packing for two weeks in Spokane.

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In July, I went packed my things and sat in a car for six hours, arriving in the city of Spokane, WA. I was to spend the next two weeks sleeping in the dorms, going to lectures, and eating college food. That was basically the camp at Gonzaga Debate Institute. Knowing how tiny the dorms were supposed to be, I realized that I had to bring as little clothes as possible. Not only did I have to bring things to wear, I also had to bring sheets, a pillow, a ton of food, and basically everything I needed to survive (comfortably).

So, about three weeks before I really needed to start packing, I planned out what I was going to bring. I don’t have much artistic skill but I ended up drawing the items I wanted to bring on little post-it notes. These were super helpful just to see everything visually.
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There are tons of formulae out there telling exactly how much of what you should bring based on how long your trip is. Six felt good to me, so I brought six tops and six bottoms. For bottoms, I brought four shorts, leggings (which I didn’t really wear), and I replaced that skirt with sweat pants (fantastic idea). For tops, I brought three tank tops, two tees, and a long sleeve that replaced one of those gray shirts. I also brought a light hoodie and a rain jacket.

Spokane in July is pretty hot, though the mornings are comfortable enough for me to wear sweats and a long sleeve. I spent about eight hours of the day in a heavily air-conditioned classroom so everything that I brought was actually too cold. But outdoors, it was perfect.

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If everything coordinated, there would be 36 outfits which is plenty for a two week trip (we has access to a washer and dryer too). But since everything I brought didn’t require much outfit planning, I just grabbed what I wanted.

All of this, plus two pairs of shoes, towels, and toiletries, fit in a duffle bag. Success.

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this week in photos: 8.12.15

A week in the life started this past Monday. While I’ve never been good at capturing the daily moments in a form I liked, I’ve always enjoyed these records of each week. So, every week that I can, I’ll post five photos of my past week. Maybe they’ll be from each day, or all from one. Either way, it’ll show you a bit into what I do (it’s not much 🙂 )

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WED: This past week, the heat meant a trip to Molly Moon’s Ice Cream.

FRI: The sunshine was replaced with thunder and lightning storms for a full day. Unfortunately, that was the day I had to walk through downtown to get home from work. To take a break, I ducked into the Central Library for an hour, browsing through the magazines and taking notes.

SAT/SUN: That weekend, our family friends visited from Portland. They’ve been to Seattle so often that they don’t remember all the tourist attractions, like Pike Place Market. We also took them to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery to try some *intense* black coffee.

TUES: My friend and I delivered balloons to our friend’s house to welcome her back from a full summer of camp. (balloons and wind and public transportation = struggle)

going to the movies (alone)

IMG_20150811_1501114_rewindMy usual volunteering partner was gone for the day, so I got off of my shift a few hours early. About two and a half hours really, a perfect chunk of time for a movie.

I checked my phone every few minutes as the bus turned from street onto bridge, bridge into Chinatown, and finally into the heart of downtown. I raced up to the top floor of a shopping mall and ran up to the tired college student behind the glass. I was late, but like all movie theatres, there were 15 minutes of ads before the actual movie.

What movie was I watching? Paper Towns. I’ve talked about how much I liked the book, but the movie was different. John Green himself has said that the movie and book aren’t meant to be water and ice. The movie was good, kinda cheesy at some moments and lacking in interest at others, but not too shabby. The entire time I was sitting there, in the middle of the theatre with no one to either side of me, I could help being… uncomfortable. There was a family of girls above me and a couple my age (hands intertwined for all 118 minutes of it) below. And, being the weird person that I am, I kept imagining a shooting like the one in the news.

Going to the movies alone was weird. I got distracted a lot. That might have been because of the movie but I had a desire to check my messages, my social media, as if to remind myself that, yeah, I had friends. It happens at parties too, when there’s a moment of not-doing-anything, I grab my phone and check in with the internet. I used to be good with being alone for a while. I had fun hanging by myself all summer. But this past year, I met people I actually wanted to spend time with.

So I guess this desire to not be alone all the time is not a bad thing. It does make movies weird though.

lately: movies

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Jeez, it is getting really hot in Seattle. Where has our year-round mediocre temps?

The coldest part of the house is downstairs, where the flat screen is. And that means movies! Today, I wanted to share with you the movies I’ve watched recently (and loved!).

NOW YOU SEE ME

A story about how four magicians make it big in Vegas and somehow are pulling big heists during their shows. While, at the same time, an FBI agent (+Interpol) try to crack their secrets. Very entertaining and the ending is a huge twist. Yay for unpredictability! I actually really like this movie, the plot is unique (in my movie experience) and magic tricks are always fun to watch, even if it’s CGI. 🙂

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

This is the first Wes Anderson movie that I was aware of watching. I love the colors and the square screen was pretty cool as well. The scenes of the hotels got me wondering if they were paintings or mini scale models. Either way, the imagery is beautiful and the story is pretty fun as well.

THE GIVER

I’ve read the buck a bunch of times, and love the story quite a bit. I wasn’t really sure how they were going to do the movie, since the majority of the story is black and white. But! I think they did a pretty good job, with the set, the memories being transferred, and slow integration of colors.

Movies and summer go together like root bear and vanilla ice cream. Go watch so cinematic masterpieces!

 

 

blog tools: post ideas.

post ideasSo you’ve got pretty pictures. Now the most important part: your content! Coming up with blog posts and ideas is the main part of blogging and is often the reason behind blogger’s block. Here are my tips/resources to come up with blog post ideas.

Don’t wander around the Internet looking for ideas. You’ll be lost there forever, drowning in pins and tweets. While there are tons of great posts out there, the best posts come from a place of interest, something that you really want to talk about. Whether it be an issue you believe in or products/stores that you enjoyed, there should be some passion in it (even if it’s negative) Go outside! Do something!

Answer the questions in Elle & Co’s How to Come Up with 60 Original Blog Post Ideas in 30 Minutes.  (so helpful!)

Create lists. As a list-making fanatic myself, lists are often the easiest way for me to share my ideas and thoughts. And, when you do have blog posts lined up, creating lists of everything can help you stay organized and who know, maybe you’ll find a gem in between those bullet points and strikethroughs.

– Remember, it’s your blog. You can post whatever you want, and posts only have to meet your expectations.

Now go, write some blog posts. The world is already filled so many blogs and bloggers, you are the only thing that makes yours special. Go, go, go!

blogging tools: photos

blogpostphotosPhotos are a huge deal in blog posts. In today’s world, many blogs are excelling beyond magazine-levels of photography and it’s awesome. So, whether you’re just starting out or you need some photos in a pinch, here are my favorite and most used tools for photos.

TAKE THOSE PHOTOS

You hear it a lot in the blog world: shoot in manual. A lot easier said then done, people. A series that I love and have used to figure out photo taking is Photography 101 by Of threes and Hues. Latrina’s blog is one of my favorites and her series is easy to understand and goes into plenty of detail.

BETTER THAN STOCK

Sometimes, other people just do it better. And sometimes, a post just needs a generic backdrop. Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo share with the world amazing, high quality photos that do the trick. They are stunning, and look hella good. The photo for this post is from Death. My eyes are happy.

ADD SOME WORDS

With Pinterest being a huge influencer on blogs, a good (what I call) title photo is key. That means putting the blog title or topic on the first picture of the post. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is through PicMonkey. Incredibly easy to use and learn. YouTubers use it for their thumbnails, I use it for everything (logo and infographics).

Once you got some nice photos at a title photo, you’re ready to go! Of course, you need to write the blog post too and we’ll cover that next week for part 2 of blogging process/tools/i’ll figure out a name later. 🙂

2015 summer goal.

DSC_00172This year’s “summer to-do list” is the longest one yet and it’s constantly growing. Little tasks and reminders to keep this break going make up the majority of the list however there’s one big task that sits above the others.

This summer, 2015, I want to make enough money for a Sony A5100 (or an A5000.)
I did a bunch of research, looking at the spec of these mirrorless DSLRs. Originally, I was looking into one of those hefty DSLRs that you see the pros carrying around. But then I saw the smaller versions in this video and I was in love. They’re smaller and lighter, making them easier to carry around, and they have just as many lenses as classic DSLRs. With something so expensive (to me at least) I had and will keep researching. I watched this video, and this one. Both are great videos reviewing the camera.

Can you tell how excited about this I am? I’d love to get my hands on one of these and I’m hoping to put that excitement into making some money this summer. I’ve got it taped on my wall so I can see it every morning. It’s the first time I’ve ever saved money for a specific goal/reward. Let’s see how this works.

New camera also means more and better blog content. Win-win for everyone. 🙂

lately // may

It’s May, the last full month between me and summer. Lately, I’ve been….

Reflecting on this past year. Man, it went by like a speeding soccer mom (fast, but just a little). I liked this year.

Watching the Chef’s Table documentary on Netflix. SOOOO goood.

Listening to Lana, Marina, and Karmin.

Learning about the crossroads between should and must.

Growing lettuce and goji berries. (!)

Putting a bunch of business and blogging books on hold at the library. I’m excited about this one, this one, and this one.

Enjoying the sun. We took a trip to Eastern Washington last weekend and sunglasses were always on.

Ordering this swim suit. (it was on sale too!)

Feeling kinda stressed ’bout these last two weeks of school. Finals!

Wanting to hang out with my friends before they leave for their vacations.

Looking for a cheaper version of these shoes.

Working on projects and lots of new blog posts. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things this summer.

And, working out.

Loving this post by Becky about how “wrong reasons” in blogging is absolute bullshit.

Reading the classics. Secret Garden, Little Woman, Importance of Being Earnest.

Eating HUMMUS. GUAC. my loves.

Figuring out what I’m bring to camp this summer. And yes, I actually like packing.

And finally, this week I was posting about overnight oats. (go check it out!)