Trinity Tree Farm

A couple of weekends ago, Brandon, Michael and I hopped into the car and drove 20 or so minutes east to Trinity Tree Farms, in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Trinity Tree Farm

Brandon has been trying for a few years now to get me to skip our annual trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot in favor of a U-cut tree lot.

(In my defense, I thought he wanted to drive into the forest and actually cut down a tree from nature– too many Christmas movies, or something, I guess…)

I subscribe to Red Tricycle and they sent out a great compilation of U-cut lots in the greater Seattle area. So, we did our researched and ended up at Trinity.

Due to Michael’s afternoon nap, we got a later start, which wasn’t ideal with Christmas tree shopping. But it wasn’t raining and we did catch some daylight.

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Trinity Tree Farm was lovely.  It’s a bit out of the way and the signage to get there was very clear and there was ample parking. They offer complimentary hot chocolate and other snacks are available for purchase. My favorite part was the roaring campfire. Michael and I sat around it with several other families. We toured the available trees to cut, but didn’t find the perfect one and ended up buying a pre-cut tree.

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We were hoping to catch Santa, but we he left hours earlier, so Michael sat on Brandon’s lap instead!

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Michael is turning into such a little boy!

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I hope you are having a wonderful pre-holiday and I look forward to hearing where you like to get your Christmas trees in the comments below!

 

{Wine Wednesday} Pie & wine!

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I appreciate the desire for a good pie this time of year, but personably I’m not a pie person. (I much prefer to drink my desserts!) When I found this pie and wine pairing guide from VinePair though, I knew I had to share with you and plan appropriately!

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I’m pretty excited to make this pumpkin pecan baked brie on Sunday for our big feast. Have you made something similar? Did you love it? Any tips?

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Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Check out photos of our day tomorrow on Instagram!

Beautycounter visits the Island

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Over the weekend I hosted a Beautycounter party with a few of my girlfriends. Think Stella & Dot or a Tupperware party, but with natural beauty products instead.

If you want to try out Beautycounter, you’re too late for their debut at Target, but you can order from my link! We all agreed that we want an introductory sample-sized kit of Beautycounter favorites, but it doesn’t currently exist, sadly.

I’m still figuring out exactly what I’m going to order, but here are the items I have my eyes on:

  • Nourishing cream cleanser ($26)
  • Nourishing day cream ($43)
  • Balancing face oil ($68)
  • Rejuvenating eye cream ($58)
  • Daily shampoo ($22)
  • Daily conditioner ($26)
  • Touch up skin concealer pen ($32)
  • Lengthening mascara ($29)
  • Winter warmth color palette ($58)

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About Beautycounter

Beautycounter is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the United States. Their Never List is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that they never use as ingredients in our products. This includes the over 1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.

While all Beautycounter ingredients are sourced with a higher standard of safety and quality in mind, it is well recognized — and accepted by regulatory authorities around the world — that incidental, trace levels of a chemical may inadvertently be introduced a cosmetic product due to the complexities of the supply chain and manufacturing process.

Check out this shortened, pocket-size version of their Never List that you can use for easy reference.

To compliment the Never List, the Environmental Working Group has a Healthy Living App that provides ratings for 120,000 food and personal items. I have downloaded the app but haven’t had the nerve to scan yet– I’m too scared!

Questions? Reach out to my friend CariAnn at www.beautycounter.com/cariannwitsoe

 

Michael turns one!

Last week we celebrated a very special holiday on the Island: our sweet baby Michael turned one!

Happy birthday Michael!

Happy birthday Michael!

It’s been a crazy, wonderful year. We’re so excited to watch our little one grow into a boy!

We celebrated with cake…

Baby's first cake: Praline Dream from Bakery Nouveau. Delicious.

Baby’s first cake: Praline Dream from Bakery Nouveau. Delicious.

Cake? Yes, please!

Cake? Yes, please!

"Oh yes, this is good."

“Oh yes, this is good.”

"How have I not had this before?! It's so good!"

“How have I not had this before?! It’s so good!”

"I. Love. Cake."

“I. Love. Cake.”

"Best day ever!"

“Best day ever!”

And a balloon wake up…

Balloons!

Balloons!

Channeling his inner Bill Clinton...

Channeling his inner Bill Clinton…

And birthday pancakes…

Best morning ever: pancakes, whip cream and sprinkles!

Best morning ever: pancakes, whip cream and sprinkles!

And a special cake from daycare. He loved it all. What a great week!

More birthday cake!

More birthday cake!

"Candle? I prefer the cake"

“Candle? I prefer the cake”

The happiest one year old that I know!

The happiest one year old that I know!

 

Fall 2016 TV premiere dates

The DVR has been emptied and programmed and I’m ready to plop down and spend a considerable amount of time watching… What, you ask?! Let me tell you…

First, I’d like to take a moment and pour some out for my shows that aren’t returning this year. (Did you see that Nashville is coming back!? Thank you, CMT!!!)

Next, I’d like to welcome back my returning favorites:

  • The Goldbergs, ABC (Sept. 21, 8 a.m.)
  • Modern Family, ABC (Sept. 21, 9 a.m.)
  • Superstore, NBC (Sept. 22, 8 p.m.)
  • The Blacklist, NBC (Sept. 22, 10 p.m.)
  • How to Get Away With Murder, NBC (Sept. 22, 10 p.m.)
  • The Simpsons, FOX (Sept. 25, 8 p.m.)
  • Quantico, ABC (Sept. 25, 10 p.m.)
  • Jane the Virgin, CW (Oct. 17, 9 p.m.)
  • Life in Pieces, CBS (Oct. 27, 9:30 p.m.)
Print your fall premiere guide here!

Print your fall premiere guide here!

And finally, I’ve done a bit of research and I’ve included these new shows in my list this fall: (All show explanations are from Wikipedia except for Divorce. That explanation comes directly from HBO.)

Designated Survivor, ABC (Sept. 21, 10 p.m.)

On the night of the State of the Union, an explosion claims the lives of the President and all members of the Cabinet except for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Tom Kirkman, who had been named the designated survivor. Kirkman is immediately sworn in as President, unaware that the attack is just the beginning of what is to come.

The Good Place, NBC (Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m.)

After she is struck and killed by a tractor-trailer carrying erectile dysfunction products, a woman named Eleanor wakes up to discover she has entered the afterlife. But when she is told by her mentor Michael that she is in “the good place” because she did a good deed by helping get innocent people off death row, she realizes that a mistake has been made and they think she is someone else.

Stuck in a world where no one curses or gets drunk and everyone is always nice, Eleanor finds herself caught between staying in the afterlife or trying to find a way to return to the mundane life she had back on Earth, as her entry into this spirited realm has caused a disruption since her arrival and she has to hide her not-so-perfect mortal behavioral past from everyone so they won’t send her to “the other place.”

Notorious, ABC (Sept. 22, 9 p.m.)

The show is based on real-life criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and Larry King Live news producer Wendy Walker. It’s a drama that goes behind the scenes of the murky relationship between criminal law and the media as an influential attorney and a TV producer manipulate the headlines and public opinion

MacGyver, CBS (Sept. 23, 8 p.m.)

A reboot of the 1985–1992 ABC series of the same name. Angus “Mac” MacGyver creates a secret U.S. government organization where he uses his extraordinary talents for problem solving and his extensive knowledge of science to save lives. I vaguely remember the original and still think of it when I use duct tape. I’m looking forward to this!

Westworld, HBO (Oct. 2, 10 p.m.)

Described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin,” the series tells the story of a futuristic theme park called Westworld. I’ve heard great things and enjoy most HBO shows, so I’m in.

Timeless,  NBC (Oct. 3, 10 p.m.)

Timeless is about a time-traveling criminal who steals a time machine in order to change the course of American history and destroy the country. It sort of looks like Forever, a show I really miss, so, I’ll give it a shot.

Insecure, HBO (Oct. 9, 10:30 p.m.)

Insecure is an upcoming HBO original series created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore, which is partially based on Rae’s web series Awkward Black Girl.

Divorce, HBO (Oct. 9, 10 p.m.)

Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO in the new comedy series, Divorce. Parker stars as Frances, a woman who suddenly begins to reassess her life and her marriage, and finds that making a clean break and a fresh start is harder than she thought. 

The Great Indoors, CBS (Oct. 27, 8:30 p.m.)

Jack has made a name for himself as an adventure reporter for the magazine Outdoor Limits. His days of exploring the world end when the magazine’s founder, Roland, announces its move to web-only publishing and assigns Jack to supervise the millennials who make up its online team of so-called journalists. I love Joel McHale!

A.P.B., FOX (Coming in 2017)

A tech-billionaire is given control over a Chicago Police district, hoping to close the file of a murder of a loved one. The story is loosely based on the New York Times-article “Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?”

Let’s not forget about my favorite mid-season returners in early 2017:

  • The Catch
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Pretty Little Liars (final season!)
  • Scandal
  • Shades of Blue
  • Sleepy Hollow

Let me know if there are any shows I’m missing that you think I’d enjoy! We upgraded our DVR this year, so we have the space, even if I don’t have the time to watch live!

(Look back at some of my TV viewing plans here: 2015 | 2014 | 2013)

Football season… already!?

So, it’s September. Along with Brandon’s last school year starting, Michael turning one, and fall TV and weather returning, it’s time to dust off our football gear and get ready for the NFL and NCAA football seasons.

We’re Seattleites who support the Seahawks, but the Broncos are our main NFL team. (And here.)

Of course, we have to dress the part!

We've got Bronco spirit!

We’ve got Bronco spirit!

Michael outgrew last year’s outfit (he was so little!)…

Our little fan watching the pre-game

Our little fan watching the pre-game

And this year’s arrived last week.

Michael's 2016-17 Bronco outfit is here!

Michael’s 2016-17 Bronco outfit is here!

While we were ordering Bronco gear, I went ahead and updated my look too: new orange sweatpants! Brandon has been an avid Bronco fan since he was in utero and he has a plethora of game day attire. My sister gave Brandon this Bronco sweater for his birthday this year, so I imagine we’ll see it a lot this fall!

Since the Broncos are the reigning football world champions, we’ll of course be celebrating the season kick off and SuperBowl 50 rematch on Thursday.

I’m thinking something easy and delicious, probably pulled pork. Maybe pulled pork tacos? Or nachos? If you have any great ideas, I haven’t made the menu yet, so I’m all ears! Please share your great plans for the 2016-17 NFL (and college! Our fan photos will come soon!) season and enjoy! Go Broncos and go Seahawks! (That’s for you, Peter and Molly!)

 

 

$1.31 scoops at Baskin-Robbins

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Are you as hot as I am right now? Summer in Seattle is usually lovely, however, we don’t have air conditioning and when it gets much above 80 degrees outside, it stays that hot (plus!) in our house.

It’s 83 degrees inside and 75 degrees outside as I type this now. At 10 p.m. Ugh.

With hot weather comes the need to cool down and boy do I have the hot tip for you: $1.31 scoops at Baskin-Robbins on Sunday! You know why? It’s the 31st of the month.

Turns out Baskin-Robbins does this EVERY time there are 31 days in a month.

I must confess that I’ve kept this information from you for over a year. But, now you have some notice to get to your closest B&R!

Mark your calendar and you’re welcome. Maybe I’ll see you on Sunday? And every 31st of the month after that?

Enjoy your scoops and you can thank me in the comments section below…