Seattle

In the past few days a seed has slowly been growing in my head. The seed of ‘healthy-ness’. If you know me, you already know I’m seriously allergic to exercise. My face immediately turns red, I have a hard time breathing and days later my body is sore from the little escapade. Not good. However doctors are saying that it is good to stretch your body and to ‘feel the burn’. (which sounds and feels horrible) I prefer a nice leisurely stroll through Ann Taylor or H&M.

Cheap!!! I could do that...

However, I can tell that my body is not…working it it’s potential. I’m not wanting to lose weight, but rather strengthen my ‘core’. So…I have slowly began to think that I am about to make a new master plan. I will add nasty chores like cleaning bathrooms with other nasty chores…like torturous tummy crunches, walks outside in the freezing butt cold wind and maybe even a few yoga lessons.

Here it is.  *This is open to changes. 😉

Sunday: Stretching, Laundry ALL DAY LONG, Dust

Monday: RELAXATION DAY, Polish lessons

Tuesday: Stretching, Cat boxes, Tuesday Treats

Wednesday: Polish lessons, empty garbages/recycle, Yoga

Thursday:  Clean stove/sink, Walk Outside (please give me nice weather God!), take out garbages

Friday: Clean bathrooms, Yoga, BOOK Day

Saturday: Polish lessons, Stretching, do my fingernails

*some things I’m going to do in my day to day routine. Park way away from things to make me walk farther, always walk to the park- don’t drive, take stairs when I can, try to eat more veggies and make less desserts, blog often of course- and have fun!

Christmas Update

Yeah, so I know it’s been FOREVER or something like it since I’ve last posted. So this will be a picture overload post because so much has happened in a week. It’s the holidays, so we fit TONS into this last week. LONG post. You have been warned. Enjoy!

Emma and Erin Emma found the candy...oh man :)

Our sweaters We're such posers

The above pictures are of a Christmas party (no duh) Charis threw at her home. It was a lot of fun, a white elephant exchange, lots of Christmas goodies and then ending with a movie. Thank you for hosting it Charis– it was wonderful! Don’t you just love my sweater?! Yeah, totally rockin’

Heaven on a plate

Oh Spaghetti, how I love thee…let me count the ways…thank you for meeting me for dinner. I love your company.

Below is when Amy, a friend who’s daughter is Emma’s BFF, came over and we frosted cookies. Fun times.

Leaning tower of cookie

My leaning tower of sugar cookies.

Before After

You can’t see it, but I also sprinkled Cinnamon on top of the powdered sugar. So pretty.

Rylee thinking outside thebox with coloring Emma

Half the finished product

Sorry for the blurriness, but here is a sample of half the cookies we made.

Family photo #1

Awww, I know it’s a little blurry, but it was the best one. This is Emma’s fake smile, when someone tells her to ‘smile’ for the camera. But of course I didn’t want to take just boring pictures…take at least one funny one!

Hehehe

I think Emma missed that memo.

Cutie-pie more

Is that a present?! Here mommy

My favorite

My favorite. She’s co cute, down to her sparkle shoes. So right now, as I’m typing this in my oh so attractive fleece sweatpants, Trav and I are in a hotel for a little getaway to Leavenworth. It was all planned by him and was a surprise the whole time. It was awesome. We took a train from Everett to here and am having a great time. The hotel is nice, with a fillig breakfast, but one thing that’s weird is the silly wallpaper in the bedroom. Observe below.

The wallpaper..what the?

Nice huh. Hehehe. Nothing says romantic like crayon banner wallpaper. Sexy.

Us

Awwww

It was slippery Hey Trav

It was really slippery slushy and I almost fell a couple times. Trav thought to capture it on film. How thoughtful of him…

Hi Trav Our path

Jamie

This is for you Jamie

Mom's home

This is for you Mom. Found your dream home.

If you have lasted this long and read the entire post, pretend me hugging you. I consider you my friend. 🙂

Peanut Butter Christmas Balls

This is what Emma and I did today. I enjoyed myself but I think she had more fun. I have to be leaving in the next 20 min but wanted to show what fun today was for us. Enjoy!

Drying So pretty

Emma's attempt

When Emma saw me dipping them, her favorite past time, she HAD to help. Why not? Life is too short to not let your dears play in chocolate. I thought you would like to see her attempt at dipping it. What can you say, I’m a proud parent. 🙂 I have to give credit to my friend Melissa, who got this recipe from her mother. It is SO CRAZY SUPER DUPER EASY! Seriously, if a 1 1/2 year old can help, then so can your kids. Or grandkids. Or nieces and nephews. Promise.

1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Creamy PB
3 TBS Softened Butter
1 LB White Confecionary Coating (I am using both milk chocolate and white chocolate)

In a mixing bowl combine sugar, peanut butter, and butter; mix well. Shape into 1 inch
balls a
nd place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile melt coating in a double boiler or micro-wave safe bowl. Dip balls and place on wax paper to harden.

The only change I did was I dipped them in heated Chocolate frosting (dollar store) and a couple spoonfuls of Nutella.

But we had a bit extra chocolate. 🙂 Here’s what we Emma did with it. Oh, and on a side note, she had a death grip on that sticker in her hand. Silly girl.

Emma chowing down Emma Eating

Raining Chocolate Cute

This is serious business I think she's in heaven ;)

And then us

Our morning

Yummo Morning shot

Yes it's awesome

This a shot into our morning. I made my mom’s famous ‘Poor man Cinnamon rolls’. Basically, it’s just cheap-o biscuits dipped in butter then cinnamon sugar. That’s it. And let me tell you they are AMAZING. Really good on a cold morning, which just so happens to be what we had this morning. It was 13’F and…yeah…freeze your butt of cold. I immediately turned on the fire and got Emma some juice-to tie her over till they were done cooking. Emma was pretty hungry by the time they came out. But then again, so was I. Some people just can’t stand thinking about eating when they wake up. Emma and I are in the other camp. That’s the camp where once we rise we have to put something in our tummies. And I promise that if you make this for breakfast, your tummy will thank you.

And yes, I DID take this el natural. That means: no brushed teeth, no make up, no hair brushed and my oh so comfy college sweatshirt. But doesn’t Emma looks SO cute?! That’s what convinced me to choose that picture to post…she doesn’t take any bad pictures…well not true. She takes plenty of those too. She’s well rounded.

Cold workers I'm glad I don't have their job!

This is a picture of me practicing to be a private investigator. OK, not really. I would really be horrible as a P.I. and would make no money. This is actually a picture to show you all how cold it is here. We live in Portland, OR and recently it has been REALLY cold. Like 13’F cold. That was today’s temp and these poor construction workers, who I’m sure are happy they even have a job, are freezing their butts off working all day on our roofs. But when they get any spare free time they run to the sun and try to thaw their stiffening fingers and feet. Those poor workers, at least they’ll be happy with the warmer weather we’re suppose to be getting next week.

Emma’s Animals

It is MY pleasure to announce the one….the only….Emma Eileen Mielonen showing you her animals! (roar from crowd and throwing of roses!)

Go HERE to see her showing off her skills.

*actually, she knows way more animals, she just wanted to see herself on the camera. I might have an actress on my hands. 🙂 Please ignore my annoying voice. You know how you never want to listen to a message of yours because it doesn’t really sound like you? This is way worse. So ‘I apologize’ before you see it.

Muddy Buddies

As promised I made muddy buddies. And as expected, they rock. Peanut butter and chocolate never tasted so good. Mmmmm. The bag looks pretty gross huh. You would never know what little bites of sweetness were in there.

Muddy Buddies Bag Muddy Buddies

Yes. They ARE as good as they look.

Muddy Buddies

Would you like to come over and have some with me? Just in case you can’t check out the recipe. Make it for your next Christmas party. And even if you’re not throwing one, make it for breakfast. It’s awesome for breakfast. Not that I would know. I have a friend… who…uh, likes to eat this for their first meal. Just eat it before you brush your teeth. It tastes gross if you eat it after and you still have the toothpaste flavor in your mouth. So my friend says.

OK, here’s the recipe for ya!

Recipe for you

Peppermint Bark and Cranberry Granola

Nothing says Christmas like White Chocolate Peppermint bark. ….actually, I’ve never eaten it before nor have I ever made it. A friend who made this (which turned out beautiful-check her out!!) asked me if I wanted to make this with her. Well, it’s a little belated but here it is.

A paper plate never looked so good. 🙂

Peppermint Christmas Bark

I accidentally made it in a smaller dish so it turned out way to thick for me. But it doesn’t really matter because I gave it all away. Of course not before I sampled it. I couldn’t give it away if it tasked like soap. Yuck.So I HAD to try it. 🙂 It just so happen that it tasted very good, however next time I’m totally making it in a bigger dish so it’s thinner. That way you can eat more and not feel too bad because it’s thin. Just sayin’.

Ingredients? White chocolate chips (melted in double broiler or microwave) make so it’s melted through and pour in desired dish. (for thickness) then just sprinkle crunched up Candy Canes on top. I also added a little peppermint mocha creamer to the chips to make it more peppermint-y.

You know you have one of those days where you have more energy than usual, or it just feels like it, and you get a lot accomplished? That was yesterday for me. Not only did I go grocery shopping (3 stores-ugh) but I also made the bark AND Cranberry Granola. I love granola for breakfast, but the stores sell it so stinkin’ expensive. Why?! It’s SO cheap to just make your own. Stupid stores. They’re just asking us to make our own. And if enough people do make their own, pretty soon they’ll be paying us to buy it! I’d be OK with that.

Ingredients: Oats, Cranberries and Maple Syrup (or Honey). Just mix with desired amounts of each ( the more syrup the more clumpy it will be) and pop it into the oven (350′) Make sure you mix it every 15 min or so so it all gets evenly dried out and not burned. When it gets medium to dark brown take it out and cool it. And there you have it. I’m not a fan of nuts, so I didn’t add any. And I had tons of dried cranberries thanks to my mom (thanks mommy!) so it seems Christmas-y, but it’s just what I had in my pantry.

Before cooking Mixed and ready to heat up!

The finished product

When I’m done posting this entry I’m going to make muddy buddies. The Food Librarian made some and it so made me feel in the mood to party…even if it’s just me. Growing up whenever we went or hosted a party there always seemed to be Muddy Buddies. My mom made sure my childhood was centered around the right things- food. Hmmm, that gets me thinking though. Maybe I will HIDE this new batch of muddy buddies and only allow myself to eat this scrumpous treat. Maybe I’ll pull the ‘Red Hen’ card (from the book) and say that since I was the one who slaved (yes for hours and hours I tell you!) over the stove it will be ME that gets to eat it.

It doesn’t really fit into my new nutritionally healthy diet though. I’m trying to eat better. And maybe even exercise once a week. (baby steps) *sigh, I guess I might give a lot away. Or just invite people over so they can enjoy it with me.

~So consider that an open invitation! Come on over and enjoy my Muddy Buddies with me!

Chunky Lime Jello with Cheddar Cheese…

Yes, you read that right. You know when you marry into a family and you see quirks that are…way different from the family you grew up in? Yeah, well Travis’ family doesn’t have that many, except for a couple glaring ones. One in particular I tease him about a lot during the holiday season. What is it?  Prepare yourself. His family makes green jello with fruit in it (normal so far right?) then adds a huge layer of whipped white cream and then tops it off with CHEDDAR CHEESE! The picture below isn’t a good example, but it’ll do. They went light on the cheese for some reason this year. When they brought it out Trav and I both smiled. For him, because he knew how much it sickens me to think of lumpychunky lime jello with shredded cheddar…Ugh. I smiled because I was so going to take a picture of it and blog about it.

They had 2 huge cake pans of it. It went fast.

This is on Travis' plate

Last time we visited, they had it in a bundt mold and added a heavy amount of cheese. My eyes were about to pop out of their sockets.

I do have to confess that I did grow up in a wierd home. I never, and I mean never had green bean casserole with those crunchy onion things on top, never had nuts in desserts (even sundaes and brownies), never had cold macaroni salad (we were Germans and had cold cucumber salad and potato salad- but cold wet noodles?…yeah, not so much) and we never had jello with fruit in it. Now that I think about it…I don’t remember having jello much at all. I guess it would taste OK, but the whole idea of lumpy chunky jello doesn’t send my taste buds into a frenzy of delight.

Instead, I LOVE hot or cold sauerkraut and HOMEMADE potato dumplings. I think warm shredded red cabbage is to die for and lastly…I could live and I mean LIVE off creamed spinach. Yeah, I know- now you feel bad for Travis huh. 🙂 He sure had a lot of new flavors to try when he entered my mom and Oma’s kitchen. hehe Good thing they’re great cooks.

But never chunky lumpy jello with cheddar cheese.

The jello

Our Christmas Tree- 09

Our Christmas is kinda strange this year. We will be leaving on the 20th for Seattle and will be staying there until New Years. Trav is surprising me with a 4 night 3 day surprise…I can’t tell you how excited I am and I’m jumping out of my skin. Seriously. Best present so far. 🙂 Anyhoo, we will be leaving way early in the month so it’s kinda pointless to have our last big real tree. Kinda sad but kinda not. Vacuuming up needles is a pain in the butt. So we’re using the artificial tree Trav had before being married. It’s kinda cute having him have this before being together, I’m glad he liked this season as much as me.

So here it is: our beautiful tree

White and red

I like to have different themes of our Christmas trees each year. Last year was silver and cobalt blue- Trav’s choice. This year happen to land in my lap and I chose red and white. I like that, simple and clean. I had to also add some silver for sparkle effect. 🙂

Holly Sparkly white ornament

Emma's star Tada

I hope you have a great Christmas! I’m currently keeping up with the Ducks/Beavers playoff game and wow does it keep you on the edge of your seat! Great game! I’m going to be making peppermint bark tomorrow so come on by to see different kinds of bark. (Oh so using Nutella)

Yes I’m alive

(push F11 to see this full screen!) And I haven’t forgotten you. I have been wanting to post, but being in Seattle, not always around a computer and visiting EVERYONE has been a bit overwhelming. SO I just focused on trying to document it with my little Fuji friend. All in all, I took over 200 pictures. Yikes.

I first want to show you my good friends Ferry and his wife Robyn. They have an adorable little boy, Josiah. They live in Holland and both our families look forward to hanging out more when we’re in Europe.

Robyn and I

Robyn, I just have to say that I count it a huge privilege to have been able to be apart of your life for the past 4 or so years. I am happy to see how much Ferry loves and dote’s on you.  Having our children be friends as they grow up is just the icing on the cake.  I really really look forward to going on holiday’s together as families and having Thanksgivings together too.  ~alexis

After stuffing ourselves at Claim Jumpers-yum

(I love how pale fair skinned Emma and I are)

Emma and Josiah

OK, and now a huge amount of pictures. I took some on Thanksgiving…but that is for another post. You will understand later. hehehe My sister and I woke up at 4:30am and went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. And it was a blast seeing old ladies push their way tot the cashier and get free little gifts that I’ll either throw away soon or give to Goodwill. For this post, it’s of Trav, me and Emma along with my mom and sister Jamie. (Check out her blog here!) We went downtown for black Friday and saw the Christmas tree lighting. It was beautiful, cold, fun, cold, a great memory and cold. At least Emma was all bundled up.

I can't believe I used to live in this amazing city!

Trav and Emma

cute huh 🙂

Me and Travis in heaven

Travis and my mom My mom and sister Jamie

*sigh, I love my sista

'Rawr' says Jamie

Silly girls on the Monorail Jamie taking MILLIONS of pictures

Monorail Station Here it comes

Clean city

Everywhere we went the garbages were full of people’s trash. As ‘duh’ sounding as it is, Seattle-ites keep their city clean! They use their garbages and there isn’t any lying around on the streets. And of course the garbages were filled mostly with Starbucks cups. But hey, it was a cold night and what else would you drink?!

The tree before it was lit The tree after it was lit

Before and after the tree was lit. They even had fireworks after it! They also had choirs to lead the masses in Christmas carols before it was lit.

The best baby ever

Emma is the best toddler baby ever. She didn’t fuss, want out or anything else. She even fell asleep in the stroller. *sigh, my little personal angel.

Wow beautiful My city man

It was a LONG night and so we went home and snuggled in our fleece pj’s  with your pants stuffed into your socks- don’t judge us we were freezing. (my mom and I) and Trav zoned out on his new phone, Jamie was into downloading her picts, Emma was asleep in her room and there was coffee brewing.

Fleece pj's Trav and his phone

I think we went to bed around 11pm. Long black Friday day. But oh so worth it.