style lessons: shirley kurata

Thanks to Rookie, I discovered the wardrobe stylist Shirley Kurata.  The moment I read she described her style as "secretary chic" I knew we were kindred spirits.

Constantly seeing images of women who are super done up or put together in the chicest, sexiest way makes me want to curl up in a pear-covered cardigan ball (yep, wore that today).  My style is far from any definition of attractive in the traditional sense.  Yet, I'm not Man Repeller status either, because girls who dress "edgy" and go headfirst into crazy fashion trends usually have a killer attitude and confidence that translates to sexiness.

Edgy and sexy are two words that certainly do not describe me.  I am very modest and love to play with color and a sense of humor.  I have more brooches and holiday pins to rival your local elementary school librarian.  Obviously, this isn't the epitome of sexiness.  And I'm okay with that.

I can't say I don't try to look attractive sometimes, but let me tell you this--the rare occasion I do try to look more than cute, I fail miserably.  Even if I do succeed to some extent, I quickly pull a cardigan over my bare shoulders, arrange a bow in my hair, or put extremely bright opaque tights on.  Or all three.

It's just not me to put myself out there.  I'd rather stand out because of my interesting color combination than how much skin I'm showing.  Not to say that showing skin is bad--if you want to flaunt your stuff, more power to you!  However, in my case, it's more important for me to feel true to myself than look appealing to other people.

And this is why it is so refreshing to stumble upon someone like Shirley Kurata, who not only has a strong sense of personal style, but also has an incredible eye for fashion (see her styling work here).

In the words of one of my mom's second graders when shown a picture of me, "She looks like she's going to sell Girl Scout cookies!"

gift guide: for the whimsical world traveler

It's that time of the year again--Christmas crafting and shopping.  It's my favorite time of the year, and it's never too early to start holiday planning (words to live by), so I'm starting a gift guide series of Make/Buy alternatives.

Make:  A travel journal.  Documenting your adventures is crucial.  To give your favorite traveler the gift of personal reflection, find a cheap plain journal and decorate it.  Include crafty additions like stickers and paper so he or she is ready to journal.  Don't forget to include instructions on how to keep the journal.  If you're feeling extra spendy, include a disposable camera. For tips on travel journals, go here and here.

Buy:  World Class Cookie Cutter Set.  Not only is this adorable, but it's a sweet reminder of travels past when you're home.
I'm excited to post more of these!  If you have any suggestions of types of people to do guides for, let me know.

today i am thankful for... home


So thankful for coming home to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.  There's nothing better than being home for the holidays.

today i am thankful for... sunshine

It's been a rainy mess here in Portland.  Ready to be squinting in the blazing sun and enjoying the low 80s weather of my hometown.

today i am thankful for... finding a place

I'm not someone who easily feels at home in a place or group of people.  I've been pretty involved in the theatre department since I've gotten here, so I should feel at home.  The truth is, it's not that easy.  I'm trying, though, and will keep trying, because today I remembered why I decided to do design in the first place--I want to be a part of something beautiful and inspiring, and since I can't act, dance, or sing, I must put forth what I can do.  I still have a lot to learn, and I hope that I can make myself proud for my first design gig at school.

today i am thankful for... far away friends

Being far away from my Arizona friends is hard, but just knowing I'll be able to see them in the near future is comforting.  It's also a blessing to have such a tight knit group of bloggers in my life.  I am so grateful for their friendship!

today i am thankful for... dogs

This morning I had to leave early to print out an assignment before class, and I was rewarded for being so responsible--right when I left my dorm, I saw two ladies walking towards me with their dogs.  One dog was small and white.  I thought, IZZY DOG???  And it WAS!  His name was Gidget.  I told them I had a dog just like him at home (but so much cuter, let's get real) and asked if I could pet him.  They said of course and I pretty much tried to smother him with my love, but he backed away and tentatively let me pet him.  I was so excited that I whipped out my phone to show the ladies the picture of Izzy on my lock screen.  I told them this made my day, said bye, and walked to the library with only a little bit of teary eyes.

today I am thankful for...lazy sundays

It's been a crazy couple of weeks--late night rehearsals and shows, getting sick and getting better, two papers, taking on a design opportunity, homework...all while somehow trying to stay sane (which I have succeeded in varying levels over the past two weeks).  Things are still in full swing until Thanksgiving gives me a reason to slow down, but today, I am taking a well-deserved day off.  I am lounging around in my PJ's all day doing laundry and various lazy things like watching SNL (Anne Hathaway is the best), planning Christmas gifts, and scheduling all the things I need to do before NEXT WEEK WHEN I GET TO GO HOME.  I am so excited to be home with my family and lounge around with Izzy.  Hooray for upcoming holidays!

today i am thankful for... my right to vote

...all while wearing a well-coordinated themed outfit.  

Happy Election Day!  Even if you didn't get the results you wanted, remember to be thankful for the chance to make a difference in our country.  We can accomplish so much good if we put our minds to it, as I witnessed today.  Stay classy (aka don't post hateful things on all your social media).  We're all in this together.

today i am thankful for... unexpected goldfish crackers at the bon & HIMYM

Love me some fishy crackers.  File under "Weird things that college kids get really excited about."

Also, How I Met Your Mother was pretty great tonight.  Always a lovely way to end a Monday.

today i am thankful for... much needed date nights

Since I've been busy helping out with the mainstage, I have been seriously lacking in fun, relaxing time.  Tonight I had the night off, so I headed downtown to meet Ted for some well-deserved Thai food and ice cream.  

today i am thankful for... my sweet family in az

This post COULD consist of a bunch of pictures of all the awesome stuff my family sends me...but that would just be bragging.  Seriously though.  My family sends me cards, texts, care packages, and a whole lot of love during my time here at school.  I'm so grateful for their generous and supportive presence in my life while I'm far away from home.  I honestly couldn't ask for a more loving family. 

today i am thankful for... tea

I've been having lots of tea this week because I've been sick...  My plentiful supply of tea is finally being put to good use.