Monday, October 9, 2017

Les Couleurs de Tahiti


Imagine an island far, far away in the South Pacific where the water is striped with three shades of blue – light aqua, deep turquoise and cobalt, where French is the spoken language, the food is exquisite, the hospitality is unmatched, the scent of gardenias wafts through the warm air—and there are fire dancers!!

This is Tahiti – 118 islands that make up French Polynesia. It is the most incredibly beautiful and colorful place I have ever visited.

It’s Hawaii on steroids (times 1000!) and you feel like you’re in Europe, surrounded mostly by French and Italian honeymooners, and a few “others” like us celebrating other milestones. In our case, our 20th anniversary.

There is literally no stress once you get there (after a 20-hour journey from Seattle), save for deciding what kind of tropical cocktail you will order for lunch, happy hour and dinner!

We’ve been back a week and I can’t get Tahiti off my mind. It was definitely a dream vacation and a place we’d love to visit again when we have another significant milestone to celebrate!

For now, I hope you enjoy the beauty and colors of this truly special part of our planet.


BORA BORA


Our first views upon arriving in Bora Bora. From the airplane. Absolutely breathtaking. 




This is the most charming airport I've ever been to. We hopped in a boat that took us to our resort on a private island off of Bora Bora. 







This is our overwater bungalow. Soooo dreamy!








The glass topped coffee table provided a view of the water and loads of tropical fish.



And the perfect setting for happy hour and cribbage every night!


I took my favorite "skinny dip" glassybaby which matched my toes and the water beautifully! 


We loved the local Polynesian culture. I took a class to learn how to make this bracelet out of Tahitian gardenias. It smelled divine! All of the women wear crowns of flowers like this in their hair. So beautiful. 



Look at those smiles! Such happy, lovely people!



The housekeepers wore colorful outfits, rode bikes and always had big smiles on their faces, which made me smile every time I saw them! 


There were gorgeous flowers everywhere. These purple lillies reminded me of Monet's garden. 






The pool was lit a gorgeous blue at night! 



From the whitest beaches to the bluest waters, Bora Bora was absolutely gorgeous! 






LE TAHA'A


After five amazing days on Bora Bora, we took a boat and a plane and another boat to our second resort, a private island resort between Taha'a and Bora Bora. In a word, it was incredible!





Did I mention the food was INCREDIBLE?! Fresh fish with a side of French! This was our lunch at the pool one day. That evening we had an incredible dinner of more sashimi and Mahi Mahi. I proclaimed it was my "best food day ever!"



Cocktails served in coconuts and adorned with gardenias - yes please! 



And here's the fire dancer!




Until next time...I'm trying to hold onto island culture a bit. It's absolutely magical.






Cheers to 20 years and many more!!


If you ever have the chance to go to Tahiti - GO!




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Envisioning Summer

 Amy's board

Summer is finally here! Sofia finished school last week (finally!) and one of our first activities was to make vision boards to get clear on our "hopes and dreams" for this beautiful season.

If you haven't made a vision board before, it's a really fun and cathartic activity, to do alone or with others.

Start with a clean slate - ala poster board in a fun color, a stack of magazines, scissors and a glue stick.

Then breeze through the magazines tearing out images and words that resonate with you. Don't overthink it. Just start tearing and collecting.

The next step is to edit. Go back through your chosen images and select the ones you want for your board. Don't worry that there will be a recycle pile of images you don't use. Or you can use them on the back, like I did on mine (see below).

Then start cutting and arranging and gluing. Voila - you'll have a masterpiece in no time!


In this day and age of digital information overload, it's really fun and therapeutic to go analogue! 

Sofia's board

What do you envision for your summer?


Body Kindness Vision Board

I've been telling everyone and anyone who will listen about my new favorite book, Body Kindness. It's so much more than a book - it's a concept and a movement that I'm really excited about! (More on that later.) For now, here is the back side of my vision board focused on Body Kindness.  I encourage you to check it out here.



Finally, you might be curious about how to use your vision board. Sofia's is on display in her room, and I use mine when I meditate. This morning after meditating I was inspired to write the following poem. Can any relate?


Body Kindness Bathing Suit Body

I am already there!

Why do I care?

No one else cares

No one will stare

Be good to my body, heart, soul and mind

Because all that really matters is that I am KIND.

Take care of myself first, love myself hard, beach ready body isn’t that hard.

It’s all in my head, really, who cares?

Give up on perfection

Feel good, breathe, be free!

Free from guilt, judgement and shame

Fill up with love and acceptance—change the game!

Healthy and happy, kinder, gentler to ALL!

I AM STRONG!

I AM LOVED!

I HAVE IT ALL!



Thursday, May 11, 2017

To India, With Gratitude


This post is long overdue. We visited India a year-and-a-half ago. Not a day goes by that I don't think of that trip. It was amazing and intense on so many levels.

But life gets busy and goes on.

A couple of days ago I came across some notes I'd jotted down for this post. Yesterday, I talked to my dear friend Heather, who just returned from a medical mission trip to India and Nepal. She commented on how much we have to be grateful for here in the U.S. She mentioned clean air. I had an AHA moment, I need to publish this post. Clean air was the number one thing I missed while in India.

So here goes. Thank you, India, for helping me fully appreciate: 

1. Clean air

2. Clean water that we can drink right out of the tap

3. Fresh, organic produce

4. Personal space - there are SO many people in India, and your personal space is constantly invaded

5. Traffic patterns/lanes - this might sound crazy because we complain so much about the traffic in Seattle, but the traffic in India is CRAZY. Sometimes, I'm not sure how we survived it.

6. Garbage collection - seems mundane but in the absence of garbage collection, life is messy!

I am so grateful for our opportunity to visit India. It's interesting how travel helps us grow, opens our hearts and minds, and sometimes helps us realize we have it pretty good!


Friday, April 28, 2017

Practice Aloha

  

Aloha friends!

We were in Maui for spring break a couple of weeks ago and it was AMAZING! The sun, surf and family time were good for my soul.

My favorite souvenir I brought back with me is the principle of Aloha.

Who knew Aloha had such a deep meaning? It's such a common greeting in Hawaii. I wasn't sure if it meant hello, goodbye or thank you.

As it turns out, Aloha is a deeply spiritual principle that conveys the deepest expression of one's relationship with oneself, the creative and life-giving forces, one's family and community, and with one's friends and strangers.

The principles of Aloha are things I strive to nurture and practice in my own life. They can only make me a better person, and society in general could certainly benefit from Practicing Aloha. 




I'm a visual person so putting the principles of Aloha into pictures helps me remember them. I hope these inspire you to Practice Aloha too!

GRACE



HARMONY



GENTLE/PLEASANTNESS


MODESTY


PATIENCE/PERSEVERANCE



Few sports require the patience, harmony and perseverance that surfing does. No wonder surfing is the national sport of Hawaii.


Cheers and happy Friday friends.

Go get some Aloha!

xo,

Amy






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Marimekko, With Love

 

 "There is only one responsibility - beauty.
There is only one reality - a dream.
There is only one strength - love."

-marimekko founder, Armi Ratia 


If you are a child of the 70s like me, you probably remember Marimekko! If not by name, you'll likely remember the large, colorful, graphical, flower prints that adorned dresses, bedspreads and living room walls.

I was so excited when I heard the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle was hosting the Marimekko, With Love exhibit.

This exhibit really got my juices flowing because it's colorful and I love Scandinavian design and sensibility. Plus it made me nostalgic for my childhood where large yellow Marimekko blooms adorned our home.



 "I don't really sell clothes. I sell a way of living.
These are designs, not fashions.... I sell an idea rather than a dress."

-marimekko founder, Armi Ratia 




Marimekko, With Love offers a retrospective look at the company's mid-century origins and the role Marimekko played in shaping a new aesthetic and approach to living through fashion and design.

The exhibition draws together landmark Marimekko fabrics and fashions created by pioneering designers under Armi Ratia's leadership from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Furthermore, Marimekko played a vital role in the modernization of Finland and the transformation of 20th century design, embodying social change and a business model within which the ideological and aesthetic choices were primary. 

If you have a chance to see Marimekko, With Love I highly recommend it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Life is...



Dear readers,

Two things I have to share with you today...

First thing this morning, I walked over to the UW campus (my alma mater) to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in the Quad. I was a bit overcome with nostalgia remembering my college days on this amazing campus. So I had to share the above photo.

Then I came across this passage from the wise one - Mother Teresa. It is too good not to share.

.......................................................................................................................................................

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is a beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is costly, care for it.

Life is wealth, keep it.


Life is love, enjoy it.

Life is mystery, know it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.

.......................................................................................................................................................

Thank you Mother Teresa for these beautiful words.

Life is truly what you make it.

xoxo,
Amy


Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!


For everything there is a season....


Spring is my favorite season! It's a time of re-newal, re-birth and re-vitalization.

It reminds us of the natural rhythms of life and to:

BREATHE

TRUST

BE

It shows us that BEAUTY is everywhere.

It reminds us to notice what sparks joy and to stop and smell the hyacinth.

Happy spring friends!

xoxo,

Amy