Here’s to G-Dot

My Grandma Dorothy passed away yesterday and my heart is heavy. 

G-Dot was very old at 94 years of age and was indeed, her time to go.

I went home over the weekend and got to say goodbye and she was so small. I held her hand. I cried.

My Aunt, mom and sister reminisced the ol’days at grandmas. The Pinwheel cookies, her TV that sat on the ground where we watched hours of Nickelodeon. Her toaster that made the perfect slice. The hundreds of dandelions I picked from her yard for a penny each and the trips to the dollar store to spend my money.The way she called Amelia Bedelia “A.B”. Christmases in her front room. Trips to Barb & Ed’s for dinner and ice cream at DK’s.

We love you G-Dot. We will miss you every day.

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Stars and Gripes Forever

Happy 4th of July! Happy July!

As I slowly settled into the work week after 4 glorious days off, I came to a few realizations. This humble little corner of the internet of mine has morphed from recipe repository to adventure log to an outpouring of the ramblings of a wanna be beauty guru. As much as I’d like to think I’ve attracted readers from all corners of the world, I know who is reading: my lovely family and friends. So in light of the fact that most of you open my blog, shake your head at my overuse of the word “cute”, smile at funny pictures and then promptly exit – this is for you.

Other than that long introduction I will be taking the advice of my college journalism professor, K.I.S.S (keep it simple, stupid).

Bry and I’s 4th of July 2013 in a word, was perfect. As mentioned, my family was able to wrangle up a few hot dogs, coolers and roughly 5 10 bottles of wine oh – and the sweetest little mountain cabin you can imagine.

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The night prior, Bry and I snagged what will be known forever as “the best $45 we ever spent”.

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This would be a two-man intertube, complete with headrests, cupholders, a mesh butt-guard and best of all – a cooler in the middle, holding a shocking 20 + beers.

On Wednesday night, we dined on burgers al fresco.

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The 4th of July began with a bang (see what I did there?)! Bacon + pancakes and much excitement for the day’s activities. We started off with a little golfing while Gare kept score.

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The soon-to-be Johnsons

Nan in putting position

Nan in putting position

We then headed into the ‘Worth for a lunch of bavarian delights. Nan and I split a knackwurst and were in hot-dog heaven. After we got home, ol’ Lungs of Steel inflated our “River Run 2”, while Megan, Ben and I struggled with the single tubes.

Pre-float

Pre-float

Icicle Creek was off the chizzle. Seriously a mini lake Havasu. Meg and I sipped our river drinks while Ben and Bry pounded Bud Light Limes and Coors Light. After our float, we came back to the cabin for games and dinner prep.  That night we had ribs (compliments of Ben), salad, potatoes and baked beans. After dinner, I PTFO took a quick cat nap while Megan drove the boys into the wilderness to light off a firework or two. Totally safe. I woke up and we had a fire complete with s’mores, camp songs from Nan and an absolutely horrific allergy attack.

Layered Rice Krispie Treats from Nan

Layered Rice Krispie Treats from Nan

mmm

mmm

Since the boys had their night of fun on the 4th, we decided to make them pay on the 5th with Danielson-style shopping. Different from typical shopping, we Danielsons like to go in EVERY store, be it a Christmas theme, art gallery or of course  – anything 2nd hand. The boys were good sports and trudged along, listening to our “oohs” and “ahs” and holding our purses when we needed them to. Check out the array of treasures.

Candle stores are the best stores.

Candle stores are the best stores.

Who wouldn't need a large jar in this scent?

Who wouldn’t need a large jar in this scent?

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And she talked!

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Obvi.

We went home for lunch and prepped for another rafting excursion. After floating lazily along the creek once more, we headed back into town for dinner at one of the oldest establishments in Leavenworth and it lookes like grandma’s house.

The night was concluded with a game of shangai rummy, which I manged to lose by staggering numbers and of course my pal Benadryl. We later determined that the cats creepily roaming around the house were probably the culprit for my dramatic allergic reactions.

The vodka Bry and I brought is on the left.

The vodka Bry and I brought is on the left.

Saturday was spent packing up the car and heading to the Tri so Bryan and I could check out a possible wedding venue for our 2014 nuptials. As soon as we arrived, Bryan and I decided it was time to exercize off the buckets of beer and s’mores by going up Badger Mountain. After our detox workout, we stopped at the store to replensish what we had sweated out – more beer. Because we are smart. Megan and Nan made a delicious BBQ chicken southwest salad concoction of sorts and we washed it down with margs ala Bryan.

On Sunday, Bry and I headed to Walla Walla – the location we have selected to host our wedding next year. We visited a venue that Bryan hadn’t seen before and it was love at first sight. We are signing the papes this week to secure the date…holy baby Jesus this is actually happening.

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Delicious Pastries at Olive

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My handsome fiance.

Coming up next – getting m’hair did and a camping trip in the Cascades. Time to deep condition and break out the Chacos.

In My Head

Cripes!

We’re already nearing the end of June? Blimey! Where has the time gone and why am I talking like the crocodile hunter?

So, Bry rented “Side Effects” the other night. At the start of the movie I was like oh, poor Roons. I understand the crazies and have luckily settled into the right cocktail of serotonin altering goodness, but oh man.  The movie turns into MUCH more than Mara-Interrupted and Jude Law is nice to look at.

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OH, my hair. My obsession with it is borderline crazy. Amanda Bynes crazy. Btw, what happened to Amanda? I feel like she went from Nickelodeon to Li-Lo in like 4 seconds. I have written multiple times about the state of my hair and because I know y’all are dying to know, it has shown little improvement. I use protein treatments, heavy conditioners and oils from Morocco and while they all contribute to a minuscule amount positive results only recognizable by me, overall I still look like a before picture. My esoteric motives for smearing clay all over my head are, in hindsight, quite puzzling.  I’ve got a 4 inch deep white-trash halo and Bryan has said, “I didn’t know you had brown hair!”.

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Not happy

It’s time to face the hair stylist. Who will inevitably run her fingers through my straw-like locks and announce a recommendation for a 3 inch trim. Her words will be like a wrecking ball, forcing it’s way through months of enduring greasy hair, snide comments and the painstaking trimming of individual split-ends while watching TV. I’ll bleakly surrender and cry silent tears as I return to my previous state of mediocrity.

On the homeless man front, I keep running into the same homeless man.  Not being especially used to the bum population of the greater Seattle area, I find myself behaving fairly awkwardly. I realize bum is not the most politically correct term, but it is after all, my blog :).

I first encountered said bum in line at the 7-11 by my office (I hope my Dad isn’t reading or he will insist I work in a “bad area of town”). The next day, we crossed the street together.  Two days later, he was buying the following items at Safeway: Cheetos,  fried chicken and a 1-liter bottle of Mountain Dew.  I must applaud him on his choices.  Each time I have encountered this man, I have not avoided eye contact. I mean, he is a human even if he does wreak of urine. I smile, but the look on my face probably reads a bit more truthful – ‘I am smiling because I feel bad for you but I don’t want to make you feel bad so I am gonna keep smiling’.  Other awkwardness appeared when I held the door for him at 7-11. He muttered, “Have a good day”, to which I replied “You’re welcome.” A normal response.

I had an idea of tucking a little bottle of nice hotel shampoo and soap into his tattered Jansport the next time I see him. Bryan said this was rude but I think once he got a whiff of the Rose 31 stuff I have, he would change his mind.

The hunt for apartment furniture continues and the realization that no matter where I go, assembly is required. Also, why is it that I can find something wrong with absolutely everything? The furniture section on Craigslist has become my online hangout, my jam. It’s like a yard sale anytime you want it. One must be quite persistent to sift through the loads of crap but hidden gems are there for the finding.  I ended up snagging a white Ikea TV cabinet for our apartment for all of ten bucks, due to my tenacious refreshing and ability to see past the crummy photo the owners posted, read: stuffed animals.

Since I am my father’s daughter, I cautiously brought along my pepper spray to pick it up since Bryan was away to Mt. Adams. I pictured the worst: a dark apartment on the basement level that smelled like a mixture of beef-vegetable soup and cigarettes with World of Warcraft posters and paraphernalia from Spartan Cutlery hanging on the walls.  Instead, I was warmly greeted by an adorable Israeli couple in their late 60’s. Immaculate home and nice as they could be. I love a good Craigslist success story.

On Saturday I attempted the seemingly impossible:

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A YOG

A few more accessories were purchased at Home Goods, Ross and Target.  Next on the list is finding a rug for the living room that will bring a pop of color into the room so it’s not so insane-asylumish. I also picked up a new concealer at Mac and I am hoping it lives up to it’s rep.

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DO WORK

Last Sunday we celebrated KC’s birthday with a Napa-style dinner at the Nash abode.

Jeep family:

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 Check out this attention to detail:

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Tablescape.

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Roses from the yard.

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Fancy cake-mix

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Inspiration!

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The Menu

This would be (from the actual Bottega restaurant in Napa): Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad whole Meyer lemon dressing, toasted Marcona almonds, sieved egg and Pecorino cheese. It was served alongside lamb chops with a cherry glaze and wild rice.

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The pièce de résistance

It is now Thursday and Bryan and I are still full.

May Grab Bag

Who doesn’t love a good grab bag?

A little of this, a little of that.  Grandma Dorothy sure does.

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We do.

So without further adieu, here’s what’s going on up in here (up in here).

  • Bryan is on total CFA lock-down.
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Harsh.

Source

We’re counting down to final day where hoards of crazy financial-minded peeps flock to test centers all over the world in hopes of being apart of the tiny percentage who pass this series of 3 incredibly difficult financial exams.  Bry takes the 2nd in the series at the beginning of this summer and after one more test and 4 years of qualifying experience, he will be a bonafide charter holder. His name will be printed in the Wall Street Journal.  I’ll probably call  Suze Orman, just to let her know.

  • Romantic Strolls

B and I love our strolls. We live in close proximity to a popular footpath and like to take advantage while on weekend study breaks.  For the most part, I really enjoy our strolls.  Sometimes there are annoying cyclists who think they’re a Tour de France contender and like to loudly proclaim, “On your left!” as they zoom past strollers and kids on bikes.  Kinda makes me want to stick my arm out to my left at the last second, close-lining the SOBs in the jugular.

  •  I am addicted to Weeds.

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There is something oddly addicting about Mary Louise Parker, maybe the way she barely moves her lips when she talks or how she totally pulls off the ultra-pale thing.  I also enjoy Andy’s character, then again, I do have a thing for comedic Jewish actors.  Whatever the reason, I can’t seem to get enough and have worked my way up to the 8th season on Netflix in a period of time I don’t care to share.

  • “Shopping” Online

The use of quotations here, indicates the lack of actual transactions taking place. One of my guilty pleasures is filling my cart up to the brim with crap I wantbutdon’tneed, then x-ing out suddenly and without warning.  I picture a large shopping cart tipping over onto tiny, baby internet elves.  Sah-weeee!

Thanks for checking in. I’m off to Spool 72 to put things in my cart.

An Epic Return

Hey Pop Tarts!

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Macaroons!

Are you sick of pictures from Paris yet? Well too bad!

My, how I’ve missed all twelve of you! I wish I could say that I was sunning myself for 2 months in the south of France, picking up the language and eating croissants while staying alarmingly svelte.  Alas, I have not.  In reality, it’s been a whole lotta Ling Lings from Costco (shout out to Carey), learning scary words like 401(k) and continuing my search for the perfect drugstore mascara.  I thought it was Covergirl Lash Blast.  Turns out it’s not.

Here’s what we’ve missed:

  • I got a job at a financial planning office.
  • Christmas and big number 25 again…for the 4th time.
  • We moved out of Bryan’s parents house.
  • Bryan got a job at a bank and has found his true métier.
  • We went to Hawaii. And here are some pictures.

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Classic Gary Danielson Pose

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Insta-What

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Let’s move onto the real reason you all are here…the parts where I talk about completely random stuff that’s goin on.

Whilst in Hawaii, namely Maui (and yes, we did think about getting Mauiied so you can all stop wondering) I experienced many new things.  I swam with a turtle. A real, live turtle.  But not just any turtle . This one was massive.  Kindof like the Rock, Hulk Hogan, Khloe Kardashian or my calves.   I’m using the term swim loosely as clearly I cannot.  Allow me to rephrase swim to floated- along-half-way-on-a-boogie-board-with-a-tilted-scuba-mask-draped-over-my-face.  ‘Twas super attractive obviously.  Bryan probably fell so much more in love with me.

I also discovered the majesty that is LUSH.

Face lookin purty bad.

Face lookin purty bad.

I wandered into the Lahaina Lush after gobbling down mac-nut pancakes and inquired about a potion to scumble my slight sunburns.  I ended up with a bath melt and bath bomb which I was super stoked to use in our gigantic jetted tubs at the Westin. Oh law, you shoulda seen these bubbles. Enough to bathe an army. Ew… Or not.  The entire room was redolent with the scent of roses and whatever else made the air smell like majesty.

Another recent obsesh?  Why, Downton Abbey of course! I know like err’one is going insane for this show but I for one, am glad.  If our society started watching more progrums like Downton, we’d be in much better shape.   We would be calling one another “Lord” and “Lady”, we’d change into sparkly clothes for dinner and our ladies maids would do our hair and nurse our babies. Okay, maybe not that last one.

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Aristocratic traditions are my jam right now.  I love all the parietal rules, simplicity and general politeness of it all.  Or maybe I just need to move to England?

In other news, planning our wedding is on the horizon.  I even made a binder, complete with sheet protectors and cupcake-scented dividers.  I’ve started tearing things out of bridal magazines and allowing myself to get excited.   I even took a short trip to Walla Walla last weekend, which is where we’re looking at tying the knot.  I just want it to be completely beautiful, have Ina Garten do the food, get Monique Lhullier to do my dress and hire Martha for all the other “good things”.  Oh and can I please just run to Saks and Bendels to fill my honeymoon trousseau? Good.

Oh and I got to see m’besties the other weekend!  Better than a Dowton marathon with sour patch watermelons and a heating pad.

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I do promise to write more, kitties.  I just have to wait for the mood to strike and Pretty Little Liars better not be on :).

Times They are A’Changin

Bonjour chères!

Sincerest apologies for the absence of my postings. Je suis désolé.

I could lie and say that I have just been too darn busy to write anything. I could say that I have found a fabulous new job and Bryan and I have moved into a beautiful loft in downtown Seattle. Or that we got a teacup yorkie named Dandyrich who we take with us as we stroll the streets of Seattle, sipping cappuccino and buying furniture. This is just not the case.

Its true, Bry and I are still patiently awaiting those perfect jobs. We are hopeful that the old adage, “good things come to those who wait” applies to us and have passed on a few opportunities we felt were not the perfect fit. As we wait, we continue to live at Maison de Nash/Danielson where the hospitality is great, the coffee’s always on and there’s a perky chihuahua with an attitude problem. Bryan continues to study for the CFA Level 2 exam while I have grown obsessed with Gossip Girl and find myself fluffing my hair like Serena Van der Woodsen.  Maybe we should have a reality show, pas?

So there’s the update on the job/home front. It’s not glamorous and is taking longer than either of us hoped but that’s life. And when life feels uncertain sometimes you have to cling on to the things you know for sure. Which brings me to…

We are engaged! We couldn’t be happier, are so excited, blah blah blah.

I will try to spare you all from excessive amounts of sappy, sugary-sweet romance because well, that’s just not us. However I will start off by stating for the record that  I can’t believe I found Bryan and that he actually wants to marry me. It’s pretty glorious.

THE PROPOSAL

Bryan had planned for us to stay one week at his family’s time share in Ocean Shores on the Washington coast, Friday to Friday. I arrived at his parents house in Redmond on Thursday afternoon with plenty of time to hit the grocery store, pack the car and select wine (très important). We had a lovely dinner, compliments of Bryan’s mom and hit the hay early. We woke up on Friday morning, got ready, packed the Jeep and hit the road around 12:30 pm. The ride to Ocean Shores was beautiful and a part of me wanted to take the Forks exit so I could go find Edward and Stella but we pressed on.

We arrived at the house around 4:15 pm and immediately unpacked the car. Bryan seemed a little anxious to get everything done right away so we could go take a walk on the beach. We planned on making pizza that night accompanied by a salad, but alas, we forgot to pack salad dressing. Bryan suggested we jump back in the car right away to procure the dressing, in order to avoid a trip later that night. We ended up finding it at a convenience store right around the corner and were back at the house in no time.

We pulled on our beat-up old sneakers, rolled up our jeans and started the short walk to the beach. Right away, Bryan said he forgot something back at the house and ran back to get it and when he returned, he had his backpack on. I asked him why he needed the backpack but he said he wanted to bring his camera along and didn’t want to risk getting sand in it. Hmmm…

The air was perfumed with salt and as we walked the worn path to the beach, oyster shells crunched beneath our feet. Bryan reminisced stories of his childhood, running along the beach with his brothers, his dog Bailey sniffing at dried up seaweed. It was a gorgeous night and the sun was falling gracefully over the water, the sky lit up with streaks of pink and orange. We took off our shoes by an old piece of driftwood and made our way down to the water feeling the grit of sand between our toes.

Except for a few seagulls, Bryan and I were alone on the beach. As we drew nearer to the water, I heard Bryan say my name from behind me. I spun around to find my handsome, 6’3 hunk of a man down on one knee. For a split second, I thought he was joking as he had teased me by making this motion before (NOT cool if you ask any gal nearing 30). But when he presented a small shiny box, I knew he wasn’t kidding, that his was real. My hands flew to my mouth and I darted off away from him, which is the typical response :). When I circled back in front of him he uttered those four words that I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear. “Will you marry me?” I didn’t look at the ring, I didn’t even really hear the words. I was experiencing a total OOBE (out of body experience). I thought it was happening to someone else. I looked around for the lucky girl to offer my congratulations but quickly realized it was me. Bryan actually brought me back to the beach by saying, “Well?”. I shouted “YES!” and he stood up as he placed the sparkly stone on my finger. We hugged and I just couldn’t stand not to look at his face, as if to check for any sign that this wasn’t real. I made him pinch me, then pinch me again. Then he exclaimed, “We’re gettin married babe!” (in the A-holes voices from SNL) and I held up a firm hand to accept a high five. Nerd alert!

We toasted with champagne which was also in the backpack, took a million pictures and debated which was better for a reception, pancake or spaghetti feed? The night was spent eating pizza, drinking wine and calling our families. Oh, and staring at my ring.

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Now that we are back home, working our full-time jobs of looking for a full-time job it’s finally setting in that I am a fiance. I love that word! Not only because it french and therefore très chic but because it means I get to wear a diamond. Oh, and I love him too ;). We ended up exchanging the ring you see in the photos to make a few small changes and I will have it on Thursday!

I plan on making some changes to my blog in the way of look/feel simply because the tone is different. So keep an eye out for that!
And remember, all you need is love!

Material-Ish Girl

Hey yo. 

What? It was crazy hair day and I aim to please.

As the title suggests, I can be somewhat of a material girl. Despite my humble paychecks and sporadic trips to Kmart, I relish for luxury. I think my passion for nice things began as a young child when I refused to wear pleated jeans and instead wore fashion-forward stirrup pants like errday. Growing up, I gladly partook in all the hot trends. Over-sized Stussy shirts, Vans, Overalls, Body-Suits (puh-lease tell me you wore these too) and of course a wide array of scrunchies.

In high school I was a victim to butterfly flips, sparkly Abercrombie shirts, bucket hats from the Gap, platform flip-flops and, dare I say it? L.E.I jeans. The horror! And the sad part? I always craved more. My Adidas jacket (in hunter green) was never enough because what I really wanted was a Hypercolor sweatshirt. My Sketchers lived in the shadow of the coveted Doc Marten. Basically I wanted everything Mandy Moore had in the “Candy” music video, including her VW Bug, boyfriend AND bad-ass Walkman.

Oh, and please watch the music video if you have the time by clicking here.

While my tastes have changes a tad since those days, my drive to shop for, look at and basically pine over things has not. Last Saturday one of my favorite places to shop here in Jackson Hole, was having a grand sale. From 10 am-12 pm the Jackson Bootlegger offered customers 30% off everything in the store, including sale items. I arrived at 10 am on the nose and the place was packed with people. My goal going in was to find a cute pair of comfy shoes for Europe and also a crossbody purse. After trying on a few pairs of the new Toms and inquiring about a few others, I decided shoes just weren’t in the cards. Although the Toms were cute, they wouldn’t be too versatile and I already own a pair in turquoise that I thrifted.

I really wanted these babies, but alas, they only had them in 7’s.

It was then that I remembered they sell Hobo products so I made a beeline for the case of wallets. I fished out these two and sent the picture to my sister. When she alerted me that the flowered one looked “cheap” I wisely went with the black.

I also walked out with this crossbody purse which has really cute lining and loads of little pockets inside.

After nearly 2 hours of fighting the crowd for sizing, waiting in a 30 minute line and sending my sister a million pictures I had two items I was really jazzed about. And for less than the cost of the wallet at normal price. SCORE!

While I am happy with my new purchases, I often find myself spending hours a teensy amount of time online pining over well, more things. This girl, this girl and this girl all have it going on. I’ll be on Rue LaLa trying to convince myself that I need to spend $99 for an amazing maxi dress that is marked down from $349. That $239 for a cute pair of Marni trousers on Gilt is a steal. Or that I cannot live without a $250 Chanluu bracelet.

Is this true? Absolutely not.

So I hike up my red skinnies from TJ Maxx. I throw on the Gap jean jacket I’ve had since 9th grade. I hold my head up high.

But not that high, because sock buns are heavy ;-).