quote, unquote

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Something to keep in mind always.  School is getting overwhelming, but I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible because this may be my last year of school, ever.  So I might as well embrace it, right?  Even the essays I don't want to write, the readings I don't want to do, the nights I want to stay home but still go out, the mistakes I've made (like the fact that I leave work with a new article of clothing more often than I'd like to admit), the quirks of living and going to school with so many different kinds of people.  I know I'll miss it all, so I must keep living, living, living, reading, writing, stressing, guessing, failing, flailing, succeeding, eating, studying, breathing, working, working, working even if it's hard.

photo taken in hallstatt, austria

born to diy

Making my own beauty products has long been on my list of "I wanna do that!" but for some reason I always stopped short of actually pursuing it.  So when I saw this DIY Vegan Deodorant Kit on Uncommon Goods, I jumped at the chance of finally trying out a home beauty project and giving natural deodorant a whirl (or should I say, a swipe). The kit comes with all of the necessary ingredients and conventional deodorant containers to fill up with your homemade concoction. Each "blend" is well marked as A, B, C, and D and lists the ingredients in smaller print. The instructions are as straight-forward as you can get--"A + B" and so on. Having the clear instructions and all the materials at my disposal took away the intimidation of trying something new. Once I got the wax/butter blend to melt over my make-shift double boiler, the process went very quickly and before I knew it, I was pouring the mixture into the empty containers to be cooled. Everything went as planned, and I was so proud!  I happily decorated each container with a cute sticker.  

But the real question remained: Does it actually work? I tried it out this week and am happy to report that not only does it feel good to apply natural ingredients to my body versus mysterious chemicals found in antiperspirants, it smells good too! The real test came when I went to my dance class on Thursday. Even after working up a sweat, I still felt good and smelled faintly of lavender.  I will definitely be making more deodorant in my future.
This Hedgehog Needle Felting Kit was my first adventure in needle felting!  I chose this beginner kit in hopes that it would become a new favorite craft.  I love working with fibers, so it was nice to try a new way to use wool, but I have to say that I need a lot more practice before I can start making the tiny felted pumpkins of my dreams.

The kit comes with (sometimes vague) directions with corresponding pictures, as well as needles and wool to get you started.  The only items I had to come up with were a sewing needle for the bead eyes and a small piece of foam to use as a working surface.  A sponge also would have worked.  Although my first hedgehog didn't turn out perfectly, the kit comes with enough wool to make 1-2 more lil' hedgehog friends.  I also appreciated the extra felting needle, because I'm always prone to breaking fragile things, even if the instructions specifically says to be gentle.  Whoops.
As a long-time embroiderer, it is embarrassing to admit that I only know a handful of stitches.  That's where this book comes in.  When I spotted the Stitch Encyclopedia of Embroidery, I realized it was time to expand my crafty horizons.  Of course the adorable cover was what initially caught my eye.

The book promises 10 basic stitches and 74 other stitches that I never knew existed but am pleased to learn they do.  The illustrations are the best part.  As a visual learner, I appreciate the step by step pictures!  I haven't even gotten through the basic stitches, but I am anxiously awaiting the day I can master the "Honeycomb Stitch" and the "Varied Fly Stitch." How fun are those names?  I'm already thinking about whether I should invest in the knitting and crochet volumes Check them out here along with some other lovely gifts for ladies!

Any other DIY kits or items I should know about?  I'm always looking for a new crafty adventure!

photo diary: crater lake

At the end of the summer, Ted and I went on a spontaneous road trip to Crater Lake.  Turns out, we were a little too spontaneous and ended up having to drive straight home when there were no campsites left.  Despite that, we managed to have a lovely time, stopping in Bend for some eats at the original Deschutes Brewery, taking a short hike around the rim of the stunningly beautiful blue lake, and just enjoying each other's company.  Fun story:  We stopped on the side of the road in the middle of the Deschutes National Forest around 11PM to look at the stars and our romantic moment turned quickly into a "Dammit!" moment when the car wouldn't start again because the lights drained the battery.  Thankfully AAA came and we were on our merry way back to Portland.  Not quite the adventure we planned, but we still had a lovely time--that's the great part of having a travel buddy like Ted.  I'm looking forward to going back soon for a real night of camping though!

thursday thrills

I'm still in the process of making a fall playlist, so this one from HelloGiggles will do for now.

Itching to try some fall-inspired recipes like this pie and these cupcakes.

Getting pumped for the collection of craft supplies & home goods at A Beautiful Mess.  What can they not do?  I'm convinced they are going to take over the crafty world.  (Can I be an accomplice?)

Ever since living in London, I've gotten more into wearing makeup (probably because I was living in such a posh city and rooming with beauty queen Eva).  I still haven't convinced myself to buy anything new, but Rebecca from The Clothes Horse has a similar makeup routine to mine, so I might need to take some cues from her.

Gilmore Girls is on Netflix.  Enough said.

Happy Fall, y'all. It's time to go buy some tiny pumpkins (FINALLY!).

photo diary: portland with my ladies

Here are just a few moments of one of my favorite weeks ever.  I've known for some time that Portland is a true home to me, but it never felt quite as magical as it did when I had these two beauties by my side.  Every sight, bite (and lemme tell ya--we ate a lot of awesome food), and embarrassing joke was a million times better with them around.  It's my master plan to get them to move here, and they know it.  They'll always have a place on my bedroom floor and in my heart.  I'm a cheeseball, it's okay.

photo diary: san francisco

Okay, so the contents of this post happened nearly two months ago (wait, what?!), but after a FaceTime session with Erin, my sister, and Izzy (Erin got to hang out with my lil' sis and snuggle my dog--I'm jealous), I am missing my best friends from back home.  I was lucky enough to have a girls road trip with Erin and Rylee (and Domenico for a day) on my way to Portland.  We stopped in Berkeley for a couple of nights (to sleep and eat pizza) and spent one day in San Francisco.  We decided to hit the essentials--the pier, the penny arcade, Little Italy, Golden Gate Park, and Haight St.  It was such a beautiful time spent with two of my favorite ladies and brought so much happiness into my heart.  I really could not ask for lovelier friends--they are the special kind that are equally good at chatting over cocktails and crafting in silence to 90's pop music.  Is there a better kind of friend?  

Traveling for the first time since Europe, I experienced a lot of nostalgia and remembering little details or stories. I felt a relief wash over me.  Since getting home, I had this worry that I would forget everything that happened to me the past five months.  I quickly realized that I won't forget--those moments are a part of me now.  I almost cried when I saw the above journal, because it summed up what I was feeling so perfectly.  My suitcase heart will always leave room for more souvenirs.