Thursday, August 27, 2015

Llama Love!

Today was move in day at the University of Portland with lots of fun things to do all over campus.
Be the "I" in PILOTS!
The BEST thing they had on campus? Hugs with Rojo the therapy llama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I loved on this sweet boy for a full five minutes. He was soooo cute and very loving. If we ever get acreage, I definitely need a pet llama!
After the hug, I got to give him a 'carrot kiss.' I won't lie, I was a little nervous. Have you seen how big llama's bottom teeth are?
The good thing is, the giant teeth are only on the bottom and llama's can't bite you with them.

Carrot kiss, then "Can you believe I just kissed a llama??!"

Netflix This!!

We've watched two more good movies this week. One I absolutely loved: Nebraska with Bruce Dern.
It was shot in black & white, had a great/sad/funny storyline. Definitely two thumbs up!

Boyhood was also good, but long (2:40). It was filmed with the same actors over 12 years. Very good, though sad at times, but it has a happy ending too.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Netflix This!!

Such a cute movie! Just when I though it was going to be a predictable storyline, it wasn't!
Omid even gave this movie two thumbs up. Netflix it! You won't be disappointed.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Visit to Priest Lake, Idaho!

Last weekend, Lin, Ward, Omid and I took a trip to visit our good friends Tom & Katie at their cabin in Priest Lake, Idaho.   
Priest Lake is FAR away from Vancouver (about a 9 1/2 hour drive). Instead of wasting time driving,
we flew to Spokane. It was much faster! 
New PDX carpet!

On our way!!

We landed in Spokane and what did we see? The WSU logo!
We made it to Cougar Country!! Woohoo!
Tom & Katie picked us up at the airport and we were on our way to rest & relaxation!
Girls car....

Boys car!

We got to the cabin and were so in love with it.
Katie's family has been coming to the lake since the 1950s!
This photo is deceiving. You can blame that on yours truly. I was trying to take a panoramic shot....
Katie & Tom have two cabins on their property. One is the main cabin (kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, murphy bed) & the other cabin sleeps 6.
So happy together!

The entire weekend was all about sun, water, delicious food & good friends. ♥

Fun fact: We are ALL WSU love stories!

Did I mention good food? Tom & Katie went above and beyond on meals for us all.
We ate like this the entire weekend!

Sunrise over Priest Lake.
Thank you Katie & Tom for hosting us at your lakeside cabin!
We had the most wonderful time! ♥

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Giving Thanks....

I woke early the other morning and instead of asking God for what I wanted/needed, I decided to just say thank you for everything.
When was the last time I did that? Last Thanksgiving & it was a generic, 'Thank you God for everything you have blessed my family with.' Oh sure, I always mumble a quick thanks whenever a prayer is answered; but for everything God has given me or my family? Well, never.
So, because I had the time, I decided to really say a prayer of thanks and name all of the people/things/experiences I am truly thankful for, no matter how small or large.
You know what? After I spent a good deal of time doing this (more than an hour), it was overwhelming to me just how truly blessed I am.  I went through the entire day with a thankful attitude. I started noticing the things at work that I am thankful for as well.
What have you thanked  God for lately?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

An Evening with Barry Manilow!

On Thursday, May 28th, I FINALLY got to see Barry Manilow live in concert!

I have been waiting 36 years for this event! If you remember, back in 2013, Omid bought me tickets to see Barry Manilow for Mother's Day. Unfortunately, the concert was cancelled and I was one bummed out Mother.
Fun fact: I used to lie on the living floor of my parents house, listening to Barry Manilow; daydreaming that he would sing to me in person, while I sat on a wooden stool next to him onstage (with the spotlight on us). #fanilowsinceage10
My wonderful colleague, Sandy, received an offer from Groupon and we pounced on it. For the past 6 weeks, this concert was basically all we could talk about. No joke.

Myself, Nick, Fay & Sandy with our eTickets.
We tried to get Fay to go with us Fanilows, but she refused.
Fay - you KNOW you would have loved it!!!
Here's the fun group that did attend Barry with Sandy & I.
Amy, Nick, Sandy, Me, Lin & Tammie = MANILOVERS!
The concert was absolutely fantastic!!! Barry did not disappoint and sang ALL of my favorite songs!

I hope I have half the energy Barry does when I am 72!!

This last video is my favorite. He sang Mandy then transitioned into Could it be Magic. So wonderful!
Star-struck Fanilows post concert!

How awesome is this? Lin ran out to purchase me a shirt and missed MANDY. I was so sad for her.
I wore this shirt to work on Friday and of course was asked questions all day long. I happily answered them all!

Even though Barry said this is his final concert, I am selfishly hoping he'll headline back in Vega$. I would see him again in a heartbeat! Thank you Barry for a magical time!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Make This!!!

Marrakesh Carrot Salad!!

This. Salad. Wow, oh wow.
Make it! Trust me on this. You will be so glad you did!
I was lucky enough to have all the ingredients on hand, and smart enough to double the recipe in advance. Thank the good Lord in heaven for that. 
We ALL loved this salad, even our carrot-disliking college boy.
Marrakesh Carrot Salad via Joy the Baker
4 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
7 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
zest and juice of 2 limes
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a large bowl combine the carrots, garbanzo beans, chopped dates, green onions, cilantro and chopped pistachios.
In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest and juice of limes, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the feta cheese and toss lightly.
Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Prosser Wine Weekend!

Wine Weekend 2015
For the past few years, Omid and I have travelled to Prosser, Washington for a wine tasting weekend with our good friends, Katie & Tom.
The trip always starts out the same: we stop in The Dalles for lunch at  Cousin's restaurant. The food isn't great, but the atmosphere is fun. 


Let's get this party started!
Fun fact: We've been friends for 19 years!
If you haven't tried Tito's vodka yet, DO!
It's smoother & tastier than Grey Goose and is American made too!
Thanks Katie for finding this tasty treat!

First wine tasting of the day always starts out Pontin del Roza to meet our friends
Scott & Dustin.

Omid and Katie playing bocce ball at Pontin del Roza.

Apple trees at Pontin del Roza
After checking in with Dustin, we headed out to their vineyard to do some target shooting.
*Please don't go into random vineyards and shoot! We know the owners and still asked their permission!
Yay Katie!

Two good friends!


I LOVE everything about this photo!!!!!


Our little friend. He spun around & around when shot.

I love the two-toned head of hair the cow on the right. Too cute!

We had plans to have dinner with Scott & Dustin at PDR on their lovely patio. Unfortunately, Scott wasn't feeling well so we went with plan B, grilling at our hotel. Omid packed a portable kitchen so we were good to go.

Next, we headed to Davenlore winery.  On the way there, we talked about WSU's Cougar Gold Cheese. Katie casually mentioned that she had never tried it before...or Ferdinand's ice cream. My head was spinning! I couldn't believe it! luck would have it....Davenlore has samples of Cougar Gold cheese out. YAY!!!!! While Katie had a sample, I stood by the Cougar Gold and had a meal. It's good stuff!

Katie sampling her first Cougar Gold Cheese!!!

Last May, Dustin told us to visit Davenlore, and the owner/winemaker, Gordon Taylor wasn't there. This year, Gordon strode right up to us and introduced himself. We spent a lot of time chatting and Omid invited Gordon to have Persian BBQ with us. Not only did he accept, he invited us to have dinner at his home, instead of the hotel where we were staying! On to plan C!

With the famous Gordon Taylor of Davenlore.

This, friends, is the view from Gordon's home. It's breathtakingly beautiful.

Kebab barg & jujeh kebab. Koobideh followed!

Grill master hard at work!

Gordon helping to 'fan the flames.'

Cheers to new friends!

Dinner is served!!

Here's to new friends selfie & jazz hands too!☺

Fireside chat

As we were leaving, Gordon bestowed two very much appreciated gifts to us:
One, a bag full of chickpeas from Pullman, and two, a treasured bottle of wine.

Thank you Gordon for your hospitality and for welcoming us into your home!

 Everything about this past weekend was amazing! I love all the memories that we made.

Cheers to a successful weekend with friends old & new!

“The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences.”
― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild