From Sun Up to Sun Down

DSC_0838“From the rising of the sun
To the going down of the same
The name of the Lord is to be praised”

Yesterday was a fun filled day of hikes and water activities. I’ve been wanting to do a sunrise hike all summer long but we’ve been really busy. The last time we planned to go, the weather forecast didn’t look so great so we decided to save it for another time. Since Tiff leaves to go back to Houston on Thursday, we had to cram this hike in on Saturday and invited our parents to come along. I was quite impressed that they did and it ended up being some great family time! We left the house around 3:30 AM Saturday morning and arrived at the Rattlesnake Ledge trailhead around 4:30-4:45 to begin our upward ascent.

Rattlesnake Ledge is the perfect sunrise hike because it provides a wonderful view of the sunrise and isn’t too long or rigorous of a hike. As we set out in complete darkness using flashlight to guide our path, the sky began to lighten as the morning came about and we reached the top around 5:30. The sun itself didn’t make it’s glorious appearance until almost 6:10 but it was really nice to eat breakfast and just hang out up top. Turns out, it’s a really popular sunrise hike so we were joined by many other groups of hikers.

 

IMG_5711Once the sun was fully risen, we had to rush back down the mountain because Tiff and I had an outing with our church group and needed to make it back in time to catch the Kingston ferry with them. We spent the rest of the day in the Olympic National Park starting in Crescent Lake to eat lunch and hang out at the Lake. IMG_5736

Some people rented some kayaks and canoes to paddle out to the Lake while the rest of us spent our time swimming and skipping rocks. The weather was absolutely perfect for our activities and allowed us to dry off after we swam. We ended up spending almost four hours at the Lake.10525961_10152136619047504_8710145616228639955_n

From there, we drove to another portion of the park to do a quick hike before we had to head back to the ferry docks and grab burgers  from The Grub Hut (which isn’t’ bad actually:  The Grub Hut) along the way. On the ferry ride back, we also were able to see the sunset on the waters as we arrived back in Edmonds around 9 PM.IMG_5802

Even though it was such an active day, it was so great to be able to see both the sunrise and sunset while enjoying God’s beautiful creation all around with brothers and sisters. Summer sure has been a wonderful

Mel’s Birthday Dinner

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Our dear friend, Melissa, turned 24 last week. She’s always so busy planning for other’s birthdays that we wanted to do something special and thoughtful for her. Since Mel knew we were planning a small get together, she insisted we keep it casual and simple so we tried our best.  Mel loves potatoes and everything that is made of them so what better way to celebrate her than throwing her a potato party! Inviting 20 of her closest friends for her birthday dinner this past Sunday, each person was charged with making a potato dish to share. Most of our decorations were things we already owned, were easily handmade, or easily attained.

Janice made  a large card out of poster board for everyone to sign and also served as another sign. We rearranged some furniture in their house and created an open space for everyone to be able to hand out in. The banner Janice bought is also a chalkboard banner so it can be reused over and over again. We stopped by QFC and picked up some flowers because who doesn’t love flowers? And we borrowed the Mr. Potato Heads from a family with young children for our potato themed meal!

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All the food that was brought was absolutely delicious and I was quite impressed with potato dishes people came up with. The classics, of course, were there such as mashed potatoes, french fries, and potato salad. But there were also dishes like Shepherd’s Pie, Tater teens (super yummy btw), and a potato bake. What is a “tater teen” you might ask? Well,  it’s like an adolescent version of a tater tot and quite possibly even more delicious! And while the food theme was potatoes, we still needed some protein and greens so there was also some mouthwatering smoked pulled pork + coleslaw, a strawberry/mango/mandarin spinach/spring mix salad, as well as a pesto pasta salad (one of my favorite dishes of the evening). Janice and I used these chalkboard coasters she bought from Target as food signs, aren’t they adorable?  We didn’t think they were very practical as coasters since they felt like cardboard and would probably fall apart if they got wet but they worked perfectly for food labels.

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One of my favorite food presentations was the curly fries buckets. Janice has these cute metal pails, again from Target’s dollar section, which are really versatile in what they can be used for. As you can see in the earlier photo with the card and a banner, a pail was used to hold the pens needed to sign the card.  I ate at a restaurant last week where they used a fancy metal cylindrical container to hold their fries which inspired me to do the same with these curly fries! Lining the pails with parchment paper, we loaded them up with curly fries. This is a super easy way and cost effective way to present your food so next time you’re scrambling to find plates or bowls, think of any other container you can use as well! Just line it with some parchment paper and ta-da!DSCF0592

See some more close ups of the food below:

 

Janice did most of the work on the cake and even though she kept calling it a disaster, we all thought it turned out lovely especially since she hasn’t made a cake in years and feels out of practice. The cake itself is a simple vanilla cake with a chocolate pudding + krackle chocolate filling iced with simple buttercream. It was pretty warm on Sunday so we kept running into challenges of the buttercream melting or being too runny but I think the cake turned out pretty nicely!

DSC_0377wI’d say the party was success and was a low-key as we could have made it. Everyone was comfortable and relaxed, especially Melissa. We spent the rest of the evening after dinner playing group games and just enjoying spending time with each other. I realized we forgot to get a group picture with everyone but here’s one of just the girls!

DSCF0630eAnd last but definitely not least, some OOTD for you all! It seemed like the theme for the party was also maxi dresses! Mel and Jess actually unintentionally matched perfectly in their black maxis and salmon-colored cardigans. Mel’s dress from Nordstrom and Jess’ from Loft.  Janice wore a pretty printed maxi which I really wish I had gotten a good photo of  and I wore a blue and white knit striped maxi from Gap. Maxi dresses are something I could wear forever, they’re just so comfy and versatile. I didn’t have a chance to take a lot of photos but here are just two:

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(Thanks Sean for many of the photos in this post!)

 

Summer 2014 Bucket List

 

Summer2014Bucketlist

In no particular order….

1. Go hiking. A lot.
It’s been too long since I’ve had time to go out and enjoy all that the PNW has to offer. There’s a list of hikes I want to hit this summer.

2. Hike a short backpacking trip.
I’ve wanted to do this for so long but I’ve finally met some people would be willing to go with me!

3. Make  a meal from the farmer’s market.
Show up at one of the  many local farmer’s markets and start piecing together a meal.

4. Maybe, maybeee go on an outdoor climb
Like the backpacking trip, I met people who take people out to climb pretty often so I’m hoping to get chance.

6. Find my abs again.
It’s been too long, time to find my friends again…

7. Go on a road trip.
I’m going down towards San Francisco this summer with family and friends so we’re hoping to drive down and make it a road trip.

8. Find a summer anthem.
Something to make my theme song for the summer of 2014.

10. Paint a new picture with  my oils.
I’ve really missed painting so I want to pull out my oils and create something.

11. Go on a sunrise hike.
Separate from the backpacking trip  and the other general hikes, it’s about time to hike through the dark to see the sunrise.

12. Craft a ton.
Being home and having no school means plenty of time for DIY! 

13. Bake new recipes.
It’s so much easier baking at home with the Kitchen-aid mixer and my mother’s plethora of baking supplies.

14. Have an outdoor movie night.
Because, why not?

15. And of course, blog blog blog!

Liebster Award

Liebster

SouthernBeets tagged me for the Liebster award which is something I didn’t really know about but it’s a way for bloggers to network a little bit and learn more about each other. Thanks SouthernBeets!

Here are my responses to her questions:

1.  What was your favorite book during childhood?
This is such a hard question for me to answer because I absolutely loved reading when I was growing up and I still do! Two of my favorite pictures books are “Marshmallow” and “The Velveteen Rabbit”. Most people are familiar with or at least have heard of “The Velveteen Rabbit” but not of “Marshmallow”. Marshmallow is a baby rabbit that moves into the home of Oliver, a tabby cat who is used to being the center of attention. In a simply illustrated book, this is the story of how they become friends despite Oliver’s initial resistance to Marshmallow. Both of these stories are truly classics that I still visit and read often.

2.  If you could travel to anywhere that you’ve never been to before, where would you go and why?
Man, these are all such hard questions. I’m a really indecisive person because I want or like too many things. If I had to pick just one place travel off my extremely long list of future destinations, I would probably go with Tanzania. The wildlife, the nature, and the culture fascinate me and I would love the chance to go visit. I also love hiking and think Mt. Kilimanjaro would be so awesome to summit.

3.  What foods do you hate?
 Ha! This is a short list since I’m not a picky eater and love all sorts of food. But on the list of foods I hate are refried beans, bitter melon, and strong tastes of ginger! One time,( I have no idea what I was thinking) I ordered a ginger apple cider from a cafe. The minute I ordered it, I knew I was going to hate it but I was too embarrassed to cancel and change my order. After I got my drink and took one sip, I couldn’t even bring it to my mouth again because it was so gross to me. I ended up shamefully bringing it back and asking for a normal cider and the baristas were so friendly and graciously made me another drink.

4.  If you could have any job other than the one you have now, what would it be?
Well currently, I’m a student but I’m studying to be an elementary educator. But beside from wanting to teach, I’ve always wanted to be a wedding planner!

5.  You have 2 weeks to travel across the United States.  Your choices for transportation are train, motorcycle, bus, or camper van.  Which do you choose and why?
I think I’d honestly want travel by motorcycle. I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle but I’ve always wanted to get a motorcycle license. I think it’d be a really cool and fun experience to travel across the States without bringing much with me. It’d be a really carefree and free-spirited kind of trip.

6.  What was your greatest adventure?
My greatest adventure would probably have been driving around with friends in the middle of the night with no idea where we were headed. It doesn’t sound that exciting but it was just nice to go and be spontaneous.

7.  If you could line dance with any celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be?
Luke Bryan, hands down, no question.

8.  You have to watch a movie on replay for 24 hours straight.  What movie do you choose?
Gone with the Wind or Pride and Prejudice, I’d be okay with either.

9.  What’s your favorite dish to cook/bake?
I love making cupcakes of any kind because they’re so much fun to decorate!

10. What’s your favorite pair of shoes that you own?  
My  Steve Madden Realove Nude Strap Heeled Sandals that I found at Crossroads. They’re perfect.

11.  You can take a class on any subject (don’t worry, you’ll get an A!).  What do you want to learn about, and why?
I think I’d want to take a modern or contemporary dance class. I’m not the most coordinated person and would love to learn to dance!

Now it’s  my turn to nominate five other bloggers! I’m tagging you to answer the 11 questions I came up with! Have fun sharing! 🙂

Wolf Eyebrows, Moving in Time, Apartment Wife, Story of the Kitchn, Wander&Lust

1.What is your favorite jelly bean flavor?
2. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
3. Are you a collector of anything?
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
5. If you HAD to change your name, what would you change it to?
6. Do you have any hidden talents?
7. Did you have a favorite toy as a child? If so, what was it and why?
8. What is the longest car trip you have ever taken?
9. Do you prefer hot or cold beverages?
10. If you could learn any language you wanted, which one would you learn?
11. Do you prefer eating ice cream out of a cone or cup?