{Gone pinning} New Orleans!

GonePinning

“Gone Pinning” is early this week, because my weekend also started early! Wahooo! It’s also a different format and less visual. Sorry about that.

Bright and early tomorrow morning I’m headed off (sans Brandon) to New Orleans to celebrate Jenny (from yesterday) and Nick’s wedding weekend. While we will have some scheduled events, there will also be some free time to explore the city. Many years ago I spent a week in New Orleans, and I’m really looking forward to visiting the City now that I’m of drinking age.

Ultimately it’ll be a group decision for the sites we see, but here is my wish list, based on a moderately-exhaustive internet search.

2014-1-16 NOLA 3First things first: Food

Some authentic Creole gumbo and shrimp and grits are on my ‘to eat’ list.

I’ve heard these restaurants are the ones to try:

Cochon  (Cajun Southern cooking)

Peche  (Seafood grill)

Verti Mart (carry out lunch)

Clover Grill for fun, greasy counter service

And for brunch: the Court of Two Sisters  

I’ve got several requests for beignet mix and ground coffee to bring back, so I’ll be making at least one stop at Cafe Du Monde.

2014-1-16 NOLA 1Coming in a close second: Drinks

We’ll likely cruise Bourbon Street and drink a daiquiri or two, but there are some other, less bead-frenzied places to imbibe:

Cane and Table (highly recommended for cocktails)

St. Lawrence (for the Pimms daiquiri)

Gene’s (for the banana split daiquiri)

Or maybe a dive bar? These were recommended: Chart RoomErin Rose, and Molly’s at the Market

And now for the sights:

We’re staying in the French Quarter and will be carless, so we’ll keep the sights on-foot, unless I find my way to a swamp tour.

French Market (And apparently the best bloody Mary from a small booth named ‘Organic Banana’)

Frenchmen street (The up and coming music area challenging Bourbon St., apparently we’ll find lots of music and all the same drunkeness but without the tacky daiquiri shops. My kind of place!)

2014-1-16 NOLA 2The Spotted Cat on Frenchman (It has “cat” in the name. That’s all that matters, right!?)

Or some fun bars for checking out and not necessarily spending the evening at: Carousel Bar (the bar rotates!) and Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar (the history!)

Maybe go on a ‘haunted history’ (ghost) tour?

Have you been to New Orleans? Do you have any must-see advice for us? Have a great long weekend and I’ll be back here before we know it!

{Gone Pinning} Thanksgiving appetizers

GonePinning

Holy crap. It’s November. And not just the beginning of November. We’re already 1/3 done with November! I cannot believe how fast this year has flown by.

Since it is mid-November, its time to be thinking about Thanksgiving. (I still can’t believe it…)

Brandon and I love to cook, but we don’t really get the opportunity to showcase our skillz at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Both of our parents are really good cooks and typically take care of most of the big dinner. Brandon and I each have siblings and we get to either bring appetizers or desserts to the big event. We haven’t been assigned a dish yet, but I thought I’d get a jump start on our options. Today, I’ll share some of the front runners for appetizers for the Thanksgiving holiday.

First, we’ll start with the baked brie recipes. I can’t get enough brie and baked brie is even more decadent. I do have a favorite recipe, but it’s a mish-mash of a few recipes and it’s not online. Come to think of it, I should probably make that dish soon, share the recipe with you and then pin it for everyone else to see and share.

Brie + jam on sticks: YUM!

Brie + jam on sticks: YUM!

Baked brie bites with pecans

Baked brie bites with pecans

Brie bites with cranberry  jam

Brie bites with cranberry jam

A cheese plate would be a great idea... I mean, how good does that look!?

A cheese plate would be a great idea… I mean, how good does that look!?

Garlic cheesy bread . Yes. Yes. Yes.

Garlic cheesy bread . Yes. Yes. Yes.

More cheese: marinated fresh mozzerella balls

More cheese: marinated fresh mozzerella balls

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Gruyere Bites

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Gruyere Bites

And for the cheese haters (like Brandon):

Shrimp lime cups

Shrimp lime cups

Now I’m hungry. I hope you’ve enjoyed the fruits of my pinning. Please share some of your favorite holiday appetizer recipes in the comments below!

{Wine Wednesday} Drinking for a cause!

WineWednesday

fisher_house_logoIt’s Wine Wednesday and I know you’re looking for a heads up on the next drinking hot spot.

I found one! I was recently invited to drink for a cause, the Friends of VA Puget Sound Fisher House, at Northwest Cellars, in Kirkland and now I invite you:

When? Saturday, November 2, noon – 3 p.m.

Where? Northwest Cellars Winery, 11909 124th Avenue NE, Kirkland, 98034

More information from the website:

Join us for a fundraiser for The Friends of VA Puget Sound Fisher House, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) raise funds to augment the operations of the House, provide for the needs of guests during their stay and support the Fisher House Foundation in building other Houses around the country.

NorthwestCellarsSince 2008 the VA Puget Sound Fisher has been providing a “home away from home” for Veteran and military families who have a loved one receiving inpatient care. Located on the campus of VA Puget Sound Healthcare system, the 20 guest suites allow guests to be near their loved ones while having a comfortable, peaceful place to find rest and support for themselves.  

More than a convenient and beautiful place to stay,  the guests of Fisher House share common experiences, form friendships and become a unique kind of family, a Fisher House family.

Your $10 admission [ $15 after Oct 31 ] is 100% donated, plus we will donate 40% of the sales of 2 private-labeled wines. Your Admission covers your wine tasting, usually 5 or 6 wines.

I hope you’ll consider attending this fundraiser and drinking for a cause!

Celebrating our second anniversary

Ready for our "cotton anniversary" photo

Ready for our “cotton anniversary” photo

A very happy second anniversary to my one and only: Brandon!

We’re celebrating with dinner tonight and a big, cold trip to Alaska to see the northern Lights in January.

We also like to give little traditionally-themed gifts for one another. For the paper (first) anniversary, I made Brandon a book of “coupons” and he gave me a scrap book that we’re putting photos of highlights of the year in. We also take photos each year, to celebrate. (And remember how young we once looked…HA!) Last year, I newspaper-mached the letters “O” “N” “E” and we took the photos at my sister’s wedding. We’ll take our anniversary photo tonight, with this cotton-ball covered “two.”

Until then, here are our photos from years passed.

2011 (More wedding photos on our photographer’s blog: Mike Fiechtner Photography.)

Seattle wedding photography on Alki

What a gorgeous couple, if I don’t say so myself… circa 2011

2012

We’re still trying to locate the official photo with the “ONE” in it, but for now, this Instagram-ed shot of our photo booth photo will have to do. Sorry it’s so grainy:

Celebrating our paper anniversary

Celebrating our paper anniversary

Celebrating our first anniversary a week early, at my sister's wedding

Celebrating our first anniversary a week early, at my sister’s wedding

And on our actual anniversary, a trip to Bainbridge

And on our actual anniversary, a trip to Bainbridge

Last year, we went back to the “scene of the crime” and enjoyed the all-you-can-eat award-winning brunch at Salty’s followed by a nap and exploring on Bainbridge Island.

Cheers to many, many more anniversaries!

{Gone Pinning} Summa – summa – SUMMATIME!

GonePinning

Happy SUMMER! Wahoo! Today is the first official day of summer and this blogger couldn’t be happier! (Although the weather today is less than desirable. My favorite weatherman, Rich Marriott claims it’ll be in the upper 70’s over the weekend…)

To kick off our ‘Gone Pinning’ series, here are some of the things we’re most excited for this summer. Check out all of my favorites for the season on my Sunshine-y Days Pinterest Board.

First, summers aren’t complete without some delicious eats:

7 layer dip shots

Oh yes, this would be delicious!

Peach caprese!?!?!

Peach caprese!?!?!

 

Fresh peaches + raspberries + sugar= AMAZING

Fresh peaches + raspberries + sugar= AMAZING

I heart figs. I heart pizza. This would be amazing!

I heart figs. I heart pizza. This would be amazing!

And something to drink with it…

Popsicles + champagne = GENIUS

Popsicles + champagne = GENIUS

Margarita? Yes, please.

Margarita? Yes, please.

I’ve always wanted to make this but don’t think we have the room, so you should make it instead!

Oh yeah! Wine on the rocks in a bench!

Oh yeah! Wine on the rocks in a bench!

And this is a bit of a mantra of mine…

'Tiz true.

‘Tiz true.

HAPPY SUMMER! How are you planning on celebrating the change in seasons?

{Wine Wednesday} Custom wine glasses

More wine crafts! (Two of my favorite things: crafting and wine!)

Wine Wednesday custom wine glasses

Wine Wednesday custom wine glasses

My sister got married last fall and as I was planning her wine tasting bachelorette party, I came across some great ideas for the party, including these custom wineglasses.

Besides being the easiest things ever to make, these have unlimited options for customization. I’m thinking it would be so fun to make some bright pink ones for another bachelorette party or some gilded ones for the holidays and New Year’s Eve. I also have some small juice glasses that I was going to use for tea lights at my wedding that I’d like to customize for parties — now just to choose which parties and colors!

 

These custom glasses can be created in just a few simple steps:

  1. Gather your supplies: the glasses you plan on painting, painters tape, primer spray paint, a can of your favorite color of spray paint (I used chalkboard this time).
  2. Wash the glasses thoroughly and tape off the area you’d like to spray paint. I used 1″ wide painters tape and taped 1/2″ or so above the base of the glass.
  3. Once all of the glasses are taped, use the primer spray paint to thoroughly coat the area you want to paint. Wait several hours, as dictated by the brand you’re using.
  4. Next, repeat step three with the spray paint color of your choice. Keep your spray even and about 6″ away from the glass. Let it dry for 24 hours or so on top of some wax paper in a box. I didn’t have to paint the bottom of the glasses, but it you do, that should be a fourth step with similar spraying and drying guidelines.

I’d recommend buying your glassware at Ross,  Marshall’s, TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. You can probably find them for $1 or less.

Try to customize your own glassware and report back on the colors you’ve chosen and the success of your work! I’ll do the same and check back soon! Happy Wine Wednesday!!

I’ve got Midas-itis

This is my navy owl. He needs a name.

This is my navy owl. He needs a name.

Hi. My name is Megan and I’m addicted to spray painting.

It’s a new-ish addiction of mine and I just can’t stop! I started with this owl I found on clearance at Target (the color doesn’t look that bad online, but in ‘real life,’ it wasn’t good). So, I made him navy! He’s been on the dining and living room tables and now he lives on the wine cabinet with three glassybabies. (Have I mentioned my glassybaby addiction yet? I have one of those too. Lucky for me they’re a Seattle company and have ‘second sales’ of their slightly imperfect models a couple times each year.)

From Pinterest. Our vote? FAIL.

From Pinterest. Our vote? FAIL.

I quickly jumped from navy spray paint to purple and tried out this pin from my new Pinterest lifestyle challenge.  We’re in the middle of the seemingly-never-ending process of painting our house, so I decided to paint this mat purple, similar to the color-to-be of our front door. We tried it for a few weeks and this pin goes in the FAIL category. After a few weeks of the purple door mat, the paint wore away and I repainted the mat with a hammered black spray paint. The black seems to be holding up and I like the metallic hammered sheen.

Purple turned black. Pinterest FAIL.

Purple turned black. Pinterest FAIL.

The new and improved hammered, metallic black welcome mat.

The new and improved hammered, metallic black welcome mat.

Since I’ve been spending so much time in the spray paint aisle at Home Depot, a new color/style of spray paint caught my eye: metallic gold. I had high hopes when I bought this spray paint and it hasn’t let me down! I have spray painted the following in the past week: a glass shell, a mason jar, two plastic dinosaurs and a glass vase and picture frame today for next weekend’s Oscar party. Like I said, I may have a problem. In search of the Oscar party supplies today, I even wrote “things to paint gold” on my list for the Goodwill. Brandon saw the list and called me out, don’t worry. Gold photos will be forthcoming! 

As I went out to spray paint the latest items this evening and as I was walking out, Brandon coined my ‘addiction’ as Midas-itis. So, do you have Midas-itis too? Are you into spray painting? I’d love to hear about it.

Young House Love in Seattle!

So much for that New Years resolution of blogging more often. Sorry about that.

YHLNow, on to the post. I’m sure every time you read this blog you’re thinking “Man, that Megan is so cool, I bet we’d be great friends if we knew each other in real life…” Right? Well, I feel that way with a few of the bloggers I read, especially John and Sherry Petersik at Young House Love.

The Petersik’s book tour (buy their book, it’s great) stopped near Seattle — in Tacoma, about 40 miles south of Megan’s Island — and it was worth the drive. My friend Kelsey and I got there two hours early and were in the second row for the presentation. We were SO EXCITED.

After a brief presentation, John and Sherry got to the book signing portion of the event. After an hour or so of waiting in line — and prepping what we were going to say to them — it was finally our turn! They were nice enough to pose with one of my Little Britches Bakery onesie cupcakes (NOT an endorsement, just a photo) and sign my YHL book.  We also chatted like BFFs and after accidentally leaving my phone on the signing table, they even yelled at me to come back and get it. (I’m sure they just wanted to chat more…) Believe it or not, they’re even more fun in real life than they seem on the blog. If I had a dinner party of all of my favorite people, they would for sure be on the invitation list.

My DIY Heroes: John & Sherry Petersik

My DIY Heroes: John & Sherry Petersik

I’m still in a bit of shock that I got to meet these DIY heroes of mine. Hopefully they will return to the Pacific Northwest and stop by to crash Megan’s Island!!

Do you love Young House Love? Do you wish you could meet John and Sherry in real life too!?

 

 

Next up? Living a Pinterest lifestyle

Pinterest

New year, new crazy lifestyle challenges at our house!

Pinterest is one of my most favorite hobbies (it counts as a hobby to surf the net, right?!) since I love cooking, crafting, decorating, partying, exercising and knowing everything about everything. One of my close friends calls Pinterest “the place where dreams are stored,” which is totally true!Pinning

So, this year, we’re going to live a Pinterest lifestyle and I’m going to write about it here! The whole idea is still taking shape, but so far I’m planning on several meals each week courtesy of Pinterest, new monthly workouts to try (there are so many!) and of course lots and lots of crafts and decorating ideas.

Stand by to watch our life be pinned!

Fingers crossed!

Fingers crossed!