January 19, 2015


After nearly a yearlong sabbatical from blogging here at Lovely Explorer, I feel a tug to reenter the blogging community with full force. Still, it didn’t feel quite right to return to the same space where I wrote about books that I loaned from the library during what I fondly refer to as my “penniless summer” or the place where a chosen few listened when I worried about what my next steps would be after I graduated from college.
After almost two years out in the real world, I still read and I still worry but I do it differently. I do a lot of other things differently too. A new space that I've launched, allysondobberteen.com, reflects that. I plan to transfer my favorite content from LE to this new space (after all, I’m the same ol’ me deep down) but in a new way. In short, AD is a travelogue, a lifestyle blog, and, in small part, a portfolio. Similar to Lovely Explorer but with the ability to grow as I do a bit easier. I would love if you'd join me in the journey! 

September 28, 2014


I've missed this. Man, I've missed this. I've craved creativity and longed for more lovely. I have an urge to explore, even if it's exploring my walk to work or the park around the block or the sweet assortment of friendships that are blooming around me. So my new sidekick, a Canon Rebel SL1, and I will explore.

Here's to getting back to the basics and beginning with the here and now. No promises. No rules. Just living life and sharing a glimpse of how I see the world, with the world. 

January 6, 2014


+ if I was braving the cold... 

+ if I was settling in...

+ if I was taking a snow day... 

+ if I was preparing for the long winter ahead...

January 1, 2014

2014 // THE YEAR OF

+ healthy habits. Ironically, this is something that I feel like I generally already have a habit of. I want to continue to exercise and eat balanced meals like I have been. I'd also like to develop healthy sleep habits, a stellar skin care routine (I'm the worst at this), a focus on flossing, a one-a-day vitamin reflex and financial budgeting habits as I get in the groove of being a full-fledged grown up.

+ finding and following passions. Not something I'm great at right now, perhaps it's all of those habits. I want to be better at following my gut and getting excited about things. I want to invest time (and maybe money) in the things and people that make me feel alive. I want to take risks when I feel that pit in my stomach telling me I should. I want to push the envelope and make myself better at being.

+ simplicity. Need I say more? I want organization. I want clarity. I want to live simply and live well.

What is 2014 going to be the year of for you?

December 30, 2013


+ I set some goals, and struggled with them.
+ I took a 40 day hiatus from tv.
+ I hit a blogging milestone and added "guest blogger" to the resume.
+ I felt 22.
+ I went tech-crazy and fell in love with my iPhone.
+ I shared (a small portion) of my planning and prep for France.
+ I graduated from Butler University.
+ I took a trip across the pond, to Paris for 6 days, too. many. posts. for. one. link.
+ I landed my first full-time job and decided to make a go of it in Indianapolis.
+ I moved into my first grown-up place, a townhouse, with two roommates.
+ I attended my first professional tennis tournament, and loved every second.
+ I hit the refresh button on the blog and launched my favorite series yet, If I was.
+ I did a little catching up on the Future 101 list.

December 28, 2013


My Future 101 list, the list of 101 things I'd like to do relatively soon, is slowly inching towards being more check marks than empty boxes. A bittersweet feeling! With my unintentional blogging break, I didn't share far too much. So, let's catch up!

[x] Move into my post-collegiate apartment or house.
Moving into a townhouse counts, yes? I still owe you a townhouse tour, but that would require me to do some significant cleaning. My two roomies and I are loving our digs, despite the frustrating absentee landlord and lack of cupboard space.

[x] Buy a new laptop.
I used some of the money I've saved up over the course of my short professional career and purchased a '13 Macbook with retina display. It's everything that I ever wanted, and best of all, my old laptop made it long enough to make transferring my files a breeze.

[ ] Complete 30 Days of the 30 Day Shred.
Okay, so I didn't complete this. I'm changing it to read "Join a gym" because I did, and I love it. It's been surprisingly easy to fall into a healthy lifestyle. The small monetary investment helps me to rationalize my schedule and force myself to hit the treadmill consistently.

[x] Subscribe to at least four magazines that I can't get enough of.
I'm officially a subscriber of National Geographic Traveler, Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Harper's Bazaar. NG Traveler definitely takes the cake though!

[x] Bike on the Monon trail.
Now that I live less than a block away from the trail, I've found myself grabbing the bike on days when my running shoes look too tiring. We've even reached for the bikes rather than jumping in the car when we feel fro-yo cravings coming on.

[x] Buy a great bookshelf or a live in a place with a great built-in.
This was actually one of my first purchases in the new place. It's a bookshelf/tv stand combo and is absolutely perfect for the space. A target purchase for $80, and it's still one of the things I love the most about my room in the townhouse.

[ ] Save at least $2,000 for travels.
Progress! I've got $700 saved and have plans for tucking even more away.

[x] Visit a graduated friend in their new town.
Jamie, Layne and I made a weekend of visiting Taylor in Chicago. It was a weekend that we all wish we could live again and again - the kind that reminds you what friendship is all about. I left Chicago already missing it, and missing Taylor more than when we had arrived (have you ever forgotten about how much you miss someone until you see them?) We managed to have a drink on the roof of Taylor's building, hit the major Chicago sights, do some shopping, hit the Hubbard Street bars with Taylor, her (now Fiancé!) Michael and their windy city friends, and brunch with my cousin.

[x] Find a church.
My friend Julia and I made an effort to settle into a church routine this fall. We choose one church in midtown Indy and have made it our own - joining a small group that meets on Sunday nights and (soon) volunteering with the 2-3 year old classroom for sunday school.

[x] Go to an Indianapolis Indian's game.
This summer, a few friends and I saw an Indian's game or two. It's good fun to sit on a lawn surrounded by fellow Indianapolis dwellers and relish the summer. I miss these days now that winter has come for good!

December 23, 2013


With new design software comes new projects to try my hand at. Perfect timing for a quick little Christmas card to spread cheer! We went with a uber traditional saying. "Merry Christmas" to satisfy all members of the family, although I was partial to a "Joyeux Noel" to french-ify it. It seemed only fitting that we use pictures from our favorite day in Paris, and arguably our favorite day of 2013.