Monday, July 17, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Fighting Summer FOMO

I don't know about you, but I'm fighting a serious case of wondering why everyone seems to be doing incredible things this summer while I'm not. Why is everyone in Europe, or on fabulous trips while I am here still working? I know that things feel especially highlighted when viewed on social media but when I am especially triggered by things I know that there are some steps I need to take to get my thoughts back on track! The following are a few of the things I do to keep summer feeling like summer, even with working, real life and all the rest. 

1. Swim.  We try to hit the lake as many times a week as we can. And with the addition of silly food themed floats things seem to be even more fun! (we draw a lot of comments, especially from little kids!) Just a quick dip in the lake after a day at work gives us all a reset. It takes as little as an hour for us to take in the surroundings, get a bracing hit of cold water, and spend some time relaxing. 

2. Go to the Farmer's Market  We have been trying to start our weekends with a visit to the  Saturday Market. The fresh veggies and fruit, the mix of people. All of it screams of summer. There are usually popsicles or a treat made of the freshest ingredients (like the biscuit pictured that was served with fresh strawberries and rhubarb!) Even better if we find ingredients that we can bring home for the week and stretch the flavors to last all week long! 

3. Find inspiration When I find I'm needing some inspiration or a spark we head to the antique mall. There we will browse around and be inspired by color combos, funny items, and just be amused. This is a perfect field trip on an overcast, day. Or a really hot one when you are looking for a cool place to hide! 

4. Hit the Road We live near one of the prettiest drives in the state, Chuckanut Drive. It's easy to make a few sandwiches, grab a few snacks and music and hit the road. Even after a day at work it's close enough to picnic and watch the sunset. We just bring a blanket and hit one of the viewpoints and hang out and enjoy the view! An hour or two chilling like this and I can feel summer settling back in my outlook. And any worries about what everyone else is doing fall away. 

My last item. Step away from the social media. Which is the hardest on my list honestly. I find myself on instagram first thing in the morning every day which is the worst thing for me and my mindset. Later in the day when I am doing okay I can use media to find things to inspire me to make summer better. 

Does anyone else struggle with this? I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one. And if so how do you cope? Do you have anything to share that might be helpful? I'm always looking for more ways to keep that summertime feeling! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Field Trip: Richmond Night Market

On the Canada Day weekend we decided to head up the the Richmond Night Market which is something we have talked about doing forever! Having Nexus cards makes a trip across the border such a quick thing and we were excited to celebrate their holiday by eating! 

We started the celebration with a Raindrop cake...a very unusual cake made with mineral water and agar (the jelly-like substance) and served in this case with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa! It was a bit like an upscale jello, with subtle flavors. We were all so glad to get the chance to try it! 

We knew we would need to offset all the treats we were eating with some protein and as we weren't ready to dig into the squid treats that were everywhere, we went with the other item that was also super popular, barbecue skewers. We went with a mix of four different ones and they were delicious! We ended up returning for more later! 

We then headed to the Sippy Tea booth so that we could have a drink and carry it around while wandering. The tea we chose, Chai Coconut hit the spot completely. And was perfectly portable and great for the three of us to share! 

The favorite of the night turned out to be the Taiyaki fish! Ours was a delicious waffle filled with custard, topped with ice cream and topped with pocky sticks. They came with different fillings and you could have them with ice cream or not, and topped with these, or oreos. We almost went back for more...but stopped ourselves! They were the perfect mix of sweet with the mild waffle. And in the cutest package! We all agreed they were perfect!

Another favorite was the potatoes! We've had these at other fairs, but these "Rotatoes" were  beyond anything we had had before. We watched them making them in the back, and they soaked them in something (milk, maybe?) before frying which may have leant to the amazing flavor. And then there was the flavors...ketchup, cheddar and sour cream & onion. They were all amazing with cheddar being my favorite. We did end up going back for seconds of these! 

The refresher of the evening came in the form of a dessert cup from Icy Bar. It was called the Summer Special and was filled with fresh strawberries and mango. There was a small drizzling of sweetened condensed milk on top and the whole thing tasted just like summer. We all thought it was the perfect thing to end on, food wise. Though Sam did end the night with a special drink in a lightbulb, that flashed a light! 

We barely scratched the surface food wise. And we also did some shopping, with both Sam and I coming home with new phone cases, and a couple of small hairbands. There was music the whole night and some entertaining on the main stage. There is an arcade and moving dinosaurs that are staged around the area. The Market is open thru October 9th. We are thinking we may get up there at least once more this season. Will you be making the trip? 

Monday, July 3, 2017

On My Radar: Glossier

I have a new crush and I need to tell you about it. I found myself sharing about it yesterday at coffee and couldn't quick talking about it! It's Glossier Beauty Brand and it's amazing. I dove right in and started with the make up side of the brand, and soon enough our daughter Sam fell in love too! Between us we've build up a bit of a stock pile! 

What is incredible to me is to find a brand that appeals to both me and my seventeen year old daughter. It's minimal, cool and fun at the same time! With a few key items I have found I have been able to whip thru my make up routine in minutes, while Sam has found she can build and play with all the products! 

My entry to the world of Glossier was the Cloud Paints. I bought a couple of the tubes and was instantly hooked. The color Dusk is the one I wear for everyday, while I reach for Haze when I want something with a bit more impact. Samantha ended up getting the color Puff which is perfect on her! 

My next must have from the brand is the Boy Brow. It has become such a part of my routine I reach for it before mascara these days. Samantha now has her own tube and we both find it's a game changer. Brows quietly do big things for us, and when they are defined everything else looks that much better! 

I have always had a problem hoarding lip treatments and now it's getting crazy. I first bought  the Cherry Balm Dotcom which has the perfect amount of sheer red color. Then they had the release of Birthday Balm Dotcom! It tastes a bit of birthday cake inspired by the Milk Bar's cake and has the loveliest shimmer! It's delicious and gorgeous. On the website they show it used on the eyelids and though I haven't had occasion to try it yet, Sam & I have a concert this summer that I think will call for it! 

The part that makes me feel like a teenager, in the best way possible? All orders come with a sheet of stickers so that you can customize your tubes, and for our household we can tell things apart! A beauty brand that works, feels minimal, and fun? Winning all around! Next on our list is the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Generation G lip color. Have you tried anything? If you haven't and you are interested you are welcome to use my link here and enjoy 10% off! Let me know what you decide to try! 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Field Trip: Seattle Urban Craft Uprising

This past Saturday Samantha and I made the short trek to Seattle to take part in a show that we have loved for some time. The Seattle Urban Craft Uprising show is always fun, inspiring and full of new items to buy! This year was no exception and we came home with some cool handmade products that we are really excited about! 

The show is one featuring 150 plus handmade vendors and bills itself as Seattle's largest indie craft show. We have some favorites that we look for year after year, and new ones that we are excited to check out. What we brought home this year looked very different from last year!

A company that I was really curious and excited about is Render Skincare. It's a line of skincare products made from tallow and real essential oils. Yup, tallow is made from rendered beef fat, but if you take a peek at their website you see the care in which the product is made, and really the sense behind using it. We bought small jars of both the whipped and regular and can say it's really soothing, smells wonderful and we are even more excited about it after trying it! It's one that I think we will be following and buying even more of in the future!

Another item we brought home is a Loome tool, to use for crafting tassels, pompoms and other small fiber arts. You might think this is something we could do on our own, but did you see that necklace? And the tool looks amazing, with a website that has a wealth of ideas, videos and resources. We are super excited to use this and maybe this will be the craft of the summer! 

Another booth where we were drawn in by the vendors (and their gorgeous setup) was Hillockburn Farm. Sam ended up buying a gorgeous smelling soap, while I already wish we would have picked up a Vegan Body Balm. Yes, I know this might be curious in light of what we already bought. I'm open to a lot of options, and this one comes in a handy container making it portable! 

We had so much fun at the show. Talking to people in line, meeting vendors, being inspired. I would highly recommend a visit. Even if you aren't much of a shopper there is much to see there! The next show is the Winter show coming on December 2 and 3rd. Will we see you there? 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Field Trip: June Downtown Night Market

School is out for the summer so it's time to put those plans from our Intentional Summer calendar into action! One of the first things on the agenda? The first Night Market of the summer! 

This event came complete with a Roller Disco that had Bellingham's own Roller Betties available to give pointers and help with anyone needing it! Samantha happened to have a pair of skates that we had found at Value Village so she brought them along. Thanks to her sweet friend Octavia she had some help getting around the rink! 

There was a little area where you could drink if you are over 21, and the area was complete with music provided by DJ Polous! Steve and I had a drink and La Croix while Sam took her spin. 

Then it was time to check out the rest of the Market.  One of our favorite entertainers, Jules the Juggler was doing his act to a huge crowd. After spending time being impressed and laughing at the same time it was time to check out the offerings of the food area! 

All the food was great, though we decided to start with dessert first! Steve, Samantha and I started with a Coco Whip treat with a waffle! It was so good, and we were able to feel good about it since it was somewhat healthy! It was so fun to get to try something different thanks to the Market bringing in food trucks! (we did follow up with pizza and gyros, so it wasn't all treats!) 

Our daughter Kate and her boyfriend Nick made a special trip down just to get a box of some of their favorite macarons from Alexandra's Macarons from Seattle. We were familiar with her sweet little bus from a trip to the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall (another fun summertime event!). And how cool to have her here in our town! 

Then it was time to dance! And dance and dance! There was a second DJ down on the street who had everyone moving. Sam's friends brought out their two microwaves (don't ask!) and things started shaking! Being out in the night air, with a view down the street to the water was just the thing to kick off the summer! 

We all had a ball, from Steve and I to our daughter who is 17. We ran into friends from all areas of our life, from my gym, to neighbors, to co-workers. Besides being a fun night out it was a way to feel connected with our community. Going to these events make me feel like we are a part of Bellingham in a bigger way. The Night Market is held on every third Friday, May thru September. And if you would like to keep up with other events and all the other things Downtown Bellingham has going on (Downtown Sounds is another summer event we will be taking part in!) check out this link here

Monday, June 12, 2017

Deep Thoughts: An Emptying Nest

There's something new in my life that I have been working around. Our firstborn moved out on Mother's Day weekend and ever since life has been a bit bittersweet. We are very happy for her and her situation. Happy that she is moving forward in her life and moved out with her boyfriend who is wonderful. She is only minutes away so we can see her. 

And yet, she's gone. there is a room with a plant and a mirror in it. There is a table for four, that now seats three. There is one less daughter to bug when things are quiet, or I need a vote on my outfit. 

So, things have been bittersweet. And we knew this was coming. So we have been filling the time with more dates, with getting outside. With hobbies and market walks and reading. 

And the good? Watching our girls get together outside of us. This past Saturday Kate and her boyfriend Nick took Samantha to Seattle Meowtropolitan, Seattle's first Cat cafe. They took her to lunch and took care of everything. This is the amazing part! Watching your girls decide to hang out together and enjoy one another is what we have always hoped for! 

Kate has also reached that stage that we had always heard would come. She thanks us for the things we have taught her. She ask us questions and now actually listens to the answers. This is the good stuff! 

So, how do you get thru this new stage? Leading up to it make sure you make time for your family. Know how fleeting your time with your kids is. And when they are ready? Let them go. And allow yourself time to feel sad about it. Make sure that it doesn't get out of hand and take care of yourself and get out there doing things that make you happy. This new stage will become your new norm. And it will be good. I promise. 

Anyone else been there? Or contending with this themselves? Tell me if you have any tips to share! 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Field Trip: Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures

For my birthday Steve gave me the gift of a half-day trip out with Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures! We had decided some time ago that experiences rather than things were the way to go these days as far as gifts go. And he is all about helping me find content for the blog! (it appears to be a win-win for us both!) It was a perfect outing on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend for Steve, Sam and I and the weather was glorious which was a definite plus. 

I met the owner of Moondance thru our mutual friend Morgan Henry of Momad Productions. Kristi Kucera recently did one of the Morning Jam talks, giving us all an overview of Seaweed Foraging which you can hear if you find the link here. Seaweed Foraging is another kayaking trip you can take with her company if you choose.  She's an easygoing, calm, and funny person who mixed well with us and the two other couples during our introduction to the kayaks, equipment and the overview of our day. 

I have been in a kayak maybe twice since living here, which is really a crime as we are surrounded by water. Having someone run us thru the basics, and take us out on a tour was really a great way to get a comfort level around a really great outdoor activity. I was a bit nervous, but Kristi made it easy and we all felt there was little to worry about. 

We all figured out how to get ready, putting on our pfd's, the spray skirts, and stashing our gear in waterproof bags. Once we figured out how to get in and out of the kayaks without tipping them, then how to use the paddles we were on the move. 

Leaving from the beach at Wildcat Cove, we followed the coast toward Bellingham so that we could check out the coastline and look for wildlife, plants and see what there is to see. There is something serene about being on the water in that way...once the three of us got ourselves together. There is a some coordination when you have three to a boat! Then we headed to the beach on Chuckanut Island and took a little walk around checking out the views, the tide pools, and stretching our legs. 

Then it was back to the water. It was an easy paddle back to Wildcat Cove now that we were a bit more coordinated. Our half day adventure was over so quickly, we think we could easily do a longer trip! A trip we are considering booking now for later in the summer is the Bioluminescence and Sunset one! This gift was a perfect adventure that I hope will lead to more!