Yes, it really does snow in Seattle

10pm and the blizzard we’ve been waiting for all day finally hits Seattle.

The Husband suggests that I rename this blog ‘the Seattle Daily Weather Forecast’ but in my defence I would point out that it has been a meteorologically interesting month.

Note how festive the Space Needle is looking.

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The onset of winter

or it never rains, but it snows.

When we first got here and I was complaining bitterly to all and sundry about the rain, everyone told me ’but at least it we don’t have snow here’.

Lo and behold, three and half weeks after our arrival, and after record-breaking quantities of rain, temperatures have now plummeted to record-breaking lows and massive snowstorms have been blowing in from the Arctic.

We even got a couple of inches in downtown Seattle, which is icing up nicely as temperatures haven’t been above freezing all day.

Out in the sticks things are a lot worse. Amazingly Washington state appears to be even more laughably unprepared for snow than we are in the UK, so lots of tales on the news of abandoned vehicles on the treacherous freeways, power outages and ridiculously difficult journeys to cover only a few miles.

The Husband was pleased as the Microsoft campus was closed and he got to ‘work from home’.  I was pleased because we had the most gorgeous crisp blue wintry day. And the Minx was pleased because she got to wear her new wellies all day (and I mean all day, from the moment she woke up, to the moment she went to bed).  They’re currently neatly arranged next to her cot.

The tree above is not real, but made of stainless steel, and is one of the exhibits in the soon-to-be opened Olympic Sculpture Park, which is being created across the road from our apartment.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t capture its wonderful shininess in a photo.

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Donna Wilson

 

Calorie free!

 

I’ve got lots of ideas bubbling around my head for when we’ve got through the Christmas rush, and one of the first big projects for next year will, I think, be introducing a new collection of kids’ stuff. 

I’d love to include these wonderful knitted creatures by Donna Wilson (found via Lola is Beauty.  Which are gorgeous and cuddly but not too cutesy-cutesy.

 

 

I’m also rather taken by her knitted foodstuffs, but not entirely sure what you would do with them after the initial excitement of having calorie-free doughnuts has worn off.

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Photographing Washington

One of the people we were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with was Roddy Scheer (the Husband’s colleague’s husband) who is an (entirely self-taught) photographer, journalist and stay-at-home dad.

If you want to see some really inspiring photos of Washington state and beyond, take a look at his website.  Don’t they make you want to grab a camera and head off into the sunset?

 

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Marathon

 

If you were organising the Seattle Marathon, it would make perfect sense to run it in November.  Wouldn’t it?

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Pike Place Chowder

I don’t think I’ve ever had chowder before, so was very excited to come across Pike Place Chowder yesterday just in time for lunch. 

The exciting part is that the chowder they serve is apparently the best in America, having won this year’s Great Chowder Cook-off in Rhode Island.  Being a chowder virgin I have no idea whether it was that good, but it was very delicious indeed – full of flavour and bursting with seafood (my goodness, the seafood in this place is goooooood!).  My only gripe was that it was a little too salty, however I’ve noticed that everything over here is incredibly highly seasoned.

The chowder was further enhanced by this strange and delicious condiment which I’ve never come across before, which is made from sherry and Scotch bonnet peppers.

Apparently the name ‘chowder’ comes from the name of a French cooking pot ‘chaudiere’ (etymologically similar to the English ‘cauldron’).  For some reason I did know this trivia food fact, but you’re just going to think I found it online

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Turkey Day

Thanksgiving was a blast!

An experiment in blurriness that worked out OK.  All the rest were just blurred…

We were invited by some friends of one of the Husband’s colleagues, and they and their friends couldn’t have been been more welcoming, despite never having met us before.

The Minx was beside herself with joy in a house full of balloons in the shapes of large turkeys, a selection of kids aged between one and four, two friendly cats. a large dog, one small Tinky Winky, more turkey than you could possibly eat (though she made a fair attempt) and popsicles for dessert.

On the menu were

huge prawns with chilli dip
roast turkey (brined beforehand.  Have never heard of this being done in the UK, so suspect it’s an American thing.  It made for very moist and delicious meat, so I will definitely be trying this at home.)

stuffing (lumpier and breadier than British stuffing, but equally delicious)
mashed potatoes
a huge salad
butternut squash puree 
a spicy and very yummy cranberry sauce
a Cuban vegetable and polenta bake
pumpkin pie
pecan pie
strawberry and rhubarb pie

so all-in-all a very slimming and abstemious meal.

Viewing Thanksgiving from the other side of the world, it all seems like a rather unnecessary activity given that you’re just going to do the self-same thing all over again a month later.

From here, though, it was all very festive and jolly and marks a very definite beginning to the holiday season which has put me in a deliciously Christmassy frame of mind.

Today we carried on the festive mood by joining in the celebrations in downtown Seattle.  We were glad that we made the effort to get up early for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

I’m sure it’s not a patch on the New York equivalent, but the Minx enjoyed it very much.

After lunch at Pike Place market, we returned later in the evening for the lighting of the Christmas tree, big star on the Macy’s building and the Minx’s first fireworks (given that we managed to miss Guy Fawkes night).  If you’re quick you should be able to find a video of the whole occasion here (Westlake Center lights up).

The Minx was entranced.

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Pretty as a picture

I’ve recently come across a great blog called Trust Your Style, which published an interview with Japanese illustrator Chico Hayasaki, whose fashion illustrations are absolutely magical. 

 

 

 

I definitely want to bring out the first mirrormirror catalogue next year and would love it to be a mix of photographs and illustration.  Sadly I think Chico, who has illustrated campaigns for Sportsac, Nordstrom and La Perla, is way out of our league. 

Anyway, I strongly advise you to check out her portfolio on her website.

I also thought her take on blogging was rather cute.

 

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To be a pilgrim

We are very excited to have been invited to our first ever Thanksgiving dinner.

We weren’t sure about the dress code, so have opted to make the whole family some very simple pilgrimshats following instructions found online.  I hope you’ll agree that they are very dignified and appropriate.

 

 

Of course, it is entirely possible that everyone else at this dinner will be extremely glamorously attired. 

I will try and get a photo of the Minx wearing hers as she did look incredibly cute for the 2 seconds she was wearing it.  A picture of me wearing mine may not be forthcoming as it is possibly the most unflattering thing I have ever worn on my head.  If I had indeed been a pilgrim woman, it is highly unlikely I would  ever have had sex.

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Speaking of toast

Isn’t this glorious? Totally impractical but absolutely glorious.  So glorious in fact that I’m really tempted to buy one or even get them in the shop.

Check out the work of Mario Minale and Kuniko Maeda on www.minale-maeda.com. I rather like some of their other lacey stuff as well

(Found via OhMyGooshness – one of my new favourite design blogs).

 

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