My Beach Bag Essentials

It’s safe to say that I’ve been loving my time in Florida so far. Almost every weekend so far I’ve gone to the beach, sitting in the sand and enjoying the sunshine. Even if it’s cold, I’m pretty much always at the beach.

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

Do you ever feel like you forget something when you go to the beach? I definitely have had my share of those moments–you get all the way there and realize you’ve left your towel at home. Face palm.

The last couple weeks, I’ve gotten better at packing all my essential beach day items. Today I’m sharing what’s in my beach bag:

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

  1. Sunscreen – as much as I love sitting in the sun, I also know how important it is to protect my skin from burns and UV rays. SPF 30 works pretty well when I’m looking to get a little tan, and SPF 50 is what I reach for if I’m going to be out all day.
  2. Comfy flip-flops – I love Sanuk flip-flops. They’re so soft and comfy.
  3. Headphones – A perfect day at the beach includes listening to music. Right now I’m loving Cage the Elephant and Florence and the Machine (as always).
  4. Snacks – Even when I bring lunch, I like to pack a few snacks in my beach bag. I like granola bars because they keep me full, and the Oats N Honey crunchy type is my favorite.
  5. Chapstick – Baby Lips Dr. Rescue medicated chapstick in Coral Crave is the best.
  6. Sunglasses – These Urban Outfitters Emma sunglasses are everything. They have a great shape, and I love the oversized frames.

Beach Bag Essentials via Imperfect Chevron

So there you have it, my beach bag essentials! Not pictured, some other things I always bring with me: extra clothes for warmth, lots of water, and my phone for taking loads of pictures.



My Sewing Machine Story

It’s no secret that I love to sew. Of course, I haven’t been sewing much the last 2 years, as I’ve been out of state attending grad school, but we won’t focus on that *wink*

A few years back, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew. I’d never taken home ec in school, so I had absolutely no idea how to use a sewing machine. My amazing and patient mom taught me some sewing basics and let me practice on her machine. I made some pretty rough projects, but I enjoyed learning and started to get better at it over time. A few weeks before Christmas, my mom and I were wandering around our favorite flea market when we spotted a vintage machine with a sewing table and all of the accessories included. It looked to be in great shape, and after contacting the owners to see if the machine worked, my mom bought it for me for Christmas.


My Sewing Machine Story via Imperfect Chevron

a (very old) picture of me practicing with my Husqvarna

Why I’m Glad I Bought Vintage

I think we purchased all of it for about $40, which was an amazing deal, and after doing some research I found out the machine (a Viking Husqvarna) was from the 1960s, which gives me all the feels. Now, truthfully, the machine needed repairs after we bought it, which ended up costing $100 — I probably could have bought a good quality, brand new machine for that. But I really feel that my machine is the perfect one for me at this time in my life. It runs smoothly and makes the most neat little stitches I’ve ever seen, and I know that I’ll have it for years to come. It’s first owner took really good care of it, and I plan to do the same!

My Tips for Buying a Vintage Sewing Machine

Just because I got really lucky doesn’t mean that every sewing machine you see at a flea market or thrift store will be a good purchase. My mom and I carefully inspected my machine to make sure it was in good shape. We contacted the seller and asked about it’s condition. Plus, it came with a great sewing table and lots of accessories. If you’re considering buying vintage, I would recommend a few things:

  1. Figure out how much you’re willing to invest in a machine. If the machine ends up needing costly repairs, it may make more sense to buy a new machine instead.
  2. Check to see the condition. Contact the seller or ask to test the machine to check that it works, and make sure you look it over really thoroughly. My machine was in near pristine condition, and I could tell it had been taken care of.
  3. Look for a complete set. You’ll want the manual for sure, and a lot of the vintage machines have specific “tool-kits” that you might need to be able to adjust or fix it. I loved that my Husqvarna also came with several bobbin spools that fit it specifically (because not all bobbins fit!) and oil to keep the machine running smoothly.

Those are some of my tips. I know that I’ve been lucky with my sewing machine, and if you’re considering purchasing vintage I hope that you will, too! Good luck hunting for treasure.


OT Fieldwork: First Thoughts

If you’ve been following the blog, you know I’m currently in Florida for my first Level 2 fieldwork/clinical rotation for occupational therapy. As the end of my third week is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d give you guys an update on how it’s going.

First Things First: What Even Is Fieldwork?

Great question! Occupational therapy is a Masters degree which lasts about 2 years. OT students complete Level 1 and Level 2 Fieldwork experiences at some point during their curriculum (all schools differ a little bit with timelines). In Level 2 Fieldwork, OT students are placed at an occupational therapy setting (pediatrics, inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, hand therapy, outpatient rehabilitation, etc.) full-time for 12 weeks, and by the end of the 12 weeks it is expected that the student will have a full caseload of patients and will be essentially functioning as an occupational therapist.

OT Fieldwork Feelings via Imperfect Chevron

My First Three Weeks

To be honest, I’m having a lot of ups and downs in my experience. I’m enjoying my setting and I feel like I’m learning SO much–every day I learn at least one new thing! But I feel uneasy and my confidence isn’t superb…I think it’s all part of the learning experience so I’m trying to be forgiving and supportive of myself, and remind myself that I will make mistakes and that it’s ok to make mistakes right now. My feelings about how I’m doing are riding a roller coaster multiple times each day; I go back and forth from feeling really good about what I did and proud of myself, to feeling uneasy and worrying that I’m disappointing my supervisor. It’s sounds kind of crazy, even as I’m typing it, but it’s something that I’m working on. I know that I’ll learn so much in my 12 weeks at this hospital, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be mentored by such amazing OT’s.

The Best Part

Something that I’ve really enjoyed about my Fieldwork so far is the opportunity to connect with the patients. I consider myself an outgoing introvert, so I sometimes struggle with making small talk and starting conversations with people, but I’ve really enjoyed trying to engage the patients. It’s been very rewarding to work with the same people each day, and watch them progress. I find myself feeling very satisfied when I feel like I’ve made a connection with a patient. All in all, I’m so glad that I chose to study occupational therapy–I believe it’s a calling, rather than a career, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I realize that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. You know?

Thanks for letting me get all into my feelings and gush about OT today! You guys are the best.


Three Good Things: Challenge

I think of myself as an optimist and generally cheerful person, but I’ve noticed that I have fallen into a pattern of complaining and focusing on negative aspects of my day the last couple of years, which isn’t great. Not only is this habit adding more stress and negativity to my life, I hate complaining to others and off-loading my stresses onto them. Have you ever been around people who only have negative things to say about any situation? It’s no fun. So I’m trying to actively work on that in my life.

I started something this week that I think may help me combat the moody blues, and I want to share it here on the blog today in case any of you want to try it, too! It’s called “Three Good Things,” I learned it on Wednesday during orientation at my internship. three good things

Here’s how it works: every night, just before you go to bed, make a list of three good things that happened to you that day. It’s that simple. The things on your list can be as silly or as serious as you choose. You’re supposed to write down your three good things every night for two weeks, and then you can stop writing them down since you’ll be in the habit of thinking of what was good about your day.I kind of think I’ll continue to write down my lists and keep them all together, because I want to be able to look back at them in a few weeks/months.

beach bum club

nothing but blue skies ahead!

When you get in the habit of thinking about all of the positive things in your life, the bad things don’t stand out as much. Basically, it’s a way to retrain your brain, reduce stress, and improve your mood every day. Sounds pretty great to me! It’s only been 3 days since I started the challenge, but I’m already enjoying reflecting on each day and picking out three things that were really good.

Want to join me in the Three Good Things challenge? Comment on this post if you’re in!





What’s in Her Bag?

Today I want to share the contents of my “emergency” bag that I take with me to my internship every day.


I love the adorable print on this Clinique makeup bag. My grandma uses their products and often gives me the free gift she gets, which I always love!


What’s inside?

  1. Hair ties: I’ve learned from numerous experiences to always have a spare hair tie with you. You never know when you’ll need them!
  2. Mini hand-sanitizer: I’m sort of a germaphobe, and while I try to refrain from over-using my hand-sanitizer, I like to use it after I sneeze or cough to protect others, and I also like to use it before I eat. Someone sick may have touched the doorknob just before you!
  3. Medicine: I don’t take much medicine in my life, but the day I don’t bring ibuprofen I have a massive headache. I like to keep a few ibuprofen and some rolaids in my bag, just in case.
  4. Bandaids: I’m pretty clumsy. Once, I cut my finger trying to get through security in the airport, and I didn’t have a bandaid–I was bleeding all over myself and my stuff! So I like to keep a few bandaids in my bag.
  5. Tampon: for obvious reasons (:
  6. Pen: while I typically just use black ball point pens, I’m loving these Staedtler felt tip ink pens. They come in all different colors, and they make me feel special when I use them.
  7. Chapstick: I go through lots of different types of chapstick. Right now at work, I just use the grocery store brand (I know, I know, but it seems to work pretty dang well!). I also love Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Peach Kiss.
  8. Gum: After lunch or coffee break, I like to pop some gum. Extra is always refreshingly minty, and helps take care of any lingering coffee breath.
  9. *Contact solution: I’m trying to always have contact solution with me, because my eyes tend to get really dry in the afternoon.

*not pictured

So, those are all the contents I keep in my “emergency” bag! I’m always trying to keep it well-stocked and efficient. If you have any suggestions about what else I should toss in there, let me know on Twitter @kellytraut.


Picks from Pinterest: Refresh

It’s been a while since I wrote a Picks from Pinterest post! So here goes, the first one of 2016, here are some of my recent pins:

january 2016

  1. This leopard bread is gorgeous.
  2. I love the idea of hanging a gallery wall in the bathroom.
  3. This orange sweater pairs perfectly with a black + white midi skirt.
  4. It would be amazing to decorate a party with these DIY paper stars.
  5. Delicate jewelry makes me so happy, and this cactus necklace is no exception.
  6. Pink is my favorite color, and this dusty rose is going on my dream-home list.


Currently I’m…January

The past 2 weeks have gone by in a blur. I moved from Colorado to Florida, started my first full-time clinical rotation in Occupational Therapy, and spent this last week soaking up as much knowledge as I could from my wonderful supervisor.

Things are a little overwhelming for me still, but I’m hoping that with each day I gain confidence in myself and in my knowledge. I’ll share more about my experiences in Fieldwork (clinicals) in a later post.

Here’s a little bit about what I’ve been up to in January so far:

January 2016

What have you been up to in January? Tweet me @kellytraut. I’d love to hear from you!



I always appreciate the beginning of January as an opportunity to reflect on my life over the past year, and to make goals and create wild dreams for the new one. While I don’t typically make resolutions, I like to set intentions for what I’d like to accomplish, or values/feelings I’d like to embody in the new year. 

Last year was a big one for me. I really came into my own in Pittsburgh in grad school. I made lifelong friends in school, and we cried and laughed and suffered and thrived together. I spent the whole summer vacation back home in Colorado, and realized I missed it more than I had thought. And last term, after more meltdowns than I can count and frustrated phone calls to my parents, after reaching the point of complete mental and physical exhaustion weekly only to rejuvenate myself and then be quickly pushed back down, I finally finished my last academic term of grad school. I realize, I’m making it sound really bad. Let me just say, I’m so glad I pursued this path, because the hard work I’ve put in will take me where I want to go in life. But I think I have to be honest with myself: I wasn’t happy, my life wasn’t balanced, I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. 

New Year.

I’m starting this year out with a great big adventure. New city (and state!). I don’t have any family here, nor do I know anybody. But the thought of starting over and carving out my own path and place in the world excited me. There will be great challenges to come, and hopefully I’m ready to face them as they crash over me like waves. 

This year, my intentions are family simple. I want to be kind, wholeheartedly, to others and to myself. I want to find joy and happiness in everyday life, in the small things that seem ordinary but make my days extraordinary. And I want to take the time to rekindle my old interests/hobbies, as well as explore some new ones, because I want to rediscover who I am without school. 

Phew. That felt heavy, but I needed to say it. Thanks for listening, always!