A walk with Joan

Today has been a true and real struggle. Last Thursday my aunt Joan passed away, too soon, after living for 65 glorious years.

I choose to honor her by speaking, alongside my sisters.

I post this today, here because she was an avid supporter of my travel blog. The most energetic encourager to my constant wanderlust.

Family Christmas
I’m up here today to talk about her as my role model.

Joan didn’t ever tell us what to do, she didn’t impose her opinion onto us. instead she tended to show us, through her example of life, what it is really like to live out your personal best.

A few days ago, I was raking her lawn and picking up acorns. I had ample time to think of all the things she has taught me….all of us. So I decided to make a list as if she verbalized her examples.

Take care of your health.
Get outside.
Eat your vegetables. Take your vitamins
Remember desserts in moderation.
If you’re going to have a drink, try merlot.
Sit up straight. Put your shoulders back. Posture is important!
If you walk, put pep in your step.

Be frugal with a dollar.
Save your pennies and travel.
Explore foreign streets. Experience new cultures. Eat adventurously.
Take road trips and go see what our 50 states have to offer.
Remind yourself that wanderlust is ok.

When you travel Send postcards.
When you’re home, Write letters
Do your best to take photos. (It’s ok to leave the lens cap on or if the timer didn’t work!!!) Just try your best.

Work hard. Work passionately. Geek out with geometric shapes and the quadratic formula…We all can impact many lives by what we choose to do with our service. Enjoy that unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Remember, never stop learning.

When you find quality friends,
Work hard to keep them. Share life with them often….a tea at home or travel the world. Listen well, they’ll appreciate that.

Be enthusiastic in your endeavors.
When you’re proud of others accomplishments – give them a good shoulder shimmy. (Joan’s excited move!)
Use your energies to volunteer.
Give your time to help make a difference.
Get involved in your community.
Join a club.
Work to be a small change in the world.
Be a role model.
Remind yourself: Positive attitudes will attract others with positive attitudes.

Respect this earth. Recycle. Treat a good lawn like gold and stay on the sidewalk. “John and Quinn-do not cut those corners.” Compost your leftovers and rake your yard. It’ll be peace upon your soul. Enjoy every flower!

Keep your hands busy. Sew. Make a quilt. Cook. Do a puzzle.

Practice your faith. Let Jesus walk with you. Do as he would. Actively participate with your church.

(Now remember, I’m speaking from Joan’s perspective)

Get married. Enjoy the profound bond with a life partner. Have a child and let your life be forever enriched. Teach them everything good.

Make the most of memory making. Get season tickets to a children’s theater. Take dance lessons. Enjoy a good Midwestern parade.

Take care of your parents. Tell them why you love them. Remember how they helped you and do your best to help them.
Love your siblings, even if you live different lives now, because they’re the link to your past.

Smile in adverse situations. Take a deep breath and stay cool. Keep your head on your shoulders and always stay humble

Remember where you came from. On occasion, eat like your ancestors. Know your family history. Celebrate it.

Show kindness through action, to everyone and everything. Express gratitude. Spread love through your relationships, your words and by giving life all you can.

To close: You may not remember any of these specifics. Today is difficult on all of us. But maybe, when you get home or when you think back to Joan, If you can remember one thing, remember this is how Joan did it.

Just try to live your best. With exuberance and gusto.

Let love be your guide.

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Life utensils!

Over the plastic, meaningless kitchen gadgets.  We are.  So we’re taking re-purposed beetle kill pine (dead wood laying on the forest floor) and giving it life.

After a few magic maneuvers….waaaalaah!  Find them and more handmade smore sticks at kabbageandhugs.com


Posted in handmade beer opener, handmade colorado, handmade ice cream scoop, handmade pizza cutter, Handmade smore sticks, kabbage and hugs, smore roasting sticks, smore sticks colorado, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

S’more the merrier!

Smore sticksSmore Stickscampfire sticks, smore sticks, kabbage and hugs These s’more sticks are changing my life.  In many amazing ways!  From campfire stories to daytime creations of hundreds.  Kari and I make and sell these through our business Kabbage and Hugs.  And now people ask us about them on the daily.  We’ve been spending the month of May prepping copious amounts of stick piles and transforming them into these beauties.  Cheers to summer!

May your evening campouts be filled with memories and s’more to come!!!

smore sticks, kabbage and hugs, Ripley, campfire sticks, beetle kill pine colorado

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Kabbage and Hugs

Started a new life endeavor just days ago and it’s already been an incredibly awesome journey.   My friend, roommate, adventure buddy,…Kari and I have started a small business opportunity called Kabbage and Hugs.

Kabbage and Hugs is our outlet for creative projects.  We’ve begun making wKabbage and Hugs S'More Sticksine stoppers, wine holders, wine stem jewelry, coasters, christmas ornaments, candle holders, s’more sticks and earrings.  All primarily from downed Beetle Kill Pine limbs from the land near our house.  The earrings are the exceptions, they’re from Juniper.

I’m excited to see where K & H takes us.  All we know thus far is we’ll be selling the goods at the Minturn Winter Market for the following two Saturdays.  If you’re curious to see what these look like you can check out Kabbage and Hugs online.

Kabbage and Hugs

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Fun things to do in Seattle

When traveling to new cities for fun, it’s imperative to dive in like a local and experience why everyone who lives there, lives there.

For Seattlites, explaining why Seattle is so great is easy, especially when it’s sunny outside.  After taking suggestions from Anna, her friends and a few websites, here are my favorite explorations thus far.  (not in ranked order)

1.  Visit Discovery Park. It’s magical. Wild. Stunning! And, this park is big. So, ride your bike. Get out to the lighthouse point. Enjoy a picnic on a clear day and you’ll see Mt. Rainer to one side and the Olympic Mountains to another.

photo (57)

Earth Day picnic with friends at Discovery Park

2. Bike the Burke Gilman trail out to Golden Gardens park. Pit stop off at Gas Works park and watch floater planes land in Lake Union, as rowing teams practice their form. The view of the city from Gas Works is Make a second pit stop off at the Ballard Locks. Watch how they transfer boats from the lake to the Sound and attempt to separate fresh water from sea water.

View from Gas Works park

View from Gas Works park

3. Explore the markets. Pike Place is the most famous market you’ve probably seen on TV. It’s the market where they’re tossing fish over customers heads and chanting craziness as they do it. The Ballard market and the U-District market are also divine. The live music changes by the hour. Almost every vendor provides samples to snack on. The produce is unbelievably delicious and fresh, not to mention unique…ever heard of eating fiddle head ferns?!

Fiddle Head Ferns in the Pike Place Public Market

Fiddle Head Ferns in the Pike Place Public Market

4. Eat PHO! Seattle has a strong Asian influence. You’ll see Pho places on every other block. Pho is a Vietnamese soup with a broth base, rice noodles, your choice of meat, herbs and fresh veggies. You’ll want to eat it every day. And please do it! Bamboo is my personal favorite in Cap Hill.

Pho from Bamboo!

Pho from Bamboo!

5. See a Sounders game. MLS(soccer) is the cool thing here. The games are packed and filled with vibrant fans.
6. Visit Alki Beach. It’s located in West Seattle and offers another view of the city-scape, of the Olympic Peninsula and of splendor. The beach is about .5miles long and the trail goes for miles. Bring a book or a bike.

Dipping toes at Alki Beach

Dipping toes at Alki Beach

7. Bike the Centennial Trail from the city north, along the waters edge. Keep your eyes out for the sea otters playing in the waters nearby. If it’s your first time to this coast, seeing an otter can be mysterious. Almost like seeing giant sea creatures-let your imagination run until you see the whiskers-makes for a better story!

Biking Centennial Trail.  Mt Rainer shining today!

Biking Centennial Trail. Mt Rainer shining today!

8. Eat Sushi. This doesn’t need an explanation but incase you’re in need of a little motivation. It’s on the coast-most of the places are getting fresh fish daily from the local fisherman. The heavy Asian influence means you have people who know what they are doing. And they’re creative – some unthinkable food combinations that are bound to leave your taste-buds smiling. Momiji is a great place to start!

Sushi from Momiji!

Sushi from Momiji!

9. Attempt to bike Seattles top 10 steepest hills. This is not for the weak at heart or beach cruising biker. My first hill attempt was said to have a 21% grade. I fell over and left blood on that daunting climb. I have yet to complete this task, however, hardship is going to be met with endurance.
10. Take my friend Anna to RockBox. It’s a karaoke bar in Cap Hill. She loves karaoke so much she forgets that other people request songs and can keep singing for over six hours straight. Sometimes it’s hard to listen too, sometimes the dance moves over power any noise. Regardless, you’ll laugh, a lot!

What makes Seattle Happy!?!

What makes Seattle Happy!?!

Other recommendations:
Kayak Lake Union
Visit the downtown library

Downtown Seattle Library

Downtown Seattle Library

Shop the Asian market-Uwajimaya
Island hop via ferries. Whidbey Island is home to Penn Cove Mussels if you love shellfish!
Hike. The list is endless.
Stroll around Capitol Hill.
Bike around Mercer Island.
Walk around the Fishermans Terminal and hear the fishermans stories

Fishermans Terminal

Fishermans Terminal

There are endless things to see, do and explore in Seattle. Not to mention in the surrounding areas. Washington is a great state. I highly recommend coming to check it out, if you haven’t already.

Lots of thanks for: idea implementation, partner-in-crime explorations and photo creds to my bestie, Anna Paulson!

Posted in Adventure, Anna, bikes, books, eating, exploration, food, guidebooks, informative, Inspiration, motivation, park, Seattle, To Do lists, Travel, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The importance of knowledge.

TED Talks.
Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is dead wrong

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities.

Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities.

Documentary ‘I AM’
By Tom Shadyac

I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?

I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?

Overview Project.

Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.

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Scraps to something

Working on taking a piece of scrap wood from my dads shop and making it into something of use.  Here are a few of the creations:

Walnut knot lined with oak cutting board Walnut with oak accent cutting board Olive tray and small oak dish Cutting board Walnut olive tray Walnut cutting board.2Oak and walnut cutting board

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