Ode to Seattle

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I remember my first trip to Seattle like it was yesterday, but it was 11 years ago. I instantly fell in love with the grey skies, drizzly weather and mountain views. I spent my first free day at Pikes Market. I spent THE ENTIRE day at Pikes Market. I walked every square inch and stopped in every shop. I couldn’t stop telling my friend how much I would love to wake up every morning living here. I remember feeling like this city had an energy about it that just drew me in. However, everyone who lived here told me I would hate it if I actually had to spend an entire fall and winter never seeing the sun. They could not have been more wrong.

I cannot find words to accurately convey how much I love living in Seattle. I find everything about it breathtaking! I still love the grey skies, the cold drizzly weather, the mountain views, the foodie delights, the dog parks, … I could go on and on for quite some time. From my first visit I had this overwhelming sense that this is where I was meant to live and I was right. I finally found my perfect little space in this great big world.

 

BareMinerals BareSkin

I have been wearing BareMinerals makeup for nearly 7 years now. I started using it because I lived in Texas and was an avid liquid foundation user and found my makeup was sweating off of my face before I could even get out of the door for work. It was a frustrating experience. So I went to Ulta and asked about BareMinerals because I didn’t understand how I could get decent coverage from a powder. One of the associates applied the foundation and I was amazed.

Fast forward…seven years later, I was chosen to be a BareMinerals Ambassador and test out their new product BareSkin. BareSkin is the new “liquid” foundation BareMinerals has created. I love the original foundation and wasn’t all that excited about a liquid foundation. It seemed to be the opposite of everything I love about this makeup. Part of my concern with a liquid foundation is the fact that once you cross the 40yr old threshold, the appearance of fine lines can be amplified by liquid foundation settling into those lines and making them more obvious. This “liquid” foundation definitely does not do that.  I use “quotes” around the word “liquid” because this doesn’t foundation doesn’t feel like a liquid foundation at all. It feels like a serum. It is a serum foundation. It is lightweight and creamy and provides a really good coverage. My skin is not only sensitive but tends to be quite dry. When applied with the Perfecting Face Brush, this foundation just glides on the skin like velvet. It feels lightweight, nourishing, moisturizing…it feels wonderful on my skin.

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The coverage can be controlled by how many drops are used. Light coverage 1-2 drops, Full coverage 4 drops. I use 2 drops for each side of my face and I find I get full coverage that way. The Perfecting Face Brush was created for this foundation with a well in the middle to hold and apply the product perfectly. Just shake the bottle put the drops in the well of the brush and buff it on your skin. It glides onto the skin and has a dewy feel once it has set. This foundation, unlike most liquid foundations, doesn’t look heavy or caked on the skin with full coverage. I used the foundation multiple times and in different weather so I could get a true feel for how it wears. It doesn’t sweat off in warm weather and doesn’t wash off in the rain. It wears quite well, in fact.

This foundation, like all of the products BareMinerals produces, uses natural ingredients like coconut and jojoba and feels like a treatment for the skin.  The foundation comes in 20 shades and has an SPF of 20. It seems a wonderful product for anyone who finds it difficult to part with liquid foundation. It’s also great for dry, sensitive skin.

That being said…I do prefer the coverage I get with BareMinerals Original foundation but I think applying the original foundation takes a bit more time. BareSkin applies very quickly and is something I will use when I have less time to apply makeup and during colder seasons because it feels so moisturizing.

 

 

Exploration of a Green Thumb

I have finally planted a container garden of herbs and a couple of veggies. I decided that before I dedicated yard space to growing the long list of veggies I want, I should “practice” in containers. It’s economical and will give me an idea if I have the dedication required to take on the bigger tasks. I have read every online article I can find about growing veggies in the Seattle area. So I finally decided to just jump into it. I simply cannot wait until I can harvest something. We have been having some unusually warm weather the last week so my cherry tomato plants are getting quite a bit of warmth and sun, which they love. I also planted rainbow carrots, basil, lettuce, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cilantro, chives and peppermint. 

 

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The Sweetest Mother’s Day Gift

This year I received the sweetest gift from my sister & brother-in-law. They adopted the most beautiful baby last year and my husband and I are the official godparents of this beautiful little girl. On her behalf, I was sent a dozen chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries for Mother’s Day. It was a wonderful sentiment and a surprise that I truly didn’t expect but appreciated so much. I’ve ordered these for other people but have never had the pleasure of receiving them myself. Now that I’ve been on the receiving end, I can tell you that they are a fantastic gift to give others. The berries are PERFECTLY sweet and juicy, not to mention beautiful. Shari’s Berries offers chocolate covered strawberries decorated for every occasion and holiday, as well as chocolate dipped cherries, cheesecakes, pretzels and cookies. They offer lots of delivery options, including overnight delivery if you need something last minute because your calendar app didn’t work.

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Almond Banana Chai Smoothie

  • Yogurt (I usually go for Greek yogurt but you can use regular)
  • Chai spices or Chai concentrate (I made my own concentrate by steeping chai tea bags in boiling water and then letting it cool.)
  • Almond Milk or any milk of your choice
  • Almond Butter
  • Frozen Banana
  • Optional – Ground Flax Seed (I like the additional nutty flavor and a little extra fiber never hurt anyone.)
  • Optional – Ice (if you want to thicken it further)

Combine everything in the mason jar, screw the blender blade onto mouth of the mason jar and blend until combined.

Note: I mix everything (except the banana & ice) together in the mason jar the night (or days) before. I add the frozen banana right before blending.

You’ll likely notice I don’t add sweetener to this. You can sweeten to your own tastes. I find the yogurt and banana seem to do the job just fine for me but I’d likely add honey if I were to use anything.

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Mason Jar Madness

Normally breakfast was a meal I would skip altogether. It’s not ideal but I get up very early and cooking in the morning isn’t something I have time for.
Salvation = Mason Jars! I am completely obsessed with mason jars since I’ve discovered how easy and fast it is to prepare breakfast smoothies in advance as a grab and go. The clean up is minimal with the new mason jar lid inserts that include straws…it’s absolutely easy!  I now have time for breakfast and it takes less than 2 minutes to blend them up before I leave for work and I don’t have to worry about washing out my blender before I leave.

My new favorite smoothie is Almond Banana Chai.

 

Molly Moon’s Ice Cream – We All Scream?

I was strolling around University Village on Sunday with a couple of my friends. They wanted to stop for ice cream at Molly Moon’s. I have lived in the Seattle area for 3 years now & this was my first visit to Molly Moon’s. I am admittedly not the biggest fan of ice cream. I do not dislike it but it is never my first choice as a dessert. However, I decided to at least sample a flavor or two since my friends were partaking. They had some very interesting flavors up for offer, both seasonal & everyday. I found the “Cheese platter sampler” particularly interesting; one of the flavors included is Cherry Goat Cheese, which is made with Gothberg Farms Chèvre. I ended up sampling Balsamic Strawberry & stopped there. It was delicious. It is not overly sweet in the way a standard strawberry ice cream is. It also has an incredible depth of flavor. All in all I quite enjoyed it. The staff was friendly, the shop was clean and smelled like waffles as they were making the waffle cones right in front of me, the ice cream is quite good & different than the standard flavored fare offered by most places. They have vegan flavors as well and their website allows you to suggest flavors. From reading their website and blog, it’s very easy to ascertain this company is committed to local, organic, quality ingredients from the milk and honey to the lavender and berries…that is reason enough to try & love them. Not to mention the absolutely adorable logo and cute cups the ice cream comes in. 20140505-132518.jpg 20140505-132741.jpg 20140505-132755.jpg

Finding My Voice

I recently spent a couple of hours with a friend who came into town for a very short time, a friend for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration. I love you Tori! I previously discussed my desire to start a blog with her  about a year ago because she started an amazing blog and I wanted her advice. She encouraged me to start a blog of my own and offered to answer questions for me so I naturally came up with every excuse not to do it. I told her that I really don’t know what I’ll blog about, what direction I want to take with it, or who will really care about it. Her response struck me as likely much more poignant than she realized. She said “you have a voice”. It’s a simple phrase and in most instances maybe it has very little behind it but it struck a chord with me. I’ve had several people encourage me to start blogging but I always found 101 reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t but it always came back to …. “Who is going to care what I have to say?” I’m finally at the point where I just don’t care about that quite so much. I am going to use this blog to talk about my interests and passions…much the same way most people do.

After moving to a new city and state 3 years ago and completely changing my life…I think I’m on a voyage to find my voice. I moved away from all of my family and friends, I’ve been challenging myself to break down the barriers previously put into place by fear and I’ve really stepped outside of my comfort zone in nearly every aspect of my life. Why not one more barrier? So…wherever this little blog takes me on this journey, I’m happy to go.