Monthly Archives: August 2009

Frye Boots

I’m enamored with these Carson cowboy boots by Frye. I’d like to work them into my fall wardrobe, but I think I’ll wait until they go on sale. I have a pair of red cowboy boots from high school, but I’m used to wearing those around the farm and not work. Poo.

Favorite vacation spots in Hawaii

My husband and I were joking that it might be easier to go to Hawaii, than decide which family to spend Christmas with, this year. This is turn, made me think of all my fond Hawaiian memories. As a child, my parents would take us to Oahu. In high school, I was lucky to go to Maui twice with my zoology class. My husband and I went to Oahu in 2006 to visit a friend and in 2008 we went to Kauai for our honeymoon. Each island, that I’ve been to, is simply a paradise. With direct flights into Honolulu and Li’hue, it’s only a 5 hour flight from Seattle, so why not visit these tropical islands?

Kauai has many amazing spots for snorkeling, eating, and just laying by the beach. My favorite snorkeling places in Kauai are Hideaways, Tunnels, and Ke’e. We had the best gelato in Poi’pu. We brought a few books so the beaches of Kapa’a near our hotel were perfect for reading in the sun.

The first full day we were in Kauai, we started easy snorkeling at Lydgate State Park. The cove is protected by a rock wall but the swell still breaks over the rocks and some fish get in.

We found Hideaways Beach a few days later. It is picturesque and probably the best snorkeling spot on the island. We went back to this beach several times, even though our hotel was at least 30-40 minutes away. We’re probably biased but the whole North shore was pretty amazing for snorkeling and sunning. Hideaways is pretty secluded though and the coral was fantastic. The view from up above is gorgeous but walking down the the rickety staircase to the beach is a fun and beautiful experience too.

Tunnels should really be called Turtles Beach. There were so many there and at Ke’e just down the road. They were so peaceful and plentiful that we got tons of pictures of them.

Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon were great day excursions. We hiked a few trails in Waimea Canyon but due to the heat, we didn’t do more than a mile or two. There’s a reason Mark Twain once called it “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. There were fortunately many view points and ledges with railings to get gorgeous photos. In my opinion, Napali Coast was best seen from the ocean. You can get the full appreciation of the 22 mile trail without suffering from heat stroke. The ocean spray was very refreshing too! We saw dolphins, turtles, and the fish seen while snorkeling were amazing. Captain Andy’s is one of the many possible boat companies that you can take to tour the coast. If you’re feeling adventurous, I recommend bringing lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray, and a well broken in pair of hiking boots before attempting the Napali Coast trail!

While there are many amazing places to eat in Kauai, I highly suggest, the King and I Thai in Kapa’a and ask for Porcupine shrimp! We also enjoyed Scotty’s Beachside BBQ, right on the water. Our guidebook, Kauai Revealed, couldn’t stop talking about it!

Next up: Oahu-North Shore, specifically Turtle Bay

A few favorite musicals

My husband and I watched Hamlet 2 last night and it made want to make a list of my favorite musicals.

From the 1940s
Sun Valley Serenade is my favorite childhood musical. It’s stars the lovely Olympic skating star, Sonia Henie and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The story is about a handsome piano player, played by John Payne, who sponsors a war refugee from Norway as a publicity stunt for his band. Expecting a small child, he’s surprised to meet the gorgeous Karen, played by Sonia Henie, when she gets off the boat. She immediately sets her sites on him for marriage, but he’s already interested in the lead singer of his band.

There are very cute songs such as the Kiss Polka, Moonlight Serenade, and Chattanooga Choo Choo. I would watch it all winter and pretend to be Sonia Henie on the ski slopes and ice rinks. When we went to Sun Valley, I was surprised to find the movie had it’s own channel where it ran continuously!


Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor has some of my most favorite songs. Debbie Reynolds is adorable dancing and jumping out of a birthday cake in “All I Do Is Dream of You” and heart breaking in “You Are My Lucky Star“. I love to watch Gene Kelly’s flying feet and Donald O’Connor’s comedy in “Moses Supposes” and “Good Morning” too.

High Society with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong is my favorite movie to watch when I’m in a bad mood. My best girlfriend and I would drink champagne and watch this movie after a long week of studying in college. Sadly, it’s Grace Kelly‘s last feature film before retiring from acting. She and Bing Crosby have a beautiful duet called, “True Love” written by Cole Porter. Frank Sinatra is hilarious as a reporter singing “You’re Sensational” to Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong is a scene stealer with his witty one liners and amazing music.

Some Like It Hot stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as two musicians who witness a mob hit and go into hiding by joining an all-female band. It’s my favorite Marilyn Monroe musical (although Gentlemen Prefer Blondes runs a close second). She has the most adorable lines like, “Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop“. When Marilyn’s character, Sugar, first appears on screen, Jack Lemmon’s character says, “Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs.” It won an Oscar in 1960 for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White and nominated for 6 other Academy awards!

We stopped at a Starbucks in West Seattle and it made me smile that this movie poster was on the wall.


The Sweet Charity soundtrack with Gwen Verdon was all I listened to my sophomore year of high school. I wanted to be in the musical in any part, so I knew all the songs by heart. My favorite songs are “I’m the Bravest Individual”, “Baby Dream Your Dream”, and ” If My Friends Could See Me Now”!

I wish I could have seen the Christina Applegate 2005 revival. She sounds fantastic on that soundtrack too.

The Sound of Music is another one of my best loved and childhood favorite musicals. My mom would play the songs for us on the piano and we’d sing along. My favorite songs from Sound of Music are still “The Lonely Goatherd” and “My Favorite Things”. As I kid, I would dance around the living room singing, “I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen” and “Do-Re-Me” frequently. Who didn’t want Maria as their Governess growing up?


Grease is my favorite musical that I’ve ever acted in. My senior year of high school, I got to be Sandy in Grease! We did not do the 1978 movie version with the songs, “Hopelessly Devoted To You” or “You’re the One That I Want”, but instead the play version has cute songs like, “It’s Raining On Prom Night”, which Sandy got to sing and “These Magic Changes”! The Rydell Fight Song was pretty fun too.

Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is a classic musical with many pretty songs, like “In My Own Little Corner” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”. I was lucky enough to see it in Seattle in 2001 when Jamie-Lynn Sigler starred in the national tour of opposite Eartha Kitt. I had just played Sandy in Grease and I was so excited that Jamie-Lynn had played Sandy in high school too!

I had no idea that Cinderella was the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for television. It aired in 1957 with Julie Andrews as Cinderella.

There are several Disney musicals and the Wizard of Oz that I love as well, but I’ll save those for another posting!

A few favorite vegetable recipes

I’m not a huge vegetable eater. Growing up and even into my freshman year of college, I avoided them or took very small portions. In fact, on our first date, my now husband teased me, “if you don’t eat your veggies, you can’t get dessert!” Little did I know how well he could cook vegetables, so now I actually enjoy them…occasionally.

Here’s a few recipes that I make from the Everyday Food Magazine and Martha Stewart:

Steamed Eggplant with Peanuts and Scallions

Serves 4. Prep Time 10 minutes. Total Time 15 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Chinese, graffiti, or small Italian eggplants, quarter lengthwise and cut into 4 inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced [although I have substituted 1 cup of chopped cilantro]

1. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and oil. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, approximately 3 minutes.

2. Set a steamer basket in a saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water. Add eggplant, cover, and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter and top with soy dressing, peanuts, and scallions. Serve warm.

per serving: 104 calories, 6 grams fat (0.8 grams saturated fat), 3.9 grams protein, 11 gram carbohydrates, 3.8 grams fiber

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 minutes. Total Time 1 hour, 30 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.
3. In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
4. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. 6. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

I also enjoy fresh asparagus steamed for 3 minutes in the microwave and then sprinkling lemon pepper on top. It’s super quick, easy, and yummy.