big life moments: marriage and house hunting

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Blah blah blah I know... I haven't written on here for a whole month. Let me repeat.. a whole month. You can call it a hiatus or me being lazy.. but I'll be the first to admit that it just wasn't a priority (sadly). And before I get bashed or "I can't believe you just said that" finger pointing at me...let me explain. 

First, you can't blame me for romping around town and basking in the glow of my engagement... secondly, I've also just been swamped with the start of this crazy process for both wedding planning and house hunting.

Did you hear that? HOUSE. I know. We're absolutely nutso to be going through both of these huge life moments at the exact... same.. time. I've heard that about a bajillion times so far already, and I can't tell you how fast my heart pitter patters each time I say both of those things out loud.

And it's not exactly the easiest of things either. The housing market in Seattle is a mad zoo. It's competitive. There are bidding wars... which makes me feel like it's The Hunger Games to find your dream home. Prices are skyrocketing and hopeful, optimistic first-time-home-buyers like myself and my main squeeze are just overwhelmed as international investors are buying everything left and right.. in cash.

So yes, my weekends have become not as sexy as they used to be. We've traded date nights for Zillow stalking, wine and takeout, and on week nights, I'm doing wedding research. Instead of my random shopping adventures, I've been pinching every penny for the future casa. I've pretty much said "goodbye" to Nordys and "hellloooo Home Depot". (This is only temporarily, right?)

And for those in the Seattle area who have recently bought a home or in the process - I feel your pain. My heart has been broken.. not once, but twice. And my main squeeze and I are reevaluating what's most important for this home. Is it location, space and/or schools? I feel like in this market either you get A with a hefty price tag or B and C but with a 45min+ commute each way to work. We're weighing our pros and cons right now, and doing our best to figure it all out.

As we continue on this marathon of house hunting and wedding planning, I'll be sure to fill you in. There's going to be a few vent seshes (apologies in advance), some tears and hopefully, high-pitched squeals when we start to get everything a bit more concrete.

Until next time...

If you recently bought a house or are looking for one, 
feel free to share your tips via tweet or comment below!

we're engaged!

Monday, May 11, 2015

We're getting extra personal today... 

This past weekend, my main squeeze asked me to spend the rest of my life with him, and I said "YES". Words cannot describe how excited I am to be engaged to this kid. He is an absolute gem and I can't imagine my life without him. 

*insert high-pitched squeal* 

It's been absolute surreal these past 48 hours, as we shared the good news with family, close friends and then... (once all the important people knew), we put it all out there on social. And no surprise, our phones began blowing up left and right with so much love, support and congratulatory screams and wedding-themed emojis. Our hearts are just so full and overwhelmed with joy, and we are so blessed to have such a supporting group of folks we call our family and friends. 

And now to the part everyone's been asking us about... HOW DID HE DO IT?

I've been wanting to try Westward for the longest time. A huge fan of oysters and restaurants with gorgeous views -- Westward has been on the top of my list for some time now. This past Saturday, the weather hit the 80s which gave us even more reason to give this place a try. We had made plans with one of my really good friends, Alyson for a little midday happy hour and ordered some oysters (Shigoku and Bay Water Sweets), rose, their amazing smoked clam dip and beer. While I got up to talk to the hostess about removing our names from the waiting list since we found a spot outside by the beachy waterfront area of the restaurant, Kellen told Alyson that he brought an engagement ring and if she could capture the moment. *sneaky sneaky* 

After we paid our bill, Kellen decided he wanted to go down closer to the water to look at the boats. He asked me to come with him, but for Alyson to stay, which I found to be super weird. When we got to the rocky part of that little beach, I was also confused as to why we were standing right in front of people's line of view of the water on the patio. SO strange right?! Until he started telling me how much he loved me, and then I realized what was happening... OH EM GEE... This was it. Next thing I knew, he was down on one knee, the ring was on my finger and my eyes were brimming with happy tears.

Other folks sitting outside at the restaurant were also teary-eyed, and we got a round of applause and congratulatory cheers as we turned around. There were a few people in the distance lounging on their boats who also got a glimpse of the proposal and tooted their horn. It truly was a magical moment, and we were just overwhelmed with joy. 

We are beyond thrilled and can't wait for the big day.
 Let the wedding planning begin! 

Thanks again to this special lady (Alyson) for capturing the moment! 

exploring pioneer square

Monday, April 20, 2015

I've lived in Seattle for almost seven years now, and to be completely honest, I feel like I haven't explored that much. It took me my fifth year of living in Seattle (the year I graduated from UW) to finally explore beyond the Ave and University area. From the hipster streets of Capitol Hill to the beautiful docks by Ballard, I've come to learn so much about the Emerald City and love every nook and cranny of it. One neighborhood in particular, Pioneer Square, I feel has been forgotten for quite some time now. However, with a few recent new little shops and restaurants, I have to say.. it's definitely put itself back on the map. 

A few weeks ago, I took a few days off from work for a little staycation and decided to explore. Pioneer Square was where I ended up, and I loved every minute of it. My first stop was London Plane - a cute little shop and cafe featuring fresh flowers, pastries, small plates and handcrafted local goods (cards, stationary, books, etc.).  Also, across the street is Drygoods Design  where you can learn to sew, have a sewing party and purchase beautiful homemade sewn goods. Basically... too much goodness in one little strip. Did I mention that Bar Sajor is on that same block? 

Flower Shop at London Plane
During my visit, I stumbled upon E. Smith Mercantile and was just mesmerized with all the neat things there - such unique jewelry, candle sets and apothecary-like herbal beauty ointments. Also, I just absolutely loved all of the succulents and earthy decor in the shop.

Unfortunately, I had to jet to lunch to make the line at il Corvo so I didn't get a chance to visit another Pioneer Square must-shop, Fresh Tangerine. If you're looking for beautiful, locally handmade jewelry, go there. Their delicate midi rings and necklaces are perfect accessories to complete any look.

As a "treat yourself" lunch, I arrived at il Corvo (a super yummy spot) about 15 minutes before it opened and joined folks in a 10 person line as we waited to enjoy a plate of amazing, fresh made pasta. This little place is only open during the weekdays from 11 to 3 pm, which makes it almost impossible to squeeze in when at work. Also... if you don't get there early, you'll probably not get a seat or endure an hour wait at least. BUT, I will say... it was totally worth it to get there early. I got the calamaretti, rings of fresh pasta, calamari, taggiasca olives, and pomodoro. ... Ah-Mazing!

If pasta doesn't float your boat, I also recommend grabbing a bite at Salumi for Mario Batali's artisan cured meats and sammys. A few friends have mentioned that Tat's Deli is also a great lunch spot for delicious Philly Cheesesteaks. 

After that delicious lunch, I ended up wandering back downtown near Westlake Center to get some shopping done. But if you happen to be in Pioneer Square after work, visit Damn the Weather for their craft cocktails and their blood sausage sliders. 

What new neighborhoods have you explored in your city? 

Getting Fancy with Calligraphy and The Fancy Cat Studio

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This past Saturday, I took my love for doodling to a whole 'nother level. I had always dabbled with my own version of "writing fancy". I was that odd girl who loved to cursive with super fine point pens and wasted hours writing out my favorite quotes on pretty paper. So when the opportunity to take actual classes with The Fancy Cat Studio came up two months ago, I raised my hand. 

Actually, it was more like this:

Saturday arrived, and I was giddy like a Kindergarten on her first day of school. Cute outfit? Check. Ready to learn? Check. Check! The calligraphy workshop (class) was held at Fresh Tangerine, an adorable local jewelry shop in Pioneer Square, Seattle. And to answer your question -- YES, I gave into my shopping habits and picked up some adorable midi rings - like this ampersand one in gold fill. 

The store is absolutely beautiful (photos below)! Styled to perfection with a mix of vintage and modern home accents.

These bookends are adorable! I love deer/stag inspired home decor. Antlers bring a beautiful, woodsy and rustic feel to a home. I've also seen paper mache and plastered like material for stag decor. 

This pillow spoke to me when I saw it. I loved the pop of hot pink against the faux white sheepskin throw on the chair. 

And can we talk about this velvet couch and the gold pouf? For those of you who know me personally - I obsess over poufs at West Elm, and actually found my very own woven pouf last month. But that gold Moroccan styled pouf that I've admired and seen in Glitter Guide, etc. -- when I saw it in person, I just knew... it's going back on the shopping list, and specifically in the color, metallic gold. Also, do you guys see that wall gallery? On point. 

Oh, and we didn't just practice loop-de-loops and make messes with our inkwells all day... we did blogger-y things like pose by a beautiful flower wall and took silly photos. 

And no party.. .ahem.. class, is complete without snacks, yeah? 

Donuts, sprinkles, cheese plates and mimosas fueled us for that morning of learning, mingling and fun. I had such a great time, and learned so much. Crystal, founder of The Fancy Cat Studio, was an awesome instructor, and I look forward to more workshops with her! 

At the end of my class, I thought I was getting the hang of it... so behold (had to share), one of my  from my very first calligraphy class. (Right before I made a huge inkblot about 2 cms away...)

Have you learned something new lately? 
It was one of my New Year Resolutions to challenge myself and 
do something new. Share with me in comments below what you've 
been trying and discovering. 

exploring the pacific northwest

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It's easy to get sucked into the crazy and overwhelming, non-stop madness that is life, and forget to just take a moment to breathe. As such, I've been unplugging (taking a step away from my Macbook) and exploring new ways I can rediscover inspiration and recharge. 

Lately, I've found comfort in exploring the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. As many of you know... I'm not an Annie Oakley. By no means would I consider myself a hiker or a trailblazer in granola munching, tent-sleeping or mountain climbing. However, there is something just absolutely b-e-autiful and serene about nature. It's so calming and just brings an overwhelming sense of peace. 

My main squeeze and I made an adventure list recently that features all the gorgeous, outdoorsy spots we want to hit up this season and through the summer. I'll be sure to share that list with you when it's done, as it could be helpful for you when you embark on your own quest into the woods.

At the very top of my list was Rattlesnake Ridge - about 45 mins outside of Seattle. It's in the Snoqualmie / North Bend area, and is a beautiful hike that overlooks Cedar River watershed, Rattlesnake Lake, Mount Si, Mount Washington and Chester Morse Lake. We crossed that off the list this past weekend, and it was actually a pretty easy hike, too. The view was absolutely breathtaking. (Photos below!) I highly recommend it if you're looking for a less taxing hike.

As I further explore the many wonders of Washington, I'm really looking forward to sharing many more of these adventures with you. Next up on my list -- the Ice Caves!

Where have you explored recently?
(Doesn't have to be outdoors -- if it's a new local coffee shop or restaurant, 
I'd love to hear all about it! Share in comments below.) 

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