Here's something you may not know about me...

I used to want to be a fashion blogger! At least, in a 2008 sort of way. 
Back then I had just graduated high school and was obsessed with a Flickr community called wardrobe_remix where people shared their outfit photos. I found people through that community who had their own blogs (!!! a totally novel idea to me at the time) and started following as many as I could. I was SO intimidated by the idea of starting my own that I never did, and didn't even begin posting any photos to the wardrobe_remix group until 2009. Check out some of these sweet looks and poses - one featuring my freshman dorm room. 

2009 looks

Bloggers at that time were all about thrifting and vintage so in turn, I was all about thrifting and vintage. This was kind of the first time I'd ever really thought about or explored personal style in a serious way (we don't talk about my brief Japanese kogal style experiments in high school ok? It never happened. Shhh). From there I transitioned into college where I really felt free to try new styles all the time - I was a photography student so I could get away with being a little kooky. Some of my favorites during this time were a teal Mexican style dress, a green wool shift that looked like it was from Riverdance and a 70's wrap skirt that vanished into thin air after college (RIP). 
Late college style
After college I moved back to my hometown for a while and discovered the beauty community on YouTube, so makeup became my focus and my personal style got a little girlier and less vintage inspired. 

And then some sad things happened in my life and I just kind of let it all go. After I moved to Portland I still tried to dress cute, but I got lost completely and still am to this day. My body's changed in ways I'm not so happy with and I've been struggling for a long time with feeling like I can't "do fashion" anymore. Like my body isn't worthy of trying to be cute or stylish anymore. Which is a really sad way to feel! Strangely, I don't feel that way about any other woman I see rocking a stylish outfit, no matter what shape or size she is. I only think this way about myself. 

Lately I'm still feeling like I don't quite know how to get back into fashion - but I really really want to at some point. I used to have so much fun getting dressed up and now it just feels like a sad chore. So in this vein, I've been pushing myself to pose for outfit photos whenever I find a cool background, even though my confidence is low. And I've actually liked a few of them, so I think it's a good start! 

I don't know - how are you feeling about fashion lately? I'd be interested to know

I'm a little obsessed with tarts lately - I think they're so adorable. When I had a salted caramel chocolate tart at Pacific Pie Co. I knew I had to try and recreate it myself. I used this recipe from Sauver and it was a huge success! I only burned one batch of caramel (full details in my instagram highlights - gotta buy a candy thermometer...). It took all day because I didn't realize that each layer had to chill for so long, but it was well worth it. I made 3 small tarts instead of the one large tart in the recipe - somehow it makes me feel better about eating a whole one!

I've been really stressed and anxious lately because I'm starting to prepare to move in October. Moving in Portland feels like a total nightmare right now - everything is so expensive and nothing is available for rent more than a week out, so I'm just waiting. I'm a big control freak worrier about things like this, and having to be patient and wait to look for places is killlllllling me. But moving will help me finally realize my dream of getting a dog! Trying to keep that in mind as I lie awake at night stressing. 

Thank goodness it's FINALLY getting a little cooler and fall is coming - I'm SO ready for a fall/winter full of baking and cozy movie nights in. 

It's been so hot and smokey here in Portland over the last few weeks that the idea of turning on the oven is appalling. There are a ton of wildfires creating a permanent smog layer over the city and that combined with 90+ degree temps has put me into a little summer depression. So during a lucky day of 70-degree weather, I decided to make some jam tarts.

Jam tarts are so easy and simple but I'm still struggling to perfect the amount of jam I'm supposed to put in them. I know the bubble-up effect adds a little bit of rusticness to them, but I want them to look clean! Oh well, they were still delicious. I used raspberry and blackberry jam and a recipe from Martha Stewarts Pies & Tarts book with a lot of cinnamon in the crust.

I've been daydreaming pretty hard about fall and winter lately - even going so far as to buy some new sweaters and tickets to The Nutcracker ballet! I'm ready for the cold weather! I tend to feel my most inspired and productive in the fall - something about that "going back to school" mindset still sticks around, even if I'm not in school anymore. In the meantime, I'll just be sitting in front of my little window air conditioner unit.

I'm not normally a "hiking" person - someone who I imagine to be really fit and doesn't mind eating those dehydrated food packets from REI - but more and more I want to get out and see some of the beautiful places that I live so close to. So, in that spirit, I convinced my boyfriend Harry to get up at the crack of dawn and drive about an hour out of Portland to Beacon Rock State Park. 

We had some trouble the last time we tried to go out for a hike, as so much of the Gorge is closed off from last summer's fire. We almost ended up on one of the toughest hikes by pure accident! So this time I did some research to make sure we could handle it. After a brief panic moment where neither of us had cash and ended up missing the credit card pay station altogether so we drove into the next town to buy a 1-day pass from a gas station, we FINALLY got started on our hike up Beacon Rock. 

For those curious, it literally is a hike up a big rock. They have pathways with railings that switchback all the way up, which was nice, but even so, it wasn't such an easy climb! One of the big highlights for me was seeing peregrine falcons flying below us, which like to nest in the rockface. I was kind of obsessed with peregrine falcons as a kid after reading My Side of the Mountain and interpreting it as a real lifestyle choice. Watching them soar above the forest but below us on the rock trail was surreal. 

The views from Beacon Rock are incredible and well worth the climb. Reaching the top was a little anti-climactic, however. We expected there to be more room at the top to really take in the view, but it was a tiny little point with some craggy rocks and a little board talking about floodplains or something. There was also quite a few socialized squirrels who were clearly living off of treats from hikers. 

Ultimately I was just happy to be out in nature, breathing some fresh air instead of laying on my couch, which is what I'm usually doing. 

Happy Friday! This week has been especially nuts for me - I had jury duty on Monday & Tuesday and very nearly made it on a 3-week trial but it was settled at the last minute. Tbh I was a little disappointed - I've always dreamed of being on a trial! (Weird, I know). 
This weekend I'm debating between going on a hike or going to a U Pick berry place, we'll see which I choose! In the meantime, enjoy some links:

+ Ariana Grande just released God is a Woman and I'm already obsessed - and this still photo (above) is so gorgeous. (Bonus Ari - this cute vid from Elle)

+ SO HERE for this rewriting of art history!!!!

+ My current favorite accessory.

+ I wrote an angry facebook post about how misunderstood this lawsuit is - get educated people! Tons of people in my jury selection group thought this "dumb lady" won "millions."

+ The cutest planter I ever did see!

Hope you have the best weekend yet!

Fourth of July was a pretty chill day for us as we both had to go back to work the next day, but we still managed to have some fun with sparklers! I think this year I finally perfected the long-exposure sparkler photo - with the help of this amazing guide from A Beautiful Mess. The small aperture and low ISO were new tips for me and really paid off!

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday! I really wanted to eat ruffles and dip but resisted. 

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog lately but I'm definitely going to get some more photos up soon! I miss blogging so so much. 

Is that title making you feel uncomfortable? Because it definitely made me feel uncomfortable to write. We're not supposed to talk openly about financial matters unless you've got some brilliant solution to become a millionaire, which I certainly don't. 

I've been avoiding blogging for a while - for a number of reasons. Time, confidence, depression, a demanding job, etc all play into it. But I also realized something that changed my perception of what I was doing with this blog. And that's this:

I can't afford to blog about beauty anymore. 

Let me break this down into a few sections for you. 

1. Buying/testing products

I used to love spending frivolously on makeup products that I was curious about back when I didn't have rent to pay. I'd see a review or YouTube video about a certain product release and I just had to have it to try out, so I'd go get it. My Sephora Beauty Insider points were racking up and the rush I'd get with each new box of goodies delivered in the mail felt worth it at the time. I had a lot of fun makeup, but I had quite a number of products I barely used or that I used once and realized they weren't that great. 

Once I started a YouTube channel/blog, I would justify to myself that buying products solely to review them was a "good investment" because it was creating content for those channels. Now, I've never made a red cent from YouTube or this blog (and that's ok!), so telling myself that spending a ton of money on beauty products each month was ok because it was contributing to my content...probably not the best financial idea. 

2. Keeping up

It's no secret (thank you Instagram stories) that makeup companies send lavish PR packages of their newest releases to big-name YouTubers, Instagrammers, and other social influencers. They often are the first to hear about launches, making days of scouring the internet for clues and being the first to go purchase something obsolete. By the time I, the average person, get my hands on a new makeup product, it's already been blogged/photographed/vlogged/reviewed by dozens of other content creators. It feels like you're always behind and that's because you are! The game is rigged against you on this one if you're a nobody like me. 

3. I just don't have the money anymore

I started pursuing makeup as a more serious hobby when I was living with my parents and blissfully ignoring my student loan debt except to make minimum payments. It felt like I had all this extra income so why not spend it on fun things? In retrospect that makes me cringe. If I'd just spent all that "extra" money paying down my debt, I would be in such a better financial situation than I am now. Fast forward to today, where I've gotten serious about paying off my student loans and have a car payment, rent, utilities, groceries, etc, to worry about. Makeup impulse buys just can't happen for me anymore. I'm not going to buy every scent of a new bath bomb anymore to test it out. I just can't.

So yeah...going forward I'll still blog about things I love, lifestyle things and maybe the occasional beauty bit here and there. Who knows? But my days as a wannabe beauty blogger are over.