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Posted on Dec 31, 2013 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 7 comments

2013 Close Out

Ahoy-hoy, friends!

I hope everyone had a baller Christmas and holiday season! Mine was unsurprisingly awesome, thanks in large part to this little Santa Baby being around this year:

I know I swore that I wouldn’t become one of those aunties that is obsessed with a child that I didn’t even pop out, but, I mean, c’mon! She’s pretty cute, right? And you know what’s even cuter? Stuff like this:

It’s like looking straight into the future if Sean and I ever decide to cook up a (double) Whasian baby of our own, hahahahahahaha.

Yep, Mia’s first Christmas was a rousing success, even if I did go a liiiiittle bit overboard with presents this year (even more so than in years past). But hey, it IS the giving season, after all, isn’t it? Everyone ’round the Powell Family Christmas tree was very generous this year — I got a PS Vita from my brother, amazingly adorable cocktail plates from my sister-in-law Taylor, a bread machine from my sister (IT. IS. AWESOME.) and Sean got me an iPad MINI! Funny story, actually…

So, being the Christmas nutter that I am, I may or may not have been bugging Sean on an almost daily basis as to what he was getting me for Christmas. And, true to his nature, his response each and every time was “Snowman poop.”

For reference, this is what he meant:

Thinking he had, of course, been joking the entire time, I opened my gift from him, eager to see what it was. And it was… snowman poop.

Yep, an entire professionally shrinkwrapped bag full of marshmallows. I was… thrilled. But, of course, since Sean is a trickster of the trickiest kind, he had actually hidden the iPad mini inside the marshmallows. And of course Ben got the whole thing on camera, hahaha. So sneaky…

Anywho! So yes, Christmas was wonderful! My December was also filled with plenty of Yelpy holiday goodness, so, for those who are wondering, the job is absolutely just as awesome as ever.

And tonight, the holiday festivities continue with a classy New Year’s double date with my good friends Lara & her husband Dan! Then tomorrow it’s… 2014! Hot damn, I know how cliche it is to say, but this year REALLY flew. Guess that’s what happens when you have a job you love, eh? Not to mention the constant looming pressure of trying to get a sequel out while people still remember the first book, ahahaha. Either way, 2013 has definitely been good to me (though, granted, not good to this blog… ehehe… sorry).

I hope that you all have an incredible New Year — no matter how you choose to celebrate it — and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings! I have some DEFINITE plans to get back on the health bandwagon (I’ve let loose a bit much over the past few months and I am really feeling it) so hopefully that will help me get back on the blog train, too.

Onward & downward, eh?

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Posted on Sep 17, 2013 in Blogging | 11 comments

The Healthy Living Summit 2013

Hiya folks! Well, I’m back from Minneapolis with a belly full of delicious food and a brain full of blogging inspiration. Ahhh, just like old times!

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There was a lot of picture-taking (photobooths FTW!), a lot of hugs of friends I haven’t seen since, well, last year’s HLS, and lots of delicious food. I actually made the conscious choice to leave my big DSLR at home this time, since in past years I’ve had such a focus on taking pictures, editing them, and posting blog posts DURING the conference. And since I wanted to be able to really enjoy the summit (and the folks I was summiting with!), I opted for the good ol’ iPhone instead.

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I still think we ended up with some pretty cute pics, don’t you? ;)

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Lauren, who I’ve missed SO much since she moved from this area out to Colorado earlier this year, and Cassie, who I CANNOT BELIEVE I HADN’T PHYSICALLY MET BEFORE SINCE WE ARE LIKE SISTERS OMG TRUTHFACT, stuck together for much of the conference, getting to meet and mingle with so many of our fellow bloggers as we did.

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Photo thanks to Mindy

I’m sure many of you have already gone through dozens of HLS recaps, so I’ll keep this one brief. There was an awesome dinner the first night at Town Hall Brewery the first night that Casey put together, followed by the traditional cocktail party, and then Saturday kicked off with the sessions!

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For those of you who weren’t able to attend, or who missed the presentation by Cassie, Lauren, and me, please feel free to check out the slides and recaps of the presentation. Here are a bunch of links for ya:

- The most beautiful slides in the world, by none other than the amazing Cassie Johnston

- Lauren’s Presentation Recap

- Sam’s liveblog of the session

- Cassie’s HLS Recap

I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have on utilizing your personal blog to help transform your career path! (Feel free to check out the hashtag #HLS13BlogtoJob to see what other kinds of questions we’ve already had, too!)

So as I mentioned before, I also participated in a book club centered around my very own bookchild, TERRA! It was awesome getting to discuss the book in person with so many people who’d read it (and enjoyed it, or so they said ;)) and I totally felt like pretty baller when I was signing copies, hehehe.

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Photo thanks to Alicia

It was an awesome weekend, over ENTIRELY too soon, but thankfully I have eighty zillion various food samples and products to keep the memories alive… until I eat them all. Sidebar: Have you guys tried the Salt & Vinegar Blue Diamond Almonds yet?! CRAAAAACK ALMONDS!!! THEY ARE SO GOOD.

Thanks for another great weekend, HLS!

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Posted on Sep 12, 2013 in Blogging | 12 comments

#HLS13

By this time tomorrow, I’ll be on my way to sunny (?) Minneapolis for the 2013 Healthy Living Summit! This year marks my third year at the Summit, and my second year speaking.

Some of you might remember that last year I gave a presentation on Blog Photography 101, and this year I’m teaming up with my gals Lauren from Me and the Mountains and Cassie from Back to Her Roots for a panel on how blogging has helped lead to our dream jobs (without having to blog full time AS our jobs).

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I’m super excited, not only for the panel, but getting to reunite with Lauren, who moved from this area a few months ago, and to finally MEET Cassie, who I feel like I’ve already known forever. Cassie designed an absolutely epic presentation and I know it’ll be amazing.

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(I mean, seriously, it is the most beautiful set of slides I’ve ever seen in my life. Do you SEE why I asked her to design my book cover now? :D)

Here’s the official blurb for our panel in case you’re interested in exactly what we’ll be speaking about:

From Blog to Job: Utilizing Your Personal Blog to Elevate Your Career

Unfortunately, it is a small (itty bitty, teeny weeny) percentage of us that will be able to turn our blogs into a full-time career on their own. But that doesn’t mean that blogging can’t help lead to great things for our careers! Join Cassie from Back to her Roots and Lauren from Me and the Mountains for a panel led by Gretchen of Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen, on the ways that blogging has helped these different women find their dream jobs.

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In addition to leading the panel, I’ll also be front and center at the HLB Book Club meeting which is on… my book, TERRA! Yay! Hopefully this will be the final push I need to finish out Book 2! Hehe.

If you’re at HLS this year, PLEASE make sure to say hi! I like to think I’m fairly easy to spot now that my hair is purple. Purple and pink. Kekeke.

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Posted on Aug 12, 2013 in Blogging | 4 comments

Tea Ceremony, Part II

Hey strangers,

So as some of you might remember, I’ve spent the past 30 days on the road and back again, literally. After my legendary trip to Ireland, I was back in town for a mere 4 days before flying down to Houston for my grandmother’s 83rd birthday. (This was a precursor to the giant family reunion for my Dad’s side that we attended in Oregon afterwards.)

Since my grandmother is not able to travel, my brother and his wife also did another traditional tea ceremony, just like the one that was performed at their rehearsal dinner back in May.


My aunt and uncle weren’t able to attend the wedding either, so they were also tea-ceremonied. And since I guess it’s Chinese tradition to serve tea to ALL your elders — even if you’ve already done it for them — my parents got a second turn! :)


It’s tradition for the bride and groom to be given a gift from their elders, and I guess in particular it’s very common for the bride to be given jewelry. Which, all I can say is, I can’t WAIT for my own wedding tea ceremony if it means I get bangin’ jewelry like Tay did!

I played the role of photographer for the day, of course, so I’m actually only in one of the pictures. And, in true fashion, it’s the photo with food, hahaha.

A dim sum feast!

So there you go: Just one half of my SUPERDUPER family-filled week! Hopefully by next time, the photos from Oregon will be edited and you guys can see the white side of my fam, hahahaha.

Tally-ho!

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Posted on May 7, 2013 in Blogging, Dear Diary | 5 comments

Hello Stranger

Oh, hey there.

This is awkward.

Cause, y’know, I haven’t really been around lately.

Sorry about that.

Well, not really sorry, per se, since you probably already know my stance on bloggers apologizing for not blogging. I mean, I do know that it’s not like your lives have stopped just because I haven’t been recording mine lately, I really do! Although, let’s be honest, sometimes I like to think I have that kind of affect anyway, just for sake of my ego (it’s quite large, you know).

Anyway, hi. I know that my blog updates as of late have been rather few and far between, but don’t think for one second it’s because I’m phasing blogging out of my life or any such ridiculous nonsense like that. This blog isn’t stopping — I’m far too much of an attention-whore to ever let THAT happen — I’m just taking a little breather. A bit of a break. Because, in all honesty, I know most people don’t think that blogging takes up much time, but it can be really time-consuming. Taking and editing photos, threading words together coherently enough to create a legible post… sure, it ain’t rocket science, but it’s not as wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am as some might think either. And sometimes, rare though these occasions might be, there’s just a bit too much going on in my life for me to actually take the time to stop and write about it.

Life is INDEED happening, and I am so, so, so, so excited to update you on those things soon. There are definitely exciting things in the works, first and foremost being that my big brother is getting MARRIED this weekend!

Take what you know about how much I love weddings, and then add that to how much I love my brother, and you might start to get an idea for how ridonkulously excited I am about this weekend.

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PLUS my perfect niece (and soon to be goddaughter – squee!) Mia is coming back up with my sister and her hubs for the wedding AND for her baptism the following day (on Jenny’s first Mother’s Day! D’awwww…)

Also, in posting both of those pictures above, I’m suddenly made aware of how lucky I am to be able to photograph so many beautifl family moments — Ben and Tay’s engagement shoot in St. Maarten, Mia’s newborn shoot, and I’ll be playing the triple roll of bridesmaid, sister, and photographer at the rehearsal dinner on Friday! Admittedly, I originally got into photography mostly because of this blog — I really just wanted to take nice pictures of my food, and it helped that Ben is a photog so he could help me out. But it has turned out to be so incredibly rewarding.

…Whew! I wasn’t quite expecting to get so sappy this morning! I think that’s quite enough cheesiness for today. Anyway, the bottom line is that I just wanted to let you know I’m still here, and will be back with more regularity soon, I’m sure. In the meantime though, I’m going to keep enjoying some of that life I’ve been living. ;)

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