Last Tuesday night, we finished painting signs for the wedding and Wednesday the bride and bridesmaids got mani/pedis…. The bride asked for coral nails and blue toes with gold sparkles since she found a similar image on Pinterest. On Thursday, we drove up to Camano Island! First we stopped at the family farm for lunch! My mom had a great spread of food with lots of desserts for the Wisconsin family members flying into town. I can’t wait to post more photos soon! This week has been crazy busy. I’m flying to Irvine now for work and this weekend, we go to Walla Walla for our 10 year college reunion, plus it’s my dad’s 70th birthday!
It’s hard to believe that two years ago today, Mr. F and I were driving across the country from Chicago to Seattle. This time last year, my cousin Jessie was on rotation in Seattle! We had Jessie and my sister, Janie over for New Year’s Eve! We were so good last year that we went to Yoga Nidra on New Year’s day. January was filled with nice walks around the neighborhood and Discovery Park. Our college buddy, Bryce Andrews wrote his first book, Badluck Wayso we went to one of his book signing stops in January! More of my awesome Wisconsin cousins came to visit when Jessie finished her rotation. My good friend and co-worker, Caroline joined me in Fargo in January in Fargo, where it got to a low of -20F!!! We were worried our eyelashes would freeze! Meanwhile, Seattle was in the 40s in January and sunny. Andy Mac met me in the O’Hare Airport at the end of January as we were both flying around the country for work! February was a fun travel month with a trip to St. Louis where my wonderful mother-in-law made me a delicious birthday cake!I also got to visit more great co-workers in Irvine, CA! Gracielli and Marie are some of my favorite people too. Mr. F made an amazing scallop dish in February. We also celebrated Andrea’s bridal shower, bachelorette party and wedding! Andrea and Mike got married February 21st. I also went to Boise for work and we celebrated Rusty’s and my mom’s birthdays in February too, before Mr. F and I went to Maui for our birthday trip. Our favorite restaurant quicky became Star Noodle and we ate there 3 times in less than a week. This was one of my favorite dishes and there were so many to choose from! We had so much great food and loved snorkeling with the turtles around Black Rock too. Our favorite Seattle restaurant last year was Dot’s.We went there a lot especially for brunch/lunch after yoga before it closed. Colleen, Mr. F’s cousin and basically sister, came to visit in March and we had lots of fun shopping and wandering around Fremont. We went to the Gramercy Cellars Spring Release in Sodo with Mohit in April. The last day of April was so warm that we went paddleboarding. It was an excellent start to a long and unusually sunny summer! In the spring, we continued going to yoga regularly, I also returned to Irvine to co-monitor with Gracielli, Mr. F started swimming regularly in Puget Sound, we also went to Walrus & Carpenter. For Memorial day weekend, my parents, sisters, their boyfriends, my aunt and uncle, Mr. F and I went to Kauai. We had amazing condos in a lush jungle on the beach. The snorkeling was better in Kauai than Maui, perhaps because there were more remote spots and more turtles! In May, we met Mohit’s girlfriend who lived on a houseboat. She knows how to throw a great party but doesn’t want her picture taken! In May, I returned again to Irvine for work and this time, Gracielli and I went to the Pelican Hill Golf Club for dinner. The view was stunning, especially at sunset! We paddleboarded and swam more in May. In June, I won a Tern foldable bike and Ibex giveaway! We started biking more to the beach! In June, we went to the Doubleback Release party in Walla Walla with Mohit! It was held at the McQueen Vineyard overlooking Walla Walla. I also had a work excuse to visit Colleen in Colorado and see her new house. Shortly thereafter, I saw Beav in Boise at his parents’ new house overlooking Boise. He had just gotten out of rehab at the time. The beginning of July was rainy in Seattle, but I didn’t mind because I got to go to Oahu for work and Andy Mac went with me, even though she was 8 months pregnant! We even had an awesome room that looked at Diamondhead! In August, Mr. F and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and we went to Lummi Island for the weekend. The water was a lot colder there! One of my favorite dishes, Mr. F made this summer was a tahini chicken salad. I saw Beav in Boise again in August when I was there for work. Our garden and neighborhood had tons of sunflowers blooming this summer. In September, I had a great work excuse to visit my cousins in Milwaukee, plus drive down to Chicago for Kiki’s bachelorette party! We had an epic time and we went to my favorite Chicago restaurant, Piccolo Sogno Due. As if September wasn’t awesome enough, I returned to Oahu for work with my co-worker, Norah and we went to an amazing yoga class together too. I also went to Spokane with my co-worker, Gracielli for a problem site and we ran along the Spokane River together before work. Mr. F and I swam in the Sound every chance we got and in between my travels. In late September, I returned to Chicago for work and got to see my cousin, Katy and her adorable baby. We walked through the Lurie Gardens and it was perfect. In October, I flew back to Milwaukee for work and for my cousin, Kiki’s wedding. My cousins are soo awesome. By the end of October, I was getting slightly travel weary and started looking for new jobs, but Mr. F and I kept our spirts up by dressing as Lana and Archer for Halloween. Mohit and his girlfriend were amazing hosts for Halloween too! I interviewed for a new company and received an offer within 2 weeks. November 12th was the first day at my new company! It’s a top 3 Contract Research Organization plus I got a promotion and a raise!!! Thanksgiving was sad because Beav’s funeral was the weekend after but we’re trying to focus on the positive. We had friends over for New Year’s Eve and even though, I have a cold, we had a great time! Happy New Year! Here’s to great memories and friends!
I’ve been reading about finding balance recently, especially through yoga and Tara Stiles inspired me this today: “In the spirit of Monday morning and getting it all done, I encourage you to soften yourself today. Perform your tasks with a sense of ease. Approach your conversations to listen first, carrying your objective in your back pocket. Allow conflict to exist without getting emotionally consumed. Allow yourself space to breathe. Take a big deep inhale. Exhale a little longer. Repeat during the day.
Stress and tension exist. It’s a part of life. Practicing ease through yoga and the rest of your life isn’t to erase or block out tension, it’s to work with it, let it roll through you, not get stuck on you, so you can get more done with a lot less effort.”
When I’m traveling for work, I try to make at least 15 minutes for a quick yoga session, walk as much as possible and/or check out the hotel pool for laps every day. I found a new article called, “A business travel workout crafted by a professional mountain climber“. I’m looking forward to trying this routine:
Find a location that has an optimum running path and an adjacent park.
1.) 5-minute run / skip / walk warm-up / shake out
2.) Open and close your hand repeatedly
1.) 10 stretches to touch your toes
2.) 10 shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger rotations, in each direction (the centrifugal force that moves blood to your hands is a good tip to move blood to your hands when it is cold out)
3.) 20 lunges (step forward with one leg and bend down to create a 90-degree angle)
4.) 10 stand-ups (lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on ground; roll forward to upright standing position; reverse to return to original position)
5.) 5 to 20 push-ups (75% capacity)
6.) 1 minute of a fixed line hip stretch: Clasp your hands and bring your elbows down to your knees, in a squat, to extend hips
7.) 4 x 4 plank: Hold a plank position (like a push-up, but with forearms flat against the ground) for one minute each facing down (both arms), left (one arm), down (both arms), right (one arm) using your core to support your body and keeping arms and legs immobile.
8.) 1 minute each side: Stand and balance on one leg, raising the other in front of you; stand and balance on one leg, pulling the other behind you by grabbing the ankle.
This foundation for fitness takes between 10 and 15 minutes and can be repeated or as a daily goal.
I hope these thoughts and tips are helpful. I’ve been stressing out unnecessarily for example, I’ve meant to write about Lihue, Kauai and our favorite fish market but I’ve been traveling more for work and recently got back from Walla Walla, our old college stomping grounds, which I’d also love to write more about, soon. I leave today for Fargo, ND so I’m going to try soften and find some time on the on the road this week for both this new workout and blog catch up!
This is one of the first work weeks that I’ll be gone Monday through Friday. I’ll miss Mr. F as I’m traveling through the Midwest and visiting my cousin, Colleen in Boulder after a work trip to Colorado Springs!
Next week, I’ll be home in Seattle more with only one work trip to Boise and then it’s the Fourth of July weekend!!! This will be a nice time to go to yoga regularly and sleep more!
On New Year’s Day last year, we started our drive across the country to move back to Seattle. One of the first things we did was go to Walrus & Carpenter. Within the second week of January, I went to a two week training for my new job in Raleigh, NC. Mr. F and I had our 30th birthdays in February! All spring, we enjoyed going back to our favorite spots, restaurants, and adventures in Seattle. We went to San Juan Island over Easter weekend.We love ferry rides. In April, we went to Berkeley to visit our friend Mohit and go to Napa.We had lots of great food in Berkeley, San Francisco, St. Helena and Oakland! In May, we went to Discovery Park with our friend Hayes and her three legged dog. We also went sailing with Andrea in Elliott Bay. We also went to Whidbey Island and met her boyfriend, Mike!We went to visit our college town in May. We loved going to the Doubleback release party too. In July, we went sailing with Andrea and her Dad to Blake Island. We had an amazing steak dinner aboard the Denouement too. We took Andrea to Walrus & Carpenter for her birthday too, We went to the Washington Coast for the Fourth of of July with my cousin, Katy. We went paddleboarding several times this summer and once with Katy and Hayes! I took a seaplane to Victoria for work a few times. We went to the Willows Inn on Lummi Island for our 5 year wedding anniversary! We kayaked with dozens, possibly a hundred seals. We saw local tribes netting salmon too.We flew to Chicago and drove to Michigan to see Mr. F’s parents. We got to see my cousin, Katy too. We went to our first Sounder’s game with my sister, Katie. In September we celebrated my grandmother’s 88th birthday at Tilth. I also went to Irvine for work and got to hang out with my work buddy, Marie. We got In N’ Out burgers with animal style fries,and went to Laguna Beach. Mr. F and I went swimming in the Puget Sound several times in the late summer. My sister Katie’s birthday was at Gothberg Farms. While I was in Fargo for work, I met the rest of my family in Woodruff, WI for my cousin Jason’s wedding the first weekend in October. Mr. F’s sister got married in Austin, Tx the first weekend in November. I loved seeing Mr. F’s cousins too. It was fun going to Allen’s boots too. Thanksgiving was fun at Katie and Travis’ house. December has been pretty festive too! Happy New Year!
Last weekend, we went paddleboarding on the Puget Sound. It was amazing how much our balance has improved with going to yoga 2-4 times a week! My cousin Katy had never been paddleboarding and she had a blast too. We saw a seal and a sea lion from far away, in addition to several jelly fish! Hayes joined us too! The four of us had a great time paddleboarding, especially with our waterproof cameras. This week, Mr. F and I have been eating healthier with dishes like King Salmon with blackberry sauce and fresh peas, and seared scallops with chives and macona almonds! I’m very lucky to have my own personal chef! Yesterday, we went to the Ballard Seafood Fest! We walked from our house, enjoying the sun and the scenery. I was very excited to get the Cupcake Royale cupcakes with Swedish fish on top, in honor of the occasion. Yesterday afternoon, we met a few friends in Belltown and enjoyed their patio with lots of sunscreen and big shady hats. We met my parents, grandparents and uncle for an impromptu dinner just down the street! The outdoor patio was lovely and the weather was perfect to dine al fresco! We had duck liver pate with rhubarb, lasagna, salmon, porkchops, amazing wine from Waitsburg Cellars, and several amazing desserts. I loved them all! I’m so happy it’s summer!
On Friday we drove from Seattle to Walla Walla, stopping in Ellensburg for lunch at a fun restaurant called, The Red Horse Diner! We loved the burgers and neon signs. We got nostalgic driving by the paper mill before Hwy 12. One of our first stops was aMaurice. The lavender was blooming as we drove up the driveway and the sky was trying to become blue again. For dinner, we went to the infamous Whitehouse-Crawford! I went here for my 21st birthday and haven’t had the chance to go back. They still have the amazing blue velvet chairs. We loved the tasting menu and were thrilled to find one of our classmates is the restaurant manager. Here are a few of my favorite courses, like chili shrimp with quinoa and pickled onions and the Pappardelle with chicken ragu and Pecorino Romano. We also had Halibut with mushrooms, snap peas, and pureed potatoes and a strawberry-rhubarb tart for dessert! On Saturday, we had a hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy with eggs and hashbrowns at a new place (to us) called Bacon & Eggs. We also wandered around campus to walk off some of breakfast and paid a visit to Styx (the horse statue by Deborah Butterfield.) Before lunch we stopped by Rasa Vineyards. We saw Walla Walla Sweet Onions growing next to the grapevines! For lunch, we went to our favorite place in Walla Walla, La Monarca taco truck! We love their tortas and Walla Walla Sweet Onion beef tacos. After lunch we drove to the Doubleback release at McQueen Vineyard. Drew Bledsoe (the former NFL Quarterback for the New England Patriots) held the release party in his amazing vineyard and we got to try the new release, 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and barrel samples for the Stolen Horse Syrah and the 2011 Cab. There was even a bonfire of wine barrel slats! We loved the view of the Walla Walla Valley and all the blooming lavender surrounding the vineyard and separating them from the wheatfields. Before dinner, we stopped at Beresan and saw the cutest winery dog! For dinner, we went to Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, where we had fois gras with curried rhubarb, ribeye steak, and ravioli with oxtail and kale. The best part was the olive oil semifreddo with raspberries and pistachios! On our way home on Sunday, we listened to American Gods by Neil Gaiman which was helpful when we got stuck at the Snoqualmie Pass for an extra hour or more due to rockblasting.
Mr. F and I are driving across the state tomorrow to Walla Walla! I’m really looking forward to staying in a cute apartment on Main Street for the long weekend. In addition to wine tasting, we are planning on going to Whitehouse-Crawford, wandering through our college campus, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and wheat fields. All photos can be found on my Pinterest Seattle and Washington State board.