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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rainy Day Ritual

My real life lady friend Melissa (who also happens to be a blogger) started an October blogging challenge (see prompts here) and I feel like a real punk for not participating or mentioning that I plan to participate. 

Well Melissa I'm here meow!

Don't be silly, I'm still unlikely to blog EVERY day in October. Nonsense.

Where I come in as a native Oregonian (born and raised) is with a certification to talk about rainy days. It rains just about every day here (that's not true, but it's the stereotype) so I've seen a few in my day and know how to spend them. #WhenItRainsItPortlands

(oh hey, is that a gif? It's been a while)

Now there's a big difference how my day is spent whether it's a work day or a weekend.

The weekend option includes laying in bed for an extra hour while listening to the pattering of the raindrops outside my bedroom window.

The only exciting thing about the work day option is deciding what rain boots to coordinate with which outfit - because let's face it, even though Oregonians know their rain, they sure as hell don't remember how to drive in it. And I mean they don't remember

Bah, that's feeling like another rant for another day, so let's get after the inner monologue of my rainy Saturday rituals.

5:30am - "Eff. no. Why didn't I turn off my alarm? See ya never, 5am on a Saturday."

8:47am - "Oh hey rain! You're the perfect excuse for an intentional lazy Saturday!" (goes back to sleep)

9:52am - "Hpffh, ok I've been in bed for 12 hours now (maybe 14, who's counting? Shut up Friday nap haters) What's on instagram? Any new hashtags I haven't checked lately?"

10:40am - "I should make breakfast. Scramble or a smoothie? Or should I work out first? Wait, I need to organize my bookshelf first."

11:04am - [Gets bored with attempted organization - gets wrapped into Netflix]

12:40am - 'Just one more episode"

2:30pm - "damn it I missed breakfast again. And my workout.

3:15pm - [impromptu hallway dance party after another Netflix]

4:30pm - Decides to do something with day, packs up computer and heads to coffee shop - naturally for sitting and more time in front of the computer, but this time with music, headphones and people watching.

7:02pm - [gets kicked out of coffee shop] "I didn't sweat today - how should I sweat? DVD workout or circuit workout, or my favorite arm workout?"

7:32pm - Drenched.

8pm - Showered and impromptu quick run to Trader Joes for nothing in particular, except if there's peppermint things there then ideally I'm quite basic and get ALL of the peppermint things.

9pm - Just one glass of red wine? With candlelight and a book? Maybe with this fancy fireplace?

10:20pm - "Maybe a Netflix movie I've never seen? - but really when does Season 3 of House of Cards start?"

10:28pm - Haha- just kidding. I can't stay awake watching a movie.

And just like that - you've had the pleasure of spending a rainy Saturday with me. Hopefully more of my Saturdays this season will be spent in Seattle with my brother or somewhere in the USA with the man-friend.

Come to Portland anytime for the real thing! It doesn't really rain that often.

Making Melissa

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Early Morning

Sunday morning I woke up too early. 

My eyes felt heavy.

A deep inhale invited fresh air into my lungs while I forced my eyes open to the morning in front of me.

The blurry glow of red Christmas lights above me reassured me that I was in my own bed. They've been strung around my room since last December and I continue to sleep under their glow most nights no matter what my electricity bill reflects. 

The blurriness of the lights was also proof of my success in taking my contacts out the night before, a small victory by my standards. 

Reaching over to my nightstand for my phone, the sight of a half-full bottle of cider reminded me of the tears that ran down my face no less than five hours before. 

The tears that had dried on my pillowcase by morning were for nothing in particular. Their presence represented a sincere collection of feelings I've been trying to understand as I navigate this world of mine.

Sadness wasn't the only theme of the event. There was happiness, honesty, presence and warmth in the pearls flowing from my eyes. The kind of emotional release that reminds me that I am a human. That I've made mistakes, that I am good, that I am kind, that I have a beautiful life in front of me if I respect it, believe it and nurture it.

With a quick splash of cold water on my face, I slinked back into bed and into the warm cocoon of covers that I'd say are just about the only exciting thing about being in a long distance relationship. 

The soft red glow still illuminating the room and the peek of sunlight through my bedroom window sent me back into several hours of sleep - the quality sleep that I can only describe as the nap you take after your Thanksgiving meal. 

When I woke up for the second time on Sunday, the haze had lifted like it always does.

I snuck away to my favorite coffee shop for some quality "me" time.  Suddenly, everything felt better.

The rest of the weekend was amazing, I just wanted to tell you about what happened when I woke up too early on a Sunday morning.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Fly Catcher

Good Day and Good Riddance! It's officially October and somehow I'm not convinced that's even possible. 

But more importantly it's Wednesday and on Wednesdays I confess. I also rarely wear pink and today is no exception.

There's plenty of silly things to confess today but after I snuck in three separate open-mouthed selfies into yesterday's good-news post - I want to take this confessions opportunity to poke fun at the selfie pose I can't seem to quit. 

The Fly Catcher (The Open-Mouthed Selfie)
Usage: Frequently

The perfect solution for avoiding the blogger "toothless smile" - this pose has multiple uses and benefits: 

:: Excitement 
:: Surprise 
:: A Carefree spirit
:: Eliminates the squinty-eyes
:: Clearly a great post workout face
:: More opportunity for inappropriate emoji overlays
:: Works well with sunglasses
:: Great if you have no bottom teeth

I'm not sure when I began this pose nor when I plan to quit, but please tell me what other benefits you can think of for the open-mouthed selfie.

Ian is clearly not on board, but you should still link up with Kathy!

Vodka and Soda