If I could go back in time and change my major, would I?

Would I have still taken the path that I did? Met the same people, made the same choices?

The same path…maybe.

But picking my major was a dilemma in itself. I entered college all gung-ho about changing the environment. I wanted to save Mother Earth and recycle till the cows came home. I wanted to hug some trees, save some sea otters, and eat dolphin-safe tuna, all while rockin’ to No Doubt.

Cause I’m just a girl, Gwen. Cause I’m just a girl.

Anyways, that was my plan. Until I actually took an Environmental Sciences class, and remembered how much I hated science. Like with a loathing like nothing you’ve ever seen. And to major in environmental studies and grow up to hug trees, you gotta take a lot of science classes.

Nope. No way. No how. Not gonna happen.

So I majored in Communications. Because I wanted to still have a voice in the whole environmental political arena. And I am really good at arguing debates. So I figured this was a good match.

Now the question still remains…

Would I still choose the same major, if I could go back and do it all over again?

No. I would not.

I would’ve chosen English or History, as those really are my true loves. In fact, all of my elective courses I took in college had absolutely nothing to do with my major. My elective courses were full of impassioned stories from Eudora Welty mixed right along stories of the horrors of the Battle of the Somme from WWI. My giddy excitement in taking these courses took a bit of a downturn when I had to then go to class for something related to my major.

I mean Communication Law may sound fun on paper, but not in person. And not writing about it for 2 hours in a blue-book during finals.

Instead I listened to naysayers, who said “What the heck are you going to do with an English or History major? Teach?” Um, maybe. I don’t know. Probably not. But I would’ve been a writer…sooner. Because I am a writer. I am working on getting my voice out there. But I believe it would’ve happened sooner, if I had just followed my gut.

So yes. My answer is yes. If I could go back in time, I definitely would have changed my major.

Would you?

As much as I would like to spend every single day exploring all that Portland has to offer, I have to do it in small doses. Portland has a lot going on, and hey that’s part of the fun of exploring a new city!

Time for another chapter of adventures in Portland. This time, my family and I went to NW Portland also known as the Pearl District.


This was a cool little find, although trying to prevent a small child from getting wet was an adventure in itself. We had just arrived to this part of town and hadn’t even started exploring yet :) Ah, kids…


Right across from this park, is one of the best ice cream places! Oh. Em. Gee. So, so good!



Cool Moon Ice Cream is oh so delicious! My husband loves ice cream and what better way to end the summer by indulging in some frozen goodness?


My favorite flavor is Cookies ‘n Cream. My daughter and I shared a scoop of this awesome deliciousness!

We walked a lot and saw so many cool stores. We ended up at some art festival kinda thing, but they had food. Good food. Everything from gyros, to burgers, to curly fries, to root beer floats.

And then I saw this beautiful building:


I just love they way this building looked and the beautiful architecture. Couldn’t resist taking a picture!

What’s funny is, as we were walking back to our car, the sky opened up and it started raining. My daughter said, “Mommy it’s raining! I need new boots”. :)

No, my child didn’t say this sentence. She’s a preschooler. And if she did say that, well that would be an entirely different post ;)

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

I was at the grocery store with my kiddo, and there was a woman near me with her son and he was begging her to purchase something for him, and she told him no. And then he said in that whiny persistent tone of voice, “But Mommmmmm, it’s only 15 dollars!!”

The mom, to her credit, told him no and kept it moving. But the point here isn’t about the kid and what he wanted. The point is, how many times have we told ourselves, it’s only 15 dollars, or whatever price?

I am sure that we have all, at one time or another, justified purchases in our mind and to our pocketbook. “That shirt is only 10 dollars, it’s okay”. “It’s just a magazine. I mean it’s only $3.50″.

Whatever, whatever, whatever…

“But Mom, it’s only 15 dollars!”

We have all been that kid. We have all been of two minds as to whether or not to make a mindless purchase, at one time or another.

And that’s okay. *Raises hand* We have all done that.

The point is, recognize when you are about to make a mindless purchase and recognize it for what it is: something you really don’t need. People magazine is not a need. I’m sure any news about the Kardashian family can be found online. And honestly, if you watch their show, you’ll know all there is to know about them anyway. Not that I watch their show or anything… *cough, cough*

So the next time that voice says, “But it’s only 15 dollars”, really think about the purchase, and decide if it’s really worth it.

Because most of the time, it’s not.


link love

Can you believe it is already Labor Day weekend???? I can’t. Summer flew by fast, that’s for sure!

Thanks again to everyone that commented, liked, and tweeted my post from earlier this week. Y’all are the best and I’m glad to be part of such a loving and empathetic community

Posts I got a kick out of this week:

Understanding Long-Term Care and How to Pay For It by Shannon from The Heavy Purse is a FANTASTIC post about long-term care for our parents. People…go read this post and have a conversation with your parentals. You need to do it.

5 Types of People to Avoid to Increase Your Health and Wealth by Melanie from Dear Debt. We all know people that just completely sap the energy from us and try to veer us off course. We only get one life and it’s not meant to be hanging out with energy vampires! ;)

Redefining Yourself by Tonya at Budget and the Beach. To quote Tonya herself: “You can define yourself or redefine yourself however you like, whenever you like, at any age! You just gotta be willing to put in the effort.” Truth.

Debt Payoff: How to Zap Doubt and Discouragement by Laurie from The Frugal Farmer. Love, love, love this post. I love the realness with which Laurie expresses her frustrations, but also gives encouragement to keep pressing forward.

Why it is Important to Have Savings Goals by Nicola from The Frugal Cottage. If you aren’t saving towards anything specific, your money has a tendency to disappear. Make your money work for you! Also —> I just discovered this blogger and am a smitten kitten! As you may or may not know, I’m a bit UK-obsessed, so the fact that she resides on the other side of the pond, well that was just the icing on the cake for me :)

What fun things do you guys have planned for this Labor Day weekend? There’s so much to do here in the Portland area, that we haven’t settled on exactly what we are going to tackle, but I bet it’ll be a good time! :)

Have a great (and safe) weekend everyone!

When thoughts seem to spiral out of control and I can’t get a grasp on my equilibrium, I have to remember that I am worth the struggle.

For all the times that I am trapped in my own head, for all the times my face was wet with tears… for all the times that I wondered for the umpteenth time what the heck was wrong with me, I have to remember that I am worth the struggle.

When melancholy strikes, and Billie Holiday knows my heart, I feel at a loss. Caught between the words, the inertia slams into me, and I can’t quite catch my breath.

But I press on.

Because I am worth the struggle.

When the die is cast and my thoughts loom large, the corners of my mouth are down-turned. When the violin plays and the chords cross my heart, I feel the gentle sways of sadness.

My lashes heavy with heartache, I succumb for a while and let the brokenness wash over me.

But I get up.

Because I am worth the struggle.

I. Am. Worth. The. Struggle.

So y’all know I love the beach. One of the things that drove me crazy about my previous residence was how far away we were from the beach. I loooooove the ocean and the smell of the salty air.

Living where I do in Oregon, we are only about an hour and change from the beach, but it’s all good because the drive to even get there is gorgeous and full of trees :)

There is so much to do in Oregon, but a trip to see the beautiful ocean was needed. An excursion to Cannon Beach was in order!


I’d seen pictures of Cannon Beach in magazines, but until you see these ginormous rocks in person…pictures honestly don’t do it enough justice :)



Don’t the people on the beach look like ants compared to that huge rock?


There is a lovely little town that encompasses this beautiful beach complete with shops and restaurants, and… a library!

Yes, I know. Yes, I am talking about a library and the beach in the same post. However, outside this library they had the cutest bench and I just had to snap some pics!


And up above the bench are:



Edgar Allen Poe!

Edgar Allan Poe!

We ate lunch at Bill’s Tavern which, let me tell you, is worth every penny!


Seriously. Eat here.

Have you ever been to Cannon Beach?

You know what’s good about living in Portland? Powell’s Bookstore. You know what’s bad for my wallet? Powell’s Bookstore :)

Luckily, I have held myself to only buying two books (used, so they were at a good price), but I have a weakness when it comes to that store. I’m Superman and that’s my kryptonite, yo…

Anyways, I digress. I’ve been reading, and it looks like I will surpass last year’s goal of reading 36 books in a 12 month span. I purposely didn’t set a reading goal for myself for 2014, since I knew I would have a lot going in the first half of the year.

Here is what I have read so far:

  • Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
  • The Everything Budgeting Book by Tere Stouffer


  • No Graves As Yet by Anne Perry
  • Shoulder the Sky by Anne Perry
  • Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
  • Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd
  • Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle


  • At Some Disputed Barricade by Anne Perry
  • We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry
  • Question of Honor by Charles Todd
  • Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
  • The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn
  • Requiem for a Mezzo by Carola Dunn
  • The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene
  • Murder on the Flying Scotsman by Carola Dunn
  • Damsel in Distress by Carola Dunn
  • Dead in the Water by Carola Dunn
  • Selected Poems of Sylvia Plath written by Sylvia Plath


  • Heirs of the Body by Carola Dunn
  • Styx and Stones by Carola Dunn
  • Rattle His Bones by Carola Dunn
  • To Davy Jones Below by Carola Dunn
  • The Case of the Murdered Muckraker by Carola Dunn
  • Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn
  • The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene
  • The Everything Guide to Gluten-Free Living by Jeanine Friegen
  • Nancy’s Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene
  • Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War by Max Hastings


  • Gluten-Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern
  • The Message in the Hollow Oak by Carolyn Keene
  • The Mystery of the Ivory Charm by Carolyn Keene
  • A Mourning Wedding by Carola Dunn
  • The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd
  • Fall of a Philanderer by Carola Dunn

34 books so far and it’s only August! Awww yeah!!

Have you guys read any good books lately? Any recommendations? :)



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