Friday, December 30, 2011

Bonus = Bahamas + A Holiday Treat!

Well, we are officially headed to the Bahamas in February! Thanks to a lovely year-end bonus from my firm, I was able to purchase our flights to Florida today- woo who! Also, since I received quite the monetary Christmas gift from my firm, I'm considering spending it on a new "grown-up" camera. It would be wonderful to capture the colors of the island with something other than a Cool Pix digital.

Anyway, along with this news comes a favorite holiday treat recipe. You may have an NYE party to attend, or perhaps you're hosting a New Year's Day brunch? Either way, this delectable Almond Tea Bread is sure to make you the talk of whatever shindig you're attending! My mom only makes this at Christmas and we usually give it to people as gifts around the holidays. I have taken up this tradition since moving to Seattle and actually, it was the reason I purchased my pink Kitchen Aid handmixer in the first place :)

You will need the following:
Sugar, Flour, Baking Powder, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract,
Poppyseeds, Butter Flavoring
Also, not shown, Orange Juice and Milk

Cream together the following:
2 1/4 cups sugar; 3 eggs; 1 1/8 cup oil

In a separate bowl sift together the following:
3 cups flour; 1 1/2 tsp salt; 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Then . . .
Pour the contents from the flour mixture into the first bowl,
alternate pouring and mixing the flour mixture in with 1 1/2 cups milk

Then Add . . .
1 1/2 tblsp poppy seeds; 1 1/2 tsp almond extract;
1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring; 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Lastly . . . .

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and pour the batter into small bread loaf pans.
The above recipe will make 1 large loaf and 2 small loafs or 4 small loafs.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes (or until golden brown)
Sometimes the bread is done before 50 minutes,
so be sure to stick a toothpick in the top prior to removing
from the oven to make sure it is cooked all the way.

While the bread is cooking . . . make the glaze that will go on top of the bread:
3/4 cup sugar; 1/4 cup orange juice; 1/2 tsp. almond extract;
1/2 tsp butter flavoring; 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

When the bread is done . . . .
Let cool; Remove from pans and set on sheet of foil

When bread is still just slightly warm, glaze the with the orange juice mixture:
Use a marinade brush. Glaze the top and the four sides.

Wrap immediately in foil and place in freezer.
The bread will remain good as long as it is frozen. When ready to eat, take out
30-40 minutes prior to serving so it can defrost a bit.

 I hope you enjoy this treat as much
as my family has!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Five Favorites

And so begins the first installment of what I am going to call 'Five Favorites' which is inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, Emily, of Cupcakes and Cashmere. She often writes a post called 'Five Things' that include everything from DIY projects to her new favorite nailpolish. I think it's a fun way to share different items that come into our lives and spruce up our spirits. This will be replacing 'What's On My Phone' as I have begun to realize that I blog practically every photo I take on my phone anyway, so I figure we'll ditch the old and bring in the new! Much like we will be doing on Saturday :)

In this post I want to share five of my favorite Christmas items. Of course, I loved everything I received, but I thought these items were both functional and reasonably priced for the everyday woman:
   Kate Spade 'Darien-Thomas' Crossbody Bag at $150
- I have been using this bag since I received it
and am totally in love. It is the perfect size and length.
Of course, mine is in pink though, not white. -

BCBGeneration 'Eddah' Pumps at $140
- These puppies just make you drool. Seriously. And they
work for all 4 seasons! -

Juicy Couture Gold Starter Charm Bracelet at $42
- I am always a fun of chunky jewelry . . . especially when it's
gold. This is the perfect bracelet to wear when you want to dress
up an otherwise minimalist outfit. -

Lululemon Stride Jacket *Brushed at $128
- This jacket is ideal for a brisk morning run or
snowboarding. It's longer length and hood make it
perfect for the PNW weather! - 

Capri Blue Candle-In-A-Jar at $25
- If you're an Anthro lover like me, you will appreciate this
candle in Volcano, which is Anthro's signature scent. Better yet,
it comes in a pink jar instead of a blue one, but this Capri one
is still beautiful. -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day Delayed

Blouse: Gift from Bum; Jeans: Joe's; Booties: BCBG;
Gold Bracelet: Juicy Couture; Bangle: Alexis Bittar

I wore this on Christmas Day and I think it might be my new favorite outfit. This blouse that Bum got me for Christmas is something that I want in every color. It is so flattering and functional in any season. Bum and I both agreed that sporting a cute lace bandeau underneath with some chic shorts in the summer would make a great look. The booties just kill me- I am OBSESSED and would wear them everyday if they weren't over 5 inches tall. My brother got me the Juicy charm bracelet for Christmas, which is just so adorable (what brother feels comfortable enough to buy his sister jewelry?!).

I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning to hop on the 6 a.m. flight to Seattle so I could come into work today (gotta conserve those vacay hours for the cruise!)- so I am pretty exhausted. However, I am so excited to see my man  tonight and eat our favorite ice cream, Molly Moon's, on account of him having a wisdom tooth extracted yesterday . . . some salted caramel and theo chocolate is definitely in order! I pick him up at 6 p.m. tonight :)

Hope you all had safe travels and lovely holidays!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Flannel: Banana Republic; Belt: Francesca's;
Skirt: Forever21; Shoes: Dolce Vita; Bag: Louis Vuitton;
Bangles: Alexis Bittar and Nordstrom

This was yesterday's Christmas Eve outfit. I quite adore it, however Bum and I both said that it might work better with a red, lighter flannel. However this still works I think. Yesterday was spent consuming entirely too much wine and winter ales . . . I felt it a bit this morning. However, the celebration with Mama Bigley's side of the family was probably one of the best ever (even though my Seahawks lost). We went over to Ama's around 3:30 and didn't leave until 1:30 a.m.- which tells you just how much fun we were having. The annual $15 gift exchange went so well because every gift was fantastic and kept getting stolen . . . including the one that I contributed which Bum picked up first:

I mustache you a question . . .

Fantastic, no?! Everybody wanted them so I think I did pretty well. The cousins gift exchange also went swimmingly well and I ended up with some fab brown suede gloves (courtesy of cousin T). This morning was spent with my family and soon we will be off to Uncle P's house to celebrate Jesus' birth with my dad's side of the family while partaking in the 2nd annual cab sauv tasting. Cheers!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Day Before Christmas Eve . . .

Jacket: Burberry; Top: Forever21 Heritage Collection;
Belt: Francesca's; Skinny Jeans: Hudson; Boots: Miz Mooz;
Aviators: Ray Ban; Bracelet: Alexis Bittar; Bangles: Nordstom

Okay so I'm kind of cheating with this title since it pertains to yesterday- but it was too appropriate. Regardless, I had breakfast with bff L at my most favorite San Marino shindig, Julienne. Please promise me that if you are ever in the Pasadena area, you visit this fantastic place. They don't take reservations and are not open on Sundays so get there early to put your name in and go shopping at the adorable boutique located directly across the street called Simply Fresh. After breakfast L and I exchanged gifts and then I headed home to have 'Family Day'. During this day, the Bigley kids are not allowed to go anywhere because we all stay home together and bake, decorate the tree, watch movies (yesterday's choice was the original 'A Christmas Carol' from the 1930s- quite comical), and drink. Below are some highlights from the evening:

Mama Bigley hung the stockings 
by the chimney with care . . .

Missy wanted to help out 
(Bum kind of forced her into this pose though)

It wouldn't be Christmas without Veuve Clicquot!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the Third Date of Christmas . . .

In front of the Fairmont Christmas Tree
Photo Cred: G and her no-flash iphone

So G and I both agreed that last night's Christmas date was probably the most Christmasy thing either of us had done all season . . . and it's a good thing too because it was pretty much perfection! I arrived at the Fairmont just in time to snag a table on The Terrace where happy hour was already in full swing. The show wasn't until 7:30 so G and I had loads of time to catch up on life. Also, the service was verrryyy slow so it was good we made it there when we did-otherwise we'd be running to the show like Cinderella at midnight (hehe). Anyway, we indulged in some wonderful treats such as:

Lavender Martinis w/ Dusted Sugar Rim; Popcorn Shrimp Lightly Coated w/
Chili Spice and served with Tomato Tartar; Kobe Beef and Foie Gras Sliders
served w/ Truffle Bacon Mayonnaise

Simply divine! G is also my fellow dessert-orderer so we ALWAYS get two a dessert to share when we go out. On this particular occasion we just had to splurge for two and ended up with:

Bananas Foster Creme Brulee; Vanilla and Peanut Butter
Ice Cream Sandwiches

And then it was showtime! We dashed off to the theatre and took our seats in Orchestra to watch Cinderella among tweens, moms, and little girls alike. It was adorable (with the exception of some very slight inaccuracies) and we definitely compared it to the movie-version with Brandi and Whitney Houston. I think G and I both walked away wanting the Fairy Godmother's shimmering, cobalt blue, chiffon gown . . . and Cinderella's glass slippers of course . . .

Pure magic, I tell you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the Second Date of Christmas . . .

Sweater: Halogen; Skirt: Francesca's; Tights: Forever21;
Shoes: Jessica Simpson; Bangle: Tiffany&Co;
Pearls: Gift from Mama and Daddy Biggs

Last night's Christmas date with the girls was phenomenal and filled with fabulous wine, lots of laughs, and delicious goodies. We spent 5 hours sipping whites and reds, exchanging ornaments, and eating too many home-baked sweets! I played the dutiful host and fancified my coffee table a bit for the occasion:

Cocktail napkins by Naughty Betty read: "All I want for Christmas is
a glass of wine and toned abs." HA! Purchase them here: Fireworks;
One of my favorite reds by Camaraderie Cellars called Triomphe is
amazing and can be purchased at my favorite wine-tasting
shindig: The Tasting Room in Post Alley by the market.

B, ever the baking guru, whipped up some fantastic and fanciful maple-bacon cupcakes that pretty much tasted like Sunday morning breakfast. One thing you should know about B is that she LOVES finding the humor in everyday life. So it was only appropriate that she topped her bacon cupcakes with homemade felt mustaches . . . because as B said, "If any cupcake has a mustache, it should be a bacon cupcake":


I think the ornament tradition is here to stay. We had so much fun picking each other's names out of a bowl and then all opening them at the same time- and not once did we pick ourselves! We were true all stars at getting in the Christmas spirit. K even wore my santa-tiara hat for a while (which I will need to post a picture of because it is just perfection).

Left to Right: From K, From B, From M, From Me!

Wishing you as much joy, peace, and love
as your little heart can take!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Dates

Sweater: Halogen; Top: Eight-Sixty; Belt: Francesca's
Skirt: Halogen; Boots: Miz Mooz; Bangle: Alexis Bittar;
Watch: Michele

Outfit picture in my office again! HA. Makes me feel so awkward . . . if someone were to walk by I don't even know what I'd say. But I narrowly escaped discovery again so I win! 

Well, I have 3 Christmas dates in a row this week! All with my favorite people :) Date #1 was yesterday; N and I had our annual Christmas date but we switched it up a bit this year. Normally we get all dressed up and go to a fancy-schmancy dinner (last year was Dahlia Lounge), however this year N suggested that we go more low-key since we are in the process of buying plane flights to Florida for our Caribbean Cruise in February (eek!). So we spent the day exchanging gifts with one another (his card made me cry . . . again!), picking up last minute gifts for family members, eating delicious pizza at CPK, and seeing the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I have to admit that having that type of day was more special than dropping a couple hundred on an incredible meal. I just love him so :)

Date #2 is tonight with K, M, and B at my little abode. We are all contributing a bottle of wine, an appetizer, and bringing ornaments to exchange instead of gifts, which I find so much more exciting than trying to find gifts for everyone. Ornaments might be my favorite thing to shop for because they are so personal and representative of the individual. I'll share photos from our evening tomorrow so you can see all the goodies!

Date #3 is tomorrow night with my most favorite redhead G. We are going to The Fairmont Olympic for happy hour and martinis and then seeing Cinderella at the The 5th Avenue Theatre. I imagine it will be quite spectacular given my love for all things Disney.

I hope you have fun Christmasy dates planned as well!  

Friday, December 16, 2011


If you must know: Dress: ASOS; Earrings: Gift from L; 
Cocktail Ring: Sway and Cake; Shoes: Gucci

I love the open back on this dress!

Last Friday was my firm Christmas party at the Four Seasons in downtown Seattle. N's cheesy finger-point is a result of how many of "the same pictures we take in the same pose" (as he says). So he likes to switch it up every once in a while. Me? I'll stick with the hand-on-hip pose. To be fair though, we do have a photo in which he is picking me up and my ass is dangerously close to flashing the world . . . so I won't post that here ;) We had a lovely time at the party and agreed that it was much more fun than last year's shindig.

Evidenced below are the bits and pieces of Christmas that make me glow with excitement. For instance, my adorable little tree filled with the appropriate amount of shoe and wine glass ornaments, topped with an over-the-top glittery star:
Tree: Macys; Bulbs: Martha Stewart;
Other ornaments: gifts from besties :)

And of course, the iconic Space Needle in all it's Christmas glory is always a sight to see:
Christmastime Space Needle

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Remember when I told you that I did a photoshoot as a favor to one of N's client's wives? Welp, the images finally came back and as promised, I am sharing some with you!

For the record, she had me pose like this . . . I did not choose to
"look away like I don't care" ;)

 Don't worry Mom, I'm wearing a top!

Took this one for N because he loves Griffey . . .
and me :)

I am also wearing shorts here . . . you just can't see them!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wine Tasting Away

If you must know: Tank: Halogen; Sweater: Nick and Mo;
Bag: Louis Vuitton; Pants: Nordstrom; Booties: Vince Camuto
Bangle: Alexis Bittar; Watch: Michele

Last Saturday my friends and I indulged in one of our favorite holiday traditions- the St. Nicholas Day wine tasting in Woodinville. We typically begin with a champagne breakfast at someone's home, then have a limo or party bus pick us up and drive us to the various wineries all day. It is quite the event and we always have a blast.

Wine Passport and Glass 

By the third or fourth winery, of course, all of the wines begin to taste the same- let's be honest, it's hard to not get sloshed drinking wine from 11 to 4 pm (prefaced by champagne no less!).


But everyone had a fantastic time and I ended up passing out with M's puppy around 6 p.m. HA! In fact, since N and I were in bed by 10 p.m. that night, we were able to utilize the glorious sunny, crisp weather that graced Seattle on Sunday. We went to breakfast at one of our new favorite places, Dahlia Workshop (Tom Douglas is such a food god), and then went on a 5-6 mile hike on Mt. Cougar. It was our very FIRST hike together! Which is fun because after dating for two years it's hard to believe that there was something we had yet to do together . . . and we only got lost once! :) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Festive in the Office

Top: Collective Concepts; Skirt: Express;
Shoes: Jessica Simpson; Bangle: Alexis Bittar

I totally adore this outfit. I wore it last year to our inter-office mini Christmas party and just felt it embodied the festive spirit :) The necklace is attached to the top, which is just super convenient in and of itself. I figured it was ok to recycle since I haven't worn it in a year anyway. In other news, Christmas has officially thrown-up all over my office and I could not be happier! I have strung lights everywhere and have enough candy to feed 10 small children. See Exhibit A:

I have also been playing Christmas music incessantly (and between you and me, Pandora is getting a liiiittle repetitive with its song selections- I can only hear Destiny Child's rendition of 'Jingle Bells' so many times). However I will admit that the second ANY NSync Christmas song plays I get all excited like a tween in 8th grade. Here are some additional decorations brightening my days at work:

This lovely little handmade sign is hanging on my office door.
I purchased it off Etsy for only $15!

This little man is ready to greet anyone that walks in!
Isn't his little Seattle coffee mug adorable?!