Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just Wine It Out. by violet

I’ve probably said this a few times here before but when life gets crazy the best thing for me is to get a good friend, a good glass of wine and good food.

Dinning room at Purple in Bellevue

After a couple hectic days at work after a lovely weekend, I met Kenz and the Purple Wine Bar and CafĂ© in Bellevue. Ya’ll know I love me some Purple and the one in Bellevue didn’t disappoint.

We ordered a trio of items from the tasting menu – roasted garlic-white bean crostini with herb pesto, house-made andouille-style sausage with roast cippolini onions and gorgonzola stuffed dates, pine nuts and saba.

The dates were by far my favorite. I forget how much I like them.

That wasn’t quite enough so we order the calamari too which we mowed down so fast I didn’t even snap a picture of until it was practically gone.

I think we liked it.

And then, of course, along the way there was two glasses of Terre di Gioia Pinot Noir.

Before I knew it two plus hours had gone by. It’s nice to know that when life gets crazy I can find a quite hour (or two!) to get away.

Violet in Matisse Holly in purple, microfiber round-toe flat with three ruffles

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Left my Heart in San Francisco. by violet

This past weekend, one of J.’s good friends from college who lives in the city got married. His parents were nice enough to lend us and Sam their condo near Union Square to use for the weekend.

Not only am I from the Bay Area, when I was a new college graduate I spent 6 months interning in San Francisco. Even though I had a ridiculous commute from my parents' place in Los Gatos, I remember my time spent in San Francisco fondly. I had my first laptop bag, a Caltrans pass, my first pair of black pumps and I was beginning to feel like a grown up. San Francisco was the place of my first after work happy hour, my first company holiday party. So I always look forward to going back.

Here are just a few of the highs and lows of this past weekend.

- Bumpy landings and take-offs both ways

- H&M – two different stores didn’t have the dress I was looking for

- Walking entirely too far in the wrong shoes – two separate times during the weekend. I should have brought sneakers.

- Jack hammering outside a lovely coffee shop

- Rushing to get ready for the wedding – sucks knowing that tons of pictures will be taken of you that evening and your hair just isn’t working.

- Cab drivers – note to SF cabbies, please learn how to accelerate and decelerate gently. Thank you.

- Not being able to see my family. My beloved niece, brother, sister-in-law, father and stepmother were less than an hour away but that I didn’t have time to see them that was MAJORLY guilt inducing.

- The weather. Anyone who has spent any kind of time in the city can tell you, it never cooperates. It’s likely to be freezing cold in the middle of summer. But both Saturday and Sunday were 65 and above and sunny.

- My bus ride and short walk to the office on Friday. So much nicer than gritting my teeth at traffic on I-90 and the city was full hustle and bustle.

- My lovely San Francisco coworkers, who were so welcoming and so entertaining. Conversation, noise, creativity, everything that’s great about a small office.

- Lunch at Primo Patio. I wonder if they sell their jerk sauce online…

- Walking to the Ferry Building on Friday. I soaked up the sun and thought about how much I love being from such a beautiful place.

San Francisco's other bridge

- Sitting out at the Market Bar, laughing until my sides hurt

Always good to see Cato

- Sushi at the rehearsal dinner, steak and the wedding, the food all around was excellent.

- Sunset at the Saint Francis Yacht Club

- Breakfast Saturday at Tangerine

Mac and cheese for breakfast?  Don't mind if I do.

- A bag of Belly Flops from Alexis

- Winning a bet based on my knowledge of a favorite childhood movie, Fern Gully (Thanks, Matt)

Me and Matt

- Table 13

- Champagne and wedding cake


- Dancing to disco
Fist pump, Cato!

- Crab cake crepe from Honey Honey

- Seeing the Oregon plane at SFO
Go Ducks!

- The bride and groom - Nicki and Chris have been together since the end of high school, you could tell their friends and family was excited about this young couple starting their married life together. That fact helped infuse the whole weekend with a strong sense of love and family.
The happy couple

Thanks to Nicki and Chris for including us in their wonderful weekend.

The gang on Sunday

Violet in UGG Classic Short in chocolate brown

Sunday, March 28, 2010

hair - how i hate you. by orange

I wish I had short hair and, more importantly, could pull it off.  I have what people like to kindly refer to as a "round face."  Thus, short hair is umm...very unattractive on me. This weekend I finally fully admitted it to myself - I hate doing my hair.  Absolutlely hate it.  And here is why:

1. I never like my shampoo or conditioner...I think I've tried every product imaginable, but in the end, my hair always feels heavy, like it's got a bit of build up and the hair at the nape of my neck is *always* a bit greasy.  I've tried just about anything to make it not so...but I think it's just meant to be.  Ick.

2. When blow drying my hair, 8 times out of 10, I get overheated.  Which  Especially if like me, you generally hate being hot, with a passion.

3. Blow drying takes time, too much time in the morning.  I value my sleep and thus am usually running behind in the morning.  So after I put on makeup and get dressed (which I do enjoy), taking care of my hair is just too much.  Even if it is just blow drying the top, I still think it's too much time. 

4. Even when I do spend time blow-drying all of my hair, I like it for about 5 min.  Then something happens - wind, rain, oil, etc - and I am not happy with the hair situation.  So, if I only like it for about 5 min - what is the point?!

So, readers - any ideas to cure my deep hatred of blow drying my hair?  Any tips you have?

Here are the hairstyles I deeply am envious of:

I kind of think that I have a face shape similar to Ginnifer Goodwin...which makes me have a sliver of hope that perhaps I could pull off short hair.  But...alas...that probably isn't so.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Closet Meltdown. by violet

The other night I had what can only be described as a closet meltdown. Every girl has had one. It starts with getting dressed for a special occasion, a big night out or sometimes even just going to work in the morning. The first thing you try on doesn’t work, then a second, then a third, then before know it there’s an enormous pile of clothes on the floor, you are nearly in tears and you scream, "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!"

Mine happened while J. and I were getting ready to go to a wedding this weekend in San Francisco. I thought I would get a head start on packing by trying a few outfit options. I had in my head that I wanted to wear, probably my favorite dress in my closet to the wedding. It’s an adorable black and white number from Anthropologie– strapless with a full a-line skirt.

Rocking it at Christmas 2006

Fit like a dream when I bought it three and a half years ago but since a wash and an expanding waistline it’s been tougher and tougher to zip. So I thought I would try it on just to be safe. DISASTER. It wouldn’t zip.

What happened next wasn’t pretty - a downward spiral. My whole wardrobe plan for the weekend was totally derailed. Add on top of that the shame and frustration that comes with not being able to get into a perfectly wonderful dress. Then, a compulsive feeling to go shopping for all new clothes but realizing there isn’t the time, nor funds to support such a trip.

The only solace I could find that evening was “Dancing with the Stars” and some cookies (clearly not helping).

I had a brainstorm the next day. I saw this stunner of a dress from H&M in the new InStyle.

However the lovely sales girl informed me that while she had them in back but that she couldn’t sell it do me because it’s part of a line that won’t be released until Thursday. So there’s a good chance I’ll be hitting up one of the four stores in San Francisco looking for it. Wish me luck!

So beyond the question of what exactly I’m going to wear to this wedding is what to do about one of my favorite dresses not zipping. Do I fight the fight and dedicate the spring and summer to getting back into it and arrive at a September wedding victorious. Or do I say “f that” polish of the box of Girl Scout cookies and go buy a whole new wardrobe?

Also since when did my life become a Cathy cartoon? Akk!

Violet in Frye Campus 14L boots in Saddle Montana

Monday, March 22, 2010

Things that made me happy this weekend. by violet

He weighs like 80 lbs but will sit on your feet until you pet him. It was not good for my dog fever.

Alpacas and Goats.
I’m not sure I need to say anymore – just look at them.

Long walks on the beach
Taking pictures of seashells and watching out our geoduck spray.

This picture of J.
It's just classic

Beer pong and flip cup
Oh, to pretend I was in college again for just a few fleeting moments.


With this view over the top of my book.

Thanks for the awesome weekend.
Violet in UGG Classic Short in chocolate brown

Sunday, March 21, 2010

weekend getaway. by orange

This past weekend, a couple of us packed up our cars and headed southwest of Seattle for some relaxation time. I was looking forward to it all week and especially felt it was needed after coming home to this fun treat Friday after work:

Our "mellow" dog Meika somehow figured out how to get into our kitchen cabinet (with I'm sure some tag-team help from our other dog, Payton), dump out the trash and then, quite impressively tangle her hind legs into the cords/tubes that connect the faucet to the water/drain.  Oh vey!  I digress.

One of our friend's families owns a beautiful beach house on Harstine Island, WA  Here is a little of what the scenery looks like:

(thanks to Washington Real Estate Resouce for the picture)

Our friend's parents have an itch for antiques so the house was full of beautiful shabby chic and aged furniture that makes you just want to wind down, put your feet up and relax.  So we did...just that.

My favorite moment of the weekend was finally getting some time to read.  There is a gorgeous deck off the back of the house with an amazing view of the Puget Sound.  On the deck there are a variety of lawn chairs all warmed up by the morning sun.  It was heavenly.

And now it's back to work; back to reality...and back to training 101 with our dogs so we don't have this mishap again.

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bargain ALERT! by violet

I grew up on garage sales on Saturday mornings after my soccer games but J. grew up on Church rummages sales. So he knew what was up when he saw that two Churches were hosting sales this past weekend.

Our first stop was a serious sale – room after room of all kinds of discounted treasures. J. fell in love with three framed photos of fishing boats – each at three dollars apiece. For seventy five cents, we also found a Seahawks seat cushion for Orange’s husband for the upcoming football season. We passed on a sweet wrap around grey leather couch; though it’s Miami Vice charm was definitely appealing.

Our second stop was a smaller sale but J. found two books for $0.45 each and then, then I found this for $0.35.

Even at Target a fedora is going to set you back $15. I’ve been thinking about getting one since last year. And before I even got it home I was thinking of all the ways I could wear it once the weather got warm. Inspired by InStyle, I put together a few outfits to showcase the fedora. All with pieces I already had in my closet.

Drinks on the Deck
Tank top (Target); denim shorts (Target); earrings (home-made with beads from San Diego); bracelet (H&M); Cole Hahn bag (Nordstrom Rack); Steve Madden wedges (

I love the pop of teal against the yellow and orange and these shorts, while denim, the dark wash, pleats and cuffs give them a more sophisticated feel.

Dinner with the Boy
Maxi dress (Dream); clutch (gift but I’m pretty sure it’s Target); earrings (H&M); wedges (Macy’s)

I hope the maxi dress comes back this summer once again. They are so easy to wear and are a great effortless chic option when the temperatures rise.

A Day at the Beach
Splendid top (Nordstrom Rack); Bermuda shorts (Gap); gladiator sandals (Nordstrom Rack); gold bangles (H&M)’ canvas tote (freebie from when my stepmom worked at Danger); beach towel (Bed, Bath & Beyond); Frisbee (Target); Neutrogena sunscreen; Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster (hilarious beach read)

I pretty much live in Bermuda shorts during the summer. These black ones I picked up at Gap a few years back easily go from day to night. And the tank top is adjustable to avoid tan lines.

This list makes me realize how much of my stuff is from Target and Nordstrom Rack but as you can tell I'm a sucker for a deal. Regardless, I’m excited for the sun to come out and to try my sweet deal fedora.

Violet in Saucony ProGrid Ride 2 in white/black/coral

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

schmoopy. by orange

So your first thought might be...what is this word in the title of this post?  Thanks to Violet, we have a new word to add to our vocabulary. 

Schmoopy (shaw-mu-pee)
adj: sweet, sentimental, overly loving and corny
noun: a object of one's affection
see aslo: lovey dovey

This post is dedicated to one schmoopy, sweet incident that occurred yesterday between the Husband and I.

Yesterday I received an email from the Husband that went like this:

Subject Line: Yippee!
Message: I got a hold of something today for you that’s taken the entirety of our relationship to obtain. Guesses? I’m either going to give it to you on our anniversary, your birthday or tonight.

You can imagine my immediate response was...What is it?!?!

So I asked for some hints...what is it made of?  did you obtain this on your own or with the help of friends/family?

I only got one answer from from the above: it's made of paper and metal.

I also started to think back to the beginning moments of our relationship and things that I may have mentioned way back when that he might be trying to do something with now.

As we've been together for almost 4 years and my memory sucks - I was having no luck.

So, luckily, he gave it to me last night and it was...a Paccar Truck 2010 Calendar.

Now you are probably thinking "WTF?" "I don't get it."  Well it goes back to when the husband and I first met. 

I'm a recruiter and when we met he was a candidate of mine.  At that time I worked at a recruiting agency so I was trying to get him to interview for this one position with Paccar.  (fyi - Paccar is a very conservative, old school company in the NorthWest that manufactures and sells trucks).  Well the husband obliged and he went on the interview.  The company Loved him, the husband...didn't love them.  But he joked with me about how it was so strange to be in a company where there were truck posters Everywhere and diecast models of trucks Everywhere.  We started talking/emailing about how we each really wanted to get our hands on some of these truck posters (sarcastically of course).  I told him that for every 3 referral candidates he sent my way I would, in turn, get him one of these truck posters.  This of course, never happened but we did scheme about how I would get into the Paccar headquarters and get my hands on one of these puppies.

Well turns out at his current company he works with someone who has Paccar as their client.  Thus, he was able to get his hands on the calendar and now I have 12 wonderful truck pictures to admire throughout the day.  They look something like this:

Thanks husband for remembering the little things. 

orange in Gold Lawri Wedges

Monday, March 15, 2010

5 Guys. by violet

You all know that I love a good cheeseburger. When my mom moved to Washington D.C. she told me all about the awesome place called 5 Guys. Apparently it’s so good, the President went there. Then I found out that one had moved into the Seattle area. So this Saturday after a nice little run J. and I headed up north to give it a try.

Unassuming store front

The restaurant is in a pretty weird spot – across the street from Northgate Mall in a condo development. The place has a red and white motif that many burger places seem to have (Johnny Rockets, In ‘n’ Out), apparently in the 50s that’s all that was available.

Red and white all over

Stacks of potatoes, and cases of peanut oil were stored in the dining room. They gave the place an informal and comfortable vibe - like you had been invited into the back room.

Sacks of potatoes

The way the process works – you order your burger and then add anything you want from a list of toppings (at no extra charge). The menu is pretty straight forward – a burger, cheeseburger or bacon-cheeseburger comes with two patties and the little versions come with one.

I went with mayo, grilled onion and grilled mushrooms on a little cheeseburger.

My burger - look at that amazing cheese

J. went with grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mustard, jalapenos, tomatoes on cheeseburger.

J.'s burger

And fries of course. Just so you know, the regular fry is more than enough for two people. I tried to order a large on the nice lady behind the counter informed us that was enough for four people.

First bite

The verdict? Amazingly delicious. The cheese was melty and while the meat wasn’t Kobe it was delicious and well seasoned. The bun held up to the vast array of toppings that I threw at it.

And the fries were yummers. Cooked in peanut oil they were crispy on the outside and soft in the center.

Yes, please

5 Guys is quickly climbing my list of burger places in Seattle, especially for under $20 for the two of us.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

birthdays. by orange.

This weekend two significant first birthdays occured. 

#1's cutest baby girl, a.k.a the "baby ambassador."  Signe is pronounced "See-na."

signe with her birthday hat

checking out her cake & candle

feeding her dad, jared, some cake

signe with her mommy, katie

signe and the schnood

#2 Orange Violet turned 1 last Friday!!

Thanks to all of our lovely readers - we love you and love to hear from you in comments!  Here is to another great year!!



Thursday, March 11, 2010

Off my Game. by violet

I’ve been feeling a bit off my game lately. Work has been busy and personal life has been busy. There are bills to pay, errands to run, laundry to do and bathrooms to clean but all I can muster when I get home from work is to sit on the couch.

I do a few things to help myself feel better when things aren’t exactly going my way.

- Eat. Clearly not very healthy attitude toward food but a chocolate covered macaroon from Whole Foods makes the world seem like a less horrible place. That and queso from Taco del Mar.

Not Taco del Mar but you get the point..
- Me time. I got home for a business trip to Portland around 5:00 last night. I probably should have logged back in and answered e-mails and cleaned out everything that had piled up while I was on the road but instead I sat in my favorite chair and read until J. got home two hours later. It was the best thing I could have done. No phone, no e-mail, no TV just me escaping into someone else’s life for awhile.

- Clear the calendar. J. and I tend to be planners. We fill our weekends with adventures, like ski weekends, BBQs, dinners, trips to Vashon, etc. All very fun things but it lends to the feeling of always being on the go. So this weekend, we are scheduling a little down time. A night in with a movie. Saturday to run errands. Sunday a run and time around the house to clean and organize.

Out and about
- Exercise. It’s almost guaranteed that if I’m feeling off I have not been exercising. Yup. Haven’t got the heart pumping since my six miles with Orange and Lacy last Saturday. Back on track tonight (thanks EC) and feeling really good about it.

Good to be back

- Write a list. This helps set my mind at ease about what I have to do. I don’t have to remember anything, it’s all written down. And it’s so gratifying to check things off.

I heart my Moleskin

- Wine. Enough said. 

What about you? What do you do when you feel like your life is a little bit out of your control?

Violet in Saucony ProGrid Ride 2 in white/black/coral