Rib-off 2011

August 1, 2011

The 3rd annual rib-off competition was the best one yet! Last year we were a bit crowded in the house, so we decided to have the rib off in conjunction with our neighborhood block party. Our friends C & S live on the street next to ours so we did it in front of their house. Thanks guys!

My friend Kelli of Shindig Events handled the setup/signage/decorations etc… since she has started her own event planning business. She even set up a photo staging area for everyone complete with props. Cute! It was a huge help.  A major highlight was the Street Treats truck arriving in time to serve us dessert. My sweet tooth did not object. The ice cream sandwiches were perfect on a hot summer day.

Did I mention I won…again? I mean, it’s not big deal, but I’m sure you were wondering. Here is this years recipe.

Check out the pics:

Hydration station

Block party hydration station


Snacks n' such

Adult Bevies

The Adult hydration station complete with Keg of PBR and Mexi Cokes

Ballard block party

Enjoying the sun

Ballard block party

Food Table & Kids table complete with kid stuff...

Street Treats Truck

Street Treats dessert truck! Of course I was in line...

Rib-off Ballot

The very official Rib-off Ballot

Announcing the winner

Announcing the winner... me!

Sean & I

You're looking at the winner and her trusty sidekick...

hori hori dig dig!


Getting started

June 12, 2011

I finally got around to planting a few things at the Ballard P-patch this weekend. I have to admit I’m a little intimidated trying to grow new veggies. I don’t want to spend a ton of money and then somehow kill all the plants. I went to Swanson’s and decided I’d plant 1/2 the plot with flowers and decorative plants and the other 1/2 with edibles.

My favorite flowers are: Peony, Tulips and Lilies. I looked all over for a nice deep red, or peach colored peony, but all they had were white and pink. I went with a light pink color. The bees were all over it.

Ballard P-patch Peony

My Peony


My lazy companion. He didn't even offer to help.

Balalrd P-patch plot

Getting started on my plot

Balalrd P-patch plot

Lemon cucumber, tomato, chives and bush beans...

I loved the lemon cucumbers we grew on the deck last year. I like how full the plant gets. They are easy to grow and they make me feel somewhat successful as a novice gardener!

I’m going to plant some peppers and maybe some arugula as well. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!


May 30, 2011

I’ve been pondering redecorating the bedroom for a while, but didn’t have any solid ideas. I bought some beautiful pendant lights from Anthro a while ago and it’s been a chore to try to figure out how to hang them as bedside lights. I also wanted to do something with the plain wall behind the bed. We looked at wallpaper and found some cool large prints, but when I brought them home to see what they would look like, none of them inspired me. Then we went to The Book Bindery restaurant. The ceiling of the restaurant was recycled lath mixed with newer lath. It was beautiful. It would provide the texture and warmth I was looking for, but also would add a modern twist. Check it out:

Bedroom before


Our friends M & E recently introduced us to their carpenter who, by the way, does WAY more than just carpentry. He is an all around problem solver and our new favorite person. Patrick Egan of Artisan Carpentry did an amazing job with our newly installed lath wall, and custom recycled steel light fixtures that are not only cool, but height adjustable. He has a ‘metal guy’ that built these and they are exactly what we envisioned. I love, love, love how it turned out. Patrick finished this in 3.5 days. He was precise and very thoughtful about the process.

Recycled lath wall

After the lath installation

I had gone to happy hour with some girlfriends the night he finished the lath, and when I got home I may or may not have drunk dialed (well, buzzed) him while jumping up and down clapping.

Bedroom adjustable bedside pendant lights

Custom recycled steel light fixtures and Anthro lights

Lath wall as decoration in Bedroom


It feels so much cozier upstairs. Now I just need to work on getting the chair of my dreams for the corner. I may need to wait until I win the lottery.

hori hori dig dig!

Woot! We finally finished the traffic circle planting project today. It looks fabulous! We met so many of our neighbors as they drove or walked by and thanked us for our hard work. One lady even told us we were going to heaven for cleaning up the neighborhood. Nice.

Ballard Traffic Circle Before


Ballard Traffic Circle After


Ballard Traffic Circle in progress


We planted Yucca, Oat Grass, Bowles Wallflower, Point Reyes Ceanothus, a few Poppies and a few Echinacea.

Ballard Traffic Circle Plants

A trip to Swanson's Nursery

Ballard Traffic Circle Plan

The Plans

Oh, and we found this while digging: someone’s pet hamster remains. For a second I thought we found someone’s dope stash. We promptly reburied it. J is for Jumper the hamster who apparently died in November of 2009. RIP Jumper.

Hamster remains in the traffic circle

Someone's pet hamster remains...

At the end of the project, I spent the Seattle Small Sparks funds from the city ($599) and only $40 out of pocket. It looks great and I am so glad it’s done. A big thank you to Sean for helping me get this done. Also, to my brother and sister-in-law for pulling out juniper roots with their truck.

Now it’s time to move onto my p-patch plot!

hori hori dig dig!

I have been on the wait list for over 3 years for a plot in a local p-patch. I was on 3 lists actually (the max allowed) with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Recently I was contacted by the city to see if I was still interested in a plot at the Ballard P-patch. I don’t think the volunteer appreciated how excited I was. I think she wanted me to stop clapping.

Anyway, I met the garden site coordinator, Roy, who showed me my plot and gave me the rundown on volunteering at the site. My plot is 10′ x 10′ at the edge of the garden. I love the this p-patch because it is off the street and has a large parking lot, so it is relatively quiet compared to some of the p-patches in the city. Check it out:

Ballard P-patch plot

My plot at the edge of the garden

Ballard P-patch plot

A blank slate...

Ballard P-patch

The Ballard P-patch site

The garden also has quite a few plots dedicated to grow food for the Ballard Food Bank. Each Tuesday is a Growing for Giving volunteer night. I like that.

I haven’t decided what to plant here yet. I think I’d like to do a mix of flowers and edibles. Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!

My friend S recently raved about The Book Bindery restaurant. I finally got a chance to go for dinner with some friends last night. Seldom do I have a meal with friends where everyone cleans their plate. The food was delicious and the flavors fresh and subtle. I don’t usually get caught up with the presentation (unless it looks like dog food), as long as the food is spot on. Each dish was beautiful.

Chef Shaun McCrain worked for Thomas Keller in a previous life at Per Se in NYC. The design and layout was the brainchild of Patric Gabre-Kidan, the former business parter of Ethan Stowell here in Seattle.

The Book Bindery Restaurant Seattle

The Book Bindery

The Book BIndery Restaurant Seattle Ship Canal

Our Table overlooking the Ship Canal

The Book Bindery Restaurant Kitchen

The Kitchen

The Book Bindery Restaurant Menu

The Menu

The Book Bindery Restaurant

Farro Quinoa Salad with Mint and Cucumber

The Book Bindery Restaurant Pork Loin

Pork Chop/Belly with Kale and White Bean Puree

Oh yeah and we order all 4 desserts on the menu (to share of course!)

Dessert at the Book BIndery Restaurant

Churros with Pot de Creme, Coconut Rice Cakes with Grapefruit Granita

Dessert at the Book Bindery Restaurant

Frozen Butterscotch Parfait with Rice Krispies and Gingersnap

So, I’ve found a new restaurant to add to my top 5 in Seattle. The space was gorgeous. The service was impeccable (with the exception of not offering coffee with dessert… this is Seattle after all).

Oh, and to top it all off, the Book Bindery has a partnership with Almquist Family Vitners, and there is a tasting room next to the restaurant.

Almquist Family Vitners The Book Bindery

Almquist Family Vitners Tasting Room

So my top 5 favorite Seattle restaurants are:

Franks Oysterhouse & Champagne Parlor, Bizarro Italian Cafe, Walrus & Carpenter, Cafe Presse and The Book Bindery.

hori hori dig dig!

Nerd alert: I am totally geeking out on this traffic circle. I love it. I feel more connected with my neighbors and I finally have a little patch of dirt to play in. It has been a work in progress and isn’t even close to being finished, but I wanted to share my progress. I’ve been working with the city and I am the official volunteer of the traffic circle at 28th/59th street. I hope they send me a badge. I applied for a Small Sparks award through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods to get up to $600 from the city to beautify my TC. I am waiting to hear back from them. Take a look at the before shot:

Ballard Traffic Circle


These are 30-year-old juniper shrubs with a smattering of weeds, leaves and a few pretty flowers. We decided to take out all of the juniper. I didn’t realize what a gigantic pain in the ass that would be. The first day of cleanup we only got 1/2 the job done and filled 10 yard bags full of debris.

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Day 1 Cleanup

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Day 2 Cleanup

Treasures found while cleaning out the TC: 3 full cans of Miller High Life that were a bit old, multiple doggie tennis balls, some airline size alcohol bottles (empty), and a little 1 hit hash pipe. Who says it doesn’t pay to volunteer?!

We cut the junipers down to the root, and my next challenge is to find someone to remove them. There are about 6 large roots to be removed. I think it requires a truck and chains. I don’t think the Prius or Subaru will do the job. Although I’m sure it would be fun to watch.

Ballard Traffic Circle Cleanup

Juniper Roots

Once I find out about the city funds for the plants, I can go shopping! Stay tuned…

hori hori dig dig!