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Friday Five

Posted on June 16th, 2017


I love the notion of abbreviated “Summer Fridays.”  Meanwhile, I had a meeting until 5:15pm this evening…

 

 

Celebrating… two years with Nordstrom with a dorky tourist photo!  I joined Nordstrom marketing on June 16, 2015, and have felt more gratified and supported in my career development here than I could have imagined.  It’s safe to day I drank the kool-aid!  (Speaking of Nordstrom… getting excited for Anniversary!)

 

Drinking… rosé.  I have alcohol relatively infrequently, but have had several glasses or rosé this season that have left me craving more.  I admit it: the organic marketing of instagrammers everywhere is clearly working on me.

 

Reading… The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity.  My team at work has started a book club.  I really enjoy reading professional development books but I 100% recognize that I’m not great at prioritizing them if I’m not guided through it.  This book is particularly helpful in prioritization of work.  As is the case in many workplace environments, I feel like I am asked to do way more than I am realistically able to do, but being empowered to decide how best to drive impact is so important.

 

Reminiscing… about our magical weekend in Banff as I read Lesley’s post on her recent solo Canadian trip.  Even before we went, I knew I would want to return without snow on the ground, and this definitely confirms that.  If you’re not already following her, by the way, you should– although be warned, it will incite wanderlust!

 

Singing… showtunes.  Between watching the Tonys last weekend and moving to New York, the musical theatre capital of the world, my love for musicals is flaring up this week.  I can’t decide what show I want to see first, although I would really love to see Sara Bareilles before she leaves Waitress.

 

I’m gearing up for our last weekend in Seattle, armed and ready with a to do list a mile long!


Selections for Suitcase Living

Posted on June 13th, 2017


As we prepare for our upcoming move, we’re fortunate that there isn’t that much we need to do.  A team of professional packers will descend on our apartment on Tuesday to safely box up our possessions before they are picked up by the movers on Wednesday, so all we need to do is make sure we sort through any things we don’t want to go on the moving van, whether we’re taking them with us in suitcases or leaving them behind.  On the other side, we will have a month before our things are delivered, so we’re trying to be strategic about what comes on the plane.

 

I’m actually looking forward to this mini challenge.  Living out of suitcases will probably feel like a chaotic pain at times, but paring down and practicing a bit of minimalism will definitely be good for me.  Fortunately, summer clothing takes up less space than winter clothing, and my plan is to take one suitcase of workout clothes and shoes and one suitcase of other clothes.  Since I will be working remotely during this time, I won’t need too many formal options, which helps, but I’m still trying to avoid needing to do laundry every single day.

 

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Based on the research I have done, it seems I favor dresses more than most other capsule wardrobe enthusiasts.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • One pair of white jeans
  • One pair of dark blue jeans
  • 4 cotton tshirts (navy, white, navy + white striped)
  • 3 day-to-night tops
  • 1 button down
  • 3 lightweight cardigans (navy, white, and blush)
  • 2 cashmere cardigans (great for layering!)
  • Denim jacket
  • Navy skort
  • White skirt
  • 3 casual day dresses (mostly navy or striped)
  • 3 sundresses (including for July 4th)
  • 1 cocktail dress– just in case!
  • 5 pairs of running shorts
  • 6 workout tops (I work out a lot.  and sweat a lot.)
  • 2 pairs of leggings
  • 2 pairs of shorts (white and printed Lilly Pulitzer)
  • Sweatshirt
  • 1 pair of wedges
  • 2 pairs of Jack Rogers
  • 1 pair of flats
  • Running shoes
  • Walking shoes

 

I’m hoping me that this will ultimately inspire me to cut my closet back in the long run, too.  I know a lot of you are big world travelers and have experience with creative wardrobing– any items you think I should really leave behind, or things I should be adding?


Next Stop: New York

Posted on June 12th, 2017


If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed a pretty big announcement over Memorial Day: Ian and I are heading back east!  This will be our last full week in Seattle before moving to New York on June 21.

 

 

This was not a decision made on a whim.  The Pacific Northwest is an incredible part of the country, and we have both been really happy in the way our careers have developed here.  We have made friends, grown our relationship with one another, and gotten involved in the community, too.  In the back of our minds, we knew we would probably move closer to friends and family eventually, but we had not planned on it being so soon.

 

But this spring, my grandfather entered hospice in St. Louis.  We flew back and forth from Seattle to be with him before he passed away, and it led us to a sobering realization.  Yes, we were happy in Seattle, but if our family and friends were our #1 priority, our actions should reflect that.  We could get other jobs we loved, but we could never get back time we lost with our loved ones.

 

Serendipitously, a career opportunity based in New York presented itself to Ian a few weeks later, and careful consideration proved to us that it was the right one to enable our bicoastal transition.  With my parents’ move to New York last fall and Ian’s parents’ Virginia relocation a few years ago, this allows us to align our life choices with our priorities.  I got to tell my grandfather two days before he passed away that we were moving to be with our family, and felt so proud to let him know that I understood the family-first lessons he had taught us.

 

You may recall that I actually didn’t really love living in Manhattan, but don’t worry.  I have a plan.  This New York chapter will definitely be different.  And in the meantime, we’ll enjoy the last of our beautiful, important Seattle chapter.


Father’s Day Cards

Posted on June 11th, 2017


You know how parents always say what they really want for Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/their birthday/Christmas is a handwritten note and time to spend with you?  I recommend adding a little chocolate or something to sweeten the deal, but I rounded up some of my favorite Father’s Day cards from corners of the internet large & small to get you started on this coming weekend’s dad doting.

 

 

My Anchor // King of Our Hearts //  So Fly

So Corny // Oxford Stripe Dad // Little Bunny

Rarest of Them All // Hoppy Father’s Day // So Classic

 

PS the Hoppy Father’s Day card comes in a birthday version that I have sent several times– good cards for guys can be tough, and I seem to have many beer-loving friends!


Friday Five

Posted on June 9th, 2017


Is there anything better than summer?  Seattle had three actual days of summer weather this week (unusual for June), I wore dresses and wasn’t cold, all was well in the world.

 

 

Baking… cinnamon honey oat muffins.  This evening I noticed I had buttermilk on the verge of going bad and more honey than I could possibly need, so this recipe seemed like just the thing.

 

Watching… Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  After last season I was a little worried about the show, but I’ve watched the first half of this season and am loving a lot of the humor!  Plus, always girl crushing on Ellie Kemper.

 

Wearing… this top.  Ian told me once in 2009 that he doesn’t like the one shoulder look so I’ve stayed away from it since, but I couldn’t resist the gingham and scallop hem.  Hopefully he’ll love me anyway.

 

Obsessing… over Chassity’s Coral House vacation home!  I’ve probably looked through these photos four times.  I feel compelled to go to Harbour Island immediately.  Light, airy, beachy without being cutesy nautical– strikes just the right chord.

 

Stressing… over the perfect Father’s Day gift.  I’ve been through all the gift guides and I’m racking my brain, but nothing is jumping out to me.  Any suggestions??

 

Happy Weekend!


Peach Blueberry Skillet Cobbler

Posted on June 6th, 2017


I’m a bit scared to publicly admit this to you all: I do not like chocolate at all, not even one tiny bit.  It is not motivated by moral superiority, I do not abstain for health reasons, I simply do not like the way it tastes.  Therefore, summer desserts where fresh produce is the star of the show are my dream.  We hosted an eight person dinner party on Sunday evening, and I was so excited to break out a seasonal favorite using basic pantry staples with farmers market ingredients: the skillet cobbler.

 

We received our gorgeous Le Creuset skillet as a wedding gift last year, and it immediately became an MVP in the kitchen rotation.  There’s something rustic and comforting about a stove to oven to table dish, whether you’re serving a bubbling dip while watching football on a cozy fall afternoon or serving up a light frittata for loved ones on Saturday morning.  In this case, skillet cobbler set the perfect mood to wind down a casual dinner celebrating summer and friendship.

 

To time it correctly with dinner, I popped it in the oven as guests were arriving, giving us time to mix and mingle while it was baking, and then allowing it time to set a bit out of the oven during the main course.  I love a streusel cobbler topping, but the top of this featured a hybrid biscuit/cake texture that was the perfect foil for the gooey sweetness of the filling.

 

 

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Ingredients:

 

5 peaches, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cup blueberries
12 tablespoons of cold butter (divided), cubed
1 cup granulated sugar (divided)
2 teaspoons vanilla (divided)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
Pinch of salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
Egg

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in your skillet.  Remove from heat and stir in peaches, blueberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a dash of nutmeg.  Evenly coat with cornstarch, and set aside.

 

In a food processor (or use your fingers!), mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt.  Add butter and pulse to incorporate until pea sized crumbs form.  Transfer to mixing bowl, and add vanilla, egg, and buttermilk, but do not overmix.  Dollop batter over the top of the prepared skillet, and transfer to oven.  Bake for about 35 minutes, and remove when top is golden with a bit of a crust.  Allow to cool for at least five minutes before serving, but best enjoyed warm.

 

Pair your scoop of cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for summer perfection!  Serves 8ish.

 

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, this could also be made in a pie dish or other pyrex dish and will taste just as delicious.  If the idea of revving up your oven sounds like it will make your kitchen impossibly hot and you already have burgers going on the BBQ, I love the idea of baking this on the grill!


Friday Five

Posted on June 2nd, 2017


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  As much as I really, truly, deeply love long weekends, trying to squeeze a full week’s worth of work into four days never fails to wipe me out.  But we’re nearly to the other side!

 

 

Posing… as a hand model.  If you’re one of Nordstrom’s 2.5 million Instagram followers, you saw the hands of yours truly clutching a box of donuts on your newsfeed today!  I knew there was a reason I always keep my nails done.  Hopefully I’ll get a hand model endorsement on my LinkedIn.

 

Dressing… like Krista of Covering the Bases.  I love this summer look she pulled together so much that I tried to copy it– alas, the skirt is sold out in my size.  I like looking at pretty pictures of bloggers in sundresses, but there’s only so many places I need to go in a fit and flare printed dress and strappy sandals.  This outfit, on the other hand, could take me anywhere and everywhere.

 

Training… to run on the recently unveiled Nike LED running track.  I don’t have plans to be in Manila anytime soon, but this looks insanely cool.  The future is wild; cash in your airline miles.

 

Chuckling… at Politico’s weekly cartoon roundup.  My routine following of the political news can be a little bit dark and depressing, but this collection injects a bit of levity at the end of the week.  As with truly good humor, no target is spared.

 

Buying… All. The. Peonies.  They’re on my table, they’re on my desk, they’re in a mason jar I gave to a coworker…  I don’t even feel bad about it because it’s not like I can develop some bad habit– in two weeks, they’ll be gone, and I’ll be facing eleven months of deprivation!  This is the same reason I can’t pass up a limited time sale offer.  Panic purchasing forever.


Back in the City

Posted on May 30th, 2017


Ian and I spent an extended Memorial Day Weekend with my family in New York City, and it was my first trip back since the emotionally fraught Christmas visit.  Following Thursday’s monsoon, the weather improved, and we enjoyed tons of city walking and even a little al fresco dining.

 

I think it is natural when visiting any place to picture yourself living there, and to assess whether that sounds appealing.  I left my year living in Manhattan feeling grateful to have had the experience, but pretty happy to escape the lifestyle.  Experiencing it now through the eyes of my parents, I have to be totally honest and say that the city doesn’t feel like home to me, but I have so much respect and appreciation for the way they have opened themselves to this chapter.**  My dad has his favorite sidewalk fruit stands; my mom gives directions to tourists who look bewildered.  Their positivity and enthusiasm seems to be infectious, and this past weekend I felt new appreciation for the city, too.

 

 

 

 

 

It bears little resemblance to my childhood upbringing, but I’m beginning to see that (hopefully!) anywhere I can have fun with my family and see them being happy can feel like home in time.

 

**Everyone is adjusting well except for our dog, Gracie.  Please let us know if you have any recommendations for puppy psychiatrists in New York 😉


Nordstrom Half Yearly

Posted on May 24th, 2017


A little birdie (i.e. everyone at my office) told me that the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale started today.  So much good inventory at great prices (40% off!).  Shopping 113,971 items we currently have online can be intimidating, so I pulled together some of my favorite picks…

 

 

I love this workout tank so much that I bought it in two colors (runs TTS).

 

This top (size down) would look great with white jeans or blue denim with wedges or Jacks for summertime drinks, and this one would work well with every pair of shorts in your collection while keeping you cool in linen.

 

Sundress season is (blessedly) here.  Whether you’re into one shoulder with a ruffle, tassels, poplin, or classic Lilly, there’s something for you.

 

I’ve found this sweatshirt (true to size for a looser fit) to be particularly good for traveling, when I want to be super comfortable on cross country flights but still look semi put together.

 

I continue to be really impressed with the fit and design of Ted Baker’s feminine designs, from eyelet to embroidered.

 

If summer for you = wedding season, you’ll need options.  Something embellished, something striped, something nautical, something blue... And if that wedding is black tie, try pink!

 

Get Memorial Day ready on top and on bottom.

 

Stock up on everyday items, like basic pumps.  A metal watch can be versatile, but a whimsical leather one can be, too.

 

For the bride to be, from sophisticated to minimalist to flirty to feminine to traditional.

 

The best inventory really is quite limited, so place your order quickly and take advantage of the free shipping/free returns policy. With $9 2 day shipping, your new wardrobe can arrive in time for the holiday weekend!


Beat the Bridge

Posted on May 22nd, 2017


I’ve attended events through my work with JDRF all around the country, which has been such a cool way to meet people who share my passion for supporting the type one diabetes community while learning about the philanthropy scene in different parts of the country.  From New York to California, my favorite JDRF event is actually one that is exclusive to Seattle– Beat the Bridge!

 

JDRF has One Walk events all around the country, but two things really make Beat the Bridge stand out.  Its location is perfect– it partners with University of Washington’s Husky Stadium so that the finish line and afterparty are on the field.  Unlike other One Walks, Beat the Bridge has a road race component, so while people can opt to do the traditional 5k walk, the main event is a USTAF-sanctioned 8k run.  The bridge to beat is a drawbridge over Lake Union about a mile and a half into the run, although getting stranded just means getting to participate in an 8 minute dance party on the other side before the bridge is lowered again.

 

Ian and I had loved the experience last year on a rainy fifty degree day, so on a gorgeous sunny morning we were confident we would have an amazing time.  Several friends joined us, and my parents even scheduled a trip to Seattle around the event, and I was so glad that I got to share the run with my mom, too.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to our Team JDRF gear, my mom and I coordinated in our favorite Sparkle Skirts.  I’ve worn them for half marathons and full marathons, and they are insanely comfortable and functional for distance running.  They’re definitely a conversation starter out on the course, too!

 

The cutest part of the day was the Diaper Derby.  Some of these children have clearly been training!  Total chaos, and totally adorable.

 

 

 

There is no better way to start the day than running in perfect weather with your favorite people for your favorite cause.  There’s also no better way to raise over $2 million for type one diabetes research!