About Becky

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Gnome babies

Before my friend Kelsey had even birthed her twin baby girls in June, I asked if I could make their halloween costumes. I mean seriously, what’s more fun than that? Kelsey picked garden gnomes, so I got to it. The project started with some research:

gnomes 1

Then I found McCall’s Pattern M6627 to use as a starting point, made some beard bibs out of terry cloth – bada bing bada boom. Here’s the finished product!

gnomes 6

gnomes 3

The cutest, right? What’s even more adorable is that the newborn size costumes were too small for these little peanuts, so Kelsey had to shrink them before Halloween. They still ended up swimming in them though. Better too big than too small I suppose.

I love that in the end they were able to pass for elves, pilgrims, blue leprechauns, gnomes, etc. It’s the costume that keeps on giving. I went as Buddy the Elf for Halloween one year, so I totally feel their pain of people not getting it. I was living in New York City at the time and people still didn’t get my costume. Sigh. But I think that just means I need to put the Buddy costume on and have a photo taken of me holding the babies while they still fit in their gnome costumes. Best random Christmas card I’d ever send, I reckon.




And my favorite photo – mama Kelsey, chillin with her gnomies.



Meet: Andie

We got this little bundle of fur about a month ago on September 29th. She has been such a great puppy from day one. Don’t get me wrong – the first couple of weeks were a pretty intense adjustment period, but now that we’re in the swing of things, she fits in just great. We had talked about getting a friend for Jackson, thinking that when he was 5 or older would be a good time to do it. But then we realized the main reason we wanted to get a friend for him was to tire him out, and right now at the young age of 2, he’s going to have way more energy than he would at 5. So we started looking at the Seattle Humane Society N.O.A.H., and Pet Finder, just to see what was out there. I filled out applications for a few different dogs, we talked about going to visit one or two at the local shelters, and then I saw the posting for this little peanut and applied to adopt her right away.


I mean how can you deny her, right? Because she was only 10 weeks old, I assumed she’d be long gone and adopted by the time I sent in my application. It turns out I happened to be the first one to reply. She was being taken care of by a foster mom through Ab Fab Lab Rescue in Houston, Texas and was flown to us on a direct United flight from Houston. This organization only flies their rescue dogs to the Seattle area because the euthanasia rate in Houston is 91%, and hundreds of dogs get killed every day. As far as I understand, there are so many people who can’t pay to spay or neuter their pets, that these poor animals are just roaming the streets without owners. Which is a very different situation than Seattle, where for the most part pets are treated like family members and most of them are spayed or neutered. Andie was very well taken care of on the United flight, and we were very happy with the process for picking her up. Identification was needed, her papers were on her crate, and we were good to go. She was scared of pretty much everything for about a week (understandably so), but now is so excited when she sees people her entire body wags along with her tail. She gets along great with Jackson. They’re already tiring each other out, which was exactly our plan.

Jackson and Andie

Andie is very into playing with our poor sweet cat Frankie, so we’re working with her to make sure she understands that Frankie is not a toy. Frankie is such a good sport though, and even looks for some cuddle time when Andie is all tuckered out. Frankie and Andie


Meet: Frankie

Little Frankie was the 2nd addition to our crew. She is, and I dare you to challenge me on this, the best cat. She likes to cuddle, she takes crap from Jackson, she likes to be in whatever room we’re in, and she only weighs 9lbs, so she’s easy to carry around. If Baby Bjorn’s weren’t so expensive I’d get one for her so she could be with us all the time. I know she’d love it.


This photo was taken when she was still up for adoption, but of course when we saw how good she looked in a zebra print bed, we had to get one for her very own.

We had talked about getting a kitten before we got Jackson, and then of course stopped talking about it when we did in fact adopt Jackson. Fast forward to April 2012, 6 months after we got Jackson, and my sister in law convinced me to walk to the local Petco to see what rescue kittens they had to offer. (The Petco by us has cats from Motley Zoo Animal Rescue.)  Frankie was about 1.5 years old when I met her, and she had already had a litter of kittens who were 7 months old. I tell ya, kids having kids, eh? Her son Donut was available to adopt, but after holding Frankie for all of 3 minutes I knew I had to apply to adopt her. She was so cuddly and calm, and didn’t move a muscle when a dog walked by her. I went home to fill out the application and we were able to take her home a few days later.

We had a baby gate up between her and Jackson for a few days until they got used to each other, and now they’re completely fine. Jackson says good morning by licking her head every day when he wakes up, and Frankie just stands there and takes it. They are the perfect duo. Milo and Otis, the later years.



Meet: Jackson.

Steve and I had been casually looking for a dog on all the local Seattle rescue websites for about 6 months when we came across Jackson at the Seattle Humane Society. I left work for an early lunch in October 2012 so I could be there when they opened at 11am. I was the first one in line to see him, and when I left there was someone else waiting to adopt Jackson, who was pretty bummed I beat him there. Thankfully I was able to place a 24 hour hold on him, and then we took him home the next day. (Side note: If you’re looking to adopt a dog from a nearby shelter, and you just know it’s the right dog, I would highly recommend getting there a few minutes before they open to make sure you get to meet the dog first. If you’re looking to adopt a dog through an online rescue organization, I would also recommend applying as soon as you know it’s the right dog for you. Puppies especially get tons of interest, so you want to be the first application the organization sees. But remember to always keep in mind that if it’s the dog you’re meant to call your own, it will happen.)

When we got Jackson he looked like this:

jackson 1

He had chunks of fur missing all over his body, he had a floppy right ear, he had a tick above his right eye, and he was terrified to go up our stairs. In sum, he was a mess. Considering the fact that he was adopted as a puppy, given to the Yakima Humane Society where he was called “Buddy”, then sent to the Seattle Humane Society where he was called “Kellogg”, all in a short 9 months of life…it’s no wonder he wasn’t looking or feeling awesome. But we got him all bathed up, loved up, and this is what he looks like now:

jackson 2

I’m not just saying this because he’s my dog, but I swear to you, he is the best looking dog I’ve ever seen. We get stopped on walks, on runs, in the car, etc. Everyone wants to know what kind of dog he is because he’s so unique looking. When we adopted him, we actually thought he was a Malamute-Australian Shepherd mix. Then we realized right away he had to be a Malamute-German Shepherd mix because of his coloring. We splurged on the $60 DNA test (No regrets there. We used Wisdom Panel 2.0 – the report is very in-depth, and it took about a week to find out the results. You can get one here. Look for a coupon code, we were able to save $10.), and found out that he is an Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Spinone Italiano Mix. I’m not so sure about the Corgi, but his legs do look short in the right light I suppose.

We’re pretty sure that Jackson was never walked on a leash before getting dropped off at the shelter. He is so unbelievably good with other dogs, but when we walk him on a leash he barks a crazy, loud, terrifying bark at every single dog. Stop and think about that – Every. Single. Dog. We. Pass. Other dogs and their owners immediately assume he’s vicious or harmful. And rightfully so, because his bark is intense. We took him through puppy training at the Seattle Humane Society (which comes with the adoption!), we watched hundreds of YouTube videos, and then when I wanted to stop walking him by myself because his constant barking stressed me out so much, we decided it would be worth it to invest in one-on-one training. We enlisted the help of Tommy at Evergreen School for Dogs. Jackson improved a ton on leash, but the best part of Jackson spending time with Tommy is that he became so much more obedient and responsive in general.

After owning Jackson for a year, his one issue is still that he barks at other dogs on leash. It’s the oddest thing because he’s not aggressive at all. If he barks at a dog and then gets close enough to touch it, all he does is sniff. We really can’t explain it, and neither can the trainers who have met him. It has to be something to do with what he experience in his past. He’s good with people, kids, other dogs, puppies and cats, so if I had to choose an issue, it might just be the one he has. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it doesn’t stress me out when it happens, but we’re working through it. After working with Tommy and getting his professional advice, we finally decided that a bark collar would be the best option for our situation. I know a lot of people are against them, and when used improperly they can be seriously damaging to a dog. I would absolutely not recommend using one without consulting a professional. Seriously. Don’t do it. The best advice we got about it was not to get a cheap one. You want one that will do what it’s supposed to, when it’s supposed to. This is the one we ended up getting.

We’ve had it for about 2 months now, and with Jackson’s bark collar on (we don’t even turn it “on” anymore, it’s just around his neck) when on walks or runs, he is a darn near perfect dog. I look at dog training as a constantly evolving thing that you always have to work on, and we definitely don’t get to slack off with a malamute mix. This boy is smart. But we work with him every day and he has improved beyond belief from when we first met him. He has made our every day life so much better, and I honestly can’t imagine watching a movie without him sleeping on my feet, or going on a run without him.

To conclude this lengthy post, I have to say that if you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog, just do it. Don’t think it will be easy or will come without challenges, but do it anyway. Pet Finder is a great place to start when looking for a dog to save.

Friends Thanksgiving

Our basement is unfinished. When we first moved in I would sprint from the stairs to the washer/dryer and sprint back again in case it was haunted or the furnace started talking to me a la Home Alone. In a nutshell, it was creepy. We’ve moved some things around and made it as un-creepy as possible while still being an unfinished basement. (For the record, I can say with confidence that it’s not haunted. Phew.) It’s sad that it’s mostly unused space down there, but finishing a basement costs a lot of dollars. It will happen eventually, but for right now we’ll just have take up rollerblading or take advantage of the darkness and learn to cure meat, as my brother suggested. The good news is that I had a genius idea recently, probably one of my best, to host a Friends Thanksgiving. The basement ended up being perfect because there was more than enough space, and if anything spilled it didn’t matter.

This is the basement before we moved in. Eek.

This is what it looks like as a magical Fall wonderland.

I mean it’s soooort of like putting lipstick on a pig since the walls are still yellow, and the cement floors are still exposed, but it’s a vast improvement if you ask me. And those twinkle lights are definitely staying up until we remodel the whole thing.

“Be Thankful” plasticware holder idea taken from here (tutorial on them tomorrow).

Candles, napkins and table cloths purchased from Joann Fabric & Crafts (40% off, with an additional 25% off my entire purchase! Love that place.).

Old Fashioned Recipe taken from here.

Jackson, my second favorite guy in the whole world after 9 days of owning him (Steve’s #1, obvi.), gets MVP for the night. With 30 people in the house, food everywhere, kids running around, he was calm the entire time. Steve and I had no idea what to expect, but we know now that we got really lucky to adopt such a great dog. In the photo below he’s staring intently at everyone’s plates in the garbage. He knew he wanted to get in there, but also knew he wasn’t allowed. that’sagoodboyyesitisthat’sagoodboy.

Handmade bow ties

In addition to the pocket squares I made for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I also made the bow ties for the groomsmen and the groom. Again, the bride created a plaid, had it printed on fabric and then sent me the fabric. The groom sent me a J.Crew bow tie (like this one), so I knew what shape and size he wanted, then I used that bow tie to create a pattern.

I sewed their initials onto the back so they could tell them apart.

Since not everybody wants their face on the world wide web, you’ll have to settle for a blurry cropped photo. But you can see how fantastic they looked with the grey suits and yellow boutonnieres. Nice work, Mike & Anne. Nice work.

DIY Pocket Squares

My brother-in-law got married two weeks ago and I was asked to make the pocket squares for the ushers. (His now-wife made the cake at our wedding – see that here, so I owed them a little.) This was by far the most fun and creative wedding I’ve ever been to, so I wasn’t just sent a yard of fabric to create the pockets squares from – the bride created a stripe, had it printed on silk and then they sent it to me. (Which of course meant the pressure was on to not mess up.) Pockets squares are really easy to make, but they’re also really easy to make look sloppy. Here’s a quick tutorial on how I made them.

Step 1: Cut the fabric 1″ bigger on each side than what you want. (I wanted them to be 12″ x 12″ when finished, so I cut each one 13″ x 13″.)
Step 2: Iron 1/2″ down on all sides.
Step 3: Fold that 1/2″ in half, so you’re left with a double-turned 1/4″ hem on all four sides.

Step 4: Pin each corner so it makes a crisp 45 degree angle.

Step 5: Starting in the middle of one of the sides, sew all the way around. Before you get to each corner, thread a hand sewing needle with contrast thread and put one stitch through each corner. Then when you need to get the sewing machine foot over the awkward bump of the corner, you have some leverage. Once you’ve turned the corner, pull the threaded needle all the way out to use on the next corner.

Step 6: Press

Meet: Jackson

We got a dog! What you need to know: He’s an Alaskan Malamute-German shepherd mix (with some other breeds in there), we rescued him from the Seattle Humane Society, and he’s between 7 and 12 months old (the humane society said 7 months, the Vet told us probably closer to 12 months). We’ve had him for a good solid 72 hours, and he gets 4 out of 5 stars so far. He’s a really good, sweet dog but whoever had him before us obviously didn’t take the time to train him well, so we’re trying to undo some bad habits. Like bolting into the street while I’m holding his leash. Overall though, I am so excited to have him. We’ve been very casually looking for a dog for about 6 months and knew we had to jump at the chance of adopting Jackson when we discovered he fit all of our criteria. Steve wanted a malamute, I wanted a shepherd, we wanted to rescue a dog, and we didn’t want a baby puppy.

Welcome to the family, Jackson.

New York

Three years ago, almost to the day, I was living in New York decorating Halloween sugar cookies and carving pumpkins. Visual:

The people I was decorating these cookies with were my boyfriend’s brother and his girlfriend. Fast forward 3 years and they are now my husband’s brother and his soon to be wife. You follow? In a nutshell, a lot has changed. As we speak, so to speak, I am in route to NYC for their wedding for the first time since I moved back here in 2010 and I am unbelievably excited. First thing on the agenda? SHAKE SHACK.

Here’s what Central Park looked like in October 2009. Photo was taken by my roommate at the time Melinda.


Halloween is my favorite holiday. As far as I can remember, it always has been. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with the lack of stress. No pressure, no over thinking it – it just is what it is, you know? This year I haven’t had quite enough time to do all the Halloween-related festivities I’d like (fingers crossed I can make it to a pumpkin patch), but I was able to make some Halloween sugar cookies last night. It was a new recipe that I would give two thumbs up. They have nutmeg in them, so they’re definitely not your traditional sugar cookies…even if the recipe is called “Traditional Sugar Cookies”. I won’t waste too much time pondering that.

The recipe can be found in this cookie cookbook.

1. Rainbow sprinkles make coffins and such seem less scary.
2. Mostly though, I couldn’t find my collection of sprinkles. Add it to the list of M.I.A. items since we moved 6 months ago.