Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

It has been quite the week. From what I have heard, a LOT of people have an exhausting, frustrating, and/or stupid few days, which makes me feel like it might just be the time of year where stress and chaos reign.

I figured that it would be nice to focus on some nice, pretty, and yummy things to end the week on a high note. Beware: I like things cozy!

These hot chocolate macrons make me excited to bake soon. I am going to someone's house for Thanksgiving which means for the first time in four years, I won't be cooking the whole shebang. Instead, we are asked to bring a side dish so I am feverishly looking up tasty side dishes but I also might bring a fancy cookie or dessert bar. I can't help myself!

I have been looking for a cute little cross-body purse and while this is out of my price range, it is great inspiration for when I am shopping the thrift stores and department store sales. So, if anyone feels like buying me one, I'll take a black-and-white, gray, or teal!

Red Cold Outfit !

As the weather gets colder, I start looking at whole outfits to put together than can be layered. I really love the textured tights with great heels like these. Coats are obviously the most important aspect of your wardrobe since it keeps you warm and toasty when even the coldest of winds blow, so pea coats are common choices. I also am really loving the bomber jackets in unique patterns like this and this.

I also am a big fan of casseroles and one pot dishes this time of year. I usually make use of my crock-pot but since that is in storage, I try to come up with simple and quick dishes that still offer that same comfort goodness. This Cheeseburger Casserole looks amazing! The same blogger also has a recipe for Baked Tortellini Casserole that also warms my soul. Clearly, I am easy to please and it usually involves food.

As I have been making my "wish list" for the holidays, I found it difficult to list actual material items. Since I am in a temporary housing situation, I don't want to have a lot of stuff in my room and I also really couldn't think of anything even if I did have my own apartment right now. I very much appreciate experiences more than things right now, which isn't exactly something easy to pick out for another person. I saw a glass-blowing Groupon today but didn't think the boyfriend would really be up for it; I saw a wine tasting for two but wasn't sure who would have the time to do something like that. See? The challenge of the holidays.


I did manage to find some cute things to add to my wish list, though, mainly including some fun jewelry.

I saw a version of this ring at a street fair over the summer and instantly fell in love with it. I like very, very simple jewelry and this ring also had kind of a punk edge (and I say that lightly).  The makers of the ring that I liked, Betsy & Iya, have some awesome Portland Bridge cuffs that are so unique and interesting.

And now, I'm thirsty. This looks mighty tasty right now! Anything with sparkling cider is pretty much tops in my book.

To end on a high note, I was able to visit the family area for those with children at the Ronald McDonald House here in Portland. It was a quick stop but it was so wonderful to see the toys that had been donated for the children and families that are battling an illness. We often forget that families go through so much when there is a sick child or parent, that they also need support and humor. I grabbed a bunch of coloring kits from Target's dollar spot and also some games for older kids and adults.  This is the time of year for giving so as you buy fun things and spend money on your loved ones, also throw in a few toys, warm clothes, or cans of food into the mix and give someone else some warm fuzzies.

Anything you want to share with the masses that you have found recently? Anything cool out in internet land?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art in the Airport

On my way to Arizona, I had a layover in the San Francisco International Airport. This is a HUGE airport with a great SF MOMA exhibit. I was lucky enough to have plenty of time to wander around, look at the exhibit and also grab a bite to eat.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Some Sunshine in Arizona

Last week, I headed down to Arizona to see one of my closest friends. It was a great time for me to get out of Portland and clear my head. I really missed the sunshine; one of the things that Michigan and South Carolina always had, despite the sometimes freezing temperatures. We hit up some tourist sites but mostly just hung around the house playing with the kids and chatting. It was so nice!

Sierra Vista is a small town, mostly comprised of the Ft. Huachuca army base. They do have all the major necessities (Target, WalMart, etc.) and plenty of beautiful rolling hills.

The buffalo corral is this little place where you can ride horses either on the trails or just around the area. The horses are really beautiful and there are also two fat black cats that roam the property.

We hit up the town of Tombstone and wow, they go all out for tourists. There was a "shoot out" for the audience, people dressed up in period clothing, and some great little shops. We hit up Big Nose Kate's Saloon for lunch, which was really delicious. The piano player was a sassy old man but played really well!

I really love little tourist areas because I think they are always unique and provide a great history of the United States (or whatever country I/you may be in). All in all, the trip was really fun. I got to see a little bit of Sierra Vista when I was driving from South Carolina to Oregon but this time, I actually got to experience Arizona. Thanks, Amy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

I am thankful for...

  • Animals. They are genuinely sweet and innocent. 
  • Coupons. 
  • Hugs from someone who means it. 
  • A steaming mug of tea that warms your hands and your heart.
  • The ability to breathe deeply. 
  • Solid running shoes.  

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Tying & Flying

    Hello all!

    I hope everyone is enjoying the week so far! I can't believe it is already November AND the world has officially gone in to the holiday swing. I was at Starbucks on November 1st and their red cups were out in force. That must mean it is truly the best time of the year! I am fully against the whole Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving deal but I can't help but get excited by the sparkly lights, hot apple cider, and gift shopping.
    In the spirit of brevity and updating, here are my 10 things of the moment:

    1. I am obsessed with these. I made them for my man friend's work and also brought them to a little game party and they were a huge hit. I always forget how good they are until I have the first one and then...oh yeah...I remember.

    2. My electronics (laptop and phone) plotted against me this week. My laptop got a weird bug and my phone is slowly dying. I don't appreciate their lack of working and my dependence on them.

    3. So that 5k I mentioned before? Didn't happen. Weird stomach bug put me down for the count for the whole weekend. I was very, very bummed but at least the money went to a good cause. I did make up for it by signing up for another 5k next weekend: The Ugly Sweater Run.
    4. I am getting ready for my trip to Arizona! I leave tomorrow for a very long weekend with one of my closest friends, the cutest little kids, and tamales.

    5. As excited as I am for the holidays, things are going to be weird this year. I am trying to give myself plenty of understanding that this is just going to be a little rough as it is my first holiday season without my mom. I have been away for three Christmases and while we always sent huge care packages to each other, I missed being with my family.

    6. I may be having a greater attachment to Pinterest now that the holiday season is here. When it gets colder, I always want to cook and bake up a storm AND I love buying presents for people. To help me not weigh 800 pounds or be broke by the end of the year, I like going on there and planning out what I want to do. I also like pinning clothes and accessories that I can't afford--just like window shopping!

    7. Speaking of food, I am trying to fall in love with soup. I am sort of "eh" about soup as a primary food (as opposed to soup with sandwich, soup with huge piece of delightful carb) but recipes like Spaghetti and Meatball Soup, Winter Minestrone, and Cheesy Vegetable Chowder, I might be changing my mind.

    8. It is amazing how easy it is to assume the weather you have goes for everyone else. Here in Portland, rain has officially settled upon the city and I just assume (which you know what that does) that everyone has cold, rainy days. Not so! When I lived in South Carolina, I was shocked that there was blue sky every day in the middle of winter. In the Mid West, they are getting snow!

    9. Has anyone seen this show, "Alaska Women Looking for Love?" It is totally ridiculous but not outrageous which is why I really like it. These Alaskan women go to Miami looking for love and meet some men, go on some dates, get makeovers, and now we are at the point where the women decide to take the men back to Alaska or stay in Miami or something in between. I just wonder what the men think when the ladies ask them to come to Alaska.

    10. These are so freakin' yummy. I grabbed some for a friend and also picked up a butterscotch one for myself. Best 80 cents I spent yesterday.

    Ok...please share! What is one thing going on in YOUR life?