faves from moorea seal

favorite items from moorea seal
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t's been so exciting watching my friend Moorea kick ass this year.  Not only is her shop constantly full of drool-worthy pretty things, she's publishing not one, but two books!  Damn girl.  So thankful to blogging for bringing us two Pacific Northwest gals together.  Her first book, The 52 Lists Project, comes out in September, but she's currently got it up for pre-sale on her shop, so if you want to be one of the first to get your hands on it, head over and preorder it.  And even better?  The first 100 preorders get a signed copy!  Get your signed copy now before Moorea dethrones Oprah because girl is killing it.
I've been simplifying a lot (like... a LOT), and have been starting to make the move from house to Brave, which is a lot more overwhelming than I anticipated.  Anyway, small, simple details are important to me for Brave living.  I love the dip-dyed macrame wall hanging and can envision it fitting perfectly on one of the few walls in the Brave.  
While my size 4 fingers are too small for traditional mass-market rings, the midi ring trend has become my new favorite thing.  I'm in love with these little gold and turquoise rings, and since some of the collection are size 4, I know at least a couple would fit me!  The rest would just have to become gifts for friends because none of my fingers will fit a 7.  #babyhandproblems
I'm not a piercing person, I don't even have my ears pierced (with my hair you'd never see earrings anyway...).  But I do love a cute nose ring!  When I saw this faux nose ring nose clip in Moorea's shop I immediately bought it.  It's so much fun to be able to have a pretty little nose ring on days when I'm feeling extra wild.  And a rad pair of aviators tops off the look perfectly.  
I love that Moorea still has these glass diamond terrariums in her shop.  Two years ago when she opened her online store and did her first product shoot at my house, she brought them over and I had just bought one from the maker on etsy shortly before!  I knew I was going to love everything in her shop because everything she brought for the shoot I wanted to steal and keep.  Luckily I'd already bought this little guy, and I love that she still offers them!

texas style council: a campy farewell

t's been over a month since Texas Style Council's final conference, CAMP, but I'm still feeling inspired by my weekend surrounded by amazing women.  With founder Indiana now living in Atlanta, GA, Texas Style Council pulled out all the stops for this final event.  I've always appreciated Indiana's focus on community and connections rather than stats and sponsors when it comes to the content of the conferences.  TxSC has been the one conference I choose to attend simply because of the more down-to-earth vibe.  Big conferences with the focus on networking and business connections and becoming the biggest, richest blogger on the block, they're just not for me.   A weekend in the woods with my favorite ladies, casual style, sessions on journaling and confidence, and s'mores?  That's what I'm talking about.  
And you know what?  Even though I didn't attend any sessions on making connections with big brands, crafting super pinnable content, and growing your audience, I left feeling so much more motivated to make this space meaningful, healthy, and inspiring.  I suppose, since CAMP stood for "Create A Meaningful Presence," that means the weekend truly lived up to it's intention, eh?  One of the big reasons I'm going on a new Brave trip and starting my podcast is because of TxSC and the encouragement from blog friends to just go for it.

I co-lead a session with Megan from Greetings From Texas about what to do when your blog becomes a slog.  The word for the session was "SHIFT," but Megan aptly noted that perhaps it should be "SHIT."  Like, oh shit... this used to all come easy and I had tons of ideas and sponsors were interested in working with me and I was excited and now I feel all blah and don't know what to say anymore and sponsors don't seem to give a shit about my blog, and being a full time blogger just isn't what it used to be.  We talked about shifting focus to keep the passion alive, or even shifting to different goals other than blogging, even quitting blogging.  We talked about how in the past year or two there's emerged a huge gap in terms of income between the top 200 bloggers (in terms of income) and the rest of us and how that's affected monetized bloggers.  We talked about finding new passions through blogging, and focusing more on quality than quantity when it comes to blog posts.   Megan was way more on top of her stuff and actually had someone tape a little snippit of our discussion, which you can find on her blog here.    
I had learned about Megan last TxSC when I attended her + Becky Murphy's session on book writing.  Megan wrote a book about her experience with Ovarian cancer and adoption, which is hilarious (despite those topics not seeming immediately hilarious), but I hadn't really read her blog until learning that we'd be co-leading our discussion session.  Julie, Jen, and I were supposed to be rooming with Moorea, but after Moorea had to cancel her trip to TxSC, Megan took her spot in our room and I was so glad she did.  It was a blast getting to know her and I feel like I gained a brand new amazing friend.

Hanging out with blog friends I've known since 2009, I realized that they aren't just blog friends.  They're truly some of my best friends.  I've known these women since before they were married, or had kids.  I've watched them change careers, get new jobs, start their own businesses, write books.  They saw me graduate college, drive around the country, get married, and buy a house.  All of a sudden I realized that these aren't just "blog friends," they're full blown real friends I just happened to meet through blogging.  We pick up right where we left off (when we hung out at TxSC in 2013!), and stay up till 3 in the morning chatting in our bunks, cracking up, sharing secrets and dreams.  The sessions and workshops at these kinds of blogging events are nice, but those are the things that stick with me, not the notes I jot down listening to keynote speakers.  


I'm sad to see TxSC go, mostly because this last iteration of the conference was my absolute favorite.  I mean, you know me, I love camping, so a weekend full of inspiration with rad chicks in the woods?  Such a perfect event.  Honestly, I wish I could put something together like TxSC Camp here in the PNW on a yearly basis.  I feel like we don't need more blogging conferences, there are plenty of those.  But a weekend getaway where you get to meet up with old blog friends, meet new blog friends, and feel encouraged and inspired to go after the dreams you feel you were meant to live out?  Heck. Yes.  More of those, please.  Less feeling not good enough.  Less stressing about looking fancy and impressive.  Less strategies.  Less networking.  More connection.  More friendship.  More empowerment.  More soul-feeding conversation. 


Over the last five TxSC conferences, Indiana and her team put in countless hours of work, dozens of sleepless nights, and some serious blood sweat and tears to bring a truly inspiring event to life each time.  I'm so thankful for Indiana, both as a friend, and a "friendtor" (a term we learned from TOMS' Bethany Joy Clark at CAMP).  She poured her heart into each TxSC, from the very first meeting of a few bloggers over Costco quiche during SXSW, to a full on sold-out ALT style conference, to a weekend glamping retreat in the woods.  This lady is a powerhouse and I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeves next.

photobooth photos by Logan Pearce Photography, other photos by Liz Morrow Studios, Chelsea Laine Francis Photography, and via instagram.

mocha's rehab update

t's been three months to the day since Kristina got Mocha back and started working to get him back to a healthy place.  When I went back to my first post to grab images showing how he looked when she first got him it almost hit me harder, knowing how much healthier he is now.  A few weeks ago I went to the barn with her to take some photos of his progress and it's just incredible what love and proper care can do to bring an animal back from the state he was in.  The sad part is, that while she did immediately take measures to reverse the path of neglect he was on, simply caring for him the way a horse owner should was all that was needed.  It's even more clear in retrospect how, despite the prior owners' assertions of how well they cared for him and fed him, that they were abusively neglectful.  To think that a 250 lb man was riding a horse in his bare bones condition... I just can't.  

At this point Mocha is gaining weight nicely.  His food ration was doubled, and then they doubled that amount, so he's gained a couple hundred pounds and is approaching his healthy goal weight.  The farrier has properly shod him and trimmed his feet to help them grow in to healthy hooves.  The dewormers worked and his system is completely free of worms, so he's actually getting nutrition out of all his food now.


I asked Kristina if she wanted to share anything with you guys and she did!  

You guys, if I was given the chance to talk about Mocha, this ongoing experience, my dreams for this horse, and the deep well of gratitude in my heart for every word of encouragement and dollar donated to us, I could talk for days. But first: thank you. Thank you for every form of support. Looking into the past, exactly three months ago today, the radical steps I took to rescue my horse didn’t even seem extreme to me, they was simply no other option in my mind. I am confident I would have found a way to make getting Mocha back possible no matter the odds, but all of your support not only made the process possible, but relieved enough stress for me to find space to fill with relaxing into joy. 

The first month Mocha gained weight excruciatingly slowly, though after one month the vet said his improvements rendered him unrecognizable in the best way, he actually asked me which horse this was when I led Mocha out. I has so many people asking me how Mocha was, often followed with “When will you get to ride again?” I know everyone had the best intentions with that question, but my answer was always “When Mocha lets me know he’s ready.” I spent the first two months with Mocha just sitting in the pasture with him as he ate, or grooming him, learning quickly he was not ready to be asked for more than taking steps to health. This gave me a lot of time to observe him, and to notice that the relationship we were building was much deeper than it ever had been in the past. We spent a lot of time doing nothing together, much like horses in a herd together do, just holding space together. There is a relationship with a horse one can have that is completely inexplicable until you’ve been forced to spend months looking at each other eye to eye, seeing the world together from the same level, learning how and when to ask and when to just let your own will be.

Rebuilding trust and a relationship with neglected and abused horse has asked for more patience, quiet observation, sensitivity, and intuition than any other experience in my life, and continues to ask me to go deeper as I ask more of Mocha. After a couple rounds of bodywork and an appointment with a chiropractor, professional insight was given on how to help Mocha feel comfortable in his body again, after all, losing that much weight causes the entire skeleton to drop, and he has to learn how to carry his body again with weight on it. He needs to be comfortable enough to be able to pay attention to his body  before he can pay attention to me, and we can begin to learn to dance together again (which is the foundation of riding: the exchange of energy and will). This works in much in the same way that if you are in a lot of pain, no amount of massage will be beneficial because you will not be able to relax enough for the process to be effective. Learning how to ask Mocha to pay attention, and sync up with me without any use of force, just my own energy and gentle touch, forces me to slow down in a way I never have been asked to before. 

The vet told me Mocha is a fighter, which is why he has survived so long, and now it is my job to help him learn to let the stormy seas of his soul calm. Any time someone attempts to tell Mocha what to do he responds with demonstrating how strong his own will is. This behavior may be seen by many as a negative trait, but I know what he’s been through, and I’m proud of him for being so strong. So Mocha and I are learning to play together again. He is praised for the smallest amounts of attention and collaboration with my requests, and is quickly gaining confidence and an eager spirit to engage with a human again. I look back at the photos of him from three months ago, and am humbled at how fragile he was. Today, as I write this, I am sitting in his pasture, watching him run around, eat, and roll, and I am just as deeply humbled at the majesty of this creature. I am humbled and grateful that I have to opportunity to be the person who gets to excavate her own soul to find that quiet place that can connect with a horse, and build a relationship on that ground. Thank you, each and every one of you. 

With his previous owners Mocha had been kept in a very small stall with no opportunity to hang out with other horses, so she's working on getting him more socially healthy.  Horses are herd animals and used to highly social lives.  He definitely feels a bit lonely, even though there are horses in neighboring paddocks, so right now she's searching for a local herd where he could go to run around and be social with other horses.  If any of you are local South Sound area people who know of a herd who could take on another horse, let me know and I'll pass it along to her!

Following my initial post about Kristina's journey to getting Mocha back and beginning his rehab, you guys donated over $3,000 to help with Mocha's vet, farrier, boarding, food bills and more.  I can't tell you guys how much your generosity has helped.  In the midst of working to rehab Mocha, regular life happens and along with that stuff like cars breaking down multiple times, bills, and groceries, which cost money.  Without your help it would've been really hard to make ends meet while getting Mocha the care he needs.  With the donations, Kristina was able to give Mocha all the attention he needed, from vets to farriers, to food and supplies.  A huge thank you goes out to all of you who donated money to help get Mocha back to his happy, healthy self.  There's still work to be done, but with the donations Kristina is fully able to give Mocha what he needs to make a full recovery.  

Kristina shared this video on her Facebook the other day and I thought it was a really great short film sharing what it's like to interact with horses on their level and how deep and meaningful the horse-human relationship can be.  For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to have a relationship with a horse, it gives a little insight into the profound impact horses and humans can have on one another's lives.

natural perfume workshop!

ey guys!  If you're local to the Seattle area, I have a super fun event coming up!  On Monday, July 28th, I'll be hosting an essential oil perfume making class at Moorea Seal's flagship store in Seattle!  I've been making my own perfumes lately and It's so much fun seeing how the scents play off of one another, how they integrate into one another, and how they change with your personal body chemistry once you apply them.  I've never liked perfume, in fact I kind of hate most perfumes.  Normal perfume is so strong and unrelenting and it often will give me a headache.  I love perfumes made with essential oils because not only are they natural, they don't stay super strong for hours after you put them on.  They're stronger when you sniff them straight out of the bottle and right when you put it on, but they mellow out while you wear them and have a pleasant smell that doesn't intoxicate a room for minutes after you leave, like I've found many typical perfumes to do (I always feel like Spongebob running through the perfume department after someone walks by with strong perfume or cologne).  

I also have a really hard time finding scents that I love.  I enjoy maybe 1% of the perfumes I've smelled at a perfume counter.  I enjoy scents that are spicier and citrusy, or more woodsy, and a bit masculine.  Most perfumes I've encountered tend to be super heavy on the florals and have more of a chemical smell than anything I'd prefer.  The great thing about making your own perfume is that you get to choose your own scent profile when you make your own!  My favorite scents right now are woodsy ones, so I made a perfume with Cedarwood, Pine, and Sandalwood essential oils!  I just got some Balsam Fir essential oil and it might be my new favorite.  If I could smell like I'm walking through a forest at all times, that'd be great.  

The other awesome thing about using essential oils for your perfume?  You can craft your perfume to support your health!  Essential oils can be an amazing way to stay healthy, balance hormones, and regulate emotions, so you're doing the body good and smelling awesome too.

There are only a few spots available in the class, so if you'd like to sign up, head over to!  You'll learn all about essential oils, their various uses, AND create your own vial of perfume to take home with you.  I'll have tons of different essential oil scents to choose from and teach you how to create a great scent profile for your signature perfume!  If you haven't been to Moorea's store in Seattle yet, that's reason alone to come, it's such and inspiring space and there are so many lovely things, I kind of want to buy everything.

Date:  Monday, July 28th.
Time:   7:00-8:30pm
Location:  The Moorea Seal store.  2523 3rd Ave. Seattle WA, 98121

What You Will Learn:
You will have the opportunity to play with layering different notes and scents to decide what essential oils blend best for you.  Students will also learn the other elements to creating perfume beyond the essential oils themselves.  Beyond perfume making, students will also learn how to integrate essential oils into other uses for home and health.

What You Will Take Away:
A 10mm vial of your custom essential oil perfume.

What to Bring:
Yourself!  With an excitement to learn a new skill and make a few new friends :)  All supplies, plus a glass of champagne and/or wine, will be provided for you.