Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks. by violet

Sometimes life gives you exactly what you need. Last week was tough a week. And when anything goes horribly wrong, I want to run home to mom and have her take care of me, making everything OK again. Luckily, I was headed there for Thanksgiving where I knew my family would surround me.

There was a moment after turkey dinner when the party was at its height, I was chatting with my mom, my aunt and my step-mom over tea at the dinning room table. The rest of the group was in the living room watching the show that my niece, Chloe, was putting on. And just this warm feeling started to spread and I couldn’t help but smile to myself. While it’s not exactly Norman Rockwell, it is my family.

And I should say that Chloe did put on a show pretty much all weekend. When she wasn’t changing her outfits, she was dancing with her elbows high or trying to pet the cats (gently) or frosting cookies while eating all the sprinkles. She was also obsessed with my boots which came up to her hips.

One of her many outfits for the weekend.  In case you are keeping score at home it is jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a skirt, a dress, gloves, a hat and beads.

My boots

Soccer with Uncle Mike

Checking out the Polariods to help Chloe remember every one.  

In the end it was exactly what I needed. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

what to say. by orange

Life is full of complications, tough situations, messy relationships and tricky family stuff.  I always knew this but have been noticing that these trying times seem to be more and more present the older I become.  Is that part of being an adult; part of growing up?  Maybe that is the case, now that we are out of the "college bubble."  I'm hoping it's just a case of "when it rains, it pours."

It is always tough to see or hear a friend going through something difficult.  You may have been in a similar situation in the past that you can make reference to.  However, what made you feel better in the past (if anything) may not be the exact recipe to calm that another person needs.  If only there were a book of the "right things to say" for a variety of situations.  If that existed, that would be first on my Christmas wish list this year. 

I wish my words could convey the following:

As I was searching for the above video I came across the following which definitely makes me smile quick.

Hugh Grant dancing in Love Actually to "Jump"

Friday, November 27, 2009

i see red and green. by orange

As my friends can attest to - I love the holidays.  I love holiday music, ugly sweater parties, holiday lights, christmas trees, gift giving and holiday decorations.  And this weekend is the weekend - where it all starts!!  I get to lug out my box of holiday cheer from our closet and start decorating the house.  Even more exciting - we might be investing in a real christmas tree this year.  With two dogs and one of them loving to chew just about anything, we've aired on the safe side in previous years with no tree.  We don't have an exact plan on how to keep the schnood away from the tree, but we plan on figuring it out this year.

Even though I already own two boxes full of holiday decorations I love to see what is out there in some of my favorite stores.  Compiled below are the items that caught my eye from Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Pier 1 Imports and Target. 

What is your favorite thing about getting ready for the holidays?



Pottery Barn:
  • Twig Reindeer
  • Advent Calendar
  • Twig Star
  • Outdoor Wreath
  • Ornament Tree
  • Cranberry Vase/Candle Filler
  • Star Plates

Pier 1
  • Cheer Pillow
  • Ornament Stocking Holders
  • Red Ornament Garland

  • Snowflake Hurricane/Candle Holder
  • Berry Candle
  • Striped Door Mat

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Loving Memory. by violet

I have lost a dear and true friend. I met Hannah in the fall of 2000. I had just packed up my life of 18 years to move into an 8x10 cinder block room a 1,000 miles away from home.

Sharing that small of a space with a person, you really get to know them. And Hannah was awesome. She had this goofy sense of humor and didn’t take herself too seriously. She laughed easily. Once, we took squirt guns up to the 4th floor attacked the boys upstairs.

She forgave easily – I locked her out of our room while she was showering down the hall (twice). And she just laughed relaying the story to me about how she had to go to the dorm office in her bathrobe.

And while nothing is like living together in a tiny dorm room we stayed close over the years. We might not have seen each other all the time but I discovered that Hannah and I had that rare gift in friendship that would allow months to pass between our meetings but when we did get together it was just like being back in Watson Hall.

When I found out she was sick, I panicked. Not Hannah. She was a healthy, happy, beautiful person. Surely the world wouldn’t do that to her. But in true Hannah fashion she battled back with the faith, humor and positive outlook that only she could have. Most the time when I talked to her, she was putting my mind at ease.

As she began to get better, I took for granted the fact that she would be around. I thought there would be more time. I thought there would be bridesmaid’s dresses, home ownership, babies and more life to share.

I will always be grateful to have known Hannah. My life is truly better for having been her friend. I will carry her in my heart forever.

i carry your heart with me
By ee cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

listen to the music. by orange

This weekend was filled with music - and suprisingly not all holiday music (as my friends can atest to...i am Big into holiday tunes).  I will say though, I did listen to the first of many holiday songs to come this weekend.  I started the holiday music season with one of my favorites: "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey.  Can't go wrong with that.

Friday night:
Nector Lounge in Fremont, 11pm: SOTA - State of The Artist

I believe this may have been my first official Hip Hop concert - I enjoyed it.  I mean who doesn't like seeing someone in long john pajamas, with a crown on (Where the Wild Things Are theme) putting on the groove? have to wait about 40 seconds for the song to really get going.

Sunday Night:
Moore Theater in Seattle: 7pm: Consider Concert
Including: Shawn McDonald, Ruth and Phillip LaRue

Now this concert was a bit bittersweet.  The music was good, however, the show was put together for the Kim Evanger Raney Foundation.  She passed away tragically about 2-3 years ago and her younger brother put together this foundation to spread the word to "Consider" - consider things greater than you, consider how you can add to this world, etc.  All the proceeds of this concert went to the various organizations that they support.  Now I do warn you - this foundation does have a bit of a God/Jesus twist to it.  Not that this is a bad thing at all...but just wanted to put it out there.  I view it as more spritual and just thinking about the world as a whole, thinking outside of your individual situations. 

My favorite tunes of the night included:

Shawn McDonald: Gravity

Phillip LaRue: Deeper Side of You

Thursday, November 19, 2009

one of those days. by orange

you know the days that just stuff keeps on happening?  not good stuff...but annoying stuff.  well that unfortunately was my thursday.  here's a bit how it went:

woke up semi on time
did shower, hair, makeup in pretty good timing
then comes...

the outfit distaster train

i'm trying to get this new studded blazer to work...
try on a shirt, realize need more of a patterned shirt, then no, need a solid, do i do bright?  black?
try on jeans - not having a good jeans day
decide must do dress
head to dress section of closet, decide i want to wear my gold leggings
look through closet to figure out a dress that will go with shiny gold leggings
try on this one, then that one, this this one
Finally decide on black dress, grey leggings, black/gold boots...30 minutes later, i am dressed.

now officially Late.  late, late, late.
have an appointment at work that i will now be late to
call every co-worker i can think of to get them to sub in for appointment
no one seems to be at work - argh!
call front desk, figure out a run around

now officially Really Late

drive to work, realize still have not found ID badge to get into work
go to reception, sign in for guest badge
head down to desk.

work, work, work.

find out one of my candidates for a Super Difficult position is declining the position we offered her (i'm a recruiter at Starbucks)
thinking, f*ck.  hiring manager is going to hate me

decide to take a break from all this madness and make myself a nice cup of "creme brulee latte"
go to first kitchen, completely packed
head to kitchen downstairs
make drink, realize i should use the "creme brulee" syrup rather than the pure caramel i used yesterday - genius.
steam milk, pour espresso shots, stir and yum.
head back up stairs to desk

then...the stair mishap

right as i'm headed up the stairs i see gathering of people at top of stairs
left foot trips on the next stair
arms flying, coffee flying and boom. 
coffee is e v e r y w h e r e.  all over the stairs, on my dress, on my boots, on the railing, on the glass next to stairs.
go back to kitchen, grab as many paper towels as humanly possible, head back to stairs
clean up, but realize, nope, one trip of paper towels will not clean this entire spill
go back and forth to kitchen a few times, clean up milk, espresso, caramel brulee mess
make a new drink
walk up stairs ...slowly... back to my desk

and more work

getting towards the end of the day, so excited to drink lots o' wine with good friend over a yummy meal.
walk to car in crazy sputtering, windy rain
umbrella almost turns inside out 3 times on way to car
get to car
get in car
deep sigh of relief - the day is over
drive forward


flat tire.
husband is at first Seattle U home basketball game of the season, he will not be helping me with this flat.
go through the trunk to gather flat tire necessities
call insurance road side assistance
hear that i'll be waiting 45 minutes for this assistance to come
call friend, won't be making dinner. 
assistance comes, fixes tire

finally headed home.

oh vey.  and it's only thursday.  thank GOD tomorrow is friday.

on a day like this, there are some things that do comfort me upon my arrival home:

- yummy, full of carbs, pasta leftovers with mizithra cheese
- E! Hollywood News
- diving into PopSugar to see all the picutres of the Twilight premieres
- glass of wine
- comfy sweats
- grey's anatomy & the office

when you have a day that won't stop giving in a bad way, what cheers you up?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No TV Tuesday. by violet

I’m addicted to TV. It’s really sad but if I’m honest with myself it’s probably my main hobby. For awhile now I have been looking for ways to cut back my TV watching without giving up too many of my favorite shows. As I was doing a TV audit, I quickly realized that there were a number of shows that I was just going through the motions with and didn’t really feel strongly attached to. I took the season passes off The Hills and Brothers and Sisters.

I also found myself watching a lot of TV just because it was on before, after or in between shows that I loved – Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men. Really only NBC’s Thursday nights provides quality back to back programming.

And then while I love Mad Men, Top Chef and Dancing with the Stars I don’t necessarily need to watch them live. In the case of Mad Men and Top Chef, this freed me up from having to stay up past my bed time. In the case of Dancing with the Stars, watching it on DVR allows me to zoom past all the filler that takes up let’s be honest most of the show.

I have added some new shows this season, Glee, Modern Family and Community. Glee is probably the most charming hour in television history. I can’t seem to stop playing the soundtrack. Modern Family (even though it’s on at the same time as Glee) is probably one of the funnier shows on TV right now. There is at least two or three laugh out loud moments in each episode. Being a long time (I mean John Henson era) Soup watcher, I pretty much love anything Joel McHale does.

Even after paring it down it’s still a lot of TV. But I think that I should be able to go 24 hours without watching TV. Giving me a night to run errands, do laundry, read, call friends and all the things I put off because there’s just something I “have to watch.” Taking a look at my schedule of must watches, Tuesday seemed to jump out. Right now – other than the Dancing with the Stars results show there’s nothing that I deem a “can’t miss”.

So I’m giving up TV on Tuesdays. This past Tuesday was pretty easy since J. and I met up with a friend for her birthday. Instead of flopping and getting sucked into something I didn’t even really want to watch when I got home, I went up stairs got ready for the next day, did some reading and went to bed early.

I have to say it was pretty weird. But I think that it will be good for me. I’ll keep tabs on how it goes. Who knows maybe this will be the start of me turning over a new leaf.

I wouldn’t bet on it though.

Morning Music. by orange

Over the weekend, I successfully checked a few things off my list of many to-dos.  One of which, was downloading some new music onto my iPod.  I downloaded some Iron & Wine, some Taylor Swift, the new "Cowboy Casanova" by Carrie Underwood, some Greg Laswell and...the Miley "Party in the USA" song (yes I feel somewhat sheepish about this purchase).  Well, the song that I downloaded that I keep playing over and over again is "Off I Go" by Greg Laswell.  You might recognize it from last year's season finale episode of Grey's Anatomy. 

Here it is if you want to take a listen:

I can't wait for his next show in Seattle!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zig Zag. by violet

Last week, J. and I got to accompany Shelby and Nick on a very important errand. The fact that said errand needed to be completed in one of my favorite bars in Seattle only sweetened the deal.

Shelby and Nick recently went to Boston which you can read all about their gastronomical and other adventures on Shelby’s awesome blog. But during their time there they started chatting with a bartender named Misty at a bar called Drink. When she found out they were from Seattle, Misty sent them on a mission. To give Murray at Zig Zag a $20 bill that she had signed.

Murray is kind of a Seattle legend. He’s been tending bar in this town for years, he makes every list and is pretty much the guy you go see if you want a good drink. Murray and Zig Zag aren’t known for their list of crazy martinis. The drinks are old school. From a time when people didn’t water down their beverages with such crazy things as Diet Dr. Pepper. No judgement, there was a time in my life where I pretty much exclusively drank vanilla vodka and Diet Dr. Pepper.

Zig Zag is tucked away in the odd offshoot of the Pike Place Market. No matter where you park you have to climb up or climb down three flights of stairs to get there. And if you didn’t know it was there you could easily walk right by. When you do find the door, you walk into a small but not tiny place awash in warm light. The only windows face to front and then the place tucks back into the building so it gives off the distinct vibe of being separate from reality. Taking you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Since J. loves a good Manhattan, we’ve gone a few times for date night. Even meeting Shelby and Nick for happy hour there before. It’s great for special occasions, the atmosphere lends itself well to an occasion. It’s also great for people who love old school and interesting cocktails. And it truly is cocktails. Some of the drinks will put hair on your chest.

I love to booze but I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to serious drinks. So I was on the lookout for something that was tasty without making me cough every time I took a swig. I settled on the Old Cuban and it totally delivered. Made with rum, muddled mint, lime juice and champagne it was like a warm summer breeze even though autumn had already rolled in. The mint was kept light and the lime juice cut the rum. The result was a tall glass of fizzy wonderfulness. I’m thinking about making these on my own.

But back to the mission at hand. Nick asked our server to send Murray. A request that was met with a odd look and probably a quick run through in her head about what she may have done wrong. But Murray came over and Nick started to explain what our mission was. Murray started to laugh as soon as Nick got the word Boston out.

Turns out that he and Misty send each other customers and $20 bills whenever they get a chance. Murray, took the young Beantown bartender under his wing and did all he could to encourage her business. He defiantly seemed pleased and showed off the $20 when he got back behind the bar.

Seemed like such a small thing really. But I love the idea of two bartenders on different sides of the country keeping an eye out for one another. In a world that can sometimes seem to too big to get your arms around. And where is seems most communicating is done online, I can’t helped but be utterly charmed by the thought of people making connections in this way.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

facebook & twitter! by orange & violet

we are going viral.  ok, we wish.  orange violet has grown up and created her own facebook and twitter account!

follow us!!
orangeviolet facebook

Friday, November 13, 2009

getting cozy. by orange

Winter is upon us in Seattle.  The wind is strong, colored leaves are flying, rain drops smack you on the side of your face and umbrellas in tow are a Must.  Here in Seattle, winter is a mix of rain, grey, wind and some more rain.  The combo is quite the challenge for any sort of walk in to work.

Despite these winter foes, there are many things that I look forward to:

fireplaces, good books, holiday tunes, cardigans and starbucks holiday cups.

hope you enjoy the winter weekend ahead!!

***thanks to rockstar diaries for the reminder of a great winter book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glass Half Full. by violet

My super-busy summer has given way to a more tame fall. All that running around has left me feeling a bit disconnected from my friends. Sure, there were large get-togethers and too many trips to Eugene to count but that doesn’t leave a lot of time for quality one on one catching up. I’ve been trying to get together with friends close to home and schedule some quality time with J.

I had a charming tea and cupcakes date with Melissa over the weekend and a double date with Shelby coming up tomorrow but last night was a glass of wine (or two) at Purple with Lindsay.
Purple is lovely.
It’s a restaurant and wine bar right in the heart of downtown Seattle (with locations in Woodinville, Kirkland and Bellevue as well). This is a place that lets you know how serious it is by the weight of the door – you have to put your back into it to get in the place. Anchoring the dinning room is a floor to ceiling circular stair case that all serves and wine storage.

While the wine is why you go – the list is overwhelming – the food holds its own in the gauntlet thrown down by the wine list. And let’s be honest, any place that serves lobster mac and cheese as good as theirs is going to be tops in my book.

I ordered a glass of the Angeline Pinot Noir. Even though the Northwest is known for its Pinots, Angeline is out of the Martin Ray Winery with grapes from Medoncino and Sonoma County, CA (they still know a thing or two about wine in Cali). There is something incredibly drinkable about Pinot’s, while I love bold Cabs, it felt like a more mellow kind of night. The Angeline didn’t disappoint, my glass was empty too quickly.

Then we order a trio of items off the tasting menu – andouille sausage, red pepper and goat cheese spread and Mt. Townsend’s Seastack cheese.

Lindsay and I spent the time chatting, munching and sipping away, while the rain came down outside. I had trouble thinking of anywhere else I would rather be.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sephora My Heart. by orange

As I was on my hunt for Lola and mascara this past weekend I stopped in Sephora. Now I don't shop too often at Sephora but left there thinking - man I need to pay more attention to Sephora.  Two of the finds that stuck out to me were the following:

#1: Purfume Sample Sets:

As mentioned in a previous post, purfume shopping can be a bit drawn out and for me, can get annoying with all the back and forth needed.  Especially as I like instant gratification; doesn't quite work with having to "try out" different scents before buying.

Well Sephora is selling a couple different purfume sample sets.  They both offer a wide variety of perfumes available in them and the best part is, they come with a gift voucher that can be redeemed at any Sephora for a FREE full-sized bottle of any one of the samples included.  Granted you paid for the sample set, but that price ($50-$75) is about the price of a full size bottle.  Thus, you are basically just paying upfront for something you'll have later.  The beauty of the sample set is that you have all the samples at home.  You can test at your leisure, try them each out a few times with no back and forth between the department stores and home. 

Next time I'm in the market for a new fragrance I will definitely be hitting up Sephora for some sample sets.

#2: Run With It!

The other thing that caught my eye is the OPI collection for Sephora.  I have been in the market for the perfect grey nail polish for the past 3 months or so.  However, most of the "grey" colored nail polish I find is more metallic, more silver or glittery than the solid grey I'm looking for.  Well Sephora's OPI 'Run With It!' ended up being the one.  It's described as a shimmering dove grey; exactly what I was looking for.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Cheesy Goodbye. by violet

I am sad. One of my closest coworkers has taken a new job. For the past two years Cathy and I have worked together, sometimes even sharing a cube. She has been that person I turn to when I want to roll my eyes about a crazy request. The person who can talk me off the ledge. The person who will read an e-mail before I send to make sure I put commas in the right place.

While I am confident that our friendship will last outside of work and even a little excited to take it beyond the confines of the office walls, I will miss seeing her almost every day.

To ease both of our pain, we have decided to schedule monthly happy hours/dinners. Since Cathy loves queso almost as much as me, we met for our first at the Mecca of queso in Bellevue, Z Tejas.

I have mentioned before, the queso at Z Tejas is my favorite in town. And it didn’t disappoint this time around. It was warm, cheesy and generally wonderful.

This time, I skipped the frosty margarita because I’m still recovering from a cold.
While chatting about Cathy’s new job we polished off the queso and an order of tostada bites (which I didn’t manage to snap a photo of) as well as a few slices of the ‘Jas’s cornbread which is also excellent.

The good food and even better company got me thinking that even though Cathy won’t be in the cube across from me, if we can still share war stories, compare notes and occasionally get together for some awesome cheese like substances and that’s just fine with me.

Miss you already Cathy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lola. by orange

Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl

With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there
She would merengue and do the cha-cha
And while she tried to be a star, Tony always tended bar
Across a crowded floor, they worked from 8 till 4
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa....they fell in love

Do I have the song stuck in your head yet?

For the past six months or so I've been on a hunt for the right perfume.  In the past I've used Clinique "Happy", Juicy Couture and Tiffany's "Pure Tiffany."  I always find it a bit challenging to look for perfume as it's kind of a drawn out process.  Go to the store, try it on, wait the day to see how it adapts to your skin, how long it lasts, etc then repeat until you find the right one.  Well ladies and gents...and I now own "Lola" by Marc Jacobs. 

Lola is being touted as Daisy’s “confident and slightly vampy older sister."  To me, I think she just has a bit more sass, which I love.  The bottle, as you can see below, is very pretty and I definitely enjoy getting to look her every morning as I start my day. 

Now with Marc Jacobs being the uber fashionista that he is, it is no suprise that in addition to the beautiful bottles, there is a limited edition ring with solid perfume in it. 

When I was at Sephora checking out the varieties of Lola, one of the ladies there said that having the combo of the spray and solid was the way to go.  I thought "well of course you do, as then I would purchase both."  She followed that up by saying, you should re-apply purfume everytime you re-apply your lipstick.  So spritz the purfume in the morning on the pulse points, and then follow up with dabs of the solid throughout the day.  I thought "holy perfume, my cube-mates would kill me with all this scent going on." 

Needless to say, I now own the perfume, lotion and ring.  Yes kids, I did go a bit overboard.  However, I will share with you my reasoning:

At Sephora they are selling a 1.7oz. bottle for $65.  At Macy's they are selling the combo of 1.7oz. bottle plus the lotion for $75.  What's a smart girl to do?  Umm, buy the combo deal at Macy's.  Sorry Sephora. Now the ring, well, that was just an indulgent splurge to my love of all things Marc Jacobs

***Update: has the same gift set as Macy's.  And...even better...if you buy the larger Lola (3.4oz.) online and enter LOLA at checkout receive a free Lola Fashion Cosmetic Case with mini Lola rollerball and lotion.  Wowza!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween 2009. by violet

As Orange mentioned earlier this week, we were down in Eugene for Halloween. We’ve been in Eugene a lot lately, more in the last three months than we have in the last three years – Labor Day, Cal v. Oregon and now for Halloween.

Our friends down there, Stacy and Ray are known for hosting EPIC Halloween parties. And after a long hiatus, they brought it back in full force.

J. and I headed down to Portland on Wednesday night so I could work from the Portland office on Thursday and Friday. We hit up Bridgeport Brewery with Tess on Wednesday for some tasty beer. And while J., headed all the way down to Eugene on Thursday with Orange and her husband, I had to stay and work.
But that meant some quality time with Tess. This included a visit to Henry’s with an order of gorgonzola fries and a bottle (yes, a bottle) of Erath Pinot Noir - one of our favorites. Between the cheese fries and the wine we definitely had some much needed girl time.

Friday afternoon, I busted out of work and made my way down to Eugene to find the party had already started. So I got down to business getting my Jackie on. It took some serious work to get my hair that big.
All in all, I was very pleased with how the costume came together. What do you think? How'd I do?

And I think J.’s war photographer costume looked great too.

J. set up a little bit of a photo booth to capture all of the great costumes.

Healthcare Reform A chef with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

Ghostbuster with Wonder Woman

All the ladies.

We went to the haunted corn maze the next night but I really don't want to talk about the chainsaws that attacked us.