Scroll with it. Tap with it. Facts On Why Your Content Needs To Be Tap Friendly.

Tapping vs. Scrolling.
Unless you have been living off-the-grid in the boonies or on a tech strike you have probably experienced the addictive world of smart phones.

Gone are the days where you have to press the key three times to get the letter C. You don’t have to turn around your phone to get a selfie; simply tap the screen. Social media sites like Facebook are now an app on your phone so you don’t have to wait until getting off the bus at 4 p.m. to run to your computer room and log on.

 

Every one of my clients will tell you I recommend they focus on *two platforms for their audience: Facebook and Instagram. For obvious reasons, right? That’s where everyone is, including their target audience.

How do we know who their target audience is? We research and create a Branding + Positioning Strategy! For the month of March 2019 we’re celebrating our One Year Anniversary by giving you a FREE Discovery Session PLUS 50% off your Branding + Positioning Strategy.

YOUR BUSINESS IS WORTH INVESTING IN! Schedule your call here. 

*Depending on your brand, these platforms may vary. Schedule a Branding + Positioning Strategy to find out where you should focus your efforts! 

 

Knowing WHAT you are selling, WHY you are selling it and WHO is buying it is just as important as learning WHERE to connect with them and WHEN.

That’s a lot, right?

Yes. It is. Which is what makes hiring someone to do your marketing so valuable. By taking a strategic approach you are making the most out of your time and efforts as possible in order to reach your desired outcome.

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Photo by Ahmed Aqtai on Pexels.com

Now that we have all of that figured out, how do we gain you traction? How do we bring in that attention and attract them to your site?

By optimizing and creating content that will perform the best where you are putting it. Are you creating videos? Current and relevant events? Giving massive value before ever asking anything of your audience?

If you want a free download on content creation and ideas, download our guide. 

You may have heard when Instagram was enabling their tap to advance platform.

Why?

Because we prefer to tap rather than scrolling. As if having the world at our fingertips at an instant wasn’t enough industries are now recognizing ‘thumb-scrolling fatigue’ by creating more ‘tap-friendly’ material and platforms.

Tap to expand this text.

Tap to change your face filter.

Tap to turn the sound on or off.

Tap to like it.

Tap to go to the next Instagram story.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Knowing this I encourage you to update and test your outreach strategy. Instagram highlights and stories always get more views than your regular posts and way more interaction. Stories have kept more than 400 million daily active users and 39% of Instagram users have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Instagram Stories.

By sharing moments throughout my entire day, I am able to let people in on business and personal updates without worrying about something 100% permanent to leave on my page’s account. They’ve provided me an outlet to share on their app more than just once a day.

Stories also take up the entire screen whereas posts take up a smaller portion. People are on stories while watching Netflix or doing some other activity. Because people love to see the page refresh and a bright pink ring around your profile image it’s important that you are on there every day.

Wondering what to post? Test out anything and everything! People are likely to tap the sound on when you  are energetically speaking and adding interactive elements.

Are you posting beneficial information? Sure your cat is cute but if I always know what I’m going to see I will likely stop visiting. Is what you have to share interesting? I’m not encouraging you to be someone different than who you are or spend thousands on trips to ‘stay interesting’ but adding a humorous touch, unique twist, thoughtful prompts or new visual effects like filters can add interest to a ‘basic’ post. Are you incorporating the interactive polls where people have fun choosing and viewing the results instantly? Are you adding music so they can tap the sound on to hear it?

 

The results show that an Instagram Feed with additional ad text results in the lowest cost per lead due to the highest conversion rate.

Instagram Stories gives the best click-through rate and cost per click.

 

Last but not least, you’re not too good for locations or hashtags! Take up that 30 hashtag block limit. Make it relevant to what you want to attract or what you are posting. How much competition would there be on #fitness versus something like #WomenWhoLift? Narrow yourself down and find that balance to expand your outreach

Struggling to find that balance between too generic and too specific?

We can fix that. 

I hope a few of these tips, free guide and discounted offers helped you out! Make sure to follow us on Instagram below or any of our other social media to see what we’re testing out. Let me know how this works out for you!

 

Cheers!
Marin

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How To Self-Promote Without Feeling Salesy or Pompous

Want some free stuff? Don’t worry. I’ve got this. 

Does going live on Facebook or sharing selfies on Instagram with ironic captions make you cringe?

Yep. Same.

Something I regularly run into when presenting my clients (and, let’s be real, myself) is apprehension to putting themselves out there.

Even though people are buying YOU and who YOU are, people still believe they don’t belong on their pages. It can be a delicate balance of posting online as a professional being transparent and open with their brand or just another high school girl’s IG feed.

 

How do we separate ourselves? Well, there are a lot of layers to that social media engagement cake but the goal is to get content that converts. PS: That’s one of the freebies I offer plus I wrote an entire post about it.

When we conduct a Branding + Positioning Strategy we find a brand’s personality and voice. We don’t completely re-brand and change what you have; we enhance it. When you nail down your product, audience, your WHY and your goals these usually come quite naturally.

BRAND VOICE

Who is the ideal customer you’re speaking to? No, not just who you currently have but who you WANT to be your clients. Who are they, what do they sound like, what do they like to read and where do they consume content? Do they prefer visual consumption on YouTube or do they prefer audibly listening to you on podcasts?

While I encourage you to push your boundaries and play around do not force yourself into a medium that you’re uncomfortable with. For some people they really struggle with long-form writing like blogs but others love being able to write out their thoughts. Find what works for you and I promise the message you want to put out there will come through.

Can you use fun and flirty language to talk to your makeup babes or do you need to be starch collar professional for your law office? An agriculture company be too stuffy with ‘kindest regards’ and too hokey with ‘y’all’.  This is an excellent balance to match your voice with your brand’s archetype. Finding a copywriter and marketing professional to help post for you will allow you to interact and focus on your business while you work IN your business.

 

BRAND Personality

Just because you have multiple personalities doesn’t mean you can decide which one you want to show! Our goal is to find the best way to communicate using that personality and how best to translate your most authentic self.

Let’s look at the angle of speaking as a personal brand or on behalf of a brand as a representative. Just because you cuss in real life doesn’t necessarily mean you have to censor yourself for the Disney channel but make it tasteful and be mindful of your audience. If you share audible content, add a disclaimer at the beginning of your video or podcast. Offer your audience the chance to listen or read later when they’re out of public or the kids are napping.

Also refrain from using words that are commonly offensive or derogatory vs. something you would find in church or broadcasting. When in doubt, leave it out. Remember there is a time and place to speak to your friends at a bar and being an approachable business person. You can’t go spend money at the bar if you’re driving your clientele away!

When deciding on your brand’s personality (or are curious about your own) I recommend you take the FREE 16personalities.com quiz to get an idea of your brand as an actual person. You can also take Myers-Briggs or go the more traditional advertising route and decide your brand’s archetype.

Finding your brand’s archetype will allow you to decipher the nitty-gritty like fonts, colors, posting style and infusing that personality in your marketing materials, imaging, branding, logo and voice. You can have some fun playing around with holidays or special occasions. like your brand’s anniversary, but your #BrandPersonality should stay consistent.

If you watch any of the Airbnb shows like Instant Hotel or Stay Here you’ll recognize they do this with locations. Find a color, a personality, a marketing opportunity and you create a profitable destination to stand apart from your competition. What do you expect from a vibrant New York condo vs a romantic wine country cabin vs a luxurious, high-class home in Malibu? They’re consistent with their branding and create an experience their clients can share.

 

KEY TAKEAWAY: Feel free to evolve your brand but the most important thing is to stay consistent! Consistency is key. I recommend trying something for a MINIMUM of six months and adjusting based on your audience’s reactions. The thing you want to avoid is changing so often when people refer to you, the potential client gets confused on who they are looking for.

 

If you need clarity on finding your brand’s voice and personality, just ask. We’re always happy to help!

Cheers!

Marin

Want some free stuff? Don’t worry. I’ve got this. 

The Personal Side of Complaints, Apologizing and Forgiveness

In case you haven’t heard we are running a huge promo to celebrate our first birthday in March! Make sure you’re following (social media and enter your email) so you don’t miss out. Once March is over, so will this promotion.

In Success Magazine’s Spring 2019 issue they had a large several-page spread with one liners on how to improve areas of your life in 2019. One paragraph stood out to me. It went as follows:

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice. Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong. Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way. Forgive yourself.

This simple paragraph out of all the writer had spewed out was exactly what I have been focusing this season of my life around and it’s a source of my largest stress as well as what I am most proud of.

I believe they wrote this down in a certain order because it’s often the way we need to process through these mentally. Let me break it down…

Don’t insert a complaint about someone when changing subjects will suffice.

We all have the friends and ‘group’ that you can rant to, uncensored, and it’s okay. But be careful who you tell what to. I have had several friends or confidants who I believed were on ‘my side’ but the same toxic things they would spew about their other ‘best friends’ shows you exactly how they will speak to others about you.

Even after removing the toxicity they are free to spread whatever they want around. It is about how you react to it that shows your character. It frustrates me to see them doing this same vicious cycles to others but who am I to tell others what they can and can’t do? If you’re someone who believes you are a good person then let your actions reveal that. Trust that people have the ability to decide what is and is not true. Trust that even if they’re in bad company they will soon figure that out the same way you did. Adding more trash doesn’t clean up a pile of trash…it just makes for one messy area no one wants to go near.

Don’t give in to the urge to reveal the truth. (I KNOW it is tempting but you will find it will reveal itself.) The minute you talk poorly of someone you become known as the person who talks poorly of others. You can say what you mean without saying it mean. It’s that simple. Wish them well. Bless their heart. Spread love where you can.  And just change the subject. You will feel much better avoiding that guilt hangover.

Apologize for things hanging over your conscience, but don’t over-apologize when you’ve done nothing wrong.

I remember every time I have extended a white flag and it was not returned. Not that I necessarily expected one (there must have been something off that caused the conflict in the first place) but it would have been nice! It’s like telling someone they’re beautiful and they respond with ‘I Know.’

See some of those stories below. Don’t worry, they’re comin’.

It’s not all just boyfriends and girlfriends but also in professional relationships. There is nothing that drives me more crazy than when people say ‘I’m sorry.’ in situations that do NOT require those words!

I worked with a person primarily over a conference line. She would never say the first word, she would never take the lead and she often only took action when guided how to. Nothing wrong with that at all. She did great work.

But every single time, often more than once a conversation I would hear her say Sorry for an accidental interruption, project missed, wrong title read, etc. It loses all sense of the word when it’s part of your regular vocabulary!

I am all for owning your mistakes and truly meaning you feel empathy for something. But do NOT go through this world apologizing for being here and assume every misstep you take is a bad one. NO. You’re better, smarter, tougher, stronger and too good for that.

I’ve known several people who are serial offenders to repeatedly adding condolences in their everyday sentences. I started asking ‘What are you apologizing for?’ They would mumble out some line about how they weren’t sure it just felt like they should say it. Break the habit!

 

Forgive people even when you know an apology isn’t coming your way.

Ah, offering forgiveness. It’s like volunteering and internally expecting something in return.

I remember when I was younger and going through a break-up there was always the conversation to bring ‘closure’ aka not a thing. Days, months, years later I would cross paths again and apologize for my wrong doings. Not because I thought profuse I’m Sorry’s would reconcile anything but truly recognizing where I fell short, what I learned from that and what made me better for the next relationship I would be in.

Alexa, start playing God Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts…

 

Do not feel the urge to apologize when you feel you have done nothing wrong. I’m going to make this realllll big so you don’t miss it.

When a person tells you that you hurt them you didn’t get to decide that they didn’t.

-louis c.k.

I eventually told most everyone who hurt me in some way, shape or form what they did. We may have both been at the same place, same time doing the same thing but our memories of the event could be very different. If you felt humiliated, unsafe, hurt or let down they do not hold any kind of special power to say ‘No, you didn’t’ or ‘I didn’t do that.’  Believe wholeheartedly that it is better to agree to disagree and walk away than it is to convince them they fell short.

One response I got was fantastic. They said they were also sorry for not recognizing the major support I needed in a very difficult time and we were both grateful it happened and move forward. We are friends and it’s not weird. A large gap of time and space did help that (most annoying thing to hear, my bad) but it truly does. It can happen. If it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.

Another response, the big one, I apologized for my wrong-doings…and was met with Thanks for saying that. And trust me they had a lottttt, a lot they could have apologized for. Now there is a long, long story attached to that I won’t get in to but the main point stands out. Had I stayed with that person I would more than likely still be where they are (physically and mentally). It’s no wonder that was a leading reason I left the relationship. If you ever get the chance to experience something like that, it will be the  most clarifying moment. Just like you couldn’t fix someone back then  there is nothing you can do now.

Apologizing to those does not show defeat at all. It shows maturity. It shows growth. I would much rather leave telling someone ‘I’m for all I did wrong. Thank you for everything.’ than something cruel I said in a moment of anger.

 

Forgive yourself. 

I’m not much of a person to #selfcare #selftalk #forgiveyourself but #hereIam. Mostly because it was in the previous excerpt so I will give this my best shot. This is usually something I only speak about with close friends because, damn, is it hard.

I considered myself to be an extroverted, confident teenager. I liked being liked. I liked being everywhere with everyone at every event. The last place I wanted to be was sitting at home in what was, at the time, a place I felt extremely uninvited to. I much preferred to be out where things were lighthearted, where I had people who also wanted to be around me, where I could ‘make memories’ and be apart of everything.

Because of this outward image I was putting on it came as a big shock to those I opened up to what was going on at home, in my mind and in my personal life. Some people believe me; some of my closest friends still don’t. Some believe you can’t be two people at the same time.

You can’t be a party girl and also be someone who went through something invasive and demoralizing.

You can’t have amazing parents who love and support you and also physically, verbally fight with them, get kicked out and told you’re stupid or in need of a workout.

You can’t be the captain, the homecoming queen, hold a crowned title, several leadership positions and also see how many pills you can take to get away from the issues.

But you can. People go through things like this every single day.

You’re bound to screw up. It will happen. It’s important to have someone, at least one person who you trust that can help carry that burden with you.

There are things only my friends know. There are things myself and those who were there with me know. There are things only my husband knows. And there are things that are only between myself and God that not a single other person will ever know.

I am okay with that.

I have only been to two counseling sessions in my life. One I was tricked and forced to go to (which scarred me you could say) and one I chose to go to when I had a panic attack/actual breakdown in college. Neither one personally allowed me to open up but I encourage you to find someone you can trust, a licensed stranger if it helps, and let it out. You’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

I still have moments where a bad or annoying memory will pop up and in the deep pit of my stomach right under my ribs this anxious feeling creeps in. It’s all consuming. I recognize that and I let it pass; knowing it will come back sometime. Someday.

 

I was self-conscious about a lot of things in my life and several of those still exist. I am proud of who I am and what I have done.

I forgive others for thinking they get to say who I was or am. I forgive those who took their own personal vengeances out on my wedding day. Including someone close to me who has never publicly said one positive thing about me and instead pointed out everyone in the room except for me. For saying the only good thing I ever did was marry my husband and not screwing it up. I forgive them because they were blind to anything that was every actually going on.

No. Marrying him was the greatest experience of my life but I have definitely done many, many more good things. Being his wife is the favorite thing I have ever been but I am much more than that. I forgive myself for thinking anything less was ever true.

I forgive myself for every time I treated my body less than. For thinking I wasn’t worth something special. For going through phases of not eating, not eating enough, or eating junk. For harming myself, picking, pulling, prodding, treating, comparing. I forgive myself for ever letting words from teasing or bullying hurt me.

 

 

I forgive myself for thinking things happen to everyone. I forgive myself for being too ashamed to tell anyone. I forgive myself for feeling the shame of not stopping it from happening to someone else. I forgive myself right now for putting this out there in the world after being engraved in my mind and scribbled on paper for years.

I forgive myself for every time I thought I had to compensate for being something someone else wanted me to be. I forgive others who didn’t reach out, see the problems, or be the leader and mentor I needed them to be. I held on. I figured it out. I know what to look for and what to ask and when to ask it. I can take the shortcoming’s that adults gave me and use that for something much, much better now. I will break the cycle of what I have experienced.

Even if I never received a much-deserved apology, the justice that should have been served or the outcome I was too afraid of pursuing…I forgive myself. At 25-years-old I understand I no longer need public validation like I once thought I did. Just because you publish a post or a photo and no more than 10 people like it does not mean you aren’t beautiful or have nothing important to say. Not every person needs to see something to make it true or untrue. Not every person needs to believe or support everything I do or say. If I feel it is true, it is true. Wherever that is, Let It Be. 

I forgive myself for thinking terrible, awful things are happening in my body because of some twisted karma from an event that happened in 2009 or 2011 or last week. God loves me and he wants everything that I want. He’s just better at knowing what I need.

Forgive someone today. Don’t over apologize. Don’t insert a complaint when you could just change the subject. Forgive yourself.

Love,

Marin

“She wears strength and darkness equally well, the girl has always been half goddess, half hell.”— @nikita_gill

 

In case you haven’t heard we are running a huge promo to celebrate our first birthday in March! Make sure you’re following (social media and enter your email) so you don’t miss out. Once March is over, so will this promotion.

Love Is Always Coming Back Home

PS: We’re running a HUGE promotion in March to celebrate Local Collaborative’s one year anniversary. Make sure we’ve got your email so you’re the first to be notified!

I’ve been with my husband for eight years and married almost four of those years.

In the grand scheme of things that really isn’t that long but it does hold a lot of weight when you’re together during some of the most transformative years of your life and building a foundation for forever.

There is so much I have learned since being with him but without getting all mushy and excessively serious…

Love is more than emotion.

It’s actions.

A majority of my friends are in ‘normal’ relationships as far as their career and their partners career. They leave in the morning, they are home that evening, they have the weekends off and the occasional short-term business trips where they can talk each day. It’s been interesting to see the difference in our relationships and what works for different lives.

If there’s something I have noticed about making the most of our time together it’s that love is more than emotion; it’s actions.

It’s not always the warm and fuzzies like when he surprises me with flowers or impromtu lunch dates. Sometimes it means he changed my oil or unloaded the dishwasher.

It’s compromising on movies or omitting cheesy foods from their plate.

It’s me taking over duties so he can relax when he gets home because I want to spend time with him. And him not expecting that of me.

It’s me realizing not everything has to be done all the time, right away, and we can sit down.

It’s recognizing the sacrifices made or things you have done for one another. That day, that week or in the eight years of knowing each other. This one has been the most challenging since it only makes sense that we want a life together but it was a series of choices and sacrifices that allowed that to happen. The worst thing you could say is ‘You know what you signed up for’. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Don’t take the fact that someone adjusted their life plan to match yours for granted. And don’t hold the fact that you did that over their head as a bargaining chip the rest of their life. For one reason or another you both made the choice to be together.

Love is being there when they need you even if they don’t say they need you. It’s being there in silence and it’s being there as a sounding board.

It’s doing things without being told or asked or expecting those things of the other and getting upset when they don’t read your mind and it doesn’t happen.

It’s standing up for one another, protecting one another, advocating for one another. I have always heard ‘We’re on the same team’ or ‘We make a great team’ but didn’t understand what that actually meant until my teammate reciprocated. You should always have each other’s best interest at heart.

It’s loving each other’s loved ones and doing the same for them.

It’s about having a bond so deep you’re ready to share that with someone else via charity, volunteering, church, community outreach or a child. Gary Chapman said

“Your emotions will always influence you but they do not control you.

Love is an attitude.”

It means I love him even when I don’t feel like I like him. And trust me when you live together with no barriers, walls or personal space sometimes…you’ll understand what that feeling is like.

As I have said before its Us and We not You and Me. It breaks my heart when I see people stuck in a relationship they hope will work out because I was there, too. It’s scary to be set in what is familiar and not wanting to be ‘alone’ or start from the beginning. Are you spending longer sitting in a dead-end road or are do you recognize this path didn’t work, turn around and head in a different direction?

You are worth that. Your happiness is worth that. It’s in more than someone saying ‘I Love You’ and ‘I’ll do better.’ It’s what they do with their actions. They say they love you but what are they doing to show they truly mean it?

You will be spending a lot of time with that person. Are they someone you want to be like? Be around? If you want kids are they someone you want to be connected to forever? As a role model to your nieces or nephews?

 

I believe you can be in love several times in your life. It’s a basic human need to connect and want to be wanted. You usually pick someone who makes sense to you. You connect all the events you have been with together as the bond you share. But those events are placed there to develop you into the person you will be for the rest of your life. They had their place there and sometimes that means leaving the person you experienced that with in that place behind you.

 

You were raised by people who were in a place just like you. At some point in their life they made dumb choices, they had their ‘first’ everything including the time they became first-time parents…and they didn’t know what the hell they were doing either. Maybe they still don’t.

So much of adulthood is unlearning bad habits, guarding ourselves from bad experiences we had or assuming because you never saw a healthy relationship you won’t have one either.

But you can. Just because you were raised on fast food and instant boxed meals doesn’t mean you can’t make healthier choices now.

Just because you were raised in a home where disagreements were won with who could yell louder, leave faster or hit harder does not mean that is how it should be. You can learn from that.

Just because your parents argued daily and divorced doesn’t mean you will follow the same route. take what you did like and change what you didn’t.

You are not your parents, you are not your siblings, you are not your mistakes. You are your own person and your own family. You need to protect that, uphold that and stand firmly in what is best for you; not most convenient for them to understand.

 

You deserve someone who fits in with all the awkward, weird parts of you.

You deserve someone who is easy to be with. It won’t always be easy but if there’s no expectations from each other and it’s still the best day ever…that sounds like an easy-to-love life to me.

You should be laughing every day and not feel guilty when you break down in front of them. You need to show up and be entirely who you are because you are an entire person. And they, too, are an entire person. One that you’re learning something about every day. You can be each other’s better half, you can compliment each other, you can depend on one another and you can still be independent. You can rely on each other while still relying on yourself.

 

I’ve heard actual comments made about marrying into the military for money, about not knowing what to do for yourself when you’re alone, about being dependent and always giving something up and coming in second place to his job. We didn’t decide to get married because I didn’t want to work. No, I did. I’ve heard people say they’re too independent to commit to someone else.

We didn’t get married because we thought it would boost our self esteem. We got married because we realized how dynamic we are together. And when he is gone I can still keep things going. My biggest struggle has been finding a fulfilling job and contributing like I want to. But he’s been there supporting whatever decision I have made, no pressure whatsoever, and encouraging me to pursue what he sees makes me extremely happy.

 

Marriage, especially in a MILSO position, is like when you really (realllyyyyy) like the way your spouse mows the lawn but when they’re gone you have no problem doing it. It would be great if they could take care of those errands while they’re out and you’re busy but if not, you are more than capable of doing them yourself. It’s having zero communication and still being able to keep your life together going. It’s being able to handle whatever situation you’re placed in so they can focus on getting back safely. I don’t know if you would actually find someone who needs to be a more independent person than a military spouse. (Keyword needs to be.) 

You should be respected even when you don’t agree on something. Because you won’t always agree on the correct way to fold towels or who is the better driver. You should both find each other worth the irritations that come with spending life with another person.

Since dating we have always had a rule.

Rule #1: Always Come Back Home.

If you need to walk away from a fight, go cool down. But then come back.

If you’re going on a trip, go. I’ll be here when you get back.

Even if it’s just a normal day going into work you both know you’ll be coming back home at the end of that day.

If you’re gone for one week, three months or one year, go do what you need to do. Just come back home when you’re done.

Love is not always just saying I Love You. It’s coming back home.

Cheers to you and all you love!

Marin

PS: We’re running a HUGE promotion in March to celebrate Local Collaborative’s one year anniversary. Make sure we’ve got your email so you’re the first to be notified!

Alki Beach Park in West Seattle: What To Know Before You Go

We’re running a HUGE promotion for our One Year Anniversary in March. Make sure you’re following us (enter your email in the subscription list) so you don’t miss out!

Alki Beach (Also referred to as West Seattle) holds a special place in our heart. If you haven’t already read the write up on Seattle itself catch up here.

Not only is it the place where we adopted our little Iranian mutt but it’s also host to some amazing skyline views of Seattle, small food and drink stores, stunning homes (that we will probably never afford) and filming locations.

This was the first day we met him.

And each year we went back for his adoption day celebration to repeat everything we did. This was the last visit before our move.

This beach was made famous from a scene from the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” where Tom Hanks flies a kite with his son. Other scenes filmed at this bustling park were Singles, Man vs. Food and House of Games and several others.

If you look at Alki Beach on a map you will notice it’s surrounded by Elliott Bay. This allows you to get views of the ferries, paddle boarders, SUP’ers, swimmers and even on one occasion for us ORCAS! There have been several sightings for them in the bay so keep your eye out for seals, birds and these beautiful whales.

PARKING

While it might seem overwhelming while looking at the beach from Seattle’s downtown and crossing under the busy bridges, you will soon drive along the water to see it makes the perfect (and very popular) location for a weekend day trip. As you drive in you will see several restaurants and watersport rentals along the water. We went to Alki about three times but we never went out into the water. Too cold for us!

I don’t own this photo…a lot got lost with a hard drive crash!

Keep an eye out for parking along the edge but if you prefer to get your car off the main street turn onto the residential roads and aim for a free spot next to the homes. We always turned left at Blue Moon Burgers (57th Ave SW) and went down a few blocks before finding an open spot. It’s a quick walk in a quiet neighborhood and we never had issues.


 

WHAT TO DO

This will give you vibes of a typical PNW beach.  Think bungalows sitting next to medium-rise waterfront apartment houses, waterfront businesses, a thin, rocky beach, and a road with a bike/foot trail running several miles along the water. There is plenty to do and how frequently it’s packed with people doing some sort of activity.  It’s a fun atmosphere!

The beach and sidewalk stretch all around the beach so there is plenty of room to walk, run, rollerskate or bike. If you don’t have your own bike you can rent one or rent a 4-person pedal buggy (what are those called? Is there an official name?) An area I frequently saw rentals was near  the point to Seacrest Park which provides one of the best views of Seattle from across the water. We were always with our dog and there are many people who will bring there furry pets as well; just make sure they stay on the leash and off the sand and you will have a great time.

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My favorite part of walking the edge was seeing how the views changed. No matter what it is magnificent. Water with minimal wakes, snow-capped Olympic mountains, land and islands, the Puget Sound, Seattle (have I mentioned the best viewpoint enough yet?) You will enjoy being able to check out the variety of homes as well!

There are grassy areas, benches and covered areas you can reserve for anniversaries, reunions or other large parties. If you don’t feel like playing catch and want to kick off your shoes in one of there sand volleyball courts they’re near the shelters and close to several restaurants and bars if you need liquid courage.

You’ll also come across some rich Seattle history displayed on plaques, statues and markers. One of these is a replica of Lady Liberty because the original name of the settled area was New York Alki. You’ll also see the iconic Alki Point Lighthouse and the Birthplace of Seattle monument.


 

WHERE TO EAT

There are the classics that you should try at some point like Duke’s Seafood & Chowder House, Top Pot Doughnuts and find dining options but you will mostly find the smaller, casual beachfront restaurants which are our go-to anyway.

Blue Moon Burgers offers options…a lot of options. Luckily we decided to stop in after parking nearby several times. They have delicious, juicy burgers, fresh fries and hand-dipped milkshakes. Only downside is you’re paying that smaller restaurant, peak location price. If you have a good boy or girl they are welcome and a common site out on the patio!

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It is very minimal service so plan to seat yourself or take it out to another location. We took our burgers to the truck, drove to the other side (Beach Drive SW) and parked to enjoy the views. This is the day we saw orcas!

I always wanted to try Alki Spud Fish and Chips and El Chupacabra Alki. Since we always went during the day with our dog we didn’t grab a drink but I would head to Phoenecia or Salty’s for their famed brunch. If you’re wanting a rooftop bar there are a handful offering different views but I would go to Alki Beach Pub & Eatery or Marination Mai Kai unless you’re looking for something specific.

 


 

Whether you drive yourself or take an Uber tour this nice little nook of West Seattle is top choice from locals and tourists alike to wind down, watch the sun rise and set, grab a hot sandwich with a cold drink and play. It’s a great visit and I hope you have fun in Seattle.

Cheers!

Marin

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You Are Here: Raleigh, NC

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In August 2018 we moved cross-country from Washington to North Carolina. While we miss the PNW we do enjoy being so close to family and all the east coast has to offer including where America was built and history was made.

We went to D.C. over New Year’s Eve and Charleston (coming soon) for our anniversary but we obviously had to check out the big city just an hour and a half north of us. Raleigh is the capitol of North Carolina and is home to several well-known regions/cities including Chapel Hill, Durham and the Triangle. The Triangle is the area of three major universities (Duke University in Durham, The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.) So the nightlife, food and amount of things to do is jam-packed. Not to mention it’s hours away from Asheville, the beaches on the coast and 20 minutes driving from RDU airport.

As of January 2019 we have been to Raleigh twice and, while I’m not a local-local I can offer some insight on the city or a quick trip.

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If you plan on staying the night in Raleigh try this Airbnb and we felt very safe in the apartment. It was just the right amount of space and a few minutes walk from the main strip. There was street parking available as well as covered parking garage which we always prefer.

We stayed there over October 19-21, 2018 to celebrate my husband’s birthday and to spend a day at the Triangle Oktoberfest.

Our first night in was our usual eat and drink around the main strip. There are two to three areas with great bar districts and they’re a 30 minute walk or quick Uber from the Airbnb. We mainly checked out S Wilmington Street. First stop was food at Gallo Pelón Mezcaleria.

Upstairs is their sister restaurant, Centro. If you get a chance try the Cats Out Of The Bag IPA from Ancillary Fermentation; they only make 120 per month. At these types of places I enjoy trying out the cocktails so I tried the Cucumber Caipiroska. We shared their tacos, nachos and spicy chicken sandwich which were all really good but smaller portions than you would get at a chain Mexican restaurant.

You probably sat too long taste testing tequila so get to walkin’ down the street a few blocks to The Raleigh Times. Check out their website! This 100-year-old building displays newspaper clippings from it’s namesake newspaper. They have restored and expanded the establishment several times so there are plenty of booths, table, bar space and an upstairs seating area with a rooftop if the weather’s nice.

This bar is a super cool interior and seat yourself. I had the Peach Milkshake IPA and the Blackberry Ale which were both delicious and drinkable to keep the night going. We didn’t try their nachos but heard this is one of the few places offering a late night menu. The later you go, the fewer options you’ll find.

Down the street is the Landmark Tavern which reminded me of a Irish tavern but had the trendiness of a basic hipster bar in and outside. There’s a $1 cover and we had the 2 Hearted IPA from Bell’s Brewery.

The London Bridge across the street was closed for a private event and, what looked full of Greeks; otherwise it looked like a fun, younger crowd with loud music and live events!

A popular choice from everyone who visits Raleigh is Trophy Brewing Company. Head to the corner, turn left and walk down a bit before you see their neon sign next to other random streetside stores. We were in the mood for a late-night snack by now and shared their tots and wings. The wings weren’t too good and really spicy but the tots are definitely worth ordering!

Trophy Brewing Wings and Tots

Trophy Wife and Cloudburst were probably the top beers we had from our visit. Other people have also raved about their session IPAs, the Milky Way Stout which ‘tastes like candy’, and the best nano brewery in the Triangle.

Trophy Brewing Company

On Saturday we were planning on going to Oktoberfest but first…BRUNCH. The biggest must-do while here is heading to Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. We were able to take our time getting ready and got there right before their 11 am brunch doors opened. We didn’t want to stand in line too long so we walked around and found the street closed down for a festival where artists were creating chalk art on the pavement.

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If you can get there right as they open to wait in line DO IT or else you’ll be waiting for a while. Even on a rainy day Beasley’s was buzzing with guests. We snagged a couple seats at the bar and ordered drinks and brunch from the menus written on the wall. Hope you brought your glasses! I don’t think you could really go wrong ordering anything on the menu but we loved their beer, cocktail Ameila’s Crush, and several more classic cocktails. I cannot remember what we ate but I’m pretty sure mine was The Reunion after looking at several strangers plates. (Ok Creeeeppp). Drew had their recommended Huevos Rancheros.

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We caught an Uber for the 30-minute drive to the Triangle’s Oktoberfest. We did NOT expect to spend all day here but we did!  Pre-purchase your tickets which I believe were about $30 for all you could drink cup option but they have several to choose from. They open up an outdoor, riverside ampitheatre which is also used for concerts and your proceeds go to benefiting the rotary clubs, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and several other organizations.

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They had two large tents, a row of food and drink vendors, competitions, weiner dog races, brat and food stands, live music and performers, games and much more. (Sorry this video is sideways!) 

It was a great family-friendly crowd and we ended up shutting the place down with some new friends we met and Uber’d back to Raleigh with.

Reserve your Sunday for RECOVERY. We went to BREW Coffee Bar which was said to be an old train station converted to serve local beer and use coffee from Raleigh Coffee Company. When we got there it was the post-church, college study venue in a strip mall. Next door was Donatos Pizza which made my Ohioan husband go crazy with childhood memories and (to be honest) pizza on the hangover never sounded better!

On our second trip in December 2018 things were a bit more tame. It was a day trip with my dad and sister while in town for Christmas. Luckily it was a sunny (but windy and cold) day to wander around downtown. If you continue down S. Wilmington you’ll come up on the corner of the Capitol building. The North Carolina State Capitol is a 19th-century Greek Revival–style building with a statue of George Washington dressed as a Roman general in its rotunda.

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You can walk around the grounds to view the statues and views of the city and you can enter with a brief security scan before exploring the building. There are three levels and when it was decorated for Christmas it was beautiful! They have most rooms open including detailed signs of where the NC Supreme Court, Legislature, General Assembly and the two committee rooms on the opposite wings. There’s also a small library and a geology room.

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A block and a half away from Beasley’s is Sir Walter Coffee where they host a board of pay-it-forward drinks, seasonal flavors and friendly service and treats. While we just stopped in for a drink to warm up they also had a beer menu for their late-night guests.

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Take your drink and wander down to the historic Raleigh City Market.

The cobblestone streets are home to some venues, pet stores, restaurants and artsy boutiques. The market opened in 1914 and through the years hosted farmers with a variety of goods. Over the years it was sold and purchased from several owners for numerous purposes but it’s still a small corner of charm in the Raleigh.

If you’ve never been to The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar you. need. to. go. It was the largest menu selection I have ever seen and they were featured on the show Tanked. Every mash-up we had was insanely delicious, top-grade burgers and sushi. The portions are pretty large and easy to share. We loveddddd it and I can’t wait to go back!

 

We will of course be back in Raleigh soon and I’ll update you on everything else there is to do as we explore the area. If you have any suggestions or places we need to visit on the east coast let us know and until next time…

 

Cheers!

Marin

Plan Your Visit To Seattle!

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For three years my husband and I lived just south of Seattle. While the city gets a bad rap for the gray skies and rain, it really is not that bad! For a majority of the fall and winter you’ll find the PNW is buzzing with locals on the hiking trails but in the summer months downtown is filled with cruise ships, tourists and long-term visitors.

We absolutely loved living in Washington and once our friends and family came up to visit they were just as excited to come back. There’s no shortage of things to do or places to see. It’s a great place if you love wine and beer, a large variety of food, family-friendly and children’s activities, party groups and your beloved dog. Can you really go anywhere without them? 

If you’re looking for things to do in Washington or any neighboring states check out the Passport section of the blog. Right now I’ll just focus on downtown. It’s easiest to go through the neighborhoods so you can pick and choose what works best for your trip. If you have any questions just ask!

WHERE TO STAY

We never stayed in an Airbnb while in downtown Seattle and instead opted for the Mediterranean Inn in lower Queen Anne. Living on the outskirts or suburbs would have been too much of a hassle to get in and out with the traffic and busy streets. The Inn was always a great experience and comparable in price (if a bit lower) to other hotels near Pike Place. We also loved it because it was across the street from Dick’s for a late-night snack or early-morning hangover cure, walking distance to the Monorail in Seattle Center and city views from your bedroom window or romantically lit rooftop.

 

DRIVING IN

Whether you’re coming in from the north or the south you will get an awesome view of the skyline on your way in. You can also expect traffic. If you’re coming in from the north you’ll likely see the Space Needle first and a view of Fremont and Lake Union on your right.

Driving in from the south

If you’re coming in from the south (like from Sea-Tac) you will turn a corner and immediately see the skyline of Seattle as you wind your way in on I-5. As you near Seattle, Boeing will be on your left. If you have time stop in at their Museum of Flight for air and space artifacts or for a guided tour. We loved what they had to offer and being able to walk through aircrafts like Air Force One! Family friendly and interesting for anyone in your group. Tickets run about $25/adults but the first Thursday of every month is free admission!

Walking off Air Force One at Boeing’s Museum of Flight

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QUEEN ANNE

Speaking of Queen Anne, this historic area is well-known for it’s gorgeous homes and prime views of Seattle and Alki Beach from Kerry Park. Drive to this little strip of grass and get your photo opp in. It’s IG worthy at any time of the day in any weather. A few blocks up is the resident’s house from Grey’s Anatomy. This is an actual residence so enjoy the view but don’t get creepy trying to get inside.

Kerry Park

I already mentioned you can stay at the Mediterranean Inn, Dick’s and other restaurants. It’s also minutes walking distance from Seattle Center which we will get to below.

FREMONT

Make a point to ride your bikes or drive your car over to the Fremont Troll. This is another highly residential area but they have free parking spots on the streets near the top of the hill. You will have to walk a short distance to get to the Troll under the bridge. While you can’t graffiti it you can climb up for a picture.

Fremont Troll, June 2017

I hope you’re thirsty because you’ve got some drinkin’ to do! It’s a five-minute walk down the hill to 34th street and turn left until you see Fremont Brewing Company. They are pet and child friendly with indoor and outdoor seating, merchandise, snacks and a board full of brews to choose a drink from. While sitting out here you’ll see several sea planes land in Lake Union and Duck Boat tours driving by.

Fremont Brewing

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SEATTLE CENTER

No matter what you will be spending at least a day here! Seattle Center is home to the MoPOP Museum, the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center and much more. One thing we didn’t end up doing here but is very popular is the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum and the Seattle Children’s Museum. We have visited the Pacific Science Museum and had a great time (without kids!) It’s actually a really well-done area.

Children’s Science Museum

The Armory is a multi-level building full of play places, events and food stands if you need a pick me up.

MoPop Museum

The MoPOP – Museum of Pop Culture- Museum ( or whatever else they change the name to every year) is the metallic colorful structure with the large playground next to it.

They rotate exhibits from the underground music scene Seattle is known for cranking out, artists, fashion and much more. Have fun taking a few hours walking through and playing the instruments.

The Space Needle is next; you ready?! I recommend ordering tickets online so you have a reserved time to go up otherwise order the Seattle City Pass to get the best value for all the main attractions. When it’s your time to go up head to the back of the Needle, walk up the ramp and head through security before taking a walk through time. They take a photo of you and your group before you enter the elevators and on the way up a tour guide will give you some facts about the needle.

Once at the top walk all around the interior so you can enter your name on the Visitor’s Board, tap the interactive panels for help on facts around the city and check out your photo to email to your account!

Always windy at the top!

Interactive Checkin at the Needle

Walking around outside will be windy (see the above photo) and a bit cold but there are markers for you to orient yourself and free binoculars for you to check out everything you can see. If you’re lucky the mountain might be out!

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You can also check out the International Fountain and walk around the lawn they’ll host several events and concerts on throughout the year.

International Fountain

If you choose to walk around you’ll run into the Belltown area which we will talk about in a minute. But if you want to give your feet a break, hop on the monorail.

The Seattle Monorail is next to the Armory in between the EMP Museum and the Space Needle. Tickets are $2.50 for adults or $1.25 for military. All prices are one-way so just buy before you ride. The monorail has never been packed and runs anywhere from 7:30 am to 11 pm depending on the day of the week.

Hop down to Westlake Center if you want to stay on the Monorail for now. Otherwise you can-and should at least once-walk through Belltown.

 

BELLTOWN

One of the most quaint and quirky, residential and comfortable areas in Seattle for us was Belltown. We walked through consistently to and from the Needle and Pike Place. As you’re leaving the needle you can choose to stop in for the game at the local sports bar in KOMO Plaza or you can cross through the lot (They used the roof of that building to film the rooftop helipad scenes in Grey’s Anatomy) and over the street to a street of bars and restaurants.

The authentic wood-fired pizzeria Bambino’s Pizzeria is at the corner on the end to your right. We always had the most accommodating service, authentic, delicious food and a large beer selection. I remember they also had a large wine selection though I never drank wine there.

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Belltown is also home to a Biscuit Bitch location. I have seen kids in here but just be aware that the menu, language and surroundings are full of colorful decor and language. Having said that the food is delicious and the coffee specialty drinks match. I enjoyed their unicorn latte (maybe only during pride month?) and the Seattle Fog.

Belltown Biscuit Bitch

 

WESTLAKE CENTER

The Monorail has two locations to hop on and off the monorail: Westlake and Seattle City Center. Once you step into the Westlake Plaza area you’ll see several food trucks across the street. You HAVE to try out a Seattle Dog! They’re a hot dog topped with cream cheese and sauteed onions.

Seattle Dog

Nearby is the Nordstrom #1 flagship store. I’ve been in a couple but I can say this is a BIG store and the cafe had great cocktails upstairs!

A few blocks down to the water and you’ll be at Pike Place.

 

PIKE PLACE

Another Biscuit Bitch location is located above Pike Place. It was much smaller than the Belltown location and was just wide enough for one line up and a shelf on the side of the wall where we were able to stand and eat. Otherwise expect to stand outside or take your food to another location to eat.

On your way near 5th street you’ll come across the flagship Top Pot Doughnuts. They are one of my favorites and there are dozens of locations around the city so just google one near you. Top Pot  has hand-roasted coffee and hand-forged gourmet doughnuts. I didn’t meet a doughnut or iced coffee here I didn’t like. They’re great to grab a box and take home for breakfast the next day.

Seattle street signs around the city.

Another must-see, must-do, backbone of Seattle. There will be a fairly steep hill before getting to the market. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. Expect this place to be shoulder to shoulder crowds near the vendor tables especially during the summer months. You will probably also be in a few lines for the more popular attractions. At the ‘main entrance’ you’ll see Rachel the Piggy Bank for the market foundation. You’ll also get the up front prime viewing of the Pike Place Fish Market fish throwers. When we have been they only throw the fish when someone makes a purchase.

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Walking down the alley past the donut stand you’ll see a small Indian food stand called Saffron Spice. This is where we were introduced to samosas and, once we did, we returned each time we were in town.  Pop some gum in to freshen up (plus you’ll need it in a minute) and walk back toward the fish market.

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To your left there will be a staircase that leads you down to the gum wall.

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This wall is cleaned every few years (once lasting a 20 year span) because the sugar from the gum erodes the brick walls. You’ll see tickets, ID’s, names and initials spread out, some on the ground and some so high up you wonder how they were placed there. Take your boomerang blowing a bubble or the picture of you adding to the saliva-filled colorful wall and NOW it is time for a drink!

At the left-end of the alley is the Pike Brewing Company. The most fun thing about this bar for me is the location and I enjoyed a few of their beers from local grocery stores or from a flight on the bar.

In front of Post Alley

Back up on Post Alley you can walk on the far side of the alley and you’ll come across Pike Place Chowder.

THIS CHOWDER is the BEST I have ever had (seriously I would pay you for a bucket right now) and there will always be at least a short line but mostly a long line backed up to Rachel’s Ginger Beer. *Rachel’s is hand brewed and the sting of ginger is real. Fun drinks on a hot day though!

July 2017 Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Sept 2015 Rachel’s Ginger Beer

We usually split a few small cups of chowder since we like to eat around the market. At the front counter you can turn around and the shelving with utensils has a basket on the top filled with inside of the sourdough bread bowls. You get the best part of a bread bowl for free and you don’t even have to order the filling bread bowl! Usually the inside seating is sparse and filled constantly so your best bet is a picnic table outside.

If you don’t feel like going to Pike Place Chowder there is a pizza counter next door called LoPriore Brothers Pasta Bar (if it’s still open) that serves large slices of New York style pizza and Italian food made in front of you.

Take a walk down the market eyeing the fresh bakeries and seafood, the colorful (and huge variety) of produce and you’ll eventually come up on Beecher’s. They’re famous for their handmade cheese products and you can watch from the corner windows as they make it. I’ve had their cheese on other occasions but never straight from the store (not a huge straight cheese person) but I have heard great things about their legendary mac-n-cheese.

You want to try a place with some bomb food that might take my #1 favorite in the market? It’s Piroshky Piroshky Bakery. Usually there is a short line but in spring and summer you’ll have to wait in a roped off line for a two minute transaction inside the no seating alley shop. But my gooodddnessss is it worth it. I LOVED the Smoked Salmon Pate for a great Seattle take on the Russian pastry. If you’re in a sweet mood I enjoyed the Chocolate Cream Hazelnut Roll. I don’t think you could really go wrong.

You’ll need the snack during your wait right next door at the ‘original’ Starbucks location. The original Starbucks was actually a few blocks north at 2000 Western Ave but then moved to this location five years later during construction. Giving the monster that dominates the coffee industry today this is still a fun experience for visitors.

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You’ll wait in line before entering a quaint wood planked, narrow coffee shop. To the left is a wall of merchandise where you can grab a location mug or a bag of coffee. When you order notice the names and locations of the baristas: they are from all over the world. You will then stand in a crowded corner while you wait for your drink. I encourage you to order a drink you can only get at the roastery or reserve areas.

If you’re traveling buy your coffee in beans so you can fly with it. Once you’re at your location any Starbucks (or coffee shop) will grind the beans for you at no cost if you don’t own your own grinder. I purchased several bags of the specialty Pike Place Special Reserve which is only sold at two locations.

The Pike Place Blend OR the Pike Place Roast are also available in other locations but this is different than the above two. Coffee, right? 
Once you have your drink and the photo to prove you’ve also been there, walk through the market and get the view at the back looking over the pier.

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My favorite thing to do in the market is pick up a bouquet of flowers at the end of the day. For $5-$20 you can get the most incredible, HUGE bouquets of flowers. If it works out grab the bunches before the market closes in the afternoon so you don’t have to walk around with them all day but they will wrap them up with a bag of water to stay fresh.

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If you’re near Pike Place market in the evening I recommend going! The streets clear out and you can find drinks up and down the streets. We had a large Mexican dinner at El Borracho Pike Place Market and some Uli’s sausage  (they have their main vendor location in the market) and beers at Old Stove Brewing. It’s fun to see the neon sign and walk around the romantic, glistening streets at night knowing how busy it is during the day.
Purple Cafe and Wine Bar is also near the area. I went with two girlfriends and the atmosphere was great for our night and a few girly drinks but we weren’t crazy about their food.

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PIER 57
You can get to the pier by walking down through the gum wall alley and turn right. There will be a set of stairs and a street to cross under the bridge but the Pier is a fun place to walk around.

View of Seattle Aquarium

While I never went in you could hide from a rainy day at the Seattle Aquarium or hop on the Great Wheel. Tickets are a bit pricey at $14/adult but it is a one-time experience that you can choose to do.

On top of the Great Wheel, June 2017

Afterward take a walk through the Miners Landing building. This building is like walking through a two-story covered pier with a carousel, shops, ice cream stands and restaurants. Outside to the right is the infamous Ivar’s. If you didn’t already getcha some fish and chips in Sea-Tac then this is the place to snag some up. It’s a walk up window with a nearby enclosed eating area. They also have yummy chowder!

Pier 57

PIONEER SQUARE

After our time on the pier we chose to walk the few minutes down to Pioneer Square. You can also catch an Uber if you wanted but the walk really isn’t that bad. You’ll have to walk up the tower to cross the bridge over the street and you’ll come across downtown area near the International District. Pioneer Square is trendy and filled with art galleries, coffee shops and a beautiful plaza, paved streets and lined trees.

I would have loved to take one of the underground tours in this area so if you have time go for it! Our favorite place to go at the edge of this area is Elysian Fields. Elysian is Seattle’s prime brewing company and home to Drew’s favorite: SPACE DUST IPA. Seriously he always orders it and if we find it on the East coast, he will buy it. They’re right next to Safeco Field where the Mariners play and CenturyLink field where the Seahawks and and Sounders play so on gameday this place is packed. It has a huge horseshoe bar, two seating areas and stacked bleachers with views of the game on TV. We always had great food -think upscale bar food- no matter what we ordered and I loved their seasonal beers or limited release. Check out their Capitol Hill location below.

On our way to a Mariners game we stopped at a tailgate popup in front of Pyramid Brewing Company which is conveniently across the street from the stadium. The beer garden we were in hosted several different breweries and I was introduced to one of my all-time Beerland worthy beers. A mango passionfruit IPA from Two Beers Brewing Co. They usually serve ciders because their owner was gluten intolerant but this IPA was MAGICAL. I really, really enjoyed it and I think people who don’t like IPAs would drink this all day. My only complaint was it was difficult to find afterward.

If you’re looking for a late night order of fries walk down a few blocks to The Lodge. While this bar drew us in because of the large wood doors and warm, lodge ambience inside it’s also trying to go for a sports bar and grille feel which it slightly misses for me. We’ve been twice for afternoon drinks and had a good time but I would say there are hundreds of other places if you’re only in town for a little while longer.

CAPITOL HILL

This is a town so easy to walk around in. I would say this is one of the most eclectic areas in Seattle because it’s packed with trendy, hip bars, gay clubs, indie stores and a drink-with-cats lounge all connected with rainbow crosswalks.

There are several artsy walls for your viewing pleasures like this…

Capitol Hill Wall Mural

Plus another Dick’s burgers location and Volunteer Park in the historic mansion district with walking trails that are always busy with locals and their dogs. It abuts Lake View Cemetery, where the city’s founders (and Bruce Lee) are buried.

This is a college district so you’ll see Seattle Central College near the Jimi Hendrix statue at 1604 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122.

If you’re looking for restaurants check out Mezcaleria Oaxaca for their rooftop happy hour and taco truck or downstairs seating for their large menu. There are so many good places to eat a variety of food a simple google search for what you’re craving won’t disappoint. If you’re looking to start your day with brunch you need to go to Witness. The chicken and waffles are exactly what you want (even if you don’t know you want them) and the drinks are poured generously. It’s a simple, southern menu and adornments in a trendy PNW fashion.

If you’re here to drink, you will be overwhelmed with your options! Number one must visit on your list should be the Unicorn. It’s a no cover, gigantic, eclectic bar that’s sure to take you on a trip (if you’re not already…WA things.) Even if this isn’t your usual scene you still need to walk around and have a sugary, cereal flavored drink. The booming music, lights, arcade games and crowd are entertainment enough.

Across the street is Elysian’s Capitol Hill Brewery. Elysian has brewed over 350 craft beers since it opened on Capitol Hill in 1996. We visited their Capitol Hill location and it reminded us of Deschutes in Portland but more of a sports bar vibe. Since they had the pride parade recently before we visited they had their pride glitter beer on tap which was fun to try although it didn’t glitter like I was hoping. Another plus is they have their own Series of beer to choose from!

There are local gay bars, biker bars, specialty bars and late night menus we loved checking out.

You’ll see this area is jam-packed with every kind of awesome gastropub or bar you could ever want to visit. If you’re looking for more suggestions send me a message! 

CASCADE

Near Capitol Hill we’ve only been to the MBar here on the 14th floor for a fantastic view of the city and glass-walled rooftop. For this was a cocktail specialty bar where you are paying for the view and perk of the elevator, guided entrance experience. (Pictures of all this on Instagram.) You can expect a menu filled with portions of food that tastes great but you would see it on the food channel wondering if you would even feel full haha! This is a must visit for a date or girls night out. Even if you go for one drink it’s fun and quirky! Make sure to place your reservation ahead of time.

You can venture down the streets for a few more bars and pizza shops even though a majority of this area is business buildings.

 


Other things to do in Seattle that we did not end up seeing but wanted to were the Kurt Cobain bench (His childhood house is a few hours away here.)

Starbucks Reserve Roastery is at 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101. When driving in from the south you’ll be able to sneak a peak at the logo on the towering building down past the stadiums. They have special drinks, wifi and light bites.

I decided to make a seperate post about Alki Beach which focuses on West Seattle. Check that out here!


 

We loved living an hour away from this city and we really enjoyed living in Washington. Don’t underestimate what this state has to offer in Seattle, the national parks or out west! It’s bordered by Oregon and Canada for your roadtrips and has direct flights to Hawaii. Whatever you choose to do I hope you have a great time and know this place has a very special place in our hearts.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Where should we travel next? Leave me a comment and if you don’t mind dropping a review I would appreciate it! 

It’s Not The Leap of Faith That Scared Me. It’s The Landing.

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We’ve all shared that feeling of being at your lowest of lows. When you can’t seem to do anything right, nothing fits, you’re in a bad mood, you’re secluded and isolated and the deafening combination of noise and silence is all that surrounds you.

Which makes the highest of highs even sweeter.

I’m talking you don’t know what to do next because you are so overwhelmed with joy. you get a phone call, a text, an email…and you just sit back to stare out the window, hands clasped and repeat ‘Thank you, GOD, for this!’

 

So I also know the last thing you want to do when you’re in a low is hear about someone else’s high point. If you want to bookmark this and come back later, no offense taken. But I am such a believer in finding the positive out of the sh**iest day (YOU.ARE.ALIVE! YOU ARE BREATHING!) that I hope you will stick with me and know that my DM’s are always open for you to slide in and talk to me.

 

I look back at the girl I was as a young adult/teen and it amazes me how ‘fearless’ I was. I tried out for everything I could, I interviewed for every job, I applied for every scholarship…you name it I was probably there.

It was never taking that leap of faith into the unkown that scared me.

It was trying to figure out how or where I would land. 

 

I wasn’t worried about having to dance or sing or speak in front of others. No, not at all. In fact I was known for usually impromptu-ing the entire thing.

It was when the results came in that I felt the sense of embarrassment or excitement that usually comes from a performance or interaction.

 

Let’s take dance for instance since I am currently figuring out yet another foot injury. (I promise I am a 25-year-old with 80-year-old bones.) 

I learned the technique, the movement and how to land. I memorized the entire routine and big picture in my mind and all it took was a few bad falls to land sideways and roll my ankle HARD to make me timid of approaching it again. Babying an injury that usually resolves with I.C.E. Then, once you’ve cured the issue, you head back out for your next ‘first time’ and you’re fine doing things full out.

This was quite literally a leap but I understand we all have similar experiences. You ever have those dreams where you’re flying or jumping on a huge trampoline and you just keep going and going like Superman pushing the atmosphere into outer space?

And it’s an amazing, euphoric feeling to FLY!

But then you realize you are a human….and you aren’t built for flying.

Cue your stomach dropping and that sick feeling deep in your gut trying to figure out the next move. How will I keep going? How will I land? Uh oh, going back down better figure this out quickly.

 

In both of these experiences I was most scared about the landing. Getting height on your leap or knowing you can fly are some of the best feelings. Only when you are up as high as you can go do you realize how much you can see around you. You can see the big picture, every person you love, the good, the bad, the ugly, maybe even a glimpse at the future. But you have to take the action and make the jump to see that.

You’ll never know if you never try.

 

I find it ironic that the thing I was most scared about–aka falling on the ground, landing on my face, breaking something— was the one thing holding me up. The foundation I was standing on, the thing that holds up multi-story structures, protects us from elements and storms, literally grows and re-grows living things…and I was concerned it would let me down???

How selfish.

I love this quote.

if you think

Your foundation is your faith. Your discipline. Your family and friends and support network.

You are standing on the ground without literally ever questioning how else you will walk, not afraid of falling in (except city grates those things I avoid at all costs) it’s as natural as breathing and you’re telling me you’re more powerful than that?

 

As we approach the one year mark of starting Local Collaborative, I am reminded of the fearlessness and determination I felt when setting my site to live and publicizing my new venture. The chain of events leading up to the launch were extremely evident and on my mind daily. When the opportunity arose to find another work opportunity or create something I wholeheartedly believed in; I chose to chase after what set my soul on fire.

I know a lot of things I want out of life and I’m intimidated by declaring a ‘purpose’ but I do know had I settled yet again for being taken advantage of, smothering my creativity, following mundane tasks that led nowhere quickly…I would also be headed no where quickly.

 

I had no clue that I would go months without replacing my income and I am still nowhere close! But I’m fine. We’re fine. I feel no stress. I would be doing this for free if I didn’t want to contribute to my family’s income and time is my currency. I love collaborating instead of closed-off delegation and the flexibility this allows me is exactly what our lifestyle requires.

I often think about if I were given the chance to go change something in my past or take a glimpse of my future…I would probably go change something in the past. If nothing else but to guide that fearless but lost and insecure girl. I find so much of the payoff and surprise of the unknown takes you back to your roots, your gut instinct and trusting the foundation you’ve built for yourself thus far.

 

A challenge is inevitable but defeat is optional. Even if you ‘lose’ you will gain a lesson.

Don’t worry about how big that leap of faith is. In fact, I hope you take it and soon! No matter how, the ground will always be there to catch you.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Thanks for reading! I would love if you left a short and honest review on our Facebook page.

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