Explore Your City #2: West Seattle | Alki Beach

Last weekend I explored Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill (you can read my post about it here).  This week, I was lucky enough to sail around Lake Washington and ride a water taxi for the first time from Downtown Seattle to West Seattle. As someone who is prone to getting seasick on open water, I’ve always been hesitant to go out on any boat on any sort of body of water – but my phobia has definitely gotten better over the past few years and I don’t get too sick anymore. I’ll leave out the unnecessary details.

This was my first time riding the water taxi and it was quite the experience. After a few hours shopping in downtown, my friends and I made our way from Pioneer Square to Pier 50. For those of you with an active UPASS or Orca card, you can use them to board the taxi! Otherwise you can pay with cash and board for $4. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the West Seattle dock and then you can explore Alki Beach! If you get seasick, you may want to stand outside on the deck rather than sit inside because it’s stuffy.

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As soon as the water taxi pulls up to the dock, you can probably spot people fishing and crabbing if the weather is nice. There are many condos overlooking the water and right in front of the boardwalk is a restaurant that started off as a food truck, called Marination Ma Kai. We all decided to stop for a snack and despite the line, we got our food very quickly. The verdict? Everything was delicious, very reasonably priced, and they have a unique menu. Hawaiian-Korean cuisine? Yes please.

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Kalbi Taco

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Hawaiian Mac salad (w/ spam)

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Kimchi Quesadilla

Once we were back in the city, we stayed out to watch the sunset and it was absolutely beautiful. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Now for the fun stuff.. only hours into our adventure did I decide/get permission from my adventure buddies to start vlogging so that’s why this is such a short one. But here’s my first attempt at a vlog! Unlike my last video (you can find it on my channel), the audio should be normal. My iMovie skills are still lacking since I’m teaching myself as I go but I got really fancy this time and added transitions. Please, hold your applause. But do enjoy the sunset. I can’t get over how beautiful it was! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried out Marination Ma Kai or what you think about the vlog! Not going to lie, I was a little self conscious to be vlogging myself so the dual camera feature on my Canon came in handy. I love this camera!! Review soon, I swear.

Thanks for visiting – as always.

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Comfort Food: Ballard edition

A reunion with friends is never complete without something savory and Instagram worthy and my after work excursion to Ballard with Steven and Stephanie didn’t disappoint! Steph and I had been talking about getting Parfait ice cream macarons for a while so we just picked a place for dinner literally as we drove around the area. (Actually, Steven drove – thanks Steven!)

We ended up deciding on Skillet Diner because it’s in the same building as Parfait! Tip: There’s even free street parking nearby. You don’t get that in downtown Seattle that’s for sure.

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Mason jars are everywhere in this restaurant – it was clearly love at first sight stepping inside. The decor does remind me of a diner, however with a modern twist. We all ordered total comfort food and managed to clean our plates pretty well. Go big or go home, right?

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The Burger – bacon jam, arugula, creamy bleu cheese w/ side 

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Fried Chicken Sammy – fennel seed crust, pickled & charred jalapeño aioli, kale, potato bread w/ side

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Macaroni and Cheese – smoked gouda, orecchiette pasta, herb cheese crisp, bruleed cheddar cheese + bacon jam! 

The mac and cheese was very cheesy and rich, a bit more sharp than the lobster mac and cheese that I had earlier this week at Taphouse Grill. The burger was great but I should warn those that are weary of strong flavors. Bleu cheese is always very strong so you need to be a fan to order this obviously. The bacon jam…is indescribable. I really enjoyed it however there was a lot in my burger and towards the end when I was getting really full from all those seasoned fries, I wished there was a bit less. Bacon jam, just as the name suggests, is going to be a strange but enticing taste.

Overall, I give Skillet Diner 4.5/5 stars. It’s a fun dining experience because of the environment, quirky menu, and large variety of offerings. Everyone will find something they enjoy here, guaranteed.

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We were stuffed but we couldn’t miss out on this tiny little shop that’s tucked away in the corner of the building. We went late in the evening and there was still a mini crowd inside. Perhaps because of the time of day we went they were sold out of some of the flavors of macarons. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try the raspberry flavor but I may go again to try that one!

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If you’re not into macarons, try these brownie bites with ice cream inside. These are $3 a piece and the macarons are $4 a piece. How cute are they?!

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We all enjoyed our macaron ice cream sandwiches as expected! Overall rating, I give it a 4/5 stars. The price is a bit steep for the size of the sandwich but this is definitely an indulgence treat that’s worth trying at least once. I tried the honey lavender after the girl working convinced me that it wasn’t too overwhelming, after I explained I didn’t want to eat something that tasted like a straight up flower. The lavender was pleasant, not too strong like promised. It was very sweet, however, so the honey flavored ice cream which was much more mild was a good compliment. The macarons are crispier on the outside just how I like them so no complaints there! They are a bit messy, so try not to eat them while walking or riding in a car. I probably wouldn’t get just ice cream or a shake here, but if you’re in the mood for some organic, storemade goodies in a cute store – try this place out.

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Smiling faces and full bellies :) I’m so proud of Steph’s hard work and I’m excited for her as she starts a full time position just next month! (Most of the photography in this post is brought to you by Steph)

If anyone’s wondering, I’m wearing my mom’s maxi dress from years ago – you can’t see the texture of it but it’s beautiful, some new favorite sandals from Target, an Eddie Bauer knit cardigan, and a gifted infinity scarf from Charlotte Russe I believe. I’m about to travel to the East Coast so I’ll be back soon with some travel posts – stay tuned!

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Turning 20!

I turned 20 last week and thanks to many loving friends and family, I had a great birthday weekend. In the midst of it all, I of course failed to get some OOTD shots but here are some snippets of my birthday so enjoy!

My actual birthday was a really beautiful day at the end of a very rainy week. So I took the opportunity to wander around downtown to shop and eat. Clearly I like these two activities as I frequently spend my free time shopping and eating it seems.. Jared and I spontaneously decided to stop by Japonessa for my favorite sushi happy hour! I’ve been to this restaurant at least 10 times since moving to Seattle and it never gets old. Make sure you make a reservation or have them text you when your table is available so you don’t end up standing in the non-existent lobby for an hour! (A must try is the Super Bad Boy roll.) A mix of iPhone pictures in this post (I apologize) but I’m not ready to bring a DSLR everywhere with me – especially since I’m borrowing my mom’s. (Thanks mom, miss you.)

Finally went to Portage Bay for brunch as well! This place is also notorious for long waiting lines however we walked straight in and there was a table for two ready! Smaller parties seemed to be seated first. The environment is bustling and noisy, but a cheerful place for a brunch. Just be prepared to yell across the table to hear :)

I love this mug & I was very amused that all the servers’ shirts say ‘eat like you give a damn’ on the back.
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I wanted to get something that I can’t make at home, like an omelette, so I ordered the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with potatoes. If you’re a fruit lover and not allergic like me, you should order something that comes with a trip to the toppings bar! The whipped cream looked amazing but I just admired from afar. I prefer my brunch to be more salty than sweet anyway!

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I think this is the pork omelette below:

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I only picked up a few things while downtown but I’m pleased because they were all awesome bargain finds! Both of these were only $10-13 each:
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This statement necklace doesn’t exactly scream spring but I love black and gold jewelry and thought the chain was unique. For the price, it feels heavy and well made.

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The best part of my weekend was my roommate and another one of my best friends co-planning a surprise for me! I wish I had pictures of the other details, but here’s some evidence of just how perfect everything was.
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I love bunting and my roommate handmade this! Even the painted canvas with my nickname on it.

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Adorable photo booth props! (Yes, we love our mason jars.)

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I’ll be back soon with a review on the monthly beauty subscription, Birchbox, and the Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Life palette that I ordered with my points! I’ve temporarily canceled my subscription – so I’ll be explaining why.

Thanks for reading! If you helped me celebrate my birthday or wished me a happy 20th, thank you so much! This is going to be an exciting decade, I can’t wait for the adventure!
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{sun}day funday: wallingford edition

A beautiful, PNW spring day with nearly 70 degree weather and sunshine couldn’t be wasted! So I took a short bus ride to Wallingford (north central Seattle) with some really great people. (Shout out to my Delta Sigma Pi bros for going on this adventure with me!)
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We started out by going to a tried and true favorite ramen restaurant, Ramen Man. The signage makes me happy and you definitely won’t miss it along the busy main street it’s located on.
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Ramen portions are filling, all under $10 unless you choose add-ons, and are served with unlimited boiled eggs.
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I tried the Garlic Tori-Paitan Ramen which wasn’t as overwhelming as it sounds. The broth is both creamy and rich. If you really like char siu, I would recommend adding extra because there are only a few pieces.

While wandering around the Wallingford Center, we met Debbie – the owner of an adorable, tiny vintage shop called Indie Frock. Debbie was really sweet and even posed for me to take a shot of her in the beautifully decorated shop she created to resell all sorts of boho goodies. (Really loved her distressed denim and the flower crown!) You can like the shop’s Facebook page here!
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The shop is small enough that I fit it all in this shot!
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Side note: I love thrifting and some of my favorite pieces are either vintage or from recycled clothing stores. I’ve come across some ridiculous deals – thinking that will be in an upcoming post if anyone’s interested! One man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.

The Trophy Cupcakes shop inside has some rooms for parties and just for enjoying your cupcake and the decor is too cute. The different themes are all up my alley – in fact, some of this seems familiar…does my room resemble  a cupcake shop?!  Maybe.

Next stop, we tried the churros at TNT Taqueria, that offers taco truck foods in a small restaurant setting. For those of you that care, TNT uses environmentally friendly packaging and gets ingredients from local farmers. They even use grass fed beef and other quality ingredients. Sadly, the only other churros I’ve had are from Disneyland and Costco. Actually, I happen to love both of those places and find happiness in either so it’s not so sad. However in terms of churro quality, TNT’s definitely beats theirs. (Duh.) You won’t get your churro right away because they make them fresh and it’ll be piping hot when you get it. The outside is crispy and has plenty of sugar and cinnamon while the inside is doughy and very light and airy.
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(Doesn’t this signage just make you happy? It makes me happy. Anything handwritten/painted..I love it. Also $1 churros, yes.)
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Another “must have” in Wallingford that I’ve heard so much about is this gelato shop, Fainting Goat. You can buy handcrafted gelato and even molten lava cakes here from 12-10 PM daily. I tried my friend’s coconut gelato and it was very rich and creamy, as gelato should be. The extra kick that it had was actual coconut shavings that tasted fresh, not processed. If you’re into rich sweet treats, I would recommend Molly Moons too – there’s a location right on the same street in Wallingford!
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I’m not much of a sock person, however I know plenty of people who are and I do have to admit, if I were okay with spending this much on socks, I would be coming to this store a lot in the future. The store has exactly what you’d expect from looking at the sign above the door:
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You will find literally any type of sock you can think of. All different lengths, sizes, and designs. They sell men’s, women’s, unisex, children, even baby socks. I saw leggings, leg warmers, and even tights. If you like Strideline socks, they have them too! Below is only a tiny portion of the selection they have. For not being a “sock person”, this store makes me want to be. I just have to justify paying around $10 for a pair of socks. Maybe one day. But if you’re scrambling to find a gift for someone, this is a great place to get started.

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Check out the fun dinosaur socks that my friends bought!

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Our last stop was a record store, where we spotted this on the side of the building. The store is said to be open 363 days out of the year for 40 years! We took a fun shot in front of it: (Thanks Lander!)
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{o u t f i t | d e t a i l s}
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Top|H&M. Denim jacket|A&F. Skirt|Boutique in Las Vegas. Booties|CottonOn. Tote|Longchamp.

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