Jenny's Summer Reading

Most days, I'm more likely to spend my free time watching Netflix, than pick up a book, but there's something about reading in the summer that sucks me back in. I love making a  long list and checking things off of it. It reminds me of the summer reading program at my childhood library where each book you read equaled a sticker to put in a folder themed like a pirate treasure hunt. I couldn't beat most other kids in a spelling bee or at four square, but I could out read them all.

Here's what's on my list for this summer so far. I'm sure I'll add more as I've been known to hastily grab the book closest to the checkout as I'm buying a snack before a flight and of course I always love getting recommendations from friends (please post any recommendations in the comments!!!) . If you want to follow along as I add more and rate the books when I finish, you can see my list at Good Reads...

So far I've read...

All Over the Place by Geraldine DeRuiter...I've loved following Geraldine's travels and hilarious stories on her blog The Everywhereist and her book has the same great mix. 

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have the Answers to When You Work at the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco...I highly recommend this one! It's like Mindy Kaling goes to the White House...I appreciated the honesty and humor in this memoir and finished it wishing I could be friends with Alyssa, who worked on Obama's campaign and then served as his Deputy Chief of Staff. I might have learned a thing or two about politics as well. 

I'm finally planning on finishing a few great books I started awhile back...

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Also, I'm consciously trying to be more well rounded in my reading, typically I stick to fiction, but you'll see that the list above already includes memoirs and essays, yay for branching out! 

I'm also trying some poetry...

A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver

And some books to make me think about the world we're living in...

And of course, some good fiction...

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Great Kitchens of the Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls... I was recently having drinks with Teresa and another friend, they could not believe that I was such an avid reader as a child yet never managed to read this one! They insisted I add it to the list :)

Friday Roundup

Hello there, after a bit of an absence, we are back to blogging! It's been a busy month for both of us.

Teresa launched a the second year of the No Mom Left Behind campaign this week, supporting mothers in Togo, West Africa ahead of Mother's Day. I'm participating with a personal fundraising page, you can read more about the project and why it is important to me there. Please check it out and consider donating. Any support is appreciated!

 I spent a good chunk of April in Ireland making a music video which Time calls "delightful"...thanks, I think so too! Now, I'm happy to be home in Seattle watching my giant lilac bush bloom whilst preparing for the next project.

Here are some things T and I found intriguing from around the web this week...

Learn Rosa Park's recipe for pancakes and a little more about her life. I have so much respect for her actions, her life AND the fact that she puts peanut butter in her pancakes.

Skincare tricks to try at home

Finding friends on Craigslist

I wore ALL of this in middle school! And it looks like we can wear it again now!

One more reason Iceland seems like a magical land and not a regular country.

Cinco de Mayo- Not Mexico's Independence Day.

#IAmAPreexistingCondition these stories are powerful and a reminder that we cannot give up this fight for healthcare.

Galway Girl

Now I finally get to share the reason I've been MIA the last month. I've been hanging out in Ireland with some friends :)... OK, well actually, it was a lot of work and not a lot of sleep leading up to the shoot, but the finished product is pretty fun. Enjoy!

Fiona Maeve: Nine and Ten Months

I'm late on this post, Fiona just turned 11 months. But better late than never!

Fiona had a big couple of months between 9-11 months. She got to travel to Hawaii and also finally started crawling on Easter Day! She still has no teeth (just like her brother, he didn't get his first tooth until nearly his first birthday) but she is a voracious eater and manages with just her gums!

She is a very happy girl who loves to watch her brother, laugh at daddy, get tickled, listen to music, play peek-a-boo, clap, wave, make lots of loud noises, be close to mama, be with family and other kids, and go on walks outside in the stroller. I can't quite tell yet but I may be completely surrounded by extroverts! She and her brother both love to have friends and family over to the house and have their best attitudes when there is a lot to do and see.

Fiona is a great eater and enjoys carbs of all kinds (a girl after my own heart), berries, citrus, broccoli, zucchini, mac n'cheese, and of cream.

We love you Miss Fiona!!

Friday Roundup

Happy Friday! It's been awhile since we've been blogging. Sometimes life happens and I don't even seem to have an extra moment to think. I spent a few days in LA, which was amazing to get out of the gloom of spring in Seattle and see some sunshine. It's been a busy week and the start of some fun new projects for me. But as always, a lot of stress and lack of sleep seem to come with new projects.

"I’m Wes Anderson, and I’m Directing This FBI Investigation Into Russia and the Trump Campaign"

Childhood dream job! (Yes, I was a huge dork as a child, and if you hadn't realized this yet, you must not have been reading the blog for very long)

Kick ass ladies to follow on Twitter

Freshen up your wardrobe for spring

I want this playhouse for myself

Spring drink

I binged the new podcast S-Town in a day an a half, have you listened yet? It was different than I thought it would be, but still great, the New York Times agrees. 

The question we've all been asking about Big Little Lies, well, apart from the big question of who died/who did it, that is, if you haven't already read the book.

Black women your history class might have missed

Lisbon Pt. 2

I've never been one for guided tours. So my favorite part of Lisbon was getting to wander around by myself. It's the perfect city to just walk around and get lost, the alleys are even fun to walk though and lots of shops and cafes.

One shop that I found and loved was Lua de Champagne, an eclectic boutique that made me feel like I'd walked into a fashionably quirky friend's closet filled with unique clothes and jewelry- the perfect spot to buy birthday gifts for Teresa and my sister, and of course, a gift for myself too :) I found it by getting lost one day, the best way to find things when you're in a new city.

So if you find yourself in Lisbon, take some time to wander.

Mother of Exiles

Did I catch your attention with this 2005 photo of 21 year old Jason and me at the Statue of Liberty? Ok, good. Now stick around while I talk about refugees.

I've been wanting to write something for awhile, but I've struggled to find the right words. But somehow for me, it all goes back to Lady Liberty,  "Mother of Exiles" according to the first verse of "The New Colossus", a quote from which is written on the statue itself. Here's the poem in full incase you weren't forced to read it in high school:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Emma Lazarus

Everything I've learned about America cries out that we are a nation of immigrants and refugees, the vast majority of our relatives, distant and not so distant, have come here from somewhere else.  Way back when Jason and I went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, I found my relatives names in the records there. They came here as immigrants and were welcomed.

You have a .00003% chance of being killed by a foreign born terrorist. I don't mean to make light of national security, but I'm more concerned about the ways in which we are much more likely to be killed. The article I linked to above will tell you that on average 9 Americans are killed by foreign born terrorists annually (however, none of those terrorists came from countries included in the travel ban), whereas 12,843 Americans are killed by guns annually. I'd argue that anyone wanting to make America safer should be doing something about gun violence.

What can we do? How can we make sure our country continues to be welcoming, especially to those escaping persecution, famine, or war zones, those who no longer have a home?

Doing something means no longer remaining silent, but speaking up, for me that means writing this post rather than just writing easy, happy things on the blog. Teresa took her whole family to an immigration protest in Seattle. We're both aware it means continuing to do things, like supporting businesses that support refugees, donating to charities, being in contact with our representatives, and continuing to be aware of what's happening politically as things could be changing daily.

Here are companies who have taken a stand against Trump's immigration ban. 

This New York Times article does a great job outlining ways to help including pointing out a couple of interesting organizations like Humanwire, an org where you can fundraise directly for a refugee and Hello Neighbor, a database of ways to help.  Both of these are orgs I'm in the process of looking into supporting, I'll keep you updated!

If you're in the Seattle area, check out Ubuntu Cafe in Kent where refugees are employed and taught culinary skills.