Splendid Start to Summer

Hello to the blogging world! This is an attempt to start regularly blogging. When I say regular, I do not mean that I will have a set blogging schedule. In the past, I have tried my best to be a daily writer, and found so much joy in doing so. There were also times that I felt hard pressed to come out with something creative and would beat myself up over it if I didn’t necessarily like the outcome or feedback I received. Time to learn from the past, and just go with the flow over here on e’claire 🙂 No pressure, no pressure.

So, in case you haven’t noticed by checking the date of my last post, I have been away from the blogosphere for quite some time. First, it feels good to be sitting here writing again. If you read this, thank you! Secondly, I realize that reading the day-to-day happenings in someone else’s life might not be for you, and that is perfectly fine. I am choosing to blog this time to document some parts of my life that I think are special or important to me! Whether it’s a post about dinner I made, a race I am training for (I only say this because I just so happen to be training for a half marathon in August 2013), or what I did that weekend, I want a way to remember all of life’s short moments. So, if you’re interested, please keep reading and I’d love to receive feedback/comments as you read along. Nothing makes my day more than a little note from someone saying that they read and enjoyed something. 

With all of that being said, I have the tendency to be a completely random blogger. One day I will be on a recipe kick, and you may get recipes for a week straight…and then next up comes a poem that I write. I used to feel like I had to choose a blogging “theme” and couldn’t incorporate all aspects of my multi-dimensional personality. Well, that’s who I am. Abstract. Eclectic. And that is what this blog will be, otherwise it wouldn’t be an accurate portrayal of life as I know it 😉 

So, first up: summer. Gosh, am i excited that Seattle is officially nearing July 4th. Anyone who knows Seattleites or lives here themselves is aware that Seattle doesn’t officially hit summertime weather until after the 4th. I am ready for it. Waking up this morning to rainy, gray skies is for the birds! How is a girl supposed to feel motivated to run when Mother Nature is saying, “Shhhh gooo back to sleep!” 

Regardless of what Seattle weather might look like at the moment, nothing can take away the awesome time I just had last weekend in Chicago (note: I escaped the gray skies to enjoy summer). My boyfriend, Cole, was the best man in his friend Matt’s wedding in Chicago. The entire weekend was picture-perfect. From the steak dinner at Smith & Wollensky on State Street to the rehearsal dinner boat cruise on Chicago’s First Lady, the weekend boasted many amazing memories. When I recollect on my favorite moment from the weekend, dancing the night away with my man comes to mind. Who would have ever known that he had such great dance moves up his sleeve…er, pants? I was pleasantly surprised and I am sure looked a fool with my big cheesy grin plastered on my face every second I spent on the dance floor. Great memories. 

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The photo pictured above is just part of the amazing group I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with. 

Another memorable moment from the trip this past weekend was going to O’Hare Airport with Cole. If you know me or have asked about my “how did you guys meet” story, you’d know that Cole and I met in the O’Hare Airport on December 27th, 2012. When we met, Cole asked me how long I had lived in Seattle, and I quickly realized I had moved to Seattle on December 27, 2011 from Chicago. It had been exactly one year. Even stranger? Cole had moved to Seattle from Chicago on December 27, 2011 as well…! We had embarked on the same road trip across the U.S. not knowing one another, and magically were united at the airport one year later to the very date. We weren’t in the airport on a “27” date this time, but it was sure close to exactly six months since we had been there and exchanged phone numbers for our first date. My oh my, how time flies! I am happy to say that today is our six-month anniversary of dating and I have loved and enjoyed every second of it! Here’s to many more months!

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the happy things

Hi Blog Reader! It’s been awhile since my last post (over a month to be exact). I am certainly horrible at keeping up with this, I must admit. I just remembered today how much I miss blogging, so here I am again! Things have been pretty great here in Seattle, I must say…


Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Celebrating my most favorite, Emily and being at her Miscellaneous Birthday Bash. Such a great time. I can’t remember the last time I stayed out until the wee hours of the morning (never mind the fact I paid for it for three days…). Sometimes, a girl’s gotta just let her hair down, right? What a fun Saturday night!

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Complete with my bow-tie wearing man! Sigh…isn’t he adorable? I know Winking smile

(Sorry for the blurry pic…I need a new phone stat!)

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Beginner Ballet Classes

In other news, last Sunday I took my first ballet class in many years, and man did it feel great to be back! Something about it just makes me so happy inside. I found a pretty cool studio close by, so I hope to make it a weekly thing! Here I am on my first day. The cool part is that they have drop-in classes, so you can just go whenever you have time! I like! I’m hoping to go again this Sunday, or try a Modern class tomorrow morning. I forgot about all of those “dancer muscles”, but my body happily reminded me the following morning with trembling legs and feet. Felt so good to be back! Call me crazy, but I’d love to get into it again, and be in some sort of performance!

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Dog Sitting

While the boyfriend has been doing a bit of traveling, I’ve been filling in as dog-sitter. I have to say, I probably enjoy it more than Kona and Bronco do. I know they miss him, but it makes me so happy to wake up and have puppies to play with and walk! I recently had to put my own dog, India, down so nothing makes me happier than waking up to the “routine” I was used to with her; walking, feeding, playing. It’s truly the little things in life, people! Here’s Miss Kona-Bean on our run this morning. This makes me smile!

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Things I’m planning this weekend

I am excited for the weekend because we are supposed to have OUTSTANDING weather here in Seattle. I’m talking 80-degree days! This excites me because I am hoping to get my white body a little tanned, read a good book in the sunshine, and relax! Any good book recommendations? Other than relaxing, I have a birthday party to go to tonight, a Beginning Modern dance class tomorrow, and that’s about it! Yay weekend!

Patio Project:

I have a few little projects/cooking ideas that I want to try to plan/start thinking about this weekend. I am trying to brainstorm ideas for a small patio space at the boyfriend’s…so where else to turn but Pinterest. Look at this awesome outdoor buffet, you guys. Amazing. Now, if I could only find one! I have a few ideas…I love  that outdoor flooring too.

Nautical Themed Patio:

I’m a huge fan of nautical themed patios. I have my parents to thank for this. For as long as I can remember, my Mom has been dressed in blue and white everything and loves everything nautical. I think this is the cutest patio setup, and I’d love to re-create parts of it. I like the idea of old closet doors for a backdrop/blinds. The oars I am sure you could find at Goodwill or a thrift store, and paint however you’d like. Paint some chairs white, make some cute pillows and a table cloth! Super fun! I am excited just thinking about it!

I hope you have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

Claire

spring sweet spring

This past weekend, the Pacific Northwest experienced some spectacular weather. The boyfriend and I made sure we were able to fully enjoy it 100% and headed out early Saturday morning to Hood Canal with the dogs in tow.

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There was plenty of time for golf…

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Friends…

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Delicious food…

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We had a great time at the Canal, and headed back early Sunday morning to celebrate Easter in Seattle!

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For lent this year, we both decided to give up dining out. I also included abstaining from purchasing coffee from coffee shops (I would just make it at home). For a little Easter treat, we stopped by Starbucks before the ferry and treated ourselves to some java, and a few new mugs since I really prefer making coffee at home anyways! I have to say, giving up dining out was not as difficult as I had anticipated, and it was quite fun spending so much time together in the kitchen cooking. I think we have both decided we liked the amount of money we saved, and enjoy trying new recipes. I think we will continue to dine-in more frequently.

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Easter Sunday: St. Mark’s Cathedral, a picnic and family time

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It was so much fun spending Easter Sunday with Cole’s family (from left to right: Jon (Kristen’s fiancé), Kristen (Cole’s sister), Cole, me, Marguerite (Cole’s sister), and Clive (Marguerite’s boyfriend).

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After church, Cole and I headed to the arboretum to enjoy the sunshine, a little vino and just relax. I cannot remember the last time I have felt the sun…it was amazing!

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Kathy, Cole’s mother threw an awesome Easter celebration complete with egg-dying, outstanding food, and family/friends!

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Post-it

E’claire has been sitting here patiently waiting for me to fill her cyber pages for nearly a month! There is no time like the present, so here we go!

Note: I am still working out the “kinks” and layout/design features, so please bare with me!

I suppose I will just jump right in and blog about the recipe that I hope to make this weekend for Easter: carrot cake. If you know me on a personal level, I have probably told you on more than one occasion of my affinity with carrot cake. In fact, it does not even have to be cake; I do not discriminate against carrot muffins, carrot loaves, carrot bars, or carrot scones for that matter. Pumpkin lattes? I’ll never, ever turn one down. Now that you are up-to-speed on my love for carrots (giggle if you know I am a natural “ginger” and think this is the reason I love carrots), let me take you through the preliminary ideas I have for this said cake.

Easter Carrot Cake

My love for cooking and baking does not come from a love of eating the final product most times. Do not get me wrong, I love my recipes, but more times than not, creating an artistic component is what excites me most. Just like fashion, cooking and baking can have a style all their own. I am fairly new to plating and presentation, but could get lost on Pinterest for hours looking at recipes, visualizing how they would look on my plates, and dreaming of taking pictures of them (it’s ok to judge me, yes).

Naturally, when making a carrot cake came to mind, I immediately pictured cute little carrots made of frosting, spring flowers, and frostings made of bright oranges, yellows and a touch of purple just because it happens to be my favorite color, duh. Here are a few pieces of inspiration from Pinterest:

Carrot Cake Bars from Cooking Classy

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diy carrot cake toppers

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Paula Deen Grandma Hiers' Carrot Cake

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And for a few laughs…

The cutest carrot cake

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Hopefully I can think of something creative like these cute cakes/cupcakes! If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them, or if you have made a carrot cake that was awesome in the past, I would love to know the recipe!

For now, I will be dreaming of my creative carroty concoction!

E’claire

you’re a peach

Why, hello whoever you are!

This is my little space in the online world, called e’claire. This is a blog entailing posts strewn with pictures, recipes, food, more pictures, and more food. Two of my favorite things in this life are cooking and taking pictures, why not combine the two? Amateur cook and photographer? Understatement. Inspired? Always.

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You’re a peach for reading, and hope you enjoy e’claire as much as I do!

-Claire