In the last month, I started a new job, completed orientation, my little sister got engaged,celebrated Thanksgiving with the family, went to a funeral of one of our best college friends,who will be missed severely,started looking for a labradoodle puppy after meeting a really really cute one,read several amazing books (like the second and third Outlander books, Red Seas Under Red Skies, and Republic of Thieves), bought the majority of my Christmas presents on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and wrapped them, as well as setting up the tree. x We’ve had a few fun dinner parties at our house and Mr. F tried a new recipe of citrus, mint, hazelnuts and ricotta. We also had a phenomenal wine from Result of A Crush called Chistmas Cuvee! We’ve also checked out a new restaurant called Manolin in the neighborhood and it’s pretty amazing.The rockfish ceviche and cocktails are super delicious. Yesterday, my sister, grandmother and I met up for mani/pedis and dinner too! December’s pretty nice so far! Tomorrow I go to St Louis and next week, Denver and Spokane, WA for work then it’s CHRISTMAS!!
I love lists, planning and can be rather OCD about getting things done. (My professional life also centers around many, many lists.) As I’ve gotten older, I notice I get stressed out when things are poorly planned, or I’m not able to check things off lists in an efficient manner. I try and combat the stress by overplanning…..I may not always be on time but it’s usually because I’m trying to do too many things beforehand.
The #yogagirlchallenge has awesome daily recommendations like yoga every day, find true forgiveness, give up a bad habit, practice a random act of kindness however, an ultimate to do list for life really motivates me!
To read: Emperor of Maladies
More Hemingway, like a Moveable Feast
the next Brilliance Saga book
the next Name of the Wind book
the Outlander series
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
A book, a whale and a walrus by Renee Erickson
To travel: Southern France and the Loire Valley, Provence, Champagne
see more of Italy like Alto Adige, Sicily, Naples,
see the Talbot castle in Dublin (I think it’s called the Malahide),
Bali, Japan, the Big Island of Hawaii, Costa Rica, the Mendoza region of Argentina, the Galapagos Sub-category-Restaurants: in Chicago, Next, the Aviary, the Purple Pig
the British Virgin Isles (because I was under 2 when I was last in the Caribbean)
Sub-category-Restaurants: in Chicago, Alinea, the Girl and the Goat, Piccolo Sogno, Piece and Five Star Burgers
in Barcelona, Quimet y Quimet, Bacoa, Dim sum in Vancouver
Professional to dos: to become a Clinical Trial Manager or Line manager (3-5 year goal) eventually a Director of Clinical Operations (10-15 year goal)
To look into becoming a Medical Science Liasion (however, do not feel the need to get my PhD)
To run oncology trials as a monitor (totally do-able in the next 6 months)
To work for one of the top pharmaceutical companies before I turn 40 Monitor a medical device trial
Personal to dos: buy a house in the Upper Fremont neighborhood with a view of the mountains, either the Cascades or Olympics and within walking distance to our favorite yoga studio
to grow wild roses, lavender, and more sunflowers in our backyard
go snowshoeing more in the winter
to have a healthy lifestyle which includes clean eating, less carbs and gluten, and lots of exercise, but not cutting out cake entirely
When I haven’t been traveling, Mr. F and I have been working from home during the day, biking to our wedding beach, swimming in the Sound then reading on the beach to dry off and warm up from the 55-60 degree water. I’ve read so many great books in the last month, thanks to our good friend Mohit’s suggestions. I loved reading the Brilliance saga by Marcus Sakey which reminds me of X-Men and Atlas Shrugged in the best possible way. I tore through the first two books on the plane and beach within 2-3 days. I read the Breach trilogy by Patrick Lee next and finished that within 10 days. It’s also sci-fi and awesome. I think I’ve read more than 10 books in the last month including the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy. On a more serious note, I’ve started reading Wheat Belly and the Emperor of Maladies but they are not beach reading so it’s taking me longer to finish them. I actually tried to be gluten-free since I was inspired by Wheat Belly. I do not like fad diets but I think the science regarding today’s genetic modified wheat and the rise of diabetes, inflammatory responses, etc. is fascinating. However, I really love humbaos, crossiants, pretzel buns, cupcakes, and many other forms of gluten. I only survived 2 weeks without gluten before succumbing to pressure and eating something totally worth it and deliciously bready. I don’t even like rice that much, except in sushi. (This is taken at my favorite sushi place, Billy Beach in Ballard). At this point, I would like to eat healthier but I will settle for everything in moderation. Or lots of swimming…. We’ve been swimming 3-4 times a week and going to yoga 3-5 times a week too!
We celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary in Lummi Island, August 1st-3rd. The tiny 25 car ferry is the first part of the awesome getaway. It takes about 15 minutes from Bellingham to the island.We stayed at the amazing Willows Inn on Legoe Bay, where our windows faced the reef netting salmon boats and a zen garden on the other side! We had out of this world local food too! We stopped by the farm for a fun family BBQ in Stanwood on the way home from our anniversary trip. Mom had horse and caboose cookies waiting for us too!
The Fremont-Ballard neighborhoods (Frelard) have been graced with two new awesome burger restaurants. Mr. F and I checked out Giddy Up, Burgers and Greens when I got back from Spokane on Wednesday and it was awesome. It’s a cowboy themed, fast food, vintage styled restaurant. They have a cool patio with a lofted roof and a great beer selection. I really enjoyed the grass-fed beef burger while listening to Take Five. On Friday, we went to 8 oz Burger which also just opened in Ballard, this week, for comparison. They have more gourmet burgers with cool ingredients like peanut butter, bacon, gruyere cheese and argula. It also has a huge beer selection. I think poor Pono Ranch and Little Woody’s are going to suffer from this competition.
My best friend from college just had her baby shower earlier this month! Mandy is due in October. My best friend since Middle School, Andrea, is due TOMORROW!!! I’m excited to be an Auntie very soon! Also, the first sunflowers are starting to bloom in my backyard!!! The neighborhood has been bursting with sunflowers for the last month and it’s been gorgeous in summer even in the rain, which there has been very little this summer! We’ve had a lot of fun this month with new restaurants, good books, friends, wine and even a few amazing home-cooked meals.
I’ve been telling all my friends how much I love this book. It really speaks to me. Sheryl Sandberg’s stories and strategies for being a successful communicator are something I keep telling everyone. I also enjoy her perspective on feminism. “This is not a feminist manifesto-okay, it’s kind of a feminist manifesto, but one that I hope inspires men as much as it inspires women.
Whatever this book is, I am writing it for any woman who wants to increase her chances of making it to the top of her field, or pursue any goal vigorously.”
Here of some of my other favorite phrases:
From the Success & Likeability chapter: Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that-and I’ll learn by doing it”.
“Taking initiative pays off. It is hard to visualize someone as a leader if she is always waiting to be told what to do.”
“Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, believes that learning to withstand criticism is a necessity for women’ ‘we should let ourselves react emotionally and feel whatever anger or sadness being criticized evokes in us. And then we should quickly move on.”
I highly recommend this book to all women, regardless of where they are in, or out of the workforce. There are fascinating chapters on being heard, effective and how to have work/life balance. I agree that men could appreciate this book and hopefully help them understand their female colleagues more.
Since Christmas, we’ve been trying to walk 10,000 steps a day. We were really great until I started traveling again. It’s hard to walk for approximately 90 minutes a day. However, we’ve been walking to Ballard and around Discovery Park enjoying the nice weather and getting more steps in! I’ve been on three work trips in the last two weeks to Penticton, B.C., spent the night at the Fairmont Hotel in the Vancouver airport when I missed a connection, then two visits to hospitals in Seattle and Tacoma. It’s wonderful to eat dinner with Mr. F every night. Overall, it’s been a nice change to stay in the Pacific Northwest while traveling for work. I wish all my work trips kept me in this region! Next week, I go to Fargo, ND and the last week of January, I go to Jefferson City, MO, then Idaho Falls, ID the first week of February!
Last weekend, I helped my best friend since middle school put together, close and address 175 invitations! We also went wedding dress shopping and found the perfect dress and my potential bridesmaid dress at J. Crew!
Today, Mr. F and I went to a book signing for our college buddy’s new book, Badluck Way! It was great to see him!We also stopped at Cupcake Royale while we were on Queen Anne. I even hit 10,000 steps because we walked to lunch in Ballard! Today was awesome.
For perspective, on a lazy day I average 2,000-3,000 steps, when traveling/running airports I average around 6,000 steps, so I really have to work it to get 10,000 steps. Obviously, I’m not a runner. 😉
Day 16 of Blogtember: Review a book place, or product.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was a lovely yet heart wrenching, thrilling and magical book. I enjoyed the reading the thoughts of a child who believes in magic and monsters. It was sad to read about the child’s fears and loneliness but it was hauntingly beautiful too. The story reminded me of another one of my favorite books by Neil Gaiman, Stardust. Some of the child-like charm also remind me of the Chronicles of Narnia too.
[All images can be found with their original links on my Pinterest board, Books I Love.] I finished this book a week ago and I’m still thinking about it.
What was the last book that you read that made you remember childhood? Or what was the last book that made you completely dive into that reality and not want to put it down?
On Friday we drove from Seattle to Walla Walla, stopping in Ellensburg for lunch at a fun restaurant called, The Red Horse Diner! We loved the burgers and neon signs. We got nostalgic driving by the paper mill before Hwy 12. One of our first stops was aMaurice. The lavender was blooming as we drove up the driveway and the sky was trying to become blue again. For dinner, we went to the infamous Whitehouse-Crawford! I went here for my 21st birthday and haven’t had the chance to go back. They still have the amazing blue velvet chairs. We loved the tasting menu and were thrilled to find one of our classmates is the restaurant manager. Here are a few of my favorite courses, like chili shrimp with quinoa and pickled onions and the Pappardelle with chicken ragu and Pecorino Romano. We also had Halibut with mushrooms, snap peas, and pureed potatoes and a strawberry-rhubarb tart for dessert! On Saturday, we had a hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy with eggs and hashbrowns at a new place (to us) called Bacon & Eggs. We also wandered around campus to walk off some of breakfast and paid a visit to Styx (the horse statue by Deborah Butterfield.) Before lunch we stopped by Rasa Vineyards. We saw Walla Walla Sweet Onions growing next to the grapevines! For lunch, we went to our favorite place in Walla Walla, La Monarca taco truck! We love their tortas and Walla Walla Sweet Onion beef tacos. After lunch we drove to the Doubleback release at McQueen Vineyard. Drew Bledsoe (the former NFL Quarterback for the New England Patriots) held the release party in his amazing vineyard and we got to try the new release, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and barrel samples for the Stolen Horse Syrah and the 2011 Cab. There was even a bonfire of wine barrel slats! We loved the view of the Walla Walla Valley and all the blooming lavender surrounding the vineyard and separating them from the wheatfields. Before dinner, we stopped at Beresan and saw the cutest winery dog! For dinner, we went to Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, where we had fois gras with curried rhubarb, ribeye steak, and ravioli with oxtail and kale. The best part was the olive oil semifreddo with raspberries and pistachios! On our way home on Sunday, we listened to American Gods by Neil Gaiman which was helpful when we got stuck at the Snoqualmie Pass for an extra hour or more due to rockblasting.