The Fledgling Journey

Navigating a Good Life One New Experience at a Time

Favorite Art Instagram Accounts to Follow

I’m always searching for artistic inspiration on Instagram. I’m always curious what people follow on Instagram aside from their friends. Accordingly, here are a few of my artsy favorites.

Hodge Podge

Art_for_breakfast & worldofartists — both excellent ways to find new-to-you artists and a different styles of art




bejamin –stunning nature shots


allthatisshe — fun and unexpected


jessiekuruc — her gemstone paintings are gorgeous and combine two of my loves — art and gemstones


 tinamariaelena — This isn’t for the faint of heart. If it were a movie it would be rated R. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, some of the greatest art pushes boundaries. I won’t post photos here but you know where to find it 🙂





Abstract painting






tory.deorian.illustration — illustration isn’t just for children’s books

Drawing Lessons







elizabethelliottstudio & savoreverystitch — not your grandma’s quilting


cindylaneart — just go watch a video of her work. It’s gorgeous.


I’ve never seen tattoos like this

See you tomorrow for Show & Tell Tuesday — Reverse Bucket List Edition

Friday Favorites

I’m linking up again today for Friday Favorites. I happen to have the day off from work, so it will be extra special. Also happy first day of fall. If you haven’t seen the new doodle graphic on the Google home page, it’s adorable 🙂


My friend is moving to Hyderabad, India in a few months and I could not be more excited for him. He’s been looking for a big change for a while and taking this leap of faith is something many people (myself included) aren’t gutsy enough to do. He will also have an extra room in his new place, so I am planning to visit him (hopefully) next year. The Peru trip I’ve been mentally planning will be put on hold because this is a unique opportunity. When he visited before taking the job, he said it’s unlike anyplace he’s ever seen. It’s an opportunity for him to do a lot of good, though he also knows he needs to get to know the place he’s living. He doesn’t want to be the white person who comes in and pushes cultural beliefs on other people without understanding the intricacies and complexities of how differently people live around the world.


If you read my post yesterday, A Bunch of Truths and a Lie, the lie was that I’m a dog person. In reality I’m more of a cat person. I like dogs but they’re a little more care-intensive than I’m ready to take on at this point. My cat lives with my parents right now, but she’s a sweet little monster. I mean she tries to be good, but she’s not often successful. The funny thing is that she always looks grumpy even when she’s not. See Exhibit A, below.


Wearing all black is no longer out of season. Not that it stops me from wearing all black during the summer, but now that it’s more seasonally appropriate. Wearing black and adding fun accessories makes getting dressed much easier. It’s a go-to when I’m in a hurry or can’t decide.


My sister bought this print for our front hallway a few weeks ago and it makes me smile every time I walk in the door. I love things like this that are a little unexpected. If you don’t get the reference, please drop everything and watch Jurassic Park immediately. This is not a drill.


I get every other Friday off. I try to do something out of the ordinary on these days, even if it’s tiny. Today I’m going to try a new coffee place. As you’d imagine, Seattle has tons of coffee shops and I tend to get in a rut of visiting the same few. Right now a few of my favorites are Caffe Fiore, Cafe Ladro, and Monorail Espresso. Monorail is probably my #1, their coffee is smooth but not weak. If you need good coffee in Seattle, don’t just go to the original Starbucks, visit Monorail Espresso and you will not regret it (particularly if you occasionally find Starbucks’ standard dark roast tastes a little burnt). Fun fact: the store we now call the original Starbucks is technically not the original. The original was a block or two away before it moved to its current location.


I found the blog The Girl Who Loved To Write and have enjoyed browsing through. Three posts I’ve liked so far: Easy Ways to Celebrate Your Life This Week, Spending Your September: A To-Do List for Adventuring Through the Month, and Ten Ways I’m Trying to Become a Better Person. She’s a talented writer and her content isn’t fluff. Also her blog design is bright and engaging #BlogGoals

Wishing you a happy weekend.

A Bunch of Truths and a Lie

I always enjoy getting to know about the person behind the blogs I read so I thought I’d share a few things about myself BUT one isn’t true. I won’t tell you which one is the lie:)

1. In college I was one of those annoying kids from your alma mater that calls at dinner time and asks for donations.
2. I’m not great with keys. I’ve probably lost 2-3 sets.
3. I don’t eat pork, though not for religious reasons. Maybe because of the movie Babe? Not sure why exactly but the taste just doesn’t appeal to me. However, there is one restaurant in Seattle where I’ll eat the bacon. Also in a foreign country I’ll typically at least give a pork dish a taste. Trying different food is an important part of travel in my opinion.
4. Champagne is my drink of choice. It’s just so festive.
5.When it comes down to it, I’m a dog person. I’ve had cats but there’s nothing like having a pup. I mean look at my cat Lucy mean muggin me. Doesn’t that just say it all?

6. I had huge debilitating problems with anxiety up until high school when I started to see a mental health counselor. I am so thankful to have found her when I did. She helped make my adolescence a lot easier and equipped me with skills that have served me well into my adult life. So parents, if you have a strained relationship with your kid, or they just seem like they’re having a hard time, consider encouraging them see a counselor. That way they have someone who is both skilled and objective help them figure things out.
7. I love art. Mostly abstract paintings or textile art (namely embroidery and quilting). I also love conversations with people who don’t get the point of art or whose yardstick for judging art is “I could do that.” But you didn’t Carol. So shut your mouth. Just kidding, everyone is entitled to their opinion and a lot of great art isn’t appreciated in its time 🙂

8. I don’t decorate for holidays. I know that may depress a lot of people, but I don’t like how inefficient seasonal decorations are. I don’t like storing things for most of the year only to pull them out occasionally. Seasonal soap is about as festive as I get and I actually had to stop using it recently because my allergies are out of control. Sad day. I also don’t have kids, but if I did I’m sure I’d do at least a little decorating.
9. I kind of want to move. I’ve lived in Seattle nearly my whole life.
10. I went blonde for a few months in college. It was a big mistake.
11. I have a fear of hot drinks. I prefer most of my tea/coffee/cocoa lukewarm. I like my food cooler than most people too.
12. I was on my school’s swim team when I was a freshman in high school, but quit because practice required me to leave my house at 4:30 am in the dead of winter. It was awful.
13. I don’t like taking selfies. Random, but true.
14. I’m not a particularly tidy person. I’m not messy as much as relaxed. I don’t see any problem with it 🙂
15.I don’t really like ruffles on clothes, home decor or elsewhere. It took me wayyy too long to come to this realization.
16. If there’s a choice between something indulgent that’s sweet or savory, like brownies vs chips, for example, I will pick sweet 9 times out of 10.


Let me know if you have any thoughts on which of these isn’t true 🙂

Working on it Wednesday

I have a 30×30 goal/bucket/project list that I’m chipping away at. I ignored it for months and finally realized I need to plan better if these are truly priorities. So I’m checking in on Wednesdays, which is helping me keep track of my progress and keeping me accountable.

Progress on September Projects

Read Mansfield Park

Plotting away. It’s my favorite Austen book so far. Though to be fair, I’ve only read two others – Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice.

Finish The Catcher in the Rye

I have two chapters left. I realized you can find the book in pdf form online, so I’ve read a few chapters from home that way. It’s fun to think of what NY was like during this time period. It wasn’t until my trip to New York that I realized how much New York has changed just in the last 20 years.

Watch a movie from the AFI Top 100 List

I watched Blade Runner, Saving Private Ryan, and The French Connection. I liked Blade Runner much more than I thought I would, except some of the Nexus 6’s were brought to life in 2016 and 2017. So…we probably need to get on that. Our cyborg technology is way behind. I thought the ending kind of came out of nowhere, which seemed like a lost opportunity for character development. I won’t say more because I don’t want to ruin the ending, so go watch it before the re-make come out in October. Saving Private Ryan was powerful. There’s a scene from it that is still haunting me. The French Connection is the first movie from this list that I didn’t like. I didn’t see much character development. I realize that it’s based on a true story, but I came away thinking, what was the point? I have Sophie’s Choice sitting next to my DVD player but I know it will be heavy, so I’ve put off watching it.

Download & try a yoga app

I looked at two apps but they both cost money.  I browsed You Tube and found a video of standing yoga that’s about 10 minutes long and…reasonable. I can’t say I like it, but I’ll try it a few more times.

Try another Skillshare class

I completed a faux calligraphy that enjoyed. I think I’ll try a comedy writing class next. I could stand to up my comedy game.

Update blog travel for Banff, Switzerland, and Greece trips

I’m still working on my Switzerland trip while it’s fresh in my mind. It’s taking much more time and I’ve been procrastinating a bit, so I need to remember the aim isn’t perfection.

Do 5 year journal entries for month of September

Done. This has been more fun than expected.

Make 3 items for Etsy shop

No progress. I started embroidering something and spilled nail polish on it. It’s a long story, but I haven’t done much since then.

List 4 items on Poshmark or Ebay

Done. Two items sold. The rest have not, so they might end up getting donated.

Check for Ellen show tickets

Tried again for tickets to a November show. Fingers crossed.

Continue working on crossword puzzles

Still working on this. Glad to have this reminder to do it.

Research learning stick shift 

I’ve found a couple of places that teach stick shift driving since I don’t want to ruin any of my friends’ transmissions. Lessons are around $50 an hour. Good to know, but I’m not sure it’s something I want to invest in right now.

Things I haven’t worked on

  • Create an urban hike <–the weather has turned so I’m bumping this for now
  • Improve SEO 
  • Learn to make a classic cocktail
  • Find a writing group/partner <–I’m working on a 10 minute/day writing habit, so I might focus on that and bump this for now
  • Make or try one of the Zagat 50 state sandwiches
  • Don’t complain for 4 days <–that is going to take a lot of effort guys. Sad but true.
  • Finish up retirement account rollover etc.  <–I hate this
  • Try a new food truck <–excited about this 🙂 I’m thinking Cheese Wizards. I try to eat more healthfully during the week so this might be a good weekend treat.

Thoughts for the week:
I might have overshot this by adding too many things to the list. It is a lot to take on in one month, but I keep reminding myself that the goal is progress, not perfection. All the things on this list can be ideas/jumping off points/options, not necessarily requirements. They are good reminders for all the things I’ve always thought “oh that’s cool” or “I want to try that someday.” The point of the list was to avoid stocking things away for another day and remaining stagnant.

This list is in addition to my list of 4 mini-habits that I’m trying to cultivate. Each mini habit takes about 10 minutes daily, so my worry is that I’m biting off too much and it will leave me feeling discouraged. I might need to break the tasks from the above list into smaller tasks and recognize that they’ll take more than a month to carry out.

It’s fun to start looking over what I have completed. That part feels rewarding 🙂

Tuesday Talk: Things I Love on Etsy – Llama Edition

Tuesday Talk: Things I Love on Etsy – Llama Edition


I’m linking up for Tuesday Talk and sharing something that makes me happy: llamas. I’ve been a fan of owls for a long time, but lately I’ve jumped on the llama bandwagon. Not totally sure why they make me happy, but maybe it’s their offbeat goofiness. It probably all started with the Is Your Mama a Llama book that my mom read to me when I was a child. All those happy memories transferred to llamas. Or something. Anyway, I can peruse Etsy for hours.  There’s so much to find on there that sometimes it’s overwhelming. I love a good curated list, so here are a few things that have grabbed my attention recently.


Classy and llama related? Sign me up.


These look cozy.


As a travel lover, this is right up my alley. Also I want to go to Peru where I hear there are a lot of llamas. Going to have to confirm that for myself 🙂 So it’s a perfect fit.


I probably wouldn’t wear these in public, but I would definitely lounge in them.

Phone case

It’s unique and probably a conversation starter. Just whip out your phone and someone is bound to comment on this phone case. That llama really knows how to rock a floral crown.


How can you look at that and not smile?

Washi Tape

Just plain fun.


Solid advice. Confide in your friendly neighborhood llama.

Penelope the Crochet Llama

Penelope would be a fantastic baby gift. Or adult gift. If this mysteriously showed up under the Christmas tree this year with my name on it, I would be delighted. I like funny things like that 🙂


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