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September 28, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

Good Morning!
Welcome back after hopefully a relaxing weekend. How was it? Do anything noteworthy?
We celebrated our Beast's 7th birthday, hung out with friends, and took it easy all Sunday... it was heaven. 

I also tried to do a lot of meal prep and adult things in order to prepare to be out of commission this week. Which reminds me, I could use your thoughts/prayers tomorrow as I am going in for an invasive diagnostic skin cancer surgery. Pray for good news! I will have a good amount of stitches running the back of my poor calf, so if you need me, I'll be laying on my couch hopped watching a gross amount of reality TV shows!



 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **

1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:
** What is your favorite beauty product? **


In Case You Missed It...

+ Portland & Seattle Trip: Part 1
+ Portland & Seattle Trip: Part 2
+ Besties with TSwift

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September 22, 2015

Kate Spade 75% Off Sale Wishlist

Fall is hands down my favorite time of the year. Slowly but surely the leaves are turning crimson and gold, beachy candles are swapped out for deep scents of spicy pumpkin... and Kate Spade has their 75% off annual surprise sale!

Finally every amazing piece of Kate Spade that I've been eye balling is [more] affordable. It's oh-so-tempting and perfect timing with my birthday and Christmas weeks away! Here is what I can't get enough of...

1) 'Far From The Tree' Bon Shopper ($59 - originally $148)
I saw someone carrying this bag in the airport recently, and it is twice as cute in person! I love that it's so quirky - pretzels for everyone! #carblove

2) South Port Avenue Oden ($149 - originally $448)
So stinking swanky. Not sure if I'm cool enough to pull off this bag, but I love the shape and everything about it, including the striped inside!

3) Cove Street Colorblock Airel ($169 - originally $478) 
I love huge carry all kind of bags, and this one's tan/black combo has me swooning.

4) Wellesley Rachelle ($159 - originally $448)
That color though...

5) Kennedy Park Honey Baby Bag ($139 - originally $348)
It technically may be a diaper bag, but it could currently be used as an awesome travel bag, and then maybe eventually serve a dual purpose. I said eventually, mom/sis/MIL! :) There is also a twin Kennedy Park Travel Sophie if I want something huge!

6) Grey Street Elliot ($179 - originally $428)
Yellow is my favorite color and gray + yellow reminds me of our wedding, one of my favorite days ever. This could be my perfect work bag. 

7) Fremont Place Travel Carmen ($229 - originally $648)
I bought my sister the small crossbody purse version of this bag, and I love everything about it. The inside is cute, lots of functioning pockets, and this one could be travel bag or massive purse... what could be wrong with that?

8) Hawthorne Lane Ryan ($99 - originally $198)
Neutral, striped, and with a cute bow charm. I can't imagine something cuter!

9) Harrison Street Passport Holder  ($29 - originally $68)
Maybe a fun color will jazz up airport security's attitudes when I'm jet setting?

9) Metro Spade Jemima ($29 - originally $78)
Such a cute little mini clutch or going out wristlet!

10) Gumdrop Studs in Clear ($19 - originally $38)

11) NYC Pretzel Studs ($19 - originally $48)
To match my pretzel tote, right?! And don't worry pretzel lovers... there is a matching bangle bracelet and rhinestone pendant necklace too!

12) Peggy Heels ($175 - originally $350)
Way out of my price range for shoes (hello Target $20 special!), but they are so cute so I'm allowed to dream about them!

// What's your fave? //

Happy shopping!

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Besties with TSwift

Oh you know, just a throwback photo from when Taylor - or TSwiffle as I call her - and I became besties in 2007! When she first started taking off she had a little 75 person concert in Wichita, KS, my hometown, and that's when we first met and took up a lifelong friendship.

Ok ok, maybe not besties yet, but I just know it's in the cards.
So excited for tonight though... her 1989 Tour will be taking over Kansas City by storm!

My sister and I surprised Mama Juju (my mom, who also happens to hate that nickname...) with tickets to Taylor Swift for Christmas and now we finally get to go. Can't wait to watch her shake it and giggle as she attempts to sing the words to every song!

Taylor Swift is hands down one of the nicest people on the planet, and I love everything she stands for. I've been belting her songs out since she first came onto the country scene, and she just keeps getting better and better. 

Looking forward to an awesome night being a Swifty with my favorite people, and finally seeing who he special surprise guest will be - last night Dierks Bentley dropped by night 1 for a country throwback! 

Have you caught Taylor Swift for the 1989 Tour in your city?
A past tour or meet & greet? 

Rock on my fellow Swifties!

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September 21, 2015

Mingle Monday Blog Link-Up!

After a whirlwind bestie weekend, I could probably use an extra few days to recover from the super fun and busy last few days, but I'll settle for 3 cups of coffee instead...


How was your weekend? Are  you dragging a little today too? Thanks for dropping by today! In case you are catching up on blog reading (I know I am... weeks behind!), at the bottom of my post are links to our Portland/Seattle trip recaps - don't miss the fun!



 ** Only 3 easy rules - that's all I ask! **

1) Link-up your blog below.

2) Share a link to Mingle Monday on your post or give a social media shout out.
3) Answer the weekly question in the comments section below:

** I've got a case of the grumps - Missing the weekend! What's the best cure? **

In Case You Missed It...
+ Portland & Seattle Trip: Part 1
+ Portland & Seattle Trip: Part 2

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September 16, 2015

Portland + Seattle Trip: Part 2

After spending 3 days cruising highway 101 and exploring Portland, we were Seattle bound! We arrived just in enough time to check-in to our awesome Air B&B condo in Belltown and realized we had hit the jackpot. Our condo building was right in the heart everything incredible - Pike Market, waterfront, the Space Needle, and countless restaurants - and made walking everywhere a breeze!

We decided that we were so excited to explore our new hood that we hit the pavement running. It was a beautiful night to stroll through Belltown and we hit Pike Place right at sunset - the waterfront sunset was beautiful. After adventuring in Portland that morning and driving, we crashed super early and it was a good thing... day 2 in Seattle was going to be a doozy!

I woke up the next morning so excited for the day. Our plan was to see so many amazing sites... but first breakfast! We walked across the street to Biscuit Bitch for breakfast (yes, we tried to say the name of the restaurant in old lady smoker voices and giggle as much as we could intermittently throughout the day. Try it- haha! Weirdos.), and the food was delicious. Warm biscuits and bacon, egg, and cheese gooeyness hit the spot, and as always... I chose to dine al fresco. My fave!

So, we don't consider ourselves lovers of overly cheesy/touristy things to do. We typically love asking locals where to eat, what to see, and try to pretend we've lived in said city for years. So you can imagine my initial thoughts when someone said we HAD to experience the Ride the Ducks tour. We both kind of shrugged it off until my best friend Sarah said the same thing, and at that point we realized if two ultra fun classy people recommended it as one of their favorite ways to Seattle, we took a chance.

I am so glad we did... I hadn't laughed that hard in months!
We used our ultra annoying quack whistles to holler at people on the streets, loved our tour guide's (Dane Gerzone - get it?!) cheesy jokes, great taste in groovy cruising music, and frequent hat/costume changes, and the info/sites (Sleepless in Seattle house on Lake Union!) were incredible. 

He even made our new best friend, a 70-year-old man named Frank celebrating his birthday, dance down the aisle of our Duck bus/boat and shake his tail feather while everyone hooped and hollered. The guide said, "Come on, Frank, you'd better shake it really good... you'll never see these people again!" and let me just tell you... Frank knows how to shake it.

He even made our new best friend, a 70-year-old man named Frank celebrating his milestone birthday, dance down the aisle of our Duck bus/boat and shake his tail feather while everyone hooped and hollered. The guide said, "Come on, Frank, you'd better shake it really good... you're on vacation! You'll never see these people again!" and let me just tell you... Frank knows how to shake it.

After the Duck tour ended, we were in the perfect location to visit the iconic Space Needle and explore the EMP Museum. We really lucked out with weather -75 degrees and sunny everyday - so we could see for miles since it was so clear. Once up at the top of the Space Needle we could see Mt. Ranier and all of Seattle - it was incredible!

Another funny thing? We ran into Frank and his posse, and all he kept saying through giggles is, "I shook it so hard thinking I'd never see you guys again... and here you are!"
Good ol' Frank - what a character!

Next up, we walked next door to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. I can't even begin to tell you how mesmerized we were.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Massive glass chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, towering sculptures, a glass atrium with a huge installment stretch across the ceiling, and glass structures outside in the garden that can somehow withstand any crazy weather.

After we bumbled aimlessly staring at the multi-million dollar installment and talking about how incredible each hand blown piece was we were starving! One thing I always ask for or research when we go on a trip is a great location to catch an incredible view of the sunset. 

That evening we wanted someplace with sweeping views of the city, that was low key, and had killer food + cocktails, and Marination Ma Kai was the perfect choice! Located just across the Elliott Bay, it sits right on the water, serves delicious Hawaiian food and has the most incredible atmosphere. Citrus colored umbrellas, reclaimed wood picnic table, and string garden lights on enhance the view of the Seattle waterfront. 

This restaurant came to fruition after it's epic food truck was voted #1 food truck in the U.S. by Good Morning America. They had such a loyal following that they were able to expand and it's still hard to find an open table to snag, and now we know why - their food is so good! We ordered the Kalua pork sliders, Hawaiian mac salad, signature house slaw, and were lured in by the smell of their handcut fries. Top it off with the delicious Polynesian tropical cocktails and I was in foodie heaven.

We topped off a fantastic first day in Seattle by drinking local pumpkin beer around the fire pit on the rooftop of our condo building. What a day! And a special big thanks to my blog friend and Life of Meg reader, Seattle Stevie, for giving me so many great recommendations in her beloved city - Stevie, you're the best!

More to come tomorrow... stay tuned, y'all!

Other epic adventures...

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September 15, 2015

Portland + Seattle Trip: Part 1

If I could have stayed in the Pacific Northwest and eaten gourmet donuts until the button that was single-handedly holding my jeans together ricocheted off, I would have. By the time our whirlwind of adventures came to a close on Sunday I felt, more than anything, so thankful for quality time with my love. 

Instead of going throughout the week managing high stress work environments, we giggled at the way sea otters hold hands when they sleep so they don't float away (so cute!). Instead of worrying about what was for dinner or if the trash got taken out to the curb on the right day, we spent time cracking up at our crazy guide's jokes on the wild Ride the Ducks tour.

It felt good to belly laugh again. It felt overly indulgent to sleep in and walk to an outdoor cafe for a good cup of coffee. It felt good to be free of stress and expectations. Yes, going on adventures to see different landmarks and parts of the world is so much fun, but let me tell you the thing that really rings true...

The joy is in the journey, my friends.

We flew into Seattle on Sunday and decided to take the extra long route to Portland - the ultra iconic highway 101. What a scenic beautiful route it was! It took us through cute beach towns, gave us incredible views like the lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park, and the ability to swing by Canon Beach to walk along the soft sand and see Haystack Rock at sunset.

We could've easily arrived in PDX within 3 hours taking the direct route, but I am so glad we chose the journey. See? What joy. We would have missed out on so much had we not chosen the long way.

As soon as we got into Portland, we knew we had to stop at Pine State Biscuits an order The Reggie, which did not disappoint. We checked into our the Paramount Hotel and were blown away by our gorgeous view overlooking the downtown park. That ultra fluffy bed meant it didn't take us long to fall asleep that night... we were pooped!

The next morning, we woke up bright and early (still on KC time!) and we had one thing on our mind -  the infamous Blue Star Donuts. Now you know me, I have high expectations for highly acclaimed food establishments living up to the hype, and Blue Star definitely did not disappoint!  When we arrived the line was at least 50 people deep, but as soon as we took our first bites, that 30 minute long wait didn't seem so bad.

I ordered the blueberry bourbon basil donut and it just melted the second I took a bite. They freshly frost every single donut upon order and the quality and taste in unlike any I've ever had. So so good. Adam couldn't get enough of the old fashioned buttermilk cake donut, and I am fairly certain I even heard an unconstrained hum of "Mmmmmmmm mmm mmm!" as he took his second and third bites, speechless, with his head nodding in heavenly donut approval.

Just around the corner from Blue Star was the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., Powell Books. We spent hours browsing the many levels of books and eventually snuck away with some creepy post-apocalyptic thriller, the hilarious "Adulting" by Kelly Williams Brown, and a ultra cool Mid Century Modern Mania adult coloring book. I will let you guess which 2 are mine...

In case we hadn't met our max threshold of indulgence for the day, we just had to stop by Deschutes Brewery for a little microbrew taster and delicious food al fresco. The citrusy Fresh Squeezed IPA was so good it made me want to slap my mama!

At some point we needed to recharge a bit for the late afternoon/evening, so Adam snoozed while I colored in my new coloring book like an ecstatic 8-year-old. Did you guess right?! ;)

As soon as Adam woke up we glanced out the window and saw that Director Park, steps away from our hotel was buzzing with fun. Tables with checkerboard tops so you could plays checkers, life-size chess that reminded me of Harry Potter, kiddos running through fountains, and a huge stack of board games that were sitting on a stand for the public to use. What a great idea! 

After crushing Adam in NINE rounds of Connect Four, he eventually surrendered and then dominated some Guess Who action (I still think he cheated!). It was the best leisurely afternoon!

It was such a perfect that we knew we needed to be outside to enjoy it. Someone recommended that we visit Council Crest Park as it sits up in the highlands and looks over the city. We packed up a picnic to take with us, and even got lucky that it was a clear night so we could see Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood from the top! The sunset was amazing.

On our last full day, we swung by the iconic Voodoo Donuts to check it off the donut bucket list and head East to explore the Columbia River Gorge. We were completely mesmerized by Multnomah Falls and took in sites and smells of pine trees on our way up to see Mt. Hood. What an incredibly scenic day!

When we returned to Portland, we opted for an ultra tasty meal at Tilt followed by a scoop of ice cream from Salt & Straw. We then retired early to color (judge away!) and read before crashing minutes later from sugar, jet lag, and a burger + french fry carb overload. 

The next morning, we did a little more exploring, may or may not have ordered a blueberry bourbon basil donut for the road, and then drove north to Seattle!

All in all our time in Portland was well spent and we already can't wait to go back and visit! Looking forward to sharing our Seattle adventures with you tomorrow!

Have you been to Portland? 
What was your favorite part?

Other epic adventures...

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