Travel Tuesday Vol 3 : Seattle CityPASS

I have lived in A LOT of place growing up, but if you ask me about having gone to touristy place locallly, 95% chance I haven't gone. So this summer I bought us Seattle City Passes. If you really want to explore the city, this is the way too go! I am actually planning on getting my parents these passes when they come to visit this summer (hopefully the weather will be more cooperative then the last time they visited!). Also once my friends and family come and visit, you'll get passes too!!

So here's what you get for $64 you get admission to the following places :

FYI : you can actually go up the space needle twice AND the passes can be purchased a year in advance and used over 9 days! So if you are touring with a larger crowd, no need to rush it, just go back another day. We choose to stick to the city as we had already been to the Museum of Flight and I wanted to go to the EMP Museum. We used our passes over two weekends, and I'm glad we did, cause my legs were SORE after the first day. BUT the amazing Vietnamese food to end the day made me forget all the walking :).

Okay, enough facts and chitchat...let's get to the pictures!!

Day 1 :

We took the bus into the city so that we didn't have to worry about parking and moving the car around the city. We started with the EMP Museum, cause its indoors and we wanted the weather to clear out a bit before heading up the space needle. They had a Lego exhibit, more formally know as "block by block", where they recreated numerous landmark buildings (to scale) from around the world with lego block. They had the Space Needle (of course!), the clock tower in Makkah and the World Trade center to mention a few. Made me want to start playing with Legos again!

They also had a Fantasy exhibit with memorabilia from all the well known stories like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones (am yet to watch that!) that I can remember now, pictures were harder to take in this section cause of the bad lighting.

They had a few music exhibits (Music Museum after all!) that didn't really catch my eye, as I'm not really into music, there was one last science fiction display. This one had random stuff from sci-fi movies going back year! Star Trek, Ender's Game, Star Wars, you get the point :)

After grabbing a light lunch we headed up the Space Needle, cause the clouds had cleared up the best that it would. The view were still amazing, but personally I would still recommend the Columbia tower as it is higher up and much cheaper! BTW you can actually feel the viewing area rotate if you pay attention.

Next stop was a walk through Pike Place on the way to the Aquarium. We both had been to the aquarium as few weeks before for a wedding, so we didn't pay attention to any of the displays except the Octopus, creepy yet interesting at the same time!

Next up we boarded the Harbor cruise with a starbucks drink in hand (of course!) and sat down to enjoy the view! (on a side note, I sometime get seasick, but this cruise boat was pretty steady and I didn't any problems).

From the cruise we noticed that there was a Mexican Navy Ship docked on the pier, so we walked over and went on board, it was an interesting experience!

The night ended with really tasty Vietnamese food at Long. Awesome place, just too bad that it's in Seattle or I would be going there more often! Since I haven't done a Foodie Friday post in a while, I though might as well add it in here (not that the post isn't long enough!)

1. Appetizer : Ðậu bắp lụi ~ Okra lemongrass
 Fresh okra marinated in lemongrass, onion, garlic, and seasoning served with tamarind sauce.
     2. Salad : Gỏi bắp chuối cua lột ~ Soft crab banana blossom salad
 Freshly pickled jicama, carrot, fresh shredded banana blossom, roasted peanuts, browned onion, and fresh herbs topped with deep fried soft shell crabs served with tamarind sauce.
3. Entree : Bánh xèo chay ~ Vegetarian crepe
 Shiitake mushroom, bean sprouts, mung bean, and tofu in fried rice batter topped with coconut milk served with green vegetable platter and vegetarian soy sauce.
4. Dessert : Bánh nếp chuối nướng ~ Grilled banana cake
 Grilled sweet rice and red banana served with warm coconut milk, topped with roasted peanuts.

And that's wrap for Day 1!

Day 2 :

The following weekend and a day before hiking Mail Box Peak we headed back to Seattle, this time just for a few hours in the afternoon. We started at the Pacific Science Center, and since we had been there previous, we just watched a new IMAX documentary that was showing called Titans of the Ice Age and then walked through the butterfly room, pretty much the only reason I keep going back. If you are local the pacific science center has multiple temporary exhibits that are really interesting, we went to the King Tut exhibit.

After the Pacific Science center we headed back up the space needle, and to my delight there was not a cloud in sight! Its really amazing how beautiful the views from Seattle are. So much for all the "it rains all the time" talk. Honestly, its just a gimmick to make sure that everyone doesn't move here and overcrowd the area!

The first time we went up the Space Needle was right after lunch, so I hadn't noticed the little snack shop at the viewing level. But if you get hungry when you are up there, they serve Snoqualmie Ice Cream. We got chocolate (obviously!) and butter pecan, both were awesome!

And that being said, I'm done with this post! This is probably the longest that I have taken to write a post! Choosing out the pictures took at while too! There were just too many :) I really hope that all of you enjoyed reading it and if you are in Seattle I highly recommend you exploring the city, its really amazing!

happy travels!

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus and Herb Pita Chips {and a Book Review}

"There are no shortcuts to any where worth going to." Yet we all love taking shortcuts. I do it all the time in the kitchen with canned sauces, frozen herbs cubes and till a while back HUMMUS.

Then just over a year ago my husband got me the food grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid, and while flipping through the user manual I found a recipe for hummus. I headed to my pantry and found that I have all the ingredients at hand (my shortcut was using store bought tahini, but if you want to make your own I would recommend using this recipe from With a Spin).

I was so impressed with the taste, that I started experimenting with multiple flavors and the possibilities were endless! I love the fact that it stayed well in the fridge just as long as the store bought one (just remember to bring it to room temperature before serving). So when I saw a hummus recipe in Party Food for Girls by Mindy Cone from Creative Juice. I first came across Mindy, when I started making macarons. She has really awesome ideas! So obviously I was over the moon when I got a chance to review of her book!

The title of the book might have "girls" in it, but there is nothing girly about the recipes! They can be used at any party with any theme. There are so many "not sweet" items that I want to try out! It was hard to choose only one to share with all of you, so I chose two! You can't serve hummus with out some pita chips!

I make this hummus in the food processor attachment on my new Ninja, as it blends the sun-dried tomatoes better than the Kitchen Aid attachment. Also when blending add the water, a couple of tablespoons at a time as everyone likes a different consistency. Another shortcut is using store bought pita bread, if you make your own please share your recipe :).

Sundried Tomato Hummus and Herb Pita Chips
Recipe adapted from Party Food for Girls, by Mindy from Creative Juice

For Hummus
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
1 1/2 Tbsp Tahini
1 medium lemon, zest and juice
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil)
2 Tbsp oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 cup water

For Pita Chips
4 pita breads, cut into quarters or eighths depending on size
olive oil for brushing (~1/4 cup)
any combination of dry herbs and spices from : rosemary, garlic powder, parsley, oregano, onion powder, salt, and pepper

For Hummus
1. Place all ingredients expect water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water to adjust consistency.

For Pita Chips
1. Preheat oven to 400*F
2. Arrange the pita pieces in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Brush olive oil on to the pita bread. Then sprinkle the spice mix.
3. Bake for 7-10 mins, till the chips are crispy.


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Blogger View: Amanda from Pardon Muah

I don't blog to consistently, but I still love doing it when I get the chance, it lets me share my ideas with the world out there. And it lets me learn from other bloggers too! If it weren't for my friend, Adeeba and beauty bloggers out there I would look like a clown every time I walked out of the house! One of said beauty bloggers is Amanda, from Pardon Muah. She is relatively new in the world of blogging but way better at it than me!

She is always full of ideas and tons of do and don'ts! What I like most about her blog is the balance between high end products and drug store brands. Don't get me wrong, I love dressing my face up, but I refuse to lose an arm and a leg while doing it. Target and Ulta (love there coupons!) are my best friends when it comes to make up shopping!

Enough about me ... Let's meet the girl behind Pardon Muah!

1. How long have you been blogging?
 I've been blogging since June 2014

2. What made you start blogging?
 I started following several beauty & lifestyle blogs (and YouTubbers) after moving away from home for my full-time job. I didn't have very many friends or family in my new location, so reading blogs and watching YouTube videos became a favorite past time and the creators became like friends. One day I decided to start my own and I've been blogging Monday - Friday ever since! 

3. Do you remember your first blog post, if so what was it?
 I'm pretty sure my first (or maybe second) blog post was about work appropriate makeup. Something I think all ladies should know a thing or two about.

4. Do you blog full time or is it a hobby?
 Blogging is a hobby of mine, but I would argue it's much more of a part-time job, because I devote time every day to new posts (Monday - Friday). I try to get a lot of blogging done on Sundays since my schedule is so hectic.

5. Who is your favorite blogger?
 Emily Gemma (LOVE!)

6. What is your favorite social media?
 Instagram hands down! - follow me at pardonmuahinsta

7. What is your favorite makeup brush?
 I would have to say the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I use this brush EVERY day to contour. The bristles are so dense it keeps the contour right where you want it.

8. What is your favorite season or holiday to blog about?
 I haven't blogged through every season yet so it is hard to say, but I'm getting ready to post for Valentine's Day and that may become my favorite. It's a holiday that revolves around love, pink and chocolate so it makes for a very pretty post.

9. Something that you can't live with out?
 Besides my puppy Heidi I would have to say Mascara (or concealer).

10. Any words for new and aspiring bloggers?
 I would say to go for it! BUT make sure you're organized and know what you want to blog about. There are a lot of blogs out there so you have to somehow set yourself apart. And if you love what you blog about it will show through. I would also advise using a design company to set up your layout and social media buttons. It makes things so easy and it looks much more professional!

Thanks again for asking me to answer these questions!

Here are a few on my favorite posts from Amanda's blog! 

1. Great tips on keeping your nails sober. (here)
2. This really is the best eyeliner! (here)
3. I have had these bracelets on my wish list every since I saw the post (here)
4. Post like these for dupes are the best! (here)
5. What do you stash in your work drawer? (here)
6. Arm candy is the best candy in my opinion! (here)


Don't forget, caring is sharing!

Throwback Thursday 4.0 : Cricket Cupcakes

In case you haven't noticed, the ICC Cricket World Cup is currently going on. A few of my friends had no idea that I watch cricket because of my obsession with the NFL. But I did grow up right next to South Africa and spent every summer break in Bangladesh!

I know that I haven't been on the blog in a while, I have working on a travel post that has been taking a tad bit longer than I expected and I unfortunately have to do HW and job applications :( But I decided to set all the aside and do this quick throwback post.

I made these cupcakes a really long time ago (before I got married!) for father's day, and thought that they would be prefect to share now with all the cricket going on! I might recreate them at some point when I am not as busy, but these old pictures will have to do for now :)

In case you were wondering about the details, I piped some white candy melts on to wax paper. I free handed the designs. Once they solidified, I used food markers to color them in. I remember using the wilton ones, which weren't the best. I now use FooDoodler Markers, which I find are much better :) (you live, you learn!)

Don't forget, caring is sharing!

#craftingnotcoding: The Crafty Card Class [January 2015]

Now that football season is over, I thought it was high time that I made the cards from my January card kit and share them with you. (yay for not forgetting to sign up on time!) This month Colleen put together cards with a Valentines day theme. I am not big on Valentines as you might have noticed from the lack of red and hearts on the blog. But I do love using V-day ideas for anniversaries, so that's what I'll be using these cards for :)

As I might have mentioned before, even if you can't make it to the class at Ben Franklin Craft and Frames has extra kits sold after the class, that's what I get :) On too the details of the cards then.

1. The "Circles" Thank You Card
I really hope metallic never goes out of fashion. Maybe is the Desi in me, but I like my gold and silver everywhere and in everything! Love pairing it with black or red!

This card is so simple. that I just need a sentence to describe it! Either punch or die cut multiple circles in silver and gold, then layer them together in sets. Stick them randomly on to a white card stock as the layer sheet on a black card base.

2. The "Wood" You Card
This is supposed to be a "Wood you be my Valentines?" card, but as I am not a fan of v-day, I left the sentiment blank and I will probably fill it in when I find someone to send it too :)

So this card has a brown card base, layered with a wood print paper and embellished with glitter heart, golden doilie and a blackboard label.

3. The "XO" Card
I really liked this card, so whom ever of my friends has a anniversary coming up, this will probably come your way! And I think that I am going to recreate it soon, with a more generic theme.

So get some matching scrapbook paper, cut two rectangles and two squares. Add them to a card base, then a matching sentiment on top and finish of with a bow made with a matching ribbon.

4. The "Subway Art" Card
Love the color scheme on this one! And Subway art is the in thing, right!

So get a scrapbook paper with a bright print and one with wording. Cut them up, layer and ta-da you have a card!

5. The "Banner" Card
This was my favorite one from this batch, I am the banner crazy person after all!

This one uses pre cut pennant chip, that are covered with scrapbook paper, a twine is added to the card base before the pennants to create the banner look, finishing off with a flower and butterfly embellishment.

And that's a wrap, I'm off to study for my mid term! So see you all after that :)

Happy Crafting!

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Healthy Eating : The Thai Coleslaw

So, football season is over. Oh what will I do on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays! Maybe I'll blog more consistently? Umm... but what will I blog about! I'm messing with all of you :) I have tons that I want to share with you, so I'll be popping in now and again to make sure that you don't forget me!

Today, I'm sharing a quick and healthy recipe that goes well as a side dish. We personally love it with some Thai noodles. But I'm sure it tastes great with other Thai dishes.

Its prep time is literally 5 mins, unless of course you are start chopping your own cabbage. I on the other hand love to get the pre-cut, pre-washed packs from the grocery store and just add the dressing!

I'm off to code the night away, have a great rest of the week and hopefully I'll be back soon :)
Thai Coleslaw
Recipe Adapted from My Kitchen Escapades

1 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp sugar (brown preferred)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup peanut oil

1 bag rainbow coleslaw mix (~10 oz)
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and cut using a Julienne Peeler
6 stalks of green onions, chopped
4 Tbsp chopped cilantro
peanuts (roasted and salted)

1. Add all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together.
2. In a large bowl add all the coleslaw ingredients except the peanut and mix together.
3. Add the dressing into the coleslaw mix and stir in combine.
4. Top with peanuts just before serving.

Don't forget, caring is sharing!