Leavenworth in the Summer

I first heard of Leavenworth, Washington's enchanting little German village, as a Christmas destination. This August my family took a summer trip to Leavenworth, and we agreed it makes a lovely summer getaway too!


My Favorite Everyday Accessory- Gold Necklaces

A signature piece or two in your wardrobe makes a look yours- something you love that makes you happy and makes others think of you when they see a similar look in a storefront, an actor on tv, or someone passing on the street. 

 I have a few fashion signatures: floral and colorful pieces, cardigans, and necklaces. If you just take a quick glance through my 'style' archive, you'll see so many examples of my signature items popping up in new and fun ways. Today, I want to focus on necklaces. I have loved necklaces ever since I started loving personal style. In fact, one of my friends in high school who drew stick figures would always draw stick figure Kelsey with a necklace on! 
gold necklace
You'll find me wearing statement necklaces and dangly bauble necklaces on the regular, but my favorite go-to is a simple necklace. Lately I am especially loving elegantly simple gold necklaces. They are classic, delicate, feminine, and understated all at once.

My new favorite go-with-everything gold necklace is from AUrate, a New York based company which sustainably and ethically sources their materials. This infinity bar necklace has gorgeous detail, yet is simple enough to go with a wild wardrobe statement, or pull together a casual look.
delicate gold necklace

           For some go-with-everything gold necklace inspiration, check out these outfits below.

One (or more, they're fun to layer!) of these simple necklaces is my go-to for comfortable, easy jewelry that looks polished. I especially love ones that mean something special. A close friend and I got a pair of friendship necklaces that say "Love you" and "Love you more" from Old Navy (I always love browsing ON accessories after I try on a zillion things). I have an Oregon-shaped pendant from a local retailer. A few years ago I picked up a tiny compass rose necklace from H&M and often wear it while traveling. I've also eyed many gorgeous necklaces at Francesca's and am on the lookout for the perfect one.

What's nice too is that gold is surprisingly versatile. Classic yellow gold, white gold, or the so popular rose gold all have their own appeal. Find one that complements your skin tone or enjoy all three!

Do you have a gold tone you prefer, or a necklace that means something special to you? What's your signature fashion piece? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you for stopping by.

                                      This blog post is in collaboration with Nakturnal

                                                                                                 linking up with:

                                                                          Fashion Friday
                                                                      Confident Twosday
                                                                 Thursday Fashion Files


Our first home before & after

Ok, this may be the most exciting blog post I've shared thus far. In May, Daniel and I closed on our first home! When we first toured our house, a 1970's ranch, we enjoyed the layout, neighborhood, and big backyard. We intended to make some cosmetic updates but didn't set out to renovate it, but as you can see from the before and after pictures- she's renovated! 


7 Summer Day Trip Adventures from Portland

Wow, it has been almost two months since my last post! That is the longest break I have taken from blogging since I started in December 2014. I have been extremely busy renovating and moving into our first home. It's a challenging and fun project and I will be doing some posts on it soon. Today, though, I am taking a break from house business to have an iced tea at my favorite Canby coffee house and enjoying their wifi.

Summer is the perfect time for day trips- days are longer, schedules are more open, and the weather is great for exploring. I love a day trip to just get away and explore, eat some good food, and see something new- whether I'm in the mood to hike or lounge somewhere fabulous. I'm sharing 7 of my favorite day trip adventures from the Portland area.


Living in Linen

Whew, it is good to have a minute to sit down and post these photos I've been sitting on for a month! It has been such a busy and very blessed few weeks. In mid-April Daniel and I found out our offer was accepted on a house, we closed last week, and we spent this weekend getting started on some updates (there is still paint primer on my arm). It's been a long time since I've had that totally exhausted, worked so hard, but feel so good feeling at the end of the day, but I have a feeling it will become a standard until we move in! I feel so blessed that our home owning dream has come true and we are loving making it our own. I'm sure I will have many a blog post about it coming soon. 


Because God was There

I went on a walk the other day along the path to the river. I love my little town and all the nice places to walk. The path is bursting with spring and, with my allergies, it's a bit like walking through a mine field.  A really beautiful, lovely mine field.

I had my earbuds in and walked at a leisurely pace, listening to some Hillsong United.

In a few days we'll get the keys to our very first house, and the joy is tangible. The week we'll wait to get our keys feels so short, yet infinitely long. As I anticipate this exciting change, I see a season ending: the chapter in our apartment in the trees.

In my adult life, I've always thought of moves as ends and beginnings of chapters. As they've ended, my chapters have always had clear themes. So far. This season seems less clear. I try to gather crucial moments in my mind: I see our living room full of friends, and quiet mornings in the high-ceilinged living room with the sun streaming in.

What really did happen in our two years in the trees? What's the main takeaway? What was God up to? I am so analytical of my thoughts and feelings that I have trouble not having clear answers to these questions.

As I walked along, I accepted that even though I don't completely understand this closing chapter yet, I know it was good because God was there. He's writing a really, really good story. And even if I don't understand what the purpose of each chapter was, even if there's no neat summary or especially iconic quotes, it's a part of his story. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have a grasp of the answers to the chapter's big questions later.

I remembered, and felt a joy in my heart, to see that he is a very present God. In all chapters, in all seasons, on all walks through mine fields... God is here. And he is good, and that makes all my chapters good.

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. -2 Peter 1:3


McMenamin's Kalama Harbor Lodge

Over Spring Break this year Daniel and I went on a little getaway to the new McMenamins hotel, the Kalama Harbor Lodge. Just 40 minutes north of Portland, Kalama is a tiny and historical town and McMenamins found a gem for one of their overnight locations. 


say hi to high waisted pants

Is anyone one else a little sick of skinny leg tight pants? The variety of fit and style of pants this season is so timely and I am loving it.
In February I saw this pair of linen high-waisted pants in the window at Francesca's at the mall. I was there with a purpose- to use a Gap coupon on a sweater- however, I couldn't resist trying these pants on. Right when I hung them on the rack in the dressing room with a few others items, I got a notification from Paypal that I had just received a check for Jazzercise classes. It felt like a sign that I should buy these Natasha pleated cropped pants


Getting Colorful at the Splatterbox

9 friends walk into a birthday party looking like this...
And walk out like this. 
Our friend Ali planned a get together for her birthday at Albany Art Studio in their splatterbox. We really had no idea what to expect. 
The studio is in charming downtown Albany, you enter on the first floor to an exposed-brick, open area with tables for parties, classes, and wine and paint events. When the space was ready, they took us upstairs to the Splatterbox, a huge open room with energetic music playing, black lights glowing, and COVERED in neon paint. 


Transitional Teacher Style

I'm a high school special education teacher. I work mostly with students who are in general education classes throughout the day, and come see me for support. I give lessons in study skills, transition, reading, writing, and math. After our lesson I help them with whatever they need, whether that's help with science, math, health, proofreading papers, cleaning out their backpack, making a plan for passing a class, crunching numbers for graduation progress, finding a job, talking strategy for getting up on time for school, or just having a place to decompress. I have small classes (15 students or less) and I get to know my kids really well. They both challenge and inspire me on a daily basis- and I hope I do the same for them. 


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It's been a while since I've done a Friday Favorites post. The first Friday back to work after spring break, lots of fun and new things to recap, and knowing I'm going to spend Friday night at H&R block getting our taxes done (adult life, yay) seems to warrant a fun post!


soak it in

On a Sunday afternoon while the sunlight streams in, I sit with my wet hair newly combed at the dining table, my feet in fuzzy socks propped up on the seat across from me. As I open my computer, Daniel hums along with the 90's pop Pandora station while he works on grad school. 


Kale and Cookies

I made a thin mint smoothie just the other day that had kale in it. And cookies.

It also had plain greek yogurt, ice, mint, and chocolate chips.


Food that Feels Good Monthlong Dinner Menu

Sometimes we just need a reset. After a few weeks that are packed with fun but lack structure, rest, and routine, what you eat can be a big factor in getting back to balance. 
At the start of the year after the craziness of the holiday season, Daniel and I always set out to eat in a more balanced way to bring some structure and normalcy back to our world. My goal was meals that feel good.


Local Adventure & Flavor on a Drizzly Day

I've been content with a cozy winter, but a quiet Friday nights ago I felt a need for a little something different over the weekend. Daniel had a race the next day and I had a Jazzercise event so we wanted to keep it local. We remembered a couple of nearby places we had wanted to check out, and the outing ended up being exactly what I needed: a little adventure, novelty, and beauty.