Tag Archives: Seattle

Baby Girl’s Tea Party Shower

The darling shower invitation poem was written by Cindy's daughter, Kelsey

The darling shower invitation poem was written by Cindy’s daughter, Kelsey

A couple weeks ago, my wonderful boss Cindy and my friend Linda threw us and Baby Girl an incredible Mad Hatter/ Alice in Wonderland-themed baby shower in Seattle. When we revealed to our friends last summer that we were expecting, the first words out of Linda’s mouth were, “I want to throw you a Mad Hatter baby shower!” Cindy offered to help host and the event came together pretty quickly after that.

I’m used to being on the other side of planning, and was so touched to see how hard they worked on pulling all the personal details of the shower together to make it special for us. Cindy has the perfect house for entertaining and everything from the games, mimosa bar, bib station, and food and drinks (and the signage!) was so thoughtfully laid out. Linda even made hats for all the girls! My parents came up for the weekend and we celebrated BGW’s upcoming arrival with our Seattle friends and the people who have become our family here over the past few years.

Baby showers are usually a pretty female event, but I really wanted the shower to be co-ed so Nick’s fellow residents could come. We all got such a kick out of seeing our guy friends decorating bibs at the bib station and it was fun to see them get into the games, like measuring the girth of my belly and Nick’s as we hugged, or guessing the number of jelly beans in the baby bottle. (Guess who guessed the belly girth accurately? That’s right, the boys.)

We asked that instead of signing cards, if guests could come with their favorite children’s book with a note written inside. It was so meaningful for us to read these personal messages afterward, and I know we’ll be thinking of the individual whenever we read a particular book to our daughter in the future. We are lucky to be blessed with such thoughtful and generous friends and family.

Here are a few photos from the day. Thank you to my talented friend, Elyssa Freeman, for the photos!

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Bib station, beautiful cake- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Yummy bites, an amazing mimosa bar, and tea of course! Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Games- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Gifts- Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography

Photos by Elyssa Freeman Photography




View of the 12th Man in the downtown skyline from our West Seattle neighborhood. Photo by Richard Walker/Vecta Photo

View of the 12th Man in the downtown skyline from our West Seattle neighborhood. Photo by Richard Walker/Vecta Photo

It is so fun to live in Seattle right now. The city has gone nuts! I can only imagine what the parade will be like this Wednesday when the city officially celebrates its first Superbowl championship with the team.

For this whole year leading up to the Superbowl, everyone seemed to sense that this was going to be Seattle’s year and last night it all came true. Nick reminded me yesterday that the Chicago Bears played in the Superbowl when we lived there (although I don’t remember this) but I don’t think we’ll be forgetting our Superbowl experience here. The 12th Man presence here is pretty memorable.

Last night after the game, we could hear yelling, cheering, and fireworks up and down our neighborhood. People poured out of the bars and restaurants and were celebrating in the streets. There were bonfires. Cars honking. Flag-waving and people climbing things like trees, road signs, and buildings. (Good thing Nick wasn’t on call) Seattle doesn’t get excited about a lot, so it was fun to see. And as USC Trojans, it brought back wonderful memories for us to see another winning team coached by Pete Carroll!

Christmas Traditions pt. 2

Christmas Tree Card Wall: I love seeing these warm reminders of our loved ones

Christmas Tree Card Wall: I love seeing these warm reminders of our loved ones

I love that Missy did a post on Christmas traditions! With a little one on the way, our next Christmas will undoubtedly be very different experienced through a child’s eyes.

I’ve been thinking about fun holiday traditions we would incorporate into our family and to be honest, love the current ones Nick and I try to celebrate every year. It would be nice to keep them going. A few are Seattle-based, but I hope we’ll find something comparable wherever we end up!

Every Christmas has been different (sometimes we’re here if Nick’s working, or we’re in California or Omaha) but we try to do the following every year during the holiday season:

1) Drive around to see the Christmas lights in our West Seattle neighborhood. The trip always culminates at the Menashe Family Display, where they seem to outdo themselves every year. The family owns a local jewelry business and their house was featured on the TLC channel a couple years ago as one of the Top Ten House Light Displays in the country. Last year, we also visited Candy Cane Lane in our old Ravenna neighborhood as well and it was so fun to see an entire street of quaint little houses lit up!

2) Instead of the Nutcracker, we always check out Seattle’s OTHER Holiday Tradition- the Seattle Men’s Chorus Annual Holiday Show! It’s one of our favorite things to do this time of year. Each festive show every year mixes a wonderful blend of holiday classics and tongue-in-cheek skits and versions of nostalgic favorites. Founded in 1979, they’re the largest community chorus in America and are also the largest gay men’s chorus in the world. We’ve seen everything from a Big Bang Theory-themed show to a drag queen singing Santa Baby carried in on a litter by hunky elves. One of our favorite things they do is their lovely version of Silent Night. They are so talented and we love supporting them.

3) If we’re home Christmas Eve, we make pizzas and open gifts. Stockings are opened Christmas morning with eggnog french toast.

4) Hold an annual holiday open house to visit with friends and hold a White Elephant Gift exchange. I would like to start encouraging visitors to bring an unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots as well to share in the spirit of the season.

5) And last but not least, every year, The Sheraton in downtown Seattle holds a Gingerbread Village contest benefiting a local charity. Each themed gingerbread display is a collaboration by a team from one of Seattle’s top architecture firms and the culinary staff at the hotel. Past displays were centered around Train Stations Around the World and Once Upon a Time (Castles). The theme for this year (the 21st Annual Event) was  “There’s a Rhyme and a Reason this Holiday Season” or Nursery Rhymes and each entry was spectacular. It’s so fun to go every year and see each innovative design, the incredible detail that goes into each display (Wheat-thin Roofs! Trident Gum Walls!), and to see how much people of all ages enjoy walking through the village. Here are some photos from this year’s visit! These are taken from my camera phone so please excuse the graininess!

This will likely be the last post before Christmas, but I hope you and your loved ones enjoy your own holiday traditions over the coming week! Merry Christmas! xoxo, Krystal

"Hey Diddle Diddle!"

“Hey Diddle Diddle!” the cow actually moves!

"Hey Diddle Diddle" detail- with the dish running away with the spoon!

“Hey Diddle Diddle” detail- with the dish running away with the spoon!

"I Saw A Ship A-Sailing"

“I Saw A Ship A-Sailing”- and the ship actually rocks back and forth

gingerbread 4

"There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe"

“There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe”

"Hickory Dickory Dock"

“Hickory Dickory Dock”

"London Bridge is Falling Down" section 1

“London Bridge is Falling Down” section 1

"London Bridge is Falling Down" section 2

“London Bridge is Falling Down” section 2

"Jack and the Bean Stalk"

“Jack and the Bean Stalk”

"Jack and the Bean Stalk"...and Seattle

“Jack and the Bean Stalk”…along with Seattle’s Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Seahawks Stadium


“And We Danced…and had a really really really good time”

Photo by Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times

Photo by Bettina Hansen/Seattle Times

Nick and I were so lucky to get tickets through How About We for the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert last night, one of three sold-out shows in Seattle this week. I was hoping to get tickets a few months ago but prices through resellers were so high. When I spied them on How About We, I was thrilled! They have so many great date ideas for couples and this was perfect timing. Adult time is going to be precious before the baby comes and so this was the perfect excuse for a date night. We had so much fun! I don’t even think Nick was expecting to enjoy a rap concert as much as he did.

To say that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are having a big year is a gross understatement. As of this post, they were recently nominated for seven Grammy Awards, their song Same Love promoting gay marriage and equality has garnered worldwide attention and their music videos on You Tube have wracked up millions of views (465 million for Thrift Shop alone!)

I first heard their music during Thanksgiving 2012. Their album, The Heist, had just been released the month before. We were lazing around after the big holiday dinner at our friend’s house when someone mentioned their song, Same Love. We all piled on the couch to watch the moving music video , where we got teary, it was so beautifully done, and then laughed in hysterics soon after while watching this one. It takes a true talent to be able to convey both the meaningful and ridiculous in such unique ways.

A few days after, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts where they blew the roof off the tiny room, and I was officially hooked by their social message,  infectious energy and beats. It is still one of my favorite performance of theirs. Soon after, several singles from The Heist took off and the rest is history.

Originally from Seattle,  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have a dedicated following of fans here that have been around long before they got famous. Both musicians love their city and feature it prominently in their videos. Last night, it seemed as if all of their local fans were out to support them. I couldn’t believe how diverse the audience was. Most of the fans were young but we saw children as little as 8 years old to people in their 60s and 70s. Everyone was having the best time.

photo 1

photo 5


photo 2

I’m no concert critic but we thought they were phenomenal live. And they still seemed very humble despite the incredible year they’ve had. At moments throughout the evening, you could tell they were taking it all in, coming back to their hometown flush with success after more than a decade of hard work. The crowd embraced them and my ears are still ringing this morning from the noise. Our baby girl was going crazy the whole night at her first hip-hop concert!

Their rendition of Same Love was as beautiful as I remember it on the radio, and everyone got to their feet with the always-rousing Can’t Hold Us (my favorite). To my delight, his encore was “And We Danced.” In those moments last night, we saw the best dance party happen at Key Arena.

photo 4


If you’re interested in reading more, here is a review of the concert from the Seattle Times today and a look back from 2011 that provides more of Macklemore’s (Ben Haggerty) backstory.

*This post was sponsored by HowAboutWe, a wonderful site I’d highly recommend if you’re looking for a creative and fun date idea! You can sign up for free and browse their dates in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle (and they’re expanding to new cities soon.) BONUS: Use this link to get $50 off your first date! Thank you so much, HowAboutWe!


Paint Nite

We hit the halfway point this week! I will not be inundating you with bump photos but since this is a big milestone and people have asked, here’s my bump at 20 weeks taken right before we left for the Sounders vs. LA Galaxy game. People think it’s small but you should see it after I eat a hot dog.

20 weeks

20 weeks

Ever since we received the news of this pregnancy, I’ve been making an effort to do things that will get me out of the house, since it sounds like free time will be pretty limited after the baby comes. In a previous post, I mentioned that I was an art history major in college. In class each day, we were taught how to analyze and examine art through composition and context and find meaning. But the weird and ironic thing is, despite my ability to view art with a critical eye, I can’t DO art. I am inspired by creative people for their ability to execute their vision and ideas and put themselves out there for the world to see, but confess that I find it very hard myself to be creative.  I have always been envious of the ones who can look and create something out of seemingly nothing.

My friend, Jen, mentioned a Paint Nite event she once attended with several girlfriends in San Francisco and how fun an evening it was. So when a Gilt City email popped up in my inbox a couple weeks ago with a local Paint Nite deal, it caught my eye. Paint Nite is hosted at bars around the country, and anyone can go, have a cocktail (or two, the more the better probably) and paint a piece under the guidance of a local artist. It’s meant to be a fun, informal environment where no one is analyzing or critiquing your work, and you are encouraged to be as creative or as by-the-book as you want to be. (Guess which kind of artist I am?)

photo 1

It was so fun! The event was held in the backroom at Von’s Spirits downtown at its new 1st Avenue location. There were tabletop easels and canvases set up around the room, with two paintbrushes and a paper plate filled with primary color paints  at each station to get us started. The teacher, Greg, showed us some basic techniques and guided the “class” through the step-by-step process on how to recreate his master painting- a landscape of a full moon over the Olympics.

photo 3

Painting in the sky, mountains, and water first

photo 2

To our surprise, it was easy enough, even though a couple of us had no painting experience. We started painting in the sky and the water, learning how to stipple and blend and dry brush to get the desired effects. When we began to fill in the foliage in the center of the painting, we were encouraged to improvise although my OCD ways didn’t allow me to go off the cuff too much from the teacher’s painting! There was a girl next to me who painted a more impressionistic view of the painting, using different paints, and her boyfriend painted a sandwich. To each his own.

Almost done...

Almost done…

Ta da!

Ta da! I know, don’t quite my day job right?


I highly recommend trying out a Paint Nite event in your area. It was neat to venture out of our comfort zones and try something different. Now that I am a tad more familiar with the process, I will hopefully be more comfortable coloring outside of the lines next time!