Wednesday, August 31

We Owned The Night

When you've been in class all day listening to professors ramble about syllabus' and broken two cell phones and lost your keys, the perfect solution is to take a hike with your roommates and the boys at 10PM up the infamous M trail.
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Of course, then you end up with one roommate falling off a trail and run-ins with your cousin and many drunkards that somehow manage to careen around rocks and rubble and stairs. Okay, I'm kidding about the cousin part. That isn't so bad. That's pretty awesome.

Sunday, August 28

Sophomore Year

It's only one year later, but nothing, this time, could be more different. Sure, it's still the same school and it's still the same city. Rather than preparing weeks in advance and packing my clothes excitedly and carefully, this year it all happened in two nights nervously and carelessly. Rather than waking up disheveled and somewhat nostalgic for the days I already missed, I woke up with a hop and a skip in my step excited to launch myself out the door.

I vividly remember the dreary and lifeless clouds last year on the exact date that matched my spirit. Leaving last year wasn't easy. Leaving home for the first time wasn't easy. The excitement was there, but it was buried under a year's worth of memories with my first real boyfriend and, quite possibly, my first real friends. And leaving my sister was the most gut wrenching pain I'd ever felt. It was cold as we entered Missoula for the first time and my nerves were abundant. It's pretty bad when I have to ask my sister how to make friends since I had concluded within two seconds of meeting my roommate that she hated me. I arrived completely alone not knowing a single name on campus. I was on my own to figure it all out.

This year, that was the only thing I thought about during the four hour drive. It wasn't cloudy nor dreary outside. It was bright and full of life. And, more importantly, I was excited. I was overjoyed to get back to my school where some of the best friends I've ever had would be living with me and to a fresh semester after bouncing back from a pretty dismal gpa. I woke at 4:45am and nearly threw everything on the porch steps for my father to pack into the car. I pounced into my sister's bed eight times begging her to please just wake up and shower so we could get on the road. 

I'm coming back to school this year the very opposite of alone. Somehow, I was able to convince my cousin to choose the University of Montana (it's not so difficult to convince someone that this is a magical place) for his college education. I have family here now. And, the day arrived that I've been waiting sixteen months for when I could open my dorm room and see Niklaas standing there with waffles from the cafeteria because I missed breakfast and he's still my boyfriend after a year of being long distance. My roommates aren't strangers and I don't have to wonder what my classes will be like. They're going to be horrible and probably make me want to throw my body into a vat of hydrochloric acid (hey, maybe I learned something last year?). But at least I know. I have my very own bedroom and I'm not sharing my bathroom with four other girls.

I'm sharing my bathroom with my roommate from last year. Who I was convinced on the first day despised me.

Nothing could be more different, but I thank the lucky stars, the God in heaven, and the fateful day two years ago when I decided Missoula was going to be my future place of residence that everything last year happened so I could have everything that I have this year and it could feel that much better.

Thursday, August 25

Goings On

It seems like we've all been a little bit absent in the blog world (or maybe I'm telling myself that to make myself feel less guilty). Lately, I've been living by the quote said by my favorite gal, "If it's something you'll regret not doing when you're 80, do it now." Things like going to breakfast with your dad at 8am when you want to sleep in or doing an errand for your mom like buying chocolate chips. It's true, I do like everything Taylor Swift affiliated and I'm a little bit biased, but that quote in particular has really hit home as I prepare to move out (again) and spend my last week at home doing those things.

This week of unemployment has consisted of:
-double haircut appointments with my dad
- buying oil for the car with my dad
-  sleeping on the couch every night 
(maybe just so my mom does wake me up before she 
leaves for work and peck me on the forehead)
-watching countless friends' episodes with my sister
- eating out 4 billion times a day
- driving to soccer games in cda
-spending almost no time with Niklaas and a lot
with people I won't see for 4 months
- waking up at 5:30 to run on the mountain with my mom
(actually, this has yet to happen, but it will happen tomorrow)
- buying school supplies
- making breakfast every morning instead of the usual cereal bowls
(my sister and I are big, big breakfast fans)
- trail bike rides alone listening to josh ritter
- packing. and more packing. and more packing.
- three visits to the post office (+1 after today is done)
-buying my sister headphones
(this took a little bit of convincing)

It's true. Once you do the thing you're not inclined to do in the moment (note waking up at 5:30 for a run), you feel better afterwards knowing it made someone else happy. Some of them are more or less selfless than others (watching friends). But I can say with certainty this week, I won't regret those little things I'd rather not do but are sort of a last chance to do them. I can't really say what I'll be doing next summer and the chance to live with my family for four months might not present itself for a while.  So long summer of 2011, I really liked you.

Monday, August 22

Let Us Love

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At some point this weekend, I realized three things. The first being that after four weeks straight of waking up to an alarm, it doesn't matter if you set your alarm on the one day you get an unlimited pass to sleep in. You'll wake up anyways at 6am on a Saturday. Second, I have one more week home before I go back to school for 8 months. I'm trying to stay calm about this. And third and maybe most importantly, I remembered why I started blogging. Reading your comments this weekend, I can honestly say that I was tearing up reading your stories. I mean, wow! I was floored. I feel like lately I've been a little frustrated with superficial comments ("Hey! Come read my blog *insert link*) and superficial posts...but after reading your comments I realized the tremendous amount of love and passion there truly IS in blogging. It's there. It's in all of you. And I'm honored that you all shared your stories and I just want you to know that you all make this world a better place. Call me crazy, but I feel like more than ever, you guys have my back. Thank you thank you thank you.
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Anyways, on a lighter note, my sister did something incredibly cool today. I don't know when she surpassed me (uh, the day she was born), but she is really, really cool. Not in the fake pretend gawky kind of way, but in the self confident does her own thing and all together just really cool kind of way. She spent 14 hours straight today watching movies. And not just any type of movies, but good movies that not many people watch anymore. Classics. And just because she wanted to with her also really cool best friend. I wish I had been like them in high school and ignored everyone else and just did my own thing exactly how I wanted to. They have it all figured out. I popped in every now and then and got to watch some of The Pianist, which floored me. Case in point: when I was in 9th grade and that film was shown in my english class, I definitely didn't pay attention. Thanks to my sister, I now know what an amazing film I missed out on.
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Niklaas and I took these pictures just before we left on a mini road trip to pick up my mom at the airport. It seems like we've become designated chauffeurs lately when it comes to people needing rides from the airport, ha! I got these glasses for my birthday and I love them with all my heart (ha ha get it!?). My family makes fun of me for them, but they are functional. Truly. I knew immediately when I got them that I'd pair them with the dress I still haven't worn from the Modcloth Cabin Fever sale months ago. They're a match made in heaven, if you ask me.
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I'll be back to post this week, but it's going to get hectic packing and squeezing in time with my family and home before I go! Again, thank you for showing me that something I say can matter and giving back more than I could have ever asked for.
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Thursday, August 18

Wouldn't Want to be Anyone Else

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For most of my middle school life, I hated being short. I hated the nicknames, I hated the jokes, and I just wanted to be 'tall'. I hated never finding a single pair of jeans in a store because either the waist was too small or the inseam was eight inches too long. I looked at my mom as she left for her morning runs every day with a smile on her face wondering how she could be happy when she had the short stubby legs that I had inherited. For as long as I could remember, I had stood at countless finish lines waiting for my mom to finish marathons and triathlons by the dozen. The look on her face when she finished a race was one of pride that I had never felt nor deserved to feel.
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Fast forward two years, I nervously awaited my first soccer conditioning practice as a ninth grader trying out for the high school team. It happened to fall on my fifteenth birthday and all of my classmates sat quietly waiting for instructions in the already 85 degree heat at ten in the morning. We were told to complete a 'warm up' mile including difficult plyometric exercises that left us all nearly dead by the end. And this was just the warm up. After twenty seconds for water, we were then told that we were going to be running three and a half miles in the rest of the thirty minutes of practice. I gulped. I couldn't remember ever having to be timed in a mile once in my life. We started our run, the faster girls on my team with long, lean lovely legs in the front. I felt tired and wanted to lay down on the track and die, but I kept running, even as they lapped me.
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On exactly the ninth lap, I noticed that only half of the freshmen remained. A few were puking. As the laps continued on, they slowly continued to drop out. On the eleventh lap, only the fastest girl on the team and I remained. She was gasping more her breath and kept looking from the track to me back and forth while she ran. With just 300 yards to go, she started jogging slower...and slower, until she stopped completely. I was the only one running and a few painful seconds later, I finished. It wasn't in thirty minutes, but I got to walk back to the group and see my classmates laying on the track as the only one to finish. I guess if there was any moment when I realized what a gift it was to have the short stubby legs my mother had given me, it was then. And for the rest of high school, I can honestly say I didn't care about how I compared to other girls regarding how I looked. I was proud. I could run longer than the girls with stick legs and that was all that mattered to me.
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Self image is something I've never talked about my blog...but I don't think it can be talked about enough. I hate that the model figure is someone in magazines as if there is only one kind of body type in the world. I hate that girls think they are ugly because I honestly think everyone I meet is beautiful. However, going to college, I lost what made me feel like me and it took months for me to figure out that it was being able to run forever. Not actually running, but being able to. I always loved how strong I was and able. It made me feel weak and I guess I lost that confidence I had all through high school that kept me who I was. Well, last week, I started running again... and I have ran twice this week. I can't describe how it feels to feel like I'm gaining myself back. Looking good truly is all about feeling good. Beauty to me is strength. Self confidence is about figuring out what makes you special and different.
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Outfit:
Top- Urban Outfitters
Shorts- Charlotte Russe
Boater Hat- Urban Outfitters
Shoes- Urban Outfitters

Tuesday, August 16

Back to School: How to Pack!

I remember exactly one year ago looking at my closet blankly wondering... What on earth am I going to take to college?! Or, even more perplexing, what wasn't I going to take to college? I scoured my favorite fashion blogs but unfortunately, I never really found out whether I should take four winter jackets or whether I should really take half of my 55+ dress collection. I recieved an email from a reader last week asking for advice and after navigating the waters of building a practical college wardrobe for one year, I decided if I could help just one person with their packing, devoting a blog post just for packing up your clothes for college would be well worth it!
A College Fashionista's Guide to Packing For College:

1) Purge!!!!!

I realized shortly into unpacking that I brought way too many clothes. If you haven't worn something in not even six months, but three months, absolutely don't bring it. Even if it's the best top in the world and so cute but something you only wear once a month, you will learn that having a closet of basic v-necks is a whole lot more suitable. Seriously. Don't. Bring. It. It's one thing to have a single dressy shirt that you pull out for interviews/dates, but a closet full of these 'couple time wears' won't get you far! 
2) Be Practical.

Practicality was probably my biggest problem. I brought way too many of those tops that I only wore with one pair of jeans or one skirt and I ended up with a not so versatile closet that left me more than frustrated in the morning. And if you were wondering... I did bring half of my 55+ dress collection. This isn't just about making "cute" outfits. This is about the fact that when you are walking to your next class across campus and you're wearing your twenty pound backpack and realize after many a snicker that your dress has crawled its way up your back revealing your underwear to the entire world, you realize dresses aren't made for college. They're made for the easy days when you don't need to lug four textbooks around, but on the library days, you don't need them. And you'll just end up looking foolish. Bring ten at most. Ten of your favorites for those nice days. Same for skirts!

3) Outdoor Apparel. 

Jackets! Jackets are crucial not only for your outdoor comfort and safety, but because they take up a lot of room in your closet. I'm talking... a quarter if not more of your teensy dorm closet.  Not all of you live in a four season location, but as far as fall/winter, you absolutely need a jacket that can do everything. I swear, once November hit, almost everyone knew everyone by the color/style of their jacket. You need to have a jacket that isn't only warm and will protect you against snow and rain, but it must be comfortable, too. It is possible to find a jacket that is cute, warm, water resistant, and comfortable. Because you'll be wearing it more than you think. If you find the right jacket, you won't need a separate one for football games, a separate one for rain, a separate wind jacket, a separate snow jacket, nor a separate cute "date" one. You can get all of that in one (or two!)  perfect jacket. 

4) Build a Wardrobe!

This year, I really had to learn about what made a wardrobe. As previously stated, I brought a lot of dresses and a lot of skirts. I only brought a pair of jeans I kind of liked. I brought about fifteen cardigans and ten tops. Building a wardrobe of "pieces" rather than stand alone items are so important! When you shop for school clothes, make a list of items you have a lot of (i.e. dresses) and another list of items you don't have a lot of (i.e. jeans). And if possible, be as specific as you can. Think also about colors that you could incorporate into your closet that would be versatile. Also, this year I decided I was going to bring as many 'solid' dresses as I could because I found that they are easier to style with different pieces than patterned ones that can only match a couple sweaters. This all parallels my 'be practical' portion of this post but I really can't reiterate how investing in quality clothing instead of quantity of clothing takes you soooo very far in college. I went through three pairs of boots before I finally decided to invest in a pair- and they lasted through -25 degree days for the rest of the winter/spring!

5) Packing/organization!

For a lot of people, stuffing your clothes into many suitcases when moving to college is easiest. However, I decided somewhat on a whim to pack mine into boxes. And behold, it was the best choice I made. I brought my medium sized suitcase along with cardboard boxes and simply put my suitcase under my bed. I used that suitcase for every home visit, small break, and winter vacation! As far as stuffing all of your clothes into dorm closets and dressers, I learned from my best friend Maggie that if you don't have to hang it, don't. By the end of the year, only my dresses and sweaters were hung. I rolled my tank tops, sweatshirts, tshirts, and underwear and ended up fitting three times as much stuff into my dressers! I also invested in some handy plastic containers that I put under my bed (lofting is a great option!) for some extra storage. As far as shoes, I ended up buying a bin that I put in my closet and just tossed them in there. I'm sure there's a better way for storing shoes, so if any of you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them ;)


Anyways, I hope this helped at least one of you! Feel free to email me if you have any more questions! About clothes, packing, or anything related to college or not!


lifesizepaperdoll@yahoo.com!

Saturday, August 13

Blog Shop!

I am really, really excited to finally announce that I have opened my blog shop!
All items are things that have appeared on the blog.
It has its own little sidebar in the left column!
Click the link/picture to check it out!!
This little gem is up for grabs!

Friday, August 12

John Green

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Someone who was really, really smart recently said, "You can never love someone as much as you can miss them." And the moment you think you're going to have to miss them is a scary moment. And to be honest, I didn't think I would be the kind of girl who can't imagine the world without them in it, without texts goodnight, texts good morning, and texts all day long. The walks, talks, laughs, smiles, hugs, and riddles that really do in a way make the sun come up in the morning. Yeah, I guess I'm that girl.

Thankfully, I won't have to do any missing. Not yet.
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I took these pictures in Niklaas' backyard while I was housesitting. I haven't told him that so this is the first time he's hearing about that, too. Hehe. One day, Amber tweeted that she was going to wear our twin lace dresses from Forever21. And the next day, I found myself wearing it with the jacket I swore I was going to actually take out of my closet and wear. I have way too many items like those that stay in the closet. And so, one tripod and pair of geek glasses later, here I am, prancing around in his backyard. Hey, it's a pretty backyard.
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Outfit:
Dress- Forever 21
Jacket- Urban Outfitters Renewal
Shoes- Urban Outfitters
Glasses- Claire's

Tuesday, August 9

Deer in the Headlights

As if last week couldn't get more interesting, Friday night did. Excited to embark on a mini road trip to pick up one of our good friends at the Spokane airport, Niklaas arrived at my house with a flat tire. My dad and him fixed it up in a jiffy, no problem, and we left my house for Spokane thinking the chances of two flat tires in one night wasn't possible. However, after the airport pickup and a quick stop to eat, we left the mall parking lot to find one flat tire. The second of the night. At this point, it was almost 9PM and everything was closed, so we ventured throughout the mall taking pictures in every photobooth past closing time and wasted another two hours. We made it home at 1AM and collapsed.
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It's funny how things can change so fast. I mean, that is probably the world's most cliche life lesson that your life can change in the blink of an eye, but I left Moscow frustrated and bored of summer feeling like I needed adventure, badly. And yet, in just a couple hours, life was sparkly again and it was kind of magical however unfortunate the situation for a spontaneous flat tire to spark some midnight car dancing on the highway and gas station junk food. It was probably and easily my favorite night of the summer, even though Niklaas would probably disagree consider it was his car and his burden.
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The other night, Niklaas took pictures of my best friend Margaret's family. I went along, as I have somehow seemed to become his onsite assistant for such photoshoots, and wore this outfit. It wasn't something I meant to blog or even wanted to blog, but then I decided I needed to throw the towel in and just blog. I feel like the struggle of blogging after a year of doing so is feeling inspired and motivated. Finding a "blog worthy" outfit can almost nearly bring me to tears sometimes, pathetically enough. I've been in a rut as of late, but the journey to find my personal "style" needs to include those outfits I'm not sure of. And as it turns out... I did like this. Not planned as it was. I'm wearing a bow from my sponsor, Bethany, and it was one of those items from her shop that made me squeal inside (and out). I love this bow and the vintage print!
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Welp, I've been getting some fun emails lately, so I have a few things planned for the upcoming weeks. I'm back to regular posting...right now.
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Outfit:
Top: Thrifted  Blouse
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Lulu's
Bow: c/o Bethany 

Wednesday, August 3

This Week

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As hard as I try, this week doesn't seem to want to be my friend. I spent Monday curled up in a ball watching horribly wonderful ABC family and Disney movies on netflix instantly with the jar of Ibprofen by my side. I very nearly let my female hormones get the best of me in the soccer game and had to beg my temper to a) not let me cry on the sidelines b) punch a douchebag the crap out. Today, as I was pulled over by the meanest sheriff in the county, it was my last straw and as he interrogated me rudely on the side of the road demanding that I show him where my phone really was ("I feel like you had enough time to stash it back there"), I started bawling my eyes out but not before he thankfully did not give me a ticket but informed me that the next time, my crying wasn't going to get me anywhere and he would give me a ticket for driving twenty over the speed limit. There is a lot I have to say about this, like the fact that my 1985 Suburu Loyale couldn't reach 70 if he wanted and that I swore off texting whilst driving a year ago, but mostly I'm just surprised that I turned out to be the girl that cries when she gets pulled over. And then cries for another hour. And has to call her mom. I guess this getting pulled over for the first time thing is three years over due.

All of this premenstrual syndrome business has left me plain tuckered out and not motivated in the slight to get dressed. Even the smallest things like my mom offering to take me to get a cold treat or Niklaas cleaning my windshield at the gas station has made me want to cry. I forgot how much energy it takes to cry! Anyways, I'm sure I'll resume outfit posting because I am missing it dearly. I realized how pathetic I've been about blogging this summer and I need to get with it. For now, let me tell you all that I've gone through my wardrobe and this is what I've found:

Things I have way too much of:
1) Floral dresses: Okay, floral dresses rock, but I have too many. There are times when a floral dress is not an option (jumping on a trampoline and going biking for starters) and my little obsession is getting out of hand to the point that there is almost nothing left to wear in my closet but floral dresses, however nice and cute that they are.
2) White tops: Really. By the dozen. That I don't wear.
3) Skirts I don't like: The skirts I liked two years ago that are buried at the bottom of my skirt drawer are things I wouldn't wear now... and it's time to say sayonara.

Things I need to have a more complete wardrobe:
1) ACCESSORIES!!!!! I think I've resorted to this state of mind where I shop for only dresses. I suddenly have no necklaces to speak of minus the ones that Alex really kindly buys me every so often (i love you, Alex) and two belts. And a few bows. I need accessories. I need to realize that accessories can go further than a new dress. This is a necessity.
2) Shorts: This is in lieu of the floral dresses and skirts problem. I need to get in the frame of mind of buying pieces! I think I need to keep telling myself this, no matter what adorable print on a dress I find in any amazing color.
3) Shoes: I'm trying to figure out how it is that I have one pair of sandals and one pair of flats. That I've had for two years. Honestly. It's summer. How have I made it this long!?!? I need to get shoes. I need shoes.

Basically, I need some practicality in my life.

It seems like I have my work cut out for me, kids. Please, don't hate me after reading this incredibly self absorbed PMS surged rant.

P.S. Take comfort in the fact that I might have to be institutionalized when I'm pregnant.

Monday, August 1

You're Invited to a Tea Party!

When it came time to plan for my birthday week... I decided I wanted to have a birthday party. And not just a birthday party, but a tea party. I had the most amazing tea set that I got for my sixth birthday, but one fateful day, I left it at my babysitter's friends' house and never got to have the dream tea party I always wanted. I invited everyone that I loved dearly and by some stroke of luck, my bestest friends ever from college were also able to attend! Yeeeeee!
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I went to Goodwill on a whim to see if I could find any sort of anything that could be used for my tea set. It seems like I just got lucky all around for my party- I found not only tea cups, but matching plates, creamers, tea pots, and tea set materials galore! Not only that, but they were on all on sale- 50% off. My 50 cent cups and plates were 24 cents. I spent eleven dollars on a 30 piece tea set. Does it get better than that?
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I opted for my Modcloth polka dot dress with a white ruffle detail- it felt vintage and if I had to have tea with Kate Middleton, this would be my dress of choice. The great thing about my little town in Idaho is that there are some great-and cheap!- vintage shops. I found my 1960's white vintage hat for only seven dollars! I loved what people came up with for their "British tea party" outfits. It was a blast!
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Niklaas took all of these pictures. He looked pretty cute himself in his blazer. Overall, it was a wonderful little tea party and I truly loved being around every single person I adore (minus one or two people). The only way it could possibly be better is if all of you bloggers could have been there ;)!
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Oh, and I definitely wouldn't fit in at the Queen's palace.
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