Friday Roundup

Shake off that rain!! So what's everyone up to this weekend? I hope the weather is better wherever you are than it is in Seattle. I'm ready for summer! Patrick and I are headed down to Tacoma to have dinner with his brother and wife who are expecting their first baby in a couple of weeks We are so excited for our little niece to arrive (the first for both of us)! 

Here are some fun links to take you into the weekend - Happy Friday!

Incredibly creative way to paint.

Wacky and cool floor art design

How to quickly ripen an avocado.

Romantic bedrooms.

I'm in love.

I'm thinking about a career change, anybody wanna join me?

Great news for chocoholics like myself!

What Americans would give up to keep the internet. Is this surprising or not? -- I can't decide.

Epic bathtub.
What do you think about this suit for the summer? Good thing I'm too pale to get tan lines. ;)

100 things to do in Seattle before you die.

A great song from The Weekend for your weekend.

(fabulous doggy shaking photos from Carli Davidson via Adventures in Heatherland)

Doily Wreath

When I needed decorations for the vintage themed baby shower I threw a few months back, I was looking for all things old-fashioned and ended up stumbling upon TONS of things made from doilies on Pinterest.

I found this Martha Stewart doily wreath, which I LOVED. But then, I realized with the special supplies it called for, it was going to cost me over $100. Yikes. No thanks. So with that vision, I continued to scour Pinterest for other similar ideas and I came across this much simpler doily wreath.

In the end, I came up with my own creation, somewhat in the middle of the two. I used the technique from the second one, but added a lot more doilies than it calls for, shoving them a lot closer together.
Instead of using a metal frame as suggested in that tutorial, I used a straw one. When I realized I needed to wrap it in something and hadn't prepared for that, I whipped out a white sheet and tore it into strips, all the while pretending I was a WW1 nurse, caring for sick officers at Downton Abbey.

With the help of a couple of friends, we wrapped the straw wreath frame and proceeded to take a couple of hours of scrunching and hot gluing doilies. I recommend doing this with the friend for the entertainment alone.

When it was done, I used a bit more of the ripped sheet to make a bow to hang it from my picture rail.

Ta-Da! Doily Wreath success!

Dreaming of Buenos Aires...

P and I have been dreaming of traveling to Buenos Aires for years. We've been told it has a great mix of European and Latin American cultures and are hoping to experience the worldclass food, boutiques, bars and galleries of "the Paris of Latin America" for ourselves someday.  In the meantime, I am creating a must see "photographic travel list":


I think it's happening. Overalls are making a comeback. When onsies and jumpsuits started popping up at H&M a few years ago, I new it was only a matter of time. As I researched (googled) it further, I realized that overalls have been popping up here and there on the runway since 2009.
I LOVED wearing overalls in middle school, and kind of want to get a pair now. They are so...effortless.

What do you think? Are you ready to do overalls again or do you fear you'll look like this?

Seattle Spotlight: Tom Douglas

Have you heard of Tom Douglas? He’s a famous chef here in the Northwest and a sort of local celebrity in Seattle. If you're visiting town or you live here and are looking for a great place to eat, hitting one of his restaurants is a must-do.

I had brunch last weekend at Douglas’ first restaurant, The Dahlia Lounge, with a good friend who was visiting from DC. We loved the crunchy-on-the-outside soft-in-the-middle breakfast potatoes, thick sliced bacon and yummy omelettes.
My family celebrated my dad’s birthday in February at Douglas’ first-class seafood restaurant, Etta’s Seafood near Pike Place Market. Everyone agreed that the seafood was top notch, and in Seattle that’s saying a lot.  
The Brave Horse Tavern on South Lake Union is a great spot for after work drinks or late night shuffle board. Patrick is a huge fan of this bar and their local beers, giant bavarian-style pretzels and laid back cabin-ey vibe. They also have a great heated deck for outdoor seating in the summer.  

Jenny and I enjoyed the amazing food and lively atmosphere at the Palace Kitchen for a girls night out in January. The staff were incredibly nice to us when a rude guest informed us that we were being too loud (on a Friday night! in a jovial restaurant!) and brought us complimentary dessert (a sure way into my heart). Please do yourself a favor and order the lavender goat cheese fondue, this is not something I say lightly, but it is almost better than chocolate.

In front of Serious Pie after some delish pizza
Serious Pie has delicious pizza and root beer floats-- we snuggled up there after ice skating for Jenny’s birthday.

I’d still like to try out his greek restaurant, Lola, sometime soon. Who’s with me?  

(images my own and Brian Smale Photography, and Bon Appetit)

Wedding Wednesday: Wearing the Dress Again?

Ever wanted an opportunity to wear your wedding dress again?

This bride invited her guests to wear their wedding dresses to her masquerade themed wedding reception. It definitely added a fun twist to the night!

What are you planning to do with your dress after the big day? Will you wear it again? Just put it in a closet somewhere?

If you are married, where is your wedding dress now? Have you gotten a chance to put it on again?

I've always wanted to host a tea party for my girlfriends and we could all wear our wedding dresses.
It is such a shame that such beautiful dresses get only one day of wear.

(Image JKoe Photography)

Your Thoughts on Premiere Weekend?


So what did everyone think of the big premieres over the weekend?! 

I actually really enjoyed Hunger Games for the most part, although the group I went with was generally underwhelmed by the movie. I do wish they would have chosen a different Peeta and Gale and was disappointed by the fashion (or lack thereof) but overall I thought they did a decent job of bringing the book to life on screen. LOVED Stanley Tucci as Caeser Flickerman and thought J.Law did a good job of portraying Katniss. How did you like it?

Did you all love the premiere of Mad Men as much as I did?! So excited for this season. Loved seeing how the fashion and decorating trends are changing as the season's progress

The fabulous gif of Lane Pryce’s reenacting Megan Draper’s “Zou Bisou Bisou” birthday burlesque is from Gifulmination.  Caeser Flickerman gif from Huffington Post.

Downton Abbey and Mad Men as Portrayed by Dogs

Yes. It's as good as it sounds. has created hilarious and spot-on images of our favorite Downton Abbey and Mad Men characters as portrayed by adorable dogs. No more words are necessary, just check out the links.

(photos via

Read This: The Classics

When Jason and I were first dating, I was shocked to discover that he'd made it through high school without reading some of my favorite books. I gave him To Kill a Mockingbird one Christmas and I took the liberty of writing notes in the margins to be sure he wouldn't miss anything. All this to say, I love to read and I devour classics.

At the same time, I totally understand why people shy away from classic literature.  Some books just seem to drone on  with odd language and references to obscure things of bygone eras.  Here's a few that I think are great and would be enjoyed by most...

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

This is a weekend that we've been excitedly awaiting for awhile now. With The Hunger Games opening and Mad Men coming back, it's going to be a good one!

Here are a few Mad Men links to get you in the mood...
In anticipation of its glorious return this Sunday, NPR did an interview with a real life Don Draper. 

And finally, drink like your favorite character while watching the premiere. 

If the Hunger Games guys seem too young for you to swoon over, check out Hunks of the 80's.

Want to be more productive? Check out these tips.

Here's a TED Talk from Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity.

Beautiful cookbook full of vegetables. Seriously, the pictures in this look so amazing it makes me crave veggies.

Richard Nixon or Nicholals Sparks? I couldn't tell the difference.

Tips for a happier/healthier home from Apartment Therapy. Perfect for spring cleaning!

The best and worst of Trader Joe's. Definitely some things on the list that I'm going to try.

Article on Annie Lebowitz's book Pilgrimage which Teresa got me for Christmas!

How often do people get locked in vaults? Interview with a safecracker. 

Vintage ad above and more found here.

Gluten-Free Goodies

Many of you have probably picked up on the fact that I’m currently a “gluten-free” eater. I don’t have Celiac disease but I am choosing a gluten-free lifestyle right now (after consultation with my doc) in an effort to alleviate some long term stomach issues. After a total of almost four months, I’m starting to get the hang of finding tasty things to eat that don’t have any wheat products on the ingredient list. One of my very favorite finds so far is this divine flourless chocolate torte that is sold at Whole Foods.
The woman at the bakery counter described it as an ultra-dense-extra-tasty-brownie. Si, por favor. It's especially good with some vanilla ice cream or gelato on the side, I'd recommend Talenti if you want to get real decadent. :)

Anyone else out there gluten-free that would like to share any great tips on shopping/eating/recipes for us? I'm just getting started so I'd love to hear.

ps. My favorite resource for gluten-free cooking is this fabulous blog. Enjoy!

Snoqualmie Falls

For my birthday, Patrick and I spent the weekend at Snoqualmie Falls, less than an hour’s drive east of Seattle. Being that I’ve lived in WA state my whole life, I’m ashamed to say it was my first time visiting this stunning waterfall! We were spoiled rotten at the Salish Lodge which is perched directly above the falls. I would highly recommend the lodge for a romantic weekend away or a girls spa weekend -- every single room includes a wood burning fireplace and a Jacuzzi soaking tub for two! 
We had a wonderful time soaking away our stress in the spa, eating delicious food in the Attic bar and Restaurant (try the smoked salmon hash for brunch, to die for!), and walking around taking in the natural beauty (amidst the rain of course!)

Definitely want to go back in the summer to do some hiking!

For the Hunger Games Skeptics

I get it, "The Hunger Games" trilogy and new movie out on Friday isn't for everyone, but before you write this off as teen fiction,  check out this great New York Times review of the books . This trilogy has a lot more substance than Twilight, that's for sure. 
According to CNN, author Suzanne Collins came up with the idea for the plot while flipping channels between Iraq war coverage and a competition reality show and you can definitely see both of those influences in the final product.  
In the society of Panem, the privileged live in the Capitol and use the 13 districts that make up the rest of the country solely for resources, not caring about what it takes to get their fashion and gadgets produced, controlling the people by keeping them in poverty. Is that really very different from how our goods and raw materials are produced in the developing world today? 
In another vain entirely, it offers a great look at where reality TV might one day end up, from Survivor, to a very REAL version of it in the post-apocalyptic future. Hunger Games is 1984 for a different generation. 

Need more convincing?
Check out ABC News' Five Things You Need to Know. Comparing The Capitol to the 1% in America, speaking of the role model characteristics of the main character and more. 

The New Yorker has an interesting piece on why teens are into dystoptian societies.
An interview with past Survivor  contestant, comparing his experience to The Hunger Games. 

If you're a music fan, it looks like the soundtrack is going to be awesome, with songs by The Decemberists, Kid Cudi, Neko Case, The Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars.

Perhaps you just want to see a good movie. It's gotten great reviews from Entertainment WeeklyRotten TomatoesE!, and The Washington Post has a collection from other reviewers.

(Image Murray Close/Lionsgate via E! Online)

Day to Night Skirt

I'm totally obsessed with this pencil skirt I picked up at American Apparel a few weeks back. It's professional enough to wear to work and easy to dress up or down for after work activities. I bought it in thin black and white stripes but it's such a good deal and so wearable I'm tempted to buy a couple more colors for spring and I'm definitely getting the maxi version, so cute. Anyone else out there have versatile spring pieces they want to fill us in on? I love something that can be worn at work or at play.

Wedding Photo Booth Fun

Have you thought about doing a photo booth at your wedding? It's a great way to get people up and mingling during the reception and is a great alternative to give your guests who don't want to dance for hours on end.
Here is one of my favorite photo booths and it was actually built by the groom! The attention to detail is amazing, cushions, starfish, vintage umbrellas, a life preserver, telescope. I love that he chose to create something that went so well with the theme and decor or the rest of the day.

Click below to watch the video of stills on You Tube.

If you're planning on doing a photo booth at your wedding, think about the style of your wedding, how can you incorporate that into the booth? Perhaps you want to incorporate something else that you love into the booth. Do you love the mountains? How about a ski themed photo booth? Another of my favorite photo booths had a backdrop made out of the couple's record collection.

Want an amazing photo booth at your wedding but lack the time or skills to make it? This couple now rents out their "Love Boat" photo booth. Interested? Let me know in the comments and I'm happy to get you connected.

Here's more of Jess & Emily's Wedding

All photos & video JKoe Photography

Have a topic you want to see in a future wedding post? Sound off in the comments below.

Linking up with Something Charming...

Have a wonderful Wedding Wednesday!

Catalog Living

Have you seen Catalog Living? It's my favorite blog of the moment, absolutely hilarious!
Each post is a an image from the likes of Pottery Barn, West Elm or Restoration Hardware along with a caption telling about the life of factitious couple Gary and Elaine who live in catalog pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.
Table talk…this is the caption for the above photo.
Herbal remedy…
Pillow talk…
Blanket statement…
Pardon my French…


(Image via Vanguard Furniture)

Spring is in the air...

Although we've seen nothing but rain, rain, rain here in Seattle these past few weeks it is clear that spring is upon us! Everything seems to be growing and shades of vibrant green are everywhere. Here are somethings that have us excited about SPRING.

Wearing flats instead of boots

Peonies - My favorite flower

Cute Baby Animals

Bright Technical Prints

Attempting to Garden - even if it's just the patio!

Spending more time outside (photo slingyourhook)

Happy First Day of Spring!!

Hunger Games MANIA

So, theres' a movie coming out this weekend that some people are pretty excited about.
Teresa and I might just have tickets for opening night...
Anyway, here's a conglomeration of all things Hunger Games, to get you in the spirit.

Check out photos of the Premiere here.

You can watch the trailers here. Or re-watch them, as would be the case for many of us...Get your own Mockingjay pin, necklace, bracelet, iPhone case, t-shirt, bracelet, bag, earrings, etc. all available on Etsy. I could actually see myself wearing this Mockingjay and arrow bracelet.

China Glaze has a Hunger Games line of nail polish called "Capitol Colors" out now.

A ton of people have created maps of Panem, they are all vastly different. Lets just say, it looks like some people did their research, some did not and some chose to use crayons. - You're the friend I'd feel the worst about killing in a post-apocalyptic death match for food

"May the odds be ever in your favor"

Unofficial HG cookbook

HG inspired pencil set

Hob shopping bag DIY.

Capitol Culture

The New York Sports Club is offering the "Train Like a Tribute" Hunger Games Workout, plastic bows and simulated tree climbing included.

Meet the Tributes, see photos of the actors playing tributes from other districts and descriptions of their characters. WARNING: don't click if you haven't read the books yet. Spoilers involved.

A couple of pastors even created a Hunger Games Bible study.

(Photos via Seattle Times and Pop Sugar)

Monday Motivation

In anticipation of the first day of spring tomorrow...

Friday Roundup: Irish Style

What are your St. Paddy's plans for the weekend? Last year Jenny and I were in Dublin (see photo with my sister Laura) so it's going to be hard to top St. Patrick's Day 2011!

Here are some great links to get you in the Irish-spirit for the weekend ahead:

Irish rockabily throw-back Imelda May. Love her, take a listen.

10 Contemporary Irish Authors you need to know.

It's PADDY not Patty. Check it out.

Gorgeous lambswool throws from my favorite Irish shop.

St. Patrick's decorating inspiration from Apartment Therapy.

Yummy grasshopper cupcakes for your St. Paddy's party.

Cute wallet from Irish designer, Orla Kiely.

Great album from the Chieftains with some guest artist you'll love (Bon Iver, Decembrists, etc).

Celebrate Irish Culture Week in Seattle or hit one of these great Seattle Irish Pubs.

Drink O'the Month: St. Paddy's Edition

Any guesses on our March drink of the month?

Irish Coffee? Nope, us Americans drink that one far more than the Irish (and some say we even invented it). Green Guinness...not this one either, the Irish don’t dye their Guinness green. Irish Car again, this one is offensive when you think about it, please don’t ever order it while in Ireland.
OK, OK. You guessed it...CIDER! While it could be hard to get your hands on some authentic Irish cider such as Bulmers or Magners there are tons of local and national hard ciders to chose from in the US. And big plus for me, most cider is gluten-free! In Ireland most folks drink their cider on the rocks but here in the US it’s either served from a bottle or if you’re lucky straight from the tap in a pint glass.

Recently, some friends and I got together for a little cider tasting at the Noble Fir in Ballard. We sampled four ciders and rated them below.

1) Winesap Estate Cider, Blue Mountain Cider Co, Oregon: We were lucky enough to drink this one straight from the tap. The group described it as dry, tart, clean, crisp, white-winey, not very carbonated and less appley. This one is great for people who don't like sweet drinks. 
2) Anthem Cider, Wandering Aengus Cider Works, Oregon: This was the other on tap cider and was a crowd pleaser for sure. Group descriptions: sweet but not too much so, apply, somewhat tart, closer to apple juice taste, not very bubbly. Great everyday cider.
3) Samuel Smith's Organic Cider, Tadcaster, England: This was my personal favorite, the closest to a traditional cider taste. Highly carbonated, semi-sweet, almost like a hard-Martinelli's. Very yummy.
4) Crispin Honey Cider, Minneapolis, MN: Jenny was a big fan of this cloudy cider. It was described as very sweet, candy-appleish, tart bite at the end, and pear-ish taste. Great choice for people who like a sweeter cider.