Monday, June 26, 2017

Seattle: Fremont

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

While in Seattle, we stayed with dear friends in Fremont, a vibrant neighborhood that was full of awesome stuff!  We walked to the Fremont Troll, a public sculpture under a bridge.  It was commissioned in 1990 to help cut down on trash dumping and illegal activity happening in the area under the bridge.

For breakfast and a caffeine fix, we enjoyed some true latte art at Fremont Coffee Company, set up in an old house in the neighborhood.  My chai latte was beautiful, but Dan's skull art in his latte was amazing!

If you're a chocoholic, you might want to take a tour of organic and fair-trade chocolatier Theo Chocolate.  I've seen Theo for sale in many other states, but I had no idea where it was made!  We didn't make it in time for a tour, but we did peruse the shop and try some samples.  I also bought a couple of chocolates to take along with us as to-go snacks.

Our favorite meal of our entire vacation was in Fremont, at Joule.  It bills itself as a contemporary Korean steakhouse, and in 2013 it was named one of the Best New Restaurants in America by Bon App├ętit.  We ordered a ton of courses, and cocktails, and I didn't even get photos of them all, because we were enjoying the meal and spending time with our friends L & J.

“that” short rib steak, kalbi, grilled kimchi

Honestly, I loved Joule so much that it will be hard to keep me from wanting to eat there every time I'm in Seattle.  I love Korean flavors, and the fusion of it just felt very... me.  I don't know how to describe it, because as a half-Korean, half-American girl, this food basically is what I imagine a restaurant based on my life might be like!

Spicy rice cake, chorizo, pickled mustard green

Prime bavette steak, truffled pine nut, artichoke

Lamb shank, rendang, masa cake, collards

Fremont was an awesome home based for us while we were in Seattle.  There were always cars in close proximity if we wanted a Lyft to downtown, and there was so much within walking distance!  We also enjoyed the massive beer list at Brouwer's Cafe too.  We are so lucky to have been able to stay in our friends' guest room, complete with adorable kitty cats and even late night board game fun to boot.

Don't forget to visit the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle!
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Fremont Seattle

Friday, June 23, 2017

Seattle: Museum of Pop Culture

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

One of Dan's favorite experiences in Seattle, hands down, was the Museum of Pop Culture (a.k.a. MoPOP).  If you're a nerd like us, and you have your fav fandoms, chances are they are represented at MoPOP.

The MoPOP used to be the Experience Music Project, so it has an incredible guitar sculpture, Jimi Hendrix exhibit, and a lot of music-related stuff.  But now, it contains so much more!

The majority of the exhibit were props and other items from TV and film, which we loved.  There's a Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibition on the main floor, and more throughout the building.  Dan's favorite was probably the horror exhibit, and we both loved the fantasy and sci-fi sections.  I think my favorites were the Dalek from Doctor Who, costumes from the Princess Bride, and swords from the Lord of the Rings.  We also explored the Star Trek exhibit.  


One of the temporary exhibits was on video games.  You could actually play a bunch of indie video games on various platforms, which was pretty cool.

A special treat at the museum was the visiting Jim Henson exhibit.  One thing Dan and I have in common is a love of Jim Henson!  I grew up on Sesame Street, and we love the movie Labyrinth.  We picked up the Ludo Funko Pop while we were at the gift store.

Dan loved the museum so much, we explored it, ate lunch, then went back through our favorites again.  It was the perfect nerd date for the two of us, and we'd go back in a heartbeat!

Fellow nerds, this is the museum for you!
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Museum of Pop Culture Seattle

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: Aventura Clothing

Disclosure:  I received clothing for free for this sponsored post from Aventura.  I promised to review the product, honestly, with all opinions as my own!

I'd never heard of Aventura, until I got an e-mail asking if I'd be interested in reviewing the company's clothing.  To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure that it was my style.  I'm more indoorsy than outdoorsy, and it felt kind of crunchy.  But when I read about Aventura's sustainability efforts, I decided to give it a go; I certainly don't dress sustainably on a daily basis, but I was interested in whether or not I'd like the fabrics.

Thanks to Lauren for taking pics before dinner!

After sending over a list of clothes that I liked on their site, Aventura sent me two pieces: the Easton dress and a pair of leggings.  The first thing I noticed?  Quality!  The Easton dress has so many nice details with pintucks and the back yoke, and the fabric was incredibly soft.  It had a great thickness and felt so comfortable to wear at the office all day.  The leggings were super soft as well, and they have an amazing stretch.  It was feminine yet functional, and not the assumed crunchy look I'd imagined; I was able to express my own style.

Aventura produces fashionable and comfortable clothing with a low environmental impact.  They try to avoid chemical pesticides and choose organically farmed cotton.  Over 75% of their styles use lower impact or sustainable materials.  I wore a cardigan due to the A/C in my office, and I liked how the grey-green could go with a variety of different colors.

After these photos, I ended up taking the sweater off to have dinner with two of my friends outdoors in Nashville.  See, I go outside!  Zero complaints after wearing this dress all day, and into the night.  I kept touching the fabric because it was so soft.

As for the leggings, I think they'll be perfect under a tunic or a dress, but they didn't pass my opacity test (bend over, look in mirror! LOL) as to whether I could wear them with just a tee or for working out.  But the stretch and the seamlessness felt incredible and comfortable, so I will definitely be wearing them as they're the only grey colored leggings that I have in my closet. Note: Aventura let me know that their leggings are meant to be worn under dresses/tunics, not as pants, so FYI! :)

Overall, I loved the quality and the sustainable sourcing of Aventura clothing!
I wouldn't hesitate to shop this brand!

Disclosure:  I received clothing for free for this sponsored post from Aventura.  I promised to review the product, honestly, with all opinions as my own!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Seattle: Chihuly Garden and Glass

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

We spent two nights in Seattle, staying with friends in Fremont.  They were at work since it was a weekday, so we set off to do some exploring!  I'd seen friends post about the Chihuly Garden and Glass, located right next to the Space Needle.

Yellow is my fav color, and this was one of my favorites

Dan and I love art museums, and museums in general, so he was on board to check it out.  We looked up the artist, Dale Chihuly, on Google, and I realized that I'd seen his work in the ceiling of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  I'd always assumed that glasswork was done by an Italian artist, but it was done by Chihuly, who is from Washington.  So it is definitely appropriate he have such a big presence in his home state!

The price of admission was steeper than I expected for the size of the place, but I think that's because we were officially in summer tourist season.  It's $29 per adult, but only $19 if you go during their "early morning" hours when they open.  But they do have one of the best gift shops I saw on our trip.  We bought a couple of souvenirs!

We really loved seeing all of the different exhibits.  The fragility of glass made me think it must be a challenging medium to work with, as you could complete a work and then lose it completely to an accidental drop.  I was also struck by the variety in the collection.

I also like how there were outdoor installations within landscape design, making it feel very organic despite being manmade glass.  Even the simplest pieces could be very beautiful in composition.

It was certainly crowded with tons of people (lots of selfies!) but worth taking the time to explore.  There was also a glass-blowing exhibition happening outside, so you can see a bit of the technique that Chihuly and his associates use.

If you're an art lover visiting Seattle, I'd say that this museum is definitely a must-see.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a must-see in Seattle!
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Lately: Tweeting, Raising, Giving, Illustrating, Restoring

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe
We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own words.

It's been a while since I've done one of these, right?  Well, I'm back!

TWEETING...  mostly airport rants.  Like this one where a lady took Southwest's "open seating" claim literally and thought that pushing ahead of others in line was how to board.  As in, she had a C-group pass and tried to get in front of me in A-group.  I must admit, because I travel so much, I have less patience with airport/hotel rookies. I WILL power walk around you and roll my eyes.

I'm always living out of bags... but at least they're cute!

RAISING...  the bar for my chai lattes.  I will admit, I don't always like the clove-laden coffeehouse chai lattes; I like sweet, commercial ones because I'm basic.  Usually, I take Starbucks with skim milk, not because I like skim milk but because it doesn't make my lactose intolerance flare up. 

Dutch Bros. totally spoiled me while we were on vacation, because they offered eight different flavored varieties of chai latte,  like cinnamon roll.  They basically took a bunch of their latte flavor combos and brought them over to the chai side.  Starbucks doesn't have these, but using the app I've been able to make some that I've enjoyed!  Here's one that I posted on my Instagram, where instead of 4 pumps of chai, I ordered 2 pumps chai and 1 pump each of vanilla and caramel, resulting in deliciousness and a little variety.

GIVING...  beer a chance.  It's not my go-to beverage, but it's my husband's career.  And I'm fairly knowledgeable and can hold my own in conversation.  Now, I want to read up and possibly even work on beer tasting certification, along with Dan.  It will help me understand what he does, and be able to answer the zillions of beer questions I get when people find out I'm a brewer's wife!

ILLUSTRATING...  I am dabbling in modern calligraphy/lettering, but I think I might be better at botanical line drawing!  I'd like to be better at both.  I love the books from Peggy Dean.

RESTORING...  my sanity.  We traveled for vacation, and I traveled for work both the week before and after.  Woof.  So when I realized that this weekend I had ZERO plans?  Freaking bliss.  The kitties were super happy to have us home, and I got all kinds of things done on my checklist.  I remember one moment yesterday when I was laying on our bed listening to the podcast "Up and Vanished" and just being relaxed... so good.  Love. The only thing we did yesterday was go to the mall for hand soap (Bath and Body Works sale, holla), eat dinner, and see Wonder Woman.  All of this after 5:30pm, so I didn't leave the apartment before that.

  • On the Blog:  I've been recapping our Pacific Northwest vacay on the blog, but don't miss the post before those on my stop in Lancaster, PA!
  • On Twitter:  covered this above!
  • On Pinterest:  I've started creating pinnable images for my travel posts, so you can put them on your Pinterest board.  What do you think?
  • On Instagram:  Huevos rancheros and a cocktail with my girlfriends? Perfect Friday night!
  • Shopping:  I seriously browse the dresses on eShakti like every other day.  Some sell out before I can get one... but I've managed to only buy two last month!  This isn't an affiliate or sponsored link, I just have a ton of their dresses and love keeping them in my closet.

How was your week?

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Saturday, June 10, 2017

More than the Goonies: Visiting Astoria, Oregon

Every year, Dan and I try to take a week-long vacation as a couple.  For our 2017 trip, we decided to take a road trip through parts of Oregon and Washington!

When we were planning our trip, we knew we wanted to visit Newport, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.  So we had to figure out what to do in the middle, a stopping point for a night of our road trip up the coastal 101... and I happened upon a cute bed & breakfast in Astoria, Oregon.  So after Newport, that was our next destination!

Astoria is the oldest U.S. settlement west of the Rockies, named for John Jacob Astor whose fur company founded the first settlement there.  As a results of its early founding, this small city is filled with incredible historic buildings and architecture.

Fortunes in Astoria have risen and fallen over time, but we can tell the city is on the up and up.  While some houses needed attention, many have beautifully been restored.  New businesses and restaurants are popping up too.  I would love to have one of the old Victorian homes in the area!  Quite a few have become bed and breakfasts, and ours was within walking distance of so many things.

One of the things that put Astoria on the map in modern times?  The Goonies.  Yup, that movie was filmed here, and the Oregon Film Museum is now located in the old county jail.  You'll recognize quite a few buildings and areas from the movie.  The "Goonie house" however is not so visible these days; legions of movie fans have harassed its poor owner over the years, so she has obscured most of the house from view.  But we were content to just take in the town!

We were only in Astoria for one night, but we'd already picked out where we were going to grab dinner: Fort George Brewery.  Craft beers for the win.  And I absolutely love the building it inhabits!

The beers were good, and the food was delicious.  It was a modern, fun atmosphere, definitely with a modern vibe.  It's nice to see the old and new combine in Astoria.  We didn't get to eat at the cafe/bakery under the brewery, because our lodging included breakfast, but I read it's good!

One iconic sight to see is the Astoria Column, built in 1926.  It was one of a series of planned historical markers constructed between St. Paul, Minnesota and Astoria by the president of the Great Northern Railroad at the time.

It's $5 to access the column, which is good for a year if you leave nearby.  You can even climb the column, and toss a little wooden glider plane if you'd like.  But I think it's worth it for the view.  We didn't even climb the column, and we really enjoyed it!

We really loved the architecture and old charm of Astoria.  I don't know if we'll ever return, but perhaps we'll drive past this way again someday!  I really think that a full day or two in this town is enough to really appreciate it.

Worth mentioning, Astoria is just 40 minutes away from the photographically famed Cannon Beach, known for its iconic Haystock Rock.  We actually stopped at this beach on our way up from Newport to Astoria, but opted not to stay there because it was a bit pricier.

Cannon Beach

In hindsight, I would have enjoyed more time exploring Cannon Beach, and our resort in Newport has a sister resort there.  It was definitely more packed with tourists and visitors than Astoria, though, and it doesn't have the same historic architecture.

Cannon Beach
Dan hates taking pictures, LOL

Gosh, I wish I could own one of those old historic homes in Astoria!
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