Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blues News.

And just as quickly as summer came, it departed. It started when my sister left. Then I noticed that tourist traffic had greatly decreased, empty roads now signaling the end of summer. Then there was the fireweed, bloomed at last, giving us a sign for a first snow in six weeks. Just like that, my summer had ceased. 

Then came the preparations. I began to go through my closet (multiple times), write a to do list of errands needing run before my departure, and the whole "last time I'll do this" mentality began sinking in. 

Change has such a myriad of effects on me. At one end, I'm saddened at leaving all that is comfortable and all that I'm used to. On the other end, I'm thrilled beyond belief at the mere prospect of a new adventure, craving the unknown and anticipating new memories being made, growing as a person. And right there in the middle, I'm fighting between the two emotions, feeling terrifyingly saddened excitement. 

This is the thing that is so brilliant though. You grow up at home, influenced by what's around you and growing as an individual. Then you take how home has shaped you and you go out into the world, exhibiting those characteristics and growing from your mistakes and experiencing new situations. 

And then home is there waiting for you, and you get to come back for a refreshment. It's all a rather beautiful pattern, but it nonetheless refuses to dim my tears that come when I leave. They come involuntarily and there's no stopping or prepping for it, for it will always come when I'm leaving my home for an extended period of time. 

So there's the blues. But to celebrate such an important chapter in my life (both in leaving for London and for my impending 21st birthday), Mom sweetly brought out the bubbly. But this was no ordinary bubbly....

Blue bubbly for a blue girl..

When I suspected that someone might've been photobombing behind me...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Homer for the Halibut.

It feels as if we were just in Homer... oh wait! We were. This time, however, we took an entirely different route. Instead of skirts and jewelry, we donned fishing vests and Bogs and took to the high seas to catch us some fish.

As you know, I'm the type of girl who loves to get dressed up, but entice me with a day on the ocean to fish, and I just as quickly change into my boat clothes, skip the makeup, and feel entirely comfortable smelling like fish instead of Chanel.

It's one of the best ways to really get into Alaskan life and I always have a ball on the boat.

Let me paint you a picture of what it's like to boat out on Kachemak Bay. Sit back, relax, and hopefully you'll become inspired to visit someday!

At the start of the morning, I woke to the delightful smell of French toast and sausage. We had to get up extra early to perfect our timing with the tide. Those are very important to keep an eye on, for you can't just go out and expect to catch some fish without knowing the waters in which you're fishing!

We hit the road and headed up. I woke as we were pulling into the parking lot, and after donning multiple layers, I made my way down the ramp and to our slot where the Proud Mary stood waiting, anxious to get out.

Homer harbor has a plethora of boats, including a few from the very popular tv show, Deadliest Catch. If you look closely, you'll recognize the SAGA.

Not a bad day to be on the water, am I right?

Well... not quite. The intriguing thing about Alaskan waters is that you can go from smooth sailing, to up and down smooth lumps, to choppy chunky waves in a matter of minutes. Today proved to be a perfect example and on the latter half of our boat ride, we were splashing our way through rough cutting waves, stopping about five miles outside of

The waves continued to sway the boat back and forth, but as what usually happens with fishing, you get used to the rhythmic swells and pretty soon, you're a natural surfer riding them waves.

Our rods weren't in five minutes before Grandma pulled up the first fish. Unfortunately, it was a not so lovely Irish Lord, and so we quickly tossed that baby back into the waves. Good riddance!

See what I mean?

Nice view of Mt. Iliamna there in the background..

Dad picked a lucky spot (after all, the captain is always right) and for the majority of the morning, we were reeling in 'buts left and right.

Captain Krull, always the mature one..

I think the reason I love halibut fishing so much (besides the fact that it's on the ocean, my favorite place on earth) is the accomplishment one gets when that white belly finally surfaces at the end of your hook. You have the line set some two hundred feet down in the moving swells and there's this impending anticipation you get while waiting for the tip of the pole to bob bob down. With that halibut munching on your herring bait, you rush over, yank the pole out of the holder, and proceed to reel this heavy fighting halibut in, two pound weight, moving currents, and two hundred feet of water fighting against you. But then, after all those difficult turns of the reel, you see the fish below the surface and the feeling is of utter accomplishment and happiness.

You're not a true fisherman without a little bit of blood at the tip of your nose. Needless to say, we had some fighters today!

And then we had a sleeping snoozer: Mom. She was our camerawoman for the day, so she did her part!

All in all, we successfully reeled in our limit. And of course had the freshest of halibut burgers for dinner.

We Are Who We Are.

I couldn't help but sing along to Kesha's We R Who We Are lyrics this morning while putting on my red pants. "When we've got our hot pants on and up..." And then when you play Ke$ha, you naturally dance to the beat and then your morning goes on from there.

So who are we? It's a big question. Yes, I'm a FIDM graduate who's tall and from Alaska with a fancy for coffee and cats, but man, that sounds an awful lot like a very tip of the iceberg description used for social media websites. Or perhaps you prefer the "Well, I graduated with a degree in Merchandise Marketing and i'm organized and a hard worker and excel working in group dynamics."

But who are you? Not what you do. Not what's on your resume, but who you are as a person? So often, we chose these really basic descriptions on how we are taught to describe ourselves. Never mind the fact that we have perserverance to climb a mountain, or an empathetic heart to a stranger.

To that, I say don't look at yourself through their eyes. Don't teach yourself to dumb down who you are to fit the standards of how we should properly describe ourselves. We're more than where we went to school and what we look like. Sometimes, I wish we could wear our insides out so that our heart and soul could shine through because sometimes, we forget what's in there and chose to rely on temporary things like looks and past statistics.

We are complicated beings and there is so much more to a person than just a few short adjectives and some updates on what we're doing in life. To define is to limit. It is time to stop the inadequate descriptions and start believing in all of the amazing qualities that make you who you are.

"You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothing you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the color of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak.
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You're the sweetness in you laughter,
And every tear you've cried,
You're the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you're all alone,
You're the places that you've been to,
And the one that you call home.
You're the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You're the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of.
You're made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you're not.."

What I wore: black Tom Ford sunglasses (consignment), red bobble necklace, black Single cherry crop top (consignment), red Kate Spade Saturday high-waisted pants (Nordstrom Rack), and red Lien Do pumps (Anthropologie sale).

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lift Up, Don't Tear Down.

I have noticed a most empowering trend lately. I first noticed it at work. It was about seven in the morning and this sleepy female customer came in and complimented my look. She couldn't believe I looked so good at so early in the morning, even after I told her that the key was lots of music and hefty amounts of coffee.

Then I noticed it in Anchorage when my mom and I went to the city to shop. So many ladies were complimenting my mom and her look and her positive energy. 

Just last night, I was incredibly stunned and proud to see that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers of  the 100 M hurdles were all American women. And then I read that American women were the dominating powers behind this years Olympics and I just think that's amazing.

I just beam when I see women being kind and complimentary of other women. There is something so powerful about a few kind words and coming from females, it's evermore powerful. 

We live in a very jealous and shallow society where we have this obsession with how we look and how we should be better than other people. We strive for perfection and we don't hesitate to be cruel to others if it's for personal gain. There's nothing wrong with believing in yourself and loving yourself, but there is something toxic when we have to put down others in order to make us feel higher and of more value. The biggest insecurity there is the jealous one! 

I've seen it and I've felt it myself and there is nothing more damaging to yourself and to others than the twisted satisfaction that comes from destroying other women out of jealousy and hate. Each person shares a special something and instead of celebrating that, we seek out to destroy them, or worse yet, believe that we are at fault if we are not like them. It's a vicious cycle, but other women are not our battlegrounds to fire upon. 

We should be lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. When one person succeeds, we succeed with them by being supportive and encouraging. 

As Rupi Kaur best sums it up: 

"What terrifies me most is how we foam at the mouth with envy when others succeed but sigh in relief when they are failing. Our struggle to celebrate each other is what's proven most difficult in being human."

It's something to work on, but imagine the things we could accomplish if we all just had a little bit more faith in our fellow females and a sense of pride for when they succeed...

I went literal with the pictures and decided to "lift" Fudge up because I am proud of her for being such a friendly feline. 

What I wore: pink Aerie sunglasses, pink flower vintage necklace, silk floral 1940's vintage dress (Mom's), tan Ted Baker belt (I loved my job!), and nude Spiegel pumps (consignment).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Spit Happens.

It's been a tradition ever since I've left for college: Homer Spit trip. My mom and I take the day off and drive down to Homer to eat, shop, drink coffee, and did I mention shop? We usually take the American Girl doll and enjoy the quiet serenity of the spit, when all the tourists have gone home. It's one of those bittersweet days that I look forward to because we often have loads of fun, but it also comes as a sign of imminent departure from Alaska.

Homer is one of those special places on earth that is completely surrounded by nature. Whether it's mountains across Kachemak Bay, fireweed patches waving colorfully by the side of the road, or endless waves of water, you can't help but feel incredibly close to nature. It's rare that you come across a town as eclectic as Homer and on top of that, it happens to be the halibut fishing capital of the world and full of lots of unique shops and restaurants.

That being said, today was the day in which we went and since Grandma's in town, she came along with us.

What more Alaskan way to start the trip than with a momma and baby moose crossing the road?

By far my favorite part about Homer is when you first crest that hill. You get this view at the top and then descend down..

"I'll never let go!"

As predicted, us ladies went to multiple shops and dined on some of Homer's finest cuisine. I then had trouble moving away from the big buoys because...

I like big buoys and I cannot lie!

What I wore: white vintage bobble earrings, black Topshop halter top (Nordstrom Rack), green Mauve skirt (consignment), and black flats (Nordstrom Rack).

We then ended the eve with maple lattes from Coal Town Coffee & Tea. They were most hearty lattes..

I had a beary good day indeed.