2018 resolutions

As I think about my resolutions or goals for this year, the usuals come to mind: exercise more, eat healthier, sleep more.  Then I  popped over to Pinterest and searched “2018 resolutions.” Lots of content and this one really struck me:

2018 resolutions

Here are my thoughts. Once I publish this post, they will become commitments to myself for 2018. 

Sleep more. I definitely want to adjust my bedtime from 11/11:30 p.m. down, closer to 10/10:30 p.m. Do I really need to be awake that extra hour? The Daily Show is already being recorded. I don’t need to watch it live.

Self care. My friend Anna posted about self care on her FB recently. Physically I’m big on pedicures, but I usually scrimp on lotions, potions, and other tools to keep me looking and feeling my best. I finally found a stylist in Buffalo, so my hair is looking good again. I will continue to drink lots of water, and I hope to incorporate more activity (exercise, movement in general) in my everyday life in 2018. I also hope to read more. I just finished Origin by Dan Brown and highly recommend it. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in basically three days of travel. What books should I pick up next?

Explore more. My new job gives me the opportunity to meet lots of new people in our new city, and find all sorts of cool shops and neighborhoods. I hope to continue this local exploration, but also explore up and down the east coast this year. Toronto and Montreal are also on our list. With the sub-freezing temps and constant snow flurries, we’ve been hibernating and need to get our list ready for the spring and beyond.

I think that’s it for me. No wacky food resolutions. No crazy crafts. Just me focusing on me. What do you have planned for 2018?



2017 year in review

What a year it’s been!

As 2017 began, we had no idea where the year would take us. Brandon continued interviewing, traveling to New Orleans, Phoenix, Reno, and Buffalo. After accepting a position with the University at Buffalo in March, we were able to start our Seattle Bucket List and get everything in order to move across the country and remodel and rent our Seattle home.

While we were waiting for Brandon’s offer, we explored the west coast. Michael continued his love of travel with a visit to Santa Barbara to celebrate his Great Grandpa Joe’s 95th birthday and meet some of his extended Szerwo relatives. We also put our passport to good use and traveled to Bliss Landing on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, one of Brandon’s favorite places. In May, we marked Mt Rainier National Park off of our bucket list for a fun Mother’s Day trip with my parents.

Bliss Landing, British Columbia

Michael’s first sandy beach: Santa Barbara, CA

Junior Ranger: Michael!

2017 was also the year that we found out that Michael had allergies: both food and pet. We were able to figure out his food sensitivities and can avoid his main allergen (soy) pretty well. Unfortunately, his cat and dog allergy meant that the cats wouldn’t make the trip to Buffalo with us and we found a great home for them. Their new Cat Mom is wonderful and she continues to send at-least-weekly updates, which I love. Everyone is happier with the new arrangement but me.

I love these cats!!

We experienced more of the wrapping up of our life in Seattle, with Megan leaving the City of Seattle at the end of May and Brandon graduating from UW in June.

Professor Szerwo.

After saying good bye to our family and friends, a quick jaunt to Idaho to visit Brandon’s parents, and setting the remodel of our Seattle home in motion, we were off!

Our epic road trip took us through 14 states, traveling more than 3300 miles in 11 days. Epic road-tripping with a 1.75-year-old you say? It’s totally doable. We definitely had our ups and downs, but we had so much fun that we would actually do it again! We visited national parks (Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Badlands, and Wind Cave), national monuments (Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, and Devil’s Tower), other national things (Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site), and even a couple of can’t-miss roadside attractions (the Crazy Horse monument, Corn Palace, and Wall Drug in South Dakota, and a larger-than-life Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota).

Some days were better than others. Michael was only crying because we made him stop exploring the rocks at the base of Devil’s Tower.

We landed in Buffalo, toured the house we bought the next day, and got ready for our next big adventure!

Our new Buffalo home

Since relocating, we’ve kept our travel fairly local to Buffalo, including a trip to NYC in September to cheer on our beloved UW Huskies (and check off more national park service sites (Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island national monuments) and another new state for Michael (New Jersey)!).

Playing tourist in NYC

In October, I started as an Area Director with N2 Publishing. I’m currently ramping up a neighborhood newsletter in the Delaware Park neighborhood in Buffalo. I used to write for our N2 newsletter on Mercer Island and knew I wanted to work with them after we moved.

Michael took swim lessons and has discovered he’s a fish. (It only took 5 weeks of tearful lessons to discover!) We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary, and we enjoyed seeing Alton Brown as a part of UB’s Distinguished Speaker series.

Michael’s turned two in September and we celebrated with all of our new friends! We have developed some great friendships here already and had a wonderful backyard BBQ for Michael’s birthday, complete with a water table and giant homemade bubbles. (Until a certain two-year-old decided to touch the very hot grill…)

Michael’s 2nd birthday

We’ve had some wonderful house guests at our new home and have the tourist routine down pretty well. We’re accepting visitors and would love to show you around our new town. Our favorites include: Niagara Falls, Niagara on the Lake (a quaint Carmel-by-the-Sea-esque town in Canada on the shores of Lake Ontario), downtown Buffalo, the Darwin Martin House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), and authentic Buffalo eats: beef on weck, chicken wings, sponge candy, and loads of pizza, ice cream and doughnuts. (Those are the six Buffalo food groups, we think.)

For Halloween, Michael dressed up as a Buffalo Zoo zookeeper and tried residential trick-or-treating for the first time. He made it to about 12 houses in 45 minutes, and continues to enjoy the sweets he received.

Zookeeper Michael

We trekked back to Seattle for Thanksgiving, celebrating the holiday, another Husky Apple Cup victory, and our new niece/cousin Isabella Mamiya! She and Michael were fast friends.

A visit to the market!

We’re wrapping up the year in Buffalo, and enjoying a white Christmas for the first time in a very long time.

2018 is going to be a great year with the launch of my monthly neighborhood newsletter, Brandon’s continued research and first Intro to Managerial Accounting class (550 students!) and lots of new east coast adventures!

University at Buffalo!

Want to clean faster and easier? Join me at my Norwex party!

Please stay seated. And pour yourself a beverage. This party is exactly where you are. No need to go anywhere!

The party will get underway tomorrow (Sept. 5) at 9 a.m. and will continue through Monday, Sept. 11 at 10 p.m. EST. Please feel free to shop here. If you want to join the Facebook party, let me know and I’ll invite you!

Norwex’s mission is to “improve quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes.” You’re on board with that, right?

My latest purchase!: the Household Package

I heard about Norwex products when someone recommended them for cleaning the crayon our of our white carpet. (Thanks, Michael.) Shortly after that, I was invited to a party and just this weekend I received my “household package” (EnviroCloth, Window Cloth, and Dusting Mitt for $52.99 + shipping). I only just remembered I was supposed to use it on the carpet. Trying that now…

I was nervous to trade in my Clorox wipe for my EnviroCloth this evening while prepping dinner (try this recipe, it’s amazing) but that’s why I got them and I will start tomorrow! (I also watched more videos to make sure I know what I’m doing…)

About Norwex microfibers, from Norwex:

  • Removes up to 99% of bacteria from a surface when following proper use and care
  • Contains BacLock® an antibacterial agent for self-cleansing purposes only
  • Helps eliminate the need for paper towels and chemical laden cleaners
  • Significantly reduces the use of costly cleaning products
  • Ultra-thick and absorbent to pick-up and hold more dust, dirt and debris than other cleaning cloths
  • Holds several times its weight in water
  • Made of more than 10 million feet of microfiber for more effective cleaning power

How does Norwex try to accomplish this? Watch to learn more!

View the 2017 catalog here.

And happy shopping. I have my eye on one of their mops!!

Let me know if you have any questions!


Hello, Buffalo!

Hello, Buffalo!

After traveling more than 3,300 miles through 14 states in 11 days, we arrived in Buffalo, NY a week ago Thursday! We finally have internet and once we get a bit settled in, I plan on sharing our epic road trip here.

Until then, I have lots of questions for the Buffalonians and Western New York aficionados:

What is recommendation for best…

  • Fancy dinner out?
  • Take out?
  • Delivery?
  • Deli?
  • Pizzeria: for dining in? for delivery?
  • Park/playground (for a 2 year old)?
  • Favorite tourist trap
  • Gym/fitness studio? Do you have a barre studio here?
  • Summer activity/festival?
  • Fall activity/festival?
  • Winter activity/festival?
  • Spring activity/festival?
  • Winery to taste at?
  • Wine seller? (Why can’t you just buy wine at the grocery store?! WHY!?)
  • Salon? Hair? Nail?
  • Dentist? Pediatric dentist?
  • Doctor? Pediatrician?

We’re living in Amherst, near the Millard Fillmore Suburban, so extra points for answers around where we live!

Thank you in advance!

We’re here!



Megan’s Island: shuffling off to Buffalo, NY!

Buffalo, NY!

It’s official! We’re trading in the grey drizzle of the Seattle area for upstate New York!

Brandon signed the official paperwork this week and come next fall, he’ll be teaching accounting, Michael will be making new friends at a new daycare, and I’ll be spending a lot more time here, on this blog. And on my small business. And working on my real estate license. And, finally, working on even more ideas I have up my sleeve! You’ll just have to keep tuning in to find out!

Since I’ve never left the Seattle-area for more than a couple of weeks at a time, I need your help.

Tell me everything you know about the Buffalo area: favorite restaurants, favorite wineries, favorite spot to see the fall colors, favorite great lake, favorite parks and snow boots, you get my drift. Snow drift. Get it? (For those not in the know, it averages 94″ of snow each year there. That’s nearly EIGHT FEET of snow.)

Tell me all of your tips for moving to a new town. Should I find my new favorite stores and make friends there? Same story but at my new favorite restaurant, wine bar or winery? Should I volunteer?

I’m sad to be leaving my friends and family in Seattle, but nervous and excited about this new adventure. I’m definitely looking forward to spending a lot more time here, with you.

Now, we’re off to shuffle off to Buffalo!