Anthro love

Here’s a few favorites from the Anthropologie spring line!collages200 I’m particularly adoring their dining room chairs carved into woodland animals, their floral wallpaper, and their seafoamy upholstery option. While I cannot afford any of these pretties, I do love discovering what style I enjoy and it’s almost a treasure hunt to try and emulate it. (And I’m a lucky girl…Anthro is just half a mile down the street from me so I can walk in any time. It is for me what Breakfast At Tiffany’s is to Holly Golightly!

Seeing the beauty

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” ~Fred Rogers

As I made this mandala I was trying to breathe. I’ve seen so much hate online and it’s scorching my heart, crushing my lungs. From people wanting to rip the throats of liberals, to mosques being attacked, to Christian leaders trying to justify the exclusion of people fleeing death.

Instead of absorbing and reflecting these painful sights, I want to breathe in the beauty and light I have been witness to during these times of uncertainty. I have seen friends and sisters speak out for outcasts, differing cultures loving and encouraging eachother, countless people funding the arts, and big corporations and leaders of countries speaking up for the environment. I’m choosing now to see the beauty and uplift the brave instead of responding to hateful rhetoric.

 I want to see sparkling innovation and kindness. I want to see joyful voices drowning out oppression. I want to see loving arms taking in the least of these.

I am the granddaughter of immigrants. One from the U.K. who fled from hunger to Canada. The other, a Jew who fled Nazi Germany to… the U.K.

Now I see with tears of joy my city and state standing against the banning of immigrants and refugees, though we have so many homeless of our own. I am living proof there is room in this world for everyone to have a safe haven if we open our hearts.

And yet it moves

When Galileo had to denounce his scientific belief that the earth moved around the sun, he said under his breath, “Eppur si muove.” And yet it moves. dahlia-solar-system

About a year ago I read a bunch of dystopian novels. 1984, The Giver, Lord of the Flies, The Handmaid’s Tale… Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that 1984 is currently the bestselling novel in the US because of the apparent gag order on scientists and “alternative facts” talk. 2+2 does not equal 5!

It’s been fascinating to see the current political landscape after having read those chilling stories. I feel like I was given a foreshadow for my perseverance now. I’ll say this: it’s not as bad as some people are making it out to be. But it feels a little like the days Winston compares to the paperweight; isolated coral inside its bubble, love, truth, and thoughts free. How soon before it shatters to the ground? (Interesting how progressives are said to live inside a bubble, ha!)

I was thinking about how mad I was about Trump’s lack of care for the environment (enacting pipelines, wanting to withdraw from the Paris agreement), his claims to environmental awards (lie), and replacing our previous energy secretary, Dr. Ernest Moniz, a strong proponent of clean energy, with Rick Perry, who wanted to get rid of the DOE.

But then I remembered a quote by Trump’s ex wife Ivana from The First Wives Club: “Don’t get mad, get everything!” It’s a play on “don’t get mad, get even,” and is in reference to how she cleaned him out when they divorced.

That was when I started my fundraiser for planting trees. In just 24 hours, friends, family, and followers donated enough to plant 10,210 trees! It’s a drop in the bucket of what is truly needed to combat climate change, but it’s proof that if you believe you can make change, start a campaign, and ask people to help…it works! I don’t want to sit and stew as the ship sinks, I want to stick my oar in. And then maybe I can encourage others to do so, too.

I refuse to be silenced! Eppur si muove!

If you’d like to follow some comical resistance, check out @Altnationalparkser twitter account. (workers for the national parks gone rogue, citing climate change facts on an alternate twitter account).


Help me plant trees!

One gallon of gasoline produces 20 lbs of carbon dioxide. One tree eats up 48 lbs of carbon dioxide a year. 
The average person uses 500 gallons of gasolene a year. That’s 10,000 lbs of carbon dioxide. 
Planting 208 trees would delete your carbon footprint, not just for one year, but year after year.
How much does that cost? $20

Help me reach my fundraising goal of $1,000. That’s 10,000 trees!

Donate here

Painted Ladies

My butterflies are emerging today. It feels so symbolic for the current state of affairs. What could have been a dark weekend has turned into one of the most inspiring, lovely times of my life. 

Yesterday I marched with my sister and millions of other women the world over. I felt so empowered, supported, and proud to stand up, speak out, and celebrate our different beliefs. In the midst of thousands of ladies laughing together, encouraging one another, and flying through Seattle, Beau texted to tell me my first Painted Lady butterfly had emerged. 

I haven’t been silent on here about how disillusioned I am about Trump being president. At first I thought I was one of very few. The way he speaks about women, and countless who condone him made me want to do something tangible. I made my female symbol out of red and blue and posted it here, then started following grassroots movements online. On Pantsuit Nation I read countless stories from marginalized women, some of hope, some so hard to read I couldn’t stop crying. It’s been such an interesting time of discovery for me, realizing the fight women have been through in our century, and how much of my own views have been distorted by society. Just because a law says we have rights, doesn’t mean they’re still followed, and people saying we at least don’t have to cover ourselves up like in other countries cannot understand how demeaning that sounds: as if the very basic right to show my skin should be a triumph for me.

I marched for the environment. I marched for my friends struggling with gender roles in their private and professional lives. I marched for love and acceptance. I marched for those who have experienced sexual violence. For those who are physically or verbally abused. I marched for the girl me who was scared, the woman I am now, and the future me. Yesterday I was inspired by a quote by Feminist Nellie McClung, who fought for women’s voting rights:

“Women are going to form a chain, a greater sisterhood than the world has ever known.”
I think that happened yesterday, and I wish the suffragettes could have been there to see it.


Golden growth

“You say it’s your birthday! It’s my birthday tooooo!” ~The Beatlesscreen-shot-2017-01-10-at-7-22-44-pm

Beau and I went to the butterfly house at the Pacific Science Center and I spent about an hour just ogling chrysalises and taking pictures of fluttering wings. I found out about Paper Kite Butterflies. First I was just enamored with how many big white and black butterflies there were, all fluttering together in lazy flocks. I even took a selfie with one. Then, while looking at all the pupas I gasped at some shiny bright metallic gold chrysalises. I had never seen anything like them! I took a picture. On the way home I looked at the name of the pupas in the picture, then looked up their butterflies on google. They were the same black and white butterflies! screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-7-17-00-pm
Fast forward to later when we had all had some cinnamon roll birthday cake, Harry brought a christmas present from my mom I hadn’t opened the packaging too. A little butterfly kite!

I can’t help but see some significance. Birthdays remind me of change and growth. I’ve felt a little bit chrysalisish…perhaps even caterpillarish lately. (The irony of my wearing a striped shirt just like the striped caterpillars of the kite butterfly was not lost on me.) More and more I realize that we are eternally going through different stages of growth all throughout our lives.  We can even be simultaneously sprouting wings as we are still working on a cocoon. It never really ends. The trick is finding beauty in every stage. I think getting older is helping me see how. The things that mattered so much to 20 year old me seem trivial now. I’m glad to think that things that make me sad today will someday have some time and wisdom between me and them. I’ve learned that loneliness is time to reflect and work on self care, humility is a step into reality, and failure is fuel for courage.

But I wouldn’t have known these things if I’d been flying high as a kite all through the years. And I won’t be able to go deeper and learn more if I don’t expect and welcome change now and in the future. Even the coloring of the butterflies means something to me. When everything is going well life seems to be black and white, you think you can see clearly and make decisions and create ideas based out of naivety and jadedness. But truth and strength come from adversity. Life doesn’t have easy answers, and the world needs to be seen from different hues.

Perhaps the butterflies were trying to show me that while difficult to shed one’s exoskeleton and become something new, it can be a brilliantly golden time. Ones own poetry and glittering soul are shown when the pain of growth happens.screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-7-14-11-pm
image from

I’ve been loving these lyrics from La La Land’s The fools who dream:

“A bit of madness is key
to give us to color to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
And that’s why they need us

So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles
The painters, and poets, and plays

And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy, as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make”


Moonlit magic

I watched Woody Allen’s movie Magic in the Moonlight last night and fell madly in love with every beautifully framed shot.


The costumes, sets, vistas and romantic lighting…swoon! I need more chinoiserie wallpaper, floral hats, and lacy feathery sparkly dresses in my life! (as if I don’t already). I love it when movies take you on a mini vacation. I feel like I just walked through a flower arbor tunnel in the French riviera.

And although the story line and writing didn’t get great reviews,  I liked the idea of it: if skepticism makes you unhappy, why not look at the world in a miraculous light?

The real problem with this movie is that the age difference between the two main actors is so unrealistic that the romance takes you by surprise.  You’re not rooting for them to fall in love because the whole time you’re thinking he’s more of a mentor. I never felt butterflies in my stomach and the final scene at best is a shoulder shrug and at worst makes you think about kissing your dad.  I think this movie would have done much better at the box office if Allen had chosen a younger man or an older woman. Maybe it says something that I was paying more attention to their clothes and the chairs they were sitting on than the scenes themselves?

The country diary of an edwardian lady

I’ve been reading Edith Holden’s 100 year old book. It’s a log of all the more exciting natural beauty that occurs throughout the seasons. She paints flora and birds and gives snippets about the months. Ellen gave it to me on thanksgiving! screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-3-49-11-pm

I’ve been thinking about how I have been a modern version of her lately. “The City diary of a Millennial Lady” ha! There are many parallels between our experiences. screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-3-49-59-pm

We have a love of the same kind of poetry and red toadstools and birds! I’ve documented and given snippets of my days throughout the last ten years or so. I’ve also been writing about my floral inspirations and seasonal memories for my next book; The Art of Flora Forager. I hope it’s as well loved by someone as I love Edith Holden’s book!  screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-3-49-30-pm

Here’s my diary from the last few days…

~Made a Polyphemus moth out of sticks, leaves, and floral matter. I had the perfect curled up dead leaves to make its cocoon, and orange berries for the nobs on its caterpillar’s head.

~Drove down a dark forested highway to pick up my sister. The trees were black against a solstice evening sky.  One valley had a ghostly mist looming at eye level so I could see above and below it. It was a living thing, creeping nearer as I escaped into the mountains.

~I used lots of curry spices, cardamom and cinnamon for a soup.  The children surprised me by loving it.

~I set up a butterfly enclosure in the sitting room. Ten wriggly caterpillars came in the mail and I have been eagerly watching them grow every day.  Soon they will be chrysalises and I will hang them in the enclosure so they can transform into Painted Lady Butterflies!

~flocks of tiny bush tits have been in the lilacs bushes eating their pods. One flew into the house and fluttered back out when he noticed me.

~We’ve had a few snowflakes interspersed with rain. I wish it would stick and stay for christmas, but it looks like we’ll have a sunny holiday. I’d like that better than rain, so I’ll take it.





Today I got to take some pictures of feathers at the Audubon Center! Stellar’s JayEagleHummingbirdFinchDuck (previous three)Barn owlHawk

Aren’t they just amazing? I donated a dead Sap Sucker my brother in law Kris found in the snow. Pita Marina is my contact there and she was so darling with my boys while I snapped pictures of the birds! I love that there are people in the world who dedicate themselves to educating youngsters about birds.