[Passion Projects]

AB logo with handwritten subtitle

You know when you have something you reeeeeeeeally believe in and you can’t help but be super proud and supportive no matter what the situation? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to participate in the journey of American Bear. It’s an amazing documentary directed by two of my favorite people, Gregory Grano + Sarah Sellman.

I met Sarah in 2011 when she started working at Pastabilities with me. We hit it off immediately and became fast friends; all my college friends had moved out of Syracuse and Sarah was new to the area. She mentioned this documentary she filmed with her boyfriend. The premise, relying on the kindness of strangers for a place to stay each night during a road trip across the country, really intrigued me, and I instantly wanted to be involved, even if that meant donating services.

Over the last 3 years I’ve designed stickers, postcards, posters, maps, web graphics, ran their tumblr for a year and a half, and participated in kindness events. Greg and Sarah paid whatever they could, but I think I’ve gotten more from them than I could ever give back in design hours. I am now, and will forever be, consciously aware of how much of an impact tiny acts of kindness can have on people. I feel like I’ve become a better, kinder, less selfish person simply through knowing Greg and Sarah, and everything that their film preaches. I can’t imagine not having ever crossed paths with them.


ANYWAY…they need help. Greg and Sarah are planning a screening tour of their film that will hopefully make it around the country. It turns out it’s really challenging to make that logistical madness work! And though they are inspired by the amazing pieces that are already coming together, Greg and Sarah are finding that there some gaps in their journey.

They would love to partner with an organization, university or high school in your current town/home town/college town/dream town to create some kindness magic and critical thinking.

It would be absolutely amazing if you could you introduce them to someone who might want to screen the film. OR you could share this info with your network to help them expand theirs!


Here’s all the info you need to share American Bear’s words and acts of kindness with everyone you know:


facebookAmerican Bear


movie trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5yJtP4IFhU

info packethttp://www.mediafire.com/view/m114xq7y380suw6/American_Bear_Info_Packet.pdf_(beardocumentary@gmail.com)


Please please pleeeeeeeeeeease share this passion project with everyone you can. It will be 100% worth your time and effort.


– S


[Lavender Learning]


May was a busy month between getting back from vacation, band shows, birthdays, and work, so I was happy to get some quality time with my man Memorial Day weekend. He planned us this little road trip up to Sequim, WA to visit with his aunt and uncle, and see their lavender farm. Lavender is a huge deal in Sequim, they’re kind of known for it, but I’ll get to that a little later on.

We got up pretty early, and headed to the ferry. Miraculously, we were the last car on, and didn’t have to wait at all. The ride was fast apparently, I’d never been on this ferry before, I don’t think, and shortly after we exited the ferry terminal, we passed a gas station with weird, creepy trolls. A ways down the road, Peter had this mischevious grin on his face and said there was something he’d been wanting to take a picture in front of for awhile now. As soon as we got to it, I didn’t need him to tell me what it was.


Still a kid a heart…when it’s appropriate, of course. Which leads me to the next part of our journey, the Olympic Game Farm, where you feed the animals. This is basically a petting zoo on crack, except you can’t really pet the animals, unless you dare. We bought wheat bread, which is the food of choice, although some of the animals didn’t seem that fond of it, and started the driving tour. It was slow going at first until we got to the elk and buffalo areas. Those guys love wheat bread.




Aren’t they cute little nuggets? Well, maybe not little, and they did slobber all over Peter’s truck, so maybe they’re just nuggets.


From the game farm we headed not too far to Peter’s aunt and uncle’s house and farm. Some of the lavender had just begun blooming so the field had a hazy purple coloring to it. With the addition of the rain, it was actually kind of magical. We visited for a little while, and then headed out into the field to see some lavender up close and personal.


We left and grabbed a late lunch on our way out of town. When we got back to Seattle we took a nap with Doug, and simply enjoyed the rest of the day.


– S


[085] Portlandia


Ah, Portlandia. Where the dream of the 90s is still alive.

Seriously though, it’s nice, but I don’t think I like it as much as Seattle. It’s really just a smaller version of Seattle with weirder people; today I saw a girl who was wearing a tail. It was weird stuff…see for yourself.


Besides the extra weirdness Caroline and I left around 9:30 and made it to Portland around 1. We went to see her friend’s MFA show and then he took us up to see his studio space! After that, we went to lunch at Sweet Hereafter which actually only serves vegan food. I was a little hesitant, but I got the Steve Martin sandwich (jerk seasoned tofu, grilled pineapple, kale slaw, miso mayo on a chibata roll) and was amazed at how delicious it was.


After that, we ran a little errand (Caroline needed to get a gift for her best friend that’s getting married next week) and then we headed to Voodoo Donuts and just kept driving when we saw the length of the line. Another drive by happened at Voodoo Donut Too where the line was just as long…next time I guess. All in all I’d say it was a nice first trip to Portland. Caroline and I decided next time we should plan out more 🙂

As soon as I got home I washed, and then put a mask on my face, heated up the chocolate lava cake I received as payment for babysitting last night, and half took off my bra. You might be asking yourself, “How could she possibly only take her bra off half way?” And to that I would respond, “I unhooked the clasps but couldn’t get the straps off because of the shirt I was wearing and because I had that mask on my face I couldn’t get the shirt off. I pulled the cups out of my shirt, and it’s now hanging on the outside, with the straps still around my arms.” I’m not even sure if that paints a good enough picture of how weird Portland made me, but think ‘wearing a backpack in front’ status.


– Stephanie


[025] North Shore Part 2


We made it to North Shore today, but not without a bump or two…ish.

Our caravan, of one car, left just as my cousin, who is a year and a half old, was supposed to start his first of two naps, we were going to be in the car for more than a hour so everyone figured he’d sleep on the way there. That happened, but only for 5 minutes. We stopped at the Dole Plantation where I learned, just by looking at plants, that pineapples grow out of the ground! Who knew?! Ate some pineapple ice cream and we were off again. Passed a lot of beaches in the car, saw some waves, turned around and stopped at Turtle Bay Resort for some lunch. Just as we sat down outside it started to rain. Not that typical Hawaiian sun shower that mists and cools you down, but the type of rain that’s cold and not really all that pleasant to sit in. SO, we left to try and find one of the other restaurants in the resort, but got lost. The whole time this rain mishap was going on my cousin was screaming so much his little nugget face was turning red. Remember, he didn’t take his nap. Well, we left, and got back in the car so that he could take a nap, and so that we could see a little more of the coast. I may have taken a short nap, but when I woke up we were back by the beaches and getting ready to stop at one. My uncle and I got out of the car and just sat on the beach for a bit and watched the waves, surfers, and kite boarders. After that we got some lunch and shaved ice, and headed back. The second half of the trip, post nap, was very nice. On my next trip, I would definitely love to spend a whole day just beach hopping and hangin’ out.

– Stephanie

P.S. Here’s proof pineapples grow out of the ground.



[024] North Sho…Nevermind


So today we had plans-ish to drive to the North Shore. We left around 10:30, stopped at the post office to mail out some packages and postcards, and then we were on our way. There were a few scenic view areas where we took some photos, and then continued driving. The trip was cut short though, sadly before reaching the North Shore, when someone took a spill in the McDonald’s parking lot. We turned around and went back to the house. The day was not wasted though! I went to the beach with my cousin and his nanny and we threw sand into the water and soaked up some sun. I am definitely hoping that we make our way to the North Shore before the end of the trip, but if we don’t, then I’ll just have to come back!


– Stephanie