Tag Archives: coffee

hello again, Seattle

last year was such a blast at the Lululemon Seawheeze Half Marathon, we decided to do it again.  This morning we got on a Southwest flight to first Denver and then Seattle.  Southwest lets you stream Apple Music over wifi, for free.  Flying In the clouds with access to every song out there, what’s not to love? 

  
We watched Interstellar and munched on Barbara Peanut Butter Puffins cereal.  #happybaby

Always traveling with a Lululemon Infinity Scarf, and our Bose noise-canceling. Best headphones I’ve ever bought.

  
Arrive in Seattle, get to the Link Rail and take it down to the International Station to check our bags so we can explore.

  
We head to Pike’s Place Market. Pick up some pluots and admire the beautiful, super cheap bouquets of flowers. Mama, I wish I could send them all back to you! The photo will have to suffice. 

   
 
Panama Jack was craving roasted corn as we passed their stand. Of course we had to get an ear.  Corn is the new black, such a delicious summer treat!

  
We stopped at a cute, new spot on Jackson Street, called Intrigue Chocolate Co.

  
A dapper, bearded young fellow was behind the counter.  He asked if we had time for a tasting (they do those at chocolate shops?!), to which we happily obliged. The dark chocolate truffles were infused with Basil and Peppercorn, among other things, he poured us each a glass of chamomile tea to cleanse our palate.  All were delicious, and we grabbed a few for the road. 

  
   
 
We went to michou for a late lunch, incredible sandwiches and salads.  We settled on the Sierra turkey and a handful of dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice).  Excellent, so fabulous, we wanted a bite of everything!

   
   
Downtown Seattle has some great people watching, so we spent some time meandering and enjoying the beautiful sunny afternoon.

   
 
On our way back to the train station, we stopped at Storyville Coffee for an iced brew latte. That 4:45am rise-time is catching up to us.

   
    
 
An hour and some change later, we are back at the train station and ready to roll.  

I love, love, LOVE adventures with this man.  He makes my heart smile.  We are just getting started, and I cannot wait to leave a billion footprints all over this earth. 

  
Currently riding the Amtrak train, a la Harry Potter, along the coastline up to Vancouver. 

I’m enjoying a watermelon honey stick from Pike’s Place Market while Brett plays DJ as the sun is setting out the train window. 

   
   
See you in a few hours Vancouver!

Feeling incredibly blessed,

em j

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i so excited

It has been a few weeks of engagement and a spontaneous, terrific decision to have our wedding this fall.  What are we waiting for?  I know this is right.  We both want it.  Our non-negotiables are available.  Our venue is “chosen” and just keeps getting better day after day.  Why have a year-long engagement?  Why put this off until fall of next year?  Why wait?  The time is now.

A handful of stressful nights, more than a few “what-the-heck-are-we-doing” looks to one another and then a late night planning session with B last night at Starbucks.  We’re sipping drinks and listening to bands and different ceremony songs… I had an epiphany when listening to a song I’ve pictured myself walking down the aisle to… I got goosebumps, full-body chills… I almost lost it right then and there.  I am so incredibly excited.  And terrified!

I have dreamt about designing invitations to this event.  And focusing on the fonts and the colors.  I have an idea the theme we’re headed towards and I’m confident everything will fall into place.

What an exciting adventure this is… and we still have a few months to perfect these details and make it better, or refine it, or change it altogether!  And what a freaking blessing to have incredible parents that are willing to support me and host this very special day!

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This life is incredible!

e

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a wishful bookworm

There is something I would like to make mandatory, for all human beings.  A required hour of reading everyday.  Everyone has to do it.  Read in some form, a book, an audiobook, a comic book, I don’t care! That way, I can read these amazing books I cannot find time to dive into.

This morning, I started a new one.  “The Book of Strange New Things” by Michel Faber.

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Eight pages in and I want to cancel whatever’s on my schedule for the next 24 hours, just so I can read it straight through.  I.  Love.  Books.  My teacher in grade school thought I would be an introvert with no friends when they saw me reading on the playground @ recess.  Little did they know, I preferred to fall into a novel, to get immersed in another world.  There would be time for friends, and kissing boys, and getting scraped up later on.

Priorities people, priorities.

It’s good to get lost in another world sometimes.

xo,

e

P.S.  Yes, I rent books from the library.  I can’t justify spending $25 on a book.  Unless if I love it and want my kids to read it one day… then I will be the first in line at Barnes and Noble, clutching the life out of those pages.

P.P.S.  Little fact : I memorized my library card number at the age of nine so I could reserve books online more efficiently, I still know it to this day. #proud

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Round two!

We wake up with barely a hangover. Win! Refuel with a little morning java and enjoy our patio before getting ready for the day and more importantly, before our limo arrives.

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Since we already had a mug of coffee down the hatch. We figured it’s time to get the party started.… poppin’ bottles.  Before you get worried about our alcohol intake, please remember, the whole point of renting a limo for this trip was the sole fact that we planned to be inebriated.  As classy and sophisticated as we could… but definitely not sober.
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Our first stop is one that we highly recommend for those visiting the Sonoma area.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyard. We scheduled their Food & Wine Pairing experience for 11am on a Friday afternoon filled with sunshine and cool breezes.  This vineyard is built on some beautiful landscape (aren’t they all?) A very popular place for people to get married.  Gorgeous mountains in the background.
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The pairing took place inside a lovely structure, the doors open to the fresh air outside.  There were two tables positioned half-circle style with the seating on the outside of the curves.  The wine experts walked through and around as they introduced each pairing.
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Each place setting had a leather-bound portfolio with the menu details & a notepad to write tasting notes in.  I vaguely remember doodling hilarious stick figure pictures and Bob Marley quotes on mine… at one point during the experience, Brett looks over and exclaims, “My feet feel like cotton!”  He is entirely enjoying himself, on top of the dosage of DayQuil (for his head cold) taken 30 minutes prior.  It’s amazing what a little vino and a little acetaminophen will do to ignite the senses!
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To be honest, I don’t even remember what all we had {so zoom in on this picture & read it!}  Nevertheless,  it’s true when they say pairing wine with a specific food enhances the flavors, it really works!  The whole experience was a delight. Something we would do again in a heart beat.
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Back in the limo we go.  The next stop, Ledson Winery and Vineyards. Originally, it was being built as a home, with 17 acres of Merlot planted on the grounds.  But as the structure was built, and the public became more interested, they ended up turning it into a vineyard and tasting room.  (well played Ledson clan!)  The structure is built with a French Normady-esque style, 16,000 square feet of woodwork and marble staircases.  Never missing the opportunity for a photo op, we enjoyed the front garden area with beautiful white roses and fountains.
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Their tasting room had wood floors and a beautiful bar area.  We sidled up and started to learn about their vines.  Little breadsticks were my saving grace as we sipped and sipped some more.
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After the tasting, we bought a bottle and went out back on their patio.  Some of us took naps in the sun : star-fished on the ground & loving life {cough, Carley}.  We toasted to friendship & love, as we looked at the rows of vines grown there.  What a neat place to have a summer party or a murder mystery dinner!
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A pretty spectacular roundup of the troops and we’re onto the next one!  Benziger Family Winery for the win!  This next one is a little blurry for me.  Understandably so; three vineyards in and I’m reaching my limits.
We made a pit stop potty break upon arrival (extremely necessary says the girl with the squirrel-sized bladder).  Then we hop on an extended golf cart for a tour of the vineyards.  Our tour guide explained the wine-making process at their location and the background story of the family that built Benziger into what it is today.
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I’ll be honest, a lot of what he said went in one ear and out the other.  We stopped along the tour at a little wooden hut and cracked open a white bottle of wine.  He served it to us in logo-etched wine glasses – nice touch.
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Cool little place.  Gorgeous farm animals to fertilize the soil.  Fluffy, mop-headed cows and little baby goats.  Ten points to Gryffindor for the golf cart ride, as I was not about hiking all over those poo-filled rows of vines.
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The middle of the tour took us into the wine caves where, guess what we did?… had some more vino.  It’s a lot of traveling small distances and then drinking wine.  Rinse & repeat.
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There was a really neat room deep into the cave that we all grabbed a spot at.  It felt very Knights of the Roundtable-esque, with tapestries hanging on the wall and unique art pieces.
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In the wine cave, I got in trouble for trying to snag some more breadsticks, but, please, this was a girl looking after herself!  Atleast some part of my mind knew I needed water and food.  Stat.
We circled around the vineyards on the golf carf and finished the tour in their Main Bar / Tasting Room.  I couldn’t tell you what took place in that space.  The next thing I remember is getting into the limo and somehow making it home in one piece.
Now, THAT was a tour of Sonoma.
Dinner plans were supposed to involve a bacon-infused local hotspot called Zazu, but we couldn’t make it happen.  We grabbed a variety of chicken breasts and brats at the grocery store to grill-out instead.  And it rocked our socks off.
Oh yeah, and we drank water, lots of water.
xo,
e
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it’s a little damp out there

Is this what it feels like to live in Seattle?  Everyday, it never fails, rain coming down.  Drizzling, dreary, gray.  Cold, windy, blustering.  The only things I want to do are as follows, in no particular order:

-read

-drink hot apple cinnamon tea

-watch movies (specifically Game of Thrones and Dexter

-bake banana bread (been on my list of To-Do’s for 1/2 a year now)

-wear flip flops with every outfit, business, casual or otherwise

-go to the gym and sweat next to all the other fanatics avoiding an outdoor workout

-plan a future trip, any future trip, specially to a location bordering the ocean with plants such as these

-attempt to be productive & become defeated as it turns to nonproductiveness because no one else is

-get ready to go out somewhere just to realize my mane of hair will frizz and my makeup will run

-dream of living somewhere the sun never shines and swiftly slap myself in the face

-encourage my Yorkie to take a bathroom break while getting soaked

-change my pants every time I come inside as the cuffs are wet

-lay on the ground and pretend to meditate

-wake up with high hopes of sunshine

-go back to sleep

-keep sleeping

-woozah

 

Counting down the hours to Tuesday… our next adventure awaits.

Couples trip in Sonoma, CA!

xo,

 

Listening to

Sipping on

 

 

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all my ladies

A syncing of photos from the iPhone to the Air reminded me I had a story I wanted to post.  Over Christmas holiday, I was reunited with my five close girlfriends from high school.  Most of them attend our annual girl’s trip.  We had a 2-hour time span where our schedules would overlap and we could spend some time connecting.  It was decided, a midweek brunch at The Kenwood.  Fresh snow had fallen and we stomped our way into this beautifully-decorated dining spot.

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Plaid wall paper, horse hooks for your coat and mismatched framed art with vintage lamps.

In true Minnesotan form, we wore “your-car-might-get-stuck-in-the-snow-and-you-have-to-walk” boots of all kinds.  A staple in any Midwestern girl’s wardrobe.

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The great part about this group is, we can be literally ANYWHERE and fully appreciate the time we spend together.  We will laugh on the side of the street in Vancouver.  Bundle up in white bathrobes and be morally supportive of the tallest girl singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” to a half-empty room on a cruise ship.  Enjoy a day drinking shopping spree in downtown Chicago.  We can be anywhere, at any time, and enjoy every moment of it.

In true fashion, brunch was spectacular.  We dined on a handful of delicious plates, I had an Omelette Florentine and we all toasted to friendship and forward momentum.

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And what happens after we dine + cheers?  We laugh and pass around Carla’s beautiful wedding ring (does AJ know this is a tradition?) as we talk about the future and everything we are looking forward to.

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These ladies make me whole again.  Cheers to a new year and another year of being blessed with these girlfriends.

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Carla (Florida), Molls (Minn), Meg (Colorado), Rach (Georgia), Kates (Arizona), and me

So incredibly happy,

xo

Listening to.

Sipping on.

Dreaming about.

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Heading home

Our last morning in Vancouver!  We showered and scrambled to get all of our clothes into our suitcases.  All that Lululemon took up some extra space we weren’t expecting.  Some Sitting on the Lid to Zip took place.  Finally, we were off.  Wheeling our heavy rollers down the streets of Vancouver once more.  It’s nice the train station wasn’t more than a quarter mile from home base.
We boarded and snuggled into our seats.  Part of the trip was giggling, the other part was playing our card game.  It felt like Harry Potter… the train taking us through the green forests of Canada thru the US border.  I hope’d there’d be a candy cart like in the movie series… but no luck.  We found our way to the food car and grabbed breakfast : bagels and coffee
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For whatever reason, I didn’t take a ton of pictures on the train. I did however, capture a First World Problem moment when Carla got a phone call from Bloomingdale’s requesting a payment for her La Mer bill.  (love you!)
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I didn’t take pics when we arrived in Seattle because I was too busy hugging my best girlfriends.  We departed the train and those with flights leaving caught the tram from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport.  Kates and I had the latest flights out so we spent the afternoon downtown.
First things first, I must explain that we had quite a bit of booze leftover from the weekend.  In fact, peek at Kate’s bag… a little grab bag of everything… ergo, when in Rome.
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We had sparkling water to mix and decided to make a few roadies.  Don’t mind the fact that I did it behind closed doors.  In the handicapped bathroom stall.  At the train station.  #winning
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Downtown Seattle was bustling with activity.  We had a taste testing (i.e. hydrating) stop at DRY Soda whose headquarters are in Seattle.
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There had been a shooting a couple hours early – in typical Em & Kate fashion, we gawked and tried to get murder-scene photos.  This was about as good as it got – I wonder if Time Magazine would want to purchase it… after all, there is an iconic Starbucks logo in view.
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We found a tiny paper store on a corner called de Medici Ming – french for who knows what.
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We weren’t supposed to take pictures, but of course I took one. A wall of wrapping paper, unique cards… we both got a journal and chatted with the little old lady who hand wrote our receipts.
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We watched some music acts at Pike’s Place and sent a SnapChat to the ladies at the airport.  Filling them in on our adventures thus far.
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We grabbed sandwiches and seaweed wrapped rice rolls from Michou before we headed back in the direction of the tram.

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One more selife to complete the adventure.  The last two standing.  Waiting on the tram platform to take us to SeaTac.

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I’m going to miss Vancouver, Seattle, and all of the adventures we had.  Each girl’s trip weekend brings new conversation, memory making, and new culinary discoveries.  I’ll miss observing the mess that is E Hastings Street from a somewhat-safe distance.  Observing the chaos life brings when you dabble in heavy drug use.  This is as close as I will ever get to a drug overdose or anything even remotely along those lines.

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I’m going to miss getting coffee-to-go and dancing in the streets.  Giggling and taking the sights in.  Dayshopping in Gastown and sampling pastries at Nelson the Seagull.  Dining at The Lamplighter and watching coked-out Canadians holler inappropriate commentary at the top of their lungs only semi-fearing for our lives.

Vancouver, it’s been real.
Seattle, you’re beautiful
Until next girl’s trip, two-thousand and fourteen…
xo
Adding to wish list.
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Good Morning Sunday!

We slept like queens.  A deep restless sleep that only broke when the sun started to shine through the curtains.  We didn’t have much of a plan for Sunday besides enjoying our last full day in Vancouver.  A massage, food, and laughing.  That’s about as far as we got with our planning our day, typical girl’s trip.

A little research showed that a mile or so away was a great coffee shop, so we headed in that direction.  Wanting to stretch out our legs a little and get some fresh air, we decided to walk.  It was a bit brisk and somewhat overcast.

Near our apartment, there was quite a bit of construction we had to dodge and weave under.

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I felt like we were a traveling artist group.  For two seconds.  And then realized we don’t sing well… and that dream crumbled – remembering last year in Chicago screaming to Lady Gaga at the top of our lungs… #earmuffs

The cute coffee shop we headed to is called 49th Parallel and we entered it with our stomach’s grumbling.

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They share space with Lucky’s Doughnuts – and why wouldn’t that be the case?  Good coffee and good doughnuts belong within whispering distance of one another.

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The branding catches my eye within seconds and we don’t leave the shop without a few tshirts, mugs and other 49th Parallel swag.

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We  picked a few doughnuts to share- it was hard to choose – I wanted one of everything!  We found a circle booth and spent the morning laughing, gossiping, and reliving past memories.  Sipping on our iced lattes, hot coffee, and chai teas.

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What a glorious time.  I cherish spending these types of moments with my ladies.  It doesn’t matter how much time we spend apart, when we get together for girl’s trip – it’s like we never parted!

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After a few hours at the 49th Parallel, we figured it was time to give up our prime seating to some of the other patrons waiting to nestle in for a few hours.  We began walking on the overcast Vancouver streets towards a spot for brunch.  Believe it or not, we had spent a few hours at the coffee shop.  We walked to our apartment, changed clothes, and headed in the direction of a spot we wanted to explore for brunch.  When Miss Molly’s in the group, we WILL be finding a brunch spot on Sunday.  She’s a brunch-hunting queen!

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This took place at a small, but incredibly busy restaurant called Fable.  This is one of your traditional fable to table hot spots (which I LOVE!) – whose marketing and design is also one for the record books.

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Talk about not judging a book by it’s cover.  That seems to be all I do.  A menu, a price sheet, art on the wall… it gets me every time!

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Inside Fable it was packed to the brim with patrons.  An entire wall was a chalkboard filled with doodles and designs.  There were backlit images of farm life.

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The light overhead was designed with pitchforks (hello, farm life!)

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And you know what we did at Fable?  While we sipped on our brunch beverages (mimosas and caesar’s [i.e. bloody mary])?  While we enjoyed a Sunday morning with wholesome individuals eating farm-fresh food?  We brought out Cards Against Humanity.  Right there in front of everyone.  The risqué game of unbelievable combinations and inappropriate words.  Nothing phases us!

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My favorite combination of the afternoon?  This one right here:

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(sorry for being scandalous, G-ma!)

I ordered the Farmer’s Muffin [salad, rosti, sausage, scrambled eggs, cheddar and tomato jam].  Divine and delicious.

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After Fable we started our trek towards the direction of a beach.  We didn’t have a lot planned, but knew we wanted to see some water, some mountains, lay in the sun, and get massages at some point.  The sun was shining and we were toasty warm.  Towards the beach we headed, and found our own little spot in the sand to curl up and sun-worship for a few moments.

 

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Halfway through our lounging.  We had to split up – half had massages at one time, the other half later on.  Meg & Moll took the first appointments.  Carla, Kates and I giggled on the beach for another half hour.

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We weren’t sure how long it would take to get to the spa we booked appointments at – so we gathered our tennis shoes and walked back to the main road to hail a taxi.  It drove the three of us to a little downtown shopping spot where Pink Lime Salon & Spa was located.

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It didn’t take as long as we thought – and now had 45 minutes to kill before our massages were scheduled.  We meandered down the strip of restaurants and bars, searching for a little watering hole to grab a drink at.  The Distillery looked inviting, and we sidled up to the bar for a quick one.

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I don’t remember all that much about my cocktail besides the fact that it was strong and served in a tin cup which I thought that was neat-o.  Our bartender was dressed from the prohibition error and held a conversation well while we picked his brains about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.  As you can see, we had the place to our selves and as always, enjoyed our time there.

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Our time was up and we headed to Pink Lime.  It seemed the spa had their panties in a bundle because they didn’t seem to have much organization.  We had three massage appointments and two masseuses available.  Unless Vancouver-masseuses had some magical technique where they could massage two people at once, it just didn’t add up.  Carla decided to sit this one out and headed to explore the other shops with Meg and Molls while Kates and I got some knots loosened.

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As you can see, the plush robes were nice.  I enjoyed them.  Kates and I hung out in the waiting lounge until the rooms were ready.  Our masseuses walked up and introduced themselves and led us both into the same room.  There were two tables there and candles lit.  Cue the romantic spa music.  When the masseuses instructed us to unrobe before they left the room to let us do so… we lost it.  #giggles  Apparently we’re getting a couple’s massage.  We shrugged and said, “whatever!” as we threw off our robes and hung them up behind the door.  Best friends for about 16 years… a little nakedness doesn’t throw us off.

Sixty minutes later, we gathered our clothes and settled our bill at the front desk.  The other girls were found noshing at a restaurant down the way.  They settled their tab and left.  We jumped on the underground subway in hopes we were heading in the direction of our apartment.  Only slightly turned around, we ended up walking quite aways.  Now the time is about 7:00pm and we are, surprise surprise, hungry.

That little spot located near our home base, Tap & Barrel, seemed as good a place as any to grab one last little dining experience.

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The sun was setting, the mood was positive.  We played another round of CAH while we sat on the rooftop and the day slowly turned to night.

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Our walk home  along the boardwalk of Olympic Village was gorgeous.  And humbling. We’ll miss this spot and all of our memories of Vancouver.
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Ciao,

xo

 

Listening to.

Dreaming of.

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weekly iPhone pic drop

weekly iphone pic drop

We have begun prepping two locations at our place to put on Airbnb – a home-sharing style website.  Charge them to rent out the boathouse or the whole lower level of the main house.  I walked down to start moving furniture around and post on Craigslist.  There was a slightly musty smell coming from behind the theater wall.  I knelt down to explore and my knees got wet.  It turns out the draining pipe from our siding overhaul last summer was not properly pieced together and all of that insane monsoon rain we had the past few weeks?  Yeah, it’s safely stationed in our basement.  Commence operation Rip Apart and Dry It Up.  Who coined that phrase when it rains it pours?… I’d like to force them to do a shot of bottom-shelf tequila (no lime).

Sometimes I see vehicles with modifications that cannot be explained.  Isn’t this one of those Muppet dolls?

In Uptown resides a hotspot called Republic.  It took over the top-level bar called Independent in Calhoun Square.  My favorite drink is called the Skinny Ginny and consists of Hendricks, St. Germain, tonic and thai basil.  I’m a standing testament that the maximum should be two.  Just enough, not too much, end the evening gracefully.

Did you know that laundromats still exist?  Just kidding, I’m not that naive.  We spent the better part of an entire evening doing no less than three loads of laundry at a local coin operated joint.  A family there seemed camped out for the long haul, each kid had a coloring book, there were snacks, it was like a picnic hotspot.  I didn’t understand the need for Distractors (Cheez-Its, drawing materials) until I saw they had what seemed to be the entire ship of Titanic’s worth of clothing in a half dozen machines and piled up on the folding table.  Either they change clothes 3x a day, they wait two months to wash everything, or there are nine more of them at home while the ladies do all the work.

The theme of the season for a bit of time was oranges.  Orange Theory fitness kicked my rear into gear while I used up a Groupon I had purchased awhile back.  The gym combines running, rowing and TRX/free weights for a rapid-fire 60-minute sweat session.  In other news, Costco sells some pretty juicy oranges in big cardboard boxes and I put my stamp of approval on them.

For a few weeks I couldn’t find gas for less than $4.65/gallon.  Now I’m stuck between deciding to sell my car that I adore, or take more public transportation.  I’m in favor of more transportation but judging by the fact that the bus leaves from a spot near my house, but does not ever come back puts me between a rock and a hard place.  Perhaps I need to start biking to work again.  I just cannot get used to biking on the road, and every direction I turn is under construction.  Time to sell the Lexus and shop for a more fuel-efficient car?  Perhaps.

Have you ever taken a gander at the shampoo/conditioner section at Target?  It’s like a Cheese Emporium in Europe.  There are more options than we should be allowed to choose from.  Let’s narrow this wall down to the top ten bestsellers and get rid of all the extras.  It’s crazy we are inundated with this amount of product.  It’s ridiculous, really.  People should be focusing on whether they’re going to run 3 miles or do a circuit today.  This nation needs to put emphasis on making decisions to stay in shape and eat healthy instead of which bottle o’goo is going to make your hair super shiny and long like Kim Kardashian.

Case in point, I shopped for a grill-out last weekend and noticed this marketing.  Basically: serve Coca-Cola and your family will eat dinner with you tonight.  HA!  This is good stuff.  Who made that up?  Now THAT guy deserves a swift kick in the arse.

The concrete hallway at work shares a back entrance to many other shops in our mall.  One recently relocated and this happened.  A dolly of upper torsos complete with side boobs.  Throw a filter on this and I would hang it in my laundry room as a 16×20 canvas.  Random self-proclaimed art.

A month long delay between posts does a girl good.  My life has gone from 6 to 10 and I’m a happy, blessed lady!

Another update in a few days… oh, and the link to my new blog will be released!

xo,

em.j

Sipping on.
Nightmares about.  (now does this not look the CREEPIEST movie ever?  Kudos to the director or whomever came up with the storyline – pretty creative.)
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Meet my guru, Suja

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I cannot believe it has taken me this long to get back on track… actually, I recant that statement – I absolutely can believe that.  I’ve had a hell of a month, about 90% of February was FUBAR. But, you know what? Can’t keep me down. I’m back… and better than ever.

A week ago I decided to embark on a cleanse. I’ve heard a lot about this new brand called Suja. Dr. Oz swears by it. So, I wanted to give it a whirl.  I didn’t chose to do this as a weight-loss trick, instead it was more of a cleansing of the system. Mind, body, soul. Getting back to a good, solid foundation both inside and out.

I chose the 5-day cleanse which consists of 6 different cold-pressed juices a day. You can purchase them on their website or Whole Foods carries them (then you avoid $105 in shipping charges AND can take advantage of a Whole Foods case discount for buying more than 12 bottles… you’ll need to snag 30 of them). I custom ordered them so I wouldn’t make a trip and risk them being out of a flavor. Ordering off the website would have cost $375, my total at Whole Foods was $242.73. A handful of you have asked, why don’t I juice my own fruits and vegetables? Because the amount of money I would spend on the ingredients, and the time it would take to juice and clean up my mess 6x a day would just about equal how much I spent on the cleanse. And Suja juice is the highest quality premium organic cold-pressed raw juice you can find. I don’t even know how to cold-press something, much less have the time to do it. So I splurged.

On the morning of the cleanse I was hesitant, a tad nervous, and secretly praying the juice tasted better than I imagined it would. The first drink is GLOW. It is considered “breakfast”, made up of green apple, cucumber, celery, collard greens, spinach, kale, and a pinch of spearmint. It wasn’t half bad! Not something I would drink everyday by choice… but I had high hopes for the rest of the flavors. The directions were to drink the bottles as you got hungry throughout the day. I didn’t find myself hungry until around 1pm on day 1. On days 2-5 I was hungry within 2 hours of drinking the first bottle. Bottle #2 is FUEL, considered the “mid-morning” drink, made up of carrot, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon and turmeric. This tasted exactly like the juice we make in the summer, very carroty and filling. The lunch bottle is called PURIFY and was my least favorite, it is made up of carrot, apple, celery, cucumber, lemon and beet. With all those ingredients, I feel it tastes like a sour beet drink… the hardest to get down! Bottle #4 is called FIJI; made with apple, celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, collard greens, lemon and ginger. This one tastes the most like a salad. Almost like someone created a bed of greens with some raw veggie toppings, threw it all in a blender and drank it. Not my favorite, this was the “mid-afternoon” bottle, and one that I was rarely hungry for. Next we have dinner with bottle #5. The GREEN SUPREME was a huge surprise on day #1. I was expecting something hearty and truly dinner-like… I don’t know why I was thinking it would be potato and green bean flavored? I was so happy when I read the ingredients and tasted this bottle for the first time. It is made of kale, green apple and lemon – it tastes like a tart apple cider… delicious! The final bottle of the day is VANILLA CLOUD. I was not expecting a cleanse to have something set aside to stand for dessert, but this was the perfect end to each of the five days of cleansing. This bottle is made with almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla bean, honey and filtered water. It tasted like a thick chai tea.

On some days, I was not hungry for many hours after drinking a bottle and felt somewhat off track. I would start drinking the lunch bottle a little before dinner-time… But day four and five I had it down like a science and my body was looking forward to each bottle.  On day three, in my head I started planning a rendezvous with an avocado and some cherry tomatoes to take place around 2pm… I told myself I could eat it around 5. I made it to 4 and downed those raw veggies like it was my job. They’ve never tasted so good!

When I would leave the house in the morning, I carefully calculated how many hours I would be gone so as to bring enough juice to last me.  When I get hungry, I need fuel, pronto.  I guarded those bottles like it was my life.  When I dropped one in the back hallway at work and half spilled out, I just about lost my shit.  Because not only was that $4.50 wasted, but I was thisclose to eating my coworker due to hunger.

Some people said, “just have a bite- try this tasty cookie bar I made, one bite doesn’t really matter.” But, it does matter. It matters to me that I finish strong with something I started, and something I’m so passionate about. I spent a small fortune on this cleanse and wanted to do it right. Raw veggies were encouraged, but I limited them to truly take advantage of the cleansing process. So, I never had a bite, or a cookie bar.

The cleanse comes in 1, 3 or 5-day options, and I look forward to doing it again soon. I woke up each morning with a clearer perspective on everything.  Life had meaning and felt so much more enhanced. I typically have a cup of coffee each morning but this cleanse omits any caffeine – so days one and two were greeted with a striking caffeine headache that lasted into the early afternoon. After those mornings, it was smooth sailing, and I’ve decided to not drink coffee each morning.  Only on special occasion. I don’t want to be dependent on it… or risk getting a headache if I don’t drink any.

Some have asked, how much weight did I lose? I lost about 7.2 pounds. For the first time in awhile the first two letters on the scale started with 12_. If I were a celebrity and needed to fit into a $53,584 Gucci dress for an award show in 5 days – I would do a Suja Cleanse. You’re in tip-top shape in no time – and you have the Benjamins to pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I did have cravings, oh Lord, did I have cravings… the biggest food I looked forward to was a toasted English muffin with peanut butter and honey drizzled on top. Introducing real food into my diet on day 6 was like experiencing the true power of tastebuds all over again… I was impressed with the flavor of raw fruits and vegetables… so everything beyond that was 10x more flavorful and powerful in my exploration.

To conclude, I highly recommend Suja, not just for a weight-loss start but to cleanse your system and get back to the basics of true nutrition and detoxifying your system completely! Who wants to do it with me next time?

High five for health!
xo

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