Thursday, February 7, 2013


I am featured first the first time on Erica's lovely blog: The Girl Side of Travel!! You should head over there to read her fantastic blog and see the feature about my striped wall! Also check her out at Kizzling Around. Read this for 10 minutes and you will wish you had just a sliver of her adventurous life where she travels all over the world.

Keepin' in Clean

My apartment has been driving me nuts lately. I just want to hire one of those cleaning services to come in just once to get it back under control. It isn't dirty, it is just...lived in at this point. 2.5 years (!!!) in one place will do that. As I looked around my room tonight, I picked a few things up, dusted some nooks and crannys and then finally resigned to catching up on some tv to decompress after yet another really trying day at work. I was thinking about how have come pretty far (as I am sure my parents will vouch) in regards to my organizational capacity from childhood to now.

Alright I wasn't exactly the kind growing up who had the spotless room. In fact we can probably go as far as to say I was a slob. An organizational disaster. How I managed to dress myself, keep track of my belongings, and not get eaten alive by something hiding under the piles that accumulated in my room is beyond me. Oddly, among all of this mess my dad used to point out to people that I did have an outstanding memory as we would be playing with Playmobile (anyone? Playmobile? Only the greatest childhood toy along with American Girl Dolls to ever grace my little hands. Wyatt & Ava...get ready.) Back to the story. So we would be playing Playmobile and there are like 143,563,863,097,001 pieces that you end up owning with Playmobile. So my dad and I will be playing with the skiers and he would be like "Andrea- where is the other little green ski". Ok, we are talking about a tiny little plastic ski that was no more than an inch long. Well I would truck off and bring it back to him just like that. I have a memory for where I last saw things in my space. (well I used to- old age is taking its toll).

Well the days of clothing piles, disorganized Playmobile, ski, dance, violin stuff strewn about, and an accumulation of drinking glasses has come to end. (Much to my parents delight).

I won't go as far as to say I am super clean or even organized. But I definitely have learned the value of keeping things a bit tidier as I have grown up. I guess that is what 415 sq. feet of living space will do to you.

Basically this post is a Thank You to my parents. I honestly have no idea how you two didn't completely loose it with me as a child. Unbelievable amounts of patience. Now you have a daughter who color codes just about every file in her office and has corresponding pens to match the file system. Oh how one grows up.

Where you a messy or overly clean child? I can only hope that my desire for organization just continues to grow!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Date at Union Market

This past late summer/early fall the bf and I headed to the new (to me) Union Market, a year round "artisanal marketplace". It features a variety of places to eat, buy local meats and produce, and shops with unique and home-y products. Our first encounter was the crafty-bastards craft fair, that was a scene to say the least. While we would have loved to grab some food that day, there were just too many people and no where to sit. We have been talking about going back for months now, and since the bf is gone this entire week for work- we thought it a nice date space before we had a whole week apart.

As I am sure you remember, I LOVE me some oysters.Whenever the bf asks what I want to eat one my usual responses is "Oysters and watermelon". Needless to say, we have never gotten oysters together and we have certainly never fulfilled my dream of oysters AND watermelon. So after all the times he "poo-pooed" (his words not mine!) my oyster request, he suggested we try the Rappahannock Oyster Co.

We got seats right at the bar, and were able to watch them shuck and plate oysters. We each started with a delish beer, a bowl of oyster chowder (full of awesome, big oysters) and then each ordered six raw oysters to slurp down.

It was pretty stinkin' good. Oysters may easily make it into my favorite food list, I just can't get enough!

After our super yummy food, we wandered the market a little and then headed home and even had to brush a light dusting of snow off the car!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spokane, Idaho and Schweitzer

Last weekend we took a little cross country ski trip getaway to Schweitzer mountain in Sandpoint Idaho.

Many of my summers and holidays were spent in north Idaho so we could see my grandparents. It has been awhile since I have been in the Spokane/CDA area but I was excited to go back someplace that was almost as familiar to me as home.

I flew into Spokane and due to different flight schedules, I had some time to kill before the boyfriend flew in. I rented my first car!!! and drove into Spokane to entertain myself.

From the recommendation of a college friend I headed to Madeline's to camp out on my computer for a little while. I had an awesome paninni with a side of corn chowder and a latte served in a cozy oversized bowl.
After getting some personal and professional work done, I took a little walk over to the waterfront park area and poked around at some of the sights. Sadly, the carousel that my mom would take me on when I was little was closed so I just got a few pictures of the sights in the park.

 It was pretty cold so I sought out a place to warm up, and what better than to head over to the Davenport hotel and enjoy a cup of coffee in their beautiful lobby.

This hotel was something I heard about from my Grandparents growing up, and sitting in the lobby I could only day dream about long ago days where they probably attended amazing parties and witnessed the same lobby in its original state.
After getting some feeling back in my toes, I headed to wander around the mall before returning my rental car and meeting the bf at the airport. Once the bf landed and got in we checked out Gonzaga's campus and the site of his current project. Then we started the drive up to Sandpoint. The drive was really foggy, but not too bad overall considering the frigid temperatures.
The next morning we woke up, got all the ski gear on and drove up to find Schweitzer drenched in bright blue skies, sunny rays, and excellent snow conditions.
We got two really great days of skiing in. Using our ski tracks app that the bf and I are now addicted to when we go skiing, we pulled off over 30,000 vertical one day! Schweitzer has night skiing, so we were able to stay on the slopes until almost 5pm!
After our second day of skiing (and a little apres) we drove down to Coeur D'Alene to stay the night. We went to dinner at a great pizza place on Sherman Ave called Fire where we had some of the best pizza I have had in a long time!
The next morning we did a quick tour of CDA and I got to show the bf all the places I remember from my childhood and things related to my grandparents. It was a mjor trip down memory lane and I am already planning a summer vacation to get up there  so I can enjoy the lake!
After our CDA tour, we had a Cabella's shopping trip, and then I got dropped off to fly back to good ol' DC.
It was such an awesome trip. Writing about it makes me want to do it all over again. It was awesome to be somewhere that was a part of my childhood and experience it as an adult.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Oh Me, Oh My! Another Year Gone By!

Oh me! It is 2013. Already. Oh My! Where did 2012 go?

I have a thing about odd numbered years. Odd number birthday years too. They make me antsy. Even numbers always just seem less jagged, less abrasive....more stable. However, last year was anything but stable. It seemed like 12 months of just ups and downs, uncertainty and hard decisions. I have a ton to be thankful for, and last year blessed me with many great moments, but I have to say I am determined to look at 2013 and say:

"Hey you big-odd-numbered-rugged-around-the-edges year! I am going to rock this year. I am going to own you, and I am going to have some big stuff happen to me that I want! Yea. That's right. I'm talking to you 2013."

I haven't sat down and thought about goals, resolutions, focus points, or whatever you want to call them...yet. I will. I have a few default deadlines that will drive some of goals for the year, but I want look at those, and fill in some more things I want to accomplish this year.

Buuuuuttttttttt....without further ado, another year in recap for you:


We spend New Years eve with friends, playing games, holding babies and eating the only cupcakes I made this year! (That clearly can't be the case this year).


After some difficult hoops at work to jump through, I finally enrolled in the prep class to take my PHR exam. Going back to "school" was challenging, but it made me really start thinking about the next educational steps I want to take.

It was also the first of two ski trips to Colorado. This one was to Winterpark and we had the awesome in to staying at this cozy condo that belonged to a past co-worker of the bf. We were able to have some awesome company join us and we fit in some awesome days of skiing/snowboarding. (There was also a relationship testing moment on the slopes--which has evolved into a pretty funny story at this point!) There was also a dead owl, some amazing tacos, and an awesome fake bear rug that I wish I owned. Sharing one of my passions with the LomL was HUGE!


Another ski vacation (yes, I am SO lucky for all my jet setting to go skiing) with friends and the bf to Colorado. This time we went with a big group of people (new bambinos included) and rented a house in Breckenridge. The bf and I got to ski quite a bit, sadly one of our good friends got food poisoning/altitude sickness, but we fit in about three days. Not only was the skiing great, it was relaxing and my first experience flying first class!


Big month. My niece, Ava, showed up a few weeks late and made my beautiful sister a mommy of two and my amazing nephew the world's cutest big brother. I can't even begin to say how much fun Ava has been and how much I love her. If being an Aunt to one was great...being and Aunt to two is beyond words!

New Yorrrrrk!!! This was such a great trip! In all my time in DC, I can't believe I put off going until New York until now. The bf spoiled me yet again on this one and in addition to seeing the sights and sounds of the big city, we also ate some amazing food and the bf took me to Colicchio & Son's for dinner (another Top Chef restaurant for my list!!).


I clearly took a blog hiatus this month. LomL and I went to Seattle with me for Brooke's wedding. We got to hang out with my friends in my city, which was really a change of pace! I also headed home after Seattle to meet Ava for the first time.

My time at home was wonderful, getting to see Wyatt race all around the pump park on his bike and getting to hang out with the next generation of women in the family!


I did it. I passed. I earned my PHR and quickly tasted the glory of such a big accomplishment. It felt great (considering that test was an animal), it made me realized my value, and it also made me more confident in my professional life.


The bf and I took a little summer jaunt to get out of DC during some of the hottest time! We took a road trip up to Cleveland and Pittsburgh to catch some baseball games! Cleveland was really fun, as I loved exploring the city where my grandparents had lived and where my grandpa had gone to medical school. We ate at an awesome restaurant called Hodges, and got a taste of one of our favorite ice creams: "hodgepodge" (i.e. coffee ice cream with puppy chow mixed in). In Pittsburgh we browsed the Andy Warhol museum ate perogis, and figured out just how long the bf's car could run on the last few drops of gas before coasting into a gas station.

We spent the 4th of July at a friend's house in old town Alexandria having a fabulous meal and then driving up to the Masonic temple to watch the various firework displays.

I also stepped up my Top Chef nerdyness and got to opportunity to briefly meet Mike Isabella.


I visited Albuquerque for the first time. Hometown of the bf. I loved seeing where he grew up, what defined his childhood, early adult years, and what overall just makes him...him. We rode a super long tram to the top of the Sandia Mountains. We went on a Breaking Bad tour. We went to Santa Fe and saw an amazing stair case. We ate amazing food and I fell in love with a cinnamon roll.

Later that month there was also a night of Bob Ross painting with two of my favorite gals! It was bittersweet as Erin was getting ready to leave DC for her next adventure in California. Luckily, we have paintings to remember our friendship roots in DC together!


We went apple picking out in Virginia! A lot of the trees were already picked over, but we brought home two HUGE bags of apples that we turned into: apple butter, dried apples, cobbler, and some mini handpies.

The bf joined me again for another University of Idaho football game down at UNC. I drove a stick shift on the highway after only one lesson. There was an episode of poison ivy. It rained. A lot. I had some blueberry beer that I still crave. U of I lost, real real bad. We did complete the weekend with a wonderful brunch with my little sis, Mallory.

I also set off the fire alarm.


I got the socks surprised off me with a really amazing gift from the bf.

He puts skis on's love baby.


I was only in DC for about 2 weeks before heading home for another wonderful Christmas holiday with the family. My parents waited for me to get home so I could help pick out and decorate the tree this year. It was Ava's first Christmas. It was a Sun Valley Christmas complete with a sleigh ride to trail creek cabin and Sun Valley ice show. It was perfect. The best Christmas yet, if you ask me, but they just keep getting better if you ask me. The bf also flew into Idaho for a Sun Valley new years, and I got to show him what makes

I know we are already a month into the new year. Per usual I am so behind on recapping, looking forward and thinking about the new year. I know one thing though...writing this all out, looking back at a year that was complicated, intimidating and full of challenges, was a year FULL of crazy, amazing, wonderful moments. Moments that I spent with my favorite people, people I love, and who love me and I have no doubt that 2013 will be even more of something good.