Category Archives: Postcards

Postcard from Santa Barbara

image (2)Santa Barbara is a little gem. After an amazing extended weekend in this sweet little city, I can’t seem to stop smiling. A girl who overheard me gushing about my trip even asked, “Are you always this happy?” I enjoyed myself that much.

photo (21)I smile when I think about all the wonderful food we ate. The wheat germ pancakes at East Beach Grill were almost as amazing as our beach side table and gorgeous ocean view.

photo (23)The fish tacos at the Coral Casino with that magenta pickled cabbage – you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to eat those again. Oh, and don’t get me started on The Natural Cafe. It’s a green-eating, veggie lover’s dream! We went ahead and made that happen twice on this trip. I am so going to recreate their signature “natural salad” with lemon herb dressing at home. I’ll post my recipe as soon as that mission has been accomplished.

Image (1)I smile when I think about the little excursion we took to this butterfly preserve to see monarch butterflies rest during their migration south for winter. The Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove, located in the preserve, is where you’ll find hundreds of monarchs dripping from sky-high branches like dried leaves. I tried to capture the beauty in a photo, but without a telephoto lens, I was at a loss. If it were not for the crowds of people looking up at them, I might not have known they were there. An occasional flutter and a butterfly landing or flying away is all that really gave them away.

photo (22)I’m home now and my mini-vacation is over, yet I smile when I think about how lovely it was to feel the warm sun on my skin in the middle of January. I grin when I think about all the friends and family and love that made this weekend getaway so incredibly memorable and special. I am already planning my return.

Yours, full of love, fun memories and vitamin D,



An Expression of my Gratitude

loveMy sister will laugh when she sees this post. Just this weekend when we took our 2nd annual sister road trip to Cannon Beach, I mentioned how I was over all the gratitude posts everyone was posting on Facebook. It’s not that I don’t like the concept. It is lovely – expressing your gratitude for your friends and family. It’s sweet and we don’t say those things often enough. “I’m just not planning on jumping on that Facebook status bandwagon,” I told her. And yet here I sit at my computer, wanting to write about our weekend road trip and all I feel like writing is an expression of my gratitude for her presence in my life. The Universe has a funny sense of humor. To hell with my plans to resist the trend.

1382845_10202296045348360_2005719498_nI am grateful for my sister. I am grateful for how we still belt it out to 80s tunes and pop music like when we were kids. I love how easy it is to talk to her and how she listens. She listened for hours as I gushed about the new love of my life and I never once saw a hint of annoyance or exhaustion with the topic. She was receptive and all ears.

1395852_10202296049308459_853269252_nI love how she loves up the kale salad I bring as my contribution for road trip lunch. We laugh at how impractical it is, but revel in its deliciousness as we eat it together in a parking lot on the side of the road. She eats every bite and calls it “The Road Trip Lunch of Champions.”

1379305_10202296046748395_1267542930_nI am grateful for how we laugh together, cracking up to the point of belly aches. Rachel hit the nail on the head when she said, “Isn’t it weird how being on the beach just makes you want to run, waving your arms and screaming, like a kid?” We totally did that. And of course, so that we could watch it later and bust up laughing again, she got that goofiness on film. Our kind of silly cannot be contained.

1390613_10202296049348460_1466731682_nI am thankful to be able to call my sister my best friend and I was grateful to have this bonding time together. This weekend away was just what the doctor ordered. If my students noticed a little bit more pep in my step on Monday, they noticed right. I ended the weekend with a full cup and a grateful state of mind. Spending time with a sister like mine will do that.

*All of the pictures in this post were taken by my sister, Rachel Mae…except the one I took of my feet. But I’m sure you probably guessed that. 

Postcard from the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

chalkThis weekend I went camping – one last chance to get away before the craziness of a new school year begins. It was exactly what I needed.

shadowI went with a special friend who took it upon himself to figure out where we’d go. He picked me up and I got to be a passenger from the moment I got into the car. I didn’t worry myself with where we were going, the route we were taking or which campsite we’d be staying in. I just got in the car and let myself be transported to the most relaxing place I’ve been to in years. 

highwayOn our way out to the Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest via Highway 2, we made a special stop along the highway that was recommended by a friend. We climbed over the guard rail and shimmied down a rocky trail to an amazingly beautiful river below. It was an absolutely beautiful way to start our outdoor adventure.

streamThe campsite we originally intended to stay at, Money Creek, was full, which sent us off on an hour-long journey to where we ended up staying. This change in plans ended up being the most amazing gift because the campsite we ended up at was a little slice of heaven!

trailI’ll let you know right now that I’m not going to reveal the name of the little campground we ended up at. I’m going to hang on to this special gem – our little “secret” spot. If you ever end up there, you will know.

tentLying on my back in the tent, with the rain flap tucked away, I took in the beautiful canopy above me. I admired how the sun streamed in and hit places on the trees like a spotlight. I tried to take pictures through the screen of the tent to have something to hold onto and share with you. No shot that I took compares with the way it really was. I tried to read the book I brought along, but the quiet beauty of it all distracted me and I found myself staring into the forest-covered sky instead.

mossThe moss hangs down over branches like decorations. We imagined the camp site manager throwing handfuls of moss tinsel on the trees just for our arrival.

Recent rains have added to the water in a creek nearby, causing the waters to rush with a little more enthusiasm. The natural white noise of the raging waters soothed my mind and filled empty space.

smoresI made sure we ate well on this trip, making every meal from scratch. Of all the delicious food I brought, the homemade marshmallows were the food we loved the most. The powdered sugar that the cubes where dusted in charred over the fire like the sugar on a creme brûlée and the insides melted to a creamy perfection. I learned on this trip that s’mores are delicious for breakfast.

selfieI hope your labor day weekend has been as restful and rejuvenating as mine was. I’m sending lots of labor day love your way.

Wish you were here!



“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid

Postcard from Nashville

horsesIf you follow me on Instagram, you already know how my trip was. It was a trip of bests: best birthday cupcake, best live show, best friends, best gut-busting laughs, best sister and brother-in-law bonding, best biscuits.

I celebrated my 34th birthday while we were there. It was pouring rain that day. Not Seattle drizzle. A good ol’ southern downpour with thunder and lightning. All day long.

biscuitsDespite the weather, we started my birthday off right with breakfast at the famous Loveless Cafe, where they’re famous for their hashbrown casserole and bring you plate after plate of biscuits, fresh from the oven.

flight_of_biscuitsThey’re famous for the biscuits too. They are a delicious vehicle for all the varieties of Loveless jam. I made sure to try each one – it was a flight of preserves. Peach was our favorite.

cupcakeWe went to The Cupcake Collection because no birthday is complete without cake on your birthday. Even though there was a whole line of people behind me, the girls behind the counter took as long as necessary to find the perfect pink candle and a lighter so I could make a wish. That wish is totally coming true.

Goose_collageFor my birthday dinner, we dined at the most adorable little restaurant, The Silly Goose. I loved everything from the decor and ambience to the honey beet ice cream. Yes, you read that right. It’s their signature flavor. We loved this place so much we came back again another night.

Opry_CollageI donned my polka dot party dress to go to a live show at the Grand Ole Opry. The show brought me to tears – I was in good company with my sister. 

R&SMy bff surprised me with a visit. She coordinated on the down low with my sister, drove up from Atlanta, and walked into my room on Saturday morning with a sprinkle doughnut in tow. You should have seen my reaction. We got to spend the day together and have a slumber party that night. Best birthday surprise. Ever.

iceCreamThe warm sun was out every day of the trip but my birthday. I enthusiastically soaked up all the vitamin D I could, just enough to see my through til summer. And because it was so sunny, I ate ice cream. Lots of ice cream.

IceCream copyJeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, right next door to the Silly Goose, is amazing. The super friendly staff there will happily indulge in your indecision, allowing you to try any flavor you want. It’s southern hospitality at its best! After eight samples, I finally decided on Brambleberry Crisp – like oatmeal berry cobbler wrapped in cream.

My little birthday trip was just like these pictures – colorful, fun and full of decadence. I’m wiped out like a kid after her birthday party. I got a taste of summer this week and now I can’t wait for more.

Wish you were here!