Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A 5K Kinda Day

So, this happened:

A few weeks ago Mr. Goodlaff and I decided to get a feel for a race day, and signed up for the West Seattle 5K.  It was a Run/Walk fundraiser for the West Seattle High School, which means that, if nothing else, our entrance fees went to a good cause.

I had two goals for this race: 1. Finish in under an hour (we walked all of it but the last 50 feet), and 2.  Don't come in last place.  I'm happy to say that we accomplished both goals.  Pessimistic goals, you say?  Pshh.  Realistic goals, more like. 

Mostly, we were trying to get an idea of what Wheezy would be like, and get a baseline for our performance.  The verdict? We still have a long way to go.  With a little less than three months before Wheezy, we still have a ton of work to do.  But I'm pretty sure we can do it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Few Projects

I haven't been overly crafty lately, but I did want to share a few things that I have been working on in the past month or so. 

A few months ago, I got on a bit of an embroidery kick.  I was on, ordering a birthday gift for Mr. Goodlaff, didn't hit the limit for free shipping, and decided to get a little something for myself.  Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, ended up in my cart, and gave me the pattern for this design:

I think it turned out well.  The metallic threads were a pain in the ass, but I really like the way it came out.  My next embroidery adventure involves clothing that someone might actually wear, so hopefully my skills are good enough for fashion!

My other project has been a long time coming--over a year in the making. See, once upon a time, I bought a cool frame from a thrift store.  I spray painted the hell out of it and with a little bit of magic, it got a new lease on life as an info sign for our wedding guestbook:

I love the frame.  The yellow is almost obnoxious, but you never see frames that shape, and I knew it would make a lovely...something...someday.  That day is here, and the frame has now become a chalkboard. 

I cut a piece of wood down to size with a box cutter (that was fun), painted it with black chalkboard paint, and now, our lovely wedding frame lives on as a weekly menu board. 

Here's what's cooking this week (don't be jealous):

It's actually a really useful thing.  We plan the week's menu on Sundays, buy all the supplies for dinners, and because we don't assign meals to days--we just see what we feel like eating on any given evening--sometimes we have trouble remembering what we are supposed to be making for dinner.  It's because we're getting old. And we keep forgetting to put Ginko on the shopping list. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutorial Twosday: Quinoa

All hail the triumphant return of Tutorial Twosday!

I have just discovered quinoa.  It's a lovely little protein-packed grain with the consistency of couscous and a healthful resume. The first time we cooked quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wah), we fell in love with the texture and its ability to be a blank canvas to all kinds of flavors; the love affair has continued from there. 

This week, I have two quinoa recipes to share, both of which I have tested, both of which are tasty.

Feeling summery?  Try Quinoa with Corn and Scallions:

This was so good.  Light, fluffy, and sweet, this was the perfect addition to a light, summery meal.  We had ours as a side for kabobs, and a glazed carrot and pea tendril salad, and it was perfect.  There are some things we cook and I think, " I am so bad ass! I am an awesome chef!" This was one of those.  Two thumbs up.

Remember how I said quinoa was good for you?  Remember when I said you could add pretty much anything to it?  Remember my love of cheese? (You see where this is going, right?) One of my lovely Pinterest pals found Quinoa Mac and Cheese, and I couldn't resist.  Grains.  Cheese.  What's not to love?

Was it as good as Mama Goodlaff's Mac and Cheese? No. But it was pretty awesome. And I felt very righteous eating that instead of pasta mac and cheese. I will probably add more cheese to the recipe next time I make it, which will completely negate all the good things the Quinoa brings to the table.  Oh dear--old habits die hard. 

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baby, You Can Buy My Car

When we moved to Seattle, Mr. Goodlaff was able to telecommute.  Once I got a job, I drove the car, he stayed home, and all was well in the land of auto.  A few months ago, Mr. Goodlaff got a new job about 25 miles away.  Sadly, this means no more working in his pajamas, but it also means we needed another car.

We investigated public transportation.  If I had my druthers, I would never drive.  When living in China, I took the bus and subway everywhere, and I loved it.  We looked at taking public transportation here, but it was inconvenient, impractical, and a pain in the ass. So, we decided on another car.

I've already established that there are certain life experiences I missed out on because my dad fixed and provided my cars.  Buying a car is one of them.

One of our saving graces was that we did a ton of online research prior to buying.  We looked at a ton of cars and even more dealerships.  We read reviews.  We did price comparison.  We checked the Carfax.  Eventually we found one car that we liked and wanted to look at.  It had a clean bill of health--no accidents--and had always been serviced at the dealership that was selling it.  It was in great condition, and had a good price, so we went to the dealership early one Saturday morning to take a look. 

We were greeted the second we stepped out of our car, and told Voss (our salesman) that we wanted to look at the car we'd seen online.  He pulled it out, we gave it a once over, took a test drive, and we really liked it.  In fact, I was trying really hard to show how much I liked it.  We decided to deal.

The best thing that Mr. Goodlaff and I did before walking into the dealership was settle on our maximum price.  Then we settled our our real maximum price.  Sound confusing?  Let me explain...We came up with the number that we would tell the dealer was our top price, but we also came up with our real maximum--our "walking away from the table no matter what" maximum, if you will.  We went back and forth on price, and finally settled somewhere in between our two numbers. 

It took us another hour after we came to an agreement to hash it out with finance and dodge all the warranty upsells.  But just a few hours after we decided on a price, we drove away in a new (to us) car.

And she's beautiful!

This is Luna.  Luna is a Honda Accord, and we have been getting along very, very well.  She has very dark windows;  I didn't like them at first, but now they've grown on me. 

I can't say that the process of buying a car was fun, but overall, I'm pretty satisfied with the results!

Adult experience number 372...check!