Ooh, my favorite!

These are a few…
June 15, 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Home, My favorite things

This week has been a struggle to be inspired or creative; I don’t know if it’s traveling that kicked my butt or if it’s work. I had an amazing time in Denver last weekend and more than anything I’m thinking that it’s vacation withdrawals. When my very good friend Annik asked if I’d be interested in flying in as a surprise 10th birthday gift for her daughter B, there was no way I could resist. I got to spend four fun-filled days with two of my very favorite people. Yeah, it’s withdrawals for sure. Sigh. 

Here’s hoping you get to spend time with some of your favorite people this weekend, especially Dad…don’t forget about him!


B’s room was so sweet! There was something so magical about staying in her room, I have the fondest memories of being 10.

But then I came home and realized I haven’t progressed as far as I’d thought…whatever, kindred spirits decorate alike.

Oh yeah, and do you notice the dragonfly photo from this post? It’s one of my most prized possessions and the fact that the photographer sent me the image file to have printed and framed makes it that much better. 

Berry Good
June 14, 2012, 11:28 am
Filed under: Clean, Food, Organic, Seattle

I’ve come across some great local strawberries but it’s not full-on berry season here in Washington until July at least. Luckily the fruits of California’s labor have been lookin’ mighty fine and I’ve waited as long as I could to avoid eating them out of season. It’s just that they’re so good for you– the ultimate anti-cancer snack with antioxidants and compounds that help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. Sadly though, it’s really important to buy your berries organic whenever possible as they use huge amounts of pesticide when grown conventionally. Conventional strawberries can have as many as 13 different pesticide sprays on them.

I’m hoping our spring weather picks up again so that I can find our beautiful wild Washington berries and replace these Cali guys. But until then I’ll be stuffing my face with this gorgeousness.

Bellwether farms plain sheep’s milk yogurt + local honey + favorite berries.


(If you’re looking for some guidance in which produce products to buy organic versus conventional check out EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list. It’s a great resource for prioritizing your shopping list.)


Miu Miu Glitter Platform Pump
June 13, 2012, 12:05 pm
Filed under: Fashion, Shoes

Miu Miu Glitter Platform Pump

I snuck away to Neiman’s yesterday to check out their sale. After my high hopes were dashed at the shoe racks I turned to see the new arrivals from Miu Miu. My feet needed some sort of gratification so I nonchalantly slipped this bad boy on. I was sorely mistaken when I figured they were just a silly try-on indulgence…they were epic!

At first I sort of dismissed the glitter as a holiday-ish element, but the overall shape of the shoe makes it THE PERFECT PUMP. If you look at the proportion of the platform with the thicker heel and the rounded toe, the glitter really becomes secondary…crazy sounding I know, but really it’s all about the proportion. So visions of holiday parties extinguished, think about these with skinny jeans and a blazer, or pencil skirt, relaxed tee, gold accessories, and clutch. Something like this….

Basics with glitter

T by Alexander Wang oversized t shirt / J.Crew cotton skirt / Miu Miu glitter pumps / Maison Martin Margiela leather clutch / Michael Kors jewelry / Eddie Borgo costume jewelry, $380

Sushi Fantasies
June 12, 2012, 10:20 am
Filed under: Art and Design, Food

I’ve come along way in my sushi game over the past few years.  So much so that I’m finding it’s pretty much impossible to find a sushi bar to satisfy me. Sadly, sushi experiences in Seattle have left me wanting for so much more.

Sushi is sophisticated. Sushi is sensual. Sushi is sexy. Sighhhhh.

In my fantasies I want the entire experience to reflect those elements. I want to float in, take my seat at the bar, sip on a killer glass of sake, pull a special pair of chopsticks out of my bag, have the chef shower me with all of his freshest and most prized pieces. Squeal! (Such a pleasant fiction, no?)

There’s just no place for crummy throw-away chopsticks from China in my fantasy. Enter these gorgeous collapsible chopsticks from Snow Peak: a premiere Japanese camping and outdoor living company. The wood section is made from broken Japanese baseball bats and the connecting piece is brass with the top half hollow stainless steel. They may be sturdy enough for outdoor use, but for me these are the perfect addition to my sushi dreams.

$36 available at Canoe.


Mykonos Blu
June 11, 2012, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Travel

This actually exists! The private pool suite at the Mykono Blu Resort in Mykonos Psarou Beach, Greece. Just back from a weekend away and I’m already dreaming of another escape. Ha! Happy Monday.

These are a few…[Instagram Edition]
June 8, 2012, 6:09 am
Filed under: My favorite things

“I’m not much good at Facebook, but I kick ass at Instagram!”

I can’t help it…Instagram makes it so easy for me to document and share all of the happy moments, food, flowers, shoes, and accessories that I love. From my very first picture nearly two years ago, Instagram was instantly my favorite social media outlet. We all know things have changed a bit as of late, so I just pray it doesn’t lose its luster. Anyway, while I’m away for a quick holiday in Denver here are a few of my favorite Instagram moments. Happy weekend!

[If you’re so inclined, find me @natirasu.]


Aztec Healing Clay
June 7, 2012, 6:43 am
Filed under: Beauty, Clean, Health, Organic

My skin hasn’t been much happy since my epic cold last week. I figured I’d give it a few days to get back on track but it became clear this morning that I needed to help it along since ultimately my body is still working to expel many of the toxins and ickiness from my cold. I notice even the whites of my eyes are still a bit red, which is also an indication that things are still working to heal. At least where my skin is concerned I decided that I’d help it along with my favorite Aztec Indian Healing Clay mask, a natural remedy of 100% Bentonite Clay and over 50 different minerals from Death Valley, California.

Organic apple cider vinegar & Aztec Healing clay powder

The mask mixture consists of about a tablespoon of Aztec Healing Clay powder and few teaspoons of raw organic apple cider vinegar. I’ve repurposed a make-up foundation brush to mix and apply the clay. It makes it so easy and fun!

Aztec Healing Clay, mixed

When you add the cider vinegar it will foam a bit, so use a non reactive bowl and brush/mixer. Adjust the consistency of the clay to make it easy to apply; not so thick that it takes forever to dry, and not so watery that it doesn’t extract anything from your pores.

If you’re worried about using the vinegar you can substitute filtered water, but for me I much prefer the vinegar. The goal is to absorb as much from the pores of your skin as possible, while still using only clean and natural ingredients.

Post-cold skin treatment with Aztec Healing Clay

Once you’ve got the right consistency start painting! If you have make-up on you’ll want to wash your face first. Be sure to get the creases on the side of your nose, the underside of your chin, and even your neck. This part feels REALLY good, so I usually take some time going over everything a few times. Once you’re done it will take about 20 minutes to dry.

While I wait I usually boil a pot of nettle tea and let it steep for 10 minutes. I pour a small amount aside and let it cool while I sip another cup. This is a spa-ish experience after all; but really, the nettle tea works wonders internally and will soon help post-mask also. While you’re drinking your tea you’ll notice that you can feel your face pulsating from the clay. It’s a good thing, enjoy it!

Once the clay is dry it will be a chalky whitish color, very different from the army greenish color it was when it was wet. Hop in the shower (you can just use the sink but it can get a little messy…especially if you did your neck.) Use warm water and gently wash away the clay.

When you’re done your face will be RED, but don’t be alarmed. This is normal and it will go away in about 20-30 minutes.

Nettle tea and witch hazel for post-mask toning

This is where the cooled organic nettle tea comes in. I use this to splash on my face to cool and soothe some of the redness, but also to act as a toner. My skin loves it! I’ll let it dry and repeat another three or four times, then follow it with a splash of Witch Hazel.

Follow this with your favorite moisturizer, but after all this work you’ll want to make sure it’s free of any synthetics, fragrances, parabens, etc. Here I will usually take a very small amount of my trusty organic coconut oil and lightly massage it into my face. If your face is very dry you’ll want to do something a bit heavier.

There’s really nothing cleaner you can do for your skin. Try a regular routine of at least once a month, but be sure to give this regimen time to bring any impurities to the surface and rid of them before you discontinue it. Also be sure not to underestimate the importance of your diet in the case that your skin is giving you problems. For example, I noticed that when my diet is high in wheat and dairy (or after a horrible cold) my skin just isn’t the same.


Bangkok Firecracker Martini
June 6, 2012, 11:29 am
Filed under: Drinks, Recipes

 Our Bangkok Firecracker Martini

This is one of our most popular cocktails at the restaurant, and while I’ve shared some testing I’ve done with new liqueurs I figured it was time to share something that I know works. I’ve written this recipe down for dozens of customers, so I know it’s loved, but keep in mind that when I say that it works I mean that it will appeal to a very specific type of person. You’ve gotta love heat, and you’ve gotta love Thai Basil. If that sounds like you then this is your drink.

There’s no way to control the heat from the Thai chili’s as even at the restaurant the batches we get differ drastically from week to week. Aside from the heat level though, the Thai chili has a beautiful floral taste and when paired with the lemon and touch of simple syrup it makes for a surprisingly refreshing drink.


Bangkok Firecracker

makes 1 martini

– 2 Thai chili peppers (bird’s eye chili)

–  10-12 Thai Basil leaves

–  3 oz. Vodka (at the restaurant we use Citron, but a basic one works too)

–  1/2 lemon, juiced

–  Simple syrup to taste (start with about 2-3 tsp)

Muddle the Thai chili peppers and the Thai Basil, then add the simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.

Note: The simple syrup isn’t meant to make this sweet, but really to balance the heat and the citrus. The great part is that you can add as much as you’d like so start with a few teaspoons and go up from there. You really can’t go wrong. Cheers!

Imaginary Shopping Spree
June 5, 2012, 6:05 am
Filed under: Fashion

It’s time for one of Net-a-Porter‘s sales! Things move fast, like unbelievably fast, but there’s still some great opportunities to add some quality pieces to your wardrobe at some steep discounts. Okay, so it can be slightly depressing to realize that even at 50% off, that killer orange Chloé suit that you’ve been coveting since it was released back in the fall–the one that’s been captivating your dreams every night since then–is still light years away from being yours despite the fact that your size is sold out anyway, but really…it’s not that bad.

Ralph Lauren Black Label / Miu Miu / Chloé / Gucci / Alexander McQueen

Miu Miu / Helmut Lang / Emilio Pucci / Burberry Prorsum / J Brand

3.1 Phillip Lim / Rag & Bone / Miu Miu / Etro / Victoria Beckham

Oscar de la Renta / Versus / Chloé / Miu Miu

I must confess that I did manage to buy one thing from my imaginary shopping spree above: the red Miu Miu bathing suit was a killer price at $129! I was going to buy it at full price for a potential beach holiday anyway, so it worked out perfectly that I waited. Here’s hoping you’re able to find at least one something good.

Cuppa Tea
June 4, 2012, 12:01 pm
Filed under: Gift guide, Personal

Kettle / Paper Tea Bags / English Breakfast Tea / Vintage Tea Set / sugar cubes / Tea Spoon

A lot of my life is centered around my Thai-ness: Thai restaurant, Thai food, crazy Thai Dad. But there’s a whole other half to me [ha!] that’s pretty much the polar opposite of my Thai-ness and that would be my British-ness: British Breakfast tea, British bath time, brutally-honest-yet-somehow-polite British Mom. You can see why I’m a tad neurotic, no?

So for today, in celebration of my other half and Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee I shall be having a proper cuppa tea.