Get Do Good for iPhone

Have an iPhone? Get DoGood. It's an incredibly simple (and free) application that lists a new activity to "do good" each day and shows you how many other people have done good. And once you do the good deed for the day, you can post your good deed story or read a few from other users. Yes, it's connected to Facebook and Twitter of course!

Regularly scheduled crafting - The Bright Quilt

I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as a bright and cheery person, but somehow this quilt really makes me happy and brings me to the verge of singing cheesy 70s TV theme songs.

I used a patchwork technique, which I've tried before, but made the quilt about twice as large and the squares much, much smaller - aka this quilt is the most challenging one I've made so far!

I completed the quilt just in time for little Karis Hope to be born! Happy Birthday Karis!

Best of travels: Versailles

Sure it's touristy, but if anywhere near Paris, I highly recommend stopping by Versailles. It's not as crowded as you might think. The opulent palace with sprawling manicured lawns make it easy to understand why the people started the French Revolution here by trying to burn it to the grand. But after you get over how over-the-top everything is, you can eat ice cream, row boats, ride bikes and pretend you are a member of the court. You can even see Marie-Antoinette's palace - she had her own of course. And yes it has pink marble.

Best of travels: Checking off my life list

I did it! I did it! When I was in high school, we had to write a life list or "bucket list" of things we wanted to do after graduation, but before we...died. I wish I still had a copy, but there are a few I distinctly remember. And I checked one off while in Barcelona: I swam in the Mediterranean Sea! And I swam in the Mediterranean Sea when no one else was going in the water (I guess 72 degrees isn't hot enough for most people to go swimming - just sunbathe naked). Everyone was staring at the crazy tourist, but I didn't care!

The water felt cool and clean and everything was sparkling. I really felt on vacation riding our bikes along the boardwalk to find the perfect spot on the beach. We laid out our 1Euro beach mat and ate ice cream, watched sailboats and just let the breeze flow around us with the sound of the waves in the background and Cotton Jones on the iPod. Ahhhhhh....

Best of travels: Flamenco

I have seen Flamenco in Seattle before and it was beautiful. But I have never seen Flamenco like I have in Seville. The power of the musicians, singers and dancers was exploding right in front of me. And even though they sell cheesy, polka-dot fake Flamenco-dancing dresses all over Spain, I did not see anything close to that on stage. It was art. A daring, passionate expression of emotions.

Best of travels: Jardin Majorelle

Marrakech is known for it's secrets. Walk through any door and you never know what you will find. Is it yet another vendor, an undiscovered restaurant, art gallery or maybe, just maybe the entrance to a garden that seems impossible to survive in the dry, desert heat like the Jardin Majorelle.

It's not exactly a secret, but beautiful just the same. It was designed by artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s and definitely has an art deco vibe. Yves Saint-Laurent even lived here in the 80s. Now it's open to the public and it's a perfect way to relax under the palm and banana trees and contemplate life with a baby turtle.

Best of travels: Moroccan Orange Juice

How can I write about the orange juice in Morocco? The moment the sweet nectar hits your lips, all words vanish from your mind as you close your eyes and mutter a nearly-inaudible "mmmmmm." It's very zen. The juice itself is thick like syrup without being too pulpy. It has a vibrant, sweet flavor that I don't know why I'm still trying to describe - just go there and try it!

Every morning, vendors fill the Djemaa el-Fna (the main square in Marrakech) selling spices, fruit and bootleg CDs...among other things. The Djemma changes throughout the day and night (with snake charmers and amazing food booths when the sun goes down), but early morning is the time for fresh squeezed orange juice - the best in the world.