greetings from the land of the hipsters

From first glance, the population of Lewis & Clark College looks like a carefully chosen collection of hipsters.  Seriously, I haven't seen this many Birkenstocks in my whole life.  Almost everyone here looks like they have just walked out of the pages of a Urban Outfitters catalog or from a fruitful day of vintage scavenging.  In many ways, this is fantastic and inspiring, but at first it was a bit disheartening and intimidating.

Many of the freshmen I've spoken to about this has agreed to some extent on this sentiment I bring up:  Everyone here is unique and the same way.  Most of us hail from schools where we were the "original" and "different" kids.  We liked different music, we liked different clothes, and we liked different hairstyles.  Here, it's all up for game.  Let me tell you, there is a rainbow of hair colors, dreadlocks, pixie cuts, and long hippie hair.  I felt pretty cool cutting off ten inches this summer, but now it seems long in comparison.  I would even argue that most of the girls here have shorter hair than the guys.

Here, we are confronted with the harsh reality of being surrounded with people who are just as individualistic as us, if not more.  At first it seemed like a burden, but now I realize that it is the best thing that could ever happen to me and my "individuality", especially since I plan on surrounding myself with a creative environment the rest of my life.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed by trying to be the weirdest looking possible (Have you ever had this kind of peer pressure to stand out?  Because this is a new thing to me.  Everywhere else it would be the other way around.), I have chosen to use this unique experience to my advantage.

For years I have tried (with much, much failure) to evolve my style into something more acceptable for my age.  I've banned myself from bows and/or headbands multiple times, only to come back to them with even more ferocity.  In the end, I am faced with the same problem of always coming out looking equal parts toddler and thirty year old librarian.  And you know what?  I haven't met anyone else who can manage to pull that off, not even here.  Is it something to be proud of?  I didn't think so before.  But now?  Now I'm thinking yes.  It certainly is.

After years of confusion, it's taken me one week at Lewis & Clark to settle into this weird, wonderful realization and I feel like I have grown into myself a little more, if that makes sense.  After fighting it for so long, I have accepted my fate as a preschool librarian.  I even wore my "librarian" pin from Fred Flare for the first time today in celebration.

Here's to 3249409328 more self-discoveries!  College is cool like that.

Dress-Urban Outfitters
Cardigan (my new favorite thing ever)-Anthropologie
Librarian pin-Fred Flare
Socks-Kate Spade
Mary Janes-Born (I only have one pair of this shoe brand, but they are so well made and comfortable!  I've had them since I got them for my Europe trip and they feel like my "adventure shoes".)

guess what

My beautiful friend Kate has a beautiful new blog.  You should check it out.  She will probably hurt me for posting this, but her blog is too quality; I feel selfish not spreading the love.  Enjoy!   

educational summer camp, part 3

School starts tomorrow, so I thought I'd try to blog about the rest of my "free days" before I actually have to start doing stuff.
Yesterday night I ventured out to "Narnia" with some people, which is on the graduate campus.  The campus was beautiful, deserted (other than another group of people from the undergrad campus) and also had yummy blackberry bushes.  Later on, a few student bands played on campus.  I have a feeling there will be a ton of shows to go to during the weekends here, because everyone is into that kind of thing.  I'm down!

Today a friend from my dorm and I took one of the buses downtown to explore.  It was wonderful!  We walked towards Powell's, but ended up stopping at a few places that caught our eyes. 

We stopped in Ray's Ragtime (above), which was a dream!  It had vintage clothes and accessories stuffed to the brim, and made me realize that if all goes well, I will one day retire from being a successful costume designer and own an awesome shop like this.  It's funny, because when I googled the place, the link above said that the guy who owns the place (we saw him there intently repairing a necklace) used to work in theatre, performing and costuming, so that makes me very happy!

With Powell's still looming ahead, we stopped at Stumptown, which was a really cool coffee place that I had actually heard of before (because I read way too many magazines/blogs).  We sat by the window, which had a great view of an old homeless man.  That's downtown for you.  We also stopped by this fun boutique (can't remember the name!) with a bunch of local artists and designers selling their (or their friends') work.  That was nice.  

Finally we found Powell's, which tested my shopping restraint quite harshly.  Everything is super cute there; it shouldn't even be allowed.  I am already excited for Christmas shopping!  To make matters worse, we went into Anthro, where we gushed over pretty much everything.  

I already can't wait to go back!  Hopefully I'll be able to this Saturday for Saturday Market.  

School is tomorrow!  Eeeek!

educational summer camp, part 2

Today was great fun.  I purchased a $146 French textbook and was assigned to read a book over the weekend.  But wait, IT GETS BETTER.  (No really, it does.)

At its worst, college (before classes start, at least) is a lot of free time punctuated by moments of "What in the world am I supposed to be doing with myself right now?"  Well, let's just say that I started watching the first season of 30 Rock on Netflix Instant.  Thankfully, this conundrum is easy to fix.  So easy, that I didn't even get finished with the first episode (although I will probably finish it before I go to bed for good measure).  The solution?  Step out of your dorm and be more vulnerable than you've ever had the displeasure to experience.  This sometimes means sitting next to someone you don't know, or as the case was today, sitting alone at lunch to wait to see who is attracted to your awesomeness vibes.  Or you will attract upperclassmen whose job is to make you feel welcome.

This happened today at lunch (Geez Louise, that seems like lifetimes away).  I was waiting to save a spot for someone, but ended up being bombarded with NSO leaders who probably felt bad for me sitting alone eating my bean taco.  Anyway, it was kind of great that this happened, because they gave me a description of my E&D (freshmen intro class) professor and his mannerisms, which undoubtably came up within 30 seconds upon meeting him.  The moment he put his fingers through his "amazing multicolored hair", I had to stifle back laughter.  Yeah, I'm mature.

This also happened tonight at dinner.  The two girls who sat by me were super nice, so we ended up going to do tie dye which was going on outside my dorm.  After that, I headed over to the Co-Op party with a girl from my dorm.  It was the best thing ever!  There was slam poetry, which was actually really awesome and sometimes hilarious.  When that was over, I roamed the campus with a few people before heading back to the Co-Op for the bands to play.  Thankfully I spotted someone from my E&D class, so I settled in with her and her friends.  The bands were really nice, jazzy, folksy, and a little of everything.  There was also face paint!  After it was over, a few of us went upstairs where they were having a "Wild Rumpus" which was basically a "Go dance to music that is the opposite of what you were just listening to".  Regardless, it was a lot of fun, and afterwards (and after losing and finding one of the girls' cell phones) we went to the Bon for midnight breakfast.  In true college fashion, we ended up talking about everything from religion and human rights to Harry Potter and romantic comedies. 

Needless to say, I am having a lot of fun.  This past week Portland has been unusually warm and sunny, so I am quick to rub my heat tolerance in everyone's face.  I probably shouldn't do that, but it's an easy icebreaker (or should I say, icemelter?).  Throughout orientation I have extended my vast knowledge of Arizona culture, specifically Mesa culture.  What is it that Mesa has?  Well, 115 degree weather, Mormons, scorpions, and the author of Twilight.  Yeah!

educational summer camp, part 1

I am officially a college student!  The first thing I noticed when I walked onto the floor of my dorm was just about the best thing that I could have possibly noticed (except Darren Criss waiting to greet me with a hug and my Pottermore email). Each door had HARRY POTTER CHARACTERS for their names.  You better believe I flipped out hardcore.  I mean, what could be more perfect?
This is my door!  It got even better though.

I cracked up when I saw this on the bulletin.  Especially because Voldemort looks like he is getting his groove on.

This was also on the bulletin.  I appreciate these little details, because they make me feel quite at home.  It's also comforting to walk down the hallway and read the multiple inspirational Dumbledore quotes.

Everyone's room is named after a Potter place.  When I open my door, facing me is a giant poster that says "The Great Hall".  If you didn't already put two and two together, all of this makes me extremely happy. 

This is my room! I kept finding things to get out, but this is pretty much how it looks!  I will be adding more wall stuff as the year progresses, I am sure.

This is my bed!  I have a beautiful view.  Fortunately, the dining hall/mailroom/everything building is right outside my dorm.  Not like getting anywhere around here is very far or difficult!  Even I know the whereabouts of most of the academic buildings and I'm no Sacagawea (yes, you did indeed just witness a Lewis & Clark pun).  Either way, it's nice.

This is my nightstand!  Yes, that IS a golden snitch!  Thanks for noticing!  Dahlya gave it to me as a going away gift, and it is magical.

Some fun reading, my WWAD? book (because I try to remind myself to ask myself this), and a pretty sketchbook also from Dahlya!  Also, the giant contact-looking thing is actually an adorable Eiffel Tower paperweight that Erin's mom gave me a while ago.

This is my desk!  I'm sure this is the cleanest it will ever be.  On the right is this awesome picture holder that Erin got me for my birthday.  It's so perfect for a dorm room!

A drawing that my sister made me a while ago, The Beatles, and a sparkly bird courtesy of Erin.

My sewing box I got at Michael's with Rachel that one time (filled with crafty things), a couple of books, cute paperclips I got  from Nicole one birthday in a sake cup from Domenico, my adorable elephant from Maggie's blogger swap package, and my little blackbird Erin brought me home from a trip. 

Tea from Rachel, office supplies, cute mug and quote also from Maggie, sweet mug from my parents, my insanely adorable thermos from my grandparents, and a lovely Dahlya original from my birthday.

My parents brought back a dozen donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts, which is great because I would rather eat stale doughnuts for the rest of the week than wake up early to get to breakfast.

This is my closet!  Notice the "Keep Calm and Shop On" frame from Melanie.

I'm nothing without my bows, bags, and costume jewelry.

Some paper cranes made by Phoebe and Erin, family pictures, and Glee gum and Bertie Bott's from Dahlya! 

Organized accessories (for now), notebook of quotes from my momma goose.

Whew, that was a long post!  All in all, I am having a great time getting to know the people and the campus.  It literally feels like summer camp with the forest surrounding me at all times.  I love it.

repeat after me:

Don't focus on the lasts.
Focus on the firsts.

Or at least, that's what I keep telling myself.

(Leaving for Portland in seven hours!!!!!!)

moving here in 30 hours

This past couple of weeks have made me feel quite emotional, sentimental, and all those other "al"s associated with moving away from everything you've ever known ("Magical" being just another).  I'm extremely excited, but slightly upset that I have decided to leave such a wonderful group of family and friends, even though I know I would be even more upset if I wasn't following my dream to live in a new city.  And then I remind myself it's only for a portion of the year, and I will be back plenty.  Plus, I need some good new stories to tell anyway!

Nevertheless, I have turned to extensive reading as a coping mechanism.  After finishing The Help, I have started reading Bossypants, Tina Fey's autobiography, which is a great book for me right now because it is hilarious and reminds me things like, Successful People Take Chances!  Successful People Moved From Their Hometowns To Pursue Their Careers!  For some reason, this is wildly comforting.  I am also resuming One Daywhich I was openly cheating on The Help with before I finished it on Friday prior to seeing the movie (which I quite enjoyed along with approximately 25 other gray-haired ladies including Dahlya.  They repeated lines as they hysterically laughed and clapped inspirationally).

Between goodbye(for now)s, the craziest finale of The Glee Project imaginable (Rachel and I went NUTS while Erin probably questioned why she was friends with such freaks), copious episodes of House Hunters International with my parents (my dad is addicted) and without, and Glee jam sessions/forced cuddle sessions with Izzy (I refuse to leave that poor dog alone), I am doing my best to remain as normal as possible in these last days (now hours, eek!) before my Big Adventure begins.

Until then!  Xoxo

a view from our table

Instead of doing something productive like packing or sleeping, I have been lured into my iPhoto folders.  I couldn't help but post these pictures from my freshman through senior years' (mostly lunch) tables.  The thing I love about my group of friends (and oh how I love them, especially after a lovely "going away" get together tonight at my house) is that we welcome everyone with open arms.  Yes, we were that kind of table.  The table that people stop by to say hi, and end up sitting there every day for the rest of the year.  There was something magical about our group that attracted all kinds of people.  Sure, some of them came and went after a semester or two, but fortunately the good ones usually stuck around.  It all started with me, Erin, Domenico, and Kate

Last day of 9th grade.

Oh my, look at that goober.  I haven't changed much at all.

Erin and Domenico.  Have I ever mentioned that two of my best friends have been happily married for five years?

Okay, so they're not married (although I told them after each snapshot I took--and there were many--that it was for their "Save the Date"), but FIVE YEARS, GUYS!  The only boy I've liked that long is Harry Potter.  Let's give them a hand!

Ah, the library.  Every morning we would go there to chat, study miniature vocab cards last minute (well, in my case at least), and take silly photos (I was photo editor of the yearbook, so Bernard was my right-wing man).

Dahlya. Some things never change.

Typical Domenico facial expression.  Typical Nathan sunglass-wearing.

Rylee and Eric.  Cutest couple to come out of Junior year (or at least I think that's when they became a couple?  Seriously, I think my group of friends has some of the coolest, longest-lasting couples I have ever encountered...).

Junior year was when I discovered my immense love of hats (and photography, thanks to yearbook).  Oh yes, I was soooo artsy.  I mean, look at that beret and that thoughtful gaze.

Rachel is just the cutest redhead alive.

That awkward moment when I accidentally proposed to Melanie... The only pictures from the lunch table I can find are from Valentine's Day, probably because I was all over the place for most lunches due to yearbook (and Bernard, my yearbook camera, was no longer my man).  Holidays were special though.  My friends and I are a crafty bunch and many homemade treats were exchanged during holidays.

Thankfully, Phoebe shared my extreme love for the frilly holiday.  Although she would show up with yummy treats on any given day!

Also, here are some pics from "Bro Awareness Day"...

MORAL OF STORY:  Yep, we are awesome.

struck by lightning

As I anxiously await my email for Pottermore, all I can do is be as patient as possible.  However, not receiving my entry to Pottermore didn't stop me from having a magical afternoon.  I put on my starry dress and my mom even surprised me with a going away present. She got me, my sister, and herself matching lightning bolt bracelets from Etsy!  Inside they say, "Dream big Reach Far Shine brightly".

Sounds like a plan! 

betty draper


Sometimes Twitter is really cool and entices you to break out your embarrassing journal from when you were 13.  And sometimes, said journal makes you laugh so hard and loudly that you are gasping for air at how ridiculously (more) immature you used to be.  

Here are some real gems (I give you full permission to laugh hysterically) from seventh-grade me:

"If I am going to get into Harvard, I need some rest.  Night."  Haaaaaaaaaah!

"Girls are feroshus (haha can't spell) beasts."  I've never been a good speller, you guys.  But yeah, sometimes they are, especially when they are emotional thirteen year olds who can't spell.

"Eww!  Boys!  Eww!  NO!"  Wiser words have never been written.

"I painted a heart.  My heart.  It's light, but surrounded by darkness closing in."  I CAN'T.  I JUST CAN'T.  THIS IS TOO MUCH.

"We'd fix this.  You know, like at Disneyland?  They renovate rides all the time.  It's the same ride it's always been, but hey, it's getting fixed--bettered.  Like...Pimp My Ride?" What was I wanting to fix, you ask?  A stain on the carpet?  A tear in my favorite skirt?  Nope, my "love life".  Pssh!

"Lately I haven't been thinking about you all that much, but..."  But...I was thinking about you enough to write you a letter that I would never send to you.  But seriously, I never think about you.  Except for this one time I'm spilling my heart out to you in a letter.

"Okay, so now I know why teachers give us so much homework.  To keep us sane."  Ah, junior high drama.  Ah, how I don't miss it.

Although some things never change, embarrassing as I can get:

"What to wear?!!??  Hmm.  I wanna wear my new (old) brooch.  I'll get my whole ├╝berchic nerdy glam girl going on.  I'm thinking my lavendar top that is a little tighter at the waist.  Hmm.  For bottoms?  A skirt obviously.  But which one?  
Scratch that.  Something totally new." SO THAT IS WHAT MY STYLE IS! It's "├╝berchic nerdy glam".  Finally, I can put a name to it.

"I love old stuff.  Old stuff makes me happy.  You know what else makes me happy?  Sleep."  A thousand times yes.

"Ok, so all I needed was a little Starbucks and Arcade Fire and I'm as good as new."  Amen to that.

Alright, now that I've sufficiently humiliated myself for the night, I will say my farewell for now.  I just couldn't help but share how silly I was then.  I mean, I'm still silly, but not in the same ways.  Middle school was just the weirdest situation ever, let me tell you...  I try to block it out of my memory most of the time, but it's good for a few (dozen) laughs.  

i ♥ london

I know bad, awful, sickening things happen daily, and to be honest, when all of a sudden I feel very strongly about something in particular that is going on in the world, I begin to feel guilty for not feeling so upset about every terrible, disgusting thing that happens every single day.  I'm sure we're all guilty of this tendency to tune out such things, mostly because thinking about all of it constantly would drive most to depression.  Maybe it's because I'm growing up (aka it's officially unacceptable to try to escape the harshness of reality), maybe it's because it was one of the first European cities I traveled to, or maybe it's because I'm 99.999% sure I'm studying abroad there my junior year, but I'm really upset about the riots taking place in London right now.  

It's hard, in the security of our comfortable lives, to not take something as simple and important as our safety for granted, but that's just what Londoners are lacking at the present moment.  The anxiety I feel for the people living there has got to be a million times magnified for them.  I hope and pray that these acts of violence and crime seize as soon as possible.  

There's a lot of messed up things happening in the world (I could name a few now, but that's for another post), but I will leave it at this:  Keep London in your thoughts, keep Humanity in your thoughts, and never forget that one of the best things you can do to stop (or at least prevent more of) such atrocity in the world is to practice kindness and compassion, and avoid violence at all costs.  Much love to all of you!  xoxo