Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Singing in the Rain

It's been pretty sunny here in Seattle and I've taken full advantage of the great weather by playing tennis, having a picnic and going on walks.  Today, however, the gray skies are back, but it still puts me in a good mood because it makes me think of Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds.







Have a great day!

Marissa


Monday, April 2, 2012

Travel with the Met

I am 1 part adventurous, 1 part nerdy, and 1 part foodie. 
So when it comes to traveling, I love a good tour.  
I am a proud member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So when I got their recent
"Travel with the Met" brochures I was beyond excited. 



I was like Ralphie when he got his Orphan Annie secret decoder ring.
I get this way every time I get something from The Met, White Horse Inn, and Anthropologie...and any fun snail mail from friends and family of course.

 Anyhoo...Check out some of these great tours The Met offers and let your
nerdy, foodie, adventurous self enjoy...

Rome to Naples aboard Sea Cloud II


May 15–23, 2012
See the extraordinary mosaics in Palermo's Palace of the Norman Kings before sailing among the Aeolian Islands and along the spectacular Amalfi Coast to Paestum. Explore fashionable Capri, and continue to Naples to visit Capodimonte and Herculaneum. Optional prelude in Rome and postlude in Sorrento.
Cruise rates: from $6,995

Treasure Cities of Northern Spain



May 11–21, 2012
Discover the unknown cities of northern Spain. Stay in former palaces and savor famous Castillian and Basque cuisine. In Madrid, overnight at the Hotel Ritz and visit the Prado. Admire the celebrated Romanesque churches in the small town of Zamora and travel to Salamanca to see its architectural treasures. In Valladolid, one of the most important cities in Spain, tour the astonishing Museum of Sculpture. Conclude in Bilbao with a visit to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum.
Land rate: $7,995


Lyon to Arles aboard MS AmaDagio


May 1–10, 2012
On a scenic French river cruise, discover charming Proven├žal towns and enjoy wonderful food and wine. Board AmaDagio in Lyon and visit museums and palaces in Dijon, Beaune, and Avignon. See Aix-en-Provence or travel to the Camargue before concluding in Arles. Optional Geneva prelude.
Land/cruise rates: from $4,995




The Met is just so cool on so many levels...hosting travel tours definitely takes the cake for me.       
I won't be able to go on any of these awesome tours this year, but there is always next year...and I don't think the Met is going anywhere, at least not in my lifetime I hope.

Happy Travels!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got that Swing!

Welcome back hepcats!



Did you all see that awesome dancing clip from the movie Swing Kids in my previous post???
If not, here is another scene definitely worth taking a gander.





This movie is so great.  I remember going to see this movie with my Mom at the United Artist theater on Val Vista Rd when the movies only costed $3.50.  I don't think either of us really knew what this movie was about, but I was totally mind blown.  I remember thinking "What the hell is this dancing?  I've gotta learn this some day."  (Well, I'm sure I did not say "hell," but the older me would have said it.) And here I am...I'm doing it...I am now a swing dancer.  I kid you not! I have learned a number of the moves shown in these videos.  I'm not learning the aerials, but I am learning the rest.

With mastering a skill comes practice and tools.  I practice by going to as many swing dances in town throughout the week.  I'm not so shy about asking guys to dance either.  I usually don't know them and they don't know me, but I came to dance darn it! and if I have to ask someone, I will.  I recently found out by a short personal survey that guys tend to feel flattered if they are asked to dance by a girl.  So don't be shy ladies ask away.  And ladies, don't huddle together if you want to be asked to dance, most guys find this intimidating.  (All info. gathered by my short personal survey)

So here are some tools to help enhance your dancing.
1) Get some good dance shoes with a suede sole.  The right dance shoe will give you grip, but also the ability to glide and spin with ease.  Here are some great shoes from Dancestore.
There are so many cute styles out there, but these are pretty awesome.

These are also pretty cute and have a bit of color.

2) Wear comfortable clothing you can move in and dress it up a bit if you like.  I usually wear dresses or jeans and a cute top, but there are some cute styles for dancing the night away at Modcloth.
Here are some awesome dresses worn/inspired by Betty Draper from Mad Men that are totally swing worthy.




3) Read up on some dancing etiquette before you hit the dance floor.  You can go to Savoy Swing for some great tips on dancing etiquette.  Basically don't wear heavy cologne or perfume, don't have bad breath, bring two shirts if you are a heavy sweater, and don't be a creeper.

So get out there and try something new.  Your workout routine is boring you say? Try dancing.  You think you have two left feet?  Take a swing dance class.  You want to meet new people? Get out on the dance floor!

 Dancing has definitely added so much flavor to my life.  It really is the best/funnest way to work out.  I hope you'll give it a try and add some spice to your life!

See you on the dance floor.






Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Where in the World is...La Vida Luna???

Hello all your hepcats, hopcats, and Savoy swingers!  I've returned for an update of my weekly shenanigans...which includes Swing dancing!  I used to do a lot of dancing when I lived back in Tucson.  By a lot I mean every chance I got. I took a couple private lessons a week at Shall We Dance, I joined Ritmos Latinos (UofA salsa club), and would attend various dances throughout the week to practice my skills.  I loved it!  My two favorite dances were, hands down, swing and salsa.  I gave up dancing for a while (for a guy...ugh! I hate that I did that.  I must move on and swear never to do that again.), but once I moved to Seattle I told myself I would do two things 1) Become a volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium and 2) Get back into dancing.  I did just that and signed up for a class through Savoy Swing.  I am having the best time and there is so much to love about dancing from the great workout to the great clothes. 

Here are a few images of swing dancers from the movie Swing Kids.   





Swing dancing brings the vintage right out of you just like in these photos!  More to come on shoes, clothing, and etiquette!

Enjoy this swing dancing video to get inspired before you go enjoy your day!



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shows I love.

For a while there it seemed like reality TV had taken over completely, leaving no room for creative writers to weave together new plots, showcase new characters and produce great television.
Alas! Several shows managed to throw some elbows and make themselves known. 

Here are a few of my favorite shows.










These are my favorite go-to shows at the moment, but there are so many other great shows out there. 
What are you watching these days?


Monday, March 12, 2012

Mr. Sandman...bring me a dream...

Here I am awake in the middle of the night...
I just started my night rotation at work and it is not that fun having to force your body into this weird sleep submission, and then into this jolting awake state when you should be asleep.  Nonetheless, I am trying my best to create a very relaxing sleep environment, but it requires just the right elements.

Sleepwear...


I love these vintage PJs from Jcrew.  I actually have this pair and they are so perfect for a comfortable nights sleep.  The cool cotton material and roomy fit keep me feeling comfy and stylish all in one. 

I also like these sleep shirts by Ralph Lauren.



And just a couple more cute sleepwear options from Anthropologie.  Honestly the blue Chemise could be mistaken for a cocktail dress.  Not even kidding, I bought a sleepwear item at Anthropologie unknowingly and have worn it several times as a sundress.  Busted!

There is a lot of great sleep wear out there, but comfort is key.  You want the fabric to feel good against your skin while allowing for some temperature regulation. 

 


Eye wear...

Since I have to sleep during the day I need to trick my body into believing that it is night time.  I still haven't found a great eye mask that I love, but maybe these options could be of help...


This mask is by Tempur-Pedic and has gotten some pretty high reviews.  It looks pretty comfortable and durable, and the reviewers said it blocks out 100% of the light. 

These pair are pretty fun, come in a variety of colors, and were recommened by Dr. Oz.  You can buy these neoprene eye masks from Shop Kitson or The Dreamstate.  I may just try these bad boys out.


Bedding...

Now I already have a great bedding combo going on with some sateen sheets I bought from Costco, some great fluffy pillows, and an awesome quilt and bedspread from Anthropologie, but if I were to change things up a bit, I would opt for these options to help me get my Z's...



 
These beauties are both from Anthropologie.  Did I tell you I really like that store?

After rounding up a pair of earplugs, some black-out curtains/eye mask, great PJ's, and a comfy bed to sleep in, may the force be with you if you must tackle night shifts!

Buenas noches...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When You Wish Upon a Star...


Disneyland is one of my favorite places in the world.  I love how you can feel like you are in another realm and almost forget that there is an outside world with all the stress and chaos. Well...when you see a screaming kid or a tramp stamp while waiting in line for Splash Mountain, the haven-like atmosphere is sort of ruined, but nonetheless, I love the place and look forward to all my visits and every last churro.
My friend David and I just got back from our annual Disney trip this past weekend. I really love experiencing Disneyland David Marshall style because he is very good at paying attention to detail and pointing out new things I never noticed before.  In addition, we both find humor in the most unlikely of places which adds another bonus to these trips.



Here we are (a few years ago) about to embark on the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction.


Needless to say, we are quite experienced when it comes to the Land that is Disney. So if you are looking to go to Disneyland, here are some tips from some very seasoned Disney goers that are helpful to any Disney novice.

1) Utilize the "Fast Pass" for big attractions (they are not rides at Disneyland...they are so much more than that...they are attractions!).  Fast passes allow you to skip the long lines by assigning you a time to return to the ride.  It is hands down the best way to go.  Be sure to snag a pass first thing upon entry to the park.  We usually get a Fast Pass to Space Mountain or Indiana Jones Adventure, then go on other rides with shorter lines. 
2) Get to the park early, but replenish by going on the Disney Railway as many times as needed (they never kick you off), going on "It's a Small World," or people watch while eating a treat and hydrating.
3) Wear sunscreen, hydrate, and wear comfortable shoes.  This is not a place to break in a new pair of shoes...one blister and your day is ruined!
4) Don't eat the chimichangas...they are gross!  Especially when you come from the Southwest and you know what a chimichanga should taste like.  Such a let down.  Otherwise, everything else I have had has been good to great.  If you can, make a reservation at "The Blue Bayou."  This restaurant is inside "The Pirates of the Caribbean" ride.  It's a pricey meal, but well worth the money...plus all the riders going by are so jealous of you and wish they were in your shoes.  I have been on both sides. :)
5)  You must pay homage to the late Michael Jackson by watching the 3D attraction "Captain EO."
If you feel super awesome afterward...by a shirt...I did.
6) Be a kid and enjoy the attractions in Fantasy Land...all the kids are doing it.
7)  Make time for shows.  If you can, I would highly recommend purchasing at least a 2-day Park Hopper pass that allows you to get in to both Disneyland and California Adventures.  Disneyland has an awesome Fireworks spectacular show you don't want to miss, but even more...California Adventures has a water show called "The World of Color" that will bring you to tears...or maybe just me and David. (You do need to get a ticket/Fast Pass to see "The World of Color," so go get that ticket/Fast Pass early in the day to get a good viewing spot.)  These shows are at night and a great way to close out the day.
8) Get a locker to store your things.  It's only $7 and your back will thank you.  You don't want your sciatica to do a sneak attack on you at the happiest place on earth.
9) To learn more about how Disneyland came into fruition, consider a tour.  We just went on a tour for the first time called "Walking Through Walt's Footsteps."  It provided great insight, history, a collectors pin, and lunch.  All in all it gave me a greater sense of appreciation for all the hard work that went in to building/creating Disneyland.
10) Go with the right mix of people (no negative Nancy's, no tight-wads, and no fraidy cats) and really try and embrace this wise mantra "Hakuna Matata."


Most of all...Have Fun!