Hop on over to my new blog!

Hey all! Thanks to everyone that had followed this blog. It’s been a lot of fun, however I have decided to make the leap over to a different blog hosting website. I go back and forth between Blogger and WordPress, and while WordPress has much better analytics and content management features, the blog customization options themselves are way too limited on the free version of WordPress (and I’m not yet at the point where feel that it’s worth it to pay to host my blog). You can’t even edit fonts or theme colors without upgrading to the paid version of WordPress, and it has been a huge creative hindrance towards the creation of a blog that I really love (and love to look at!).

So that being said, you can now find my newest posts over here on Blogger. I have a lot more freedom to edit the HTML and other features of my blog, and while I will miss a lot of the features of WordPress I think it will be a better move for me overall. Go ahead and hop over and visit me!

Thank you again,

Kayla

kayla-lynn.blogspot.com

On Simplicity in Design (and Free Stuff!)

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When it comes to design, I really do appreciate simplicity. Clean lines, minimal bells and whistles. Just a few key elements that are direct and to the point. Not a rude, blunt, matter-of-fact directness, but a pleasant, professional “here I am and here is what you want.”  Sometimes a beautiful image and a good font is all you need. Well, that and a good editor.

My favorite for simple yet beautiful graphics is an app for iPhone and iPad called Over. It allows you to add artwork and text to any image you want, and the results can be amazing (see one of my old birthday posts here for an example). The app is about $4, and there are free graphics and fonts available within the app to use as well as additional artwork and fonts that you can pay for. Each add-on pack is $0.99, and for about $5 you can get “The Big Pack” that gives you access to a good chunk of the graphics and fonts available in the app. For around the price of a cup of coffee (or two), this app won’t disappoint in creating simple and beautiful graphics.

Because I appreciate free stuff, I also want to bring your attention to an amazing (emphasis on the amazing), website for free, high-resolution stock photos called Unsplash. The photos are free for commercial and personal use, and some of the photos are stunning (the photo in this post is by Larry Chen). If you’re like me and are hopeless with photography, finding sources like these will go a long way towards providing high-quality images on your blog or website.

Enjoy!

kayla

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The Golden Girl Has Arrived

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now i am going to approach this from a completely superficial and non-technical standpoint and say that i am ridiculously excited about the new iphone 5s because bitches this phone is GOLD! (pardon my language). champagne if you want to be all legitimate about it, which i don’t. gold is my color! i love gold everything. gold things just draw me in like a moth to a lamp. and then the moth proceeds to slam into the bright shiny orb over and over and over again because damn that thing is bright and beautiful and it just wants to be a part of it! when my upgrade comes up around December i might actually go for the new iphone. it seems like every time i go for an upgrade i go in pretty confident that i want an iphone then i actually start looking at phones and find so many others that i like more! my last two phones have been androids and i have been pretty happy with them. when i actually look around i always seem to wake up and realize that the iphone is pretty, she’s just not exactly at the top of her graduating class anymore. however this new golden girl on the scene might finally win me over! (apparently i have decided that the iphone is a feminine object).

now the one thing that might make this gal a deal breaker is the size of her screen. having had androids i’m very used to the large screen and i’m not sure i can happily go down to a smaller screen size. i’m sure i’m one of the many disappointed people who realized when the iphone 5 came out that they just made the screen wider, not smaller. make it a little bit taller still and the thing would start to feel like a touch screen remote control in my hand. i could probably actually make the phone into a remote control (my boyfriend recently showed me how his S4 could control my tv!). i still have a few more months to decide but i think i will finally cash in on my first iphone. try something new. if i hate it then i’ll turn and run back into the arms of android and hope they take me back.

xoxo,name

Liebster Award

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whew, these acceptance posts are not the quickest and easiest things to do. takes a bit of work, actually. but I am happy to announce that I have been given three nominations for the Liebster Award for new and up-and-coming bloggers. for those who don’t know, the Liebster Award allows for budding bloggers to recognize each other and help promote the work they have put into their blogs. it is a nice way to discover and connect with other bloggers (if you choose to do so, that is. of course you could also just ignore your nomination, say ‘this is stupid’ and go on your merry way. you’re entirely within your right to do so, although I encourage you to give it a shot). plus it just feels nice to have someone recognize your blog and to be able to tell people that your blog won an award and totally make the whole thing sound cooler and more exclusive than it actually is. always a plus.

there are a few rules that go along with the award if you choose to accept it. and if you’re like me and was really confused about it at first, let me clarify that a nomination essentially = a win. the nomination is basically an invitation to participate in and accept the Liebster Award and if you choose to do so and make an acceptance post then you have pretty much crowned yourself a winner. congratulations.

~should you choose to accept, the rules are as follows~
1. List 11 facts about yourself
2. Nominate 11 bloggers for the award. since the point is to recognize rising bloggers, nominees are supposed to have less than 200 followers, although I may grant a little bit of leeway on this one. sometimes its harder to tell how many followers someone has anyway.
3. Let them know about the nomination (just drop a comment somewhere on their blog)
4. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you
5. Ask 11 questions for the new award winners to answer
6. If you feel like being nice, go ahead and thank the person who nominated you. if you don’t feel like being nice, and the words “thank you” are just too much for you to muster, just go ahead and mention who nominated you

so without further ado, thank you to Zee from Catching Zees, Kristen from The Woman in the Dress, and Annie from Annieleaf for the nominations. i’m glad you guys like my blog.

11 facts about myself:
1. I love horses. a lot.
2. my favorite color is gold. but for those who don’t accept gold as a color, its purple
3. my favorite sports to watch are horse racing and pro cycling
4. i’m in love with the idea of being French
5. apparently i’m not a very good driver (according to feedback from my family)
6. Khaled Hosseini is one of my favorite authors
7. I don’t like cheese (with a couple exceptions)
8. a small part of me is still afraid of the dark sometimes
9. until about a year ago I hated living in Washington; too much rain
10. someday I want to own a german shepherd
11. the joy formidable and coldplay are my favorite bands

11 questions to answer
this one is a doozy because three nominations mean three sets of questions to answer. I was thinking of only answering the set of questions from the first nomination I received but ill go ahead and answer all of them

The woman in the dress:
1) What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
My cell phone!
2) What is your favorite item in your closet?
A black knit cardigan from H&M; it’s a staple for me
3) What would be your dream vacation?
A European tour with someone very special to me 
4) What is one of your biggest fears?
That I’ll live an unfulfilled and mediocre life.
5) Which kind of shopping do you prefer: online or in store?
Online; it much more accessible and easier to find what I want
6) Favorite food?
Salmon; really seafood in general
7) What is one thing a lot of people don’t know about you?
Gosh, I think a lot of people don’t even know I have this blog.
8) If you could trade places with any celebrity for a day, who would it be?
Candice Swanepoel; it would be so much fun to live the life of a VS Angel for a day
9) Foundation first or coverup?
Foundation
10) What are your hopes for your blog?
I hope that my blog will continue to grow and I hope that I don’t lose interest in it.

Catching zees:
1.If you could be best friends with one fictional character, from any book, TV show, or movie, who would it be?
Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (the TV show)
2.What is your favorite song (at the moment)?
Awkward by San Cisco
3.Coke or Pepsi?
Coke! Always Coke.
4.Worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard?
Are you a banana, because I find you a-peeling
5.Would you rather be too hot or too cold? Why?
Too hot; I feel much more miserable when i’m cold
6.What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
It was awfully sweet when my boyfriend surprised me with flowers recently
7.Cheetos or Cheese Puffs?
I don’t like either.
8.If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be?
That’s hard… a horse, a new car, to go to Paris?
9.What was your favorite childhood movie?
Its hard choosing between all the Disney movies but I loved Beauty and the Beast
10.Snack time or Nap time? (Sticking with the childhood theme for this).
Snack time, I have a hard enough time falling asleep when I’m tired.
11.What is the funniest thing you have ever overheard?
I really can’t remember anything right now!

Annie leaf:
1.) What are your hopes for your blog?
That it will keep growing and that people will continue to enjoy it.
2.) What is your dream job?
Equine veterinarian!
3.) What is your all time favorite eyeshadow?
I don’t really wear eye shadow so I’m not sure. I love the Naked pallet from Urban Decay
4.) What is your favorite high-end makeup that you would continue to repurchase?
Sephora lipstick and bare minerals foundation.
5.) What is your first high end makeup product?
Loose mineral makeup powder; I can’t remember the brand.
6.) What are your go-to shoes?
Glittery gold flats from Target
7.) What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My sheer black cutoff sleeve top with silver collar tips
8.) Fall or spring?
Fall; bring on the falling leaves, crisp air and pumpkin flavored drinks
9.) Who are your favorite beauty gurus?
I don’t really know any
10.) Who inspires you?
Lamest answer ever but i’m not really sure :/
11.) Favorite store to shop in?
It’s between Forever 21 and H&M

my 11 nominees are….
1. Amerika Airlines
2. apartment wife
3. First the West
4. Being Plum
5. Hlamica
6. A Stylish Review
7. teacups and cinnamon
8. Starbucks and the City
9. fandomcorrupted
10. wanderinwashington
11. Dew on the Sea

congrats guys, if you’ve been nominated go ahead and check out all the blogs on this list as well! maybe drop a few comments and say hi.

11 questions to answer (i apologize for the lame unoriginal questions)
finally, i’ll ask questions for you all to answer!
1. Milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips?
2. What is your dream job and why?
3. What is your favorite drink? Any drink.
4. Would you rather live in the city or in a more rural country setting?
5. Is this your first blog? (I have had at least two before this one, gave up on both)
6. What is currently your favorite song?
7. Best dessert you’ve ever had?
8. What is your favorite thing about your blog?
9. If there was a natural disaster who would be the first person you’d look for?
10. Who is going to see Catching Fire in the theater when it comes out? 😀
11. What is your favorite store to shop at?

and that’s the Liebster Award everyone! congrats to the nominees and go ahead and pass the award on to other deserving bloggers!

Important Note: now while I appreciate the nominations, I ask that I not receive any more. the blog post on We Loved Here does a great job of explaining why. try to branch out and take the time find some new blogs. try to nominate someone who hasn’t already been nominated instead of finding someone off another nomination list and nominating them again. thanks guys!!

xoxo,

name

Favorite Little Pins: Rustic Love

before I forget, Happy Friday everyone (or at least its Friday evening for me, despite what time zone WordPress seems to think I live in). and for what seems like the millionth time, I apologize to anyone who is waiting for the Liebster Award post. it’s been saved as a draft for like two weeks and I still need to think of some of my own questions and pick 11 nominees (which takes considerable time on its own and which I haven’t sat down with enough dedication to do). it will come eventually.

in the meantime, i’m doing another Favorite Little Pins segment. these are fun for me to do and put together, in addition to my styleboards. i’m in love with this campfire photograph by Steven Leonti, as well as the light wash living area with bare wood and the “naked” cake (frosting-less cakes seem to have become popular lately. my own friend Mariya made one last month). and while its been hard for us Washingtonians to visualize this week (we had a couple of days of really hot weather!), chunky sweater season is just around the corner! that and rain boots (waterproof shoes are a must or you will not make it long in seattle).

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chunky gray sweater & amethyst necklace // fire photo on Flickr // mixed berry naked cake with sparkler cake topper // living room photo

I’ve been slowly moving into my townhouse in seattle. I can’t wait to start unpacking my things and start taking pictures of it to show you guys! until I fall into my autumn routine, blog posts may be scattered and inconsistent for the next couple weeks so bear with me! feel free to drop me comments and like this post.

xoxo,

name

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

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You could hear the wind in the leaves, and on that wind traveled the screams of the kids on the playground in the distance, the little kids figuring out how to be alive, how to navigate a world that was not built for them by navigating a playground that was.

-TFiOS, 307

My boyfriend actually had me read this book, and I have to say it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The main characters are kids and young teens who are living with or have been touched by cancer, and about trying to make sense of the world in a much shorter timespan than allotted to anyone else. For a such a sad subject matter, the book has a surprising amount of humor. More than once I sat giggling to myself as I read, giving a half-hearted attempt at stifling my laughter. The book was also surprisingly deep, and I could spend days contemplating some of the insights brought up in the book. The characters are humanly simple and realistic. They are people that I could imagine existing outside of the romantic pages of a novel, yet they are still beautiful in their honest wonderings of the world and their complex ideas. This story brings in to question what it means to live as well as to die. To quote the main character, sometimes you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. This is such a book.

Just a note. My boyfriend’s copy of the book is signed. I’m incredibly jealous.

Photo Diary: Labor Day Weekend

wow, sorry for the hiatus. to be fair though I have had a really awesome labor day weekend camping with friends and then catching the last day of Bumbershoot at the Seattle Center.

Lake Roosevelt, WA

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our campsite ended up being about two hours further than I thought it would be (whoops). we drove 6 hours up to northeastern Washington to camp on the northern shore of Lake Roosevelt; the lake is almost 130 miles long so that’s probably where the extra two damn hours came from. needless to say, by the time we finally found it we were all sick and tiered of being in the car. if we had gone about 20 more miles we could have visited Canada! or at least looked across the boarder at Canada, only one or two of us actually had a passport. the lake wasn’t swimmable which was a real bummer. it was gorgeous but there were warnings for swimmer’s itch (there are no showers at the campground) and there were bugs hugging the shore of the lake that I was not particularly eager to swim with. however we stopped at sun lakes on the way back (I’ve been there on a previous camping trip and it’s a fun place to swim). otherwise the group site we stayed in was large and nice and we had a bit of privacy from the rest of the camp sites. the campground was well kept and clean, but also peaceful and quiet. the lake has a boat launch. if you ever get a chance to stay at the Evans campground I would go 🙂

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Blog Post Edit: I decided to go back and add in some photos that my friend Julie took from our camping trip. a bit of scenery from our campsite and our lovely boys kicking back and getting along (probably talking about video games or computers but we love them anyway).

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Bumbershoot Music Festival

bumbershoot was a lot of fun too, although not everyone in our group had that much fun (we had a Russian guest with us). ryan really loves Alt-J so we got into Key Arena to see them. I was very impressed by their performance, they sound amazing live. the greatest disappointment was MGMT though, their performance was terrible and many people left early. including ryan and I when we decided we didn’t want to stick out another 40min. the sound mixing was bad and the drums drowned out everyone including the singer; you couldn’t hear a word he said even on the one song he played that I knew (I didn’t even stick around for him to play my favorite songs, that’s how bad it was). some other bands saved the day though, including a new band we found called the Kopecky Family Band (they’re not actually related…) and one of my favorite bands, The Joy Formidable! I also liked listening to Delta Rae at the Starbucks Stage. the joy formidable put on a great show though, despite having some sort of equipment malfunction after their second song. the female lead is an adorable welsh blond who shreds on the guitar, it was amazing!

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I had such an amazing weekend with my boyfriend and friends, it was great! I actually learned a lot about my friends this weekend, and I feel closer to some people now than I did before. it was the sort of weekend that could very well stand as my end of summer finale as we all start thinking about going back to school and as the weather begins to get cold again. I don’t want it to end, but this has been one of the best summers ever and is probably the first summer that didn’t feel like it went top fast and which I don’t feel like I wasted (although I would love to get me some more summer, don’t get me wrong!). i’m moving into my townhouse this Saturday, and just signed away most of my savings for it (tear, sliding down my cheek) and my Seattle academic life will resume again. I may try to fit some more events in before school starts, but for the most part summer is over now. its been real.

Note: I didn’t get a picture of the joy formidable so I borrowed this one.

xoxo,

name