Monthly Archives

December 2014


WIAW: Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014



Happy New Year everyone! I have some catching up to do so this post will cover Christmas and it’s aftermath. I love the holiday season and I’m sad it’s almost over but I am also looking forward to a new year. This year we got a small tree, “small” meaning around 6 foot of course! Haha dad and I like to go big, or go home. One year our tree was over 14 feet tall (Thank goodness for tall ceilings)!

xmas tree dadsChristmas Tree 2014

Mom’s beautiful Christmas wreath:


 Gryphon and I got a LOT of cuddle time. Yes, those are dog pajamas!

gryph and I

On Christmas Eve, mom and I got started baking some of our classic favorites: the cookie with many names, jam thumbprints, and cheesy jalapeno bread.

mexican wedding cookies

cookie plate

jalapeno cheese bread

We also took the pups for a few walks, the dual leash doesn’t work out so well. Gryphon is too slow and Molly is too fast!

two dogs, one leash BETTER

Christmas morning came and went, Santa visited me! In my stocking I found chocolate, pistachios, chapsticks, floss and some other goodies. I get floss in my stocking a lot but I really like it because I never run out! Dad (and santa) got me some awesome presents like a coconut, new sheets, a space heater and a HDTV antenna for my apartment.  Mom got me an awesome nutritional healing book, necklace and a beautiful recipe box (below) that comes with recipe card and dividers, I can’t wait to fill it! What did you get for Christmas?



Gryphon was pooped after all the excitement.


Dad and I got our sugar-filled bodies up and went for a run the next day…in the pouring rain! We got 3 miles done and then stopped at a new juice bar and got smoothies and juice.

green smoothie

Dad surprised me with my favorite sandwich from our co-op, it’s a tempeh BLT!

fav sandwich

Later we stopped at Hess German Bakery and Deli in Lakewood. They have giant homemade pretzels so we got one with some amazing fresh mustard.

dad and pretzel

giant pretzel 1

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it, I have never seen a bigger pretzel, have you?



Afterwards, we headed to Costco for my first ever Costco run. I love grocery shopping and luckily my dad does too! My haul included: new item Kodiak Cakes Protein Pancake/Waffle mix (so excited to try this!), dried blueberries, Cetaphil lotion, kale and quinoa packs, Mary Gone Crackers crackers, almond milk, oats, veggie burgers,  Yummy Earth fruit snacks and some Calvin Klein pants.

costco haul

Gryphon approves of all groceries, I can never get enough of this cutie!

cutie pie Gryphon BETTER

Back at my apartment, I made my new veggie burgers and quinoa/kale mix with some homemade pesto stirred in.

burger and quinoa

…And snacked on some peppermint dark chocolate from my stocking

chocolate peppermint

…And some Fran’s chocolates my boss gave me…Ugh I need sugar detox!

chocolates BETTER

Well that’s it! Today at 5:30pm I am flying to Maui for a week! It’s cheaper to fly on holidays and we’ll be in Hawaii by around 10:30pm tonight so I’m pretty sure I’ll be at a campground for New Years. I am so excited, I’ve been to the Big Island and Oahu but never Maui. We’re camping the first two nights and then staying at the Grand Waimea Waldorf Astoria Resort for two nights and then camping some more. Unfortunately, it looks like it might rain a lot but I’m hoping to get a little much needed sun.

If you have been to Maui, any recommendations on things to see, eat and do?

What are you doing for New Years?

Thanks for reading and thanks for hosting Jenn! Check back later this week for some Maui pictures, and HAPPY NEW  YEAR!


Holiday, Travel

WIAW: Port Townsend Weekend

December 24, 2014


 Hello! Last weekend my dad and I headed up to Port Townsend, WA to visit my grandma and grandpa. Since I have only eaten oatmeal today, I figured these pictures would be more interesting then a sloppy bowl of oats 😉

So, we hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge and got a good look at the pretty Ferris wheel color of the night!

Seattle Ferris wheel

It was super windy and rainy in Pt Townsend!

Port Townsend, WA

We were immediately greeted by this handsome, charming fellow:


And some cheesy cauliflower mac and cheese but it was called some different name, maybe it is French? Ann I know your reading this!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese 2

And some truffles too, made with coconut oil in Switzerland and distributed in SF! The company is called Alter Eco.

Alter Eco Truffles

My granny is German and her mom gave her some of these yummy German spice cookies for Christmas.

german cookies imported

german cookies

No one wraps a gift better than granny! She knitted me an amazing sweater for Christmas (I couldn’t wait to open it!). I’ll post a picture when I get a good one!

Beautiful xmas wrapping

We headed to yoga the next morning and man it felt good! The downside to going to my Gold’s Gym is that there are no classes. I miss having free classes to go to at the gym! I sliced up a grapefruit afterwards for a pick-me-up.


I love how the water looks on that windy Pt Townsend day!

pt townsend, wa water pt townsend storm port townsend waves

For lunch we went to Hillbottom Pie in downtown Pt Townsend. I can’t recommend it enough, they have pizza, salad, soup, and actual pies all made from scratch every day. The price is decent and it is a cozy little spot.

hillbottom pie pt townsend, wamenu hillbottom pie port townsend, wa

The caesar salad is amazing. If I could it for lunch everyday I would!

caesar salad hillbottom pie pt townsend, wa

We got two pies, the left one is pesto, artichoke and goat cheese and the right one is a white pie with ricotta, pesto, and kalamata olives.

pies at Hillbottom Pie in Port townsend

pesto, goat cheese, artichoke pizza hillbottom pie pt townsend

pesto, goat cheese olive pizza hillbottom pie port townsend

I think they change desserts sometimes beside just having pie, this time they had Tiramisu, so we had to order it.

tiramusi hillbottom pie, pt townsend wa

Super fluffy layers of cream, espresso and delicate ladyfingers with a huge cloud of whipped cream on top and shrouded in milk chocolate shavings. Even though I don;t like espresso that much, I couldn’t help but eat it!

last bite tiramusi hillbottom pie pt townsend

We stopped at the local pet store on the way home and boy, I’m glad we did! A local animal rehabilitation center had two owls and a falcon on display while they were selling Christmas cards. I always liked owls especially their big beautiful eyes! This fuzzy cutie and I made a deep connection…Or at least i thought so! He was probably just staring into space ha ha.

owl 1owl 2

They had a very small owl who is full-grown but really teeny and adorable. However, man, he looked so angry! Maybe he’s made that he is so small and cute..

angry little owl pt townsend wa


This poor falcon lost half his wing when he ran into a fence! Falcon can fly super fast, like 100 miles an hour when hunting I think. So sad but luckily he is being taken care of by this rescue place. That’s why you shouldn’t speed buddy!


When we got home, Blacky put on his rain jacket just for us, I think he likes it!

blacky pooblacky in raincoat

When I got back home to my apartment, I finally set up my dear little tree!

my little xmas tree

I found all my cute gift bags at TJ Maxx!

cute gift bag

Speaking of owls, I finished two embroidery projects!

owl embroidery

On the way home for Christmas, dad and I saw the most beautifulll Christmas lights on a house ever!

xmas lights 6 xmas lights 5 xmas lights 3

I think Buddy the Elf would live here.

xmas lights 2

xmas lights 1

I can only aspire to such Christmas spirit! I still have to decorate our tree, as you can see.

xmas tree dads

Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions? I think I’ll watch Elf and drink hot cocoa!

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve or save them all till Christmas morning? 

Happy Holidays! And thanks for reading and thanks for hosting Jenn!



WIAW: Skiing in Cali

December 17, 2014

Hi! This last weekend I went to just outside of San Francisco to visit my boyfriend, so I have some pictures from that quick trip to share! Below is a brownie I had at Barrio in Seattle before I left, I thought the presentation was fun so I stuck it in. 

Even though I got into San Jose airport around midnight, we headed straight to In-N-Out! I got a grilled cheese burger, totally satisfying!

in and out

 My boyfriend G has the sweetest, scaredy-cat pup named Abby!

abby 2

Instead of going into the city, we decided to do something wintry and active — skiing (and snowboarding!) at Bear Valley, a couple hours outside of SF.

g and me ski bear valley

Beautiful day after that terrible storm!

Bear Valley, CA

Bear Valley ski

A lot of the runs weren’t groomed but we made do!

bear valley too much snow!

 Can’t ski without some good hardy trail mix!

ski trail mix

G got me some of my favorite, See’s Candy!

See's candy

See's Candy Pecan

The town of Murphys, CA is the cutest thing!

Murphys, CA cute houses

Unfortunately it was just a quick weekend trip, so I headed home at 4am on Monday to get back to work!

oakland airport

I have a confession. I started embroidering! My list of old-lady crafts is growing rapidly…


Do you ski or snowboard? I started skiing around 7 years old but unfortunately we don’t go much anymore since life got so busy, it’s so fun and great exercise too!

Christmas is just around the corner! Have you finished your holiday shopping?

Thanks for reading this more or less wordless post!

~ Kyla


WIAW: Foodie Dreams

December 10, 2014


I am in the process of backing up and then deleting mass amounts of photos from my phone. So I currently can’t even take anymore photos until I delete them since my phone is completely full! I only have a 16 GB phone and about 9 GB of those are photos ha ha.

So instead of posting what I actually ate today, I will post what I wish I was eating today (if I had a never-ending stomach!). In reality I had oatmeal for breakfast, will have Gypsy soup (I made it from the Moosewood cookbook but added kale, just like Reeni does on the blog link) for lunch and dinner too probably, pretty boring!

Homemade fish tacos with homemade slaw

homemade fish tacos

Fish tacos from Barrio

Barrio Seattle fish tacos

Fish n’ chips

Fish n chips

Pike Place Salmon Chowder –Pacific Place Mall (save yourself the line at the market!)

Pike Place Salmon Chowder

The best sushi – Momiji

Momiji Seattle

Pad Thai – Phnom Penh 

pad thai

Mexican food

veggie enchiladas

Na na na na na naan bread!

Garlic Naan Bread

Migas at Portage Bay Cafe

Migas Portage Bay Cafe

 I could eat bagels and cream cheese every single day!

bagel and coffee

Panini at Michou Deli


Quiche at The London Plane

quiche the London plane

World Pizza in Chinatown has taken a pizza my heart!

pizza my heart

The best garlic-almond hummus sans tahini from my awesome granny! I’ll post the recipe next time I make it! The way this hummus makes me feel reminds me of THIS song.

Garlic Almond Hummus

Caesar salad – Hillbottom Pie, Port Townsend

caesar salad Hillbottom Pie

White nectarine

White nectarine

Imported Nutella <3


Molly Moon’s – worth the hype

molly moons

Oh gosh now I am hungry. I hope you drooled as much as I did looking at these pictures!

If you could eat anything in the world right now, what would you eat?

What are you doing this weekend? I am leaving tomorrow to visit my BF in San Francisco! I haven’t seen him in about 4 months so I am very excited, even though it’s just a few days 🙂

Thanks for reading (the few sentences I did have!)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!



Fun & Easy Christmas Crafts

December 6, 2014

Kyla's Craft Corner BETTER

My mom  and I love doing crafts together so we settled on attempting homemade snow globes (without the liquid!) like these cute, anthropologie-inspired ones by Whipperberry.

We stopped in at Value Village and it seems that fate wanted us to do this craft too because there were about 6 empty snow globe containers hanging right there in the craft section! What luck!


At Michael’s we found the trees, snow flurries and the little bears.

snow globe 1

However, I tried to use a glue gun to attached them to the rubber globe stopper and the glue wouldn’t stick! Unless I wanted a fallen tree globe, it just would not do!

snow globe 2

We needed super glue but it was late and we were tired so we moved on to something else…but first I created a snowy little Santa scene! Okay, I went a little nuts on the image editor!

santa scene 2


Having realized our momentary snow globe failure, we moved on to make Snowy Chocolate Pine cones, using this tutorial by Handmade Charlotte. They were so easy and fun!

snowy pinecones

 All you need to make these realistic showstoppers is: peanut butter, Nutella, butter, thick pretzel rods, powdered sugar and either Chocolate Fiber One or we used chocolate Toast Crunch (which is terrible tasting by the way!)

pinecones 1

 The instructions are very simple, just mix up the butter, Nutella, PB and powdered sugar, mold the mixture around a pretzel rod (ours were really long rods so we broke them in half) and  stick the cereal in, scattered, like a real pine cone. Then just dust with powdered sugar and that’s it! Our cones were pretty delicate so try to really push the cereal in.

pinecones 2

pinecones 3

pinecones 4

pincones 5

Have you done any holiday crafts?

Thanks for reading!




WIAW: Turkey Thyme

December 3, 2014

 Day 1:

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and my dad and I were starving, so we headed to a little teeny tiny speakeasy-style bar called Dillinger’s. Actually it’s about the size of my studio apartment hehe. I had never been there before but my dad said they have good food and a Seattle-like atmosphere. Both statements are true.

I started with an amazing tangy crisp salad – sweet lettuce, cilantro dressing, sauteed pumpkin seeds and shaved Manchego cheese all for only $6.00 (Happy Hour).

Dillengers salad

Along with my salad, we shared their garlic roasted white bean hummus with herb toasted flat bread. Also very good!

Dillinger's Olympia  Hummus

 My well-dressed pops!


 As an entree, dad selected some sort of quesadilla (I can’t remember what kind!) but it had meat so I didn’t try it.

Dillinger's quesadilla

 Also to share we got the artichoke ravioli with a delightfully cheesy cream sauce.

Artichoke Ravioli

And I saved the best for last, dessert! It was a tough choice but I went for the dark chocolate pot de creme (Or maybe just a pudding? or is that the same thing?) Ha ha I’m not sure but I do know that it was incredible! It was rich but not too sweet. The caramel sauce took it to the next level, the crunch of the almonds gave it good texture and neutrality of the whipped cream kept it at the no-sugar-coma level.

D's dessert good one

 As part of my Thanksgiving dessert preparation, I picked up some fresh, locally-grown cranberries. I love the colors of these!

crans 2


 Following Sally’s Baking Addiction instructions to sugar these cranberries, I dumped one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pot and brought it to boil then whisked until the sugar dissolved (aka when the water is clear) and then removed the pot from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Next you pour the syrup over the 1 cup of cranberries in a bowl  (I did more like 2 cups and it still worked but that is a lot of cranberries!) and let it sit overnight!

crans in bath

 I also plopped some pie pumpkins in the oven to bake. I bet you know what I’m gonna make now!

pumpkins in oven

roasted pumpkin

While the pumpkins baked I started on the pie filling. I made two pies so it was a HUGE bowl of filling! Once again, I used the wonderful Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe, and she adds black pepper to her pie so I did to! I didn’t really taste it in the pie but the pie was pretty delicious so the pepper certainly could have been a contributing factor to that.

pumpkin pie filling!

 I sipped on this delicious Outrageous Ginger Ale while I cooked. It’s kind of sweet but really tasty!

ginger ale!

I started these baking shenanigans at about 9pm the night before Thanksgiving and it took a while to bake the pumpkins, prep the cranberries, make the filling and to make the crust – and I also made pumpkin bread! So I decided to prep everything and bake the pies in the morning!

Day 2:

On Thanksgiving, I woke up and sugared the cranberries (drain berries from syrup, then dump one cup sugar and mix with berries and then lay out on parchment paper for at least 2 hours to dry).

sugar and crans

 So pretty!

crans drying

 Next, I rolled out my dough which was in the fridge overnight (used this recipe from and made a quick walnut, brown sugar and butter mix for a little extra crunch on the bottom.

pies ready

They were pretty ugly little pies…!

ugly pie

I loved the leaves that Sally’s Baking Addiction put on her pie so I made some for mine too with a ravioli (?) cutter.

making leaves

Don’t forget to brush them with a little egg and milk mixture so they brown up real nice!

bake leaves

 I may have left them in the oven a bit too long!

baked pie!

 Once I decorated them I went a little overboard taking pictures but I don’t make pies very often so I needed to capture the moment! So sorry for the picture overload 😉

pie 1               pie 3 pie 4               pie 7better pie 1               pie 2pie 5               pie 6

The two pies:

the two pies

For the pumpkin bread I used a great recipe I have used many times before called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread on, it has not failed me yet! I ran out of veg oil so I actually used some olive oil and it turned out so moist! I recommend not using the full cup of oil though, I used about 2/3 cup and that was plenty – bordering on too much! Please read the review suggestions before listening to me though!

pumpkin bread 2pumpkin bread 1

My dad and I went to his friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, dad was in charge of carving the turkey!

turkey thyme 2 better

Pretty place setting! I had some peas and onions, scalloped potatoes, roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes and some roasted Brussels sprouts! Also a little of this tuna spread that was for the turkey, I know, tuna on turkey? But it was actually really good!

place setting

My dessert plate: some of my pie, pumpkin bread and some amazing creamy pumpkin cheesecake brought by another guest.

dessert plate

Let’s take a closer look…

slice of pie


Day 3:

The next day I headed to my mom’s house for our new post-Thanksgiving tradition, Christmas cookie baking party!

xmas cookies!

I made edible versions of my boyfriend and I. His head fell off shortly after this photo was taken (and I ate it) ha ha!

g and k

Hours passed and we were suddenly hit by extreme hunger, luckily mom had one of my favorites, Amy’s Mac and Cheese in the freezer!

mac and cheese

Cookies and pie galore!

gmas plate

I really wish I had a better camera than my phone, what kind of camera do you use and like?

Have you ever eaten a fresh cranberry instead of dried? I never had until last week and, although bitter, I liked them!

 When do you make Christmas cookies, if you do?

THANK YOU for reading this extremely long post! I hope you enjoyed it! And thank you Jenn for hosting.

~ Kyla


Pre-Thanksgiving Recap

December 1, 2014


I just have a quick post today that includes a little grocery trip haul, some of my eats last week and a preview of my Thanksgiving baking adventure! I am too eager to make my Thanksgiving post to add comments to each photo but they are all pretty self-explanatory…Except for one, my new favorite meal which does not photograph well. You’ll know which one I’m talking about when you see it!

MaraNatha Almond Butter




rice cakes




Okay, this looks terrible but it’s actually quite good! First I bake a couple sweet potatoes in the oven, first microwaving them for 5 minutes or so to get a head start and then baking in the oven for like 45 minutes. While those are baking, I make a couple cups of quinoa and then stir fry it with onion, garlic, bell peppers, salt and pepper and whatever you want really. Then I make pesto with basil, olive oil, cashews and garlic (or any other nut including sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds etc!) and mix it with the quinoa, a baked sweet potato and top all that off with a dollop of plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. It’s pretty healthy, tasty and very filling!

quinoa, sweet tator , pesto mash


My friend and I tried out VeggieGrill, which I believe is only in Seattle (correct me if I’m wrong), and it is so good! As the name suggests, it is all vegetarian and there are a lot of dairy-free and gluten-free options. As a pescatarian, sometimes I just want a burger and this veggie burger below totally satisfied that craving!









Can you guess what I made for Thanksgiving?! (Sorry about the weird spaces above, I can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of it!)


What did YOU make for Thanksgiving dessert?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I have a list of everyone’s gifts picked out but haven’t pulled the trigger and bought them yet!

Ugh, aren’t Mondays after Thanksgiving the worst?

Thanks for reading!