Friday, April 29, 2016

Like a Russian Play

When Pantone revealed the colors of the year of 2016, I thought that there would not be too many things for me this year. "Oh good, I'll save money then," I thought. Rose Quartz and Serenity, or, translated into my unsophisticated color vocabulary, pale pink and pale blue (I know, it's not the same!), just aren't my colors. I do think they are both pretty and serene, I just did not think I would want to wear them. But appetite grows with eating, as they say, and at this point wild horses would not be able to drag me from my experiments with style. To my surprise, I soon found myself getting into pretty blues and pinks. And when I saw this dress, I fell head over heels for its tender beauty.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fields of Tulips

It's almost the end of April, and I still haven't written about our Spring break adventures earlier this month. Sorry for being a little distracted lately - I am getting ready to share good news with you soon, but for now let me continue sharing our day trips.

April is a tulip month here, in the State of Washington. If you happen to be here any time during April, make sure you visit our famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - and if you happen to live here, I am sure you know what I'm talking about, and you most probably share my enthusiasm. Justin, Anya and I visited Roozen Gaarde, founded by William Roozen, an immigrant from Holland, in the mid-century (last century, though his family have been known for growing tulips since 1700s). Mr Roozen's dream of growing tulips in the valley of Skagit River, where soil is very similar to the one in his homeland, not only came true, but his company became the largest bulb producer in the US!

All the photos are taken either by Justin or by Anya - they both felt inspired by the sea of blooming tulips of all colors of the rainbow. You can see Mount Baker behind the fields (photo above) - the third highest mountain in Washington, an active volcano and one of the snowiest places in the world. Will you come and wander with me through these beautiful fields of not gold, but tulips? (Beautiful song, nevertheless.) 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Symphonic Django: the US Premiere in Tacoma

It's hot over here - 80 F by the sea and 90 F in the valley! But the real heat has happened last Saturday when Justin, Anna and I attended the most delightful concert - the legendary music of the genius guitarist Django in the symphonic orchestration format which was, as they say, a dream of his. Two hours of inspired, timeless, heartwarming music with the world renowned American guitar player John Jorgenson, brilliant UK born violinist Ben Powell and three wonderful local talents: Neil Andersson (guitar), Jon Hamar (bass) and Greg Ruby (guitar). And of course, Sarah Ioannides, the conductor and music director of the Tacoma Symphony since 2014 (I wrote about her first season grand opening, with the unforgettable Dame Evelyn Glennie, here). We've been to a few concerts since this dynamite lady started conducting the TSO, and watching what she is doing has been an amazing experience for which I am very grateful. It seems that the Tacoma symphonic music scene exploded in all sorts of unexpected, fresh directions. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Korean Influences

On the right: Portrait of a Beauty by Shin Yun-bok (born 1758), source

This was almost a month ago, back in March, so no fresh green leaves on the trees behind me, neither blue bells, nor dandelions by my feet just yet. Our two-week-long Summer which I was writing about a couple of times lately was not hot (even our real Summer is rarely hot, for which I am greatly appreciative), but we steadily had temperatures around 70 F (21 C) and glorious SUNSHINE, both of which make me insanely happy. It felt like having a mini vacation to restore both my physical and emotional health. But, we now have mild Spring temperatures again, clouds, sprinkles, in other words, all as usual, and while I am not having any new outfits to share from this week, I still have a few outfits and stories to share from the past month or so. Are you ready? Let's go.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Walk, Walk and Walk

I can't get enough of this beautiful summery weather. It seems all we do these days is walk, walk and walk. Justin's smart device tells us we walked 24 km (15 miles) this week - a lot for someone who usually spends hour after hour, day after day writing, editing and staring at the computer screen. I feel that life juices came back to my tired-after-the-long-winter body, and that fresh blood runs through my veins again. I feel that this Summer will be different for me, in my wardrobe options for one - nobody on the planet is happier than I am that stores are now filled with clothes made of linen and cotton everywhere,  and you will most probably see a lot of these pieces in different combinations again and again. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Slices of Local History: West Hylebos Wetlands

End of March brought us a treasured gift of sunny and summer-like warm days with temperatures around 70 F. When sun arrives, the whole Puget Sound drops everything they were doing and goes outside to play. And so did we. We took so many walks, that now our legs hurt. I have many pictures to share of places and outfits, and I've decided to start with the most recent ones - our today's trip to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park which is located  in Federal Way, a city between Tacoma and Seattle, and features one of the last remaining peat bogs in the Puget Sound area which volunteers lovingly restore since 1983. There is a blog dedicated to West Hylebos (last updated in May 2015), Blog from the Bog, and an Earth Corps' page dedicated to this park as well - If you are local and haven't been to this marvel of a nature, please do so soon, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.