If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits

As I was thinking through my specific needs for my hall entryway after last week’s post, I realized that one of the biggest problems I have is my shoes. I mentioned that I wanted some storage in this area as well as a designated place to leave my wet/dirty shoes when I come in from outside, and I decided that some kind of closed-off shoe cabinet was the way to go. If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comNot exactly a pretty sight.

The good news is: a shoe cabinet will not only give me a place to store those dirty shoes and to get them out of sight, but it can also serve as a small console table. Two birds: one stone.

So I headed to the Interwebs again – it’s one of my favorite places – and located two great options (both from IKEA).

The first is the IKEA Trones Shoe Storage Cabinet (for $39.99). I liked this option because it’s so slender. One of my biggest worries is that because this hall is so narrow already, adding any furniture pieces might make it feel overly cluttered or congested or, heaven forbid, smaller. This cabinet also clearly has plenty of space for lots of shoes and it’s re-arrangeable which is a fun feature. Each of those three compartments is separate and can be moved around however you want. Unfortunately for me, I’d have to hang this cabinet vertical as it’s shown and I wasn’t thrilled about how tall it was or about losing some of the storage if I only hung two units. I also didn’t particularly like the plastic look of this cabinet. I’m sure it would be easy to clean, but the material said more “garage” than “pleasant entry hall” to me.If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Next, I came across the IKEA Bissa Shoe Cabinet which for only $24.99 seemed like a great option! I love the brown-black finish of the cabinet which ties in nicely with the brown-black IKEA bookshelves I have in my living room, and the amount of storage this little guy provides is amazing considering how short it is. The only thing that has stopped me from jumping forward with the purchase is that this guy is significantly deeper than I was planning on. In order to have so much storage, there’s space for two rows of shoes inside each of those compartment, but that almost doubles the depth of the Bissa compared to the Trones cabinet. Bummer.If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comWhile mulling over these options, I decided that I needed to see the spacing of a cabinet like this in the hallway to decide if this is really what I want. So, I grabbed my handy dandy blue tape and took to measuring. The Bissa cabinet that I love is 11 inches deep and 19 inches wide, so I measured out those lengths and made a little blue tape box.

If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comIf the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe other major concern I had with the depth of this cabinet was that it would interfere with my ability to open the closet door that would be immediately across from it. To make sure it wouldn’t be an annoying problem, I opened the closet door after taping to get a sense of the clearance I’d have. This is a closet I use all the time - it’s my pantry – so I definitely don’t want anything at all obstructive of the door or my ability to stand in front of the closet while pondering the merits of eating cheerios for dinner for the third night in a row.If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comIt looked like plenty of space, but, just to be sure, I found this little set of plastic drawers that just happened to be 11in wide to test the theory more concretely.If the Shoe (Cabinet) Fits | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThankfully the door opens perfectly, and there remains plenty of space for my contemplation of poor health choices. I think I’m going to live with the tape and the drawers for a few days before making a final decision to purchase the Bissa, but it’s looking pretty good right about now.3-TapeAnyone else have tight spaces in your home that make it difficult to arrange furniture without hindering daily activities? Anybody else working on overhauling an entryway? Tell me all about it.

The Room That Isn’t a Room At All

Now that my bedroom updates have come to a halt (thank you, elusive headboard…), I’ve decided to turn my attention to my front hallway. This area isn’t necessarily a room, but it’s (obviously) the most trafficked area of my apartment. Here’s where it started when I moved in:

Kitchen and Hall | clarkuscat.wordpress.comUnfortunately, I don’t have a picture of just the hall from move in, but that space with the door is pretty much the whole thing. Awesome, no? Basically, the area has one front door, one opening to the kitchen, two closet doors (they’re on the wall on the very left of this photo, but you can’t see them because of the angle), one light switch, a beautiful gray electrical panel, and some seriously amazing laminate tile. The space has pretty much looked like this for the past year aside from the addition of a few wall hooks, but I have some big plans for it.

Because I’m renting, there’s nothing I can do about the electrical panel, the laminate, or the look of the front door, yet my plans for this small space are to make it: 1. more functional and 2. more beautiful.

I hopped around the Interwebs and Pinterest for a little while, and found these four wonderful entryways that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about!

Hallway Inspiration 2 |clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Photo Sources: decorpad.com (L) & apartmenttherapy.com (R)

Hallway Inspiration 1 |clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Photo Sources: thatcutesortofsouthern.tumblr.com (L) & littleemmaenglishhome.blogspot.com (R)

My specific goals for my hallway are to:

1. add some storage (for shoes, keys, umbrellas, etc.) – I’d love a designated space to drop mail, my big computer bag (that I carry every day), wet/dirty shoes (so I don’t track things on my very light carpet), my keys, headphones, etc. I’m also hoping to try my hand at styling a vignette, so I’m thinking a console table of some sort might be a good option for this space. I’m envisioning using the wall space to my advantage as much as possible since that really is the only kind of space this area has.

2. add some personality (because right now the whole space is rocking rental bland) – I’m thinking something is going to happen to those walls. I’m not sure if it will be paint (maybe in gray to help hide that ugly electrical panel) or another Sharpie adventure. I love the idea of adding a graphic wall pattern to the main living space of my apartment (aka any room but the bedroom), but I’m also a little worried something bold and graphic might be too overwhelming for this tiny hallway.

3. (potentially) add a rug to eliminate the slippery floor danger (when it’s rainy/snowy) – I’m pretty prone to slipping and sliding everywhere in the winter. I blame it on the Florida in me, so I’d love to minimize the danger of falling in my home by having something with some texture to grip my shoes when I come in from rain, snow, sleet, or whatever the heck else the Midwest decides to throw at us in the future. I originally thought something fun and punchy on the floor might be a good way to inject some much needed personality into this space, but the tile is actually a bit busy in and of itself (especially if I do decide to go punchy on the walls), so I think I’ll be better off with something a little more subdued on the floor. Maybe a jute indoor/outdoor rug?

4. dress up my rental front door a bit – I’m thinking some kind of frame, etc. over the peephole ala Friends – You know, like this:

source: amazon.com

source: amazon.com

What do you think? Should I go bold on the walls or bold on the floor? Anyone know of a source for a great durable hallway rug or an awesome yellow picture frame?

Still Runnin’ Runnin’

Eventually I’ll run (ha) out of song lyrics for the titles of these posts. Maybe.

I’m still working on my Beginning Running Routine. I had to delay starting the actual plan I set up for myself until this week because of travel, coming back home, the start of a new semester, and my parents’ visit, so I’m just working on Week 1 now.

Runnin | clarkuscat.wordpress.comFor those of you who are more visual learners, here’s the plan I’m following:

4-WEEK BEGINNER’S PROGRAM

http://shape.com

DAY

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

WEEK 4

MONDAY

Walk 5 minutes

Jog 30 seconds

Walk 1 minute

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Jog 1 minute

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TUESDAY

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WEDNESDAY

Walk 5 minutes

Jog 30 seconds

Walk 1 minute

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Walk 5 minutes

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Jog 30 seconds

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THURSDAY

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FRIDAY

Walk 5 minutes

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SATURDAY

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SUNDAY

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It’s adapted from a plan I found on shape.com, but it stays pretty faithful to their guidelines. I felt that was important so I did this the right way and didn’t end up hurting myself in the process of attempting to be healthy.

Runnin |clarkuscat.wordpress.comSo far, I’m feeling pretty good about the Week 1 cycles. I don’t feel overwhelmed, and the exercises actually seem pretty manageable. I do break a sweat, but I think that’s more from the Midwest heat than the strenuous exercise. I’ll be excited to move up to a bit longer session come Week 3.

I’m also thinking about doing a post on various iPhone interval timers I’ve tried. I’m still looking for the perfect one, but I’ve tested quite a few. Anybody out there have suggestions for interval timer apps? Ideally, I’d like to find one that lets me add my own series of timed exercises and lets me save various sets as separate sessions, but I have yet to find one that lets me do both of those. The hunt shall continue.

 

Happy (Belated) Labor Day!

I’m just dropping in to apologize for skipping out on my usual Friday post this week. My bad, you guys, totally my bad.

Thursday happened to be my birthday, and my parents were in town all weekend to celebrate with me! Yay parents! That’s when you know you’re getting old, right? When your parents coming to visit for a whole weekend is legitimately the best way you can think of to spend your birthday weekend. With three brothers, I never really had a lot of time with just my parents and me growing up, so a whole weekend with just the three of us was pretty much perfect.

They also brought the Clarkuscat back from his summer vacation! And, to top it all off, Timehop (Do you all timehop – yes, I just used that as a verb? I’m trying to decide if I like it or if it just annoys me….) alerted me to the fact that precisely three years ago on this very weekend that just past, I brought the tiny, tiny 5-week-old Clarkuscat home with me for the first time!

3-Year Anniversary | clarkuscat.wordpress.comWasn’t he just adorable?

In other words, this weekend was wonderful for several reasons, and in all the commotion, I had absolutely zero time for blogging. But, never fear, I’ll have a real post for you all on Friday!

Bedroom Statement Wall (with a Sharpie!)

As promised, I’m here to showcase my recent bedroom update! I’ve been a follower of Mandi’s wonderful site Vintage Revivals for a while now. Usually I just drool over her amazing room reveals, but after seeing one of her recent office makeovers and this tutorial for wallpaper with a Sharpie, something about that design just stuck in my head and I couldn’t get it out. And you know what they say when you can’t get something out of your head?

“Take a Sharpie pen to your wall and recreate that masterpiece!” Is that not what they say?

Well, that’s what I said, and my bedroom now thanks me for it.Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI’ve been wanting something to take my bedroom in a more graphic direction, and the wall behind my bed was screaming for some attention. Seriously, it was hard to sleep at night. I decided to use black to really keep true to the high contrast look and to start to tie in some of the black picture frames I have on a shelf above my TV as well as the oil rubbed bronze handles on my vanity and nightstand.

I changed up some of the math in Mandi’s tutorial to better suit my needs (aka to better accommodate the tools I had on hand). I also started by drawing out the whole pattern in pencil first. I think this step probably tripled my work time, but for me it was totally worth it. I was a little worried that the pattern might not play nicely with the other prints I already have going on in there (namely my duvet and curtain), and tracing the design in pencil first helped me decide that they all seemed to be friends right away. The whole project took me about 5 hours on day 1 to draw out the pencil lines and about 3 hours on day 2 to trace everything with the Sharpie pen. All in all, not a bad time investment for such a dramatic effect. Plus, I got to watch – ok, listen to –  a few episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix while I worked and I got twice the arm workout! Guns of steel!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI don’t have a good picture of the pencil lines all drawn out because they were pretty much impossible to see in photos, but you can sort of catch a hint of them in that picture on the left. After the pencil lines, I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen in black to trace the whole design.

My straight edge was only 6 inches wide (as opposed to Mandi’s 6.5 inches) so I decided that rather than stress out about that 1/2 inch, I’d just leave only 6 inches between all my vertical lines. I did, however, measure out 6.5 inches for all of the arrow points because I was worried the missing 1/2 inch might be more noticeable in that part of the design and didn’t want to end up with arrow points that were too shallow.

So basically: Start in the middle of your wall and draw a straight line from ceiling to floor. Definitely use a level when doing this otherwise you’ll very easily end up with a crooked final result! Then, measure 6 inches and draw another ceiling-to-floor straight line (or simply trace a line down the other side of your ruler if it’s 6 inches wide like mine). Keep at it until you have vertical lines all the way across your wall. It should look something like a jail cell at this point.

Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comYou definitely want to start measuring your vertical lines in the center of your wall so your design is cut off evenly on the edges rather than only on one side. This will keep the finished result balanced and beautiful!

When you first start using the Sharpie pen, you may need to press the tip down into a paper towel to begin the paint flow process. I also found it helpful to keep that paper towel around while I was tracing my design to periodically wipe down the edges of my ruler. This seemed to help cut down on my smudging quite a bit. Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comCopycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comYou can see my design looks unfinished at this point, but I decided to leave just the pencil marks on spots of the wall that I knew furniture would cover – behind my bookshelf and the space just above my bed where my pillows (and future headboard) hide the wall. I thought this would help me save some paint (which it totally did – I only needed one Sharpie pen for the whole wall!), and the pre-measured and pre-drawn pencil marks will make it really easy to fill in those spaces if I ever do decide to rearrange my furniture.

Once your jail cell is finished, go back to that middle line, measure down from the ceiling 6.5 inches, and put a little dot. Measure and dot the same way on every other vertical line. Then connect the point where line meets ceiling to each dot. You should have a row of little arrow points (^^^^) now!

Next, measure 6.5 inches down from each lowest point and put a little dot on that same line. Then mark 6.5 inches down from that point on the skipped lines. Connect your dots. To get the double line effect on the arrow points, I followed Mandi’s suggestion and measured one inch from each of my low points. Then, I connected that new lowest point to the same place I’d been connecting the original lines. You’re basically just making a steeper angle.

From this point, you pretty much just go to town following that same pattern until you’ve covered the wall. Just remember that every time you start a new row, you begin by measuring 6.5 inches down from the lowest point. My brain kept wanting to mark the wrong lines every time I started a new row, and I inadvertently ended up switching to chevrons (rather than arrow points) in the middle of my design. Oops. This is what made me so happy that I took the time to trace this all out in pencil first. All I had to do at that point was erase my errant lines and draw them properly. Pre-planning FTW!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comMy bedroom was a bit of a disaster during this whole process since I basically just pulled all the furniture that usually lives on that wall into the center of the room and proceeded to climb over it whenever I needed to get to my closet on the other side of the bed. A new statement wall and a chance to practice my parkour: double win for me! You can also clearly see the little space I left unpainted above my bed in these pictures. It’s impossible to tell, but I promise the pencil lines are there.Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comTa-da! Finished! I’m definitely loving the final result and am so happy that I decided to just go for it and try something this bold. I’m usually too afraid to commit to huge statements like this, but I’m hoping the grand success of this project will help check my nerves in the future. I can’t believe what a huge difference this pattern makes on the feel of the whole room!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI’m definitely realizing just how badly I need to find a headboard and some artwork for all that empty space above the bed now. It’s funny how adding a huge, bold design on all that blank space actually makes the lack of headboard and art even more noticeable. I think the final direction of this wall will definitely depend on the look of the headboard I do find, so I’m off to scour some thrift shops!

Have any of you tackled a project inspired by someone else? Any major statement walls in your home?

Changes, Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I’ve been back on the home front for about a week now and am so excited to get back to my regularly-scheduled blog posts. Hooray! I had a wonderful time on the West Coast for the past 2 months, but it definitely feels even more wonderful to be sleeping in my own bed, surrounded by my own home.

On that note, I’ve already started lots of projects around the apartment. I’m hoping to reveal the first one next Friday, so be sure to be on the lookout for that! Those of you who have been following for a while (and paying close attention) might already have a guess about what it is! A few other projects will be rolling out shortly after that. I feel like I’m giving my whole apartment a facelift for the new school year – back-to-school shopping for the home, I suppose! :)

First, let’s look at how far we’ve come in a year.Apartment Tour: One Year Later | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

This is the front door, the entry hall, and a glimpse into both the kitchen and the dining room. Remember that carpet wall? It haunts your dreams, doesn’t it?

Kitchen and Hall | clarkuscat.wordpress.comGood news! The carpet wall is no more! I also added a deep shade of charcoal to that back wall in both the kitchen and the dining room. The color is Behr Ultra Amazon Stone, and it has a lot of brown in it which I hoped would tie into the carpet, tile, and cabinets, all of which unfortunately I’m stuck with).Dining Room Wall Paint | clarkuscat.wordpress.comDining & Kitchen | clarkuscat.wordpress.comKitchen Stove Wall | clarkuscat.wordpress.comEntry Hall, Kitchen, Living Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Since this photo is giving us a sneak peak into the living room. let’s take at look at how that’s shaped up over the last year.

Here’s where we started:Living & Dining Before | clarkuscat.wordpress.comLiving Room Wall Paint | clarkuscat.wordpress.comAnd here’s here’s how it’s been sitting for the past year:Living Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.comDining Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bathroom hasn’t changed much, but I did upgrade the mirror. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with the scones, so I’m doing my best to make them work stop being annoyed every time I look at them.
Bathroom | clarkuscat.wordpress.comBathroom-MirrorI also got a new, bright shower curtain with this pretty leafy pattern. The white waffle fabric and the bright green pattern really help to liven up this room since it doesn’t have a window.

Bathroom Curtain | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bedroom got a minor facelift (as in it got some furniture and linens, but I’m working on the biggest change in there as I type this – okay, not as I type this, but I have been working on it all day today!). The bedroom also got a coat of paint in Behr Ultra Manhattan Mist. It’s a really lovely light gray color. I worried that it would be drab and dark at first (since the bedroom really only has that one small, awkward window), but the color actually just warmed up the stark white walls.Bedroom Before | clarkuscat.wordpress.comBedroom | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bedroom is still looking a little college rental/dorm room even after a year, but I’m hoping my new wall treatment (hopefully to be revealed Friday!), some more artwork on the walls, an actual headboard (still on the hunt for one), getting rid of that fan (which was supposed to be there just for moving day, whoops), a rug, and a few other small touches will help make this space a little more comfy bedroom, a little less college dorm.

Okay, phew, that was a long intro. Let’s talk about my new plans, shall we?

Hall – I really want to add some sort of subtle graphic pattern to the walls in the hall. I have a few pictures of da Clarkus hanging on one of the walls right now, but it just feels like it needs something punchy to really wake up that space. I’m currently debating a few options, and that will probably be the project I tackle next after the bedroom wall I’m currently working on.

Dining Room – I’m working on a new gallery wall of black and white artwork for that deep charcoal wall. It’s coming along great so far, but I’m still on the hunt for about 10 more white frames to finish it off. I can’t wait to show to you all!

Bedroom – I’m currently in the middle of a big wall update in this room which I really hope will add a nice dimension to the room and give it something special. I’m still hunting for a headboard and a new side table (my little IKEA one I have now has definitely seen better days), but I just haven’t found anything I’m in love with yet. I’ll probably throw together some sort of mood board of options in the next couple weeks if I still haven’t found anything just to help me narrow down what I actually want for the space.

And, there they are: my 3 big works-in-progress at the moment. I’m excited to begin adjusting my spaces again! Anybody else out there making some big changes on the home front? I’d love to hear about them!

Can Anyone Point Me to a Good Map?

After mentioning my wish to visit as many lighthouses as possible in last week’s post, I’ve started thinking about a way to document my progress towards this goal. Of course, I’m always snapping pictures everywhere I go nowadays, but I visited quite a few lighthouses as a child before I had a cellphone or a DSLR or a blog. I wanted to find a way to compile all of these experiences together in a visual way, but I also wanted to do this in a way that would allow me to add to this record over time as my list grows.

That’s when I remembered a friend of mine who keeps track of all the places she’s visited using push pins on a wall map of the world. I know quite a few people who do this, and it seems like the perfect solution.

I headed to the Google machine immediately to hunt down a map of US lighthouses, but after realizing this might not exist, I changed my search to a simple map of the US. I figure I can get two colors of push pins: one for lights I’ve visited and one for lights I still want to see. Simple enough, right?

Except, I’m stumped. I can’t find a map of the US that I actually like (and that is big enough for a zillion push pins).

This one from AllPosters.com intrigued me, but it’s so small.Stylized US Map (Allposters.com)I also found this one on AllPosters.com. It’s nice because it’s the right size, and the colors coordinate with most of my current décor. I’m still not completely in love, though, because I’m thinking something that makes it a little easier to pinpoint specific lighthouse locations for accurate push pinning would be nice. Plus, if this map is going to become part of my apartment wall décor, I want to be sure I’m happy with it, and I’m not completely sold on the background of this map.Modern USA Map (AllPosters.com)

I’d love something with at least some major cities labeled, but I also want to avoid the look of an atlas page hanging on my wall. Most of what I’ve found is along the lines of the map below, but this definitely feels too road-trip-planner to me.National Geopgraphic USA Map (AllPosters.com)So here is my plea: does anyone know of a good source for interesting maps?

First Friday Five: Santa Cruz, CA

Somehow it’s August already. How did that happen? Someone please help me out here.

July?… July?… July?

I hope everyone read that in a Ben Stein voice.

Here are my top five favorite things about Santa Cruz, CA (accompanied by relevant Instagram shots):

1. REDWOODS. I really don’t think anything else needs to be said. Seriously, standing beneath a redwood is one of the most amazing experiences, and UCSC (where I’ve been staying for the past 2 weeks) is literally built in a redwood forest. UHH-mazing.

UCSC Redwoods | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

2. The Pacific Ocean. Dudes and dudettes, I got to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. This is a big deal for this Florida girl.Pacific Ocean | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

3. The weather. I never thought I’d be anywhere that required me to wear a cardigan in July. It almost sounds like a joke, but it’s a glorious reality here in the Cruz.Pacific Ocean | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

4. Walton Lighthouse. I have this dream to visit as many of the lighthouses in the US as I possibly can before I die, and Santa Cruz allowed me to check one more off my list. Hooray!Walton Lighthouse | clarkuscat.wordpress.com5. Sea Lions! I was exploring the boardwalk last weekend, and stumbled across a little dock covered in sea lions taking a nap. It felt like something out of a dream or a movie. Unreal.Sea Lions | clarkuscat.wordpress.comAnd a few more pictures just for fun! I’ve only been here for 2 weeks so far, but these last 2 photos are my favorite. I love the way they capture the vibe of this city.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk | clarkuscat.wordpress.comSanta Cruz Trains | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Oh yeah, photos.

So remember when I promised I would post photos tomorrow? Well somehow tomorrow came and went about 11 more times before now when I finally have a moment to breathe.

I’ve had an amazing time this summer exploring new cities, meeting and getting to know fantastic new people, and teaching amazingly wonderful kids, but I haven’t had much time for my own pursuits (including, sadly, blogging!). I’m so far behind on my blog reader that the number of unread posts is actually slightly terrifying right now.

So, without further ado, these are some of the photos I managed to snap while in Seattle for the past month. These are SOOC (straight out of camera) and in no particular order. I’m hoping to do a before and after feature with these photos when I get back home in August, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.

Side Note: Has anyone ever thought about that phrase? It’s so second nature to say as an idiom, but how painful does that sound: “eyes peeled”? Ugh. Gross.

Anyway, here are the photos!

Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Waterfront | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Left Hand Books | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Alki Beach | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Alki Beach | clarkuscat. wordpress.com

There will be many more to come! As well as many from my new location in Santa Cruz, CA!

Pictures and posts will be a bit slow over the next 3 weeks, though, as I wrap up teaching another class!

 

First Friday Faves: Seattle Edition

I’ve been absent for a few days, but it’s not because I don’t love you guys. It’s because I’ve been traveling across the country! I’ve been in Seattle, WA for the past week!

This is incredibly exciting to me since I’ve never actually traveled further west than Chicago before. What? I know: crazy. But, all has been remedied, and I’m in Seattle now. It’s also the Fourth of July, and I am super excited for FIREWORKS. I seriously love fireworks, so any celebration that involves some kind of pyrotechnic show is a party I want to attend.

I’ll be posting some Seattle pictures over the weekend, but for now First Friday Faves: Seattle Edition.

1. THE WEATHER! You guys, it is July. It is July, and the projected high temperature is 74 degrees! I am in heaven, and my cardigans have been getting lots of love.

2. The greenery. I’ll be posting some pictures of this tomorrow, but man, oh man, is Seattle a gorgeous city or what. There are trees and green spaces everywhere, and I am beyond happy. The flowers also smell amazing just after it rains.

3. My host institution. I’m staying at Seattle University while I’m out here because I’m actually here for work – yep, I’m teaching a summer class on Detective Fiction! The campus is not only gorgeous (pictures to come!), but it also has delicious food and amazing people.

4. The people! Everyone here is so wonderfully friendly! I just met most all of my coworkers for the very first time, but I feel like I’ve known them forever. Even the people I meet on the streets are incredibly friendly and happy. It’s so refreshing to visit such a vibrant and joyous city.

5. FIREWORKS! because it needs to be mentioned again.