colorado lightning

Personal

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This year I had the opportunity to meet up with my mom and brother in Colorado, where my grandparents live. Since moving away from home, I try to take a trip back to Las Vegas each year to see my mom and brother. Usually, I get out there around my brother’s birthday in July. This year, however, I wasn’t able to go! It was quite sad for me and I was pretty homesick/familysick. I missed them! Instead of hanging out with my mom and brother in Vegas, we decided to all met up in Colorado and hang out with the entire family. Even better since I haven’t seen my grandparents since moving to Oregon in 2013.

Colorado is simply gorgeous and probably one of my favorite places to be. Especially where my grandparents live! They are at, like, 10,000 feet elevation and the clouds are like nothing I’ve ever seen. My grandparents have the most amazing view of Pikes Peak from where they live. I really just love everything about being out there.

One of my favorite moments from our trip this year was this incredibly lightning storm. I’ve never seen anything like it! Lightning off in the distance, no thunder and no rain; simply a beautiful show. I had to take some photos! I can’t wait to get these printed out. The next morning, I guess the storm finally moved closer. I woke up around 6am to the loudest thunder clap I have ever heard. It shot me right out of bed! I looked out the window almost immediately and, as I was laying back down, I saw the bright flash of lightning I’ve ever seen and another crazy loud thunder clap. I’m pretty sure the lightning was right there in the backyard. Terrifying!

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press play: what i’m watching

Personal

4 - Press Play - Movie Monday - Monday

It’s no secret that I spend most of my time watching everything on Netflix. Like, everything, you guys. I’m completely content with spending my downtime playing some random movie or TV show while working on mail or doing whatever. I once had a goal of watching everything on Netflix. An impossible goal, of course, and I immediately gave up on it when I realized they take things off on the regular. After that, I made it a point to finish whatever I started watching and rate it appropriately (I take my ratings very seriously). I gave up on that too. I’m not great at making goals or keeping them. I realized I don’t have to force myself to watch something awful. Who has time for that?

Since I watch a ton of things, I thought it might be fun to do a catalog of sorts. I don’t consider myself a movie critic by any means and I don’t actually enjoy reviewing anything but I thought it would be good to share whatever thoughts I might have about the things I watch!

TV Shows:
► It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – The best
This is not a new watch for me, by any means. I’ve been watching this show since it first aired and fell in love with it then. I marathon this show often and my boyfriend and I quote it constantly. It’s my favorite thing ever to watch and I’ll never get bored of it.
► The Walking Dead – Yesssssssssssssssssss
You guys. I love this show. Love, love, love, love. I stayed up til midnight for at least a week trying to watch as many episodes as I could.
► How to Get Away with Murder – Guilty pleasure
This show is so ridiculous but in the best way possible. I absolutely love super dramatic TV shows and this does not disappoint. Plus, Viola Davis is amazing. I’ll watch any show Shonda Rhimes puts out.
► Z Nation – Ugh
While I didn’t hate this show enough to quit watching, it’s really bad. I needed more zombies in my life after my Walking Dead binge so I quickly finished the few episodes they have on Netflix.

Movies:
► The Loft – Don’t do it
Seriously, don’t watch this movie. I don’t even know why I watched it.
► The Road Within – Awww
This movie was hilarious and incredibly charming. I love it! I didn’t realize it was a remake of a German film but now I really want to see the original. I now quote “it’s a behavioral exercise” on the regular.
► Philomena – Nothing special
I love Steve Coogan so I knew I had to watch this one! It had some funny bits and some serious bits but nothing too incredible and nothing that really stuck with me

what i’m working on

Personal

2 - What Im Working On - Wednesday

I’ve been really big on making stickers lately. I recently purchased a refill for my little sticker machine and I love turning random papers into stickers. I also recently purchased a Gocco at a garage sale. It was a complete set, bulbs, paints and screens.

I decided to make some flora stickers using vintage illustrations in my collection. I picked a few images out of my handy filing cabinet and exposed them to the Gocco screen. I hear the screens are re-usable but I haven’t tested that theory yet. The Gocco makes things so easy and fun! I don’t have an actual printer (hello, 21st century, I might meet you some day) so it’s fun to be able to make reproductions of those illustrations the “old-fashioned” way. The Gocco is way easy to use but I still don’t quite understand what the blue filter does when you are exposing the screen.

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I really like the way these turned out and put them up for sale in my shop! I think they would make nice little decorations on an envelope or even on some stationery. Who doesn’t want to stick mushrooms on everything?

press play: what i’m listening to

Music, Personal

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I’ve been listening to music more and more these days, even if it’s the same old stuff I’ve been listening to years. I finally downloaded Spotify so I could listen to new jams on my computer. I used to listen to music when I would walk to work but now that I bike, I don’t really bother! I really have been listening to the same bands since high school. It’s so hard for me to find new, good music these days! I’m just thankful that my favorite bands keep putting out new albums.

Since Spotify has a nice little playlist feature, I thought it might be kind of fun to share some of the stuff that I’m listening to! This week I’m sharing some jams from my high school days. These were the songs that were on repeat and bands that I couldn’t get enough of. My current musical taste developed when I was in 10th grade. My best friend at the time gave me a mix CD that featured songs from Le Tigre, Bright Eyes, Q and Not U, Modest Mouse, and Hot Hot Heat. It basically changed my life! I’m pretty sure I still have the CD hanging around though I’m sure it’s scratched to hell.

Check out some of my favorite songs by listening to my High School playlist below.

Do you still listen to the music you loved when you were a teenager?

Hello 2016

Personal

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It’s the new year so I’m trying to get everything in my life back on track. I’ve obviously taken quite the hiatus from this blog. Was my last post seriously in July? I had plans, plans and more plans to start this bad boy back up in the fall but they failed, as they so often do.

I’ve never had a great system of keeping track of my life and things I want to do or accomplish but I’m really hoping to change that this year. Less time spent playing silly phone games and more time spent focusing on this blog and, ultimately, my business.

To start the new year off, I uploaded a tutorial and process video over on YouTube. I plan on making a lot more videos this year as it’s something I really enjoy doing and I love watching these types of videos. Win-win! You can check out the video here. Subscribe to my channel if you want to keep up on any new videos I post!

I hope everyone had a great 2015 and a nice start to 2016. My 2015 great up until the end, when I feel on my bike and broke my teeth. Oops! I’m fine, though. I’m looking forward to an awesomely productive 2016.

seattle gum wall

Personal

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I finally went to the gum wall! People have always mentioned it to me whenever I head up to Seattle but, for whatever reason, I never checked it out. When we went to Seattle in June, I made sure to stop by. I love it! I’m just in awe of the amount of gum that has been stuck to the walls over time, and the creativity of some. I enjoy hanging around the Pike Place Market area in general but I really appreciate the alleys, graffiti, and weird things that you can stumble upon. I don’t think there is anything this cool in Portland but we have our fair share of neat things! I do wish there was more street art on the West side but whatcha gonna do.

my fitness journey

Personal

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My other hobby, outside of letter writing, is lifting weights. I mean, I guess you could call it a hobby. It’s almost more of a “thing I do”, not something I’m passionate about. But I love it. My boyfriend introduced me to weight lifting when we first met, he tried to get me squatting within the first month of us dating. It wasn’t until after we moved to Rhode Island that I began to take it seriously. I can’t believe it’s been three years since I first picked up baby weights.

I have always been the type of person who hated exercising or physical activity with a passion. I always begged my mom to write me notes to get out of P.E. in school. When I broke my arm in elementary school, it was a godsend. I remember the one (and only) time that I ran the entire mile in P.E. I swore I was dying. I get absolutely nothing out of feeling exhausted. Needless to say, when my boyfriend brought up exercising, I was quick to tune him out and shut it down. I won’t do it!

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JK. How quick feelings change. To be honest, I still absolutely hate exercising; I just don’t view lifting weights as exercise. Yeah, it can be difficult but I don’t run out of breath when doing it and I never feel tired. It’s nothing like running or doing some aerobic exercise. It’s just about working up your strength. You start with baby weights and move to adult weights. It’s easy in the weirdest way possible.

I encourage everyone, especially women, to lift weights. There is seriously nothing like being and feeling strong. Muscles are amazing. I flexed my bicep the other day and was in awe of how my arm has changed. Of course, my muscles are still hidden under fat because I can’t be bothered to eat like an adult. That’s also another really great thing about lifting weights, which can be summed up by a quote by Dan John that is on my gym worksheets, “When she presses an impressive weight overhead, her entire system has to gather up resources, and then adapt and recover from the effort. When little Edna at my gym thinks the five-pound dumbbell is heavy, she isn’t going to tax her body very hard. Edna can’t eat cake.”

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If you lift weights, or are curious about the kinds of lifts I do, check out my Fitocracy.

hawaii

Personal

I was lucky enough to vacation in Hawaii last year, in October. I actually won the trip through my employer! To be honest, I had no interest in ever seeing Hawaii but a free trip is a free trip. My reservations about the place completely changed once we landed. We stayed in Kona, with one night spent in Honolulu. As I suspected, Honolulu was like a prettier Las Vegas. Tourists everywhere!

Although the trip has came and went, I had one stray roll of film that I just got developed. Took me long enough, eh? I absolutely love shooting film but I usually can’t be bothered to get it developed in a timely fashion. When I do remember that I have rolls to develop, I end up forgetting to bring them with me when I leave the apartment. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the roll!

Trees everywhere! Staying in Kona was such a great choice; it was incredibly green and super rainy.
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Driving around on a super foggy and gloomy day. I really enjoyed the contrast of the black concrete against the green landscape.
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We went up to Mauna Kea for an evening and saw the sun set above the clouds. I didn’t want to leave.
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I really enjoyed seeing palm trees that didn’t look out of place. Growing up in Vegas, palm trees are everywhere they don’t belong.
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missive mission

Mail, Mail Art, Outgoing, Personal

Yesterday I posted a little bit about the missive mission I went on last month. As I mentioned, I was sent on a top secret mission through the post. I thought this was such a cool idea and I was so excited to see what was in store for me. The only thing I found out ahead of time was that the lady, Marissa, who sent me on the mission was going to send me a postcard with the briefing.

The postcard itself was a blurry picture of some buildings. It could’ve been any city, but it was probably Portland since it was from the UFO museum after all. The building’s name and address was listed on the back of the postcard. Marissa wrote that she was more interested in the surrounding neighborhood than she was of the museum itself. That worked out well since the museum is no longer operating! I was kind of stoked to go visit a UFO museum but, you know, you can’t always get what you want.

I completely lucked out on the location — I was instructed to explore my neighborhood! The museum was in an area that is just a few blocks from my apartment, an area I know very well and used to walk by every day on my way to work. It was exciting to think about my neighborhood in a different way, see it in a different light. I was anxious to get working on my reply to Marissa. I decided to send my reply in some sort of zine-y format.

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My first order of business was drawing a map of the neighborhood. I love maps! You should know that I drew the goose and soccer ball all by myself.
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I wrote a little description of the neighborhood, what the area was like, how it’s like living there, and my thoughts about my home. I also included prints of the photos I took while exploring.
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I stole some soil from a near by tree as well as some leaves and flowers to share with Marissa. I felt like the dude from Everything Is Illuminated when I was carrying around the little baggie of soil!
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As I’m not one to check in to see if people receive my mail, I have no idea if Marissa received my report; I haven’t heard anything from her since the original postcard she sent. I sure hope she received it! I’m also considering sending out these little missions to anyone who might be interested. I have tons of postcards of places I’ll never visit and need to do something with them.

exploring portland

Personal

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Last month I agreed to go on a missive mission of sorts. Through Twitter, I connected with a lady who sent me a postcard of an old UFO museum in Portland. She asked that I go check out the area, find out if it’s still there and report back. I need a good excuse to leave my apartment so I was quick to agree. The area is just blocks from my apartment so I took the opportunity to take a walk around Portland with my boyfriend. I think we walked about 5 miles total! It was pretty crazy and my hips hurt so bad by the time we got home. Totally worth it to shoot a roll of film!

This sign is where the UFO museum used to be. It’s now some sort of youth center that I don’t even believe is named Ace Apts. It’s a pretty neat sign though, huh?
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The buildings in this city are so good. I have to stop myself from taking a picture of every building I come across.
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Downtown! Well, kind of. Part of it! I wish we had cloudy days again.
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A dactyl in the wild.
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I don’t know if there is anything better than trees blooming. I wish they would look like that all the time!
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I absolutely love bay windows! Every detail on this building is so spot on.
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I also really love doors that aren’t common colors. Especially when the rest of the building and surrounding area is so drab.
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The train station is so photogenic. I will never forget my first visit to Portland, arriving by train at Union Station. Seeing the station always brings back those memories. I had just turned 18; my mom bought me and my ex train tickets to see the city. Ever since that trip, I longed to live in Portland. Now I do and it’s pretty awesome.
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