Northwest Native: March 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

The post I never wanted to write.

I kind of touched on this before, but I never really laid it out there for you because I thought I would be judged and I also worried about the feelings of someone should he stumble upon this post. But everything has changed.

You need to know that my mom was married to a man and had three children with him, me being the third. That man is not my dad. You could call him my father, but I was talking to someone who is in a similar situation as me and she referred to her biological father as the sperm donor, and that seems even more fitting. I'm not going to tell you why; the reasons go back to before I was born and extend up until today, so there are too many to explain and anyway this post is not about him.

My mom met a man before I was one year old. That man is my dad. He raised me and he is one of the best men I've ever known. He and my mom married when I was about two and a half, and without their marriage, I don't know if I would've had any faith in the institution. And I wouldn't have had such a great example to show me what to look for in a husband.

On Sunday, March 20th, we lost that man. He suffered a brain bleed on Sunday, March 13th, and spent a few days in the ICU before eventually being transferred to Hospice. It was the worst week of my life, hands down. I've never felt such pain, sadness, and numbness.

I try to remember that I'm lucky we got the chance to say goodbye (my dad's cousin passed away last summer suddenly while on his way home to be with his wife for the 4th of July), that I grew up with a dad at all, and that I had more years with him than some people get, but it still hurts. It's hard to think of this in any positive light.

My dad was the most positive person I've ever known. I only heard him raise his voice in anger a handful of times in my life. He went through so much--multiple spinal surgeries that left him numb from the chest down, a foot amputation last summer--and he never lost his optimism.

He had the best and weirdest sense of humor. You had to really know him to understand his humor (and even then, we were often left scratching our heads). I vividly remember driving through Burger King with him once and he thought it would be so hilarious to order the fish sandwich as a 'whale burger.' The employee was so confused. He was big on texting, and I was looking through some of our text exchanges, and after being home for a weekend and discussing potential baby names for the future, he sent me a few of his top choices, all of which were hilarious, including 'Guider Hiccup Dulka Junior' (don't ask me who the first Guider Hiccup Dulka was, because I highly doubt there ever was one!), 'Master Bigfoot Tracker Overland Dulka The First,' and 'Missy Mattie Dulka Janers The Fourth' (which is almost my name--Mattie Jane Dulka--but not quite...).

He was a tugboat captain, and passed his love of the water on to his family. He used to take us tubing in our bright yellow speedboat. He participated in the tugboat races put on during our small town's annual summer carnival. He built a little floathouse on the river where we spent many summer days.

He danced to his favorite song at my brother's wedding and at mine, and we got two of my favorite pictures of him out of it.

He had his foot amputated in June of 2015, and he worked so hard to be able to walk me down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding in October. I so wish I hadn't split that father-daughter dance in half between the sperm donor and him. He deserved the whole song.

The Thursday before everything changed, my sister's boyfriend asked my dad for her hand in marriage. The next Friday, while our dad was in the hospital, he asked her. My sister got to show him her ring and tell him the story of the proposal while he was in Hospice and everyone in the room sobbed. It sucks that she won't get a dance with her dad or have him to walk her down the aisle. It sucks that he didn't get any grandchildren. It sucks knowing that my future children won't get the pleasure and honor of knowing him.

I'm sad and I'm angry and I cry at the drop of a hat. I can't fathom blogging about shopping or confessions or what I did over the weekend right now.

Although, this past weekend, I got my first tattoo. I always kind of wavered about getting one. Michael always asked, "When are we going to get tattoos?" and I always ended up thinking I didn't want one. But last week I knew I wanted to get an anchor for my dad. Even my mom, who said she would never ever get a tattoo, decided she would get one. So on Saturday, my mom, Michael, my sister, and I all got our anchor tattoos. Below is my mom getting hers, and below that is my tattoo (still some redness and excess ink since it's so new) on my forearm. I got it 'upside down'--so it faces me, not everyone else, because I got it for me and for my dad.

This isn't a post I could schedule, so you're getting this at a random time. I debated leaving comments on or turning them off. I decided to leave them on, but know that I probably won't be replying to any. And I won't be replying to comments currently in my inbox either.

And if you're even considering saying something about how this should make me want to reconcile with my 'father,' don't.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Confessions: I'm a genius.

You may have noticed my absence lately. It's not because I'm behind on replying to comments (which I most certainly am), it's because sometimes life throws things at you. I haven't even been able to think about writing posts or reading blogs or commenting, but I had these three confessions already written up for your reading pleasure, so I figured I'd post them. (Note: I may just scrap replying to the comments in my inbox unless they have a question in them or something. I don't know if it's worth the stress of trying to catch up when I'm back.)

You guys...this might be my favorite confession of all time, because it's the most ridiculous thing I've maybe ever done. (It's a long one, but I think it's worth it.) Last Wednesday night I was frantically looking around for my jewelry. Somehow, I had packed a few necklaces in our move in plastic bags, along with rings and earrings...but I couldn't find the rest of my jewelry. So on Wednesday, I was running around, looking in drawers and boxes and purses and everywhere and just making exasperated grunting noises and I think Michael was scared of me. I had kind of sort of looked the night before, but this night I was determined. There was this one necklace that I've had since high school and always wear a ton in the spring and summer, and I had been wondering for a few days where it was. Before that, I had been wondering where my one and only Kendra Scott necklace was for months. Look at the below picture.
Do you see that turquoise/leopard print little thing in between my clothes and shoe rack? Do you know what that is? It's a jewelry holder. It holds jewelry, in case that wasn't clear. Meaning it held all my "missing" jewelry. And I can't even say it's in a side of my closet I never open. I have to open that side every single day to pick out my shoes. And it's been there for months...since the day we moved in. #facepalm #babygenius

Whenever I saw posts with 'comments turned off' I always wondered how to do it. I finally figured it out a week ago (for my Thursday post) and it was seriously the easiest thing ever and I can't believe it took me so long. #bloggingnovice #technologicallychallenged

I ACCIDENTALLY ALMOST SAID 'SUPPOSABLY' THE OTHER DAY! Oh the humanity! Seriously, it was mostly out. You could tell that's what I was saying. So I immediately said, "supposeDLY" and yes, I emphasized it just like that. Because that is one of my pet peeves. #supposably #embarrassing #IpromiseIspeakEnglish

Linking up with Laura and Lauren for #HashtagHumpday...
...and Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

My Happy List [3.11.16]

Time for another ten things that made me happy this week! Linking up with Krysten & Lindsay and AndreaErika, & Narci.

Number One: Local Coffee

Michael and I went to two cute local coffee shops over the weekend (no pictures, womp womp). We went to Lionheart on Saturday morning. It was my second time (first time was when I met Stephanie!) and his first. I got an iced caramel latte and it was great. Sunday morning we went to Driftwood, which is super close to our apartment. I got an iced Rolo mocha (so chocolate and caramel--yes, I love iced coffee with caramel) and Michael got a honey lavender latte and holy smokes it's all I can think about. I absolutely would've gotten one this week on my way to work if the location was convenient for it at all, but it's not. On my list this weekend (and every subsequent weekend): get a honey lavender latte from Driftwood!

Number Two: Local Food

On Saturday morning, coffee in hand, we headed to the Beaverton farmer's market. We actually went in the summer one day when we were scoping out places to live and happened to stumble upon it. It's every Saturday in the summer, and every other Saturday in the winter. We got ingredients to make dinner and I swear it all just tasted about twenty times better than stuff from the grocery store. The onion we bought was about the size of my head, and so good. We also bought some green chorizo, green onions, and mini potatoes. Michael is a soup master, so he made us a delicious creamy chorizo and potato soup. It was a little bit spicy from the chorizo. I could handle it, but kind of wish it was a tiny bit less spicy. It was so so good, and the only non-local ingredients used were the cream and the olive oil the chorizo was cooked in.

Number Three: Suckers

Michael and I keep buying these dang suckers at the grocery store. We really shouldn't because we may as well just be eating spoonfuls of sugar, but dang, they're good. Strawberry banana wasn't my favorite flavor of the ones I had, it's just the one I took a picture of.

Number Four: No More Office

When I transferred to the Portland branch, I was given an office. My first office ever. I felt super important and it was nice because I could run my heater constantly and I had a window and I could obnoxiously eat my apples in a secluded area. They just hired someone with a fancier job than me (he started on Monday), so I had to move to a cubicle. I actually like it a lot better, because the office was isolating. Now I get to sit next to the only other woman in the office and we get to complain about stuff together (I hadn't gotten to know her at all before moving to the cubicle) and I can also eavesdrop on stuff that people are saying. #nosy

Number Five: Blogger Love!

Two mornings this week I got Twitter notifications that two other awesome bloggers had shared posts of mine! Lexi shared this post and Julie shared this one and you guys...both of them called me funny. One of my favorite things ever is people thinking I'm funny. If you think I'm funny, I want to be your best friend (other ways to become my best friend: buy me coffee, chocolate, or baked goods). [Don't worry, I'll also be someone's best friend for non-superficial reasons.] I am now vowing to share my favorite posts more. I love when bloggers round up some of their favorite posts and blog about them, and I also really need to start using Twitter more, so I hope to actually remember to get to sharing posts. (Also go check out Lexi's blog (she just moved from Colorado to Sacramento, finally ending the long-distance part of her relationship, annnd her job sounds fabulous) and Julie's blog (she just had a baby boy and he is so so precious!).

Number Six: Lace-Up Flats

I mentioned these flats in this post, and I didn't wait very long to buy them (online, so I don't have them yet; actually I got them last night and didn't even open the box yet!). This is a horrible picture, because I haphazardly pushed up my jeans and tied the flats and only took the picture to text to my mom (hi, Mom!) and show Michael even though I knew he wouldn't care at all.
The shoes and boxes all over the floor were not my doing, I promise. That silver shoe with the black toe is the pair I was wearing, everything else, not my fault! I really should've asked this before buying, but if you own a pair of lace-up shoes, can you tell me if they stay up? Like am I constantly going to be retying these? Are the strings going to end up pooled at the bottom of my ankles? I must know.

Number Seven: Crockpot Tuesday

We made this delicious (healthy!) crockpot butter chicken that Nadine shared for our new Crockpot Tuesday ritual. It was soo good! We ate it over rice and had dinner for both Tuesday and Thursday! You could also just make the sauce and pour it over anything without using the crockpot!

Number Eight: A little pick-me-up.

Michael had a bad day on Wednesday. I had a pretty annoying day too, considering it was my third week in a row at the vet (a follow-up for Tully) and it cost me $156. For those following along at home, that's three appointments in three weeks at around $700. Anyway, our dinner was leftover soup, but there wasn't that much, and since I knew Michael was down I suggested Burgerville (my favorite fast food chain ever--but it's Northwest only). Michael got a lettuce wrap burger, we shared rosemary fries (I drive by this BV four times to and from work every day and every time I saw them on the sign I desperately wanted to try them) and I got my favorite milkshake of all time, a mocha perk.

Number Nine: Things We Watched

I finally got to see Room and now I love Brie Larson even more. They did a great job being true to the book. It was super emotional. We also watched both episodes of The Family last night and I'm a huge fan. I need to know what happened/happens. And I love Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights character) so I'm pretty excited the same actor plays the older brother.

Number Ten: This picture.


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Thursday, March 10, 2016

L'Oreal Paris Extraordinary Oil Review

I received these products for free from Influenster. All opinions are my own!

I'm really bad at beauty products. I really dislike spending money on makeup or trying new makeup. I am kind of obsessed with switching up hair products, but I still am not a fan of spending lots of money on them. So when Influenster informed me I was getting free shampoo, conditioner, and serum from L'Oreal I was pretty excited!
I have used hair oils in the past, and I was currently using one when I got these products. (I usually use OGX brand oils, and you have to be really careful not to use too much or your hair will be weighted down and look greasy.)

Now, Influenster wanted people to post before and after pictures of their hair using this product, and I didn't do that because for one, my 'before' picture is after two days of no washing and is generally right when I wake up in the morning. The after is obviously going to look at least slightly better no matter what products I use.

We'll start with the shampoo. It doesn't lather, like at all. I figured it must be sulfate-free. I checked, and it isn't. (So if that's important to you, you won't like this!) It was pretty hard to get my hair washed, but I think that is in part due to the dry shampoo I'm using. (I bought Dove dry shampoo last time...I hate it. It gets really built up and makes my hair have much less movement--so it's hard to wash out with a low-lather shampoo.) Also, the shampoo smells like Amber Romance from Victoria's Secret (I don't know if they still make this scent or not) and I love it.

The conditioner also smells like Amber Romance, but not as strongly. It isn't super thick, so I wasn't sure how well it would work. The thing I liked about the consistency was that it's super easy to spread throughout your hair without using a lot.

Then came the serum. It really does feel like serum, not oil. I'm not sure what else to say about the serum, so on to the results.

I dried my hair and it felt so amazingly soft. Much softer than usual. I've used this system twice, and I've never used any of the products by themselves, so I can't be sure if it was one of them or all of them that worked their magic. Do you ever go outside (even when it's not windy), come back in, and your hair is somehow tangled? Like, hard to run a brush through it? I always have this problem, The days I've used Extraordinary Oil, I left the house for work, came back at lunch (over five hours later), took the dogs out, and when I ran a brush through my hair, there was not a single tangle. That is a game-changer for me.

I know this sounds too good to be true and like I'm talking it up because I got it for free. I honestly didn't expect anything groundbreaking, but I was excited for free products. I'm even happier now because I absolutely love them, and they're inexpensive so I will absolutely repurchase.

*Comments turned off. As always, you can drop me a line at or via one of the social media platforms linked below!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Confessions: The one with the gross eating GIFs (you're welcome).

I keep taking random days off from blogging. I think it's mostly because I get super behind on replying to comments and I try to get caught up over the weekend. If I'm not caught up, I don't want to post on Monday. Plus, I don't know what to post on Mondays beside weekend recaps, and I feel like most of our weekends don't make for entertaining posts. As for the other days off...I just don't know what to post, I'm too lazy to write a post, or again, I'm behind on replying comments and don't want to add any more. #lazyblogger #fullinbox

Remember how I mentioned we had chocolate chip pancakes last Sunday? Well, I went to buy said bag of chocolate chips that very morning just for pancakes. It was gone by Tuesday. And yet I have Thin Mints in my freezer that have been there for over two weeks now... #chocoholic #cleaneating #whole30 #paleo #lol

I put lotion on my arms every day, because I have that gross thing that I always forget the name of (Keratosis Pilaris, thanks Google!) and I am delusional and think it helps (it doesn't). Anyway, I used the last of my Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte from Bath & Body Works but I needed I pulled out my pomegranate lotion. I smelled like a Marshmallow Pumpkin Pomegranate Latte all day. #yum?

This is the saddest confession of them all. You know my beloved Starbucks mug with the gold leopard print (featured here)? Welp, there was some Starbucks coffee in one of those cardboard jugs in the kitchen at work and when you usually drink watery Folger's you JUMP on that... I absentmindedly stuck it in the microwave...and remembered two seconds in (while popping noises were happening) that it's not microwave safe. Luckily I didn't hurt myself or blow up the microwave or burn the building down...but a few (not all) of the gold leopard spots have weird crack/line things in them now and it makes me sad. #sorrymug #Istillloveyouandthinkyou'rebeautiful

In that last confession, I typed 'remembered' as 'remembereded' and it made me think of how they would talk in Rugrats or something. #remembereded #Rugrats #toddlerspeak

I ordered four things from Old Navy recently and for the life of me could only remember three of them. I had to look it up to figure it out. Luckily the thing I forgot (a super cute dress!) is something I really like, but it makes me feel like my shopping is out of hand if I can't even remember what I buy... #shopaholic #twoholichashtagsinonepost

I'm a pretty big fan of apples. I bring them to work and eat them as a snack, unsliced. Let me tell you, I am sooo ladylike when I eat apples...not. I feel like I always take huge bites and then it's really hard to keep it all in, and then there's juice dripping everywhere...basically, it isn't a pretty picture. And I just had to move out of my office into a cubicle, so my apple-eating is now even more on display for the office. #they'rewelcome #buyanappleslicerfortheofficeifitbothersyou

I text 'holla' a lot. Thinking about it, it's honestly kind of embarrassing how often I use it. The reason I know I use it a lot is because at some point I wrote it in all caps, so now every single time I text 'holla,' it autocorrects to 'HOLLA.' 99.9% of the time I'm way too lazy to fix it. (Yes, even clicking the little 'x' to stop the autocorrect from happening at all is too much effort.) So basically I send overenthusiastic texts alllll the time. #autocorrectfail #hollaismyfavoriteword

I feel like every time I start working out again (yeah...I tend to take long hiatuses in between) I start to sweat more. Like, lately sweat has been dripping into my eyes and blinding me. I tell myself it's because my metabolism is faster so I sweat more. Is this even a thing? #sweatingprofusely #mypooreyes

Is it really that hard to comprehend 'windows' in a workout class where you face towards a mirror and follow an instructor? Maybe people who didn't do dance don't know, but you're supposed to stagger yourselves so everyone can see themselves in the mirror. Tell that to the lady who walked in and promptly stood directly in front of me, when she could've stood three feet over and been out of my way. #seriously? #rageblackouts #OCreference

Lastly, my Fitbit decided to freak out and give me zero steps for last Friday, so when I see my weekly step total I get really bitter and have to remind myself that I missed out on a whole day. #takingittooseriously #Fitbit4lyfe

Linking up with Laura and Lauren for #HashtagHumpday...
...and Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Things I Said I'd Never Do

Get married. Well we all know how that turned out. ;)

Have kids. I haven't yet, but I have a major case of baby fever and (at least) three baby names picked out, so...

Wear skinny jeans. I used to always wear flared jeans until skinny jeans became popular when I was in high school. I said I'd never wear skinny jeans because my feet are so big and you can hide that in flares...and now I only wear skinny jeans.

In the town neighboring my hometown, there is a Macy's. It used to be called the Bon Marche (I think this was a chain, so maybe some of you remember that). When Macy's bought them, I said it would always be the Bon to me and I'd never call it Macy's. I call it Macy's.

When I was little, I used to always say 'thongs' instead of 'flip flops.' At that time it wasn't weird to me to call them thongs, even though I knew about the underwear. A lot of people referred to them that way. I hated the term flip flops. I call them flip flops.

Be a runner. I picked up running last year and even ran a 5K! I don't run much anymore, but the fact that running on the treadmill is one of my go-to workouts at the gym is crazy to me.

Wear pointy-toed shoes. Annnd then I fell in love with these lace-up flats. I tried them on over the weekend and can't stop thinking about them! When they started showing up everywhere, I thought they looked so cute but figured I'd never be able to wear them. I love these in cognac, because they'd be spring/summer shoes for me and black wouldn't be that practical...not that I even wear black much in fall or winter.

And I'm sure there are many more things that I'm currently drawing a blank on. Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

Is there anything you said you'd never do and you did it anyway?

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Lately [3.3.16]

I originally had titled this post, "What I've been up to," but I started it and realized it was formatted exactly like a 'currently' post. But I just felt like 'lately' was a better description, since it's just about my life the past few days. So there you go.

Dropping my chapstick in the toilet (and then fishing it it out [yuck] and throwing it in the garbage).

Listening to Tully howl because I let my alarm go off for too long (this is the only time she howls; she whines, sure, but she only howls when your alarm goes off for too long).

Attending my first Timbers (Portland's MLS team) game on Saturday. (Michael took a picture of me but I decided I hated it way too much to post.)

Being happy that Flora started feeling better on Wednesday and didn't puke after Wednesday morning...until Saturday morning when she did it again...annnd again on Monday. :(

Going to open houses to just check out the situation and being sad that we aren't in a position to buy right now (and also freaking out about how quickly houses sell around here).

Eating Sunday morning pancakes (chocolate chip and regular) and turkey bacon plus some fancy Whiskey syrup one of our friends brought us from Seattle when they visited last weekend.

Crushing on Brie Larson because dang she looked awesome in that dress + I loved her acceptance speech.

Feeling so happy for Leo finally winning his first Oscar, and deciding the next non-politician who should run for office (sorry not sorry, Kanye--thanks but no thanks!).

Hating filling out my self-evaluation for my performance review at work. Why are these things so tedious? Plus, it's hard for me to rate myself--it feels unnatural.

Hearing the song 7 Years by Lukas Graham on satellite radio constantly (and I ain't mad about it). Have you heard it? It makes me contemplate life--it's pretty emotional. (But dang, kids actually 'smoke herb' and drink 'burning liquor' at eleven years old?! Yikes.)

Reading Me Before You as fast as I can because the hold list I have going at the library is super stressful. I mean, I should be happy, I guess, right? In Seattle the hold lines were much, much longer...but I only get 21 days with each book (you can't extend e-books...womp, womp), and only three days before my hold goes away unless I check it out. I'm just going to cry if a bunch of them become available at once.

Lusting over this pretty little watch. It was on Rue La La the other day for $150, but there were two left. I just kept wishing Nordstrom would price match it so I could use my gift card and just pay $50 for it...but no such luck.

Spending way too much time trying to find a gif of Olivia Munn from the end of the Oscars--her arms were loaded with Girl Scout cookies and she had this maniacal look in her eyes. It made me want to be friends with her. (I just saw an article that said she looked 'scary skinny' at the Oscars. Excuse me? I thought she looked healthy and that dress looked awesome on her. Body shaming happens to everyone, folks...)

Linking up with Kristen and Gretchen for What's New With You, Annie and Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tell Us About It: Favorite Winter Activities & Memories

We're back! It's time for our monthly Tell Us About It link-up. Join me, Julie, and Katie as we discuss our favorite winter activities and memories!

First of all, I'm going to leave this post here. I shared some of my favorite Christmas traditions, and most of those are my favorite winter activities too!

I'll admit, I really procrastinated this post, so I'm just going to add a quick winter memory that I really love. In the Pacific Northwest, it doesn't snow every year. White Christmases are few and far between. The first (and only) white Christmas I ever remember having was a few years ago (five?). It snowed so much. The snow drifts on our deck were probably at least two feet deep (I know that seems like nothing to a lot of you, but it was crazy for us!). I distinctly remember that we put our champagne out in the snow drift to chill, which was genius.

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