Tuesday, November 13, 2012

America's 50 Best Cities

Traveling to other cities definitely shines the light on the city you live in ... good or bad.  And, I'm happy to admit that after every trip Gabe and I go on, our drive home from the airport consists of us commenting on how amazing of a city it is and how happy we are to be "home!"

I found this article on America's 50 Best Cities to live in:
My hometown came in at #42


Rank: 41
Population: 1,199,739

Dallas is arguably the focal point for oversize American culture: fried food, mechanic bull riding, and glitzy displays of largesse that inspire stereotypes and television shows alike. If you just know Dallas as a fan of the soap opera (or, more improbably, the canceled GCB show), you’re missing out on a city with several major art districts and a vibrant music scene. And Dallas’s take on Beverly Hills, the Highland Park neighborhood, is very much real.

Bars: 249
Restaurants: 2,808
Museums: 26
Libraries: 43
Pro sports teams: 2
Park acres per 1,000 residents: 23
Colleges: 10
Percent with graduate degree: 5.9
Median household income: $44,838
Percent unemployed: 7.9  

My city I now call home is #2
quite the step up if you ask me :)


Rank: 2
Population: 624,070

For our runner-up best city, we turn back to the Northwest to the nation’s spiritual home for coffee and personal computing: Seattle. Residents of Rain City will take the city’s famously prodigious rainfall in exchange for their high average median income, beautiful water-bound locale, and standout clean air. Microsoft (MSFT) and Boeing (BA) provide tens of thousands of jobs to the area, for those who can’t toss fish at the Pike Place Market.

Bars: 219
Restaurants: 2,307
Museums: 29
Libraries: 42
Pro sports teams: 4
Park acres per 1,000 residents: 9
Colleges: 8
Percent with graduate degree: 16.8
Median household income: $90,303
Percent unemployed: 7.2

AND this years winner: 

San Francisco

Rank: 1
Population: 808,854

The City by the Bay, this year's winner, provides residents with the best blend of entertainment, education, safety, clear air, and a prosperous economic base. As the heart of the Bay Area, San Francisco draws on the prosperity of Silicon Valley and possesses its own diverse history well represented at cultural centers such as the de Young Museum. Residents care fiercely about their cafés and causes; night life flourishes in the Mission and the Castro, while tech companies code away in SoMa.

Bars: 394
Restaurants: 3,430
Museums: 70
Libraries: 52
Pro sports teams: 2
Park acres per 1,000 residents: 7
Colleges: 17
Percent with graduate degree: 16
Median household income: $90,640
Percent unemployed: 7.8

The top 10 were:

St Paul #10
San Diego #9
Austin #8
NYC #7
Denver #6
Portland #5
Boston #4
Washington D.C. #3
Seattle #2
SanFran #1

Click here to see if you city made the list!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tiny Prints

I have a date with my computer to sit down here shortly, upload photos from our Europe trip, and pick a few winners that summarize our experience for our 2012 holiday photo card.  Last year we used photos from Thailand, and the year before Australia, so this years Christmas card will be a must to find ones from Europe.  

The past two years, I have used Shutterfly and adored the final product.  
This year I am going to use Tiny Prints as they have 
a new premium double thick matte paper!

Loving the round edges, plus it's bright&cheery!

Tiny Prints so kindly allowed me to host a giveaway for one of my readers.
SO one of you can win a $50 credit to Tiny Prints.
(does not include shipping and cannot be combined with another offer)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 5, 2012

We're Home!

Hubs and I are home (that was fast since I never told you I left the country), so sneaky I know!!  It was the trip of a lifetime.  Everything went off without a hitch, all 19 days, and I cannot wait to post about each and every city.  

The people we met, the food, the sights, the excitement :)

I leave with you love from Trevi Fountain
And yes, of course I made a wish!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Euro2012 Itinerary

Our upcoming adventure to
Europe consists of us venturing to:

Naples (Capri & Pompeii)

Oh my goodness, I have been dreaming of pizza and wine for months
and intend to crossfit like no other for the next window until we leave.
Do you have any insight to share - please do tell!

Monday, October 8, 2012


My most exciting news that has been keeping me super beyond preoccupied, is that I have been the biggest nerd and reading all my library books for our upcoming trip to Europe!!  

18 days, 5 countries to add to my visited list.
Yay, YAY, it can't be here soon enough, I'm ready!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Roll it!

THE look, I want next!
I love it and am on the hunt for a fab and inexpensive pair of casual jeans like these ...

Have you found a pair you LOVE??

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fragrance Lake Hike

Before the Seattle summer disappears right out from underneath me, Gabe and I made it a point to get a few more hikes under our belt as we all know that in a few more weeks ... Seattle will get a littler "damper!"  

I had seen pictures from Fragrance Lake
which is north of Seattle at the Larrabee State Park
and loaded my family in our Outback and we were off to explore!

This is a perfect way for me to spend a weekend:  getting exercise, hanging with my loved ones, taking pictures, and getting lots of fresh air.  One of my most favorite things about Seattle is the abundance of God's beauty right in my backyard!

Then, on the drive home we indulged in a Blooming Onion at Outback :)
Consumed all the calories back that I burned, lol.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Immediate Fam

What better time to get family photos then at a wedding right?!
My family will soon be spread out ALL over the nation, so it's time like these that make you soak up every moment together.  

My brother just got his MBA and graduated from Cox School of Business at SMU (where I got my undergrad), and this new degree has given him an amazing opportunity to take his family to Atlanta.  With my parents in Dallas, us in Seattle, and now Jordan and Arrie moving to Atlanta ... we will be very spread out.

I cannot wait for their adventure ahead, and thank goodness for FaceTime so I can continue to see them and my precious niece and nephew.

I think there are a lot of positives with establishing yourself in a new city and figuring out things as one.  I still love that Gabe and I did that in Seattle!  So, I'm especially excited for their adventure to do the same, except I know it will be harder for them leaving both sets of parents.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Garen's Bridal Luncheon

My family pulled out of my parents driveway in Dallas at 4am, which my sleepy self was not accustomed to as my body clock recognized it as 2am Seattle time ... But, it was well worth the early trip to Midland, TX just in time for Garen's bridal luncheon and kick-off the wedding festivities.

Hubs was a happy camper 
to sneak in Chick-Fil-A breakfast along the way.

There were 20 or so gals/women and I there was a huge surprise for us to see Garen wearing Granny Gayle's wedding gown.  She wore it 60 years ago, and my Great Grandmother Vera sewed it for my grandmother using material Paw Paw brought back from Japan after the war.  We were all in tears hearing the sentimental story behind the dress, so special!!

My momma put together this "frame" on posted it on Facebook.  
I'm very impressed and now I need to figure out how to make one!

My dear sweet eldest cousin is super ready for her wedding day ...

Now that's a GLOW if I've ever seen one!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where we met

I was looking for the picture in front of this stone of the day we met 7 years ago, but it's on my other computer.  So, for now, I will just share the current one from our most recent visit.

Gabe and I just got back in town from my cousins wedding, and a highlight of the trip was flying to Dallas and then driving out to good ole' West Texas to Abilene Christian where Gabe and I met.  The campus has improved dramatically since we were there with a huge new Wellness Center, and I think it will be a big draw for future students.

ACU is an extremely special place for my extended family as all the grandkids went here except for Garen's husband, who we just celebrated their wedding this past weekend in Midland, TX.  

I guess we will claim him anyways, hehe!!
CONGRATS Garen and Barrett.  More wedding pics to come.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Club Sammamish

Our friends are absolutely geniuses and have been brainstorming since earlier this year the best way to get a mass number of people on the water to soak up the Seattle sun all in one place.  

After multiple trips and planning, the project starts.

Rob was the mastermind behind it all, and with the help of some friends they made things happen and built "Club Sammamish" from scratch.

AND, the end product equates to 40+ people all in one place for a dance party and grillin' food.  Since it's technically a "flotation device" like a raft, it was prepped for a police visit and had all the necessary items like lifejackets, fire extinguisher, whistle, etc.  - HA!

Pulling "her" home ...

Thank goodness for creative minds making summer memorable!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bacon basket

I am a lover of crispy, crispy, crispy bacon!
And that is exactly how I order it at a restaurant.
If it's soft/flimsy/fatty bacon .... Gabe's name is all over it.

A friend posted this bacon basket, and I am tempted to try it to see if I can get the consistency I like, and how fun would it be to serve a salad in this at a dinner party?!  I think it would be a hit, and a high protein addition.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Drinks4Drinks '12

Drinks4Drinks at Eastlake Community Church was ABSOLUTELY incredible!

As a community, we raised over 700k for nations overseas to develop wells for them to make clean water.  to I was in awe of the acquaintances I stumbled into at the event that I didn't know went to Eastlake, let alone were Christians.  Just love finding other people who love Jesus and surrounding yourself in a place like this that believe it the better good to help others.

Herding Cats - a Kirkland favorite cover band

Besties - Kendra, Channah, Jenay, Stephanie, and Jessie

Hunted Jess down in the crowd of thousands!

the besties other halves :)

Check out this video summarizing all the greatness,
I make a quick guest appearance in it!!

"Greater things are yet to come .... 
Greater things are still to be done, in this city!!" 
FAV lyrics of Chris Tomlin's song God of This City.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A year ago I posted here about a young 9 year old girl from my church who tragically died in a car crash.  She had a wish to raise money through CharityWater, which flourished into millions getting clean water in honor of her donations overseas.

Check out this quick 4 minute and 56 second clip to watch her family visit the wells in Ethiopia.  It brings tears to my eyes as what a difference one person can make, and the joy the family gets to see it all in person.


My church, Eastlake Community Church, is hosting their annual Drinks for Drinks concert to raise money for wells in Cambodia.  It was amazing two years ago, and I can't wait to meet all our friends there Friday!

You can purchase tickets here, will I see any Seattle bloggers there?  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Have you missed me?

Wow, I had no intent to take over a month break from my blog, but let's just say that life has gotten in the way and that's a great thing.  I have been a busy gal and will get back in the swing of things starting today and will try to catch you all up on the exciting things that have been going on.  My grandparents visiting Seattle, us traveling to Dallas, a getaway to Leavenworth, birthday and boating shenanigans, salmon week, and a big trip we just booked!!!!!

Right now, I am just glued to the TV watching the Olympics with hubs.  Did ya'll see Ryan Lochte's American Flag diamond grill?  I only thought wrappers in music videos wear those, hah ... guess Gold medal swimmers do too!

USA women's gymnastics starts in 15 minutes, 
my absolute favorite!

Hopefully I didn't lose all my girls by going MIA!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fremont Solstice Parade

Gabe and I participated in the 24th Annual Solstice Parade in Seattle.  It took place in Fremont, and we got recruited through a girlfriend who dressed up last year.  The Solstice Parade traditionally is known for (or at least what I thought it was) naked locals decked out in body paint riding bicycles all hanging out .... 

There is a first for everything, and I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that we put ourselves out there this year to walk in the parade and let our fun side shine.  Now, don't be scared by our frightening looks, it's out there.  That is black paint friends and a whole lot of it as we painted ourselves from head to toe!!

 The theme of our group was Dothraki from Games of Thrones.  I don't watch this show, but Google helped me learn we are like savages :)

It was an absolute blast and I will for sure be ready 
to rock another fun and wayyyy out there costume in 2013!!!

Did any Seattle bloggers attend the parade this year?

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