Thirty-one? Thirty-Fun!

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Hello there!!! 💜

I hope you all are having a splendid week! I wanted to share some photos from my 31st birthday with you guys!

Sit back…and enjoy! 🎁 🎉

Alright, so I wore a tiara all day. This was strangely on my bucket list in life…wear a tiara on my birthday. CHECK!

I received some reeeeally puzzled looks from people but, that’s okay with me. 🙃 I was happy as a clam!

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Can I just say how much I looooooove my sparkly tights I bought off of Amazon?! They just add so much fun to an outfit! I’m obsessed with these!

Some snapshots of lovely gifts I received and yummy food 💜 :

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I HAD A RETRO BARBIE CAKE!!! AND MY FAVORITE ICE CREAM! (with a macaron!) ❤️

I finished the day off with Indian food – my favorite!

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This was a fantastic birthday; I’m thankful for another year on this beautiful planet! I love being in my thirties…it’s honestly the happiest I’ve ever been. 💜

I hope you enjoyed…have a beautiful day!

See ya!

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I Love You a Latte, Nature

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Hello hello! Like my socks? 🙂

Fall is for SOCKS. All kinds! For me personally, I really love over-the-knee socks. They add such a fun look to an outfit.

The temperature is dropping quite fast, and by next week, there is rain expected (yessss!). I’m really looking forward to the upcoming fall weather. ♥♥♥

I tried a dusty ol’ vintage look with my camera today. 😀

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Bring out the fun cardigans and socks! Love it. I was so torn as to what kind of shoes to wear with this…I ended up choosing right, though.

What I learned today: socks with sandals are a-okay! 😀

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You know what else is a-okay are Maple Pecan Lattes…

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With the sprinkles…oh my gosssssssssshhhhhhhhh. They are MORE than just a-okay. I will probably get one of these again sometime. This is from Starbucks and it’s a new drink that just made its debut a few days ago. I had to give it a try! 🙂

So this evening, I took myself on a nature date! I went for the sole purpose of fully appreciating the transition into fall around me, and taking photographs of it all. I highly recommend trying this sometime, to anyone reading! Bring a camera and snap away. It’s refreshing and inspires you to get creative, in my opinion.

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I feel such a deep joy when I listen to the silence of nature. There’s nothing quite like it! Also, when you’re out in nature, do you ever feel like it’s all so alive around you? I really felt that way this evening. ♥

‘Til Next Time!

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Spanish Rose

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Morning air
Cold, it dares
A gentle hum
Of fall to come
Summer dreams
Far, they seem
Harvest awaits
The season’s fate 

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I’m no poet (not a genre I’m good at), but I randomly wrote the above fall poem the other day, on a whim. ♥

How’s everyone? I hope wherever in the world you may be, you’re enjoying this mid-September. The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping, to the point where it’s chilly in the mornings and the evenings.

I’ve been soaking up the fall feeling as much as I can. Here is some evidence of that from this past week:

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Admittedly no easy read (very graphic details), I’ve been reading The Great Mortality by John Kelly. This dives deep into the history of the Black Death, and it’s been hard to put down!!! I sat in Teazer’s the other day, sipping a Tiger Spice Chai and hearing the live music from the farmers market right outside the store. It was perfect and I ended up reading a lot that evening, until I decided to roam outside and buy fresh tomatoes and Armenian cucumbers.

Reading this has given me so much empathy for those living back in the time of the plague (and did you know it still exists today? Even in the U.S. …Google it, I’m not lying!). It’s hard to find anything to complain about in life when I’m reading about what these people went through. Definitely alters your perspective.

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Doesn’t this coffee art just scream fall? ♥ And it was delicious, of course. I have missed hot drinks! This was from Kuppa Joy coffeehouse.

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Let’s get started on this week’s fun outfits, shall we?

This first one was a favorite of mine that I wore on Monday. To me it totally has Spanish vibes going on, which I’m quite partial to! ♥

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I felt like I should’ve been strolling through the streets of Barcelona, or Madrid, and finding some cute café to sit at and people watch. I enjoy people watching…and not in a creeper kind of way. Who knows, maybe I come off as a creeper. Oh wellz.

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The red rose hair clips and the vintage-looking choker really tops off the Spanish look. I feel like I can easily play up the look and it feels natural, probably because I am part Spanish from my dad’s side.

Never knew him, but I do know he was a Spanish/Italian guy who was really artistic, a bit of a loner by choice at times and had an eccentric fashion sense. Apparently those are inheritable traits, because I’ve been all of those things my entire life. Bahahaaa…

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Keeping up with the rose theme, this was my outfit on the day I went to Teazer’s and farmers market in the evening. I did the double-necklace-thing again for vintage vibes. ♥ Boooooooom…

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The leaves make for such a lovely backdrop, don’t they? I love seeing them all scattered around. This time of year feels so alive!

After I finish the plague book, I think I’ll read something about Leonardo Da Vinci. I’ve been feeling strangely drawn to reading more about his life. I’ll generally feel a random pull towards a certain subject, and I always follow it. So that’s what I plan on reading next!

Happy fall. 🙂 (Oh wait…it’s not fall just yet. We still have a week, but it’s close!)

‘Til next time! ♥

 

Coffee (or Chai) Thoughts

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Howdy! 😉

This week was short because of Labor Day, but felt quite long! The weekend is here, so yay!

I went to Teazer’s Tuesday night, right before meandering around the farmer’s market right outside the store.  I love the inside of this place! With the trees outside and the pretty lighting…it felt magical. ♥

I can only imagine how nice it’d be in here on a crisp autumn evening. With all the warm tones, it feels like a fall kind of place. I’ll definitely be back for that time of year.

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Tiger Spice Chai! 

So, I just want to make a positive post today. That simple! Hope you enjoy some uplifting thoughts I’ve gathered from this past week. So grab yourself something to sip on and enjoy.

(I’m just going to casually slip my outfit of the day photos in while I’m talking…)

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If you try your best, that is what matters! I can’t stress this enough – I learned that a lot this past week. Your best effort may be insufficient from another’s perspective, but you can only do what you’re capable of and to the best of your ability, especially if it’s not your strongest point.

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If you start to feel like you’re taking life too seriously, just think of the honk of a clown nose.

Now let me explain.

At Art Hop Thursday night, my friend and I were walking towards our favorite downtown coffee shop when I heard the distinct sound of a clown nose. YES, A CLOWN NOSE. You know the horn sound it makes? Yeah, that. So I look and amongst the crowd of people, sure enough, there is a clown coming my way. Fortunately, my friend and I ducked into the coffee shop before we passed each other. I’m not a huge clown fan (especially ones on tricycles. Specific, I know).

When we went to leave, we ended up walking through the crowd once more and I heard the freaking clown nose horn again…

My friend and I just laughed about it as we continued walking. But in my typical fashion, I ended up philosophizing the entire thing and warped it into some eye-opening epiphany:

Me texting my friend Friday evening, literally out of nowhere: “In retrospect. The clown at Art Hop and his nose horn was a reminder for us not to take life too seriously. He wasn’t the hero we thought we deserved, but the one we actually needed.”

My friend: “Wow, all that from a clown nose…”

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Thank you, clown dude at Art Hop. You and your nose gave me a valuable life lesson and earned a spot in my life’s philosophy.

Who would have thought?

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Bloom where you’re planted. ♥ 

That means, whether you’re planted in a lush garden or a sidewalk crack, you bloom. Have you ever noticed that?! Flowers bloom whether it be one place or the other.

There’s a lot of negativity around. If you really stop and listen – and I mean truly listen – how often do you hear people say something positive? Or is it commonly complaints you hear? Think about it. I’m trying a new challenge now where I really focus on what I say and think and try to catch whether it’s positive or negative. You can’t always control external negativity, but inwardly, the one you feed is the one that grows the biggest. So will you feed the negative or the positive flower? Which one will bloom? 🙂

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So yes, those are some of my coffee (or Tiger Spice Chai) thoughts I’ve gathered from this past week. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe it’ll even inspire you in some way. ♥

Byeeeeee!

Give Me Candy Corn…

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Hello, and happy September!!!

It’s heading towards autumn, isn’t it? I can tell with how chilly the early morning gets now. Also, by Central California standards it’s been cooler (in the 90’s) and was actually only around 88 degrees a few days ago.

Like zee new shirt? It’s an eBay purchase that can be found here. I bought a medium since it’s Asia sizing and typically size charts recommend going up a size (I’m a U.S. Small), but I feel like I could have ordered a small and it would’ve been fine. I guess you never really know! But either way, I’m very happy with this purchase!

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I know most would agree; fall is one of my favorite times of the year! I’ve already indulged in the legendary Pumpkin Spice Frappucino at Starbucks, along with the pumpkin scone. So good, and worth the wait! ♥

Although, I have to say that that there is something else I have been semi-patiently waiting for, and that is CANDY CORN.

I used to not like it as a kid. Maybe my taste buds changed or they’re made differently now, who knows! But I am a candy corn freak…

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In other news! Last evening, I went to an Arts and Music festival downtown, where I set up my little art table. It was a nice time with lots of music and fellow artists and vendors. I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, to boot!

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I know it isn’t apparent, but I FORGOT MY GREETING CARDS. They’re missing from the table and it looked so empty to me…dang it!! I’ll be sure not to forget anything next time…I’m already signed up to showcase again in October, and I want my table to be full! Barely any empty spots on the table. I want it to look sort of like a shrine of its own.

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Let’s keep talking about fall, shall we? Clearly it’s not here yet, and I’m honestly going to soak up the remaining warmth before it plunges into cold weather :(. Speaking of which, I need to purchase a nice khaki jacket and some touchscreen handskar (gloves…return of the Swedish words).

But the leaves are starting to turn! My favorite is November, when the trees are bright red. ♥

Here are some sunset photos I took to get you into a pre-fall mood…

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Lovely sunset, no? Looks so peaceful, and to think right before I took this last photo I was certain I was going to slide in the dirt and fall on my butt. Fortunately, I didn’t.

Sunsets always inspire me. To me, it symbolizes both the past, the present, and the future. It’s the one thing that has consistently occurred in the past, and will continue to consistently occur in the future. Well, until the sun explodes eventually, or the world ends at the hand of the omnipotent (whichever your belief may be!).

In addition, in terms of the past, I also think: ‘So many people before us have witnessed the same sunset.’

Literally. Some guy or girl chillin’ in, I don’t know, 1532 or something, witnessed the same setting sun. Millions upon millions of people who came before us. And all I can think is, no matter how innovative and advanced we become, the same underlying human quality remains: all of the emotions we feel in our lives, however happy or painful they may be, was experienced by precisely everyone thousands and thousands of years before us. Life, human existence, and the sun continues, seamlessly.

And that’s typically my sunset thoughts. My mind then feels blown, and I turn and meander off, my thoughts switching to something a little more simple, like wanting candy corn.

Fairy door installation…

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By ‘installation’, I mean leaning it against the tree trunk.

Isn’t it CUTE?! This was actually a gift to me from my sister. ♥ Everything just needs a little glitter and some fairy dust, am I right? 😉

Seeeeee you next time!

 

Tonight, Tonight

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Oh my gosh.

Where do I even begin this?!?!

*deeeeep breath* I’m getting overly excited here. First off! As you know from my last blog post, I mentioned this one will be all about the Smashing Pumpkins concert I went to in the Bay Area!!!

Let’s address my outfit first, before I dive into the real fun!

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I went for a whimsical look, inspired by the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album aesthetic. Here’s a closer look at my accessories:

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Overall, I reeeeeally love how my outfit turned out! ♥ The dress is a 1960’s nightgown, altered into a dress for day wear.

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So!!! My friend and I arrived at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. The venue was huge! Oakland is right next to San Francisco, in case you’re unfamiliar with the city.

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SHOWTIME!!!

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A brief background: The tour, Shiny and Oh So Bright, featured their original songs from the 90’s. It went through songs from Gish (1991) through Machina/The Machines of God (2000). Thus, it was one gigantic wave of nostalgia! The entire audience was so into it…the energy was amazing there.

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Besides the amazing music, the other thing that completely fascinated me with this concert were the VISUALS.

This was not just a concert. It was pure art, in every way. Billy Corgan’s artistry goes above and beyond. Throughout the duration of the concert, the backdrop visuals told a story that corresponded with the sequence of the songs played.

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They played some real gems during this show, and secretly I had hoped beforehand, Pleeeease play ‘Porcelina of the Vast Oceans’. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but…they did!!! You should have seen the place; it totally erupted in happy shouting once those first few sounds of the guitar opened and the lighting turned blue. EPIC!

AND JUST WHEN I LEAST EXPECTED IT…they played The Beginning is the End is the Beginning.

I involuntarily squealed much like a child, not believing my ears…they’re really playing this gem?!?!! The song from Batman and Robin that I literally played on repeat when I was 10 years old?!?!?! 

Towards the end of the concert, they played the even more anticipated songs, such as Tonight, Tonight and 1979.

I had a feeling it would hit me at some point, and it did; when Tonight, Tonight broke out, I felt my eyes get watery. The night suddenly felt overwhelmingly amazing and memorable; this was the first band I got into as a child, you see. It all started when my babysitter’s grunge-loving son, in his baggy ripped jeans and flannel plaid shirts, would invite his friends over and put on Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

I was what – maybe 8 or 9 back then? And here I am now at age 30, finally seeing them live. I’ll always remember this night. ♥

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On the way out of Oakland, I realized how much I really do love the Bay Area. It has been so long since I’d been there. The one thing I oddly love the most about it is the fog. It looked so beautifully dark and eerie, seeing the lights of San Francisco reflect on the clouds above. ♥

I hope you enjoyed this post – see you next time!

Paper Doll

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Hey!!!

So I have like, 9000 outfits to show you. Or 3 –  same thing.

How are you all?! I hope you’re having a very fine day. 🙂 I certainly, certainly am! This week is flying by like lightning speed, I’ve been crazy busy (we’re printing a new textbook at work, so it’s been go-go-go), and next week…

is…

SMASHING PUMPKINS.

(Hey, on the topic of pumpkins, did you know the Pumpkin Spice drinks debut next Tuesday at Starbucks?! Not like I’m counting down the days or anything?)

But yes! I am going to see the Smashing Pumpkins on Monday, in Oakland. I can’t believe it is almost here. My next blog post will be all about the concert. My heart is full!!! ♥

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This was my Monday outfit. Or my måndag outfit. (Yes, I am going to be Swedish-dropping some words on y’all throughout this post, as I have been up to my kneecaps in Swedish lessons on Duolingo this past week.)

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I have been practicing so much Swedish, that the other night I woke up in the middle of the night and randomly mumbled out the word strumpor (which means socks)…

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Like the candy-esque outfit? I like to start my Mondays on an upbeat note to launch the week off to a good start. That means an iced mocha (or if I want to make it an extra special Monday, a raspberry iced mocha) at Yellow Mug, a super cute outfit and Viking metal playing in the car.

Do you have a favorite day of the week? Or days? My favorite days are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I just really like those days. ♥

Mina favorit dagar är torsdag, fredag, lördag och söndag.

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The pattern-mixing continuous! I wore this outfit on Sunday, I think. Gingham anything is awesome, but I’m really loving the bold black-and-white gingham print. ♥ I bought it on sale at Forever 21 recently.

(Every skirt I am wearing in this post is a recent purchase from Forever 21, by the way!)

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New choker! I bought it on Etsy not too long ago. 😉

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Hallå, sun. It has been in the 90’s here! Which is my preferred temperature of choice, as opposed to over 100 degrees it has been for weeks on end.

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Last but certainly not least, this is the outfit I wore today!!! This is my first denim skirt purchase, and I lucked out on this find! I have another one in pale green, which I’ll wear sometime soon.

I’m sure you recognize my shirt, which I have worn many times with the familiar fåglar on it. (Birds!)

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Me eating fruit on my break at work, and finding it to be a good time to take a close-up of my new denim skirt. 

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I WENT TO PAPER SOURCE.

 

I know this may not seem like a huge deal…oh, but it is.

For a long time, I have wanted to wander into this place, that opened maybe a year or so ago where I live. I heard it’s filled with pretty things like stationary, writing utensils, planners, wrapping paper, gift boxes, coffee mugs, and otherwise colorful things that are collectively a vortex I knew I would easily get sucked into.

I walked in, unprepared for what I was faced with. FRUIT SCENTED GEL PENS? Hellooo, nostalgia! A set of super bright writing cards with matching envelopes, and a bright pink ink pen? Yes, please!

I have two pen pals: one I email, and the other I write traditional letters to, so I am definitely going to come back to this place in the future for more pretty stationary! ♥

 

And what a week it’s been! ‘Til next time!

Daisies

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Hey hey!!!

I’ve always wanted daisy hair accessories, and now I have ’em! These are simple iron-on appliques from Joann Fabric, and I glued alligator clips on the back.

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And just like that, you have a very playful and retro look! Daisies instantly remind me of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. ♥

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“They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”

Remember the movie You’ve Got Mail?! My mom used to watch that movie ALL the time when I was a kid. I loved it, too! It’s a really cute romantic comedy, and daisies make me think of this one scene in particular.

Daisies also make me think of the art film, Daisies, which I watched in my Art Appreciation class in college, the last semester before I graduated.

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I remember it was a very unusual and surreal film, and the retro look was what really caught my attention (it’s from 1966).

It is a Czech film, and it follows these two young ladies and their misadventures, filled with crazy antics and their carefree perspective on life, in which they take nothing seriously.

The film was banned after the Soviet invasion in 1968, in which creative arts were greatly restricted.

Anytime I see daisies, I think of the movie. 🙂

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Okay, so these are not daisies…in fact, I believe they are just plain ol’ weeds, because they are growing out of a crack in the asphalt in the parking lot at my work. However!!! I find them to be rather beautiful and I sort of watch them as they grow with each passing work day (I am easily entertained).

When I take my break at work, I slip out to the back of the warehouse and have a snack, read a little bit and check them out. They’re interesting…

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It kind of proves that beauty can be found anywhere, no? Even behind a dusty warehouse in a parking lot. I finally decided to photograph them since they (mostly) became in full bloom these last few days.

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This is my current read!!! ♥ I finished No Easy Day by Mark Owen, and it definitely became one of my favorite SEAL books I’ve read (so far). It was so good and one thing I have noticed with reading books written by Navy SEALs is their similar sense of humor, which has me laughing out loud at times while I read.

I’m on chapter four at this point, where Marcus Luttrell is about to start BUD/S training (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training), and I already know it’s going to be sooooo hard to put down. And I haven’t even gotten to the truly intense parts of the book yet.

Who else loves it when they get so into a book, they just don’t want to leave the pages? ♥

 

♥ Until next time! ♥

Artsy McFartsy

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Hiii!

What a week it’s been. First off, I’ve been staying at my sister’s house this week, because they’re doing asphalt reconstruction where I live. It’s just easier than trying to find parking elsewhere.

So! Monday, I started the day off super early and went to my favorite coffeeshop, Yellow Mug. I was there at like 7 a.m., much before work, because the construction started at that time and I needed to head out of my neighborhood.

It was nice being out and about so early. Everything is so still. I read quite a bit before work while I was there…I have BEEN READING A LOT…

Hey, did you notice that piece of TAPE holding together a torn edge on the book cover, pictured above? The book looked pristinely new not too long ago, and I really tried to keep it looking nice and neat. I keep it in my purse so it gets nudged around a lot, I’ve accidentally slept on it (more than once), and my sister’s cat tried to eat it. All in all, a few dirt smudges and a slightly torn edge isn’t all that bad considering it survived all of that.

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My sister’s house is quite picturesque! I’ve enjoyed staying here, and it’s felt like a little vacation in a sense – not being at my own place, not doing my usual routine (aside from work), having a different view and what not…

Tonight was a special night because I displayed some of my art at Art Hop! I’ve been looking forward to it because I bought frames for my illustrations, and a new canvas print.

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This was my outfit for the day! A pink and blue floral ensemble.

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It was a hot summer evening at Art Hop, but luckily I had some shade. The new frames totally matched my tablecloth!!!

I love Art Hop; I love displaying my own work and seeing the work of others. Self-expression has always been and will always be my loyal companion in life, and I love to see how others choose to express themselves creatively. ♥

I had two customers: both little girls, around 8 years old. They had their own booth! We traded art; they each took one of my art pieces, and I took one of theirs. This was their art I brought home:

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An ice cream cone and a dropped ice cream cone. This is a great two-piece art set and in all actuality, represents me quite well because I drop things all the time, and I love ice cream. PERFECT!!!!

I love that the two little girls were so artistic and involved at such a young age! I hope they never lose their love for art and it continues on throughout their lives.

Another reason I love displaying at Art Hop? It keeps me growing artistically.

I always think when I’m out there, as I sit at my display table, “What should I create next? What do I want to bring to life from the depths of my imagination?” 

The great thing about imagination, is that it’s endless. ♥

See ya! 🙂

A Sunset, Sunflowers and a Sloth

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Happy end of the weekend!

I know, I know. That doesn’t sound very celebratory, now does it? I guess I’m in good spirits still from the weekend, because I did a lot! Sunday morning, my friend and I went to the zoo, which was really fun! I love animals. ♥

Saturday evening, another friend and I went for a walk and then for a bite to eat. I have pretty photos from that, but let’s start on the outfit, shall we?

I wore this yesterday, on Saturday:

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The top is from Goodwill!!! What a find. It looks all sorts of vintage, and I love the tie that drapes down.

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I bought this bracelet like five million years ago and seemed to have forgotten all about it. I was going through a jewelry drawer Saturday morning and BOOM! There it was.

It’s different from my typical jewelry, and that’s why I like it!

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SO! Saturday evening, I wanted to go for a walk, despite the smoke-covered-sky-induced-humidity that is happening. The heat wasn’t so bad in the later evening, and with a breeze, it felt nice. My friend asked if he could join, so we met there.

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This was the most beautiful sunset I think I’ve ever witnessed! The smoke isn’t good of course, but it certainly created a mysterious orange glaze over everything. Nature is so beautiful, and paired with the thick scent of the earth, it was a truly amazing moment.

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After the walk, we stopped for a bite to eat at a café I always walk by when I head over to the park to walk, but had never been to. It was the prettiest little place, and super friendly staff!

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I had a strawberry banana smoothie, and holy moley was it goooooood!!!

 

Sub-topic: …the power of listening. 🙂

So, my friend just got divorced and is feeling pretty down, and is concerned about his future in the dating world. He was voicing his feelings about his situation over dinner and otherwise just letting it all out. Now, I’m literally the last person on earth to give any advice regarding relationships (I’ve intentionally stayed out of the dating world for who knows how long now?!?!!!), but I quickly realized that simply listening was all that was needed.

And my friend thanked me for that. He said I didn’t need to come up with any advice; listening just by itself is helpful.

Sometimes, all that is needed is lending an ear. (Not literally give them your ear).

A lot of people talk. But how many of us truly listen? Listening can be the greatest gift we can give someone.

And if anyone reading is going through a hard time like my friend is – things will always get better. Just hang in there…

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How could I not somehow include the sloth I befriended at the zoo into my blog post today?!?!

See ya!!! ♥