Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Calgel again. by orange

So I went back to en-Salon for a Calgel refresh.  I tried the American version of Calgel - Shellac the week prior, but it didn't work out as well (started chipping in less than a week) and had a lot less colors to choose from.

This time I did things a bit different.  Instead of getting the normal bright polish, I decided to try the "reverse french."  Check out the pictures below.  The nail technician assured me "it's huge in Japan."  :)

I'm excited because with the reverse french, the nail grow out will be much less noticeable, thus the Calgel might really last a full 3 weeks.  We shall see...

Maybe I'll do this next time...not sure what it's called...reverse french fade-out?  :)

Quinn's. by violet

Sometimes the variety of choices on Capitol Hill can be a bit overwhelming. Not only are there a stunning amount of choices so much of it is so good.

I recently discovered Quinn’s. The interior is full of dark rich wood and exposed brick. Much for the front wall is large windows which mean great people watching. With J.P.’s parents in town last week we decided it would be a good stop.

The menu with my Hot Lava beer

The sun finally came out last week in Seattle the place was bathed in beautiful evening light. The last time we were at Quinn’s our server was incredibly helpful and funny, this time was no different. Even with the hipster edge the staff was all friendly and welcoming.  In fact, Mrs. P even got a "first prize" ribbon for her pronunciation of asparagus. (I think it's a midwest thing...)

We didn’t get any pictures of the food because, well, we were too busy eating it (bad blogger). But the selections included, devils on horseback (or cheese-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon), wild boar sloppy joe with crisp sage leaves and frites fontina fonduta. It was all delicious, way above your typical pub grub, even though the beer list formidable.

Decisions, decisions

The next time you find yourself wandering around Capitol Hill not sure where to eat, I suggest Quinn’s.

Violet in Jessica Simpson "Jessica" pump in ivory patent

Sunday, June 27, 2010

cotton anniversary! by orange

2 years ago...

Posted by Picasa

The two year anniversary celebration has been amazing thus far.  The agenda:
  • Sleeping in
  • Brunch at Jak's - The Greek Scramble and MANmosas - (aka large glass mimosas :))
  • Walk around the Junction in W. Seattle and the Farmer's Market
  • Coffee from Uptown Espresso (sorry sbux)
  • Trip to downtown Nordstrom for my present (anything under $150 and has some cotton component - husband's rules)
  • Nap-time
  • Dinner at La Rustica
  • After dinner drinks at Beveridge Place Pub to play some board games like we did on our very first date

Now you may be wondering - what did I buy with my Nordstrom guidelines? As you know from previous posts I've been shopping for some wedges. Well these are definitely some high wedges, and I think will be perfect with capris, dresses and more. The shocking thing - they seem to be very, very comfortable.

Jeffrey Campbell Slingback Wooden Wedges


Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Fever. Part 2. by violet

As I talked about back in February, I have a crazy obsession with the Olympics. One could venture to guess that I would also feel the same way about the World Cup. And they would be correct. My 9 to 5 schedule keeps me from watching most games in real time. And, unlike the Olympics NBC, ESPN doesn’t hold the games hostage until primetime, so I’m mostly relegated to the weekends and watching my twitter feed during the day.
Soccer is an interesting sport in the US. Our history has been in baseball, American football and basketball. The rest of the world however is obsessed with football.

But a funny thing is starting to happen. Here is Seattle, Sounders tickets are the hottest in town. Traffic is worse than Mariner’s traffic which I would assume means attendance is at similar levels. Of course, Seattle is an ideal market for Major League Soccer. It’s full of a bunch of hippies that probably grew up playing it and certainly their children are playing currently. Plus, it’s full of hipsters that love the European association it has to it. There’s nothing more a hipster loves more than to say, “you don’t enjoy soccer because you don’t understand soccer.”

But I think this just might be the World Cup that finally pushes American soccer over the edge and into mainstream popularity. Not only has the MLS found it footing be there is also:

- The world views this team as a merry bunch of misfits that don’t really belong on their level only adds to whole appeal. We love and underdog don’t we?

- Landon Donovan, who has struggled mightily to meet expectation, is finally playing like the super star of American soccer he has been billed to be.

- Our first match was against England. Nothing like a little Revolutionary War rivalry to get the blood flowing.

- Questionable disallowed goals – rage is also easy to get behind.

- A come from behind tie (should have been a victory).

AND THEN. THEN, yesterday happened. On the brink of elimination, after what seemed like a million chances and another questionable disallowed goal, that former, chronic underachiever Landon Donovan found the back of the net in STOPPAGE time - a concept that for some here in the US still baffles the mind. And all of America cheered. Literally, I heard it. And then, it broke the internet. I’m not kidding – right after Landon’s goal marks the 2nd largest internet traffic of all time – surpassing the 2008 presidential elections. Second only to?

That’s right – a week earlier when the US tied England.

Violet in Seychelles gold flats

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice. by violet

Seattle has a long tradition of celebrating the Summer Solstice – with naked bikers. I should explain. Fremont is a hippie neighborhood that has a funky vibe to it. And every year there is a parade down the main street and part of this parade includes a group of body-painted naked bike riders.
Parade route

I’ve lived in Seattle for 5 years now and for the first time I saw this parade live and in person.
oragne and husband

Our friends Shelby and Nick now live in Fremont and had a few people over for a breakfast feast and a little get together pre parade.
I love this photo of Shelby and Nick

Then we hiked down the hill to watch the parade and giggle like school children at the naked bike riders.

Oh, and eat. A lot of food.

Matt and me eating pulled pork at Nectar

There are entirely too many pictures of me eating out there.
Shelby, me and Taiece at the street fair

So even though the weather didn’t cooperate we still had a summer-like time. And I’m anxiously awaiting the summer like weather to arrive.

Violet in flat black Born boots

p.s. p.s. My little digital camera broke over the weekend. I had wanted to tell you all about my excellent date night dinner at Mama Melina with J.P. but my little guy tweaked out as we were walking up to the restaurant. So, dear 7 readers, I ask in advance for you forgiveness over the next few weeks while it gets fixed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

a wedge. by orange

I'm on the search for some summer wedges.  This started when I was trying on some white capris.  Needless to say, I quickly realized I needed to add some height.  Here are some of my favorites I found while searching shopstyle:

1) KORS Michael Kors Vivian Wedge Sandal $195 – Neiman Marcus
2) Dorian wedges $238 – J.Crew
3) Alberto Fermani Ankle-Wrap Cutout Wedge Sandal $395 – Neiman Marcus
4) Michael michael kors "sycamore" wedge sandal $125 – Dillard's
5) Vince Camuto Women's Maven Wedge Sandal $109.95 – Endless.com
6) Kelsi Dagger Ivy Wedge $98 – The Shoe Box
7) Tory Burch Nelson Studded Open-Toe Wedge Sandals $295 – Saks Fifth Avenue
8) Report Women's Abielle Dress Wedge Sandal $60.90 – Endless.com
9) Jessica Simpson Women's Glorie Wedge $58.96–65.50 – Endless.com  
10) MICHAEL Michael Kors - Warren Wedge $111.65 – Zappos
11) Steve Madden Women's Tuscaan T-Strap Wedge $78–88.95 – Endless.com
12) Franco Sarto Artsy Leather Slingback Sandals $59.99 – Lord & Taylor  
13) Calvin Klein Elise Leather Espadrille Platform Wedge Sandals $99 – Lord & Taylor
14) Me Too Studded Wedges - Lord & Taylor

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer TV Addict. by violet

This is a sad time of year for a TV addict such as myself. All of my favorite shows are taking their summer hiatus. However the networks are slowly learning that many of us are so addicted to TV that we can’t quite turn it off even when the weather turns warm. Or, if you live in the northwest, you keep the TV on because our summer doesn’t start until August. So luckily there are a few things getting me through this difficult time.

Bethany Getting Married: I’ve been on team Bethany since I started with the Real Housewives of New York. Personally, I think she’s as real and as funny as they come on “reality” television. This spin off follows Bethany as she plans her wedding and gets ready to have a baby. Bethany’s relationship with Jason is generally adorable and paired with their dog, Cookie, they create a cute little family that I can’t wait to spend time with.

My Life on the D List: Although Jen Lancaster may have stolen a little bit of the “the woman makes me roll on the floor laughing” limelight from Kathy Griffin in my mind - she is still hilarious. She’s back for another season of high jinks and it looks like she will bring along even more friends this year. I can’t wait to see what other insane things that this lady does.

The Bachelorette: Yes. I watch this horrible show. It’s pretty much the same thing every season. Some silly person thinks that this is a great way to “find love.” Hilarity and great water cooler fodder then ensues. I’m thinking about starting a pool. I’ve got my final four locked but things get tricky after that. In case you care, currently my money is on Roberto, Chris L., Frank and Kirk.

Mad Men: I could wax poetic about this show for a very long time. With all the developments at the end of the last season (trying to avoid spoilers here) I can’t wait to see where my friends from Sterling Cooper have ended up. This show lets you soak it all in and track the characters. Developments happen slowly then suddenly you find yourself freaking out on your sofa, while the characters you have invested in try to keep it all together.

The Wire: I know that the show is over. However, J.P. and I just started it on Netflix. It’s already enthralling, complicated and brutal. I’m told it only gets more so as the series goes on. So when there’s nothing on it’ll be pretty easy to pop a disc in and delve into this tricky world.

Friday Night Lights: This season has already aired on DIRECTV but NBC is now running the show on (surprise) Friday nights. I can’t even tell you how much I love this show. I love the town, I love the characters, I love the relationships and I even love the football. I’ve converted about eight people (including orange and her husband) in to die-hard converts over the past few years with my unstoppable preaching. I’m telling you, if you aren’t watching this show, you are missing the best show on television. Also, join in the campaign to get Zach Gilford an Emmy.

Clearly there's enough here to keep me busy.  What's your summer TV favorite?  Something I missed? Top Chef? Royal Pains? My Boys?  Burn Notice?  And, when is It's Always Sunny coming back? 

Violet in Jessica Simpson Cody, brown, leather flats with brass toe buckle

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Calgel. by orange

I love me a manicure.  What I don't like is how short manicures last.  For me, if I'm a lucky - really lucky, my manicure will last 5 days.  Well recently I tried Calgel nails.  Supposedly the nail polish lasts 3 weeks and doesn't ruin your real nails.  It's basically nail polish in a gel form.  It's painted on (base layer, 2 coats of color and top coat) just like regular nail polish.  However, it dries amazingly quick - like 30 seconds quick.  So far I'm at 12 days and they are looking good - no chips, nothing.  I just wish my nails didn't grow so fast...

I made a follow up appointment for 23 days out to get my Calgel's fill...but I might just need to pop in this weekend.  I'll let you all know how the fill goes...we shall see. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Anticipation. by violet

As orange mentioned, this last weekend in Seattle was beautiful. There is always a weekend like this in the northwest – a weekend that reminds you, after months of grey and cold, summer is possible. That you didn’t buy those shorts and tank tops for nothing. That there will be sun drenched days ahead.

Of course when Monday dawned it was grey and back to 60 again. But it got me thinking about all the things that are on my summer to do list.

Outdoor movies at Red Hook in Woodinville: Some great movies to spend a night drinking beers under the stars to, Stepbrothers, The Hangover, Sandlot. I’m there.

Drinks out on the deck: There are some great spots, Joey’s, BluWater Bistro, Cactus on Alki and The Lookout. I’m looking forward to trying out the Hard Rock downtown.

Hiking: I’ve had this book called "60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Seattle" for a few years now. I’m betting this is the summer that I crack it open.

Kayaking on Lake Union: Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club is genius. Rent a kayak then eat delicious Mexican food. I can’t think of a better way to earn a margarita than an hour out on the lake.

Slurpees: Nothing says summer to me like this delicious convenience store treat. Better mark my calendar for 7/11 when they are free.

Sandals: Flip flops, wedges, gladiators, platforms, I’m ready to set my toes free.

Ice cream: Molly Moon’s, Full Tilt and Old School Frozen Custard, plenty of delicious ways to beat the heat.

BBQ: I love having people over and firing up the grill.  J.P.'s been working hard on our front patio and it's time to break it in.

Summer reading: It’s an engrained reaction but when the weather starts to heat up I need a good book with me for just sitting in the sun and soaking it all in.

Violet in Kenneth Cole black flats

Sunday, June 13, 2010

the weekend. by orange

This weekend was a-mazing.  Blue skys, 75 degrees, enough said.  It was one of those weekends where you forget about how we've just had 20-odd days of rain in a row and feel the promise of a fantastic summer ahead.  The weekend was filled with the following:

- seeing Get Him to the Greek: I'd recommend it
- running with Violet: man those 2 miles kicked my ass
- some walking lunges: ouch...the backs of my legs hurt even when I sit down...not a good sign.
- stop at Crabtree & Evelyn for this fantastic hand lotion
- some oggling at Banana Republic at their new items
- a stop at Metropolitan Market for a picnic dinner
- taking in the sun at Seward park while eatting some yummy food
- playing some catch, because the husband and I are sometimes 5 year olds together
- sleeping in
- dual birthday party
- catching up with some of my favorites at Cactus on Alki

All in all...a perfect weekend.

How was yours?


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Book Love. by violet

It is official; Jen Lancaster now tops the list of living authors I would like to have a drink (or three) with. It’s like she’s taken the thoughts in my head and chewed them up and spit them out in a much, much funnier way.

I had heard about her books but it wasn’t until this year that I read anything of hers. J.P.’s parents bought me "Pretty in Plaid" this past Christmas. I don’t laugh out loud at books. I tend to find a person’s tone and delivery the funny part of the joke but this book has me laughing out loud for the first time ever. "Pretty in Plaid" is about Jen growing up basically from elementary school through her extended college years. In particular, I found Jen’s adventures as sorority rush chair utterly, devastatingly hilarious. Funny is true and this was dead on – right down to the memos to other members filled with exclamation points, smiley faces and passive aggressive orders.

After that, I went back a found her first book, "Bitter is the New Black." This follows Jen’s fall from the top of the corporate ladder and the beginnings of her writing career. Although, it was written about her bout with unemployment when the dot com burst at the end of the 1990s/early 2000s, it rang true for this later economic crisis. The great thing about Jen is that not only does she find humor in situations but she finds more humor in herself. This book is basically a mea culpa for all the wreckage she left in her wake for way too long. Karma is a bitch and totally hilarious.

Her latest book "My Fair Lazy" had me laughing out loud on the plane ride home from New York. I hadn’t planned on reading it in hard back but when I spied it at the airport bookstore; I knew it had to be mine, despite the airport mark up. This book finds Jen trying to expand her cultural horizons from the barrage of reality TV that she’s been addicted to. Jen’s adventures into the world of high culture provided even more fodder than her childhood. She has great insights into popular culture – I particularly loved her Pretty in Pink- Jake Ryan theories that lead to some embarrassing moments at an artsy cocktail party.

Jen Lancaster, in my mind, cements the old adage, if you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me. And I would love to sit next to Ms. Lancaster.

Violet in Jessica Simpson "Jessica" pump in ivory patent

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

coverlet vs. duvet cover. by orange

I've talked a lot about duvet covers on this blog (here, here, here and here).  For my birthday back in April the husband treated me to a fantastic duvet cover - Hotel Collection - Silver Links.  The grey color, the mix in materials (rayon, linen, cotton and polyester), the pattern - I loved it all. 

But then...I started to realize that my dogs loved it too.  As our dogs basically each have a set of talons and one of them always snuggles up on our bed at night, our amazing duvet cover quickly became full of wrinkles and some snags.  As I'm very anal retentive about wrinkles and do not have the patience (nor the want) to iron the duvet cover once a week, I thought, crap - what am I doing to do?

So, I went back to Macy's and came across the coverlet in the collection.  For some reason...coverlet seemed...umm...old to me.  Not sure why - maybe because it reminds me of a quilt.  However, it won me over.  It is thicker material then the duvet, basically wrinkle-resistant and is enough fabric to cover the entire down duvet underneath. 

So here we are in June, and the coverlet still looks like the day I brought it home.

Woo hoo!

Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. by violet

Like many young women my age, I’ve watched EVERY episode of SATC. There was a time in my life, when I spent many lovely and wasted hours in my room curled up on the futon with friends watching the adventures of these four ladies. While they were attending art gallery openings in designer clothes in New York, I was going to fraternity parties in mostly American Eagle. But there was something about this show that seemed to catch fire with women my age. I think, much like the characters, we were all trying to find our way in a complicated world and deciding what kind of life we wanted to build for ourselves. That it was hilarious.

I agree with the critics that the series has turned a corner and is not longer a compelling look at four women in New York but instead contrived story lines to get caricatures into more and more ridiculous outfits. However, there must still be some power left in the series when the movie can get 9 out 10 of my best friends in Seattle together on a Saturday night for dinner and drinks.

A week after it premiered we found ourselves at Branzino for a little pre-movie nosh. I had never been but I knew it was frequented by a few of the ladies so it comes with serious credentials. Saturday was a stunning day in Seattle so the city was bustling with people trying to take advantage. Branzino is on a great corner in Belltown and had the feel of the charming bistro that you want just down the street from you. I had a wonderful glass of Elk Cove rose paired with gnocchi with mushroom and rabbit that was delicious.

However, we ran into some service issues. This is always tough situation, at what point do you say something? And what exactly do you say? When our group hit that point, one of our members tackled the task with incredible grace. The manger responded amazingly well - bringing us a round of champagne (pink no less!) and a partial comp on our bill. Both of their actions took a frustrating and awkward situation into a positive one for all. So cheers to both Leah and Branzino for handling it so well.

As for the movie, the clothes were fabulous, the plot was predictable and missing some of that sparkle that Carrie kept talking about. Much like Carrie’s relationship with Big, my relationship with the show has changed, it's settled into a pattern that might be much different than those early days but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still love.

Violet in Caged Steve Madden in nude

Sunday, June 6, 2010

between the lines. by orange

Last week I came across this little gem on Pandora.  Then I went to the website of this artist - and fell kind of in love with all the pink/seashell glitter on the site.

I'm not exactly sure why I can't get this song out of my head, perhaps the piano, perhaps the lyrics - but whatever it is - I'm hooked.  And happy to hear another song from this artist other than Love Song.

Between The Lines by Sara Bareilles


Time to tell me the truth
To burden your mouth for what you say
No pieces of paper in the way
Cause I can’t continue pretending to choose
The opposite sides on which we fall
The loving you laters if at all
No right minds could wrong be this many times.

My memory is cruel
I’m queen of attention to details
Defending intentions if he fails
Until now, he told me her name
It sounded familiar in a way
I could have sworn I’d heard him say it ten thousand times
If only I had been listening.

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened

You and me
Always between the lines
Between the lines

I thought I was ready to bleed
That we’d move from the shadows on the wall
And stand in the center of it all.
Too late two choices to stay or to leave

Mine was so easy to uncover
He’d already left with the other.
So I’ve learned to listen through silence.

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened

You and me
Always between the lines
Between the lines

I tell myself all the words he surely meant to say
I’ll talk until the conversation doesn’t stay on
Wait for me I’m almost ready
When he meant let go.

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened

You and me
Always be
You and me
Always between the lines.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Business Travel. by violet

Those of you who live on the west coast, know and love the freeway of many names that runs up and down the best three states a girl could ever live in. Depending on where you reside, you might call it “I-5,” “the 5” or simply “5.” But you cannot live in Oregon, Washington or California without spending a great amount of time on said freeway.

And I did just that this week. I was down in Portland again on business, this was a pretty quick trip but I got to spend the night at the Hotel Monaco. Kimpton Hotels does a good job of adding little touches to give their places some personality.

In fact, I had a little friend waiting for me when I arrived.

The drive home was a little gnarly with the rainy weather and a large accident right before I got home. But there’s nothing like some time away to make you appreciate coming home.

Violet in green, peep-toe Paolo pumps

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

why hello polyvore - again. by orange

I think I might be improving my polyvore skillz.  Check it out...just a little something I dreamed up.

polyvore 2Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Like?  Have you played around on polyvore? 

orange in Tory Burch Channing Sneaker - Navy