Friday, August 29, 2014

TGIF: Thank Goodness I Found Sailboats!





Labor Day weekend is upon us! We are relaxing and soaking up all the extra time we have not at work. Enjoy the last hurrah of summer this weekend!
-Laurie & David

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September Calendar Download



September might just be one of my top favorite months. I love the crisp air that comes with fall, finally being able to buy mums again, wearing boots...I just love it. Fall is definitely a favorite season for us here at Paper Pearl. Alison took this beautiful photo on her trip out West. Doesn't it make you want to grab a blanket and take a picnic to a vineyard on a cool fall evening? It's just around the corner! Download your calendar here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Tasty Western Travels

1. Cream 2. Marination in West Seattle 3. Portage Bay Cafe 4. Extracto 

As you all well know, when I travel I like to use all of my senses. Especially my sense of taste. And we had some of the tastiest food during our trip out west. I discovered that I really do like dark chocolate at Theo's, that oysters don't have to be fishy tasting, that good pizza and a movie doesn't just have to happen at home, that hip coffee shops in Portland do more than just good coffee and that you can get a doughnut the size of a dinner plate in San Francisco.

I know you are just dying to know what my favorite tasty stop was. Well, I can't name just one! But I will tell you my notable finds.


The hubs and I were falling all over ourselves at The Walrus and the Carpenter. Was it the decor? Was it the drinks? Was it the food? Was it the fact that we were hot and tired from a long walk? Everything about this place was perfect. Perfect. This is a small plate resturant which makes for an excellent sharing dinner while being able to try numerous items from the menu. We tried sardines for the first time. I would have never in a million years told you I liked sardines. I like sardines. We are both still so so glad we ran across this little gem in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. And by all means, when you are near the ocean and fresh seafood, try everything!


One of our day trips in Portland included a trip to Astoria. Loved this little town and wish we would have had more time to explore. We had a few hours to see the sights (some Goonies sights of course) and have some dinner. We found Fort George. They had great local brews, a fantastic view, and some really good pizza.



On our day trip to Napa we enjoyed an al fresco lunch near a vineyard thanks to some great fresh meat, cheese, bread, olives, etc. at the perfect local grocery, Oakville, that has been around for well over a century. Delightful.

Excuse my iphone for taking a less than stunning photo. It was just so good!

I could go on for days about the amazing Tasty Travels. I will include some in the travel guides that will come very soon. I look forward to remembering more of our trip doing those and sharing some must see sights! The trip was fantastic and we are so thankful it came together.

1. Boudin Bakery 2. Theo Chocolate 3. Rachel's Ginger Beer 4. Top Pot


Tasty travels to everyone!

-Alison

Monday, August 25, 2014

Alison Goes West: Part 3



The last leg of our Western Tour involved a lot of quality family time. It was so awesome. I enjoyed my first trip to Napa Valley and some time on the lake for the first time in probably 5 years. 


Turnbull Winery: They were pressing grapes for a white wine and we got a little tour and taste!

 



Late night doughnuts the size of a dinner plate are a must. 




Tahoe: The lake was a little muddy thanks to the rain but still beautiful. My Mom visited too!



Pyramid Lake 



Then this happened. We laughed so hard.


-Alison

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thank Goodness I Found: Summer Storms


Even after loving every minute in the dry, western states I find comfort in the sticky, summer storms of the South. Usually they bring cool relief to hot afternoons...even if it means you just have an opportunity to lay down for an afternoon nap during a day of yard work. Here is a little Friday comfort for all you other southerners out there!

-Alison

P.S. I currently feel a little suffocated by this southern humidity right now....


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Historic Remodel: Part 1


Living in a neighborhood full of fantastic, savvy neighbors and historic homes makes for a really creative community. I've never met so many interesting people in a few square miles. One of my beloved neighbors is embarking on her second (that I know of) home renovation/restoration and I am beyond thrilled to experience her journey. My hope is that I can be helpful along the way. To top it all off the house is on my street! Not only will it be so fun to watch but we will have another beautiful home to admire in our neighborhood.

As my neighbor, Greta, goes through this process I hope to bring photo updates, and once the home is fully restored to her liking, and descriptions/helpful tips of how you might embark on your own renovation.

Here are a few photos to spark your interest! I LOVE this house!!

-Alison

Living Room

Kitchen

 
Bedrooms

Bathroom


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Snacks on a Stick



The afternoon slump hits hard sometimes and you just crave something immediately, which often results in overeating crackers or cookies that throw your diet out of whack. If you're looking for a healthy option that would also be really fun to eat, put it on a stick. Stick food reminds us of the bad sort of food on a stick-chicken on a stick, corn dogs, cotton candy, sugary popsicles-so in a way you can pretend you're being bad. Just lie to the little devil on your shoulder and give a wink to the angel on the other because once you put some healthy options on your kabob stick, you're doing yourself a favor. These ideas are even great for lunch if you have multiples or for your kiddo's afternoon snack when they get home from school. The best thing to do is to prepare your chunks of food and put them in separate bowls, ready at the drop of a hat to jump on a stick and then into your mouth. If you decide to sword fight with the sticks after you eat the contents, no judgement. Call me if you need a sparring partner. 
-Laurie
 

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