Saturday, November 10, 2012

We're on the Move!

Yes, you read that right...  The Keenan's are moving again!  No, Conor hasn't joined the military nor are we secretly members of a traveling circus...   But after only a year in Seattle, we are packing up our home and moving to Salt Lake City!  No, we aren't converting to the Mormon faith either...

Conor has accepted a position as Material Control Manager with his current company Hexcel.  This is a huge promotion for him!  I am so proud of him and all his hard work & achievements!!!  Unfortunately, this position is in Salt Lake City.  Neither of us are thrilled about the move as we love Seattle and our house here, but we both understand that this is the best decision for our family and for advancing Conor's career.

Everyone wants to know when exactly we'll be making the move, which is still a little bit up in the air.  Conor will start commuting weekly to SLC starting next Monday, while Liam & I split our time between Spokane & Seattle.  We are planning on putting our house on the market as soon as possible and begin looking for a house in SLC.  With the holiday season upon us, I don't want the pending move to inhibit any of my holiday plans!  I will certainly be decking the halls regardless of how much actual time either of us will be at our house.  As of right now, we think we'll officially be leaving Seattle in early January.

We shall see where life takes us, but we would love to eventually find our way back to the Pacific Northwest (or Spokane or Montana).  Being close to family is important to us.  In the mean time, we are looking at this opportunity as another great adventure.  Wish us luck and COME VISIT!` :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

On Monday afternoon, my doctor gave me the okay to travel to Spirit Lake for the 4th of July!  Conor has been working long hours lately, so it was a much needed vacation.  When we arrived at my parents cabin, my dad had a tentative itinerary written down; oh, I am just like my father.  Conor & I helped add to it throughout our week, and then we completely gave up by the end.  I thought it would be fun to only post our schedule and some pictures to go along!  Things I learned after reviewing the itinerary: we do a lot of welcoming...  Enjoy the craziness that is the Simpson Family!

Tuesday - July 3
3:00-3:30  Keenan Family Welcome Ceremony (and toasts)

5:30-6:30 Darts Practice Rounds / Mojitos or Margaritas?

7:00  Dinner

8:30  Pregnancy & Birthing Update (Q & A with Conor)

Wednesday - July 4
All day intermittent jigsaw puzzling: Laura's choice

8:00  Lattes & Miller's Maple Bars / Gin Fizzes?

11:00-1:00 Spirit Lake 4th of July Parade

1:00-1:05 Optional Tour of Downtown Spirit Lake

1:05-2:00  Free Time: bikes, kayaks, badminton, etc.

2:00-4:00 Party Boat Ride with Ryan, Chelsea, Linnea, Miles, & baby Hadley

4:00 Uncle Tom's Arrival & Welcome

4:00-5:30 Spirit Lake Championship Dart Tournament & Beer & Mancave Bratwurst Sampling

6:30 Dinner

7:30-8:00  Boat Ride Prep

8:00 9:12 (sharp)  Business Casual Boat Ride / Fireworks & Fire on the dock!

*All times are subject to unexpected visits by Scaper*

Thursday - July 5
9:00 Breakfast at Annie's Country Kitchen

10:30  Lawn mowing, dock assessment, & puzzling

12:00  Exercise & Boat Ride Prep

1:00  Lunch & Booze Cruise

5:00  Uncle Tom / Courtney & Taylor Arrival for Post 4th of July Party - Conor to explain the circumstances surrounding the mysterious Simpson deck fire of last night

6:30 Pizza Dinner / Boci Ball (Conor won)

8:30 Fire in the Pit - S'mores

Friday - July 6
7:00 Conor flies with Uncle Tom

8:30  Maple Bars Banana Bread & Lattes

9:00  Dump Run  Emergency Dentist Appt

9:30  11:00  4 mile Trail Walk

12:00  Dump Run for boys / Grocery Store for girls

12:30 Gin Fizzes

1:30 Party Boating (boat tour of Spirit Lake)

4:00  Free Time

5:30  Tony & Cindy Higley for Cocktail Hour

7:00 Dinner (Beer Can Chicken)

8:00  S'mores (again...the pregnant lady is craving them)

9:00  Game of Scott's Choosing

Saturday - July 7

8:30  Round of Golf at Twin Lakes for the boys

9:00  Hayden Lake Farmer's Market for the girls

1:00  Ryan, Chelsea, Stephanie, John, & baby Hadley Welcoming

2:00 Party Boat Lake Tour

5:00  Downtown Spirit Lake Pub Crawl with Fried Pickles

7:30  Dinner (Flank Steak)

8:30 S'mores...again

9:00  A sampling of all alcoholic beverages begins

10:30  Pregnant lady hits the sheets...

11:00  Chaos (ie. walking on hot coals)

Sunday - July 8

9:00  Miller's Maple Bars & Omelet Bar courtesy of Conor

9:30  Nap Time (for babies & those with a hangover)

10:00  Shari's Farmer's Market

11:00 Pack up the Car

12:00  Keenan Send Off :'(

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Foodie Penpal

It's time to share my package of goodies from my May Foodie Penpal! My box was sent to me
by Toni from

The Lean Green Bean

Toni sent me a box filled with snacks ready to eat.  Just like last month, I dug in right away. I have no idea how she stayed under the $15 limit...apparently she's quite the savvy grocery shopper!  Once again, I was horrible about taking pictures, I have this one of the whole stash.

First up was a package of farro.  It is an Italian wheat, which Toni said was great in soups & salads.  She enclosed a recipe as well, so I had an idea of how to use it.  I had never even heard of this before!  I am so excited to give it a try, but unfortunately haven't had time to make anything with it yet.  Conor & I have had a crazy busy schedule lately, so every dinner I made has been quick & simple.

The next item to catch my eye was whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe's.  I love couscous and never knew you could buy a whole wheat version, bonus!  I used this in a saffron couscous recipe that I make all the time.  It went perfectly with some blue cheese & mushroom stuffed burgers I made last week.

One of my favorite items was the Bear Naked Fit vanilla almond crunch granola.  As you all know, I've been a huge oats/granola kick lately, so this was perfect.  I really like the Bear Naked brand, but hadn't tried any of their Fit mixes.  This granola was very light & healthy.  I liked it, but the pregnant woman in me would still prefer a sweeter granola.  :-)

My absolute favorite item was the chocolate cookies from Tate's Bake Shop!  These were to die for!  Crispy little morsels of goodness.  Many of the cookies broke in the shipping process, which was alright by me because this way I had no idea how many cookies I was eating!  Conor & I devoured these in two nights, and I haven't stopped thinking about them since.
Ironically, I received another thing of Nutella To Go this month.  The people of New York must really love their nutella (Toni is from New York as was last month's penpal)!  I ate this treat in about two seconds.  Once again delicious and was just what my sweet tooth needed!

The rest of the box was filled with all sorts of little snacks.  Included were Aurora Natural Cranberry Health Mix, Lara Bars, a Kind bar, and Pop Corners (popped corn chips).   I loved having a bunch of new snacks on hand, because I am always hungry!  Plus they were easy to throw in my gym bag.

My penpal this month was a reader (not a blogger) so there will be no post from her.  Since I had no blog to check out, I had to guess on what I thought she might like.  I decided to send a few goodies that are all found in the Northwest, since she lives in New Mexico.  From Seattle: Tom Douglas rub with love & Snoqualmie Falls Pancake Mix.  From Spokane: Blue Cornbread Mix from Christs's Kitchen.

Here's what she said about my box in an email: "Got your box today! I just bought fresh blueberries and strawberries so tomorrow's breakfast might just be waffle n berries! I LOVE cornbread! I have been waiting to make a Paula Dean BBQ chicken and corn bread recipe so this is perfect ;) oh and my husband is from Spokane! We lived there for a bit when we were first married; small world! The salmon rub I think I'll use on fresh cut sweet potato wedges! The hubby doesn't eat ANY seafood at all but the ingredients in this seem to be just what I'd use on the wedges! Thanks again Laura. (I was secretly hoping you'd send chocolate cherries from Pike Street Market!) haha just kidding ;)"

I love Foodie Penpals, but unfortunately think I might need to take a break for a few months while I wait for Liam to arrive!

Here's some information about Foodie Penpals if anyone is interested:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
If you’re interested in participating for June, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You will also find contact information on that page for the UK branch of Foodie Penpals if you’re a blogger across the pond.  You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th!