Sunday, September 30, 2012

NW Chocolate Festival and Crossing Things Off the List

NW Chocolate Festival

I bought a deal from Voice Daily Deals for two tix to the festival.  I was concerned because I knew I'd be working all weekend.  But, things worked out well, my contractors got finished and I was able to make it.  The deal was $15 for a one-day pass; usually $25 in advance or $20 at the door.

We headed to the festival and enjoyed lots and lots of chocolate!  There were so many chocolate makers there and all offering samples.  In addition there were demo's and lots of stuff for sale.  I had to buy the two things that jumped out at me.

Forte Sea Salt Caramels and Melting Pot Candy's Hot Mama Jalapeno English Toffee

To be honest the sea salt caramels from Fran's rock my world; I have cravings for them.  But, I thoght I'd check out an alternative.  Not that they were any cheaper...

Fran's was giving out entire pieces as samples and each one of those is worth well over $2!

They had an aphrodisiac lounge that was offering beer, cider, wine and cocktails and you know I was excited.  But, it was kinda lame.  There were tiny, tiny samples of man bevies, but not worth it.  Although there were two women painting each other in chocolate but I was too shy to take a pic.

Overall, the festival was worth what I paid for it.  I got to try many, many samples.  I really like the ones that have a kick to them, there was a habanero caramel.  The really dark, 100% cacao chocolates are not up my alley.

I've been wanting to do this mason jar craft project for quite a while.  I even bought several mason jars about a month or so ago.  Tonight I decided to start.  I've written on them with my hot glue gun.  I've made one for my sis, one for Daylon and two that are just generic.  I'm waiting for them to dry and then I'll be spray painting them.  

I have a to-do list that I posted here, with a deadline of Nov. 1st.  I made some headway tonight.  I hung up my brewery posters.  I've had 4 posters rolled up for well over 2 years but haven't bought the custom frames to hang them, as they're varying sizes.  I found on Fab these poster hangers called, "Posterhanger", they're supposedly the original poster holders.  They are quite unique and I struggled a bit with the smaller posters as there is no hook on the bottom so it depends on gravity to make sure the poster doesn't try to roll up.  You'll see in the following pictures.  The frames are Posterhanger.

These posters look amazing.  I have a bar in my basement, it's named Panty Droppers.  So these posters add some amazing character.  Not that I didn't have a million signs, posters and pictures already.

 I had an amazing weekend thanks to Sexy-Exy (that's Tyler, my ex).  I had to work a whole bunch but we were still able to do some fun things in the evenings.

What home projects have you been putting off?

Reminiscing About Childhood - Sunday Social

Sunday Social

Brought to you by Neely!

Since I'm sitting here at work watching roof and floor coatings dry I thought it would be fun to link up through Sunday Social.  This weeks topic is about our childhoods which is always a fun topic to reminisce about.  

This Weeks Questions:

1. What do you miss most about being a kid? I miss how everyday was about being with friends.  At school or daycare you were always just interacting with friends.  As an adult it takes a lot of effort and planning to have friend interactions.  

Here's me and my bestie, Nathan, striking a pose!

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? Oh yeah, about a million.  Here are a few: Leeds, Leesh, Scooter, Bevis, Smooch, Sissy, I'm sure there were more.

3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess? Me and my bestie, Ashley, were the best bar flippers ever.  We did all these fancy flips and swings and whatever they're called on the bars.  I still can't believe I could do that.  We thought we were so cool, oh wait, we were so cool.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up? Up until my Sophomore year in high school I wanted to be various things:  Marine Biologist, Elementary School Teacher, and Dentist.  Then Sophomore year after chatting with my Chemistry teach I decided, I'm going to be a Chemical Engineer.  And poof, that's what I did.  

5. What was your favorite toy? I remember popples, cabbage patch kids and pound puppies when I was younger.  Then I definitely got into barbies.

6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about? I used to do these insanely inappropriate impressions of Michael Jackson.  And, yes we have it on video.  I was reaching pretty deep in my naughty bits...  But, everybody egged me on, cause it was that funny.

Join in this Sunday social, it's fun to think back to those fun, happy times!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September BirchBox Review

These boxes are so magical!!  Here is a review of each of the item's in my September Birchbox.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint – Luminizing Moisture Tin, that is a skin perfector helping you obtain a healthy, glowy complexion, 1.7 oz, $38.
Review:  This little sampler went way too fast, because it was amazing.  It was more magical than the BB creams I've been using.  It just evens out the skin and pretty much takes away the need to even use concealer.Thumbs up

Birchbox Color Club custom color polish – Custom collection of nail polishes targeted for the social media addicts.  Available colors are: Put a Pin in it, Status Update, Tweet Me and Insta-this , $8.
Review:  I received the Insta-this blue color.  I used it on my toe-nails and it's awesome.  I'm a fan of bold wild colors for my toes.  Due to my job I can't wear it on my fingernails, otherwise I definitely would have.  And as I'm sure most of you already know, I'm a social media addict!Thumbs up

Kate Spade's Twirl – This scent is described as playful, feminine, and joyful, rollerball fragrance, $18.
Review:  I enjoyed it, it was a little on the old lady side for me (great technical term right?) But, it was a good scent to add into the mix.  It's very floral; it made me feel lady like.Thumbs up

Twistband – These stylish, soft, elastic bands are designed to keep hair secure without snagging strands or leaving ugly creases, 12-pack, $22.
Review:  These are a bit silly in my opinion.  Mine frayed instantly.  Now I get is a crafty item for the Etsy seller or something to do with your kids.  But, the fact that they are selling these for so much is ridiculous.  Mine was destroyed within the first use.Thumbs down

Skin Body Whip – Fluffy, soy based cream that works to moisturize your entire body without leaving it sticky, greasy or oily, 16 oz, $27.
Review:  This body whip is magical.  It is so soft, leaves my skin moisturized all day and has a light heavenly scent.  I leave it at my desk at work and use it everyday.Thumbs up

Can't wait until October's box arrives.  It makes me giddy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Roku, I've finally learned to love you!

I've been somewhat happy with my Roku box.  The best part was of course the fact that I don't have to pay those bastards at the cable company any longer.  The Roku is a one time fee box and it's connected easily to your wireless connection.  It automatically was great, having Amazon Prime and Netflix.  Although, Amazon Prime doesn't have much that you don't have to pay for, F-U Amazon Prime!  I had Hulu Plus for a minute but wasn't happy with it.  You pay a fee, the same one as I pay for Netflix and there are freaking commercials!!!!  The connectivity was bad too, not sure why but it was.  So I canceled it. So then I was left with a Roku that essentially does the same thing that my Wii did, played Netflix.  I am missing Food Network, hardcore!  So I was googling around and found out you can add private channels.  What, what?  Here's what I added today. - At this site I found:

  • CNN
  • Food Network Nighttime
  • Nowhere TV
  • Woot - At this site I found:

  • My Channels - It's a home screen organizer that makes finding the channel you want to watch much easier.
  • The Onion News Network
  • iTunes Pocasts

  • HGTV
  • PBS
  • Hungry Nation
  • NokNok

You just go into your account, select add private channel and put in the code that you find at the above sites.  Woop woop.  Now to hack Showtime and HBO into my Roku...

Are you still attached to a cable company?

Linking up with Friday Chaos!!


Beer and Pretzels: Oktoberfest

'Tis the Oktoberfest season where you have many opportunities to fill your belly with dark, seasonal fall beers.  It always blows people's minds that a lot of the Oktoberfest events are in September.  The real Oktoberfest runs from the end of September through the beginning of October.  Although, it's confusing, does it really matter?  I'm not arguing with the Germans, they can be feisty especially after a full day of drinking.

I found a really fun article on NBC news about 15 facts that you don't now about Oktoberfest, see source article here.   I wanted to share some of these facts and put my spin on it, as I'm a HUGE Oktoberfest fan.  I've already attended one and plan on attending up to two or so more before the season is over.

  1. The main event takes place in Munich, Germany.  More than 6 million people attend the celebration every year, making it the biggest beer festival in the world.  I prefer to go to the local ones; there was quite a turnout at the Enumclaw one last year ;)  I probably should add the real one to my bucketlist.  maybe I'll shoot for Leavenworth for now.
  2. "Prost!" - You are supposed to say this before knocking back a lager.  Another popular phrase is "zum wohl", meaning "to your health".  That's what I'm talking about.  Drinking for my health!! Ha ha.  I know it helps with happiness.
  3. The following are what you are going to eat at a traditional Oktoberfest:  Hendl (grilled chicken), Brezel (huge pretzels), Sweinshaxe (pork knuckles).  Guten Appitit!  One of my local haunts changed to a German concept and they have amazing soft pretzels.  It's not so much the pretzel but more the cheese sauce they give you, yummy!!
  4. The rules of Oktoberfest dictate that the beers come from one of the six Munich breweries:  Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbrau and Lowenbrau.
  5. The original Oktoberfest was in fact October 12th, 1810.  The festival has been moved around for many reasons but partly due to weather conditions.
  6. "O'zapft is!", means "It is tapped!" and is the official rallying cry of Oktoberfest.
  7. Even though beer is flowing, Oktoberfest is a family-friendly event with carnival rides, carousels, roller coasters, musical showcases and traditional parades.  Children are even allowed in the tents but children under the age of six must exit by 8 pm.  Does that mean if you're over 6, you can stay and have a beer?  Oh those Germans, I thought that stuff only happened in Texas.
  8. Cincinnati houses the largest Oktoberfest in the US.  It is a 3 day festival that takes up 6 blocks of down town.  Maybe that's more fitting for my bucket list, a lot cheaper.
  9. The ladies bow on her dirndl dress signifies her status.  If it's on the left side, she is single and willing to mingle.  If it's on her right side her affections are already given to someone else.  A virginal woman will place the bow in front of her dirndl dress.  Get me a left sides bow please.
  10. Enough beer to fill three Olympic swimming pools is typically consumed during Oktoberfest.  Wowza!  I would like to contribute.

Check out my Weekend Wanderings posts to hear about upcoming Oktoberfest's in the Seattle area.

What's your favorite seasonal beer out right now?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekend Wanderings: Sept. 28th-30th

The weekly post that provides my readers with all the cool happenings around Seattle for the upcoming weekend.  You will have no excuse to not get out and make memories.

Wednesday to Sunday, September 26th - 30th

Decibel Festival – The festival's concept is to provide live performances, interactive multi-media art, state of the art sound and technology based education.  This festival has solidified itself as one of the premier electronic music festivals in the world.  Some of the performers this year are:  Orbital, Kimbra and Cannabinoids featuring Erykah Badu.

  • Multi-day festival for those beat lovers.
  • Events are going on all over Seattle at multiple venues, to name a few: Paramount, Neumos, Showbox, Re-bar.
Saturday & Sunday, September 29th-30th

NW Chocolate Festival – If you are a chocolate lover, you can't miss this festival.  It is taste after taste of amazing chocolate, hand-crafted fine chocolate, artisan quality chocolate desserts, slideshows and storytelling by chocolate makers, tasting a fresh cacao pod, crushing nibs and tasting freshly conched chocolate in workshops, live muic and dj's for entertainment, culinary kitchen demo area with classes and award winning instructors, wine-bee-cocktail garden for the 21+, coffee and chocolate cafes, kids zone! and more tastes of chocolate than you can possibly eat in one day.  Whew that was a mouthful!

  • 9:30am - 6pm both days, @ The Conference Center at the Washington State Convention Center, entered by street level on the NE corner of 8th and Pike
  • Single day tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  Go here to get a last minute deal ticket from Seattle Weekly Voice Deals.  You'll get your ticket for $15.
Saturday and Sunday, September 29th-30th

Festa Italiana Seattle 2012 – This is the festival that follows a week long of events, all celebrating the cultural roots of Italians and Italian-Americans in the Pacific Northwest.  There is  a promotion of arts, food, culture and everything that is uniquely Italian.  And my company, Oberto, will have a booth there, so go check it out. Apparently there is a bocce tournament as well; everybody is lucky that I'll be working so they have an actual chance.  Yeah, I'm pretty good at bocce ball.

  • 10am-9pm Saturday, 10am-6pm Sunday
  • Located at the Fisher Pavilion and surrounding grounds at Seattle Center.
  • The admission is free, just bring your cash for food and fun!

Saturday, September 29th

Seattle Modern Home Tours – Some of Seattle's most creative homeowners, architects and designers are opening their doors to you!

  • 11am to 5pm
  • $25 gets you into all of the homes on tour, 6-10 homes.
Saturday, September 29th

Fresh Hop Throwdown at the Noble Fir – Some of the best Washington and Oregon breweries are throwing down their best hops.  Breweries include:  Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, Double Mountain, Elysian, Engine House No. 9, Everybody's, Fort George, Fremont, Hopworks Urban, Laurelwood, Naked City, North Sound, Schooner Exact, Snipes Mountain, Two Beers, and Wingman Brewers.

  • Starts at 4pm at the Noble Fir, 5316 Ballard Ave. NW
  • Bring lots of money for beer!
I have to work all weekend:(  But, I will be trying to check out the chocolate festival if at all possible!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Get Up and Enjoy the Day the Alicia Way

Thanks to my lovely sister, Alison for giving me that amazing phrase (the one in my title).  She apparently uses it to get her daughter up in the morning.  I really, really like it!  I'm not a morning person at all!  This morning, however, I woke up at 5:30 and feel pretty wide awake.  I even went to bed really late.

Seemed like a good opportunity to put up a pic of my favorite person, Chloe.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to put down a list of goals to accomplish over the next month.  I have a million things racing through my head and I think it will help to get them down on paper.  A little accountability won't hurt either.  There is something about a list that feels so good when you get to cross something off.

Goals to accomplish before November 1st

  1. Create a new budget to get back on track and debt free
  2. Fix my plumbing issues and/or dish washer so it can be used
  3. Hang my paintings
  4. Frame and hang my brewery posters
  5. Touch up the ceiling in the office and my bedroom (popcorn ceiling suck to tape and make it look really bad at that intersection)
  6. Purchase paint for the main level (I'm leaning towards a cheery, mellow yellow)
  7. Work with Kendra to plan our first Washington blogger meet-up
  8. Organize my crafts
  9. Organize my drawers and cupboards (kitchen, laundry room, and basement)
  10. Get back to jogging or taking a fitness class at least 3 times a week
  11. Sign up for a 5 or 10K
  12. Have an amazing time at my friend, Amy's wedding reception
  13. Clean out my house and donate all items to the Goodwill
That's it and that's all, I can't do anything beyond these 13 items, ha ha.  I do think this list is achievable.  I'm a it nervous about #2.  And I have to focus really hard on #1, since I've done this many times before and want to make sure I do a good job.  I might need to rally some help.

Any advice for creating and maintaining budgets that actually stick?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Petit Amuse Box #1

I love my BirchBox and I'm sure I'll adore my GlamBag, but you can't eat that stuff.  The Petit Amuse Box is $10 a month and is so unique due to the face that these are real artisan treats created in small batches.  It is so apparent that most of these items are hand made, hand packaged.

Here is a review of my items
CC Made, Pistachio Popcorn - 

This is such a unique popcorn because it has pistachios.  It really adds a unique flavor.  And it was caramel-y which can never be bad.  
Effie's Homemade, Oatcakes -

 I was so hesitant to try these, the name just doesn't sound appetizing.  It's a baked good that reminds me a bit of short bread.  It was really incredible.

p.o.p candy, Thyme, Walnut, & Cherries Toffee + Pop Mix Toffee -

The Pop Mix was damn tasty!  I didn't care for the weird flavor, don't really like savory and sweet, nor do I like walnuts or cherries.  But, toffee is toffee.

Vermont Peanut Butter - 

This peanut butter is delectable.  I wish I had more than a tiny container.  This is a healthy peanut butter that actually tastes good.  I think perhaps it's the raw honey that is mixed in that makes it so tasty.  Unfortunately this product is not yet widely available, you can really only find at VERY select stores and farmers markets.

Daily De-Lish, Original Granola - 

I added this to my yogurt all week and it made me love yogurt! It had such a variety of nuts and raisins and oats and goodness.  

I give this box a 4.5/5, pretty good score for my first box.  Can't wait for the next one.