100 Day Project Update!

10:37 AM

Here we are, at day 48 of the 100 Day Project!! You know what that means: I'm almost halfway done! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this previous post. Basically, I decided to participate in the 100 Day Project this year. I chose hand lettering as my challenge. (My hashtag is #100DaysofHandLetteringbyTrina, if you want to see all of the days so far.)

Since I am practically halfway done, I thought I'd share a little update here on the blog and talk about some of my favorite supplies that I've been using these past 48 days!

Quilt Inspiration

1:47 PM

This year I made a few of what I decided to call "Bullet Point Resolutions". They are little, random things that I want to make sure to do this year that don't really have anything to do with my main resolution. For example, a few of my bullet point resolutions are drinking more water and reading more and exercising.

Also on that list is starting a quilt! Even though we're already in the fifth month of 2017 and I have yet to get a good start on this one, I still fully intend to do it. And, besides, I have made a little progress. I bought my batting, for example, and practiced quilting techniques with some smaller projects. I'm planning to complete the bulk of my quilt this summer.

The main thing I've done in preparation is search for inspiration. Since making a quilt is going to be a relatively big project in terms of money and time commitment, I want to be sure that I am happy with the result. For me, the hardest part in this process is going to be making the decisions. I'm okay with the cutting and the sewing, but its picking out the fabric and choosing the pattern that are the most daunting steps to me. To help in this process, I have collected a few images of quilts that I like so that I can start to get a feel for what I want mine to look like. I thought I'd share some of my inspiration here. (I've included sources to all of the quilts below!)

I Made My Own Cheese!

4:33 PM

My mind has been blown! Who knew you could make your own cheese? Or that it would be easy? This was seriously one of the highlights of my spring break. I know it probably sounds lame that I got so excited about making cheese of all things, but I found the whole process fascinating. I love making things and I love science, and this combined the two (with a very tasty result to boot!).

I have wanted to purchase this DIY cheese kit from Urban Cheesecraft on Etsy for ages, and I finally decided to do it during spring break. I got her smallest kit, Farmers' Cheese, to start with. I was very impressed. Her packaging was adorable, her instructions were clear, and her shipping was super fast! (She shipped my package the day after I ordered it!)

What's farmers' cheese? Well, according to the little booklet in my kit, it's a simple cheese that comes together in under an hour and does not require any aging. It is a flexible cheese and can turn out smooth like ricotta or firm like paneer, depending on how you make it. Farmers have made it for years as a creative use for extra milk.

My Favorite Trader Joe's Products

5:30 PM

Trader Joe's has something of a cult following... and I am unashamedly a part of that cult. There is just something about Trader Joe's. Is it the ambiance? The cute packaging? The fun signage? Probably a combination of all of those things. Plus, they have some one-of-a-kind food. I mean, Inner Peas? Besides being one of my favorite snacks of all time, it is also a brilliantly punny name for a product.

Maybe I am letting myself become too obsessed with a grocery store, but Trader Joe's seems like more than just a grocery store. It has so much character, its more like a cute coffee shop than a Safeway. Now that I think about it, it seems wrong that it should even be in the same category as Safeway, that cold warehouse of blindingly-bright lights and freezing refrigerator aisles and cranky cashiers and gossip magazines at the checkout. Getting groceries at Trader Joe's is actually enjoyable.

For this post I decided to round up a handful of my favorite Trader Joe's products and share them on the blog! I do have to say, however, that there is so much of Trader Joe's that I haven't had the chance to check out yet simply because I eat all my meals at the dining commons and don't have to regularly cook for myself. So my favorites mostly consist of snacks and desserts and tea, but those are some of the best things in life anyway, right? Besides, next year I'll be moving into my first apartment and, for the first time in my life, will have to learn how to feed myself, which I'm actually kind of looking forward to. So I'll provide an updated version of this post after I start making meals for myself on a daily basis in order to share all of my new findings.

My 19th Year Scrapbook

7:00 AM

When I turned 18, I thought it would be a perfect time to start documenting my life year-by-year. I had the desire to start a scrapbook, and combining that with the fact that I was entering my very first year of adulthood and would soon be undergoing a major life change (college), the time was ripe to start recording my memories.

Because I celebrated my 19th birthday in March, and thus began my 20th year of life, it was time to start wrapping up my 19th Year Scrapbook. During spring break, I printed out my final batch of photos and filled up the last few pages. I put so much time into this scrapbook (literally hours and hours and hours), so I thought I'd share a few photos of some of my favorite pages here.

Dream Living Room with Arhaus

8:05 AM

Happy Easter! Today I have a very special post to share with you! For this post, I collaborated with Arhaus on their Dream Living Room project. When they asked me to put together a dream living room, I jumped on the opportunity! It sounded like such a fun blog post to put together and will be a perfect source of inspiration when I move into my first apartment this fall!

Arhaus has a lovely line of products that you can check out either on their website or at one of their store locations, if you're in the U.S. (I'm planning to check out their store in Walnut Creek next time I'm there!) Their blog, Pinterest, and Instagram are also great places to find inspiration.

This post was the perfect excuse to window shop online for a couple hours and dream about how I want to decorate my apartment. I didn't plan anything ahead of time, but chose items as I went along and just went with whatever I gravitated towards the most. And I think it actually came together very nicely! I've only ever decorated my bedroom and dorm room, so it was really fun to branch out and try my hand at a living room.

The very first thing I picked out was the couch, since it was probably going to be the biggest item and would make for a great centerpiece for the room. I decided to go with a gray, sectional sofa from Arhaus because I thought it would look super fun with a bunch of colorful throw pillows! For the pillows, I gravitated towards pink colors, which coordinated well with the gray couch. My strategy was to pick two patterned pillows and two solid pillows. The two solid pillows helped bring everything together, and the two patterned pillows added some texture and color.

For decor, I chose a geometric, brass terrarium for the coffee table to house some cute succulents and also picked out a white ceramic vase to hold cut flowers, since succulents and freshly-cut flowers are two of my favorite things! I also found wall art on Urban Outfitters that coordinated perfectly with the pink pillows.

Another thing I wanted to be sure to incorporate into my dream living room was blankets! I love the look of blanket ladders, so I chose one from World Market, as well as a coral-pink throw to put on it. I would definitely include some quilts on the other rungs, both vintage and handmade. The two wire baskets would also be great for storing either more blankets or some reading material.

I also chose two bookcases from Arhaus to fill the space. Even if I don't have a book collection big enough to fill them both completely (yet!), it would be really fun to fill up the gaps with little knick-knacks (and maybe more plants!).

I hope you found some inspiration from my dream living room!! It was so fun to put together. I've linked everything I picked out below in case you want to check anything out for yourself.

Have a very happy Easter!!

From Arhaus
Gray Sectional Sofa // Telegraph Wide Bookcase // White Square Pillow // Vittoria Large Vase // Thia Black-And-White Rug // Palmer Bookcase

From Urban Outfitters
Fringe Bolster Pillow // Dreamy Houses Art Print // Printed Yarn Pillow 

From World Market
Wire Baskets // Blanket Ladder // Coffee Table // Geo Woven Throw

From Target
Brass and Glass Terrarium

Printable Carrot Cake Recipe

8:37 PM

This carrot cake is so delicious!!! I'm a sucker for carrot cake in general (and cream cheese frosting for that matter!) and this recipe makes one of the best carrot cakes I've had. Thanks to the carrots, it always comes out super moist (I know people hate that word, but in terms of cake I think it's okay!) and the crushed pineapple gives it some extra sweetness. Plus, you can totally justify seconds since it has carrots in it. (That makes it healthy, right??)

I love this recipe so much that I've actually posted it on my blog before, all the way back in June 2015. You can read that post here. It includes a video of me making the recipe. (It's so embarrassing but I'm determined not to delete any of my old posts! So... enjoy that.) The recipe itself comes from the book Teens Cook Dessert, which I got for a couple dollars at a garage sale a few years back. Score!

Anyway, Easter is coming up and I thought I'd make a simple printable of my very favorite carrot cake recipe, since carrot cake is a classic Easter dessert. You can find the printable by clicking here!

Hope you had a marvelous weekend! See you on Easter Sunday!

My 100 Day Project

7:00 AM

This year, for the first time ever, I have decided to take part in the 100 Day Project!! The 100 Day Project was started by artist Elle Luna in an effort to encourage people to pursue their creative passion everyday. The 100 Day Project is pretty simple: you just choose something creative to do every day for 100 days, preferably something that takes ten minutes and is not too involved. Elle Luna has set up a website dedicated to the 100 Day Project where she describes it in better detail. You can read her article on the 100 Day Project here if you're interested.

Ceramics Inspiration

7:00 AM

Guess what?? I get to take a ceramics class next quarter!! I'm super excited!! I'm definitely expecting a steep learning curve (those kick wheels look intimidating!), but I think it's going to be lots of fun once I get the hang of it, and it's something completely new that I've never tried before! And since I'm moving out of the dorms and into an apartment next year, it will be so fun to have some handmade dishes to fill the shelves!

The first thing I do when I'm feeling creatively inspired is, of course, make a Pinterest board! I started a ceramics board a few weeks ago and have been loving all of the gorgeous ceramics out there! I thought I'd make this little collage of inspiration to share here. My absolute favorite piece in this collage has to be that little planter guy (top left). He's so adorable! I cannot get over him. Looking back on this collage, I also found that I am really into gold accents. I'm not sure if I'll have access to gold paint as part of this class, but if I do, I'm definitely going to add it to basically everything.

Two projects that would be fun to start out with are those ring dishes (bottom left) or some tea bag rests. They're practical and look pretty simple to make (whether they actually are or not is a different story!).

I've tried to tag as many sources as I could below, so feel free to check them out! You can even buy some of the ceramics pictured above (I've typed those in bold), so if you love ceramics, but want to skip the DIY bit, there you go!

Sources (from top to bottom, left to right)
planter (??) // ring dishes // mixing bowls // pink and gold plates // light blue-green mugs // green and white mugs // dark blue mugs // black and white mugs with gold handles (??) // navy and coral mugs // large mixing bowl // cactus ring dish

Recent Reads

7:31 PM

So I was planning to write another catch-up post (like this one), where I talk about what I've been reading, listening to, watching, eating, etc., and I practically wrote the entire thing, but as I neared the end, I started to realize how much of it was about books. So, as I struggled to come with anything interesting that I've been doing lately besides reading books, I decided to just start over, admit my life is boring, and give in to the temptation to write a whole post solely about books. Also, since I'm in the midst of finals week, I didn't have too much time to put into this post, so I had to settle for this picture I took last summer, when I was reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which is still one of my all-time favorite books, by the way.

I never before realized just how much I liked reading until this year. I mean, I knew I liked reading, but suddenly I'm super into it. I always thought I was a slow reader, but that's just because I didn't read enough. I think it's mostly because high school was way more stressful for me than college (go figure). Now that I have more mental energy, it's easier to find enough focus to read instead of mindlessly watch TV. So I'm trying to take advantage of this relatively less stressful season in my life to read as much as possible. Whenever I go to the library or Barnes and Noble, I always tell myself, "You need to read more! Look at all these books there are to read!!" After all, my to-read list on Goodreads has 72 books on it... So now I'm making an effort to read as much as possible so I can get to as many as I can!

Banana Berry Smoothie

6:27 PM

Spring is in the air! The weather this week has been so incredibly nice, even reaching the lower 70s for the first time in ages! I went to a wedding yesterday and the day was so gorgeous!! The past few days have made me realize just how much I've missed the nice weather!

Just as tea is more enjoyable in the winter, smoothies are so much better in the spring and summer. So this morning, I whipped up this smoothie to celebrate these early spring days!

This smoothie has a secret ingredient that I've actually never tried before in a smoothie: green tea! Who would have guessed? Green tea is so good for you, so its a great alternative to adding plain water as your smoothie base. It has loads of antioxidants and nutrients. A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know and more if you want to read up on the benefits of green tea in detail.

In addition to green tea, this smoothie has a whole banana, mixed berries, and chia seeds! So basically it's really good for you, and it tastes good! (That's probably thanks to the maple syrup, but life is all about a balance!)

Banana Berry Smoothie with Green Tea

  • 2/3 cup green tea*
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy in a Mason jar with a fun straw! Makes about 2 servings.

*I used my favorite green tea, Kirkland Matcha Blend Green Tea from Costco. After brewing 2/3 cups, I added an ice cube to cool it down a bit before adding it to the blender.


8:15 AM

It's March 8th today, which means that this blog just turned two!! Remember my first blogiversary? Well, I've kept up my little cake-baking tradition. I love baking cakes, but I never have a good reason to do so. But for this occasion, I baked chocolate cake and yellow cake and used this checkerboard cake tutorial from Brit + Co. I think it turned out pretty good and would use it again!

Like I said, I never have an occasion to bake layer cakes, so I'm a bit of a beginner when it comes to making and assembling them. I was supposed to cut off the rounded tops of each layer so that they were flat and the layers stacked neatly, but I couldn't bring myself to waste all that cake! So, the cake may be shaped a bit oddly, but there's nothing that rainbow sprinkles can't fix!

I've been playing around with the idea of changing the blog up a little bit, either by redesigning the website or renaming it, or both. It's sort of like when you first get a new lock screen for your phone, and its fun and you notice it every time you turn your phone on. But after a while, it gets sort of old and boring. That's why I want to shake things up a bit. We'll see what I come up with, but for now I just wanted to pop onto the blog real quick and celebrate my second year of blogging!

Hope your week is going well! I'm in the middle of the ninth week of winter quarter, so finals are coming up soon, then I'll be off on spring break! I'm looking forward to having a bit of time off before returning for my last quarter of freshman year.

So here we are. I've already had this blog for two years and I've already almost completed my first year in college! As Gretchen Rubin said in The Happiness Project, "The days are long, but the years are short." I couldn't agree more!


9:46 PM

Gosh, I've never ever procrastinated so much on a blog post before!! But I have also never missed a Sunday, so here I am, cranking out today's post before the day ends! I think I have an okay excuse. My 19th birthday was last Thursday and my family and I spent this weekend celebrating both mine and my mom's (we share the same birthday!). So basically, I've been too busy having fun to sit down and write this post! But I finally opened up my laptop, poured myself a cup of tea, and sat down on my bean bag chair to write it.

As a fun birthday-themed post, I thought I'd share 19 random things about me, since it's my 19th birthday. It was actually really fun to put together this list. I love answering fun questions, like picking a favorite ice cream flavor or choosing what you would spend a million dollars on. This post kind of felt like that! So here goes:

Kanken Backpack Review

12:06 PM

Today I'm posting something a little different: a product review! Specifically, I'm going to be talking about the Fjallraven Kanken backpack, which I've been using since December. I'd wanted one for what felt like ages and now that I finally have one, I'm happy to say that it's as great as I thought it'd be!

I think I should start by saying that I have a bit of a backpack obsession. I just love them so much! I can't really explain it, but backpacks are just one of those things that are so much fun for me to buy. I also love looking at everyone else's backpacks while I'm walking or biking to class.

Over my many years in school, I have had lots of different backpacks, but I think this one takes the cake. It's more unique than your basic JanSport backpack and comes in so many fun colors (granted, mine is gray so it's not like I went too crazy).

My Top Five Favorite Teas

4:02 PM

One of the things I love about winter (perhaps the only thing!) is how much more I enjoy drinking tea during it. I mean, I drink tea year-round, and always enjoy it, but I enjoy it even more so in the winter, when it's dark and dreary and cold outside. It warms you up from the inside out, hydrates you (seriously, I think all of my water intake in the winter is from tea), and is super healthy! Now that I'm in college, I spend a lot more time in my room at my desk than in class, so I have access to tea pretty much whenever I want! (I even set up a tea station!)

So since I love tea so much, I thought it only fitting to share some of my favorite teas. These are five staples that I keep in my dorm room and totally love! Three of the five are black teas, one is green tea, and the fifth is an herbal tea. 

Trader Joe's Spiced Chai Tea: Chai tea will always be one of my favorites. But I have run into some chai teas that I don't like, believe it or not. This one, though, is the best I've come across. I love my spices, and this tea has so many -- cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, star anise, black pepper, nutmeg, roasted chicory, and vanilla bean!! Makes me want to go make myself a cup of it right now!
Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro Tea: This one has the best vanilla flavor! And it's decaffinated, which is another plus. I love it so much, I got two tins of it for Christmas!
Downton Abbey Christmas Tea: This one is probably the priciest tea of the five, but it's so good! It tastes (and smells) so lovely. It's made of mulling spices (cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc.) and is similar to orange spice tea, if you've ever had that before. Unfortunately this tea is seasonal and is only available starting September 1st for the holidays, but be sure to snatch it when it becomes available!
Costco Green Tea with Matcha: This one has been a favorite of mine for a while now. The matcha powder makes it a very satisfying green tea.
Trader Joe's Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea: When I first tried this tea, I actually didn't like it, which I can hardly believe now as it is one of my all-time favorites! Plus, it's decaffeinated so you can have it at any time of day. If you decide to try it, give it a couple chances before you give up on it. It's a strong, unique taste, but I totally love it now and probably drink it at least once a day!

Printable Hagrid Quote

3:23 PM


Is it really February already?? I can't believe we're in the second month of 2017. I just finished week 5 of winter quarter, which means I'm halfway done with freshman year! College flies by much faster than high school did. Yet somehow so much has happened!

I really liked creating my last printable quote so I decided to do another one! This one is one of my favorite quotes from the Harry Potter series! Worrying about the future does not help. The best thing to do is let it go and deal with whatever it is if/when it happens. This quote reminds me of another quote I saw in a shop once: "Worrying works. 90% of the things I worry about never happen." I worry about things that don't even end up happening! And even if they do happen, they usually aren't nearly as bad as I'd made them out to be in my head.

So if you are anything like me and worry way to much, take this wise advice from Rubeus Hagrid. (Find the printable version of this quote here.)

My Recent Quilting Projects

2:40 PM

One of my New Year's Resolutions (and probably the one I'm most excited about) is to make a quilt. Before this year, I had never quilted before. I've been sewing for a couple years, but quilting is new territory. My family and I have a few quilts that have been passed down to us as family keepsakes. They are so beautiful and we treasure them so much! Quilts take so much time and love to make. It's so cool to hold a quilt and think about the person who made it and all the hours they spent on it, cutting, ironing, sewing, washing, etc.

I'm not planning to preserve my quilt so it can be a family heirloom or anything. I want to use it. But wear doesn't necessarily make something less valuable. You can tell that when something is worn, whether that thing is a book or a kid's stuffed animal, it has been loved. It will be so special to keep this quilt for my whole life.

Dorm Room Tour

2:58 PM

So much has happened since my last post! Namely, I signed a lease! I will officially not be homeless next year! Finding housing in Davis is sooo crazy. So many people are looking for housing, so all the good places fill up super fast. Luckily, a friend of mine lives in an apartment complex that we were interested in and was able to give us a tour of her place before tours officially started. So we were able to sign the lease early! Getting a place there is so competitive, the manager said that if we had waited for tours to officially start, we wouldn't have been able to get one! The whole process was insane and really stressful, but I'm hoping I can stay put for the next few years and not have to worry about apartments again for a while.

So today, in the midst of thinking about where I'm going to live next year, I thought I'd show you where I live this year! At long last, I have finally gotten around to writing up my dorm room tour. I moved into my dorm room all the way back on September 17th and took all these photos in October, but for some reason in all that time I haven't put this post together. Until now!

Printable Vincent Van Gogh Quote

1:01 PM

Wow. This week has been really crazy for me! I'm finding that this quarter I definitely have a lot more schoolwork to do, plus I'm in the middle of apartment-hunting with four other girls in an extremely populated college town with a very low vacancy rate for the first time ever away from home. So I'm a little stressed and sleep-deprived, but the post I planned for today was very fitting for the week I just had. I love this quote because it makes everything, even big things, seem so much more manageable. Just by doing a little bit each day, you can achieve big things. This is also a great quote for any who are starting to fall behind a bit on their New Year's resolutions (guilty!).

This idea definitely helped me in high school and it is still helping me in college. It's amazing how much easier everything seems when you only have to do a little bit each day. Like if I have a big paper to do, it may seem overwhelming, but if all I have to do that day is brainstorm or write the introduction, it's suddenly a lot easier.

If you like this quote, you can find the printable here. It's 8.5" x 11" so all you need is a standard piece of paper (cardstock is even better, though optional). I hung this quote up on my bulletin board in my room and it's a great reminder.  I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me!

My 2017 Bullet Journal

2:37 PM

It's official -- I've hopped on the bullet journal bandwagon! In case you haven't heard of bullet journaling before, this article from Real Simple explains it pretty well. Basically, it's a compilation of every list you might need: grocery lists, wish lists, To-Do lists, book lists, chore lists, etc. You can get artsy with it or keep it simple. The bullet journal is customizable and flexible. It can be whatever you need it to be. 

The photos in this post were taken before I went back to school, and my bullet journal has since filled up a lot more, but I think you'll still be able to get the idea. So, without further ado, let's start the tour of my 2017 bullet journal!

What I Got For Christmas 2016

1:49 PM

 2017 is officially off and running now. We've packed up the Christmas decorations, I've finalized my resolutions, and now I'm getting ready to get back to the everyday routine. The weeks following the holidays are always hard, but I really enjoyed all the time I got to spend with family over the last month.

That being said, I'm going to take us back to the holidays one more time by sharing what I got for Christmas! The first few items are pictured above. I loved my old set of Faber-Castell artist pens, but they are all completely dried out, so I got a new set for Christmas. This one has eight pens, whereas my old set only had four. I'm excited to try them out! 

I also got a Leuchtturn 1917 A5 notebook. I am obsessed with stationery and have wanted one of these notebooks for ages! They are so beautiful! This particular one has plain pages and is in the color Emerald. I'm using it for my 2017 bullet journal (more on that in another post!). 

My Word of the Year

12:23 PM

Happy 2017! It is currently New Year's Eve as I type this. I'm sitting by the fire, about to watch Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with my family. My mom, sister, and I made our annual trip to Barnes and Noble to buy our discounted 2017 calendars, I've started my bullet journal (more details on that later!), and, of course, I've chosen my new word of the year!

I listened to Elise Joy's podcast episode on choosing a word, looking for inspiration, and decided to steal Elise's 2016 word, enough. There are so many ways to apply it. The main ways I'm applying my word is:

I am enough.
I do enough.
I have enough time.

The first statement, I am enough, is to remind me to be myself and not worry about being more "funny" or "pretty" or "smart". Even though I'm not perfect and there are, of course, many ways I can improve, who I am at this time is enough and there's no need to drive myself crazy trying to be perfect all the time in order to impress people.

The second statement, I do enough, is all about realizing that I don't have to do it all. I don't have to participate in a dozen clubs, have a part-time job, take 21 units per quarter, get straight A's, and play intramural sports. Of course it's good to get involved, but it's also good to get enough sleep and have some free-time.

Last, I have enough time is a challenge for me to find the time for things that I think are priorities. The only reason I say that I don't have time for something is because it's not important enough for me to spend time on it. I always make time for things I really want to do, because they're my priorities. So I need to realize what my priorities are, make time for them, and let go of the rest. 

So that's what I'll be working on this year! Happy 2017! I'm excited to see what will happen in the next year. After 2016, I can only imagine what exciting times are to come.