Sisters Weekend 2013

Ahh.. Another spring.. And another sisters long weekend to Phoenix for some sun, fun, and Seattle Mariners Spring Training!

We stay at our favorite place: the Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Oh it’s so lovely there!  The resort is nestled into the side of a mountain (yes, they DO have mountains in Arizona! They’re no Rockies, but there’s elevation just the same!). The grounds are located next to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse, where they train their horses, and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Being this close to both of these makes for nice morning walks.

The grounds themselves are just lovely. The architecture, the color of the buildings, and general layout of the resort makes for a great place to shoot! Year after year, I never get tired of taking pictures there.

But while we spent a good amount of time lounging around at one of the pools and sipping on umbrella-laced froofy drinks, we also enjoyed some Seattle Mariners spring training baseball in Peoria. That’s always fun to relax and watch some baseball in the warm, dry weather (a little bit unlike Seattle; thank goodness!).

Below are some photos from the trip (click on a picture to enlarge and scroll through):

Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort:

Plants & Cactus:

Seattle Mariners Baseball!

The Beautiful Phoenix Landscape:

Until next time Phoenix!

Recent Little Bit Adventure!

I recently was at one of my most favorite places: the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. I just love when I’m able to go there to photograph and support them. It’s such a blessing and an honor to be a part of an organization that is such a positive force in the community and makes so many people’s lives a better place.

The event I was most recently there for was for the Rider Showcase. This is an event that mostly serves to have student riders demonstrate the types of therapy that Little Bit provides. It is also an opportunity for Little Bit to provide answers to questions people might have about the program and their current facility, as well as their new facility that is opening in April 2013.

It was a very fun event and a great opportunity to generate support for the Center. Here are some photos of the kids, parents, family members, staff, and horses of Little Bit!

Black & White

“If you’re photographing in color, you show the color of their clothes. If you’re photographing in black and white, you will show the color of their soul”

-Author unknown

Lovely Phoenix

My sisters and I take an annual trip to Phoenix for some sun and Spring training baseball. I had forgotten to post these to the blog earlier; better late than never!

We stay at an absolutely lovely place: the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. It’s a beautiful place, nestled into the Phoenix mountains (yes, they do have mountains there! No Everests, but good sized hills nonetheless!). We throw in a couple of Mariner’s spring training games over in Peoria, and we’re SET!

Looking forward to next year already!

Tully’s Coffee photo shoot

Back in May, the marketing department at Tully’s Coffee (headquartered in Seattle, WA) and I were in contact with each other regarding photography for an upcoming promotion of theirs. They were looking for a photographer to shoot various soups, sandwiches, and mini-desserts that they were going to start selling in their stores. I got the job, and was absolutely thrilled beyond belief!

The shoot took place in early June at the Tully’s headquarters, which is in the old Rainier Brewery building just south of downtown Seattle. I must say, I’ve driven by that building on I-5 I don’t know how many times, but until now, I never really saw it up close, and appreciated what a cool set of buildings it is. The buildings are full of fantastic old architecture, and they are a true piece of Seattle history.

The shoot was long and I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home, but it was truly an amazing experience. The Tully’s people were wonderful and were so easy to work with.  I did the post processing shortly thereafter, and got the final pictures to them; knowing that in weeks, I would see my “babies” front and center in Tully’s stores around Seattle and on the Eastside. I can’t even begin to convey how absolutely exciting of a feeling that was! A big grin comes across my face even as I write this!

So here is a list of where the signs should be (will probably be on those “A boards” that are the free-standing signs usually either just outside the entrance or right inside). I have a couple here on the blog as well. Stop by, grab a cup of coffee, and see them if you can!

5 Corners- 3042 NE 45th St., Suite A
Flagship- 1401 4th Ave
Market Place- 2001 Western Ave, Suite #110A
King Street- 408 2nd Ave S
Alki- 2676 Alki Ave SW
Airport Way- 3100 Airport Way S
Nickerson- 101 Nickerson St., Building ‘B’, Suite #200

Bellevue City Center Plaza- 555 110th Ave NE, Suite #101
Lincoln Square- 700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite #140
New Main St.- 10812 Main St
Eastgate- 3080 148th Ave SE, Suite #113
Bellevue Place- 10500 NE 8th St

Bella Botega- 8862 161st Ave SE

TRC- 1427 Pacific Ave

Artusi Evening

My friend, Drink Science ( and I had a tasty little outing last week! We went to check out Artusi ( on Capital Hill for their Happy Hour, and had a wonderful evening.

Artusi is right next door to Spinasse and is the brainchild of Spinasse Chef Jason Stratton. The bar is named for the author Pellegrino Artusi who’s 1891 novel  “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangier bene” (“Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”) has come to be recognized as the most significant Italian cookbook of modern times.

The ambiance and general vibe of the place was laid back and fun and the décor was cool and simple. Drink Science was going with a “Ladies’ Night” theme, and ordered “The Perils of Pauline” and the “Cindy Crawford”. I was lucky enough to have a sip and they were creative and very tasty.  My personal favorite of hers was Cindy. It even had a peppercorn on the top like her mole! Genius!

I had one of the cocktails on the Happy Hour menu (I believe the Americano?) and had the “Fo Shizzle ma Swizzle”. I pretty much had to get it for the name (although I felt a little silly ordering it!). Yummy!

To soak up some of our liquid dinner, we just had a little snack and got the roasted baby carrot, pancetta, and asiago bruschetta. Let me just say this: these were not thin little tiny pieces of bread. They were huge, honkin’, THICK pieces of bread! Mmmmm mmm!

We enjoyed Artusi very much and look forward to our next venture there!

Weekend at Little Bit

Holy BUCKETS I’m behind on my blog! This whole work thing (I’m a Data Manager at a science non-profit) is really getting in the way of my blogging!! The nerve! 🙂

Anyway, I digress…. I have many other posts in mind that will be coming up, but for this one, I want to talk about an event I went to this past weekend. The facility is called the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center and they use horses to provide therapy to children and adults with disabilities. On Saturday, they had a Horse Show, and on Sunday, a Dressage Show. These are a chance for all the students to show off what they’ve learned and how hard they have worked over the past year.

Little Bit has 2 main areas of focus: adaptive riding and hippotherapy. Adaptive riding focuses on improving physical strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, etc.. Hippotherapy (apparently “hippo” is Greek for horse!) is more intensive and involves a physical or other type of certified therapist. I was told by one of the volunteers that this Center is based on the fact that the movement of a horse is very similar to human movement, and so this is used as a type of treatment strategy. That is just so interesting and amazing to me. Very cool.

The whole weekend was a great experience and lots of fun! There were many aspects I thoroughly enjoyed. Most importantly, the most fun to see were the riders! From young to old, they were out there showing off their learned techniques and doing it with a big grin on their face!  You can tell they have been working hard and it showed! What a great group of students.

Secondly, the staff and volunteers there were wonderful as well. All those that I met were very nice and extremely welcoming. They run a wonderful program and I hope that this facility is around for many, many years to come.

And last but not least, the horses. All so sweet and mellow and just clomp clomp clomping around having a grand old time! Beautiful animals.

There were many great moments for me, but one of my favorites was when I saw a young rider  (whose picture is in the gallery below) who was just standing by the paddock and her mom was working on fixing her hair under her riding helmet. I was trying to casually take other pictures nearby because I didn’t want to upset her or make her uncomfortable in any way, but as soon as she saw the camera in her direction, she just hit this fantastic smile! It’s just one of those truly innocent and happy moments and one that I’ll not soon forget.

Enjoy the pictures, and if you have time, check out Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center:

Cooking The Wolf

“Eating is an art worthy to rank with the other methods by which man chooses to escape from reality”
“How To Cook a Wolf”
MFK Fisher

This past Wednesday, my sister Jo Anne and I went to How to Cook a Wolf, an Ethan Stowell restaurant, located in Upper Queen Anne. Neither of us had ever been before and were so excited; even looking forward to it several days ahead of time!

We started by getting there early for cocktails (naturally) and we were seated at our table to enjoy our cocktails instead of the bar area, since it was early enough and the full crowd had not gotten there yet.  The restaurant was smaller than I had anticipated (I purposefully hadn’t seen any pictures for the restaurant, to get the full experience for myself first), and I ended up liking that very much, for the more intimate evening it provided. The stone and wood accents also contribute beautifully. The warmth of the wolf den: created beautifully.

We then proceeded to have delicious appetizers, a beet salad for me and a wonderful green salad for Jo Anne, and then our main entrées. I had the Strozzapretti pasta with beef bolognese, and topped with mint and parmesan cheese. Jo Anne had the pork shoulder over some kind of delicious white beans (I don’t remember what kind they were- not cannellini or fava- but they were sooo tasty so who cares!). For dessert we both had the panna cotta with strawberries, almonds, and balsalmic. It was so flippin good!

I had also been to another Ethan Stowell restaurant that I had been meaning to go to the week before (Staple & Fancy) and I have a few comments about the food and Mr. Stowell’s restaurants.

First, I absolutely love the environment he creates at his restaurants. When I go out to dinner, I want it to be an experience. I want to look forward to going, to enjoy the surroundings, to not be rushed through drinks and/or dinner, and to leave knowing without a doubt that I will be back. And not just one time, but many times at that. Too often, especially nowadays it seems, restaurants try to hurry you through so they can turn the table. My sister and I were at How to Cook a Wolf for 3 hours, so you can see we weren’t rushed!  The staff at both restaurants was very friendly and extremely professional. Their timing was always perfect and I appreciate that.

Secondly, the food. OMG the food. Amazing. Flavorful. Simple yet Creative. Can’t think of much more to say other than: go have some of his food.

I enjoyed my experience so much at HTCAW that I am still thinking about it: 4 days later. Now THAT’S a good restaurant! I even went out and bought the book on which the restaurant is named; written by MFK Fisher.  I am currently on the chapter entitled “How Not to Boil and Egg”, and I will be blogging on the book at a later time.
Ethan Stowell truly knows what he’s doing and he does it amazingly well. I look forward to going back to both restaurants, and can’t wait to try the next one on my list: Anchovies and Olives!


Cocktail Hour With Libation Laboratory



“Home for the Holidays”-Bellingham

I’m thrilled to be participating at the “Home For the Holidays” gift show in Bellingham this weekend. It’s the 30th anniversary and is expected to draw a large crowd!

If you’re in the Fairhaven area of Bellingham this Friday or Saturday, be sure and stop by the Bellingham Cruise Terminal (down by train station). It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas gifts! 🙂