Friday, December 18, 2009

Truly Madly Sweetly: a look at 2010's trends

One of this year's best treats has been The Spellman Company's collaboration with Lifestyle Insights, an independent agency specializing in consumer insights, trend analysis, research and content for the MOMMY TO MAVEN™ market. Under the leadership of Robin Avni this select group of savvy lifestyle experts focuses on how real women live, make choices and craft their worlds... helping companies dialogue with their consumers in honest and authentic voices.

Robin's named 10 Insights for 2010 and it was a pleasure to co-author Trend #7, in the category of Celebrations:

"AFTER A YEAR OF GOOD BEHAVIOR, WE’RE RELEASED from the constraints of humble and serious. Call it Cabin Fever if you must, but following a year of hunkering down, women are looking for new ways to celebrate in a manner that’s true and authentic, crazy-mad with passion, plus sweetly meaningful and memorable.
Austerity trumped fun at most parties last year, with everyone reigning in any obviously extravagant spending, and many forgoing big celebrations, even brides postponing nuptials. In 2010 we’re seeing a bit of clemency granted for the festive-focused party-goer, as well as the party-giver.
This isn’t to say we’ll see a backlash of the last year’s woes and enter a 2010 of drunken revelry and can-you-top-this celebrations. Not at all. Rather, we’ll witness a general renewed interest in special touches for entertaining at home, with a focus on more intimate gatherings. At dinners for four, six or eight, hostesses will infuse get-togethers with a distinct personal touch.
As with every year, good food and drink will remain the core component of any celebration. But watch as diverse dishes — Indian curries, Latin-inspired stews, even the humble brisket — infuse the more formal dinner-party menu, and the comfy items — finger foods, soups and barbecue — provide fuel for potlucks in the park, or on the couch for a night of video-gaming.
The Food Network and the soon-to-be-launched Cooking Channel will continue to inspire culinary creativity and a can-do attitude. After all, the cookie swaps, potlucks or corporate cooking events all share the same common goal — let’s eat!"

To get a glimpse into the other nine trends, make sure and read Avni's blog and visit the website. Click the blog title above.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Invention Featured on the "Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Gay Parents and Merry Kids"

So excited that She Wired has featured a GREAT find from our client for their holiday gift guide: "Once again, Out With Baby is proud to bring you a gift guide of toys, gear, gadgets, apparel and more from gay-friendly companies that are thrilled about the opportunity to be part of the holiday celebration of lesbian and gay parents and their families."

The Womentorz merchant they featured has created a very cool hand warmer/storage pouch for baby joggers or strollers. Can't tell you how many times my hubby and I could have used one of these over those cold, wet winters when our boys were still in their double buggy! You can keep your hands warm, stash your iPhone and keys plus a couple bucks for the coffee house. Genius!

Here's how Out with Baby described the product: "Just for Mom. For colder climes, the Mommy Mitten is the must-have weather accessory for baby strollers. The water-resistant fleece-lined hand warmer secures around the stroller handle bar to keep hands toasty, and a zipper pocket keeps pacifiers, keys and cell phones handy, $29.99"

Thanks Out with Baby for showing the new e-commerce site some love!

Photo of Womentorz founder Melinda Knight using the Mommy Mitten by Kristin Zwiers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gale Fiege + The Associated Press: a Look at an Inspiring Local Deer Hunter Who Gives Back to Chief Seattle Club

What a gift to have the story of one local eighth grader told so beautifully to the nation. The Chief Seattle Club was honored to receive a gift from this fine young man. Fiege wrote, "Bagging his first deer was a rite of passage for 13-year-old Josh Hamilton. After bringing home the three-point buck, Josh had another tradition to honor. On Tuesday morning, the young Tulalip tribal member climbed warily out of his grandfather's truck in the middle of Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. A shy Totem Middle School eighth-grader, Josh was greeted on the sidewalk by staff and clients of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit organization that provides support to about 200 low-income and homeless urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. Josh was there to give away his butchered deer to help feed the people who frequent the club's day shelter. He helped unload coolers of venison from the truck and carried the meat to the club's kitchen. 'Our tradition is that when a boy gets his first deer, he must give it away to those who would appreciate the help,' Josh's mother, Andrea Hamilton, said as she watched her son. 'Josh knows his grandpa brings fish to the Chief Seattle Club, so he wanted to give his deer to our people here on the streets.' Tall for his age, Josh accepted hugs, handshakes and high-fives from men who called him 'brother.' The Rev. Patrick Twohy, a Catholic priest who ministered for many years on the Tulalip and Swinomish reservations, asked the people gathered to accept Josh's gift to form a circle in the lobby of the club. Josh, who lives with his family in Tulalip, has known 'Father Pat' since he was a little boy and was happy to see the priest, who now splits his time between Chief Seattle Club and Tacoma's Mount Tahoma Indian Center. Following another tradition, Chief Seattle's executive director Jenine Grey, a young Tlingit woman, pinned a blanket around Josh as one of the elderly men in the circle sang and kept a beat on his deerskin drum. 'We are humbled and honored by your gift,' Grey said. 'It will nourish the bodies and spirits of people who don't often have the chance to eat traditional foods. In this urban world where we live, a gift like this will bring tears to their eyes.'"
Thank you Gayle for telling this story. And for any of you who would like to support Chief Seattle Club, please contact us, or the club directly. With this cold weather they are especially in need of warm clothing and gear.
To read the entire article, a true inspiration, please go to: .

Photo of the Chief Seattle Club from the DJC.

Friday, December 4, 2009

a hootinany + square dance in Duvall on Dec 17

Our friends out at Oxbow Farm are holding a fun fundraiser for the Sno-Valley Tilth (all proceeds go the SVT thanks to Oxbow Farms) and a PARTY!!

So scout out some fab square dancing garb and get tickets before they're gone at:
Y'all come!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tavern Law = 12th Avenue's Worst Kept Secret

Today's Seattle Times has a great story on Capitol Hill's 12th Avenue, written by Tan Vinh. It's got a terrific map of spots to stop by on your visits to the neighborhood... for dining, drinking and dropping some cash on knickknacks.

Tan was kind enough to include our client Tavern Law, describing them as "The city's premier speakeasy-style cocktail lounge and worst-kept secret. It's located upstairs through the bank-vault door. Pick up the rotary phone to get buzzed in."

Map by Ed Sauer for the Seattle Times

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Giving Thanks: Chief Seattle Club + Seattle Times

One of last week’s great moments was helping serve a full course turkey dinner to over 200 homeless Native Americans at the crack of dawn the day before Thanksgiving. Chief Seattle Club has been hosting their “Giving Thanks Dinner” for 13 years, and their fabulous staff and volunteers go all out to make this annual event special.

Lynda Mapes and Mike Siegel from the Seattle Times arrived at 6:30 to watch the Indian fry bread being made and talk to many of the folks that were there.

Thanks to both of you for taking the time and sharing your great talents to share the Club’s story.

In case you missed it, click here to read it.

Photo by Mike Siegel, Seattle Times

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Money Saving Moms Blog Reviews a Womentorz Top Pick in 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

Frugal moms looking to support creative women with clever products loved the baby-by-the-month stickers we shared with them. They wrote: "Each Missy Fissy Clothing Sticker is 4" in diameter and is made of transparent sticky paper. When it is applied it LOOKS like it is part of the T-shirt. Each month on your child's "monthday birthday" simply stick the clothing sticker to your baby’s shirt or onesie. Take a picture to capture each stage and be amazed at how much your little one changes. Picky Sticky's are excellent for sharing photos with friends and family on blogs or facebook. At the end of the year you will have a great collection of photos to make unique birthday invitations or great holiday cards. Picky Stickys make shower gifts for the new mom!

These stickers are so cute. They are bright and colorful. Have you ever gone back to a picture and not known how old your baby was in it? I sometimes forget to date the picture. So when I go back to look at it, I'm not sure. Place a Picky Sticky sticker on your baby's bib and click the picture. You can leave it on or just one of the pictures. Its such a great idea. You will be glad you bought them. They make a great gift just make sure you buy a second set for you."

Price of Product $14.95. Where it can be purchased

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something to Tweet About: Our Agency Holds a Twitter Launch Party for That Becomes the #8 Trend in the Nation

Black Friday was a bright spot of the holiday week for us, as The Spellman Company helped host a Twitter Launch Party for our client Womentorz. is Melinda Knight's new e-commerce site celebrating the brains of inventive women and featuring products made by them. Our associate Julie Bonn Heath did a terrific job leading the party with Resourceful Moms.

The results? Our party surpassed hundreds of other top trending subjects of the night, quickly gaining ground and going from the #10 spot to #8 in under one hour. What's that mean? Quite simply, that our buzz building attracted more than 3,400 mentions of Womentorz on Twitter and that the online conversations around the country and the globe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New York, San Antonio, Seattle and Beyond: Better Because is Moving a Mountain of Discouragement

The good for you Better Because movement takes flight.

Inspired by the Dalai Lama, in the middle of a recession two pals, moms, and self proclaimed "rat racers", Ginny Hutchinson and Cathy Haffner jumped from their Fortune 100 careers to launch Better Because. In no time flat 4,300+ new folks have friended them on Facebook and sent in smiles and stories from around the globe of what their life is "better because of" today. Nordstrom has snapped-up the duo's book, "Better Because of You", and will carry it for the holidays. Proceeds from book sales support "Room to Read", a great non-profit that builds libraries for children in need in Asia and Africa.

In NYC, cosmetic genius Trish McEvoy ordered 50 books to give to her friends. In Seattle, Union Bank Mortgage Consultant Aaron Tyler purchased 32 books for each of his co-workers and couldn't believe the
response-- just the cover put a smile on their faces.

Folks with the flu have read it to their families, those recovering from heart surgery have shared the book as a thank you to friends who visited them at the hospital, while others have turned to the book for ways to comfort grief stricken family dealing with tragedy. Powerful stuff here.

Featured yesterday on KIRO's CEO Spotlight, Cathy and Ginny talked how wonderfully rewarding it is to help others in these tough times.

In San Antonio recently, they shared their "attitude of gratitude" and simple ways to focus on the little things that make life better.

To hear KIRO's Jason' Brook's interview paste this url into your browser and take a listen:

"Trying to start a movement is one of the toughest things in the world, but two women hope to move a mountain of discouragement by getting people to find what's good in life."

To see Cathy and Ginny on San Antonio Living, click the blog title above.

We continue to be better because of knowing Cathy and Ginny and hope you'll take a moment to get to know them too. Trust us, you'll feel just a little bit better. Visit and get inspired!

Photo of author Ginny Hutchinson with Trish McEvoy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Recession Trend: So Long Lipstick Effect, Hello Implant Index

Seattle’s Dr. Richard Baxter Shares New Economic Indicator

Dr. Richard Baxter, a nationally recognized cosmetic surgeon who’s just been named Favorite Plastic Surgeon in KING TV’s Best of Western Washington poll, has noticed a new trend: as the economy has shrunk, so has the size of breast implants. After years of edging ever larger, during the last year more women are choosing a full “B” cup. And no, smaller implants do not cost less. Prior to the recession, fewer than a third of Baxter’s clients chose a B cup. Now, about half are choosing a B. Baxter will continue to see how the "Implant Index" performs during the return to economic stability. If his index holds true, the “C” cup is where we want to be.

Today’s Puget Sound Business Journal breaks the full story in Patti Payne’s column: “A fleshy indicator-implants. Plastic surgeons say women opt for smaller enhancements during downturns... Women wanting breast implants are trending toward the smaller sizes. Why? Blame it on the economy. So says Dr. Richard Baxter, a Seattle cosmetic surgeon who has done thousands of breast implants and more, in his 20-plus years at Baxter Plastic Surgery

Baxter’s confidential client list contains some amazingly recognizable names, people who have turned to him for all types of plastic surgery. I say this with confidence because I know some of the people who rely on him to keep them perky — women and men.

Prior to the current recession, two thirds of Baxter’s breast-implant patients wanted to supersize. Now half are choosing a B cup. “Breasts were literally shrinking as our economy collapsed,” says one source who is close to the situation.

Click here to read the full article:

Thanks to Providence for a Great Review of Tavern Law in Today's Seattle Times

Cicero's review is entitled: "Tavern Law salutes the glory days of American bartending and offers an alchemy of flavors both in the glass and on the plate". It reads in part, "Tavern Law isn't for those who drink to forget; it's the thinking drinker's watering hole. You get an inkling of that as you browse the drinks menu, an almost scholarly tome complete with glossary and historical notes. The bill of fare, on the other hand, isn't even printed. It's written in chalk and lists just eight plates. But don't for a minute think food is peripheral here, not with Brian McCracken and Dana Tough in the kitchen.
These creative young chefs dug their Spur into Belltown and galloped to national attention last year. Now they've opened Tavern Law in the restaurant thicket of Pike/Pine. Who should go? Hedonists (over 21 only), cerebral cocktailians and anyone who's ever wished they'd lived through America's first Gilded Age."

To read the entire mothwatering review, go to the Times website:

Photo of bartender Philip Thompson by the Seattle Times' Cliff Despeaux.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rebekah Denn Writes Up Ivy Manning's Adaptable Feast Cookbook for

For those of us commonly cooking for a mixed bag of dietary preferences, Denn wrote a great piece today on the CSMonitor blog about client Ivy Manning's new book The Adaptable Feast (Sasquatch). Denn writes, in part:

"My sister was trying to figure out how to make dinner for her meat-loving husband and vegetarian teen, and I had the perfect book for her: “The Adaptable Feast,” the newest cookbook by Portland-based writer Ivy Manning. It’s aimed at “mixed-diet households,” teaching how to satisfy vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike without turning into a short-order cook.

The book is a timely one – not just in my own household, with a 7-year-old vegetarian and a 2-year-old who carefully removes every fleck of chard from his chicken – but also seems well-timed for a country just starting to coalesce around the idea of dining compromises. Die-hard vegetarians and vegans have their followers and have their own cookbooks, but those preach to a converted audience. I think now we’ve suddenly hit the era of meeting each other halfway."

To read the entire article, click on the blog title above. And to learn more about Ivy's great new book, check out her blog at

Thanks Rebekah!
Photo of borscht from Ivy's new cookbook, by Gregor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Life is Better Because: More Than Eight Minutes of Happiness Sharing in less Than 24hrs on Our Local NBC Affiliate

You all know about our clients and friends Cathy Haffner and Ginny Hutchinson, founders of the powerful global groundswell forming: Better Because. In the last week their story's gotten real traction with our friends in the media including KIRO's Jason Brooks and KING TV's evening news and morning news. What a great feeling to know that the media, oft tasked with reporting the negatives in our society, is open and hungry for stories of goodness.

Why do websites like F*** My Life get so much traffic and attention? Recent studies show negative words are way more catchy than positive ones. Defeated by such news and trends? NO WAY. Not these two pals, Ginny and Cathy decided to DO SOMETHING. They both have stories to tell like Cathy who went from being a baby in a bamboo hut in the Philippines, to rocking a Fortune 100 career, to ditching it all to launch a movement dedicated to inspiring positive action after seeing the terrifying impact of teen depression in her own daughter's life. The result? in just a few weeks over 4,000 folks have friended us on Facebook and sent in their smiles and stories from around the GLOBE of what makes their life "better because of" today.

This week's great news? In addition to all this wonderful media, Nordstrom just grabbed the duo's book to carry in their stores nationally and the University Bookstore, where we did a TV taping the other day, is carrying their line of merchandise too.

Thanks to all! We're better because of you.

Photo of Cathy and Ginny with KING 5's Carolyn Douglas by Kat.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a bittersweet celebration: Tavern Law's excellent Gourmet magazine write up

The news that Gourmet magazine's been given the axe has us all crying over our cutting boards and our key boards. We love Gourmet. We love Ruth. We love the photos, the recipes, the stories. We're stunned.

And here we've been on pins and needles for weeks, awaiting the article we knew was coming on Tavern Law. Written by Matthew Amster-Burton, and accompanied by a great photo of the chefs by Kristin Zwiers, we hope you'll take a moment to click on the link above and read the entire article at Who knows , maybe the extra web traffic will employ a few more talented folks over there under the umbrella. We can only hope.

Some of what Gourmet said included, " have full access to Tavern Law’s encyclopedic drink menu, equipped with a glossary in case you don’t know your fizzes from your flips. The food—poached salmon, fried oysters, sautéed pimientos de Padrón—is expertly cooked and appropriately modest, as if devised to keep your mind on beverages. "

Thank you Matthew and congrats to our friends and clients Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough with Bartender/Manager David Nelson of Tavern Law on a terrific piece. This article's one we'll all keep pinned to our bulletin boards. A sweet celebration indeed.

Monday, September 28, 2009

HUGO BOSS Grand Opening Party with DETAILS magazine

This Thursday night DETAILS magazine debuts the new BOSS store from 6:00-8:30 at Bellevue Square and you're invited. To be added to our guest list please RSVP to:

What's in store that night? DJ "Risk One" from the famous Scratch DJ Academy in NY will be there while you sip Redhook brews and Kim Crawford wines. Play roulette for cool prizes including $500-$1000 Boss shopping sprees, gift certificates to Dahlia Lounge, Spur Gastropub, and Tavern Law, plus an overnight stay at the Westin.

The new HUGO BOSS store is located at 575 Bellevue Square. Visit to register to receive exclusive info on HUGO BOSS and for a chance to win a $1,000 Hugo Boss wardrobe.

Part of Bellevue's Fashion Week, come on Thursday, ready to get your photo taken and to check out some great new fashions. RSVP required to this invitation-only event. Email us with questions!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Glamour Magazine's Vitamin G Invites Folks to Share Smiles with Better Because

We're gettin' our own Friday afternoon happy on, because Glamour mag Health and Fitness blogger Sarah Jio wrote about Better Because. Jio invites, "Let's Start Our Own Happiness Project: What Little Things Make You Happy? Share!

Share the little things that make you happy--your simple little everyday mood boosters! And, if you need a little boost of happiness yourself, read the comments for some inspiration...

My list:
*Clean sheets on my bed. (As it turns out, there's some truth behind the claim that a made bed increases your happiness!)
*Zinnias--my new favorite flower!
*Cooking in my kitchen with jazz, a glass of wine, and my boys (husband, toddler and baby) playing in the distance--life doesn't get much better.
*Napping children.
*Stationary (like these cute envelope labels I found recently). I'm a total nut about stationary.
What's on your happy list? Let's inspire each other, shall we?

P.S. You have to check out the super-cute efforts of two women, Cathy Haffner and Ginny Hutchinson who have launched on their site, Better Because, a "Smile Campaign." The goal? To gather smiles (well, photos of them) from each of the world's 192 countries.Too cute!"

Thanks Sarah and hey everyone, won't you go to to share your smiles?!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

calling all women with great inventions

We're excited to be partnering with a smart Pacific Northwest gal, Melinda Knight, who traveled to Chicago recently, getting up the nerve to audition her invention for Kelly Ripa's new TLC show about women inventors and their creations. Melinda's invention? A tray that'll hold your laptop while you're multitasking on a recumbent bike at the gym. She practically turned herself into a human pretzel getting a prototype made for the open call.

Her audition? It went great but alas she wasn't chosen as a finalist to compete on the new show. But here's the upside. While waiting in line in Chicago, Melinda met a bevy of other inventive gals with cool creations-- all who needed the venue to sell them and the marketing know-how to really launch with a splash. Seeing a hole in the e-commerce world, where it's typically either arts-and-crafty Etsy or corporate-giant Amazon, Melinda is launching a new e-commerce site in late October made expressly for such inventors and the kind of women who want to shop for stuff made especially for them.
The eshopping site? Take a look at her pre-launch blog and let us know if you or a pal have an invention we should be showcasing and selling. We can't wait to see what you've got gals!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Details magazine: inside scoop on an invitation-only event this Monday

This Monday night DETAILS magazine is bringing the band Nico Vega to town. We just got the inside scoop on how to get into this hot party at the downtown Nordstrom. Dress right for this fashionable, fun and free event celebrating music and fashion:

DETAILS Celebrates Fashion & Music with Nico Vega

Monday, August 31
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Nordstrom Downtown Seattle
The Rail, on the Metro level

Join us for a night of fashion and music. You’ll view the hottest styles of the season from top designers including Hugo Boss, Diesel, 7 Diamonds, and William Rast while sipping on Kim Crawford wine and Redhook beer.*

Nico Vega will be in store to play tracks off their latest album, plus you’ll have the chance to get an autograph (as time permits) and enter for the chance to win two tickets and a VIP meet-and-greet for their Seattle show on September 2.**

To R.S.V.P. or for special accommodations information, call 206.628.1690. We hope to see you there.

Nordstrom 500 Pine Street Seattle, WA 98101

*Must be 21 or older to consume alchol at Nordstrom.
** No purchase necessary to enter or win. Must be 21 or older to win. Void where prohibited. See store for official rules and details.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Seattle Times food writer forewarns readers about Tavern Law's buzz

Don't you love when an article starts with a line like, "With all the early press -- both locally and nationally..." We do!

Here's the scoop from Nancy Leson on our client's opening weekend (but don't let her keep you away, it's going to be fun to see everyone these opening weeks):

Tavern Law open. Don't expect a Spur-of-the-moment seat

With all the early press -- both locally and nationally, my guess is there won't be a lot of room to move at Tavern Law when the Capitol Hill restaurant and speakeasy-styled drinks-joint makes its public debut at 12th and Madison tonight. Doors open at 5 p.m. and listen up: it's 21-and-over.
Considering the talent at hand (chefs Brian McCracken, Dana Tough and their barman David Nelson -- who brought us Belltown's Spur gastropub), and the foot traffic alone on this Pike/Pine corridor (they're ensconced in the Trace Lofts complex), chances are you might just have to poke your nose in and head elsewhere. Not that you'd have far to go given the implosion of worthy places to eat and drink within a few short blocks.
Chefs Dana Tough (left) and Brian McCracken want you: to check out their new Zwiers

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tavern Law opens August 21: Daily Candy delivers the summons

Today's Daily Candy delivers the news about our clients:

Barely Legal.
Tavern Law Bar Opens.

The verdict is in. In light of recent evidence, your temporary prohibition (which began last night at 2 a.m.) of all alcohol is lifted.

Bust out your desk drawer flask, Don Draper.

Twisted classic cocktails and elegant pub fare continues at Tavern Law, Spur owners Brian McCracken and Dana Tough’s new project, opening tonight. With its curved mahogany bar, masculine leather booths, and bookcase stocked with vintage law tomes, the remodeled mercantile building recalls a privileged private library.

Study up on the short chalkboard menu with rotating specials like carnaroli risotto, braised pork belly, and fried oysters with beefsteak tomato and horseradish aioli.

Cocktails like the vintage Monkey Gland (gin, orange juice, grenadine, absinthe) and the newly fashioned Pike & Pine (rye, rosemary, lemon, kummel, egg) make a case for sticking around late into the night.
Setting a precedent.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Writer Rebekah Denn examines Twitter in the food world

This month's Seattle magazine features a great article by Rebekah Denn: "SHORT ORDER REVIEWS: In Seattle where restaurants, chefs and food are topics discussed and debated with more fervor than politics, Twitter is giving foodies inside access to the conversation, 140 characters at a time."

Denn included me in the mix, writing, "Twitter followers must determine which sources they consider reliable, rather than rely on gate-keeping editors. And that reliability is harder to judge due to the fact that every Twitterer has an agenda— or sometimes, several.

Kat Spellman, publicist for Spur Gastropub, finds Twitter a valuable business tool, learning immediately, for instance , when (Ruth) Reichl (Gourmet magazine’s editor) ate at Spur. But she also follows luminaries she admires on Twitter, such as Mark Bittman of The New York Times. She was thrilled when she tweeted Bittman to compliment him on his chocolate soufflé and he replied.

The self promotion that’s clearly a top agenda item for some is only effective when done in a low-key style…"

As a Twitterer who enjoys wearing multiple hats online, I'm honored to be included and even more thrilled to be recognized for rocking a "low key style". Love it!

Thanks for the opportunity Rebekah. Illustration for Seattle magazine by Ken Orvidas.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Pepper Schwartz talks Samantha of Sex in the City, That Girl and more with Elle magazine

What fun it was to connect Dr. Pepper Schwartz with Elle magazine recently, for the “Living Single” article on the single gal in tv and film through the years. Writer Jeryl Bruner wrote about taking a tip or two from “unwed wonders throughout pop-culture history” and who better than Schwartz, author of such books as Prime: Adventures and Advice About Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years to offer expert comment?

Of Marlos Thomas’ That Girl character, Schwartz says, “The opening scene was her pure joy—like she was saying, ‘Am I happy to be here or what?’” Of Sex and the City she says, “Imagine a show based on middle-aged and old women, who are usually invisible, having good and interesting lives,” says Schwartz. “They were bright, analytical, adventurous, and even interested in sex.”

This is a fun read single gals, so be certain to click on the blog title above to read the entire piece.

Thank you Jeryl and thank you Pepper!

Photo of Marlos Thomas as Anne Marie in “That Girl”.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Halter Hotties are some of the Fini Gals “Favorite Things”

Local made eco chic halters burn it up on Seattle Met mag’s “Who What Wear” blog.

The chic halter tops of our clients at Halter Hotties have headlined Laura Cassidy’s fashion blog “that’s all about cultivating a life of style in Seattle.” Laura writes, “Kimberly Kay and her daughter Paris sort through piles of discarded silk and otherwise luxuriously smooth vintage scarves — designer and otherwise — and, adding contrasting fabrics to form soft necklines, belts for structure, and ultra-soft lining for wearability, fashion them into barely-there summer blouses.” Available at the Pike Place Market nighborhood boutique, Fini, the entire collection can also be viewed online.

Click on blog link above to read Laura Cassidy’s blog at Seattle Metropolitan magazine’s website. And check out singer Jewel shown hear rocking a halter look just last week- proof positive these style are on trend and glamorous.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seen in PSBJ's Scene Section: Evergreen City Ballet

We adore the dynamic duo who grace the pages of the Puget Sound Business Journal this week: Melinda Morrison and Kevin Kaiser. Thanks to Erin Van Bronkhorst for spreading their smiles across the paper for us. Having collaborated with Morrison for years, for the last year + we’ve had the added pleasure of working with Kaiser as he's taken Evergreen City Ballet to new heights. South King County’s only professional ballet company and school is growing with leaps and bounds. Bucking the local non-profit trend ECB’s contributions, ticket sales and enrollment are all up.

Their first annual “Under the Tuscan Sun” dinner gala, pictured in the PSBJ, brought together over 100 attendees on May 16th at the Fairwood Golf & Country Club to raise funds for scholarships and ECB’s new Dance ALIVE educational outreach program. The top auction items were tickets to the Oprah show and two nights in Chicago plus an Edgar Martinez bat. Fun stuff!

Photo Courtesy Chris Clark

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spur Gastropub spoils readers with Outstanding in the Field dinner tickets for two

Thanks to the Seattle Editor of Daily Candy for popping a great mention of Spur’s upcoming Outstanding in the Field dinner in DailyCandy’s Weekend Guide today! For those of you who don’t know, Spur’s chefs will be out at Oxbow Farm on Thursday creating a dreamy five course farm feast. Guests will dine at a long linen draped table under the blue skies at the farm—just gorgeous and delish of course. Daily Candy wrote:

"WIN: Outstanding in the Field Tickets

What: Spur is giving one lucky DailyCandy reader two free seats at the dinner honoring and served by chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough at Oxbow Farm.

Why: Have a field day.

When: Enter to win by Sun., 5 p.m.

Event, July 16, 4 p.m.

Where: To enter, e-mail

Tickets also online at"

Trust me, my in box has been flooded as all of us with Spur see just how many folks would LOVE to get their hands on two of these hot tickets. And for those of you not wanting to leave Thursday’s plans to chance, go to the Outstanding website and order a couple. It will be an evening to remember for sure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kat Spellman sounds off in this month’s Seattle magazine

I just can’t stand by while folks play the game of buy-wear-and return… treating retailers who have generous return policies, like Nordstrom, as their own personal free wardrobe supplier. August’s Letter to the Editor section of Seattle magazine includes a sidebar discussion in response to the May article “Recession Diet”. I'm quoted.

The article touched on trends like: touting your own flask to a bar with friends and surreptitiously sipping from it, instead of paying for drinks there (don’t get me started on that one); nanny sharing (an idea I embrace if the nanny knows up front, is fairly compensated, and isn’t saddled with a bad kid-to-nanny ratio) , and the longstanding trend by gals I disdain (you know who you are) of buying an outfit, tuckin’ in the tag, and wearing it out on the town… only to return it to the store for full money back the next day saying, “It just really didn’t fit…” Ughh.

In this month’s issue Seattle mag included my reply to this piece: “The idea of abusing Nordstrom's return policy was utterly shameful to Kat Spellman of Seattle. ‘WOW. Shame on Dionne and her pride in her wear-and-return policy of buying items,’ Spellman said."

Photo from Seattle magazine. Click on blog title above to read Karen Johnson’s entire article, Recession Diet. Can't wait to hear what you all think!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Simply the Best of 2009: brides beware, you need to scoot down south to the All About Weddings shop in Tukwila

We’re thrilled to share the news that our favorite bridal biz whiz Gayle O’Donnell has won THREE awards from Seattle Bride magazine in their annual Best Of issue:

Best Bridal Accessories

Most Creative Favors

Best Place to Buy Wedding Supplies

Might we mention that this is the seventh year in a row that Gayle’s shop, All About Weddings, has won? And the ever humble Gayle recently confessed to us that she is one of only FIVE
Vendors in the world designated an “accredited wedding vendor" from the
Association of Bridal Consultants.

Pictured at the Awards Party Gayle (left) and Ali Basye, Seattle Bride magazine’s Editor

Monday, June 29, 2009

Client Dr. Baxter Weighs-In on “Everything Bad That’s Good for You” with Elle magazine

We’re proud that Elle magazine turned to our client Dr. Richard Baxter as an expert for their “Everything Bad is Good for You” article on vices that are actually beneficial. Talk about an interesting topic. As a leading source on the connections between wine and healthy living and aging, Baxter was the perfect doc for this story. (He has a book coming out on the subject shortly, in fact, (Age Gets Better with Wine) so make sure and get on the wait list for an advanced copy at his website. After being mentioned by Elle mag, who knows if this first print run will run out quickly!

In the Elle article, Jeryl Brunner wrote, “In Vino Veritas: We don’t have to convince you of wine’s pesky social side effects—you can check your text-message outbox for unsettling evidence of last night’s debauchery. But when it comes to various health benefits, oenophiles are in luck. “The resveratrol found in wine is a powerful antioxidant that is stronger than antioxidant vitamins,” says Richard Baxter, MD, a physician and author of Age Gets Better with Wine, out this summer. And in The Red Wine Diet, scientist Roger Corder reveals that certain red wines, especially from southwest France, are more beneficial for living a longer, healthy life. Wines made from the tannat grape there have the highest levels of procyanidins (responsible for keeping blood vessels clear and preventing heart disease) than any another wine in the world.“

To read the entire article which delves into other vices like tapping into adrenaline, video games, lack of sleep and more visit at

Friday, June 26, 2009

Halter Hotties Score a Seattle Times "Mind the Shop" feature

Love it! Alison Brownrigg wrote about our client in today's NWSource shopping feature saying, "Halter Hotties reworks vintage scarves into smoking hot halter tops". She writes: "I see great vintage scarves at thrift stores all the time, but I hesitate to buy them because I find it challenging to work them into my wardrobe. It’s either tie them around my neck or wear them as a headscarf and I’ve failed to rock either look successfully. Luckily, I’ve recently stumbled on another way to wear them that requires very little work on my part.

Local designer Kim Alexander of Halter Hotties, takes classic silk scarves and transforms them into halter tops with iconic silhouettes. These tops are so smoking hot, I can image Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield wearing one. Some of them are actually very conservative and demure, perfect for the Audrey Hepburn type.

Ranging in price from $149 to $219, the halters come in five styles inspired by sexy, feminine vixens of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Choose between high necklines with decorative ruffles or daring v-necks, either way, these unique tops will unleash your inner beauty queen.
You can send her one of your own vintage scarves for a custom-made top, or choose from her inventory of handcrafted options.

Halter Hotties are available online and at Fini, the excellent accessories store at the Inn at the Market.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company"

Thanks Allison!

Photo from Halter Hotties

Thursday, June 25, 2009

sweet shoes at sweet prices: hit the Shoebilee sale in Tukwila starting Saturday

Recessionista Brides and Party Girls: Got the dress, but can’t afford the shoes? Don't say we didn't tell you! Check out the fabulous “Shoebilee” sale this weekend at All About Weddings. Bring your bridal party or your bff’s to snag some great shoes straight off the pages of In Style mag and more. 50-75% off sale shoes, and 20% off all regular priced shoes. Prices range from $15 - $45 for sale shoes originally priced at $150 and up!

When: Saturday-Sunday, June 27-28
June 27: 10-6pm
June 28: 12-5pm

Where: The All About Weddings shop (weddings stuff, fine papers and more)
235 Strander Blvd. #100
Tukwila, WA 98188
(Southcenter: across from The Cheesecake Factory)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spur honored on the Best New Restaurants of the Year List by Conde Nast Traveler

Click on blog title above to visit Conde Nast Traveler’s website and read the article.

We’re thrilled that Spur, with Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, has made it onto the coveted Hot List of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. What’s this list? “Each year, our team of voracious eaters sets off, fork in hand, to search out the world's most exciting new restaurants—as always, traveling anonymously and paying for every last bite of foie gras. Countless courses later, we discovered there's something for every taste and budget—from bargain prix fixes in Paris to blowout feasts in Dubai.”

Of Spur, the editors write: “Helmed by two 20-something chefs, Spur is both playful and and ambitious. Homemade tagliatelle, served with a duck egg cooked sous vide, is topped with oyster mushroom and Parmesan foam; a smoked potato soup arrives in six different pieces. Between the highbrow menu and the location at the nexus of hip Belltown, you'd expect a bit more swagger. But the sleek space is a gastropub through and through. Whiskey is the liquor of choice, with some 90 varieties behind the bar. Tip: There's a convivial happy hour with $5 cocktails and $3 snacks—think boar pot pie (entrées, $9–$24).”

A whiskey toast is in order tonight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spur team’s new spot to open this summer included in New York Times food section article today

Click blog title above to read the article in today’s NY Times food section

We’re thrilled that William Grimes included Brian McCracken and Dana Tough’s new Prohibition era bar, Tavern Law, in his "Bar? What Bar?" New York Times article on speakeasy-style establishments today. Slated to open in the next month, Tavern Law’s kiddy corner from my old alma mater Seattle U on the corner of 12th and Madison in the Trace Lofts building. (We used to call it the Bekins building.) I haven’t seen the hard copy yet, but Margo tells me it’s front of the food section and above the fold. Thanks Mr. Grimes!
Keep up to date on Tavern Law at our blog


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Downtown Seattle Salon, Shine in the Market’s Tapped for $ Saving Tips by KING 5 TV

Click on blog title above to view the KING 5 story

Salon owner Emily Curran, of the new Shine in the Market salon nestled in the courtyard of the award-winning Inn at the Market and next to the super savvy hat shop and boutique Fini, knows a thing or two about saving good clients money. In a segment on our local NBC affiliate, KING 5 yesterday, reporter Tim Robinson did a great piece on cost savings for men in personal care.

Curran’s quoted about offering complementary neck trims between cuts to regular clients. “We usually end up spending a good 15 minutes with a client, cleaning up their necks, brows, sideburns-'cleaning the kitchen', so to speak."

So next time you’re down at Pike Place Market, buzz by Emily’s shop at 86 Pine Street and book an appointment or call 206 441-3000.

Her elegant salon is in the historic Pike Place Market, right near Café Campagne and Watson Kennedy, and sits at the foot of one of the world's best hotels, the Inn at the Market. Trust me, the people watching is great. Everyone knows this is the hotel where celebrities and notables stay while in town. Shhhh!
Photo of Kat, Molly and Emily.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sauced: Spur Gastropub’s David Nelson stars in column

Writer Jessica Voelker of Seattle Metropolitan magazine profiled David in her Sauced column. Click blog title above to read the entire profile. Here's an excerpt:

"Behind the bar. Five Questions for the Bartender: David Nelson. Spur's tender-aged bar genius waxes philosophical about fortified wines and good hygiene.

David Nelson, the alarmingly young, intensely talented Bar and Restaurant Manager at Spur Gastropub, began his culinary career flipping burgers at Burger King. He first came to Seattle seven years ago to study philosophy at Seattle University, but found existential ease behind the bar at Ethan Stowell’s Union, where he worked from late 2003 to 2007. After stints at Campagne and now-defunct Marjorie, he opened Spur, in 2008, with chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough. Since then, Nelson’s sometimes foamy, sometimes fruit-muddled, always perfect cocktails have become known as some of the most innovative mixed drinks in town.
“My life is pretty much consumed with eating and drinking.” Says Nelson. “When I am not behind the bar I spend my time with my girlfriend, read philosophy books, or research spirits, wine, beer, and food. While it is true that we ‘eat to live,’ I believe that I live to eat and drink well."

Name three reasons you live in Seattle.
The awesome summer.
The people.
I love my job."

Photo of David Nelson by Barbie Hull for Spur. Voelker’s photo caption reads: “Nice tats. David Nelson shows off some arm art along with La Rocio--an egg-white foam with red wine, lemon juice, sugar, tequila, and fruit.”

Thank you Jessica for a fun look at David who we adore.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sprouted Broccoli from Oxbow Farm

Click blog title above to learn about Oxbow Farm, their CSA’s, and at what markets you can find them.

I spent a sunny afternoon in Carnation this week with Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of Spur Gastropub in Seattle. The Chefs were touring Oxbow Farm with farmer Luke Woodward, in preparation for a July dinner there with the incomparable, touring Outstanding in the Field group. Delighted to be included, wonderful Luke sent me home with overwintered parsley and sprouted broccoli. We sautéed the broccoli, stems and leaves and all, in a bit of EVOO and garlic. Finished with a bit of crushed red pepper, it was almost nutty and so delish.

Thanks for introducing us to something new Oxbow!

Photo by Kat of Oxbow Farm’s sprouted broccoli.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Swoops into Seattle and picks our favorite shop Red Ticking to join in

Click blog title above to see one of our client Red Ticking’s great pieces available for sale on .

1stdibs is the world's most searched market place for antique and mid-century modern furniture. It covers Philadelphia, Atlanta, all of Texas, Houston, Dallas, and now Seattle. Red Ticking’s one of the first shops hand-selected to be part of this terrific online shopping experience. Those of you who know our client Pamela Robinson recognize her exquisite taste. Point in case? This circa 1900 French piece is a bed canopy, known as a "ceil De Leit". Pam hooks us with her photos and description of this wonderfully rare piece found in the south of France and featuring truly exceptional carving.

Read Pam’s blog to learn more about her Madison Valley Shop and be certain to bookmark and browse it frequently.

We always knew Seattle was a design capitol!

Note to friends: my birthday’s in August if you’d like to snap this piece up for me. ;)

Photo of French Bed Canopy by Red Ticking.
Kudos Pam.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LIVESTRONG event comes to Seattle for the first time

Click blog title above to register for one of Lance’s LIVESTRONG Seattle races or events and to learn more about participating or supporting the organization

All of us know survivors and have friends and family battling cancer. Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG organization does a terrific job supporting and inspiring survivors with resources, advocacy, research and more. We’re proud that Kat’s hubby Stuart Miner is on the LIVESTRONG Seattle Organizing Committee for the June 21st events. Feel free to email Stuart if you need more info too:

Remember, the Tour de France starts July 4 in Monaco this year. Tour de Lance!

Photo of Lance Armstrong and Bob Roll by Stuart Miner. Photo of Stuart with Bob Roll by Stuart Miner.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

our client Ginny Hutchinson meets Venerable Tenzin

What a delight! We’re thrilled to be working on an exciting new project with Ginny Hutchinson who recently met The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi. More details will come about our collaboration with Ginny and Cathy Haffner, but we just had to share this photo of Ginny with the Venerable Tenzin.

He is the Director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also serves as the Buddhist Chaplain at MIT. At the age of ten years, he entered a Buddhist monastery in Rajgir near ancient Nalanda University and was subsequently ordained by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is his spiritual mentor. He received his spiritual training in India, Nepal, and Japan under the guidance of several eminent teachers.Venerable Tenzin lectures internationally and is also President of The Prajnopaya Foundation, a worldwide humanitarian organization.

Photo courtesy of Ginny Hutchinson.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Read about our client’s tips on “Eating Better for Less Money” in this feature on MSNBC

We all need to cut costs these days but shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of healthy eating. We were thrilled to connect Keith Schorsch, of, with a writer for Best Health magazine. Read the story about his recovery from Lyme Disease and his and wife Jennifer’s tips on managing a busy life while maintaining and promoting healthy eating with their family.

Click the blog title above to read the MSNBC story.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dr. Baxter in WebMd Feature on Natural Skin Care

We’re delighted to see Dr. Richard Baxter mentioned in Suzanne Wright’s article on WebMd. It’s a primer for natural skin care products; one that we’ll reference in the future for sure.

Dr. Baxter believes that antioxidant botanicals are the next “big thing” in skin care, but that right now it is important that consumers really pay attention and sort out the hype plus know the source of products. There is evidence that some natural ingredients may be contaminated with heavy metals, and if not adequately purified they may contain other botanical compounds that are toxic. Remember, natural doesn’t automatically mean safe or better; hemlock is natural and poisonous. So, for now it’s better to stick with known sources and lab products.

Baxter’s favorite natural ingredients? Clearly resveratrol is the most extensively studied but coffeeberry, silymarin (milk thistle) and possibly rhodeola are promising compounds. Vitamins as antioxidants in skin care are relatively worthless, so don’t waste your money on them. And a cup of tea or coffee won’t hurt either.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spur Gastropub touted by Food & Wine magazine in their April issue

The editors at Food & Wine picked their favorite “Where to Go Next” wine bars and beer halls in the April issue. Included in the list of the six best gastropubs across the nation to visit is Spur.

“America’s liveliest places to drink are also some of its best new places to eat,” Food & Wine writes. We couldn’t agree more.

Congratulations to our team at Spur!


Monday, March 16, 2009

April's "O List" by Oprah features Rosanna Inc Eco Chic Glasses!

With a green feature for April, Oprah's coveted O List features our client Rosanna Bowles' gorgeous green glass recycled treasures. Look for it in the April issue of Oprah's O magazine or buy them online at Rosanna's website Yahoo!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

try Spur's salmon with what Food & Wine magazine writer Anya von Bremzen calls the "ultimate silkiness"

Utilizing the sous vide method to turn out an exquisite cold smoked salmon, Spur Gastropub's Chefs, Brian McCracken and Dana Tough received the ultimate accolades in the April 09 issue from food writer and author von Bremzen.

Von Bremzen, author of such books as The New Spanish Table and contributing editor to magazines like Travel & Leisure, has written the F&W article “Should Fine Dining Die”.

In it she discusses, “Now that chefs are busy opening burger joints and dumpling houses, the days seem numbered for fancy dining rooms. Von Bremzen makes a case for why we need haute places more than ever.”

After a chat in the article with chefs like Laurent Gras and Ferran Adrià, von Bremzen gives a shout-out to Spur’s salmon. “The salmon on the crostini at Spur Gastropub in Seattle is cooked sous vide for ultimate silkiness.”

Congratulations Chefs!
And for the advanced home cook with great kitchen equipment, email me if you'd like the recipe for this dish which the Chefs have very kindly shared.
photo for Spur by Kristin Zwiers

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pins & Needles Here: South by Southwest Picks Trusera as Award Finalist

Woohoo! Fab clients and inspiring friends Trusera, the nationally recognized online health network where people find and share experiences and insights with others "who've been there", has been tapped by SXSW as a finalist in the Best Community award. (Happy dance.)

The SXSW Web Awards honor sites new or relaunched this year and recognizes sites that have “quickly developed an extraordinarily active multi-user community and an exceptional following of users who assist with content development.” The winner will be announced in Austin at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards March 15.

As a Web Award finalist, Trusera's also up for the much-coveted People’s Choice Award. People’s Choice Award voting ends March 6. (Ahem.. vote now.)

"We’re thrilled to be honored as a finalist," says Keith Schorsch, Trusera Founder and CEO , former Amazon executive, and all-around smart and inspiring guy. “To receive such industry recognition in our first year of business is tremendous. It is a real tribute to our engaged and committed community, whose sharing improves the lives of others.”

The SXSW Awards have grown from a tiny festival in 1987 to a prestigious, trend-setting event celebrating music, film and the web. Today, SXSW is broadly acknowledged as a forum that reflects and showcases cultural and media trends while also creating them. According to SXSW, “the web awards celebrate the best minds and the brightest personalities of emerging technology.”

Schorsch’s story and the birth of Trusera was told last month in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (Thank you Cecelia!) Additionally, the company was recently selected as a top Health 2.0 site and Innovator by BusinessWeek, and described by the New York Times as providing “Facebook-like social connectivity for patients, along with the ability to share their stories.” Trusera boasts visitors from 119 countries connecting on a breadth of topics from a woman battling Stage IV Breast Cancer to a parent of a child with Asperger’s.

About Trusera
Seattle-based Trusera launched in the summer of 2008. The company vision is inspired by Keith’s own struggle with Lyme disease. After meeting with eleven doctors, it was one phone call from a friend that finally led to his diagnosis and saved his life. The company is made up of experienced technology pioneers who share a passion for helping consumers take control of their health. Trusera is backed by a group of notable angel investors with executive-level experience at companies like Kaiser-Group Health, Expedia, Amazon and Microsoft.

Food Writer Maureen Clancy Writes about Her Favorite David Nelson Bourbon Cocktail at Spur

Clancy was through town again and, in addition to dining at Tavolata, Art at the Four Seasons, and Vessel, spent an evening at Spur. In recent travels, Clancy’s been seeing an increase in interest in bourbon cocktails. In her article, she mentions some great ones including an old fashioned at NYC's East Village hot spot PDT, a fig-infused one at City Bar in Boston, and a new twist on the Manhattan at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill.

And after hearing of those recent bourbon adventures, what a treat it was to have her cite Spur’s Kentucky Tuxedo cocktail, created by David Nelson, as her very favorite bourbon drink of late. Wow.

She said,

“But nothing I’ve tasted – and I do try to get around the trendy bars of any city I find myself in -- can beat the "Kentucky Tuxedo" concocted by bartender David Nelson at Spur Gastropub in Seattle. This marriage of Bulleit Bourbon, Sherry, lavender syrup and homemade orange bitters, is smooth and elegant, with a come-hither aroma and layers of flavor.

(Bulleit Bourbon was developed by Tom Bulleit in 1987 using the “recipe” of his ancestors who journeyed from new Orleans to Kentucky in 1830. It’s made from “soft limestone water” that’s supposedly found only in the Bluegrass region of the state, corn, barley, malt and rye.)

Bartender Nelson who’s been working in restaurants since he started flipping burgers at the age of 15, is a real presence at Spur. Folks gather around the bar to watch him work and talk about his art (which includes hand-making his own bitters and syrups).

His cocktail menu includes such temptations as the Lover’s Lock (Aperol, grapefruit juice and Absinthe), Gentleman’s Lemonade (Gentleman Jack, lemon and honey) and the Cara Carina (Cara Cara (orange-scented) bourbon, Punt e Mes, Chartreuse and blood orange bitters).

Nelson’s passion is part and parcel of the artisanal mixology craze that prizes fresh squeezed seasonal fruit juices, homemade infusions, even housemade mixers like tonic water. And versatile bourbon, a constant presence behind the bar for a couple hundred years, is an ideal fit in drinks that balance classic tastes with newfangled presentations.

By the way, there’s great stuff to eat at Spur, too. The menu’s Pork Belly Sliders with heirloom apples, mustard and bourbon, are famed in Seattle. The slow-cooked butterfish with fennel and brown butter is very special, too. And I wrote an earlier post about the Sockeye Salmon Crostini that leaves every diner wide-eyed and at a loss for words."

For the full article visit Maureen Clancy’s Matter of Taste blog at

Thank you Maureen!

Photo by Kristin Zwiers for Spur.

Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter Featured in Spa Magazine on the Power of Vinotherapy

Words like polyphenol and resveratrol may not roll off the tip of your tongue, but if you’re into saving face, read on. According to Seattle's Dr. Richard Baxter, it’s only a matter of time before resveratrol replaces vitamin C as the antioxidant of choice for keeping skin beautiful. In the April issue of Spa magazine, writer Amy Westervely wrote a piece featuring Dr. Baxter- "Focus on Vinotherapy: Off the Vine". To read the entire story, visit Spa magazine online in the blog title link above.

And in the meantime, for some quaffable tidbits from the story:

“…One particular polyphenol-resveratrol-has garnered the bulk of the attention with respect to the external anti-aging capabilities of the grape.

Resveratrol is many, many times more potent than vitamin-based anti-oxidants like C and E that we’ve used for years in skincare, says Dr. Richard A. Baxter, M.D., author of a ground-breaking paper on the benefits of resveratrol in skincare products published in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology…

…The jury’s still out on whether there is a difference between the topical benefits of grapes versus wine…However, some polyphenols increase in concentration in the course of fermentation, so Baxter says a product or treatment with actual wine in it may be better than one with just grapes…

…According to Baxter, it’s only a matter of time before resveratrol replaces vitamin C as the antioxidant of choice for keeping skin beautiful. Cheers to that!...”

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Choral Arts Concert in Laurelhurst This Friday

If you’ve never experienced Choral Arts, head to St. Stephen’s in Laurelhurst at 7pm this Friday. The power of beautiful voices can and will transport you to your own personal “happy place”, and don’t we all need that right now? Small arts organizations such as these really are the heart and soul of our community, and just like us they’re struggling. These folks are a group of passionate volunteers who are dedicated to creating pure sound.

Read the book This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin? Stimulating your brain is a good thing. Go for it!

The details:

Choral Arts “Pierced to the Heart: Fathers, Sons, Mothers, Daughters”
Compelling music and texts explore the relationships of parents to their children. The program’s centerpiece is the premiere of John David Earnest’s My Papa’s Waltz and a complete performance of Carissimi’s moving oratorio Jephte. Other pieces include Motherless Child by Craig Hella Johnson, Josquin’s Stabat Mater, and When David Heard by Eric Whitacre.

Friday, March 6 at 7pm, St. Stephen’s Episcopal, 4805 NE 45th St, Seattle, 98105
Tickets: $23 in advance/ $25 at door. Seniors: $18 in advance/ $20 at door. Students free. or 877.404.2269

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Broken Patella Brings On New Learnings for Teacher of the Alexander Technique, Jeanne Barrett

Jeanne Barrett is an expert teacher in the Alexander Technique. And nowadays, Barrett’s a gal with a shattered knee cap held together with a whole lot of titanium.


Her new blog, Active Stillness, follows Barrett on a journey of healing and learning which any of us who have faced a major health challenge will surely appreciate. The benefit to Barrett’s readers? Her discoveries along the way about how to incorporate the Technique into her thoughtful movements during this time of painful and awkward movement can teach us all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

view on a Friday evening

The Kentucky Tuxedo cocktail at Spur Gastropub this sunny afternoon in Seattle.

Photo by Chef Dana Tough.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Post from Margo: Jill Whitmore's Glass Art

It’s a Family Affair

Let’s face it; no one heads out the door intending to purchase anything other than the essentials these days. Gross materialism is so passé, but surely there must be a happy medium? And what better way to help the economy and our new President by supporting a fellow artist?

That’s what I told myself when I bought a gorgeous fused glass necklace Sunday, made by Jill Whitmore. The picture doesn’t do it justice; but you can check out more of Jill’s work at www.

Jill and I have both studied abstract painting with Peggy Zehring, whom we both adore. Jill also just happens to be the youngest daughter of dear friend Patti Payne. It was such fun seeing Patti and her daughter Lee Keller pitching in to make Jill’s trunk show at El Gaucho in Bellevue on Sunday a smashing success.

Talk about multi-tasking mavens; these women were running credit cards, packaging up items, finding the perfect necklace, and up-selling earrings, all while being a terrifically talented gorgeous family! Family friend Cathi Hatch was the gracious hostess as always. Hope Jill’s road trip back to La Veta brings inspiration for future artistic endeavors.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

guest blogging at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show

I had a terrific time as guest blogger at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show yesterday. Show blogger Flora posted my story on the show’s site today. Click the link above to read it and other guest blogger’s accounts or simply read my recap here:

Bird’s Eye View: Backyard Inspiration from a Bevy of Designers

Fueled on coffee, kids at school, camera in hand— we were on a mission: gather inspiration and ideas to imitate on a DIY budget for maximum backyard impact.

Our 1920’s home on a postage stamp lot is spiffy and chic. The covered front porch and fenceless yard intentionally engages us with passersby. And the backyard offers a private sanctuary… some day. But today? Despite boasting a pleasing wisteria-draped, pergola-topped perch of a deck, this backyard’s a disaster where even our two young sons rarely set foot. The view below? Let’s just say, yuck. Between a 9 year-old Labrador Retriever and a 90+ year old towering cedar tree there’s more droppings than drama in this shady enclosure.

Given its cozy confines, a below deck backyard bookended on either side by two decidedly scruffy garages, we came to the 2009 NWFGS with clear needs. Hubby and I desperately require garden solutions we can replicate on a budget, with bulletproof design and high style that’ll look good from above.

Today’s show sent us home— heads happily spinning— with ideas for layouts, structures, materials and plants to accomplish it all. Our top picks from this inspiring show were:

Graphic, large pavers, like at “Get Away To It All”, mean less cedar and dog clean-up for us. At three bucks per bag for cement, maybe we’ll even cast our own.

Water feature with oomph. Go a little Vegas with a submerged light like at “Welcome to Your Weekend”, invite rusticity like Steve Haizlip’s galvanized roof flashing spout at the “Nature’s Classroom” garden, or introduce whimsy with a Paul Balint-inspired “dock”, complete with cleats and boat’s rope.

Raised beds keep plants higher than dog-height, and closer to the human eye for intimate interaction. We vowed to take Click’s plant list, with its Tasmanian Tree Ferns, variegated Bear’s Breech and… oh heck, the entire list… and splurge on those plants. Designers Martha and Claire were our Show favorite, offering “carefully controlled views” from their garden room, which leads us to…

Consider the design from above. It helps having a tall hubby to take aerial shots. Should’ve known it was a Phil Wood design for the Arb: breathtaking! Mesmerized by the slope of the path and circular gathering spot.

Use minimal sod or Field Turf Northwest’s “Field of Pets” faux turf (booth 701) that inexplicably hooked me with its no muss promise. (Hubby was drawn to the Coast Cabin at this same booth. Cute loft!)

Driveway duty. And finally, where a driveway takes up much valuable real estate… intentionally incorporate it into a living space, like Adam Gorski so humorously showed in his ‘67 Mustang-frosted “A Garden I Love” confection.

Kat Spellman attended her fourth and final (sniff) NWFGS with hubby, and show-going- newbie, Stuart Miner. Kat’s a PR pro with strong plant yearnings. Stuart’s a real estate broker who often trudges through mud to explore Northwest properties in our wet clime. Both like moss, rocks, aspen and flowering currants.

Stuart Miner photo of me at our favorite display garden, "Click".