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.

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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.

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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.

Maria Kotchetkova: Celebrate with Soy & Honey Grazed Chicken

Maria Kotchetkova: Celebrate with Soy & Honey Grazed Chicken

This is only my opinion but Maria Kotchetkova is one of the most beautiful human beings alive in today’s world.  She’s a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet Company.  As I am writing right now, I can barely contain myself because of my over excitement of joy

I set my alarm to wake up today (Sunday!) at 5:30am.  What for?  Well, because American Ballet Theater’s Swan Lake was going to be on sale at 9am EST today.  9am EST means 6am PST!  There are millions of gorgeous ballerinas in the world but this petit Russian, somewhat quirky dancer, is my favorite.  Last time I was in San Francisco to watch Giselle, I was hoping to see her dance but the principal that night was not Maria.  It was a beautiful stage production regardless of course (it’s SFB after all), but I still want to see Maria dance.

I follow Maria Kotchetkova’s FB page and Instagram.  One post said “Swan Lake June 26th, American Ballet Theater”  I freaked out because that means she will be a guest principal dancer of American Ballet Theater production of Swan Lake.  What an unreal combination!  I really can’t even handle this.  When I saw the post, I called Archie right away and asked him if he wanted to go to New York City with me (again).  I wonder how many men are willing to travel to NYC from Seattle just to watch one production of ballet, completely based on my taste.  He didn’t even hesitate to say yes.  He even asked me, “do you want to go back to Joseph Leonard for dinner?”  He knows me so well and he is the best man alive.

To show my gratitude to Archie, I decided to marinade chicken (one of his favorite food) with my soy & honey sauce with ginger and sake for a few hours and grill them.  I hope he will enjoy this with his Fremont Interurban IPA.

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The most gorgeous ballerina, the best friend I could ever ask for and soy & honey grazed chicken.  What a satisfying Sunday.

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

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

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And Ginger, my overweight Chihuahua

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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$12,690 vs. $0

$12,690 vs. $0

Luxury.  What does that mean to me, I wondered when I saw this quote Sunday morning.

“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things; It’s about living in a way where you appreciate things”

We have been lucky to have a warm winter in Seattle this year.  It was sunny and spring like yesterday.

When I took my slightly overweight Chihuahua, Ginger to do her business early in the morning, I noticed it was such a gratifying morning.  Air was clean and slightly wet from last night’s rain and ocean nearby.  I inhaled big this air as if I was filling my whole body with freshness of winter morning.  Then all of a sudden, I heard something humming.  I thought it was a bee at first but it sounded a little louder than a bee.

I realized that was a humming bird hovering and humming away right in front of me for good 5 seconds.  I was not moving and probably I was not breathing because I didn’t want this pretty bird to go away.  She (the bird looked like she) was holding one bright pink petal of winter camellia, which is one of my favorite flower.  It felt like she was trying to tell me to take a moment once in a while and just BE.

This is exactly what luxury is all about to me.  The beautiful humming bird brought such a quiet yet strong message yesterday.  By the way, above quote is by Oscar De La Renta, high-end couture fashion designer.  The most expensive dress of his you can buy online is $12,690.  However, like he said, you can find your own luxury, whatever that may be, when you choose, you don’t even have to pay a penny.

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