"It was the oldest sound in the world. Souls flying away." The Secret Life of Bees

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Just posting a quick OOTD.  The days are starting to get a wee bit longer.  We almost had enough daylight for proper photos when I got home from work, but not quite.   These are a little dark, but you get the point:)  I really wanted to show off my new necklace!  Happy hump day!

Top:  J. Crew
Cardigan:  J. Crew Jackie
Skirt:  Anthropologie
Tights:  J. Crew
Shoes:  Gee  WaWa
Necklace:  Etsy

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valentine's Day

Yep, I'm a week and half late.  Oh well!  Ben and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day last Friday.  I'm glad we did because Ben ended up getting stuck at work until after 9:00pm on the 14th.  We went out to eat at Saucebox.  The food was really good, especially the soft shell crab steam buns (picture below).  The restaurant felt a little too trendy, but overall, it was a good experience.  Afterwards, we enjoyed some wonderful wine that Ben picked up from a nearby winery and overdosed on chocolate.  Ben was excited about celebrating the day after because that meant he could get my vday chocolate on clearance:)  Haha!

I adore the Sprightly Steps dress and I felt like it was perfect for a sweet Valentine's Day celebration.  

Dress:  Anthropologie Sprightly Steps Dress
Cardigan:  J.  Crew Jackie
Shoes:  picked up at a small boutique in London
Purse:  Vintage

Soft Shell Crab Stem Bun from Saucebox

Essie Pop Art

Oh yeah!!! The Reese's are my favorite:)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Striped Jackie (and a new car!)

Chickens are not the only thing we ended up bringing home this past weekend.  We also got a new (to us) car!  We have needed a new car for a while now.  We spent the past couple of months doing a lot of online research and narrowing down our criteria.  We decided on Saturday that we would start the process of test driving, and trying to find 'the one'.  We got very lucky and found it right away!  It all fell into place so perfectly.

I called the couple selling the car on Friday night.  They said that someone else was test driving it for the 2nd time (and also having their mechanic take a look at it) on Saturday morning.  After that, they had 2 other people who were interested in looking at the car Saturday afternoon.  They offered to meet us first thing Saturday morning and we agreed.  Honestly, I was expecting to take a look and then quickly move on.  I like to have time to think about things and I didn't want to feel pressured since I knew that a lot of other people were interested in the car.  However, once we saw the car, we realized it was exactly what we were looking for.  It met all of our criteria, had very low miles, and was in perfect condition.  I knew I would regret it if I passed it up.  It is a super cute, black honda civic.  I have always driven SUV-type vehicles, so this is my first actual car.  I love it!  I especially love the gas mileage:)

Just when I said in my 2012 recap post that I probably don't need any more Jackie cardigans (obviously a lie), this awesome striped version went on sale......

Top:  J. Crew
Cardigan:  J. Crew Jackie
Jeans:  AG
Shoes:  Gee WaWa
Purse:  J. Crew clearance store
Necklace:  RedEnvelope

Sunday, February 17, 2013


I have a lot to share from our weekend, but here is a glimpse of what we did today.  We have been  looking forward to getting some chickens for our backyard this year and the first batch of chicks was ready this weekend.  We spend the morning getting our 3 new little family members settled in.  They are living in our spare bedroom for now, until they are big enough to move outside.  They seem quite cozy in the dog crate.

We have introduced all of the dogs to the chicks.  So far, so good.  Zander didn't even notice them at all.  Kya was very curious at first, but quickly lost interest.  However, Mr. trouble-maker Talus is extremely interested in the chicks and kind of acts like he wants to eat them.  We are being very cautious  of course, and hoping he gets used to them.  We'll see!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Grocery bills and an OOTD

Last weekend, Ben and I had our 2nd meeting with our financial adviser.  The first meeting was a 'get to know you' meeting.  The meeting last weekend was to give us an overview of our current financial situation and a plan for reaching our short-term goals.  The next meeting will be a follow up (we have homework to do!) and will also touch on more long-term goals.

I was nervous going in, but it actually went really well.  She had everything organized nicely and was prepared with a lot of lists/graphs/etc.  It was nice to be able to see how changes we make now will end up affecting us 5/10/15 years down the road.  She gave us a 'to-do' list of things to look into and take care of this month.  I am so glad we decided to work with her.  I felt reassured after the meeting and I'm excited because I know that if we follow her plan and suggestions, we will be able to reach a lot of our goals much more quickly than we anticipated.

One of the things we have to work on immediately is lowering our grocery bill.  Ben and I had a feeling she was going to address this and we  had already done some research on the matter.  Ben found a really cool website that shows you how your grocery and dining out bills compare to others in your area in various income brackets, etc. (here is the website:  http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/01/calculator-food-spending-budget-frugal).  It was pretty shocking when we actually sat down and calculated our food costs.  It was even more shocking to see how much more we were spending compared to the average person in our age/income group and geographical location.  We eat a mostly paleo diet and food quality is very important to us.  I think that we had just decided that quality was such a priority, that we stopped letting cost be a factor.   Now, that way of thinking has caught up with us a bit it seems.

Moving forward, we are making a few changes to lower the cost of our grocery bill.  We are actually sitting down and planning weekly menus, instead of just running by the grocery store every couple of days to grab whatever we feel like or going out to eat.  This will also help us plan ahead so that we have leftovers for lunches during the week.  We have decided to shop at 2 different grocery stores.  We will go to the  higher end grocery store for meats and a few other items, but we will get other things like canned goods elsewhere. I think just being mindful will help a lot (noticing when something we use a lot is on sale and stocking up, etc.).  We use a ton of coconut milk (at least 1 can a day in our morning smoothie).  It is quite pricey at the grocery store, around $3 - 4 per can.  I found that if I purchase from amazon, I can get a case (12 cans) and only pay $1.90 per can (free shipping).  I am determined to make this work without compromising too much on quality.  Please share any tips or advice you have!  

Tank:  J. Crew
Sweater:  Anthropologie Dog Rose Pullover
Pants:  AG Stevie cords in nutmet
Shoes:  Chie Mihara Teco

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Olivia Cutout Oxfords

My Olivia Cutout Oxfords arrived last week.  I adore them!  Ben is not so sure.  Here is how our conversation went when I opened the package:

Me:  Oh My God, I LOVE these!!!
Ben:  *stares at me with a confused look on his face*
Me:  Aren't these amazing???
Ben:  Ummmm, do you really like those?
Me:  YES!  What is not to love?  They are oxfords, they contain both of my most favorite colors, they are gorgeous.
Ben:  Oh, okay.  I'm just surprised that you like them.
Me:  How could you possibly be surprised?  Why would I not like them?
Ben:  I don't know, they just seem like weird purple bowling shoes with big ribbons on top.  I just can't believe you actually like them.

Coat:  J. Crew
Top:  Anthropologie Trace the Stars Blouse
Cardigan:  J. Crew Jackie
Jeans:  Joe's Jeans via Anthropologie
Purse:  Hobo
Shoes:  Anthropologie  Olivia Cutout Oxfords

I will admit that Ben has saved me from a fashion disaster or two.  Sometimes, he is spot on.  But this is not one of those times.  Sorry Ben, but you are so very wrong about these beauties!  These shoes are gorgeous, unique, eye-catching, and comfortable.  They are TTS and made very well.  I know that I will be rockin' these on a regular basis, regardless of the fact that my husband thinks it looks like I'm wearing bowling shoes:)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eagle Creek

Yesterday was great - one of those days that feels like what a weekend day should feel like.  Ben and I slept in, went out to brunch at a new spot, went on an absolutely gorgeous 10-mile hike, and finally went out to celebrate a friends birthday.  

We had brunch at Broder, which is Portland's only Scandinavian restaurant.  This place has been on my 'must try' list for a while, and I'm so glad we finally made it there.  I had the friterade applen (fried apple fritters) and Ben had the lefse special (Norwegian potato crepe).  Everything was delicious.  As one of the reviews says, the food is "basic, but inspired".  Seriously, it is worth the long wait.  The space is small, but very cozy and fresh.  We will definitely be going back.  

After filling our bellies with deliciousness, we made our way out to the Columbia River Gorge.  We decided to go on the Eagle Creek hike (about an hour east of Portland).  We've been on this hike quite a few times, but always in the summer.  I remember it being very hot and dry.  In the winter, it seems like a totally different hike.  This time of year, things are very green/wet/snowy/mossy.  There are a few huge waterfalls on the hike and numerous smaller ones that sometimes run right through the trail.