January recap: Surprise Date Night, Parties, Weddings and Family

January in review. Turns out one month is a lot to fit into one post – I might have to do these 2-4 times a month going forward!
On New Year’s Eve, Brandon, Erin, Paul, Juvi and I party hopped between house parties (thanks to our fab hosts Jess, Noelle, Brad, Nora and Rusty)!  Brandon and I surprised ourselves by being in bed before 3am, which might be a record for us. We’re clearly not 23 any more. Luckily the only thing on my calendar for 1/1/15 was “Sleep in!”
We celebrated my niece Nara’s 12th birthday that weekend, with our traditional visit to the ice skating rink at Seattle Center, followed by a trip to the birthday girl’s restaurant pick: The Spaghetti Factory. Nara loves maps and geography so we gifted her the game 10 Days Across Europe, which we all have since enjoyed playing. Oma and Opa (my parents) surprised us all by coming back from California in time for the celebration. They had spent Christmas in California with my cousin Laura and her family to help welcome their third son, Bennett, into this world on New Year’s Eve!
On the 10th, my family celebrated a belated Christmas (since B and I were in Philly and Mom and Dad were in California during that time). We had a blast playing games such as 10 Days and Ticket to Ride. Mom made delicious gyros and of course we had to have my favorite guilty pleasure holiday snack – clam dip with potato chips – during game time. The six of us “kids” spent the night and played more games in the morning. Who says Christmas has to happen in December?
Alida, Erin and I had a delicious dinner at Shadowland in West Seattle on Erin’s birthday eve. I already have a trip planned to go back there soon for their mac and cheese and fried green beans! The arugula salad was simple but delicious.
Erin and I spent her birthday afternoon at Olympus Spa, enjoying the hot rooms, hot tubs and hot cast iron bowled bibimbap. Erin spent multiple five minute stretches in the cold plunge pool – a place I have yet to go in more than my ankles! She’s much more hard core than I am, clearly.
Mid-month, a group of us Seattleites made our way to San Francisco to celebrate Brian and Morgan’s wedding at the Legion of Honor. We had a fantastic weekend filled with great food and company. It was wonderful to see these two beautiful people get hitched and so special to be part of that weekend with them.
morgan1
Brandon and I started our monthly “Surprise Date Nights” this month – he went first. We’re rotating each month who surprises the other for a date night. No pressure, the date can be WOW or just dinner, but it hast to be a surprise. He kicked these nights off with an awesome choice: Mimosas with Mama at The Unicorn. Part comedy, part drag routines, part recreation of a movie musical in half an hour. If you like drag, GO. Mamma Mia is their current movie musical (through the end of February). We laughed so much. We went to Grim’s afterwards, who sadly took their french dip off the menu – doubtful I’ll be back even though the food was still good. That was my main reason for going there! I still laugh thinking about the Mimosas with Mama show and do sometimes wish that I could be a drag queen. Thanks for the Surprise Date Night idea, Devin and Lindsey!
We ended the month by seeing Cirque du Soleil’s newest show “Kurios” (which is amazing – review coming soon) and celebrating our friends Rusty and Ryan at their 20s theme birthday party at the Rendezvous in Belltown (the perfect “juice joint” location). Turns out that making up fake 20s slang is a fun party game (“go tend to the garden”). “Bank’s Closed” is my favorite real-20s expression (though a reason for using it doesn’t come up much).
Other highlights:
Mexican food and margaritas with Somer
Catching up with my birth-mom Loa at happy hour
Kathryn and I treated our inner-past-selves to a fun night seeing “Dirty Dancing” at The Paramount.
Chatting with old friends and making new ones at Tom and Leah’s birthday party
Painting pottery with Levy and his girlfriend Jessica
Helping Alida & Will pack up for their move (can’t wait to see how they’ve settled in to their new place).
Puzzle and Rummikub night with Mom and Dad
Opening our 2014 Joy Jar and date night at Zhu Dang
Juvi coming over for game night
Bringing on new client: Capitol Cider!
Books I read:
The Willpower Instinct
Garden Spells
Dark Spaces
Orphan Train
Movies & shows I enjoyed:
Into the Woods
Downton Abbey Season 5
Orphan Black
Alive Inside
The Taste
The One I Love

Books I read in 2014

I started reading early and quickly grew a voracious appetite for the hobby. Books provide us the ability to travel without leaving home, the opportunity to learn, the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes.

Early 2014, I decided I needed to make the choice to turn off the TV more often and pick up a book. Here are the books I read in 2014:

  • Pretty Monsters – short stories by Kelly Link – gift from Paul and Erin
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I loved this as a child – was such fun to revisit the adventures of Anne-with-an-e and Diana.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I have always been fascinated by stories from the holocaust. This novel gives a unique perspective through the eyes of a young German girl in Nazi Germany. Tragic and wonderful. A loan from mom (who I inherited my love of reading from).book
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. Another re-read from my childhood. I loved the magic in this story as a kid and it held up when reading it as an adult. I highly suggest you revisit the books you loved as a child! I re-read the Narnia series a few years back (I vividly remember looking in a mirror as a kid – probably around 8 – and making my future self promise to re-read these books as an adult. I had a strong feeling that it was IMPORTANT and that I would have a different experience with the books as an adult as I did as a kid. It was a lovely series to revisit and my least favorite book in the series, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” was one of my favorites as an adult.
  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much as the original Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. Keeping up with the re-reading theme, I turned to the second book in this series. I’d thought I had read all the books as a child, but as Anne grows up the books appeal less to children, in my opinion. It turns out I never read past book two!
  • Bonk by Mary Roach. I love the theme of this book and the idea of blending humor with research, but the author’s sense of humor missed the mark for me a little too much. It did reawaken my interest in learning more about human sexuality though and had lots of interesting information.
  • The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman. She’s a funny lady!bed
  • My Booky Wook by Russell Brand. He’s such an intriguing guy! In light of his recent declarations on the news and videos, I think I was expecting more from this book than I got, but still was a fun read to have on vacation
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I was HOOKED the entire time. The type of book you don’t want to put down.
  • Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. It was a little sad to see Anne grow up in these books. She became quite a bit more normal and lost quite a bit of her adventurous, imaginative ways as she fell into her role of wife and mother. Still I enjoyed this series quite a bit. anne
  • Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
  • Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. An interesting look at WWI from a Canadian family’s perspective.
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Sometimes I read books when I hear they are going to become movies. Also, this came highly recommended to me by Alida and Erin. Really sweet, heartbreaking story and the young narrator’s voice is delightful.
  • The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen. Took me a while to get into it but really came to love the main character and her journey. Another Alida recommendation.
  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. Ok, the trouble with reading books on kindle apps is unless you pay attention, you don’t get a sense of how LONG a book is as you do with a physical book. 925 pages isn’t my style, usually. Still, it was a very intriguing story. Last night, I mentioned to my friend Maren that I’ve been reading more and asked if I’d read any books by this author (one of her favorites). I’ll pick up more books by this Japanese author again, but probably will stick to shorter ones. This was originally published in 3 volumes. I found parts of the story to be wonderful but others a bit tedious.
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. My kind of book! A woman has head trauma and wakes up forgetting the last 10 years of her life. It’s a wonderful read and really made me think about how we change as people over the years. I want to read more books like this. Recommendation from Mom (thanks again!).alice
  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Chapman. Saw this in a recommendation list on the library app. Loved the show so gave it a go. I really enjoyed this quick read – many differences from the show, which is fun to compare, and really draws attention to some major issues in our prison system.
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I realized I’ve never read a book by this acclaimed author so polled friends to see what I should read first. I didn’t love this one but will give other KV books a go. Recommended by Amanda, Bird and others.
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. The author of Gone Girl doesn’t disappoint with her earlier mystery.
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman. While I like YA novels, this one felt a little young for me (though is perfect for teens I imagine). That said, I got caught up in the story and will likely read the author’s other books. Recommended by Alida.
  • Ethics for a new Millenium by the Dalai Lama. Some chapters definitely resonated more than others with me. I really enjoyed reading his perspective on many subjects. A good reminder that the strongest happiness for ourselves can be found when we do our best to provide happiness for others. Thanks for the recommendation, Wendy!dal
  • The Fever by Megan Abbott. Enjoyed most the read (another teenager based plot -what’s with that theme this year?!) but the ending was disappointing. Recommended by @SPLBuzz (Seattle Public Library twitter).

Using the app and website goodreads I’m able to track books I’ve read, save a list of books I want to read and see what other friends who use the app are reading or recommend. A great app for anyone who likes to read! This year I discovered how to download ebooks and audiobooks for the Seattle Public Library. What a gift! Their social media folks even were able to recommend a book to me via their twitter account @SPLbuzz. Thanks, librarians! I’ve found audiobooks to be a great distraction when organizing or cleaning around the house. They were also a great way to read when outdoors on the roof or at the beach this summer, since it’s hard to read most tablets in the sunshine.

I love reading on my ipad. It gives me the opportunity to change the font to a size I like, it’s smaller than a lot of books (and I can pick up reading on my phone if I don’t have my ipad with me when I’m out and about). It doesn’t bother B as much as as a book light when he’s trying to sleep (I love the option for a black screen with white letters). It even lets me highlight a word to look up in the dictionary if I don’t know the word.

What books have you read that you’ve enjoyed! I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments below or on my Facebook post!

Looking back at 2014

Expressing gratitude on a daily basis has been a big theme for me this year. Looking back on all that’s happened, it’s clear I have a lot to be grateful for. I am most thankful for my incredibly supportive family and friends and the wonderful man I get to spend my life and everyday with. Many thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life this year!

Brandon and I rang in the new year at a unique apartment party (three friends who live in the same building each opened up their homes) surrounded by many close friends, including Molly & Ryan S who were in town visiting from New York! A few days later, we celebrated my oldest niece’s 11th birthday with a trip to the ice skating rink with the family.

Silly pose with silly friends

Silly pose with silly friends

In February, I celebrated my 34th birthday with a low key pajama party with a few friends. This year I definitely became more in touch with my introverted side and enjoying smaller group settings than in previous years.

In March, Brandon, Paul and Erin and I went to Napa to visit Morgan and Brian (who live in SF) for a relaxing weekend of wine tasting. It was so great to catch up with friends, eat delicious food and taste some remarkable wines in such a beautiful part of our country. We had the most fun in wineries in Sonoma – definitely want to go back.

With Brandon, Morgan, Brian, Erin and Paul in Napa

With Brandon, Morgan, Brian, Erin and Paul in Napa

Later that month, I took the bus to Portland to visit my sweetheart of a friend Billie P who was finishing up her Masters program. We got to visit some of my favorite used clothing shops and eat at some awesome Andy Ricker restaurants with Heather and Andrew.
Two muppets in Portland

Two muppets in Portland

In April, Brandon and I took our first overseas vacation together to visit Molly F in Spain! We had an incredible two weeks with Molly and Julio. First stop was Madrid, then we had a perfect beach vacation in Nerja and a few days at the end of the trip in Granada. So much food and wine!
The coast in Nerja, Spain

The coast in Nerja, Spain

In Granada, Spain with the Alhambra behind us

In Granada, Spain with the Alhambra behind us

In June, I headed to Eastern Washington to meet up with Molly S (visiting from NY) and her sister Meg. More wine tasting and a little horseback riding!

molly
In July we went to “Summer Camp” with a gaggle of friends and made many new ones. Go Team Red!
Summer Camp!

Summer Camp!

Later that month, Brandon flew his Mom, Gerry, out from Philly to visit us. We were happy to have such a remarkably warm summer and I took advantage of hitting Madison Park beach with a few friends quite a bit. Tom and Jill took us tubing down Cedar river and we went back again with our moms while Gerry was in town.
In August, Erin  and I hosted Alida’s bachelorette party, which was filled with laughs. Molly F came to stay with us for a bit while she was in town for a few weeks before she went back to Spain for another year of teaching english. At the end of the month, Brandon and I went to Burning Man for my 6th, his 7th, year and camped with fabulous friends.
Watching the Man burn

Watching the Man burn

In September, Brandon and I were in Alida and Will’s wedding party – one of the most fun days of the year! It was a wonderful ceremony – a perfect blend of sincerity and hilarity.
Alida and Will and their wedding party

Alida and Will and their wedding party

wedding girls

A day full of laughter and smiles

Later that month, Erin and Justin came to visit from the midwest and I got to introduce them to some of my favorite restaurants! We celebrated Brandon’s 37th birthday with a rooftop party on the last nice day of the summer, complete with a screening of Never Ending Story and sleepover on the roof. Brandon and I hopped on a plane to Florida at the end of the month, to spend a week of DisneyWorld and Universal Studios fun to celebrate his mom’s birthday with her and some of her gal friends and cousins.
Disneyworld!

Disneyworld!

Brandon and his wonderful mom

Brandon and his wonderful mom

In October, I achieved a dream of going to Disneyland with my nieces. My brother and sister in law and my parents also joined me and Brandon on this truly magical trip. Memories from those days are such a treasure!
The niece's first trip to Disneyland

The niece’s first trip to Disneyland

My youngest niece celebrated her 8th birthday in October (delightfully choosing a “EAT COBB – Cobb Salad party” as her friend party theme).
Brandon and I ended our very-Disney-fall by dressing up as Disney characters with many friends for Halloween. Brandon and I celebrated out 7th year together as Princess Jasmine and Abu from Disney’s Aladdin.
In November, Kathryn and I were judges for the Seattle International Comedy Competition and had a hilarious evening, as always. For thanksgiving, Brandon and my mom and dad reconnected with some of my cousins who I haven’t seen in years. It was great to visit with them after so long.
In December, Brian flew up to visit for a co-ed bachelor party weekend. We celebrated with good food, Santarchy, and putting down some tracks in a recording studio.
"He sees you when you're sleeping..."

“He sees you when you’re sleeping…”

Laying down a few songs at  a recording studio

Laying down a few songs at a recording studio

For Christmas, Brandon and I flew back east to visit his family in Philly and Jersey and got to meet his 8 month old twin cousins for the first time.
elf
Business is great. I love running my own company and working with my fantastic clients and account managers. I celebrated 5 years (4 years full time) this year – time flies!
 —
Other highlights from the year include: reading more (28 books this year!) burner costume parties, celebrating friends’ birthdays, girls nights, pj parties, dinner parties with planned topics, staycations at great Seattle area hotels, attending fun shows including The Atomic Bombshells, Teatro Zinzanni, Unexpected Productions and Beauty and the Beast (with the nieces just before our Disney trip), game nights, discovering the joy that is a sherpa blanket, bootie mashups, and house parties.
What I want to do more of in 2015: Take more photos (and learn how to take better photos on my iphone). Take more alone time to reflect, relax and grow. Spend more time with close friends in smaller groups or one on one. Continue to travel. Eat less, workout more (so cliche). Find new passions. Volunteer. Write more. Enjoy more game nights. Start working on a (for-secret-for-now) personal project. Continue to discover great books, travel and express gratitude every day.

13 things you might not know about me

There’s a trend on Facebook right now – people posting X number of things that people might not know about them.  If you want to participate, you just ask someone who’s done it to give you a number, then you write that many things that people might not know about you.  I had fun creating my list, so sharing it with you here!

me door square

Some things you MIGHT not know about me:

1. I started acting when I was four years old, when my parents put me in a little kid’s theatre class, since it was the preschool they could find that didn’t make kids take naps. I stopped napping at age 2 ½ and my parents knew I would talk to the other kids during nap time. There wasn’t a year that went by between ages 4 and 27 that I wasn’t in a production. I did professional theatre and commercial work (radio, print ads, voice overs) as a kid.

2. I was first runner up to being cast as the Thor-loving little girl in Adventures in Babysitting – the spinoff TV series (which only had a pilot episode, so it made me less sad about not getting the role). I’m pretty sure I didn’t get cast because I wasn’t comfortable using rude words comfortably that the script required.

babysitting

3. My first musical role was as Bambi’s mother at age 4. I sang “I’ll call him Bambi” as a solo and wore an awesome deer outfit my mom created. It was in the musical version where Bambi’s mother didn’t die. I did however name my first pet Bambi (a hamster or gerbil – I don’t remember which). He died shortly after I had a cold, which I thought he caught and was the reason he died.

4. I had two parakeets for a while. The first one I got I named Baby Moonbeam (my Kindergarten workbook was called Moonbeam). The second one I got a bit later and named Baby Moonlight. I nicknamed them both “Baby.” They were nearly identical. I was usually better at naming things.

bird

5. I really hate onions. I think they take over the flavors of a dish. They are a very bossy vegetable. No onions, please!

6. I used to love garlic but 10+ years ago or so, my palms would reek of garlic for a full day after eating it (so bad I had to sleep with my hands intentionally away from my face. I try to stay away from eating garlic now. It’s a bummer. If I do eat it, I’ll try not to stick my hands on your face. Which is a good rule of thumb, anyhow.

7. I’ve known I don’t want to have kids since I was a teenager. I find it strange, distasteful and rude when people (often those I don’t know well) say with total confidence, “Oh, you’ll change your mind.” Do I say that to people who are expecting a baby, want to have one or have kids? No I don’t. Because it’s rude and that would be horrible to make assumptions that I know what other people will want more than they will. I love kids, just the idea of giving birth sounds alien and terrifying and I know I’m too into my own life to be all-in focused on another’s the way you have to be to be a good parent. I love that other people want to have kids and have kids, of course! It’s just that we’re drawn to different things in life, in this way.

8. I was a certified massage therapist for a few years in my 20s.

foot
9. My favorite colors lately are yellow, aqua and hot pink. Periwinkle used to be my favorite, but more because you can’t say the word without smiling than because of the actual color. I love that my nieces can never choose one color as their favorite, either.

10. I once had a pierced tongue, nose and a shaved head. I shaved my head and pierced my nose to help get over hair and nose issues I used to have.

11. I’m kind of a prude about things, at times. Sometimes this surprises me.

12. I used to create visual timelines of my crushes in my journals when I was in middle school and high school. I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to dating. A majority of the guys I had crushes on during those years weren’t straight, it turned out. But they were awesome, and adorable and loved to sing!

13. I have a theory of reincarnation that I really like. I’ll share it with you sometime in person, if you want to know. I don’t feel like higher powers or what-not care if we as humans get it RIGHT, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t have their own spiritual beliefs as long as it makes them happier and doesn’t hurt others. I believe in the power of thought, words and energy. I believe that love and spirit are deeper and larger than we can comprehend.

love healing

Inside Pocket: Daily Gratitude

Last month, a group of people I know invited me to join them in a concious effort to spend a few private, focused moments a day focused on what we are grateful for. This month, I’ve seen even more people join in this effort. It’s very exciting to see.

I’m going to use this particular blog post to document what I’m grateful for each day. The important part for me are the moments dedicated in stillness and silence being grateful, but it sure is fun to keep record of all the amazing things that are in my life, big and small, here on the blog.

November 1

I’ve been calling him Dr. Boz this week. Having been hit with a rough fever and sore throat/cough, the boyfriend has been for me day in and out supporting me in so many ways, from getting me soup to rubbing my back, and “poor-baby-ing” me while I whine about feeling icky. I’m a lucky girl.

brandon

November 2

I’m grateful for an amazing group of friends who encourage me to be exactly who I am and bring out the best in me. I especially love how brave they are to live their lives authentically as well. More on the specifics of these friends soon.

friends fingers

November 3

I’m grateful for having the ability to shop for gifts for my family for the holidays. Not everyone is so lucky. When I worked at The 5th Avenue Theatre, every year we “adopted” a family or two and helped fill their wish list/needs list.  I especially liked that the gifts were delivered to families early so they could be wrapped and put under the tree as gifts from the parents and santa. Some donated cash towards a grocery gift card for their holiday meal. I will never forget the day my colleague Ian, who was my age and raising a family himself, brought in a bike which was on the boy’s wish list. The boy’s first name was Ian as well and our Ian couldn’t let the other Ian go without having a bike.  His generosity was pretty darn incredible and touching.  Since I now work for myself, I’m banding together a group we’re calling The Motley Elves to sponsor a family or families ourselves!  If you want to be part of this endeavor, just let me know.

gift-giving

November 4

Grateful for amazing communication with my partner. We’re at 6 years and counting and couldn’t be where we are without our dedication to honesty and communication. I love knowing I can trust him with my feelings and he can trust me with his.

November 5

Grateful for coughdrops and being able to work from home. Still sick.

November 6

I am grateful for the ability to work from home. Being sick makes everything harder, but I’m glad I can tweet and Facebook and beyond from afar.

November 7

So grateful to have so many close women friends in my life.

November 8

Grateful to have my boyfriend home. He’s sick – sicker than me – so I’m able to take care of him. Poor guy! Sorry this is not very exciting for you guys. HEALTH! BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR HEALTH (which you probably don’t have right now if you live in Seattle).

November 9

Grateful for talented artists. Today, grateful for  Jason Edward Davis who painted my newest piece of art. I’ve  named him Sgt. Bubblegum:

bubblegum jason

November 10

I am so saddened by the news of the terrible typhoon that has hit the Philippines. I’m grateful for all the aid workers who are helping the community during this tragic time. My heart goes out to everyone hit by this disaster.

November 11

Veteran’s Day. I’m grateful for the men and women who have served our country. While I don’t always believe in the war efforts our government chooses, I know that I would not have the freedom I do today, had it not been for so many individuals who fought hard to keep them.

November 12

I’m grateful for my mom and dad who raised me to believe in myself, follow my heart, be kind to others, take value in education and reading and so much more.  Aren’t they cute?!

mom and dad close

November 13

I’m so grateful to be working with Michelle Sanders and The Atomic Bombshells on their show that runs tonight through Saturday, “The Atomic Bombshells…Lost in Space!” Can’t wait to don some fake eyelashes tonight and see the show!

ab poster

November 14

I’m grateful for the amazing wasabi grilled cheese and specialty cocktails at Bleu Grotto, their awesome staff and the fun design of their restaurant on Capitol Hill.

November 15

I’m grateful for the power to forgive. To let go, to move on, to learn.

November 16

I’m grateful for my parents! I’m also grateful for my new little table – no more eating dinners on the couch! Thanks Mom and Dad for helping us move it and Wanda and Tito for the gift!

November 17

I’m grateful for restful moments on my couch.

November 18

I’m grateful to my friend who opened up her house to me while she was out of town so I could enjoy a night on my own! Alone time is so important, isn’t it?

November 19

I’m grateful for trying new things (Rubinator – great suggestion Maren), new friends, and tater tots at Six Arms!

November 20

I’m grateful for my amazing apartment and having Brandon to help make it a home with me.

November 21

I’m so very grateful for my nieces – we had such a blast going to Disney on Ice!

November 22

I’m grateful for good conversation with friends…and hot toddys!

November 23

I’m grateful to reconnect with old friends who are back in my life.

November 24

I’m grateful to know two amazing people who got hitched today!

November 25

I’m grateful for french dip sandwiches at Grim’s.

November 26

I’m grateful to have a boyfriend who is amazing in many ways, one of them being his playful spirit.

November 27

I’m grateful for my family.

November 28

I’m grateful that I have not experienced hunger or poverty in my life. I wish all were that lucky.

November 29

I’m grateful to be able to celebrate Hanukkah a bit this year! We have friends staying with us over the weekend, so borrowed another friend’s decorations (she’ll be out of town) to add a little Hanukkah color and feel to the living room during their stay.  Our friends visiting brought their menorah so we’re able to sing the Hanukkah blessing with them each night as we light the candles!

November 30

I’m grateful for all the people who have been contributing gifts and money towards our adopted holiday family – we are gifting a family of four (mom, two daughters and son) with gifts and a gift card for groceries this year. What the holidays are all about!

More Keridwyn…what’s next for Seattle Pockets

I’ve become disconnected with my own blog. Don’t get me wrong, I love the events I preview and attend, the giveaways I host and the things I share…I just don’t feel like the blog has much of me in it these days.

Perhaps this is because of fear. A fear of expressing my opinion, taking a side of an issue that will create a public debate? Perhaps it’s because I work in social media and don’t want to rile anyone. I generally don’t like to rile people – just not my style. I’m more of a peace keeper. But why is my fear telling me that expressing myself more, putting more of myself into the blog would necessarily rile people? Need to get over that fear.

I’ve been doing a lot of “soul-searching” lately…and I’m looking to increase more of that in my life.  I had a turning point when I finally picked up “The Power of Now” by Eckert Tolle, which I’ll be sure to touch on in a future post. I’ve decided to free up a little of my time to dedicate to working on myself in the next year and a half, with workshops and experiences to help me tap back into my true source.

I’ve decided to take this blog to a slightly more personal level. For those of you who love my giveaways, don’t worry, they aren’t going away. You’re just going to get a little more Keridwyn in this blog.
Don’t worry, I plan on keeping my blog posts short and sweet. This one’s going to be an exception, however, since I’ll be walking through my thought process of what’s next for Seattle Pockets.
I went back to the beginning of this blog to see what my motivation was.  One of my motivations was to improve my writing skills. I haven’t focused on that as I had planned to, as blogging has taken a back burner – if not a behind-the-stove-with-the-dust-bunnies – spot to my growing my business.

In my first post, I share ideas I had about what this blog could be about.

– Auntie blog posts (since I’m not a mommy blogger and never plan on being one…but love my nieces and my friends’ kids)

-TV and Movie suggestions (spoiler free!)

-Costume and makeup ideas (I love a good costume party!)

-Seattle events (well I have that one covered!)

– Relationships, living and learning. (finding a way to reflect on relationships, happiness, growth and more without being too personal that it affects those around me)

-Having fun and saving money (I spent many years living a VERY frugal life…and find saving money actually fun!)

Really, it seems like Seattle events is the only one of these items that I focused on!

I’ll add to this list a few other things I’d like to include in my blog:

-Travel (reviews of cities and countries I visit)

– Other’s opinions (I do a lot of crowd sourcing on Facebook and should share that valuable content!)

– My life (things that happen to me during the week, that I see or read or experience)

– Restaurant and Wine (Great experiences I want to share so that you can try them too!)

I want to still keep Seattle Pockets a positive space, and one generally focused on Seattle, I just expand it so that it becomes richer in content and more an extension of who I am.

I’m not sure why this has been hard for me, but I’m willing and excited to explore that some more.

Hope you’ll stay with me…and do let me know if there’s a particular type of post you’re most interested to read!

Thanks for listening. I’d love your feedback on this, if you want to share!

Tyler Wedding Sept13

Mayans predicted the dawning of a new era, not the end of the world

The Mayans DIDN’T say the world was ending! Mayan descendants believe today marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

Why have we totally ignored this? I’m amazed how many people don’t realize the doomsday myth was something that others made up later. Today, people celebrate the dawning of something new as we wrap ourselves in something untrue, ignoring what the people from that culture actually have to say in the matter.

Call it the dawning of a new era, the age of aquarius, a shift in thought…lets make every tomorrow matter. Be kind, be generous. be hopeful.

A few links on the matter: http://bit.ly/12Fki20 and http://bit.ly/12Fkleo

Share this Facebook post.sunrise

Tragedy Inspires Community

A tragedy happened 10 years ago. One of the side effects was a resurgence of people seeking out community. They turned to each other for support and behaved, well, neighborly. From this movement, Meetup was created. 10 years and 10 million meetup users later, people have used the internet to find strangers with common interests and friendships were born that never would have happened.  

9/11 didn’t make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn’t rip us apart. No, we’re building new
community together.” – Scott Heiferman & Meetup Team

Let’s dedicate ourselves to create more community in our lives. No matter what that looks like.  I’m excited to explore this idea more in my personal life. Join me.

Have you taken part in a Meetup? I would love to hear about your experience.

Here’s the email that inspired this 12:28am blog post.

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don’t write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it’s the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don’t know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn’t bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they’d normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being
neighborly.

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and
grow local communities?

We didn’t know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea — especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it’s
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups… a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common — except one
thing.

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other’s kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It’s
powerful stuff.

It’s a wonderful revolution in local community, and it’s thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren’t about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren’t for 9/11.

9/11 didn’t make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn’t rip us apart. No, we’re building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we’re just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

A hundred pockets?

There are some moments in life I find myself searching for quotations online. Sometimes I’ll visit a quote site, other times, I’ll search for quotes under famous authors or philosophers names.  

Quotes help me get motivated, connect with others who experience shared emotions, give me new perspectives, inspire me or sometimes simply entertain.

I’ve recently had the desire to start a new personal blog, but have had a tough time deciding on what the subject matter would be. Two requirements would have to be: a subject I’m interested/involved in or knowledgeable about and one that is interesting to readers.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what to focus on.  

Here were some of the ideas I came up with:

  • An “Auntie” blog to connect with the “Mommy Bloggers” out there? That sounded fun. But I don’t spend every day with my nieces (though of course I’d love to see them more), and I wanted to connect with readers who don’t have kids or friends/siblings with kids. That said, I do love sharing info about family fun events!
  • Reviews on movies/TV (mostly Netflix and Hulu+)? Sure I love watching streaming TV, but is a blog dedicated only to that something I could keep up with? And how interesting would it be to read one gal’s 1 to 10 scale reviews (even though you could feel safe in knowing my posts would be spoiler free)? But sometimes, I watch something that inspires me to write. 
  • Costume and Makeup ideas? It’s true, I go to a lot of themed costumed events throughout the year, but I don’t have the budget or time to spend putting together amazing creations. Though, I do love to share a good makeup/costume tip from time to time!
  • Seattle Events? The city I live in is rich with arts, theatre, DJ nights, live music and more. That said, I’d love a blog that would be interesting to read from thousands of miles away. But, there’s so many good things happening around town, I want to get the word out (and review the occasional event, restaurant, happy hour or venue).
  • Relationships, Living and Learning? I’m certainly not one to air my emotional “dirty laundry” out on a blog for others to read. That’s not what I mean by “Relationships.” More, I’d like the opportunity to write blog posts reflecting on relationships (romantic or platonic), interpersonal dynamics, tips on living a more happy and abundant existence and elements of interest that make me stop and reflect on the life I live.  Having 100% of my posts be along these lines seemed a bit daunting, but I really love the idea of exploring these themes on a public blog.
  • Having Fun & Saving Money? On the flip side of events, there’s a lot of fun to be had while saving money. I’m a huge fan of board games, puzzles, scavenger hunts, reading. And who doesn’t like a good deal? This almost won out as the focus of my blog. However…

I took a look at this list and realized, all these interests were just part of a whole that makes up me. I’d already decided to leave the Social Media news to my business blog and give myself a rest in this space, but which of these subjects should I choose.

Then I came across the quote, once again, from Nietzsche: “When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets.”  I realized: I didn’t need to pick just one pocket. I could share the contents of many and create a vibrant blog.

If you’re reading this in the future, I’d love to hear feedback on what type of posts are your favorites, what you’d like to hear more or less of or any other thoughts you have! If you’re reading this closer to my post date, please share with me what subjects interest you the most!