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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. (: [click to continue…]

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Awesome Tees

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

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

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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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Heart Swells

heart swell

The past few weeks, the days have started to feel like one endless summer vacation. After full days at the office, there are almost always fun evening plans to end the weekdays – outdoor concerts, rooftop parties, movies until dusk. I think it finally caught up to me a little bit and I was under the weather most of the week, so this weekend I’m excited to rest up and sprinkle in some fun outings along the way. The moments that made my heart swell this week:

- Dinner, drinks and a birthday party
- Staying late to catch up at Kells for a mini after party
- An entire 90-degree day spent poolside
- The start to every Monday with coffee, conversation and my new hire
- The sweetest homemade dinner and visit with good friends
- An outdoor concert featuring Ray LaMontagne. Remember this song? Swoon.
- QT on a picnic blanket with two of my favorite girls
- Sharing wine and beer out on the patio after raindrops
- Dinner… and a movie x2
- Neighbors turned into friends. Reminds me of this.
- The realization that sometimes, the things you see as ‘either/or’ also contain the possibility of ‘and…’

Happy weekend. Love to you all <3

{Image via Teil Duncan Art}

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Outdoor Concerts at Marymoor Park

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Last night, a few girlfriends and I went to the Ray LaMontagne concert at Marymoor Park. An outdoor concert had been on my summer to do list for a while, and although we were nearly rained out, by evening it had turned into a beautiful day that let us sit outside until the stars came out. If you haven’t been to Marymoor Park, there are still several shows lined up for summer, and I would highly recommend seeing one. My girlfriends and I grabbed fresh food from the food trucks scattered around the amphitheater, then laid out a blanket, and sat on the grass sipping wine and beer while listening to music. Summer, at it’s finest. <3 Read more…

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The Can Can

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Have you ever been to the Can Can? On Saturday night, a group of friends and I celebrated a birthday in the little hidden bar below Pike Place Market. The cabaret show was packed full of glittering dancers, big costumes, and cheeky comedy. We were among several bachelorette parties in the room, and the performers did a great job of poking fun at the audience and soliciting laughs the entire show. If you haven’t been, it was one of my favorite light-hearted nights in the city, and I would highly recommend checking it out. Read more…

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On Volunteering

on volunteering

At the start of every year, I make a list of all the things I want to accomplish in the coming months. This year, one of the things on my list was to find a volunteer project that I could become passionately involved in. There are so many wonderful organizations and causes out there, that it seemed like the best way to start might be to just try a few out. You may know me well enough by now to know that, when paralyzed by choices, I am a big fan of just beginning ­­– and letting the rest fall into place with the momentum of that first step.

This past Saturday, a few friends and I volunteered at the Food Bank @ St Mary’s, an organization that feeds the hungry in the International District of Seattle. There were a variety of volunteer roles – checking people in, sorting food, stocking boxes – and my friends and I passed out food and interacted with the folks picking up the items. What I loved about the day was seeing the effect that a smile and acknowledgement can have on someone. Most people barely lifted their heads as they picked up their food products, but upon a warm greeting and smile, their eyes lit up in reciprocation. It’s always been my perspective that all it takes is one person believing in someone who hasn’t experienced that before, to change an entire life. This was the perfect way to see that on a small scale, if only as a returned smile or joyful comment. And hopefully their bellies left a little fuller, too. (:

Through the rest of the year, I’ll profile a new volunteer project each month. I’m hoping to ultimately connect with one that I can see myself at regularly – and maybe give you some ideas in case you’re looking to do the same. To volunteer with the Food Bank @ St Mary’s, visit their volunteer page here.

{Photo via Real Em}

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Pesto Gnocchi

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The dictionary defines gnocchi as potato pasta, but it is so. much. more. than just potato pasta. It’s rich, hearty little pillows of flavor that make any old noodle dish pale in comparison. Gnocchi goes great with marinara sauce, alfredo, pesto, or even just sprinkled with parmesan cheese. I whipped up a batch of gnocchi from just three ingredients, and tossed it with pesto and fresh cherry tomatoes for a bright, flavorful summer meal. Here’s a look… Read more…

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Heart Swells

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Is it really Friday already? This was a g-r-e-a-t week. Jam-packed full of old friends, new friends and as much summer fun as one could squeeze into seven days. After the last few roller-coaster weeks, this one felt joyful, strong and full of heart-swelling moments. A few of my favorites:

- A rooftop BBQ with this view
- A hike to Rattlesnake Ridge with an old friend
- Puppy time along the way
- SEAFAIR. Favorite day of the summer and maybe more.
- Dinner, pink champagne and sister blogging time
- Discovering MKTO. And playing it on repeat about 500 times.
- An impromptu living room visit over a glass of beer and good conversation
- A Mariners game with this gal + about five unexpected friends
- Post-game drinks, peanuts and shenanigans

{Image via Fernfiddlehead}

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