Sustainable Clothing Love: PrAna

Hi everyone,

I hope you all have had a great week so far, and haven’t experienced the dreaded cold going around as we dive into November. A disclaimer: I have a box of tissues to my right at this very moment…. more computer time is a plus I suppose?

On a much better note, let’s talk about the clothing brand PrAna. I am very excited to note that I am now one of their influencers. I am so happy to promote a brand I believe in.

The makers of PrAna themselves are what they refer to as doers – they are yoga practicers, climbers, travelers etc. They embody what they sell. And they sell well-made, sustainable clothing. Scroll down to see the pieces I’ve purchased from PrAna, worn by yours truly, and every shot is Fall themed. I’m obsessed with the colors of Fall leaves, clearly.

PrAna is a company that loves to partner with local and international communities. They believe in serving the community and giving back, as opposed to just contributing to mass consumerism, and I respect that.

I think eco-fashion is moving in a positive direction in the fashion industry. People are recognizing that sustainable clothes are just as beautifully made and obtain great quality, without the harmful effects to the environment.

My first set of purchased items from PrAna:

The Clover Capri in Charcoal:

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These are so comfortable and honestly feel like you’re wearing air. The one thing I would say is that they are definitely more for pilates and yoga activities, as opposed to heavy weight sessions. I prefer more of a compression waistband for weights, but I absolutely love these for cardio sessions or mat work. The detail on the back is also really unique.

The Lyneah Bralette : (currently sold out in the Bayou Blue)

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This bra top is super flattering, and I bought it due to the length. I like bra tops that are longer because you can wear them by themselves or with another a layer over them. It’s not against the law to walk around in a sports bra, but it’s not something I care to do regardless. If you’re doing hot yoga, for instance, this top would be amazing for that. The back details with the criss-cross straps and flattering cut is so cute. I’ve paired it with the clover crop above.

The Remy Legging in Dark Plum:

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Because Fall is my favorite season, I’ve been mixing and matching with colors like mustard yellow, purple, and orange. I paired the Remy Legging with a cropped sweater from Nordstrom Rack (because discounts are everything) and my new Timberlands. These leggings are great if you want more coverage than a legging look, or in other words, if you want to cheat and wear yoga that looks more dressed up with an attached skirt. I plan on getting the black pair as well so I can wear them to work. Zero shame.

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Above is how the Remy Legging looks from the side. They’re really versatile and come in great colors, depending on if you want to go neutral or not. Given that skirts never seem fit me right, I was sold right when I tried these on!

I am very happy to have a long term collaboration with PrAna. I will always be one to opt for the companies that have gone green and make conscious efforts to lead the sustainable clothing movement.

For any of you reading that have questions or have purchased PrAna items, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Stay healthy and GO GREEN. ❤

xx

-Kelly

 

Blog Photography Spots: The London Edition

Hi everyone,

I’m working on a series of London posts to share the lovely experiences I had there! Here are my recommendations on places for blog photography spots in and around London. I hope you enjoy! Even if you aren’t a blogger, these locations are still awesome to see.

Shoreditch

If you love graffiti, you’d love the town of Shoreditch. It’s a very artsy area covered in street art. Shoreditch is definitely an area for young creatives and trendsetters, with its fashionable hangout spots, clubs, and vintage shops.

My personal experience in Shoreditch was the basement vintage market, which was so cool to experience with all the local designers and talented individuals. While I was on my trip with Fashion for Conservation, my experience in Shoreditch was exploring the artsy streets for behind the scenes photoshoots. Aside from that, our after party was hosted at Dark Sugars Cocoa House, which has the most aesthetic looking chocolate I’ve ever seen in my life.

As an area, I would say Shoreditch is definitely worth a tram ride.

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South Kensington

This was probably my favorite town of the trip. It is so pretty with its all white buildings, and cute shops. Not to mention it has the National History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, which I’ll be mentioning in an upcoming post!

Bloggers: do not miss out on South Kensington if you want to do an outfit shoot. I did one with Karya, who took the pictures below. Two Seattle girls in London during the same time, what are the odds?

FFC Headshot
Photography: Karya Schanilec 

 

South Kensington
Photography: Karya Schanilec

Outfit details: Brandy Melville (cardigan), Cole Haan (boots), Nasty Gal (hat)

Kew Gardens

If you like more of a nature backdrop, and love flowers in your pictures, then Kew Gardens would be an amazing location for you. They have a botanical garden with a beautiful spiral. staircase up to the top, with exotic plants and flowers. There is also many outdoor sculptures and mini gardens with cool designs.

If you’re a succulent lover like me, there’s also a whole outdoor section for outdoor plants right outside the gift shop that make for an adorable backdrop as well.

Camden Market

The day we went to Camden was really cloudy and pretty dark, not making lighting for outfit shots, however, the market makes for a really unique hipster vibe if you’re into that for your pictures. The canal is also right next to the market, so you have cute bridges and the waterfront for options as well.

 

 

 

Flying Abroad Essentials/ London Day 1

Hi everyone,

I am so excited to write that I have arrived in London! I am here to join the Fashion for Conservation team for London Fashion Week, and explore what the iconic city has to offer in between LFW events.

I’ve never been to Europe, so this two week trip is so exciting. I plan to write multiple blog posts on my experiences, where to eat and explore, and even instagrammable photography spots in the city.

Firstly, I wanted to give my advice on how best to take care of yourself on a long flight, traveling abroad. None of us like to walk off the plane feeling like we’ve aged 5 years in appearance, and traveling can be both stressful and wearing on the body and mind!

So I’ve put together what I found to be essentials for an almost 9 hour flight to London. I hope you all enjoy these tips and apply them next time you have a trip planned yourself. Also see my London Day 1 details. xx

  1. Hydrate

I can’t say this enough, even as someone that needs to up her game on daily water intake, hydrating is so crucial when you are both on a plane, and prior to your trip.

Start drinking lots of water two days before your flight. Carry a reusable water with you to the gym, to your work, everywhere. In general, if you physically have a water bottle with you, you are more apt to keeping drinking water.

Limit the use of coffee on the day you fly.

2. Moisturize 

I will never cave into the talk that bringing moisturizer and skincare on the plane is “extra.” I will always be that girl. Specifically, I brought three skincare items on the plane, which I reapplied three times. As excessive as it sounds, you’re saving your skin from being super tight and distressed looking by hydrating it in a moisture stripping environment.

The items I brought:

❤ Mario Badescu cucumber and green tea face mist

❤ First Aid Beauty 5 in one face cream (this doubles as a sunscreen, which you do need on a plane)

❤ Juice Beauty Antioxidant Moisturizer (this is a new addition to my skincare regimen, and I adore this product. Antioxidants are exceptional at aiding dehydrated skin)

Ladies: Do not wear foundation on the plane. It will just sink into your skin and prevent your skincare from doing its work, and if you really think about it, who do you need to impress on the plane? I dab on a bit of concealer on some redness and call it a day.

3. Have a designated place for your passport, boarding pass etc

I don’t personally like to have everything loose in a purse or bag, and that’s why I’ve used my expandable wallet ever since I purchased it in Melbourne at a lovely store called Typo. I can fit money (both American and whatever currency I need), boarding pass, passport, and anything else I want to have at hand. I carry this through security and customs, so I don’t have to fumble through anything last minute.

I would highly recommend purchasing one of these for peace of mind. Staying organized, especially with items as precious as a passport, is key to reducing possible stress while traveling.

4. Plane food is not your only option. 

Unfortunately, airports overprice their food items, knowing you can’t bring food easily through security and customs. However, planning ahead and grabbing healthy snacks and meals is totally possible. My sister and I purchased a vegetable plate, a hummus pack, as well as tuna sandwiches for some added protein.

Since you are sitting for so long on the plane, eating plane food or fast food makes you more sluggish. Trail mix is another great option for protein and a healthy way to fill you up.

5. Wear a comfortable outfit while flying. 

Props to the women who wear heels on flights or those who wear tight flattering jeans, however not all of us are willing to go that extra mile. Being uncomfortable on a flight is adding to the stress of traveling. If you’re more comfortable in yoga pants or sweatpants, wear that.

6. Bring a few freshening products. 

Floss, gum, deodorant, hygiene wipes…. these may sound like a TMI, but it’s always a relief to be as clean as possible when going through the sluggish feeling of plane travel.

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LONDON/DAY 1

So we flew into Gatwick Airport, and we first noticed the lush green rolling hills as before we touched down. Finding local transport was a bit of a scuffle, but we managed to get tickets and find the train station to our stop near the flat we’re staying in! Success.

A tip about the trains here: do not wait too long to press the button to open the side doors. If you wait until the button is no longer lit up, the train will skip the stop. We found out the hard way.

I’m going to be honest, the jet lag was difficult. It was rough when my body was totally down for the count and my eyes kept closing when we were trying to adjust to the schedule! The key is not to go to bed beyond a short nap. I’m going to be real here, I fell asleep in the spa we decided go to to detox our skin from the dehydrating effects of the plane. And a deep tissue massage and a steam room was just what a trip to London should start with. Coffee helped a bit, for about an hour or so!

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We even stopped at a late night market for some breakfast essentials. I of course insisted on almond milk.

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We came back to the flat of a friend’s, and you better believe it, we had a cuppa tea before bed. English style with Tetley’s. That’s where I leave you now, refusing to unpack my suitcase until morning.

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I hope you all have a lovely week, and stay tuned for my updates on my London adventures! There will be plenty. xx

-Kelly

 

 

Surrounding Yourself with Plants for your Health and Happiness

Hi loves,

This is a plant dedication post. Because plants are essential, not to mention they have 10/10 aesthetic.

As the air gets progressively more polluted, you know what saves the day for your oxygen and respiratory health? Plants. They may as well be the superpower of global warming. The earth is heating up and there are more cars made every day, and more chemicals are released into the air and water. No, this isn’t a negative post. Read on.

I love plants. When I walk into a nursery and there are designated rooms and sections for various plants, my heart is warm. No joke. I’m growing my plant collection and there are so many benefits of owning plants in your home.

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Pictured above is me finding the adorable cafe in Sky Nursery and explaining to the barista what it’s like shooting for my blog when random people are staring at me like I’m not wearing pants. She found it all pretty entertaining. Back to the plant admirations..

Plants are the cleaners of the air we breathe. They absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale and replace that carbon dioxide with fresh oxygen. There is a reason why people feel they can breathe again when they go into nature after living in the bustling city. There aren’t as many plants and trees in a city. In fact, cities like New York, the city of concrete, are known to be extra unhealthy for your lungs and skin because there is no plant life around you. Your skin is just taking in all of the free radicals in the air.

In addition, research studies have revealed that indoor air can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. There is quite an accumulation of dust and bacteria, even mold, that can occur in your household. Homes have a lot of plastic from plastic bags and containers, trash, cleaning supplies, detergents… all items that can cause allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin or have had history of contact dermatitis, you might want to consider switching to healthier “greener” household products and adding plants to reduce your indoor air pollution.

If you want me to get all historical on you, the early Greeks and Romans started the trend of bringing plants inside, and they were onto something. The victorians also favored potted plants. A University of Michigan study even noted that being in the presence of plants can boost your memory retention up to twenty percent. I do not have the direct link to this resource, that is completely off of memory.

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I really got into my plant collection due to receiving them as gifts. Plants make amazing gifts, simple yet thoughtful, and they have a higher life expectancy than flowers. Flowers are a nice thought, but they wilt in that vase in your kitchen whereas plants grow and expand.

On another note: if you are trying to train yourself to get a pet, get a plant first. Pay attention to its health. If you leave a plant in a dark corner, that’s a red flag. Plants kind of need the photo in photosynthesis.

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Plants have amazing healing properties. Instead of buying aloe vera gel, why not have the gel from the real source? I now have my own aloe plant and I use the gel for sunburns and scratches. Not to mention it will continue to grow and the gel will be 100% natural and directly plant derived, instead of getting it from a plastic tube in the supermarket.

Another reason I have personally become so fond of plants is my recent switch to plant-based makeup and skincare. The result? Absolute bliss. My skin can tell the difference. No extra chemicals, no fake ingredients, just the good stuff.

I fully plan to continue this plant loving series with details of my new “green” makeup and skincare routines, so stay tuned for those! I hope you enjoyed these pictures in the nursery and my reasoning to start becoming a plant mom. xx

My outfit in this photo set is all from Athleta, paired with my Adidas Originals Superstars.

My Instagram blog page is @k_stateofmind and my photography page is @kellyzphoto.

-Kelly

 

 

23 Things Learned at 23 Years Old

Hi everyone,

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my age recently. Where I see myself in 5 years, in 5 months even. What it means to be a year out of college. The fact that I’m not working in the public health field like so many of my peers.

At the age of 23 I feel pretty confident in my choices. I feel as though I have definitely learned a thing or two that would have been nice to know 3 or 5 years ago. Of course, the whole point is finding out the hard way, right? Here is a list of 23 things, big and small, that I consider to be lessons learned.

1.Without a doubt, you will always be your biggest critic. Don’t set constant expectations that get in the way of you actually enjoying yourself. If you’re a perfectionist, give yourself room to breathe.

2. Be comfortable with your own presence. You will be with yourself the rest of your life. Venture out on your own if you tend to be only in groups. If you’re constantly wanting to evolve yourself in some way for the sake of yourself, make it a priority.

3. It is never too early to organize finances and constantly be aware of your expenditures. It’s not all boring or stressful, saving up money for traveling or things that are important to you can be a very rewarding experience.

4. Do not hold on to one-sided relationships. I’ve been so much better at simply eliminating one-sided relationships that made me feel as though I was giving more than I was receiving. It’s unfortunate and sad sometimes to move on, but you don’t want negative influences. Surround yourself with people that believe in you.

5. Keep your passport in a specific location at all times. Not just when you’re traveling, even when you’re home. Putting your passport somewhere random is not “safe-keeping.”

6. If you need to wear a fanny pack to avoid losing your ID at the Gorge and shamefully picking it up at the guest services station, just wear it. Trust me.

7. Drinking alcohol should only be consumed when you actually want to. There will always be events, parties, and people to go with. If you want to sip kombucha on a Saturday and have your own spa night with your cat, do it. There are no rules.

8. Please, do leave high school behind you. Don’t dwell, hold grudges, or divert back to your shortcomings. There is a reason it was only 4 years of your life. No need to relive it.

9. Take compliments. As a person who gets slightly bashful or makes a joke out of compliments I receive, I’ve learned to accept them. Weird lesson learned huh.

10. There is nothing wrong with being selective. Do not succumb to the idea that being single means you have to spend your free time “swiping right.” The downsides of online dating apps include your thumb getting sore and stumbling across someone in your high school class. So awkward.

11. Build up a wardrobe with pieces that allow you to get ready in 10 minutes, without looking like you got dressed in the dark. Hint: more neutrals.

12. When buying a pair of nice jeans, do make sure you go a size down. This avoids literally feeling $100 slipping off your waist. Jeans stretch out a lot, apparently.

13. Experience a customer service job at least once. I’ve been in both the retail and restaurant industries, and it has humbled me as a person. When I go to stores I never make a mess, and when I go to restaurants I’m never high maintenance. Because I know what it’s like on the other side. Don’t be disrespectful to people in these roles.

14. Find a routine that works for you and be diligent about keeping it. As a blogger I have to constantly manage myself, or work doesn’t get done.

15. Do not sleep in your makeup. Ever.

16. Break the pattern of negativity between competitive females. Support other women. We really can all coexist, I promise. (Sorry guys, that was gender specific)

17. Say yes more often. Sometimes, getting a little less sleep or going outside your comfort zone for a new experience is so crucial to putting yourself out there.

18. Always network. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, constantly consider chances to network. The world is full of opportunity, and the more you connect with people that might open an awesome door for you, the better. Worst case scenario you have enlightening conversation.

19. Have conversations of substance. I recently spent two hours with good wine after work discussing religion and culture with a complete stranger I was introduced to. Learning about his travels and how we views other cultures was refreshing. Sophistication in your 20’s also shows people that the millennial generation is a force to be reckoned with.

20. Be brave. Take some chances. You are not a byproduct of something bigger, you are your own person. You can make mistakes and take the road less traveled. You can take that road ten times. Don’t pressure yourself to fit the mold.

21. Have global awareness. Tune in to the news. Don’t be the only one in the happy hour group that doesn’t know more than the news headline.

22. Ask for help if you need it. To other individuals that prefer to do it all alone: sometimes it is just the right thing to do to ask for some support. You’re not weak, you have those people around you for a reason.

23. Love yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should someone else? ❤

I hope these 23 things were insightful! I hope you had a productive and amazing week. xx

-Kelly

Hiking: For Your Mind And Body

Hi everyone,

Given that Seattle has given us given us amazing weather the last few weeks, I’ve been taking to the trails more than usual. I’m much more focused on weights and interval training now as opposed to long stints of cardio, however, hiking is a much more enjoyable full-body workout. And it’s not just physical.

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Research shows that hiking is linked to higher amounts of brainpower. If you crave a better attention span on upcoming work or projects, spend the morning outdoors to clear your mind. Although physically being in nature allows your mind to de-clutter, being away from so much technology is just like hitting the reset button. How good is your Wifi in the woods? Exactly.

Good news for calorie counters: You can burn well over 500 calories in just an hour of hiking. I personally love walking on trails because I’m prone to shin splints, and the forest floor is way softer on your joints as opposed to asphalt or concrete.

Regular hiking activity lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. The cardiovascular aspect the ups and downs of hiking is extremely good for your heart and BMI. Changing altitude has been recorded to reduce fat loss.

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Hiking is a great alternative to traditional indoor workouts in the gym. I get the feeling of not wanting to workout indoors on the elliptical, or be inside at all. When it’s beautiful out, why not get creative? If you haven’t found your workout niche but want to get in better shape, hiking could be perfect for you.

Hiking is definitely great to do in a group. You can make a day trip out of hiking anywhere and go to a lake, hang out on the top of a mountain and eat lunch, or sunbathe. There’s something in it for everyone.

Some mistakes I’ve previously made (not just me my family was there):

  1. Remember where you started your trek. If you need to drop a pin on your phone, do so.
  2. Overestimate trail time. I always try to factor in traffic and add on time for sight seeing etc. Avoid planning a long hike the day you have a set appointment mid afternoon that you will be rushing to make. I’ve been there.
  3. Bring water if it is a longer hike. Altitude can get you more dehydrated, so even bring a small attachable flask if that’s more convenient.

John Muir once said: “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

Nature has been called a “mental health prescription” due to its positive influence. People often spend so much time in urban settings, and the change of pace brings a much greater balance of exposure.

A Stanford study revealed that city dwellers have a 20 percent higher risk of anxiety and 40 percent higher risk of stress when compared to rural residents. And we don’t often know we need the nature break until we are mid-hike, thankful for the minimal cell service.

I hope you all enjoyed my health check in. Enjoy what’s left of the summer months and go out in nature to clear your mind and senses.

For more photography, visit my blogger Instagram page @k_stateofmind and my portraits page @kellyzphoto

xx

-Kelly

 

My Go-To Coffee Spots in Seattle

Hi everyone,

So this is a long time coming. A coffee post in Seattle? Yeah, I should’ve spilled my secrets months ago. Good news: I’m about to let all of you lovely people know where I like to get my caffeine! Warning: Starbucks isn’t on the list.

*Cue all of my coffee pictures*

Black Rock Coffee

This a drive-through. Granted, the rest of the menu looks relatively full of sugar. I get iced Americanos here when I’m in a rush and on the way to something I need to be awake for. They are two dollars even. That’s amazing, to be honest. No extra fees for non-dairy milk either. I’m so stoked on this find!

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Fix Coffeehouse 

Fix is close to my heart because of the atmosphere. It’s half cafe and half bar. Essentially, I used to work on my computer for a bit and drink coffee and then my friends would meet me for a cider. Side- note: Fix has great ciders on tap on rotation. They had a berry one that I loved! Fix also have live music nights with local artists which is so fun. My favorite drink in more fall/winter time is the brown sugar latte. I can’t not get this latte, because I haven’t perfected the brown sugar latte at home! Another plus is the location, because Greenlake is so beautiful in the summer.

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Diva Espresso

Diva is a convenient location and great coffee, however, the price is a little steep. I brought a friend that moved over from Europe and he was really fond of the cappuccinos (rightfully so), and the small food items are good, but if you’re trying to find a regular place the price is a bit more.

Seattle Sunshine Coffee

Seattle Sunshine is an all white, very modern setup. It feels like a small art gallery. I like this place a lot to work on blog posts, and it is really quiet. If I’m hungry I sometimes go here if I’m doing errands around University Village, because the vegetarian breakfast burritos are awesome! I can’t find my burrito picture, my sincere apologies.

Royal Drummer Cafe

Royal Drummer is a place I sometimes stop in at if I’m going to Golden Gardens Park. It’s relatively close by and has great Americanos. In terms of the atmosphere it’s definitely not my favorite, because it tends to be very family friendly and super loud. Brunches and lunches there are really popular, and I find it too loud to work. But if you’re nearby the coffee is great as well as the banana bread! They also have great gluten free options if you have a gluten intolerance.

Zoka Coffee and Tea 

Zoka was my jam when I worked in University Village. I get so much work done here. It’s relatively quite and has a wide range of clientele. Chai lovers: there’s an awesome selection of chai at Zoka. Lavender, sweet, ginger, and spicy is what I recall at the top of my head. They just did a remodel and the place looks much less cluttered, but is cozy at the same time given it’s all dark wood inside.

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Drip City Coffee

Drip City is a new discovery. I was recently downtown, with two hours before my work shift from dropping off my roommate. I knew Cherry Street has bad wifi so I found Drip City on 1st Ave. The guys working were super friendly and fun, and I played with a pit bull for a solid 10 minutes (when I should’ve been working of course). The Wifi is SO FAST. This is probably awesome for me because the wifi in my house is terrible, but if wifi at a coffee shop is slow, it kind of kills your work ethic. I have yet to order any food here, but it seems to be a good spot for that as well!

Cherry Street Coffee 

Cherry Street downtown on 1st Ave is a really cute Bohemian style place. There are beaded throw pillows and colorful details, great for a group hangout or a meeting. Sadly the wifi is nonexistent lately. I found out the hard way. However, the falafel and hummus wraps are great if you’re there for lunch, and the coffee is still one of my favorites.

Cafe Umbria 

Cafe Umbria is a lovely look of Italy 🇮🇹. I’ve never been to Italy, I definitely want to eventually! The shop had plates and cups imported from Italy, adding an authentic touch. There’s artwork and paintings of European details everywhere. I did talk to the barista about the imported plates, they’re so beautiful! As for the coffee, it’s also super good and smooth. It’s a pretty small shop and has great charm. Perfect work or caffeine stop if you find yourself in Ballard!

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I get so much work done at cafes. I prefer to go to a cafe as opposed to staying home because I’ll have less distractions. I like to be surrounded by people doing things around me and working as well, so it’s partially social but not? I’m not sure how else to phrase that, but it just works for me.

So if you have siblings that make fun of you for driving to a cafe to get work on your computer, I feel you. Sometimes that college student habit of going to a public place to work is ingrained forever, what can I say.

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As a blogger, I have to be on my game about getting posts done and making my own schedule. It takes a lot of time management to do freelance work, and you have to find what works for you. That includes your atmosphere!

I hope this posts sheds light on some new coffee spots to check out in Seattle! If you’re not from Seattle, now you know where to go when you visit.  xx

For more photography shenanigans, check out my blog Instagram page @k_stateofmind , and my portraits page @kellyzphoto.

 

-Kelly