It Just Wasn't That Big Of A Deal, Then I Ugly Cried.

How often as moms, as women, as people, we tell ourselves it just isn't that big of a deal?

but, it's ok if it is.

Most of the time it isn't, a big deal.  and for most people.

Until Those Darn Extenuating Circumstances.

Because we are all fighting internal struggles in some way at some point.  And we need to be kind to that self that is in the midst of the storm.

For me, it's a gobsmack that only happens on special occasions.  A figurative "you idiot, how did you not see this coming?!" smack on the side of my own head and that huge wave of missing my mom that takes me down.  That is grief.  New experiences in life that she isn't a part of.  I can't even tell you what they are, because I don't know until they happen.  It's usually not that big of a deal, and I'm fine.  I mean I know no different so I shouldn't even know what I am missing right?  But something deep inside me does.

That wave of grief.  And then it's an UGLY CRY.  My husband will tell you there's lots of snot involved.

I have gone to years of counseling for this.  It doesn't stop the crying, or the ache, but it has taught me I won't drown in it.  PSA - Counseling, do it.

I can't be the only one who UGLY CRIES?  When I tell this to my husband, he laughs a little.  Maybe it's not as common as I think.  For me, crying is such a natural part of me that I forget it's not for everyone.  Of course that UGLY CRY isn't every day.  Thank Goodness.

But it happened today.


Without getting into the details, because that is not the point of what I am hoping to share, I was genuinely affected by the kindness I was shown today - there are people who need this so much more than I do.  Yet I received it.  The woman who stopped and offered me tissue.  The receptionist who called me back, after my very poor reaction towards her message, and offered to help.  Friends willing to rearrange their schedule to join me.  My mother in law willing to enter into my circumstances.

And I was extremely grateful and inspired by the human spirit and the world.

In a time that we see A LOT of fighting and focus on our disagreements, there is also so much beauty in this world.  And hope.

And kindness.

So the point that I want to share, is to encourage you all to enter in with others.  We are called to be in community.  but don't think about it, because you might talk yourself out of it, listen to your gut.  It's a vulnerable place, to give, and to receive.  In order to receive you have to allow people into your sacred space, but that is where the fruit truly is.  This week holds both #bemorekindday followed by suicide prevention day, we all can step up our game.

"Empathy has no script.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.  It's simply listening, holding space, withholding judgement, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of "you're not alone.""  Brene Brown.

So after I gathered my tissue and myself, I went home and found the prettiest dress in my closet, because it reminds me of my grandma, and new lipstick and awesome earrings, you better believe it.  These are all personal pick me ups.  And as I was driving to get my boys from a friends house, I was struck by the beauty of the marina on this day, I couldn't help but park and pause for a few mins.  Courtesy of my Iphone timer and a garbage can prop, I took a few photos. 

thank you for reading.



Concocting A Cocktail While Camping. My Foraged Cocktail

So.  In a week, I will have camped 3 times this summer.  What???  It's been a major theme for Team Pap these warm weather months.  My boys ADORE it.  My husband seems to like it too, especially if fishing and dreaming of the land we will own one day with my darling cabin on it are part of the deal.

I, well.  There are definitely parts I can get behind, I love exploring the outdoors, cooking over a campfire.  Seeing the wonder in my children as we discover nature and the joy in s'mores for breakfast.  I don't mind not showering, and clearly hair washing is not necessary.  And bonus points if there is driftwood involved. 

I also have discovered foraged cocktails.  Right?  Camping doesn't have to be all dirt and nylon  ...there can be garnishes involved.  There should ALWAYS be garnishes involved.

blackberry vodka cocktail

foraged cocktail

I found wild blackberries (they grow on the ground and are smaller than the himalayan version we have growing in every alley and ditch in the PNW, and they taste delicious)  on a particular camping trip in July on Whidbey Island.  I also discovered, only too late, that stinging nettle is a companion of these berries.  Even more reason to have another cocktail...and to always pack hydrocortisone.  And to NOT forage in cutoff shorts and flip flops.

Potential names for this cocktail....

"Pass The Hydrocortisone."
"Camping Doesn't Have to be Ugly."
"The Lost Blackberries."
"The Happy Camper."
"Nexttime Wear Pants You Knucklehead."
"No Shower Necessary."

I could go on and on...

So besides a first aid kit, I always bring mason jars, ice, and vodka or gin if I'm planning on concocting a cocktail while camping. 

What I did.  And there is no real recipe, just try it.  My hope is that you don't follow this too closely, more so that it inspires your own foraged masterpieces.

In a mason jar...
Gather wild blackberries, about half the jar.
Add Sugar (about 1-2T depending on sweetness of berries).  Add Some Vodka, about 1/2cup.  Shake it up.
Pour over ice.  Add Sparkling Water.
Garnish with a blackberry flower.
Makes about 2 drinks - if you've been stung be nettles, or 4 if you were smart and wore pants while foraging!

I was inspired by this book.  I carry it in my shop, so if you live in Seattle, come visit and by it locally.   I also sell these blankets.  So maybe even worth a plane ticket to the Emerald City, and come visit my shop. 

And finally, which name do you vote for??

Happy Camping.


Bright, Stripe, Black and White.

long curly hair

bold accessories

black and white striped mules

buki cropped pant

Hmmmmmmmmmm pretty sure I haven't posted an outfit post all summer, I'm not gonna check because I don't have time, and I don't actually want to know.  I know it's been a very long time though because I can't think of what to type...

First lets start with THANK YOU for continuing to check in on this blog even if I have been scarce.  I have been sharing a lot of daily moments in my instastories, but I promise, with the fall fast approaching, and bedtimes back to a decent hour, I will be back at it.  Don't leave me now!

So despite my lack of outfit sharing, I have been reaching into my closet and wearing all the pieces that make me the happiest, with no particular justification needed.  And it's been so fun.  It's been a good challenge for me to make sure I get to all of those pieces before the sun fades.  Silly as it may seem, it puts such a pep in my step.  I truly hate hearing "I love this, but where will I ever wear this?"  Today.  Wear it.  

And wear accessories.  Summer style is all about color and pattern and texture and shine.  

Enter this outfit.  This is the power of Breat Gasics, also known as Great Basics (too good to correct), they can be taken so many different directions.  The best part about black and white is the ability to accessorize, and to do it boldly.  There is no room for boring.

I started with the shoes, obviously.  Always the best place to start.  These black and white stripe mules with a block heel, they were my purchase for the summer (if you are a 6.5, 7.5 or 10 they are 40% off here!) (few more sizes on sale here).  The rest of us can find them full price here.  

Then a bold earring...you can find it at my shop.  If you live in Seattle just come visit already.  

A big vintage bracelet.  And bright bold clutch - bought from a street vendor in NYC on this trip.

 All done.  Seems like it would be too much on their own, all these bold pieces, but together they work so well.  And what's the formula?  There isn't really one.  I do love the mixing of black and white stripes with neon bright colors but really you just gotta try it on and see what you think.  What is your gut saying?  Trust it.  Or phone a friend, the one who's got your fashion back. 

Oh geez I feel a soapbox moment coming on but I can't, it's too late....coming soon...

curly bangs

top - Buki c/o
bottoms - Buki c/o
shoes - Sam Edelman

Sweetest dreams...I am off to bed.

photos by Coco.

Thank you for reading!


Oh The Places We've Gone.

his and her style

When I originally intended this post it was to talk about jet-setting in our favorite Brooks shoes, because they are so comfortable and quite stylish it just made sense, but they have become so much more.

They places we have gone, and all that we have done over the summer...in our Brooks.

Yes, we are travelers, but also shop owners, parents, baseball coach/cheerleaders, laundry doers, walking to ice cream goers, farmers market attenders, dinner makers.  Did I mention vintage-trailer reno-ing-ers?  Don't think that is a word?  Well it is definitely a verb.  And all of this has been done in these shoes.  My odds of kicking my to-do list in the butt greatly increases when these shoes go on...I mean they were designed to kick butt.

Wonder if they thought my to-do list would be a marathon contender?  

But it wasn't just the daily grind to-do list that made me reach for these shoes, this summer we have been more intentional with adventuring and exploring.  Shout out to raising two energetic boys to keep me active, and at times make me feel so worn out.  This summer has felt more quintessential than the ones before, call it having my first born turn double digits, and maybe that is also why it feels like it's going too fast.  Less inside, more outside - while our kids still ask us to join them.  I mean I have camped outside more than once, which means multiple times.  Seriously.  

Just wait for that blog post.

If you know me well you are probably laughing and not just because I am camping at my own will, but I am a shoe convert, if only Disneyland could see me now!  Who knew I would grow to appreciate a comfortable shoe so much.  But I also love that they don't scream running shoe.  The lightweight design paired with the stretch-woven material give these shoes easy street cred.  

Running track, laundry stack, luggage rack.  Ha!  good one right?   

I have easily worn these sneakers with summer dresses, denim shorts and my favorite denim.  And my favorite look includes one of my bff's high school hoodie.  Thank goodness I saved it over all these years, it's a treasure!  and she is too.      

brooks running shoe

workout leggings for everyday wear

hooded sweatshirt and jacket
I am wearing the PureFLow 7 shoe and Ghost Crop bottoms c/o
Nick is wearing the Levitate shoe and Track t-shirt c/o

Here I am acting like this is a done deal.  Summer is not over yet, there is still more adventure to be had.  Want to see where else we go in our Brooks shoes, follow my instastories.  We are gonna finish strong.

Photos by Angie.  


In The Kitchen With My Boys.

My mom didn't like us in the kitchen while she was cooking.  It was a small space and her time, after the hectic day of mothering.  It was also about getting dinner on the table.

I get that.

I learned to cook from my grandmas, baking bread and pumpkin pie, rolling noodles, learning the "secret family recipes" like rosettes and pretzel salad.  Feeling ever so special drinking cranberry juice and 7-up.  I am incredibly grateful for the influence they had on me in the kitchen.

My grandma still doesn't miss an opportunity to get messy in the kitchen with her great grandchildren when she visits.

circa 2012

I like to believe that if my mom were here today, she wouldn't be able to get enough of cooking in the kitchen with her grandchildren.  Actually I know she wouldn't.

That's not lost on me.

And I don't want it to be lost on Riese and Peyton.  It's incredibly important to me that they have these experiences too.

So we cook, together.  In a small kitchen, with lots of messes, and hopefully a finished product we all enjoy, or at least enjoy participating in the process.  Sometimes we fail.  Sometimes we follow recipes, I love listening to my boys read recipes out loud.  Sometimes we don't.  This time we learned that following a recipe yields us amazing waffle cones, not following the recipe, the 2nd time, was a fail.

Sometimes we cook for a purpose...dinner, cookies for friends.  Sometimes we cook for no purpose at all with no time limits.

And I mostly look away when they use knives, hold my breathe a tiny bit when they light the gas stove, and still don't know how to let go of needing to help them pour the milk.  Hello spilled milk is a messy thing, and a waste.  But I have to be OK WITH A MESS.  I just have to.  I know if they feel capable and a sense of belonging in our kitchen it will solidify their confidence in this space, and hopefully cultivate a love for cooking.

I will also admit that it always helps our success if there is a cocktail (for me) involved.  Cold, dry, bubbly and extra chilled preferably, because let's be honest snappy mom voice kills the fun real fast.  And something special to drink for the boys, call it the cranberry 7up phenomenon.

Recently we received a flat of the most amazing Peaches from the Met Market as part of their Peach O'Rama event.  We anticipate these juicy gems all year long..."hey remember that time when we ate THOSE peaches."  It's a sign of summer's best.

And an opportunity to get in the kitchen, together.

With a new waffle cone maker (thanks bro!) peach ice cream made perfect sense.  And by ice cream we simply folded it into our favorite vanilla, because lets be honest - no patience to wait.  and after all we were already making homemade waffle cones.

key to success:  not overcomplicating.

another key to success:  when you start with the very best ingredients you don't need to complicate things.

(photo by Chelsea)

Please note:  not a food blogger.

How we made our ice cream...peeled and diced about 4 peaches, well except we kept eating them, but I still think we managed 4.  Then we added them to a half gallon of ice cream, along with all the juice from cutting.  mix and freeze until waffle cones are ready.

We followed this waffle cone recipe.  We used this waffle cone maker

I'd love to hear how you go about cooking with your kiddos.

This post was done in partnership with the Met Market, if you live in the greater Seattle area you can find their AMAZING peaches until around the end of August.  So get in there!