So you’re looking to support a small, local PNW entertainment business and also gift someone the gift of a unique, funny experience? Let me introduce you to Mad Genius! They are based in Portland, Oregon and create vibrant online virtual escape room experiences!
Their current escape room “The Truth about Edith” is “an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.” The team at Mad Genius call their experience “unique, hilarious, and charming, nothing like you’ve seen before.” The game plays 4 people (they can all be in the same house or each on their own screen). Gift certificates are available now.
You may know that my husband, Brandon, is an avid escape room participant and puzzler. He’s attended over 50 in-person and online escape rooms and he has a great eye and understanding for what makes a great escape room or puzzle room experience. “The Truth about Edith” is one of his Top 5 Online Escape Room Experiences and is his top pick for family-friendly escape room experiences.
Brandon writes describes this escape room as “a fun, funny, family-friendly, feline-forward experience with a variety of puzzle types.”
Two of Brandons escape room team members are also friends of mine, so I asked them for their reviews.
Amy writes “I loved how each of the four players had a distinct role in solving certain puzzles – it promotes individual participation as well as teamwork, which is not always an easy combination to achieve.”
Paul writes “Very fun! For 60 minutes I forgot about 2020.”
Audiences from all over can enjoy one of the best Burlesque / Drag / Cabaret / Comedy holiday performance shows this year, as “Jingle All the Gay” goes online. You can enjoy either on-demand watching or participate in one of the virtual viewing parties hosted by Kitten N’ Lou (an award winning duo and two of my favorite Seattle performers).
I’m so thrilled and impressed that they have been able to pivot to figure out how to bring this delightful show to audiences again this year, featuring an all-star cast of theater, burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and musical luminaries! This is an important time to support the arts! Buy tickets here.
As winter approaches, I’ve been thinking about how cold it’s getting outside, which makes me grateful for my home, warm clothes & heat. Not everyone has access to these three basic things, and this winter will be especially hard. Many organizations rely on winter coat drives to provide for the needy but, due to Covid, most of these events have been cancelled. It breaks my heart to think of all those who will go without.
You can donate to the YouthCare coat drive via:
Amazon Wish list
Donating a new or gently-used coat
Donate any amount via Venmo or CashApp
I’ve decided to team up with Seattle’s YouthCare to help offset the need for coats this winter. I’ve preloaded an Amazon Wishlist with different sizes and prices of winter coats which allows anyone to purchase a coat to donate. This wishlist gives the ability to select my address at time of purchase, and I will facilitate getting all donations to YouthCare.
Likewise, if you’re in the Seattle area and have any new or gently-used and washed coats (any size!), I’d be happy to come pick them up from your porch (no-contact) – just reach out to me directly via Instagram (or message Keridwyn and she’ll put us in touch).
If a full coat isn’t in your budget but you still want to help, I’m also accepting donations via Venmo (@nicole-baade) and CashApp ($NicoleBaade). When we all help a little, we can cover a lot of ground. Thank you for helping this be a warmer year for those in need!
YouthCare’s Mission: “YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential.”
My friend Liz Larsen is an AirBnB host (check out her lovely vacation rental, here) and she put together a Seattle guide for her guests. She’s shared this with me – here are some suggestions from her guide! Whether you’re visiting or live here, read on and enjoy exploring.
Guide by Liz Larsen:
Some Top Attractions open during Covid-19
Pike Street Market Located in downtown Seattle along the waterfront, this market has vendors in stalls in a covered market. As this is one of the top attractions in Seattle, it’s likely to be busy. It’s a fun place to visit while it’s raining outside. Find Rachel the pig in the market and add a coin. Watch the fish tossing! Buy a fun, handmade souvenir.
Olympic Sculpture Park – Outdoor park with outstanding sculpture featuring some of the most recognized artists such as The Eagle by Alexander Calder. Masks suggested. Keep walking past the sculpture along the waterfront into Myrtle Edwards Park. A large enough park to get some distance and tiny pebble beaches where you can stick your toes in the water or have a grassy picnic overlooking the water.
Fremont Troll – Every bridge needs a troll under it, right? The artists of Fremont thought so and created this fabulous troll. I won’t spoil the surprise, but take a look at what is under the troll’s hand.
Kerry Park – A small park, this iconic park has the best view of Seattle with the Space Needle in the foreground. Stop in, take a picture, keep going. This is one of the stops on the Seattle Driving Tour.
Ballard Locks – Going from the ocean and saltwater to Lake Union and fresh water, there are locks that raise and lower the boats. Fascinating the watch and a lovely place to visit. You can walk across the locks on the top, watch the water fill up or lower and the boats exit on the other side. On the far side of the locks are fish ladders where you can see different kinds of salmon swimming [upstream] to spawn between June and September.
Woodland Park Zoo – A lovely 92-acre zoo with great animals, well-maintained and fun for all ages. Adults are $23.
Driving Tour of Seattle
Incorporating most of the top spot above into a driving tour that shows you the highlights of Seattle. If you visit all of these, it’s a 4+ hour tour depending on your exploration, all free.
ICYMI: I’ve shared two new videos with quick, effective techniques to help lower stress and anxiety in your body and mind. My gift to you.
It’s important that we let ourselves feel all our feelings right now AND it’s also vital to manage excess levels of stress and anxiety throughout the day to protect our minds and bodies and increase our feelings of peace and resilience.
You can view these videos (and other posts with great stress/worry-reduction tips) in a variety of ways:
Seattle Restaurant Week is back! Adjusting for the pandemic, Seattle Restaurant Week is available every day of the week* and many restaurants are offering delivery or takeout options.
Lunch for $20 and Dinner for $35. Some restaurants are sticking with the three-course-dinner model while others are breaking the mold with “cocktails & tacos” package or make-at-home pizza kits.
The website is very search-friendly, so you can search by who is doing takeout/delivery, vegetarian and vegan options, neighborhood and more.
I like the “Eat Local First” option – restaurants with menu items that include 50% or more ingredients grown or made in Washington are highlighted as offering a Eat Local First designation.
Check out all the offerings here. Too many to choose from? I invite you to think which restaurants in town you would grieve the most if they were to disappear and start there. These restaurants depend on Seattleites who can afford it to visit them. If it’s within your means, take a night off from the kitchen and support some of our many amazing restaurants.
SRW FAQ PAGE.
What restaurants are you supporting and do you want others to support? Share in the comments on this blog post or my Seattle Pockets Facebook post.
*I believe some restaurants like ESR are offering SRW deals only certain days they are open, while others offer the deals ever day they are open, so check the website/restaurant of the place you want to visit.
Seattle Chocolate truly is my favorite chocolatier. The flavors are creative, super approachable and delicious. They are women owned and a local Seattle company and they give back (they have donated over 4 MILLION servings of food via foodbanks).
I’m giving Seattle Chocolate away to two winners. Enter on Facebook by watching my quick video & commenting on the video here.
For those of you without Facebook accounts (or if you are taking a social media break), you can enter by commenting on this blog post.
Your post should include a flavor you love or want to try.
Hey there, it’s been a bit. Turns out some hobbies are harder during this stage of pandemic. You finding that too? Oof.
Let’s jump in. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
My friend and colleague Lori Hammond recently introduced me to Stanford professor and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. I’m now going down a youtube rabbit hole, finding videos from podcasts he’s appeared on this summer. He makes neuroscience approachable and is right up my alley, in connection to my work as a Hypnotherapist. He posts on Instagram at instagram.com/hubermanlab (you can view IG posts online even if you don’t sign up for instagram). For more from him, search his name on your podcast app and of course youtube.
I would love Andrew to be a guest on Brene Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us (my favorite podcast right now).
Unlocking Us is recently back with more episodes, as is another podcast favorite, the funny and interesting pod By the Book with hosts Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer. Funny enough, pre-pandemic they planned this season to have many home-self-help books. AND they just released an episode on one of my favorite books, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo (follow her on FB and IG). Everyone in the United States should read this book.
I’m in the middle of reading Kindred (a book written in the 1970s about a black woman who travels back in time to the 1800s during slavery in the United States). It’s good, powerful, interesting writing. You can listen to the audiobook on Scribd, which is like netflix for audiobooks/ebooks/sheet music – use my link HERE to get 2 months free. You can cancel before your trial is up if you don’t love it and you won’t be charged but I personally LOVE this app and use it a bunch. When you get 2 months free, I get a month free, and that makes me really giddy, so thanks!
I’ve also enjoyed the YA books/audiobooks from Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give and On the Come Up. Highly recommended. Check out links to all the books I’ve read this year so far, here. I love Goodreads and following friends on there is a great way to find new-to-you books to love. My most recent online bookclubs were for the books The Power and Circe and I recommend both of those books (though if your nervous system is on overload right now, you may want to skip The Power for now.)
Another thing that’s brought me joy lately, that I think you might like knowing about is: chickpea toast. Out of avocados? Open a can of garbanzo beans, rinse them, add a splash of water, some mayo and mustard, za’atar spice and a dash of salt. You can mix up some chopped bell pepper or add tomato or arugula on top, and put it on toast. Done! My favorite snack.
Some movies I’ve enjoyed lately include:
Eurovision (super goofy, I’m not always a fan of comedies like this but I imagined my dear friend with an infectious laugh next to me and thoroughly enjoyed it)
Moana (rewatch – one of Disney’s best movies ever)
The King of Staten Island (not sure if I would have watched this if I hadn’t heard Judd Apatow’s interview on Unlocking Us, glad I did. It’s heavy but carthartic and also has good laughs)
Hamilton (of course)
Shows I’ve enjoyed lately:
(besides Youtube podcast videos featuring Andrew Huberman)
Love on the Spectrum (I’d love to hear what you thought of this if you are on the autism spectrum or are close with someone who is)
Padma Lakshmi Taste the Nation
There are a few shows I recommend if you are ok with humor that goes way past the line (not for the easily offended or younger watchers). If that interests you, message me on FB or my contact form and I’ll fill you in. 🙂
To find where a show or movie is streaming, visit the terrific website or app, Just Watch. Cool cool cool. Thanks to the folks who created this, you make my life easier.
Oh, and a great website in case you’re curious if a show or movie is appropriate for a younger watcher or a squeamish or easily offended watcher: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/
I’ve enjoyed revisiting Scattergories recently. Great for the whole family or a group of friends and works well via zoom (Send a text of the list you’re using to everyone before you start the timer. If you don’t have a letter dice you can use a site like random.org with the numbers 1 to 26. Or just pick a letter. FYI, the original game’s dice doesn’t include the letters Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z.
So, friend, reader, what have you been reading, watching, playing, listening to, making (simple recipes only, please), supporting?
My niece Nara (who is heading into her senior year of high school) is organizing a two-week virtual blood drive this summer to help recruit blood donors for Bloodworks Northwest and is looking for people to commit to donating. Donating blood is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save lives. With just an hour of your time, you could save three lives.
She will have a designated two week period (likely sometime in late August) when you can donate at ANY Bloodworks donor center or pop-up location (using her specific 4-digit code). She needs at least 25 committed donors before she can schedule the donation period. Message me (Keridwyn) via private message at fb.com/keridwyn or keridwyn.com/contact if you are interested in donating blood.
If you would like more information on donating blood visit https://www.bloodworksnw.org/ or I can connect you to Nara to answer questions. There is an urgent need for blood donations this summer and donating blood is essential for the health of our community. Go to https://www.bloodworksnw.org/about/news/coronavirus to learn how Bloodworks is working to keep blood donors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donating blood is a direct way to help patients in need and have a positive impact in your community. Your single donation could help three people. Let’s see how many donations we can get!
(Note: I used most of the copy she wrote, with her permission, to help her get the word out to more people. Feel free to share this post to help us spread the word. Thank you!)
Hey there! I’ve created a short poll to help guide me in my next video offering. Will you take a quick minute and fill it out? You’ll be entered to win $50 to spend at ANY small business or non-profit of your choice. And it will be a great help to me!