Monthly Archives: September 2013

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

Several people who follow my Instagram account have commented on the summer we’ve had. Not only was it our last summer in the Pacific Northwest, I was also hell-bent on taking advantage of Nick’s free time (and weekends) while he was on an easier schedule at the VA, knowing that starting October, he will be working long hours and days again for the next five months doing his trauma rotation. We were warned ahead of time that chief year would be rough during trauma but figured if we survived 2nd year of residency, we’ll get through this, knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Check back on us in a couple months though to see if we’re still retaining our sanity!

OH boy, it’s been awhile since this trip in early July but wow did we have fun. I had planned a secret getaway to Lake Chelan and told Nick to keep the weekend available on his calendar. The Lake Chelan valley is about a 3 hour drive away, and is known for its 300 days of sun. It is also the perfect weekend escape with lots of small-town charm, recreational activities, dining and shopping options, and wineries to keep year-round visitors occupied.


Morning coffee

Morning coffee

We reached our destination late Friday night so didn’t get to see the view until morning. I actually love doing this because it’s always a fun surprise when you open your curtains in the morning and see the view outside your window.  Luckily our room was right in front of the water! We spent Saturday in our swimsuits reading by the lake and swimming. When it got too hot, we went jet-skiing later in the afternoon, whizzing by beautiful lakefront homes and imagining the people who lived in them. In the evening, we strolled through the small downtown area window-shopping, and grabbing pizza and gelato before watching the sunset fireworks over the lake (this was the 4th of July weekend).

Ok, people come to Lake Chelan PREPARED- look at these floaties!

Ok, people come to Lake Chelan PREPARED- look at these floaties!

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Waiting for fireworks

Waiting for fireworks


On Sunday, after more lazing by the lake, we packed our things and visited this to-die-for hamburger stand with the most spectacular view of the water and surrounding mountains. After our gut-busting meal, we visited a beautiful hilltop winery where we fell in love with more views while sipping wine on the patio before heading home.

Now we know why the Seattle locals rave about Lake Chelan! I wish we could return more often!

Burgers and shakes by the lake

Burgers and shakes by the lake

Winery views

Winery views

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Headed home!

Headed home!

Recipe: Marcella Hazan’s Super Simple (and Delicious) Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan, the ultimate Italian cooking maven (sorry Giada) passed away on Sunday. I first came to know of her by her renowned tomato sauce recipe, handed down by a coworker. Skeptical at first, because it only contained four very basic ingredients (canned tomatoes, onion, butter, and salt), I tried it, and fell in love with its simplicity and depth of flavor. I am now convinced that butter does make everything better!



Here is the recipe from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Tomato Sauce
Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta


2 cups tomatoes, with their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half


1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.
3. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

Minnesota Fun!!

SAMSUNG In August Nola and I went to Minnesota to see my family.  It definitely is hard living so far away from my parents, but when we do get to see them, it’s guaranteed a good time.  Part of my family on my mom’s side haven’t met Nola yet so it was so great having them finally meet the little lady.  Our week consisted of all the great things you think of when you stay at a cabin, slowing down and taking the time to spend quality time with everyone, eating (of course), playing card games, fishing, it really was a nice change of place.  I was so happy there was no TV and the fact that we didn’t even miss it!

I think I may have mentioned before that Nola loves animals, A LOT.  Have I ever mentioned mama doesn’t mind animals, but do not share that love for them.  Lets just say, she will be hard pressed on convincing us to get a dog someday.

IMG_3464 ^^^when we needed a distraction we found the dog^^^

IMG_3493 ^^^nola’s first boat ride!!^^^

IMG_3533 ^^^”keep it cool nola, keep it cool, she won’t suspect anything”^^^

IMG_3543 ^^^Love this photo of Papa and Gamma!^^^

IMG_3506 ^^^nola finding a more fun way to play bean bag toss^^^

IMG_3479 ^^^cabin style wine tasting^^^

IMG_3494 ^^^nola and papa^^^


this photo pretty much sums up the week and how truly amazing it really was.  All the cousins loving on Nola, wanting to play with her the entire time and Nola hamming it up!  Plus all these kiddos are just the sweetest most amazing little people.  In a way it made me really sad how far away we are from everybody.  We are looking forward to the next time we see them all again!

Lake Tahoe

This past August CJ’s family came to visit and we spent some time in Lake Tahoe.  This was our first time at Lake Tahoe and we loved it!  It had a great mix of outdoorsy activities with the convenience of stores, restaurants and casinos (though we didn’t go, maybe next time).

Here’s some photos of the trip if you care to see…

DSC_0051 ^^^family photo on the beach^^^ 

DSC_0060 ^^^this face, come on^^^

IMG_1361 ^^^walking with grandpa with all attitude ready to conquer the world^^^

DSC_0034 ^^^fun beach time!!^^^


DSC_0105 ^^^i can almost hear this girl’s laughter looking at this photo^^^

DSC_0126 ^^^on one of our hikes, thankfully nola took a nap the entire time^^^

DSC_0119 ^^^we made it^^^

IMG_3429 ^^^the nice thing about nola waking up so early was this beautiful morning walk^^^

IMG_1380 ^^^going out to eat one evening we past all these wood carvings, she couldn’t get enough of this bear^^^

We lucked out with amazing weather, and of course being with family made it all that more special!  Thanks to CJ’s parents for such a great time!!  Looking at all of these photos gets me excited about going back, I think going during the winter season would be quite magical.

Part-Time Mommy?

We made the big move to the San Francisco area while I was 7 months pregnant.  So we decided at the time, since it would be pretty hard to find a job being that far along, I would stay home with the baby.  Plus honestly, moving to a new place and not knowing anyone or the area, the idea of sending my baby to an unknown daycare was beyond frightening.  Though we continually need to be smart financially for me not working (and lets face it also living in this area) I am beyond thankful and blessed to have had this time with my girl.

Though I couldn’t imagine working during the first year, I am starting to have that itch to get back into things.  Plus I think a little time away from my child will give me that time needed to miss her.  Too often I feel that my time is much more quantity vs. quality and I hate that!!  I mean being a stay at home mom and not engaging in my child or having fun with her is something I don’t want to ever happen.

I think ideally I’d love to find a very part-time gig, but so far I haven’t found anything.  Full-time work in architecture seems like a pretty hard place to be in since it is a career that requires a lot of after hour commitments, and in the past it was hard to turn off the project/client during after hours.  To go back into that and now having my family be the number 1 priority I would always feel like I was falling short on both ends.  But on the flip side how much time off is detrimental to my career?  Will I be desirable if I take a couple years off??  And you know, after these questions start going off in my head why not start asking myself, “what do I really want to do in life?!”  All thoughts that make me realize I’m getting older and just give me more anxiety.

What I constantly am telling myself, and fail over and over again, is to be content with where I am it.  The saying the grass is always greener on the other side, is hitting hard here.  I need to seize the moment because Nola becoming a toddler happened way too quickly.  I guess the great thing about life is we can always try to make the situation better and consistently reminding myself of what all I have to be thankful for (which is so so much).

I feel I can’t do a post without some photos!  So here are some wonderful moments I have had with Nola when it’s just us during the day…

IMG_3641  ^^^cuddling and kisses, my heart overflowing!!^^^

IMG_3646  ^^^reminding me to stop and smell the “flowers” or just pick them really^^^

IMG_3649 ^^^wearing mama’s purse, gosh I love this girl!!^^^

While on the subject of careers I came across this article this week that talks about careers and what our generation expects, pretty much nails it on the head.  If you have the time, it’s worth checking out!