Pest Control

Today, I found another spider in the bedroom.  This time, it looked like it was a woodlouse spider, different than the others we’ve seen which we think are wolf spiders.  We actually don’t care what kind they are or if they are helping to eat other insects that find our place their home.  After finding spiders in your bed and closet, you kind of just want them to go away.  And that’s just what we opted to do.  We had a pest company come out tonight to spray both inside and outside for them.  Even though this probably won’t really fix the problem, at least I can sleep a bit better not worrying that they are snuggling into our comforter.

His First Birthday in Seattle

Today is Alex’s birthday and we couldn’t be happier about celebrating in Seattle.  I made home-made macaroni and cheese and roasted asparagus for dinner; all was his choice and then surprised him with a blackberry and strawberry pie.  I always like making dinner for us, but birthday dinners are just a bit better I think.

We’ve done some pretty fun things for each of our birthday’s over the past few years.  Once we went skiing and stayed a bed and breakfast, another we went to Las Vegas, and last year for mine Alex surprised me with dinner at Alinea in Chicago.  That was amazing to say the least.  Beside this year’s dinner at home, we are also celebrating out with his sister and brother-in-law who come into town tomorrow night.  Alex hasn’t celebrated his birthday with them in awhile, so we are really looking forward to it.

Well, to another wonderful year for us, in a new city.  He said he’s excited about what’s to come and so am I.

We Love Our Pitbulls

When we first moved here, I made sure to find out about the area’s pit bull and animal organizations to see how we could get involved like we were back in Chicago.  Today, we went to our first event, Pitbulls on Parade, sponsored by Bullseye Dog Rescue.  It was great to get outside and enjoy the weather and see some of our favorite dogs.  It was a good afternoon and we loved seeing all the pitties enjoying themselves!  We talked to some reps from the Seattle Animal Shelter and hope to get involved with them in the coming months.  They are located super close to our place, so it would be silly not too.

After our day with the dogs, we headed over to Cougar Mountain for a small hike.  The weather was just so nice out today that we had to stay out as much as we could.   We broke in our new hiking boots and boy do they make a difference!  We’re so happy to have finally got some and aren’t wearing just sneakers our on our hikes anymore.

For dinner, we decided to try some seafood, so made reservations at Ray’s.

When we got there, they were packed and the sun was still shining, making the place feel warm and cozy.  We had a prawn cocktail, shrimp and crab cakes and fish and chips.  Everything was prefect!  Much better than some of the seafood we’ve had before.  After dinner, we walked around the dock some and enjoyed the sunset over the Sound.

Shrimp and Crab Cakes

Fish and Chips

Beautiful

We just never had anything like that back in Midwest and want to soak it all in.  The night ended with us going to Menchie’s for some amazing frozen yogurt.  You gotta love those places where you can pick your own flavor and toppings and pay based on weight!

Certainly a good Saturday.

Our First Sail on the Sound!

When we first moved here, I signed us up for a free night of sailing on the Puget Sound with the Seattle Sailing Club.  We were so excited to get an email earlier this week that we had been selected for the trip this Friday!  We arrived at the Shilshole Marinaaround 6pm and were ushered to our boat.  However, due to cancellations, we ended up on another one with three other sailors who were just as excited as we were to be showing newcomers the sport.

Sailboats!

The night was perfect: clear skies and not too cold.  We had no idea what to expect though and when we saw the small sailboat we were getting on, we were a bit surprised.  Nevertheless, we boarded, after being shown just how to get on a sailboat, put on our life jackets and sat back.  The guys who were with us, all members of the Seattle Sailing Club, were super nice and eager to show us the ropes; literally.  They started naming off all the parts of the boat while Alex and I looked at them, wide-eyed and a bit confused, but completely interested in what they were telling us.  We set off on the Sound and got a perfect view of Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountain Range.

 

Soon after our sail got under way, the guys said that they were going to participate in the sailboat race that was going on this evening.  We knew there were races, but we didn’t know we would be a part of them!  Alex and I took our positions; he was on the back of the boat  (the stern) and I stood in the pit; the small area underneath the boat.  We just enjoyed the water and scenery around us while the guys trucked along in the race.  We didn’t really understand what was going on with it, but it was cool to be a part of it.

The sail last a couple of hours (longer than we had expected) and afterwards, we were hooked.  We knew that we needed to learn some kind of water sport and take advantage of all the Northwest had to offer.  It was a perfect first introductions to sailing and we can’t wait to learn more!

We Have Spiders

We have spiders.  Not just outside, but they have now ventured into the apartment.  And they aren’t little ones that we could just brush off, they are big, brown ones that think hiding in our closets and clothes is fun.  Pest control will be coming to spray for them, hopefully this weekend, but in the meantime, I can barely sleep.  Because now Alex found one in our bed.  We are all about nature and being outdoors, but we aren’t use to nature coming into the house.  Chicago’s concrete condo walls kept that from happening.  Until our place is sprayed, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep very well or walk around without first turning on lights.

Grillin’ Salmon

We haven’t ventured into grilling fish for a couple of weeks so tonight we decided to get some beautiful salmon fillets and fire up the grill.  Alex enjoys fish, but not as much as I do, but he was happy to try something new and did a pretty good job at it too being the first time he’s grilled salmon.

Yum!

The dogs love when he gets the grill out and ready too; they wander out onto the deck and sniff around, waiting patiently in hopes that he will drop them a little something.  It was a nice night out, so we enjoyed sitting out of the deck while the fish was cooking for a bit.  The outdoor space is the highlight of the apartment.  Wherever we end up, we both agree that we need some kind of outdoor space, and next time it will hopefully be a yard!

The salmon finally got done and we were so surprised at how good it looked and tasted!  We grab our beers and enjoyed our very Northwest dinner; we love this part of living here.

First Mariners’ Game!

Our wonderful neighbors had tickets to tonight’s Seattle Mariners’ game and we were happy to go along!  They were great seats too on the third base side; luckily there weren’t any foul balls!  The stadium was nice, but there wasn’t anything special about it.  Wrigley Field definitely has the grunge-history thing going for it.  It was a close game the entire time against the Twins, but Seattle came out of top.  We are looking forward to more games next season but until then, we hope to catch a Seattle Seahawks’ game this fall.

Fremont Happy Hour

Ah, wonderful Friday!  It was gorgeous out today with lots of sun and heat.  I met Alex for lunch and we ate at the Portage Bay Cafe near the UW.  It was a great meal to say the least: I had the buckwheat pancake (yes, I like buckwheat!) which included lots of goodies from their DIY toppings bar.  The maple syrup was amazing!  Alex had the migas: a giant tortilla filled with eggs, cheese, salsa, sour cream and chorizo.  It was awesome!  When we were done, we took the longer walk back to his office to enjoy the outside a bit longer.  When he went back to work, I finally ventured over to the first eyebrow threading place I’ve found.  After getting my fashion fix for the day, I hung out at a coffee shop, Ipad in tow and scoured the net for any new jobs.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve applied to a number of positions and have had just a couple of interviews.  I know it takes time and that’s okay with me, I’m just eager to start working again and to be more of a part of Seattle.

With the day wrapping up, I met Alex at 5pm on the dot and we headed to Fremont for some happy hour specials.  Our first stop: Norm’s.

Power to the pooches!

Besides the decent happy hour drink specials, guess what!  This place even allowed dogs inside!  It was great with all the pups around, just hanging out.  We definitely will go back there.  Next, we headed to Nectar (nice outdoor space) and then to Brouwer’s Cafe which ended up being a great find.  The inside was like a cave: dark and rustic looking.  The draft list was HUGE and our fries with some kind of house sauce were perfect.  We can’t wait to head there again.

Deciding we might need to eat dinner, we swung over to Ballard to try out The Monkey Bridge which was suggested by one of Alex’s friends who use to live here.  The beef pho and Vietnamese curry were alright; bot really our taste, but did fill us up.

Ah, Fridays really are perfect sometimes.  We both loved getting out to some local bars and scoping out the happy house scene.  Fremont and Ballard are great gems of neighbors!

With Blackberries Come Desserts

I measured them out and I have roughly six cups of blackberries.  I scoped out some recipes and finally decided on individual blackberry crisps for after dinner tonight and then some tasty blackberry muffins.  Alex doesn’t have as big of a sweet tooth as mine, so I try not to bake huge quantities of sweets.  But I think these mini crisps were perfect for after our dinner tonight:

Mini blackberry crisp

Check out these muffins too; if I woke up early enough on the weekend, I’d make these to go with our weekly Sunday breakfast, but a Thursday is good too:

Blackberry muffins

Next week I think I’ll go out and pick some more berries before the season is over.  I have to take advantage of these tasty snacks!  I’m thinking of blackberry lemonade.  Anyone else have other ideas of good recipes for blackberries?

 

Blackberries, Kiwi and Figs–Oh My!

On our hikes and my walks around the neighborhood, I’ve been noticing quite an abundance of wild blackberries.  I finally decided to grab my bowl and go pick some.  I ended up with about six cups worth and they are amazing!  They grow right along the side of the

Blackberry bush

road and sidewalks and are just now getting perfectly plump and wonderful.  They have inspired me to find some blackberry recipes; I’ll post pictures this week of my plates!

Another surprise when I was out berry-picking, I discovered that we are also living next door to a giant kiwi plant AND multiple fig trees!  Who knew!  The fruits aren’t very easy to get too, but when they get more ripe and are ready to be picked, I’m bound and determined to venture into this over-grown lot and get some.  How could I let perfectly good fruit go unused?

Blackberries and kiwi

Kiwi!