Seattle Pockets on TV! Plus upcoming giveaways

Seattle’s King 5 (NBC) New Day Northwest invited me to be a guest on their show this week! Click here to watch the full segment.

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“One local blogger has made it her mission to help the rest of us discover the hidden gems of Western Washington.”  – New Day Northwest

As a recap, my five picks for this appearance included:

SANCA – The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Georgetown! Take a Flying Trapeze class or drop in on Friday’s for their Pay-Per-Flight sessions. This fantastic school also offers series and one time classes in tumbling, aerial work, gymnastics, strength training, and more for kids and adults.

The Electric Boat Company – be captain for a day! These cute duffy boats in South Lake Union fit up to 10 people. You can bring your own picnic and wine with you for a gorgeous ride on the lake with family and friends.

Olympus Spa – One of my happy places. Their Lynnwood location features different temperature hot tubs, a cold plunge, sauna, steam room, and (my favorite)  multiple silent heated rooms. Don’t forget to try the bibimbap in stone pots in their Korean restaurant.

Seattle Chocolates – these are my favorite chocolates! Their “Here’s to You” flavor is Dark Chocolate Truffle with natural Turkish popping candy. Let it melt in your mouth for a delicious experience akin to pop rocks. Available at Bartell Drugs, PCC, and other shops around town.

Big Picture Theater – perfect for a date night or a fun experience with friends. This place has a total speakeasy feel to it, with comfortable little nooks to sit and chat before the show. This is a 21+ theatre. It has a fantastic bar AND you can pre-order a drink to be delivered to you during the movie. Be sure to order popcorn with white cheddar or truffle butter, served in swanky champagne buckets.

These fabulous businesses have provided gifts for me to giveaway to my readers in the coming days and weeks:

  • A Gift Card to SANCA good for tuition or merchandise.
  • A certificate to Olympus Spa in Lynnwood that includes a day pass, a body scrub, and a body moisturizing service. (Giveaway is now live on my blog!)
  • Treats from Seattle Chocolates – perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day.
  • A Movies & Martinis gift certificate from The Big Picture – includes movie passes and cocktails for two and a bucket of popcorn.

If you’re viewing this on a computer or tablet, sign up to “Follow this blog” on the right side to get notified when these giveaways go live!

Thanks again for checking out my segment. If there’s a business, restaurant, or experience that YOU love that you think I should feature on my blog, tell me in the comments below.

Special thanks to New Day Northwest’s host Margaret Larson, who is a true delight, great at her job, and puts her guests totally at ease. Many thanks as well to the show’s producer Joseph who was wonderful to work with.

Help Save a Life! Getting Registered is Quick, Easy, Free, and Pain-Free

Until this summer, I didn’t realize how easy it was to become a potential bone marrow or blood stem cell donor. I thought you had to go into a hospital to get a painful test just to find out your type. This is NOT the case! You can do it from home and the test is free AND pain-free.

Friends and readers, I implore you to take a moment and get yourself registered as a potential donor for people in need of bone marrow and blood stem cell donations. Simply visit the Delete Blood Cancer site and take a quick quiz to see if you are eligible. If you are, request a home test kit to be sent to you. Then you just use the swabs they send you (rub them inside your mouth as directed) and mail them back. It’s really that simple. No cost to you and takes nearly no time. This could SAVE A LIFE.

It’s incredibly hard to find a match for people in need of blood marrow and blood stem cell donations, but if we all register, we can help each other. In 75% of donation cases, it’s very similar to donating plasma (where they take your blood, whirl it around to separate out what they need, and then give it back to you).

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The Delete Blood Cancer has a great FAQ page (answering questions like “Does donating hurt?” and “What’s the difference between bone marrow and blood stem cells?”) and they are also available to take your questions.

Special thanks to Amanda Zurita for introducing me to Delete Blood Cancer. When I visited her Instagram account, I read this in her bio:

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As a fellow auntie, I couldn’t help but click through and register. Let’s do this. Let’s all get registered. For Amanda’s cutie nephew and all kids and adults everywhere in need. There are so many illnesses that we can do nothing about, but this is not one of them! Just think of the happiness you’ll bring to so many if you’re able to save a life. Thanks to all my friends who have already registered, and Amanda for the inspiration and education. Join us.

Yup, that’s me in City Arts Magazine for Goodwill!

I’ve had fun this month hearing from friends that they spotted me in the Goodwill ad in City Arts Magazine (a free arts publication in Seattle):

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Thanks to my friend Joey at City Arts for thinking of me for this modeling gig! Did you know that Goodwill is a non-profit and proceeds from items sold in their stores benefit free job training and education for those in need? All the more reason to shop and donate to Goodwill over other (for-profit) used shops. Last year, Goodwill helped over 9,200 people!

Anne of Green Gables, Mini Golf, SAM’s Disguise, and Orange is the New Cat.

Some highlights from June:

Delightful conversation over happy hour with some gals! Boom Noodle is back on the hill so Alida, Erin and I made our way there to check out their happy hour offerings, most of which we enjoyed (the rice cakes were strange, but everything else was fine and low priced). Erin, Nora and I savored the deliciousness that is Barrio, and Alida and I caught up over guacamole and the salsa bar at La Cocina Oaxaqueña.

Rachel introduced me to a tiny secret beach and hand shaven noodles from Seven Star Pepper. Already craving more (noodles and beach time).

I got to check out Lanen’s gorgeous house and back yard and finally meet her cute pup, Falcor, a king charles spaniel.  She and I caught up over pizza, salad and wine at Tutta Bella before seeing wacky performance at the Seattle International Dance Festival.

Erin, Paul, Somer, James and others joined in the celebrations of Conor’s first birthday with a pool party at Kate and Julian’s. Watermelon season has arrived!

Kathryn and I relived many moments of our childhood as we rewatched Anne of Green Gables on DVD (thanks to ebay).

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“Puffed Sleeves!”

I treated myself to a trip to Minneapolis to visit Erin M. I met up with my childhood best friend Rebecca and got to meet her little girl at mini-golf at The Walker, followed by some glorious poolside time with Erin (thanks, Chris!).

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Such fun to connect with my best friend from childhood and meet her sweet little girl! 

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Getting frank with my hostess, Erin! 

I checked out the new “Disguise: Masks & Global African Art” at Seattle Art Museum.  I had a blast at Night of Disguise with Levy, Jessica, Brandon, and Nora. Don’t miss this exhibition – it’s incredible. Saya Woolfalk’s room is stunning, I could spend hours in there. After the Disguise party, we watched Levy perform in Unexpected Productions’ Theatresports, just down the street in Pike Place Market.

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Photos are allowed in #SAMDisguise! The room featuring the work of artist Saya Woolfalk.

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My look for our evening out at “Night of Disguise”

Brandon and I enjoyed celebrating with Jonathan and Oryx at their wedding party, connecting with old friends and making some new ones. Yup, actual conversation at a dance party. It really makes a difference when party throwers know how to play their speakers at a level that fits the venue and crowd.

Father’s Day gave us the opportunity for a fun, laid back BBQ on the roof with my mom and dad and bro. Brandon and I introduced them to card game Red7 – one of my new favorites.

We had an awesome trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma! Erin, Paul, Brian, Morgan, Brandon, and I goofed around in perfect pool and hot tub weather, enjoyed a great wine tasting at Homewood Winery in Sonoma, a delicious lunch at the awesomely designed Fremont Diner (fried chicken sliders and mac n cheese – yum!) and revisited Sonoma Plaza (shaved ice for the win!) and Roche Winery (Chardonnays I actually like). Brian and Morgan introduced us to the game Camel Up. I’m not sure I have the strategy down yet, but I still enjoy playing!

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Sign in The Fremont Diner outdoor patio in Sonoma

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We had an excellent, relaxed wine tasting experience at Homewood Wines in Sonoma

TV shows & movies I enjoyed:

Orange is the New Black Season 3 (great writing and characters!) For those of you who are already fans, I share this gem:

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Artwork by KittyCassandra 

Re-watching Dollhouse – love that show! Eliza Dushku and Enver Gjokaj are awesome to watch.

Rewatched part of “The Fall.” Such an epic film. I need to go back and watch the whole thing again soon.

Books I read:

The Willpower Instinct – great book with so many useful tools to help with willpower

The Language of Flowers – lovely story that was fun to get lost in (thanks for the recommendation, Athena!)

Chiho Aoshima, Smash Putt, Spam Musubi & Costume Parties

In May, I was able to explore Seattle and enjoy life in the following ways:

I walked up the water tower at Volunteer Park to enjoy the view (after catching my breath – so many stairs!)

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Experienced the awesome Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World exhibition at the Asian Art Museum. I loved this show so much and am definitely going back.

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Image: “City Glow” (detail) by Chiho Aoshima, visitsam.org/chiho.

Stopped smell the flowers at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

Introduced Morgan to my favorite dumpling place, Din Tai Fung in University Village. Their green beans are awesome.

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Sang out with friends at Kate’s karaoke birthday party at Rock Box.

Hit up Smash Putt for a second time (wacky mini-golf! I think the Foosball one was my favorite)

Got a gold star from my dentist for brushing – no cavities! (If you’re looking for an awesome dentist, check out Dr. Sebek and tell her Keridwyn sent you.)

Watched “Far from the Madding Crowd” with some friends at Pacific Place. If you like Downton Abbey, you’ll probably enjoy this film.

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Met Juvi’s new cat Niko. Meow.

Was unimpressed with dinner at Mamnoon – love getting mana’eesh za’atar to go at lunch but won’t be back there for dinner again. Bummer.

Enjoyed spam musubi and coconut shave ice from Marination ma kai with B, Paul and Erin after a short visit to Alki beach.

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Supported Opulent Temple by attending the White Party fundraiser.

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Photo by Noelle Smithhart

Celebrated my mom and sister in law for Mother’s Day.

Saw Jasper in Deadland at The 5th Avenue Theatre. I loved so many moments of this show – it has true potential but there were a few numbers and bits I think need cutting or adjusting before it really takes off.

Modeled for a photo shoot for Goodwill and City Arts. (I’ll share when it’s out!)

Took Brandon on a surprise date to see Janeane Garofalo, who is awesome live!

janeCelebrated my friends Jon and Melissa’s wedding.

Decided bikinis shouldn’t be just for the skinny minnies and bought myself a two piece.

Created a character, “Celeste Giobadi,” at a Space themed costume party.

Was unimpressed by Serious Pie on Capitol Hill. Did they change their crust recipe? Where did the salt go?

Books I read:

Left Neglected. From the author of Still Alice. Loved it!

Big Little Lies – decent beach read

Shows I enjoyed:

The Jinx. So addicting and well done.

Italian Food, Breakdancing, and a Lost Slipper

SPRING is officially here!

Here are some of the highlights of my April:

Bunnycon! Brandon and I love a fun costume party and a bunny theme is always a fun way to say goodbye to winter.  We usually go to Bunnycon or Bunnarchy each year. We were able to meet up with other bunny friends along the route, see our friend Brad perform with his band and get in some day-dancing at Baltic Room. Here’s a photo of Nora and me:

Jess and I had hit up the tasty happy hour at Japonessa before seeing Lily Verlaine’s “Through the Looking Glass: The Burlesque Alice in Wonderland.” The duet between Trojan Original and Lily Verlaine was steamy and I became a new fan of performer “The Luminous Pariah” as the Cheshire Cat. MeYOW! Strangely enough, of all the costume pieces, I found myself wanting a mushroom hat the most:

Time with my nieces is always so wonderful. This month, we were able to check out the Pompeii exhibition at Pacific Science Center (closes May 25), design our own pizzas at Mod Pizza at the Armory in Seattle Center, then monorail to downtown to see the movie Cinderella. It was a packed but delightful day.

I worked out a few times to Daily Burn – I really like their beginner program and need to be more dedicated to working out frequently. I wish working out wasn’t such a challenge for me. Luckily, we had pretty good weather in April so I was able to fit in a lot of brisk walks. Gotta start somewhere, right?

We celebrated Melissa’s birthday with a trip to Moisture Festival – always such a delightful modpodge of performances.

A group of us got together for a Tuesday game night at Capitol Cider (they host a game night every Tuesday. Pick a game from their shelf or bring your own).

We celebrated Katie’s bachelorette party with a trip to Smash Putt (if you haven’t been: GO)! Think power tools meets creativity meets WTH meets mini golf. Get a little group together and go before it closes.

We had the gift of being a part of our friends Katie & Eli’s wedding and reception. Parsons Garden was a beautiful venue to gather and it was so lovely to see their happiness and love for each other and be a part of their commitment ceremony (and reception the next day). Here I am with the bride at their reception:

For our surprise date night, Brandon took us for mani-pedis (SO sweet – I rarely splurge on my nails and got a french shellac mani and pink “barbie” toes) and to dinner at Gnocchi Bar. Sadly we weren’t impressed, after hearing so much hype (and loving gnocchi). The atmosphere was too casual for the dining style and without adding a bunch of extras (price made sense for handmade but not for the simple grab your own silverware experience), the dishes weren’t too exciting. I had expected we would become regulars there, but no dice.

Babes on a boat! A group of us rented a boat from the Electric Boat Company. You can bring food and drink with you out on Lake Union and go quite far in two hours. We had a blast taking turns being the captain. Afterwards a couple of us went to my new favorite South Lake Union restaurant Osteria Rigoletto, which has a delicious happy hour. I’m definitely taking Brandon there for a date night soon.

Brandon’s coworker Julian invited us to join him at the Massive Monkees breakdancing competition at the Showbox. I am now a huge breakdancing fan! The crowd seemed so nice and the competitors were incredible! While I’m not the biggest fan of waacking (which evolved from vogueing), the rest of the styles were captivating. I need to find out what other competitions are happening around town soon.

I rediscovered (clearly I’d forgotten) that il Bistro in Pike Place Market has one of the best happy hours in town (twice daily). The portion size is good and the food is delicious. I asked if they had cucumber and they did and the bartender created a delightful cucumber vodka martini for me with a bit of a kick. Can’t wait for another excuse to go back there.

So much to celebrate this month. We wished our friend Chris well during his baby shower and shared some laughs with Sam, Sumit, Bayu and other friends in his cool “VIP” room.

We got to meet Rusty’s parents (in from Maine) this month. It’s always such a delight to meet friend’s families and get a different glimpse into who they are and who they come from. I thanked them both for raising their son, who has become a good friend of mine.

Though I got sick at the end of the month, I was able to find some joy in discovering Google Inbox (thanks B for the recommendation). Though I use it in tandem with Gmail in my browser, I really love the snooze and alert features. Inbox Zero is my new happy place! I was also mentioned on my favorite podcast “Good Job Brain” which made me nerd out with happiness as well.

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Books:

I was feeling pretty “hermit-y” this month – the plus side of this is having extra time to read.

Ready Player One – even though I don’t have a huge knowledge of 80s video games, this adventure book (complete with lovable underdog hero) was a fun read. It’s going to make a great movie.

Left Neglected – a fast read from the author of Still Alice (which I loved – still haven’t seen the movie). The author, a neuroscientist, really brings you on the experience of the rare condition of “Left Neglect” – where a brain injured patient has trouble connecting that there is a left side to everything. It’s fascinating. While I enjoyed Still Alice more, I found myself looking forward to down time where I could come back to this book.

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TV show I loved:

Garfunkel and Oates. I was so worried this show wouldn’t be true to their performers, but it seems like they got a great contract and writing team that really gets them. I loved this whole show and hope they’ll be back with a second season soon. If you’re not easily offended and need a laugh, check this series out. Here are puppet versions of these two great comedians:

Fun Splurge: Lash extensions from Swink Style Bar!

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Thanks to all who helped make April a great month.

February recap: Marching Band, Tattoos, Spas, and Great Food!

A little late for my February recap, but better late than never, right?
Thanks to all who made it so wonderful! Some highlights:
  • Rare Funk Night at The Lofi with J’Emily.
  • Olympus Spa with Mom.
  • Opulent Temple “Wonderland” party  – such creative costumes! I went as my take on the Queen of Hearts to this fundraiser for a Burning Man camp.
  • Hippocampus Valentine’s Day “Love Affair” fundraiser party – our Hippo friends did such an incredible job decorating the space – it was truly transformed!
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IRDeep snapped a photo of J’Emily and me at the Hippo party!

  • Tweeting for my client’s #MuseumBowl twitter campaign during the Super Bowl and celebrating Rusty’s birthday with his “deflate-cake”.
  • A Girls Night In with delicious grilled cheese.
  • Din Tai Fung in and arcade games in Bellevue with Erin, Paul, Alida, Will and Brandon.
Our boys in the photo booth at the arcade

Our boys in the photo booth at the arcade

  • Bike shopping for the nieces (my christmas present to them).
  • Green Barley Noodles at Shanghai Garden with Tom and Jill.
  • Happy Hour with Michelle Leyva at Dragonfish.
  • Teatro Zinzanni starring Lady Rizo! Brandon and I were sat with Michelle and her husband, Katie Williams and her friend and Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann. Lady Rizo is absolutely incredible – don’t miss this show!
  • Trove (Korean BBQ that you cook at your table) double date with Katie and Eli. Next time we’ll get the “Modest Meat Tower” – the “Baller Meat Tower” was WAY too much (delicious) food. Great restaurant but I wish they would allow you to order from their noodle menu in the back! I hate that it’s split in two and you can’t cross order.
  • Turning 35.
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“I’m 35” selfie

  • Surprise date night with Brandon to the library and Chan.
  • Blue Grotto and Ladywell Spa with Rachel.
  • Getting my second and third tattoos on my 35th birthday! It was fun surprising Brandon when he got home from work that day – I didn’t tell him I had made a tattoo appointment!
  • Dinner with Brandon, Mom and Dad at Roaring Bowl. Love their shabu shabu!
  • Seattle Wine & Food Experience with Billie.
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Pretty orchids from Billie

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Brandon and me before the March Fourth concert

If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) by Betty White (audiobook)
The Peach Keeper
All The Light We Cannot See

Movies & TV Shows I enjoyed: 
20 Feet From Stardom – excellent documentary about backup singers. Great soundtrack!
Grey’s Anatomy