Fringe of Nevada City

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I’m currently in the process of planning my big trip to Europe, which is both extremely exciting and overwhelming!  On one hand, choosing the cities I want to visit and the things I want to see has been a huge motivator, but then I get anxiety attacks about Airbnb bookings and the thought of searching for a travel insurance provider.  There’s so much to think about, lots much to do, and of course graduation before I can even get excited about this trip.  If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

In the midst of all this planning, I have also been attempting to take day-trips close to my home on my very limited time off.  Whether it’s visiting a cute antique shop and eating Basque food in Gardnerville or trying out a new beach in Lake Tahoe, I love having the opportunity to learn more about my state and the surrounding areas.  This past weekend, I decided to head over to Nevada City, CA for coffee, lunch, and a quick hike.  I’ve passed the Nevada City exit time and time again on my way to San Francisco, and I finally decided to check it out.

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Nevada City ended up being entirely different than I expected.  It’s such a cute little town with fun shops, a cool coffee house where the locals hang out, and plenty of restaurants.  I think I’m even going to head back there next weekend if I can get off work in time!

A few minutes out of town itself is a quick, simple hike called the Independence Trail.  It’s probably one of the greenest places I’ve ever seen with velvety, moss-covered rocks, and an an amazing waterfall at the end.  The minute you reach the waterfall there’s a beautiful, windy bridge and the mist sends a chill in the air, so I recommend tying a jacket around your waste (which I did not).  As you can see, I was 100% not dressed properly for hiking, as that was not on my agenda for the day, but again, it’s such a simple hike that it’s practically just walking.  I would only recommend wearing hiking boots or tennis shoes as it can get a little muddy out there.

I’ll update you with recommendations for Nevada City next time I visit.  It’s such a fun day trip if you live in the Northern Nevada/California area!

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Jeans: Lucky Brand – Smoking Slippers: Sebago – Fringe Blouse: Thrifted (similar) – Sunglasses: Ray Ban

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Call Me Up by HOMESHAKE

New Years House Party

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2016 is over!!!  Can we all just breathe a sigh of relief, already?  From what I’ve seen & heard, it seems as if 2016 was a difficult year for a lot of us, soooo…solidarity and all that jazz.  While 2016 was pretty rough, I’m so excited for everything that will happen this year!  Some things to look forward to:

  • Spring Break trip!!!
  • Graduation!!!
  • Europe!!!
  • New career (???)
  • Probably tons of things I don’t even realize are going to happen yet!

Seriously, 2017 should be pretty amazing!  Although I realize not all of my problems will be thrown out with my 2016 calendar, it does at least feel like an opportunity to take control and make this year much better than the last.  I’m especially looking forward to improving my mental health and taking some risks in my life!  I definitely don’t always choose the riskier option, but I’m hoping to step out of my comfort zone and see where it takes me.

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I’m also beyond grateful for all of the positive people and events that helped make my year brighter: my new job, friends & family, therapy, continuously learning, and some self-love helped me through my difficult moments and made me stronger!  Mental health illness can be a bitch, but I feel so very lucky to have a strong support system!

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I will be spending this New Years with some close friends eating good food (of course), and venturing the downtown crowds for the 2017 count down!  Since New Years is always for celebrating, I put on one of my favorite 1920s-inspired party dresses, shook last-night’s curls out of my hair, and threw on some red lipstick.  Every time I wear this dress, my situation goes something along these lines:

Stranger: “I love your costume!”

Me *on the outside*: “Thank you so much!”

Me *on the inside*: “Actually I just dress like this all the time!”

It’s always a good laugh between me and my friends, but I love when people notice my unique outfits!  Talking about vintage, thrifted fashion is one of my favorite things to do (;

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Dress/Shoes/Purse: Thrifted  Tights: Target  Necklace: Family Heirloom

I hope your night is filled with messy hair, cheap champagne, and some wonderful people!  Have a beautiful 2017 filled with love and adventure!

And as for you, 2016, tonight I’m dancing on your grave.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: What Are You Doing New Years Eve? by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Goodbye Autumn

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I feel like time is going so.damn.fast.  Like, when did it become winter, exactly?  Also, it’s December 22, so hasn’t it already been winter for a long time?  Honestly, when it comes to fall semester, I have no idea what’s going on outside of my classes, and I usually regret not taking advantage of the beautiful Reno fall weather!  Fall in Reno is perfect, temperate, gorgeous leaves and colors, plenty of time for leaf-crunching with a cappuccino in my gloved hands.  Luckily, the weather hasn’t been too cold around Reno quite yet, so I think I may get to enjoy some of those same perks, but instead it’ll be slightly drizzly and foggy instead.  And, I’m on winter break so I actually have free time (?!?!?!?!?!)

Plus, let’s not forget that I did get to enjoy some of the beautiful weather when I went to Apple Hill and proceeded to make homemade apple cider.  Still.  Can time slow down just a liiiiittle please?

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A couple weeks ago, my brother agreed to take some senior photos for me, and of course, I wanted to take advantage of the last fall leaves, so we headed over to the arboretum at a local park and got to work.  A lot of the leaves were gone, but those golden oranges and reds were still hanging around and I was in utter leaf bliss.  I decided to keep my look simple with a classic black long sleeve, my new high-waisted Lucky’s, and my trusty smoking slippers.  Also, I wore this beautiful lipstick my brother’s girlfriend bought me as a gift.  It’s called Bumble from ColourPop, and lemme tell you all, I’m having major heart eyes over this brand – the lipstick doesn’t come off when I eat or drink!  I’m in looooove.

Also, do any other tiny girls have a problem where jeans always have to be cuffed no matter what?  I’m an avid Lucky Brand buyer – their jeans just look the best on me, I love the quality, the styles, and all that jazz.  But they’re always too long!  To be fair, all jeans are, and I know I just need to take them to a tailor or pull out my sewing machine and do it myself, but my sewing skill aren’t thaaaaat great, so…..  Anyways, forever rocking that cuffed jean life, ya know?  Do you think I’ll be lol-ing at these senior pictures in 10 or 20 years?  Probably.  But right now, I think they came out gorgeously!  That lighting is perfection.

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One last final thought – is it too late to make pumpkin bread?  I never got a pumpkin bread fix, but I don’t want to be that rando that posts a pumpkin bread recipe in December (or more likely January).  I don’t necessarily know why I’m turning this into a debacle in the first place considering I almost always post holiday recipes the day of if not a few days late anyways.  HOWEVER!  I do plan on having a holiday goodie to you ASAP!  Probably Friday (;

But if you need a few ideas for the time being:

Just to name a few…I didn’t realize how many holiday recipes I had on the blog until I started typing them in!  Not to worry.  If you want more ideas, I have a ton on my Desserts page.

Also!  Here’s a link to my Old Fashioned recipe.  It’s not necessarily a holiday recipe, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it.

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: That Moon Song by Gregory Alan Isakov (also, a great album for relaxing while baking, unless you’re baking for Christmas, and then classic Christmas tunes are absolutely necessary).

Singing in the Rain

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Yesterday morning, I got up at 5:30 for work as I usually do.  As a barista, I’m often up between 4:30 and 5:30, stumbling to my bathroom in the pitch blackness to clumsily apply my winged eyeliner and blow dry my bangs before rushing out of the house to beat the morning traffic.  All of this happens pre-coffee, which is the real accomplishment if you ask me.

However, yesterday morning was *extra* special due to the howling, gusting wind banging my rose bushes against my window and causing my house to creak, which of course led to “holyshitholyshitholyshit there’s someone trying to get into my house” anxiety attacks all night long.  While laying in bed wide awake for a majority of my night, I was very aware that my power was going to be off when I got up in the morning.  Once I had confirmed this hypothesis, I proceeded to have a romantic, iPhone-flashlight lit face wash and teeth-brushing session before finally accepting that 1. There was no way I was going to put on makeup by iPhone light and 2. My bangs sticking straight up in the air were not going to cooperate without the use of a blow dryer.

So off to work I went, makeup and hair utensils packed up so I could squeeze in some bang-loving (tee-hee) in the bathroom before starting my morning tasks.  Walking out to my car, I was thoroughly sketched out considering if was foggy as all hell and the street lights were completely out.  Again, using the light of my iPhone (why don’t I have any damn flashlights in this place?), I walked up to my car.  From the meek light of my phone, I notice a big, shiny, white head in the window of my car.  And I freak out, because obviously some creep-o broke into my car, right?  And I consider running, but I don’t know where.  And I have a full on moment of fight or flight.  And then I realize it’s just my huge, white, shiny forehead that I’m not used to seeing, because again, bangs.

It’s at this point that I realize that I really have no place in this world being an adult since I can’t even handle creaky sounds in my house, and I’m afraid of the dark.  But honestly ya’ll, I try.

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“Umbrella-about-to-fly-away” face.

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After a particularly strange morning and hectic day at work, I was so ready to come home and relax with some tea and a movie.  Rainy weather is my absolute favorite ever (even though I can live without any wind), so I take all rainy day opportunities to bake, read magazines, listen to my “rainy day” music, play piano, and cuddle with big blankets and tea.  I also love any opportunity to wear my cutest fall clothing and use my umbrella!

P.S. I should really post my “rainy day” playlist on here.  Really, really I need to step it up with the music sharing around here.  Another thing to add to the blogging list!

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Really digging how my camera focused on the raindrops instead of me.

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Outfit details: Dress: old (thrifted) • Shoes: Lucky brand • Jacket: old (thrifted) • Beanie: Target • Necklace: gifted • Socks: Primark • Tights: Target (old) • Umbrella: Target

Have a beautiful, rainy day my lovely readers ♥

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Master of None by Beach House

The Perks of Being a Wildflower

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When I was younger, I loved looking up the symbols of birth months – birth stones, astrological symbols, birth flowers; being a July baby: ruby, Leo, larkspur.  But, I was never all that excited about my birth flower, not compared to April with sweet peas or August with lilies.  I never saw my birth flower growing wildly in fields near my cabin in Utah or daintily posed in the floral section of the grocery in puffy bouquets sprayed with dense TDZ.  I had no idea what a larkspur was, and I had completely forgot about them, right until recently when, while scrolling through the Travel Nevada Instagram, I noticed a picture featuring a vibrant, purple field of flowers with an orange sunset setting the scene.  Larkspurs!  I had finally found them, and they were so close!  I was (clearly) excited, until I reached my destination and realized I was actually looking at…

Lupines.

Also, I had missed prime lupine season, so all I was going to find after an hour drive to Lake Tahoe at 7 p.m. after an 8 hour shift was a bunch of green bushes with a few leftover purple flowers slowly closing for the season.  But never the matter.  I was at the lake, it was a beautiful day, and fields of green and purple are even better than just fields of purple, in my personal opinion.  However, my favorite color has been green my whole life, so I may be biased.

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Apparently, the best time to visit the lupines is in June, when the weather is warm, the lake is higher, and the water can reach the bushes.  There are fuzzy, mostly-black bees swarming the flowers, and little orangey-red ladybugs fly around with them.  I also found a tiny, secluded beach where the wildflowers are abundant, and I spent a quiet evening relaxing in the sand and watching the sunset.  After a few hours at the beach, I stopped by one of my favorite local pizza places, Wild Garlic, where I had cheese pizza with plenty of jalapenos, ranch, and honey (for the crust.  A Reno thing, I believe).  After a long day at work, I was very excited to relax and enjoy some me time, especially in such a serene place.

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Pictured here: My new Lucky dress, which is definitely a favorite. Similar.
My old, trusty lace TOMS that I wore to my high school prom years ago. Similar.
Jewelry made by my aunt 🙂

If you’re visiting Reno or Tahoe, and want some good local recommendations, feel free to reach out!  I’d love to share my favorite spots 🙂

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Asleep by The Smiths

 

Trying Something New

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Lately, I’ve been in a major need for some change.  A lot of frustrating/sad/difficult events have been happening in my life so I’m trying to take it as an opportunity to make myself happier and not let my anxiety take over.  While a lot of these changes are not within my jurisdiction, I’m taking this time as an opportunity to focus more on my goals and the direction I am going with my life.  I’m getting rid of anything I feel is toxic or not helping me progress toward my goals and focusing more on travel, music, food, and making friends.

Like any 20-something, I’m looking for success and happiness and love and adventure and any sign that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be with my life.  This story is not new, and everyone experiences it, but that does not mean that we don’t struggle with our choices and chances either.  At times, I shelter myself, not because I do not want to put myself out there, but because I’m perfectly happy being on my own.  I’m working toward opening up and having more fun!

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A few weeks ago, I spent the weekend at my aunt’s house to watch her puppies and have some time to relax by myself.  It was nice to get away, watch movies by myself in my jammies, eat Thai food, and enjoy some fresh air with a beautiful view.

One of the nights, I decided to go out for a solo dinner after a particularly long day at work.  I decided to wear this romper, which honestly, has been hanging in the back of my closet for the past year or so.  When I first saw it, I fell in love with the print, and I actually thought it was a dress.  I don’t usually wear rompers, but again, the print was amazing, so I tried it on and eventually bought it because it was on sale.  I usually wear it with a skirt over it so the top acts as a shirt, but since I am trying new things, I decided to wear it as a romper and step out of the box.  I will admit that this is not the biggest leap of courage, but sometimes small steps are better.  At first I didn’t feel comfortable, but the more I wore it, the better I felt, especially with my favorite Lucky boots.  It felt nice to wear something that I normally wouldn’t and take a “risk” with my fashion choices.

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Getting away for a little while helped ease my mind, and I had a lovely weekend petting some cute pups (who you might notice as little blurs in some of these pictures.  They were afraid of the sound of the camera timer, which was pretty funny, so they showed up as little blobs.  Oops!).  Taking pics with some of my aunt’s vintage furniture was really amazing as well – such a cool house to get pictures in!  I’m looking forward to what the future has to bring, solo travels, and new opportunities, friends, and people.

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Romper from H&M, boots from Lucky, jewelry is old

Have a happy, relaxing weekend and be looking out for some exciting upcoming posts!  I just got back from San Fran, and I have some fun stuff to show you all 🙂

Xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths

Casual Friday

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Dress: Similar Necklace: DIY Shoes: Converse

Last weekend, I stayed at my aunt’s house to watch her dogs while she was out of town. Her house is perfect for fashion photography.  Spacious, forest-y, perfect lighting, privacy. I was in love with the photog conditions here.  I always want to take pics in the forest, but it can be difficult to get the lighting perfect and set up a tripod with a timer and, most importantly, hike to said destination in whatever cutesy outfit I’m wearing.  But now?  Aunt’s house.  All the way.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Anyways, the other day I was going through a bag of clothes that my friend gave me a while ago.  I don’t actually want to tell you how long it took me to go through the clothes, because it’s actually kind of embarrassing, but the bag got thrown in the back of my closet, and I got busy, and well…you know what happened.  Anyways, I pulled out this t-shirt dress, which I actually thought was a weird long shirt and almost didn’t try on.  But then I decided to give it a chance, and ohhh my gosh, it’s the cutest most comfortable t-shirt dress!  I was stoked on life.  I wore it at work and on a date and at the park and while hiking a little.  It can do anything.  Where can I buy all the t-shirt dresses?  I’ll become a spokesperson for them, I swear.  Also, they go so well with everything like sandals, oxfords, sweaters, flannels, etc.  Where have t-shirt dresses been all my life?

(I loooooove you t-shirt dress).

If you haven’t already noticed, dressing up is one of my favorite things to do.  I like crafting outfits, putting different clothing articles together that are out-of-the-ordinary, and I love when people compliment my fashion.  It definitely gives me some confidence, especially since most of my outfits are thrifted and original.  However, my other favorite thing to do is find clothing that is amazingly comfortable but also super cute.  Hi t-shirt dress hiiiii!

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Look how beautiful that view is!  And the clouds?  Ugh, magical.

I hope you have an amazing Friday ♥

Xo SaraLynn

*Song of the Day: Karen by The National