#successfulsummer recap


My summer blogging project (you can read about it here), was not as successful as I planned. The biggest hurdle would be the fact that the only way to go out, was to take the bus. And that is not as fun/easy/efficient/non-scary as one might think. If there wasn’t a driver in the house, it would just be me. I have explored my neighborhood to the point where I know exactly where the party sounds come from.

Everything was actually alright in the first few weeks, it was at the end of July that the “what am I doing” thoughts came into my mind. Then suddenly, I was off on a two-week road trip with a family I’ve only met once before (don’t worry, they were my aunt’s family). That whole trip in itself was one big roller coaster, going up and up all while building up the pressure going down.

After that was one big recovery process, and I honestly was just happy to be home with my parents.

There are only four days left until I must re-enter the world of school (something that isn’t always the same as learning). I grew a lot this summer. But probably not due to this series. #successfulsummer helped my through the beginning, but it was myself who pulled me to the end.

Incase you were curious, you can find all the posts in this series right here. 

High school, that towering wall of “you gotta work hard to go to a good college and then a good job” coming at me. Good thing I’m not claustrophobic, and good thing I’m ready.


’14 summer roadtrip: yellowstone np

DSC_8666 copy
For the first two weeks of August, I went on what I called a west-of-the-rockies road trip. The first day consisted of a 13 hour drive from Seattle to Yellowstone. Our first night was at Grant Village. The next morning we headed out to the east side of the loop.DSC_8252 DSC_8264 copyDSC_8311 copy  DSC_8337 copyDSC_8320 copy DSC_8321 copy DSC_8327 copyDSC_8415 copy DSC_8416 copy DSC_8438 copy And finally we arrived at the Mammoth Hot Springs. Possibly my favorite place we stayed this trip. There was this hill right next to our little cabin that gave a beautiful, chilly view of the whole town. The next morning we headed for the west side of the loop.
DSC_8442 copy DSC_8461 copy DSC_8464 copy DSC_8466 copy DSC_8478 copy DSC_8486 copy DSC_8494 copy DSC_8496 copy DSC_8500 copy DSC_8512 copy DSC_8506 copyDSC_8514 copy DSC_8525 copyDSC_8549 copyoutput_MQbcOI DSC_8529 copy  There were so many geyser basins, and they can all start to look the same after a while. But then you meet a bacteria-filled bowl of boiling water, and it’s stunning. DSC_8643 copy DSC_8652 copy DSC_8666 copy DSC_8699 copy output_2BviWwDSC_8738 copyWe ended our Yellowstone visit at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. There is a lot to do in Yellowstone and two days barely got us around the full loop. Three days would have given us time to see everything and enjoy each of the magnificent underground structures of  My cousin and I went early in the morning to watch Old Faithful a second time before the sun rose and we headed off to Grand Teton, and Salt Lake City.

in a duffle: 2 week roadtrip



I am on a road trip right now.

*flashback music and distortion of the screen*

It was just an average after-dinner hangout on the deck, in the sumer heat and the orange sunset.

“Iris, come over here.”

I didn’t think much of it until my mom said:

“What do you think about going on a two week road trip with your cousin and his parents?”

Hmmm. Interesting.

“They are going to LA, San Fran, and a few other places. You’ll have to be very independent without us.”


*comes back into real time*

This is definitely something for my #successfulsummer list. So, being the overly planned packer that I am, I started a Google Doc with my packing list. There are a lot of packing lists and tips out there which are useful and insightful, but I’ll just add one more post. 🙂 Here’s what I plan on packing:



  • 6 shirts
  • 1 army jacket
  • 1 hoodie
  • 2 pants (jeans & sweats)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 dress
  • socks
  • undies
  • 2 camis
  • pajamas
  • swimsuit
  • rain jacket
  • 1 pair of everyday sandals
  • 1 pair for shoes
  • 1 wide scarf

I was extremely inspired by the photo from House Mix Blog.


  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • hairbrush
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • toner
  • moisturizer
  • cotton pads
  • dry shampoo
  • hair elastics/bobby pins
  • contact kit
  • concealer
  • lip balm

and of course my electronic, wallet, and neck pillow 🙂

Now, this is a road trip so I don’t have to worry about liquids or weight. I have also planned everything in outfits, although every shirt goes with every pant and goes with every jacket so I don’t really have to worry about that either.

As many, many sites will tell you, roll your clothes and use packing cubes. I rolled my clothes but since I didn’t have packing cubes, I just used old shopping bags from stores like Forever 21 or Gap.

It all fit in a duffle bag too (with room for purchases haha)! Ah, I am really excited  and I’ll definitely be sharing photos. 🙂

poketo pop-up at nordstrom

this week on #successfulsummer, I do something I’ve wanted to do.


I saw the Poketo pop-up (or pop-in) allover Instagram a few weeks ago, and last Friday, I finally got the chance to visit.


My cousin and I went and it was everything I imagined and more. The guy manning the pop-up was possibly the awesomest guy ever. He took this photo for us and talked about everything like it was his life’s meaning. I was so busy looking at everything, oooing and ahhing, that I didn’t remember to take any close up photos! I wanted everything. Unfortunately, I didn’t get anything. 😦


But it was the highlight of my week; I finally got to go somewhere I wanted and it was happiness in a ten by five space.

day in the life: Katie of blue poppy blog

You guys. I am so excited to share with you Katie and her amazing day in the life! This summer I really wanted to have more guests around here and show you guys how amazing these bloggers are. Take it away Katie!


When Iris and I got in touch about collaborating in her series describing ‘A Day in the Life’ of fellow bloggers I immediately jumped at the chance! Mostly it is because I enjoy collaborating with other creatives, but another reason is because lately life has been pretty good to me, and I wanted to take some time to think about that and reflect on it. In the grand scheme of it all your daily life may be routine and therefore boring to you, but to others it may be extremely interesting. And when I really think about it I honestly can’t find much to complain about! I am in my early twenties, I have a full time career, live in a great area, and have a loving and caring boyfriend, just to name a few. Anyway, to introduce myself, I’m Katie of blue poppy blog. I started blogging over the winter in order to keep myself busy as work was pretty slow and Albany, NY, where I live, can be a pretty difficult place to live come winter. Our winters get freezing and the sun setting at 4:30pm doesn’t help either. Luckily it’s Summer, and there is much more to do!
My day starts out like most peoples days do with waking up, making breakfast, and getting ready for work. Today I made some eggs and ‘facon’ (fake bacon, as I am a vegetarian) and some fresh ground French Press coffee.
I really need to make sure I fuel myself well for the day ahead as my job can be demanding, especially in the summer. What do I do? I am the production manager and associate photographer for Clark+Walker Studio, a well known award winning photography studio focusing on wedding and portrait photography. Needless to say during the wedding season of May-October I don’t catch much of a break. I will find myself working 40 hours weeks with maybe one or two weddings each weekend. Today I am working on a wedding that is so far one of my favorites of the season 🙂
My job is to sort through all of the images taken the day of the weddings, pick the best ones, retouch them all, and send them to the client in a timely manner. Other responsibilities of mine are scheduling appointments, booking clients, designing albums, and much more. It keeps me busy but I love it. Photography was something I fell in love with at a young age and knew I always wanted to do. And now I am lucky enough to be doing for a living!


After work I typically engage in several extracurriculars. Tonight I am heading home and going for a run, but on other days I will play pick up basketball, softball, or do yoga, which I aim to do once a week. Staying active is important for me, especially after sitting at a desk all day.
Speaking of heading home, I live in a great 5th floor apartment right in the heart of Albany. Here’s a view from my bedroom window. It’s a gloomy day today but the views are great no matter the weather, and the sunsets are gorgeous when the sky isn’t murky.
I also spend half of my time at my boyfriends house which is about 20 minutes away. It’s my second home. We’ve been together for just over three years and I am just head over heels for him. Things really couldn’t be any better than they are. I am incredibly happy!
After my run tonight I’ll come home, cook dinner, relax with my love and do some blogging.
I’m really excited to be reviewing some beautifully scented candles for the blog later on – I won’t give too much information on this new company and their awesome candles as you’ll have to stay tuned this month and check the blog to find out more! But until then I’m off to run a couple of miles and then come back to make veggie tacos for our ritual Taco Tuesday dinner!
xo Katie


Isn’t that awesome? I would love to have that kind of day, everyday! You can find Katie at her blog, blue poppy blog, on facebook, and on twitter and instagram as @bluepoppyblog! Let me know in the comments below what your daily life is like and don’t forget to give Katie some love 🙂 


Only in the past two years have I started watching sports in a stadium. It’s been a blast.

20140709-103407-38047184.jpgLast week, my family and I went to the Seattle Mariners baseball game. I’ve never watched baseball before so it was quite the adventure figuring specific rules and who that guy-whose-standing-over-there-not-doing-anything is supposed to be doing.

20140709-103503-38103343.jpgAnd everyone knows that stadium food is fantastic. Garlic fries (which I didn’t get to try!), Everest-sized snow cones, and strawberries covered in chocolate on a stick. All delicious and over priced, haha.

The crowd is excited and the sound of the ball hitting the bat rings through the field. It’s the anticipation of sports a few hundred feet away is what makes watching games a thrill.

successful summer : thoughts from museums

One of my #successfulsummer goals was to do one fun thing a week. I did two. 🙂



*note* The photos above aren’t from the exhibit; I couldn’t take pictures there. 🙂

Thoughts on Modernism in the Pacific NorthWest:

  • War can have such a big impact on everything.
  • It started out with thin white on dark backgrounds
  • Then more white
  • and more white
  • until it was more white than dark
  • And there were influences from the church
  • and the asian cultures
  • There was a lot of uses of different perspectives
  • Both in art and about the world back during the second war.






And then I went to the Museum of Flight.

Thoughts from the MOF: 

  • Airplanes are such an amazing invention.
  • After touring the Concorde, I was in awe of how humans can be so genius. Faster than the speed of sound? Amazing.
  • I also toured a retired Air Force One. It’s like a hotel room in the sky.
  • And a Space Shuttle?
  • WOW
  • I was walking in the same place astronauts had.
  • And the painted dark walls made it feel like I was in space.
  • Even the imaginary universe in my head was beautiful.
  • The universe,
  • is beautiful.


DSC_7896DSC_7892  book insides collage

While Target moved its whole section of awesome notebooks into a black hole (and replaced it with a weird line of neon stuff), found these incredibly nerdy and incredibly fantastic notebooks. They’re super nice and the pop of color on the inside is great. They have a cool techy embossed design on each cover and the terabyte, megabyte, and kilobyte covers? too cool. Kilobyte has a grid pattern inside, Megabyte has a lined pattern, and Terabyte is blank.

Why am I telling you about this? Besides the fact that they are really cool (ice cold), I am doing a giveaway! One winner will receive all three notebooks. I’m really excited about doing this giveaway, as part of my #successfulsummer, and because I want to share great things with you guys. 🙂 Also, this blog has passed it’s first birthday about two weeks ago and this is it’s belated birthday gift. 🙂 I started this blog last summer and look how far is gone! Thanks so much guys, really.



successful summer: to do printable

You guys! It’s summer! As much as school was well… dreaded, I kinda miss it. Every summer, for the past three summers or so, I’ve felt unproductive without school and something to constantly got to. Everyday I’ll just hang out at home, on the Internet.

summer to do printableWell, I plan to change that this summer. With this series, successful summer, I will hopefully feel accomplished this season. To kick things off, I want to share with you guys a free summer printable! I made this super simple, basic summer to do list so that you (and I) can make it easy to outline the summer and be able to say we did something. 🙂

Above  is mine, and you can get a bit of a preview of what’s gonna happen in the next few months. You can download this printable by just saving the image, no fancy download link for this printable-sharing newbie.  It’s 5″ by 7″, just letting you know.

Every Monday, I’ll be sharing with you guys what I did to have a successful summer. Join me with the hashtag #successfulsummer and tell me what you did this summer!