Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thrift Store Treasures

I don't know about you but I love treasure hunting in thrift stores and consignment stores. You just never know what you're going to find.
This last weekend we went to one of my favorite consignment/thrift stores Rerun (located in NE Portland)...although maybe I shouldn't post that. Everyone will start going! Haha.
I love it! I have found so many amazing things - cookbooks, wood carved boxes, vintage inspired clothes, rubber stamps, decorative pillows, lamp shades....the list just goes on and on.
This time around I scored BIG TIME! with these three beauties!

A silk lamp shade (I just need to pick up a hanging light) for $6 
A crocodile, dark lime green Liz Claiborne handbag for $6
Perfect condition black/pink hatbox for only $4
I also bought a Christmas gift for my cousin Grace, a Edgar Allan Poe button, a Pike's Place cookbook and two rubber stamps (for $1/each).
I'd go every weekend if I thought I could afford it!
What was the best thrift store find you ever scored?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Stylin'

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who used my Promotion Code from last month. For everyone who was a first time shopper and used the code I got a gift card to use towards my next order.

Because of folks using the code I was able to the gift cards towards these adorable new summer clothes.

And of course with a few new pieces in my wardrobe I needed to add a few new pairs of shoes right?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Social - Foodie Edition

This week's Sunday Social is all about food - one of my favorite topics! So let's get going!! Yum yum

1. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Oh goodness! This is such a hard question. There are days when I feel I could eat sushi for the rest of my life, some days pasta (in any form), chocolate on most days! haha. I think though if I HAD to choose, the winner would be pasta.


2. What's your guilty pleasure/comfort food? Can I count "pasta" again? No, there are days when I'm feeling bad, need something that just is comforting and satisfying on a few levels....for me it's PBJ


3. What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've ever eaten? Weirdest would be Durian! Custard like fruit with stinky feet smell!

As for craziest...there was a Portland food tour I did once where we stopped at a food cart that only made PBJ sandwiches (you see a theme here?) But these sandwiches were with homemade nut butters and jams. The crazy one that I fell in love with had homemade peanut butter, orange marmalade, Thai basil and siracha sauce!! I just couldn't get enough! I still dream of them some days!!


4. What foods do you avoid at all costs? None really. I try to be adventurous, try things at least once (sometimes twice to account for poor preparation the first time). I don't necessarily care for cream of ______ soups but really I'll try anything.

5. What meal reminds you of your childhood?  Meatballs, lasagna, chicken fried burritos, tamales, molasses cookies...not all at once though

6. Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it. This molasses cookie recipe has been in my family for generations. It's not Christmas without these being made...even if it is the day after Christmas. When my cousin was stationed in Afghanistan we would pack up a care package with unfrosted cookies in them and a note saying "Share". (haha) The one (unique) thing about these cookies is it uses BACON GREASE as the shortening. I know it sounds strange but trust me they are amazing....just don't eat too many at once.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Not Too Big

I know I talk a big talk and I try to walk the same... but like everyone else I am susceptible to insecurities and a turbulent relationship with my body. Just like everyone else there are days when I have too many chins, my arms too flabby and my butt too big.
This afternoon, when I got onto the bus headed home, I had a "butt too big" moment. All of the seats were full and I stood in the aisle facing sideways. As I turned sideways I bumped a woman's shoulder with my butt. Forgetting that the aisles are small and forgetting that the woman herself was not petite - my mind automatically jumped too how much weight I had gained over the winter, how if I stepped forward my big belly would be in someone else's personal space and just how "large" I was feeling.
After a few stops I enough people had gotten off the bus that I could move to the back and take a seat. As I approached the two-person seat I looked the gentleman up-and-down, that I would be sharing a seat with and analyzed how well the two of us would fit side-by-side. I worried I would take up too much space, that I would either have to perch on the edge of the seat or squeeeeze myself in.

I politely asked the gentleman if I could sit next to him. I then perched on the edge - feeling out how well my hips might fit...and eased myself backwards. To my surprise...delight...amazement.... I fit just fine. It was not a tight fit. I didn't shove him out of his seat. We sat side-by-side, comfortably (or at least as comfortable as a city bus seat can be) for a hundred blocks.
I realized I wasn't as big as I was feeling moments ago.
I am not as big as I sometimes think I am.

I started remembering articles and reports I'd read - about how women are trained and programmed to take up less space. We sit with our legs crossed, our arms crossed, we sit as far over to one side as we can. Trying to shrink away, to take up less space than perhaps our male counterparts. This doesn't matter if we're a size 2 or a size 22.
Maybe eventually we I will stop worrying if I will "fit" and start accepting my body for the size and shape it is...It takes time. It takes effort.
And I'm starting this evening by loving me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

DIY Door Decor

If anyone ever wonders where I get my crafty-artsy side... I get it from my mother. She is the one who taught me to collage years ago and has encouraged my artistic side ever since.

Last night she pulled out a Michael's bag from the closet and started braiding, cutting and puttering with some raffia and flowers; and in only ten minutes whipped up a beautiful rustic door decoration.

I was so impressed I grabbed my iPhone and started snapping a few pictures - I had to share with you.

Isn't it lovely?!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Marionberry Pancakes

Have you ever had a marionberry? They're indigenous Oregon blackberries; although they taste more like a cross between a blackberry and a blueberry. We bought a pint last weekend at the farmer's market and basically forgot about it until this morning.
So what else to do with week old - slightly mushy - berries? Pancakes of course!

Marionberry Pancakes

2 cups your favorite pancake mix
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tb vegetable oil
3 Tb sugar
1 C milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (if desired)
1 pint berries

Mix ingredients first seven ingredients - batter should be lumpy.
Heat pan over medium heat - spray with cooking spray.
Cook pancakes as normal.

Because of the baking powder it adds a little extra fluff to the pancakes and makes them nice and tall. The berries make the batter a little sweet and tangy and not really in need of syrup. They were yummy!

Reading 12 Books

Okay...not all at once. One of my 30 during 30 is to read 12 books this year (so approximately one a month). I'm not quiet there because some have taken longer to read than others. However, I figured I would share with you what books I'm reading and highlight some of my favorites.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chevron Craze

I'm not sure if I've just been living under a fashion-rock lately but just in the last few weeks (maybe months) I've seen a sudden spike in Chevron patterns. I mean it's everywhere!

From purses:

....and clothing....

...nail design....

... and even furniture!

Don't get me wrong. It's not like I've never heard of or seen Chevron before. I own a dress fairly similar to the one below (similar in angle and coloring)

I just feel there has been a Chevron party overnight and I was a few days late to the event.

I'm still not sure how I feel about (some) of it 100%. But then I suppose it's like any pattern - it can either be beautifully stunning or horrifically stunning.

What about you?
How do you feel about Chevron?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Promotion Commotion!

A few weeks ago I wrote about a possible promotion in my future. It's one I've been working in all year (well really I've been working ten years in higher education to reach this point in my career). I attended a dozen management trainings since last August; learning to deal with difficult people, what my personality style(s) is and how it works/conflicts with others, labor and wage laws, etc etc. For a while I felt like I was thrown into a cycle of never ending meetings/trainings and nothing was ever going to come from them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


For the past week I've been in Baltimore, Maryland, attending a conference for work. While I was confined to conference and ballrooms for most of the week I did get a few afternoons to venture outside.

Baltimore has never really been on of my "top cities to visit" but when looking into the city there was one place I had to visit - Edgar Allan Poe's headstone.

Westminster Hall and Burying Ground was stunning. I wish I had had more time to stay and look at the headstones but it was in the high 80s with a high humidity percentage... read: I was sweating bullets!


I snapped a few other pictures of Camden Yards and the surrounding University area but most of the pictures I got from the trip was from a Trolley Tour I took on Friday afternoon.

It was raining most of the tour (hence the "orbs" haha) and the tour guide wasn't the best. I think they tried to cram too much into 90minutes and just glossed over so much I can't really tell you what I learned about the city...not really anyway.

I still haven't decided if it's a city I want to go back and visit again.....who knows.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Swimsuit Shopping

Now I may love shopping and I may talk a big talk about loving yourself and your body but my kryptonite? The one shopping adventure that makes me want to crawl into the fetal position and hide under the blankets....swimsuit shopping.
A few years ago I found an adorable black polka dog skirted suit from Torrid and have loved the dickens out of it. To the point that the other day I realized the backend had started to not only simply shredded!
I put off buying a new one for a few weeks now, only because the thought of neon lights, full length mirrors and squeezing my bloated butt into nylon torture devices just was version of an interrogation room.
However, I leave Tuesday for a conference in Baltimore. The weather predicted is in the 90s and thunderstorms which means sticky, sweaty humidity. I needed a swimsuit. So Sunday I headed to Lane Bryant (where I'd heard they had a sale going on) and surprise surprise FOUND A SUIT!
I'm not just talking about found a suit that will be "okay". I mean I walked in, put on the first suit I had found and not only did it fit but it's cute and it was 40% off!
I've never had such an amazing experience shopping for a swimsuit! And it is just in time for my heated visit to Baltimore.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

M*A*S*H Themed BBQ

Do you have a television show that you know frontwards and backwards? That you can not only quote but find yourself being able to quote in most situations. For my family that's the old 1970s show M*A*S*H. Its the show we put on when we need a little mindless entertainment. The enjoyment is even multigenerational - my sister/cousins and I, my mother and her siblings, I even remember watching episodes at my grandparents home when I was five.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

Who doesn't think of BBQs during the summer? A hot grill, potato salad, lemonade and (one of my favorite desserts) strawberry shortcake!
On Saturday our family is getting together for a M*A*S*H themed Fourth of July party (stay tuned for a blog about this soon) and I'm making dessert.
We're having the party at my cousin Grace's house, however she lives about 1.5hrs away, and in the recent heat wave we've had I needed to think of a dessert that would 1) feed the dozen party goers and 2) not melt on the way up to her house (I made cupcakes last time I visited her and the frosting slide right off after being in the back seat for almost two hours).
I thought a strawberry shortcake trifle would be perfect - fit with the theme of the party, as well as if put in a cooler will (hopefully) stand up to the drive.
But I'm not looking to just do a boring old "traditional" version. I want something different. Something that will WOW the crowd. So I jumped on Google to see what I can find. Which do you think I should try? Or something different I haven't found. Let me know.

I'll make sure to share with you what I end up doing.

Happy and safe 4th of July everyone.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Gift for You (eShakti discount)

If you haven't figured it out yet I kinda love eShakti... if only because of the fact I've bought two new dresses in about a week or two span. Haha.

 First they have vintage style which, in my opinion, are classic and never go out of style. And second you can customize them to fit perfectly!!

When I saw they had a referral program happening I had to share with everyone. If you use my promotion code you get $40 off your first purchase of $55+ (think about it. That's a new dress for $15 plus shipping!)

So, if you haven't ordered from eShakti before jump over quick and make sure to use the promotion code above.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Summer Shades (Firmoo Giveaway)

I don't know about where you live but it definitely feels like SUMMER here!

My favorite pair!
It's time to put on those summer dresses and put on your summer shades! Lucky for you Firmoo Global Optical Online store recently contacted me about hosting an amazing giveaway!