That’s it. I quit. I’m movin’ on.

Quick Read

It has been 4 months since I last posted on this site. I’m not sure what really happened. Lauren went on an adventure that took her out of Seattle. Sophia got a new job and moved to the city. And me? Well nothing happened and I think that was the problem. I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t enjoying work, and I wasn’t really doing anything but getting caught up on my “read 1 book a week” goal.

Although I read some amazing books over the last 4 months, I had a looming date of July 10th, 2015 that was slowly creeping up. This date was the end date of my program for work. This date meant I would have to settle down in one job for the foreseeable future. This scared me.

I started working on my resume and portfolio just in case. I have always dreamed of living in NYC so I applied for a few jobs there. Then I decided for awhile that I would stay at my company, I didn’t want to make any hard decisions. Months went by and I was complacent. I began talking to old professors, old coworkers, new managers, and new coworkers. They all had a different idea of what I should do and I wasn’t excited about any of them. Some said to go travel, saying that this is the only time I would be able to live like that. Others said to not travel because it shows you aren’t serious about having a career. But, am I serious about having a career? Well apparently not, because…

Ladies and gentlemen, I have quit my job. Yes, this is true. I will no longer have my very well paid job in the tech industry after July 10th, 2015.

This means you will probably hear more from me. I am taking off the rest of the month of July, doing some traveling and spending time with family. I’ll talk more about the decision, my plan, and some other things I have up my sleeve in later posts.

— J

I’m going to leave you with this vintage video of Adele, singing my current theme song:

The Year Winter Didn’t Come to Seattle

Quick Read

Every person I know, who doesn’t live on the West Coast, is flooding social media with pictures showing off their winter. Week after week of freezing temperatures, feet of snow, and no end in sight. I posted about the West Coast’s winter, too.

winter5

November: Dusting of snow

That was it. That was all of our winter. One morning, Nov 29th, barely a trace of snow. Since then, it has barely rained, there is no snow in the mountains, and I don’t remember the last time it was below freezing. Oh wait, maybe Nov 29th. We’ve been privy to a different type of winter. One of bright sunshine, low 60 degree weather, and most importantly– we get to enjoy it on the weekends. This weather isn’t odd for any city in California, but we’re in Seattle. The city that everyone thinks it just rains all the time. That is entirely untrue and I have proof.

winter

March: Discovery Park in Seattle

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February: Lake Union from my apartment

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January: View of Mt Rainier and downtown Seattle from the Space Needle

We basically missed winter entirely. The trees and flowers are blooming, people are already experiencing allergies, and we can hike trails without the fear of snow. The old adage we have in Seattle is: Bad Winter, Good Summer. I don’t think we’ve ever had this nice of a winter in my lifetime, so I’m interested to see if the opposite is true. Until then, find me standing outside in the sun! — J

If you like Downton Abbey…

Quick Read, TV

I don’t know about you, but I loved this season of Downton Abbey. Somehow it was even better than last season. But after watching Sunday’s finale, I am already feeling a sense of loss. What am I supposed to watch now?

So I figured, with the end of this season of Downton, other people might have the same question. Lucky for you, I have some suggestions.

Mr. Selfridge

Another PBS Masterpiece series, Mr. Selfridge has 2 seasons out, with season 3 scheduled to start March 29th. This show takes place in London in 1919, the same period as Downton. It begins with American Harry Selfridge opening his first department store in London. The story follows the drama of Harry’s wealthy social circle as well as the lives of his shop employees. (Available on Amazon Prime.)

Call the Midwife

Also on PBS, Call the Midwife is quite possibly my favorite show of the last couple years. It’s had three seasons so far, with season 4 beginning March 29th. The show follows Nurse Jenny Lee, a young woman from a well-to-do family who moves to London’s impoverished East End to become a midwife in 1950. If you like heartwarming (and heartbreaking) stories about women, try this one. (Available on Netflix.)

Bomb Girls

I had never heard of this show when I stumbled upon it on Netflix. Once I got into it I was heartbroken that it only has 3 short seasons because it is so good. It takes place in Canada during WWII and tells the story of the women, from all walks of life, who work in a bomb factory. (Available on Netflix.)

~

Sadly, this list doesn’t help me because I have already watched (and loved) these shows. Now what suggestions do you have for me?

-L

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Advice, Friendship, Gender, Quick Read

After spending the weekend with some old friends, it got me thinking about the fluctuation of friendships.  I grew up singing this folk song at Girl Scout camp and it has always stuck with me.

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old
One is Silver and the Other is Gold

With my quarter life crisis in full swing, my friendships old and new carry a lot of weight these days because we lean on each other for support.  Having just moved to the city, I’ve been spending time with lots of new people and old friends I didn’t see as often when I lived across the water.  It got me thinking how friendships, bonds and connections with people are constantly changing throughout a lifetime.  When we’re young we think friendship is a concrete, forever thing.

I love the portrayal of female friendship on the HBO show Girls.  My friends and I are most definitely their target audience, and they hit the nail on the head with the weird quirks that come with female friendships in their 20’s.  The BBC article below reflects on the importance of female friendships and how they’ve been portrayed in TV and movies of the recent century.

Girls - 2014
(click on picture to read article)

For women, being social is part of our make up.  We feed off of the people around us and are changed and affected by those relationships.

My point being, people come and go, cherish them all the same for what they contribute to your life!

-S

What makes an outfit?

Fashion, Quick Read

I have never been very good at this whole fashion thing. Putting together outfits doesn’t come easily to me.

Until I started paying attention to style a few years ago, I was the girl who wore leggings and a hoodie sweatshirt every day.

Now, even though I put a lot more thought and effort into my outfits than I used to, I still find myself wondering how other women manage to look so darn stylish and put together. Personally, I feel like I’m just wearing clothes… Not necessarily a complete outfit.

So I’ve been trying to figure out the answer to this question: what makes an outfit? And while I’m sure there are dozens of ways to answer that question, if I have learned one thing so far it’s that shoes are a secret weapon. Shoes can take an otherwise average outfit and turn it into something intentional, creative, and complete.

Let’s get some shoes.

What else do you keep in mind when creating an outfit?

-L

Quarter Life Crisis

Awkward Girl, Quick Read

It’s real!  Turning 25 has been looming in my mind.  A quarter of a century old is scary, I’ve just gotten used to being 24.  I think what’s throwing me off is dwelling on all I haven’t done.  So I’ve decided to make a list, because they calm me, of a few things I would like to accomplish this year and a few things I already have!  And really, get to it, because I don’t want life to pass me by while I sit passively and end up being 30 and unfulfilled.

1. Euro-trip with a best friend

2. Join a book club download

3. Move to Seattle download

4. Make new friends

5. Go to Lake Chelan

6. Get second tattoo

7. Admit shopping addiction

8. Visit faraway friends

9. See more live music

10. Get involved in community

What else should I add to my list?  What have you done and/or would like to do this year?  And how are you other quarter century olds coping!?

-S

Superbowl Aftermath in Seattle

Quick Read, Sports

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This post is coming later than most because Seattle has gone into a great depression after last night’s game. Our adrenaline was pumping until that last fateful play. The energy was high– then a few choice curse words were shouted– and then an intense lull with some die-hard fans shedding a few tears. This is in contrast to last year where (mostly) peaceful celebrating happened in the streets well until the night. You couldn’t have asked for a better match up after last year’s lackluster game. However, with a city sporting so much Seahawks pride, we had a lot to lose. I was in the center of it all in a neighborhood of Seattle near Century Link stadium called Pioneer Square. We found ourselves at a sports bar by a fire in their outdoor area watching with throngs of people. News outlets were in our faces all day– waiting for our reactions. Unfortunately, they probably got what they needed. Now on to the next season and hopefully Seattle will find something else exciting to rally behind!

superbowl

The Perks of Moonlighting

Dance, Fitness/Health, Quick Read, Tech Industry, Workplace

For someone in the tech industry, I have a very rare moonlighting gig. After a 40 hour week, I moonlight as a dance teacher at a studio about 30 minutes outside of Seattle. I teach little munchkins how to do plies, shuffles, and cartwheels. I choreograph jazz, lyrical, and musical theater dances for the competition team. I only officially teach one evening a week, but I sub for other teachers, help at the recitals and picture-days, and cheer on our team at competitions throughout the year. 969668_10151447406541087_657398746_n Some people think I’m crazy and my friends complain that I’m never free. But after five years of teaching on the side of school or work, I can’t imagine ever giving it up. I want nothing more than to be dancing around a large room after a day of sitting at a desk. I get to laugh at my students who are five and try to tell me the most ridiculous stories. I don’t have to use my brain, my body just knows what to do. What’s even better, I get to share my love of dance with a whole new generation. Moonlighting allows you to do what you love, but not necessarily make a career out of it. Not every employer supports it, but if yours does, see if you can fit it in to your busy schedule! — J 1614231_10152041678261087_4325678024252608073_o Quick shout out: Last weekend my studio competed at Rainbow Dance Competition in Seattle. One of our routines was chosen to be a part of the Video of the Year competition. Whoever gets the most likes on the video posted to their Facebook page, wins a promo video for the studio. If you would like to support us, please click here and like the video “Let’s Go Crazy!” So proud of our young dancers!

Seahawks Pride v. What’s Really Important

Books, Essay, Politics, Quick Read

10366158_10205399689098233_3634203972510044849_n v. NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks

On the morning of the big playoff game this past Sunday I was sitting with my friend Jenessa, who is a music teacher, and my mother, who is the executive director of a non-profit that supports people with disabilites, discussing the Seahawks and money.

Jenessa was venting about not having enough funding to rent school buses to get her kids from their school to the local elementary school to put on a concert.  A major factor in running a non-profit is also wrangling funding.  The Seahawks however, are raking in the dough and the support of the entire city and beyond to much of the state.

It took me a while to realize, but it is really spectacular to see a city united in their support of something.  On the other hand, I wish we could all come together to support organizations in our community that make a long term, positive difference in peoples lives.  The back bone of a productive economy is education, and there are classrooms that lack the essential tools to be productive.

It’s hard to level the playing field between garnering support for teachers versus sports stars, because teachers don’t fill big arenas and attract the popularity and with it the merchandising that a sports team does.  But why not?  Most of us have gone through the educational system…and the better educated our society, the more success we will have as a whole.  I just can’t wrap my brain around the disparity sometimes.

One particular book helped me see education in this light, and that is Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn.  It inspired my passionate and absolute support of education from the bottom up.  Everyone should read this book!

Just to further my point, one of the trademark attorneys at my office sent this article around this morning.  Unbeknownst to most of Seattle, the Seahawks have been aggressively trying to cash in on many of the phrases associated with the Seahawks and Seahawks fans.  Trying to trademark the “12th Man” and the word “Boom” in order to make even MORE money.

This is not to say that people should stop spending money on their beloved Seahawks merchandise, but rather that maybe some of that passion and support could be redirected towards education in our community.

What is your take on this subject?  I’d love to hear any and all opinions.

-S

Weekend Wanderings

Food, Quick Read, Reviews, Travel

2015-01-11 14.07.282015-01-11 14.05.28IMG_46852015-01-11 15.00.242015-01-11 15.04.592015-01-11 15.03.16

12 hours in Ellensburg:

First Stop – Oyama Sushi.  Yes, I know it is odd to eat Sushi inland, but I promise it was excellent and fresh.

Second – Umtanum Falls.  A very easy stroll, except for the ice, that leads you to the rocky outcrop on top of a falls.  We decided to make our stroll more fun with a wager, that the last person to slip and fall buys the other two the first beer.  Luckily and not so luckily, I was the first to go down.

Most Favorite – Iron Horse Pub.  Local beer with an attitude.  Their slogan is, “You’re Welcome”.  With a double IPA called Double Rainbow, a stout appropriately named Irish Death and their signature hefeweizen, High Five Hef, you’re bound to fall for their sassy charm and excellent craft beer.

Last but not least – Valley Cafe for dessert and espresso.  Known for their key lime pie, chocolate ganache and creme brulee. There’s no better service in town 😉

Two great coffee shops in town are D&M Espresso and Koletty’s Coffee.  I love D&M for their home made soups and pastries and from the suggestion of a friend, Koletty’s white coffee is a must try.

Ellensburg is frequently visited by road trippers on their way to the Gorge over the summer and is a good middle point to stop for a break on the way to Idaho.  Hopefully these suggestions will come in handy!  Happy adventuring to all.

-S