Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pretty Little Things

For years my necklaces have been tossed in a drawer, getting tangled or forgotten. I finally decided to hang them in my closet so I could see them, and mix it up more often rather than wearing the same thing day after day. I figured as long as I was going to display them, I might as well make it look pretty. I used drawer hardware from Anthropologie to hang the necklaces and a gold Italian ex-voto heart for decoration (more on those soon). I was so pleased with how it turned out that I had to share.

I loved it so much that I went back for more knobs to display my chunkier pieces. Larger hardware or hooks would work great for displaying belts, purses, and scarves. Do you have any creative ways of organizing or displaying your goods? Would love to hear or see what you've done!

Too Cute for Words

How adorable would this Schumacher Balloons Wallpaper be in a kid's bath, bedroom or playroom?! I'm loving it. Even considering for my kids bath because it would compliment the black and white tile so well.

If used in a bedroom or playroom, it would be cute to accent the room with one of these playful hot air balloons from Stuhlbergs.

To Botox or Not to Botox


Another convincing article on why not to start Botoxing...

"The Case for Laugh Lines"

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Babies...

For Christmas my husband surprised me with a gold necklace from Giles & Brother with a "C" for our daughter Cecile and a "G" for our son George. (Terrible picture quality I know.) What I loved most was how thoughtful it was, but second to that, I loved that this initial necklace was a little different than ones I'd previously seen. Even the clasp is adorable.

After perusing the website, I've found lots of other wonderful pieces, especially their leather rope bracelets in marigold. Obsessed with those little beauties.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Life Changing

My husband and I saw Forks Over Knives last night and it was beyond eye opening. It was a life changer, even more for my husband than for me. Fascinating, educational, inspiring. A must-see!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Five Things I'm Obsessed with This Week


As homage to Andy Cohen, I'm going to do my own version of "things I'm obsessed with this week".

Coincidentally, the five things I'm obsessed with this week are all from Thrive. They are...

1. Alive Juice
2. Nourish Smoothie
3. Celestial Sea Smoothie
4. Miso Madness Soup with Lime
5. Tiramisu Magic

I've been getting a juice and/or a smoothie every day and I can't tell you how great I feel after drinking it. I feel like my body is responding so well to all the nourishment. I feel great and my skin is brighter. The more I have, the more I crave it. And we've already tackled two slices of tiramisu. It's healthier than traditional tiramisu but equally decadent. Check it out!

"That's on the menu!"

It's always in the back of my head that I'd love to own a cafe one day where I would serve great coffee, smoothies, juices, breakfast and lunch items and desserts. There would be a great balance between healthy and unhealthy options and of course I would use local, organic and sustainable ingredients as much as possible. I'd want the place to be bright and super cozy. I'd hire a real chef but my menu would be inspired by all of my favorite foods and dishes. It's just a dream right now, but you never know!

That said, whenever I make something really delicious my husband will declare, "That's on the menu!". Last night I made The New American Grilled Cheese and I said to myself... that's on the menu! This is the kind of crunchy, meaty, cheese-oozing, grilled sandwich that I'd love to order for lunch with an ice tea.

I served these bad boys for dinner. To offset the heaviness of the dairy and meat, I served it with a Creamy Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup and an almost vegan (if it weren't for the honey) Spinach Salad with Apples & Fennel. Perfect dinner.

My recipe notes: I used Andouille sausage from Skagit River Ranch. It was AMAZING. I didn't mix butter in with the cheese. I didn't think it needed extra butter on the inside. I just used butter on the outside of the bread and dijon on the inside. I cut the sausage into coins on the diagonal, instead of cutting it lengthwise in thirds, then pan fried those until they were nice and browned. I used the panini grill and it turned out perfectly melted, golden brown and crunchy.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chili Lime Kale Chips

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
Thank you to my friend Keron for this great recipe! Love the new flavors for kale chips since I was getting bored with my other variations. These were delicious!

Chili Lime Kale Chips

1 head of green curly kale (I used Lacinato)
Juice of 2 limes
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup cashews, ground to a powder (I didn't have cashews so skipped this)
2 T chili powder
1 T salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse kale leaves and shake or pat dry. Tear leaves into chip-sized pieces. Reserve the stems for another use, like vegetable stock.

2. In a large bowl, combine kale with all other ingredients. Mix with your hands until kale looks wet and seasoning is evenly distributed.

3. On two large cookie sheets, spread out kale leaves so they are flat and not overlapping the best you can.

4. Bake for about 8 minutes. Flip and move chips around to cook evenly. Bake another 8 minutes or so. When they are done they should be absolutely crispy. Once crisp they tend to burn quickly so check on them every minute or so towards the end!

3-Way, The Golden Rule

In case you missed the 3-way skit last night on SNL with Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Andy Samberg, you must watch it now. It's hilarious.

Clutch Envy


I love the Givenchy Bahia Clutch. With this little beauty, you slide your hand underneath the brass detail on the front, then wrap your hand around the bottom to carry. I like to try on this clutch at the store and dream for a moment. I love this clutch. It's one bad ass clutch.

The Ultimate Healthy Smoothie

One of our babysitters made this smoothie. It was purple-ish in color so the kids weren't afraid of it. They both gobbled it up and I sucked down the leftovers. It had enough sweet to offset the veggies, and I loved the hint of ginger. The perfect way to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies, plus another great example of how you can hide veggies in smoothies!

The Hayley Smoothie

Broccoli, leftover cooked
Carrot, raw
Kale, raw
Flax seed
Frozen mango
Frozen blueberries
Coconut milk


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Shoe of the Day


I love these Delphine Wedge Sandals. Found on the inspiring site Dilly Dallas.



I love this amazing outdoor dining space and garden from a previous issue of House Beautiful.

Simple. Lovely. Peaceful. Rustic. Inviting.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Attention Seattle


Forks Over Knives is playing in Seattle at the Varsity. I haven't seen it yet but I've heard it's really interesting.

Obsession du Jour

White pie from Delancey with sausage and preserved Meyer lemon added to it. Heaven!


Delicious Cold Beverage for A Sunny Seattle Afternoon

The other day I made my way to Healeo to try the real coconut almond date smoothie. While my version was good, I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like so I died when I tried the real deal. It was maybe the best smoothie I've ever had. Healeo's version is like a milkshake disguised as a smoothie. I sucked down every last drop and made my way back there yesterday for round two. To justify the $6+ smoothie addiction I am about to embark on, we'll just call it "research" so I can figure out how to re-create it at home to the right consistency. First order of business - maybe try coconut milk (from the refrigerated section) instead of coconut water??? . Already bought it. Stay tuned.

Pinkalicious Cupcake Toppers


The very talented gal behind Bug & Boo Designs created these adorable Pinkalicious cupcake toppers for my niece's Pinkalicious birthday party. Clever and adorable design! Not to mention my sister-in-law made perfect Pinkalicious cupcakes, identical to the book. Also clever and adorable!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shout-out of the Day: "The Swimming Whisperer"


HUGE shout-out to Susie Gravrock who has been teaching kids to swim for more than 35 years. Her expertise as a swim instructor has taught thousands of kids and adults to swim. Even the most nervous or scared beginners learn to swim with Susie because she has such a gift. They call her "The Swimming Whisperer".

I am over the moon excited about the lessons for my daughter. I'm not sure who is having more fun with it - my daughter doing the lesson or me watching them. 

Susie Gravrock

Spring Salad

Many moons ago (8 years maybe), when I was obsessed with The Pink Door, I had a fresh spring salad with shaved asparagus, delicious peas and lots of other fresh ingredients. I remember loving it but can't remember the exact ingredients or what made it so good. I've been craving it for nearly a decade so it was time to do something about it. I made this up and it was light, fresh and delicious. I served it with a fresh piece of halibut from Wilson Fish for a light and healthy dinner.

Spring Salad
In honor of The Pink Door

Butter Lettuce
Red romaine
Asparagus*, blanched (2 minutes in boiling water, then rinsed with cold water and straight to an ice bath)
English peas, shelled, served raw
Ricotta salata, shaved thin with a peeler
Fresh toasted breadcrumbs (toast a few slices of a baguette, brush with olive oil and break up in our hands)
Dressing from Simple But Delicious Salad

Toss together and serve.

* I do believe the asparagus at The Pink Door was raw and shaved so I am going to try that next time.

The Coveteur


As if I need one more time suck in my life I just discovered The Coveteur (by way of my friend Jennie's blog House Crush). Just spent 20 minutes perusing the site. I do love me a glimpse of a closet belonging to someone uber chic and fashionable. I would still be on the site but I thought I would share the wealth so you too can have a new time suck. Check out Khloe Kardashian's closet for some major shoe envy.

I opted for these two photos, out of the gazillions on there, because I've been obsessed with these suede ankle boots by Maje (above) and Isabel Marant (below). Love them dearly.


Early Morning Tear-Jerker


I had a little note on my door last night that I just got around to reading this morning. The letter was about the 3rd annual diaper drive held in our community and organized by two 13 year old girls and their siblings. That alone is touching. The letter included a list of how many diapers, dollars, and miscellaneous baby items they collected last year. I was so impressed with what they were able to collect: 5,209 diapers, 4,386 baby wipes, $670 and much more. Amazing for a diaper drive organized by kids. They also included this touching paragraph:

"In the first year of life babies use around 2,788 diapers. Many moms and dads cannot afford that many diapers. Diapers cost approximately $557.60 per year. Instead of using disposable diapers only once, desperate parents dump out the waste and reuse the soiled diaper. The babies end up with rashes on their bottoms. When they wail to their parents, because they are in pain, their exhausted parents just ignore them, which causes the babies to be unhappy. Babies without enough diapers are more likely to be abused than babies in families who have plenty of diapers."

It is so heart-breaking to think about both the babies in pain from rashes that burn, and the parents who are struggling to make ends meet and have no other choice but to re-use the diapers. This is the reality for so many families.   

Please help out these inspiring kids helping babies in need. Diaper drive info below. If you would like to contribute but can't make it at that time, I can collect diapers or checks and deliver for you. Contact me here.

3rd Annual Diaper Drive Benefiting St. Joseph's Baby Corner

Friday, May 20th


4306 55th Avenue NE
Seattle 98105

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quote of the Day / Motto to Live By


- Hippocrates

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken Milanese Becomes Chicken Parmesan

If you're trying to figure out what to cook this week - give this little chicken duo a shot...

Last week I was craving Gwyneth's Chicken Milanese. I bought four small chicken breasts which made enough for an army. I pan fried all the chicken as directed. I used half of the chicken for dinner, serving it with a sprinkle of lemon, roasted asparagus and a quick arugula salad. A light and delicious dinner.

The next night, in an attempt to change it up, I used the rest of the chicken to make the world's easiest and fastest chicken parmesan. I put the cooked chicken in a single layer in a large lasagna dish, covered it with with some Bionaturae Organic Strained Tomatoes, and topped that with pre-grated mozzarella cheese. I threw it in the oven for 20 minutes and voila, chicken parmesan.

Serve with a mixed green salad and garlic bread and you have a completely different dinner using the previous night's main course leftovers. It's not going to be the best chicken parmesan you've ever had, but it took 5 minutes to prep and everyone gobbled it up. That's a keeper.

Rad Ad


I love the new ad campaign for Tommy Hilfiger. There's something kind of Royal Tenenbaumish about it to me. The commercial is really great. If you haven't seen it yet, you're not watching enough Real Housewives on Bravo.

A Day in the Life of....

My husband knows the way to my heart is through my belly so my Mother's Day gift was a day of eating (belated since we weren't home on Mother's Day). Saturday, for the entire day, the meals were mine to choose.

For breakfast I requested hubby's Macrina Raisin Brioche Twist French Toast. It was as good as I remembered. The bread is the secret weapon.

Mid-Morning Snack
We stopped at Thrive on 65th for juices and smoothies. Everyone's was great and we couldn't stop stealing sips from each others.

We finally tried Fuji Bakery and it was heavenly. We must have tried a dozen items and everything was good. We especially loved the Milk Curry Bun, the Milk Stick, the Griottine with cherries and the Brioche Suisee.

I've been jonesing for Nettletown Noodles with Pork so I got take-out from Nettletown - two orders of the noodles and a Bratwurst sannie. All delicious. (Hint for eating the noodles with maximum flavor: mix in a little soy and lots of the hot chili oil, then continue to mix as you eat to soak up all the good broth or it will puddle at the bottom.)

I made Healeo Smoothies. Delicious, but they put me over the edge.

If you live in Seattle - give any of these a try and you will be happy you did!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meatless Monday Idea: Couscous With Beans and Cauliflower


I can't believe I never blogged about this recipe for Couscous With Beans and Cauliflower. My friend Marly made this for dinner club 100 years ago and it was so good. Serve this tomorrow night with a green salad for a perfect Meatless Monday meal!

Healeo Smoothie

I've been dying to try Healeo on Capitol Hill. I asked my friend Tara what she likes there and she raved about a smoothie that she now re-creates at home. It sounded delicious so even though I wasn't sure what the measurements should be, or even what the final consistency should be, I decided to give it a try. My husband and I both loved it. I made them last night for dessert and he woke up craving it. I will definitely be making these for hot afternoon treats this summer.

I got my new Vitamix 5200 from Costco and whipped this bad boy up in there. Wow, that is one serious blender. 

Healeo Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
small handful coconut flakes
1/4 c almonds, soaked in water
1 or 2 small kale leaves
1 T-ish agave nector
3 pitted dates
1 big handful of ice

Blend together and serve.


SNL's high fructose corn syrup commercial parody is hilarious. Watch SNL's version and the original here. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Must-Try "Gently Massaged" Kale Salad

This one's for you Chows!....

This past weekend my husband and I went to Los Angeles to celebrate our seven year anniversary. One night we caught up with dear friends at the Santa Monica hot spot, Gjelina. It was one of the best meals I've had in LA. I loved the starters, salads and pizzas. Everything was so flavorful, light and fresh.

One of my favorite items was the salad listed as:

Tuscan Kale, Shaved Fennel, Radish, Lemon, Ricotta Salata & Breadcrumb

After our group inhaled a few of the kale salads, I was already scheming to recreate it. The kale was the perfect texture (tender and soft) so I asked the waiter if it was cooked at all (maybe steamed or blanched????). Oh no, it wasn't cooked, it was "gently massaged". We had to laugh, but within 24 hours of arriving home, guess who was "gently massaging" kale?! I found the recipe for Gjelina's kale salad via Sweet Thing.

I served it last night and we gobbled up every last crumb. Making it again tonight for our unromantic, kid-crazy, official, anniversary dinner. (Happy Anniversary Wooger!)

A must-try salad in my opinion.

Kale Salad
From Gjelina in Venice, CA
Courtesy of Sweet Thing

1 Bunch of Kale, stems and centers discarded, finely sliced
1 Bulb of Fennel, finely sliced
4 Radishes, finely sliced
1 cup Ricotta Salata, finely sliced
5 slices French or Sourdough Baguette {or any crusty bread}, toasted and drizzled with olive oil {you can sub store bought croutons}
Splash of White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice bread, drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, until crispy and golden. In a large bowl, combine finely sliced kale, a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 of lemon and a pinch of salt. Massage the kale until it starts to soften, about 2 min. Massaging the kale in the oil makes all the difference.

Then add the sliced fennel, radish and ricotta salata. Crumble toasted bread over the salad. Toss with the rest of the lemon juice, a splash of white balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

* I always check the seasoning and add more lemon, vinegar, oil, salt or pepper if needed. I have also been using PCC's croutons instead of toasting the bread. I just crush seasoned croutons into bread crumbs and think it adds to the flavor of the salad

Afternoon Snack

I just tried a Galia Melon for the first time. It was so delicious that my daughter and I almost polished off the whole thing. Organic ones available at PCC right now.

From Wikipedia:

Like any melon, they are sweet and aromatic, with a flavor more like a cantaloupe than a honeydew, although with a complexity of their own.

Shout-out of the Day: Great Bikini Wax

If you're heading out of town for vacation, expecting some hot Seattle weather I haven't heard about, or are just a regular waxer looking to try a new spa, might I recommend Heather from Wax On Spa for your basic bikini wax or a Brazilian (by the way, once you go Brazilian you never go back!). Heather is thorough, quick and super friendly.

Wax On Spa
Location depends on the day of the week


Monday, May 9, 2011

Asparagus 12 Ways


A piece from Mark Bittman about my favorite veggie on earth: Asparagus....

"Steamed, Roasted, Stir-Fried, Grilled"


Steph's Tofu

Stpeh's Tofu shown top left courtesy of Seattle PI

I'm currently obsessed with Steph's Tofu from PCC. It's in the deli case with other great pre-made concoctions but this has proven to be my favorite time and again. I can eat it plain as a snack or with other items as a meal. I've served it with rice or fried rice, sauteed kale and more. It's great to buy, or if you don't live near a PCC, they have kindly posted the recipe for all to copy and enjoy.

The Fisherman and The Investment Banker

My husband read this little story somewhere and thought it was great. I love it too.

The Fisherman and The Investment Banker

The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, only a little while.

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "but what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years." "But what then?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions. Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

Stiff Competition: Honore Artisan Bakery


I finally made it to Honore Artisan Bakery in Ballard and have been dreaming about it ever since. We loaded up on goodies and worked our way through them...

plain croissants
chocolate croissant
ham & cheese croissant
strawberry danish
raspberry tart

Everything was so delicious that it's hard to say any one thing was better than the others. If I had to choose though, I'm a sucker for a strawberry danish. I'm also wild for the strawberry danish at Cafe Besalu just a mile or so from Honore. What's a girl to do now with two amazing bakeries competing for my heart? Alternate I guess?

Interesting article from The Seattle Times where Honore takes first prize for Seattle's best croissant. Go get 'em Seattle! And grab a raspberry tart to go. It was a perfect dessert that night, although next time I'd buy two since we were like hawks fighting for every last crumb.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Obsession du Jour


The Billie Messenger Bag by Chloe

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stop the Insanity with Pestisides and Harmful Chemicals!


Via Food Democracy Now!...

Once again the pesticide industry is pushing an unsafe chemical to be used on foods that you and your children love to eat. Last year the state of California, the nation's largest producer of fresh fruits and vegetables approved methyl iodide, a potent carcinogen and neurotoxin for agricultural use on strawberries. Already banned in New York and Washington, significant outcry from scientists and citizens around the country has led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the ill-conceived approval of this toxic chemical from being sprayed on our food. We need to demand that they follow through and ban this chemical once and for all.

Please add your voice to the public comment period to ban the agricultural use of methyl iodide and tell the EPA it's time to protect American's health and safety over toxic agribusiness profits.


Move Over SJP!


Is it wrong that I have a crush on Andy Cohen? Watch What Happens Live! is the highlight of my week. It's where I tune in for hilarious Real Housewives recaps and breaking news... (yes, I learned that Osama bin Laden was killed on Watch What Happens Live!). I think he is hilarious, witty, charming and ADORABLE. Since I can't date him for the obvious reasons (I'm married, he's gay), then the next best thing would be to have him as my gay husband. Andy - since I'm sure you read my blog - are you cool with that?

Sauteed Kale with Shitake Mushrooms

I'm constantly looking for new ways to prepare healthy greens. I find that the more I eat kale, chard and spinach, the more I crave kale, chard and spinach. I went 30 years without ever tasting these greens and now I basically have to have some every day.

My friend Tara recently told me about a great recipe with chard, soy sauce, and lemon juice with shitake mushrooms on top. Sounded delicious. My friend Marly told me about a concoction she made up with kale, shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, maple syrup and more. I decided the Shitake mushroom addition was a must-try for me.

This isn't exactly how I prepared it, but this is how I would try it next time. I was a little frazzled so I didn't do it as effortless as this recipe should be. I think this version will create the same results taste-wise but with a few less steps than I did.

Sauteed Kale with Shitake Mushrooms
Inspired by Tara and Marly

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups sliced Shitake mushrooms, roughly 10 mushrooms, stems removed and sliced into 1/3" slices
2 T garlic, minced
1-2 bunches kale, rinsed well, stems removed and roughly chopped (1 large bunch or 2 small bunches)
1 T ginger, minced
few drops sesame oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chicken stock
few splashes soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
few sprinkles toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a sauce pan fitted with a steam rack. Steam kale for 3-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Once cooled, squeeze out the excess liquid. Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and saute. Then add garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Saute for a few more minutes. Add green onion and kale. Saute for a few minutes. Add chicken stock, soy sauce and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle sesame seeds if using. Check for seasoning and serve.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Right Up My Alley: Organic Pork & Vegetable Potstickers


I polished off my fourth jar of Ayako & Family plum jam today. I couldn't replenish my supply at Nettletown because they aren't open on Monday so in a panic (you know me and my breakfast obsessions) I called the number on the jar to find out where I could buy it today. Ayako was the sweetest lady and during our conversation about my love of her jam, she told me that she also specializes in handmade Japanese Pork Gyoza (potstickers). Her ingredients include sustainable organic pork from Rain Shadow Meats in Melrose Market and vegetables from Mair Farm-Taki. She is currently selling them at Rain Shadow Meats.

So, you can guess where I was this afternoon, picking up her jam from Marigold & Mint and potstickers from Rain Shadow Meats. Local, homemade, organic potstickers are so up my alley. They were the perfect side for my dinner tonight (more on that shortly). Keep your eye out for Ayako's products at local Seattle businesses and at the University Farmers Market on Saturdays.