Thrifty finds and learning to Tripod

My oh my! What a busy month May turned out to be. Undoubtedly, the sun being out had everything and anything to do with it. My…is that the sun? COMMENCE IMMEDIATE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY.

As a result, my indoor hobbies, including blogging, became very much neglected. Also, I was feeling pretty impostor syndrome-y, so, you know…also that.

The end of May, however, I decided to suck it up and be bold! My SO and I took a birthday road trip to Vancouver, BC, and I forced myself to record certain bits of it. Over the past few weeks, I’ve felt a very strong connection to the medium of video. I am not remotely looking to be the next big Youtuber, but I can’t help but recall the excitement that would arise in me as a child during family parties and get-togethers when it came time to take out the camcorder and begin capturing family memories. That bright-eyed excitement had been lost for a while, until I started considering filming some of my trips and adventures. Why not, amirite?!

Alas, I am on a (somewhat lazy and un-pressing) mission to rekindle the love I once had for the camera. I looked into buying a camcorder, and decided to hold off on spending hundreds of dollars until I have proven to myself that I will actually use the damn thing. So, my iPhone has now become my video training wheels.

I will post the video up once I’m done editing it—another activity that I’ve quite taken to. Who knew that video editing was even within the realm of possible hobbies for me? There are some very obvious and cringeworthy filming faux-pas embedded in it…but that’s how you learn, isn’t it? 😉

This recent emboldening, coupled with my childhood best friend gifting me a tripod (thank you Amazon wishlist, for creating the space for every item I really want but can’t rationalize actually purchasing for myself), has brought me back to this blog again. New toys, new posts!

So, today, loving the color palette of my outfit, and taking advantage of the prime natural light that cloudy Portland was providing, I decided to give the ol’ tripod a whirl. A twist of fate led me to simultaneously learn the power of the iPhone “burst”—a faux fashion blogger’s dream!

So I bring you to the series I like to call, “Raquel learns how to Tripod“. Enjoy!

Let’s skip the first few, which were…. subpar. lol.

image2 (2)How not to do lighting: and other short stories. I need a prop.. oh, sure!–maybe I’ll lean on my beautiful ~air conditioner~… 😂

image1 (3)Lighting is still wrong, but we’re having fun, and we’re doing our best.

image4Still not quite right, but we’re experimenting with different backdrops. Let’s trying sitting on my picturesque unmade bed. Make sure to look solemn AF.

image3 (2)You’re getting there. You’re trying your hardest. Better hurry up before boyfriend finishes playing video games, though. 

image5Oooh, outside! Yes, this is good. You can see the clothes better here. While we’re here: I’m wearing these nice, fitted army green jeans that I got for $9 (!!) at a local thrift store, a textured white lace top, also from said thrift store. Plus my trusty beige cardigan.

image6There we go! Much better. Plus, look how pretty the trees are. Isn’t Portland gorgeous?


The piercings I never knew I forgot about

Let’s talk ear piercings.

Once upon a time, when I was a young and impressionable 20 years of age, I went abroad for a summer in Italy to teach English (but really, I went to live with host Italian families and practice my Italian). I know–the most cliche western college student “journey” I could possibly partake in, party of one.

Anyway–during this time, I spent many hours traveling with a Canadian girl from the same program I was in. Other than just being naturally gorgeous and tan and super healthy and fit, I eventually began to admire her one ear of various piercings, and her other ear with just one on it. The asymmetry, and the un-offensiveness of what then seemed like the most courageous and rebellious act ever, became so appealing to me. I just had to have piercings like hers.

During a side trip to Spain, I decided to bite the bullet, and get two new earrings on my left ear. Three or four years later, I found myself in Italy again, and ended up getting a fourth one on that same ear, to continue the rebellion. (There was also a nose ring somewhere down the line, but that fell out and closed up and is really just beside the point.)

“I will ever only get piercings anytime I’m in Europe,” I thought to myself, as I brushed the long mane of my inflated, early-twenties ego. I was sooo cool.

So cool, in fact, that two of those very piercings ended up falling out for reasons so mundane and uneventful that they’ve been erased from the memories I care to remember. So memorable, that three years later, as I accompanied a good friend in my hometown to start her own journey of like thirteen ear piercings, I had to have the piercing artist convince me that I had not one, but two former piercings that were both still open for business. This was after I had singed up to get yet another two. So now I have seven piercings. And I love them all!

Now that I remember I have them, I am newly and frantically obsessed with the piercing possibilities I can play around with! I’ve been exploring Tumblr and Pinterest for some combination inspiration, and am pretty excited to pick out my first ear’s earrings. The other ear is still technically wounded, so it will be a few months before I can decorate that side.

Here are the placeholder earrings for my blank earring canvas. More to come soon once I stop being the most indecisive person and actually choose a few styles!

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That one time I spent ten minutes on my hair


I cut my hair short about three months ago…something like that. And then I cut it again about 7 weeks after that. Previously, I would schedule a haircut once every, like, year or so. So, 7 weeks between haircuts was definitely something to write home about. Literally. I’m writing about it now.

I had been dreaming about getting a bob for years. Once I found a hair dresser that knew what she was doing, I decided to bite the bullet. And now, I luuuuuuurve my burb!

One of the main reasons I was excited for it was the prospect of creating easy and quick waves, which I was always too lazy to endeavor with my longer, thicker hair. “Texture!” I romanticized. “Volume!” “Beach waves every day!” Obviously, I was about to look fab and chic like Emma Stone all the time. Also this is literally the photo I brought to my hairdresser–“Make me Emma Stone, please.”


OK. So, I didn’t turn out quite as glam. Still, I was (and still am!) obsessed. In the shorter stages of by bob’s life, it had been pretty easy to manage, and I was too lazy to play around with it. Now, I’m at the stage where it’s starting to become a bit more unkempt, and yesterday I decided to actually give it a little attention.

That, and I had conveniently come across this lob styling tutorial from a beautiful Australian bombshell Vlogger named Pia whose life and hair (and arms, apparently) I immediately began to covet.

After having washed my hair last night, I followed Pia’s guidance, moussed up my hair (except with way cheaper, way worse Suave product) and blow-dried it…kind of. The next morning, since apparently I’m still on East Coast time, I got up BEFORE 8:30 AGAIN (I love love this new wake-up schedule I swear) and dusted off the curling wand I had impulse purchased a year ago. A few twists of hair around the curling wand, and voila! I had transformed my weird, stiff bedhead to a textured, ~*~volumized~*~ bob! Which, I suppose, is no surprise for people who, you know, pay attention to how their hair looks. But, hey–I’m trying!

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But, seriously. This was super easy. And I didn’t look like I had spent the entire morning crafting the perfect curls to go in to my “casual attire” startup job. I’m all about sustainable habits–and this is one I can get behind. Thanks, Youtube!

Happy Friday, everyone!!


Airport Style: PDX >> MIA

I’m in Miami on a mini vacation this weekend for my sister’s birthday. I’ve been working from home for a few days so that I don’t completely neglect my job, but I’m also taking a day and a half off in the beginning of this upcoming week, because travel from East to West coast might as well be travel from US >> Europe, but also because… beach. And family time, I guess. Haha, jk. Totes family time.

But also the beach.

I had originally booked a 3-part flight (yikes) from Portland to Miami. Not sure what brilliance overcame me when I decided on that. Unfortunately, the first flight of three was significantly delayed, making a very tired and very nervous Raquel very anxious for the rest of this three-legged red eye. Thankfully, the staff at Alaska Airlines actually care about their customers, and I was able to switch to a later flight that removed one layover, and got me to Miami at the same time. Aaaaaaand, they put me in ~*~Economy Plus~*~. Which really only means that I got a measly snack box with some almonds and a few goldfish in addition to the default, measly free soda. I did get some extra legroom, though, which was definitely much appreciated. Still… probably wouldn’t book that for the advertised extra $64, lol..


I was feeling good in my airport getup. I recently splurged on a Vince cashmere cardigan, because I’m trying to invest in higher quality core items. I’m so glad I did! This cardigan is wonderfully warm, and soooooo soft. I’m also a sucker for oversized pieces. I paired it with a striped tee and some skinny jeans.

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I was quickly welcomed by a cafe con leche and a tostada, which I had been craving for the last six months. Oh, and also my parents were there I guess. Ha, JK. I’ve been getting in some much needed family time. Living so far from my family has been pretty tough, on both ends.

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^^actual heaven.


Anyway, that’s all for now! This trip has been a whirlwind, and is quickly coming to a close. I got to spend the day at my happy place—the beach. Toying with the idea of going back tomorrow, even though I have a half work day to get through…….