Understanding Analytics


So you’ve created a blog or website. You’ve spent time creating the perfect design, adding clever content, and making sure everything is linked appropriately within your site and out to important social media channels. Everything is live, everything is published, and…now what?

If you’re interested in growing your website, you need to have an understanding of who is interacting with your website and why. Here’s where your friend, Google Analytics comes in. Most of us understand on a basic level that Google Analytics is the best way to track your website’s health, but once you’ve gotten it all set up you’ll realize that there is more to Google Analytics than tracking the number of people that visit your site.

Introducing Understanding Analytics, a multi-part overview series to understanding the main metrics of Google Analytics on a basic level in order to give you an idea of who is visiting your site, where those visitors are coming from, and what changes you can make to see some of those numbers grow.

If you are a blogger, a creative entrepreneur, or a small business owner who is just starting out with building an online presence (or just realizing that they should probably pay attention to actively building their audience rather than just posting content and hoping it sticks), this series is for you. Continue reading

Starting the Year at the Coast

PNW Ocean

When most of us think of a getaway weekend to the beach, we imagine sunglasses, barefoot walks, and bronzed skin. But going to the beach in the Pacific Northwest presents a more nature-y, introverted sort of vacation that doesn’t seem as enjoyable until you’ve experienced it yourself.

There’s something deliciously romantic and rejuvenating about cold and misty walks on the beach, huddled in sweatshirts and hats. The ocean has a different personality in the winter, earnest and commanding, pensive and moody. And rather than the lazy, sleepy, sun-drunken haze that surrounds a summery beach, a winter beach makes you more alert, perceptive, and freshly introspective.

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Be Free, Lance


Be Free Lance

I could apologize for not posting in awhile, but I’m not going to because I’ve had exciting things going behind the scenes (more on that later)!

One of the things I’ve been especially excited about this week is the registration launch of a new workshop for freelance creatives called Be Free, Lance (cute name, huh?).

I think I’ve linked to her blog a couple times in the past, but this workshop comes in part from one of my friends from high school, Breanna. As with most people, we lost contact throughout the college years, but I began following her blog after we graduated when she decided to kick conformity to the curb by working her butt off to work on her own terms and start her own design studio, Rowan Made. It’s been so fun to (virtually) follow her journey and I was so excited when she asked me to help edit some of the content for the new Be Free, Lance workshop that she started with designer friend Jen Serafini (whom I’ve never met, but she does some amazing things in her studio as well!).

I will definitely be taking part in this workshop with some of the delicious ideas I have cooking up my sleeve, and I invite you to join me with this exciting promo: Continue reading

Honeymoon to Canada: Montreál

Virtually my entire life, I’ve lived in a state that shares a Canadian boarder, but it wasn’t until semi-recently ( when I took a year of French language classes in college ) that I’ve had any desire to travel there. When we were brainstorming where we wanted to go for our honeymoon, we realized that a beach getaway wasn’t very “us,” but a transatlantic trip sounded too exhausting/expensive/long for the amount of time we could afford. But Canada was unexplored territory for us, and with some of the oldest settlements in the “New World,” we could certainly spend our honeymoon among cobblestone streets and historic buildings.


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Our Wedding

Vista Hills Wedding Portland

I’m having trouble trying to put into words how I feel about our wedding weekend. After much planning and craziness with friends and family arriving in Portland from all over the country ( and all over the world! ), The Big Weekend arrived so quickly, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.

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A Certain Kind of Fairytale



We met freshman year of high school…technically. Being in the same English class, but seated on opposite sides of the room didn’t lend much introduction time to two awkward teenagers (one of us with braces), and to be honest, I was more interested in a classmate who went by the same name and sat two chairs behind me.

But I guess we officially “met” online (or as “online” as things got back in the pre-Facebook days). He had just starting dating one of my best friends. One afternoon after school, she and I were chatting on AIM (remember AIM? I’m pretty sure my theangelgurl07 screen name is still active…) about this “new guy” who made her “so ridiculously happy.” I was thrilled to see my friend with someone who made her so happy.

“Tell him I say thank you,” I typed, excited to convey how much I approved of this new guy.

A few seconds later, a notification blinked across my screen from ind00rsunglasses. I didn’t recognize this screen name, so I warily accepted with my cursor hovering over the “block” button in case this turned out to be one of those internet creeps who find out where you live from your IP address and try to murder you while you’re babysitting if you don’t forward their chain email (isn’t that how it worked?).

“You’re welcome,” said ind00rsunglasses. “This is Alex.” Continue reading

Coffee Date

Coffee Date

If we were meeting for a coffee date, I’d probably squeal a little too loudly when you walked through the door. I’m sorry, it’s something I can’t help when I get too excited.

“It’s been so long!” I’d say, pulling you in for a hug and squeezing you for a second longer than usual because I’ve just missed you so much. “How are you? You look great!” ( Oh, by the way, thank you for not mentioning my greasy day-old hair )

We’d slip in line to order drinks, wondering aloud how long it’s been since the last time we truly got a chance to catch up. I would order a regular coffee with room for soy because even though it’s hot outside, the air conditioner is kicking strong in here, and besides, I need the caffeine. I’m getting married in 16 days, and I’m exhausted. You’d probably order something more weather appropriate because your sanity is still in tact…an iced coffee? A blended drink? Iced tea? Continue reading

Vegetable Pulp and Almond Flour Grain-Free Pizza Crust


paleo grain free pizza

Don’t trust anyone who says they don’t like pizza.

Pizza is one of those junk/comfort foods that makes even the most iron-willed health nuts go weak at the knees. As we’ve approached our 100 Day Wedding Countdown mark, Alex and I have been making an extra effort to clean up our diets and move around more so we’re both looking and feeling great on our wedding day. But sometimes weekends call for a treat.

We recently joined the NakedWines.com club and got another shipment this past week, so what better way to welcome the weekend than opening a bottle of wine + indulging in some pizza while we take care of some wedding planning details and map out our honeymoon plans?

We had experimented a couple weeks ago with making a grain-free almond flour pizza crust that turned out deliciously, so we decided to create our own recipe using some leftover juice pulp + almond flour for a pizza crust that is high in fiber, reduces juice pulp waste, and is high in heart-healthy fats and protein.

Paleo Grain-Free Pizza Crust Continue reading

That’s So Portland

That's So PortlandOh Portland, you beautiful weird city, you!! I love this city and all it’s quirks. Here are the few of the oh-so-Portland things I experienced this week:

On our way back down from our hike up to Angel’s Rest, we passed a fellow hiker peeing off the edge of the cliff with a cockatoo perched on his shoulder. I mean I know it’s important to take your pet on walks but… Continue reading

Photography Workshop with Portland Bloggers

You may start to see things get a little more “photograph-y” around here. I absolutely love photography and taking photos, but just like my writing, it’s something I’m deeply self-conscious about. I think both of these “arts” are things that SO many people try to attempt and just aren’t that good, and I just don’t want to be one of those people who goes along thinking I’m good at something when I’m not. Then again…why should I care?

ANYWAY this weekend Portland Bloggers had a photography workshop meet up, so naturally I dusted off my beautiful camera, ready to pretend like I knew anything about photography.


Photographer Margaret Jacobsen

There were several breakout groups depending on what you wanted your photography focus to be ( portraits, objects, interiors, etc. ) and while I’m interested in EVERYTHING, I ended up following the hilarious, spunky, and gorgeous Margaret Jacobsen outside in the Portland rain to force us out of our comfort zones and get up in each other’s faces. Continue reading