Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Seattle!

Amazing view from the top of West Seattle...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

New VIP Program at Alexandria Nicole Cellars

Alexandria Nicole Cellars has launched a new Wine Club VIP Program, providing some pretty sweet benefits to those of us on the west side of the mountains. The new benefits include exclusive discounts and benefits at select Seattle businesses, as well as some additional localtions across Washington State. Now, there's no fee to join Alexandria Nicole Cellars wine club, but you must pay for the three annual shipments of wine you will receive each year, each of which includes four bottles of their very yummy wine.
Once becoming a member of the winery's wine club, you will be able to present your Alexandria Nicole Cellars membership card at the following restaurants, wine bars, lodging and touring services to receive additional discounts:

Salty's on Alki, West Seattle
El Gaucho, Downtown Seattle
Cellar 46, Mercer Island
Russell's, Bothell
Barking Frog, Woodinville
Brix, Kirkland
O/8 & Twisted Cork Wine Bar, Bellevue
Brix 25, Gig Harbor
Uncorked Wine bar, Snoqualmie
Picazo 7Seventeen, Prosser
The Greystone Restaurant and bar, Yakima

The Inn at El Gaucho, Downtown Seattle
The Cozy Rose B&B, Grandview
Sunset House Wine Country B&B, Prosser
4 Seasons River Inn, Prosser
A.N.C. Glamping, Alderdale

Touring Services
Butler Valet Services, Seattle
J.R. Helicopter Tours, Yakima

Now they don't say what the discount are (or at least I cannot find them - and yes, I did try), but I expect they're be pretty good. The winery will continue to add benefits as they become available. In addition to the wine shipments and discounts, members receive complimentary tastings and discounts on wines purchased at Alexandria Nicole Cellars tasting rooms, one of which is located in lovely Woodinville - just 20 minutes from Seattle - while the other is in Prosser. I got a sneak peak at the Wine Club member only room in Woodinville a couple of weeks ago, which is nicely hidden behind a big door disguised as a bookcase, and I must say that we're definitely considering joining Alexandria Nicole's wine club for that benefit alone!

Check out their website for more info:

Friday, August 14, 2009

"Glamping" or Glamour Camping at Alexandria Nicole Cellars

OK. My boyfriend and I joke about the term 'glamping' whenever we venture out into the wilderness for the weekend. For those of you who haven't heard the term, it's short for "glamour camping." I was invited to join a glamping group on Facebook a couple months back and we just found the whole idea hilarious. Granted I will not typically camp more than two days and I'm all about car camping, not so much about hiking in and carrying all of our crap. My car is much better at that than I am. However, I received an email from Alexandria Nicole Cellars and it may have changed my mind on the whole 'silliness' factor. Here's what it said:
Alexandria Nicole Cellars is now offering Glamping, also known as glamour-camping, at its Estate Vineyard, Destiny Ridge. Three tents are available for rent at a rate of $75 per night. Equipped with all the comforts of home, each tent includes a queen-size bed, electricity, hot and cold running water, air conditioning, a large wood deck and individual barbecues. Guests can enjoy a beautiful view of the vineyard and Columbia River along with a peaceful place to sleep. In addition to wine tasting and vineyard tours, glampers can also participate in a range of activities including fishing, bike riding, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and wildlife watching.

Check out the digs!

REALLY? We can barely fit two people in our tent, let alone have enough room for a yoga class!! I must say though, I would camp for a week if these were the facilities. Oh, and here's what you should probably be wearing if you go glamping at Alexandria Nicole's Estate Vineyard location:

Ha! Far cry from my torn jeans, college T-shirts and hiking boots. However I think I could pull it off as long as I was still allowed to carry around my bottle of wine and drink from a tin cup. For more information on glamping with Alexandria Nicole Cellars or to make a reservation, call (509) 786-3497 or visit Have fun and PLEASE let me know if you try this out.

Limited Time - Discounted Tickets to Fremont Oktoberfest!

The Fremont Oktoberfest is the ultimate kick-off to fall, held this year on September 18-20. Hosting over 35 breweries spread out over three beer gardens, it's guaranteed to be a good time and I guarantee I will be there!

Today they announced that they're offering special discounted admission into Fremont Oktoberfest for two-weeks, available online. Advance tickets go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, August 15th for just $15! That's an extra $5 off normal ticket prices, so jump online and purchase your tickets at

Fun fact: the Fremont Oktoberfest was voted by USA Today and as one of the top places to toast Oktoberfest. Plus, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce is the beneficiary of the Fremont Oktoberfest. A portion of the proceeds goes toward funding local schools, art groups, community events and promoting Fremont as the "Center of the Universe."

Photo courtesy of

Free Smoothie at Starbucks!

Who doesn't love free stuff?! A sweet co-worker of mine passed this coupon and I felt it was my duty to spread the wealth! If you click on the photos and print each one out (maybe on the same sheet to make it easier), you will be blessed with a free Vivanno smoothie from Starbucks. I've never had one, so can't really vouch for how good they'll be, but it's free right?

Keep in mind that they expire September 30th (I'm sure you could get away with printing more than one coupon before then). Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Calm Before the Storm on Elliott Bay

Tonight we were at Elliott Bay Oyster House for happy hour. As we were leaving around 6 p.m., the ocean clouds had just started to roll into the bay, slowing covering up the sun. Bummed that I didn't have my digital camera to capture the amazing moment, I turned around a snapped a few photos with my Iphone just hoping they'd turn out. And turn out they did.

This one has a unique perspective. I was walking while I took the photo and it seemed to give the photo a fishbowl affect.

BOGO at Elliott's Oyster House or The Metropolitan Grill

I’m heading down to Elliott’s Oyster House tonight for happy hour and as I do not like oysters (I know…why am I going, right?), I wanted to check out to see what else they were offering at a discounted deal. Before I could even begin to search the site for menus, I found this:

It looks like they are offering one free entrée with the purchase of another entrée during lunch or dinner at Metropolitan Grill or Elliott's Oyster House. To take advantage of the offer, you’ll need fill out a form online, then they will email a certificate to you. Click here to go straight to the form. You’ll need to present the certificate to your server when you order. As for happy hour, I only found information on the oyster deal:

I know they have more, so will let you know what I find after happy hour tonight!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Seattle Rain - Its Much Anticipated Return

I know it seems strange to long for rain in a city known raining all year round, but it has been two months without a drop of rain. Today, when it started to finally fall, it was calming and seemed like everything slowed down a bit (and it wasn't just because Seattlites can't drive in the rain, which I will never understand). Either way, the city is a little bit cleaner and cooled down. Lovely.

Groupon - Awesome Deals...But Only If Your Friends Think So Too

Have you heard of

Strange name, I must admit, but an intriguing concept all together. Each day, Groupon features an deal on sometime to do, see, eat, and buy in the city. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, they get discounts you typically won't see any plan else, which Groupon calls "collective buying power." They currently feature deals in 17 cities, including Seattle. Here's today's deal:

Looks like fun to me! Just $28 for a three-course 'lunch and learn' cooking class at Diane's Market Kitchen in Pike Place Market. This class typically costs $50.

So here's how works:

  1. Each day features something at an low price.
  2. You only get the deal if enough people join that day, which is Groupon's way of getting you to invite your friends.
  3. Check back the next day for another deal.
Since this is the first day I've checked it out, the jury's still out on how useful/unique the deals are, but do let me know if you sign up for one!

Friday, August 7, 2009

And This Is Why I Dont Eat Calamari

I can't stand when they come out with whole deep-fried squids. I can eat the round, rubberband-looking ones, but this? No way.

Birthday Breakfast at Anita's Crepes

I know it seems like my life revolves around food, but I promise it does not. I will be adding wine into the mix as of tomorrow when Jon and I head to wine country (insert screams of joy here). But for now, I will continue to share as I eat my way through my 24th birthday (as Jon so kindly pointed out last night at dinner, I am now in my mid-20s...GASP...and in crisis mode).

This morning, Jen was so sweet to take me out to breakfast for my birthday. We tried to go to The Dish, but seeing as they only take cash or checks (really? people still take checks and refuse to move over to credit cards? I don't understand.), we opted for Anita's Crepes which is just two shops down. Their breakfast is amazing! And I have to say, a hidden gem as we were the only people there at 8 a.m. Jen opted for the Breakfast Crepe, which looked yummy and relatively healthy:

I, however, decided to go for something a little bit more...extravagant? tasty? unhealthy? perfect? Choose whatever descriptor you would like, but the French Toast was to die for. I did go ahead and scoop off that HUGE pile of butter on top (like that helped with anything), but was in heaven as I ate the rest.
Thank goodness I promptly went to yoga class afterwards. Oh wait, which I cancelled out with a yummy peach cupcake from Cupcake Royale that Jen brought me (as you can see, there's not much left).
Don't judge. It's my birthday and I'll eat (or cry) if I want to! By the way, I have been to Anita's restaurant in Ballard once before for lunch and they have a great selection of lunch appropriate crepes. You'll also find them on Sunday's at the Ballard Market, where there is ALWAYS a line. Enjoy!

Pre-Birthday Dinner at Queen City Grill

We had a gift certificate to use up, so headed to Queen City Grill last night for a birthday-eve dinner celebration. Having only eaten here once before for a work function (and not having to foot the bill), I wasn't quite sure what the expect. However, I was plensently surprised by a reasonably priced menu, delicious food and half bottles of L'Ecole No. 41 Merlot! Yum.

Three cheese plate. Suggestion: let the waiter pick the three cheeses. They know what's best!

Alaskan Halibut with organic spring vegetable ragout and olive oil poached potatoes all lightly covered with a delicious white balsamic white wine sauce.

And me thoroughly enjoying it all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Adventures in Ebay - Moscow? Really?

If you know me at all, you know I am easily excited by very small, unimportant things (note: this is good and bad depending on what I'm excited about). My newest source of excitement up until ohhhh....24 minutes ago was my first ever experience selling on Ebay. I got an amazing Michael Kors soft wool coat for CHEAP at my favorite store (hint: the initials are VV), but when I got it home, it just didn't fit me quite right.

So, instead of redonating (I KNOW), I decided to make a little money by selling in on Ebay. I mean, come on, it's a beautiful Michael Kors wool coat in perfect condition. Being my first time selling on ebay, I'm pretty sure I checked the status of my sell about three times a day (that may be an understatment).
So, it gets to the last two minutes of the bidding. I'm refreshing the page every two seconds while Jon heckles me in the background. Finally, it ends and I have made some money on my purchase. SCORE! I click on the winner and this is what I get:

Um, WHAT? I'm pretty sure...oh wait, yes, I'm positive...I specifically said I would only ship to buyer in the U.S. Then some person comes along from Moscow, wins the bid on my first ebay item and totally crushes the fun. I have since sent a message to this buyer explaining that it will be more than $10 for shipping (more like $70) to ship to Moscow and if he/she not OK with that, well they can just find a beautiful Michael Kors coat somewhere else.
UPDATE: The coat is on it's way to Russia! The buyer paid and everything is good. Plus, I made $30. Whoot!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Waiting Patiently for the Rain Season

To buy or not to buy these beautiful Hunter glossy beige rain boots...

This is my current dilemma.

Do You Like Food? Become Part of the Seattle TasteCasting Team

So I just saw an amazing post over at that I have to share. Apparently TasteCasting, a gathering of socially networked people also in love with food, is forming a team here in Seattle. Awesome! Here's what Mary Jo Manzanares, editor of had to say:
Here’s how it works: Restaurants, bars, diners, bakeries, or any other food and beverage establishment, invite TasteCasting members to attend a tasting at their venue. It may be a way to research new menu items, it may be to showcase a new chef, or it may be a way to juice up business and get people in the door. Whatever the reason, you are invited to be a part of it.

What is expected of attendees: In return for a free tasting, we want you to constructive feedback and suggestions with your host, as well as broadcast your experienced to your friends and follows via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, a blog post, or any of publication or social media where you are active. You can share everything from the food specific (ingredients, tastes, menu) to the overall impressions (ambiance, venue, service, overall experience, etc).

Looks like Mary Jo is involved with the formation of the Seattle team, so send her an email if you're interested. Thankfully, it doesn't look like you don’t have to be a food writer to be a part of the fun. You just need to involved in social media, enjoy food, and be willing to share your experiences. Make sure to check out the TasteCasting website to find out more about the organization.

I just applied to be on the team, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Fremont Sunday Market - Perfect Place for Random Stuff

I love the Fremont Sunday Market because of the randomness it brings to my life. Unlike many other markets in the Seattle area, this is not a 'farmers market.' It's more of a flea market featuring everything from locally-made jewelry to flea find to vintage watch parts (random, I know, but they actually make for really cute earrings and bracelets). I spent two hours of my Sunday just wandering about and admiring all that is Seattle.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blue Angels in Seattle for Sea Fair Weekend

Blue Angels performed today over Lake Union in conjunction with Sea Fair weekend. As we didn't want to fight the crowd, both on land and in the water, Jen and I set up shop on her roof in Lower Queen Anne to watch the show. They are so amazing and SO LOUD!

My parents own a condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama, which is just 30 minutes from Pensacola, Florida where the Blue Angels are based. I have some fond memories of hearing these amazing planes roar across the Gulf and today brought back great memories.

Seattle Named Best City to Find Single Guys - Really?

As a girl from the Midwest, I was surprised by how difficult it was meet people in Seattle. There's a certain standoffishness to almost everyone, as everyone seems to be worried about what others will think. Thankfully, it's not just me that has faced this problem, as this phenomenon has already been coined as the "Seattle Freeze." Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of friends here who I love, but it took a while!

That's why when Marie Claire named Seattle as the #1 city for single ladies to find guys, I was surprised to say the least. I have a few single friends in the city who I know are thinking WHAT?! WHERE ARE THEY HIDING? Either way, here's what Marie Claire said about Seattle's single men scene:

"Hunting guys here isn't easy, thanks to persistently dank weather and the Vulcan-like standoffishness typical of Emerald City's comp-sci hordes. (Hundreds of tech firms, including Microsoft, are based in the area.) Locals boast that it's a haven for green-minded lefties who get as big a thrill rappelling the Cascades as they do "coding the architecture" (don't ask us what that means)."

Ok, I don't even know what "coding the architecture" means and I live here. Now I have to admit, even the geekiest of Seattle men are most likely outdoorsy as well. It's kind of hard not to be in the Pacific Northwest, so I guess that's a plus. Luckily, I have my own geek/outdoorsy man who is also from the Midwest. I was blessed to avoid the whole Seattle single scene all together.

Seattle beat out Denver, San Jose, San Diego and Austin. Nearby Portland, Ore. ranked a distant tenth. Check out the online article to see what Marie Claire says the other cities have to over.

I'd still like to know who did the research...and how they came to this conclusion.