Everyday Mindfulness


With the holidays around the corner eveyone’s schedule seems to have gotten even more hectic. You know that you’re more productive and happy when you make time to clear your head, but how do you work that into your everyday grind?

These articles have helped me remain focused in the present moment, which leads to less stress and enjoying every minute of my day.

Five Mindfulness Trainings

By: Thich Nhat Hanh

“The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.”

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Three Simple Mindfulness Practices You Can Use Every Day

By: Mirabi Bush

“Every minute of our lives serves up something new and gives us an opportunity to learn. But when it comes to the usual ways of learning—reading, writing, and listening to others—we often lose the freshness of direct experience and instead just shovel information into our brains. Mirabai Bush suggests how to learn more deeply and with more enjoyment.”

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The Real Practice of Mindfulness

By: Andrew Olendzki
“As mindfulness becomes an increasingly popular concept, it is often mistaken for just “being in the moment.” Andrew Olendzki examines the Abhidharma teachings to uncover what mindfulness practice really is and how it works.”

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5 Ways to Get Mindfulness into your Everyday Life

By: Headspace.com

“Mindfulness starts to get really interesting when we can learn to integrate it into everyday life. Remember, mindfulness means to be present, in the moment. And if you can do it sitting on a chair, then why not do it while out shopping, drinking a cup of tea, eating your food, holding your baby, working at the computer or having a chat with a friend? All of these are opportunities to apply mindfulness, to be aware.”

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Flight School & You

Many companies are putting together a list of reasons why you should choose their flight school, but what is the best for you? When working towards my private pilot license I went to my local airport and really enjoyed the experience. Once I decided I was serious about becoming an airline pilot I took the plunge and joined the intense fast track at ATP. These are extremely different experiences and I can definitely help you with yours. Choosing the right flight school can save you time and money, so let’s get started.

Let’s Get Personal

Firstly, why do you want to fly? Airline captain, flight instruct on the weekends, take the family to great camping spots, or even circumnavigate the world by yourself. However outrageous the goal make sure it’s really clear and focused. Now you need to see what else is needed for your particular goal. An airline captain needs a college degree, so you may want to look at colleges that way you receive your ratings and degree at the same time. Whereas flight instructors have to be patient, courteous, and organized.

Learning to fly can be financially fruitful once you have your ratings, but getting there can leave a sore spot in the wallet. Understanding what you can afford financially can allow you to set up a timescale for reaching your goals. Some schools even require a full time commitment. If you’re unable to set aside that amount of time you can reduce your list to school’s that have flexible scheduling. I have also done a blog entry about financing your flight dreams, hopefully it can help make a decision.

What is your self-discipline like? Part 141 schools usually have rigid schedules and want to see improvements pretty quickly. This will allow you to succeed more quickly but some people are wanting to enjoy the journey. So make sure you ask for a school’s curriculum and see if it meshes with you mentally and physically.

Time to do Some Research

Before deciding to make the jump to ATP I called their customer support department about 10 times. Going into a program prepared is what helps you mentally. The more organized you are the better you can set up for success.

Here are some common questions you can ask;

What is your instructor to student ratio? You want to ensure your instructor has time for you and isn’t fatigued.

What aircrafts or simulators do you have? Do they have a multi-engine, or will you have to change schools to get that rating? I have spent countless hours in the simulator solidifying muscle memory and processes for my next flight, it’s really beneficial.

Are you a Part 61 or 141 school? Part 61 can be more flexible then a Part 141. The main difference is that you can apply for your Private Pilot Certificate at 35 hours at a Part 141, rather than the 40 hours for Part 61. The national average is 60 flight hours before a student will take their exam.

Is there a maintenance facility on site? Training aircrafts have multiple maintenance inspections that have to be completed. At my first school they had to fly the planes to a maintenance facility. Two weeks could go by without a flight. Whereas ATP has maintenance on site. This is also helpful because I have asked our flight mechanic so many questions, they’re a great resource for learning.

How do they schedule flights? Electronically? How far ahead of time? Personally, I’ve only seen flight schools use electronic scheduling but, I have heard of some instructors who like to be scheduled with directly. Being able to schedule in advance allows you to know how much study time you have. This is important because you need to review and study so you move forward in your next flight.

What do they charge per hour? You can start a budget. You want to ease as much stress as possible and not worrying about finances is a huge stress reliever.

Do they have planned ground school dates? I do much better learning as part of a group. Once again, knowing dates for the future allows you to plan better.

What are the start dates for new students? When are you wanting to start? Aviation colleges will usually go with the school year, some national schools don’t have openings straight away, and most local flight schools are always accepting new students.

Do they offer any flight instructor jobs at the end of the program or have connections with airlines for recruitment? If your goal is to become an airline captain there are schools that have agreements with airlines. This helps reduce the amount work you have to do networking.

Location, location, loation

I live in Washington and when winter appears it’s hard to find a day where you can fly according to FAA rules and a school’s particular regulations. So if you’re wanting to get your ratings as soon as possible then choosing a place with more sunny days weather will be a better option for you. Moving to a whole new place can be a stressful decision in itself so make sure you research the area for local acitivites. You will need to have some fun to even out the study time. If you’re like me and enjoy having a support system make sure that you’re able to make contact when you need an extra push to succeed.

Meet and Greet

Once you have created a small list, go to a few schools and check them out. Talk with the instructors and see how you connect with them. Just because they have a great success rate doesn’t mean they’re right for you, go with your intuition. Talk with the students and ask them why they like learning to fly at that particular school. See what facilities they have; study areas, desks, whiteboards, and books. Check out their maintenance books to ensure they’re running a safe operation. Also, see if there are any flight clubs at that airport you can join. It’s a great way to get cheap flights and enhance your learning of aviation. Where is the location of the airport? What airspace is it in? How well maintained are their aircrafts, runway, and area around the runway?

Go for it!

One last bit of advice I have is that once you make a decision don’t look back. You’ve done the research so be decisive. Aviation is a great community and no matter what you decide it will always be positive.

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Funding your Aviation Dream

If you have done any research into becoming a pilot then you will already have been shocked by the hefty price that training costs. I was definitely one of those people and it stopped me from going full force with my dream. I worked at an airline in their cargo department and spent most of my week sat down in a small office, no windows, staring at two computer screens, and constantly hearing people complain. I was MISERABLE. Even though I knew how unhappy I was, I deliberated for about 4 months as to which was the best way for me to become a full time pilot. Now some people may say that 4 months isn’t that long but when you’re living a life that goes against your inner grain even 4 days is too long.

So even though pilot training costs are steep, the risk of debt was worth it to me. Even though I’m currently an unemployed, full time student with $60,000 of debt I’m happy. This was my route but there are other ways to become a pilot. Here are some other points for you to consider when making your decisions;

  • Remain at work full time or reduce hours to a part time job, if you study and remain disciplined you can complete all your ratings.
  • Work contract jobs; I work a few hours doing catering jobs, there’s no obligation and it helps pay for bills
  • Look for schlorships; I actually help an organization screen applicants for aviation schorships and I was shocked with the small amount of people who applied. Apply for everything and make sure you read the instructions, so many people are declined because they didn’t follow the right steps.
  • Ask relatives for support; I moved back in with my parents in order to reduce stress of paying rent and other overheads that come with living by yourself. Ask and you shall receive.
  • For any holidays or time of year you might receive presents ask for that person give you money towards a flight. You’d be surprised how willing people are to give you more money when they know it’s going towards something worthwhile.
  • Plane wash; Ask a local flight school or create an event with a few other students where you wash someone’s airplane. Charities usually charge $100 per aircraft for this, this is a great return for one days work.
  • If you’re applying for a full time college look to see if you are offered financial aid in the form of grants.
  • If you already have your private pilot’s license you can apply to be apart of the Civil Air Patrol; This is a voluntary role but you will receive free flight hours in return. It’s also a great networking opportunity.
  • Work hard and live frugal; This is a long term objective but I have seen people work and save their money, enough that it pays for their training. You can even start your training in your free time.
  • Buy used FAA textbooks or even borrow them from friends and start training for ground school.
  • Loans; Of course the daunting loan option if always there as a back-up.

These are a few ways to either fund your journey or maybe choose a few options to supplement the majority of the amount needed.

Remember that this is your dream, don’t let finances be an obstacle that you never overcome.

“If you want to look for obstacles, what’s wrong is always available. But so is what’s right!”
― Anthony Robbins, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Categories Fly

Valentine’s Day in Seattle 2015

Valentine's Ideas

So for all of you people who’ve been trying to discuss your Valentine’s plans with me here is a list compiled for you.

Underground Tour – Wine and Bourbon Tasting Event

Underground Tour Seattle

Northwest Symphony Orchestra – Valentine’s Concert full of love stories greatest music 

Explore Local Art – Ballard Art Walk & Central District Art Walk

The Triple Door – J’Adore Burlesque Show

Green Lake Park – Love ’em or Leave ’em Valentine’s Day Dash

My personal favorite – Cupid’s Undie Run

Dinner & Movie – Jason Aldous is hosting a pop-up restaurant & 50 Shades of Grey duh!

Tacoma Comedy Club – Comedy Benefit for the Autism Society of Washington

Seductive – Valentine’s Day Cooking Class & Dinner at Pike Place Market

Or, if you want to get creative….

Note Wrapped Flowers

Flowers and Notes

12 Months of Pre-Planned Dates

Valentine's Day Idea

A Cuddle Kit (can be personalized)

Valentine's Cuddle Kit

Love is Art Kit

Love is Art

Sexy Jenga

Sexy Jenga

Slutty Brownie Sundae – my favorite desert

The Londoner Slutty Brownie Sundae



Test Drive; Cadillac 2015 ATS Coupe 2.0T AWD

General Motors was kind enough to let me test drive their 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe for the past week. I’m definitely a mountain and outdoor girl so my Infiniti QX4 is perfect for throwing in anything and everything I could possibly need. So when they gave me an option of what car I would like my first thought, “Let’s go for speed!”

Cadillac 2015 ATS Coupe 2.0T

My current car is rather limited in the technology department and the ATS Coupe was just the opposite with an overwhelming amount of gadgets and buttons. After a week of driving this beauty, things I never thought I needed had now become necessities. The handsfree calling, built in Sat Nav, heated seats and steering wheel, HUD system, camera for when reversing, and CUE (Cadillac User Experience).They made my drive easier and more enjoyable. The seats were so comfortable they even helped my grandmother fall asleep within 10 minutes of a shopping trip. The snoring definitely ruined the ambience though. Thankfully the high-tec speakers were more that capable of drowning it out. Thank you Bose!

Cadillac car technology

I was impressed with how smooth it drives and it’s a really smart car. It alerts you when you’re getting too close to someone at a certain speed with a front panel alert system. Also, there’s vibrating seats which come to life when you’re getting too close to a barrier whilst reversing. When it first happened I was not expecting it and it stopped me in my tracks. Effective, no?

Test Drive Cadillac

Now this car is sleek and turned a lot heads, which was of course an ego booster. All of that aside the feature that I treasured the most were the brakes. I know how can I be focusing on something so basic when I’m driving such an incredible vehicle from a highly respected brand like Cadillac. But, in comparison to cars I’ve driven the Brembo four-wheel disc with ABS are in a league of their own. This coupled with the OnStar I felt incredibly safe and for me that’s massive plus.

Cadillac Brembo brakes

Cadillac OnStar Services

It was quite the talking point when I parked into my flight school and it drove like a pro on the dirt track.

General Motors Cadillac at Flight School

Yet, when wanting to explore the mud and mountains I was limited with space and utility of the vehicle. Not to mention I definitely didn’t want to get the pretty thing dirty. This made the car impractical for my lifestyle.

Sports Car Seattle

Perfect for a city lifestyle and with hard to find parking in Seattle I did enjoy the ease of a coupe. A great car for those needing a sports car and a great price point.

Thank you General Motors for such an amazing ride!

STG Presents; Dirty Dancing at the Paramount

Work has been so unbelievable busy lately and even though I text my friends pretty much daily it’s not the same as chatting over cocktails or drinking wine at a slumber party (Yes I know alcohol is the basis of all my gatherings).

Dirty Dancing Seattle

So the girls and I heard that Dirty Dancing was hitting Seattle and we were sold! Personally, I’m a huge fan of dancing. A little cha cha can go a long way if you’re having a bad day.

Seattle Paramount Theatre

We hit Blue Acre first for some delicious seafood and then took to the pavement ready to get our swagger on. Out of the group, I’m the only one who has had the pleasure of going to the Paramount Theatre before. It’s so beautiful on the inside with all the chandeliers and ceiling mouldings. Another plus is the staff, they’re always accommodating and pleasant.

Paramount Theatre Seattle

We arrived right when the lights were dimming so we quickly scurried to our seats for the first scene, an introduction to the summer of 1963 and ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ filling the theatre. We weren’t allowed to take photos or video but that’s perfectly fine because I was way too busy swooning over the Patrick Swayze look-a-like and his gyrating hips. I haven’t heard so many ladies hoot and holler since I saw Magic Mike at the movies. Honestly, these ladies were in the mood for some steamy high school slow dancing action!

Seattle Girls heading to Broadway

The actors were great and I was in awe of the singing abilities of the whole cast. Seriously amazing! It was a great cheerful atmosphere and definitely what was needed after a long hard week.

Dirty Dancing in Seattle We ended the evening at Olive 8, which is the bar within the Hyatt Hotel. Everyone ordered a glass of bubbly and we cheered to our refreshing evening of no stress. After having conversations about our grown up lives the low of the evening started to settle in around 10. I know an inconceivably late hour but with the next work week looming closer we all wanted a good nights sleep ASAP!

Olive 8 Seattle

So until the next outing I say goodnight!

Superbowl 49 Reflection

Like most of you living in Seattle I was damn sure that the Seahawks were going to bring home another trophy. But, alas, they were defeated by the Patriots.

Seahawks Superbowl Game

I watched the game with a group of amazing people at Sport Restaurant and Bar next to the Space Needle. There were highs and lows throughout the entire game, not to mention the sporadic showering of Skittles. Even though the Seahawks didn’t win they performed incredibly well and demonstrated great sportsmanship. From Pete’s comments and the players shaking the hands of the competitors, the Seahawks proved they were a team with class. They are true role models!

Sherman shakes Brady's Hand

Even with the poor play that ultimately lost the Hawks their game, as I walked down 1st Avenue I could still hear everyone chanting SEAHAWKS! They had played well throughout the whole season and the 12th Man are still in awe of them.

As I reflect on the past year that I’ve been in Seattle I’ve loved the community that I’ve become involved in. The Seahawks are definitely part of that experience and I couldn’t be more proud of them!

12th Man Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks!

Unless you’ve been out of the country then you must of heard the news that the Seahawks are going to the Superbowl for the second time in a row! Seattle is buzzing with excitement and I’m so happy to be living within it.

To celebrate this monstrous occasion I’ve decided to blog about how Seattle businesses are getting involved.

Firstly, and probably the best, KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn is offering a free bag of their #BeastCorn if you go into any of their Seattle stores dressed in your Seahawks gear. This stuff is delicious and the promo is only on today and next Friday so grab some before it all disappears.

Beast Corn from KuKuRuZa

Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL so of course they’re making some noise with their 50% off total pizza purchase! That’s insane!

Papa John's Seahawks Promotion

There has also been a huge increase in charitable donations as a result of the Seahawks winning. One the best ones I’ve seen is with Russell Investments. Every time Russell Wilson runs or passes the ball in for a touchdown this great company will donate $3000 to charity. Awesome!

Russell Investments Seahawks Charity

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the Superbowl game in Arizona then check out PrimeSport who are offering VIP and exclusive packages for Seahawk fans. If you’re going to go big then this company can make it the best experience for you.

Prime Sport and Seahawks Packages

Of course Starbucks is getting involved! If you visit a selected Starbucks you can have exclusive content including photo and video messages sent directly to your phone from the Seahawks Mobile App which they call the ‘Legion of Brew’. Throughout the past two years Starbucks and Seattle coffee lovers have raised $100,000 for the ‘A Better Seattle’ initiative. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Starbuck Legion of Brew

Come on Seahawks bring home another trophy so Seattle can beat last year’s 700,000 attendees to last year’s street party!

Seattle Rocks the Runway

I was kindly invited to the fall runway show in Seattle at the Paramount Theatre. Upon arriving to the venue you can really see why it was chosen. The mouldings around the ceiling and vast ceilings was the perfect environment for a fashion show.

After sipping on some red wine and mingling we were called to our seats and Seattle Rocks the Runway began.

Rather than one designer showing off their collection we were treated to a collaboration of stores coming together to show off their new clothes for the fall season. The stores that joined us for the evening were; Nordstrom, Columbia Sportswear, Butch Blum, Eileen Fisher, Sandylew, Oska, Finerie+CoLab, Club Monaco, True Religion, and Suit Supply. My favorite runway looks was the men’s suits. I love a man in some tweed. I’m familiar with most of the brands but was pleased to be introduced to some new ones that I fell in love with.

I wore a DVF dress and decided to take on the trend of wearing my blazer as a cape. Perfect for those nights that are a little chilly.

I made quite a few friends, one is a great blogger called AikA and you can follow here blog here. We had a lot of fun talking about upcoming trends and reading through the great Seattle Met Magazine.

Enjoy the photos!

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Boeing’s Museum of Flight

For my 24th birthday I decided to have a low key day with the family at one of my favorite places, the Museum of Flight. The Boeing plant in Seattle and Everett are just amazing and definitely one of the places that inspired me to start flying.

Museum of Flight Boeing

If you plan on visiting the area clear your whole schedule cause there’s a LOT to do. There’s planes and prototypes from when flight was first imagined, a Boeing 747, and you can even tour the Air Force One during Eisenhower’s presidency. There’s simulators, #-D cinema, and tours.

Museum of Flight planesAmor Without Couture BirthdayMuseum of Flight airplanes

Boeing field is also a public airport so at their cafe you can sit outside and watch planes, jets, and Cessnas take-off and land. The whole family enjoyed it, especially my grandfather who is a fanatic.

Boeing field Boeing field planes

There’s also quite a few events going on at this place so make sure you check out their website to see when you want to go.

The museum is located just outside of Seattle so you don’t really have to worry about traffic either and theres tons of parking.

The ‘Big Stud’ airplane was quite a favorite among the men in my family.

Dad Boeing fieldGrandpa Museum of Flight