September Favorites: Home, Office, Books, & Beauty

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the autumn season..! Nevertheless, I am looking forward to sipping spiced apple cider,  playing in corn mazes, wearing Hunter boots, and falling asleep to the sound of rain outside my window.

Before I leave September behind, here are my favorite products from last month!

“The Little Paris Bookshop,” by Nina George


This book would make my yearly favorites!

“The Little Paris Bookshop” is about a man, Monsieur Perdu, who owns a bookshop in which he prescribes / sells books to customers based on their emotional problems. His store is a “literary apothecary.” The narrative chronicles both Perdu’s attempts to help others through books and his attempts to battle his own emotional problems as he has held onto lost love for decades.

The basic idea behind it is so original + fascinating that I could definitely see myself re-reading this to absorb all of the wisdom this book has to offer.

This is a feel-good book containing rich originality and life lessons of benefit to all readers.

Pumpkin Cupcake 3-Wick Candle by Bath & Body Works


I may or may not have gone a little bit crazy purchasing fall-scented candles this year..  But, my hands-down favorite is by far the Pumpkin Cupcake from Bath & Body Works.

It smells exactly how it sounds and, as a 3-wick candle, burns evenly + strongly!

BBW’s current offer on their candles is buy 2 get 2 free + $10 off $30 orders.

Huda Beauty Rose Gold Textured Shadows Palette


I am late to the game on this one, but this rose gold palette by Huda has easily been one of the most talked about eyeshadow palettes.

What sets this palette apart is the textured shadows (see top row). These shadows are not smooth like shimmers, but have chunks of mettalic/ glitter in them. This means they are harder to work with, but applying with the finger will get the job done.

Plus, the warm-toned mattes are gorgeous & buttery! There’s even a black shade for darkening up fall looks.

This palette won’t be around for much longer since it is being discontinued, so it’s now or never!

Real Technique’s Beauty Sponge


Beauty sponges are the only way I apply liquid makeup products (esp. foundation & concealer). I used beauty blenders for a year until I saw this one at Target. I had seen many YouTubers using this orange sponge, and they were only a fraction of the cost of beauty blenders from Sephora.

So, for the past month or so I ditched the beauty blender and used this real technique sponge. GUYS, IT IS BETTER THAN THE BEAUTY BLENDER…

The sponge itself (when dampened) feels so much softer on the skin and applies makeup just as flawlessly as beauty blenders do.

The only con I have found is that makeup is more difficult to wash out of it, but that’s not a big problem since I can replace it more frequently given their lower cost.

Target offers returns on beauty products, so why not try it?!

Steve Madden’s Softey Slide


I admit, I initially was a skeptic of the fuzzy slide trend… but once you try them on you’ll love them!

Before I found these ones I purchased some from American Eagle and they were AWFUL. The bottom felt like it was made out of styrofoam and overall was very cheaply made (but was not cheap).

However, these ones by Steve Madden are durable indoors & outdoors, are available in multiple colors, and come with free shipping & easy returns from Nordstrom!

If you’ve been wanting fuzzy slides I highly recommend these ones!

Side note– I sized up in these from 7 to 8. They are also available in big kids sizes from Nordstrom if you have a size 7/6 and below foot you could go that route and save money!

Marble Stapler by Threshold – Target


White marble made me do it??

OK, my obsession with white marble is real and this stapler has gold too!!

This is from Target (Target made me do it??) and is one of many the white marble office objects they have. So, if you need a stapler for dorm life or for adding some flare to your desk– this is the one!

Windex Electronics Wipes

img_0991These are great for cleaning smudges and fingerprints off of my laptop + phone!  I like to store them in my laptop case for easy access.

For students or anyone who uses their laptop for working, I definitely recommend these to keep your tech clean! They are completely safe and are also great for cleaning phone cases as well.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

I’d love to read + check out your September favorites in the comments!

Love always,




College: “10 things to start the year off right”

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With my junior year at the University of Washington just kicking off this week, I am sharing  a new post that I wrote for our university paper, The Daily.

In order to have the most successful, fulfilling, and productive year I wrote about the top 10 things you can do early on to prepare + help yourself later. From goal setting to adapting your sleep schedule to going to professors’ office hours, I share my advice for kicking the year off to a great start.

Here it is!!! Click to read 🙂


5 Things I Wish I Knew as a College Freshman

Sending a warm, smile-filled hello to all of my readers!

Since this is back to school season I am sharing a short list of a few of the things I wish I would’ve known before entering college.

To those of you who are freshman I hope these help you to adjust to college life and to make the most of the next four years!

And, to those of you who are no longer freshman, what would do you wish that you could tell the freshman version of yourself? I’d love to hear your advice for starting college as well as throughout the entire experience!

Thank ya’ll for reading! 🙂


  1. Picking your major isn’t the biggest decision you’ll ever make. Sure, some majors can lead directly into career pathways, but there are plenty of majors that teach you more general skills or “teach you how to learn.” I spent way too much time worrying about which major is “perfect” for me, when my answer turned out to be none. No major is perfect, all have their own challenges. In the end, it was taking a variety of classes and noticing patterns in the types of courses that I enjoyed that led me to my majors, not overthinking / attempting to plan my whole life out at 18 years old.
  2. Listen to your heart and mind when making choices, not one or the other. One of the biggest challenges I have when it comes to decision-making is listening to both my heart + head. In the past, I have leaned to heavily on one or the other, and have regretted either making a decision that was either too emotional or too logical (i.e. what looks good on paper vs. what my gut says). To do this try giving your self as much time as you need to make decisions, rather than rushing.
  3. TRY RANDOM CLASSES. Take the course on dinosaurs, volcanoes, space travel, architecture. Now is the time to indulge yourself in learning new material and to be surrounded by knowledgeable professors who are experts in their respective fields. Trust me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fill yourself up with knowledge from all across the board. Plus, you never know what subject could start you down an academic path that you never even considered. So, why not?
  4. Write letters to friends + family (and don’t stop). For me, my freshman year of college was the first time I had really ever been away from close family and friends, so I discovered the magic of sending & receiving handwritten letters. Not only are they great means of communication and keeping updated, but receiving a letter is such a refreshing surprise. At the same time, the letters that you send can have the same positive effect on your recipients. Plus, there is something genuine + raw about taking the time to write to another, something that text messages and emails lack.
  5. College is a fresh start, so feel free to reinvent yourself, take risks, and be the person you want to be. Being surrounded by people who haven’t known you for basically your whole life (throughout K-12) gives you the unique opportunity of recreating yourself in a space in which you don’t have to worry about others comparing who you are now to who you used to be, since they have no preconceived ideas about who you are. So, fake it until you make it (no one will know the difference).

Love always,



Wherever I go I have a habit of snapping TONS of pics! While I have too many to share on social media, I thought that my blog would be the perfect place to share them. So, here is another photo diary, this time from a day Kyle + I spent hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park. While it was in the upper 70s at home, it was in the 50s up in the mountains. S/O to cloudy days, they’re my favorite for hiking and photography.

On this day we hiked to Tolmie Peak Lookout, one of four remaining fire lookouts in the park. Although the clouds blocked our view from the top, they did add a magical yet somewhat eerie effect onto Lake Eunice (along w/ the other bodies of water along the way), the trees, and the meadows.

Hope you enjoy 🙂



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Love always,


Say hello to July! (+ life updates)

Happy July everyone! And hello to warmer temps, shorts + dresses, popsicles, beach trips & all of the other aspects of summer fun. 

2017 marks my second summer of college and  has been unlike any other. I’m moving for the first time and by the time school is back in session I will have lived in 3 different places over the course of summer. I’m so looking forward to the final move into our new house so that I can truly feel settled somewhere again. 

On a more exciting note, I recently started posting more style photos on my Instagram (@thekarebear). Fortunately, two of my photos have already been noticed by brands! Lulus shared one of my photos on their #lovelulus site and Old Navy reposted one of my photos on their account. It’s crazy to be noticed so quickly, call it beginngers luck? Regardless, I’m super excited to post more style-related content! 

Looking ahead, I am literally counting down the days until I vacation to Maui, Hawaii, in just a couple of weeks!! I’ve been shopping my butt off & have picked up so many cute pieces for my trip. Can’t wait to share them!

In between hiking + adventuring with Kyle, moving, and working I have been deeply fascinated in learning about the Civil War this summer. I’m not sure why this interest sparked now, but I checked out a couple of books on the subject and am loving them. 

The novel I am currently reading is “Gone With the Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell. I may post a separate book review post when I finish it, but for now let me just say that it keeps up reading at night and gives such rich insight into what life in the South was like before, during, & after the Civil War. Loving it!

Any historical fiction book recommendations or books about the Civil War? I’d love to check out your suggestions 🙂

Other than that, not much else is new with me- I think? 

Next up on my agenda is completing move #1 in the next few days, camping at my FAV beach, working, & then finishing off this month with visiting Maui. In between, I hope to make the time to post more often because I have so many beauty products + additions to my closest / room to share! 

Thank you for reading + happy July!

Love always,


An open letter to my old friends


An open letter to the close friends with whom I have shared an unspoken goodbye with

This is for the people that at one time or another I considered my “best friend.” To some, I may overuse that title a little too casually. But, over my 20 years I have been fortunate enough to have so many people  completely fill that role for me. Since then, most of those people have moved to other states or have moved to other places in their lives in which there isn’t a place for me (and vice versa).

One letter could never do justice to how much these relationships mean to me, but this is a start.

Dear old friend,

To say it simply, thank you.

Whether you know it or not, you left an imprint on my life. I appreciate the laughs, the tears, the conversation, the hugs, the weird inside jokes, the time spent together, and the fact that we ever crossed paths at all.

You taught me the value of real, raw friendship and gave me memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Though we never speak anymore (but occasionally interact on social media because that’s the way the world works these days) you still have a place in my heart.

The way I see it my close friends have had a deep influence in shaping who I am today and in what I consider to be my most cherished values in relationships (loyalty, honesty, vulnerability). For this reason, our friendship will always be a part of me, always be present in some way.

As I pack up my belongings, I have been getting a kick out of browsing through old photos (that are horrifically over-edited or just plain awkward, s/o to junior high). Nostalgic? Yes. Regretful? No. I’ve found that it is healthy and refreshing to be reminded of where I used to be & who I used to be. Most importantly, reflecting back on the abundance of amazing friendships I have experienced reminds me of how blessed I am.

So, to all of you, thank you. Know that you changed my life for the better. Know that I appreciate you. Know that you have given me something to be thankful for. Know that our unspoken goodbye is okay.

Wishing you all the warmth in the world.

Love always,



How I became a Columnist


Since April 2016 I have been building my journalism repertoire.

From junior high onward I toyed with the idea of being a journalist, but my schedule was already packed with core classes, orchestra, P.E. (EW), and Spanish. Fast forward to when I started college, and the idea came back up to the surface after I started to read the student-ran newspaper at my university. Actually, my freshman year of college marked the first times that I read any newspaper at all. Shoutout to free newspapers in my dorm every day.

After two quarters of reading The Daily and The Seattle Times I built up the courage to apply for the extracurricular writing and photography courses (which were the first step to being hired for The Daily, my university’s student newspaper) during spring quarter. To be honest, I was pretty surprised that I was accepted into both classes, wasn’t pursuing my dream supposed to be harder?

Well, it did get more challenging. Although the classes themselves were doable, learning how to interview people was downright scary. After my fellow students and I learned that we would have to interview sources for our pieces I noticed that attendance dropped. I don’t blame them for leaving, talking to strangers is an intimidating prospect for me as well.

I am proud to have pushed myself out of my comfort zones by not only applying for those classes but for staying dedicated and performing well-enough to be successfully hired at the end of spring quarter.

During the summer I continued to write and take photos even though school was not in session. Since it was summer, I was not in Seattle on a daily basis. Consequently, I learned how to conduct phone and email interviews. It felt pretty weird, talking to a psychologist on speakerphone while recording the conversation my laptop. But, not as weird and cringe-worthy as listening to my voice on that recording afterwards. It’s so weird to hear myself talk, especially in a formal manner. Anyway, I completed a few pieces during the summer and by the time autumn quarter came around I knew what my writing focus should be: nature.

While I love to write about my life, fashion, travels, thoughts, etc. the one topic that I enjoy writing about the most is hands-down the great outdoors. Maybe it was because of all of the hikes, camping trips, and drives that I went on during the summer, but it was at this point where I knew that I wanted to make it happen. I wanted to write about what I loved, so why shouldn’t I be able to?

So, when I received emails about column applications for the fall I began to brainstorm ideas. Since the bulk of my pieces so far had been from the wellness section of the paper and that was the section that I felt that I belonged to the most, I was determined to link wellness and nature. Luckily, doing so was not too difficult.

For me, when I am spending time in nature it is hard not to think about my well-being. For instance, nature gives me clarity of mind, escape from worries, a great place for physical exercise, and inspiration for my heart.

A Breath of Fresh Air,” the name of my column, has ran every other week during the 2016-17 school year and I am so proud of it!

Certainly, it was rarely easy to brainstorm ideas, travel to parks using public transportation, or do parks justice, but the experience was so valuable to me because it was my first real experience consistently writing and taking photos for a newspaper and I wrote MY VERY OWN COLUMN.


Essentially, my column is a space in which I connect Seattle parks (a different one every time) to some aspect of our well-being-it could be physical, mental, spiritual, etc.

To date, there has been almost 20 weeks this school year that my column was published.

I am super proud to take on the title of a journalist, and LOVE sharing how spending time outdoors is good for us.

If you’d like to read my column from previous weeks and learn about the connections between nature and our wellness click here .

Thank you for reading about my path to becoming a journalist and I hope to update you on future progress that I make in this field 🙂

Love always,


Pacific Coast May 2017 / / Photo Diary

A few weeks ago my family and I went to the Washington coast (a.k.a. my second home) to celebrate my 20th birthday.

Luckily enough, the sun was actually out and the temperature was warmer than most days.

I snapped a few photos from this trip and thought I’d share them because I LOVED the trip. Plus, who doesn’t like looking at photos of the beach?

Enjoy! 🙂

Love always,


Thoughts on Turning Twenty 

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I recently celebrated my twentieth birthday..?!

So much is changing in my life right now as I enter my twenties.

It’s unbelievable how fast everything is moving.

Like, literally, I am moving for the first time and it is all happening so fast- packing tons (hundreds?) of boxes, donating bags after bags, unfamiliar people coming over to paint / clean / fix / update, meeting real estate agents- all the while, having a deep sense of dread and heartbreak within my heart.

Leaving my childhood home will / already is heartbreaking.

The only way I can get through this is to know that while this is the end of a book, it is also the start of a new one.

I’ll keep telling myself until I buy it.

Anyway, on a more positive note, I am having more luck in my academic life.

I was accepted into the Political Science Major and declared!

Next up, applying for the Journalism program this fall. (I’m aiming to be a double major)

One issue that I keep running into at university is my interest in subjects that are across the board. I’m curious about Filipino history, ancient architecture, Latin, Spanish, creative writing, literature, classical studies, religion.

So, I find myself wanting to pursue so many different minors that I simply do not have time for 😦

I’ll try my best to immerse myself in as vast amount of knowledge as possible while I’m a student here though *smirk/devious face (who else who make this sort of face in this context?)

As for my hobbies, the past six months I have been increasingly interested in beauty. As a reference, I only wore mascara pretty much through high school. But, I have been loving playing around with eye shadow palettes and lipstick! I’ve always been someone who needs creative outlets, and cosmetics is my latest one!

To share my favorite/ holy grail beauty products & looks I’ve been considering posting YouTube videos? What do you think?

As someone who leans on the shy side talking in front of a camera and putting myself out there is slightly daunting, I’ll admit.

On the other hand, as someone who loves photography, filming and editing videos is something I have just dipped my toes into and would love to explore more.

Plus, I’d take any excuse to play around with beauty products!

As for KB^2, Kyle and I celebrated our TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY in April!!!

It feel in the middle of the week, so we had class to attend, but still found time to visit the tippy top of Columbia Tower and eat dinner at Oliver Garden *insert heart-eyed emojii

Crazy milestones this year.

Saying goodbye to my teen years feels more natural that I expected. At this point, life is moving and in order to keep up with it I have to be okay (as in cringe but close my eyes and get through it anyway) with change.

I hope you all are enjoying spring sunshine & discovering God’s blessings in your life, even through hardships.

Let me know how you’re doing below in the comments!

It’s been almost 2 years since I graduated high school and I’d love to hear updates from old friends from Rogers 🙂

Take kare! (at first that was a typo, but, eh why not)

Love always,