My Week in iPhone Photos (Northern Exposure Addition)


November 30, 2011

The plan:

Brew-cation 2011

One week.

11 breweries

14 cities

288 amazing sights

All in an RV.



We started in Napa and then went along the Northern Californian and Oregon Coast, then we headed East to Portland, and made our way back home with a few stops along the way.
























holy effing crap that sounds and looks amazing. i want i want i want i want.

by Yellaphant on December 2, 2011

Okaaaay. I think we won right? Seriously. These photos want to make me do it all over again! Good memories. Good beer.

by melinda on December 18, 2011

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The Grass is Greener in Seattle


November 18, 2011

I want to move.

Real bad.

Practically everyone who knows me knows I have this deep desire to live somewhere else. Somewhere a little chilly and beautiful.


Currently we live in Orange County.

It’s cool here. I guess, that is if you like everything looking exactly the same. All the houses look the same. Shopping centers are built for driving not walking. Everyone has a swarthy 4-wheel drive SUVs with no intentions of taking it off-road. The women all look the same with their Lululemon yoga pants and blonde highlights. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with yoga pants and highlights (Because I’ve been wearing these yoga pants for 6 days straight. And instead of washing them, like a reasonable person, I just wait until the jelly or snot or what-have-you dries, and then I scratch it off with my fingernail. Not only am I preserving the spandex-y-ness of my pants by not washing them, but I’m also conserving energy and water! Who’s the reasonable one now, huh?), it’s just that I’m ready for something different.

Orange County definatly has it’s good points.

We have a dreamy coast.


Go ahead and ignore that precious newborn in my arms, that's just Berlyn when she was 2 weeks old.

There’s also all these precious neighborhoods:


And we have the Real Housewives of Orange County, so that’s something.


Here in the OC, it’s a little too homogenized, if you will. You know homogenized, that’s the process of shaking milk fats into the milk liquids so you get one creamy smooth outcome. And I don’t want one creamy smooth outcome, you know, because I don’t tolerate the dairy. Plus, I’m ready for an adventure, a lactose-free adventure.

We’ve bounced around ideas of where we’d go:

San Francisco




We’ve even considered local cities like:

Costa Mesa

Laguna Beach

Venice Beach

Santa Monica

But we always come back to Seattle.


Ahhh Seattle. Like a cozy pair of rain-soaked jeans. What? You don’t think jeans can be cozy if they’re rain-soaked? Well you obviously aren’t cut out for the weather in Seattle.

But I totally am. I’m practically a Seattle-ite already, here’s why:

I own a pair sheerling boots

I don’t really style my hair anyways

Rain makes me sleepy and I love a good nap

I drink coffee

Flannel is making a huge comeback

I always forget to water my plants and if I move to Seattle, I won’t have to

Plus it’s so mossy there. And moss is a pretty color

So there’s my list.

I know, I know. I seem like a shoo-in for moving to Seattle. But it’s tough to leave this crazy place. I love that all my family and friends are at most a 30 minute drive. And I’m comfortable here. And my kids…well, kids are resilient, and mine would be happy where there is an abundance of string cheese and the movie Cars is playing.

But I’m not moving any time soon. I have to be content with where I am. I honestly love it here, but I think I’d just love it over there more.


See? Even the trees are cozier in Seattle.


Darling one! Come to your senses. I don’t even remember who or why I subscribed to you blog. You are delightful~~

Talk to me ..I am a mother of 5 and a grandmother of almost 11.. lived here in SJC for 36 plus years.And here in So Cal for 50 plus… Talk to my friend who was raised in Seattle.. and has no regets for moving here. .I’ll hook you up.. she says not a good thing.. xxoo

by Audrey Morgan on November 18, 2011

Utah didn’t even make the short list? What, you don’t like religious domination and lack of wine in grocery stores? We have snow… Lots and lots of snow…

by Libby on November 20, 2011

Utah didn’t even make the short list? What, you don’t like religious domination and lack of wine in grocery stores? We have snow… Lots and lots of snow…

by Libby on November 20, 2011

Kirk and I LOVE Seattle. We have friends that moved there from San Clemente and find any excuse to go visit them. The houses there are amazing and unique. Go for it girl, you only live once!

by Julie on November 20, 2011

I happen to love Orange County. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is who you are and who you choose to surround yourself with. If you’re going to be happier somewhere else, go somewhere else. I hate fake people and despise that it’s referred to as “the OC” and can’t stand the fact that an entire city is filled with apartment complexes painted one boring color. But I still love it here. This is so crazy trite, but home is totes where your heart is. Make it so!

p.s. I may be a little bit bitter about the Seattle thing; I had a friend who moved there and then became way too cool to associate with someone from “the OC” anymore. But whatever. 😉

by Rox on November 22, 2011

Seattle is the greatest place on earth! My husband and I moved from Mission Viejo in 2004 and are never going to leave. We have made the most amazing group of friends and love raising our kids in the city. They are being exposed to art, music and diversity that can not be found in the OC. Come and join us…

by Marisa Dillard on November 27, 2011

My husband and I have had this discussion more than once. Four years ago we listed our house (in OC) and he had two job offers there, two job offers here. If our house sold, we move, if it didn’t, we stay. Four years ago wasn’t exactly the best time to sell a house so here we are. I still visit Seattle often and love it to pieces. Make sure you visit often in the winter because that’s what it’s like most of the time — Summers there are bliss. But then there are those winter days here where it’s amazingly gorgeous outside and the entire country is freezing its ass off. Those days, I say I love it here.

Like you, I have two kids and worry about all the things you mention. It’s easy to get sucked into all the things we all don’t like about living here. But take a look around — go for a run on the path in San Clemente. Walk around downtown Santa Ana. Take a date night in Laguna Beach (again). Hike up in the foothills. Keep in mind you can drive to LA without traffic in under an hour and get plenty of “culture”, and San Diego is almost as close. You want snow? 1.5 hrs away but you don’t ever have to shovel it off your driveway.

Whenever I get down and out about living here, I think how if I was living somewhere else and a year into it I’ve experienced a lot, how much I really would miss it here. Picture yourself watching a show on TV and it’s gloomy outside yet again, and they show a shot of Laguna or even LA *ugh*. I don’t know about you but I’d whimper softly.

by Karla on December 6, 2011

PS – I see you like beer. Me too. Which would be a major +plus for Seattle. I hear ya, sister. If you want, email me and I can give you great local brewery suggestions you may not have tried and I don’t mean BJ’s. It definitely helps fill the void.

by Karla on December 6, 2011

Trust me, you do not want to live in Seattle. Been there. Done that. Had the SAD.

Most miserable place on the planet to live. Visit. Get a summer cabin. Don’t move there.

by A former Seattle Resident on July 21, 2012

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I suck at writing Thank You cards.


November 8, 2011

When Pat and I got married we registered for everything Williams-Sonoma had to offer. 19 shot glasses, and 78 ramekins rounded out our very thorough list of things a newlywed couple needed: Soup tureen? Check. Traditional French cookbook? Check. Silver plated candlesticks? Check.

Apparently we thought we were Ina and Jeffrey Garten, living in the Hamptons and throwing elaborate dinner parties on white sandy beaches. Unfortunately I do not have an assortment of sexually questionable men with armfuls of flowers who want to do a table-scape with me in return for my famous mushroom risotto.


What I should have got instead was an year’s supply of antibiotics for UTI’s and Easy Mac. But what the hell did I know?

As tore off the wedding bell wrapping paper at my bridal shower, one of my bridesmaids took copious notes:

  •  6 white dinner plates and 3 cloth napkins with hemstitch trim from the Jennings
  • 4 leaded white wine flutes from Marcia McDerby
  • Silk table runner with blue Swarovski crystals from Great-Grandma Peg

I remember marveling at all my grown-up presents. I’d press my cheek into the silk table runner, and caress it, and I’d drink cranberry juice from the fancy wine glasses, and blot my face with the cloth napkins. But then it was time to write the thank you notes. I sat down at the table with my book of notes that my bridesmaid took, and my monogrammed stationary, and then I’d tap my pen thinking of the perfect thing to say:

Dearest Madam and Sir Jennings,

Thank you cordially for the 6 white dinner plates and 3 cloth napkins with hemstitch trim. They have served me well at dinner time. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Yours truly,


Mrs. Patrick


Okay, not bad for my first attempt, I thought. Just mail it off, I have 50 more of these, but next time I should probably be less specific and less stuffy, and maybe I should tell an antidote or something to lighten it up.


Thanks for the wine glasses, I will be getting drunk and making poor choices very soon thanks to you.

 Yee haa!



Humm…Who is Marcia McDerby anyways? Is she my mom’s friend? My great aunt? Crap. Well if she didn’t want me getting drunk she shouldn’t have bought me wine glasses, her fault, not mine. At least I’m honest. I like honesty, maybe I’ll try that with Grandma’s thank you card.

Dear G. Grandma,

Your table runner gift is stunning. Only problem is I’ll probably never use it. Stick with the registry, Grams. Can I have the gift receipt so I can return it?



Here’s the thing, I really shouldn’t be writing thank you cards. I kinda suck at it. My handwriting’s all squirly and there’s the added pressure of filling up all the space on the card. I’m pretty good at email and I think it would be best if I just sent out a mass text.

To: Everyone who sent me a gift

Message: Thanks. I love it.

I really can’t mess anything up that way, and I think I seem genuinely grateful, don’t you? Alright it’s settled, next time you get me a gift, be prepared for an amazingly concise and eco-friendly text message in return.


I knew someone who passed out little printed scrolls and tied them with ribbon, and passed them out after the reception. They all just said, Thank you, From Mr. and Mrs. Soandso. That was their “favor” and “Thank You.”

Your email is nicer.

by Kelly on November 9, 2011

I suck at thank you notes, too. I still get uncomfortable when I think about the ones I should have written. I do, however, have among my friends a group of men of questionable sexuality who will help with my tablescapes, but I have years and years on you, and so does Ina. Maybe you will, too, have such friends, when you have appropriately aged.

by Maurine on November 12, 2011

Here in Utah there are some who think it is perfectly fine to have a basket of thank you note scrolls on the gift table. Give a gift, take a scroll. At least you identified the people…

by Libby on November 14, 2011

Absolutely amazing, Beckey. My favorites were the “getting drunk and making poor choices” comment”, and “sexually questionable men” comment. Because really, how many gay friends who own florist shops does Ina have anyway?

by Michelle on November 17, 2011

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Halloween wrap-up


November 1, 2011

And now I bring to you the obligatory after-Halloween wrap-up blog post where I tell you that I dressed up as a Real Orange County Housewife for Halloween. I wore a fuchsia Juicy track suit, had french manicure polish on my toe nails, a feather piece in my hair, big ol’ fake knockers, and a Starbucks blended iced coffee in one hand and a glass of Chardonnay in the other. Cheers!

Just kidding, no one would know I was dressed up. It would basically be a typical day for me, only I’d have bigger boobs.

This year I didn’t dress up. Actually I never dress up, but I always want to. The urge is very strong in me. But I fight it, with everything I have. Mainly because my husband doesn’t enjoy my company when I’m wearing a Magnum P.I. costume with matching mustache. Perhaps he’s jealous of my aviators, or maybe it’s because I look better than him?

Well whatever. Halloween’s over and I’m not bitter that I didn’t dress up, okay maybe just a little bit, and I might just retaliate by dressing up on a day in the very near future. Maybe to your daughter’s 4th birthday party? I’ll be the one dressed as a slutty astronaut. Happy Halloween, er, I mean Birthday I got a glow-in-the-dark solar system and fishnet stockings.

Berlyn and Hudson chose to be matchy-matchy this year. Honestly I had very little to do with it. This was the first year that I fought the urge to interject my sage advice and wise opinions. Of course I always have a say, but this year I let them decide, and they were so excited with their choice of Lightening McQueen race car drivers. Seriously, if I just printed out some Cars logos and scotched taped them to a pair of red sweatpants they would have been just as happy. But I caved and actually bought them costumes.


Their joy is my joy.

When I dropped Berlyn off at school in her costume, I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant. Because at her age every single girl dresses up as a princess of some sort. But not Berlyn, there wasn’t a stitch of pink on her, no flouncy dress or golden scepter to wave around. When she met up with her pack of friends at school they circled around her and told her she looked like a boy, and one of her friend’s said, “I don’t like your costume.”

My eyes widened and held my breath, waiting to hear what Berlyn would say. I didn’t want her to feel bad for choosing something counter-gender. I wanted to celebrate her uniqueness, and I certainly didn’t want anyone to crush her spirit. I know I can’t protect her forever, but she’s 4 and I’m going to try until she’s at least 57.

Then she says, “Well, I like your costume.”



Maybe it was the high I was riding from raising such a well-adjusted and secure young lady, or maybe it was my coffee kicking in, or maybe it was because I was just really, really hungry, but whatever it was, I got home from dropping her off and spent the rest of the day in the kitchen making fall food.



Pumpkin pie, caramel, cookies, chili, corn bread, apple cider, popcorn, and whipped cream (for the pie)

Everything was entirely homemade, and everything went entirely into my belly.

After that we went trick-or-treating, and I stole all my kids candy, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?hudson




Good for Berlyn! In our tribe of trick or treaters, we had a little boy dressed as Snow White. He’s four, and has recently been diagnosed as autistic. I know his mom was worried that people would say something rude or mean, but they really just said how cute he looked.

Your dinner from last night is making my mouth water. Sounds super yum!

by Kelly on November 1, 2011

Oh the pride and joys of motherhood. I’m so happy for Berlyn. I could hope for nothing better for my little Em when she embarks into the grand old world on her own…otherwise know as preschool. Ha ha. I failed to make Emily into a tent, but she was happy as could be in her (last year’s) Tinkerbell costume. As always, this was written to perfection. Enjoyed it all. As for your baking bliss…Any leftovers? I’m free for dinner!

by Natalie on November 1, 2011

Indeed, a candy parent tax is necessary.

by Regan on November 3, 2011

love this!!

by allie on November 3, 2011

“No one would know I was dressed up”: Ha! That is awesome! I enjoy your sense of humor. Thanks for entertaining me!

by Ann on November 3, 2011

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