Showing posts with label alaskan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alaskan. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2013

blogger of the month: Katie of Alaskan Weredork

I discovered Katie when we were both starting out on our blogs, after she commented on one of my chictopia looks. I was instantly in love with her sense of style, and while gathering photos for this post, I can see that our style is pretty similar! She is a fellow Alaskan blogger and one of my blogger friends, and it's so awesome to finally have her as September's blogger of the month. So give it up for the beautiful and fabulous Katie of Alaskan Weredork!

1. First things first, can you tell me just a little bit about yourself?

I like pina coladas and long walks on the beach. :)

Well, I do actually like those! I live in North Pole, Alaska however so I'm a little ways away from the nearest sandy beach. Hi everyone, I'm Katie and I'm a bit of a dork. I was born in Palmer, Alaska and have lived my whole life in Alaska aside from living for a short period of time in Washington and Oregon when I was three. We've moved around the state quite a bit, slowly moving farther and farther north but I think Fairbanks is about as far north as I can take, cold weather wise! I'm a pretty outdoorsy person, my family has always done a lot of hiking, camping and we fish and hunt for our food so I'm pretty at home in the outdoors. I jumped horses competitively during high school, I worked full time as a barn manager and taught riding lessons to pay for my own riding lessons and show expenses and because I spent all of my own time and money on it, I was pretty intense about the whole thing. I'm sure there were several shows where I broke down in tears because of working 18 hour days and trying to ride well in my classes, my parents weren't super well off so I knew every show could be my last and it really pushed me to work hard. I'm grateful now for that because I stand up well under pressure and I have a crazy hard work ethic which I've been trying to turn into my own riding business for the past year. My brothers, my husband and I all went in together to buy a large piece of property this past spring so I finally have room now to build my own riding facility and start my own barn which I'm really excited about.

Hah, I'm not very good art this summing myself up! I guess I should mention that I come from a large family, I'm the eldest of six kids and my family's pretty tight, more clannish than anything. I have a husband and two adorable little monsters named Gunnar and Isabel, both who are learning to ride our fat little pony Merrylegs. I mentioned we just bought our first house and a large piece of property so we've been spending all summer ripping apart the house and putting it back together, I'm hoping it'll be done or close to done by the time the snow really starts to fall. We're getting our wood stove this week so I'm looking forward to that.

2. What made you want to start blogging? And how to you balance blogging with raising a family?

I started blogging as a fun thing to do during an especially brutal winter and it was interesting to try to learn how to clothe myself in a way that wasn't just jeans, sweater, boots, baseball cap. I was also extremely shy in front of the camera and I thought it might be a good way to break myself of that and to try out photography which I'd just hadn't had the time for before. I can't really say that I balance blogging with anything as blogging falls to the bottom of my list. I don't blog professionally and I've only done one sponsored gig to date, it's been more something that's really fun and I've learned how much I love photography! (I've managed to get a little better about putting clothes on as well.) I used to take pictures in the evening and then write up a quick post that night while the kids were in bed but since our move, we don't have access to internet at our property so I've been typing up and trying to schedule posts for the once a week when I go to town.

3. What's one of the biggest challenges you've run across while taking outfit photos?

The cold! I got frostbite on my ears last winter trying to take pictures in -50 below without a hat on and I was trying so hard to get some decent pictures that I didn't notice my ears where starting to burn. By the time I got back to the car, I couldn't feel them and when they thawed out, it was like they were on fire! They ended up being okay and healed but I learned my lesson, I kept my Stormy Kramer hat on for the rest of the cold days.

4. How has living in Alaska influenced your personal style?

I think living in Alaska has defined my style, I've noticed that you can always tell an Alaskan apart from the new comers of the visitors and I think part of that is because we do dress for ourselves. (When was the last time you saw a trend salad on an Alaskan?) We don't care if it's all the rage in New York or what the current hot thing is in the blogger world, we will probably wear sweatpants to Walmart to get ice cream and you know what? No one judges. I think at the start of my blog I tried to break away from that and I didn't do a very good job of representing myself, mostly because I was really trying to figure myself out after so many life changes. Over the past few years I've started to figure it out and I've been far more true to myself with the blog, I wear more flats and boots than anything and I wear a lot of pants for being a fashion blogger. I also end up wearing more practical winter gear on the blog such as my Boggs boots, Stromy Kramer hat or just the ugly black puffer coat that keeps me warm. (Sometimes, you just can't be cute in the cold and you wear those snowpants!)

5. Now you own a couple of horses, correct? Can you tell me a little bit about that?

I do have a couple of horses! Well, it's actually one tall Yukon Mustang named Dollar and then we have a little registered Shetland pony named Merrylegs. Izzy actually got Merrylegs for Christmas last year, we'd just gone to the Santa Clause House in North Pole and she's asked Santa for a pony and when we got home, there was a fat little black pony tied up to the fence with a big bow on his tail. (Izzy was pretty impressed with how fast Santa worked.) I've been working with Dollar for the past year and a half on dressage and jumping, he hates the dressage but loves the jumping and I'm looking forward to doing cross-country jumping on him here in the next few years. Him and Merrylegs are the best of friends and sleep all curled up together in their little barn, they're pretty cute standing out in the paddock together because Merrylegs looks like Dollar's mini me. We put on a very small show a few weeks back with Merrylegs and another pony, it was just little walk, trot classes for the younger students and my kids with my brother judging but it was quite a bit of fun. (Dollar tried to join in, he followed the ponies around and even lined up by himself at the end of the classes, he thought he was quite the show pony.)

6. How have you seen your style evolve since starting your blog?

Wow, I've really noticed a change since I first started the blog and even just in the past few months. My style starting off was very hodge-podge and thrown together and alas, not very stylish I'm afraid. Taking pictures did teach me a lot about proportion, colors, fit and all of that stuff that I would before ignore, seeing it really helped me be more mindful. I've noticed that since I cut my hair I favor simpler outfits, I've moved away from the really girlish outfits I favored for a while and I've been slowly trying out some different styles.

7. And because I just have to let you give some love to the best state ever, what's the best thing about Alaska, and what's one thing about Alaska you wish everyone could experience?

I think everyone should experience that -fifty below just once. The joy of dashing to your car, praying it starts while trying to keep your nose from falling off should be experienced by everyone.

Hah, evilness aside, I think if you come to Alaska, get out of the city. They're pretty and fun and stuff but if you want to really see Alaska, either rent a car or take the bus or train and go for a drive along either the Parks Highway or the Richardson and it will just blow you away. I love driving to Valdez because you see such a variety of terrain, from going through the pass and gazing at huge mountains to seeing the coastline. (If you can't, go to Seward and go on one of Kenai Fjords Tours boat trips. They have a great variety of trips for any budget or time frame and you see way more wildlife than you will out of Whittier or Valdez and seeing glacier faces up that close is CRAZY.) It's hard to pick one thing about Alaska because it's home to me. I've been lucky enough to get to travel around and while I have lots of love for the west coast, Canada and Mexico, I will always come back home to Alaska. Even with the cold and the long winters, even with the crazy neighbors who mow (yes mow) their snow and mix R&R with the nightly gallon of ice cream and even with the hellish driving conditions in the winter, I really can't imagine ever living anywhere else. I'm probably just as crazy as the rest of them. :)

Thank you Katie so so much for letting me interview you and get to know you a little bit more! Be sure to check out Katie's blog here for more Alaskan goodness.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

no small feat

navy dress/shoes: thrifted // daisy dress: asos (similar) // tights: mom's closet

As an "I survived my first year of college" gift, I treated myself to some bright red lipstick from the boutique walle marte. I actually have a fairly decent lipstick collection (well, I have about five different bottles) but I usually don't wear them as they fade pretty quickly. I'm trying to wear them more often in an effort to not bite my lips anymore, and thankfully this fun red shade is a balm stain and stays on for a long time.

Man, can I just be really honest here? Sometimes I really question if I want to do photography as a full time profession. Now don't go freaking out on me, ya silly gooses. I've been reading so many articles on optimizing your website and self advertising and social media and quotes and invoices and SEO and HTML and let me just say that owning your own business is certainly not for the faint of heart. One moment I'm so excited for what the future holds and all the opportunities and things I'm going to do, and the next moment I just want to give up and not have to stress about marketing myself and my services and talents. But I am really glad that my passions are all connected to each other--writing, photography, blogging--and I can use each thing to build up an online presence to get my work out there. Unlike a real job, I have to be my own boss, my own market researcher, my own advertising company, you get the picture. It's really hard, stressful work. But I love it. There's nothing else I would rather be doing. Plus, I don't think I would do well at having a "real" job. I could never ever be a waitress or a cashier or a barista, no thank you. You guys who do that are really brave, and I could never do what you do!

It's so cool that everyone has different passions and talents. I'm reminded of my blogging friends Annika and Hannah, who are super gifted when it comes to science and are totally going to change the world. My friend Lauren got a job at Aeropostale and that is just the coolest thing to me. Sara is a creative writing grad student and she'll probably end up on the New York Times bestsellers list. My fellow Alaskan blogger Katie works with horses on a daily basis. My little sister went through a horse phase so I kind of know what caring for a horse entails, and that is certainly no small feat. My real life friend Brady just started his own clothing line, which is already gaining a good following and will continue to do so. My boyfriend Matt is even pursuing his passion for film and he's really talented with anything he sets his mind to. My friend Jacob is the single most talented person I know. He's currently building an app for a coffee company and knows literally everything about computers and cars. (I keep going back and adding more and more people to this list, haha.) And there are so many of my other blogger and photographer and IRL friends that I could mention, because we all have something unique about us. We all have unique gifts that we are pursuing and it's such a beautiful thing. What's something that you're super passionate about? I would love to hear it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

the Alaskan wilderness

hat: forever 21 // shirt/cardigan/shorts/shoes: thrifted

(Aaah don't you just love camping hair?)

This past weekend my family went camping, and knowing how beautiful the location was, I just couldn't resist taking a couple outfit shots. I was afraid it would be too cold to take photos, and the majority of the time layers of clothes were piled on, but for a moment Saturday night the sun broke through the clouds and my brother and I quickly jumped on our bikes and rode to the lake to take photos (thanks Nicholas!).

I had been needing shorts really badly and got lucky at the thrift store. Finally someone donated a pair of cute shorts in my size! Does anybody else wear the same clothes multiple times a week? I have a feeling that I will be wearing these a lot this summer. That is, if the weather ever gets warm enough.

I'll have a post about this camping trip up later this week. Until then, enjoy this video of this camping location I made last year:

Camping from Lauren Parker on Vimeo.