Countdown to California

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In a little over a month I’ll be back in California.  I cannot wait! I had an amazing year up here in Seattle, but boy am I ready to go home.  Lately I’ve really been missing my BFFs and Family.  I’ve made some great friends up here, some I’m sure that will remain close after the move, but they just aren’t the same as those friends who’ve grown up with you.

I can’t wait for:

1) Sunday family dinners (with delicious homemade food that I didn’t make)

2) Sundresses and flip flops everyday

3) Holding all my friends’ beautiful babies

4) Hanging with the BFFs

5) Being there to help my sister plan her wedding, in person

6) All the old neighborhoods and restaurants I’ve missed

I’m sure once I get back to LA, I’m going to miss the lush landscape of Seattle, the layers of beauty on any given day.  But as everyone knows, home is where the heart is.

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Crash!

One way to end a week long funk is to get into a major car accident.  I’m thinking that deep down I knew something was going to happen and I wanted to avoid it/brace myself for it (hence the funk).  On Saturday our car got destroyed and I actually felt better after.  Weird!

To sum up the incident: We were turning left onto a busy street and a car (with no stop sign) hit us on the driver’s side of our car.  The air bags went off, the door was completely destroyed and the front/rear fenders were also damaged.  The other car had a tiny of its bumper fall off.  Here are the two cars involved in the accident:

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I’ll let you guess who won.

When we got out of the car, which smelled like something was burning, we discovered our glasses had flown off our faces, my neck and back was suffering from serious whiplash, and S’s hat had somehow ended up on the car floor.  There are multiple sad realizations that came from this accident:

  • The accident was probably completely our fault.
  • Our insurance rate would most likely go up.
  • Our car could be totaled or at least out of commission for a long while.  (My dream car!)
  • Our bodies hurt.

But there was one thing that I was elated to realize:

  • We were both going to be okay.

In the moment of the impact, my initial reaction was “dang, that hurt.”  But as soon as that thought crossed my mind I looked at S to make sure he was not hurt worse than I was.  There was a moment of panic.  “What if he’s hurt!?!” And then, a great moment of relief.

It took a freakin’ car accident to get me out of my funk and be grateful for this life!

Counting Down To Reality

So far this Seattle adventure has been like a dream.  We live in downtown where we can walk to amazing restaurants, shopping, and cultural centers.  We really are lucky.

my hoodEven though we have a good 5 months left, I’ve always been a ‘glass half empty’ kind of girl and I’m afraid we just won’t have enough time to do all the things we want/eat all the things we want before we go.  I’m actually even more afraid that our embryos are going to stay frozen forever because my body just isn’t ever going to be ready for a baby, but let’s stay on the bright side.

We just discovered Greenlake.  It’s basically Seattle’s version of the Silverlake reservoir, but WAY prettier.  We came here on a brisk Saturday afternoon and it was packed with runners, bikers, walkers, and dogs.  I definitely want to come back with my running shoes on.

photo 2What’s more, we discovered Mighty-O donuts in Greenlake.  I read about it on one of those  “Best Donuts in the Country” lists from Daily Candy.  Since the Daily Dozen mini donut stand in the Market made the list, I knew it was worth a try.  It was one of the two donut shops in Seattle that made the list.  I am SO glad we went.  If you happen to stop by this amazing donut shop, I recommend the french toast donut.  It tastes like the airiest, fluffiest cross between coffee cake and a donut.  For days after our visit I couldn’t stop talking about it–and I don’t even like donuts!  I wish I could go back every morning for this deliciousness.

photo 3New tactic: Everytime I worry that my uterus is defunct and my ovary is about to implode, eat a donut.

 

 

Weekend Getaway: Staying in Portland

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Ever wanted to stay in Portland and not wanted to spend over $200 a night?  If so, check out Airbnb.  I’ve never tried it before this trip and was pleasantly surprised.  The two hotels we were debating between were going for ridiculous prices, so we decided to check out this Airbnb business and found an apartment for $95 a night!  Granted, as you check out they add a $40 cleaning fee and a $16 surcharge, but they also gave us a $25 coupon which made it worth it.

We found this gem in the Alberta neighborhood of Portland.  Alberta is the arts district and full of cute craftsman homes and hot spot restaurants according to Eater.  The apartment we chose was attached to a larger house, and was featured on Apartment Therapy so you know it’s adorable.  Our hostess had tons of sweet touches in the apartment like lucky horse shoes, vintage appliances, a bowl of violet candies and a notebook full of great restaurant recommendations.

PicMonkey Collage

 

We loved our stay here, it was easy and cute (two of my favorite adjectives).  I’d definitely stay here again.

Stuff Your Face: Toulouse Petit

Seattle has been the demise of my waistline, and it is mostly due to this one word/meal–Brunch.  Since S doesn’t have to work weekends up here, we pretty much go to brunch every weekend.  (Also destroyed–our credit card bill)  A few weekends ago our friends took us to their favorite spot, Toulouse Petit.  I’d heard of this place before, but found it really hard to stray from our usual weekend brunch at Macrina.  I’m so glad our friends brought us here, because to put it in their words, “it is orgasmic.”

Between the two of us, one of us usually gets a savory item, while the other gets a sweet, and we share.  Our friends convinced us that at Toulouse Petit, each person should really order their own savory, and then share the french toast for “dessert.”  Who has dessert for brunch? We decided to just take their advice and go for it.  We’ve been working on expanding our tummy space recently anyway, I was sure we could handle it.

I started with the spicy shrimp skillet with creamy grits.  I was surprised at how spicy and delicious this skillet was.  (I’ve found very few places that do spice and flavor well in this city.)  But the real show stopper were the creamy grits.  creamy…grits…

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I scarfed every last bit of this down, and then it was time for dessert: caramel french toast.

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I’m not usually that into dessert (I’m not gonna call it a breakfast food, because it is really as decadent as a cake), but this french toast was so tasty!  If you happen to visit Toulouse Petit for brunch, which you definitely should, I have but two tips for you:  be prepared to wait or come early, and definitely get two plates!

Apparently they have “One of the Best Happy Hours in the Nation,” and being a sort of Happy Hour fiend, I’m gonna have to come back and check that out.

Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge
601 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109

Pendleton Ponchos, The Portland Collection

Guys, I bought a poncho.  Never thought I’d be a poncho fan, or a Pendleton customer, but the Pacific Northwest has changed me. (It’s changed me in a lot of ways, but I’ll get into that some other time) I went home to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving and came out of my room wearing my newly acquired poncho. My siblings guffawed at me saying, “You’ve been in Seattle too long.”  My husband says the poncho when paired with my favorite long dress gives me a Claire Huxtable look.  I look in the mirror and think, “Dang, I love this poncho!” Not only does it keep me warm, but it effectively hides my entire midsection.

In case you are imagining a Navajo/Southwest inspired poncho from Pendleton, the one I got was on sale and part of Pendleton’s Portland Collection.  a.k.a Pendleton FOR hipsters, BY hipsters.  I found it at the awesome Pendleton outlet in North Bend, Wa.  While there, I actually fell in love with a few wool blankets too.  That, however is a purchase for another trip.  For now, I’ll have to wear my blanket-like poncho much to the dismay of my siblings.

pendleton-the-portland-collection-cream-banded-knit-poncho-product-1-4872969-270223166_large_flexP.S. This model looks really cool in the poncho.  I don’t look like this when I wear it.

 

Going Granola: Rattlesnake Ledge

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It’s been a while since we have had a chance to do any hiking up here in the PNW.  It’s also been a while since we’ve gotten our heart rates over 100.  These gloomy days are good for eating, drinking, and laying on the couch with a nice fluffy blanket. But, with all this sunshine lately, we just had to get outdoors.  Mind you, it is still in the 40’s.

S did an awesome job of researching hikes that were just our level (easy-moderate) with great scenery and found:  Rattlesnake Ledge.

It was the coldest hike I had ever been on.  So cold, in fact, that I’m pretty sure my ear drums froze.  We both got seriously terrible ear pain climbing up the mountain.  With a 4 mile round trip I was hoping it would go away fast.  Luckily, once our bodies got warmed up the pain went away.  We huffed and puffed all the way up, but it was worth it!  Just take a look at the amazing view from the top.

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Here are some highlights from this beautiful fall hike:

  • The gorgeous lake at the base of the mountain
  • When you start the trail you are immediately transported into the forests of Twilight (Can we say Edward?)
  • The top of the hike offers a great rocky ledge to enjoy the view and a snack
  • Very popular hike, makes you feel safe from cougars or bears (I’m a wimp)
  • Very dog friendly  (The Runyun Canyon of the PNW?)
  • Easy enough not to give up halfway, but challenging enough to keep you breathing heavily