5 Things I Learned This Spring

The flowers are blooming here in Oregon wine country, the sun is shining bright and warm, and the wineries are opening their tasting rooms. Yup, it’s officially spring, almost summer here in Oregon! And it’s that time of the year where I share a list of the things I learned during the last season. In this post, I’m sharing 5 things I learned this spring.



I’ve been joining Emily P. Freeman and others (the #WWL community) since I started posting these last summer. I’ve also shared what I learned this last fall and winter. This post will round out my first year of sharing these lists. And so far, I can say I love them and will continue doing them and sharing them here. Let’s see what’s on this season’s list!


1. Grief isn’t black and white.

In fact, grief is grey as they come. The thing with grief is there is no clear line or definition. As humans, we naturally want definites, beginnings and ends, this and that, right and wrong. But unfortunately, grief knows no distinction. Last week was the third anniversary of Kenny’s passing. I posted more about it over on my instagram, but I feel I’m constantly learning new things about grief and how we process it and work through it. Kenny’s father, John, passed away in February, a week before my birthday. Although I had lost touch with his dad over the last year or so, I felt compelled to attend the memorial service in April and be there for his family. And for Kenny. I’m so grateful I was able to attend and catch up with family and friends.


hot air balloon blue skies



2. Pip’s Doughnuts & Chai gives you a free dozen donuts on your birthday.

So I actually learned this in the winter, but I got to take advantage of it on my birthday this spring! Now, if you asked anyone what their favorite donut shop in Portland would be, you would get an array of answers. But the main players are Voodoo and Blue Star. Oregonians feel very serious about their donut patronage, so when you ask, you will get a passionate answer. Personally, I’m not a fan of Voodoo (I know, I know… please don’t close out this post). Blue Star is very good (Chris’s favorite) and a more gourmet donut with fun, exotic flavor combinations. However, I think my new favorite is Pip’s. There I said it. They’re mini, freshly made to order, and there’s always a seasonal flavor in rotation. And you get FREE DONUTS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY. I don’t need to say any more.


pips doughnuts birthday Portland pdxeats


We tried almost all the flavors, with our favorites being the honey cinnamon and their seasonal flavor at the time banana custard. OHEMMGEE. It was so good. If they ever have it again, I’ll definitely be making the drive and standing in line to get some.


pips doughnuts birthday


3. Having portraits taken of yourself is a form of self-care.

I know self-care is all the rage right now, but all for good reasons. If you didn’t catch my free podcasts and book guide yet, you should definitely grab your free copy. But one of my favorite podcasts right now is the Selfie Podcast. Kristin and Sarah talk all things self-care – some serious topics, but also some really funny things that don’t get talked about on the internet. I highly recommend it. Anyways, back to the pictures. If you haven’t had pictures taken of yourself in a long time (or even at all), you should consider setting up a session. Find a local photographer, see if they do small, short portrait sessions, and set a date. I needed new headshots for the blog, snapshots for social media, but I also realized I hadn’t had professional pictures taken of me since November 2015. But honestly, with hair and makeup and the whole shebang, since my wedding! IN OCTOBER 2010! Over 7 years. Why is this important? It’s good to do things for ourselves just for the reason to do things for ourselves. Not because it was a special event or occasion, but just because. Because you deserve it. For you.

I promise you won’t regret it.


Image: Whitney Lily Photography || Makeup: Meghan Ceallaigh Artistry


JUMPSUIT: here (sold out) similar here, here, here, here || HAT: here (sold out) similar here, here, here || EARRINGS: here (size medium)


4. Visiting the coast > living at the coast

Last month I visited the Oregon Coast, once for a photo session with my dear friend, McKaila, and her family and another for a doctor’s appointment and lady date with McKaila. Since moving from the coast, I can safely say I prefer visiting it over living there. Some may call me crazy, but that’s my truth. I even got to visit a cute little bookstore that I never went to while I lived there. But since I was “visiting,” it granted that elusive permission for me to go there. Sometimes we have to be removed from something in order to go back and fully enjoy it.


Oregon coast bobs beach books Lincoln city

5. Kindness is not nice.

I heard the best quote while listening to one of my favorite podcasts (The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman). It was episode #35 where she interviewed Candace Cameron Bure about her new book Kind is the New Classy (her very first interview on the podcast), and they talked about how being kind is different than being nice. It was the quote from Candace’s book at the end of the episode that caught my attention. Even as I read it now, it stirs emotions deep inside me (read: brings tears to my eyes).


“Kindness is a choice. Sometimes it’s an easy one to make, and we reap immediate benefits. Other times it’s one of the hardest choices you’ll ever make, and extending grace to someone who has hurt you or riled you will go against everything your heart is telling you. My advice? Choose it anyway.” -Candace Cameron Bure, Kind is the New Classy


be kind

Image: Whitney Lily Photography



With every season that passes, I’m learning more about my grief journey, and in turn, learning more about myself.

In case you missed them, you can see what I learned last year here:


The Summer list will be posted at the end of August, so join me in this next season and let’s see what we learn in the season of busy schedules, vacations, and fun!

What did you learn this spring? Any ah-ha moments or reflections worth noting? Tell me in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using my link, I will receive a few pennies at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this little blog with your purchases :)*
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  • Reply
    Rebecca Hastings
    June 8, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Hi Danielle!

    It’s my first time here, and let me just say your site is lovely. Your header is beautifully simple and I love it all.

    I link up with the season learning posts too. I find them so wonderful for me on such a personal growth level…even when things aren’t that deep.

    Your point about pictures is ringing in my ears. I have needed headshots for a long time now and I keep putting it off as a lousy use of $$$ or uncertain about the season/location/clothes/(fill in the blank) or the infamous “maybe when I lose xx lbs” UGH. Hate this place I’m stuck in. Your words are nudging me out of my stuck, so thank you (I think!)

  • Reply
    August 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Love the quote one kindness. I was told by a mentor that kindness and niceness is not the same thing.

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