Wednesday, November 25, 2015

28 IHeart Seattle - Bloom Bash Recap & Exploring the City

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of jet setting off to Seattle, WA to be part of the Bloom Bash WorkshopMichaela and Ashley had a dream to create a beautiful and inspirational workshop for individuals in the creative industry, and I can truly say they have succeeded.  They invited me to speak at the Bloom workshop, specifically regarding Pinterest as part of their Social Media session.  I also had the pleasure of joining the panel to answer blogging and business questions at the end of each day.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

This was my first trip to Seattle, and there was so much to see and take in during my short visit.  Anytime I have the opportunity to travel to a new city, I invite my husband to join me so we can explore the new area together.


Washington welcomed us with the most incredible views coming in on our flight.  In fact, I had the window shade drawn as I was working on my laptop for most of the trip, and I remember opening it and letting out a giant gasp.  I was in awe of the breathtaking landscape which I wasn't expecting in that very moment.  As much as I prefer traveling to warm and tropical destinations with views of aqua blue water, this was definitely one of the most beautiful and memorable flights I have taken.

The first two days of our trip I spent at the Bloom workshop.  The backdrop continued to leave me in awe of the picturesque area as the workshop was held at the Rainier Chapter House in Seattle.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

I have been fortunate enough to attend a variety of blog related events, conferences and workshops, and I have to say this was one of my absolute favorites.  Not only was the setting magical, the overall attention to detail throughout the full two days was off the charts.  The sessions were information packed, the food was divine and the hands-on classes were educational and fun!

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

This workshop is designed for creatives looking to grow their businesses and branch out their skill sets.  Not an event just for bloggers, but also for individuals considering adding a website or blog to their business platform.  I actually quite liked that there was such a mix of talent at this event; there were photographers, event planners, florists, calligraphers, bakers, Etsy shop owners and designers.  It was quite the diverse group of passionate ladies.

Day one we spent a lot of time talking and learning from one another about creating our brands, making the most of our social media channels, understanding photography and our cameras and styling tips and tricks.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

Day two was a much more hands-on portion of the workshop.  We began the day learning watercolor brush calligraphy with Jenny Sanders and I found it to be so incredibly therapeutic.  I may have to start adding in a little watercolor play time to my schedule each week, just because I enjoyed it so much and appreciated how relaxing it was.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

Later in the day we also had the opportunity to learn floral arranging techniques from Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral (if you are not following her on Instagram, grab your phone and do that right away).

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

As much as I have always loved having fresh flowers around our home, I must admit that I typically slice each stem at an angle, pluck some leaves off and bunch them in a vase.  That is the extent of my floral arranging abilities, which tends to work out OK for me since I like things neat and symmetrical.  But the arrangements Ashley creates are anything from typical; they are thoughtful, whimsical and romantic.  And wouldn't you know it, with her tips I was able to put together something quite special all on my own.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)


Not only did I learn a lot, I also ate quite well.  They brought in delicious meals from local restaurants each day, and also spoiled us with beautiful desserts.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)


By the end of day two, I was exhausted in the best of ways!  I had soaked in information, shared information, formed new friendships, laughed and learned new crafts.  The icing on the cake was finally meeting Michaela in person, someone who I have long been friends with online.

So what did Mr. Jones do while I worked?  He is good about exploring on his own, so he mixed in some quiet don't-have-to-work-or-watch-the-kids-or-cook-or-build-something time with checking out the city time.  It always works out when he can do a little investigating while I work, because then he knows all of the places to take me during our final days of the trip.  Being that this was our first time to Seattle, I thought I would share the highlights of our very quick sight-seeing adventure.

Backing up to our arrival in Seattle, just off of the plane I was hungry and craving some Mexican food. #typical  The first restaurant we found turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for.  We ate at Moctezuma's and shared the Carne Asada Mexico City tacos... and a margarita.  Although I was trying to gaze into Bryan's eyes during our first lunch date in ages, I found myself getting quite distracted by all of the beautiful ceramic tile used throughout the restaurant.  The tacos were amazing.


Of course, our very first "tourist" stop was the market!


This is just a given when you go to Seattle and definitely worth making time for!  I knew it would be good, but you guys, the rows and rows of flowers were absolutely incredible.  I was completely geeking out over them all and scheming ways to get a few bundles home.


And the prices were just so good!

Although not every part of the market was as beautiful as the flower stands, there was so much to take in.  Fresh fish and seafood around every corner.  Baked goods, fruits, vegetables, pressed juices and meats and cheeses.  I was on sensory overload.




Not gonna lie... I never imagined I would be sharing a photo of fresh seafood on my blog.  But there is always a first for everything.  #ignorethefreakyfish  I purchased some fresh produce for the rest of our trip and the apples were some of the best I have had.  Not at all fishy tasting either which was a bonus.


It was near the market we also found Beecher's Cheese.  Being that we come from a state where everything is made better with cheese, we couldn't wait to test this place out.  It received four thumbs up, but we still think that cheese is one thing we do better in Wisconsin. #donthate 


From the market we walked up through Post Alley.  I also found a great antique store near this area where I found a vintage pink Pyrex baking dish in perfect condition.  That was my Seattle souvenir and it is now our new favorite dish for baking our weekend cinnamon rolls.

Moving along...


We do a lot of strolling when we travel just to take in as much of the city as we can.  Random fact - we are a very split household in the Apple/Samsung phone department and I am typically YAY Apple all of the way.  But the photo above was taken with Bryan's Galaxy and I have to say, it was a great shot!  I am also testing him to see if he is reading this right now, because he knows it took a lot for me to admit his phone did something much better than mine.


I also like to head to neighborhoods to check out house styles and exterior ideas.  I am not a creeper, I promise.  It is just fun to find ideas from real life homes in new cities.  Does anyone else love to do this?


We traveled mid-October and had a variety of sunny days and overcast days.  We only encountered a small amount of rain the entire trip, which was a pleasant surprise.  The views from all around the city were absolutely incredible, especially with all of the changing colors.

Although much of the city offers incredible views, our favorite viewing spot was at Kerry Park.  We went during the day...


And again at night.


Both times of the day offered a completely different, yet equally as amazing, view of the city.

Saturday afternoon we decided to take a drive to Woodinville, WA to do a little wine tasting.  We had read that this area of the state offered a variety of wineries and we figured the scenic drive would be something to enjoy.  And it was!


Just as we arrived in Woodinville, we found a very commercialized area with a variety of restaurants and wine tasting rooms.  At first we were a little disappointed, but after a little more map reading, we realized there was more to select from just outside of town.  We ultimately landed at JM Cellars and it was the perfect way to end the afternoon.

The grounds were peaceful and full of lovely fall views, a highlight of our entire trip.




There were a variety of quiet areas where we were able to just sit and relax with a glass of wine.  There was also a darling boccie court where we also engaged in a mini selfie session which ended in laughter (we definitely not selfie people - Kim K, if you are reading we need your tips).



We ended the evening back in Seattle, with a stroll near the water to see the city at night.




Our final morning we walked to the Starbuck's Roastery & Tasting Room.


This is not your typical Starbucks, it was a whole different experience. 



On our way out of town I found a cupcake shop that offered gluten-free cupcakes that didn't taste like gluten-free cupcakes.  Hands down, best meal of the trip. (wink, wink)



Seattle is full of an endless variety of places to eat, and we didn't have a bad meal the entire time we were visiting.  Here are a few other delish lunch/dinner spots that we would personally recommend based on our experiences during our trip:


  • Momiji Sushi: Perfect for fresh take-out at the end of a busy day
  • Via Tribunali: Authentic Neapolitan Pizza (the salads are wonderful as well)
  • The Crab Pot: This may not be the classiest seafood joint, but it was definitely the most fun I have ever had eating seafood (get ready to get dirty, they dump your dinner out onto the table in front of you and give you a hammer as your primary utensil).


Washington is such a beautiful state, I was constantly oohing and ahhing over the views and the gorgeous fall colors.  We really couldn't have asked for a better trip; everything from the fun-filled workshop to the sight-seeing and the food was all just so wonderful.  And my husband even survived watching the 49'ers vs. Seahawks game at a local establishment, without any need to call the police.  Although the 49'ers lost that game, I thought that night alone was a huge win.

(photo credit: Lora Grady Photography)

As I mentioned in my recent blogiversary post, I am hoping to share more of these experiences with you all, as traveling for work can be a fun mix of business and pleasure and it is nice to share some of the behind the scenes of our life. Plus, I wouldn't have known about many of these great little hot spots if it weren't for your sweet suggestions, so thank you for helping me travel better.  ♥


This week and always I am so thankful for you all!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

28 comments:

  1. Seattle is my hometown! I am glad you love/appreciate it as much as I do!

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  2. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to my adopted city! You hit many of my favorite places but there are lots more-- you'll have to come back and check out Pioneer Square and more restaurants.

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  3. Northwest native here. It is always fun to see an outsiders/tourist perspective on the area. When you live here you get caught up in the day to day concerns of life (work, family, school, etc) and forget how many fun places are around. You did a beautiful job memorializing your trip.

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  4. Hi Jen! So fun to see your pictures of your Seattle trip! I love Seattle and go there a lot because i have 3 brothers that now live there. If you ever go back, check out the park located in the Capital Hill neighborhood. There is an art installation called Black Sun, when you look through it, it perfectly frames the Space Needle. There is also a water tower (old brick) that you can climb stairs to the top and the views are really amazing in all directions. Of course, the best view is the top of the Space Needle! Capital Hill has a lot of old, expensive beautiful homes as well, I think you'd like that area. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing a few more hot spots Colleen! We hope to go back again someday so this list will come in helpful. :)

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  5. Jen, looks like your trip went well and yes, we love to see this side. Especially the Bloom workshop. I would love to go to one but am not in any sort of work that it wouldnt be totally frivolous. Have you ever been to the Milwaukee Public Market? Its a very distilled version of the Seattle Market but still so much fun. Also, it sits right across from West Elm and Anthro AND the Aveda Institute so there plenty do and see. I totally would recommend that area for a day trip. Or, maybe for you an overnight just because its still a drive!

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    1. Hi Nicole!

      I have not been to the Milkwaukee Market, but we have been wanting to plan a summer weekend trip to Milkwaukee for some time and we will be sure to add that to our list of places to check out. :) Thank you for the suggestion!

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  6. Looks like a gorgeously lovely time you had. Such beautiful pictures. :)

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  7. Love this post! It's fun to see this side of blogging. I'm really writing though to tell you that Nadia's Cupcakes in Woodbury have some very delicious gluten free cupcakes! It's between SAMS and Target ��

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    1. Hi Abby! I have been to Nadia's a couple of time (SO cute!) and do love their cupcakes as well. Cupcakes are my favorite dessert so it is hard for me to not stop by when I make my Target runs. :)

      xo!

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  8. Love your post. Seattle is special to me. My husband asked me to marry him under the Space Needle on Remeberance Day in 1968. We lived in Vancouver, BC and it was our favourite get away.
    My husband has passed away and I now live in Ontario in eastern Canada, so it was an extra treat to see the pictures.

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  9. Yay you came to Washington! I actually used to live in Woodinville and I love it there. I hope you visited Chateau St. Michelle, they're so nice there and the wine is quite good as well. :)

    I do want to mention though that although I'd love to try out Cupcake Royal cupcakes I've talked to them before and they are NOT gluten free. They are made in the same environment as their other cupcakes and they aren't super careful about cross contamination, so I really hope you didn't get sick. So they're fine if you're one of those people who play at being gluten free, but they are not Celiac safe. Something you may wish to add to your post before someone tries them...

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  10. So glad you enjoyed your visit to Seattle, WA! I've lived here for only a few years now, but continue to explore the city and surrounding areas on a regular basis. It's a beautiful place wherever you go! Thank you for sharing your memories and photos of your visit to my beloved city.

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to my home town Seattle. While there's still lots of cool places left to explore, you found one I'd never heard of; the Starbucks Roastery. I'll have to check that out.

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  12. Fun post! Even though I am completely stuffed on turkey, that seafood looks amazing!

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  13. Love this little bit about Seattle. It's always fun for me to see where people would eat and save recommendations on the chance I sometime visit.

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  14. You are seriously making Seattle the next place I want to visit! Thank you for such a detailed recap!

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  15. Looks like a beautiful place to visit! I'd love to go there one day...all the way from little ole Melbourne!

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  16. Loved reading about your trip and the Bloom bash. Hoping we can get to Seattle one day too. I would love to read a similar post about your home town!

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  17. Thanks for sharing about your favorite spots! Seattle is on my Must-See list and I'm looking forward to taking a trip there with my husband at some point. I know that there is so much to do there, so posts like this really help!

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  18. I am glad you had a good time!! Seattle is on my bucket list. And yes, Galaxy phones take better photos. Greg has a Galaxy. I have an apple. It kicks my phone's butt in the photo dept.

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  19. I can see the house I grew up in in your picture with the orange trees and the marina. I now live on the other side of the world. What a joy to see my neighborhood here on your blog! x

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  20. I've never left any comments with you before, but just wanted to drop by and say how much I love and look forward to reading your blog posts. I discovered your blog about a year ago and went right back to the beginning to read all your previous posts, it has been so fun to watch your style/house evolve over the years. I love how you have stuck mainly to home/organising topics, other blogs that I follow which started off on this topic have since went down the route of constant posts on weekly fashion deals (not that handy all the way over here in Scotland!!). Saying that, you could definitely get away with doing a few more holiday/family/fashion/busy mum posts, as posts like this Seattle one are so nice to read and I'm sure all your followers love this glimpse into your life. Thank you again for such a great blog. Love from a rainy & cold Scotland!

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  21. Thank you for sharing!! I just loved meeting you and were so glad to have you a part of Bloom! xoxo

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  22. We live just up the hill from Kerry Park :) We have only been here since June and I am in awe of the beauty in this city every day. Thanks for sharing your experience and happy holidays! - Tracy @ Busy and The Beans

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  23. I absolutely LOVE Seattle and Washington in general. Thanks to the Navy I was able to live in Washington (45 minutes drive from Seattle or a 1 hour ferry ride which is what we always opted for) for almost 8 years (I was 1 month and 2 days shy of a full 8). There is so much to do and places to see. If you ever get back, I suggest Sequim and much of the Hwy 101 Loop. That was my favorite part of living there. It took a little bit for me to get there, but it was awesome. I think my favorite part of the loop was the Hoh Rainforest.

    I lived in Port Orchard and Silverdale (Silverdale was the sub base, we moved to PO when my youngest turned 9 months.) If you ever get to that side of the sound, and like burgers and beer, I suggest MoonDogs, Too. Saturday afternoon is Open Mic with Harmonica Dave (he is AWESOME). If you want an absolutely AMAZING dinner with no minors around, Bay Street Bistro is the place to go. Their food is to die for!

    Also, Bainbridge Island has so much to offer in beauty and history. Quite a drive from where I lived, but well worth it in my book. They have the Bloedel Reserve (or something like that. I never go to to go there.

    Really, just look up things to do on the Kitsap Peninsula and you'll find a ton of awesome stuff.

    Still learning my new area (just 25 minutes outside Portland, OR) but if you're ever in this area, I am sure I could give you some pointers for things to do and places to go :)

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  24. Lovely consideration of our favorite weekend spot. We love Seattle!I took some notes of new places to try. We always get a fresh crab cocktail from the fish throwing mongers ;-) so tasty!

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  25. Hi! Love your photos of the event and I'm so inspired and excited since I have the opportunity to attend a Blog conference/workshop/event, if you will, and I was just wondering if you have any recommendations? I live in South Florida so ideally I would love something close but I'm definitely willing to travel if necessary. Do you have any ideas or know of a resource where I can find such information?
    Thanks so much! Mandy- i heart paper designs

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