Laundry Chic

My laundry room could look a lot classier if I used this approach. Tall glass jars with chalkboard tags, and enamel handled simple and yet so lovely.
Somehow my spout-pour Target brand liquid detergent in an oversized plastic container doesn't have the same aesthetic appeal. Curious...


Wedding Countdown Begun!

Ladies and gents, we are just under the 3-month mark on our wedding countdown!! Less than 90 days, eek!!! I can't believe it will be here so fast, where has the time gone?! I've been making major to-do lists for days as my head is swirling with wedding this and wedding that.

Thankfully all of the big things (flowers, dress, food, rehearsal dinner, etc.) have fallen into place, but now it's time to give my attention to all those little details. And if you know me, I'm all about the little details.

Any advice from you veteran brides out there before we enter the "home stretch" of wedding planning?


Green Fruit Salad

Have you fruit salad before using only one color? No? Me neither... But I like the idea! While flipping through this month's Living magazine, I saw her recipe for a green fruit salad. Literally green, as in green fruit only! No pop of pink or blue, simply a concoction of green fruits - genius!

Usually when I make fruit salad, I toss in whatever fruit I have on hand; typically apples, bananas, a seasonal berry and it always tastes good, but I'm enjoying this monochromatic green-only salad, what great way to mix it up.

For this particular salad, just brainstorm your fave green fruits; green apple, green grapes, honeydew, kiwi, a dash of honey and lemon thyme. And, if you're feeling extra ambitious, toss in mint, pistachios, and avocado for an extra burst of green.

image 1/rosetaffy
image 2/kathypatalsky

Restaurant #12 - Ravish

Just about halfway through my restaurant challenge, dining at 25 new Seattle restaurants in 2011! My 12th stop, a few weeks ago was Ravish, the newbie restaurant born from the popular catering company Ravishing Radish. One of my besties Jody and I headed here on a low key Saturday evening to catch up, eat good food, and drink good wine. It was the perfect place! The decor was darling; soft grey walls, mismatched spring green tables and chairs, bud vases, and glassybaby votives. Even the bathroom was stylish and chic, with white subway tiles and silver furnishings.

We split a smattering of small plates; seasonal roasted vegetables, the soup du jour, organic pigs in a blanket, everything was delicious!

Restaurant List
#12 - Ravish
#11 - Luc
#4 - Po Dog
#2 - Nishino
#1 - June


Snacking Last Night: Ricotta Zucchini Fritters

I had some leftover zucchini from a summer vegetable pasta I made a few days ago, and decided to try something new, ricotta zucchini fritters. Who knew zucchini was so easy to grate? They turned out quite well, although I would've loved a great dipping sauce or aioli. Any ideas of what would pair best with zucchini fritters?

Chalkboard Pots

Now this is a summer project I can handle...DIY chalkboard pots. I think the chalkboard would add a welcome *pizazz* to my herb garden, what do you think?
After cruising chalkboard images, I'm officially inspired! Now all I need is chalkboard paint!


Sorry I've been a lazy blogger. I feel like this right about now...EXHAUSTED.
Summer school is wearing me down and I can't help but count the days. I'm looking forward to a girls weekend in Portland and a fun summer concert will help me recharge.


Aren't these blackbird soaps the cutest?
Whenever I'm in a new restroom, I usually scope out soaps and such on display while I'm washing my hands, just to see if there are any sweet smelling products worth buying myself.

These darling little blackbirds caught my eye as I thought, wouldn't these look so sweet perched on my soap dish. Plus they're natural and locally sourced, and the coolest part... there is a white ceramic bird hiding inside. What a keepsake!

Wedding Games

I saw this picture on pinterest and immediately smiled. How perfect, a wedding version of my fiance's favorite game! Cornhole (the game pictured above) is basically a game of beanbag toss, the object being to land the beanbag on the board for a point, or in the hole for 2. This is a popular game played during football tailgates, backyard BBQs, and such, especially in the Midwest, where my sweetie went to college.

The funny thing is, I can totally picture him playing this with his buddies the day of the wedding while my girls and I get all gussied up. I'll keep you posted if this actually happens...

Dinner Last Night: Corn Chowder with Bacon

Do you ever crave soup?
I'm a soup hound, I love soup. Chunky, creamy, thick, or thin, it doesn't even have to be the coldest day of the year, you can count on me to always have an appetite for soup. Yesterday was a soup kind of day.

I just received my latest Cooking Light magazine in the mail and was flipping through it while casually watching Friday Night Lights when this recipe caught my eye and caused my stomach to rumble with gustatory excitement - corn chowder with bacon and shrimp. Since I've never been a fan of shrimp, I mentally scratched out that ingredient and began to peruse my cupboard in search of the necessary ingredients.

The soup was fairly easy and quick to make, and we devoured it. Literally, zero leftover for lunch tomorrow. Too bad so sad. I guess that's the sign of a good meal though, right?

Trial Run

Today is a big day. It's my wedding hair and makeup trial run, followed by our engagement photo shoot! I've been scouring through photos and magazines trying to come up with the perfect hairdo, and photo shoot outfits for weeks now. Now I just hope it all comes together as planned!

Cross your fingers and pray for no rain!

Angry Birds

News flash: angry birds is now a board game! I think I might enjoy playing this game more in person than on an app. I can see a kid having a little too much fun with that slingshot...


I can hardly believe it? Harry Potter 7 - the last chapter...the can it be here already? Honestly, I'm a bit sad. I don't know how I'm going to feel when it's all over. I've been a faithful reader of the series and watcher of the movies, and even though I know how the story will end, it's a bit surreal.

I'm seeing the movie this weekend with my friend Ashley who has been my Harry Potter partner in crime. Despite our busy schedules, we've managed to see ALL the movies together in the theatre! Usually our friend Erin is the third member of our HP trio, but she's on vacation, so once she returns we'll definitely have much to discuss.

Are you going to see the finale this weekend?

Spain: On the Road Again

To curb my travel nostalgia and inspired me to save for my international endeavor, I've been watching Spain: On the Road Again, featuring Mario Batali & Gwyneth Paltrow. These two famous faces teamed up with food critic Mark Bittman and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols for a culinary road trip through the best of Spain.

I am so envious of their adventures; drinking wine and touring the vineyards of Rioja, spa treatments in luxurious hotels, sailing the Galician coast, but what fun to watch! If this sounds right up your alley, I was able to check out the DVD from my local library, but there is also an accompanying book archiving their travels and the recipes made and enjoyed along the way.

From a critic's standpoint, truth be told their travels can get a bit boring at times. Especially since it's very casual and mostly a film crew capturing their random conversations amid traveling escapades. And personally, I thought Gwyneth and Mario were much more entertaining and interesting than their travel companions (I actually fast-forwarded a lot of the parts featuring just the other two) but either way, it's worth a glimpse as you get some gorgeous images and travel insights! Especially if you have Spain in your near future like some of my good friends!


Ethiopian Cooking Class

This has been my week of cooking classes! Last Thursday I took an Indian cooking class and ate wonderful curries and such, and Monday night, my friend and I ventured to an Ethiopian cooking class in Pike Place Market.

This particular class was vegetarian class, and together we made shiro wot, timatim selata, gomen, yatakilt wot, misser wot, all served with fresh injera. The best part of the class in my humble opinion was that the instructor's family was from Ethiopia. As such, he had many personal stories and anecdotes to share that accompanied the food and truly brought it to life.

I forgot my camera but took a few photos on my iphone, so please excuse the sub-par quality.
The final product...
This was a very flavorful, hearty meal, with a kick of spice.


Restaurant #11 - Luc

Luc is the French-American little sister of Seattle's premiere French restaurant Rover's, home to the famous by the "chef in the hat," Thierry Rautureau. Luc is a warm, cozy little haunt in Madison Park, one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods. I came here one weeknight with my friend and former colleague Moira to have some good food + wine, and catch up on each others lives.

We split the scallops for an appetizer, and I ordered the boeuf bourguignon as my entree. While it wasn't quite Julia Child's, is was rich and utterly scrumptious. We ended the meal splitting the rhubarb clafoutis (a creamy rhubarb custard). I left perfectly stuffed! All in all - a great little place to eat, I'll definitely dine here again!

Restaurant Rap Sheet

#11 - Luc
#4 - Po Dog
#2 - Nishino
#1 - June

Travel Nostalgia

A year ago today, I was flying en route to Japan for my two-week tour of the country. It was a peek into a fascinating culture, and a trip full of amazing experiences and fond memories.

I can't help but feel a little sad and nostalgic today, when instead of bursting with excitement for my impending travels abroad, I'm having a very ordinary, run of the mill day teaching summer school. Ho hum. I find that my memories of my Japan trip are heightened and becoming clearer the 1-year mark abounds. I'm remembering the metallic smell of the subway, the hidden sushi place we discovered on our first night in Tokyo, being mesmerized by the neon lights of the city, and the peculiar cartoon character statues outside of our hostel. Great memories that only make me wish I could go

I love the excitement of planning of a trip or vacation, and watching the calendar as the days slip away and that trip draws near. Having an excursion to look forward to is such a motivator for me. The thrill of exploring somewhere new or even exploring somewhere familiar again is so captivating that I can't help but feel a little sad I'm not going anywhere new this summer.

I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Do you get travel nostalgia?

Dinner Last Night: Orgasmic Mac and Cheese

Last night was a beautiful balmy evening in Seattle. It was a BBQ having, lemonade sipping, marshmallow roasting kind of evening...and yet what did I have a craving to make for dinner? Mac 'n Cheese! The best cold weather comfort food there is. Go figure.

Anyway, my craving won out, and on this warm day instead of sipping slushies like normal people, I stood over bubbling hot pots and pans and a toasty oven and baked this, orgasmic mac and cheese. Crunchy, cheesy, truffly...delicious. I stand by my decision. It was THAT good!
image/what we're eating

Do you HGTV?

Do you HGTV? Until recently, I had never before seen anything HGTV. But when a friend got me into House Hunters International, I officially became hooked. My next HGTV endeavor has been Cash and Cari. Ever seen it?
Here's the scoop: Cari Cucksey is a self proclaimed "treasuer broker," who digs through basements, attics, and garages for hidden finds that are revamped and resold at estate sales. While a lot of the finds are not my style, this show has attracted my attention because of the way Cari and company revitalize furniture and such to give them a new purpose and new life.

Now I feel *inspired* to hit up my local goodwill and "repurpose" some furniture of my own. Stay tuned...


Giant Jenga

How cool is this!? Apparently there is a giant jenga set in my fair city, and I had no idea! This particular jenga set was played in the up and coming Seattle neighborhood, Georgetown, at their Georgetown carnival. I can't get over how fun this looks! I want to play next!

(photos via not martha)

Shortcut to Nirvana

Last night my friend and I took an Indian cooking class, with the clever name "Shortcut to Nirvana." I've always enjoyed Indian food, the bright colors, exotic spices, and of course, the sweet, sour, salty, and sweet blends of flavors.

Here's what we made last night; veggie samosas; papadums with mango chutney, raita, and chile-cilantro sauce; saag paneer; spicy fish curry; chicken tikka masala; and mango lassis to drink. Everything was sooo good!

The best part, unlike other cooking classes I've taken, most of these recipes used dry ingredients, so I'm *hoping* I'll be able to remake most at home. Anyone feel like an Indian dinner party ??

Letterpress App

I just spotted this over at Design Mom, a letterpress app for ipad (yet another reason why I'd love to own an ipad!). I'm a huge fan of letterpress, every few months I scour etsy looking for great letterpress cards to stock up on, in addition to the fact that our wedding invitations are letterpress too!

I find that I am constantly amazed at technology, and how these amazing crafts can be harnessed and turned into online applications for the novice eager to DIY! An intro to the art of letterpress for the beginner like myself (without the costly expense of the press) = very cool!

images via lettermpress

Dinner Last Night: Peach, Prosciutto, and Goat Cheese Pizza

Dinner last night was a delightful summer treat - peach, prosciutto, and goat cheese pizza. In a word - delicious! I've never been a huge fan of peaches raw, mostly because the idea of biting into peach fuzz makes my skin crawl, but when cooked, the juicy sweet peach flavor really packs a punch, and this recipe is no exception!

image via keepitskinny

Beach Day

Weekend recap: Saturday was a gorgeous day in the neighborhood. Up until Saturday, the weather here in Seattle had been ho hum. It's been mostly overcast and a bit chilly, which normally isn't so bad... except when it's supposed to be SUMMER, and we know sunshine does bring lifted spirits!

But Saturday was AMAZING! It was 75-80 degrees, endless blue sky, and uninterrupted sunshine. Utter and total gloriousness! Since the weather was so generous, we decided to make the best of it. 10 friends, fiance, and I headed to the beach where we indulged in a lazy afternoon of magazine reading, cocktail sipping, cornhole playing, and just plain bathing in the sun. It was perfection!

After the sun started to lower in the sky, and the persnickety barbecue didn't want to stay lit due to the increasing wind, we decided to move our beach camp to our house since. It proved to be the perfect destination as we have a functioning grill and live just a short distance from the beach. Fiance and I headed home first in a vain attempt to "clean" house before everyone descended; bring all sorts of grilled goodness; roasted peppers, portabella mushrooms, lamb burgers, corn on the cob, all in all we had ourselves a little grill feast and had a time!

image/Katie Neal Photo / Stylists and Design: Sweet Emilia Jane & Sitting in a Tree

4th of July Weekend

Happy 4th of July weekend!
What are you up to? We actually don't even have any plans for the 4th...but I'm sure we can round up a few friends to barebque, play games, and watch the fireworks. Everyone's game for the 4th, right?

Other than that, our weekend is pretty packed full of activities; wedding band shopping, Sunday brunch with family, hiking, dining out, and of course, getting ready to teach summer school which starts on Tuesday...

Have a great one!