Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Some days you can never figure out what to wear, and when you finally do, you hate it all day long, it doesn't feel right, and you'd rather just be naked. Some days it just works, you magically put together a new outfit effortlessly, and it feels like today, today.

Today was that second type. Yay for dresses without tights weather! And that's one of my NYC street scarves. It was $8.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

How to spend a Sunday just you and your dog

Bubba and I went on a walk in Ballard today. We hit the farmer's market, which was fun for me cause I got lunch there and bought some organic and local apples, and was fun for him cause there were lots of food remnants on the ground for him to obsessively sniff. And he met some dogs, and he got a bite of quesadilla.

He also had his first experience as shopping buddy. Here he is in the Kavu dressing room, helping me try on some dresses...

Cause that's what I need in my life - more dresses.

Well they didn't work anyway. But I did get this bag, which was the point of going there in the first place.

It's a good dog-walking bag to replace my current kavu bag I'm using that is about 6 years old, grungy, misshapen from multiple washings, and with an old-dated cell phone pocket that is now too small. But it served its purpose well.

Kavu makes the best biking around town/dog-walking bags, and they're a small local company and the prices are great. So mission accomplished. And Bubba got a dog treat in the store, cleaned all the stray popcorn off the floor, and left with his own little bag of popcorn for the road.

Yes, I love this place. It's now cemented itself on the list of How to live in Seattle, me-style.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I love New York

Hoeface and I flew to NYC a few weeks ago to hang out with Slutbag, who lives one block from Central Park.

I had only been to New York once before, and I was seventeen at the time. So it had been a looooong time. And this was sure to be a completely different experience. And it was. For one, I can drink now. For two, I have a little bit more money. For three, I have crazy friends.

I'm going to hit the highlights of the trip here.

A. We walked around a lot.

I don't even know where that picture above was taken. We walked around the Upper West Side, a few of the Villages, past Wall Street, near the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron (that's a place I think), and of course Central Park. I couldn't get enough of Central Park, although I think this shows how poorly I would do actually living in New York.

B. We ate some food. We got pizza, Italian, local and precious, more pizza, lobster rolls, and Caribbean/soul food (delivered!). I wish I could remember the pizza place we ate at - I loved it. And the Italian place was so amazing. The owner is Italian and goes back to Italy all the time, and he and all the staff are super friendly. Also the food is amazing.

C. We put dresses on and went out. Hoeface (who lives in Idaho) and I don't get too many opportunities to wear dresses. I mean I do it here in Seattle, but I always feel a little overdressed. Anyway, we went out Friday 'til 3 am, and Saturday 'til 5 am. Why, you ask? Well, I'm not entirely sure except to say that bars don't close in NYC until 3 or 4. And then Hoeface may get you invited to the after party at a bar that has closed for the evening except for restaurant-industry people. Then she may proceed to nearly get you kicked out of the place. Then you might find yourself sweet/naive-talking the bartender into letting you all stay. Then you may all take shots that you may or may not remember, and you certainly didn't need, with a random Czech dude. Then you might possibly have them unlock the door to let you all go home at 5 am, instead of the initially agreed upon time of 6 am (as in, no one can leave until 6 am).

Then let's say the first night you stayed at Slutbag's, in which you were shocked at how quiet the neighborhood was, it being right next to the park and all, takes a turn for the worse at about 9 am this particular morning. Let's say you had been sleeping for, oh, about 3 hours, when you hear jackhammering. Incessant jackhammering. Right outside the apartment, 4 floors down. And you're all, WTF? And this is how you feel...

And you just want to keep doing this...

And you finally make it outside (not for your perfectly planned brunch plans on Mother's Day morning, wearing Slutbag's borrowed Kentucky Derby hats, on 3 hours sleep and mightily hungover, obviously), but outside, at some point, nonetheless. And the sidewalk right outside Slutbag's apartment looks like this...

Nice timing, guys. Nice timing.

So what are we on now? D? Yes, I think so...

D. Shopping. I arrived with my large checked bag only half full. I was prepared. For one, it's New York, let's do this. For two, Hoeface and Slutbag are my favorite shopping buddies. Slutbag knows exactly what will work for me, and Hoeface knows when something is a good deal or isn't (as in, "When I'm in China I can get that exact same bag for $30." You don't want to buy it after that comment).

I bought scarves. This one...And then a few more on the street for an AMAZING deal.

Also I needed a wristlet. I mean I don't even own a clutch, and when you're out a clutch with a wrist strap is what you need. I always viewed these as a little too girly for me, but if Hoeface can do it, so can I. So I bought this. And I love it. LOVE IT! White leather, need I say more?

And then I've been on a dress kick lately. We may or may not have walked out of Brooklyn Industries all in a different version of a chambray dress. I got this one (it looks better on me. What is with this model???).

And at another store, Slutbag found this one for me. I'm not sure I ever would have tried it on. But it's amazing.


Then we played around in Sephora where I found my favorite lipstick of all time. Yves Saint Laurent Le Fuchsia. Don't even think about telling me $30 is too much for lipstick. This is not lipstick. This is happiness in a tube. It smells nice, it's creamy and smooth, but it also stays on. What? Yes, that's possible apparently. And the colors? The colors are amazing. Try a color on at Sephora, and you'll see that it either WORKS for you, it. does. not. None of that in-between of other lipstick, where you'll all, "well this looks ok, but I'm not sure." Le Fuchsia is exactly what I wanted, a HOT PINK fuchsia that is bright and bold, but oddly also just looks amazing on. It doesn't take over your face like you would expect it to, it makes your face look better. Is $30 asking too much for that? No.
And then the gloss. Oh dear, this is going to be another love letter to YSL makeup, get ready. I LOVE YSL gloss. Ever since Hoebag was gifted some from a long-ago boy-toy, I've been in love with it. It smells like yummy peaches (update: apparently it's mango), it's glossy and rich, there are seriously gold flecks in there, and the colors? Yes, they're amazing. Bold and super flattering. This color is Insolence, and not only is it perfect for me, it looks incredible on top of Le Fuchsia. Watch out, world.

I also have Golden Pink that Hoeface gave me (she regifts!), and I love it. Here's the other thing... the packaging is so beautiful that just seeing them on my dresser makes me feel like I'm winning at life. It's shiny! And gold! And shiny!

In short, YSL lipsticks and glosses are exactly what you're hoping for every time you buy that tube at the drugstore, and then instantly become disappointed with. Glamour in a bottle, for reals.

Which leads me to...

E. I could not live in New York. There are really only 2 things to do there. Work and spend money. I don't care how you do it: dine, drink, get entertained, or shop. The perks of the city require money. If I lived there I would HAVE to make a lot of money, or marry someone who made a lot of money (have I mentioned what an amazing lady of leisure I would make?). There are just so many beautiful things in the city - amazing food, amazing shows, amazing clothes, amazing bags, amazing luxury goods, amazing apartments - but this stuff costs serious money. I would not be too happy walking by all this everyday and depriving myself of it.

The places I've chosen (and will chose to) live are different. There are plenty of perks that don't require a lot of money - the places are more egalitarian that way. Like here, a lot of the beauty of the city lies in the outdoor activities - you can kayak, surf, paddleboard, run, garden, have a large enough kitchen to cook or bake, right in the city. A short drive away and you can snowboard, hang out in islands, hike in woods or mountains, tour a brewery or winery, or camp. The beautiful things in life that also don't take a whole lot of money. Life is simpler.

But in New York, I totally get how you would just work to consume. So, I think I will keep it as a place I love to visit, and I will never fly in with my suitcase more than half full, and will always fly back feeling a little more fabulous.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The little guy's got a mind of his own

I've got an escape artist on my hands. Oh, he's not in any way interested in running away, but my little Bubba dude will do whatever it takes to protect his home, greet his people at their car doors, chase the neighbor cats, and coat as much of the world as possible in pee. He's got important things to do, and he takes them seriously. Now, ok, the backyard isn't fenced per se. The back end is fenced. A third of the right side is fenced. But the rest of what separates the dogs from the rest of the world is a broken down shed, a giant sheet of particle board, a few folding chairs, and some shrubbery. It's high class around here, people, don't you worry. Up until last week, both dogs were leaping over a section on the left side to get to the neighbors' yard and on to freedom. That's when Tina Turnher and I 'fenced' that section with leftover chicken wire, brushed our hands off, and strutted away proud of ourselves.

That's all alright for her. Her big dog is satisfactorily fenced now. Mine? Well he's littler, and wily. He found himself a new route to freedom, and I couldn't figure out how he did it. Whenever I was watching him he was all, 'oh I'm just hanging out in this backyard. It's cool. What a lovely day we have here. I guess I'll check out these chickens", but let me go inside for a couple minutes and I've got myself an empty backyard and a dog to go retrieve out front, who's likely busy barking at something.

So this morning I knew I had to take care of business. I put Bubba in the backyard, went out front and over to the neighbor's backyard (on the left side of our yard) and called his name. He looks at me all sadly from across the chicken wire, whining, like he can't possibly get to me over there. I don't want to tell him to come over because I don't want him to think I condone this escaping, and he keeps acting all innocently confused. Ok, then. Well I guess it must be the right side he's getting out of. Strange, that side looked really secure. I turn around back towards the street, on my way to check out if he's getting out on the right side, get all the way to the driveway and hear somebody at my feet. Look down. Bubba.


The little shithead wasn't going to let me see where his escape route was located. But this is par for the course. He's a smart dog. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it's a pain in the ass. If he knows he's not supposed to do something he won't ever let you catch him doing it. Peeing or pooping in the bathroom? Sometimes. But never when I'm looking. Stealing food off the nightstand? Yep. But only if I'm downstairs. He'll come downstairs with me, and only when I'm otherwise disposed doing something else will he head back upstairs for the kill. I've finally learned that if I'm downstairs and I hear the pitter patter of little feet running upstairs I better go follow, cause he's up to no good.

Anyway, I needed to find that hole in the fence. So I pick him up, drop him back on our side of the chicken wire and start to walk away again. But this time I keep an eye out behind me. Sure enough, he just saunters on through this section of bushes right next to the chicken wire part like one of those agility dogs going through the weave poles. A-ha! Got him!

So I block that hole off with flotsam and jetsam (otherwise known as scrap wood), give him another go-around, and sure enough, he's stumped. That part's good. But it's only a matter of time before he counters my defense with another offense, and again finds a hole. It's my own personal Red Queen effect.

This is serious, it's all for his safety, but I don't find it too hard to imagine him fashioning some piece of scrap in the backyard as a machete, and bushwacking the shrubbery in his spare moments, ala Andy Dufresne. We'll see what he comes up with next.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A recent recipe that made the cut

I like to cook. And I like to cook new things especially. I very rarely make something more than once. When I cook for you, you will be a guinea pig, because I'll be trying something new on you. But the whole point (aside from just liking variation) is to collect recipes that I love. The recipes I aim for must taste great, but if they're fast, healthy, and/or inexpensive they get bonus points. And when I'm a grandmother with a family I'll have a list of the stuff I make and it will be awesome. Both my grandmothers are/were great cooks and when one of them died we missed her food, but there were not many recipes written down.

So as per my style, I am collecting and modifying recipes systematically. For each recipe that I keep and tweak I've probably made 10 others that didn't make the cut. And instead of an old school recipe box I use software of course. It's called YummySoup! and I love it. It's super easy to import recipes found online, really easy to modify, group, and organize them, and you can make an actual cookbook out of it really easily.

Anyway, I didn't have a whole lot to eat today, so when I got home from work at 6:30 I wasn't hungry so much as hangry from low blood sugar. I thought about picking something up on the way home but I didn't know what I was excited about so I just decided to make this new recipe really quickly immediately after getting home. So I flew through making this. It was a race between me and my impending super low blood sugar rage. And I won, in more than one way. This was a perfect quick weekday meal. And really yummy and satisfying. It also didn't hurt that I plan what I'm going to make on the weekend and do all the grocery shopping then, so all I have to do is get home, choose between a few meal choices, and cook it. Oh, and I also cooked the bacon this weekend and that saved some time.

So here you go. I'm sharing it. I'll be making this again for breakfast sometime soon.

Cheesy Bacon and Potato Frittata