Monday, March 12, 2018

my best birthday yet

'time and tide wait for no man,
but time always stands still for a woman
of 30.' --robert frost

'i don't think of it as turning 30.
it's my 10th anniversary of my 20th birthday.' 

'you can be gorgeous at 30, 
charming at 40, and irresistable for the
rest of your life.' --coco channel

'after 30, the body has a mind of its own.'
--bette midler

'when you're a teenager, all you want
to do is buy beer. but once you hit 30, all you
want to do is get carded.'
--sarah jessica parker as carrie bradshaw
in 'sex in the city'
today is my 30th birthday!
i celebrated with family and friends
over the weekend, and it could not have
been a better (or more fun) way to say 'farewell' to 
my 20s. my parents and boyfriend surprised
me with a party (complete with family,
friends, coworkers, balloons, cupcakes, and 
wine--lots of wine). we had a wonderful
time, and i had no idea they had been
sneaking around all week while planning this!

unfortunately, my 'actual' birthday, as it
falls on a monday, will be spent at work.
but i plan to eat dessert after every meal and
treat myself to a lunch-time shopping adventure.
are you surprised? ;)
^^^ birthdays are the perfect excused to eat 
all the ice cream you want, right? this
vegan, jamocha chaga fudge ice cream from 
frankie and jo's is delicious! ^^^
turning 30 is surprisingly bittersweet.
new year, new me!
i am eager to enter this new decade and look
forward to what lies ahead: finishing
my editing certificate, launching a new
website, pursuing blog opportunities, and of course,
dedicating time to friends and family are
a just a few projects and goals in the works.

while my 20s were fun (a time of
exploration--career-wise and personally),
i think my 30s will be different. to say it will be
an exciting, yet peaceful decade may be
ignorant (or perhaps wishful thinking). 

i feel old, though i probably shouldn't 
say that; i don't mean to offend anyone. 
as a teenager, i imagined a much
different image of myself at age 30. 
perhaps i would be married, have a child
(or children), be well-established in my career, 
etc. well my life sure isn't that, but i am
okay with my current situation, too!
in fact, i feel grateful for where i am both
personally and professionally.

dress: nordstrom, boots: zara,
blazer: anthropologie (thrifted via goodwill),
clutch: nordstrom rack

and now, onto the outfit!
when brainstorming outfits to wear
on my birthday, i knew i wanted to make a
statement. i picked up this dress at nordstrom
(with sequin polka dots) and love how
flirty and feminine it is. it was on major sale
at nordstrom, too! ankle boots, a blush pink
blazer, and velvet clutch complete
the look. a side of ice cream makes for a 
cute and seemingly festive accessory.

while i didn't wear this outfit to my
party over the weekend, the dress is perfect
for a holiday party or celebration.
it can be dressed up or down, and i look
forward to styling it next weekend with my
denim jacket and converse.

i hope you had a wonderful weekend,
and thank you for stopping by! excuse me
while i indulge in another piece of cake!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

what i pack for a blogger photo shoot

'don't forget to bring your entire wardrobe.'
(words by the wisest woman. ever.)

i should preface this by stating:
packing light has never been my strong suit.
in fact, in my family, i am notorious for forgetting
essential items (like flip flops--on a beach
vacation). i am equally well-known
for bringing too much 'crap' with me and stuffing
it in the nearest (and lightest) family member's
bag upon arriving at the airport.
what can i say? i like having options.

regardless of whether i am going to
class, or headed on a weekend adventure
or longer trip, i overpack. a blogger
photo shoot is no different. packing a large bag, with
numerous options, is required. however, in this
situation, overpacking can be to your benefit.
before going to a blogger shoot, i try to plan
two, three, or sometimes four different
outfits. this requires prepping a complete look from head 
to toe (including: hair, makeup, top + bottom or dress 
option, jewelry, bag, other accessories if 
applicable, and shoes). at times, this can be a
quick process, particularly if i have a specific
outfit in mind; other times, it can seemingly
take ages to find the right look (taking into consideration
weather, seasonal trends, shoot location,
potential sponsorships, and more).

my outfit prep begins the night before, 
or if i happen to shoot later in the day, i 
can usually pack a few hours beforehand. 
i pack each look in a separate bag. this
makes changing in-between looks far more
efficient. fun fact: i typically change in my car!
^^^ don't forget accessories! jewelry, purses,
and other props are great for posing with--they provide something
to do with your hands and can be used as an organic prop ^^^
^^^ shoot days are also a great excuse to try out
the newest coffee or ice cream shop, or to visit an old favorite.
le reve bakery in the queen anne neighborhood
has delicious coffee and the prettiest pastries! ^^^
photos by karya schanilec photography

velvet top and skirt: nordstrom rack,
boots: asos, headband: c/o france luxe hair (exact here),
clutch: aldo (similar here), rings: nordstrom

i also recommend packing a few 'safety items.'
what is a safety item? a denim jacket, spare
bag, extra bracelet, clear umbrella, etc. should the
weather suddenly change, or the clutch you
chose to match your outfit go missing, you have
a spare item on hand. there is nothing worse
returning home from a shoot, browsing through photos,
and realizing that something was off (and/or
missing). it is a bummer! having a few extra goodies
with you can often help.

festive props can be fun to bring
along, too! flowers, balloons, a banner--they
are fun to pose with and help create unique
images to share on your blog and social media.
i picked up a fake wreathe, garland, and pretty
banner at my local hobby lobby last christmas
and had a great time incorporating the items into
my holiday photos.

last minute items to toss in your bag?
lipstick, makeup-removing wipes, and a
water bottle. shooting is tiresome, and it helps
to leave your house prepared.

what are your photo shoot essentials?
how and when do you pack? i would love
to add to this list, as i am sure there are things
i have forgotten!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

valentine's day shopping at pacific place

valentine's day is tomorrow! 
if you're anything like me, you may
(or may not) have left your valentine's
day shopping to the last minute.
if you're from the seattle area, you
can pick up something fun and festive
for everyone on your shopping list at 
pacific place. (stores include, but are not 
limited to: ann taylor, francesca's, 
papyrus, something silver, the art of shaving, 
the handmade showroom, 
tiffany & co., trophy cupcakes, and more!)
if you aren't from seattle, fortunately,
many of these items, or similar items, can
be found online.

i have a handful of people
on my shopping list this year--my parents,
younger brother, boyfriend, a coworker, and 
several girlfriends. prior to my shopping
trip, i wasn't certain about what i wanted to buy. i
knew cards and cupcakes were essential, but
otherwise, i hoped a bit of window shopping
would provide inspiration. i should have
known better :)
disclosure: i recently collaborated (in a sponsored capacity) with pacific place on 
instagram. this post is not sponsored--i simply wanted to share these beautiful photos and 
many of the goodies i picked up on my valentine's day shopping trip.

i first visited papyrus for cards,
gift bags, and any other "essential" goodies that
caught my eye. many of you already know this, but
we have an elderly dachshund in our family.
anything and everything dachshund is seemingly
essential, so when i saw the above dachshund jewelry
tray, i knew it was coming home with me!
i also picked up adorable (and high quality) cards
for everyone on my list.
^^^ i brought home the crescent moon necklace,
shown above, for myself--valentine's day, treat yo' self? ^^^

next, i stopped into something silver.
i love the look of delicately-layered necklaces,
and was hoping to add one (or two) to my
collection. my mom also enjoys wearing dainty, yet
classic jewelry items. the variety of sterling
silver pieces at something silver kept my hands
and eyes busy--i had to try on everything!

next on my agenda was visiting
the handmade showroom. there were beautiful
art pieces, home decor, jewelry, cold-weather
accessories, and more. i wanted to buy it all,
and i appreciate any opportunity to
support local, independent artists and small business
owners. if you're local to or visiting seattle, you
must stop by the handmade showroom.
they have gifts for everyone (pets included).
^^^ i loved this beautifully painted washington
state mug! ^^^
^^^ unfortunately, i wasn't able to bring any of
these 'silver + salt' hermiker rings home with me, but i
am determined to go back--or if anyone wants to buy
a valentine's treat for me, i won't oblige ;) ^^^

moms, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, female
coworkers--they're easy to shop for! give us all the
jewelry, chocolate, and pink goodies, please. men are
somewhat more difficult. fortunately, i was able
 to pop into j.crew for festive socks and the art of shaving
for hair and skincare products. i realize men
 aren't nearly as excited about skincare as their female
counterpart, but the delicious-smelling products
 at the art of shaving sold me!

last, but not least: chocolate
or more accurately, chocolate cupcakes!
valentine's day isn't complete without a few tasty
treats, and trophy cupcakes are fresh and
delicious. i brought home a box of four
to share with my family, and we devoured them.

a special thank you to pacific place for
meeting all of my shopping needs this year, despite
 my utter procrastination. need to
pick up any last minute goodies?
be sure to stop be!