Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thirty by Thirty

As many of you know, it's not uncommon to find bucket lists on most blogs. Also popular for us 20-something's is the 30 things to accomplish before turning 30 list. I like to have a list as a motivator. I like to cross things off. I'm often scatter brained and forget key things if I don't write them down. And so I've decided to start my very own 30 before 30 (or before my 31st birthday if things don't progress as planned). I know I'm still relatively young but I'll be honest and say that turning 27 last summer was eye opening. It was, by far, the most traumatic birthday yet. There was something so different about saying I was 27 instead of 26, no longer was I a young thing in my early 20's. Now don't roll your eyes, I know 27 is still extremely young, but it's all relative, right? I actually started this list a year ago and posted it on my old travel blog and am happy to see that I've already accomplished a few things. Next up: recaps of those crossed off.   
1.  Take a photography class
2.  Learn to ride a motorcycle
3.  Surf
4.  Go to India
5.  Apply to graduate school
6.  Run a half marathon
7.  Become a better cook
8.  Go vegan for 3 months
9.  Take a cross-country road trip
10. Throw a dinner party
11. Write everyday for a month
12.  Make money through writing
13.  Successfully knit a scarf
14.  Wear sunblock everyday
15.  Get over my fear of snakes
16.  Learn to love flying again
17.  Start graduate school
18.  Work at a job that I truly like
19.  Make peace with my body
20.  Buy a motorcycle
21.  Return to Turkey
22. Volunteer with Farm Santuary (or similar)
23. Bicycle through all 5 bouroughs
24. Bicycle from Port Orford to Gold Beach
25. Do a headstand


Which of these would be the top of your list to do?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Married to Amazement

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” John le Carre
Friends, I had a day. A day that left me yearning for open roads and free days. I maintain that it goes against human nature to sit all day working in front of a computer. Lights burning one's eyes and waist line slowly expanding. I think people are built to run and walk and move and laugh and many jobs discourage this, therefore wearing away one's spirit day by day.
I hate to let a job rule my emotions and yet, it is a hard battle to win. I work 8-5, five days a week and it gets to me. I know we all have struggles and bad days and today was mine. Maybe it's spring fever, maybe it's the old "grass is greener" complex, but I'm looking to run free!
still stuck with my web cam: obviously

Ok, time to shake myself out of this funk! In the hopes of feeling more light hearted than I felt, I wore one of my favorite dresses. I love love love the lavender color and it couldn't be more comfortable. This is my go-to "feel fantastic" work outfit.
Dress-Nordstrom Rack
Cardigan-Old Navy
Belt-Forever 21
Boots-Miz Mooz
Scarf-NYC street vendor
 I work in a very cold office, making a scarf and cardigan my everyday uniform. I added the little thin belt to emphasize my waistline that threatened to get lost in this flowy dress.
Maybe part of my mood has to do with my boy being away on his own fabulous adventure. He's riding his motorcycle up the west coast, camping on cliffs along the way. I speak to him everyday relishing every little detail in order to tide me over until it's my turn! Just thinking about my next adventure has lifted my mood considerably. What are your feel good tricks when things start to bring you down?
When it’s over, I want to say: All my life I was a bride married to amazement.” Mary Oliver

Sunday, March 27, 2011

get rhythm. when you get the blues

My camera is up the river across a swinging bridge. My boyfriend (and his camera) is making his way up the coastline on his sexy Ducati and I am left to play around with my web cam on this cloudy day. I've been feeling very casual lately and this hand-me-down button-up from my brother suited my mood just fine.
When I saw this shirt in a pile of clothes, I immediately wanted it. I went on and on about the texture (so soft and worn in) and the color (almost a perfect match to my eyes). Later, my brother put it on and realized it was too small for him and low and behold, I got it!

I was going to pair this blue and gray look with my typical Frye boots but since it wasn't pouring outside I went with my new boat shoes. I can't wait to live in these shoes this summer, they go with most everything.

Shirt-Gift from my brother
Tank top-Old Navy
Jeans-Forever 21
Shoes-Rock & Candy
I'm pretty happy with this outfit. Perfect for a lazy day with nothing more than a walk to the library, coffee and reading. Now if you don't mind, I have a warm bed waiting for me. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

on the road again

As I mentioned the other day, last weekend I drove down from Portland to Port Orford (about a 5 hour drive) for my 5 day weekend. Seeing as my brother has been staying with us, we all piled in the Jetta and made it an official road trip. When I travel, I'm prone to rushing through and 'making good time'. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is my polar opposite and that's why I love him. He takes scenic byways, country roads and frequent stops to explore and eat.
 In Eugene, my brother suggested lunch at a Mexican super market and it was DELICIOUS. One of the best burritos I've had and that's saying something. From Eugene we cut over to the coast and headed south on 101.
 A little south of Florence we took a detour to the beach and played around on the dunes and frolicked to our hearts content. It was chilly, but not raining, what a miracle in Oregon!

 Jacket-Nicole Miller
Cardigan-Urban Outfitters
 My outfit above is me being a scrub. Road trips, specifically last minute one's, force me to grab whatever is comfy and not binding and run out the door. Spontaneity is one of my most cherished traits and is not conducive to the most stylish outfits.
 After beach fun, we headed south and stopped only 30 minutes north of our destination in Bandon (by the sea). We explored the marina and picked up some sweets at Cranberry Sweets. My boyfriend has one of the sweetest sweet tooth's around so he was in heaven with this coconut chocolate egg.
Finally, 7 hours after we left, we made it home where I got to see my wonderful mother. Clearly we share genes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I wore a black suit because it looked mean.

When I see certain articles it makes me really miss my life in New York. I would love to go to this exhibit as I am a huge Johnny Cash song. His voice gives me goosebumps and don't even get me started on Cash sing alongs in the car. My dream is to sing Jackson duet with my boyfriend.
Also, style related, is my love of the Man in Black. My weekend staple are my cowboy boots and, in all honesty, I would wear all black paired with my boots everyday if socially acceptable. 
Who inspires you?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Take Me Home

I have been absent for good reason. Spring break! One bonus of my slightly dull job is that I get a lot of school breaks and this one was heaven. I had Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off so last Saturday my boyfriend, brother and I packed up and headed south to the southern Oregon coast. I grew up in the tiny town of Port Orford and my mom, dad and good friends still live there.
Whenever I have a long weekend I look for an excuse to head to the coast. I'm an ocean baby, literally born on a cliff overlooking the pacific and feel lost without the ocean breeze and crashing waves. This weekend did not disappoint and I have much to share, as soon as my friend sends me the camera I left at her house. For now I have a few pictures of the outfit I wore on my last full day there. I loved taking pictures in my mom's yard. It's totally secluded and I didn't feel embarrassed setting up the tripod and going for it.

There used to be an old barn on my mom's property but years ago we had to tear it down and are now left with only a cement slab. Honestly, I kinda dig the look of the cement, grass and wood stacks. Ahhh, how I miss the country life.

Cardigan-Old Navy
Dress-Forever 21
Scarf (as a belt)-My mom's
Lack of shoes-C/O a hippie upbringing 
Shades-hand me down from friend

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Way to Work

Before I go any further I wanted to share with you all a video about the organization I used to work for when I lived in New York. Watching it this morning made me miss my students and my work with them so much. As cliched as it may sound, seeing their success was one of the most gratifying experiences in my life. It was an emotional and stressful position, but so full of rewards. I couldn't be more proud of my former student, Amber. Please watch!
And now the awkward segue from social services to my daily outfit ;) This is something I typically wear to my current job. There are children at times at my job so a modest attire is expected. Nothing low cut, high cut or jeans. It's hard to adjust to this dresscode, but I've managed to add a little color here and there.
Now that I think about it, maybe it isn't the most awkward segue. When I was a case manager one of my main roles was to act as a guide and role model as my students prepared to enter the workforce for the first time. I emphasised appropriate work wear and behavior as well as body language. This modest outfit would have worked in that setting as well to show an appropriate way to dress for a job.
Belt-Anthropologie (thanks, sis!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm off to my old stomping grounds of Seattle for the night! Have a great weekend everyone. I hope some of you (outside the northwest) have some sun!
Columbia River last weekend

Friday, March 11, 2011


It is with a heavy heart that I write this morning. As most of you know by now, last night Japan was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in recent history: 8.9. I was alerted to this by a Japanese friend on facebook and soon watched the nauseatingly horrible footage of waves sweeping out whole cities in Japan. To watch that happen live fills a person with such dread and sadness that I quickly had to turn the news off, text my parents a warning (who live on the most western coastal tip of Oregon in prime tsunami territory) and went to bed.  To know that so many people are dealing with loss in the worst sense of the word takes my breath away. My heart and soul is with Japan and the surrounding islands hit.
Meanwhile, on a local and more personal level, my parents currently wait on a steep hill above the Pacific. With tsunami warnings blaring throughout the tiny fishing town at 4:30 in the morning, my mom was on high alert. The coast guard flying overhead, schools closed and people evacuated in my hometown of Port Orford. My dad, known for his adventuress, thrill-seeking nature (who in warnings past drove to the beach with hopes to see the waves) vowed he would go to higher ground (probably due to my slightly panicked voice).  My brother and I kept watch this morning, forming our own little tsunami committee. I know that there won’t be a huge impact in my hometown, but I still don’t like being away from my mom and dad at this time. I’m not a person who prays, but now is a better time than ever to send good thoughts, vibes, prayers to the people hurt most by this quake and tsunami.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to hug my loved ones close and be thankful that they are here today. 
I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roll On Columbia

Dress-Urban Outfitters (thanks, mom!)
Cardigan-Old Navy
Belt-Forever 21
Leggings-Forever 21
With my brother in town, we decided to do some exploring. Thankfully, it was a nice day yesterday and had warmed up so much that I could feel spring in the air. This is the outfit I wore to work, which is pushing it with the shorter length. Within the first week at my current job my boss told me to stop wearing jeans so I've been tip toeing around with a more conservative wardrobe. I managed to snap just one picture when I got home before running out to explore. I like that the colors in my dress match the picture below.
We drove north of Portland about 15 miles to Sauvie Island, a little island community along the Columbia River. It was a strange day with a glowing sky that only magnified the blues and grays in the river. It was a slightly eerie feeling with wind blowing and vibrant clouds.  
We hiked along the river and through the woods and came to a soggy marsh that was full of birds and little critters. It was beautiful and serene and nice to be out of the city on a week day. I love having company, it breaks up the monotony of everyday life :)
In the near future, I'm going to try to find some spots at work where I can take some outfit pictures, I have an hour lunch that would be perfect for a photo shoot. Now I just have to face the potential embarrassment of co-workers watching my photo session go down. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Case of the Mondays

Yesterday started off pretty terribly with a four hour mind-numbing training at work. I got home from work weary and tired. However, I got a call from my brother (pictured below) saying he was outside my apartment building! What a great surprise and with my mood already elevated we headed to the Laurelhurst movie theater to meet my friend Katie who is leaving for Brooklyn soon.
This theater is AMAZING. $3 tickets. Cheap pizza, sandwhiches and popcorn and most importantly: beer and wine. A pitcher of pabst and pizza purchased we headed to our seats complete with a table for our food! Well played, Laurelhurst. I can't recommend this theater enough. It was one of the best weekday nights I've had in a long time. If you ever go to Portland and want a cheap date this is your place. 
The Laurelhurst
Apparantly, I've been living in a cave as I hadn't even heard about the movie we ended up seeing : 127 hours. Oh my god, this film is amazing! It starts off slightly cheesy but stick through it for a touching, emotional and well acted film. Some people have a gripe with James Franco (spcifically post-Oscars) but I think he's fantastic and definitely easy on the eyes. 
127 Hours
After the movie we went over to Katie's to hang out and could not stop talking about the film. It's one of those movies that stays with you for a long time. Have you seen it? Discuss! It was very fitting I saw this movie with my brother seeing as he is a mountain man known for extended solo-hikes in the backwoods without maps or trails.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let's Just Go Walking In The Rain

Every year, late in the winter, I get to a certain breaking point when I check the 10-day extended outlook only to see rainy day after rainy day predicted. Around March,  I need warm weather so badly that I feel I might scream. This week was that time. To help pass the time to spring days, I decided to wear something spring-y to get me in the spirit. Outside it might be gray and rainy (I'm looking at you, Portland!) but inside my heart it's 70 degrees and balmy.
Tights-Urban Outfitters
Boots-Miz Mooz 

I bought this floral dress last week and knew it would be perfect for work with a cardigan and flats and for the weekend with sandals or heels. It's very girly and modest, but this can be refreshing from time to time. After all, I don't always need my full body on display. Apologies for the horrid yellow lighting. It's pouring outside and my little entrance way will have to do for now.
I wanted to wear this exact outfit  for a coffee date with a visiting friend; however, it's pretty wet outside and I may have to swap out these boots for my black rain boots. Today, I plan on yoga, coffee with my friend and possibly a trip to H&M; I love Sundays. 
Currently listening (video): Stephen Marley Traffic Jam

This song instantly brings me back to Summer 2007 and falling in love with my boy. It was my ring tone, we saw them live at Reggae on the River and it blared constantly in passing cars outside our apartment in Harlem. Ohhhhh, how I miss that time.  Do you have a song that brings you back to a particular time in your life?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Talk About A Dream, Try To Make It Real-A Back Story

In June I decided to live out a dream to drive cross country.  I had been in Manhattan for three years and knew it was time to detox from the concrete jungle. I felt I was a west coast soul and wanted to head back to my family and friends.  I quit my job, bought a truck, loaded up whatever belongings I couldn’t sell on craigslist and after a tearful goodbye with my sister, I set off across the George Washington Bridge; and through blinding tears left the beautiful city I'd called home
There was no itinerary, no end date, only open road.  I took a southern route, camping the whole way. What an adventure it was, one I had dreamed of as a young child. To finally realize that dream was so satisfying; there are no regrets at all.

 I drove and drove, met interesting people, slept in beautiful forests, swam in warm lakes and side tripped throughout winding gravel roads.  Sure there were one or two painful nights in rest area parking lots, a brief illness and a rainy night; but as with so many trips, I have nothing but fond memories today.

 My trip took me through several states, five months and countless memories.  With travels continuing in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest. As exhausting as travel can be, I still long to hit the road and spend more time than I should admitted day dreaming my next journey.