Friday, December 30, 2011

Black Sea Mud & Seaweed

I've always been a bodywash kind of girl. 

But after winning this Crabtree & Evelyn soap at a family gift exchange, I want to convert.

{photos from here & here}

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

3-Day Northwest Tour

Since my husband has never road-tripped with my road-trip loving family, this holiday we decided to introduce him to the great "Rienas" tradition - with a 3 day jaunt up I-5.  So at 7am on the day after Christmas, we all piled into the car and took off for Vancouver, British Columbia (where my extended family spends their holidays.) 

Nine hours later, including two strategically planned pit stops (hello, J.Crew Outlet!), we descended upon our destination... only to be met with some interesting discouraging terrifying news. We had miscalculated our sleeping arrangement - and we only had ONE room. ONE room for FIVE people (including one middle-aged snorer who shall remain nameless.)

It was a rough night.

Despite our sleep deprivation, the next day we were still able to cram in visits to some of the best places in the city: Granville Island, West 4th, Gastown, and Stanley Park.

{Fresh food at the Granville Island Market}

{View from Granville Island}

{Hot husband}

{Cute little boy feeding the pigeons}

{Holding hands with a moose}

{Polar bear beanie}

{Steamy clock in Gastown}

{Will you be gnome for Christmas? Ha.}

{Gastown lamps}

Due to our previous night's sleeping experience, after our quick tour of Vancouver we decided to make the 3 hour trek back to Seattle. Armed with Tim Horton's coffee and Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society, we made it to my brother's Queen Anne apartment by 1am. 

The next morning we explored Arden's stomping grounds. 

{View of the Puget Sound from Olympic Sculpture Park}

{Jumbo lobster tails at Pike Place Market}

{Classic tourist picture}

{View from Arden's office building}

It rained, no POURED, all day (the downside of the northwest.) By early afternoon, we were soaked and ready to go home. 

So we did.   

Congratulations Zach... By sitting for 14+ hours in a car with 4 other adults, spending the night listening to resounding snores, sharing a bathroom with your in-laws, and never complaining, you've officially been named a "Rienas." (And that's a title you shouldn't take lightly.)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Zach and I send you much love on this happy day.


*To start, I want to apologize for the poor photo quality - we accidentally left our DSLR at home. So for the next week, be prepared for some awesome Instagram pictures.*

This year, I had lofty goals of giving intricately wrapped gifts to all my family members (see my ideas here.) However, I never got the chance to work on the wrapping before we arrived in Portland. 

Instead, I was left to raid my mom's wrapping stash on Christmas Eve. Here was the result: 

Not too shabby...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Travel

Travel during the holidays is rough. 

In order to get to Portland today, I had to overcome a 2:15am wake-up call, a crazy shuttle bus ride to LAX, my fear of flying, and a mean neighbor who wouldn't switch seats with Zach (we spent the flight a row apart.)

Tonight, as I crawl into bed, I'm exhausted... 

But I'm also excited. 
A whole week with my family (for the holidays!) is worth all the hassle. 

{photo from here}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

Ok, ok. I know they're not technically Christmas cookies... But these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are my all-time favorites. 

Really, it wouldn't be the holidays without them. 

So tonight, I baked a quick batch to bring to a Christmas wine-exchange party that Zach and I are attending tomorrow night. I've had a few not-so-great potluck contributions this year, so I'm excited about these - since they're sure to be a big hit!

Clementine’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 12 ounce(s) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup(s) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1 cup(s) unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3 cup(s) oats, uncooked
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color (about 4 minutes). Add vanilla and egg, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stir flour with baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture, mixing well. Stir in oats. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie, 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on a cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling racks. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies (but I usually make them BIG.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hubba Hubba

How babe-tastic would my husband look in this watch

Pretty fine, if you ask me. 
(Then again, he's a looker to begin with.)

Laser Cats

This week I stumbled upon these awesome laser cat cards on Etsy

What better way to say "I love you" than a cat that shoots lasers from its eyes?
(I'm kind of wishing cats really could shoot eye-lasers. They'd be so much cooler.)

Maybe I like the cards because they remind me of a favorite SNL Digital Short - "Laser Cats." (In the sketch though, the cats shoot lasers from their mouths... minor detail.)

To all the cat-lovers out there: I'm sorry.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looking Forward

4 more sleeps until we get to see my family in portlandia.

 i'm looking forward to: 



a christmas story marathon.

candle light. 

silent night. 

the frozen turkey dance. 

finger foods.


road trips. 

my piano.

{photo from here}

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New York, New York

(from here)

 It's official. After weeks of indecisiveness, we've decided to spend our anniversary in New York City.

(from here)

Zach's never been to the Big Apple. So, I'm exited to show him around. 
To be fair, I've only been to the city once - on a fast and furious trip with my brother (we couch-surfed in some random guy's flat.)

(from here)

Zach made me promise that we won't go to Time Square, or the Empire State Building, or anything else that's too touristy. Instead, we're planning on rubbing shoulders with the locals in Chelsea, The Village, and Brooklyn.

(from here)

Oh! And, the Upper West Side. I like the Upper West Side.  

(from here)

I'm excited about re-visiting some of my favorite little coffee shops like Cafe Lalo (as seen in You've Got Mail...)

(from here)

... and Serendipity (as seen in Serendipity.)

(from here)

And, I'm super-excited to try out some new places suggested by the fabulous Joanna Goddard.

 (from here)

(from here)

(from here)

Any other things we should check out while we're there??

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Perfect Little Coffee Table Book

Friends and family take note: I'm adding this book to my Christmas list.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cards

Our 2011 Christmas cards postcards are hitting the mail stream this weekend. 

I'm hoping everyone still gets them before the 25th (which is only 9 days away?!? Yikes!)

(Inside scoop: I hate our outfits in this picture. At the last minute, I pulled out some old Forever21 digs from my college days - and forced Zach to match by wearing all black. We look like we're at a Christmas funeral.)

{photo credit: Sunburst Photography}

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I've been doing this all day. 
Well, trying to. (My leg can't go that high because I'm not a ballerina.)

I went to the gym yesterday and tore up my hamstrings... now I can barely walk. 
No wonder everyone hates working out.

{photo from here}

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Kind of Shopping

I come from a long lineage of power shoppers.

[photo from here]

My mom, her sisters, and my grandma can disappear for hours in Macys and come out with a mixer, a blouse, 2 pairs of shoes, and eyeshadow - all for $19.99. 

I, on the other hand, HATE IT... and generally avoid it as much as possible. 

When I do partake in retail therapy, it has to be in controlled situations (i.e. One store in one hour. Then I'm out, yo.)

Living with this handicap, I've learned some strategic tactics to make my life a little easier. Like, before I even enter a store, I scope out the merchandise online and decide what I want.

Right now, I'm excited because all my favorite home-decor stores are starting their Christmas sales. And (per above) I've already picked out the items I want to procure. 

For instance:

 [found here]

 [found here]

[found here]

[found here]

[found here]

[found here]

[found here]

[found here]

[found here]

With these pictures in hand, I know my shopping experience will be 10x better.
In. Out. Done. 

Seriously though...
Am I the only woman with this problem? Please say I'm not alone...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Road Tripping

17 = The number of hours we spent in the car this weekend.

Zach grew up in Arizona's high desert. And this weekend, we took a trip back for a little pre-Christmas visit.

Besides sleeping, eating yummy food, and watching TV Land, on Saturday we also took a mini trip to Sedona with Zach's mom and her friend Stan.

(No trip is complete with out a few lookout stops.)

Um, seriously? Could this be any prettier? We got to enjoy this view all day - while walking around main street, eating Mexican food, and sampling fudge.

Northern Arizona is thick with American Indian history. However, we kept seeing tributes to Sacagawea. Being a die-hard Oregon Trail girl, I couldn't let this slide: just so we're all clear, Sacagawea never set foot in Arizona (Wikipedia proved me right.)

Then there were some heated discussions about Javelina. Are they pigs or rodents? Apparently they're neither. (Here, they're pink.)

Cheryle and Stan were great road-trip buddies.

Such a fun day!
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