Back from Vacay

Wow, that was a whirlwind Memorial Day weekend! Seattle to NYC on the red eye Thursday night, met up with my sister Katie, and spent a day and a half soaking up the best of the city. Then, we boarded a Saturday afternoon train to Providence, Rhode Island to meet up with the rest of our family, before spending most of Sunday celebrating our little sister's Brown University graduation festivities. And finally, on Monday, family "road trip" to Boston in a rental car jam-packed with 4-years of Allie's college life in a stash of suitcases (in addition to our own luggage, of course). After a brief half-day stopover touring Boston, we headed home. Phew, I'm tired from just typing that.

Pictures of my trip to follow soon. Once I take a nap. A long one. Maybe two...

Graduation Bound

Guess where I'm headed tonight...
Yesiree, taking the red eye to New York City!! My littlest sister is graduating college, talk about feeling OLD! My other sister and I are meeting up in NYC for a day and a half before taking the train to Providence, Rhode Island to partake in the graduation festivities on Sunday, but not before a quick stop over in the city to do some quality shopping, eating, and sightseeing!

Any suggestions of places we MUST visit in our day and a half in NYC? And P.S., special shout out to Natalie of The SoHo for some great ideas of things to do!! This is one of the reasons why I blog, so many great recommendations from locals.

I'll report back on Tuesday about all of our adventures in NYC and beyond! Happy Memorial weekend my lovelies.



Tonight my mom and I went to see Mary Poppins at the Paramount in downtown Seattle. It was practically perfect in every way! As we were watching the musical production, memories of our lovingly worn Mary Poppins VHS came flooding back. I remember playing this movie many a time as a kid, singing along to A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim-Chim-Cher-ee, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and beyond. What fun!

We grabbed pumpkin curry at a local Thai Giner before walking over to the theatre, and enjoyed swaying along to our favorite tunes. Now instead of correcting papers and catching up on emails, I'm finding myself wanting to master the ability to pull ridiculously large items out of my handbag, fly through the air on an umbrella, and fly a kite up to the highest height!


I think "KAMPAI" is my favorite phrase for "Cheers!" This Japanese expression which translates to "Bottoms Up," or "Empty Cup," quickly became one of our favorite Japanese expressions to say while traveling throughout Japan. Especially when kampai-ing over good quality cold sake as in the picture below!
Now I need these cheers glasses, so I can have people over to toast in every language!

Book Club

Last night was book club, to discuss our latest read, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, the Pioneer Woman's memoir about her love story with her handsome cowboy. If you follow the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, you'll know a little bit about her story. A small town girl who sought out the glitz and glamor of the big city during college. After graduation, she returned to her Oklahoma roots for a brief stopover, when she met and fell in love with a rugged rancher in a bar, affectionately known as "Marlboro Man," throughout the book. Eventually she began blogging about life in the country, and with that, she became the Pioneer Woman!

We met at my friend Baillie's house for appetizers and wine, and discussed the Pioneer Woman. For the most part, we enjoyed the book, but Ree lays on the dreaminess of Marlboro Man a little thick...we're hoping there's a sequel eventually, while we were all satisfied with the long story, we were left wondering about the aftermath, and how this famous Pioneer Woman blog was born.

Maybe she'll explain on her new cooking show, coming this fall!


Weekend o' Birthdays

This weekend was packed with birthday festivities. Friday night, my fiance and I went out for one my best friend's boyfriend's birthday at his fave Capitol Hill bar, celebrating with pitchers of Blue Moon, games of shuffleboard, and good conversation.

Saturday we attended a "booze cruise" birthday bash for my friend Jessica's boyfriend. While the weather didn't cooperate, we still had a great time cruising Lake Union on a chartered boat, taking in the sights of Seattle by night, before heading to another bar to continue the festivities.

Which means, by the end of the weekend, I was wiped! A lazy Sunday was just what I needed!



Sorry I've been a little M.I.A. This has been an emotional week. Our staff just received news that a co-workers cancer returned, in a different, more aggressive form. She's beginning this grueling battle for the second time around. I am hoping and praying and channeling all of my positive energy to her right now.

On top of that, staffing is up in the air again for next year. Schools are burgeoning and shrinking simultaneously, which means others people are displaced or finding themselves without jobs according to their type of contract contract. Two of my teammates and friends are right now dealing with this "unknown" everyday, a place that was so familiar to me just a year ago. It's never fun, especially when you grow to develop such a love for a community and the kids, teachers, and parents within it.

Since my fiance has been traveling a lot for work, I'm often alone, with too much time to think about all of these things. I have been trying to focus on the positives, and limit my complaining. Who cares if I'm tired? I am healthy, I have a job, and I have a loving fiance I am marrying in 5 months! All of these realities are putting a lot of things in perspective for me, and making me truly appreciate all of the great, little things in this amazing life.


Last night I had a very detailed and vivid dream that Kate Middleton and I were BFF's. We went shopping together at stylish boutiques in London, she gave me fashion advice, I even went over to Kate & William's for dinner! It was the best dream!!

I didn't quite get the imaginative opportunity ot hash out the details of her royal status, I don't even think I registered she was a queen or princess in the dream, as there were no paparazzi tailing us anywhere...but regardless "dream Kate" was very genuine, down to earth, and super fun to hang out with!

And the funny thing is, I was literally just telling my fiance how I rarely have vivid dreams anymore, and lo and behind, I dream I'm Kate Middleton's BFF the same night! Awesome! The silly thing is, even though it was purely fiction, I feel like I know her now, and like her ever more! Haha.

Have you had any celebrity BFF dreams lately?

Restaurant #9 - Brave Horse Tavern

I visited Brave Horse Tavern on a Wednesday night, and liked it so much, I came back on Friday! Brave Horse is the latest restaurant in the Tom Douglas empire. If you're not familiar with the man, he's a Seattle restaurant guru of sorts. On his resume is another one of my fave Seattle eats - Serious Pie. In a nutshell, his restaurants are warm, inviting, and boast excellent food, and Brave Horse was no different.

Situated in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, the place was crawling with folks during the happy hour rush (it's right across from Amazon's new office). I met up with my dad for some brewskis and dinner. Dinner was decent, but the best part of our meal was the appetizer: chewy soft pretzels with dipping sauces. We sampled the pimento cheese, peanut butter bacon, and sour cream and crispy onion, and man, were they delicious!

Of all the restaurants that I've been to this year, this is probably my favorite thus far, not so much for the food, but for the casual ambiance. Darts, shuffleboard, communal tables, and a slough of beers, you really can't go wrong with that on a low key Friday night.

Restaurant rap sheet:
#9 - Brave Horse Tavern
#4 - Po Dog
#2 - Nishino
#1 - June

Cookbook Crush

The latest cookbook I'm coveting - The New Brooklyn Cookbook. Only the trendiest of trendy contributed to this bad boy. I checked this out from the library, and have been salivating over delectable dishes from Brooklyn's finest ever since. Now all I want to do is hop on a plane and eat my way through the borough!


Ode to Oatmeal

I despised oatmeal as a kid. As I try and grapple for memories of oatmeal at breakfast time, the words "ew," "gross," and "ick" come to mind. I wouldn't think about touching it with a 10-foot pole, let alone a spoon. I don't even think it was a routine ingredient in our household, since we three girls could barely tolerate soggy cereal, let alone mushy oats.

But somewhere in my adulthood, I've developed a fondness for oatmeal. Probably much due to the fact that it is one of the few breakfast items that keeps me satiated until lunch time. But ever since I've become a blogger, I've expanded my once narrow breakfast viewpoints via blog browsing to learn that, hey, maybe oatmeal isn't so bad after all... I've even learned many-a-way to spice up oatmeal, so it's anything but ordinary, boring, and plain.

First of all - it's the oats. Steel cut are my fave. They hold up their consistency during cooking, thus produce a chewier finished product that doesn't mimic the mush I once loathed. Upon preparation, the next essential step is toppings. I have discovered that toppings are crucial to making great oatmeal. First off, honey. No matter what combo you add, you need honey. After the honey has been drizzled in, here are a few of my fave combinations:
  • include; fresh strawberries + chocolate chips
  • coconut chips, chia seeds, and sliced banana
  • coconut chips, dried figs, and sneaky cinnamon peanut butter.
And of course, there's an entirely other variation I often turn to is overnight oats, jazzed up by a few select toppings and a splash of almond milk.

I can't take the credit for my recent "ode to oatmeal," I attribute it to many of the blogs I read that regularly post recipes for healthy eating. These reads are inspiring and have encouraged me to branch out beyond my boring old routine of cold cereal, in particular Kath Eats Real Food. If you haven't, go check her out, her meals pack a punch of healthy creativity.

If you dare, join me on the ode to oatmeal bandwagon!

Quote of the Week

"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

~ Nathanial Hawthorne


Feet First

I love this feet first series by Tom Robinson Travel Photography. What a unique perspective to photograph all the places in the world your feet have walked. Love how this couple captured their journey of world travels in a nutshell.

I don't think I've ever taken a "couple feet" picture before, but perhaps I'll start now. Do you take feet pictures in your travels?

Fairy Tales Are True

Coincidence much?

Sweet Summertime

I've been a total blog slacker this week. I always feel like I'm letting readers down when I take a day off posting, probably because I get texts from my fiance or mom like "why no blog today?!" I've been a busy little bee these past few days trying to get back up to speed after being sick most of last week.

Did you know there is only 1 month left of school?? My students are squirmy and wriggly, and eagerly awaiting their summer freedom - which means they've been incredibly focused all week...RIGHT... can you feel my sarcasm? As the school year is drawing to a close I'm trying to think about projects and goals for the summer.

Here goes...

What're you looking forward to this summer??


Mustache and a Lipstick Kiss

I bought these darling mr. and mrs. signs for the photo booth at our wedding reception, and they just arrived in the mail. Aren't they cute?! My favorite part is the mustache for him and kissy lips for her (that'd be me!). What do you think?

I'm so excited for the big day!!


Water for Elephants

Did I ever tell you I saw Water for Elephants? A few weeks ago, my girlfriends enjoyed the showing at The Big Picture, this cozy little theatre in Seattle that serves alcohol alongside the usual popcorn and candy. We arrived early, split a bottle of champagne, and sipped champagne before swooning over Edward, err...Robert Pattinson.

The book was decent, but honestly, not my fave. However, I'm happy to report the movie did stay pretty true to the novel, which is always refreshing as that is become quite a rarity. All in all, I mostly enjoyed Reese's glamorous wavy hair and bejeweled outfits, and of course Robert Pattinson is pretty easy on the eyes.


Knit Graffiti

Have you ever heard of knit graffiti? I hadn't until recently, and I think it's pretty cool. Definitely better than regular old vandalizing paint graffiti if you ask me. Have you seen any knit graffiti pop up in your city? Seattle seems to be absent of any to my knowledge, perhaps artists are afraid their art will get bogged down by the rain. Ho hum.
Now I need to learn to knit so I can contribute to this public art movement...


Salad Savvy: Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Fresh Corn, and Blueberries

I've had my eye on this recipe for a while now, but I always eat all the blueberries I buy at the store before I can get around to making it! So last night, I finally made the Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Fresh Corn, and Blueberries. It was a welcome twist on the traditional chicken salad, I definitely enjoyed the corn, feta, and blueberry additions. Perfect for a summer picnic, hoping I get the opportunity to make it again for friends!

Restaurant #8 - Local 360

Restaurant #8 on my challenge to experience new flavors in Seattle's culinary scene was Local 360. This Belltown restaurant has joined Seattle's local, sustainable movement and boasts a manifesto that all ingredients used are locally sourced within 360 miles of Seattle.

My friend and fellow blogger Carol had eaten here previously and had rave reviews, so it was definitely on my list of places to try.

I met here for happy hour with girlfriends, and we ordered the peanut butter bon bons to share. You really can't go wrong with deep fried peanut butter, right? Oh - and don't forget they come with a splash of fruity jelly and shot of whole milk! Overall the drinks were refreshing, the snacks were quality (albeit a tad on the greasy side for my taste), and I'd be interested in coming back here to sample the best the dinner menu has to offer.

My new restaurant rap sheet thus far...

Peaceful Music

Love this! A little touch of beautiful music to start the week.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Mom, you're the best!

R&R Weekend

I'm finally starting to feel better, thanks to a quick trip to the doctor on Thursday and a handful of antibiotics - phew! No Cinco de drinko for this girl. My Cinco de Mayo consisted of a Friday Night Lights and NCIS marathon. Awesome, right?

Unfortunately in two short days, quite a bit happened. I missed two meetings, one appointment, one workout class, and a kickball game during this brief bout of illness - oh yeah, and two days of school. Never fun for a teacher.

Anyway...heading into this weekend laying low, I really want to kick this bug to the curb. Looking forward to some quality time chilling with my fiance, maybe if we're feeling adventurous, maybe dinner and a movie? What are you up to this weekend?


I woke up yesterday morning feeling fine. Then halfway through the day, my nose started dripping like a faucet, and my body became so achy and tired, it was incredibly difficult to keep teaching. When I returned home and took my temperature, I had a 100.9 degree fever. Awesome. I'm camped out on the couch for a legitimate sick day, sipping orange juice, surrounded by kleenex, and feeling incredibly under the weather. Blah...

Last Great Book I Read

Wouldn't it be nice to click your red heels magically materialize in Paris a la Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Instead of rain, a full DVR, and papers to grade, it would be croissants, strolling along the Seine, and boutique hopping in the Marais...le sigh. Well, the next best thing I guess is - if you do the traveling to Paris in person, do it vicariously via Lunch in Paris.

This memoir is easy to read, enjoyable, and peppered with delectable recipes that help tell the story of a Frenchman and an Englishwoman's Parisian romance. I devoured this book, it was just what I needed to get a quick travel fix. If you've got any hint of wanderlust running through your veins, I recommend you do the same.


Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed

I just discovered some uber-delicious peanut butter. I discovered Flying Squirrel via one of my new fave food blogs, Kath Eats Real Food. I bought the flavors Sneaky Cinnamon (peanut butter with cinnamon, and raisins) and Spazzy Squirrel (peanut butter with nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, chocolate chunks), and have been chowing down on peanut butter slathered goodness ever since...

The peanut butter itself is pretty cheap ($4 a jar) and if you buy a few, it helps justify the hefty shipping fee ($10). But trust me, I am far from disappointed, these little jars of peanutty, cinnamony goodness have revitalized my morning breakfast routines!

Dinner Last Night: Garlic Steak with Horseradish and Portobellas

My fiance grilled up a sweet dinner for him and I last night. Courtesy of Bobby Flay's Grill It cookbook - garlic steak with horseradish, grilled portabella mushrooms with pesto and goat cheese, and my contribution, parmesan smashed potatoes.

And woohoo, was a good dinner it was!



This weekend, fiance and I attended a surprise 30th birthday party. It was our friend Jason's birthday - one of my fiance's closest friends and fellow groomsmen. His fiance had t-shirts made, and we all leapt out and yelled "surprise!" complete with party hats, noise makers, and the whole shebang. He was totally stunned!

We had a BBQ at our other friend's condo before heading to the Sounders Game to the club level - which is all you can eat food and beverages for the entire game. Talk about junk food indulgence, pretty sure I gobbled at least 2 of everything; hot dogs, pretzels, and ugh...does my stomach hate me now! All in all - a great little Saturday!

May Day

Just in time for May, it's a gorgeous sunny day in my fair city. Happy May Day everyone!