Northwest Native: October 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Splurge vs. Save vs. Steal: Black Bell Sleeve Dress

Bell sleeves are everywhere right now. I seriously thought they would look completely ridiculous on me, but I tried on a black bell sleeve dress at Nordstrom and fell in love. I found a few at different price points and the idea for a splurge/save/steal post was born!

Splurge: Free People

I think the lace sleeves on this Free People dress are really pretty. (I also think this color is really pretty, but it does come in black too!) I think Free People is kind of ridiculous sometimes, although I like a lot of their stuff. My main issue is that they're expensive but they give you hardly any fabric! I haven't tried this dress on, but I'm 99% sure I'd find it to be too short, because that seems to be how most of their dresses are made.

This is the dress I found at Nordstrom and tried on. I saw it in the store and I was mostly just curious. I honestly though it would look extremely ridiculous on me, but I loved it! The length is also reasonable. I'm not a fan of the tassels tied like they are above. This dress is currently on my wish list. (Below is when I tried it on, though you can't see it too well since it's just a mirror selfie.)

Steal: Xhilaration

This post was originally going to just be splurge vs. steal, but I was at Target over the weekend and stumbled across this. This is seriously an exact dupe for the 'save' dress. I was surprised, because most Target dupes I see are based on bigger brand names, not just the random brands in the BP department of Nordstrom. I didn't try it on, but I'm kind of tempted to order both this and the save dress. If I like the more expensive one a lot more/feel like it's significantly better quality, I'd return this one. But maybe this could be a contender and I could save twenty dollars!

I guess the moral of the story is that the most expensive option isn't always the best one, and Target always has spot-on dupes!

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I just found out yesterday that Rachel and Astleigh are hosting the Every Girl Link-Up today and the theme is outfits that go from day to date! Personally, I think one of the above dresses with a great pair of booties would be a perfect outfit! Really, I'm partial to dresses with booties for pretty much any occasion, and I think the outfits are usually more versatile than pairing a dress with flats or heels.
I wore this yesterday. I haven't worn this sweater dress (from Old Navy a year ago) yet this season and I forgot how much I love it! I also loved mixing patterns with my leopard scarf (similar) and mixing blacks/browns with the scarf and booties too! (Sorry about the mess behind me!)
I even rocked the dress/booties combo for my rehearsal dinner. And look how many other ladies are wearing dresses with booties?! I'm telling you, it's a perfect combo. My dress is crazy comfortable. I don't know how to describe it but basically it feels like pajamas. And it's long enough that I'm not worried about showing anything off on accident. (My dress is no longer available, but there is a very similar dress by the same maker here, here, and here.)

For my birthday dinner I wore this dress and (shocker!) these booties, but I didn't get a picture. It was a twenty minute walk to the restaurant and twenty minutes back and I was totally fine. The booties get my seal of approval for comfort for sure.

What do you think of the bell sleeve trend? What about dresses with booties?

Don't forget, Monday is Julie and I's monthly Tell Us About It link-up for November! The topic is favorite Thanksgiving traditions! Hope to see your post linked up. :)

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaids Gifts

I love giving gifts. One of the things I was most excited about when planning the wedding was picking out bridesmaids gifts. I know, I'm weird. My mom always said that the best gifts to give are things you really want for yourself. I loved the things I ended up giving my bridesmaids, and they ended up loving them too, so I was really happy with my choices.

First, I knew I wanted to give everyone those hangers from Etsy with your name twisted in wire. I found mine at HangerDesignCenter. I got the first names of all of my bridesmaids. My two maids of honor got champagne ribbons and the other bridesmaids got plum ribbon. My hanger said Mrs. Dulka with an ivory ribbon. I stole this picture from my bridesmaid Abby's mom's Facebook. We had all of our dresses lined up in a row on our hangers, but not until the photographer got there, so I'll post that when we get our pictures from her!

I also bought everyone robes to wear while getting ready (Etsy: BridalBlissCouture). I just love that trend. I presented them to everyone on their personalized hanger, then once they put their robe on, they hung their dress up on the hanger. I don't have many pictures of the robes either, but here's a candid of me getting my hair done and not paying attention at all while wearing the robe (and you can see them on some bridesmaids in the background). All of the robes had a rhinestone initial on the front, which was cool.

I didn't really consider those first two things as part of their 'gift,' but they did so they were surprised when I handed out these bags. I love the gift bags at Cost Plus, so I bought eight different designs. I found the gold tissue paper at Target.

Inside was...

When I saw those Kate Spade mugs at Macy's, I fell in love. All of her kitchen stuff is so cute (I got this teapot as a wedding gift, and my mom bought me these wine glasses!). There are nine different sayings, but four of them seemed to fit for my purposes (the bees knees, partner in crime, best friend ever, one in a million), so I bought two of each of those.

Hanky Panky makes the best underwear. Seriously. I know they're expensive for underwear, and I always thought it was crazy, but Shaeffer sang their praises so my mom put some in my stocking a couple years ago and I was hooked. Seriously, they are just too comfy. Two of my bridesmaids told me they are their favorite underwear ever. (The low rise thong is my favorite--I am not a fan of the regular rise, and I've never tried any of their other cuts.)

I thought the Kate Spade necklace was really pretty, and also simple enough that it'd be more likely that everyone liked it. It's also a sailor's knot and I'm really into nautical stuff, so that was perfect. I told my bridesmaids they could wear gold jewelry. I didn't actually imagine that they would wear this necklace on the big day (I didn't know if it would work with their dresses) but all of them got really excited about wearing them, so that made me happy! I felt like it was a very successful gift.

Lastly, everyone got this body cream from Bath & Body Works. It seriously smells like a dream. This is the only thing of the bridesmaids gifts that I (okay, my mom) got for myself as well. (There was a buy two get one free promotion going on when we got these.)

Are you a fan of giving gifts? Normally I like finding Christmas gifts for people (well, at least for females) but this year I was occupied with the wedding and now the move, plus money is tight so I'm kind of stressing about those gifts!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Budget [2015]

Yes, I am posting a budget post this month. No, I did not break my October shopping ban! I can hardly believe it. And it wasn't even that hard! I attribute a lot of that to being busy with the wedding and also the fact that Michael still needs to find a job in Portland, which means I will be paying rent by myself until then, so I can't afford to make many unnecessary purchases.

The reason I have purchases to share is due to a Nordstrom Note I had on my account and the booties I mentioned in last month's post. I did order them in September, but I didn't receive them until October and wasn't sure that they would fit. I haven't received the sweater I ordered yet either, so it's possible that it may be returned. I've had my eye on it for a while though (I love the stripes, the length, and that green color!) so when it went 40% off I knew I had to use part of my Nordstrom Note on it. (The Note is from paying for Michael's alterations on his wedding outfit with my Nordstrom card. So I did spend the money initially, but it was a necessary expense so I'm treating the Note like a gift card.)
BP Trolley Ankle Boots - $99.95
These are a more expensive purchase than I usually make, but I desperately wanted these for Christmas last year. I asked too many people so I ended up getting two pairs--one from my mother-in-law and one from my dad. But I asked for my regular size, so they were too small. The sizes were picked over at that point, so I searched for different brownish booties to fill the void. I found some and they're cute and they served their purpose for about a year...but when these came back in stock recently I knew I had to have them. I didn't know if they would fit (I had to size up a whole size, instead of the recommended half size) but they ended up fitting perfectly! I am going to send the brown booties I got last year to ThredUp. Even if I don't make money on them, it will help declutter my closet.

BP Textured Knit Stripe Tunic - $38, on sale for $22.80 - Nordstrom Note = $0
I had seen this sweater in store before and loved it. I have a pretty big wish list from Nordstrom (three items I currently want, but all are $48-$58). I wanted to get the most out of my Nordstrom Note, so I was refraining from buying things, hoping they'd go on sale. When I saw this was 40% off I immediately ordered it! Hopefully it will be cute on.

I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers--the link-up goes live tomorrow, but I have a Wedding Wednesday post lined up!

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall-la-la-la-la!

Today is my birthday! We celebrated all weekend long, starting with taco night and movies Friday night, Indian lunch buffet Saturday, and brunch made by Michael yesterday morning. Tonight we're going to Purple Cafe & Wine Bar because it's Seattle Restaurant Week where you get three courses for $30, and I hear it's delicious! We also may have gotten a gift card to Purple for the wedding, so it's perfect!

I actually woke up feeling pretty sick on Friday though, so we laid low most of the weekend, which means no weekend recap! I have been seeing a few versions of fall questionnaires going around, so I totally copied Dani and chose my favorite questions from both to answer. I was also tempted to do a birthday post like Kaitlin did, but I just went with my love of fall instead!

Favorite thing about fall
Unless you're new around here, you know that fall is my absolute favorite. So really, I love everything about fall (as evidenced here). I think my love of fall stems from being excited about my birthday. I was always so excited when October came around, because what little kid doesn't love their birthday?! And then of course came Halloween. And as the years went on I realized I loved everything about fall! We celebrated our wedding this fall and will now have an anniversary to celebrate every fall to come!

Favorite fall drink
At Starbucks, my favorite is definitely the toasted graham latte. So good. When I drink coffee at home or work, it's normally with nonfat hazelnut creamer, and it always tastes even better in the fall! Last year, Michael and I went on a hot chocolate kick in December. This year we started earlier and I've been loving that too. If we're talking about adult beverages, I usually drink the same things year round. But I guess I'm a pretty big fan of hard cider, which is a fall staple.

Favorite fall candle
I have two spice cake candles by Yankee Candle that I love! I bought pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin coconut 3-wick candles from Bath & Body Works (my first BBW candles!) and haven't burned them yet...so maybe one of those will become my favorite!

Favorite fall snack
Alllllllll the pumpkin spice baked goods. Breads, scones, cookies (like pumpkin spice Oreos or the pumpkin Joe Joes from Trader Joe's--thanks to Laura for telling me I needed to try them!).

Favorite fall sweet treat
Well, see above, I guess!

Favorite fall movie
Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown for sure.

Favorite fall clothing
Boots and booties and sweaters are probably my three favorite things to wear, period. I have waaay more sweaters than I have any other type of top. My favorite recent sweater purchase is this one, and the two sweaters at the top of my wish list currently are this one and this one. I also just ordered this one (it was 40% off on Friday, maybe it still is!) so I'm hoping I love it on! My favorite booties are these (in cognac) and these (in putty).

Favorite fall song
I honestly don't have one. I feel like there are songs that remind me of summer, and of course songs that remind me of winter because Christmas music, duh... I guess now that we're married Only Love by Ben Howard (our first dance song) will remind me of our wedding, which was in the fall...so maybe that.

Skinny jeans or leggings
Skinny jeans if I'm wearing booties, leggings if I'm wearing boots.

Black Friday?
Sort of. My mom and sister-in-law and I like to go at like one o'clock in the afternoon to Target on Black Friday. Clearly we're not in it for some crazy TV deal or anything. We usually browse clothes and movies. It's nice chill family bonding time, usually including Starbucks. I've also been to one Thanksgiving with Michael's family and we didn't do anything Black Friday-related. Well, I bought one of my all-time favorite sweaters (pictured below) online, but that's it.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Life Lately [10.23.15]

Pre-Wedding Life Lately


I started watching Scream Queens when Michael was at his bachelor party and I'm obsessed. I'm a big fan of 'whodunit' mysteries, so I love that aspect but I also love that it's satire. The red devil costume is horrifying, so it's also actually kind of scary sometimes. And there are some great actors too. Plus, any show that plays Everybody (Backstreet's Back) by The Backstreet Boys while a bunch of frat dudes wander around wearing all white is a winner in my book.

I went to Nordstrom and tried on this duster cardigan and I am obsessed. I've been intrigued by duster cardigans for a while, and I love that this one is patterned and that it's olive and black, because olive is one of my favorite fall colors. It also has a hood, which I think is a fun detail. It comes in black and white too. I happened to be wearing my olive t-shirt...is it weird that I would probably wear this exact outfit? Is that too much olive? Oh well!

MY FAVORITE TARGET SWEATER IS FINALLY ONLINE! Or maybe it has been and I've never been able to find it. I only saw it in three colors in store, but there are seven online...and now I'm trying to decide between black or the darker grey color. Below is me wearing the 'teal wave' color. You may have seen this picture on the blog before if you've been following for a while.


Michael and I found our new favorite happy hour place a couple months back (of course it moved into our neighborhood right before we move away...) and we've gone a few times. It's Mexican food, which is perfect for gluten-free Michael and margarita-loving me! It's called Villa Escondida, and it's a five-ten minute walk from our apartment!

We had a week off before the wedding so we had a few days to prepare before family started arriving. We went to our favorite pumpkin patch and picked up a ton of little pumpkins and gourds to use as centerpieces. I'll be honest, we ended up having to run to the grocery store on two occasions after this to buy even more pumpkins and gourds. This wheelbarrow alone was $50 worth!

We also bought pumpkin butter because yum!

The pumpkin patch we like is about a forty-five minute drive from our apartment. There are closer ones, and we easily could've gone to those for our purposes (since we didn't do the corn maze or anything) but this was probably our last chance to go there with the move coming up! They always have a theme, and this year it was monsters.

The first family to arrive was Michael's sister with her boyfriend. We picked them up from the airport just before noon the Wednesday before the wedding. The rest of our immediate family got there on Thursday. So we went to lunch, went to Pike Place Market, went to the top of the Space Needle, and had dinner and drinks!

The flowers at Pike Place are always gorgeous. I absolutely love dahlias, and they were all over the place since they're in season! The market has lots of $5 bouquets, and the majority of their bouquets are $5-$15, which I feel like is a crazy good deal for how gorgeous they are!

Just the view from the top of the Space Needle! It's pretty expensive to go up, and apparently you can go up in Smith Tower downtown for much cheaper (except I just looked and apparently it's closed until further notice), but I've been up at least four times and think it's worth it. Also, eating at the restaurant there is amazing! We went for brunch for my birthday two years ago because it's a bit cheaper than dinner, and it was delicious! The restaurant rotates once every half hour, so you get to see everything. You also get to go up to the observation deck after your meal.

Post-Wedding Life Lately


This beautiful lady is my mother-in-law. The week after the wedding, the florist where Michael's sister works, Farmgirl Flowers, ran a promo where proceeds purchased from the bouquet pictured were donated to breast cancer research. They called the bouquet 'The Kelly' after her. I never mentioned this on the blog before, but Kelly was diagnosed just before Christmas last year. She has a very demanding job, she does sooo much for her kids (myself included!) and her husband, her other family members, her friends...and she has hardly slowed down even with chemo and radiation. She is one strong lady and I love that Farmgirl Flowers included her in this promotion and shared this picture of her on their social media!

We went on our first date as a married couple! We saw The Martian in 3D at Cinerama and I absolutely loved it. I loved the book too. Obviously, they had to leave out stuff from the book to make it fit into a few hours, but it also removed some of the science and math talk, so it was easier to follow. Also Matt Damon was hilarious and so perfect for the role.

We had our second date as a married couple the same day! These dates were both the Tuesday after the wedding, our last day of freedom before going back to work. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory because it's a five minute walk from our apartment and they have gluten free pasta for Michael.

On Saturday, we went apartment-hunting in Portland. This is the apartment community that we applied for! It's very green with water features...and a ton of ducks living in them! And we found out yesterday afternoon that WE GOT IT! So we will be living in one of the lower level apartments on the left of the top picture. :)

I know I've mentioned the town in Oregon that puts on Halloweentown every year (because it was a filming location!). Well, I finally got to go see it! It's between Portland and my hometown, so we stopped on our way back from apartment-hunting. We really only stopped, looked, and took pictures, but apparently you can kayak over to a haunted yacht and I totally want to do that next year!

I was kind of surprised that the movie theater is actually a running theater and shows pretty recent movies!

On Sunday I watched Hocus Pocus and drank hot chocolate out of my Portland Starbucks mug! I seriously already want to watch it again. It just puts me in the fall mood, so I'm determined to watch it again before Halloween passes.

Life lately has been my favorite, so I'm going to link up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Post-Wedding Thoughts

I did a post on my pre-wedding thoughts, so I figured I should do one on my thoughts after the fact.

I was right. Referring to Michael as my husband is the weirdest thing. [I already accidentally called him my fiance.]

I think/say, "We're married!" at least once a day. On the day of the wedding it was said at least twenty times between the two of us. We said it to each other at least five times while we were standing at the altar.

Other than having to remember to refer to Michael as my husband and have the "we're married" thought pop into my head, it doesn't feel much different.

Okay, I lied. My wedding band is driving me INSANE, which is another reminder that we're married. It is pictured below. There are no diamonds on the back, and it is constantly twisting and I'm having to adjust it. I do plan on getting my rings soldered together, but I'm going to do it at the place where we bought our rings, which is down by where my parents live. So it'll be at least a few more weeks before that happened.

Seeing Michael wear a wedding ring or feeling it when we hold hands is also different. It's exciting to me every time I notice it, though!

I keep wondering if I'll ever be excited for any other life events again...well, until we have kids. [Note: I am excited about moving, but I guess this question is more in regards to my birthday. It's on Monday and it doesn't feel like my birthday is coming up at all. I guess as I've gotten older it's been less exciting in general, but really, after such an amazing event I'm just like, "Meh."]

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

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Monday, October 19, 2015

An announcement.

So I realized my post on Wednesday wasn't exactly clear. I hadn't planned on doing a wedding post that day, I was going to post Thursday's post. I just threw in the wedding picture for fun. The main point of the post was to let you know I won't be back to posting regularly yet because my computer is the devil. But even if/when I get my computer stuff sorted out...there's another reason why I won't be posting as much in the next few weeks.

I am NOT pregnant, by the way. I feel like every time I say I have an announcement now, that's what people will assume. So I just wanted to get that out of the way.

My big news is...we are moving to Portland. We came up with the idea about a year ago, and I asked my office if it would be possible for me to transfer to the office in Portland (although Seattle is the corporate headquarters, so I will be the only accounting employee there!). My manager had to talk to upper management, and they approved it about six months ago.
Of course we're moving to Portland right as Katie and Julie are moving to Seattle...which is horrible timing! Our lease was actually supposed to be up mid-October, so we asked if they could extend it because I don't know a single person who would want to move within four days after their wedding. The longest they could do is eleven months so...here we are! I thought after the wedding was over I could relax...but then I remembered how stressful moving is, especially when you're trying to find an apartment from afar. We also have to keep in mind that Michael will be finding a new job, so we're trying to find a place close to my office in Beaverton, but also close enough to downtown Portland, since a lot of jobs are there. And we only have one car...so that's also a factor.

We have multiple reasons for the move. We really reeeeally want to buy a house, but the market in Seattle is crazy. Currently, Portland area homes are much more affordable. For the most part, rent is also cheaper in the Portland area, so we'll be able to save more money to eventually buy a house. My parents are also about 45 minutes from Portland, so when we have kids (in a few years!) they will be close to their grandparents. Michael's family is in the Bay Area, so it's still a flight...but normally we drive from Seattle to my parents' to drop off the dogs with them, then fly out of Portland. So it will actually be more convenient to go see them too!

We actually took a last minute trip down to Portland over the weekend because we found a few apartments to look at. Traffic was awful from Seattle down to my parents' so the drive down was extra long, and we left Sunday at nine in the morning. Saturday was mostly spent driving to and from Portland and looking at apartments. We did end up applying for one though, and it's got a lot of grass and is in a pretty quiet neighborhood, plus it's on the ground floor with a sliding glass door right outside, so I think the dogs will love it. Hopefully that will take some of the stress out of my life now, but I had to cancel my Saturday appointment at the Genius bar and won't have another until the weekend. So I still don't know how frequently I will be posting! Also if my computer is toast, I'll probably wait a while to buy a new one.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blogger Requirements (That I Don't Meet)

Technically, I am a blogger. Having a blog and writing posts labels me as a blogger, right? It's the same as people saying that if you run, you're a runner. It's hard for me to think of myself as a real runner because the farthest I've ever run is 6.2 miles--and that was only once. It's also hard for me to think of myself as a real blogger because let's face it--there are things that fancy, established bloggers do that I don't.
This is the most blogger-esque picture I've ever taken. I still can't believe that I thought to take this, that it actually ended up turning out how I had envisioned in my head, and that I found the perfect filter for it. It's perfect for a blogger's Instagram. The problem is, my Instagram is my personal Instagram and only Michael and my mom know about the blog.

'Real' bloggers don't keep their blogs secret from people they know. Everyone and their mother knows that they have a blog.

'Real' bloggers always have a manicure. Sometimes they change their polish color multiples times in one week.

'Real' bloggers pair those manicures with stacks of bracelets--'arm parties', if you will.

'Real' bloggers own fancy cameras that cost as much as a month of rent (but it's okay, they probably paid for it with income from their blog).

'Real' bloggers utilize all forms of social media for their blog at least once a day.

'Real' bloggers watch at least one of the following: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise.

'Real' bloggers shop at J. Crew and Loft.

'Real' bloggers always always always have a perfectly white background for their Instagram shots of random inanimate objects.

'Real' bloggers can somehow make these inanimate objects look extremely artsy. Who would've thought a picture of an open laptop next to a bracelet could be artsy? Or at least one picture of coffee a week could somehow look artsy every time?

'Real' bloggers can somehow take overhead outfit shots and manage to get more in it than their top and their shoes. (Seriously, I can never get my legs in the picture. How do they do it?!)

'Real' bloggers have mastered the super cute 'look-I-didn't-even-try' topknot. I would never post a picture of myself with my hair in a bun because I'd probably look bald or like a man or something.

'Real' bloggers say the number one thing you should do in life is purchase a domain name. (Although I can think of three pretty major bloggers off the top of my head who have blogspot URL's.)

'Real' bloggers love the royal family, especially Kate Middleton. I, on the other hand, had to Google 'Kate Middleton' because I wasn't 100% positive that was her last name.

Obviously, we are all 'real' bloggers as long as we are writing posts. And I'm not hating on any bloggers, or myself for that matter. There are plenty of things on this list that I wish I did or wish I could do, but there are others that I'm content without.

It's hard out here for a blogger, because the comparison game is all too real sometimes. (Honestly, it's not just bloggers either.) Sometimes I'll get that twinge of jealousy or sadness when I see the perfect Instagrams of other bloggers, or I'm reading one of their posts and they mention their ten thousand views per day. I have to remind myself that I created this blog for fun and a creative outlet, and as a bonus I've made quite a few friends on the way.

Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Is this real life?

I had a post all written that I was going to schedule for this morning. Last night, I was on my computer updating my links (since I changed my Instagram and Twitter handles to reflect Michael's last name) and my computer just turned off on me. Then it started cycling between turning on and off and showing me error messages. Great. So I'm going to have to go back to the Genius bar this weekend...if you recall, I dealt with something like this recently! I think it's time to suck it up and buy a Chromebook.

So I'll leave you with a picture my friend Sara Instagram'd of Michael and I's first dance, because I know you want actual pictures instead of just pictures of Starbucks cups and ferries. :)

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sadie, Sadie Married Lady

We did it, we're married! It's crazy because it doesn't feel a whole lot different other than wearing a wedding band and seeing Michael wearing one too. I also changed my name on social media--though I haven't officially changed it yet. The day went by so quickly and it's so bittersweet. I had such an amazing time and it was so sad to see it end, but I'm happy to be married and to not have to stress over planning anymore!

I took hardly any pictures on my phone, but I'll post them here now! There were quite a few pictures under our hashtag (#DulkaWedding) on Facebook and Instagram. I keep going back and looking at them. I can't wait to get the professional pictures from the photographer!
I told you guys I was doing this. I felt so lame saying, "Umm...can you write bride on the cup?" but not lame enough to be embarrassed. Besides, my two maids of honor and one of my bridesmaids were stoked about it too.
And the only other pictures I have are from after everything was all over! Michael surprised me and had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting in our room at the Edgewater.
When we got to the hotel we couldn't really see the view from our room, but it was great to wake up and see it. We were seriously hanging over the water! The hotel is right on the water, and looking down there was water directly below us. Ferries were going by about every fifteen minutes and I loved watching them.
Lastly, I wanted to give a shoutout to all of our vendors! I'm sure I will be name-dropping them through all of my upcoming wedding posts, because they seriously made our day so great.
Wedding Coordinator - Marissa from Eventful Moments
DJ - Mark from Otto-Matic Mobile Music
Flowers - Flora D'Amore

That's it for now! There are sooo many details that I want to share but I am still unwinding. We have one more day off work...we go back tomorrow, which I am so not ready for. Also, thank you all for your comments on the blog and Instagram, your 'likes', and everything!

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Pre-Wedding Thoughts

If you haven't seen The Princess Bride, drop everything you're doing and watch it right now. (Okay, maybe that's a little extreme, but it's a great movie and you need to see it.) [source]

Tomorrow is the day! Don't worry, I wrote this post back on Sunday since my life was basically consumed with wedding preparations the rest of this week. For a few weeks now, I keep having these thoughts. A popular one is, "This is the last time I'll ____ as an unmarried woman." I don't have these thought in a nervous or regretful way, it's more of a reminder that the wedding is really here after an engagement of over two and a half years. Plus it totally weirds me out to think that. Here are some actual thoughts I've had recently.

Whoa, this is the last time I'll walk to work as an unmarried woman.

This is the last Packers game as an engaged couple.

When I come back to work I'll be married!

I'm going to have to start referring to Michael as my husband. And he'll call me his wife. Whoa. [I think this is the weirdest thing for me. We only called each other boyfriend/girlfriend for just over six months...and then it was fiance/fiancée for over two and a half years, so making that switch wasn't too hard to process.]

I'm going to have two rings on my left ring finger now.

Michael is going to be wearing a wedding ring.

Is this the last book I'll read before we're married?

Okay I need to work out every single day...yikes! [Ha! This didn't happen and never will.]

What else do we have to do/buy/plan?! [This is a big one...this has been in my head for months and months.]

I have to walk/stand/sit in front of 110 people...some of which I've never met. Please don't trip or fall or do something embarrassing. PLEASE.

I'll be back to posting (and commenting!) again eventually, but who knows when? Remember, if you want to see some wedding pictures before I'm back and posting some, our hashtag is #DulkaWedding! Hopefully people will utilize it!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bookworm Wednesday [October 2015]

I know I haven't posted in a few days...and that's because I've been frantically running around trying to get everything done before people start getting to town for the wedding weekend! I haven't been able to read many blogs and definitely no time for commenting...but I am still alive, just very busy! I'm excited to be linking up with Katie and Molly today for Bookworm Wednesday! Since completing the Literary Ladies Summer Reading Challenge I've read some great books!



Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I devoured this book. I love a good young love story, and this one was sooo much more realistic, which was perfect. High school can be a confusing time and love at that age isn't supposed to be all grand gestures and Romeo & Juliet-esque. I could totally relate to Eleanor's insecurities. I'm much more confident now, and I don't wonder why Michael would ever want to marry me or anything like that, but I do still have insecurities. They were just much worse in high school. Kudos to Rainbow for creating a more realistic, awkward young love between two outcasts. This was my first Rainbow Rowell book but it most certainly will not be my last!




I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
The character development in this book is great. The relationships between characters were also very developed. It made me care about all the characters, which is what made me not want to put this book down! I also like books with more unusual or quirky characters, and this book provided that. There was a twist that I figured out pretty early on, and I'm not sure if that was intentional, but it didn't bother me like it normally would. I still loved the book just as much, and even though I knew the twist was coming, I wanted to keep reading to see how it unfolded when the characters realized.





Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
I loved Still Alice so much that I would've written anything else by Lisa Genova, regardless of what it was about. This book did not disappoint. I can't wait to read everything else she's written. Seriously. If you like obscure/mysterious medical conditions (I'm looking at you, Grey's Anatomy watchers), this book may interest you. I love some of the episodes of Grey's with the strange medical conditions, and this was just like a longer version of one of those. I loved it because you got a glimpse of her life before the condition, in the early stages, and as she began to adjust to it.







Room by Emma Donoghue
This book is heartbreaking, disturbing, uplifting...you feel so many things for the characters as you're reading. There are parts where you're curious, which makes you want to read on, and other parts where you're on the edge of your seat and just have to keep reading. Either way, it was hard to stop reading this for too long! It was also extremely detailed. Donoghue adds in so many things that as I read I realize I never would've thought of it on my own. You can tell a lot went into this book.





Four can't-put-it-down books in a row?! I hit the jackpot. I seriously can't believe I didn't get a library card until this summer. Also, my hold schedule was really working in my favor. The timing of all of these becoming available to me was perfect. Also, thank goodness for Kindle rentals. It's so much easier than having to get to the library to pick up and return. I also can't get any fines because it just gets removed from my Kindle automatically when my time is up (although I try to remember to return them myself so someone else on the hold list can read it!).

Have you read any great books lately? I currently have The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth on my shelf after winning it from a Goodreads giveaway! I also have The Book Thief by Markus Zusak that my mom gave me when she finished reading it. I'll probably read one of those next unless one of my seven seventeen books on hold at the library come up first!
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites: Gone Wedding!

I'm going to jump right into it today! I'm linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

Today is my last day of work until the Wednesday after the wedding. Do you like my clever title? Instead of 'gone fishing' it's 'gone wedding.' Anyone? Bueller? I will be taking seven consecutive work days off. This is the most days off I've had since before I started working in August of 2013. That is my number one favorite. This work week has gone by slowly for me, as you can imagine.

On Tuesday, we walked through our reception venue for the last time. I can't wait to be back here on the big day!

I am obsessed with this bag. If I hadn't just purchased a Kate Spade bag and wallet (and then imposed a shopping ban, and already kind of broke it by purchasing these booties) I would buy this. Even the lining is pretty! I love both colors, and though I'm obsessed with burgundy lately, I'd probably buy the taupe...because all of my clothes are burgundy now and I like the contrast!

I'm also loving this sweater. I've never ordered anything from Flourish before. They followed me on Instagram a few months ago, so I followed back because why not? When they posted this on their Instagram page I fell in love. I love the unique shape and obviously I love that it's burgundy. No, I didn't further break my shopping ban and buy it. But I did sign up for a sale alert on it so maybe in a few months the price will drop and I can snatch it up!

Surprise, surprise. Another sweater I love. Now you know why I have approximately four tops that aren't sweaters (or v-neck tees). I love a good sweater. This one is great because it can be worn with leggings, it's striped, and I've been wanting to add some green to my wardrobe!

Michael's bachelor party is tomorrow night. I love hanging out with Michael, but I also love time to be completely alone for a few hours. I could go out or do something exciting, but instead I'm going to stay in and do something more exciting to me. I'm going to watch Hocus Pocus (and whatever else I want to!) and wear pajamas and burn fall candles and eat ice cream. Probably Trader Joe's cookie butter ice cream because I've never tried it and it sounds amazing. I'm not 100% sure though...what ice cream do you recommend? Preferably one that can be found at Safeway, Target, or Trader Joe's.

I'm also meeting up with my parents tomorrow! We're meeting in the middle in Olympia so my mom can give me some wedding stuff and some packages I had shipped there, like two easels and chalkboards, parts of the gifts for my bridesmaids, my Kate Spade purse and aforementioned booties as well as these booties that are a birthday present I've been anxiously waiting for since July!

I have a problem. I found yet another sweater that I love. I'm going to have tons of stuff I want to buy come November when my shopping ban is lifted. I love poncho style sweaters. I like the black and white all-over print one. I have a plain gray poncho sweater from Old Navy from last winter and it is so warm and cozy! I just think a printed one would be so fun and so cute with jeans and booties!

This song is one of my current favorites. It is so catchy. I looove the beat.

Seriously though...send your ice cream recommendations my way! I'll tell you now though, I'm not a huge fruity dessert person, and I don't want nuts in my ice cream. I've also tried pretty much every Ben & Jerry's flavor and I'm trying to branch out.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tell Us About It: Favorite Things About Your State!

Julie and I are back with our second installment of our Tell Us About It linkup! This month we're dishing on the favorite things about our state! As a native of the Northwest (obviously) who lived in a small town in Oregon for the majority of my life and had to cross the Columbia River into Washington to even get to a grocery store, then going to college in Washington and living in Washington now, I feel like I have dual citizenship. So this will be my favorite things about Oregon and Washington. Or I guess you could call it my favorite things about the Pacific Northwest.

Let me start off with...great skin! Check out this post by Elle. In a list of most wrinkle-prone to least, Washington is ranked 49 and Oregon is ranked 50. They're only beat by Alaska! Of course, we don't deal with temperatures in the 100's into September, so that's probably a lot of it. And that's also another thing I love about the PNW. I can't deal with the heat.

A ton of my favorite movies (and a few TV shows) are filmed or set in the Northwest. Is it weird that I get really excited when a movie or show is set in Oregon or Washington? For someone who lives in New York, LA, or Chicago it's probably not as big of a deal. But when you live in a smaller city or a less publicized state, it's exciting! Here are my favorite movies and TV shows filmed/set in the PNW.
Sleepless in Seattle - Kind of self-explanatory, with the name. They filmed at the Space Needle, the houseboat that Tom Hanks lives on in the movie is still out on Lake Union, and I've driven by the place where Meg Ryan gets out of her car to watch Tom Hanks and almost gets hit walking across the street. It looks a whole lot different now.
Halloweentown - I mentioned this before. This was filmed about twenty minutes from my hometown in Oregon. My neighbor was even in the movie. Every year, St. Helens puts on a replica of Halloweentown. This year, Marnie herself will be there at the pumpkin lighting! And it's on October 10th so naturally we have postponed the wedding. (Kidding of course, but I was seriously so sad when I saw it was on the 10th!)
John Tucker Must Die - They never actually say where this is set, but the license plates are definitely Washington plates. Also I just looked it up, and it was filmed in Vancouver, BC. (Pretty much every movie set in Seattle or Washington seems to be filmed in Vancouver.)
The Killing - Speaking of things set in Seattle but filmed in Vancouver... Did you watch this show? I loved it! It's on Netflix. And let me tell you, Discovery Park (where they found Rosie's body) is a real place, but it looks absolutely nothing like their version.
10 Things I Hate About You - One of my all time favorite movies. Ever. Baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Heath Ledger (RIP), Julia Stiles...just too good. This was filmed in Tacoma and Seattle. I've been to pretty much all of the filming locations. When they show the Seattle skyline, the view is from Kerry Park. Their paint balloon fight is at Gasworks Park (unfortunately, the paint fighting isn't a real thing there; and you can't run through the structure like they do because it's totally fenced off). They rent paddleboats on Lake Union and go to the Fremont Troll. The high school is Stadium High School in Tacoma, and yes it really does look like a castle and has a breathtaking view from their stadium. My mom's cousin and tons of people who went to my college went there and I'm so jealous of them. The house that they live in is in north Tacoma, the same neighborhood my school was in. It was walking distance from me when I was in school.
Dexter - This is obviously set in Miami, but in the finale, Dexter ends up in the PNW. They never say where, but it was filmed in Astoria, OR.
Grey's Anatomy - I have to say, I haven't watched this show in a while. I kind of want to start where I left off, but I don't know. I thought it was ending a couple years ago. I think Shonda kind of beats shows to death. But anyway. I haven't watched this in a long time, but the shots of the hospital they show are actually shots of Fisher Plaza, which is where the KOMO news network offices are. I also tried on wedding dresses in a shop at the bottom level there. They show the Space Needle a lot. When Meredith was living in her mom's house, it was in the upper Queen Anne neighborhood.
Portlandia - Obviously filmed in Portland, and kind of scary accurate with the quirks of the city. Stephanie posted a picture on Instagram of a place that was set for filming. I was so jealous! I want to go crash them filming.
Others you may have heard of include the Twilight series (books and movies). The Ring 2 was partially filmed in Astoria, Oregon. Men of Honor was filmed partially IN my hometown, and the rest of it was filmed in surrounding towns...and yet, somehow I've never seen it. I feel like I have to just because of where it was filmed!

My major celebrity crush was born in Washington. Who? Chris Pratt! Also, Cam Gigandet, who was on The OC and in a few other movies is from Tacoma. Ty Burrell is one of my favorite people ever because he is hilarious on Modern Family and he's from Oregon. Lisa Rinna, Sally Struthers (yay Gilmore Girls!), Tonya Harding, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), Terri Irwin (Steve Irwin's wife--I had no idea she wasn't Australian), Mat Kearney, Kaitlin Olsen, and River Phoenix are also from Oregon. (See this list for more.) Washington also has Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Sherman Alexie, Kurt Cobain, Erika Christensen (Parenthood!), Anna Faris (which I had no idea of until now, and she's married to Chris Pratt!), Jimi Hendrix, Joel McHale, Craig T. Nelson (yay more Parenthood stars!), Dan Savage, Sir-Mix-a-Lot, Ryan Stiles, Rainn Wilson, Macklemore and a ton of others I didn't mention (see list here for more).

Of course I can't leave out the weather. I think our seasons and weather are great. I am very picky when it comes to temperature. I'm pretty much always too cold or too hot. And I have overactive sweat glands. Thanks for the DNA, Dad. That's why I don't think I'd survive somewhere with 100 degree days every day in the summer. Or 90 degree days six months of the year. Or snow six months of the year. Side note, since we don't get much snow, we still have snow days! And no, not crazy emergency blizzard snow days. I'm talking one inch on the ground RED ALERT snow day. It's the best. And for everyone who thinks that's pathetic, it is a waste of money to be all prepared for blizzards when it doesn't even snow every year. And again, SNOW DAYS! Although in the winter of 2011-2012, I did get snowed in at my friend's apartment in Seattle for days. We had a crazy amount of snow, and I drive a Honda Civic/have never had to drive in snow. There was also a winter in high school when we missed an entire week due to snow, and a Christmas Eve when the snow drift on our deck was so high we were putting champagne bottles out in it to chill. I also don't mind rain. I actually love the rain when I'm inside with nothing to do and nowhere to be.

The scenery is pretty gorgeous here too.
Walking through a park in downtown Seattle
Pike Place Market
On a ferry in Elliott Bay
Seattle Waterfront
 Kerry Park
 Snow in Seattle! February 8, 2014. I know because this was our one year engagement anniversary.
 Seattle waterfront again. (Sorry, we live really close to it!)
 The beach side of Discovery Park
 Taken from the roof of our apartment building.
 Eastern Washington
 Columbia River Gorge
 Taken from Gasworks Park
 Overlooking the U-District in Seattle
 The lighthouse at Discovery Park
 Taken from inside part of Pike Place Market
Tacoma, North End
I realize these are pretty much all of Seattle and mostly include water. All I have to say is, I've lived in Seattle for two and a half years, and I went back to 2012 in my phone library and just got tired of it. Sorry! And as for the water, I'm just obsessed with it. I grew up on the Columbia River, and since then I've lived on Puget Sound/Elliott Bay. I can't imagine living too far from some sort of water.

And some other things I just think are cool: Seattle has the flagship Nordstrom store and flagship REI store and is also the birthplace of Amazon and Starbucks. Most people also know that Microsoft was started here. Portland is the home of Nike and Columbia Sportswear is headquartered in Oregon too. I also love that people in the Northwest tend to be friendly and open-minded. I'm definitely proud to call this place my home!

Link up below, grab our button, link back to one or both of us, and visit some other bloggers to read all about what their states have to offer! And check out our upcoming topics too!


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