Category Archives: home

Our last morning in Paris

On Monday, we had a last lovely breakfast at our amazing five star hotel,  with one last cappuccino and helping of crepes, before climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for a view of Paris. The 284 stairs were windy and since we were under a time crunch to get to the airport before noon,  we nearly ran up the stairs. Fortunately, we went when it opened so there were not too many tourists on the stairs, yet! While catching our breath, we enjoyed taking a few last photos with the Eiffel Tower.   I’m so glad it was a sunny morning! Plus, it was much easier going down the 284 steps!  Spring has definitely arrived in Paris and as our taxi pulled away from the hotel, we saw cherry blossoms on nearly every street.

 While waiting in security, Mr F and I noticed that the Charles de Gaulle airport ceiling looks like a wine barrel, or that it’s made with reclaimed wood. We didn’t spend much time in the airport and went straight to our gate. We were fortunate to have a direct flight from Paris to Seattle. It was 10 hours of movie time along with a little napping, reading and eating!

I can’t believe we’re already home. Customs was a breeze since we have Global Entry so it was like any other US flight with maybe a little extra walking. We also haven’t had to deal with any jet lag after our trip since we got in at 5pm and basically went to sleep early after checking on the kitties.

Lily and Lyra are also so happy we’re home.

 

Cats on the hot roof!

Every day in our new house is like a new discovery. In the last few days, we’ve let the cats on the roof, with supervision, and they’re so cautious and cute. 14362683_803822311962_4693677409695760545_o Tuesday, Lyra barely came up to the roof, while I was practicing yoga. Today, she was more adventurous! image Lulu also started realizing that this is one huge sunspot to lie in. image

Lily Thomas loves exploring new places. image She likes to check the perimeter 14372347_804199555962_4168767508608791681_o and scare me, by walking on the outside of the railing.

Hopefully, our kitties don’t miss us too much while we’re gone. My parents will check on them and my dad is making an awesome cat door into the garage closet to keep their food and litter contained, and away from the rest of the house!

While it’s still sunny like summer, and in the low 70s, it feels crisp, and more fall-like in Seattle. Our swim in the Sound today was brisk, but fortunately the wind wasn’t up. It may have been the last swim on the year, since we’re leaving for Italy tomorrow and when we return, the weather is likely to be colder and rainy.

Last night, a college friend of mine, took this awesome picture of Secret Beach, (our wedding beach, where we swim). I wish I had taken it, but I was biking back from happy hour in Ballard! 14352179_804055300052_8520016624036439993_o (Photo by Kirsten Rue)

Good bye for now, Seattle and ciao, Italia!

Our new house and neighborhood!

I’ve been meaning to post our exciting news for more than a week now! We closed on our new house, August 31st and officially moved in the next day! Our wonderful real estate broker, Jeff Stegelman, gave us a fantastic welcome home present when we got our keys too. 14192779_801614616202_7604192074068755785_n Of course, we were so excited that we started moving immediately!  14114851_801231484002_8661578154322334531_o  By the end of the day, we had all our paintings, fragile boxes, and our cats. Luckily, our new mattress had arrived, so we didn’t have to sleep on the floor. 14212111_801700618852_666590438002579445_n On September 1st, the movers brought our heavy furniture and the remainder of our boxes. 14141855_801716641742_2176219268717903231_n Our adventurous kitty, Lily, has enjoyed finding new hiding spots and checking out all the rooms and sun spots. 14264078_803160094052_3422694360935904502_n 14183797_802566832952_3319162069535543274_n Lyra is a little more cautious but loves looking out the windows. 14317502_803160089062_4097689655652241671_n We unpacked all our boxes within a few days of moving in and our house is really coming together! We’ve really enjoyed our new rooftop. 14233266_802578843882_6919173865163836833_n We just got a new hammock for two, as well! 14322391_803160143952_6465231377998772023_n Lily even tested it out with us! 14264971_803160138962_8397450657141136394_n

Some of our other favorite features are the quiet neighborhood, fantastic water views, 14264187_803295682332_2636525481731716283_n  and the amazing kitchen. 14225405_802626538302_5066006294840173706_n Mr. F made my favorite the other night, grilled lamb, salad with creamy Moroccan preserved lemon vinaigrette and Charles Smith Wine, the boy! 14231305_803354579302_3038526232319987640_o We’re looking forward to getting to know our neighborhood more and enjoying the sunsets from our roof. We’ve definitely become homebodies and love spending all our time at home now, especially since the weather trend is more fall-like. We went swimming in the Sound today and it was fierce. It was a clear day and almost 70 degrees, but it was breezy and the water felt a lot colder than a few weeks ago. Even when we went on Saturday, the season has already changed and it was harder to warm up on the beach. image Luckily, we also enjoy long walks around the North Beach/Blue Ridge neighborhood, and we walked all the way to Carkeek Park and back over the weekend (almost 9 miles). There’s a neat trailhead through Blue Ridge to this amazing park. I highly recommend, to everyone in Seattle, to discover new trails through Carkeek! image It’s phenomenal to experience the Seattle on a sunny day, especially on the Sound! image

A fun foodie and outdoor adventure day!

Today was pretty awesome. It started with a 7am swim with Mr F. Sunrise swims are always gorgeous with the pastel colors over the Olympic mountains to the West. Since I didn’t take a picture, I highly recommend everyone go to Golden Gardens beach in Seattle when the sun is rising on a clear day, however sunset in the summer is even more glorious at Golden Gardens.

After we went swimming, we went to one of our favorite yoga classes, which is a great slow flow at the Yoga Tree.  We love going to this class, especially after a long week of work.

Mr. F had to work today, so after lunch, I met my friends for paddleboarding in Shilshole Bay. I rented my favorite displacement paddle board from Surf Ballard and we decided to paddle through the marina. I’m so glad that we did because we saw a baby harbor seal!! (I really wish I had brought my waterproof camera.) It was chasing a fish and circled our boards. It also popped up next to us, repeatedly, over the course of several minutes, super curious and adorable. It was only about two feet long! We almost thought it would climb onto our boards! We also saw my family friends on their boat, the Arkenstone as we paddled through the marina. Before we got to the North end of the marina, the wind came up, pushing us backwards, so it made it pretty easy to be blown/paddle back.  As if this wasn’t enough exercise, I went for another swim after, since it was nearly 90.

Mr. F came home for dinner and we got awesome barbecue at one of our favorite places, Bourbon and Bones. We love splitting a full rack of ribs there. We also got dessert at Cupcake Royale, specifically for the Blueberry Balsamic Goat Cheese ice cream. 14068465_799865805832_5280912603906593615_o The best part of this culinary adventure is, we know the goat cheese farmer!   13987441_799865077292_9053374230481843509_o Gothberg Farms makes the most amazing goat cheese and I HIGHLY recommend a trip to Bow to get cheese, or buying it at Metropolitan Market, or the Bellingham or Anacortes Farmer’s Markets.

That’s all for today! Tomorrow, I’ll prioritize packing more and hopefully get a few swims in, too!

 

 

Weekend plans=packing and planning!!

13882614_796362266952_3972238352145484534_n Seattle has been amazingly sunny and warm this summer, with only a few grey days. Our weekends have been filled with swimming and yoga. However, this weekend, we’re starting to pack our house, collect boxes, and run errands to complete our house buying process! We’re going to check out washer and dryers, mattresses and bed frames too! Hopefully, we’ll still have time for a few swims a day and at least, one yoga class!

Besides swimming, we’ve really enjoyed biking along the Burke Gilman from Fremont to Shilshole Bay and around our new neighborhood, North Beach. We’ve even challenged ourselves to bike up the Golden Gardens Drive NW, which is a steep incline, a mile long with about 300 feet change in elevation, and we made it! Our new house will be closer to our favorite swimming/wedding beach too! I can’t wait!

Recent Seattle restaurant reviews

My next reviews are in the Seattle Frelard, Ballard and Eastlake neighborhoods, where I mostly frequent, and get to via bike easily. (I also wrote this post prior to Mr. F making dinner…so I was hungry…)

Tarsen I Jane

13198454_783543750362_6424228620012600562_o We went less than a month ago within a week of their opening night. They had awesome presentation, tasty bites (literally), and a cool atmosphere. We love their Spanish wine selection. The chefs are present in the open kitchen and friendly. However, I wish I had been brave enough to tell them that their food is way too expensive for the amount they serve, and that they need more than 5 bites in each dish, especially when it’s deemed an entree. Hopefully, the quantity to price point won’t put them under too quickly. They really pushed the tasting menu as the best deal, which we declined since we wanted little to no grain and the main entree was their paella. Overall, I’d go back if they increased their portions.

(This is right next to Frelard Pizza on NW Leary, which is loud and very child friendly. I prefer Ballard Pizza Company, which is the same restaurant group, but this space is more intimate and the pizza is better cooked. They also have a new location in South Lake Union.)

Marine Hardware

13340111_786261314342_8284043810648416068_o This is a perfect date night spot. Marine Hardware shares the building with the Walrus & Carpenter, Barnacle, and Staple & Fancy. This new Ethan Stowell concept was a small space but it worked. They had cool 90s hits playing and every course of the tasting menu was tailored to our preferences. We loved their steak tartare almost as much as the Walrus & Carpenter’s next door. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I’m still drooling over the classic preparation with celery puree. I can’t wait to go back soon and try more of their dishes! 13308618_786339362932_7153069358778640991_o

Sushi Kappo Temura

13391545_786718044052_3708864163352142685_o The healthy Japanese brunch options are our favorite for chill Saturday and Sunday mornings. Mr F loves their sashimi and I love the non-rice fish selections too. We enjoy going here for dinner or brunch, but sometimes forget to go, since it’s not within easy walking distance of our house. It’s also a large restaurant and centrally located.

My most loved restaurant still remains, La Isla. We’re there almost every week. Mr. F and I enjoy getting the camerones during happy hour and I also like getting the pina colada. 13147761_782742580912_1018508227466323576_o My absolute favorite meal is the pernil pastleon, which is basically a healthier lasagna with plantains and Ma’s Lil’ peppers. We usually ask for the en Fuego sauce to accompany the garlic sauce too! It’s a perfect compliment to the cheese and pork.   11225414_755721815742_595450579947374705_o If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, it would be the pernil pastelon!

Four more days until Christmas, Eight Days until Maui!

The tree is up and all my presents have been wrapped, including the white elephant presents for Christmas Eve at my uncle’s with approximately 30 people!

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Last week, my sisters and I started a new tradition of going to see a musical together at Christmas. This year, we saw Sound of Music.

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I have one more work trip to Santa Monica before the holiday but otherwise, I’m in holiday mode.

My parents are coming over for dinner tonight. Mr. F is making tomato, red pepper and fennel soup and pernil (Puerto Rican style braised pork shoulder). I’ll share pictures soon. For now……

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas to you

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say
On a bright Hawaiian Christmas day
That’s the island greeting that we send to you
From the land where palm trees sway

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright
The sun will shine by day and all the stars at night
Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii’s way
To say Merry Christmas
A very Merry Christmas
A very, very, Merry,Merry Christmas to you

Read more: Bing Crosby – Mele Kalikimaka Lyrics | MetroLyrics