Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little Slice of Heaven. by violet

There is a place in West Seattle, a Mecca to all baked goods.  A small shop that is dedicated to the art of making things from scratch. 

Bakery Nouveau is tucked into the main drag of the Alaska Junction, it' small store front would be easy to walk by if there weren't a line out the door. 


The inside is warm and inviting with weathered hardwood floors with glasses cases filled with all kinds of delicious treats – bread, pastries, chocolates and even pizza. 

JP and I have been known to go there on a Saturday or Sunday mornings to get a croissant and latte.  

The croissants are so good that it’s hard to order anything else when you are there. When a spinach and feta croissant is staring back at me from one of those cases, I can’t just leave it there.   

They are probably most famous for the twice-baked almond croissant and for good reason. The inside to an ooey-gooey piece of heaven. 

One rainy Friday night, I stopped by and picked up a mushroom and pancetta pizza.  As you might expect a bakery delivers a pizza with a serious crust.  It turned the act of eating pizza into an event.  It wasn’t sweet but it was decadent. 

I made the mistake of following them on Twitter.  I say mistake because now in the middle of my work day I know the are cooking up something so delicious I can almost smell it 15 miles away. 

Violet in Me Too black flats

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finger Lickin' Good. by violet

JP and I have different ideas about Mexican food. JP is a bit of a purist and thinks good Mexican food should only come from a truck on the side of the highway. While I love my taco truck taco, I also enjoy the occasional high-class Tex-Mex experience.  

Ranch Bravo in Capitol Hill is right up Joe’s Mexican’t food ally. It moved into what used to be a KFC and basically they didn’t do a damn thing to the place except remove some signage of the Colonel.

But there a reason that JP always suggests it.  It’s delicious.  

The ingredients are fresh and uncomplicated - much like you would get out of that truck. The biggest choice you have to make is the kind of meat and beans. And in the surest sign that the Mexican food is legit, the tacos come with two tortillas.

Should you find yourself in the neighborhood, don’t be turned off by the outside or the plastic seating.  What’s waiting inside is worth it.   

Just, ah, watch out for the hipsters.

Violet in Report Monroe in grey

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Special Lady Day. by violet

This past Saturday, I got the most lovely of treats, I got to plan the whole day.  And after one of my favorite shows The League, we called it Special Lady Day.  
It’s a truly wonderful prospect to lay out an entire Saturday to do the things that you want to do.  We weren’t going to be jetting off to Hawaii for the day and clearly a Pretty Women-style shopping trip was going to be out of the question.  And it was about having a date-day with JP so I picked activities that we could do together.  
Here’s how I broke things down
An early start to beat the crowd for breakfast at Portage Bay where I enjoyed their delicious pancakes made even better by a trip to the toppings bar. The Reason: It’s typically crowded and I hardly ever have the patience to wait it out. But an early Friday night bed time made it possible to get there just after 9am. Since, it’s not one of JP’s favorite breakfast places but it is probably my most favorite I picked it without compromising.  
A walk around Greenlake where we picked out which dog we might want to take home with us. The Reason: I wanted to do something active but didn’t feel like a full run was in the cards.  
Reading over coffee at Zoka The Reason: Somewhere early on in our relationship we got in the habit of going to different coffee shops around and reading. I could read all day on Saturday and find it completely satisfying.  It’s honestly one of my favorite things we do as a couple.  

An afternoon movie
The Reason: I love seeing movies in the afternoon – going on a weekday afternoon is one of my favorite day off activities.  he Source Code’s big draw for me was its star (dreamy) but it was better than I anticipate.d  
Five Guys for dinner The Reason:This is a delicious burger and having this treat to look forward to all week helped me cut back on other indulgences.  

Some shopping which included buying Lululemon yoga pants The Reason: Who doesn’t love a little shopping? I’ve been eyeing the Lululemon Groove pant for years now. And after an epic battle of cost vs. use, I decided that it was worth the splurge because I will get a whole lot of use out of them. After owning them for just a few days I have already found that to be true.   
Late snack ice cream while catching up on the DVR The Reason: Ice Cream. There need not be any more reason beyond that.  
All in all it was a lovely day. It would have been better if I hadn’t stupidly checked my work e-mail while we were waiting for the movie. The day of had me thinking, if I ever get to do this again what would I do? I think I would add in a yoga class, maybe a massage and perhaps a glass of wine with a girlfriend. But really there are only so many hours in a day. 
What would you do if you could play a whole Saturday?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Cure for Cranky Pants. by violet

Around this time of year, the city of Seattle starts to get a little cranky. It’s been raining and gray for months on end. While we are a pretty resilient lot up here around April our pale legs just can’t take it anymore.

When my mom suggested meeting her in Palm Springs for a few days I jumped at the idea.

Part of my mom’s job is finding hotels and resorts for large meetings. She often gets to preview amazing hotels in amazing locations and sometimes takes me along. Which is how I found myself headed for sunny Palm Springs for a stay at the Westin Mission Hills.

With three pools, a spa, golf course and bike and running paths plus pretty much the perfect temperature I could feel my crankiness disappear almost as soon as we arrived.

It was almost unfair about how beautiful the weather was while we were there. Sunny and highs in 80s. Perfectly wonderful in my mind.

With Moms color-coordinated and everything
In addition to an amazing resort, my mom‘s cousin was in town doing her snowbird routine. She introduced us to the Chicken Pie Factory. Who knew such a thing existed?

We also had a wonderful time wedding dress shopping but I won’t get into that here.

The future in-laws also happened to be in town – we ran into them on the street corner one day. We met up with them and their friends Ken and Sandy at one of my all-time favorite Mexican restaurants Las Casuelas.

This is what happiness looks like:

The guac was as goos as it looks

Just when I was thinking about becoming a snowbird myself it was time to head back to Seattle, where it is raining and cold. Sometimes I wonder why I live here. Then I remember than when it does finally get warm and sunny here, it’s pretty hard to beat.

Although, I’m now trying to sell the girls on a weekend in Palm Springs next winter. Sometimes, you just need a little vitamin D to get you through that rough Seattle “spring.”

What do you think ladies? You in?

Violet in Steve Madden Tuscaan