Washington: My forever home

Last September, my husband and I went to Washington State with his parents and his sister, her husband and their two children for a much-needed and more-than-enjoyed family vacation. We visited his family in Washington and spent quality time with his aunt and uncle.

Washington, specifically Sequim, might be my forever home.

And here’s why…

Sequim WashingtonI love my Kansas fields, and the flat lands have their own beauty… but these mountains made my heart sing.

Just, real quick, here’s another reason…

Sequim Washington

That is the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the view from the balcony at our rental house. If you squint, you can see Canada.

Want to see it at sunset?

Pacific Ocean at sunset

Photoshop couldn’t make those colors. The photo doesn’t do it justice.

The big bay window in the living room looked out to the Strait, and the front door opened to the beautiful Cascades. Guuhhh-orgeous. 

Plus, Canada is like right there… so we went.

British Columbia Canada port

Do you see why I would want to live there FOREVER?

 Added bonus: The scenery is also good for outdoor workouts. At least in September.

We went kayaking (chasing down seals like we could keep up), hiked every thing and took long walks through forests with trees twice the size of my house…

hiking in Washington

I mean… that wasn’t even the biggest tree.

The food was as amazing as the view. My husband is a phenomenal cook, but he got his skills from his father – who apparently shares them with his brother. Fresh seafood from Seattle and farmer’s markets in Port Angeles and Sequim made for good eats.

Washington farmer's market

Washington farmer's market

Bouillabaisse, salmon with jalapeno and lemon, crab cakes, prawns… I even ate an elk burger! (I also tried the goat burger, but I think I’ll stick with goat cheese.)

Husband’s aunt and uncle brought sweet tomatoes from their home garden that I ate like candy for three days. (Ha! They didn’t last that long. Two days.) I picked up what I believed to be a three-pound peach that fed the husband and I breakfast twice. I mean… I don’t want to go on and on about how tasty the apples were, but seriously, the apples were tasty… and the size of a toddler’s head.

Washington is nearly perfect.

Fresh seafood and plump fruit, salted lavender caramels and clean mountain air (with the occasional salty sea stink)…

Deer in the Cascade mountains Canada Pacific coast skinnyshae and husband Crystal Lake Sequim WashingtonI will keep dreaming of this beautiful forever home.


Bet you can lose weight with DietBet

My motivators are not always healthy motivators.

For example, my motivator in my professional life is my want to be successful. I want success. Why is passion for my career unhealthy? Because I often let it take over other aspects of my life. “I’m working” is an often-uttered phrase even when I’m “off the clock.” I manage all things social media at work so I check Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis… when I’m not at work. It’s hard for me to detach.

My motivators to lose weight, eat right and exercise are not clear.

I want to eat right, but I also want to eat French fries.

HomefriesI want to exercise, but I don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, and I have very little desire to work out in my living room.

Index cards with workouts to take to the gym or on a run

I want to lose weight, but it was easier to buy a new pair of jeans instead of melt away the inches that prevent me from buttoning my old jeans.

My healthy motivators are not strong motivators if I can defeat them with cravings, laziness and new jeans.

But there is something that motivates me to accomplish nearly anything…

…and it’s money.

Greed shines in the heart motivated by money, but I guess I can be greedy for weight loss, and DietBet makes it possible.

DietBet is a social dieting game in which players bet they can lose a certain amount of weight within a certain time frame, and players put their money down as commitment. While the website, DietBetter.com, claims that the game isn’t about making money, I’m only attracted to the game because of the opportunity to win big.

There must be a gambler living in my heart.

When I stumbled across DietBet in December by way of a Women’s Health Magazine article: Get Paid to Lose Weight, I immediately wanted to join the game.

Lose weight? Get paid? Um, yes.

The Transformer, the game I considered (and am stilling considering) joining, starts January 7, lasts six months and requires a $25/month bet.

DietBet screenshot

I’m not an impulsive person, which is probably why I’m not a gambler, so I went through all the fine print and made some calculations to see if it was worth the $150 investment. I calculated that the most I could win would be about $132. And that’s before the company takes its percentage. In order to “win big,” other people have to fail at losing weight.

And that made me sad in my heart.

I don’t want to bet that I can lose weight while secretly hoping other people fail so I can make money! Which might be why DietBet isn’t supposed to be about the money. It’s supposed to be about the community.

Looking at the game from the perspective of a social dieting platform, it resembles something like Weight Watchers, and it makes my heart a little less greedy and a lot less sad.

I am still considering joining The Transformer, but my thriftiness and inability to wish failure on others will likely prevail, and I’ll have to find some other motivator stronger than the pull of an unbeatable craving to lose weight.

What are your weight loss motivators? Have you ever participated in a DietBet game? What were your experiences?

Out with the old, in with the NO resolution year

Because I know I’ve been here before.

I think back to November 2010, when I wrote my first post, trying to remember why I started blogging…

skinnyshae began as a diet, fitness and beauty blog where I could complain about how exercise is hard, how dieting sucks and how I don’t know how to pluck my eyebrows.

The blog survived for just more than two years before I stopped…

I stopped exercising. I stopped cooking. I got rid of my gym membership. I started eating Ramen noodles. I stopped caring about how I looked. I stopped caring about how I felt.

It’s hard to remember why you started something when you have stopped everything…

…but I remember that exercise is hard, and I loved it. I know that my husband is a better chef, but I miss cooking. I remember that yoga made me feel amazing, and I know Ramen noodles are nearly the worst thing I can put in my body.

I miss blogging.

I think I’ll try again.

skinnyshae short hair style

I thought I’d start out with how my 2013 resolutions went…

Resolution #1: I still bite my nails, and I haven’t had a hair cut or trim since April.

Resolution #2: I do eat better. I eat my husband’s food. Way better than what I was eating! Exercising sorta… didn’t… yeah.

Resolution #3: I wanted to stop eating out of boredom… I didn’t.

Resolution #4: I can cook rice without it burning in water!

Resolution #5: I have no budget, but I did get a new job in 2014, which I really like.

I’d give myself a C for barely passing and because my hair still looks cute at least four days a week.

I’m not making 2014 New Year’s Resolutions because resolutions don’t work so I’m just going to keep doing what I do everyday and make small changes as I go… like doing squats when I brush my teeth or using lotion on my face so I don’t get icky dry skin.

Not hard.


And I don’t promise to do a single thing all year.