Whiskey & Wrinkles

I was feeling really gloomy about turning 28.  I had planned to spend the day alone feeling bad for myself, instead I took a good friend’s advice and put together a gathering of close friends, too much food and plenty of whiskey.

88This was the liquor and wine table.  In the drink canister I made a vodka cocktail for my non-whiskey loving friends.

RECIPE:

  • A full handle of Tito’s vodka
  • 3 oranges cut into wedges
  • 25 basil leafs (got mine from garden… I have always wanted to say that 😉 )
  • Simple syrup- add as much as you like depending on how sweet you like
  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1 liter of club soda- same with simple syrup add accordingly

Add all ingredients except for club soda and let sit overnight.  Right before serving add club soda.  Have a big bowl of ice next to cups.

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Chances are the hand on the left is my boyfriend sneaking a pre-party drink.

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Got this fruit head idea from Pinterest.  How cute is he?  Heads up, you want to put this in fridge before you have to many party drinks and leave it out.  The result will be an entire infestation of of fruit flys.

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My friend Sarah was the creative mind behind the artistic face, so clever 🙂

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Food table, dinosaur decorations thanks to my friend who Kiyomi who helped so much!

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The front porch of my house is pretty epic and a great spot to enjoy a cocktail with friends.

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The pictures got a little wild after this and I got more into enjoying my friends than bothering with the camera… so the rest of the pictures are of the aftermath.

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Booz table the next morning,

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My morning breakfast consisted of leftover BIrthday cake, which I was so surprised to get from a friend, as it was from the fancy Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle.

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What they don’t show you on Pinterest…

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After clean up I enjoyed having all of the sunflowers around the house.

I am so glad that I didn’t sit and feel sorry for myself for having more grey hairs than ever and my metabolism starting to slow down.  I have some really hard situations going on in my life right now that it was so refreshing to be surrounded by so many people I love and all the whiskey helped.

Have a great day 🙂

Where would you go?

My mother has terminal cancer.

This has been the most difficult year of my life.  Dealing with the idea of losing my best friend and mother is the worst thing I could imagine.

This is mom and I a couple years back in Hawaii, we had a beautiful trip.
  This is mom and I a couple years back in Hawaii, we had a beautiful trip.

Watching the most giving person have to go through such a difficult sickness has been so frustrating, especially when there is nothing you can go.  My mom is such a fighter and has continued to impress me with her continuous strength and courage to battle cancer.  She is a true fighter filled with strength. I admire her and am so proud and lucky to call her my mother.

I could talk about that but instead I am trying to stay positive, as that is what my mother wishes.

SOOOOO, if you knew you had a limited amount of time, where would you want to go?  What would you want to do?  What experiences would you want to have?

My mom wants to experience some adrenaline rushes and spend as much time with her family as possible.  We have been squeezing in as many fun experiences as possible.  The one thing my mom really wanted to do was spend a weekend on the Oregon coast with our crazy family.We were lucky to gather everyone except my oldest brother, and had a really great time in Newport.

It took three cars to get everyone there!

It took three cars to get everyone there!

Did I mention I got a kitten?!  His name is Wallace and it turns out he doesn’t mind driving in the car one bit!

Although my two other passengers got restless really quick, as we got stuck in traffic A LOT.  The entire drive from Seattle down to Newport took EIGHT hours.

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After a late arrival we found a hole in the wall bar (my favorite) a brief walk away from the  hotel.

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 I won some money on Oregon Lottery slot machine and we got some hot food before heading back to hotel for…

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LATE NIGHT PANCAKES!!!

The next morning we were off to hit the dunes (mom’s choice, that wild woman).  Unfortunately we had an unexpected two hour wait. 6

This is my sweet mother and father, pretty cute huh?

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Making best of the unexpected time, Phil and I went to go visit the city of Florence.  We had stayed the night here during our HWY 101 trip a couple months back.  We went for coffee but I ended up shopping and then found him sitting outside enjoying a beer, go figure!  Thes rest of the fam played some miniature golf.

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The whole crazy group

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FINALLY!  Strapped in and ready to roll 🙂

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Off we go

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Buggy #1

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Buggy #2

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I had no idea how beautiful and SCARY the dunes would be!  You can’t tell in the pictures but it literally feels like you are about to fall off the edge of the earth on some of the hills.

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Cancer most certainly didn’t stop my mom from enjoying the dunes in the front seat ❤

The next day mom wanted to go sit on the beach and enjoy the ocean as she loves being near water.  So we tried to find a beach that wasn’t to difficult of a walk down to the water, which was more of a struggle than you would think.

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We stopped at many beaches that had very steep inclines, that mom insisted she would be fine at, but we all worry and wanted to be sure we found a safe option… I’m sure this was very irritating for mom.

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Success 🙂

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Did I mention we brought Wallace the kitten to beach? Yup, I was the crazy lady with the kitten on the beach.  To all of our surprise, he loved it!

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Took a little nap in my shirt after exploring.

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It was a successful trip and I will cherish it as a beautiful memory ❤

Thrifting Treasures

I can easily lose hours in a thrift store.  I prefer to attend garage sales and estate sales, but since those are only available on weekends, thrifting at local used stores is a good replacement.

On this trip I was on a mission to find a new (used) french press and a basket for cat toys.  There are usually multiple french presses, but I wasn’t that lucky this day.  Although I did find a bunch of stuff I didn’t know I needed that of course I purchased!

I tend to lean towards the bizarre things in life.  That definitely includes my taste in decorating and clothing.  I have always liked items that hold a story or look out of the ordinary.  Although I also really like quality items, which can be found for affordable prices while thrifting.

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You never know what unique art pieces you’ll find!

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Pretty excited to find this brand new leather adidas jacket for $8!

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I use to be a vintage camera collector, as I have a love for photography and think they are beautiful to put on display.  Unfortunately my large collection which I had been acquiring since I was 14, was completely ruined.  An ex from Texas (sounds like country song right?!) decided when we broke up to take a hammer to each lense, making the cameras completely unusable.  This was a beaut but I resisted the temptation.

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I love bizarre pieces like this.  I use to buy anything I found cute or that I was drawn to.  After moving so many times and realizing I hate clutter I now refrain from buying nik-naks… but I really liked this little handcrafted mini cabin.

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These were huge wooden cutouts.  I tried to justify buying them, as they were only $4.99 and I would have loved to randomly put them in someones yard.  Alas I resisted in hope that some teenage boy would acquire awesome decorations 😉 !

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I am a sucker for this color of kitchenware. 99 cents each.

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The overall haul of this trip…

  • Brand new Nike Yoga pants $6.99
  • Lulu Lemon Yoga pants $4.99
  • White shelf to refinish $7.99
  • Globe (collecting to make light fixture) $4.99
  • BRAND NEW Frye Boots $19.99
  • Basket for cat toys $1.99
  • H&M peacock bohemian dress $3.99
  • Two shelves for wall $4.99
  • Squirrel Shaped cat bowl .99 cents
  • Brand New Michael Kors wooden heels
  • New Black Heels $5.99

Before I check out I always go through what I have thrown into my cart and reanalyze my life and realize I have been on a day dreaming shopping high and usually put back half of the stuff, but I always seem to leave with a lot.

I really love everything behind the idea of thrift stores.  The idea of reusing someone else’s discarded item is something I really can support.  I also donate on a regular basis to the local goodwill.

So even if you think thrift stores are smelly and you’d rather just pay full price at a mall store, consider swinging by your local second hand store, you never know what you may find!

Buckley Log Show

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Buckley, a little town nestled in the woods in the beautiful Washington state is where I spent most my adolescence.  As most teenagers despise where they grew up (I couldn’t wait to leave when I was in my teens), Now that I’m older, I actually really enjoy going back to visit mine.  My parents still live in Buckley so I get the opportunity to travel through frequently.

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The last weekend of June every year, the city of Buckley has an event called the “Buckley Log Show.”  When I was younger I would make fun of this event because I found it embarrassing that the only event that ever happened in our small town, was centered around logs.  Now that I have traveled in various places around the world, I look back at this event and find is absolutely fascinating!

The below video is of the city right next to Buckley, Enumclaw.  It gives you a good idea of what my hometown is like.

This one is pretty cute as well. my favorite is the ending comment

How many competitions can you you think of that can revolve around a piece of an old tree?  There are 21… yes 21 events involving a log! Everything from Ax Throws to Ma & Pa Bucking, they do it all the Buckley Log Show!

a small cluster of tree trucks ( there must be a real name for these?! )
a small cluster of tree trucks ( there must be a real name for these?! )

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Was SO thrilled that the scone truck was there, the only time I like scones!  The beer garden is also pretty cool.  Only $2 for a beer!  As you can see suspenders are in fashion, not only at this event but year round for Bucklians.

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I didn’t get too many pictures of the events as the beer garden can be very distracting, my camera holding hand was occupied…

If you look closely you will realize there are men at the top of these logs.  It’s pretty dang impressive, the race starts at the bottom and the men climb the log with a hug saw attached to their hip, once they get to the top they use the saw to cut thru the wood up top.  You thought the last minute of a football game was intense—this is edge of your seat entertainment!

Always run into some old friends in the beer garden.
Always run into some old friends in the beer garden.  I don’t usually drink water, sorry I mean budlight but there is a time and place for every beer!
Entrance
Entrance
Some of my beautiful family!
Some of my beautiful family!

Next year I vow to drink less beer and take more pictures 😉 !

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

A random trip to Orcas Island was such an unexpected treat.  Orcas Island is somewhere I had gone camping as a child and has ever since had a special place in my heart.

Deception Pass
Deception Pass

On the way to Anacortes where you catch the ferry to the San Juan Islands is a great spot called Deception Pass.  No matter how many times I have seen this place, it always takes my breath away.  I always get the chills at one spot of Deception Pass because in 2010 I found a dead body, seriously.

Some Pictures around the bridge
Some Pictures around the bridge

That is my model face… and that is why I am not a model 😉

Nailed it?
Nailed it?

I asked for this picture and the hand in the picture was not amused with the thirty times he tried to take it.  Recognize it from those around the world pictures of the sexy brunette?  I tried… ha.

The wait for the ferry to come is always a long one, and expensive!  It cost $60 to get a car onto that thing! Luckily when you get on the ferry the view is breathtaking and they serve beer, which always helps.

Love the native art all over ferry.
Love the native art all over ferry.

Local beer, breath taking views- it was hard to get off!

Pit stop
Pit stop

Upon arriving to the island we did some exploring before checking into our hotel at the Island Hopping Brewery.  A very cute and cozy tasting room filled with locals.  I also found myself sitting next to a girl who had lived in Montrose, the same neighborhood of Houston that I did and it turned out that we knew a handful of the same people.  The world just seems to get smaller and smaller!

The room at Rosario Resort
The room at Rosario Resort

I stayed at the Rosario Resort  which had a dreamy little porch overlooking the water.  There was also an adorable restaurant on the marina which was about a 3 min walk down a little path that we ate at twice, and later went to the bar and mingled with the staff.

Random shots
Random shots

Exploring around the Island.

Found a book filled with interesting ways to judge the rarity of my seaglass findings. I had to pull over to snap a picture of this quaint little stand.
Found a book filled with interesting ways to judge the rarity of my seaglass findings. I had to pull over to snap a picture of this quaint little stand.

The evening sunset was pretty epic, though not much of a traditional Sunset.

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I highly recommend visiting the San Juan Islands, especially Orcas.  My only complaint about this trip is that it wasn’t long enough.

Amanda.

Pay it Forward.

I have been gathering products and supplies to put together some supply bags for people in need.

A favorite quote with a recent picture.
A favorite quote with a recent picture.

I often find people with a sign asking for “help”.  I like to think I’m not judgemental, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t consider someone in a tough time could be strugling with an addiction.  I sympathize with the struggles of addiction, but I don’t want to fuel the problem by giving that person money to continue harming themselves.  With that being said, not everyone living on the streets is a drug addict, but everyone living on the streets is in fact in need.  I have put a lot of thought in how I can help those people without just handing them cash.

I started collecting hygiene items as well as exciting editions.  It was important to me that whoever receives these bags doesn’t look at them as cheap toiletries thrown into a bag, instead a somewhat luxury bag to brighten their day.  I personally love random gestures of kindness, so I wanted to start providing that for strangers down on their luck.

A gathering of some products.
A gathering of some products.

– I have been lucky enough to travel the world a fair amount.  I never use the shampoos, conditioner, soap or lotions.  Yet I can’t resist snatching them up, now I am glad I did.

– I am a Sephora addict, as well as a subscriber to Ipsy and Birchbox.  I end up with a lot of luxury product and samples that I never open, I felt this would be a nice edition to the bags.

Little notes.
Little notes.

I wanted to add a little explanation and a general uplifting message.  I find a lot of groups add religious messages, since I don’t know the strangers religious preference, I feel the best way to relate to someone is through simple kindness.

Finished product loaded into back of car.
Finished product loaded into back of car.

These bags separated into male or female products.

  • Beef Jerkey
  • Beverage
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap and Lotion
  • Hand Warmers
  • Fresh Socks
  • Deodorant
  • Random Beauty Products
  • Chapstick
One of my favorite quotes, with on of my recent pictures.
One of my favorite quotes, with on of my recent pictures.

Any suggestions on this idea, or previous experiences I would love to hear about.

Combing the Beach

Lately I have been emotionally all over the place. I haven’t known what to do to keep myself busy so I don’t dwell on melancholy issues in my present life. I found myself on the beach the other day completely calm searching for seaglass. Losing a couple hours to the coast every day is honestly the best therapy.

I have 218 steps down to the beach, since I had looked up the tide time, I knew the best time of day to comb.
I have 218 steps down to the beach, since I had looked up the tide time, I knew the best time of day to comb.
I stayed in this area, a rare moment when this section of beach was empty, my favorite.
I stayed in this area, a rare moment when this section of beach was empty, my favorite.
First piece of blue glass this year, definitely the rarest color to find on Alki.
First piece of blue glass this year, definitely the rarest color to find on Alki.

My childhood was spent vacationing to drivable and affordable locations.  My parents utilized the fact that we lived in the glorious state of Washington, where you can drive in any direction for thirty minutes and be surrounded by beautiful wilderness.  I have vivid memories of being able to collect treasures to fill up my bucket.  It’s funny how kids love collecting treasures.  Being that anything you find washed up on the beach is yours for the keeping is so exciting as a child, who has no form of currency it almost seems like a loop hole in the system.  By the time I was 18, I got on my first plane and at the time I felt embarrassed about it, but now I get nostalgic thinking of all the glorious PNW vacation spots my parents introduced me to.

Hidden Starfish
Hidden Starfish

I try to be a good citizen and along with collecting gems I also collect trash off the beach to dispose of. When I went to lift this piece of trash I was surprised to find a little starfish waiting for the tide to come back.

This Seaglass made a home for some barnacles
This Seaglass made a home for some barnacles
Crab shells are in abundance here.
Crab shells are in abundance here.  

There is such a variation of new and old sea life to explore.

My discarded pile (all the rocks that loose their glimmer when they dry) Had a caterpillar claim what I left.
My discarded pile (all the rocks that loose their glimmer when they dry) Had a caterpillar claim what I left.

My unwanted rocks were quickly explored by this fuzzy little guy.

My favorite piece of the day, a worn word from a bottle.  Please will never get old.
My favorite piece of the day, a worn word from a bottle. Please will never get old.

I hope to soften the edge on this, surround it with a sterling silver bezel and make a pendant.

My kept findings for the day, this bowl was also a finding from another day!
My kept findings for the day, this bowl was also a finding from another day!

I plan to go on a couple more wanders and then get this glass re-homed into some handcrafted jewelry.

Thanks for peeking in