Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds

Yes, you read that right, roasted SPAGHETTI SQUASH seeds!  Most of us have roasted pumpkin seeds after carving a Jack-O-Lantern, but who says you have to stop there?? Many other squashes have seeds inside them, so why not roast them up too!  And since I was cooking a spaghetti squash today, those were the seeds I chose.

I don’t know about you, but when taking the seeds out of a pumpkin my least favorite part is removing all the guts! So roasting seeds from a smaller squash means there’s less guts to deal with!  Woo Hoo!

After separating the seeds from the squash “guts” I rinsed them clean and patted then dry with a towel.  I then let them dry over night in a little dish, but that step isn’t 100% necessary.

 

Once the seeds are dry a spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzled them with a bit of oil and seasoning.

 

You can use any oil and seasoning you like here, but today I chose to use avocado oil and Trader Joe’s Seasoning Salt.  You could go super simple with just salt or go crazy with all different spices or even go sweet with something like cinnamon sugar or pumpkin spice!

I then baked the seeds at 350 degree for 30 minutes, stirring the seeds around every 10 minutes to allow even toasting.

And BAM, you’re done! I ate these seeds as a snack, but they would be great tossed in a salad or even thrown on top of some store bought hummus to jazz it up.  How you enjoy these seeds is up to you!

Ingredients

  • Any Squash of you’re cooking up  (I used Spaghetti Squash)
  • Preferred oil (I use Avocado)
  • Seasoning (salty, savory, spicy, sweet…whatever tickles your fancy! I used TJ’s seasoning salt)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While oven preheats, removes seeds for squash, rinse clean, and pat dry with towel.

Place cleaned/dried seeds on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil of choice followed by seasoning of choice.  you don’t need to measure anything out here just eyeball it, but don’t be shy with the seasoning!

Tossed the seeds around so they are fully coated in oil/ seasoning, and shake into a single layer

Bake seeds for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to help seeds brown evenly and avoid burning

 

I know many of us cook up  some sort of squash on Thanksgiving, so next Thursday when your prepping your squash for the big meal, don’t forget to save those seeds!

 

Cheers!

Traci

 

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Sweaters in Seattle

The weather changed FAST here in Seattle this season…as in, last week in was sunny and 60 degrees and 2 days ago it SNOWED!  It was only a dusting of snow, BUT STILL! This brisk change made me quickly realize that my wardrobe is still reflecting my life in sunny Southern California, not “winter is coming” Seattle.  So a little closet update was in order!

These beauties were found at Target, YES LADIES your favorite place ( next to Nordstrom 😉 ) whether you admit it or not.  So that means that these sweaters aren’t only fun and stylish, but also a bargain!  They’re part of Target’s new clothing line A New Day, and I’m totally digging it.  The fabric is soft and not too thick or thin my opinion.  So the next time your on a “Target Run”, AKA tomorrow, pop into the clothing department and snag yourself some new threads for the chilly days ahead.  Or heck just order online, you know I’m hooking you up with the links below!

Sweaters: Gold Cable Any Day Pullover

Navy Striped Any Day Pullover

Jeans: Jbrand, similar here

Boots: Hunter Original Refined Rain Boot

Ankle Wrap Leopard Print Flats: Halogen (sold out), similar here & here

 

Cheers!

Traci

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks 2017

Oh the beloved Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  It’s a sale I look forward to every year. Why?  Because it allows you to pick up some really excellent quality clothing for the present, as well as for the season ahead at a deep discounted price! This year I promised myself I wouldn’t go too crazy and stick to a budget considering that we are currently in the whirlwind of a kitchen remodel.  So I stuck to finding a few basics that I could wear now, as well as incorporate into my fall/winter wardrobe.  I also chose items that are easy to mix and match with other items I already have so I can put together the most outfit options possible!

Links to each item will be at the bottom of this post if you’d like to snag these pieces for yourself!  Nordstrom Card holders get early access to this sale from July 13-20, and then on July 21st it will available to the public until August 6th!  So don’t miss out!

This top jumped out at me because one it’s grey (black, white, grey, and taupe are always my go to shades!) and it’s striped!  I’m obsessed with striped clothing, love me some stripes!  The fact that it’s long sleeved, but light weight  makes it so I’m able to wear it now on a cooler summer night, but then also wear it this fall/winter with some layering action.

I’m typically a tank top wearing gal, tee shirts not so much!  I really love the fit of this one below though, as well as the pocket detail.  As of lately I’ve really been attracted to this olive-y green color too….so you might see it coming into my wardrobe more often!  Both these tops are under $20 during this sale, woop!

These skinny jeans are so not my typical pick.  In fact they are the first light colored jeans I’ve bought in probably 10 years and the first pair of distressed jeans I’ve bought EVER!  Dark denim has been my got to for quite a while for its classy sleekness, but this pair won me over.  The feel and comfort blew me away and for under $50, they were a for sure winner.

Faux Leather Leggings!!! I actually saw a sales associate carrying these and asked her where to find them!  And lucky for me they were indeed part of the sale (YES!) They’re a fun edgy piece, they’re pants (which I desperately need for the upcoming cooler months, (dresses during the winter just won’t work like they did in Southern California!) and I’m sorry, but as soon as I put them on, I felt HOTT!!!

And last, but certainly not least, this leather jacket!  I’ve been on the hunt for a BLACK leather jacket for a while now because I feel like it’s a classic timeless piece that you can wear for a really long time, and being black it can almost go with any outfit.  This was the first item I found on my shopping day and I couldn’t be happier!  The fitted style and off center zipper are probably my most favorite details, with the partially zippered wrists and the fact that it’s $100 off during this sale as close runner ups!

 

Stripped Grey Long Sleeve Pocket Tee by BP here

Dark Olive Rounded V-neck Tee by Caslon here

Chelsea Ripped Skinny Jeans by Vigoss here

Faux Leather Leggings by SPANX here

Leather Jacket by Halogen here

Older items shown, but not featured at sale

Black wedges by Jeffery Campbell

Black heels by Calvin Klein

ELSA PERETTI® Open Heart Pendent Necklace by Tiffany & Co

Taupe tank top with zipper pocket TJ Maxx ($5!!!)

Camel Wedge Sandals – random brand from random boutique on Catalina Island LOL!

 

Cheers! (to an amazing sale!)

 

Traci

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DIY Boot Inserts

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram (NOW missyestochampagne) you know that my boyfriend and I recently bought a new home in Seattle!  We have an investment property as well, but this is our FIRST home in which we are actually living!  Soooooo, I really want to get deep into organization and do things around the house that I’ve always put off because “it’s a rental, we probably won’t be here long, just throw it in the closet.”  Just kidding I never just THREW something in the closet…..well maybe…HA!!!  Regardless, today I accomplished a mini project that I’ve seen  a million times on Pinterest, and fixed a a problem that seriously always drove me crazy.

BOOT INSERTS!  Or whatever they’re actually called.  Something that allows your boots to stand up straight instead of flopping over all sad and pathetic like.  Our bedroom closet is currently open (I disliked the previous doors, and since a closet organizer was already installed, I figured, why not just leave it open for a while?) so making my boots stand up made their section of the open closet a bit more aesthetically pleasing, and I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for things that are aesthetically pleasing!

  

So what is the secret behind these magical boot inserts?  Pool Noodles.  The little foam like “floaty” toys you use in the pool.  I personally picked mine up at the local dollar store, so not only is this DIY project easy, it’s inexpensive.  For $2 I was able to make 4 sets of inserts.  That’s 50 cents each people!  This is how I did it.

My pool noodles measured at 47 1/2 inches.  I made three cuts on each noodle just under the 12 inche mark.  I honestly just took a kitchen knife and cutting board and did this on my bedroom floor in front of my closet.

 

Once I was done cutting, I just slide one piece of noodle into each boot and the project was finished!  I know the photo above only shows three pairs of boots, but the project DOES make four pairs.  Below is a before & after shot of our closet. Not perfect, but this is real life and I’m  A-OK with that!  I think my boots and closet look much happier now!

 

This project is way too simple NOT to try, especially if you’re a boot lover!  I hope you give it a go!  Happy DIYing!

 

Cheers!

Traci

 

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Gordon Valley Ranch

 

Napa, Ca was the first stop on our trek up to Washington.  Sure, many people would choose this as an excellent pit stop to at least have a glass of wine, but when you also have sweet friends who live on a secluded ranch in Napa Valley, it’s not just a pit stop, it’s a MUST stop.  Not to mention that they have an adorable new addition that we absolutely had to meet.  The environment is unique and whimsical and I so look forward to seeing our friends future on this beautiful ranch develop.  I typically like to tell you the story behind the photos in my blog, but with an incredible landscape such as this, the photos speak for themselves!

Mama & Baby

 

Poppin’ Bottles

Getting my fix <3

Thank you again to our friends Miles and Katie for giving us this one of a kind experience xx.

Cheers!

Traci

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Picnic Surprise

I love surprises!  Giving them or receiving them, big or small!  With all our moving preparations in full swing, I wanted to put together something fun for Joel to come home to.  Just a little something to allow us to step away from the packing, breath for a moment, and enjoy.  Behind where we live is a very large grassy park, a perfect place to bring the kiddos, play with your puppy, or have a nice picnic.  I had the day off from work, so I decided I was going to surprise Joel with an evening picnic in that park!  Even with most of our kitchen items already packed up, I knew with a few key items I could pull together an awesome spread.  So I grabbed my favorite platter and a blanket scarf, packed up some fresh snacks along with a mini bottle of bubbles, and headed off to the set it all up.  On the menu was smoked salmon lettuce wraps, shrimp cocktail, sliced apples, and my homemade spicy dill pickle spears! (I’ll blog that recipe soon!) Easy-peasy and delicious!  Joel texted me when he got home, wondering where I was.  I told him that I was at the park and to come to meet me! Originally I hadn’t planned on turning this activity into a blog post, but Joel said when he received my text he “knew I was being cute and up to something” so he grabbed his camera.  And I’m glad he did!  It gave me the opportunity to share this with you all, and show you once again that it’s the little things that make life so great, and that you should celebrate them!  Sure the photos might not be perfect, but they’re 100% in the moment!  So if you’d like to do something to surprise your honey, skip the flowers or fancy dinner out, and just head to the park or beach!  With a few snacks or even just a thermos of bubbly in hand, send that text “Come meet me here! XO” and then watch an ordinary day turn into something extraordinary!  I really hope you do!!!

Cheers!

Traci

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A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

A Day At Stone Brewery

Before the idea of moving back to Washington State was even presented to us, we had made a California Bucket List simply to get us out of our normal routine and see new things that our area had to offer.  A few months later though, that list became an ACTUAL bucket list of activities we wanted to do before we left the state! So to have some fun and put another check mark on that list, we headed to Stone Brewery in Escondido, California.

We’d heard about Stone Brewery over and over again from friends, and Joel is a huge Stone IPA fan, so this one was for him.  Once we arrived it was clear that this place was put together with everyone in mind though, not just beer drinkers.  I was thrilled to see bubbles on their drink menu!  And as weird as it might sound, it’s a family friendly establishment, with a restaurant and outdoor gardens to enjoy.  They offer brewery tours at bargain price of $3 with five tasters and a take home glass or $1 without tasters/glass.  Stone doesn’t make a profit on these tours, instead all money collected is donated to a variety of different charities, how cool is that!

While we waited for our tour time, we grabbed a couple beverages and went outside to explore the gardens.  We were greeted with a labyrinth of little trails studded with intimate seating areas, waterfalls, Koi ponds, and even a couple grassy areas with tables for kiddos to run around in.  Even with people all around, the layout of the gardens made it feel private and zen like, a fantastic place to sip a drink in and enjoy good company.

On our tour we learn all about hops and barley and how the beer is made, and at the end the attendees who purchased the $3 tickets were gifted a mini glass to fill with beer.  Everyone got to try four different beers, and then which ever type was your favorite, you got to try again!  Joel really appreciated that!  And for the non-beer drinking attendees they offered their house made root beer or strawberry soda.

It was a good day!  I’m so glad that even though all the craziness of moving was upon us, we set aside a day to just have fun together.  Relationships and memories are the things we remember!  Although chores like laundry (or in our case packing) must get done, make sure you try and carve out some time to enjoy life too!  After all you’re never going to look back and say “Man I’m glad I washed those dishes that were in the sink that one day!” Nahhh…. your’e going to remember the adventures you had!  So I hope you get out there, and if you’re in the mood to try something new in Southern California, hit up Stone Brewery!

 

Cheers!

Traci

 

 

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Farewell and HELLO!

Farewell and HELLO!

Two nights before we started our road trip to the Pacific Northwest, we had a little “Going Away” gathering.  I adore that this photo above was candid, and totally captured all the love, support, and excitement that was present that night, it seriously makes my heart overflow…

And now we have officially made it back to our beloved city of Seattle! Since we’ve arrived, although not much blogging has happened, I’ve stayed busy!   We’ve been touring condos around the city, looking for our new permanent home, enjoying the spring sun breaks by taking afternoon walks and admiring all the beautiful blooming flowers, I’ve been my sister’s in home dinner chef (YAY for having extra people to cook for!  Some people may see this as a chore, but not me,  I LOVE IT!)  and just overall experiencing everything this amazing city has to offer.  Next week stay tuned, as I will be rolling out a few of our last California adventures before we hit the road.  Until then, I hope you all enjoy your weekend, I know I will!

Cheers!

Traci

 

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Where the heart is…

Where the heart is

Sooooo in my last post California Lovin’ I briefly talked about how sometimes big changes happen in life, and they fall into place so effortlessly that you just can’t help but think “This is totally what I’m suppose to be doing in life right now, I’m where I’m meant to be!”  Well the winds are changing direction over here and blowing us up to SEATTLE!!!  And so far it’s been pretty smooth sailing!  That’s right, thanks to some amazing opportunities brought to us from the PNW, we are returning back to our roots and starting a new exciting chapter in our lives closer to friends and family.

Over the past year or so Seattle has been tugging on my heart strings, trying to bring me back.  With my parents getting older, and other parts of our family expanding, being closer to family is something I’ve been yearning for.  At the same time, things have been going really well for my boyfriend Joel and I down here in California, so the idea of leaving has been hard to sit with as well.  So instead of fussing over a decision and stressing out over if I made the right decision or not, I decided to just continue living life and wait for a sign.  I can be stubborn sometimes though, and need a VERY clear sign to say “HEY YOU, TRACI!  IT’S TIME TO GO THIS WAY NOW!”  Knowing that this decision wouldn’t be made by just me, I needed a sign that spoke to both Joel and I.  And that sign recently showed up in the form of incredible job opportunity for Joel.  It wasn’t something he was looking for, but when it presented itself, we both knew it was our sign.  This new place of employment would not only move him forward in big and exciting ways, but would also bring us HOME.  

Within the next few weeks we will be packing up everything we own into a moving truck and doing a little road trip back to the PNW!  Follow along on Instagram and see our adventure once we hit the road! To new beginnings…

Cheers!

Traci

 

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California Lovin’

California Lovin'

A question I’m asked quite frequently is, how my boyfriend Joel and I got together, along with, “How did you guys end up in California?”  Today I’m going to share those answers with you in one swoop, as they pretty much blend together in a “stars aligned” type of story.  But as a little precursor to this story, you have to know that I’m totally a believer in “everything happens for a reason”, “blessings in disguise” and that if a big change in your life is really suppose to happen, everything will fall into place.  When things fall into place so effortlessly, you can’t help but feel that you are EXACTLY where you are suppose to be in life at that moment.  Like ” YES, I’m meant to be here, I’m on the right track!” and it feels AMAZING!  So on that note, here’s my story!

Joel and I met a lot earlier in life than many people expect.  I was 17, he was 19 and we met at what I like to call a “Best Buy Party”.  Yes that’s right, like the electronics store, Best Buy.  These gatherings weren’t AT Best Buy, but they were occupied by and thrown by several Best Buy employees.  I had a close girlfriend who worked there and I would always accompany her to these shindigs.  Joel also worked at this Best Buy and these events just so happened to be thrown at his house that he shared with a few other employees.  Sooooo that’s basically how we met!  But there’s more to the story than just that. When I was in high school, I was SUPER shy around people I didn’t know, so these gatherings were kind of torture for me, but I really wanted to break myself of this shyness so I continued to go.  Right away I thought Joel was sooooo cute with his super bleached, almost white hair, pierced ears, and the fact that he played drums.  I’ve always been a sucker for the alternative, tattooed, pierced guys, that at first glanced seem a bit hard and bad boy-ish, but in real life are total sweet hearts…you know the type right? Well Joel totally fit the bill in my eyes, minus the tattoos.  Being that I was so shy though, it would take all courage I had to just just say HI to him!  He would always say hi back maybe a “good to see you” and then continue on his way.  And that’s it!  I always hoped he would strike up a conversation with me, but it just never happened.

After I graduated high school I moved away for college.  After about a semester I realized that particular college just wasn’t for me, and I moved back to my home town to figure things out.  And guess what, when I got back, those old Best Buy parties were still happening…. so I went, and all of a sudden Joel started talking to me! (I came to find out that the reason he didn’t really talk to me before was that, even though he thought I was super cute, I was still in high school, and he didn’t want to seem like “that guy” who dated younger chicks in high school.  This made me go “awwwwww” in my head.  I thought that was pretty respectable of him, and also pretty sweet.)  Pretty quickly we started dating, but two weeks later we stopped because he was moving away… 7 HOURS away, to finish school at a University and in my eyes our new relationship just would survive.  I mean come on, I was 19, he was 21! We were YOUNG!  The decision was mutual and we stayed friends.  Fast forward a few years, we both dated other people, and when Joel finished university he moved to Orange County, California to play music.

Now you’re probably thinking, “How the heck did you guys reconnect?!”  Well it just so happened a really close friend of mine was getting married in Dana Point, Ca.  There was no way I was going to miss this wedding and once I realized that Dana Point was in Orange County, I thought of Joel.  During my early twenties I shook a lot of my shyness away, so when I realized that this wedding was near where Joel was living, I just simply called him up and asked him if he’d like to my “plus one”.  We ended up having a great time together at the wedding and also hit up Disneyland while I was there.  So much fun!  About a week later after arriving back home in Seattle I received a call from Joel, saying that he had been looking at plane tickets to Washington and was wondering if he could come visit me.  Of course I said yes, and once again we had a really nice long weekend together.  A few days later we were texting and I flat out said “I want you to you to be my boyfriend!”  Lucky for me he responded with, “I want you to be my girlfriend!”  And that was that, we were officially a couple.

We spent the next year dating long distance.  Every month either I would fly down for a long weekend or he would fly up, and we would chat on the phone for hours every night as well as watch tv shows together via cell phone.  About 6 months into our relationship Joel asked me if I would move to California.  At that time, I just wasn’t ready.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel ready in our relationship, but rather that I wasn’t ready to leave my life in Seattle.  I lived in a hip area in a studio condo of my own and just absolutely loved my independent life in the city.  In the following month though, that all changed.  All my girlfriend started getting engaged or in serious relationships and suddenly not many of them wanted to hang out anymore, they just wanted to be with their men.  Which I totally understood, being young and in love can do that!  But at the same time it kind of sucked for me with my guy being in a different state and now no girlfriends to hang out with.

Next, I started being really disappointed my job, for MANY reasons that I won’t get into, but I was simply no longer happy there.  In early October I  had decided that I would stay until after Christmas and then I would move to California.  Although about a week after making this decision I actually decided that I had had enough and that instead of waiting, I was going to put in my two weeks notice at the end of the week.  This was a Monday, on Tuesday my boss called me in his office and explained to me that things with the business weren’t going well and he had made the decision to cut out my position and shuffle employees and hours around to cut costs. He said that he was very sorry, but would give me 3 weeks severance pay and write me a very good recommendation letter.  Normally this would have been devastating news, but considering I had planned on giving my two weeks notice just days later, it was the best news EVER!  Not only did I not have to have that awkward conversation of putting my two weeks notice in, but I was also getting paid for 3 weeks after I left, which I of course I would not have received if I had left on my own.

My next step was to break the news to my parents.  We are a pretty close family and I thought for sure they were going to FREAK!  Except that didn’t happen, they were very supportive and said that it would be an amazing experience for me. On top of that my dad said he was going to drive my car down for me, so I could just fly down and get settled in.  So I packed up the biggest suitcase I owned, stuffed everything else that would fit into my car, and off to California I went!  I remember landing and going to the outdoor baggage claim, the amazingly warm breeze blowing against my skin, and seeing Joel waiting for me in the distance….this was now MY LIFE, and I couldn’t have been more excited!!!

As you can see through this story things really did fall into place time and time again for me, and there’s even more!!  Once I was settled, about a week and a half in, I decided to start sending out my resume and cover letter.  This particular day I put my resume up onto a sight where employers go to look for employees.  2 hours later I received a call asking me if I could come in for an interview the next day.  Within the next couple days I started working from them and I’ve been there ever since.  BOOM!  And there you have it my friends my (possibly painfully long, but hopefully enjoyable) story of how Joel and I met, how we ended up in California, and how when somethings are meant to be, the universe will just MAKE THEM HAPPEN!  I know I have seriously been blessed through these experiences and I’m incredibly grateful.

To those of you who made it through my whole story, HIGH FIVE!  You rock!  And for those of you who had always been curious, I hope you had fun reading our story!  Until next time…

Cheers!

Traci

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