The Wrap

No matter the climate a wrap, shawl, or scarf is an essential item in any woman’s closet. In the summDP0924201420383283Cer it helps the transition from warm outdoors to cool air-conditioned buildings. In the winter it acts as another layer to protect against the cold. Now that we head into spring, the weather will be unpredictable. When you’re unsure of how warm or how cool they day will turn out, a wrap can act as your buffer.

If you already have a Pashmina, you’re one step ahead. A Pashmina is a cashmere wool wrap-and a great investment. If you’re not ready to pay the pri46878_XXX_v1ce for wool, get the style without the cost. One of the benefits of a wrap is that it can provide the pop of color your wardrobe may lack. Considering picking up one of the bright versions like this Glazed Raspberry from JC Penney.  This is a great low-cost way to test a trendy color. Before you go buy that Aqua suit jacket, try the scarf version.

Beyond an opportunity to try something new, wraps have the ability to bring an outfit together. Since I can use it to accommodate weather changes, I prefer to keep a set in common IMG_2073coordinating colors. This jade version fromWorld Market allows me to coordinate with my minty colors. It doesn’t stand out, and yet still looks purposeful.

No matter how you style your wrap, it’s sure to help out no matter the season. Add it for warmth, a pop of color or to replace a jacket and you’ll see this closet staple prove it’s worth. When you’re ready take a step up and snag a true Pashmina.

The Seattle Late-Night Essential

No matter the city, there is sure to be one meal choice that is supported by all after the bar closes. When I travel to a city, I want that item. I recall trips to college towns that included street tacos and late night delivered pizza the size of a coffee table. For my year in Wichita it was the colossal burritos one could only find at Mexican Burrito.

In Seattle, there’s no late night snack that compares to the Seattle Dog. Essentially, we’re talking about a hot dog with grilled onions and cream cheese. Yes, you read that correctly–cream cheese. I can fully admit that I was dubious. I’ve done mayonnaise, but how could cream cheese be good on a hotdog.

Trust me, it is. An evening out is not complete without one. Whether you grab it from the street vendor in Capitol Hill, or Belltown, make sure you get it right. You’ll enjoy it even more if you snag it outside a Sounders or Mariners game. It’s my favorite pre-game meal.

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Weekend of March 27th

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March 27th – Emerald City Comicon It’s a comic book convention and in Seattle they know how to put them on. Meet Alex Kingston or Grant Imahara, check out the panel sessions or explore the exhibition hall. It’s going on all weekend and your inner nerd is sure to be giddy.

March 28th – Pratt Fine Arts Center Open House Learn about Pratt’s programs and check out a live Bronze Pour. Take the kids along and make this a family affair. You just might discover your newest hobby.

March 29th – King-Snohomish County Regional Spelling Bee The best way to know you’re not as smart as you think you are; watch 70 middle-schoolers spell words you’ve never heard of. If you can’t attend in person check it out on Seattle Channel 21 or streaming online.

March 30th – SDOT Transportation Levy to Move Seattle This is your chance to get educated and have your voice heard. If you’ve never attended a public meeting take this opportunity to learn and meet your fellow citizens.

Wichita to Seattle

Two years ago today, I boarded a flight from ICT to SEA. It was the hardest and easiest decision I’ve made in my life. I became me in Wichita, but in Seattle I’m learning to become so much more.

When I decided to make the move I listed out the three essential items I knew I would need. A rain coat, check. Fleece lined leggings, check. Comfortable walking shoe, check. Trust me they are definitely the 3 things you need in Seattle. Don’t bother with an umbrella, just have a good coat.

I spent that first day after work just walking around downtown Seattle. The best part of living in a city is your ability to just wander. There’s so much to take in and you’re sure to miss much of it. Don’t worry, just go with that flow. IMG_20130325_160953

 

Enjoy the sights and see your city with fresh eyes. Remember that the attractions are often attractive for a reason. Don’t skip the Public Market because everyone goes. Buy a bouquet of flowers, grab a beignet and stick your gum on the wall. Pike Place Market is our jewel and it’s yours to explore.

Take a Look Through This Glass

Add The Chihuly Garden and Glass to your next Seattle Center visit. Yes, it is worth it. If you can, grab lunch in Collections Cafe and be impressed by the array of oddities. Take a walk into Chihuly’s world.

IMG_20150311_125224You’ll enjoy the interesting shapes, themed galleries and oddities you find along the way. The exhibit is even better if you join a tour. It’s well worth dealing with others to hear about Chihuly’s craft and effort for each piece.  The care and teamwork for glass blowing impresses and teaches simultaneously.

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Even on a sad, gray day the gardens light up with the colorful glass. They tell a story that will move you. If you can try coming for their monthly yoga session, or their walk with the gardner series. You’ll learn something new and leave relaxed and refreshed.

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After your tour stop in the Collections Cafe. Chihuly’s collections are sure to impress, although I had moments where I wondered if he had a hoarding issue. If you can move pass that concern, try to walk the complete cafe. Each table has it’s own collection laid into it. My personal favorite is the miniature dogs. Once you’ve done the tour, be sure to check out the bookstore. There you’ll be able to find an affordable piece of Chihuly to own, or from one of the many artists from which he has found inspiration.

 

 

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Weekend of March 20th

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March 20th  NCAA Basketball Tournament – Even if your team didn’t make it to the dance, or they’re in a city to which you are unable to travel, come support the teams here. If you were thinking about playing hookie today, here’s your excuse. It runs the whole weekend, so pick a game and give them your best cheers.

March 21st Citizen University- This event runs the whole weekend, but if you haven’t already registered you’re out of luck–It’s sold out. But if you’re interested in how to be a better citizen and affect change you should check out volunteering.

March 22nd UW Cherry Trees- Grab a picnic and check out the Cherry Trees which are expected to be in full bloom. If you haven’t spent time on the campus, now is your excuse. At 80 years old, these trees are looking spectacular for their age.

March 24th OK Go- Trust me you don’t have anything better to do on Thursday night (unless you’re a soccer fan, of course). These guys are sure to entertain and you’ll enjoy it even if you wouldn’t consider yourself a fan. They’re best known for their intricate music videos, but rest assured they put equal effort into the music and their performance.

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Hike Franklin Falls

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For some Franklin Falls is a casual stroll, but if you’re like me and have kids in tow this is a perfect hike to get them excited. At only 1 mile one-way even the littlest of the bunch can handle it. The last bit is over rocks and typically slick-best to make sure everyone came fully prepared with proper shoes. Make sure to bring water appropriate gear, it is a waterfall and sure acts like one. The rain jackets get good use here.

I like Franklin Falls best in the Spring or Autumn as the rains make this great to behold. You’ll find the travel shaded, offering wonderful protection from rain. Bring snacks or lunch even and find a rock near the base to enjoy your meal and view. If you’ve never hiked with children, this is definitely the one to do so. Their amazement with natures activity will make you feel like a kid again. You’ll appreciate the feeling and they’ll appreciate the adventure.

In the autumn check out this trail for the mushrooms-be sure to bring a book along for identifying. If your little ones are learning their numbers we used this as a way to count all the mushrooms and helped keep the little feet moving as we headed back to our car.

Be sure to check trail reports before you head out and remember whatever you pack into the area, pack it out.

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Author Scares with ‘You Should Have Known’

The writing is on the wall with this some-what expected tale. 1aa-book-korelitz-art-gi3rjr1o-1you-should-have-knownIn Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known we follow a successful therapist who believes she’s cracked the code within doomed relationships. As she prepares to release her first novel sharing her ‘he’s never goings to change’ knowledge, it shouldn’t surprise the reader that her life is not as perfect as she thought.

I’ve read terrifying, blood-curdling novels previously, but they don’t hold much to the physcological drama. While you won’t find blood and guts, the realization that maybe we don’t know the people closest to us is terrifying enough. Faced with our world being turned on end, we all wonder how we might fair. Koreltiz’s leading lady gives us hope that when we fall apart, in time we can land on our feet.

This book is perfect for the lazy weekend of rain. Snuggle up with your coffee and become enthralled with the happenings inside the life of Grace Reinhart Sachs. Don’t worry, I don’t think you’ll be looking over suspiciously afterward…

Weekend of March 13th

 

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March 13th The Pacific Northwest Ballet presents The Vertiginous Thrill of Forsythe – This will be first program by a major American ballet dedicated to the work of the renowned choreographer William Forsythe. The performance will only run for 7 shows, so best to add this to your weekend plans.

March 14th St. Patrick’s Day Parade Downtown & Irish Festival – Kids young and old will get a kick out of this festival. Learn and enjoy the many facets of Irish culture. Don’t worry, no green is necessary! My favorite is the dancing.

March 15th Shop & Dine to Make a Difference – Save 20% at participating stores within UVillage with a Cure Card and support cancer research at Seattle’s Fred Hutch.

 

5 Tips for Successful Thrifting

I’ve been thrifting long before Macklemore brought the cool factor to your grandpa’s clothes. What came out of necessity has turned into a passion and maybe somewhat of a hobby. Why spend outrageous amounts of money for stylish clothes when I can get them on the cheap gently used?

Thrifting Success; 9 articles of clothing for $40

Thrifting Success; 9 articles of clothing for $40

It’s easy to mix in more expensive, investment pieces with my trendy or fun finds from my local thrift store. For the necessary, but not expensive (i.e. t-shirts, leggings, tights, etc.) items I pick them up from a discount store like Marshall’s or Ross, or grab them on sale from Target or Forever21.

The constant refrain repeated by friends when we talk about thrifting is, ‘I just don’t know how you always find great things’. I find things, because I look. If you never set foot in a thrift shop, you’ll never know the potential. Once you do step in, here are 5 tips to make it worth your while.

1) Know what types of things you need (Be prepared) I have a mental list of things I need. As the weather perks up, I want more summer dresses. Pants are something I always can use more off. If you’re someone who loves a good button up–start there. Shop for the types of pieces you like to wear. Don’t buy a skirt if you hate skirts. You’ll never wear it. (And then you can skip the skirt aisle.)

2) Know your colors (what looks good on you) Blues are easy for me, which is why my closet is full of thrifted blue pieces. I had to put a moratorium on black, and now I might even have to do the same for blue. Don’t buy that neon jacket, if you never wear neon. If you’re looking to add new colors outside your palette, start with accessories. By knowing my colors I can easily visually bi-pass the items that aren’t in my wheel house.

3) Know your schedule (what events will you want something special to wear) I have an auction to attend later this month, and the theme is sparkle. You can bet each trip I’m on the lookout for something shiny. Do you have an upcoming wedding, or big birthday bash? Save yourself the tears and frustration the week of the event and plan ahead. BUT don’t buy for that event you may never have. If you don’t need a formal dress, move on.

4) If possible skip the weekend. (busy, crowded and often picked over) Try to find a day that works during the week. Even better if you can go during the day. I’ll sacrifice a lunch for a run to the thrift store. If your local store changes their sale during the week, trying going then. The sale items won’t be picked over. If you must go on the weekend, go in the morning, or when there is a big event. (Football season means Sunday afternoons are often a perfect and uncrowded time.)

5) Join the loyalty program. (you’ll get special discounts and know when the sales are coming) One of my favorite stores gives loyalty members access to discounts a day ahead. I get to skip the craziness and still snag a deal. Loyalty memberships give you a chance to talk more with the staff–do so. They know everything, and will share when that store restocks.

Thrifting is about patience. Know your brands, what types of clothes make you feel good and all of this will be easy. Thrifting can be fun and I’m sure you’ll think so after you bring home your first ‘find’.

Already a thrifter? What has helped you along your way?