What I Saw in Seattle

Our family's travel style has evolved significantly in recent years. After living abroad for many years, hitting up a city's most notable and famous sights has become less and less important to us. My husband and I joke that we suffer from museum fatigue (a very privileged thing to suffer from, I know), which essentially means that after a while, the churches and museums and famous monuments all start to run together and become indistinguishable from one to the next. Now when we visit a new location, we try to seek out the less touristy places and spaces in an effort to get to know the character of the town better. In other words, we try to live like a local might for a few days.

Our trip to Seattle this August was a good example of this travel philosophy, so I wanted to share the highlights from our visit with you. You'll see that we ate quite a lot (my favorite travel activity), frequented beautiful shops (should have brought another suitcase), and found a few dream homes along the way. If those kind of things appeal to you (and if you want your Instagram to reflect that), consider this your cheat sheet on how to see the best of Seattle.


Oddfellows Cafe

This Instagram darling is more than just a pretty face. The food is wonderful, but you'll be so distracted by all the photogenic corners that you might not even notice. Just a warning that you'll be waiting for brunch on the weekend, but weekday mornings are sleepy and wonderfully empty.

The London Plane

Part restaurant, part shop, all beauty. The London Plane has it all, including their delicious, signature Plane bread (order whatever toast is on special - you won't regret it - and then pick up some flowers on your way out).

Molly Moon Ice Cream

You can smell the waffle cones baking in this Capitol Hill icon from blocks away - and chances are you can see the line out the door, too. But have no fear, the line moves fast and the ice cream is worth the wait. We had it three times in three days. Thanks for the holiday weight gain Molly Moon - it was worth it.

Bar Melusine

There's little I love more in a restaurant's design than a clean, striking aesthetic, and Bar Melusine excels in this area. But it also excels in delicious cocktails, fresh oysters, and the friendliest staff. Ask for a shucking lesson - they know what they are doing here!



Glasswing is a wonderfully curated shop, featuring plants and flowers and clean beauty products and beautiful clothes and accessories for men & women. I didn't want to leave, especially without some items from the new Ace+Jig collection that I spied on the racks. Everything here is absolutely swoon-worthy.


Stepping into the Seattle branch of Totokaelo is like stepping into a modern art museum. The ceramic and glassware display made my heart skip a beat, and their clothing options are what my designer dreams are made of. I felt a bit like a child, hearing my mom's voice saying "look but don't touch," but honestly, I touched ALL the clothes.

Plant Shop Seattle

I know that I'm officially a plant lady when I go out of my way to visit a plant shop on my holiday. I did need to pick up a hostess gift, though, and I'm so glad that I decided to pop in Plant Shop Seattle to find it. I nabbed a perfect little pilea while not-so-secretly wishing that I could transport the entire store to my house in San Diego.

Neighborhood Highlights

Volunteer Park Conservatory

Tucked away in the beautiful Volunteer Park at the north end of Capitol Hill is a stunning historic conservatory. The rooms feature not only lush displays of all the humidity-loving plant friends but also a beautiful expanse of cactus and succulents. It was the last stop of our visit to Seattle and it made me insanely happy. Go - I promise it will do the same for you.

The Homes of Queen Anne

It's no secret that I love residential architecture, and the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle is full of beautiful homes, mostly of the craftsman variety (despite its name). I took a million house portraits, but will share just this one with you. Go out of your way if you must to see this beauty; the upkeep and care the owners put into it is worth your visit.

The Sunflower House in the Queen Anne neighborhood (on Nob Hill near Crockett).

Pioneer Square

Think pedestrian-only streets, beautiful facades, smart shops and colorful characters - this downtown spot is a can't miss Seattle highlight. Hit it up during the summer to see the lovely flower displays; they reminded me a bit of London, and I loved it for that.

Have you been to any of these spots? What did I miss that would make me a true Seattle local? Leave a comment below because I'm dying to make a trip back!

See My City: Why I Love San Diego

June marks our one year anniversary of living in San Diego. I've written before about how surprised I was to have taken to this city - and California in general - so quickly. I'm a midwestern girl with fair skin who wears SPF 80 to the beach and doesn't like to swim in the ocean (honestly, I need to see to the bottom of whatever I'm swimming in). How on earth was I going to fit into San Diego? Well, it turns out San Diego is more than just sunshine and a beautiful coastline. So to celebrate one year of loving this city, I'm sharing the most surprising things (to me) about San Diego.

The Architecture

My favorite thing about exploring San Diego is the discovering all the different types of architecture that exist here. From La Jolla's European-inspired neighborhoods to the cottages of Coronado, the South Park Craftsman to the Bankers Hill Victorian, and Balboa Park's Spanish Revival structures to the Salk Institute's stark modernism, there is something for everyone's architectural taste in San Diego. And I'm determined to find all the best examples of each.

The Restaurant Scene

The two food-related things I was most excited about eating when we moved to San Diego were tacos and In-N-Out. And honestly, a year in, I could still eat both of those once a week. But the food scene here in San Diego is SO much more sophisticated than I could have imagined. You only need to do a casual wander down India and Kettner Streets to get a sample of how diverse and how good the cuisine here is. From vegan (Kindred and Cafe Gratitude, I'm looking at you) to seafood (hello Ironside), to ramen (Oh, Underbelly) to Italian (Cucina Urbana, I love that you are my neighbor, and Buona Forchetta, I love hearing you speak Neapolitan while I devour my pizza), high end (that's you Herb & Wood) to fast casual (and your sister Herb & Eatery), the food in San Diego is superb and we are absolutely spoiled for choice. The best bonus: the restaurants are beautifully designed!

The Coffee Culture

I have previously written about the coffee culture in San Diego, but it already needs an update because I keep discovering new gems. I have yet to meet a coffee shop in San Diego that I didn't like - there is something about each that I enjoy. Across the board, the coffee itself is top notch (though nearly every San Diegan has a strong opinion about which is their favorite - Dark Horse Roasters is a perennial fav). Again, the designs of these spaces are gorgeous - go to Holsem for the clean, modern lines, to Cafe Bassam for the old school vibe (and one of my neighborhood gems), to Moniker Coffee for the cool vibe (and tiles) and to Communal Coffee for the friendliest baristas (not to mention that it's an insta-dream). And for all my matcha-lovers, you can't miss Holy Matcha.

The Love for Local Businesses

The incredible small business retail community - with so many owned by women! - has to be one of my favorite discoveries about San Diego. Patronizing these businesses is an absolute treat for me. Not only are the taste levels of these shops incredibly high, but the owners and staff are always friendly, knowledgeable, and oh-so personal, and its those touches that keep me coming back. I will be sharing more about these shops in a separate post, but a special shout out to Thread + Seed, Gold Leaf, Dutch, Green Fresh Florals, En Concordia and Pigment for always providing a truly special shopping experience.

The Classic Cars

If anyone follows me on Instagram, you may think that my attention is drawn to cars solely for the 'gram. But, if you know my family, you know that I'm surrounded by car-talk 24/7. My husband is a car fanatic and my daughter owns over 100 toy cars. With my contribution of classic car photos, we are 100% a car family. I had no idea that San Diego would be such a car city, but I am surrounded by beautiful classics that are so often ideally parked. I do a little happy dance every time I spot one. (If you are in town and want to do some solid classic car hunting, skip the beach in Coronado and wander the streets. There are SO many good finds. Contact me - I'll take you!)