in my neighborhood || favorite coffee shops

coffee

By default, being from the Pacific Northwest makes me a coffee lover. My first real job was in the mall coffee shop, my second was at Starbucks and now I couldn’t live without my Nespresso and local coffee haunts. No matter where I go, my order is always the same. double tall mocha. I made it my first day at that first real job and have clung to it since. 14 years of double tall mochas later and I’m not sure if I’m pathetic or a true expert in the category.

Anyway, I will go out of my way to snag my favorite vice from any of these coffee shops. If you also happen to be a mocha (or just coffee) fan, I wholeheartedly recommend you try them out.

1. Espresso Vivace : The Best! They are a little too serious about the true Italian espresso vibe for me in Vivace but it absolutely works for them. If you don’t get fancy with your drink order, this is THE PLACE!

2. Urban Coffee Lounge: A new favorite of mine. They serve Stumptown Coffee and do it oh-so-well. The tall comes standard as a double (a true way to my heart) and the Totem Lake location has a small kids corner which makes it an A++ for me.

3. Deru Market: I love Deru for so many things (hellloooo best turkey sandwich eva’) and the coffee is one of them. Although practically the price of gold ($6 for a drink), it’s served in bowl that fits right in my little hands and is sweetened just enough with house made chocolate. Can’t ask for much more.

4. Mercury Coffee Co.: This is my go-to drive thru. My only tip here is to order half the chocolate. Then. Enjoy!

5. Whole Foods Market: I juuuuussst started picking up coffee here. We moved right down the road from Whole Paycheck Foods and although reallllllyyyyy slow, the coffee is great! If you can wait, it’s totally worth grabbing a mocha to help keep your sanity while you grocery shop.

If you have any other local recommendations, I would LOVE to hear them!

Photo By Lora Grady Photography

m and mine || books

book

We read before nap time, while snacking, before bed and any other time of the day M asks for the same books to be read over and over again. She’s not one for variety but she does like a large dose of literature in her life. Something I can appreciate.

This is what M and I are reading in February.

M ||  Llama Llama Series: These are the only books I know the exact location of in the library. M LOVES them. Like big heart eye emoji loves them. We run straight to the D for Dewey section and I let her pick out just one Llama Llama per library visit. (because, one can only say llama so many times in a day…amiright?)  Her favorites are Llama Llama Red Pajama and Llama Llama Time to Share. She loves them for the rhyming but I appreciate them for the lessons. We reference how Llama learns to share or how he listens to his mama in the store, even when he’s frustrated, all the time.

Mine || Big Little Lies : I have to admit that this book makes me a little worried about M starting preschool in the fall. Nothing to do with her taking off to school, more to do with how apparently cliquish the parents can get. This is the story of a few preschool families who end up involved in a murder.     Que ominous music.     But really….it was a super easy read that keep my mind occupied after the little went to bed at night. I totally recommend it.

in whistler

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For the first time in maybe ever, I agreed to go on a cold weather vacation. Typically, I would argue that the term ‘vacation’ is used exclusively in scenarios where sun and sand are involved and ‘trips’ are weekends that include the cold white stuff. But, this weekend turned out to be a true vacation. We met our friends Bryan and Natalie in Whistler for a little out of town escape. For me, ski was more of code word for eating, shopping and ice skating but everyone else got a little time on the slopes.

The true highlight for me was the ice skating. It was a first for both myself and M and by the end, we thought we were regular Michelle Kwans out there.

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We ate, we drank, we played in the little bit of snow that was on the ground and we put that record on repeat for three days. It was perfection.

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chocolate overnight oats

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Breakfast has been a broken record of eggs, vegi sausage, toaster waffles and yogurt lately. In a desperate attempt to derail that boring cycle, I went searching Pinterest for some easy recipes and landed on overnight oats. I used this recipe as a starting point then improvised with what I had in my kitchen. We’ve been enjoying these cups all week and I feel like they are a total triumph over our boring breakfast standards.

What You Need || 

1 cup gluten free rolled oats

1 cup coconut milk

3 large strawberries, chopped

1 tbsp cocoa powder

sprinkle of chai seeds

sprinkle of flax seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp maple syrup

blueberries

1 chopped banana

coconut shavings

What You Do ||

1. Combine oats, coconut milk, strawberries, blueberries, chai seeds, flax seeds, vanilla extract, maple syrup and blueberries in a large bowl. Stir until completely mixed.

2. Half fill a few pint sized mason jars with mixture (mine filled three jars)

3. Chill overnight

4. Stir and add banana and coconut as a toppings

in my neighborhood || London Plane

FullSizeRenderWhen you see a place enough on your Insta feed, your expectations are high.high.high. London Plane has been showing up all over Seattle social media lately and the tall white walls, flowers for purchase plus unique food scream ‘photograph me’ so yep’, I get it. We finally found time to brunch there this weekend and I was blown away. I have to admit that I’ve never been into the whole avocado toast thing but I was totally in love with LP’s version.  But, my favorite thing was the cold brew coffee. They brew it in house with bunch of unexpected spices. Kind of makes it a coffee/tea combo.

It was really fun to have a date with Kyle where we could actually enjoy a few daylight hours together. We could see a life sized chess match going on across the street and a bus of tourists dropped off right in front of our window while we ate.  And, on a really random note, the staff wore these amazing chambray aprons. I think I might just need one…..

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my favorite printable valentines

Val PicMonkey Collage

It’s our first official school valentines week!

Last year for valentines we used a cute balloon printable that I found online. It was so much easier then the store bought cards and ended up being a huge hit with our friends and family.

So this year, I went rummaging through Pinterest again to find a printable that would be school worthy. Since we are doing our best to stay away from all things candy, I found some fun options that we could include a little gift with instead. I rounded up a few of my favorites in case you are looking for some fun candy free ideas this valentines as well.

1. Rae’s heart day freebie

2. Allison’s noodle necklace valentine

3. Play-Doh cards

4. Awesome sauce, apple sauce valentine

5. Lip balm tags

 

washi tape frames

Washi Tape 2

As the house starts to come together, I’m finally getting a few things on the walls. I am so.tired. of buying frames so in M’s room, I went for taping prints to the wall. I kind of love the way it turned out and thought I would share in case anyone else is looking for some frame-spiration (see what I did there?).

It’s so easy.

1. Tape one style of washi around the outside of the print to hold it in place. Overlap corners and leave a few strips longer then others.

2. Use a different style tape to angle and highlight at the corners.

I chose a really simple frame type but there are so many ways you could hang prints with washi. I pinned a few ideas if you are in the market for something a little crazier.

Spot Print: DIY

Lip Print: printable by The Motivated Type

how we superbowled

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Waiting for the game to start was kind of like scheduling Christmas for exactly 3:30 and telling an entire city to wait. You could feel the nervous energy everywhere. In my house, at the mall, in the grocery store. It just felt like everyone was aimlessly squandering the hours away until game time. We were all overly prepped and ready to cheer on our team and all we could do was WAIT.

The game went as planned, the end…not so much. So, anyway, this picture was taken BEFORE the game….during the waiting when we didn’t know what else to do with ourselves but document the excitement and make food.

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Now it’s time to go drown our sorrows in coffee and pastries with our friends. Here’s to next year 12’s!

online lately

IMG_3672I bought this online….found these great internet services…..things I do on the computer….I don’t know. Whatever you want to call it, I’ve been turning to the internet lately for so many things that I previously would have ventured to a store for. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised (it’s the way of the world right?) but these services have totally blown me away so I thought I would share.

Let’s start with Serial. I think I’m a little late to the podcast party but O.M.G (I HATE omg but it’s just so appropriate here. Read it with a teenage squeal if you must) was I glued to this. I had to have my younger (and much cooler) cousin show me where to even find these ‘podcast things’ on my phone but once I was there, I was stuck. I finished the Serial series yesterday and am truly sad it’s over. I’m still milling over what I think of Adnon’s guilt or possible innocence. If you haven’t listed yet, it’s like listening to a real life law and order and the hosts voice somehow captures you. I listed on my phone, in my car, every nap time and basically as much as I could until I finished. Then, this morning, about 12 hours after finishing Serial, I started Invisibilia. Hooked again.

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Another online service I would have never dreamed I would love is Warby Parker. I’m not a glasses wearer but Kyle is and he hates picking out a pair on his own. So, rather than drag the whole fam to the store, we ordered five pairs to try for five days from Warby Parker. Kyle modeled them all for me and we eliminated three immediately. A few days later, while over for brunch, his family helped him narrow it down to one awesome pair. We sent in his prescription, mailed back the trial pairs and his new glasses arrived a few weeks later. SO EASY!

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I’ve made a lame attempt on keeping a baby book for M. I’ve written a few things here and there, mostly when she was first born and I hadn’t included any photos. I finally decided I better get on top of it before I totally lost the project to the years so I ordered some prints of my Instagram photos from Print Studio not really knowing what to expect. I was blown away when they arrived. The quality of the photos is amazing and the square shape just kills me. I think I’ll try to Prinstagram my photos every six months or so just to make sure M has some hard photos to look back on.

I know there are a million other online services waiting for me to find. If you have any you love, send em’ my way!