Tuesday, December 31, 2013

on goals for the new year...

(My father and I our first Christmas in Seattle circa 1989)

Happy New Years Eve! I'm excited for tonight because the fella and I are heading over to bring in the new year with some people we have not yet been able to spend time with since our move. I really can't wait to catch up, stay up and have fun. Around this time it's always good to reflect on the year that's behind us. Think about all the good things, all the things we can work on and all the things to look forward to ahead. I'm a huge goal maker. I love making goals for the New Year. I always tend to set way too many and sometimes they seem like they aren't very feasible but it doesn't really bother me. To me it's about looking forward to something and to work at it. I like challenging myself, it's what makes me keep going.

This past year as been huge for my family and I. We accomplished something that wasn't just a simple task but something that was huge and difficult and exciting. We moved to the West Coast. We are basically starting over, for most people that would be scary but for us it's thrilling! The second accomplishment was a personal one that's silently been a goal for many years now and just this past year I completed it. I worked very hard and lost twenty-five unwanted pounds! I'm back to a weight that I most feel comfortable in and it's been such a rewarding feel to have made it happen! Here are all of small & some big goals for 2014…

Read 30 books. It's going to be a busy year but I really wanted to set a reading goal so that I can stay motivated! I love reading but it's hard to balance everything and still make time to read a few books a month. My hardest problem is taking on books that have a million pages that take me a million years to read because I tend to pick them up at the worst times possible. Oh! And even though I have a fantastic Kindle I hope to purchase more "real" books and also blog more about what I've read!

Build things (with my dad!) I'll be taking advantage of living with my dad! He has so many tools and gadgets and of course he knows how to do everything. I've had so many projects in mind for our future home! I'm not kidding when I tell you I have a folder right on the desktop of my Mac that has at least a dozen DIY projects that I've been dreaming about building! Now that my dad's literally right here he can teach me and guide me with building. I'm super excited about it. Here's a project I'd like to build and you'll understand why!

Learn a song on my banjo. I was gifted a banjo for my birthday and since then I've been practicing chords and conditioning my fingers to move around but haven't really learned a song. So that my friends is something I need to accomplish.

52 weeks of photography. I was inspired by James from Bleubird Vintage Blog with her beautiful 52 project of her children. I would love to take a photo of each of us once a week for a year and then combine all the photos into a coffee table book. This way I can work on my photography and put together something special to remember our first year in Washington!

Get my motorcycle license! I learned how to ride a motorcycle in high school and even had a dirt bike up until I moved to Philadelphia. My father recently just purchased a BMW motorcycle and kept his '83 Yamaha Virago 500 to pass down to me! I want to get my license and cruise around with my bike. I would eventually love to take a trip just me and dad on our motorcycles to Yellowstone National Park.

Camping. I grew up camping every summer and I want to start to make camping a part of something we do every year. I love roughing it out in the woods, cooking everything over a campfire and shore fishing with worms on the hook. I want to teach Sebastian how to appreciate the outdoors and learn that there's more out there that meets the eye. So many adventure to be had!

Rough draft of my novel. For those of you who already know I've been in the process of writing a fantasy novel. I really would love to slowly but surely work on finishing a rough draft by the end of this year. It's been my dream to write a book! Even though I'm not out to become rich and famous it's more something I want to check off my bucket list. Wish me luck!

Toni and Guy annual photographic awards. I finally get to start cosmetology school February 4th! Woohoo! Toni and Guy holds a nation wide photographic competition that allows you to face off on a more artistic level with students all around the USA, something I am dying to be a part of! Can't wait to start my hair styling career.

Well, those are my goals. Here's to the New Year!!


Sunday, December 29, 2013

on some favorites in 2013...

The year is coming to an end. I always like looking back at all that I've posted within this year and reflect on my favorite things. Here is a round up some of my favorite posts, recipes and memories!

Favorite posts...
on some messy thoughts
on body modification
on a beautiful sunrise
on a girls date

Favorite recipes
on spinach artichoke melts
on cocoa crusted pork chops
on skillet chicken with honey dill chipotle glaze
on twice baked tex-mex sweet potatoes

Favorite desserts
on blueberry cornmeal cake
on ultimate french toast
on the best pumpkin bread

Favorite dressings
on Asian ginger dressing
on cilantro lime dressing 

My two favorite hairstyles in 2013! 

This year has been a very hard trying year. It was very emotional leaving Philadelphia but we are more than happy to be on our new journey here in Poulsbo Washington! Huge thanks to my wonderful husband for working so hard to make all of it possible. For being willing to leave his family behind and come to my home. For my Schuler family for helping us before we moved and opening their home to us. For my father for flying out to west coast and driving across the country with Bobby and also to all who gave encouragement and supported us. We made so many memories this past year that we will be cherishing dearly!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

on a marine science center...

Today we set out to visit the Poulsbo Aquarium Marine Science Center which is located right on the waterfront in downtown Poulsbo. It 's just a ten minute walk from our house! This aquarium is non-profit and only takes donations. As soon as we set foot into the small aquarium we were greeted by friendly volunteers who walk around telling you bits and pieces about all the marine life. Sebastian was loving the conversations with all them. The first room had a neat "please touch" tank where you were able to pick up starfish and other living things. Sebastian was the most excited for this and after we looked around we saved that for last. Here are some fun photos to show you of our time there…

We saw a sleepy octopus and so many different colored starfish, Sebastian even held the brightest of them all! We found Nemo and his dad being playful in one of the tanks and they were very photogenic as you can see. Nemo's dad looked right at me for one of them! As we walked around there was even a skeleton of a gray whale above! We had fun and I can't wait to go back.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

on the waterfront...

Hello from sunny Pouslbo Washington! Since we celebrated Christmas last night we spend the morning playing with all our gifts and then took a stroll to downtown Poulsbo where it was quiet as it will ever be. It was still nice to walk around the waterfront and snap some photos with my new Diana lens that my mom gifted me with. We saw a group of jelly fish just floating right next to the dock! It was so amazing to see them so close to us. 

Tonight we'll be popping some popcorn and cuddling on the couch to watch our new movie-- Despicable Me. Hope you all are having a very merry Christmas evening! 


on a very merry christmas & a goody gift...

Merry Christmas friends! I found this rad illustration online via here and I've fallen in love with it! Coolest Santa in all the land for sure. I hope everyones Christmas has been full of magic and lots of goodies. 

Speaking of goodies I received my goody goody gift all the way from Italy and I just had to share what my new friend Silvia gifted me with. She is such a sweet gal and won my heart with her box of gems!

COFFEE and the tiniest cutest wittle percolator that I just wanted to hug when I saw. It's the perfect gift for me and totally amazing. Silvia's adorable instructions with drawings captured my heart as well. Not to forget the coffee is local to her home town which is by far the coolest thing. Check out her blog for some wonderful photos of Europe and her home!

Thank you Silvia!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

on new traditions...

Tradition are such a fun part of this time of year. I love to think about all the different ways people celebrate the Holidays. It's so cool that our society (for the most part) accepts each others family traditions. For us, we ended up splitting the all American Christmas tradition with my own Hungarian family tradition to create something that is special and unique to us. I love it!

Growing up we celebrated Christmas on the twenty-fourth. For my family the Christmas tree was never put up until Christmas day since Jesus was the one that gifted us with a beautiful tree. It was always such an amazing feeling walking out from my room to our glorious tall bright tree in the living room with all our wrapped gifts underneath. I still remember those feelings!

Right now we still celebrate on the twenty-fourth but usually put our Christmas tree up along with everyone else. As a kid I always sort of envied all my friends that were able to help decorate and enjoy their tree all the way up until Christmas so I wanted to bring that into our tradition. I'm happy we did so because hanging ornaments with Sebastian is one of my favorite things!

I love to adapt and add new tradition every year. Big or small they just make this time of year even more cheery when you have neat things to look forward to. This year I decided to try baking homemade cinnamon rolls. I've always told myself that I want to make homemade cinnamon rolls more often but I never do so I made it my mission to bake fresh buns on Christmas morning and establish a new tradition to carry on every year!

These cinnamon rolls aren't just any cinnamon rolls, they are Cappie's Cinnamon Rolls from Sandra Claus…A South Pole Santa Adventure! Cappie herself made these gems for Sandra and all her friend (including elves!). They are the most gooey cinnamon rolls you'll ever eat and the cream cheese glaze is to die for.

Best part is the author of The Search for South Pole Santa series is gifting all of us with both books on Amazon TOMORROW! So, don't forget to skip on over to here & here and download both books to enjoy on Christmas Day. Thanks JingleBelle Jackson. If you would like to get your hands on this recipe well, buy book two the recipe is right inside at the end of the book!

What are some of our family traditions? Any new ones this year??


Monday, December 23, 2013

on bits + pieces of home...

1// a quirky chalkboard sign in the kitchen.

2// a grandfather wall clock that's been around since my childhood.

3// a little piece of Hungary.

4// flowers

5// my favorite piece of furniture that I hope to one day inherit!

6// sesame snaps

7// a beautiful forest green leather couch that you'll just melt into!


Friday, December 20, 2013

on that one person...

Have you ever had that one person in your life that's always been there? I do. We met freshman year of high school and ever since that day we had to partner up in History class because we were the only ones lift standing was when our time together started. I've always believed in fate and us meeting was just that. Even after the past seven years of us being apart hasn't really change us together one bit.

I feel like that's the true test. We met downtown today in the cold damp Seattle weather after the snow teased the early morning and it was like we just picked up where we left off. Time has changed us. I have a child. She doesn't. She has a career. I don't yet. But honestly, it's the perfect balance to our souls and that's why I know they are woven together. For all eternity.

Sometimes life isn't complete when you don't have your other half. That one person that makes you feel whole with simply being there next to you. Without any effort.

I don't know. I hope you have someone like that. I know I have a few in my life and those few are very close to me now which is what I think my entire being was pleading for. I feel like I'm floating up above the tall crisp evergreen trees full of happiness of knowing that the people that inspire me the most and love me for who I am are just across the bay. People I know I can trust with my deepest desires, who don't judge my thoughts or actions, who tell me what I need to work on and are honest with me, who only see the good things in life and are kind.

I've got a latter to the stars and I'm climbing it one step at a time.


on a Christmas adventure...

Tis the season! Christmas time is one of the best times of the year. Just last year my favorite lady came out with her first Christmas adventure book called The Search for South Pole Santa. Now again, we had the pleasure of enjoying the second installment. Sandra Claus by JingleBelle Jackson is a continuation of the many adventures of Sandra who is now the South Pole Santa. She is figuring out just what it means to be Santa along with finding out how it's a lot more work than it ever looked. There are many new relationships created in this book and best of all you get to know more about what the South Pole might end up looking like! 

I loved this read and loved how it kicked of the Holiday season for me and made feelings of Christmas bubble inside of me. I'm a huge believer in Christmas and all the magic it comes with and this is not only a fun book with whimsical plot twists but it also teaches us to be your own person, be kind to others and yourself and to always look on the bright side of things. 

With all that being said I truly wholeheartedly deem these wonderfully merry books to be great for all ages. Children will be thrilled by the magical world that JingleBelle Jackson creates as well as all the secrets and mysteries that follow. And heck, so will all of us adults!! I know, I was flipping pages like nobodies business. This second book is by far the best and it's thicker than the first, which was something I was without a doubt overjoyed about!! 

I've made it my mission to share these books everyone I meet. I think that every household should have them on their book case or under the Christmas tree as gifts this year! Julee Cunningham, who is the brilliant mind behind this unique story is one of my beloved friends. A women who constantly inspires me to follow my heart and do what I love. She is always living what she preaches and it's an amazing feel to know a soul such as hers. Please bring some Christmas magic into your home this Holiday season and purchase these books! She's a wonderful PNW author we all should be proud to have. 

Before I go, I wanted to let you all in on a little secret of mine. Grammarly is this neat new tool that I've been using around here. I use Grammarly's grammar check because it silently corrects my grammar and makes me feel better about myself! If you know what I'm saying. For all of you who have a blog or write you must check it out. It's so great!

Oh Oh Oh!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

on a december wish list...

Christmas is just next week! Can you believe it? We're mainly focusing on making sure that under the tree is pretty full with things for Sebastian from Santa this year and gifts for us will be light. Moving across the country back to my home was my gift this year! None the less, I always love constructing a wish list of sorts of things that I've been eyeing up since my birthday. I'm a big fan of quirky little gifts during the holiday much more than the big things. I told Bobby I would love to pick something out at one of the cute shops here in Poulsbo! 

What are you asking for Christmas? 


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

on a welcome to poulsbo, washington...

Welcome to Poulsbo, Washington! Sebastian and I arrived very late last Thursday night since our flight was delayed. Our flight was one of the top worst flights in all history. Sebastian and I had a very hard time dealing with the long flight but we got through it! Bobby and my dad pulled up in front of the house on Saturday night. I was jumping in glee seeing them step out of the truck. It took them about 42 hours to drive from Philadelphia to Poulsbo. They made AMAZING time and I am so thankful for them. The universe was on our side, it truly was!

Sebastian and I adventured around Poulsbo for a couple days before the men arrived home. Downtown Poulsbo is the cutest town ever. It's only about a ten minute walk from my parents house and we've been walking down there at least once a day all week! Along with the beautiful waterfront.

Bobby and I took advantage of some alone time and took a walk back to the town hand in hand yesterday. I was able to take my time and walk into all the fun shops along the way. There are a few that are my favorite that I plan on sharing in detail with yall. If you still need to get some Christmas shopping done Poulsbo is a wonderful place to pick up very neat & unique gifts!

So far, I visited two different coffee shops. The first one, from the outside look very trendy and totally my style but when I walked in I was very let down. Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse isn't much of a coffee house. I was even more let down when I actually tasted the coffee. A big bummer! After that I was determined to find my spot for some legit java. When one of my friends recommended Hot Shots Java I was excited to try it and this time I was not disappointed. Great drip coffees with a pleasant atmosphere and a fun latte selection (good for Bobby!).

Sluys Bakery has become our guilty pleasure. Holy Smokes! I am in so much trouble with this place being so close. Yesterday Bobby and I both picked out a treat to indulge in. Bobby picked a Viking Cup which was a ginormous cinnamon with a mountain of sweet cream cheese frosting and I chose an amazing Maple Bar! 

I'm so happy to be home and to call Poulsbo home. My dad's house has been very warm and inviting! We've settling in and are now starting to plan and figure out how to get back into an everyday routine. It's been nice to have a little staycation and I am with out a doubt going to enjoy it to the max.