Northwest Native: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A few of my favorite things.

Brown paper packages tied up with strings--especially when they're unexpected! I'm actually serious. While we were gone, my friend Chloe checked on the house for us and we had two packages, but I was only expecting one. We got home and the surprise package was a thank you from our mortgage company--a super gorgeous wool blanket from Sackcloth and Ashes! I hadn't heard of them before, but for every blanket purchased, they donate a blanket to a homeless shelter. (Ours is this one.) And inside the box, it really was wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. (And yep, this is the whole reason for my post title.)

Winning giveaways! I feel like blogging is my lucky charm. I think this is the fourth giveaway I've won since taking up blogging (plus one that I was told I won and never received...). I won a $75 credit to Jord from Danielle! The only downside is that I'm in horrible financial shape after that vacation + our first round of adult bills...so I'm going to have to wait until my next paycheck to use it!

Live-tweeting The Bachelorette. You guys, once DVR/On Demand existed, I was like, "Why in the world would you ever watch anything live?" But now I know: live-tweeting. We've watched The Bachelorette live a few times for lack of anything better to do, and I didn't plan on live-tweeting it on Monday, but I tweeted once and it was great so I just kept on going. So, in case you like the show and don't like Twitter (and think I'm hilarious), here are a few of my tweets, in all their glory. (Also, no spoilers because uh hello I live on the west coast sooo spoilers run rampant when you're behind the three other time zones and I know the frustration....BUT...I was really sad about who went home on Monday. I may be #TeamJordan, but after him, I was #TeamThoseOtherGuys.)


Pretty sunsets. I took this picture from our backyard. We've had some awesome sunsets since moving in.

Missing You by All Time Low and Send My Love by Adele. I know these aren't super new, but they are my jams right now (and have been for a week or two). [I feel like every time I post a song I like everyone is like, "I'm so over that song," and so I'm being super defensive about it. Ha!]

King bed!!! I know I haven't shut up about this, but I'm so happy we have a king bed now. (We still don't have king pillows, which is sad-looking, and Tully still just HAS to sleep on my side, in between/right next to/or on top of my legs unfortunately, but it's still great!) If you're looking for a cheap mattress that doesn't suck (and have Amazon Prime), I can now recommend this one. I'm also loving our bed frame, which was super reasonable too and it's from Wayfair, so shipping was free (and now their commercial jingle is stuck in my head). My mom donated us two sets of sheets she doesn't use, but we don't have other bedding yet. It's been hot, so we're just sleeping with sheets, and if it gets cold we'll have to use our queen comforter, which will look ridiculous. Like I said, money is tight right now, but I really like this comforter set! I feel like it's pretty without being too girly.

That's all for now! Hopefully tomorrow/next week I can start posting about our Wisconsin (with a tiny bit of Minnesota thrown in) trip and also finish our dang love story! (I am so sick of it you guys, you don't even know. I didn't know it would be so much work! Ha!)

I'm linking up with Annie & Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Oy.

Hi friends!

You may have noticed my absence. I was on vacation in Wisconsin/Minnesota for a week, didn't bring my laptop, and didn't really think about blogging once and it was glorious. (Makes it hard to make myself get back into it!) I wanted to have more posts scheduled, but only got my budget post for June done (I've actually updated it--one of my links was wrong and I returned something else).

Anyway, I'm exhausted. We went to a wedding Saturday night and stayed until we were kicked out at midnight. We had to leave for the airport at 4 a.m., so we just stayed up all night and slept through our three hour flight. We got in to PDX at around 8 a.m. (time differences are weird) and I took four hours worth of naps. Then we put together our king bed and I had maybe the best sleep of my life last night, but I'm still recovering from the all-nighter, the excessive eating/drinking for a week with no real exercise (minus walking, a paddle boat rental, and dancing at the reception), and the awesome sore throat, stuffy nose and excessive sneezing I'm experiencing.

Just wanted to let you know I'll be back some day. Not sure when...but eventually I will post, reply to comments, and start commenting on blogs again.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

June Budget [2016]

$760.17 - Annual budget remaining
$100 - JCPenney gift card
$45 - Old Navy credit card rewards
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$981.15 - Maximum budget amount available
june budget 2016
Mid-Rise Rockstar Raw-Hem Jeans - $34.94, on sale for $30 - 30% off promo - rewards = $13.19 returned

Mid-Rise Rockstar Skinny Jeans (Santa Rosa wash) - $34.94, on sale for $28 - 30% off promo - rewards = $12.31 returned

Mid-Rise Rockstar Jeans - $34.94 - 30% off promo - rewards = $15.36

Mid-Rise Rockstar Skinny Jeans (leaf me alone) - $34.94 - 30% off promo - rewards = $15.36

Sleeveless Knit Swing Dress (olive stripe) - $26.94, on sale for $18 - 30% off promo - rewards = $7.91

Relaxed Full-Zip Hoodie (dark charcoal gray) - $26.94 - 30% off promo - rewards = $11.84 returned

My $45 Old Navy rewards were burning a hole in my pocket, and I had found a bunch of things on the site that I wanted, so I decided to go to the store so I could try things on (and see if they were cheaper online or in store since their prices are always all over the place). The only original things I found online that I walked out wanting were the sage green skinnies and the dress. I tried on the top right jeans in store and really liked them, but decided I'd order a few other light-wash pairs in the same fit to see if I liked them--I ended up with the pair I originally tried on. My order totaled $120.97, but after my rewards were applied, I only paid $75.97. And I knew I was only going to keep two of the three pairs of blue jeans, so I would be getting some of that back. I thought the hoodie was a fleecy warm one, but it turned out to be t-shirt thin. So back it went.

I had already made the collage because I thought I was done shopping (and probably should've been, to be honest) but I'm weak and when Nordstrom offers 10-point days I am powerless to resist. I haven't been wanting the shoes for that long, but I couldn't stop thinking about them. I have a pair of wedges from Target that I wore the other day and realized they just don't fit very well, so I think I will get rid of those to make myself feel better about buying these. The two tops I have been wanting for a long time and the reviews are so great, and I figured the black and white ones wouldn't go on sale for quite some time (especially since they could be worn all seasons with the addition of layers), so I grabbed those too. I might get rid of two black and white tanks I currently own (I loved them at first, but now I kind of think they're an awkward length, plus they're racerbacks which are hard with bras), but I haven't decided.

Sam Edelman 'Dali' Wedge Sandal (putty) - $99.95 updated after posting - returned
I tried these on in the store with a nylon and they fit, but when I got them and tried them on without, they didn't fit very well.

Lush Side Slit Tank - $34, x2 (black & ivory) = $68

Also, my Asics that I bought when we first decided to start running have developed holes where my pinky toes rub. I emailed Asics just to see if that was a faulty pair or if that would happen in any pair, if there was a style that would fit better, etc. and they were like, "If you have your receipt and it's been less than two years, you can go back to where you bought them and exchange them." Well, it's been more than two years, I definitely don't have the receipt, and the store is in Seattle. Thanks for answering the questions I actually asked. *eye roll* So I decided to finally use part of the $100 gift card to JCPenney I won from Elle's blog and buy a discounted style of Asics. It says they're for 'low mileage runners' and I'd say since I don't actually run anymore, I qualify. But I just think Asics are so comfortable, so I wanted to stick with them. These wouldn't be deducted from my budget if I had used my own money since they are a necessity. I got the silver/green/teal because they were the only colorway in my size, but I think they're prettier than my last pair (which I also didn't have a choice on). (I've had that $100 JCP gift card included in my budget amount since I got it, but I think I'm going to remove the remainder. I'm thinking of spending it on bedding or something. If I do end up using it for clothes, I'll just add it back that month.)

Asics Gel-Contend 3 Running Shoes - $65, on sale for $49.99 - paid with gift card = $0

And lastly, not something I include in my budget amount, but I bought the entertainment center I mentioned in this post. Before, we were using one of those IKEA shelves with the four squares, and our TV was wider than the stand, which just doesn't look right. Having a real entertainment center has made such a huge difference in how our living room looks (and feels). I cashed in some Swagbucks for a gift card to put toward this purchase.

Tribecca Home Media Console - $184.99 - $25 gift card - 12% off coupon = $137.79

Amount spent toward budget: $15.36 + $15.36 + $7.91 + $99.95 + $34 + $34 = $206.58 $106.63

So, over budget when you take the $1,200/year budget and average it to $100/month, but I started the year with $1,200 allocated for the year, and with this month considered, I still have $553.59 $653.54 remaining, which means we're halfway through the year, and just over less than halfway through the budget. I'm going to try to keep next month's shopping light. I'm thinking it might have to include this skirt that I saw at Target over the weekend. It's waaay cuter in person than online.

$653.54 - Annual budget remaining
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$729.87 - Maximum budget amount available

I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers whenever the link-up goes live. (Posting early-ish to discourage more shopping and also because I've been on vacation this week!)

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Love/Hate/Personal [6.17.16]

This was originally going to be a blogger love post, and then I found something to put in a 'hate' section, and then I wanted to share some personal things. Sooo, "Love/Hate/Personal" was born. Maybe I'll make it a series. Who knows.

The Loves

This post is perfection. It's oldish, but I found it through Carly. She commented on this post of mine and sent a link to this letter of his (also perfection). I had already read his letter to Brock Turner's father that went viral, and in that post he linked to this one. So it was random, but I loved it. And it was fitting after such a despicable act of hate toward the LGBT community in Orlando. (He wrote this in the wake of that.)
I took this picture during Pride in 2014 in Seattle. Kind of poor quality because it was on my phone and zoomed in (and I cropped it for this post) but seeing the city I lived in supporting the right to love who you want made me so happy.

Ericka's post, The Paradox of Being a Woman, is spot on. As a woman, you can't win. You're a slut or a prude, high maintenance or lazy, too loud or too quiet, have too many kids or are selfish for having only one or none... But men? Nah, men can do whatever they want, obviously.

Morgan's post, Why I'm Not a Fashion Blogger, definitely resonated with me. I left a crazy long comment on it, so I'll spare you my feelings about it and you can go read that comment instead. Ha! But I have to say that Morgan can write a serious post (or a post with a serious meaning) and still be hilarious.

Dani does it again. I could relate to her post, though our experiences have some differences, and she's had more time to deal with things. I removed my father from my life more recently, so I still feel a little bit of guilt, and I'm definitely not ready to forgive. But after reading this, I feel like maybe I will get there one day.

The Hate

[Note the double meaning: He is spewing hate & I hate this hate.]
This is absolutely NOT my favorite. This is despicable and disgusting. Last I checked, the books of all major religions (including Islam, BTW) say to love one another. So the fact that this Baptist pastor could say he's happy that 49 innocent people were killed because of who they love (in his words, they're pedophiles) is repulsive and so not in line with the foundations that his religion is supposed to be based on. He also says that the government should put all gay people in front of a firing squad, but goes on to say that the congregation should not take action themselves.

The fact that people like this exist makes me nauseous, angry, sad, and scared. And the fact that this man preaches to a congregation who most likely share his sentiments makes it even worse. Remember how on Monday I said that we can't blame all Muslims for the actions of a small sector of extremists? Here is your example of an extremist of another religion.

The Personal

I blogged five days this week. I didn't think that would ever happen again. (Don't come to expect it either...no way will I keep this up consistently!)

I did something to my wrist on Wednesday night. I honestly think it happened using my weights...which are five pounds. Yeah. I thought it would be temporary, but I woke up to it still hurting yesterday morning, and it hurt throughout the day.

This weekend is Father's Day. While most of the world country is celebrating their dads, my family and I will be scattering the ashes of mine. I'm sure it will be hard to see all the social media posts this weekend (seeing the advertisements everywhere has been hard too), but I would never be bitter about it. In fact, if your father (or a father figure) is in your life, I want you to show your love or honor him. If social media is your avenue to do so, do it. Do it because everyone who has lost their dad wishes they would've called them more, or hugged them more, or that they could just spend another minute with them. And if you lost your dad, or never met him, or he abandoned you or you cut him out of your life, just know that you aren't alone.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Things No One Ever Needs To Know About Me

Do you ever think of the most random facts and stories about yourself? Not your favorite color or food, or what you wanted to be when you grew up. But just random things you've done or can do or like that you would never find on a questionnaire somewhere? Well, I do, and as with most things that pop into my head my first thought was, "Can I blog that?!" So, here you go.

When I was little, my mom used to love buying me legging sets. I had a few, but the one I distinctly remember was brown leggings with acorns and leaves on them, paired with a sweater and a turtleneck to go under (yes, they were all coordinated--they were made to be). I absolutely despised wearing leggings. I know, right? Leggings are a gift now, but as a child, so not for me. I just didn't like how they clung to my legs. I distinctly remember crawling under my bed in those leggings for some reason, and they got snagged on a wire from the bed frame and I was so happy there was a hole in them so I couldn't wear them anymore! Ha!

I own this shirt. Yes, it says, "There ain't no party like an S Club Party" and I should know, because I went to that S Club Party. In my case, it was a nostalgic but underwhelming party because it was only Jo and Bradley or something like that. But still, life goal achieved. Another thing to note, I'm not wearing pants in this picture. You're welcome for not including visible evidence of that.

Once, in the first few months that we lived in Seattle after graduating, Michael dropped me off at work on his way to an interview (I normally walked to work from our first apartment when we didn't have dogs so I didn't have to go home to at lunch). I got out at a red light, opened my door without looking, and a bicyclist suddenly crashed into a construction cone next to my open door trying to avoid it. I was mortified and asked if he was okay and said sorry but he just got on his bike and sped away. I still feel bad about that!

I love mascots. Michael thinks mascots are dumb and pointless, but there is a point. The point is to entertain children and myself. I seriously bought a boy's large t-shirt with the Blazer's mascot on it. And I fangirl over mascots. Like if I can get a picture with a mascot at a sporting event, I'm ridiculously happy.
Shopping in the boy's section because I'm a child.

I don't wear concealer and pretty much never have. Exceptions can be seen in this post where I put myself on blast for using way too much of it/a shade (or seven) too light of it. When I started wearing foundation, it was BareMinerals. The starter kit came with foundation, a foundation brush, a concealer brush, and a few other things. The point is to use the foundation powder as both your foundation and concealer. Since then, I've purchased a Bobbi Brown foundation stick (I wanted more coverage for wedding makeup, and the girl at the counter said stick foundation would be best for pictures) and on Tuesday I purchased my first liquid foundation from the drugstore...and I still just use the foundation as concealer. I can't bring myself to spend more money on it, especially since I don't know how to match it. (I was proud enough that when I bought my drugstore foundation after staring at the different colors for fifteen minutes it actually matched pretty well.)

I'm the absolute furthest thing from a germaphobe you can possible be. I hate the smell of 'unscented' hand sanitizer. I hate that it dries out your hands. I have literally never bought a bottle of it.

I've mentioned this before but I hate the feeling of getting my blood pressure taken. I'm not a fan of the squeezing, I don't know why.

I have a horrendous cowlick. Bangs? Forget about 'em. Hair laying right even without bangs? Nope, that doesn't work either. Apparently it's hereditary though because my cousin (technically my third cousin) and I look a lot alike annnd...she has the cowlick too.

I had to lower my Fitbit sleep goal from eight hours to seven or else I would never ever hit it. (I think I hit the eight hour goal like twice ever.) And I still don't usually hit the seven hour goal (and if I do, it's only on weekends).

I hate the feeling of loose rings. Last year, when Michael and I took up running, I could feel my engagement ring bouncing back and forth on my finger during the beginning of a run (until I got hot and my fingers kind of swelled). Now that I'm working out again, my rings are loose again and moving around. It seriously grosses me out. I'm not even kidding, that feeling gives me the heebie jeebies. But I guess I should be happy because I'm losing excess fat (in the one place I really don't care about it, my fingers). [When I got my rings soldered together, the looser one was sized down to match the size of the other one, so it's not as bad; the ring I wear on my other hand moves around too though.]

Speaking of rings, the ring I always wear on my right hand is actually my mom's wedding ring from her marriage to my biological father. She gave it to me in high school, around the time my grandma passed away and we were going through things in the house, so I had assumed it was my grandma's. I randomly found it again a couple years ago and started wearing it and my mom saw and said, "Oh, you have that? I was trying to find it to give it to you!" And then she told me where it actually came from. I kept wearing it because I think it's a pretty/unique ring. I could've stopped wearing it because of my father's actions, but he doesn't have that power over me. Anyway, the day before I posted my tell-all about my father, the ring somehow got caught on something inside my car door (still have no idea what) and I yanked my hand (because I didn't think it was caught on something hard, like metal) and it bent the ring like crazy. I can't decide if I should take it as a sign to not wear it anymore, or if I should just take it to a jeweler to get bent back into shape.

I'm linking up with Danielle and Lynn for Confessional Thursday, Annie and Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday, and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

M&M: A Love Story - Part Five

In case you missed it: Part One // Part Two // Part Three // Part Four

Long time no talk telling you about how Michael and I got together even though probably no one cares but me.

I flew home from Sydney on June 30th, 2012. When I landed in LAX, Michael was among the first few people I texted. I'm sure I texted my mom first, and I may have texted my friend Abby (who you may remember from part four; she was flying to LAX on a different flight and we were hoping to meet up before our flights home). I pretty vividly remember that first text conversation after months of Facebook chatting:

Me: Guess what.
Him: Best day ever.
Me: Why?
Him: You're back!

After that day, we started texting often. We had plans to see each other in July, when he would be in Seattle to work for a week (he worked for the organization that his dad works for, which has an office in the Bay Area where they live, in Seattle, and a few other places). I drove up to Seattle to stay with my friend Emily for a day or two before seeing him. We had plans to hang out on July 20th, a Friday. We actually ended up meeting up for a short time a couple of days before that.

We met up in the Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is) and just sat on a bench and talked. It was nervewracking and kind of awkward, but it was still good. I'm thinking that was Wednesday night. He went to the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises. A few states away in Colorado (and an hour ahead of us) there was a shooting at the premier. I remember being worried about him. (And consequently I'm never 100% comfortable in movie theaters anymore.)

Friday came around, and I drove to him and we went on our first official date for brunch at Coastal Kitchen. We walked around Volunteer Park. We were both kind of dancing around the issue of making it 'official.' I 100% knew he wanted to, but I think he was still a little unsure about what I wanted. He refused to ask/say it, so this is how it went down.

Me: I think we should date.

I have a way with words. And there you have it. We also took our very first picture together that day.

After that, Michael went back to California and we were back to texting, Facebook chatting, and phone calls. But he came to visit me at my parents' house about a month later. Yes, you heard that right. After one month of officially dating, with only really a day of that being in person, he not only met my parents...but he stayed in their house for multiple nights. Our story isn't a super conventional one.

Also, since we made it official, Michael kept hinting that he wanted to say the L word (but like for real this time, not how he had said it in the past). I said absolutely not, I wanted that to be in person. So the first night at my parents', we were hanging out with my parents all evening, and then my friend Chloe came over and we were watching a movie. I had already decided that once we were alone, I was going to tell him I loved him and be all brave and say it first. But when Chloe and I were running upstairs to get our Ben & Jerry's, Michael waved me over after she was up the stairs and beat me to the punch.

We were about 30-40 minutes away from each other when we were back in school. I actually got a part-time job as a cashier at Michael's, but I quit after about a month because my school work load was bigger than it had ever been, plus adding in trying to see Michael and I just started sobbing to my mom on the phone one day. After that, I would drive up to Seattle or he would take the bus down to Tacoma so we could spend weekends together.

For Christmas, I asked my mom for a plane ticket to go visit Michael and meet his family over winter break. I went down on the 29th of December and got to meet Michael's mom, dad, one of his sisters, and some family friends of theirs.

I really really didn't want to do this...but I'm going to hold off for another post. Mostly because it's already 9 p.m. Tuesday night and I'm just tired of writing, but also because I feel like the engagement/proposal stuff would be pretty long and make this post drone on. Sorry!

To be continued...

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Photo Dump/Faves

My happy, fluffy blog posting has fallen to the wayside lately, so I'm going to keep it light today.

First and foremost: I was driving to work yesterday and Hell No by Ingrid Michaelson came on and I loved it. I often have to hear a song a couple times to really dig it, but this one was so catchy immediately, and it's female-empowering which I'm all about.

We went to Beaverton Bakery with Michael's dad when he was here, and they do not disappoint. The last time I went (which was also the first!) was right around the time I started blogging! I blogged pictures of their super cute sugar cookies then, and I couldn't not do it this time too.
I obviously love the anchors, but I also love the sailboats, bicycles, watermelons, dinosaurs, Oregons(!), cool suns, and the colorful flowers on the top shelf!

We also made breakfast that weekend, and I was in charge of the pancakes. I always use a mix (gluten free now, because of Michael). But don't you still feel like you're skilled when you can make something like cake or pancakes from a mix? I added chocolate chips and blueberries, and Michael's dad loved them. Apparently they're one of his favorite foods, so I felt like that was impressive. But Michael was only surprised he liked them despite the fact that they were gluten free. I mentioned how my dad is the one who taught me to make pancakes, so it'll always be special to me. Michael's dad goes, "From scratch?" and I said no...and then they didn't say anything so obviously that meant that you don't have to be taught to do that? I don't know. Anyway, I was proud of myself and will always think of my dad when I make pancakes.

Not a good picture because #awkwardhand, but we have a new favorite (chain) coffee place. Black Rock Coffee Bar is a drive-through/walk-up chain of coffee shops like Dutch Bros, which I blogged about before. I loved Dutch Bros the first time I had it, but the times after that were pretty underwhelming. At Black Rock I love the iced caramel blondie (aka white mocha with caramel). I had one Saturday and Sunday. No shame. Now we just need to find our new favorite standalone coffee shop...but I kind of doubt anywhere can take the place of Driftwood.

My first 'fancy key.' I got it at Home Depot and I'm in love. Audrey, this one's for you. Also I know it's super lame that my purse is the background. I actually Snapchatted a picture where I'm holding it and my dog is in the background, but...never took a new picture for blogging purposes.

In case anyone was wondering why I 'favor' Tully in the picture department... When I take a picture of Flora indoors, she just comes out as a big black blob. And then, because she's nervous, when we're outside she's constantly moving around because she hears noises, so you can't get a picture of her looking at you. At least not one that isn't blurry. (Anchor doormat here, in case you care.)

We grilled pineapple and watermelon on Sunday! The pineapple was awesome, the watermelon, not so much. (But that was because of the watermelon itself--it was basically flavorless.)

Look at these perfect flowers from our backyard! They just bloomed this weekend. There are three of these plants in the backyard and I love them, but whoever planted all the stuff back there just doesn't make sense to me. They put a bush in each corner (both of which we have gotten rid of now), a few other random bushes in the middle of the yard, and these flowers right in the middle of the yard. I would prefer these to be closer to the fence, so there's more open space in the yard. But I don't have a green thumb, so I'll have to wait for my mom to come help us out again and teach me how to uproot and replant them!

Here's Michael posing with the 'trunk' of one of the random bushes (that was basically a tree) that he had just cut down with a little hand saw. It was like 85 degrees at the time, and reached around 100.

So you've already sort of seen the purse above. My purse came last week (I had it delivered to the office) and I changed purses right at my desk. It was necessary given that the blue matched the blue in my favorite shirt (similar) perfectly!

While we were checking out at the grocery store, this book caught my eye (the cover and the title, how could it not?!). I read the synopsis, then took the picture so I'd remember it later. If we're friends on Goodreads, you may have seen me add this to my TBR list. I just feel like it's a shocking development that I found a book I wanted to read and it wasn't from blogging. Shocking enough to blog about it. (But...I had heard about A Man Called Ove, which you can see was written by the same author, through blogging. And two bloggy friends already had it on their TBR.)

Lastly, I'm kind of obsessed with these shoes in the putty color. I don't have any wedges with open backs, so I am intrigued.

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Heartbroken.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to the news that there was a shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and that twenty people had died. Later, that number had climbed to fifty, making it the worst mass shooting in the history of this country. I was (and am) deeply saddened. I can't wrap my head around how anyone could ever commit a horrific act like this. But I can't say that I was shocked, and that makes this even more heartbreaking.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may remember this post. I mentioned that I avoid talking about 'the issues' on this space, because I don't want to offend, I don't want backlash, and I don't want to lose any of this community. But I can't stay silent now.

I want to start by saying I am devastated over the loss of fifty innocent lives. I cried multiple times yesterday reading and watching coverage and thinking about the family members and friends that had someone special taken from them, and about all the things that were taken from the victims.

And now I have to break my silence on some things. It's more important to me to be totally honest than to care about who stops reading my blog because they disagree with me.

First of all, I have to say that I am one hundred percent for gay marriage. I was thrilled with the Supreme Court ruling that made it legal throughout the country. I remember the ruling came down on a Friday, and I had already posted my Friday Favorites, but I updated it to add that as my number one favorite. So, this isn't the first time I've publicly declared my support of LGBT rights on the blog, and I haven't shied away from publicly commenting in support on other blogs either. (This isn't actually a belief I ever purposely avoided blogging about, but I feel it should be mentioned.)

I absolutely do not condone violence of any kind. I feel like we are too war-hungry as a nation, and along with that, we are probably desensitized to violence to an extent. And yes, I know that there have been necessary battles fought, and that brave men and women have fought for our country and many have sacrificed their lives, and I am not discounting that.

I think we definitely need some reform in our gun control laws. I don't think it's okay that pretty much anyone can get their hands on an assault rifle. I honestly don't think anyone needs to be able to access an assault rifle, except maybe the military. Yes, I do know about the Second Amendment. No one is suggesting that we take all guns away and ban them for life. But we need a better system. For example, under our current system, an individual on the terror watch list can still buy whatever guns he damn well pleases. Does that seem right to anyone?

Speaking of terror, terrorists come from all sorts of backgrounds. Yes, we have seen Islamic extremists (extremist is the operative word here) carry out acts of terror. But these things happen at the hands of all sorts of races, religions, and backgrounds. When I see people making generalizations about an entire religion because of these things, it terrifies me. Saying we need to ban an entire religious group from our country (or worse, making threats against them) makes us as bad as extremists who do commit acts of terrorism. And I think about all of the Muslims who live in this country and are just as horrified by Islamic extremists as everyone else is and it makes me scared for them. Freedom of religion is also in the Constitution, for anyone who thinks we need to keep our assault rifles but get rid of Muslims. Just wanting to point out the double standard at play there.

I believe in equality for all. I don't care what color you are, what religion you are, who you love, what gender you identify with. Living in this country is supposed to mean "liberty and justice for all," not just for majorities.

I have had a pit in my stomach all day. I still can't imagine how someone could be filled with so much hatred for anyone to commit an atrocity like this. My heart breaks for the victims, their family and friends, the LGBT community, the city of Orlando and the first responders, and this country.

Comments turned off for obvious reasons. I know some people will agree, and some will disagree. Both sides are entitled to their opinions, and this is a statement, not a debate. Feel free to email me (my email address is in my about me section) or contact me otherwise if you wish, but if you're going to argue, I probably won't respond. If you're going to send me insults or hateful remarks, I'll probably just screenshot them and post them in a future blog post, if I'm being honest.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Blogging community, I love you.

I was going to write a Friday Favorites post today, and it was going to include pretty sugar cookies and stuff I want from Old Navy. But this felt more important, and I didn't want it to share space with cookies and clothes. This is a blogger love/favorites post of sorts, but it is a somber one. I couldn't get my thoughts together to write a whole post about the Stanford rape case (I shared a short blurb of my feelings here), but so many other bloggers wrote extremely moving posts that reflected things that I'm feeling. So I'm going to spotlight them today.

**Please note that some of these posts may contain triggers for victims of sexual assault or rape.**

Liz from J for Joiner: When the justice system fails

Audrey from Life as Louise: Thoughts on Recent Events

Erin from TexErin-in-Sydneyland: My two cents

Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos: It's Not Okay

Stephanie from Life According to Steph: Thursday Thoughts: Burn It Down

There are probably more that I've read and forgotten to include, and I'm sure there are hundreds of blog posts about this issue that I haven't seen. Steph's post linked above also has links to a bunch of other posts and articles that I didn't link here.

If you're unfamiliar with the case, this article outlines some of the major points, and Brock's statement as well as the victim's statement and Brock's father's statement are linked within.

Michele Dauber, a Stanford professor, has tweeted a lot about the case, and I think she has a lot of good insight. She tweets a lot of letters written by friends of Brock to try to establish his character. The ones I've read blame the victim and act like Brock did nothing wrong, except maybe underage drinking.

One such character statement, written by his friend Leslie Rasmussen, is the only one I've read in full. And here is a response that summarizes all that is so wrong with her letter.

I was shocked to learn that Brock Turner has a sister. His father has a daughter. And yet, his father totally disregarded the victim. This easily could've happened to his daughter, and yet he shows absolutely no empathy.

Joe Biden wrote an open letter to the victim, and I almost cried at work reading it. I had no idea he wrote a Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

Note: I believe the outcome of this case was completely wrong and that Brock Turner deserves to go to state prison for much longer than six months, but I don't support death threats to anyone involved in this case (or ever, for that matter).

Comments turned off so you can do some reading/commenting on other posts (or not!).


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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Confessions: Anger & Ice Cream

I tried to write a post detailing my thoughts (horror) regarding the Stanford rapist case...but I couldn't. It ended up rambly, and my thoughts on things I'm passionate about are always so coherent in my head, but when I go to write them...it's hard. A few things: 1. I don't care how drunk anyone is, that doesn't justify rape or make it the victim's fault in the slightest. 2. The fact that he plans to educate students on 'the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity' makes me sick. I think it's a valid thing to teach students, but not in relation to this case. He doesn't get to teach students about sexual promiscuity (because his saying this is disregarding the fact that this was rape, plain and simple--not two drunk people being sexually promiscuous). 3. Six months in county jail? The minimum was supposed to be six years? He deserves more time, and he deserves state prison. Oh but that would impact his life too much? Oh poor thing. How the judge could hear the victim's statement and then decide the impact on his life would be too harsh is absolutely batshit to me. (But poor Brock is too depressed to eat his favorite snacks anymore. That's no way to live!) #incomprehensiblerage #ourjusticesystemisajoke

Now, I'll try to move on to lighter things after that one...

Leave Taylor Swift alone. So she's going through a breakup. The jokes about how it'll be included in her next album are fine (but really, really unoriginal), but the inevitable, "She must be so annoying," and, "She can never keep a guy around," and, "She's such a slut for dating so many guys," are not okay. She's hardly the only person (famous or not) to date and go through breakups. It happens. And I'm sure it's hard on her, and getting slammed by people while she's already dealing with the breakup itself would suck. And probably contributes to her writing material, so I guess there's that. #teamtaylor

via GIPHY

I need want so many things for the house, it's overwhelming. As I type this, I have seven tabs open of things I want (four address stamps from Etsy--can't decide which to get!--a console table for behind the couch, a Portland neighborhood poster to match the Seattle one we already have, and a TV stand that matches the console table). Other things: I'm trying to find the right table/cabinet/hutch to use as a coffee bar. I've desperately wanted a coffee bar for years because hashtag Pinterest (my most pinned thing is probably coffee bars--I've pinned those in the double digits). We just bought a king mattress, but have to wait on the bed frame because if we ordered it now, it'd arrive when we were in the midwest later this month (boo slow shipping!). Luckily, we're getting about $700 back from our apartment deposit, unluckily, we got our first mortgage payment bill (due in July). #buyallthethings

We have a digger. Michael sent me this picture yesterday morning. She was outside for like three minutes while he was getting ready for work, and she did this to our patio. We already wanted to lay sod in at least part of the backyard, and now apparently we need to to discourage the digging. #rascal

I ate entirely too much ice cream over the weekend. Friday night we went to froyo, Saturday we went to Salt & Straw (best ice cream of all time) after dinner, and Sunday after we dropped Michael's dad off at the airport, we bought ice cream on the way home. I'd say that's the sign of a successful weekend. #icecreamforever

I'm going through a major blogging slump. Last week I was fine as far as I can remember, but suddenly I've just not wanted to write anything. After work I just want to go to the gym, or do stuff around the house, and then hang out with Michael since I don't have to wait until after seven for him to get home. When I'm on the computer I just want to look for more furniture/decor for the house, or look on Pinterest for inspiration. I'm still enjoying reading blogs...but the writing has me stumped. I still have at least one more part of Michael and I's story to write, and I haven't even started it. I don't know. How do I get past this? #nomotivation

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

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Favorites: More house stuff, mostly.

'Auto' photo editing in Google photos rules. Before doing that, Flora's face in this picture was just blackness. You couldn't really even tell she had a face. I was making crazy person noises to get Flora to look at me for this picture, so Tully tilted her head like, "What in the hell are you doing, woman?"

I posted a picture of our guest room bedding in this post [side note: all of those pillows came in the bedding set, and it even came with a bed skirt which we can't use with a futon and two giant square decorate pillow cases--is it just me, or are those two pillows with shams + four decorative pillows not enough?!], but that was before getting the futon frame set up, arranging the 'bed' where we wanted it, and a few more touches. A (mostly) complete guest room! We still need to get our signed Blazers jersey framed and hang it, and I think we'll probably paint that dresser (it's the one from Goodwill) white eventually. Sorry for the two almost identical photos...I just couldn't get all three pieces of furniture in the shot together. And the lighting is bad because I was too lazy to open the blinds. But you get the idea. I'm so excited for Michael's dad to get here tonight so we can show him the house and his room for the weekend!

So...the selling realtor on our house was a nightmare. I mentioned a few of the issues we had with him/the seller in this post...but I think this takes the cake. When we moved in, we just used the lockbox code to get that key out. We had one key. We didn't have mail keys or a garage door opener. We texted our realtor to ask about the rest of the keys and what to do with the lockbox. She said she thought he had picked up the lockbox already...and asked him about the keys. Turns out (after about five days of our realtor having to ask him) that he lost all the keys. Grand. Our realtor bought us a universal garage door opener and brought it over, we bought a rekeying kit [I went to buy one and the guy at Home Depot said they rekey things for free...so I decided not to buy one then; but Michael wanted to do it himself. I told him if it's hard and he gets mean/it causes us to get in a fight I was going to tell him, "I told you so" SO HARD. It started off bad--he kept asking me to help and I was like uh, no, I wanted this done for free at Home Depot...but eventually all our locks were done and we didn't kill each other] and we just threw the damn lockbox in the trash because I really don't care if the selling realtor wants it back at this point. I had to go to the post office and pay $40 to get the locks changed on our mailbox. BUT, now that that ordeal is over, Michael doesn't have to stop at my office on the way to work every morning to give me the house key so I can go home at lunch/after work. Also, you know those cutesy keys? I've never had one, but there was a fox one at Home Depot and I am absolutely going to get one made for my house key. Also also--if you are planning on buying/selling a house in the Portland area, I can tell you who not to use as a realtor. (And also who to use because we absolutely love our realtor.)

GOO GONE IS MAGICAL. Have you ever had to use Goo Gone? I use it mostly to get sticker price tags off of the glass part of picture frames. But for some reason our house had this big sticker on this tiny section of the glass door. It basically just makes things fuzzy, so I guess it's for privacy...but the entire rest of the glass door was wide open. It's weird because it's right at chest height, so I guess you could stand topless in that section? But you couldn't walk to/from that section because people could see through the rest of the glass door... Anyone have any idea why someone would put a sticker like this at about chest height on one side of a glass door? I just don't understand. (This picture was after the sticker was removed...that's all just residue it left behind. But Goo Gone/an ice scraper got that all off for me!)

Michael's schedule has been 10:30-7 for months now, and since he got hired on permanently (no longer a contractor) he got to put in a bid for a new shift time. Starting Monday he will be working 8:30-5 and I won't have to make dinner every single night anymore! I am soooo excited about this.

Fell in love with these Saludos sandals (curse you, Instagram ads!) only to find that Saludos don't make size 11 shoes... That's the problem with 10 being the last 'guaranteed' size.

Linking up with AndreaErika, & Narci for Friday Favorites!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Confessions: Bachelorettes & Body Positivity

I am watching The Bachelorette this season. I know I've mentioned how I don't watch those shows, but this season I'm watching because of Jordan Rodgers, aka little brother of Aaron Rodgers. I wouldn't care about this otherwise, but Michael is a huge Packers fan, so I've become one too, and eventually my fandom extended to Aaron Rodgers himself and his relationship with Olivia Munn. And their puppy. And anyway I want Jordan to win 100%. I think he's super attractive obviously, and I thought his opening line about his parents was adorable, and I thought all of their interactions were adorable, and just so much yes. PICK JORDAN, DAMN IT. #eventhoughhisjeansarewaytooskinny

via GIPHY - This feels really creepy, but I was kind of at a loss for gifs to include in this post.

One of our customers, who happens to be a Washington state government entity, sent an email and it was in comic sans. And their signature block was also in comic sans, but in color. I don't think I can trust any government body that uses comic sans in their official correspondence. #fontsnob

Lately, every time I've talked to someone on the phone and told them my name, they've all said, "Is that M-a-t-t-y/M-a-t-t-i-e?" I swear when I say "Mattie" it sounds the same as when I say "Maddie," but it must not actually sound the same to outsiders. Because my name is Mattie, and if someone says their name is Mattie/Maddie, I'm going to guess it's spelled with D's right off the bat. #thisneverhappens #uniquespellingproblems

Yet another body image 'rant' for me: I absolutely loved The Girl on the Train and Me Before You and totally plan on seeing the movies...but I have to admit I'm kind of disappointed in the casting. I absolutely love Emily Blunt, don't get me wrong, and I think she's a great actress and gorgeous and looks healthy and blah blah. But (it's been a while since I've read it, so I could be wrong) I thought that Rachel was supposed to be a little fuller-figured. As for Me Before You, I don't know much about Emilia Clark (except that she's totally gorgeous) but I just finished reading After You, and Lou has apparently lost a lot of weight, but she puts on a UK size 10 (so, a US 6) and it's a little tight. I don't think a size 6 is big by any means (I wear a 4 or 6 in pants--depends on how they run), but I also don't think Emilia Clark is a size 6. And I know there are much bigger concerns in the casting world (like why white actors and actresses keep getting cast as Asian characters--there are plenty of talented Asian actors to choose from!), but anyway, this is something I'm pretty passionate about, as you may know. #teamkeepmovieadaptationsauthentic

So, I let my one year blogiversary pass without saying anything (it was about a month ago). I knew it was coming up and thought to myself that I should mention it in a post, then I just totally forgot about it until it passed. And then I kept forgetting and remembering. And now I'm mentioning it. And I don't really know why at this point. #someonegivemeagoldstar

via GIPHY

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

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