I'm looking forward to the new year. It will be an opportunity to start fresh--that is something I always love, but this year… I need it. I'm in this weird transitional phase in my life where at the same time I'm as happy and confident as I have ever been, yet I have absolutely no idea what I want in life, much less what I want to wear. It seems trivial, but for someone who loves clothes/costume so much, it's quite a disorienting feeling not knowing what this new and improved Kaylie should wear. Have any of you experienced this phenomenon? I literally stand in front of my closet for minutes and minutes and then end up wearing one of the three outfits I feel comfortable in. This is not usual Kaylie behavior--I usually spend many minutes devising a fun, slightly weird, but coordinating outfit. Maybe it's because I spent five months with a limited wardrobe, but I am reaching for much simpler outfits these days (with some spunk--like the number above back in Greenwich, sigh).
A part of me feels sad, like I've lost something, but another part of me is like, Well, you didn't expect to dress the same way your entire life, did you? I've changed, for the better. Why shouldn't my taste? The best part of this is realizing how much I love some of the pieces I already own that I took for granted. Like that pink loose-knit sweater I got on sale at Target a couple of summers ago for a costume (aka it wasn't my "style")? I'm planning on wearing it tomorrow, for the 924278th time this fall. I just can't stop pairing it with my light blue short-sleeved button-up and black Kate Spade bow necklace, okay?! It makes me feel like a classy creative professional and I love it…Is that weird?
The clothes are just a small part of it. What do I want? Someone just tell me already. Thanks.
Hidden in an unmarked building, The Pink Door is a wonderland of dimly-lit Italian dishes surrounded by a European-bohemian vibe. This whimsical restaurant is also home to cabaret, music, tarot, opera, and magic. As if the food wasn't magic enough! While Ted and I were visiting Seattle over October break, we went to the Pink Door for our three-year anniversary dinner after having it recommended to us by a couple of people who had never been there but had heard wonderful things about it. Well, they heard right! We ordered the Leaning Tower of Eggplant and a tasty ginger cocktail to get us started. Then, we splurged on two pasta dishes and felt no remorse about it. The Pumpkin Gnocchi was heavenly and the Linguine Alle Vongole (Linguine with Clams) was so simply perfect. Ted and I agreed it was definitely one of the best meals we have ever eaten--which is saying a lot, considering how big of foodies we are. Definitely worth the splurge on our special day. And hey, it's good to know it's only a couple hours away if we're ever feeling extravagant again.
“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
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!
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!