get motivated, stay inspired

with a jam-packed schedule these days, i'm finally listening to all those blog posts and forbes articles telling me how to use every spare minute to its ultimate advantage. i can't remember the last time i just sat down and watched netflix, or mindlessly scrolled through facebook on the bus. even when i am doing these things, i'm usually doing something else at the same time.
i believe you have to seek out inspiration and work hard to stay motivated. these things don't just appear to you; you must strive for them. while i balance staying motivated for school, focused at work, inspired for this blog, and healthy personally and physically, i approach all my downtime and in-between time with intention. here are some things that have kept me in the groove lately.

podcasts // i only recently started listening to podcasts, around the time i started riding the bus in the morning. i don't have much music on my phone, and on those unfortunate mornings when i have to stand in the aisle the whole ride, i can't do much else but just listen. i've taken full advantage of that by listening to podcasts. the two i am listening to are the lively show, hosted by jess lively, and after the jump, hosted by grace bonney of design*sponge. both focus on blogs and design fields, which is right up my alley, and tackle topics that matter to me in a way that feels motivational and positive. they're both free, and i highly recommend them both. i feel like i need to start taking notes as there is so much wisdom and information in these shows.

books // i've been trying to keep a balance in the types of books i read, but somehow keep coming back to books focused on christianity, and successful women. so far this year i've read lean in, is everyone hanging out without me?, bossypants, and #GIRLBOSS as well as mere christianity, bittersweet, and currently, one thousand gifts. my most recent read was #GIRLBOSS which was phenomenal. sophia amaruso knows what she's talking about, and is easy to relate to, even if you've never been an anti-capitalist freegan hitching rides with truckers to olympia. her no bullshit attitude of finding what you're good at and working hard for what you want is the perfect kick in the butt when you're feeling lazy. i balance out the power-reads with books on spirituality to keep me grounded and focused on strengthening my faith. i do the most reading on bus rides, but also try to pick up a book for a few minutes before bed, or on weekend mornings.

blogs // recently, i've begun paring down how many blogs i read and really paying attention to how each one affects me. i use bloglovin' to keep a feed of new posts from blogs, and if i find myself consistently skipping over a certain blog's posts, it's time for it to go. i'm really trying to eliminate things that bring any unneeded stress into my life. i allow myself to become over-stimulated too often, which leads to feeling overwhelmed. lately, i've had so little time to read blogs that i ignore my feed for days and end up with over 100 unread posts. that's not inspiring, it's stressful! as much as i love staying current on what's going on in the blog world, i need to focus on me more.

magazines // i've always loved magazines, but i'm not sure which ones i love most and are most beneficial to me at this stage in my life. i'm purchasing one or two each month to see which ones i love most. if you have suggestions for good, inspiring, thought-provoking or fun reads on the newstands, leave me a comment and let me know!

what do you do to stay sane in busy periods in your life? do you work hard to find inspiration and motivation, or are you more go with the flow? i'd love to hear your thoughts, opinions, advice below, friends.


dream home // minimalism in san francisco

i find myself more and more attracted to minimal, clean and neutral interiors every day. the kitchen of this san francisco apartment is what first drew me in. clean, a bit rustic, lots of white...that's my kind of kitchen. i was surprise to click through and find out this home tour was on the everygirl...i thought i had seen them all! somehow i missed this a few months back, but happy i found it now -- and had to share with everyone. this place seems like the perfect breath of fresh air in the midst of the city. other details i love are the mismatched dining chairs and the plush, layered neutral bedding. be sure to head over to the everygirl for more beautiful images of this place!

original article: the everygirl


explore // bend, oregon

i can finally tell you about the surprise trip!! to catch everyone up...last week B & I celebrated 4 years together (that's a long time! I joked that we now have a college degree in one another...I've definitely spent more time with him than I ever did with a textbook.) and today is is birthday. I wanted to do something special, and he's definitely more into experiences than things. we've been so busy the past couple months, and i really wanted to celebrate with a quiet trip, just the two of us, relaxing.

i decided to take him to bend, oregon. bend is pretty much right in the center of the state, near mt. bachelor and the three sisters mountains, in the high desert. it's absolutely beautiful. i had gone there once as a kid, but barely remembered it. aside from the natural beauty and tons of outdoor activities, bend is known for it's great beer. coincidentally, b is known for his great taste in beer. match made in heaven. the city has set up the bend ale trail, a map of the fourteen breweries in bend. at each stop, you get a stamp, and after you've visited all 14 they give you free stuff. obviously we couldn't hit up 14 breweries in a day.

once we were in the car, the surprise was revealed (side note: he was shocked. and so excited. and i totally killed it with this whole surprise trip thing. yes!) upon arriving in bend we immediately went to the visit bend office and picked up our map. i let b decide which breweries he wanted to visit the most, and we headed out. we went to two that are a bit outside of the town first, then parked downtown and walked to the rest. we ended up visiting six breweries: worthy, 10 barrel, silver moon, bend brewing company, boneyard, and deschutes. we probably wouldn't have stopped at deschutes, since there is a location in portland that we frequent, but we had a gift card, and decided to use that for dinner and save a few bucks.

we loved each place we went, they all had really different vibes and really good beer. the people were so friendly everywhere, and really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. i would definitely recommend visiting all these spots. worthy, deschutes, bend brewing co, and 10 barrel are all bigger joints with restaurants, if you want a meal or snacks. silver moon has more of a bar feel, so it's mainly bar food. if you go, hopefully patrick will be there -- he was a hilarious and friendly bartender. boneyard is in a warehouse-type building in a neighborhood, and is very small. they just do small tasters (first one for free and $1/each after) and growler fills, but don't let it deter you, because the beer is totally worth it.

after our long hard day tasting beer in sunny-and-70 weather, we hopped in the car and headed about 30 minutes south to la pine state park. (i tried to find a spot closer but tumalo state park in bend was closed for repairs) it was dark when we got there, but didn't care. i had reserved a small cabin for the night, which i had always wanted to try. it was really nice and clean, and even had a heater. we were able to have a campfire, make s'mores, and stare at the stars. being from the lake tahoe area, b knows and loves a beautiful starry night, but being away from it for so long, we were both blown away by how many stars we could see. there's no light pollution there at all, being so remote.

we woke to another sunny morning, cooked bacon and eggs on the bbq and packed up. on the way out we stopped at a pretty lookout point in the park along the deschutes river and the big tree. the river is calm and curving, forming big S shapes, surrounded by trees with the mountains and hills in the distance. we could have sat there all day. "big tree" is literally a big tree -- its the largest ponderosa pine in oregon. cheesy, yes, but also really impressive. it was so massive i couldn't even take a photo of it -- it wouldn't fit in my camera frame.

overall, it was a really incredible weekend, that, despite the bit of travel, we felt so relaxed and happy at the end of it. we seriously can't wait to go back, we loved it so much. this trip was, fortunately, the end of our crazy travel season, and i'm looking forward to lots of weekends spent at home and exploring our own city.


she's charming feature

hi everyone! just popping in on a tuesday to let you all know that my first post as the monthly decorate contributor for she's charming was published yesterday! as we all prepare to spend more time indoors, i pulled together some tips to warm up your home for fall (with dollars to spare for a hot latte). and while you're on the site, look around -- what katie and dani are building is a beautiful community, and i'm so happy to be a part of it!


dream home // american in london

when saw the photo of this living room, i fell in love. clearly assuming it was located in america, i was surprised to find out that it's actually a home in london! turns out the flag was a gift, but the american rustic charm shines throughout this cozy south london apartment. scroll through the photos, then click over to the designsponge article to read more. from the wood-filled fireplace to the farm house table, to the gilded details sprinkled throughout, i can say that this is a place i'd love to spend lots of time in.


weekend reading

the rain has arrived in portland and i am very happy about it. we've had beautiful sunny autumn days as well, and the unpredictable, moody weather has been wonderful, and i'm looking forward to more of it. after our nine months in north-central california with little-to-no change in weather for months on end, i'm happy for a change. i've had a funny off-and-on relationship with rain throughout my life. we're "on" right now, and i'm happy rain is back in my life. we'll reevaluate in a few months ;)

this weekend is finally the surprise trip! i can't wait to share it with you all next week. i know B will love it, and though it will be a couple-hour drive out, it will surely be more relaxing than some of our recent trips. he has his high school golf friends coming in next week for a week of golfing, so i'll be able to hide away and catch up on all the things i've let slip away from me in recent weeks (including this here blog!) as i've said before, i'm looking forward to the quiet weekends coming up, and i'm glad we're ending our long busy-weekend season with this trip. 

if you're anything like me, you're ready for a mindless friday. here's some reading to sneak in between tasks at work, or to read through with a glass of red this evening. you deserve it.

// paris ruined me, and buzzfeed reminded me. been feeling major wanderlust lately and this is NOT helping. 

// we've likely all heard the term "basic bitch" start popping up everywhere. do you use it? i really enjoyed this article. (my two cents: stop saying it!)

// shauna niequist speaks my soul language, and this piece on using technology to connect really hit home for me, as i've faced loneliness through my moves.

// some great, french, relationship advice. great timing -- B and i celebrated 4 years together yesterday!

// really want to pick up this cookbook. always looking for easy recipes.

// finally, this quote is everything to me right now. grace is the most beautiful gift.

bon weekend!

image source: anna with love

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