Mural Hunting

I fell in love with the quirks of this compact and bustling city from the get-go. Being a low-key creative, I had the vision of documenting myself in artsy places in Austin, TX. I do not feel the desire to express a statement but have sat on the urge of creating a sophisticated way to transform my lookbook.

I’ve resided in Texas for the last two and half years and the climate can be unbelievably warm. But that is what makes it perfect for my project compared to my cold and snowy birthplace, Minnesota. I’ve documented my fashion back in college in the same rooms/places with some chalk-screeching captions. I kept holding back on photographing myself in public spaces while my head was in the works of resolving how I would initiate something I have wanted to do for years. Why the hesitation? Partially because I’m embarrassed of carrying my tripod. Self-conscious with a timer and clicker, without a partner AND getting stares. It’s not like anyone would want to get up early in the morning with me before the harsh sunlight draws in. I can be awkward in photos and throw the oddest poses. I started thinking over the past few months about how it would be appropriate to get the perfect Instagram husband at this stage of my project.

And I’ve decided: IDGAF. I love scavenging for murals and walls wherever I travel. My eyes wander to colorful buildings and patterns as I snap a mental image for keepsake. But there I was last July, getting started on this project which ended after one weekend. And there I was last weekend getting out of bed at 7 in the morning to get back in the grind. This took some planning after I complained about not having hobbies. My friend looked at me and said, ‘You like walls!’ (not the Donald Trump kind of wall per say).

I will surely build some confidence as time progresses.

Follow me on my mural and (non-discriminating) wall adventures in Austin, TX at @shesaidyoyo.

#lookingforinstagramhusband

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Location: Art For The People Gallery in Austin, TX located on 1711 S. 1st by W Annie St.

Wearing: Vince Camuto maxi dress, H&M sunglasses, Mac lipstick – Heroine, Kittsonia earrings, Forever 21 necklace, Lauren by Ralph Lauren sandals

2016 Highlights

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Every year at the end of December before the New Year, I sit down and reflect on the most impactful moments over the last 365 days. I keep busy and am hard on myself when I make mistakes, but I have good head on my shoulder. I think I’ve done #adulting right in 2016 and let’s just say, I’m not one of those who is thinking to themselves, “I’m over 2016! I can’t wait for 2017!”

  1. Respect – I was fed up with upsetting news of rape across the world and had to do something about it. After five years of living with something I could not change about myself, I decided to come out and speak about being sexually violated. It was important for me to address this issue. Thank you for your love, encouragement and support. I was extremely touched with your response and send all my love to my friends who trusted me with their own personal story. #powerful Here’s my story: http://wp.me/p7w1ih-ha Let me tell you, I am stronger than ever and turned this negative event into a positive outlook.
  1. Friends – Moving to a brand new city, I’ve become close with human transplants from all over the world. We’ve celebrated birthdays, holidays, late nights and weekends together. I spend almost every day after work with some of y’all and why aren’t you annoyed with me yet?! Whether we met through friends, work, board game group, etc., I can’t imagine Austin without you and I’m glad to call you family.
  1. New Job – I had a hard time with my first couple jobs in Austin. You know the sick-to-the-stomach feeling? That’s what I felt every day going to work and now I wake up every morning looking forward to work. I have an amazing team and make sure they know it.
  1. YouTube Channel – I started vlogging and blogging again (slowly but surely!) under the name, “shesaidyoyo.” It’s a painful experience because I hate video editing. I posted a few videos up on my new channel and my 6 subscribers are always expecting delays. But in all seriousness, they probably had already forgotten me.
  1. Health – I like running outside due to the change of scenery but could not deal with the Texas heat. So I committed my body and mind to a 2-year gym membership. So far I’m enjoying two fitness classes, Body Combat and Body Pump. I’m not gonna lie, I hate going to the gym but as you can tell, I’m doing it for the fries (and bridesmaid bod goals). I guess I can try going to the dentist twice a year as well.
  1. Minnesota – Visiting and seeing family and friends back home in Minnesota makes my heart so full. I forgot how much I loved green, cool, muggy Minnesota summers .. and then reality settled in when I thought of Minnesota winters.
  1. Dating – Yes .. a human relationship that I prefer to keep low key but didn’t get past the exclusive phase. I began seeing other people this year, one by one, and it got to the point where I got tired of narrating my life story. I just wasn’t interested in the whole aspect of being with someone anymore. I did meet someone and for a while it was beautiful. We weren’t compatible in the long run and I couldn’t help but do the practical thing. I don’t feel blue about it because I’ve realized how much you can’t force to feel for someone and I prefer to not have a better half. I’ve encountered people from my past this year and it’s best to not be bitter because I would be miserable if I were still with them.
  1. Food  – I’m as plumped as a healthy chipmunk. I cooked less this year, which hurt my bank account but I loved discovering new eats. I have many more places on my bucket list to cross out in 2017. And I have many recipes to attempt with friends so I can’t wait!
  • MusicOK, I love WET. They are by far, my MOST FAVORITE breathing, living voices and music-making human beings. They released their first full album this year and I fan-girled the shit out of my pants when I saw AND met them live in person! If I resided in Brooklyn, I would be their neighbor and *cross fingers* become their friend so I can listen to their gifted tunes. OK, anyway, I experienced SXSW, which I still can’t stop thinking about, and discovered new music to my taste.
  1. Adventure – Discovering new spaces and in old places. Planning weekend trips and international/domestic getaways. Spontaneously going to a drive thru at 10PM on a weeknight just to get fries. Always putting my energy into an activity to get more out of life. Cheers to many more adventures!

Hope you got to see the amazing part of 2016 despite the hardships – let’s make the new year even better!

Deadline

My light-weight anxiety wore off when I knocked down pressure. Although I don’t keep a record of life goals on paper, I spent some years coming up with a master plan. I thought carefully about my next move and weighed out the pros and cons in the most practical way. Ultimately the real question was: What do I want to make of myself?

I compare myself to the person I was four years ago when I was starting my senior year of college, indulging my first day in a new country as an 18-year-old and the moment I moved away from home for my big girl job. I was constantly pitting myself against myself, and handling situations as they got to me. I confused people as my aspirations changed periodically and as a few remain the same.

I recently discovered that getting older has its rewards. I’ve benefited from quarter-century crisis, a year when I felt lost. There is something about hopelessness that could kill you or ignite ambitious sparks. I experienced both and made something of it.

A few months ago everything clicked. To my amazement, I no longer had the reoccurring thought, “What am I doing with my life?!”. I let go of the deadlines I set for myself from long ago. I put all these ideas and pressure into my head at 23. I was worrying about things that I didn’t have to in the first place. What no one told me when I was younger was not to self-destruct with a ticking bomb.

My plans transformed over time. I’m not living in Seattle and I’m not moving back to Minnesota anytime soon. My current occupation is different from what I imagined but I love the team I work with. My wedding didn’t happen on May 26, 2016 because I don’t want to force commitment.

I’m at a good place right now. No worries. I’m picturing adult life as a real adult and enjoying the adventure. “Life Deadlines” were motivation tactics set to inspire me and resulted in battling high expectations. I’m not saying all deadlines are bad – I make sure friends give me a crucial date to complete a design or edit photos by. There are some unrealistic tasks that I just shouldn’t give myself.

Genuinely

I am genuinely happy with the current direction of life. I wake up refreshed, pace throughout the day with good energy and head to bed with sweet dreams. My normal routine consists of the following: go to work and do my job right, attend an hour-long body combat class at the gym, eat delicious food with friends, catch up on shows via Netflix and scout for creative projects.

I will be visiting Minnesota a week from today and am beyond excited to see family and friends! I got a new carry-on luggage a few days ago and finished packing right away! I am notorious for planning and organizing my trips – see my itinerary below – TADA! I do this to not waste time and don’t get upset if something does go off schedule as I do appreciate spontaneity. Other than attending my friends’ wedding in Iowa and meeting my best friend’s soon-to-be husband for the first time, I am focusing on spending a majority of my vacation with family every chance I get.

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You Had Me At Hello

She is a positive person by nature.

I start my new job tomorrow and am relaxing before the big day. This past week involved running errands, getting my priorities straight and binge watching season 4 of Orange is the New Black and seasons 1 & 2 of The Office.

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This artsy ‘Hello!’ wall will greet me here on as I drive to work every morning. After leaving my last job, I gave myself a month and a half deadline to find a new opportunity I would enjoy long-term. I met my goal! As much as I would love to work for a company that fulfills a combination of human rights and justice + project/account management + front end development, I concluded that a work environment and a close-knit team are most important to me. I love a challenge to dive into something I don’t know much about, so I am eager to begin this chapter in my life with a supportive group of people. I function well at a company or organization that values their employees and I have a good feeling about my new beginning.

Lemonade

How do you like your lemonade? 🍋  ‪#‎servedfresh‬

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Summer is here all year round in Austin, TX! I love these fun lemonade print shorts from Ann Taylor that I got over Labor Day weekend last year. It’s more exciting now that lemonade is relevant in pop culture and music thanks to Queen B. The crop white top is from Forever 21 and I got it for a steal – only $5! I’ve been waiting patiently to purchase one and it was worth the wait.

xo