Friday, December 23, 2011

Just Stopping By... wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or Happy Hanukkah!)

In just a few minutes, Jeremy and I will be packing up the car and our puppy so we can head up to my parents' home in Bellingham.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and travel safely!

One last thing...
if you're looking for one more dish to complete your holiday meal, I highly recommend The Pioneer Woman's Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries. I made these sprouts last night and they turned out perfectly. Very simple and very delicious.
Not to mention festive red and green!

Until next week!
xoxo, Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Commitments for 2012

{Courtesy of Google Images}
"Resolutions" has become a dirty word. Every year we make our list, which is usually comprised of things we have no intention of actually doing if we're honest with ourselves. How many times have you sworn to yourself, "This year I'm going to spend less time watching TV" or "I'm going to stop gossiping" or the classic "I'm going to go to the gym FIVE TIMES A WEEK, without fail!"? I know I do, every single year. But these are empty promises that are more based in tradition than any sort of actual commitment.

But this year I have some extra motivation to follow through with my resolutions. And I'd like to start by throwing out that dirty little world. I'm not sure what I want to call my philosophy for the year 2012 or the little promises I'm making myself, but I do know that I want them to stick. I'm tired of doing things half way. Sabotaging myself and my goals. I have a feeling I'm not the only one who knows what I'm talking about.

Take this blog for example. Writing this blog is something I wanted to do for myself. I enjoy writing it and I enjoy hearing my friends and family respond to it. It's a positive thing in my life. But how often do I stick to my resolution, commitment, goal (whatever you want to call it!)? I haven't posted since early November. How did something I wanted to do, dedicated time and energy to, become a chore? How did my thinking go from "what should I write about on my blog today?" to "eh, it's already been two weeks since my last post...maybe I'll just wait until tomorrow". So beginning now and moving forward into 2012 my goal is to tell the voice in my head to shut up when it says you can wait until tomorrow. Because you know what? If I write here today, I'll be happier today.

Exercise is the same way for me. It's become a chore, something that I can always put off until tomorrow. I don't know why. I love the way I feel when I'm active. Particularly when I get the chance to do something fun and active...spin, hiking, jogging outside in the winter, yoga, dancing, or walking through the city. There is no excuse. I can make the time and I should make the time, because just like with blogging, exercising is a positive thing. Just because it's easier to sit on the couch and just because technically I could wait until tomorrow, doesn't mean that I should. So how do I remind myself of this everyday? Maybe it will require reading this entry or calling a friend and making a date to exercise, but I've got to figure it out. "Tomorrows" add up pretty quickly and before you know it days, weeks, months have gone by.

Then there's my biggest, most important, promise to myself. Enjoy 2012. Give it my all, 100%. Jeremy and I are beginning a pretty big journey this year and I don't want to waste it. I haven't figured out exactly what that will require, but I know a huge part of that is savoring every single moment. Even when the pre-wedding stress causes me to have a meltdown I need to appreciate this time. Because these are also the moments Jeremy and I will be building the foundation for our future together on. The choices I make as the wedding approaches all go into forming that foundation. I want to be less selfish and I want to show Jeremy what an incredible life I believe we have in front of us. That's accomplished through each small deed, kind word, and cherished moment.

These are huge commitments. I won't call them resolutions, because resolutions seem to fade by February. But I really think I can do it and the true test will be whether or not Jeremy and I are both still smiling a week before the wedding!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Wish List

It's never to early to start dreaming of presents under the tree.
This year Jeremy and I are cutting back on our holiday spending..saving for the big day! But that doesn't mean I can't fantisize about all of these goodies :) Maybe tomorrow I'll show you what Jeremy's Hannukah Wish List looks like.
Trust me it's a lot more manly.

Watch Out

Guess who just discovered Picnik?

This girl, that's who.
Just when I thought Pinterest was going to singlehandedly revolutionize my wedding planning, along comes Picnik. Now I have a creative and easy way to share with my bridesmaids dress options. I don't want to have everyone wear the same thing, but it's also difficult for a bunch of girls to interpret a color the exact same way.

Now I can share suggestions like this!
Since I already spend countless hours searching the web for ideas (table decor, flowers, dresses, guest books....the list goes on and on), this will be an incredibly efficient and fun way to share what I find with those who are involved!

I'm sorry I've been MIA for the last month or so, but wedding planning has sort of consumed my life.
Maybe I'll just have to start sharing a bit more with you guys.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Rant (I can't help myself)

I have a dirty little secret to confess to all of my blog readers.
My neighbor hates me.
Well, I shouldn't say me.
He hates Buoy. So by association he hates me.
I don't know how we got so unlucky, but we live next door to the Grinch and it isn't getting any better.

This morning my alarm went off at 6:15, I climbed out of bed and let my angelic baby Buoy out to go potty.
Every morning he walks down the stairs, tinkles in the dirt, and then comes back upstairs.
Every morning I stand in the doorway keeping an eye on him...ten feet away.
Well this morning at approximately 6:18 the Grinch came outside and walked by Buoy.
As he walked by Buoy, not realizing I was watching, he says in his Grinchiest voice,
"What are you doing out here?!"
Which I responded to with the following, "He's just going to the bathroom!"
Well, I think Buoy could feel the hate and animosity radiating from the Grinch, because he barked.
One lonely but loud bark.

And then I kid you not...
que the 5 second delay...
and 5.

"Ouch! Your dog bit me!"

You've got to be kidding me. I'm standing right here, I saw the whole thing.
So I said to the Grinch, "Are you serious? Did he actually touch your skin?"
To which the Grinch replied, "Well no."
And then proceeded to lecture me on how "this has got to stop, your dog peeing off the leash."
Then the Grinch stormed off.

So, I've been fuming all day. Replaying the incident in my head over and over.
And let me tell you, the Grinch is a drama queen. I try pretty dang hard to be friendly with just about everyone. I don't hate people, but this guy is getting pretty darn close to changing that.

How would you handle this situation? Kill the Grinch with kindness? Maybe it would turn out just like Dr. Seuss planned...

"And what happened, then?
Well, in Whoville they say - that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."

All I know is you would have to be crazy to think this little bundle of love would cause anyone harm. I mean come on! He's lived next door to Buoy for 2.5 years...he's hardly the neighborhood terrorist.

Alright, I feel better after telling the story. If anyone has advice for dealing with my Grinchy neighbor I'd love to hear it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

This is where I'm at

It's funny how much life can change in the span of one year. This time last year, Jeremy was just getting home from a two month deployment in Mobile, AL. Something to do with an oil might have heard of it. We had barely lived together two weeks before he was boarding a plane. Airport hellos and goodbyes had been the theme of our relationship for the past 6 years and I can't tell you how hard it hit me when we found out that it was already time for another goodbye. I thought we were done with airports, done with long separations, and finally starting a life together. Physically together, same place, same time.

But life went on. Our Portland friends, who at that time were still "Jeremy's friends", completely opened their arms to me. I remember how much I relied on my "girls' nights" with Dani and Lauren. Looking back I feel so much gratitude for the way they supported me through that time. Two months is nothing in the scheme of things. Jeremy and I had spent much longer apart (try 9 months on a cargo ship in Asia circa 2006). But after building up in my head how perfect life would be after moving in together, I was pretty devastated.

But let me get back on track. I was trying to make a point. We've come a very long way. Now we're engaged. Planning a wedding for next summer. Enjoying our second Oregon fall together. And wait for it...we've become savers. Jeremy and I are saving every penny. It's like suddenly we realized "oh wait, weddings, houses, babies, take a lot of planning!" I guess we always knew that, but we were kind of hoping we could avoid having to do something about it. Let me tell you this is hard for me. I like to shop. We like to eat out. We like to go adventuring. But now that we have these big life goals, that are worth planning and saving for, suddenly life has changed. Yesterday we talked all day about going out for dinner, but when it came time to pick a spot, we unanimously decided to eat in. Look at that! We just saved $40!

Choices like that one have slowly started to catch on. A few months ago I wrote an entry about my wardrobe staples. I heard from a lot of my friends how much they liked reading that entry. So I figure it's time to add a few more "must haves" to the list. But this year splurges are probably not going to look the same. Rather than splurging on a pair of shoes, I'd like to be able to invite a couple more guests to our big day. You get the idea.

So here you go. A few items and pieces of fashion/shopping advice that won't totally break the bank.
  1. Here is the most important lesson I can share with you. If you work in an office or you just love shopping at Banana Republic...sign up for Banana Republic emails. I know you probably already receive 8,000,000 emails from online retailers you shopped at once, but BR is worth it. See 'butters, they have something called power lunches. A 3-hour window of opportunity when everything is 40% off. Did you hear me? Everything. Yes, that includes $200 wool suit jackets, $100 wrap dresses, and $70 pencil skirts. Suddenly, items that were once on your dream shopping list are affordable. BR has these sales at least once or twice a month, so bottom line...don't ever buy anything at BR full price. Wait for a power lunch. The offer is good online or in stores.
    You're welcome.
  2. Zara. Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear Zara used to be an "in stores only" opportunity...meaning no online shopping. But just the other day I went on their website and (hallelujah!) you can shop Zara online now. Zara isn't quite H&M affordable, but they are pretty inexpensive and their clothes a) fit well and b) last forever. Sign me up. I ordered this dress a couple of days ago ($79!).
I'm also considering this dress (below), because it screams Kate Middleton to me.
Screams Kate, but costs only $59.90. Perfect.

3. Last but not least, I would like to share this other amazing sale. I don't know how long it will last, so take advantage of this ASAP. Ann Taylor The Loft is having a $35 sale. Dresses, shirts, pants...a lot of their new line is on sale for only $35 (some shirts are even $25!). I found this sweater dress that I'm hoping will be as cute in real life (with black tights and suede boots) as it is online. Original price: $89.50. Sale price: $35.

That's all I have to share for now, but I will continue to fill you in when I find something worth sharing!

I'd love to hear from you guys if you have a minute to comment. Where were your lives one year ago? And how have you changed?

xoxo. Happy Friday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Jeremy and I are definitely blessed. The day after our engagement we boarded a plane to Maui, well Maui by way of a 4 hour layover in San Fransisco. It was my first trip to Hawaii and we had been counting down the days for weeks! 8 days of sunshine, ocean, and engagement excitement.

Maui was everything I had hoped it would be, but I learned a very important lesson while I was there. You could say it was my first lesson in being a fiancĂ©. I'd like to share it with all of you.

 After we landed and had picked up the rental car, Jeremy turned to me and said...

"We should take a picture." To which I responded, "Did you bring your camera?". Which was followed by, "No. Bringing the camera is the girl's job."
News to me. Did you all know the camera is the responsibility of the girl? What's mine is yours sounds great, but if that means the camera is now my responsibility...we aren't going to have many pictures. We spent 8 days in Maui and have exactly 4 pictures to show for it. Fantastic.

Proof we were really there. This was before we set out on the Road to Hana.

Proof I was in the Maui airport and there are tikis in Hawaii. How's my impression?

So there you have it. That's 50% of our trip's photographic evidence. Maybe someday you'll get lucky and I'll share the other two outstanding photos with you.