Friday, October 28, 2011

I wish I was here by Violet

Becuase it really is one of my favorite places on Earth.  And just look at how happy it makes me

Violet in Oregon rain boots

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolopolis by Violet

As I have noted there are certain parts of my job that don’t suck. I encountered one of those moments when my lovely and talented friend/coworker Meg invited me to a chocolate tasting at Chocolopolis. I didn’t have to think about that one for too long.

Chocolopolis is an adorable store on the top of Queen Anne Hill. They offer tons of different kinds of artisan chocolate from all over the world and add some of their own special creation as well.

Too cute, right?
In preparation for the holidays they invite some of us corporate types in to taste some of their chocolate.

I arrived a little bit early - probably because I could barely contain my excitement about this event. This actually turned out to be a blessing. Because I found this great book about some French woman who became a chocolatier (I would give you a link to the book but I’ve completely forgotten the title and a Google search proved fruitless). But there was an entire chapter on tasting chocolate – tips and how to approach it. This proved valuable as we went into the chocolate tasting.

Lauren, the owner, ran us through an extensive chocolate tasting that spread over all the bean producing regions. It was incredibly interesting to taste chocolate like you would wine. Really focus on the experience rather than shoving down your face as fast as humanly possible (I don’t do that. I don’t know what you are talking about).

I learned that while I love dark chocolate, I don’t love 100% cocoa which they have in the store and is one of their most popular bars. I also learned of the existence of one of the most delicious drinks I have ever encountered – the peanut butter hot chocolate. It pretty much tastes like a melted peanut butter cup. I’m going back for another one of those soon.

Seriously. It's freaking awesome.

If you are looking to get your chocolate fix or a unique gift, I highly recommend checking this place out. Tell Lauren and the crew I said hello.

Violet in Frye Campus 14L boots in Saddle Montana

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We tried to get breakfast by violet

We tried to get breakfast last Sunday morning. JP and I used to go out to breakfast a lot more than we do now. We used to gather large groups of people after crazy nights out drinking. We used to start our explorations of different neighborhoods with the breakfast joint. But for whatever reason we haven’t been going to breakfast out as much. Blame it on trying to be healthy, blame it on not going drinking as out as much.

So Sunday morning we attempted to get breakfast a Skillet. Skillet and I met before at the Mobile Chow Down a few years back. They recently opened up a non-portable location in Capitol Hill this Spring. We’ve been meaning to check it out but the place is always packed.

Now at 11:00 am on a Sunday morning with grumbling stomachs it seemed like risky business trying to get in. We were told the wait would be a half an hour which didn’t seem terrible, especially considering it wasn’t raining outside.

Plus it gave us time to people watch. I’m currently putting the pieces together to replicate this girl’s look. So far, I have the shoes.

The wait turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because at 11:30 it is socially expectable to order lunch. It wasn’t that the breakfast didn’t look good, corn cakes, pork belly, hash and waffles all looked tempting. It’s just that the burger with the bacon jam was just sitting there on the lunch side of the menu, calling out to me.

JP apparently heard the siren’s call as well because he went for lunch as well – the fried chicken sandwich with a side of poutine. It was enough gray and fries to probably kill a lesser person.

I hope the person who invited this is living a happy life in Canada for wherever this craziness came from because it is decadence at its best.

And while we didn’t accomplish our goal of getting breakfast, we certainly stuffed ourselves full of deliciousness which really, isn’t that the point of breakfast anyway?

Violet in Frye Campus 14L boots in Saddle Montana

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Unexpected Moments by violet

Obviously since getting engaged, I’ve started to look at weddings a little bit differently. After making a few decisions about our own wedding, JP and I attended two wedding on back to back weekends last month. Something struck me about these weddings. As a guest, my favorite moments from each wedding were unplanned and unexpected.

Lauren (along with Erin who got married last summer) is one of my oldest friends. We grew up two doors down from each other. We used to play dress up in her driveway and swim in her pool. We were once matching ballerinas for Halloween. We lost Lauren’s mom to ALS when we were in high school. And clearly a wedding is a time when many of us were thinking about Anita. 
Isn't she a stunner?
At Lauren’s wedding, her dad, Tom, gave an incredibly touching and moving toast. Not only did it honor Lauren’s mom but it also celebrated Lauren and her new husband Rob is such a joyful way. There was not a dry eye in the house and it’s the only time I’ve ever seen anyone get a standing ovation from a wedding toast. 

Father of the Bride is in the middle (that's my pops on the right)
Now, Sarah is a friend of JP’s from college. her and Danny had a large wedding packed with a lot of their friends. As the night wore on these friends found their way to the dance floor and right about the height of the dance party, the DJ sent the crowd into a frenzy with Regulators. I should tell you most of these kids were not straight out of Compton but clearly many of us had grown up respecting the high art of gangster rap. Which is how a group of 20-30 of us ended up on the dance floor SCREAMING all the words along with Nate Dog and Warren G. 

It was a clear black night...
It was the highlight of wedding.

...2-1-3 will regulate
Lauren couldn’t have known what her dad was going to say. I don’t think Sarah told the DJ to play Regulators. These things just happened. Plenty of time and effort went into other, amazing parts of these events. All of which were appreciated and helped make them wonderful. But what made them unique and what I’m going to remember years from now are things neither bride had any control over.

It’s a good reminder as JP and I start jumping back into wedding planning. Make thoughtful decisions and make it your own but also allow the space for the unexpected to happen. Much like life.

I just had to include Lauren and Rob's cake. Too cute right?

 Violet in Jessica Simpson "Jessica" pump in ivory patent

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall TV

Since I am a self-professed TV addict who has recently cut cable, I thought now would be as good a time as any to give you my first impressions of some of new shows this fall.

Whitney. I wanted to like this show. A comedy written by and starring a woman, that should be a train I could get on. But it disappoints on all fronts. The relationship jokes feel tired.  Men and women want different things, so that’s funny! I don’t really expect a character drawn like Whitney’s – supposedly unconventional and unwilling to conform -  to care about half the stuff the address. I turned it off half way through the second episode. I. Turned. It. Off.  My verdict: Don’t waste your time. Instead watch her much more promising writing vehicle…

Two Broke Girls. While it might not be totally consistent, the cupcake business plot line seems trite at this point (isn’t that what New York needs, another cupcake business) and I’m not sure how they are going to pull a whole series out of the theme, at least it feel fresh and funny. Kat Dennings is all around pretty awesome.  My verdict: Giving it a few more episodes.

Playboy Club.  Note to Eddie Cibrian, you are dashing, good looking and man, can you wear a suit.  But STOP talking like you are Don Draper. You’re not. And the Playboy Club is certainly no Mad Men. My verdict: Might watch one more but not banking on it.

Pan Am. Another show guilty of grasping at the Mad Men straws but at least this felt like more of a fresh angle than the Playboy Club. Think there’s more potential here. Really I think I just want one of those sweet vintage Pan Am bags.  My verdict: Giving it a few more episodes

The New Girl. Zoey Deschanel is the cutest, most whimsical thing you have ever seen!  She’s manic pixie dream girl incarnate! She wears funny hats! She sings! She knits hats! Which would all be super annoying if it wasn’t devastatingly true and utterly charming. It’s also pretty funny when she bounces off the male roommates, who are much more grounded in reality. My verdict: Giving it the season.

Up All Night.  I’m not a new parent but I certainly feel like I can related to what the characters on Up All Night are going through. Will Arnett can read the phone book for all I care. And I thought last week’s back story on Maya Rudolph’s character was hilarious, complete with 90s R&B video and everything. My verdict: Giving it the season.

Old Shows I Can Hardly Contain My Excitement About
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Happy Endings – This is my new Friday Night Lights and The Wire. I’m telling everyone I know to watch this show. Other than Modern Family and HIMYM, it’s the most consistent in terms of LOLs per episode. Plus it’s on right after Modern Family, so just don’t change the station. Ah-MAH-zing.
  • Modern Family
  • Community
  • Parks & Recreation 
  • The League
  • Parenthood

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