), and am having a hard time sorting through them.

Here are a handful of pictures from the first day of our trip.


Blue Sapphire Poolgrand prismatic springs 1view from artists paintpotsfountainwhite dome geyserjoel by riverjk grand castle geysergrand castle geyser

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I know I’ve already mentioned that I want maps as art in my house, but I stumbled across this one the other day and just had to share!  Isn’t this so cool??

Monday, June 25, 2012

Yellowstone Fever


Joel and I are headed to Yellowstone later this summer for a quick weekend getaway. Surprisingly, growing up in Idaho and Wyoming, I've only been to Yellowstone once in my life. I am really excited to head to the amazing park and thought I'd share a few of the sites I'm hoping to see.


Old Faithful (an obvious choice)


Morning Glory Pool


Blue Sapphire Pool


Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon


Castle Geyser


Lamar Valley


Grand Prismatic Pool

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hung by the chimney with care

We’ve had a slow spring here in rainy Seattle, but we have managed to get some work done on our cinderblock chimney.  I know I’ve mentioned before that we've needed to do SOMETHING with the chimney, and after much debate we decided to cover it in some faux rock (a rock fa├žade), but in order to do that we’ve had to go through a lot of prep work. (although as of today, our plans might be changing!!!)


Since the cinderblock was painted, we knew we had to strip off the paint in order to allow the thinset (basically cement) to adhere the rocks to the chimney.  We spent WAY too much time at HomeDepot trying to decide which paint stripper would be the best, and after consulting a few HomeDepot employees, we concluded that they were all about the same and walked out the door $15 poorer, but enthusiastic to get started on our project.

After spending way too much time applying the paint stripper and trying to remove all of the paint, we gave up.  The stripper would soak right into the cinderblock and the paint didn’t loosen up at all.  The two pictures below where you can kind of see the difference between the top two rows of the base and the rest of the chimney show several HOURS of work!

chimney-2 chimney-3

If we had removed all of the paint from the cinderblock, we would have basically been able to adhere the fake stone directly to the cinderblock.  Giving up on the paint stripper added another (exciting!) step to the project…hanging up galvanized wire mesh; or as I simply call it – chicken wire.  Back to HomeDepot we went – looking for the right wire mesh and screws that could go into cinderblock.  We eventually found the mesh (about $10 per sheet), and decided that galvanized roofing nails that we already had at home would be sufficient to hold up the mesh.

First we held the mesh up against the part of the chimney we were working on and cut it to size using a good set of wire snippers.  We trimmed around trim and other gaps; but didn’t worry if we didn’t get the mesh right up against the wall.




After getting the mesh cut to size, we nailed it right into the chimney; taking care to stay away from mortar seams.  We put the nails close enough together to make sure the mesh was flush with the chimney and all gaping was avoided. 


Getting all of the chicken wire up against the chimney took several hours, but Joel and I split it up over a few evenings since it was a project that didn’t need to all be done at once. 



Up next – covering the chicken wire in mortar.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Moose Lake

I’m digging through some old pictures, trying to decide if I want to put together one of the ever popular “gallery walls” and came across this one I thought I’d share.  This is from a backpacking trip Joel and I took in Wyoming in 2006.

mountain - edited

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A twist on mac’n’cheese

Kraft mac’n’cheese has been a staple Saturday lunch for us over the past several years.  We always seem to be busy with something, and opening up that sweet little blue box makes a quick and satisfying lunch.

I decided to experiment in the kitchen a bit to attempt to make a vegan variety of our old staple. After perusing several recipes across many various blogs, I came up with the following:


Mix together the following in a blender:

  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 sweet potato (about 1 cup), peeled and cooked (I peeled my sweet potato, wrapped in a damp paper towel and threw in the microwave for 4-5 minutes.  After microwaving, I dumped it into the blender with the rest of ingredients and mixed it right up)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can (drained and rinsed) white beans (I used Great Northern)
  • 3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste (I probably used about 1/8 tsp)
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water (adjust as necessary to get consistency right)

While making the sauce, put pasta of choice in boiling water.  Once cooked through, pour sauce over hot pasta and serve!

I really liked this version of mac’n’cheese, but Joel wasn’t quite sold on it.  I think the mustard flavor was too strong.  Lucky for me, we have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow and extra sauce to go on cauliflower later this week!


Saturday, February 4, 2012


February has been a beautiful month so far and Joel keeps reminding me that while winter and spring are dark and gloomy in Seattle, February is the second or third best month around here.  To enjoy our first weekend day this month we headed up to Rainier for a great day of snowshoeing.

On our drive home we were in the right place at the right time and stumbled across this amazing view.

Here is a cell phone pic for now, more pictures from our day later.