A VALLEY LIKE THIS
Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened—
there was nothing, and then…
But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?
We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.
Please think about this as you go on. Breath on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.
- William Stafford
We had a lovely little escape this weekend on a beautiful trail with views of the valley. I've surely been seeing this city with a new set of eyes lately. I wasn't born here, but as long as I can remember I've called Boise home. This was were I grew up and all I knew. When I graduated high school, I couldn't wait to get away from this place. I was ready to establish myself anywhere but here and see as much of the world as I could. Coming back, honestly (at first), felt like failure. I held on to that negative energy for a while, too.
But the longer I stay here, the more I fall in love with this city and this valley all over again. As I winded through this beautiful trail Saturday, I couldn't help but have a few moments of shock that I've always been able to live somewhere this beautiful. The fact that you have views of two mountain ranges from everywhere in this city is pretty remarkable. Adventure is available everywhere. And the local community is rather incomparable. I think experiencing the city again, with Will (who grew up elsewhere) has shined a new light on everything. I love showing off all the gems here and discovering new places; it's pretty crazy that there are still new places for me here (I have a hard time believing it sometimes).
This is my favorite time of year in these hills. The green doesn't last very long, so I like to soak it in as much as possible while it's here. Granted, the yellows and browns are beautiful as well, but I prefer the weather this time of year, too (over the heat, yes please). Sadly, sometimes I forget how alive I feel in these hills. We can't ever take this valley for granted.
As much I still want to travel and maybe live up north again, I sure don't mind calling this my home base. Something about this place will always be home to me. And, Boise, I'm falling in love with you all over again.
Hike after a rain storm (smells heavenly) // My favorite fun, comfy purple tights are required on days that I'm rained in; instant mood booster // Pippin NOT putting up with my selfie attempts // Basil plant as an Easter gift from Will's mama // Another plant baby (this one is peperomia), an Easter gift from my mama // Thai curry noodle soup is perfect on a cold, rainy day // Sunflower season is kind of my favorite; I've had lots of pretty blossoms on the dining table lately // Tuna pizza (whattt? it was so good) leftovers and a yummy, fresh avocado salad // The foothills are always prettiest in the morning // New favorite beer? Yes please. You can see here that we have indeed had some rain-free days, they've just been sparse lately (I love rain, so I don't mind too much) // Pippin on a rainy night last week, while I was enjoying a book //
It's been awhile since I'd shared a snippets post, and my photo album on my iPhone was growing to a ridiculous size. Cleaning out my phone and transferring pictures to my hard drive is always a good time to reflect on little snippets and some favorite moments I'v captured recently. Smart phones are just so great.
Spring has been treating me well, but I've been feeling a little cabin-fever lately thanks to the constant rain. I'm really looking forward to this weekend; I've been living for the weekends lately. It just feels so much better to have Will around the house too. It's been raining ALL week, but we're getting a break from the precipitation tomorrow. We're going to drive up the mountain in the morning (Saturday), in search of some trees and a view. We'll get some good hiking in, too, I'm sure. My legs and my spirits will sure appreciate it.
Hope you have a lovely weekend,
It's been almost two months since we moved into our new apartment. What?! Where did March go? Where did April go? If you've been curious about how it's been going in our new place (I know, you guys just think and wonder about my well-being alllll the time), I'd say it already feels like home. It instantly did, to be honest. I've made some great headway in the decorating department, taking things slowly. I'm the kind of person that will add little touches and pieces to a home one at a time, only once I am completely certain I want the addition, and then I rarely if ever change anything. But the more I settle into this place, the more I realize there are some things I want to upgrade. Is that bad character? Just be happy with what you got, right? Regardless, I think taking time to make your place feel like a an extension of yourself is extremely beneficial. Having an environment in which you can flourish and also feel relaxed (whether you work at home or need a place to unwind after coming home from work) is so important.
1. 4040 Locust Vegan Leather Loveseat | Urban Outfitters
At some point I would love to upgrade our futon to a sofa. As functional and comfortable (hey, I'm sitting on it right now as I write) as it may be, this futon just always looks a frumpy mess no matter what I do. The purple cover I have on the mattress is great, but the futon itself isn't really my style. Now, this cushy vegan leather sofa? Yes please. I love that it is also fitted with a contrast of canvas paneling and finished with the nail-stud trim. Perfection. I think I'd prefer a loveseat in our place over a big sofa (the futon makes it feel a little crowded in here), Will and I don't need more seating than that. The only thing I don't like about this loveseat is it's price. Ouch.
2. Lucy Chair | Urban Outfitters
There is a little windowed alcove in the lofted area of our studio apartment. We use the loft as our bedroom, and I quickly decided that the alcove should be my reading nook. I got a bookcase full of all my favorite classic sci-fi and fantasy series up there, as well as some cheery plants. All I need to finish the space is a comfy chair and perhaps some string lights. I love the color and style of this arm chair and I think it'd be rather lovely in our place.
3. Rustic Wood Slice Chalkboard Sign | Handmade Happiness on Etsy
4. Stay True Print | Hammerpress
5. Abode Well Wall Decor | ModCloth
Since moving in I've been slowly decorating in small ways when I can. I've been DIYing a lot, and using old pieces we had forgotten about in new ways. But there are just a few places that still feel shockingly bare to me. A chalkboard would be perfect in the kitchen, to write cute notes, next to a pretty piece of sagebrush I have hanging. I love this Stay True print from Hammerpress, I'd love it on the wall adjacent to the front door. And these 3D wall mounted prisms, let me tell you, they are exactly what I've been looking for without even knowing they existed. As soon as I saw then I was like, yep, that's what I want on the bare wall above the desk. Crossing my fingers that ModCloth will restock them.
6. Illuminada Swing Arm Desk Lamp | Wayfair
I got a cute mini tabletop lamp for my craft area shortly after moving in (at a steal from Ross!), so I could craft during evening hours. Well, that little lamp was recently transferred to the living area because it's been so rainy and dark during the day. The only overhead lights downstairs (because the ceiling is vaulted) are in the kitchen and above the dining table. My little lamp lights up the corner in the living room perfectly, but now I'd like something else for the craft desk. I like the idea of a clamp on lamp (so it won't take up any tabletop space) and one with an adjustable swinging arm if I really need a spot light when crafting things.
7. When I Grow Up Hanging Planter | ModCloth
How cute, rustic, and whimsical is this?! I'd love to have this out on the patio during the summer stuffed full of herbs, but I think it'd look even cooler inside with houseplants — covering a narrow bare wall near the office area.
8. Factory Side Table | Urban Outfitters
Remember how I said that I moved my little mini tabletop lamp into the living room for some much needed light? Well, it's been balancing on the arm of one of our chairs. A side table is going to be a necessity soon, I think. I'd love to add a bit of color when I add one to the space, a long with functionality. The bottom shelf on this side table would be perfect for stacking magazines.
9. Threshold Harper Metal Patio Garden Bench with Cushions and Outdoor Deep Seating Back Cushion | Target
Absolutely all of my patio/outdoor space inspiration comes from this picture and this picture on my apartment life pinboard. Summer nights would be perfect on a dreamy patio like that. I'd love a little bench with cushions out there against the wall and maybe an outdoor rug, and then I'd keep the rest of the space open for plants and plants and plants. Someday.
10. Spectacled Terra Cotta Plate | Moorea Seal
11. Line as Pattern Planter | Moorea Seal
I should probably not be allowed to ever visit the Moorea Seal online shop; every time I do I'm lusting for pretty jewelry, beautiful and unique hats (and other accessories), lovely wall art and handmade home goods. I love that both this plate and planter have so much character.
12. Made to Order Crochet Round Rug | Baltic Frog on Etsy
One other thing I'm really wanting in our living room, a large rug. Our apartment is pretty open; the kitchen, dining, and living room are all connected (the only doors are to outside, closets, and the bathroom!). I'd love to define the living room space even more than I already have, by putting a simple rug down. A round rug would be perfect contrast, as all the other lines (how the furniture is arranged) are sharp and straight. Our carpet is a pretty soft grey, a rug like this would be just right I think. Baltic Frog makes lots of pretty rugs, if you're looking for one, and they're handmade and can be ordered to special sizes!
13. Silpat | Target and Cookie Sheets | Target and French Rolling Pin | by Cattails Woodwork on Etsy
A few kitchen tools and essentials I'm wanting to add to my collection. I have an air pan, which is great for pizza but that is about it. Some cookie sheets would be fantastic for baking, as would a silpat. I've heard silpats are amazing. And speaking about pizza (oh, had I moved on from that?), I bake pizza a lot. In fact, I'm making a homemade pizza for dinner tonight. It's probably unhealthy. Whatever. Rolling out pizza doughs would be a hell-of-a-lot easier if I had a rolling pin. This one from Cattails Woodwork is so pretty (so is everything on her Etsy, wow).
I've sure been using oats a lot lately in my beauty concoctions, haven't I? The Lemon Ginger Fancy Bath and Honey Oat Lotion were both pampering recipes that featured oats. Oats are a grain that is as much a staple in my beauty routine as in my diet (Don't forget, the yummy Double Berry Smoothie also had oats!), and for good reason. I've said it before, but I'll say it again — oats are so so so good for the skin. You'll see it often as an ingredient in lotions, especially those made specifically for sensitive skin. Oats are equal parts soothing and moisturizing.
This is a mask I use often when I feel my face just needs a really big refresh; like if my skin is getting really dry and flaky, if my complexion has been looking a little dull, or if I'm having some hormonal breakouts. I usually put it on and soak in a bath while it sits, wash it off in a quick shower, and then finish it all off with an exfoliating scrub of coconut oil and baking soda (<-- Hey that's one of my first posts! Crazy.). The best part is this isa really simple recipe, full of simple ingredients that are fantastic for the skin; oats, egg white, honey, and green tea. See more details and the full recipe below.
MOISTURIZING OAT FACE MASK | yield: 2-3 masks
+ 1/4 cup of oats
+ 1 egg white
+ 1 tablespoon honey
+ 1 to 2 ounces green tea
Bowl some water and make a cup of green tea — set aside to cool. Measure out the oats and, using a food processor or blender, blend into a fine powder. Place the processed oats into a small bowl and add in the egg white; use a fork to thoroughly mush the two together. Do the same with the honey. Once the tea is cooled, add in an ounce or two as well, until you achieve a constituency similar to pancake batter. You can add in more tea if it is not easily spreadable.
Apply to your face in a thin, but generous layer. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes (up to 40 minutes). The mask will dry, and because of the addition of the egg white tighten a bit (after about 15 minutes). Wash off completely with warm water. Your skin should feel smooth, clean, and moisturized and your pores will likely look smaller! This recipe makes enough for three (two if you apply more liberally than me) masks. You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 7 days.
Oh, and now you've seen a picture of me with oatmeal on my face. I feel like that is some sort of milestone in our relationship? Maybe?
Will took these pictures of me last night, and although they aren't necessarily the most blog worthy (or my best) I really like them. They feel raw and real and reflect the mood and spontaneity of this moment. We were finishing up a simple dinner while watching Archer (does anyone else watch Archer? I'm in the third season and can't stopppp!) when I suddenly realized how quickly our view out the windows had changed. It had been a humid, warm, windy and overly sunny day (a little too warm for my liking, at 72 degrees) but suddenly the sky was dark and the wind had picked up significantly. It was simply beautiful out and I somehow talked Will into quickly running up the hillside to get a good look at the city and the incoming storm with me.
This outfit is definitely a result of desperately needing to do laundry; I don't give this dress the amount of wear and attention it deserves. I threw on these sandals because they were right by the door from getting the mail earlier (and my feet got really dirty walking up the hill in these). My hair is styled this way because I haven't washed it all week and it had gotten to a high level of annoyance but I still was determined to go another day without cleaning it; scarves and headbands are my best kept hair secret — it's still too short to pull up so I just cover it! I haven't worn makeup for days (and hey, my face needs some serious exfoliating and moisturizing) but I threw on some tinted chapstick for this pictures. The wind was either throwing my dress around or sucking it around my legs. And Pippin photobombed half of the pictures we took. I love that so many small, messy moments can still add up to something beautiful.
+ dress: Forever 21, last year (similar)
+ crop top: DownEast Basics, two years ago (similar | similar | similar)
+ scarf headband: a gift (similar | similar)
+ ring: a gift
+ earrings: Crafted Locally
+ sandals: Maurices, like 5 years ago
It started to rain while we were out and I still can't get over how fresh it felt up there. It was a much needed moment to step back and reflect for a bit — it was just an added bonus that it was so lovely out. My favorite kind of weather. I spent the rest of my evening curled up with a book and Pippin, under a blanket, with all the windows open. I say curled up with Pippin although he spent most of the night sitting in the windowsill (he's part cat, I swear) sniffing the air and listening to the rain. My favorite kind of evening.
Thank you all for your encouragement, understanding, advice, and support for my post yesterday; it means the world. It was nice to vent. And I'm still fighting, don't you fret.
I've started and stopped and deleted and restarted this post several times over the past few days; I've decided to just go with it and have it out there. I try to keep this place positive, creative, fresh, and welcoming but sometimes I am not feeling any of those things. Sometimes I still need an outlet (versus just not posting when I am not feeling it) to organize thoughts and process energy, even if it is negative energy.
Things I've been feeling lately may include but are not limited to: drained, uncertain, afraid, self-doubt, defeated, exhausted, frustrated, worthless, etc. At this point, most of you probably have some idea of my current situation (to some degree). I've been unemployed awhile, and as much I wish I could magically make this blog, my crafts, my designs instantly and successfully into a career, I really need some sort of income. Which is fine, right? You can just go out and get a job, right?
Let me break it down for you. Yes, there are jobs out there — but the pool of candidates is so ridiculously saturated. I know that every time I throw my resume into the ring for a position that I am going up against hundreds of others with a huge range of backgrounds, ages, experiences, qualifications. So many people just want work (don't get me started on how awful the minimum wage is), and are working so hard to hopefully maybe get something. For most jobs I apply for I have to: redo my resume (tailor it specifically for that job posting), write a cover letter, freely give out any additional information, complete ridiculous questionnaires, complete skills tests, and I have even gone so far as creating mock-ups for companies (for a few design related positions I've applied for). Most businesses and companies specifically ask you to not come in to apply — it's all online now. And if you do get an opportunity to peek your head in somewhere, good luck actually getting to speak to the person in-charge of hiring (and if you do, you get maybe 5 minutes). All to never hear anything back.
I feel so defeated. I'm tired. I don't want to do this anymore; I'm putting so much of myself forward just to never get answers from places — I have to nag and nag to ever get answers. I'm putting so much work into just trying to find any sort of employment that I have no energy left for things I enjoy. I've been having really low moments when all I can tell myself over and over again is that I have to stop thinking that I am ever going to be able to have a career I want. I have to stop believing that people that are hiring give any amount of shit about me. But, these moments can't last long. Because I know if I'm ever going the get a job I have to keep all of this up.
I guess, ultimately I feel frustrated because there is so much I want to do. I want to rebrand and relaunch this blog with more focus. I want to offer design and consultative services to other bloggers. I want to focus on my art and graphic design. I want to finally open my Etsy shop. I want to run my own business. Because I spend so much my energy toward finding a job, I have little time to work on the things I am passionate about, things that could potentially be rather successful and rewarding. I know it all will take time, but right now I don't feel that I'm moving forward at all (or in any direction, for that matter).
How do you keep going when you feel like all the cards are stacked against you? How do you move past feeling defeated?
POSTS THAT HAVE BEEN A LITTLE HELPFUL LATELY:
+ The Truth About Making It
+ On Overcoming Fears
+ Living Your Best Life: Who are you Striving to Be
+ 5 Tips for Evaluating a Business Idea
+ Spring Cleaning Mini Series
+ 41 Happy Things
Hope this week is treating you well.