Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seattle Restaurant Week: Blueacre Seafood

Over the weekend, Tai and I tried Blueacre as part of Seattle Restaurant Week. This was our first time at Blueacre and I really look forward to getting some oysters. After looking over the Restaurant Week menu, Tai and I decided to order off the regular menu. First we got a baker's dozen of the oysters:
Damn fine oysters. We really enjoyed them.
Tai got the fish & shellfish stew. He really enjoyed the bread and broth. I sampled a few of his shrimp. Yummy.
I got the the BLC-Bacon, Lettuce, Crab-sandwich. We were seated by the woman who owned the restaurant. She mentioned her husband was the chef and that their crabcakes were one of the best in Seattle. The crab in this sandwich was a crabcake and boy was she right. It was one of the best crabcakes I've ever had. I really enjoyed that sandwich.
I think we'll be back to Blueacre for crabcakes and oysters!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Seattle Restaurant Week: Ristorante Paradiso

Last week, Tai and I went to Ristorante Paradiso for Seattle Restaurant Week. This time we were joined by our friends Jacob and Tanya. This was the first time we'd ever been to Ristorante Paradiso and I was looking forward to some yummy Italian food.
Tanya and Jacob were nice enough to let me photograph their meals as well. I apologize that the pics are a little dark and grainy.
Tanya, Jacob and I went with the $25 3 course meal while Tai choose the specials of the day. For his appetizer, Jacob went with the carpaccio. It was really good.
I got the antipasto plate. I loved it except for the eggplant. The texture threw me off. Tanya got the caprese which she started eating before I could get to her.
Tai got the fresh buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes, prosciutto, and basil. The mozzarella was so creamy. It was so delicious.
Jacob got the fish of the day-halibut, pomodoro style with potatoes and vegges. Trust me that's what in the photo!
Tanya got the lasagna. I heard their lasagna had ham in it. If Tanya's had ham she didn't taste it. I had a bite of it. So good.
I got the Crespelle Ricotta e Spinaci. It very yummy and cheesy. I enjoyed it.
Tai got the special of the day-handmade spinach pasta with mushrooms and fresh sausage. The cream sauce was fantastic.
For dessert, Jacob got the cheesecake. The waitress said it had a raspberry sauce but it was clearly strawberry. Jacob still enjoyed it.
Tanya and I got the Tiramisu. So creamy and yummy. I really liked it.
Overall I liked Ristorante Paradiso and would definitely go back.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Legging Inspired Wear

So I finally broke down and bought a pair of leggings from Old Navy ($10!). I assumed I would hate them and have to return them. But no, they are fantastic. I love how comfy they are and how fantastic they fit.
I have few things to wear them with so I created a polyvore of things I want to buy so I can wear my leggings all the time:

Anyone else on the legging bandwagon?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ballad By Maggie Stiefvater

Someone please tell me there are more books after this. I don't think I can handle not reading more about James and Nuala. 
Ballad is the sequel to Lament. As much as I like Lament, I loved Ballad more. Instead of the story revolving around Dee, Ballad is the story of James, Dee's best friend, and Nuala, a leanan sidhe. Leanan sidhe need humans to keep them alive. At first James is Nuala's mark, her next victim, but something changes in both of them. It's a beautiful, haunting story. I was racing to the end to see how this turned out. 
I loved how the music was so much apart of the story. I loved how James would wake up with music filling his head and blurring his eyes. I loved that he wrote the songs on his arms and his music teacher played the song off his arms. James is a musician and I have a soft spot for a guy who plays an instrument.
Absolutely loved both Ballad and Lament and would recommend them to those who like books about faeries. Others who read Ballad and shared their thoughts: Paperback Dolls, Reverie Book Reviews, and The Reading Labyrinth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
Oh nos! I can feel myself getting in trouble. In fact I have one reloot this week. Too many books so little time.
First The Passage. I've been waiting for this one for a while. I was so surprised to see Ballad sitting on the hold shelf. Of course, I immediately started it :) Next my first reloot in a while, Feed. I will read this one after I finish Ballad. I promise. Lastly Born Round which was on my tbr list. I really hope to get to this one. I'm thinking The Passage might have to be relooted. That's one massive book. I don't know how I'll finish it in a month.
I finished Friday Night Lights and posted my thoughts on the Fill In The Gap blog.  Meh, I wasn't a huge fan.
What did you get this week?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seattle Restaurant Week: Seastar

Last night, Tai and I got dressed up and had date night at Seastar in Bellevue for Seattle Restaurant Week.
This was our second visit to Seastar, but our first for dinner (last time we came for happy hour). For Restaurant Week, we were offered a 3 course meal for $25. For our first course, I got the Maytag Blue Cheese Salad:
 And Tai got the rockfish ceviche with plantain chips:
Tai really loved the salad so I switched with him. I was digging on the plantain chips so I was happy to switch.
For our entrees, I ordered the crabcakes:
 I loved the peas and beans. So yummy. The crabcakes were also delicious. Tai got the scallop pasta:
The cream sauce was fantastic. Tai wants me to learn to make it. If I did I could never leave the gym! And for dessert, I got the chocolate cake:
It was good cake. I loved the chocolate sauce too. Tai got creme brulee:
I guess he thought I would want it. But I don't like creme brulee. I've had it before but it's not my favorite dessert. Anyway, he devoured his creme brulee and deemed it delicious.
We both loved our meal at Seastar and look for to dining there again.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Looky What I Bought

When I bought our shoe organizer, I did a shoe purge. Everyday I doing ok but I wanted a couple of pairs of cute shoes. I was just content with keeping an eye out. But starting this weekend, Tai and I are going to several nice dinners. Nice places where I want to wear a dress or skirt. My current black shoes weren't going to cut it.
I went to Nordstrom Rack, DSW, and Marshalls and found nothing. Desperate, I went to Payless. Kind of a last ditch effort. I assumed I would find something that would work. I had no idea I would leave with 3 pairs of shoes and a purse all for $32!
I love the little flower on the front. You really can't see it but there's a little gem in the center of the flower.
I love these with the ruffle. I think they'll be perfect with my new dresses.
These don't go with any dress. But they were so cute and $5!
Yeah for new shoes!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Bad Day

Dear Bad Zumba Instructor,

Wednesday was a pretty rough day. Work had a few rough spots and some not so nice clients. On my way to the bus, a bird pooped on my backpack. And I didn't notice until I got on the bus and smeared it with my hand. Yeah. But I had Zumba to look forward to.
First you were late. You're a sub so I gave you some slack. You didn't apologize for being late. You didn't know how to use the stereo which I forgave until you said you've taught at this gym before. You pulled out a stack of CDs and started shuffling through them. Fifteen minutes after class should have started we start. Yes, your style is a lot different than our normal teacher which was great. I was looking forward to shaking my booty. But then you started doing some complex dance steps with little instruction. You changed the steps mid-song and direction with no warning. People started leaving the class in groups.
I stuck it out. I love Zumba. I'd been looking forward to a great workout all day. But you kept stopping to change the CD-4 times in 45 minutes. Then you started telling us the steps in Spanish. Other than you, I can bet that no one understood more than uno, dos, tres. Then you stopped providing any instruction. The girl next to me almost got squished between me and the girl on her left. Half the class was going right and the rest was going left. You were moving forward. Oh and by the way when the class is at the back of the room how are we going to move back any more. I tripped on a stationary bike, lady.
Finally we reached the end of class. You led us through some stretches. As we did that you thanked us for coming to class. Then the cherry on top "If you didn't enjoy this class, there is always the treadmill!" Seriously. I don't come to Zumba to use the treadmill. If I ever see you teaching a class again, you bet I won't stick around.
Here's hoping Thursday is better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
Yeah more books! A friend of mine recommended Taming Your Gremlin and The Four Agreements. I put both the companion book and The Four Agreements on hold. The companion book showed up first. On the top right we have Zombie vs Unicorns by Holly Black. I'm looking forward to reading that one! Lastly Friday Night Lights off my Fill In The Gaps list.
I devoured Lament over the weekend and posted my thoughts on the Fill In The Gaps list. So good. I can't wait to read Ballad!
What did you get?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It Sucked Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong

I'm in one of those moods where I constantly want to be reading. After I devoured Lament on Saturday I immediately wanted to jump into another book. I had The Fall on deck next but I didn't feel like reading about zombies. I could have gone 12 hours til I went to the library to pick up a stack of books waiting for me there, but no, I had to have something to read right.this.minute. So I checked out what I had on my shelves. Something quick and fairly lighthearted. So I went with It Sucked Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong, another book from the free room of my friend's large online retailer employer.
I've never read dooce.com, Heather's blog/website. I'd heard about it. I heard she got fired by her employer after blogging about her job. I don't know why but I thought that was the topic of It Sucked then I Cried. Let me tell you it's not. It Sucked Then I Cried is about Armstrong's pregnancy with her first born, the trials of being a new parent and her postpartum depression and anxiety.
Armstrong is one funny writer. I can see why her blog is so popular. She reminds me a lot of my friends in college. A lot of potty mouth, a lot of drug and alcohol references. Armstrong's not afraid to tell you how it is/was. I can see why a lot of parents would enjoy this book and probably her website.
My favorite part is where she talks about how bad her postpartum depression got. How she reached for help. How that help did help enough. How she committed herself in order to beat her postpartum depression. It was a moving experience, reading how she checked into a mental hospital and found a doctor who helped her. A lot of people say mental illness is a weakness. But Armstrong clearly shows that it takes strength to get the help she needed. She immediately became a better mother and wife, an improved version of herself.
I recommend this book to any woman who's been pregnant, wants to be pregnant, women who have struggled with postpartum depression and to those whose partners are pregnant, thinking of getting pregnant or who have gone through postpartum depression.
Others who've read It Sucked Then I Cried and shared their thoughts: The Thinking Mother, Book Addiction, and Massachusetts Friends of Midwives.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dreadnought by Cherie Priest

So I have a friend who works for a large online retailer and she help me get the ARCs they send them for preview. I was pretty stoked to get Dreadnought especially since I recently read Clementine. I wasn't super impressed with Clementine. I really liked Boneshaker and was looking forward to reading about some of the same characters. Sadly, I wasn't crazy about the characters in Clementine. And this series exists in the same world with some of the same characters rather than one continuous story.
Ok, so Dreadnought is the story of Mercy Lynch, a nurse who is traveling from Virginia to Seattle. This book is set during the Civil War (which isn't as obvious in Boneshaker). There's lots of discussion about loyalties to the North, the South, or Texas. The war was really present in Dreadnought. Mercy works in a war hospital. She travels with soldiers.
I really like Mercy. Life's been hard for her. Her father left her and her mom when she was young. She's a nurse in one of the best war hospitals in the Confederacy. It's the best since they get the worse cases and work miracles on those who are close to death. When Mercy's father sends word that he's ill, she heads out to Seattle by airship and train. Let me tell you. It's an interesting trip.
I agree with The Mad Hatter about this book being the book version of Wild Wild West. I think that's why I liked it so much. There's a lot of action and a good story line. Makes me excited for the next 2 (Ganymede and Inexplicable) coming out in 2011 and 2012. Highly recommended.
Other reviews can be found at The Mad Hatter Bookshelf & Book Review, Dreams and Speculation, and Reading The Paranormal.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Library Loot

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
 I'm so happy that my library's database is finally back online. There was a dark time at the end of last month. I couldn't find out what was due or put more books on hold. I also wasn't getting hold notifications. It was a sad time.
But it's back online and I can get books from the library again. I was actually out of library books for myself (Tai still had a couple). I resorted to reading my own books :)
So what did I get? First Lament by Maggie Stiefvater . It's on my Fill In The Gaps list.  I also got The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, the second in The Strain Trilogy.
What did you get this week?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Ah, I have a new celebrity crush. Well I've been crushing on him for a few months now, but I wanted to share my love of Neil Patrick Harris will all of you.
I remember NPH back when he was Doogie Howser:
I watched the show, but I never torn NPH's picture from Teen Beat to put on my wall. Doogie Howser got canceled and years went by before I thought of NPH again. It was Joss Whedon's Dr Horrible Sing Along Blog that got me hooked on NPH again. Go watch it. NPH, Nathan Fillion (love him) and Felicia Day are fantastic. I thought NPH was brilliant but where could I see him on a regular basis? Fast forward this summer. Tai and I were looking for a new tv show to watch and several people recommended How I Met Your Mother. I was glad to see NPH and Jason Segal (love him too).

The Slapsgiving episodes are my favorites.

If you've never seen HIMYM or are watching the beginning seasons, this contains a ton of spoilers. But it really show why I love Barney Stinson!
My new motto in life.
Then he went on Glee. I die.

Tai plays this for me all the time. Joss Whedon also directed this episode, FTW.
The real Neil Patrick Harris is pretty awesome too. He's going to be a dad to twins soon.
Ain't he adorable? Any other NPH fans out there?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thought on My Name Is Memory By Ann Brashares

After reading My Books. My Life's review of My Name Is Memory, I immediately added it to my library queue. And I really enjoyed it.
Hands down this is one of the best love stories I've read in a while. Lucy is a high school student when she meets Daniel, another student. Daniel's different than the other students. He seems removed, to walk through the crowd then be a part of then. Lucy quickly becomes obsessed with Daniel who doesn't seem to notice her. The story is told in alternating chapters going back and forth between Daniel and Lucy. Lucy's story is mostly rooted in the present-mid 2000's. Daniel tells the story he remembers, as far back as he remembers.
I do believe in reincarnation. I always wanted to go to the Past Lives Pavilion like in Defending Your Life. Does anyone remember that movie?
I'm glad to hear this will be a trilogy. I wasn't super happy with the ending but I accepted it. Without giving too much away, I drew my own conclusion as to what happened. It'll be interesting to see what does happen in the next book. Anyway, I highly recommend this beautiful love story.
Others who posted their thoughts: My Books. My Life., Tell  Me A Story, Melanie's Musings, Chick Lit Review, and Chaotic Compendium.

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Book Tally

Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby
Broken by Lisa Jones
The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery
Clementine by Cherie Priest
Dime Story Magic by Kelley Armstrong
Ultimo vol 1 by Hiroyuki Takei
My Name Is Memory by Anne Brashares (post coming)

Seven this month! Go me! I've surpassed my total books read last year (52). I've read 57 so far this year. I don't think I'll meet my goal of 100 this year but I'll get really close.
I only read one book (The Teahouse Fire) for my Fill In the Gaps list. I've read 26 off that list.