Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stay Warm & Stay YOU


Today is December 10th, meaning we can officially and undoubtedly say that the holiday season is now in full swing (as evident by the twinkly lights lurking in apartment windows, bundled up evergreen trees lining the sidewalks, red and gold nails aplenty, tourists aplenty, etcetera).

Yesterday, the high in NYC was 36ºF. Today, my Weather app is flaunting the snowflake emoji and, from 6AM this morning to 6PM this evening, is plastered with “34º” (not sure how that’s cold enough for snow to precipitate, but that’s beside the point). Being from Maine, this weather shouldn’t feel that cold. However, there’s something about cold weather in the city that leads to a bone-chilling feeling unlike any other…Prolonged time outside and traveling by foot is inevitable, the streets and avenues between buildings become ducts through which whizzing winds can travel, and the temptation of constantly being surrounded by  buildings (that are warm and heated inside) whilst walking around outside leads to only resenting the low temps more.
  
And...I dress to stay warm. Today's look: a pair of leggings atop another pair of leggings; Smartwool socks; a bulky turtleneck layered beneath an oversized fleece; a pair of $2.99 gloves from the Duane Reade around the corner (that are touch screen compatible!!); and my beat-up Converse (not necessarily the warmest shoe, but they're unrivaled in terms of comfort/walkability)...

Lately, walking down the street (and wearing the oh so swanky look described above), I’m finding myself dragging my jaw—how are people possibly pulling off fierce heeled boots? How are their toes staying warm? Dresses without tights; jeans covered in holes—where are people's layers? No gloves or mittens!? How do they do it? Of course, though, not everyone looks and dresses like a supermodel here (nor does everyone skimp on the outerwear). Many people do dress very practically (as I do). That being said though, of course, the common thread of practicality amongst the way many people dress doesn't mean these people's clothing is exactly the same—that their clothing is identical. Instead, inevitably, everyone has their unique style and flair that makes them them—that differentiates their look from that of the person next to them (wearing the same jacket, for example). However, it can be hard to really accentuate that—to really let one's unique style be seen—when he or she is hiding among layer atop layer atop layer...

So, what can be done?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"I Want to Jump"

I wanted to jump the other day.


His hand was in mine,
and mine was in his.
We were underneath Canal Street—
the dot that's yellow.


I am
a dot
that's yellow.


I use the “Dandelion” Crayola, my hands.


You and I,
we're on a brown one—
A green dot
blue
yellow too...


Maybe,
I am the world.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Internet Subscriptions vs. Internet Prescriptions


There’s something wrong with the way we’re interacting—largely with those around us but predominantly with ourselves. We live in a virtual society, one dominated by likes and followers and “friends” and…deep breath—the list goes on and on. Do we really understand though? Do we understand how terrifyingly harmful confiding in the illusive hideout of our devices can be? I’m not saying this in an effort to sound like an “old soul” and or simply to act as a contrarian member of our generation…I’m coming from a place of honesty—honesty with myself and, in an effort to rescue you from falling down the slippery slope that so many of us do, honesty with you too. 

Do you ever think about denotation versus connotation? It can really throw you for a loop. Say you’re looking at a television. Sure, we’ve come to know a rectangular device that displays moving, illuminated images as a “TV” (…it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the gist). The word used to define it (i.e. “television”) is the connotative definition, or its meaning in the context of our contemporary society; it only has the meaning that it has because we have given it—we have created—such meaning. Denotatively, however, what do we see? Like I said, it’s merely a “rectangular device that displays moving, illuminated images.” It’s often black. It often says “Samsung” or “LG” or “Dell” at the bottom…Sometimes it’s mounted on the wall, sometimes it sits freely on a stand of sorts. The list of surface details is endless. If someone from the 1500s miraculously and suddenly emerged in our current era, he or she would see the word “television” as nothing more than a meaningless combination of letters and, visually, would observe the surface features I mentioned but would be unable to conclude why? What? How?

Another example. 
Pixelation.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

My First Month in the City


September was my first month in the city. It was a busy month—at times blissful, at times volatile, at times overwhelming. It was a month of reflection and never-ending newness. I’m tired, that’s undeniable. My feet are blistered, my white sneakers are stained, my caffeine dependence has really ramped up, and my tolerance for other human beings has become…both higher and lower.

I’m no expert, but if there’s one piece of advice I have for anyone moving from one place to another (be it for school or not, on his/her own or not, many miles from home or not, etc.)…don’t detach. Don’t desensitize. Don’t neutralize. Instead, dive in. Feel scared. Feel lonely. Feel awkward. Got that, Libby? I won’t sugarcoat things—I didn’t and I haven’t done these things. I did detach, and I didn’t feel those feelings. So, listen up self—you can do this.

I love this place. There’s an overwhelming about of realness that surrounds me on a daily basis. Manhattan is a Mecca of contrast—trash litters the sidewalks, designer handbags dance by on a block-by-block basis, burly owners escort their petite dogs; $1 pizza joints neighbor pricey vegan bistros. And the people, the PEOPLE. There are so many people! And so many kinds of people—races, faces, religions, sexualities, styles, personalities, and so on. Within this contrast is an overwhelming amount of beauty—so much beauty that it hurts.


Getting used to living with a roommate is hard. I’m probably/definitely not very good at it (sorry, Grace). It’s not hard in the sense that the two of us don’t get along or anything. Instead, I think that having a roommate has just made me realize how…strange I am. Little do you know, when you have your own space, you engage in habits and customs that you (likely) don’t even realize are a part of your lifestyle. Once you’re aware that someone else has a firsthand account of you and your life—in your most private, personal space—those idiosyncrasies and bizarre rituals emerge…Or maybe they don’t/won’t. Maybe I’m just weird...Doesn’t everyone wear socks to bed?

I woke Grace up the other day due to the potency of my nail polish’s scent. Truly, it was eye-watering (…and why was I painting my nails early in the morning? Good question—not sure why I felt such a pressing need to have red nails upon heading out the door that morning, but it must’ve been important).


More to come soon.
I'm excited to see what October has in store. Oh yeah, school is going well too :)
xx, Lib


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trek Across America — A Digital Diary




So, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago — we drove across America. Who's we? Four of us: Tom, Even, Francis, and Libby (that's me). The trip lasted sixteen days and...well, it was quite an experience. This post is going to be a bit fragmented, as there's no way I will be able to include all that occurred or all that I desire to express. However, I figure that I should just allow myself to write freely and share whatever feels memorable/important to me.

Here's a general synopsis of our route:
1. Portland, Maine to Milan, Ohio
2. Milan, Ohio to Mitchell, South Dakota
3. Mitchell, South Dakota to Bozeman, Montana
4. Bozeman, Montana to Hood River, Oregon
5. Hood River, Oregon to Seaside, Oregon
6. Seaside, Oregon to Waldport, Oregon
7. Waldport, Oregon to Crescent City, California
8. Crescent City, California to Potter Valley, California
9. Potter Valley, California to San Fransisco, California
10. San Francisco, California to Monterey Bay, California
11. San Francisco, California to Big Sur, California
12. Big Sur, California to Camarillo, California
13. Camarillo, California to Laguna Beach/Manhattan Beach, California

The first four days were long (from Maine to Oregon), as we spent about fourteen hours in the car per day. Day one was meaningful — we took a pitstop at Francis's grandmother's house midday, where we were greeted with warm hugs, delightful (& dairy-free) blueberry buckle, and hot coffee to fuel our next seven hours. We talked of travel, school, baking, art, and so much more. The visit left me feeling reflective — incredibly sentimental, present, and mindful of myself and what lies ahead in life for me. 

...and, like we did often, we then hit the road. Days 1-3 entailed Comfort Inns (maybe one was a Country Suite?), Subway for dinner nearly every night (sandwiches really are great car food), throwback Black Eyed Peas music, conversations/debates about time and whether or not it is overly valued by/emphasized in our society, etcetera.



America is a very large place. The thing I found most interesting about covering so much ground in such little time involved how many small-town-America cultures we were able to experience from state to state as we stopped for food, bathroom breaks, and driver switcheroos — how lifestyle differs so much from place to place and how incredibly diverse our country is in every sense.

We stopped for lunch in a town called Morris, Illinois one day at a diner known as The Weitz Cafe. The town itself had an eerie yet soothing vibe. Adele's voice rang through the speakers that lined either side of Main Street. There were no tunes playing in the restaurant itself — just murmurs from the ladies lunching at the table to our right, dishes clinking in the kitchen, and a man at the front discussing the day's pie flavors with the waitress (who was also the hostess and cashier). That's another thing I learned — pie is a big thing at diners...and in America...who knew? The interactions we had in this diner were minimal, as it wasn't very crowded. Also, we were undoubtedly the only people under sixty-five in the whole place. After a burger each (I think I actually got a chicken burger), a milkshake for Tom, and fries all around, we hopped back in the car and set off again.


South Dakota surprised me. From miles and miles of corn fields, to the historic Wall Drug (www.walldrug.com — I didn't know this existed until we drove by it, but apparently it's a huge tourist attraction), to the MAGICAL Badlands National Park — the state has much more to offer than people give it credit for (I would particularly recommend visiting the Badlands. We debated driving through, but I'm so glad we ended up detouring a bit and experiencing the breathtaking canyons and rock spires amid the sprawling grasslands).

Bozeman, Montana was beautiful as well. My aunt was kind enough to let us stay with her for the night. If you ever get the chance to visit Bozeman, make sure to stop by The Nova Cafe (www.thenovacafe.comfor breakfast or brunch — it's one of my aunt's favorite places and we absolutely understood why upon tasting the delicious food and sitting amid the vibrant, retro space. Tip: snag a temporary tattoo from the basket at the front — I adorned myself with the one depicting a scull and crossbones through an illustration of a fried egg and two strips of bacon...
 
We began camping once we made it to Oregon. 
Our first stop was Hood River. We arrived pretty late in the evening (around 8ish) and had a thoroughly horrible meal at a Mexican restaurant downtown (it was funny though — the whole dining experience was just super bizarre, as the wait staff was very inattentive, the food itself was pretty shitty, and all of us were deliriously over-hungry). Also, on our way back to the car after eating, we saw a woman getting arrested which was strange...Something was definitely off about Hood River, yet I found the town incredibly intriguing nonetheless. It was now dark and we still needed to make it to our campsite (Lost Lake Resort — lostlakeresort.org), which was about 45 minutes away. Although we were feeling sleepy, we cranked the tunes and put our game faces on. Francis was behind the wheel, I sat copilot, and there was magic in the air. Although it was dark, the sky was a deep purple color and the snow-covered peak of Mt. Hood glowed stoically against the night sky. The road was windy, the air was crisp, and the wilderness surrounding us was pulsing with life. This was truly one of the most memorable and meaningful moments of the whole trip.

We woke up at our campsite the next day and hit the road once again — and we had one goal in mind: to finally reach the Pacific Ocean. Destination? Seaside, Oregon.

Upon arriving in Seaside, we were surrounded by barefoot pedestrians, neon signs, and salty air. We made our way to the boardwalk, where we then proceeded to (very blatantly) park illegally, jump out of the car, and run (which I struggled to do, as I had developed a fever...but that's a whole other story) through the thick fog until our toes touched the sweet sea of the West Coast. Thanks to the fog bank, we weren't aware that it was low tide...AKA it felt like we just kept running...and running...and running. This, too, was an incredibly strange experience — it was quite cold out, so we were running past people wrapped in flannels making bonfires on the beach while it was still quite light out. We also passed an abandoned office chair sitting uncharacteristically (and alone) atop the sand...It was enlivening though — not just the moment of reaching the Pacific Ocean, but also the journey to get there (figuratively and literally).

Subsequent to Seaside, we made our way down the breathtaking coast of Oregon (taking the Pacific Coast Highway) and eventually ventured into Northern California. The sea was blue, the sand was soft, the grass was tall, the trees were towering, and the cliffs were dramatic. The air was cold both when we crept into our tents at night and when we emerged in the morning. James Mercer's mesmerizing voice sounded through the car speakers on repeat. Coffee (or the boys' particular caffeinated beverage of choice, SToK) pulsated through our veins. Wonder, curiosity, and awe glistened in our eyes.


Other memorable moments included...
• We rented an Airbnb in Potter Valley, California (AKA Wine Country). The two-bedroom home was absolutely STUNNING, tucked in among sprawling vineyards and rolling peaks. This was the first time we had access to a kitchen (we didn't need to pull out our Coleman camping stove this time!), so we made a delicious dinner and an even more tasty (and hearty!) breakfast the next morning. Here's the link to the place where we stayed: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/10686425?s=VIgeNWOr&sug=51
• Upon waking up in San Francisco, Francis and I got up early and embarked on a breakfast adventure. We ended up stumbling upon a place called Blue Bottle Coffee on Mint Street (bluebottlecoffee.com/cafes/mint-plaza) — and, here, we had one of the most memorable coffee experiences ever. We ordered the Ethiopian Siphon (a very sophisticated method of brewing explained here). It's a bit too complex for me to try to explain, but LONG STORY SHORT: the coffee was ridiculous delicious — light, bold, rich, and insanely flavorful. The food we ordered was incredibly tasty as well. Upon leaving, our bellies were happy, we felt fueled and energized for the day, and we had had some truly wonderful interactions with the staff at Blue Bottle. Also, I may or may not have solidified my tattoo idea whilst on this unadorned yet very meaningful adventure...
• Camping in Big Sur and waking up to the view that's featured in the picture above...
• Antiquing in Hermosa Beach at Stars Antique Market
AND........

I'm going to leave it there, as I don't want to feel like I "got it all." Why? There's no way to capture it all, let alone try to EXPRESS it all. My goal in writing this post was simply to relish in some of the infinite beautiful memories that were made on our journey. I don't want to have some sort of "closing remarks" where I say how incredible the trip was and how grateful I am for the opportunity (indeed neither of those things are false, but consciously stating those things has a cheapening effect). So, I'll leave you with this.

Live.


Also, drive across America.
xx, Lib



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I Opened an Etsy Shop!


...I'm back on the East Coast! I just returned home from my two week journey across the country— and I'm not even going to begin to express just how incredible I'm feeling upon my return (as I won't be able to do such scintillating enlightenment justice in merely a few sentences). Thus, be on the lookout for a "Roadtrip Recap" post in the very near future for more depth and detail.

The point of this post is 1) simply to check in AND 2) let you know that I opened an Etsy shop! For now, I'm selling stickers (the perfect addition to your laptop, phone case, water bottle, car...you name it!), and there will be more hand-crafted goods coming to LibbyKingDesign in the future. I'd love it if you took a second to check it out! All designs have been drawn/created by me.


You'll be hearing from me again soon! Until then, I hope all is well and that you're having a stellar August. It's really hitting me that the summer is coming to a close soon...I mean, I leave for NYC in less than two weeks!? Anyways, enjoy the lingering sun, slow mornings, salty air, and unlatched windows.

xx, Lib 

Friday, July 29, 2016

I'm...Driving Across the Country? + ROAD TRIP PLAYLIST


So...we're actually doing it.

I was completely and immediately hooked when the prospect of this cross-country adventure came up about a month ago. Toward the end of June, my friend approached me and proposed the idea of driving from Portland, ME (our home base) to Laguna Beach, CA (where our friend's family is relocating). "It makes perfect sense," he claimed...

• "His family needs a car out there anyways, so they'll take care of gas expenses..."
• "All of us have expressed interest in embarking on a coast-to-coast road trip at some point in our lives...So why not now?"
• "The timing is pristine, as it'll take place during the first two weeks of August — we'll have
just enough time at home once we get back before each of us leaves for college..."
• "You're always talking about embracing being ALIVE..." 
Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

(I just butchered expressing the wonderful, ceaseless reasons as to why I feel so strongly that I must go on this trip, so I'm going to stop with the listing for now...Altogether: such list could continue infinitely — the situation could not be more alluring and imperfectly perfect).

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Unlined Paper" — You're A Work In Progress.


There's no proper way to begin this post, so I'm just going to let my mind run freely. Right now, I don't really know what I'm doing with my life. That being said, I desperately need to organize my life — or so it feels that way. First things first, I'm thinking about unlined paper...Strange, I know. I'm thinking about the fact that unlined paper is challenging for me — perplexing and a bit frustrating. Why?

Truly, without there being lines (when I'm writing something by hand on paper), I notice that I subconsciously create the lines myself...I imagine that such lines are there and, in response, act accordingly. Conformity? Muscle memory? Perfectionism? Adapting to what I think is "right"?

I want
no lines
to exist
             in life
                           or in my head.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Soundtrack to My...July


Sparkling pavement, salty air, wispy clouds, calloused feet, tangled hair, battered air conditioners, late nights, cold coffee...
It has been a wonderful month thus far. I have felt incredibly present — a feeling that is fairly unfamiliar to me.
My time has been spent exploring, interacting, creating, engaging, and living.

Music has a way of enhancing my life in a way that no other thing can.
That being said, here are some songs that have accompanied me recently whilst...
• picnicking on the promenade — munching on fresh bread and berries
• strolling around downtown, window shopping — feet sweaty and blistering
• sipping my coffee in the sunroom at 9 AM (with no agenda-induced anxiety lingering)
• driving down the highway — windows down and sticky air seeping in...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

What do YOU want to do?


I was recently having a conversation with a close friend of mine — a fairly commonplace/normal conversation for us, might I add — when he challenged me. Now, this definitely isn't unusual when it comes to him, as he challenges me often; he challenges me intellectually through inquiring (deeply) about what it is that I'm discussing or talking about and prompting me to

elaborate
be curious
form my own opinions
understand why I think what I think
                       say what I say
                                   believe what I believe

...and so on. However, the way in which he challenged me this time struck a particularly noteworthy chord within me. It's ironic too, because it's one of the most simple and straightforward ways he has ever challenged me. He asked me,

"What do you want to do?"

Naturally, being the clarifier that I am, I responded by asking him what he meant.

"Today? With what? Right now? With who? What do you mean?"

He didn't answer my question. Instead, he began telling me some things that he wants to do. I learned that he'd like to work on Wall Street; drive cross country; buy a motorcycle; gain as many certifications as possible; visit South Africa; be a bridge...and the list went on — infinitely. 

Daily, I think about what I want — to eat; to do; out of life...
But do I really?

Friday, June 17, 2016

3 Places to Escape to When There’s Nowhere to Go


When I say “escape,” I don’t necessarily mean from someone or somewhere in particular. At some point or another, we all have that sensation of wanting to scream, “I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE!” I’m an introvert, so this sensation tends to hit often. Simply, I (and all of us) just need a change of scenery sometimes. I’m here to help — here’s 3 places you can go when you’re stuck at home, need to find somewhere to go that’s easily accessible, and are in need of some restoration.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Contradictions Are Beautiful — #prayforOrlando


Life is full of contradictions and contrasting elements. In keeping with the nature of contradictions themselves, such inconsistent features (whatever they may be) seem to either 1) receive far too much attention or 2) go completely unnoticed altogether. For example, much of our society perceives homosexuality to be contradictory — at variance with the “norm” and, thus, “strange" and/or “unacceptable.” Too much emphasis is put on this “abnormality” or “incongruity” (from what has been deemed as “traditional”). As a result, the matter of loving authentically has been incredibly blown out of proportion and has resulted in completely irrational and malicious hate, violence, and negativity around the world.

Why can’t we just be and let be? 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

7 Ways to Feel AWESOME(R) & EMPOWERED


I apologize for my impromptu hiatus! I graduated from high school last week and was completely occupied with the abundance of celebratory festivities that come with such "life-changing occurrence." However, I'm back and here to stay — really! I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in Bermuda (hence the palm tree poking out in the photo above). Nonetheless, I'll be home this week and have some exciting upcoming projects that I'm looking forward to sharing.

Onto the point of this post...
Lately, I've been feeling really awesome about myself...and, for once, I don't feel embarrassed by or apologetic for stating that. Guess what? Appreciating and accepting who you are doesn't make you conceded. Confidence doesn't equate with arrogance. Self-appreciation isn't selfish — in fact, one simply cannot radiate compassion to others until such compassion is first dispersed internally. Struggling to feel awesome and empowered? Well, I've got 7 tips that just might help you out...

1. Exercise self-trust creatively...
through making something and sharing it. However, do not share your creation simply for the purpose of gaining validation from others. Instead, share your creativity for the purpose of feeling like and expressing yourself. Knowing and trusting yourself is incredibly important, honorable, and special — so what better way to let it be known that you KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE who you are by expressing that in a creative way!? For example, grab a pen and a blank piece of paper; turn on your favorite music; visit your favorite coffee shop; think about something or someone you love. Trust your hand and go at it — see what transpires. Don't draw a flower that you saw someone else once sketch — see what naturally flows from your mind. Even if you aren't the most artistic person, this is an incredibly beneficial exercise that's both fun and restorative. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Ultimate FOOD/COFFEE GUIDE to NYC (West Village & SoHo)



As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I recently visited NYC. And what does Libby do in NYC? Well, I'm not going to lie, restaurant/cafe-hopping is one of my favorite travel activities. I get so much enjoyment out of exploring, trying new foods, determining where to find the best coffee in ________, and immersing myself in quaint, aesthetically pleasing environments. That being said, I get a little too excited when it comes to sharing these restaurants and coffee shops with you — sometimes, I'll feature each place individually but, sometimes, I'll compile a single post featuring multiple places. Because NYC is so rich in wonderful, whimsical, and charming cafes, I figured that the most effective way to organize this post would be taking the "all-in-one" approach. Thus...keep reading to learn where to find the best coffee in NYC; the best avocado toast in NYC; and the best foodie spots in NYC altogether!

1. Happy Bones
394 Broome St.

Friday, May 20, 2016

(Pretty) Things I Like Right Now

Sometimes, it's life's little things. That being said, I think that I owe such things some more respect. I mean, if they have the ability to make me smile on a daily basis — why not recognize them? Maybe these things will even make you smile too!


1. The Messy Heads   "Me, My Mess, & I"
I can't get over how impressive and inspiring this publication is. I've been following The Messy Heads' blog (themessyheads.com) and Instagram (instagram.com/themessyheadsfor a while now, and I've already read this premiere issue, front to back, at least five times. Truly, it's brilliant — and there's something very awe-inspiring about tangibly possessing something so special to its creators. You can expect a lengthier ode to @emmercury very soon, as my admiration for her as well as my love for this magazine cannot at all fully be captured through this small excerpt. All in all, please go do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy of "Me, My Mess, & I" (purchasable here). 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stop Seeking Security


I don't mean to come across as short or overly-direct. In fact, I'm talking to myself more than anything.
I've given myself this advice time and time again, but I truly need to start listening to myself this time:

Libby, stop seeking security.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Meet My Mom


Today is Mother's Day, which means that any and all maternal figures in one's life should be recognized and honored. I've been wanting to conduct an interview with my mom for a while now, and what better day than today. Therefore: meet Janet — my wonderfully hard-working, eclectic, strong, brilliant, and selfless mother (I could continue stranding together relevant adjectives, but the list would be far too long)...

•    •    •    •    •

What's your name?
Janet: Funny (*giggles and glares*)...You know my name, Lib.

When's your birthday?
JanetI'm a Libra.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Manhatten is Magical — NYC PHOTO DIARY



I couldn't resist compiling my photos from our most recent trip to the city. Trust me, I took a lot...We only had about 72 hours in the city total (i.e. an awkward about of time that is, although surely substantial, undeniably inadequate — especially when it comes to New York City). Our trip was centered around a school visit, so about 10/72 hours were spent wandering campus. I'd say approximately 24/72 hours were spent sleeping, 17/72 hours were spent eating, and the other 21 or so hours were spend exploring, taking photos, and embracing/soaking up every moment we could. Overall, it was a glorious trip, and this cluster of photos (I hope) gives you a suitable glimpse of it.

Here are some trip details:
• We stayed in SoHo (at the Courtyard Marriott on Varick St). It's a quality hotel (nothing incredibly extravagant but definitely a nice place) with a surprisingly convenient location (within walking distance of SoHo, Greenwich Village, West Village, Chelsea, Little Italy, Chinatown, and more). I definitely want to look into renting an Airbnb in the city next time — I've heard that they're surprisingly affordable!
• We ate some INCREDIBLE meals. Just you wait — there's a whole post coming up about the best restaurants/coffee shops we visited whilst in the city.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"DO MORE" — An Ode to Casey Neistat


I fear feeling restricted by myself. I fear feeling like I'm not seizing my potential. Simply, I fear feeling inadequate — like I'm not doing enough. Oddly though, such fear hasn't induced a whole lot of active measures on my part (I say that honestly, not to put myself down). Often, I let nervousness hold me back — I let anxiety weigh down my shoes and hinder me from walking in the right direction (and, sometimes, from walking at all).

I don't want to feel stagnant. When examining where I am at in my life currently, I do feel stagnant in some ways. Undoubtedly, in the recent past, such feeling has been very present and uncomfortable. So what do I mean by "stagnant"? I mean that I feel unproductive; dull; like my life is at a standstill. Now, fortunately, this feeling isn't perpetual. However, when it does creep in — it's blanketing; crippling; debilitating. Notably, it's not the feeling that's debilitating though — it's myself.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE — 3/3: Ernest Loves Agnes



This is my third and last post of the "WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE" series, so I'm wrapping things up with my utmost favorite restaurant we visited — Ernest Loves Agnes in the North Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The wonderfulness of this quaint Italian restaurant is indescribable through words — not only is it incredibly aesthetically appealing, but also the food was nothing short of delectable. Even the people there — the restaurant staff and neighborhood attendees — largely contributed to the beautifully soft and whimsical aesthetic of the restaurant as a whole. It's evident that so much thought, creativity, and attention to detail went into the establishment of this unique spot. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

I'M AN ADULT!? 17 Things I've Learned in 17 Years


Today is my eighteenth birthday. First of all, I know it seems pretty egocentric for me to be writing a blog post to commemorate my own birthday...However, this post really isn't about me — this post is about what is means to become an "adult." In many ways, this new designation doesn't feel strange to me at all. Oddly, I've felt eighteen — like an adult  for a while now. I've craved the treatment that comes with being considered a legal (and, thus, valid) individual.

Forewarning: I’m going to use the pronoun “you” throughout this post, as that’s exactly who I’m talking to — both you, reading thisand, you, Libbywriting this (sorry, that’s a lot of commas). Thus, without further adieu, here's my list of...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moving Out & Heading to the City?


I made a big decision a couple of days ago. Finally, I decided where I'll be going to college for the next four years. And what does that mean? I'll be moving out in August and headed to the "Big Apple" (I've never really understood why NYC is nicknamed the "Big Apple" — I'm assuming it's unrelated to fruit production though?)...Anyways, New York City is an indescribably inspiring place, and I'm very confident that this school is going to allow me to explore such urban wonderland whilst challenging me academically, helping me to form extraordinary connections, and being a place for me to deeply discover myself and who I want to be. I apologize, as I know that I sound incredibly sappy — however, this is the first time (in a while) that I've actually come to terms with and acted upon something that I, myself, have wanted. For far too long, I've allowed myself to sit back and concoct dreams without actively taking measures toward achieving such dreams. Hence, I've decided that it's no longer fair to hold myself back — it's time to act (and push through inevitable fear, apprehension, and nervousness that will arise — as the more real the nervousness is at the beginning, the more real the sense of fulfillment will feel in the end). 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE — 2/3: Porchlight Coffee & Records



Next up is Porchlight Coffee & Records on Capitol Hill. I love this place for multiple reasons: 
1) The guy manning the counter was so incredibly sweet. He seemed genuinely interested in what we were up to, where we were from, how we were enjoying the city, etc. Although his friendliness wasn't anything overly unfathomable, it definitely enhanced and made our experience at Porchlight a memorable one. 
2) A fusion of vinyl and coffee? How could you go wrong!?
3) They offer more than just coffee drinks! For all of those over 21, you can purchase local craft beer/other alcoholic beverages. They serve various gourmet sodas and drinks too — I got a delicious sparkling apple juice. Also, they're well known for their cold brew (which they offer bottles, glasses, and growlers of).
4) Stunningly minimalistic, modern, and artistic/creative aesthetic.
5) They sell beautifully designed mugs, totes, t-shirts, notecards, etc. (as pictured above)
6) It's an incredibly warm and inviting atmosphere overall. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

WHERE TO EAT IN SEATTLE — 1/3: Street Bean Coffee


As I mentioned in my most recent post, I've decided to feature some of my favorite food spots in Seattle individually, as clumping them together in one post feels belittling to each of the restaurant's individuality. Thus, I'm kicking things off with one of my favorite coffee shops we visited in Belltown — Street Bean Coffee. Visit them at: 2711 3rd Ave.

According to their site: 
"We are a nonprofit multi-roaster coffee shop providing opportunity for street-involved young people to reclaim their lives, one cup at a time."
(Read more HERE)

Delicious coffee AND a wonderful, community-helping cause? What could be better!?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SPRING IN SEATTLE — A Travel Guide to the Emerald City



Seattle is a stunning place. My dad and I took a trip out there a couple of weeks ago, and it was the first time either of us had been to the city (let alone the Pacific Northwest altogether). I've always been incredibly attracted to such region of the country. However, there had never been a reason to visit (we flew out to see a school. Also, it's worth noting that Washington state is over 3,000 miles from where I live — AKA about the same distance between my house and London, England...). That being said, I was ecstatic to cross Seattle off my bucket list and experience the respected, thriving culture for myself. 

I've decided to put together a bit of a travel guide (or an overview of my favorite things that we did while in Seattle). Before the trip, I was furiously researching where to eat, what to see, and where to go in the city — our trip was short, so I wanted to make sure I could fit as much in as possible in three and a half days. I found that there wasn't much to be found online (besides your standard Yelp reviews, Trip Advisor rankings, and magazine articles). Thus, I hope this post can be a resource for future Seattle goers (and/or just a fun read overall)!

What to See/Do #1: Pike Place Market (& site-seeing in/around the area)
I know, it's pretty cliché Seattle. However, people aren't lying when they say Pike Place is a MUST-SEE. We popped into the market fairly early on a Saturday morning (around 9:00AM). In my opinion, this was a great time to walk around — it was before the crowds and just as the various vendors were getting set up (we went back later at around 3:00 PM and were fighting elbows as we walked through the market's main stretch — it wasn't all that enjoyable). Also, I found it quite interesting to catch a glimpse of the assembly process that the vendors go through at the start of their busiest day of the week — Saturday). The market itself is an assortment of everything and anything — from ridiculously beautiful flower arrangements for $10 (!!!), to radiantly fresh produce, to beautiful art by local woodworkers, photographers, and other artisans. Truly, you cannot and will not be bored at Pike Place Market. Also, the food scene is insane — you absolutely can find any kind of food that you're craving. As we were meandering through the market, we couldn't get over the friendliness that was exhibited (not only by the locals and vendors themselves, but also by the passers-by who greeted us with warm smiles and hello's — something we're not used to coming from New England). Additionally, the market is located on the city's downtown waterfront, featuring views of the Puget Sound and the industrial workings of Seattle's active port. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Heartache?...Or Nostalgia? There's a difference.


You know those feelings that are incredibly painful yet addictively enchanting? Yes? No? Either you 1) know exactly what I'm talking about or 2) have deemed me a crazy person and are wondering why I'm trying to impress the validity of a completely contradictory statement upon you. Either way, I'd appreciate it if you kept reading — I have some thoughts that I'd like to share.

I've always loved going through old photos. When I was little, I would often sit on the floor of my living room and disappear among stacks of peeling photo albums. Many of the albums contained photos of me as an infant or a toddler; family portraits; snippets from our summer adventures on the island; photos of me and Hector sharing lollipops (our dog, thankfully yet unthankfully); action shots from dance recitals; snapshots of candles being blown out (that, notably, didn't reveal the splay of spit that always came with the celebratory finale of the "Happy Birthday to you...." song); and the documentation of many other memories. Undoubtedly, there's something captivating about recalling special memories (ranging from captivatingly painful to captivatingly enchanting).

Recently, the act of going through old photos brought up new feelings — feelings that weren't comforting, full of happiness, or gratifying at all. Why? Yes, there's a level of sentimentality that transpires when flipping through said old photos. However, it occurred to me as I flipped through page after page that I no longer crave those moments; I no longer remember those moments so vividly; I no longer am the girl in those photos. 


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Photo Diary — Throwback to Thursday (3/17)



Most college students are on Spring Break right now, which means there's a flock of people back in town for the next week or so. It's so nice to visit with people whose faces I haven't seen in months — not only does it mean catching up and enjoying new company, but also more coffee dates and the exploring of local nooks and crannies. This post features my friend Casey (expect an interview soon), who has been studying in London for the past couple of years. I figured I'd throw together some photos from our relaxing afternoon a few days ago...