When fall rolls around the corner with it’s crisp mornings and sunny afternoons, my heart just aches for a good, old-fashioned road trip. Maybe you’re going camping, maybe you’re driving through a forest, along a shoreline, through the middle of absolutely no where, or maybe you’re just ready to get inspired to get out there. This playlist was made for those adventurous souls out there. The ones who probably relate too much to the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” (If you know the movie, you get an extra 10 cool person points.) I was inspired to create this by many things - an urge to go, and go for it, to meet new people, to take courage and have joy in the unknown, to not take life too seriously, and the feeling of nostalgia amongst the pages of an old life magazine.
Fall has finally come here in Minnesota and it’s here for good. As you may know I’ve written one of these “Thrift Style” blogs before and I really enjoyed making it! So here I am, writing another one - Fall inspired. I’ve been thrifting so much more lately, especially since thrifting for big cozy sweaters is one of my favorite things to shop for. I’m excited to show you some of the pieces that I’ve come to love for these chillier months, so let’s get into it.
red sweater + bongo jeans
red sweater - $3.99
bongo high-waisted jeans - $5.99
I like this look for it’s boldness. I wouldn’t normally choose such a vibrant red but I’ve come to love it. These jeans are crazy high-waisted especially with the button fly but I think the two pieces together create a unique, yet simple look, which I love.
heart to heart tee +
“heart to heart” tee - $2.99
dark green cardigan - $4.99
This outfit is especially colorful for me. I typically stick to blacks, whites, grey and muted colors. But this one has some sort of fun nostalgic feeling from the graphic tee that I adore.
hanes crew neck +
hanes white crew neck - $3.99
high waisted levi’s - $5.99
This outfit is straight up comfy. But paired with a pair of black boots creates such a powerful, tom-boy look, that I absolutely love.
yellow sweater - $4.99
I’ve had this sweater for probably about three years now and it’s been a staple when fall rolls around the corner. It’s unique worn golden yellow color makes me feel it has a beautiful story behind it. It' just makes my soul happy.
That’s all folks!
I hope that inspires some of you to go out to your local thrift stores and search for some cozy gems!
Day 2 of the Endeavor Diaries is here! I’ve been having so much fun putting together these images and revisiting these moments. Also - if you haven’t read my first post “Endeavor Diaries - Day 1” I suggest doing that before you read this, it’ll make a lot more sense! haha. Any who - let’s get into it!
Our second day with Endeavor was filled with so many incredible memories that I feel like I would’ve only dreamt about. After a long night of rain (which was so heavenly to fall asleep to) we woke up to the a haze of fog that stretched across the pines. The windows were speckled with fresh rain and the air was crisp, but not cold. Just perfect and cozy for a day up north. We sat in awe for most of the morning and then we turned on some Ben Howard (if you know his music, you can just imagine the vibes). Then we made some breakfast - english muffins, eggs, bacon and avocado, it was heaven!
After the loveliest morning, we packed up our snacks, and hit the road! Our first stop was to Fika Coffee, in Lutsen, MN, which is about 30 minutes from the home. Fika is a quaint coffee shop that I just adore. They care so much about their community and the coffee they serve. It's so inviting and great for fueling a full day of exploring!
After some latte sippin' we headed up to a very foggy, Grand Marais, MN, aka one of my favorite places in all of Minnesota! Jake had never been before so I was so excited to show him around and make sure we hit all the obligatory spots!
Our first stop was for sure World's Best Donuts - it's always a must if you're headed up to Grand Marais! It's one of the best feelings to just grab a donut or two and sit on the beach and watch the world go by, and listen to the seagulls whilst munching on some sweet treats. I honestly felt like a kid, it was wonderful!
We ate our donuts, checked out some of the cool local shops, then decided that we might as well just head up to Grand Portage, MN, since we were so close now, to do some hiking!
Something that I didn't realize until this trip is that the farther you drive north along the shore, the more beautiful it gets. More mountains appear. More forests, more islands, more bays. It's absolutely breathtaking.
After almost accidentally driving through customs into Canada, we took a hard left into Grand Portage State Park. Something that is pretty cool about this park is that one side of it is Minnesota, and on the other side of the river, is Canada. You're literally right on the border!
After a surprisingly speedy hike, we made it to the falls and woah, it was massive! Pictures don't do it justice, it was incredible. It's crazy to me how this is in Minnesota.
After about 45 minutes on the road, and one food stop later, we made it back to Grand Marais in hope that the fog cleared out for us to walk out to the lighthouse and Artist's Point. But, alas, the fog was here to stay. But it made for a unique experience, and still so beautiful.
We ended the evening back at the Tiny Home of course. After a long day of adventures, there's nothing quite like coming back to this beautiful home. By this time, we only thought it was fair to build a bonfire, and make some yummy s'mores. That's got to be the perfect way to end such a fantastic trip.
We slung up a hammock out on the deck and watched the sun go down. I have to say, that moment was one of my favorite memories. Just sitting in the woods, eating a s'more, in a hammock, talking about out dreams and goals, and feeling so refreshed and inspired. That's something that I always take with me when returning from little trips like this, that it's important to take time to recharge and refuel yourself, to just get inspired and excited about life. Especially staying with Endeavor, it opened my eyes to a new way of living and reminded me to just slow down. Take a breath, and enjoy moments like these.
Thanks Endeavor Tiny homes for making this happen! It was magical. Make sure to check them out!
Hey friends! Long time, no see. This past month of life, basically the whole month of July, has been so crazy and full of so many adventures. It's August now (that was fast), I'm sitting in a coffee shop sippin' on an iced latte and I'm so excited to tell you all about what I’ve been up to. In mid-July I had the joy of being invited to Endeavor Tiny Homes up in Silver Bay, Minnesota, to stay in their brand new, beautiful tiny home nestled amongst the pines and overlooking Lake Superior. Honestly, all I can say is wow. They knocked my socks off. But luckily - I have a few more words than just wow. haha. Oh and some photos too!
First off, if you know me or have been reading my blog for a little while now, you’ll know I absolutely love northern Minnesota, it’s my happy place. It has always felt like home to me. Being surrounded by nature, fresh crisp air, tall pines and hearing the crashing of waves from Lake Superior floods me with life and curiosity. So the fact that this tiny home was made literally in the middle of the woods, felt like it was straight out of a dream. So, with that, let's get on to the trip!
As we were headed up to Silver Bay, we had to make a pit stop in Duluth, MN on our way up. We got some amazing coffee from Duluth Coffee Company, explored some shops, and ran over to Park Point beach which is one of my favorite beaches on the shore with its soft sand and its tall green grasses, it’s always just so dreamy.
After about an hour more of driving, and a gorgeous one at that, we drove up a narrow path surrounded by pines and wildflowers, and there we finally reached the Tiny Home and wow, it was stunning.
Something I love about Endeavor Tiny Homes is that they truly thought through everything so carefully to make sure that your stay is comfortable, inviting, and carefree. They made sure to incorporate so many details that really makes it feel like a home. They even have a stove top, sink, cabinet space for food, mini fridge, utensils to use, plenty of comfy sleeping spaces, and a fully functioning bathroom and shower. It was pretty crazy to have all those things so easily accessible from the middle of the woods. From the decor, to the large windows showing off the beautiful view of the pines and lake superior, to the drinks and s'mores supplies left for us to enjoy, to even providing a guest bag with extra fun gifts, you can tell they really care about their guests having the best time. All of that combined made it feel like not just a place to stay, but rather a place to live.
It was exciting checking out the property and the home itself of course, but one thing I do really miss now when I'm looking back, is this amazing balcony and this incredible view. It felt like we were somewhere else, so far away from any city or people whilst looking over the pines to see the horizon of lake superior.
OH - and if you know Jake and I, we love coffee. So we were so happy and relieved to have a coffee machine at our fingertips in the middle of the woods. It was just what we needed to fuel our adventures.
The thing that I was really eager about, me being an outdoorsy lady, is the location of this Tiny Home. It is so close to so many beautiful spots to hike and wander. The home is surrounded by Tettegouche State Park so we were able to hike and climb around Black Beach and Palisade Head, both in Silver Bay and a speedy 5 minutes from the home. It was humbling to experience those places at dusk, when everything had calmed down a bit, life seemed to slow down.
That's all for now! I will be posting about day 2 very soon. I can't wait to share more of our adventures with you all!
Check them out at https://endeavortinyhomes.com
Often I find myself dreaming about joyful moments, you know - planning trips, hanging out with friends, watching a funny movie with the fam, yet when those moments come around, I become distant, as if there's a reason to be feeling down and empty. Over the past month, I've had to make a lot of hard decisions and be upfront and honest with myself - where is my joy going? I know it's deep down inside me. But why can't I just let go. Why can't I just enjoy my time with others to the absolute fullest? What's holding me back from my most joyful and true version of me?
During this moment of self-evaluation and trial, things got real. Like really real. Like the painful, uncomfortable, exposed type of real. I had realized how much I was holding myself back. I was believing lies about myself that were only based off of fear itself. I was beating myself up over my insecurities and throwing them back at people like weapons. Just to pretend I was fine. Pretend like I wasn't worried about anything. Protect myself from the ugly truth. I was believing that I had to look a certain way to feel accepted by society and the people around me. I believed that my features didn't add up to what I thought was "beautiful" and I believe it or not I hated getting my photo taken. I was believing that I had to hold back my "weirdness" and quirkiness so that I wouldn't stick out or look silly. I tried to fit into a box so much...but in those moments I felt boring and I never felt like myself. All these little warning signs started to pop up in front of me like I was trying to play a really hard game of operation, being careful not to mess up and expose this internal battle with a big, loud "ERRRRR! THIS IS UNHEALTHY!” for the world to hear, and for my peers to hear.
My insecurities were holding me back from my truest self and God was there through it all, and heard my cries for help. I told him to change the way I see, to show me that I don't need to worry anymore and that I never needed to. I was tethering myself down with heavy, thick, binding ropes of fear, anxiety, insecurity, and loneliness. He ripped them, burned them, and gave me a new freedom that I have never quite felt before. He clothed me in strength, understanding, and joy. I found a freedom that I can be joyful and fully myself in any circumstance. He showed me that I was purposefully created to be who I am. Every freckle was placed on me with thought, my nose and my smile and my eyes were created one-of-a-kind, for me. Every passion, gift and desire of my heart was placed there for a reason and wasn't put there to be ignored. I wasn't meant to be anyone else but who I am. We all have gifts, talents, smiles, and voices to be shared with the world. And I'm here for it. I'm excited for it. So here I am, stepping into the sunshine, and the freedom that he gave me through his grace. And to answer the question "Where did my joy go?" Well, it's in you. Listen to it. Always try to listen to truth over the lies and fear, even when it seems almost impossible. In truth there is so much joy to be shared.
A week ago my boyfriend, Jake, and I decided to make a quick day trip up to Duluth, MN, to explore, hike, shop around, and just enjoy some time away from the our day-to-day lives. Recently I've discovered that for me, photography isn't about posing people, it's not about perfection, for me, it's about real life. It's about capturing our daily stories in small moments and looking back on them with gratitude. Basically - I've come to realize that I fell in love with capturing life. The things around me. So with that - here's my visual diary of our trip up north.
Is that not the most empowering quote ever?! It's become one of my mottos this past year. It reminds me to stay true to myself, to really be intentional about my life, and to follow my dreams. Speaking of following my dreams, in honor of International Women's Day today, I'm here to share with you some creative and inspiring female bloggers, filmmakers, photographers, and influencers who've inspired me to follow my dreams. I would not be the same woman I am today if I hadn't gotten lost in their art. These women are from all over the world and I am so thankful to have stumbled across their work at different points in my life.
HERE. WE. GO.
Poppy is a blogger from the UK. She is an amazing photographer, food lover, fashionista, travel guru and all around lovely human. I love reading her blog and seeing what she's up to and excited about. She is unapologetically herself and you'll find this with a lot of these woman I'll be talking about, they are so empowering. Any who - Poppy is one of the bloggers I that truly made me want to start blogging and blog about the things I love, regardless of what people thought about it.
Zoe Sugg -
Zoe is a HUGE Youtube and Blogger also from the UK. She mainly focuses on lifestyle and beauty but she is so much more than just that. She is a goofball but also one bad ass business woman who inspires me to take life a little less seriously, but also push yourself to your full potential because you never know what you're capable of until you try for yourself. Definitely check her out.
Hailey is an incredible filmmaker from Utah. Her and her husband, Brad, make incredible travel videos and also vlog and blog about their daily life with their two little girls, Lucy and Greta, who are SO ADORABLE. She inspires me to travel the world, and to never be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. She also inspires me to be an amazing mom who shows her kids that life is so beautiful and worth living, when that day come of course. I hope to be as loving and joyful as she is.
Taylor is a tatted up, Jesus and Justin Beiber loving blogger and influencer from Chicago, Illinois. She is a flight attendant and created the movement called "Words from the Windowseat." Which spreads positivity around the world. She inspires me to travel more and open my heart to new experiences. She shows others how to be joyful regardless of your circumstance.
I've watched Shawna's videos on Youtube when I was in probably sixth grade. She is a filmmaker and she is SO incredibley talented. I used to wake up super early before school so I could watch some of her short films before heading out because I always felt so excited to create after I watched them. She's one of the main reasons I started making videos on youtube, which also led me to trying my hand at photography.
Along with Shawna, I also watched Tessa Violet's videos alongside her because I they created a lot of short films together. Tessa inspired me to take down my guard, to laugh a little more and get excited to create. She also reminded me that it's okay to not be okay. To realize that we all aren't perfect and that is a beautiful thing.
When I think about Ella Grace Denton, words that come to my head are - empowering, encouraging, real, honest, authentic...she is all those. She is a singer/songwriter and influencer. She loves empowering woman to be whoever and whatever they want to be. She inspires to to love other woman like they were my sisters. To always root for them and encourage them because we aren't so different from each other at all.
She is hilarious, honest and unapologetically herself. Arden is an Actress, Influencer and Youtuber. She loves books, films, film cameras, beauty and the nitty gritty REAL life conversations. She's has inspired me to be myself, and reassured me that it's okay to not have it all figured out yet. That there's no rush to find what exactly you want to do, just do the things you love.
Christine is a youtuber who I believe is my age. I've followed her for a while now and she makes beautiful videos of her travels and the things that inspire her. She is hilarious and real, she is not afraid to be vulnerable and I think that is so courageous and special.
Megan is a Youtuber living in Oregon. The main reason I started watching her was because she has this series called "Pizza Talk" which is when she sits down with a friend, devours a pizza, and talks about life - like REAL LIFE. It's pretty beautiful and it's almost as if you're sitting down with some sisters. I always came back to her videos when I felt down or discouraged, they always tended to raise me up again and left me feeling so empowered.
I could list of a hundred more women who've inspired me throughout the years but these are just some key people who had a huge influence on me that I wouldn't necessarily get a chance to thank in person. It's so important to let people know how much they mean to you. Even a quick text or a phone call makes all the difference. Let's encourage each other, root for each other, be cheer leaders for one another. Let's stop competing and start leading, helping, cheering, loving, caring, and celebrating. What a beautiful thing it is to be amongst so many beautiful hearts and minds. So here's to International Woman's Day! I would like to thank my mom, for being such a hard worker and always being a great example of how hard work pays off. I would like to thank my friends who I've met and loved over the years. I'm so thankful for these friendships and womanhood that are full of love and support for one another. Thanks for everything.
Make sure tell the strong women in your life that you love them today. Give them a fist bump and say, "you're freaking awesome."
- all the bits and pieces I've been loving this season -
Krochet Kids "The Brady" Beanie in Red - my all time favorite beanie to be honest. I'm kind of a beanie addict when it comes to fall, winter and spring. This beanie is so perfect because it throws a little punch in your outfit., a pop of color. I LOVE it. In fact, I've been wearing it so much, the local coffee shop I go to recognizes me because of it. LOL - should I be embarrassed or happy?
Denim Jacket - a classic. If you don't have one - how do you do it? Please tell me. Because once I found this, I couldn't get enough. I found it at a cool thrift store in Minneapolis and it's a really high quality and durable MEN's jacket. But it fits me just how I want it to.
Black Shoes - I actually found these shoes BRAND SPANKIN' NEW at a Goodwill. I know - I'm a thrift store fanatic. It's kinda good, kinda bad. But when I find a cute, quality, and completely unused item for $6 - I'm sure as heck going to get it. Now I can't get enough of these. They jazz up my outfit so perfectly!
CLEAN perfume - Ok. I bought these in an eight pack of small travel size scents so I could figure out which ones I loved the most. These scents are so great if your looking for more subtle scents. Nothing to intense. Some of the scents are more "going out" type scents like Blonde Rose and Rain. While others are a good everyday scent such as Warm Cotton (in the middle), it literally smells like you just took your cloths right out of the dryer and it's LOVELY.
NYX Suede Matte Lip Liner in Stockholm - I just recently tried this out and I'm loving it. they have a ton of different shades to choose from. Although they are matte, they don't dry up your lips too much like some other lip liners/lipsticks can.
Evergreen Disc Necklace by Made by Mary - My boyfriend actually bought this for me for my 20th birthday because he knows I love pine trees (they remind me of northern Minnesota). It's so minimal and sweet. Since I'm not a huge "jewelry wearer" this is perfect for me.
At a Glance Weekly Planner - Okay I NEEDED this. I'm the kind of person where I have to physically write everything down or else I can't think straight. No phone calendars for me NO WAY. I ended up finding this planner at my local Office Max. I love for multiple reasons - A. It's small but not to small. B. It's beautiful. C. It has each month displayed on two pages so I can clearly see my schedule each month. I LOVE IT.
That's all folks!
What are you into this month?
So there is that - my february favorites you could say. I love doing this kind of stuff because I love seeing what other people are into each month! So I thought I'd try my hand at it! If you like this style of blog give it a like and let me know in the comments what you've been loving this month!! Have a wonderful week friends!
I'm a little bit late to the party here, but I always love looking back on the past year when the new year rolls around. I love to see where I went, what inspired me, and how I saw the world. So here's a brief "through-my-eyes" of 2017.
J A N U A R Y
F E B R U A R Y
M A R C H
A P R I L
M A Y
J U N E
J U L Y
A U G U S T
S E P T E M B E R
O C T O B E R
N O V E M B E R
D E C E M B E R
As I've been entering a new season of my life, with a gap year, being busy with work, and focusing on photography, I've found myself losing focus on my now. My now? you ask. Yes, my now. You know, the things you're putting your heart and time into at the moment? That now - the work, the hobbies and passions, the family gatherings, the encounters of everyday life, the little things in life. The present season of your life.
How often do we find ourselves looking too far ahead? So far ahead, that we start stumbling over the things that are right in front of us? Like an old pair of shoes that we forgot we owned and never wear anymore. Or maybe we aren't even looking ahead but instead looking at others? Their successes, their wins. For me, this happens quite a bit. But the more I've delved into this new season of life, I've learned to slow down, focus on, and love my now. No more comparing. No more envy or jealousy. No more trying to compete in this race of life that was never even meant to be run in the first place.
Life is not a race to the next big thing. It's not a race to the promotion, to the new apartment or house, the vacation, the opportunity. Life's full of little pieces of nows, like a puzzle. Each piece is put together over time, meant to be enjoyed individually to their fullest, not thrown together and shoved to make fit where it shouldn't. Who ever told us to shove together our puzzle as fast as possible? No one. So slow it down. Find ways to enjoy each piece, each step, to the next thing. When you enjoy your now, you find a peace, and a gentleness about life. You find fulfillment in the little things, in the process.
If you only had one day left on this earth, would you rather have enjoyed your now? Or been beating yourself up because your not where someone else is? Seems like a pretty obvious choice, right? This world sometimes seems to be a world of comparison and competition - it's not, and it was never intended to be. Enjoy your now. Enjoy your part time job, enjoy your walks by the lake, enjoy your coffee in the morning, enjoy the conversation with your parents, enjoy the small things, because those are what count. No job promotion, vacation or material desire will fulfill the desires of your heart. And most of the time, we are all so focused on ourselves that no one else cares where your at, so you just go and DO YOUR THING! We are all just trying to do our best we can in this world, let's stop trying to one-up each other, and instead support each other in each step.
Love your now
You'll fly from there.
I've been telling myself this for years... but I think I've come to a point where I'm enjoying it more - WAKING. UP. EARLY. As silly and simple as it is, it's always been quite hard for me to get up early, I'm a night owl. Ya know, the one who stays up late brainstorming new ideas, and getting inspired, then fails to pay attention to the time, and before they know it's already midnight? Yeah, that's me. Lately I've been pushing myself to wake up earlier and earlier every day. By doing this, I'm able to see gentle sunrises, to hear the birds conversing at the crack of dawn, to listen to the stillness of the earth before any sort of chaos has a chance to show it's dominance. Mornings are a beautiful thing, right?
Something that helps me wake up (besides a good cuppa' jo) is a playlist I've created and have been listening to constantly. It's called "Music for the Morning Hours" and I LOVE it. It's a perfect mix of calm and smooth alternative jams, combined with a more bouncy and bubbly "let's wake up!" vibe. I like to imagine this as music you'd make breakfast to, or get ready for the day to, all whilst dancing a bit of course. I believe that the way your morning goes can strongly determine the trajectory of the rest of your day, so it's important to slow down and make your morning a good one. This playlist is a perfect way to wake you up and bring into a good mood to start your day!
best way to wake up?
What's your favorite way to start off your morning?
It's been a bit of time since I last went to Chicago. Last time I went I was about 11 and I would've bet you a thousand dollars that I was going to live in Chicago by age 20....hah. I wish. But for real, I'm always truly enamored by the sights and sounds of this diverse, lively city. Basically it was love at first sight. I then time passed (about 7 years) And here I am. Back in Chicago, with my boyfriend, Jake. WOO HOO!
I'm going to walk you through some of my must-do's! There's a lot. I know there's much more to explore than this but this is what what we did within the 2 days we spent there.
SO - let's go!
Art Institute of Chicago - This is a MUST if your into history or the arts like me. It's a decent price for how much you get to see, and man, it's massive! You could spend multiple days there looking at art. Plus, it's just a beautiful building to get lost in.
Millenium Park - The Bean, the park, the tourists, gotta love it. I mean it's cool to see especially if it's your first time in Chi town, it's iconic. The park in general is just lovely to explore on a nice day! There's always a fun, lively atmosphere in this park - so so cute.
Next off - coffee shops. I know I know, I'm addicted. It's a problem...kinda? But when you're on Va-cay and pulling late nights and early mornings, this is all I wanted!
Metric - This coffee shop was a little farther outside of downtown Chicago (about 2 miles from downtown). We walked, which was a bit far. The shop was super small but extremely cool, with carefully placed plants and a wooden backsplash. There's a decent amount of outdoor seating though, and the coffee was lovely. I would just recommend catching an uber or driving there!
Fairgrounds - We actually found out about this place whilst walking by it. I'm glad we did! The staff was so welcoming. What makes them unique is that they have coffee from multiple coffee roasters, so you can choose what you want and where it's from. They even have Spyhouse Coffee from here in the Twin Cities!
Asado - Asado was unique in atmosphere, yet still had that relaxed coffee shop vibe. The coffee was great!
Intelligentsia - This was our first stop when we got off the train in Chicago. We were both exhausted from a long travel day the day before but this hit the spot! Intelligence never fails, I tell ya.
Chicago Public Library - Okay. To be 100% truthful we actually came in here looking for a bathroom. Don't worry. We found it. But this library is HUGE and has everything you could imagine. We ended up taking the elevator to the top floor and we were not expecting what we found - a huge reading/working room, minimal tables all spread out with tall ceilings with massive skylight windows. The whole room was a blue hue and wow, it was gorgeous.
Shedd Aquarium - This Aquarium is what dreams are made of. When I was younger and came here I was seriously AMAZED by the aquatic life in this massive building. Now coming back, I was equally amazed. From the fish of the Great Lakes, to petting stingrays, to seeing huge amazonian fish that were bigger than me, to the most adorable Beluga Whales which will steal your heart, as they did to me multiple times. Seriously a must-go. I little pricey, but SO worth it.
Eleven Diner - Just go. Just do it. It's SO good.
360 Chicago - Formerly known as the John Hancock building, 360 Chicago is a must if this is your first visit to Chicago. Definitely not something you do every time but it's so cool. You go in an elevator going 20mph, up to the 94th floor, where you get to see a 360 view of the entire city of Chicago, from up above. Seriously SO cool!
Navy Pier- I'm sure you all know this tourist go-to. It's always great, especially in the evening to night when all the lights glow amongst the city - so gorgeous. We adventured around the stores, and by the lake side, all for the people watching, the various smells of greasy but yummy food, the lively atmosphere, everything! One tip for Navy Pier: Go to the very end of Navy Pier where there's a parking ramp, take the elevator to the top of the ramp to find a spectacular few of the city in all it's lights. The weird thing was that nobody else was there when we went! Good thing? Bad thing? I don't know, you can decide, regardless it was so worth it!
Until next time Chi Town!
As some of you may know - I'm absolutely obsessed with thrifting! Second hand shops are my JAM. It's not until the past year or so that I've realized how much my style and expressing myself have been so important to me. Before you go "Ew. Thrift shops are nasty and old and smelly." Take a moment and check this blog out! I understand - thrifting is NOT for everybody. But I encourage you to check out your local thrift stores and look for some unique and classic pieces. Pieces with character and stories behind them. I'm not saying everything in the store will be worth buying just because it's cheap, it's far from that. But you can definitely find some quality pieces - You just have to have an idea of what you're looking for! PLUS you're re-using quality clothing and giving it a second life, lovely isn't it?
I thrift shop a lot - probably an excessive amount. But I just find it so fun, you never know what you'll find! You can usually catch me wearing some funky 80's denim pieces or weird printed shirts, or men's boots...or all of that at once. I like to think my style is categorized as "quirky but cute grandpa" - so that's just flattering right? It looks better than it sounds I can PROMISE you that! ANYWAYS - I created a little "lookbook" if you may, of some outfits I'm loving this summer - ALL from various thrift stores!
Denim Overall Dress
(Minneapolis) Buffalo Exchange for $12.99
Black and White Striped Tee
Goodwill for $3.99
I've seriously had this Tee Shirt for about 3 years now - It's thick and still in great condition! I wear it all the time!
Large Light Blue Long Sleeve
Goodwill for $4.99
Obsessed with this shirt for the summer - lightweight and super comfy!
High-Waisted Denim Shorts
Goodwill for $5.99
I bought these as full jeans and decided to cut them for a 50's high-waisted short look!
Yellow & White Striped Tee
Goodwill for $3.99
Goodwill for $7.99
I bought these a while ago now but I ripped them on the knees, so it's a more comfortable option for breezy summer days.
What are your thoughts? Are you into thrifting or nah? What's your style like? Would you like to see more posts like this? I personally LOVE doing posts like this one here, they are SO fun to create. Comment below - I always love hearing your thoughts!
I am and always have been quite a sentimental person. You know, the one that's like "oh my gosh, remember this?! That was amazing, I miss going _____ everyday - blah blah blah.." by this point the person I'm talking to is most definitely thinking - yeah that's cool and all but I get the point you LOVE this place/thing/person, get over it already. But in all honesty, I will probably never get over it. I've always been a nostalgia dweller, if you may.
A couple of weeks ago, some lovely friends of mine, Meg & Eli, and my boyfriend, Jake, booked a hotel for two nights, packed up our bags, and made our way up to Duluth, MN. We were all so excited to arrive in such a cozy yet exciting place in Minnesota. In my brain, the planner that I am, I had an endless list of places we HAD to go, no excuses. I was overly prepared to have the best time with these wonderful humans.
Fortunately, this place, the north shore of Minnesota in general, holds so many sweet sweet memories for me. You know, the moments I daydream about when I'm feeling bored. Many of being a kid, running around on the stone-covered beaches and hearing them clank against each other under the pressure of my little feet. Searching for the BEST rock I could find, and being so excited about it that I would have to show everyone in the family. Memories of biking along Lake Superior in Grand Marais with my best friend. Memories of that cozy feeling of playing card games around the bonfire with people you love, when the air is crisp but being wrapped in huge blankets was the perfect remedy. Nothing would or could ever hold back my happiness in these moments. Being a kid was forever exciting and it seemed as if every little thing was worth celebrating.
As I grow older and visit these beautiful places once again, I realize that I'm changing, life's a lot different than it was 10 years ago. Our lives are full of the unexpected, the scary, the filters, the illusions, the fears and anxieties. As we grow older our lives become more and more complex, like a bundle a yarn being woven in and out of itself. But sometimes God has a nice way of showing us just what we need at just the right time.
As the four of us drove, our worries and our fears seemed to have silenced a bit. They seemed to have taken a back seat as our minds made room for the joy, the sweetness, the well-being and the pure delight of life. As Megan, Elliot, Jake and I arrived in Duluth, as tired as we were, I could see the joy filling up our hotel room - like being little kids again, laughing, giggling, talking about what we were going to do the next day.
There's definitely something special about this atmosphere I'm describing. The time to finally leave all of our distractions behind us, and in return, focusing on what's truly vital and important to this life we live. For me, going up north always brings me a sense of clarity. It brings me back to the present moment, a few seconds in time where I'm so joyful to be where I am that I run and actually fall (like a "face-plant-in-the-rocks" kind of fall), this did actually happen when we were up north - I'm a dork but hey I love this life. Or even at one point during this trip, we were hiking, and it was DOWN-POURING, and lightning - yet we were determined to see a waterfall so we kept on trudging forward. I heard Meg and Eli yell behind us so I quickly spun around. Of course - they were laughing, soaking wet from the rain, and slipping around in the mud and trying to get out. They were LAUGHING. Boy, I love 'em. What I'm saying is that it's so healthy to have carefree moments like this, like being a kid again. Rather than constantly being distracted by work, drama, technology, worry - whatever it is for you. Being away from my day-to-day distractions made me feel forced to let go of things that weigh me down - stress, anger, frustration, worry, anxiousness, expectations, tiredness - in order to fully focus on the people I'm with. I later replaced those harsh but necessary feelings with joy, love, acceptance, openness, and trust.
Being home and looking back at all this, I'm so glad I let go of those harsh feelings, I didn't ever push them away, but just accepted where I'm at. Because the people to be around are ones who love you exactly where you're at. Every flaw, every imperfection and every mistake. I remember walking along the beach and talking with Megan and she had said something about "growing together in the struggle." How beautiful is that? No matter what is happening in your life, huge or microscopic, an argument or a loss - you can always choose to grow through it with people who love you, although it may be difficult at times.
If you can take anything away from this ramble, stream of consciousness type of blog post, please let it be to allow yourself to feel joy in every circumstance, even if that's only a little bit. Although under certain circumstances it can be extremely difficult, it will always be necessary to seek joy and hope as much as it is necessary to feel pain and sadness.
Where or when do you find your joy? I would love to hear you thoughts!
Sometimes a day away is just what we need. A "day away" can mean something different to from person to person. Maybe it means a vacation somewhere far far away. Maybe it's a night in, cozy on the couch in your pajamas, binge watching episodes of New Girl and eating ice cream with someone you love. Or maybe it's just going out to your favorite coffee shop to read and take a mental break from it all. All these things are so different yet, they have the same general outcome - a more peaceful and energized mindset that's ready to take on a better, healthier perspective on life. Right?
The other day my boyfriend Jake and I decided to change up our usual date plans, which is normally going out for coffee or ice cream somewhere in the city, and instead we went hiking - because, I mean, why not? SO - we looked up way too many places to hike in Minnesota, we were looking for some place that wasn't too far away, but just far enough away. Then we finally came across Willow River State Park, near Hudson, Wisconsin, a place I know so many people have gone too, yet we both somehow had never been. So we packed up a backpack with plenty of snacks and water and - we were off!
We weren't entirely sure exactly where we were headed but we knew we were going to the falls...somehow. I mean we had a map, but who uses a map, ya know? The walk was a lot longer than we anticipated as the park was absolutely massive. It was definitely way bigger than we had originally thought. But hey - more to explore right? So we continued to walk - through the trails outlined in mossy logs, clovers, grasses and wildflowers, and canopied by huge, green, twisted trees - it was so insanely beautiful. It made me remember how much I love the outdoors, I felt like a kid again as we walked deeper and deeper into this lush park.
Sometimes I forget how the outdoors and being amongst so much nature can make me feel. I mean wow. I always leave hikes and camping trips feeling so much more inspired, uplifted and mainly a lot more peaceful. And man, that fresh air can work WONDERS on your mood, I can tell you that for sure. It truly amazes to me how much I've yet to see in the world, especially places like this, that I live so close to, yet I had no idea about previously. There's so much to explore, all the way from huge waterfalls to small little flowers. We even saw this sweet little baby bunny all alone on the side of the trail. I may or may not have tried to lure him over so I could pet him. But things like this, I tell ya, they make life just a little bit sweeter.
After the walk that seemed like possibly the longest one ever, we made it to the falls(thank the LORD). Which, can I say, was WAY bigger than I ever expected. Like WHAT. It was HUGE. The water was flowing like crazy, and as loud as could be. We took in the sight (and all of its - for lack of a better word - refreshing mist) and decided to go up to the lookout, which contained a gazillion stairs, but definitely worth it. After that, we scrabbled back down to the bottom of the falls, happily sat down on some rocks, and had a well-deserved lunch, which, by the way, we ate in record time. It was just lovely.
I honestly don't remember the last time my body felt so tired, that I could actually, willingly go to bed early(I'm a complete night owl if you didn't know). But that's what happened. You know you had a good day when you're happily exhausted for once. It's a wonderful feeling, that I wish I felt more often. Days like this just remind that getting away is A-okay - and necessary. People aren't meant to stay in one place all the time and do the same exact things everyday, it can easily become overwhelmingly boring, too routine, and mentally draining, if you don't change it up a little bit here and there. It's almost like your just surviving, but not necessarily feeling like you're living in the moment, or thriving. But right now is all we have, the present. So live for it. Give yourself a break from the chaos and busy schedules and just open up your eyes to the inspiration and beauty that surrounds you.
Spring is on of those times of the year that always catch me by surprise. I kind of forget how beautiful this transition into life is. Honestly. I used to hate spring; all the melted snow, the muck, the mud - HAHA NOPE. It wasn't my thing. But the past few years, spring has brought me a sense of relief (I made it through another cold and dark winter, heck ya), and a period of growth, life, and rebirth, even in some literal senses. On the flip-side, winter has always seemed like a struggle to me. I was always excited for snow at first, then after about one month, I was OVER it, like most minnesotans (and freeze babies like me) of course. The farther into the winter I got the more memories of loved ones, and friends who had passed on during winter would flood my mind, those memories stick with me every winter. The depression sometimes overtook and controlled my life. But now I see how blessed I am to have known these people, and to celebrate and cherish their lives that they lived, rather than the lives they didn't. Although winter is hard, it's necessary to see how wonderful spring is. Thankfully, winter does end, and then comes the beginning of spring. The first days of warmth are so radiant that it warms up the patio, just enough to MAYBE take off my socks and stand out in the sun, even if it is only 50 degrees. I feel a breath of life within the world around me as the green leaves poke through to greet the crisp air, the birds sing, the sun rises to warm the cold earth, and life begins again. But that life never stopped, it was just out of sight.
This spring has definitely felt like a long time coming. With this year of my life being the BIGGEST period of growth so far, somedays I felt hopeless, confused, lost, anxious and in fear of what was to come. But looking back on this winter, I am nothing but proud of who I have become; more independent, stronger, more accepting of myself and others, more loving, more confident in who I am as a woman in Christ, although I will always be growing, changing, and making mistakes. I've especially learned more about how to trust. Trusting this journey of life that God is taking me on. God's love for us is like the life to this earth, sometimes we can't see it (like in the winter) but it's always there. Then there are day's when we can see the life. We can see what he has done in our lives. We feel gratitude wash over us, as we are thankful to have lived through tough times, because God showed us his love(kind of like spring, you can see the beauty of his love). He knows the trials we have faced and which ones will come. He knows our sins, shame, insecurities, struggles and doubts. Yet he knows our hearts, our passions, our ideas, our goals and our love for life. He knows us by name. I cannot wait to see what kind of plans he has in store for all of us, both challenging, and exciting.
This spring is going to be a season of trust. I am ready to rise up to who God wants me to be rather than what society says I should be. I am ready to be patient and thankful in whatever circumstance I find myself in, knowing that every moment is fleeting and temporary. I want to be joyful in as many ways I can, at home, at school, at work, and in everyday life. I am ready to love myself in every state I am and to just to be thankful I am alive with such great opportunities to take advantage of. We are able to handle challenges, hurdles, and unexpected things that life throws at us because the Lord is on our side, he's on everyone's side. Life is never easy, nor is life always fair, but God provides and he has a purpose for you. He knows your heart.
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever."
- Isaiah 40:8
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
- Philippians 4:13
I never really thought I would have the chance to do this in my life, even if I did, I thought it would be farther down the road. So, this is EXCITING. I'm so happy to announce that I will be having an Art Showing/Open House on April 18th!!
Here's what you need to know:
- When? Tuesday, April 18th, from 5pm to 8pm
- Where? At the Kellerman's Event Center in downtown White Bear Lake (2222 4th St, St Paul, MN 55110-3011, United States)
- There will be "adult beverages" available for purchase from The Alchemist (attached to The Kellerman's Event Center)
- Coffee and yummy snacks will be available
- There will be prints of my photographs ranging from my trips in Northern Minnesota to local White Bear Lake photos to the mountains of Montana, and some others scattered in between. PLUS - Prints will all be up for SALE! (whaaatt??!)
- There will be a great community of people attending and plenty of conversation!
I think that about covers it! But WOW. This is so incredibly exciting. I'm elated to share my photographs and passion with the community who has raised me and supported me in every way possible. It's truly a blessing. ALSO - Thanks to The Fifth Element for kindly hosting this event!
Come join us for an fun evening of conversation, food and art!
Man, self love is TOUGH. It's one of the toughest things I've ever learned to deal with and I'm still constantly learning to embrace it. But the pay off is OH SO powerful. We live in a world where our sense of beauty and worth is controlled by the media, by what big companies and businesses consider beautiful and worthy. They try tell us our beauty comes out of a package, that beauty is bought. They tell us that the beautiful eyes that we were born with need more, that they're not quite beautiful yet. They tell us our lives aren't beautiful because we don't "have it all together" - um. honestly...what does that even MEAN anyways?
Let's start now. TODAY. Now is the time to tell our brothers and sisters that they are wonderfully made. We need to tell them that they are beautiful and WORTHY of happiness because of everything they are capable of. They are strong. They have beautiful eyes to see color and light and the world. They have hands to create, hands to hold, people to hug and embrace. They have legs to leap and bound across the yard while feeling the grass tickle between their toes. They have a smile to share, with a mouth and voice to speak their word, and tell others about their wild ideas and dreams. They have a nose to smell a fresh home cooked meal or their favorite kind of pizza, of course. They have ears to listen for cries of help from others, the much-needed advice from their parents, OR to just jam out to their favorite song. They have a heart that is beating and keeping them alive. They have a body, no matter what shape or size, that is an incredible mechanism enabling them to live a life unlike any other. They have ambitions, passions, ideas, and a love for life, that still may be waiting to be delved into. They have a open mind with thoughts that flow in and out of it 24/7 to share, to ponder and to wonder about this insane, messy and beautiful life that we all live together on this planet. It's time to tell them, your friend, you parents, your brothers and sisters, your neighbor, coworkers, partners, strangers, and especially YOURSELF. We are worthy, beautiful, and living, breathing works of art.
There are no more beauty standards. No more self-depricating thoughts. No more jealousy. No more comparisons. No more bringing others down for what they are/are not. There is only the absolute incredible beauty of what the Lord has given you. It's YOU! Try and love every bit of yourself as hard as it may be, because you are so SO worth it.
I'm sure most of us have been there. You have all these ideas that you want to put into your life but you still feel no push to get them done. You love chatting up and explaining your passion for the idea and you can feel yourself get excited about it, yet you still do absolutely nothing, there's no big push. You feel more or less stuck. This is EXACTLY what has happened to me over the past few months. I've thought of so many ideas that'd I've shared with a few close friends and family and I get so PUMPED about them. Yet when it comes to actually DOING it, I feel scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, and self-conscious of what others might think of what I want to do. It can be so frustrating and almost made me give up entirely on whatever it is I wanted to do. This is normal and natural, it's a freaking PART OF LIFE. You can't avoid it, you don't always have control over it, it just happens. SO - here are a few ways I've learned to take this "block" by the horns and RUN WITH IT!
1. Intentionally make time for the things you absolutely LOVE.
Whether that'd be chilling out at a coffee shop with a friend, taking a walk, or your favorite hobby, it's SO important, in every day life, not just when you're having a block. Making time for the things you love let's you soak in the joy of those moments and not focus on anything else. For me this meant spending time with people that made me smile, and spending time alone. Me, being the introvert that I am, needed time to be alone to replenish my energy and excitement for life, otherwise I feel exhausted, short-fused, and irritable and that's NOT a good way to feel in day-to-day life. So take care of yourself. When you intentionally take the time out of your day to dedicate it to something that makes YOU feel happy or peaceful, you allow yourself to be truly happy, and without worry, even if it's just an hour or so. It's WORTH it, because YOU'RE worth it.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE the bad to FOCUS on the good.
This was HUGE for me when trying to get around this creativity block. I had to be fully honest with myself and understand how I was feeling. I began to notice how I much I was overthinking. I thought WAY TOO MUCH about being something others would approve of, I let my anxiety pull me away from the things I wanted to create because I was scared. Scared of what others would say, if they would approve or think it's dumb, or anything in between. Now - as destructive as this was, I needed to acknowledge this self-destructive thinking or else it would continue without me even knowing. The real truth was, people want you and I to succeed. Nobody wants to see you fail, and if they do, they're people who aren't worth you worrying about. After taking in the bad thoughts, I needed to focus on the good. Make a list even. Such as; "things that inspire me in my life: friends, family, traveling, photography, road trips, blah blah blah." IT HELPS. Even writing this blog right now is helping me move through this awkward, uncomfortable, and frustrating stage. It makes you realize how much you have in your life and how much you shouldn't be worrying about. Gratitude is huge in feeling emotionally, spiritually full and replenished.
3. Surround yourself with things/people that INSPIRE you.
People will always need other people, you can't live life avoiding the company of others, so be intentional with who you decide to be friends with. Surround yourself with people who encourage you, support you and push you to be a better human being. The people you surround yourself with can change your outlook/perspective on life. Friends should make you feel life you CAN, rather than make you feel like you CAN'T or you SHOUDN'T(depending on the circumstance of course). You have control over who you spend your time with, so be intentional and know that you're worth it. You're worth being surrounded by people who love you and want you to succeed. Another thing is to feed your passions by reading things, seeing things, watching things that inspire you and remind you why you love to do the things you do. It creates excitement inside of you once again. For me this was watching documentaries about photographers and creators and reading some of my favorite blogs. This made me think, "I can totally do this. I miss this. THIS is AWESOME." I felt excited to pursue my passions and not overcomplicate anything, and just C R E A T E !
4. JUST DO IT !!
Yes, the Nike slogan, but hey, it's not a bad one. But honestly, just freaking DO it. Get up, dust yourself off, look in the mirror and say "I CAN DO THIS. I AM WORTH IT. I AM PASSIONATE AND I AM READY." Because you ARE. You always have been, it may not always feel like it but you are truly worth it. You CAN do this. You ARE passionate about something in your life. And you've ALWAYS been ready for whatever is coming your way. You can handle it with grace and dignity. You can move forward and do the things you've always wanted to do. Just go for it. Even if you have to force it. I've made myself go out with my camera and shoot everyday since acknowledging this "slump." I'm forcing myself to be creative and try new things to excite my passion. And GUESS WHAT? IT WORKS.
SO - with that, I hope this helps with whatever you're going through right now. The moral of the story is -
YOU CAN DO IT and YOU ALWAYS COULD.
Out of all the years I've lived (almost a whole 19 now) I've never experienced quite a year like 2016. I was faced with many unexpected challenges, that pushed and pulled me into the person I am today. It was definitely a year of change. It taught me how to go with the flow and embrace the rapid change rather than flee from it and worry about it. Before I get too far into everything that happened, I want to run through a few highlights of 2016. Although there were many times I felt terrified of change, there were also so many points of growth and excitement. Personally, I think it would be so interesting to look back on this when I'm older as well as use it as a way to reflect on the positive. Although this won't be your cool/trendy/aesthetically pleasing post, this is my life, and it was crazy and beautiful and weird. So - HERE WE GO!
2016 has definitely been the year that I found my love for coffee, therefore I consumed WAY too much of it. I'm a caffeine dependent life form as pathetic as that sounds, but - I love it. Plus, the glorious thing about coffee shops it that they simultaniously provide me with great coffee and amazing human beings who are creating, working hard, and collaborating on ideas. SERIOUSLY. I can't comprehend how many people I've met and have been inspired by from just seeing them/talking to them at coffee shops. Sometimes I wonder if I'd still make these friend without coffee shops...(hah very funny, probably not)...but hey...the world may never know.
With all the caffeine in my system I definitely made many plans to go on road trips up to Northern Minnesota (Duluth, Two Harbors, Grand Marais) with some of my close friends. Although the places aren't new to me, they are completely FILLED with wonderful memories and give me an adventurous, go-with-the-flow, and "let's freaking do this!" attitude towards life. These are memories that will always bring buckets and buckets of joy to fill my heart and soul.
In April, I got the opportunity to travel to New York City with my band class (Yup. I'm a dork, I know). But it was the first time I have ever flown on a airplane. I was consumed with anxiety and anticipation of the trip, but once we were up above the clouds, excitement whirled around my head as I imagined all that we would do. Definitely will HAVE going back sometime soon.
One part of my high school career that felt HUGE and has a lasting impact in my memory is my senior year Film Production class. We had all of my creative, hilarious, and weird friends all together to create films about really whatever we wanted. I've got a lot of fond memories from that class. Mostly just because I've got the coolest/weirdest friends. The photo on the right is one I took of all of us the night after our last prom. We stayed up all night playing games and talking and decided to head to the beach and watch the sunset together. That is one of the lovliest little moments I remember from my senior year. Gotta love these people.
Another huge milestone in my life was finally graduating from high school, THANK THE LORD! Looking back on high school now is so weird. I loved meeting new people and I love learning, but the classroom environment and being in there for six hours a day was never my cup of tea. I was definitely the day dreamer, always zoning out in my own world, dreaming about traveling, photography, and new experiences. But I'm so glad I had a wonderful community to grow up in and feel nurtured and supported.
This year, in terms of photography, has been insane. I've learned so much more about it and I've challenged myself with new projects. I've also been incredibly blessed to meet so many amazing photographers and creators this year who've inspired me to keep pushing myself to get better and better everyday. I honestly don't know where I'd be without those people who were so tremendously encouraging and loving towards me. (Above is a photo I took from Sonshine Festival 2016, I got an opportunity to be on the photo team with about a dozen other AMAZING photographers who I got to shoot alongside with. It was such a cool and new learning experience.) I seriously CANNOT WAIT to see where 2017 leads me in my creative world!! WOO!
I also got to meet and reconnect with so many wonderful people, not all are pictured but if I could I TOTALLY would. This year I pushed myself (a lot) to make more connections and love people more genuinely for exactly who they are. I've learned how to not envy others or compare myself to others and instead be joyful and supportive in every situation. Worry and jealousy is such a waste of energy that could be put into actions of love.
Going along with all the changes and new experiences that have come into my life this year, one big one was a new job. I work at a cute little coffee shop near my hometown of White Bear Lake. It's fittingly named - Coffee Cottage. It's in a small house, attracts a lot of locals and regulars, and makes my heart warm. Although it's not some super trendy coffee shop in the city like I'd normally go to, it has a home-y feeling and has wonderful people running it. Working there has opened up my eyes to the simple ways that you can make someones day. It makes me appreciate the little things in life.
Yeah, I know that was a lot, but I seriously am so glad 2016 happened the way it did. Although there was a struggle, it was necessary to become the person I am now. I've become more confident, accepting, independent and hard working. I've learned that it's okay to not be "perfect," whatever that means. I learned to love my imperfections and know that that's what God made me to be, so I should just love it. I've learned to love the person I am and accept that I will always simultaneously be learning and making mistakes and THAT'S OKAY. IT'S LIFE. I am only human, but I will try to always be the best version of me that I can be.
- CHEERS 2016! -