Friday Roundup

I still haven't gotten around to getting a Christmas tree, so I'm just going to enjoy looking at this pretty ornament photo for now. You may have seen on the blog this week or my facebook page that I'm hosting an EParty for Karama Collection, it's going on until Tuesday the 6th!  The ornament above is handmade by Masai women in Tanzania. I'm buying a bunch to put on the top of presents this year, because cute ornaments make up for the fact that I suck at tying bows :) and also, it's fun to share the story behind the ornaments when I'm giving a gift.

Check out Karama Collection and use the code JKPARTY16 for 15% off your order.

Here's one thing I'll be buying for myself from Karama.

And here are other fun things on the web this week...

Drunk History does Julia Child and it is awesome.

Cat yoga!

I really want to see this movie. 

This article hits on a lot of the things I was thinking while watching the new Gilmore Girls.

America Ferrera is awesome, Teresa sent me this and I relate to it so much.

Beautiful holiday decor. 

The Full House house will always be!

Teresa also sent me this Patton Oswald tearjerker. 

World AIDS Day 2016

Hi everyone! Part of the reason that I'm so behind on blogging right now is that I'm trying to find balance between working part time and juggling all the chaos of having a pre-schooler and a baby. I find myself with an abundance of great things in my life that are edging out other great things (like the blog!).

I feel very lucky to be able to spend my working hours directing the 30/30 Project. It's an incredible opportunity for me to do something I love, work with my family, and make a difference in the world.

Today is World AIDS Day. Since I can remember this has always been a big day in my family. We spend time remembering those we have lost, reflecting on how far we have come, and strategizing about how to make in impact in the fight to end AIDS. Last year was an especially memorable World AIDS Day when my mom received the Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award in LA.

This year she wrote some reflections on the 2016 theme, "HIV Prevention" on our 30/30 Project blog. If you're interested, I'd encourage you to read them. She has a way of personalizing the efforts we are all making to end AIDS that comes from years living with the disease and losing countless friends along the way.

Karama for Christmas

This week I'm hosting an EParty for Karama Collection. In 2013 Jason and I traveled with Karama to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zanzibar meeting and photographing some of Karama's artisans, you can read a little about that trip here. I'll be sharing more about my experiences with Karama throughout the week.

Especially this year, I want to be encouraging everyone I know to do a little more with their Christmas shopping. It's so easy to get caught up in crazy Black Friday sales and forget that even our shopping can have a positive impact on the world. This is one way to get a beautiful, quality gift for someone you love and be putting your money towards something good. 

Something to think about...

I came upon this quote in a Huffington Post article and it really stuck with me. There have been moments when I want to yell it at people around me and moments when I'm quietly reminding myself of this way of thinking. So I'm putting it here, as a way of remembering for myself and sharing with all of you.

As for attribution, there's some varying opinions out there as to who said it first. 

Thanksgiving Roundup!

I have a love/hate relationship with the week of Thanksgiving, I mean, who doesn't love a shortened week? But then, suddenly it's Wednesday, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, the week feels over and I feel like a slacker. I didn't even get a blog post up! So you get this. A roundup of things I'm thankful for. And yes, I'm thankful for my home, family, etc. this list includes a bit more out of the ordinary choices of the things I'm feeling thankful for in this moment in time...

I'm thankful for:

Christmas music starting early this year. I've found it to be the most uplifting thing since the election.

My two black cats. (If you want one, the Seattle Humane Society is adopting black cats for FREE on Black Friday, I promise your life will be better with a snuggly black kitty in it.)

GILMORE GIRLS! Excited to watch it with friends this weekend :)

Heather Christo's amazing recipes! I was sad and overwhelmed when I found about about my food allergies, but I'm feeling so thankful to have amazing resources that have actually inspired me to be cooking more. I'm planning a post for next week with specific recipes and foods that I've been loving lately.

The good I see in the world like these 21 Medal of Freedom recipients.

The sense of smell. I've been VERY into candles and essential oils lately and appreciate how they comfort, calm and help me to sleep and now I'm beginning to be hit with those wonderful holiday scents full of nostalgia, cinnamon, clove, evergreen...I love it all.

Rest and recharging. Sometimes my life is crazy, and sometimes it's calm. I'm loving that we're in a period of wrapping up projects and have a bit of a lull before we're gearing up for the next things. I've been going to yoga, catching up on things around the house, spending time with friends, and catching up on sleep. It's been wonderful and I'm trying to fully appreciate it now before life is chaotic again.

Really, there's so many things that I'm thankful for, and also, a lot of things that really suck, but sometimes, it's nice to take a break from thinking about those negative things and focus on what is good.

Wherever you are, have a wonderful Thanksgiving... or just a wonderful normal Thursday if you live pretty much anywhere outside of the U.S. :)


Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! And Hello! I've been a bit MIA from the blog. Life is very full for me right now, some of the things I love to do (like blogging and yoga!) are falling by the wayside in the midst of trying to find balance as a working mom of two. I do miss this though and I'm not quitting!

What are you up to this weekend? I am celebrating Friendsgiving with Jenny and some of our college roommates. I'm making this to bring and of course cranberry sauce.

Hope you have a great weekend, here are some links to get us started:

Speaking of Friendsgiving, check out this beautiful spread.

It's almost here and it's getting good reviews!! Oh, and another Thanksgiving treat from PBS.

I want this giant rocking chair.

What a birthday party!

For you early birds: Goop already released their holiday gift guide.

I might be able to at least find time for this.

This review makes me want to get a sitter and go to the theater tonight.

These memes are breaking the internet for good reason.

This was a helpful article for parents of young kids.

Travel goals. 

Seattle Books

WAY back in August, I posted about what I like to read when I'm traveling. In that post I said I'd be back the following week with my favorite books about Seattle. Oops. It's been a little longer than a week. But here you go! Regardless of whether you live in Seattle or not, I'd recommend all of these reads.

A Homemade Life and Delancy 

Both memoirs sprinkled with recipes that will make you feel like you're catching up with a dear friend.

Where to read: Either in your own kitchen while you're wildly inspired to make all the recipes from the books OR at one of Molly and her husband's restaurants in Seattle (Delancy, Essex and Dino's Tomato Pie)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 

This is historical fiction, based on the real lives of the Asian Americans living in what is now Seattle's International District during WWII. This book has it all, the sweetest story of young love and the bitter truth of racism driven by fear and how Japanese were mistreated during the war.

Where to read: The Panama Hotel, the actual hotel referenced in the title where many Japanese Americans left their possessions before being shipped off to interment camps during WWII. Sadly, many people never made it back to clam their things and you can actually peek through a window in the floor to see some of the things that were stored in the basement in the 1940's.

Seriously, even if you're reading another book, this is a great spot to sit with a book and a cup of tea.

The Boys in the Boat 

This is the true story of the University of Washington's crew team and the amazing path they took to make it all the way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, competing for America in front of Hitler. 

Where to read: UW's Suzzallo Library or in the spring, down in Montlake, where you can watch UW's crew team practice and tour the crew house which includes the historic shell the team used in 1936. 

Where'd You Go Bernadette 

This is a story of an eccentric Seattle transplant, fictional but it relies on observations of Seattle from the author, Maria Semple's real life experience moving here from LA. The result is a  hilarious take on Seattle culture, and I have to say, while it's one sided, it's pretty accurate. I know these people, I nannied for kids who went to schools very similar to Bernadette's daughter's, etc. 

Where to read: Well, if you want to be like Bernadette, don't leave your home, ever! Order in takeout and have a comfy chair delivered to read in. Or if you want to see the Seattle she's trying to escape, I'd suggest you plant yourself in a coffeeshop or restaurant in South Lake Union during the lunch rush and enjoy reading while being swarmed by Microsoft and Amazon employees. 

Anyone else have Seattle book recommendations? 

Image above, Seattle's Panama Hotel back in the day.