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Eatful in Seattle

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Eatful.  Is that even a thing?  I don’t think so.  But we were certainly not Eat-less…  So to continue this nonsensical link to some 80s movie, I’m saying eatful IS indeed a thing.

Basically, we spent our weekend in Seattle eating.  (Why, yes.  It has taken me over a week to post this.  Yikes.)

Many of our vacations revolve around food, and where we’re going, and things like breakfast dessert.  Serious.  Most of those happen in Vegas, but apparently Seattle is a favorite foodie location.

Friday

  • Lunch – random pho restaurant.  I don’t even know what town we were in.  I was on the lookout for a Starbucks (not hard to find, by the way) but the hubby wanted something else.  Because it was Friday he either needed fish or vegetarian, so he thought it would be easy to find something at this Vietnamese place.  Wow, was it good!  I had a vermicelli bowl with chicken and fried egg rolls, he had a fish stew pho, and we shared a tofu ban mi.  That sandwich was SO good, y’all!  I dreamt of the bread from that sandwich for days.  Serious.
  • Dinner – Elliott’s Oyster House.  We’ve been here a few times – it’s one of the hubby’s favorite restaurants.  It’s not one of mine.  Both things I’ve had in the past were not good.  This time, though, it redeemed itself.  We started with calimari – lightly fried, you could still taste the perfectly cooked calimari.  Yum.  Hubby had some fantastic Alder smoked salmon, and I ordered the main dish of crab cakes.  In hindsight, I should have gotten the salmon too.  The crab cakes were good, but a bit weird.  They were like a crab salad in the middle – still creamy with mayo.  I really like it when my crab cakes are only crab.  But they were still good.  We skipped dessert.

Saturday

  • Breakfast – Local 360.  (I don’t really know why, but they have a .0rg web address — cool!)  This place is cool.  As much food as possible is sourced from within 360 miles of Seattle.  We started out with breakfast appetizer:

PB & J Bon bons. You're jealous. Just admit it.

I ordered a sensible meal of scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes.  They weren’t anything special, but I wasn’t really expecting much from them — I just really wanted some plain eggs.  (After a breakfast appetizer of fried peanut butter, it’s usually better not to go too crazy).  That said, check out the hubby’s breakfast:

Chicken and Waffles, y'all!

  • We skipped lunch, since brunch was so late, but I stopped and picked up a box of granola bars and an iced decaf coffee at a grocery store between the wedding & the reception.
  • Dinner – Salty’s on Alki for the wedding reception.  Dinner was good – a large buffet.  The best were the shrimp scampi and the clam chowder.   The piece de resistance was not from the  restaurant, but was a marionberry wedding cake.  Mmmm, good stuff.

YAY for wedding cake

Sunday

  • Breakfast – Top Pot Doughnuts.  This is an amazing doughnut shop near our hotel
  • Lunch – Pike Place Chowder.  Shared a bread bowl of clam chowder.  I love this place.  So good.
  • Mid-afternoon outing – Freemont Brewing Company.  This was so odd…  Very odd.  There was a child’s birthday party going on in the bar.  I couldn’t decide at first if it was awesome or crazy.  I decided after watching the very chill parents, with microbrews in their hands, and the very happy kiddos, eating pizza and birthday cake, that this was GENIUS.  We just need to find a brewery that allows this here.  (Oh, and have a kiddo.  Small things…)  On that vein, since I was DD, they gave me (free!) fancy bottled rootbeer and ginger beer (non-acho!) Woot!
  • Dinner – Local 360.  Like I said, this was one of our favorite places.  I had the mussels with a side of fries.  And a side of mac and cheese.  The mussels were huge, and tasty, the fries were a bit over-fried (but the hubby loved them) and the mac and cheese was delish.  I should have just gotten the mac & cheese for myself.  Honestly?  I loved this meal so much that I have NO idea what the hubby got.  Sorry!

Monday

  • Breakfast appetizer – Top Pot Doughnuts.  Mmmmm.
  • Brunch – Dim Sum at Golden Harbor in Chinatown.  We walked all the way here from our hotel, and worked up quite a sweat (and appetite!).  We got a bunch of standard dim-sum dishes – but the best were the steamed shrimp & cilantro dumplings.  These were awesome.  I really wanted another dish of them, but we’d stuffed ourselves with shrimp balls and pork buns and lotus pods and taro dumplings.  I could not stuff another dumpling in.  So sad.
  • Mid-afternoon snack:  Elysian Brewing Company.  I drank some ginger ale, and Matt enjoyed their 2 beer samplers.  We noshed on the hummus, babaganoush, olive, pepper & feta plate.  I think it was called the “Oasis Plate”.  It was an oasis of yumminess.
  • Dinner – Serious Pie:  Salad of mixed greens with radishes and a sausage pizza.  Mmmm, pizza.

Tuesday

  • Brunch – Portage Bay Cafe.  This one was a spot-on recommendation from one of my readers.  Hi Alyssa!  This was quite possibly the best meal that we had the whole trip.  I got to doctor up my own meal

    Challa French toast

with the fantastic toppings bar!  I got the raspberries, blackberries, and cranberries to top 1 slice each, then topped the whole thing with slivered almonds and whipped cream and strawberries on the size.  Holy yum.

The toppings bar was awesome. Awesome, I say!

But really, the best thing I ate all weekend was the hubby’s Migas.  So super good.  He added the chorizo, and it was amazing.  A.maz.ing.  This picture doesn’t look like much, but it is.  Oh, it is.

Seriously, the best thing I ate this weekend.

At the airport on the way home, I wanted to grab the grilled fish tacos, but they were out of the fish, so I ended up with a pizza.  Meh.  Nothing to get too excited about.

But those migas, kids.  Those you should be VERY excited about!

Sleepful in Seattle

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We had a great, relaxing trip to Seattle this past weekend.  Friday morning we headed off to the airport, arrived, and promptly realized that my hubby had left the hanging bag with his suit, shirt and tie, and my dress in our closet.  D’oh!  We decided that it would be better to shop in Seattle than head home and try to get on a later flight.  Once we got the rental car (a Crown Victoria, so all weekend we pretended like we were cops, and would throw on the “siren” when we saw something amiss…  maybe you had to be there, but it was hilarious.  We also had a lot of doughnuts this week.  Coincidence?  I think not.), we headed off to Men’s Warehouse, which was a complete bust.  I thought it was supposed to be inexpensive?  The sales lady showed us one 3-piece suit that was terrible for $300.  He then tried on a few other suit coats, which were reasonable, but once he tried on the pants, they were ridiculous.  Super long, low crotch, with pleats.  Terrible.  Plus, the woman who was helping us had a terrible attitude.  Ugh, I hate that.

We decided to leave and head up to the Outlet Mall north of Seattle.  While the hubby was dealing with Ms. Crabby McCrabberpants in Men’s Warehouse, I called Banana Republic Outlet to see if they had any suits.  The woman who I spoke with was cheery, told me that they DID have suits, and everything in the store was 40% off.  Sold!  Walked into the store, and quickly found a few different suits for him to try on – we settled on a brown suit with a white, french cuff shirt, and a blue tie.

After realizing that Banana didn’t have anything I liked, I headed straight to Ann Taylor.  The outlet always has size 16 dresses that fit — and lo and behold, there it was!  A little leopard-print number with a matching brown shrug.  Paired with gold shoes from Naturalizer, and it was on.

You be the judge – how do we look?

Pretty GQ, huh?

The wedding was beautiful – very interesting, since the bride is Phillipino.  Her mom had made all the dresses — the bride’s, hers, all 6 of the bridesmaids, the 3 Jr. bridesmaids, and the 5 (or 6?) flower girls.  Seriously – that’s some mad sewing skills!  The reception was at Salty’s on Alki, which was a fantastic venue, although it was a bit cramped in there (maybe 200 guests?).

Me & the beautiful bride

The rest of the weekend, and the beginning of this week, we basically just ate and slept.  Sad, but true.  Sunday we were supposed to meet the bride at her house for a BBQ (with her family).  We got back to the hotel after lunch, and lie down for a little bit, only to wake up an hour and a half later.  Whoops.

On the food front:  I did not stay on plan.  But, it’s hard to go too far off course when most of the food that you’re eating is all local and organic.  That said — macaroni and cheese as a side dish — ehhhh.  Super tasty, but not on the food plan.  Of course, I never said I’d never eat my favorite foods again, did I?

Tomorrow’s post:  Restaurant reviews!

On the exercise front, I did go to the gym 3 of the 4 days that we were there (yay me!).  I only did the elliptical (not much else in the gym), but I definitely walked crazy amounts every day.  Lots of cardio, then followed up with a workout with the trainer yesterday.

For my CK peeps

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Hi all! A short post from my phone. My fingers can’t be trusted with a real post, and our hotel doesn’t have free Wi-Fi, so to hear all the goings on, please pop back later (later = Wednesday).
But, I have neglected my duties as the leader of the 50 x July Challenge. I can’t post a new Challenge board for April because my membership expired. And since I get a discounted rate if I buy it through work, I have to wait to renew until I get back. Boo. (I meant to do it on Thursday, but completely forgot!)
So, if you’re reading this, can someone start the April Challenge board? I’ll be sure to update the Google Doc with anyone’s updates when I get back.
Thanks!!

Here comes the sun…

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Oh.  Wait.  No.  I’m actually going to Seattle.  Where it feels like 42* and is about a 100% chance of rain every day that we’ll be there.  Cute rain boots?  Check.  Cute umbrella?  Check.  Appropriate shoes?  Nope.

We’re headed up there for a wedding of a friend that I work with.  And I honestly don’t own any dress up shoes that go with a fancy “attend a wedding” dress that aren’t open-toed.  How did that happen?!?  So, my feet are going to freeze.  Unless I decide to rock the cute rain boot + fancy “attend a wedding” dress combo.  That could work.

Unfortunately, we don’t have many grand plans for the trip.  We’ll be there for 4 nights (returning on Tuesday), and really only know that we’re going to the wedding tomorrow.  Anyone have any great tips for Seattle?  We’ve been a few times before, so looking for those little hole in the wall places, even outside of town would be fine.  Also, restaurant recommendations, please?  The only two places we know that we’re going is Alki’s (for the wedding reception) and Stika & Spruce, an amazing restaurant that we went to last time we were there for my husband’s work.  Everything is local, fresh & whole.  Menu changes all the time – so it’s just written on a chalk board.  It’s fantastic!

I’ve got 2 sets of workout clothes, and really need to pack some bars to make sure that I don’t just keep stopping in coffee shops for muffins when I get hungry!  Flight leaves in less than 3 hours, so I’d better bust a move!

Up and at them!

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I was up early this morning.  No, the dogs didn’t get out again (that would have sucked!).  Nope, I was up ON PURPOSE.  Can you believe it?  I realized that I really needed to start swimming again, and to do so, I need to find some time to do it. My swim team practices at 5:30 AM Tuesdays & Thursdays about a mile from my house.  I really don’t have an excuse, except, “The bed is warm, the car is cold, and the air on my bum when I take off those sweatpants on the pool deck is colder”.  That’s all.

This morning wasn’t much different.  I set the alarm for 5 AM, and when it went off I immediately changed it to sound at 6 AM instead.  Then I was thinking, “Well, 6:30 would work, or even 6:50”.  I laid there long enough to realize that I was already awake, and the pool was not that far off.  So I went for it.

And I’m glad I did.

Oh, and I also hope that I win Young House Love’s giveaway for a print of swimmers.  ‘Cause that’d be awesome.

I also hope that I win the Mega Millions Jackpot.  ‘Cause that’d be awesome-er.

Whew, what a weekend!

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This weekend went SO quickly!  Here’s the lowdown on all the happenings over in TresLaLa Land:

Thursday

I did an hour of shopping at the Ann Taylor Factory Store (everything was 40% off!).  I ended up with a seersucker blazer, 2 short faux-wrap dresses (1 navy & cream stripe and 1 navy & pink design), 1 long black & white stripe maxi dress, plus 3 dresses that I got for a friend’s wedding in Seattle this weekend and a pair of shoes to go with one of those dresses.  But, I’ve since decided to wear my standby wedding attending dress…  It fits well, matches a wrap that I have (Seattle’s going to be COLD!), and best of all, it’s free!  So, returning 2 of the 3 dresses that I got for the wedding, and keeping one for my friend’s baby shower in May.

Then I headed off to Safire Bistro in Camarillo, CA for dinner.  I had a Living Social deal for $60 off dinner.  Woot!  The table of 6 ladies (yay for Girls’ Night Out!) shared an appetizer of sautéed mushrooms with Parmesan and fried olives (holy yum!).  I then had a field greens salad with goat cheese added and a sausage wood-fired pizza.  The salad was good (of course), but the pizza was a bit runny.  The piece de resistance, however, was the shared bananas foster for dessert.  2 bites and I was feeling really good.

Friday:

I bailed on my personal trainer, and went to the grocery store, then home to clean, before we were having 3 friends over to carbo-load for our 10K the next morning.  Yes.  I know.  No need to carbo-load for a race that short.  But OH, was it good!  I got some fresh herb & cheese tortellini as well as some linguine, and mixed up 2 different kinds of sauces – a red sauce and a pesto-alfredo sauce.  Served with salad and my Mom’s famous garlic bread, of course.   None of this (besides the salad, I suppose) is healthy.  But oooh, so good.

Mom’s Famous Garlic Bread

1 loaf French bread, cut in 1″ wide slices — this works best with thick loaves, not the really thin ones
1/2 c Butter (1 stick)
2 tsp Parsley flakes (1 tsp if dried)
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Dill weed

Melt the butter & mix in the spices.  Place the loaf on a “bed” of aluminum foil.  Brush the mixture on each slice using a pastry brush; brush some on the top.  Wrap the bread in the foil & bake for 15 minutes at 400*.  Voila!

After dinner, we watched The Adventures of TinTin.  Eh, not my favorite.  I fell asleep a few times…

 Saturday

Up bright and early for the Great Race of Agoura Old Agoura 10K.  I’ve done this race 5 times.  Well, I’ve done the 10K 3 times, and one of the 2 (two!) half-marathons twice.  I’ve since decided that 10K is really the furthest that my body will allow me to go.  So that’s what I stick with now.

We parked at a local school, and walked to the starting line, which is in the middle of a subdivision.  There were 2 heats for the 10K – we stayed in the 2nd heat because I wasn’t going to average sub-9 minute miles!  The run was fantastic.  Great volunteers with about 3 water stops.  Cheering sections.  Cops everywhere.  Really well run.  I really wanted one of the volunteer’s T-shirts:  They were bright neon yellow and said “Run Great Race Great”.  How fantastic is that?!?

Overall, I think I did fairly well for not really training.  I’ve been doing a lot of Pilates and working out with my trainer, but not so much cardio.  My chip time was 1:16:18.7 (works out to a 12.25 minute mile — considering the hills, that’s actually pretty good for me).  I beat the hubby by 7 seconds.

The best cheer that I’d heard from a Volunteer?

Charlie Sheen would be SO proud of you… because you’re Winning!

Love!  I definitely cheered after that one!

The after-party was fantastic.  SO.Much.Food!  The race is sponsored by Dole, so they had juices, orange cups, and bananas, but there were  a bunch of other places out there too!  Whole Foods did either pancakes or crepes made to order, Pizza Salad was serving up organic cheese pizza, Bruegger’s Bagels had… bagels, and Great Harvest was slicing up some great bread.  Not to mention the probiotic yogurt drink and the Energy drink that I’ve forgotten the name of (but definitely stocked up on).  Got my picture taken with the Lorax, and if I’d been a kid I would have LOVED the bouncy houses.  There were like 5 of them — super fancy ones too!

All-in-all, this was a fantastic race.  Didn’t help my cause that I’ve been sore all weekend (mostly in my core, which is super weird).  Pictures will be posted on Thursday, so I’ll show you how awesome I look when running.  (And my Lorax picture!)

Saturday evening Matt & I went out for Indian food, then went home and watched Water for Elephants.  Really liked the movie, but the scene with the elephant and August was really hard.  I started crying!

Sunday

Up fairly early, super sore, and made breakfast – scrambled eggs (3 eggs, 3 egg whites) with spinach, tomatoes, and black olives.  Read the paper, then headed off to pick up some friends to go to Ikea.  They were buying some cabinets to make a bar, and I needed a few things.  Unfortunately, the 2 things I really “needed” were both out.  Booo.

Then at 5:30 they came over again, we had some appetizers, then headed off to see The Hunger Games.  It was SO good.  Really good.  They did a really good job with it.  But now I’m peeved that I need to wait >500 days for the 2nd one to come out.  Don’t they realize that I’m obsessed?

Phew.  Jam-packed weekend.  And now I’m ready to tackle the week!  And it’s a short one — we’re headed to Seattle for a wedding on Friday morning!

To tell or Not to tell…

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Over the 2 weeks or so, I’ve had at least 3 people ask me (sometimes alone, sometimes in a group) when we’re going to have children.  I’m not an overly emotional person (kind of a robot, sometimes, actually).  But this question always gets me.  What am I supposed to say? 

For people that I know well, I have decided that I am going to tell them that we’re working on it.  I want to avoid the constant questioning eyes “Are you pregnant today?”  “What about today?”, but if someone is a good friend, I’ve decided that it’s easier to tell them what’s going on, than to lie or be subversive.

For people that I don’t know well, I’m a bit stuck.  I sometimes respond with a sing-songy “Someday”, or “When the time is right”.  

When I’m on my hormone medications, though… all bets are off.  My new favorite response is, “When God feels it’s time” or the snarkier, “Well, it’s not really up to me at this point.”  People usually catch my drift, then move along.  

This weekend I was at a bridal shower, and the conversation turned to babies.  I successfully navigated through the conversation and thought I was free & clear.  Until I got up to get some water, and the hostess turned to me, and asked, “So, Lara, when are you going to have kids?”  EVERYONE in the room just looked at me.  And I really only know the bride well; I’m friendly with the hostess, but everyone else was new to me.  The response was one of those, “Well, um, it’s not really up to us at this point, so we’re just waiting”.  That shut EVERYBODY up.  Topic was officially closed.  Dun, dun…

A friend asked me yesterday about this, and I made the decision to tell her.  I wouldn’t consider her a good friend, but I just wasn’t in the mood to be coy about it.  So I spilled the beans.  I should have thought more about this – she’s not overly compassionate, and her response just kind of angered me.  What was the response?  None.  None at all.  I told her that this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, and she flipped the conversation to start talking about her soon-to-be mother-in-law.  Why am I friends with people like this?  Ugh.  Time to purge, I think…  Anywhoo…

I did finally talk to my mom about it last night.  Yes.  All my friends knew before my mom.  I just didn’t want her to worry, you know?  But I decided that it would be easier if I could tell her everything that’s going on in my life — hormone shots and all.  She told me that she and my dad had a hard time conceiving, and had to take her temperature for “a really long time”, but they never had any medical work-ups done.  My brother is now 37 years old, so that makes sense to me.  She was 31 when he was born (my dad was 42), so I’m sure that the pressure that they got from family was excruciating.  She has never once pressured me for a grandchild — which I’m sure is because her parents or my dad’s parents kept that kind of stuff coming.  My mom is SO self-aware, and would never want to say anything that would be hurtful to me.  

Back in August we were planning my dad’s 80th birthday for November.  The family decided that they wanted to go skiing in February of this year.  At that time, I decided that I should mention that I would hopefully not be allowed to ski because we were hoping to start a family.  We ended up not going skiing, and I ended up not pregnant, but my parents have never asked me about it (although I’m sure my mom was wondering!).

Public Service Announcement:  Unless someone has already talked to you about starting to try to have kids, don’t ask them if they want to have kids.  Make no assumptions.  If someone opens up to you, listen.  Talk to them about it.  But don’t make that the only thing you talk about.  Let them know that you’re always willing to listen, but that you don’t want to make that person feel like it’s the only thing going on in their life.  

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