Happy 6th Anniversary (to both of us)!

This week, I attended Penelope & The Beauty Bar‘s Sixth Anniversary celebration in their space at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle.  I’ve been attending their annual celebrations for the past couple of years, and it’s always a well-done event.

PenelopeFor this year’s event, guests were treated to champagne and delightful nibbles, as well as mini-services (manicures, massages, skin consultations, etc.) and the opportunity to purchase anniversary specials at fantastic pricing.

I enjoyed a lovely European-style, waterless, manicure from one of the lovely aestithicians (perfect for my upcoming anniversary dinner out), and then a relaxing 15-minute massage with Mark (he was fantastic!).  In between visits to the infrared Jade pod and glasses of champagne, it was an easy decision to purchase a specially-priced annual membership, providing me with a variety of services, an annual discount for goods and services beyond those, and the knowledge that I’m an “insider” at one of my favorite Seattle day spas.

Not only is Penelope’s a lovely place to enjoy a little self-care, but it’s located in one of Seattle’s most beautiful, historic hotel properties.  The Fairmont Olympic is designed in what was the trendy Italian Renaissance style.  The Spanish Ballroom and Foyer are two of the most beautiful rooms in Seattle (in my opinion).  The property was the original site of the University of Washington‘s first campus.  It’s a true Seattle institution.

During the holidays, the Fairmont Olympic offers afternoon tea, holiday tea with Santa and a wide variety of other holiday events, including being the host for the Seattle Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees.

This year, the culinary team at the Fairmont Olympic are opening a life-sized gingerbread house at the University Street entrance to the property.  Opening November 23rd, it’s sure to become a Seattle holiday tradition.



How Do YOU Give Back?


Here’s a sneak peak at this year’s table centerpieces – they’re going to be beautiful!

Last Thursday night I attended the monthly meeting of The Arnold Guild, a fundraising arm for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, based in Seattle, WA.  I have been a member of the Guild for nearly four years, and have spent a good amount of donated time and energy to procurement, events and meetings, and I — now more than ever — believe in the value of giving back to the organizations and causes that touch our lives.

Cancer is a terrible, terrible word.  I have been fortunate in that I haven’t been personally touched by it (yet) in my immediate family.  However, my husband (one of two children), is currently coping with the knowledge that both his mother and his sister (basically his entire genetic family) are struggling with cancers and difficult prognoses.  There’s not much I can do for them, but I can do THIS.

I don’t pretend that any work I do can make it better.  I know it can’t.  But I know that it takes money and awareness to drive the research and discoveries that will lead to a cure.  And I believe that the Fred Hutch will have found a cure for cancer in the next ten years.  So, it’s up to all of us to keep our loved ones alive and well, and hopeful.

The Arnold Guild is composed of mostly women.  We are creative, energetic and (I would like to think) fun! I am not the typical member, I think.  Several of our monthly meetings are spent going over the various design and decor for the Hutch Gala (our annual monster fundraiser).  I’ve never been one to care too much about colors and fabrics, but I can understand and appreciate the need to create a feeling — and experience — for an event like this (which donors like that).  It’s an amazing event, and takes many volunteers and many months of planning.  All hands on deck!

Beginning in January, I will take on the role of Procurement Chair.  I think it is not the most popular role.  However, I believe in the cause, and as a result, I have no problem walking around with my hand out in order to raise money to help find the cure.  It’s a lot easier than asking for anything on my own behalf!

So, this year’s event will take place on Saturday, December 2nd. For the first time ever, I will attend as a guest (not as a volunteer worker).  I’m excited to experience it from the other side, and even more excited to see what wonders will occur this year.  Each event includes the moving stories of survivors, and those left behind, and highlights the amazing work being done by the scientists and staff at Fred Hutch.  It’s nearly impossible not to be emboldened with hope at this event, and hope keeps us ALL alive.

What do YOU do to give back? What causes speak to you? How can we all help to make the world a better place?


30 Days to a Whole New Habit

I know it takes 21 days to establish a new “habit,” but I’m going to give myself a few extra.  I find that I typically have a hard time getting out of my ORDINARY routine, into something new, so I’m going to be kind.

But in truth, I really need to get going on this.  Blogging is fun.  I really enjoy it!  I just don’t do it religiously.  And, in truth, I should – I have an utterly amazing life!  But I get busy, and then I figure it’s late, no one will care, and then I move on to something else, and then I just never get around to it.  So today, that stops.  I’m giving myself 30 days.

What’s my plan, you may ask?  Well, here’s the thing.  I’m keeping this blog, and morphing it a little.  I’m focused on sharing what I would call a very rich life.  Let’s be super clear.

My target audience is anyone who wants to share all the wonderful things that go into having a rich life – whatever that might entail.  To me, it’s a lot of things: family, travel, community, work, cooking, pets, exercise, and hobbies.  So that’s what you’ll find here.

I’m 52 years old.  But I still feel like I’m in my 20s.  My husband says I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy.  My 13-year-old son frequently finds me immature.  I like to cut loose and have fun.  And I frequently buckle down and get it done. So expect snarky humor, with a dash of irreverence.

I was divorced and raised my first two sons alone for 15 years.  I never thought I would marry again.  I met my current husband and had an epiphany at the age of 45.  It can happen.  It DOES happen.  And I consider us still to be newlyweds!  I’m a fan of Happy Endings.  I love to root for the Underdog.  I believe miracles happen everyday.  I will share all of that with you.

I live in Seattle – I know it’s not Manhattan (although I’ve lived there, too) – but seriously, is there anyplace ANYONE would rather be?

I’ve been in marketing  my whole adult life, although now I’m in Sales (and it just feels like the next iteration of marketing – relationships, that is!), so I hope you’ll find I’m an effective and (amusing) communicator!

I have two cats (I feel like we keep repeating cats – 1 is a MaineCoon (girl), the other is a tuxedo cat (boy)) – they are frequently problems.  But they make me feel needed, in a life where everyone is very self-sufficient, and we all need to feel needed.

I love to travel and do so frequently.  And I am a knitter – if I am not creating SOMEthing, I feel very unfulfilled.  So, usually, it’s knitting but sometimes it’s home improvement, community service, or event planning.  I will share my newest creations with you, and I hope you will share with me, too!

View from AtlasSo… there it is in a nutshell.  Today, I’m sitting at Atlas Workbase, working remotely, while thinking about the future.  Where are YOU? And what are you thinking about today?




Queen Anne Holidays

stockingsonmantleThis is our first Christmas as Queen Anne residents, and I think I like it. Well, who am I kidding – I love it! The neighborhood is festive – both upper and lower. The proximity to Seattle Center (which is INCREDIBLY decorated) is so much fun, and I’m having a great time going back and forth to downtown for quick bouts of holiday shopping!

I’ve made the run up to the top of Queen Anne Avenue North to purchase special gifts several times, and I’m enjoying Pilates classes at Inspire Queen Anne, so I’m getting my neighborhood on!

Latest update must include the fact that last week I attended the Queen Anne Community Council’s monthly meeting and self-nominated myself for one of their open board seats. I was elected! Not sure what that says about me OR the Board… .but what it means for you is that if you have a question, concern or a topic you’d like raised/responded to that the Board can address, please send it to me. I’d love to be of help!

So, what are YOU working on for the holidays? I just finished Christmas stockings. This weekend I’ll put our little courtyard garden to bed and finish hanging the last of the Christmas lights. We’re almost ready… Next weekend – cookies!

I’m looking forward to enjoying all the holiday lights and decorations in our wonderful neighborhood. If you know of a particularly great display, please let me know; I love to explore!

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!

Welcome December! Holiday Shopping on the Hill

Took the fam up the Hill today to do a little holiday shopping in the ‘hood. We strolled up and down Queen Anne Avenue and hit a few select spots, including the Queen Anne Bookstore, the Paper Source, Trader Vic’s … Continue reading

First Snow in our New Home on Queen Anne (More Like at the Feet of Queen Anne)

We had the first bit of snow last night into this morning, leaving the neighborhood dusted in icy white and quiet. Granted, it is quieter in the late fall, heading into winter, than it typically was all summer long, but … Continue reading

ClassPass Comes to Seattle

I was lucky enough to hook up with ClassPass for their Seattle launch earlier this month, however I’ve had to wait to really enjoy them until now as I was heading directly out of town on vacation. So… Starting tomorrow I’m going to try out a month of this new fitness option.

Class #1: Intro to Rowing at Rival Fitness on Capitol Hill. I’ve met done much rowing so I figure an “Intro” class will be good. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Class #2: Tuesday evening I’ll visit Queen Anne’s Inspire for an SPX Total Body Workout. I believe this is a Reformer- based Pilates-type workout. I’m familiar.

I’m looking forward to any number of other activities – FlyBarre, Barre3, oh so much Yoga… Maybe Orange Theory (maybe not – that sounds really hard)…

I’ll share my adventures. And please let me know if you have ideas or adventures you would like to share!