Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k Race Recap: Hills, Amazing Views, and Chocolate Fondue

It’s been a while since the last time I participated in a running race, but last Sunday I finally put my fears and doubts aside and took part in Seattle’s Hot Chocolate 15k. Today I’ve put together a detailed race recap to show you exactly how I managed to exceed my expectations and have a successful run this past weekend. Not going to lie, it felt great to finally add another medal to my collection of race bling! As you may know from my previous posts, I’ve been in a full-on training mode for my 3rd marathon coming up this June. The marathon is also taking place in Seattle, so I knew that running last week’s 15k race would be helpful in at least two ways: it would show me what racing in Seattle felt like, and teach me what running a bigger race was all about. All of my … Read the rest of the post

Fremont Fair: Seattle’s Quirkiest Neighborhood Shows Us More Than We Asked For

Wow, this past weekend was definitely something to remember! On Saturday, Rob and I visited the Fremont Fair – a giant fun event celebrating the summer solstice that took place in Fremont, the quirkiest neighborhood of Seattle. This annual fair took place for the 43rd time, and while we only found out about it a few days ago, we were definitely glad that we did! Just how quirky is Fremont, you may ask? After living in the Deep South for almost eight years, I consider seeing anyone wearing clown shoes on an average day the pinnacle of quirkiness, but for the dwellers of Fremont it’s just casual Tuesday morning attire. In fact, this Seattle neighborhood has an official motto of ‘delibertas quirkas’ – the freedom to be peculiar. The Fremont Fair concentrated this free spirit the same way sugar cane juice is concentrated to turn into molasses – it may be light and thin at first, but … Read the rest of the post

Cooking Class Review: Flavors of Southeast Asia by Fire and Earth Kitchen (Seattle)

When I found out that we were moving to Seattle area, I got very excited: this city in the Pacific Northwest is well-known for its vegan-friendly vibes, which is quite different from what we were used to living in the Deep South. (As Rob recently described the typical Southern restaurant fare, ‘It’s hard to find a salad that doesn’t have a rack of ribs in it.’ Okay, that’s not always true, but you get the point.) What’s even better, there are lots of opportunities in and around Seattle to enjoy delicious vegan food while socializing with like-minded people without going to a restaurant. Case in point: vegan cooking classes! This past Sunday, May 18th, Rob and I enjoyed a cooking class by Renee Press of Fire and Earth Kitchen, a Seattle-based personal chef business that Renee runs with her partner Nick. Renee offers a variety of cooking classes, as well as food coaching … Read the rest of the post

The Quirks of Whidbey Island: Our Weekend Adventures, Plus The Traffic Light Lentil Stew Recipe

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since we moved to the Washington state! Almost every day we get a chance to see how different the Pacific Northwest is from our previous home in the Southeastern US (Alabama, to be exact), and to be honest, we love it so far! From the overall laid-back, almost hippie vibe of Whidbey Island, our current dwelling, to the breathtaking views that open up every time you turn around the corner – it’s all worth experiencing in this lifetime. Right now the only drawback is that the weather is quite a bit cooler than what we’ve been used to living on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, but at least I’ve been enjoying the fact that I don’t sweat like a sasquatch when I go running outside. Speaking of sasquatch… We see this guy every day passing by Bailey’s Corner, a very laid-back community … Read the rest of the post

We’re in Washington! Or How We Survived a Move Across the Country without Cheating on Our Plant-Based Diet.

I’m so excited to finally write a blog post from our new home in Washington state! After packing our belongings in Alabama and shipping them on the first weekend of April, then driving to New Orleans to spend two days in a hotel, followed by flying to Seattle and clocking in even more hotel time while searching for a house to live in – we’ve finally moved into our new place on Whidbey Island, WA. As of Monday morning, Rob started his new job, and I am able to update you about our whereabouts – as long as the pitifully slow internet connection allows that (the local telecom company is supposed to relieve my suffering sometime this week). Let me tell you: Whidbey Island is absolutely stunning! After spending almost eight years in mostly flat Northwest Florida and South Alabama (biggest attraction – the beach) where we ran out of things to do … Read the rest of the post

Announcement: New Exciting Horizons!

All right, now that everything has been verified, there’s no need to hide the news anymore: In early April, we are moving from Alabama to Seattle, WA area!.. …And I couldn’t be more excited! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you remember that last October, my husband Rob and I were lucky to spend 3 weeks in Seattle area. As soon as we arrived there, I almost immediately fell in love with the city and its surroundings and wrote a few blog posts about the area, its history, vegan restaurants we visited, etc. I was also in the final stages of my marathon training, so I was happy to do lots of running both on roads and on trails. When the time came for us to return to Alabama, both Rob and I were sad to leave such a beautiful place behind… Fast forward a few months, we … Read the rest of the post

Seattle Vegan Restaurants Review: Plum Bistro, Wayward Vegan Cafe, Araya’s Place, Flying Apron Bakery

On our recent trip to Seattle, I was very glad to have an opportunity to eat at a number of all-vegan restaurants that are so numerous in Seattle area. This was a nice change from our current town in Southern Alabama where we don’t have any fully vegan eateries… I mean, we still manage, of course, but generally any eating out experiences are limited to choosing the only thing on the menu that has no meat, and then asking to not put any cheese on it either… At least two positive things come out of not having lots of vegan restaurants in our area: We cook and eat at home a lot, which is almost always healthier and cheaper; Going out to eat is not a temptation anymore to stuff ourselves with junk! This alone is a great thing, right? Since I don’t want to trash-talk our otherwise lovely town any further, … Read the rest of the post

Weeks 12 and 13 of Marathon Training. My First Injury Scare.

As I am approaching Pensacola Marathon on November 10th, it’s time to make an update on how my training went in weeks 12 and 13. I can’t believe I’m only three weeks away from the race I’ve been preparing so hard for what seems like an eternity! And yes, if you’ve got an eternity to do something, you’ll inevitably go through some bad experiences. In my case – as well as almost every other runner’s – it’s been dealing with an injury… But first, let me praise the wonderful city of Seattle and its surroundings, where I got to spend weeks 12 and 13 of my marathon prep! Seattle skyline I was amazed at how much beauty this city and the surrounding area had to offer: from gorgeous views of the water of Puget Sound and the city skyline, to the mountains in almost any direction I looked, and tall, majestic trees by the … Read the rest of the post

Beyond Seattle: Exploring Fidalgo Island, Deception Pass and Whidbey Island.

As our trip to Seattle, WA area is coming to an end, I’m going to continue sharing our experiences in this beautiful part of the country. Today my story is about exploring Fidalgo and Whidbey islands in the Puget Sound to the north of Seattle. Here’s one thing that I love about this area: you’ve got a large, eclectic city booming with activity, but if you drive just 10-20 minutes outside of it, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the wild country where you can spend hours enjoying gorgeous views and participating in all kinds of outdoorsy activities. Mountain passes, waterfalls, state parks, ferry rides from island to island – I could never get tired of this! It comes as no surprise that a city with such beautiful surroundings sparked creativity in so many people and gave the world Nirvana and Pearl Jam, as well as Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon. In the … Read the rest of the post

Adventures in Seattle, Wa., and Beyond. Pike Place Market. Sabra’s Mediterranean Food.

As you may know, I’ve spent the last couple weeks in Seattle, WA area. Naturally, there’s been a lot of traveling around and exploring the area, and discovering a lot of lovely places along the way. Today I’m going to talk about the legendary Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle – one of the oldest and most famous markets in the United States (and also the place where the first Starbucks store opened back in 1970s). Pike Place Market was opened in 1907 in an effort to let people buy produce and other farm goods directly from farmers, avoiding high wholesale prices. The market has thrived for over a hundred years and managed to escape demolition in 1960s. Its historic buildings are now  guarded by Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. One of the market entrances Farmers and crafters of different kinds from all over the area sell food, flowers, handmade clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, etc. While … Read the rest of the post