Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween-ween!

Have you guys ever seen the show on NBC called The Neighbors? It's kind of lighthearted and silly but its about a family that moves in and all the houses in their neighborhood are owned by aliens {but they look like humans}. The regular couple has to teach the aliens about human life on Earth. Anyway, they had to teach them about Halloween and the alien couple kept calling it Halloween-ween, which was pretty funny. Just take my word for it. 

Are you dressing up this year? I haven't dressed up in a couple years now, but my prior costumes have included: a nurse and a football player. Very original huh? Well I couldn't find a picture of the football player costume... trust me... it wasn't much. EDIT - I found it! See below! I did find these beauties... Yes I was a nurse 3 years in a row because (1) halloween costumes are expensive and (2) I was just lazy. There you have it. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
2008... Not quite sure who Jake was.
Oh, wait it was the guy from Fast Times at Ridgemont High!
2007 (post college)
<<EDIT - look what I found!

Seahawks player and dirty old man {aka my husband now}


2006 (college)

Now I have a surprise for you!  

You get to see my gorgeous 1-month old niece Brynn decked out in her Halloween decor! Isn't she just the cutest thing EVER?
I love her sooooo much!
Are you dressing up this year? As for me, my Halloween days just might be over. I'm going to a yoga class after work.

Friday, October 26, 2012

EBATES

My friend told me about ebates last week and it is seriously the best thing that I've heard about in a long time! It's really simple.  You get paid via cash back every quarter for shopping online at the sites you normally would already shop at.  Sounds too good to be true right? But it's not! Here is a CNET review.
 


Steps:

1. First sign up - preferably click here to use my referral link :)
2. Once you are on the site, click on "shop all stores" so you can see what's available. Then, click on the gray heart next to whichever stores you want to favorite.  You can only favorite 50 stores... and let's just say I ran out of favories on letter S! So I had to go back and re-evaluate my selections. 
3. Before you shop online, go to ebates.com first. Then, click on the store name to be transferred directly to the site. Apparently ebates gets some type of commission for sending you to their site and they are paying some of that commision back to you in the form of a % of cash back.
4. I spent $88 at a store that was offering 20% cash back! So I am scheduled to get almost $18. Score, right? FYI - most cash back rates are smaller - like 2 - 6%. But this is great for Christmas shopping! 

Can you see how excited I am? The possibilites are endless!

Some of my favorite stores on ebates: Apple, Banana Republic, Jcrew, Sephora, CB2. 

Have you signed up yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Restaurant Week: The Georgian

My friend Shannon and I had the pleasure of dining at the Georgian last night.  We pretty much chose the fanciest most expensive place we could when sorting through the participating restaurants on the website. It's in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel and if you are thinking what I am thinking... yes... it's the hotel-Christian-Grey stays-at-when-he-needs-to-get-away-from-Escala. Phew! That was a long one.

This is classic old world charm. Super high ceilings. Ornate decor. You get the picture.  Was the food as good as it looked based on the decor? Hell Yes! It was so delicious. I was a good blogger and took lots of pictures this time. 
[ Via ]
OK, I didn't take this one. But it's from TripAdvisor.
After we ordered our 3 course meal complete with wine pairings, we were offered an amouse bouche (1) I didn't quite know what that was and (2) I have never been offered one before. So fun! Per my discussion with Shan {who is cultured}, it's a bite sized hors doeu'vre to aid in preparing your appetite for the meal which was provided compliments of the chef. I don't remember what it was called but it was very rich - almost sweet and savory at the same time if that is possible.   I took a picture but its too blurry - not blog worthy.
First up - Armenian breadsticks and 4 types of butter - sweet cream, basil, shallot and ... I forgot what the last one was? Balsamic or something? It looked like chocolate to me! 


The bread was so tiny but packed a punch! It was really good.

Next was our appetizer.  Shan had soup {which I don't have a picture of}. I think it was Roasted Parsnip and Apple Bisque with honey spiced caviar and I had this little gem - Yep, It's The Olympic Caesar Salad with aged pecorino cheese.  Boo yah! And a house made crouton on the top! Pretty fancy right?


The wine pairing was delicious too. I thought the wine had "undertones of muscat". Shan laughed at me for saying undertones.

Next up was our main course and we both were debating between the same things so we each decided to order one and share! Brilliant! Shan ordered the Butternut Squash Risotto with truffle foam and tempura morel mushrooms. To die for! So so good. And the foam was actually very tasty.

I got the Seared Scallops with melted leeks, seared Yukon potato, and truffle bacon butter sauce. They do love their truffles! And so do I! Simply amazing. Best thing I ate all night. 



..And finally... the dessert. We both wanted to try the Brown Apple Semolina which tasted kind of like a piece of apple pie but way better and different. It was also very tasty.  Overall, this was one of the best meals of my life, people! So so good! 


That my friends, is a log of greek yogurt ice cream. And to the right, is a sugar glazed almond with Dulce de leche inside.  I might actually chose this as my last meal on Earth.

I want to go again! Who is in for lunch today?
The Georgian on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 22, 2012

Restaurant Week: RN74

For our first restaurant of Seattle Restaurant week, we decided to try Michael Mina's french restaurant downtown, named RN74 (modeled after his San Francisco eatery of the same name).  Per the menu, that is the name of a route going through France wine country. RN74 = Route Nationale 74. Pretty neat! I kept trying to take a decent picture of the sign but it was so blurry. So you will have to settle for the reflection.

Unfortunately, we were trying to save some bucks so we didn't partake in the wine. I kind of felt like a cheap skate cause we didn't order anything extra, just two $28 restaurant week dinners. but once you add in tax and tip, it came out to $72. So, it's not super cheap but it's a fun way to try an expensive restaurant on the cheap. I am betting if we went "balls to the wall" and ordered wine and just regular food off the menu, we were looking at upwards of $150. So, in the end it was a good deal. 


I totally forgot to take pictures of the meal. Jake was like, do you want to take pictures and I was like no. Haha.. I totally forgot about blogging.  By the time dessert rolled around, I did remember to take some pics.

I started with mushroom soup which was delicious! Jake had steamed manila clams. For our main course, I had butternut squash rissoto with parmesan cheese. So rich and gooey! Jake had the grilled pork chop which was also very tasty (I tried a bite or two!).  

Then for dessert... you guessed it! I had the red velvet cake. It was to die for. Seriously. Jake had the nutella crepe which was also delicious. but I still think my dessert was better.

I saved the best part for last! You know how I was telling you about their spectacular wine selection? Well, they had the coolest ticker/flip board (I don't even know what it's called) that showed wine selections where they only had one bottle left (according to the guys next to our table who explained it to us). All of a sudden I heard a really loud ticking sound and the letters started to change. It's like the sign at an old fashioned train station - I was entranced. The guys at the table next to me were chucking that I was so excited. But I think they were excited about it too. So, apparently, when the bottle sells, everything moves up one line and a new bottle shows up at the bottom. It was probably the coolest thing that happened. In the history of the world. Ever. 

*Oh and that $417 bottle is from 1966. Holy crap right? 


RN74 on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Quotables

Source

To sum it up: reflect, but don't dwell.

Happy weekend! Do you have any fun plans? I am hoping to have a lazy weekend. The plans for tonight involve cozying up {with the heat on} watching a movie inside, eating pizza and drinking wine.

xoxo, Kim

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On Happiness

I have read several books and most recently blogs {this one here is good} about happiness and it's gotten me thinking about the topic a lot. Happiness is something that is very important to me but sometimes its tough to define.  I read a good quote the other day - Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.  
What is a picture of Venice doing here? ITALY = my happy place
It's easy to recall a time when I remember being happy but it's harder to tell if Iare happy right now - in the moment.  A lot of being happy for me revolves around being in control of my surroundings.  When I feel out of control, I get anxious, I can't concentrate and I worry. A lot. All of those things are probably not very good for my health {anyone's health for that matter} and frankly, I don't want to waste one single minute of this precious life doing any of them.

But it takes conscious effort to not let other people's problems and lives bring me down. I say the serenity prayer when I find myself worried about other people and that seems to do the trick. I guess I am kind of rambling now. But, for me, I think the key to being happy is just relaxing once in a while.

P.S. This is my 100th blog post! Hooray! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Is In The Air

What does this mean?...I bought another pair of the Intyce boots by Steve Madden, of course!

This time in Cognac (light brown). 

I am obsessed with my black pair and I actually think they are getting a little worn out so I will probably have to invest in another pair of the black ones soon. I think they are 3 years old? Eek.

Via nordstrom.com
Anyway, I am just excited because I haven't bought anything from Nordstrom in a while.

Have you purchased any new boots lately?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy October 15th

Hello everyone! I feel like today is my birthday (it's not). What is all this excitement for? Why, the tax extension deadline is finally here! 

So once the last return gets filed today, I feel like I can finally get into the holiday spirit. What am I excited for? Mostly food! Pumpkin pie, egg nog, cider! You name it.

Hopefully you have filed your 2011 taxes by now.  If you - well, then you are a procrastinator. Haha. You know how they always say the cobbler's on has no shoes? Well, I filed my tax return in February. Thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Habits

I read that it takes about 20 days or 3 weeks to develop a habit.  A couple months ago, I blogged about a book that I read that broke down the habit cycle.  The book clearly explains the steps on how to alter any habit that you want to change. In the words of Greg Kelly, a news anchor who has been featured on one of my favorite TV clip shows, called The Soup "It's Science" -- that actual clip is near the end of the video below, but isn't this guy the greatest and funniest thing ever? He cracks me up every time.



Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that I am working on developing a couple of good, new habits including:
  • I just finished week 3, day 2 of the Couch to 5K running program. I am getting my 3 days/week of cardio in but I just need to add in some weight lifting. In time, in time.
  • I am working on meal planning! Before I would just go to the store and make sure to get 5 meals for dinner. Now I am planning what meal we will eat each night -- it makes it so much easier but does take a little time. Totally worth it though.
  • Date Nights! Jake and I started going out to dinner every Friday for date night. It's really fun and I love spending the extra time together (not sitting on the couch in front of the TV, *ahem). Keeping the romance alive, right?
Have you formed any (good) new habits lately? Do share!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Uninspired

Lately, I have had some trouble coming up with topics to blog about. Work has been tough and stressful and I just have not been super excited about blogging. I think this phase will pass but I wanted to let you know how I am feeling because that's what blogging is all about. Being honest.

My brother told me he was bored reading my blog after our Italy trip. Well of course nothing I do now will be as exciting as that trip was. But I am planning our next adventure. I don't know exactly where and I don't know when it will be but I really want to go to NYC. 

...Anyway, I might not blog every single day but I will try to blog as much as I feel like it.

The end. At least it's Fall and I can wear boots now.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Home by Novogratz

Have you heard of the Novogratz? They are a husband and wife interior design team and have really inspired my current design aesthetic.  Am I allowed to say that word if I'm not on Project Runway?  
  
Cortney & Rob Novogratz, Via
They had a show a couple years ago on Bravo called "9 by Design" and I loved that show.  By the way, they have 7 kids! That's why the show was called "9 by Design".  The premise of that show was basically them buying super duper expense NY homes and then "flipping" them by adding in their own design aesthetic and reselling the remodeled homes for major dough. So Cortney and Rob {husband and wife team} would purchase some ridiculously expensive house, actually move into it {with their 7 kids}, design and remodel it and then put it up for sale and move again. They did this several times and it seemed really awesome but a little impractical.

The Novograts current home, for sale for only $12.4 M / { Via }
But after a couple years under the radar, they have another show called "Home by Novogratz." I just spent about 4 hours watching some of the 9 episodes on my DVR and now I want to go thrifting! Here are some of the After photos from some recent design makeovers -

I want it all! I especially love the striped staircase / Via
Love the postage stamp art! Via
Have you been inspired by anything lately? Do share!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Quotables

I'm out of town this weekend, but I didn't want to miss my favorite day's posting! 

For today's Friday Quotables -- 

[ Via ]
Have you ever had a day where something or someone "happened to you" and it totally ruined your day? I certainly have and I am trying to work hard at not letting other people get to me.  Every day we wake up, and decide if we are happy or not.

Life is just too short not to be happy every single day.  

Cheers and have a great weekend!
Kim

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Seattle Restaurant Week

Well, the inevitable happened. I missed a day of blogging. I did go for almost 5 months straight... so it was bound to happen sometime.  I used to have a list of ongoing topics so that would never happen but that was saved on my old phone and I lost it when I sold my Blackberry to Gazelle.com  Speaking of that, they received my old phone and are paying me $65 for it - which is a pretty good deal since it would just sit in a box or get recycled. I am not quite sure what they will do with it but hey, I don't really care. So if you have an old smartphone they will probably take it.  Jake even tried to sell his iPhone 3 and they would take it for $17. Jake decided that was too low for him but I would have probably done it. 

Now..... back to the main topic... 


Have you heard of Seattle Restaurant Week? It's coming up in a couple weeks and it lets you try out expensive restaurants on the cheap.  Basically the deal is that you get a special, limited 3 course menu (app, main course, dessert).  You can look at the menus online to see if they suit your fancy.. oh and the best part is that its $28 per person! I love a good deal. I am planning on hitting 3 different restaurants during Restaurant Week including RN74, Staple & Fancy and The Georgian.  It will be my first time at each of those 3 restaurants. There are hundred of restaurants participating but make sure to call and make your reservations soon because the spots fill up! Also, its only Monday thru Thursday.

Ciao, 
Kim

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Worst. Bus. Ride. Ever.

Do you ever feel like your life is a movie?  Maybe it's really sunny outside and you are walking and feel the breeze on your face, whilst your favorite song is playing on your iPod and you feel like your life is just perfect? Well, this morning was the exact opposite.

Let me explain.

I was reading my kindle at my regular bus stop and suddenly a bus sped by and barely even stopped.  So, I got on, not thinking anything of it and didn't realize that it was the wrong bus. I got on the #31 instead of the #33. I should have known when there was exactly 3 people on the bus which is usually packed full to the brim. I was using trying to use the OneBusAway app but apparently I don't know how it works.  Can someone please give me a tutorial? Lesson 1: Pay attention.  

So I politely asked the bus driver where I could catch bus #33. She laughed and said, up on the top of the hill. That's right, people. I had to walk UPHILL basically back to where I came from. Good thing I wasn't wearing heels today. Lesson 2: Don't wear uncomfortable shoes when commuting via bus. 

So, I walk to a stop {different from my usual stop} in time for the next #33 bus to come and I'm like... alright... this isn't too bad. But, then the bus just speeds by our stop because it is jam packed full. Like sardines. Okay... great, I am officially going to be late for work. 

Finally, another bus heading toward downtown comes but its a #24. Everyone else is getting on, so I figure I will give this one a shot. The bus is so full that I do find a seat but its in the accordion seats that twirl around as the bus turns {it's a really long bus} so it's like I'm on a carnival ride. I am thinking to myself, how could this get any worse? Lesson 3: Don't sit in the accordion seats ... Wait for it.... 

I could barely see since the seats in that section are so low, but it looked like it was approaching my usual stop.  And... when I was getting off the bus via the back door {which is how everyone is supposed to exit now} they closed the back door on me, like it literally shut while I was halfway out :( 

I seriously was like teary eyed as I walked from the bus stop to work, but the good news is that the worst commute to work is officially over. Thank God!  And now I can laugh about it. It is kind of funny.

What is your worst commute to work story? Please spill it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend Finds

Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. We certainly did! 

First of all - are you on instagram? I recently signed up when I finally got my new iPhone 5 {@kolsen206} and am officially obsessed. I have no idea why I love it so much but I do. So now you can find me on: twitter, instagram, blogging, facebook. Will it ever end? 

I told Jake that he should be proud of me that I only currently use 3/6 social networking sites below. It could be worse, people!

My setup screen on instagram
On Saturday, we got to hang out with our little niece {Brynn} again {love her. so so much.} 

Is that you on the phone, aunty Kim?
We also went to CityTarget twice and bought a bunch of stuff including these towels.  They look almost exactly like the towels we bought from anthro but for half the price. #yesplease.

$9.99 at target!
I treated myself {remember #treatyoselfday from Parks & Rec} to a couple nice things.  Up first, I got this lovely jcrew pencil skirt for $60. {originally $130, marked down to $69 + additional 15% teacher discount}. I didn't get the additional 25% off because you had to spend $150 to get that deal. I was thisclose to buying a red pair of the toothpick denim jeans that I am obsessed with {they are so comfy), but they are still on sale for $89. I am waiting for them to go down to $49. Then I will be there. I pretty much check the website every day to check if the price dropped yet.

As you can see, this is instagram-ified!
I also splurged at lululemon because you can never have enough cool racerback tanks. Love my CRB's! I would wear one every day if I could.

I got a fun burgundy color for Fall!
What did you do this weekend? 

P.S. Can you believe it's October already?!?!

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