Northwest Native: September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Goals [2015]

TOMORROW IT IS OCTOBER. Also known as the month that I get married! And...don't forget that Julie and I's second Tell Us About It link-up is tomorrow! The topic for tomorrow's post is favorite things about your state. This can be the state you grew up in, the state you live in now, your favorite state...or pick a few if you can't decide!
Now, on to the goals. First, I'll recap how I did on my September goals.

Reading
I finished Americanah by September 21st for the Summer Reading Challenge, meaning I completed my first ever reading challenge! I didn't get to Where'd You Go Bernadette? in time, so the library loan expired. And apparently, you can't renew loans on eBooks. But I'm still calling it a win because I read Eleanor & Park, I'll Give You The Sun, and I'm almost done with Left Neglected, in fact, I may finish it before October officially begins. I'll be reviewing these books next Wednesday. All three of those books were on my to-read list, and I will get back on the list for Where'd You Go Bernadette? at the library to read later.

Exercise
I did better for the most part! My Fitbit definitely helped motivate me, but I didn't get 10,000 steps every day in September. I let myself have relaxing days to focus on wedding planning, and also to focus on just relaxing because wedding planning can be stressful! So I think this is still a win. I was much more active this month than I was in months past.

Healthy Eating
I did a lot better! Yes, I cheated a few times, but I have to cheat or I will go crazy and binge. We also did one huge grocery shopping trip instead of trying to buy as little as possible at a time to save money. We never save money in the long run because we have to go back and buy more, so it made more sense to make the big purchase and have healthy food at home to eat.

Detox
I stopped drinking coffee every day at work! I think my lowest was either two or three days in a work week. I'm drinking it more now, and might go back to drinking it every morning at work, but I'm okay with it.

Drink more water!
Yes! I made sure to drink at least three 24-oz Camelbaks of water every day. And again, the Fitbit was really helpful here because you can enter the water you drink into it!

I'm feeling really good about my progress in September. I think I'll also be able to achieve October's goal...

GET MARRIED!
Yep, that's it. That's my one goal for October because come on, there's enough stress in my life with the wedding coming up, I don't need to be worrying about other things.

I'm linking up with Holly for Waiting on Wednesday and The Monthly Goals Link-Up which should be live tomorrow!
Monthly Goals

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Monday, September 28, 2015

September Budget [2015]

september budget 2015
Leopard Crossbody - $22.94, on sale for $22 - 20% off = $17.60 (returned)

Colorblock Sweater - $29.94, on sale for $19 - $6.23 (Super Cash) = $12.77

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Harris - $278, on sale for $139 - 25% off sale items = $104.25

Long Parka - $49.94, on sale for $47 - $17.85 (Super Cash) = $29.15 (returned)

Striped Colorblock Sweater - $26.94, on sale for $15 - 20% off = $12

BP. Stone Stud Earrings (Coral)$8 - 50% off = $3.98

BP. Stone Stud Earrings (Green)$8 - 50% off = $3.98

Kate Spade Wallet (Gold) - Originally $100, bought at Nordstrom Rack for $50

Handkerchief-hem Cardigan - $39.94, on sale for $32 - $12.15 (Super Cash) = $19.85 (returned)

Cutout-Pattern Tee - $19.94, on sale for $18 - $5.90 (Super Cash) = $12.10

Distressed Skinny Jeans (similar) -  $88, on sale for $52.80 - $17.90 (credit from return) = $34.90

Sleeveless Shift Dress - $29.94, on sale for $15 - 20% off = $12

Tassel Earrings - $38 - $6 (vault points) - 25% off discount code = $24

Boxy Plaid Top - $24.94, on sale for $24 - $7.87 (Super Cash) = $16.13 (returned)

$352.71 total - $82.73 (returned) = $269.98

$269.98 - $16.15 (Poshmark) - $24.02 (Plato's Closet) - $17.55 (Buffalo Exchange) = $212.26

So, I spent a lot. Actually, I'm shocked at how I came out just barely over $200! I'm pretty proud of that. Thank goodness for selling my old clothes! I also sent off my first bag to ThredUp, but I just sent it a few days ago so I won't see if they buy anything from me for probably a couple weeks.

I banned myself from purchases for the rest of September and October, but when I returned three items to Old Navy, I stumbled upon the Kate Spade wallet. My return had totaled over $50, and the wallet was $50...so I felt like it was worth it. I also saw the same wallet full price at Nordstrom for $100...then found mine at the Rack the same day. The only difference was the inside color. Mine must've been last season or something. Plus, I think the Kate Spade purse that I ordered might be more narrow than my current one, so I thought I needed a slimmer wallet. I currently have a Kate Spade wallet that zips (I sound like a walking advertisement for Kate Spade right now--apologies!), and it's quite thick. The gold one is much slimmer.

I'm going to go ahead and call the purse purchase a birthday present to myself. Although I may have further broken my shopping ban and purchased the booties that got away (in cognac). Seriously, I had my heart set on these last year. I got them for Christmas from two different people! But I didn't realize that you were supposed to size up, so both pairs (in my normal size) were way too small, and then they were sold out. They've been sold out this year, but when a pair one size up from my size showed up, I snatched them quick! I'm not including them in the budget because I don't know yet if they'll fit, and I won't know until October. I did buy a pair of brown booties last year when I returned the two pairs that didn't fit me, so if these end up working out I may end up selling the other booties.

Another thing, I don't normally include jewelry in my budget posts because I usually don't buy anything over $10, and I feel like that doesn't really even count because it's like buying a coffee (I know, I'm a cheater). But I included the studs I paid $4 a pair for. I included the tassel earrings because they're more expensive than my standard jewelry purchases.

And now because I feel like I spent a lot and want to make myself feel better about some of the great deals I got, I'm going to compare the retail price of all of my purchases (the ones I kept, this doesn't include the ones I returned) with what I spent. :)

$681.79 regular price - $269.98 paid = $411.81 saved (and that doesn't include any cash back from eBates or Splender*)

*I don't think I've mentioned Splender yet. I first heard of it on someone else's budget post last month. I don't remember who...if you posted about Splender in your budget post last month let me know and I'll link to you! So most of you probably know about eBates already. You start your shopping trips through their website and then you get a certain percentage cash back on your purchases from their partner sites.

Splender works the same way, but unlike eBates, Splender pays out monthly instead of quarterly. There is a $10 minimum cash back payment on Splender, but that's not too hard to hit. So these days when I'm going to make an online purchase, I check both eBates and Splender to see which has the higher cash back percentage. If they're equal, I use Splender because of the quicker payment time. (Of course, with most retailers you have to wait for their return period to be over before your cash back is fully set...so you won't always get your cash back payment the same month that you make the purchase.)

Totally almost forgot! I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers today, like I do every month! I'm also linking up with Katie and Stephanie for Final Friday Finance!

Oh! And another note. I've added a Shop tab to the blog. I have included a few of the items currently in store that I own as well as a few items on my wish list. I haven't been able to figure out how to pick which color shows up in the widget, so not all of the things I own are showing the actual color that I own, and not all of the items on my wish list are showing the color that I want.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Spotlight

Happy Saturday! I hope you have fun or relaxing plans for the day. We'll be getting more wedding stuff done, unsurprisingly! Today I'm doing a little Q&A over on My So Called Chaos for her Saturday Spotlight! Angie spotlights a small blogger every Saturday. I love that she does that! I hope if I ever become a big time blogger I can give publicity to smaller bloggers like she does.
I do have to admit that my answer to Angie's question of my favorite Starbucks drink is no longer accurate. Yesterday I tried the toasted graham latte and it is now my absolute favorite! For me, it's perfectly sweet, and I love the flavor. I was also unreasonably excited to get my first fall cup. I've been seeing these around Instagram for a couple weeks and I still kept getting the plain cups. I thought the perk of living in the birthplace of Starbucks was that we got stuff first! Apparently not. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites: Plaid & Presidents

I have a short and sweet post for you today! And I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites and April for Five on Friday!

The Chinese President is a major diva. He was in Seattle for a few days this week staying at the Westin. A few blocks around the hotel were completely closed off. Driving home from work one day, I drove right past the barricade and there were tons of cops and a police dog, who I can only assume was there to sniff for bombs and weapons. His motorcade was also something ridiculous like 78 vehicles or something. And they shut down entire stretches of freeway during peak rush hour traffic when he was on the move. Obama stayed at the same hotel a few months ago and literally nothing was shut down.

I am dying to try the toasted graham latte. I first read about it on Wednesday, and though the description, "almost burnt, in a good way" kind of scares me...I'll probably try it out on my lunch break today. I do wish it could be more s'mores like though, as the article mentions. Marshmallow syrup, anyone?

As if I didn't already want to watch Hocus Pocus badly enough... I actually didn't grow up watching Hocus Pocus every year. My best friend did though, and she got me hooked on it in elementary school or maybe even middle school. Now it's a classic in my mind and I will force my own children to watch it with me, whether they like it or not. (I'm going to be an awesome mom one day, you know? Haha!)

The second I saw this headline and picture I squealed with glee inside. Sweet old men and rescued pups coming together...what more could you want?!

I know plaid is a thing every fall, but this is the first fall that I've been crazy into it. The only plaid I own currently is a pencil skirt and vest from Old Navy last season. This year, though, I'm all about the plaid. I've tried like five plaid things with no luck now, so I scoured and found the items below to maybe try out! You can click the arrow button to scroll through the items. (The dress pants and the pea coat aren't showing the plaid color option, unfortunately. But the more that I look at that pea coat the more I'm convinced I need it in navy!)
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Bucket List

Happy Thursday! Today I am guest posting over at Say Yes To Happy because Julie's busy gallivanting around Seattle and Chicago on one of her many adventures! Julie and I have really hit it off and we even cohost a link-up called Tell Us About It! You can check out September's link-up here where we discussed our favorite fall activities. Our second one is on October 1st and the topic is favorite things about your state! It's a perfect topic because it may help me cross an item off of my bucket list...but you'll just have to head over to Julie's blog to see what!


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Planning a Wedding + Giveaway!

Are you guys sick of the wedding posts yet? It's almost here! As of today, our wedding is two weeks and three days away so no of course I'm not panicking! Okay, maybe just a little bit. The last minute planning is the most stressful of all the planning. Thank goodness my mom made us hire a day-of coordinator is all I can say! (Please ignore my awkward arm and note that Michael has since tamed his intensely bushy beard. Ha!)
Today I'm guest posting about my wedding planning experience over at Stumbling Upon Lizzy! Check it out, and if you love weddings, check out Lizzy's other wedding posts! For her own wedding she wore a gorgeous wedding gown and a stunning sequined reception dress. She had such a picture perfect wedding so I was honored when she reached out to me about guest posting about my own wedding planning process!

I've also teamed up with a lovely group of ladies to give away $22 in Paypal Cash! Click the link below to enter via Rafflecopter. Good luck!


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TWOsday [9.22.15]

Sooo I finally remembered to link up with Stephanie for TWOsday! I'm excited because 1. I love Stephanie and her blog and 2. all you have to do is just share two random things...and that definitely takes a lot of work out of writing a post for me. :)

Michael showed me this video over the weekend, and it is hilarious and amazing. [Note: there is language and some scantily clad women--it is a rap video after all. So definitely don't watch it if that will offend you or there are children present.] He actually made me listen to the song without watching the video first, and then watch the video after, because just hearing it, you'd never guess that the main rapper looks like he does. It's kind of a parody of most rap songs and videos that talk about all the money they make and spend on crazy extravagant things. This guy wanted to make a crazy over the top rap video...for free. So he goes around asking people if they can use their fancy house or their fancy car or their nightclub...for free, which you get to see in the video, peppered in with the actual song. There are also a bunch of random celebrity cameos...which were also free.

Costco swirl fro-yo. Need I say more?
Yes, this was after some had been eaten. And yes, I'm in my car. I wanted to take a picture of it while it was still pretty but at our impromptu Costco trip we ended up buying this. And then we had to take it to the car. And load it in the car. (And don't get me started about getting it up to our apartment.)
Five cases of Corona and thirty liters of wine. You know, enough to get us through the week. In reality, this is all of our wine for the wedding, and half of our beer. Michael wanted one Mexican beer because he has Mexican roots. We'll be going back for five cases of local beer, probably Elysian. This wine ended up being half the price of the cheapest bottles of wine we found online at BevMo.

No, our wedding will not have an open bar or fancy cocktails. You know why? Because we gotta save dat money (see number one if the reference is lost on you).

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

My first ever reading challenge has come to an end! If you want to see my introductory post to the challenge and the two updates, the links are below.
Summer Reading Challenge - Reading List
Summer Reading Challenge - Update #1
Summer Reading Challenge - Update #2
Hosts: KariKrystalKristen

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Category: Non-US Author
Pages: 477
Date Started: August 21st
Date Completed: September 14th
This took me a while to get through, not because it wasn't good, but because it was complex. Most of the other books I read for the challenge were pretty easy reads. It was really interesting to learn the differences between life in Nigeria and life in the United States, as well as differences between American blacks and non-American blacks (the main character actually has a blog where she writes about those differences). I find it so strange how some people overcompensate in order to not come across as racist...but they end up being racist in the process. She mentions a character in the book who always refers to her black friends or acquaintances as, 'my beautiful friend ____' but simply refers to her white friends as, 'my friend ____.' Like, you realize this is treating one race differently than the other, right? Part of the ending kind of rubbed me the wrong way... I don't think it should have, but it's a personal issue I have. I don't want to say what it was that bothered me, because I don't want to give it away (it's not anything about race/nationality/etc.). And it's something that happens in tons of books, movies, and TV shows, not just this one. This was not a true story, but I believe much of it was based on experiences that the author or friends/family/acquaintances of the author had.

You can check out the other books I read below. I have also linked to the post where each book was reviewed if you're interested!

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
Category: Young Adult
Pages: 466
Date Started: June 21st
Date Completed: July 2nd
Review here.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Category: Kickass Female Character
Pages: 336
Date Started: June 21st
Date Completed: July 4th
Review here.

 The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Category: Recommended by a blogger
Pages: 394
Date Started: July 4th
Date Completed: July 6th
Review here.

 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Category: A suspenseful book
Pages: 254
Date Started: July 6th
Date Completed: July 8th
Review here.

Category: On my TBR list for a year or more
Pages: 321
Date Started: July 9th
Date Completed: July 13th
Review here.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Category: Written by a comedian or celebrity
Pages: 344
Date Started: July 14th
Date Completed: July 18th
Review here.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Category: A book about summer
Pages: 227
Date Started: July 19th
Date Completed: July 25th
Review here.

The Martian by Andy Weir
Category: A book that is or will be a movie
Pages: 369
Date Started: July 26th
Date Completed: August 10th
Review here.

Flight by Sherman Alexie
Category: Book with a one word title
Pages: 208
Date Started: August 11th
Date Completed: August 16th
Review here.

I can't believe I actually did it. When I started the challenge, I wasn't sure I'd actually finish. But starting the challenge was a great thing for me, because it made me rediscover my love of reading! Since I finished Americanah, I've read one whole book and started another. I also read The Weight of Feathers before I finished the challenge.

Have you ever participated in a reading challenge? I don't think I'll be starting another one for a few months at least...mostly because of the wedding, but also because since I've rekindled my love of reading I don't need a challenge to motivate me to do it!

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Weekend Things

On Friday, Michael and I headed to our reception location, Golden Gardens, to see where we wanted to take pictures on the big day. We found an area we had never seen before with a wooden walkway from the grassy side to the beach side, and it goes over this pond that is covered in green (pictured below). Doesn't it look like grass or carpet? I couldn't believe how covered it was! We also drove from the townhouse where my family is staying (which is where the bridesmaids and I will be getting ready) to the church to see if there was a place in between those points where we could do our first look. We found a couple of parks, so hopefully it will work out!

After that, we went to Gordito's for dinner. Their slogan is 'healthy Mexican food' because they have no trans fat...but their grande burritos are also known as 'baby burritos.' They have a whole wall of pictures with babies laying next to their grande burritos...and they're the same size. I got the regular sized burrito and it was two meals. I can't even imagine the baby burrito.

So, my appointment with the beauty stylist at Nordstrom on Saturday didn't go so well. The makeup was a little too intense for me. I still felt pressured to buy something though, so I did... But I returned it to a different Nordstrom later that day. Insert see no evil monkey emoji here.
This is the picture the stylist took when she finished. I mean, for some people this is an everyday makeup look. But because I hardly wear any eye makeup, this was way too much for me, even for a wedding look. I also feel like my face is a very noticeably different color than my neck. She also said something about blush being overwhelming on pale skin...and then she put on way more blush than I ever wear. Basically makeup artists and hair stylists scare me because 1. I always feel like they're judging my lack of expertise (and lack of caring) and 2. I never know how to tell them that I'm not into what they did.

I ended up returning this top that I mentioned in Friday's post. I realized right after writing the post that if I was questioning it that much, I should just return it. I think it's so cute, but like I've said in the past, some things just don't work for your body, no matter how much you love them. (And that's not a reason to beat yourself up--it's just how the clothing is made!)

Before my appointment on Saturday, I made my Old Navy returns and still had some time to kill. First, I browsed Nordstrom. I tried on the faux leather leggings and they just didn't fit right. They were really tight on my knees and loose in the waist, so sizing up or down wouldn't work. I also saw the suede skirt from Friday's post and didn't even have to try it on because holy short! But I did try on this dress in both the pink and olive and loved them both. I think I may buy the olive one some day (you're not imagining things--there is a white spot/stain on the olive dress; it was also ripped in the back, and I was wearing a small in the olive and medium in the pink and prefer the fit of the medium). I also tried on this dress which I thought I wouldn't like on because of the bell sleeves, but I loved it too. You can't really tell, but I have the tassels hanging long in the front, which I prefer over tied like they are on the model.
I also checked out the wallets at Nordstrom even though I can't really afford one. I found this one in gold and loved it, but like I said, I don't have $100 to spend on a wallet right now. So I headed to Nordstrom Rack and found the exact same wallet but with a different inside color for $50! I went back on Sunday to buy another one as a Christmas gift--my first one yet this year!

After my first shopping excursion on Saturday, I came home and Michael and I headed to Nordstrom at Northgate so he could get his wedding outfit tailored. With a Nordstrom card, you get $100 worth of free alterations. Although, they aren't quite free. You pay up front, and in a few weeks you get a Nordsrom note in that amount added to your account. So of course I offered to pay for his alterations with my card because then I have an excuse to spend that much at Nordstrom later. ;)

We got some groceries too, and I decided to get something to drink that night and also during the Packers-Seahawks game on Sunday night. I poured it into a glass to try and pretend I'm classy, but let's be real, when is Mike's Hard ever classy?

On Sunday I went back to Nordstrom at Northgate to get matched for foundation for the wedding. I got that done, and the lady who did it basically told me I suck at beauty (you are correct, ma'am) and that I need to exfoliate 2-3 times a week because I have tons of dry skin apparently, and I need to buy something other than the Mineral Veil I use because something about corn starch.

I came home and went to Target because I figured I'd humor the Nordstrom lady and buy an exfoliating cleanser for my face. I also found these because I'm obsessed with M&M's and pumpkin spice that is not in actual latte form.

And that's the story of how 50% of my weekend was spent in stores buying and returning and being afraid of ladies at the beauty counter. Phew. I'll leave you with this picture of Flora licking her nose in a Packers jersey.

I'm linking up with Biana for Weekending and Ashley for Monday Madness!

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites: Style & Scones

Yesterday almost felt like Sunday since I took the day off but had to go to work today! Thankfully, today is still Friday and the weekend is in sight! I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites and April for Five on Friday!

I placed two Old Navy orders to spend Super Cash that I earned when that was going on. They arrived yesterday. I am returning two things and definitely keeping two things. This top is a question mark. I LOVE it...but I tried it on on Sunday (I know, I was so impatient waiting for my order to arrive that I had to try it on in store) and it felt tight and restrictive in the arms. It's a boxy fit though, so sizing up would make it look sloppy. When I tried it last night, the arms were fitted but didn't feel as tight. I have been eating healthier and I worked out six days in a row (probably a record for me). So I'm wondering if this shirt is just made with slightly larger arms or if I've just slimmed my arms down a bit.
I know it's not a great picture. You can see it on the site here. On the model, the arms are loose, which makes me feel like I should return it. So tell me, do you like it (as far as you can tell)? Do you think the arms will be an issue if I stop working out as much (which is bound to happen)? Do you think it's just made differently than the other one? Orrr do you think the arms should be loose so I should definitely return it?

This sweater is perfection. It is sooo ridiculously soft. It has a v-neck. When I tried it on in store, I was kind of nervous, but I was wearing light jeans practically the same color as the sweater and flats. I loved it with leggings and boots though! Still can't find it online, but I've seen it in multiple Target stores (oh yeah, it's $25!). They also have a dark gray and a blush pink color.

Fair scones. Do they have these scones or this scone mix anywhere else? It's made in Washington, and they sell the scones (that are filled with jam and delicious) at the Washington State Fair. My coworker went on Monday night and brought scones on Tuesday for the entire office. It was amazing.

Suede skirts. So in elementary school, my best friend and I thought we had awesome style. We once bought these patchwork suede skirts that were tan and rust and brown and olive all patched together. They were horrible. They were either from the kids section at Nordstrom or Limited Too. I think we wore them with turtlenecks. But suede skirts are back and I'm kind of loving them. Or at least this one. I've also seen bloggers rocking denim skirts with the buttons down the front and I think they look cute...but I'm so not ready to accept denim skirts back into my life.
 
Michael and I have been drinking hot chocolate every single night. It's amazing. We did this last year around Christmas time, but I guess we decided to start the tradition earlier. Yesterday it was dreary and rainy all day, so it was perfect to come home after my final dress fitting and have some cocoa.

This weekend I have an appointment at Nordstrom to figure out how I'm going to have my sister do my makeup for the wedding! I've also got my returns to make to Old Navy. Other than that, we'll probably just be home. Do you have any exciting weekend plans?

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Confessions & Reflections (& Hashtags)

I didn't plan on posting yesterday. But the publisher sent an email about my review for The Weight of Feathers since it went on sale yesterday. So I wrote a review quickly (yet thoughtfully)...at work. #employeeoftheyear

It must be my lucky year. I won a giveaway on Shaeffer's blog for a $100 gift card to Joe Fresh a few months ago, when this blog was just an infant (okay, it totally still is). A few weeks ago I won a book giveaway on Sara's blog. And then on Monday I got an email from Goodreads that I won a book giveaway I had entered for The Secrets of Midwives. #ithinkit'stimetoplaythelottery

So it's Sunday night and Michael is watching the Cowboys/Giants game (because he's a dude and it's football, not because he cares about either of those teams). I was reading, looking up grudgingly every time he said, "You have to watch this!" even though I knew whatever he wanted me to see I wouldn't care about. It's about to be over, and he mentions that now they can only throw backwards. I look up from my book and say, "Why would they have to throw backwards?! It's not rugby!" like I know everything about football and he's wrong. He was laughing at me for at least an hour after explaining to me that the ball can only be thrown forward once per play. I honestly had no idea. #whataresports?

Hot yoga seriously chewed me up and spit me out. It's one of those things that I love and hate. Apparently I'm a masochist because the pain and suffering that hot yoga brings me is the reason I love it because I can tell I'm getting a workout. However, it's also the reason I hate it. On Monday, I was insanely sore...my legs, hips, butt, abs, arms...everywhere. Towards the end of class when we were stretching out, we had to cross our legs and put one foot on top of the other thigh--seriously, I'm not a yogi, the only poses I know by name are child's pose (the best pose) and downward dog (the spawn of the devil)--and I was so drenched in sweat that my foot kept slipping off. I kept looking around and it seemed no one was having the same problem. How do they do it?! #yoganewbie #somuchsweat

Michael and I went to the UPS Store on Saturday to get our marriage application notarized. We mailed it in this week! #we'rereallydoingit! #DulkaWedding (<--- this will be our official wedding hashtag, so if you want to stalk us on the big day, you can search this on social media to see if anyone has posted anything ;))

Something else Michael and I did a few weeks ago was open a joint checking account. Michael said that that felt even more adult than getting married. I kind of have to agree. I feel like a grownup. #iamsoNOTagrownup

My hair trial and my final dress fitting are TOMORROW! I took the whole day off...even though my hair appointment isn't until one. #gottagetmybeautysleep

Speaking of hair, I am SO sick of mine! I go through cycles. I get super sick of my hair long, and I chop it off to about shoulder length. Then I grow it out again. I last chopped my hair in August of 2013. After that, I decided I'd grow my hair for the wedding. Well, I am sick of my nasty gross ends and I now have a major desire to chop off my hair. Seriously, most days lately I'm sporting my hair in a super high bun (that looks awful because I'm horrible at buns) just so I don't have to deal with the mess that is my hair. When I get it chopped I'm also going to get it colored professionally for the first time ever because I want a major change! #splitendsfordays

I'm linking up with Laura and Lauren for #HashtagHumpDay!
#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Weight of Feathers

"For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows--the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught since birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees." via Amazon

I had the chance to read The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore for free via NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.

I know you're not supposed to, but I definitely judge a book by its cover. The cover and title of The Weight of Feathers grabbed my attention immediately.


When reading the description, I was pretty much expecting a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, maybe without the tragic ending. I'm kind of a sucker for romance, so that was right up my alley. But I was wrong. If you couldn't tell by the description and the cover, yes, there is romance between a boy and a girl from feuding families, but there was a lot more to it! As someone who isn't a huge fan of fantasy books, I absolutely loved that this book was set in the real world among normal people, but these two families both had traits and skills that were very much magical. It's fun to imagine that there is fantasy mixed in with every day reality. (There's a review on Amazon that calls it 'magical realism.' I hadn't heard that before, but it's perfect to describe this book!)

The book was told via Lace and Cluck's points of view. Lace's family is Mexican, so all of Lace's chapters have a Spanish title. They also throw in Spanish phrases throughout her chapters. Cluck's family speaks French and are descendants of Romani Gypsies so his titles are French along with French phrases thrown in. I have never taken French, so that was a little more difficult for me, but I liked having to figure out what things meant.

Both Lace and Cluck are kind of outcasts of their families. Lace desperately wants to fit in and please her grandmother and become a famous performer like her grandmother was. Cluck doesn't want to please his family, he just wants to stay out of their way, unseen. It's interesting that even as outcasts, both characters listen so intently to their family members' warnings about the other family.

Throughout the book, there are references to what started the feud between the Palomas and the Corbeaus in the first place. There is a reason that they cite, but it becomes clear the longer you read that there are more reasons that have not come to light. The whole way through I was squirming to find out what the reason for the feud was. The answer blew my mind. I love a good twist ending and this one did not disappoint. I didn't expect it at all.

The writing was very detailed and descriptive. One of my favorite little details that could easily be missed if you're not paying attention is that Corbeau means 'crow' in French, and Paloma means 'dove' in Spanish. I loved that detail. You may remember that I feel sympathy pains...well, the writing is so descriptive that there may have been a part that had be cringing on the treadmill. In my opinion, if a book can suck you in like that, the author has done her job!

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is now available! If you couldn't tell by my review, it's definitely one that I recommend!

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Why I love _____, and you can too!

Happy Monday!

I had a crazy productive (but still relaxing) weekend and I'm so sad it's over. I'm just happy I made it out of hot yoga yesterday alive. It was my third time ever and my first time in over a year. Yikes! My weekend was so full that I didn't blog once or take any pictures. Aside from this one.
Today I'm guest posting about something I love over on Molly's blog! Head over there to find out what it is. :)

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Favorites: Simple Moments!

I'm so happy Friday is here again! Bring on the weekend! I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites! This week my favorites have been small things that have put a smile on my face.

*Note: Yesterday marked one month (!!!) until our wedding! I'm sooo excited but also crazy busy trying to get everything done, so I am thinking about only posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday for a while, or maybe just skipping some random days here and there.

I posted this picture on Facebook this week, but I was so excited about this! I ordered these scents for my Bath & Body Works plug-in last week. You may notice that five out of the six include pumpkin. I may not like PSL's, but I like everything else pumpkin! The only one I had tried before was caramel pumpkin swirl (and I doubt anything can top it!). I chose to put in pumpkin apple first because it seemed the most transitional into fall. Apples seem very September-ish.

I took a walk to Target this week and came across this. This tree was huge with sooo many green leaves. And then when you walk under it and look straight up there's this random patch of orange and yellow leaves. The only ones on the whole tree! It made me happy that fall is creeping in. :)

When I was at Target in the checkout line I looked over and saw these calling my name! I had these last year and loved them. I think they're probably a love it or hate it flavor, so be warned. I didn't see the pumpkin spice ones that they had last year, but I need to buy those too! I took these to work since Michael can't eat them and now I'm wishing I had them here so I could eat one (or three) as I write this!

Yesterday I got my wifey tee in the mail! I know I talked about how I wanted one in this post. I ended up going with this one from Etsy. The $46 one was just waaay too crazy for me.

This is an old picture that you've seen on the blog before, but I wore this exact outfit to work on Tuesday. I rolled my ankle on Sunday night running with the dogs in the dark yard. I started the day wearing these shoes but it was too painful and I had to change when I came home for lunch. I didn't have many options for flat shoes so I went with my navy blue crochet TOMS. These are soft pants so they feel like pajama pants and...when paired with TOMS it really just looks like you're wearing pajama pants and slippers to work. I walked by the HR guy and noticed he did a double take and then had a confused/concerned look on his face...and then I realized he probably thought I was wearing pajamas in our non-casual office environment. It was definitely amusing.

On Tuesday night we met up with the wedding planner for a walk-through of our venue! She also went over a checklist with us so now we know what we need to figure out. She's also going to contact all of our vendors which makes me feel better too. I was kind of panicking trying to figure out what we needed to get done, so that meeting definitely helped!

Hope everyone had a great week! Anyone have any fun weekend plans?

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The List: Trending


I'm back to update 'the list'! If you're new around here, this is a series I've started, mostly to hold myself accountable and keep myself from making a ton of frivolous clothing, shoe, and accessory purchases. I keep track of the 'holes' in my closet and try to fill them. I also include some trends that I want to get in on.

Speaking of trends...

faux leather leggings
I'm really wanting a pair of faux leather leggings! (Or if we're going to do what most of the fashion world has been doing and trying to trick people into thinking they're buying something fancier...'vegan leather' leggings.)

The pair on the left is by Hue from Nordstrom. The other two are from Target. I'm thinking the Hue pair is my best bet, quality-wise. Or I could buy one of the cheaper pairs just to see if I even like them/wear them enough, and if I do, spring for the Hue ones later. My favorites are the left two, but I think that's mostly because of styling (I'm not sure there's even a difference between the two Target pairs...they're the same brand and price, but listed separately).

I put together a few ways I would wear them (or attempt to wear them--who knows if these would work in real life or if I can even pull off faux leather leggings?).
faux leather leggings look 1
I'm super into burgundy this year. I love neutrals with a pop of color, so this outfit (with either of the booties) would be perfect! I have also envisioned another outfit with the burgundy booties and faux leather leggings.
faux leather leggings look 2
I've seen outfits like this on Pinterest. I'm not quite sure I'm cool enough to pull off the leggings or the sneakers, so put them together and I'm really not sure. But I love stripes, leopard and neutrals,
I got this sweater at Target over the weekend (of course it's not on their website because that's how Target rolls). I think it would look cute with the leggings and the booties pictured below (that I will be receiving as a birthday gift next month!). The sweater also apparently comes in black (we ran into my mom's coworker and she was buying it) but they didn't have any more left, and of course, it's not online. I'd love to wear the black sweater, black faux leather leggings, and one of the pairs of burgundy booties above! Maybe with a leopard scarf?
faux leather leggings look 3
Apparently I'm on a pleather kick--can we bring back saying 'pleather'? It reminds me of my childhood--because when I was walking in downtown Seattle the other day (and then again walking in downtown Portland) I saw this pleated skirt in the window of J. Crew and fell in love. Unfortunately for me, J. Crew is a little bit out of my price range. But I was in Target last night and happened to stumble upon one there! It hits below the knee, which means I could only wear it with heels...I wish it hit right above the knee. It was only $25 as compared to $128 for the J. Crew skirt below, but of course, it isn't online.

I know I started this series to fill closet holes and to stop myself from making frivolous purchases, so you might be confused as to why this post is filled with pleather and burgundy booties, which don't seem like the most practical purchases. All I can say is that every once in a while, I like to try out a trend. I've liked the faux leather legging trend since at least last year now, but I didn't ever consider wearing them. I'm getting to the point where I'm branching out and feeling more adventurous in my style.

I also have made all my September purchases already and...I'm doing a no-buy October. I know, that's never worked out for me in the past. But we're getting married in October, so I have a feeling a lot of my time will be occupied with that and not shopping. Plus it's my birthday month, so hopefully any clothes I get as gifts will tide me over. Or I'll get some gift cards that I can use to shop (I'm allowing that, just not allowing spending my money on clothes).

I'm linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to Dress for Your Body Type

Today I'm going to talk about dressing for your body type! We all have areas of our body that we like and areas that we don't like (well, hopefully we all have areas that we like--and if you have no areas that you don't like...teach me your ways!).

First and foremost, you need to determine what our body type/shape is. Are you...
Petite?
Athletic?
Long and lean?
Pear?
Apple?
Hour glass?
Fire truck?
Pickle jar?
Taco shell?

Next, determine your problem areas, or areas that you want to avoid highlighting. Maybe yours are...
Eyelashes?
Elbows?
Big toe?
Pinky toe?
Any of the other toes?
Fingernails?

Okay, what about your favorite areas? The parts of your body that you love and want to flaunt.
Waist?
Hips?
Thighs?
Butt?
Arms?
Back?
Stomach?
Calves?
Eyes?

One more step. Go into a dressing room (or your closet, or somewhere that has clothes you can put on). Now, put on an outfit. Do you feel fierce in it? Do you love how you look? Does it make you happy? If you answered yes to any of these, you are dressing for your body type! If you didn't answer yes to any of these, just keep trying until you find something that makes you feel good. Remember, I once cried in the middle of the mall because I couldn't find anything I thought looked good on me. Some things you might not like. And that's okay.


Here's the thing...I hate that we are put into boxes. There are serious articles about dressing for your body type. And if women find ideas on how to dress from these articles that make them comfortable and feel good, that's awesome! But if any women are feeling like they're being put down for what they're wearing or like there are certain things they can't wear, that's not so awesome.

Not all of us can even identify with one of the standard body types. I'd say I'm basically pear-shaped, but there are other things about my body that make it what it is. As a basically pear-shaped woman, I probably 'should' be wearing flare/trouser jeans to balance the width at my thighs with the width of the flares. I should also of course be wearing a fitted shirt. No flowy shirts if your upper body is the smaller part of you! But skinny jeans and leggings are my favorite. Especially paired with flowy shirts. So fashion rules can suck it. I'll be over here in my white jeans after Labor Day and mixing navy blue and black, thankyouverymuch.

I'm linking up with Holly for Waiting on Wednesday.

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