Ye olde Christmas tour.

A merry set of snaps of our wintery, Christmas-y, abode!
Fresh Balsam is my favorite candle. Ever.
I think we moved into our own cozy little place at just the right time. Fancying it up, decorating, lighting candles of balsam and joy, staring at our glowing tree at every chance I get, and sneaking into the living room to wrap presents when he's not watching have been some of the happiest moments I'll keep sacred and safe. 

Christmas has always been and will forever be one of my favorites of all things...of anything really. But minus the part where I was terrified of Santa for years and dry-heaved when my parents read me The Night Before Christmas and minus the time I sang "The Little Drummer Boy" alone during Christmas mass -- I really, truly grimace at that song to this day.

My parents always made every holiday so special for us kids, without fail, every single year. From a big decadent Portuguese feast to yuletide adornments in every nook and cranny of the house. I feel so honored to love and preserve their tradition.


I wish my knees were pointier.

Because I've always believed that sets off the thickness of my legs. Meaning they'd be longer, thinner. If only I were taller. 5'4" isn't too vertically challenged, but just a few more inches would help.   

If only my hair was thicker like it used to be so I could grow it long long. Why can't that flab go away. How come I always have to hide those dark circles under my eyes -- Thallassemia is a silly and rude thing. If only I didn't have that.

If only. 

Story of my nearly 25 years of life. Always needing to control what I cannot. I've had enough anxiety to shake a stick at and I would not wish those feelings upon anyone. Ever. So here's to more time resting my mind. More art, more creating. More hitting goals at the gym -- I do have to stop and say here that time spent is paying off. I need to see that. Here's to slowing down my nightly routine, to not skip the moisturizer because I'm tired, to eating a piece of chocolate if I want. Remembering my vitamins in the morning. Drinking my water and not cursing so much -- or just not giving a damn and cursing when I good and well please.

Here's to being gentle with myself. And taking good care of myself.

I suppose sometimes, many times, us ladies, whether we like to admit it or not, are very hard on our bodies. We're hard on ourselves. Why are we so unforgiving of our number one gal? So this post is here to remind me, and you, to say girl, you're doing just fine.


A ballad of thanks.

Thanksgiving, how are you already here? I welcome your warm, savory presence but I lament your suddenness because soon you will be over. And then there will be me, left drunk on pie and tryptophan and cozy all over. Thank goodness I bought a dress for the occasion -- elegance and poise to mask the real reason here. The avoidance of unbuttoned pants!

So here is the tried and true Thanksgiving post. What I am graciously thankful for. For I know I have these things at the end of the day, right before my eyes close with sleep.
  • My husband-to-be. My very best friend. And every time I get to reunite with him after a hard day, sitting snug under soft blankets in our living room, watching Dexter, drinking spritzers, spending time. And the infinite number of reasons I love him. He is my literal universe that one.
  • My sweet family. And how we make the holidays big because spending time together is always big and important to us. How we laugh. How it's always my favorite thing to see them all.
  • The special people I call my close friends. And how each and every one of you are precious lights in my world.
  • The comfort and safety I get to have in this life, because there are those who are not as fortunate.
  • My body, and what it can do. And that I am healthy, and blessed to be.
  • That thinking, creating, doing thing up there in my head -- that also gives me logic, poise, and grace.
  • Our near-future puppy!
  • White chocolate covered Oreos and pumpkin cheesecake. 
  • Baths. Baths and candles. And dresses.
  • Where I am now from where I was.
And now I will leave you with a Thanksgiving memory I hold dear in that special corner of my heart, where I store all moments I like to retrieve again and again and wrap myself in the essence of the memory. Breathe it in. A little girl me, helping my dad butter the turkey and handing him proper spices when requested, with this song, playing in the background per my request, every year. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may your hearts (and bellies) be full!


She's is autumn.

I have found her.

Today I have found the leaf of all leaves. The epitome of autumn, in all her glory. I almost walked right past her but, after quite the debate in my head, girl you don't neeeeed anymore pickings!, I turned around and plucked her up off the soggy ground.

And now I am spending the rest of my day thankful I changed my mind because, though tucked away in a journal until I resolve what to do with her, she is on fire.


Thinking in heaps.

Ah, I suppose there is a time every now and again where we rant. All this electricity gets stuck in our chests and it's very uncomfortable. I also suppose there will be times where this space will be a place for something like that -- an emesis tray to hold the evacuation of festering energy. This one will be short. I think.

A couple things, lo and behold, are making me think and think. Thinking in heaps and in mounds. Maybe it's just my own nature. Maybe, surely, I was born in the wrong era. But I hate how fast everything is. I hate how easy everything is. I hate how fast and easy are entities that form our impatient nature. Our human souls are on a downhill slope to being frighteningly banal. Feelings are hashtags and conversations are slipped beyond the point of worth because they become a means for attention instead of a good, hearty, story. Oh and social media, I mustn't linger on that topic right here, right now. So I will just say I love it. And I hate it. I cannot stand it, but like this entire earth's society, it sucks me in sometimes. It's made us approval-seeking, impatient, comparative human beings. And then it's numbing. It's so boring. It's too easy.

So here is my pledge, I suppose, my purpose of this here rant. I am here to tell myself and to tell you that I will slow down. I will feel. I will hand-write letters forever and make things and have conversations over coffee. I will live in the right now, and yes dreams are fine and all that, but if you're always chasing you surely aren't living. I will work on not feeding the need to capture everything in a photo or a post to where I lose the moment in preparation. I will read and feel and laugh real laughs born from the deepest nooks of my body

Maybe I'm just hollering into empty space, but I want interesting. Give me your story, not 100 different words and preceding number symbols to get attention. What makes you live? What makes you throw your head back and yell, laugh, or cry? Show me your mind, show me your words. 


Sickies and Kitties.

This post is brought to you by a very red, very chapped nose and we mustn't forget the duffel bags under thine eyes. A head cold (the plaaaaague! if I describe it appropriately) put me at mercy over the weekend. Our perfectly soft, appropriately soothing couch and I conjoined nicely.

Alas, I've had enough of declaring correct Family Feud survey answers at the TV -- do you suppose they get paid to give the most screwball responses for good television? Because a Koala is not a popular answer for an animal who uses the bathroom excessively.

And oh my favorite boy. He provided lots of soup and his left arm I love cuddle so. And my girl Taylor blessed the world with her best album yet -- and I thought she wouldn't do better than her last because I adored Red. My favorite track from 1989 is I Wish You Would. Others of course are Blank Space and Out of the Woods. It usually takes some time for albums to warm up to me, but as always, her music is instant.

So my Friday + weekend was: work appropriate, lazy Halloween costumes, a beautiful birthday celebration dinner for my beautiful mamabird, homemaking, and pulling off the ragamuffin-chic as made blatantly apparent above.

But I must add how achingly excited I am for what is to come. Holidays, joy, warmth, and everything leading up to July 31st where I will be a married lady.


A Saturday in Hours.

slow, soft morning // bath pt.1 // bath pt.2 // breakfast // favorite health store // a couch I wanted to thrift (but did not) // coffee with mamabird and daddylove // making something
And so forth, a glimpse of my very lovely, plentifully good Saturday. In photos taken in over a span of eight hours. 


Energies of things.

Me and rocks and crystals. Rocks and crystals and I.

When I was a girl, I collected rocks. I'd sit in the gravel of my play-set for hours with the setting sun, looking for the strange opaque white stones. The bottom of my Aladdin shirt transformed into a makeshift basket and I'd stand and run up the hill to the house with it overflowing down my legs -- bare belly and button, out for the evening moths to see.

I can see my wild hair and yearning eyes. My knees would acquire permanent carpet burns with how fast I'd slide to reach my rock collection under the bed. Or in my closet. The dresser drawer on the bottom left. I'd often hide it; just convinced some other little girl would want the bright pink stone, tiger's eye, deep sea-blue agate, or my favorite, the huge amethyst geode. The energy I had! I'd look and gaze and stare at them.

Over the weekend, amidst our errand running, my sweet friend Kelsey and I made a stop at the most perfect rock shop. I cannot count the number of nights I'd slowly inch past with my window down, willing my vision to bore through the darkened windows trying so hard to see its entrails. Closed. It would always be closed and I'd curse my commute and it's long, drawn out itinerary. But that's a story for another time. A rant, if you will.

We looked and gazed and stared. Touched and held and poked. Geodes and agates, garnet and citrine! Enough amethyst points and Himalayan crystals to shake a stick at. I based my haul on aesthetics -- pieces I physically felt drawn to. I know they have healing properties, which I will certainly look up later. But for now they'll sit in a dainty glass box on top of lace. Or huddle close to a succulent or three. You can see a few of my picks in the top frame -- a geode half and four pieces I loved. Not pictured are a handful if little ones I plan on using for crafts. They're exquisite, take my word.

Oh my. I just read this over and my nerd is showing. But that's okay. I felt marvelous after leaving the shop. For the rest of the entire day. An extra spring in my step and everything. Sweet, positive energy down to my bones. That makes sense, because we're kind of made of this stuff, right? Energy and minerals and all that. I must stop here, I'll talk forever.


To Feel // Vol. 02

Last night I couldn't rest,
odd and out of place.
I often go out heavy.
Sleep quickly, surely arrives.
But fussy turns and tosses,
filled my side of the bed.

Then your breath, steady and rhythmic,
my very own pendulum.
I eavesdropped on your breathing,
carefully synching mine with yours.
Inhale a beat shorter than the let out.
I did the same.

And in that moment,
our energies meshed.
Together breathing, 
the sweetest mechanical thing,
letting sleep permeate my mind.

You offer me comfort, even in slumber, 
unconsciously, unknowingly
you are there.


A stream of nows.

It has been some time since I sat down, shoulders squared, to write freely in this space. I am unsure if I ever have. Usually my posts are planned, carefully even, being the perfectionist I am. I can't seem to kick that version of me to the curb -- it keeps around like an annoying hangnail. My whole life, right now, thirty-seven years from now. Edges are folded crisp, handwritten lists are immaculate -- else I write them again. Paragraphs read thrice to really comprehend -- I must confess here that I do understand the first time, second and third times are to feel. Words need to hit my bones or else I'm uninterested.

This mentality is more foe than companion and is not something I can just rid of. My childhood, adolescence, teenage years, were filled with straight A's and enough test anxiety to shake a stick at. Now, as a young woman busy busy with planning and wedding details, the fusspot bubbles up inside of me -- an overenthusiastic Yorkie just so impatient to get everything done, now. Perfectly. Right. Now.

But I made a vow to myself long ago to be driven by as much elegance and grace as I can. To bestow kindness to others, yes of course, but to not forget about myself. Remembering to eat meals and breathe breaths. To not fight that urge to collapse on our perfect little sofa with a cable knit throw, some tea, swirling daydreams, and a good book -- giving a mental nod to the always unexpected, always warm epiphany: all we have is time!

And I am okay, at this time, right now.


To Feel // Vol. 01

Will there ever be a time in space, in existence, where all the thoughts will be thought, every invention from then on would be stale repeats. Feelings felt, predetermined sensations. Greys and in-betweens.

Surely though, surely, I wouldn't mind one bit because if I get to feel what I feel with you, all the other replications of being, every unoriginal thing wouldn't matter at all.


Moving and mystery bruises.

Hello! Hi there, I'm still here.
A hasty update on life if you don't mind. It has been a little bit! As many of you know from Instagram and Facebook, Daniel and I have made the move into our own place. And doing so, we have formed solid musings about the process. Here's a few:

// Ikea is, and never ever was, a one-time thing. Ikea happens 5 times, at least.  

// Going into stores and completely forgetting what you needed to buy is a normal occurrence by now. 

// Kitchen trash bags are expensive. 

// Couch purchases are to be done late at night, preferably on a Friday, because they're on coupon, and there's only one left in the back. And no they cannot hold it. Getting it up to the third floor also is to be done late at night -- successfully, might I add. (Thank you Dad!)

// Coffee! iTunes!! Coffee! 

// A picnic on the floor is a perfectly fine solution for being without a dining table at the moment. 

// Wanting to buy. Everything. (I am not allowed anymore house plants.) 

But we love it so. We adore living together. Hanging out with my best friend for a forever sleepover and doing things like dancing in the living room, sipping on wine while assembling furniture, asking him to get my glass tupperware because I'm just too short to reach, watching Harry Potter backwards and forwards and halfway through because cable isn't up yet. Him, being patient and a big sweetheart as I fuss around, arranging decor just so -- measuring here, marking there. Spaces and corners we can look at and feel our home.  

Anyway. The bruises! I've accumulated an adorable little collection of battle marks from moving heavy things and clumsily running into new corners that my body is unfamiliar with -- hands, thighs, toes, hips, shins. I should have photographed them. Daniel whacked his head on a shelf in the fridge on the second night. 

So, I will share more photos as our apartment comes along. It's a little piece of magic, let me tell you.


Hello! + 20 things.

I believe the number is up to 3 thus far for how many times I've been requested, or "tagged" if you will, to do this. I also believe this would be the perfect time to share 20 things about me for my new readers! And finally, I believe this should be read wrapped up in a cozy blanket with foggy windows + coffee or anything pumpkin infused poured in your favorite mug cupped closely to your body. The holidays are upon us, darlings. I digress, or a  more appropriate phrase would be dream -- anyway, here, 20! readyset!


The blood of nine different ethnicities sails through my veins.

I will be Mrs. Miko on July 31, 2015, and this wedding planning thing is all going by so quickly!

My entire family was born and raised in Hawaii, besides me.

I have the cutest, most precious parents in all of the land.

Extensive dog lover. Think, Elmyra Duff, in all her glory.

Soon, so soon, we will have our own baby goldendoodle and she will be the great light of our lives.

I wish, beyond many other wishes I desire, to have the time and patience, but mostly time, to read again. I miss that girl whose nose was stuck in a book wherever she went. I believe I once read through an entire family road trip.

I am rather obsessive over my skin. I probably should have become a dermatologist. Or perhaps a perfume expert -- I've a romantic love affair with fancy eau de parfums.


Too often am I too tired to sleep, or bring myself to sleep, which is completely counter-intuitive but I have fully embraced that I am an odd seed.

So, you can find me using lavender oil on the soles of my feet before bed.

I sleep on a Jasmine/Raja pillowcase because Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie and I can't quite give it up for adulthood's sake just yet. 

French. I want to learn French because it's beautiful.


Blankets, soft things of any kind!

I can be quite the sap. Things that make me blubber forth tears are: darling infants, Christmas commercials, puppies, Hallmark cards, and 90's boy-band love songs.

I have an obsessive/compulsive-esque revulsion to kitchen sinks and refrigerators that aren't mine. Ever since forever, from a little girl, probably even before, and I could never rationalize it if I tried.

I am so fond of juxtapositions. Obscenities cross-stitched on flowery hoops, for example, is my type of humor.

My fiance doubles as my best giant teddy bear and I often squeeze his middle and arms and never ever let go.

Living an intimate, healthy life -- with, of course, journals, cozy sweaters, lots of coffee, pressed flowers, crisp air, the moon, Bon Iver, favorite pens, family, and a handsome boy with the smiling eyes and long legs -- is all I'll ever ever need.


Fit for a Maid.

Over the long weekend, I asked my four best ladies to be by my side at the altar and through the wonderful journey this year will bring. My heart is so, so full knowing I have them all. My beautiful, kindhearted, precious sister is my Maid of Honor and my lovely sister-in-law + two dearest friends are bridesmaids.

I am just so excited. This is all so special to me. I'm not quite sure how to get the words from inside onto this post right now. So I have shared with you the little invitation boxes I put together for them. I poured all the bits and pieces of me into these and they turned out just how I imagined.

P.S. //  I found the dress of my absolute dreams. It was the second one I tried on and you know all that stuff you hear -- about just knowing when it's the one? All of that is real.


To dream.

A dream so sweet, so real. You visit me often. It's like I know you and I haven't met you yet. I've memorized you. You don't exist. 

Yet, you do.

And then I awake this morning to this. Golden light saturating the shadows. It's the first thing I see as I rise and stick my toes in the carpet with sleep still in my hair and my senses. Consciousness comes in waves. I snap a photo. My mind then wakes up, too, ever so slightly behind my body and the dream comes back to me. Reintroduced with a tiny pull, an ache, and all that's left is wonder. And the cosmos sigh, Ah, yes. That dream was for a reason -- be patient my dear.


Defining joy.

You are ever so graceful and eloquent with your words, and I admire that.
You write of love, of calm, of adventure of fear, of excitement,
next, can you write of happiness? 

You know those tiny moments that seemingly arise out of nowhere, on the most average of days? Moments that make your heart swell and your eyes crinkle and then you can't seem to produce anything other than a smile? And then your so full of inspiration there's a shower of falling stars in your core? This little email was sitting in my inbox this evening and it threw me for a loop, but in the best way possible.  

Happiness is all sorts of wonderful things to me -- warm things, soft things, deep, light, loving, amusing, special things. It's imagination and grace. My darling fiance and how our lives together are just beginning. My sweet family and friends. Smelling the change in the air from summer to harvest. The layer of salt and sand you acquire after spending the day in the ocean. A fierce workout that makes you proud to be you. The vastness of nature and the universe we all reside in. It's feeling and thinking and library-laughs and loving so deeply. Happiness is so immeasurable. I may not directly write of it, but it is quite the merit in my life -- much of what I share in this space is happiness.  

And this? This from a dear reader, is happiness bursting from the seams. Thank you.

I absolutely love this stuff. Inspiration, creativity -- goodness, I wish everybody would write. I want to read about what makes you glad. That being said, I will share with you part of my response to her: 

If I ignite a flame in just one person's being, enough that they feel, 
smile, think, write, or, like you -- who perhaps engaged in 
all four -- took the time to reach out to me,
then I feel my job is complete.  


7 Years.

.7 .7 .7
I just adore the little traditions we have. August 15th marked 7 loving years together. We decided to recreate some of last year's celebration, which was oh so special. Last year, after filling our bellies with the best Italian food we've ever had, Daniel whisked me away to Snoqualmie Falls and asked me to be his bride in our lovely room at the lodge -- he was too nervous to propose at the waterfall! This year, we made reservations at the same restaurant and to our surprise, they sat us at the same table! I was over the moon about that and could not stop praising the cute little accordion player in the corner, the chandeliers, brick interior, bubbling spirits, and gorgeous food in front of us. Everything was perfect -- especially walking around, holding hands, in the warm evening with the summer sky boasting its paint-brushed clouds above us.

And how could I forget? We began another tradition last year where we indulge in a delicious anniversary waffle from a quaint breakfast spot in town. We create beautiful moments all the time, but to share ones far too special to occur more than once a year, feels so wonderful. This life with my soon-to-be husband -- there isn't anything more precious to me.

P.S. I am thrilled to announce we will be attending our first Sounders game in September with a jersey of my own! He really knows how to shower me with things I love. And I didn't do too shabby this year either -- he's so thrilled about his new red chucks!