Category Archives: neighborhoods

To Hiatus and Back Again

The last post on this blog was over two months ago…

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Ames and I have been in hibernation/getting settled mode for a bit.  It’s not that we haven’t been busy.  We’ve done things together and separately.  We just needed time to let some things become familiar and stop trying to make an adventure out of everything.  Adventures are great, but sometimes you just need to find things that make you comfortable. (For me that has involved watching waaaay more television than I have ever consumed in such a short period of time… I’m choosing not to judge myself over this, and I’m calling it my recuperation from the past five years or so of non-stop activity and achievement.)

There have been some fun and exciting things happening though:

Got a bed and a desk.

Here's the bed... don't have a picture of the desk right now.

Job is going great!

A view of my desk at work... Of course that isn't a cookie!

I’ve even started walking to work sometimes.

I see lots of VW bugs here... As well as just red cars in general...

Went to the Skaggit County Tulip Festival. It was absolutely gorgeous! (More about this later)

Proof that we were there

Have been auditioning fairly regularly for theatres… a couple each month it seems. (No pictures of this.)

Am in a book club. I’ve rarely had the books finished before we meet, but it’s very fun!

Planted an herb garden.

They've grown a bit more since this picture.

Got to go home and see my sister graduate from college and play with my awesome nephews!

Zeke and James

Had a lovely first birthday in Seattle, involving cupcakes, a wind chime, and lots of movies with friends!


Love it!

And the weather has finally warmed up on a regular basis… It’s June and we’re finally getting 60-70 degree weather. (I tell you what, it’s not so bad, but the expectation of what June should feel like is the weird thing.) I still do not have a proper jacket for this climate, but that’s on the list.

Got Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook and have done some fun cooking out of it. Say what you will about GP and her “perfect life”, but I like her!  The recipes are more gourmet, but also really simple.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Getting new shoes this week!  REALLY excited about that!

Still haven’t gotten a table or comfy living room furniture, but it’s garage sale season… Note to self: Go garage sale-ing next weekend.

Found the lighthouse at Discovery Park! (more about this later)

There it is!

Done a bit of wandering through some neighborhoods nearby (Saw the Fremont Troll) and exploring Ballard a bit.

That's a real VW Bug... See, they are everywhere here!

A used book store in Fremont. Note the book titles next to the chicken.

Also, I lost my Blackberry on the plane back from Kansas City and I got an iPhone. (Hence all the hipstamatic pics)

Making a life in a new place is kinda hard, but it’s good… Mostly it just takes time.  More to come!  Ames and I are planning some new adventures soon!


1 Comment

Filed under home cooking, neighborhoods, out of the city, Seattle, Tanya, to do, to see

it started off with green shoes

hurry up, spring!

Actually, it started off with a towel.

Actually, no, backtrack some more, it started off with some books.

Well, really, it goes all the way back to some phone calls.

See – thing is, I’ve gotten three phone calls in three days from agencies interested in me. I’ve got two meetings next week with two of them, and I’ve got an in with the third. That guy gave me a design project to do and said to give him a call when I’ve done it and he’ll get me pretty much the coolest job ever. Huzzah! One of the meetings I’m going to, however, they already sent me the paperwork to sign me up with them and gave me instructions on what to do to get ready for the first job they’ll (hopefully) send my way. It’s all up in the air, but things are definitely promising.

What’s a girl to do?! I had to go shopping!

First of all, I need to buy every book on the market to work on this big design project I’ve been asked to do. I would be the stupidest girl in the northwest if I passed up this opportunity. Even if I don’t end up getting the coolest job ever out of doing this project, I’ll still be learning some incredibly valuable design lessons that I really should already be digging my way into. It’s basically an extension of my masters degree. I think it’s a test. I’m going to pass this test. Just you wait.

So to the bookstore I went! It’s slightly ironic that this bookstore happens to be my former place of employ, and I have the applications all filled out and ready to go should I run out of monies and need a job stat – this place is at the top of that list. The suckerific thing, however, is that I don’t get my 50% discount anymore. Lame. But I am armed with a load of 15% off coupons (a parting gift, if you will). I got my books and decided to walk home. (I had taken the bus to get there, but I knew it was only an hours walk to get back home.)

I loved the walk home. It was not boring at all. Wallingford? You’re awesome. I was also feeling nostalgic after being in that bookstore, so I decided to prank call the store I worked in. Problem is, the woman who answered the phone I would never play a joke on in a million years. I just love her way too much. So I sighed and gabbed instead. The phone was handed off from person to person until my cell died mid conversation. It was lovely.

Well, I had to walk by Ballard Goodwill to get home, so I decided to stop in for some cheap towels. See, it’s really wet in Washington. Like, really, really wet. I can not keep my window or my window pane or my window sill dry. It drips and pools and spills over with water. My solution was to get cheap towels at goodwill, roll them up, and stick them in the sill to catch the water before it gets out of hand. Good call, Ames. I think it’s gonna work.

But while I was there, I saw the CUTEST GREEN SHOES EVER (see photo). Last summer, I spent weeks looking for cute wedges and I never found any I liked, nor any that were less than 40 or 50 bucks. Totally lame. But then I see these cute green shoes at goodwill and I grabbed them. They were even my size! However, they were ten bucks. Sigh. I can’t drop ten bucks on cute shoes, no matter how much of a great find they are. I need to conserve the money until I get the income confirmed. But they were sooooo cute! Ugh! I decided to hold on to them while I walked around the store.

After about twenty minutes, I noticed a sign that said all blue tags are 50% off this weekend. I squeezed my eyes shut tight and wished a very quick wish that my shoes had a blue tag… then I peaked inside and. YES! BLUE! FIVE BUCKS! Done deal. I was buying them. Now I just need spring to hurry up and get here so I can wear them!

It's a bag! A cheap bag! A perfect bag!

Since I found such a great deal on shoes, I decided to go have a looksee at the clothes. I found a couple shirts, and one of them is absolutely wonderfully perfect to wear to one of these job meeting things I’ve got next week. And then! THEN! I found a black computer bag/purse! I mean.. good lord! Is it a sign?! All these things I need and they’re here and they’re perfect! I ramble. But.. but, I’m a girl and I found cute things for super cheap at goodwill! I was planning on going downtown on Sunday to buy these things. I would have easily spent 100 bucks or more trying to get a few nice things for the interviews.

I think I did pretty great at goodwill. I love Ballard goodwill. Love. Love. Love.

I apologize for this post being pointless and rambley and all about shopping. I can’t help myself.


Filed under Ames, neighborhoods, Seattle, shopping, the monies

birds of a feather flock to fremont

My lovely darling baby sister who lives in Portland and who I have seen so very rarely and hardly even at all in the last four years had the last minute didn’t even know it was going to happen opportunity to come to Seattle for a day. So, of course, I told her she had to come.

We barely even had 24 hours together, but we made sure every one of them counted. This trip included such sisterly things as eating cold macaroni and cheese and cold chicken strips (bought from the 24 hour Safeway down the street) at 2 in the morning while sitting outside in front of our apartment’s front door (so as not to wake Tanya while we whispered long into the night), wandering around Capitol Hill and downtown Seattle getting hit on  (“Can I get witch you?”) and bummed off of by interesting characters (“Happy new year, girls! Can I have five dollars?”), telling each other our deepest darkest secrets, missing buses because of erroneous bus schedules, hopping wrong buses because of completely absentee buses (I have a big issue with the frequency and reliability of Seattle transit, but I digress), and then wandering all over Ballard and Fremont to see statue-like-things and spend more time together while we still had some left.

We saw a rocket:

a rocket

We saw a drawbridge in action:

vertical street

We waited for the interurban too:

Jugg Life

We watched tv:

sister vision

There were clowns:


And bridges:

Aurora Bridge

And trolls:

Fremont Troll

Oh my.

The funny thing about the Fremont Troll is I first learned about it back in my architecture school days when one of the guys who created the troll came and guest lectured a design build studio I was in for a week. I guess he was buds with my professor. I don’t really remember. He mentioned this troll of his, I remember thinking, “Cool.” And never did I realize that some day I would live a couple miles away from it. The road of life, huh.

I think they're making eyes at each other.

Howdy, Lenin:


Then we went to the beach. I love the beach.

again with the beach

no shortage of beach pictures, ever

beach beach beach

We were happy to practice random acts of cupcakery.

cup.cake. period.

At some point in the day, Melissa mentioned burgers. Four hours later, we were still salivating over the thought of eating burgers. It only took us a few seconds to track down a burger joint. It actually said that on the window: A Burger Joint. We went in.

a burger joint

Best. Burgers. Ever.

I'll take four more please.

I’m going to eat here every day and become a gross greasy slob, but I’ll be a happy one who eats these burgers every day. I won’t really do that. But you eat one of these burgers and you consider that option.

Sadly my sister had to leave shortly after that, but she left her hot sauce in the fridge. I’ll think of her fondly every time I see it.


Filed under a visitor!, Ames, eats, in the city, neighborhoods, Seattle, to do, to see

Things I get to see…

I’ve been very blessed to get to see the things I get to see every day.  Some are simple.  Some are mighty.  All make my heart happy…

There are buskers that sing and play music all day in the Market.  Here’s one group that I especially like:

Growing up in Missouri, I didn’t get to see these things very often:

the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound

Mt. Ranier... It's an active volcano... Kinda freaky...

The neighborhood that I live in has artwork everywhere, and they definitely aren’t afraid of color… or a little of the bizarre.

Murals like this are all over the place here!

They like to re-purpose old buildings here… Instead of tearing them down all the time.

The Big House - a private residence

See... bizarre... and yet, strangely appealing...

The people here think that it’s been really cold… and yet they can still sell these outside the store in January and February.

Clearly, they have no concept of "cold".

Apparently, they’re ready to plant all year ’round!

I really wanted to buy some!

The thing that I was worried that I would miss the most about Kansas City was the glorious sunsets that we have there.  Fortunately, they get some great ones here too!

The view from Greenwood, the neighborhood where I work.

And while the Nelson in KC will always be a favorite there…

Golden Gardens Beach

I’m starting to find some favorites here as well.


Filed under in the city, neighborhoods, Seattle, Tanya, to do, to see

a walk around ballard

I decided with no plans for a lovely (but chilly) Sunday, I should have a walk around Ballard. I didn’t take many pictures, but the entire walk was pretty fabulous (and 11 miles long, by the end of it.)

This is the beach in our neighborhood, only about a 45 minute walk from home.

the beach

Puget Sound

Sailboats, Bainbridge Island

It was a windy day. I should have worn a hat.


I found myself walking along the ship canal as I headed to Fremont Market.

ship canal

I stopped taking pictures after this because I was too busy perusing the market.

1 Comment

Filed under Ames, neighborhoods, Seattle, to do, to see

Week One – Discoveries

Things I have learned about Seattle/Ballard in the first week of living here:

1. Buses are always early when you are running late.

2. Buses are always late when you are running early.

3. If you can walk there, do it… Unless of course you are buying large items. Then you should probably drive.

4. Ballard is a great little neighborhood!

5. Cupcake Royale is delish… but also the devil.

6. Hi Life is great for $5.55 breakfast and meeting new friends. (New friends aren’t on the menu, however.) Also, it’s in an old firehouse, so the building is awesome!

7. There are at least 3 discount/thrift shops in the main shopping area. (This may end up being the devil later… As I have no money to spend, currently, they are a fun diversion.)

8. Fred Meyer is grocery/Target/Home Depot all-in-one… and on crack!

9. Mr. Gyro is delish.

10. THERE’S A BEACH NEARBY! (Which I have not seen yet, but Amy has explored a bit. She says it’s lovely!)

11. The Pike Place Market Starbucks is really fun, and really busy! Eesh! It’s cool to talk to so many people from all over the world though. Lots of people from Japan, China, Korea, etc.  Also have met a few Aussies and at least one Scot, who lives in Vancouver.

12. The food in the Market is great! (Yep, the devil again.)

13. Dressing for the weather is somewhat difficult here… Winter coats are often too warm. Light jackets are usually too cold. I’m not used to this in-between type weather.

14. In Seattle everything is artsy looking.  If there’s an open area available, someone will fill it with something pretty and/or cool.  Sculptures under bridges, murals on walls, etc.  Totally my kind of place!

15. Feeding the birds is kinda cool, except then they won’t leave you alone. (I didn’t experience this. I’ve just seen and heard some things.)

16. The big mountain (Mt. Ranier) likes to hide in the winter.  But the Olympics like to come out and play all the time!

17. Sharing a twin-sized air mattress with two small dogs is a challenge.  You pretty much have to demand space.

18. Seattle is a bit like KC in that people don’t seem to like to have to cross the water to do anything.  In Seattle it’s Lake Union or Lake Washington. In KC, it’s the Missouri River.

19. I really don’t know what this Seattle Freeze is all about. Everyone has been really great!

20. This really is a nifty place.  I’m so excited to be here!



Filed under eats, in the city, neighborhoods, Seattle, Tanya

Big In Ballard!

That’s right, folks we’re living large up north of the city.  Well, as large as living without furniture can be…

Here are the specs:

  • 700 sq ft, with brand new carpet and paint
  • One bedroom with a huge, wall-length closet with mirror (This will be Amy’s room, so she can shut the door and keep the dogs out.)


Amy's room

  • Galley kitchen with lots of cabinets and a small dining/eat-in area. The stove-top and oven look like something out of the Brady Bunch, but they work just fine.  Also there is a DISHWASHER!!! (Which I had hoped for, but didn’t really think we’d get…  If there’s one chore that I avoid more than any other, it’s washing the dishes.)


  • Large living room (That’s my room. The plan is to get a shelf from Ikea to use as a room divider.  The front part of the living room will have a love seat and maybe a chair for a nice comfy place to read.

Ikea - Expedit Shelves... wishlist...


Living/Tanya's room

  • We have one bubblegum colored bathroom with tub and shower and toilet that likes to run by itself. (The building manager is very nice, and he said that he’d try to get that taken care of soon. He’s been in and out the past couple of days taking care of other little things as well.)

Pink. Yup. Pink.


  • There are also three closets in the hallway. A little one for broom and vacuum. One for my clothes. One for more of my junk that I don’t want to buy furniture to house. (Why would you when you can store it away behind a closet door?)

Hall o' closets

  • Perhaps our favorite thing about the the apartment though is the balcony!  It runs nearly the entire length of the apartment.  We have great hopes for a planter garden and perhaps a wind-chime.


Glorious... Isn't it?

We are very happy here and have spent the past couple days getting settled.

Monday night it took two trips to get everything transferred to the new place.  We drove out with the car and car-top carrier full to the brim of stuff, and when we arrived at the hotel we took everything but what was in the trunk into our room.  We didn’t want anyone to get any ideas about stealing our only worldly possessions (or the car).  Plus, over the course of a few days we’d picked up the household things we were going to need to get set up in our new place – hangers, trash cans, dishes, plunger, etc.

Once it was finally all loaded in, the first thing I set out to do Monday night was get the kitchen in order.  I may hate doing dishes, but I love to have a nice space to cook yummy food.  I put shelf paper in the cabinets and wiped down all the counters an appliances with Clorox wipes.  The place was already really clean… Gotta love that!  While I was cleaning, Amy walked down to the Safeway nearby and picked up some groceries.  I thought about doing that Monday night, but the dogs were still a little freaked out about the new space, and I figured that I’d better stay in with them.

Tuesday morning, we stopped in at a Goodwill store and bought the first piece of furniture for the house. It will look perfect after a little clean-up.  I went back later in the day and picked up a lamp at this store also.  I think I’m gonna like that place a lot!

Dining room with my first piece of furniture

After Goodwill we went to pick up our cable modem and hooked up the internet at the apartment.  Woohoo!  Then I went to Fred Meyer to get groceries. (I could have gotten everything under the sun there!  That place is amazing!  It’s like Target and home depot and price chopper… all in one place… and on crack.)  I got groceries and a couple other necessary items.

Lamp and drawers... #2 and #3 items of furniture... sort of

Personally, I hate putting clothes away (after doing laundry especially), so my pile of clothes was the last thing I tackled.  I didn’t touch it until Tuesday afternoon. It definitely feels nice to have it all put away though!  The room looks so much bigger when you can see more of the floor… funny how that works.

So, the plans for the place include purchasing beds, a table, and a shelf… maybe a couple of desks and a couple more chairs…

Sorry for the delay in updating, but after a week on the road and in hotels, we were itching to be settled into our new home.  You understand, right?  ;)


Filed under Ames, neighborhoods, Seattle, Tanya