Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Quotables

I am a woman and sometimes I overreact to things. I am not going to deny that. But, I do have a new trick up my sleeve which I call the 5, 5, 5 rule.  When something happens, I now ask myself, will this matter in 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 years? And I adjust my reaction accordingly.  I have been practicing this a lot because its easy to blow little things out of proportion.  

Have you tried this?

[ Via ]

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honeymoon Feature

I posted this to Facebook yesterday, but wanted to share with the blog world.  As you know, Katie from Ever After Honeymoons planned our honeymoon (see daily recaps under July and August postings, beginning here).  All we had to do was fill out a questionnaire with some general guidelines and she laid out the destinations (in the perfect order), purchased our airline tickets and booked our hotel rooms.  In most cases, we even got upgraded and had a bottle of wine or prosecco waiting for us! Score.

I highly recommend Katie for all your travel needs.  She plans other trips besides honeymoons too.  

You can check out Katie's feature in Utterly Engaged, starting on page 64.  

Via Utterly Engaged, Issue 23
Ever After Honeymoons Via Utterly Engaged, Issue 23
 We are featured on page 69! 

Via Utterly Engaged, issue 23
So fun right? We had such a blast on our trip. I want to go again!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5,000 views & the iPhone 5

A few days ago, we broke 5,000 views! I have nothing to compare this to, but it makes me feel excited and happy that people are actually reading this little old blog of mine.

Without further ado... I present to you - the iPhone 5 {right}

Out with the old, in with the new
I shared previously that we ordered it online at midnight on Thursday 9/13. We ended up ordering from Apple since AT&T didn't have their act together and the site was down for hours.  I thought it would be easier to order through AT&T but it turns out that they share your upgrade info with Apple and its all connected. So it was pretty seamless to upgrade through Apple. All in all, it took about an hour to finally get through to the website and place both of our orders.

The countdown message the AT&T website displayed until midnight.
I was tracking the phones since the pre-order date amid rumors that Apple has been pushing back shipping dates like crazy. But, we made the first cut and I saw a delivery date of 9/21 when I logged into my Apple account. We did it! I heard that Apple sold 2 million phones in 24 hours. That is just outright crazy.

On Friday, Jake sent me a text message that the phones had been delivered around noon and I wanted to go home so bad but I didn't drive that day, so alas.. I had to wait. I didn't know that he went home first before picking me up but he did and I asked him to bring my box when he picked me up. By the time we got home and out of the car I almost had my service transferred.  It was that fast! Goodbye Blackberry, hello iPhone!

Drumroll please...
So, what's the verdict? I can't believe I waited 5 years {6 years?} to get mine! I love everything about my phone. It's so streamlined, thin and has all the apps I ever wanted. I love you Apple and iPhone!

I have been going crazy downloading apps and using iMessage - I can text other peeps with iPhones for free? Whaaaat? I love it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


No, I am not writing about Y2K. 

It's called C25K aka "Couch to 5k"! Have you heard about it? It is basically a program for people that have never run before to run a 5k without walking.  Since I ran distance running in track&field during my sophomore year in high school {track stars!}, I know that I can run long distances because I have done it before.  Lately, since we got back from Italy I just haven't really felt like exercising, so I decided that I needed a routine of some sort. I had heard from a few people about C25K so I looked it up online, printed out the schedule and downloaded the app for my new iPhone 5.
Anyway, I completed day 1 yesterday {its 3/week} and it was very easy.  Here is a screen shot of the app:

My first time doing a screen shot on my iPhone 5!
  I will do a post about my new iPhone 5... most likely tomorrow.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Brynn Harper Olsen

What did you do this weekend? I became an aunt!  This little bundle of joy was born yesterday. 

Name: Brynn Harper Olsen
Born: 9/23/12 @ 4:26 pm
Weight: 8 lbs 13 oz
Height: 20 inches

Sleepy baby

Eyes open!
Brynn and I, About an hour old
Jake and Brynn
Mom and baby are doing just great. We can't wait to see them soon.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Quotables

I seriously love this quote.  It reminds me of another quote that I saw on the local news several years ago.  It was after the earthquake in Japan and they were interviewing a photographer who traveled there to take pictures and raise money for the recovery effort.  She said, "I can't do everything, but I can do something and I won't let the things I can't do get in the way of the things I can". I seriously memorized it, that's how much I am in love with her words.  Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, don't know where to start, etc, I think of that quote and it makes me smile. 

[ Via ]
Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall = Orange

Happy i-phone eve!!!! I woke up this morning to my shipping confirmation e-mail.  The first thing I do after my alarm goes off is read my emails on my phone. Jake came back into the bedroom after getting ready {he wakes up before me} and the first thing I said to him was...did you check your email? He just laughed at me.  What?!?!?... I'm excited!

via: a healthy kitchen
It sure feels like fall is making it's way to Washington, sadly.  Last night I made pumpkin cream cheese from scratch and I had it on my bagel this morning. Yummy! Find the recipe here.

Secondly, I have been wanting to purchase a new handbag and I found this little beauty in the latest edition of People Stylewatch.  It's orange! How fun right?

London Fog Suffolk Dome Satchel, via QVC

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shopping Addiction

I wanted to share some of my current favorite stores to shop at {both online and in store}.  Sometimes I will splurge on something if I know they are investments such as my Hunter rain boots or a top from anthropologie or madewell that is well made and will last several years.  See my shopping tips here. But lately, I have noticed that I have been more of a bargain hunter.  It's actually kind of fun to try to get more for your money by paying attention to coupons, sales, etc.  Occasionally I will pick up an item, not look at the price tag, try it on and tell myself, its its under XX dollars, I give myself permission to get it.

My favorite store right now is.... 


They do have good sales and everything eventually goes on sale if you wait long enough and you dont wear a too mainstream size. There is also 15% off regular priced items {I forgot if it includes sale too} for teachers so I usually make Jake buy everything for me and I pay him back, of course. I love their prints, patterns and have you seen their new brights they debuted at NY fashion week? I die!

Via (Spring 2013 - Source: ImaxTree)
Via (Spring 2013 - Source: ImaxTree)
I LOVE the red paired with teal. 

Some of my other standbys are:


I have always loved anthro from the day I first stepped into the store in downtown Seattle.  They recently had "anthro day" {this past Saturday} where they offered 20% off all full priced styles. This has never happened before people. While I tried on several things, I ended up purchasing this beauty (on sale for $29 here):

Tart Citron Skirt from Anthro
I think I have a neon obsession.


I have noticed that my work and play clothes are starting to mesh. It just kind of happened by accident. Instead of having two separate wardrobes, I can have one even bigger one! I like! The Loft, previously known as Ann Taylor Loft has more casual pieces that Ann Taylor, but I do shop at both. I tried on this dress this weekend and almost bought it but the fit wasn't quite right. I love the pink zipper detail on the back. The Loft also had 40% off everything in the store {including sale} on Saturday.

[ Via ]

 I would love to hear what your top 3 favorite stores are!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dream Catcher

I usually remember my dreams when I wake up every single morning.  I'm not sure if that's unusual or not.  But by now, I have forgotten what my dream was about last night, but I always have really vivid dreams and feel like they are so real.  Jake sometimes remembers his dreams but not every morning.  The other night I dreamed about puppies. I was in charge of baby dog-sitting them and they kept running away and escaping. But somehow I always found them. What does that mean? 

Are we destined to get a puppy or maybe we shouldn't even think about it?
Via pinterest; original source unknown
Via pinterest; original source unknown
Jake and I were taking about what dreams mean this weekend and we decided that you can't always take them too literally. For instance, I always have the dream where I am in college and either (1) can't remember my locker combination {and I can't get my books out in time for class} or (2) I don't know where my class is supposed to be held, and therefore, I am lost and can't get to my class on time.

I think dreams are your mind's way of attempting to make sense of what's going on in your life and the results come out in all different ways.  When I am stressed about something I can tell because I keep having the recurring terrible college dreams. Maybe I should call them nightmares, and not dreams?

I was reading a book {I forget which one now} but it went into detail about how your personality affects your dreams and it got me thinking about being a constant worrier and how that probably negatively affects my dreams. I have noticed that If I do yoga breathing and read before bed, I am preparing myself for good sleep... and that helps me have good dreams. Let's hope for more dreams about puppies, scenic destinations, winning the lottery, etc. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Puyallup Fair

Megan and I headed down to the Puyallup fair yesterday.  It was my first time and I have been wanting to go ever since I moved to Seattle in 2008.  See Megan's recap here. We had a blast {eating, people watching, petting the animals, and just browsing} even though we didn't go on any rides. We are adventurous, but we know a rip off when we see one {read: $4.50 for a ride on the Ferris Wheel?} Pleeeease. That is highway robbery.  On another note, am I a cheapskate?

One of my favorite parts wasn't even the fair, but the parking. People seriously "rent out" their lawns as parking lots. Hey, if you don't care about your grass, neither should I.  We paid $5 to park on someone's lawn instead of $12 for official fair parking. It only took me 3 tries to wedge my tiny car in the spot the man picked out for me in his front lawn aka the jungle, but it was really easy to get out. He even had a multicolored lint duster in order to direct traffic. I should have taken a picture of that. 

Twins! I dyed my hair lighter and Megan dyed hers darker on Saturday.
Megan and I dined on krusty pups {aka corn dogs} and shared an elephant ear. Yum!

My krusty pup
Whole wheat elephant ear we shared
We walked through the animal barns and got to pet some adorable animals.  We also saw some little piglets, llamas and alpaca.

This rabbit had so much fur that it had a built in pillow
My modern, streamlined rabbit. I love her stripes!
We even saw some very large cows (2,000 lbs+):

I did not realize how big these cows get.
And my favorite shot of the day:

Love this.
Megan's husband's name is Zach {and mine is Jake} --
Both were supposed to come to the fair with us but decided
to stay home and watch the Seahawks game. Hilarious, right?
I loved my trip to the Puyallup fair! Have you been to the fair lately? I think It's still fun even if we aren't kids anymore.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Quotables

How is everyone doing today? I stayed up way too late last night {12:01 am} attempting to order the iphone 5 but it was a success! It only took an hour for the apple store website to start working.  Now I just have to wait 1 week for my precious new phone to show up on my doorstep. I am stoked.

I am happy it's Friday but sad because I will most likely have to work a little this weekend because the tax deadline coming up on Monday. Oh well. It is what it is.  I wanted to share with you this quote for today:

[ Via pinterest/original source unknown ]
Sometimes I feel like I spend so much of my life waiting for things to happen or wishing the days would go by faster or slower, not actually enjoying each day for what it is. Sometimes I am so busy that I barely have a second to breathe or relax or just take it all in.  Sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions each day during the week, anxiously awaiting the weekend. Is this what life is all about? I don't think so.

No more folks!  I am going to think about this quote all day today and really try to think about how I live my life each day.

Have a great weekend.... even if you do have to spend it working.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spending vs. Saving

So far, I have touched a little on my spending habits in this blog.  It's kind of ironic because by day, I am an accountant.  When many people find this out, they assume that I have everything figured out money wise, but that is just not the case.  
[ Via ]
When I was in college, I was just about supporting myself on my own and I ended up racking up some credit card debt that I am still paying off {5 years later, you ask?}. Yup, 5 years later.  When I got my first job out of college, I struggled to pay anything more than the minimum payments.  But, I have been aggressively paying my card down and hope to be credit card debt free in 6 months or less. Part of my problem was that I developed a pattern of using my credit card when I would run out of money each month.  So, even though I was actively paying it down, I was still using it and thus, racking up charges.  I have stopped charging new things on my card which broke the psychological cycle that I used to go through.  So, I basically pretend it doesn't exist and it's not an option.  

I am not as worried about my student loans or car loan. I am 5 years into a 15 year repayment plan for my student loans and I feel like the monthly payment is manageable.  I will be happy to pay off my car loan in the next few years because I still really like my car and don't plan on rushing out and getting a new one once it's paid off.  Overall, I feel pretty good about our financial picture.  

The only thing that will make me feel even better is finally paying off my credit card debt and establishing a savings account with a few months of our salary in it.  I have found, for me, that its harder to save when I don't have a specific goal in mind.  Saving for Italy was so easy because (1) we knew how much it would cost from the start and saved each month accordingly and (2) Every time I questioned how much we were saving or if it was worth it, I would just close my eyes and picture myself enjoying Lake Como.  It totally worked! And I will say, for the record -- it was totally worth it! So, saving with a goal in mind is actually very easy for me.  I also saved up my $200 for the new iPhone 5 that I am going to pre-order tomorrow. That was easy too, because # (1)-(2) above applied to it as well.  

I think it will help me be accountable to write out my short term goals below.

My Financial Goals for the next 2 years:

1. Pay off my credit card debt
2. Start a savings account and put money away each month 

What are you waiting for? Let's start saving together!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Remembering 9/11

There are two reasons why I look back at that day with sadness.


[ Via ]
When I was 7 years old we moved to the island of Kauai in Hawaii from Michigan.  Two months after we moved, on September 11th, 1992, Hurricane Iniki struck. I can't believe it was 20 years ago, because I remember how I felt like it was yesterday. I was in first grade at the time and hadn't made too many friends since school had just started, but I was good friends with a lot of the neighborhood kids. I remember going with my family members into the hallway of our rented 3-bedroom house in Kapaa.  We turned the kitchen table on its side and placed it in front of the hallway entrance.  We waited in the hallway for what seemed like hours and I do recall taking several long naps.  When I woke up, it was the eye of the storm and it was eerily quiet. 

[ Via ]
Apparently the storm was only 40 minutes long.  It seemed like eternity to a 7 year old. It was the most destructive hurricane to hit Hawaii in recorded history.  It had winds of over 145 mph and damage was over $1.8 Billion dollars in 1992 dollars.  In reading more about the hurricane on Wikipedia {my memory isn't that good}, electricity was restored six weeks after the hurricane and we were back in school two weeks after the hurricane hit.  Our rental had minimal damage, but I know that wasn't the case for everyone. We were very lucky and thankful to have survived.   


As many of you probably understand, I remember exactly where I was when I found out about the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.  It was during first period (Yearbook) in my Junior year of high school. I remember walking into class that morning and seeing a TV in the middle of the classroom which was odd. We usually worked on computers for the whole period, so I knew something was going on.  I remember turning the corner and seeing the two buildings on fire, it is a moment that is burned into my memory.  I also remember coming home from school and just praying with the whole family, holding hands.  We watched CNN all day long and when they had the live feed of the towers, you could actually make out the bodies of people jumping from the building. It was just so terrible to see and I think when CNN realized what was happening, they cut the live feed.  But that is something I will never forget. 

Just by chance, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close arrived in the mail from netflix last week and Jake and I watched it yesterday. We both read the book recently and really enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy a book like that.  The movie was very well done, but just so sad.  It really makes you think about what it's like to lose a loved one, not just in 9/11 but anytime. 

My heart goes out to everyone {and their families} that lost their lives in 9/11.  You will never be forgotten.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CityTarget: Seattle

A few years ago, I got an email from Macy's that I was invited to join a special, exclusive rewards program. I had to fill out surveys online but instead of getting paid in cash, I would get paid in gift cards for places where I like to shop.  Of course Macy's was one of the retailers {along with several others}.  Anyway, I joined in a heartbeat - it really sounds too good to be true, right? But it's not, I have gotten over $150 of Macy's gift cards just for taking surveys.  I wish Nordy's and JCrew participated too! But, I don't know how you sign up because its basically invite-only.  I get to take all kinds of fun surveys, preview things before they are released, give my opinion, etc. It is supposed to be confidential, but I guess I can tell you now since the cat is out of the bag.

I took a survey for Target about the viability of opening city stores in, you guessed it, downtown metropolitan areas of cities. I got to give my opinion on what they should carry, the store name {I forget what the other choices besides CityTarget were}, and a bunch of other things. When I first heard that they were opening a CityTarget in Seattle, I was so excited to see how it all turned out.  We tried it this weekend for a quick trip to pick up some beauty supplies and managed to find this bargain pillow {below} for $5.98.  I really liked the whole experience and I could see myself shopping there more than the Northgate Target. The only trouble is parking downtown, as usual.

My new pillow!

Don't you just love her?

Another cool thing about the rewards site I mentioned above was that for one of my surveys, I had to watch an entire pilot episode of a TV series called "The Neighbors" and answer questions about it. I actually thought the show was pretty funny and wanted to see what would happen in the next episode.  I was hoping it would get picked up.  Then, when I was watching TV this past week, I noticed a commercial for it! So, it's going to air this fall. It's one of those kind of quirky/weird comedies, but I am excited to see what the writers have in store for the rest of the season.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Josephina's Mexican Grill

We started our new tradition of Friday night date nights this week, or maybe last week if you count Brave Horse Tavern.

We have been wanting to try Josephina's Mexican Grill after we read the story of how the restaurant came to be on the Magnolia Blog.  And I quote "It began with a Christmas gift.  Carlos Vasquez (who has more than 20 years in the restaurant business), wanted to surprise his wife, Josefina Chavez,  with her dream present;  a restaurant.  He got the space on Thorndyke, readied the kitchen and even commissioned artist Renae to create murals with her image.  When the day arrived, he gave her a set of keys and drove her to the restaurant, named after her, of course." Isn't that the cutest thing ever? We had also read good reviews and wanted to give it a try since it's walking distance from our apartment.  

We walked there after work on Friday and had a round of drinks.  Lime margarita for me and Pacifico for Jake {I remembered what kind of beer he ordered this time!}.  

Don't you love the cactus glass?
We both ordered the Chicken Chimichanga and it was so good! It came on a huge plate with rice, beans, sour cream and guac. It was so freaking good. It was deep fried, but didn't feel oily or heavy. Perfect. And we each had leftovers for lunch on Saturday.
Looks so good right?
You may or may not have noticed that I am obsessed with ultra modern new construction.  We had been eye-ing some new construction in the area, so we wanted to walk by and check it out. It looks like four new condo town homes and they are each staged in a certain color. We even went up and looked into the windows! I hope no one lives there yet. Haha. I tried to research them online, but, alas I couldn't find any information :(

Love the neutral colors!
I want one!
Anyone care to venture on the cost? Probably out of our price range... boo. The new address looks like 2649 22nd Ave W but when I googled it, nothing came up. Maybe they will have an open house soon and I can pretend that we can afford it. A girl can wish, right?
Josefina's Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Quotables

[ Via ]
If you recall, last Friday I decided to start a new column every Friday called Friday Quotables. Well, here is the 2nd installment.  In case you missed the first

All my life I have always worried about anything and everything.  Jake once said, "I think you find things to worry about" -- and I think he was right. I didn't realize it at the time but I always needed something to focus and obsess about.  Once I became aware that I was doing this to myself, I tried {I'm still trying} to dig deep down and try to understand where this is coming from.  Without getting too philosophical, I think the human condition naturally lends itself to worry and anxiety. But, I recognize that I am in control of my own life and happiness and I will not waste my time worrying. It is so counterproductive.

Anyway... What are you up to this weekend? We have a couple plans with friends but it will mostly be laying low and relaxing again. We started a new tradition: Date night Fridays, so I am looking forward to that tonight. Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I love four day work weeks. I totally feel like this week flew by!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hungry Girl!

When I was doing my diet craze of 2008 {I lost about 15 lbs} and got back to my college weight but didn't keep it off :( I was working out 2x per day, 4 days a week and keeping a food diary. I did want to lose weight and feel better but it was also about proving to myself that I could do it.  I was super strict for about 6 months and then I fell off the wagon.  When you do something so extreme, it's really hard to keep it up for the long run.  So, needless to say, I don't keep a food diary anymore or work out twice a day. It's just too much.

Now, my strategy is to work out 3x a week. If we can get a bonus walk in on the weekend, even better! But, instead of exercising like crazy, I have been trying to eat better. Enter: Hungry Girl. I found her on an blog sometime in 2008. She advocates making little changes instead of big drastic ones and I think I agree.   She basically makes over other unhealthy recipes, makes a few {sometimes a lot} of tweaks and makes them healthier. I like! One trick I learned is instead of using oil and eggs in a cake mix, use some pure pumpkin. Even works for brownies ! Genius, right? 

Hungry Girl {Lisa Lillen} and I!
I bought her first cook book and even got to meet her when she came to Kirkland a few years back. You can sign up for her daily emails {they have good recipes, but sometimes clog your inbox}. Yay, Hungry Girl! You rock! Here is a recipe for a Hungry Girl red velvet shake.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's coming.

This was the invite that some industry insiders received about Apple's special event next week. Do you see the "5" shadow??? I hope this means iphone 5! I cannot wait any longer. That's it for today. It's been a rough/busy day. But, in a good way if that makes any sense.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Good afternoon everyone! Hope you had an enjoyable weekend. Sometimes when I have a 3 day weekend, I forgot what I did way back on Friday, so bear with me. I might also be rambling a tiny bit.

The succulents we planted this weekend
FRIDAY - After work, we went to Tom Douglas' Brave Horse Tavern for happy hour/dinner. I took some pictures on Jake's phone with instagram but forgot to send them to me. Blogger fail. In other news, only 8 days until the iPhone announcement which means I will soon have my own instagram. Stay tuned. 

The drinks were good (strawberry marg for me, some kind of beer for Jake) and the food was delicious. Let's just say we will be coming back soon. I got the house cured smoked ham and white cheddar on pretzel bread w/  dijonniase. Wow. Just wow. No words. Jake had a burger that was simple, but very tasty. He said you could tell that it was really fresh + good quality beef.

SATURDAY - We lounged around the house, watched TV, went to jcrew {I didn't buy anything - aren't you proud of me????}, caught a discount flick and went grocery shopping. In that order. I think. Then we made healthy orange chicken for dinner. Yum!

In case you are wondering, we went to Crest Cinema in Shoreline to catch Snow White and the Huntsman for only $3. It was truly a discount movie theater. We had a fun experience there and the movie was really good.

SUNDAY - We went to Home Depot to check out succulents (bad selection).  We then headed to The Palm Room in Ballard (I read they specialized in succulents). I purchased my first succulent here and she was only $7 {score!}.  Next, we headed to Magnolia Garden Center where I picked up two more tiny baby ($2-3 each) succulents.  At this point, I still hadn't found my dream pot to plant them all in. I looked online {etsy} and almost bought a cool wooden box to use. Alas it was $33... I kept looking! Even though I love it and still want to buy it now.

[ Via ]
We also watched a documentary about the end of suburbia. It was interesting but a little a lot to the left.

MONDAY - We got our new tenant moved into Jake's condo and went to Swanson's Nursery. This was the mother of all nurseries! I don't even know much about gardening and I knew that this was the place to be. It was ginormous! They had a huge, cheap, lovely succulent selection and they were affordable. 
Swanson's Nusery, Ballard
The succulent section at Swanson's!
More and more and more!
Some outdoor succulent arrangements
I also scored 3 yellow pots and some special cactus soil to plant my baby succulents in.  We "planted them" yesterday afternoon. I'm so happy that I finally got my succulents and was able to reproduce my "vision".

Our first succulent plant that we got from our housewarming a few years back!

 What did you do over Labor Day Weekend?