I got a Bobble

So I have been working my butt off at the gym these last couple of weeks. Mr. Ramon knows how important it is that I get in shape before the wedding - so he offered to get me my gym membership and a trainer to whip me in shape. So nice of him and I totally appreciate it.

I generally cannot stand to exercise. And sitting at the store this last year took a heavy toll on my health and weight. So I am in need of a overhall.  To say that I am actually enjoying it surprises me - but I think that carving out this little piece of me time makes me feel so good - and getting this body moving has made me feel so much better.

Last week while my trainer was torturing me I almost passed out or threw up. I knew that I had not had enough water the day before and that I needed to start taking water to the gym with me. This leads me to the Bobble.

Mr. Ramon and I popped into The Container Store and I immediately saw this big display of all sorts of water bottles. People in the pacific northwest are all about their fancy water bottles.

I ended up getting this very cool bottle called the Bobble. It was $9.95, is made in the USA of recycled materials, has a squeeze top so you can use it hands free, is free of BPA and the best part is that it has a carbon filter.  So as you drink you filter your water. Awesome for me as our Seattle drinkning water is heavy on the chlorine. This little filter will work for 2 months or 40 gallons of water. The refills are $7.95, so you are looking at $4 a month for filtered water and no bottles to throw away.

It came in pink and green and black - which was what I chose of course. I took it to the gym with me today and it performed very well!!


location and date set

Exciting news on the wedding planning timeline. We have a venue and a date set. Yippee!!!

We decided on a Friday night event - we have people coming in from out of town and this allows us to spend Saturday with them before they go home. So January 28th it is!!

We had two great locations in mind. We did not have a lot of choices as we had some unusual needs for our event. First no way am I getting married in a hotel - 1. way to expensive and 2. not really my style. So we were looking for something that met our "theme" of rustic glamour (more on that later), would let us party late, have both the ceremony and the reception, central to Seattle, let me bring in my own deserts and meet our tight budget!

We first looked at the Engine Room in Georgetown. Amazing old space - the look and feel we wanted with a 24 hr. rental period giving us lots of time and amazing owners to work with. I was sure this was it - and then we started talking about all the work it would take to decorate the space. How many friends we would have to enlist, how many ladders we would need and how cleaning all that up early the next morning does not sound like fun.

So on the hunt again - Mr. Ramon suggested I look at Sole Repair in Capitol Hill. We have been to several events there - but I have never looked at it from my own event perspective. We met with Grace the event coordinator to look at the space. Seeing it empty allowed me to visualize my event and it seemed so much more do able when it came to decorations. They have a great bar staff that will do a wine tasting with us and Grace was very flexible with the items I am bringing in and when they can be picked up etc. I love that there is a loft area where we can have soft seating and that the entire space is  feels old and recycled - giving it that rustic urban look we are going for.

So now that we have put a stake in the ground - Mr. Ramon and I are meeting this Friday to put together a timeline and some deliverables so we can move forward!! So exciting!!


blueberry buttermilk muffins

I am always trying to find a way to use up buttermilk in the fridge. It seems like there is always one recipe calling for a scant amount of buttermilk and then I have a whole container on hand. The good part is I can try and use it up making yummy snacks like these blueberry buttermilk muffins.

You can use any berry on hand - frozen work great - I went with blueberry since that is what I had in my freezer. They turned out great and I delivered them warm to my volunteers at our pet adoption event at Immortal Dog.

2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one orange or lemon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
2/3 cup (160 ml) safflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Position rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray 12 muffin cups. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Gently fold in the berries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.

Fill each muffin cup almost full of batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins or 6 jumbo muffins.

Note: If using frozen berries you may have to bake the muffins a little longer than the stated time. Also, if making jumbo sized muffins, again, you may have to bake the muffins a little longer.


wedding planning begins

Since becoming engaged in February Mr. Ramon and I have rambled about on the topic of our wedding. I started looking through wedding blogs for DIY inspirations and dreaming of what it could be - our perfect night.

How happy am I to have a guy who wants to be involved in every decision made ? Very - at the moment, though I can see this also being a pain in the butt as we continue to move forward. He is a designer and has very specific ideas in his head. My job - get him to articulate them.

We came up with the 2 most important things for us - look awesome and have great music. All other elements being secondary.

We tried to put our "theme" in words - it would have been so much easier to understand if it was "ranch themed" or "preppy". We settled on describing our theme as "rustic glamour". Not sure what that means - well we are trying to figure it out as well. Think Anthropologie - in the sense of found items, open beams, rustic details and a dose of candles, sparkle and glamour.

We landed on a month - January. I really want a winter wedding. Cold, pouty day with clouds - I dream of snow.

We chose a time - we are looking at an evening wedding with desert, dancing and drinks to follow.

Here are a couple of images that I found that are little bursts of inspiration.


Next week we conquer venues - of course we are looking for something specific - so our options are limited. So pop back and see what we found!


Fresh Flours - Ballard

Had to run over to the end of the world this morning - Ballard, so I thought I would check out the new bakery I saw next to Bastille a couple of weeks ago.

Fresh Flours is a cute little shop - utilitarian and basic. Just the way I like it. They have all their pastries laid out on the counter as you walk in behind a glass sneeze guard. They have a cold case with juice and sandwiches in it also. When you look back into the space you can see all the ovens and baking racks - a sort of exposed kitchen. (In fact when I saw this place - I said - "why not me - I want this")

I could not decide what to take away with me so I grabbed a couple of basic items to test them out. Upon talking with the girl behind the counter I learned that they are owned by a Japanese couple who love the art of French pastry infused with subtle Japanese flavors. This explained the azuki bean brioche and green tea cookies.

I picked up this apple turnover. I am a huge fan of pocket type pies and the turnover is my favorite flakey favorite. This version had a thicker than expected exterior with more of a chew than a crisp bite. The apple was nice - perhaps a little sweet. A very pretty pastry.

The other two sweet items I grabbed were a chocolate chip and a peanut butter cookie. I like to try out the basics at new places to see if they can win me over with them. Getting the basics right is so important I think.

The cookies were soft in the middle and chewy around the edges. Overall tasty - the chocolate chip may have been a touch to sweet - but the peanut butter was spot on.

I also picked up a sandwich for my lunch. I love egg salad - my mom makes the perfect egg salad. We are purists - so only egg, mayo and salt/pepper. Always on white bread. Sometimes on white toast for breakfast. The girl at Fresh Flours said their egg salad was a bit dry - but had no mustard - a must. So I decided to give it a whirl. The bread was a bit dry - but that may have been on purpose so over the day it would not get soggy. Other than needing a bit more salt it was not bad. I must say - it did not stick around for a photo - sorry!!

Next time I am in Ballard I will stop in and give one of their Japanese inspired pastries a whirl.