Thursday, February 18, 2016

Blue Thursday

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

So many thing on the list, so many things crossed off.  How I love those kinds of days.

Oh, and the forsythia are showing color! and the rogue narcissus are popping up on Montlake Boulevard.

Spring is definitely springing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Loyalty gets you something

Everyone is treated like a king! December 2015, Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris.

Last January, Hyatt ran a somewhat targeted promotion that would guarantee their top tier status if you completed a challenge - usually a certain number of nights or stays within a period of time.  TH had by chance booked nearly the number of nights/stays that would make her eligible for this promo. The promo had been leaked by a blogger and then posted on several message boards and like with anything - people started to take advantage of it or thought they could.

TH called and asked if she was eligible. The agent on the phone couldn't even find the challenge (more on that at a later date), she was finally transferred to someone who told her that the challenge was targeted at guests who stayed a lot, but not enough to make the highest tier status, so she was ineligible.


She ended up moving all the stays to the Kimpton chain.

I fumed for a while, we could have lived like Queens on all our stays at the Hyatt - all the suite upgrades, the lounge access, the plushy bathrobes, the extra points! The truth be told, I was a Hyatt Diamond for about eight years and it was lovely. But the hotels that we stay at the most within the Hyatt chain already treat us well, we don't need anything else and that is what matters the most to us.

Sometimes I grow weary of all the things we read on the internet, scams, bonuses, gaming the system successes and hacks and wonder if I'm a rube for not taking advantage of them or relieved that I don't care enough. I wonder how people have the gall to game the system or spend nights coming up with loopholes to let them get away with paying nothing and getting everything.

It is a whole industry and people are happy to add their experiences and knowledge, but I'm not sure I'm game for it.

I'm looking forward to staying at two of the properties that treat us well in the next week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Buying nothing, building community

Screw all this, we're getting things done.
It certainly doesn't happen here.

However, the buy nothing movement is something that I'm beginning to really dig.  I'm happy to part with the things I no longer need nor love (sorry, blue cashmere sweater with a stain I just couldn't get out).

I'm going through my belongings with a critical eye and trying to remember the last time I used something or even laid my hands on the object. There are things I'll never part with because of sentimental reasons. I'm not that ruthless.

My parents are starting to cull through their things - mostly things they have hauled from house to house - boxes of my artwork, toys, books they haven't opened and household goods.  My mom always tells me that the reason they do this now, is that they are saving us the pain of doing it later.

In the last week, I was able to share my Barbie furniture with some kids that just moved here from Finland.  My father's old computer chair went to someone whose husband was using a dining room chair for his computer. His spouse was delighted to get her chair back. I've been able to clean out my toiletries and some clothes I'm not likely to wear again. I've even been able to re-home some plants.

I haven't been on the receiving end of the movement - right now, I'm happy to give my stuff away and hope that it goes to a good home.  I'm amazed at what people ask and what people offer - not in a bad way, but the honesty, the humility and the graciousness of the community. Its not all about stuff- people ask for help - hanging shelves, moving things and people offer - extra soup they made, pies at the holidays. I was skeptical at first and now I'm loving it. It beats driving to the Goodwill station and watching my things get thrown in the back of a big truck.

Each Buy Nothing community is different - the guidelines are similar - nothing for sale, nothing should be illegal and you must live within the community boundaries to participate.  You can find your community through Facebook or through their website.

Monday, February 15, 2016

half assed

up in the air

My blogging feels half assed. My eating is much the same and apart from yesterday, my attempts at keeping up with a decent activity level also feels like I'm phoning it in.

I'm turning this ship around this week.

I feel a renewed vigor and I need do something (other than work and class work) to get some of this out of my system.

I had a great weekend doing a lot of nothing and something.  We left mid-day on Saturday to Orcas, where we ate good food and hung out with many dogs.  On Sunday morning, we took an inter island boat to Friday Harbor to see the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. I highly recommend it.

As with many islandy things, the ferry went out of service and we were left with two and a half hours to kill.  We drank a lot of tea and coffee and read a lot of books.  This delay was nothing like the one we experienced in Greenland where we ended up chartering a boat to get back to the mainland to catch our flight. For what it is worth, chartering a whale watching boat out of Friday Harbor is not a cheap proposition unless you have forty people.

It was a small exercise in patience and one I keep on reminding myself is part of life.

This week is super busy and short. I spent much of the weekend creating lists - what I need to do, what needs doing and how we're going to do it. I hope to get a lot of it completed by Wednesday.

What is on your list this week?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Day in the life

A photo posted by Nazila (@nazilam) on

Mine is pretty boring. I recommend you follow my instagram feed tomorrow to see how boring I really can be - with documentation and maybe a picture of Ernest thrown in.