Hotcake Hot Spot

Inspired by Seattle Metropolitan magazine's latest issue, "Hot Breakfast Spots," my Mom and I popped into Geraldine's Counter, to taste out this recommendation ourselves. This Columbia City neighborhood favorite features diner style decor, and breakfast and lunch cuisine without the grease you'd expect from comfort food. Breakfasts are garnished with thick slices of homemade sourdough toast, and a warm, friendly disposition from the wait staff. I can personally vouch for the avocado and pepperjack omelet, which was delicious!

Also a fun fact newcomers may not know: patrons who pay with cash receive "Geraldine dollars." This Monopoly-esque money is awarded $1 for every $ spent in tax on your meal. These dollars can be saved and cashed in for future dining endeavors at Geraldine's Counter. Frequent this new hot-spot enough, you might be able to swing a free meal! images/SeattleMetropolitan/Geraldine'sCounter

Dream Closet

I love, love, love Sex and the City. With the new movie trailer now debuting in theaters, and the Sex and the City movie only a few short months away, I cannot contain my excitement! InStyle magazine online is showing a few snapshots of the gals on the set, and a preview to the gorgeous new wardrobe our favorite Manhattan-ites will be sporting. Who can help but love the inventive style of Carrie Bradshaw and her glamorous girlfriends? For other movie news, check out the SATC movie blog, for a sneak peek and style secrets.

Apples to Apples

My friend Lindsay gave me this adorable Coach apple key ring for my birthday. Bright, shiny, and red, it is the perfect substitute to the real apples children supposedly leave on their teacher's desk (I have been in education 3 years and have yet to receive a single Red Delicious). But I'll gladly settle for a crisp new key chain... image/ebay

Fashionable Baby

I went out to breakfast with my Mom yesterday, and in the next booth over was a darling baby boy, about 6-months old with bright blue eyes, completely bald, appropriately wearing this. I went home and googled the shirt, and came to discover that there are hundreds of websites catered to parents who want to keep their infants fashionable. Here are a few funny finds for the parent with a sense of humor.

Letter Perfect

Always in search of creative stationary, I discovered Black Apple, whimsical stationary appealing for its simple use of color and hand drawn details. Perfect for that rainy day letter for a friend far away.imageBlack Apple

Mac & Cheese

I have a weakness for comfort food. Hearty, fattening, but oh-so-delicious foods we hate to crave, but can't help but devour. I am a sucker for French fries, mashed potatoes, rocky road ice cream, apple pie...but especially great mac and cheese. And while no one can beat my Mom's homemade recipe, Beecher's "World's Best" Mac and Cheese is pretty extraordinary. Available at Beecher's Handmade Cheese store in Pike Place Market, mail order via website, and sold in Pasta and Co. stores, this mac and cheese is absolute heaven! In fact this mac and cheese is so famous, it has even been featured on the Today Show, and next, The Martha Stewart Show this coming Tuesday, January 29th. Beecher's own Kurt Dammeier will join Martha in the kitchen to whip up a batch of "World's Best" Mac & Cheese.

If you haven't had a taste, I would highly recommend it, you won't be disappointed!

images Beecher's Handmade Cheese

Gates of Paradise

Getting excited for the new exhibit opening at the Seattle Art Museum this weekend (January 26th - April 6, 2008). On loan from the Duomo Baptistry (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo) in Florence, Italy, are three panels from the famed Gates of Paradise. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing these gilded bronze reliefs in person, definitely go! The intricate use of depth and perspective are visually stunning. On exhibit at the SAM are three of the ten panels, by artist Lorenzo Ghiberti. Together these panels become what Michelangelo dubbed the "Gates of Paradise," perhaps the most influential work in Italian Renaissance art.Even if you don't consider yourself an art buff, know this: this is the first exhibition in the United States for these panels, which are 550+ years old! Having been exposed to the elements for such a long period of time, they recently underwent an extensive restoration, and are now being exhibited in four US cities, including Seattle. When the tour is up, they will return to Florence indefinitely. So...don't miss this opportunity!images Wikipedia

Je t'aime Paris

I stumbled upon this online Marie Claire article, "5 Reasons Why Paris is the Sexiest City in the World." Written by notable blogger Joanne Goddard, her 5 top reasons, and reflections on the City of Light might just inspire you to hop that next plane to the romantic mecca...fabulous, enchanting Paris.

* Reason #1: How to Sleep in a Parisian's Bed.
* Reason #2: Kissing in Paris
* Reason #3: Swoon-Worthy French Songs
* Reason #4: French Women
* Reason #5: People Watching in Paris

photograph (c) Eugene Wei


My aunt happens to be next-door-neighbors with the founder of glassybaby. These glass candle votives are hand blown from different shaded color rods to create a mix of opaque, translucent, and deeply colored glasses. When lit they produce a warm, inviting glow. There are 53 rich colors to choose from, to compliment your room of choice. My aunt prefers the loud reds, yellows, and vibrant greens, while my Mom is a fan of the pastel collection. Either way, they are a beautiful way to lighten up a room.

At the Moment

I'm reading: All The Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
I'm listening: Sundowner
I'm surfing: National Geographic Traveler photo contest
I'm watching: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
I'm loving: Paper + Cup

New Favorite Quote

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
~Jack Kerouac

Quintessential Seattle

I recently discovered Seattle-Daily-Photo blog, and it's worth a look. Everyday a new photo in posted that captures people, places, and things in and around Seattle. These photographs are interesting and unique, varying from nighttime cityscapes, artistic buildings and walkways, to everyday moments of Seattle-ites in action.

Because Seattle-Daily-Photo blog does not allow re-posting any of its pictures, I've listed a few links to my favorite photos from the bunch.

- How Magnolia Got Its Name
- Post Alley Gum Wall
- Artistic Wall
- My Favorite Part of Christmas
- Lamplit and Sparkly

Small Plates

My friend Carla and I celebrated selected new Seattle hot-spot Lark as the location for our birthday dinner. This cozy, neighborhood haunt is run by chef John Sundstrom and features an array of ever changing, delectable small plates - echoing the tradition of tapas but substituting French cuisine. The night was absolute perfection, twelve friends sampling a smattering of plates, laughing, drinking wine, and soaking up the flavor. Just to wet your palate, here are a few samples from our dining experience.

- Ricotta gnudi with roasted squash, pinenuts, currants and brown butter
- Mussels with bacon, apple cider, thyme and cream
- Spanish mackerel with Bomba rice, kale, chorizo and Marcona almond
- Venison chop with baby beets, marble potatoes, red cabbage and rye salt
- Valrhona chocolate cake with almond croquant and coffee ice cream

images and menu (c) Lark, Seattle WA

Calling All Readers

A friend invited me to join Goodreads, a website for sharing with friends the good (and not so good) books you have read. I liken it to Myspace, in that you add your own reads to a bookshelf, rating each book on a 1-5 star scale, with room to leave comments if desired. After you have created your own shelf, you invite friends to join. Once they have created shelves, you can search through and find recommendations for future reads from people whose taste you trust!
image (c) bookpublishing

Sally Mann

If you've ever heard of photographer Sally Mann, you probably either love her or hate her. Critically both hailed and condemned, Mann is perhaps most famous for her 1992 book Immediate Family, a portfolio of photographs of her three young children playing (often nude) amidst the wilderness backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia. Despite all her criticism, I've always thought that her photographs have incredible presence and depth.

Here are some of my favorites.

Candy Cigarette
Night Blooming Cereus, 1988
Gorjus, 1989

images (c)

The Travel Book

For Christmas, Katie bought me an amazing travel book, appropriately titled The Travel Book by Lonely Planet. Perhaps as a way to curb my obsession with reading travel guidebooks, I received the ultimate all-inclusive guide to the world. This book covers every single country in the world, even the small obscure islands I never even knew existed. Anyone heard of Comoros & Mayotte? or Réunion? Each country page details the best time to visit, essential experiences, trademarks, and surprises, in addition to vivid photographs of the architecture, the landscape, the people....Plus it doubles as an excellent coffee table book.

Madame X

I went and saw the new movie Charlie Wilson's War this past weekend. A film Variety reviewed as being "that rare Hollywood commodity these days: a smart, sophisticated entertainment for grownups." I wholeheartedly agree. Charlie Wilson's War presented a comfortable balance of history and humor, marked by savvy characters who never fail to deliver a punchline, even if it be at the expense of the American government.

Great performances by Tom Hanks (has he ever done a bad movie?) and Julia Roberts, who charms the camera with a sugar coated Texas drawl. Also entertaining are the four girls who play Wilson's slim, attractive, and busty secretaries, who float in and out of his office like a well oiled machine. And to reinforce his reputation, Hanks' character - a notorious womanizer - affectionately refers to his gaggle of girls as "jailbait."

Something I observed during the film (being the art history nerd I am) was a painting hanging in character Joanne Herring's home. Julia Roberts plays Herring, a Texas socialite and wealthy financier ofpolitical campaigns, including Charlie Wilson's. The painting was a replica of John Singer Sargent's Madame X, identical to the original, with the exception of Julia Robert's profile superimposed upon that of Madame X. I found this amusing, because when this painting debuted, Madame X became somewhat of a scandal in French society. People considered her waist cinching gown and unique pose sexually suggestive, which was only heightened by the contrast of her extremely pale, exposed skin. Sargent was somewhat ostracized in Paris for this painting that people considered inappropriate and arousing, and he even left France for a significant period of time after it was so poorly received.

This was a clever insertion by director Mike Nichols, as character Joanne Herring, embodies a similar sexually suggestive, brazen try-and-stop-me attitude throughout the film, much to the chagrin of political persons who don't support her crusade.

I would definitely recommend this film. And don't forget to lookout for Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) posing as the scandalous Madame X, for a little dose of art history.

what life holds for me in 2008

I've never been a big New Years resolution girl, but for some reason this feels like the year to air out my spontaneous, be open to new opportunities, and indulge myself in some unforgettable adventures!
Goals for 2008
1. take a trip to Europe
2. land a teaching contract
3. take the time to cook (in lieu of takeout)
4. run a half marathon
5. have my grandma teach me how to make her famous apple pie
6. celebrate the little things

Cheers to a new year!

image (c)