It really was rad.

(Editors Note: This story starts out badly but ends happily.)

I woke up hearing the all-too-familiar sounds of a cat about to barf.

My eyes shot open and there was Dot about to throw up between us on the bed. I quickly shooed her off and she ran under the bed. I fell back to sleep. What felt like minutes later, Mr. Darcy was up and shuffling around.

“What’s up?”

“I smell shit,” he mumbled. And low and behold, Dot had pooed by his side of the bed and lovingly covered it up with a curtain (how dainty of her). He managed to clean it up while half-asleep.

Then when I got up I moved the covers only to discover a poo-shaped something fly off the bed.

“What the hell?!”


“Jesus, what IS that? IS THAT POO?”

I turned on the light and got closer to it. It was a hairball-shaped like a turd. Oh and LOOK AT THAT! Someone had vomited on our bed.


We stripped the bed and Mr. Darcy went back to sleep. I fed the cats and went off to dance class. Later, Mr. Darcy put the puke-covered cover and the down comforter in the wash. We were running around trying to pack the house up plus pack for our weekend away while the wash was in the dryer. When Mr. Darcy went to collect the laundry he discovered that it wasn’t dry. Not only that, the comforter had ripped during one of the cycles so feathers were EVERYWHERE when he took it out of the dryer.

I’m not kidding when I say it looked like many birds had been murdered in that laundry room. The cement floor was covered in them as well as all of his clothing. Frustrated, he tried cleaning it up and right when he was about to lose his cool entirely, I took over. I made him go upstairs and take a shower because we were already running behind to catch our ferry. I quickly realized a broom was no match for the feathers and grabbed the vacuum. We managed to get everything done without any blow ups or breakdowns and were on our way, 40 minutes later than we had originally planned to leave. Maybe we could still make the ferry at 3:35?

We arrived in Anacortes at 3:00pm and were told they were full for cars but could take walk ons. DAMN IT! I needed my car since I was the day of coordinator for the wedding we were attending and was going to be schlupping  stuff around. We looked at each other dejectedly and decided we’d be first in line for the 6:35 ferry. We killed an hour at a brewery with sub-par food and then ran down our iPhone batteries waiting in the ferry line. Finally, after a 30 minute delay, we boarded the ferry and were off to Orcas Island for the wedding of good friends.

Orcas Hotel on Orcas Island, the wedding reception venue and our lodging for the weekend

We arrived, quite tardy, to a boisterous crowd of wedding guests and a bride who was not at all put out that I was four hours behind my scheduled arrival time. Even though she is a friend of mine, they hired me and I do not like to be anything but professional in those situations. After grabbing a drink, we retired to our bedroom to get some much-needed shut-eye in preparation for the wedding the next day.

It was raining when I woke up but the owner of Orcas Hotel predicted that it would clear up around 11am. True to his word, it did. Sunny skies and beautiful vistas surrounded us.

The view from Orcas Hotel.

I spent the day running around arranging flowers, tables, displays, etc. while Mr. Darcy leisurely lounged in our room, alternating between reading, napping, and playing on his iPhone. To his credit, he was my on call assistant or would come downstairs with money when I summoned him to buy me lunch. It was good for him to have a little getaway since today is his first day at his new job. It was a much-needed transition for him.

I like to think this will be their album cover and that their music sounds like Wilco meets Twisted Sister meets Weird Al.

The wedding ceremony was in this tiny, quaint little chapel in the middle of preserved wetlands. The light was magnificent in there and I can only imagine the professional photos will be breathtaking.

The bride and groom walked out to the theme song from “Revenge of the Nerds” which is so them and so awesome. They worked tirelessly on every little detail of the wedding and it showed. They even had activity books that they designed for the guests to play with while they waited for the ceremony to start complete with a crossword puzzle, guest name word search, and mad libs!

Once back at the hotel, I was ready to imbibe just a smidge since it’d been a long day and my day of coordinator duties were tapering off.  (I would not have done this if these people had not been my friends.)

Let’s get this party started! (As in, let’s eat & drink all the things I have avoided for 6 weeks and pray I don’t get sick.)

The happy couple at their sweetheart table enjoying comfort foods like crab sandwiches, hush puppies, and fried chicken.

They even had a photo booth which was a huge hit with the guests. We snuck away during the reception to take ours since it had been over-run with people.

Mr. Darcy wrote the sign. And it’s true, we DO hope they have as much fun at our wedding as we did at theirs. Because we had a blast!

It really did get us excited about our wedding which is only four months and seventeen days away (eek!). I especially loved their ceremony. It was so touching, sweet, funny, and full of love. They had someone from each side of their bridal party speak about them which was just so heartfelt and lovely. And their vows to each other had the audience in tears (I was!). I’ve enjoyed the wedding planning process so far but the thing I am most looking forward to is writing the ceremony with Mr. Darcy.

There were three cakes baked lovingly by the bride and dancing after dinner. Mr. Darcy boogied with me to a couple songs (he doesn’t like to dance). There was even an amazing sunset complete with a rainbow! I do not think they special ordered that but it couldn’t have been more appropriate.

We got home yesterday to two angry cats and a mountain of boxes to fill. We’re trying to pack as much as we can while still being able to live here until Friday. Meanwhile, the cats are anxious and alternating between being very close and snuggly and running away from us. I suppose that isn’t different than when we’re not moving, come to think of it. These next few days are going to be CRAZY for us but if everything goes according to plan, come Friday we will be in our new house. We’re just waiting for the call to sign the docs and get the keys. Keep those fingers crossed for us and send us good packing mojo.

I’m grateful we got to take a mini-break to celebrate the wedding of our friends. It really gave me perspective. The chance to focus on someone else’s happiness went a long way in infusing me with energy.

So BRING IT, week. I’m ready for you. Don’t let the bags under my eyes deceive you!

**The bride has collected an amazing collection of vintage crockery which she is renting out via her new business, Rad Crockery. If you’re a local and need to rent cool plates and such, check her out!


Remember a while back when I announced that I was starting my own event planning business? The one that focuses on day-of wedding coordinating specifically but that also provides event support with logistics and day-of execution for any type of party or event? The one you all rallied to help me name?

Yeah, that one.

Despite not saying anything here until now, I have not stopped working on this endeavor. I even came up with a name (which is not from the fantastic suggestions that were given- sorry!). I’ve been busy working on my business plan but then I got stuck. I am not sure about pricing-I don’t know how to set a value to what I provide! I’m also not sure about all the legal and tax aspects of running a business. So I signed up for an on-line course. It just started but I’m hoping I get inspiration and answers so that I can move forward.

I also started calling it “my business” not “my side business” because I want it to be my job someday and talking about it like it’s just a hobby was diminishing it. I’ve been talking about it to people here or there and the response has been very favorable. I feel like once I launch it, I will have a lot of support in getting the word out. This is invaluable.

So here’s where I come to you. I am looking for recommendations for folks who do awesome logo design and possibly website design. I don’t have a ton of money to start which is limiting my choices (I’ve found some excellent sources but they are outside my budget- boo!). I have some ideas of what I want the look and feel to be. I want someone who can incorporate my quirky, vintage, sassy esthetic with clean, modern lines.  Seem too much to ask for? Maybe. But I figured it doesn’t hurt to put it out there.

Mr. Darcy is a Rock Star

This isn’t really my story to tell but I’m going to share what I can from my perspective.

Last summer, right before we were leaving for our trip back east, Mr. Darcy  made a huge decision. (Well, besides the one where he decided to move in with me.)  He left the job he’d moved all the way out to Seattle from New Jersey for- a place where he had given years of time and toil to, a place where all his friends worked, a place where he was very successful and had made a name for himself (among nerds and non-nerds alike). It was a long time coming but sometimes push does come to shove and you just have to act.

He wasn’t left with a lot of options. Less than 2 weeks before we were set to leave for our trip back East (a trip long since planned and paid for) they told him they were denying his vacation request. A request he was required to submit 90 days prior. 90 DAYS! This is just a small window into the unethical, crazy shit they would pull.

And so he left and quickly found another job, this time as a concept artist for a fledgling video game company. It wasn’t ideal- the pay was pretty crappy but the atmosphere was relaxed. And hey, it was a foot in the door to the video game world which can be pretty lucrative. Mr. Darcy has a really stellar work ethic and gave the job his all even though he wasn’t that excited about what they were working on nor did he have a lot of faith that this game they were working on would ever actually get picked up and shipped.

During all those months, he’s been picking up side gigs for extra money. He’s been rather inundated with requests actually because he is a fantastically talented artist. But working a full-time job AND coming home to do more work was wearing on him (and us). He kept his eye out for a  better paying job so that he could focus on one job that pays him well, not multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Then he got contacted by a recruiter for a Very Prestigious Video Game Company (hint: angels are known to wear these on their heads) and got a phone interview then an in person interview then was asked to take an art test which basically meant he spent 20 hours reworking one their pre-existing concepts and drawing some sort of weapon (I am not so good with retaining weaponry words or most video game-related thingies, please forgive me). He submitted it early after staying up til 2am for two nights in a row because not only is he really good, he also prides himself on being really fast. We thought we’d hear soon and so we sat on pins and needles with our fingers crossed. Three days went by, no word. The weekend hit so he tried to put it out of his mind (good luck with that, right?). Then Monday came, then Tuesday. WHEN THE HELL ARE THEY GOING TO TELL US!?

Finally, Mr. Darcy got an email from the recruiter that asked him to call him. Mr. Darcy being the pessimist that he is immediately decided that he did not get the job. He told the recruiter he would call him at 1pm on his lunch break (it was 9am). I wanted to pop him over the head for putting it off. He’d only been agonizing over this for a week and now he has the chance to know the result and he says he will call at 1pm? GAH! I say that Mr. Darcy is stubbornly impatient while I am more of an impetuous impatient person. He begs to differ which is his prerogative even though I am clearly right. (Ahem.)

I’m dragging this out, aren’t I?

So the recruiter guy writes back and says, “It will be quick. I want to make you an offer.”

WOO HOO! Insert bells, whistles, confetti and happy dancing here.

This was a very long way of telling you that my man, my Mr. Darcy, has done got himself a really good job at a really good company and I am so insanely proud of him.

Way to go, my love.

I snapped this picture of us on Saturday during our celebration date.


From Here to There and Back Again: Love Travels

I spent 6 non-stop days with Mr. Darcy and fell even more in love with him.

Love that man of mine.

That’s the mark of a solid relationship. We, thankfully, are excellent travel companions. He handles my pre-travel freak outs with compassionate consideration. And I? Bring snacks so he doesn’t go hungry. What? Snacks are important! Hungry travelers trapped on a cross-country flight are dangerous. They should security scan for it.

Getting from Seattle to Philadelphia is a looooooong flight. My butt fell asleep. Around the 8th hour of travel I started to go a little batshitcrazy from being cooped up. I took extra time in the lavatory just so I could stand up and stretch my legs. I never once fell asleep on the flights. But of course Mr. Darcy did. As evidenced in our previous travels, my boyfriend is one good sleeper.

We shared a double bed at his parents house. If that’s not togetherness I don’t know what is. It was also one of those beds where if he moved, I moved. But there were no cats to wake us up at 5am so I slept past 8am most mornings. Hallelujah! He wasn’t kidding when he told me that he grew up  in the country. Man oh man there are a lot of trees (and corn!). And when we arrived past midnight that first day of our trip, the crickets were loudly welcoming us as were the stars. Without streetlights, they brightly twinkled hello.

The Homestead

Being Corny

I adore his parents. They are such wonderful people- his mom making me a pot of Earl Grey tea that they got on a trip to London and his dad regaling me with story after story of their ancestors. I am certain I was told a story with every single photo hanging in the house (that’s a lot). And when that tour was over? He brought out these big scrolls of paper that showed the family tree. Upon our departure he made me write down my full name, date of birth and where I was born because he’s adding me to the tree.

I think he likes me.

Maybe because when he hugged Mr. Darcy good-bye he told him, “She’s a keeper.” And his mom whispered, “Don’t screw this up!” then asked me if there are any special dishes I like at Thanksgiving.

My future in-laws?

Throughout the trip though, I felt more and more close to Mr. Darcy. Maybe it was being embraced into his family by his parents or so welcomed by his closest friends. Maybe it was seeing his dorky little self in childhood photos and glimpsing the man I love in the child he once was. A little boy who made a makeshift motorcycle out of couch cushions, wearing big gloves and sunglasses, pretending to be one of the officers from CHiPs. Maybe it was how happy he was to introduce me to the most important people to him or to show me around the neighborhoods he used to live. Maybe it was attending the wedding of two of my dearest friends, seeing how happy they are together and in turn, how happy they are for us.

Mr. & Mrs. Dumpling

I was sitting with the groom for a brief moment of quiet togetherness amidst the clamor of the reception. We talked about their honeymoon and the wedding and how, WOW, here we are all these years later him getting married and me with someone special. We’ve traveled a long distance from that time we were a couple and I was falling apart and he was trying to keep me together. Not just in miles- me to Seattle, him to North Carolina- but in emotional distance. And yet here I am at his wedding, crying as he exchanges vows with someone so perfect for him. He asked me about Mr. Darcy moving in. He knows this is a leap of faith for me, a mark of the depth of my feeling. He was, after all, the last man I fathomed doing that with. I shook my head a bit in amazement and said to him,  “I’m going to marry him.” I know this deep down inside myself as an unwavering truth. Then I got all teary and we hugged because holy shit! we’ve both found our person.

The Dashing Dumpling as Groom

So maybe it was all of those experiences rolled into one big amazing feeling. Or maybe it was dancing with Mr. Darcy, laughing and smiling and quietly planning our future together while Frank Sinatra crooned. I think my father would have approved.

I predict that this is what 90% of our wedding day photos will look like.

Best for the Best

It was Valentine’s Day the year I turned 30 and a bunch of us girls were going out for sushi. Jenny Two Times invited her friend on a whim, the lone guy among us females. He ordered a pork roll and made me laugh.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Dumpling & I at my going away party (which he helped plan!) 4 years ago in Santa Cruz, CA.

Many of you have been around Sizzle Says awhile and have heard about Dumpling. For a brief period of time, we were a couple. He’s the last person I dated that I seriously considered a future with- we even looked at moving in together. He’s the one who would surprise me with flowers just because. He’s the one who would read the instruction manuals so I didn’t have to. He’s the one (along with Supple) who drove up with me from Santa Cruz to Seattle. He was the Harry to my Sally, the Clinton to my Stacy, the Duckie to my Andie. He’s been one of my best friends for years.

And on Sunday? He’s getting married.

The Bride & Groom AKA Jersey Girl & Dumpling.

When they called me on New Year’s Eve to tell me they’d just got engaged, I cried. I flippin’ cried! I was so over the moon thrilled for them. I can’t adequately describe how happy them finding each other makes me. Dumpling is one of the best people I know and he deserves every happiness. His bride, the lovely and sassy Jersey Girl, is a real peach. She’s so smart and funny and generous. I just adore her and couldn’t imagine a better match for someone so dear to me. I love them both and only wish that we didn’t live on opposite sides of the country (Washington to North Carolina is quite a stretch) because I know that Mr. Darcy is going to fall in friendship love with them and vice versa. Who wouldn’t? They’re that awesome. I have good taste. What can I say?

So on Thursday, Mr. Darcy and I are hoping a plane to the Garden State* where we will spend time with his parents in the place he grew up. He’ll show me around his old haunts and introduce me to some of his closest friends. We’ll spend some time in Philadelphia, a place he called home for many years. Then we’ll drive up north to New Brunswick to see Dumpling and Jersey Girl get hitched. Yippee!

*It is not lost on me that both Dumping & I ended up with loves from New Jersey.

Annual Sizzle Birthday LoveFest

*Who cares if my actual birthday isn’t until Sunday? Let’s start this party now! It’s The Annual Sizzle Birthday LoveFest time. For those of you who are new, my friend Bird started a tradition of having everyone at my party go around the room and tell me what they love about me on my birthday. In recent years many folks have chimed in and hosted the LoveFest. This year, I’ve enlisted the boyfriend. You can participate by leaving a comment if the spirit moves you.*

Hello fellow denizens of the Sizzleverse (yes, Sizzleverse. My other choice was Sizzlesphere, but that sounds too limiting for my tastes). Mr. Darcy here helping out with a guest blog for Ms. Sizzle’s birthday.  Let me first say that it’s an honor that she even considered me to write one of these, and let me apologize in advance for inflicting my literary ineptitude upon all of you. Kaply has mandated that this entry not be too sappy, and I will try my best. No promises.

As many of you probably already know, I am relatively new to Ms. Sizzle’s world and I thought I might share how I ended up here. My first encounter with her was on a local singles site on the interwebz – I checked out her profile and thought, “That girl is waaaay too cute and hip for a guy like me.” Not long after, you can imagine my surprise when I received a sweet, flirtatious message from her in my inbox. This was my first taste of the strong, independent woman that I would come to love.

From the moment I first met her and she stood up to hug me “hello”, I knew she was a pocket-sized firecracker. She has a way of making anyone feel at ease and like her partner-in-crime. And that’s how I felt at the end of that night. I have learned to love everything about Sizzle. (Me: Even the snoring? Come on now!) That sly little giggle of hers that can turn into a throaty laugh is a sound I live to hear. That sparkle in her lovely eyes when she has a plan is exciting with the promise of infinite possibilities awaiting you.  She is a whirlwind of adventure, caring and responsibility all rolled into one. Is that all even possible? With Sizzle it is.  The only thing I like more than one of her jaunts is when she quietly rests her head on my chest while we chat away the mysteries of the universe.

Sizzle is also a challenge. She challenges herself to care deeper, think with more compassion and live her dreams to the fullest. She’ll challenge you too. And you will want to keep up with her every step of the way. She brings out the best in everyone she interacts with. Being part of her life makes you a better person – maybe not by plan but just by participating you will find your life a richer experience because of her. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone with so many friends who care so deeply for their well-being. Trust me, I know a lot of cats.

We were born the same year, and though she came into the world a little before me I am thankful for meeting this sexy cougar with a penchant for slightly younger men. (Me: Meow!) She’s the best thing about Seattle, even if the rest of the city doesn’t know it yet.  They will eventually. I am sure of it. One person at a time. She is the best thing in my life, and I’ve got a lot of really good things going for me.

It’s hard listing all the things I love about Sizzle. Her fabulous hair. Her style and flair. Her ability to say what everyone else won’t.  Her delectable cooking. That she tries really hard to use her turn signals all the time. (Me: Snort! Here we go again with the turn signal business!) There’s just too much to list.  I knew this was going to be impossible when she asked me to write on her blog. So now I’m asking you to help me. Help me articulate everything there is to love about this funny, sexy, smart and confident woman who makes my heart flutter like a schoolboy.

I love you, shmexy girl. I love everything about you and everything you do to make the world a better place for me and everyone you know. Happy Birthday. xoxoxo

“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”

I have good news and . . . more good news.

Good news #1

Guess who gave me notice?

The Smell Lady!

I can hardly believe two of my wildest dreams came true on the same day. (I raised more money than I ever have in any fundraiser I’ve planned AND one of the banes of my existence decided to vacate.)  I am, however, left wondering how in the hell I am going to rent her apartment when it is packed to the gills with stuff. No one is going to be able to see the potential of it looking like that- the door doesn’t even open all the way there is so much stuff in the hallway! So now I am stuck with two apartments that are in such a sad state that showing them would actually drive people away. But! She gave notice! Let’s focus on the good here.

Good news #2

I have the day off. And three more in the next two weeks. Because I worked an insane amount of hours and deserve them. Yes! I DESERVE THEM.

Good news #3

My boss actually complimented me. This hardly ever happens. Like never. Except yesterday. HALLELUJAH!

Good news #4

I get to see Mr. Darcy tonight! This might seem like run of the mill news to you but to us it is worthy of jumping up and down. I have not seen him since Sunday and have not had alone time with him since last Thursday. And even that was an hour before he raced to pick up his sister at the airport. I miss him. I predict we will be permanently physically attached to one another all weekend. (Portland friends, you are warned at forthcoming PDA.)

Good news #5

I met Mr. Darcy’s sister and suddenly so much made sense. When we first started dating he told me (paraphrasing), “I grew up with women like you- strong, independent, opinionated, over-thinkers- so I ‘get’ you.” I didn’t 100% believe him then but I do now. His sister and I are A LOT alike. So of course I thought she was fantastic and adorable. Ahem. But seriously, she was wonderful and apparently I was given the sister seal of approval. Phew!

Good news #6

I am treating myself to a massage today. And lots of time in my pjs on the couch catching up on TV.

Good news #7

Despite having two units open, I am throwing caution to the wind and heading to Portland with my love for a quick overnight getaway. Because I need to be somewhere where I am not required to do any work. Because I want alone time with my boyfriend. Because I miss my Portland friends. Because Portland is one of my favorite cities with some of the best food on the planet. Because! Because! Because!

Weekend Elation

Two of my most important people arrive in Seattle today for a weekend visit.

Natalie Wood & James Dean

I can’t accurately express my excitement at seeing them. It’s been almost a year! For those of you new to the blog, JD is my very dear old friend, former roommate, “papa” to our beloved Angelou, and one of the best boyfriends I ever had (back when I was 22-24 years old) and NW is one of the sweetest, most loveliest ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure to call friend. I introduced them many years ago and now they are married. They are a part of my family so it goes without saying that my Mom, Dokey, Double B and Finn are all super excited that they are visiting. Plus, I get to introduce them to Mr. Darcy.

Have a terrific weekend! I know I will.

Weighing In

It’s a strange sensation to go to the grocery store and only have three or four sections available based on your limited diet. Produce. Meat. (Some) Dairy. Occasionally the cat food or cleaning supply aisle but clearly those are not edible items (at least not to me ). It makes for quick shopping, I’ll tell you that much.

Today marks week two of my no sugar, no starches, no booze and I gotta tell you, I would give anything for some watermelon and some quinoa. I find it interesting that I’m craving whole grains and fruit and not, say, peanut butter and chocolate ice cream (personal weakness). Maybe something is shifting? I hope so.

The hunger I feel on this elimination “diet” is different than the one when I eat carbs/starches/sugar. This one allows my body to come upon hunger naturally. I eat a lot less. Whereas before I seemed to spiral from sugar high to carb-induced blahs. I have felt tired lately but I think that’s a natural part of the detox.

I’m being super protective of my environment right now. I am not eating out because it’s too hard to control how things are cooked or have bread dangling in front of my carb-hungry belly. It’s just easier for me to bring my snacks and lunches and not meet friends for meals. It makes me realize how much socializing I do around food and booze. But I’m okay with it. There are lots of things we can do instead of shoving fries in our mouth.

I’ve started a list of things I can “reward” myself with when I meet certain goals. Things like: a new outfit for BlogHer or the tattoo I’ve been conceptualizing and dreaming of for years or pin up girl photo shoot (you know, cuz I’ll be feeling super sexy and stuff). I’m not doing this for the gifts but I’d like to mark the milestones with some sort of pomp and circumstance.

Last Tuesday I weighed myself and the scale read 224 lbs. (I figure if Tomato and Snackie can put their weights out there then so can I. GULP!) Today when I weighed myself the scale said 213 lbs. HOLY CRAP! Seriously!? I tried it three times because I had just woken up and wasn’t wearing my glasses but, yes, that’s what it said. Maybe 224 wasn’t my “actual” weight because last week I was, uh, there is no delicate way to say this and I apologize for the TMI – it was that time of the month. A woman tends to pack on some pounds that week.


I know there is a long road ahead of me but I’m committed to the lifestyle change. It just feels right. And today? Today, I feel awesome.

“Stand up tall and everything will nest in you.” – Mark Nepo

Looks Like We Made It

I slept soundly last night. My first deep sleep in weeks. I’m certain my utter exhaustion from the day’s events assisted in that. But it was a good fatigue, deep in my bones, accompanied by a lot of heavy sighing.

Not only did we meet our fundraising goal at yesterday’s event, we exceeded it.

As I sat there in the money counting room,watching the total go up and up and up, I could hardly believe it was happening. I wanted this event to be successful SO MUCH that when reality hit, I was rather shell-shocked. Within ten weeks, after a late start in planning due to my job change at the office, I actually pulled it off. Not only did we make more than we had budgeted for but we did it in a bad economy. AND we had more guests attend than in any other year prior.

That feels damn good.

I’m so lucky to work for an agency I am proud of and with people who are consummate team players. Every single person in my department went the extra mile to ensure the success of the event- from hauling centerpieces to the venue, designing gift bags, reading and re-reading scripts, fixing power point glitches and running to the paper supply store (repeatedly). I might have held all the pieces but I in no way did it alone.

This tired is a good tired and well worth it. I’ll admit, I’m basking a bit. It is an awesome feeling to meet a challenge head on and best it.