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Archive for May, 2010 Line

Misha West has joined The Adventure School! Wooo hooo! She has moved to Seattle from Phoenix, Arizona to become a full time adventurer here!  We knew right from the start that she would be a good fit; with a background in interior design & personal shopping she is going to blog about all of your adventure lifestyle needs. AND having been a competitive figure skater for 18 years she is definitely one for keeping us on our toes! Misha is also an accomplished dancer and violinist who has volunteered in China. Long story short, this adventurer has been around the world and landed in Seattle to get the party started. She has toured the world in Disney’s High School Musical on Ice and I hear she makes a mean lasagna. Get to know Misha West below! Oh, and, send tips about the lightest backpacks, most stylish mosquito tents and other must-have adventure lifestyle gear to!

What skill do you want to learn?
I’ve always regretted not being fluent in at least one other language. Since I believe that body language is the universal language, I’ve decided that I want to learn sign language!
Food and drink you don’t want to live without?
Water because I can add an assortment of things, such as a lemon wedge or even make crystal light! As for food, I could tell you the things I COULD live without but there are far too many foods that I love to list.
The scariest thing you can think of?
The conscience demise of Mother Nature!
Your favorite party supply?
Sparkles or glitter!
Your favorite book of the moment?
My ultra cool agenda book!
Describe your dream party place.
One created through brainstorming!
What is the evil version of you like?
Sleepy, hungry, & one sassy little schemer.
What gives you confidence?
That feeling you get post-overcoming an obstacle! You know…When you feel the imaginary weight lifting off your shoulders & you just want to give yourself a high five!?!
Name four essential elements of a good party.
Awesome people, tasty snacks, music, & me of course!
What do you appreciate most about a party

A friendly host who’s prepared for anything & when “anything” happens it’s handled with tact & with a smile!
Favorite adventure supply?
Describe the best party you ever attended.
I’m convinced I have yet to attend it!
Hotel room or campsite?
Both sound good to me!
Do you have a style icon?
Ginnifer Goodwin, Ashley Olsen, Camilla Belle, & Sienna Miller
Where is your next adventure destination?
Discovering the hidden gems of Seattle!!!!
If you could teach a class about anything in
the world ever, what would you teach?

I don’t think people realize that you can learn at least one thing from everyone! So I would let them in on my little secret and then I would teach the art of color coordinating your closet…it is absolute necessity!
Your motto?
Don’t dwell on things after they’re out of your power. Just let it go. AND if it’s meant to happen, it will!
What is your spirit animal?
My “present” is the raven. I’m magical!


As I mentioned early this week, I am a fountain of knowledge about all things adventure and possibly all things BRUNCH WEDDING. So, folks, if you’ve ever wondered about  . . .


. . . let me fill you in.

Today’s wedding is a spectacular (and expensive) event and many of the brides we work with seem sad to see the fun end. They’ve usually been planning for the big day for a year (or more!) and it goes by quickly. A ‘day-after’ brunch is an awesome time to connect even more with loved ones; especially out-of-towners who have journeyed to the wedding. It is a wonderful idea to surround yourself with love during your first day as a married couple.

1. Cheaper:  Brunch food is just cheaper, I think this is because we live in a dinner-archy. Dinner is considered better, more awesome and more important and is therefore more expensive. But who cares? Take advantage of the dinner-centric culture, Go Big and Go Brunch! (and maybe Go Home to do it, or at least in the backyard of your fanciest friends house, or better yet, the home of an older, wiser family friend who loves to garden)!

2. Unexpected: Your friends will love you if your brunch is a ‘day-after’ thing. Good friends love to re-hash everything and if they want to squeeze in as much time as possible with the far-flung old buddies from camp, from high school, college or whatever, a post-wedding brunch is an unbeatable choice!

3. Not so much drinking: No one will get embarrassingly drunk on mimosas or bloodies the way they might on the open bar vodka sodas. Just sayin’, could be good for people who are not as interested in an all night wedding turned frat party.

4. Diversifies décor options: Some folks might want to ditch nighttime rented elegance for brunch in favor of sentimental, folksy or bright and cheery handmade décor. A bunch of family quilts and dishes from home is totally awesome and expressive of the couples’ lifestyles and individuality; less inhibiting than the traditional evening wedding.

5. Better for including kids: Little children can be a more active part of the festivities as it is not past their bedtime and perhaps the brunch reception will be a less formal affair or the ‘day-after’ brunch may be a fun way to hang out with kids who were asleep or with the babysitter during the wedding the night before.

6. Booking entertainment could be cheaper too: Feel free to wheel and deal with your favorite bands! They probably aren’t too busy and a day-time setting could call for smaller groups. An accordion duo in the park or the backyard during brunch would rule!


  1. Buy fresh local ingredients — part one! We like to use an awesome local tech/foodie tool: the Locavore iPhone app. It tells you what is being grown locally and what’s in season. Deliciousness!
  2. Buy fresh local ingredients — part two! Farmer’s Markets are ideal for DIY catering. Healthy food looks beautiful. Pop fruit and veggies straight onto pretty dishes or gnarly hippie cutting boards and you will have breakfast fit for royalty. There is probably a market near you from early spring to mid-fall wherever you are in Seattle (and the surrounding towns, what’s up Bellevue Farmer’s Market!): University District, West Seattle, Broadway (Capitol Hill), Columbia City, Phinney, Lake City, Magnolia.
  3. Buy fresh local ingredients — part three! During the winter, the Pike Place Market, DeLaurenti’s, and local fish and meat markets like Mutual Fish and Salumi are always delicious local ingredient shopping havens. Salumi mole salami = heaven!
  4. Rebottle all juices, wines, champagnes, teas, coffees in friendly vessels that match your vibe. No one loves a brand staring back at them when they are trying to unwind, seems especially true of beverages. Wash off the labels of old wine bottles and refill with juice and sparkling water. Also, be sure to let everyone serve their own drinks! Get some milk in glass bottles from Madison Market. Good looking and healthy!
  5. Try to get treats and décor that have a small window of availability. I’m talking about beautiful fleeting things like blood oranges or peonies. Own it! Use Locavore to check the window of availability.
  6. Always get rentals! Even for a small formal affair. You can return them dirty and the cost is little compared to having your best friend and aunt washing dishes when they really should be giving you advice on married life and dancing with your grandpa. Local rental companies like Pedersen’s have modern options, and are lovely to work with. Also, a rented black and white polka dot table linen adds a lot of oomph!


1. Hire a wedding planner to really get your gourmet brunch the attention to detail it deserves. The Adventure School is available.

2. Take out from a favorite casual dining spot and a performer, for example; Paseo, every body will love this, have a flamenco guitarist strum along while you eat! Indian food in the park with saris spread on picnic tables or on the grass would be awesome! Hire an Indian Classical dancer to strut their stuff for a thrilled crowd as they drink bottomless chai! A performer can add an awesome surprise element for just a few hundred dollars.

3. Make a smorgasboard of desserts, it’s informal so everyone can share. Cupcakes from the new Cupcake Royale on Pike street on Capitol Hill brought to Volunteer Park for a casual post wedding brunch would be ideal! Get Top Pot donuts, bring vegan sorbet. Check out the new awesome Domestic Architecture designed Cupcake Royale.

4. Use whole foods, (not the store). Bring a knife and cutting board and cut hunks of cheese, bread, meat. Everybody can get down with great big hunks of food, you can let your hair down and place some petanque with a baguette in hand.

5. Bring jars or food tins (get some used food tins from local grocers or tea shops) and fill with local flowers from Pike Place Market. Extremely reasonably priced. Get a bunch of sweet pea blossoms for five dollars! If you feel like outsourcing hire Marigold and Mint to do a similar wild flower look for your wedding picnic!

6. Hire a bartender or barista! Seems extravagant, but will set an awesome tone to an informal brunch! No one should be without a drink! Ask your favorite local bartender to do it and get a $10 banquet permit from the liquor store, after all, it’s a private event in your own backyard. Fancy non-alcoholic drinks rule too! Caffe Vita has coffee carts ready and willing to come to your event. Cute!

7. Foraged and Found Edibles! Get them involved! You will have the wedding of the year! So Locavore it hurts! Back to the land young lovers and the loved ones who love them! Also, check out Christina Choi’s restaurant, Nettletown.

8. Make specialized brunch totes by ordering and monogramming Boat & Totes  from LL Bean! Get them embroidered to say I Love You or  The Jones or something else. (I think you can have up to 10 characters).


So many great food carts right now in Seattle. Marination mobile, Maximus Minimus, skillet, Veraci pizza, Tako Truk and Rancho Bravo just to name a few. They add a huge dose of whimsy to any event. Personalize the experience by having them plate up the goods on containers in the theme. Have a circus experience with red and white stripes and checked items from Cash and Carry. Ask them to use mason jars for your down-home folksy shindig. Incorporate a band that compliments the mood of the food cart: slide guitarists with marination mobile. Add a cotton candy machine to the mix; have someone funny staff it. Go totally DIY and build a funny tent and serve your mom’s pies out of it.

Go green with corn plastics or thrifted dishes, flatware and cups.


A restaurant buy-out is intimate and shows you really care; an awesome option for foodies!

  1. The Corson Building! The Adventure School’s absolute favorite! Delicious, holistic and gorgeous. A brunch here would be yummers with outrageously different brunch options like roasted rabbit stew with cabbage, hazelnuts and yellowfoot chantrelles; roasted black cod with fingerling potatoes, fennel and dill; roasted delicata squash with shallots, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and golden British apple; a salad of chickpeas and onions; a salad of farro and brussels sprouts; a cheese plate; three kinds of bread with butter, orange marmalade and blackberry jam; and lemon pound-cake with yogurt. Way better than pancakes last time I checked!
  2. Buy-out a restaurant that has special meaning to you. Had some great dates there with your spouse? Let your loved ones in on the experience.
  3. Our other favorite, Matt’s in the Market !  A place we always bring people adventuring in from far off places. The most Seattle-y place ever! Delicious, adorable, available for your events! In the heart of Pike Place, this will drive out of town guests wild with envy of our amazing Seattle-ness. The seattle-osity of this place is a huge plus (you’ll feel like you need to go home to your houseboat after driving home in your Prius with Steve Poole riding shotgun)! And the view is outrageous!

You want it? We have it in spades. Every week, The Adventure School is quoted in several national internet publications about wedding planning and event planning in general. The latest slew of articles are all about adventurous honeymoons.

So, if you are in Philly or Chicago or San Antonio you will get some tips from me! But, faithful readers, of course, your best source for Adventure Tips is right here on the adventure blog.

With that being said, right now (and always) I am in to saying to people, start your marriage right . . . with a wicked awesome ADVENTURE! A quote from the source article . . .

“Go scuba diving and snorkeling in Puerto Rico: it is tropical and beautiful with extremely consistent perfect summer weather year-round. Easy-going honeymooners can choose this option using USA driver’s license and dollar bills as it is an American territory that feels like a far-flung land. The beautiful diving spots offer fun for honeymooners who are doing it for the first time or are very experienced, lovers might spot bluehead wrasse, French angels and batfish or sea horses, coral shrimp and arrow crabs! Puerto Rico has some of the best beaches in the world and it’s just a short flight for under $100 from NYC. Drink rum and luxuriate after a long day of floating in warm tropical waters. Your own secret tropical land!

If you want to revel in time alone together head to Big Sky Country and bike Montana for your honeymoon. An economical choice that is anything but short on beauty and luxury. The website lists more than 38 scenic bicycle tours rated from easy to experienced for both road and mountain bike riders. Spotting Elk, Bighorn and Buffalo by day and relaxing in gourmet steakhouses and top-notch lodges by night is the ultimate start to a marriage full of all types of experiences from 4-star massages to teamwork on the roads!

Very adventurous lovers should hike Kilimanjaro! It is Africa’s highest summit surrounded by wildlife preserves. You can do double duty by rounding out your hiking adventure honeymoon with a safari through the Serengeti Plain and Ngorongoro Crater. Every marriage should start with an epic story, for those who honeymoon in Tanzania, it won’t just be about who obsessed over the sunscreen it will be about who was the best at spotting lions from the jeep”!



Alright, here’s the deal.

Because I was so ill these past ten days, I did not do anything but laze around my apartment, moving from bed to chair, to other chair, to couch, and finally back to bed. While I enjoyed watching the Planet Earth series, old episodes of Dexter, and finished nearly three books during this time, my days didn’t amount to a whole lot. I yearned to be outside, to be to able to eat food other than toast and Kozy Shack pudding.

My point is that although I am (THANKFULLY) functioning at almost 100% today, I haven’t done anything food-related in a while, and am thus ill-prepared in passing on any kind of new, interesting information regarding the subject. Many, many apologies.

In an attempt to make this up to you, I’ve decided to post one of my favorite recipes of all time. I haven’t made it since the last rhubarb season came around, but because we are nearing the tail-end of this year’s crop, I am intent on creating this dish again as soon as possible.

I found this in a recipe book that belonged to my father’s mother. Her name was Harriette and she lived, for much of her life, in Owatonna, Minnesota. The date written at the top of the page was March 1925, the spring before my dad was born. He talked a lot about her rhubarb crisp while I was growing up, perhaps because she made it often while pregnant with him and thus he was born with an innate fondness for the dish. Maybe. Either way, the crisp is pretty amazing.

So, I hope you take this recipe as a peace-offering, and know that I will be back to my normal Adventurer-self next week.



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg

Mix white sugar, melted butter, and cinnamon until crumbly; set aside. Cream together brown sugar, egg, and 1/2 cup butter. Thoroughly stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Stir into rhubarb. Turn into greased and floured 13x9x2″ baking pan. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake in 350 degree oven 45-50 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve warm or cool.



This weekend was especially manly.

Molvar and Nora came to visit. They are cool.

we partied

and then they left for Bellingham.

That’s when the real MANVENTURE began.

Four of us tough dudes met in the grocery store parking lot.

We drove to a secret place in the mountains

and with a flick of the wrist

we were sporting

and everything was magical and fun.

Tennis, like shooting skeet, is fun and manly. SO IS TYPING IN ALL CAPS. MANVENTURE is for women too.




Hullo Adventurers.

This week’s Artventure post is about watching/looking/seeing. Get excited.

Karin Jurick works fast. The photographic quality of her work comes from a masterful command of texture and light; she distills a moment onto the canvas by efficiently abstracting shapes and simplifying the composition. Jurick mostly paints scenes of everyday life, but I am captivated by her depictions of scenes in a museum or art gallery. In capturing her subjects in these settings, she modestly comments on the scopic pleasure we gain from voyeurism. Check out her Painting a Day series here.

Alexa Meade takes the concept of ‘seeing is believing’ to the next step. As a mixed media artist, Meade challenges our perception of depth and reality by mimicking the brushwork found on an oil painting using acrylic on walls, objects and people. She realigns the viewer’s line of sight by compressing  and skewing a 3D plane into one articulated in 2D. As a young artist of only 23, Meade is already represented by the Irvine Gallery in DC. Definitely someone to watch.

Marina Abramović is one of my long standing idols. As a matriarch of performance art, MoMa is holding a retrospective of her work, which includes a much publicised installation where she sits across from a rotation of strangers. The exhibit, “The Artist is Present” has solicited a series of interesting participants, including a weeping make up artist who has visited at least 15 times, Alan Rickman, Ulay, and her doppelganger.  To learn more, there’s a Tumblr dedicated to cataloguing the tears and a Flickr photostream for the stares. Worth it, adventurers. I went through every single photo.

Until next week adventurers.


Ladies and Gentleman, we are lucky enough to introduce you to our new ultra-talented, uber-lovely graphic designer!!! Gregory Flores! Hip Hip! Hooray! This guy makes a mean design, but he’s SUPER NICE! Yessss! Welcome him to the team, we are so glad to have him. Together with Greg, we are in hot pursuit of making the world more beautiful, more design-y and super adventure-ish!

“Dear Internet Blog,
My name is Gregory Romaldo Flores. I was born in Washington state. My older brother and sister were both born in Texas and I was always secretly jealous of this. I also thought my middle name was weird and I could never spell it. And then I realized that being a Born n’ Bred North-Westerner is pretty cool and that Romaldo is the best middle name ever.

I went to New Zealand for a while this past winter and slept in my tent for 33 days straight. I bathed in the ocean and ate 5 apples a day. Then I made friends with a German girl and we went to Thailand for a month. Now I’m back home and I get to start a whole new adventure with The Adventure School.

I feel really lucky.

Fun Fact: Cori and my sister were alterna-teen BFF’s back in the 90′s. In tribute, I’m listening to Pavement as I write this”.

(Eds. note: We were also Freshman dorm roommates, and I still wear her Smashing Pumpkins Tee-shirt like once a week; we never met an issue of Sassy we didn’t like).


What skill do you want to learn?
Slam dunks from half court.

Food and drink you don’t want to live without?

Peanut butter and whiskey.

The scariest thing you can think of?
Croc attack in shark infested waters.

Your favorite party supply?

A really great, feel-good attitude.

Your favorite book of the moment?
My folks have this photo book of all the different freaky breeds of domesticated pigeons and it totally weirds me out. I’m pretty into it.

Describe your dream party place.
A bon-fire on a moon mountain.

What is the evil version of you like?
He has straight teeth, good posture, perfect abs and he’s probably a real creep.

What gives you confidence?
Smiles. And other people farting.

Name four essential elements of a good party.
Close friends, fun strangers, secret stash of booze, and “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s.

What do you appreciate most about a party host?
Let’s thank the host. You’ve been such a great host. The roast was just so perfectly prepared. Now I know you care.

Favorite adventure supply?
Wool things.

Describe the best party you ever attended.
World Rainbow Gathering, December 31st, 2009. The start of a new decade in middle of the woods in New Zealand, hundreds of hippies dancing around a fire, howling at the full moon.

Hotel room or campsite?
Campsite, unequivocally.

Do you have a style icon?
My grandfathers.

Where is your next adventure destination?
The Adventure School!

If you could teach a class about anything in the world ever, what would you teach?


Your motto?
“No fate but what we make.”

What is your spirit animal?
The Tanuki.


Welcome to the latest edition to the adventure blog! My name’s Misha West, and I’ll be taking you on a magical journey of all things an adventurer might need, want or be inspired by!


Hypothetical Scenario:   You pass a fellow adventurer sitting in the airport. You quickly glance over at them and their belongings. What catches your eye is a really old beat up book on their lap. Wait a second… That’s not a book! It’s the coolest computer case EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Book Book by Twelve South

Fellow Adventurers: The BookBook By Twelve South is ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!  Not only does it protect your computer, its unique AND it’s wearing a disguise! What more could you ask for?!

That is all.

*Stay tuned for next week’s segment of “The Adventure Lifestyle.”*


Here are two things I saw on my most recent epic two week adventure. Stay tuned for more, for now, I will be going to the mountains of Washington’s sweet Bavarian Village, Leavenworth (for a wedding!). I can’t wait to share . . . Here’s a factoid from the trip: I met Yoko Ono.


After almost a week of feeling under the weather and incapable of venturing out into the real world, there is literally nothing in my refrigerator save for three bottles of beer and a jar of unopened low-sodium pickles mistakenly purchased some months ago (yuck, please pass the salt). It wasn’t until this afternoon that I made myself eat one while waiting for the Mr. to come home from work with some matzo ball soup, my hands shaking with hunger as I removed the lid from the container. The pickle wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d anticipated it being, but in hindsight I wonder if it wasn’t just my tummy talking, eager for more. It did make me reminisce about the homemade pickles we packed last summer, however, and I’m now trying to figure out where in our storage unit our extra jars and boiling-water canner might be hiding.

All I’m hearing in the land of Twitter these days are things about canning and pickling. People are getting excited about the new summer vegetables that are beginning to pop up in neighborhood farmer’s markets and are discussing ways to preserve them for the months to come. It’s pretty great.

For those of you who might be scared of pickling, you should be. It’s pretty easy to end up with bowls of stinky, badly fermented (as opposed to perfectly, deliciously fermented) sauerkraut in your basement. Believe me, I’ve been there.

While the secret of a solid ‘kraut is still anathema to me, I am darn good with the old fashioned, tried and true pickle pack, which is super easy to concoct.

We loosely followed a recipe for pickling we found in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, adding our own touches as we pleased.

Mixed Pickles:

  • 1 1/4 pounds pickling cucumbers, sliced in half, lengthwise
  • 3-4 bunches baby carrots
  • 5-6 peppers, mixed variety
  • 2 cups peeled pearl onions
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 15-20 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 3 cups vinegar

Combine sugar, salt, spices and vinegar in a saucepot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Assemble vegetables in hot, clean jars. Pour hot liquid into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Keep in a cool, dry place for 3-5 weeks before opening. Yields about 5 pints.