Restaurants »The Monkey Bridge

photo-21723 NW Market St  Seattle

Vietnamese food is rarely awful, but truly great restaurants are also hard to come by. We stumbled across The Monkey Bridge after an appointment in Ballard and were wowed by the juicy, flavorful bahn mi.

Pork and beef were equally noteworthy and indicate that their larger menu is worth another visit. We did take out but the space in inviting and casual and the staff friendly.

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Posted on June 16, 2013

Desserts »Mighty O Donuts

mighty2110 N 55th St  Seattle

Uh oh, could Top Pot not really be “tops”? Jim says yes, that Mighty-O Donuts takes the “cake” but I’m still on the fence (if you’re talking sprinkles vs. sprinkles, though, Mighty-O definitely comes out on top – just look at that beauty).

Whoever is right, though, it’s clear we live in a town where you don’t have to go far to find a good donut. Mighty-O’s are certified organic (no GMO’s!) and made locally and the shop is on a lovely corner that’s great for people watching and has nice sidewalk seating.

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Posted on June 13, 2013

Recipes »Citrus Soy Glazed Black Cod

photo-1from Martha Stewart

Seafood in Seattle is great. I’ve never enjoyed so many simply prepared fish dishes before. When something’s fresh in the market, I just look up an easy prep and enjoy.

One such quick meal is Martha’s Citrus Soy Glazed Black Cod. Lime gives the glaze a unique and delicious tang.

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Posted on June 12, 2013

Desserts »Peaks Frozen Custard

peaks1026 NE 65th St, Seattle

Rich and creamy, Peaks Frozen Custard is a local favorite on hot days. So, even though the brand is stocked in grocery stores, we decided to make a trip to their brick and mortar shop as a fun family outing to celebrate the surprising 80 degree weather.

I loved the waffle bowl and enjoyed the cookies and cream while Van chose his first non-prompted restaurant order with “chocolate and sprinkles!!”

They feature special flavors that change daily but always have chocolate and vanilla.

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Posted on June 10, 2013

Laughs »Bad Lip Reading

blpToo Good

How, oh how did we miss Bad Lip Reading?!?

If you too are new to the adored and self explanatory Internet sensation (which is even better than one might expect) then go to their site now and prepare to be overjoyed.

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Posted on June 8, 2013

Style Icons: Female »Esther Williams

estherw“America’s Mermaid”

Much like Elvis, Esther Williams starred in films that were… less than acclaimed. It was her charm and stunning, theatrical swim routines that made them watchable.

If you’ve never seen one, take a look and enjoy some innocent fun with lots of splash. At the very least view some of the YouTube tributes to the effervescent star of screen and pool. Williams was 91 when she passed away last week.


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Posted on June 8, 2013

Movies,TV Shows »The Wallace and Gromit Collection

WallaceGromitby Nick Park

It’s no secret that most stuff made for children is garbage. Real gems, like the Nick Park Wallace and Gromit shorts and films are the exception and I am so thrilled that Van is a huge fan. The contraptions and inventions of the hapless Wallace and his best pal pup Gromit are mesmerizing for a little boy obsessed with machines, pipes and wheels.

The first set of shorts include the noirs A Close Shave and The Wrong Trousers as well as the moon adventure A Grand Day Out. They were followed by the feature Curse of the Wererabbit. The hand sculpted characters are not only charming – what they are able to achieve with the painstaking technique is remarkable.

If the first movies represent the pinnacle art of stop motion claymation, the later short A Matter of Loaf and Death shows that old techniques don’t have to be abandoned for new, that computers, which were used can actually inhance the animation and make for quicker production. I’m hoping that eventually means more Wallace and Gromit some day even though most of the original claymation figures and sets were destroyed in a fire years ago (sob).

Beyond the meticulous designs and techniques, these films are well written and as entertaining for adults as they are for children without being crass or stuffed with pop culture references.

I know I am very lucky that my son has taken such an interest in such a great series. I’d gladly chat about what happens in Curse of the Wererabbit a thousand times than have to sit through one Barney. You can find them on Netflix instant with the exception of Curse of the Wererabbit, available for purchase on iTunes.


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Posted on June 7, 2013

Spend a Couple Hours »Queen Anne Farmers Market

qafarmEvery Thursday 3pm to 7:30pm from June 6 to October 31, at Crockett Street and Queen Anne Ave. N

Seattle is a city rich in Farmers Markets. This week we headed to the lovely neighborhood of Queen Anne, a quaint area that tops our list of areas to eventually call home.

The Queen Anne Market has the usual suspects of fresh produce (Rainer cherries! Huge fennel! Bright strawberries!) as well as a food truck alley that introduced us to Tandoozy, a naan bread topped with tandoori, rice, spicy sweet potato and lentils (pictured) as well as handcrafted lemon lavendar sodas from The Soda Jerk.

The event is super kid friendly, with tots in every direction and there’s lots of hills to park your wagon or stroller and let the kids dance to music that inspired mine to pull out moves I’ve never seen before. A fun time.

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Posted on June 7, 2013

Spend a Couple Minutes »The Ballard Farmers Market

Screen-Shot-2013-06-02-at-7.29.15-PMBallard at 22nd Ave, Seattle, WA

Several people have recommended a visit to The Ballard Farmers Market and it’s easy to see why.This friendly street fair boasts fresh produce, bright flowers, seafood, meats, wines, baked goods and more.

I can personally recommend the fresh donuts, the incredible Pete’s Perfect Toffee, the selection of delicious cheeses from Mt. Townsend Creamery, sourdough from Tall Grass Bakery, and the local green onions.

It’s such a pleasant environment that even the gimmicky street musicians have a certain charm.

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Posted on June 2, 2013

Restaurants »The Crumpet Shop

Screen-Shot-2013-06-02-at-7.34.14-PMAt The Pike Place Market

Friend Shaun made one important recommendation when we announced our move to Seattle – get a crumpet at The Crumpet Shop.

The charming small bakery, prominently located in the Pike Place Market serves the British classic muffin in a variety of ways: buttered, jammed, with eggs, topped with cheese…

I decided to have my first as simple as possible with just butter and honey while Jim went for it with an impressive creation of maple butter, walnut, cream cheese.

While space is tight, crowds ebb and flow. They also serve scones and coffee.

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Posted on June 1, 2013

Style Icons: Male »Jack Vance


Jack Vance is simply my favorite science fiction author. His stories are clever, rich, unforgettable and funny. I became an immediate and immense fan after casually picking up Tales of the Dying Earth and have been delighted every time I’ve opened one of his books since.

If anyone’s ever asked for book recommendations, I’ve undoubtedly pushed Demon Princes Volume 1 and 2 on them, I’ve even made life long sci-fi haters fall in love with books like Showboat World.

I am sad! I will always regret I never sent a note to thank him for creating such fantastic worlds (he’s one of the only people I’ve felt compelled to write in such a way).

As a man, he was modest and gave much credit to his wife for helping edit his stories and had no pretenses of being a “great” writer (even though he was great).. But he enjoyed it and continued to write even after becoming legally blind with the aid of his wife and computers.

As I always say, if you haven’t read his work, do, it’s made my imagination sing and my life a richer place.

vance2 vance3

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Posted on May 29, 2013

Restaurants »Skillet Diner

skillet1400 East Union Street, Seattle, WA

We’ve been told the closest thing to Brooklyn in Seattle is Capitol Hill. Meaning: hipsters and their hip bars and restaurants dwell there. One restaurant always associated with the neighborhood is Skillet Diner. Notorious for long lines, famous for great food in the “now” – like bacon jam bloody Mary’s (which was very good).

The simple but considered presentation and delicious chicken fried steak I had – big, tender cuts of choice meat with a salty, flavorful crust – did indeed remind me of home and made me feel better about all the great restaurants we left behind there. The entire menu was full of promising dishes with lots of pork belly, fennel and beets.

Like so many places in Seattle, Skillet diner is exceptional but there was not a promised hipster in sight. I kind of wanted to see people that dress up for brunch but at 8am, it’s families and olds. Same everywhere I suppose. At least there are no lines at that hour.

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Posted on May 28, 2013

Drinks »Hilliards

hilliardsSeattle Brew in Cans, 550 NW 49th Street Seattle WA

Hilliard’s modern design and small price tag stand out in the sea of fancy beers at the local grocery. The local brewery is making very good beer though, not just pretty cans, with their refreshing Saison tops my list.

They also have a taproom not far that claims to be all ages.. Maybe a visit is in store.

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Posted on May 24, 2013

Style Icons: Female »Thea Porter

thea1Caftan Queen

The queen of hippie chic, Thea Porter was the designer who brought flowing caftans inspired by travel to the rich and beautiful (Elizabeth Taylor had a huge collection). She designed her own dreamy prints and embroideries along with the clothes themselves but even in her hey day was relatively unsung despite hugely influencing popular dress.

As the young and fashionable of today embrace the looks she made so popular once again, her name is becoming better known making her dresses, tunics, and maxi skirts rare and expensive vintage finds. I’d personally flip if I found one.

thea2 thea3

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Posted on May 24, 2013

Web Sites »Duotrope

duotrope_colorblock_stickers-rf20e5e154e8a4f938e76764b7fd1a864_v9wth_8byvr_512Helpful Website for Writers

To say that having two small children has given me free time would be insane- but it does me strange small pockets of time where I might be wide awake but forced to be still and quite with my thoughts as one baby naps on my left arm and another snores to my right.

It’s during these moments of stillness that I’ve been writing short stories and while my goal is to finally get ideas I’ve had for sometimes decades in my head “completed” in some tangible way, I’ve also been slowly trudging through editing and sending them out for publication.

It’s a daunting and humbling process (I’ve racked up two rejections so far with, no doubt, many more to come) but made considerably easier with the website Duotrope. It’s a subscription site loaded with helpful information about publishers, an extensive searchable database and a fantastic Submission Tracker.

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Posted on May 22, 2013

Recipes »Rain City Burgers

rain6501 Roosevelt Way NE  Seattle, WA

There’s lots of talk about seattle’s Red Mill Burgers. They are featured in GQ’s “The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die“, Oprah is a fan and locals wait on long lines for them.

But for my money, if you had one burger to eat in the city, I’d direct you to the far less known  Rain City Burger.

Don’t get me wrong, Red Mill was very good but it all comes down to personal preference. I don’t like my burgers too substantial. I like them squishy and salty (two things new York’s Shake Shack always got right) and Rain City delivers.

I tried their Rough Rider which has a hint of teriyaki sauce and couldn’t resist the garlic Parmesan fries I saw all the customers eating. Excellent. I will be back.

They also boast all natural beef without added hormones and added antibiotics – a claim that in the past I probably would have not noticed but as our food is becoming increasingly alarming (see the wealth of terrifying Monsanto info out there), it’s nice to feel less like your destroying your body when you indulge in fast food burgers and fries.

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Posted on May 19, 2013

Laughs »Guy Eating Cotton Candy Backwards

cottonAmazing Gif

What can I say, it’s a good afternoon for dumb stuff to laugh at. Here’s a guy eating cotton candy backwards. Enjoy

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Posted on May 18, 2013