Long Time No See: Why I Took a Break from Blogging

Hi friends!

As you may have noticed (or not, that’s okay haha) I took a break from blogging for a little over two months. Partially, this was because I gave up social media / blogging for Lent, but part of it was also because of tensions I was feeling in the realm of fashion blogging.

When you build a platform like a blog, you brand yourself. The type of content you share becomes a major part of how readers see you (or so it feels). And that, to me, is one of the strangest and most difficult parts about blogging. When I started A Happy Shade of Blue back in the summer of 2015 I had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted to share. I just had this gut feeling that I should do it, that I loved writing and wanted to try this new form of expression. Even now, almost 3 years later, I am not completely sure what I want to blog about.

Sometimes my voice, even in terms of what I enjoy writing about, gets lost in the influence of other bloggers. I’ve especially noticed this with fashion blogging – it got to the point where I would open Instagram and would feel swarmed by photo after photo of clothes, beauty items, promotions, advertisements. To me this felt empty. What’s the real point of it all?

Some people love fashion because it’s a means of expression, an art form, or maybe just because it makes them feel comfortable + confident. To me, I’m honestly unsure of my thoughts on it. And that has never been more true that these past few weeks.

For a little bit of background, I’ve always enjoyed shopping (we grew up consumer culture after all) and looking my best. During high school I participated in Nordstrom’s BP Fashion Board for a few years (thankfully I had a friend to join me on that weird experience, hi missy if you’re reading this! ) I’ve worked in retail, done a few collaborations with brands, and dabbled with fashion blogging.

Something about purely blogging about fashion all the time never quite sat right with me though. I don’t know if it’s the constant pressure to buy more, wear more, photograph more, then buy some more or just the inevitable materialistic nature of it, or maybe that it’s just not the best area of blogging for me.

This spring I’m taking a communications / political science course in which I was introduced (formally) to the world of fast fashion. Unbeknownst to me, this is the world that both you and I are living in. What this means is that fashion trends come and go like never before. Clothes are also cheaper than ever before (think Forever 21 or H&M). There’s more emphasis placed on quantity of clothes rather than quality of clothes. We dispose of the old and acquire the new before the physical lifespan of the clothes is up. In other words, the economic life of clothing is now much, much shorter than its physical life.

I highly recommend the documentary “The True Cost.” It’s available on Netflix and explains fast fashion and its effects much better than I can! In short, this film depicts what our consumption of clothes really cost, far beyond the price tag. The 2 big costs that we often aren’t aware of are the environmental and human costs: the waste and pollution created as a byproduct of the production and our tossing of our clothes as well as the deplorable conditions of many of the workers who produce our clothes. What we forget or are unaware of are these true, major, devastating costs. Our excesses of consumption do not exist in a bubble, they are negatively affecting the environment and people of the world.

I’m guilty of not recognizing the true costs of my consumption and of not questioning where, by who, and how my clothes came to be at my favorite store or at my doorstep.

At times I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a fashion blogger, but I know now that that just isn’t who I am. Maybe it’s a part of me and my interests,  but learning about fast fashion and how it harms the environment and human lives confirmed my doubts about only / mainly sharing content that encouraged consumption.

So, that’s where I’m at with blogging. I feel like I’ve recently lost sight of why I created A Happy Shade of Blue in the first place and have instead became wrapped up in wanting to be like the other bloggers, whose content I constantly see on social media.

I’m not condemning fashion or fashion bloggers. I just am realizing that I want this to be more of a lifestyle blog because that’s where my heart is. That being said, it’s so important to realize that our consumption of clothes, which is nowadays so strongly influenced by fashion blogging, is pushing ethical, environmental, and human limits.

These tensions having been stirring in my mind and have made me question this blog. That’s much of the reason that I’ve taken a break from blogging.

Thank you for reading this (if you made it this far haha)! This post is kinda weird, different from my usual posts so I hesitated to share it, but feel that it needs to be said so that I can move forward.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Love always,



“True Identity” Book Review 


I’ve been a little behind on my book reviews recently, so here is one that I’ve been meaning to share for awhile now!

What drew me to this book was that it’s all about IDENTITY.  As a 20-year-old college student, I grapple with questions like “What is my current identity?” and “What do I want my identity to be?” on a weekly basis. Such questions have played a role in choosing my majors, choosing my university, and choosing a (rough draft) plan for post-graduation.

While this book is specifically geared towards junior high / middle schoolers and high schoolers, it still had parts that resonated with me as a young person and as someone interested in learning about how to root one’s identity in Jesus.

John C. Majors fills the book with bible verses, lighthearted humor, and simple language that is easy to follow and makes this book perfect for reading in one sitting or for flipping to the chapters that are most relevant for you. Majors also designed the book to encourage readers to be active reflectors in their own identity and to write in the book through a couple of more interactive spots.

The core of the book explains why there is only one “true” identity that will always hold up. In short, putting your sense of purpose and meaning in anything other than God will inevitably let you down, at some point, because manly and earthly things (like physical appearance and relationships) are temporary and imperfect.

The rest of the book explores common areas of identity, including gender, social ties, and dating. However, I did find some of these chapters to be very biased towards conservationism, especially the ones on homosexuality and on gender. These were the only problematic portions of the book for me because they oversimplified the issues and were out-of-touch with modern social developments and understandings.

Overall, these book provides a light introduction into recognizing your current identity and how to create a new, godly identity. Since much of the humor is aimed at teenagers and the presentation is straightforward and simple this book is best-suited for young teenagers. Still, it provides a quick + light read into Christ-bound identity for all ages. Again, the one caveat is that the chapters on gender and sexuality are more traditional-minded and could be politically disagreeable.

Whether or not you pick up this book (and I’m not saying that everyone necessarily should) I encourage you to think about what your identity is rooted in and to evaluate how secure and stable that source is.

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

Love always,


*Disclaimer: I received this book courtesy of Bethany House for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.

Perfectly Pink Too Faced Picks

Since I first started shopping high-end beauty, I’ve loved Too Faced!

All of their products have the cutest packaging (clearly) and they are the best quality.

I rounded up my favorite pink (and gold) Too Faced products. I wear almost all of these every week and highly recommend them! Plus, they offer 20% off for new customers.

Products are linked directly to Too Faced’s website, but are also available from Sephora, Ulta, & Macy’s.

1. Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette ♥ : cutest + sweetest smelling palette ever, buttery mattes + shimmers, I love the neutral+ peachy shades

2. Sweethearts Flush Blush in Sparkeling Bellini ♥ : my daily coral blush, 3-in-1 or blend them together

3. La Creme Lipsticks : best creamy / moisturizing lipstick perfect for winter, Sweet Maple is my fav shade!

4. Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in Sell Out : currently my go-to neutral pink, long-lasting + comfortable

5. Better than Sex Mascara ♥ : my daily high-end mascara

6. Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer : glowy, cool-toned blush, doubles as a highlighter

7. Sweethearts Flush Blush in Something About Berry : true rosy pink blush, 3-in-1 or blend them together

What are your favorite Too Faced products? 🙂

Love always,


(♥’s denote products I use daily)


Universal Thread by Target / Picks

Hello! 🙂

Target just launched their newest clothing line last weekend! AH, I had been waiting for weeks and was so excited to try on some of their times when Kyle + I walked by their new section in store.

It’s called Universal Thread and it has a focus on quality + trendy denim (not limited to jeans- they also feature denim skirts, dresses + tops). Sizes range from 00 to 18, with short, regular, and tall options + plus sizes! Read more about the brand here.

They also have a wide range of simple, classic tops, jackets, and accessories that are perfect for everyone (and for spring!)

All items are under $40!

I’ve always been a fan of Target, but this brand steps it up. The style reminds me of much higher-end brands like Madewell (but for a fraction of the cost).

I’m so excited to share some of my top picks from Universal Thread! I found the shirts + shoes to fit true to size & I sized down in their jeans because they have some stretch.

To see the whole range of their items (in all sizes) shop Target online.

Click images to shop. 


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There’s lots of other cute pieces + color selections too! Happy shopping!

Love always,


*All images are owned by Target + are from the Target website.

6th Borough Boutique Review

Simplicity is my go-to when it comes to accessories.

Usually, this means not wearing any jewelry at all because I’m always rushing out the door or just don’t want to have to deal with the hassle.

So, I haven’t regularly worn jewelry since I was a little kid.

Recently, 6th Borough Boutique reminded me of why I used to enjoy wearing necklaces. They add a little extra something to an outfit and can be expressive or even symbolic.

My closet is full of neutral clothing, so pairing with a simple necklace has been the best way to mix it up (and dress it up).

The “K” gold initial necklace is my favorite! It’s slightly slanted + goes with every outfit! Also comes in silver.

Scroll to see images of the necklaces 🙂


Love always,


Disclaimer: 6th Borough Boutique sent me 3 of these necklackes. Post and opinions are always my own!

Cleo Madison: Stella Peplum Dress Review + Styling

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Hi friends!

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time to stock up on casual dresses for when the sun comes out to play again!

I lean towards neutrals because they never go out of style! Neutrals are great for mixing + matching with patterns and bold colors. I love pairing neutrals with florals, stripes, and pastels in the springtime!

Black dresses are staple pieces, you can never have enough of them!

That being said, it can be difficult to find the perfect black dress to have as a staple in your closet. Considering fit, material, length, and price I have never found the perfect black dress for me (spoiler alert: until now).

Cleo Madison was kind enough to send me their Stella Peplum Dress! When I opened the package I was immediately impressed by how soft + stretchy the material is! Looks and feels high quality.

The sizing was true to size (I’m pictured in a small). It is a loose +flowy dress so it’s an easy option to throw on when you want to look cute and still feel comfortable. The subtle peplum style adds some shape + structure to the dress while making it more than your average basic dress. Let the dress do the work for you!

The best part about this dress is how versatile it is. Wear it all seasons- layered under an oversized cardigan in the fall and winter months, pair it with a lightweight jacket in the spring, & wear it by itself during the summer!

Accessorizing couldn’t be easier with this dress. It matches everything- go bold with statement jewelry, keep it simple with your favorite pair of sandals or ankle boots, or toss on patterned pieces!

I couldn’t be happier about finding my perfect black dress to wear all year long!

The dress retails for $34 and ships free. It is also available in light grey + navy.

Scroll to see 3 different ways that I’ve styled the dress!

 Look #1: Casual for a day out + about

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Look #2: Edgy twist for nighttime  

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Look #3: Formal for Sunday’s best, a job interview, or a day at the office


Thank you so much for reading!

Thanks again to Cleo Madison! Be sure to check them out if you’re looking for affordable, modest clothing 🙂

Love always,


**I received this dress from Cleo Madison for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own.**

#1 Lesson Seattle Taught Me: Labeling is Lowering


Growing up in the suburbs of Tacoma, my day-to-day surroundings up until college were friendly (often gated) neighborhoods clustered around elementary schools, and 35 mph roads.

“Normal” to me meant walking to and from school (which I loved), walking my Labrador retriever on the fields of my school, and walking with friends between our houses or to grab a bite to eat. As you can probably tell, I grew up walking everyday. I didn’t question it, it was safe.

Once or twice a year I visited Seattle with family and on orchestra field trips. We saw the Space Needle, Husky Stadium, and the Seattle Center. I didn’t think much of those visits, I was mainly just enjoying time with wonderful people.

Back in 2015 (two and a half years already wow) when I graduated from high school I started to prepare for moving to Seattle. When I really got to thinking about college, I knew the heart of Washington was where I wanted to be. I saw Seattle as a place of opportunity, innovation , and independence.

To this day, I still see Seattle as having all of those qualities, but I also quickly learned that a large urban area with diverse peoples is much more complex than I could have imagined growing up where I did.

I think about Seattle everyday, what it has opened my eyes to & what it has closed my eyes to. Many of the lessons I’ve learned are directly tied to my university experience at the largest liberal arts school in the state.

So, here is the most important lesson that Seattle has taught me over the past few years..

Titles have the power to dehumanize. 

For the first time in my life I saw widespread homelessness almost everyday, even on the outskirts of my campus. I realized that, at least to me, there’s a significant difference between calling someone a “homeless person” and calling him/ her a “person who is homeless.” It’s all too easy to focus on the title of homeless first, rather than acknowledging their humanity and standing as equal persons just like anyone else.

Recognizing personhood before labeling decreases the feelings of stigma, or even blame, that can arise around homelessness. This concept of how we use labels to simplify people into general categories often lowers the perceived worth of those we label. Specifically, when we do this we aren’t recognizing them as people first,  but instead as homeless people. 

Labeling has the power to lower others’ value in your eyes.

In other cases we may describe or think of someone as a “poor” person, rather than a person who is poor. Or, maybe she is Asian (or any other racial / ethnic group) rather than a person who is Asian. A Muslim (or any other religious affiliation) rather than a person who is Muslim.

In other words, I’ve learned how the arrangement of the words we use can dramatically shape how we perceive them. The most dangerous part of this is that we usually are unaware of the labeling. We may think homeless people rather than people who are homeless because the mass media describes them in the former way, possibly as a shortcut or simply because that’s just the norm.

Regardless, because of Seattle I’ve become more conscious of how I mentally and verbally characterize people. No matter what makes a person or group of people different from you, keep in mind that they are still a person before they are anything else.

Thinking this way, we all have much in common.

Labeling is lowering- but labeling is a choice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts (on my thoughts) in the comments!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Love always,


Skincare Sunday: Burt’s Bees Acne Collection


Walking down the aisles of the drugstore, you won’t usually find me in the beauty aisles.

I haven’t had the best luck finding drugstore skincare products that actually work, so I tend to just avoid them altogether.

However, when I first came across Burt’s Bees line of acne treatments on Ulta’s website and saw that all of the products had 4-star ratings or better, I decided to pick them up next time I was at the store.

A few days later, I ended up purchasing them from Target because 1) I’m always shopping there + 2) Target has a great return policy for beauty items.

Reusable bag in hand, I left with the purifying gel cleanser, herbal complexion stick, and the spot treatment.

There’s a wide range of Burt’s Bees acne products sold by Target- like the gentle foaming cleanser (which I’d love to try next!), a daily moisturizer, and a 3-step acne kit.  But, I just chose a few that I thought would be best for my needs.

Something that drew me to this line was its natural emphasis + design. The cleanser and spot treatment are made from willow bark and the complexion stick is made of tea tree oil.

Upon use, all of the products have a fresh, almost minty scent + feel soothing and chilling on the skin.

I like to use the cleanser in the mornings to refresh my skin because it’s simple + gentle.

The stick and the spot treatment have unusual applicators. The complexion stick features a roller ball and the spot product I’ve been applying with a cotton ball.

However, I’ve found that with a light hand the roller ball doesn’t agitate my skin.

The only downside of the two treatments is that they can sting a little in places that acne is particularly active in, so be prepared for a temporary stinging feeling if you apply a generous amount in such areas.

The results haven’t been miraculous, but they been satisfactory and I can’t get over how refreshing they make my skin feel. The cool, minty-like scent is so nice!

Out of the products I’ve tried the cleanser is the one I’d be most likely to repurchase because it didn’t irritate my skin at all, foams easily, and is an ideal basic face wash for daily use. 

Overall though, these products have not been too harsh on my sensitive skin and I love their refreshing scents! For a drugstore skincare line they are the best that I’ve found + I can’t wait to try their other products 🙂

Love always,


“Jesus Calling” Daily Devotional Book


A devo a day keeps the worry, fear, + doubt at bay.

At least that’s what I learned last year using Sarah Young’s 365-day devotional book Jesus Calling.

For each day there is a short devotional + accompanying 2-4 bible verses to look up.

Most of the time I completed the devos before bed, but a few times I went for the morning route and then reflected on it again at bed time.

The verses helped to shed light on God’s promises to us, increase my familiarity with the Bible + memorization of verses, and to make connections between verses.

Using post-it flags I marked my favorite devos- or the ones that made me think the most or brought me the most strength.

It’s so crazy to me that I managed to read a devo a day for a year (including vacations + nights where I was so exhausted).

I don’t think that it was sheer luck or even just my efforts that helped me to meet my goal, but that God was on my side + wanted me to succeed too.

If you’re still brainstorming New Years resolutions, looking for a new devotional plan, or if you simply have found your way to this post then I hope you look into Jesus Calling in 2018!

Available from Target or Amazon.

Through the highs + lows that each year brings we can all use strength, wisdom, encouragement, peace, + hope and that is what you’ll get from this book.

Love always,


A Happy Shade of Blue: Fall Quarter 2017


IMG_5359Processed with VSCO with m5 presetRecently I’ve been thinking about what this blog stands for.

Originally, I chose the name “A Happy Shade of Blue” because I felt like it captured the essence of my goal of searching for rays of light + positivity amongst negative or difficult times.

Like most things, this blog has changed as it has formed and has included topics that I never expected to write about- like beauty + style. I love to write about what I’m wearing, but I also want to refocus this blog on why I started it in the first place.

So, welcome to the first post in a new series “A Happy Shade of Blue,” named after the blog itself.

In these posts I will be sharing something “blue,” like a challenging obstacle I faced, emotional hardship, or anything else that seems to be bad / negative. Then, I will try my best to pull some happiness- something of value + purpose, learning experience, or personal growth- from the blue. And voila, a happy shade of blue!

Since my most recent experiences were during last quarter of college, that’s what I will be sharing today.

This is a new type of post for me + I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments! Let me know if you’d like to see more of these kinds of posts or if anything isn’t clear 🙂 Thank you for reading + hope you enjoy!


Looking back on the last 3 months of my life it feels like it went by both fast + also drudingly slow.

The day-to-day is what felt like it lasted forever. The hundreds (thousands?) of pages of Supreme Court cases, news articles, books, and textbook chapters piled on every week making this the most reading-heavy quarter I’ve had so far.

Monday-Friday I was either in class, studying in the library or coffee shop, or at home eating dinner or getting ready for bed.

There was little to no free time during the week and weekends were for catching up on sleep and, of course, readings.

The obvious good thing here was that I was willingly taking these classes because I enjoyed the material. I took my first two law classes and found myself very interested. Although the work was very difficult, it not only helped me to succeed academically but also to get closer to narrowing down my interests + possible career paths.

At the same time, I started the school year off living in a new place and moved again during the second month of the quarter. If you’ve moved, then you probably know that it is a time + energy exhaustive process. With my only free time being on weekends I had no idea how I would be able to pack my life up + readjust so quickly. On top of that, I’m someone who needs my living space to be 100% organized + aesthetically pleasing (cute).

Luckily, we were able to move over a 3-day weekend. I started packing late the night before, but we got it all done and my room was unpacked in just a few hours.

In a weird, unexpected way moving sort of forced me to take a much-needed break from school work. And, it brought me to new work spaces within my new house that I enjoy.

More than anything, though, it reminded me that life requires flexibility. And the easier you accept that, the easier of a time you’ll have. (For those of you who had Mrs. Hoerling as a social studies teacher in junior high, you’ll remember her teaching us the “F-word.”

Once I was mostly settled in, my focus shifted back to working my butt off towards academics. Eventually, after a jam-packed week of finals that consisted of tens of hours spent in the library + the hardest test I’ve ever taken, autumn quarter of my junior year was done.

In that sense, the weeks added up quickly and I was surprised at how fast the quarter went by.

Shortly after, I received my final grades and they proved to me that hard work is hard, but it is easier + meaningful if you are truly interested in the work.

It was another dean’s list quarter on the books.

Although the workload and move caused me much stress in the moment, it also led me to the Law, Societies, & Justice program, to realizing my passion for studying the law + inequalities surrounding it, and to being more flexible about the timing of events that are out of my control.

Last quarter was, in many ways, the toughest yet but it also was the most rewarding.

I learned a lot about constitutional rights, racial and economic inequalities in the application of the law, and about myself- what I care about + what I am and am not okay with. At the end of the day, I also realized that having a career or a future job someday that means something is paramount to me. What exactly that will look like you + I will both have to wait to find out haha.

I hope you liked this post, it’s new for me too! Again, I always appreciate your feedback 🙂

Thank you thank you for reading what I write + following along with my life, that’s the coolest thing!

Love always,