July 30, 2016

In the North Sea

Upon my arrival, Tina told me you haven't experienced a Norwegian Summer until you've gone for a swim in the sea. Now, as I've mentioned before I don't do water, like not even emerging further than my waist in my parent's pool. If I do decide to get in the water, I need it to be so warm it's like bath water. 
One morning, it started raining and Tina and her sister, Mari, assured me that this would be the best time to swim because the water would feel warmer. After breakfast, we ventured down to the same spot where we had gone crabbing the day before. I climbed gingerly into the 62° water where I treaded water only long enough for photographic proof before beelining back to the rock I used to enter. Needless to say, when we went kayaking the next morning I had no plans of getting back in the water. I panicked a little every time a larger boat would send its wake our way and caused my kayak to rock aggressively. However, the water was so crystal clear we could see straight down to the bottom as we made our way around a small island that it helped me keep a cool head.

July 29, 2016

Meet Stella

A week ago today, we welcomed another Speranza furbaby into our home. Her name is Stella, she was the alpha in her liter and it sure shows in her feisty attitude. Her favorite activities include hanging from Macey's beard/ ears, terrorizing Lily (who cautiously pokes at Stella with her nose), watching TV, being held like a baby and cuddling up in your lap for a nap (with her tongue sticking out). She's not a fan of being alone, in her cage, pants, socks, or rugs. But let me tell you, she certainly is smart and knows how to use her adorably expressive face to get out of any mischief she finds. We're so incredibly thankful for all that Speranza does and for bringing this little ball of energetic curiosity into our  lives. 
Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 28, 2016


One afternoon we took a boat ride over to Stråholmen, an island where Tina's boyfriend's family has a cottage. The island was lush and green and there were plenty of sweet cherries hanging from trees to snack on. I compared the island to living an Amish lifestyle because there is no running water or electricity. Substitute methods like well water, gas, and solar power are used to run refrigerators and stoves while also being able to wash dishes. Before dinner we walked around the island and searched for the sheep for some photo opportunities. No two sheep looked alike in color or pattern and they each spoke with a sound all their own. We had a delicious meal, sat outside by a fire snacking on chips, cherries, and chocolate, and we even went in a large field and played frisbee. The poor boys we were playing with had to keep running for search and rescue methods because we were not very accurate throwers. We headed back to Bamble a little after midnight and Tina and I stayed  up talking about old times and catching each other up on the last few months. 

This photo was taken after midnight, and it's hard to tell from this photo but it was actually still quite light out. 

Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 25, 2016

Crabbing in Bamble

The first evening I was in Norway we ventured down to the water with the intention of fishing for crabs. Tina and her sister, Mari, were much more brave when it came to getting into the water in search of blue mussels, while I just stood on the rocks and snapped photos. I gingerly climbed into the boat with the help of Tina and Mari (I have serious balance issues) and baited some clothespins with cracked blue mussels. The water was so crystal clear you could actually see the crabs running to to catch their prey. They would greedily grab onto the mussel as we reeled them in and caught them with a net. We sorted them by size into two buckets of water and prepped for a crab race. 
Full disclosure: I was totally terrified of holding the crabs and dropped this poor guy on his back in the boat because I didn't like the way he sprawled his legs out against my fingers. I had to grab him again for the sake of documenting the moment but was no less terrified.
The crabs racing down the rock and into the water was quite the sight. 
Fleece (in Mock Purple) // Pants: Kate Spade (also loving these and these)

Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 22, 2016

This n That

I got home from Norway on Monday and it really took a toll on my body. We had turbulence for the last hour of the flight and it made me extremely nauseous. A lack of food for a prolonged period mixed with exhaustion led to a migraine. It took us a little over two hours to drive back to my apartment, during which I wore an empty Target bag on my ears like a horse wears a feedbag. And I'll spare you the rest of the details.
Someone dropped their suitcase on my foot when exiting the plane on Monday and my foot immediately started to hurt, but I could still walk on it. On Tuesday morning, I was out running errands and my foot started to cramp uncomfortably but I was still able to walk. I came home and was moving furniture and rugs and suddenly the pain in my foot became unbearable. I couldn't put any pressure on it any longer and had to crawl around the apartment. Wednesday morning I woke up and the pain was still unbearable so I scheduled a doctor's visit. It turns out when you pretend to be athletic and try to keep up with the active Norwegians when you're usually a couch potato, you can get tendonitis. Now I get to wear a super stylish brace with my New Balances for at least a week (my literal uniform no matter the temperature).
One // Swim With Otters
My heart feels so full when I hear the little noises the otters make. It'd be an absolute dream to swim and play with them.

Two // Redefining Failure
The way she has been able to redefine "failure" and the importance of being able togrow and laugh about it is truly inspiring.

Three // Cats get brain freeze
Anyone else feel like it was an exhaustingly long week? Click for a quick laugh.

Four // Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
I've been way too excited to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, last year I got a pair of duck boots and they made last winter so much more bearable. You can shop my favorite items from this year's sale in this post.

Have a great weekend! xo

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Today is the first day that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the public and I've already found so many great pieces. This is the perfect time to stock up on fall pieces and beat the back-to-school shopping crowds.
Here are some of my favorite pieces from this year's sale:




Can you tell I'm really feeling color this fall instead of my usual black and white rut? What are your favorites? xo

Postcards from Norway

I'm loving looking back at all of the photos from Norway already. Of course whenever I come back from a trip, I always wish I took more pictures and this is no exception. But as I look at and sort through all of the photos to prepare posts, there were some pictures I love but didn't feel like they "fit" with the others. I also like the way these ones illustrate different parts of the trip and almost tell a story when pieced together (at least that's how I see them).

Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 21, 2016

Norway Itinerary

I'm back from Norway and I wasn't sure where to begin posting about my trip. After spending some time thinking about it, I decided the best way to start is to share an overarching itinerary of how I spent my time with Tina.
Day One: Bamble
I left Tuesday around 7 PM and arrived in Oslo Wednesday morning at 8:30 and didn't sleep a wink. I did however have the company of three movies (How To Be Single, Allegiant, and Daddy's Home) to help the flight go quickly. Tina and I drove a few hours from the airport to get her family's cottage at the sea. We arrived just in time for lunch; waffles with a beautiful scenery. Later that evening, we went down by the water and fished for crabs for a crab race. The water was so crisp and clear you could watch the crabs running to the blue mussel bait. We stayed up late watching Before I Go To Sleep and I literally had to fight from falling asleep (I was desperately trying to reset my internal clock) after my 34 hours without sleep. Of course Tina and I managed to stay up at least another hour gossiping until we were too tired to think.

Day Two: Bamble & Stråholmen
The next morning it began raining during breakfast. Tina and her family assured me that the water feels much warmer when it's raining. Although I was skeptical, I agreed to go for a swim (mind you, I don't even get in my parent's pool) and walked down to the water. I climbed hesitantly into the water we had fished for crabs the night before. I swam in the North Sea just long enough for the photo evidence and immediately climbed back out.
We took the boat from Bamble over to Stråholmen where Tina's boyfriend's family has a cottage. The big joke while we were there was that I compared living on the island to Amish lifestyle with no electricity or running water on the island. Before dinner we walked around and scared some sheep trying to capture some photos. We picked and ate sweet cherries off the trees on the island, and my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Tina and I spent another late night catching up.

Day Three: Bamble & Asker
After breakfast, Tina and decided to go kayaking in the sea. I'm not going to lie, I was absolutely terrified I was going to capsize my kayak as the larger boats threw waves our direction. I was not looking forward to the idea of falling among the jellyfish I kept spotting. Tina kept me calm by keeping up conversation and being so close to the water made it easy to see clear to the bottom of the sea. Tina made a homemade pizza for her family before we headed back to her parent's home in Asker.

Day Four: Asker
Tina took me into Asker center where we enjoyed ice cream and people watching in the park. Later that afternoon we made some brownies in preparation for her friends coming over. That evening we had a barbecue with Tina's friends where Pokémon Go was a massive topic of conversation as it had just been released in Europe that morning. I said it so many times while I was there, but I am seriously impressed by how great everyone's English was and how easy it was to communicate despite me not speaking a lick of Norwegian.

Day Five: Asker
I slept in ridiculously late on my last day in Norway. We decided to go for a hike up a rocky, mountain trail to see Oslo and Asker from a bird's eye view and celebrated making it to the top with brownies. I am by no means in shape and had to stop on multiple occasions for a breather and water break, but the view was well worth all the sweat.

The weather was crazy. I was constantly checking temperatures and the forecasts were all over the place so I had to ask Tina what to pack. She said that it's probably safest to bring a little bit of everything. Boy was she right. It would go from being cool and comfortable, to hot and humid, to cool and crisp. Layering is definitely key. If you plan on going, pack and be prepared for anything and everything.

I definitely plan on staying longer next time because there's still so much to see and do. As if I need anymore of a reason than to just want to spend time with Tina. Check back soon for the pictures I snapped while I was there.


July 16, 2016

This n That

I started this little feature called "This n That" not only to replace the Life In Square Photos feature that proved to be more challenging than anticipated, but also to share some ramblings and a handful of the things I stumble upon throughout the week. Whether it be humorous or inspiring, a video, an article, or a style staple, who knows what I'll come up with but I promise to try to keep it short and to the point. Think of it is a little recap of the week as I see it through my end of social media mixed with random, abbreviated blurbs from what I would say if we were hanging out in real life.
One // Piece of Cake
He can make eye-popping masterpieces using icing...meanwhile it takes me 45 minutes to butcher the top of one cupcake (seriously, ask my mom).

Two // Cot Dammit Elizabeth
When I first watched this video, I chuckled a little. The second time I watched, I laughed a bit harder. Now, whenever I watch it I'm in tears because I imagine poor Kyle having to chase me down and babysit me like this and these are the things he wishes he could yell at me but never does. They've made several more videos and her love for food is eerily familiar.

Three // Choir Choir Choir feat. Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright's rendition of Hallelujah has always been a favorite of mine and to listen to a crowd of 1,5000 people who haven't practiced sing in unison is really something wonderful. I could listen to this over and over, not to mention watching

Four // Charpography
Some of you may know, long before I started this blog, I used a page on Tumblr to share my photos and document progress and projects over the years. I seriously disappointed myself in keeping up with it through college and I'm trying to make up for it by sharing my photos a little more often and making myself actually go out and invest myself in photography again.

Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 13, 2016

5 Dresses Under $50

I've noticed that more often than not, I'm in pants/jeans unless the temperatures are above 80 degrees. As the weather warmed up at the end of the school year, I started embracing my pale legs and wearing my skirts and dresses just to break my bi-weekly rotation of pants. "Ms. Harper, is it Wednesday already? You're wearing your green pants" became a joking inquiry I was asked far too often. But now it's July, and I'm still falling back on my favorite boyfriend jeans if I see it's going to be cloudy or a nice 75 degrees. So it's time to break the cycle and bring out some more dresses to finish out the summer strong.
Chambray // I have a similar Philosophy dress that I have been loving for errands or when I just don't know what to wear.
Striped // throw on some sneakers and a baseball cap now and transition into fall with utility vest.
Red Bow // strappy back, keyhole, and bow detailing-how can I resist?!
Gingham // perfect for summer picnics and barbecues
Off The Shoulder (also loving the black!) // perfect to dress up or down and such a great price!

Any favorites? xo

July 12, 2016


 Kyle and I took advantage of our long weekend together by doing two of our favorite things together: record hunting and eating. We headed out-thinking it was going to be a dreary, chilly day- in our uniforms jeans and jackets. Big mistake. It ended up being a beautiful, warm day and I was way over dressed for outdoors but perfectly for the indoor arctic (seriously, why are businesses and restaurants so cold?!).  We visited one of my favorite colorful buildings- Stoudts Brewery/ Black Angus Restaurant (this post was shot outside of the restuarant) and had some delicious smoked wings/ a burger and a Pils on tap. The interior was nothing like we imagined-filled with art, antique finds, and romantic details- but definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.
During the school year, I mentioned that I started collecting flair again. There are so many incredible artists creating enamel pins and embroidered patches that I didn't even touch on in my last post, so I will do an updated one with my current favorites. My hope is to find the perfect oversized, yet slightly fitted vintage Levi jacket to display all of my flair. But in the mean time, I'm sporting my newest pins on this worn in jean jacket.
Sunnies // Jacket: American Eagle (similar) // Tee // Jeans // Sneakers (similar)
*any untagged pins were free handouts I was equally excited about*

Now I'm off to catch my flight to Norway! Thanks for stopping by! xo

July 10, 2016

This n That

This week flew by which sadly means summer is also flying by. Have you ever noticed it's a downward hill from the Fourth of July to October? I feel like I've spent a majority of my summer on the couch, binge-watching every show I can think of with minimal side of crafting but way too much online window-shopping. It's weird how different summer feels when you don't have a job or know anyone who lives in the area. But it's definitely a little more relaxing and I've already had too much time to think about how I'm going to arrange my classroom.
 I recently found this pin to add to my jean jacket that's a perfect representation of Kyle and my relationship. I mean, our first bond was over taco pizza from Main Street Café after all.
Kyle took off work until Wednesday, so we're having a little staycation at the apartment until my flight on Tuesday. I've already begun taking advantage of him being home and asked for him to take photos while we were out yesterday. But mostly we've just been relaxing and chasing down Pokémon in the vicinity.
This sweet golden doodle knows just how to cheer people up. The little nudge to get pets Lulu uses in the video is a classic Macey move, it must be a spoiled rotten doodle thing.

While I was on the topic of therapy pets, I saw this video of a bond between an unusual (and beautiful!) pet and how she helped her owner through breast cancer. Videos of animals have a real way of tugging at my heartstrings lately. Probably the puppy fever.

Three // Pokémon Go
Anyone else start playing yet? I was hesitant when Kyle first mentioned it but I'm already way too into it. I've been checking my phone constantly the last two days to look for Pokéstops and to see if there are any Pokémon nearby. I see pros being that you actually have to leave your home to find more, and I've already left the apartment to catch a shadowy figure a few times. I also know there is a warning to pay attention to your surroundings, but it's so easy to get engrossed in the search and walk behind a car backing out of a space. But I love the way Forbes is encouraging using the game to benefit local businesses.

Four // This Shirt
This is just such a fun summer shirt and a great price that I had to share following up this post from a few weeks ago.

Five // Inspiring Video Alert
A truly inspirational video and story, I love the way he is able to express himself through art.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week! xo

July 6, 2016

Packing for Norway

I'll be in Norway this time next week and it's finally setting in that I'm really going. I'm all packed in a hot pink carryon and hoping I'm prepared for the mid 50 to low 70 temperatures. I honestly haven't had a clue what to pack so I started following a few Norwegian bloggers on Instagram to get an idea of what they wear daily and gather some inspiration. I've packed a variety of pieces so I can layer according to weather. In my tiny carryon, I've stuffed a sweater, a trench coat, a Patagonia fleece, four pairs of pants, some leggings, a pair of pajamas, seven shirts, and a pair of sneakers. I've tagged as many of the pieces I could find online and truth be told, I've packed so much of the Who What Wear collection you would think we had a collaboration.
My Longchamp seems like the most practical personal item for the flight because I can easily fit snacks a book, my DSLR, a portable charger and anything else I might need to grab during my ten hour flights.

Thanks for stopping by! xo

Exploring Oslo

It has been a little over nine months since these pictures were taken. I know I said in my previous posts (here & here) I wouldn't wait forever to share the last set of photos from Norway, but I saved them as a piece of this announcement. A few months ago, I started looking at plane tickets to Norway just to see if I could afford to go a few days this summer. I played with the dates and flight arrangements up until June 17th when I finally bit the bullet and bought my tickets. When the confirmation screen came up, I literally squealed "I'm going back to Norway!" and totally freaked out my family's dogs. I'll be spending five days with my sister from another mister and I can hardly wait.
This will be my first time flying alone which is partially the reason I procrastinated on buying my tickets. I booked nonstop flights there and back to crush my fear of missing my connecting flight or somehow ending up in Timbuktu. Lately my anxiety has only that it's so close and that I'll get stuck next to a stranger who snores or has a screaming baby for ten hours. I'm sure you'll get the full recap on my return, maybe even in a timely manner. But without further ado, here's the photos from Norway when we visited in September:
We explored Norway's Resistance Museum and enjoyed the beautiful weather before walking through the city. Walking in the city, we were oohing and ahing at the architecture and laughing at the familiar stores and restaurants (Hard Rock Cafe and TGI Fridays really stood out. The Lush Cosmetics store had the facade of a teeny tiny space, but down a narrow spiral staircase there were beautiful rooms upon rooms of fragrant products. It really was something magical, and then I managed to knock an entire display over and ruined the moment. C'est la vie. It was a beautiful trip and I'm hoping to return to some warmer weather this time.
My look: Sunnies // Shirt // Cardigan: BCBG (similar) // Jeans // Shoes
Thanks for stopping by! xo
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