Monday, August 21, 2017

Be Right Back!

I will be back next week with a new post! Hope you are careful and enjoy the eclipse if you are watching today! Talk soon! 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Field Trip: Garbage & Blondie in Raleigh, North Carolina

It all started with a text..."What are you doing on August 5th?" No plans on my part ending up meaning a BIG adventure with my friend Pam Selle. Flying out on a Friday to go to Raleigh, NC for a concert with Garbage and Blondie! All her treat! Really? 

How does this kind of thing happen? I have known Pam since college. Stood with her during her first marriage. She has hugged on our babies. Shared with my married friends about her dating/lifestyle that looks a lot different than theirs. And that's what I value about her. That we can appreciate our differences. And connect over our similarities. Like our love for music! 

So, off we went on a red eye on Friday evening! Which led to us arriving in Raleigh on Saturday morning. Thankfully we were able to get an early check in after grabbing a coffee and we hit the bed for a "nap!" Then I awoke to Pam telling me that we had an "appointment" with Shirley Manson. I was still groggy and had no idea what she was talking about. 

Turns out she had set us up with an extra VIP experience with Garbage. It started with watching the soundcheck of the band with a small group of others, then we were able to take part in a question and answer session with the band. They were incredibly well spoken and had a lot to say on the state of rock music today, bands they love, and the difficulties they have had as a band. They are warm, funny and easy to connect with. It makes me a bigger fan then ever. And seeing a woman in rock that is my age is inspiring as hell! 

And then photos with the band! There was a lot of teasing and easiness between the fans and the band! And this is where Shirley told Pam she was crazy...which she is. And I am still in shock...! We left the meet and greet with an arm full of goodies. A signed book, a signed set list, a set of drumsticks, and a couple of guitar picks! I'm feeling pretty spoiled at this point. 

But it wasn't over. Because Pam bought us front row seats we were given a wristband that allowed us to stand on the barricade with no one bugging us. We were able to just stand thru the entire show and enjoy unobstructed views. I've been on the barricade before at a crowded show and this was heaven! 

The show was held at the Red Hat Amphitheater and though you would expect it to be hot and humid it was perfect, with a breeze coming thru, the sun going down, and a full moon rising.  The venue just added to the evening. Watching Duke Erikson work his guitar (and catching another guitar pick!) was amazing! 

And then, the Queen. I would never thought I would get the chance to see Debbie Harry in person. Much less up close. She actually waved to us at one point. I think I died a couple of deaths. She sounds amazing! And she is crazy sexy at 72! I can only hope to be so cool. 

Hearing the songs I grew up with...'Hanging on the Telephone,' 'The Tide is High,' and of course 'Heart of Glass' was amazing. I may have screamed and fan-girled a lot! What a rush to see some incredible, women led bands up close. 

Then it was back to the hotel lobby to have a drink and a snack and review the night before we hit the hay to get ready for a day of travel back home. It was a quick and crazy weekend and I have to admit it took me some time to recover. But it was so worth it. And I am so grateful to Pam to taking her love of sharing music with friends and treating me! It was an incredible, inspiring weekend! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Guest Blogger: Sam on how to Support Your Senior

I'm recovering from a crazy adventure that I will be sharing soon. In the meantime I asked our daughter Sam to do a guest blog post. It was a stretch coming up with a topic that would be interesting for her to write, and meaningful for you guys to read. This is what we came up with! Hope you enjoy! 

Hello y'all! It's your girl Sam here to guest blog...You may have seen me in many previous blog posts but you have yet to hear my voice. So here's a little bit of what I've got to say for you all! We came up with five things we thought would be helpful in this coming senior year. So here we go! 

1. Let's talk curfew and freedom:  

First of all, let's start taking baby steps into the freedom I will be surrounded by when I leave. I understand the need for a curfew and the reasons for it. I'm hoping we can extend it, or include a little more leniency with it. Doesn't it makes sense for me to get used to these freedoms now, knowing there is still a safety net? 

2. Don't be melodramatic

I know that next year is going to be a lot of "lasts" for all of us. I for sure know this, it's in my mind that a lot is going to be changing. I don't need to reminding me. I'm already feeling stressed as it is, without you poking at me. Capture the moments, take the pictures, but lets all enjoy the moments and be present in them. 

3. Be a support when asked

I am not very good at asking for help. When I do ask you, again please don't be melodramatic. Just be there for me. It's a learning curve for all of us. I'm just as new to this as you guys are. Let's communicate clearly what expectations are, and who is dealing with what. 

4. Validate meeeeee!

I'm still shaky on a lot of decisions, so I need even the silliest of my suggestions to be given some weight. Please help me process things out loud. Some thoughts might sound wild, but lets not rule anything out. There is a lot for me to figure out right now, and I need you to inspire a little confidence in my decision making! 

5. Not all work! Some play! 

There is going to be a lot of things coming at me this year! Let me not forget to breathe a little bit. Let's make sure to have fun in the midst of all the big decision making. Help me take a step back when I'm obviously overwhelmed! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Thoughts from a former Coach Potato

At just over a year ago I joined a gym. Something in a million years I never thought I would do. There were several reasons I did it.  The gift from my co-workers of a 6 week season in a program called "The Little Black Dress" at Lab Athletics. The knowledge that I would have a group doing it with me, and needing to try something new for my health. It was the perfect kick start I needed. 

Now I'm a year out and there are reasons I still go, and ways I motivate myself when I'm there. 

It has changed my mind set. When I go now I tell myself that I can try any of the exercises (the other day I found myself flipping a truck tire!). In the past I would have had a voice in my head telling myself I can't do it, that I shouldn't even try. Now I have a resolve that I have built after trying and succeeding, that tells me to just try.

It has given me a self discipline. I attend a 5:30 am bootcamp class three times a week. My friends that I started at the club with now either don't go there anymore or attend at different times. I find that if I don't go at the start of the day it just won't happen. So I put my clothes out the night before, blearily get up early in the morning, and head in. 

It's help me deal with things one step at a time. When a circuit is explained at the beginning of a bootcamp workout I find it works best for me to just worry about one exercise at a time! If I worry about them all, I get overwhelmed and that negative voice comes back. But if I break it down one at a time I get thru it. This way of thinking has bled over into my life and helped me tackle other obstacles. 

Sweating out the toxins. There is something that feels so great about getting a good sweat going. It's not pretty and the red face goes on for hours! But I feel so much better after a workout. When I haven't been eating well, it feels like getting it out of my system! It feels like the best detox ever! 

It's as much for my mind as my body. It helps me work out tension, frustration, and those hormones that come with age. I love throwing around the medicine ball. and love the feeling of getting thru a hard workout. I can't say I will ever love running. But there is something so fun, especially at my age to come home and tell my husband that I have flipped tires, or done twenty sit ups in a row, or handled the ropes for a certain amount of time. 

This gym experience has been a reminder to surround myself with like minded people. The trainers and the people I workout with at the gym are so supportive and warm. I find that being with people with a good attitude (especially at 5:30am!) is hugely helpful! Which of course is great in one's personal life as well. Having others cheer you on and working along side you is the best thing ever. 

 Yes, I have had some trouble with motivation recently. But all those things I have listed have brought me back. Getting my self discipline back. Remembering how good I feel after, and being surrounded by the that are also working on their goals. 

Do you have anything that you do to keep you mind and body in shape? What are your tricks or ways you motivate yourself? Please share! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Field Trip: Renegade Craft Fair Summer Show

Samantha and I headed out this past Saturday to attend another Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle. We have attended this show many times in the past, but there is always something new and different to discover and this time was no different. 

Thankfully there were some things that were the same, including getting the chance to see some of our favorite people. Moorea had a booth there with her self named store, Moorea Seal and we got the chance to catch up with her along with our favorite member of her store, Sarah. They are kind, down to earth and incredible fun! There is something special when you find a place where you find treasures and friends. 

Something else that we credit Moorea with is bringing new talent to our attention. And someone the I have been excited about ever since she brought the line into her store is Back Beat Rags. They are a lifestyle brand run by Isadora Alvarez that has an easy vibe, and a reachable price point. And the cool thing about these shows is you can buy directly from the creator. I had my eye on a black cropped organic jumpsuit and found it to be perfect! It's comfortable, easy and frankly I feel like I'm wearing pajamas, but look much smarter than that! Isadora was warm, cool and it makes the clothing that much more meaningful buying directly from her. I'm looking forward to this being the first of many pieces from her. 

A line that Sam was excited to see in person was Woll Jewelry, a line of jewelry by Elizabeth Woll. We were enamored with the fun, colorful fruit earrings and made the decision to "share" a pair of large orange earrings. Meeting Elizabeth and chatting with her while choosing the earrings gives them a fun background. And they are gorgeous statement pieces that we will be sure to fighting over for the rest of summer! 

Something else we did while we were at the show was have our photo taken. But it wasn't just any photo. It was taken with an Aura camera by Auragami. I'm not a super serious person when it comes to having my aura read, but it was fun to have our relationship aura talked about and find we both reflected our favorite colors! (Sam orange, I reflected green) The combination of orange, green and overall blue told of a strong relationship that has a strong friendship base, and we were capable of creating great things together! It was a fun sitting that I hold similar to taking a personality quiz. And having a cool photo of this place in time with Samantha is a special keepsake. 

Another line that I was looking forward to seeing in person was Apartment on Belmont. I became aware of them from instagram some time ago and have watched them growing their beautiful brand from afar. So it was again a wonderful thing to get to meet them in person and talked to them about their story, a bit of their influences, and other random things. Michael Doyle and Samantha Wagner (pictured) are funny, kind and as seen by their gorgeous line, incredibly talented. We came knowing we would love their cards and prints, and left being charmed by the people behind the brand. (and I'm hoping to get Samantha up to Bellingham for a visit soon!) 

And I guess that is the real draw for us in going to the shows. Meeting creatives gives me so much faith in the world. The ones that we have been drawn to have been generous, funny and open to meeting their customers. It makes me much more mindful of my choices with money when I think about the people behind the things I buy. I am more careful with these things. And every time I wear the overalls, or mail the post card I am reminded of the work that went into them. And it makes me feel braver in what I am trying to do. And more outgoing. It's some kind of magic! Do you have any kind of makers that you are excited about? I love finding out about small brands! 

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?