Friday Roundup

Happy Weekend! What will you be doing? Jason and I started the weekend off early with a date to see Moonrise Kingdom last night. I loved it so much, I wouldn't mind seeing it again if anyone out there wants to go with me... Teresa and I also have round 2 of trapeze scheduled, amazing photos to come!

I was sad to hear that Nora Ephron passed away this week. When Harry Met Sally is quite possibly my favorite romantic comedy of all time. Also, because I live in Seattle, I feel somewhat obligated to love Sleepless in Seattle. Naturally articles on the life and work of Nora Ephron are everywhere this week and I really enjoyed this article on Ephron's take on the characters of Harry and Sally and whether or not men and women can be just friends. (Above image via)

Birds With Arms. Just when I thought tumblr couldn't get any better.

"There's always money in the banana stand" If you're super confused about what I just said, you're probably not interested in art inspired by Arrested Development, but if I happened to be in LA this weekend, this is where I'd be.

I just signed up for Bloomspot and really like it. It's like all the other daily deal sites, but they always seem to have the best stuff!

In need of summer hair styles? Check out Braids of Glory for hair like Katniss or Princess Leia and stop by Refinery 29 for some tips from Josie Maran. 

Modg's lessons from a hippie is both practical and hilarious. Do you know what the Dirty Dozen is?

Flavorwire put together a montage of TV's most romantic moments. It makes me happy, but I do think they are missing a few...

Sushi Party!

Last weekend we got together with Patrick's side of the family to celebrate summer birthdays and Father's Day with a sushi party! P's aunt and uncle are really creative and put together sushi making stations so we could all try rolling it on our own. I love sushi but had never thought of attempting to make it myself before. What a blast! The photo above is my final product, a tuna-avocado-cucumber roll. 

Patrick's youngest cousin Matthew tried sushi for the very first time (he wasn't so sure if he liked it, as you can see by his hilarious reaction). 

Tiffany and Whitney, our sushi rolling experts and instructors-- Tiff even fried up some shrimp for us to include in some of the rolls!

Here's a quick demo from Whitney with step by step photos on how we rolled the sushi. 
1. Lay out the bamboo mat with cellophane wrap and then seaweed, place sticky rice in an even layer on the top half of the seaweed.
2. Flip over the seaweed so that the rice is on the bottom (and closest to your body), touching the cellophane. Add your desired "inside" ingredients to the top half of the seaweed (Whit used smoked salmon, avocado and carrots here).
3. Begin rolling the bamboo over the top of the inside ingredients and pulling tightly toward yourself.
4. Repeat this motion several times, clearing the cellophane from getting caught on the inside of the roll each time. Be sure to pack tightly and mold into a cylindrical shape as you go!
5. Using a serrated knife gently cut the sushi every 1" or so.
6. Remove cellophane and enjoy! 

Project Pinterest: Faux Mercury Glass DIY

My sister, Stephanie, is throwing a bridal shower for a good friend in a few weeks. In looking for decor ideas she came across a few DIY mercury glass projects on pinterest and decided to give it a go.

After checking out a few different tutorials, she chose to go with this one from 17 Apart.  This is a super easy thing to do! And a really cheap option for getting some classy decorations fast for a party, or even a wedding. 
Stephanie picked up some glass votives from Goodwill and then we grabbed some random glass bottles and jars out of my pantry and went for it.

Basically, you mist the glass with a mixture of water and vinegar then spray it with Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint.

After you spray it, you wait a minute (or a few seconds, if you're impatient like us) and then blot with a paper towel. That'll take off the paint that has been sprayed over the areas dotted with your water/vinegar mixture, giving you the mercury glass look. 

Repeat a few times, to get the desired effect, and there you have it, faux mercury glass!


My favorite thing on instagram right now is #throwbackthursdays. My childhood photos can rival anyone's for the perfect combination of 80's/90's style and awkwardness with just a dash of cuteness thrown in.
Here are a few I've posted so far. Enjoy my awkward youth! Oh and follow me on instagram, @jennykoekoe. I promise there are many more gems to come.

Drink of the Month: Paloma Fresca

The Paloma is a delicious spin on the traditional Mexican margarita, very refreshing and great for warm summer nights. It was also relatively easy to make, just a lot of juicing. We adapted this tasty recipe from Dylan O'Brien of San Fran cocktail bar, Bloodhound. Jenny also made a fresh and tangy Grilled Chicken Corn Salad which went well with the Paloma. 

Ingredients: 2 oz tequila 
1 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice 
.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime 
.5 oz agave syrup 
Soda water 

Make Ahead: Agave Syrup 
Will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. 
1. Add 1 cup of hot water to 1 cup of agave. 
2. Stir to dissolve the nectar and cool in the refrigerator. 

Wedding Wednesday: Creative Bachelorette Ideas

When someone says "Bachelorette Party" most people think limo, bar hopping, dancing at a club and drinking. But there are so many other options. Some of my favorite bachelorette parties have been the more out of the box ones that are more tailored to the style and personality of the bachelorette herself.

Here are a few things my friends and I have enjoyed to get you thinking:

Pole Dancing Lessons Last summer I planned a bachelorette party for a good friend that involved pole dancing lessons. This is PERFECT for a group of friends who like to be silly together.  Watching everyone put on their best sexy face and attempt to swing around on poles was absolutely hilarious. Added bonus: pole dancing is an amazing workout. The one downside was a few of us still had bruises from accidently banging into the pole that were slightly visible in our bridesmaid dresses the next weekend. Still totally worth it. Another similar idea might be taking a trapeze class.
Burlesque Show Most cities have different theaters that offer burlesque shows. Seattle has Can Can: Kitchen & Cabaret and I've loved the bachelorette dinners I've been to there. Burlesque is definitely not rated G, but it's not stripping either. I think most people would enjoy it. For me,  I'm not someone that likes to hop from bar to bar so I love going out to things like this that involve good food,  drinks and entertainment.
Cabin in the Woods Get away from it all. Rent a cabin and get out of town for a good old fashioned slumber party where you and your friends can let loose and dance around in your undies. Bring some good snacks, movies and maybe some bachelorette party games and you're set for the weekend. Or, if you're more outdoorsy, add in a hike or a long bike ride.
Wine Tasting Around Seattle, there are a many different vineyards and wineries within a few hours drive or how about a weekend in Napa or the Willamette Valley?  I'd recommend staying somewhere with a spa. Wine, pretty scenery, a massage, and relaxing in a hot tub, sounds like a perfect girls weekend to me!

What else have you guys done for bachelorette parties? I'd love to hear some other ideas in the comments!

DIY Slide Curtains

These unique and creative curtains caught my eye right away when I visited Patrick's Aunt Kathy in Tacoma last weekend. And she made them herself using old family slides! What a great way to repurpose something a lot of us having sitting around the house. Here's a similar tutorial I found over on Pinterest in case you're interested in giving it a try yourself.

The Slide of a Lifetime

Our good friend Ash Lendzion is in town. When she's around, we do things like this...

PS. Ash is an actress and is HILARIOUS...check out some of her other videos on You Tube.

Space Saving Design

I recently ran across the fascinating online store, Resource Furniture, that specializes in well-designed space saving furniture for small dwellings. Check out this crazy video demonstrating how their furniture can make one room useful as a bedroom, dinning room, office, or living room all at once! I would love to own their Goliath Glass table (photo below) that extends from 17" to an amazing 115". I enjoy hosting dinner parties but keeping a huge table in a small apartment or house isn't very practical. Which design do you like best?

Innovative architect that can transform his 344sq foot Hong Kong apartment into 24 different rooms!
Five space-saving tips from around the web. 

(all photos from Resource Furniture)

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! What is everyone up to this weekend? I am headed to my first wedding of the summer tomorrow and am going to attempt the art of rolling sushi on Sunday. Should be a fun one even though the sun isn't planning to join us. 

Hope you have a great weekend planned! Here are some links to get you started....

A brand new song to launch your weekend.

Hilarious and adorable Scottish Fold.

Crazy DIY backyard water slide.

Is coconut water really good for you?

Fascinating article about women and family/career balance + interview with the author

Some great tips on unleashing creativity. 

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters. 

Great idea for a neighborhood library! (reminds me of Little Women).

The Olympian I'm most excited to watch-- and she's from WA!

This movie looks promising, hoping Ms. Knightly can pull it off.

25 things you didn't know about Mad Men (this blew my mind!).

I might have to try one of these spots out this weekend: Best Breakfasts in Seattle

(Photo via)

Project Pinterest: Making Mud Pies!

If you were a child who enjoyed making mud pies in the yard, this is the DIY for you.

After looking over numerous sets of instructions that involved long lists of things like "mosaic glass cutters" and "protective masks". My sister and I decided to just wing it.

We went to the local hardware store and purchased a 60lb. bag of concrete for about $6. We struck out at Goodwill looking for china to smash up. The Goodwill by my house is smaller, has a limited selection of "quality" used things (as in, I know someone who found a pair of practically new lululemon yoga pants here!) but this is not the place to get super cheap china that you want to smash.

So, Plan B. We walked down the block to the to the dollar store and picked up 3 bags of decorative glass stones and a three pack of disposable cake tins. One DIY I read suggested using your regular non-stick cake pans and then just cleaning them out and continuing to use them for cake...I'm the type of person who'd be convincing myself that every cake after that tasted like cement, so I chose to get different pans.

Again, foregoing directions, I dumped some of the concrete mix into a bucket only to discover that all those suggestions about wearing a mask would have been a really good idea.

Past the dust flying every fiasco, we got the cement mixed up super fast, my sister greased the pans with crisco to aid in easy removal and the fun making mud pie part commenced.

After we got them in the tins, we decorated with the stones and set them in the garage to dry for 3 days.

PS. If you're feeling to lazy to figure it all out yourself, you could just buy a kit. I used these a few times with kids I took care of in college. Super easy and really fun, just watch out if you happen to be with a small person who thinks putting your keys in as decoration would be hilariously funny. Trust me, it is not.

A Weekend In: Oregon Wine Country

Top: Dreamgiver's Inn; Bottom: toasting our anniversary, lavender plants, Patrick's happy place sitting on the lawn at Dreamgiver's Inn
Patrick and I spent our anniversary weekend in Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley, 45 minutes south of Portland. The region is known for it's excellent Pinot Noir wines and is a popular destination for wine enthusiasts. While I'm not sure we are at the "enthusiast" level quite yet, we do enjoy a glass of wine and beautiful views and were happy to soak up a few days of Oregon sunshine. 

We stayed at the picture-postcard B&B, The Dreamgiver's Inn just outside of Newberg, OR. It was a quiet little oasis with views of the local vineyards and Mt. Hood and delicious breakfasts both mornings (including Gluten-Free pancakes for yours truly). Linda was an excellent hostess and provided some great tips on what to see in the area. 
Top: Vidon boutique winery, enjoying the view from our B&B; Bottom: Recipe outdoor seating, Stoller wines. 
We visited several noteworthy wineries over the course of the weekend. We'd recommend Stoller for the killer views and tasty Pinot Noir,  Vidon for a more boutique vibe (feels like your in the family's backyard), Adelsheim for real wine-connoisseurs (this was a little hoity-toity for us),  Colene Clemens  for beautiful views and delicious Rosé of Pinot Noir wine (my favorite!), and  August Cellars to taste from a wide variety of boutique wineries and get a great education on how Pinot Noir is made. 
Top: Red Hills Market cold salami sandwich, Colene Clemens winery; Bottom: August Cellars Winery, my bearded jogging partner for the weekend

And now for the culinary highlights of the weekend: we started things off with dinner at Recipe in Newberg, a quaint little organic restaurant in an old farmhouse serving local specialties like onion-duck soup and buttery sole with fresh beets. On Saturday we grabbed lunch at Red Hills Market in Dundee where Patrick enjoyed "the best cold salami sandwich" he has ever eaten (they also have great GF options). And of course, a visit to Oregon wouldn't be complete without a stop off at one of the famous McMenamins restaurants. We chose to hit McMenamins Old Church and Pub in Wilsonville for some pub food to soak up all the vino. Don't miss their tasty Cajun tater tots, they will bring you back to elementary school (in a good way).  
Top: Colene Clemens Winery, Argyle Tasting Room; Bottom: Tire swing at Stoller Winery, view from Stoller tasting room.

Summer Solstice

"Do you always watch for the longest day of the year 
and then miss it?"
F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I remember reading that line in The Great Gatsby for the first time and thinking, "Why yes,  I do! I always do! Oh Daisy Buchanan, we are so alike..." 

I LOVE summer and I've always wanted to throw a summer solstice party.  I'm envisioning something like a Great Gatsby-esque lawn party or a scene out of Emma or Sabrina or perhaps a pre-war Downton Abbey with a little bit of A Midsummer Night's Dream thrown inI realize those are all drastically different, but to me they somehow embody a sort of mythical summer soiree in which an afternoon picnic transitions into a garden party and then an outdoor ball that ends with the birds chirping. 
Regardless, everyone would wear white and there would be lots of champagne and dancing.

Somehow the solstice always seems to be here and gone before I can get around to planning my party.  Last year we hosted a grad party and it just so happened to be on the solstice. When I realized, I pretended like I'd done it on purpose. Regardless, I was thrilled to get to spend the long evening outside roasting marshmallows with friends. 

Anyway, happy longest day of the year! I hope you're able to get outside and enjoy it. I plan on sitting in my backyard and eating s'mores with friends, enjoying the light!

Images: Downton Abbey, BBC's Emma

To Veil or Not to Veil?

Are you going to wear a veil when you get married? 

They aren't for everyone, but if you're questioning it, I'd suggest going for it. After all, if you don't wear one to your wedding, you probably won't have another chance to wear one, unless your a zombie bride for halloween, I suppose...

From a vintage tea length dress with a birdcage veil to a poofy formal gown with a cathedral length veil trailing behind, veils come in different styles to fit every type of dress. It's really just a matter of finding which styles suits you and your dress best.

You can always get a veil and then decide not to wear it. I find that many times some decisions are best made when everything comes together. When you're fully dressed with your hair and makeup done, you finally see the full picture and that's the time to decide whether the veil is going to accentuate the look or be too much. 

Veils can be awesome for pictures. They can add some extra drama and romance to your look.

Simple veils are very easy to makeDepending on where you're shopping, they can be pricey so going the DIY route can be a good idea. I've made a few veils for friends before and one of my bridesmaids made mine.

Veils are also a great thing to share. It's the perfect "something borrowed". One size fits all really, as long as you like the style.

You don't have to wear it the whole time. Some brides choose to wear the veil the whole day, even to the reception. If you do this, just be prepared for a headache by the end from people hugging you and catching your veil, yanking on your head. Other brides will just wear the veil for the ceremony, to give them a more formal or traditional look.

If you don't wear a veil on your wedding day, there IS actually one other time it works, your bachelorette party!

Checkout the Wedding Wednesday board on our pinterest for more tips on veils.

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Geographic Nail Art

Check out my fancy nail art! Have you tried Sally Hansen "Salon Effects" nail strips yet? My sister-in-law Kasi swears by them so I thought I should give them a try myself. At about $9 a box they are cheaper than a manicure but more pricey than your traditional nail polish. All you have to do it peal them off the plastic under layer, line them up on your nail, and press them firmly into place with the little tools they provide. They smell and look just like nail polish! Kasi says her's last for two weeks but mine were more like 4-5 days (I think I need some lessons on proper application). Check out all the different patterns and textures here

Father's Day

Hope you had a wonderful Fathers Day with all of the dads in your life. We just wanted to say how much we love and appreciate our dads and all they've done (and continue to do!) for us.

Just one little example: BOTH of our dads cooked dinner for their families yesterday!

Teresa & Scott 

Jenny & Rich

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

I hope you have a wonderful weekend cuddling with the ones you love!

The photo above was taken by my friend Johnny of Mazagran Photo in Guatemala. It makes me happy.

Check out the summer mix I'll be listening to on repeat well into September.

"Everybody poops, even competing athletes". Yep. You read that right. Check out the full piece on ESPN if you'd like, but the excerpt on Kottke was enough for me!

Have you seen this elaborate proposal?

Unusual homes.

Game of Thrones stars out of their makeup and costumes. You can definitely see why the hair, makeup and costume departments were nominated for Emmys.

Start summer off right with 20 Tips for a higher metabolism.

What Kate of my current favorite blogs. Find out what the Duchess of Cambridge wore and where to get it for yourself.

I made this for lunch the other day and it is amazing! Whoever thought sweet potato and kale belonged on a pizza? I promise, they do.

Did you know that there's an app to stop junk mail? I learned about it in Apartment Therapy's article aptly titled "How Not to Be a Hoarder".

This is such a cute idea that bookworms anywhere would love.

Also, one more of Johnny's monkey photos for you...

Four Year Celebration

Today Patrick and I celebrate four years of marriage - my how time flies. It seems like just yesterday that we were at the alter saying "I Do" and now we have a Bachelor's Degree in marriage! On the other hand we've packed a lot into our little marriage so far - we've lived on three different continents and both coasts of the US, held seven different jobs between the two of us, earned an MBA (I count this as my accomplishment as well :) ) and became aunt and uncle for the first time.

Back when we were in premarital counseling during our engagement our pastor asked us if we could describe, in one word, what we would like our life to look like in the next five years. We both gave the same answer: adventure.

So, here's to the next adventure baby, there's no one I'd rather live life with. xo

(photo by JKOE of course)

Seattle Spotlight: One Stop Shop Before a Party

One of my favorite spots in Seattle is the Melrose Market on Capital Hill. I think it's the perfect pre-dinner-party stop because they have local artisnal cheeses, seafood, and meats, great wine selection, a fabulous flower shop, cute home decor store and three little restaurants to grab a quick drink or snack. Never arrive empty handed at a party again! 
PS. If you're gluten-free (or if you just love fresh food!) Homegrown at the front of the market is one of my favorite lunch not miss their cookies, TO DIE FOR.

(bottom photos mine, top Sunset)

Wedding Wednesday: Roundup

This week I keep coming across wonderfully creative wedding ideas all over the web so I decided to do a Friday Roundup style post to inspire you all with ways other couples have been creative and added personality to their wedding day.

This couple made a ceremony backdrop of love poems. Inexpensive, easy to make, personal and unique.

I love the idea of a Ring Warming Ceremony that I just discovered via La Fête's blog. 

Handmade hot cocoa in a jar favors. Perfect for a winter wedding. 

String Heart DIY, great decor piece. 

Have you seen a fingerprint guestbook? Definitely a great way to turn your guest sign-in into an art piece for your new home. 

Have a s'more bar at your reception. 

This one is important for all brides and grooms. 

Finally, check out this bridal party dance off from the wedding we shot in Tennessee a few weeks ago. So much fun! If you look closely, you'll see Jason and I running around with camera in the background.

Jason and I loved shooting in Franklin, TN. It's always fun to get outside of Seattle and shoot in new places. The image at the top of the post is from Kelsey & Kyle's wedding as well. You can check out more photos from their wedding here.

If you're looking for more ideas, check out our Wedding Wednesday board and  follow The Things We Would Blog on Pinterest.

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

PS. Have you checked out all of our other Wedding Wednesday posts?
Registry 101 is great for anyone with a summer wedding right around the corner. 

Project Pinterest: DIY Workout T-Shirt

This DIY Workout t-shirt falls into my favorite category of DIY, it involves something that you already own and scissors.  No complicated trips to seven different craft stores in search for a specialty product, no trying to figure out how to use a sewing machine and hardly any cleanup!

First, I set up a little crafting area. It was such a nice afternoon I chose to enjoy a ginger beer and some nice music from Of Monsters and Men whilst cutting up my t-shirt on the porch. I chose a t shirt we had bought for Jason in Cambodia, only to realize that a Cambodian size large and American size large are two very different things.

Next, lots of cutting. Check out the tutorial for the specifics...I'm not a super even cutter, so there was a lot of recutting and fixing to make everything even. 

Ta-Da! Here's the finished product. I really like how it turned out, although I feel like there might be some additional cutting done in the future to fully even it all out. 

Words of Wisdom:
-I might recommend starting off with a shirt you don't like as much, a practice shirt if you will, incase you mess up the first time around. 
-Cut small and then keep cutting if you need to.
-Use a 100% cotton shirt. The raw edges will roll up when you stretch it out which does wonders in hiding uneven cutting.

Have a lot of old t-shirts? Check out the t-shirt scarf DIY too!

Project Pinterest is going on all summer, each week I'm doing another project that I find there. Check out what I've done so far.

Laura's Summer Beauty Essentials

With summer just around the corner I sat down with my sister Laura, who is an esthetician and makeup artist in Florida, to get her picks for best beauty products for the summer. She says the key to a summer look is a sunny glow, fresh face and fun wavy beach hair. With no further adieu, here are your summer essentials, straight from the Sunshine State...
1) Get the Glow: Laura recommends Bobbi Brown Bronzers because they not only come in golden and brown hues, but also have more pink-based bronzers that match individual skin tones (she recommends Illuminating Bronzing Powder in "Maui" for my pale skin). The bronzers come in a shimmer or matte (more natural) finish.

2) Protect Your Skin: Laura loves Clarin's SPF 30 if you don't mind investing a bit more money in your sunscreen. For a less pricey option, she also recommends Hawaiian Tropics Sheertouch SPF 30 which has a nice shimmery look and smells great.

3) Don't Forget Your Tresses: Aveda Sun Care Hair Veil spray protects your delicate strands from the sun and has a nice summery scent to it. She also recommends Aveda's Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser that removes salt and chlorine after you've spent a day in the sun.

4) Quality Exfoliator: A good exfoliator is essential in the summer to get a glowing look. Always exfoliate before putting on self-tanner to reduce streaking and flaking. Laura loves Clinique "Sparkle Skin" Body Exfoliator because it smells minty and wakes you up in the shower.

5) Natural Looking Tan: Laura uses Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizers gradual tanner daily. For a more dramatic tan she recommends Clarins Self Tanning Instant Gel, because it goes on very smooth and silky (not sticky) and has a lovely, light scent. It also doesn't streak or leave you orange and adjusts to what your natural tan would look like depending on your skin tone.

6) Soft, Smooth Skin: Laura uses Aveda Beautifying Composition after shaving to get smooth, silky legs. This jojoba-based oil can be used for body, hair, and massage.

7) Beachy Waves: For sexy, summer waves she uses Fredrick Fekkai Beach Waves spray. But if you’re using it at home (and not in ocean water) get the diffuser attachment for your hair dryer and use that to get the full effect.

8) Bright Beach-Ready Toes: Laura loves Essie brand nail polish in bright colors like Wife Goes On.

Thanks Laura Lu for all your suggestions - I'm ready to hit the beach (if the sun would just come out!)
PS. Tips from Laura on how to wear neon make-up.