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!).


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. 🙂


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.


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!



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. 🙂

review: thistle and poppy’s snap point frames


this tweet couldn’t have come at a better time. In the past year, I’ve been working on making my photography better, and better. And some real gems have come from that effort; worthy of being put on my wall to be seen every single day. Then Thistle & Poppy tweeted looking for bloggers to review their whimsical picture frames. I tweeted back, obviously, and now I’m here to share with you my thoughts on Thistle & Poppy’s Snap Point Frames.DSC_9285

What, snap point? What does that even mean. Here’s the backstory of how things all began:

Snap Point Picture Frames were born shortly after the founding of Thistle & Poppy by me (Christie) and my husband Jens. We started out making custom picture frames in our garage for my photography clients. The companies that I was working with either didn’t have the styles I was looking for, the prices were way too high or they just took too long to be delivered.

After spending a grueling holiday season in the wood shop making tons of frames and ornaments, Jens and I were simply discussing ways to make our process more efficient and trying to find ways to maintain the huge variety of frame styles I wanted to offer while he was insistent on making the business profitable 😉 We finally stumbled upon a revolutionary solution sitting on our workbench, magnets!

We had been in the process of designing a very cool interactive led wall decor display and had tiny magnets leftover. The light bulb switched on for both of us and within minutes we had our first snap point prototype! A picture frame that would allow you to simply place your photo on the base, snap the trim style of our choice on top and voilà! Framing in seconds!


Now, after hanging this beauty on my wall, here are my thoughts:

the good:

  • these are shaped picture frames. So, that means they come in all different designs, both the base and the frame that snaps on, and there are lots of options.
  • and they have an easy to use designer to pick those designs
  • solid wood (!)
  • color is bright and vivid
  • frames snap on and don’t fall off
  • and customizable too, easily decorate them
  • no glass! it’ll still hurt though, if it falls.

DSC_9307the bad:

  • there isn’t an option for 6 by 4, which is the size of most my photos
  • much heavier compared to other frames but that’s because it’s solid wood.
  • a little on the pricey side, but worth it for solid wood and versatilities
  • paint rubs off a bit on the edges and the corners


and the amazing versatilities:

  • doodles
  • photos
  • nursery decor
  • whiteboard
  • design paper
  • magazine pages

So many ways to be used as home decor! And these frames are crazy affordable. Each base is only $18 for SOLID WOOD. The base is heavier than my dog. Sure, she’s only about 15 pounds but that’s already a lot for a frame. These are a fantastic product, and I love my frame!

On a different note, I’ll be starting school this week -no, TODAY- and it’ll be quite crazy. I’ll let you know what happens this Friday. 🙂

#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.

review: beauty without cruelty


Before I start talking about the products, can I just say that I love the packaging.  Not too complicated and that swan-heart thing on the side of the mascara is some pretty smart branding.  Haha. Ok, let’s go.

I got to work with the fabulous Beauty Without Cruelty and was sent a mascara and an eyeliner that I chose from their Color Cosmetics line. Here’s a little about them:

“In 1963, Beauty Without Cruelty was founded in England by the trustees of BWC Charitable Trust. Its goal was to manufacture and distribute natural, color cosmetics that are NOT tested on animals and did NOT contain any animal ingredients.”

Kathleen Long was the driving force and with Noel Gabriel, they created the first full line of cruelty-free color cosmetics. Long passed away in 1969 and BWC almost closed it’s doors. Luckily Lady Dowding took over and BWC reached new heights.

Today BWC has a line of over 200 personal care and color cosmetic products. Not only are they’re products without cruelty, they’re also without toxins!

That’s quite the legacy! And I love their idea for a beauty product that’s good for the world and will actually use. You can find more about them here.  With school starting in exactly one week (!!) waterproof mascara is something I definitely need to get through the day smudge-free. I got the waterproof mascara in black but there’s lots of info on all they’re mascaras, which you can find here. 

DSC_9243DSC_9239thoughts on the mascara:

  • When you first apply it, it clumps a bit. Then it gets better, but still a tad clumpy.
  • Over all it’s pretty waterproof
  • Smudges very little, only after a few eye rubbing incidents
  • Doesn’t hold curl too well after a long time
  • The cool brush lengthens. A lot!

PicMonkey Collage

Now about the eyeliner. I got the Super Soft Kohl Pencil in Cedar Green.

thoughts on the eye liner:

  • Vivid color
  • Like it says, the pencil is pretty smooth and glides on easily
  • But, dang this packaging is so hard to open
  • Amazing on the tight line and adds a subtle but still makes a difference, it’s like lashes are darker and fuller. And the little pop of green is stunning too.

I would actually highly recommend getting this eyeliner, the green is gorgeous on every eye I’ve seen it on. Both of these are quite affordable too, great for back to school too. And with the eye liner, I have mastered the perfect natural look for school! YES. haha So there you have it, my thoughts on Beauty Without Cruelty!



’14 summer roadtrip: yellowstone np

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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.

currently: favorite podcasts


It’s was only after Elise started her podcast that I decided to finally download the separate podcast app for the App Store (which is stupid in my opinion). Podcasts are something I love because of the feeling of talking in a cafe and because they don’t make me carsick on long road trips. After a while, I’ve discovered some amazing podcasts that I listen to, every single episode.

Elise Gets Crafty

While not the first podcast to ever grace my ears and float to my brain, t was my first favorite. Elise talks about business, blogging, and all around creativity every Wednesday. I especially love episode 18 where she and (the) Ann-Marie Espinoza talk about small business and more importantly, the money side of things.

NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
I don’t usually go for the news type stuff, but when it’s delivered with hilarious jokes, remarks, and cool guests yeah, I love it. Every Saturday, Peter and Bill host NPR’s weekly current events quiz.

Explore Your Enthusiasm
Ok, this girl, Tara Swiger, is kinda a genius. Her episode on Personal Responsibly will probably be the driving force behind a successful high school education. While not exactly directed towards teens, it’s already made a huge difference in my life. I think it’s every Wednesday that she shares a new podcast about “exploring the intersection of making art and making money”.

99% Invisible
As the top, most popular podcast in the design category, you know I had to try it out. It doesn’t have an exact topic, but it’s little anecdotes are quite perfect for when you just want to learn something new. Roman Mars hosts and every Monday (I think) you learn something more about the design we tend to miss in our everyday lives.

These for podcasts take up most of the time I’m not on the internet or doing school stuff and since they’re on me phone, they’ve prompted me to actually go outside for once and listen with the bugs and the grass about how I can improve my (nonexistant) business and laugh at some war going on.