Friday, February 28, 2014

A Big Day

Guys, today is a big day. Today is my last day working at Theo Chocolate, the company I've spent the last (nearly) 5 years working for.

Working at Theo has been a really big part of my life. I started there at the age of 21 working in the confections packing room. While boxing up confections was never my dream job, I had, just a year prior, abandoned my plan of becoming a fashion designer, dropped out of school, moved from New York back to Seattle, and gone back to life working retail. Not just retail, but retail while working for the worst boss I have ever had. Needless to say, I was not in the best place, but this was a step in the right direction.

Pretty much as soon as I started at Theo I knew I was working somewhere special. My new co-workers were so warm, welcoming, and AWESOME. Within my first month I had gone to a company party, made friends, and started to truly feel at home.

As time passed, I moved into the retail store, where, in addition to selling chocolate, I also gave tours of the factory. In my three years in the store, I probably gave somewhere around 1,000 tours to people from all around the world (including Dave Matthews! Ha!). For a gal who is freaked out by public speaking and hates being the center of attention, this is a pretty major accomplishment. But trust me, I still got nervous ever single time. Working in the store kept me surrounded by the most compassionate, supportive, and hilarious group of people I have ever met, many of whom have become dear, dear friends.

After taking on various responsibilities, I eventually moved into the office as a receptionist, doing work that really played to my strengths. I was less stressed out, and I was really content with the work I was doing. I felt fortunate to be give such a great opportunity that has really changed my career path, and I felt proud of myself for having worked hard enough to earn it.

In my time at Theo, I've been given opportunities I may have never gotten elsewhere; I've been given guidance that has helped me grow leaps and bounds from the person I was at age 21; I've been surrounded by an amazing group of some of the most supportive people I've ever met; I've made some of the best friends I've ever had; and I have had so. much. fun.

I love to learn, grow, and be challenged, and because of that, I made the decision to take a new position with a great non-profit that will really let me stretch wings. While I'm excited and ready for a new challenge, I'm definitely leaving Theo with a heavy heart.

To everyone I've worked with at Theo over the years, thank you for everything. I'm going to miss working with you so, so much.

Oh man, I am feeling all the feelings right now! Thanks to everyone for reading along today. Ya'll are the best!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Midwinter Playlist

Hey guys!

Today I'm sharing a playlist of songs that I've been really loving lately. It's perfect for this strange time of year when it's snowing one minute and blooming pretty flowers the next. I hope this helps you get through this weird midwinter time of year. Spring will be springing soon!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Wardrobe: Rainy Days

Glasses: BonLook
Umbrella: Portage Bay Goods/Similar
Belt: Anthropologie/Similar
Tights: Nordstrom
Shoes: J. Crew/Similar

Well, I guess it's due time I took some photos with my trusty duck umbrella. This little guy travels around in my purse with me 90% of the year because, let's be honest, it rains a lot here. Despite all the rain, umbrellas are actually not very popular amongst Seattleites, but I would much rather be dry than seem cool so I go for it! In line with recent weather patterns, it was quite a rainy weekend, so my trusty duck umbrella definitely came in handy.

I didn't realize it until I looked at these photos, but my hair is almost back to its natural color! Well, that won't last long, because I finally scheduled a hair cut and color for a couple weeks out. It'll be really nice to get it done. It's been 6 months!

I've been overbooking myself recently, so I've been a pretty busy lady! Friday, I took a much needed night to myself: no blogging, no socializing, no obligations. It was pretty glorious. I think since I was sick for quite a few days recently I've been overcompensating by having a few too many social activities planned. I'd love to say that I'll be taking it a bit easier this week, but that will not be the case at all! Since it's my last week working at my current job, it's definitely a full roster.

Well, apart from being lazy and it being rainy this weekend, I had a lovely lunch with my parents on Saturday, treated myself to a little online shopping spree for some pretty pieces from Boden, spent time out and about with Katie on Sunday, and had a friend who needed some R&R come over for dinner Sunday evening. Overall, it was a good one, though I do wish I had managed to find some time to clean my house.

What did you guys get up to this weekend?

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Friday, February 21, 2014

LoveCoups Review and Giveaway!- CLOSED

Hi guys!

Today I'm here to share a review and a giveaway with one of my lovely sponsors, LoveCoups!

LoveCoups is an online company that lets you put together lovely coupon books for your loved ones. Each book is filled with 20, full colored, glossy pages of coupons at a flat price of $24.95.
Each page is customizable, which makes it a lot of fun to put together. Since I don't have a boyfriend at the moment, I chose to make one for my lovely friend, Katie. It's full of ideas for lovely adventures we can go on together!
My favorite part of the process was creating the cartoon versions of Katie and I that are featured on each page. I had fun giggling as I tried out different features to make these cartoon characters look as much like Katie and I as I could!
While LoveCoups has over 200 different coupons you can select for your book, my one criticism is that if you aren't making yours for a Significant Other, the options are limited. I ended up leaving 7 pages of my book blank since a lot of the coupon illustrations were pretty lovey-dovey and would be kind of awkward to give to a friend!

On the bright side, though, since the characters are very customizable, this would be a great option for couples of any orientation!
I had a great time putting together my coupon book for Katie, and thought the finished product was really lovely; certainly worthy of gifting!

All in all, I would recommend LoveCoups if you are looking for a heartfelt gift for a loved one, particularly if you are giving a gift to your significant other.

LoveCoups has been kind enough to offer one of their customizable coupon books to one lucky Ladyface Blog reader! To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be chosen on February 28th and contacted shortly after.

Best of luck!
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Homemade Granola

Ya'll, I am a big fan of granola, but boy do I hate buying it. Granola is expensive! Especially when you're gluten free and have to avoid the majority of the more inexpensive options. The good news is, homemade granola is not only cheap to make, but it's also super easy and super fun to customize!

Now, besides the oats, you can add all sorts of fun stuff to your granola. This time around I added sliced almonds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, coconut, and dried cranberries. Yum! If you keep the nut/seed and oat ratio about the same you can customize this granola as much as you like.

Are you guys on board? Let's jump in and get started!
Homemade Granola: Makes about 6 Servings

- 2 cups rolled oats (I used gluten free oats)
- 1/2 cup sliced, un-roasted almonds
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 350° F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Add the dry ingredients, excluding the coconut and cranberries, to a large mixing bowl, then mix to combine. The dried fruit will over dry in the oven and the coconut doesn't take long to toast, so you'll be adding those later!
3. Next, add the wet ingredients to the mixture, and stir until very well combined.
4. Empty your granola mixture out onto your parchment lined sheet pan, then spread it evenly across the pan using a spatula.
5. Put your granola in the oven and let bake for 30-40 minutes, being sure to stir every 10 minutes. Add the coconut before letting the granola mixture cook for the last 10 minutes.
6. Once the granola is golden brown to your liking, remove it from the oven, mix in the dried cranberries, and let cool.

7. Once cool, serve your granola up, or store it in an air tight container for up to 7 days!
I can pretty much guarantee that your day will get off to a great start if you start it with some of this homemade granola. You can eat it plain and bask in its toasty glory, but you can also get a little fancier, if you'd like!
I like to serve mine with some strawberry kefir (it's like a drinkable yogurt!) and some sliced strawberries.

I hope you get a chance to whip up some delicious homemade granola soon!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekly Wardrobe: A Spot of Sunshine

Glasses: BonLook
 Sweater: Forever 21/Similar
T Shirt: Urban Outfitters/Similar
Skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: Nordstrom
Shoes: J. Crew/Similar

Where to begin! Well, this weekend was a good one, if a bit wet. To be honest, these photos almost didn't happen. I woke up on Sunday to a gorgeous sunny morning, took some photos indoors for a recipe post I'm working on, and then decided to get all lazy. Well, as soon as I decided it was due time to take some outfit photos, it was pouring rain! And, boy, has this weekend ever been a rainy one. I was prepared to call it a day and forget about this week's outfit post, when all of a sudden the rain cleared up! So, I marched myself outside and took some photos while I could. You'd almost think it was a dry day looking at them.

Well, rain or not, I spent a good amount of time out and about this weekend! After working on some projects on Saturday, Katie and I met up for dinner at her (and now my) favorite Chinese food restaurant. When we parked, we ended up outside this building that was in the midst of being built. Since it was so blustery, the unfinished parts of the building were covered in tarps. Really poorly secured tarps. After sitting in the car for a moment, a big piece of the tarp came flying off the building, scaring the crap out of both of us! After dubbing it The Tarp of Terror, we re-parked and headed to dinner. We ordered WAY too much food and both ended up with leftovers that will last days.  After dinner, we grabbed some frozen yogurt, and then sat in the car giggling at my new favorite youtube video. Watch it. So good.

Sunday, my friend Michele and I went and saw American Hustle, and then did some shopping. I've given myself permission to beef up my wardrobe a bit because, guess what! I got a new job! Exciting!!!!!! The office I'll be working in is definitely a bit fancier than where I'm working now, so I'm trying to stock up on some good business casual pieces. I'm really excited to get start my new job in a couple of weeks!

The rest of my weekend was spent curled up in bed, laughing at my cats' goofy antics, and watching Scandal. So hooked.

How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything fun?


Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekly Wardrobe: Valentine's Day!

 Headscarf: Vintage/Similar
Glasses: BonLook
Sweater: J. Crew/Similar
T-Shirt: Thrifted/Similar
Skirt: ModCloth
Tights: Nordstrom/Similar
Shoes: J.Crew/Similar

Hey buddies! Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you get eat all the treats and get to spend lots of time with your loved ones today. I for one, will definitely be eating all of the sweets. What an I say? I love a candy holiday!

In other news, I'm finally getting over this nasty cold, which is quite a relief. I pretty much spent 4 days in a row in bed eating soup, watching TV, and coughing up a storm. Not fun. Here's hoping it'll be the only cold I get this year! 

I'm excited that the weekend is rolling around, and am looking forward to get back into the swing of things with cooking and crafting. My place could also use a serious cleaning so hopefully that'll happen, too!

Do you guys have any big Valentine's Day and/or weekend plans?


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sweets for Your Sweetheart (Or for Yourself!)

Well, for me, Valentine's day is all about the sweets. Always has been, always will be. With Valentine's Day on Friday, I really wanted to share some sort of delicious treat with you (I was dreaming of chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream). Instead, I got sick and could barely get out of bed, let alone do any baking. Sheesh!

So this week, instead of my own cooking, I thought I'd share some recipes I've been collecting on my Pinterest board, that I think would be just perfect for Valentine's Day! Ok, ok, I may have thrown in my own Raspberry Brownie recipe for good measure, but mostly, these are dreamy treats that I've been pinning over the past few months.

Any of these would be perfect for Valentine's Day, Galentine's Day, or just any time you could use a sweet treat made with a little extra love.

Are you whipping up any treats for Valentine's Day?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Day!

Well guys, something pretty glorious happened on Saturday night: it snowed!!!!! I know, for most of you snow is old news at this point, but this is the first major snowfall we've had in Seattle this year, so it was pretty exciting!

I've been holed up in bed all weekend with a nasty cold, but I worked up the strength to go for a little walk around my neighborhood on Sunday morning. I had my camera in tow, so I managed to snap a few photos, and was definitely happy to have done so. It was a really lovely morning wandering through my little neighborhood, feeling the snow crunch under my feet, watching kids and dogs running around with glee, and watching the birds flit from tree to tree.

When I got home, I went straight back to bed, but I loved being able to look out the window to see that pretty white snow all day.

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