Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday | Dogs | Halloween

^The Bathat is the official sponsor of his lack of smile.
It's no secret that I think dogs are a small slice of heaven on earth. Actually, just because I have a dog, I don't really want it twisted to everyone that I'm only talking about canines - PETS are a small slice of heaven on earth (I seriously can't wait to get a cat, guinea pig, etc. but for now I have a dog so let that term represent all our incredible pets). They are just these real-life teddy-bears who love us unconditionally, cuddle us when we're sad AND have the added bonus of keeping us humble as we continually have to clean up their feces ... [side-eye, side-eye].

With that said, my wittle Chandler is so darn cute dressed-up in costumes. Yet it's when he poses the most emo-tastic. What's the phrase? "Party in the outfit, HATE MY LIFE in the expression"- yeah, that's it. Dangit little Chandler: Smile! What would Batdog do?!?!! Needless to say, I'm hoping I can get a better picture of him this weekend that includes a little bit of panting happiness.

And I hope to say the same for all of you: Have a great weekend in the land of scary, fantastical fun! And I hope for your Instagram feed's sake, that your dog (or pet) cooperates for your costume photos opps.

Happiest Halloween everyone!
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Thursday, October 29, 2015

I hate $#*%^@+ T-Shirts

Do you know what I hate more than anything: T-Shirts. I completely loathe wearing t-shirts.

And no, I'll cut you right off at the pass: I'm not talking about chic tops masquerading as t-shirts with a swanky neck, drapey arms, breathable smooth fabric and a cut that darts perfectly to the side. I love those kind of tops and a t-shirt sir, they are not. I'm talking' your good ol' unisex, can buy in bulk, run of the mill, 'EVERYONE HAS TO WEAR ONE ON SATURDAY', "circle if you need a Sml/Med/Lrg/XL", suffocating neck t-shirt. They can honestly go [BEEP] themselves.

The reason this article of clothing is hated by me so much really comes down to the fact that it's ugly as f*ck, hard to get on and makes me look like Fabio whenever I'm in one. You see, I'm a girl who wears makeup and does her hair every day (before my husband calls me out, let me backpedal and say MOST days). Do I want to wrestle this shirt over my beloved lipstick? Do I take joy in ripping out my ponytail as I try to get it on? And all of that is for what? To look like Spongebob Square Pants? To have a top that easily pits out and flatters no part of my body? Do I like how it rests sloppily around my midsection for the duration of its stay? Since I'm not a hunky man with gorgeous broad shoulders - this look does nothing for me. 
I also hate that I'm always forced to wear one because they're always in the context of me being some part of a team. Therefore, I must always endure this garment which chokes me out the entire time lest I be considered not a 'team player'.
^T-Shirt variations I DO love

And on that note, the most perplexing part of the matching t-shirt epidemic is how many places they actually get invited to. From family reunions to work events to rec sports leagues (ok, that one kinda gets a pass) - everyone is always rocking the matchy t-shirt.  And do not even get me started on bachelorette parties who go wine tasting in them because they have decorated text on the front. The words "t-shirt" + "wine tasting" don't quite go together to me. Have you no respect for the wine Gods? Do you not see these palatial estates you are visiting? No t-shirts, no shoes, no service - those are the clear rules. C'mon ladies - please at least pick out something a) non-unisex b) your Grandpa has hanging in his closet.


I didn't want to request anything on my bachelorette party because my girls even taking a weekend for me was truly gift enough but I did manage to pull one girl aside during the planning stages out of fear:

Me: "Can we please not wear a bunch of matching cotton t-shirts? Tank-tops are fine or cute tops but please no unisex, big shirts. I seriously hate them."

Elena: "Omg, are you kidding? So not our style ... And we're going to Vegas, who wears those there for a bachelorette?!?"

My thoughts exactly.

And with that completely random as all get out rant, I bid ye well on your Thursday.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Ghosts of Halloween's Past

Yay! It's everyone's favorite time of year again! Who doesn't love them some Halloween costumes (besides 3 hole punch Jim)? I'm actually not sure what I will be this year yet but to get inspired, I'd figure I'd take a trip down memory lane while I decide... [waving magic wand and screen is wavy-line changing views]
halloween, khaleesi costume, khal drogue costume, game of thrones
Khal Drogo & Khaleesi (+ Drogon!) | Well, really it's KHALEES-O & KHAL-LY DROGO. I knew everyone and their Mom was going to be Khaleesi/a Game of Thrones character last year so I figured I'd change it up and we'd swap roles. And then Chandler, bat-winged out, was a perfect little dragon.
calvin and hobbes costume
Calvin & Hobbes | Thank you Goodwill for having multiple versions of Calvin's full outfit available.

day of the dead makeup, parisian
First night: Dead German Bier Girl (clearly made that up...) & a Parisian | Second night: Day of the Dead

First Night: Jay the hippie (that wig looked good on him!), me the 1940s nurse (hat wise, nothing else wise)| Second night: Whatever that was? Girl in red?

Peacock | Gosh dangit they are pretty

First Night: Hell's Angel | Second Night: Swine Flew (get it?) but everyone thought I was "When Pigs Fly"

Jessica Rabbit | Which is basically the same as being Sofia Vergara with red hair. 

So I figured 2008 is a good place to stop! South of 2007 hits into college years and lawdy-lawd we don't need to promote those costumes online now that I consider myself a respectable human being.

What are you going to be for Halloween 2015!?!
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

11 LITTLE WAYS I SAVE MONEY

FREEZE MY PRODUCE
My freezer is chalk full of diced kiwi, bananas, pears, apples and raspberries as well as zucchini, bell peppers & onions. All because I dice up produce that I realize we won’t make it to that week and have it prepped in the fridge for easy side dishes or smoothie inserts. Keeps the grocery bill down and endlessly helps us whip up healthy, quick food.

FREEZE MY YOGURTS
Won’t make it to that single-serve of Greek yogurt before the expiration date? Throw it in the freezer. Frozen yogurts (not frozen yogurt) are wonderful to throw into a blender for said smoothie above. Just sit it on the counter for an hour and then dump it right into the blender, easy-peasy. The combination of these first two means that we often have stretches where we simply don’t need to buy breakfast groceries for a couple weeks. We just reach for the saved goodies to blend up.

DOLLAR TREE QUARTERLY HAUL
Once every 3-4 months, I head to the Dollar Tree to stock up on cleaning supplies. There’s things I want to spend money on and things I do not: Cleaning Supplies fall into the latter. I did a haul right when we moved here at the end of August to load us up on cleaners, garbage bags, laundry detergent, soap & paper towels. I spent $39 and will likely not need to go back again until December. I would have spent that many, many times over if I got ALL those items from a regular store. 

PHOTOGRAPHY SOUVENIRS
I have a built-in souvenir of every place I ever went. The final product of a photo you worked incredibly hard to master eliminates the need to go buy an item to represent the experience instead.
^Let your photos serve as your free (and more unique & special!) souvenir.

BRING YOUR OWN LUNCH TO WORK
I can’t stress the importance of this enough and how much bringing my own lunch to work almost every single day has impacted my wallet & waistline for the better. Not only are you in charge of your calories when you make your own food, but you save so much money. Our lunch budgets breaks down to about $3-$5 when I pack our meals. However, whenever I buy a lunch there’s no way I’m spending less than $11.

CRAIGSLIST
I have never had a bad experience on Craigslist and I will always sing its praises. I have sold so many furniture items on there and bought just as many. The dresser I have in San Francisco I picked-up our first week here via Craigslist. It’s really cute and large and I got it for mutha****in’ peanuts. I love checking there for items that I know otherwise will be more expensive (for instance: I am currently stalking the sh*t out of it for a retro credenza).

NATURAL(ER) HAIR COLOR
My bank account thanked me when I stopped trying to be Marilyn and just embraced the Jackie. It can’t be understated how much cheaper it is to dye your hair a color near your authentic one. And yes, the cheapest route would be to just NOT dye your hair but I ain’t never plannin’ on that one (besides, I'm too late!).
^Apparently I was extremely angry as a brunette AND a blonde #Smile

WALKING/PUBLIC TRANSIT
I do not spend that much time in my car. I take the bus to/from work and you will find me walking my heart out all over the city thereafter. It saves money AND takes care of the planet AND your ticker.

DISCOUNT PET SUPPLIES
All of Chandler’s pet toys I either made myself or purchased from Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. Sounds like an insignificant adjustment but over time, that all adds up. Main pet stores have toys hovering around $12-$20. Uhh … nope, especially not for something that will likely last a few days before it is shredded to bits. Everything Chandler has came from a discount location (minus his leash/harness bc those are long-lasting and his food because I care about his nutrition and don’t want him eating cheap stuff).

THE DISCOUNT FASHION HOLY TRINITY
Speaking of Marshall’s and TJ Maxx, I do a ton of my shopping there. A ton. That and Nordstrom Rack. And I swear, once you shop those places regularly - it’s nearly impossible for me to stomach full price on the reg’ again. One of the main reasons I love those stores is because it’s NICER brands for cheap, not just a bunch of cheap crap that is cheap. Do you see the distinction? Sure I can wear last season’s Michael Kors. What do I care?

JUST SIMPLY SHOPPING LESS
One key way to save money is to just shop less on discretionary items. Just stop going as frequently and inundating yourself with crap you don't need. I try to remind myself of this over and over and over again and most of the time, it works.

What are some little ways that you save money?

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Monday, October 26, 2015

PARIS ADVENTURES | ARC DE TRIOMPHE

What a difference some rest makes! Our second day in Paris was largely scored by the fact that I had gotten some sleep and was able to start my day with some Parisian coffee. And I write that knowing full well that that is as exciting as I saying I breathed air today. I get it- most people start their day with good sleep and some joe. But for the purpose of this story it seemed prudent.
^Coffee + his little brother + Europe = a very happy Jay.

With our sleep schedule basically demolished in a meat grinder, us "kids" got up to hit a cafe early morning after being up since about 4 AM with jet lag woes. And when I say "kids" for the duration of the trip, I'm referring to myself, Jay & his younger brother. We may be at the very north end of our twenties/the south end of our 30s but dangit if we aren't able to call ourselves "the kids" while in the presence of "parents" (I'll never grow up)
^Window shopping on way home from brunch.
Moods were very elevated this AM as it was everyone's first full day together and we knew we were heading off to see the Eiffel Tower. I can see why Disney envisioned that every one of their famed princesses -all of whom likely lived in Europe - started their day with birds chirping and flowers blooming. Namely because that really is an accurate depiction of moods as you get ready and beautify yourself in anticipation of exploring these ancient areas. It's also how the princesses must have felt knowing they didn't have to step foot in an office all day. I'd be singing a harmonic melody on the reg' too if that were the case.
Using the Arc de Triomphe as a pitstop before the Eiffel Tower could not have been a better decision. We had seen (and loved!) the understudy, and now- we were ready for the headliner.
The headliner of course being the Eiffel Tower. And on my next Paris post, I'll ensure that I touch on all of that.
Happy Monday!
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Little Things Lately ...

Buddying-Up// With my little dude. That's my iPhone capture of my view when I took these pictures. I've started to really, really miss having all my/our Portland friends around but he is always a great little comforting sidekick. It's also hilarious that I had never driven over the GG Bridge prior to moving here and now we're there quite regularly.

Watching// "The Social Network" as I type this. I am the exact same age and year as Mark Zuckerberg (and totally rocked many variations of that GAP sweatshirt he's wearing in the opening). Anyway, knowing that we were in college the exact same time at the same age/grade, it's quite clear based on his outcome in life that we made very different decisions every minuscule moment of every stupid day during every single term ... wahhh.

Envisioning// Our next neighborhood in SF to be North Beach. I know we just moved here and do not take this as me saying I don't like our digs now or that I'm complaining. However, we had to move here quickly without knowing much and the common thought is that your 2nd place in a new city is often better than your first since you get to know where you actually fit. Who knows what will happen but North Beach is like NW Portland (our old hood, very trendy shops/parks/restaurant oriented) but with an Italian theme. Sign me up. That image is during our last day date there.

Wishing// I took joy in nail painting. I don't know how you girls who always have perfect nails do it. Nothing is more boring to me than taking off nail polish (cause it chipped after one day, weird), painting my nails and then trying to not touch sh*t for the next hour. It never works and I always end up with weird blobs in my freshly painted nails which still proceed to chip the next day. Entire process just makes me want to take a big ol' nap.

Toasted// A drink in downtown SF at The Redwood Room with my friend Kiesha who was here for work. It was so fun to see her and have a drink with her beautiful self. Especially enjoyed her having to tell a man in his sixties who asked her to out to dinner that she was married. 

Obsessed with// all the "Back To The Future Day" hype. How fun was that?!? Like everyone else, that movie was a staple in my life growing-up (mostly because my little brother was enamored with it). However, I have one lingering thought: Why was Marty allowed to hang out with Doc on the reg' while he was still in high school? I'm fairly certain that if I was 17 and was like "Bye, Mom and Dad! Off to sleep over at my pal's!" and a seemingly crazed, hermit 50-something year old man was there to pick me up, I'd spend the rest of my high school years enjoying social events in a large hamster ball.

Sticking with// healthy/less restaurant food. Remember HERE when I said we had been surpassing our normal restaurant financial/caloric budget? Well since we're back from Paris I'm trying to keep ALL eating out reserved to weekends only. I shopped for our food last Sunday and have fought the urge to eat outside of it all week (hard to do in a new city!). 80/20 diet for life but it doesn't work if you can't stick to your weekday 80% sadly.

Loving, loving, loving// THIS VIDEO. If that doesn't make you excited that the workweek is over, I don't know what will. I imagine even hipsters would have a hard time not cracking a smile as they watched.

Have a great, great, great weekend!!!!
[Little Things Lately reflects little things I did/thoughts I had/images taken from my phone]
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Many, many moons ago as I lived alone in my early twenties, I awoke to a dead mouse in my toilet in the dead of winter. It was a horrible sight/feeling/view. I felt bad for the animal but also felt incredibly jarred to wake up to that. What does that mean??!?!?! Are there more??! BLECH. I dealt with it that AM with one eye-shut and sped off to work, unable to shake the feeling all day.

When I arrived home that evening, I was on high alert for a sign of any other intruder. And sure enough, there under the sink, behind the cleaning supplies, was a very scared looking mouse who presumably had lost his mate. I had no idea what to do. I tried to coax him out with a broom to no avail, I tried to maneuver him using a pot - all of this in complete and utter vain and I was losing my steam for the project. I could never have hurt the little guy but I had no idea how to get him out.

I started to cry out of stress. Wimpy, pathetic, whiny cry.
^Left: My rehearsal dinner Right: My dad (the original hipster I guess) and me.

And then, I called my dad. I explained my situation through tears as if I was a girl of 8-years-old again and no sooner had I finished my sentence when my Dad hung up the phone and soon knocked on my front door.

I opened it to find him standing there wearing heavy-duty gloves and a little too happy to laugh at how stressed I was about something he found so simple. He asked me where the mouse was, stormed right in there, reached right under the sink and grabbed him and then held it in his hands as we walked outside and let it go in a field. A very happy ending for all involved.

I can't remember a more memorable time in my adult life when I was happier to have a Dad.
Even though I often feel strong as my own independent person, there will always be a part of me who loves that I can pick up the phone and wait for my Knight in Shining Armor. Even if that armor comes in the form of a headlamp and some dirty, old gloves.

Thanks for being my Dad & the happiest of birthdays to you!
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Paris Adventures| What I Packed

I fancy myself many things in this world: A poet, a scholar, a humanitarian, a uniter of people. Okay, I'm not really any of those things (well I have a Bachelor's so I guess I am technically a genius) but I am one thing for sure- and that's a poor packer. No matter how many lists I read about packing with purpose or how often some stay-at-home blogger comes up with (yet again) a perfectly curated post about MUST HAVES for their latest jaunt to an exotic location, it's all basically just one big over my head read. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the information and I always love a pretty blog post. But I just don't do a good job of actually internalizing any of it. I'm an over packer- through and through.
Yet, I would love to do a post about what I brought to Paris and how well a lot of it worked out. HOWEVER, I felt inclined to put a disclaimer: While I did do a good job of picking out things I would wear and having viable options, I also packed basically an extra suitcase worth of things I DIDN'T use. I'm not a great packer and I'm not going to pretend I am. But the items I had with me that I ACTUALLY WORE were pretty solid and I figured I'd share.

SHOES
Over-the-Knee flat boots (brown & black) + chunky heels booties + combat boots: All good for height, walkability & fashionable purposes (I actually didn't bring any other shoes and this was a total packing win, no disclaimer needed).

JACKETS
A black, short, trendy bomber jacket + long, more casual army green jacket + a fancier long black jacket for evening (not pictured: chunky scarves)

PANTS
Pleather leggings + skinny jeans + tights

PURSE
A mini-backpack (hello 1995!) and it worked PERFECTLY and allowed me to take pictures with ease

TOPS
Big, loose, chunky sweaters + long knits for layering

DRESSES & SKIRTS
One long-sleeved LBD dress + mid-calf camel pencil skirt + faux-leather pleated short skirt

JEWELRY
Fun gold accessories + little studs + long necklaces

MAKE-UP
Dark & Vampy (or as Jay stated: "Why do you have Halloween makeup on?", I'm sure he has a point but idgaf)

So ignoring all of the other superfluous items I brought, these got me through really well for about 10 days of exploring the city on foot and not looking like a total slob.

What do you generally bring on a trip?
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