Summer To-Do List

What's on your summer to-do list?

When summer arrives in Seattle, it puts everyone in a good mood. We may deal with perma-drizzle and grey skies the rest of the year, but our summers are pure bliss. For that reason and so many others, this time of year has always been my favorite. Besides sitting outside and soaking up the sunshine for the next three months straight (which sounds like a pretty solid plan, actually), here are a few of the things I can’t wait to do this season.

1. Wear bold, vibrant lip colors. NARS Heat Wave, how I’ve missed you!

2. Find the perfect little white sundress

3. Make rosé slushies

Rosé slushies

4. Get my Shark Week fix, perhaps with some themed snacks

5. Take off on a weekend road trip

6. Dine al fresco as much as possible (rooftop deck at Terra Plata, I’m coming for you!)

Rooftop deck at Terra Plata

7. Read a book (or four) on the beach

8. Attend the Bite of Seattle (Jules and I missed it last year because we were meeting Emily Schuman! Worth it.)

9. Master the art of self-tanning (has anyone tried these?)

10. Get in the water. Lake, pool, backyard sprinklers…it’s all good!

Get wet!

Obviously there’s so much more (making s’mores, watching the fireworks on the 4th of July…) but these are just some of the highlights.

What are you looking forward to this season? Do you have any special summer traditions?

♥ Mil

 

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Spring To-Do List

Spring To-Do List

Apart from summer, spring is definitely my favorite season. Flowers blooming! The return of sandal weather! Puppies frolicking in the sunshine! (Can’t you picture the montage?) It’s tough to beat. While we may have briefly regressed to the chilly dampness of winter this week, I’m firmly in the spring mindset now and there’s no going back. These are the top 10 activities and experiences on my to-do list this season.

1. Bring home all the pink peonies I can carry

2. Catch a daytime Mariners game

3. Hunt down the perfect pair of nude lace-up sandals

The perfect nude lace-up sandals

4. Treat myself to a facial

5. Visit Molly Moon’s new Eastside location

6. Purge the heck out of my wardrobe and donate anything I haven’t worn in over a year

7. Do as much shopping as possible at my neighborhood farmers market

Spring To-Do List // Bellevue Farmers Market

8. Take a cocktail mixing class

9. Hang the gallery wall in my living room (technically, this has been on my to-do list for the past eight months)

10. Plan a Memorial Day weekend getaway – Palm Springs, perhaps?

A Memorial Day weekend getaway in Palm Springs sounds pretty perfect

What are you most excited about this season? Do you have a spring to-do list?

♥ Mil

 

Images: 1, 2

Mini Yoga Moments

yoga poses for waking up relaxation and abs south by northwest seattle blogger

It’s taken me a long time to come around to yoga. As someone who typically likes high energy workouts that leave you transformed into a sweaty ball of pain, it always seemed too slow, too boring. The Shavasana pose? Basically an excuse to publicly nap and call it exercise.
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When I moved to Seattle, my friend Rachel introduced me to her hot yoga studio and I discovered that yoga was not only relaxing, it was also re-energizing. I loved the feeling of the heat soaking into my skin and the burn from holding a position too long.
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Recently between work, making dinner, walking the dogs, and the rest of life’s minutia, I’ve been pretty bad about regularly attending class. However, I have found myself leaning on a few key poses throughout the day to help me better align my body with my mind.
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First Thing in the Morning
Waking up is hard for me! It’s usually about 30 minutes before you can even attempt to have a conversation with me. I’ve started doing a few minutes of the Cat/Cow poses first thing in the morning and it’s really helped me get my head in the game (of life). Here’s a short explanation of how to do the poses. I always exhale as I move from the cow position (concave back) to the cat position (arched back).
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cat cow

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Stress Relief

I carry a lot of my stress in my body, which is pretty common. My body actually gets stiff with tension. I used to just let the tension build and build, but yoga has helped me learn how to release it through breath and stretching. One of my favorite poses for a mini-moment of stress relief is Viparita Karani, or the Legs Up the Wall Pose. It’s a bit hard to use at work, but I often do it right when I get home for about five minutes. It feels great on the neck, back, and the back of your legs. Here’s a link to a quick explanation of the pose.
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Viparita Karani legs up against the wall yoga pose

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Before Going to Bed

At night, it can be hard to unwind. The blue light from staring at my phone messes with my body’s rhythms or I can’t stop thinking about a project that’s in the works. Child’s Pose helps relax my back and quiets my mind. The pose, illustrated below, is incredibly simple with a couple variations explained here. I’ve also started using the 4-7-8 mindfulness breathing technique, but I’ll save that for another time.
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child's pose yoga

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Tightening Up Those Abs
The season of swimsuits and crop tops is quickly approaching, which has most of us thinking about our abs. While I love soft and curvy look of a feminine body, I also think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to tighten things up a bit. Whatever makes you feel confident, go with it! My go to pose for working my abs is the Forearm Plank. It’s great because it works the full range of your abs in addition to several other muscle groups. Again, you can get the gist of the position from the illustration below, but just in case I’ve linked to a short video.
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forearm plank yoga pose

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Do you have any go-to stretches, moves, or mantras you lean on to keep you going? It’s always helpful to hear what others do to de-stress. My friend Erica just joined a meditation studio which she is loving. If you don’t have any strategies yet, I hope you enjoy incorporating some mini yoga moments into your day as much as I have.
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XOXO,
Jules
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Image sources: 1/2/3/4

New Year. New Goals.

2016 new year blog resolutions
Hello lovelies! Today I want to talk goals for the new year. I love embracing the idea of the New Year as a fresh start, a time for reflection and self-improvement. 2015 was a big year for me. We moved to Seattle, which marked the first time Mil and I have lived in the same city in 10 years! I also turned 30, which was both exciting and bittersweet.
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As we kick off 2016, Mil and I wanted to share our goals for the year, both for the blog and for ourselves personally.
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2016 Blog Goals

Mil
1. Improve my photography skills. I’d love to do a workshop like this one to learn more about camera basics, photo styling, and editing. Actually, just upgrading to a proper camera (or even a newer iPhone) would be a major improvement!

2. Plan blog content further in advance. This is something that Jules is really good at, whereas I tend to fly by the seat of my pants most of the time. I usually have plenty of ideas, but when it comes to creating the content itself, I don’t like to feel tied to any particular concept on a given night. However, I’m sure I could save myself some stress if I fill out our editorial calendar for the month and just stick to whatever it is I have scheduled.

Jules
1. Share blog content on Instagram. I love following bloggers on Instagram. I love getting little glimpses into their “real” life, as well as sneak previews of upcoming blog content. As much as I like engaging with other bloggers on Instagram, I’ve done very little to engage others with my account and our blog. I know I’m never going to be interested in overly curating my content, as I like posting in the moment. However, I want to do a better job of previewing and teasing blog content. 

2. Take more risks with content. As you know by now, food is my happy place. This year, I want to push myself to not only write about new topics, but to also try out new content. I’m particularly interested in playing around with video, so stay tuned for some experiments.
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2016 Personal Goals

Mil
1. Expand my brunch horizons. You guys know I have a certain fondness for brunch, and I’m making it my mission to try a new brunch place every month in 2016. (Of course I’m making Jules come with me. I can’t drink all those bottomless mimosas by myself, now can I?)

2. Shake up my beauty routine. My collection of beauty products is vast, yet I only use a small percentage of it in any given week. For someone who’s so obsessed with makeup, it’s a little shameful that I tend to reach for the same eyeshadow every day. Not to mention all the items I have that I’ve never even tried (hey there, false eyelashes)! I’m determined to branch out more, whether that means a bold red lip on a random weekday or trying a smoky eye look in an unexpected shade.

Jules
1. Pursue freelance opportunities. My dream is to run my own business, whether it’s running a cafe or consulting on marketing and nonprofit strategy. When we first moved to Seattle, I dabbled with pursuing freelance writing and consulting, but stopped once I got a full time job. Now that I’ve been in my role for about a year, I feel ready to start building out my side hustle. 

2. Complete Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am terribly inconsistent with my reading habits. I go through phases where I read a book a week and then won’t read anything for a few months. I also gravitate towards the same types of books: humorous memoirs, family dramas featuring strong female characters, etc. I’m hoping this challenge will gently push me out of my comfort zone.
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Do you blog? What are your goals this year, both professionally and personally? Looking forward to hearing about them!

XOXO,
Jules

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