Tuesday, March 31, 2015

best things to do in Seattle

i've lived in Seattle since the Fall of 2003
and i can honestly say that it's felt like home for a very long time.

the best thing about a big city is you can never run out of things to do.
there is no end of new neighborhoods, restaurants, and festivals to visit.

this is a list of my top favorites things to do in Seattle.

i curated this list for our out of town wedding guests,
but i can't tell you how many times pre and post wedding 
i've forwarded these recommendations to friends, families and coworkers.

i would love to hear what your favorite places are that i've left off the list as well!

*indicates walking distance from downtown seattle

Great Wheel*
Space Needle
Kerry Park

Ride the Ducks

Underground Tour*

Seattle Art Museum*

Starbucks Roastery Reserve
Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum
Theo Chocolate Factory


Alki Beach
Kerry Park – best view of the city!
Sculpture Park*
Greenlake – great 2.7 mile walking trail

First Starbucks or Storyville for Coffee
Le Panier for Macarons
Beechers for Mac & Cheese
Gum Wall

University Village


Top Pot Doughnuts
Portage Bay
The Fat Hen
Wandering Goose
Toulouse Petit

Bakery Nouveau
Le Panier*

Seattle Coffee Works*

Trophy Cupcakes
Molly Moons Ice Cream
Hello Robin

Homegrown – sandwiches
Dick’s – Drive-In Burger Joint

Sushi – Umi* Japonessa* Wasabi Bistro*
Pizza – Serious Pie*, Delancy, Via Tribunali
Outdoor Seating – Westward, Little Water Cantina, Agua Verde
Local 360*
Staple & Fancy
Black Bottle*
Bravehorse Tavern
Any Tom Douglass or Ethan Stowell Restaurant*

Edgewater* – live music Friday and Saturday nights
Needle & Thread – make a reservation 1 week out

Monday, March 30, 2015

monday morning mashup

1. thank goodness for this list of plants that are easy to grow indoors!
2. inspiration to help wrap my mind around flared denim being back in style
3. assertiveness skills i need to master
5. obsessed with this lip scrub right now
7. the cutest pre-packaged party in a box
8. really been in the mood for some tie-dying lately!
9. tips for gorgeous skin from people who workout a lot

Friday, March 27, 2015

frozen coconut lime mocktail

i recently promised some of my pregnant friends
that i'd post a few mocktails for their enjoyment.
who says you can't have a great bevy like everyone else?!

this makes me nostalgic of hawaii...
of the shaved ice and the blended tropical cocktails.

recipe via smitten kitchen

yields 3-4 mocktails

2 1/2 cups crushed ice cubes
1 cup coconut milk, well shaken
1/3 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
3 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
lime slices for garnish

1. blend everything in a blender until it reaches desired consistency.
2. pour into glasses and garnish with lime
(resist the urge to eat it with a spoon!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

clementine cake

i love anything citrus.
citrus cocktails, citrus gummies, citrus desserts.
you get the picture :)

the great part about this cake is that you can
appease the chocolate lovers in your life as well!

recipe via Jerusalem

cake & syrup ingredients
3/4 cup, room temp
scant 2 cups of superfine sugar
4 large clementines, grated and juiced, separated
1 lemon, grated and juiced, separated
2 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal, divided
5 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
pinch of salt

chocolate glaze ingredients
5 oz dark chocolate pieces or chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons cognac (you can also use brandy, bourbon or rum)


1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees
butter the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan
and sprinkle with flour or line bottom with parchment paper.

2. place butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar and both zests 
in a stand mixer and beat on low to combine well. 
do not over mix.

3. add half of almond flour and continue mixing until combined

4. with the machine running, gradually add beaten eggs, 
stopping to scrape bottom and sides as you go.
add reminding almond flour, regular flour, salt and beat until completely smooth.

5. pour cake batter into pan and level with a spatula.
bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out a bit moist.

6. when cake is almost done, place remaining 1/3 cup sugar 
and citrus juices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil 
(juice should be roughly 1/2 cup)
when the syrup boils, reduce to a simmer for a couple minutes.

7. as soon as cake is done, brush it with the boiling syrup, 
making sure all the syrup soaks in. 
leave the cake to cool completely in pan. 
you can serve it from there OR continue with step 8 to create a chocolate glaze :)

8. place butter, chocolate and honey in a heat proof bowl 
and melt over saucepan or in the microwave. 
once melted, whisk everything together and fold in cognac/brandy/rum.
pour icing over the cooled cake.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

why i love pure barre!

those of you that know me know i've been obsessed with pure barre for some time.
and let's be honest - i love hearing about people's favorite workout routines 
and what is or isn't working for them.

i admit, barre isn't the perfect workout for everybody.
i have friends that think it's too slow,
maybe want or need more cardio,
or simply don't understand the concept of tucking your hips
and toning the smallest little muscles all over your body.

i'm ALL IN on pure barre.
and today i'm going to share WHY.

first of all, if you're not sure what the barre workout is click here to see a little preview.

1. the studios are clean, simple and convenient
there are barre studios all over seattle - udistrict, greenlake, queen anne, the eastside, 
and they have classes running 6am until 8pm most evenings. 
their facilities are nice, clean, simple and always have the friendliest community of women.

2. i book my workout online
not only can i book my workout online, you actually have to book it in advance. 
for me, this makes me get a workout on my calendar. 
let's be honest - it's hard to get to the gym. but when you have to book it in advance, 
and have a set time on your calendar, it's easier to plan for and make it happen. 

you can change your classes around as frequently as you want, 
as long as you don't cancel within 4 hours of class time. 
if you do - there is a late cancel charge of $15. how's that for motivation? 
any time i'm feeling super lazy or tired last minute, 
all i can think about is how i have to PAY money to not show up. 
best motivation, people!

3. the classes are full of women
we've all been to the gym where their are stinky old men, 
women that look like men, people grunting and dripping sweat everywhere, 
not to mention the creepers who won't stop staring at you!

i LOVE that barre is created for woman, taught by women, 
and the classes are full of women. sure - there is an occasional boy or two, 
but for the 2+ years i've been going, i've probably seen less than 10 guys total. 

4. i don't get super sweaty
i'm pretty lazy when it comes to showering and washing my hair.
and working out is hard if you also have to factor in all of that after your workout.
truth be told - i love that i don't get SUPER sweaty. 
sure - i get warm, and sometimes my face is 'glistening', but i'm never dripping sweat. 
for me, this means i can get home, rinse off quickly, 
use some dry shampoo and meet friends for drinks. 
this has really been a deal maker in terms of fitting a workout into my daily routine!

5. i get an amazing workout
(this should probably be listed as the first reason i love barre!)
in my opinion, this is the most amazing full body workout around. i really feel that way.
there are parts of my body that have never felt so strong in my entire life.
my body has literally changed shape before my eyes in just weeks of taking classes.

6. the longer you go the harder it gets
this is one of the only workouts that gets harder the more you attend.
any other workout regimen i've gotten into has usually become easier with time...
if i run greenlake 3 times a week, i can start to do it without losing my breath. 
it doesn't mean these other methods aren't good workouts, 
but what i love about barre is that even when i'm going 4 times per week, 
i show up and get my butt kicked every single time!

7. time flies
am i the only one that judges workout classes by how good the playlist is?
pure barre has this magical way of turning up some good music, 
distracting you with a good beat, and suddenly you're half-way through class without even noticing.

8. i'm convinced it's boosted my resting metabolism
as i've built more and more muscle in my body through barre,
i'm convinced that my body is burning more calories even when i'm sitting doing nothing.

9. the instructors
not only are the instructors all super nice, 
make you feel awesome about your workout, and push you to the max, 
but they also all have rocking bods! 
they are all healthy, strong, beautiful women inside and out.

10. it's an investment
i'll admit - barre isn't cheap. 
you can buy monthly unlimited packages, or punch cards, 
but bottom line is that it's an investment in your body and your health. 
every time i find myself skimping on the things that make me the healthiest in life
 i think about the ROI on the spend. (yes, i was a business major!)
let me just say this: investing in your health is worth every penny,
especially if you find a workout that you love!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

kale salad you will love!

what's the deal with kale?
you either love it or you hate it.

my theory is that anyone who falls into that second category 
and doesn't love kale yet just hasn't tried the right recipes. 
that's where i come in :)

i've got some great kale salad recipes i've been making
that have even turned B (a non-kale lover) into a convert! 

let me start with one basic prep instruction:

at the beginning of the week i like to prep my kale.

i do this by trimming the leaves from the stock in the middle 
and either tearing or chopping the leaves into salad size pieces.

then, i wash and thoroughly dry the kale and place in a large bowl.

from here i generously drizzle with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice 
(enough to coat all the leaves)

i leave this bowl in my fridge and find that not only does the kale get softer and less bitter, 
but it can last me an entire week just like this.

SO, 99% of all my kale salad recipes start with kale that has been prepped 
and marinating in an olive oil/lemon bath for a day or two :)

NOW, on to this specific recipe

1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup panko or breadcrumbs
1 garlic close, minced
coarse salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated or ground
juice from half a lemon
fresh ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes


1. heat oven to 350 degrees. 
toast walnuts on baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. 
let cool and coarsely chop.

2. in small saucepan over low heat, simmer white wine vinegar, 
water and raisins for 5 minutes until plump and soft. set aside in liquid.

3. toast breadcrumbs, garlic and 2 teaspoons olive oil in a skillet 
with a pinch of salt until golden. set aside.

4. trim stems off kale and remove ribs (if not already done).
stack sections of the leaves and roll them into a tube, 
then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.

5. put kale in large bowl.
add pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar in the dish),
and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice.
toss until kale ribbons are coated.
adjust seasonings to taste with salt, pepper and leftover vinegar.
let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

6. just prior to serving, toss with breadcrumbs.

this sandwich is a croque monsier :)

also, for more kale recipes click here and here!

Monday, March 23, 2015

monday morning mashup

image via

1. dying to make these sweet cookies that remind me of my childhood.
2. a DIY mimosa caddy you probably need for brunch next weekend.
3. can't stop listening to this pandora station.
4. inspiration i used planning my wedding. (video is coming this week!)
5. products on the market that are really making a difference in the world.
6. the sweetest little plant project i must complete before easter!
7. in love with this girly apartment decor.
8. great ways to spice up your avocado toast routine.
9. obsessed with bright fruit prints and want one in every corner of the house!
10. how to: stay calm in the workplace.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

engagement photos

okay, i realized B and i got engaged LAST SUMMER,
and that i'll be sharing my wedding photos next week, 
but i thought - hey - it's better late than never! :)

we had the privilege of having ryan flynn spend the afternoon 
with us at discovery park this past fall. it was such a fun day!


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