Thoughts on “capability”

Having an existential sort of Saturday? Try these on for size.

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“Consider what you want to do in relation to what you are capable of doing. Climbing is, above all, a matter of integrity.” – Gaston Rébuffat

Best of all she loved the fall

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

Seasons come and go so quickly here! But, alas, I got to spend the fall doing amazing things with incredible people and I have a whole heap of pictures to show for it. Here are a few of my favorites accumulated over … Continue reading

The brilliance of baking soda

I was recently brainstorming some long term backpacking trips to a friend when she asked, “Do any of these places have showering options?”

“I mean, not really,” I said, “but I’m not super worried because I’ve got a big thing of baking soda and there are rivers and stuff.”

“Oh,” she said, followed by a good 5 seconds of silence. “Well, good luck with that.”

This was the moment I realized two things: first- I’d crossed into official dirtbag territory, and second – the magical properties of baking soda are just not as appreciated as they darn well should be! So, real talk topic number one: sodium bicarbonate is pretty much much the greatest thing to happen to camping since the sleeping bag onesie. It absolutely belongs in every backpack you ever own and here are 10 fantastic reasons why.

  1. baking sodaIt’s essentially already toothpaste (just add water!) – Plus it is capable of neutralizing acids that can cause bacteria build-up and plaque and is a natural abrasive so it doesn’t just clean your teeth, it whitens them too!
  2. It gets all manner of food grime off of your pots, plates, forks, leatherman, etc. – say goodbye to slimy sporks forevaaa!
  3. Dry shampoo is all the rage these days, right? – Well baking soda can pull all sorts of gunk off your hair; AKA all the crap left behind by your at-home shampoo.
  4. It is a natural antacid. – Seriously. Have you ever actually bothered to read the box?
  5. It deodorizes EVERYTHING. – Backpacks, armpits, boyfriends, even climbing shoes, and that’s no small feat. #footpun
  6. It moonlights as a fire extinguisher. – Ever wonder what you ARE supposed to throw on a grease fire? Baking soda! Duhhhhh! And it’s great for campfires too. Just toss some at the base of the pit. http://humantouchofchemistry.com/why-does-baking-soda-extinguish-fires.htm
  7. Sunburn relief never felt SO good as when you’re 5+ miles from the nearest trailhead. – Sprinkle some of that soda onto a towel or sham, soak in cold water, and then let lay on your most sensitive burn zones. 10-20 minutes is more than enough time to start feeling amazing relief. (This works on bug bites and bee stings too!)
  8. It gets out splinters. Wait, seriously? Yes. With water mix into a paste, dab onto the skin and cover with a bandage for a couple of minutes. Baking soda can swell the skin which, in turn, pulls that splinter up to the surface, making it easy for you to pluck out with them itty bitty climber nails.
  9. It’s your one and done body wash for those times when even Dr. Bronner’s is above your pay scale. (Errybody has those days)
  10. It neutralizes battery corrosion. – Have you ever had the batteries explode inside your headlamp? Try giving the thing a baking soda shakedown. It probably won’t save your gadget completely but it might just put it on life support for awhile. Because finding a bathroom at night is hard enough to do WITH a headlamp.

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I do have to make one real quick disclaimer before I leave this post because if used in excess as a cleansing agent, baking soda does have some pretty ridiculous callus removing super powers. I’ve got this image in my head of all these climbers screaming bloody murder as the hard earned calluses melt from their fingertips. Honestly though, is “excessive cleansing” even a thing in the outdoors? Yeah, right.

xoxo Sarah

Getting animated: 9 days and counting

Here we go! The Halloween countdown has hit single digits (woop! woop!) which means it’s time to get your selves in gear. I’m usually struck with one of those brilliant Halloween costume epiphany sort of moment months before the actual holiday, but there are those years when even the best of us can’t think of a darn tootin worthwhile idea! Fortunately for those of you that fall into that second category I am kind-of losing my mind over polyvore right now and spent an entire night coming up with super simple and completely adorable Halloween costumes just to share with you! Aaaand because I don’t do anything in my life without a theme, I have developed a fantastic one for this post; My favorite female cartoon characters. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite one!

1. Turanga Leela – Futurama

Turanga Leela

2. Lisa Simpson – The Simpsons

Lisa Simpson

3. Lucy Van Pelt – Peanuts

Luce Van Pelt

4. Jessica Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Jessica Rabbit

5. Lois Griffin – Family Guy

Lois Griffin

6. Louise Belcher – Bob’s Burgers

Louise Belcher

Thanks for reading! And don’t forget to vote!

xoxo Sarah

PS. Lucy, Leela, Lois, Louise, Lisa… I think I’ve cracked the code of animated television. (Sorry Jessica!)

 

Getting back to it: My photography comfort zone

Holy smokes, I’ve been a super slacker…. I’m not even going to look at the date on that last post. I promise, promise, promise that I have some nifty pots on the burner and can tell you right now that this blog will be seeing its game dramatically stepped up! I’m going to be venturing into a lot more on “love” and “plot twists” here in the coming weeks so go ahead and prepare your fine selves for that madness. Also, *Spoiler Alert* my “Fashion” and “Photography” tabs are getting A LOT of new material. And I’ll be throwing two, count em, TWO whole new categories into the mix! Whew!


To backtrack only slightly, though, my camera and I have been crazy busy the last couple of days. This weekend I got to watch one of my oldest friends get married! (Congratulations Hill Family!) I also scored some fantastic shots of the reception, a few of which I have included below. Looking through so many pictures taken within such a short window really gave me some insight into my tendencies and shortcomings as a photographer.  Five of which I’ve summed up for you in one, easy to read, list. What luck, right!?

Ok, here goes…

1. I’m not above manipulating the world around me if I think it will yield an interesting shot.

Basically, I am going to get a good picture out of this even if it means holding the plants with one hand (I hate wind so freaking much) and contorting my whole body so that the sun works in my favor. I like it best when my torso has that nice “Z” shape going on.

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2. Sometimes there’s just as much of a story from the other side of things.

Buuuut be sure to keep your zeal in check. It’s great to mix things up but let’s be honest, no one really needs that many backside pictures.

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 3. Plus, faces are VERY worth while.

 Especially in the “Genuine Smile” department.

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4. Remember the color wheel? No, seriously… remember it!

This planet exists on complementary colors – orange/blue, purple/green, yellow/purple; pretty much anything prominently featured on a football jersey.

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5. Last but not least: Don’t overestimate your skills and become an under-snapper!

This weekend I took up upwards of 500 pictures in a two hour period and most of them were absolute crap. There were SO many blurs, 1/4 faces, and rogue limbs all over everything. But all those wasted gigabytes are worth it when you run the risk of capturing something like this…

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RIGHT!?

So, from one amateur to another, please don’t be an under-snapper. For every decent shot you think you have, take, like, 6 more. It’s really hard to tell what an image actually looks like when you’re previewing it on a 1″ screen.

That’s it, kittens!

xoxo

Sarah

PS. I’m just gonna leave this here for you to float on for a while because why not?

Go fourth and….

…set the world on fire? Go forth and multiply? Ehhh… this pun may need a little more work.

Anywayyy, like most things in my life, I’m doing up the 4th of July with a good healthy dose of pop culture. In observance of this holiday I have put together four glorious outfits; each of which was inspired by one of my favorite fourth of July films! Hope you enjoy!

4. Captain America

Going 4th with Captain America

3. Jaws! (I ultimately decided to title this guy “Shark week chic” even though Shark Week doesn’t technically start till August. I also considered naming it “We’re gonna need a bigger tote.”)

Shark Week Chic

2. Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free

1. Independence Day (Also known as “All’s well that Roswell.”)

All's well that Roswell

Have a most happy 4th of July! Also, here’s a poll! Because, why not?

xoxo
Sarah

To reach the beach

Who’s peaches for beaches? This girl right here. I just finished filtering through the portion of our trip photos from the seaside and it has left me really aching! All this glorious Idaho blue sky weather isn’t helping matters either. What good is that blue without a big sandy beach to play on!?

Beach

On a different and photo-related note, I’ve been realizing that I edit most of my photos the same way. And while I really am happy with most of them I find that everything seems to possess the same quality of brown-ness. Decided to try something a little bit different with these seascapes because, oh my, that beautiful, beautiful blue…

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rocks

I’m still working out the kinks on a few of these diy posts I’ve been teasing y’all with. (They are coming, I promise!!!) In the meantime, though, I’m distracting myself with the brilliance of Polyvore (stripes and seashells anyone?) and, of course, more swashbuckling pirate novels.

Reach the beach

Outfit disclaimer: This is a vague recreation of the one I wore to the beach in La Rochelle, France. However, I don’t actually own a $200 pair of Ray-Bans. Or a CC Skye double wrap bracelet for that matter. But given that they were a the most visually similar items available on Polyvore I figured I was allowed a few artistic liberties.

Happy Sunday, kittens!
xoxo
Sarah

The four fashion trends that I’m mildly obsessing over

Right now I’m buzzing (almost literally) over a few of my new favorite fashion pieces; all of which I’m pulling back with me from across the Atlantic. Oh, they aren’t particularly earth shattering but I’m smitten with what Paris and London have got going on right now and have been eagerly waiting to share it all with you!

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First though, a moment to gloat because you know what’s stinkin’ impressive? Parading around Europe without spending a single cent on clothes. BOOM! Go try it. I dare you! Honestly, this wasn’t a real challenge in London – holy cats, that place is expensive! – but Paris…. oh, man. Fortunately for my piggy bank, we were carrying our lives on our backs and additional weight was less than welcome. I really could have squeezed a few tops into my pack had I felt so passionately motivated. But hazzah! I was good and I resisted.

That aside being said, I give you the four fashion trends that London and Paris simply cannot get enough of.*

4. Printed pants – Paris, France

Printed Pants
I am pretty darn good at waiting out the “new hot thing.” I still don’t own a smartphone if that gives you any idea about it. But my God, printed pants for dayyyyyys! I was skeptical at first about this. It’s so uncannily reminiscent of the 80’s I want to scream. My viewpoint does appear to have shifted though and at this point I fear I’m only a few coral chevrons away from diving legs first into this trend.

3. Black tights – London, England

Black Tights
Have I mentioned that tights are my scene? Because tights are 100% my scene. I have over a dozen pairs! Of the various lengths, colors, and fabrics I boast to own, however, I cannot say I possess a single sheer black pair! Gah! So rookie! Black is the classiest cat in the joint and here I’ve been ignoring her the whole time. I can’t wait to break into this trend — wait, what’s that you say? It’s 96 degrees outside? Oh gosh darn it.

2. Pastel shorts with boat shoes -Paris, France

Pastel shorts/Boat shoes
Chris was actually the one to point this one out. Probably because he thought it was too funny. I, for one, am kinda digging this whole shorts above the knees trend. And the colors are really fun. I saw a lot of this in Orlando, FL during the spring as is probably not surprising given the coastal element at hand. I don’t really expect that it will be making a big name for itself in Idaho. But do y’all like plaid? Cuz we’ve got plaid…

1. Denim… everything? – London, England

Denim Everything
These things are friggin back. And with serious to-do! At one point we tried to keep track of how many jean jackets we passed on a single street in London but lost track in the vicinity of forty-five. We were all a little taken aback at first. That is, until we saw Emma Watson, jean-clad and sexy as ever,on the cover of Elle. Suddenly the sheer volume of denim vests, dresses, overalls, and jumpers began to make sense. I’m not sure how I feel about the jean onesies, but, weather allowing, I may be fishing my jacket out from the depths of my closet in the coming weeks.


*I would have preferred to have posted my own pictures of people around London and Paris candidly sporting each of these respective trends. However, on top of the business of carrying my life on my back I wasn’t very well equipped for frequent photo stops. Alas, I’ve come to terms with resorting to stock images.

 

DIY’s, travel advice, and more to come real soon!

xoxo

Sarah

PS. I’m foaming at the mouth for the next installment of Rejected Princesses. This site is packed full of delicious, historically accurate crack and is well worth your time.

The one where she went to London

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

So a month has happened. Did you feel that just now? When it all went speeding by? Sheesh. I can’t believe how badly I’ve lost track of myself this time. To be fair, however, I’ve been abroad for three weeks … Continue reading

How to: Get your rave on

What’s that? You thought I would be over freezer painting by now? Ha! As if. And, I’ll have you know that my shirt DIY kick remains in full swing! Kiddos, I’m really stoked on this week’s project. If it’s possible, I am even more excited than I was for my previous DIY shirt post.  First, though, I did it again. Did you see? Did you notice that I renovated my blog? Woo! Apparently I am incapable of settling on a single theme that I’m bananas for. I really like this new one, though. So clean and roomy. I feel like I can finally breathe in this space! Ahhhh…. You may have to bear with me while I learn to navigate this new side bar. In the mean time, though, I hope you’re prepared to tackle some glow in the dark paint. Bring on the supernova!

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Preparing your outfit for a rave is half the fun of going. I really wanted to try my hand with splatter painting for this one. Neon paint + splattered shapes =raver girl’s bliss. Little did I know that there is a so much technique involved! Splatter painting really is more than just flinging your brush around aimlessly (though that is plenty fun as well). I strongly recommend hitting up this awesome photo-by-photo tutorial on splattering methods if you want some real good looking blotches. And don’t worry, doing it well doesn’t make the process any less enjoyable.🙂

Splatter Painting Materials:

  • 1 shirt – I got mine at Fred Meyers for a whopping $6.99
  • Assorted Brushes – I used a round brush, a flat wash brush, and an old tooth brush.
  • Paint – Craftsmart continues to be the tangy and oh-so reliable jam on my t-shirt pbj. The versatility of their product is keeping me hooked. I don’t like the way that most fabric paints lay on the threads. And why do they all boast about this three dimensional feature? It drastically limits your creative license with the material! I can’t stress how much easier it is to buy a few satin acrylic paints and then mix in a fabric medium at home. (Craftsmart also sells one of those!)

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I slopped the glow in the dark paint onto my shirt first – probably because I was the most excited about using it. To really get the glow effect you won’t want to overplay the fabric medium because it dilutes the glowing property. In lieu of the recommended 1-2 ratio I opted for more along the lines of 1-4. It’s just enough to give the paint some flexibility when it dries without killing off the reason that you bought it in the first place; it’s glow-ability!

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The rest of the colors were added pretty methodically, at first: one after the other. That is, until I discovered something completely uhhh-mazing! Mixing colors on your brush in big clumps and then swatting them towards your shirt = multicolored splatters! What. Up. These streaks look like Trix yogurt splashes! How cool! Unfortunately, I didn’t make this discovery until the very near end of my splattering endeavor and was only able to cover one sleeve. Next time though…

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Give your shirt a good 4-5 hours of drying time before flipping it over. You can decrease your drying time by dabbing at any big bubbles of paint with a cloth. They don’t hold up well in the wash and are more susceptible to being peeled off. When both sides have been sufficiently splattered, hang them up to air dry, preferably, overnight. Run your iron over the whole thing in the morning to help the paint set in the fabric.

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Now it’s time to add your words! Rave attire is completely about your own random quirks and funky phrases. I knew I wanted to do something space related and came up with “hit me with your supernova.” I probably stole it from a song or movie but can’t for the life of me place it anywhere. In the event that I did come up with it on my own, I share the copyrighting privileges with you to use for your own exploits. My stencil template is below. Also, I downloaded the timey-wimey space font from freefonts.com. It is called m_ponderosa.

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If you’d like to see a more in-depth look at how I stenciled the words to my shirt you can do so here. It doesn’t seem necessary for me to detail this process a second time with the photos and tips and all. I will recommend, however, that if you choose to seek out a glow in the dark effect, as I did, that you really layer on the paint. I only used the fabric medium/paint mixture on the first couple of layers to ensure that bit of flexibility. Beyond that I opted for just the glow paint.

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I took my shirt on it’s maiden voyage last night. Boise is developing quite the rave scene and last night Glitch Mob headlined. It is so much fun to dance your face off in something hand made specifically for that experience! My head is already spinning with complimentary DIY’s for the next show. Maybe a glow in the dark belt buckle? And a fringed out leather purse? Ideas, anyone?

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That’s it for this post, folks! Happy Hump Day!

xoxo

Mama cat