Monday, April 27, 2015

A Surprise Gift

 Get ready...this is no ordinary super, cute, inspirational box...
 It beholds a parade of adorable, pretty, and sweet gifts.
 Over the year, my mom has been collecting items to put together as a gift for me for finishing my first year of coaching. She is so sweet and thoughtful! My first year of coaching was definitely not easy. I thought I was going to get a ton of kids out who really wanted to work hard and learn, and what I found, was that it was really to get kids out for team and then it was a battle all year with holding people accountable for grades and attendance and attitude, and trying to find a balance between wanting to be excellent and yet not being so hard on dancers that they would want to quit. I definitely learned a lot! 
I'm a sucker for scrapbooking supplies...especially stickers! Pretty colors and glitter? I'm sold!
My mom found this Christian Magazine "Life Beautiful" at Barnes and Noble. I love it! It is full of inspirational stories, bible reading plans, tips for lovely meals and cleaning, and just lovely pictures and diy projects. I think I am going to subscribe to it!
She included a gorgeous frame with birds & flowers (I love both of those things!) and a picture of us at the Cinderalla movie in it, along with gorgeous Lauren Conrad necklace and earrings from Kohls, and a beautiful votive holder.
The gorgeous shiny, pink on the outside, silver on the inside, votive holder, contained a Chamomile scented candle to help me relax when I am feeling stressed.
Next, she included an awesome journal with a Hippo on it :D and some yummy chocolates.
She included some British films (love me some Collin Firth!) and a lovely leather bound novel from Barnes and Noble (we collect leather books). Here's also a close up of the jewelry.
Isn't this book lovely? I'm looking forward to reading it.
Easter was coming up, so she included some sparkly Easter decor. Everything is better with sequins :)
I snapped this pic a few weeks later to show a mug I bought recently, but I'm including it because, thanks to my mom, I've been following a new bible reading plan from Life Beautiful Magazine. Since I'm only 3/4 time this year I've been able to enjoy coffee and read my bible in bed before scooting out the door in the morning. I'm going to miss that extra time to relax next year when I go up to full time. I will have to start waking up earlier!

Anywho, I have the best mom in the world. She is the best gift giver and she is the most thoughtful person I know. She is always thinking of others and has a difficult time spending money on herself. She definitely brightens not only my life but many others with her thoughtful gifts. :)

Have a lovely Monday!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fashion Friday: Pink House Cafe

Last Sunday, Joel surprised me by suggesting we go to one of my favorite little cafes, "The Pink House Cafe" to celebrate my teaching position moving to full time for next year. It was a beautiful spring day.
The inside is decorated very cute with old pictures and paintings. It's the perfect place to go for coffee and dessert.
I had a pink lemonade and chicken curry salad with fruit and a delicious slice of olive bread.
I've been trying to make an effort lately to make outfits from items of clothing that I've owned for a while but don't wear very often, so everything I'm wearing is old, aside from the wallet I just bought from Charming Charlie. I actually have had the heels since my senior year in high school!
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Break Stay-cation in Portlandia: Part 2

Our Portland one-day extravaganza continued...
I was dying to get away for at least one night of our spring break so we stayed in a Courtyard Marriott that was close enough to the Rose Quarters that we could walk to get there. So after we rested a for a little, we decided to walk down to the Memorial Colosseum to buy our tickets for the next thing on my Portland bucket list: See a Winterhawks game.
After we purchased our tickets, we decided just to grab a drink and something to eat at a restaurant in the Rose Quarters, Dr. Jacks, until the game started. I didn't take a picture, so I stole the one above from We sat over by the open doors you can see in the top right corner. It was really cool because we could see the fountains and people watch, and there was an AMAZING aroma of food cooking and fresh Oregon air.
We were watching the NCAA playoff game between Wisconsin and Arizona, so when I couldn't decide what to drink, my husband ordered me the "Honey Badger Blonde"--appropriate considering I picked my March Madness bracket based on which mascot I liked the best, and I took the Wisconsin Badgers all the way to the final two (If only I hadn't picked the Anteaters to win it all!) I'm not a big drinker so I never really know what to get, but I liked the Honey Badger Blonde! ;)
I've never been to a Hockey game before, so it was nice to get to go with my husband, because his favorite sport to play growing up was roller hockey. I learned a lot about how the game works. It's pretty fast paced! The players are constantly coming on and off the ice! One thing that I didn't get to cross off the my bucket list, is that I didn't get to see my dear childhood friend dance with the rosebuds on the ice. I had always wanted to go to game to see her dance, but she finished nursing school and got a job as a nurse before I could get up to see her! Pretty cool what they can do on the ice!
This picture was taken well before the end of the game. We lost. We have decided that I am unlucky for attending first time events. The first time I went to a blazer game, they lost in double over time to the clippers--before they had Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Oh well, I still had fun!
Later in the evening we met up with some friends at the Red Star Tavern down town. Going out to cool bars and restaurants in down town Portland is one thing on my bucket list that never gets crossed off. I love exploring and going to fun places. I've only been able to go for this purpose a couple of times (I don't get out much!)
I ordered a Montego Bay with: Bank’s 5 island rum, grapefruit, lime, allspice dram, honey, absinthe. Again, I don't drink much so I really don't really ever know what to order, but I liked this drink. It kind of had a Mojito feel to it.
It was so nice to get out with friends! We don't get to see these two enough and I had an absolute blast visiting with them! They definitely made a good choice on the bar as well! I love the decor in the Red Star Tavern. I should have taken more pictures! It has a nice relaxed, elegant feel. It's classy, and we could actually hear each other talk. It's located under the Hotel Monaco--which I since looked up and I will have to do a post on it because I am dying to stay there now! Super fun/quirky decor.
We were there so late, I snapped this shot as we were leaving. Makes me think of the song "Closing Time".
Well there's all of the excitement I had for my spring break "stay-cation". It's always a fun time in Portland!

Happy Thursday!
Only one more day til Friday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Break Stay-cation in Portlandia: Part 1

Finally posting about spring break! Unfortunately, I was pretty sick for most of spring break so I spent most of my week sleeping & feeling miserable. I did manage, however, to heal enough to get out of the house a few times. Since we really only had one day left once I was well enough to to out, we didn't have time to go anywhere. So we stayed one night in Portland and Joel let me fulfill some of my Portland bucket list :)
Step 1 when visiting Portland: try to look like a hipster.



Portlandia Bucket List: Saturday Market
First time I have ever been and I very much enjoyed myself. People watching is excellent, and there are tons of cool artists booths and fun things to see. We were there for about 10 minutes when I found something I HAD to buy. I came across an artist's booth with tons of gorgeous colorful landscape paintings. I so wish I hadn't been too shy to take pictures of the artist and his booth, because he was quite the character. I asked if he was the artist and he said yes, and he had proof, he pulled out a note card that said "I am the artist". He also had little signs up over his booth that said things like "I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but apparently I am good at it". I had a hard time choosing a painting because I loved so many, but Joel and I finally narrowed it down to the one below.
The artist told me he is there every weekend. I hope one day I will go back and purchase another painting.
 Step 2 when visting Portlandia: See something weird--like this woman juggling large knives (sorry you can't see them very well in the picture, but there are 2 knives in the air!)
Next on my Portlandia Bucket List: Visit Voodoo Doughnuts. Honestly, I was a bit surprised that Joel indulged me in this one. I've wanted to go FOREVER but Joel never wants to go because you have to wait in line forever. Well, we decided to go for it and luckily, we got in line just before a huge rush. We still had to wait in line a while but it was nice. There were some guys playing music nearby and we got to people watch.

When waiting in line, taking selfies helps to pass the time. Also, I am entertained by shiny things, so the glitterized brick building kept my attention for a bit as well.
Chandeliers, bright colors, and sprinkles, oh my!

I am glad my husband is a quick decision maker and stays calm under pressure. Once inside, they expect you to have your order ready and quick because they have to serve so many people. I definitely panicked and forgot the name of every doughnut I wanted to try (aside from the famous voodoo jelly man). Joel stayed calm and managed to order us something tasty.

One happy girl with a pink box full of treats. "Good things come in pink boxes."
The face of deliciousness.
After we finished up at the Saturday Market, we went and checked into our hotel and enjoyed a doughnut and relaxed for a bit before heading back out. 
Even though we only spent one full day in Portland, we crammed a lot into the day, it seemed like too much for one post, so more to come later!

Happy Humpday!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Disney's Cinderella: Have Courage and be Kind

Have courage, and be kind. This mantra, to me, embodies what a Disney Princess is. I grew up watching Disney princess movies, and other princess movies, and reading about princesses, and pretending to be one. I was the first born girl on my Dad's side of the family, and when I was born my Grandpa called me princess, and he always called me princess.

As I have grown, I have learned from some in our society, that being a princess is not something to attain to. I have been told that Disney has given us "unrealistic expectations" about love and life. I have been told that princess stories teach us that women have to wait around to be rescued by a man.

As a young girl, those thoughts never crossed my mind. What I remember most is that all of the princesses, were kind and sweet, and brave when they needed to be. I didn't grow up thinking that I needed to be perfect and beautiful, I recognized that they were fairy tales, and sometimes fairy tales don't tell us the whole story.

So today I am declaring that it is okay to be feminine and kind and sweet and to like princesses. It doesn't mean that you are spoiled, or delicate. It doesn't mean that you are less than men, and it certainly doesn't mean that you are sitting around waiting to be rescued.

I believe that all women and girls are princesses, and queens and they are to be valued and treasured.
In each Disney Princess movie, there are always women or non-human side kicks helping the heroine along the way. People may claim that Prince Charming rescues Cinderella, but would he have been able to without the help of her fairy godmother? :)
What We Wore: // Tshirts: Kohls (LC Cinderella Collection) // Glass Slippers: Toms (similar) // My Lipstick: MAC Snob
Me and my real, live, Fairy Godmother, the woman who taught me to have courage and be kind, at the movie theatre to watch Disney's Cinderella :)
Happy Monday!
Have courage & be kind today!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

OBT presents Cinderella

Earlier in March, Joel and I had plans to go see Oregon Ballet Theatre present Cinderella with another couple. Unfortunately our friends ended up having to cancel at the last minute so...
We got to take our nieces! It was their first ballet, as well as Joel's first ballet ;)
My sister-in-law always dresses them so cute! They looked like little princesses, so of course I had to get them tiaras to match--you can't watch Cinderella without a tiara!
What I wore: dress: Kohls Jennifer Lopez (old) // Cardigan: Ross (old) // Shoes: Maurices (old) //
// necklace: white house black market //
I had a lot of fun getting dressed up. I haven't been to a ballet in years!

My nieces favorite characters were the "ugly stepsisters" played by men. They really stole the show!

I'll end with a little "Throwback Thursday". When I was 11 or 12, I got to go see the world famous Bolshoi Ballet perform at the Eugene Hult Center with a bunch of my dance friends. During intermission we were running around out the lobby, and an older gentleman start calling after us "young ladies!" We thought we were in trouble so we just kept going, but he didn't stop so we stopped to find out what he wanted. He told us that they needed flower girls to give the ballerinas their flowers at the end of the bows and wanted to know if we could do it. We were so shocked!! The picture above is me on the left handing one of the ballerinas her flowers. I was in heaven!

Happy Thursday!