Seattleversary! 4 Years

The City Beautiful

Sunny Florida

Four years ago, one way ticket in hand, I boarded a plane that flew me far away from everyone I loved and everything I knew. It was the first time that choices were mine to make instead of my environment dictating what I must do. By all accounts it made no sense to move 3,000 miles away. I had no money, no real job prospects and only a sleazy motel to call home. I understood when certain members of my family cornered me and said I was making a huge mistake. I understood when my best friends felt put out and couldn’t be as excited as I was. While I miss seeing all my folks on the daily, Seattle is still the best decision I’ve made. It’s my magic city!

photo by Jared Wade

This is incredible photo is by Scott Dalrymple.

One month before I got on that plane, I got on this website. I posted this blog. Four years later I’m looking back at that first post teary-eyed. This is the place I come to to share all the odds and ends in life, one collected viewpoint. It makes me smile to reread posts about trying to learn how to stick with things! Duh! Clearly I’m capable of stick-to-it-ive-ness! In the past year Sunshine Press has gone from randomized whenever I feel like to semi-organized mostly consistent content. I thought it might be fun to talk about the changes made this past year and share where I’d like to go. Eh? Yeahhhh!

MENU:

We’ve added a section where I open up our kitchen and share recipes. Honeybee’s even shared one! Did I ever tell you how that whole thing started? Matt would text me early in the evening and ask what I wanted for dinner so he could bring it home from work. I realized I needed a list, a menu, so I could quickly get back to him. When we began, I wrote the list in a notebook, but then filled it with other random nonsense and blog ideas. Rather than rewriting it, I figured the internet would keep everything forever. And if you’re gonna post a list of food on the internet, you really should do the decent thing and show pictures of it. And boom! Next thing you know, there’s sisig and black beans and rice, tilapia, etc. It wasn’t until the caffeine free not-too-sweet sweet tea that I considered adding beverages, but as soon as I did it seemed like a no brainer. We love to mix up cocktails and punches! So you can expect to see more drinks in the next year! As well as the foodie goodness you’re used to!

MEET:

I know entirely too many wonderfully talented beautiful souls not to share them. Meet is my biggest challenge, but if I had to choose, I’d say it’s my favorite section here. It takes a while for schedules to line up and editing, but it’s more than worth it! So far we’ve met Briana, Jeri, Matt and, most recently, Bethany. There won’t be too many changes here except that I’ll be working on keeping this a monthly feature [you know, instead of drifting in and out randomly].

Life List:

The life list has been up for a while, but this year I was able to cross a few big ones off. Find my love, keep him/her. Be published. Hang my paintings in my favorite coffee shop. Who can forget my flowing silk satin robe? And I told a funny joke. This next year you’ll see me focusing on the financial and educational goals as well as adding some new stuff to the list. Can’t. Wait.

Photography:

Taking pictures is something you can always improve upon. Sometimes I do great work, but I recognize that my camera/lens set up is limited. Until I can afford another upgrade, my plan is do become an expert at what I have. I’d love to go back through the Menu: and remake everything during the day to get the best shots. A lot of the time I’m challenged by poor lighting in our house. I mean we live in a basement people! But even in the above-ground kitchen where the walls are yellow, when I cook at night everything looks extra double yellow. In order to effectively get better I’ve been doing at least one photo-heavy post a month. This month’s was Out of the City and Into the Woods [part 1]. I figure that’ll give me a good chance to hone my skills and keeping it all fresh. As always I greatly appreciate feedback!

Design:

I’ve been using Polyvore to design rooms and outfits. Love it. Want more of it. At least one a month. Visualizing spaces is something I do for fun. I see a Domino magazine and my eye gets to twitchin, I love that there are so many ways to make a house, apartment, ranch, farm, bungalow, duplex, trailer, whatever into home. In the far off future I want to be able to offer interior design as a service, so putting together rooms here is great practice.

Projects:

There’s no shortage of stuff to do in this world. This year I finally stained that antique table! And you can’t forget those pre-wedding projects such as my Love Wins window, and paper garlands, vamping out my nightstand, and staining my dresser. Looking ahead here, you can expect a great deal more. I want to build us a bed and I’m starting to get the itch to repaint our whole room. Of course if I repaint it, then I’ll want to build new shelving. Possibly add mirrored panels to the sliding closet doors. You know me. A sunshine’s work is never done. Especially now that there’s Wrays of Sunshine Press, my wee Etsy shop. Coming up soon there’ll be new pieces as well as some practical items for the every day.

In general:

General changes have included the new layout, which I love. Simple squiggly chevron. But behind the scenes I’ve created and maintained a spreadsheet to keep myself on track with all this. Why? Because I must. There’s no reason except that I positively love to blog here. If I could, I’d quit my stupid mailroom job and blog full time, but I’m just not there yet. I’m hopeful for the future. The plan is to increase readership [through consistent dope ass content], then grow to accept sponsors…actually I’m now accepting sponsors, I just haven’t gotten any yet. Lols. That’s okay, though. There’s always room to grow.

If you or someone you know want to advertise their small business/blog send em my way!

More than anything, though, I’d really like to thank you for stopping in to my little corner of the internet whether you’re new or you’ve been with me from the beginning. I look forward to many more years of bloggage. Is bloggage even a word?

It is now. Just decided.

Xo,

Sunshine

Happy Friday!

This week just got away from me! Just slipped right through my fingers like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands. You know what I’m talking about?! Lots of traffic and things to do. But look, the gum wall has my name on it!

GUM WALL

Can you see the sunshine?!

Things I did do:
image

Finished a new piece! I call it “hailstrum.” I love that the color story is cool and refreshing yet wintry and dramatic. No playable/repairable guitars were hurt in the process, promise! It was irreperably broken! This is a progress shot, but it’s all done now. One down, like a gajillion more to go for the new shop!

Watched the pilot and first episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. HOW IS IT STILL SO GOOD?!

Honeybee and I also had the pleasure of attending a housewarming party for Michael & Lauren Trew! Michael has a history of making grand adventures in my life such as trips to Leavenworth or playing acoustic Donovan songs in a parade down capital hill. He and Lauren got married right around the time Matt and I did, so I was very keen to have a look around their adorable house to see what they might need for a wedding slash housewarming gift. Looks like there’s an appreciation for marvelous antiques, patchwork quilts and entire bands in the living room. LOVE IT!

I’ll be brainstorming more ideas this weekend on our trip to Walla Walla. We’re going to visit Honeybee’s littlest little brother, Brandon who’s in town from Iraq! Honeybee has already promised me at least one thrifting experience plus bowling, so I’m already a happy camper!

When we return I’ll finally have that table for you to peep, more routine maintenance and a visit to a lighthouse, too.

Who loves ya baby?

xo,

Sunshine

 

Twin Harbors

“D’you know what I just realized?”

“No, sup?”

“This is the first time I’ve gone camping as an adult, by myself, without my family.”

“Do you feel like a grown up?”

“Yes, I do. Feels good.”

 

My hero is right. It does feel good. We packed up the tent and ditched the city in search of the great Pacific Ocean. Actually, I wasn’t so much in it for the ocean ’cause I knew it would be cold, I was firstly looking forward to legitimate, soft sand. 

 

We were up at 7am and gone by 10am. We made damn good time, too,  except we missed an important highway turnoff that would’ve led us directly to Twin Harbors State Park. Instead we arrived at Long Beach which is maybe 50 miles south. In this way, we were able to work together to pinpoint exactly where we’d gotten off track and problem solve ourselves into a new plan. And that’s just what we did.

Our campsite wasn’t one of the deluxe ones with its own spigot, but it did feature a fire pit, picnic table and a nice clearing for a tent. The website for campground reservations is pretty accurate which made it easy to find the most secluded spot possible. We had our own little trail that led up to the woods and no one else to the right or left.

The beach was about a mile hike with a sweet trail that winds through trees, up a hill, down a hill and up again until the pathway clears, then there’s ocean and nothing but ocean for miles and miles.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over a cold beach. It just processes as an error in my mind. Living in Orlando, FL meant I could drive for 45 minutes and swim in the warm ocean if I had a headache. If you had that option, wouldn’t you say, F#ck Tylenol?! I know you would. I used to do it all the time. Here, the ocean is a commodity. You drive 3 or 4 (or 7 hours if you get lost like us) hours to arrive at a cold ass beach. Ouch Pacific. But Super Plaid ain’t no punks (and I didn’t bring a purple plaid bikini to leave it in a bag) so we went out in the chilly waters. It never got comfortable enough to go waist deep, but after a while my legs acclimated enough to find comfort.

My favorite beach pastime is just to walk out into it, towards a swell of sizable waves until the ocean tries to eject you out again and to just stand there until the water recedes and the sand escapes from underfoot. Sort of feels like you’ve fought something, and you’ve won and lost at the same time. It teaches my body something about picking battles, but I can’t really put a finger on it.

Back at base camp we built a fire and roasted some hot dogs over it. Wieners and white wine out of beer bottles.

Keepin classy, y’all.

 

We saved the s’mores for breakfast the next morning. The single best s’mores I’ve ever had, by the way. They were so good there was no time for photographs. They just didn’t last that long. It’s all in the chocolate. We used Chocolove’s Sea Salt & Almond Dark Chocolate. Do it. You need it. Right now.

After a quick jog on the beach with Honeybee we headed back to camp to pack it all up again. It takes a special man to make a lady feel like a princess in the forest.