Brunch is, by far, the best meal of the day. It is your friend in all weekend scenarios. For example:
– You decided to treat yourself to a bit too much to drink the night before. You wake up at 5am desperate for some water, and pass out again until 10, effectively missing time for your usual breakfast of a protein bar and a diet coke (I know… I know…). It’s too early for lunch, so put on some yoga pants have a cup of coffee and get yourself to brunch by 11. That hangover will not cure itself.
– You find the you are now a more responsible adult by default since getting an alarm clock that cost you over $1,000, and insists on waking you up promptly at 7 (I am of course talking about my puppy and all of his related expenses). Did I mention that there is no snooze button? You have stopped hitting the bars until the wee hours of the morning, in favor of waking up ready for the dog park. With all that money saved by not drinking, you really should treat yourself to a nice meal. Thankfully, your new alarm clock loves to nap, so day drinking and nursing a food baby is totally acceptable. Treat yo’self, dress up, and go to brunch.
I have recently found my favorite brunch pairing yet in Seattle – Tallulah’s and Hello Robin in Capitol Hill. You know you are in Seattle, as these two gems sit on the same block, separated only by a super cute local/artisanal/gourmet convenience store and a homeopathic remedies shop. I am craving a slice of avocado toast, a glass of green juice, and a bourbon cookie as I type this. I recommend anything pictured below – see captions – but I’m sure everything else is fabulous. The best part about this brunch, is that it is actually pretty inexpensive despite how luxurious the food is. I have been to this combo twice now, and have not broken $25 total (ordering a shared toast plate, eggs benny, green juice, and some cookies).

IMG_4226Avocado toast on Macrina multigrain bread

IMG_4225

Eggs Benedict with Virginia Ham on Macrina Brioche toast

IMG_4223

As you enter Hello Robin, you are greeted by both an overwhelmingly delicious aroma, and an overwhelming selection of the best cookies you could dream of.
IMG_4220
Whipping up some Mackle’smores en masse.

IMG_4222
Enhance! Just look at how delicious that mountain of dough is.

IMG_4219

IMG_4218

We ended up with a little box of a half dozen cookies: Brown Butter Bourbon, Mackle’smore, Totes Oats, Whole Grain Sea Salted Chocolate Chip, Molasses, and Pumpkin (ranked in order of deliciocity)

 

 

Follow:

I went to Alaska with my Dad back in June, and cannot believe that I haven’t posted anything about the trip (actually, I can believe it, as the blog had been collecting dust for almost the entire year).

A few months before the trip, my Dad called me up during work and asked if I’d like to join him on his annual fly fishing trip in Alaska. As you can imagine, my answer was a very enthusiastic “YES”. He has been fishing with the same guides for longer than I’ve been alive, so to be invited to tag along was really exciting.

We flew into Anchorage, and the flight there was probably the most beautiful flight I’ve ever been on (pictured above). The mountains and glaciers in various shades of blue and white will remain one of my favorite sights. From Anchorage, we flew to Bethel, and then on to Quinhagak on a private plane. When I say private plane, I really mean that there are no roads over the tundra, and we were the only two passengers on a plane that could carry 12 people and cargo…

Quinhagak is on the southwestern coast along the Kanektok River. Our camp was a few miles up river, and was only accessible by boat. This was definitely the most remote place I’ve ever been. We spent every day out on the river fishing for Rainbow Trout and Salmon. I spent about half of that time reading and trying to stay warm. Even though I don’t consider myself to be an avid angler, it was so rewarding to feel a tug on the line and find that the hook caught a fish and not a root! I enjoyed learning to fly fish, taking photos, and disconnecting from real life; but more than anything, I was excited to get to share in one of my Dad’s favorite places and activities.

_MG_7613
 Dad with a fish on the line
 
_MG_7640
 A dark, old Rainbow Trout

 

Dad's Canvas
The most massive trout of the trip. Rainbowsaurus Rex

 

G0020158
Chum Salmon have the coolest “tiger stripes” 
 
IMG_0402
Close-up

 

GOPR0204
With Dad and a Rainbow Trout 

 

GOPR0239
 King Salmon – I actually caught this on a rod meant for a trout… This was quite the arm workout!

 

IMG_0417
Quinnie, the camp dog.

 

IMG_0425 IMG_0420
The Kenektok River

 

Follow:

_MG_8050
A few weeks ago I went to Bainbridge Island for the first time with my Mom. I can’t believe that it took me over a year to hop on the ferry and visit this little island across the sound. With its boutique lined main street, tall trees, and cute little houses, Bainbridge reminds me so much of my childhood hometown in Connecticut. I only took a few photos during the day, but I am so glad that I caught some of the autumn colors at Bainbridge Winery and forced Brodie to pose with some pumpkins.

_MG_8045 _MG_8065 _MG_8036 _MG_8033 _MG_8031

 

 

 

Follow:

Since moving to Seattle and moving into an apartment with abundant patio space, I have wanted to have a nice little herb garden to supply my culinary creations with some additional spunk and pizazz. Alas, my herb garden lived a very short life before inexplicably drying up. One thing that did survive – for now at least – was my Lavender plant.

I love Lavender. It is just so relaxing. As a result of my love for this little flower, I’ve aspired to make a Lavender Gin and Tonic for a while now. I’ve had a very variations of this in bars and restaurants, but I wanted to perfect this refresher at home.

This couldn’t be easier. Not really feeling the hefty price tags of Lavender Cocktail Shrubs or liqueurs, I opted for a dry soda instead. This is just about as easy as my all time fave – Deep Eddy Ruby Red and Soda. I crave the feeling of a fancy cocktail, but usually if it involves a mixer or a strainer, I’m already checked out. The one thing I wish I had was a straw – it would have helped me to keep from chomping on Lavender buds….

Recipe:
– 5 oz Dry Lavender Soda
– 3 oz Gin (Floral)
– 2 slices Lime
– A few sprigs of fresh lavender
– Ice
1. Put everything in a glass
2. Stir
3. Enjoy! 
Follow:

So this post has been sitting in my drafts for like, a month and a half now. I had the best birthday weekend – I dare y’all to try to top it. I had such a great time with my Mom in town, and with my friends by my side. I was spoiled – my friends bought me cupcakes and macarons, and faux tampons that are actually tiny flasks. What more can a 25 year old ask for?

Here are some pictures from my trip…

Sneaky Sneaky…. 

These two Scandal and Weeds nerds found Guillermo Diaz’s doppleganger at Toulouse Petit

Birthday Cake Macarons = <3

Wine tasting at 14 Hands Winery in Yakima

My beautiful Mom taking pictures of the weirdly beautiful terrain in Ellensburg.

We went to a fish hatchery. So. Many. Salmon. So. Many. Trout.

Multnomath Falls.

Let’s pretend this is the top of the falls…

 I never wanted to leave this place.

This little guy and his comrade wanted to join us for birthday Champagne, Smoked Salmon, Brie, and Macarons.

25, but I haven’t outgrown a sly middle finger joke… Excuse me while I adjust my glasses…

I touched this.

This is the exact moment that I got a fever and a cold that lasted a month. #worthit

I spy a sad, and slightly phallic, sea anemone…

lol
We’re Cute.
After combing through sand for an hour I finally found an intact Sand Dollar. This is basically gold to me… pun intended.

25 and I was so excited for the beach swings in Seaside. I swung by myself for a solid 15 minutes. Not ashamed.

I was 2 for 2 on weekends that included Sea Lions for a little while.

Cape Disappointment. Didn’t live up to its name. It was pretty cool.

Modern Hike Documentation. 

Follow:

please, please, please pay attention to that fabulous sea lion in the back. 

I know that most people don’t find work travel to be all that exciting or glamorous, but I just came back home to Seattle from SUCH a fun trip to San Francisco. I was sent there for two days for work with a few of my good friends, and tacked on an extra day for sight seeing, and loved just about every minute of it. I just wish I had more time to spend there!

I have a bit of a history with quick trips to San Francisco – as my only other time visiting the city lasted less than 48 hours in 2012 for a job interview. Even with such brevity as 48 hours then, and 72 hours now, it is totally possible to have an amazing time in this city. Here are a few things from each of my quick trips to SF…

On a semi unrelated note – comparing photos from two different trips, two years apart from each other, is really interesting. It is so cool to see how much I have grown as far as my camera skills are concerned. I hesitate to say “photography” because I can’t take myself that seriously…

2012:

After spending most of the day having brunch and generally bopping around with one of my friends in the city, I took one of the famous trolleys up to Lombard Street. This was not without a fair bit of hill climbing on my own, though. I knew I had to check out the world’s most crooked street, as my Great Aunt said that is was one of her favorite things in SF when she had visited more than 20 years ago. I would love to live along side such a crazy street, especially since it is filled with Hydrangeas.

From Lombard Street, I made my descent to the water, and caught an amazing view of Alcatraz at sunset. The fog was beginning to roll in, and was breath taking. Coming from Texas, where everything is dry and flat, it was amazing to see how different this city was from Austin.

I’m not sure why this photo is so washed out – I really don’t remember making that editing decision – but for the sake of posterity and comparison, it stays. I made my way down to Pier 39 to check out the Sea Lions and fell in love. They are the weirdest and most wonderful combination of the mermaid version of cats and puppies, and I cannot say how much I love them.

2015:

This time around, I had a bit more time to spend, so I was able to fit in some more than just a very steep walk. On Thursday, my friends and I walked over 10 miles; usually this would be awesome, but I sprained my ankle last week, so it was a bit of a struggle that ended in a very ugly ankle. It was totally worth it though. We walked through Chinatown, went to the Ferry building and had the most AMAZING ice cream ever, and had a delicious seafood dinner at Scoma’s. Friday was all work, and then some play with friends for dinner and drinks. I met up with the same friend that I hung out with in 2012, and literally ran into a friend from Austin in a bar. For as big as the world is, it sure can be small…

Saturday was the day, though. We woke up, went to brunch, and then set sail on a Catamaran to tour the harbor. This is by far my favorite part of the trip. I found Adventure Cat tours online, and would recommend it to anyone who loves chill, classy times. What is better than Cali wine, Jazz, Sailing, and beautiful views? Nothing, that’s what.

Fun fact: I bought the exact same style of Minnetonka moccasins on my last trip to SF. Both times, I was wearing inappropriate shoes for the amount of walking I’d be doing. I had been waiting to replace my old pair for some reason, and now I know why…. Even with such comfy shoes, kicking my feet up on the cruise was utter bliss. 

We all let everyone else do the hard work.

The weather was perfect for us, but the storm clouds rolling in didn’t bode well for the later cruise…

I would want in on that cuddle, but I cannot unsee the things that these guys were laying in… ew.
Follow:

10945664_10203613260481847_672881548423121287_n

I think everyone went crazy over the holidays. That is really the only reason that I have come up with to explain why everything has been so nuts in January. Really, everything is good but work has been particularly stressful – not surprising really.

I find that when I get stressed out, I like to do either one of two things: sit on the couch all day and binge on Netflix (hello, Friends) or go off and do something outdoors by myself. I did both of these things this weekend. I am proud and ashamed to say that I’ve watched 8 seasons of Friends in 3 weeks; one of which was completed in its entirety yesterday afternoon. I felt like a total blob, so I knew that I had to get out and do something today.

Usually, I will get in the car and drive to some beautiful mountain or lake to take photos and hike around, but today I just didn’t feel like planning anything. So – I “urban hiked” around in my own backyard along Seattle’s waterfront. I walked along the trail running through the Olympic Sculpture Garden, Myrtle Edwards Park, and Centennial Park.

To say that today was perfect would be an understatement. 60º and Sunny is a fairly standard January day in Austin, but I never thought that it would be so nice in Seattle this time of year. As I walked along the water, looking at the Olympic Mountains across Elliot Bay, basking in the sunlight – it felt like all my stress just melted away. So much so that I wanted to dance and sing along to my music, but obviously didn’t because I was in public…

I am finally making some real progress toward getting a puppy this Spring, so I am so thankful that such a great trail is just blocks away from home. I cannot wait to take my new best friend down there this summer 🙂

Follow:

After seeing beautiful Murano glass in Italy and my first Chihuly installation in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, I have always wanted to see how glass is blown. So when my friend offered up a spot in a private glass blowing workshop, I jumped that the opportunity to join with another friend as well. We each made three Christmas ornaments, and the whole process was so cool. Is it weird that my new favorite color is “molten glass”? 
Below are a few pictures taken as we were blowing our ornaments. I will not be sharing photos of each of us actually blowing the glass, because it just looks very odd and slightly wrong. I also don’t need that picture of myself on the internet forever. I couldn’t help but laugh every time they told us to blow harder – I’m sure I looked just like the War Heads logo… (click here for that image)
 I was terrified of getting in contact with pretty much everything. I burn myself on coffee each morning, and cannot imagine 2,000 degree metal or glass… No one had to warn me about the heat!
Molten glass hangs on to an iron rod, which is then put into a swirling 2,000 degree heat. This is called a “Glory Hole”. I am not kidding. 
The inside of an old glory hole that had been covered with glass. 
Some of the tools appeared to be more at home in a horror movie than a glass studio.
You can see the first bubble forming as the glass is blown. 
That black piece is actually water logged wood. It helps to shape the spherical ornament. 




The bubble grows larger! This ornament was actually not red; the glass is just that hot.
After the glass is removed from the iron blowing rod, a blow torch is used to create a small hanger. So cool. 
Follow:

The day after my Christmas party with friends, all I wanted was to have a thoroughly relaxing “me” day. First order of business was to take off all the jewelry that I passed out in glamorously fell asleep in. I love this tiny jewelry dish that my Mom sent to me in a care package a while ago. It’s a tiny glass Texas, with a gold heart over Austin <3 I can’t say how happy this makes me every time I come home. 
It is the perfect size for my ring, and whatever earrings that I’m currently wearing. On this particular occasion, I had worn my Megan Runser Good as Gold for BaubleBar “DIAMOND CAYMAN STUDS”. Megan is a fabulous friend who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In true style, she designed a Guest Bartender collection for BaubleBar. 100% of the proceeds go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I think I’ve worn these studs at least four times a week since getting them the day the collection launched. I love how just a bit of glitter can dress up even the most boring winter garb by day, but transition so well into luxurious statement earrings by night. Paying it forward never looked so good. Check out the rest of her collection here!

Next on my agenda was to just relaxxxx. One thing that helps me to instantly feel more at ease is to pamper my skin. I recently went to Uwajimaya – a truly massive Asian supermarket here in Seattle. I went with one thing on my mind – face masks. I love a good sheet mask, because they can be so hydrating but require basically no effort to apply or remove. I’ve heard such great things about the sheet masks made in Asia, but haven’t had a good place to find them until moving up here. 
This only makes up a small selection of the truly ridiculous amount of masks that I bought. Walking down the face mask aisle was pretty much like being a kid in a candy shop. I had to try each one. What’s nuts is, I didn’t even scratch the surface of what they had to offer. So far, I have tried masks with “Diamond Extract”, “Hyaluronic Acid”, and “Pearl Essence”. Each one has left my skin feeling refreshed, and particularly moisturized the day after. For about $1.50 to $2.00 a piece, they are definitely worth it!
I saw something that I just couldn’t leave without right as I checked out with my face masks. Bioderma. You have eluded me for so long. I have always wanted to try this cleanser, but have been weirded out by the idea of ordering it online. I love this so far. I have used it to completely remove my makeup a few times, but I really prefer to use it after my usual cleansing routine. It definitely helps to get rid of any lingering makeup, and really tones the skin while keeping the moisture in. 
I couldn’t not share my framed “Your the Shit” Calligraphy. Who doesn’t love some gilded script, especially when the message itself isn’t all that fancy? For all the cleansers and masks in the world, there are some things that you just can’t clean up – my sense of humor included. 🙂
Follow: