Sunday, October 30, 2011


At the end of September Matthew and I were checking out thrift stores for a set of dining roomchairs and whilewe were in one of the stores we noticed that they had a relatively large selection of Halloween costumes, so we spent a few minutes being silly and trying on a few of the masks and hats. There were a couple of items that caught my attention, including an old fashioned police hat, those silly glasses with a mustache attached and an adult sized bumble bee costume. I told Matthew that we should get them so that we would havecostumes early this year and not have to rush around the day of, trying to finish our costumes like we have every other year. Matthew proceeded to say that we had no need of costumes this year because we didn't have any plans for Halloween. I then said that we could maybe throw a costume party and he reminded me that we hardly have any furniture, so I rescinded and we left the store empty handed.

Of course, about a week or so later I received an email with an invitation to a Halloween party from a couple in our ward. Because of how busy we were, we didn't have much time to look for costumes, so the week before the party we went back to the thrift store hoping there were still some good costumes left. To our dismay, even though Halloween was still 7 days away, the store had put all the costumes away and were setting up Christmas items in their place. I was disappointed and to be honest a little put off. Why do retail stores in our country do this? Why do they start setting up shop for a holiday that is 2 months away when the nearest holiday hasn't even come yet and when there are still other holidays in between? What about those of us who aren't that organized or who like to give special attention to each holiday? Needless to say, another Halloween, another last minute costume idea! But I have to say I think this one was my best yet and I am so excited with how it turned out!

So I was racking my brain about what Matthew and I could possibly be and I brought this to the attention of a few of my coworkers. So for a couple days my coworkers and I discussed several costumes options, but I didn't come up with an idea until I saw one of many recently popular commercials for Allstate insurance. They have a man that represents all that could go wrong in this world, and his name is "Mayhem." The original play was that Matthew and I would each go as a different representation of Mayhem, but when I remembered that we had a church party to go to, I thought it would be inappropriate for me to dress up like a man. So, Matthew and I watched a few more videos and I got the idea that I could make a car out of cardboard and Matthew and I could go as the Mayhem- Blind Spot commercial. What was even better is that at the last minute I found a woman's wig that truly made Matthew look the part.

It took me all of Saturday afternoon to create the car, actually we were a little bit late to the party because I was still working on it. At the party we had a bunch of ghoulish goodies, played games and enjoyed getting to know each other better. We laughed while playing halloween charades and even harder when Alex guessed that Liz's drawing was a werewolf and not a floppy-eared mouse in less than 10 seconds. Overall it was a great night and I am excited to continuing hanging out with the younger couples in our ward. It feels good to be meeting more people who could become life long friends.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Snoqualmie Falls

This evening Matthew and I decided to head to Snoqualmie Falls. It's a place we have been meaning to visit since the day we moved here. We also wanted to get out and enjoy some of the fall colors, so it was the perfect opportunity.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maize Maze

Last night we went with Jack and Steph Quincy and Alex and Liz Clark to a corn maze. The first half went by really fast. There weren't very many people around to distract us and we had a good system to rule out all the dead ends; although we still managed to find one or two!

Top:The group on the hay ride before the start of the maze. Bottom: Sad because we found a dead end.

When we got to the half way point we enjoyed a little rest and even took a few pictures "roasting" over the fire.

The second half of the maze proved to be much harder than the first, and it didn't help that there were a lot of loud, people who may not have been as lucid as we were. After going in circles for at least 30 minutes, Jack convinced us that the map was a good idea and we escaped the corn field without having to alert the authorities (unlike some other unlucky family we heard about in the news).

Above Left: Matthew was really hungry & wanted some corn, but I reminded him that we weren't allowed. Above Right: Liz and I were very impressed by the carved pumpkins

There weren't enough animals for all six of us so Alex opted to be the Farmer, Liz the ram, Steph the Sheep, Kara the Horse, Matt the Cow and Jack the Pig!

After we the trailer full of hay brought us back to the parking lot, we spent a few minutes swinging on a tire and gawking in amazement over the size of all the produce. Seriously, there were a few honey crisp apples the size of Matt's head! It was a really fun evening!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Random Bits of Silliness

Since moving Matthew and I have been struggling to find balance in a few areas. The first area is our grocery budget. We knew that in moving, our cost of living would go up, but every time we adjust our grocery budget we still end up spending too much. This is something we are frustrated with. Well, in some random conversation Matthew had with our Bishop and his wife, we discovered that there is a WinCo in the area and according to the calculations of our Bishop, the amount of money we spend in driving to the grocery store would be small compared to the money we would save in groceries, so we decided to give it a go.

This month we have recommitted to keeping our grocery budget and the first thing we did was take a field trip to WinCo. There, we made many discoveries: 1)The produce at WinCo is not quality enough for us, even with the savings, 2)Going to WinCo when you are in a hurry is not worth it, 3) Although WinCo isn't a "bulk" store like Costco or Sam's Club, you can find BIG things there, the following pictures are good examples:

Above Left: I don't know if you can tell, but those are giant marshmallows. Matthew and I love to have roasted/toasted marshmallows year round. In Salt Lake we toasted them in our toaster oven. Here in Seattle we have been broiling them in the oven. In order for these guys to be soft all the way through we have to toast both sides.
Above Right: This is a 10lb tube of beef. It takes up the entire shelf of our fridge! We aren't planning on buying any more beef for a few more months!

Above: One more thing Matthew can threaten me with. (He would never)

We will see if the trip to WinCo really saves us money!

The other thing that Matthew and I have been struggling with is our menu (I find it interesting that both of these struggles have to do with food). Lately, we have not been able to come up with anything creative to eat and we are getting pretty sick of the same old things. Well, Matthew was trying to figure out what to make for dinner and he was talking to his sister Jen. She suggested twice baked potatoes and gave Matthew an idea of how to make them. They turned out fantastic and Matthew told me I had to take a picture of his masterpiece.

Above: The twice baked potatoes. They included sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese and some of the dry ranch mix. We also had roasted red peppers seasoned with Italian dressing and sauteed zucchini (the zucchini was a recipe from our Bishop's wife, they give us lots of good advice!)