Oddfellows Cafe + Bar, Seattle WA

On my birthday I hoped for two things: I wanted there to be sunshine at some point in the day and I wanted to have brunch somewhere I had never been. I am happy to report, both of these things came to pass and were the perfect start to my special day. I decided to meet my friend, Kristi, at Oddfellows for brunch because I continuously hear good things about it. The weather that morning was so bright and sunny we were able to sit outside and enjoy our brunch al fresco. Sunshine and seventy degree weather in the middle of October is pretty much the best birthday present I could possibly ask for. 

If you want a leisurely breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner Oddfellows is a wonderful place to go. There are several wonderful shops nearby like Elliott Bay Book Company, Nube Green, and Totokaelo in addition to other delicious places to grab a bite to eat like Poquito's and Molly Moon's Ice Cream. 

Birthdays

Growing up my parents knew how to make birthdays feel special. On your birthday you were given the thing you wanted most as a child- control. On your birthday you were given the opportunity to decide what we had for dinner and what kind of cake you wanted. Like clockwork the dining room would be decorated with streamers and balloons and a small pile of presents would be awaiting you. Dinner was enjoyed on a red plate and you were made to feel like a V.I.P.  As I have gotten older these traditions have continued. My Mom still wants to know what I want for dinner, what kind of cake I would like to eat and some suggestions for gifts are always appreciated. My parents have a talent for being able to make you feel special, on your birthday or any other day of the week. 

As Cameron and I have created our own family we have developed our own birthday traditions which include going out to somewhere new/fancy/delicious on our birthdays, handwritten heartfelt sentiments in cards (which ALWAYS make me cry) and birthday flowers. 

Mamnoon

Mamnoon

Last year, Seattle Met voted Mamnoon the best restaurant in Seattle. Ever since we read the reviews we have been meaning to head over and check it out. Mamnoon summarizes its food as a modern union of middle eastern cuisines.  A year later we finally made it and all I can say is WOW! The flavor combinations were dynamite and the food left you feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed. 

One of my absolute favorite things to do is try new restaurants where the food created is stuff I would never think to make on my own. Pair the adventure of a new place with an evening out with friends and you have yourself the perfect night out in my book.  

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Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

The Seattle Japanese Garden is a wonderful place this time of year. The maple trees have started to turn from green to fiery oranges and reds. The large pond in the center of the garden, is a fun place to spend some time watching the koi fish and turtles laze about. When planning your visit to the Japanese Garden, if you go early in the day you can have the place to yourselves even on the weekends. 

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Honest diaper cake

Honest diaper cake

Over the past couple of months we have been showered with many lovely and thoughtful gifts from friends and family for our baby. Today I wanted to share one of the most practical gifts we received- an Honest diaper cake. What is a diaper cake some of you might ask? A diaper cake is a clever way to present an essential, expensive, but not necessarily the most exciting baby need out there- diapers. Along with almost one hundred diapers inside the cake there is non toxic nursery essentials like laundry detergent, baby wipes, face and body lotion, bubble bath, and healing balm. 

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An afternoon with Mom

An afternoon with Mom

Last week, I headed back to Carpinito Brothers with my mother to buy a whole bunch of produce to make soup and a few pumpkins and gourds for her home. I loved how my mom's classic black and white outfit looked against all the orange so I sneakily snapped a few photos of our time together. Between the mild weather, the gorgeous colors outside and all the impending excitement of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas this truly is my favorite time of year. 

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Spooked in Seattle Tour

Spooked in Seattle Tour

If you are looking for something festive, unique and spooky for Halloween then may I suggest taking a Spooked in Seattle Tour. Whether you really believe in ghosts or spirits is beside the point, this evening tour guides you through the heart of Pioneer Square as they speak of Seattle's sordid past. Did you know Pioneer Square is believed to hold some of the most haunted places in Seattle? The Spooked in Seattle Tours are given by real life ghost hunters and their enthusiasm for the topic shines through during the entire tour. Grab a group of friends, dress is something ghoulish and head out for a bite to eat followed by a nighttime walk through the streets of Seattle with a Spooked in Seattle Tour

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An evening at Glasswing with Seattle Bloggers Unite

An evening at Glasswing with Seattle Bloggers Unite

I have loved everything about Glasswing from the moment they opened their brick and mortar store on Capitol Hill. The owners, Forest and Lisa, are amongst the most genuine and eager shop owners you will encounter. Their passion for both their brand and their products radiates in everything they do. I have known for awhile I have wanted to team up with them for an evening with Seattle Bloggers Unite.

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Apple Picking at Gordon Skagit

Apple Picking at Gordon Skagit

Although I already mentioned Gordon Skagit Farm in a previous post last week, I also wanted to mention how much I really love their little apple orchard. Their apples are reasonably priced and are some of the crunchiest, most delicious apples I have ever eaten. In keeping with tradition with came here again this year on Asher's birthday. After we picked our apples. we decided to snap a couple photos of the three of us in the orchard. Initially, I had mixed emotions about focusing my attention on anyone other than Asher, but after some thought I came to the realization that no one is probably more excited than Asher for us to be growing our family. 

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Chuckanut Drive and Bow, Washington

Chuckanut Drive and Bow, Washington

After enjoying a sunny morning picking apples at Bellewood Acre Farms we decided to take the long way home and drive along Chuckanut Drive. The sun was shining, the car windows were down and we were enjoying one our last warms days before autumn and its cooler temperatures settled in. We enjoyed a quick stop at Taylor Shellfish Farm and then once we realized how close we were to Bow, WA we knew we just had to stop. Bow, WA is home to one of our favorite bakeries called Breadfarm in addition to several adorable shops like Hedgerow

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Gordon Skagit

Gordon Skagit

My favorite place to go for beautiful and unique pumpkins is Gordon Skagit Farm. They carry everything from French Red to Porcelain Provence, Australian Blue and several other varieties of pumpkins. One of the best things about Gordon Skagit Farm is how everything is thoughtfully and beautifully laid out. I always walk away with a wheelbarrow full of autumn goodness along with something extra like a handmade wreath or Indian Corn. Between the lovely apple orchard, fresh cider and beautiful paintings interspersed amongst the pumpkins, this place is something out of my dreams. 

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Honoring Asher

Honoring Asher

Each year on my son's birthday I simultaneously feel sad and look forward to the date. My thoughts often turn toward how old he would have been, what kind of party I might have thrown for him and what our life would have looked like if he were around. Inevitably, on the day of his birth I have moments of tears and sadness, but my general feelings have been of gratitude and happiness. I know without a shadow of a doubt my son would want me to be happy. 

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Friend baby shower

Friend baby shower

Last weekend some of my nearest and dearest friends hosted the loveliest baby shower for me and baby #2. Initially, I was a bit of nervous about being the guest of honor at the party. My typical role is hostess and I wasn't certain how I would feel being on the other end. However, I can honestly say once I was there I felt comfortable, loved and supremely spoiled. It might be all these pregnancy hormones running through my body, but upon reflection I felt overwhelmed by my friend's kindness and outpouring of love for me and our new baby. 

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Carpinito Brother's Pumpkin Patch

Carpinito Brother's Pumpkin Patch

We like to visit the Pumpkin Patch early before the weekend crowds start piling up and before the weather turns the fields into a muddy mess. This past weekend the sun was shining and we set out to find the perfect pumpkins. There are several pumpkin patches we like to visit, but Carpinito Brothers is always a sure bet for a variety of good looking pumpkins and a cornucopia of delicious produce at reasonable prices. Since our visit I have turned a majority of our produce into one of our favorite fall meals, Garden Minestrone. 

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Sinclair Beach Cottage

Sinclair Beach Cottage

A few weekends ago we stayed at a brand new rental property called Sinclair Beach Cottage. Sinclair Cottage is a quiet, beach front, one bedroom house located in Port Orchard, Washington. The house resides on the Sinclair inlet across the way from the Bremerton ferry terminal. This means day or night you are able to sit inside the house or on the back deck and watch the ferries and other boats cruise by. 

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Bellewood Acre Farms

Bellewood Acre Farms

Several people I follow on Instagram have posted photos of apple picking in Bellewood Acres. I was curious to check it out for myself and once we arrived I was surprised by two things: one, how touristy it was and two, what an abundance of apples they had. Because of the latter, I could easily overlook the fact we were not alone amongst acres and acres of apples. I had never seen so many apples, row after row of apples just ripe for the picking. For instance the Honey Crisps were so large we had to hunt for the smaller ones and by smaller ones I mean apples which don't require three people to consume. 

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Photographing kids

Photographing kids

Kids are just about my favorite thing to photograph. They are funny, unpredictable and oozing with both sass and charm. The other day I had the privilege of photographing my good friend's children. As I was taking their photographs I reflected upon how I want big things for these two, but more importantly how lucky I am they have turned into my friends too.

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Rob and Kimmi's wedding

Rob and Kimmi's wedding

Cameron's good friend, Rob, was married a couple weeks ago at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo, WA. Kiana Lodge is a beautiful waterfront property located on Agate Pass which separates Bainbridge Island from the North Kitsap Peninsula. Upon arrival, I was struck by the overall beauty of the grounds and the enormous variety of hanging baskets, planters and flower beds dotting the property. The wedding ceremony took place in the evening on the Event lawn, the dinner was in the Garden Atrium followed by dancing and cake cutting in the Main Lodge. It was an intimate affair and reminded me of how much more enjoyable and personal small weddings can be. 

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