Sailing the Open Sea Pt. 2

Earlier this week, I shared about a recent sailing trip with Tristan’s parents. I had to lay the foundation by sharing all of the outfit research I conducted in advance, so that I could be ready to go sailing at a moment’s notice. Here are some photos from that day.

Up and at ’em with some coffee.

Torie and Tristan at Sea (2)

I find it a source of pride that I don’t know how to take a selfie (or whatever). After taking the above shot, I attempted to take a manly photo of Tristan, and this is how it turned out:

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UG. Trying this again.

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There we go.

Here is our captain. Captain Dave.

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I somehow did not get a picture of my mother-in-law, probably because she was down in the cabin making a fabulous tapas lunch during the time I was in picture mode.

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Those are figs, people. I know, right? So fancy.

It was a day filled with lovely views and the most peaceful setting ever. I even had to take a little nap.

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We aren’t technically in the “open sea,” but it’s still pretty spacious!

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Look, the Needle!

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Since I didn’t take a full outfit photo, I’ve recreated my final outfit here:SUMMER SAILING OUTFIT Seattle Edition - Torie & Tristan

Anorak, Boyfriend Jeans, Flats, Sunglasses, Bathing Suit Top, Scarf (sorry, not all of these are still available!)

The casual research I conducted on sailing outfits totally paid off! Wouldn’t you know, my mother-in-law goes, “Oh, you look like Grace Kelly!”


First of all, I wouldn’t go that far. Second of all, isn’t every female trying to look like Grace Kelly every day, at least a little? I thought that was a cultural norm. But I was sure prepared with my sunglasses and headscarf! And was of course, very flattered.



Adios Amigos!


Today, Tristan and I are headed to Tijuana, Mexico to build homes and lead vacation Bible school for the next eight days. It will be a lot of hard, HOT work, but I’m excited to push myself in this way. We are going with a group of people Tristan grew up with. He’s been on this trip four times and our leader, Colleen, has been spearheading the trip for 20 years! She used to babysit Tristan when he was a toddler. It’s been a blast getting to know them.

Here he is back in 2007, the last time he went on this mission trip:

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We will be building two houses and outhouses, and playing games and spending time with the local kids. I’m really looking forward to visiting the orphanage. Also, visiting the market (shopping is shopping).

Here is the type of house we will be building:

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There is talk of adding a loft this year. Oo!!

Often times, the family receiving the house helps build it:


At the end of the process, the team and family dedicate the home(s) to the Lord. It’s a very emotional moment. Last year, the family who received a house had been living under a roll of carpet in a garbage dump. So humbling.


If you’d like to follow our trip, pictures will be posted on the mission team Facebook page. If you are interested in learning more about our mission group, the website is here.

It’s so inspiring to hear how Colleen and her family have had such a positive impact on so many families over the years, both in Mexico and here in the States. It really shows how one person can truly make a difference, especially when they inspire those around them to join the cause.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!



Our Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom Debut

We’re super excited to share that our wedding was featured in the Summer/Fall issue of Seattle Metropolitan Bride & Groom, which hit newstands last week. We’ve been waiting to post photos and share info about our special day until the magazine came out. Here’s a sneak peak, featuring photos from our amazing photographer, Chris Ohta Photography!

Seattle Met Cover

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Too tiny to read? Well, go grab a copy for yourself! 🙂

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since our wedding. Tonight, we are headed to Lake Chelan, where we got married, for our 2nd Annual Family Reunion, the first of which was held when family members came to town for our wedding. They are staying in the same house and everything! Only, instead of Tristan and I flying solo in the honeymoon suite, we are camping on the deck… Oh, how the mighty have fallen! 🙂

You can see the beautiful lake in the background of this shot:

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We hope to lay out and relax as much as possible, perhaps get a little color in our skin. Catch up on magazines, go wine tasting, eat a lot. Thank God for high-waist bikini bottoms!




Torie & Tristan, Out & About

It’s been a busy last few weeks. Here’s a mini photo journal.

A friend invited us over for Moscow mules at her “carriage house.” I didn’t know what a carriage house was, either. But now, I’m obsessed – it’s basically a mini party house that lives in the backyard:


Upon quick research, they appear to be universally charming. And this particular carriage house is shabby chic fabulous. The lights on the wall spell out BE NICE. And look at these Moscow Mules all lined up, begging me to take a picture (and drink one):

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Now that Tristan is advocating for local, organic food, I initiated him into the granola world that is the Ballard Farmer’s Market. If you’ve seen my recipes lately, you’ll know I’m already a fan.


We made the mistake of going at lunchtime and so naturally, everything looked and smelled delicious. We made a pit stop at the Market Minis stand for some powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar fresh mini donuts.

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Then we opted for fresh tamales and veggies:



And look at this!

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Later, using some of our veggie purchases, I created one of my first-ever “I think these ingredients should all taste good together” recipes: roasted red pepper, sauteed mushrooms, chicken, chestnut fettuccine, cucumber, basil, garlic…


And, yay!


Another night, when Tristan was in charge of dinner, he continued to confirm that he is a WAY better photographer than I am. I received this picture message on my phone:


He just has an eye for photography which I try to fake. And I even have a better camera phone. Oh well, that’s why we’re a team! And the dinner was yummy, too :).

We also tried out two raw “healthy” cookie dough ball recipes – chocolate chip and peanut butter butterscotch. LOVED them both, and they lasted us all week and completely satisfied our sweet tooth (teeth?) while being a great protein boost.



This weekend, we are having my aunt and uncle over for fondue (our fave) and I will be able to finally debut my Easter tablescape and new gold flatware. Pictures to come next week!





From the Island to the Stadium to the Tree Farm!

Here are some shots from our whirlwind 4-day weekend.


Headed to Camano Island, Wash. on Wednesday evening. The tradition is to eat at the Mexican restaurant the night before Thanksgiving. The next morning, my cousin Danielle made everyone lefse, a Norwegian flatbread, which she buttered and cinnamon-sugared.

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After lefse and some pumpkin liqueur coffee, I left Tristan on a chair watching football and went on a hike with my mother-in-law and aunt around Camas Beach. It was beautiful!


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We stopped at the most charming bed and breakfast on the way back to search for my father-in-law rumored to be enjoying a bloody mary at the bar.

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After we got back, I saw that Tristan was exactly where I left him. So I took his lead and parked myself in front of the fire with a magazine and fresh cup of coffee.

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Before we left for the hike, Danielle and I had collaborated on Ina Garten’s mulled wine recipe. I know I married into the right family because they just so happened to have vintage gold-embellished mugs AND festive glass stir sticks on hand. It was the perfect stress reliever as I made …

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… my first-ever stuffing! Talk about grown up. Last year I brought a salad.

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On the table it went:

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After dinner and a power nap, some of the gal cousins and I went into the hot tub, and decided to paint our nails and watch a Christmas movie. When there’s teenagers involved, the color quota goes up by like, one million:



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Lots and lots of glitter. Stay tuned for my DIY Manicure #3 post with the sparkly results.

The next morning, we left the island bright and early to head to the annual Apple Cup between University of Washington and Washington State University back at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

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Here’s our stadium’s view. As I mentioned in my last post, we are never far from water and/or boats. When he was a kid, Tristan’s dad used to bring him out on their boat  next to the stadium and they’d listen to the game on the radio.

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The next morning, we met some friends at Trinity Tree Farm, where we picked out (and chopped down) our very first tree as husband and wife.

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Ta Da!

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We will be decorating the tree this upcoming weekend because I only grabbed one of my Christmas boxes from storage, and apparently it wasn’t the one with the ornaments. So, I can’t get very far without them!

Does anyone else feel majorly behind already since Thanksgiving was so late this year!? I’m trying to be so festive but there’s NO TIME!




Leaving Town + Links of the Week

Today after work, Tristan and I are headed to Portland to visit family and some college friends.


image from [ simplesong ]

It will be great to spend more time with everyone, since the last time we saw them was a brief “hi-bye” at our wedding. And who doesn’t love Portland? Tax-free Forever 21 practically IS free!

Here are some of my favorite links I found this week:


And if you are traveling this weekend as well, just remember:




Wine Country Wednesday Recap

Tristan and I had a lovely time in Yakima Valley this week.


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While Tristan solved the construction problems of the universe, my lovely tour guide from the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau got me up to speed on the region’s latest and greatest. Here are some of the highlights:

Desert Wind in Prosser, Wash. This winery not only features a gourmet restaurant but also doubles as an inn with four Southwest luxury guest rooms.

Desert Wind

Image c/o TripAdvisor

We had lunch at MOJAVE, then tasted some of their wines. We both ordered the Buffalo Bleu Burger – green chiles, chipotle aoli, Danish bleu cheese, crispy smoked pork belly, grilled onions on a pretzel roll bun. YUM.


Just a few minutes away is the future site of the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center. The building will be completed by the end of the year, with all the fixins’ inside by May 2014 (image courtesy of Walter Clore):


The space will have tons of offerings and uses but these seemed the most exciting to me:

  • A forthcoming tasting bar geared towards education could, for instance, sample four different Chardonnays aged in different oaks, or compare wines from four different AVAs (American Viticulture Areas).
  • The aroma wheel will help visitors identify the various notes in wines, and a lounge and retail space will offer various wine and artisan food products from Wash. state.
  • Displays and exhibits will outline topics such as the history of Wash. wine, key players in the Wash. wine industry (such as Walter Clore), irrigation technology, unique attributes of the various AVAs, and the farm-to-table process.
  • Guests will be able to watch a culinary demonstration in the demo kitchen or even host their own event in the indoor/outdoor space with vineyard views – there’s also a full catering kitchen and 450 square foot wine cellar.

The next stop was Vintner’s Village, Prosser’s one-stop-shop for winery tasting rooms – kind of reminded me of a Leavenworth for ages 21 and over. Some of the larger wineries have their own freestanding establishment (all of them feature different architecture and some have their own patios); smaller wineries have a tasting room in The Winemaker’s Loft, a Tuscan-style storefront (Courtesy of Seattle Times):

Winemakers Loft

The single bottle I purchased throughout my entire stay was at Airfield Estates – their Bombshell Red ($16). Now we all know that cute labels positively affect taste, but it really did taste like fall in a bottle – spicy and sweet.

Awesome wine barrel airplane, huh?


I also really liked the wines from Milbrandt Cellars and Gamache Vintners. Keep an eye out for Gamache’s 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Since Gramache’s owners are growers by trade, they have access to some of the oldest vines in the region. This particular wine will come from three different vineyards, three different AVAs and three of the oldest vines around. Intriguing, no?!

For dinner, my host took Tristan and I to Gasparetti’s, a downtown Yakima Italian institution that’s been around for 70 years. Let me just say – it was phenomenal from start to finish. I started out with one of their specialty cocktails, a glass of champagne with a sugar cube in the bottom and a splash of bitters, and their famous shoestring onion rings with housemade basil dressing.

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My main course was the real obsession – penne rigate tossed with Dungeness crabmeat and a tomato garlic cream sauce. I think Tristan licked the plate.

The next morning, I checked out Hackett Ranch in Wiley City. I don’t know what else to call it other than a liquid entertainment hub. It’s  a 110-year-old orchard and vineyard owned by the Gilberts of Gilbert Cellars. Aside from growing grapes and making wine at the ranch, the Gilberts have an concert amphitheater and The Cave (great for winemaker dinners) overlooking the vineyards. Think extremely-mini-Gorge.

Here’s a few glamor shots from their website:

panoramic of cave

the cave

Here’s my view, walking down the steps:


The Gilberts also recently co-launched Glacier Basin Distillery, which uses Yakima-grown fruit, and have a brewery in the works that will use Yakima hops. Owner/distiller Thomas Hale gave me a taste of the distillery’s first releases – Grappa (sold out) and Cherry Brandy:

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AGAIN with the cute label/taste combination!

At the ranch, a new Gilbert Cellars wine tasting room is almost complete, and will be followed by a distillery tasting room by the end of the year. An adjacent space is reserved for a brewery tasting room in the future. The trifecta of fun! I will be back for sure, with friends. Who’s coming with me?!

My final stop was at Bale Breaker Brewing Company, a brand new brewery right smack dab in the middle of a third generation hop farm. Yakima produces the second most amount of hops in the world, and 70% of hops in the nation. The owners are brother-sister duo Kevin Smith and Meghann Quinn, plus Meghann’s husband Kevin Quinn, all University of Washington alums. They sent us home with their Field 41 Pale Ale and Topcutter IPA, which we promptly used in “Bale-gating” at yesterday’s UW game. They are distributing throughout the rest of eastern Wash. before coming to Seattle, but boy will they make an entrance when they eventually do!

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It was a whirlwind 24 hours in Yakima Valley but so worth it; it’s always helpful to learn about wine making and agriculture from the producers themselves (plus, you get samples!). But for the rest of the weekend –

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Stay tuned for our next post, Wine Tasting for Dummies.



Wine Country Wednesday & DIY Manicure #2

This morning, the husband and I are headed over the mountains to the beautiful Yakima Valley, WA for work. He has a construction project in town and my project IS the town (bringing visitors to Yakima Valley, that is). In any case, I’m looking forward to checking out some of the area’s newest attractions- Bale Breaker Brewing Company smack dab in the middle of a hop field, and the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center, among other destinations I haven’t made it to yet. Will report on highlights later this week.

Anyhoo. My shellac has worn off so I’m due for some new nails. Plus, since I’m technically leaving town for the night, I’m pretending it’s “vacation”… and doesn’t everyone get their nails done for vacation? The trend I decided to try is the metallic/matte/shiney mix. Since it’s really hard to do french tip yourself, I opted for polka dots.

Here’s the inspiration:




and of course, the polkas:

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Images 1, 2 and 3, 4, & 5 (unknown)

SO I started with my OPI You Don’t Know Jacque knockoff by Sinful Colors, my Essie Good as Gold, and Dior Show Topcoat.

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After doing two coats of Sinful Colors, I added gold dots with the end of a skewer and the nailbrush, though I’ve heard using the end of a bobby pin works well. After adding a topcoat, I liked it, but the tones weren’t quite as monochromatic as I had envisioned:

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So then, clearly faced with no other choice, I had to play up the contrast – add black dots with Sharpie 🙂

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And look – it matches wine tasting! 🙂

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What tips and tricks do you know for polka dots, or dare I ask, DIY french tip?



This Weekend

This past weekend I attended the International Food Blogger Conference, and let me tell you – after eating and drinking for 48 hours, I am in a day-long FOOD COMA! Such a first-world problem, I know.

At the conference, I learned several cool things, which I will be sharing throughout the week. I thought I’d share a few highlights first.

The first highlight: I got to meet Dorie Greenspan, the conference’s keynote speaker and James Beard award-winning cookbook author/NY Times food writer extraordinaire. She commutes between her three kitchens in Paris, NYC and Connecticut, currently working on her 12th cookbook. One of the cookbooks, Baking with Julia, was written with and for Julia Child. Dorie was writing about food before food was cool. AND! She didn’t even bake so much as chocolate chip cookies before she was married and working on her doctorate.

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She’s about yea big (not sure how with all of the French pastries!), so perky and inspirational, and now I’m a huge groupie  (officially known as Doristas). I have selected her cookbook Around My French Table to add to my Christmas list.**


** Yes, I already have a Christmas list; in fact, I ALWAYS have one… it helps me only buy truly urgent and important items throughout the year. Generally, I don’t start talking about what’s on my list until Thanksgiving though, so Tristan/people don’t hate me.

The second highlight was meeting my new friend Kate, of A Byte of Life! We met in line for the very first session (lunch), and were inseparable all weekend. We have a lot in common, and conveniently, she’s local, so we are excited to partner on blog posts in the future!

Here we are enjoying one of the things we have in common – a love of craft cocktails:


We were sipping Moscow Mules at RN74, one of the 20 amazing restaurants that hosted a group of us bloggers for dinner on Saturday evening through Urban Spoon.

Here’s a bit of what’s to come this weekish:

  • Fondue for Game Day
  • Discover the top 5 (or so) recipes I’m most excited to try.
  • I took a break from the conference to go shopping in Paris (AKA Watson Kennedy). See my top picks from their amazing shop.
  • Wine Tasting for Dummies
  • Top 5 Back-to-School Snacks << Food blogger taste tested and approved!

Okay, bedtime!