Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tiny Desk Concert: Raphael Saadiq

Old video, but new to me =) The first song seriously reminds me of a young Stevie Wonder
Source: NPR Music

Friday, July 1, 2016

Field Recordings: Jon Batiste

Source: NPR Music

Doodle: Water Polo Playing Otter

Washington Beauty: Lewis River Falls

I noticed that I've grown much more inclined to be in the midst of nature. Lewis River Falls in Cougar, WA, is the perfect setting to attain a sense of isolation and to feel like a speck in the world. It's a worthwhile, almost 9 mile roundtrip hike for the novice hiker, but I imagine even the experienced hiker would appreciate the overwhelming beauty. When researching trails in the Pacific Northwest, I knew right away it would be difficult to choose from the hundreds available. I first narrowed down the search by looking for places with waterfalls. I settled on Lewis River Falls because it's remote enough to avoid crowds, but it wasn't so remote that it would feel unsafe. When Steve and I arrived, no other cars were parked at the trailhead, and we only passed by two other people on our way out. The path was clear and well established. There were some steeper parts, but they were very manageable. And we didn't come across any dangerous wildlife (e.g. the types with large claws or the poisonous variety). At most, we saw a couple green slugs nearly the size of Twinkies. Yeah. Anyway, the greatest feature about this hike is that you're immediately struck by the lush green and the crashing waters of Lower Lewis Falls. From there, each succeeding waterfall at Middle and then Upper River Falls gets better and better. So beautiful!

For more info:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Hiking Accessory: Patagonia Daypack

I just used the Patagonia Anacapa 20L Daypack on a hike at Lewis River Falls in Cougar, WA.


I wore the pack comfortably for about 3.5 hours. I could fill the backpack up, and it still closed easily without looking bulky. It maintains a nice streamlined appearance, and the back is padded to protect your spine from jab-by contents. The straps are easily adjustable even while you are wearing it. They are also padded and can be buckled together at the chest.

The zippers are very sturdy and glide easily. There's a small zippered compartment on the top front of the bag, which is useful, but my Galaxy S6 doesn't fit. It would've been nice to have more easy access to my phone, but there was no service where I was hiking anyway so it wasn't a big issue for me. The material is made of polyester with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, and it feels durable and well-made.

This is the best size for me. I'm 5'4" and a size 2 or 4. I wanted a backpack that was smaller than the standard "school size" bags, which are inconvenient for me to use. The Anacapa is doubling as my daily use diaper bag so I like that it can hold enough supplies for a preschooler and a toddler while being compact enough to easily carry while chasing after active little children.

For people who are looking to use this daypack for school, it does fit a macbook and a 2-inch 3-ring binder. Also, there are pen/pencil pockets and a velcro pocket for um, erasers? a calculator?

The Patagonia Daypack retails for $59, but I found a discount code for 20% at BackCountry plus free shipping. That sale isn't going on right now, but I imagine another deal will pop up again.


I carried a 28oz bottle of water in one of the mesh side pockets, but it fell out when I bent over to reach for things I dropped. A 1L bottle would fit better and more snugly in the mesh pocket.

The front pocket doesn't have a zipper so I didn't end up using it at all. Also, the interior of the pack doesn't have a zippered compartment. Adding these two features alone would make the daypack perfect.

Happy Hiking! Or whatever you choose to do while wearing a backpack!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Wood Prints: Cathy McMurray

Source: My Modern Met
Etsy shop: Cathy McMurray

These vibrant wood prints by Cathy McMurray encapsulate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest so well. The first picture looks like a mashup of Portland wilderness and designs you might find in an Anthropologie, which are two things I love! Well, I haven't been to Portland yet, but these beautiful wood prints are definitely making me look forward to my trip next month!

Sunday, April 10, 2016