Cabin fever

This past weekend, my partner and I took a short road trip to Crystal Mountain (~2 hours outside of the city). While I usually opt to stay indoors on chilly Winter days, we’ve found ourselves on a mountain snowboarding almost every other weekend since the end of December. Even though I was still recovering from the last snowboarding trip, I tagged along for the drive to enjoy being outdoors in the powder. I go a bit “crazy” (aka have too much energy for my own good) when I get cabin fever!

pnw outfit
This has got to be the most stereotypical west coast, Pacific Northwest-er, outfit I’ve ever worn! I call it my “cabin outfit” because I dream about wearing it to a cabin on a winter getaway. In reality, I wear it to work on an almost weekly basis. I love this outfit because it incorporates: a thrifted piece, a gifted top from my family, and a borrowed beanie and backpack from my fiance (what’s his is soon-to-be-mine, right? haha!). I haven’t owned a flannel buttondown since I was about 10 years old, which my grandma bought to help me brave the winters as a kid who hated being outside at recess. Over the holidays, my family (back in Toronto) decided it was about time for me to own a flannel shirt since apparently not owning one and living in Seattle is a faux-pas.

Seattle winter hike
UGG Cecile boots styled
outfit details:
plaid flannel buttondown: American Eagle (exact)
cable knit cardigan: thrifted via Goodwill
UGG Cecile boots: c/o J.Jill (exact)
leggings: Lululemon (similar)
Especial Primo backpack: Timbuk2 (exact)
beanie: borrowed from the fiance ;)

how to style flannel
If you’re wondering what’s up with my thigh-high snow legs, there’s a funny story behind that. You might’ve already read it on Instagram over the weekend, so feel free to gloss over this paragraph if you did! While we were taking these photos, there was a really cute spot I wanted to walk further over to. T was asking if the snow was packed enough to stand on, since he was only wearing sneakers after having changed out of his snowboarding boots. “Trust me! It’s packed solid!” was my response and then not a moment later after making that statement, I fell through into thigh-deep snow!

Of course, we couldn’t stop laughing about it and that’s how we ended up with this set of silly photos. Moral of the story is to never trust me as your snow tour guide. I will get too excited jumping around in it and end up with soaking wet socks for the 2 hour car ride home from falling through non-packed piles of snow.

… aaaaand blooper! This was taken right after falling through the surface of the snow into thigh-deep powder. As you can tell, I was having a splendid time with snow down my boots!! This is my, “hey can you help me out of here?” face.

plaid flannel outfit - blooper
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Summer essentials

The long weekend is almost here! Any fun plans to celebrate Canada Day (July 1) or Independence Day (July 4)? In the past, my Canadian friends and I here in Seattle would celebrate both (never a better excuse to have back-to-back BBQs or potlucks!), but this year it looks like Canada Day crept up on us and we forgot to plan something. Plus, July 1st lands on a work day, so… to the office it is!

As for the July 4th weekend, this would be the perfect time of year for a quick roadtrip! Today, I’m rounding up a set of Summer essentials to take along on the road in case you’re heading out of town this weekend:

Summer Essentials

Reading Materials: I’ve been listening to the #GIRLBOSS podcast and falling more and more in love with Sophia Amoruso on the weekly. She’s featured in this month’s issue of Forbes that highlights the richest self-made women, which I loved reading and learning more about her story from. I won’t divulge any secrets, but it was so fascinating to see big names like Beyonce and Taylor Swift ranked against all other self-made women in America vs the global market of influential women.

Aside from Forbes, I’ve got Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking on my current reading list. I started this book earlier this month when on a weekend trip to the countryside. It’s written by Malcolm Gladwell, who is best known for his bestseller Outliers: The Story of Success. I guess you can see the trend in my current reading materials, hah! ;) Either way, a good book is never a bad thing when on the road.

Face & Body wipes: When on the road, you never know when you’re going to find a bathroom or shower station next! It’s always handy to pack along some fresh wipes, and these Acure Organics coconut and argan oil wipes are my favourite. Not only are they organic, but they’re also 100% biodegradable! These babies triple as makeup removing wipes as well, so no need to pack multiple sets of towelettes!

Deodorant: I recently found Schmidt’s Bergamot & Lime natural deodorant in Whole Foods and absolutely fell in love. As someone who switched from antiperspirants to deodorant a few years back, I’ve been trying to find an all-natural deodorant that didn’t smell like baby powder or feel like dry soap rubbing against my skin. This one smells like a delicious candle has essential oils that help with disinfecting and skin healing.

Sun block: A few months ago, I was introduced to Block Island Organics face moisturizer with SPF 30. While I found the formula to be a bit on the thicker side for everyday use under makeup, I loved the moisturizer as a sun block. Keeping in line with the all-natural theme for my beauty routine, Block Island Organics covers all the bases: all natural and organic ingredients, scent-free, and moisturizing (shea butter and aloe)! The consistency is comparable to other non-organic products available in stores today, but bonus because there are no parabens, sulfates, dyes, or added fragrance. They’re currently offering 20% off sitewide with coupon code HAPPY4TH.

Bug spray: This is a must-have for me! As someone who is prone to being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I always have to have bug spray handy whenever on the road. This Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray is a dream. In the past, I’ve tried to avoid using Deet or OFF because of the awful smell and “bitterness” by only lighting Citronella candles, only to be bitten on random places like my forehead! Badger Anti-Bug is 100% natural and smells like nothing more than the Citronella candles (which I love the smell of… I know it’s not for everyone) and rosemary. Yum!

Coconut water: Always have to stay hydrated! The pineapple Zico coconut water is my current favourite. It’s refreshing and ever so slightly hinted with sweetness and pineapple goodness. I haven’t yet tried all the other new Zico flavours but am excited to explore my options if I ever get tired of this yummy pineapple one!

What are your Summer essentials?

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Lost in the woods of Pittock Mansion

Continuing with the Portland road trip recap, day two was filled with random adventures along the drive back to Seattle. We stopped off at the Pittock Mansion, known as the historic renaissance castle in Oregon. Just behind the mansion is a picture-perfect view of the city, complete with a glimpse of Mt. Hood on a clear afternoon. We decided to take a detour for the highly rated hike in the forest on the property. Little did we know what was in store…

portland-betabrand-noreasterjacket-trees
portland-betabrand-noreasterjacket-hike2
portland-betabrand-noreasterjacket-trees2
outfit details:
The Nor’Easter jacket: c/o Betabrand (exact)
nautical rope sweater: Banana Republic
jeans: AG Jeans
Dv8 Laurel Booties: c/o Aeropostale (exact, on sale for $45)
twig necklace: local Portland artist

portland-betabrand-twignecklace
portland-hike

Let’s just say that I wasn’t prepared for the kind of hike this forest had in mind on this particularly rainy day. Although there is a path, where you’ll find a lot of daily runners whizzing through, to walk on, the rain-coated dirt did not provide much traction for walking on. It was by chance that I packed this Nor’Easter rain jacket for the trip, which was perfect for the light rain we dealt with while attempting to do a simple hike. A few feet in, we turned around and decided to explore parts of the surrounding areas of the mansion instead.

portland-betabrand-noreasterjacket
portland-mthood
Even with all the rain clouds, Mt. Hood decided to grace our presence before jumping back into the car for the final stretch of the drive back. What a view!
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Cliff jumping into the blue

Heights: one of the top three things I am terrified of. On the scale of 1 to 10 on the fear scale, I’d put my fear of heights at a 12. Growing up as a kid, I would freak out whenever walking within 5ft of the railings of the second (or third, or forth) floors of a mall because I was scared of flipping over the railing and breaking my neck. This was an extra weird thing to be afraid of as a 6 year old kid who could barely see over the railing… Ridiculous? Yes.

My fear of heights is still as irrational as an adult. Now that it’s physically possible to flip over the railings at the mall, my tolerance for walking (or even standing) close to one is waaaaay low.

Funny thing is, there have already been a handful of experiences where I forced myself to grow a pair, man up, and conquer my fears… even if it’s for a few seconds. A true test of this was crossing the Capilano Bridge back in 2012, but again on the trip to Eastern Washington when cliff jumping.

deeplake

Even though the cliff I jumped from was only just a smidge over 10ft, it took a lot of pep talk to jump off the edge. After throwing the tube off first (which hit the rocks and landed much further to the right than I had originally planned), I stood overlooking the rocks thinking, “shoot… so, do I really have to go get that?”

Super glad that the irrational fears went away just long enough to make a full leap off the edge for this photo:

deeplake_jump

Not going to lie… now that this photo exists, I can die happy and never have to jump off another cliff.

P.S. How insanely beautiful is this water? The whole area was pretty much a dream in itself.

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Adventures in Eastern Washington

It’s pretty rare that the opportunity to venture into Eastern Washington ever happens. The only other time a 3 hour drive east has happened was a couple years ago to go blueberry picking, but the drive out is always worth it. There’s nothing quite like the greenery, quiet neighbourhoods with lush lawns, and acres of farmland for as far as you can see out.

Deep Lake, Eastern Washington
outfit details:
cheetah top: c/o Aeropostale (exact, currently 50% off!)
striped ruffle bikini: Victoria’s Secret
ruffled shorts: Dear Creatures
peep toe flats: Franco Sarto via OnlineShoes.com (exact)

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Last weekend, a handful of friends – both new and even newer – hopped into a few cars and headed towards Deep Lake for an afternoon of lounging on the water. The lake was surrounded only by cliffs, trees, and nothing more. Crazy to think that such a place exist just a few hours outside of the regular city life that we’re used to seeing day-to-day.

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Here’s a dorky outtake where I was probably being awkward because “the squirrels are watching”:

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