Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mid-Summer Outfits

A couple outfits from this summer, several of which are from the thrifted fare:
Breakfast w C & Adam:
The mornings have been chillier here while the afternoons/evenings are H-O-T (ok, hot for Oregon), so a cardigan came in handy in the morning for brunch at Mother's downtown.

Errands this week:
I've got mixed thoughts about this jean dress as it's a size too large and the sewing machine malfunctioned when Mom was going to try to take it in a bit...but I like to think that a belt helps...but maybe that's just me :) At the very least, it defines a waist and sort of modernizes the look a bit.

Drinks w baby cousin:
My cousins, aunt, and I took the baby cousin out for a belated 21 year old drink! I don't know that this is actually the most flattering dress on me, but the loose light-weight fabric was great on a HOT evening and the sandals seemed to dress it down.

Errands & Yard Work at the aunt's:
Woke up to a text from my aunt that I'm closest to wanting to know if I wanted to come up to help her pick blueberries off their bushes, which usually means that she's hoping to chat too. So I skeddadled out of bed and into this older combo for berry picking...and then we deadheaded Poppa's old rose garden too. (Obviously the dogs were hopeful they'd get to go too...)

I'm sure there will be many more combos too. The last few weeks have found me out of my work-out gear more often than not, especially as I try to put these new dresses to use!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thrifting Scores

Four sundresses

A shirt dress & 3 other dresses

Another dress, the purple pants, a chambray button up and another work shirt

An off the shoulder sweater, a skirt.....
...and two more dresses not pictured....

SO 11 dresses, three tops, a skirt, and a pair of pants....
all for around $80-100.

Nothing new, all used....

Whether or not this equates to breaking the No Buy Challenge....well, maybe. I mean I did break down and decide I needed some more dresses but then again...nothing is new and I guess technically I didn't buy any of I'm not sweating it. Plus I was getting tired of wearing the same three dresses All.the.time :)

Mom altered the gray sweater and the purple dress in the first picture so they don't show as much skin up top...and she's working on shortening a teal silk shirt dress (total old lady, but it looks hip on and will be great for teaching!) and adding some extra fabric to extend the length on another dress. But also, it's great to have a handful of new-to-me pieces that actually fit my current frame. I've still held on to all my old pants thinking that eventually I'm going to put weight back on, but so far we're looking at almost a year at this smaller size..... I'm incredibly fortunate that Mom has been able to take in so many pieces of my wardrobe! And now it's been great to have some new-to-me pieces that actually are designed to fit my current body size and shape--woohoo!

I love great deals....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Colored Pants Trial

Alright y'all well I really do intend to do a post just on the awesome thrifting deals that we snagged for new outfits......

....but for right now all I've got are a bunch of pictures of me trying to figure out just how to pull off these purple pants that we found....which I love but I'm trying to use what I have to make them work in the heat of summer....

I tried this for movies with Tall D and didn't like it. I also tried 'em with my black tunic and the same black sandals...and I felt TOO hipster-like....

This morning I went this route for coffee with my cousin....

...and then I thought about going this route (but I thought it'd look better with silver sandals....which I don't own.....AND I'm pretty sure this is the shirt that housemate M hates....)

....and then I just threw all hipster caution to the wind, embraced my seven cumulative years of time in Portland, and threw together this monochromatic look....

Honestly love the pants...but how would you wear them? 

I can't wait til I can try them with fall boots and some comfy brown sweater up top. I mean, I CAN wait for fall still....but I'm glad to have options in mind.....

....oh and the real bonus...getting to try the colored pants look for $7. Yup....gosh I love thrifting!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What I'm Eating Series: July

Sorta-Local Tuna Melt: local Tillamook cheese, local home canned tuna, local organic bread, lettuce from the garden plus avocado & tomato (and a lil mayo and s&p)

Leftovers from 4th of July BBQ: baked beans, a fried egg, and sour cream thrown in a tortilla...not bad!

Standard summer dinner fare: sauted zukes & onions w a lil garlic salt and pepper AND salmon burgers w mayo, avocado, tomato, ketchup, & lettuce

Breakfast sandwich: Egg, tomato, avocado & a dab of mayo on English muffin

Shrimp fajitas: corn tortillas, black rice, black beans, cajun shrimp, sauted peppers, onions, and zukes, homemade guac, and sour cream DELISH

An afternoon baking with Granny using her tins and recipe for Zuchinni Nut Bread aka muffins with some healthy alterations (coconut oil, brown sugar, and whole wheat flour)

Marionberry pie: local hand picked berries w one cup brown sugar, crust from Granny's recipe (using whole wheat flour, coconut oil, and water)

In the last few weeks, I've also put up 10 lbs of blueberries into the freezer and 5 lbs of marionberries...and I'm dreaming about tomatoes.... 

Fun: July As We Know It (Take 2)

Oh man, where does time go? And for the record, while July has been a ton of F-U-N, I'm balancing on edge of hibernation again as I head into STILL no job and no finances, but I'm trying my hardest to continue to remain positive and seek out additional jobs (both short and long term) and to again explore other options. I might touch on some of this later but first.....

HOUSEMATE L finally moved out. Luckily I'd prepaid part of rent for July by redoing the front yard in June (my landlords are awesome and any money I spend on the house/yard can be deducted from next month's rent) plus L was here half the month, so July was taken care of. L finally started talking to me after giving the silent treatment for two weeks, but barely and it was still the weirdest move-out I've ever seen. I came home to help her at 5:30pm when she's usually off work and the house was empty of her, lil dog, and her stuff, with a $50 cleaning deposit dropped on my purse that morning and the key under the front mat. Obviously to say she was as ready to be out of here as I was to have her out of here is probably a major understatement, but it still makes me sad that the last weeks were so...interesting.

I've had a couple of other VISITORS:

My gal Cait was in town for mainly work purposes but I was able to snag her for a night and show her around Portland. For all the odd years I've lived here off and on, this was the first time we'd ever been able to hang out in the city together, so I took her downtown to do some of the standard things:
We rode the MAX down which was a true PDX experience with some interesting individuals to chat with us and then we went to Bamboo Sushi on 23d, since C had asked for something local/sustainable but healthy. From there we poked around the stores on 23rd and went into Moonstruck Chocolates, walked down to Powell's, and then met up with regular D at a dive bar back toward NW once he was off work. He did us the honor of surprising us with bouquets that work was going to throw out ("don't get awkward guys, they were just going to throw them out...." :)) and took our picture outside Jeld-Wen:

I love this gal and wish she was around more often!

Second visitor was my MOM, as Dad had come up earlier in the week to pick Granny up and take her to spend a few days at their place. (While he was here we replaced all the florescent kitchen lights, and while I love my father, it again reminded me of where I get several of my traits in life from....) Mom brought Granny back up on Friday afternoon and then stayed until Monday morning. While she was here we had a great impromptu dinner at my aunt's, went Goodwill shopping for more dresses for me (a post in its own....) and she did some alterations, spent lots of time just chatting, did dinner & a movie (I made amazing shrimp fajitas and we saw The Heat...Mom laughed her socks off....hilarious!), and then on Sunday night Mom treated Tall D & I to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (DELISH!). Was a seriously great visit together and was so glad to have her here!

There have been a couple of outings meeting up with regular D for drinks and just chatting about life. The dude's hilarious and offers a very different perspective on things. There was a breakfast with C and his buddy Adam who is visiting in town and who needed help with outdoor pursuit ideas. But really I've spent several outings also with Tall D....we were going to spend an afternoon shooting so I could practice with the gun he left me in the winter but apparently there is a shortage of bullets (who knew?!!!!), so we went to play disc golf instead. 

We had an evening at the movies watching the Internship (hilarious) over beers, and then last Tuesday regular D, Tall D, PP, Wali-G and I floated the Clackamas River....which was lots of fun but a bit chillier than expected.....

....and somewhere in the process of being in an awkward floating/reclining position, I apparently messed up my back so was out of commission for 2-3 days. The massage therapist earlier this spring had warned me that my butt and leg muscles were uber tight and pulling on my back...and apparently this week they all kicked into overdrive so I spent two days walking around like a hunched old lady! :) Tall D is letting me borrow his foam roller, a long hot soak in the tub, lots of stretching, a couple of 800mg of Motrin, and a gentle hike & swim seem to have done the trick so I'm planning on heading out for an easy jog here in a bit. 

And yep, yesterday there was an easy hike with regular D and two of my friends that don't get out of the city enough (L & K). I offered a week ago to take them up to Twin Lakes and then convinced reg D to come along too (and C & Adam were supposed to come too but bailed). We did the loop backwards this time and ended at the Lower Lake where I was the only one who went for a swim, but man did the water feel great! We got stuck in big time traffic on the way back and then D and I grabbed some Mexican food downtown at one of my favorite joints. 

Add in another afternoon berry picking to right my head after not getting two other job leads, which followed with another Thursday afternoon/evening with Granny--we baked zuchinni nut muffins & marionberry pie, and then I fixed dinner and we sat out on the upper deck. Two days of grading also were had, an evening looking over additional jobs, more reading in Eat, Pray, Love and I started another hilarious book, and tomorrow my cousin will come over for coffee in the morning and then my gal R is taking me out for lunch in Multnomah Village. 

I have two other potential August housemates that I'm interviewing on Monday. Both are males who just need a space for a month and I'm potentially thinking about renting out both rooms if all parties are willing. We'll see what comes of the interviews and other details. (Housemate M intends to come back for a few days during the end of this month, so I'd planned on having his bed available...and Mom & Dad will probably want a place to crash at some point in the month....) But if I rent to both of them, then rent will be paid in full for August and at least one utility bill which cuts down on how much I'd have to acquire elsewhere.

Which brings me full circle back to....I'm still applying for jobs. I will be applying for temp jobs, part-time jobs, and humbling jobs here this week. I'm also reconsidering taking a couple of classes again. Ironically I discovered two weeks ago that in order to renew my teaching license I have to take two classes, which means that if I would have followed through with my idea to start the bio and chem sequence in spring that I was registered for a) I could already renew my license and b) I would have had extra money to cover expenses this summer. I just continue to hesitate...I hate the idea of shelling out more cash that might not be able to be paid back...that's why I transitioned to focus just on getting a job to pay off my debts...except no job is happening...which always leads me back to school...? Big question mark. 

...and for the first time in months, I'm also debating going back to church. I'm not ready to start talking to the Big Man just yet, but I think being surrounded in His family and feeling the energy in church might be very, very good for me....

...anyway this next week should hold more internalizing, more searching, more applying, maybe registering, hopefully new housemates secured, and hopefully a day hike (or two) or a backpack trip to be had, and cooking baking with Granny...all before we start the celebration for Granny's 102nd birthday with the annual tea party next weekend! (How are we already almost to August?!)

Hope y'all have been well!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Day In the Life

So I've always loved when people do these "A Day in the Life" posts and it's been a long time since I've done one, so here's attempting:

7:15am Woke up to housemate's dog yipping at being kenneled. Got up.
7:20am Feed dogs, make and drink coffee, text check-ins, check on stuff around the house.

8:15am Begin vacuuming dog hair out of car & generally cleaning interior.
Break---10am to eat yogurt.
10:50am Finally finished (well 85% of dog hair is gone...). Sweep garage out. Put out recycling and garbage cans.
11:10am Vacuum house, spray baseboards with ant spray, freshen up cut flowers in house, take care of pet food needs, clean out fridge.
11:40am Get on computer. Email another supervisor about adding another fall class and check online course. Read other's blog posts. Text old coworker a question. Clean out email and look at jobs. Break for another yogurt. Apply for a job. Research local berry farms. Look up what I have to do to maintain/renew my teaching license.
1:50pm Put computer away. Check on dogs outside. Get dressed and put on face for day.

2:10pm Head out to Granny's.
2:30pm Arrive at Granny's. Grab her a hat and bottle of water. Tell her what we're doing this afternoon. Get her dirty laundry and load all into car. Head for berry farm.
2:45pm Arrive at U-Pick berry farm. Ask questions. Grab buckets. Granny was a trooper and walked the gravel road (with walker) to the blueberries. Start picking. Move Granny into shade as precaution and she points me to another section. Head to other section. Check on Granny and have her drink some water. Head to another section. Once bucket full round Granny up and head back gravel road.

4:40pm Load Granny into car with AC. Go back in and check out. Order Granny a blackberry milkshake. Tell her what time it is and ask if she wants to come over for dinner. Head for my house. Granny drinks milkshake en route and declares "I don't know what this is...but it's delicious!!" :)
5:05pm Stop at grocery store, answer phone call from Dad, and leave Granny with AC running.
5:25pm Get home. Unload Granny and get her situated inside. Put dogs up and Unload car. Start washing berries and laying on cooking sheets for freezing, while Granny snoozes. Put berries in freezer. Start Granny's laundry. Put away groceries.

6pm Start making banana bread from over ripe bananas. Granny wakes up and hangs out with Major. Start second load of laundry. Finish making banana bread and put in to bake. Make dinner. Wash pans so housemate can use them. Take out banana bread/muffins.

7pm Move Granny to table for dinner. Start eating.
7:30pm Dad arrives and joins us at table. Sit at table talking while Granny keeps working on hers. Feed her leftovers to dogs. Fold first set of laundry.
8:20pm Move Granny to upper patio and get her situated. Join Dad and Granny on patio for bit.

8:40pm Fold final load of laundry. Water raised beds. Move Granny's stuff to door for easy exit.
9pm Load Granny and Dad into car. Water front plants. Stop off at aunt's to look at her remodel. Take Granny home and get her situated.
10:20pm Get home. Dad goes to bed. Check on animals. Bag frozen berries. Bag banana muffins. Wash and dry pans.
11pm Shower---so good!
11:30pm Get on computer. Check work stuff. Return texts. Blog.
12am Bed.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Life: Fun as We Know It!

Blogging has become the last thing I'm focusing on right now cause instead I've been too busy getting out and just soaking up LIFE. (Not to say that blogging isn't soaking it up though....but for me, it's harder to come home and have the energy to write about it all sometimes....)

QUICK GENERAL UPDATE: Still no real movement on the job front. Luckily (maybe? I guess financially not...), I didn't get my old veterans job. It came down to two of us and they went with new blood, which was probably better since my heart wasn't really in it. Still no real word from the other job I wanted, even though I checked in with them over a week ago, so I'm thinking that's not a good sign. I applied for another job here locally that would be an AMAZING step but it's sort of a step up out of my league so not so sure I could get it... Still looking and going to be applying for temp office jobs here soon to try to get some finances coming in. Housemate L moves out in 8 days, as it's looking like she'll be here the full time she'd originally thought. I lost the great option cause I couldn't guarantee him I'd be here all six months he needed. I've posted an ad for another housemate, hopefully someone decent for a short term gig will come thru.

So let's get to the fun!

First, there was a BACKPACKING Trip with regular D and the dogs. We hiked Badger Creek Trail up to Badger Lake. Since it was an overnight during the week, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The trail was pretty overgrown in sections and steady incline, but we made it and we had a lot of fun in the process. Luckily my feet held out, but man somehow toning up made carrying a pack actually feel harder! I missed having extra padding on my collar bones and my leg muscles were tired!

Then there's been a lot of HIKING:

Tall D is currently in Washington for three weeks for his Reserve summer training duty. He gets a few days off though so we've met half way to do a couple day hikes. First one we did was to try to summit TATOOSH TRAIL to get up to the lake, however we hit snow coming across the trail near the end and unfortunately had to turn back. BUT we still had a great day in the process: the views were incredible, the drive up made me so happy for my AWD Sorento and to be on rutty gravel high mountain roads, it was great to explore a new forest area, and we had a lil brisk swim/wading in the cold creek post-hike to wash some of the sweat and stench off. :) Ended the day/evening with a late dinner at a lil Christian diner near our mutual exits (BL(A)T done right!!). (We'd intended to do an overnight in the Olympic National Forest which I've always wanted to explore but typical Army fashion, he got tasked out to work a two hour shift on his final day off.... :))

Maybe half-way, we made it to that snow over there...
after already going straight uphill about 2 miles! :)
Look at those views!
Sitting along the creek....

Yesterday we met up again and drove up to the BLUE LAKE trailhead (not to be confused with Blue Lake in Oregon outside of Portland). This was a 1700ft incline over 2.5 miles up to the lake, but the trail followed a gorgeous creek and the lake was AMAZING! It had been overcast in the morning but was sunny by the time we turned off for the trailhead. The lake was warm enough to get in but probably not warm enough for swimming just yet. We waded through the gorgeous water to a large rock out from shore where we and the dogs sat in the sun to eat lunch and just lazily chat. We waded back once the shade started approaching and high tailed it back down trail to warm up again, and then stopped for dinner at a lil Mexican joint (our fave) on the way back to collect my car. Again, a totally awesome day together with a gorgeous lake and views.

Look at that water! It was like finding the tropics (with a chill) in the mountains! :)

And then last but not least I had an absolute BLAST with having my gal Christina in town. We seriously  enjoyed some fun stuff, laughed a ton, and spent some great quality time together: birthday dinner at her parents, a day hike with the girls around Twin Lakes with a brewery dinner on the mountain, a day of kayaking around Ross Island and my first bike ride in 12 years along Spring Water corridor, and breakfast at Stepping Stone. I seriously loved having this gal here and am secretly hoping she might end up back home here in the PNW in the next few years. ;)

Upper Twin Lakes with Mt Hood in the distance. I snowshoed here with the dogs this winter...makes a great summer hike/camp spot and the Lower Twin Lake looked great for swimming!

Love these ladies and totally gorgeous views!

This kayak experience was AWESOME! Definitely much easier in my own kayak and a great way to spend the morning!

Add into all this some YARD WORK (keeping up with massive watering for the raised beds and transplanted/newly planted bushes, plus general weeding/mowing/maintenance), having my BROTHER visit one Saturday to bring the bike and go on a Costco run, hosting the extended family for a FOURTH OF JULY BBQ, some great HAMMOCK reading time under the kiwi tree, some SUN BATHING with the dogs on the patio, some BREWS DOWNTOWN with D and/or other friends. I've been trying to LIVE IT UP with the notion that I might be getting a job and trying to soak up the awesomeness of the PNW...but we'll see if that job ever arrives. Although in good news, I also went to a WORK MEETING and was able to add an extra class for fall so financially once Fall Term starts I should be able to make it if I have a housemate....

I'm looking forward to: more HIKING, arrival of produce for CANNING/PRESERVING, READING, and just the general day in and day out of existing. #YOLO! :) Ha, oh man!

Hope y'all have been well and enjoying summer in your neck of the woods wherever that may be!