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Random Thoughts

We head to Hawthorne early tomorrow morning. The day before we leave my mind is always a jumble of thoughts and task lists. Much like the post today! For those of you new to following along on daily blog, you can watch a fun video interview I did awhile back with Susanna Salk on Stacey Bewkes’ beyond lovely blog, Quintessence. Their At Home with series is not to be missed, as they are a creative feast for the eyes with lots of inspiration & design tips along the way. Click here to watch.

The above a bit of the view from my shop in the Market. Autumn has started out with a glorious bang here in Seattle. The crisp days and cool skies something else. The below a cherished piece by Denise Fiedler for our upcoming 20th anniversary of Watson Kennedy on November 23rd. Lots of fun stuff planned. Details to follow. So this Hawthorne stay will be a major rest up for a super busy few months the moment we arrive back in Seattle. I am incredibly excited for both!



 

 

JuneBaby

What a treat! We finally found time to dine at the much acclaimed JuneBaby here in Seattle. It was everything we had hoped it would be. Chef/owner Edouardo Jordan took home the James Beard award for ‘Best New Restaurant in the Country’ and ‘Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest’ this year. Needless to say, snagging a table has become quite a feat. The restaurant does not take reservations, so it can mean quite a wait. But we love a challenge! We thought a week-day arriving early would be the plan. We arrived at 4:30 and were third in line for seating at 5 when they open. We were dining with our niece Haley who is a bread baker at Sea Wolf and gets up at 4 in the morning for her early start time so we thought an early supper would be easiest for her and it clearly helped getting a table easily. Once in, then the fun began. Jordan’s family and Southern roots dictate the menu, and man oh man is it all tasty. We decided to order a bunch of things and share, so we could experience lots of flavors.

Buttermilk biscuits with pure cane syrup. Pimento cheese, pickles and house made saltine crackers. Gumbo. Nashville hot chicken liver, Nancy Lee roll, pickles & coleslaw. Fried green tomato with herbed shrimp salad and romaine lettuce. Chicken fried steak with a lima bean purée, peaches, cucumbers and tomato jam. Catfish with Geechie Boy yellow grits, spinach, pickled corn with a red sauce. Along with a bowl of Southern rice. Yes, we were quite full. But…

The dessert menu just looked crazy good so we shared, pecan toffee bread pudding with cinnamon bourbon anglaise and a piece of hummingbird cake with pecans, coconut, banana & pineapple.

Heaven. All of it. Every good word written about this place and every award received is incredibly deserved. A must if you live in Seattle or are visiting. Tell them the Teds sent you…

A walk around Gas Works Park after the meal to stretch our legs and enjoy the stunning soon ending Summer evening was the cherry on the cake. Actually, make that hummingbird cake!



 

 

A Rested Mind & Body

We flew to Seattle yesterday afternoon, fully refreshed from a few weeks of rest and relaxation, mixed in with buying at the show and vintage shopping here & there. The above my rotation of books for the stay. I like to jump around and read a few at a time when we are at Hawthorne. Some I finish while others I will pick up where I left off in October. I raced right through Famous Father Girl which was written by Leonard Bernstein’s oldest daughter, Jamie. I found it fascinating and sad all at the same time.

We hit peak tomato season right on the head and tomato sandwiches were on the menu often. Bartlett House makes this seeded loaf of bread that proved awesome for making them. You need a hearty bread to stand up to all the juices of the tomato once you start in on it. The simplicity, heaven.

Folks often ask how we don’t take everything home that we see when out shopping for vintage goods for the shops. Short answer, sometimes, we do! Not really, but when something catches my eye enough that I go back to a store to buy something, then I know it was meant to be. Red Chair on Warren almost always has a gem I can’t pass up. This pair of English plates heading to WestWard this week-end and I can hardly wait to put them into action.

The plums this visit were out of this world. Above a still life from Talbott & Arding. Eaten just as they are is perfection. I also like roasting them while next to a chicken along with green olives for a simple, simple supper.

Bailey waiting by the door when TPS goes for a bike ride watching over things and waiting for his return gets me right in the heart. She is such a good traveler. You can see the limelight hydrangea a bit poking up from the windows on the right. Seems like they grew a foot while we were there. It was hot, humid, sunny then super rainy at times, which they seem to love. They were an amazing part of the enjoyment on this incredibly restful, reviving stay.

The flight back uneventful (which my Dad always joked and said was the only way to fly) until we got close to Seattle and the smoke from all the fires out West just heartbreaking. We had read all about them while in the Hudson Valley but when you see what it is like from the air, it is sobering. Sending love and safe thoughts for all battling the fires and a speedy recovery.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

It was an extraordinarily sunny day in Seattle yesterday, the light swirling around pretty perfectly at the First & Spring shop. I clicked away photos of goods and vignettes. The Summer months are quite, quite busy with lots of folks visiting our much loved Seattle, so the shelves remain nice and full. Lots of gifts to give, or keep. A dozen for your viewing pleasure. Have a lovely week-end and Happy Bastille Day!



 

 

Towering Dahlias

A quick spin into the West Seattle Metropolitan Market after leaving the island heading back to town produced not only a stellar shopping bag of food which included my beloved Poilâne bread, but these extra long stemmed dahlias. Each getting their own single stem vase placed around the apartment to create some crazy good dahlia LOVE on this Flower Friday.



 

 

A Summery Table in Red

The color red became the overall theme in this summery shop table. Cozying up to lots of product with white in it, as well as wicker & seagrass. The watermelon plates a particular favorite, as they are a yummy symbol of the season. The black dotted wrapping paper, another absolute favorite, became a runner in a pinch. The dots reminding me of watermelon seeds. Then it was all sorts of fun stuff in those color stories that got added to the mix.



 

 

Browne Family Vineyards 2014 Tribute

Sitting in a tasting room in downtown Seattle trying new wines while catching up with an old friend seemed quite civilized. Such was the case recently at the Browne Family Vineyards tasting room in Pioneer Square. We love our wine tastings in Napa or Sonoma or Walla Walla, so I was excited to learn about this lovely spot on First Avenue that just recently opened. Stylish as all get out, cozy and just a perfect spot to chat and laugh and drink some amazing wine. Which leads me to this bottle of Tribute. My friend Jackie & I were both quite taken with it, taking home bottles. We have since served it at several gatherings gaining much praise. TPS was back visiting his mom in Montclair and picked up a bottle there, so it is distributed widely, which is always nice as I sometimes write about wines that folks from afar have a tough time finding. 

From the makers site: Dark fruit, flint and tanned leather aromatics. Fruit bomb with Van Cherry, currant and all spice. Finishes with anise, toasty oak and lingering dark fruit flavors. Acid is bright and balances this full bodied and round tannin wine.

Varietal Blend: 39% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot, 6% Petite Sirah, 6% Carmenere 

{as a special added bonus to my readers–mention this post or my name in the Pioneer Square tasting room for a 10% discount}



 

 

Monday Night at Artusi

You all know I like sharing with you favorite places we enjoy dining. I love hearing shared stories from customers & readers who travel from far and wide who get to Seattle and try out one of our recommendations. I have written often of our major fondness of the Italian eatery, Spinasse. Artusi is the sibling, living right next door. They share the same kitchen, so you just know it is going to be sublime. Dining there anytime for dinner or for nibbles with drinks is grand, but Mondays they offer something quite special. I got to have a date night with my husband the other eve, enjoying their 2 pasta special + a bottle of wine for $35. Yes, you read that right, 35 bucks. I like a good deal as much as the next guy, but it has to be good. This is crazy good! I am still dreaming of the housemade, handmade pastas we enjoyed. If you are in Seattle on a Monday eve looking for a place to dine and be incredibly happy, Artusi is the ticket.



 

 

My Favorite Things Today

Retail, make that interesting retail, really is about the mix. I think of it like a puzzle. A colorful puzzle filled with all sorts of cool/high quality/beautiful & intriguing pieces creating one big sensory experience. These are the goods that caught my eye yesterday that are My Favorite Things Today.











 

 

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose 

Had a late lunch with my friend Jackie the other day at London Plane. While waiting for our table we had the pleasure of perusing the lovely blooms they had for sale. The roses were my favorite, by far. Their singular beauty always gets me. This fluttery loveliness our Flower Friday pick of the week.