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I’ve had this huge canvas under my bed for about three years now. For those three years, I have had the intention of painting something, but never could quite gather up the effort to actually do so. And also, if I’m being honest, I simply didn’t know where to start or what to paint. I was terribly intimidated of throwing some paint on this huge, perfectly white, spotless canvas. What if I made a mistake, or decided against the color palette that I had chosen? It’s not as though you can command-z a stroke of paint; you need to accept what you have and make due with it moving forward. At the risk of being too introspective, this anxiety over making an indelible mark on the canvas is probably related to my tendencies toward perfectionism in life at large.

Despite all of that, I finally decided that enough is enough, and set to painting something this weekend. I’m not sure what exactly I was going for other than the abstract, but I do think it has a slight ikat vibe to it. The canvas went through several iterations, and multiple layers of color. I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out, particularly with the way the colors blended together by using watered down acrylic paint on the last few layers. I had so much fun, I may find myself buying another canvas – and I won’t wait another three years to paint it this time around.

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Since moving to Seattle and moving into an apartment with abundant patio space, I have wanted to have a nice little herb garden to supply my culinary creations with some additional spunk and pizazz. Alas, my herb garden lived a very short life before inexplicably drying up. One thing that did survive – for now at least – was my Lavender plant.

I love Lavender. It is just so relaxing. As a result of my love for this little flower, I’ve aspired to make a Lavender Gin and Tonic for a while now. I’ve had a very variations of this in bars and restaurants, but I wanted to perfect this refresher at home.

This couldn’t be easier. Not really feeling the hefty price tags of Lavender Cocktail Shrubs or liqueurs, I opted for a dry soda instead. This is just about as easy as my all time fave – Deep Eddy Ruby Red and Soda. I crave the feeling of a fancy cocktail, but usually if it involves a mixer or a strainer, I’m already checked out. The one thing I wish I had was a straw – it would have helped me to keep from chomping on Lavender buds….

Recipe:
– 5 oz Dry Lavender Soda
– 3 oz Gin (Floral)
– 2 slices Lime
– A few sprigs of fresh lavender
– Ice
1. Put everything in a glass
2. Stir
3. Enjoy! 
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I think everyone went crazy over the holidays. That is really the only reason that I have come up with to explain why everything has been so nuts in January. Really, everything is good but work has been particularly stressful – not surprising really.

I find that when I get stressed out, I like to do either one of two things: sit on the couch all day and binge on Netflix (hello, Friends) or go off and do something outdoors by myself. I did both of these things this weekend. I am proud and ashamed to say that I’ve watched 8 seasons of Friends in 3 weeks; one of which was completed in its entirety yesterday afternoon. I felt like a total blob, so I knew that I had to get out and do something today.

Usually, I will get in the car and drive to some beautiful mountain or lake to take photos and hike around, but today I just didn’t feel like planning anything. So – I “urban hiked” around in my own backyard along Seattle’s waterfront. I walked along the trail running through the Olympic Sculpture Garden, Myrtle Edwards Park, and Centennial Park.

To say that today was perfect would be an understatement. 60º and Sunny is a fairly standard January day in Austin, but I never thought that it would be so nice in Seattle this time of year. As I walked along the water, looking at the Olympic Mountains across Elliot Bay, basking in the sunlight – it felt like all my stress just melted away. So much so that I wanted to dance and sing along to my music, but obviously didn’t because I was in public…

I am finally making some real progress toward getting a puppy this Spring, so I am so thankful that such a great trail is just blocks away from home. I cannot wait to take my new best friend down there this summer 🙂

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The day after my Christmas party with friends, all I wanted was to have a thoroughly relaxing “me” day. First order of business was to take off all the jewelry that I passed out in glamorously fell asleep in. I love this tiny jewelry dish that my Mom sent to me in a care package a while ago. It’s a tiny glass Texas, with a gold heart over Austin <3 I can’t say how happy this makes me every time I come home. 
It is the perfect size for my ring, and whatever earrings that I’m currently wearing. On this particular occasion, I had worn my Megan Runser Good as Gold for BaubleBar “DIAMOND CAYMAN STUDS”. Megan is a fabulous friend who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In true style, she designed a Guest Bartender collection for BaubleBar. 100% of the proceeds go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I think I’ve worn these studs at least four times a week since getting them the day the collection launched. I love how just a bit of glitter can dress up even the most boring winter garb by day, but transition so well into luxurious statement earrings by night. Paying it forward never looked so good. Check out the rest of her collection here!

Next on my agenda was to just relaxxxx. One thing that helps me to instantly feel more at ease is to pamper my skin. I recently went to Uwajimaya – a truly massive Asian supermarket here in Seattle. I went with one thing on my mind – face masks. I love a good sheet mask, because they can be so hydrating but require basically no effort to apply or remove. I’ve heard such great things about the sheet masks made in Asia, but haven’t had a good place to find them until moving up here. 
This only makes up a small selection of the truly ridiculous amount of masks that I bought. Walking down the face mask aisle was pretty much like being a kid in a candy shop. I had to try each one. What’s nuts is, I didn’t even scratch the surface of what they had to offer. So far, I have tried masks with “Diamond Extract”, “Hyaluronic Acid”, and “Pearl Essence”. Each one has left my skin feeling refreshed, and particularly moisturized the day after. For about $1.50 to $2.00 a piece, they are definitely worth it!
I saw something that I just couldn’t leave without right as I checked out with my face masks. Bioderma. You have eluded me for so long. I have always wanted to try this cleanser, but have been weirded out by the idea of ordering it online. I love this so far. I have used it to completely remove my makeup a few times, but I really prefer to use it after my usual cleansing routine. It definitely helps to get rid of any lingering makeup, and really tones the skin while keeping the moisture in. 
I couldn’t not share my framed “Your the Shit” Calligraphy. Who doesn’t love some gilded script, especially when the message itself isn’t all that fancy? For all the cleansers and masks in the world, there are some things that you just can’t clean up – my sense of humor included. 🙂
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After spending a great week celebrating Thanksgiving with my Mom, I decided that I couldn’t wait three weeks until I went home to Dallas to enjoy some Christmas decorations. As soon as I realized that Christmas spirit waits for no one, I picked up a (fake) Christmas tree and got to work. 
I had a small box packed away with a few of my favorite family ornaments that I have sneaked away over the years. You’ll see that gold, glitter, and an assortment of animals are all common themes throughout the tree. For instance, I think that I have no less than half a dozen collies on the tree. I just haven’t been able to say no to a Lassie ornament for the past sixteen years! Another particular favorite is the alligator perched near the top of the tree. I have to say, I was even a sucker for a well placed pun as a kid. With just a few glittery branches and some sparkly, shiny ornaments added in the whole tree is filled to the gills. 
It’s really amazing how just a few small plastic or glass trinkets, along with the right music and pine scented candles can really make Christmas come alive – even if I am 2,100 miles away from home! I hope that you are having a merry Christmas season, no matter where you are! 
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I will not miss my third day of blogmas. I just won’t.

I had forgotten that my previously arranged plans to go over to a friend’s house for takeout and a movie miiiight interfere with an elaborate post today. I have lofty plans for some posts about lipstick, and wine, and how to conceal the fact that you may be drinking a lot of wine… but for now, I have drank a bit of wine this evening and all I want to write about is SNL’s video “Back Home Baller”.

pretend naps, are the best naps.

I saw this video last week, and just had to show it to my friend tonight at dinner. We both recently moved to Seattle and will both be going home to our parents’ houses for the holidays, so I knew that she would probably like this as much as I do. I was right. We watched it no less than eight times, and made her boyfriend watch it as well, but he wrote it off as “girl funny” and went to bed. Oh well, I know it was hilarious anyways.

I have memories of going home over breaks during college and thinking that I was living life as a queen – I didn’t have to share a room with a stranger, the shower was all my own, and I had two people who understood and appreciated me no matter what. Also, there were dogs in the equation, so that was always a treat as well. Even though I have moved on from school, have lived in my own whole apartment by myself and can pretty much get whatever I want, I still feel like a princess whenever I come home.

There really is something about coming back to a place so familiar and comfortable after spending quite some time somewhere where everything is new, foreign, and exciting. While I am constantly thrilled by the possibility of experiencing something novel, it is just as exciting to know that, for a time at least, I know exactly where I belong. I know to expect the sounds of collie feet on wood floors, my dad getting Starbucks in the morning, my mom decorating the house, and the routine of our Christmas traditions.

The video is a hilarious parody of my back home experience, but some things really do ring true. Hello ridiculously long wifi passwords, old white strips and other cosmetics, and a fridge that look like a tiny Costco Warehouse. And of course…. bowls, bowls, all types of bowls 😛

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