Photo Diary: Up North

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TAKE ME BACK to the weekend please! A weekend filled with kayaking in northern Michigan, hanging out with puppies, playing outside and basking in the sun(flowers).

Sometimes I forget just how magnificent the state of Michigan really is and then I breathe in that fresher than fresh air and it all comes together.

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Christopher and I took our Oru Kayaks out to East Traverse Bay and paddled in the most crystal clear water I’ve seen since visiting Honduras years ago.

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We spent the weekend with my dad and his wife. During that time we got to enjoy hanging out with his pups and they made us the best food making us feel extremely welcome.

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We made sure to get in a round of disc golf…

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and then we got to experience the beauty of a field of sunflowers in full bloom. Summer really treated us beautifully.

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JUNE FAVORITES

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Here we go again! Almost half way through the month of July and I just now got to this post. Opps! June was a beautiful month full of celebrating and long weekends away from home. I wish I could relive June over and over and over again. It really is my favorite month of the year. Here’s what made it great this year:

TOP LEFT - Belly Dancing
One of my best friends from high school is getting married next Saturday and during her bachelorette party our group took a belly dancing class at Belly Dance Grand Rapids. I had taken belly dance classes in high school so I was pretty pumped to get back into it. I remember really enjoying the music and the outfits. The dance moves felt very empowering and it was a phenomenal work out. That whole weekend was a blast, but for me, that activity was the highlight because this girl LOVES to dance.

TOP RIGHT – 2 year anniversary
On June 9, Christopher and I celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary! It was our ‘cotton anniversary’ so we exchanged t-shirts, mine was a Moosejaw Pancake Club t-shirt and I got Christopher a couple Michigan Beer shirts. Later in the week, we had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Webster’s Prime. Christopher had the 28 day dry aged beef and I had the fish feature. We had amazing service and the food was perfect.

We always joke with each other that it feels like we’ve been married for 20 years, not just 2. At the same time, it feels like it was just yesterday when we were hard at work planning the wedding. I feel so lucky to be married to a man that is also my favorite human.

BOTTOM LEFT – Adobe workshop
Towards the end of the month, my co-workers Ashely and Chris and I hopped in a car and drove to the South Haven Yacht Club. We attended an Adobe Creative Cloud workshop hosted by one of our print vendors, Superior Colour Graphics. During the presentation we learned all about what we have to look forward to when our company updates our design software. The fed us breakfast and lunch and we had a great time hanging out away from the office, which every one should do from time to time. The best part of that day? I won a door prize from the drawing they held, $50 in Starbucks gift cards! Starbucks usually isn’t my go-to coffee but for the price of FREE, it is now :)

BOTTOM RIGHT – Comfortable heels
As I said earlier, my good friend from high school is getting married next Saturday annnnd I’m one of her bridesmaids! We had taken care of the matter of what dress we were going to wear months ago, but during her shower I got the info on what shoes to shop for and it was nude patent leather heels. Now, I do not typically wear heels because OUCH! But none the less, heels had to be found. I was preparing myself to either; spend lots of money on comfortable heels OR spend almost nothing and just pack extra band-aids.

Before I did that, I asked my co-worker Ashley what shoes she had because she basically owned what a I needed to have AND she wears them semi-regularly to work, which I took as a good sign of quality. She said Payless Comfort Plus and I thought I would give it a whirl. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical at first, because how nice could they be if they aren’t loads of money? When I tried them on I was SO shocked. I found my size in a wide and my feet felt fantastic! I’ve worn them to a baptism and to a wedding since purchasing them and they’re little rock stars! They have memory foam in the foot bed and, I don’t know, magic everywhere else? I can’t even believe I’m saying that I really like this pair of heels. I’d wear them again and again. Best part is they were only $20! So that means I basically got what I didn’t think existed, comfortable heels at a great price.

The drawing above is part of my new series I’m posting to Instagram called #100daysofdoodles. I’ll be making little drawings every day for 100 days and sharing them too. For me, this is an exercise to encourage myself to spend more time in my sketchbook, a practice that I love but has been rather neglected in recent months. Check in with me if you want to see more!

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Greetings from the Kitchen

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This was a 100% travel free and 100% commitment free weekend so I took advantage of this by getting some produce and hitting the kitchen by trying a few new recipes as well as an old favorite… banana bread.

On a whim last week, I grabbed some garlic scapes because I had never seen them before. This part of the garlic plant is the stalk that appears about a month after the plant starts growing. The stalk is cut off so the rest bulb can grow more successfully. Typically they are put in compost, but they can also be eaten and have a great garlic flavor. I did a little digging on Pinterest I found a recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto pasta with avocado that sounded like a lot of fun. I’ve never made pesto before so after picking up the rest of the supplies I needed on Saturday morning I began the cooking whirl wind.

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While getting the pesto ready I also whipped up some strawberry freezer jam. Never made this before either, but I am pretty pumped to have Michigan strawberries in a new form later in the season long after they’re gone. It’s kind of like time travel with food.

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One substitution I made in my pesto making was I using pistachios instead of pine nuts. I already had pistachios in my pantry and pine nuts are a small fortune.

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pre-pesto. pre-chop.

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And the verdict? Delicious! Christopher and I gobbled it up pretty darn quickly.

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And finally, during my lazy Sunday I got around to making banana bread. AKA where over ripe bananas go to die. I will be nomming on that for breakfast tomorrow!

For it being a low-key, plan-free weekend, it turned out to be pretty darn productive and with only a tiny bit of blood loss (be CAREFUL with food processors, people!)

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

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Finding zen in the laundry

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Like most people, I don’t find much joy from cleaning, running errands or putting things away. However, if I don’t stay on top of things, the one bedroom apartment that Christopher and I share starts to look like a very real post-apocalyptic nightmare.

To avoid an avalanche of laundry and dirty dishes, I have made it my habit to dedicate part of the weekend to cleaning and tying up loose ends. It’s usually on Sunday and can range from any where between 30 minutes and several hours, depending on how much time I have or what needs to get done.

Even though I have this plan that works for my lifestyle, it was hard for me to stick with it because, come on, it’s still chores, all the things we do because we HAVE TO. I started to resent all of the work it takes to keep your space in order. I don’t think I was very pleasant to be around.

One thing I did notice was that all of my motivation to get the laundry done, toilet scrubbed, and floor vacuumed was to get to my one goal of… sitting around, followed by… doing nothing! ‘Doing nothing’ was really just a way to give myself permission to turn off my brain for a few hours. Maybe I would watch TV or surf the internet aimlessly.

During moments of clarity, I would be rather disgusted with this absolute waste of time. All of that motivation was being paid off in an unhealthy habit. A habit that, quite frankly, made me feel pretty bad about myself.

After coming to this realization, it has been my goal to find a way to feel more relaxed and to give my mind the escape it craved while giving the home that Christopher and I live in some love.

When I began to look at maintaining my life through a more relaxed set of eyes I found that I didn’t need to ‘unwind’ as much. My time to do that came from the time I put in when I did the dishes or put the laundry away.

So, by now you might be wondering how I got my brain to switch gears. Well, I have two tricks that helped me right away and they are:

1. SET AN INTENTION
Think about why you are putting in the time to take care of your place. Is it so your work week will run more smoothly? For me, I concentrate on why putting the effort in is important for daily operations. For example, doing the dishes now means I won’t have to do them before I cook dinner tomorrow that way I can avoid scrubbing that pan like hell with the baked-on grime crap living on it from the pervious meal.

Another way I set an intention is by dedicating the action to another person that I want to help. A great example of this for me is when I put the laundry away. I like to think ‘my husband will be glad that the laundry is put away so it will save him time in the morning before he goes to work.’ It’s not about expecting anything in return from that person, but being glad in the fact that you are helping another person that you care about.

2. PLAYLISTS & PODCASTS
Keeping up with your space can feel rather isolating. It can begin to feel like everyone is having all of this fun without you and you are just slaving away at a task that no one will notice or even care about. All of that negative thinking of course is untrue but it’s hard to see that when your facebook feed is blowing up with everyone else’s fun weekend adventures. Seems like no one wants to post a selfie of themselves and their mop and broom. Strange, right? ;) But there’s help! Your pal, technology is by your side. If you have a smartphone consider your isolation days over! I use music apps like Songza to get a good playlist going while I steam clean my kitchen floor or tune into This American Life when I’m reorganizing my closet for spring, etc. Public radio and podcasts help me feel not so alone and learning something at the same time. When listening to playlists, time starts to slip by to the rhythm coming in through my headphones and before I know it I’m dancing with the vacuum in the living room, much like Mrs. Doubtfire.

This is when the magic happens! It stops feeling like doing chores at all, instead it feels kind of fun. Then it feels rewarding as you begin to realize that you took charge of your own life to make it better.

Like most things I post about, with all of this positivity comes some lessons I still have to learn. I am trying to get better at time management. Having a plan of attack is what will make the work less difficult. Right now, I tend to jump into a project like cleaning out my closet without thinking about how I want to organize everything once it’s cleaned. I start, and then I have to stop, which can really take the wind out of your sails. So for now that’s my new ambition, to really think ahead and plan a little bit better.

Life always hands you new challenges just as you complete one.

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april & may favorites

Hi there! So the past 2 months have had ups and downs. About equal amounts of both, actually. I’ll talk more about some of that in a future post. Taking some time off has been both beneficial and heart wrenching, I’ve missed keep up with things around here. I hope to get in a better groove soon. Either way, Let’s focus on all of the good that the past 2 months have provided. Enjoy!

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1. TANGEL TEEZER
Oh the Tangel Teezer. This hair brush is a product that I’ve heard about for a while on the internet and it has always intrigued me, especially because it claims to be super gentle on hair. The texture of my hair is quite fine and it needs a brush that is more ‘hearts and rainbows’ to my scalp than ‘business only’. Of course the problem then becomes one of taking too long to style. While in the Pittsburgh Urban Outfitters, I came face-to-face with the brush and decided to take the leap! Let me tell you! I’m so glad that I did. My hair and scalp love this brush. In just a few swipes, my hair is ready. This product fits perfectly into my low maintenance lifestyle. To be honest, my husband, Christopher loves to use it too ;)

2. TEAL FLANNEL SHIRT
Again, being at Urban Outfitters in Pittsburgh, I strolled through the SALE section (because you’ve gotta do it!) and came across the PERFECT summer flannel. Didn’t think that was possible, but there it was! Not only is this button up shirt a vibrant color (perfect for cool nights at the beach), it is slightly cropped and loose fitting so it is well ventilated when a breeze rolls in.

3. CHEESEBURGERS
Oh. My. Gosh. I’ve said it before (on twitter), but I’ll say it again… eating a cheeseburger can really be a transcendent experience. There’s no secret that I love food, cooking it but mostly eating it but my biggest food-crush during the month of April was a damn good cheeseburger. I went through most of the month asking myself, ‘when can I have another cheeseburger? I had one yesterday, is less than 24 hours too soon?’ Do you ever get like that? When you get so laser-focused on a type of food that if everywhere you go just offered that one thing, you would be more than happy? Well that was me! I had some notably awesome moments with cheeseburgers at: Winghart’s Burger & Whisky Bar in Pittsburgh, the Alamo Drafthouse, and Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing.

4. PITTSBURGH, PA
In April, Christopher and I made the journey to Pittsburgh, as you’ve gathered by now ;) We had so much fun exploring the city and its different neighborhoods. We saw the Andy Warhol museum, visited Carnegie Mellon University, ate great food and took a bit of a detour and saw Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece ‘Fallingwater’. See more of our trip here.

5. JACK WHITE ‘LAZARETTO’
In my eyes (and ears) Jack White can do no wrong. From the White Stripes to the Raconteurs and beyond he sits just about at the top of my favorites list for music. I love his voice and his anything-goes attitude about his music. When I first heard the song ‘Lazaretto’ I pressed ‘replay’ like a million times. Super high energy and diversity of song style is what I’m looking forward to when his new solo album releases next week!

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1. BANKS
The last couple of weeks in May were DOMINATED by Banks. I regularly listen to Songza’s playlist ‘Blogged 50‘ and the song ‘This Is What It Feels Like‘ by Banks played just once and I looked her up as fast as possible. If you are into chick rock, electronic music, or complex mixes of sound, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD look her up. Even if you like none of those things at all, just listen to the damn music, I would find it impossible to believe that you wouldn’t find her music to be a work of art. Her EP ‘LONDON’ with the addition of the songs ‘Brain’ and ‘Goddess’ have been keeping me chugging at work with Spotify and grooving at home. If I could see that lady in concert I think I would just die. I realize I’m overly dramatic, but damn, when I love music I go alllllll in.

2. MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
In Michigan, we were graced with the most beautiful weather I ever remember having on Memorial Day weekend. I went up to Big Star Lake in Baldwin, MI with Christopher to visit family and get some beach time in. I tell you what, there was sun, no clouds, family, doggies, paddling on the water, good food, and remarkable sunsets. 100% perfection is not an exaggeration at all.

3. KZOO SWIFT
The best bike shop in Kalamazoo for those who want a bike with LOTS of love. A long time ago, I out grew my beloved beach cruiser bike that I used in college and began thinking about a new ride a couple of months ago. I have several friends who know a lot about bikes and advised strongly against buying a bike from a non-reputable source, but spending $1,000 on a new ride was not in the cards. In my mind, the best case senario would be buying a vintage bike that was rebuilt. My pal, Jami and I searched Craig’s List and came to a listing that pointed us to a bike shop that I didn’t know existed called Kzoo Swift. THIS is that bike shop that rebuilds and sells vintage bikes, aka. a freaking home run, yo! They have a huge selection of bikes and for prices that are very reasonable. They buy, sell, and trade bikes and parts and are just generally the kind of guys who really care about your bike. They have a 90 day guarantee when they sell their bikes too, so if I needed them to fix something within that timeframe they’d take care of it. This is where I was introduced to, test rode and fell in love with a 1980′s pink Miyata 90 road bike, now named Roxanne. Once I made the purchase, the owner showed me how to use the quick release for the front tire so I could easily load it into my car. They were very genuine in helping this bike novice. The following week, I traded in my old bike for an Abus bike lock with them. It felt good to do that too because I know that they will find that bike a great home. So if you are in the Kalamazoo area and want a bike, visit their shop.

4. ORU KAYAKS
If you watch the show The Shark Tank, you might be aware of this kayak that was featured a few weeks ago. Well, after YEARS of wanting to buy kayaks, Christopher and I took the plunge with these foldable, small space friendly boats! Earlier in the month participated in a kayak demo day through Lee’s Adventure Sports in Kalamazoo and fell head-over-heels for 2 boats and we could actually afford them. We were so close to making the purchase but then we got home to our one bedroom apartment and realized that it would be impossible to store them anywhere. After just about sobbing our eyes out we were reminded of the Oru Kayaks from a friend of ours. Christopher found them on Kickstarter about a year ago. After watching their presentation on Shark Tank and seeing that it would actually be cheaper to buy these boats we decided to go for it :) The should arrive in a week or two from now. We are ecstatic, but it also feels like the longest Christmas eve EVER.

5. HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
Memorial Day weekend was the perfect time to jump back into this 5 part trilogy ;) I had read the first Hitchhiker’s book last summer and got completely distracted for the rest of the year, but am now back at it. I just finished the second book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and am now reading the third Life, the Universe and Everything. Even though this book series by Douglas Adams is over 30 years old it is still feels relevant and retains a lot of humor. This sci-fi series really tugs at my Futurama lovin’ heart strings. It’s silly and smart. The very basics of this book series is that Arthur Dent is saved from the demolition of Earth by alien and contributor to the Hitchhiker’s Guide, Ford Perfect, before Earth is removed from the galaxy in order to make way for a hyperspatial express route. They meet up with the president of the galaxy, Trillian fellow human who embraced the space travel lifestyle, and the chronically depressed android Marvin. The series starts to center around the answer to the question of why ’42′ is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. I recommend this book series to anyone who likes a little humor with their sci-fi. It has been a very fun read so far.

What have you been loving in the past couple of months? I’d love to hear about it :)

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Being Upside Down

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Hey! Did you hear that? That faint sound of crickets chirping? Turns out that blogging about something that you find uncomfortable is rather difficult. Figures, right? Not that being adventurous is embarrassing or hard to describe but when it doesn’t go that smoothly, finding the motivation to address it publicly is the real challenge.

With that said, it has not been going particularly well. Sure, there have been glimmers of goodness and pay-off, but frequently it feels a lot like I’ve been beating my head against a wall.

Turns out that when I take on a brand new venture, I take one of two approaches:

1. Run at it kicking and screaming with headstrong, overly confidant ambition.

OR

2. Hide.

This is one the times when learning about yourself is not fun. Nothing at all like taking a buzzfeed quiz.

So what has been my working remedy for all of this?

At the risk of sounding T O T A L L Y crunchy, yoga.

A few months ago, I set this goal for myself: to get comfortable with getting into inversions, such as a headstand.

Initially this goal truly scared me. Being upside down while not harnessed to something has always felt like a death wish. I was more than a little afraid of getting injured. You know how they always say ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ I would always think to myself in this case ‘well, death.’

So what changed my mind? I’d been going to yoga classes once a week for just over a year and my yoga instructor always puts inversion practice into our sessions and before I would only ever half try (if that) to get into these poses because I was scared. In January, while on the high of my new ‘adventurous year’ goal, I made the ballsy decision to actually TRY inversions during class. Applying real effort and real concentration. I asked my instructor for a few clarification tips on how my body should feel when I’m upside down and after that I practiced. Sometimes at home too.

It took time. It took patience. I had to slow down a lot, take breaks and keep trying. Every little improvement felt HUGE. I had a vision of how it would feel and what it would look like when I finally got to where I wanted to be which helped me stay focused. Sure enough, one month ago I got into my fully extended headstand, twice. When I got into the pose for the first time I was so surprised that I fell to the floor on my side, during class. Also, I didn’t get hurt. It just felt like sweet sweet victory. When I left class I was so freaking proud that I gave myself a high-5 in the mirror. Since then I’ve been enjoying being upside down and have recently made an effort to do a couple headstands daily.

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I am by no means a world class headstand-er now (my legs don’t always fully extend and when they do it’s not for all that long) but to see that I’ve come this far with something that paralyzed me with fear has been inspiring. I hope to use the mental tools I fostered in this transformation during other adventurous (scary) moments in the future.

These tools are:

Ask better questions:
Make sure you get the information you need to get started and when you hit a wall. There are always going to be people who are willing to help. Swallow your pride and just ask. Questions should be productive and specific to be able to obtain your goals. When you break questions down into smaller ones, that’s where you find the good stuff. It’s not ‘how do I get into a headstand?’ it’s ‘how should I transfer my weight to my shoulders and core?” Know what I mean?

TAKE THINGS SLOWLY:
This is the sucky part for those who are less than patience. Having something not come together easily can feel like a failure and then all of the cheerful motivation you went in with is no where to be found. Celebrating the little victories along the way is where you gain the strength to keep going. For example, when I was able to lift my feet off the ground and suspend in the air it felt like I did the whole headstand, even though I was only kind of elevated and only for one second.

Listen:
Whether it’s listening to your body or another person’s opinion, keep the ears wide open. Listening will provide you with an internal map to follow when you don’t know what to do. The hardest part is listening when you don’t want to slow down or change course, but it’s vital in long term success. This applies to both physical and mental challenges equally. Listening will give you as much knowledge as you are willing to let in.

I’ve heard from many people that yoga has changed their life and I can truly believe it, especially now. My practice has just begun and it as taught me so much more than I would have guessed. These lessons have begun to bleed over into every part of my life and I’m excited to keep going, come good days or days where nothing makes sense.

After all, it’s a journey, not a race.

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Photo Diary: Pittsburgh

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A week ago Christopher and I traveled to Pittsburgh. It was a perfectly timed escape from the norm. We planned this trip a few months ago to look at grad school at Carnegie Mellon University. We went during a visitor day to get a better understanding of what the program is like. That part was very informative, but my favorite part was getting aquatinted with the city. I had never visited Pittsburgh before and had no real expectations. The first thing that struck me were the amount of bridges and rivers that connected the city. Fortunately, we had great weather all weekend, which always makes travel better.

My favorite parts of the trip were seeing campus, eating, walking around taking photos of everything and visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

Enjoy the quick trip to the city of steel.

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Car ridin’.

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Deciding what to do first.

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The Shipwrecked burger.

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Point State Park.

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Carnegie Mellon University.

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Magnolia trees.

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Hanging out with Andy Warhol.

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This activity was on the ‘must-do’ list.

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South Side Flats. Apparently this part of town is nuts, but I loved it.

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Ketchup holds a special place in my heart ;)

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German style beers at Penn Brewery!

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Total masterpiece.

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march favorites

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March kept me on my toes all month long. Most weekends were busy and work was rather insane leaving me exhausted upon arriving at home at night. For a little while it felt like March would never end, but I was able to keep it together and make it to April.

Here are some of the things I loved:

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The traveling yoga jam session duo (sounds like the best thing ever, right) known as ‘GO W/ THE FLOW‘ visited my neck of the woods last week. Their mission is all about the immersion of vinyasa yoga flow and live music. No session is ever the same, it is based on the energy of the crowd they’re visiting. Tori verbally leads the session and her partner, Ben, plays guitar. The rhythm of the practice is based on counts of 4 which creates a good tempo to internalize as you breathe, sweat and follow along.

I heard about this experience from my chiropractor who had gone to one of their practices a few months ago. Her description made it sound like a party on a yoga mat. Needless to say, from this hobbyist yogi, it basically was just that! My favorite parts of their act are the beatbox style breathing through out the event. This served as a great reminder so your breath can stay where it needs to be. Another favorite of mine was the interaction between you and your neighbor’s practice. Many times we were encouraged to physically support our neighbor. Something just as simple as having your neighbor support your leg. To me, this was another perfect cue to remind all of us that our practice shouldn’t be focused solely on the individual, like in life, we all must help each other to succeed. I know, full circle, life affirming stuff!

I feel like this group embodies so much of what I love: performance, live music, interaction and yoga. If you love those things too, check them out! And if they drop by your town, just sign up!

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Ok. ok. Let’s move on to food. I think I met my salad soul mate. I feel like I shouldn’t just throw that term out so loosely, but it has been a few weeks since I first had this salad and I just can’t get over it! I first had it with some of my gal pals at the Electric Cheetah in Grand Rapids and after that I made my own modified version. This little beauty consisted of spinach, roasted turkey, feta, quinoa, beets, red grapes, onion straws and a delicious light vinaigrette that I almost got on the side but was urged by the waiter to leave it on as is. That guy knew what he was talking about!

When I made it, this is what I did:

Salad-
baby spinach
honey roasted turkey breast
quinoa infused with pesto
feta
onion straws

Dressing-
raw honey
dijon mustard
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon
olive oil
salt
pepper

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I look at NPR as my constant car companion. During the weekends their programing is at its best. A favorite show that Christopher and I both enjoy is ‘Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!‘ Many times during their broadcasts I laugh out loud. I don’t know about you, but I like the news much more in the form of limerick. When I heard that a recording of the show would take place in Kalamazoo I couldn’t resist.

It was very fun show, the crowd was lively and they interviewed Terry Crews. Think NFL star, Old Spice commercials, Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor, WMU alumni, that’s the guy.

Oddly enough I never did get around to hearing the broadcast of the show. I’ll have to look up the podcast soon.

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When I was visiting my mom after a doctors appointment I stopped by a really cute boutique called Spring Sweet and that’s when I saw this beautiful kimono style top. I tried it on, laid down my credit card and never looked back. This little baby is flowy and hits just the right place on my torso. This is one of those rare pieces that I’m excited to style for work and for the weekend. I’ve already worn it a few times to work and I can’t wait to style it this summer with a pair of cut off shorts or skirt.

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How did our friends want to celebrate their 30th birthdays? Oh you know, by having their friends gather together and tell them what horrible people they are :) We all got dressed up, liquored up and then let the insults fly during a Comedy Central style Roast. Even now, I still can’t believe how hilarious our friends are! It was mean, degrading and absolutely perfect. Christopher threw caution to the wind and performed some material that he wrote. It was fun to help him structure some of the jokes and to give feedback.

What I learned that night: my friends are all evil geniuses.

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up the wolves

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One of the best things in life is music. My relationship with music has always been full and changing. Sure, I have my go-to songs and musicians, but there are times when a song hits me across the face and it’s all I want to listen to because I feel the emotion of the song so acutely.

I have been replaying the song ‘Up the Wolves’ over and over since it aired on ‘The Walking Dead’ during the episode ‘Still’. The heart of the song is about overcoming the past and basically flipping it the bird (much like what was shown during the episode of the show). The angst-y nature of the songs lyrics is paired perfectly with the voice of lead singer, John Darnielle. I listened to the album ‘The Sunset Tree’ by The Mountain Goats not long after it debuted in 2005. It has been years since I gave it a listen so I more or less forgotten about this particular song.

Lately I have been in the process of overcoming personal roadblocks. This song came back to me at a time when I needed to be reminded to keep looking forward and to not let the past paralyze my future.

When drawing the end of the chorus for this song, I kept the look rough, primitive and dark. However I did keep some of the edges soft because there is an air of hopefulness that weaves through the music. This song is charged with confidence and instinct which is why I chose to keep the color pallet limited to black, white and grey.

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Green Ambitions

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I design and I blog. At my day job, there are times when I can do both. I recently blogged about a friendly St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt competition that took place in our office. I interviewed my co-workers (myself included) about how they came to their final t-shirt design. I thought it would be rather fitting to share it now. Read the full post here.

beerthirty I used this project as a way to exercise my hand drawn type and hand drawn image making skills. The only problem was that it made me constantly thirsty for a cold one.

Read more from my co-workers who are excellent designers and keep me inspired to do great work all of the time.



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