Friday Roundup

Friday is here! Why is it that the short weeks always feel extra long?? What are you up to this weekend? I'm super excited because Jenny and Brittany are throwing me a baby shower tomorrow! It will be so fun and special to have all the girls together to begin welcoming our baby boy. :)

Here are a few links to get the weekend started:

Have you heard of "catbearding" -- made me laugh.

Tips for a summer "smokey eye."

These two backyards make me want to move to California RIGHT NOW. One and Two.

Super cute Father's Day cards.

Mojito jello shots. These look AMAZING. Also, homemade ginger ale for those of us who need mocktails.

Lobster potato salad.

Hilarious wedding photo. 

Practical and cute road survival trip guide.

The resemblance is uncanny!

Cute DIY outdoor chair for summer.

Have you heard of a P-Patch? Apparently it was invented in Seattle.

These "lady puns" made me smile.


Horrible Seat Mates

This post is dedicated to the ponytailed Canadian with a man purse on our flight earlier this week. He inspired me to compile this list of my top three oddest seat mates I've had to endure for hours without escape on an airplane. Here we go: 

1.The thirty-something, racist, self-proclaimed mercenary. Jason and I were trapped next to this guy for FIFTEEN hours.  He casually chatted about how much he enjoyed shooting Arabs (no joke) and offered to show us naked pictures of his barely 18 year old girlfriend. Yikes! He was flying to see naked photo girl in New Zealand. I REALLY hope she's realized what a sleaze he is and dumped him. 

2. The undertaker who loved his job. While loudly chomping on carrots, he excitedly told me in excruciating detail all about preparing a car accident victim for an open casket funeral. Props to him for being passionate about his work, but this is not what I want to hear about on a redeye to Boston.

3. The aforementioned Canadian.  He was lacking some social boundaries and thought grabbing my arm and shaking me was the appropriate thing to do when I stopped conversing with him and pretended that the in-flight magazine was the most interesting thing I'd ever read. I just didn't want to listen to him gush about his plight in suing the U.S. government and his 100 page love letter to his fiancĂ©. When shaking me didn't work, he spent the rest of the flight asking me for the time every 10 minutes.

Alright, that's my top three. Do I just have bad luck in getting seated next to crazies or do you have some horror stories to share too? I'd love to hear in the comments.

Image via @mazagranphoto

Seattle Spotlight: French Macarons

It's no secret that I LOVE French Macarons. Lately, I've been on a mission to find the best macarons Seattle has to offer. My current favorites can be found at Ba Bar on Capitol Hill but here are a few places on my list to taste test soon:

Honore Artisan Bakery in Ballard

Crumble and Flake on Capitol Hill

Belle Epicurean in Madison Park

Any recommendations out there?

(image of Belle Epicurean Chocolate Macarons from Seattle Met)

Thai Iced Tea

Summer is on the horizon and I am already drinking gallons of iced tea. But, the funny thing is, I don't really know how to make it. It's always something I buy in a bottle or at a coffee shop. So, I've been thinking, how hard can it be, really?

We have a Thai restaurant that delivers, just around the corner from our house. When we're in town, Pad Thai and Thai Iced Tea is a pretty common meal for us. One of my favorite foods brought right to the door in minutes- it's the best. 

When I found this Paleo Thai Iced Tea recipe on Pinterest, I wanted to give it a try. Instead of sweetened condensed milk, it uses coconut milk and honey. The coconut milk definitely gives it a different flavor, but overall I loved it! Also, you could swap out the honey for agave if you're looking to make it vegan. 

Paleo Thai Iced Tea
adapted from Against All Grain

2 cardamom pods
5 cups water
8 Assam black tea bags (I subbed this for a Tanzanian black tea I had on hand)1/4 cup honey (I added more to taste)
2 cups coconut milk
1 whole star anise

Bring water to a boil. Stir in the honey, then add the tea bags, star anise and cardamom. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.

Chill the tea in the fridge.
Fill a glass with ice, then fill the glass 3/4 of the way full with the chilled tea.
Top each glass with 2-4 tablespoons of coconut milk (And as you probably noticed in my photo, I used a bit more!)

Best of Etsy: Canvas Totes

"I Miss Seattle" Tote - Jenny found this one -- what a perfect gift for Seattle friends who move far away!

Grey Graphic Tote

Black Cat Tote

Ombre Tote

Vintage Camera Canvas Tote

Design Canvas Tote

Pre-Wedding Shoe Advice

Just a little tip...
Wear your shoes before your wedding day! 
Most shoes are WAY more comfortable after you've broken them in. So strap on those suckers and wear them around the house in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Grooms, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen- this is good advice for you too! You know you want to be able to dance all night free of pain.

That's all.

Image via @JKoeWeddings


Hello from Texas! Jason and I spent Memorial Day weekend down here shooting a wedding in Fort Worth, then we drove to Austin to visit friends. Last night in Austin, I saw fireflies for the first time (that I can remember anyway...) they are amazing! We don't really get them in Seattle and we're missing out for sure. We attempted to take iphone photos, but it really didn't do it justice. So instead you  guys get this amazing one from National Geographic... 

Train Travel

Sunset over the Karoo
Have you ever traveled by train? I think it's one of the most relaxing and scenic ways to get around when exploring a new country or region. One of my favorite train rides was when Patrick and I traveled from Johannesburg to Cape Town on a 24 hour overnight sleeper train. We forgot to get cash before we got on board and they didn't take credit cards so we rummaged through all our pockets and came up with enough money for two toasted cheese sandwiches, a few cans of Castle beer, and one set of bedding that we split. It was during the warm season so we slept with the windows open all night as we traveled through the Karoo Desert. When we woke up we were meandering through the vineyards surrounding Cape Town, talk about picture postcard. 

At 33 weeks pregnant I'm obviously tied to Seattle at this point but I can't help dreaming about future train journeys. Here are a few I'd love to experience:

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India --
8 hour epic train trip through the Himalayans. 

Royal Canadian Pacific - Thought of as the best train ride in North America, the train travels through the Rockies of British Columbia and Alberta. 

The Ghan, Australia -- This train travels across Australia and all of the variety of scenery that the country has to offer, an epic ride. 

Hiram Bingham Train, Peru -- This luxury train travels across Peru and to Machu Pichu.

Venice Simplon Orient Express -- This art deco luxury train travels from London to Venice or Venice to Stockholm and looks like a dream.

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Happy three day weekend! Jason and I are at the Gorge today watching our friends at Sasquatch! We're headed to Ft. Worth tomorrow for a wedding. It's gonna be a busy weekend, but a great way to kick off the unofficial start to summer. And on that note, there's a bit of a summery vibe to this roundup. I can't help it, that's what I've been drawn to this week and thankfully, it seems like everyone else is interested in reliving childhood summers and preparing for this one too!

Camp movie nostalgia from Hello Giggles and wisdom from summer camps from Salon

Best graduation party ever (in my opinion!) incase you missed my post last year.

A visual representation of the most popular baby names by state.

This makes me want to watch Now and Then while drinking coke out of a bottle.

Crochet plant holder DIY

What if Barack Obama was your prom date? 

Incase you missed World Turtle Day yesterday...

Love this bag by Uxibal. Love it even more since it's made by Mayan women in Guatemala.

S'more cookies, perfect until it stops raining in Seattle and we can enjoy the real thing outside.

PS. Arrested Development!

Image via

Summer Reading

One of my favorite sumer pastimes is reading. Whether I'm floating on a river, laying in my backyard or lounging on the chairs above, if I have a book, I'm happy. Here is the beginnings of my list of books for this summer: 

What do you think? Any recommendations? Must reads I should add to the list?

And, because I love making lists about as much as I love reading in the sunshine, here's a variety of other books I'd recommend for your summer reading: 

Stretch Mark Prevention

So we've probably all read that stretch marks are purely genetic and it's luck of the draw if you get them or not. But you better believe I'm still trying everything I can to prevent them at 32 weeks pregnant! My sister, who is an esthetician and knows a lot about the different products, gifted me with this great Clarins set for my birthday. Basically I use the oil before I towel off after a bath and then the lotion. They are both very absorbant and smell great. And so far no stretch marks!

Good Enough.

Have you watched this new TED talk by Meg Jay called Why 30 is Not the New 20? It was posted/recommended dozens of times on my Facebook and Twitter so I gave it a listen last week. Meg is a psychologist who specializes in motivating 20-somethings to make the most of their decade and not waste time thinking they can get started with serious relationships, careers, family, etc when they turn 30.

I have to confess I found the talk more stressful than inspirational. There are a few reasons why this could be the case: 1) I turned 29 in March so my 20's are officially winding down, meaning I'm pretty much at the end of the "window of opportunity" that she is getting at. 2) I'm a pretty self critical person and no matter what I've "accomplished" or done in my 20's I'll always be wishing for more time and clarity on what I'm supposed to do with my life (pretty sure I'm not the only one). 3) Unlike a lot of my friends, I'm not in the career that I had imagined when I was in my early 20's -- honestly I'm not even sure what that career is anymore!

As my 20's are coming to an end, I'd rather adopt an attitude of "good enough." I guess what I mean to say is I had a lot of adventures in my 20's, I met a great guy, I worked with a lot of amazing I have regrets, sure I do. But I did "good enough" with these 10 years and no matter what Meg thinks, I'm still young!! 30 isn't old and I still have plenty of time to "figure life out."

What do you think of the talk? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

PS. Here are a few other interesting perspectives from the editors at Refinery 29 and a rebuttal on the TED site itself.

Wedding Workout for Slackers

Here are three simple tips for brides and bridesmaids wanting to look great at weddings this summer without much work. 

1. Work on your posture. When you stand up straight, it does wonders for how you look in a photo. Good posture makes you appear more confident, defines your jaw line, and sucks in your tummy. Even the skinniest person looks like they have a pooch when they slouch. I know my posture is WAY better when I'm doing yoga, so that's what I suggest, but even consciously attempting to sit and stand up straight in the weeks leading up to your wedding can make a difference. 

2. Tone your arms. If you're going to work on muscle tone at all, focus on your arms and back. Most wedding dresses cover the rest of your body, so no one will know how flat your abs are! 

3. Make sure your dress fits. This one doesn't involve running for miles or living on kale smoothies! Just a recommendation that you make sure you choose a style of dress that makes you look best AND that you have it professionally fitted to you. Do your last fitting as close to the wedding as possible so it fits you like a glove on your wedding day. Regardless of what size you are, that's what will make you look best AND feel comfortable and confident on your wedding day. 

Vintage Suitcase Nightstand

A few weeks ago, I picked up these vintage Samsonite suitcases at an antique shop and now they are the new nightstand in our travel themed guest room. What do you think? 

Storage is always the biggest issue when you live in a house built in 1918, apparently people had a lot less stuff then so this will double as storage for extra linens, or maybe baseballs, or boas and superhero costumes...lots of odd things live in my guest room.  

Tuesday Cupcake Roundup

I'm randomly in the mood for cupcakes! I bought these adorable black and white polka dotted cupcake liners a couple of months back from Paper Eskimo but have yet to bake anything.  I might just need to make use of them over the upcoming long weekend. What are you favorite cupcakes? I'm partial to red velvet, dark chocolate and anything with creme cheese frosting or coconut....yummm. Here are some good recipes I found around the web.

PS. What's the difference between a muffin and cupcake? Very fine line if you ask me. :)

Coconut cupcakes with 7-minute frosting and coconut flakes.

Vegan Chocolate Ginger Orange Cupcakes

English Banoffee Cupcakes with Toffee Crumble

Pistachio Cupcakes with Raspberries

Dark Chocolate Fudge Merlot Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Filing

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

All Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes

Spiced Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Maple Creme Cheese Frosting


I've been really into honey lately. Obviously it's great in tea, but there area actually a lot of other uses as well.

Did you know honey is great moisturizer? You can put it on your face like a mask for 10 minutes then rinse.

Image by Zoe Rain

Monday Motivation

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! Hope you have some fun plans -- I'm planning to keep plugging away at my pre-baby to do list and walk around Green Lake a couple of times. :)

Here are a few links to get us started!

Newly released list of 2012's most popular baby names and five important things to consider when choosing a name.

Super cool wood photo DIY.

Awesome mom dresses her daughter up like inspiring female historical figures and takes fabulous photos.

This dragon fruit cocktail is so creative and delicious looking.

Three minutes of wanderlust-foodie heaven in Spain. Totally worth a watch.

Anthropology quilt sale -- love them all.

Dad and hysterical laughing babies, enough said.

I'm liking these shoes for summertime.

In case you thought buying a house was anything like House Hunters on HGTV. (guilty)

Free 45 minute Major Lazer workout mix for the weekend. :)

(photo of Scotland)