August-September Updates…

15 09 2013

Another month has gone by, and now there are only 2 weeks until school starts! Aside from these bucket list items, I also went to a concert for Brantley Gilbert, a Taylor Swift concert, the first home Duck football game of the season, and a day trip to Coos Bay to golf at a new course! Life has been wonderfully busy, and in a week we’re going on a trip to explore Seattle, which is on my lifetime bucket list. We’ll also be taking our engagement pictures this week (I’m really excited about this!), and I’ll be working on sending out save-the-dates shortly thereafter. There are a lot of fun things left to work on during my last couple weeks of summer, and I intend make the most of them! Without further ado, here’s an update on the last month!

#10 Wedding Favors
Bubbles, candy… We’ve all received wedding favors that end up being discarded shortly after the big day (if they even make it home), and I didn’t want to waste money on something that was going to end up in the trash.  I thought long and hard about what to do, and since we are going to have a photo booth at our wedding, I decided to give out framed photo booth pictures as our wedding favors! This should be an inexpensive, fun way to remember our special day that will hopefully not end up in the trash.

#14 Yoga Workshop
I traveled up to Portland to Yoga Pearl to attend an inversion workshop from the famous Kathryn Budig, and I had a lot of fun! It was 2 hours of practicing balancing on my hands, and I was able to balance in handstand scorpion for the first time by the end of it! All of the instructions were things that my regular yoga studio, Hard Core Yoga, had taught me before, but it was nice to dedicate a solid 2 hours to working on it.

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#28 Hike Somewhere New With Alex
Alex, our friend Brandon, and I all hiked up to the top of the South Sister in Oregon, which is our 3rd tallest mountain at over 10,000 feet. It was an exhausting all day hike, and it didn’t help that we ran out of water at the top, but we made it up and back! I am thrilled that I accomplished the climb, but I consider it to be a once in a lifetime experience and have absolutely NO desire to ever do it again! Of course, I took the opportunity to do a few yoga poses at the top.

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#37 Do Something New With My Nails
IMG_3215I haven’t painted my nails for months, but I always keep my toes painted. Over the last year I’ve accumulated a storage container full of polish, and was excited to try something new. I saw someone in my yoga class with white toes, and I decided to try them out myself, adding some silver sparkles on top. I love how it turned out, and I’m considering this style for my wedding!

#49 Voo Doo Doughnut T-Shirt Challenge
Alex and I took a trip up to Portland one evening to accomplish this challenge, which involves getting a doughnut from each of the 2 portland locations, and ending at the one in Eugene. We had never been to the second location before, and it was just really fun to see each one in all of its uniqueness. I also learned that their second location is Voodoo Too, and their third location in Eugene is Voodoo Tres.  At our last stop in Eugene, we turned in our receipts and earned our free t-shirts!

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#61 Do a Puzzle
I scored an awesome 1000 piece authentic Disneyland map puzzle at a garage sale, which hadn’t been opened yet, for only $1! I spent a few days putting this one together, and it was fun being able to figure out where the pieces went based on the names of the attractions in each area.

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#68 Safe Haven
MV5BMTg4MzcxODA3OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTYzNDkwOQ@@._V1._SX640_SY948_I love Nicholas Sparks, and have been planning to see his newest movie for ages. Alex and I watched A Walk to Remember on our 8th grade DC trip, which is when we first started dating, and we watched The Notebook the night we got back together during our junior year of high school, so his movies will always hold a special place in my heart. Alex and I watched Safe Haven together, and although it was somewhat predictable, I still really enjoyed it.

#81 Game of Thrones
game-of-thrones-book-coverI spent nearly the entire summer struggling through the first book of Game of Thrones on my Kindle. I loved the series the first time I watched it through, and loved it even more the second time I watched it through with Alex. The first book on the other hand, failed to engage me. I was incredibly surprised at how true the TV show was to the book, and was disappointed that there weren’t many more details in the book that weren’t in the show. I have since started reading the second book, which I am much more into. It’s now my goal to get through the 4th book before the season airs in the spring.

Whew!… Finally caught up again!





Another Week of Awesomeness!

11 08 2013

I’m just knocking these out like crazy! I had a very laid back and fun filled week checking things off the list and making me feel productive. Here’s the recap:

#4 Hire a photographer (for my wedding)
I have been struggling with this one for a long time now, because I wanted someone to take really nice, professional pictures, but I didn’t like the outrageous price tag that often goes along with it. We have a friend who takes amazing pictures and I wanted him to be our photographer, but since he’s one of the groomsmen, that wasn’t going to work. On my search for the perfect photographer I scoured the ads on craigslist and thought I found the perfect match until several emails later when I discovered that she was based out of another state and was going to require airfare, 2 nights hotel stay, a rental car, and gas, on top of her price for the work! I went back to craigslist and was thrilled to discover J-C Photography. They are a husband and wife team based out of a town about an hour away from me, and they do wedding photography as a side business, and they photographed another wedding at my venue last year! I met with Jackie and was absolutely thrilled with the shots they had taken and how warm and friendly she was, and I loved their price even more! I’m convinced that I found the perfect match for our needs, and I’m glad to have this item checked off the list!

#5 Hire a caterer (for my wedding)
This was another big struggle for me – I wanted to be in charge of preparing my own food, but my parents really strongly pressured me to find a caterer instead so I wouldn’t have to deal with the stress of it. I have searched around for a while, but with over 300 invited guests, I wasn’t interested in the price of any caterer I found, the least expensive starting around $10/person and only going up from there. After much deliberation, I made the decision to stick with my initial desire to be my own caterer, and am working on planning a sandwich bar and salad bar. I think it will go really well with my wedding being outdoors in the heat of summer, and I’m really looking forward to planning it all!

#8 Collect/clean glass bottles/jars
I have been hitting up lots of garage sales for inexpensive vintage bottles and jars and have also been collecting liquor and wine bottles, as well as other neat household jars and am very happy with my collection so far. This is just a small piece of the collection I’ve amassed, and I think I’m going to end up with a very nice assortment to use as vases at the wedding.IMG_3141

#21 Use my new food dehydrator
I was housesitting at a place where they have 2 rows of apple hedges/bushes (no idea how they get them to grow that way, but it’s neat!) and I took advantage of the abundance of fruit to try out my food dehydrator that I had gotten on sale at Amazon a while back. There were also a few bananas that were about to spoil, so I sliced those up as well. I turned on the dehydrator and in the morning, voila! Dried fruit! I was very happy with how it all turned out, especially the bananas and will definitely be using my dehydrator again in the future.IMG_3135

#25 Make a pie
IMG_3077Continuing on with the abundance of apples, I decided to make an apple pie! I used this recipe for the crust (doubled for top and bottom) and this recipe for the filing. I think it turned out great! I also whipped up a batch of almond milk vanilla ice cream in my ice cream maker and it made for the perfect sweet treat for a hot summer night!IMG_3078

#29 Handcuff myself to one of my sisters
I initially put that I wanted to do this for 4 hours, but my sister, Haley, and I didn’t start until 8:30 at night and we took it off around 10:00 so she could get ready for bed. It was a fun for a while, and definitely made us laugh. =) (We used a scarf.)IMG_3106

#36 Learn how to do a new hairstyle on myself
So I didn’t exactly learn how to do anything new, but I did get my hair cut with layers for the first time in years! My sister, Hannah, and I went in to get free layered hair cuts from the Aveda Institute in Portland, where up and coming stylists needed practice subjects to take before and after pictures showcasing their skills at layered cutting. I was a little apprehensive about letting an amateur work on my hair, but our stylists were great, and they had to ask their instructors to check their work along the way. The only downside was that it took 2 hours! I was glad that they took their time and did a great job though, and hey, it was free!IMG_3080

#52 Drive thru backwards
This one was fun! My sister, Hannah, really wanted ice cream one night, so it was the perfect opportunity to knock this one off the list! We had a blast, though I was a little bummed that the McDonalds employees weren’t at all amused. The last person we talked to relayed a message from the manager that if we went through backwards again, they would refuse to serve us. Oh well, it was cheap entertainment!IMG_3138

#54 Chinese fire drill
Now that my sister, Hannah, finally has her license, we were able to do this one! For those of you who don’t know, a Chinese fire drill is when you come up to a red light and all the people get out of the car and run around to a different seat and continue driving. Hannah was nervous though, so we did it at a stop sign in a neighborhood instead of at a red light. It was still fun though!

#58 White water rafting
Alex and I hadn’t been white water rafting since we were kids, so I took advantage of a great deal on Living Social to experience the adventure at a discount from River Trail Guides. It was relaxing, fun, and we even ended up in the same boat as one of my favorite high school teachers, Mr. Davis, who taught me Spanish. I had also babysat his two daughters who were now much older, and it was really fun seeing them all again.  We had a great time, and I would definitely go back again!IMG_3076

#88 Grilled Cheese Grill
Hannah and I stopped at this food cart in Portland after our hair cuts. I had heard about it from another blog I follow and was excited to give it a try. The double decker bus was definitely a fun, unique touch, and the sandwich was greasy, but good. I got a basic grilled cheese with pesto, and my sister got The Preschooler, which was a basic grilled cheese with the crusts cut off. I think I’d go back with Alex sometime, because he would probably be interested in trying something like The Cheesus, which is a hamburger that uses grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun, and I’d be interested in trying a dessert sandwich.IMG_3140

#89 Buffalo Wild Wings
buffalo-wild-wingsWe finally got a BWW in my town a couple months ago, and hit them up for their wing special night. It was perfectly comfortable in their outdoor covered porch, and it was fun to try different wing sauces. We don’t eat wings very often, and discovered the hard way that “boneless” means fried – I definitely will get the regular ones next time. It was fun though, and I’m sure we’ll be back again.

#94 Try the infinity dancers pose with my sisters
I (like many people before me I’m sure) saw this beautiful picture on Pinterest of 2 girls doing dancers pose and making an infinity sign, and since I regularly do yoga and my sisters have danced their whole lives, I thought we’d have little trouble being able to copy them. Boy was I wrong!

Here’s what it was supposed to look like:afb67ce072137d7295c72987fb97c976

And here’s what we looked like:IMG_3139

#97 Eat Indian food
Alex and I hadn’t eaten Indian food since we were much younger, so we were excited to try this one. We went to a lunch buffet so we could sample a little bit of everything, and it was good! The decor was really neat too, with fake trees inside, and fake foliage attached to the ceiling, which was painted to look like the sky so it would feel like you were eating under a tree. Our favorite was the Chicken Tandori and there was also some good creamy spinach dish and some yummy potato-like things. There was chicken that was colored bright red with tasty spices, and for dessert – a delicious, light, sweet treat made with coconut milk, rice, and some little berries. A lot of the time we didn’t really know what we were eating, but it was really good and fun to experience! We’ll definitely be back!IMG_3136





Teeth whitening & Magic Mike

2 07 2013

#43 Teeth Whitening Pinterest Idea
I found this neat DIY idea on Pinterest to whiten your teeth at home for a fraction of the cost of whitening strips, and I was excited to try it out! It only required a little bit of toothpaste, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide, and I was able to find those last two items at Target for 50 cents each. I mixed a little bit of each into a small cup, and used the mixture to brush tonight, rather than just my toothpaste alone. After a couple minutes of brushing I noticed that the mixture was getting a little bit abrasive against my gums and the roof of my mouth, and after rinsing it all out, my mouth tissues felt a little bit raw for a couple minutes. The feeling returned back to normal within a few minutes though, and my teeth felt so smooth! It felt just like after getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist. I have used whitening strips before, but  I have sensitive teeth and they have always inflamed my sensitive areas, so I was happy to not suffer any sensitivity with this method. Another thing I don’t like about the strips is that they only cover your teeth in the front of your mouth, leaving the back ones to continue darkening over time. With this method, the whitening covers all parts of all your teeth. I also like that it is only recommended to use this concoction once per week, and then even less often as you achieve your desired results. I did look into a few different methods of DIY teeth whitening, and felt that it was relatively safe to use this method because it only contained toothpaste, which I already use, baking soda, which is found in many dental care products, and hydrogen peroxide, which is found in whitening strips. I stayed away from other concoctions that required lemon juice as I read about how the extreme acidity is not good for your teeth. Time will tell if my teeth become whiter, but at least they feel extra smooth and clean!

#69 Magic Mike
I have wanted to see this movie since it came out, and I finally got the chance! I used to have a bit of a crush on Matthew McConaughey from when he was in the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, so I was really excited to see him in another movie, and Channing Tatum is gorgeous, so naturally I was thrilled to get to look at him. I was a little disappointed that Matthew McConaughey isn’t nearly as attractive as I used to think he was, but Channing Tatum and several of the other guys were smoking hot! I was a little disappointed that the story line involved drug use, but I enjoyed the rest of the story for the most part. And I really enjoyed looking at all of the washboard abs!





River float, s’mores, yoga pics, and more!

1 07 2013

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#86 Buy a window punch/seatbelt cutter
I’ve been talking about getting one of these nifty tools to keep in my car in the highly unlikely event that my car becomes submerged in water so I can break the window and get out, and I finally ordered one from Amazon. It arrived a few days ago and is now safely stored in my car. Yay!

Image#60 Float the River
The weather has finally gotten into the upper 80’s to low 90’s, which means it was to float the river again! We rounded up a couple friends and had an absolute blast on Friday, soaking up the sun and staying cool. I’m sure we’ll be back for more in the near future!

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Image#63 S’mores
We spent a day of this gorgeous weekend camping with our friends Patrick and Amanda and they put me in charge of bringing ingredients for S’mores! We had the choices of regular and cinnamon crackers, regular or strawberry marshmallows, and milk, milk with almonds, or dark chocolate. As you can imagine, they turned out delicious! The strawberry marshmallows must have melted on their way to the store though, because they were a big sticky (yet delicious) lump in the bag.

Image#78 Extras (Uglies #4)
I read the first 3 books in the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld earlier this year, and I absolutely LOVED them! The fourth and final book called Extras was really an entirely different story line from the first three books, and didn’t even involve the main character from the previous stories until about half way through. I was a little bummed to have to learn an almost entirely new set of characters, but I still enjoyed reading it. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend this series!

#15 Yoga pictures in nature
I have seen so many beautiful pictures of people doing yoga poses in the outdoors, and I really wanted to try some for myself. Since we were camping at Crescent Lake where there was a gorgeous view of Diamond Peak in the background, it was the perfect photo op! I’ll share a few of my favorites. =)

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Blueberries, watermelon Oreos, and wedding plans

26 06 2013

#2 Finalize Guest List (for wedding)
I finally condensed my multiple lists of guests into just one, and we have 310 people being invited! Yikes! I think I got everyone, but I’m sure we’ll add a few more over the next year. At least now this gives me an idea of how many Save The Dates and invitations we’re going to need. Plans are moving along!

#62 Pick Blueberries
BlueberriesIt feels like just a few days ago I looked at our blueberry plants and saw green berries, but today they were bursting with ripeness! It was a cool and cloudy today, but it’s supposed to be really hot for the next week, getting up into the 90’s, so I took advantage of the cool evening to knock this one off of my list. I only made a small dent in the multitude of plants, but at least it’s a start!

#90 Watermelon Oreos
I was getting a little worried about not being able to find these in stores, since they’re a limited edition flavor for the summer, but I was thrilled to see a full display of them at my local Target last night! When I was at the checkstand, the cashier even mentioned that he didn’t realize that they were back in stock, and the told me that they sold out really fast last time. When it was time to eat them, it was fun to see the pink and green inside, and to taste the fake watermelon flavor that reminds me of my childhood favorites: Lip Smackers watermelon chapstick and watermelon jelly beans. I’m sure I’ll share lost of them with my family and friends!Watermelon Oreos





“No sew” blanket, movies, and roller derby

25 06 2013

#45 Make a “no sew” fleece blanket
Braided EdgeOver the years I’ve seen lots of people with those cozy looking double layered fleece blankets made by tying the edges together, but I’ve never made one of my own… until now! I looked online for a tutorial and I came across this neat braided edge design, so I decided to try it out! I started by laying the fleece out and trimming the edges so they were straight, then I matched the two layers up and trimmed them so they were even. I then went around the edges and cut 1.5 inch slits and then cut little holes in the middle of them and used a paperclip to pull one piece through the other, making the neat braided pattern. It was a really long process that took FOREVER but I’m very happy with the finished product! It is really warm and cozy, and I didn’t have to deal with a sewing machine to make it!

Blanket

 

#66 Watch Beautiful Creatures
Beautiful CreaturesI really enjoyed reading this book series and was excited to see the movie, but it came out in theaters when I was in the middle of reading the series, and it came out on DVD when I was in the middle of lots of studying last term in school, so I kept putting it off. When Redbox sent me a free rental code, it was finally the perfect opportunity to check this one off! I must say that I  enjoyed the books much more than the movie, but I’m glad that I finally got to see it.

 

#73 Watch Monsters University
I LOVE Disney movies, and was so excited to hear that Pixar was coming out with a prequel to Monsters, Inc. I marked it in my calendar and Alex and I went to see it on its opening day! It was really cute, and I’m so glad I got the chance to see it!

Monsters University

 

#41 Watch Roller Derby
Roller derbyOne of my nursing school friends competes in roller derby, and it sparked the idea that I’d like to watch it sometime. Since they were having a “brawl” right here in my hometown, I decided to seize the opportunity and check it out. One thing I was surprised by right away was that the skating rink was just a flat hard floor, rather than the raised wooden rinks that I’ve seen on TV and in the movies.  I was also really surprised to see 7 referees in the center of the rink at all times. When I started watching, I thought I’d be able to figure it out on my own, but after several minutes of confused puzzling over what was happening, I resorted to google to learn the basic rules. Google gave me the general idea of what was going on, but I was really happy to meet up with my friend “Miss Kitty La Rue” during a halftime break and she explained things in a little more detail for me, while we watched other teams compete. I really loved the fun names that the skaters had, like Wonder Dread and Jala Pain Yo. I’m really glad I got to experience something so completely new and different!

Derby friends





Door of Inspiration, Ice Cream, and more!

15 06 2013

#39 Make a “Door of Inspiration”
My bed directly faces my bedroom door and for months now I’ve been wanting to decorate it with things that inspire me. I’m so glad I finally got around to it! I’ve been pinning inspirational pictures and quotes for ages, so I went through and printed out my favorites and turned my door into a life-size Pinterest board of inspiration! I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

Door of Inspiration

 

#20 Use My New Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream MakerI purchased this awesome ice cream maker on sale over the winter and have been dying to try it out! My fiance, Alex, had a sore throat tonight, so it was the perfect opportunity to take it out of the box. This was a different type of ice cream maker, because it had a bowl that you froze ahead of time, rather than having to put in ice and salt while it churned. I had actually put the bowl in the freezer shortly after I purchased it, but just hadn’t gotten around to trying it out. Since we had lots of frozen strawberries, we decided to try making strawberry ice cream.  According to the recipe booklet that came with it, it was okay to substitute any milk-like products for the heavy cream, so we opted to use a coconut flavored almond milk that we had on hand and it turned out like a delicious sorbet! I am definitely excited to try more recipes and use it in the future!

Eating ice cream

 

#84 Pulp Fiction
Pulp FictionIt was on my bucket list last summer to watch Pulp Fiction, but I never got around to it. Since Alex and I were having a laid back day, we decided to watch a movie and he mentioned that he wanted to watch this one, and Netflix had it streaming, so we did! I had no idea what this movie was about, but it turned out to be very long and definitely R rated. Since this movie was made about 20 years ago, it was different to see people smoking indoors and really crazy to see a lot of big name actors such as Bruce Willis, John Travolta, and Samuel L. Jackson when they were much earlier in their careers. I’m glad that I can now say that I’ve seen such a popular movie, but I definitely have no desire to see it again.

#44 $5 Bill Challenge
I first heard of this idea on Pinterest and thought it sounded like a fun thing to try – basically, you set aside every $5 bill you obtain and after you accumulate a sizable amount of money, you use it to pay for something special. I have no idea what I would want to spend the money on, but I’m interested to see how much I could end up saving, especially since I use cards to pay for almost everything. I went through my wallet tonight and pulled out two $5 bills and we’ll see how much I end up with at the end of summer!