The Joy of Lemons

I love lemon desserts.  And lime desserts.  But I never really make anything.  But when Alex had a gathering at work and needed to bring the sweets, he asked me to bake lemon bars!  I was excited to finally have a reason to make them (but do you really need a reason?!) and found this great recipe for creamy lemon crumb squares from who else, but The Pioneer Woman.

They were super easy to make and only needed a handful of ingredients, most of which we already had at home.  However, when I took them out of the own, they were still a bit wiggly and I fought with myself about putting them in for longer.  But Alex, as always, said to trust the recipe so I did and popped them in the fridge to chill.  After a couple of hours in the cold, they had solidified some and the custard-like filling was perfect!

The next day, Alex took them to work and he said everyone fell in love!  So happy I didn’t cook them any longer or they may have burned.  And sorry, no picture this time; they didn’t last long!

Las Vegas Birthday Bash

A couple of years ago, we went to Las Vegas for Alex’s birthday.  And this year, we went for mine and his sister’s big 4-0.  Even though we got to the hotel at 8am and had to wait a few hours for our rooms, the sun was shining so we took advantage and walked the entire Strip.  Everything in Vegas is so big and fancy, but it looks so small from the plane, huh?

The Strip

The Strip

Our suites at the Palazzo were amazing when we finally checked in.  Huge beds and bathrooms with double sinks!  Ours had a sunken living room which seemed bigger than our current apartment.

Palazzo hotel.

Palazzo hotel.

 

Wynn Golf Course from our room.

Wynn Golf Course from our room.

When rested up some and met up with the others when they arrived for some pre-evening gambling.  Blackjack called our names first, but we couldn’t forget about craps.  Alex taught me how to play awhile back and we had so much fun at it again!  We had a late dinner on Friday and Saturday was spa day at the hotel.  It was super relaxing and got us rested and ready for the evening.  We had a great dinner at Sushi Samba  toasting champagne and indulging in birthday desserts.  We headed out for drinks, dancing and more gambling and enjoyed the night.

Ready for the night!

Ready for the night!

Las Vegas is always a blast, but it’s good in small doses.  We were there for the perfect amount of time as we were ready to head back home by Sunday morning.  The tables and slots didn’t take too much money from us though so we didn’t leave empty-handed (we did win some at the airport slots though!).  We’ll be back Vegas!

Future Home

Alex and I chat a lot about when we will be moving next.  It’s fun to look at houses and apartments and daydream about what they might look like.  However, I was getting flooded with all sorts of ideas and looks so I decided to finally join Pinterest and organization my thoughts.  My boards are a collection of images that I hope to use for inspiration when we do finally move into a new, more permanent place.  There’s so much out there, that it’s fun to hunt around and find different projects to do.  I especially like the DIY ones!  Enjoy looking around!

King County Metro Rant

I was so happy that Seattle had a public transit system.  I’m just not ready to own a car yet so having buses to take to and from work are needed for me right now.  Granted, Chicago was much bigger and had a larger transit system, but I never thought that I would experience such rudeness by the bus drivers here as I have been lately.

Like today, the driver made a woman throw out her coffee because there is a rule of no food or drink on the bus.  A few stops later, another person gets on with coffee and the driver doesn’t make her throw it out.

On a few occasions, folks who had difficulty reading the bus number haven’t been let off their previous bus at the precise location needed to get on their next one.  I have waited with people making sure they were standing in the right place so the driver knows they need to get on.

Another driver refused to let a man on in a wheelchair stating the bus was too packed.  Granted it was, but I didn’t appreciate that the driver then allowed 5 other people on the bus once the gentleman moved away with his wheelchair.

My first bus stop is a break spot for the drivers.  I get it: they want to take a minute for themselves.  But when its pitch black outside and freezing, what is it going to do to your break time if you just let the riders on the bus rather than sitting there reading a magazine with the door shut?

Whew, I have had that all on my chest for awhile!  I haven’t had all bad luck with bus drivers, but the majority of them have been less than pleasant.  Maybe when my commute gets shorter things will get better, but for now I’m just happy I have public transit even if the drivers seem to hate their jobs.

Steamed Ling Cod!

The fish department at Whole Foods is just so….pretty!  The fillets of yummy looking fish always call our names, but we don’t cook it very often because lets face it: cooking fish is kind of nerve-wracking.  But last night Alex took the plunge and made steamed ling cod (thanks to this awesome recipe from blogger, Jen Japan).

Ling cod was not the cheapest fish either so he wanted to make sure to do it right.  And I thought he did a great job!

Steamed Ling Cod

Steamed Ling Cod

6-Month Mark

I can’t believe it but today marks out sixth month out here in Seattle.  It has gone by so fast!  This time back in July we were pulling up to our new apartment, dogs in tow, and realizing that we were now Seattleites.  We were worried about how we were going to get the U-Haul up the huge hill by our house, we discovered that the dogs actually could stand to be around each other, and that summer in the Northwest could very well be perfect.  Seattle has treated us well these past six months; now we can’t wait for the next.  Bring on 2013!

Portland and Vancouver

Our first holiday season in the Northwest was relaxing—for the most part.  We opted to stay out here rather than traveling back to the Midwest which was just fine with us.

Portland called our name for Christmas and we visited our friend Victoria again.  It’s so close (only a few hours drive) so it wasn’t bad.

Me and Victoria!

Me and Victoria!

We took the dogs again although this time around they caused a bit of havoc in the hotel room.  Lets just say we lost a remote and the carpet better have gotten a good cleaning.  Nevertheless, it was a good time and we enjoyed seeing Victoria again!

For New Year’s we opted to do the short three hour drive to Vancouver, BC for the first time.  This time, we left the dogs at home (the last thing we needed was to get stopped at the border and for some reason have to turn right back round.)  The drive there was pretty uneventful and even the wait at the border was pretty short, only about 25 minutes.

Peace Arch I-5 Border

Peace Arch I-5 Border

On our way.

On our way.

dessert

Chocolate cake!

When we arrived in Vancouver, we checked into our beautiful hotel,Pan Pacific.  Alex may have exaggerated the truth some and we were able to get a higher floor and this fancy dessert upon arrival.

Views from our hotel room were amazing too; we had the Cascade Mountains in the distance and the water at our feet.  It was gorgeous!

Hotel

Pan Pacific.

Mountains!

Mountains!

And of course we had to indulge in Chinese food while we were there.  On the drive, we stopped in Richmond, BC and ate at Shanghai River.

dumplings and s & p pork ribs

Dumplings and pork ribs.

The fried pork dumplings and salt and pepper pork ribs were super good.  We had heard that the Chinese food in Vancouver was going to be some of the best we ever ate and it was.  Before we headed back to Seattle, we had another amazing meal at Kirin in downtown.  There we opted for the barbecue pork bao, rice cakes, pork pot stickers and sticky rice.  Everything was so tasty!

Rice cakes.

Rice cakes.

Barbecue pork bao.

Barbecue pork bao.

On New Year’s Eve we stayed in at the hotel and went to a NYE  party hosted by a local event’s company.  Although it started off slow at first, later in the night it got pretty busy, but not over crowded.  The food was pretty good and so was the music, just too bad the drinks were way over priced.  However, we ended up having a good time.

NYE 2013

NYE 2013

All in all, the holidays were a good time and we did enjoy ourselves.  But now we are ready for some rest before we head to Las Vegas later this month!