Back to School

It's the first day of school! I woke 10 minutes before my alarm was about to sound in excitement/butterflies. I'm so looking forward to meeting my 2nd graders!

P.S. Pictures from my trip back to the Midwest coming soon!


Holiday in Michigan

I'm off to the Midwest my dears - flying into Chicago tonight and then driving to the Lake Michigan coast Friday morning. The reason for my vacation - meeting my boyfriends parents for the first time!!

He's a Midwesterner at heart - born and raised in Michigan, so we're making the trek back to his home turf. We're meeting up with his parents up in the picturesque beachy town of South Haven, staying at a B&B, enjoying the sea and shore, and soaking up the last few days of summer before heading to a friend's wedding Saturday night.

Have a fantastic weekend! Cheers!


Mad for Mad Men

I'm mad about Mad Men! The vintage 60's clothes are reason enough to watch the show. In fact, my friend Anna is already planning her Mad Men secretary costume for this coming Halloween. I'm currently catching up on Season 2 in eager anticipation for Season 3 that just begun. Check out the sweet pics from the series here!


Fave Flaves

I come from a baking household. My mom is the Baking Queen, always whipping up cookies, brownies, 7-layer bars, for no reason at all, simply because it's...Tuesday. Having grown up on baked goods, there are several sweet treats I'm predisposed to LOVE, certain flavors I absolutely will devour upon eye contact, and others upon which I will always pass.

For example, I love anything chocolate, the darker the better; carrot cake; coconut, and of course, perhaps my all-time favorite flavor - banana - I love anything banana! Yes, I realize I might be alone in thinking this, but banana bread, cake, muffins - you name it, is just heavenly to me.

Which is why my baking goal for the week is to try out these - banana cupcakes...YUM! What are your fave flavors?


Letterpress Love

I love letterpress, lovely yet simple designs with short and sweet phrases to compliment them. Especially enjoying these by letterary press.

Back to Class

One week 'til back to school! I'm heading back to the classroom today to organize and get everything ready for my new classes' arrival. At the moment, my feelings are mixed, going back and forth between excitement for for a new class, a new year, and all that brings, but sad that summer is rapidly coming to an end.


Weekend Plans

Looking forward to a low-key weekend. After the past few weeks of GO, GO, GO, it seems simply blissful to have a weekend with a conveniently empty agenda for once. With only one more week until school starts I'm going to soak in and enjoy my free time. Have a good one!


Blog Interview - Lost in Translation

Thank you to Vivian of the lovely blog Lost in Translation for participating in my 2nd ever blog interview. I absolutely adore Vivian's blog, being a teacher myself, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about her experiences teaching abroad and traveling throughout Korea and various parts of Asia. I asked Vivian a few questions and here are her candid responses.

1. What quotation best reflects you and what you’re all about?
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do".
-Mark Twain
{I definitely don't want to be remembered as "the girl who didn't go to Paris"... remember that episode from The Hills? My worst nightmare}.

2. What is your current blog crush?
I always have more than one crush! Blog Goggles {} for being so hilarious and stylish. Just a Girl in a City {} for brightening up my daily life. Des in Real Life {} for introducing me to new movies and music. And so many more.

3. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
Make a movie. And travel the world. I'd go back to Seoul, to visit my friends. Go back to Japan. Go to South Africa and New Zealand, and to Scandinavia.

4. What is your favorite movie? Why?
Lost in Translation (surprise, surprise). Because it made me fall in love with Asia.... because it reminds me of it... and because I can relate to the main character's vulnerability.

5. What is your favorite thing to smell cooking in the kitchen?
A strawberry shortcake on a hot summer night.

6. What do you miss most about childhood?
Playing with My Little Pony, spending summer afternoons in the pool, and ballet.

7. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?
The old, mysterious back streets of Kyoto, lined with tea houses.

8. If your life were a movie, what song would play during opening credits?
"Into the Groove(y)" by Ciccone Youth. It's a Madonna cover by Sonic Youth, but it's stylish and avant-garde, and I just love it.


Ready for the Power?

My sister has turned me onto Power or "Vinyasa" yoga. While we were in the Croatian countryside, we spread out our beach towels and I attempted to follow her as she led me through a series of fluent poses (harder than it looked, let me tell you)... It seems that power yoga is essentially yoga without the reflective pauses, one motion flows into the next, focusing a lot of strength and flexibility. Since I've been back I've begun researching power yoga in my area, and am looking into take an intro class with a friend of mine this fall. While my sister raves about it, she is kind of a fitness freak, so I'm looking for some opinions about this particular breed of yoga. Anyone ever tried it? image/moderngirlstyle

How To Start Your Own Food Truck

I know I've reported on the street food scene a lot lately, (here and here), but this NY Magazine article caught my eye. If you're one of those entrepreneurial, go-getter, make-your-future-happen-now types - this might be right up your alley, the User's Guide: How to start your own Food Truck!

With the economy being what it is, an alternate gig might not be such a bad idea, especially since people seem to be crazy for mobile eats these days. And of course, food for thought - what is your favorite type of street food?


Recipe for a Wedding

Aren't these save the dates adorable? I think the nutrition label design as a wedding label is incredibly clever, especially since so many important ingredients go into a lasting marriage.


Feel the Burn!

Doesn't this look like fun? Welcome to Sweaty Sundays, an LA dance class where people dance off the previous night’s excesses to a soundtrack of indie rock, techno, and 1980s new wave hits. All the while looking Jane Fonda fabulous in lycra, leg warmers and belted leotards.

One of the regulars even affectionately calls the dance gathering “It’s kind of an American Apparel ad come to life." Once I read about this hot new way to feel the burn, I emailed the article to my sister who lives about 30 minutes from Foresight Studios in the hipster Silver Lake neighborhood. Within minutes I got a "Awesome!" reply with exclamation points...she's already got her leg warmers ready to go!


Bit By the Cooking Bug

Since I've been back from my trip, I feel like I've had a renewed cooking spirit. Seeing the quantity of fresh proteins and produce used daily in Italy and Croatia has given me a new zest to...well...cook!

First, my figgy pizza the other night, and then this delicious dish my boyfriend and I whipped up Sunday night - Steak Tenderloin in Mushrooms, Caramelized Onion, and Blue Cheese Sauce. It was AMAZING, definitely a recipe worth repeating!
If you haven't already, check out the blog where this recipe came from - Closet Cooking, quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe sites.


Bee Careful

My weekend was a little unusual...I got stung by a bee on my forehead Friday afternoon as I was taking a break from setting up my classroom. I haven't been stung by a bee since I was...say, 11. It hurt but soon the pain dwindled and I went on with my Friday evening of watching Harry Potter in the theater.

Saturday rolls around and my face is slightly puffy, not terribly noticeable unless you stare directly at my eye or my forehead...I went to a housewarming BBQ with friends and left early because of the drowsy-inducing effects of Benadryl...

Wake up Sunday morning, my face has ballooned, I look like Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, my eyelid was so swollen I could barely see out my left eye. This delayed reaction was enough cause for concern that my boyfriend took me to Urgent Care early Sunday where I was given the "ooh that must hurt," comment by about 4 nurses, and finally prescribed some steroids for the next 5 days.

Who knew bees could leave such an impression? Anyone had a similar experience?

image/animal picture gallery

A Case of the Mondays

Back to school vibes are already in the air, I've now officially down to my last 2 weeks of summer. First day of school is rapidly approaching, seeing as I've already been puttering around my classroom the last few days, tying up loose odds and ends, beautifying the space for the gaggle of little ones due to arrive shortly.

I'm hoping our weatherman's promise for a return of summer is not an empty one, seeing as our heat wave blew through in a flash and we're back to 60-degree gray days in Seattle. Cross your fingers for a last few days of summer!


Harry Potter or Bust

Happy weekend my friends! Tonight I am finally headed to see Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince with some of my sorority sisters. In college we all read the series voraciously, devouring each new book as it hit the shelves, which inevitably evolved into a tradition of seeing each new HP movie together.

During those days when we lived together at the sorority house, we used to creep into each others rooms as whisper "Harry Potter is coming," in our best British accent in the days preceding a new release...yes totally dorky I know, but hilarious nonetheless. Now that we no longer live together we've replaced this tradition with emails, text messages, and of course...plenty of faux British accents.


Dog Friendly

Check out the latest issue of Food & Wine for a report on America's Dog-Friendliest cities. I thought for sure Seattle was a shoe-in, given we have so many nature trails and outdoor play opportunities for dogs, but I guess not!

In fact, the top 5 cities are Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco. Ratings were decided on factors like allowance on public transportation, number of off-leash parks, and availability of dog-friendly restaurants and beaches, etc. Check out the article, it's pretty interesting!


Foodie Friday - Figs

I made this fig pizza for dinner last night, and it was fabulous (if I do say so myself). I followed the recipe fairly closely, I substituted whole-wheat dough, and omitted the prosciutto (only because I forgot to pick it up at the grocery story). Nonetheless, the ingredients on hand still came together to make a tasty little concoction. My favorite part of the mix was the balsamic vinegar-brown sugar reduction, the sweetened syrup really brought out the flavors in the figs.


Easy as Pie

Mmm, don't these look amazing? From Bakerella, the people who brought you cheesecake pops, now comes pie pops! This would make a sweet little favor at a shower or birthday party. I come from a pie-baking family, I've had many a birthday-pie in lieu of the traditional birthday cake in my 26 years.

My absolute fave (aside from my grandma/mom's apple) is strawberry rhubarb. Are you pie fans? If so what's your favorite kind?

How 'Bout Them Pickles

Growing up, I absolutely hated pickles. I was notorious at family functions for picking off every single pickle remnant and passing them to my cousin Jenny, who'd happily devour them, having always proclaimed pickles to be her favorite food. But as I've grown up, I've slowly acquired a taste for the slightly sour side. It started with a hamburger I think, then progressed to a full spear with lunch, and now I'm even buying dill pickle jars for my fridge, oh have times changed. Since I'm headed to Lake Michigan at the end of the month, I might pick up a jar of these local Vitula's Pickles, not only for the clever packaging but for the hand-packed secret recipe. What are your pickle thoughts, have you ever made your own? I think it would be a fun kitchen endeavor, here's a recipe to get your started! image/dieline

Hittin' The Streets

Street food is the rage right now in Seattle. I had the ultimate privilege of sampling some of Seattle's street food at Skillet, the airstream trailer/gourmet burger wagon - the grass-fed beef burger with cambozola cheese, arugula, and bacon jam definitely packed a flavor punch! Next on my list, spicy pork bulgogi and kimchi tacos at Marination Mobile. See my previous blog about this fab place here. I'm on the move!image/skillet

Accessorize the Costume

According to all the recent magazines - costume jewelry is in, in IN! Mixing and matching gold and silver, chunky and slender styles, essentially achieving that effortless "thrown together" appeal. I've never been a big jewelry girl, but in an effort to branch out and accessorize, I've been browsing etsy and came across these darling little pieces...

The Gossip Returns

Who is excited for the fall return of Gossip Girl? I am, I am! Can't believe the CW is making us wait until September 14th, but this season is dripping with drama, tantalizing new story lines, love triangles, hot outfits, and of course, plenty of gossip.


Little Moments

So true...

Julie & Julia

Always a fan of any quintessential cookbook, cooking magazines, and of course the Food Network, I'm looking forward to culinary inspiration I hope to find after seeing this movie, Julie & Julia, with my college girlfriends this weekend. Anyone seen it yet?


Hold My Hand

Tis the season to be engaged! This summer alone, 3 of my good friends have been popped the question and excitedly agreed! Thus, planning for next summer's nuptials is already underway. Loving the creativity of these hand-holding invitations, an ode to one of the simplest yet most touching romantic gestures - holding hands with your love.


Strawberry Balsamic

I am in love with the flavor combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Who would've thought these two would go together? I recently sampled strawberry-balsamic ice cream from Molly Moons which was absolutely fabulous, strawberry ice cream with a ribbon of thick balsamic reduction, yum!

If this flavor pairing is up your alley - check out this recipe for strawberry-balsamic jam.


Weekend at the Lake

Headed to the lake with a big group of my favorite people this evening. I'm super excited to catch up with friends, relax on the beach, and soak up some sun. Wishing you a lovely weekend!



I am back from my blog-cation, a whirlwind in Italy and Croatia followed by a girls trip to California and I'm back on the blogging scene. Here are a few pics from our time in Croatia.
sunset in Dubrovnik
waterfalls in PlitvicksPlitvicks National Park (famous for it's super clear blue/green water)
walking the wall of Old Town, Dubrovnik

Summer Reading

I'm always on the prowl for a new book. While in Europe, I we had lots of down time for reading, mostly on train rides between destinations.

These are the books I read this summer on my trip that I'd recommend...The newest novel, Shanghai Girls by Lisa See (author of the bestseller Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, also good)
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
I LOVED this book, written from the perspective of a dog reflecting back on his years with a family, this book is heartfelt, and genuinely wonderful!
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elie Shafak
I'd never heard of this book before when I picked it up in a book shop in Rome, but was intrigued by the tag line "The Joy Luck Club of Turkey." An emotional, intricately woven book about a 2 families; a Turkish family from Istanbul and an Armenian family from San Francisco and the history that ties them together.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I can't believe it took me so long to read this fabulous book! Amazing journey of survival!
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsiella
One of my favorite "beach read" authors, also of the Shopaholic series.
This book was light and fun, everything I wanted for the flight home.

I also managed to reread Angels & Demons and pick up a mystery my dad recommended, Wicked Prey, but I'm still open for summer reading recommendations for the month of August before I head back to school... Anyone? Anyone?