Saturday, February 15, 2014

Love day.

I've always actually liked Valentine's Day. Maybe because my parents spoiled me and it was another excuse to get presents and eat way too many sweets, and who didn't like making those little mail boxes out of milk cartons and passing out Valentines when they were little!? More recently it's become the most dreaded of the year for so many people with Pinterest and Facebook blowing up with statuses about dates with Netflix and eating chocolate alone wallowing in their singledom. I'm not gonna lie and say I've not participated in many a night like that, but I also like to celebrate the 14th of February in a more cheerful way. So maybe I haven't ever really had a real traditional Valentines (the one time I was actually in a relationship on VDay we spent the night at Olive Garden with my grandparents), but I'm not too upset about it. So maybe it's a Hallmark holiday and celebrated for all the wrong reasons, but hey the creators of Sweethearts need a paycheck, too! I think it's a day to celebrate all the love in your life, not reflecting on a lack of romantic love, but realizing all the other love that fills your life. My heart is so full of love and support and appreciation for family, friends, coworkers, and roommates and it's good to take a day and be like hey, I'm so lucky to have all this love!

Made heart-shaped cupcakes, then ate them for breakfast... because I can. 

So, let's celebrate love in all of its crazy awesome forms. Hug your roommates, call your mom, and high five your coworkers, 'cause life is awesome and they all get to join you in this fantastic journey.

Happy Valentines Day & Happy Birthday, Arizona.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Almost two weeks into 2014, I've decided to get down all my thoughts, resolutions, and goals. Even though we're only going into the 13th day of the month, I feel like I've done a lot of thinking and reflecting. Maybe it's the start of a new year, the disappointment of New Years celebrations, or the lack of reasons to leave the house when it's this cold. Whatever it may be, this is what I've come up with.

Invest more, splurge less; Be smarter with my money, put my extra in savings - or heck, even try to learn the ways of investing! Stop spending money on nights out for overpriced drinks, or silly shopping trips. Invest in nice things, trips, important things you'll remember - not those super cool silver pants from Urban that look like space pants but aren't very flattering and I probably only would've worn twice.

Take more trips; Road trips and weekend trips are a must in this weather. Plus, there are some amazing places to visit just a car ride away - rainforests, beaches, mountains, you name it! I'm working on my list of places to go in 2014 now!

Volunteer; Between school and work I never really had time for it. Now that I'm just working one job and don't have school, I have extra time. I want to find a hobby (ie: pasta making, or keyboard, or painting) but also want to find a place I can commit my time to better the world, or at least community, I live in. I'm thinking of this really cool Recovery Cafe, and they just sent me the volunteer application - so fingers crossed I can give that a shot and it goes well!

Be creative outside of work; I'm super lucky I get to work on marketing and advertising projects that let me create and practice my creativity, and I love it! But it's totally different to just be creative and random and whimsical with what you create. I've started a project of posters, and I have had so much fun doing it. I want to get back to creating things for the fun of it; painting, Photoshop, jewelry, Illustrator, doodling, whatever - just find time to be creative, it's so good for the soul and I miss it.

Practice self-control; This is something I really need to work on. I'm so bad at it, and granted there are times that are okay to go a little over-board, more times than not it's just not good. Eating, spending, and drinking. I did Paleo for a week and it was awesome in that it really tested my self-control.. who know I didn't  need those muffins my roommate brought home, or the huge bag of chips sitting on my table, or the Christmas chocolate that's been tempting me everyday. I did it, and I'm really proud or myself, but have gone a little overboard since I've stopped. Drinking has been so imbedded in my lifestyle, beer fests, nights out, happy hour - it's everywhere! It's a little scary. But I've had some discussions about it, and though I don't think stopping entirely is necessary, self-control is so so so important for me. I need to learn when to cut myself off, when to say no, and I think I'll be a lot happier - and healthier - when I learn this and do it. So practice, practice, practice!  

Find a passion/hobby; This whole real-world, 8-5 job has been a really hard transition for me. I'm used to go, go, go - school, job, other job, squeeze friends in there somewhere. But now it's like gym, work.... what do I do with myself? So I want to find something I really enjoy doing, and maybe even meet people doing it. I've really found myself enjoying cooking, as usual, but more specifically pasta making. I want to try and start making some with my new pasta maker I got for Christmas, and try different, artisanal pastas. I also have a bunch of extra canvases from my paint party last year, I'd like to try painting. I've always enjoyed it, even though I haven't created the Mona Lisa by any means, I have fun.. and I can do this with friends which is a plus! 

Via WeHeartIt

And to remember that, because everything was meant to happen exactly as it does.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this crazy life I'm leading, and the future - what else it new? But I'm having a really like-hate relationship with Seattle right now, and trying to figure it out. I think this non-stop rain has had something to do with it, so I'm trying to accept it for what it is and make the most of it. There are so many things to do  and I want to enjoy while I am here, so I'm going to make a better effort to get out and enjoy them. I'm trying to live day-to-day, because I can get so overwhelmed by the consistency of my schedule and the routine of it all it can seem suffocating at times. So thinking more about what cool recipe I'm going to try tonight, or the cool trip I'm gonna take this weekend, or the fun new restaurant I'll try Friday is so much easier for me to process. So here's to another whirlwind year, finding myself and my path, enjoying every moment, day-by-day.

Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year, to you!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

6 Months.

Today marks 6 months of my living in Seattle, and by now I’m pretty sure everyone has stopped reading this. For those that stumble upon this, here’s my attempt at a 6 month recap.

It started with a road trip up the west coast. Through LA, following the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco, up to Portland and landing in what would be my new home in Seattle. It was so surreal driving up the I-5, seeing the Space Needle and all of downtown spread out before me knowing that this wasn’t just another pit stop, this was a city that would become mine. I arrived on my birthday and spent the day roaming around seeing what we could while I still had my brother and sisters by my side. I moved in the next day to the town home I was approved for only 24 hours prior, and after a whirlwind of a weekend of unpacking and exploring, my family left back for the desert. I was familiar with the feeling, having moved to Pennsylvania 4 years ago for the start of college, but it didn’t make it any easier. Everything I knew and the only people that loved me in this town driving away, it sounds a bit dramatic, but really is all at once a terrifying feeling mixed with a freedom that can only be experienced being somewhere where no one knows who you are. And so the adventure began…

Voodoo Doughnuts and Stumptown Coffee in Portland

Haight & Ashbury in San Fran

I have spent the past several months adjusting to my new life in the “real-world,” working in the corporate world with Amazon, discovering what Seattle has to offer, and trying to make new friends. I started playing ultimate Frisbee over the summer, but soon discovered it wasn’t quite my scene. I met who would rapidly become one of my best friends out here, sitting three feet away from me in her cube at work. I’m forever grateful being put in a department with someone my age, who graduated from the same school (though we never met), and has so much in common with me. I also met another recent AZ transplant from a connection with my sister, and she’d become the third leg of my Seattle tri-pod… the only thing that has kept me sane and mentally healthy over the months – especially with the onset of the grey weather. 

This view never gets old.

Summer was great, with the amazing weather you can actually do stuff outside in (vs. AZ’s 120 degrees). I took part in my fair share of beer fests, food fests, music fests… and pretty much anything that was going on outside with food, drinks, and people. It flew by, and I was loving it. In some ways, it felt like summer vacation.. just working 40+ hours a week. But the same in that if felt temporary, fleeting, and that I’d be returning home come September. Well Labor Day came and went, Seattle had the rainiest September on record, and it hit me like it had that first weekend in June that I wasn’t leaving anytime soon. I hit a rough patch, trying to figure out my life and thinking far too much about the future. All my dreams have come true, but if I didn’t have my family and those that love me the most around me, was it worth it? Was this where I saw myself staying for the rest of my life? Unlikely, but for how many years? The desire to return home was met with the realization that home wouldn’t be quite the same. College friends have either moved or moved on, Tempe didn’t have my apartment I felt so comfortable in, and after my visit in October I came to see that life was going on without me there. I came back to Seattle after my homecoming vacation with a new appreciation for my life out here in the Pacific Northwest.

Fall weather.

I’ve spent November enjoying a real fall (leaves that change colors and collect on the sidewalks like all the movies!!) and taking the days one at a time. Now I’m looking forward to what I’m gonna cook for dinner or my plans for the weekend, not where I think I need to be in a year or two. I still struggle some days. Being in front of a computer 8 hours a day is definitely a culture shock from running events and customer service every day, and I’m figuring out how to enjoy actually having time to myself. It’s a new concept and I don’t think I’ve totally become fond of it, I like to be crazy busy and constantly have plans with one of the many groups of friends I didn’t realize I’d miss so much.  I find myself still trying to adjust to this new climate, the lack of sunshine has gotten to me at some points, though the amount of rain has been surprisingly little. Getting used to taking the bus, getting yelled at by homeless people, and walking everywhere has been different than suburban Phoenix and college-town Tempe, but hey – I’m practically a real city girl! For now I’m choosing happiness, loving all the restaurants, streets, coffee shops to explore, and enjoying the ride.
 “Breathe in every word and every second because one day you'll be dying to have it all back again.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

Give It Up.

Throw your hats in the air. Had the most awesome graduation and grad party this weekend. Here are some snapshots from the weekend and graduation! So much love in my life it's truly incredible. Thank you too all the amazing family and friends that came out this weekend. I am so grateful for such an incredible support system.

Graduation day, with a few of my bests.
Two sets of twins!
The graduates
The most awesome grad cake in history.

My heart is so full of love. Happy thoughts!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Heart in a Blender.

Wow. I've graduated! I said that out loud for the first time yesterday after graduating barely a week ago. It sounds weird to actually say it in public. I am no longer in college. Ouch, that's painful to state. Well my life has been the largest range of emotions in the past week. Every huge excitement comes with some bittersweet goodbye. I graduated, a huge monument in the timeline of life, but that means I'm finished with college.. supposedly the best years of your life. I had an absolutely amazing beyond-words graduation party with nearly everyone I love in my life, but that came with the realization I am leaving everyone I love in my life as I venture into Seattle. I sang, danced, and laughed with my roommate as we spent our last weekend together. She left for San Diego and my apartment feels ghostly empty, and I can't stand to be in it knowing I am leaving it sooner than the unpacked-boxes against my walls would show. I'm trying to enjoy my impending venture to a new state, but almost every time I catch myself laughing or smiling it is shortly followed by the sad idea that I am leaving that person, place, thing that made me laugh.

Graduation Party

Part of my Senior pictures

Wow, this is quite the pessimistic post here. But, I'm hoping I'll look back at this in a month or two and realize it all ended up just fine in an apartment I enjoy, a roommate that's tons of fun, and a job that I thrive in. My last day of work in Arizona is tomorrow. Over two and a half years renting boats and spending my days by the lake, and it comes to an end as I turn in my key tomorrow night. So glad to move on to my grown-up job, but sad to leave my best friends at the boat house, and one of the best bosses I could have asked for over my college years. I leave for my drive up to Seattle a week from Monday and I'm still looking for a place to live. I guess you could say I'm a little stressed. So ecstatic, nervous, blissful, sad, anxious, nervous, and everything between. Well I guess I'd rather feel everything than nothing at all. And as they say, don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

So remember to smile everyone, and I'll try to take my own advice.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Be sad, read this.

So I figured I'd share this because of how sad this made me. It's always good to share sadness, right? Wrong. But anyways, read this and:
A) be super glad you are still in college and have time to take it all in, or
B) be in a state of depression because college is ending in... like a week. So, so, so sad. There's not enough so's in the world for that sentence.

Here it is.

Real world, I am so extremely excited for you and all the greatness that is Seattle and that awesome culture and music and cool people to meet, but I am also terrified of the 2, 5, 13 and 21 on the list. Especially 21, because the number of people I know in Seattle can be counted on 1 hand... fine I'll be honest... can be counted on 1 finger.


Enjoy everyday, college life or not!