Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pink Cake!

The last day of last month was my birthday. Happy belated birthday! I decided to share with you the awesome pink cake I made for myself. I know you are not supposed to bake your own birthday cake, but this desert had my eye for some time and I was waiting for a worthy occasion to try it out. It did not disappoint! We had people over to our place for a small party and my parents were able to come, which was special.

This was a strawberry cake with real sliced strawberries mixed in. And I thought I did a pretty awesome job icing it. This was the first layered cake that I have made, you know- actual special occasion cake, that was both pretty and delicious. The recipe came from this fun to read blog. Happy end of July!

Urban Otter

Last night was a super beautiful northwest evening. The husband and I decided to take a walk at Gasworks Park just at sunset. It was like the whole city was out there and all looking at the water and lights. More awesome yet, we spotted an otter! more species of the west seen in the wild! Well as wild as it gets - this was a pretty civil otter living its life spying on houseboats. Next on the list moose and giant pacific octopus. I may be searching for a while.

I was wishing I had brought my camera with me, but instead here is a nice aerial shot.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's March

It's March already, and a new month means a new picture on my etsy calendar. I have liked etsy for a while but had never actually bought anything from it until it was time to get a new calendar. I had seen Decor8 and other blogs doing "calender round-ups" of cool artistic calenders. And thinking back to my husband's face the previous year when - apparently a little late in the calender rush- I told him the options are the crazy cat calender or the twelve faces (and abs) of Edward Cullen, etsy sounded like a good idea.

I feel like the winter has been going fast, winter term has been going much smoother than my first term of grad school. Classes seem calmer and I have had a chance to really look into the idea I want to peruse for my thesis project next year (and possibly a business after that)! I am super happy life has took us to Seattle and me to get my Masters. Its not a breeze, but the things my eyes have been opened to is totally worth it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Apartment Tour Sneak Peak

Since we have moved to Seattle, not everyone has seen our lovely place so its time for a tour. First off, I really love our new place. It is definitely the smallest place I have ever lived but I think that is partially what has made it so nice. We were forced to throw out much of our junk and even some of the not junky (but not amazing) things I would have otherwise held on to. It has hardwood floors, nice newly refinished hardwoods, check! The other big thing on the list was that the apartment would be bright. As we have been moving up the I-5 corridor there is gradually less and less sun so the more sun that comes in our windows the better! We are on the third and top floor and now when the leaves are off the trees we have a little view of the lake too.

I know it is a little difficult to showcase different "rooms" of a home over the space of several blog posts when you live in a studio. But I am doing my best to just give you just a sneak peak so that I can go into a little more detail on some of the fun new furnishings in the next installments. I have had a super fun time getting our place to reflect or personalities and so I am excited to share.

Date Night

Tuesday night is our cheap and fun night out. I have a three hour night class every Tuesday. Really the class would probably be a little easier to digest if it was split up into two days a week of staring at a computer but... anyways, I can look forwards to a pretty rock'n hamburger with my husband on the way home. Kidd Valley is one of the local fast food chains. And while fastfood on road trips is just fine, otherwise I am not usually too excited about the prospect, but this is different. I get the cheeseburger, Mr. Johnson gets the fish sandwich, and we split fries and a shake (usually strawberry) the food is fresh, sandwiches are big and tasty this is no joke! Its all about enjoying the little things in life! What are your fun silly things you do?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Fun

So here is a little Fashion Friday for you. I have been seeming to be surfing the web more than usual this morning and so I thought I would share. I know this trend is not new, but I am a fan. Last time I walked through Nordstrom (that is usually what I do- quickly walk through the first floor to a barrage of fragrances and swoon at the shoe department- there is no stopping or looking at price tags) I was greeted by so many platform pumps. So have a look. Fortunately these are not too spendy. They are so fun and might even look good with my fushia silk mini skirt from J.Crew.
Steve Madden "Caryssa"
GUESS "Rapine"Steven by Steve Madden "Mercy"

This is not my skirt- it is no longer on their website. But this skirt is pretty awesome too- and it soft of gives you the idea. This is yystudio at Etsy by the way- Etsy is so cool!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

This is what I saw when I walked in the door after coming back from class this afternoon. Look at those beautiful flowers! It seems so springy in here. There was also a Cadbury chocolate bar on the coffee table- which I have taken several bites out of now.

I am looking forwards to this evening, we are going out to dinner. Somewhere... that is all I have been told. But I do know that we are going to get pie after dinner. Which is actually a pretty big deal, pie is apparently now all of the rage in Seattle. Out with the cupcakes in with the pie. Mr. Johnson and I have never forgotten the delicious all American desert but I guess it is now hip too!

Happy Valentines everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mass Customization

One of my classes today was design computing seminar; the class consists of lecturers, including us MS students, speaking on current research and exploration in the design computing field. Last week in class I gave an hour long presentation! The talk was on Mass Customization: What does this mean for design. I was nervous for it because I am not much of one for public speaking
, and while our class is pretty small I was afraid I would not be able to deliver the information in a clear way. I think it went really well. It was fun looking into mass customization and specifically its application to architecture. While I am not yet at the point of deciding upon a thesis focus, this topic keeps on popping up in my readings and it has been inspirational investigating it further. As I see it, there is a lot of potential for modular fabrication and mass customization in architecture.

Here are just a few slides from the presentation.

Image 1, NikeID. The next pair of Nikes I get are going to be customized like these!
Image 2. Helios House, a green gas station that uses modularization and concepts of mass customization in design and construction process. Office dA architecture, Los Angeles, California.
Image 3. FlatPak clients can customize their own home based on a 8' wide one story high wall module.
Image 4. Example of a built FlatPak house, Aspen, Colorado.

Delicious Fried Rice

I have successfully made Asian food again! I was about to give up on the whole region of cuisines thinking it is better left to a restaurant. Usually any Chinese food I make is worse and more expensive than what you can get at a typical restaurant. I have a Chinese cookbook and have searched recipes online (I know you may think that is where the problem lies) and my conclusion is there is something (probably basic) that they are leaving out and makes it difficult for the American home cook. So what is my secret this time? Kimchee! I know, I know, Kimchee is infact Korean not to mention the smelliest thing you have probably ever had in your refrigerator- but even if you are wary of this pickled cabbage treat please don't stop reading here. Kimchee Fried Rice is delicious, and mine is just as delicious as what I have had at a restaurant. When the Kimchee is cooked the flavors mellow out. Instead of the sharp vinegary taste it has when eaten cold, it turns into a crunchy, spicy and all around full flavored addition to otherwise pretty standard fried rice.

So here is the recipe:

Kimchee Fried Rice

vegetable and/or peanut oil (I usually use a combination)
4 cups of cooked rice (best if day old rice*)
3 eggs lightly beaten
5 green onions chopped
about 3 cups Kimchee

-Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet on medium high heat.
-Add in eggs and scramble until partially cooked, remove from pan.
-Add 2 more tablespoons of oil into the pan. Add rice. Let fry, turning over occasionally, 5-10 minutes. You want the rice to look crispy and ready to eat, it won't really crisp up after this. Salt to taste.
-Add green onions, let stir fry 1 minute.
-Add Kimchee and some of the juice too, the rice should be red. Add eggs back in and break them up as stirring. Let fry another minute or two.

Get ready to eat!

*I have used fresh rice successfully just let it cool to room temperature first and you may have to adjust frying time accordingly.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Adventures

As many of you already know, or you may have noticed -maybe by the hardwoods underneath the Christmas tree in the holiday post, Mrs. Johnson is no longer conducting her adventures in bridgetown!  Yes that is right, we have relocated- to Seattle.  So, you may wonder, has this had to do with the huge gap in blogging?  Not really, but I have been awfully busy lately.  Back in September Mr. Johnson and I moved to Seattle so that I could go to grad school.  I am getting my M.S. in Design Computing in Architecture at the University of Washington.  Mr. Johnson left his economic consulting job to start his own business in software development.  It has been fun, a new adventure together.  It is cool that we are both in a position to take risks and get more out of our education and careers.

So school, I guess I  am a Husky now, but what an amazing season to be a Duck!  Too bad Auburn in the last two seconds, but I still think we made the exciting plays of the game.

*This is the wallpaper photo on my awesome new laptop (purchased for school)

Monday, January 10, 2011

BCS Championship!

Go Ducks!
Can't wait for the game...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Light Rail

The light rail line opened on our wedding day, interestingly enough.  Yet I had not been to see the station at the airport which I contributed to the design of.  I helped with this project over the span of several summers as an intern at Hewitt Architects.  As a fun winter afternoon adventure, Mr. Johnson and I rode the light rail to the airport and back again. It was a beautiful day with even a little snow on the ground as we approached the airport.  It was interesting to see the station built after seeing the various design stages throughout the process.

And here are two photos of the early-stage physical model that I built during the internship.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful holidays, I know I did.  This year we spent Christmas with my family on Whidbey Island it was calm and fun and so much good food- just what I needed.

Before Christmas we took a trip to Portland- by the way we are no longer in Bridgetown- more about that in an upcoming post.  That was fun, Christmas shopping -downtown Portland is so great and there is always the Rack (where Mr. Johnson and I got sneak peaks at our gifts to come), holiday time with his family, as well as saying hi to a bunch of friends.  After that start to the season, we went to little Bavaria with my family and our good family friends.  Oh Leavenworth.... according to Mr Johnson it is up there in the top cities he has visited only sharing its place with Hong Kong!  It was snowy, beautifully decorated, full of kitschy Christmas shops, and Bavarian beer.

Then it was Christmas.  Christmas eve we went into Seattle to the beautiful and impressive St. Mark's Cathedral for midnight mass.  I always enjoy Christmas eve services and this one was very special because it was so late and very ceremonial.  Christmas morning was full of opening gifts and delicious breakfast followed by a slightly odd but exciting tradition of road bowling with members of the neighborhood.  And of course more food. 

And 2011....
We welcomed in the new years with my brother and his friend in a very fun fashion.  Starting off with this Portuguese dish Clams na Cataplana.  Isn't it pretty?  Both the clams and the copper cataplana dish?

Well I hope you had a great season with family and friends!