Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fresh powder


Yesterday Tim and I got a babysitter and went to watch the second part of Mockingjay. Then we took it a step further and headed to Rustic Goat for late dinner and a drink. I know. Just like childless adults do on any average Friday night. Sigh.

Speaking of whom, we were accompanied by my very good friend James, who half-joking-half-seriously suggested that given the fat snowflakes that were falling outside, I should wake up today and go skiing, then blog about it. "Call it 'first ski of the year'" he said, matter of fact kind of guy he is. Then he proceeded to choke on his beer when I told him that there is an apparatus called a Thule Chariot that I use to pull Ben when we cross-country ski... Because he wants his fiancĂ©e {bless her heart} to pull him around the trails of this town, since an accident left him unable to ski. 

James, I'm not sure that any reasonable person would agree to haul your butt in a stroller, but my judgement could be persuaded with the right amount of homemade Italian food, of which I know you make plenty. Because I'm a good friend. 

Oh, and we did go xc skiing today, because fresh powder. Duh. 




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors

                                     {photo taken in Yukon Island}

This summer I spent three days writing under the guidance of the wordsmith Julia O'Malley, in beautiful Yukon Island, accompanied by incredible people whose  lives and written works I admire.

There I learned a few things, but what stayed with me the most is that our best work comes from that inner part of us that we keep hidden and protected because it's raw, and vulnerable, and real.

Most of what I've written since that retreat will never see the light of a computer screen, in part because it does not belong on the Internet, and partly because Julia stresses the importance of writing by hand {I know. Radical.} But I am making an exception for this very short piece I called Smoke and Mirrors, for it helped me find the truth again. 

Smoke and Mirrors

I suppose the potential to lose yourself is always there, even when you know you have been found. 
The lights shine brighter, the grass is greener... That's how it begins. But I have been lost before and now I'm wise enough to recognize the smoke and mirrors. The heart may want what it wants but it is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. 
So I'm finding strength in staying, bravery in not swaying, and peace in trusting He who is greater than I. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015



I haven't worn glasses since sometime in my twenties when I had the good sense of using my first job out of college -flexible spending account - on lasik surgery. But as my doctor informed me last week, pregnancy, breastfeeding, heavy use of computers, and the fact that I am not getting any younger had me back trying on frames. 

I wore glasses all my life and I don't ever remember actually liking them. Ask anyone who knew me in college, I would wear them to class and promptly remove them as soon I as could. Especially to go out, or on a date. I went as far as having two pairs, so I could leave one in my car for driving only. Contacts? Yeah, I can't even put on eyeliner without getting queasy, God forbid actually touching my eyeball on purpose.

But as luck may have it, glasses are now cool, so forgive the selfie here, but this was the first time ever I did not dread trying them on. That pair there? Compliments of my insurance provider, but I would like your input as to where you get glasses these days. I hear Warby Parker is cool. Is it? Because I am willing to invest in a second pair, you know, for driving only ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

O Tannenbaum


Let's just get past the fact that it is only November first and my Christmas decorations are already out. I blame Benjamin, since that is a thing we do in this house. Dishes aren't done? Didn't have time because of the toddler. The laundry isn't folded? Are you kidding me? Have you seen the amount of laundry a toddler generates in a week? And my personal favorite, did you fart? Nope. The toddler.

So you'll have to believe me when I say that I did not intend to walk out of Target this morning with a Christmas musical snow globe, singing carols like a loon, but I did, and I did so loud and proud because Ben's face lit up every time the snow flew in the globe, and he might be the only person to ever clap hearing me sing carols. So judge me if you must, but it won't change the fact that I got home and let him take out all the Christmas decorations until the only thing missing was the tree.

Tim killed our tree last year. And by kill I mean broke because it was a fake since we had no time to cut our own. We had a 7 month old at the time, and the fact that we even put up decorations was a true Christmas miracle. Anyway, I was not attached to the tree since it was just an old 5 footer that was missing a few branches because the cat declared war on it too many times. But the thought of getting a new tree this year gave me anxiety just contemplating the amount of ornaments Ben would break, the branches that would suffer at the claws of the cat, and the fact that most certainly I would forget to water it, if we got a live one.

That is why when I saw this flat chested beauty made out of pallets, I hugged my woody tannenbaum,  took it home, hung it, decorated it with one string of vintage Christmas lights like this ones, and called it a day.


Nothing to break or clean, and the extra floor space? A pallet never looked so good!
Maybe next year we will go all out with a real one, but for now this is good. This is really good.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Blog Party: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou family costumes

When my friends and fellow bloggers, {{Natasha}}{{Leslie}}, and {{Tess}} invited me to join their Halloween Blog Party I was excited, but I believe that on a scale from 1 -10, I hit level 52 when they told me that this week's theme is Wes Anderson costumes. It was a no-brainer to pick one of my favorite movies,  The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

We are very much into dressing up as a team, and very much into dressing up as movie characters, as evidenced by {{last year's Star Wars costumes}} This year Tim gets to be the legendary Steve Zissou, eccentric - and may I add attractive - oceanographer in search of the jaguar-shark that killed his partner Esteban.

I have the pleasure of impersonating the one and only Eleanor Zissou, total badass, Steve's wife, Vice-president of the Zissou society, and the brains behind the operation. This picture of the Zissou spouses "in character" cracks me up.

Last but not least is our little unpaid intern from the University of North Alaska, who in this photo is pointing at the location of our boat, the Belafonte.

I tried getting cool t-shirts for the costumes but they never came - wah-wah - so all I really bought were the hats, you can find them {{here}}, and they really are a one size fits all, from the tiny intern to the adult Zissous. The rest we had in our closets and I bet you do too: Chambray shirt, white t-shirt, blue jeans, converse shoes.  Long hair wig for me, and white hair spray for Tim's beard. Ta-Da!

Long live the adventure, blog parties, Wes Anderson, and halloween!

P.S. Check out the rest of the Halloween Blog Party for more fun, easy costumes and more!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

When was the last time you felt beautiful?

I met Valette 6 or so years ago and I quickly learned that she is a talented photographer, but I had no idea how much fun one of her glamour photo sessions would be until she was kind enough to offer to photograph me.

I left Benjamin at home with Tim and spent time with Valette and Mary Alice -a professional hair and makeup stylist- having a blast, but most importantly, I was able to immortalize in pictures my grandmother's favorite shawl that she left to me when she died 5 years ago. It's a gorgeous hand embroidered piece, but I really don't have opportunities to wear it. A glamour photo shoot seemed like the perfect time to bring it out.

Valette did an incredible job capturing my essence in all the photos. From flirty to playful, casual, and strong, she shot every angle beautifully, and Mary Alice's makeup was able to erase a year and a half of sleepless nights with a baby right off my face. Both of them are truly magic.
I believe that beauty is internal calm, confidence, and loving myself for who I am and where I am at in my life journey. Beauty is kindness and gentleness to myself and others. Beauty is believing I am worthy.
I believe that all women deserve to look and feel beautiful, and are worth having gorgeous photos of themselves. Women deserve to exist in photos for themselves and for those who love them, and I make those photos to show them how beautiful and worthy they are. -Valette

Valette is a photographer in Anchorage who can be reached at
Mary Alice is a hair and makeup stylist who is magic with her hands. She can be found at
Flower crown by the incomparable work of Natasha Price at
All outfits are my own.

*This is a sponsored post. Thank you for being so lovely and supporting the businesses that make this blog possible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It's all downhill from here... Sort of

I am weird in the fact that when running I don't mind the uphills, in fact, I have grown to like the effort it takes to climb them, and the view I get at the top. Downhills are a different story because they scare me. Seeing the long road ahead of me and the thought of tripping and falling always slows me down.

Coach Emma told me "You've done the work, your legs are strong, trust them. Lean into the hill and allow them to catch you".

Being a parent is hard work, being a parent and having a job is definitely hard work, being an entrepreneur and a parent with a job is straight up for the insane. There are not enough hours in the day, but today I carved enough time for a 3 mile run with Benjamin in the stroller, and I was thinking of Emma's words when the downhill came, and it occurred to me that the principle possibly applies to my life as it stands right now. I am juggling life like a street artist juggles fire balls. It's hard, but I don't mind the work of the uphill because I know what I am doing, and I am prepared. So maybe it's time to leave the fears on the trail, to let go, and start trusting that I will catch myself.

Running hills breaks up your rhythm and forces your muscles to adapt to new stresses. The result? You become stronger. - Eamonn Coghlan

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