Monday, September 15, 2014

Seattle Road Trip

Seattle Road Trip Video Diary, Whidbey Island Trip

As I shared last week, we took a road trip to Washington to visit family over Labor Day weekend. We had so much fun. We rode the Mukilteo Ferry, took long beach walks and found several agates to add to our collections, ate amazingly delicious food (Village Pizzeria, Ivars and/or Molly Moon's anyone?), toured downtown Seattle, and spent quality time with my family.

I captured the best moments of this trip through a video diary—my favorite way to share my story. I feel like seeing life through my eyes says so much more than a single photo and words ever can express. You get raw emotions (3:51—ha!), hilarious dancing (if you're watching one of my videos, anyway), outtakes & bloopers (with my family, there are always a lot!), and a whole different perspective that delves into each scene and moment in time. You also get to see just how much we love each other. Watch the video & dance along to two of my favorite songs below.

See more photos from our trip here. I'd love to know, what's your favorite shot from the video?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Whidbey Island 2014

Whidbey Island beach

My favorite place in the entire world is Whidbey Island in Washington. I'm not sure if it's because that's where my grandparents live, or if it's because we spent every summer there as kids, or if it's because family agate hunting trips make for the most enjoyable memories. I think it's a little bit of all of it.

Daniel and I visited Washington over Labor Day weekend and stayed a couple days on Whidbey and a couple days in Seattle. Typically on our vacations, I take a ton of photos—and this time I only took about 15! I think last year I ended up with at least ten times that many. This trip, I focused on making a video diary of our time spent there, so stay tuned for that next week. You can see photos from last year's Washington trip here: Whidbey Island, Maxwelton Beach, the 4th of July, Pike Place Market, and Seattle.

Here are some of the few photos from our trip, all of which were from our days spent on Whidbey. Sadly, I don't have any Seattle photos this year. Bummer!

Ivars ice cream cone in Mukilteo Washington
After all of my raving about Ivars' clam chowder and soft serve swirl cones, Daniel knew he had to try both out while we waited to board the ferry over to Whidbey. Ivars, you have a new fan!
Maxwelton Ferry, Kittitas Ferry ride
Aboard the Mulkilteo Ferry, overlooking the Puget Sound.Whidbey Island 2014 Trip
Nanny and Papa—my grandparents (on my mom's side)—and lights of my life!
Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Exploring Maxwelton Beach.
Beach House on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
The beach house my grandparents used to live in. It's so classic and brings back the best memories.
Finding crabs on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Daniel was all about the tide flats and catching crabs.
Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
Agate Hunting on Maxwelton Beach on Whidbey Island
A small, glowing agate. We found three one day and ten the next—we will be showing them off in the video to come.
Love spelled in driftwood, Whidbey Island Love
We stumbled upon this beautiful piece of beach art.
Whidbey Island Trip 2014
Honestly, they're so cool. I love my grandparents so much!
Maxwelton Ferry, Kittitas Ferry Ride
On the Mukilteo Ferry heading to Seattle.

This trip was so much fun. I got to spend some quality time with my sister, go for two long (like 4 hours!) and perfect-weather beach walks, work out at the country club's gym each day, got to go for an early-morning run with my mom, and got to eat the most heavenly slice of pizza ever created at Village Pizzeria in Langley. No trip to Whidbey is complete without stopping at the Village Pizzeria for a slice of pesto and finishing it off with a little shopping at the Star Store!

Next week I'll be sharing our video diary of our entire trip—complete with family, beach walks, agates, games, sights of Washington, delicious food, laughter and so much love. These trips always make me wonder—why do we only go once a year? My new mission is to change that!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Healthy Changes, Healthy Life

Annelise Rowe, healthy living blogger, dairy free lifestyle

Since returning from BMT, I've been on a quest to transform my lifestyle and eating habits. A rather healthy person all-around, I was already working out 7-days a week and eating—for the most part—pretty well. But after returning from BMT, I was hitting up ice cream shops, pizza joints and fast food far more often than I would have liked. And my body paid for it. I gained back roughly 10 pounds very quickly and while I still maintained my level of fitness, I could see and feel the difference my food choices were making.

In addition, after returning home I began breaking out all over my chest, neck and face. I couldn't figure it out—I've never had any type of acne and never had any unusual skin problems... but this was bad. I had big, painful blemishes all over my chest and neck and small red pimples all over my face. I didn't know what was wrong! I started thinking about why it would have started after BMT. My stress was gone (for the most part) and I was back into the swing of my normal routine. And then it hit me—the ice cream, cereal, yogurt, etc. DAIRY! I ate dairy maybe 2-3 times over the 8-weeks I was down at BMT and my skin didn't seem to have any problems. When I came home and began indulging in daily ice cream trips, yogurts at snack times, cereal for breakfast, and pizza for dinner—that's what did it. I experimented with several different things (laying off perfume, changing my body wash/detergent/shampoo) and while none of it worked, after giving up dairy—just to see if it was the culprit—after one week my skin was clear. ONE WEEK! I couldn't believe that it had been dairy the whole time.

I've been dairy-free now since the middle of August. It's not quite as hard as I thought it would be, though I do miss a good Blizzard every now and then. But with dairy—since my only aversions to it seem to be acne and upset stomach aches, if I truly want it—I'm going to have it (like a slice of pizza every now and then!). Although, I'm becoming a big fan of other healthy-minded desserts like chia seed pudding, banana "ice cream," and small servings of sorbet. And cereal is still on my menu—I just enjoy it with unsweetened almond milk instead—and let me tell you... it's really good!

I've also started making other small changes in my diet. I no longer eat with the intention to fill my stomach to the brim (which was my mea culpa before). I now eat sensible portions and try to cook and prepare my weekly workday meals ahead of time. I've been living out of tupperware lately, selecting the day's lunch (like this) from the assortment that is piled high in the fridge. I can cook an entire week's worth of meals in the slow cooker, divide it up into lunches for Daniel and myself and then customize each one from there—like adding a tortilla, sour cream and cheese to his and some fresh veggies to mine.

Of all the changes I've made lately—my favorite is the new outlook I have on food. I'm seeing it as fuel, not a fill-me-up. I'm enjoying it. I'm creating new recipes with it that not only will nourish my body, but ones that taste good, too. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be hard. It is all about how you look at it. I don't have to live a healthy lifestyle... I get to—and have fun with it!

Annelise Rowe, healthy living blogger, dairy free lifestyle

While I'm trying to incorporate more "healthy living" style posts into this blog, you can always click-over and find all of my day-to-day recipes, healthy dessert ideas, and fitness routines on my Instagram. I post as I go there and find that it's a really great resource for sharing my simple-to-prepare, healthy meals & treats. Here's to being healthy & happy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. To be honest, it kind of snuck up one me this year! I loved being 27—27 was my "golden" birthday, and I had always said 27 was going to be my best year. And to date—it was! 27 held a lot of surprises. I joined the Air National Guard, I bought a house, I ran a full marathon, and I spent two months down in Texas for Basic Military Training. 27 just flew by and boy—it was jam-packed. When I realized that my birthday was this week, I was kind of blown away. Where did the last year go? Though it went quickly, it was awesome. I spent the last year becoming a better person and taking steps toward an awesome future. It truly was a great year.

As for 28? I'm ready for it. The number is just a number, but as for what I'm going to experience—that's what I'm excited for. I might not know what 28 has in store... but I'll embrace it as it comes. I made three wishes as I blew out my candle yesterday. One for the future, one that's kind of crazy, and one that's super random. But most of all, my goal is just to live every day. LIVE IT. Have fun, do it with a smile, and just be so grateful for each new day.

Oh—and as I do each year—I suppose I should share photos! This year's celebration was very low-key. Daniel and I threw a small joint birthday party for my mom's boyfriend and me the day before my birthday (which was his birthday). It was so nice! We just had a new patio poured at our home last week, so this was the first time we had people over to take advantage of the extra space. It was great! What a lovely time spent with our loved ones. We spent my actual birthday doing my favorite thing—date night! You just can't beat a chill, laid-back birthday.

Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
The party crew.
bright mini peppers
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Mister Gregory was so taken with Dobby. He couldn't believe she was real!
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
Aunie turns twenty-eight, birthday recap post
The best kind of mess!
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
A story about this book! It was my memory book from BMT that my mother-in-law made for me. She slaved all summer working on this, and it was the neatest and most precious gift!
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
BMT Memory Book, Basic Military Training Memory Book
While looking at this photo (of me running in the BMT 5K) Gregory proclaimed, "Whoa! You look like a man!" Yes, Gregory... yes, yes I did. You've gotta love the true honesty of a first grader.

28—let's see what you have in store. Anyone want to take a guess as to what this next year may hold for me? I'd love to look back and see who was right! Thanks so much for all the birthday love via Instagram & social media. You all are the best!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Messy Bun for Shoulder Length Hair

Messy Bun Tutorial for Shoulder Length Hair, Chic Messy Bun, Messy Bun for Short Hair

I recently posted a tutorial for a messy bun that is meant for longer hair but can be adapted for shorter hair. Within the video, I included written instructions for how to modify it for those with shorter hair styles. Sometimes seeing it written isn't quite as simple as seeing it being done, so today I'm showing you how I do the shorter-haired version.

This video is how I do my messy bun when it's anywhere from just below chin-length to just below my shoulders. Once it's long enough, I add back in the double bun featured in the other tutorial.

Basic Steps:
  1. Pull hair up into low, small bun
  2. Tug loose ends up and around ponytail holder, making the bun bigger and adding fun, messy spikes
  3. Twist & tuck shorter pieces that fall out of bun into hair tie
  4. Pull & tug crown to add volume
Is that a quick and easy messy bun or what? This is typically how I wear my hair to work during the week (because it's so fast and I get ready at the gym) and for a low-key style on the weekends. In fact, my hair is almost always up in one of these funky buns.

Style tip: This updo works best for me if my hair has some curl/wave/kink to it. Try curling your hair with this heat-free curling method or sleep in a French braid the night before—it makes a big difference and when you pull and tug to add volume, having either face-framing soft curls or waves really takes this style up a notch (as seen from a distance here—see the face-framing curls?)!

The little details: Eyes & Lips: Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes and Younique Lucrative Lip Gloss c/o my cousin & Younique Presenter Lindsay, Sterling Silver Wrap Ring: c/o The Vintage Pearl