Restaurant #2 - Nishino

Well, it's the end of January and I've already been able to dine at 2 new Seattle restaurants (my restaurant challenge, part of my New Year's goals). I better pick up my pace if I'm going to make it to 25 by December!

Restaurant #2 was Nishino, the raved about sushi restaurant in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood. I was incredibly psyched to dine at Nishino. Ever since I hopped on the sushi bandwagon, I've been a fiend for fish + rice, and this place delivered!

Between my mom, sister, fiance, and I, we ordered a plethora of food; hamachi jalapeno, meguro sashimi, spicy tuna roll, salmon with crispy rice, tempura vegetables, and more...For dessert we had a tempura banana confection with sweet sauce - yum! I'm definitely coming back here.

So here's my rap sheet so far.
Restaurant #1 - June
Restaurant #2 - Nishino

Where to next...Suggestions?

Love in the Details

As I'm planning our wedding, I'm noticing how many details there truly are to be attended to. I love the lovely little details from this Connecticut wedding; the rosemary sprigs nestled amidst place settings, the delicate way the groom is helping the bride with her slipper, the seating chart displayed in hanging windows, and the romantic lantern lit dance floor. So beautiful!

List Maker Extraordinaire

I am such a list maker. I can't help it! Maybe it's because I totally fit the stereotypical oldest child Type A profile. A personality some might like to call "neurotic," but I much prefer the term "hyper-organized."

Sometimes I think I make lists just so I have things to cross off, that's half the thrill, right? And this past weekend was personal feat for me because I crossed like 10 things off my to-do list. Okay well really it was only about 5, but you get the picture... Mind you, most of these things were mundane errands that wouldn't thrill any of you, depositing checks at bank, send thank you notes, blah, blah blah... But somehow, tracking these less-than-exciting "chores," in lists, seem awfully less chore-like when I'm able to check them off at the end. Am I the only crazy list maker out there? There's got to be more of you, right?...

P.S. I just downloaded a new t0-do list app which I absolutely love called toodle-do, which helps me convert my to-do list electronically. All my fellow hyper-organized peeps out there will iphones should definitely splurge on the $2.99 for this app. Love it!


Happy Weekend

I'm excited for a relaxing, low key weekend. After last weekend's busy-ness (albeit so much fun!!), I'm looking forward to some downtime. Also, I seem to have re-caught my cold (boo)..I had 2-3 days of feeling better, which sadly turned back into sickness. Don't you hate when that happened? Hoping to go to bed mildly early, and rest up to feel better for next week.

What are your weekend plans?


What has your mind wandered to today?

Snowball Fight Survival Kit

Isn't this the coolest? Snowball Fight Survival Kit, complete with hot cocoa with all the fixin's, spiced cider, and some sweet treats to nibble on. Makes me wish it would snow, just so I can enjoy some cozy snowday treats!

Persian Immersion

Remember the Persian Immersion cooking class I took last week? I forgot to tell you, earlier in the week, I recreated one of the dishes I learned in the cooking class at home. It was a success! I can cook Persian/Iranian cuisine, who knew? I made herbed meatballs with mast-o-khiar (a cucumber yogurt sauce), served with lavash, an Iranian flat bread (available at Trader Joes). The meal was healthy, pretty easy to make, and delicious!

My fiance was genuinely suprised and delighted I made meatballs for dinner, something I haven't been too fond of in the past, but I think the infusion of herbs (mint + Italian parsley) made the difference. The best part was, since I didn't end up using all of the ground beef in the meatballs, so last night I was able to polish it off in some quick burritos. Way to use all of my resources, huh?

P.S. Now that I've opened the door to Persian food, I've been perusing out other cooking blogs that feature this type of cuisine, one I'm really enjoying is My Persian Kitchen, check it out!


Wednesday Pretty

Halfway through the work week.
Hope you're having a sweet day!

Dinner Last Night: Light Bruschetta Orecchiette

Dinner last night fit in perfectly with my new commitment to eat healthy, light bruschetta orecchiette, courtesy of my little sis's blog - Keep it Skinny. I love, love, love the classic version of bruschetta on toast, and this recipe is that translated to pasta. Fresh, light, and delicious.

Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a get-excited-for-the-wedding-extravaganza if there ever was one! First, I went dress shopping with 4 of my 6 bridesmaids + my mom. It was quite the entourage. I went to this boutique in Seattle that is super glam and even boasts a bridal runway! (Not gonna lie, it was pretty exciting to walk the runway in a wedding dress!).

Also, my fiance's parents flew into town to celebrate at an engagement party with us. Saturday evening, my best friend & maid of honor threw a fabulous little gathering in the adorable wine bar Bottlehouse in Madrona (the bar even had wine on tap!). It was a gathering of close family and friends, and such a good time. We wrapped up the evening with a quick game, "How Well Do You Know the Bride & Groom," which was full of love and laughter.

What a great weekend!

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Anyone ever made Mexican hot chocolate before? I've never made it myself, but am eager to try. There's something so comforting about the sipping a mug of rich, warm hot chocolate. And if you ask me, the extra pinch of spice in the Mexican variety adds an extra oomph. I saw a recipe in Real Simple I'm hoping to try soon.

Hot cocoa +
- 2 pinches ground chipotle pepper
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream


Quote of the Week

"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."
- Lao Tzo

If It Makes You Happy

What is one small thing that always makes you happy?
For me it's....

hot cocoa on a cold night,
finding whole seashells on the beach,
freshly pedicured toes,
coming home to see my cat curled up in the windowsill, waiting for me
campfire songs,
surprise love notes,
banana milkshakes,
the clop, clop, clop of horses hooves
a much-needed hug
laughing until you cry.

What is one small thing that always makes you happy?


Happy Weekend

Have a happy weekend!
I'm getting over a little cold I caught while traveling, so staying in tonight. But this weekend holds lots of excitement to come. Tomorrow morning, I'm trying on wedding dresses at a local bridal boutique with my mom and a few close girlfriends! Followed by spending time with my fiance's parents who are in town for our intimate engagement party! Excited to celebrate our upcoming big day with our closest family and friends. Cheers to us!

Cook du Jour

Last night my girlfriends and I celebrated my friend Carla's birthday with a group cooking class. It was such a great time! We signed up for Hipcooks, "hands-on cooking classes for the novice and seasoned cook...Measuring implements are banned, tasting is encouraged, and your inner chef is invited to play!"

It was so much fun, we tied on our aprons and got our hands messy while creating an Iranian feast, as our class theme was "Persian Immersion." Carla is a self-proclaimed Hipcooks "junkie," and chose the class because being a seasoned cook herself, she admitted knowing very little about Persian food.

We made
  • Maast-o Khiar: Cucumber salad with herbed meatballs
  • Shirin Pollo: Chicken and saffron rice jeweled with almonds, pistachio, orange peel & barberries. Tadig, too.
  • Khoresht-e-fesenjan: Luscious chicken stewed with walnuts & pomegranate.
  • Rosewater-cardamom ice cream

Everything was delicious! Can't wait to take another class!!

New Orleans Recap

Well my blog friends, I have to tell you: thank you so much for the blog comments of ideas on what to do and where to go for our trip for New Orleans. I didn't even buy a guide book as planned! Seriously! I received so many comments with helpful hints, suggestions, and recommendations, we were thrilled to just go off of friendly advice - and we ended up with a fun-filled, action packed trip.

Of course New Orleans is all about the food, and I tried to sample as much "N'Awlins" flavors as possible; po boys, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, king cake, praline candy, beignets...the list goes on. Needless to say we were stuffed all weekend!

Here's a photo recap of our adventure in New Orleans.
Colorful architecture
Beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde

St. Louis cathedral and Jackson square
touristy but worthwhile buggy ride through the French Quarter
Buying a seasonal "king cake" at Southern Candymakers
Bourbon Street at night.
Dinner at the amazing bistro, Mr. B.'s
Trolley ride on the St. Charles line to the Garden District
Walking through Tulane University's campus
fantastic street musicians
trying out hand at Mardi Gras costumes

Good times!

Last Great Book I Read

For all you teachers out there, or aspiring teachers, parents, or those with a mild interest in education in the slightest - this book is for you! I received It's Not All Flowers and Sausages: My Adventures in Second Grade from my mom for Christmas.

This book is based off of the popular teaching blog of the same name. This book is a fast, easy read, and packed with quick-witted commentary as Ms. Mimi relays some of her behind the scenes experiences of teaching second grade. As a fellow second grade teacher, she had me laughing out loud in places. If you have any interest of education from the perspective of an educator - check it out!


Birthday Girl

It's my birthday today! I can't believe I'm in my late twenties, (eek) it sounds so old! Today I'm looking forward to a fun day at school, followed by hot yoga, then dinner with my family at fab sushi restaurant I've been wanting to try. Happy birthday to me!

Dinner Last Night: Curry Spiced Noodles

I tried a Martha Stewart curry a few weeks ago and it flopped miserably was was a sore disappointment. The curry was runny, mild, and basically blah. you can imagine, I was a little hesitant to attempt curry again, but this recipe was a soaring success! Curry Spiced Noodles - don't be deterred by the laundry list of ingredients, it was amazing! I was so proud of myself, I practically made my fiance do 3-cheers at my curry triumph!


The Big Easy

I am heading here tomorrow! Sooo excited!!! This is our first time to New Orleans and I can't wait to visit. Looking forward to taking some time off, and enjoying a long weekend with my fiance.

Since we've never been to The Big Easy before, I'd love some travel tips if you have any to give. Any tips on what to see, where to eat, and what to do in New Orleans? I'm all ears!

Keep It Skinny

As I'm thinking about wedding dresses, I can't help but think about eating healthier and exercising more. I've got major motivation now, got to have sexy arms in that wedding dress!

Since I'm trying to mix up my meal regiment with some different veggies and grains, I've been trying out a lot of recipes from my sister's blog - Keep It Skinny. My little sis lives in LA and as most Los Angeles-ites are, is all about yoga and healthy eating, and has an affinity for quinoa. Check her out!

Seeking Sponsors

Hello there. I've decided it's time to take my blog to the next level and seek out sponsors. If you are interested in blog exposure on Lovely Little Things, I'd love to learn more about what you do, your product, and showcase that on my blog.

Interest and inquiries please email me at
Thank you!

Wednesday Pretty

What a fun wedding photo! I just love the heart-shaped balloons. What a photograph it would be to capture all of these balloons released at once, floating up into the sky? I totally want to do something like this at our wedding...

Wedding Inspiration

What a beautiful wedding! Love the details; the rustic backdrop of pine trees, blue mason jar vases, and the romantic photograph of the couple posing on the swing.

Quote of the Week

"How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most."

-Stephen Covey


Dinner Last Night

Last night, my fiance and I made dinner together. He took care of the blue cheese jalapeno burgers while I whipped up an arugula, pear, and walnut salad. It made for a delicious little feast. And to top if off our awesome dinner, we indulged in some hot cocoa ice cream that caught my eye at the grocery store...great way to end the night.

Restaurant #1 - June

One of my goals for 2011 was the try and dine at 25 new restaurants, and I consider "new," to mean, new to me. And guess what, I've already been able to check 1 off my list! I met up with my close girlfriends for a New Year's Day brunch at June, a sweet little eatery located in the cozy neighborhood of Madrona. June is a lunch/dinner spot with a fabulous brunch as well. I figured go big or go home, which felt appropriate after having quite the time New Year's Eve.
I ordered the delicious duck hash, poached egg, and hollendaise sauce. It was sublime! I mean, you really can't go wrong with hollendaise sauce, but this pairing seemed especially YUM!


Happy Birthday Blog

Today is my blog's 3rd birthday! What a milestone! It's hard to believe that I've been blogging for 3 years now. Blogging is a hobby that I find consistent joy in. I've always loved writing, and blogging is the perfect indulgence. The simple act of weaving words together is something I find true and utter delight in.

So to those loyal followers out there, I thank you for sticking with me, whether you're a new follower or a blog friend from the beginning. I enjoy checking my email to find new comments to my posts, and I do take the time to read all of them. I truly appreciate all of the wisdom we collectively share in this far reaching network that is blogging.

Happy Birthday blog, it's been an amazing ride!

P.S. Past blog birthday posts here and here!

Ooh La Lights

Ooh la lights! I am in love with these Arctic Pear chandeliers! I just love how this chandelier dapples the light. If only I had a place to hang this delightful chandelier...