Back for a summertime fix!

Since this is my 4th box, and there is not really anything I feel I need in my closet right now, it was really just for fun. I also had some remaining referral credit (thanks ladies!) to use so I figured, why not get another box?

When I opened this one initially a few pieces really caught my attention…for both good and bad. There was a dress in a soft teal pattern and I was really excited to try it on. And a BRIGHT magenta shirt that I knew was out from the first second. So I went into my mini fashion show with mixed feelings (and a ton of BBQ party prep-to-dos on my mind!) and ultimately found one winner in the bunch. Ready for the rundown?!

I liked this but the color aIMG_9780fixnd style, but was not a fan of the exposed edge seam stitching. Not quite polished enough. It was super soft and cozy though and only $28 so to avoid losing the $20 style fee I used $8 of my credit to keep it. It will make a good casual weekend top.


I liked the color and the idea of this dress, but it was just too short and not flattering enough for mybottom half. I felt like it chopped me in half.





I really wanted to like this dress. I love the color and style. Ultimately I sent it back since it did not feel like it would stand up to much use. The material was pretty thin and light and pill prone. Not what I am looking for when I invest in my wardrobe.IMG_9803fix





I do not like these huge swingy tops. If I was pregnant…maybe, but I am not so away it goes. The shoulders were cut well and I liked the idea, but this was not IMG_9788fixsomething I would wear. Nice material though! This felt like a quality piece.





Really did not like this one at all. It felt poorly made and was a really bad color for me. Just a bad fit all around. No thank you.





So only one piece worked in this fix. And honestly without the referral credit I would have probably sent them all back. Still, it was fun and I got a new top that I have been wearing all day. It is really cozy and will turn into a new go-to hangout top. Woohoo!


Want to give Stitch Fix a try?  If you do, please use my referral link  :)

PDX: Channel Your Inner Hipster

Hipster I am not. I would venture to say that hippie is more my style, but even that does not quite fit. Vashonite does. Again, hipster: not so much…and this week it was obvious! I spent two day in Portland for work and boy did I feel like I stuck out! I spent a meal texting my best friend in Madison, WI, about the awkwardness and we at least decided that my bangs were an asset.

Oh Portland, what a wonderful city. Friendly people, amazing food, great cocktails, awesome public transportation and yep, a great close flight from Seattle.

On Tuesday I visited with good friends from my masters program at BGI, going out for good food and good drinks. I learned that house punch of the day is a major “thing” at least in the places we went. Served in course in vintage pressed glass cups. I am pleased to report that pickleback is also now part of my vocabulary.

Wednesday I was at work events all day, with a few hours in the afternoon to find my hotel, grab dinner and pop into a few neat shops downtown. I texted my friend Alana for a dinner suggestion and found myself at what felt like the ultimate “Portland” place: Clyde Common. Communal tables, an esoterically vague and intriguing menu (thanks for the description inspiration Jenny!) and a very ironically hipster wait staff. Thank goodness I felt cool with my new bright orange clutch and bangs. Only JUST cool enough to pull off a solo dinner though.

Dinner was amazing: a happy hour green salad with a super good dressing alongside a lemon/ginger/honey cocktail. Super summery…great for the 90+degree day. I was seduced by many things on the menu, but ultimately went with a plate of pickled beef lips with marrow cream and cucumbers and a plate of raw cow milk cheese with honey, rhubarb compote and beet bread. And why not apricot upsidown cake for dessert? It was such a good meal. I just wish I could have shared it with someone else!

After such a long, hot day I feel quickly asleep in my airconditioned hotel room. Sweet talking the desk clerk got me a great room on the 21st floor of the Hilton with a stunning view of the West Hills. But I did not sleep too well. I never do without Matt.

Two days was enough and it was time to go home. Thrusday was a MAX ride to the airport followed by the short flight back to Seattle.

It was 20 degrees cooler and much more comfortable when we landed! I worked for the afternoon and then met Matt in Georgetown for a great dinner date (thank you Travelzoo coupon deal!) at Via Tribunali. Then a quick zip in a car2go back to West Seattle in time to catch the ferry home. HOME! Ah, nothing beats it.

This weekend is the Strawberry Festival on Vashon and we are not leaving the island. Not that we would want to with all the fun stuff happening…but if we tried it is a nightmare ferry line. We plan to go the parade, eat street food, shop for some local art and prepare for our summer BBQ next weekend. Busy weekend ahead!

Weekend Adventures

Three days of adventures. Summer is in full Swing. It is hot. Our garden needs lots of water. 

Friday night: waterfront Vashon dinner with friends from work

Saturday: new tires, Costco date, housewarming BBQ with friends

Sunday: girls day with Lana hiking Rattlesnake Ledge, island Meat & Noodle supper club dinner

Monday: breakfast date to Sporty’s, deck painting, kitchen reorganization, hanging a salvaged porch swing, laundry, and leftover hot dogs for dinner on the deck


Green Jackets, Tassels & Hoods

So I am a little behind on this post….

Over a month ago was my final weekend at school. The last intensive (4 days of in person classes), the final presentation, last party, last circle, and final meals at Islandwood. And it was great!

I went into the weekend well prepared…good thing since my first order of business was the kickoff presentation of the weekend! To add to the pressure to preform my sponsor, a high level company executive from the company I did a graduate project with, had flown in to hear me speak. And you know what? I killed it! Awesome presentation that so many complimented me on. It was an amazing way to go out.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key: great meals, awesome conversations, and many ceremonies to pass BGI culture on to the next class. My favorite tradition? Green jackets. You know, Masters, green jacket? Yep, we have a rack of green thrift store jackets that span every fashion era you can think of. And we rocked those jackets every evening for dinner.

Graduation itself was on Sunday, and was a long day after an already marathon long weekend. We were all dressed up and hopped the 9:35 ferry to Seattle, had dress rehearsal, and at noon were being welcomed to our final moments as students.


Graduation was a Seattle Town Hall, a somewhat unknown but beautiful and iconic building. The ceremony was great, personal and we had a really good speaker. It was also really hot in that black regalia. It was so much fun to see my friends walk across the stage, and see my parents, in-laws, husband and grandma cheering me on from their seats. What a great feeling!

After the ceremony we took photos, explored Freeway Park, and then met up with some classmates for a fun outdoor dinner party on Lake Union.

It was a great day. Friends, family, and a significant milestone. Hard to believe we are already over a month into summer without school!

Persistence Pays Off!

It pays to check back!

Last spring we decided to do a surf/road/camping trip to the Oregon cost. On recommendations from some local surfing friends (thanks Anna and Heather!) we selected Manzanita, OR as our destination with the intent of trying out our cold water surf skills at Short Sands. Dates were picked, vacation applied for at work, and….well, there were no camp spots available. NONE. Zero. Apparently this place is in demand.

I decided to sit on it and see if we can up with a good backup. Hotels are great but add up quickly and we really wanted to camp.

Well today, on a whim, I rechecked the reservation website. ONE. SITE. AVAILABLE! Woohoo!! I snatched it up and am happy to report that we are camping at Nehalem Bay State Park in September!

It pays to be persistent! And after scouting out photos from Todos Santos last night to frame and hang up, I am really itching for some surf!

Memory Marathon

For us, this 4th of July was a five day weekend. Camping at the lake, a day at home, dinner with neighbors and finally wrapped up with Grandpo’s funeral and a recovery day at home. It was a marathon of creating new memories and digging up old ones. So much reminiscing, tears, and laughter. It was exhausting. But sunshine and picnics always help the recovery process.

So let me start with the holiday portion. For the 4th we hopped a ferry and drove out to Matt’s parent’s lake property on Tiger Lake…a short 40 minutes away from our island home. We spent the first night just the two of us, eating pizza by the fire and paddle boating around the still water.

The next afternoon friends started to arrive and the day turned into swimming, water fights, more paddle boating, campfires, games, hot dogs and fireworks. And rain. Dang rain! It was not hard and not constant but also not the brilliant sunshine that of course came right after the 4th. Oh Pacific Northwest how you are so reliable to have iffy 4th of July weather.

It was still a wonderful time.

On Saturday afternoon we headed back home to see the cats, water the garden and relax in the hot tub. By Sunday, the brilliant blue sky and sunshine was back. Curses! But we enjoyed it. I painted more of the deck, watered the garden again, and we took a walk to Wingehaven Park with Mexican popsicles in tow. It was hot.

Monday was a marathon day. We woke up, showered and loaded the car to make one final trip to Grandpo’s house in Tacoma for the funeral. The service was very nice, very Catholic, very Grandpo. All his grandkids and great-grandkids and grand-daughters-in-law (me and Emily) said something. I may be biased but I liked Matt’s tribute the most. He and Grandpo were very close, and his passing has been really tough. We motorcaded to the cemetery and said our final farewells complete with a taps and a rifle salute. It was my first visit to Matt’s grandma’s grave and we plan to visit both of them again next time we are down there.

After the service all the family piled back to Grandpo’s house to sort through stuff. Matt and I had visited last week and already picked a few sentimental things to take home and packed them up in the car. It is hard to sort through so much stuff. At 6:30 we all went to dinner and by 9:05 we were back home ready to collapse from exhaustion. What a day.

We felt so lucky to have an additional day of bereavement (and we are taking next Monday off too) to just be at home and collect ourselves. We put away all the camping stuff, had the second live vole brought lovingly in to run around our home (thanks kitties…), found homes for all our things from Grandpo, worked on the deck (me), played video games (Matt) and finally packed up a romantic and relaxing picnic to take to the beach.

We took a long drive around Maury Island (connected to Vashon) and found two new parks!

Then we drove out to Lisabella Park for a beach picnic dinner. Bread, wine, cheese, tomatoes, pickles, and fresh garden lettuce were on the menu. We also decided to bring out a jar of tuna stuffed peppers we brought back from Italy on our honeymoon. And a rum cake from Grand Cayman we had planned to give to Grandpo but was still in our pantry. Grandpo loved food, and this was a great way to reflect and honor him after a long weekend. We enjoyed the afternoon sunshine while sitting on warm, round stones and reminisced about Grandpo, the lake, our island and life. We are nearly at our 2 year anniversary, and only days away from four years of knowing each other. Life is good and precious, and nothing reminds you quite like slowing down to appreciate it.

One Year Ago

July 3, 2013 we spent our first night in our new home. Pizza picnic in the living room, mattress on the floor, and only a single car load of stuff in the house. And it felt GREAT!

A year has passed and the house is looking different. The living room drywall is cleaned up and painted, some of the rooms are unpacked and organized, and the garden is finally feeling somewhat under control. We are different too. We have friends on the island, are reliable “regulars” on the commute and really feel at home with the community. The people on the bus even call our corner “honeymoon corner”. Ha! Honeymoon Homestead may stick…

Just like last year we are also running around preparing for a camping weekend at the Lake. Matt’s parents have a lot on Tiger Lake on the Kitsap Peninsula and we are headed out there for hot dogs, fireworks, swimming and bonfires to celebrate the 4th. I was a maniac in the kitchen preparing yesterday. Muddy buddies, black bean corn salsa, pesto pasta salad and rhubarb bars are all ready to go. Now we just load up the mini cooper (that finally got washed this week!) and head to the ferry! Although we really need some rain, we are crossing our fingers that hot warm dry skies are here for the weekend.

A flurry of activity has been the norm around our house. This past weekend my parents visited with more family in tow. My grandpa even made it out for a visit! What a treat to show him our island and home! We explored the Point Robinson lighthouse and had a great family meal at home.

It meant a lot to see my Grandpa. Matt’s Grandpa passed away only a few weeks ago and appreciating grandparents is close to our hearts. We also learned that these two men were both born the same year, 1925. Also the same year our house was built.

So tonight we are getting pizza to celebrate our first year on Vashon, and officially being 1/20th of the way to being a local.