Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Friday!

[ Via pinterest (original source unknown) ]
Happy Labor Day Weekend, folks! What are our plans you ask? A whole lotta nothin! Just kidding... but really, we are just going to veg out on the couch, catch up on our my DVR shows {project runway, what not to wear, SYTYCD}, go succulent shopping, and maybe a little bit of real shopping. I just got paid today and it's seriously burning a hole in my pocket bank account. Because those are the things that make me happy. I promise I am working on being less materialistic. 

I was just reading And Then She Saved, a blog that my friend Megan turned me on to. It's a really inspiring story about a woman who paid off all her consumer debt in two years by saving. Amazing, right? I always keep her in the back of my head when I do go shopping. She has all kinds of stuff on her blog, like "how to decide if you really need to buy something" cards to take with you to the store. Pretty cool, right? I should probably print some out to have in my wallet at all times.

Oh - and I think I am going to do a new column on the blog called Friday Quotables. Every Friday. Good stuff, right?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

'Da Bus

Over the summer Jake usually takes me and picks me up from work so we can save on parking. But - today was the first day of school and he had to leave the house really early.  Let's face it, paying for parking sucks. It's 5 bucks a day here in LQA - Lower Queen Anne, that is. That's $1,200 a year.  I know it could be way worse if I worked downtown, but in that case, the bus is so much cheaper, its a no-brainier - it's obvious you should take the bus if you are paying upwards of $10 to park each day.  Jake and I have been trying to figure out how to coordinate our schedules in the morning and afternoon so that he can drop me off and pick me up at work. Since we only live 7 minutes (2.8 miles to be exact) away from my office, I am not really concerned about saving money on gas but I guess it does help by not driving every day. Basically, I work 8:00-5:00 and Jake works from about 7:20-4:00 (sometimes later).  He usually leaves the house by 7:00 and sometimes I am just waking up when he leaves!  

The bus | Via
When I renewed my car tabs this summer, I got a bunch of free bus tickets which I have been taking advantage of until they ran out a few days ago.  I think the DMV was trying to promote taking the bus, so they enticed me with 8 free bus tickets {hey, that's $20 worth of bus tickets!} Today was the first day I had to pay to take the bus to work. I made sure to get my change from the grocery store last night and I actually paid $2.50 to ride the bus - and it was only 3 miles, that's almost a dollar a mile people. What I learned from riding the bus is that (1) the bus isn't cheap. Apparently you can get a monthly commuter pass for $90 - but if I paid for parking $5/day x 5 days a week x 4 weeks a month... = $100. It's only $10 more than taking the bus. Totally worth it for the convenience (2) no one is very friendly in the morning, myself included. (3) the bus is rarely on time. It's usually a couple minutes early or late. 

I "tried" taking the bus every day to work for a month {in Jan 2010} when I lived in Queen Anne but I had to take 2 buses {when my apartment was a little over a mile away from work}.  I refused to walk because I didn't want to be all gross and sweaty when I got to work in the morning.  Via the bus, it took about 45 minutes to get to work when it takes less than 5 to drive. I decided real quick that was not the mode of transportation for me.  The bus now picks me up right in front of our apartment {in Magnolia} and drops me off about 3 blocks from work. That I can handle!   

You can tell I have spent a lot of time analyzing this. I think that my compromise will be to take the bus in the morning to work and then have him pick me up on his way home most days.  This will cost $2.50 per day that I ride the bus. Some days I will have plans with friends where I will need my car and some days he will have plans after school where he won't be able to pick me up at the alloted time. But, I think it's a good compromise. Plus - I can get money loaded on my ORCA card {bus pass} pre-tax! Woohoo - love the commuter benefits.

This should be an interesting adventure... 

P.S. In Hawaii (where I grew up), instead of being called Metro, the bus is called simply "Da Bus". That is where my title came from. In case you were wondering.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Succulents!

I don't know when I started liking succulents but when I was planning my wedding in 2010 and 2011, I thought they "weren't my style" and didn't go with my theme. But, I totally love them now and wish I had incorporated them somehow!!! Oh hindsight, you are so funny sometimes.  I saw a really cute succulent display at metro market a couple weeks back {it was in an adorable yellow pot and just the cutest thing ever.} It was also 30 bucks. Ouch. As Jake told me, you are mostly paying for the pot.  That makes sense.  But - sometimes I am too lazy to get my butt in gear and look all over at 83473 stores to try and find what I am looking for when its 30 little dollars {for the record, 30 dollars is a lot...but you know what I mean} and I can avoid the stress of trying to find this exact vision that I have. Anyway, my friend Megan says I can find succulents for $2-4 a pop at Home Depot. Megan made a little chalkboard planter with her succulent. Adorable, right?

So, I plan to take a look at Home Depot this weekend.  I might even buy this many!

[ Via ]
Probably not. But who knows. Then hopefully I can find a cute pot to replant them in. 

Actually - some of our friends got us a house warming plant when we moved into our apartment two years ago and it looks kind of like this:

Our succulent looks a lot like this one.
Who knew it was a succulent!?! We replanted basically moved the clay pot into a new pot this weekend and I must say it looks really good! I'm so excited to add more to my collection. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the new pot {bad blogger, I know}.

Happy Wednesday! We are closer to the weekend in front of us than the one we left behind. Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coffee Addiction

When I first met Jake, he told me that he absolutely had to have his coffee every morning, the only exception was when he was super sick.  I have always been a casual coffee drinker so that surprised me. I thought, whoa, this is kind of crazy that he would have to depend on coffee so much for daily functioning but I soon learned that I was the exception and most of my friends were coffee addicts too.  Since Jake and I have been together he has cut down on his coffee intake for reasons unknown and probably only has one small cup each day. 
Via pinterest
For me, drinking coffee is a  treat. It's a fun thing to do, but I don't have to have it every single day. Sometimes I will go days or even weeks without it.  I usually drink it on the weekends {we buy special flavored creamer for me and I have more time in the morning to relax}.  Sometimes I even think that caffeine doesn't affect me because in college, I could drink a 16 oz latte right before bed and have no trouble falling asleep.

I am a Starbucks Gold card member but I only let myself get coffee once during the work week and maybe once on the weekend.  I will say that there is a definite psychology element to it.  It's a special treat and I crave it every morning. I literally have to convince myself each day not to drive to Starbucks.  My willpower is pretty good when it comes to Starbucks, but no so good when it comes to eating dessert, or some other sweet snack. Alas, that is another story....  

Speaking of Starbucks, I know some people that are adamantly against the company {for being a corporate giant} and want to support local coffee shops.  I totally get that.  But, for some reason, I think Starbucks tastes better than some of those local coffee shops - maybe my taste buds have an acquired taste for Starbucks - who knows?  I just finished a book called "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" and it was really interesting, a really good read.  The book is broken down into three sections.  The first section is called "The Habits of Individuals", the second section is "The Habits of Organizations" and the last section is called "The Habits of Societies".  In the second section, it talks about Starbucks company values and how they instill willpower in their employees. There was even a specific story about an individual who turned his life around after Starbucks was the constant in his life full of variables. It was actually pretty inspiring {I might have shed a tear or two}. I would recommend that book if you are interested in learning more about how habits are formed and what to do in order to change any bad habits that you may have.

So, basically, I heart Starbucks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Cleaning

This weekend I was inspired to de-clutter our bookshelf so that meant we had to go though each green and white box below and clean things out and organize.  We ended up throwing a lot of stuff away and taking a couple bags to goodwill. It was so nice to get organized, not because we are moving out {we aren't} but, just because. 
Via
We went through all the books we had in our bookshelf and categorized them into 3 groups: display books, reference books, and novels. The display books are on the shelf in the after picture below.  The reference books are in our apartment, hidden away :) and the novels are in our storage unit. For now.

BEFORE

 

AFTER
 

Doesn't she {the bookshelf - what else?} look so much better? The first thing I did was arrange our display books by color and size. Then, I just started playing with placement. I don't really know if there is a science to styling a bookcase. But, I just played around until I found something I liked.  I also used this blog as a resource.  I am sure I will change little things here and there. And I am not done yet, which is why I am not showing you the bottom two shelves. ;) Always a work in progress...  

Friday, August 24, 2012

4eyes

I can remember that day like it was yesterday.  I was sitting in math class in 8th grade and I could not, for the life of me, see the blackboard. I had to move up to the first row and squint my eyes to barely make out what the teacher was writing. I needed glasses. The good news was that I worked/interned at an ophthalmologist's office which meant that I knew where to go. The bad news: I would have to wear glasses and get heckled for the rest of my life. I thought I would get teased and called "four eyes", you know... the usual stuff that you are concerned about when you are 14. 

So, I had an appointment and sure enough, I was nearsighted. My prescription wasn't too terrible. -1.25 in one eye and -1.00 in the other. But, I still needed glasses.  Luckily, my ophthalmologist's office set me up with contact lenses too. I probably wore my contacts about 95% of the time.  Over the years, I have had a few eye infections from wearing my contacts too much.  Apparently, they are too good to be true.  I never really realized that I should probably wear my glasses and not just my contacts all. the. time. 

In October 2010, I had a pretty bad eye infection.  The optometrist couldn't tell me exactly what caused my infection other than in related to my contacts. And me possibly wearing them too much. Oops. I had to wear my glasses exclusively for 6 months and use these special eyedrops. I was not too happy about that. But, it is what it is {it was what it was?} Anyway, I decided that I would rock my glasses. I bought new glasses from the optometrist which I liked, but apparently, I wasn't ready to go full on hipster.

My old/new glasses, $500 later...
"all the hot girls wear glasses" -- via Portlandia
I got these from babies in early/mid 2012  from Coastal.com for free! {read about it here} and have been rocking them ever since! Glasses wearers of the world unite. Except I hate being a glasses wearer when (1) I have to shower. How in the heck do people shave their legs? I can't see a thing! ... and (2) When it's sunny and you want to wear sunglasses but not that bad that you would put them over your real glasses. OK, people I did that one time. One time.       
 
 
 
P.S. Please watch this Portlandia video if you haven't seen it. It's freaking hilarious! "Where all the hot girls wear glasses. Yeah!" Apparently its from 2010. I might be a little late on the Portlandia train. But - better late than never.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Artsy.

While antiquing with Megan last weekend, I was on the hunt for a vintage map.  I didn't find one, but I have been scouring Etsy and I have a feeling that I will be purchasing one in the very near future.  Anyway, it got me thinking about all the art we have in our apartment. So, I thought I would do an art tour of our apartment today. I guess it would make more sense if you could see our apartment, decorated, but it was too messy to take pictures this week, so you will have to use your imagination.

Open kitchen
View from kitchen to living room
View from living room to deck
My favorite piece of art we own.
It's a reprint of a vintage postcard
{highways of western washington}
Wedding gift from my friend, Nicole.
She hand painted it just for us!
Love this!
A poster we scored in Italy for 8 euros at our favorite spot on Capri,
Villa San Michele.
You. have. to. go.
We picked up this beauty, hand drawn in Florence!
We still have to frame it. But, I love it!
This poor bookshelf needs a makeover.
Can you spot David on the top?
 ...and then there's the wedding photos.

We have these black & white lovelies in our room.
These colored photos are on the wall across from the kitchen.
Not to be selfish {I can't think of the word. What's the opposite of modest?}, but I am kind of obsessed with our wedding photos. Can you tell? ;) I think you kind of have to be to come to grips with how much they cost. But, I will say it now, and I'll say it again - Totally worth it! If I can give you one piece of advice for your wedding day photos, it's invest in them. They will last forever and it's how you will remember the whirlwind of the day.

Ciao, Kim 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lucky!

One of my favorite things to do is read a magazine cover to cover right when it arrives to my mailbox.  I will literally stop whatever I am doing, curl up on the couch and read it. For like 2 hours or more. I currently subscribe to 3 magazines:
  • People Stylewatch
  • Glamour 
  • and.... LUCKY!
Lucky is a magazine about shopping, and I love it so much. Maybe I am a shopaholic. Maybe I am a trendsetter. Maybe I am a little too obsessed with material things. I am working on all my issues, OK? 

Lucky Magazine has helped me find so many great products in my life like...

BKR. 


My glass bkr water bottle - the color of mine is closest to SURF {above, right} | photo via

BAGGU.

They make nylon reusable bags for the grocery store {they teamed up with jcrew and i have a couple of those bags}, but what i really love is my leather pouch in citron.  They have new colors for fall and I'm kind of wanting more! Hello, poppy and gold? They are only $20 a pop, so you really can't go wrong.

I store my lipstick and lipglosses in my BAGGU leather pouch | photo via

ETSY. How could I ever forget about etsy? That is where I first heard about it and we are kind of in love.

Some of my recent favorites on etsy.
Several of the blogs I read daily I have discovered via Lucky. Thank you for making my life so much better! I will always be a loyal subscriber. And someday, when I am making the big bucks, I will actually be able to afford some of the "real lady clothes" like Chanel, DVF, Philip Lim. The list goes on and on...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Treasure Hunting

This past Saturday, Megan and I went to the Pacific Galleries Antique Mall - it is a huge, gigantic warehouse filled with treasures.  Megan blogged about it here. We had just an amazing time. We started the day off at Macrina Bakery - yum! where we split the buttermilk waffle. And yes, it was as delicious as it looks.

Buttermilk waffle
Is that a heart? I think my baristo had a crush on me... kidding...
After some delicious brunch, we headed over to explore the antique mall. Here are some of my favorite finds! Note, that I did not bite the bullet and purchase any of these. I will recap what we bought at the end!

My favorite treasure that I didn't buy... it was $59 for the dome and base + $21 for the coral
Loved the styling of this room... so anthro

Classy gold rimmed glasses. So festive for a bar or hutch!
Love this color! The set of two chairs was $1200 or something :(
Dying. I need this! To organize my life!
Letters galore!
For some reason, I love this. Not the $98 price tag though.
Love the colors on the book, red paired with light and dark blue. Gorg!
Vintage mannequin
And for our treasures...

Megan purchased the bottle on the right for $12.50! I like...
I got this bust of David from 1968 for $20.
I might spray paint my treasure white or yellow. Still deciding. 

After over 3 hours of browsing, we decided that we still weren't done, so we drove to Fremont and tried to look for some more stuff. But, alas, our treasure hunting was done for the day and we didn't find anything else. We did try some delicious savory pie {mac and cheese and chicken pot pie} at a place called Pie. I highly recommend!

Chicken pot pie | mac and cheese, photo via Megan
That's it! Until next time....


Monday, August 20, 2012

I won!

I am one of those people that feel like they never win anything, yet I still enter my name in just about every drawing/giveaway I see. Well, folks, I won something! One of my new favorite blogs is: Vicki Christine. This gal is seriously preggers but she still dresses cuter than I do. How is this possible? Since when did I start saying gal? Anyway... here is the giveaway I won, it's a 14k gold filled charm necklace by Julianne Designs {i picked "k" of course}!  Check out Vicki's blog if you are so inclined.  You won't be disappointed.

14k gold filled charm necklace // i won!
  
It came in the mail this weekend! isn't it lovely? I am wearing my new necklace today! How fun is it to actually win something for a change.  Check out Julianne's etsy shop here

It came in a lovely box!
Here she is!
 Here is a link to buy the necklace I won in case you can't live without it!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lucky we live... Washington?

Today is supposed to be a scorcher! It's already 70 degrees outside and it's only 10:00 am.  It is supposed to get up into the mid-90's.  But, this rare heatwave got me thinking about how thankful I am to be living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! As you may or may not know, I grew up on the gorgeous island of Kauai in Hawaii.  You can't really compare Hawaii to anything else because it is really in a league of it's own.  But, they had a saying there, "Lucky we live Hawaii". 

Kalalau Valley, on our 2009 trip to Kauai
...and it really made me think that I am so happy to be living in Seattle.  The weather is pretty mild {although if  there is a 1 inch of snow on the ground, I am pretty terrified to drive but that's pretty standard}.  On the East Coast it is like 90-100 degrees all summer {or that's what it seems like to an outsider}.  I really like being close to the water and mountains and all that good stuff.  Yeah, it does rain occasionally a lot, but it hasn't rained in almost a month and I think when it's out of sight, it's out of mind... so I am not complaining.  August is usually the best {read: warmest} month of the year.  So, I am enjoying it while it lasts!  I guess the point I am making is that Washington is really pretty too. It's no Hawaii, but it is pretty nice.

Magnola viewpoint
Magnolia viewpoint, to the other direction
  Stay cool, Seattle!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some of My Favorite Things

For the first time in a long time, I didn't really have anything on-deck to blog about today. I guess I've just been really busy this week {and it's only Thursday}, but one thing that came to mind was while Jake and I were in Europe, we jotted down some of our favorite things. By this, I mean "how they do things in Europe".

Island of Capri, view from Monte Solaro
For example, we liked how their date format was day/month/year {instead of month/day/year}.  Doesn't it seem more logical because when you glance at the date, what you really care about is what day it is {not the month}.  While researching online, I learned this: While this European date format is unusual for visitors, it is actually the US date format which is different with the majority of the countries in the world using European date format over the American counterpart. The only countries that do not share the European date format in fact are the US, Philippines, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Canada and Belize.

I also liked that they used military time. You won't ever be confused if something is at 9 am or 9 pm. 

We liked how late they ate dinner {7:30 at the very earliest}. Although, this probably isn't very good for their figures if you eat a giant meal then go to sleep right after.  But, the day seems so much longer when you eat dinner later.  I think I actually prefer a big breakfast, medium sized lunch and smaller dinner anyway.    

One of the things Jake liked was the espresso bar experience.  Here in America, we are obsessed with our daily bread Starbucks and I don't know about you, but I savor my coffee and probably drink it over the course of 30 minutes to an hour.  In Italy, they are way more efficient about getting their daily dose of java. Basically, you belly up to a bar and order your espresso, the "bartender" puts the  tiny espresso cups down on the counter, then you proceed to take your "shot" {not unlike you would at an American bar} and that's it - no "to go" cup or anything.  I actually didn't try this but Jake he liked the experience a lot and it was really fun to try something different.  It did seem a little counter intuitive given that they like to draw their meals out for 2-3 hours.

How could I forget my love, gelato???? This was probably my most favorite food in Italy. Delicious, creamy, and amazing! It was everything I wished it would be and more! I even blogged about the best gelato we had in Italy, here.  

I don't know about you, but I plan to slow down my daily life and try to relax a little more - Italian style.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Photobooth

Ever since I heard about the photo-booth idea at a wedding, I have always wanted to try it! But, for some reason none of our friends ever had one... Well, that all changed at Brooklyn & Tyler's wedding which was last month in Seattle. I'm pretty sure it was one of the funnest things ever.

Enjoy the pictures below!

And feel free to invite me to your wedding if you have a photo-booth, that is. 

Group shot! But my mustache isn't ready...

It's how we roll.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

iPhone Drama

I have been eagerly awaiting the day when I could throw turn my Blackberry Torch in to AT&T and finally, finally get an iPhone.  I have always been against the iPhone because I wanted to be different and unique. But screw different and unique. I want a damn iPhone now!  I knew my contract with AT&T was up on 7/26/12, which means that was the first date that I could upgrade my phone {without a bunch of early upgrade fees}.  BUT {here is where it gets squirly} I have been reading several articles {cnet, and the like} that say a new iPhone is immenent. immement, people. They are thinking it is currently in production, will be announced 9/12 and will ship within 2 weeks after that date. Ugh, what to do? What to do?

Some cases I have been obsessed with lately:

Via Etsy
Via Etsy
Marc by Marc Jacobs | Via Shopbop
It's kind of like when you decide to get a new car, you just can't stand to drive your old car for. one. more. day. That's kind of how I feel about my Blackberry Torch. AT&T also has a program where they will pay me $78 for my used Torch, which can go towards the price of my new phone. Pretty sweet, huh?

I just don't know what to do... should I just ignore the fact that a new version of the iPhone is going to most likely come out in less than a month which would basically render my phone obsolete? Or should I keep putting money aside so that when it finally does come out, I can actually pay for it? Haha... How much was the last iPhone when it came out? $300? $400? $500?

I really wanted to buy a cute fun iPhone case from etsy but I don't want to buy one if it won't fit my new phone. I think I am leaning in the direction of waiting. I read another article that said its basically a win, win situation to wait because even if you decide not to get the newly released phone, the price of the old iPhone {4S} will most likely continue to drop once the new device is released.  

Why do they make it so hard? What's a girl to do?  What is your advice? Wait a month for the new one? Or just get the 4S?

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