Sampling Starbucks' Single-Origin Coffees

Remember when I said I wasn't much of a coffee drinker? That's all changed since joining the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community earlier this year (coupled with a job that's become a lot more demanding as of late!)

Nowadays I'm carefully rationing out my coffee, only having it on days with a particularly taxing cardio workout followed by a long, full day at work. Last time, Starbucks sent me their Core Coffee Series to sample. This time around, I have the pleasure of having their Single-Origin coffees in my cup.

Starbucks newest Single-Origin coffees were carefully selected to exemplify the best of the region they represent. 'Single-Origin' means the beans get their distinguishing characteristics from the soil, climate and elevation where they're cultivated, creating their unique flavor profile - the spicy Starbucks® Timor Mount Ramelau®; chocolatey Starbucks® Guatemala Laguna de Ayarza and sweet Starbucks® Rwanda Rift Valley®

It's hard to pick a favorite amongst the three as I've enjoyed them all so much. Not only are they responsible for helping me get through my days, but they also take me back to some of my favorite travels. Like a true Seattleite, I seek out coffee shops in every city I go to. Whether it's in New York City, San Juan, L.A. or most recently, Vancouver, there's nothing like a good cup of coffee to bring a little piece of home back into my day. 

Thanks Starbucks for this sweet kettle, kitchen towel & dip glazed mug! We use the kettle exclusively for all of our hot drinks and hot water now, and the mug and towel are such chic additions to our kitchen.

Get these Starbucks Single-Origin coffees at your nearest grocery store!

Find out more about the coffees - and get a coupon for a sweet deal too.

Disclosure: I am a member of Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community. Products were provided by Starbucks Coffee Company for this post. All opinions are mine!

Sampling Starbucks' Core Coffee Series

I'm not much of a coffee drinker, for no particular reason other than that I just never picked up a daily habit. Every once in awhile I'll indulge (it's hard not to in the coffee capitol of the world!), and occasionally I'll have a cup that'll rock my world! Like wine, beer and liquor, I feel like there's a whole body of knowledge of the world of coffee, and you just need the right situation to really get into it.

I have the pleasure this year of being part of the Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community, and am excited to finally have the right situation to expand my brain in the world of coffee!

My first care package has all the ingredients for a deep dive into Starbucks' coffee basics. There's a sampling of beans from Starbucks' Core Coffee Series (blonde (light), medium and dark roasts), along with a sweet, simple pour over brewer with paper cone filters. I feel like a real coffee drinker now! LOL

Because I'm a casual coffee drinker, I'm familiar with the lighter Starbucks® Veranda® blend. It's my usual choice for Starbucks drip, and at home I like it with a little coconut oil and coconut milk. Starbucks® House Blend has been the perfect companion to a lazy Saturday morning breakfast; it's smooth enough to have on its own or with a splash of almond milk. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the Starbucks® Caffe Verona® blend. I normally shy away from dark roasts for fear of getting the shakes all day, but it's sweet  and just enough of a pick-me-up for an afternoon jolt that won't keep me up all night.

How cute is this Dot Collection mug designed by Starbucks Creative Studio? I bought a few of the mugs during the holiday season. There were over 100 designs for the Dot Collection and it was hard to choose just a couple to take home. So excited to add this gold dotted travel mug to my collection!

I'd be remiss not to mention what's arguably the best part of this care package. The Starbucks Coffee Passport is part tasting guide and part Starbucks history knowledge bomb. The Coffee Passport encapsulates over 40 years of Starbucks Coffee history along with the essentials for tasting, brewing, blending, roasting, growing, processing and buying coffee. Phew! 

There's space to take notes on each coffee you taste, and you can even add a passport stamp sticker to each one you've tried. If you're in Seattle, take your Coffee Passport (or get one) at the Starbucks Roastery on Capitol Hill. There you can have a full flight and education session at their tasting bar and coffee library, and sample some of their exclusive Roastery blends.

Not in Seattle? As of this week, you can get a taste of the exclusive Roastery blends sent right to your doorstep! Starbucks has just introduced a fresh online delivery service for its Reserve line of small-lot harvested, small-batch roasted coffees, called Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Subscriptions.

Get all the info and sign up for your own Starbucks Reserve Roastery Subscription.

Thanks Starbucks! I'm excited to learn more about coffee with you this year.

Disclosure: I am a member of Starbucks Coffee Blogger Community. Products were provided by Starbucks Coffee Company for this post. All opinions are mine!

On-the-Go Work Essentials f/ Starbucks® Iced Coffee (Sponsored)

Holy cow y'all. It's hot! We've been on a streak of 80+ degree days in Seattle, and while the sun is shining brightly on us, this city is just not equipped enough with A/C. When I'm not seeking refuge on the water or beach, I'm over here getting used to working in an office part-time again. It's still a culture shock for me, though a welcome one at that. I really love having some structure in my days, and having a place to go to helps me focus while I'm there. Sometimes I'll jet from work to an event or happy hour, so I carry a big Zara bag to tote all my things around & then some. On any given day, there's a pair of shoes and another big bag full of my lunch and snacks for the day, but pictured below are my purse mainstays to stay refreshed & organized in style.

Stay writing: 

I'm a self-professed office supplies queen, and my vices are Post-Its, notebooks and Sharpies. I am forever carrying at least one of these on me at all times, and in my everyday tote, I've got an arsenal. Sharpies in all point sizes, notepads of different colors and notebooks that each serve a different purpose. In this digital age, I have a fear of losing my penmanship, and thus, I stay writing on pen and paper. I've found I retain info much better when I've written it down by hand too. Sorry, organization apps, you ain't got nothin' on the old school

Stay hydrated:

I also carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go, and my bkr is perfect for the office. It's just small enough for me to have to get up every hour or so from my desk to refill it! I don't drink a lot of coffee, but I'm into these Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee drinks for an occasional afternoon treat. Caramel is my favorite!

Stay moisturized:

I'm just as nuts about my lip, face & body moisturizers as I am about my hydration and my office supplies. Gotta have at least five different lip balms, glosses and lipsticks at all times (skoah's Lip Love & smashbox's glosses are my faves at the moment) plus two options each for face & body lotion. I carry a full-size face lotion but I've just run out. I'm crazy, I know.

Stay connected:

It almost goes without saying, but I'm never without my iPhone. I also still carry my blog business cards around, because you never know who you'll meet!

What's in your on-the-go bag?

Leave me a comment below!

Bottled Starbucks® Iced Coffee beverages are the perfect blend of premium Starbucks coffee and 2 percent milk. Available in four delicious offerings: Coffee + Milk, Low Calorie Coffee + Milk, Vanilla, and Caramel, Starbucks Iced Coffee ready-to-drink beverages are the perfect on-the-go refreshment to get you through the daily commute, big projects such as spring cleaning, or an exciting road trip with friends. Look for it at major grocery and convenience stores, available nationwide.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Starbucks Coffee Company via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Starbucks Coffee Company.

#Seattle: Meet Winegarden, Happiness Delivered

Today I'd like to welcome back one of my contributors, Titus Kimbowa. A junior at the University of Washington at the time, Titus first approached me after a talk and asked me how to grow a network on Twitter, balancing the line between professionalism while building your personal brand. His drive and curiosity have taken him far in the last two years I've known him, and I'm honored that Fresh Jess is the first to bring you his new venture. Read on to discover Winegarden!



As a student at UW, one of the best experiences I was lucky enough to get involved with was building startups. Being immersed in startups gave me an opportunity to meet interesting people. As a kid from a little town in Uganda, the only place I could think to meet such wonderful people was in my dreams. During these meetings, a consistent social connector was wine. Aside from wine being an acquired taste that was lost on me, I knew nothing of its intricacies. After multiple attempts, I was finally able to grasp the basics of wine. There’s clearly a big learning curve.

Soon after I finished school, I was burned out! Working three jobs to pay for school while being a full time student took a toll on me. I decided to break from the stresses of work and school, and absorb more of the unique culture Seattle had to offer that I couldn’t properly appreciate in the past. To my surprise, I find that wine is again at the center of my cultural experience. I realized in order to fully appreciate what Seattle had to offer, I would have to uncork this wonder and learn firsthand what makes it so intriguing.

As I discovered and learned about the diverse selection of great wines, I noticed that wine is not well-cultivated here. Specifically, locally-sourced wines have yet to take a crack at Seattle’s eclectic culture. Wines made in Washington have won numerous awards on the global scale, yet Seattleites know more about California wines than Washington wines. Either we just don’t like Washington wines or the marketing sucks.

I’m with the latter.

The Seattleite in me wouldn’t allow me to give the city a pass on enjoying an inferior wine that’s not from Washington. I got in touch with a friend, Thomas Winegarden who had talked about a wine delivery service that he wanted to build. We discussed different ways in which the technology could be built and settled on a platform, to which local wine shops and wineries would market and sell their wine then have it delivered to consumers on-demand or at a set time that day. The challenge lies between the seamless communication between the customer, driver, and winery/shop. The delivery charge starts at $10 and $6, respectively.

We set forth on the journey to create a service that puts the customer at the center of every transaction. At Winegarden, it's now our mission:

We believe that shopping for wine should be an unforgettable, fun, and delightful experience.

Winegarden not only puts Washington wines at your disposal, but leaves little to no time between you and the perfect glass. Additionally, we put the guesswork out of wine by making it easy to search and discover wines that best fit your taste preference and budget. Washington wines are world-class and are slowly making waves across the globe. We want to accelerate this trend by providing the best service to every Winegarden customer.

With this goal in mind, we set out to land our first set of customers. Knocking on doors, and using referrals has been the only way we’ve delivered wine. During this period, we’ve learned a lot about the nuances of delivering wine. We are now ready to announce it to Seattle and take on more orders!

Join the revolution at


Titus Kimbowa is a young entrepreneur living in Seattle, WA. He was born in Kampala, Uganda & moved to the States when he was 12. He’s currently a senior at the University of Washington and serves as vice-president of the UW American Marketing Association, and he's interning as the product marketing analyst for stealthy start-up Webtuner. He’s got past experience as part of the Zagat team at Google, Crown Social, TEDxYouth Seattle, and starting up an enterprise travel company. In his spare time (which he rarely gets) he likes to play basketball, read, and hang out around Seattle.

Find Titus on Twitter, and view all of his posts here.

Fresh Eats: Starbucks Evenings Premieres New Menu

Entrepreneur life means working out of coffee shops often. But sometimes I'm plugging away at work and the morning fades into afternoon. By then, I'm just not in the mood for coffee anymore but I'm not ready to pack up just yet. Last year, Starbucks introduced it's Evenings menu in Seattle, Portland and Sun Valley. I was invited by the team to their new Terry & Republican location on the new Amazon headquarters campus to sample their brand-new Starbucks Evenings menu, including appetizers, wine and beer.

The Starbucks team hand-selected various local wines for its new menu, stocking Bergevin Lane and Chateau Ste. Michelle among others. Each glass served at Starbucks Evenings comes with a small bowl of pumpkin seeds!

At the menu tasting, we sampled: goat cheese & artichoke flatbread, rosemary & brown sugar coated cashews, bacon-wrapped dates, crudites and smoky chipotle hummus, chocolate fondue, truffle mac & cheese and brie with raisin bread

So where can you enjoy Starbucks Evenings? Right now, just at the five Washington and one Oregon locations below and after 4:00p.m.:

  • Olive Way (1600 E. Olive Way, Seattle 98102)
  • 15th Ave. (328 15th Ave. E., Seattle 98115)
  • Terry & Republican (442 Terry Ave. N., Seattle 98101)
  • Madison Park (4000 E. Madison Ave., Seattle 98112)
  • Issaquah Meadows (1460 NW Gilman Blvd., Issaquah 98027)
  • Brewery Blocks (1039 NW Couch St., Portland, OR 97209)

Starbucks has remodeled most or all of these in the past year, with more community tables and seating for large parties and individuals alike. In mid-October, Starbucks Evenings will kick off local winemaker visits and live entertainment on Friday evenings.

I am partial to the sparkling rose and truffle mac & cheese myself! Hope you can enjoy a Starbucks Evening near you soon.

Vodka & More at the Glass Distillery tasting room

On Friday, I was invited in for a sneak preview of the Glass Distillery located next to Showbox down in SoDo. Fellow food & lifestyle journalists & bloggers and I enjoyed a tour of the city's newest distillery & tasting room, while lunching on the finest appetizers from El Gaucho and sampling Glass Distillery's flagship spirit, Glass Vodka. What a fun way to start the weekend!

The sign is in place for Glass Distillery's public opening today, Monday, June 11th!

Desserts, caprese & carpaccio by El Gaucho

Co-founder Ian McNeil & famous wine aficionado Mark Oldman told us the story of Glass Vodka & how Glass Distillery came to be. A partnership between McNeil and Adrian Higginbotham, Glass Distillery is a tasting room that's home to their Glass Vodka. Under the careful eye of architect Kate Cudney, the Distillery repurposed a lot of the building's original materials, including a 16' tall wood & glass door separating the tasting room from the distillery itself. Art by McNeil himself adorns the walls, and blown glass art - the inspiration for the spirit & distillery's name - decorate the space.

McNeil (r) & Mark Oldman (l)

Learning about the copper manufacturing completed in Germany and custom-made for the Distillery.

McNeil & team have put so much thoughtful care into each detail of their product. The Glass Vodka bottle was made for keepsake, and the decanter is specially shaped to prevent spillage like others!

Glass Vodka itself is 80 proof/ 40% ABV and is available via 750ml bottle.

The original building's wood & glass door. Architect Kate Cudney of Hinge Studio restored much of the building's materials into the Distillery.

Copper accents in the distillery room

McNeil & Oldman treat us to a Glass Mule, a new take on the Moscow variety

Custom-made copper stills!

Enjoying lunch with Cassandra LaValle of Coco+Kelley

Thanks so much for having me!

Glass Distillery is open to the public today. Glass Vodka is available at El Gaucho and other fine restaurants in the city.

Infographic Fun with Guinness & St. Patrick's Day

What's nerdier than incorporating beer and St. Patrick's Day into some fun infographics? Luckily I'm a big nerd and never one to turn down an infographic :)

Here's a quick post with some fun facts for you as St. Patty's Day approaches:

Help GUINNESS® & Fresh Jess make this the biggest St. Patty's Day ever! Take the pledge & enter the code "JESS" over at For every pledge I bring in, I'm donating $1 to Bulldog Haven NW. It's totally free & takes just a minute. Thanks for your help!

Fresh Eats: A Guinness Feast

With St. Patrick's Day, fast approaching, I'm sure you're getting ready to indulge in a pint of Guinness or two. But did you know there are a ton of recipes you can make with the dry stout?

You may be familiar with the famous Guinness & steak pie already. I've pulled a few recipes from Guinness' site, but there are a couple of great ones over at AllRecipes and Endless Summer. From starters to desserts, you can infuse a bit of Guinness love into every part of your St. Patty's Day.

I present to you...the Fresh Jess St. Patty's Day feast, featuring Guinness!

Braised Beef w/Onions, Carrots & GUINNESS®

  • Serves 4
  • 2lb Boned stewing steak / 1 large onion / ½ lb carrots
  • 1 cup soaked prunes and hazelnuts (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves / 2 tbsp flour / 2 tbsp cooking oil / 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ¼ pint GUINNESS® Draught
  • ¼ pint water / Salt and pepper

Trim the meat and cut into convenient serving pieces; do not make them too small. Heat the oil or fat and put in the bay leaves. Let them crackle, but put the lid on, then add the beef and fry on both sides. When half done, add sliced onions and let that gently colour to pale gold. Sprinkle the flour over and let it brown then add the GUINNESS® and water. A little more liquid may be needed, in which case make it water or stock to just cover the meat. Season to taste and add the parsley and carrots cut into circles. Put the lid on and braise in a slow to moderate oven 275°F – 300°F, gas 1 – 2, for about 2 hours. In the nineteenth century, soaked and stoned prunes (about 1 cup) stuffed with grilled hazelnuts were added half an hour before the meat was ready. They make a marvelously rich garnish.

Other great starter dishes: The Best Warm Oysters Ever & Mushrooms on Toast

Crispy GUINNESS® Battered Cod Fillet

Serves 3

  • 3 fresh fillets of cod
  • Batter:
  • ½ can of GUINNESS® Draught / 1 ½ cups of flour / ¼ cup of baking powder
  • Teaspoon of salt / ¼ teaspoon of pepper

Pour the GUINNESS® into a large bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Then whisk until it is light and frothy. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes - remember good things come to those who wait! Meanwhile, heat a deep fryer to 180° C. When the batter is ready, dust the fish with flour and coat evenly with batter. Fry for 5 - 6 minutes turning once halfway. Then serve with chunky chips, salad and a cool GUINNESS®. Get your batter ready and then knock it up for the lads at half time. TIP To stop your batter sticking to the wire mesh of your deep fat fryer, simply take the mesh out and use a slotted spoon to lift your fish instead.

More delicious main dishes: Beef & Guinness Pancakes w/Smoked Cheddar & Rack of Lamb w/Guinness & Mustard


Serves 6

  • 8oz. butter / 8oz. brown sugar / 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 10oz plain flour & 2 level tsps of mixed spice sieved together
  • 8oz seedless raisins / 8oz sultanas / 4oz mixed peel
  • 8-12 tsps of GUINNESS Draught
  • 4oz walnuts

Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Gradually beat in eggs. Fold in the flour and mixed spice. Then add the raisins, sultanas, mixed peel and walnuts. Mix well together. Stir 4tbps of GUINNESS® into the mixture. Mix to a soft dropping consistency. Turn into a prepared 7 inch cake tin. Bake in a very moderate oven, Gas mark 3 / 300° F for 1 hour. Then reduce and cook for another one and a half hours. Allow it to become cool. Remove from cake tin. Prick the base of the cake with a skewer and spoon over the remaining 4-8 tsps of GUINNESS®. Keep the cake for 1 week before eating.

Additional delectable desserts: Irish Cake Bombs & Guinness Brownies

Check all the recipes at the GUINNESS® Good Food Guide, plus 100 Ways to Cook w/Guinness

Help GUINNESS® & Fresh Jess make this the biggest St. Patty's Day ever! Take the pledge & enter the code "JESS" over at For every pledge I bring in, I'm donating $1 to Bulldog Haven NW. It's totally free & takes just a minute. Thanks for your help!

Guinness & FreshJess = The Largest St. Patty's Day Celebration Ever!

What's a holiday like St. Patty's Day without a little fun & games? 

This year, Guinness is setting its sights high with a mission to set a Guinness World Record for The Largest St. Patty's Day Celebration Ever. They've partnered with me to lead the efforts here in Washington State!

How can you help make this The Largest St. Patty's Day Celebration Ever?

It's easy:

1) Head over to

2) Fill out the form to confirm you're over 21 (sorry kiddos)

3) Click "Join the Party"

4) Fill out the pledge form enter "JESS" in the optional code

5) Share it on Facebook

Simple as that!

Master Brewer Fergal Murray

For each pledge made that includes code "JESS", I'm donating a dollar to my dear Bulldog Haven NW in support of their efforts to provide better lives to rescued bulldogs.

Drink responsibly - it's for a good cause this time!

Recap: Dolce Gusto dinner at Crush

A couple of weeks ago, Nescafe invited a few Seattle food & lifestyle bloggers out to Crush for a private dinner party to sample their new Dolce Gusto line of at-home coffee machines & flavors. For those of you who may not be familiar with Crush, it is one of Seattle's finest culinary gems. James Beard 2010 award winner Chef Jason Wilson and wife Nicole have created an absolutely top-notch experience in both venue and menu at Crush. After our first time there with dear friends Sarah & Frank (Going for Seconds), it's become my top recommendation for any intimate dinner or special occasion. So naturally when this opportunity came to me, I couldn't pass it up!

A Dolce Gusto cappuccino

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® combines the expertise and history of NESCAFÉ® coffee making with the hallmarks of Delonghi® precision, engineering and technical perfection. Now coffee rookies like myself can make cafe-style beverages like a pro, in the comfort of our homes! For the dinner party, we enjoyed amazing appetizers and a trip to the Crush backyard garden, where Chef had us picking our own herbs for the crab cakes we'd have later. Not being a foodie on the level of some other bloggers I know - it was such a treat to have my favorite chef in the city give us his time and energy for this dinner! Our dinner was capped off with sweet sea salt caramels paired with various Dolce Gusto drinks.

Truffled chevre gougeres

Hawaiian ahi tuna crudo w/black garlic & sunchoke

In the Crush garden w/Chef Jason Wilson

He's laughing & I'm in disbelief I'm standing there!

Heirloom tomato chutney and garden basil w/ricotta

This doesn't look like a Bloody Mary but it is. And it was SCRUMPTIOUS

Crisp Berkshire pork belly with confit apples and fig mustard

Crab cake demo

Crab cakes w/garden lovage aioli

I had six different beverages that night.


Getting educated on our post-dinner cafe beverages

Alaskan pure sea salt caramels & watermelon goodness

Mine looks like a penguin! The PIccolo machine & a couple of flavors to boot

Fresh Eats: BOKA Kitchen + Bar featuring The Mix List

Last week, I was invited to BOKA Kitchen + Bar's tasting for The Mix List, the restaurant's new menu of fine, handcrafted cocktails by six of its talented bartenders. While most Seattleites might look at BOKA as just the bar for Hotel 1000, the restaurant actually boasts a great American menu, with brunch, happy hour and an extensive Northwest-focused wine list. Signature to BOKA are its delicious truffle fries - which you can get for free if you check in on FourSquare!

The Mix List is a seasonal list, spearheaded by BOKA's bar manager and Seattle mixologist Mi-Suk Ahn. Mi-Suk and team delivered with six of the tastiest, unique fall/winter drinks I've ever had!  Just like we adjust our wardrobes for the colder weather, now we can easily adjust our cocktail preferences with The Mix List. Photos and more info on the drinks below:

Mi-Suk Ahn, BOKA's lead bartender, tells us about her handcrafted, aged whiskey

Le Foret ($10, by Mike)

Thyme-infused vodka, porcini stock, truffle salted rim, Manchego cheese garnish

"Le Foret is inspired by my favorite dish to cook in the fall: porcini-thyme polenta. I love the inimitable aroma of porcini mushrooms, which conjures up the imagery of a deep, wooded forest."

Leaf Erikson ($10, by Michael)

Ketel One vodka, Campari, Grand Marnier, topped w/sparkling wine & orange twist garnish

"The Leaf Erikson was inspired by a popular 1940s cocktail called The Viking. I took the original recipe and put my own luxury twist on it, topped with champagne. The champagne adds an effervescent note keeping with the change of the seasons."

Probably one of my favorite drinks of the night: The Grand Luxe

The Grand Luxe ($12, by Brittany)

Anniversario, Luxardo, Aperol, cherry bitters, strained & garnished with cherries

"Aged rums are the new bourbon & Pampero Anniversario rum is one of my favorites. Named after Hotel 1000's guest rooms, The Grand Luxe is a twist on a Manhattan emphasizing the depth & richness that I associate with the cool, drizzly weather of fall in Seattle."

Winter Rye ($9, by Brittany & mixed by Mi-Suk)

Rye whiskey, maple syrup infused with spice, topped with apple cider & cinnamon garnish

"Inspired by a cozy evening by the fireplace, this cocktail is infused with winter spices and topped with sparkling apple cider to make it crisp, just like the weather in Seattle during the fall. This drink, to me, incorporates the feeling of fall through its color, smell & taste."

This one was my favorite. Can you tell?

Not pictured:

The Benchmark ($10, by Taylor)

Brandy, Cointreau, maraschino liquor, lime juice, topped w/champagne & orange twist garnish

"In the early days of bartending, people looked to the fine hotel bars in New York and Chicago to find the best cocktail creations. Elegant & sophisticated, The Benchmark is mixed to capture the essence of Hotel 1000 & BOKA."

D-Licious ($10, by Dustin)

Beefeater gin, Dubonnet, orange juice, orange twist garnish

"Cocktail recipes do not have to be complex to achieve complex flavor. This is a simple, three-ingredient drink mixing quality liquor and fresh juice for an excellent combination that's both light and refreshing."


The Mix List is now available with a sweet tasting passport. Check it out today!

BOKA Kitchen + Bar

Facebook / Twitter

Fresh Eats: The Walrus & The Carpenter

My boyfriend and I are busy little bees. I know - everyone is busy - but when we're both at work all day and he goes to mixed martial arts training while I work out/blog/attend events, it can be difficult to carve time for one another. It's quite the treat, then, for us to go out somewhere great for drinks or dinner. The day the DList Magazine Young Northwest issue was released, he took me out to celebrate. I always like to choose new, interesting places, and so The Walrus & The Carpenter in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood was our destination for celebrating.

Take one look at the press page for The Walrus & The Carpenter and you'll get an idea of how easy it is to fall in love with this place. Tucked away in the Shilshole side of the Kolstrand building on Ballard Ave is this sweet gem of an oyster bar. The brainchild of Boat St. Cafe's award-winning Chef Renee Erickson, with Jeremy Price & Chad Dale, The Walrus has caught the eye of (and "best restaurant" nods from) Bon AppetitNew York TimesMr. Porter and GQ Magazine, not to mention all of the local publications.

While you should come here simply for the most extensive oyster menu around, the cocktails here are absolutely amazing. Definitely a new favorite for the mister and I!

NYFW: Rebecca Minkoff Afterparty Hosted by Smirnoff

After a whirlwind week in NYC for Fashion Week and Social Media Week, I'm back in Seattle and ready to unleash some awesome blogs for you!

One of our stops on the Fashion Week party circuit was Griffin, for the Rebecca Minkoff afterparty hosted by Smirnoff.

"The World's #1 Vodka" even invited bloggers to try The Smirnoff Challenge, where three vodkas were up for a taste test. Now I am never one to turn down a taste test - and I ended up choosing Smirnoff!


I had a blast meeting the Smirnoff & Rebecca Minkoff teams, as well as hanging with some of my favorite digital/lifestyle/fashion blogger friends.

Thanks Smirnoff & Rebecca Minkoff for such a fun night!

Ever the social media maven...

Find Smirnoff on TwitterFacebook and online

Find Rebecca Minkoff on TwitterFacebook and online

Tanqueray's GINgle All The Way Party Recap

I had the honor of attending Tanqueray's GINgle All The Way holiday party last month at Seattle speakeasy Needle & Thread. The soiree brought together some of Seattle's foodie & lifestyle bloggers and media for some sweet bites, fun networking and really great cocktails! I don't think I'd ever had Tanqueray before that night, so I'm glad I got to be part of the experience. The drinks were amazing - perfect for a fancy dinner party at home or for a night out at your favorite speakeasy with friends. Check out the specialty cocktails they served:

·Self Starter: Tanqueray, Lillet, Apricot Brandy, Absinthe

·Pegu Club: Tanqueray 10, Lime, Cointreau, Bitters

·Devil’s Crayon (my personal favorite): Tanqueray Rangpur, Lime, Red Pepper, Elderflower, Habenero, Chocolate Bitters

Some pics from the night, courtesy of AJ Ragasa, Cameron Newland and Birdie of Bonne Vie:


Thanks Tanqueray!

Follow Tanqueray on Facebook and Twitter