August Adventures

almost there

August was a super chill month for me. Honestly, I got too lazy. I kind of fell of the face off the planet in August. Really, I went to Boise for a week and a half, and while I was there I stopped updating this here blog.

It felt like I was gone for most of August. My aunt and I took a road trip from the LA area all the way to Boise, Idaho. We went up the middle of the state (don’t ask me freeway names, I didn’t drive), stopped in Berkeley for two days, headed east and stopped in Reno for about 24 hours, and then made it from there to Boise in a day. That’s a lot of being in the car. Can you tell? We made the most of it though! Road trip snacks and car games are actually a few of my favorite things, so I wasn’t too bad off.

I had been to Boise twice before, but never to Berkeley or Reno or any part of Nevada. It was nice to be able to explore new areas I had never seen before. More than that, it was great to be with family I don’t usually get to see. In Berkeley, my aunt and I stayed with my cousin, his wife and young daughters. I hadn’t seen him or his family in about four years, so I had never met the youngest one. Although they were shy at first, we quickly became acquainted. We played hide-and-go-seek, read books together, had a dance party and I got to go ice skating with the two older girls. My heart was so full!

In Reno, my aunt and I met up with a family friend that she is close to. Upon seeing me, he informed me that he hadn’t seen me since I was 3 years old. He and my dad used to play chess together back when he lived in California. My aunt and this family friend took my on a tour of Reno. I had never been in a casino before. I gambled 50 cents on a weekday afternoon.

somewhere Nevada postcard pic

We went back on the road in the middle of the day and managed to arrive in Boise just as the sun was setting. It was so nice to arrive at our final destination, my home away from home for the next week. I stayed at my aunt’s house for 8 days, making the trip 12 days total. It didn’t seem like it would be all that long when we arranged the trip, but I was homesick by the end. Still, it was a great trip.

The first time I went to Boise was the summer of 2010, I believe. I was 19 and had just finished my freshman year of college. I liked it so much that I went up with my aunt again the following summer. Both times we took a plane ride up. This summer she offered to take me again as a graduation present and I gladly accepted. If you’re wondering what makes Boise so special, I can tell you in a single word: family. My aunt that I’ve gone on all these trips with just moved there in spring. The two of us had been visiting my other aunt (her sister), my uncle, and four of my cousins. They’re all such funny, goofy people. I love them all. It sucks living so far away. We bonded over TV shows, corny jokes and musicals. I can’t wait until next time.

Freak Alley overlooking Downtown
at a park

1) Donner Lake in California
2) Wild horses in Reno, Nevada
3) Beautiful downtown Boise
4) Freak Alley in Boise, Idaho
5) My cousin James and I at a parking garage in Downtown Boise
6) Me at Ann Morrison Park in Boise

Even though We’re only a few days into September, it’s feeling like fall in my area of Southern California and I rather like it. To me, fall signals change and I could use some of that, mainly in the way of a job. I’m working hard, so hopefully good things will come my way.

Midsomer Times

My boyfriend Paul is here today to share his latest Spotify playlist, Midsomer Times. Without further ado, I’ll let him take it away.

Midsommer spotify playlist

Here we are – the summertime homestretch.

Don’t be afraid to take a dip in the deep end. Put the final weeks of the season to good use. Take comfort in those relaxing moments sitting by the window, watching the sunset turn into a foggy night. Breathe in that crisp, freedom-enriched air on a walk down the street.

With that in mind, spend the next 42 minutes with the ever-so lush Devonte “Blood Orange” Hynes and Bradford Cox film scores, soft Mac Demarco, and the only Spotify-available production of Waldemar Schwartz.

Fourteen years later and Zero 7 still have it, while Neil Young gets in a box.


Follow @thewonderwheel for more music and fun animation!

P.S. You should be able to see the embeded Spotify playlist above, but if you can’t, click this link to open Midsomer Times in your Spotify player.

In the blue

Before this two week Boise trip, we hadn’t been apart for more than a week. Maybe not even that long. The longest I can think of is when he went to SXSW earlier this year. I probably saw him the weekend before and soon after. I have a terrible memory. Can you tell? I know couples have survived a lot worse. I don’t mean to complain. But man, I’m going to miss him just for a bit.

This cutie and I have been dating for almost two and a half years. Pretty soon it will be three years since we first met. It’s funny to think of how we’ve changed in that time. We’re growing up. We’re not college babes any more, as he likes to say.

Outfit details: Erin’s wearing: Shirt/H&M, Shorts/Kohl’s, Shoes/Vans, Glasses/Bonlook, Purse/Anne Klein. Paul’s wearing: Shirt/Thrifted, Tank top/Target, Jeans/Levis, Shoes/Vans, Glasses: Ray Ban.

We took these photos a few months ago after going to breakfast at Swingers, one of our favorite restaurants in Santa Monica. I noticed this blue building and just had to take photos in front of it. Can you tell he’s over it at this point?

I leave for Boise on Friday. It’s going to be a fun road trip to visit family and I’m really excited. I’m also excited to reunite with this guy in the end though.

By the way, Paul’s sharing a midsummer playlist on the blog soon. His first post! :)

Note: I’ve had a draft with just the title “Matching with my guy- whenever it happens” saved since December. I filled it up with these photos and the words to go with and then pressed publish without changing the title. Oops! We’re not matching. I’ve just been wanting to do another outfit post/couple post/ get some portrait practice in ever since the first time last summer. Hopefully I can convince him to let me do these more often because I had fun!

24 before 24: Redesign my blog

I finally did it!

If you’ve been to this blog before, you may notice a few changes. Yes, I redesigned my site! I’m seriously so excited about the new look! It feels even better because I did it myself! It turns out that it wasn’t even that hard! Guys, this is a big deal! Exclamation marks all day every day! I was inspired my this post and decided that if I put in some work, I could change my blog all by myself.

With the help of WordPress, a free theme and a day’s worth of work using custom CSS and the WordPress forums, I was able to make my site look the way I wanted. I’m sure I’ll make more changes later on, but for now, I’m happy.

Here’s what Modern Notebook looked like before I started making changes:

Modern Notebook 1.2

And here’s what it looks like today:

Modern Notebook 2.2

Can you see the changes? It’s like one of those Spot the Differences challenges. Mainly, I wanted to make the site look more like my own and less like the theme because it is really common. My favorite colors are pink and gray, so I used those throughout the site. Even though I love pink and I feel like it goes with Modern Notebook, I wanted to minimize it while keeping it on as an accent color.

Let’s geek out about those details!

I upgraded from a free WordPress account to WordPress premium back in April, when I changed the blog’s name and URL. The upgrade comes with great options, such as the ability to customize with CSS. But I was lost and honestly, I didn’t even bother with it. I just figured I would have to take a class in CSS or do a ton of research before I could make any changes. That’s simply not the case though.

CSS can be really fun, especially if you have a customize tool and theme to work with. With the way my blog is set up, I just had to look at the framework of the free theme I was using, figure out what I wanted changed and make adjustments from there. It would have been a lot different if I was working from scratch. Knowing a little bit about how HTML works helped too, since CSS is different but similar.

Using CSS, I finally hid the pink polka dots that are signature part of the free Adelle theme. I also snipped off the end of he navigation bar, which looked  more like a ribbon before, and I changed it from black to gray. Adelle normally has squiggly lines between each section in the sidebar, but I changed them to straight lines. To make a cohesive look, I made the post date the same color gray as the navigation bar and changed it from an oval shape to more of a circle.

By the way, CSS stands for cascading style sheets. It’s often used to style web pages and interface with HTML. Or something like that.  read about it on Wikipedia and got a little lost.

Most of the work came down to Google + copy + paste = :) Add some critical thinking for a job well done.

Some of the changes didn’t even require CSS. For example, I added a new header to give it a signature touch, thanks to the help of my amazing boyfriend. We made the header together in Photoshop. (But it could be done using any free photo or design software instead.)

Then I worked on the sidebar to make it look special. I added in my blog’s categories with a text widget and HTML, only after going through all my posts to make sure they were each in the right categories. Then I added in an image to link to my summer playlist, which I plan to change out occasionally.  Finally, I used free social media icons from Carrie Loves Design and took out the old social widgets. To top it all off, I changed out my profile photo from last summer to a more recent one.

That about did it!

If you have any questions about how I made my site look the way I wanted, let me know with a comment or email! I’d love to help. If you have any advice or critiques about my redesign, please let me know! I’m totally new to this.

P.S. I’m trying to do 24 things before my 24th birthday in February, and this one is on the list. I know, I’m crazy. See the rest of the 24 before 24 list and then judge me.