what & wear : austin


Kyle and I are taking our first multi-day no kids allowed trip together next month. It’s been soooooo long since we’ve gone somewhere new and almost three full years since we’ve spent more then one night kidless together. To say we are excited is an understatement.

When we started dreaming up a little long weekend trip, we had a few boxes to tick before deciding on a location. First, we wanted it to be generally warm. Second, a bucket list destination. And lastly, not so far away that travel would occupy all our time.

Check. Check. Check. Austin here we come.

Anyway, I always love travel recommendations so I wanted to see if anyone had some ideas for the what’s and wear’s of Austin.

WHAT should we do? Eating? Must See’s? Shopping? Coffee? Send it ALL to me!

And, obviously, I need to know what to WEAR? I’m thinking lots of walking so comfy shoes? Dresses? Joggers?


Image Via

in whistler


For the first time in maybe ever, I agreed to go on a cold weather vacation. Typically, I would argue that the term ‘vacation’ is used exclusively in scenarios where sun and sand are involved and ‘trips’ are weekends that include the cold white stuff. But, this weekend turned out to be a true vacation. We met our friends Bryan and Natalie in Whistler for a little out of town escape. For me, ski was more of code word for eating, shopping and ice skating but everyone else got a little time on the slopes.

The true highlight for me was the ice skating. It was a first for both myself and M and by the end, we thought we were regular Michelle Kwans out there.

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We ate, we drank, we played in the little bit of snow that was on the ground and we put that record on repeat for three days. It was perfection.

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a week

DSC_2385This little space on the internet has been lonely lately. I know. The thing is, it’s hotter then hades outside which means it’s even hotter inside. Every year I scold myself for being a typical Seattleite and declining the AC option when we built our house. Around here you generally deal with about five unbearable days a year then it’s over, you lived and your house returns to it’s standard perfectly perfect 68ish degrees. So far this year, it’s been over 90 more days then I can remember most summers having total and although I adore the heat, I have also been declining the option of sitting in front of a computer roasting. (excuses, I know…just bear with me)



So, to catch up…..last weekend we spent four days on a little cross-Washington road trip. We took off for Walla Walla for a friends wedding, made an overnight stop in Yakima  and drove for what seemed like days even though it was only about four and a half hours each way. We survived the car ride in one piece and Ky was such a good sport letting me play tourist at some fun stops like the run down convenience store above. The only rough patch was on the way home where I was sick combined with the effects of maybe a little too much wedding fun (oops). We had to make a few stops for mama to pull it together but home we came to enjoy the last week bouncing from park to park and beach to beach trying to stay cool. Summa’….I love you!

DSC_2378And another thing, you know the whole not having AC in the house thing…I’m totally not complaining. We decided a few months ago that it’s time for us to sell our home and move on to a community with an easier commute for Ky. This is the summer we move and make our way to our perfect preschool land, the place where we can walk to dinners out and a lifestyle that involves less car and more time together. So, I called up my BFF, an exceptional realtor, and forward motion started. They came and photographed our house, we decided on an asking price and all was well. Then, I left to the store on Wednesday and the sale sign appeared in my front lawn while I was gone. You know, the ominous white post, flyers showing every nook and cranny of the house you made a home and a stupid little banner teasing you with each sway it takes in the wind.

I immediately freaked.

insert photo of sign here. i have one all ready but I can’t actually post it because I just don’t want to look at it. you know what it looks like. 

You guys, I just could not stop crying. I came inside, tried reading M a book and gulped and gasped so much I had to put it down. I sat on the sofa in sorrow for M’s entire nap. I have no idea what is wrong is with me but I was paralyzed by the thought of selling this house. Anyway, I was such a crazy that we postponed putting the house on the market until next week when hopefully I can suck it up and not act like such a weeping fool.

It’s time to move forward towards a smaller home with a better lifestlye for the Lipe family.


Enjoy! Melissa

eating portland


Last weekend, we set out on a 24 hour journey to Portland. Our friends Bryan and Natalie moved to SouthWest Portland about a month ago and we were anxious to be their first visitors. We took off on Saturday at M’s nap time hoping for a quiet trip down I5 and walked in their front door almost exactly 3 hours later.

Let’s talk about Portland for a minute. EVERY stereotype you have heard about it is true. When I traveled for work, people used to snarl at what a liberal city Seattle was. It never failed that they would mention our tendency to be green. We recycle (like that’s bad? working on the environment here people) and they always ALWAYS commented on the rain. The thing is, if you think Seattle is too liberal, maybe NEVER go to Portland. It’s a city after my heart in some ways. It’s fairly small for a major city so a car is almost unnecessary (we got in ours once all weekend), the Willamette River runs right through the city making it easy to watch boats, wet suit sporting swimmers and we even saw a submarine , plus, it’s almost crazy relaxed. Oh, and they have good donuts.


DSC_2312 DSC_2303DSC_2300We walked and ate our way through this town. In one short trip, we had Voodoo Doughnuts, Salt and Straw Ice Cream  and one of my favorite coffee’s ever, Stumptown. I got a small feeling for what I would be like as a New Yorker…fat. Each step I took was almost an excuse to eat more junk food. Plus, once you were already standing in front of the hour long line for donuts, it seemed like no big deal to jump right in. Never can I live in a walkable city. Apparently, I would eat my way through it.

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wine weekend

10452693_10101346207725993_1887839498_oLast Saturday, 5 girlfriends and I headed to Yakima to visit one of my very best friends who calls Washington wine country home. Lets just say that when you put sunshine, girlfriends and wine tasting together, your cheeks will hurt from laughter for about the next week. The wine is a good plus for me on these trips but the best part is getting to catch up with my friends. As the years roll on (helloooo 30, you are staring me right in the face), marriages, kids and jobs have lessened the time we get to spend with each other. As they should really. It would be strange if I still lived on Greek Row rooming with my friends, and drinking from fish bowl sized containers we shamefully called cups. But, no matter how normal, it’s still so surreal to watch our lives branch out and take on new meaning. In the midst of all that, it’s refreshing to take a break and listen to each other, talk about silly things and maybe a few important topics and just laugh. We don’t take these trips nearly often enough but when we do I feel just a tad younger, energized  and, well, ill from the wine.

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I think that’s all I’ll share about girls weekend here. They call Yakima, ‘Yaka-Vegas’. It’s a joke really but we’ll just stick to the good ol’ Vegas montra. What happens in (Yaka-) Vegas, stays in (Yaka-) Vegas!

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Happy Friday and Enjoy!

kauai || what we did

DSC_1862 DSC_1876 DSC_1874 DSC_1905 DSC_1907A few weeks ago, M and I took a trip to Kauai to visit my parents. They moved ‘home’ almost a year ago now and even with the distance, we are tying to make sure M gets to spend some time with her ‘tutus’ (a common Hawaiian name for grandparents). This trip, we spent a lot of time exploring the west side of the island. While it was raining on the other end, this side of Kauai stayed dry and sunny for us. We had our first Jo Jo’s experience for shave ice and spent lots of time at the beach. Relaxing was the name of the game.

Both of my favorite activities from this trip were set up by my sister. She lived on Kauai before moving back to the Seattle area and was a great partner in exploring the island. Although I’ve spent time there in the past, I am still not as familiar with the all the fun spots she is. She booked an adventure exploring the Napali Coast for us and also showed us where to rent beach cruisers for a fun bike ride.

DSC_2073 DSC_2034 DSC_2074My parent’s keep mentioning that M can spend her summer vacations with them when she’s older but I’m pretty sure there is no way I’ll be missing out on those trips. We had such a good time with them and I love the slow pace of Kauai. It’s one of those vacations that you don’t need a separate vacation from. You know the kind. DSC_1932 DSC_2079

I have one more post about my favorite new shop on Kauai coming but, for now, I’ll stop teasing you with pictures of the islands. If you have a trip to Kauai planned, I would love to hear from you. I have so many more recommendations (hellooooo Puka Dogs) and know a few fun places to play on the island for those who are interested.


Enjoy! Melissa

the many ways to drink a coconut || from kauai, hi

PicMonkey Collage.pngHi, from Kauai! I feel like I survived a boxing match or maybe even a fight to the death to get here on a night time flight. I mistakenly thought M would sleep on a late flight. No such luck. But you know what, I made it. We survived and we’ve made it to my parents humble abode for a short visit. So far, we’ve been to the beach, rented beach cruisers and cracked some coconuts open for fresh water. We are totally missing Ky at home but he’s working on a long list of honey-do items while we are gone. I’m guessing my yard will be magazine ready when I see it next.

Also, I’m posting away on Instagram while we are here so check it out if you have a trip to Hawaii in your sights.

Enjoy! Melissa

Randomness || Round 3

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Lately…well, just so much and yet not so much has been happening at the same time. The weather is changing, M’s nap schedule is changing and there is really just all out confusion. And, to top it off, I just haven’t felt like being the lady with the camera these days. Kind of a problem when you are also the lady who writes a blog. So, what we’ve been doing….

We’ve been making play dates in the mornings. As someone who hasn’t left the house much before noon for the past year, this is weird. I actually have to get up at a decent hour, shower and maybe (just maybe, if I’m really feeling into it that day) wash my hair.A treat for all I’m sure.

We took M on a five hour road trip (turned 6.5 hour trip with all her stops) to the other side of the state. We cheered on our WSU Cougs in their home opener football game. Man that was fun. I even got to spend a little time in my favorite bar in the whole world, drinking classy things like Coors Light and eating amazingly gross things like corn dogs and fries. The Best! Also, M loved the people watching. And, can I just say, that I would like to think I was classier in college then some of the ladies I saw walking around. Am I old or is a XL shirt that you cut and tied to your body as a dress just not acceptable anywhere?

Oh and I ordered M’s Halloween costume yesterday. She’ll just be the cutest damn lamb on the planet, I know it. Now if I can only teach her to say ‘trick or treat’ so she can collect the candy that I’m going to eat. Halloween really made a dramatic turn once a child was in the picture. So full circle. You start by innocently collecting candy, then come the years of the small ‘costumes’ crafted from who knows what and now we are back to candy collecting.

So, now you know.

Enjoy! Melissa

M’s Rash Guard/ Shirt: Campus Pride Sportswear

Behind The Scenes || Burbank


Just to prove to you that I wasn’t on this vacation alone, here are a few more shots from our trip. {Then I promise not to bombard you with sunny Cali any more} As Ky was working away at his brothers house while we played for most of the weekend, we only spent a few hours a day with him. But, for the first time in history, I was kind of glad when our hotel room wasn’t ready when arrived. It gave us a couple of hours with nothing but time to burn together and we made the best of it.

First things first, we set the map to In-n-Out Burger. But, once we pulled into the parking lot I realized it was only 11 AM. Lets be serious, an inappropriate time for fast food burgers. So after much debate in the parking lot about how disgusting we were willing to be, we decided that we appreciate slightly less greasy food before noon and passed. Big Mistake! Huge! We never ended up back at In-n-Out and I may have a shed a tear or two as our flight back to Seattle took off and I realized this. Noooooooo!

However, we were able to make a few other unhealthy food choices together as well as check out some Universal City Walk tourist goodness for effect over the next few days.

Done and Done! We are home now where it’s slightly less sunny {but promises to be starting next week} and have recovered from our weekend at fat camp {or the opposite of fat camp where I eat everything fatty}.

Enjoy! Melissa




LA via iPhone


This past weekend, we made a super quick trip to LA to visit some family. Ky’s brother recently purchased a home that is in need of {uh-hem} some {a lot} renovations and my handy-dandy husband went down to help. As M isn’t so into chores, large tools or yard work my job was to keep her out of harms way. So, while my husband and his siblings worked, M and I made our own LA LA Land fun.

I am hoping we were both somewhat successful in our missions. The house will be amazing when it’s done and it was fun to be able to ‘help’ with their project.

My Trip ||

I spent time in Venice on Abbot Kinney visiting my favorite paper store, Urbanic, eating and well eating more. I also drug M to The Grove and we found her a little Blabla Doll as a souvenir.

Side Note: There were all these cute dolls in the store. Bunnies, little girls with tutus on and animals. My daughter picked up the only boy doll and started kissing him immediately. So, sheriff, welcome to the house!

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Ky’s Trip ||

I’m not even sure what my hard working hubby did on the roof but apparently it had something to do with words like flashing and a compressor. {No clue} These are his pictures from the photo stream we share. Exciting huh? The good news is that this Seattle kid did get a great tan from being on the roof all weekend. {woo}

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I know! I know! I got the better end of the deal on this. But hey, someone has to make sure the baby isn’t sorting through construction materials and it was easier to take her out then chase her around the house all day. So, really, this was just me being as helpful as possible {or that is what I’ll continue to tell myself}. And, we did have a little bit of time to share some meals and a little sun fun as a family. More on that tomorrow!

Enjoy! Melissa