Ever since my trip to Paris this summer, I’ve been a little extra obsessed with the perfect striped shirt. And, in a kismet sort of way, it seems that every retailer/blogger/fashion editor now sees the stripe as a total basic wardrobe staple.  As in: pair it with a floral print!  Wear it under a serious blazer!  Or, use it as a base for that fabulous statement necklace that always seems tricky to pull off.  Is this iconic French look now a standard for us Americans? I sure hope so, as I think I just counted 12 of them in my closet this afternoon… (yikes, time for a purge I think!) Here’s a roundup of some favorite ways to wear it.


Stripes and Floral Skirts

One combo I’m seeing constantly, especially on Pinterest, is the pairing of stripes and florals.  I love it for it’s playful and carefree nature, as it really lets the wearer walk that line between whimsical and fashion forward.  It seems to me that as long as you match your stripes to at least one color in that floral bouquet, and tuck in the top for a bit of polish, you’re good to go.



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I love the addition of a stripe to Fall staples, as it kind of kicks it up a notch.  Layering a long sleeve stripe under a solid poncho so that you see just a peek of print is one of my new favorite looks. And I’m a sucker for fresh looking wool jackets this time of year… plain old black or brown can get old all season long!



multi color stripes runway

Stripes that walk the modern art line are kind of great… the mix of colors can be endless, and it’s a little more of a high fashion approach. I’ve found some great options at Zara this season, if you need that runway to realway feel, but aren’t looking to break the bank.



celebrity stripes

When celebrities start wearing the trend, you know it’s here to stay.  SJP is one of the best, and whenever I see her exiting her West Village home looking all Carrie Bradshaw-like, I know it’s an outfit that’s worth a second study.  Love the stripe on printed stripe idea, along with the fact that it looks a bit vintage.  Olivia Palermo is another that’s always dressed to a tee, and this is a super chic relaxed combo she’s got going on.  Again, keeping a strong primary color story seems to be the way to pull this off effortlessly.



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More stripe artsy-ness! An abstract print goes a long way when paired with a basic stripe.  I’m pretty into the idea of your standard work shirt as the base… I have so many in my closet and often get bored with them.  This is a great way to spice things up this Fall!




I’m more than obsessed with statement jewelry, but it can be a little intimidating to know how to wear some of these pieces. This is a great approach above.  Simple stripe top, major necklace, and oversized sunglasses.  Easy as pie!




isabel marant fall 2015 rtw

Another longtime favorite: the striped sweater – bonus points for the addition of buttons on the neckline. Michael Kors has got Glam Americana down to a science, and this little lineup of Supermodels before his show really hits it home. I’m also pretty into bare leg with boots… this year I’m embracing the act of layering, and waiting as long as possible to don tights or leggings, as it feels so much more feminine to show just a little skin as the temps drop.



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And, last but not least, the queen of all things striped, Jenna Lyons.  She’s pretty much solely responsible for bringing the basic stripe top back into the wardrobes of countless American women, and encouraging us all to be a bit more daring with this staple.  I love the fact that this woman really lives and embodies her brand, and it’s easy to trust her direction when she’s out there test driving the pieces that end up in our mailboxes every month in the form of J. Crew’s gorgeous catalog. Follow JL’s lead, and you’ll never go wrong.




As a recent transplant from NYC, I’m constantly on the lookout for great pizza here in the Northwest.  We have incredible seafood, an abundance of awesome Asian cuisine, and of course, the best coffee in the country, but pizza has always felt a little ho hum here, which is such a let down after years of unlimited super delicious NYC pies.

Lucky for me, after a fair amount of Friday night “Pizza Research” that my husband and I embarked on, we discovered this gem right down the street from our house.  Humble Pie is run by Brian Solazzi, an incredibly intelligent and fascinating architect-turned-restaurateur who has made it his mission to offer organic, fairly priced, high quality food to his neighbors.  We stopped by one afternoon to tour the space, learn about his operation, meet the chickens who produce eggs for the restaurant and obviously, eat a whole bunch of really great pizza.  Read on to hear all about his adventures in pizza making in the Northwest.


Tell us a bit about Humble Pie and why you decided to open it on the edge of the International District?

Humble Pie is a wood fired pizzeria rooted in three goals: make the most delicious, healthiest pizza possible, strive towards increased sustainability of all our practices, and to benefit our local community.  We are located in the ID because that is where my roots are. I’ve lived here for years, and I even went to the Japanese school across the street from humble pie when I was a kid.



How did you get into the food and restaurant industry, and what drew you into wood fired pizza making in particular?

Pizza is one of the perfect foods. Like burritos, it is a complete meal, with all the food groups brought together in one delicious meal you can eat with your hands. Although we make some more adventurous pizzas, the traditional Italian wood fired oven is at the heart of our kitchen. In addition to pizza of course, we do all our prep cooking by fire. It’s amazing how precise the old world technology is. As for me, the first real job I ever had was making pizza, way back in high school. I’ve been dreaming about pizza ever since.



Can you give us a run down on a day in the life of a pizza maker?

Great pizza is all about great dough, and that’s how I start all my days. Our dough needs to cure for a minimum of 24 hours, so it’s important to get an early start. After dough we start in on the rest of the prep, and by 11am we are ready to serve lunch. After lunch we’ve got a little window to finish up on prepping for dinner and the next day, and of course there is the other side of things, which is the running the business. You’ve got to wear a lot of hats to make it work, and there is always work to be done. Luckily my coworkers are world class people as well as pizza makers.



Tell us a bit about the ingredients you use for you pizzas…much of it is grown here on location.  Can you tell us about this process, and the thinking behind it?

Our flour comes from a Washington farmers coop, our apples, potatoes, red and yellow onions, mushrooms and eggplant are all Washington grown organic, we grow our own organic basil… I could go on and on about ingredients and quality and values, but by now I think most foodies can agree that local, fresh, and sustainable, are not only the best for the planet, but also make for the most delicious food.





Who are your favorite Seattle chefs?  Best places to get a meal in this city?

There is a place for food as art, and sometimes an excellent meal can be worth a steep price, but I favor more ‘daily bread’ type of establishments. Mark and Picha at Thai Curry Simple are incredible chefs and excellent people. Both Chu Minh and Thanh Son Tofu are wonderful places to eat. Lately I’ve been loving Gastropod as well.


What is your favorite part about living and working in the Northwest?

The people. Unpretentious,casual, and open minded.





Any new dining trend you’re loving right now?  Any you’re so not into?

The best dining trend in the Northwest, bar none, is BEER! As a lifelong vegetarian I probably don’t get a vote on this, but I am so over the pork trend.



What are some important lessons you’ve learned about running a small business, and being an entrepreneur?

Believe in yourself. Unlike more recondite professions, with restaurants, everyone has an opinion on everything. You’ve got to learn to listen with compassion and an open mind, while keeping true to your own values and vision.



Best pizza on the menu?

Do I have to choose just one? Alright, how about the smoked eggplant with fresh red onion and cherry tomatoes.




Head on over to Humble Pie if you get a chance!  The outdoor seating is plentiful and perfect for the hot weekend ahead.  I highly recommend the pizza with Apples, Beecher’s Cheese, and Spiced Walnuts… delicious!!

525 Rainier Ave S.

Seattle, WA 98144


Photos by KettleWerks.




Happy Memorial Day everyone!  I hope there are sunny skies, delicious BBQ, and sparkling beverages in your life today.  A few things from the web to make you smile…


Kate Spade has been making short films called #missadventure, and their latest stars Anna Kendrick, who is mistaken for Lily Tomlin’s meditation instructor.  These are such fun to watch, full of that pretty and poppy look that Kate Spade is so famous for, with Anna Kendrick as charming as ever.  Not to mention the product placement throughout, like that fabulous pink flamingo one piece… needing that thing now!



This recipe for Quinoa, Mint and Stone Fruit Salad from the blog, A House In The Hills is delicious!  The author, Sarah Mora always comes up with the best healthy, yet flavorful dishes that are easy to follow and always crowd pleasers.  This one’s perfect for the season, and of course, looks beautiful on the table.



Just picked up a couple of these fringed pillows at West Elm, and they’ve added such a nice pop of color and texture to the couch, plus they’re on sale this weekend.



I started in on this series over the weekend and I’m definitely hooked.  If you like food and travel and restaurants, start watching Chef’s Table now.  It’s an original Netflix series, with each episode taking you into the kitchen of a world famous chef.  They proceed to delve into their history and personal lives and explore the way food has shaped their story and vision.  Inspiring and beautiful to watch.


Reading is one of my all time favorite activities, and I’m one of those people that likes to have a few different books going at once.  I distinctly remember my 5th grade teacher telling me I should really finish one book before starting the next, but I just can’t seem to help it.  I love the feeling of diving into a new story, or a publication full of beautiful images and discovering something new.  Because I seem to always have an average of four books going at once, I try to keep all of them pretty diverse… one riveting novel, one that’s a bit more serious or informative and of course, a couple sources for visual inspiration.  Below is what’s on the current rotation, all of which I highly recommend.

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 1)  China Dolls, by Lisa See.  This is one of those great page turners you can really get lost in.  It’s told from the perspective of three Asian American women living in San Francisco throughout World War II.  It delves into the complex relationship these women have, and gives a lot of perspective on what it was like to be Chinese and Japanese during this part of American history.  It also has a touch of glamour as they all work in the entertainment industry, which is of course fun to read about.  Great writing and an interesting story!

2)  Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  I’m one of those people that actually reads a cookbook from cover to cover just for fun.  Dreaming about new recipes to try and learning about different ways to prepare meals is so entertaining to me… and I often can’t get over how incredible the food styling is in so many cookbooks.  I’ve tried a few of the recipes from this book already, and love how fresh and bright the food tastes and can’t wait to test out a few more.


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 3)  The Curve of Time, by M. Wylie Blanchet.  I picked this book up on a day trip to the San Juans recently, and really fell hard for it.  I’d never heard of this story, but it’s truly fascinating.  It is non-fiction, written by a woman in British Columbia named Muriel  who was left a widow in 1927.  She decided to pack up her five children and dog onto a 25 foot boat, and cruise around the coastal waters of Canada every summer for 15 years.  The book is basically her log from this time, with each chapter telling a different tale of their exploration and adventure.  The area was more remote then and the stories reflect the more simple time, which is quite interesting to think about as this area of the world is expanding at such a rapid pace.  I love this book because  it’s the story of a very independent and self sufficient woman, who had a lot of responsibility, but managed to live life to the fullest.  Quite an inspiration!

4)  Domino Magazine.  The Spring 2015 issue is on stands, and I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough.  Domino is so great at speaking to a younger demographic that has a more carefree and eclectic sense of style then some of the other longer established design magazines.  They understand that a lot of readers are on a budget, so they’re quite good at catering their content to reflect that, while still being very aspirational.  Plus they often mix in recipes or fashion here and there for fun.  Lots to take away from this issue… very excited to officially be thinking about Spring and Summer decor!


I’m always on the hunt for new reading material… any recommendations you’d like to pass along?  We’d love to hear it!!


In many homes, the kitchen tends to be the central place of gathering.  Families prepare weeknight meals together, coffee is brewed to begin a busy day, and most dinner party guests seem to congregate here, no matter the direction of the host.  It is a warm place full of action, delicious aromas, and happy memories.

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I started to reflect recently on how many wonderful kitchen moments I’ve encountered in this life, and realized that at the center of most, was a multitasking and fabulous woman.  Usually one with children at her heels, along with friends of those children also hanging about… balancing meal prep, entertaining guests and generally keeping her home on a steady, forward moving course.  The wisdom that can be gleaned from these women is fascinating to me, especially as I start to feel the onset of that time in life when there are many responsibilities to juggle and the expectation to do it all and do it all well, starts to grow.  So, I thought it could be interesting to start a series where we visit women in that central hub and let them teach us a thing or two about what life is like in their kitchen.

Tamara Moats is an Art History teacher at a well known independent school in Seattle.  Her son Farrell is now in his late twenties, living an exciting life in the middle of the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.  We caught up with the two of them when he was home visiting, and were treated to a delicious and classic meal that Tamara has made often for her family.  A few of Farrell’s oldest friends stopped by to partake in good food and join in the fun, a standard act throughout the years.  Tamara greeted them with open arms, perfectly demonstrating her warmth and open style of hosting friends and family alike.



Tamara and Farrell at work together on a pan full of roasted brussel sprouts.


Tell us what you are making, and why this has been such a great family meal over the years?

This is called Sweet and Sour Brisket and it became a favorite the minute my son tasted it. I first made it when we had our French exchange student, Pierre San Miguel, living with us in 2001. I needed some more recipes for hungry boys that were easy to do and made large quantities. Pierre liked it too, and told me after tasting it that I was pretty good cook for an American. Tonight I made roasted Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes to go with it, also a Farrell favorite. And of course, everyone loves tiramisu.


Tamara’s beautiful and light filled kitchen.


What is your favorite part about cooking for family?

Food is love. It is one major way I show affection for my family, and care for their needs. I love to make good things that give pleasure, but most of all, I love to gather together to share food and communally enjoy something together. It builds emotional bonds.

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Tamara finds inspiration in French design and culture, which translates into many pretty spotted throughout her home.


Any tips for new mothers on feeding/raising their sons?

I fussed a lot with making baby food, and I even made little tiny quiches for Farrell. He ate them happily for a long time until he hit about 2 years old, when he rejected them and just about everything else I made. I cried once, but got over it! I learned it was ok for a toddler to eat a tablespoon of food at a meal, so I went with that. But one thing he loved was broccoli, so I used to heap huge piles of it in front of him, and watch him eat the whole thing. We laughed, he was so cute. He still loves broccoli.

I did not make complex meals when Farrell was growing up, mostly because he was picky and I was working, but the most important thing to me was to sit down every night together and have dinner. It was a great time to talk, and for a long time he did all the talking. When he stopped talking in his teenage years, I started bringing something from the newspaper or a magazine and read a section to him. This usually got a response, or at least I could see the wheels turning in his head.


The lineup of hungry boys, ready to enjoy Tamara’s home cooking.


5 Kitchen tools or ingredients you can’t live without?

My ancient Cuisinart. My narrow metal spatula. The large copper pot. My two good knives, large and small, and my beat-up, metal, two-cup measuring cup.

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Can you tell us about your work?  What keeps you passionate about teaching?  How did you end up becoming a teacher?  And how did you balance work and motherhood in the early stages?

From the time I was a teenager and a camp counselor, I liked teaching art projects and thought I would be an art teacher, but found myself majoring in art history in college. I then spent 28 years as a museum professional. The last 19 were as curator of education at a modern and contemporary art museum, where I taught everything needed for the museum. I then made a sort of late career move to teaching at a private school. I love teaching because of the energy I get from students and I enjoy going into depth at school. I am most passionate about art history, and consider myself very lucky to be teaching it at the high school level. Art history is about everything.

I had always wanted a career and children, but I had no idea how hard it was to do both. I had no choice, so I just did it. My mother helped a lot. The lucky part was that Farrell could come to the museum with me during programs at night or on weekends. He either participated in the kid’s workshops, or read in the back rows during lectures. He grew up there.

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An easy entertaining style is key for Tamara, and guest often pitch in to help with small tasks. 


Favorite place to travel and explore that region’s food landscape?

Paris. I have been there countless times, with a four-month séjour with Farrell that was the ultimate experience. I hardly ever eat out there, but love to explore the marchés and experiment in a tiny kitchen. I learned a lot from the French about how to cook and eat, especially my homestay mother, Natacha Nicolas.



Biggest lesson you’ve ever learned in the kitchen?

Do not try a new recipe on guests.

re do collage


Any cookbooks that are standbys or have stood the test of time?

I use my ex-husband’s cookbook a lot, Northwest Bounty, and the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Otherwise, I have a book of clippings that I use the most.


Guilty food pleasure?

Ice cream!

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Relaxing before Tamara’s delicious Tiramisu is served.


Who taught you the most about cooking for family?

My grandmother. She was Bohemian and cooked and baked constantly. When she babysat us, making bread dough and shaping it into myriad sculptures was the activity. She also believed food was love and stuffed us mercilessly.


Best food memory?

A small lunch in the countryside in France, hosted by some friends of our exchange student Pierre. Vivette made a squash potage to start, Boeuf Bourguignon, a salad of light greens, and tiramisu served in pretty glasses. We were seated in the alcove of their warm kitchen, fire in the fireplace nearby, surrounded by all sorts of charming knickknacks. I will never forget it.



Tamara graciously sent over the recipe for the lovely meal we all shared.  Pair with a bottle of your favorite French wine, and you’ll be set to serve a fabulous meal for family and friends.

Sweet and Sour Brisket

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


3 1/2 pounds trimmed brisket or pot roast

1 tbl olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 beef stock

1 cup chili sauce

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 bay leaf

Heat the oil in a large skillet that can go in the oven, and brown the brisket. When you have turned it over, add the onions. When browned on both sides, remove the brisket and continue to cook the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, wine, stock, chili sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and bay leaf.

Cook together to combine and return the brisket to the pan. Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven for at least two hours.

To serve with roasted Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes, place them in a roasting pan and coat with olive oil. Put them in the oven in the last 1/2 hour before the brisket comes out. When you take it out, turn up the heat to 425 and roast them for another 1/2 hour. Cover the brisket with hot pads and keep it on top of the stove to keep it warm.

Serves 6.


All photos by Matt Villanueva Photography.