East Coast Travel Snack: The D.C. Blog

I’ve seen a hellovalotta America this month, which has been awesome for that “do it while you can” mantra I’m trying to exercise, and mostly for making me feel like a rockstar traveler.

(Lol, just another reason to choose GPS)

After loading the car and covering the West, I quickly repacked my bags and headed for a McG family weekend with my sisters and parents in one of our favorite cities, Washington D.C. I was so excited for this reunion that before my massive road trip I even agreed to drive the distance with Mom and Dad. (Idk, maybe to be a good sport? Idk maybe because it sounded like I’d see cool things? Still not sure what I was thinking…) Well, needless to say, I am a diva, and quickly realized that was an objectively and mathematically terrible idea. Observe:

Travel time from Portland, Oregon to Waukee, Iowa by car: 25 hr, one way

Travel time from Waukee, Iowa to Washington, D.C. by car: 30 hr 42 min, round trip

Travel time from Waukee, Iowa to Washington, D.C. by car with parents: infinity

Travel time from my hand to my wallet to buy a plane ticket: .0000184 seconds

*cue me making plane noises: nnneeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrroooooooeeeeeeeeerrrrrooooo*

I took my first breath of D.C. air while tapping my phone for an Uber at Reagan National Airport, and gladly stayed the night the cozy basement apartment my middle sister is calling home while she studies at Georgetown. We drank wine with her roommate until 3 am. I think we can all agree this was a perfect way to break into D.C.

Through the weekend I spent time enjoying the shops, bars, and attraction on M Street. At the Mall, my mom and I finally got to sit down for the first cup of coffee we’d had together in nearly half a year. In Georgetown I got a peak into the exciting but challenging world of my sister on her new grad school adventure.  In DuPont Circle, I met up with an old friend from pageant-land who has a fascinating life as a political reporter. At the Pentagon, the family celebrated my sister and boyfriend completing the Army 10 Miler Race. The final hours of leisure were spent over a cocktail at the Hay-Adams famous bar Off the Record and with some silly selfies outside the White House. It was D.C. done right.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 8.36.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 8.38.42 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-24 at 8.37.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 8.38.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 8.38.23 PM

If you gave me a one-way ticket to go tomorrow I would take it. The old stone buildings, the mass of cultures, the and, of course, the “smell of power” as one of our Uber drivers so accurately described it, were enough to make my big city butterflies are sneak up on me again…  I definitely didn’t get my fill of adventure out there yet. It was more like a snack before mealtime; it was just enough to keep me coming back for more.

Next adventure: Back to Iowa and being Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding. (Spoiler: it was a friggin’ beautiful day)

Cheers– to plane tickets and “the smell of power”!


Quick Diary: I’m in Iowa

I don’t have any crazy road-trip travel stories, thank God. The trip was a breeze. I’m am writing this from the comfort of home sweet Iowa after a safe and successful trip from Portland to Des Moines. Here is my account of the trip, laced in whimsy.

Less than 24 hours before, my buddy Brandon agreed to fill his backpack and co-pilot the Subaru. I realized this was probably a good idea when I drove to pick him up after my most teary farewell, and I was about 6 inches from being t-boned by a taxi cab in an intersection. Clearly I’m a blubbering idiot, and the passenger seat was a really good call in the invention of the automobile.

So it began. 1,800 miles of the Wild, Wild West moved around us in technicolor. We said “good-bye” to the signature green of the Columbia River Gorge as it turned into the triumphant, golden grass of the Eastern Oregon hills.  We met the moody purple mountains of Utah under an ominous grey sky. We stopped to take pictures of an electric orange sun spraying through the clouds over Salt Lake City. All of the instruments in the eye symphony were drawing near the climax through the red rock canyons and yellowing Aspens in the mountains of Colorado . The trees looked as if they had saved some of the bright yellow summer sun just for us. The tender resolve came over the fields of Central Nebraska, where a rainbow ushered two road-weary travelers into the heartland.

It was the kind of picture perfect that makes you want to roll your eyes and shut your locker.

Along the way we drank some beers, small-talked some strangers, sifted through radio static, and talked about our respective journeys. We stopped for a concert, took a day off for sightseeing, and flooded our instagrams. We saw my sister, and even crossed paths with an old friend.  We ate like everything was healthy. It was perfect.

After 48 hours to decompress in Iowa, I said “sayonara” to my traveling friend, and headed out for a family weekend in Washington, D.C.. No stopping yet! Another post for another day.

The feels are emoji “100”. I’m already a week behind in blogging, which is a good sign of a busy bee. I don’t feel “home” yet, but I do feel like I’m living in a hazy deja vu. I’m blushing with excitement for what is to come, and blinking away the nerves.

Holy ship, my life has just changed so much. 

Cheers! The hard part is over.


PDX –> IDK: I’m leaving Portland, here’s why.

Once upon a time in a far off land called Iowa, I pointed left and said, “take me to there!”  With a *poof* I materialized in the misty, deep green silhouette of the Cascades with nothing but a crown and a Subaru. The good people showed me the way, and bestowed upon me good fortune. I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, and found a place to call my second home. So it came as a shock to both myself and others when I announced that I’m leaving indefinitely on October 1st.

Wait, what? Portland is great, the job is fun, and I have awesome friends! What happened to the fairy tale?! Am I ill? Did somebody pick on me on the playground? Do I need to eat something?  No, no, and yes please! My diagnosis is that I’m suffering the ailment of the charmed life. I’m feeling comfy– too comfy.

Wait, that’s a bad thing?

*cue crowd in yoga pants gasping*

Stare all you want, spandex-ed humans! While you’re at it, throw me a tube of bright lipstick and a scarf to blow in the wind!  I want to flirt with the big city. I have an address book with blank pages reserved for unmet friends. I have a passport to stamp, and a career to lasso!  I have dance floors to twirl on! 

In short, I’m ending my time in Portland because if I have one more person tell me “do it while you can” in reference to checking off my daydream to-do list, I will be the idiot who didn’t take the advice. No kids? No pets? No mortgages? Heck, can I be 24 forever?!

I won’t tell you what adventures are in the queue because that would make me a psychic blogger. Let’s agree that “psychic blogger” is not a good resume booster. What I can predict is that I’ll start by going home to Iowa to refresh and be with my family. Then, I’ll dive in on my Miss Oregon Organization projects (yes, pageant friends, that means I’m still doing my job!) and professional-y things so that I can get back on my heels and kick some career ka-toosh. Once the holidays are over and the egg nog is gone it will be time for a plane ticket, location: somewhere new.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be here. Typing a mixed refreshment of my amorphous, twenty-something philosophy and muses I find fancy and fabulous. I can’t imagine my life without Oregon, so I’m telling myself I’ll reclaim residency someday, though I don’t know. No matter what, I’ll carry with me the state motto: “She flies with her own wings”.

Cheers, friends! To “doing it while you can”!



Same Dork + More Lipstick

*puts lipstick on*

*blows dust off of laptop keyboard*

Ahhh hello you! My fingers are feeling chatty again, and the universe has been calling me back to my little corner of the internet. Thank you to those who have encouraged me to write again! Guess what, it meant a lot! Let’s get caught up.

Last time we chatted, I had just started my job as a beauty expert. Update: I’m still burning at that 40 hour workweek, and over the past few months have become a bone fide hoarder. My desk drawers, purses, and bathroom  cabinets are not enough to hold all of the makeup and skincare goodies I possess. At work I blog about products I love, lead makeup tutorial seminars, and give product advice. Of course I also have to track lost packages and process returns, but for the sake of your fantasy of my life, just imagine me calling to file a claim with the post office while doing this:

Because you are probably wondering: I haven’t found the fountain of youth yet. Please know that when I do I’ll make sure to not tell you what it is, and sell it for all of the money in all of the world.

I’m finding out that for me, 24 will go in the books as living la vida Portland. My schedule is more consistent than ever, and I live for the weekend. This summer was filled with  concerts, outdoor adventures, pageant shtuff, Pacific Northwest travels, a bit of romance, plenty of cocktails, and oodles of laughter. It felt like this:

And looked like this:

IMG_8122 IMG_0537 IMG_4254 IMG_0664 IMG_8608 IMG_9082 IMG_6220 IMG_7899 IMG_8309

In the words of the late James Brown, “I feel good”.

As far as chasing my dorky chick dreams, I’ve got some things stewing and brewing. I’ll be back in my little corner of the internet soon to update.

Cheers, have one last glass of summertime wine and let’s see what changes with the leaves this fall. Spoiler: it won’t be my hair color.





Hey, remember that one time I said I was going to blog every single day? Shhhhhh….neither do I… OKAY SO WHAT HAPPENED SINCE FOREVER AGO?! This happened:

December: Graduate college then much time at home in Iowa being a grown child. Sigh– the good life.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.09.54 PM

January: Working two part time gigs with occasional doubles, asking existential post-grad questions, tending to some creative projects, volunteer stuff, and contributing the Portland restaurant economy. Also began taking recreational hip hop classes. BOOM. Still got it! Uhh sort of…

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.06.30 PM

February: Month starts out seemingly normal and then somehow revs up to 60 mph.  A gal pal walks into one of my workplaces and says “oh hey, I heard about this great full-time gig you’d be a great fit for”

“Oh, you don’t say!” I say.

“Nay, I do say,” says she. And with that I blew the dust of my resume, hovered my fingers over the parcel and did the most ferocious jazz hands I’ve ever done (you have no idea how much my life has included jazz hands) , and somehow in the midst of the dust and the sassy limb shimmy, a crazy thing happened.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.12.24 PM

The phone rang.

I got a job. And not just any job– I got a job fit for a Dorky Chick in Lipstick. 😉

I’m the newest “Beauty Concierge” at b-glowing.com !

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 11.12.44 PM

This means if you call looking for beauty advice on cosmetics on b-glowing.com, I can give you personalized advice as your go-to guru for all the luxury brands seen on our site. It is a start, and one that involves figuring out what I think about the latest must-have makeup buys. All those days playing dress-up came full circle…who knew! I started the week of my 24th birthday– a fitting way to celebrate new orbit 🙂

If you’ve never heard of them, check them out! They are kind of amazing. And by kind of, I mean really! Then give me a call sometime– I’ll help you find what you need to feel as fabulous as you are. So far things are great. I’m loving getting the chance to be around women who speak my language. So much creativity and growth at b-glowing… I’m feeling luckier than a leprechaun!

Blogs are postponed until further notice (incase that hasn’t been blatantly obvious for 3 months…*facepalm*) while I desperately try to figure out how to balance this new adult schedule, go head-first into the busiest Miss O pageant season yet, and enjoy a social schedule that is at an all-time high.

Cheers! To Friday the 13th, “making beauty”, and being 24. I’ll take it.



Blearning Blog! Letter eeeEEEEEE!!!

It’s Monday, which means it is time to put new information in your head and live a fancier and more fashionable life!

BLEARNING BLOG brought to you by the letter E!

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.56.14 PM

E is for Elizabeth and James!

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 4.57.11 PM

You know Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen? They are the masterminds behind this hip label, which they started in 2007. Ashley and Mary Kate went from Full House to powerhouse with their fashion careers post sitcom stardom.

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 10.01.18 PM

Elizabeth and James is the second of two lines. It is named after their siblings, and is the younger brand to their luxury line The Row. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the Resort 2015 collection. The good news is that the following eye candy is part of the less expensive label. The bad news: you still may have to “resort” to looking and not touching, because even the midi top is going to cost upwards of a couple hundred bucks.

If MK & A hired me to label these looks, it would go something like this:

The Short, Plump Cartoon Man that Never Was

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.58.57 PM

The Playground Outfit Not Made for the Monkey Bars

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 2.59.26 PM

The Powerpoint Presentation w/ Gun Show Encore

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.00.20 PM

The Laundry Day Skirt Shirt

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.00.42 PM

The DIY Sharpie Lab Coat … paired with the Rejected Color Jansport

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 3.01.15 PM

Okay okay so maybe I was poking a little fun at these looks, but I think even though they appear to be somewhat mod and stark in the way they have been styled for the photos, there is still room to be playful in these looks because of their creative lines and unexpected pops of pattern and color. The aesthetic is supposed to be a relaxed urban with just enough of a blend of femme and structure that it looks powerful and stays relaxed. I’d wear it because it would make me feel edgy and because the shapes allow for all kinds of pizza to be consumed. I wouldn’t wear it if I wanted to feel like a polished professional or if I wanted to show off my silhouette.  If I were styling someone who had a lax, urban dress code for work, I could definitely see pulling some of these pieces for their wardrobe, otherwise I see most of these pieces as meant for the everyday casual sophisticate.

Speaking of sophisticated, when I realized that today’s Blearning Blog was going to start with “E” I immediately thought of Mini Me from Austin Powers running and squealing, and thought “oh, I should definitely put a clip in my blog of that!”  Here’s what search engines gave me:

Because I said sophisticated and I meant it….  😉  Maybe a good look for my next post?





I have a fever, and cowbell is not the cure.

Wash your hands and take care of yourself, friends! This chick is down for the count.

Dorky Chick in Lipstick will return after the Thanksgiving Holiday.



Fearless Friday: MERRRP out of time

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 4.39.25 PM

I don’t have time to write much today, as daylight has run out and I am off for the evening, but today I am being fearless by wearing the boldest lipstick I have. I always walk a little taller with a good lipstick.

For you lipstick lovahs out there: the color is MAC Rebel with Vino liner, and I dabbed a bit of gloss I had on top.

Sometimes even the small fearless things are worth the effort.

Photo on 11-21-14 at 4.44 PM  Photo on 11-21-14 at 4.45 PM #2 Photo on 11-21-14 at 4.45 PM #3 Photo on 11-21-14 at 4.46 PM

TGIF! Have a great weekend!



#TBT to that one time when rolling on the floor broke the internet

The following post has the most views in a day on this blog to date.

Do you know how many hours I’ve spent writing for you? Seeking a balance of truth and beauty? Pouring out my twenty something vulnerabilities? Creating masterpieces of storytelling with enriched vocabulary?

Forget it, here’s me rolling on the floor:

Click here 

Happy #TBT, gang.



100 words for the 100th post.

This is the 100th post at Dorky Chick in Lipstick.

I’ve literally erased so many drafts of what I would like to say that I’m about to give up and eat Mexican food.

100 is just so big! And especially for a blog I resurrected from  the pile of scrapped ideas! 

If you are reading this and wondering if you should blog, I would encourage you to start immediately. It is  a space to laugh when there is no audience, a dressing room for ideas, and a furnace for creative momentum.

Cheers, to a 100 word post and 100 more blogs!