6.2.16

Sounds That Inspire Me



Music and sounds and interesting sounds have always been so inspiring for me. My mom and dad are both great singers and use music as interesting inspirational tools for their lives in completely different ways. Growing up, I observed how incredibly important finding new music was to my dad. To me, it looked like a journey of self understanding, finding sounds that spoke the language of who he was inside for him to revel in on his own. He likes a wide array of music from Animal Collective to Jefferson Airplane to modern House music. For my mom, music is a very outward expression of who she is, and I think music helps her express the very best version of herself through upbeat expressive and dramatic music like Whitney Houston and R Kelly. Yep, for reals she loves R Kelly! Bahah.



For me, music has been a huge part of my life in varying degrees. But in recent years, I really put it on the back burner and I'm not entirely sure why. When I was little, I was desperate to sing in my dad's church's choir. I joined choir at school as soon as I was old enough. And by the end of high school I was singing almost 40 hours a week on average inside of school and out, classical vocal performance and writing music on my own. I taught myself guitar was I was 15 and wrote my own music for 10 years. I wrote a folk album when I was 19, performed my music a lot from 19-24. Was in a band for 2 years that was kind of surf rock/weezer inspired. I loved performing classical music as an artistic and kind of analytical challenge, I guess emotional as well as I needed to evoke the meaning and feelings behind the songs through how I sang and performed. And I loved writing and performing my own music as self expression, revealing my inner world, and feeling challenged to create something unique and perform it well.



All throughout that as well, I was desperately hunting for music that not only expressed who I felt I was inside but inspired me to explore new musical movements and discover something new and different. My teenage years were filled with hours and hours worth of hunting chat rooms for new music, sitting and watching songs slowly download on napster, making mixtapes of songs I heard on the radio, recording music videos that I loved on tapes, flipping through music magazines, going to record stores, and writing my own music quietly in my room. For most of my childhood and teen years, I didn't really have any friends who I felt like I deeply connected with on music. But there were a few people throughout my later teenage years who I felt like really got the music I dug, and it felt so incredible finally getting to talk to people my age about all of the music that inspired me and all the music that inspired them.



When it was time to apply to colleges, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to major or minor in music, or just not pursue it at all in the college setting. I remember during a college interview, the interviewer kept trying to hint to me that I should apply to their music school but I was so spacey and set on being an Art History major that I totally didn't catch it until it was too late. I obviously didn't get into that school, ha!



In college, I decided not to pursue a music education. I felt like I had already received so much training in junior high and high school that if I did any more training, I would lose my emotional connection to music and wouldn't be able to express myself the way I wanted to so purely. So I just wrote music in my free time and performed it on campus and around the city. I also got involved in the on campus radio station and was a part of their staff for a few years. I wrote music all the way through college and included some of my songs in my senior art show. But by the time I was 23, I really wanted to be able to experiment with creating music more outside of just playing guitar and singing. But I didn't have the resources to figure it out. I played around on iMusic and wrote a couple of more experimental songs that I loved, but I just wanted to play more with percussions and mixing and didn't know how to go about that within my means. By 23, I was also bringing out a lot of my deepest thoughts and feelings through my music and I was getting nervous about it. I loved music as self expression but I didn't particularly want to share EVERYTHING that was being brought out of me by writing.



So around 2010, I wrote my last song, not intending it to be my last, but the lyrics just felt too vulnerable to share. So I stopped. I quit the band I was in because I wanted it to be all or nothing, I wanted to devote all my time to it and have everyone else do the same but it felt too wishy washy so I quit. I also started dating my husband and realized that I had written a song about almost everyone I had dated or had ever had a huge crush on and I was legitimately worried that if I wrote a song about him, we would be destined for failure. So that was it! No more song writing.


And in the last 3 years of owning a business and working side by side people everyday, I have totally dropped out of hunting for music that I deeply connect with. I spent a lot of time alone in junior high, high school, college, and post college. But as of the last 3 years, I have worked all day beside other people for the first time in my life and as an introvert, I think it definitely drains me, sound wise. So I don't look for interesting sounds in my free time because I want quite. But miss the musical hunt!

I want 2016 to be the year that I connect again with music, seeking out sounds that inspire me and bring out the person that I feel I am in my interior world. So here is a collection of songs I have loved for a long time, and songs that I randomly have heard lately that I find inspiring. It's a wide array and I love all of it.


31.1.16

Getting Ready with the Studio Collective - My Wedding, Part 2


It's time for another behind the scenes peek at my wedding! So, for background on where our wedding was, my husband and I got married in the place where we both grew up in Northern California. He and I went to the same high school and ended up dating after college! So it was so special for both of us to get to come back to our home towns to get married, and so fun to see so many friends from across the U.S. in the place that shaped us into the people we are now!

We got married in Penn Valley, CA. I grew up in Nevada City and Max grew up in Grass Valley which are small little towns right next to each other. Nevada County is a tiny shotgun shaped county in California that is pointed at the state of Nevada (for reals, check out a map of it's shape) hidden away in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of California. (Nevada, the state, stole the name Nevada from our little town during the Gold Rush era. Hence the ridiculous shape of our county, haha. Anyway, back tot he story: Max and I were engaged for 8 months before we got married, which, to me seemed like a good chunk of time, being that we had dated for 5 years before getting engaged. But it turns out, planning a wedding is basically like planning a business. And the search for finding a cool place to get ready and finding a company that offered unique decor rentals for the wedding day was SO difficult! It was getting down to the wire, 2 months away from our wedding day, that I finally found the Studio Collective.

Through the Studio Collective, we were able to rent a space to get ready at the Roots Reclaimed studio and warehouse. They have an awesome package for $350 where they will decorate the space for you however you want, they provide a big mimosa bar with all sorts of pastries and snacks, free wifi, and a beautiful atmosphere in a central location in Grass Valley, CA. It's great for getting ready for your Northern California wedding or photoshoot. I decided that I would rather invest in an awesome place to get ready that we didn't have to set up or maintain rather than hiring a hair and make up stylist along with some other budget items I decided we just could be ok without for the wedding. Budgeting was very important to us, so I'll explain more about that as I continue my wedding series!

I couldn't have been MORE pleased with our experience working with the Studio Collective and using the getting ready space. Our photographer, and my friend, Marissa Maharaj had so much fun exploring all of the props in the Roots Reclaimed warehouse next to the Studio Collective/Roots Reclaimed studio. They even had a cute cat roaming around the warehouse, which my bridesmaids loved being that most of them are serious cat ladies haha.


Two of my very best friends from college came and got ready with me and my bridesmaids the morning of the wedding. And one of my very best friends from my teen years came and got ready too, her daughter, my god daughter, was our flower girl! I have had 4 very distinct periods of my life, my childhood in rural England, junior high and high school years in small town Northern California, college years in a close community in Seattle, and post college career life in greater Seattle and online. I decided to just have my 2 sisters and my 3 closest friends in Seattle as my bridesmaids. 

There is SO much pressure on brides to choose who will be their bridesmaids. There is the "oh, I owe this person because I was in their wedding" or "this person was my best friend growing up" "this person lives closest to me currently" "that person I've known longer than this person, so ranking blablabla." I 100% dislike the peer pressure aspects of weddings that are placed on women. From the pressure of society saying you NEED to be your most beautiful physical version of you on your wedding day, (FALSE) you need to work out obsessively and starve yourself before your wedding (SO FALSE) to your wedding HAS to look like it cost x amount (FALSE), and you have to make everyone happy on your wedding day (That is legitimately impossible.) I am a people pleaser, so of course I tried my best to make everyone happy during our wedding and leading up to it. But guess what, I couldn't do it. And when choosing who was going to be a part of wedding planning, decorating, a part of the wedding party, all of that stuff, I knew I just couldn't please everyone. So I tried to just go at it all with just practicality in mind and a sincerity of heart in communicating to everyone I love WHY I love them, and why they are special to me whether they are given a specific wedding day role or not.
My whole life, I expected to just have my 2 sisters as my bridesmaids. Hi, I'm practical, haha. But Max wanted 4-5 groomsmen. We could have just had an uneven amount of groomsmen and bridesmaids but the perfectionism in both of us couldn't do it. So I just decided to have my 3 closest friends who live near me be my 3 additional bridesmaids. It worked best for us, and I so appreciated having them all by my side. 


When it came to getting all dolled up, it was really important to me that all of my bridesmaids got to express their own unique looks within our wedding. Individuality is the grounding force between Max and I, and sharing the importance of respecting, admiring, and adoring one another and finding ease and comfort between us as individuals was the theme we really wanted to express through our wedding day. The importance of self expression, variety, and individuality played out in so many ways throughout our wedding, and the most obvious way was through the variety of how my bridesmaids styled themselves for our wedding.

I'll share more about the bridesmaid dresses in a separate post but for now I'll just say that I was way more obsessed with the look of all of my bridesmaids dresses together than concerned with how my wedding dress looked, haha! I just thought my friends looked so beautiful and unique in their own gorgeous looks.

My bridesmaids and I all did our own make up and hair for the wedding, with some help from my sister's bestie Emma and all of us helping one another. I don't usually wear foundation so Emma helped me with that, and then I did the rest of my own make up. A tip for if you are doing your own make up on your wedding day, just think of your wedding day make up like any other day, ladies. I wore the same basic make up that I wear most days just with added foundation, a little more vibrancy, and went a little heavier with my make up. One of my childhood best friend's sisters gave me eyelash extensions. Though I don't think I'll ever wear eyelash extensions again just because of the up keep, they were awesome to have on my wedding day. I didn't have to worry about fake eye lashes coming unglued or mascara running down my face. Those eyelashes were heavy duty! Haha. I honestly felt a little bit like Lamb Chops. Remember that old show?


These beautiful handmade crowns are by Acute Designs. My sisters both wore one of these crowns in the wedding to distingush themselves from all my other lovely bridesmaids. And after discovering Acute Designs on Etsy, I decided to stock them in my shop too!


Eyelashes like WOAH. I don't wear very much make up so every time I saw myself in the mirror with those mega lashes, I kinda chuckled. 


My youngest sister has some serious nails for the wedding. I was down with my bridesmaids doing their nails however they wanted. Do yo thang girls. I wore just pale pink nail polish that I painted on the morning of.

Thank you so much to the Studio Collective for giving us such a beautiful space for getting ready! We had so much fun and I can't tell you how relaxed I felt the morning of the wedding. I know that having a beautiful, organized and creative space to get ready in really helped me feel at peace on our wedding day.

Ps, the Studio Collective is coming to LA soon too! They do a lot more beyond just event styling and offering studio space for brides. They offer event planning, rentals, resources for wedding accessories, photographers, make up and hair stylists, catering, cinematography and lots more. They've got my giant stamp of approval, as someone who is SUPER picky about styling. And all of their resources are totally my vibe. :)

28.1.16

New Bling for Spring


I'm soooooo obsessed with these rings and earrings we just got into the store. This Winter and Spring, I am craving craving craving some variety in my wardrobe. And dang it, I'm on a tight budget because we are saving for our honeymoon. So just like with my first reasoning in starting my own jewelry business 7 years ago, adding variety to my outfits with affordable jewelry is the way I'm going for Spring. And my mission this Spring is embracing my femininity.

For some reason, I am super duper shy when it comes to embracing and sharing femininity. I'm really curvy in some areas and very lanky in other ways, and I'm really shy about revealing my body's curves. I have this fear that by dressing more girly that I won't be taken as seriously, that women will judge me for my body type, that I will be thought less of for how my body just is. Oh, and I use laziness as a great excuse for not dressing how I reaaally want to dress. So I really want to kick my own ass this Spring and combat my fears by just GOING FOR IT with whatever I want to do, how I want to dress, how I present myself to the world, the whole she-bang. I like how I look when I wear red lipstick, so dammit, I'm wearing red lipstick more. I'm forcing myself to be ok with standing out in a crowd and I am pursuing feeling really good about myself, unafraid of judgement, and livin' it up. I wish I had a million bucks to just spend on fancy clothing, but I've got a business to invest it and bills just like anyone else. So for now, I'm treating myself to little things that push me out of my comfort zone and make me feel like a badass lady who owns exactly who she is. And for me that means: red lipstick, a million little sparkling earrings and rings, rose gold everything, and a promise to wear more dresses and things that show off my curves. I want to be proud of me in my skin. I'm on a mission. And as silly as it is, wearing a bunch of sparkly jewelry is starting me off on that journey.
Let's do this, bling. Self love, empowerment-fest 2016. I'm on it.

27.1.16

I'm my Alma Mater's Alumni of the Last Decade!



I feel very honored to say that I am my alma mater Seattle Pacific University's Alumni of the Last Decade for 2016. Some of my best friends secretly worked behind my back over the last year submitting my name for the opportunity to be honored as the GOLD Alumni (graduate of the last decade) and I was so shocked when my friend Allie told me about all the work she went to to try and get my name in the running. And a month after she told me, I was even more shocked to find that SPU chose me as their Alumni of the Year! I would have never imagined that I would have this honor but I'm so grateful for the opportunity.
This weekend is Alumni and Homecoming weekend at my alma mater so I will be participating in a bunch of fun and funny events including an awards luncheon where they will be sharing this video above to everyone who attends. I hope that you enjoy the little interview I did with SPU! I feel like my voice isn't normally that deep but maybe I was just in super serious mode and was trying to focus haha. Thank you to David Rither who filmed and edited it!