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Happy Friday friends! I hope you’re gearing up for a busy, fun weekend, like we are. We’ve been squeezing it all in recently, with the end of the academic year drawing to a close. I’ve been attending concerts and recitals most weekends and this one will be no exception! We’ve also been watching lots of soccer, as the BPL season comes to and end, and Will has been playing a lot as well. Plus, on top of all that, kitten season is nigh, so I have lots of adoption-related activities coming up at The Humane Society including a Kitten Shower tomorrow to garner interest in fostering kittens. On top of it all, we’ve been hosting lots of friends, now that we finally have a kitchen table that Will has completed! We had some friends from college over last weekend and are hosting our Spurs group after final games this Sunday. And then we’ve also been GOING to friends parties, including a Siete de Mayo party at Mandi and Billy’s house last weekend and are going to a Minimalist Baker-themed potluck tomorrow for a friends birthday. All the social activities!

Egg McMuffinYou may not have heard from us in awhile because of two very specific reasons: #1 – I’ve been busy backlogging and finishing up the formatting project from when the blog converted platforms (it’s done, huzzah!). #2 – we got a dog!!!! We’ve been considering adding a third (yes, third) furry friend to our family for some time now and the stars finally aligned with a generous landlord, financial prep and spotting the right little guy online. We adopted our new pal, Mr. Otis, from a group called Smidget Rescue, which is run by a wonderful woman that primarily pulls dogs from high-kill shelters in California. Our little guy came from Rialto City as a stray, which we find difficult to believe because he is so well-behaved and well-mannered! While it pains me that I didn’t adopt from the Humane Society where I volunteer and spend a good chunk of time, as one of the staff members reminded me, each shelter dog is a saved life no matter where they come from.

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Will is back from his latest work trip and I’m so glad to have him home! He was travelling and working in Trinidad for the last 10 days, soaking up the sun and mosquito bites. He learned a lot about the culture and the program he was “checking” and feels much more confident to encourage students to participate. In other words, get thee to Trini! I was most jealous of the fact he got to attend part of the national steel pan competition that is going on currently and hope that he gets to do another program check in the future, when I can join him. Having only participated in one semester of steel pan ensemble at PLU, I would really love to see the insanity of the national steel pan competition in person someday. It looks like SUCH  a blast!

Gingerbread MuffinsIt is very difficult to keep up with blogging when you’re moving at 90 miles an hour…so where did I leave off? I believe last time I posted, I mentioned Will was on work trip to Copenhagen from which he has now returned and saw sunlight today for the first time since he left the country…oops? But he really enjoyed the Danish culture and particularly enjoyed the provider program that he was visiting. He loved his host family and felt very well-integrated during his week-long visit to the country. While he was gone, I did something really fun – I flew across the country to surprise visit my mom! She was absolutely stunned and it was superfun to see her for the first time since we moved. I had plotted with my Uncle Jim and my best friend, Amanda, to get me out there on a Friday evening, where I got to have tacos and margs with Amanda before crashing with my uncle. Then on Saturday morning, we drove over and surprised my mom! She and I had a blast catching up and hanging out for the brief visit.

Buttermilk Waffles

Posted by Megan | Breakfast

Buttermilk WafflesHappy Sunday, friends! I hope you’ve been having as great of a weekend as we have. I can’t even really believe how much we fit in Saturday as I’m sitting here reflecting about it. It was such an awesome day! Will slept in as I went into the Humane Society to continue working in the cattery. I’m now only a couple steps away from graduating to the next level, which means interaction with the cats and getting to come in to work during Purrtime. I’m super excited about what new opportunities are just around the corner. After I wrapped up at the Humane Society, I came home and cleaned up (cleaning cages and litter boxes/food bowls is not a pretty job) and off we went to Seattle to….

We have casually been exploring Tacoma on the weekends through the means of open houses aka looking at homes we are nowhere near able to buy. As Will likes to remind me, our current house-buying budget is…$0. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t start to get the juices flowing regarding things we would be looking for in homes, neighborhoods to look at, and the very very beginning stages of looking at what the heck a mortgage is and all the steps you need to take to acquire one. After being in school for four more years (combined) after completing our undergraduate degrees, we kind of feel like we’re getting a fresh start on our early 20s, since we missed out on some of the things non-graduate students do. Full-time jobs with two real incomes in a partnership (okay, not everyone has this but WOW is it cool for us to finally be at this point), being able to buy 90% organic food without sacrificing other things, being able to go to sporting events (if it’s with a GroupOn or LivingSocial deal), walking to one of the many bars in our neighborhood to grab a beer “just because,” and the many other fun things that come with being a full-time adult. With those also come the savings priorities, which is where the open houses come in. After retirement and boosting the regular savings account, as adults…what should we be saving for??

You know what brightens up a Monday morning? A perfect muffin. A couple weeks ago, I wanted to make savory muffins using at least one herb in our “garden” (two pots of herbs – a huge downsize from previous gardens of ours) and a cheese. I searched high and low on the internet and in my cookbooks for muffins using herbs and found surprisingly few options. It’s not that there weren’t recipes available, they just weren’t “the one.” Then I came across this gem – the words goat cheese and rosemary immediately jumped out at me and I was sold. I didn’t love the ingredient list, but figured I could work around some of the features to get the most flavor bang for my buck. Boy was I right. These muffins turned out stellar and made me wonder why there wasn’t more like them on the internet! These muffins tasted so amazing and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them because their golden-brown color just glowed (it doesn’t hurt either that the sun stays bright until almost 9 PM in Tacoma and we have a great window for food photos). There’s really not much else to say about these other than everyone should try them ASAP and savor their rich, cheesy goodness. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for this recipe…

Sooooo…..oops, still. I owe y’all like, 20 gazillion recipe posts. But probably the most offensive is that I STILL owe you one gloriously long, well-documented, beautiful post from our time taking a cooking tour in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town, South Africa with our W&M colleagues. Like, whoa. It’s bad that hasn’t hit the internet yet. It’s been two months since our adventure concluded and unless you’re my Facebook friend (and even if you are), you have not been inundated with the entire story and experience. And an experience it was. We had the privilege of not only taking a tour of the historic neighborhood and learning more about a specific population within South African culture, but more importantly we were able to visit a family’s home to learn to cook a few traditional Cape Malay dishes. As a group, this was an awesome experience……and I’ll leave it there, so there’s some anticipation to read more when I get around to posting it!

Whoops, I did it again. I did not update the blog for an entire week – the shame. We were incredibly busy hosting our friend Dan, and then my coworker Leah and I drove up and back to NYC for the big work auction during the second half of the week. There was no time in there to throw up any new blog posts! Between all the social activity in the first half of the week, to the long drive (including a surprise trip in Fairfax for my birthday) on Thursday, to driving alllll over NYC Friday, to the auction Friday night and hanging out with my biffle Levent afterwards, to driving alllll the way back down the East Coast Saturday in the rain, what was a girl to do?

What a busy week it has been, since the last time I wrote! Between then and now, I had a major event weekend for the young alumni of the College, so I am still recovering! It’s hard to believe we’re already in the second week of February – it feels like it’s still January, in my mind. Either way, we’re about to embark on a very fully scheduled few weeks here; or rather, I am about to embark on that full schedule. In addition to normal everyday work and lessons, I will also be rehearsing and performing in a musical theatre production at a college down the road, as well as squeezing in a conference in Florida. Is that not enough to keep a girl busy? If it isn’t, I don’t know what is. I’m particularly looking forward to the days that look like this: regular work (8am-5pm), lessons (usually until 6:30/7), rehearsal (8-11). Whoopee! But if you aren’t occupying your time with fun stuff after work, then why bother?