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Heart Swells

heart swell

Happy Friday, lovelies. I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. After a jam-packed week, I am going to kick off Friday with a BBQ tonight, then I purposely kept the rest of the weekend clear to enjoy a little R&R, and see where the days take me. The moments that made my heart swell this week…

- Happy hour with my sister at Local 360
- Catching part of the football game with a few friends on Friday night
- A Saturday afternoon BBQ + apartment party
- Paddle boarding, lunch and girl talk
- Sangria, new friends and a Barolo after-party with YPOS
- The Russell rooftop and United Way happy hour
- Seeing a sneak peek of one of my friend’s blogs that is ah-mazing
- So many dear friends being back from Canada for a night of catching up

{Photo via Well + Good}

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On Finding Your Voice

finding your voice

For those of us who write professionally or personally, there comes a point when the ideas just. aren’t. there. Sometimes, creativity feels like it’s just as much something that’s inside of you, as it is a divine spark that you have no other choice but to hope shows up for you. And if you force it, your voice — the part of the story that makes it come alive, makes it dance, makes it so effortlessly flow from you — is nowhere to be found. I saw this quote by Austin Kleon the other day, and loved how it summarized finding that voice:

The only way to find your voice is to use it. It’s hardwired, built into you. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow.

Isn’t that absolutely true? When I can’t think of a single thing I should write about, I bring it back to the basics. What is exciting me right now? What did I tell my girlfriends about on the phone? What’s the link I’ve been forwarding to all my coworkers? And suddenly, I’ve got everything in the world to say.

Which kind of reminds me of this quote by K.V.H. : Read more…

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One New Thing: Paddle Boarding

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I’ve been working my way through my summer activity list, so for this month’s ‘One New Thing’ post, I knew I wanted to try paddle boarding. My friend Kelly obliged, so we set out Sunday morning for Green Lake Park and rented a few boards. As first timers, we were the definition of novices in action, but the rental shop gave us a quick rundown of how to use our paddles and get on our boards without landing ourselves in the water. And with that, we set out through the lake. It was one of those workouts I’ve been trying to do more of lately — the kind that is so much fun, it feels more like play than actual exercise. But the soreness in my abs and arms a few days later is a sign it was a good amount of both. (: If you’re looking to try paddle boarding, I would recommend the shop at Green Lake — or there are a variety of other places you can rent boards at in South Lake Union or near the Ballard Locks.

P.S. This is part of a series called One New Thing, where each month we try something we’ve never done before, just to keep things interesting. (: Past One New Thing posts have included: hot yoga, rock climbing, kayaking

paddle-boarding-seattle-3 Read more…

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How the Sun Sees You

Oy. I watched this video and could basically summarize my thoughts as oh. ma. gawd. There are a million sunscreen ads out there, but nothing has ever made me think twice about it like this. The video captures what people look like from the sun’s perspective — so while young skin may be what’s appearing on the outside, there’s a whole different story going on under UV light. Fascinating.

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Thankful for Mondays

thankful for mondays 2

My friend Austin posted this photo last week with the caption ‘Thankful For Mondays.’ I love that and just had to pass along. What a beautiful way to go into the week, huh? Happy Monday, lovelies. Here’s what the photo said…

I am thankful for…

The taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.

The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

A lawn that has to be mowed, windows that have to be washed and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

The huge piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.

The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.

P.S. Related: on gratitude.

{Photo via Simply Divine Creation}

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Heart Swells

heart swell

What I loved about this week is that it reminded me that our future best friends could be our neighbors, acquaintances, friends of friends… People we may be just a single introduction away from — until we meet, and it’s like we were meant to know each other all along. I wrote about it in this post a while back, but it has been great to see that in action lately. I feel a renewed sense of connection, energy and hope, knowing that just when I thought I knew everyone I could possibly love so much, another person says hello. The moments that made my heart swell with happiness this week:

- Watching the Seahawks game from Agave tequila bar
- Taking a break for fresh oysters
- Hot tub shenanigans that I was still laughing about the next morning
- An early Saturday morning visit with the fam plus this pup
- An afternoon lounging and reading at Alki beach, plus a surprise new friend
- An impromptu dinner down the street at a new local restaurant
- Movie + wine night
- The warmest, sunniest, laziest Sunday
- The kindest words from my favorite neighbor
- A great morning workout
- Rooftop sangria night with my sister and a few dear friends
- A night of conversation and laughs at Westward
- A surprise package in the mail from my NYC coworker + daily lunch friend
- Nights off to read, write, and watch movies in bed. Perfection.

{Photo via I Am That Girl}

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Summer Sangria Recipes

summer sangria recipe 2

I will always have a special place in my heart for sangria. A few months after I moved to New York City, my friend Ashley was my first girlfriend to come visit, and we spent much of the time discovering restaurants and city nightlife together. We stumbled across a great little cocktail and panini bar, Vero, a few blocks from my apartment. We ordered a pitcher of sangria and spent the rest of the night sharing stories over glasses of the fruity wine, then happily danced our way home when the night was done. It was one of the most joyful memories I have of living there — and there were many so at the start of summer I knew I wanted to recreate a sangria recipe and all the glowing feelings I associate with it. Here are a few of the recipes that caught my eye…

Above: Blood Orange Sangria

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Red Sangria

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White Sangria

Do you have any sangria recipes you recommend?

{Photos via How Sweet It Is, Martha Stewart , and DietHood}

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Happy Songs

happy songs

I never underestimate the power of music to turn a mood around. I have playlists for mellow songs, feel good songs, love songs — hell, I even have a Sasha Fierce playlist for when I need a little inspiration to hustle like Beyoncé. Without a doubt, my most played upbeat tracks right now are Rather Be by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne, and Classic by MKTO. If you haven’t heard them, give them a listen and prepare to have your day turned around. (: Read more…

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Awesome Tees

Love love LOVE these snarky tees. Wouldn’t they go well with this?

funny t shirts 5

funny t shirts 6   funny t shirts 2 funny t shirts 3

funny t shirts 1

See the entire assortment of tees here.

(Photos via American Apparel}

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Staying Connected

staying connceted

Let’s talk for a moment about staying connected. We live in such a unique day and age in terms of travel, proximity and relationships. Many of my best girlfriends are women I don’t even see more than a few lucky times per year, since we met at college in California and then moved to jobs in various parts of the country. I use video calling and text messaging to stay in touch with people I worked with when I lived in New York City, who I would otherwise have known and then perhaps never seen again had we not stayed connected. The hours each day feel like they are all but evaporating between work and hobbies and email and errands… So how does one make time for and remember to keep these relationships that are out of sight not out of mind?

For me, I think of a quote by Mother Theresa:

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary.
What we need is to love without getting tired.

Whenever I think of someone, my rule is to send a text, an email, or call instantly. I try not to wait until later in the day, or for that perfect convenient quiet time, which rarely ever ends up happening. I just send something short, even a two word text — Miss you! — then and there. It takes me all of five seconds, and it’s usually enough to spark a conversation that keeps the friendship going between a large space and time.

I’d love to hear — what are the tricks and tools you stay connected to loved ones near and far?

P.S. Related: how to ask the right questions and when strangers become more.

{Image via Branduh}

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