Thursday, September 26, 2013

Off to New Orleans!

Today I'm heading to New Orleans for my dear friend Julie's 40th birthday celebration. It's been years since I visited this amazing city, pre Katrina. I'm anxiously anticipating my return to this artful, colorful, soulful place. All of my senses are ready to take in the kaleidoscope of color and sensation that is so unique to NOLA. And I'm excited to see the city through the eyes of a friend who calls it her "happy place." I'm sure I'll be snapping lots of photos to share with you upon my return. 

Do you have favorite spots in New Orleans? Do tell!

Photo: Polyvore

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Amazing Obliteride!

Hi friends, I can't believe it's been almost seven weeks since Obliteride. Many people have been asking me how Obliteride was. In a word: AMAZING.

As I think about my friend Scott (pictured above second from left), who is in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center today for scans and a meeting with his oncologist tomorrow, I'm reminded of the HOPE I felt during Obliteride weekend. Hope that Scott will be cured. Hope that the news this week will be good. Hope that there is a new treatment that will increase Scott's chances at beating cancer. Scott wrote me a couple of days ago saying "Good news will come in the form of us feeling good about the next type of treatment." It brought me right back to why I feel so strongly about the work I do with Fred Hutch and Obliteride and why funding for research is so important.

Hope. Celebration. Energizing. Community. Connection. Commitment. Accomplishment. Fun. Smiles.

These are the words that sum up the inaugural Obliteride weekend for me. There were so many magical moments during Obliteride. Here I share some of my favorites.

Michael Franti & Spearhead kicked off the weekend with an amazing concert at Gas Works Park. And what a celebration it was. It was one of the most energetic and fun concerts I've ever seen. If you haven't experienced Michael Franti live, I highly recommend it. He's AMAZING! (Or check him out on YouTube for a quick pick-me-up.)

This tribute wall sums it up. Everyone is touched by cancer. And everyone who did Obliteride had a real reason for riding. A mother. A friend. A grandmother. An uncle. A child. Too many reasons.... Every time I look at this, I get a bit choked up.

Seeing all of the riders lined up at the start line on Saturday morning was very touching too. The energy and excitement were palpable. Everyone was there with the same goal: to end cancer.


At Obliteride, everyone was connected. Connected through cancer. Scott's wife, Heather, and I wear our matching green rings in solidarity in the fight against cancer. (More on our special rings in a later post.) They are constant reminders of hope and positive energy, and a connection we share.
Good friends from different parts of our life participated in Obliteride and it was so wonderful to connect with them over the weekend. Below is my husband, Geoff, with our dear friends Joel and Liz (a cancer survivor) at the finish line.

I am so proud of Geoff for committing to Obliteride and raising a ton of money in honor of several friends and family members who have battled cancer. He doesn't like to ask for help, especially in the form of money. But he overcame this because he believes so strongly in the cause. Geoff's company's team (pictured below) was the largest team for Obliteride this year with 90+ people raising more than $115,000. That's commitment!

There were miles and miles of smiles during Obliteride. Literally from start to finish, the smiles were contagious. Riders and their supporters alike couldn't stop smiling. I think it was because people felt good about doing something so positive to fight cancer. Here's a picture of Sofia with Scott and Heather's son, Chance. I smile every time I look at it!
Research = Hope.

Scott is holding out hope for new treatments to save his life. I'm holding out hope that research is happening fast enough to keep up with Scott's cancer progression. There are amazing discoveries being made in research labs every day, but more funding is needed.

I'm still raising money until next Tuesday, October 1, for Obliteride to help Fred Hutch accelerate lifesaving research. 100% of every dollar you give goes directly to research.

If you'd like to give, please consider joining me and donating online through my personal fundraising page. Thank you so much! And thank you to everyone who has already donated and supported me on this journey! 

Together we can obliterate cancer!

P.S. Mark your calendar now for next year's Obliteride: August 10, 2014. What do you think, are you in?!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Playing with Flowers!


One of my favorite things about entertaining (besides seeing friends) is flowers. The more color the better. Surprise, surprise!

Yesterday morning, I went to Pike Place Market to select just the right flowers for a little cocktail party I hosted last night. I truly love the process of strolling by every flower vendor to check out the selection before making my purchases.

The market was decked out in sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias yesterday and lots of color!

I couldn't wait to get home to "play" with my flowers! I brought home several bundles. I love re-arranging them, selecting the perfect display vessels (which aren't always vases) and scattering them around my house.

I had so much fun selecting these dahlias specifically for each of these vases.

And I love this sunflower zinnia combo.

One of my favorite "vases" is a Deruta Italian pitcher. It's great on my kitchen counter, and a bit unexpected.

I also love displaying blooms in glassybaby, alongside the above pitcher.

Even though I love color, I'm pretty taken with this white dahlia. Isn't it fabulous?!

What's your favorite thing about throwing a party?!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Botanical Exotica

I love orchids. I almost always have an orchid plant in my home. They are absolutely beautiful, often colorful and always calming.

When I found out about the Botanical Exotica exhibit at The Conservatory at Volunteer Park this summer I couldn't wait to check it out. And I'm glad I didn't wait too long because the exhibit was supposed to run through September, but, according to The Conservatory’s website, it “has been removed early by the artist in preparation for moving to a new exhibit in Michigan.” They regret any inconvenience for those who may have missed seeing it. I, too, regret if you missed seeing it, but hope the pictures below will help you understand the essence of this fabulous exhibit.

Master glass artist Jason Gamrath created gigantic orchids and other rare and exotic botanicals that were displayed throughout The Conservatory alongside live plants. I walked through the exhibit a few times and each time I noticed more exotic, larger-than-life blooms.

I am not exaggerating when I say they were HUGE! In the collage above, I tried to show the scale. The photo on the bottom left is a real orchid and the large one on the right is one of Gamrath’s glass creations. I was only shooting with my iPhone so it was hard to truly capture the scale. I found these pics that do a better job of showing the enormity, I think.

Here are some of my favorite orchids from the exhibit...


And a few of those rare and exotic botanicals I mentioned...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Busy Bee!

We've had an amazing summer in Seattle. One of the signs that our glorious summer is coming to an end is the dahlias at Volunteer Park. I've written about them before (here and here) but wanted to share these colorful blooms with you. I walked up to the park on North Capitol Hill yesterday specifically to see the dahlias before they are "done." The bees were still buzzing about, lapping up the last bit of nectar. These beautiful blooms pack a lot of punch, and are a feast for the eyes, and the bees!   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Color Me Back to School!


Hi friends,

Happy "back to school" week! Whether or not you are sending little (or big) kids off to school, this week feels like a time of transition. It almost feels like New Year's to me. I'm full of anticipation for what lies ahead for me personally and professionally as I have a bit more time for "me." I'm also excited for all that lies ahead for Sofia as she starts 1st grade! I'm talking to potential new clients and renewing a partnership with a current one (that I love) for the coming year, and also looking at a few classes and ways to continue to find balance in my life. It feels good!

I posted the below picture of Sofia and me on her first day of school yesterday on Facebook and a friend commented: "You both look at ease

At the last minute yesterday, Geoff decided to walk to school with us. These milestones are worth being late to work for, for sure!

And she's off! Sofia is so excited and full of anticipation for the new school year!