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
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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:

Brené Brown’s new Netflix special, The Call to Courage, is the 76 minutes of inspiration you’re looking for this week

It’s pretty likely you’re one of the millions of people who have seen Brené Brown’s TedTalk from 2010. If you haven’t (or if you want a fresher), you can find it here (complete with a transcript for those of us who like to read along).

Her books, five of which are New York Times bestsellers, have made a huge splash in the self-improvement reading world. (I have read the Blinkist version of a few of her books as well.)

This inspiring Texan woman is back with her own Netflix special. “The Call to Courage” has more to say about vulnerability and its relationship to courage as well as some fun behind the scene glimpses into her life and experiences after that TedTalk video went viral (she thought only 500 or so people would see it!). It’s a snug 76 minutes and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I recommend you check it out (and I would love for you to come back and share your thoughts in the comments below or on my Facebook page)! I love having the chance to discuss inspiring videos with others (and my attempt to create a virtual-TedTalk-inspired-by-bookclubs-club never really took off) – I truly mean it when I say I want to hear your thoughts!

I took some notes for myself during my watch-party-of-one but am putting them after a bit down the page so you don’t have to read any spoilers. Ok, so self-improvement flick “spoilers” don’t have the same intensity as spoilers of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” but I’m still careful not to share spoilers. (I’m looking at you, friends who are sharing funny-but-STILL-SPOILERS images right now.)

My notes & thoughts on the show are below. These are just notes I jotted down when watching the Netflix special, so they may not all make total sense out of context. I recommend you watch the show now, then come back to read my thoughts (and comment with your own).

UPDATE: I have a LOT of notes, it turns out, but writing them all out was helpful for me, personally. That said, it’s a TON to read through so I have no hard feelings if you don’t read through them all, as they are a personal recap of the takeaways I wanted to remember from the show.

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Inside Pocket: 3 tips for KonMari’ing shared belongings with your partner

My KonMari’ing has returned after a brief hiatus.

Two nights ago, I revisited my bags and backpack drawers and felt that good whoosh of success after completing it.

Up until now, almost all of my KonMari’ing has been on my own belongings (clothes, books, papers, accessories, miscellaneous stuff). Occasionally he’ll check out what I’m getting rid of (in case there’s a costume piece he wants to keep that I don’t), but mostly he’s just been my supportive cheerleader as I tackle my stuff on my own.

Last night, Brandon and I started our joint kitchen KonMari’ing.

There are three agreements that Brandon and I made before we got started last night. I wanted to share these in case it helps others who are “choosing what to keep” and getting organized with a partner.

1) Before diving in, we agreed that we didn’t have to do the whole kitchen and pantry area all at once, guessing we would be happier if we broke it down into shorter segments. (When we were wedding planning, we came up with the phrase “I love you and I’m at a good place to stop” when we reached a limit – we applied that concept here.) Sometimes it’s good to push to get to the end of a project, but not always. Sometimes it’s better to have a successful same-team-win feeling a few times in a row rather than hitting an exhausted level and having some communication breakdown.

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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!
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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.
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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.
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How are you taking care of your body, emotions, or mind this week?

My Crepe Paper Crown Tutorial (with the Lia Griffith team!)

Part of the joy of planning my wedding was creating paper flowers for my table decorations. I stumbled upon a free rosebud tutorial by Lia Griffith and was hooked. It was fun to share crafting time with family and friends as the wedding grew closer. Part of my parent’s wedding gift to us was my gorgeous dress (that I found at the Brides for a Cause pop-up shop in Seattle) and after some experience creating paper flowers, I started day-dreaming of creating a crown that echoed the dress’s delicate flower design. As luck would have it, I won Lia Griffith’s giveaway which included a trip to Portland to craft with Lia’s incredible team. My mom and I had an incredible weekend away and Lia’s team was so excited to help us turn my idea into a reality! I now have a total craft-crush (that’s a thing right?) on the whole team at LiaGriffith.com. Their membership program is totally worth it (I joined as a paid member after my trip). I’ve bought quite a bit of crepe paper now, and Lia’s is the best!

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(Shout out to Swink Style Bar for my hair and makeup – exactly how I wanted it!)

Check out the full story—and the tutorial!—on Lia Griffith’s blog here.

From Lia Griffith’s blog: 

“When we threw a competition surrounding the launch of our Spring Garden Collection at Joann Fabrics, we couldn’t have imagined a more perfect winner. We flew Keridwyn and her wonderful mother Jeanne down from Seattle to spend a day with us here in our studio in Portland. The timing was ideal – her wedding was fast approaching and she had been dreaming of finding the perfect paper floral crown. Designer Jessica helped Keridwyn make her dream a reality and the results were stunning. We recently received photos from the wedding, shot by Jackie Donnelly. In addition to her bridal floral crown, Keridwyn made centerpiece roses, bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and more floral crowns for her ring bearer and flower girls. We’re thrilled that everything turned out so beautifully! Congratulations to the happy couple! And thank you again for sharing your creative spirit with all of us here at Lia Griffith, Keridwyn!

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Check out Lia Griffith’s step-by-step tutorial to show you how you can make your very own bridal floral crown.

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Continue reading Lia Griffith’s blog here.

Now, I’ll get back to dreaming of the day I own my very own Cricut machine. I’m also going to try to make the “Crepe Paper Iris Flowers” soon. I think paper flowers make great gifts, especially for those you want to send some love as they heal from health issues or process through their grief.

Check out more photos of paper crowns, bouquets, and centerpieces in my Facebook photo album here. 

 

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You can find the tutorial for the crowns I made for our ring bearer & flower girl on Lia Griffith’s site as well!

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The roses in the bridal bouquets and the boutonnieres were adapted from Lia’s rosebud tutorials (just add more large petals to make the roses for the bouquets a bit bigger).

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corsages

Rose bud and peony flowers (the latter from the nieces’ crown tutorial) adapted to create wrist corsages! These would make great hair clips too. In retrospect, I would have made the wrist corsages with ribbon instead of elastic or as pins, as the elastic was a bit too tight.

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Centerpiece flowers and heart shaped “petals” cut from crepe paper around the table.

Photos by Jackie Donnelly.

 

RENT at the Paramount (Giveaway), Walla Walla Wines, my new favorite podcast & Ignite Seattle

Happy Sunday!
I have so many fun things I want to share with everyone, so here’s a miscellany of events and things I’ve enjoyed lately:
RENT
One of the most beloved musicals, RENT, is coming back to the Paramount Theatre for just a few days this month. See the musical February 21-26. You can also enter to win one of two pairs of tickets from the giveaway we are co-hosting with Swink Style Bar! Giveaway here.
About RENT: In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway…and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’sLa BohèmeRENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
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WALLA WALLA WINE
Walla Walla has an incredibly active and delicious wine community and over 50 Walla Walla wineries are in town tomorrow (Monday) for a special tasting event. Tickets available here.
About the event: Sample a selection of wines from 50 of the finest Walla Walla Valley wineries. Mingle with principals and winemakers. Experience the energy and excitement surrounding our renowned wine region. Tickets include unlimited wine samplings and light hors d’oeuvres. February 13 5:30-8pm
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NEW PODCAST
The Hilarious World of Depression” is my favorite new podcast. “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” host John Moe talks with a different comedian each episode about their experiences with depression and anxiety. I love that this podcast is working to take the stigma away from this common disease and encourage frank, genuine conversation about it! He’s a great host and the comedians he has as guests are some of my favorites.
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IGNITE SEATTLE
I went to my first Ignite Seattle event last November to see my friend Jeff Hicks who was one of the speakers. As soon as I saw that Ignite Seattle will be back February 23, I bought tickets (super affordable tickets, at that). These events tend to sell out so snag yours soon.
About Ignite Seattle:
This legendary evening of short and fascinating presentations that started in Seattle 10 years ago, has a simple goal “Enlighten us, but make it quick.” 16 passionate Seattleites are given five minutes at the microphone to inspire, inform, entertain or do all at the same time. It’s a reinvention of the very idea of a lecture, offering an exciting and provocative evening of storytelling for all ages. 
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