Tag Archives: Travel

Collective Retreats

I didn’t grow up being much of a camper or an outdoorsy person for that matter. I’m sure none of you are surprised to learn that. However, in college I branched out a bit and went on a few retreats and found myself really enjoying this time to myself in a secluded environment outside of the city. I liked the freedom of being able to do whatever I wanted and being at peace with my surroundings. As an adult, it’s still something I think about and from time to time, I do research retreats for adults. I never had an opportunity to do the 3-5 day silent retreat in college and that is still one of my biggest regrets!

I recently stumbled across “Collective Retreats,” which resembles what we all know today as “glamping,” but reminds me of the experience I once had. It may not be the tent that you grew up with, but it’s okay to think of it as an updated version of it. These tents have a cozy bed inside, wood floors, and a neighboring bathroom in a teepee. Toilet and shower included! I know what you’re thinking, how does this all work? I’m still trying to figure it out myself. Collective Retreats is able to work because they reach out to various landowners that happen to have these wide open private spaces that make for the perfect getaway. The company then turns these into makeshift tent lodges for a small period of time allowing guests to get the desired vacation they are hoping for. Since these plots of land are so large, they often will include anywhere from 5-15 furnished tents, but all within a reasonable distance from each other so that you can still feel like you are on your own. If you decide that you want the company of other retreaters, there is a common shared space for everyone to hang out together…and in which you will receive chef-prepared meals. Camping… just like when you were a kid!

Collective Retreats is currently available in Yellowstone in Vail with plans to expand out to Sonoma, Hudson Valley, and Hill Country.

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Baby Pink is Back!

I’ve spent the last year consistently adding black and white pieces to my closet. I was convinced that color was dead – at least for me! That is… until this week when I discovered all of my favorite must-have wants are coming in shades of baby pink. And I’m not turning away from them. So I’m declaring it – baby pink is making a comeback this year and we are more than a little excited about it. The best part about this shade of pink is that it’s very subtle and if you want to wear a minimally styled outfit with black or white, a little pop of baby pink will do just the trick. Here are my favorite items from this week for our wishlist:

Away x Pop + Suki Luggage

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Yow Yow’s Yosemite Adventure

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I may have grown up in the Pacific Northwest, but I didn’t spend my time outdoors as much as the average local did. So when Mandi let me know that their wedding would be taking place in Yosemite, I was sort of half and half. First, there was excitement. I haven’t spent really any time at a national park and while I’ve seen photos that my friends have posted, I didn’t know what it would look like to see it in real life. Than the other part of me was feeling a little bit nervous. Would I feel out of place? Was I going to be pushed to do something outside of my comfort zone? Happy to report that I survived my weekend in Yosemite and that this entire paragraph just shows you how in my head I am about things. :)

When you’re in a place like Yosemite or any national park for that matter, I imagine you would feel very small. Everything around me felt massive. I’ve never seen hills as steep as I did in Yosemite or the mountains and trees so high. It was pretty incredible. The wedding also took place on National Park Day! Since we had some time before the wedding in the afternoon, a group of friends and I decided to take a quick hike through Yosemite.

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Fall Travel Diary

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Looking back on last fall, I feel pretty fortunate that I had a chance to travel to so many cities in one run with a career that I really enjoy. Growing up, I never traveled very extensively, but I always wanted a job that would not only take me to places, but allow me to see the cities that I was traveling to. When you’re thinking about a career before you even have one, you envision what your life might be like to have one of these jobs. Luckily, my busy travel season is just that – a season. Last year, I met someone who was previously a consultant and spent 4-5 days out of the week traveling for work. No, thank you. :)

This past fall, I spent nearly two and a half months “on the road” visiting Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, and Boston (twice!) Here are some of the photos I took from these trips; most of them just include the things that I ate, which as you can imagine…were a lot of carbs!

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Philly was just the most darling. I really only got two days here, but I wish I could’ve stayed longer! What an incredibly beautiful city with so much charm to it.

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Design Love Fest x Target Collection

Whenever I learn about some of my favorite bloggers designing and collaborating on collections, my heart gets all warm and tingly. As a part-time blogger with a day job, these are the things that I only dream of. I’ve been following Bri of DesignLoveFest for years though and am constantly inspired by her creativity and how open she is with all of her readers. She’s someone I’ve looked up to. So when I learned that she linked up with Target to put together this fab collection of travel accessories and luggage, I nearly lost it. I’ve done the most traveling I have ever done in my life in the last two years and while I’m not a pro of knowing all the tips and tricks (Ugh, I don’t even have TSA pre-check yet!) I recognize the importance of traveling well and being prepared with all of the necessities. Here are our favorite picks and once you get a peek at the collection, you’ll probably want the entire set. Don’t delay though, one piece is already sold out online!

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Summer Getaway in LA

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I had the opportunity to take a pretty last minute trip to Los Angeles this summer and every time I go back for a visit, the list of places to go continues to get longer. We were just there in fall of 2015 to see Gelesia, but even still it felt like there wasn’t enough time to do everything. On this trip, we checked out a few new places and returned to some of our old favorites! I’ve never imagined Los Angeles as a place that I could call home, but I wouldn’t mind spending an entire week there. We’ve still got plenty of neighborhood to explore. During our trip, we must have had four meals a day and only retreated back to the hotel for sleep and getting ready for the day/night’s activities. I know we’re six months away from summer, but we can’t wait to get back there already. I hope you enjoy our LA photo diary!

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Our first meal off the plane was going to be Lemonade, but since I had heard that LA just got a Shake Shack, YOU KNOW I made us pivot. How good does this look?

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Life, by Okinawa

I stumbled across this video last week and it brought back so many memories of my trip to Okinawa when I was in high school. I was 17 at the time and such a brat. It was hard for me to appreciate a trip like this at the time because I just “wanted to spend my last summer at home before college.” It took me about a day into the trip to realize how lucky I was to be able to travel to such a beautiful destination. I’m looking forward to someday returning too. This video was a nice little throwback.

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Saucy in Santa Cruz

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Top – Brandy Melville / Shorts – Aritzia / Sunglasses – Kate Spade / Scarf – Forever 21 / Booties – Munro (Nordstrom)

Who dis?! We find out that we’re spending a day in Santa Cruz and of course we turned this into a whole outfit thing. In case any of you are wondering, Santa Cruz doesn’t exactly fit that bohemian vibe that we’re attempting here, but that didn’t matter to us, clearly. Over the summer, some of the employees at work wanted to treat our interns out to a fun afternoon in Santa Cruz. I hadn’t been back since winter 2012 so I was pretty excited to spend a hot summer day there. And okay, it’s no Disney Land, but the rides aren’t bad. More importantly, have we mentioned how much we LOVE Skeeball?!

I wasn’t planning on beaching while in Santa Cruz, but this was the perfect outfit for everything else we did that day. Aside from the fact… that we had to take our scarf off during the rollercoaster and my booties got sand in them. Other than that – 100%! I actually haven’t worn this scarf since I had been back in Seattle and even then I had just worn it pretty simply around my neck. Draping it like this was more fun!

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Seattle’s Summer

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Whenever I return home, I never feel like I have enough time. In a perfect world, I would spend every summer in Seattle and then elsewhere for the other seasons! I spent a week this past June like I always do and we’re now sharing some of the photos from our trip. If some of these look familiar to you (because you’ve seen these shots before) it’s because I basically will do the same kind of thing on every trip. We know what we like, obviously! Now if only we could get back there more often…

^^ I will tolerate sushi in the Bay Area, but we all know that it doesn’t exactly compare to Seattle. And even though my go-to place looks like a club inside, the food is 100. This is at Wasabi on 2nd Ave!

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Willing to Quit Your Job for a Vacation?

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If I had seen this role when I was a senior in college, I probably would have been all OVER this! Royal Caribbean is offering one exciting opportunity right now to an individual that is willing to quit their job and become their social media intern for 3 weeks. As part of the benefits, you’ll get to hang out on the cruise line for free – basically a vacation – and you’ll get paid a stipend of $3,700 for three weeks of work. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? As long as you know how to use a smartphone and know the basics of Instagram, you’d be in pretty good shape!

To apply, you need to show Royal Caribbean your best travel photo and hashtag it with the following: #RoyalCaribbean and #ExtraordinaryExplorer. The only downside to this is that you’re going to be competing with a ton of people! I just checked the Extraordinary Explorer hashtag which already has over 100,000 posts in it, but I’m sure as the competition goes on, it will be even more challenging.

Also if you work in tech, maybe you don’t have to quit your job after all! Most will need to, but if you’re at a company with an unlimited vacation policy and have a manager that doesn’t mind you taking 3 consecutive weeks off, you could pull it off.

For more details, just click here!

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Chihuly Garden and Glass

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It took me four years to finally visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. It’s one of the most touristy things I could have done in my hometown and we took a bunch of photos that have all been done before, but I didn’t really care. While I was visiting home this past summer, I took my dad on a special Daddy-Daughter date and the anticipation and hype were HIGH. I was pleasantly surprised that my dad enjoyed it just as much as I did and even got a kick when HE was trying to advise me on how to take better photos.

My sentiments are that the place is beautiful. The sculptures are incredible pieces of art and you get a whole venue full of them as opposed to when you visit random places throughout the country and only get to view one. If you have an interest to go visit the museum, you should do it. If your interest is 5/10, just look at the tagged photos on Instagram to get the same experience. The tickets are kind of pricey as museums go and because my dad is still a WA state citizen he got a discount. I didn’t. -_-

Not to get all mushy gushy, but the best part of this was actually doing this with my dad! Many of you may not know this, but my dad is an artist too so this is something that we really appreciated doing together. I’m looking forward to our next outing together where I drag him along to a KEXP radio station tour the next time I’m home!

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Yow Yow! in Big Sur!

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Living in the Bay Area has provided me with so many opportunities to have the quick getaways that I always wanted! In the 3 years that I’ve lived here, I’ve spent time in Napa, Sonoma, Tahoe, Sausalito, Monterey, and Carmel. It’s not like I was in the middle of nowhere when I was living in Seattle, but because I had lived there my whole life, I thought I had all the time in the world to explore places. The problem was that I never did. This is something I’ve taken advantage of more since moving. One of the places that I’ve been itching to get to was Big Sur. I knew it was close and on one of my long weekends from work, I knew it would be perfect for a day trip. I also was set on doing just about anything to see the Bixby Canyon Bridge. Death Cab for Cutie did that to us back in 2008. Sandeep and I set out in the morning and went straight to the beach for our shots. From there, we went to lunch and Glen Oaks, which I totally thought was going to be just a hike in the woods for us, but ended up being a hotel in the woods. Lucky for us, a jaunt around the grounds was about a mile anyways so…it was a mile long hike. Then on our way out – the bridge! We must’ve driven on it back and forth at least four times until we could find parking. We couldn’t leave without it though.

To end the day, Sandeep and I hit up Monterey on the way home for an Italian dinner and then made our way back to South Bay.

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A Collection Part 46

I always seem to have the most time to blog around the holidays, but it just so happens that I like being able to post for “A Collection” during this time too. We last did this post about 6 months ago so all of today’s photos are ones that I’ve been collecting and saving since then. Here’s hoping that these photographs tickle you, inspire you, or spark some kind of emotion within you the same way they do to us. Happy New Year! We’re excited for you 2017.

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Beauty for Breakfast Returns

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We had announced that we were taking a break from Beauty for Breakfast on Yow Yow! not too long ago, but we’re taking it back! I’ve been doing a lot of work on my Instagram lately both with my feed and stories, but we’ve missed writing more detailed reviews on Yow Yow! which we can’t always do on Instagram. In 2016, I’ve had a lot of fun playing with and experimenting with different beauty products and I think that sort of began when we decided to adopt a “facial for every season” regime.

Our favorite so far? Every kind of mask, but especially the sheet ones that make us look like Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man. I was just coming back from a busy fall travel season for my job and my face felt like it been wrecked. When I travel, I can’t always bring all of the products that I would use on any normal day and rely more heavily than I would like on hotel products. We all know that that’s sort of a gamble! Waiting for me at the office when I returned was this amazing package from Alison Brod Marketing + Communications filled with all of the goodies you see above. It’s been a couple of months and we’re still trucking through them, but loving every second of it. There’s a mixture of items in this bunch including, lipstick, lotion, fragrance, masks, moisturizer, etc. and it’s been keeping us busy. To revive Beauty for Breakfast posts, we’ll be including reviews shortly on all of the items we’ve been trying.

Thank you so much to Alison Brod M + C for helping us get our beauty routine back on track!

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My Favorite Posts of 2016

Typically when I write “end-of-year” posts, I’m always pulling up what I wrote the year before in another tab as a reference. I already know that I didn’t do too much writing this year so it will be ambitious to find 12 posts that I really liked as opposed to last year when that feeling was so easy for me! That being said, I think there are going to be a few treasures in here that we can highlight. They may not be the posts that rank to the top in terms of views, but they are the posts that I enjoyed writing the most and the ones that you know I probably re-read a dozen times before feeling comfortable posting. Thank you all for another fantastic year… now let’s head into our 8th year of Yow Yow! This blog is now older than my previous Polly Pocket collection (7 years!)

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  • This Happened Tonight – I honestly don’t know if this is enough to consider it one of my favorite posts, but this is me totally just fangirling out over here. It might be on my list of funny moments in 2016, but whatever the case – this needed to belong on SOME list and I chose this. I think I like this post just because it reminds me a little bit of how I used to write in the old days – you know back in 2009/2010 – no filter – just blagh! whatever I felt like spewing out at the time. If you read the post though (and you know me!) then you know I’m suppressing my feelings here for the sake of appearing normal on Yow Yow! If only this weren’t so short lived…

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  • Happy 7th Birthday Yow Yow! – We’ve never celebrated a Yow Yow! anniversary like this before. The number 7 has no significance to me or Yow Yow! but after all this time, you kind of just feel like you need to do something different. We were already doing regular outfit photos, so I thought – why not throw in a balloon?! One of the best parts about this post is that Aritiza decided to feature this photo above for their Instagram account. I was ecstatic, but very quickly commenters started to notice that the balloon didn’t actually look like a “7” and actually looked like… male genitalia. So almost immediately, my excitement did a 180.

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  • Looking Back: Space Girl – It’s a weird thing to be in front of a camera. I’m not a natural by any means. Every shoot, Elynn probably takes on average 15-25 photos and while we sometimes get 2-3 really good ones, the rest are of me opening my mouth, fixing my clothes, talking, being awkward, you name it. We’ve come such a long way… this post was incredibly special to me though. Space Girl was everything to me when we were in college. I never could get comfortable in front of the camera and having this helmet on made me feel invincible. When we stopped using it and went back to outfit shoots, you can plainly see how hard it is for me in these photos, but I will never forget the gateway that Space Girl provided for me to get me to where we are today.
  • Wedding Mondays – I know what you’re thinking. How can you choose a favorite? We’ve highlighted so many incredible wedding videos in 2016, but one that I keep going back to (in addition to Mandi’s of course!) is this one featuring Jean (from Extra Petite) and her husband Nick. To this day, we still can’t wrap our head around the three dresses, but we think it’s amazing. Secondly, Long Haul films is no longer doing wedding videos so that makes this one extra special. (see what I did there?) Also, when I was in Boston this past fall for work, I got to stop by the Boston Library and see this venue myself and we fangirled the  same amount we did for BJ Novak. It was just as amazing in person as it is in the video…
  • Revisiting Casual – I like to look at “Casual” as something we continue to pass on. Every year, I’ve gotta share it with someone new and last year that was Manan. Together, him and I watched the entire series from start to finish and he loved it as much as I did! No surprises there – everyone I’ve ever shown this too has fallen in love with the series so it’s not too late if you decide to hop on the bandwagon. We’re still accepting fan club members. In all honesty, relationships are hard, okay? I’m never 100% content with mine and in 2016 it’s tough to date. If I knew in the long run that I was going to be okay then I would love to have that off my shoulders, but if Casual has taught me anything and if life has taught me anything – it’s that it’s all about timing. We have to let things play out the way they are supposed to. Thank you Casual for continuing to be a positive force in my life year after year.

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  • And When We Give Back – It was such a surreal experience to be speaking with students that had been accepted to Seattle University as the class of 2020. Let that sink in a little bit. When I was a kid, I used to think that college was almost the end all be all. It was hard for me to imagine being a woman with a career – not because I didn’t want to have a career, but because it just seemed so far away. I’m fortunate that my friend who works at admissions asked me to do this panel because it put a lot into perspective. It was a very humbling experience to be giving advice to students as to why Seattle U was a great school for me even though I kind of do this in my real life job too. Additionally, it made me appreciate my parents in a way that I haven’t before. Seeing the parents of these accepted students was a little bit entertaining; they were SO nervous. I wondered how my parents were able to handle me going off to college with such ease and tranquility when that is very clearly not the case for most.

  • To Be a “Leftover” Woman in China – Never have I ever ugly-cried so hard over a YouTube video, but this struck a chord with me. It’s 2016 and the pressures of settling down or being in a committed relationship are still very much a priority for most. It’s overwhelming at times! I loved hearing the stories of these young women – young women that I can identify with and find to be so brave for doing something like this. I’m glad the video had a happy ending too, a newfound perspective for their parents.
  • A Girl and Her Bed – I never write pieces like this and I remembered being very on the fence about it because it seems abnormal for me to dispel some serious feelings about a part of my daily routine. In reading it over though, I think the post is kind of beautiful. I’m using words that I don’t normally use and I’m being vulnerable in a way that I haven’t with Yow Yow! before.

  • “The Panic in Central Park” – Is this my favorite TV moment in 2016? Yes. I must have watched this episode at least 25 times and at one point, once a day for a week. We had given up on Girls the season before this one, but after hearing about how much commotion this episode stirred, we hopped back into it. Luckily, for this episode, you didn’t need to know what was happening before it. It was like it’s own standalone episode and it was a beautiful piece. Marnie may be one of the most annoying characters in the series, but in “The Panic in Central Park” she was all of us. We’ve all had that scenario – some version of it, sometimes shorter or longer or more fun or less fun than what Marnie had, but we all got to the same theme at the very end of it.
  • Our Twenties: How We’re Doing – “Be good to yourself” – a friend once advised me. Too many times in a year, I find myself complaining about how I don’t have this or don’t have that. How annoying for those around me that have to listen to this! The truth is, your 20’s aren’t easy. They were never supposed to be so it’s important for us to cut ourselves some slack. Earlier in 2016, I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions. This post though was sort of like our midpoint review. Initially this started out as a mini-project with Casper, but I ended up actually enjoying this more than I thought I would and had a lot of fun with it.
  • Aging and Alone in Manhattan’s Chinatown – I have a thing for pieces that remind me of my sweet Grandma Ruby. This profile by Mantai Chow truly captured a look into the life of an elderly living in Chinatown. I remember watching this video and thinking back to how I never worried about those that lived there because they had what I believed to be a strong community. In reality though, it seems much more lonelier than I thought. These individuals are more brave than I could ever be especially this woman profiled. Hearing her story was one of the highlights in Yow Yow’s 2016.

  • Let’s Talk About New York! – We made it to 12 posts! With all the trips we took this year, how could we not include our favorite one? It took me 26 years to get to New York, but I couldn’t have asked for a better traveling partner and tour guide. Mandi and I took the next step in our friendship and explored New York City together. She was a pro – obviously having done grad school there and me? Well, I could barely have a successful run on the subway without having a mini freak out. There was never a moment for us to stop because we were constantly on the move. And even though we had made a very packed itinerary for our trip, we only ended up doing half the things we were supposed to. I guess that just means we have to go back.
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