Northwest Native: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Budget [2015]

Let me start off by saying I'm linking up with Fran for Franish's budgeting bloggers (a day late)! I started out this month on a shopping ban. I admitted in this post that I was giving up the ban. Instead, I decided to make a list of things I was allowed to purchase. I did pretty well! (I made this list after ordering the sweats and the tank from Old Navy.) I also gave up on setting a strict budget each month, because going over makes me feel guilty. But some months I'm able to spend more than others. I watch my bank account like a hawk, so if I see my funds are too low, I won't purchase anything.

In my wish list post at the beginning of this month I said I was going to order this jumpsuit and this romper from Old Navy, but I had a change of heart and apparently Old Navy did too. I decided that having the black jumpsuit was enough, and buying it in the pattern too just didn't make sense for me. I can't wear it to work, weekends are only two days, and I don't always even dress cute on weekends if we aren't doing anything. I would've loved to buy the romper, but when I went to place my order my size was sold out. So I decided to be practical. I've been wanting to buy some lazy/lounge pants that a) fit me and b) are at least semi-cute/presentable. And I can always use more tops (especially ones that aren't v-neck tees).
One // $19.94 - $7.55 (super cash) - $2.19 (20% off entire order) = $10.20
Two // $19.94 - $7.55 (super cash) - $2.19 (20% off entire order) = $10.20 Returned; I didn't like how the gray looked (rather, made my body look), but the black worked (they are super comfy!)
Three // $12.94 - $4.90 (super cash) - $2.18 (20% off entire order) = $5.86

Then there's this ever elusive shirt. I've wanted this since Katie posted it in April, before I even had this blog of mine. I tried ordering it, and then was notified that it was backordered until June 10th. I cancelled the order and got something else instead. I kept checking back in case someone returned it in my size or something, and it stopped saying, "backordered" when I clicked on my size and color so I immediately ordered it. They waited longer this time to tell me it was in fact still backordered. I made sure they didn't cancel it this time. So technically this was ordered in May, but I didn't pay for it until this month. Without further ado, the shirt I've been waiting for!
One // $48

 Once I decided to say goodbye to the shopping ban by creating a list of items I was allowed to buy (here), I bought the following four items.
When I returned the gray sweats from earlier in the post, I tried on some things at Old Navy. Before I went, I checked out the promo going on online so I could compare prices with in-store sales and online. I ended up with these two pieces. The pattern of my pants wasn't online at the time I added these to the post, so I took a picture of the pattern and put it in between the two pictures. I didn't check the price on the top before putting in my online order but now I wish I had...it's cheaper online than I paid in-store.
One // Two
One // $32.94 - $16.47 (50% off) = $16.47
Two // $22.94 - $4.59 (20% off) = $18.35

I ordered these things online from Old Navy when I got home.
 One // Two
One // $29.94, on sale for $22 - $6.60 (30% off) = $15.40
Two // $34.94, on sale for $30

I've had my eye on this swing tank for a long time. It's been 40% off for quite some time, and eventually I just figured I should go for it now while it's at the low price. I ordered black and ivory because they're basic (and this fits my wear to work and casually requirement!). I haven't received them, so I don't know if I'll keep them. I did have a purple-y one in college and I LOVED it. I just ruined it with deodorant stains...but now I've purchased some that goes on clear, so don't worry. :)
 One & Two
One // $28, on sale for $15.90
Two // $28, on sale for $15.90

I ordered two possible rehearsal dinner dresses from Nordstrom. I don't include wedding purchases in my budget. I'm lukewarm on one, keeping it a little longer so I can try it on again. The other I didn't like at all. I returned it and ended up buying this top (that everyone raves about) on sale. I also bought a necklace but I don't include jewelry in my budget because I never spend more than $10 and I'm like...that's two coffees. #budgetcheater
One // $38, on sale for $22.80

June Total: $198.88 - $6 (return from May) - $30.20 (Poshmark sales) - $1.08 (eBates)* = $161.60

So, that's a lot of spending. But four of the shirts I bought are perfect for casual and work. The dress pants were on my list too, and the soft pants can be worn casually or to work. That backordered blouse really got me. Since I ordered it so long ago, it didn't feel like I was actually spending the money this month. I purchased ten items but pulled waaay more items out of my closet to get rid of. I'm questioning the palm print shorts though. I love them and think they're so cute...but I'm not sure I have a top that will work with them! I may have to return them if I don't figure it out.

*Yes, eBates sent me a check for $1.08. I assumed you could choose when they sent you a check, but apparently not (ironically, they call them 'Big Fat Checks'--mine was not so big and fat). But my friend told me you could link your Paypal account instead so I promptly did that!
How did you do on budgeting this month?

-Mattie

Monday, June 29, 2015

Favorite Things: Summer Shoes

Today I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea for Favorite Things. Today's topic? Summer shoes! I normally live for boot season. I get sooo excited the first day of fall weather (I get so eager that sometimes it's as early as August, if I get lucky and there's an overcast day--but I usually overheat all day and decide to not wear boots again until about October). But this spring I found some awesome spring and summer shoes and I don't know if I'll ever be ready to go back to boots! (Most of these photos have been shared on this here blog already, so I'm sorry for the repetition!)

My first favorite pair is by Vince Camuto. I bought them back in March for about $80 (I think they were 30-40% off). They were well worth it. They also came in red and black, but the red sold out, then my color, and now it appears they are all gone! Below are just a few of the times I've worn them. These are crazy comfy. I got 103 active minutes (thanks, Fitbit!) one day walking to brunch and then from brunch to the library and back...wearing these shoes! I love that the heel is chunky. The leather is super soft and doesn't rub too!
I found a similar pair by Vince Camuto here!

I also ordered these black sandals in March. (I ordered these and the above sandals for my Mexico trip!) Nordstrom featured the black sandals on their Facebook page and I fell in love. I could've purchased these in both black and tan or the above shoes in both black and tan, but I like that I have both great neutrals in totally different styles! I love the chunky heel on these. Again, no rubbing! I can walk a lot in these.

My gold sandals are great! I'm not much of a flip flop person, so these are my substitute. When I first got them, they rubbed the inside of my foot. That stopped after the first wear, which I thought was weird. But anyway, I love the support that the footbed shape provides!

These wedges are by Dolce Vita and are from last year. They had so many different color combos, but I was drawn to the jade green and cognac pair. I don't wear these nearly as often as the above three pairs, but I adore them and they don't hurt my feet! And of course I can't wear them as much since they aren't completely neutral like the above pairs.
This is the most similar pair I could find by Dolce Vita.

I get tons of wear out of my faux Keds through pretty much all the seasons. I have a polka dot pair and a leopard print pair. All currently available colors can be found here.

I had to include these sandals. I don't even own them and I think I've blogged about them at least three times now. I mentioned in this post that they are the only pair of shoes I'm allowed to buy for the foreseeable future. (Maybe if I buy them I'll finally shut up about them!)

Can't wait to see everyone else's summer shoe picks (and not buy any because as I said I can only buy the above sandals)!

-Mattie

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites: Bloggy things & Blazers things & Buzzfeed things!

Yay for Friday! Repeat after me: I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites and April for Five on Friday!

All-Time Favorite!

This was added late...but my absolute favorite this week is that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage!
I took this about a year ago during Pride Week. The Space Needle was sporting a rainbow flag. :)

Number One: New blog design?

I have been wanting a cleaner, prettier blog design for a long time now. I never got around to looking into it. Maybe there is already a design within Blogger that would work, but I got to looking on Etsy and have found TONS that I love (all of the front runners are floral--no surprise there)! They're all around fifteen to twenty dollars. My question is--will someone like me who is definitely NOT super HTML equipped be okay installing the template with the instructions provided upon purchase? If I do purchase one that includes free installation (or I can add it on for an extra fee that seems reasonable) do I have to give them my password? That kind of really freaks me out since that's my Google password which is connected to so many things! Help! All suggestions/advice welcome!

Number Two: Cruise ship season!

We can see a tiny sliver of water (Elliott Bay) when we stand on our little balcony. Starting in May, that little sliver often gets covered by a giant cruise ship! Seattle is a hub for Alaskan cruises. This is my favorite because seeing the cruise ship just reminds me that it's summer! And it makes me happy that all those people on board are going on vacation or have just returned. Every weekend at four p.m., the ship blows their whistle and takes off! Michael's aunt and uncle went on an Alaskan cruise last summer so we got to see them when they returned to Seattle. Their son, Michael's cousin, went on a different one last summer so we got to see him and host him in our apartment for a couple nights before he left.
No cruise ship // Cruise ship
These pictures aren't great, but you can kind of get the idea. It looks way cooler in person, I promise. That little space between those two buildings is the basketball court where I beat Michael at HORSE last weekend. :)

Number Three: NOT LaMarcus Aldridge!

Ugh. I'm emotional about this. LaMarcus Aldridge was my absolute favorite player on the Blazers (Portland's NBA team, my team of choice) for years! Well, that jerk is a free agent and has decided to leave Portland (okay, this is not confirmed, but it's pretty strong speculation--that being said, if he ends up staying in Portland he will resume his position as my favorite player).
I am simultaneously crushed and extremely angry at him. Peace out, LA, you will not be missed by my bitter self! (I know, I know...he's a free agent...the point is he gets to choose where he goes...BUT HE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE!) I'm really happy I opted for a sweatshirt when I went to a Blazers game in December, rather than the XL children's Aldridge jersey (which was still $50! for a child!).

Number Four: Bloggers are people too.

Obviously bloggers are people. But it's crazy to actually meet the person behind one of your favorite blogs! I got to meet Katie this week because she was in Seattle for a wedding, and it was a lot of fun! Aside from the fact that she and her husband both beat me at Connect Four. #soreloser It's sort of funny that the first blogger I meet in real life is from Indianapolis...when I've talked to a couple of Seattle/Portland area bloggers about meeting up!

Number Five: Buzzfeed Funnies

Here are some things I found on Buzzfeed and loved recently!
This guy only ate burritos for an entire week. Note to self: NEVER do this with any food you love!
I love me some J-Law. She cracks me up and is so relatable.
Uhhh, does anyone want to get engaged at my wedding reception?! Because I would totally do this. :)

I feel like this post is a little weak (maybe because only two out of the five have pictures to go with them?). Sorry about that! I was pretty happy with my other four five posts (almost forgot I posted on Sunday!) this week though, so I'll call this week a win! :) Oh, and I'm going home this weekend, which I'm excited about!

-Mattie

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I've got baggage, y'all.

I wrote this post probably within the first week or two of having this blog. I was waiting for a day when I had writer's block, but then I realized it'd be perfect for Christina's link-up, 'Own it'! If you want to know some weird stuff about me, read on!

I thought embarrassing childhood photos were appropriate since I'm owning it! Above I'm wearing a 'tattoo choker' with beads on it. And how sweet are my Winnie the Pooh overalls?! It's okay to be jealous.

1. When I was little, I remember three things I said I wanted to be when I grew up. A mom, a ballerina, and an apple picker.

Yes, an apple picker. I had a romanticized idea of it in my head. I imagined just leisurely strolling through an orchard with a cute little basket casually picking apples. I didn't imagine hours on my feet constantly picking apples, likely in the hot sun.

2. When it comes to dessert, I'm a chocolate/caramel/coconut/marshmallow/whatever other delicious non-fruit sweets you can come up with person. I'll eat fruit desserts sometimes. In fact, whenever we go get fro-yo I always tell myself I should just get fruit as my toppings. Yeah, that never happens.

I'm also not a fan of what I like to call 'cooked fruit.' I especially hate cooked apple. Which means I hate apple pie. I realize this is un-American of me, and I'm okay with that. (I promise not all of these are about apples, just the first two, apparently...)

3. I also hate bits (as my family calls them). My brother and I share this trait. Brownies or banana bread with walnuts? NOPE. White chocolate macadamia nut cookies? PASS. Pecan pie? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I do, however, like crunchy peanut butter and sandwich bread that has all the seeds and stuff in it. True story, I used to refer to it as 'nutty nut bread.' Yep, I was a cool kid.

4. The first three of these all have to do with food in some way. I think that probably says more about me than the list of facts as a whole.

5. I get cold way too easily. I've lived in the Pacific Northwest my whole life. A lot of Californians went to my college, and probably 99% of them complained about the weather nonstop (tell my why you went here again?). Anyway, my freshman year roommate (who became one of my best friends) is from California and even she sometimes thought I was ridiculous when I was cold.

My hands and feet are also pretty much always ice cubes. I blame it on poor circulation since they're huge.

6. Once when I was little (probably about five), we were sitting down eating pizza for dinner. I was sitting next to my step-dad. He had a beer and I had a cream soda, and apparently the cans looked similar. I ended up spitting that beer out alllll over the counter. And then I ran into my bedroom and cried because I thought I was going to die. (Wait, you mean drinking alcohol before the age of 21 doesn't automatically make you drop dead?)

7. I hardly ever paint my fingernails. They end up chipping approximately 17 seconds after I finish painting them. And then I have to fight my desire to peel it off in the biggest pieces I can. My toenails, however, must always be painted.

8. We had two pet goats when I was a kid. The first was terrifying. He would run after you and try and butt you with his horns. His name? Tinkerbell. He was probably the scariest animal to ever have that name. (Yes, he was also a boy...named Tinkerbell. Maybe that's why he was so angry.)

Our second goat was named Blinkie. We got him when he was a baby (a kid, if we're using correct terminology here) and he loved me from the beginning. Blinkie would chase me too...but not in a scary way. We would tie a lead on him and I would take him into our yard, drop the lead, and run and he would follow me anywhere, as loyal as a Golden Retriever (honestly I've never had a Golden, but I feel like I heard they're super loyal?).

9. You know the handy trick we learned in elementary school about multiples of 9? Multiples of nine always add up to nine, and you just subtract one from the number you're multiplying it by, then the next digit will make it add up to 9. So, 9 x 8 = 72 because 8 - 1 = 7 and 9 - 7 = 2. Anyway, I loved that trick when I first learned it. But now it drives me crazy. This is weird, but I'm a numbers person. I hate that multiples of nine are in a never-ending cycle of 9. For example, 72. 7 + 2 = 9, 9 + 9 = 18, 1 + 8 = 9. IT'S JUST NINE FOREVER. The same goes for other multiples of three. 33...3 + 3 = 6, 6 + 6 = 12, 1 + 2 = 3. MAKE IT STOP! I realize this makes me sound slightly completely crazy.

10. And here's a number ten so we don't end on the dreaded never-ending nine. :)

Linking up with Astleigh for The Pick!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#photodump - 6/24/15

Sometimes you take blog-worthy photos and don't work them into a post. And then too much time goes by. And that's where the photo dump comes in. Enjoy a post of mine where I don't rant for paragraphs at a time!

I briefly mentioned that we stopped at my hometown's peony garden in between my bridal shower and bachelorette party, but I only posted one photo! #betterlatethannever #peonies #basic

Speaking of my bachelorette party...
It was a super low-key night on the Oregon coast. There weren't many pictures so I didn't do a full post on it. Here's the group! #Seaside #notdrunk

I haven't included the furbabies in a while. These were also taken at my parents' over my bridal shower weekend. #dogbutt

Yay for giant #margaritas and creepy #photobombs! // Somehow, no one brought donuts in to work on #NationalDonutDay, but someone did a week later, so I had a belated celebration. // I'm obsessed with mugs. I love the #nautical ones because I'm also obsessed with nautical things. And I love the other one because it cracks me up. I found all of these at Powell's in #Portland. #goodmorningasshole

Loving my new soft pants from Old Navy! They were a bit out of my comfort zone (as in I don't normally wear things in such bold prints or non-basic cuts/materials) but definitely in my comfort zone in the literal sense (it felt like wearing pajamas to work!). And yes, this is a work bathroom selfie. Because it's easier than trying to clean up the bedroom to take selfies there. :) #bathroomselfieforthewin

Our dogs destroy their toys as soon as they get them. Tully has a sixth sense for them, I swear. Any time I bring home new toys, even if they're in a paper bag and not sticking out of the top, she just knows. She will whine and bark at the bag until I either give her one of the toys or hide the bag really well. Here she is loving life with a new toy. #spoiled #diva

I know I said I hadn't included the dogs and now I'm just all about them...sorry if you're not a dog person. Flora and Tully get along and they love playing together, but sometimes they get territorial over sleeping spaces or food. On this morning they were practically spooning, so I had to take a picture. #bigspoonlittlespoon #puppycuddles #doggysideeye

Did you  notice my #hashtags? I'm participating in #hashtaghumpday for the first time! This link-up had me at hello. Ironic hashtags and Schmidt? #theseareafewofmyfavoritethings
#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo

-Mattie

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The end of an era.

I'm going to tell you all something. You're probably going to think I'm the most mentally and emotionally unstable person for this. Maybe I am. I've decided that shopping bans are not for me.

Found on Pinterest - couldn't find original source

I've been reading Fran's posts on building a cohesive wardrobe and these two posts (here, here) by Audrey that have inspired me. I decided to be more strict about getting rid of clothes. You may remember my post on de-cluttering from last week. When my huggable hangers came I pulled out a bunch of my clothes to transfer them over. In the process, I really scrutinized each piece of clothing that I don't wear on a regular basis. I ended up coming up with a lot more pieces to add to my Poshmark closet.

I decided that there are some things that I would like to add to my wardrobe, and will allow myself to purchase. I will mostly avoid purchases that do not fall into the categories below.

Something palm print - I love this trend. I'm not going to hold myself to a specific type of item, because I feel like that's too restrictive.

Tops that do double duty - My collection of v-necks is complete for the time being. I really need more tops that I can wear to work, but I'd like them to also work with jeans, white jeans, shorts, etc. on the weekend. Tops that are only made work appropriate with a jacket are included.

Dress pants - I kind of dread this, but it's necessary. I could wear dresses and skirts to work every day, but I just feel like I should have some dress pants. The two pairs I currently have are too big, and the black pair is faded. This can also include more lightweight pants that aren't technically dress pants, but that I can wear to work.

Dresses that do double duty - Ditto with the tops. I love dresses, and pretty much all of the dresses in my closet can be worn to work, at least with a jacket over. I do have one that's too short for work, and I want to stay away from adding more of those to my closet.

A-line skirt - I'd like an a-line (or really any non-pencil/body-hugging) skirt that is knee-length or maybe even midi-length.

Jeans - This isn't a dire need. I have two pairs of dark wash skinnies. If I find a pair of light wash skinnies that fit well and don't break the bank, I may purchase them. But I will not actively look for a pair.

Colorful, non-striped maxi dresses - Somehow I only have two maxi dresses. One is navy blue with white stripes and the other is black with white diagonal stripes (you could sort of call it chevron, but there's only one 'v,' not squiggles of them). I need to stay away from the all-neutral maxis and the striped maxis.

No shoes, with one exception - The only shoes I am allowed to buy are these in almond.

Maybe a cute romper - I think I have one romper currently and one jumpsuit. I'd like to add at least one more romper to my wardrobe.

My April and May budgets ended up both being right at $120, and that was before I had an actual budget set. I'm going to set $120 as the top end of my budget, but shoot for $100. Hopefully I don't always use that $20 buffer. Before I started blogging, I didn't have a set budget. I've always looked at my bank account frequently, often before I consider making a purchase of anything non-essential. Honestly, giving myself a budget has made me anxious about going over. I prefer doing a flexible budget (aka buying what I can afford). That also makes sense over a shopping ban. When I give myself a strict guideline or restriction, it makes me anxious. So maybe some months I'll only be able to afford to spend $50 and another I'll be able to spend $200. That works much better for me. (I'll still be doing budget posts monthly!)

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk! (Psst...my post on cold brew from last Tuesday was chosen as a feature by Sweet Little Ones! I'm so excited to be chosen! You can see my post and all other featured posts here!)

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Recap: Winning Weekend!

I'm starting my weekend recap off on Thursday. At about four on Thursday (while we were still at work), Michael said he wanted to do something. He suggested the Mariners game that night. So, we decided to go last minute! Luckily for us, we can walk to the stadiums from our apartment (it's kind of a long walk, but I was skipping the gym to go so I wasn't complaining!).
This is the view from our seats. It started sprinkling and the stadium has a retractable roof, so we got to see it close. It was fascinating! As a born and bred Northwesterner, I was rooting for the M's, but Michael's from the Bay Area, so he was rooting for the Giants. It worked out much better for him since the Giants won 7-0.

When I got home from work on Friday, Michael had cleaned up a bunch of the clutter around the apartment. It was the perfect surprise! Then he made us vodka sodas with lime and chili lime sauce (it sounds weird, but it was like a lighter version of a Bloody Mary). I drank mine while I made zucchini pasta for dinner.

We decided we need to watch less TV, so after dinner we played Up Words. We made it interesting--winner had to buy ice cream at Cupcake Royale. This was just the first time I won this weekend. :)
Enjoying my victory scoop--Stumptown coffee with fudge ribbons. It was delicious.

On our way back, I stopped to take a picture of the view. I love this city!

We also stopped at Cost Plus (it's about three blocks from our apartment, I love it!). I didn't buy any of this, but I choose my wine by the label and these two Ros├ęs had great labels. Rogue Brewing makes unique flavors and I thought the sriracha flavor was interesting.

On Saturday morning we had to get up early because Michael had an MRI (he has bad pain in his right shoulder--we're hoping he won't need surgery). I went to Starbucks for breakfast and to work on finishing The Girl on the Train in time to start the summer reading challenge I posted about yesterday.

Michael made Mexican chicken lettuce wraps for dinner and they were soo good (and healthy)! After dinner, we went across the street to this little basketball court and played HORSE. We played best two out of three and...I won! It really was a winning weekend. :) We'll just ignore the fact that since Michael's right shoulder is hurt (and he's right-handed) he had to shoot with his left arm.

On Sunday we went to brunch at one of our favorite places a few blocks from our apartment, CJ's. They have specials every weekend, and there's always a new french toast special. The first two times we went they had banana bread french toast and marionberry coffee cake french toast. I ordered the french toast special both times of course, and they were delicious. This time I just ordered their regular challah bread french toast (and a side of bacon). So good!

Michael asked if there was anything else I wanted to do. I thought about it and suggested we walk to the Seattle Public Library since I've never been. The outside of the building is really cool (the picture I got isn't great) and the inside didn't disappoint either!
I'm fascinated at how many books there are, even really obscure ones. I can't believe I didn't get a library card sooner. I'll save so much money now!

The rest of the day we read (I'm working on my summer reading challenge list and Michael checked out a giant book), went to the grocery store, and meal-prepped! And of course, we called our dads to wish them a happy Father's Day.

I think we did really well watching less TV! We were able to replace big chunks of time with a game, ice cream, basketball, time at the library and time reading the books we checked out! Plus there was a lot of walking thrown in, so we were able to get some exercise too. I think we'll definitely try to continue this trend, especially on weekends.

How was your weekend?

I'm linking up with Biana for Weekending!

-Mattie