Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Is it time to Hibernate Yet?

Early in November I made a commitment to post every Monday to the blog. Well, Christmas and the season really thru me for a loop and I missed this past Monday! And frankly it's because you can find me most days after work like this...running for my pjs and diving for the covers! 

Jammie time

And honestly there is nothing wrong. Our Christmas was lovely and peaceful. And now the ornaments are packed away, the little brush trees are wrapped and safe, and now there is that weird quiet that seems to accompany the end of every big holiday. Not even a let down really. Just a hush. 

I love the way the house feels bigger when we put the tree away. And I love the space that opens up when things are cleared away. And yet, that makes things feel empty. And it feels hard not to fill it with shopping, eating, or other non intentional stuff! 

But I have plans to combat this. I hope to line up some fun for the next couple of months and share it with you here! Hopefully we can all help one another thru the malaise we might experience thru the winter months. Anyone with me? 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Field Trip: Renegade Craft Fair Seattle - Winter Edition

This past Saturday Sam and I braved the flurries of snow on the drive to get ourselves to the winter edition of the Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle. We had experienced the summer show and were excited to see some familiar vendors and also see what new items caught our eye. 

Renegade Craft Fair 
Our first stop was to see Moorea Seal. Besides having a wonderful array of items, she is an amazing human being. We love checking in with her and getting a big hug! She is hard at work on her third book, which if it's anything like her 52 Lists Project or 52 Lists for Happiness it will be amazing! We were so busy visiting, the only photo we snapped was of the top of her booth! 

Moorea Seal

Then we were off to see what else the show had in store. We picked up some of our favorite loose tea with cheeky names from T-WE Tea. We took in the sounds of the DJ which is a nice edition to shopping...I would love all my future trips to include that! And we spent time with some wonderful friends that braved the pass to hang out with us and spend some time in a creative atmosphere! 

Sam discovered a new vendor that she fell in love with. She reacted to everything there and picked out a couple of last minute stocking stuffers. Claire England had a booth full of quirky, fun accessories that were just her style! I've favorited her store on etsy for future gifts. And thats one of my favorite things about the fair...discovering new creators to add magic to our lives. 

In our future visits we will be sure to have more time to really take in everything. There are quite a few booths we didn't get to. And we really didn't expect the crowds this close to Christmas, which I have no problem with, but they were a bit tricky for Sam. With visits with friends, hot mini doughnuts for the road, and treats in our bags we count it as a win. And I am highly enamored with my new find...a little ceramic hand from Joyride Ceramics. So, there is always something new to discover! 


Monday, December 12, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Season of Rest?

How are you doing this Season? Are you frantic, running around trying to get everything done? Or are you finding a moment to take in this time of year? I have a few tricks and strategies to making the most of the season that I'll share here! Hopefully you will find some help if you need it. And please share how you cope with this busy time! 

Magic Bar recipe 

1. Be choosy. I mean this with a lot of things. With who you spend your time with. With where you spend your time. With how you spend your energy. I don't love spending a lot of time baking, but I do love the treats from my childhood. So, I pull the recipe for Magic Bars, a treat that takes 4-5 ingredients, is quick to put together and makes the house smell amazing. So far they have been made three times and I expect we will make a couple more batches before Christmas! Little energy, big reward! 

(The Magic Bar recipe is as follows: 1 stick butter, 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)...1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 13x0-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven. 2. sprinkle graham crackers over butter; pour condensed milk over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients, press down firmly with fork. 3. Bake 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool. Cut & store at room temperature. )

Gingerbread Man

2. Cut corners. Not in a bad way. But in ways that will free up your time for things you want to spend it on. When I found a huge gingerbread cookie and the icing ready to go I was so excited! I was able to have the fun of playing around with decorating the cookie without the fuss of creating it & the icing. We have also found a mini bouche de noel that we will be buying for Christmas day.

Camembert Cheese 

3. Talk to your family. I've been surprised by what is important to my daughters when it comes to the holidays. It's not always what I think it is. Samantha decided this year that she wanted to try baking camembert cheese. So, we made time for it to happen, she had her Grandad over, and it became a highlight of this season for her! It was so good, she may create it again for me at my book group this month! 

Boston and I on the trails

4. Get outside. When I get truly wound up I realize it might be time to head out. Having a dog is always a helpful reminder. Even if I start the walk not really into it, I find by the end of it that my head is clear and I feel so much better. Deep breaths of cold, clear air is just the thing for getting one back on track. 

Taking a moment

5. Count your blessings. We just watched White Christmas and the song 'Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)' will not stop running thru my mind. Being able to partake in all the fun traditions this time of year are things that I sometimes have to take a moment to remind myself that I am lucky to do so. The parties, the gifts, the treats. Taking time to really sit with how fortunate we are makes it all even sweeter. Our girls are 17 & 19, so knowing also that time is short makes it all that much more special. (and that cup of cocoa is a perfect reward after a cold walk!) 

These are just a few of the many ways I manage this times. I also read, watch cheesy Christmas movies and workout to offset all the treats! How do you manage stress this time of year? I'm always up for more ways to cope! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Field Trip: A Yurt Thanksgiving

This season, finding ourselves in a place of major freedom, we found ourselves as a family majorly rethinking how we would celebrate Thanksgiving. With just the four of us to consider it could look however we wanted it to. No holds barred. So we let our minds wander. 

Packed to the roof and ready to go! 

And we fell upon camping in some form. And it being the Pacific Northwest we knew we needed somewhere heated...and we remembered yurts that we had camped in during a summer. A little online sleuthing later and we were booked. The Yurts at Kayak Point were our destination! 

The girls arrive at the Yurt 

After figuring out how to create and move our Thanksgiving feast (including Kate's Tofurky!) we packed the car to the roof and were off. It's been pretty rainy weather and that day was no exception. The drive was quick, and the four of us made quick work of unpacking and setting up our little meal. Check in was at 6 we were set up and eating! 

Our movable feast 

The weather cleared enough the next day for us to take a walk to the beach. We were able to see heron, a harbor seal and a lot of activity of people crabbing and fishing. 

Beachtime shenanigans!

I had a thought that it might feel a bit strange & busy to do this for the holiday. But it was the exact opposite. We were able to cozy up and really enjoy our little Thanksgiving meal with no fuss. There was little wi-fi so phones were down unless we were taking silly photos. And we played games and just relaxed and talked. It felt like the first Thanksgiving that was all  about what it was supposed to be all about...taking a beat to share and reflect what you are thankful for. 

The girls chilling in the Yurt 

And we are all truly thankful to be together. This was a perfect place for the one thats been dreaming of camping (Samantha!) and the one that wants to be warm & not too uncomfortable (me!) to go! We would go back in a heartbeat! It was the perfect option for us!  Have you ever gone yurt camping? What do you think you non-campers? Would you try it?