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Seattle Food and Wine Experience

Experience, right? That really sets an expectation. Not just a tasting, not just a festival: an entire experience. Brent and I made our way to Seattle Center for the Seattle Food and Wine Experience on Saturday. I’m not sure I would call it “an experience” but it was a lot of fun! We ate and drank a ton, so there’s way too much to include here, but I’ll just post some photos and recap some of our favorites.

So much food!

Our favorites of the food:

  • Braised Waygu short ribs with sweet yams mash on crostini from Andaluca.
  • Hot smoked Neah Bay black cod with powdered chorizo, pickled red onion & crispy chick peas from Blueacre Seafood.
  • Kona crusted petite tender with shallot butter from The Capital Grille.
  • Charred flank steak and chimichurri pesto with udad strips from Cedar’s Cafe.
  • And I had a serious love affair with the donuts from Frostology.

And so much to drink too!

Our favorite drinks of the event:

We had such a good time. Between work and his commute Brent is gone a lot more than he used to be so it was a lot of fun to be able to hang out for a few hours without tv and internet distracting us. 🙂

Things to Keep in Mind

Job hunting is hard. If you’re an adult, you probably don’t need me to tell you this. Job hunting in a recession is harder. Job hunting in a recession when you have no experience in your field and have moved yourself across the country away from your entire network of friends and family is downright miserable. Miserable.

I’m prone to being a drama queen so I’ve been all, “Woe to me. My education is Useless. Useless!! I’ll never find a job! Woe.” Yeah, to say Brent has been a trooper is an understatement. Obviously this behavior is extremely unacceptable for the long term, and as such I’ve been trying to reverse any funk I may or may not be in. This unfunkifying requires daily work.

I’m still kind of funky, so clearly I haven’t mastered the art of getting all zen with my situation. What I have done is amassed a list of things that do not help when faced with this type of situation.

Do Not Do This:

  • Drink copious amounts of wine
  • Tell your husband how hard your life is. Everyday
  • Read message boards about the doomed state of your profession
  • Flop yourself on the couch and declare that you’re too depressed to move
  • Avoid all contact with the outside world and possibly general hygiene

So the above strategies obviously did not work out for me, so I’m trying some new tactics.

These Might Help:

  • Volunteering (with Girls on the Run of Puget Sound)
  • Copious amounts of yoga
  • Use free time to for awesome kitchen projects and
  • Maybe some DIY home projects too
  • Remind yourself how much you have to be thankful for

What do you do when you find yourself getting down for an extended period of time?

The Idle Loaf, RN

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Hey guys,

Just a quick update to let you know that I rescheduled my boards, and took them early this morning. And… I passed! I’m officially a registered nurse! Complete with my own license number and everything. Excited and happy are complete understatements about how I feel.

I have to start thinking about finding a job soon, but not tonight. Tonight, I’m celebrating!!!

Apartment Tour

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Let’s get one thing straight. This is not a tour to show off my awesome decorating skills, mostly because I have none, but also because our place is definitely still a work in progress. Remember, we moved here with only what would fit in our trunk. Without further ado, here is where we live.

Welcome! Larry and Lucy will greet any guests.

The (currently empty) guest bedroom to the right of the entryway.

After passing the coat closet, on the left is the guest bath

Stackable W/D in the closet in the guest bath

After passing a hall closet, we come to the open kitchen on the left.

View of the kitchen from the breakfast bar

The master bedroom, opposite the kitchen on the right. The king-sized bed takes up way too much room, but it's so worth it.

The master bath, hidden behind the bedroom door.

View of the living room from the kitchen

Our living area. I love all the windows.

Our "dining room." That window has the BEST view! The table folds down too!

The door to the balcony. The dogs hang out here and stare at the street from 6 stories up.

French doors leading to the (empty) office

View of the kitchen from the living room.

Wow. That was crazy long! I just wanted to share. I’m starting to really like the place, and the kitchen is an upgrade from our last apartment.

Gotta go now. We’re off to see the Picasso exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. I am so excited! 🙂

From Fort Wayne to Seattle

We’ve made it! The past two weeks have been a whirlwind! We moved out of our place in Fort Wayne on Thursday, Dec. 23rd.

We left with Larry, Lucy, and the trunk of our Jetta stuffed to the brim. It felt so strange to donate and sell nearly everything we own. It was a good lesson in making myself realize what is really necessary in my life.

We spent Christmas Eve with Brent’s family, and then traveled the 4+ hours Christmas afternoon to my parents’ house. My mom threw us a going away (and my graduation) party on Sunday, Dec. 26th, and on Monday the 27th, we woke up at 3:30am and hit the road!

All together from Chicago to Seattle we spent 32 hours driving. We had very few stops because we packed a cooler full of peanut butter, jam, bred, hummus and veggies to sustain us. We expected to spend 3 days driving, but on Monday I was pumped to get on the road and get this road trip done. That, combined with exceptionally perfect weather, led us to drive 21 hours on Monday. We stopped and slept for 5 hours and carried on again on Tuesday. After another 11 hours of drive time, we finally arrived!!

I love Seattle. I love our new place. I love the mountains. I love the water. I love the FOOD. I am just so excited to be here! Our new apartment is a total mess right now, but a photo tour is on the way, I promise. In the meantime, here are the views from our balcony.

This park is super close to us and along the water, and I foresee Larry and I taking a ton of walks there.

That’s all for now, but I have so much to write about, including some Thai food Brent can’t stop talking about, and a sandwich courtesy of Mario Batali’s father. I can’t wait to share my explorations of our new city with you!

The Idle Loaf, Graduate Nurse

Holy crap! I finally graduated! I am so grateful to be done. It feels like it has been such a long time coming. When I graduated with my B.A. in 2005, I knew I wouldn’t “use” my degree. I had majored in Political Science and had originally planned on going to law school. I basically decided my last semester of school not to do that. After getting a generic entry-level job and working for a while, I started discussing my plans for more school with Brent. He was generally supportive, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to go back for though.

My second job out of school was working at a dermatologist’s office in LA, and I loved it!I only worked there for 3 shorts months before Brent and I moved to Fort Wayne, but I had decided by then that I wanted to work in the medical field. After starting to work for the MDA in the Fort, I started taking pre-reqs for the nursing program at our local college in 2007. After one semester of that, I decided I wanted to be a dietitian instead, so I took a pre-req for that in early 2008. Then, I shifted my attention back to nursing after deciding it was a more versatile field and I would get more patient care.

I started my program in August 2009, and I can definitely say I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I feel quite sure that I did not full understand what nurses did all day, and I had some vague notion that I just wanted to “help people.” After 16 intense months of school and clinicals, I have never been so glad that I chose nursing. I think it’s hard, it can be dirty, and people can be ungrateful, but I feel so privileged to be able to ease a family’s fears, explain a confusing diagnosis, give great news, or hold a hand when comfort is needed.

I’m almost there! I’m now a graduate nurse (GN), and after I take my boards, hopefully in January, I’ll be an RN. I can’t wait!

We’re Moving!!

Hey all! Part of why my blog life has tapered off recently (other than school) is because I felt like I didn’t have a lot to share along with my food photos because Brent and I have been planning some things that required discretion. I’m not so great at discretion, so I just kept quiet instead. Finally all relevant parties have been notified and the cat’s out of the bag at Brent’s work, so I’m allowed to tell you: we’re moving – to Seattle!

Brent’s been interviewing at several companies, in a few different states, but we really loved Seattle. He finally got word that he received a few offers in the Seattle area and sent me this text while I was at clinical:

We’re moving to Seattle! Feel free to blog about it.

I’m so freaking excited! New restaurants, walkability, a non-harsh winter, selling our car!!, fresh seafood, a new kitchen, hiking, trying to snowboard, Columbia Valley wines, ahhh…. just so many things!!

We haven’t narrowed down our exact move date yet, but it will be after the holidays, most likely the last week of December or early January. I have to say I feel incredibly proud of Brent. Even he was shocked at how in demand he was (he’s a software developer), and his job hunt from resume submission to job offer confirmation was only a month. We weren’t expected it to happen so quickly, but it’s perfect timing since I’ll be done with school December 13th!!

That’s all. Just wanted to share the good news! 🙂

Sometimes I Feel Like a Hypocrite

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This isn’t really about food or anything related to cooking or baking, but as Brent says, the blog is like my diary so I may as well use it like one. I have high cholesterol. Like alarmingly “you need to be under the care of a physician immediately” high cholesterol. I’ve talked about it on the blog before, and mentioned that I’m not super comfortable with relying on pharmaceuticals to “fix” it. Most of my concern with pills comes from the fact that “long-term study” is relative, and most people do not begin taking these types of medications in their 20s and continue to take them for the next 60 years. Now that is seriously long-term. Also, the class of medications used to treat high cholesterol, the statins, cause significant damage to developing fetuses, and while I’m not currently nor do I plan to become pregnant any time in the near future, this is a concern to me as a married woman in the prime of her child-bearing years. No one can say for sure what’s going to happen and that’s a risk I’m unwilling to take.

Where was I going? Oh right, I’m a hypocrite. So as a nursing student, I am taught daily about patient education and the important of ensuring patients understand medical advice and why following it will help them improve their condition/prevent disease/living a longer life. I am basically ignoring all medical advice (and plenty from my family as well) because I don’t feel “comfortable” with it. I’ve really been thinking lately about what that means for my health (especially my future health) and whether I’m ignoring this advice because I am truly apprehensive about the pills or whether I’m just being stubborn and refusing to believe there is something “wrong” with me. My friends and family know I feel the need “to be in control,” and I think the idea that there is an aspect of my body or my health that I can’t control really upsets me.

So here I am, super high cholesterol and not on medication for it. And I still eat pizza and ice cream and a million other things I probably “shouldn’t.” That frustrates me sometimes. I feel like an idiot when I think about the fact I eat food like that while still refusing medical intervention. I know it’s absolutely ridiculous to think I would never eat such things again. I guess I just feel like if I’m not going to be “perfect,” then maybe I ought to listen to the doctors. I just really don’t know, which is a scary feeling in itself.

There’s no real point to this post other than to say I’m struggling. And it kind of sucks.