one month in Seattle

Seattle Day Trip to Bainbridge Island

It’s been a month?! nuts. Brian’s been begging me to write a new post, and it really is overdue. I feel like I have so much to write about but so little to say!

It simultaneously feels like we’ve been here for 2 days, and also 2 years. So so so much has happened in this month, and I feel like Brian and I are still playing catch up every day, trying to keep up with everything.

Our apartment is starting to feel more homey, especially after our first fire in the fireplace this past weekend! My mom came to visit during our first week here, and helped us clean the apartment from top to bottom, and paint every single surface. It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do….
Everything is unpacked and almost completely put away, and we’re finally able to relax instead of always cleaning and organizing. We’re extremely thankful for the location we chose to live in, being surrounded by the best transit in the city and having access to everything. We can walk to work in 30 minutes, ride to work in 8 minutes, or take a bus or train. We’ve found our favorite coffee shops and corner stores, and fell in love with Volunteer Park which is only a few blocks from our apartment.

We took our first ferry a few weeks ago…. AND LOVED IT. I cannot believe we live so close to the water, and we have access to so many beautiful places. We loved Bainbridge Island so much, that we’re getting married there!!! (more on that later)


Seattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandBainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge IslandSeattle Day Trip to Bainbridge Island

Our first impressions of Seattle were pretty spot on. The rain can be overwhelming, the dogs are EVERYWHERE, the hills are still huge but getting easier to handle, and the food is just as good as we originally thought. It rained for about 10 days straight last week, which got to be almost humorous to us, but then we had a few sunny days in a row which made up for it. We have both been hearing nonstop from literally every single person we talk to that Seattle’s summers are just the most incredibly beautiful summers ever, and make the rainy season worth it. We’re hoping that’s true, especially this year since we’re having our ceremony outside in the middle of July!

Some things we LOVE about Seattle:

Paper Hammer, Stitches, Drygoods, Glasswing

Mountains – we have a really cool view of the mountains when we walk to work, but sometimes it’s too overcast or cloudy to see them. On the days when it’s bright and clear, we joke that ‘the mountains are out today!’

Biking – the hills suck. We can coast downhill to work in the mornings in about 8 minutes, but riding back uphill on the way home is another story. We got totally rocked and had to walk partway the first time, but then made it up on our second try. We’re still figuring things out. We dragged home a bike from the trash for me last week which is going to need some serious aesthetic work, but it has gears and that’s what matters.

FISH – OMG THE FISH HERE IS SO GOOD. Brian has found his happy place in the PNW, and it thankfully involves homemade seafood chowder and fires in our fireplace.Homemade Seafood Chowder in the Pacific Northwest

Volunteer Park – I can barely find the words to describe how wonderful and magical and beautiful this park is, so here’s two sentences and a few photos from our first time visiting.
Brian – “I think I need to start carrying a brass pocket telescope.”
Veronica – “This place is SO Hogwarts”
Volunteer Park Seattle
Volunteer Park Seattle

Volunteer Park Seattle


Staying Busy

Coffee Tasting Wheel - Work In Progress

I don’t do well when I’m bored. My head is clearest when I have nine projects going at once and 4 of them are in disaster mode. I feel the most in control when our apartment is total chaos, with the contents of the kitchen cabinet strewn all over the living room, watercolors laying open in the middle of the floor, and a couple X-actos laying blade-up on the couch.  The last few weeks have been stressful (understatement of the century) with Brian spending 99% of every single day glued to his laptop working on his Masters Project, so I’ve channeled my stress into what feels like a million projects.

Our landlord stopped by with the plumber on Saturday morning to take a look, and told us how to prepare for when he comes back on Tuesday morning to move the sink. I spent Sunday afternoon tearing out the old countertop, sink, and lower cabinets and then rebuilding the new kitchen cabinet with Margaret. It’s still a complete mess, but we got to lay the new countertop on for the first time and it looks amazing. I cannot wait for the sink to go in!

Kitchen Renovation DIYbefore…

Kitchen Renovation DIYmid-demo

Kitchen Renovation DIYcabinet frame built and ready for the plumber!

Since we were already low on counter space due to the aforementioned construction, I figured it was also a good time to reseal the counter on the island. It’s coming along nicely, but we now have 85% of our counter space compromised in one way or another, so that blows. Thank god I’m not in charge of baking/cooking for Thanksgiving.

Brian found an illustration by one of his favorite coffee roasters (Counter Culture) and asked me to recreate it for him for Christmas. Again, with limited apartment space and a million messy projects going, I whipped out my watercolors and Microns and got to work. It was a really fun project and nice to use my fine motor skills instead of power tools and a blunt object. We’re going to hang this on our newly empty wall in the kitchen… once I find a big enough frame. Check Instagram for the finished product in a few weeks!

Coffee Tasting Wheel - Work In Progress

Among other things, I washed the inside+outside of the windows, put up the shrink-wrap window insulation, and swapped our summer/winter clothes in storage. It was a perfectly busy weekend.

Weekly (Monthly?) Update

Weekly Update: Kitchen Drama and Cold Weather

If you were to look at my drafts folder on this blog, you’d see about 52 unpublished drafts that are 99% ready to be posted. I don’t know what it is about actually hitting ‘post’ on these, but I apparently have some kind of hang up. So instead of finally posting one of these, I’m just writing a new one. And actually posting it!

Tomorrow is November, and I honestly don’t remember much of October. I feel like it was just my birthday a week ago, and now all of a sudden we turned the heat on?! (usually I hold off, but it was 59 degrees when we woke up the other morning and I was not having it) This month means the election… omg. And my mom’s birthday, which usually also means snow…. And Brian’s master’s project due date, which means graduation is soon!!! November is poised to be a pretty exciting month for us and I’m really looking forward to the holidays this year once Brian is done with school and we can spend more time together.

We’re still working on our kitchen, but the end is definitely in sight. We’ve finished painting the cabinets, pulling down old cabinets and installing our new open shelving, and installed 2/3 of the butcher block countertops. We’re waiting on the plumber now to come so that we can move the sink and install the last countertop. Then we’ll do the tile backsplash and be done! I’m saving all the details for one giant all-inclusive post, but here’s a few sneak peek photos….

We tore out most of our dead potted plants on the stoop in favor of empty pots, gourds, and a few mums. As sad as it is to cut down all of our hard work, there’s a certain accomplished feeling to returning to bare bones and an empty slate. To everything there is a season…. Weekly Update: Kitchen Drama and Cold Weather

I finally made a recipe I’ve been storing for almost 3 years, and man am I sorry I left it for so long. I saw it in one of Ruth Reichl’s novels (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and jotted it down in my phone to make later. Here I am three years later, silently thanking younger me for remembering it.

Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere (adapted from Ruth Reichl)

  1. Cut the top off of a medium sized pie pumpkin and gently scoop out only the seeds. (Save those for later)
  2. Start filling the pumpkin with layers of crunchy croutons, grated gruyere, garlic, herbs, and parmesan. (And honestly, anything else you think sounds good. We used a little nutmeg and cinnamon and it was great)
  3. Once it’s full to the top, smash it down a little and fill it up with heavy cream. Smash the lid back on top and pop it in the oven at 350 for at least an hour, and then watch til it starts bubbling over. Make sure you put it in a pan with foil, or have a drip tray underneath.
  4. Scoop out the insides, scraping the roasted pumpkin from the sides, and serve!

p.s… while you’re waiting for your pumpkin to bake, gently clean off your pumpkin seeds, drizzle them with butter+garlic+smoked salt and bake til toasty!

Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere
Roasted Pumpkin with Croutons and Gruyere

Oh and p.s…. Happy Halloween! Somehow I avoided dressing up in the costume that the kids have been begging me to be (a napkin), so I’m happily headed home to sit on the stoop bundled up, eat chili and hand out candy!