Northwest Native: July 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Open Letters [7.28.16]

Dear blog readers,
I am the worst at remembering this link-up. I participated the first month, and forgot the last two months! I finally got my life together and am linking up with Julie and her cohost for the month, Kayla.

Dear Oregon coast,
You are beautiful/fascinating.

Dear everyone who is not lactose/gluten intolerant and enjoys s'mores/ice cream,
BUY THIS, EAT IT, AND LOVE IT. It's the first time I've had any Blue Bunny ice cream, and it is the absolute best s'mores ice cream I've had. I feel like s'mores ice cream is usually underwhelming, but in this one the graham cracker swirls are actually crunchy, there's lots of marshmallow, the ice cream is really light and--the biggest game changer of all--the ice cream is graham flavored! It's seriously perfection. I bought it because just look at those visible marshmallow swirls (also tried to highlight it in the picture, which is why it's a weird side close-up situation)! It's seasonal so excuse me while I shovel this into my mouth for the next month or so while I still can.

Dear red wine,
I think we can officially be friends now. I'm sorry I didn't like you for so long. I was young and naive. At least, my taste buds were.

Dear Husband,
Thank you for being a kid at heart like me and wanting to see Secret Life of Pets in theaters on Sunday. And for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs being your favorite movie of all time and suggesting we watch that on Saturday night.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July Budget [2016]

It was a big month, spending-wise. That dang Nordstrom Anniversary Sale did me in. My mom and I remarked last year how everything that was in the sale ended up just being on sale again by November (or even as early as September) and a lot of it was even cheaper then. So, I figured I wouldn't buy anything this year or even be tempted. I thought wrong. Judge all you want for how much I spent. I probably deserve it. But I've decided to do a no-spend August (clothes-wise), and no buying shoes or purses for the rest of 2016 (gifts are allowed--my birthday is in October and then there's Christmas, of course).
july budget 2016

Shawl Collar Cardigan - $74, sale price $49.90
This is backordered until October. I know a lot of people don't count things toward their budget until they receive it, but that doesn't make much sense to me. What if I didn't account for it and somehow spent the rest of my budget money? If I kept the sweater, I'd be $50 over budget. And if I return it, I'll just add back $50. I originally wanted the burgundy, but it sold out, so I went for the gray. I'm glad that the burgundy sold out actually, because I feel like I was telling myself I should get burgundy because it's more fun and I gravitate toward gray too much. Once I settled on gray I was even more excited about this purchase. (At the time of writing this, this was sold out.)

Deep-V Neck Tee (gray) - $24, sale price $15.90 returned
Remember how I talked about my perfect black v-neck pocket tee that I got for Christmas? It was meant to be pajamas and it came from Abercrombie & Fitch. I loved the deep-v and loose fit, and I tried on the most similar tee that A&F had, and it wasn't the same. Well, this looked like a similar fit, so I snagged it. The shirt is nowhere near as long on me as it is on the model/all 75 bloggers I've seen wearing it (#longtorsoprobs), the v-neck is weird on me, and I wasn't a fan of the material.

Plaid Tunic Shirt (red) - $44, sale price $28.90
This is actually pretty similar to a Target shirt I bought a few years ago and got rid of last year. The Target shirt was shorter and thicker (not to mention I had lost weight so I swam in it). I'm not a huge button-up person, but if I'm going to wear one, I want it long like this one, not standard length. I also like that this one is lighter weight. I will most likely wear it unbuttoned over a tee.

Wedge Booties (honey) - $138.95, sale price $89.90
I have wanted wedge booties for a while. I'm not big on black, so I knew I wanted the honey. I do have cognac booties already, but they're leather with a block heel, and these are suede with a wedge (and a lighter color), so I don't feel like I'm duplicating anything.

Tencel Skirt - $19.99 - 5% REDCard discount + other discount = $17.24
You saw this already in this post. I don't know what the second discount I used on this was. That's what I get for not keeping track as I order things and trying to figure it out based on my email receipt.

Shirttail Tee (navy) - $28, sale price $19.90
SO SOFT. I want everything I own to be made of this material. I also love the hemline (they call it a shirttail tee, but I've seen it referred to as 'tulip hem'). And it's the perfect amount of loose and the perfect sleeve length. (And I'm really picky with my t-shirts!) If I hadn't bought so much...I'd consider buying every single color of this shirt (or like four of them, at least), no joke.

Deep-V Sweater (gray) - $52, sale price $33.90, paid for by Mom (thanks, Mom!) = $0
I didn't even notice this online. I thought it was cute in store though, so I tried it on. I usually wear a medium in juniors at Nordstrom, sometimes even then the sleeves are too tight. But this fits me with room in an extra small. It is definitely oversized. And no, I will not be wearing it with nothing under it like the model.

UPDATE SINCE ORIGINAL POSTING:

Over-the-knee Boots [Steve Madden] (chestnut) - $169.95, sale price $112.90 - $20 Nordstrom note = $92.90 returned
Last I checked, these were sold out. My size was online until the sale opened to the public and it vanished. While I was in the store with my mom, I asked if they could order them from another store for me. There was low stock, so he warned me that the order may cancel, but as of now it hasn't yet. Got the email that they shipped! Now to wait and see if they fit/I like them! They arrived last night! I am pretty sure I'll be keeping them, but I need to try them on with actual outfits I'll wear in the fall. (I tried last night, but we had gone on a bike ride and it was soo hot in our room...so I couldn't deal with even trying on fall clothes.) They were way too narrow for my wide feet. When I first tried them, they felt tight, but I figured they'd stretch. I tried them on again and then I was unsure they'd ever stretch enough. And the third time...I realized there was no way they could ever stretch out to an even slightly comfortable level. So I exchanged them and bought...

Over-the-knee Boots [Vince Camuto] (bark) - $239.95, sale price $159.90 (+$47 with exchange of other boots)
These fit much better. I was going to do a review post of the Steve Madden boots vs. these ones, but I decided I'll just summarize it here. These boots are wider in the foot as well as the calf. The SM boots were way too narrow on my feet, and they fit my legs, but with less room. I feel like they were 'sexier' because of how slim-fitting the legs were. I think they were slightly shorter. Also, I don't think the color of either of the boots online is accurate to the color in person. The Steve Madden boots are much darker, and the Vince Camuto boots are just a different color (but a color I like). Below are pictures of me in the VC boots...but I feel like the pictures make the color look like the color on the site. *shrug* (The sweater in the pictures is the deep-v sweater from above!) I do also feel like these boots just look to be higher quality.

My mom also bought one of these necklaces (as I'm typing this, there's only one color left) and she didn't love it, so she gave it to me. Score! As of now, I plan on keeping everything, but the cardigan has not arrived and I need to try multiple outfits with the OTK boots and really think about them. I don't want to wear them a few times in the fall and then realize they're not for me.

I ordered a purse too that was really pretty (and like $30, not a designer one--this one, actually, but in a deep plum color) but the order got cancelled, and I wasn't devastated, so I'm kind of glad for that! (I ordered that before my in-store excursion with my mom, so I'm even more glad for it because I ended up finding more than I thought I would on that trip!)

A little annoyed because Nordstrom decided to switch up their cards for security reasons... So when I tried to order online on the first day of presale, my cards both showed expired. They sent my new cards to the wrong address, so I had to have them send more new cards which takes a week. So all of my orders had to be done in store by a salesperson over the phone (until the day I went with my mom--I had one of my new cards then). I just think sending out new cards right before their busiest sale was a terrible move (I made an order with one of my old cards in June...it was not expired then, so I know that's how the timing was). The most annoying part, though, is that all that money I spent could've been earning me 6% cash back with eBates if I had had my card(s).

I'm pretty pleased with the number of tops I got, and that I didn't buy any jeans (I don't need any more!). I don't have many tops that I actually love and wear, and I find myself holding on to ones that I don't wear just because I think, "I don't have enough tops." So I'm going to do some major purging...I have three pairs of shoes in mind to get rid of, I need to clear out any tops/sweaters I don't wear... I'll probably be doing a post on my closet clean out soon!

End of June 2016
$653.54 - Annual budget remaining
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$729.87 - Maximum budget amount available

July total spent: $345.74

2016 Budget Remaining
$354.80 - Annual budget remaining
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$384.13 - Maximum budget amount available

As usual, I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers and stalking what other people bought!

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Monday, July 25, 2016

M&M - A Love Story: Part Six

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

I finally got my act together to get this series DONE.
[Not from the proposal; this was last July for our three year dating anniversary.]
Michael and I talked about engagement very early on. I was adamant that I did not want to get engaged in college. (It's not as common in the PNW as it is in other parts of the country.) Michael joked then that he would propose right after my graduation. I was also worried about what people would think. We both felt ready, but I didn't want my family to be like, "Are you absolutely insane?" So at some point over winter break I talked to my mom about it, and she told me, "When you know, you know." And so I decided I didn't need to wait until after graduation.

Michael and I aren't super traditional, so we hadn't even considered having him ask my parents for my hand, but my mom mentioned that she would like that. So we knew we couldn't get engaged before he had 'the talk' with my parents. We decided to go visit my parents during a weekend in late January. We also picked out my engagement ring from a shop down there. My mom said she didn't think anything of it when we were coming down to visit, but my dad said, "Do you think he's going to ask?" and she jolted. I remember it was Sunday morning and I was asking Michael if he was going to do it or not, because if he didn't, we'd have to wait who knows how long. He went upstairs and I was just antsy waiting downstairs to hear about the conversation.

I wish I could remember what he told me they had said, especially since he asked my mom and dad (my stepdad is my dad, as you may recall, and he passed away in March). He did not ask my father, because even then he didn't have much influence on my life, and we are still currently not speaking.

I had to drive the hour and a half from school home on a week day to pick up my ring that had been resized. I had to keep it until I could give it to Michael, and I was told I was not allowed to look at it. Hahaha. I didn't know how long he was going to wait to propose, but I didn't have to wait long.

In early February, he told me that on the coming Friday (February 8th, 2013--if you're keeping track, less than seven months after we made things official) we were going to go to a restaurant that his friend had recommended to him. He told me I should dress nice-ish, and I already had suspicions that maybe he'd be proposing, but I also didn't want to assume that and then have it not happen.

My friend and roommate at the time was also going to dinner in Seattle with her boyfriend, and she told me they were going to McCormick & Schmick's. She told me she had really wanted to go to The Pink Door, but her boyfriend said that was stupid. I told Michael this story, and it turns out, The Pink Door is where we were going! He spilled the beans because he thought maybe it'd ruin it if I thought the place was stupid. I told him no, that was silly, and he didn't have to ruin the surprise for that!

So off we went to The Pink Door, and it was delicious. We split a salad and a carafe of wine and ate pasta. He told me we could get dessert there, or we could go to a restaurant near the Space Needle that has beignets that are supposed to be amazing. I opted for the beignets, because I'd never had one (spoiler: still have never had one). As we walked through the Seattle Center toward the restaurant, Michael started veering off course toward a bench, saying he had to tie his shoe. At this point, I was extremely suspicious. We were at the exact spot where we had first hung out together alone. My suspicions were correct, and he got down on one knee and proposed! [I think we maybe took a selfie at some point on this night, but I have no idea where it is, so that's sad.]

Even though we both knew we were getting engaged eventually, it was still kind of a blur! He was sooo nervous, his voice was a little shaky, and I was so excited that I hardly remember what he said. All I remember is that he was so nervous he said, "I love you with all my heart" twice. Hahaha.

And that was that. We walked off giddy in search of beignets...but the restaurant was crazy and we would've had to wait like half an hour so we opted out.

The next day was so fun, calling our family and closest friends. Michael was still living with his two best friends in campus housing, so we came out and got to tell them in person and we all drank champagne at like 10 a.m. (we had been too tired to drink any the night before). We called my mom and dad who were in Hawaii at the time with my dad's cousin who lives there. My dad's cousin started crying and was like, "How are you not crying?!" My mom said she knew it was coming so it was exciting, but not a shock. My best friend also started crying when I called her.

Michael graduated early, in March, so we found an apartment near the Space Needle with a lease starting in March. He lived there alone until I was done with school in May and I moved up there. We only stayed there six months because we desperately wanted a dog, and that's when we moved to our last Seattle apartment.

And that's the end! You can read about how we adopted our first dog here, how we adopted our second dog here, our wedding posts are here, and posts about buying our first house are here.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Finding happiness in the little things.

Remember how I mentioned I was having anxiety (I can't believe that was only five days ago!)? Most of you seemed to think it was all because of blogging. It's not, it's mostly because of other things happening in my life (and that hasn't really improved since then...in fact, it's gotten worse). Blogging was just another thing I had to focus on, and taking a break is nice. But, out of nowhere, I was struck to write a post on this topic, maybe so I can hold onto it in my everyday life while I'm going through this time.

Poking around on the library website, nothing immediately available was grabbing my attention. I had one book on hold, with one person ahead of me. I added three more books to my hold list and ended up next in line for one, one person ahead of me on one, two ahead of me on one, and three ahead of me on one. They're all books that I really want to read, and now hopefully won't all become available at once! This has never happened to me before.

Being close to my mom. I mean this in distance, though I'm very happy that I have a close relationship with my mom (but I pretty much always have). Moving from Seattle to Portland when we did was probably the best decision we could've made, even though I had no idea what was coming at that time.

The 2000s satellite radio station. Specifically, the fact that they play He Loves U Not by Dream all the time.

Funny tweets. Stephanie always kills it with her Bachelorette tweets, and her rant about Robby's dumb shirt on Monday was my favorite. (When I first embedded the tweets, they were embedded correctly...and now they're showing up as just text for me. I removed them and reembedded them...but they are still wrong. Sorry!)


Retail therapy. I know, this makes me sound shallow, but being able to be excited about new clothes (or a new anything that you're buying, really) is nice.

I'm linking up with Rebecca for Thankful Thursday!

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Getting real [plus some favorites]

I'm having trouble coming up with post ideas lately, and also with finding time to blog (and read blogs, AND reply to comments). I'm having a lot of anxiety over various things and I feel like blogging is making it worse. Like, I think, "Okay, I have to write a post!" and then I get an anxiety-fueled pit in my stomach. It's the same when I think about thank you notes that haven't been written.

I still have one more part of our story to write, and I feel like that's not helping with my desire to blog. I'm really tired of writing those posts, and based on page views, most people aren't big fans of reading them either.

When I get home from work or the gym at night, I don't like to open my laptop. I feel like I have a better night when I just don't touch it. But work is crazy busy lately, so it's not like I can just blog at work.

So here are a few random ramblings before I maybe go on a hiatus. Maybe the mood to blog will strike me suddenly, but I don't know.

By now, if you watch The Bachelorette, you should know that Wells went home. Wells was one of my favorites, and I just stumbled upon his Instagram and followed him immediately because he's hilarious. See exhibits A and B.
A photo posted by Wells Adams (@wellsadams) on
THE CAPTION. So good.
A photo posted by Wells Adams (@wellsadams) on
Clearly, I'm a fan of self-deprecating humor. (I mean, Chandler is my favorite Friends character...)

Secondly, Target has pineapple sheets. And because Target hates me, they don't come in king size. But last time this happened, I just bought the comforter for our guest room, sooo I'm thinking I'll do the same with the sheets (possibly in both colors).

Lastly...the Nordstrom sale. I know, I know...everyone and their mother is posting about it. Which is why I don't want to write a post devoted to it. Personally, I like to read Sheaffer's posts about the sale every year and a few others here and there, but I know a lot of people think they're super annoying. These are the things I have my eye on. I'll probably narrow it down a little more, order the stuff, and then once I actually try it on, narrow it down even more. I definitely can't afford to buy and keep seven items...especially when two of them are pairs of shoes aka expensive. [I've actually found some other things I like and am already considering kicking out a few of the things below...so we'll see what happens!]
nsale
sleeveless turtleneck - cardigan - sweater - shirtdress - wedge bootie - over-the-knee boot - bra (not pictured)

Hopefully I'll be back to blogging again sooner than later. Maybe over the weekend I'll decide not to take a hiatus, but who knows. Thank you for understanding!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Stuff and things. [7.12.16]

You guys, I'm an emotional wreck. On Saturday night, we watched The Good Dinosaur. When he was born (spoiler alert! but not really) he was adorable. I said, "Oh my gosh, he's so cute I'm going to cry!" I didn't really mean it...until I did. Yikes. I think my monthly visitor is coming though, so I'm not normally this crazy. I hope.

I think I need these shoes. I mean...LLAMAS! I don't need to explain any further, right?

I know I've mentioned our bedding about 437280 times now... But now I need help. I want to get some cute throw pillows. I really love yellow with navy blue, as you can see. My favorite is bottom right. I can't resist a good floral and some pom poms.
bedding
top left - bottom left - bedding - top right - bottom right

This is how it actually looks on our bed though, and it's a little more intense than I imagined. I love it, but now I'm not sure if patterned pillows will be too much. Side note, I bought king size pillows over the weekend and now I feel like we're sleeping in a big fluffy cloud and I love it.
There's a version of this picture without Tully too, but my philosophy is dogs make everything better, obvi.

And speaking of bedding...I ended up buying this bedding from Friday's post for our guest room. Jessica did too, and she got it in store, so she can give a review! I ordered it online so I'm still waiting on it.

I'm also already starting to regret getting white bedding. I absolutely love white bedding...but my dogs also sleep in our bed and they love getting stuff dirty sooo... Flora also has really dark hair...I foresee a lot of lint rolling and comforter washing.

The Walking Dead is giving me sooo much anxiety (but in the best possible way). I watch it on weekend mornings when Michael is still asleep, when he's playing basketball, and if I have extra time before work. It is so hard to turn it off and drag myself into work. I just started season three and I could just explode. I wish I knew someone who was watching it and was at the same spot as me so we could discuss!

We're going to put sod down in our backyard (it's currently dirt with some bark dust that probably used to cover the ground completely). When we moved in, there were bushes and plants just planted randomly. I'm terrible with gardening, but even I wouldn't throw all these random bushes and plants in random spots and think it was a good idea. Michael took out the stump of a giant tree/bush thing...it took hours. And using the hose to get it muddy. And him sitting down in said mud. He was covered by the time he was done. But it's gone!

We went to a Salvodorean restaurant in our neighborhood and had some amazing pupusas and nacho fries. I already want to go back.

Got the skirt I wanted from Target! I love it with this top...but I don't have much else I feel like I can wear it with. I love it enough just with this top to keep it though! (Also wearing a bralette and these booties.) I'm excited to wear it with shoes other than booties...it was raining on Friday when we went out to dinner though, so I opted for them.

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Favorites: S'mores & The Silent Treatment

I did it. I took my best blogger-y photo of all time.
I hadn't actually planned on the Tully photobomb. She got in the frame on the right side and actually made the picture worse, but I decided to see if I could get her to look at me so I called her name seventy times in a row like a crazy person and I actually snapped the picture before she managed to move and be blurry. Seriously guys, so proud.

Take THAT Bloglovin' unfollower! You left before you could see my masterpiece! (Yep, it happened to me again.)
I did unfollow a couple blogs that I followed because of giveaways and sort of tried out, but I was always marking their posts as read and not actually reading them. So I'm telling myself they just somehow knew/were following me too and they retaliated. (That's definitely not what happened, but humor me, okay?) Honestly, I'm expecting another negative week this week because of my Chick-fil-a declaration.

And here are my other pictures from our Third of July celebration (because our Fourth was spent watching two episodes of OITNB, one of The Walking Dead, and like six of An Idiot Abroad and only leaving the house to take my friend Emily to the train station [me] and play basketball [Michael]).
First s'more of the summer! We got the giant marshmallows that were in the display at the store...and they are insanely huge. Too huge. I really want to try the flat marshmallows they make now that are made for s'mores.

I was listening to an old Spotify playlist this week and I came across What Would You Do performed by Bastille (this is a cover of City High's song) and if you like Bastille or What Would You Do (or both!) you should listen to it. I have always loved the song, it's so emotional, and Bastille's version is haunting.

If you want to know my life, read this list. So. damn. accurate. The other day I asked a sales rep a question and he counted how many words I said (he had to pause for like twenty seconds to count four words because #smart) and he goes, "You've said four words to me in all of 2016!" and when I left that night, he said bye and I said (to the office), "Tell ____ I'm never talking to him again!" and I gave him the silent treatment for two full days after that.

via GIPHY

Remember when I said I wanted this bedding? I finally ordered it, but right before I did, I found this set and fell totally in love with it...but it doesn't come in king size. I know it's super girly and part of the reason I like the one we bought is because it's pretty but not too girly...but I would've bought this set in a heartbeat. (Michael doesn't care what our bedding looks like at all, he just cares that we have a bed.) I feel like it's Rifle Paper Co-esque! Kind of tempted to just buy it for our guest room...because there are a couple of holes in the duvet in there (thanks, Tully).

Linking up with AndreaErika, & Narci for Friday Favorites!

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wisconsin Trip: Green Bay

In case you missed it, you can read my recap of the first leg of the trip here.

I've mentioned this before many times, but in case you didn't know, Michael is a Packers fan. (Like huge, mega, die-hard Packers fan.) His dad lived in Wisconsin until he was a teenager and his family moved to Minnesota, so that's where it comes from. Michael has been to Wisconsin a ton of times, and to Green Bay five or six times. Anyway, once we decided to take a full week off for the wedding so we could go to Madison, there was no way he was going to be a couple hours from Green Bay and not go there!

We actually left our leftover cheese in Madison for Abby and Tyler to have, so of course we stopped at a roadside cheese shop on this leg of the trip. I've always said I hate goat cheese, but...I tried some there (it's actually a farm with goats where they make it onsite!) and I loved it. We got a super delicious aged cheddar...and then we went to take pictures with the goats! Have I mentioned that I love goats? We had two when I was growing up. The first was a huge jerk and would charge at everyone. He died, and we got another, and this one adored me. I could run in the yard and he would just follow me everywhere. I totally want my own goat some day.

We also stopped in Fond du Lac, because Michael's dad lived there for a while. We drove by where the house used to be, because unfortunately, it was demolished so they could put in a turn lane. Ha! I also went into a Piggly Wiggly for the first time and it was awesome. Not for any reason other than it's called Piggly Wiggly/I can now say I've been in one. (Oh, and we bought more cheese curds there. We have a problem.)

We went to Lambeau Field (where the Packers play, of course) before we even checked into our hotel! (Okay, we couldn't check in yet because it was early, but still!) It's pretty shocking to see a huge football stadium in this little tiny town in the middle of nowhere. It seats 85,000, and the town is only around 100,000 people! Also...all of the seats are filled with season ticket holders. And the wait list for season tickets is like a million years. It's nuts. But anyway, there are houses right across the street from the stadium, and some had subtle nods to the Packers, but a few went all out and painted murals on their fences, which was super cool. And I didn't take a picture because I was absolutely not in blogging mode on this trip. Oops.

We went to Titletown Brewing for lunch (Titletown is a nickname for Green Bay because they've won thirteen championships--the whooole city is so Packers-centric). I got pizza with mac and cheese on it, because I've wanted to try that forever, and it was just okay. I only added bacon because the waitress said it's too bland without an extra addition, which it would've been. I promise I didn't eat the whole thing. I didn't even end up eating the leftovers I took.

That night, we went to the four bars that were in walking distance of our hotel. We started with Brett Favre's steakhouse (but only got drinks). Yes, he owns a steakhouse there and it's named after him. And somehow it is still in business. (There was a while there when Packers fans really resented him.) They have this 'fame walk' or something that you can do with team history. We didn't do it, but I took a picture of Michael with Favre's number in front of the steakhouse.

After we finished our bar hopping, we drunkenly walked to Lambeau (because it was a straight shot walking distance from our hotel).

The next day, we took a guided tour of Lambeau. There are two options, and we did the more expensive one where you get to go somewhere extra. (I think the rooftop is the extra?) I'm just going to photo dump a bunch of pictures from that after a quick story. I've never really been a football fan. My family are Seahawks fans, but I never really was, and I became a Packers fan for Michael. But I never really felt like an actual fan, just a fan by extension...and I almost cried during the tour. Ha! We walked onto the field from the tunnel the players come out of, and they played recorded cheering, and a song, and the announcement that the players were coming onto the field...and I started tearing up. Hahaha! I think just because of all the history, how many players have gone through that tunnel, and how much football means to the city (and most Packers fans who don't live anywhere near there). So yeah, I'm embarrassing, but I also feel like I can now say I'm a fan.
^We took these pictures with the Lambeau leap statue before the tour...and I of course didn't actually pretend to do the leap like Michael did because I'd rather look cute than be accurate.
Hashtag awkward turtle/giraffe neck *thumbs up emoji*
Yes, my shirt says, "I married into this." It was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law and I love it. Ha!

And then we did a tour of the Packers Hall of Fame...
So this dude^ was in a room commemorating the 'ice bowl'. It was the coldest NFL game ever played or something (it was in the 60s, I think--that's the decade, not the degrees). Anyway, they had this player, and then they had bleachers with two fans, and they made it so you could see the breath of all three of them, which was cool.
Typical clothes-loving girl, but I really liked this display of how the uniforms evolved over the years.
Super Bowl trophies, what what! (Their other championships were won before they looked like this--and before they were named after one of their famous coaches, Vince Lombardi.)

And then we wandered the gift shop (which is something insane like twenty thousand square feet) and left to get 'breakfast' (except it was like 2 p.m.). We went to Pancake Place, which is one of Green Bay's more well-known restaurants. My one pancake was gigantic, and had bacon, ham, and sausage baked in. Michael got their other specialty, stuffed hashbrowns, eggs Benedict style.
Spotted as we were leaving. This isn't a legitimate ambulance. Someone just bought an old ambulance and decked it out, presumably to use for tailgating.

And there you have it. The next installment will be Minneapolis/the wedding and I have a total of two pictures for that part...so it'll be way shorter than this, trust.

I'm linking up with Annie & Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday...AND Kristen & Gretchen for What's New With You!

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Never Have I Ever...

During college, my best never-have-I-evers were 'eaten Chipotle' and 'dyed my hair,' followed by 'gotten a tattoo.' Now I've done all three of those things, and it's harder to think of things to say on the spot. Luckily, it's been years since I actually played the game, and for the purposes of this blog post, it was acceptable to have a draft for months and just add things as I went. Thanks, blogging!

What is my current best, you ask? (Oh you didn't? Well, you're the one reading this post, so essentially you did.)

I've never...

Eaten Chik-fil-A
You probably think this would've been my best one in college, but I don't think Washington or Oregon even had them at that time. There are apparently three in Washington and two in Oregon now. One of them is close to us and when we drove by it once the drive-thru line was probably about a mile long. At 8 p.m. I am not even kidding (or exaggerating). I actually plan to never eat there, so you will probably all squeal that I need to go try it right this second...but I will not.

Moving on...what else have I never done?

Broken a bone
No description really needed here.

Been stung by a bee
I blame my crippling fear of bees on this. If I had been stung (and wasn't allergic) I assume I'd find it to not be so bad.

Watched Love & Basketball
I don't know if this is a big thing for everyone, but I feel like all of my friends were obsessed with this movie and consider it a classic. I mentioned it to Michael once and he was also shocked I've never seen it.

Gotten a flu shot
I avoid shots like the plague, so a voluntary shot? NOPE.

Gotten the flu
This is not where I tell you that I'm anti-vaccine and how I think that getting the flu shot will actually give me the flu. No. I am very pro-vaccine, but when you've never actually had the flu and you absolutely hate needles, you will go as long as you can (probably until you actually get the flu) before you get a flu shot. Here's hoping I never ever get the flu in my entire life.

Eaten oysters
Unpleasant textures and seafood are two things I struggle with eating, so I have refused to even try them. But they were my dad's favorite, so some time in the near future I am definitely going to try one in his honor. If it's gross, I'll never do it again.

Watched Father of the Bride
You will notice a pattern in this post. There are a lot of things I haven't watched that the general population adores/constantly references. (A lot of the often-referenced movies that I actually have seen I watched just so I could understand the references. #noshame)

Watched Bachelor in Paradise
I've mentioned that I don't watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but I have watched them in the past (and now I'm watching The Bachelorette--how things change when you start a post draft so long ago), so here you go.

via GIPHY

Cut my hair shorter than my shoulders
I'm way too terrified. I mean, I know hair grows, but not that fast. Plus I have a round face (and maybe a large head?) and I feel like it'd look awful. (I seriously picture myself trying to get a cute chin-length bob that looks good on tons of people and having it look like a straight up bowl cut on me.)

Watched Back to the Future
Not for lack of wanting to. I KNOW, PLEASE DON'T YELL AT ME! I just don't want to pirate it or pay for it. I dunno, I just have never really tried. My siblings gave me so much grief for this at Thanksgiving last year when I mentioned it. [I just saw that it's on Netflix so I am going to watch it! Michael has apparently seen the movies and doesn't like them, so I'll have to do it on my own.]

Gotten a subscription box of any kind
I love to read blog posts about what people get in theirs, but I don't think I'll ever do it myself. I hate paying unnecessary money (I seriously refuse to shop online 99% of the time if I won't get free shipping), so paying a 'styling fee' and not liking anything I got would cut me to the core. And having to put that credit toward something I was just meh about would also hurt. As for beauty boxes...I don't like makeup, remember? Another note, I refuse to ever get Birchbox. The reason? My mother-in-law got a subscription from coworkers for her birthday. They ask you some questions about your hair/skin/whatever. She was going through chemo and had no hair, so she reached out and asked them if she could get something other than hair products (or at least choose 'bald' as an answer to the hair question--but Birchbox only lists that as an option for the guys). They said no, and she got her first box and it was 75% hair products. That's just bad horrible customer service, in my opinion.

The craziest answer I've ever heard is from Katie. When she was in Seattle last year we met up and it came up that she's never seen a single episode of Friends! I told her she has to watch it, but then we both were like, "But it's the ultimate never-have-I-ever answer!"

Linking up with Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Wisconsin Trip: Madison

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July weekend! I'm going to start recapping our Wisconsin trip today!

We flew from Portland to Minneapolis/St. Paul and didn't get in until almost nine p.m. local time. We had to wait around so Michael could find out the outcome of game seven of the NBA finals (he's a huge Lebron fan) and he seriously almost cried when the Cavaliers won.

After we got the rental car, we drove a little over halfway to Madison. We reserved a room at a hotel in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. One thing that struck me about Wisconsin that first night (this was my first trip to the midwest) was holy crap, how are there ten mile stretches of the highway with no exits?! Aside from that, the thing I noticed is there were constantly giant billboard advertisements for McDonald's. At one point, when we were deep into a super long stretch with no exits, there was a massive lit sign in the middle of nowhere...and it ended up being for McDonald's. So odd.

We woke up in Black River Falls and went to a little restaurant called The Mocha Mouse for breakfast.

They also had a cheese shop, so obviously we hit that up, because when in Wisconsin...

We bought cheese curds (my fave), a smoked cheddar, and chicken soup flavored cheese (which was so bizarre because it tasted just like it...it freaked me out).

The reason for the Madison leg of the trip was to see my friend Abby, who I met and lived with in Australia. She's one of my best friends, and she's been out to the PNW three times and this was my first time visiting her! We went to the UW Madison campus, which I officially declared the coolest campus ever. I've never been to a campus that just sits right on the edge of a lake. I also haven't been to a campus that has a bar on site, aside from in Australia. I would've loved being able to be on campus, order a glass of wine or a cider, walk a few feet and be sitting on the waterfront (I know that most of the school year is dreadfully cold though, so I may be romanticizing it a bit).
Hashtag awkward foot.
Hashtag Michael's pose idea. (Alternate hashtag: favorite dress ever [which is on sale for $8!!!]!)

We also stopped at the UW Madison bookstore and modeled some cheeseheads. I really wanted to buy a cheesehead and wear it at the wedding, but it just didn't happen. Womp womp.
This picture is now one of my favorite pictures of all time.

After that lovely lakeside/cheesehead experience, we went to Culver's, at my request. Abby used to work there, and she told me how much better frozen custard is than ice cream, so I obviously needed to try it. We got fried cheese curds and concrete mixers (aka a DQ blizzard but with custard, basically) and I can't decide if I wish we had Culver's here because oh my gosh holy deliciousness or if I'm glad we don't because I would weigh significantly more than I do.

Abby's boyfriend grilled dinner for us and then we went out for drinks that night. And the next day we got an early start to head to Devil's Lake, where we rented a paddleboat! It was a first for me, but I've only wanted to do it for at least fifteen years since they did it in 10 Things I Hate About You. It was tons of fun. (Excessive photos/no words to follow.)

We went to the outlets at the Wisconsin Dells after that and I made my first ever purchase from Express. For all you bloggers out there obsessed with pineapples, run to your nearest Express outlet and see if they have this shirt (it's white with pink pineapples, if you can't tell)!

We went to dinner with Abby's parents and then we went to a bar where Abby's boyfriend had a volleyball game. Summer is huge in Wisconsin since so much of the winter is miserable, so they have bars with sand volleyball courts everywhere. Abby's boyfriend is on three different teams--he has volleyball after work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights! As Abby's mom said at dinner, Wisconsinites try to cram as much fun into summer as they can.

The next day we went to breakfast at a diner and headed out for the two and a half hour drive from Madison to Green Bay!

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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