Hi. I'm Whitney.
I like cheese.

I'm a graphic designer and sometimes photographer who likes food, cooking, and crafty things. There's more details over here. Or you can read through the archives. There's lots.



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How We Watch TV
July 23, 2014

Along the Fence


Did I ever mention we bought a Roku? We bought a Roku. A few years ago, actually. We even upgraded to a newer model earlier this year. I just searched and it appears I really have never mentioned the Roku. Wow.

It's pretty much how we watch TV now. I wouldn't say we were big TV watchers before, and I don't know that it's changed the amount of it we watch, just how we watch it. Which is a couple of episodes a night of a series that we both kind of like.

What have we been watching?

Moone Boy (on Hulu): Possibly our favorite. It's sort of like the Wonder Years, except the time period is late 80's/early 90's. In Ireland. In a very tiny rural town. And the main character has an imaginary friend played by Chris O'Dowd (you know, the guy from the IT crowd). It's really good. It's so good that we blew threw the entire first season in a couple of nights. Of course this isn't hard to do since there's only 6 episodes. And then the second season finally came out, and we blew through that one almost as fast. I hope the third season makes it to Hulu soon....

The Awesomes (on Hulu): An animated series created by Seth Meyers, who is also the voice for the main character. You'll probably recognize some of the other voices as ex- or even current SNL cast members. They're basically a "B" team of super heroes that muddle their way through saving the world. The first season has been on Hulu for a while, and the second season starts August 4th.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (on Hulu): I showed up super late to this party. Even after the show won a Golden Globe, I still didn't really consider it something I'd want to watch. It's not that I don't like Andy Samberg, I just, I don't know what it was. We ended up watching the pilot on my in-laws DVR last month, and we got hooked. Like two or even three episodes a night hooked. We blew through the entire first season in a couple of weeks, and now I want more! I may have been late to the party, but I'm really glad I finally showed up.

Better Off Ted (on Netflix): The husband came across this one while searching for a Brooklyn Nine-Nine replacement, and it's filling the void quite nicely. I remember seeing ads for this show when it was on the air, but never checked it out (maybe it was the name). Ted is the head of R&D at a large company, Portia de Rossi plays Veronica, his supervisor, and there's a bunch of supporting cast that you'll recognize from other things but probably won't be able to name (I had to look them all up, and that still didn't help much). It's definitely dark comedy and I kind of love it. There's even fake ads for Veridian Dynamics, the company they all work for, which reminds me of early Six Feet Under episodes, but without the death stuff.

And speaking of Portia de Rossi, we finished the final season of Arrested Development a few months ago, and ended up watching this A.D. documentary the other night on Netflix, and it was really good. They talk to the actors, fans, and other people that helped make the show and it was fascinating. It also made me want to watch the whole series again starting from the beginning. Which we may very well do after we finish Better Off Ted...

You may notice that were watching shows on both Netflix and Hulu. We've had a Netflix subscription for a long time, and I honestly don't remember when or how the streaming feature was added, but I'm really glad it's there. It was so nice to catch up on How I Met Your Mother without waiting for DVDs to arrive in the mail. We might be able to get by just with the streaming, but we find that there's still a good chunk of titles only available on DVD (like most of the Miyazaki animations - My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle).

I love Hulu for TV. We don't have a DVR, and it's been the best way for us to keep up with shows that we can never manage to stay awake for (e.g., SNL, the Daily Show, The Colbert Report, @Midnight). It's also how I've kept up with shows that I manage to miss when they're on during the week (e.g., New Girl, the Mindy Project).

Now it's your turn, are there shows you watch on Netflix or Hulu that you'd recommend?


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« last time | July 08, 2014 : Summer Vacation



Summer Vacation
July 08, 2014

I can't resist the poppies (outside the Willows) #lategram Inside the cafe downstairs at the Willows. #lategram Walking around a scent garden in Ferndale.

We just got back from a vacation to visit my mum up in Washington and I actually took some photos with something besides my phone (these are not them). They're slowly going up on flickr.

A notable thing about this trip is that I finally figured out the ideal pack-mule configuration for airport traveling. I've finally given in to the BIG backpack because it fits everything! I was able to cram a small camera bag, my laptop, and other various carry on items in it and two straps means I'm not causing distress to only one shoulder. But the big backpack can be hard to maneuver around if you need to get things in and out of it (like boarding passes). The solution? A small cross-body purse that fits my wallet, sunglasses, and phone. It was an epiphany I had about an hour before I needed to get up and get ready to leave for the airport, and it made the sleeplessness worth it. I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure this scenario out, so I figured I'd better document it just in case I ever forget (though I kind of doubt I will).

We had a fabulous time visiting with my mom and step-dad. Highlights include:

  • wandering around Hovander Homestead Park
  • seeing Chef
  • 4th of July Fireworks from the comfort of a deck with beverage in hand
  • attending the first performance of this season's Bellingham Festival of Music
  • seeing a bald eagle when we were driving around Lummi Island
  • nearly completing many of the crossword puzzles in the local paper (team effort!)

The only time we spent in Seattle were some very brief layovers at the airport, which just isn't right. Adding "Seattle" to the "must do" list for the next trip. For now, I'm glad to be back home with the furry cat dudes, but I'll be ready to visit again in no time.


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« last time | May 26, 2014 : Oops, I Did It Again



Oops, I Did It Again
May 26, 2014

Long time readers may remember way back in August 2009 when I shaved my head. I had been growing my hair out and I was DONE. So done that I took matters into my own hands.

Last month, I had also reached that DONE point. I had been growing out my bangs, and the rest of my hair had taken up permanent residence in Frizz Town, and I couldn't take it any more. My morning hair routine had become me drying the hair closest to my head and then putting it in some sort of up-do while it was still damp. Wearing it up all the time got old pretty fast.

And due to circumstances out of my control, my regular 8 week hair appointment had been pushed out. But I waited. Because I like my hair guy and I knew he'd do a good job, so I wanted him to do the honors. I went in with a collection of short hair "inspiration" photos (mostly Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan) and came out with a lot less hair.


So. Much. Hair. It was time. Thanks @itsdonn! Hair, one week later. Absolutely no regrets.
(L to R: All of the Hair! Photo taken about an hour after. Photo taken one week later.)


And oh my gosh, it's so much easier. SO. MUCH. EASIER. I can't believe I had forgotten how much easier short hair is. The Monday after I got it cut, I showed up at work half an hour earlier than normal because I didn't have to deal with my hair.

The last time I did this, it was on a bit of a whim, but this time I had weeks to think about it. However, I didn't tell anyone I was going to do it. I've found, over the years, that people have opinions about hair - even if it's not their own. And I am SO GOOD at second guessing myself, I decided that I didn't need any help.

As suspected, a couple of people were shocked, but not in a bad way. What surprised me was the number or people at work who have told me they like my hair, which makes me think I had absolutely no reason for any second guessing.

The important thing is that I LIKE IT. And I'm so glad I did it. I'm honestly amazed I kept it at a longer length for as long as I did. I can't imagine going back.

(I think I said that last time too - let's see how long it takes before I want to grow it out again...)


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« last time | May 14, 2014 : Short and Sweet



Short and Sweet
May 14, 2014

Blossom!


Things I am NOT loving at the moment:

  • the heat (high of 97 today!)


Things I am loving at the moment:

(You have no idea how often I think about updating this space. It's the actual doing it part that I'm having trouble with. The problem is I've been thinking about it too much. I need to stop thinking and just do.)


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« last time | March 19, 2014 : It's Hard to Believe I Used to Do This Almost Every Day



It's Hard to Believe I Used to Do This Almost Every Day
March 19, 2014

Rainy Day in Alviso


Last Saturday, we accidentally ended up listening to this radio stunt. We didn't realize it until the next day when were were googling "Hot in Here" to figure out it was sung by Nelly.

I made the best lunches for myself last week. I know carnitas and green beans doesn't sound all that amazing, but I used this carnitas recipe and this green bean recipe (but I used smoked paprika, which I highly recommend) and I was excited to eat my lunch all week.

I just ordered my second "try-at-home" frames order from Lookmatic. I did the first one at the end of last year. I can't believe it took me that long to do the try-at-home thing for frames. I'm excited about these.

I really need to start writing more. It took me two hours to type what are essentially three long-winded bullet points. Rusty much? I blame Instagram. And life. And this cat.


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« last time | March 09, 2014 : Austin, Keeping it Gluten-Free



Austin, Keeping it Gluten-Free
March 09, 2014

I just spent a few days in Austin (it had been far too long since I'd been back) visiting a friend. Pretty much all of our plans while I was there revolved around food. In particular, gluten-free food. Regan had been telling me about all the places that they had found that were gluten-free friendly, and we tried to eat at all of them.

But before I even made it to Texas, I found gluten free food at the Denver airport. I landed around lunch time, and right across from the gate was an Udi's Cafe. The cafe isn't all gluten-free, but I was able to make my meal GF for $2 extra. This meant GF bread on my sandwich and GF fries!

I was so happy. For airport food, it was a pretty decent. The fact that I could actually eat all of it made it even better. On my way to finding the gate for my connecting flight, I found one of those shops to get some snacks and found a wall of Go Picnic meals.

This is a gluten free meal at the Denver airport!   Gluten free snack packs! @ms_eight_ and I saw these at the gluten free expo and they have them at the Denver airport!

I had just found out about these at the Gluten-Free Expo a few weeks ago and was so excited to see them in the wild! I bought one to bring with me on my next flight.

After I landed in Austin, we gradually made our way over to 24 Diner for a late dinner. They're open 24 hours, serve breakfast all day, and have a gluten-free menu available. We ordered the deviled eggs to share, and I ordered a brussels sprout hash. Both were awesome.

Deviled eggs!   Veggie hash

The next morning, we went for brunch at Wild Wood Bakehouse - a dedicated gluten-free bakery and restaurant. It's amazing to go to a place and know you can order anything on the menu and be able to eat it. I had a hard time trying to decide what to order, but the Belgian waffles called to me.

Gluten free waffles!

They were good, especially for gluten free, but not spectacular. I'd love to be able to go back and try more on the menu to compare, though.

After brunch we wandered around on South Congress Avenue. We didn't eat anything, but I did notice a couple of food trucks that boasted gluten-free things. I was amazed at how gluten-friendly Austin is. Which brings us to dinner at MAX'S Wine Dive, where they serve gluten-free fried chicken. For reals. They had a few other GF options on the menu too, but I was there for the chicken, and it did not disappoint. It was crispy and delicious, and I would have questioned whether it was gluten-free or not if I hadn't known.

Gluten free fried chicken, hell yes.   Yum

For dessert, we decided to head over to some food trucks near the university for ice cream at Cow Tipping Creamery. They don't have a gluten-free menu, but they have so many topping options, it was easy to create my own sundae (vanilla soft serve, peanut butter sauce, chocolate sauce, and toasted marshmallows).

The next morning we went to brunch at the Steeping Room. They're all about tea and super gluten-free friendly. I ordered chai spiced french toast, and I was so excited about it that I started eating before I remembered to take a photo. We also left with a gluten-free carrot cupcake for later (it was REALLY good).

Gluten free chai spiced French toast   upload

Dinner that night was BBQ from Rudy's. When we got up to the counter, I was given the rookie treatment so I got to taste a little bit of various barbecued things, which included smoked turkey, moist brisket and lean brisket (it was all delicious). While Rudy's doesn't have a gluten-free menu, they were awesome about finding out if something had gluten or not. Regan had been there many times before and pretty much knew what was okay to eat, but we did have to ask about their cream corn (which was, sadly, not gluten-free). We headed home with bags full of turkey, sausage, moist brisket, cole slaw and beans. I don't have a lot to compare it to, but damn, that was good bbq.

That night, I also got to have my first Alamo Drafthouse experience! I had heard about this theater for years, but never experienced it, and I am now forever spoiled. If you don't know about the Alamo, let me tell you a little bit about it. There are assigned seats, and there's small tables in between the seats because you can order food while you're watching the movie. We're not just talking popcorn and candy, either. Real food, like pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Oh, AND BOOZE. I had a Maker's Mark Milk Punch Shake while quoting along with Zoolander. It. Was. AWESOME. The menu has all the gluten-free items marked, and you can order the pizzas with a gluten-free crust for an additional cost. They also point out that they're not cooking in a dedicated gluten-free environment, so depending on the severity of your allergy, you may not want to take your chances. (Regan may want to chime in about the pizza, because I think jparks has eaten there without problems...)

upload   Drinks!

How are we going to top the Alamo Drafthouse experience? By having lunch the next day at Frank. I was enamored with the place when we walked in the door (older building, brick, high ceilings, wood everywhere) and then I looked at the menu and was completely in love. They've got a section of the menu listing all the gluten-free items, and you can get a gluten-free bun on any of their hot dogs.

I already love this place and I haven't even had any food.   Carolina pork it dog

We started with a basket of Reuben fries (waffle fries loaded with melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, corned beef, and thousand island dressing) and both ordered the Carolina Pork It hot dog (100% Vienna Beef, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon and deep fried, dressed with grilled horseradish coleslaw, house-made pimento cheese) on a gluten-free bun. It was all SO very good. I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I couldn't leave without a t-shirt.

And then I headed to the airport, where my flights went pear-shaped due to a mechanical issue and then FREEZING RAIN and I ended up getting home 24 hours later than I thought I would.

BUT I DIGRESS.

I'm SO glad I decided to visit Austin again, even for a short time. I forgot how much I like it, and all the gluten-free food options make it that much more appealing. If the weather wasn't so humid and weird, I could see myself spending a lot more time there.

Also, if you're planning a trip to Austin, be sure to talk to Regan. She's an awesome tour guide, especially when it comes to the food.


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« last time | February 20, 2014 : Clouds and Journals



Clouds and Journals
February 20, 2014

Damn, nature! #lazyjournal


You guys! The clouds tonight! Totally amazing! It's nights like tonight that make me appreciate those extra few minutes of daylight, so I get to see stuff like this on my way home from work.

Also, Fluid Pudding started a one sentence journal project for the month of February, and I've been participating. We're pretty loose with the rules for what we're affectionately tagging #lazyjournal, so some of mine are more than one sentence (and include little drawings). I've been posting them over on Instagram, but I may catalog them over here at some point, too.


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« last time | January 30, 2014 : Gluten Free for You and Me