Monday, February 23, 2015


Do you observe Lent?  Guess what I'm giving up this year...
Social media (with the exception of blogging)...  Yep.  No Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. for 40 days.  It's kind of liberating actually.  I deleted both apps from my phone and slowly my browser history is replacing those sites from my favorites composite.  I did remind a dear friend of mine who is 39 weeks pregnant to please text or call me when she has her baby since I may miss any other media related announcements!

Funnily enough, I've been getting these emails from facebook that read "You've missed out all all of these notifications that read something to the effect of "Here's what you've missed!  Random person commented on your random acquaintance's post!"  Haha.  

Do you observe Lent? If so, what are you giving up or doing for these 40 days?


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Favorite Things: Modern Friction Exfoliator

In an effort to get back in the swing of blogging, I'm reviving an oldie but goodie series - my favorite things.  Think of this as the budget-friendly, working mom version of Oprah's favorite things episode.  Today's favorite thing - a dynamite exfoliator!  My fave is Modern Friction by Origins - another natural ingredient, that boasts all paraben-free products. 
As someone who used the drug stores favorite St. Ives Apricot Scrub for most of my teenage and collegiate life, I wasn't terribly worldly in the world of skin care.  But after reading an article that essentially said my beloved apricot scrub was abrasive and actually harming my skin.  Modern friction on the other hand is gentle but effective at sloughing off dead skin, and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or prone to break-outs - always a plus!  

Click for a few other Origins favorites...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Movie Review: American Sniper

Truth: I don't love war movies.  I'm more of a romantic comedy kind of girl - but every now and then, I can be persuaded.  As was the situation with American Sniper.  My husband had heard it rave reviews from colleagues and suggested we go see it.  My mom was already babysitting and feeling the weight of our long days, we opted for a casual dinner at a local Mexican restaurant followed by a movie night.

I couldn't stop thinking about this movie for 24 hours after we saw it.  First, Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller are phenomenal, as is the supportive cast, and I'm not historically a Bradley Cooper fan.  American Sniper flows well, the story is told across sniper Chris Kyle's four tours in Iraq, from meeting his wife to the aftermath of surviving post-war with PTSD. It is emotional, intense, poetic, and terribly tragic all at the same time.  Of course the film did include plenty of gunfire, grit, and raw imagery that typically dissuades me from such films, but nothing was gratuitous, everything was intentional and profound.  I found myself googling about the real Chris and Taya Kyle afterwards, reading about their story, and even placed Chris Kyle's autobiography (which the movie was based upon) on my queue at the library.  And this for a movie I didn't even really want to see in the first place.


Monday, February 2, 2015

The Pie Project: #2 - Apple Pie

So I'm trying to pick up where I last left off with my Pie Project goal to bake 30 pies in an attempt to "memorize" the pie making process.  Last Saturday was the perfect occasion to kick back into pie-making gear, as we hosted 19 friends and 4 kids for a belated Friendsgiving.  Collectively we had a potluck with all kinds of goodness, and my contribution was Joy the Baker's apple pie with her cold butter pie crust.  It turned out pretty fantastic, I was happy to receive some rave reviews! 

Past pies * one

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Last Great Book I Read

The Boys in the Boat - have you read it? Perhaps I'm partial being a University of Washington alum myself (the setting for this true story).  Also, I did have a brief stint on the UW Women's Novice Crew team, so I can literally picture where much of their rowing occurs.  The author weaves much of the story through the lens of one of the oarsmen from the epic boat, Joe Rantz.  Joe's difficult childhood and upbringing cast a light onto what life looked like for some in the early 1930's in rural Washington.  The author also does an exceptional job of depicting a pre-depression Seattle (fun to read as a Seattleite).  

He goes on to describe the other eight oarsmen and coxswain, and describe the genuine trust and camaraderie these boys were able to harness together to fulfill their dreams.  I love a good sports story, and this book captures the heart and spirit of these athletic, strong-willed, and lion-hearted individuals in their quest for success.  Cons: there is a lot of crew jargon, which at times is tedious, however, the overall book is a solid read.  One of those books I wanted to make time to finish, always a good sign, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Coolest High School Teacher Ever

Where was this teacher when I was in high school?  My colleagues and I joked we should attempt our own elementary rendition of this dance at our end of the year assembly (only to top our flash mob of "Happy" at last years).  Only time will tell...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Movie Review: Wild

A few weeks ago, I went out with my girlfriends to Thai food followed by a showing of Wild starring Reese Witherspoon. The movie is based on the book of the same name, by Cheryl Strayed.  Her journey of self discovery hiking the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Northern Mexico to Canada.  Despite its catchy plot, I enjoyed, but didn't love this book.  

Now I rarely think a movie is better than the book, however, this might be one of the few exceptions.  The story of Cheryl's journey navigating the lengthy trail is told through snippets of her present day adventures pieced together with flashbacks of her tumultuous past.  In no particular order, the narrative flashes back to her childhood, her effervescent mother (by a show-stealing Laura Dern), the discovery of her mother's terminal cancer, and the string of events in which Cheryl unravels, destroying her marriage and reaching out for anything she can hold onto.  The movie portrayed an emotional element that I just didn't find (or feel) when reading the book.  Overall - two thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Monday was my birthday.  We were jet setters and spent the long weekend in the Grand Cayman celebrating our close friends' wedding.  My birthday was spent eating fish curry at a roadside shack right on the beach, swimming in the blue waters of 7 Mile Beach, searching for sea glass, and toasting with chilled CayBrews among friends.  Aside from the fact that I was thousands of miles away from my sweet daughter, it was pretty perfect.

While I'm already an ankle deep into my thirties, but this seems like a good quote to have in my back pocket for the rest of the thirty something journey.

"I was once told, when you turn 30, you turn French...  When one hits her 30's, she knows where she's going in life and what looks great on her."  
~ Casey Keasler


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Quote of the Week

"Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for new ideas and progress."
~ Charles Kettering



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