Autumn Child

Well ya caught me. Last week I was bitching about Halloween candy being in stores and then today while out grocery shopping, Ryan & I passed the decorations to which I exclaimed, “Ooh, I want to buy all the things Halloween!”

Ryan then promptly called me out. Whoops. I can’t help it though. Autumn is a profound season for me mentally. Perhaps because some of the most impressionable moments from my teen years were in Autumn, so a very deep nostalgia is felt when I smell the leaves & have Depeche Mode playing.

It’s a romantic season. you could say I worship it. The pulling out of boots, sweaters and scarves; the purchasing of autumn scented candles; playing Celtic music playlists I’ve carefully curated for the season; these are my rituals.

I wish I could explain the Celtic music one. I’ve always been drawn to the British Isles & their ancient past. I’ve romanticized it quite a bit in my head & though I’ve never been, I have this very clear idea of what autumn in the UK looks like. Though I’ll get to find that out for myself in a few weeks!

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Outfit Details:

Top: Zara
Jacket: Sam Edelman
Boots: Bucco
Bag: Michael Kors Sutton Medium Satchel
Pants: Paige

And as an aside, Zara’s autumn landing page design is on point. Love. (I nerd out over good design.)
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I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!
xoxo,
Steph

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The Last of the Famous International Playboys: An Evening with Morrissey

As I leaned forward peering over the edge of a third tier box down at the stage in Benaroya Hall, I reflected on what was about to happen and why I was here to see Morrissey. 10 years ago I had tickets to see him in Spokane, where I lived at the time, when the show was changed to 21+, I was 17.  My ticket was refunded. Then after a few days of outcry, the show was changed back to all ages. Except my then boyfriend seemed upset that I was going to go and I didn’t buy a ticket again.

This is one of the few decisions that has bugged me well into my post-college years. I was head over heels into the 80s at the time, deep into Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, and I didn’t go see one of my idols because of a boy. I don’t sit and brood on this often but when I do see that someone is coming into town that I really absolutely must see, that decision and the disappointment that followed pops up in the back of my head.

So when I saw Morrissey tickets, fuck yes I said, and I called my brother. I was going to go to this, and I knew full well that my current significant other of 8 years, would not be into this at all. Morrissey is not is scene at all. So I didn’t even ask him, I went straight to my brother and then bought tickets for the two of us.

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Morrissey & his bandmates are a beautiful thing to see live. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a show that wasn’t electronic. The live band is bloody amazing. They are all so talented & I very much love the fact that Morrissey introduces all of the members, and each of them have their moment to shine.

And let me just take a moment to say:

Morrissey’s voice is the absolute definition of perfection during a live performance. 

It’s always a treat to hear some of your favorite songs played: “Everyday is Like Sunday”, “Mama Lay Softly on the Riverbed”, and “Suedehead”. And then he plays a few songs from the Smiths, and the crowd goes nuts.

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Morrissey’s fans are some of the most passionate people, so much that often people have rushed the stage and need to be carried off. I could see security on each side, ready to swoop in, but Seattle isn’t like that, at least not this crowd. Morrissey was within arms reach for many people and he gladly reached out to grasp people’s hands, those people’s faces glowing, ecstatic, some of them looked as though they had just touched god, and I’m sure for some it felt like that.

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I’ve heard & read the things about him being miserable, grumpy, and generally just an ass. None of that showed during this performance. He made a few funny quips in between songs, the atmosphere was upbeat, and it was exactly what I expected from a Morrissey show. Right down to the political statements.

And in the end, he stripped off his shirt & threw it into the crowd. And I couldn’t help but imagine what a sight he was to see 25 years ago. A heartthrob of a British musician: looks and a voice to knock you off your feet.

As we rolled out of the garage after the concert, I was happy, obviously, but I felt free of that decision 10 years ago, and contentedly checked this off my bucket list. I have seen Depeche Mode twice. I have danced with Slow Magic.

Now I have seen Morrissey, and I have a wonderful memory to share with my younger brother. Perhaps there was a reason I didn’t see Morrissey all those years ago because this is so much more meaningful to me now than it would have been then.

xoxo,

Steph

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Cream on Chrome // PNW Summers

Summer is here & I am haaaaappy. Sometimes I think I live in the wrong state & that I really belong on a beach in Hawaii. But I love the mountains, the forest & the fog of the pacific northwest and when it’s 75 degrees and sunny, Seattle is the definition of perfection.

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But as I’m anxiously awaiting the summer days, one thing becomes blazingly clear. My closet is mostly full of items that would make more sense if I lived in Southern California. So when we hit that first day of beautiful weather, you can bet that I’m in a brightly colored skirt, sleeveless top and sandals, sitting in the park in Bellevue on my lunch break, tweeting to my manager that I might not come back to work.

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I wouldn’t trade my summertime in the pacific northwest for anywhere else. You can find me in Hawaii in January, Phoenix in November & December. I’ll be everywhere else but here during the winter. But there is very little reason to leave this beautiful place from May-September.

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Outfit deets:

Crop Top: Topshop / Skirt: Unknown/Macy’s / Sandals: Bucco (Hautelook) / Necklace: Unknown/Ebay

Have a great weekend lovelies. It’s going to be in the 80s this weekend, it’s hair day tomorrow (new color!), breakfast with my dad on Sunday…it’s going to be a great weekend.

xoxo
Steph

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An Event Apart: Key Takeaways from a Web Designer

Conferences. I love conferences.

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Compared to Seattle Interactive Conference, from a design perspective, I loved the format of this one. About 12 speakers over the course of two days, in one room, so there was no running between rooms or going to a dull session and feeling like you may have missed out on something better. This is a conference for people who make websites so it is pretty specific. I dig it.

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I always come out of these type of events feeling JAZZED, EXCITED, BURSTING AT THE SEAMS WITH CREATIVITY.

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And then comes the slow decline after realizing maybe only half of what I learned, I can actually take back and use in my design process. Because that’s just how it goes.

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1. Writing and articulating your thoughts is key to a successful career.
Dare to speak! Unlock your inner voice! It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.

2. Responsive Design is changing the way teams work together in an organization.
Teams should be working together throughout an entire project. The practice of just handing off tasks between teams & not touching the project again is dying.

3. Designers need to start surfacing conflict.
If we ignore any issues that we’ve identified before starting a project, we’re setting ourself up for bigger conflict down the road. So get that shit out of the way. Tackle it head on. Nothing good comes from burying it and ignoring it. It is our job as creatives to handle those problems. We are problem solvers!

4. Act like the expert the client hired you to be.
You were not hired to be the client’s friend. *cue Liam Neeson voice* You were hired because you possess a particular set of skills, skills you have acquired over a very long career. Skills the client does not have. They trust you. Don’t blow it.
Confidence isn’t about you either. It’s about the client. If you don’t act like the expert, you’re going to freak your client out & they’ll question your abilities to complete their project and no one wants that.

At the end of the second day, I left with a handful of new tools for my design toolbox, but also with a new perspective on things. I had a project with a client recently and the website part went really well. Looking back, its because my manager and I sat down one afternoon, developed our plan, and came in confident that our approach was the right one. And in the end, it was. It really is all about the confidence you exude. And right now, I’m feeling pretty good.

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Woodinville Winery Tour

I’ve been in hibernation for a few months, finally coming out & celebrating this absolutely beautiful weather we’ve been having so early in Seattle. 80s & sunny is not normal but I can dig it. I’m a sun child.

While in hibernation, when the sun set by 6 and the trees were still bare, I got to go up to Woodinville for our Team Fun Day activity: winery touring!

On the itinerary:

Efeste Winery
Matthews Winery
Fidélitas
Lauren Ashton Cellars

All good wine, though Matthews was my favorite for wine & their tasting room. There were barrels surrounding the room, with white lights, and repurposed barrels as tables with glass tops filled with corks. It was like a Pinterest pin come to life.

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Life as of late has been busy, I’m not sure where the past 3 months went. I’m knee deep in my first big web project that will launch at the end of the month. My birthday is in 26 days, and there is also a Mexico trip on the horizon. And I’m sure before I know it, January 2015 will be here, and I’ll be back in Hawaii. But that is 6 months away, and I have quite a bit to do between now & then.

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light & magic

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The last two weeks have been sunny & warm and now we are back to the rain. I spent one weekend out and about in downtown Seattle. Brunch two days in a row with friends, followed by a visit to Vain salon to get the blood red color in my hair redone.

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Went and tried a new restaurant in Belltown called Local 360. The food was absolutely amazing. I had biscuits and gravy but next time I want to try their chicken & waffles. Everything on the menu looked so good. They also source the majority of their food within 360 miles of Seattle, hence the name Local 360. We showed up a little bit before 10AM, and I’m glad we did because there was a line out the door by the time we left.

Tip: Brunch in Seattle on a Sunday, get there early early early.

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More goodies from Dior.

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It was a very pink week last week. I was feeling the sunshine & now it is gray and raining. I’m spending my Sunday cozy with a cup of hot chocolate & a Real Housewives of Vancouver marathon.

Have a fabulous end to the weekend everyone.

xo

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New Lina Zeineddine ‘Scarlett’ Pumps – What would you pair with them?

I finally received my first pair of Lina Zeineddines, and I adore them! I love heels but usually find them unbearable to stand in. Not with these. They are padded on the inside and unbelievably comfortable to stand in.

This pair is called Scarlett. I want to know what you would pair with them? Who is Scarlett?

I’m looking forward to the upcoming line, which I was able to peak at when I picked these up. There are some classic and stylish designs to look forward to & I’m sure I’ll be picking up another pair soon. Lina’s shoes don’t compromise style for comfort but combine both qualities successfully. I’m in love and can’t wait to add to my collection!