lifestyle blogger

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

“sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways, it can change someone else’s life forever.”–margaret cho

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. if you choose to shop items shared in this post, i may earn a small commission. as per usual, all opinions are my own!

can you believe christmas is less than one month away? if you’re anything like me (are you, are you?), you have yet to begin holiday shopping. (cue increased stress levels.) however, fear not—we have just under four weeks to check off everything on our holiday lists.

while i enjoy visiting the mall (on occasion) and like popping into local boutiques, shopping online has become far too appealing. (i typically shop when i should be responding to emails or feel overly stressed. that’s okay though, right?)

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

seattle fashion blogger, budget friendly style, holiday gift guide

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

today, i’ve put together a gift guide with items for anyone and everyone on your shopping list. even better, all items are priced under $50. while giving is a lovely, admirable theme during the holidays, depleting your bank account isn’t necessary.

ready? set? let’s shop!

for the host and hostess:

 

for the kiddos (0–4):

 

for the beauty maven:

 

for pet owners:

 

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

your budget-friendly holiday gift guide

photos by karya schanilec photography

blazer: topshop, t-shirt and jeans: zara, mules and purse: forever 21

for the tech guru:

 

for the fashionista:

 

have you started your holiday shopping? if so, did you take advantage of black friday and cyber monday sales? i always tell myself, “i’ll start shopping early” and have yet to do so. are there any other gift guides you’d like to see?

in the meantime, i’ll be over here last minute shopping and paying for rush delivery as per usual. #somethingsneverchange

stationery for any occasion with basic invite!

basic invite, greeting cards

disclosure: thank you, basic invite for sponsoring this blog post and providing shop credit in my account. as per usual, all opinions are my own!

“if you don’t say ‘thank you,’ the gifts and kind gestures will no longer be shared.” i can almost hear my mom’s voice as i type this—from a young age, she taught my brother and me the importance of gratitude. following birthdays, holidays, or special occasions, we promptly mailed thank you cards to friends and family who provided us gifts or joined in our celebration. it wasn’t an optional practice and quickly became habitual.

as an adult, i’ve come to realize this lesson was not widespread among my peers. it’s disheartening to give a gift and never be thanked. this simple—and relatively quick—gesture is meaningful for both parties. i am grateful my mom taught this to me at a young age!

basic invite, greeting cards

in a predominantly digital age, the likelihood of receiving greeting and thank you cards—or other forms of snail mail—is almost nonexistent. it’s far easier to message friends on social media or send lackadaisical texts and emails than to mail a personalized note. in fact, in the past ten years, the number of first-class mail items sent by the u.s. postal service has decreased by 50% (source). (holiday cards are one of the few types of snail mail that continue to be sent.)

while most forms of communication take place online, writing a card—whether a birthday, anniversary, or thank you note—is a welcome respite from typing. it enhances our language and creativity and is sure to put a smile on the face of the recipient. let’s make a pact: this year, we will send more snail mail. =)

basic invite, stationery

looking to update your stationery collection? basic invite has something for every occasion! whether you’re hosting a party, newly married (hello, copious thank you notes), or simply want to say “hello” to a faraway friend, basic invite offers adorable, customized cards.

diary of this girl, basic invite

diary of this girl, basic invite

^^ walking to the post office to drop cards in the mail ^^

new and noteworthy with basic invite:

basic invite allows you to order samples of cards for a small cost, prior to placing your full order. if you’d like to match colors, or wish to see how a font looks when printed, you can choose to first  purchase a sample!

you may order cards in almost any color, with an instant preview online. your card is sure to be unique with the wide variety of color and text options at your fingertips! envelopes are also available in more than 40 colors.

speaking of customization, foil cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. foil can be raised or flat on any of basic invite’s foil designs.

not sure of grandma’s address? basic invite offers a discrete address-capturing service that allows customers to send a private link on social media in which grandma may confirm her address. the address information can be stored in basic invite’s database for future use.

unlike many other personalized stationery sets, basic invite is affordable. designs are versatile, vibrant, and printed on high-quality card stock!

need help placing your order? basic invite offers a live chat feature with knowledgeable staff.

basic invite, affordable stationery

photos by karya schanilec photography

when writing this post, i ordered five sample cards via basic invite. (my order included two personalized thank you cards, a brunch invitation, a birthday party invitation, and holiday card.) the samples arrived quickly, and i am thrilled with how the designs turned out! the colors and fonts are fun, yet easy to read, and the cards felt like something i would purchase in-store.

have you ordered cards from basic invite? they are graciously offering diary of this girl’s readers 15% off your order with code “15FF51” at checkout! you can also find basic invite on facebook, instagram, and pinterest!

planning a day trip in your city

happy thursday, everyone! summertime has seemingly proven to be a whirlwind of barbecues, outdoor brunches and happy hours, and weekend adventures. work and other responsibilities are sprinkled in there (#adulting), but let’s be honest—we live for day trips and fun in the sun!

sequim lavender festival, seattle blogger

seattle fashion blogger, sequim lavender festival

“i haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”–susan sontag

a few weekends ago, the girls and i planned a day trip to sequim, washington. (sequim is a 2–3 hour drive from downtown seattle, located in clallam county.) we packed snacks, accessories, and outfits galore, loaded up on coffee, and escaped the city!

diary of this girl, seattle blogger, seattle fashion blogger

despite the relatively short drive from seattle, i have never visited sequim. the girls and i planned to stop by a lavender farm—our visit coincided with the lavender festival—and then pop over to gig harbor or tacoma for dinner and additional outfit photos. unfortunately, traffic was worse than anticipated, but we had a wonderful time exploring the lavender farms and surrounding area. i look forward to visiting next year, too!

there are numerous farms located throughout sequim—i’ve scouted out several online that i hope to visit. (also on my to-do list for a future day trip: the new dungeness lighthouse, sequim bay state park, and lavish day spa.) have you been to sequim? if you have any dining or venue recommendations, send them my way!

there is a decent amount of planning that goes into taking a day trip. of course, the logistics, such as the destination, who’s driving, stops along the way, a general itinerary etc. need to be considered. the girls and i usually select our destination and communicate via group text—we message back and forth to brainstorm ideas and formalize plans. (we have taken several trips over the last few years, and it is always a lot of fun.)

seattle fashion blogger, diary of this girlseattle blogger, seattle fashion blogger, sequim

in addition to preparing for said day trip, it is equally important to be flexible and spontaneous. during this trip, for example, we drove by an adorable bed and breakfast. instead of continuing on to gig harbor, we chose to stop for photos. sure, this may have detoured from our original plan, but it provided a great photo opportunity and subsequent memory!

need help selecting a destination? think like a visitor! go wine tasting; get lost in a museum; try a new restaurant; the options are seemingly endless when you’re open to trying something new. still stuck? utilize online resources, such as tripadvisor, for unique ideas and recommendations. (if you’re local to seattle, i also recommend visitseattle—stay apprised of local happenings, festivals, and more!) i find day trips to be highly undervalued. there are seemingly endless adventures (waiting to be had) not far from home. one final tip? leave early. this will help maximize your time away while potentially cutting down on traffic. during two of my most recent trips, i only wish i had more time to explore!

diary of this girl, seattle blogger, seattle fashion

summertime fashion, seattle fashion, seattle blogger

photos by jenn from hello rigby

dress: asos (borrowed from ana luiza), hat: pacsun, purse: forever 21, sunglasses: nordstrom, sandals: zara

do you enjoy planning day trips? where are some of your favorite destinations? if you live in (or near) seattle and are looking for potential excursions, check out this article, published on narcity. you may or may not see a familiar face, too! =)

30 Spontaneous Day Trips, Seattle travel blogger

 

caring for a senior dog :: my top five tips

“blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”–sydney jeanne seward

owning and caring for a senior pet is far different from the early years! this stage of life requires health-conscious food and pet supplies, as well as a great deal of love, patience, and dedicated care.

dachshund, senior dog, diary of this girl megan

diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger, dachshund

my family’s miniature dachshund, bailey, turns 16 in august. we brought her home when i was in high school, and she has been the star of the show since her arrival. =) to say she is spoiled is a vast understatement. she’s the cutest pup around (in our opinion), and we simply can’t help but dote on her.

bailey has ample toys, sweaters, and blankets. however, she most enjoys naps in the sun and car rides—while she will tolerate the occasional fair-weather stroller ride, she knows this ultimately means: a bathroom break and short walk home (sans stroller). if you force her to walk too far, she will stop, sit, and look up at you until you carry her the remainder of the walk. #spoileddog

diary of this girl megan, senior dog, dachshund

senior dog, caring for a senior dog, diary of this girl megan

senior dog tips, dachshund, diary of this girl megan

below are the top five lessons we have learned when it comes to caring for a senior dog:

one: food and treats. while we always had good intentions in terms of the food and treat brands we purchase for bailey, when she turned ten, we made a conscious effort to feed her better. what does “better” mean? she eats a natural, grain-free diet that promotes digestive health. in the morning, bailey enjoys wet food, purchased at our local veterinary clinic. in the evening (or afternoon and evening—again, she’s spoiled), we feed her wellness complete health small breed kibble. this particular recipe is geared towards senior dogs. while she would much prefer to eat cheese and bacon all day, we strive to limit people food. her treats typically include joint rescue (meat-free) and the occasional container of unsweetened applesauce.

two: exercise. bailey is notoriously stubborn. she has never been a fan of walking—though in her younger years, she participated in and ran several 5k’s. as she’s aged, she has become even less interested in walks and trips outside. we take her outside every two–three hours for a bathroom break, and if it isn’t too wet or cold, we go for a “stroll” around the block. she hates this but will partake if you promise extra treats upon your return home.

last summer, i convinced my mom to purchase a dog stroller. we bought this one, and it’s great for neighborhood walks! while it took some getting used to, i think bailey genuinely enjoys riding along—a cool breeze flapping her ears back and forth.

dachshund, diary of this girl megan, seattle fashion blogger

three: regular checkups. we proactively take our girl to the veterinarian each year, and i cannot emphasize how important this is. our vet has helped us through a few health scares, and we are grateful for her knowledge and support.

four: ask for help. it isn’t fair to leave animals alone for extended periods of time. my parents and i are busy, so a few years ago, we did our research and hired a dog walker. she visits bailey twice daily during the workweek. (she is available for extra help if needed, too.) when friends and family aren’t available to pop in and let bailey out, our dog walker is happy to assist! we found her via word-of-mouth, but i encourage you to chat with neighbors, visit your neighborhood facebook page, or check out rover.

five: care for their teeth. regular dental care is important throughout your pet’s life, but particularly during their senior years. if their teeth are neglected, it can lead to serious health problems. our girl had fifteen teeth pulled last summer (despite brushing them somewhat frequently). tartar buildup can cause gingivitis, allowing bacteria to get into your pet’s bloodstream. this can potentially damage their organs. brush your pet’s teeth regularly and have them checked and cleaned by your veterinarian!

dachshund, summer fashion, diary of this girl

dachshund, diary of this girl megan

photos by sarah wolfe photography

blouse: loft, jeans: american eagle, sandals: roxy, purse: irene’s story

we feel incredibly blessed to have bailey in our family. despite her 16 years, she is in good health! i cannot imagine life without her, and i am grateful my dear friend, and talented photographer, sarah, was willing and able to capture these beautiful photos. i may or may not have printed several of them to frame. as i said, #spoileddog.

new website, new post!

hello, and welcome to my new website, diary of this girl (!!!). if you follow me on social media, or subscribe to my blog, you know diary of this girl isn’t new—i began blogging in 2011, and my previous website was hosted on blogspot. last year, i hoped to move everything to my own domain and began brainstorming how i’d like my new website to look.

and almost a year later, it’s here! (better late than never, right?)

^^^ any excuse for a pink donut, right? ^^^

i should also tell you, website design is not a skill i possess. in fact, i cannot tell you how much time i spent cursing my computer, texting fellow bloggers for support, and pouring over information on google—everything from “how to change your font” to “how to import a shop widget.” it turned into a lengthy process, but alas, i am ready to share the finished product with you!

my previous posts and photos (including early blog posts) have been imported. i have several new pages, including an about page (learn about the girl behind the blog), frequently asked questions, a contact page, shop page (my current favorites—under $100), and my disclosure. additionally, as a certified editor, i included information about copyediting (what is it?) and services i provide fellow writers and publishers.

as per my previous website, i will continue publishing new blog posts weekly while cross-sharing on my social media platforms. (you can conveniently find links to each of these platforms on my blog page, under my profile picture.) thank you for following!

photos by karya schanilec photography

thank you again for following me here! i am ready to create new content and currently have a few draft posts in the works. can i also tell you how ready i am for all things summer? summer fashion is my favorite!

xoxo.

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