I’ve been scouring all the Seattle-area holiday craft fairs to get gifts for my family…and ok, myself too. The stands I always find myself gravitating toward are the ones with artisanal food goods.
Maybe it’s the samples, but I think it’s also the fact that the majority of my family is really into food. My dad literally asks for gift certificates to artisanal food stores every year. And nothing makes my mom happier than when I stick locally-made salted caramels in her stocking.
Food is a universal language we all understand, so it makes the best gift for anyone on your list. Male, female, old, or young, everyone appreciates getting a taste of something new, especially if it’s not something they’d buy on their own. So here’s my Pacific Northwest-sourced holiday gift guide featuring gift ideas for foodies.
Every time Thanksgiving comes around I find myself thinking the same thing: “Why on earth do we only have this meal once a year?!” I’d much prefer if we ate that addictive turkey and sides combo multiple times throughout the year.
Since it’s going to take me some more time to win that battle, the next best thing is coming up with a recipe that can recreate the flavors of Thanksgiving well beyond the big day. This recipe has everything I love rolled up into one meatball. The turkey. The sweetness you get from root vegetables like sweet potatoes. The tartness from cranberries. The savoriness from sage.
And the best part? You don’t have to wait 4+ hours for this pumpkin meatball recipe to be done.
I’m sort of obsessed with old things, particularly of the home variety. You should see me when I travel. It doesn’t really matter that it’s completely impractical to go to flea markets or antique malls thousands of miles away from Seattle. I still always make time for perusing antique vintage shops in the area.
I just love everything about them. The array of items. The more affordable prices, yet high quality craftsmanship. The glimpse back in history. The opportunity to breathe new life into something and save it from the landfill. The smell. Ok…maybe the smell isn’t the best. But it’s something that I’ve come to associate with a lot of happy shopping memories.
Being obsessed with antiques, vintage, and second-hand items also means I’ve ended up in pretty subpar junker scenarios. There’s nothing I like more than the hunt, but sometimes I have to be in the mood to go through 1,000 items I would never want before I find that gem.
This inevitability has helped me develop a keen eye for great antique vintage shops. Ones that have great prices, are organized, and have carefully-curated items just waiting for a new home. I want to share my favorite antique vintage shops in Seattle so you, too, can enjoy the thrill of thrifting without the exhausting exposure to junk you have no intention of breathing new life into.
Every fall my family and I take a long weekend to explore some the best Pacific Northwest wineries. I’m bummed that this year we won’t be able to go. But I guess I shouldn’t complain, considering we’re not going because I’ll be galavanting around Italy and Stockholm instead. Whoops!
Luckily, my boyfriend and I were able to squeeze in an earlier wine trip. This time it was exploring the Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon. In just a 4 hour drive from Seattle, we were able to explore one of the best regions for pinots in the world. But the Willamette Valley is so much more than just the wine. That’s why I’m outlining not only what to drink, but also what to eat and do between winery visits.
We all know that Olympia is the capital of Washington state, but how many of us have really ever been there? I hadn’t until last month. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a quick weekend trip, but we needed it to be 36 hours or less so we’d have time do some life things that weekend, too.
Enter Olympia. Our state capital is about a 1.5 hour drive from Seattle, which makes it a great day or one-night trip. And there’s a whole lot more to do than just visit the capitol building. In fact, it’s a tight-knit community that shares a lot of my values: celebrate local farms, make good beer, and get outside.
Have a day or two to spare? Here are 8 ideas for how to spend 36 hours in Olympia, WA.