Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why I love Sundays...

Just finished up a yummy salad for lunch and wanted to catch up on email, blogs and writing cards. Sending friends and family "snail mail" is one of my favorite things to do, which is right in line with my other 80 year old woman tendencies (i.e. going to bed early.)

This morning I slept in. Well, woke up and had a PB & nanner english muffin and then crawled back into bed. (Something that I haven't done since my Bellevue days) It rained overnight and my body didn't want me to emerge out of the house quite yet. Eventually I did arise and headed over to Green Lake to pick up my new running shoes, yes! I was in and out of Road Runner in 10 minutes, super eager to head out on my run around the lake. My goal was to run Green Lake twice, so about 6 mi. That dream was cut short however due to another rain shower, so I only made it around the lake once. On the bright side - the shoes felt great!

Not wanting to head back up to Queen Anne quite yet, I swung into PCC Natural Market. I have such an obsession with visiting new grocery stores. There is something fun about checking out the different types of produce or vegan options. I filled my basket with a couple goodies: Tofu Scrambler (was seriously addicted to this a couple years ago), Extra firm tofu, Tazo Passion Tea, Trail mix, and Low-fat Vanilla Almond Milk. I was inspired by Jenna from "Eat, Live, Run" and her amazing breakfast smoothies she makes. One of her smoothies uses Almond Milk, which I've never tried (I go back & forth between Soy milk and Skim milk.) I'm really excited to try my new blender this week by making a yummy smoothie.

This afternoon I plan to catch up on some reading. I'm completely comfortable admitting to folks that I just started ready the first Twilight book - New Moon - and actually really like it. This means a lot coming from me, as I was originally abstaining from this whole Twilight craze that has been taking place for months now...but I'm officially on the bandwagon!

Next week should be another busy week around the office, so today I shall rest and relax all to my heart's desire! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!
*"Love that you run, Love that you can" card from Banana Blossom Press. This card is sitting on my desk, and I think I'm keeping it for myself.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Friday!!

Well, I made it to Friday, which always seems difficult after a holiday weekend. I started the day with an early morning run around Queen Anne - I am just loving the different running routes I've discovered (errr...gotten lost on) since moving up here. Each route most definitely includes a little hill action of some sort, my calves are thanking me for that right now! This morning I was surprised by all of the other runners out n' about, and I think they were also surprised by my "morning" greeting. If you're running by me, you will get a "hello" or "hey" or some type of acknowledgement...the MN nice is in my blood folks.

After some ab work/stretching, I ate the largest bowl of cereal ever. All week I've been diverging from the 'cereal for breakfast' tradition and trying to incorporate some additional protein to start the day - english muffin with PB and a nanner. Don't get me wrong, I'm still snacking on cereal at night. I eat way too much cereal, favorites include: Peanut Butter Puffins, Life (cinnamon), Kashi Go Lean (looks like gerbil food), and Honey Bunches of Oats.

After refueling my body, I got ready to "WFH" (work from home) for the day. Thus far, Friday has been perfect (outside of the giant spider I had to kill this morning - where do they come from!) I'm still figuring out what I want to do with my weekend, and love that the possibilities are endless. I do know for certain that I'm going to pick up new running shoes at Road Runners in Green Lake. I'm switching to a new shoe - eek - as my old shoe has been discontinued. I've ran through four pairs of Asics Gel Cumulus 10s and will be moving on to the Gel Cumulus11s. I plan to give them a test run around Green Lake as well! Wish me luck...

*Not sure where this photo was taken, but would love to be able to run here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

For tonight...

This is just right...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Independence Weekend

Today’s Journal Juice from Sark felt like a perfect homecoming from a weekend away in Bremerton – “Be still and let the beauty come…” I did a pretty good job of practicing stillness in one shape or another this weekend while visiting my friend Kathleen’s boyfriend’s (James) “lake home” in Bremerton (personal thank you to KS for encouraging me to go and being such a lovely hostess!) From the moment I walked onto the ferry and found a place to exercise my inner sun goddess, I knew it was going to be a good weekend.

(Side note: I was excited to see what Bremerton was like – a couple local friends looked slightly confused when I told them this – So quick background: My parents lived in Bremerton about 30 or so years ago when my dad was in the Navy. Much I’m sure has changed in the town since then, but I was still excited to visit a place where there lives some kind of family history.)

Upon arriving at the lake home, I was immediately brought back to the many fun summers I spent visiting the Klein family cabin in Cass Lake, MN. Needless to say, I was excited to find my new home for the weekend – a reclined patio chair – and change into my weekend wardrobe – my bikini – and just relax. It was fun to watch the tide slowly come in as the afternoon turned to evening.

I woke up the next day excited to head out on a run back into the city before the temperatures heated up (which they did!!) While traveling, I’m constantly amazed by what I find or learn while taking off on foot for a run. No matter where you’re going, pack your running shoes. You never know when you’ll have a couple free hours to squeeze in an exploration run or a workout.

Back in my weekend wardrobe, sunscreen and book in tow, I spent a few too many hours lounging in the sun. But it was exactly what I wanted to do. Everyone eventually migrated over to the deck area as the grandest 4th of July feast I’ve ever seen was prepared. After dinner, my dessert stomach opened up for a second round of yummy sweets – S’mores… (aw yes!) As dusk fell we found ourselves in an amphitheater of mini firework shows around the waterfront. I even had an opportunity to light a few little fireworks myself!

By the end of my stay in Bremerton, I discovered the following beautiful things:
1. My love for living near the water. If a cheap plot of land opens up on Lake Washington, I’d move in a heartbeat.
2. Seashells and sea glass. Oh my goodness, I came home with the most glorious collection of new shells and colorful sea glass to add to my little dishes around my place.
3. S’mores galore. This dessert can only be enjoyed to its fullest when prepared with by a campfire. Why aren’t there more campfires in the city?
4. Good friends and their good family. I was amazed by how wonderfully friendly James and his family/friends were all weekend. It’s good to expand your circle of people every once in a while.

*Kathleen and I, all sunshined and ready to cook!

*Sea glass in a little dish on my desk

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Approach the bus as it were your friend...

This morning I did something I've never done before. Outside of my alarm not going off and missing my early morning run opportunity (which rarely happens,) I successfully rode the bus to work for the very first time. I know, exciting, right! In all honesty, this was a really big deal for me because I've been a bit of a traffic wimp lately and cursing the commute to the west side every night. There is a bus stop right across the street from my place, and I've walked/run/drove past it with guilt far too often. Many people at my office who live in Seattle take the bus to work and made it sound so easy to do.

With the help of my friend Kathleen, I mapped out my route and pickup times. I even coordinated the ride with a guy on my team, who would also hop on the same route as me, just further on down Queen Anne Ave. However, I was a smidge early to the stop and ended up hopping on an early bus. When I arrive at where my coworker was supposed to hop on, I saw that he was still leisurely enjoying his coffee and paper outside of a cafe, and didn't get on the bus. I knocked on the window (standard bus protocol?) to get his attention and then waved goodbye as my bus scooted away, without my riding companion-personal GPS-bus guide. At that point, I'm sure I looked like a lost puppy. I grasped onto my bus schedule paper and waiting until I arrived at a new terminal to transfer onto another bus.

Minor problem, I have NO idea where this elusive terminal it underground, in a building, I'm confused. So upon exiting the bus, I latch onto a girl who looks approachable based on her L.L. Bean monogrammed beach tote and cross bearing jewelry. She proceeded to point me in the right direction.

The bus ride in total took about 45 minutes. No one talks to one another - not sure why I thought it would be a chatty atmosphere? I people watched the whole way, and almost thought I could take an early morning nap, but I had to keep my eyes perked for where I needed to get off in Bellevue. Based on other rides, key items that I should bring for the next ride: iPod, a book and sunglasses.

To head into this long weekend, (I have Friday off from work) I wanted to close this post with a view from my favorite park in Queen Anne. Some call this park by its formal name, "Kerry Park" - however, the park is located on Highland Drive just down from my place. I like calling it "Highland Park," as I have no idea who Kerry was. Enjoy! (How could you not love living here with a view like this!)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Impossible to "I'm Possible"

Today’s journal topic stemmed around possibility, and reframing what we deem as “impossible” to mean “I’m possible.” Not only is this a very clever play on words, but also feels so timely with working through everything going on in my life right now. It’s interesting to think why I don’t give myself the same level of “possibility” in my personal life as I do in my work life.

Maybe because work (aka my career) is structured, there is guidance and principal attached to almost everything. We’re encouraged to dream big at work – do more “blue sky” thinking, where anything is possible. This is one of the greatest aspects of working where I do. So, typically when I approach relationships I dive head first into the sea of possibility – I imagine the second date before the first one has even taken place, how cute our children would look, (marriage fits somewhere between the second date and children, I promise…but you get what I’m saying.) Then somewhere down the line the possibilities seem to diminish, - this, I’m not sure quite why or how it happens. But it does. And you’ll rack your brain for “the” significant moment when “I’m possible” turned to impossible.

Moving forward, I’d like to continue thinking big at work, home, in relationships, at the grocery store, on a walk. Practice more possibility thinking, because, really, the possibilities are endless.
How do you approach possibility?

Monday, June 29, 2009

"Juicy Journaling"...adventures with SARK

Today I received a calling from the blogging gods. Just when I was questioning my ability to write meaningfully both at work and at home, I came across some inspiration and decided to sign up for an e-course "Juicy Journaling with SARK." I've followed SARK in some capacity since my senior year of high school, and have turned to her books over the years whenever I was in the need to reconnect with myself or even for inspiration.

The Juicy Journaling is a self-paced, 30 day course that includes a variety of inspirational materials to encourage self-reflective writing. Every day I will receive an email containing "journal juice" and an exercise to help guide some of the creative juices. Some days there will be recording from SARK or even personal journal entries from a variety of female bloggers. SARK's artistic capabilities expand beyond the written word. Her drawings and paintings ooze with beauty and are filled with inspirational quotes.

I dived into the journaling tonight along with my yummy salad in hopes of fueling my belly and my mind. I should preface first that lately I've found writing to be too daunting, as it feels like I'm actually living some horrible break-up movie. So having a focused topic at hand, with some extra guidance, should hopefully help to pull me away from focusing so much on this particular aspect of my life.

The guidance for tonight centered around developing two lists. The first was open-ended, requiring us to list 25 gorgeous moments. Of course the possibilities for this were endless, from breath-taking moments atop Mount Si to hearing my best friends' laughter in unison. The second list was more focused with a topic, requiring us to list gorgeous moments associated with nature and the outdoors. Then from this list we were to use each item in a line of a poem. Here is what I came up with:

The babbling brook, like you, is waiting for my reply, questioning if I can hear it
Crunching leaves beneath your feet, declare for you where you stand
Dewdrops leap to my ankles as I try to run away
Swaying trees keep you at bay, wind at your back and nowhere to go
Foggy mornings between Queen Anne and Alki leave me longing for more
Waves against the boat ask me if they’re on course
Fresh clean air and sunlight through my windows makes me wonder where you are

Writing a few lines of poetry is definitely a start in the right direction. I already feel a bit more inspired and look forward to seeing what Day 2 brings from Juicy Journaling.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Riding it out...

I just returned from the restroom and noticed how horribly tired I look. My bloodshot eyes are an easy giveaway to the fact that I haven't been sleeping very well lately. As I'm still getting used to this living solo business, nights seem to be the most challenging for me. I'm not sure whether it's the feeling of wanting to share how my day went with someone, or wishing I had someone around to safely tuck me in. With time, I'm sure this feeling will balance out and I'll feel more at ease with my nightly routine (which has consisted of Sex and the City and a little bedtime yoga.) For now, I need to learn how to ride it out. Even the mucky parts.

Now onto the lighter side of things! Tonight I'm headed a lovely girls dinner in West Seattle with my two favorite ladies from work. I rarely make it over to Alki, and absolutely love every opportunity I have to enjoy a gathering there with Kathleen and JC. I was granted the responsibility of picking up dessert - which is SO hard for me because my favorite dessert is either straight up CANDY or TRAIL MIX. None of which you can bring to a dinner and expect others to enjoy as a way to end their meal. So I decided to bring my second favorite go-to dessert - Strawberry Shortcake (with Angel food cake) Yum! Super healthy and very appropriate for summer...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's all coming together...

Getting settled in my new place in Queen Anne has been an ongoing process. Thank goodness the unpacking madness has subsided. Now onto decorating. Last week my mom came to visit from MN and helped me make some of my design vision for my place into an actual reality. We scoured every store imaginable for the perfect pieces to bring everything together, from antique shops, to the Goodwill, to Target. Where we eventually landed can only be summed up by pictures, as there is definitely not one cohesive style throughout my place - which is exactly how I wanted things to look. I love color (not super bright obnoxious in your face color.) I love flowers and floral patterns (there is a fine line here as many floral patterns can also hedge on being a bit "country" for my liking.) I love the feeling of using the various antique furniture that I've collected over the years, finding new ways to use the pieces and showcase various elements. I've started to embrace open space and the idea of less clutter - which has also been a plus for feeling more organized.

The last room to come together was the bathroom. I've gone through three bath mat options (who would've ever thought this would be so hard,) and opted for a bright colorful combination from Target. I originally snubbed the "uber girly" bath mat during my mom's visit, but after an inspiring conversation with Katie and Kelly (my TN lasses for the weekend), I'm so glad I went with this look.

Let me know what you think about everything, or better yet, plan a visit out to Seattle to take a peek for yourself!


Behind my bed: a collage of prints, letters, and a mirror. My antique desk overlooking Highland Drive, and a collage on the wall. One of my favorite purchases: an old globe. Nestled below antique scenes of Paris.My kitchen with the antique shelf. Love the while cupboards and pink tile!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My own Everest...

Today I ventured out on a solo mission to hike Mount Si. Last weekend I got my hiking shoes (old Asics) dirty with the first hike of the season, when my mom and I hiked Little Mount Si. I've never hiked the "bigger" Si by myself. Hiking just seems like one of those activities that you do with someone else. You sweat together, you stop for water breaks together, you comment on the amazing view together. It's a together thing. However, today, I discovered how much fun hiking solo can really be. Here's what I loved: going my own pace (a combination of walking, running and wobbling), stopping when I want for a drink/snack, passing groups of men hiking with all of their equipment, etc. Below are a couple of pictures I took from the mountain. It was a bit foggy/cloudy, which made for a perfect hiking temperature. Now (as I type this) I'm feeling the soreness set in from the pounding of 8 miles on my joints...

Half way up the mountain...the rolling clouds were beautiful.

From the top. On a clear day you can see Mount Rainier.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Closing Thoughts...

The weekend is coming to a close and I have so much I could write, but I think this will do:

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
~Bob Moawad

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Girly Movie and Shopping, my perfect evening

Last night I attended an advance screening of "My Life In Ruins" - me, and my two non-Greek coworkers hightailed it into downtown Seattle to wait in line with over 100 Greek Seattlelites. I felt like I was an unwelcomed guest in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" as we were slowly herded into the theater. The promoters were pulling out all the stops for this production, (I opted not to grab a free "greek yogurt" upon entering.) Overall, the movie was sweet, with a bit of cheesy humor. The scenes of Greece's historic architecture were phenomenal and a reminder that I should add this destination to the list of places I want to visit.

After the movie I accidentally wondered into JCrew just as they were closing and fell in love with their current summer line. JCrew always has such a great mixture of prints and fabrics, with elements of girly flare weaved into their clothing. If budget were not an issue I could've instantly purchased almost everything in the store. Here are a couple items that stood out for me:

First, the necklace looks like sugar crystals and is far more exquisite in person. Second, I've always been a huge fan of layering (done well, done right.) Sometimes I can look bulky if I layer too much. However, the lightweight material of the floral shirt coupled with the lime green sweater and shrunken summer blazer, makes this layering combination look very chic. Lastly, I'm a huge fan of t-shirts, and frankly have somewhat of an addiction to buying them because they're great for work, play and everything in between. I love the idea of pairing this basic t-shirt with this type of printed skirt. You can play with the accessories (my favorite part) to dress this up for the office.

What kind of summer clothing are you looking forward to wearing? Anything I should be thinking of?

Monday, June 1, 2009

who are you and who will you be?

So after a brief hiatus from the blogging world, I’m back and ready to fully commit again. A couple quick things to cover off on before diving in:

1. I moved. Just me and my things (antique furniture and small tv) have moved and are settling into my new place in Queen Anne.
2. After months and months of hard work, my Search team at WaggEd launched, Bing...Microsoft’s new consumer search engine.
3. Summer in Seattle has finally arrived, and I love living in the city.

Now onto specifics, I’m currently settling into the most darling 1940’s apartment near Highland Park (or Kerry Park as some would call it.) Pictures will shortly follow. I’ve been in love with all things “old, antique, vintage” for quite some time (I’m really an 80 yr old woman living in a 26 yr old body). The chandelier in the living room and pink and white tiling in the kitchen are by far the most charming features of my place. Once I’ve fully unpacked – because this seems to take forever – I’ll provide a full tour of my new digs. Or if you’re lucky to live in Seattle, swing on by!

Bing Bing Bing – has finally launched. Microsoft’s new consumer search engine is actually THAT cool, and I’m not just saying it because there was blood/sweat/tears involved in getting this product out the door. Please check it out and let me know what you think:

Summer (big sigh) is here, and it’s worth every swear word uttered at the days of constant rain and wind out here. There is nothing that compares to running in Queen Anne overlooking Mount Rainier, the Space Needle, the city skyline and the marinas below. And the best part is – everyone around QA has a dog. I swear one day I will actually scoop up someone’s pup when they’re not looking at make a run for it…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Girls on the Run

This afternoon I signed myself up for something I've been wanting to do for years - "Girls on the Run" - a curriculum based, experiential learning program that utilizes the power of running to provide 3rd-5th grade girls to: Celebrate their bodies, Honor their voices, Recognize their gifts and, Activate their power! In a nutshell, I'm going to be participating in a 10wk program that guides and trains girls together to walk or run the non-competitive New Balance Girls on the Run 5k event during the beginning of June.

I can't tell you how much I love this age group, thinking back to my "Girl Power" days in high school. (Kat, I believed you were a lucky volunteer for this program.) Needless to say, it is so important for girls this age to be surrounded by positive female role models. The thought of going back to 5th grade gives be heartburn. I can only imagine the multitude of issues young girls today are dealing with - we certainly didn't have Britney/Paris/Lindsey in 1992 (did we?)

The first training meeting takes place on 4/27, and I'll be sure to share more thereafter.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Here comes Peter Cottontail...

Yesterday while taking a somewhat "relaxed" approach to celebrating Easter (meaning, I boiled some eggs and made egg salad sandwiches,) I started to really miss the celebrations of Easter past when my sistter and I were younger. I remember being so excited for Easter morning, almost too antsy to sleep. I wanted to be the first one to find where my Easter basket was hiding. There were only several hiding locations throughout the house (behind the couch, by the piano, behind the counter downstairs...) When I finally found a basket, I'd immediately know if it was for Ashley or me because mine would always have the "older and cooler" gift inside, whether it be lipsmackers or a babysitter's club book. Sometimes if I came upon Ashley's basket and she had something that I really wanted, I'd make a quick switch before she discovered what was originally hers.

So while missing my family yesterday (and an Easter basket) I boiled some eggs, thought two seconds about coloring them for fun, and then made egg salad sandwiches for dinner. I'm vowing to appropriately celebrate Easter next year - might even make a church appearance.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A little piece of my heart...

I've been home in Big Lake for almost six days, and while coming home always conjures up a mixture of emotions, I now feel like everything is so much clearer to me. Things I was doubting now feel solid and strong. Like whether I really still loved running. Now after five days of "running the lakes" (and one day twice around, yay), my legs feel stronger and I'm still so thankful for the ability to get out and hit the pavement whenever I want to. I also found out the greater importance of family and friends. From tears my mom and I cried after watching "August Rush" for the first time, or Kat trekking up to BL for a quick trip to Target and a swing in to the high school to see Senor Soderberg . I've been shaped by these experiences, old and new. I cherish every moment here at home. While I might not ever again call MN my personal residence, the state will always hold a piece of my heart...
*My mom hiking up in Duluth over Christmas, by far one of the coldest vacations I've taken.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The other morning I emerged into the cold for an early run. You’d think being from MN, I’d be used to the cold - I get that a lot. In all actually, it’s the exact opposite, I hate it. But, there is something about crisp air entering my lungs and desolate streets, that I love. The only people awake at 5am in Bellevue happen to be construction workers heading to the various sprawling building projects. They also happen to have their last cigarette on the same route I take, which I can’t stand. I’m strangely super sensative to smoke, and make all efforts to avoid it. However, this smell is all too soon forgotten by the end of the run. The last .5mi swings through ‘old town’ Bellevue, with the sweetest smells coming from Belle Pastry ( One of these days, I will stop by here to indulge in something delicious! *(photo from 12ks of Christmas run)

Has Spring Sprung?

I’m craving spring, and have been for a long time. Seattle is notorious for this “in between” season crap, where fall-winter-spring are smooshed together into one big season: 8 months of rain, snow/slush, wind, and peeks of sun. The transition from winter to spring has to be the most painful. “Cabin fever” sets in, and you realize that you’ve watched every recorded Bravo show on the DVR.

I’m craving cherry blossoms and tulips, running around Queen Anne - because I swear spring arrives here first. I can’t wait to wear my new rainboots to tromp through puddles (after it has just rained, of course.) And, soon enough it will be warm enough for coffee dates outside and dining on the patio…sigh.

Spring please get here soon.

Hasta Pasta

My sister and her boyfriend left this morning for a vacation in Puerto Rico. (To be young and have spring break again, sigh.) Last year at this time I trekked down to our “51st state” with both my mom and sister for a week, and had an amazing time. I’m not sure if Puerto Rico would be my #1 vacation destination again, since there are many more islands to explore.

On that note, I’m craving a vacation and need one. I’m heading back to MN at the end of the month for a little family time and R&R. This, of course, does not qualify as a vacation. I want hot weather, crystal clear water, beaches, and a complete “unplug” from all technology. Hopefully this is soon coming.

Safe travels mi hermana… xo

Inspiration for the day...

Inspiration for today - remember when you were younger and getting new crayons or markers was the best thing ever. My favorite crayon was Jungle Green. I hated Burnt Sienna. Pretty much hated all the browns for some reason. Markers were a whole other ball game, I would’ve died for the smelly markers. To this day, I still think the smelly markers are the greatest.
Life is about the simple pleasures, really.