Karama for Christmas

This week I'm hosting an EParty for Karama Collection. In 2013 Jason and I traveled with Karama to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zanzibar meeting and photographing some of Karama's artisans, you can read a little about that trip here. I'll be sharing more about my experiences with Karama throughout the week.

Especially this year, I want to be encouraging everyone I know to do a little more with their Christmas shopping. It's so easy to get caught up in crazy Black Friday sales and forget that even our shopping can have a positive impact on the world. This is one way to get a beautiful, quality gift for someone you love and be putting your money towards something good. 

Something to think about...

I came upon this quote in a Huffington Post article and it really stuck with me. There have been moments when I want to yell it at people around me and moments when I'm quietly reminding myself of this way of thinking. So I'm putting it here, as a way of remembering for myself and sharing with all of you.

As for attribution, there's some varying opinions out there as to who said it first. 

Thanksgiving Roundup!

I have a love/hate relationship with the week of Thanksgiving, I mean, who doesn't love a shortened week? But then, suddenly it's Wednesday, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, the week feels over and I feel like a slacker. I didn't even get a blog post up! So you get this. A roundup of things I'm thankful for. And yes, I'm thankful for my home, family, etc. this list includes a bit more out of the ordinary choices of the things I'm feeling thankful for in this moment in time...

I'm thankful for:

Christmas music starting early this year. I've found it to be the most uplifting thing since the election.

My two black cats. (If you want one, the Seattle Humane Society is adopting black cats for FREE on Black Friday, I promise your life will be better with a snuggly black kitty in it.)

GILMORE GIRLS! Excited to watch it with friends this weekend :)

Heather Christo's amazing recipes! I was sad and overwhelmed when I found about about my food allergies, but I'm feeling so thankful to have amazing resources that have actually inspired me to be cooking more. I'm planning a post for next week with specific recipes and foods that I've been loving lately.

The good I see in the world like these 21 Medal of Freedom recipients.

The sense of smell. I've been VERY into candles and essential oils lately and appreciate how they comfort, calm and help me to sleep and now I'm beginning to be hit with those wonderful holiday scents full of nostalgia, cinnamon, clove, evergreen...I love it all.

Rest and recharging. Sometimes my life is crazy, and sometimes it's calm. I'm loving that we're in a period of wrapping up projects and have a bit of a lull before we're gearing up for the next things. I've been going to yoga, catching up on things around the house, spending time with friends, and catching up on sleep. It's been wonderful and I'm trying to fully appreciate it now before life is chaotic again.

Really, there's so many things that I'm thankful for, and also, a lot of things that really suck, but sometimes, it's nice to take a break from thinking about those negative things and focus on what is good.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful Thanksgiving... or just a wonderful normal Thursday if you live pretty much anywhere outside of the U.S. :)


Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! And Hello! I've been a bit MIA from the blog. Life is very full for me right now, some of the things I love to do (like blogging and yoga!) are falling by the wayside in the midst of trying to find balance as a working mom of two. I do miss this though and I'm not quitting!

What are you up to this weekend? I am celebrating Friendsgiving with Jenny and some of our college roommates. I'm making this to bring and of course cranberry sauce.

Hope you have a great weekend, here are some links to get us started:

Speaking of Friendsgiving, check out this beautiful spread.

It's almost here and it's getting good reviews!! Oh, and another Thanksgiving treat from PBS.

I want this giant rocking chair.

What a birthday party!

For you early birds: Goop already released their holiday gift guide.

I might be able to at least find time for this.

This review makes me want to get a sitter and go to the theater tonight.

These memes are breaking the internet for good reason.

This was a helpful article for parents of young kids.

Travel goals. 

Seattle Books

WAY back in August, I posted about what I like to read when I'm traveling. In that post I said I'd be back the following week with my favorite books about Seattle. Oops. It's been a little longer than a week. But here you go! Regardless of whether you live in Seattle or not, I'd recommend all of these reads.

A Homemade Life and Delancy 

Both memoirs sprinkled with recipes that will make you feel like you're catching up with a dear friend.

Where to read: Either in your own kitchen while you're wildly inspired to make all the recipes from the books OR at one of Molly and her husband's restaurants in Seattle (Delancy, Essex and Dino's Tomato Pie)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 

This is historical fiction, based on the real lives of the Asian Americans living in what is now Seattle's International District during WWII. This book has it all, the sweetest story of young love and the bitter truth of racism driven by fear and how Japanese were mistreated during the war.

Where to read: The Panama Hotel, the actual hotel referenced in the title where many Japanese Americans left their possessions before being shipped off to interment camps during WWII. Sadly, many people never made it back to clam their things and you can actually peek through a window in the floor to see some of the things that were stored in the basement in the 1940's.

Seriously, even if you're reading another book, this is a great spot to sit with a book and a cup of tea.

The Boys in the Boat 

This is the true story of the University of Washington's crew team and the amazing path they took to make it all the way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, competing for America in front of Hitler. 

Where to read: UW's Suzzallo Library or in the spring, down in Montlake, where you can watch UW's crew team practice and tour the crew house which includes the historic shell the team used in 1936. 

Where'd You Go Bernadette 

This is a story of an eccentric Seattle transplant, fictional but it relies on observations of Seattle from the author, Maria Semple's real life experience moving here from LA. The result is a  hilarious take on Seattle culture, and I have to say, while it's one sided, it's pretty accurate. I know these people, I nannied for kids who went to schools very similar to Bernadette's daughter's, etc. 

Where to read: Well, if you want to be like Bernadette, don't leave your home, ever! Order in takeout and have a comfy chair delivered to read in. Or if you want to see the Seattle she's trying to escape, I'd suggest you plant yourself in a coffeeshop or restaurant in South Lake Union during the lunch rush and enjoy reading while being swarmed by Microsoft and Amazon employees. 

Anyone else have Seattle book recommendations? 

Image above, Seattle's Panama Hotel back in the day.

Jason's latest project!

Last month Jason shot a bunch of commercials for Headspace! The videos are just rolling out and all turned out awesome, but my favorites are the ones that use the behind the scenes footage where you can see Jason doing his thing! I wasn't on set for this one, so it's fun to see him in action.

The shoot included still photography as well, shot by our very own Zoe Rain. If you're in New York, the print campaign is up around the city.

Look for Jason in this video featuring our friend and amazing dancer and actor Paul Karmiryan...

Look for Jason being pulled on his "chariot" as I call it...

And here's two more spots w/o Jason, I mean, I guess it's probably more normal NOT to have the director in the commercial :)

A video posted by Headspace (mindfulness app) (@headspace) on

Headspace didn't pay me to do this post, personally, I like the app, and totally recommend it. Everyone could use some Headspace in their life right about now!  But mainly, I just like to share what we're working on :)

Top image snapped in the subway by @maximrobin

Friday Roundup

Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all of the men and women who have served our country. And to everyone else, I hope you have a lovely weekend as well. I'm looking forward to celebrating a mama and a soon to be here baby girl at a baby shower, some yoga, and binge watching something good! Red Oaks season 2 just came out, I've also still been meaning to watch The Crown and Good Girls Revolt!

As I've been processing my emotions of this past week, I've been taking a break from politics and social media the last few days so what you'll find here, is a list of happy things free of all of that.

In honor of Veterans Day, a super interesting podcast episode on the Women's Airforce Service Pilots of WWII from Stuff You Missed in History Class, and that's who's pictured above.

Hygge, it's what we all need right now. And what I'm attempting currently, as I'm ushering in the weekend on my couch with my favorite tea and a new candle.

That newborn baby smell...

The craziest place to find a lost wedding ring

Beautiful coastal photos from a drone, so you can pretend you're somewhere sunny.

Really yummy and very easy dinner

The salad I'm making for the baby shower this weekend

Puppies to destress! (You MUST scroll down to see the chihuahua in a tortilla!)

Make yourself a fancy cocktail with The Sweethome's recommendation for barware.

Get yourself some amazing yoga leggings, just for the cost of shipping. (Ok, so this looked like one of those too good to be true things on fb, but I did it, and it took about a month for them to arrive, but I wore them to yoga today and they are AWESOME- and no one paid me to say this.)

In honor of Leonard Cohen, 12 covers of "Hallejuah", one of my all time favorite songs. 

IKEA HACK: Toddler Kitchen

My friend Brooke is super-mom and did the best IKEA hack I've seen in a while to the DUKTIG play kitchen. ISN'T IT ADORABLE??

Here's how she did in case you are motivated (unlike me, I want to buy one from her ;P)

"I just built the bottom part without the upper shelving and spray painted everything with two coats of primer first and then spray painted it all white. I spray painted all of the appliances with the primer as well and then metallic gold kyron spray paint (two coats). 

I then primed and spray pained the upper part with white as well. Used faux wood contact paper for the countertop. Assembled everything and then just hung some Home Depot wallpaper for the backdrop. Printed off a cow photo from Pinterest and called it good!"

Love it, Brooke! Thanks for sharing. 

Something Happy for Election Day

So clearly, I wasn't the only one impacted by the story of the "I Voted" stickers on  Susan B. Anthony's grave. (ICYMI here's what I wrote last week) Her gravestone is  being covered with stickers today!

You can watch a live feed of a huge line of people leaving her stickers.

I love that many people are pointing out that she isn't the only woman who deserves credit for American women earning the right to vote. Slate shouts out out a few other notable women we owe our thanks to today.

Here's a list of other suffragists' graves if you want to find one near you. I do hope they all get some love!

Despite the craziness of this election cycle, it makes me happy that we can look back and see how far we've come in the last 100 years. It gives me hope for the future.

PS. Did you know Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucritia Mott and Alice Paul are ALL going to be honored on the back of the new $10 bill?

Image via A Mighty Girl, photo credit City of Rochester-Mayor's Office 


I filled out my ballot and dropped it in the mail today and I made Jason take iPhone photos of me while I did...the middle photo above is the direct result of him telling me I looked too serious while licking the envelope :).

Thanks to inspiration from Susan B. Anthony, I feel like a well informed voter this year.

You see, this past April, the Washington Post wrote an article about Susan B. Anthony's grave, I encourage you to click the link and read the article (it's not long!).

The gist of the story is this- as way to honor Susan B. Anthony, who fought for women's right to vote for 60 years, women are trekking to her grave in upstate New York for a unique tribute. As Colby Itkowitz writes in the aforementioned Washington Post article:

"They came to say thank you to the woman who paved the way for them to be able to fufill their civic right. They took their "I Voted" sticker and pressed it on the tombstone." 

The Thank You Susan B. Anthony Facebook page explains: 

"Susan B. Anthony never got to see women legally vote. Come show her you did, and say thank you on Election Day at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY." 

When I first read the story earlier this year, it had me almost tearing up. It made me ashamed at how I've treated voting in the past. In Washington State they make it so easy too, everyone votes by mail, which means I don't even have to put pants on to cast my ballot. In general, I do vote, but there have been midterm elections that I've forgotten about and there's usually at least one or two ballot measures that I'm not well versed on at all. A stark contrast to the women of the past who fought long and hard for this right.

The 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote was ratified in 1920, the sweet end of a tireless battle waged by Susan B. Anthony and countless other women. And now, less than 100 years later, I'm embarrassed to admit that one time, I found a ballot in a pile of old mail, months after I should have turned it in. Susan B. Anthony, who dedicated her life to the cause and even ended up in jail for it, never got to vote herself. She died before the 19th amendment was passed. Had she gotten the chance to vote, I'm sure the woman who "appeared before every congress from 1869 to 1906 to ask for passage of a suffrage amendment" would never lose her mail-in ballot in a pile of J.Crew catalogs.

In the quote above, Colby Itkowitz calls voting a "civic right" not a "civic duty", and I think that's an important distinction. I'm humbled that women before me fought long and hard for you and me to have that right and I won't take it for granted again.

PS. I purposely chose to leave my opinion out of my post, because the point of it is to encourage everyone to vote and be informed, and I don't think anyone should be swayed by my personal opinion. But for the sake if posterity, I have to add in "I'm with her!" and am thrilled to be voting in this historic election.