Sunday, July 26, 2015

festival quilt

Hey! I made another quilt. This one is being donated to the Big Bottom Festival raffle that we are attending this coming weekend. I decided to make a bright and colorful quilt because everyone who attends this festival is bright and colorful. I hope the winner likes it!

Husband holding quilt not included.


Past quilts I've made can be seen here and here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

a vegas guide for people who hate vegas

Anders and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary last weekend with a trip to Vegas. Now, if you had asked me a few years ago my thoughts on Vegas, I probably wouldn't have had very nice things to say. There is definitely an entire scene to Vegas that I want no part of. However, Anders and I travel a lot, and I'm pretty proud of how much we have honed our vacationing skills. We know exactly how to research and what to look for to create a trip that's exactly our speed, which means we can have fun anywhere! So, if you are also a person who isn't entirely convinced that Vegas is for you, check out our picks below. It includes a lot of off the beaten path restaurants and cool things to do.



Stay

Golden Nugget: This trip we decided to check out old town Vegas, so we booked a hotel on Fremont Street. Downtown is a wonderful alternative to the strip especially if you don't care so much about the "scene." For starters, the casinos are closer together and much smaller. They are WAY easier to navigate so you don't end up lost and having to walk 8 miles a day. Everything you need is right downtown too including restaurants, bars, entertainment and gambling making it unnecessary to go to the strip at all. The best part about the Golden Nugget is their shark tank pool. They literally have a large fish tank in the middle of the pool filled with fish and sharks. There is a water slide that zips right through the tank (it's covered, don't worry), but it's clear so you can see the sharks as you slide through. It's awesome!


Mandalay Bay: If you are set on staying on the strip, we like Mandalay Bay for one reason and one reason only...it was voted the best pool in all of Vegas. It has a lazy river where you can rent rafts and float around, and it also has a tide pool complete with a beach. 

Eat

Eat: This downtown restaurant is a MUST. Chef, Natalie Young, serves up delicious, high quality, soul food for breakfast and lunch at this super cute spot. We went for breakfast and had the shrimp and grits plus the truffled egg sandwich. Both were out of this world and the coffee from Mothership Roastworks is smooth and delicious. We were able to walk right in, but we heard it can get busy, so plan accordingly. Luckily, there is a band that plays outside in case you do have a wait. 

O Face Doughnuts: This doughnut shop is just one block from Eat. It's a tiny shop, but has a variety of unique doughnuts. I tried the Mexican chocolate doughnut with horchata pudding and it made me want to cry it was so good. I also had my eye on the s'more doughnut with roasted marshmallow on top. Someone go try it and tell me how it is!


Golden Steer Steakhouse: This steakhouse is a real gem and on many Las Vegas best-of lists. It's a block from the strip at the very end by the Stratosphere and was a regular spot for Elvis, Sinatra and Muhammad Ali. It has got a definite old-school, loungy feel to it, and the food is outstanding. You can't go wrong with any of their steaks, but make sure you get their housemade caesar salad, which is made on the spot at your table.

Casa Di Amore: Okay, so this place is really off the beaten path, but they offer free shuttle service to and from your hotel if you book early enough. It's worth the travel time! This is another old school restaurant full of Italian classics. The restaurant is covered with interesting pictures of Vegas back in the day, and a lounge singer covers classic tunes while you dine. It's a really fun spot.

Du-Par's: This restaurant and bakery is one of the oldest in Las Vegas having been around since 1905 in the Golden Gate hotel (named one of the hottest boutique hotels in all of Vegas). The menu is very straight forward (think eggs, omelets, pancakes), but the pancakes are some of the thickest, fluffiest and best I have ever eaten (they were voted best in the world by Esquire magazine!).The also have a bakery with pies and the softest, pillow-like glazed doughnut that is a must try.

No Name Pizza: Hidden on the top floor of the Cosmopolitan is a pizza joint with no name, no signage, no website and no phone number. The only way you can find it is by looking for the hallway with pictures. At the end of the hallway, you'll find this cute little pizza spot with some of the city's best slices. You have to take the slices to go (there are only a few bar stools in the actual restaurant) but there are couches just outside the hallway.

Peppermill: Hands down my favorite spot in all of Vegas. This restaurant/bar is located pretty close to Circus Circus at the end of the strip. To be honest, I have never eaten in the diner. I beeline straight for the Fireside Lounge, which is the coolest bar ever. There is a large fire pit in the middle of the bar that is surrounded by couches and the whole lounge is decorated in crazy, pink flowers. The bartenders have been around forever and will serve you a stiff drink while you play video poker at the bar or watch one of the TVs showcasing music videos from every era. We go every time we are in town.

The Mix: The Mix is a bar at the top of Mandalay Bay. While it's pretty swanky and not the type of place you would normally find me, the reason it makes the cut is for its impressive view of the Las Vegas strip. It's a great place to have a pre or post dinner drink.

These next four places I have not personally visited. However, they all meet my criteria for cool places to check out, and I plan to hit them up next time I'm in town.

Huntridge Tavern: Las Vegas' best dive bar 
Battista's Hole in the Wall: Another Italian joint hidden behind the Flamingo casino. They have an accordion player on staff!
Luv-it Frozen Custard: A walk-up, serve yourself custard stand founded in 1973
Lotus of Siam: Northern Thai food. Voted best in the world!

Do

Neon Museum: A museum/graveyard for all the old neon signs from Vegas' early days. Make sure you book early, every time slot was sold out when we were there.

Fremont Experience: Free bands! Impersonators! Drinks! Gambling! It's like a mini strip and they have the most amazing light show on the hour every hour that is synced to songs from a variety of artists. Light show starts at 9pm.

Slotzilla Zip Line: This zipline runs the entire length of the Freemont Experience. There are two options, a lower, shorter zipline for $20 or a higher, longer zipline for $40. Go with the big one.

Container Park: This park filled with shops, restaurants and a playground for kids is made entirely out of shipping containers. They have a lot of neat stores and a crazy praying mantis sculpture out front that shoots fire from its antennas. Enough said.

Brooklin Bowl: Bands + bowling makes this the coolest bowling alley around. It's also located right next to the Sprinkles cupcake ATM, which is just FUN.

Pee on the Berlin Wall: If you are a male, find the men's room located right inside the Main Street Station Casino. The wall behind the urinals is actual pieces of the Berlin Wall (it's covered in plexiglass, so you can't actual pee on it...still cool, though!). Is it weird I included this?

See you soon, Vegas!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

lake serene

We spent last weekend hiking to Lake Serene with our friends and their sweet little baby. The hike was difficult...7 miles round trip to the lake with a 1 mile detour to a waterfall. However, seeing how I wasn't the one with a baby strapped to my back, I'm not going to complain about the difficulty!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

93

The rest of Seattle might be overheating during this unbearable heat wave, but our friends lent us their portable air conditioner and we are doing just fine.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

grateful

Celebrated America's birthday and 50 years of the Grateful Dead with some of my favorite people this past weekend. I live for three day weekends and this one was good one.  

Trey Anastasio stepping in for Jerry Garcia

 These kids aren't mine, but I sure do love them an awful lot. How hilarious are they?!?!

 They serenaded us with the Star Spangled Banner

The only picture of me all night. Ha.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

finished product

As promised, here are the final products Anders and I made in our glassblowing class. Anders made the bowl on the left and mine is on the right. Anders' bowl is much larger and thinner while mine is smaller and thicker. I think this has to do with the fact that he probably had more wind than me. I love them both, though.

Anders and I have been trying to buy each other experiences for gifts rather than things, and while we did actually end up with "things" from this experience it really means a whole lot more to me that we went and did the workshop together. These bowls will now always remind me of that afternoon. 

If anyone is interested in doing this themselves, we went to the Seattle Glassblowing Studio downtown.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

glassblowing

I bought Anders a glassblowing class for his birthday and today we went and cashed it in. Glassblowing is tricky and a bit overwhelming, but we had a really great instructor who showed us the ropes. First you have to heat up the colored glass in layers before adding the clear glass to the outside. Then, you blow to create an air bubble that make the circle for the bowl. The last step is to suck in, which creates the dip to make the bowl. If that sounds a bit vague, it's because I didn't really have any idea what I was doing. Still fun, though!

It takes very little to make me excited. NERD.


The bowls look orange in the pictures because the glass is still hot. We actually picked blue and green (Seahawks colors, you know). I get to pick up the bowls in a few days, so I'll post a picture of the finished product then.