Just Messy & Beautiful Humans

The way God orchestrates our lives is pretty neat right? He picks a moment where you assume you know what's going to happen and he totally surprises you. I look back on this past year, a doozy of a year, and I just have to smile at all of the little things he's done for me and the surprises he placed in my path. 

I think back to April, the biggest surprise of them all, when I got into grad school in Oregon. I was so prepared to drop my life-long plans and pick a new life track once I received all of the wait list and rejection notifications. But then a crazy thing happened and I got into one of my top schools and in a state I've always wanted to live in! And now I'm here and absolutely in love with my cohort, my program and this state. 

Then I think back on this weekend. I was so consumed with one event happening and the build up associated with it that I almost didn't notice all of the love surrounding me. Suddenly I stopped and looked around and almost broke down by how loved and cared for I felt. All of these people have known me for 2.5 months or less yet it felt like a family. So the one event I thought was going to be life-changing, actually proved to be something else entirely and my eyes were opened to something even greater. 

I don't know what the next 2.5 months will bring but if they're anything like these last ones, I'm in for a wild ride. Being here in Oregon, reaching out to new people, trusting God, creating community, loving on people, and opening myself up to new experiences and adventures is what life is all about. And how exciting is that? 

We are all just people living our own little lives that are messy, beautiful, sloppy, and imperfect. One person's exterior is never really an indication of their interior. And when we allow ourselves to delve into other people's interiors and live life with them, there's this really special thing that happens called friendship and commitment. 

All of this is to say that I'm eternally grateful for the people in my life right now who show me friendship, love and commitment on a daily basis. Life is better with other messy humans, don't you agree?

To end, here's an excerpt from Brené Brown's TED talk on vulnerability. My friend shared it with our cohort the other day and it's SO good. Watch it HERE:

"But there's another way, and I'll leave you with this. This is what I have found: To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen ... to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee -- and that's really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that's excruciatingly difficult -- to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, "Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?" just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, "I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive." And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, "I'm enough" ... then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves."

Amen, right? 

Life Update

Hey there!
Can you believe it's already almost Halloween?? It blows my mind. But at the same time school is in full beast mode over here. I have to actively walk myself through the day-to-day things like locking the front door when I leave or unplugging the coffee pot or else I'll panic later on in the day that I forgot to do so. But, ya know, that's just grad school for ya! And I wouldn't trade the experience or my cohort for anything (though if someone wanted to pay me for this work, I would love that). My friend perfectly described grad school in a nutshell when she said, "My blood type is coffee." #truth I think I have 2-4 cups of coffee a day. I'm trying to work on transitioning to tea during the afternoon. Wish me luck!
Also, Portland has been in full Fall mode lately as well. The leaves are fully changed or about there, the air has a crispness to it, you can kick bundles of leaves on every sidewalk and the clouds are just plain showing off. It's a true wonderland over here! 
What's going on in your neck of the woods? 

The Perfect Weekender Bag


flowers, black stripes, green, gingham, navy, blue stripes, blue bag, monogrammed

Remember last week's post when I said it all stemmed from my sister asking for a bag to take to the beach? Well I originally thought she wanted a "weekender" bag and I went on the hunt for the perfect one only to find out I was wrong. BUT! I gathered together some of my favorite weekender options for everyone anyways. :)

Maybe you are heading off to the mountains for a peaceful weekend or you're going to someplace tropical. Either way, we all need a good weekender to hold our belongings but also look cute at the same time. #priorities

I love the monogrammed white, navy and leather bag on the bottom right but if that price is too steep  (as it is for me), the Target options are also great! I love the striped ones the most but I think that comes as no surprise.

I also bought the navy and leather one in the middle as my assessment bag for school and with a price like that ($25!!!), it can't be beat. It holds a decent amount of things as well!!

Do you have a favorite brand for a good getaway bag?

So you need a new tote bag...


 First off, can we talk about the name of the picture? It's great, right? haha I had to.
This weekend my sister gave me a mission. She asked for a bag she could bring to the beach, throw her laptop in, maybe a book, and be ready to go. At first I read this as she needs a weekender bag so there's a post coming with all the weekender bags you could ever need on Wednesday :) You can thank her later. I'm just going to call this ~~~bag week~~~! 

Anyways, it was the perfect mission to give my mind a break in between assignments and readings. I looked at my favorite totes and went from there. I have and swear by the Madewell Transport Tote (the brown leather one!) and get compliments on it all the time. It holds a lot and looks cute! My only complaint is that I worry about getting it dirty or messing up the leather. If you want a splurge, go for that one! But speaking of splurges, Target has a new brand Clothe + Stone and they made the red bag above and the stuff is CUTE! Check them out!

The other tote I have and LOVE is the Baggu striped duckbag. This thing is the best. I have traveled with it, thrown it around, packed it to the brim, you name it and it has survived! My only complaint is that it doesn't have a zipper so when you put it in front of you on an airplane, I always worry things will fall out. But it's only $26!! I feel like the striped Baggu carryall (the one on the left) would be a great option for traveling and it's still an awesome price! They also have a backpack version that's adorable!!

Also, the grey leather tote from Nordstrom is all the rage. So many people have this bag because of it's price and it's reversible. When deciding if I wanted the Madewell Transport Tote or not, I saw that most people compare it to the Nordstrom bag. I do have to mention, I didn't want the bag because it had a weird and noticeable smell. Not a leather smell either.... You be the judge of that. 

This is getting long winded but here are some of my thoughts on good totes! I think everyone should have about 2 totes that they love and can switch out. I think having one with a zipper and one without would be ideal. For someone who hates to check my luggage, the zipper for the tote that I shove below the seat in front of me with my little purse, laptop, many miscellanous objects, etc. is key! 

Where is your favorite tote from? Was this helpful? 

(reading this through, it sounds slightly ridiculous to be talking about tote bags this much but you know what, totes are awesome and I'm just going to pretend this isn't trivial. Pretend with me?)

Fall Goals

I think at this point, you know I love Fall. Living in a city with so many trees hasn't helped my obsession either. This whole place is SURROUNDED by trees changing colors and my little heart just leaps with joy!! 

So anyways, I thought it would be fun to put together a little fall to-do list! If you want, let me know what your favorite fall activities are so I can maybe copy you! ;)

1. Go to a pumpkin patch. 
(I'm not the only one who puts things on lists that they've already done right?)


3. Make pumpkin bread with lots of chocolate chips

4. Carve a pumpkin (probably not happening but a girl can dream!)

5. Roast pumpkin seeds

6. Figure out what I'm going to be for halloween and make sure its le-gen-dary

7. Step on as many crunchy leaves as possible

8. Take lots of pictures of the trees as they change colors

9. Sit around a campfire and roast s'mores

10. Watch as many classic Halloween movies as I can (none of the scary ones of course! I'm talkin' Disney Channel ones or Hocus Pocus) 

What's on your list??

Take me to the farm!

 This weekend I went to Sauvie Island, just northwest of Portland, and did one of the best October things someone can do: GO TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH! It was a beautiful fall day with big, puffy clouds above and so many adorable children running around trying to find the perfect pumpkin. (I, on the other hand, was realistic and knew I have about 0 time to carve a pumpkin unless a scheduled event is made so just bought some Trader Joe's pumpkin bread to settle the craving)

I was in line waiting to get on the hay stacks when the driver asked me, "Do you know who made this tractor?" To which I obviously replied, "Uhh, John Deere?" (#iknowmycountry) and it was right! So I got to drive and let me tell you, this wasn't one of those things where you "drive" and really it doesn't require much effort. Oh nosiree, we took 3 big turns on that thing and at the first turn the man turned to me and said, "Now don't freak out or anything but you need to make a real wide turn and you've got three rows of people behind ya..." No pressure. 

BUT, I did it and the next 2 turns were a piece of cake. :) So much fun!!

I'm so glad I've made friends who enjoy going on adventures to pretty farms and force me to step away from the chaos that is school. I guess you could say I'm #Blessed. 

Did you do anything October-y this weekend? Please say you ate something with pumpkin in it!
Also, PSA: THESE are really freaking yummy.

Procrastination Nation Over Here + Links

I am full on procrastinating right now. My mind currently sounds like, "You just took two quizzes, take a break! No, Allie. Don't take a break. Must. Keep. Working." (Repeat 10 x's)

It's a fun time up in here. 

Anywho, IT'S FRIDAY! What a week though, amiright? I did some of my first speech and language screenings as a grad clinician yesterday and the kiddos were so stinkin' cute. And then today I went to a retirement community with my cohort as one of our class assignments and I got to hear some amazing stories. This is such a classic example of the scope of an SLP. One day you're with preschoolers and the next you're with 80 year olds.

I better wrap this up quick so I can get back to being productive, so here are some links that I have enjoyed in my other moments of procrastination:: 

1. Anthropologie has a blog (so it's beautiful, obviously) and they feature inspiring women on it. They make beautiful videos to go along with the interview and you can check it out HERE

2. A neat ARTICLE on self-care because we all kind of suck at it, don't we?

3. When I go grocery shopping this weekend I plan on purchasing some coconut oil for the first time (I'm soooooooo behind with the times) and THIS ARTICLE shows you how many cool uses coconut oil has. 

4. Oh man you guys. THIS SONG gives me allllll the feelings. It's currently overcast and this song fits in so nicely with that mellow, candle-burning vibe. Also, harmonies. 

5. Are you a fan of the ugly cry? I am. Maybe that's because I have "overactive tear ducts" but I think there's nothing more therapeutic than a good cry. THE VIOLET FOG talked about it on their website and it's hilarious. Also, love their website and the fact that they represent the Bay Area. Woo!

 Ok. I'm done. Have a great weekend!