Sunday, September 27, 2015


Hi friends,
While on a run yesterday through the trails of Interlaken Park, I had an epiphany: IT'S TIME TO HEAL!
My friend Scott lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 30, 2014 after being diangosed with Stage 4 colon cancer just one year before that. 
I've spent the last 2.5 years time being shocked, mad, extremely sad and confused about WHY this happened to him, to me, to his family and friends. 
I've mourned, I've cried, I've done a lot of self help, and now I'm ready to HEAL! I know that is what Scott would want.
To celebrate this next chapter, I've decided to participate in the first-ever charity climb at the Space Needle. I'm so excited! 
Please join me by donating or climbing with me on Saturday, Oct. 3. It's going to be a blast!
If 10 people make a donation of $25, I will reach my goal!
If you can't make a donation at this point, please help me reach my goal by sharing my fundraising page on Facebook and Twitter. (
Thanks so much for your generosity!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Marsala: 2015 Color of the Year

I know I'm late to the party but I'm finally embracing Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year: Marsala -- and I'm obsessed with it!

Maybe because it's officially fall and this warm, rich, sexy color is everywhere!
My color guru Leatrice Eiseman who leads the team that chooses the Color of the Year for Pantone says:
"Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability. Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth."
Ooh, now I see why I've fallen so hard for it!

Whether you wear it out on the town,

 Or running around town,
Or splashing in the rain,
Or over your shoulder,
it is the IT color of the season!
I treated myself to these "back to school/work" shoes and I love them!
I'm also thinking of adding a Marsala mug to my collection,
And trying Sephora's Marsala lipstick for a pop of color!


My friend and stylist, Megan Kophs of StyleRemix, says "Marsala pretty much looks great with all neutrals, and I love, love, love it with navy and grey." In her blog post she shares some ways to wear it. 

She says "If you are ready to fully embrace the Color of the Year, a colored denim pant, a sweater, or a wool coat will be a great addition to your upcoming fall wardrobe. Pair it with opposite colors such as teal, navy, green, and blue as well as neutral colors like ivory, blush, copper, and grey."
Another amazingly talented friend, Glacier Kingsford-Smith, owner of Plenty and one of the my fashion-forward people I know, says one of the favorite things about Marsala is "it's a really universal color that almost any skin shade can wear, yet it's still bold."

Glacier suggests mixing it up with mustard or a blush, coraly pink or even mint or light blue for something that's unexpected and fun. 

She says it's a "killer color for accessories, shoes and bags, kind a neutral bold so it's a great investment color."

Check out my Pinterest board for more Marsala inspiration!

In my next post I'll be sharing Marsala inspiration for interiors from one of my favorite interior designers!

So, what do you think of Marsala? Have you fallen for it or are you still warming up to it?



Thursday, September 17, 2015


grat·i·tude (noun)

Gratitude has become somewhat of a buzzword, but I think there's nothing better than focusing on all the things we have to be thankful for.

There's nothing I love more than writing and receiving thank you notes. It gives me a buzz!

There's lots of research to show that practicing gratitude makes you happier. And there are gobs of tips and tricks, books, etc. for how to practice gratitude.

We have so many things to be thankful for. Today I am especially grateful that school finally started this morning!

One of the gratitude practices I've found most effective is this short video that I do while my tea is steeping each morning. For one minute, I say thank you over and over while thinking about all of the things I am thankful for - flooding my body with the attitude of gratitude. It's a great way to get your body moving, the blood flowing and to think about all the things you are grateful for. Give it a try. I hope you like it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Island Living

Geoff and I popped over to Vashon Island this past weekend for our 18th anniversary celebration. Just a short ferry ride away, Vashon feels like a world away.

We started off with a stroll through the farmers market where I contributed to a paint-by-number community art project, which was a lot of fun. We chatted with vendors and bought some tasty treats to bring home!

Then we strolled through darling downtown Vashon and enjoyed burgers at a funky little place called Zombiez.

These fabulous and colorful blooms drew us into Herban Bloom - a charming little flower and gift shop.

Next, week jumped on our bikes and went on a fun ride around the very hill island! Our prize at the end was treats at the historic Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie - the home of the original Stewart Brothers Coffee which eventually became Seattle's Best Coffee. I had the most delicious lavender iced latte! I'm still dreaming about it.

At the top of one of the hills I spotted this darling mailbox - so Vashon!!

Then we checked into our wonderful accommodations at The Lodges on Vashon. Recently opened a few blocks from the center of town, The Lodges are "where modern meets Mother Nature." Each of the 16 lodges was fabricated off the island. They are cool, efficient, modern- day mobile homes! We enjoyed the spacious and well-appointed accommodations and beautiful grounds immensely!

For happy hour, we enjoyed a glass of rosé with new friends we just met in this fabulous outdoor community space.

To cap off our wonderful day, we ate at the highly-acclaimed May Kitchen + Bar. Several friends had recommended it and one friend even claims it is the "BEST Thai food I have had outside of Thailand." I haven't been to Thailand but it's definitely the BEST Thai food I've ever had. Even more, the entire experience was absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed fabulous cocktails (I had the Rickshaw) and had a very engaging server. The 150-year-old wood paneling was imported from Thailand. It was perfect!


Here are recommendations from a friend who summers on Vashon. We couldn't fit them all into our 24-hour excursion but we hope to return soon for some more island living!

-The farmers market (right in the center of town when you drive in)

-Vashon Bakery (right across from the farmers market)

-Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie (So old school and awesome. Right on Vashon Highway and Cemetery Road.)

-Take out a paddle board on Quarter Master Harbor (Fat Cat Rentals)

-Lavender Farm in Burton- "u cut"- usually open on Saturdays

-Go to the Point Robinson light house- lovely and fun to have a picnic there

-Lunch: Zombie's super yummy and Zamorana (across the street- right in town) has the best fish tacos ever

-Big ass cookies from Snap Dragon (also in town)

-May Thai (Only open for dinner. Book your reservation online in advance - it's very popular.)

-KVI beach

-Manzanita Beach- many, many, many sand dollars

-Rent kayaks from Vashon Kayaking near Burton Peninsula

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Virtues of the Linum Perenne

On this day 18 years ago, I married my best friend, my soul mate, my G, on the shores of Lake Tahoe - our paradise!

Our dear friends Steve and Glacier, inspired by the beautiful Linum perenne, shared these important lessons on marriage at our wedding. They are as relevant today - maybe even more so - as they were 18 years ago. 

The Virtues of the Linum Perenne

Biologists, botanists and naturalists alike refer to this surrounding forest system as the Sierran Montane. However, growing up here, Geoff and Bjorn probably only knew it as the mystical place where snow fell deep during winter ski season and the trails ran without end in the summer. One of the richest and most diverse temperate forest ecosystems in the world, the Sierran Montane stretches in pockets from the California-Oregon border to the north, down to Baja Below us. 

Amidst all the conifers that grow abundantly in this range, down on the soft mat of the forest floor blooms a spectacular wildflower, the Linum perenne, or perhaps more commonly known as the western blue flax. Radiating in deep shades of lavender, this delicate blue flower by its example instructs us in several important lessons for the special marriage we gather to initiate today.

Lesson #1

Subject to long, dry summers, the Linum perenne pushes its roots deep into the ground to tap the lingering water from the winter's snow melt. In this manner, we know that Geoff and Amy will grow and drive their roots of commitment deeper to withstand the drought brought by the challenges of modern life. 

Lesson #2

Long summers allow the Linum perenne to enjoy a long growing season, taking advantage of the abundant sunshine to bloom and grow. So too a healthy marriage must have long growing seasons in which to cultivate communication, trust, intimacy and interdependence. 

Lesson #3

On the hottest, driest days of summer, a carelessly disposed cigarette, a camper's fire, or lightening from a passing thunderstorm might spark brush and forest fires which can rage through these lands quickly and destructively. 

In our lives, we have our own brush fires which can descend on us without warning. Solemnly, we must anticipate that crises will erupt in our lives unexpectedly. The Linum perenne is prepared for such trials. It stores a wealth of nutrients and water deep in its roots so as to quickly re-sprout after fire sweeps through the forest. In times of trial, we should confide in and draw strength from no person more that our mate. 

Lesson #4

When in bloom, the Linum perenne radiates and shines in a spectacular fashion, advertising its glory to all fortunate to be near. As husband and wife, if the love that you pledge to each other this day continues to be nourished, your marriage will shine and glow, inspiring and refreshing those who you touch. 

-Steve and Glacier Kingsford-Smith, Sept. 6, 1997

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Showing Their True Colors

I can't believe it's time for my annual dahlia post already. The dahlia gardens in Volunteer Park are bursting with color - earlier than usual this year - and I captured a few of my favorites today.

My color guru Leatrice Eiseman suggests looking to nature for the perfect color combos for any application. After all she says "Nature doesn't lie when it comes to color." Isn't that the truth? These combos exist in nature - what could be more perfect than that?  

Here are my favorites. Enjoy. 






Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Color Your Way to Calm

I loved the headline of a story I read in the paper on Sunday so much that I borrowed it for my blog title. When I went looking for the article online, they'd changed the title, which I don't think is as catchy. But I think the topic is fun and timely considering we had friends over for a mother-daughter date on Friday afternoon to play with color. We pulled out all of our art supplies and my friend Lisa immediately gravitated to a wonderful coloring book that my father-in-law (one of my biggest blog fans!) had recently given Sofia.

The Secret Garden coloring book was featured in the article I read about the calming benefits of coloring. It's not just child's play any more. Adult coloring books are gaining in popularity and are actually quiet trendy right now (as the title of the online version of the story indicates.)

Lisa chose this beautiful peacock picture to color along with a fabulous color palette. As soon as she put pen to paper she said to me "This is so relaxing."

I started out painting simple swirls in a calming color palette inspired by the hydrangeas in my garden - photo above. Like Lisa, I immediately felt relaxed. Then I colored a page in Sofia's coloring book - with fun, bright colors. The author of the article suggests just using a few colors - so you don't have the "stress" of deciding which colors to use - for an even more calming effect. I think I will try that next time.
Here's another adult coloring book that's mentioned in the article. I think I might have to order it so I have my own coloring book! I think I'm becoming crazed about this great new trend!

The girls collaborated on an art project as well - selecting and mixing colors and then pressing flowers from our garden onto paper. So sweet!

Here are a few more adult coloring books that another article I found recommends.

  • "Art Nouveau Postcard Colouring Book"
  • "Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Colouring Book"
  • "Hemingwasted Coloring Book: A Loving Look at Literary Lushes"
  • "Mexican Patterns to Color"

The great thing about coloring books is you don't have to be a "real artist" to create a beautiful piece of art. And the calming benefits can't be understated.

So put your phone and other distractions aside and grab a coloring book and your favorite pens, crayons or colored pencils and you'll be transported away from your day-to-day responsibilities and stresses. It's pretty great!

When was the last time you colored?