FireIce Glassworks

So on one of my recent trips to Cannon Beach, Oregon, I stopped in at FireIce Glassworks. Oh my gosh you guys, what an experience. As some of you may know I grew up going to Cannon Beach about once a year. I believe that I had been in FireIce before but it has been years.

This past summer on the way back from visiting my grandpa for the last time before he passed away I stopped in Cannon Beach with my family to regroup and process all the emotions. This trip it became incredibly important to me to stop in.

Early in the trip I had a conversation with a dear friend about marriage. She is, I am not. I tend to romanticize marriage. Honestly one of the things I long for is to have a partner in life who is on my side at the end of the day. I know that there will be fights and times that I will not like the man… and times when he will not like me. I am not always sunshine and roses. (Shocking I know :))

How does that relate into glassblowing you might wonder. Well let me tell you when you get the chance to sit and watch glassblowing you see the love and passion poured out. You see that one wrong move can ruin a piece. You see that small corrections can make a big difference. You see that fire can create something you never expect.  

I had a blast sitting and watching (for over an hour) James Kingwell and his two partners, create a new piece. It ended up being a sort of platter or if you preferred a wall hanging. It was gorgeous. I could have sworn it was gonna be a vase but nope watching the edges flair out and flatten was a shock.   

The whole crew at FireIce Glassworks were very informative. They shared each step yet kept parts of the process a secret so that you would be surprised at the finished piece. It is well worth the time to sit and watch them work.

After watching, I spent the next 20 min or so debating about which piece I wanted to purchase.

It now sits proudly on my desk as a reminder that good things take time and often are tested by fire. Side note, the family went back later in the day and my parents ended up purchasing a vase.

The next day my parents and I snuck back in and purchased a piece to surprise my brother with. He had picked it out the day before and decided that timing was not right for him to purchase it. We were going to wait till Christmas to give it to him but could not wait. We got part way home,  pulled over and gave it to him. I think his too sits proudly on his desk!

So there you have it friends, when you go to Cannon Beach go and I mean go to FireIce Glassworks.

(I am not associated with FireIce Glassworks in any way. I just think they are worth a visit and I for one can’t wait to go back.)

Thanks for journeying through my memories of Cannon Beach with me this month!


Seaside Oregon

For me a trip to Cannon Beach is not complete with out a trip into Seaside. Mainly because Seaside has all these cute little touristy shops. I love strolling in and out of each store. Hoping to score some new treasure to add to my collection. Usually I walk way with no treasure except for the memories of walking around.

The Seaside Carousal Mall is always a fun stop. I love watching the carousal go round and round. Off to one side is a place where you can stamp coastal images into pennies. Such a silly little thing that brings me joy.

While there don’t miss the hat shop. So many different ones to try on. This last time I was there my favorite was the fish hat! Sadly I have not one photo of that but the memories will last a life time.

A cant miss is a walk down the promenade, over the bridge past the shops you will find a sweet little roundabout with a view of the ocean. As you stroll you can smell the sea breeze. It has such a calming affect on me. To feel the wind tugging at your hair as you take in the view is peaceful.

After a morning of window shopping and walking, nothing is better than stopping in at the Seaside Brewing Company. I love chowing down on their Jalapeno Burger. Since I avoid gluten, I have it with out the bun and oh yum. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. You should tell them I sent you. It wont help you at all though since they don’t know who I am 😉

I have been going through all my photos in an attempt to share just how lovely seaside is, only to find I am very lacking in the photo department here. So I hope that today you just enjoy these words!

Tell me some of your favorite spots in Seaside! If you have not been there where do you like to do some good touristy window shopping?


Haystack Rock

Haystack Rock is a childhood haunt of mine. I can picture it standing tall against the ocean. I can feel the waves crashing onto shore. They swallow my feet as I stand with my toes in the sand. I hear the cry of the seagull. I feel small against the vast ocean.

I love that feeling. So often I feel as though I am the center of the universe. I often want to be. It is great to be reminded of how that is not the case. How there is so much greater out in the world than me.

Clearly I love this photo as it was photo of the week recently. This is taken facing away from Haystack Rock.

I have been going to Cannon Beach, in Oregon ever since I can remember. It has become more and more popular. I always stay at Tolovona Inn (I am not in anyway associated with the Inn. I just love staying there.) I always hope for a top floor with an ocean view. Sometimes when I sit on the balcony I feel as though I have found a small slice of heaven.

View from my balcony. July 2016

You get a perfect view of Haystack Rock from Tolovana. It is a short walk from the hotel to Haystack. To catch that first sent of the salty sea oh my, waves of relaxation. Feeling the wind tease my hair, the sand between my toes is a lovely way to wind down and connect, to be.

When ever I am at the beach I always hear Zac Brown Band singing Toes in the water toes in the sand!

As I slowly approach Haystack rock I take a few snaps. I draw closer. It is delightful to play around the tide-pools at low tide. To see the sea anemone, barnacles, little crabs, jelly fish, and starfish. I get a thrill hunting for good photographs there. Sometimes it requires a bit of patience’s to get the shot that I want. It is great to slow down and capture moments.

Low tide (Photo taken in ’07)

Gone are my childhood days when you could climb part way up Haystack Rock and peer down into a tiny sheltered patch of sand that gets completely covered by high tide. My guess is if the tide got extremely low you could just walk out to it. In fact if you look at Google maps it does look as though you really could walk back there. In all my years of going I personally, have only seen that bit of earth by climbing.

Now though I don’t climb. There are signs and activists that come out at low tide, and signs saying not to climb, to help protect the ecosystem. (At this point in time it sounds as though the starfish really need the help. There is a virus sweeping the west coast killing all the star fish.) It is good they are there to educate. It is easy to get carried away in those moments of seeing nature up close.

And just like that I am transported.

Where are the places that captivate you, that get you carried away in the moment?



Packers Vs 49ers

In one of the highlights of my life a year ago on October 4th my dear friend Inna took me to the Packers game as a birthday present. Now let me back up a tiny bit. Inna and I met well working in a call center for an Airline. She is such a fun person to travel with and I hope that once I am gainfully employed, that she and I will be able to take trips here and there. (If you want to hear more, you can read a bit about our Paris adventure here)

The story starts mid August 2015, Inna and I had gotten together to have some coffee as one does 🙂 She tells me she needs my help with my birthday present. Cut to me totally baffled. I could not figure out why she would need my help. Then she tells me she is taking me to a Packer game. It needs to be in a location that the airline she works for flies to and preferably something on the west coast so we could do it as a day trip.

I was stunned. I have been a die hard Packer fan for about 20 years, yet never been to a game. So that night I went home and looked at the schedule, ok in reality I studied it. Poured over what game would I want to go to. Lambeau was out of the question as there
was no way we could fly in and out in a day. I figured that an afternoon game would be the best bet for us that way we could get back home the same day. So I shoot her a text telling

Photo courtesy of Inna

her that the game against SFO on October 4th looks to be the game for us. She said happy birthday!!

On September 29, she sent me this screen shot:

I was at work, at the front desk no less and had to go into the back office so I could jump up and down and squeal like a little kid! To this day looking at that text gives me thrills!

Then the day came!! We hopped on the early flight out. We had a very deep conversation on the plane. It was such a perfect day for flying above the clouds. I loved taking the photos over Portland. The water was perfect.

Columbia River

When we landed in SFO we had a few hours to kill. Inna had thought ahead, she always does, and rented a car. So off we went for a quick stop at the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a lovely day. Slight breeze and no fog. Perfect!

My excitement was mounting as we left the Bridge I knew I was hours away from watching

Golden Gate Bridge

my beloved Packers play. First up though we had about an hour drive and we had to eat. We grabbed a quick bite at In and Out Burger. She loves it and I enjoyed it as well. I was very thankful they had a gluten free option! After we ate we walked to Levi stadium. When it came back into view I started squealing. (I am squealing inside just thinking about it now!) What a thrill. So many fans. The air was electric.

We showed our tickets and walked in. We missed a chuck of the first quarter. Trust me as badly as I did not want to miss kickoff food was much more important. I was watching the jumbo tron as we walked to our seats. I remember turning to Inna several times through out the day telling her I could now die (glad I didn’t!). I was so happy. LOL.

We made it to our seats. So much yelling and screaming on my part. Inna bless her heart does not watch much football and from time to time asked me what was going on. I loved sharing the moment with her.

Some of my most vivid memories are: 1. thinking how I was in the same place at the same time as Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and Randell Cobb. I was tickled pink to be watching them live! 2. I remember watching the Pack score and jumping up and down throwing my hands up into the air and hitting the lady behind me. Oh boy did I feel bad but thankfully she was a Packer fan and I am pretty sure she was nearly as excited with them scoring as I was!! 3. It was roasting hot. I mean sweat through my jeans hot. I demolished 2 bottles of water while we were there. Every moment was beyond what I had dreamed!

Best part is we walked out of there with a WIN!!!

Happy Faces!!

Then back to the airport we raced. I nearly made a huge mistake. I accidentally left my purse in the car. I needed my id to get through security. Thankfully right before we got on the BART to head to the terminal I realized my purse was in the car. Crisis averted. We made the flight. We had hoped to make it to the non-stop back home but missed it so we took one up to Seattle.

We over-nighted in the airport. That was an interesting experience to say the least. It was kinda fun though. I was so tired I was able to catch a bit of a nap on a row of chairs. Inna was kind enough to capture my happy exhaustion (but you don’t get THAT picture 😛 ). She actually documented much of my joy. Definitely a birthday to remember!!

I now feel 1 stadium down 31 to go! Where are your favorite stadiums and what are your memories to go along with them?

Wanderlist Overseas Destinations



  1. Philippines- Chocolate Hills and of course the beach
  2. New Zealand- Huge Lord of the Rings fan. I really want to go to Hobbiton. Looks like a beautiful country and I would love to photograph it
  3. Israel- many different sights but I really want to see the Dead Sea
  4. Croatia to see the Sea Organ. I mean my word what a creative way to make music!
  5. Tasmania my friend Rebecca @Studiodebrey on Instagram has the most amazing photos there!
  6. Iceland oh to explore the rugged and vast countryside. I have had several friends go and everytime I see photos I melt. Such a stunning landscape. I must go during the northern lights season. #Dream
  7. London England (my 6-hour layover sleeping and drooling in the airport does not count.) I want to walk the Tower Bridge and attempt to conquer my fear of hights by riding in the Eye of London
  8. Australia The Ten Apostles look incredible. Plus, it would be fun to see the opera house
  9. China- I would love to see the Great Wall I know I know kinda a duh thing to see. I would also really like to go to Marias Big House of Hope to love on some kiddos.
  10. This is kind of a cheat I really need to go back to Italy. Yes, I have been twice but I need to go see Cinque Terre in real life. The photos look exquisite. I still can’t believe I missed going there twice.
  • Bonus country
  • Scotland I mainly want to go to Scotland because it seems that much of my family history resides here. I have not done much research into it but I have heard from my folks and my Uncle that this is the case. In away it is looking to see where I have come from.

Now for the fun part Lovelies what is your top 10 list of overseas destinations you want to visit?

Excerpt of Your Invitation to Paris

FYI: The title of my book is how my blog got its name! You can get your full copy of Your Invitation to Paris here

Paris view

And then suddenly we were back at the Eiffel Tower! It was time to ascend and see the city of Paris. I could not contain my excitement. I walked up to the tower, then underneath it and looked up! So cool! Inna and I looked at each of the four corners of the tower, to figure out how to get to the top.

Looking down into the park from the Eiffel Tower

The first leg would take us up to the restaurant. Since Paris was the first stop of this two-country trip, I was too cheap to go up and eat there. Maybe next time. Two of the other three corners seemed to be a bit more expensive than the third, and being the blonde that I am, I could not figure out why… that is until I actually paid for my ticket up. You guessed it: the side I had chosen to take was the stairs. Thankfully, Inna was game, and up the stairs we went. All 668 of them. Man! I glad I had taken the bus all day. 🙂

Paris in the Fall

The climb was worth it. It was beautiful. While I was up on the Tower dusk began to fall and the city began to light up. For the first time that trip I began to think how it would be so romantic if I was here with a guy. Oh well. It was still delightful!


We stayed up there until it had gotten dark and the Tower was lit up against the night sky. I knew I had to see it from the ground, so we found the stairs. Now here is something I had not thought of: I am not a huge fan of heights. I can handle them ok when I am not watching my feet descend. This story might not have been as dramatic for me if we had descended the stairs while it was still light, but it was totally dark now except for the webbed metal Tower I was standing on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you Inna (click the link for her awesome Instagram shots) or this shot of me!

Then suddenly, there were sparkling and twinkling lights flashing. I froze on the stairs, freaking out. I called to Inna and said, “You have to slow down!” I was terrified I was going to fall, silly as that may have been. There was no way that my foot or body could have slipped between those stairs, but the mind plays tricks. Bless Inna’s heart, she slowed way down and kept encouraging me until we hit the ground. I wanted to kiss it, but refrained.