Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Favorite #DogsOfInstagram

Right now at work, I'm trying to see how long I can get away with sending animal memes instead of real replies to emails. Haven't gotten any complaints yet- because, who doesn't love pets? While I don't choose to have one (because they require way too much responsibility for me), I follow a few adorable pets on instagram.

Otis Barkington is as adorably silly as his name might suggest

Darcy the flying hedgehog is unfortunately no longer with us, but this little hedgehog's pictures never fail to make me smile.
The adorable Miss Osa is a briard puppy that is just growing up way too fast.

 // Who are some of your favorite #dogsofinstagram?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

There's nothing like a good ol' cookie

Snickerdoodles were my favorite cookie growing up, and they still are the ones that are most nostalgic to me. These days though, I have been addicted to the chocolate chip cookie. I used to eat around the chocolate chips as a child, and I still feel like I don't put quite as many chips as some people like- probably a habit from back in my snickerdoodle days!

Over the years, I've figured out some things that make a cookie extra delicious. 
1) A little Fleur de Sel, which is just the fancy name for sea salt
2) Putting them in the fridge for an hour or so before baking them- I find it easiest to roughly ball them up while they're still room temperature and pliable. 
3) Love - it's the best ingredient in everything :)

Here's the basic recipe that I use. 
  • 1/2 c butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract (let's be honest, I love this stuff, I usually double it)
  • 1.5 c all-purpose flour (preferably the non-bleached and organic kind because I'm a hippie)
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 c dark chocolate chips or crushed dark chocolate bars. If I'm going to be choosy about the chocolate, I try to go for ones with a strong nutty or earthy note. (Yes, I'm a chocolate snob)  
You know the drill, cream sugars and butter first, then add wet ingredients, then dry. There's some fancy stuff you can do, like mixing the baking soda with warm water first, but I always forget to do that step. Add nuts and other things, if you're into that. They're fun to include, but personally, if I'm going to make a batch myself (and thus eat half of it) I just want a pile of plain ol' gooey chocolate chip cookies.

Then throw them in the oven for about 10 minutes on 350 F and ... mmmm

Excuse me while I go clean up the chocolate smears and cookie crumbs off of my keyboard...

// What's your favorite cookie?
// What secret ingredients/steps do you have to make your cookies to-die-for?


Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Job, New Ring

I like to treat myself to a piece of jewelry or a scarf when I travel, to remember the lessons learned and the experiences I gained along the way. No, this is not a post about my travel jewelry collection. After a lot of reflection (of a lot of things), I started to pursue a position in the PR industry... and I'm really excited to report that I'm in the middle of my first week as an intern at a PR firm. Sure, most PR interns are much younger than I am, but if you haven't figured it out already, I'm not really one for traditional paths.

Regardless of the diversions that I took from the traditional path, I feel like I'm on the path that I'm meant to be on. And what's more, I don't think that I would be where I am today, if it hadn't been for all the fun detours I took along the way. 

Anyway, back to the ring. I made it a point to walk around during my breaks at my salon/spa job and frequently walked by a really cute little store in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. I'd been meaning to go in, but had never actually ventured in. With my schedule being cut down to one day a week, I decided that I should finally go in while it was still so nearby. There were far fewer rings in there than I'd hoped, but the ones that I saw were dainty and perfect... except that I was looking for a midi ring, not a full size ring. That's when the owner told me that they can actually custom make jewelry- and without any additional charges or even committing to purchase it.

Less than a week later, and just in time for my new position, I picked up my shiny new little accessory! Now, regardless of what path I take after this internship, I'll have a little momento of this chapter of my life. 

// Do you have any traditions of doing something before/after making a big change?

PS- turns out that she has an etsy shop! This is the ring here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Seattle Art Walks

One thing that I particularly adore about Seattle is how much art we have. So our art museum isn't the largest venue, especially when compared with giants like the MOMA or the Met, but most of the neighborhoods within Seattle host art walks once a month. In Ballard, it's the second Saturday of every month. Head to Pioneer Square on the first Thursday of each month to walk around to galleries, and other venues-turned-galleries to enjoy local art, and inevitably some drinks and snacks for free.

The art varies from traditional oil on canvas and photography, to multi-media to letterpress. My friend Danielle, of BDR Studio, showcased her letterpress creations as well as some photos that she took while we were in Portugal (pictured above).

I went to quite a few over the holidays, but have missed the last couple months. With spring on the way, I'm looking forward to regularly attending these (without a heavy winter coat and an umbrella)- they're not only fun, they're a great way to learn about local artists and cool shops & galleries in the area.

// Are there art walks in your neighborhood? What are some fun neighborhood events in your area?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Late Resolution for 2014

I'm never really one to make New Year's resolutions because I get so disappointed when I can't keep them (which is all the time). However, I do find myself fairly good at defining a direction that I want to take in my life and then making the necessary changes.

I needed some time late last year and into early this year to work through some things, as 2013 was a rather tough year for me. But now we're well into 2014 and this year, time is flying by even faster than in years past. I'm brushed off, and ready to start a slow jog, that will hopefully pick up in a few months (I'd say "hit the ground running," but my muscles would hate me after months of barely moving- I like to keep things at least semi-realistic).

1. Increase Productivity: 

As I've finally gotten out of my rut, and have been forcing myself to get out more often to meet new people (which this introvert is surprisingly enjoying), my main source of self-hate has been from the fact that my productivity is not what it could be. After reading some articles about habits of CEOs, I came up with getting up earlier. And I'm not talking crazy early. It's my goal to be out of bed and into non-pajamas by 8am. Every day. My first alarm goes off at my real target time of 6:45 (still not that early) but I allow myself to stay in bed and read or watch youtube videos until 7:55 if I'm still a bit tired.

My work is shift-based and most days I don't start until 10 so this gives me some time to get some writing drafted, e-mails written, studying in and breakfast eaten before getting ready for the day. I also find that it helps to have that time limit- knowing that you have x amount to do before a solid commitment (like work).

2. Move More: 

Note that I did not say "get more exercise." It's a trick I like to play on myself. Exercise to me, sounds like a chore. Going to the gym? Only fun & motivated for the first week. Playing tennis, walking, hiking and doing outdoor activities? Now that sounds like fun.

Since the weather's not always stellar here in Seattle, being outdoors can be a lot more work than I'm willing to put in. To combat this, I invested in a nice yoga mat and do pilates videos on youtube or the 7 minute workout (and yes, there's an app for that). I can't say that I get some form of exercise every day, but I try to use it as a way to regain focus on my work.

I also moved to a location in Seattle that is just close enough to walk to many places, which is something that I take full advantage of. I pay for parking at my apartment complex and if I'm going to an event that I know I can walk to after work, I will just park at home and walk the 30 minutes it takes to get downtown, etc. Parking has gotten more expensive in the city and can be really hard to find- which only leads to more stress. Walking pretty much guarantees my ETA, I don't have to worry about timing that cocktail so I can drive home and I get some exercise.

// Have you defined a new direction for yourself recently? If no, what are some that you have really stuck to?
// Do you have any recommendations to help me maintain these throughout the year?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

These Lovely Fall Days

I know everyone says this, but where has the time gone? I feel like just yesterday I was complaining about the winter in New York.  Since then I have moved across the country, roamed around Europe for a month, had my heart broken, traveled to attend two bachelorette parties, and two weddings (one of which I was a bridesmaid for the first time). And now here I am getting ready for the holidays. All the while being a fairweather blogger. And that's what I realized I am.  I can't seem to blog through all moods. Sometimes I just can't find the right energy to type away over sharing just the right amount on the Internet, because isn't that what blogging is anyway? It's been a rather rough year, but also one full of learning and growing. 

Now I'm just trying to figure out the perfect way to wrap it up.  So far I'm just stomping on some leaves and going on add many walks as possible.  Gotta enjoy good weather while it lasts!

// What are you up to this fall? What would be your ideal year wrap up?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Manicure Monday - Barry M with dot details

Happy Manicure Monday, friends!

I don't actually know, but apparently it's a thing on Instagram? Well, I'm going to be a rebel and not do it on Instagram. And I can because it's my birthday. Also because the wifi at the beach house I'm currently staying at in Portugal is refusing to work on my phone and I actually can't Instagram. I know. It's hard. Like a true addict, I'm going through severe withdrawl symptoms.

These are all the Barry M gel nail polishes that I picked up when I was in England. I'm glad I was able to get my hands on them, but I'm still not completely sold. They're great for the price, but the color selection is quite limited and you really need to thickly coat them to get a smooth finish. You can also fudge this using a top coat, but I can't always carry a top coat around with me when I travel ;)

// What's on your nails this week?