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Showing posts from 2016

Off to the Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Two years ago, my sister and I ventured up to Snohomish County to go to our first corn maze. On this past Sunday, we repeated the experience, this time, with her boyfriend in our company, taking lead as map guide. 
In our first year, we had forgone the use of the map and decided to venture through completely
on our own. We made it! It took us nearly two hours to complete the massive maze, but all the same, had a a lot of fun - so much so that when she announced that she was moving back to Washington State from Arizona, we both decided (early in the summer, mind you) that we would be returning to Bob's Corn Maze.

As our tummies were grumbling with hunger upon our arrival, we started our visit by standing in the understandably long line for three scrumptious golden ears of roasted corn, dipped into melted salty butter, using a napkin and the blackened husks to anchor the ears to our
hands. Juicy bites of corn melted in our mouths with one delicious bite after another. This year,…

Butter Be Fall - Apple and Pear Butters

Now that it's fall, I can bask in all the loveliness that this too-short season brings - be it the beautiful autumn reds and golds of the changing leaves, to the crisp, smoky air, and of course, my favorite: the bountiful fall harvests of apples, pumpkins, pears, squash, and many others.
I've been busy around my house, preserving many jars of fruit butters: apple and pear. I made two variations of apple butter - one is more traditional with a mulled apple cider flavor. The second one is a concoction I threw together by accident - lemon clove. I wasn't paying attention to the quantity of cloves and allspice, so the flavor was... ahem... a little strong. To counter it, I used a bit of maple syrup and cooked a lemon into the softening apple mixture. It now has a really nice mix of lemon and clove - very refreshing and unique. I think I will post a recipe onto my other blog because it accidentally turned into something quite tasty.
What are your favorite autumn traditions? I …

Happiest Flowers for Summer

The end-of-summer bouquets are probably my favorite arrangements of flowers available at Pike Place. The addition of bright, sunny-faced sunflowers and end-of-season dahlias are reminders to enjoy the last bits of the wondrous warmth before autumn sets in. Sunflowers are one of the happiest flowers I've ever seen.
Last week, a few of my co-workers and I went to Pike Place Market to pick up a beautiful birthday bouquet for a fellow friend and colleague. This is the stunning arrangement we snagged for her:

I want to return to the market to get another bouquet full of sunflowers. What are your favorite summery flowers?
Sunny days to you,
Em

Meet OC

I haven't written in a while. There are so many updates that I want to share with you all since I last wrote here. Today's post is going to focus on one of those updates: OC.
Who is OC? Well, he's the newest addition to the Green House... Our new roommate. Our loud and cuddly 13-year-old fur-friend who came to live with us after his last foster-mama couldn't keep him any longer. 
He came under my care a few months ago when a rescue organization I have been working with asked if I could take him. While he's not permanently in my care, (I haven't officially adopted him) he has made the Green House his home. And he's most definitely at home when he's cuddling with me when when I'm sleeping, so I just may become his forever-home after all. 
How cute is he? I think he likes my new comforter more than I do, ;-)
I'm also not sure where his name came from - I have concluded that OC stands for "odd cat." It seems fitting as he does have an odd…

A Recent Loss

The saddest day has come and gone with the loss of my beloved Ernie. March 11th.
It's more of a shock that he's not here anymore. New habits to form; old ones to break. I feel as though I'm forgetting something important... an important deadline or a medication that I was supposed to take with not having to constantly worry about his care. I know what this feeling is and logically everything makes sense, but my heart cannot reconcile that with what my brain is telling it. 
I'll stumble across a reminder of him and crumble under the weight of sadness. I miss him terribly. I find some comfort in knowing that someday I'll see him again in Heaven... but as that is so very far away, I'll have to grieve and learn to move on without my companion. My love bug. My Ernie-cat.
This blog serves a purpose to highlight the beauty in life. Sometimes beauty is in sadness and in grief though...and it's also in the celebration of life, or of life past.
I don't want to …

Funny Faces and Nasty Tastes

Sometimes the most beautiful things in life are the very things that make you smile, or better yet, laugh.  We can all do some real-life "lol-ing."
I'm trying to clear out my computer for some much-needed storage space and came across an old video I never edited/uploaded to YouTube this evening: The BeanBoozled Challenge with my sister.  I got it edited and uploaded it.
While watching the clips, I laughed so hard - a good belly laugh from the gut - enough to startle my cat, to be honest. It's amazing to me how many goofy faces we can make in one 15-minute period. Even if this video got 0 views in its lifetime, I wouldn't care. It's treasured time with my sister as she moved to Arizona at the end of last summer - and a reminder of how silly we are when we're together. 


 Here's the video for your viewing pleasure:


I hope that you enjoyed this as much as I did. Let me know if you end up doing the challenge too!

Em

The Many, Many Faces of Ernie-cat

Happy Friday, and if you're a Seahawks fan, (Go 'HAWKS!) then it will be happy BLUE FRIDAY to you! 
I was going through some pictures on my phone recently and came across a series of pictures that made me at first snicker, and then bust up with a full gutsy laugh as I continued swiping through. I created a collage out of the best ones, which are featured below. 
Meet Ernie-cat, my lovable, fluffy, orange tabby whose adorable face is plastered as my wallpaper on my work computer. His aim: to make you laugh. How? By showing off his incredibly silly derpy expression:


Granted, he doesn't make this face all the time - only when we're playing and I've just about tuckered him out. 
What do you think? Has this been a great start to your weekend? Let me know which of these pictures is your favorite. 
Until to-meow-row,
Em

Coloring Our World

Once upon a time... back to the days of childhood, there were colorless books of simple black and white images. These images inspired children everywhere to fill in the blank spaces with vivid and imaginative bright colors. These books were known everywhere as coloring books - a wonderful tool that parents and educators used to calm and quiet children all while encouraging artistry and imagination.
Back to the present day: almost every book store you visit now has some form of coloring books for adults. It is now widely known and accepted as a way to calm ones spirit and reduce stress. In essence, coloring isn't just for kids anymore. Publishers and artists everywhere have stepped up the game and have created everything from mandalas to fairy tale stories that require some coloration. These are more intricately designed books, which I am completely obsessed with.
Take the two beautiful gold-embossed coloring books I recently acquired:
The Time Garden by Daria Song and The Enchante…

Literally Escaping to Days Gone By

One of the goals that I set for myself this year was to read more often - and because that isn't detailed enough, I told myself that it would be at least two books per month. 
My literary comfort zone generally lies with old English literature - literature penned by the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, and so on. I also greatly appreciate post-Civil War American literature as well - in fact, I remember fondly one of the Lit courses I took back in college studying just that. And, if you can believe, I still have those text books. Okay, yes, I'll admit to being a little bit of a nerd there. No shame!
The first book of 2016 is Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey, a story about a young educated woman who paves her way through society as a governess. I'm only on Chapter 3 now, but so far I find it enjoyable. It reminds me of the summer several years ago where I was a nanny for a young girl, thankfully without the sadistic tendencies described as the traits one of Agnes'…

In Remembrance

I've been sitting here in front of my laptop, determined to write a blog post. I have my schedule of blog posts in my weekly planner, and for a very good reason, I don't feel like writing about today's scheduled topic. I'll save it for later. At some point, staring out into space and pretending as though I'm somewhere else will not end in productivity, so I must find something else to write about. Something with substance.

What I do feel like writing about right now is hope.

Back in the good ole days of 2010 and 2011, when I really started to dive into blogging and YouTube, I created a blog called Insights. It was a place for eclectic writings and any random musings I cared to explore. Eventually, it evolved into writings about a spiritual journey I was on. I talked about relentlessly seeking joy and finding happiness and beauty in everything. Sound somewhat familiar? BDV is all about finding the beauty in life - it was really birthed from Insights.

The blog still…

The First Frost of the Winter

El NiƱo is supposed to bring us a rough winter with colder temperatures and a lot of snow this year - or at least that's what I keep hearing. Every morning, as I'm trekking out to my car, I am made aware of how accurate this seems as I shiver and stutter as I start my car and wait for the heat to kick in. 
A couple of months ago - I believe that it was early November - I took my mom to Semiahmoo Beach in northern Washington where we stood and watched the sunset and took in the beautiful clear sky. Don't let the brightness of the sun fool you into believing it was a summery day though, when instead it was frosty and chill. Below, you'll see images of our first experience with the brisk temperatures while on the beach:



Wintertime creates beautiful scenery, even if we think of the cold as being a nuisance or not-so-pleasant part of the year. Sometimes, you just have to stand back and admire Mother Nature's beauty and artful creations. The crystals here are simply stunn…

Remembering the Holiday Magic

Now that the last of the holidays are over, things seem to be slowing down and are beginning to feel a tad bit normal again. I still haven't taken down my Christmas decorations yet, but that will come this weekend. To be honest, I'm a bit sad. I love Christmastime and wish it could have lasted just a tad bit longer. However, I cannot complain as I've had a wonderful holiday season jam-packed with almost everything that I wanted to enjoy this season.

I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures from the holiday season with you:

If you follow me on Instagram, then you would have seen this hideous creation right after I glued on the very last sequin and was finished pinning on these battery-operated lights. Did I win the contest? No, apparently someone else had an uglier sweater, but at least I can't say that I didn't try!

My mom came down twice in December to spend time with me. The first time, she and I baked up a storm - between the eggnog bread, sugar cookies, c…