good ol' all hallow's eve

I've always loved Halloween, and even as an "adult" it's still a great excuse to eat a lot of sugar and dress up.  I tried to go to approximately one Halloween house party in my college time. I hated it. I'm not much of a party person, unless I get to host it OR it's Christmastime.  I will suffer drunk people if Christmas cheer is involved.

I digress.  Halloween 2015 was a good sweet spot in terms of fun.  The night before, I made cupcakes and shared them with some friends at a game night. I spent most of my Halloween at work in my bat skirt and black & orange jewelry (thanks Grandma!). Halloween music filled the air, which I was pleased about. It rained BUCKETS. Seriously.  Flooding was a thing. I ate a lot of candy, too.

When I got home, I started the Sadness-ing process. I put on my big pale blue cashmere turtleneck (um, yes, I used this as an opportunity to buy something nice from work to wear again in the future!) and blue pants.  I put on my blue wig. I put on my awesome new blue lipstick (the last time I bought lipstick was last Halloween for my Lorde costume!). When Ted got home, he put the finishing touches on his Bing Bong costume. I helped him with the getup, and it turned out quite cute. He even bought himself fun rainbow socks for the occasion.  It was adorable.

And then our crazy night began! We ushered at a choral concert. I worked the comp tickets table. Why yes, we do know how to party hard! Thanks for asking.  But really, it was great--the music was a bit spooky, and afterwards we got drinks with a couple of friends at a pub in our neighborhood called North 45. Somehow the waitress brought us everything except for the two things I ordered, but otherwise it was a lovely time, with lots of entertainment (aka drunk, dressed up adults acting like children). Oh Halloween... We ended our night with the first season finale of Twin Peaks. I'd say it was a good Halloween.

october extravaganza


Hello. Hi. Yes, it's been a while.  Post-grad life isn't as blogging-tastic as I had hoped. I'll try to remedy that though.  It's been a BUSY MONTH, Y'ALL. Let me break it down for ya.

October 8th, four year anniversary.

FOUR YEARS. Ted and I must really like each other or something. To celebrate, we went to brunch at Country Cat before I went to work, and reminisced a bit. I tried my first shrub, which was tasty. Thankfully just the day before NPR informed me of what this soda drink was, so my interest was peaked. My only intake of news is pretty much NPR driving to and from work--I'm glad they don't leave out important things like potential brunch beverages.

October 9th, Ted's 23rd birthday.

After I got off of work, we went to a friend's house for a BBQ, and then we went out for drinks at Kachka with the group. Before they got there, Ted and I had a nice view of a group of Russian men enjoying the vodka and Russian fare that Kachka had to offer. It was pretty great. We had Moscow Mules (on tap!) and everyone had some form of vodka or a Russian beer. And the food.  The food was good, and also sometimes very interesting. The pierogies were deliecious and buttery, but the fish jerky was a little TOO fishy--I mean, it came with a fish head. Hah!

October 10th-13th, HOMEEEEEEE.

Before heading to NYC, we made the very necessary stop in Phoenix. It was so, so, soooooo lovely to be home with my family, hanging out, going to my godmother's baby girl's baptism festivities, watching movies, eating good food, cuddling Izzy, and enjoying each other's company. I'm a lucky lady. Also, I got to celebrate Thanksgiving over a month early because my family loves me that much. Like, seriously, wow! Whatta family.

October 14th-18th, NYC.

Whew! This trip was jammed packed with SO MUCH. To sum it up, we ate and walked more than I thought humanly possible, we visited two museums (Met + MoMA), we toured two law schools (Columbia and NYU), we walked for hours in Central Park, we saw a Broadway show (Something Rotten), we spotted two Advanced Style Documentary ladies, we collectively ate two pizzas, we walked the Brooklyn Bridge at night, we went on two Tenement Museum tours, we met up with Ted's two cousins and their significant others (Mexican food and Hungarian pastries), we met up with his aunt and her boyfriend (Italian food), we met up with two blogger family members (Vegan food, Lower East Side walking food tour), we met up with LC friends (Shake Shack, Katz's, UCB improv show, Velselka). Yes, a lot of food was involved, people.

I'm tired and full just remembering all of it. It was a blast. I'm still recovering. Today is my first day off since getting home, and boy, have I needed it! My little introverted heart isn't used to having so much fun in just four days! New York was a magical place, and it's slightly terrifying (but mostly exciting) that it may become a home for me and Ted down the road if he ends up going to law school there. Throughout the city, I found little pockets that felt like home to me--like the museums, the quirky old Italian cafe near NYU, and the warm brick buildings in the Village. And even the overwhelmingly wealthy bits like the Upper East Side or the Financial District--those even felt familiar too, because London was all about those swanky bits. Also, I watched Gossip Girl, duh. In conclusion, any city where Roberta's pizza is only a subway ride away is a-okay with me (even if it means swimming through a mass of hipsters to get there).

See photos on my instagram!

Which leads me to NOW. 

What have I been up to lately?

Well....

I've been thinking about Christmas mostly. It's pretty much all I think about.

I finished a dress I started forever ago and kept putting off. Yay!

I've been working on Christmas gifts and planning Thanksgiving.

I've been working, a lot.

That pretty much sums it up.

Today: Chillllll, sew, scrapbook, sleep.

sunday coffee dates // september

B Street Coffee House // 2190 W Burnside St
This little cafe is smacked onto the side of bustling Burnside. It's super tiny, and more of a grab-n-go kind of place, since there's only a couple of tables inside and one outside. We took the outside table because it was a lovely day. The gluten-free waffles (seen above) were quite tasty.

Seastar Bakery // 1603 NE Killingsworth Street 
My mom, who lives in Arizona, told me about this place, of all people! A middle school boyfriend's wife posted it on Facebook, because it's her sister who owns it. Or something. Ted and I went, and it stole my heart immediately. The decor, the baked-goods, the FANCY TOAST. I had never seen such fancy, rustic toast! Delicious, and full of unexpected flavor. I also loved the quirky, rustic vibe. That's my favorite kind of vibe, people! We will DEFINITELY be back for the food and the ambiance. It doesn't hurt that it's only a one minute drive/five minute walk from the sewing shop I just started working at (yes, I'm workin' two jobs now, like a big kid). YAY.

So okay, we didn't make #tinysundaycoffeedate one week, and the other week we had our first PSLs of the year at Starbucks, which doesn't really warrant a review. Stay tuned for an October roundup! We are having a blast finding new spots to get drinks and breakfast.

role models

Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess 
I started reading A Beautiful Mess years and years ago.  A family friend mentioned Elsie (pictured right) to my mom and me and showed us her blog. I didn't have to look much past her vintage dresses and craft-themed tattoos to know that I was looking at a kindred spirit. Throughout the years, I've seen Elsie's blog, style, and business grow and evolve so much. One of the most important changes over the years was having her older sister Emma become her business partner. Together, they're pretty much the dream team. I admire them both so incredibly much.  I always think about how if I ever met them, it'd be like a normal person meeting a huge celebrity--I'd freak out, probably faint, and then humbly ask them to be my BFFs... They're my #1 idols when it comes to small business.

Required reading: On Changing Dreams, Emma's 5 Secrets to Success, Adapt, Quit, or Evolve, Five Tips for Evaluating a Business Idea, The Story of Our Local Boutique, State of the Biz / Autumn 2015


Jen Gotch of Ban.do
I discovered Ban.do in middle school. It was a happy day when I did.  Since then, it has evolved into a much larger online business, selling much more than just cute hair accessories. Even more than their products, I love the business culture of hard work and FUN that Jen Gotch has created over the years. It truly seems (from an outsider, at least) that she gathered up all the talented ladies she had girl crushes on and hired them to join her #bandogirlgang.  I hope to one day do the same. ;)

Required reading: Everything on her hilarious Instagram

Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest
Let's face it. Bri is hands-down a cool girl.  When I first found her blog DesignLoveFest, I was struck by how stylish, modern, and original every aspect of it was. Because yeah, she's stylish, she's creative, she travels a lot--she's got it goin' on! But the great thing is that she also seems incredibly humble, down-to-earth, and sensitive (at least that's what Instagram tells me), which makes her not only relatable, but also someone who has obviously worked hard to create the opportunities splattered across her blog and Instagram feed.

Required reading: Her Instagram, which will give you a glipse into her current projects and travels!

5 ways to keep the dream alive

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Do you have a dream you've been chasing after a while? One that you can't help but think about daily? Hourly? All.The.Time? Well, I do, and while at times it can be super exciting and give me life and purpose, sometimes it's just downright intimidating. Here are just a few ways I keep focused and determined about achieving my goals.

1) Find out first hand if what you want is actually what you want before you go all-in.  For me, it was when I was studying abroad in London when I finally felt everything click. I took a chance and found a craft-related internship instead of the costume/theatre one expected of me to see if my little crafty fantasy might actually be something real I wanted to pursue. I worked with a woman who founded her own craft market in South London that catered to a younger, hipper crowd than your typical craft market. She curates the designer-maker vendors, has her friend DJ, and drinks and cake were available to purchase. Crafty heaven, in my opinion. Being around this woman, her friends, and the community she created made me realize that the craft community is where I feel the most happy/genuine/excited.

When I got back to Portland, I looked at everything within a new lens of my dream of owning my own creative business one day.  I sought out crafty things, and decided that I should probably get a retail job to find out if owning a store might actually be my calling (also I needed the money!). Lil' introvert me quickly realized that YES, I do love retail.  I started to daydream about my own store, and make mental notes.  My imaginary craft store that only existed in a mostly-joking Pinterest board became my #1 professional goal.

2) When people ask you what you want to do with your life, know what to say. I struggled with voicing my dream for years, and when I finally told it to the people I loved and respected the most in my personal life and finally my academic/professional life, all I got was an overwhelming wave of encouragement. It makes me want to tear up just thinking about it! Knowing you have a support system is crucial in chasing any way-bigger-than-you dream, and will make you feel more confident in your dream.

3) Do your research. It's hard to get out of the daydreaming phase.  I remembered the moment it hit me that MAN, THIS IS GOING TO BE A WHOLE LOT OF WORK. It was Christmastime, and I was catching up with an old high school friend who is an Econ major.  When I mentioned my dream craft shop/workshop space/cafe, she mentioned something about needing a sink.  To use a pun openly, that's when it really sunk in.  Starting a business isn't all ideas, pretty branding, and imaginary events. There are sinks, people! Spreadsheets, budgeting, paying bills...the whole scary enchilada.

But yes. Research. The one thing I kept reading about over and over again in my research about starting a small business was FIND A MENTOR. I took that to heart after reading it about 39472948 times. I started emailing local craft stores that might identify with my dream. I was lucky and only had to email two people before ending my search. One didn't reply, but the other did almost immediately. I knew I had made the right move. I set up weekly meetings with this small business owner all summer. It started out as doing odd jobs around the shop in exchange for 15-30 minutes interviewing her, to helping out with classes, feeling like part of the family, and eventually being offered a part-time job! Ya just gotta go for it! Surprise yourself.

4) Picture it. I'm a very visual person, so being able to see ideas in front of me is crucial. I have a Pinterest board of resources that I might need as a small business owner. Some are serious, like "Tips for Self-Promoting" and some are literally cake recipes.  It's all about the balance, y'all. You have to think about the fun little details too! It's not all sinks and bills. There are fun things too!

Another thing that I did recently was use a free Squarespace trial to create a mock-up for my dream business. It sounds frivolous and completely silly, but honestly, it was a great way to force myself to fill a page with content that I identified with. It also helped me notice new things, like colors that I think might be best for branding, or words I might want to avoid as to not turn certain demographics off. Pretty crazy, right?

5) Observe others (or businesses) that you admire. I admire so many businesswomen out there doing their thang (I'll share a few in a later post). It's inspiring, and sometimes intimidating.  But just remember that they were where you are once upon a time.  You'll get there (my current mantra).

Personally, I find a lot of inspiration and food for thought when I'm browsing storefronts--particularly ones that do more than one thing (for instance, a tea shop that has a vintage shop downstairs or a warehouse that's a restaurant/bar/soda fountain/recreational center/retail space--like WHAT! So inspiring!).

Well, that's it for now.  Let me know if you have any other pieces of advice! WE CAN DO IT!

thursday thrills

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Excited to get my hands on a copy of Mindy Kaling's new book.

Maybe I'll finally declutter my lifestyle.  Or not.  But it's a nice thought.

Anxious to start finding my own fall style and playing with my wardrobe.  Until then, here's some eye candy!

As a huge fan of Design Love Fest's Dress Your Tech series, this is wonderful news!

Chocolate pudding.  Need I say more?


Here's to a lovely weekend full of relaxation and rejuvenation!  I'll be cleaning the house, watching New Girl, and preparing for fall (and by that, I mean breaking out my assorted garland and having my first pumpkin ale of the year). Cheers!

late night pep talk

This Labor Day Weekend was not one of my finest, for a handful of reasons (things really do all come crashing down at once; how cruel is that?).  Everything felt like it was falling apart, and even the things that felt like they were about to build up started to crumble shortly after.  One would say that I learned a lot of "lessons" this past weekend.  Aren't lessons the worst?  But really they are the best, because they knock you down, they make you cry, they remind you how great baths are, and in the midst of learning and writing down notes onto your heart, they eventually help you become a stronger version of yourself.  They remind you that you have homework.  The hard kind.  The kind you have to assign to yourself, and make yourself do.

My first piece of advice: Take a bath. Soak in all your misery and/or confusion about life and its curve balls and how you don't even really know exactly what a curve ball is in baseball. I mean, you can guess.  But you don't really know.  Then shower it all off.

My second piece of advice: Talk to a best friend face-to-face, wherever she/he is. YAY INTERNET! Tell them everything, down to your bath history.  Laugh about crying, talk about important things like sunglasses. Remember how lucky you are to have even one kindred spirit in your lifetime. Know that there are probably more out there, and once they're all done binge-watching 30 Rock and New Girl too, they'll find you. You'll make crafts and rejoice (or whatever).

My third piece of advice: Feel overwhelmed by your goals.  That means they're good. Know that every move you make professionally will lead you to them.  Some might be detours.  Some might be short cuts, if you're lucky. Some might make you disappointed, confused, or both.  Trust that it will all work out.

Sending my love and endless amounts of virtual cups of comforting tea to my fellow humans out there just trying to live the dream.  We'll get there!

wander: dreaming of nyc

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In about a month, Ted and I are heading to the Big Apple! I'm so thrilled because my wanderlust has been making me a bit antsy this summer.  I absolutely love being a total homebody, but traveling is something I believe in wholeheartedly, and it nourishes a part of me that everyday life simply can't (although I do love the opportunity to explore new neighborhoods to try to fulfill it as much as possible!).

Food and travel are #1 and #2 on my list of "Things I Will Shell Money Out For."  But of course, I also like to be prepared so I know exactly what to expect and build a budget for that still leaves room for those magical spontaneous moments too.

Of course I've turned to a few of my favorite New York bloggers (as well as a few of my favorite Gossip Girls, let's get real here) for the task at hand. I thought I'd share what I've found so far.  Please feel free to leave any of your own advice or resources!

How to Not Look Like a Tourist

10 Favorite Restaurants

10 Amazing Ways to Spend an Afternoon

Favorite Spots in Brooklyn

Tips + Tricks For Your Time in the City

Central Park Video Guide

Chelsea Video Guide

FALL IS COMING

YAAAAAAAAAY.

It's getting cold.  It rained today.  I don't overheat while drinking hot tea anymore.  

This is the real deal, folks.  The sun isn't playing its cruel game anymore.  It's preparing for hibernation, and I'm okay with that.  

I already know what I'm wearing on Thanksgiving, as hostess (with my mom's help)!

Crafty Christmas presents are in progress.

It's time to break out the blankets, people, and I could not be more thrilled.

sunday coffee dates // august

I'm the kind of person who likes to force traditions upon my loved ones. Enter, Sunday Coffee Dates.  Every Sunday, I work later than usual, so I convinced Ted that it would be best that we don't sleep in as much as possible (I know, very unlike me, right?) and have a morning coffee date instead.  Cafes are my #1 weakness when it comes to spending, so I thought it would be a good way to have something to look forward to each week without going to cafes throughout the week. It's been absolutely lovely.  Here are my humble opinions of our cafe visits this month.

Jola Cafe // 5915 SW Corbett Ave
Jola is short for John's Landing, which is where this airy, bright, and lowkey cafe is nestled.  One of the boutiques I work at is a few blocks away, so this is my cafe of choice for lunch breaks. It's also a great place to study, which is what Ted does a LOT these days preparing for the LSAT. Plus the food is deeeeelicious.  Try the Country Breakfast Burrito. Trust us.

Ken's Artisan Bakery // 338 NW 21st Ave
I went here my freshman year of college. I remember it well, and yet I remember it much differently than reality. It seemed to be in a far away, foreign place then, when my world usually stretched as far as the pio stop would take me. Little did I know that I would meet Ted, who would introduce me to nearby NW 23rd on our first day out together. And now we LIVE here! Life is funny.  Back to coffee dates--We walked here on our second date and waited in line to order our coffee and pastries. We both got a spinach and cheese pastry. I got a latte. Both were delicious, but I would say pastries hold bigger part of my heart for obvious reasons. It was a sunny day, so that huge glass window/wall was open and perfect for people-watching. Not that we had to look further than our own communal table, where an adorable old man in a black beret sat with his croissant and tea. We will definitely be back, but probably not for a working date (aka Ted studies for LSAT while I study Pinterest). The bakery vibe was just a little too bustling for much more than a short and sweet breakfast.

Nossa Familia // 811 NW 13th Ave
This tiny cafe is home to the best mocha (shown above in photo) I've ever tasted. We both got one, and loved it. I mean, you can't argue with espresso whipped cream. You just can't. They also carry Bowery bagels, which is my second favorite bagel in town (and Dragonfly chai, which is my favorite, although I didn't try one there). The location is walking distance from Jamison Park, where you can spot kiddos and dogs playing in the water features on a warm day. It's a small cafe, so it's definitely a "grab and go" kind of place.

Spielman's Bagels + Coffee // 2200 NE Broadway St
BEST BAGELS IN PDX. I literally felt super annoyed for a solid hour after hearing two people talk about how they didn't like Spielman's because whaaaaat are they even talking about?!?! This place was recommended to Ted and I by a coworker of mine (who quit shortly after--thank you universe for sending her to us for a short time to relay her bagel message). They have since opened another location on Broadway which is conveniently  located a block from one of the shops I work at.  The owner is the sweetest old man, and his bagels are something to Instagram home about. The coffee is great too!

Costello's Travel Cafe // 2222 NE Broadway St
This one is another tried and true coffee/lunch spot for me, because it's close to one of the shops I work at. This past Sunday I took Ted here and we got drinks (coffee for him, chai for me--whatta surprise) and split one of their breakfast sandwiches, which was just as delicious as their lunch sandwiches (my fave is the Barcelona--YUM), and a peach/berry scone that was OUTTA THIS WORLD. The coolest thing about Costello's though, is that it's travel-themed.  This makes it hands-down my favorite cafe to escape to. There are two TVs which plays footage from cities around the world (filmed by the Costellos themselves!) and you get a little flag for your table after you order in line. Ted and I got the Union Jack this time, which was perfect.

wander: why i travel

I was sixteen when I discovered my love of travel.  I had saved up for an entire year from babysitting so I could go to Europe with my middle school French teacher's group.  I would bring an empty travel journal in my bag with me to each babysitting gig, and look at it when I’d had enough of those pesky kids.  I touched it to remind myself why I was spending my free time working and not re-reading Harry Potter, or writing bad poetry, or some other extremely important thing. I looked at it longingly. It was empty, and I was ready to fill its pages with stories.

With the help of some generous family members, I handed over my hard-earned cash for a spot on the trip.  I remember the night before leaving I felt so scared.  I feared that something terrible would go wrong, and this would be the last time I cuddled on the couch with my family to watch a bad Disney Channel Original Movie.  The next morning I brushed those irrational feelings off and focused on the adventure ahead.  

It was an unlikely moment during the trip that I discovered how truly special traveling is.  Since we were a large group of around 20 people, we traveled around on a huge bus, touring Ireland, Scotland, England, and France.  As I’m prone to do in large groups, I nestled myself into a window seat for some alone time.  I listened to my iPod and looked out the window at the rainy Scottish countryside.  I randomly thought about my summer plans after this grand adventure--yearbook camp, hanging out with family and friends, and all of the other really normal, mundane things that make up my stateside life--and all at once, it hit me that I was in a new land, far, far away from anything familiar or comfortable and I looked at my life in Arizona in a way that I never had before.  It looked good.  Like, really, really good.  Taking a step away from my life had an impact on me.  It made me realize how grateful I truly was to be in such a magical place and yet also how lucky I was to be able to return to an even more magical life.  It made me excited for the future--one that would definitely include going back to Europe to study abroad.
 
January 2014, I left for a semester in London studying music, art, and theatre (and yes, it was as awesome as it sounds).  I went from Portland, a city of 600,000 to London, a city of over 8 MILLION.  I was afraid and worried that I would hate it, because I thought myself to be a small city type who goes to brunch and the occasional movie with a couple of close friends, but usually prefers to stay in.  During my time in London, I let go of my homebody tendencies (which usually keeps me in my bed making crafts and watching Netflix) and allowed myself to be picked up by the busy city tide -- relaxing into its ebb and flow.  At times I was intimidated by the bustling crowds of overwhelmingly attractive and fashionable Londoners flocking to the oncoming Piccadilly Line, but with the help of my boyfriend Ted, and my fabulous roommate Eva, I managed to stay afloat.  For four months, I tested my limits.  I forced myself to seize opportunity and to spend more time with people (an introvert’s nightmare realized).  I said Yes more than No.  

This is what I would like to call the Traveling Effect.  When I travel, I feel the need to soak up as much as possible.  I cannot afford to be brittle and dry and still.  I must be flexible, moving, breathing, and absorbing as much as possible. I must take advantage of my limited time.  There is no time to waste (except when you really, really need the downtime--sometimes you just need to be boring for a day or two so you can go on and keep doing exciting things).  You must see, do, eat, be.
Saying goodbye to London was much worse than any breakup I’ve ever experienced, and I’m not just saying that for dramatic effect--it’s a fact.  I said goodbye to a lifestyle I never imagined I would have, and a Kaylie I never imagined I could be.  I still get a little pang in chest when I think about London too much, but I had to make room for more adventures--a week-long road trip across England with my grandparents, and a month-long backpacking trip around Europe with Ted.  I stifled down the tears (that would surely be able to water all of Hyde Park or possibly flood the Thames) and focused on the next adventure.

While backpacking Europe, I did things I never dreamt of doing--spontaneously seeing a Mozart opera in Salzburg (NOT a touristy one), hanging out in the Austrian Alps casually walking through clouds, taking a 17-hour ferry to Greece… Oh and did I mention that one time over spring break that we almost got stuck in Monaco for a night?  The list goes on.  Traveling to a different country basically each week was an experience I could never possibly forget.  I know this because I worried as I made my way home that I would forget every detail, good and bad.  This is my greatest fear.  I want to remember.  Then, something wonderful happened.

I was making another journey--up the coast from Phoenix to Portland--with two of my best friends.  We had stopped in the Bay Area for a couple of days because we had a friend to stay with and I didn’t get a good look at San Francisco last time I drove through, so why not spend a day in the city? The moment we started walking around, a million little details of the previous five months abroad started to crop up.  Everything reminded me of something else. It was when I spotted a quote on a journal in a cute little boutique that it finally clicked.

“They should tell you when you are born: Have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel. -Gabrielle Zevin”

Of course!  How could I be so silly?  I didn't need to worry about forgetting.  I will carry all of those fantastic, spastic, annoying, boring, exciting, random memories with me every new place I travel. In my heart.  Yep, I went there.  I'm that cheesy, guys.  Layer on the cheese, as I always say. The great thing about the heart is that when in the right place, it can expand to immeasurable distances--it will not run out of room.  It’s like the Mary Poppins carpet bag of love and feeling and memory.  I will not forget, and I will continue to fill my heart up with more adventures (and layer the cheese on everything and every dish I ever consume).

you'll get there



























This is my current desktop wallpaper (found via designlovefest of course).  It calms me.  Ever since graduating, I've been a little hard on myself.  You should be in this place in your life.  You should be creative every minute of everyday.  You should know how to budget better.  Your instagram should be better.  You don't blog enough.  You should have the perfect apartment.  You should have the cutest wardrobe.  You should be living your dream already, dammit! You should, you should, you should...

It's not fair, and I know it.  It doesn't stop me from having these thoughts though.  I know I'll get there eventually.  I know that everyone is on their own path.  My path is completely different than anyone else's.  Mine just happens to be riddled with heaps of self-doubt.  It makes it hard to even want to take a step in any direction some days.  When something good does happen, I almost immediately focus on a small detail that might go wrong, or try to convince myself that I'm undeserving of the opportunity. I'm way too hard on myself.  The funny thing is, I've gotten sooooooo much better the past few years.  But the feelings still crop up sometimes, in more muted versions.  It might not be as bad, but it's still hard.

I know I'm not the only one, but when self-doubt hits, it feels so isolating. Everyone around you looks like they have it all together, or at least enough to handle an off day and bounce back. One thing that always cheers me up is a little treat from a cafe. But now that my wallet is a little malnourished, that just can't be the answer. It can maybe once a week, but not every time I hit a bump in my week.

Last night I had a brilliant idea. I thought--I can bake some muffins! Treats for a week! Yay!! Then I turned on the oven to bake them and consequently heated up the entire apartment in the already 100 degree weather. OY. Sometimes I don't think things through. It's a problem, especially when I'm not feeling my best. The little mistakes then make me feel worse. It's a tedious cycle. I'm trying to be more mindful and remember that it's only human to make mistakes.

Hopefully this post hasn't been too self-indulgent and can be a reminder to those who might also be feeling self-doubt, that you are certainly not alone! Sending my love from the oven currently masquerading as the city of Portland.

thursday thrills


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I know our NYC trip is in the Fall, but this ice cream round-up is getting me realllll excited for the treats that await me in the big apple.

Fun necklace DIY that would make the perfect gift for that lover of statement necklaces in your life.

This outfit is perfect parts chic and cute.

In case you were wondering, this is what I was up to last week.

Doesn't this Hibiscus Limeade look delicious?


Happy Thursday, y'all!

how to break expensive habits

Lately I've been trying to retrain myself in terms of spending habits. This past year I've gotten a little too comfortable with treating myself. My timeline the past 5 years:

-I'm going to my dream school in a city I love next year, I don't deserve anything more than I already have.
-I'm living and learning in an awesome city, I don't deserve to buy myself clothes or an expensive drink.
-I'm in London! I have a stipend! Spend money on a cupcake! Spend money on a show! Spend, spend spend! Save enough for traveling, but USE ALL OF THAT! ONCE IN LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY, SO SPEEEEENNNND!
-I'm not abroad anymore, but I still want to have each day be exciting and fun! I should buy myself a chai! Also, I have a retail job now, so I can afford it, PLUS, I can buy that cute fancy sweater! Sppoooeeeenddddd!
-Oy vey. I can't afford anything. I don't deserve anything. I want everything. HELP.

Not great, right?  Lot of no-no's here, even when I wasn't buying things left and right.  First off, the idea of "I don't deserve this" is detrimental to your well being. Take it from me. It just makes you feel worse. You DO deserve the best, as long as you're grateful and humble.  I have to remind myself this.

HOWEVER! Deserving is different than needing. Of course I deserve a nice new haircut, or a pint of ice cream. But do I need it? That's a different question altogether.

I'm knee-deep into trying to tackle my spendspendspend mentality. It's been a struggle, and I don't consider myself an expert in any capacity, but I thought that if I share my current tactics, I could open up the discussion about what else can be done to be a smarter spender. Here we go!

1) Don't try to cut everything out in one day.
From my experience, trying to tell myself that I can't eat out or go shopping for a specific amount of time does not work. I cave within a few days. It's just too big of a change and I wimp out. BUT, if I give up, say, buying clothes for an entire month (which is a feat for me now, since I work in a clothing store), it's much easier for me. It gives me focus, and I am able to follow through with my goal and take a step in the right direction. I get out from the other side of it and am able to think, That wasn't so bad after all! Also, it forced me to get more creative with the clothes I already have. Victory.

2) Set limits.
What works better for me (although it's not a perfect method), is setting aside "treats" for each week. For instance, last week I told myself I could have one sweet treat (such as a pint of ice cream), and one night eating out (such as a pizza date with Ted). This not only reminds me to control my craving to spend, but also gives me something to look forward to, like a favorite show that's on once a week.

3) Don't let loved ones help you break the rules.
I've fallen guilty to this one more times than I'd like to admit. I'll be doing great one week, and I've already used my treat, and then Ted offers to buy one for me himself. It's hard to say no, believe me. But I'm trying to get better. Why? Because saying "yes" feeds into a lifestyle that I simply can't sustain independently. I don't want to get comfortable with expensive coffee drinks or pastries more than once a week (at least at this time in my life).

4) Remember your obligations.
Before making a purchase, I try to think about what might make it a mistake.  Rent, various bills I have to pay, the exciting trip I have planned in the next few months--these all eat up a large portion of my income.  When you wonder into a shop and and are about to try something on or convince yourself you need a new fancy soap, always try to think about these things before bringing them up to the counter to purchase. Most times it's easy to talk yourself out of what would be a rash purchase.  Just try not to beat yourself up for almost being lured into spending. It happens. Just accept it and move on!

5) Know when you just have to enjoy yourself.
Traveling is obviously a big exception to some of these rules. When I have my friends in town later this month, I'm going to be spending more than I would in a typical week. When I go to NYC, I will be spending more than I would in a typical week. That's okay, as long as I prepare and budget for it (which is on my to-do list today). 

Any advice out there about being more money-savvy?  I'd love to hear!

"hey babe, i'm going to spin"

When I first heard that Ted was going to "spin," I was taken aback.  I pictured him pedaling alongside really enthusiastic gym-goers. When he clarified that he meant the laundromat Spin, everything made a little more sense.  After a couple of visits, he was hooked.  And let me tell you, Ted is a man who loves his laundry, and does not take it lightly.  So if he approves, it must be great.  It was!  Last night he took me there for a laundry date, and it was clear why he is smitten.  As a design nerd, I was in heaven.  Just look at these details!  And did I mention there is a cafe/bar?  THERE IS.  Delicious sandwiches and pastries, and drinks of all kinds! We will definitely be going back for a--practical!--date again soon. Thank you, Portland for making laundry so cute.

dog bless the usa.


Happy 4th, everyone. Hope it's full of cute dogs & hot dogs.

june in squares.

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Moving out, moving out again, and moving in FINALLY.  Ted and I were supposed to move into our new place on the 1st.  It took ten long days for it to be "ready.  Those ten days of sleeping on the floor of my empty room and then my newly decorated living room (long story) seems like years ago.  June seemed to have lasted decades for some reason.  Maybe it was the weird 3/4 moved-out situation, or the fact that I wasn't eating sugar, but it was looooooooooooooong.

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New tastebuds in the making. So yeah, no sugar in June for the Whole 30.  It was rough.  But so, so worth it.  I've kicked my sugar habit majorly.  I still have some cravings obviously, but I feel in control of them, and don't have them as often.  It's awesome.  I still don't know what the hell is going on with my stomach, but at least I have some control over its communication with my brain, right?

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Money woes. I like to spend money, I admit it.  This article explains it so well.  I like to spend when I'm super happy/excited about something, and I like to spend when I'm super unhappy/bummed about something. Kicking the sugar addiction has been certainly helpful, since most "little treats" for myself are say, a chai or a pastry.  Gotta keep my expenses in order for our big trip to PHX and NYC this October!

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Things to celebrate. Same-sex marriage is a reality now, and that's incredible.  Love is love, and everyone should be able to celebrate it.  Another cool thing that happened this month?  Momma Bear Magazine got funded on Kickstarter!  I went to editor Mary's house for a little shindig, and loved hearing her gush about the issue going to print and getting the announcement just minutes after that getting funded would be a reality.
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Adjusting to adult life.  It's hard.  So hard. But I'm trying to embrace it, with style and vegan ice cream. It helps that I have a partner to support me, and friends to vent to.  Life is hard, but good!

eat here: bunk sandwiches

It was a good day when Ted and I decided to try out Bunk.  With its several locations around Portland, I have no idea why we hadn't tried it before.  Regardless, I'm so glad we finally did.  We went to the one in SE Portland and ordered the Roasted Chicken Salad w/ dijon, bacon & avocado and the Pork Belly Cubano w/ ham, swiss, pickles & mustard. OH MY.  The chicken salad was delicious, but the Pork Belly was INCREDIBLE.  Portland seems to be having a pork belly reawakening, because I've been trying a lot of pork belly lately.  I'm not mad about it.  Not even close. The potato salad was tasty too.  We got a free side because I have the Chinook book app, and I did not complain about that. No frills, just (really, really) good sandwiches.

cleaning for the clueless

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Ted and I are in the midst of cleaning and moving into our new apartment.  Tensions have been high.  We've gotten on each other's nerves more times than I can count.  I've been difficult.  I just want to unpack.  I love clean things, but I hate cleaning.  But today, when I got off of work and had a text from him of our beautifully clean kitchen, succulent included, my hope was restored instantly.  We can do this.  I can get on the cleaning train, if it means I get to decorate little corners of our new space sooner.

I have to go unpack some boxes right now, but I thought I'd share this adorable/helpful/idealistic info graphic that I found in my search of a cleaning checklist (my dad would be proud).  Having our own place is new and exciting, and I'm just going to embrace this moment where I'm thrilled to have found a cute cleaning info graphic, because these kinds of cleaning-themed moments don't come by often.

apartment inspiration: living room

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We move into our apartment on Thursday.  THURSDAY.  It could not come quick enough.  I'm so excited to start nesting.  I thought I'd post a few photos for inspiration to focus in on my goals (and make sure Ted and I are on the same page).  I'm usually drawn to a lot of clean white and bright colors and graphic prints galore, but our walls aren't white in the living room, so Ted is worried about how my aesthetic might work with it, and our neutral furniture. I think these photos help meet both of our needs in the middle with their balance of bright and softer colors.