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The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

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Baby Moon At Willows Inn

A couple weekends back Dave and I celebrated our baby moon at Willows Inn on Lummi Island and I never want to forget that place. It was extremely relaxing, the food was delicious, and it was a perfect way to get time alone together before we become three. Just a heads up that there a TON of photos coming your way, I’m going to keep the descriptions to a minimum (the photos really do speak for themselves).

DAY I

We arrived on Friday, checked in, and made our way to our room.

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The grounds were beautiful!

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We stayed in the “Cottage,” which is quite aptly named as it is essentially a stand alone cottage.

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In the lobby they had a bunch of snacks and beverages for guests to grab and munch on, so we made some plates and ate them while enjoying the view from our porch.

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After our refuel we headed down to the beach that’s in front of the Inn and walked a bit. We were so lucky with the weather it was sunny the whole weekend!

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That night we grabbed a bite at the Beach Store Cafe (really good food – we determined that you would have to be if you were one of three restaurants on an island that included Willows Inn) and brought it back to our cottage.

DAY II

We started off Saturday with a beautiful hike. The first part of the hike included almost ALL the elevation gain, which was a little difficult, but the views along the way were worth every difficult breath. Pregnancy is so weird, you can complete an hour long spin class and not feel breathless, but try walking up a hill or stairs and man.

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Once we got to the top we saw a Bald Eagle fly by, it was awesome.

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Back at the room it was time to get ready for dinner.

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The eating area is beautiful!

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We started off with a cocktail for Dave and a mocktail for me ūüôā

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Then came the food…

Toasted kale leaves

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Savory doughnuts

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Golden char roe

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Raw scallops in raw goat milk (for dave – they were really amazing about pregnancy substitutions)

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Raw clams (for Dave)

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Grilled shitake (for me)

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Shoots steamed in angelica

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That was the last dish before heading to our tables so I wandered around and snagged some photos.

#pantrygoals

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View from the porch.

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The area where they grill/smoke.

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Back to the food…

Salt roasted beets with gin yogurt (for me)

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Raw mussels in nettles (for Dave)

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Lightly-cured rockfish in a broth of grilled bones

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Reefnet caught smoked sockeye

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This was definitely our favorite, and Dave was in his happy place.

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Grilled geoduck clam and cured pork.

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Charred wild nettles.

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Herb tostada (Dave’s had an umami puree and mine had a mustard greens puree – both amazing).

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Dungeness crab soaked in pinenut milk.

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Black cod and currant leaves.

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Bread from heirloom wheat and pan drippings.

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Caramelized sunflower roots and squid

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Everyone was in need of a little break so we all got up and walked around, took some photos and enjoyed the views.

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We were then given a palate cleanser made of toasted birch branches, it reminded me of the spa.

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Quince and candied rosemary.

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Woodruff and nettles

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Pears, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds.

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On the way out they gave us more of their house made bread to enjoy later.

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Everything about the meal was perfect and delicious. We are excited to go back during a different season.

DAY III

We had massages in the afternoon on Sunday so we pretty much spent the whole morning relaxing in our cottage. We may or may not have had an easter egg hunt.

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After our massage we went on another hike and then walked along pebble beach.

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DAY IV

On our last day there we enjoyed the pre fixe breakfast that they do at the Inn.

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It started with yogurt, apple, pear butter, and granola.

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Palate cleanser (ginger, apple, pear, celery)

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I’m sorry for the upcoming blurry picture, but it was the best part of the meal so I have to include it. I think I was just so excited to eat I rushed the picture hehe.

Buckwheat crepes, sautéed kale, radish with creme fresh, bacon, salmon, prosciutto, cheese, honey, soft boiled egg.

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Pine nut biscuit.

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And then it was time to head home. We enjoyed our stay so much, but we were ready to get back to our boys and home. Such an amazing weekend, I highly recommend you visit!

Be well.

I’m Trying Whole 30

I haven’t shared on the blog about the many digestive difficulties I’ve had throughout my life. ¬†This is mostly because I hate when people talk about their ‘food issues’/intolerances when it hasn’t been asked for. ¬†But, as this is such a big part of my life, and ultimately a major health issue I’m going through right now I thought I would divulge.

It all started when I was really little. When I was a baby my mom would feed me and directly following I would cry and cry and cry. ¬†I won’t go into too many details, but since then my life has been fraught with digestive upset leading to nights of severe pain and difficulty sleeping. ¬†At certain points in my life I could pinpoint the upset to dairy, but as time has gone on there is no clear connection. ¬†I’m still trying to get to the root of many of these problems, and one way was to test for allergies. ¬†I’m happy that there seems to be more money allocated to research in digestive sciences, but in all actuality it’s still not great. ¬†There are blood tests for allergies, but they often provide false positives. ¬†Doctors have what are called “food challenges” and those have been found to be fairly accurate when identifying allergies and intolerances. The challenges consist of ingesting¬†the food that your concerned there is an allergy or intolerance toward and if there is no reaction, gradually increase the amount, if there is no reaction you are declared allergy-free.

Now graduate school created in me some OCD and scientific tendencies that lead me to do certain things in my life with as much structure as possible. ¬†Because I see the flaws in the ‘food challenge’ described above, predominately the fact that you may have ingested other foods recently which could be causing the reaction, I have decided to embark on a more structured ‘food challenge.’ ¬†After much research, the Whole30 is the way I’ve decided to go.

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I purchased the book this weekend and it has been so interesting, I’ve had a hard time putting it down. ¬†In essence, for the next 30 days I will be eating whole foods consisting of¬†vegetables, fruits, fats and proteins. ¬†The idea (for me) is to rid my system of foods that I may be intolerant/allergic to, and the ten days following the program I will systematically re-introduce foods that are often associated with allergies/intolerances (e.g., legumes, dairy, gluten-free grains, grains containing gluten). ¬†In all honesty I’m hoping to determine that it’s food related, because the other options don’t seem great :/

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I’m in the process of ruling out any major ailments through medical procedures, but I know that if there is something medically wrong, then the Whole30 won’t hurt.

I’ve already done some food prep¬†from the Whole30 book, I made my own ketchup and mayo, as well as a frittata (recipe to come).

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I do feel a little nervous/excited. ¬†I’m nervous because I’m very much a moderator, and I love occasional treats….donuts ūüôā ¬†Whenever I withhold food I’m taken back to a bad time in my life when I had disordered eating. ¬†Because of this I’m going to proceed with caution and analyze only to a point that is enjoyable and rewarding. ¬†I am very excited as well because I feel the Whole30 staples are in line with many of the foods I already enjoy eating.

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My goal is to do weekly recaps on the blog, both to assess my progress (specifically how my stomach is feeling) and to maintain some accountability.  I also plan to share some of the recipes that I create during the program.  Hope you enjoy!

Be well.

 

10.12.14

It’s almost been a year since¬†my our wedding (I swear, EVERY time – don’t worry Dave laughs), so I thought I’d share some of our photos with you all. ¬†I actually remember when I was originally going to share them, right around the time we got the news about Dave’s dad. ¬†The blog took a backseat at that time, but it’s been a steady presence in my life for the last little bit so I’m happy to have the opportunity to share.

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The day, 10.12.14, was the most fun, amazing, whirl wind of excitement.  The team we assembled was fabulous, everyone came through and exceeded our expectations!

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I would say that our venue was pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.  Bride magazine agrees, they won best venue for 2015!


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Our bridal party was a blast!

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Not to mention the little ones

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The aisle

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And because we had the best crew ever, they danced for us

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Our guests were the best group of people, save for the few that couldn’t make it, I was soooo happy to see all the faces I did.

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The food, the dessert, the flowers, the decor, the music. ¬†I don’t want to forget any of it.

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And of course, the man..

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With the Italian comes the rather large family

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You know you make me wanna DANCE!!!!

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It was an amazing day, wonderful team, and the best family/friends a girl could ask for!!!!

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There are more photos at our wonderful photographer’s, Rick & Anna’s, blog post about the wedding.¬† They were so amazing to work with, I would highly recommend them!

One of my favorite aspects of our wedding was the slow motion video booth, it was a blast!

Click here to see the Best. Thing. Ever.

Here’s a list of who we worked with:

Thank you to everyone who made our day amazing, and thank you to everyone who came!!

Be well!

10 Inexpensive Date Ideas

Outside of really good coffee, I very much¬†dislike spending money. ¬†Wait, let’s clear things up, I love buying things (e.g., clothes, gadgets, etc.); however, I don’t like that I have to use my money in order to do so ūüėõ ¬† One way that we’ve been trying to spend less is by going on dates that are inexpensive. ¬†Sometimes it’s fun to go on those splurge dates (e.g., fancy dinner, theater show), but at the end of the day I find that the most important thing about our dates is the company (it’s pretty much the best when you enjoy spending time¬†together). ¬†So I thought I’d share with you some cheap and fun date ideas.

1.) A night at home cooking – If you don’t want the cost of ingredients to add up¬†go to¬†Supercook and enter the ingredients you have in your fridge/cupboard and it will generate a recipe. ¬†It saves on cost and waste!

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2.) Mini golf РNot gonna lie, this took me back to when I was little and it was glorious!!! AND sooo much better than bowling!

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3.) Grab a coffee and sit by the water together – Pretty much coffee + anything = a fun date for me!

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4.) Go to a local farm, they usually have corn mazes – I guess this is specifically a fall time date, indulge in a caramel apple as well!!

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5.) Grab some inexpensive grub at a hole in the wall – This is one of my favorite Seattle Korean places, the bill has never been over $20

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6.) Go for a run together – Definitely one of my favorites, it’s nice to find someone that likes to torture/nurture their body just like you do ūüôā

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7.) Grab a donut together and go for a walk – Again, a donut + pretty much anything = a great date!

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8.) Play your favorite card game – Or board game, or video game, just play a game together!

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9.) Go for a hike – This is one of my favorites that I don’t do as much as I would like! ¬†There were a ton of great hikes up in the PNW and I hear the same about this area.

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10.) Look on the website of local senior centers for a BINGO night – It’s especially fun when you win ūüėČ

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**Bonus for dog owners**

11.) (Grab a coffee) and go to the dog park – This is the best weekend morning date!

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My friend told me about a really fun ‘date planning’ tactic that her and her partner use. ¬†One week she picks the date that she thinks her partner would like and the next week he picks one that he thinks she will like. ¬†I love that idea because it’s thoughtful and really gets you thinking about the other persons’ desires and interests. ¬†You could use this method when choosing which of the above dates to go on, let me know if you try one out and if you have a good time!

Be well.

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