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Friday Favorites + Welcome to September!

Friday favorites

(From my mini-adventure in Seattle: Pike Place Market / Lamplighter Books / Storyville Coffee / Left Bank Bookstore)

Happy Friday + Welcome to September!

As always, it’s been a busy week. However, I did escape to downtown Seattle on Wednesday for a little mini-adventure. While D. was busy with a work outing, I spent the afternoon chilling on my own. I checked out a few bookstores, grabbed a latte, and went to the Olympic Sculpture Park. I met up with D. later for dinner and (a few too many) drinks. It was a wonderful day, and we’re going to definitely do that more often!

Without further ado, here are my Friday favorites from this past week:

  • I’m not a big smoothie fan, but I am looking for a more protein-packed, easy breakfast (I’m so lazy). The Chalkboard Mag has a few recipes I can’t wait to try – especially the carrot cake smoothie/shake!
  • Aimee Song from Song of Style is in the middle of remodeling her new home, and has a drool-worthy list of small items to add to any home. I kinda want all of it.¬†
  • I’m always looking to clean up and simplify my beauty routine, and Into The Gloss has a great list of beauty products with the fewest ingredients. My life goal is to smell like a beautiful hippie, can you tell? ūüėČ
  • It’s been hot as balls here lately, which makes it so hard to cook (or better yet,¬†want¬†to cook). If we get another 90+ degree day, I’m gonna give this recipe for¬†One Pot Summertime Pasta¬†from Camille Styles a try!
  • Now that fall is finally on its way, I’m looking into upping my shoe game. First up – a pair of green suede flats that don’t match anything I own, but will look killer anyway.

I’m off to keep working on some editing work, then hopefully spending the weekend relaxing and reading. I picked up Rebecca Solnit’s book The Mother Of All Questions at the library, and I think I could easily get through it this weekend while relaxing at the beach!

What are you up to this weekend?

Friday Favorites

friday favorites yoga

Welcome to another weekly edition of Friday favorites!

Man, it’s been a crazy week around here!

Summer finally decided to make an appearance, with temperatures well into the 90s all week. We’re also dealing with a smoke cloud over the Seattle area, thanks to a forest fire that started in Canada. Needless to say, I spent the last week cooped up inside hiding from either the heat or smoke!

Here are some things I enjoyed this week while hiding from the heat!

  • Free People wrote a great post this week on when to toss your green beauty products. If you recently cleaned up your beauty routine, it’s worth checking out to make sure your beauty products are still safe to use!
  • I’m in the process of re-organizing my closet, and Aimee Song’s closet tour was full of so much inspiration!
  • You know I love a good DIY face spray, and Orchid Grey came up with a quartz-charged rose spray I’d love to make! I’m not sure if I buy into the whole quartz thing, but the scent sounds divine!
  • I am currently cooking my way through Veganomicon, and recently made their Southwestern Corn Pudding. I’m definitely making this one again soon!
  • My husband’s succulent has exploded, and I’ve been shopping online for some small pots to plant all the little baby succulents. I am going to do my best not to buy, like, 10 of these adorable Japanese-style painted pots:

Aren’t the adorable?

Anyway, before I go down the rabbit hole on Amazon…I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m planning to maybe go to the beach if it’s not too hot. Otherwise, I’ll be in front of the air conditioner like everyone else in Seattle!

Womxn’s March on Seattle

womxn's march seattle

I woke up Saturday¬†morning after only a few hours of sleep, and with a nasty cold that wouldn’t go away. My body was telling me to stay home and rest – that it couldn’t handle¬†marching in the Womxn’s March on Seattle.

Even as I sit in bed sick writing this on Sunday, I’m so glad I¬†went anyway. I regret nothing.

Originally, organizers estimated¬†between 50,000-75,000 people at the most. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a crowd that big (outside of maybe a sporting event).

I showed up 1.5 hours¬†early to Judkins Park, only to find that there were already¬†50,000 people there! People came by foot, car, bus, ferry, bike –¬†however they could get there.

By the time the march started, I was standing in a crowd of almost 100,000 people.

womxn's march seattle

(Marching down Jackson Street, with people stretching in front and behind me as far as I could see!)

I marched with 130,000 people, though organizers now say it may have been closer to 175,000. I honestly couldn’t tell you which number is true – both are equally nuts to me. We filled the entire 3.6-mile stretch of our march’s path. It was wall-to-wall people for the entire 5 hours it took to complete it. Every muscle in my body just straight hurt afterwards.

What I will remember most about Saturday¬†was¬†how positive and kind everyone was throughout the day. It’s hard to feel safe in a large crowd, especially given I went¬†alone. I had a great time, and never once felt¬†unsafe. Not a single person got¬†arrested, and no one reported shoving/pushing that usually happens with crowds that big. We were there together, marching and chanting with the same mission – to show our solidarity and support for each other.

I spent the day chatting with women of all ages, sharing goldfish crackers with hungry kids, and taking in the amazing signs everyone made. It was poignant to see signs that young girls and boys made for the event. They sincerely expressed what their generation worries about Рthe environment, immigration laws, bullying, racism, science education, equality, and more. I was proud to see so many children marching and chanting alongside their parents.

womxn's march seattle

The number of signs with a positive and supportive message far outweighed the angry ones, which made me feel encouraged. Sure, it’s funny to see a “Queef on Trump” sign. It was more impressive to see signs from men supporting¬†strong women, children supporting their friends, and women supporting¬†each other. I didn’t make¬†a sign of my own, but once I got there I kind of wish I had!

womxn's march seattle

(At the Space Needle, trying really hard not to look like sick and exhausted!)

By the time I made it to the end of the march, I was ready to head home. It was an amazing experience, but the cold medicine wore off about an hour before we finished, and I was physically shutting down hardcore. I was exhausted, but extremely happy to make it the entire way, sniffles and all!

When I got home, I told my husband all about it while he made dinner, and I watched television coverage from our march and others happening around the world. Not having cell coverage for most of the day, I missed a lot of what was going out outside of Seattle. Seeing millions of people show up around the world on Saturday was comforting. To know that so many others were just as supportive and kind throughout their own marches restored my faith in humanity that I lost in November.

Now, I’m working on what to do next – how to take what I felt Saturday and spread that into my everyday life. I’d love to hear how you plan to do so, too!

Why I’m Marching Tomorrow

 

From the moment I found out we were having a march in Seattle, I was all in.

I’ve never participated in anything this…big…before. I’m excited and a little nervous, to be honest.

When people ask why I’m marching tomorrow, the answer is simple:

I march for all of us.

I march for every woman who has been told that she shouldn’t or couldn’t do something because¬†“good girls don’t do that,” or “women shouldn’t be¬†like¬†that.”

I march for everyone who told us¬†men don’t like women who are¬†too smart, accomplished, outspoken, or confident. (My husband would argue otherwise…he likes my loud mouth just fine.)

I march for Planned Parenthood, who helped me out when I was a poor college student without insurance. I continue to go there because they are amazing healthcare providers for both women and men. I hope you thrive for many, many years to come.

I march for every women’s studies student I poked fun at in grad school. I’m deeply sorry, and I understand now more than ever what you were all so angry about.

I march for every woman who has been told¬†that how¬†she¬†dressed, spoke, or behaved led to her being a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence. For every woman who was told, directly or indirectly, that¬†she was asking for it. You didn’t. None of us did.

I march for every time woman who feels the outside world is a dangerous, violent place for women. I hope that changes someday, and that we teach both girls and boys that they have equal right to occupy public spaces.

I march for the next generation of women, who I hope are watching (or marching) today and see that we all care deeply about the world you are growing up in.

I hope everyone marching tomorrow¬†has a safe, positive experience. ūüôā

Fall Home Wishlist

fall home wishlistAs the temperatures here finally dip a little, I’m starting to think hard about making our home more cozy for fall and winter. While I don’t usually do much more than break out the candles and throw blankets, it’s good to fantasize once in a while about what you would do if you had an endless budget.

Here are a few things I would totally add to my fall home wishlist!

A Pendleton Blanket

I’ve been coveting these blankets for years, but they are way outside my budget! Pendleton did a line of blankets to celebrate the National Park Services’s centennial, and I really like the “Badlands Olive” pattern. It’s also a park I’ve been to (well, drove through), so that would be a fun story to go along with it. Alas, $100 is a lot to pay for a throw blanket. Maybe next year!

Cozy Fall Artwork

The artwork in our house is a complete mish-mash of random stuff both my husband and I like. Unfortunately, we also like very different things, so it makes our home look inconsistent. I’d love to replace some of our artwork with things that are reflective of the season, and this print from Society6, titled “Through The Trees” by Tordis Kayma would be perfect.

I might also go through my nature photos and print some out from Snapfish. This might also motivate me to take my camera out hiking this fall to add to my collection!

Candles…of course

While I already own a lot of candles, most of them are floral or unscented. I’m insanely picky about scents – no food smells, mainly. This sucks because most fall/winter candles have cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, or apple scents to them.

Candles are also a great way to explore local brands without breaking the bank. I’d love to add some pine/woodsy scents around the home, and this candle from Seattle-based company Whiskey Wicks sounds perfect. The description really does sound like a walk in the park (hence the name…haha), which is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. It might be the Pacific Northwest spirit talking, but I also like the idea of supporting local businesses!

New Pillows

This isn’t really a budget issue with my fall home wishlist. It’s an issue of having a husband who destroys pillows. I can’t buy decorative pillows for our living room. Within a month, they’ll be slept on, crushed, and smothered in Old Spice. However, I do have a small, white couch in my office space now that he doesn’t use, and I’d love to add some decorative pillows to add some color.

I really like these pillows from Urban Outfitters. These seem sturdy enough for my light lounging, and pretty enough to keep out year-round. I love the pattern, and that they’re woven to look like a kilim rug, which seems to be all the rage now.

Well there you have it – a budget-breaking game plan to make my home cozy for fall! Of course, I’m still on the hunt for things around the house, but at a more reasonable price for my tiny, tiny budget! I’ll have to share with you what I find!

Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking

Summer hiking spots (clockwise from top-left):
Lewis Creek Park / Cougar Mountain / Cougar Mountain / Timberlake Park

Hiking¬†this summer¬†has been…sporadic at best. The weather was either extremely rainy or extremely hot – neither of which make for great hikes. I was looking¬†forward to August, when we usually get a break from the extreme weather…but that didn’t happen this year!

At the beginning of August, I stayed near home because every time I went out, it would start pouring down rain. I don’t mind a little rain while I’m outside, but a crazy deluge isn’t fun. As the month dragged on, it got warmer – a lot¬†warmer. We are seeing temperatures well into the 90s, so any hiking I do now has to be¬†early in the morning (if at all).

In my summer hiking adventures, I managed to check out a few new parks. Timberlake Park was my most recent trek, and it was the perfect, flat loop out to Lake Sammamish that I need when I’m looking for an easy morning run (yes, I sometimes run…I know, crazy me). The views are amazing, and it’s only a few minutes from home. I also mentioned a few places I checked out earlier in the summer in my “Chasing Views” post if you want to see more!

I haven’t gotten out as often as I’d like to, but isn’t that always the case? I’m hoping things will chill out (literally and figuratively) in September. I also want to start going to some new places, and revisit some old favorites I went to last fall. Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

Where have you been hiking lately? Any great places to try out this fall?

February on Instagram

february on instagram

February was a great month for hiking! The weather was sunny and warm most days, and even if it wasn’t, I managed to get out anyway. It has been amazing to see things starting to sprout, even if it does mean allergy season is fast approaching! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out even more in March!

february on instagram

I didn’t write much about food this past month on the blog, and I probably won’t much next month – but I instagrammed about it a lot. February was all about getting back to normal after the holidays, and I’m looking to keep up the good work in March. Fat Tuesday, or as I know it Paczki Day, was obviously an important day for me (holla to my fellow Poles out there), but after spending the month behaving myself, I could indulge without feeling guilty. I’m finding a balance between eating healthy while still eating well, so of course I make sure not to cut out anything too crazy. I still love a glass of wine…but now, I stop at one (otherwise I’ll be eyeballs deep in junk food later).¬†

february on instagram

Finally, this past month was big for stocking up on things for spring. I updated my skincare routine after a nasty breakout, renewed my love of print magazines, and did some serious thrift shopping. I can’t wait to share more of what I scored while thrifting this past month – so stay tuned to find out what I came home with!

March is going to be a busy month, with moving into a new place, more job hunting, and some of my favorite shows coming back to TV (is anyone else excited for House of Cards?). I’m also planning to kick up the posts to 4-5 days per week, if I can manage to work that around packing, unpacking, and spring cleaning (which should be easy in a new space, I hope)!

If you want to catch up with what I’ve been ‘gramming, make sure to
click here to follow my Instagram feed!

2015 Year in Review: Life

2015 Year in Review: Life

Life in 2015 was…a mixed bag.

On the career end, things were frustrating.¬†I’ve learned a lot over the past year about myself, my career wants and needs, and where I want to go in the next year. 2016 is going to be another life-changing year on the career front, and I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up.

As for the rest of it, I’d have to say 2015 was the year of working on myself. I spent¬†a lot of time outside, enjoying the fresh air and amazing views. My pink sneakers show the wear and tear of a hundred hikes, runs, and walks through some of the nation’s most beautiful parks. While they won’t make it long into 2016, I am going to miss my bright neon pink shoes – they’ve come a long way!

2015 Year in Review: Life

Fall Reading List

I also had the chance to read…for fun…a lot this year. I’m pretty sure I read¬†more books for pleasure in 2015 than I have in the past ten years. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve rediscovered my love of reading – and I am definitely going to keep that going next year. In fact, I have that Carrie Brownstein book waiting on a shelf for me (thanks to a very nice and thoughtful brother-in-law).¬†

2015 Year in Review: Life

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park / PNW Parks: Lake Sammamish State Park / PNW Parks: Seward Park / PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

One of my favorite features I did this year was my “PNW Parks” series. It was a great opportunity to explore the amazing parks in my area, and I can’t wait to share more¬†with you next year! There are so many parks I want to check out, and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit so I can get back out there!

So here’s to another amazing year of reading, hiking, and getting on with my career!

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

Yesterday, I forced myself outside for an afternoon hike in my neighborhood park. It was well needed, and a great way to get life back to some sense of normal. After almost two weeks with a terrible cold, I finally feel better (for the most part) and ready to get back to work.

While it might look like I took this hike early in the morning, I actually left the house around 2:00pm! It has been cool, cloudy, and very foggy in the area lately – even well into the afternoons. The sun didn’t come out until after I got home (of course), so I hiked a bit faster to keep warm.

Once I got home, I¬†cranked up the oven and popped in a Beer Can Chicken and some baked potatoes for dinner. While I was sick, I¬†didn’t have the desire or the energy to cook much, so we ate a lot of last minute, lazy dinners. I know that baked chicken and potatoes seems lazy already, but I couldn’t even handle that last week!

Back to Normal

The other reason I have a renewed energy in the kitchen is thanks to my new toy! I’ve already made sugar cookies with it, but they turned out so bad that I’m not sure we’ll even finish them! I am looking forward to trying some new recipes, and figuring out all the ways a mixer will make my life easier. I’ve already found out, thanks to a great friend, that I can shred chicken with it – and I hate shredding chicken by hand!

Well, I’m off for the day. I hope you’re all doing well!

September on Instagram

September on Instagram

Left to right: Packing away summer clothes / Coloring with my nephew /  Lounging on the porch after a long day of cleaning / Spending way too much time in the cookbook section of the library

September was a busy month! I’m sure that it’s true for many of you, since the month signifies the end of summer and transition¬†into fall. As the weather cooled slightly (it’s still 75 here today), I went from spending my free time at the beach to being more productive at home.

Blogging only 3 days each week really helped free up more time for me to job hunt, clean, organize, and cook. Unfortunately, you may have also noticed I really only posted maybe twice each week? That’s because not being on a daily schedule for posting made it way too hard to get lazy about it. I started this blog with an insane level of inspiration and passion…but a few months later, I’m settling into a routine that’s more realistic to follow and better for my sanity.

September on Instagram Clockwise from top-left: Chicken and Nectarine Salad / Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese on a sick day / Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Mustard / Banana Bread Muffins…because I don’t own a loaf pan anymore!

I cooked a LOT of new recipes this past month (and a few old standbys). Many of the recipes came from Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen’s cookbook, It’s All Good . I also read several Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and tried a few of her¬†recipes as well. Since I was cooking dinner for just me a couple night each week, it was cool to try out a few new things I didn’t need my husband to like (though he did end up liking most of it). I¬†have a ton of soup recipes to try out next month when it’s a bit cooler outside!

September on Instagram

Clockwise from top-left: A great fashion-related read by Stacy London / Vogue’s September issue…which took me almost a week to get through / ¬†Burned through Mindy Kaling’s new book in an evening, and it was amazing / Just started The Happiness Project, and so far it’s making me want to write more “to do” lists…not sure if that’s good or bad yet!

One thing I wanted to do more of in September was read – and I definitely did! Now that football season is well under way, I need to find something else to do with most of my evenings. I never liked watching football, but in recent years I’ve had a much harder time even tolerating it. I don’t know what blitzing is after 10 years of being forced to watch it, and I don’t care to learn!

Reading is also one of those activities I just do more often when it’s colder outside – sitting under a blanket with a good book, a cup of tea, and if I’m lucky a lit candle is the best way to spend the fall and winter, in my opinion!

September on Instagram

Clockwise from top-left: Seward Park in Seattle, WA / Sky Country Trailhead in Bellevue, WA / Another trip to Sky Country Trailhead / Lewis Creek Park in Bellevue, WA

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete with some hiking photos! Instead of heading to the beach in the afternoons, I’ve been checking out new parks in the area. Seward Park has to be my favorite new park from this past month, and I can’t wait to get back there and spend more time by the water. Hiking this past month has¬†helped me cope with stress, help with seasonal allergies, sleep better, and appreciate the little things more. I’m excited to explore more parks this month, and can’t wait to share them with all of you.

Well, I think that does it for September! I hope you all had a nice, productive month, and I look forward to hearing what you’ll be up to in October!