Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Almost Christmas Confessions!

Welcome back to Wednesday and Merry Christmas (eve)! 

It makes me so happy to be looking forward to an entire day off of work, knowing that it's likely one of my very last for a while. There's quite a big event on Monday that is going to likely take quite a lot of my time over the next few months. 

Since the last time I was here, the following things have happened:

- I planked in front of a crowd at my holiday work party - twice
- I photo-boothed at my holiday work party - twice
- I've sent 15+ triple-chin snapchat selfies to some lucky recipients
- I've scrambled and failed at Christmas shopping
- Succeeded with buying a selfie tripod. Worth a shot, right?
- Mom successfully delivered toys, food baskets, clothes and miracles to seven families in need.
- Seriously, it took a village ^

Now we're ready for  a few quick Christmas confessions as I watch Christmas Story over FaceTime with my handsome guy who has been working way too hard. I'd show you how hard but don't think I'm allowed to show that frazzled look on the internet. Thanks for the extra MCM love this week!

:: Here is our very sad Christmas tree. What's even sadder is that it's at my boyfriend's house across the country, is decorated with $5 worth of "ornaments" from the dollar tree and some lackluster short cord lights. The redeeming quality is a pretty sweet Bear-necessities ornament that we found at Hallmark and wouldn't leave until we were the proud owners. It seriously sings and everything - the perfect start to creating our Christmas magic. 

:: I am probably on Santa's naughty list this year, and mostly for being a jerk to my body. Workouts aren't a priority anymore, #paleo is a guideline and not a rule, more days are "off days" than I'd like to admit and my kettlebell strength is lacking. Ps did you know my mom can swing a 55lb kettlebell? My hero. 

:: I've had the same bathroom hand soap for as long as I've lived in this house. Literally the same bottle. This week as I was goofing around in the same aisle as the pumpkin spice ice cream (so basic) I found a brand new hand soap that I truly couldn't pass up. The smell was heavenly. Here are some other amazing beauty products at Trader Joe's.

:: I still don't have presents bought, wrapped or even decided. It's too late for Amazon Prime to save me now, isn't it? 

That's all - stay merry & bright! Enjoy the time with your loved ones!

Are you ready for Humpday Confessions to return in January with Melissa?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

You're Welcome for these Confessions

If you wrote a confessions post today because of the news I shared yesterday, you're welcome. 

I really don't know if Melissa planned to start the link-up today or not, but I was hoping that my blog would either cause that to happen or get so much hype going around to breathe a little flame back into hump day. If there's no link-up actually live today, don't shoot the messenger... even if the messenger was also the creator and distributor of the rumor. Fact checking isn't my strong side. Hype generation might be. 

I feel so rusty about the whole thought of confessions - go easy on me today as this entire post based on facts while also an honest attempt to not ramble.

+ My poor guy has been working to the bone. 14-18 hour days in the office and on the actual hamster wheel of life. It's magical if he can leave before 10pm and it's even better if he can eat something other than Taco Bell for dinner. To add insult to injury, my #MCM photo on Monday was this, and as I type this post it only had 6 likes. Six! Including him! He's handsome, I know - but I think I've taken photos of my left thumb that had more likes. Go give him some instagram love, won't you?

+ I confess that I just realized my About Me page hasn't been updated since I first made it. It still said "I'm single and the mother of a betta fish". Well, I haven't been single since June (sorry babe) and my betta died while MaryMack was in town back in August. Pay attention, Jessi - being busy is no excuse. 

+ My daily breakfast includes a 20oz coffee, eggs and sausage patties. This runs me just under $5 at work and I can't stop, won't stop. It's gotten so good bad that me and my co-workers now sing "Nothhhing Compares 2U" by Sinead O'Connor, but rather than "2U" it's "2Sausage!!!".  Then if I'm lucky I follow it up with a bun-less cheeseburger, brussel sprouts, tots and bacon bits (heart eyed kitty emoji!)

+ I'm convinced that this high protein breakfast routine is contributing to these gainz, because since we're being honest I have hardly had time to work on my fitness in a month. Yes I feel strong and yes I feel healthy but I still can't do a pull-up. Selfie Level: Intermediate.

+ Speaking of working on my fitness, ClassPass is amazing and allowed me to defer my month pass to the new year because of the crazy work-life balance I'm unable to work around these days. I am quite thankful and also a little psyched because I saw that new studios were added in Portland this week!

That's all - I have to save some confessions for later because Hump Day is back!! Are you confessing today?

Go tell Melissa what handsome piece of man-meat should be the image here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Christmas Confessions Miracle!

It's a Christmas miracle! 

Remember how we used to have an amazing excuse in the middle of the work-week to publicly embarrass ourselves and just chalk it up as a "confession" for the whole internet to see? It was called Humpday Confessions and was hosted by a pretty rad chick named Kathy who has zero filter, gives two shits and is my fitness Jesus. She invited any and every blogger to confess whatever they please on their blogs, to find other bloggers who had awesome things to share and ultimately made us all come up with the most ridiculous things possible - all in the name of a good confessions post. 

Like that time I shared the photos of when I dropped trou on a trip for a roadside tinkle, or when I came out of the closet about a boy I'd been dating - some of my favorite blog memories came from my confessions posts. 

We sadly and formally lost this link-up in October, but I've seen many bloggers still confessing on Wednesdays and day by day asking for this link-up to come back. 

We can all confess in the privacy of our own blogs, but there's something magical about bloggers coming together and tilting the universe with confessions on confessions on confessions (and a lot of mentions of hump-day, hot men like Ryan Gosling and Ian So-my-hot-what and more gifs than you can imagine). 

This past week in between the madness of work and life, I heard the most amazing news. My great real-life friend Melissa will be taking the throne and wearing the crown for the new regime of Humpday Confessions. 

I'm ready, you're ready, we are all ready for confessions to be back. Hallelujah!

It's almost like that scene at the end of the Lion King where all the animals return to pride rock and rejoice over new beginnings and the promise of something good and comfortable that they know is going to be a beautiful thing. 

I could have included that gif below, but feel like this one is better:

Any guesses on which handsome hunk of man-meat Melissa will invite us to "hump the shit out of"? I think I have a good guess but you'll have to see tomorrow! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

By the Seat of My Pants

Dear fellow writers of blogs, have you ever been so caught up in the flurry of work, holidays and happiness that you actually forgot that you have a blog? 

This phenomenon called "oh-my-goodness-I'm-way-too-busy" otherwise known as "hey-look-my-job-rules-my-life" has been creeping up on me pretty hard lately that I'm having a tough time keeping it all together. 

Maybe it's time to take back the reins and be a little more methodical about things like meal prep, my workout schedule, pre-writing blog content and assembling outfits with accessories rather than throw on the same boots, skinny jeans & sweater combination I've been living in lately. 

Organize, plan, take notes and live by the pages of a trusty Moleskine planner in the new year. Keep commitments with friends. Read. Wash my face at night. Make my bed every morning. Do laundry start to finish rather than the 1 week cycle time I'm currently in the middle of. Simple things like that would make my days a little easier right?

Oh, but friends! Don't you know how good it feels to live by the seat of your pants? 

From jet-setting across the country for an "everything makes sense now" weekend with my guy, a random public transportation adventure downtown or an impromptu Sunday coffee date with Brooke - there's a lot to be said about not having everything figured out and not knowing what the plan is. 

Like everything, it will take patience and baby steps to get my world in order.

In the meantime I'm going to try to remember that I have a blog and make sure that I'm keeping some balance in my world. Oh, I'm also going to do my Christmas shopping - likely online and likely in my pajamas.

What are you going to work on this week to make yourself a little better? 

Friday, December 5, 2014

You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't Take

Being in a long distance relationship, my guy and I play this game where we see "what it would take" to see each other. We make bets on how much the flight would cost (one way vs round trip) and we say ridiculous things like "I'll be at the airport at 10am waiting", or "You want to go try that new breakfast spot tomorrow?".

We know it's all in fun and maybe a little counter-productive because 99/100 times we're not actually going to make good on our plans. 

This week was the 1 time out of 100. 

We played this game on Tuesday and I found an amazing round trip itinerary that cost as many airline miles as it would take to get to Seattle and back. After the months of playing this game, it seemed outrageous to have this golden opportunity in front of me and not even make the attempt to execute. After all you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, right?

So what did I do?

I arranged my schedule so that I could work remotely across the country and I hopped on a plane yesterday afternoon. (heart eyed cat emoji times 1,000,000)

Willie was game to lay on the famous carpet at the Portland Airport to get a shot of us pre-trip and how excited we were to get to sit in the middle seat for 5 hours. I got some flack for this shot on social media because people were disgusted that I was laying on the floor, but really guys - you know that I went down to an empty corridor with good lighting so that I wasn't "that girl" taking 40 selfies till it looked just right. And for the record it only took 3. 

Happy weekend friends, go check out the fun on Melissa's page with some Relationship Q&A from your favorites!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Merry & Bright

This weekend I didn't go pick out a tree, I didn't hang the stockings, reminisce over cherished ornaments or wrap any gifts to go under the tree. I didn't hang lights outside and I may have lights strung around my room but those have been there all year long. 

However, I did take the time to get down and dirty with one of my secret guilty pleasures; Sending mail by hand.

Nothing beats the simple joys of hand-writing letters, adding special personal touches, asking loved ones for their current address and slapping your coveted forever stamps onto the envelopes. Especially when it's done on a Sunday while you're sipping coffee out of your favorite sleepy panda mug that good friends like Brooke gifted to you.  

Since sending these cards, I've been doing all that I can to make my December Merry and Bright - more coming up on that soon once I get the crazy of this work-week out of my way and in the rear-view. 

Just about the only thing that beats sending holiday cheer via postage is receiving it. Don't you agree?

Keep feeling those merry & bright vibes this holiday season!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Up North

Thanksgiving weekend was a serious success as my family flocked north to my brother's brand new home in Seattle. 

Dad liked the idea of Thanksgiving away because there is a 7-11 within walking distance where he could replenish his daily 64oz of soda.

Mom liked the idea of Thanksgiving away because going into it, she truly believed that she wasn't going to have to cook at all (and the truth is brother did most for actual Thanksgiving, but mom was the resident chef for the rest of the weekend).

My brother liked the idea of Thanksgiving at his house so that he wouldn't have to drive, could get his internet installed, would have special delivery of his TV and other things he'd shipped to mom and dad's house - and the obvious fact that we'd leave with the place cleaner than when we got there. 

My sisters (two golden retrievers above) loved the idea of Thanksgiving away because they've never been to "Matt's place". He's lived in Europe for the last four years and he's the one who has been making the visits. 

I liked the idea of Thanksgiving away because with no Wifi at my brother's place, it was very unlikely that I'd feel the pull to work during the holiday. This doesn't mean I didn't refrain from pulling out the laptop on Saturday and Sunday, but at least the stress wasn't present during family time. 

We all enjoyed the way that Thanksgiving actually turned out and no credit cards were maxed out with the peer pressure of Black Friday. I may have popped onto Amazon for a few books and this 64oz Hydro Flask that will be everlastingly awesome - but nothing overboard. 

The feast itself was plentiful - with more carbs from potatoes, pie, stuffing and bread rolls than I'd expected - but all consumed with consciousness and zero regrets. 

Wish me luck this week with my attempt to navigate the awesomeness of ClassPass during my crazy-busy work week!

How was your holiday weekend? Eat everything you wanted? Sweat a little? Shop till you dropped?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweaty and Ready for the Holidays

I'm pretty much the worst at saying "I'm going to the gym tomorrow morning", then falling under the "I'm-too-tired, I-don't-know-what-I-want-to-wear, I-won't-have-enough-time, I-don't-want-to-wash-my-hair" spell the minute my alarm goes off in the early morning. 

Little did you know - The first alarm is at 4:50am and then every five minutes after that, which I chalk up as a personal problem since feet usually don't hit the floor until 5:45, maybe 6am at best. 

The problem however, is that if I miss that alarm and I don't get my morning workout, the chances of me missing my daily sweat increase by somewhere around 80%. I'm no statistician, but that just sounds good. I really do want to work out in the mornings. 

I had a great rhythm going over the past 5 weeks taking a TRX / Kettlebell class at work (TRX is amazing if you've never given it a shot!) - but even that schedule made attending a challenge because it was at 4:15, and I was basically dragged away from work and had to always go back for a few hours after. I need morning classes, I need weekend classes - I need variety! 

Why am I telling you this?

Because it was a serious Christmas miracle when I received an email from ClassPass telling me that they were launching in Portland and they wanted me to test out the program*. 

If you've never heard of it, ClassPass offers a monthly membership that gives you the keys to the city and the top-quality studios in your area. 

The fee is a flat rate of $99 per month, so the cost is all the same for you to attend unlimited strength training classes, barre classes, cycling classes, aerial dance classes, meditation sessions, hot yoga classes or anything else offered in your town. And obviously more studios will be joining in on the fun as time goes on and ClassPass gets more people involved in such an awesome program. 

Really the only "rule" is that you can't attend one studio more than 3 times per month - but overall I think that's a great barrier so that it forces me into trying new things, changing up the workouts and meeting all kinds of new people with serious passion for fitness in my city.  The class offerings I've seen so far include early morning times and late evening times - plus multiple studios offering similar workouts - essentially making the 3 times per month rule null and void!  

My pass runs for the month of December - so consider me holiday-ready! There's no sense in waiting until January 1st to set your goals and work toward committing to your healthy lifestyle. 

Aside from trying new awesomeness (like aerial yoga), I'm looking forward to seeing what my city has to offer! 

*I was offered a free month of membership in exchange for a review on my blog and social media accounts. ClassPass is not responsible for my excitement over this program or the many sweaty selfies that will come out of this experience. You're welcome.  Just living the sweaty life. 

Want to know more? Visit ClassPass FAQs

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I Finally Learned About Long Distance Relationships

I'm always using the hashtag #LongDistanceIsHard on Instagram any time I abuse my girlfriend power to post un-approved photos of the guy. (example below)

That's because long distance IS hard. 

The need for connection, the absence of physical contact and even the void of those mundane errands like going to the grocery store make me miss my guy. The person I choose to spend my time with who mutually enjoys spending time with me can't always be there and I'm finally starting to realize that. 

We've both entered a really challenging time in our careers where we need to support each other, and the best way that we can be there for each other is to allow the other to focus, to not demand 100% attention and sometimes just not be such an energy-suck.

Through most of my time as a long distance girlfriend, there's always someone I'll talk to who will jealously say "oh, that must be so amazing! You have a boyfriend from far away who loves you and you still get your you-time". 

Pssch, yeah right - my "me" time is spent exactly how I want to spend it, on FaceTime talking to my guy about nothing in particular and everything that means anything. 

"No, no" they'll say, "you can make the most out of this opportunity while you're not living together to do the things you want to do, see your friends, take up a hobby, find yourself again, work out, cook great meals - this is the best of both worlds if you can see how to use it."


So the past two weeks as we've both had to spend more time at work and invest in our careers, I've made a conscious effort to latch onto some "me" time where otherwise I'd be staring at his handsome face through the screen and waiting for the next moment we could break away for some eye contact.

As a result, the dynamics of our LDR have changed. Here's what my "me time" has looked like:

+ I've made dinners other than "our" staple 2-3 egg scramble.
+ I started a book that I can't get enough of - hey look i'm reading!
+ Treated  m'self to a pedicure.
+ Bought some Christmas gifts already (includes Brooke's Birthday present - her Summer Birthday...)
+ Don't feel guilty about my workout schedule.
+ Feel less dependent on my cross country human-being.
+ Feel crazy productive at work.
+ Feel like I'm helping him - which goes for dayyyys in the love-deposit account. 
+ Realize we have more to talk about if we're not just asking what's been up since the last breath the other one took. 

It's been important to realize that we can accomplish our goals being far away from one another, but still feeling and knowing and trusting the security of your love being just one phone call away. 

And he'll always be there, and he'll always tell me he loves me before petting each other's sleepy faces at night. He's always there to support me and nothing drastically crazy will happen if we're out of contact for three hours doing our own things. It's actually quite peaceful. 

Plus, he still sends me Snapchats that make me giggle and love him even more. 

<3 you b!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Finally Accepting Winter

There was a huge development in Portland, Oregon this week and it deserves a mention. 

This season I felt the weather take a sharper turn than I ever remember from the past and it impacted me in a big way. I also think there was a part of me that has become a wuss amongst the elements over the past year since I stopped running. I used to be out stomping pavement no matter what weather. 10 degrees colder, add another layer. 20 degrees colder, wear gloves (or socks on your hands. Don't make fun, it works). 

Because of whatever excuses I want to make, I've become quite sensitive to the rain, the cold and the sudden change of the seasons. 

Therefore I bought a jacket, and it's everything I need. 

It's long, it's waterproof, it's warm, it has multiple pockets, waist defining details, zippers, buttons, a hood, and even the most ridiculous fur detail and obviously aggressive eskimo hood. 

I didn't find this jacket, this jacket found me. 

It was spotted at Costco after an afternoon of work beers on my usual quest for steak strips, gum and those delightful sample booths. Somehow I even managed to pass up the 5-pack of EOS lip balms, something I can't usually accomplish even in the Target check-out lane. 

My purchase makes me happy and might also make me feel a little ridiculous. 

Okay a lot ridiculous. #WinterIsComing

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recap - Birthday Edition

You wouldn't believe me that I had a refreshing and relaxing birthday weekend considering the stress-crater that popped up on my face on Tuesday, but I did. It was everything that I hoped my 27th birthday would be, minus a few key people and pets - each of which I was able to see over the weekend in one way or another.

The travel time that it takes to get to my guy is almost discouraging - but thankfully his handsome smiling face is always on the other side, even if my face was moody this time around when I was convinced that I'd lost my luggage upon arrival. 

I was almost delayed an entire day because of the cold weather and inclement weather that has swept the nation - but thankfully my parents are awesome and they got me to the Portland airport with enough time to catch a flight that was departing an hour earlier. Huge win - almond milk latte included!

What I love about the time that I spend out of town is that there's never any "agenda". It's no rules, no plans, no schedule - just relaxing, lounging and wondering why the heck I packed so many outfit options that ultimately come back home with me perfectly clean with just some crease-lines.

That's not all that we did - I also had the pleasure of meeting the guy's parents over four-hours of dinner and drinks, so I zipped up my brand new blue dress and curled my hair to make a first impression. That's right, four hours and would have loved to spend more time if we had it.

A few depressing things over the weekend included work for both of us and the first loss for his Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Alabama (and yes, Melissa thank you for rubbing it in). I was there to console him as best as I could, but in the end all that would offer any kind of relief was pizza delivery and Netflix. Nothing like quality snuggle time with my guy.

On my birthday I woke to the start of a text message string that evolved into 27 reasons why my guy loves me, all scheduled with a timer and nothing pre-written. It's quite the work of art and I've re-read it more than 27 times since then if we're going to be honest. He says he's not thoughtful, but the emotional outpour along with matching stuffed animal snuggle buddies and two massage gift certificates to my favorite lady in Portland proved otherwise.

The other awesome part of the day was the hour Brian and I spent on a video call with mom, dad and the golden sisters.

There was also this, which was a pretty excellent PicMonkey creation by my mother if you ask me!

To cap off the night, my guy braved the 20-degree weather to grill our favorite dinner of steak, ahi tuna steak and sweet potatoes then treated me to the first hour of Pulp Fiction (which I still need to finish). I did my best to not burn down the house with the 27 burning candles that decorated my special cake.

Twenty-seven candles can sure light up a room! 

All in all, quite the perfect birthday weekend. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Have to - Confessions

It's hurt me so badly the past two weeks to not have the confessions link-up to look forward to.

I understand Kathy's reason for letting a good thing die and fully support it - just wish that I could have a way to link up with all my eskimo sisters who are undoubtedly still sharing their awesome-crazy secrets with the blog world. 

That's right - eskimo sisters. You know you've all been up in that hump-day action. 

:: I had a dentist appointment before work this morning and it's been everything I can do the past week to floss as much as possible. I know that I'm going to tell the sweet lady at 7am that I brush 2-3x daily and floss every night before bed - but that's a lie the same way that I tell myself I'm going to work out every day this month.

:: If I'm at work past 7pm, this is likely happening. Before you judge, understand that my work takes a lot of analytical work plus a lot of creativity. It's not just the details I'm working through, it includes the art of storytelling and "painting a picture". Also, hey glasses!

:: I am spending my birthday with my guy! I head out tomorrow mid-day and get to spend four sleeps with him. This four sleeps includes a day of working remotely, a day of meeting his parents (eek, hi!) and hopefully getting thoughtful gifts like what he got me last year. Actually very practical gifts last year - a huge Excel programming book so I can be as smart as him and some dryer sheets  so I can smell as good as him (because he will forever smell like dryer sheets).

:: The birthday trip to see the guy is also a clever way to get more #ManCrushMonday photos - because ladies I have run out of things that I won't get yelled at for putting on the internet for all to see.  

:: I drank an entire bottle of wine on Sunday - just because I could. Saturday when I hit the Trader Joe's I grabbed a bottle of wine and decided that there was no better time than an evening with candles, music and red wine to get me ready for the week ahead. I can't say that it did the trick - but I suppose that's a good thing because it'll free me of the likely dependency one can get to a bottle of red wine on a Sunday night. 

:: I wrote my Monday, Tuesday and most of today's blog while drinking said red wine. The other time was spent reading Thought Catalog articles and writing a "nice to meet you soon" letter to man-friend's parents just to break the ice. P.S - do you know how difficult it is to find paper? And how difficult it is to write a letter by hand and not mess up 10,000 times? Thanks to the wine I had the patience to persevere. 

:: I really really miss the confessions link up. That's all. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Hip in Hipster

11:11 - Make a wish!

Since I turned twenty-six last year and came off of my parent's insurance, I have slowly realized the challenges of making my own doctor, dentist and optometrist appointments. It's not the one-stop shopping that I was used to, so having to check what doctors, dentists, lady doctors (oh my!) are in my network can be a crazy-pain. 

Just a few weeks ago I had a certain urgency to make an eye-appointment as I was down to my last pair of 2-week replacement contacts. How I possibly went two years on a year's supply of contacts is unknown to me, but also highlights the huge issue that I keep my "old" contacts in for too long, often fall asleep in them and have my eyes screaming for oxygen most of the time they're open. 

At the same time that I scheduled the appointment, I magically received an email in my inbox from Firmoo because somehow, some way they knew that I would love some new glasses in my life. They probably also guessed that I would pick out the most hipster pair possible since I live in Portland - and they were right!

Don't you agree? 

I was so excited to get these glasses at my home and once I got them - a contact lens didn't touch my eyes for days. The man-friend (from Tennessee) finds them a little too hipster for his taste, but I'm not in Tennessee, they're the right prescription and I seriously love the nerd that they bring out in me - so expect to see this lady as a friendly four-eyes from here on out! 

I'm a little nervous for the first time I plan to wear the glasses to work because I want to have the right outfit (flannel / vest / lace up boots) but I also want people to recognize me. Either way I'm sure they'll think I'm wicked smart (and fashion sensible, right babe?)

Thanks Firmoo for the excellent service, the next time I need glasses I'm coming your way!

*I was given prescription glasses in exchange for a review on my blog - all opinions are my own and all selfies are shameless. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Birthday Week

Once a week seems to be all that I'm good for these days, but it comes with good reason. 

Last week I truly considered what it would look like if I decided to just live at work. 

Seriously and honestly looked into getting a blow-up twin-sized mattress to shove into my office, considered what would it would look like to actually plan my wardrobe a week in advance, how much more I would work out because the gym would also be the place I'd take my shower, and how much time would be saved by not making the 90-120 minute daily back and forth commute. I'd probably drink more water, I'd be crazy accountable / productive and maybe, just maybe - I could climb atop the mountain of work that's ahead of me over the next few months. What do you think?

I mean, look at where I work!

MORE importantly - hey hey it's birthday week! I usually make a huge deal about "Birthday Month", but this time I'm cool with isolating it to seven days only because it's a little scary to me to think that soon I'll be twenty-seven. 

"Eek, that's old!" says the blogging community - you young ladies who are just starting to explore the world after college, but trust me - some days I still feel like I'm eighteen and have so many more lessons to learn and so many more dreams to reach for. I'm not past my prime, I feel like I'm just getting started. 

I never really have much on my birthday or Christmas wish list, but this year I don't know how to politely ask for money that could be spent on airfare to go see my guy. Along with the money I'd need some time to travel and maybe some kind of technology that would allow me to stop time while I'm there - that would be ideal. 

I guess this is my ask. Airfare, plz? 

Wait, airfare could also go toward making the trip down to see miss Mack or do a destination bachelorette + destination wedding for one of my dearest high school friends. Or for somewhere with palm trees - can't I just combine them all?

Anyway, today's also a day to welcome mom back to blogging with an on-point post about "mondays". Have a great week! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

What Was Learned While I Was Away

Hey blog, how've you been without me?

While I'd love to say that I've been off doing wild and crazy-fun things, I haven't. The reality is that the majority of my time since I last showed up was spent with the glow of my work laptop illuminating my face. 

This wasn't a surprise - the next 3-5 (maybe 12!) months will be crazy - but this time around when the smiley-emoji shit hits the fan I'll be mentally and physically equipped to deal with it.

Since I've been away, I've obviously learned a lot.

:: RIP Confessions Link up. I was hoping Kathy was just kidding about burying her Wednesday link-up, but then I realize that she doesn't mess around and wouldn't just say that to create blog drama. Don't worry, I'll still share embarrassing things here on the blog but will have to do it solo.

:: I learned that daily disposable contact lenses are infinitely better than the 2 week replacements - because let's be honest, they linger for more like 4-6 weeks and are probably damaging my vision even more than my legally blind status right now. Looking forward to my new glasses!

:: I finally caved and bought a Spiralizer on Amazon - and i'm silly-excited to start using it. Man-friend thinks I'll only use it three times and then it'll get tossed into the cabinet where kitchen appliances go to die, but I'm certain it'll be in the regular rotation just like my scramble skillets.

:: Man friend came to town last weekend and I didn't blog about it for two main reasons - 1. We only took laying-in-bed-watching-Netflix Selfies 2. We worked the entire time that we weren't sleeping / Netflix-ing / Parent Visiting. I learned that it doesn't take anything more than just him by my side to make the weekend complete. #sappy

:: I learned that having a little companion around the house is a great change, even if it's only temporary for the week! Also, it was much easier to cat-sit now that I don't have a betta fish - RIP Tiger.

That's all, Happy Monday!

Are you linking up with Katie today?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Favorite Things About This Friday

Happy Friday to anyone and everyone! 

I won't keep you here for long today because there's some awesome things going on. How about we list these awesome things in backwards chronological order!

1. THIS GUY arrives to PDX for a rainy weekend of snuggles and hopefully not as much work as we have on the horizon. Thankfully mom, dad and the golden sisters will break up some of that crunch time - plus I promised to make another round of my meatloaf

2. Shady kitty comes over and will be with me for an entire week - he's the blood brother of my former kitty that I lost in a cat-stody battle. 

3. My co-workers arranged a Friday night pub-crawl that requires a prompt exit from work at an hour well before I've usually been leaving this week. I don't plan to get too sloshy based on reasons #1 and #2 above. 

4. I have an Eye Doctor Appointment - which doesn't sound that cool, but it's pretty damn exciting when I'm down to only one spare set of contacts AND I have a pair of Firmoo glasses to redeem and review. These ones are cool, right? 

5. It's Friday and that means it's time for me to try to begin a routine where no matter what I hit the gym at 6am before work - this is because more often than I'd like to admit the sweat session gets skipped on Fridays for reasons like #3 above. 

Mom recommends this circuit that she did this week:

10, 8, 6, 4, 2 Reps of Jumping Pull Ups, Push Ups, Squats + 100M Row
2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Reps of Jumping Pull Ups, Push Ups, Squats + 100M Row

6. I cleaned my house last night (including laundry) because of all the reasons above - and my does that feel amazing! *Laundry also means folding clothes that have been "In the laundry" since my trip to Mexico in late August. oops. 

Who else is linking up with Amanda's Friday Favorites?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Spirit Animal

Monday's crazy hectic to Tuesday's crazy calm(er) helped me tremendously to understand some of my stress "type A" triggers and how to deal with them. 

These triggers also reminded me to turn to my beautiful Spirit Animal for guidance because he has never failed to give me wisdom, foresight and the courage to believe in myself in times of trial.

Typically a spirit animal is something fierce yet majestic. A creature that exudes strength and confidence. The animal that all other animals are jealous of because of it's haircut and it's iPhone 6. 

Nope, not me. My spirit animal is cool, calm, collected.  He gives a damn only when he wants to and that's not often because his level of caring is next to zero.

My calming counter-action Spirit Animal of course is the sloth. 

Because I'm adamant that the sloth is my Spirit Animal, here's a few reasons why you should consider it to be yours as well. 

:: Sloth reminds me to pace myself and trust the process. I'll see success - slowly but surely.

:: Sloth is comfortable saying "no"

:: Sloth understands the importance of eating the good green stuff.

:: Sloth faces common never-do situations (like falling down in the middle of the road) with elegance.

:: Sloth is a passionate and gentle lover.

:: Sloth knows that if you dream it, you can achieve it.

:: And don't forget, Sloth is stronger than you think!

That's all for today, friends - an ode to my spirit animal. May he guide me forever.

Any other weird things to confess today with Kathy?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Breathe. Trust. Let Go. See What Happens.

When I woke up Monday morning at 3:50am and couldn't fall back asleep, I knew I was in for a seriously serious day. 

The only benefit to that early wake-up and no will to fall back asleep is that the man-friend is 2 hours ahead of me and sleeping on my computer screen via FaceTime. Which might be a little strange, but it means that I can simply whisper his name a few times and get the same groggy sleepy smiles we fell asleep to the night before. (blugh, sorry - but I get to see him in THREE sleeps and I'm a little giddy).

Anyway, with the combination of the rainfall and the Monday blues and the flood of work emails - a rare and aggressive version of Jessi came out that I can only describe as my Type A alter ego. 

She walks a little more briskly, she plays a little more competitively, she does everything she can to be in control and stay in control. She has an agenda and when things don't all go to plan - it slowly causes an avalanche if she doesn't take the right measures to prevent it. Measures like breathing, relaxing, exercising, politely venting, trusting, encouraging - all of the things she does without hesitation most other days. 

In my years of adulthood I've proudly gained self-awareness and perception, two traits that failed me yesterday. That was until I made it to my new workout class in the evening and realized how great it was to sweat out the worries, fears, stresses and first world problems that meddled in my Monday. 

Today I pledge to hit the rest of my week with the best breathing, trusting, let-go-ing kind of attitude this girl can find - without being an actress. 

Breathe. Trust. Let Go. See What Happens. But please don't be an idiot about it. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Things From the Weekend

It's been many long weeks since the last time I opened up a Monday with a weekend recap. 

I usually wait until Tuesday to show my face in blog world, but this time I'm taking advantage of a warm and cozy meatloaf-eating/beer-drinking/candle-lighting night to hit you with all the knowledge that was gained this weekend. 

:: When the new bakery opens up in the building you practically grew up in, you need to spend some time in there on your laptop, drinking an almond milk latte and taking selfies in front of exposed brick to make the day complete. Goes well with greasy braided hair and a sleeved floral dress.

:: Long distance relationships are hard, but the couple that watches Tosh.0 together stays together or something like that.  I learned that this is what it looks like when we watch a show and eat dinner together.

:: I learned that the penguin that I gushed over last week has some other admirers - according to the 37 Reviews (pending mine to make it 38) on the Toys 'R Us Website. I read them out loud to Willie and he liked all of them except for the boyfriend who regrets getting it for his girlfriend because she'd rather cuddle her penguin friend than him. 

:: I'm in an NCAA Football Pick 'em league with a bunch of SEC boys - and while I've performed horribly the past 7 weeks, I finally hit my stride in Week 8 with a break-away victory (tied 4 ways, but won the breaker) and more importantly $25 via PayPal. However, money via PayPal is a wash because it's all monopoly money to be thrown into the next league's buy-in. 

:: Two words: Drunk History. 

If you haven't seen these I suggest you start right here.

That's all we have here today, friends - hey look I used two gifs!

Are you linking up with Katie today?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

True Life: I Travel With a Penguin

Happy Wednesday!

Not sure what you think but I feel like this week isn't going by fast enough. That's mainly because I didn't get a ton of rest over the weekend amidst all of my jet-setting and tailgating. #partyhard #firstworldproblems

Speaking of jet-setting, I have an excellent confession for you today and I believe the title says it all. 

I am twenty-six years old and I travel with a very sweet stuffed penguin named Willie. 

Willie has actually had a few names but Willie is the one that's stuck - seems like a penguin's name, right? 

Okay so he's also not just my travel buddy, he's my bedtime buddy too. Call it a cure for the long distance, the sweet guy of mine bought me this a while ago and he's been my companion through the thick and thin. Willie is kind, sweet and doesn't resent me even though I shoved him into a drawer for four months and threatened to give him to mom and dad's golden retrievers as a chew toy. 

Willie's perfect for a lot of things including but not limited to the following:

:: Intimate nighttime snuggling
:: My Travel Companion
:: Gives it to me straight (look at those honest eyes)
:: He's a soft shoulder to cry on
:: He has a squishy tummy to sleep on
:: The most ruthless Netflix critic you'll ever meet
:: The best pillow for the long flights and adventures we take together. 

I could go on. You think I'm weird, don't you?

Yeah me too. 

Hump along with Kathy who is on vacation today, but still showed up to class!
Vodka and Soda

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Y'all Wear Dresses to Football Games?

But seriously, I wore a dress to a football game and lived to tell the tale. 

Not just any football game, but THE football game of the year (up until this point). 

In case you missed it last week, the man-friend is a Mississippi State alumni and desperately wanted to go see his Bulldogs (ranked 3rd last week) face Auburn (ranked 2nd last week) at his old college campus. He not only wanted to go see the game, but he wanted me to come down for the weekend, take a road trip and see the exciting game with him.

He surprised me with plane tickets (thank you airline miles) and asked that I took a day off of work to make the most of an impromptu quick weekend together.

I packed the only maroon thing I own - which just so happens to be a dress - and threw it in my suitcase along with all the usual things I take when I visit, like his favorite pajama pants I stole or the sweet stuffed animal people always swoon over when I travel. 

Saturday morning we woke up earlier than usual, but later than planned - and made the 3 hour trip south to Starkville, Mississippi (or Stark Vegas as I saw on a few T-shirts). 

The Tailgate

Call me silly, but I had no idea what tailgating actually was. 

I literally thought that you had to have a friend with a truck and could shotgun a Coors Light with the boys in order to hang, but that was far from the truth. There were tents side by side for as far as your eyes could see with the coolest set-ups you could imagine - from a catered spread to an entertainment set-up that's better than what I have in my home. Fairly classy for what I otherwise pictured in my head.

There were also college "kids" running wild that made me feel ancient with their beer drinking baby faces, but we won't go into that today.

The Game

It was "hot as Hades" all day so we had no need for the jackets we'd packed. Even with the 30% warning of rain in the forecast we were ready to take the chance for a little drizzle. By the time all 62,000 fans shuffled into the stadium, we'd walked at least 2 miles to our seats after getting lost along the way.

The game - unbelievable. For the first NCAA game I've ever been to it seems like the bar's been set pretty high. I was jumping out of my seat, booing, pretending my water bottle was a cowbell and celebrating the team's early success with my overly ecstatic boyfriend.

The Storm

This happens to be one of my favorite parts of the game to talk about because anyone can relate whether you're a football fan or not.

Remember how above I said there was a 30% chance of rain? Well it rained.

Oh no, it poured (and I won a bet).

A few tiny sprinkles kissed our skin as the rest of the stadium whipped out their stealth-mode ponchos and had protection from the inevitable downpour. My guy graciously let me borrow his hat to save my hair, but by the time two minutes had passed we were all drenched head to toe (except the poncho-wearing transformers) and I gave it back to him to throw all caution to the wind.

I stood there, arms open, laughing hysterically as I cheered on the team and wouldn't retreat to shelter like many of the fans. In all my life I've never been rained on that hard - not even in my four years of year-round long distance running in the Pacific NW.

After what seemed like 20 minutes of torrential beat-down it all stopped, but couldn't change the fact that I was now a drowned rat in a sleeveless fit & flare dress that was now clung to my rain soaked body.

Jokes on everyone, I'd actually packed a second outfit (and some towels) with fear that Tailgating would get out of hand. So after the game I had a dry option for the 3 hour night drive.

After the exciting and heart racing game play, my guy's team won decisively and is now ranked 1st in the nation after being unranked only four weeks ago. It was an awesome time and a worthwhile trip for us.

I look forward to making it to many more games with this guy, but looks like I'm going to have to find a few more game day dresses.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Fall Uniform

I left out one incredibly important confession yesterday that just struck me as I made dinner last night so let's just get it out of the way now. 

:: I've consumed hot dogs every day this week. 

It's really not as bad as it sounds - I make a 2-3 egg scramble most nights for dinner and always have some form of protein (usually chicken, sausage, etc). There were heaps of leftovers from the party my mom threw for dad's retirement/birthday/brother's homecoming and I was lucky enough to snag-a-bag of this sweet meat treat for myself. 

Now that we have that awkward thing out of the way I can get to what we really want to talk about today.

My Fall Uniform.

This post was inspired by Melissa's October Challenge, even though this specific topic was the prompt a few days ago - I suppose you could say I'm fashionably late? (bah-dum - chhh!)

This fall (and most every fall) my uniform has elements of the following:

Go To Fall Outfit
:: Sleeved dresses

A dress with sleeves, a waist enhancing detail and pockets is the holy grail of dresses in my book. It's the most flattering, sophisticated and functional silhouette for my body - so why not let it work for me?

:: Simple accessories

I used to be the girl that wore every accessory possible - loud and proud. Dangly earrings, obnoxious bracelets, you name it. My mom used to say that I was a Christmas Tree. As I've grown older (and honestly a little lazier) I appreciate fine accessories that don't draw too much attention or pull the charm from the outfit.

:: Classic comfort

I work in a very casual environment so in the fall and winter 90% of my coworkers are in hoodies, jeans and sneakers. While once upon a time that was my style, I now take the approach that there's an opportunity to make a first impression each and every day - so dress for success. Look good, feel good - right?

:: A Smile

Above all else, my favorite accessory is a smile (okay and maybe my backside). A happy girl is a pretty girl and the smile is the foundation of it all. Something you won't see me without.

How about you pretty ladies - what's your Fall Uniform?

Making Melissa

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick n' Dirty Confessions

:: I woke up today to see the Blood Moon and found it extremely lackluster. Looking at pictures on the internet is way more cool (mother nature cries). I also giggle at "Blood Moon" because I'm 12.

:: We got new toys at the gym to play with and I'm thrilled to finally have floor space for circuit drills and resistance band pull up practice. The only down-side? They removed the mirrors from the walls! #You'reSoVain

:: Last night I spotted a giant spider in my room on the wall next to my bed. I grabbed my phone for the snapchat pre-kill and lost it. Nothing worse than not knowing where a spider is as you try to sleep with your mouth closed

:: This weekend I'm going to my very first* real college football game / tailgate. 

*I realize that sounds crazy for a sporty girl like me but the games I went to in college don't actually count because I never actually watched. Also, apparently it's a thing to wear a dress to games in the South?

:: That's right, in the South! This guy made me bail on dog sitting plans over the weekend after he surprised me with plane tickets and an invite to see where he spent the four five drunkest years of his life. Apparently it's supposed to be a big game

Confessing is good for the soul - what do you have to spill today?

link up with Kathy!
Vodka and Soda