Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coming to Port. by violet

One of the trends I have been loving this spring and summer is the return of the Sperry Top-Sider. Once reserved for preppy kids (like Steff from Pretty In Pink) and New England sailors has been adopted by hipsters from Brooklyn to Portland. I love when classic American pieces like this make a comeback. The hipsters have seen to it that Ray-Bans, plaid shirts, Levi’s, Converse and Fedoras have made their way back into the main stream once again.

Growing up, I was always attracted to the preppy look. The coolest kids in high school were the preps. Seriously it was the Outsiders, we had greasers too. So I have this strange nostalgia for it.

I’ve been trying to save pennies because J.P. and I will be attending five weddings between now and October, (oh, don’t worry my 7 bloggie friends, you will hear all about each and every one of them). But I could not resist buying a pair of Top-Siders as a flip flop alternative.

I went with the classic light brown to ensure I could wear them with most anything. So far I’ve stuck to wearing them with cuffed, boyfriend jeans with tanks and cardigans. But I’m thinking about branching out a little bit more – maybe with skirt for that ultra-preppy look. Or shorts and a plaid shirt for that dirty hipster look. The best accessory to pair with them? Ray-Bans, obviously.

Violet in black, peep toe Steve Madden

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last Minute. by violet

I was having a very rough last week. I was so tired and out of it - forgetting things, making errors, sending e-mails with typos in them and generally being in a state of disarry.

When out of the blue, J.P. and I got an totally unexpected invitation out to a friend’s place on Whidbey Island. This, this, was just what I needed. The invitation alone pulled me out of the funk I had been in.

We picked up Bryan and Amy and boarded the ferry on Saturday afternoon out to the island. And you know how I feel about ferryboats.

The place was amazing – right on the beach. It’s a family place – I can’t even remember exactly how many different families were represented over the course of the weekend. And dogs, so many dogs.

There was beach volleyball, jet skiing, plenty of time for reading my wonderful book.

There were s’mores, cigars, cocktails and more food than any one person needs to eat.

It was tough to leave – and even tougher when one of the ferries broke down.

But, more importantly, I came back with a sun burn and a renewed outlook on life.

Thanks so much to the Chapman’s (and the other families who were around) for giving me exactly what I needed.

Violet in Sperry Top-Siders in Sahara

Sunday, July 25, 2010

music monday. by orange

This past weekend the husband and I went to go see one of his favorite artists Amos Lee at the Mural Amphitheater in the Seattle Center.  Here is my favorite song from the set list:

Black River

Monday, July 19, 2010

A weekend. By violet

It was a lovely weekend around Seattle this past weekend. And since the theme of the summer is busy, busy, busy, this weekend was no different. There was yoga, a visit to the Bite of Seattle, a walk around Discovery Park and a visit to an excellent burger joint.

I’m sure you will get to hear about all that but I want to talk about Friday. We got a few friends together, had dinner at Kushi Bar, saw Inception and hit up the Melrose Market for an after dinner drink.

It just so happened that J.P. had been there earlier today a delicious sandwich for lunch, so he suggested a darling little wine bar, Bar Ferd’nand.

First off, the Melrose Market is a cool little spot. It’s a lot like a miniature version of San Francisco’s ferry building. Along with a sandwich shop, there’s specialty meat and cheese shop, it’s the new home of Stika and Spruce. (And p.s. the cheese shop is called Calf & Kid. How awesome is that?) There’s also a record store and clothing boutique.

Since we came late night for wine most shops were closed. But given all the awesome, interesting shops and of course the great wine, I’m sure we will be back.

Second, Bar Ferd’nand is a great little spot. When I say little, I really mean little. But the market is open so it doesn’t feel cramped (that and there weren’t a lot of people there). The staff was very friendly and gave me a great recommendation for a reasonably priced glass of wine.

With so many places that are so loud that you can’t hear the person next to you talk. Or trying to be too cool for school, it’s nice to find a little gem like this.

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

music monday. by orange

This song seems to be perfect for a Monday, somewhat gloomy Seattle morning.  Enjoy!

Set Free - Katie Gray

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow? by violet

I come from a family of gardeners. My mom’s favorite thing to do is be outside in her yard talking to the flowers. My stepmom has started a vegetable garden and has a pretty green thumb. My grandfather used to fret over his tomato plants.

And me? Well, I’m lucky if I don’t kill a house plant right away. But I have always felt like gardening was in my genes and if I gave it a real shot I could be good at it. After I went with Melissa to a Do-It-Herself workshop at Home Depot, I got inspired. How great would it be to pick veggies out of your own front yard?

After some engineering on J.P.’s part (THANKS!), he built me a lovely bench to make our second story balcony my mini vegetable garden.

I went back Home Depot to pick up some supplies.

I was a little intimidated by the garden department. Even though I had my class under my belt, there’s something about being faced with actual plants with actual dirt to put them in that changes the game.

I tried to pay attention to the signs and the descriptions. I also heeded advice from other gardeners which was to grow foods that you like to eat. I picked out peppers, both green and red bell as well as jalapeno along with beefsteak and cherry tomatoes as well as some snap peas, just for good measure.

I’m more than a little excited about the whole thing. I’ve been obsessively checking the plants for the past few weeks. And the other day after work, I noticed this:

How amazing is that? I grew that!

I’m beginning to understand why my family is so into this gardening thing. A girl could get used to this.

Violet in my brand new Sperry Top-Siders in Sahara

orange must haves. by orange

Once I like something, I rarely stray from it.  This seems obvious...but sometimes I think i might take it a bit too far.  For example if I find an entree that I like at a restaurant, I will likely continue to order it time and time and time again to not risk being disappointed by another choice on the menu.  Yes it does limit me some...but hey at least I'm happy every time I leave that restaurant.  I digress.

This summer - some favorites and/or staples for sunny weather have already become apparent - even though in Seattle we've really only had 10 days of summer so far (for those non-Seattlites...summer here does not start until July 5th). 

Here are the orange must haves:

currently $49.99 but can get 50% off online by entering Sale50 code!!
The husband can attest - I own these in multiple colors and wear them...alot.

umm...they make me feel like I'm still hip.

currently on sale!

lightweight, bright, easy to carry and goes with just about anything

perfect for a match of tennis or a quick run.  and they don't ride up in the middle - woo hoo!

Monday, July 12, 2010

music monday. by orange

I heart Pandora.  Especially when I discover new artists (to me) that I'm really excited about.  These are the songs that made an appearance on Pandora last week that make me smile on this gloomy Seattle Monday. 

Lenka - Trouble is a Friend

Dave Barnes - Little Lies

...hope you enjoy as well!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vancouver. by violet

The question often comes up in random conversations, what are your favorite cities? I find it challenging to pick m y favorite anything, mostly because my choices inevitably vary by my mood, time of day, day of the week and how my memory is currently operating. However, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Vancouver B.C. would be in the discussion no matter which of the many variations of the aforementioned list I am currently experiencing.

First off, it’s incredible beautiful. You think Seattle has an amazing mixture of mountains, water and high rises? Vancouver scoffs at this. The mountains are bigger and closer; the water is more expansive and even more engulfing of the city; downtown is even more compact with offices and high rise condos. On top of that it is incredibly clean and easy to navigate. It's a great melting pot of cultures - you are sure to find most any kind ethnic food of the utmost authenticity (and we did). The people are friendly and don’t seem to mind Americans. And there is a TON to do both indoors and out. So basically, what’s not to love about this place?

Our soon-to-be-wed friends Lindsay and Neil suggested to J.P. and I we spend a weekend in this lovely town. Since Lindsay used to live in Vancouver and I’ve been itching to get back since the Olympics, we jumped at the chance.

A few weeks ago the four of use managed to get a half day off from our respective jobs and managed to be on the road not too much at 1:00. The best news was our wait at the border was literally 10 minutes which was record time for me.

We checked in to our hotel to find that a free wine tasting had just begun on the patio.
Free? Wine tasting? Why, yes, please.

Lindsay and Neil suggested a local tapas place for dinner. It was a tiny place within a block of the hotel, the kind of place I normally would have walked right by. But instead we feasted.

We then wandered around Gastown to find a proper watering hole. We found a football bar the Black Fog instead, hoping it would send the US good vibes for the match the next day (it didn't work). After that we stopped in for tipsy pizza at Megabite. It seemed like everyone was out in Vancouver that night. We should have been playing count the bachelorette parties all weekend.

The next morning we hit up Sophie’s in the Kitsilano neighborhood which is supposed to be good for celebrity sightings though we didn’t spy any during our trip. Breakfast more than made up for that. Some people I know (cough, J.P., cough, Orange, cough) don’t like pancakes all that well. I think that’s crazy talk. Sure the waffle gets all the glory but to me, good pancakes are a little bit of breakfast heaven. And Sophie’s knows what’s up.

Yum...real butter...

After that we strolled around the neighborhood before heading over to Stanley Park to rent bikes. Even though our ride started off a little overcast, by the half way point the clouds has burned off and it was a stunning day in the city.

The park was busy with bikers, walkers, runners and roller bladders. We even spied a game of cricket being plays (Oh, Canada, so sophisticated and international).

And then there was this double-denim awesomeness

After a well-earned Blizzard, we did a little shopping on Robson Street. Lindsay had better luck than me, picking up a jacket at Zara. We were headed to Vij’s for dinner, Lindsay and Neil recommended that we get there early – we were there by 5:45 and still waited and hour and half. The great part was that since the sun was out, we sat outside and sipped drinks. Vij’s is also super smart in that they pass free appetizers to people who are waiting. They were all delicious little bites that got me even more excited about what dinner had in store.
However, I would have happily waited that long without the free apps. While I would describe myself as a big fan of Indian food, I’m mostly used to the cheap to moderate joints that pretty much offer the same thing. While it’s delicious it can start to feel a little bit generic. Vij’s is not that. While you recognize the components and the flavors this is not the stuff you are going to get from the take out place down the street. It takes the food was more seriously than that. But not so seriously that it’s inaccessible. And that fact that Vij is walking around, talking to people, serving apps makes it feel all the more personal.

We had: Yam, paneer and cabbage kofta in pureed lentil curry; samosas filled with lamb, beef and paneer; beef short ribs in yogurt, fenugreek and cumin curry; wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes; organic chicken with crimini mushrooms in creamy saffron curry

The beef short ribs rocked my world and I could have licked the bowl with fenugreek cream curry – I used the naan to scrape off every last bit instead. Sorry, no photos. I decide to just have the experience of eating without taking pictures all along the way.

The next morning we took the ferry over the Granville Island for a little breakfast before we hit the road back to Seattle. Granville is a lot like Pike’s Place Market, only it has its own little island.

I was amazed by these stacks of cherries.

All and all a wonderful weekend. I would tell you to go to Vij's but I'm pretty sure you will be heading there already. 

Violet in red Saucony Jazz

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the 4th. by orange

I hope you all enjoyed the 4th of July weekend!  This year, the husband and I kept it low key and just hung out with friends at their place in West Seattle.  Towards the end of the night we headed back to our house to check in on our dogs and were amazed to hear the amount of activity going on in our neighborhood.  We live in "unincorporated" King County, where fireworks are legal.  To sum it up - it sounded like our house was under full attack. 

We decided to join in the fun and some of our friends came over to fire off some of the goods purchased at a nearby casino.
Thank you to Violet's J for the pictures.

Oh and I can forget to mention, numerous "bros" were "iced" this 4th of July.  Here is the husband with his 24oz. Smirnoff Ice - ick!  If you haven't heard of "bros icing bros" - check it out here.  Funny stuff.

orange in JCrew Metallic Astria Sandals

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lil notes. by violet

I’ve seen little notes on other sites and Jimmy Fallon does hilarious thank you notes on his show and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I thought I would give these a try.

Dear little camera,
Please, please come back to me soon. You absence has created a camera-sized hole in my heart.

Dear Planner,
Why are you so full? It’s all fun and wonderful things however the pace at which you have me running around this town is soon to burn me out. Please no more.
p.s. I still think you are lovely and amazing. I get compliments on you all the time, so chin up.

Dear Honest Peach Tea,
You are delicious. Thanks for making me feel like it is summer.

Dear DVR,
I know you are full but if you see the note to my planner you will understand why I cannot give you any attention for a while. Please be patient and record all of my shows. I will be back. I promise.

Dear 4th of July,
You are one of my favorite holidays and I’m very excited you are almost here. I’m very much looking forward to a day spent with friends, full of fireworks, grilled food and frosty beverages. Also, thanks very much for the wonderful childhood memories - rush-in kickball, water balloon tosses and picnics in the park.

Dear Jackie Warner,
You are an inspiration. Thank you for your amazing work out in this month’s Shape magazine. Staring at your toned abs is all the motivation I need. I’m dreaming of the day when I can actually complete the recommended third set.

Dear women who wear tank tops and spaghetti straps to work,
Unless it’s under a sweater, blazer or something else, it’s completely inappropriate. And it needs to stop.

Dear summer,
Wish you were here.

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