January 31, 2013

Outfit Ideas for Winter: Cool, Warm, Neutral

It's been ages since I've given a peep into my latest Chic Gal posts. Check 'em out! Comment! As always, click on photos to view the article.

Thanks for the inspiration, H.H.!

If you could set fire to snow, it would look something like this.

"Ladylike Leather."

January 29, 2013

Janspirsession

Since my last post didn't include any kind of update on this month's goal, I figured I ought to fire off a quick update for those still interested.

This month was film acting and editing.

I haven't been doing much editing at all, but I'm okay with that. It's given me more time to seek out auditions. Yes, I have managed to audition for a couple of short films (at laaaaaaaaaasst!) One of them, I was delightfully surprised to find, came through, and we start filming for that in February. So, as is becoming a standard with these inspirsessions, this month's will carry into the next.


And speaking of carry-over, I've found that I have little time for knitting anymore, but a lot more energy for running! I'm still having trouble keeping consistent with a schedule, but I've found a new love: running in the morning. I have a great roommate who's made sure I'm out of bed at 6am, ready to hit the road, when everything's still and dark. I've gotta say: it's the most I've ever enjoyed running off a treadmill.


Have you ever noticed how many Dustin Hoffman movies feature him running someplace?
Unfortunately that tradition lasted all of 2 days. For the first time, my knee started actually hurting me after I ran. I'm taking this as a sign that I need new running shoes, but if any of you out there have tips, I'd love to hear them! For now, I'm taking it slow, running every other morning (okay, okay, every 2nd or 3rd morning as of late...) and marveling in the blissful period of stillness (and SUNSHINE!) that graces the streets of residential Seattle in these early hours.

What else? I've been baking/brunching a bit, bouldering a bit (loving that too! I've never worked my arms so easily!), and am finally seeing my friends more consistently. I'm also learning to budget with the wonder that is Mint.com.* I've fallen back into my 80s music habit, and it's all because of Baltimoria:

                                                   Seriously, just try not to get this stuck in your head.

Work is work and money is tight and beer has never looked more beautiful at the end of a hard day, but I'm hanging in there with the rest of you and the best of you, listening to George Harrison, taking my lunch break slow...breathing...being...

*If you haven't given this a whirl, I highly recommend getting on board! Whether you're working off student loans or just trying to limit your restaurant visits month-to-month (That'd be this girl.) -- it's a marvelous tool!

January 27, 2013

A Day Off and A Night Out

I complain about living in Seattle a lot. I'm not exactly as grateful as I should be to live in a hub of greenery, cleanery, and nice, passive folk. The times I do enjoy Seattle, though, almost invariably come out of the blue, unplanned and unexpectedly. Like turning a corner on a drive near Lake Washington on a clear day and realizing you can see Mount Rainier perfectly -- or discovering there's a second Twice Sold Tales and it bears a delightful clowder of overweight cats to keep you company on your siftings through novels past.

On this particular Sunday, I had an afternoon to kill before the Golden Globes and a desire to see World Market downtown. I took J and A with me, and we had a nice time, but not nice enough to cheer up a crappy Sunday.

So I declared a Ferris Bueller day was in order.

By some miracle, we found parking just a few blocks up, right outside the Seattle Art Museum. If we'd been on a real Ferris Bueller's Day Off, we'd have gone inside and stared at paintings until Smith songs rang through our heads. I contented myself with taking pictures of the ever-astonishing moving hammer-man outside the building.



In a real Bueller situation, we also would have borrowed this car:



and visited the top of this building:


But, alas, time didn't allow.

So we decided to be tourists in our own town. We went to Pike Place Market.

Ferris,
Cameron,
and Sloane, reporting for action.

We got things rolling by volunteering to catch the fish in the well-known Pike Place fishmonger toss.

(And by "We," I mean "I".)

 
I was under the impression that this was the standard tourist deal. According to J, people normally come to watch the pros toss and catch the fish, not little women with big ideas.


I was a little woman with a big idea.

A small crowd of people had gathered by the time I'd missed my second catch. The fishmongers continued their gleeful "Hut! Ho!"-ing. The crowd expanded. Luckily my friends were the only ones taking pictures. I hope! After two failed attempts and a lot of blushing, victory prevailed:

My sleeves smelled like albacore tuna for the rest of the day.

We sampled and purchased these caramel-tasting Envy Apples.


We ate our way through jalapeno-raspberry, lavender, and rose petal jelly and a tequila-chocolate sauce. Mmmm.
I took home some lemon marmalade.



Next on our list was the lower level of the market, which houses my favorite pop culture shop, Golden Age Collectibles. I don't know anything about comics, but if you do, you'd probably like it too. Personally, I visit for the old 8x10 movie images, postcards, and script collection.

Well, hey!
We also found Lionheart Books, owned by David, who collects puppets and likes to half-sing his sentences. He was a cheerful fellow, wore a purple shirt, and liked to philosophize.


 Back outside, we found a toy shop that J wandered into in search of a chess set.


Needless to say we didn't find one.


We made a final stop at Rocky Mountain Chocolates. I've had their caramel apples in the past, and I can vouch for how delicious their treats are. That day, however, I just befriended this bear.


On our way back to the car, we were afforded a beautiful sunset. 

A couple weekends after the Golden Globes (this Saturday, to be precise) I finally went to Lucid on The Ave. I've been meaning to go there for years. There's nothing quite so classy-feeling as sipping a cocktail to the soft beat of live music and laughter amongst a great group of friends, and all three were sensational.

I had a "Mr. Toad."

This was all in honor of our dear friend, M, who came to visit from his new home in Berkley. Another dear friend, Ju., comes into town from DC in a few short days. It's comforting to be surrounded once more by familiar faces, discussing upcoming hurdles, triumphs, and plans to revolutionize the artistic world.

Cheers.

Days and nights like these, I remember why people are proud to call Seattle home. While it may not be my ultimate home base, it certainly has its moments of beauty.



If you look in the right direction.

January 15, 2013

The Best Pancakes You've Never Had

Inspired by

 

 Pannukakku

Yield: 6-8 servings

IMG 0650 Weekend Brunch: Pannukakku
Ingredients
  • 3 tbs. butter, quartered
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbs. white sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. white flour  
  • Optional Toppings:
  • lemon zest & powdered sugar
  • fresh berries & whipped cream
  • diced apples & cinnamon
  • honey, maple, or ginger syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Distribute butter cubes evenly across an 8-9 inch cake pan or oven-safe skillet. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar. Whisk until creamy. Whisk the hell out of it -- you want this to puff its stuff!
  4. Place pan with butter into the middle rack of the preheating oven. Check often to make sure it melts, but does not brown.
  5. Using a small sieve or hand sifter, sprinkle flour and salt evenly over the egg mixture, then stir until combined. The mixture should be smooth and should pour easily.
  6. Carefully pull out the middle rack of the oven. The butter should have fully melted in the pan by this point. (Kindly don't salivate into the mix.) Pour the entire batter over the butter, then gently push rack back into oven.
  7. This is the good part: about 20 minutes into cooking, the batter will puff up like a giant parachute. Don't forget to check on it, or you'll miss all the fun! But REFRAIN from opening the oven door, or the rush of cold air will collapse the pancake. Instead, turn on an oven light and check through the door every 5-10 minutes. When the top is a deep golden brown, it's time to take it out (usually 25-30 minutes total cook time.) 
    This is just after being taken out of the oven. Honestly, if you've whipped the eggs right, it will get HUGE under heat.
  8. The pannukakku should be cut into wedges and served immediately. It will deflate slightly after removal, but you'll get over that minor tragedy as soon as you eat this stuff. I promise.
Tip: If you're impatient, toss all ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender for a minute or so. Bam.

January 5, 2013

So Long, 2012


I don't know about the rest of you, but 2012 was a hard year.

That doesn't mean it wasn't a good one; there were just a lot of challenges and new, not-always-pleasant situations. Between reverse culture-shock, the loss of a dearly beloved, the additional loss of a dear old friend, college graduation, a new job, budgeting woes, a nearly-broken nose, mysterious bug bites, audition ups and downs, some nasty colds (the most recent of which I feared would ruin my sense of taste forever), and the constant concern that any choice I made could ruin, perhaps forever, any chance at greatness, there was plenty of stress I'd rather not remember, but also plenty that I've learned from. I owe a lot of these lessons learned to my other half -- he's been the best at reminding me when I need to stand on my own two feet, and when it's okay to cry on someone else's shoulder.

On the other hand, this year also brought my first apartment, my first musical solo, the discovery of Downton Abbey, a short story I could finally take pride in, a journey to new heights, the christening of my beloved Carson, the recognition of an ongoing undergraduate support group, my first time on film, my first professional acting role, my first successful work-out endeavor, a dream trip to NYC, a friend married, a friend engaged, many fabulous plays, many dinners with friends, never-too-many kids birthday parties, a raise, a two-year anniversary necklace, and, at long last, reconnection with my oldest friends and dearest family. All that sure takes the sting off the tough stuff!

Christmas back home was spectacular. I'm sorry to say I made no progress whatsoever on my running project. December is just a nasty month to run in! That's probably an excuse, but it might also be a sign that it's time to get real with myself and admit I'm not a runner. J took me to a bouldering gym yesterday, though, and I think I may have found an upper-body workout (or, as J insists, a sport) that's actually fun. I'm also hoping to find some open dance classes, now that I have some evenings free.

My knitting projects turned out to great success, at least as far as I'm concerned. I wish I had a better photo of the fingerless gloves to show you -- Mom kept both of the pairs I made! But I can show you the hat:


 

Excuse the selfie.
In other December news, the end of the world came and went. 
Mine looked like this:


Mostly I was grateful that by dying another day meant I still got to see this:




And this....

And this! I was quite impressed with my little town's favorite bakery -- their windows possessed all the drool-worthy appeal of a French patisserie!


I didn't watch half as many Christmas movies as I usually do. Mostly I was absorbed with knitting that hat and being a total HIMYM couch potato (or Netflix...eggplant...?) I also went to the mall way more times than I care to admit. I did manage to do a bit of baking, though. The recipe for this oven pancake is coming soon to Chic Galleria:


Earlier than I would've liked, I was back in Seatown. But its panorama wasn't too shabby either...


Much love and more to come,
LGPQ