Ready to Ring in 2018

The new year is sneaking up on us and the holidays are slipping away. Make sure you’re drinking your fill of hot cider and eggnog, January will be here in the blink of an eye!

By December’s end I’ve hardly had my fill of twinkle lights, Christmas trees, and ugly sweater parties- if twinkle lights were hung up all year I’d be a happy camper. But, this is also a busy season and come January I feel the need for a small reset.

IMG_3243This year I’ve created a Bingo card of self-care activities in lieu of any other January reset. The card has 25 boxes to check off, you can easily earn Bingo by completing five activities per week and complete the  card by Jan 31st.

I’ve purposely left blank squares to allow you to tailor activities to your interests. What may energize me could bore you or vice versa. So, take the time to make it your own.

Check back Tuesday the 26th to download the Self-Care Bingo Card!

I’m excited to share this card with all of you!

 

Croatia [1]

Our trip was broken up into 3-4 day segments, the longest time we spent in a city was 4 nights. It seemed natural to break the post up in those segments as well, so, expect three more follow-up posts. I found that we were constantly on the go, something that goes hand in hand with traveling, but is not my ideal pace. Unsurprisingly, the four days spent in Munich were my favorite. We had enough time to slow down for a day in between all of our other planned activities and see/do most everything we wanted.

Our first leg of the trip led us to a 16 hour layover in London. We had just enough time to walk around and tour a bit at night, sleep for 6 hours, and then hop a jet to Dubrovnik.

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Our first leg of the journey was spent in Dubrovnik. We chose an Airbnb with only a 9 minute walk from the heart of town, just “a few” stairs to climb on the way home each night.

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The view from our Airbnb made it all worth while.

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A few highlights from our time in the city were the kayaking/snorkeling around the island, city walls, and the Game of Thrones city tour.

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On our last day in Dubrovnik we spent a couple of hours in the old town aquarium, truly a highlight!

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That’s all for today, cheers!

Virtual Coffee Date [#2]

If we were having coffee I’d share with you…

I’ve just returned from an amazing weekend running around L.A. and Harry Potter World with my best gal pals

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Old friends truly are gold, not many other would put up with, let alone,  join in the constant singing of Christmas Carols. But, they’re not above secretly record videos of these private off-key performances…

I’d tell you that an automatic cat feeder is my favorite purchase as of late, no more crying cats in the A.M.

Barre class has somehow found its way to be my favorite workout class. It’s incredibly challenging, but feels great as re-entry to strengthening muscles. If it’s Flybarre vs. PureBarre I would choose Flybarre every time. It’s less scripted and equally effective.

I have a post about Croatia to share, but I need to add the pictures before it’s ready. All in good time.

I’m still crushing on the Brene Brown’s work. She’s a researcher, speaker, author of several books.  Shoutout to spending a weekend with friends with whom I can unapologetically be myself and belong (rather than fit in).

“One of the biggest surprises in this research was learning that fitting in and belonging are not the same thing. In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers to belonging. Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted. Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.”
― Brené BrownDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lea

I researched the psychology of human relationships, communication methods and outcomes for my senior capstone project. Brené’s research is my bread and butter.

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One more Daring Greatly quote:

“The willingness to show up changes us, It makes us a little braver each time.”

That’s all for today. Those Croatia pictures are coming soon, I promise.

 

 

 

Weekend Recap

I’m coming off of a lazy weekend where we had so many plans, but in the end scrapped them all and did almost nothing else.

Friday evening consisted of leftovers, a couple glasses of sparkling wine with one of the roommates, and a feature film from 2006. After learning neither my roommate or boyfriend had seen The Guardian when it premiered 11 (?!?) years ago, it became a personal quest to educate them on the Coast Guard and rescue swimmers (plus, who doesn’t love a good Ashton Kutcher film, his charm has only gotten better with age).
It’s gripping, a love story, personal/emotional growth, and you can’t predict the ending right off the bat.
It’s 5/5 stars in my book and I am 3/3 crying happy tears at the end of the film. Rotten Tomatoes may disagree, but I think you should still give it a chance.

If you also need to catch up on the film, check out the trailer here.

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The next day I bummed around the house and we eventually made it out to an end of the summer White Party, everyone dresses in white professional/fancy attire. It was a sea of white and I felt as though we’d been transported to Martha’s Vineyard. It was straight out of a Gossip Girl episode.

I wish we’d captured more photos, but this is the only one that I managed to snap.

Sunday, I drove into work and completed a few shift notes and then rounded out the evening with sushi and ice cream.

How did you spend your weekend or what are your plans this upcoming weekend?

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

The Path of Totality

It may be the start of a new weekend, but I want to do a quick scenes from the weekend before it’s obsolete!
Well, we can’t win’em all, so this is our camping/eclipse recap. Check in tomorrow for the most recent weekend recap.

Last weekend at the crack of dawn (9am) we set out on our Seattle to McMinnville expedition to view the total solar eclipse, or as marketed at the local Fred Meyer “The Great American Solar Eclipse”.

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Despite warnings from WSDOT and ODOT, the traffic to Oregon was seemingly better than an average Saturday on I5 South. Any car ride longer than 3 hours feels like eternity and in my eyes requires multiple stops to break up the drive, so once we hit Portland we grabbed lunch and rested. A few hundred dollars and bag full of new clothes later, we drove to the local river, pumped up our inflatable paddleboards and cruised along the Tualatin river.

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After a good hour of slow paddling, we rolled up the boards and finished the drive home only to eat dinner and crash from a long day.

Sunday included winetasting under sunny skies and fighting off yellow jackets with forks. The men in our lives are fearless when it comes to these pests, hand them a fork and the bees won’t stand a chance.

Going into the eclipse I was excited about the event, but felt like I would have been content seeing a 95% eclipse. After experiencing a total eclipse I’d advocate for all to take the time to see a total eclipse if they have the time/resources. The change in temperature, the chirping crickets, and the birds that went silent completed the entire experience and something only those at 100% totality will experience.

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If you missed the eclipse this time around, hopefully you can make the trek to Texas and witness the next event.

In an effort to avoid the eclipse return traffic, we planned to camp for a night in Astoria at Fort Stevens State Park.  This state park offers almost 500 varying campsites ranging from yurt, RV, and tent sites; we managed to secure the last spot at the state park, I think it’s time to buy a lottery ticket- talk about lucky!

We “baked” cinnamon the next morning in an orange rind on our camping stove. Everything tastes better when cooked outside, but these cinnamon rolls would crush the competition at your favorite breakfast spot.

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Check out this glaze!

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We barely explored the sites of the park, but managed to walk the old fort just off the water and drive to the beach to see the old shipwreck. If we ever make it back to this campground we’ll have to bring bikes or borrow a set of cruisers to bike the trails.

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It shaped up to be a full weekend and my only night in a tent this summer! The PNW realistically has 1 full month of summer left, so I’ll need to make an effort for one more weekend of camping.

 

Cheers to a new week!

 

 

 

Trip Planning

The countdown begins! In just over two months I’ll be returning from a trip to Croatia/Germany/TBD.

I found cheap tickets (we’re talking under $400) roundtrip from SFO–>DBV for either 8 days or 16 days. After some debate it was decided that 8 days is too short, so 16 days was the best option to create a full itinerary.  The website that I swear by to find cheap tickets is Secret Flying.com, this is only my first purchase, but we have friends on their 4th trip using this service.

At this moment, it looks like our flight change won’t allow us to experience Oktoberfest, but we may be able to catch the day after events. We’ll just have to return and see, drink, and eat Oktoberfest in full force at a later date. This allows us ample time to island hop around Croatia, visit a national park (like the image below), museums, and kayak around Dubrovinik.

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We’re still in the early stages of planning and sourcing tips from friends and co-workers that have recently visited the country.

Help a girl out!

  • If you’ve recently spent time in Europe, what’s a must-do?
  • Are there any Fall activities to scope out in October?

Virtual Coffee Date

If we were having coffee right now I’d share with you…

The extra space on my back porch step to soak up these August sunbeams. I can’t get enough of the warmth on my face paired with my iced Americano; I wish I could spend the majority of my summer days in the outdoors!

The move from bumping downtown to a quiet neighborhood with a lake has grown on me. If I’m missing early in the morning, you’ll find me sitting on a dock watching the water. [Next time I’ll learn to crop and size these clips, but for now here’s a peek from my favorite dock]

I want to repeat the wedding adventures of the summer and hangout more with my KAO girls in Bozeman. Weddings are becoming mini college reunions and I LOVE it.

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The inflatable stand-up paddleboards that Will and I each purchased were hands down my favorite investment of this summer. I haven’t mastered the standing portion of my SUP, but I’ve got the float and paddle down solid. Come paddle with me!

Despacito is the song of the summer.

DespacitoWe ran Ragnar again this year and our team placed 23rd out of 100~ with many a mishap along the way.

Our home was a revolving door in July. The census ranged from four persons to one in a house meant for three. This made for many a throwback backyard parties and a surplus of red solo cups. I’m missing the chaos, but enjoying the routine our core roommate group is forming.

I’m ready for a work/workplace change, but that’s slow and I’m (as usual) indecisive. In the meantime, the shorter than average days give me great flexibility and I should use it more wisely…

I have a couple trips coming up, one of which is to Oregon for the eclipse!

Your turn:
What are you drinking?
Where’s your next adventure?
How have you enjoyed this summer?

 

 

Subscription Box Mania

Signed, sealed, and delivered, I’m yours!

We all love getting fun mail, but the practice of sending letters and packages now seems to be reserved for special events.  I believe the popularity of subscription boxes came to be and stayed because we all LOVE to receive a fun package. Snail mail delivery is even better when it’s tailored to specific interests, and just like that you’re hooked to a subscription box!

At least…that’s how it works for me? I’m not alone, right?

I’m a complete addict to Hello Fresh, Plated, Blue apron, etc, but I’m looking forward to sampling a variety of different boxes. I’ve lined up an adventure box, beauty box, meal box, and more over the next few weeks. I’ll be sharing the contents of these boxes over the next few weeks and hope to help you discover a box you love.

STAY TUNED!

 

 

 

Weekend Recap

Whoop, there it is!
Last week was one of those weeks that started slow and then Friday hit like a pie in the face.
I started a new role within my company that requires an entirely different set of skills than previously used on my old team, so the Friday afternoon sunshine was welcomed.

Whoop, there it is!

Last week was one of those weeks that started slow and then Friday hit like a pie in the face.

I started a new role within my company that requires an entirely different set of skills than previously used on my old team, so the Friday afternoon sunshine was welcomed.

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Myself and three friends decided to bike part of the Burke-Gilman Trail after work. A 27 mile paved trail that runs from the Ballard’s Golden Garden’s to the eastside ,around Lake Washington and ending at Marymoor Park. It can be biked as a loop, but with limited daylight after a workday we opted to turnaround before sunset. We still managed to hit 23 miles, solid mileage for the flat easy ride.

My favorite part of this ride (aside from the fact it has minimal elevation gain) are the pitstops along the route! Two of us turned around early to beat the sun and take advantage of a taco truck and beer/ciders.

This place was doggo heaven! Doodles, pugs, and pitbulls clearly loved all the attention  they received from all at the brewery. The downfall of these outdoor breweries is the amount of dogs they attract, I always want to walk away with a dog! I’ll settle for playing fetch with strangers pets for now…

We each scarfed down our $2.00(!!) taco and geared up to attempt to outride the sun. My only regret was chugging the last bit of cider before booking it on our bikes, next time we’ll allow for more digestion time…

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We made it just 2.2miles out from our end point when we decided it was necessary to pullover for one last drink at an outdoor fire pit. Over crispy french fries we watched as the sun faded away into the night sky, a perfect way to round out a topsy-turvy week.

I will say, it’s time for some padded bike shorts if I go on any more rides for 20+ miles. Bike butt is a thing. OUCH.

Saturday

I’m excited to share more about the volunteer program i’ll be a part of for the next few months, Solid Ground’s Cooking Matters, but more on this in a later post!

Sunday

Seattle’s Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum rebranded as MoPOP! The name reflects the entire identity of the museum, all pop culture, instead of exclusively curating exhibits to music history.

Rube Goldberg, cartoonist and inventor, was the temporary exhibit we were most excited to experience. If you’ve ever watched Wallace and Gromit or The Three Stooges you’ve been exposed to Goldberg’s work. Think: a bowling ball running down tracks, it shut a door that pulls a lever, and ultimately toasts bread. If you get the chance to view a Goldberg exhibit I highly recommend taking the time to view his work!

The rest of the weekend included catching up on chores, tap class, and needed downtime.

It’s shaping up to be a crazy week, here we go!

How often do you go out on bike rides or are you a serious cyclist?

What do you think about taco trucks, yay or nay?

Starting from Scratch.

Can you remember the last time you were a beginner at something?

It’s hard. It’s plain hard, especially, when you know what you were once capable of doing on a regular basis.

I’m a lifelong mediocre athlete. I played high school tennis, but solidly held onto the 4th singles slot. I was and still am a non-competitive dancer, a jazz baby, middle school tapper, and I picked up ballet late in life. I continued to dance in my university’s no-cut Repertory Dance Group for three years and have again recently picked up tap.

JV Cross Country instilled in me the idea that I CAN run and it IS fun. The golden rule for running is to find your pace partner and don’t push yourself before you’re ready. Because of my jack-of-all trades upbringing, I was always in decent shape, had strong legs, and was never injured.

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It’s now that I’m almost four years out of undergrad and I sit at a desk 9-5, with little overall movement. Similar to the mermaids cursed by Ursula in The Little Mermaid–my baby muscles shriveled. After last year’s PNW Ragnar Relay I let my slightly injured hip/knee  go and escalate from annoyance to injury.

Here’s photographic evidence of the first appearance of the hip injury.

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I’m back to a beginner status.

I can’t do a real push up.
Squatting the bar is hard.
Running 3 miles without creaky knees is an accomplishment. 

But, I’m glad this happened.

It’s gives me perspective on how I once had to work to my personal best. When I can run 6 miles with ease, I’ll appreciate the accomplishment and remember the hours of strength training and rainy day runs. 

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It’s a time reestablish what my new norm is as a 26, nearing 27 year old, without dwelling only what I was at 23. Eight hours at a desk is a vastly different lifestyle than 3 hours of class a day and walking all over a college campus. 

I plan to shoot off fireworks and ring cowbells when I run my casual 10 minute miles without gasping for air.

If you don’t use it you, you lose it,and i’m ready to rediscover what i’m capable of doing. 

When did you last feel like a beginner?