Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Favorites

There are few things finer than an awesome and unexpected pick me up.
My pick me up came in the form of my dear friend Amy and a gift basket she made celebrating my favorite season: Fall.
(you may have heard already that I adore Fall)
Thank you so much Amy!  You made my night/day!

This basket contains a vast array of my favorites: pumpkin scented soap and hand sanitizers from Bath and body works,
yummy snacks and drinks, a new adorable scarf....too many things to mention!!

It also included these crazy-cute slippers! I'm in love!


Another new and unexpected favorite is a new recipe I stumbled upon via Pinterest (of course) and decided to give it a try this morning:  homemade coffee creamer
I decided to try the Cinnamon Strudel version and can not wait to try some other variations!
The thing I love about this creamer is that it is dairy free, has less sugar, and has a lot less chemicals floating around in my coffee!
If you have a few minutes and are feeling brave, give it a try!

And last but not least is my new dress I snagged while on our trip to Seattle.
This little dress was purchased at Banana Republic.
I initially found it hanging on the clearance rack, looking a little sad that it hadn't been adopted yet.
Lo and behold, I swept in and (after some sweet talking ) managed to purchase it for an additional 20% off with another $10 taken off for a final purchase of $23.00.
As you know, I love a good find....especially when I didn't pay full price for it.
World, meet my dress

I just love all of it's little details that can be dressed up....or down!

That's it for now! I hope you are finding some of your new favorites and enjoying them as much as I am as well!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And we're back...

Forgive me readers (if you are still out there), for I have sinned. 
It has been 8 days since my last post.
But I'm not asking for too much forgiveness because I have do have an excuse.
We've been out-of-towners. 
Where did you go, you may ask?
Why Seattle, Washington....and we may have had some fun while there.
So I thought I would share a few pictures from the trip to take you there with us.

On our way up to Seattle (we drove) we made the goal to see some of the McMenamins restaurants while temporary residents of Washington.

First up and earlier in the morning we stopped by the Spar Cafe in Olympia.  It was a very cool building but all I managed to get a picture of was the bar area, which had piles of old cigar boxes.  None of us were terribly hungry so we ducked in then snuck out.

However, I was snacky so I ran down the street to Caffe Vita for a quick drink and snack.

this thing was like a scone sandwich with raspberry preserves in the middle....IDEA!!!

                                                                 By the way, it was DELICIOUS!
...moving on.

We kept driving north and finally reached Seattle.
By that time we were all starving and stopped at another McMenamins: Six Arms..interesting.
It wasn't my no pictures for that one.
Okay maybe one:

We then went shopping at University Village for several hours
(mainly to visit the Anthropologie because we miss each other so much).
Guess what I got?
A belt from H&M. WooHoo.

Before I get too ahead of myself, we stayed at a pretty nice hotel: Hotel 5.
The place is pretty close to downtown Seattle, the Space Needle, Pike's Market to name a few.
The price was pretty cheap for Seattle and we even got the third night free due to staying there for more than two nights.  If you are looking for a pretty good location and price without donating an organ, you may want to consider this place.
The only drawback is that the motel was undergoing renovation, so some things (the 2nd floor) weren't in the best shape.

Then later that night we went on the Seattle underground tour.  Last time we were in Seattle we thought about taking the tour but never got around to it.  I'm glad we did this time.  It was pretty interesting and so cool to know there are a bunch of old store fronts underground.

That evening we went to Wild Ginger for Thai food.  I ordered the black pepper scallops and let me tell ya' it was so very good and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves good food.

The next day we walked to the Pike's Market.
I could probably spend all day there checking booths out, snapping pics and watching people.
As it was, we were there several hours.

We then went to the Experience Music Project better known as the EMP.
It's this crazy shaped building dedicated to the history of music (with a huge emphasis on music that came out of Seattle). 
If you are really into music, this is the place for you.

If you aren't that into music (me) there was a pretty interesting exhibit on the making of "Avatar."
I spent quite a bit of time there.

By the way, the EMP is right by the Space Needle and this restful fountain that plays music as it spouts music.
 Seeing these things never gets old.

shameless self portrait
We then ate at the Space Needle in the revolving restaurant.
The food is pretty good (and expensive!!!) and the atmosphere romantic, beautiful and amazing.
If you get the chance to visit it, do it!

Seafood fettuccine with salmon,scallops, some type of white fish, bacon and fresh peas...oh and a crispy craw fish

The next day we met up with one of Aaron's aunts for an entirely enjoyable lunch at Brave Horse Tavern.
At this fine establishment I had mussels, bacon and apples cooked in hard cider with sweet potato fries.
Yum!  Go there! Go there!

From there, we visited the Museum of flight where Aaron found his twin, we saw planes and I stepped on/off one of the Air force One's.
Also we "flew" in a flight simulator where I learned you never want me to fly a plane

Also of note was Top Pot doughnuts
(where I just learned Obama visited and there is an cake doughnut with pumpkin spice flavor)
 They too, were pretty delish!

Walls of books from Top Pot

With no more time and less money, we decided to drive home...
but not until we hit another McMenamins, this time the Olympic Club.
When we walked through the doors, Vivaldi was playing and I felt like I had stepped into another time zone.
I love it.

A mirrored booth...beautiful!

And that, is a little glimpse of our four day trip to Seattle.
Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is this what I was going for?

Do you ever feel like you were born for a reason, maybe to fulfill some purpose in life? 
I never used to, until I started looking back at some recent pictures of outfits (which in my head seemed pretty great and original but translated into photos...maybe not so much.)
According to the photos I see in front of me, I was meant to be a kindergarten teacher.
From the 80's.
Cause this is what I remember Mrs. M (my kindergarten teacher) looking like.

All I'm missing is the pair of glasses on the end of my nose connected to a beaded chain.
What have I done?!

Sweater: Fred Meyers
Shirt and skirt: thrifted
Necklace: Gift from Aaron
Belt: Walmart
Shoes: Kmart

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back in the saddle again?

So I would like to be more involved in bike riding. Partially be cause my husband Aaron is so in love with it, but also because it looks and sound like so much fun!
Aaron just recently ordered another bike that he claims will allow him to ride some cross country mountain biking -instead of just down hill mountain biking which is what he does now.  He has been gushing about this new bike and staring at pictures of it online. He is already thinking about which parts he may want to change, some of which may include replacing the mechanical disc brakes with some Hayes hydraulic brakes-hopefully giving it a little more powerful brakes. Oh AND changing out the 60mm stem for a 45mm stem to quicken up the turning ratio.
All this sounds interesting and maybe like a little more commitment than I want to handle right now.  But to my credit he has taken me on a "beginner"(I say it was advanced) down hill trail. That he said I was doing well on (up to 17 mph) up until I went off of a jump that I didn't know was there, and wrecked on a bunch of rocks. But I still finished the trail and actually tried the trail again. The second time was a bit slower and with a lot more padding. Excluding the wreck it was a very fun experience.
That was a couple years ago, and I am apprehensive to get "back in the saddle again". But I am trying to get one of my girlfriends to go with me. Maybe having a beginner buddy would make it less stressful.
Regardless of the challenges I would like to give it another go.  Come what may.
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beer batter Bread

As Fall storms in, so does my desire for baked goods and hearty soups.  However, I don't always have a lot of time and if I'm being brutally honest, ambition to bake something complex.  That is where my recipe friend beer batter bread comes in.  All you need is a little beer and a few basic baking supplies lying around and voila! - you have the bread.

Beer batter bread
makes 1 loaf = 12 slices....if you are feeling generous
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces beer, preferably medium amber ale,at room temperature

Get it? Batter + beer = Beer batter bread. Ahh!!
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9x5 loaf pan.  Combine all dry ingredients.  Add the beer, instantly mixing with a wooden spoon until all ingredients just combine.  Put batter in pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden.  For a crunchy, delicious top pour a couple tablespoons of melted, salted butter to the top before baking.
(you can freeze it for up to one month) doesn't look delicious, but it is especially with more butter!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A penny saved is a penny earned

So after I went back to the dark side and started shopping again, I felt like the sky was the limit.  I went to several full price retail stores after the "initial purchase" at Goodwill in search of things from my Fall wish list.
The surprising thing is that each time I went into a store, I came out empty handed- even at Ross Dress for Less. 
What has changed?
Well, it seems I'm finding it really difficult to justify buying clothes at full price when I know I can find it cheaper at a resale store....or Goodwill OR tweak an existing article of clothing in my closet into what I want OR buy something from Goodwill on the cheap and tweak it.
The possibilities are endless!
(this does not mean I'm swearing off full-priced clothing, just probably buying less of it)

In fact here's a dress I picked up at Goodwill not too long ago:
Dress: Thrifted from Goodwill
Cardigan: Old Navy
Belt: Wal mart
Shoes: Payless shoes

Did I forget to mention?

Did I forget to mention that I placed myself on a self-imposed, no-shopping-for-clothes-for-30 days challenge?
That's right.  Maybe it was because I secretly felt I would fail (as I do most challenges) and didn't want you to know.
But because I am nothing but discreet (ha ha) I tell anyone who will listen, well....anything.
So I felt I should tell you that I made it to 15 days of no shopping and then cheated, or quite literally, stopped the challenge.
The most asked question is "What did you buy then?"
Answer: A grey. menswear inspired vintage Givenchy vest at Goodwill for $2.99!!
That's right folks!  Givenchy for only $2.99!
(are there enough exclamation marks in those last two sentences?)
I think it was well worth the challenge-breakage.
I will incorporate the vest- which means a picture of the said vest- into an outfit after I both drop it off and pick it up from the dry cleaner's.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weightier matters -take 2

Remember how I posted at the beginning of last month about losing weight
Yeah, me neither.

But I finally came to and realized that the days are already well into September.  Where has the time gone?  Wherever it is and to whoever used it, I WANT IT BACK!

Anyway, staying true to my word AND my original goal, I thought I would keep you posted.
I didn't do so very well.

In fact, some might say I'm doing terrible.
At the beginning of last month, I started out well- strong if you will and managed to lose 7 pounds only to spiral out of control again and regain 6.5 of those pounds.

So, the only other option I can see for myself is to begin again.
I'll let you know how that goes at the beginning of next month!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

School is now in session....

Can you feel the chill in the air when you wake up in the mornings?  I can.  In fact as soon as my bare feet hit the bare floors of our house it sends a small chill from the tip of my toes to the top of my head reminding me that Fall is just around the corner.  It should be here by now, but temperatures are still pretty high and keep pushing it away.  I'm not complaining, just letting the universe know I'm ready for it.

I've mentioned before how much I look forward to Fall for the things I enjoy about it now- as a pseudo-adult.  But as Fall rolls around, it also reminds me of the first days of school and how much I loved what the first day of school meant for me: shopping (are you surprised by this?!)
In fact, I think my love of shopping reared it's trendy little head at an early age because for me, I was more excited about shopping for school than actually going to school.  Go figure!
First of all, we would shop for the school supplies.  I usually got a new back pack, folders, binders, pens and pencils, etc. and I would put all of my newly acquired supplies in my back pack just to take them out to look at again.
  I couldn't wait to put them to use!
Then came the clothes. Oh sweet clothes!  My family would usually drive over the hill to shop all day (literally all day....I loved it!) and I would meticulously pick out my clothing for the school year. After getting home, I would lay all of my clothes out on my bed to survey my purchases and decide on the outfit for the first day of school.
It couldn't look like I tried too hard to put an outfit together, but I also couldn't wear just any old clothes.
They had to be just right and in my opinion, they usually were.

My school days are over, but my desire to go back-to-school shopping has not left me yet.  As I walk by the aisles in stores filled with school supplies I have to look away so that I'm not pulled in my the sirens of the school aisle, calling to me to pick up some new folders and pens while I'm at it.
The same goes for the clothing shopping.  Back to school Whitney always asks me: "Isn't this the time of year you need to pick up some new pants, shirts, shoes (fill in the blank with any article of clothing get the point.)?"
But pseudo-adult Whitney has to remember that I don't need any of this.
I just really want it.

So in the spirit of back-to-school and to honor back-to-school Whitney, here is my list of pseudo-adult Whitney's fall wants:

Red pants

Brown boots to wear with my dresses or pants

A Turquoise necklace

Some crazy colored tights

Oh look...brown boots!
 Belts, belts and more belts

Red Scarf and

an Orange scarf

Oh! More brown boots!  I'm sensing a theme.

And that, in a nutshell, is my list of fall wants!

Who wants to go back-to-school shopping with me now?

( P.S. All photos are from pinterest and I already picked up a cheetah print belt to start me off...)

Monday, September 5, 2011

What I've learned from the 21 day challenge: Another Essay

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I actually learned a few things as I participated in the challenge that I kept record of along the way.  Who knew I would discover so much with this thing?

Several times I've wondered what path my little blog should take to be "successful." I once thought that maybe a blog dedicated purely to fashion would be fun.  But since I've done this challenge I've realized several things:
  1. Posting outfits is work y'all and my brain hurts!
  2. I don't think I have what it takes to be a fashion blogger, because A) see #1;  B) What I think is cute is not what everyone else thinks is cute; C) I work/wear scrubs 4-5 days out of the week and find it kind of silly/tedious to come home, get an outfit together for pictures, then change into my lounge clothes after I just put on the said outfit and took pictures...WORK!!  and finally D)I get sick of taking and seeing pictures of myself on a daily basis.
  3. I need to work out, shape up or ship!
  4. I should not shop as much as I do.  As mentioned before, I had a lot of potential outfits in my very own closet that were there the whole time.  I just need to learn to use them better.
  5. Accessories really can make a mediocre outfit outstanding.  Most of the time.
  6. I would like to shop for some more accessories, like belts (skinny, red,yellow, cheetah, etc) or cute headbands or statement jewelry....who knew I'd fall in love with the things I swore I would never wear?
  7. Even though I don't have the desire to be a full time fashion blogger, I think I will continue to make regular outfit posts to keep things interesting around here.
  8. I visited a lot of different blogs of girls who participated in the challenge and came to see that thrifted items are just as good as brand new and plan on primarily shopping at thrift stores (my husband and bank account will learn to like this, maybe even thank me.)
So, as mentioned, right now I don't think I could handle doing a full-time fashion blog. With that being said, I hope you stick around to watch this blog evolve and change as I figure out what I want it to become.  Hope to see some more of you! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The final countdown: Day 21- Create an outfit of your choice

First and foremost, let me start this thing out by thanking Kayla over at Freckles in April for putting together, then hosting and finally nursing the 21 day challenge. 

 Thanks so much:
  • for pushing me out of my comfort zone every day of the challenge- and for some days I do mean challenge.
  • for inspiring clueless me to look for inspiration everywhere: Pinterest, other bloggers, magazines, people in stores, etc.
  • for forcing me to expand my horizons by trying out new looks -not automatically assuming something won't look good on me.
  • for helping me realize that not every outfit will be a-maz-ing.  If I bomb, just brush yourself off and try again.  On other days my outfit may rock. 
  • for helping me see all of the potential right in my own closet.  I don't have to run out for something new all the time!  I just need to see all the potential that is already there!
So here is my choice for my final outfit of the challenge:

Scarf: From a store in Ireland
Dress: Esprit Factory Store
Cardigan: Old Navy
Shoes: Dockers (can not remember where they were purchased)
Bracelets: Walmart?
Barely visible earrings: Claire's

It was also so much fun to see other's outfits, blogs and  personalities in this challenge!
Have a good day and I hope to see you in the blogosphere sometime....

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Step into my party (or Sunday) shoes- Day 20

Today is the day I'm supposed to wear a pair of my "best shoes."
A pair I don't usually wear and if I do wear them, know that they will be worn for a short time.
 The only thing is that I chose to wear some jeans that don't really show the I had to hike the ol' pant legs up to show them to you.
They are high.
They are red.
I absolutely love these shoes.

Shirt: Thrifted
Jeans: Ann Taylor- thrifted
Shoes: Two Lips

Friday, September 2, 2011

Someone like you...

August snuck up on me and then, just like that,  it left...thankfully.
You see, I'm not sure I want to repeat August and after an epic-crappy, last week that also happened to be in August I'm glad to see it go.

With that being said, I'm more than happy to welcome September and with that: Fall.

I look forward to my Pumpkin lattes from Starbucks
my jeans, sweatshirts and sweaters
movie nights cuddled up on the couch with a glass of wine (or spiced cider) with Aaron
crisp mornings and cool nights
reading a good book curled up in a fuzzy blanket
the smell of wood smoke
the turning of the leaves

However, with fall comes an annual melancholy.  I can't explain the strange phenomenon but I feel a little less excited about things and want to stay home, listen to some mellow music and just be.
With that being said, the above video is my current mood music or rather, my current "IT" song, songwriter and performer.
What the heck...I even like her style: the makeup, the big hair and nothing but black dresses.


Place something on my head- Day 19

I honestly didn't realize what a simple dresser I was until Kayla's 21 day challenge. 
I've found that I own very few belts. I have in my possession fewer articles of stand out jewelry and only one, cute thing to wear in my hair (hats don't count because even though I do own some, they look awful on me)....
But I did find thing in my bathroom cabinet that will fit the challenges bill:

my satin headband, worn never:

Again, I learned that even though I don't wear things in my hair I should, because I like this look too!  Now, in addition to wanting more belts and POW! jewelry, I should also start shopping for cute hair accessories!

Headband: Who knows?
Tank: J. Crew
Cardigan: Gap
Shorts: Ross
Shoes: Payless

P.S.  I had trouble with the photos again- that is getting them in focus, so if you squint you'll get a clearer view.
Also, I realize that I completely forgot to wear any sort of jewelry...has this challenge taught me nothing?