High Tea @ The Empress

Mmmmmm! What a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon! Sipping tea and eating pasteries!

First treat – fresh strawberries with a dollop of fresh whip cream on top.

Then arrived the steaming pots of tea. One jasmine. One berry.

Next a tiered plate of treats. The first tier of sandwiches included:

  • Smoked Salmon Pinwheel
  • Mango and Curried Chicken
  • Carrot and Ginger and Cream Cheese
  • Free Range Egg Salad Croissant
  • Mushroom Pate Crostini

The middle tier was filled with scones. A freshly baked golden raisin scone, with strawberry jam and Empress Cream.

The top tier (saved the best for last) was filled with assorted pastries:

  • Battenberg Cake
  • Lemon Curd and Berry Tart (Bailie’s favorite, she even tried to eat mine)
  • Rose Petal Shortbread
  • Green Tea Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Tulip withWild Cherry (Although the prettiest, this one was not Bailie’s favorite as the cherry ended up on her plate)

The location:

The Fairmont Empress |721 Government Street | Victoria, BC, Canada | 866. 540.4429 | Website

More about our tea selection:

JASMINE BUTTERFLY – Jasmine tea is one of the most pleasant tasting green teas available, with a captivating floral bouquet that invigorates the senses. Surprisingly full bodied, the flavour is enhanced with Jasmine blossoms, providing a visual appeal to which few other teas can aspire.

BERRY BERRY – This caffeine- free blend of herb and fruit tea was formulated specially for Fairmont Empress guests wishing to enjoy a healthy and refreshing beverage that is both bold and bright. Server hot or cold, this blend is slightly tart, combining the essence of orange and pineapple with hibiscus petals, rosehip chips, elderberries, dried currants and the natural flavours of strawberries, red currants and cream.

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The Shultz Girls Take On Victoria

It’s finally spring break…and we sneak out of town for a few days for a little R&R. Just a quick Clipper ride away, we arrive in Victoria early in the morning.

We have lots of tips and ideas on what we will accomplish in three days. There is so much to do here!

My idea list:

  • Spa time. Massage. Facial. More?
  • Good food: Rebar, Pescatones, and hopefully a new place or two.
  • Some wine. Chocolate. (I came stocked with both).
  • Maybe find the fabulous shoes I have been looking for since my birthday.
Her idea  list:
  • Shopping.
  • Shopping.
  • Shopping.
The actual events…

Day One.
We arrived at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa. Not sure we should leave our room. Our very comfy room has a fabulous view of the inner harbor including The Empress, Parliament, all the yachts, and more. Plus, we have an entrance to a very large deck. Hope it is sunny one more for pastries and tea on the deck. Can’t wait to see the city lit up tonight (should have brought my tri-pod)!
After settling into our hotel, we headed over to the Parliament building. What a beautiful place! The rotunda, the stained glass, the expansive front lawn, the native totems. As it started to rain, we ducked into the Royal British Columbia Museum to wander through the natural history (both people and animals). Both were fascinating; Bailie had more fun looking at animal skeletons under microscopes. Lots of interaction opportunities! Next up – High Tea at The Empress. With full stomachs, we head back to our hotel for swimming, dinner and relaxing in bed.
Day Two.
Starts with spa time! After a morning of me time, we head out to find a morning treat. Cinnamon bun for Bailie, chocolate almond croissant and chai tea for me. All refreshed to wander through a few shops. Quickly found Baggin’s, Bailie’s dream store. Filled to the brim with Converse in every color, low to high-top, higher-top and knee-high. After perusing through more shops, we found the store I was looking for – She She Shoes.
A bit of damage later, it was time to refuel at Rebar. Then out the door to enjoy the blue sky that has recently appeared. We walked down the harbor path and around to the Breakers. As we ventured on to Beacon Hill Park, we stopped to play in the rocks, sand, seaweed and shells. Exploring the tidal pools, we found urchins, limpets, mussels, snails and more. We came home with a pile of polished sea glass and a belly full of ice cream. We finished the day with dinner at Pescatores.

Day Three.

Our final day away. Our final day to shop. Most of the day was spent poking around stores as Bailie scored new Converse, a sweatshirt with monkey thumbs and a birthday party dress for the big day in June. Of course, we also found a store with chocolate goodies never found at home. Between shops, we sat outside and enjoyed soaking up some Vit D.

On the ferry trip home, we sat with a couple from Atlanta. They had grandkids Bailie’s age, so it made the ride much quicker for her!


A New {Career} Chapter

Basket of fun on the tables at new employee orientation

Every once in a while, a “thing” will appear on as “completed” without ever appearing on the “list”. (Wow, that is a lot of quotes!)

So what is the “thing” that was not on my list?  A career change (of sorts). Of course, no surprise that while turning 40 one thinks back on their career. The wins. The mistakes. The “would I do it the same if I could do it all over”. (Yes, I would.) However, those thoughts led to the” what’s next” thoughts. (I know, more quotes.)

I started those thoughts with what do I love about what I do? Love marketing. Love online. Love multiple channels. Wish it were more than just automotive. (Shoes would be heaven).

Then move on to what do I miss from my past roles? International. Challenge that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Anything else? Not coming to mind. That’s all the further I got and I quit thinking about it. Tabled it for six months or so.

Then, within a month the magic of LinkedIn happened. Some one reached out to me. I make a habit of always responding – never know when the paths will cross again and don’t ever want a bad taste in someone’s mouth when they see my name.

Conversation led to interview.

Interview led to offer.

And you guessed it when you saw the title, I accepted.

New chapter begins May 2. EXCITED about the FABULOUS opportunity for personal growth and challenge.

Easter Dinner

I really do cook almost every night, although you won’t know it as all I talk about in this space is the meals I have eaten elsewhere. So it is time I actually share a meal at home (my goal was forty fabulous meals not ever thinking I would get to not lift a finger to make any of them).

So the Easter, I made a little feast for my family

  • Salmon cakes or crab cakes anyone? Roasted red pepper aioli sauce complete with homemade mayonnaise.
  • Steamed manila clams with lemon and drawn butter.
  • Jicama slaw with red cabbage, orange and lemon.
  • Roasted beets drizzled with balsamic vinegar and fresh goat cheese.
  • Risotto with a little sage and parmesan infusion.
  • Rosemary dijon pork loin. Ahh, what a great smell this created in my kitchen.
  • Dessert was created by the 10 year old faction of the house. Bailie and Kat baked up confetti cupcakes and decorated with colorful cream cheese frosting.

Dinner @ Novo

Upon recommendation of our new friends, we dined creekside and outdoors (love that San Luis is warm enough for that already!) upon several FABULOUS tapas dishes:

  • fresh shrimp avocado spring rolls…rice noodles, julienned vegetables, ginger soy & chilli sauces
  • novo lettuce wraps…lettuce leaves, perfectly seasons and grilled beef,  julienned vegetables, fresh mint & cilantro, nuoc nam, chilli sauce, roasted peanuts
  • singapore chicken satay…grilled skewers of chicken, housemade peanut sauce, jasmine rice, cucumber salad
  • green beans with pancetta…garlic, sweet onions, chillis
  • sri lankan butternut squash curry…mild coconut curry, roasted cashews

Most Fabulous Dish: Tie between lettuce wraps and the green beans

Most Fabulous Sauce: homemade peanut sauce for the satay

The location:

726 Higuera Street | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | 805. 543.3986 | Website

San Luis Obispo – Mixing New Memories with the Old

A weekend with my college BFFs is always fabulous. This time it was over the top FABULOUS as we “road tripped” back to our college town. Oh, where do I start?

The Flight

For once,  I arrived at the airport with plenty of time. Even indulged in a piece of warm blueberry coffee cake from Anthony’s before I boarded my flight. And the flight down included the first round of drinks of the weekend. My traveling companions where headed our a town on a boy’s weekend on hiking in Yosemite. They were childhood friends from Milwaukee, so they got the significance of my excitement about my upcoming weekend.

The Road Trip

Of course, we needed sustenance before taking off for the three hour drive. Heidi took us to her favorite place for sun and sandwiches – after all it was t-shirt weather! And I learned that La Villa has a FABULOUS Italian combo. The balsamic vinegar made the sandwich! Soon, we headed out for a sunny and green drive down the 101. Along the way we shared stories of school challenges, parenting fun and an old memory or two. Which made us miss Meg. And we decided to remedy that. We knew she lived close to SLO, yet couldn’t get thru to any number we had. Good thing her parents haven’t changed their number. Let the stalking begin…

Pit Stop

Paso Robles was calling us – time for a snack. A snack like chips and salsa. With the help of our new friend at the Chamber, we found Papi’s just off the square. YUM! We didn’t stop with chips and salsa – their tacos were featured in the March 2000 Sunset magazine at the best tacos in California. We had to try that. And we tried every salsa concoction in the place. An new memory (and a great place to return to eat more FABULOUS tacos and explore the town).

We Arrive!

We make the final leg of the journey, quickly check into our hotel and head over to campus. Wow – the new dorms are amazing (we probably would still be there if we lived like that!). Plenty of new buildings too. Laughter.  A trip to El Corral to replenish our worn our Cal Poly attire. More laughter. Starbucks stop (on campus!) to perk us back up. Spotted the new AOII house. Took a walk down memory lane through the halls of the AGR house. And lots of laughter. And best of all, a call from Meg. Wish you could have joined us Meg – next time!

Refuel & Relax

We realized we were so busy around campus that the dinner hour had passed. We sought out food to Mother’s Tavern. We toyed with hanging out to dance, however decided a chick flick was in order. We decided at our hotel was Dear John. So, of course, we were up after midnight hanging out like so many nights as college girls. Now if we could only get carded again, we would really feel like it was the good ol’ days!

Day 2 – New Memories

The reason that we choose this weekend, this location was the 25th anniversary celebration of the AOII sorority chapter that brought us together as best  friends.  So it was time for lunch – and running into lots and lots of old friends (some that we had connected with on Facebook, some not). The best part of lunch was that we had four great college students dine with us at the Monday Club (stories from parties here almost two decades ago will not be part of this blog). Thanks Alex, Sam, Kenzie and Carleigh for sharing your adventures with us!

Afternoon Adventures

We didn’t get far. We relaxed and shared stories of our time at Cal Poly with Alex, Sam, Kenzie and Kelly as we toured the house and their adventures. Kenzie showed off some of her jewelry creations (and I am the proud owner of a new ring). Kelly caught a swarm of bees that morning so I took a field trip to check them out. Not everyone touring the house was so sure of her project. Gotta love the Cal Poly motto “learning by doing” is still alive.

Bulls and Beyond

Tonight, we planned ahead and fueled up on food early. The plan was to converge on Bulls Tavern around 8 to 1) make sure we all get in and 2) don’t wait too long in line. So we arrived a bit after 8 and grabbed our first round. It seemed way to clean to be the Bulls we remembered (it wasn’t, it is next door as the old location was condemned a year ago). Another round was consumed before Sam, Kenzie, Kelly, Carleigh and Carolyn started our tour of SLO bars today. Marston’s was next up (yes, we got carded…call it is courtesy card if you want, we don’t care). However we quickly moved on to SLO Brewing Co. We found a table, a few pitchers, some ping pong balls and quarters. Let the laughter begin! Since the lines were now long downtown, we just stayed here. And, strangely enough there is a dance floor now downstairs! FABULOUS FUN in every moment…all night long!

The End

Of course, the weekend came to a close what felt like moments after we got together. Until the next FABULOUS weekend, I’ll miss you all!

Lecoscho

There are certain things I know. Such as it is always a wonderful treat to dine at Matt’s in the Market. I know, Matt is no longer the owner. Regardless his namesake has never let me down.

But I didn’t know that Matt is back. Under a new name. In a new location. But thanks to Josh P. Dand, I gained knowledge. It only took two months plus for the birthday celebration to commence. Josh had send an email back on February 2 suggesting a celebration of sorts. Lucky it took two months to get it scheduled. Otherwise we would have been drinking a beer an Elysian.

Instead, we feasted! It was a FABULOUS feast indeed! We mixed a few glasses of red wine, with stimulating conversation and…

  • Rillettes (cured, braised pork belly terrine served with a spicy mustard and country bread)
  • Espresso rubbed beef short ribs and pickled beets (the sauce soaked up perfectly in the bread)
  • Aged manchego cheese drizzled with lavender honey and pickled raisins
Thanks, Josh P., for a fabulous surprise addition to the list of FABULOUS meals. And a deep discussion about pork products. I was just thinking it was a birthday beer – and it turned out so much more – oh, what is the F-word I am looking for to insert here? (Only thing I would change: Remove the wind and rain aren’t blowing into us as we walk down the street.)

The location:

89 University St (the Harbor Steps) | Seattle, WA 98101 | 206.623.2101 | Website