Adventures on the road: Europe edition

Ever since switching jobs and becoming engrossed in the industry of e-commerce, I’ve grown to be more aware of the cycles of the industry. Busy seasons for shoppers have such a big impact on scheduling for retailers of every kind, and online business is no exception. With the last quarter of the year being the busiest for shoppers, I got a special dose of what it’s like to prep for this season, being on the other side of the shopping experience. Aside from getting to learn about the industry, one of the biggest perks of my current job is getting to see how the industry runs on a global scale. I always feel so lucky to get to experience business first hand in markets outside of North America, which is how I spent just under half the month of October in Europe.

Last month, a few of my coworkers and I spent a healthy dose of 12-18 hours every day – for almost half the month – together on the road. Going from London to Munich to Milano and everywhere in between, we had jam-packed days of meetings. In whatever downtime we could find (usually in between meetings as we were driving from one city to the next), we tried to squeeze in as many touristy attractions as possible. The pit stop at the London Eye and Big Ben during golden hour being one of my top 3 most memorable stops.

My absolutely favourite top stop was in Chur, Switzerland. We never intended to even be in Switzerland, but as luck would have it, the trip was rerouted and required a 5 hour trip in the car from Munich to Milan. In that single drive alone, we drove through 5 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and ending in Italy), stopping only for gas and coffee.

On the quite Sunday morning (while mass was still in session), we found the one and only coffee shop open in this quaint town. I wish we had more time to explore every nook and cranny of this small town, but from the limited interactions with the coffee shop owners paired with the picture perfect weather and quiet streets, it was the perfect pit stop for a mid-day reflection, counting our lucky stars for the experiences so far.

Everything about being on the road makes me really happy! Aside from getting to visit new countries and experience life from a different perspective, being away from home for weeks at a time gives me a whole new appreciation for the life that I have in Seattle.
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REVIEW: 52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal

If you’ve been following my Instagram stories, you may remember a sneak peek of this journal from September’s stories. I shared all the chapters and a bit of the photography on the day before the official launch date.

Moorea Seal 52 Lists for Happiness journal review
Today’s review post is particularly exciting for me because it’s for the second book by one of my favourite Seattle-based shop owners, Moorea Seal. Moorea’s first book, The 52 Lists Project (review post here), was such a personal favourite of mine because of the perfect prompts for self reflection and development. Fun fact: her first book sold out multiple times over the 2015 holiday season, requiring 5+ reprints just to keep the shelves stocked! It’s hard to not fall in love with such a productive journal. I may have gifted 5 copies to friends and family for Christmas last year.

This second book, 52 Lists for Happiness, is even better! Instead of being sectioned by seasons like her first journal, this second one’s “chapters” are in order of reflect, acknowledge, invest, and transform. In her first journal, I jumped from section to section, whereas I’ve been working through the sections in chronological order for this second one.

My partner and I have a weekend tradition of exploring Seattle’s coffee shops and spending a morning unplugged from our phones, laptops, etc. During this time, we bring the Sunday newspaper, books, magazines, or journals to enjoy some unplugged quiet time with each other.

Moorea Seal 52 Lists for Happiness journal prompts

On top of my weekly magazine reads, I’ll pack my 52 Lists for Happiness journal and spend 10 minutes reflecting on my week based on the prompt. Being unplugged helps me to stay focused and grounded during these quiet mornings. What I love the most about Moorea’s journals and prompts are the actions at the end of every list.

Moorea Seal 52 Lists for Happiness journal review

Aside from the content itself, let’s talk about the design! The rose gold foil looks so regal against the floral cover. Similar to her first book, the 52 Lists for Happiness is full of gorgeous photography and illustrations throughout the journal. Not only is this journal an emotional and self-reflective treat, but it’s also a very visual and creatively-stimulating one!

To avoid making the same mistake I did last year of waiting too long to stock up on these journals for the gift giving season, I made sure to stockpile. I purchased 3 copies of the 52 Lists for Happiness journal so that I can avoid scrambling to find them in stock this holiday season!

Moorea Seal 52 Lists project journal review
If you’re looking to get a copy of your own, you can purchase one from Amazon (here), or directly from Moorea Seal’s online store (here).

Disclosure: I received a copy of the 52 Lists for Happiness journal to review in exchange for this post. I did, however, also purchase 3 in addition to the review copy because I just love the journal so much! All opinions are 100% my own.

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Glamping toiletry must-haves

Around the same time as planning the trip to Alaska, a friend of mine floated the idea of staying in a yurt. While the yurt plans never panned out for Alaska, I kept glamping in a yurt high on my list of things to do before the end of the year. Needless to say, my dreams of glamping in a yurt came true a couple weekends ago!

Seattle glamping in a yurt
Glamping on Orcas Island

Since this yurt adventure was the first time in a few years since I had last been off-grid, it took a while to figure out what essentials to pack. My goal was to bring no more than a single backpack for this 3-day trip. This meant packing light and bringing toiletries that would either play multiple roles, or strategically packing complementary essentials. Here were my glamping must-haves:

glamping-must-haves
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5 things you (maybe) don’t know about me

One of my most favourite types of posts to read from other bloggers are the “things you didn’t know about me” kind. Not only do I get to learn more about the writers behind my favourite blogs, but I also get to connect and bask over similarities, become fascinated by differences, and generally have a great time reading through all the points. It’s been well over a year since my last “10 things” post (here, if you missed it!), so here we go with the latest and greatest 5 things you don’t know about me!

ASOS cold shoulders top
outfit details:
cold shoulder top: ASOS (exact)
denim: AG Jeans (exact)
strapped clogs: c/o Musse & Cloud (similar)

1. I live for bubble tea. I’ve been to every bubble tea shop there is to visit here in Seattle and have all the stamp cards to prove my dedication. Bubble tea is my comfort food on good, bad, and ugly days. My friends have joked that if I ever become pregnant, I’ll need to be hooked to an IV bag dispensing bubble tea because my everyday cravings are already insane. Sadly, I have recently become lactose intolerant, so… dang. No more milk teas for this girl!

2. The Bachelor franchise can have all my roses. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise? So grateful to have the Bachelor franchise in my life almost every season of the year! There’s something about the over-the-top drama and ridiculous meltdowns that I get hooked into every. single. season. I love trashy reality TV like no other.

3. Squirrels are my favourite animal. You read correctly! Squirrels, not cats. As much as I love cats and am a self proclaimed crazy cat lady, squirrels are my favourite. Why? I think squirrels have the perfect facial feature ratios. The ratio of their eyes-to-ears-to-nose size is just so cute! I know this makes me sound totally crazy, but check out Jill The Squirrel’s Instagram account and you’ll see what I mean.

4. I love food, but I’m also allergic to a lot of it. First and foremost, peanuts are my most severe allergy (yay for Epipens!). Next to peanuts are strawberries, almonds, and recently, hazelnuts. Any pitted fruits? Forget about those! No apples, peaches, plums, necatrines, etc, for this lady. Also, no carrots. With the recent discovery of being lactose intolerant, it’s been a challenge to figure out my morning breakfast routine since I was so used to making overnight oats with milk. Being allergic to milk, soy milk, and almond milk, my options are now limited to rice, hemp, or coconut milk. It just doesn’t taste the same!

5. I retain a lot of useless information. A solid 90% of my brain (hah, ok maybe a tiny exaggeration) is filled with song lyrics, even lyrics of songs I don’t like. This is particularly frustrating especially when some song from the 90s comes up that I really don’t like but might’ve heard over 5 times on the radio back in the day and now the words are engrained in my memory; so engrained to the point that I’ll start singing along years later!

This was such a fun post to put together! I’d love to get some other bloggers to share 5 things we may not know about them. I’m tagging Julia of Style & Cheek, Jenn of Hello Rigby, and Nicole of Writes Like a Girl to share 5 things about themselves!

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First time crabbing

Summer in Seattle is (finally) in full swing! After a few waves of chilly days sandwiched between hot scorchers, we’re just about to wrap up the first full week of mid to high 20s (or 80s, as most of this country refers to temperatures)! Everyone always refers to Seattle as being the rainy city, but the Summers are what we all live for. This year, I’m trying my best to stay busy and make the most of the sunny days.

Crabbing in Seattle: Throwing the crab cage
A few weekends ago, a handful of friends and I woke up bright and early and headed to one of the piers to try crabbing in Seattle. Having never been before, I had no idea what to expect. With one friend in the group having crabbed before, he sent out a list of supplies we needed to bring in order to participate, in addition to a crabbing license. All together, we brought a couple ring traps, a couple cages, and a few law chairs to hang out on while we waited for the crabs to take to the bait.

tiny pacific crab
Pulling the traps and cages in every 20 minutes made for a super exciting – and tiring – morning. With every pull, there was so much excitement in anticipation for what we would find. More times than not, we’d either come up empty or with crabs that didn’t meet the minimum size requirement and had to be put back in the water. The tiny Pacific crab baby in the photo above definitely had to be returned to the water, but I loved being able to hold her and get a better look at her beautiful shell.

crabbing in Ballard, Seattle
The most prominent type of species we caught was the Red Rock crab. After being camped out at the pier for a little over 4 hours, we ended up with 1 Pacific and 8 Red Rock crabs. Not bad for a morning of learning, soaking in the sunshine, and great laughs!

crabbing in Seattle
If you ever get the chance to go crabbing in Seattle, I’d highly recommend it! Be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and a good book to help pass the time. I can’t wait for the next trip to the pier for more crabbing shenanigans!

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