Northwest Native: July 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites and Astleigh for The Pick!

Number One: Cute pajamas!

I get reeeeally hot when I sleep (see favorite number two) so I have to wear shorts or a nightgown to sleep in or I die. I do love me some cute flannel pajama sets to lounge around in (I have a super cute penguin pair from Munki Munki--but I also love this short-sleeved set, especially the 'bakery' print!) but I need some more cute pajamas I can actually sleep in. Forever 21 has some super cute pairs! They're really cheap too, but I assume I'd have to pay for shipping, which I basically refuse to do...and going into that store is a nightmare. Oh well, a girl can dream.
Whales // Glasses
I had a pair of Forever 21 pajama shorts a few years ago and they were insanely short. Like practically underwear. Does anyone know if their PJ sets are that intense? Because I want shorts that cover my booty.

Number Two: Knowing you're not alone.

This article from Cosmo is hilarious. This is absolutely me. The thing that makes it worse is I also get cold really easily! It has to be a perfect mid-temperature or I have to be wearing the perfect amount of clothing to be comfortable. Unlike the article, I can (and have to) wear a coat when it's cold, but if I'm walking briskly (which is always) I get really hot! The worst is walking in the cold all layered and then getting where you're going and it's all heated inside. Ick.
via
In relevant news... #toodamnhot

Number Three: Actually being able to work out!

Calling all runners (or literally anyone who has had shin splints)! While I was at my parents' last weekend, I developed some gnarly shin splints. I credit it to Tully having to run FULL SPEED every time she saw my mom outside...and dragging me behind her wearing my not-so-supportive sandals. (Michael says it takes weeks for shin splints to develop...but that doesn't seem likely in my case...anyone know how long it takes to develop them?) It hurt with every step I took (even just walking). I didn't work out Monday or Tuesday and I stopped feeling the pain. Then on Wednesday I got on the treadmill and I started feeling the pain almost immediately. I ended up pushing to a mile but I just couldn't run anymore after that the pain was so bad! When will they go away?! Is there anything I can do to speed up the process? Help a sister out!

Number Four: Apartment envy!

I am DYING over Courtney's post showcasing her apartment decor! It is so clean, organized, put together, and cute! I'm not posting a picture because I don't want anyone pinning it from my post and getting directed here, so go check it out! She also has a French Bulldog named Waffles who is adorable. My apartment/house will never look as good as hers. This gives me anxiety about the state of my apartment. (Seriously...it currently looks like it's occupied by hoarders. I hate it.)

Number Five: Crossbody bags for fall from Target!

I love all three of these bags from Target! I love that they're fall colors, but they're not black, cognac, or brown like I normally gravitate toward. My favorite is the gray because I'm loving fringe and haven't added anything with fringe to my closet. I want to see them in person first, but I'm considering returning the tote I bought from Nordstrom. It's just bigger than most purses I normally carry and it's not a crossbody...but it's so pretty...I'm torn!
 Fringe
 Foldover
Buckles

Number Six: Hilarious tweets

I actually don't have Twitter anymore, but one of my favorite things to read are collections of funny tweets. This list from Buzzfeed had me laughing until I was crying. I'll be honest, it was Monday night right before bed when I stumbled upon this, so I may have been a little delirious. But this tweet was one of my absolute favorites.

That's it for this Friday! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Liebster Award!

Last week, Jenna from Jenna Grace nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thanks, Jenna!
You guys know I love my surveys...so I'm excited to answer the questions and nominate a few fellow bloggers to do the same!

What is one item you could not live without? This is way too hard. I guess I'd say my computer. This makes me sound like one of those people who doesn't pay attention to real live people and just stares at a screen instead but I promise I'm not! I just figured food and water were a given, and ice cream and coffee fall under those categories so...computer it is. I can contact my friends and family using it, blog, watch TV and movies, shop, and listen to music. It's just very multi-purpose.

What is something/someone that makes you laugh? Michael, of course! Whether he's saying weird things, teasing me about blogging, or walking around in my patent tweed wedges (yes, this happened), that guy is always making me laugh.
If you could ever change your first name, what would it be and why? I used to be obsessed with the name Autumn, and then I wasn't anymore. I also love Peyton, and it's not reserved as a future child of mine's name so that could be an option... But really, I think I'd keep my name, even though people constantly ask me if it's short for something or spell it with D's instead of T's.

What's the story behind your blog name? Naming my blog was the absolute worst part about starting a blog. Basically, I've lived in Oregon and Washington my entire life sooo I am a native of the Northwest. Pretty self-explanatory. I kind of wish it was catchier/more clever, but I wanted to start my blog then, not brainstorm for weeks.

What is the best thing you have splurged on? Most of the expensive stuff I own was paid for by my mom. But I purchased my Kate Spade purse earlier this year on crazy sale for $178 (regular price is $298!). You can see what I keep in this baby here!

If you could spend one day with any celebrity, who would it be and why? I have to agree with Jenna--I don't think I'd want to. There are plenty of celebrities who I think would be awesome to be friends with (Jennifer Lawrence, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Taylor Swift, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler...), but I feel like just spending a day with them I'd feel like a charity case. They're spending time with me because they're famous and I won something or it's for publicity or whatever. I don't think I'd like that. Plus I think I'd be super awkwardly starstruck anyway.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A mom, a ballerina, and an apple picker. Yes, I actually wanted to be an apple picker.

What is your favorite place in the entire world? This is way too hard. I guess I'd say my parents' house, aka my childhood home. It's just comforting. And now when I visit, Michael and my pups come with me, so my little family and my parents are all there, which I love.

If you had a super power what would it be? I would pick flight, hands down! You know I hate traffic, and if I could fly, I'd never have to deal with it!

What book are you currently reading? The Martian. I started it on Sunday and I can already tell it's going to be a slow read.

I nominate Emily @ a little bit of emily, Liz @ Sundays With Sophie, and Blake @ Thirteen Ninety Eight! (I nominated bloggers I hadn't nominated for loves & hates! I have another post like this coming up next week, so you may be nominated in that post if you weren't nominated for this or loves & hates!)

-Mattie

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Budget [2015]

I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers today to show you my purchases for the month of July. Normally my budget includes purchases from multiple stores. July's budget has a lot less variety. The reason for this can be summed up in three words: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. You'd better believe I have to shop this sale every year!

First I'm going to shock you all by saying I bought the Sam Edelman Gigi Sandals that I haven't shut up about (not the shocking part)...but I returned them.
One // $69.95 When these arrived I was giddy, as you all would expect since I've posted my love of them a million and one times. It took me FOREVER to get them unbuckled. Getting the end of the strap through took tons of time. I think I even started sweating. And then getting the little metal thingy out of the hole was even worse! And then of course there's the second shoe... Anyway, I got it done, put them on and buckled on the loosest one and it just felt tight. And I was like...ehhh. Also I wanted to put that $69.95 toward Anniversary Sale stuff if I wasn't absolutely in love with the sandals. So back they went.

All right. This is where it gets good. Time for the Anniversary Sale picks!
One // Two
One // $52, sale price $33.90
Two // $78, sale price $49.90 Returned, sleeves too tight.
Three // $39, sale price $25.90
Four // $28, sale price $17.90 Returned, super sheer and clung instead of hanging like in the picture.
Five // $48, sale price $31.90 Returned, I LOVED the back, but the neckline looked too much like nightgown on me. I also tried on the other dress right after and that made it clear I should return this one.
Six // $64, sale price $41.90
Seven // $54, sale price $35.90
Eight // $48, sale price $31.90
Nine // $64, sale price $41.90
Ten // $64, sale price $41.90
Eleven // $42, sale price $27.90 - $20 Nordstrom note = $7.90


There turned out to be one last minute non-Nordstrom purchase!

Twelve // $24.99, on sale for $19.99 - $15 Target gift cards - 5% REDcard discount = $4.74

$285.94 - $12.80 (Poshmark sales) = $253.14

I spent about a normal two months' worth of budgeting. I purchased all of my Nordstrom purchases on my Nordstrom credit card. I had a credit of about $50 on my card from a purchase I had made, paid off, and then ended up returning, so the balance ended up being a little less scary. I've already paid off the balance (before my statement was even ready) and I'm somehow not broke! That $20 note that I used was earned before the sale, but with all the triple and double points on most of these purchases I've earned another that I can spend later. (Like in September, because no way am I shopping in August after this spending frenzy.) Oh, yeah, and I bought the dark wash jeans instead of the light wash jeans because I just prefer dark wash. And these fit so well, so I'll just replace my other dark wash jeans. And I can buy some light wash ones later, maybe with my other $20 note!

I also think the sale has rekindled my love of Nordstrom. Not that I ever lost it, but I was shopping at Old Navy and Target a lot, and this has made me want to go back to Nordstrom more...which could be dangerous.

June Budget
May Budget

-Mattie

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weekend Recap: Parents & blog friends!

I had a great three-day weekend at my parents' house! I told you already that on Thursday night we hung out and talked, I tried on my Nordstrom purchases (I decided on three returns), and then I eventually wrote a super quick Friday Favorites post.

On Friday, my mom and I took my car to be serviced early in the morning. By early I mean before 8, but Tully woke me up at 5:30 a.m. every day this weekend like clockwork, so it didn't feel like it was that early since I'd been awake a couple hours already. It may be my favorite that the dogs love exploring here, but it's not my favorite that Tully wants to start exploring that early.

Michael and I had to take my parents' giant extended cab truck with a canopy to run errands, since my car was in the shop. Michael wanted to try driving it, and he fell in love. My parents don't really use the truck, so he said he wanted to buy it from them. (It's a 1997, so it would actually be affordable.) This is the same guy who never ever wants to drive my Honda Civic. I'm from a small town with lots of big trucks, high schoolers who drink on logging roads, and people who chew. I'm not really into country music or cowboy boots or big trucks. Michael is from a more urban suburb. He went to private Catholic school complete with uniforms. He seems even less likely than me to be into big trucks, so it was really funny to me how much he loved it.

Friday night we went to dinner at a restaurant in Longview that I had never been to. It was soooo good.
I had a lemon drop, which was pretty good. And Michael creeped/photobombed. There was bread with olive tapenade too.
We got tuna tartare as an appetizer. I'm usually not this adventurous, but I actually really liked it, especially with the avocado and the wonton chips. I had shrimp scampi pasta, but I didn't take a picture.
Okay, I'm in love with bread pudding. This was the best I have ever had. (No raisins or nuts, yay!) It was HUGE. I may have eaten the leftovers for breakfast the next day. I mean, it's practically french toast, right?

On Saturday we headed to downtown Portland to make some returns to Nordstrom. My mom also found the dress she may be wearing to my wedding! And...I got to meet Katie and her husband Justin! We just chatted for a while in Nordstrom, so it was brief but fun! I'm looking forward to being able to actually get coffee or drinks or lunch one day when I'm in Portland for longer.
I had to crop out my feet because I was wearing my gold sandals and they looked weird. I only brought shorts and my white jeans home with me, and I only brought my gold sandals and my running shoes. It ended up being rainy, so I wore my gray jeans from the Anniversary Sale. The outfit was fine...except the shoes really didn't go very well. Katie and I both have this top. I found it through her blog, she found it through Christina's. It was a blog chain reaction. :) Oh, and my mom gave me this Kendra Scott Rayne necklace that she bought me in the sale as a surprise. It's my only KS jewelry because I'm way too cheap to pay for it myself, but I love it!
Jeans - Top - Necklace - Jacket

Michael came over while I was writing this part of the post. He likes to tease me about blogging. He puts on this cheesy voice and commentates. This was his alternate caption for this picture: "Oh my gosh. This is when I got to meet my best blog friend, Katie. Her husband's name was Justin, they got there just in time to meet. Lol, that was such a good joke. I'm so proud of myself right now." It cracked me up.

After Nordstrom we went to lunch at Punch Bowl Social. I was OBSESSED with the decor, and the food was great too!
My mom and I both had blueberry lemonade.
So, bacon jam is my new favorite thing. We ordered the deviled eggs appetizer, and they're topped with bacon jam. My delicious burger also had bacon jam on it. After we got home on Saturday, we just sat around and my best friend happened to be in town so she came over for a while, which was really great!

On Sunday we just hung out. We watched St. Vincent but I slept a little bit because...5:30 a.m. wake-up calls every morning. There was crazy traffic on the way home, so we decided to take back roads. There was apparently an hour and fifteen minute delay through Olympia and another twenty five minute delay through Tacoma. Taking the back roads (through tiny towns and farm country) only saved us about five minutes over sitting in traffic on I5, but I'd much rather be moving the entire time than be sitting on the freeway forever. Plus, our route was much more scenic!

We were starving by the time we got home, so we just ordered pizza--a gluten free one for Michael, and a regular one for me.

I always love my weekends at home! And my pups loved their small town neighborhood walks every day. I hope everyone else had a great weekend. I'm linking up with Biana for Weekending and Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

-Mattie

Monday, July 27, 2015

Favorite Things: Red, White & Blue

 I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for Favorite Things! Today's theme is red, white, and blue. I'm also linking up with Ashley for Monday Madness!

First, I figured I should pay tribute to my beloved anchor top. The top two pictures are from two separate times this month when I wore the top. I had already taken the second picture with this post in mind. Then I wore the top again, forgetting I already took a picture and took the first picture. The first picture is actually a recreation of one I took back in 2013 when I had just bought this top and also just chopped off my hair. I was going to post it but apparently it's no longer in my phone.
The bottom right picture is what I wore on the 4th last year--white scalloped shorts and (shocker!) the anchor top. (I'm sure I was wearing the same white necklace, which I always wear with this top.)
I was about to list the top in the bottom left outfit on Poshmark. It has a collar, and the back is all crocheted on top. I felt cool in this outfit. I don't know how to describe what I mean, but I just did. It was so simple but still felt like a great outfit at the same time. So glad I kept the top!



This next outfit I wore to work one day (when it wasn't crazy hot here...but it was still way too hot for outdoors in the summer--but the office is always over air-conditioned so it worked out). Anyway, it felt like a very grown up and professional red, white, and blue outfit. (Although it's technically burgundy, white, and navy but that's what made it so 'fancy'.)
I didn't get any pictures wearing it and I was way too lazy/boiling hot in my apartment to ever just put it on again for the purpose of taking a picture. So I did one of my flat-lays that is like the ugly step-cousin of real fashion bloggers'/Instagrammers' flat-lays.

This next outfit was accidental. And it's one of my new favorite outfits! Two of my recent favorite outfits have three items in common: swing tank, lariat necklace, and shoes. (See my other favorite outfit in this post.)
swing tank - lariat necklace - skirt (similar, similar) - shoes (similar, similar)
The first similar skirt is the same style of skirt, but it only comes in prints right now. The second is a different style, but the 'flaming tulip' color is the same color as this one. The jacket was a freak Anthropologie find. I don't shop at Anthro because I'm too poor, but I asked my mom for a $78 tunic for Christmas. It was backordered but came in time, and then it was too small. So I exchanged it for a gift card and this beauty was on major sale for $69.95. After tax, I had about $1 left on my gift card. Should I host my first giveaway for a $1 Anthropologie gift card since I know I'll never use it? :)

I'm guessing most people didn't interpret this prompt as red, white and blue clothing, but I don't really have anything else red, white and blue in my life!

Completely Unrelated...

I stumbled upon these shoes last night. I know I'm not supposed to buy shoes...but the two colors I like are $5 off right now, and I have two $5 Target gift cards. That brings them to $10 (and then I have the 5% off with my REDcard and 2% cash back via eBates). So, my question is, which color do you like better? Do you like them at all? Has anyone seen them in person, and if so, did you like them? The reviews on Target's website are mixed and I trust my readers' opinions, so let me know!

At first I wanted the black, but I kind of like how different the pewter is.

-Mattie

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites: The post that almost wasn't.

It's Friday and I'm off work chilling at my parents' (air-conditioned!) house! I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

I almost didn't post at all today. It's 10:53 on Thursday night as I'm typing this. We got here around 8:30 and just hung out, ate, and I busted into my Nordstrom packages! I contemplated not posting at all and Michael said I would regret it if I didn't. I think he's right. I've posted every weekday so far since I started blogging at the end of April. I know one day I'll take some breaks but not yet!

I'm not going to format this post my usual way, because I'm kind of having some writer's block and I think paragraph form will be easier right now. Plus, why not switch it up?!

My favorite shopping partner is my mom! On Saturday, we're going to Nordstrom in the Portland area to make some Anniversary Sale returns together! She also wants to look around for a mother of the bride dress, which will be exciting! We're dragging Michael along with the promise that he gets to choose where we go for lunch. Also crossing my fingers that I'm able to meet up with Katie while we're in Portland! (Stephanie, you busy Saturday? :))
-insert picture of me with my mom here-
(We're really bad at getting pictures together. Also my parents' Internet is being really slow so I don't have the patience to let all my pictures load and find one.)

My parents' house backs up to the woods and they have a pretty large yard. There are birds, squirrels, raccoons, and deer (and probably some other wildlife) around. One of my favorite things is how excited my dogs are to be here! They hate going outside at home, because it's just a courtyard with a small patch of fake grass, and there's traffic surrounding the block that our building takes up. They love running around and smelling everything here.
This was taken at our apartment a few months ago...apparently I hardly ever take pictures of both dogs together. I had to scroll so far to find non-individual shots (that I hadn't posted already).

As I was scrolling looking for a picture of both pups, I stumbled across this gem, which is one of my favorite pictures with my siblings!
Even as a child I had no idea what to do with my hands in pictures. #awkward4lyfe
Should I bring back the bangs with the part in the middle? And the Osh Kosh B'gosh from head to toe?

And I'm going to wrap it up! I'm tired and I'm just proud that I ended up posting at all!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

-Mattie

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cheers to three years!

July 20th (Monday) was my third anniversary of being with this gem! [I know, I probably should've posted this on the 20th but I have this thing about routine. I wanted to do a weekend recap, as usual, I wanted to do the Summer Reading Challenge link-up the day of, and I just had to do my love/hate list as soon as I possibly could because I was so excited. So, I settled for a belated celebration.]
Yes, he was at my bridal shower. His sisters decided to dress him up, even though they weren't in the running for the prize. And yes, he's making that heart with his hands on purpose.

In less than three months, we'll be married! I know some people think celebrating dating anniversaries are silly, but I like celebrating us every year (actually, twice a year since we have celebrated the anniversary of our engagement on February 8th twice now!). After we're married, we'll only celebrate our wedding anniversary, so I'm soaking up our last pre-wedding anniversary celebration!
This was taken the first time we went to an open house at the spot we ended up choosing as our reception venue! No, that's not his normal smile, he's just being a weirdo.

Last Halloween we both wore Ninja Turtles onesies and dressed Flora in her Packers jersey and Tully in a shark costume from Old Navy.

Here he is being hipster when we visited the pumpkin patch. 

Hahaha. If you didn't realize we were weird before, you will now. We went on a Ride the Ducks tour when my mom was visiting and got these free quacker noisemakers that look like duck beaks. We decided to do a super romantic kissing picture...with our beaks. Thanks for not being too embarrassed to take this for us, Mom.

This was taken last summer at the Mexican restaurant in my home town.

I can't wait to keep making memories like these!

We celebrated by going to the Grill from Ipanema on Sunday. It's a Brazilian steakhouse, which just means you stuff your face with delicious meat and salad bar offerings until you feel like you might explode. Super romantic. ;)

We also celebrated on Monday. We decided to make a fancy dinner. Whenever we buy fish, we buy the cheapest white fish. This time we went to the fancy grocery store (Metropolitan Market) and bought salmon and a fancy salmon rub, fingerling potatoes, and shrimp. I'll just be honest and let you know that Michael cooked it all. I'm kind of iffy on shrimp, so I always tell him he has to make sure it's super flavorful. This sounds weird, but he 'pickled' it--not really in a jar or anything, he just put it in the fridge with vinegar and whatever else you need--and it was really good! Obviously we had to get dessert, so we picked up some gelato to eat at home too.

Today I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo for Thankful Thursday because I am so thankful for this guy!

-Mattie

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Loves & Hates

So I noticed this little thing going around the blogging world where you list ten things you love and ten things you hate, then nominate ten bloggers to do the same! I really wanted to do it. I considered just doing it without a nomination. But then Emily @ a little bit of emily nominated me! Thanks, Emily! (Side note: Literally every one of Emily's loves/hates could've been my own. I may even list some of the same things, but not on purpose! And I'm too lazy to go back and check to make sure.)


Before I get into my list, I thought I'd list my nominations. This was really hard you guys. I tried to pick bloggers that I thought might actually come see their nominations. And Emily had nominated a few that I had in my head to nominate! I read all of these ladies' blogs...so if one of you has already done this and it was before I started reading or I forgot (I didn't go back to check...and I read a lot of blogs so I don't remember off the top of my head) you obviously don't have to do it again. :)


Without further ado, my ten loves and hates!

LOVES

  1. The water - My dad is a retired tugboat captain, my hometown is right on the Columbia River, we owned a speedboat, tugboat, a few other boats, and a little one room house that floated on the river. We used to go tubing every summer. We also went to Chelan every summer when I was growing up and I loved swimming in the lake and going to the water park. I've always loved the water and swimming. Living in Seattle, I love that I see the water at least once every day!
  2. Gluten - This sounds really weird, but hear me out. Recently, Michael self-diagnosed himself with a gluten sensitivity, so now we can't eat gluten. (I can, but if we're making dinner together, it's not going to contain gluten!) It made me realize just how many of my favorite foods contain gluten... Pizza, pasta (gnocchi is my favorite!), baked goods, burgers, sandwiches... I know you can get a lot of these things gluten free, but some restaurants don't offer that, sometimes it's expensive, etc.
  3. Online shopping - Okay, I know this one was on Emily's list. but I love online shopping too much to not list it. I never really thought about it until I read Emily's list, but my reasoning for loving online shopping over shopping in store is probably the same as hers: I don't have my favorite shopping partner--my mom--around!
  4. Romantic comedies - I know, I'm so typical. I just love these feel-good movies. Even Trainwreck had a 'romantic' (and still totally hilarious) ending...and I was seriously tearing up. Yes, I teared up at the end of a hilarious comedy.
  5. Reading - With the summer reading challenge going on, I've rediscovered one of my true loves--reading! I love a good movie or a Netflix binge, but reading really transports you somewhere else more than watching something ever will (at least for me).
  6. Coffee - And by coffee I mean coffee with nonfat hazelnut creamer, or a vanilla latte, white chocolate mocha...none of this black coffee nonsense. (I wish I liked it, though!)
  7. Popcorn - I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but when Michael and I go to movies, we usually get popcorn. And I always eat more of it than him. It's probably the only thing that I consistently eat more of than him. I blame my family. We often would just make popcorn for dinner when my mom didn't want to cook. We love popcorn. Michael can't just eat popcorn for dinner and sometimes that's all I want, which is sad.
  8. Penguins - Penguins are my favorite animal. I actually love birds. Pelicans are up there too. I even think pigeons are cute and my family thinks I'm insane (they call them 'rats with wings').
  9. Writing - By this, I mostly mean in the blogging sense. You've probably noticed that I don't really keep things short and sweet. I just can't. I need to include every last detail. I'm the exact opposite in person. I'm super quiet if I don't know someone very well. I guess I do talk a lot with people I'm close to, though.
  10. Fall - Fall is my absolute favorite season. October is my favorite month. I think it started because my birthday is in October, but I just love all things fall. The colorful leaves falling, pumpkin spice scents and baked goods (but NOT pumpkin spice lattes), wearing jeans, leggings, and boots...it's just the best. Plus I have a horrible tolerance for both heat and cold, but it's way easier to get warm in the cold than cool down in the heat when you don't have A/C!

HATES

  1. Pumpkin spice lattes - I felt like I had to list this since I mentioned it in my love of fall. I got a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks once and hated it. It tasted like soap to me. Never again.
  2. Mushrooms - I know, I know. "But they just soak up the flavors of everything around them!" You think I've never heard that before? It's the texture, people. I'm a big texture person.
  3. Doing laundry - I think a big part of why I hate this so much is because the area where our washer and dryer are is sooo cramped. If I had a full laundry room I'd probably still hate laundry, but definitely not at the level that I do now.
  4. Talking on the phone - Unless you're my mom, I probably don't want to have a lengthy phone conversation with you. I prefer talking in person.
  5. Typos - It doesn't bother me when other people make typos one bit. Honestly, I probably don't notice other people's typos most of the time. I read through my posts multiples times before posting them. I often preview them so I can see them as the reader sees them. And then I often preview them after they've already been published. And that's always when I notice typos, of course. I also realized that when I talked about Trainwreck two posts in a row...in one post I wrote Trainwreck and in the other I wrote Train Wreck. That was an awful realization.
  6. Loop giveaways - UGH. I hate these things so much. You better believe that if I ever start utilizing Instagram as a blogging tool, I will not be participating in any loop giveaways. (Note: If I ever do, please remind me of this and knock some sense into me!)
  7. Straight liquor - This makes me gag just thinking about it. I hate taking shots. I feel like it's going to come back up right when I take it (sorry if that's TMI). Ick. I also will never be one of those people who just sips on straight vodka or scotch or whatever.
  8. Crowds - I don't like to be in big crowds. I don't have an actual phobia or anything, it just annoys me. I think it goes along with my walking fast/hating when people stand in the middle of the sidewalk. I also feel like not everyone is considerate of other people in a crowd, which is really frustrating.
  9. Mascara problems - This just happened to me last week. Sneezing while putting on mascara or right after when it's still wet and getting it under your eye...the worst. And then I struggle to get it all off because I don't want to use eye makeup remover because then I feel like I need to take off all of my face makeup to make it even again. Ugh.
  10. Being kept awake - Oh my gosh Michael does this sometimes and it makes me want to get violent! Ha! Even if I'm not suuuper tired, it's hard for me to stay awake while watching TV. If we're watching TV or a movie before bed, sometimes Michael will yell at me to wake up every time I fall asleep. It's inhumane. Or sometimes when we've turned the TV off and have agreed to go to sleep (and I've fallen asleep or am almost there) he'll keep trying to talk to me or touch me or anything...without opening my eyes or anything I get this super whiney voice and I tell him to LET ME SLEEP! The dogs will also often keep me awake, either at night or they'll wake me up super early and not let me go back to sleep.
What's on your list?

I'm linking up with Holly for her Waiting on Wednesday series! Also linking up with Astleigh for the Pick!

-Mattie

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge Update!

The first month of the three-month Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge is over! If you want to see my introductory post to the challenge, the link is below.

Below is my progress thus far. I've included all the books I've finished along with a review.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Category: Young Adult
Pages: 466
Date Started: June 21st
Date Completed: July 2nd
When I saw there was a young adult book category I knew it was time to finally read one of the few Jodi Picoult books I hadn't read yet. The synopsis for this book explains the main part of the plot, but knowing Jodi Picoult, she threw a few twists in (no spoilers)! I remember at one point reading something that I thought was such a gay stereotype, which I thought was kind of weird. I know Picoult isn't anti-gay because she posted a really sweet message on Facebook on her (gay) son's wedding day or first anniversary (can't remember which!). I just thought maybe that could've been better. It's interesting because she writes from different perspectives, so you get some passages from the gay characters' points of view, and they express their disdain for how the church treats them. Then you have it from the religious character's point of view and he says only positive things about his church. I think Picoult did a good job of balancing it. I know her views on the issue, but she didn't bash religion. There were passages from the religious point of view talking about how amazing it is to be part of this community, etc. There were tons of twists in this book! I don't know if I just forgot how many twists Picoult's books contain or if there were more than usual. Some of them you could kind of guess before they happened, but in a good way. It wasn't like they were extremely predictable and boring, it was more like when you figured out a twist before it happened you felt like a genius.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Category: Kickass Female Character
Pages: 336
Date Started: June 21st
Date Completed: July 4th
I wanted to read Wild for quite some time. There was a lot of buzz about the book around the time it was announced that a movie was coming out. I knew I had to read the book before I saw the movie. I also wanted to read it because she currently lives in Portland and because the trail she hikes runs through Oregon and Washington. As I was reading this, and she was talking about all the horrible/painful/frightening things that happened to her on the Pacific Crest Trail, I found myself thinking, "I totally want to hike that one day." WHAT?! No I do not. I want to be able to say that I did. But I like showers and not having painful blisters too much. It was hard to put this book down. I always wanted to know what happened next and how each portion of the story would pan out. I originally had this in the one word title category, but then I didn't know what book to use for kickass female character. I'm glad I read this for this category because Cheryl Strayed is definitely one kickass lady. I can't imagine hiking that trail all alone. And she did it to overcome major personal hardships too (but I don't want to give them away!). It was crazy to me that with all of the dangers of hiking alone as a woman, the most dangerous thing wasn't bears or rattlesnakes--it was encountering men and not knowing whether they were good men or predators. I kind of felt like she spent way more time talking about her hike in California and then maybe got bored and rushed through the Oregon part. Maybe that's because in between talk of the California hike she included stories from her past, and she stopped doing that before she got to the Oregon part. I checked Google Maps and it turns out the place she ends her hike is an hour and a half from my hometown. I grew up right on the Columbia River, and she ends her trip on the Columbia River. I hadn't known before she mentioned in the book that the Columbia is the fourth largest river in the United States.

 The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Category: Recommended by a blogger
Pages: 394
Date Started: July 4th
Date Completed: July 6th
Wow I got through this one quickly. Probably because July 5th we declared no TV day. My mom had read this and told me that it was too predictable. So when I started reading, I came up with my guess as to what the letter was about. I thought I was probably right, but wasn't totally sure. My guess did end up being right. I also kind of thought the secret would come out later in the book, but it's pretty early on and then the rest of the book just kind of plays off of it. The one thing that bugged me is that supposedly this secret impacted the lives of these three different people. The book is told from three different points of view. One of them wasn't relevant to the secret at all. The lives of all three connected, but the third wasn't connected to the secret in any way. I found all of their stories interesting to read, I just thought it was weird to try and characterize it that way. This is my third Moriarty book, and What Alice Forgot remains my favorite. (Oh and this book was recommended by tons of bloggers--Liane Moriarty's books as a whole are, and the first time I ever heard of her was when a blogger was talking about this book. So that's why I chose it for this category!)

 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Category: A suspenseful book
Pages: 254
Date Started: July 6th
Date Completed: July 8th
After reading this, I've now read all of Gillian Flynn's books. I just have to say that I really hope she writes more! This book was so so so creepy! I think this is the creepiest of all of her books, by far. (I personally loved it, but if you can't handle creepy, this probably isn't for you.) It kept me guessing and thinking I was right then going back and changing my guess again. Toward the beginning of the book, a little boy talks about something he witnessed. It was a really creepy scene. I read that part at night before bed. Michael woke me up about an hour later asking if I heard the loud noise in our living room, and said it sounded like there was a person in there. It was horrible timing. So I would recommend maybe not reading this right before bed!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Category: On my TBR list for a year or more
Pages: 321
Date Started: July 9th
Date Completed: July 13th
Everyone said this book was really good. I was expecting a Marley & Me type of storyline. (I haven't read the book, but I saw the movie and I do love it, I just didn't want this to be the exact same.) It turns out this book is quite different. Part of that is that it's narrated by the dog himself, which made it interesting and at parts, funny. It was sad for many reasons, and had a complex plot (not hard to understand, just a lot of substance to it). I started it one day on my lunch break and almost cried. Oops. I finished it on the treadmill in the gym. Yep, I was crying and running. Thankfully, the sad ending is pretty short and I'm pretty good at holding back my tears when I'm around a bunch of strangers.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Category: Written by a comedian or celebrity
Pages: 344
Date Started: July 14th
Date Completed: July 18th
I was so excited to read this. I love Lauren Graham. Or at least I love Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman. Then when I started reading it, I wasn't sure. I did love how much the Franny's (the main character) wit and sass reminded me of Lorelai and Sarah, but I didn't know if I liked the story. It eventually sucked me in and I was sad when it ended! On another note, Leighton and Deena (two minor characters that Franny had drinks with) totally reminded me of Babette and Morey from Gilmore Girls. I don't think there was a reason for it, I think I just kind of made it happen in my mind because this book had me all nostalgic for Gilmore Girls. And Parenthood.


Here's how my list is looking now! I've crossed out books I've completed and put a note about where I got them. (I was honestly planning to buy every single one of these books until I got a library card, so I'm doing this to see how much difference this library card has made for me!)
  1. A YA Book - Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult library book
  2. Non US Author - Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. A book that was recommended by a blogger - The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty purchased on Kindle
  4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein library Kindle book
  5. A book with a kickass female character - Wild by Cheryl Strayed purchased on Kindle
  6. A book that is or will be a movie - The Martian by Andy Weir purchased on Kindle
  7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham library Kindle book
  8. A book with a one word title - Flight by Sherman Alexie
  9. A suspenseful book - Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn library Kindle book
  10. A book about summer/with summer in the title/somehow related to summer -  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart I hadn't chosen a book for this category in my last post. I narrowed this down to We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and Summer Sisters by Judy Blume based on recommendations. I put both on hold to see which one would be available first, and that's the one I chose. Both versions of this book were available almost immediately--I chose the Kindle version.
Completed: 6/10
 I know I said I didn't think I could read ten books in three months, but I think I'm actually going to be able to do it! For the record, I wouldn't have been able to if I hadn't joined the challenge and become more intentional about reading. Now I read if I have a few minutes before work in the morning or on my lunch break or when Michael is watching sports or something. Come back August 21st for another update!

Want more? Follow on Bloglovin' - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - Pinterest