Category Archives: Seattle

Sara Bareilles & The Relationship Lifecycle

October 1, 2013

Months ago my brother in law surprised my sister and I with tickets to see Sara Bareilles (& One Republic) at Chateau Ste. Michelle. He also took into consideration that my sister would be 8 months pregnant by then and paid extra for seats. Talk about big brother of the year, right?

The concert happened on Labor Day and after a weekend in Portland, we barely made it to the concert in time. But soon enough I had a bottle of wine in hand and Sara B was front and center performing.

I first discovered Sara Bareilles nearly 10 years ago. I was going to college in Southern California and she was a regular at Hotel Cafe which was a local music spot for indie artists. It was love at first sight.

Over the past 8 or 9 years, she has become my musical best friend; her songs are my constant companion through life’s relationships. She is a singer that can get you through the highs and lows just like a best girl friend.
These are just a few of my favorite songs…

When your story involves Mr. Wrong:

For when you are heartbroken….

For when you are ticked off…

For when you are ready to move on….

When it’s Right:

For when it is still nerves and sideways glances

For when you realize it’s for keeps…


30 Before 30: Flying Trapeze

September 26, 2013


When I lived in San Francisco, I happened upon an aerial arts school that taught flying trapeze but I never had the chance to go. I kept this wish in the back of my mind after I moved from SF and continued to look for similar schools with each city I moved to. Seattle did not disappoint.

I finally took the leap… no pun intended… on Tuesday with Emily and Amy. Amy had been a few times before and was on to more challenging tricks. She was gracefully from get go. Emily, who was just as green as I was, picked up the tricks without a second thought.

Me? Well, I was a bit awkward… but we knew that would happen before I even started. It’s my brand. And yet – I jumped off, did a trick, and made a catch.

When I first made my 30 before 30 list, people were encouraging but they also thought it was a little silly. What is does a catch on a flying trapeze accomplish? This, and the other 30 before 30 items, put me out of my comfort zone. They force me to try something new and risk failing.

I am not going to lie… I have watched the videos from last night over and over again. I am not ashamed to say I am so proud of myself. I was really scared and I didn’t think I could do it. But I still tried, risked failing, and was rewarded with a catch.

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    1. Get a pixie haircut.

Completed Dec 12, 2012

    1. Go on a vacation alone.


  • Karaoke.



  • Camp.



  • Learn to longboard. Or at least attempt it.



  • Complete a catch on the flying trapeze.


Completed Sept 24, 2013


  • Throw a fancy dinner party.



  • Run a marathon. (But I will settle for a half)



  • Visit Canada.



  • Travel to a country I have never been before (not Canada).


Completed May 9, 2013 with Amsterdam

  • Revisit my best friend in Florida.



  • See a football game in the south. War Eagle.



  • Learn to grill.


Completed April 2013


  • Attempt snowboarding… again.



  • Take a cooking class. 


    Completed Nov 11, 2012 at Pantry at Delancy
    Pie Ninja



  • Hold my future niece or nephew.



  • Treat my parents.



  • Make a pie from scratch.


Completed Nov 21, 2012 with a Ginger Apple Streusel “Pie”


  • Find the perfect swimsuit.



  • Decorate a christmas tree.



  • Ride a motorcycle.



  • Explore 5 states I have never visited before.



  • Conquer my reoccuring NYE resolution of reading 50 books in one year.



  • Learn to french braid.



  • Take a 2 week vacation: 2 consecutive weeks.



  • Build something… that doesn’t come from Ikea.



  • Do one cartwheel.



  • Matchmake a couple, successfully.



  • Wear my navy blue special occasion Florida dress.



  • Be apart of something momentous, memorable, and national. Subjective… deal with it.


BONUS: Be awesome every day.


Although I have lived in Seattle for 1.5 years, I am still pretty ignorant to the city. This is precisely why when I was going to Discovery Park I assumed it was a park or maybe a beach. So I put on a swimsuit and then changed it for a sun dress and converse tennis shoes right before I walked out the door. This may seem like no big deal to you but to my friends Discovery Park is considered a hike and I showed up looking like a princess.

Thankfully, a princess that can hike in a short black dress and kicks. But, I am jumping a head here. This day was perfect and I will tell you why.

I start most of my Saturdays the same way…

I roll out of bed and into my Zella Live in Leggings and the closest (and cleanest) workout shirt I can find. I bobby pin my hair back, splash water on my face, brush my teeth and then I am out the door to walk to my workout class that is 2 miles away. After my 60 minutes of workout torture, I start the journey back home.

Every Saturday that is how my day starts.

On this Saturday as I was on my way home, I got a call from my sister to meet her for lunch. So instead of walking all the way back, I caught a bus and scooted to the top of the hill. We talked… we ate… we watched her dog bark attack a little girl…then we hid in shame.

After our “ladies who lunch”-sweaty-from-working-out lunch, I got a call from Curtis & Doug to go to Discovery Park. I believe they phrased it in terms of “skipping rocks” and “a short hike away”. I, of course, thought they were joking on the skipping rocks and “hike away” meant we could walk there from their house. Either way, I quickly showered got on my bathing suit, took off my bathing suit, put on my black dress, and met up with them at their place.

Enter Discovery Park:


I had no expectations for what was ahead but I was immediately speechless for the beauty that lived a few miles from my house. How in the world had I never been here? The views, the easy trails, the fresh air and travel companions filled me with delight. It was perfect.







Most of the afternoon was spent here and I have the tan lines and sand in my shoes to prove it.

This amazing Saturday didn’t end there but kept going with other friends and Red Mill shakes while the sun set.

Pretty much perfect, right?

Here & There: Nouveau & Alki

April 15, 2013

 When my parents made a last minute decision to visit Seattle I couldn’t leave them to fend for themselves all day so I joined them in a work ditch day.  We went all over Seattle and stopped at many tourist spots but our morning was spent exploring these “Here and Theres”: Bakery Nouveau & Alki beach.

Here: Bakery Nouveau
Location: West Seattle

I first heard of Bakery Nouveau when a coworker told me about the most amazing brioche roll that tasted like a cinnamon roll with walnuts and bacon. I couldn’t even wait a week before visiting upon which I found just what she had described… and let me tell you… it was amazing.

This bakery is on one of the main streets in West Seattle and a mile from the beach. It has an assortment of breakfast breads, sandwiches, pizzas, breads, and desserts but it is most known for its twice baked almond croissant  Even during my mid-day Tuesday visit with my family there was a short line and a steady flow of customers.




There: Alki Beach
Location: West Seattle

Having spent 9ish years in California…. I use the term “beach” lightly. When I first moved here, people were always giving me recommendations of places to explore and Alki came up often. I had this idea of what I imagined it to look like but when I finally visited I was aghast that this is what Seattle refers to as a beach. There was more sand in a sandbox!

Over the months, my disdain for Alki “beach” dwindled and I have come to love this area of town… and not just because it usually means I am stopping at Nouveau first. There are miles of beach walkways, a few local (and chain) coffeeshops, and amazing views of downtown Seattle.

I haven’t been here on a hot summer day but I imagine this to be a little less serene and a lot my Baywatch… well, Seattle Baywatch.






Here & There: Le Reve & Stuhlbergs

April 8, 2013

 This week on Here & There we are located on the top of Queen Anne hill just blocks from my house. As this is my neighborhood I am quite partial to these two spots but I think you may enjoy them too.

Here: Le Reve Bakery & Cafe
Location: 1805 Queen Anne Ave. N.

There are a handful of fantastic coffee shops in Upper Queen Anne but none can compare to La Reve’s baked goods. The smell reaches you as you merely walk by. If you come in hoping to leave with just coffee, you are sorely mistaken.

There are plenty of tables and chairs for you sit and enjoy your treat, but as this place is quite popular, they fill up quickly on a Saturday morning.

[Interesting to note…. I have always wanted a long community table and Le Reve converted an old door into a great table. Le Reve’s table is what convinced my roommate Elyse that we needed one too.]




There: Stuhlbergs
Location: 1801 Queen Anne Ave. N.

After you’ve grabbed your latte and chocolate croissant and enjoyed it on the patio, travel next door to Stuhlbergs for accessories and gifts for yourself and your home.

I lived near this shop for nearly eight months before I finally entered. Their front door is surrounded by crystal bowls and vases and I would have never guessed there was a treasure trove inside of goodies. I wish I could classify the products you will find in here but they have a such a spectrum that I am at a loss… stationary, books, kid’s clothing and toys, bedding, towels, candles, office accessories, wall art, dishware, accent pillows and more.










Monday’s at Sitka and Spruce are host to a traditional foods from Malafacha.

Traditional comidas Mexicanas from our talented family member Alvaro Candela-Najera, inspired from his birthplace and travels throughout Mexico.

Simple, delicious, and passionate.

Tacos, including the infamous Al Pastor & Suadero (milk soaked beef belly)

It was a gorgeous Seattle day so I took off of work early to get a cup of coffee from Bar Ferdinand and enjoy a book prior to meeting Emily for taco night. By the time the doors opened, there was a line of people waiting to get in and our promptness was a blessing.

The magaritas were strong and delicious.
The guacamole had a perfect balance of smooth, salty and hint of spice that complimented the flakey chips perfectly.
And the tacos were full of flavor. We shared the Suadero Tacos and Papas con Chorizo tacos which were both delightful.

I am already looking forward to my return visit and if you want a friend to join you, you won’t have to ask twice!


Last year I had high expectations for spending someone elses money to get a christmas tree and then watch them decorate… unforunately, it didn’t go as planned and they went without me.

But not this year:






Emily invited me along to her adventure of finding THE tree and (between you and me) it was a good thing I went. She wanted a 6ft high tree to fit in her living room but once we got there she only had eyes for 8-9ft high and just as wide. She was bound to be living in a tree house for the next month.

Although I had to burst her bubble a few times, she was resilient… determined to find her one.

And find her we did.

She stood 7ft tall in a corner one of the fields. She had no holes, no brown edges, no sagging limbs and a top perfect for an angel. She was unassuming but beautiful, just waiting for a “She’s All That” makeover. Emily knew that this tree could be prom queen with a few strands of lights and jewels to dazzle.

Emily squealed.
Emily hugged her.
Emily named her Edith.

Then Emily took her home.

(Tree Hunting Style: Hoodie circa 2004, chambray shirt, Paige Skyline Skinnies c/o Paige Denim, Hunter bootstech glovesred hat)


June 29, 2012

“Who here has rafted before?”

As I looked around the circle that included the seven other people I would soon be rafting down the Wenatchee River with I saw that my hand was the only one that was not raised.

My guide, FedEx, a former marine turned weekday police officer and weekend raft guide, looked at me and smiled, “A rafting virgin! I have something special for you.”

As if my nerves leading up that point weren’t already shakey his comment put me in full on fear mode.

FedEx briefly taught us how to row and what commands to listen for and then we set off in the water. I was stationed in the back next to FedEx and although he instilled fear in me earlier, our personalities were a match and we quickly hit it off. He was surprised by my affinity for turning normal sentences into a dirty joke and that I could keep up with his banter. (It truly is a talent that no one appreciates nearly as much as I do. Especially my mom.)

Halfway down the river, Fedex turned to me, “Put your oar in the middle.”

This was it. He was going to dunk me. Or push me in. Or make me swim a rapid.

I wasn’t scared of the water. I’m like a fish that needs to plug her nose. It was getting back in the boat that sent a chill down my spine. HELLO, hot mess flailing to be dragged inside. NO ONE, looks good getting pulled back in.

Everyone started giggling and staring at me.

Suit up, Dani.

“Ok now go sit at the front of the boat.”

I clumsily climb up three rows.

“No, sit on the front of the boat.”

I turn back to him, “You have got to be kidding me!”

“Do it! Feet in the water”

I slowly sit on the front with my toes dipping in the water. I have my butt pushed as far back as possible to protect myself from falling in and hoping I fall back instead.”

“Now don’t get my wrong, I love the view Dani, but quit sticking your butt out and sit on the seat. And hold on.”

Our team gets the command and we start rowing down the river. Apart from our chant to keep our rows in time, I just keep repeating “Oh my gosh” with each stroke.

As I look ahead on the river, I see the boats start to hit the next rapid. It looks fast and then


Boat by boat you see them amongst the rapids and then hit a dip that throws the front of the raft four feet in the air.

“If you believe in God, now would be the time to talk to him…” FedEx joked.


Within seconds, my only view is rapids and our speed is intense. Then we hit the dip and we free fall down only to meet a wall of water that flew me in in the air. I feel my body lift off of the raft and my grip tightens on the rope. I only have a second to recover and then another wall of water hits my face.

It felt like 10 minutes of rapids (more like 30 seconds) and then we were back on calm water.

“High Five! I can’t believe you stayed on! Go ahead and make your way back.”

My body was convulsing with shakes.
I wasn’t sure I could move.

I slowly brought my legs inside the boat one by one and then attempted to walk to the back. My feeble attempt ended up having everyone one of my seven rafting mates hold my hand and help push me back.

“That was amazing. The last time I had someone do that, they got cork screwed off the boat!”

Oh. Now you tell me.









My dad is a prolific white water rafter.

My mom joined him on a few runs.

Heck, even my sister has rafted the Nile.

Me? Not even once.

It was finally my time and with a gang of close friends we joined LivingSocial to raft the Wenatchee River with River Recreations.

We started our adventure in downtown Seattle, bused to Moniter, WA, struggled into wet suits, then raged the rapids down to camp. After grilling up some BBQ, we journeyed back and stopped in Leavensworth for some beer and live music before finishing the trek home.

It may have been one of my top days ever and definitely a perfect end to an amazing weekend.

These are pictures from my super handy and difficult to use water proof camera.

What do you do when a local restaurants has a menu that changes every day with only three pasta dishes on it?

Easy. You get a group of friends, enough to order nearly two of everything, and share.

Il Corvo, below Pike Place Market, may be one of my new favorite spots in Seattle. Chef Mike Easton creates amazing dishes that are unique each day. I recommend coming with a friend, or two, since it is impossible to choose a dish and bring cash because cards are not accepted.

To find out what the Chef is cooking each day, he updates his website at 11am Tuesday through Friday.