Thankgiving in Denver!

Happy Thanksgiving! I had the pleasure of hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. :) My lovely family came up from the Springs to spend the evening with me. We had a wonderful time together!

I was nervous about pulling everything together, especially the turkey. After lots of research and conferring with friends, I got started Wednesday night with the brining of it. My friend let me borrow her amazing pot. 

I am not going to lie...raw meat of any kind is pretty much my least favorite thing. I was so grossed out and completely paranoid about salmonella. After getting the bird all situated in there to soak for the night, I scrubbed my kitchen and fridge from top to bottom with bleach..ha. Paranoid? Yes. Better safe than sorry? Yes.
The brine included fresh squeezed orange and lemon juices, chicken stock, water, crushed peppercorns, salt, brown sugar and oregano.

The next daunting and slightly disgusting task: separate the skin from the meat so you can shove yummy things inside to keep it moist. I dressed the bird with olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary and basil, salt, pepper and dried Italian seasonings.

I was so happy with how it turned out! Crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. Yum!

These are my people. So grateful for them and their love. 

And can we talk about sisters for just a minute?! Love her. Hair twinsie. Best friend. Seahawk supporter (or at least not hater ;)). I wish everyone had a sister.

The final spread. We had pirags (Latvian meat pastries) this year instead of rolls...yum!!
I tried crockpot mashed potatoes this year...amazing! Red skin potatoes, butter, milk, Greek yogurt, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Easy and delicious! 
And for stuffing, I sauteed onions, brussel sprout leaves, celery and garlic in butter and bacon grease. Then added the bread, whisked eggs and chicken stock. Last, capacolla for a little crunch. 
I am missing a picture of it but we also had Baba's pumpkin pie!


West Coast Tour! (+Minneapolis)

I got to travel for half of September all over the country! It was all work related and I squeezed a little personal in there too. :) Here are some pics.


I have been waiting three years to get into this restaurant in Minneapolis and we finally made it this year! The Bachelor Farmer...really good modern Scandinavian food. Fresh and delicious!

-Look at those gingham awnings!-

Next stop, San Francisco! I embarked on a West Coast Tour visiting our showrooms in San Fran, LA and Seattle to help with our Accessories Department Install. It was really great for a lot of reasons but primarily because it gave me experience in doing this before our showroom gets the department in 2015.

-A run down by the water in SF-

Next up...LA! We got to stay at a fabulous mid-century hotel called the Avalon. So amazing!

-I mean, look at that wall!-

Next stop....Seattle! Oh I have been so excited about this part of the trip for obvious reasons!! I flew directly from LA to Seattle Thursday night so that I would have the whole weekend to play before starting work on Monday. It was spectacular...the entire weekend. So thankful!

-First morning, I went for a run in the pouring rain with moody clouds and fog everywhere...so dreamy!-

-Oh I have missed the stairs of Seattle! I love running stairs!-

-Eye candy-

-The infamous 'gum wall' has turned into 'gum alley' -ha....sorta gross too.-

-The Ferris Wheel was added after I left so it was really fun to see what all the hype was about. :)-

-Sarah came across the water to spend the afternoon with me!-

-I had a couple hours to kill, so I wandered around my old neighborhood, Ballard. It was fantastic. Miss that place!-


-She made me this incredible bohemian wall weaving! What a talented lady!-

On Friday night, my cousin Alexis and her husband Reed and daughter Marian drove up to Seattle to have dinner with me! It was so amazing to meet the little one and spend some great time together catching up. We ate at a delicious Italian Restaurant called Tavolata. Yum!

Saturday, Laura and I drove down to Portland to visit Janelle. It was an easy road trip and precious time to reconnect with her.

-Moody fog-

-Laura, Janelle and I-

-The Rose Garden-

-We also went on a short hike...look how luscious everything is!-

-Spent the afternoon in downtown Portland including coffee, cupcakes and getting lost in Powells. :)-

Sunday afternoon, I was able to connect with my dear friend Maren! I met her littlest, Myla, for the first time and had a wonderful afternoon catching up.

-Next up, a walk around Greenlake with Megan and Laura!-

-Me, Megan and Laura in my old church (where Megan works)-

A wonderful surprise was being able to connect with my old design professors, Keith and Beth! These two are such an inspiration!