New Year's Eve menu

If I had organized my life (and blog) a little better, I'd have posted a year-end round up or new year's resolution-type post.

Instead, I'm sharing what we're making to gorge ourselves on for New Year's Eve.  My sister and I decided to go with appetizers and chocolate fondue.  Fun finger food.

We're doing edamame, a spinach artichoke dip, smoked salmon dip, stuffed mushrooms, and french bread pizza.

I also made some hot buttered rum batter, which we're serving up with very fancy rum (or the cheap stuff) and hot cider.  The batter is so delicious that I'm dreaming other ways to use it.

Also, we went for healthy.  Obviously.  At this point in the holiday season, I stop worrying about calories all together.

That's a problem for next year. :)

Have fun celebrating and happy new year!!!


Ten on Tuesday, take 6

It's been a whole week again.  Time for Ten on Tuesday.  Feel free to join in or go check out what other people said.

The nice thing about ToT is that it guarantees that I post at least once a week.

1. What was the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
I really wanted an iPod nano.  I had an iPod already, but I wanted something compact and more conducive to working out.  Now I can just clip it on and go, plus it has a pedometer.

2. Did you get the number one item on your Christmas wishlist?
Yes I did.  It was quite the surprise (SF*).

3. How long has it been since you've had a pedicure?
September, when I was in TN.  I don't really think it's worth it in the winter to get pedicures.  I am wearing boots 90% of the time anyways.

4. How cold is it in your city today?
I think it's supposed to get into the mid 40s.  I'm not sure.  We had a white Thanksgiving, but December has been really mild.  We might get some snow tomorrow though.

5. How many pillows do you sleep with?
I have about 5 on my bed, but I only use 2.

6. Can you roll your tongue?
Yes and I can roll my Rs most of the time.  Also, I can make a shamrock-looking shape with my tongue. I am very talented.

7. Do you always buy the same mascara or do you try new ones each tube?
I have one standard mascara, but I also like to try out new types.  Since I go with drug store mascara, I don't mind spending a few extra bucks here and there to experiment.  I use Maybelline Colossal in glam brown.

8. What's your favorite cookbook?
I use Allrecipes online a lot, but I have a few cookbooks I really love, too.  I'm working on building up my cookbook collection.  I also follow a few food blogs for ideas (and yummy pictures).

9. What was your first pet?
The first pet my family had was a cocker spaniel named Toby Jackson.  He did not live with us long.  My first pet was my black cat named Shadow.  She was a member of the family until the dogs caused her to have a nervous breakdown.

10. Do you wear jewelry on a daily basis?
This year I started wearing a watch regularly.  Otherwise, no jewelry is for sure.  It's not something I really think about.

SF stands for sarcasm font.  My sister and I came up with it to use in texts since you can't actually change font for emphasis.


Tree Hunting

Yes, this happened a week ago, but I wanted to share a few pictures anyways.  Also, I realize that we got our tree less than a week before Christmas.  It happens.

The tree is a lovely Noble Fir and we got it the old-fashioned way--at the u-cut tree farm.  (Side note: I was freezing my butt off and maybe complaining a lot about it.)

 Hiding amid the trees.
 The cute little pond.
The winning tree.
 Our ridiculous method of transporting it.
The beautiful mountain.  At least it was nice out even if it was cold.


Very Merry

Feliz Navidad.
 Mele kalikimaka.
Merry Christmas.

Enjoy your time with family and friends!  I'll be back soon (probably after the weekend) as I have a lot to catch up on.  Mostly pictures.

I had hoped to do a larger post today (actually yesterday, now), but caught up with cookie decorating, time with family, the Christmas Eve service, and hanging with close friends.

And I don't feel guilty at all.  

Have a happy Saturday.


Ten on Tuesday and why I'm a slacker.

My Finnish cousin is still stranded in England.  She finally got out of Heathrow after 3 days and is hoping to get home soon.

The only way she'll be coming to the states is if the first flight she can make is her Christmas Day flight here (and not the two home before that).  We actually got to talk to her a couple nights ago and it was good to hear she was alive and kicking, if a little exhausted.

Now my sister and I are sitting around staring at each other because all the fun things we had planned for her have kind of gone out the window.

I have gotten presents wrapped, helped to chop down and decorate our tree, and taken part in three happy hours in a row.

And if my cousin makes it home (which we're all hoping for her sake), she's planning on coming back for a visit this summer.  Hopefully snow, ice and freezing wind won't be a problem then.

Without further ado, here's my Ten on Tuesday:

1. Do you do any volunteer work?
This year I helped with a 5k benefitting pediatric brain tumor research.  I would love to find other ways to volunteer.  I think it's really important to give back however you can and I need to do a better job.

2. Do you have a night or morning ritual?
Right now, not so much since I haven't really worked in a while.  I almost always read before I got to bed.  In the morning I usually hit snooze at least twice, but I give myself time for that.  I can get ready in 10 minutes if need be.

3. Would you rather exercise or diet? Why?
Exercise, hands down.  There are a couple reasons for that.  First of all, I really love food.  I can't imagine limiting myself to certain things.  I try to eat healthy, but I'm not super anal about diet.  I like things like mac n' cheese, donuts, and cookie dough too much.  It's all about moderation.  Second, I really, really like to exercise, especially weight lifting.  It helps relieve stress, makes me feel better physically and mentally, and always lifts my mood.

4. If you would rather exercise, do you prefer going to a gym or working out at home?
While I would love to work out at home, I don't really have the home gym to do that.  I definitely prefer going to the gym.  I like the variety available at the gym.  Boredom can often stop a regular workout schedule in its tracks for me, so variety is key.  That said, I haven't had a gym membership since the end of October and it's killing me.  That's going to have to change soon.

5. What do you think is a huge waste of time?
The amount of time I spend on the internet, half of the things I purchase that I "need", most of the time I spend worrying.  And that's just a few from my life.

6. What is one way you save time?
By driving really fast.  I mean, appropriately fast.  I only have 1 speeding ticket, but it's not even on my record, so it doesn't really count.  I also like "to do" lists, but I don't know that they save me time.  They just make me feel better.

7. What is your current obsession?
Those big oversized cowls I keep seeing.  I'm trying to knit my own, but may not have the patience for it.  Only time will tell.

8. What is a current obsession you can't wait to pass?
Vampires.  I just don't get it.

9. Are you currently reading a book? If so, what book? Would you recommend it?
I just purchased, but haven't started, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I'll let you know what I think.

10. Since we had the 90s question last week, what are your favorite songs from the 00s?
Oh gosh, how many am I allowed to include?  I don't know if I have the patience or energy to do this question justice.  Maybe I'll do a post about this in the future (although, realistically, I'll probably forget all about it).

So there you go, my ten.  Check out the everyone else's and take part yourself!


Oh, so pretty.

I didn't mention it, but I finally got my camera back last weekend.  And then I didn't take any pictures.  I was just savoring it's presence.


There were, however, some pictures from my drive across the state the last time.  I just have to share a few of them, in two parts, because I live in such a beautiful place.  I see these pictures and can't imagine leaving.

Not that I'm planning on leaving, but you never know what might happen.

I meant to share the pictures sooner, but the week was a little consumed by the GRE (which I think went really well).

In unrelated news and before I share the pictures, my cousin was supposed to be arriving from Finland for the holidays this afternoon.  Instead she's trapped in Heathrow Airport due to snow.  She might get here tomorrow.  Ugh.

She won't want to move for a couple days once she arrives, I'm pretty sure.  Here's hoping and praying she makes it in tomorrow and not later than that.

Now onto the pretty mountain pictures.  And I don't mean east coast mountains.  We do things a little bigger out here in the Wild West.  (Capitalized for emphasis)

Have a happy weekend!  Hopefully you aren't having to brave malls or stores.  It's dangerous out there.


Ten on Tuesday: Reunited and it feels so good.

My computer and I are together again.  It was only 2 days without my MacBook, but that was more than enough.  Especially since it wasn't purposeful.

To celebrate, we're doing another Ten on Tuesday.  It's a team effort (between my computer and I).

1.  What is your favorite kind of cheese?
I am huge cheese consumer.  Like it would be the one food I would choose, if I had to narrow it down to one.  Although just saying "cheese" may be a little broad.  I love smoked gouda, swiss, feta, blue cheese,  sharp cheddar, brie, fresh mozzarella.   Basically I could go on forever.

2. Do you prefer fudge with out without nuts?
Probably without, as long as its melt in your mouth fudge.  If it's more chewy, I don't really care.

3. How do you feel about cats?
I'm more of a dog person.  My first pet was a black cat named Shadow who was so afraid when we got dogs that she ate food as quickly as possible and then threw it up while hiding in my room.  I loved her.  Really.

4. Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts?
Julia Roberts for sure.  I love her laugh and smile and humor.  She's great.

5. Do you wear a watch?
As of my birthday this summer, yes.  I have a white fossil watch with a little bling and a pearl inlay.

6. What are your favorite songs from the 90's?
There are quite a few songs, but I'm going to list some of the artists I listened to instead.  I should mention that I was pretty sheltered musically until the 2000s.  Jars of Clay, Shania Twain, Jewel, TLC, Christina Aguilera, Enya, Jaci Velasquez, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Newsboys.  There's more, but I'll stop there for now.

7. Do you like scented candles?
I'm not a big candle person in general.  Not that I don't like candles, but I've never really done them.  I don't know.  If I do have candles, I like them to be scented, but I am particular about the scents I like.  Really it's just easier not to have candles.

8. What do you like on your hamburger?
It depends on the day.  Sometimes cheddar and bacon, sometimes mushrooms and swiss cheese, sometimes avocado--it really just depends on the day.

9. How often do you cut your fingernails?
I have no regular schedule.  It depends on the condition on my nails mostly.  Sometimes I let them grow, other times I keep them short.

10. Do you sleep in socks?
Almost never.  I don't like how they feel.  It can be a challenge in the winter.


A Few Long Days and a Man Down

I've been out of touch for a few days.  Partly because I traveled to the other side of the state, which in this part of the county takes about 6 hours, partly because I've spent the last 3 days in a car (or so it feels), and partly because I left my computer in my cousin's car.  It's now 2 hours away from me.

It's a little bit of a crisis.  I think my cousin did it to ensure I brought her dog by from her parents' house.  My computer is a hostage.  And I paid a lot more for it than she did for her dog.

Just saying.  (No dogs were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Plus, he's kind of covered in burrs so she probably doesn't want him back anyways.

As a sidenote (as if this post is completely off the tracks already), her dog, Shepp, is probably the smartest, most well-trained dogs that I know.  And not well-trained in a give-me-a-high-five sort of way.  More like, he runs when he's told to, stops when he's told to, etc.--all by voice commands.

I'm too much of a softie to make our dogs that obedient.

But I'm back blogging now.  Obviously.

Even though it's been a busy three days, it's also been fun (if a little short on sleep).  My mom and drove cross state to her home town, a.k.a. my college town.  I got to catch up with a friend (briefly), which meant bowling.  As is our custom. 

Next, my aunt joined us for a trip north.  We met up with cousins and my sister for some Christmas shopping, my sister's choir concert, a lot of meals out, and a night at a hotel with hundreds of hockey players, loud obnoxious hockey players.

Hence the lack of sleep.  Also, some people snore.

Somehow, even though I went into the weekend "done" with Christmas shopping, I managed to spend much more money than anticipated.  I blame it on Ulta and World Market.  Those stores are just so dangerous. 

On the plus side, I can't wait to try my Mexican hot chocolate mix.

I love a little spice.  Literally.

Tomorrow gets to be a lazy day, with a side of meeting with my financial guy.  (I feel like the grown-up-ness of "financial guy" in the previous sentence is offset by "lazy.")

Tuesday, we're headed back home and Thursday I take the GRE (btw, I don't need more comments from the GRE people about improving my score through their website.).

Did I mention that my GRE study books are with my computer two hours away?

I'm so kicking that test's butt.

On that uplifting note, my parentheses and I are calling it quits for the night.  I'll see (or write) you when the hostage has been restored to my possession.



My focus over the next week (eek!) in studying for the GRE is vocabulary.  Although how many words I can learn or remember at this point is questionable.

(It doesn't help that I'm headed out of town tomorrow through Tuesday.  Maybe Mom and I will do flashcards in the car.)

Today I decided to go online for some studying action at FreeRice.com.  Have you heard of it?
Play Freerice and feed the hungry

There are 60 levels for English vocabulary.  The first few are so easy, you think you're a genius.  Seriously.  I made it to the high 30s before I started feeling stupid.  Luckily, they repeat the incorrect words and give the correct definition, which really helps me remember them.

I haven't been to the site in a while.  Now, there are other subjects you can do.  It's a little distracting and kind of takes away from my "studying" but is still pretty fun.

I tried my hand at math, Spanish, world geography, and English grammar.

The best part is that the site donates 10 grains of rice for every correct answer you get.  I'm somewhere up over 3,000 grains on the day.  So I'm studying, playing a game, and helping someone out all at the same time.

It's a pretty sweet deal.



Today I decided to make a (small) effort, get out of my sweats and into "real" clothes, and head out to run a few errands.

My first stop was a local consignment store.  I had dropped off a load of clothes this summer when I decided to do purge some.  I had a few more things to drop off and I checked my balance from the previous load.

Cha-ching.  I ended up having enough to pick up a fun leather clutch, a nice belt, and two button-up shirts (one with a military vibe, which I've been wanting to add into my line up), and having enough cash left over for a little Trader Joe's shopping run.

Of course, I went into TJ's with a shopping list and on an empty stomach, so my cart ended up looking like a Christmas snack fest, but at least it was all essentially free.

I finished off the day by watching The Sing Off (fyi - I'm a total music junkie) and my alma mater kick some Gonzaga butt, with a little Criminal Minds as a night cap.

Tomorrow I have a few more errands to run, a little present wrapping, and some GRE studying to take care of.

And the most beautiful part, no alarm to wake up to.


Another Tuesday, Another Ten

It's for real, officially my Christmas break now, except for a self-eval I have to finish.

I'm feeling pretty good about life, as I should.  I had happy hour with a friend I haven't spent time with in too long, I have spent more time in sweats than out of them lately, and I have some fun adventures to look forward to over the coming weeks.

Party mode.

Here's my Ten on Tuesday.  You should join, too!

1. What do you order at Starbucks?
This time of year egg nog lattes, cut with nonfat milk to make them less thick, are my crack, but nonfat chai lattes are "the usual".  In the summer I go for green tea lemonades, unsweetened, for something a little more refreshing.

2. Where is your favorite place to eat breakfast?
There are a couple really good spots around town for breakfast: the Little Cheerful, Old Town Cafe and Diamond Jim's.  Those are definitely my top three.

3. Are you on Twitter? Why or why not?
Yes, I'm @ewiley.  Come be my friend.  Or follow me.  Or whatever.  I've been on twitter for about 2 years now.  I started out of curiosity and boredom (I was unemployed at the time), and now I'm kind of an addict.

4. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
I love Elf.  It makes me laugh every time, especially if I watch it with my sister and dad.  In terms of classics, I'm a fan of The Christmas Carol, the older version.

5. Are you a good gift giver?
I love, love, love giving gifts.  Some people are definitely harder to buy for than others (my sister is the easiest ever), but I love the challenge of finding something people will enjoy and don't already have.

6. Do you like your handwriting? Bonus points for posting a picture.
It depends.  It can look fun and nice, but it can also turn into scribbles.  And sometimes when I get going too fast, I have the tendency to leave out letters.

7. Is your signature legible? Bonus points for posting a picture.
My signature has actually become less and less legible over time, but I really like it.  It's missing a few letters at this point.  Some of them have melded together.

8. Have you ever been to New York during Christmas season?
I've actually never been to New York at all.  So no.  It's on my list though.  One of many, many places I would like to visit.

9. Are there any items that you are completely brand loyal?
Deodorant: Dove.  I had really sensitive skin when I was younger and Dove was the only thing I found that didn't make my skin freak out.

10. Who is your favorite public speaker?
Oh gosh.  I'm not sure.  I heard Michael Kimmel speak earlier this year and found him hilarious.  He's a sociologist who has studied young men in our culture and has some great insights.  I don't know if I've heard enough to have a favorite, though.



I'm taking the GRE in a week in a half.  And it kind of makes me want to vomit.

I scheduled the test a month or two ago and then promptly put off studying.  Now I have 10 days to cram, because that totally works for these types of tests.

That's not to say that I haven't studied at all, I just haven't put as much time into it as I should have.  I keep clinging to the fact that even though I've haven't been a student for almost 3 years, I have spent the better part of the past 2 years in the university setting (and classroom).

That should be enough, right?

I took two practice tests today, and I could tell that was a lot by the end of the second.  The number I was getting wrong shot up in the last few problems.

So that's what I'll be doing for a while (along with setting up letters of recommendation--I am so behind the ball) and writing a personal statement.  I have until February 1st to get it all done.

I can't really put this work off any longer.


The Facts of (my) Life

Fact: Today is Friday.

Fact: I have three more hours of work before I'm free until early January.

Fact: I am guest posting over at Woo! today.  Check it out! 

Woo! was created by the awesome and adorable Michelle, who is currently on her honeymoon in Argentina.  She features really, really fun stuff on her site and I'm excited to be featured.


Today was a good day.

I got to check a lot of things off of my to-do list today.  I love that.  Even if my list is more figurative (in my head) than literal.

After finishing up some work at home I ran some errands.  I had to return a few items that had been previously ordered online.  Check and check.  (Also, yay for free returns!)

Let me just say that I love REI.  Even though I'm not a rugged ourdoorsman, I could wander around looking at things in the store for hours.

Today, however, I had a mission.  My rain jacket died last night.  The zipper came undone from the bottom and the pull on the zipper snapped off.  I was going to have a hard time staying dry in that piece of clothing.

But REI is awesome because they take it back anyways.  Luckily I had given them my dad's membership number when I purchased it, so they had a record of how much I spent.  I got that amount towards the purchase of new jacket.  Now I have a fully functioning, even nicer rain coat.  It's lined.  Quite the step up from the last version.

I count this purchase as more of a need than a want.  The Pacific Northwest is known for its rain and we don't use umbrellas here.  I kid you not.

Like I said, a raincoat is a need.  And I met that need quite nicely.

I finished up my errands with a couple check deposits (thank you IRS for my amended refund) and dinner with a good friend.

Okay, so the dinner was more pleasure than errand, but by the time I got home I felt quite accomplished.

And was really looking forward to sweats.

Now I'm going to bed.  Literally.


Ten on Tuesday/End of NaBloPoMo/Thankful for Day 30

It's the end of November.  The day my timesheet(s) are due.  The end of NaBloPoMo (failed).  The final day of my "Thankful For".  And I'm doing another Ten For Tuesday.

Phew.  I'm exhausted just reading that.  You know, because my life is so rough.  And all those things took so much time.

This month was a good challenge for me as a blogger.  And even though I didn't quite manage to post everyday, partially due to some wintery weather, I feel like I did well.

I'm so thankful for this blog as a way to communicate with friends/family and the online community I've met through it.  I can't tell you how wonderful it's been to make all these new friends.  I've mentioned this already this week, but I really mean it.

I'm also thankful for only having 3 more days of work before the break.  That's part of the reason my job rocks.  To me, it's even worth the lack of paycheck that comes with it.

Finally, I'm thankful for some good music.  I got some great albums from Amazon over the past week for $1.99 and I just downloaded the newest Glee album today.  I'm addicted.  I can't help it.

Without further ado, here is my Ten on Tuesday: (check out everyone else's here.)

1. Where are you from? Have you lived there your whole life?
I'm from Bellingham, WA and went to school in a small town called Ferndale.  While I have been in the area off and on for over a decade, I definitely have not lived here my whole life.  I was born in Spokane, and have also lived in Tacoma, Sequim, Pullman, and Colorado Springs, CO.

2. How would you classify your clothing style?
I would say I have a pretty classic, clean style.  It can sometimes edge towards preppy.  More often than not, though, my style can be a little lazy.  I can pretty much wear jeans everyday at work, and I have to walk a lot, so I keep it casual.

3. What kind of car do you drive?
'05 Honda Civic Hybrid, baby.  I love my good gas mileage.   My complaints are that upkeep costs are a little high and it lacks power.  My hybrid is also, surprisingly, a manual.  I recently gave Gwenyth a bath (well, the car wash place did), because she was maybe the dirtiest car in existence.  You couldn't even read the license plate.

4. What would your dream home look like if you could have it?
My whims for a dream house change pretty much daily.  I'm a ways from home ownership at the moment.  A real career (not a job, I have that) has to come first.  And grad school might precede that as well.  I like houses that aren't just boxes, ones that have big porches to invite people in, light streaming through windows, open spaces for people to gather in, and cozy places to tuck in with a group.  Someday I might find that.  I hope.

5. Do you have kids, and if so, how many and how old were you when you had them?
None that I know of.

6. What is your favorite hobby?
Outside of watching ridiculously pathetic televisions for hours, probably reading.  I could go for hours.  Or watching sports, specifically basketball and football.  Do those even count as hobbies?  I also like long walks on the beach and underwater basket weaving.  And being serious all the time.

7. Are you going to have any New Year's resolution for 2011?
I actually just posted about this yesterday.  I'm thinking about budgeting a little better, not because I don't have enough money but because I want to be more responsible and less materialistic.

8. What is something, if anything, that you'd want to change about yourself?
I really wish I had a career or a career goal that I was really passionate about.  There are things I'm interested in or things I would like to do, but there's no driving force in me, or so it feels.  Unless a potential employer is reading this, in which case refer to the end of my answer for #6 (and read between the lines).

9. What is something you love about yourself?
My sense of humor and ability to make others laugh.  My ability to learn quickly and find efficient ways to do things.  My hair.  Sorry, that's about 4 things.  I'm not so good about really choosing.

10. Pick one of the following: someone to cook for you, someone to do your laundry, or someone to do your dishes.
Ooo, this is kind of hard.  I pick someone to do my laundry as long as it includes putting my clothes away.  True fact about me: I always put my dirty clothes in the hamper but often pile clean clothes on the floor.  I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.

And that's the end of today's essay and the challenge that has been November (in so many ways).


Isn't It Ironic (Don't Ya Think)

After yesterday's less-stuff-is-probably-better post, I'm following up with a few gift guides online that have been immensely helpful in my gift search.  Hence, the Alanis Morissette reference in my title.

But it's Christmas, and it's for others (mostly), and I love gift giving.

There are a lot of great guides out there.  By a lot of great bloggers.

Here's where you can find a few:

  • One of my favorite bloggers, Krystal, has a great round up over at her blog, Village.
  • She also contributed one of a handful of guides at Chic 'n Cheap Living.  Look for Part 2 in addition to the link for Part 1 that I provided.
  • OC Family featured a great line-up of sites with great gifts that support great causes.
  • El Vintage, who I've mentioned before and has her own etsy, featured some of her favorite gift finds from Etsy.  
There are more guides out there, I just know it.

I've found all of these helpful and I thought I'd give you a (almost, not quite) handful of options to get you started.

Today I'm thankful for 4 more days of work before my Christmas break begins.  I. Can. Not. Wait.  But I will anyways.


The Things I Carry With Me

It's 9:15 p.m. and I'm ready to go to bed like whoa.  Black Friday completely screwed up my sleeping schedule.  But before I fall into bed...

I've been thinking a lot about the materialism mindset that is so prevalent in our culture.  We have a lot of stuff.

This is ironic following up my Black Friday shopping, I know.  Try not to hold it against me.

For me, at this point in my life, that means a lot of things related to fashion (clothes, shoes, etc.).  It's easy to do--go shopping and find 1 or 10 more things that I just "need."

But I don't need more.  And really, if I look at my motivations, I probably don't even want more.

So I've been thinking about really trying to restrict myself, as a new year resolution.  I haven't committed myself to one of those in years.  I think it would be a challenge, but in a good way.

Maybe I should wear through a couple pairs of shoes before I buy another pair.

I had been thinking of setting an actual limit on what I could spend monthly on all things clothes, shoes, etc. related.

I haven't ever been that strict with myself.  I keep track of my finances and know what I should or shouldn't spend at a given time, but haven't needed financially to limit myself to a sum per month.

I am very thankful for what I have in terms of things, opportunities and privilege!  And I'm tired of taking it for granted.

Just some thoughts, I haven't actually decided whether to follow through or not.

How much do you budget for those expenses?  I know this is an amount that can vary with your situation, but I have no idea what is a reasonable or realistic amount for myself.


A Deal (or two)

While most of what I purchased on Friday morning (a.k.a. the dead of night) was Christmas-related, I couldn't help pick up an item or two for myself.

My favorite purchase was these boots from JC Penney:
Aren't they adorable?!  A great color and I love the small wedge.  These will be well used throughout the holiday season.

And they are $30.  So nice.

A lot of JCP's boots were discounted to $30 for Black Friday.  My sister also snagged a pair for herself and as a Christmas present for someone else.

Hers are snazzy, too.

Let's all use the word snazzy more.  Okay?

Today I'm thankful that there's still one more day of weekend left.  I don't feel like I've recovered entirely from the gorging and unnecessarily early shopping.


Blackish Friday

Today has pretty much passed in a daze.  That is, if a daze includes shopping at 4 a.m., hours and hours of Criminal Minds and What Not to Wear, leftovers and delicacies such as cheese and crackers.

I have now been awake for 18 hours and I feel every minute of it.

The good news is that my sister and were completely victorious this morning.  We had a game plan, stuck to it and were out in about 2 hours (hitting 4 stores in the process).

Target was B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Not even joking.  It was scary, dangerous and so, so crowded.  Ridiculousness.  If there hadn't been a specific thing I wanted there (gift, so I can't tell details), I wouldn't have stayed.

I am actually almost done with my shopping.  A couple more little things to get and I'll be set.  That's what happens when you start shopping in September.  Supposedly that kept me from spending too much on myself, but I'm pretty sure it just made Christmas get out of hand quickly.

Shopping for presents is so much fun though.  Love it!

But I have to sleep now, even if it isn't even 9:30 p.m.  I want to be alive tomorrow.


This is Why I Wear Stretchy Pants

This is the first Thanksgiving that I legitimately cooked.  My mom and I double-teamed it.

We also had a game plan going into today, which helped things run really smoothly.  We also had some help from some cooking powers.  Martha Stewart inspired us to add reisling to our turkey brine, Paula Deen helped us create a much improved green bean casserole, and Bobby Flay gave us my new favorite dessert (pumpkin bread pudding).

Seriously, the bread pudding.  I may come up with reasons to make it in coming days, weeks, months, etc.  Pumpkin bread cooked in vanilla-bean infused cream, topped with caramel sauce and homemade whipping cream.

Foodgasm.  I don't care if I made that word up; it still happened.

Now I need to rest up for Black Friday.  My sister and I have a list and a plan of attack.  We will not lose!

Today I'm super thankful for my mom who works hard even when she feels like crap, my dad for making endless chauffeur trips, my brother for his endless humor and ability to sleep through our craziness, and my sister for her partnership in crime, er shopping.

I also loved spending the day with extended family: my aunt and uncle, grandpa and grandma, and cousins.

Thanksgiving might just be my top holiday.


Turkey Time

I know it's Thanksgiving (or practically...30 more minutes) because I've been to what feels like 20 grocery stores in the past 2 days, there is family gathered around talking, and the dog is hiding out with me.

Yep, that's about right.

My mom and I have already worked on choreographing tomorrow's cooking.  Our oven is small and not very efficient, so the turkey has to be in by 8:30 a.m., or we won't eat until about this time tomorrow.

You think I'm joking, but I'm not.  What I wouldn't give for double ovens.

Today I'm thankful for laughter and awkward moments, cuddly dogs, warm cocoa, brisk winter winds, and lots of delicious food to eat.

Bring it on Thanksgiving.  I'm ready with my stretchy pants.  Let's do this!


Etsy Shopping Specials

Black Friday isn't just happening in stores or on the big sites, it's happening on etsy, too.

I thought I'd spotlight a couple shops from people whose blogs I follow.

First up is Tumbleweeds.  They have the cutest collection of little treasures and other vintage pieces on their etsy shop.  Adorable!

Use the coupon code "tumbleweed" to get 20% off.  Buy before Dec. 1st to get your purchases wrapped and delivered for Christmas.

El Vintage is also having a Black Friday sale.  But only go visit her etsy if you like amazing vintage clothing and accessories.  You may find yourself wanting it all!

Get 15% off through Dec. 15 using the coupon code "precious."  There are also a ton of items already on sale (which won't be discounted further).

As an unrelated, yet Black Friday related, deal, Amazon is marking down a handle of mp3 albums every day.  To way cheap (think $1.99).  And these are good albums.  I got John Legend and KT Tunstall today.

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  If not, you should definitely start online, and miss out on the crazy crowds.

Getting a Jumpstart on Thanksgiving

One of the perks of deciding to drive home a day later was tagging along with my cousins, aunt and uncle to Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of their family.

(Wow that was a long sentence.)

Grandma R. hosted the dinner, served up potluck style.  With a large, extended family, this meant lots and lots and lots of food.  Really, really delicious food.  Sweet and mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, jams, and more--all homemade.  Not to mention about 5 or so different desserts.

It was a feast.

Grandma R. had even decided to make a ham in case there wasn't enough turkey to go around.  (Packages of turkey were packed up afterwards for leftovers.)

Now Mom and I have started preparing for Turkey Day.  Today we put the turkey (all 24 lbs. of it) in a brine, made cornbread for stuffing, and baked pumpkin bread for our pumpkin bread pudding (a la Bobby Flay).

Tomorrow will be a big prep and cleaning day with a few errands thrown in for good measure, as we have family coming into town in the evening.

And my sister makes it home tonight!

The only thing that would make this better if it wasn't freezing-your-digits-off cold and two weeks from when I'll have my camera off.

Today I'm thankful for the start of vacation!  Par-tay!


The Big Freeze

Well, the good news is that I made it home.  I was also driving early enough in the day that I missed the worst of the Seattle roadways.

(I've heard of some people who haven't even made it home yet down there.)

That's not to say it was a fun drive.  The pass was actually easier than most of the driving on the west side of the state.

I didn't think the freeways seemed that slick, but apparently a number of cars disagreed with me.  I saw probably 6-7 accidents on my drive up the freeway, including multiple semis and at least two with flipped vehicles.

I also managed to leave my SLR camera on the east side of the state.  But my aunt and uncle have promised to take pictures for me.  I was going to post a couple pictures from the trip over on Friday, because it was absolutely sunny and gorgeous.  Apparently that won't happen.  At least not in the near future.

Now we're hunkered down under blankets and with multiple layers on.  My room doesn't really get heat, so I'll probably just keep all these layers on and climbed into bed tonight.

The high tomorrow is around 20 degrees (farenheit).  I'm just trying to figure out how to layer most appropriately.

Tonight I'm thankful for a warm (mostly) place to sleep, a safe drive home, and a delicious dinner in my belly.


Food and Sparkles

I should be helping the cousins get the house ready for our jewelry party.  I use "our" loosely, as I had nothing to do with the planning.

But I have done some cooking today.  We've made artichoke dip, taco dip, a salmon ball, shortbread, candlelight cake, and also have plans for stuffed mushrooms and chocolate fruit fondue.  Needless to say, I'm excited to eat.

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I really like food.

We will browsing Silpada's most recent catalog, and I may have to pick out something pretty and sparkly for myself.  And maybe a Christmas gift or two, just so I don't feel guilty for a personal purchase.

I don't know if you noticed, but I failed at NaBloPoMo.  I drove across the state yesterday and then was so exhausted last night that I fell asleep without even thinking of posting.

I don't really feel that bad about it.  I may still try to finish out the month, but I make no promises.

In other news, there was no snow the entire drive.  At all.  So I got myself all worried for nothing.  Let's hope Sunday's drive is as stress free.

Happy weekend!

Today, I'm thankful for family that loves to cook delicious things as much as I do.  It makes for a lot of fun.


The Open (and snowy) Road

I'm feeling a little tired, not because I've worked that much this week but because I haven't gotten enough sleep recently.  You know, the thing that usually makes you tired.

I'm driving across the state tomorrow, it's supposed to snow, and I'm taking my Civic Hybrid, which is not known for its performance in the snow.

Can you tell I'm excited?

That said, I am really looking forward to the weekend.

I get to spend time with family, my cousins, my sister, my aunt and uncle.  I get to eat good food (and help make it).  I get to look at (and probably buy) beautiful jewelry.

I may even catch up with a friend or two along the way.

So you see, my life isn't actually all that rough.

I plan to make the journey as enjoyable as possible with some good eats, at least one egg nog latte, and good tunes.  I'm putting together a good playlist right now.

If you had to pick a roadtrip soundtrack, what would it include?

Today I'm thankful for Friday, but I'm pretty sure that's true for everyone.  I'm also thankful for puppy cuddles and my Fuggs.  (They keep my toes warm.)


Cooking It Up

I've been doing a bit of cooking recently.  And I really do mean a bit.  Living at home has its perks, one of which is that I'm not expected to cook ever.

Sometimes I do anyways.

This weekend I made homemade mac and cheese.  It was delicious.  I didn't follow a recipe for it, but here's a breakdown:

  • Boil pasta to al dente - it's going to bake anyways so you don't want it soggy
  • Cook diced bacon, set aside
  • Make cheese sauce - I melt butter in a small amount of the bacon grease for flavor, then cream cheese.  To that I add milk.  Finally I mix in my desired cheeses (this time it was white cheddar, monterey jack, and Cougar gold).
  • Chop and briefly steam broccoli - I used two crowns of broccoli and cooked it in the microwave
Finally I mixed all of those elements together in a 9x13 pan, topped it with parmesan and panko bread crumbs, and baked it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

It was a hit and provided plenty of left overs.

Dish #2 I made this afternoon after work was cancelled (don't worry, I was still paid).  I had picked up a head of cauliflower to make Pioneer Woman's soup.
Image Source
Unfortunately I didn't have all the ingredients, so I made it up a little as I went.  Again, I'm not much of a measurer.

I didn't have any carrots, so I used extra celery.  I also put sour cream in each individual bowl to serve, instead of mixing it into the whole soup.  I probably simmered the soup a little long and my flour/milk mixture was a little clumpy, but it was delicious.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

I never claimed to be a health-food addict.  Both these dishes are heavy on the dairy (cheese, milk, butter, cream, etc.), but for me food is all about taste.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with some pumpkin.  I already made pumpkin pancakes, which were amazing.  The pumpkin bread pudding on tonight's Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Ree sounded pretty good.  Any other ideas?

Tonight I'm thankful for an expected day off from work (and still getting paid).


Ten on Tuesday

I was feeling uninspired about what to write today, and then I stumbled across Ten on Tuesday, hosted by Chelsea.

This is that point during the month when NaBloPoMo starts to get hard for me. It's halfway through the month so I've used a number of ideas, and I've spent most of the past 5 days sitting on the couch at home.

(That means life has been boring.)

On an unrelated note, today I'm thankful for layering clothes for warmth. Currently, I'm wearing leggings, socks, boots, a dress and a sweater. It's wonderful.

Here's my Ten on Tuesday:

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
My dad is well know for his cinnamon rolls, which are super delicious, gooey, cinnamony rolls. He also makes amazing Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake and a really good Danish Cringle. So I have to go with anything that my dad might pull out of the over, or off of the stove. He is breakfast king.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
Not that I can recall, but I'm not exactly well known for my memory so it could have happened.

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Define accessory. This type of year, I love scarves. They keep you warmer and can add a lot of cuteness to a look. If shoes were an accessory (and since they are kind of essential, I don't think they count), I'd have to go with boots. I'd narrow it down further, but that's too difficult. I'm all about taking the easy way out.

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
This may actually be the toughest question here for me. Right now I have a pair of jeans I could wear over and over and over again, but if we're talking real comfort I'd choose sweatpants or basketball shorts. Sexy, huh?

5. What is your favorite color and why?
I love jewel tones, most especially emerald and ruby. And teal or whatever the corresponding jewel tone is. How about I just tell you about my favorite color family. I think that jewel tones look fabulous on everyone and are so rich.

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
I love to decorate sugar cookies but I'd rather eat gingerbread/snaps. I love the spiciness. I also won't turn down anything that involves chocolate.

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)?
I love the smell of fresh cut grass, clean laundry, our dog when she comes home from the groomer, and something delicious baking in the oven.

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?
I really like Windex, and not just because it's good for everything (name that movie!). I love cleaning a mirror or window and having those immediate, quick results. It doesn't take time to do and there's just something about a clean mirror.

9. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
When I was really young, I wanted to play in the NBA. Obviously that did not become a reality, for many reasons. When I was in high school, I wanted to be a physical therapist. Again, didn't happen. I don't really think I've found what I'm supposed to be. Currently I'm a transcriber at a local university, but that's not what I want to do with the rest of my life. I'll let you all know when I figure it out.

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
I just downloaded Girl Talk's new album, but that was free. I pre-ordered the next volume of Glee music, which I'm pretty excited about. While I wasn't a big fan of "the kiss" last week, I'm pretty sure that episode was my favorite for the season.


Cleaning Clothes

Today I'm thankful for a washing machine.

Fun fact about me: I've never lived anywhere that didn't have a washer and dryer, except that one summer my family was homeless (which is less dramatic than it sounds).

I finally did wash today, after I pretty much ran out of jeans.  And that's saying something.

The problem with the rainy season is that pants get dirtier a lot faster.  I don't tend to wash jeans every time I wear them, but this time of year I have to.

So I'm thankful to be able to stick my clothes and a little soap in the washer, press a button, and come back to clean clothes.

It's pretty much wonderful.


Thankful for this Blog (Day 14)

Yesterday was my 3rd blogiversary.  (I think that's how you spell blogiversary.)

That's crazypants.  Three years of blogging.

This blog pretty much started on a whim.  I didn't have some deep desire to pour out my thoughts and feelings.  I didn't have ideas or inspiration to share.  I just decided to start writing.

Part of my motivation was a move halfway across the country (although temporarily) for an internship.  I could keep my family informed without having the same phone or email conversation with each person individually.

Now, three years later, I feel like I have an online community.  Interactions with bloggers (and tweeters) are something I cherish.

So I am very thankful for this blog, the new world it opened up for me, and the people it introduced me to.


Let the Healing Begin

Today I'm thankful that my brother is home from the hospital and on the road to recovery.

He had complications from a fairly routine surgery (cyst removal), and ended back in the hospital to fix him up.

Now, almost 24 hours later, he's back home resting, drugged up, and enjoying having more than 13 channels to choose from.

And I'm thankful.


Finding the Bright Side

I having trouble finding something to be thankful for today, not because there's nothing in my life to be thankful for, but rather because it feels like bad is overshadowing the good.

It's nothing too major (I hope) and not really worth sharing at this point.

Wow, this is a lame post.  Sorry.

Today, I'm just thankful that it's Friday, that I don't have anything major planned for the weekend, that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, and that I have a puppy to cuddle with.

For now, that's enough.

What are you thankful for today?


A Thankfulness Two Fer

It's Veteran's Day (a.k.a. November 11th), I'm celebrating my grandpa, for his service in WWII, and my (step) grandma, for her 92nd year of birth.

So I'm thankful for both of them.  We moved them, Grampie and Thyrza, to our town just over 10 months ago.  They had been living over 4 hours away and needed more help with things that come up in life.

And it's been a job to have them so close, even if it can be a little exhausting.

Grampie, who I mentioned in my basketball post, served in the Army during World War II.  He left college to fight the war, and almost wasn't allowed to join because he was too tall.

I don't come from short stock.

His mom actually had to make his uniform.  He even had a cot specially built for him.  That's some dedication to your country.  And I can quite imagine any of today's basketball stars fighting for the same chance.

Grampie's life was actually saved by dengue fever during the war, too.  He was sick in the hospital when his unit was ambushed and killed.

And Thyrza was born on Armistice Day.  In 1918.  She's 92.  That's a lot of life lived.

She's lived all over, the country and the world.

Thyrza has been part of our family for over 17 years.  She and Grampie married on Valentine's Day all those years ago, after they had both lost spouses to cancer.

We celebrated tonight with soda, pizza, and German chocolate cake (Thyrza's favorite).

Today I'm very thankful for our veteran's and for long, fruitful lives.


A Break

Today I'm thankful for a bit of a break from work.

When I got done with work last night, at a much too late hour, I realized I only had 4.5 hours of work from that moment until next Tuesday morning.

And I just worked 1.5 hours this morning.  That means between now and Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., I have all of 3 hours of work.

Tomorrow is completely work free.  While this means I won't be making much money over the next few days, I'd rather have a break.

The only thing I'm really worried about is whether my butt will take on a couch-like shape.


A Brand New Room

Our family room, when we moved into this house 7 years ago, was rather unfortunate.  It was blue carpeted, with wood paneling and hideous lighting.

While we haven't fixed all of those problems, today we made some great strides.  Check it out.
This is a semi-before shot.  You miss out on the blue carpet here.  Lucky you.  It should also be noted that I was pretty much covered in grime at this point in the process, and most rooms and doors in our house are blocked at this point.  We had a lot of furniture to move.

As part of the changes, my parents had a tile entryway put into our family room.  Isn't it pretty?
Here's the after, with the new sectional couch, love seat, and (not blue) carpet.  Notice that I'm busy watching Househunters.  And it's dark, at way too early an hour.

I think it's important to note that all of the furniture you in the above shot is there because I moved it, by myself, this afternoon.  I'm not even joking.  Did it myself.  It's a really good thing our couch is literally individual pieces.
All this moving-around business was unsettling for our furry friends, but I think they'll appreciate this nice padded carpet.

So that's what I'm thankful for, a new look for a loved and well-used room.  Don't you enjoy mixing things up?


It has begun!

I'm a total sports junkie, but I don't love all sports equally.  If I could only watch one sport for the rest of time, it would definitely be basketball (specifically college basketball).

And so today, I'm thankful for college basketball, especially since the season started up today.  I'm currently watching basketball sitting on the couch, and I couldn't be happier.

I actually played basketball through college and then two years at a community college.  My dad was working for a basketball camp the summer I was born.  My grandfather played college basketball at Oregon and was even drafted into the NBA.  I guess you could say that the sport is in my veins.

As an aside, when my grandfather was drafted in the early 50s, a young senator with the last name Kennedy tried to talk him into coming to play in the NBA.  My grandfather, Doc the Rock, chose to go into education instead.  It was more stable and better paying.

How the world has changed.

I totally understand if you pass this post by.  I realize that most people don't get quite as excited as I do about the sport.

But these next five-ish months are the best 5 months of sports calendar, and you can't convince me otherwise.


A Fine Fall Day

The sun was out today so I stepped outside our house for a few minutes to snap a couple quick pics of the colors on our front patio.

And I really mean a few minutes, since I've been fighting some sort of sore throat, running nose, headache sickness.  I even napped today, which is not something I do, pretty much ever.  Even as a small child I didn't nap, much to my mother's dismay.

I am thankful for fall, particularly on days like today when the sun is shining and the air is crisp.

That said, sometimes I resent fall.  Mostly because it means the end of summer, which is probably my favorite season ever, in the history of seasons (you know, all 4 of them).

The pictures I took today help me remember that fall is actually pretty sweet (as are other fall things like boots, scarves, eggnog lattes, chunky sweaters, and saturdays in front of the fire).

Don't these images make you like fall (even) more?

Also, the view from our front patio is pretty gorgeous.  I can't get enough of it.

Now excuse me as I spend the rest of my evening curled up on the coach under a blanket.  I'm better off not trying to write much with how I'm currently functioning.


Thankful for, Day 6

Today I'm thankful for our puppies.

I'm a huge dog person, meaning I love dogs and I love big dogs.  Our "small" dog, Jamaica, is a 50-pound English Springer Spaniel.
And she's adorably crazy.  Recently she's taken to silent protesting.  For whatever reason, she spends large chunks of time sitting in the backyard staring into the house.

We're not sure what the protest is about, but it is hilariously cute.

She recently got a haircut and we've left her bandana on for the heck of it.

Our second dog, Jackson, weighs somewhere over 100 lbs. and just turned 10-years-old.
Now that he's aged (a.k.a. isn't out of control), he's pretty much a big sweetheart.

He still likes to steal any human food left unaccounted for.  This week it was caramel sauce and chocolate chip cookie dough.

At this point in his life, he's pretty much immune to chocolate.  He just experiences hyperactivity.

He loves swimming the water (we should probably take him more), barking at any and all possible intruders, and having his bum scratched.  Jackson also hoards rawhides and prefers to greet us with something in his mouth.

I love our dogs, even if they can be pains in the rear end.
They are just so cute.  In a large, furry way.



Tonight I'm thankful for:

  • My very comfortably and cozy bed 
  • Two days off from work (yay weekend!)
  • Family here for a visit
  • Really good food
  • Shopping at the outlets
  • Sweat pants
  • College football Saturday


Thanks and a Letter

Today I'm thankful for long chats on the phone with a friend who is far away.

There is nothing quite like spending an hour catching up on life, love and everything else.  And it made my day.
- - - - - - - - - - - 

Dani wrote a letter to her 16-year-old self and invited other bloggers to join her.  I decided to play along.

Dear 16-year-old E,

Life is good now, but it's better later.  You will laugh at your car accident and luckily for you, no major harm was done, but try to keep your eyes on the road instead of you discman.  You really shouldn't worry about that grade that isn't as high as you think it should be.  Your GPA won't matter once you start college and it's plenty high enough to do that.

Family is important, which I think you already know, and someday you and your brother will be able to spend long periods of time together without fighting.  And you and sister will have quite a bit in common, and it won't just be clothes, shoes and makeup.  Your dad will get funnier and your mom will get wiser.  While you and your cousins may not have much in common, you'll still be great friends.

There's this boy this year, and you should figure out how you feel sooner rather than later.  I know that he doesn't talk about things like feelings (shocker), but he's pretty serious and there are plenty of signs to tell you that.  Even though you don't intend to, you will break his heart.  

Even though you apply to way too many colleges, you will choose community college, which is definitely the right choice.  You will have a blast, you will make new friends, and you will be a little more ready for the real world because of it.  Don't mind the people that don't think community college is good enough.  It was right for you.  Community college isn't lesser and you will be really thankful to have fewer student loans.

You will grow up, have great friends, and learn to let loose a little.  What you want to do now with the rest of your life is not what you'll actually do.  Not that you've exactly figured that out, even (almost) 10 years down the road.  Luckily enough, you will figure out your own style, in so many ways.  You will find clothes that look good and sometimes remember to wear them, you will find music you love, people that get you, and things that you love to do.

And that's just in the first (almost) 10 years.

There's more I could tell you, but I'll leave you to figure it all out.  You do a pretty good job of that.  I'm totally proud of who you are and who you are becoming.  Keep kicking butt!  (And spreading the love.)

An Older and (hopefully) Wiser You, a.k.a. someone who cares.



Today, I'm feeling very thankful for my job.  It's awesome in so many ways.

I get student breaks, I get an excellent hourly wage, I get to sit in on (some) interesting classes, and my hours are flexible.  I work only when I'm available.  Or only when I want to be available.

What is this magical job?  You're probably wondering.

I've talked about it before, but I'll do a quick recap.  (I don't want to bore people by repeating myself over and over.)  I'm a transcriber providing communication access for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at the local university.

I was lucky enough to get the job through a friend and didn't even have an actual interview.  I've been working for almost two years now, which is rather hard to believe.

This isn't my forever job, and it certainly isn't perfect, but in a lot of ways this job is awesome.  I can definitely use that reminder occasionally.

On an unrelated note, I'm thankful the sun is shining today.  It is beautiful.


Grateful for Caffeine

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about one of my favorite things that's only around this time of year.

I'm not a huge coffee fan.  I tend to stick more to black tea and chai, but for me, Eggnog Lattes are the ultimate.  I could drink one everyday and not get tired of it.

(Although that's probably not the most healthy choice.  I get them cut with skim milk, but that's not really sufficient to make it healthy.)

To go along with eggnog lattes (a.k.a my most favorite coffee drink ever), the red cups debuted at Starbucks today.

If that doesn't get you into the holiday spirit (and make you a little concerned about Christmas shopping), I don't know what will.

As a side note, there are a couple great giveaways going on right now.

Check out the giveaway from Beso over at Clothed Much.  And check out Beso, the ultimate shopping search engine.  Elaine of Clothed Much also has some amazing, and affordable, style.

Crowley Party is hosting a CSN giveaway.  If you haven't been to CSNstores.com and are trying to participate in No(shopping)vember, you probably shouldn't go there.  Otherwise, shop away!  Crowley Party is another fun blog to check out.


30 Days of Gratitude

(I kind of hate myself for that title.  Too corny.)
My new friend, Jessica, who I met through Fall Fashion Week is doing 30 days of gratitude.  Since November is Thanksgiving and National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), I decided to join in.

I can post for 30 days for NaBloPoMo and focus on being thankful.  Done and done.

Well, at least it sounds simple in theory.  As I told my mom, at least this way my posting will be guided somewhat.  I'm not sure that every post will be devoted to something I'm grateful for.  Who knows, I may have a really good story to share with you all.  I will, at least, include it in every post.

I know some people are partaking in No(shopping)vember or No(eating out)vember, but I'm pretty sure that's not realistic for me.  Also, I won't be doing 30 for 30 out of fear, but I will be following along that madness for funsies.

Or die trying.

So today I'm thankful for my rain coat.  It poured this morning.  The phrase "cats and dogs" comes to mind.

In fact, my hair was straight (I'm just about at the 72 hours mark from getting it dyed on Friday and can't wait to shampoo.) and now it most definitely is not.  I had a hat on so I'm left with greasy roots and curly, frizzy hair.

(This gratitude stuff is already harder than I thought.  I get too distracted, I think.  Actually, that was just a demonstration of how wet it was here, except for that whole greasy roots thing.)

So I'm really thankful to my rain coat.

Especially since those of us from the Pacific Northwest don't use umbrellas, which really is a somewhat silly statement to make, but I guess we must stand for something.

My clothes are dry.  Yay raincoat!  Around here, a raincoat is pretty much a necessity.


Fall Fashion, The Finale

Happy Halloween!  I'm not featuring a costume today, but only because I don't have one.

I did, however, make pumpkin pancakes this morning.
They were amazingly delicious.  I seriously recommend.  You can find the recipe here.

Now, onto my oh-so-fancy last outfit.  It's Sunday and I have no plans, so I went for comfy.  I actually just bought these jeans yesterday, because the only skinny jeans I had were gray and I needed a blue wash version.  And I do mean "needed."
Can you tell I'm holding food in my hands.  Jackson (our big dog) decided his need for pancakes was more important than your view of my boots.

My stylist recommended not to wash my hair until 72 hours after coloring.  I still have another day to go.  Tomorrow will probably end up being a hat day.  I can only handle so much grease.

Outfit details:
Scarf - Old Navy
Long-sleeved shirt - J.Crew
Layered tank - Banana Republic
Jeans - Levi
Boots - from Nordstrom Rack (I don't remember the brand and don't want to take them off to check.)
I really, really love this scarf.  It's my favorite ever.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by the blog and checked out my outfits, whether you've left a comment or not.  It's been a blast (if a little exhausting) to see what everyone is wearing and get some inspiration.

I'm kind of looking forward to a break though.

I thought I'd leave you with a list of things I kind of really want after seeing all your outfits for this week:

  • leopard print flats
  • oxfords
  • Toms
  • a skinny belt or two
  • a skirt in a fun print
  • something lace or sequined (or both)
I'm sure if I went back through pictures, I could find more.

I hope everyone has a good Sunday.  Make sure you stop by Emery's blog if you haven't yet today!


Fall Fashion Day 6

I'd like to apologize in advance for the excessive number of pictures.  I couldn't seem to help myself.

Two things are different about me today.  Can you tell what they are?
This was another outfit thrown together in just a few minutes.  My mom gave me the cardigan and button for my birthday.  And I really love this belt.  (And how the whole look came together.)
(I don't know what is up with my ghost-like appearance today.)

I have been thinking recently how much I need/want a trench (Need is pretty relative in my life.).  Then yesterday, my mom suggested I wear the trench that was my aunt's, who passed away last fall.

I had completely forgotten about it.  It's real London Fog, has an awesome lining, and was just missing a belt.  Problem solved with a pink scarf.

Check out some of the details of the outfit, and enjoy a closer look of my hair.  My stylist was so excited when I came in asking for red.  We might even go for the same color all over next time, depending on how I like it.

Here's a closer look at the hair.

Also, I'm a total shoe (heel) person.  That's not as obvious during the wet, rainy fall and with my current job.

Don't believe me?  Check out some of the shoes I wore during summer fashion week:
Make sure to check out what everyone else is wearing!  (Sorry I'm lame and haven't been remembering to link back to Emery Jo's page.)

Thanks for stopping by and for all the love this week.  I'm having a blast!!!


Fall Fashion Day 5 (another creative title)

I didn't know what I was wearing ahead of time today.  In fact, last night I told my mom, "I don't know what I'm wearing."

Here's what I came up with:
A little more casual than I've been.  I actually end up wearing converse multiple days a week.  They're fun and good for having to walk around all day.
I actually have had this jacket for a long time.  Like, I don't even know how long.  I actually had a second one, with stripes and flowers, but I think I gave it to my sister.  I hope she's enjoying it.
Who doesn't like suede elbow patches?!

And the shirt underneath--one of my few thrifting finds.  I just haven't developed those skills yet.  I'm more of a sales-rack kind of girl.
I've also had these earrings for a while, and don't have a clue where I got them.  But hey, I remembered an accessory!

Also, I'm loving my hair today.  And all I did was roll out of bed and spray it with a little beach spray.  (I know, I hate myself for that, too.)
You know what I'm loving most though?  Having my mom take my picture.  So much better than shooting pictures in the mirror.

Thanks Mom!

Plus you get to see our awesome view.  If you squint and look to the right of my head, you can make out a little bit of the bay.  And these clouds are very beautiful and fall-like.

Outfit Details:
Button-up shirt - Nautica, thrifted
Jacket - Moda, Victoria Secret
Jeans - Gap
Shoes - Red Converse
Earrings - ???