Seattle Design Festival

Inflatables, kaleidoscopes, and a giant ice cube - oh my

These were only a few of the dozens of installations that took over the usually empty streetscape of Occidental Park in Pioneer Square this weekend. For this year's event, each piece built for the Block Party address the theme of "design change." Some demonstrate a physical change -the melting of a 10-ton ice cube over the duration of the festival- while others are a more social change -which invites the people of Seattle to weigh in their opinions on the rapid development of the city over the past couple of years. One of the great things about being a designer in the pacific northwest is that community involvement is a driving force that really allows for people, the ones who live in a world that is designed, to have feedback on it all. Any locals should check out the schedule of activities, performances, and conferences that are going on for the next couple of weeks and drop on in! 

Iceland - Blue Lagoon

While doing research for what I would like to do with my time in Iceland, the first priority on my list was to go to a geothermal spa. Specifically, one of the 25 wonders of the world; The Blue Lagoon. Located south of the city and east of the airport, this attraction is known for their naturally heated and self-cleaning water and is believed to have healing powers...

Iceland - Golden Circle

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest surrounded by mountains, lakes, and waterfalls, I'm fairly familiar with nature. So on my first full day in Iceland, I decided to hop on a bus to take a nature tour in a land that was completely new and different to me and went to several locations on the "Golden Circle" route of the Þingvellir National Park. 

Iceland - Reykjavik

On my way back to the U.S. from my stay in England, I decided to make a pit stop in Iceland. What do you mean its the thing to do or it's so pretty on social media because that's totally not why I went for three days - it totally is - and honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed with my time there. That's not to say I didn't enjoy my trip there because I definitely did! Although from my experience I do know what I would do differently next time around.   

London - Day 10

With only one day left to experience England, no one should be shocked when I tell you that I filled our only unplanned day with architecture.

London - Day 9

For my last weekend in England, I had the pleasure of spending the entire time in London - a city that's now captured my heart. Having had my dslr out and about for the entire trip, I decided to take this day and only use a 35mm film camera. Something about them has already made this trip feel so nostalgic...

Leeds Castle - Day 8

Can you believe that until this point in my life I had never seen a castle before? Are there even castles in America? (Google has, in fact, provided the information that yes there are some and all but a few were built within the last 100 years when there was absolutely no need to build castles considering the advancements in the construction industry. This, however, didn't stop a team of historians from building another in 1997.)

Margate - Day 7

Upon first arrival to Margate, I was struck by how completely different it was than any of the other English cities I had been too. Dilapidated yet charming, a reflection of what the city used to be. The years where each summer, families would flock to spend their weekends and holidays on the sandy beach, enjoying the amusement park and meals of fish and chips on sidewalks by the sea. But for the day I spent there, fascinated by the new city in a county so foreign to me, I re-lived the dream of Margate.

Well... at least the 21st century version of it.

Brighton - Day 6

Brighton is one of those places that I had heard of through various social media accounts, but really didn't know what to expect when I got there. With Nicola and Charlotte by my side, I was given an amazing experience in the seaside town filled with colorful buildings and whimsical landmarks. 

London - Day 5

While abroad, my hostess with the mostess Nicola pointed out that although it was my first time abroad, I wasn't interested in doing what most consider to be "tourist" activities. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace weren't on my list of must see's, but rather going to contemporary architectural landmarks and seeing British modern art were. (I see no problem in this, and neither did she!)

Canterbury - Day 4

On my fourth day in England I was flooded with history. In Canterbury, I was lucky enough to meet (and get a rather in-depth tour from) David, Nicola's long time boyfriend. Since the weather was giving us a hard time, we did a lot of walking and ducking into coffee shops. Starting off at Burgate Coffee, then making our way for lunch at Cafe Turquoise, escaping the rain in Willow, and ending up in Brookstone's independent cafe. After a bit more walking, shopping and checking out the Beaney Museum we headed to Club Burrito for dinner and drinks!

London - Day 3

For my first foray into London, Nicola and I were joined by the lovely Charlotte to explore the Shoreditch and Brick Lane areas of town. We started our journey by meeting Tom, who is well known in the world of social media as foxesandcats, at the Columbia flower market. In typical England fashion, it rained the entire day. After practically running through the streets composed of equal parts umbrellas and flowers, we found cover in an adorable yellow restaurant called Clutch where we enjoyed an amazing brunch of banana bread french toast and eggs benedict.

England - Days 1 & 2

After 23 years, 7 months, 10 days, 11 hours, and 23 minutes of being on this planet I finally made it to Europe. I've been in 19 states, and 4 countries in North America, but it took until that precise moment for me to be able to say I've left the continent I was born on. And after traversing Southeast England for 10 days, I can't wait until I can get back across the pond.

Life Update:

I'm finding it hard to believe that this year is only half over. Our 20's are the "transformative years" as they say, and so much has happened - and is about to happen - that I'm really starting to find truth in that. 
So, since I've been gone I... 

Au Revoir New York, Hello Seattle

There's always been a part of me that refused to give up Seattle. When I first moved to New York I was comparing the East Coast to the West Coast, only because I had nothing else to compare it to. But over the course of the past 5 years, what once was an inquiry has turned into a scrutinization and I refused to give up on the West. I've visited a large portion of the U.S., fallen temporarily in love with places, with friends strewn across said places,  but my heart belongs to the Pacific Northwest. (I could have unsubscribed from emails showing me deals in Seattle years ago but I didn't.) So today, when I got a notification for a food festival happening it hit me; my stubbornness paid off because in 3 short months I actually do move back.


Almost three years ago I went to Austin, Texas for the first time. It was a lot to take in (having been with a very large group of people and also having very exciting yet rigorous schedules planned for each day we were there) but now, three years later I think I kind of fell in love with it.


This past weekend I ditched all of my responsibilities and hopped on a bus to New York City. While in the city, I had intended to go to a concert and take photos of some buildings for my architecture thesis but guess who forgot to buy tickets and also who forgot to bring their camera? Yeah, me. So I apologize in advance but all photos on this post were taken on my iphone!

It was extraordinarily cold this weekend (literally 0° F not including wind chill) so very little time was spent outside. I went to the Strand Bookstore, and the exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and wandered through Chelsea market. But for the most part, I basically ate my way through the weekend. I got coffee at Macchiato one morning, and  another I met a blogger frient at Kávé in Brooklyn. I Tried a "sushiritto" (imagine a sushi roll but the size of a burrito) at Pokeworks, which was really tasty. Another night I met some friends at by CHLOE, an all vegan restaurant which was delicious (don't pass up on the sweet potato fries.)

Valentines day was spent with a couple of single ladies with a passion for pastries. Each of us went to an acclaimed bakery in our own neighborhood and met up to try them all out.
Orwashers on the Upper East side was mainly bread, but the jelly donut and chocolate-almond croissant were some of the best grabs.
Don't be fooled by the fact that Underwest is located inside of a carwash because their cake donuts are decadent.
Doughnut Plant never fails to disappoint, especially with the holiday-special rose flavored doughnut.

There are always far too many things to do, people to see, and places to eat when I visit the city and I leave it craving more. However, I think I'll wait until it warms up to go back.


Lately, I've been a creative rut - like writers block but for designers? Maybe it's the fact that I've been transitioning from working at a firm doing very real and practical things and attempting to work on my 5th-year design thesis project and it seems pointless, which creates a snowball of the inability to design. I've got a lot of decisions to make looming over my head which also doesn't help. But sometimes all it takes is a little bit of tweaking to get back into doing creative work.

I ran across this project a little while ago, Dictionary Stories, which are short stories all generated using only lines from definitions of words in the dictionary. As the curator (Jez Burrows) of this project states:
 "Almost every word you’ll find in the dictionary is accompanied by an example sentence. These sentences—either written or sourced by fearless lexicographers—are intended to demonstrate the most probable usage of a word, in order to help you use it correctly."
Sometimes creativity isn't trying to create something that doesn't exist but rather reinventing what already does to create something that is new and engaging. I have a trip planned for New York City for this upcoming weekend, and I also dyed my hair so hopefully changing up a few things in my life will get those creative juices flowing again.


Years ago, when I first got started blogging it actually wasn't here - it was on a collaborative music review blog that has long since been inactive. Music has always been a huge part of my life and writing about artists that I was passionate about was such a natural thing to do and I've been longing to get back into that habit. So, here's my first installment of Monthly Music, where I'm going to re-immerse myself into writing about music.

(image source)

I'm late to jump on this bandwagon especially considering that Sheep, Dog & Wolf released his first album Egospect over 2 years ago, but nonetheless I'm jumping on - better late than never. After his previous band had broken up, Daniel McBride, New Zealand native, took the opportunity to write his own music and recorded it all in his bedroom. With fluency in (what seems like) every instrument and a knack for harmonization, this multi-faceted musician creates enigmatic soundscapes filled with layers of rich tones and syncopated beats.

I first heard Glare and was captured by the rapidly moving first verse which has the same feeling of trying to finish a sentence in one breath, and knew I needed to hear more. The vocals remind me of Woodkid or King Krule in that (to me) they have a semblance of an accent that accompanies a full, deep sound that is carried in and out of harmonies. Having never been to New Zealand, or anywhere near that part of the Pacific Ocean, I'm probably just drawn to the fact that his sound is so different and unique.

While I'm a sucker for complex harmonies, I'm a bigger sucker for a great saxophonist - which of course Daniel is. Having said that saxophone is his main instrument, (in this interview) it's no surprise to hear it featured throughout many of the tracks.

It's difficult to pinpoint what genre Sheep, Dog & Wolf falls under - so I won't try. It tells a story, both in lyrics and in the atmosphere it creates, both of which are resonating strongly with me at this point in my life. Here's to hoping he's working on another album! Take a listen to Egospect - I've been enjoying Problems/Canvas, Not Aquatic, and Ablutophobia.


Whenever I'm at work I try and keep myself entertained by listening to podcasts. Lately, I've been getting into Food is the New Rock, a podcast hosted by a radio personnel and a food blogger where they invite musicians to talk about food and chefs to talk about music. The entire premise is that the two industries tend to have similarities and that restaurants and chefs are gaining the notability and signature that we had in the past associated with the musician. In one of the earlier episodes, one of the music guests (which I can't seem to recall) discusses his "Golden List" of restaurants. The idea behind this list is that he keeps track of his favorite places to eat in each city he goes to so that he can use for future trips or suggest to friends. Since food is becoming one of those things that I'm gaining more and more appreciation for, I've decided that I'm going to start keeping better tabs on where I go and everyone else should too! So to start here are a few of my recommendations for New York City...

Bar Bacon || source

Pearls Social & Billy Club  - If you happen to be in Bushwick this was one of my favorite bars, great atmosphere, drink specials were strong and the photo booth in the back makes it. (Brooklyn)
Crocodile lounge - Decent selection of beers but who cares about that when you get a mini pizza with every drink you order! (Union Sq)
The Toy Factory/Back Room - Nifty place since it used to be a speakeasy back in the day. Having to walk underground through a sketchy tunnel thing makes entering into the bar that much cooler plus the cocktails were all tailored to fit into the speakeasy theme. (LES)
Bar bacon - Order the bacon tasting plate and you won't be disappointed. (Hells Kitchen)

Heavy Woods || source

Poco - Spanish themed restaurant where you can enjoy a chorizo eggs benedict and a bloody mary to kick you into high gear! (LES)
Heavy Woods - New Orleans style brunch with mouth-watering soul food and biscuits to die for. (Brooklyn)
Baby's All Right - Lots of great brunch in Brooklyn, okay? Good food, but the bloody mary bar and live music make it worth going to. (Brooklyn)

Cemita from Smorgasburg

Untamed Sandwiches - I'm usually pretty bored by sandwiches as a meal option but the one from here have unique flavor combinations that make 'em tasty. (midtown)
Eataly - Italian store/food court/grocery where you can buy artisanal olive oil, take a trip to the rooftop alpine themed bar, or just grab a gelato and beat the inevitable crowd. (flatiron)
Smorgasburg  - Every weekend a ton of different food vendors come to the same place to make food. Walk around, weigh the options, decide, and enjoy! I've had cemitas, Korean bbq burritos, and vegan ice cream but the possibilities are literally endless... and delicious. (various)

Roberta's || source

Empanada mamas - Maybe it was the fact that I had great company when I ate here, but the food was also great. They put anything delicious inside of an empanada, plus open 24 hours! (Hells Kitchen)
Shake Shack - What can go wrong with burger, fries, and a shake?(various)
Vanessa's dumplings - In retrospect, this was probably the cheapest meal I ate in the city and if you like dumplings/gyoza/potstickers than you can't pass up this as a cheap meal.  (various)
Roberta's - When it comes to most things in life I'm someone who rarely does repeats; shows, movies, books, and even restaurants. But I went here 4 times when I lived in the city and damn, there is something magical in that pizza. (Brooklyn)
Artichoke Pizza - But if you refuse to travel into the heart of Bushwick and need a late night slice, this is worth the line. (various)

Variety || source 

Variety coffee - I'm impartial to this because it was my neighborhood shop where I would go on weekends to get some personal work aka blogging done, where the coffee is great and the muffins are even better. (brooklyn)
Dough donuts - Okay it's not coffee but these doughnuts are heavenly. (union sq)

Obviously, there are plenty of places I've never even tried, but the thing about lists like this are that I will much more likely scope out a place to eat based off of a person I know's recommendation versus that of Zagat or yelp. Thoughts? Recommendations?


While most people -including me- typically use the start of a new year to lay out some resolutions, I think I'll pass for 2016. I know what the first half of the year has in store for me while the other half remains a complete and utter mystery that will be a pretty new and exciting transition. So one of those things that are already set in stone is my travel plans! Really can't back down on plane tickets that have already been purchased...

Okay technically I haven't gotten any sort of tickets to get back up here to visit my friends who I celebrated my birthday with in October, but I kind of need to since there is a good chance after I graduate it woun't be so easy to.

Last spring break of college will be spent in the south, enjoying food and friends in what will hopefully be warm weather.

Once in February and another time in late May. Maybe more than that? I guess we shall see...

Two weeks in June will be my first time off of this continent, and I'm really looking forwards to this post-graduation trip, even if I have yet to plan anything besides my flights.

I'll fly back into Seattle end of June and hopefully by then I'll have a job lined out and will know where I'm committing to live... indefinitely? As of now, I know nothing about my life after June of this year which is a terrifying and exciting thought. Well, I did get invited to join a couple I know in Thailand but that would be in November which is much too far away to think about...

Regardless, 2016 will be a year of destinations; some planned and others not. A lot of new places, faces, food, and culture to experience and my goal is to document it better than I have in the past. I guess that's a resolution?

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