Pocket Potpourri: Podcasts, thank you notes, aliens, short stories, and a trans film festival

Pocket Potpourri:
I’m bringing back “Pocket Potpourri” posts – my way of sharing a handful of tidbits in one fun post.
What I’m listening to: By the Book Podcast
I’m so grateful to my friend Nora for introducing me to this fantastic podcast a while back. The fate of this podcast was up in the air for a while but they’ve been picked up by Stitcher, thank goodness, and are planning for their next season. Your delightful “By the Book” hosts, Jolenta and Kristen, read a self-help book and apply it to their lives for two weeks and report back. These two are charming, funny hosts with a lot of great insight. Some of the episodes expose the ridiculousness of some books while others are quite inspiring. They pick a wide range of books for their show so it’s always entertaining. I recommend starting at Season 1. Or if there’s a particular book you’re interested in, jump to that episode first and then go back and start with Season 1, episode 1.
What I rediscovered: Paperless Post
There’s always more room for gratitude. I really enjoy taking the time to write out thank you notes, but sometimes I don’t find the time to do this – often times this becomes a lesser priority on my to-do list and I push it off until it’s far too late. Luckily, the folks at Paperless Post reached out to me recently and I was reminded of this fun online-card service. I’ve sent a few thank you notes to friends recently and it was a delightful experience to pick out an online card for them and send it to them. Would I rather have all the time in the world and send a paper card? Sure. But I feel like sending a virtual card is better than no-card at all, and paperless post sure feels a lot different than a text or FB message. I’ve used this service in the past for invites for special occasions too (save the dates, baby showers, bachelorette parties, special birthdays). It’s a great tool to collect RSVPs for events as well if you want something a little fancier than a Facebook event page but don’t feel the need to hand address every card.
Something that’s been making me smile: Strange Planet
If you haven’t checked out this cartoon, delight may await. 😉
Strange Planet by Nathan W Pyle
Screenshot 2019-04-28 at 10.22.29 PM
Book I just finished: The Thing Around Your Neck
This collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was emotionally rich with diverse stories of characters in Africa and Africans in American. While a few of the stories left me feeling hanging, wanting to know what happened next for the characters, I enjoyed this collection quite a bit as a whole. If you are unfamiliar with this talented author’s work, I recommend you start with her magnificent book “Americanah.” The Ting Around Your Neck” was my 11th read of 2019. You can see my full list, here. What’s the last book you loved reading?
What you should watch: Translations Seattle Transgender Film Festival
Coming up May 2 – 5, The Translations Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a groundbreaking film festival that provides the Pacific Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse people and the issues facing the community. Launched in 2006, Translations is one of only a few transgender film festivals in the world, and places emphasis on visibility and positive representations.
Opening night features award-winning “The Garden Left Behind.” There’s also a free workshop and shorts event on “How to Be a Trans Ally.
Festival Trailer:

Air purifier for smokey Seattle + Headspace & Elevate apps

The older I get, the more importance I put into my physical, mental, and emotional health. I wanted to share a few things that I’ve found to help improve my health and well-being!
It’s been an incredibly smoky summer in Seattle and the puget sound. I grew up with asthma as a kid and am incredibly sensitive to the smoke in the air, so have kept my windows shut during the smoky days, even during the heatwaves. I was thrilled to connect with the folks at Levoit who provided me with an incredible air purifier. Not only is their price excellent compared to other air purifiers of the same strength, the shape is easy to fit in any room and it’s lightweight enough to move from room to room. Not all air purifiers filter out smoke, but this one filters 99.97% of dust, pollen, smoke, odors, mold spores, and pet dander. It’s super quiet, easy to use, and distributes air at a cooler temperature. I’ve found it’s helped cool down our bedroom some while also cleaning our air – bonus! There’s an auto setting that will let the machine work as hard as it needs to. I’m so grateful to have this in my life!
LEVOIT AIR PURIFIER WITH TRUE HEPA FILTER LV-PUR131
MEDITATE WITH HEADSPACE
Headspace is a great app & website that can help introduce you to guided meditation or just encourage you to keep your practice going on a daily basis. The app’s voice is very soothing and the program introduces you to the process of meditation and offers different styles that can help with a variety of concerns including anxiety and sleeplessness.
headspace
CHALLENGE YOUR BRAIN
The app Elevate offers three new games a day to help challenge your brain in math, language, and beyond. These games are well designed, fun and quick to play, and the app tracks your progress of each game over time to show you how you’re improving. Not only does this help your brain, it gives you an emotional boost for doing something to improve yourself and succeeding at the games.
elevate-1
How are you taking care of your body, emotions, or mind this week?

Are you prepared for an earthquake or other disaster?

I attended a Disaster Skills Basic Aid class this month in South Lake Union. This free event was put on by the City of Seattle’s Office of Emergency Management. Thanks to Matt Auflick for his excellent teaching skills. He mentioned the city will be launching some training videos on their website in the coming months. When I hear about them, I’ll be sure to share.
In the meanwhile:
This Disaster Preparedness instructional booklet has a TON of great information. Thanks to the people of Tokyo for producing a version in english.
Register for the free Earthquake Home Retrofit class on December 3.
Register for one of the free Stop the Bleed classes. Blood loss is the leading cause of preventable death in multiple casualty events, like mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and earthquakes. Help save a life while waiting for emergency services to arrive. December and January classes are full but you can still get a seat in the February, March, April, or May class.

I will not react to hate with hate. I WILL LOVE.

I will not react to hate with hate.

I will try to understand those I do not understand—not shut them out or call them names.

I will learn effective ways to encourage others to love more, even those who are different in person or opinion.

I will learn effective ways how to help others fear less.

I will step up more to help others—especially those who do not have the privilege I happen to possess.

I will not be silent when I see others show unkindness (including “jokes”) to people of color, immigrants, the poor, women, and others.

I will listen more.

I will allow myself to grieve but I will NOT freeze. I will let this feeling make me stronger and get more involved.

I will not give up hope.

I WILL LOVE.

If YOU can help me learn how to effectively get involved, how to help increase love and acceptance in others, how to help decrease fear, and how to speak out when I see hateful acts, I welcome this advice now and in the future. Post your thoughts, ideas, and links in the comments of this blog post or share with me on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Vintage Love card

If you’re worried about the power going out in the #SeattleStorm of 2016…

What if every Seattleite who is worried about their power going out during this weekend’s storm took a moment to donate just $10 to the homeless shelter of their choice? Can you imagine the impact we could have as a community?

Tonight, I’m grateful for the roof over my head. Because losing power (and internet! OMG!) is nothing compared to out in the cold, blustery elements.

Tonight, I’m donating $50 to DESC. Join me in donating to them (or your favorite shelter organization)!

If you have a favorite homeless shelter organization, please feel free to tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to learn who YOU support and why.

#SeattleStorm

 

hearts

Five pockets (Giveaway, figs, duets, organization & guns)

Here are five “pockets”  that I thought y’all might appreciate this week!

Swink Style Bar & Susan Grace Skincare free event + giveaway

giv

My client Swink Style Bar is co-hosting a free event with Susan Grace Skincare on June 2 + they’ve launched a giveaway for a free blowout and a trio of skincare products to celebrate. You can enter to win via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all three.

Blue Ribbon

My Mom, Dad, and fiancé had an incredible tasting with caterer Blue Ribbon Culinary Center this week. We’re going to try some more potential caterers for our wedding in Seattle, but this place really impressed us and is definitely on our list. The port-infused goat cheese and fig bruschetta was one of our favorites.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.14.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.13.58 PM

“Tonight You Belong to Me”

I rediscovered this gem on youtube this week of a dad and daughter singing a duet.  Still one of the cutest things on the internet:

OneTab

OneTab

This is one of my favorite google chrome extensions. One of my bad online habits is having too many tabs open at once. With a click of a button, OneTab collects all your tabs onto one page for you to easily delete what you no longer need to view and keep the rest on the list to reference later.Total game changer!

Everytown for Gun Safety

The “Inside Amy Schumer” show introduced me to an organization called “Everytown” an organization focused on bringing together Americans to end gun violence and build safer communities. Every day, 91 Americans are killed by gun violence. Let’s work together to educate the masses and make a change.

(For a bigger version of this infographic, click here).

gun violence

 

 

 

Our Proposal Story

One of my favorite bands to see live, March Fourth Marching Band, was playing The Showbox in Seattle on March 5th, so I decided to make that the night of my birthday celebration with friends.

Brandon and I hosted a pre-funk at our place, enjoying snacks and drinks and many laughs with some friends. Alida and Erin (two of my closest girlfriends) and their husbands Will and Paul arrived before the party started, as planned. The perfect start to a beautiful night. Alida had baked a delicious cake (her own Earl Grey tea invention) and decorated with white frosting, red hearts, and black lettering — matching our red, white, and black inspired circus outfits. Friends came in and joined the fun, bringing libations, food, and (most importantly) love, hugs and so much positive energy. Here’s Brandon and me at our pre-funk:

Erin and Paul gave Brandon and me a ride to the party after we kicked everyone out of our place to head to the venue. We timed it just right, arriving just before the band went on stage. I was able to hug and dance with friends and listen to the incredible, energetic, fun sound of March Fourth Marching Band. I love their circusy outfits, on stage energy, stilt walkers, performers, and musicians. Add being surrounded by some of my favorite people: a perfect birthday celebration!

While dancing with friends, I noticed Brandon wasn’t around for a bit and started missing him (he really is so cute and fun to dance with, it’s easy to miss him). I was thinking of wandering a bit and Erin told me she was probably going to leave soon and I should stay and dance with her before she had to head home. Alida looked toward the stage and pointed out a giant cat mascot that had appeared. I laughed and said it was “sort of creepy”. Then the stilt-walker announced that they were giving away a t-shirt to one lucky audience member. He said they had all the names of everyone there in the hat (“yeah right” was my aside). After a drum roll, they called…my name! I thought “sweet! I’ll pick it up from their merch booth after the show,” when I realized they were gesturing for me to come up on stage. I threw my coat into Nora’s arms to hold for me and headed up through the crowd, hoping the jump up wouldn’t be painful on my recently bruised ribs.  The stilt-walker presented me with my t-shirt, to which I threw him a hand-heart sign. Then he told me I might want to look to my left.

I turned, and this is where everything went into sloooooooow motion. Brandon was there, in the cat mascot outfit with the head off. My mind went to “this is quite the birthday gesture” (totally bouncing off the idea that this might be anything more than that). He stepped up to the microphone, and my mind somehow concocted “Oh, maybe he’s going to sing? Did he prepare a song?” SURE, brain. Great guess.

Speaking into the microphone as he looked at me, he said, “Keridwyn Marie Deller, you’re the love of my life. Will you marry me?” then dropped to a knee holding a ring in his hands. I dropped down to his level to hug him and might have said something like “Is this real?” He laughed and said “Is that a yes?” and I said “YES!” through my cry-face. I was 100% shocked. It took quite a few minutes backstage talking with him to let it sink in it was actually real. Who am I kidding? It took days to really sink in. I am overjoyed.

After some backstage hugs and talking (I have a vague recollection of asking him hilarious questions like “Did you know this was going to happen?”), we went out to an overwhelming amount of hugs and love from our friends in the audience and rocked out with the band for their final songs. I cried at least five more times before the show was over. Brandon’s face was beaming with happiness and I was on cloud nine: we are engaged! I had zero idea this was going to happen. ZERO.  My boyfriend of over eight years is now my fiancé! I’m so grateful we get to spend the rest of our lives together, and while we already knew that was the plan, I’m thrilled for this next fun adventure in our relationship.

Big thanks to our friend Will for his awesome video:

 

Here’s a photo Paul Levy snapped. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a photo of my cry-face more:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 12.24.20 PM

 

P.S. Brad also got this video of the whole thing (from farther back, with funny NSFW commentary at an angle you can see more of my face during part of it). And Noelle got this video! Thanks, friends!