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This past week has left me feeling like I’m coming out of a fog. The past couple months have been tough, and while things haven’t gotten any better on the job front, I’m not as depressed about it. I imagine the nice weather has helped with that – nothing like waking up to rain to kill any motivation to do anything.

I’ve also gotten out twice this week to go hiking – both times were so well needed. Being home so much is weird, and while I know that I should take advantage of the time to get outside, write more, and sleep in, I feel guilty whenever I do. I constantly have to remind myself that taking care of my body takes care of my mind, too.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll leave you with some more beautiful photos from my hike on Monday!

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Oh, and one from yesterday – the cottonwood is so bad here that in some places, it looks like it’s snowing!

There was so much cottonwood on the trails today it looked like snow. #allergies #hiking

Life on Instagram: Random Tidbits

After one of the longest breaks I’ve taken on the blog so far, I’m back with a renewed energy and focus. Job hunting is still going to take up the great majority of my time, and I can’t guarantee I’ll post often, but I’m starting to get excited about blogging again. So to honor that newfound energy, I thought I’d update you on what I’ve been up to lately when I’m not eyeballs deep in resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn.

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(Clockwise from top-left)
I cut my finger really badly about a month ago while chopping parsley. Thankfully, no stitches needed – but my nail is growing out with a gash in it. Also thankful for bright nail polish to hide it. / A throwback to my college years – cranberry and vodkas. No, they were not both for me (though in college, they would have been). / Saw this while out hiking at Cougar Mountain. I was having a rough day, and it was just what I needed to see. / Took a quick trip one day to the beach to clear my brain. I’m trying to take advantage of that more often, since for years I didn’t live anywhere near water!

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I’ve been on a bit of a cookbook tear lately. I’ve read two Barefoot Contessa books, a few Giada books, and I’m currently working my way through this one. So far, it’s a gorgeous book and great read! / My sweet tooth got the better of me one day, and I threw together some apple-crisp muffins. I only had enough ingredients to make 6, so they went fast (especially once D found them)! / Another book I read recently, and pretty quickly too. I think I read it over a couple hours? / The weather has been insanely nice so far this week, so I am determined to spend more time outside. I started off Monday with a hike near home. My legs are paying for it today, though!

Beach Hunter

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While Seattle didn’t have much of a winter, I can definitely tell that spring is definitely here! I decided to take a short break from job applications to find a park in my new neighborhood. I’ve been craving some beach time, and even though it’s not beach weather yet, it was nice to get out by the water. This one is only a few minutes away from home, and when the sun is shining, it’s a great way to kill some time in the afternoon.

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I ran across these two ducks while on a short hike around the park. They were a little too friendly – you could tell they are fed by park-goers all the time. Thankfully, they kept their distance and let me take a few photos before heading on my way!

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By the time I was done with my short hike, the sun had faded away and storm clouds rolled in. I made a quick beeline for the car, and barely made it home before it started storming! Normally I don’t mind a little rain, but I had my camera with me and nowhere to hide it if it started pouring, so I had to cut my trip a little short. I can’t wait to head back there soon, hopefully with D, for a nice picnic or afternoon on the beach when it gets a little warmer outside.

I can’t wait to find more great parks in the area. This was a great place to start, though!

Life on Instagram: Moving…again!

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(Clockwise from top-left)

1. Not long after I took those lovely photos of my apartment, we packed it all up and moved again. My husband got a job closer to Seattle, and since I had just heard I wasn’t working anymore, it made no sense to stay an hour-plus drive from where D works – the commute was killing him. I was really sad to leave this apartment, since it was the first one I chose and decorated purely on my own. Almost half the time I lived there I was alone, and I’m going to miss my tiny sanctuary. I am, however, very excited to have separate bathrooms again. Sharing a bathroom any longer would have ruined our marriage. 😉

2. This was by far the fastest move we’ve ever done. From start to finish, moving the furniture only took about 3 hours (including the almost 45 minute drive), thanks to my brother in law helping with the heavy lifting. It rained the entire time, so it was also the messiest move we’ve ever done. Our mattress is still streaked with dirt from being dropped. We’ve been here almost a month now, and still adjusting to having so much more space. Everything feels half empty now.

3. One of the biggest selling points with this apartment is the location. This photo was taken from our living room. Since the apartment is built on a steep hill, it feels way more secluded than it is. Also, just beyond that hill is a pretty nice hiking trail. It’s great to finally live close within walking distance of great trails, which is the only thing keeping me sane right now!

4. It has taken almost a month, but things are finally starting to feel moved in. Not having a job has made decorating extremely difficult, since I don’t have a lot of stuff anymore and we have a LOT of blank walls. This place doesn’t feel like home at all yet, but we’re getting there in small ways.

This last move was a bittersweet one for me. Part of me really loved that last apartment – it was the first place I chose myself, and I felt reflected my style more than anywhere else I’ve lived. I didn’t have to compromise for what someone else wanted, and got to decorate it however I felt worked for me. It was a lot more feminine and modern than any other apartment we’ve lived in, and I miss that already. I’m sure I’ll work more of that into our current place, once I have the budget to do so. This is also the first apartment I’ve lived in where they say I can paint, so I might be experimenting with that soon (since tan walls are the WORST). Sure, they’re going to charge me to paint it back when we move, but I’m willing to cough that up not to have shitty tan walls anymore!

Of course, there are things I like about our new place. The location is much better, since it’s only about 20 minutes from Seattle, instead of an hour. We’re also a lot closer to the water, which I’m sure will be a huge plus in the summer months. I’m also closer to better shopping, hiking, and other fun stuff. I also have more counter space now than I’ve ever had, so cooking has been a LOT easier than in the past!

I know I haven’t shown you much of the apartment yet, but I will once things are less “in transition.” I have a lot of great ideas for this space…I just need the budget to go do them!

Life on Instagram

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(Clockwise from top-left)

Starting off the day by cleaning up my desk area and getting organized / Took a trip to the local library to find some new recipes / First attempt at buckwheat galettes with eggs (didn’t care for them) / Spent my only afternoon home alone in over a month cleaning up and decorating

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The amazing view from a nearby park where I went hiking for the first time since I moved here / Started a new book the other day, and I’m starting to get my love of reading back / Seven-layer dip for dinner Wednesday night, and it was just what the doctor ordered! / Spent most of Thursday job hunting, and trying to make the place feel a bit more like home (even if it may no longer be in a couple months!)

I hope everyone had a great week, and that those of you out east are staying warm as always!

Have an amazing weekend, and I’ll see you all back on Monday!

Finding a New (Hiking) Path

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Hiking is something I haven’t done much of since I moved here, partly because when I was working I did enough walking to compensate for it. My first few months here were also rough because I felt like I could never find anything. Venturing out to find a new park to go hiking in seemed too daunting when I could barely find a grocery store. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I’m trying to head back out more.

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On Tuesday afternoon, I laced up my sneakers and went out to a park not far from home. While it was definitely too small to do any good hiking (especially since most of the park was closed for construction), it was a nice chance to be near the water and chill out for a little while. I didn’t get much hiking done at all, but it was a nice change of pace from sitting at home filling out job applications until my eyes go wonky.

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Being from Ohio, it’s not often that I got to spend time near the water, so for me living here has been a bit of a treat. While there are things about living here I don’t like so far, this has to be the biggest upside. It’s still a little weird for me to see places like this and remember that I live here, but it’s a good kind of weird. 🙂

I hope you are all having a good week, and are staying safe if you’re stuck in the snow!

The Non-Wintery Winter

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(Taken last January at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve in Yellow Springs, Ohio.)

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I am missing winter a little bit this year.

It’s strange, but over the past couple years I’ve grown to like being in the snow. Sure, I hate driving in it like everyone else – but being out in nature during this time of year always seems a bit more relaxing, quiet, and restorative. Getting all bundled up and facing the challenges of hiking in the snow and ice was something I looked forward to, once I got used to it.

There hasn’t been much of a winter in Seattle so far. It snowed once right after Thanksgiving, but it was gone within a day or so. It has been in the 50’s most afternoons, and this area doesn’t get much snow. I’m sure if I ventured east a bit I’d find some, but it seems so far away to travel just to see snow.

I know that I sound like a whiny idiot to those of you on the East coast getting slammed by Juno – but I really do wish I could be out in it. So those of you enjoying your snow days, or just happy to get out of the house and back to life today, go outside and take it in a little for me because a little part of me really misses it. 🙂