We are finally all moved in! We spent all weekend hauling boxes and cleaning the old apartment and were completely exhausted at the end of it.

Our amazing friends offered to help us move and we really couldn't have done it without them. It definitely would have taken three times as long and we would have been three times as tired - so thank you Adrian, Angela & Isaac!

Luckily Harry talked me into renting a 15 ft truck instead of a 10 ft (I was overly optimistic) and we were just able to squeeze all my large furniture into it. Then we nervously drove that giant truck through the streets of Portland to the new place, which is about 20 minutes north of where I was living. "I can't believe they just give you the keys to these trucks and let you drive off with them," Harry remarked while we were trying not to clip every parked car we drove by. It was tense!

It was really hard to say goodbye to the old apartment. I lived there with Emily for 3.5 years and so much happened during that time. I loved the neighborhood we were in and got really emotional when we were doing our final walkthrough (I CRIED A LOT). Goodbyes are really hard for me. It's a bummer how when this great new chapter is opening up in your life it almost always means closing the door on other chapters forever - it's bittersweet.

The night after we took the last stuff out by car, Harry and I went to get pizza and just have a moment to decompress. It felt really good to just sit there and be in the moment, and reminded me of a story my dad told me about when he and my mom were trying to decide if they should move to Whidbey Island over burgers at Toby's Tavern (a seaside dive bar). Even though our move probably isn't as grandiose, it's still a moment that feels pivotal. (Also, get a load of that laundry day shirt. We were on like day 3 of wearing the same clothes and I felt SO gross!)

So on to the new place...it's so lovely so far! Tons more light for my plants and a gorgeous kitchen that I cannot wait to get baking in (pumpkin bread for all!)
We're still in a bit of moving box chaos but are starting to get things put away and how we want them. More to come!

Kitchen of dreams

My new toaster of dreams

Watching Cold Justice while unboxing

Harry the hero putting together the couch

The moving mess begins...

In two-ish weeks I'm moving to a new apartment and I'm having some FEELINGS. I moved into my current place when I first moved to Portland, around 3.5 years ago. I moved in sight unseen - my roommate Emily and her boyfriend toured it and loved it so I said yes and packed up my things. It was a really hard adjustment and I spent the first month of my Portland residency frantically searching for jobs and riding TriMet buses all over the place.

So many things happened during my time living here - I got a job where I still work, I made friends, I threw a couple of parties (including pity parties haha ahhh), bonded with our neighbor's cat, walked to the Portland Nursery, Horse Brass Pub, and Movie Madness. It was both a good and incredibly hard time in my life. I worked on recovering and grieving my mother's death here.

I'm now getting ready to move in with my amazing boyfriend, into a new place in North Portland, and start what feels like a brand new chapter in my Portland life. It's funny how you can really feel it when you're on the verge of a big shift. I think it's a good shift - the right move - but big changes are so hard and scary for me. I worry constantly about making the "right" choices. I have a tendency to mourn what I'm leaving behind, even if it's left me behind already.

A desk and books that are now sold & gone!
My sister came to visit and help me get rid of a bunch of stuff and it felt good to be rid of some possessions but it also made it all feel real and reminded me how much more I have to do before our move in date! I don't know how one person can accumulate so much stuff, but here we are. She was a HUGE help coordinating sales on Facebook marketplace and meeting up with strangers to sell my desks, a keyboard, vanity and more.

Anyway, this post is a little rambly but I just wanted to say that I'm moving, and I'm both really excited and really sad about it. Saying goodbye to an era of your life is tough, but I'm looking SO forward to all the exciting moments this new chapter will bring.

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!