La Belle Epoque: Sunday Treat

La Belle Epoque: Sunday Treat

Ayako was making fun of my homebody-ness today at her store, Marigold and Mint.

It is taxing for me to work with bunch of people in so many different level during weekdays so I limit my weekend just to see very few close friends.  I sometimes don’t even see anyone but Archie.

Sunday started with Starbucks Reserve, Kenya Sangana, very blight and juicy coffee in bed.  This is one of my favorite moment of the day.  Then, I met up for a coffee at Milstead in Fremont with a couple of friends who will be traveling to Tokyo and Kyoto with us.

003

Last stop of today’s outing is Marigold and Mint.  Ayako showed me this French tulip called “La Belle Epoque” and I fell in love with the vintagey color of this flower.  She made a small bundle of these tulips that are looking so lovely in my living room now.

005

All I will do this afternoon is read.  Nothing else.  This is my favorite way to spend my Sunday with Archie and my chunky Chihuahua.

Not Too Odd (actually quite nice): Oddfellows Cafe + Bar

Not Too Odd (actually quite nice):  Oddfellows Cafe + Bar

Rustic, funky, vintagey, hip and eclectic. All of it.

004 010

This place is one of a few cafes where you want to spend for hours.  One of those places you get immediately comfortable and hanging out with hip crowd.  Oddfellows Café is located inside of Oddfellows building, built in 1908 (my house is built in the same year!).  This café still has original old wooden floors, bricks and windows and offers rustic and environmentally sustainable fare.

003 006

Please sit for hours when you visit here.  You will enjoy music, handcrafted espresso drinks, dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and lots of charm.  This is one of places I proudly can say “very Seattle” – rustic, funky, vintagey, hip and eclectic

Lazy Blue Sunday: Raining Too

Lazy Blue Sunday: Raining Too

It is raining in Seattle.  I actually get so relieved when I hear sound of the rain.  This one tiny little thing has been bothering me for a while so I decided to have a very lazy Sunday.  Pajama all day Sunday.  My quality life however can’t be affected so I had:

Starbucks Kenya

007

Almond Cherry Pie from Seattle’s finest, High 5 Pie

002

And Ginger, my overweight Chihuahua

008

So I have to say, I still had a lovely Sunday.  I stayed inside all day but I am not regretting a bit. It is raining in Seattle.  I kind of like it too.

They Are a Great Start for Problem Solving: Flowers

They Are a Great Start for Problem Solving: Flowers

It is true, flowers actually do not solve any one problem you may have.  However, flowers remind you that you are being thought of by someone, the beauty of life, that you are loved and to smile.  Someone special in your life, whoever that may be, is thinking of you, which lifts you up, not the flowers themselves.  It has been hard to accept that I am special to someone because I grew up convincing myself that I was an ugly duckling and no one cared about me.

016

My friend Ayako Gordon, (also an artisan jam maker) made this gorgeous bouquet.   Archie goes to see Ayako every other Sunday at Marigold and Mint where she works as a florist.  She knows exactly what I like so he doesn’t have to tell Ayako what kind of bouquet he wants to get for me.  Every time Archie brings me those flowers, my heart gets filled so much and it almost explodes.

The bonus to that is that when you give flowers to someone special, your best friend, your spouse, your boss, your direct report, your mother, your brother’s wife…whoever that is, you will experience the same effect as much as when you receive them.  You will get to feel the beauty of life, how much you love that person, how much you think of him/her.

Flowers=the first step to world peace (at least your inner peace)

Happy Meal: Sunday Brunch at Sitka & Spruce

Happy Meal:  Sunday Brunch at Sitka & Spruce

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”  Whoever said this, gets my respect automatically.

My favorite meal is brunch on Sundays.  Not Saturday, not holiday brunch.  It must be Sunday brunch.  My work starts Monday so Sunday is the day I recharge and rejuvenate my body and soul so that I can tackle my insane work week until next Friday evening.  Rejuvenating my body and soul starts with satisfying my tummy.  When I am done with that task, my Sunday is 80% complete.  Therefore, choosing where and what to eat on Sundays is super critical.  Since last Thursday, I had been thinking about spending my couple of hours of Sunday morning, at Sitka & Spruce.

005010

Sitka & Spruce is one of 5-Matt Dillon’s restaurants, located in Capitol Hill in Seattle.  Melrose Market is combination of restaurant, bar, butcher, furniture store, general store, cheese shop, clothing store, deli, shellfish restaurant/shop, it’s a mini version of Chelsea Market in New York City.  Sitka & Spruce is located inside of this old building that they didn’t tear down.  The space has floor to ceiling windows and concrete floor, it reminds me of old and spacious loft.  We were lucky to be seated at bar by the window.  Bloody Mary, homemade pickles, bread and butter, hot rye porridge, granola, cultured cream & marjoram, baked eggs with smoked brisket, beer braised cabbage & harissa.  I was already giddy being inside of that restaurant anyway and I was overjoyed by looking at the menu.  What Archie and I ate was ridiculous.  If I can show you what happiness looks like, this would be one of them.

009 011 012 008

My stomach is warm and satisfied.  Now I look forward to welcoming my new week.  Have a great rest of Sunday, everyone.

014

Sixty Four Minutes of Patience Takes You to…Amsterdam: Arabica Lounge

Sixty Four Minutes of Patience Takes You to…Amsterdam: Arabica Lounge

1. It is a long line to order your food and drink.

2. It takes a long time until your food comes out.

3. Staffs are not so  attentive.

If you do not like these facts of restaurants or cafes, you would not like to keep reading this post because this place I write about today does have a long line to order, they take a long time to prepare your food and the staff are not super attentive.

I love Capitol Hill in Seattle.  It’s weird and not-so-clean, but it offers a lot of character and feels welcoming for some reason.  I came to Seattle for the first time to study English and lived at a dorm at Seattle University.  It was located (still is) on 12th and James, and I used to walk to Broadway to check out  funky small shops and do some human watching (there were LOTS of “interesting” people back then).  Capitol Hill has gone through numerous changes and people say it is not the same Capitol Hill anymore, but this place still attracts me and I notice I feel nostalgia every time I go there.

Arabica Lounge is located at the corner of East Olive Way and Denny.  Many of the old buildings (I love old architecture!) still remain around there instead of being replaced by these ugly new apartment (cheap materials and ugly…ugly!) buildings with no character nor the care.  This place is located in one of those old buildings with big windows and lots of sunlight.  If you are like me, as soon as  you enter this café, you feel like you are transported to somewhere in Europe.  Maybe like Amsterdam.  People working there and people drinking, eating, chatting, reading, laptop-ing, iPhone-ing or just being are all beautiful people.  I am not saying they all look like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  What I mean is that they have their own style.  Some are hip, some are cool, some are groovy, some are rad, some are indie and some are just not.  They just look comfortable in their own skin.  This space a good level of intimacy but in the meantime you can still be alone with other people there if that makes sense.  I feel most comfortable at this kind of places.  They offer simple yet delicious food, well prepared drinks (traditional French bowl with Stumptown beans!  Oh MY!) and good music.  I wish I had a living room like that space.

016017

Arabica lounge is the best place to be yourself and alone with someone.  It is a place to connect with people who are exactly like you, who want to be themselves and are comfortable in their own skin without exchange of words.  You’ll want to bring 2 or 3 books when you go there.  Trust me, you want to easily stay there half a day but please be careful who you go with.  Go there by yourself or with someone who is like you.  I went there with Archie and this one friend who was sort of cranky that day.  While I was enjoying the time waiting for my food, he mentioned how long we had been waiting (it was 64 min actually but it did not feel like that long) and you don’t actually need to know that kind of information at Arabica Lounge.  This is where you go without your watch.

Bring no watch.  Bring your books, notebook and your favorite pen.  64-minute wait is totally worth of your time.

Friday Night-out: feeding my soul

This is how I spend my Friday night, hanging out at ice cream shop.  And no, I am not ashamed of it especially when I found my dear friend, Ayako (she is BEAUTIFUL inside and out just to mention, and an artisan jam maker & florist)’s jam is featured at Molly Moon’s Ice cream (http://www.mollymoonicecream.com/) which is my favorite ice cream shop in entire world.  Yes, better ice cream shops might exist, like Salt & Straw in PDX and LA or any gelato stores in Italy , but Molly Moon’s had me at hello and I don’t have any intention changing my love for that place.  Anyway, after watching this quirky, weird, and yet fantastic movie called “Ruby Sparks,” we were on a way to get a slice of Marion berry pie at High 5 Pie. Thank goodness, it was closed and here is why I said “Thank goodness.”  Well, we shifted a gear quickly and were headed to Molly Moon’s.  Then, what did I find there.  Ayako’s jam and even sundae called “Ayako Sundae.”  My heart swelled with the pride.

image4image5image6

This gorgeous sundae made with Theo Chocolate ice cream ream, Chukah cherries, Theo Chocolate crumbs, and of course Ayako’s jam.  All ingredients are made in Washington State.  How cool (literally) is that.  This is one of awesome ways to spend freezing Friday night, I tell you.

http://ayakoandfamily.com/pages/about-us                                                                                                                               http://www.marigoldandmint.com/

「はなきん」の過ごし方には色々あると思いますが、私の金曜の夜の過ごし方をご紹介。クラブやバーに行くのではありません。アイスクリームを食べに出かけるのです。このさっむーい夜にわざわざ。でも、お店に到着してからが、すごかった。シアトルで最も愛されている、「モリムーンズ」は地元で採れる材料だけを使ってアイスクリームを作っています。そこで、私が愛してやまない、あやこさん(ジャム職人+フローリスト。私の結婚式のお花を全部担当してくれた)のジャムがフィーチャーされているではありませんか。しかもメニューボードには「アヤコサンデー」の文字が。大好きなお友達の名前が、大好きなアイスクリーム屋さんのメニューになってる!こんなうれしい事って、クラブやバーでは起こらないですもん。はじめは、パイ屋さんで、マリオンベリーパイを食べようと思ったんだけれど、閉まってたので、モリムーンズにしたんです。今夜に限っては、パイ屋さん、閉まってくれてよかったー。