Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving In Westport, WA

Many of you probably have no idea where Westport, WA is...but let me promise you that it is a 
cute little town you all need to visit! Aside from the beautiful views that surround the land, the beach, and the quaint beach town feel, our family has a great little restaurant (called The Blue Buoy) 
you need to stop in and check out! 

I got more obsessed with the town and its vibe that I ended up with way too many pictures of us 
in the scenery and skimped out on photos with all the family. Silly me! I will apologize ahead 
of time that you'll be over us by the end of this post. My bad. I'll at least show you a few of 
Westport before I give you the overload of Ty, me, Curt, Steve, Staci, & Ty and me.

At the end of the walkway, there's a great lookout tower...climb to the top and you've got one 
of the most amazing views on a clear day! Then have a photog hay day on the rocks because
as you can tell, we clearly did so ourselves.

Half Moon Bay

One quiet marina on Thanksgiving night...nothing but the ripples from the sea lions.
Goodnight Westport!

And then there comes the overload of the Cosby/Stanley/Savage crew.


Are you guys a band or something? This could be your album cover.

Please note the crashing wave behind us in the picture below...Steve you timed that out just right.
Credit to you and your skills.

And yes, this is also the same photo of us but please forget we're in the picture below
because I am trying to highlight the sunset. Definitely not highlighting us.
And PS-is that a bird in the photo? Steve, you did it again. 
Going and impressing us with your timing.

Ty posing while I'm attempting to do a pistol on the rocks in heels...or what
appears to look like taking a dump on the rocks. I'm promise that's not what I was doing.

And then to sum us up...

Best Dad in the world!
(No bias either)

Good ol Samantha dog above and the crazies below (Kira & Carter)

The Blue Buoy is where Pat and Gary have poured lots of time and energy into, but credit is due to 
all of their kids as well. The kids continue to help keep this place running on a day to day basis. If 
you ever happen to be in the area, you just may get lucky and get the chance to try out a piece of Jordyn's cheesecake...better than any cheesecake I've ever had in my life. That says something 
because I use to be queen of cheesecake and I sure know my cheesecakes!

Such neat pieces of decor to give it the real beach and marina feel! 

The whole competitive family trying to win a game of left, right, center...

And if you can get any more lucky, you may get to meet Erika, Emily, and Liam.
They are all the sweetest, most adorable kids you'll ever meet!

Thank you Pedersen and Snider families for having us up for Thanksgiving. What a treat
it was to do something so unique and much different than our norm of having a
turkey day at home! You have done an amazing job with The Blue Buoy
and we cannot wait to do it again!

♥The Stanleys, The Cosbys, The Savages, & The Hunters♥

Friday, November 29, 2013

Support Local Vancouver Businesses!

We call it Small Business Saturday here in the Couve and we want many of you out there to make 
the trek to enjoy the downtown Vancouver area. If you're right over the bridge, come support 
some of these local shops or if you're on the other side of town, make a quick trip to the West side.
However, SBS is for all small businesses in the Vancouver area. Be sure to check out your area
for other ideas. We just want all of you to come enjoy the small businesses near our home! 

Some of the first few customers will receive vouchers for food and drinks at coffee shops, 
some discounts on products, and well, others don't have any special deals but have great options 
for holiday shopping! Whether it be for a white elephant, work gift basket, our a special gift 
card for a couple to go out on a date and try a new are a few ideas.

tasty specialty olive oils and vinegars (the fig vinegar is amazing!). Great for a gift basket!

❊Mon Ami:
To die for crepes. Enough said. Plus some tasty kombucha and coffee!
Great for a gift card and a neat mug from the shop makes a quick gift.

❊Canine Utopia:
Dog boutique. If I had a dog, I'd shop here for its clothes and food. They know
they're animals! For all of you who have dogs, check this place out!

❊Latte Da (coffeehouse & wine bar):
A cute old house turned into a coffee shop. Why not? One of the best coffee shops because you 
feel at home while you're there just about! Everybody needs a gift card from this place...not 
only do they have great drinks, but they do gluten free treats, gluten filled and gluten free breakfast and/or lunch, and in the summer time the have live music and outdoor area to hang out and drink 
your wine in the evening to! It's an all-in-one type of place!
**From 8:30-10:30, the first 200 customers will get a $5 voucher for Latte Da!

❊Woody's Tacos:
While you're out and about finding gifts from these local businesses, stop and have lunch at
one of our favorite spots and give this taco joint some business. You won't be upset!
The shrimp taco is probably the best, be sure to order yourself a side of chips with some guac
and salsa, then decide on a main course. They currently have a Walking Man Brewery
beer they are serving that Ty says is pretty good (WMB is who we used for our wedding, 
located out in Stevenson, WA)

❊Kiggins Theatre:
After lunch, stop in at Kiggins Theater for a free matinee. It will be playing at 2pm although the
line up starts at 1:30. I hear there may be some free goodies while you wait, but not sure
what exactly that means! While you're there, why not pick up some stocking stuffer
movie tickets for a cool old theatre. Perfect little gift for movie lovers!

❊Cellar 55:
Wine will be discounted by 10% I hear. If you're a wine lover of some specialty wines or 
need some wine for a holiday party, it is worth a stop for the deal!

❊Main St. Vintage
I'm guilty for spending hours of my time at this place...and not only that, but being late to
everything because I couldn't leave without looking at all the antiques in this place!
Need some unique pieces for home decor, holiday decor, weddings, furniture, or any other 
antiques? They just recently bought out their neighbor so they've extended their store. 
Lots to check out!

I leave this titled 'massage' only because there are numerous places to check out...
all are having some sort of deal, so visit the website by clicking here to see what place will 
suit your needs and convenience based on location. We all like massages and we all
love massages when they're gifted to us.

Just to throw a few other great gift ideas out there...
*Mint Tea has the best chai tea and the chef, Josh, does some amazing things with food.
Get someone a gift card to try this place out!

*The Source is a great activity (rock climbing) for families or as a date night for a couple.
How cool to get a gift card to do an activity with friends and family?

*Neighbors Market is a tiny little store that has local, organic, all natural foods. 
Great place to get items to make lovely food baskets as a white elephant gift or to give
to someone who loves a gift of some good food!

And for a few additional activities...
There will be the tree lighting at Compass Church on 1812 Main St at 5:30, 
free train rides, a free movie (not sure which one), and crafts until 8pm.
The holiday jazz piano will be held at Cellar 55 from 6:30-8pm.

Ok, ok, I'll stop. In fact, click here if you're interested in checking out all the other
businesses in Vancouver that will be participating tomorrow in Small Business Saturday.
We hope you have some ideas of what you can give as gifts and can enjoy trying out
some new places in downtown Vancouver as much as we do!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

♡The Stanleys

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy, Happy Turkey Day!

From our home to yours...

I made this wreath several years ago and have enough supplies laying around to make a few more 
for those interested...check out Martha Stewart's dyed version and add your own creative
touch as you wish for the upcoming holiday season by clicking here!

We hope everybody has a full belly, are surrounded by family and friends, and give
thanks for all those wonderful things in your life.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cherrberry Sauce...aka Cranberry Cherry Sauce

Can I just say that yesterday I could not talk for the life of me? I had these intelligent patients
from what I could tell by their occupation...and here I am forgetting what I'm saying
halfway through a sentence or not being able to come up with the world I'm looking for. I'm
pretty sure they just kept staring at me like, lady get your sentence or word out...or
maybe they were thinking, just stop talking. I hate those days. They just a little embarrassing!
I mean, who wants a nurse talking care of you who can't seem to put words together
to make a sentence or forgets halfway'd make me question them at least.

We have never considered any juice technically "paleo" but we needed some some sort of liquid 
to make a "paleo" cranberry sauce. We peeked around and went for the best looking juice bottle: Martinelli's apple juice! I feel like I judged them all by the cover of their books, but thank 
goodness this juice lived up to it's looks. Now we've got a neat bottle I have no idea 
what I'll ever do with. So here's what we did to make a quick cran-cherry sauce 
for the upcoming week!

1 C frozen of fresh cranberries
1 C frozen cherries
1 C apple juice
dash of salt
2 tbsp raw honey, if you so wish
2 dashes of cinnamon
OR sprinkle or two of orange zest

Dump your cranberries, cherries, apple juice, and dash of salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 
5-7 minutes, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce becomes thickened. Drop 
in your honey, stir, then allow to cool. If you wish to have a cinnamon or an orange flavor to it, 
add in one or the other. If not, then leave it plain. Place in an airtight container and
serve up at your Thanksgiving's good warm or cold!

One more day until a full feast & some football games. Are you ready?
Westport, WA here we come!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vancouver Hot Spot: The Source

Let me just say that this was a great idea. It was a great idea until I got on the wall to climb
and half way up I realized how weak I've truly gotten over the months...and then I had to
climb back down. Awful. And sad at the same time.
I thought my forearms were going to explode! That's when you realize that
you've just paid all this money to rock climb and boulder, but majority of it is going to be spent
resting between climbs. Awesome. We managed through a few hours, which was plenty
of time to spend at one of Vancouver's hot spots!

Unlike the rest of the "hot spots", this is not food or some restaurant in Vancouver. This is the 
place you go after you've eaten at one of those restaurants. This hot spot is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver and it likes to be called "The Source."

 It's great for many reasons...

*kid friendly (there's a separate kids climbing area)

*you can spend as much or as little time there (for us, usually 1.5-2 hours is perfect...
but if you're a true climber you can last much longer than us!)

*the people are great...both employees and climbers

*they have several auto-belays if you want to go solo

*it's a great workout

*and it's a great place for a date

Have I convinced any of you to check this place out yet? It's worth the drive if you're
down in Portland and of course, in any area of Vancouver. Bring friends,
bring a date, or bring you kiddos for a couple of hours. It's not a huge time commitment,
you'll test your strength (or maybe your weaknesses), and you'll have one heck of a time!

Check it out over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays to keep you and your
kids active amidst this chilly weather that we'd otherwise be sitting on our behinds doing 
absolutely nothing (disclaimer: it's ok to do absolutely nothing, but just not all the time).

Have fun!

♥The Stanleys

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mac Girls & Their Supporters

Ty has been blessed with the patience and ability to teach middle school kids. A job not many
want. He's also been blessed with the ability to coach, not just boys but girls as well. Neither of
them are jobs I'd particularly enjoy. So I'm thankful he is one that can do it. If you're one of
those middle school teachers and coaches, I also thank you for doing that. I'll stick to nursing
if you all can stick to the awkward middle schoolers!

On that note, Ty's girls basketball team has come out and proven themselves from the get go! Boy
have we been impressed with them! Tonight they struggled a little more than previous games,
but they attempted to withstand girls twice the size of them and all of which have some
sort of club level experience.

We wanted to thank all those who came out last night to support Ty and the Mac 8th grade
girls team. For those of you not pictured (Mike & Kathy), know that we knew you
were there cheering the girls on!

If you care to join the Mac cheer squad like these grand folks, let me know.
You can be on the list of those invited the next go around!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Cambodia: A Piece Of History

One of the most daunting I've done in my life is walk through the Tuol Sleng torture chamber
and the killing fields in Cambodia. The only other thing that compares would be Dachau
concentration camp in Munch, Germany. Both countries endured great loss at such a high
number. When you walk through these places, you can feel the darkness to them all,
the fear of those who never came out of these places, sometimes the smell leaks out of the
walls and grounds, and disturbingly enough...bones & clothing are still washing up under your 
feet at the killing fields in Cambodia as you walk the guided path.

If you don't have any background on the Khmer Rouge and have some time, we always suggest
the movie "The Killing Fields" and/or picking up some books to learn more. Below are
only a few photos and explanations to help you understand the mass genocide and what
those who survived, had to live through. I work with a woman who lost her newly wedded
husband (at the time) at the Tuol Sleng torture chamber, her family, and even her unborn
child due to the conditions she had to work through for many years. She SURVIVED. I just
stand in awe when she lets me in on that part of her history. I also stand in awe wondering,
how did she even make it out?

Here's your Friday history lesson...from our Cambodia travels to home,
take a peek at what the Cambodians had to endure:

Back in 1975, The Khmer Rouge took over Phnom Penh in order to implement a new way of life.
By doing so, Pol Pot and his regime killed all those who had an education, glasses, could speak a foreign language, or anybody who was or was connected with wealth or any sort of knowledge.
Those who were left were required to work 15-20 hours/day, typically with very few short
breaks...if any at all. They worked in some of the worst conditions we could all ever even think.
The meals, well, if you even want to consider it a meal...they received a tiny portion of a
few pieces of rice watered down in a small bowl. If you survived, again, I'm not sure how you
did it.

Prior to the Khmer Rouge, Tuol Sleng torture chamber had been a place for kids to gather each
day. It was comprised of several buildings such as the one above to make a primary & high school
for the kids in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Pol Pot and his terrible gang used TS to kill nearly
20,000 people...all by torture & interrogation.

Blood stains remain all over the walls and floors of each room from year after year of the torture.

Metal beds the Cambodian people were tied to as the Khmer Rouge tortured them
and watched some of them slowly die. I've decided to hold off on sharing
a photo we have of various ways they were tortured and bodies that lay dead
in these metal beds. It is quite disturbing to even think about, let alone see.

Barbwire was mainly placed throughout the buildings as the Khmer Rouge did not
want the Cambodian people to have a chance at committing suicide themselves.
They, of course, wanted them to suffer through their death...nothing quick about it.

They kept track of each and every individual that arrived to this awful place. Each person was
photographed, interrogated, and had to write down what they could about themselves
and their family. It was one of the only ways some people knew their family member (both 
women and men, old and young) had died after the Pol Pot Regime had fallen in the late 70s...
by this terrible torture chamber. Otherwise, there are still ads in the newspaper and along 
the streets for families who are still looking for a family member.


This area of the the building were where individuals were held in small spaces made of brick.
A bucket may or may not have been there for those to defecate in, most likely had no food,
and sat alone hearing those moans and groans from their neighbors. They were usually
tied to a metal pole and only few had ways to see the outside world.

Death after death...they suffered, were tortured, and eventually never made it out of this
Khmer Rouge hell.

Pol Pot himself, such a dark, awful man. Of all those who ruled during the Khmer Rouge,
only ONE...yes just ONE...confessed to being a part of this. And the other sad thing, 
Pol Pot died before he was charged of his convictions. The rest lived their lives until
the late 1990s before they were convicted. That's 20+ years since the time they killed off
1/4 of their population! 

Looking out of the building you can see to the bottom left, large pots and an arch made for torturing individuals by hanging them for some time and placing their heads in the water filled pots..and to the right, grave sites for those who were for the last bodies found here at Tuol Sleng...

It's a no wonder why some Cambodians fear becoming knowledgable or having more money
by means of working. The Cambodian people have come a long way in the 30+ years (which is so crazy to even think it was not long ago and that most of us had no idea what was happening on the inside of the border of that country), but there is so much more ruling to overcome in the future.


A way of remembrance for those who visit...leave a bracelet around the fenced areas where
many of the bodies were found.

Over time the grounds have shifted, but as you look throughout you can see the large holes
that were dug out to place body after body over the top of each other. This is how it
became known as the killing field. An unbelievable amount of people were brought here by
truck, dropped off thinking they may have a chance of survival, listened to loud music (although
it was used to drown out the screams and yells of death), and worked hour after hour, day after
day...that was if they even survived the working conditions. And trust those who survived,
you did not want to go to your knees to show any weakness nor did you talk back...or else you
would never make it.

They used this tree to bash baby's heads against it time after time to torture and
eventually kill the babies and children.

Please read the above sign in the photo to learn more.

Things that are being washed up over time after various downpours and storms...
clothes, means of torture, and of course....bones

This memorial now stands for all those lives that were lost in another place of hell.

They are still collecting the skulls as they wash up

In remembrance of all those who lost their lives during the terrible 
Khmer Rouge. We now know, understand the history, but will never understand
what you all went through individually.

So pick up a book, ask a Cambodian family of their struggle during this time,
and learn about what went on during this time.

♥The Stanleys