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H-Moon Part 2: Lovina

G’day gents!

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

So. The last day in Seminyak I began to get a bit of a sore throat, but only mildly and in the AM. I thought nothing of it and just hoped it would go away. Well, it did not and cold symptoms began to progress.

The day we drove to Lovina was an uneventful one. I had gone through about 9829q8 Kleenex and now had to endure a 4-hour car ride through the INSANELY windy roads of Bali. We managed a quick stop off at another famous Balinese temple, called Ulun Danu which is situated on a lake. It’s breathtaking.

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The gal on the left is FIERCE

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Little Indonesian deer friend

Once we were up and over the mountain, we finally arrived at our destination, The Damai. To us, this felt like the real “Bali” experience. Unlike being in Seminyak (a city), The Damai offered a tranquil, lush, zen-like setting for the remaining 6 days of our honeymoon.

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Entrance to our villa

 

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Ocean views in the distance!

I was exhausted from the car ride and we were both famished so we immediately had his and hers lunches of club sandwiches and I hit the hay HARD until dinner time. I could have smacked myself for not bringing any cold medicenes. Y’all know I’m a self-confessed pill popper, so it would have been nice to have a little Sudafed, or at the very least some Nyquil. Luckily, I had some de-contestants which helped a little.

The next morning we made our way to breakie.

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They grow their own herbs, a lot of produce and all the grass is hand cut

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Breakfast was also included in the price we paid for the room and the spread was utterly fantastic.

To start, they brought coffee, juice and an array of local fruits. I was instantly repulsed at the banana (obvs) and that sliced open thing with gooey seeds in the middle? I couldn’t do it. Any of it.

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But then. All of THIS came:

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In addition to this smorgasbord was ALSO our full-sized entrees of food, my favorite being their pancakes…

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Words cannot describe how much I loved these crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside discs of unadulterated buttery bliss. Our glutton-fests breakfasts each day EASILY tided us over through lunch and allowed me to look four months pregnant during our late-morning dips in the pool.

::cues Enya::

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Before dinner that night, I drank an Asian Red Bull.

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My face tho

At dinner, we ordered a bunch of seafood and my prawns still had their little exoskeletons and those gross little legs and also, they were spicy. It just wasn’t my night.

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The next day, we decided to venture up to the “community” pool with the peasants. Hahaaaahhaaaaaaa. I put “community” in quotes because there are only like 15 villas in the whole place, so it’s not like it was a gross urine-infested cesspool like at Silverwood.

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The next day we ventured into the little town of Lovina to watch the sunset.

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Still not feeling 100%

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Then we headed out for dinner.

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Bry bein’ scurry

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tee hee

 

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i feel like I’m bushbaby in this pic

Bryan ordered some kind of curry and I decided on pizza after debating what would make me the least sick.

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Tasted like a Totino’s party pizza with extra mozz on top

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The next morning we woke up bright and early to go dolphin watching!

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so pitty

so pitty

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We ended up seeing a ton of dolphins but they are hard to photograph! Quick little buggers…

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The only semi-useable dolphin shot

Then I tried to commandeer the boat and it didn’t work…

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darn ‘ttractive

Later on, we changed and shopped around before we headed back to our room for a two-man pool party.

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Tropical drinks!

Whilst pool-partying, I asked Bryan if he enjoyed the Kelly Kapowski swimsuit butt and he did not know what that was. The horror!! So. I had to demo.

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Bryan had fully caught my cold at this point and the next day it rained :( so obvs we laid on the couch all day and watched movies. Btw, The Count of Monte Cristo is SUCH a good revenge flick. So satisfying to watch.

Our last days were spent laying low because of Bryan’s worsening cold.

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Our very last full day, we decided to go to Spice Beach Club and spend the day lounging under the umbrella.

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And since we had sooo much fun during the day, we came back at night to watch the sunset and have dinner.

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When we got back to our room that night, we had a special gift from The Damai for our honeymoon!

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The next day, Bryan was still really sick with a horrible cough and we had the following ahead of us:

  • 4 hour drive from Lovina to the airport
  • 5 hour flight to Taipei
  • 2 hour layover
  • 12 hour flight to Seattle
  • 2.5 hour drive to Portland

It was really joyous. The best part I’d say was the 12 hour flight for sure. Bryan woke himself up coughing every 20 minutes. We were directly across from the flight attendants little HQ and every meal was chicken + rice in a thick sauce By the time we got to Seattle, I was thoroughly thrown-off, hungry, and just haggard. We took turns driving and arrived around 10:30 PM.

I took a loooong, hot shower, used a ton of Lush, brushed my teeth with water FROM THE SINK and just soaked in all those comforts of home I had missed. By the time we fell into bed, it was near midnight and I gotta tell ya – climbing into bed that night had to be the most satisfying feeling EVER. You know the one. YOUR sheets, YOUR pillow. Before long, I drifted into a deep, peaceful sleep.

Traveling to foreign lands is tiresome. It’s expensive, uncomfortable at times and it is never “easy”. People keep asking us if it’s what we expected or if we wished we’d just gone to Hawaii. And while I LOVE me some Maui, I also think it is important (for me, at least) to push myself and experience these amazing cultures. All the head-colds, lizards and typhoid-infested drinking water couldn’t stop me from seeing everything there is to see and having a partner who feels the same way is the icing on the cake.

Until next time Bali. Until next time.

H-Moon Part 1: Seminyak

Hallo!

You would think that after a two-week stint in Indonesia I could greet y’all in the native language. But, no. I got nadda. In fact, on our layover in Taipei we both realized how little we knew about this big island we were about to inhabit. Ah. Well.

Thankfully in Taipei, we stumbled upon one of my favorite kitty-cats EVER on EARTH.

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YOU KNOW I died.

And so. Armed with little knowledge of Bali, our plane touched down after a grueling 23 hours of solid travel to sticky-hot temps and absolutely bat-sh*t CRAY traffic. You see, in Bali there are no traffic regulations. Sure, there’s the odd stoplight. One would think the yellow and white lines on the asphalt should at the very least HINT to the illusion there is any kind of order – BUT NO. If driving on the left side wasn’t enough to kinda freak me out, surely the use of the horn was. Scooters whizzed by as bits of jungle and tiny shacks selling peanuts and Bintang quickly faded into a blur of people, buildings and noise.

Overwhelmed but excited, we checked in at our hotel in Seminyak, Le Jardin Villas. Upon arrival, we were given wonderfully fragrant leis and welcome drinks. Our breakfast came as part of our package so we made our selections for the following day and were escorted to our villa.

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As per tradish, they washed our feet before entering… in a bowl with tons of flower petals. SO COOL. But also, I felt bad for the girl who had to touch my feet…

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As soon as the tour of our villa was over and the door was shut – we both squealed with delight. Srsly, like little piggies. I mean, we were really THERE. In BALI. ‘Moonin it UP.

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The first day or two were spent aboard the relaxi-taxi (name that show!) and I had my first run-in with a true Bali native:

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Yes. I freaked out and started crying. Thank the baby Jesus I wasn’t ANYWHERE near this guy when I first spotted him in the bushes. After a few minutes, he decided to grace us with his presence atop our sundeck. Bryan was psyched and I was like “KILL IT, KILL IT!!!!” I was kidding though, I mean, he was just trying to catch a few rays I guess??

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I named him Professor McGonickle

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The third day we decided to head to our very first official temple for sunset. This particular one has been in the background of various movies and has probably graced the background of many screensavers as well.

I give you, Tanah Lot! The temple was originally built to worship Balinese sea gods and of course has heavy Hindu influence. It is literally IN the ocean during high-tide and provides one AMAZING backdrop for a killa sunset.

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After our cultural experience for the day, ’twas time for dinner. And since we had heard rave reviews for Sarong, back in Seminyak, we decided to go there. The restaurant was beautiful, the ice consumable and all the people were white. Haha. Dinner was fantastic, too.

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The next day we knew we wanted a little beach time, so we selected to visit one of Bali’s many beaches, Padang Padang. The entrance to the beach itself was CRAY. For a couple’a trees like Bryan and I, wriggling down the set of stairs which lay right up against a giant STONE WALL was intimidating, to say the least.

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The beach was SWELTERING and it finally dawned on me that we were basically sitting on top of the mothereffing equator. Bryan took shelter under an umbrella and drank from coconuts (I think they taste like armpit sweat) while I slathered on the 70. Yes, apparently such staggering levels of SPF can be attained.

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After a few hours of sun, we headed back to the hotel and quickly changed so we could do sunset drinks at another white-man’s haven Khu De Ta. Cocktails were ‘murican prices but oh well, it was swankers and the real estate was PERFECT to watch the sun sink into the horizon.

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The following day Bry and I hired a driver/tour-guide for 10 hours, which cost all of about $55, so that we could check off a bunch of the “to-dos” we had left on our list. Our first stop was to watch the Barong & Rangda, a Balinese Hindu dance. I confess I know little about the Hindu religion, our driver, Iwan, tried explaining some of the ideologies to us, but mostly I was flummoxed. From what I gathered, Hinduism focuses on balance. In this particular dance, the Barong and Rangda symbolize good and evil. The costumes are considered very sacred as well as the dance itself.

Here we are all-American and sh*t.

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Had to

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Making the offerings

The dance was beautiful and even though the dialogues were in Balinese, it didn’t matter because the message was clear: There will always be an ongoing struggle inside each of us with good and evil…or at least I hope that’s what the point was. If not, I WANT MY MONEY BACK. hee hee jk.

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One other cultural display I found interesting and a bit repulsive was a group of tourists who continued to walk around the arena and noisily snap pictures, during the show. At one point nearing the end, a woman rose from her seat to stand right IN FRONT of the stage and had her ENTIRE family take her pic as the actors were just feet away. The fervency in which this woman insisted on hundred of pictures OF HERSELF no less, truly baffled me. Have you no respect, woman!? GEEEEEZ.

After that, we stopped off at another Balinese temple and we had to wear SARONGS. Tres cool.

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After that, we decided to head further into Ubud to try a Balinese delicacy: Luwak Coffee, or as I like to call it – “poop coffee”.

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I had heard of “the most expensive coffee in the world” when I worked at Elevated Grounds and turns out, it comes from Bali. Essentially a little animal called a civet eats the coffee berry and then after it passes the fruit (I am being SO P.C right now) the coffee-makers collect it, clean it, roast it and serve it up to caffeine-crazed folks all over the world.

the civet

the civet

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the poops

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processed

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roasted

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ground

We tried an array of their other coffees and teas (not made with poop) and then of course ordered a $5 cup of the LEGIT stuff before leaving. End result: DELICIOUS! Smooth and perfectly balanced, the Luwak coffee captured both of our hearts…and taste-buds.

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the good stuff

the good stuff

Once we arrived in Ubud I was positively TICKLED at the prospect of visiting Monkey Forest, a small bit of forest (jungle, really) inhabited by TINY BABY MONKEYS. Oh yes. Being a lover of any small mammal, I was simply in awe. Little monkeys, old and young, just roaming freely around a few acres of land, bein’ cute. You could buy mini bananas (MINI) and feed them but I sustained, as I didn’t want a  baby monkey bite.

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I didn’t want to leave Monkey Forest. At all. I wanted one. I wanted one SO BAD. I mean ROSS had one!?

Then we headed into Ubud to go to the market. Our driver warned us that we MUST negotiate prices if we bought anything at the market…. so basically yer telling me it’s TIME TO HAGGLE B*ITCHES.

And haggle I did. I procured five or six random chochkies and spent the equivalent of about $17, so job well done by me!!

 The next day we left for the second half of our honey-mizzle – to Lovina in north Bali!

Stay tuned my precious gems!

We’re BaaACK!

Did ya miss me!?

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The weddin’ day! Called for this face.

I certainly missed all the dozens of you. Things have just been flat-out strange since our return not 48 hours ago. As evidenced here, I have:

  1. Eaten 6-10 GIANT bowls of cereal with delicious almond milk – a meal I have been missing very badly these past couple’a weeks.
  2. Had just HORRIFIC jet-lag and slept until 3:21 PM today, mind you – we went to bed at 8 PM last night.
  3. Realized I do not want to see another dish consisting of chicken and rice for a long, long time.
  4. Been irrationally scared there might be a lizard stowaway in my suitcase.
  5. Transferred all our h-moon pics to my laptop and realized I was shiny in EVERY GD one. Aw poop!

But first things first, the wedding:

Cliché as it sounds, it went by just SO fast. Logistically, everything went swimmingly – the caterers made food which people ate, alcoholic bevs were consumed, music pulsed, etc, etc. SO glad I didn’t allow myself to become fixated on any small details – in fact, I take pride in the fact. Devoid of such Pinterest-inspired frivolities, I quickly realized something I had not before considered – NOBODY GIVES A SH*T. Feed em’, water ‘em. Show ‘em a little romance and badda-bing-badda-boom. You’ve got yerself a right fine little wedding. SHUCKS!

For the remainder of this week (which I have been sleeping away so far) will be spent chronicling our h-moon adventures in  Bali.

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Plenty more where THIS comes from. heh

And then, you guessed it! I will of course be writing about THE BIG DAY down to every bud vase, glass of Veuve and twist of the curling iron.

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closed-mouth smile for the win

So stay tuned little fishies, stay tuned!

 

Mrs.

Here I sit, on my in-laws floor (I have in-laws now…WHAT!?), just two hours before Bry and I leave for our honeymoon to Bali – and I can’t help but think of all that happened over the past three days.

Grown men dancing HARD to Gloria Estefan. Babies droppin it low in their onesies on the 4th of July. Our family and friends tossing back BL’s like college kids (yeah, we old). More love than I could handle and majesty I can begin to describe.

Everything from our photog to my Dad’s unforgettable speech knocked it outta the mother*ckin ballpark. I am now a wife and a darn proud member of the Nash clan.

Should I change my blog name to “Nash-ville” (get it?)?? YOU be the judge.

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Great Expectations

As I sit here at my kitchen table strewn with lists, RSVP cards, seating charts and yes, even our wedding bands, I can’t help but analyze it all. A week away from “the big day” and what does it all really mean? Never an over-thinker, I am a bit surprised at my brain’s way of processing all that has happened over the past few months.

A big move, unemployment, wedding showers with gifts, friends and family. Mixed feelings about choices we’ve made, from my wedding dress to our honeymoon destination. It all piles up in my brain and I am left overwhelmed, with greasy hair and still in my pajamas at 2 o’clock. I sit questioning myself, for it has been me and me alone who has made these decisions.

It was my sister (and best friend) Rachel who reminded me the other day to snap out of my state of worry. “You’re marrying Bryan,” she said. “‘That’s all that matters.”

OH YEAH.

And so. It is with great joy and a brand new HELLS-YES attitude with which I forge into the next 9 or so days. So what, if half the people we invited said NO? Who cares if my boobs don’t quite fill out my dress? Who have I ever been to really care what others think?

I love my friends. I love my family. I want them to feel welcomed and loved. In fact, I want love to permeate the evening . A lovely affair, filled with food, wine, dancing and hopefully Toto’s “Africa”. A night where my Dad turns me around the dance floor and my Mom does “the shopping cart” with pride. Where someone jumps in the pool. And someone’s crying (because there is ALWAYS someone crying at these things, you know).

I have done great thus far at keeping my eyes on the prize and NOT getting caught up in stupid details so many brides might lose their sh*t over. But sometimes, I falter. Something creeps in and festers away in my mind until I am left a perpetual ball of nerves. It is people like Rachel, like Holly, like my Mom and Bry’s Mom and my sisters to keep my head outta the gutter and right where it should be. Firmly planted atop my shoulders, looking straight ahead at a life I am fortunate to have and a man who is silly enough to love me.

And that, my friends is what it’s all about.

Well, and candy. It’s also about candy.

Weekending

You know when you just have one of those perfect weekends? Where you strike that perfect balance of knocking things off the to-do list while still enjoying two work-free days? Lately, those have been scare around here. CFA exam prep, weekends away planning our wedding. Mondays would come and go where neither of us felt that true satisfaction.

Well, last weekend was definitely the exception. And hopefully we’ll have plenty more to come.

Our friends from Seattle came to see us, we shopped for honeymoon clothes AND we snuck in a mini trip to wine country. Holla.

Saturday afternoon Kyle, Melissa and their daughter M arrived and instantly our weekend had begun. It has been an absolute joy to watch little M grow before our very eyes from a little baby, to the curious, precocious and beautiful 2-year-old girl she is today. I simply adore this child and Mel has an awesome blog you all MUST check out.

We unpacked and settled in a bit before hitting the waterfront for a little stroll before dinner. M couldn’t decide which was better, the stroller or stretching her legs and walking along the path – stopping to examine everything from flowers to rocks to puppies and the hissing Canadian geese (yes, they hiss and it is SUPER weird). We hit up Nike Town where the boys found some treasures and I realized my workout attire is in DESPERATE need of an upgrade. Unless for some reason, my sister’s old soccer shorts and pitted-out cotton tee shirts come back in stlye…

For dinner, we headed to NW 23rd street to meet up with some other friends and share a meal. The Lucky Labrador Brewery was the perfect setting for adults and kids alike, featuring an outdoor patio with picnic tables, dogs and lots of good food. Our gourmet veggie pizza was great, but watching the kidelts play and try to feed each other had to be the highlight of dinner.

Afterwards, Mel and I walked over to a NW 23rd namesake, Salt & Straw. With lines wrapping around the block on the daily, we surmised that getting a pint and getting the heck outta there was our best bet. I ran in, got 10-15 dirty looks and grabbed a pint of sea salt with caramel ribbons (drool). Then we headed back so M could go to bed and we could dig in. The ice cream was life-changing good and we quickly understood why people wait hours for this stuff.

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JOY!

The next day Kyle and Bryan did us a solid and ran down the waterfront to procure two Portland delicacies we desperately wanted to try. Stumptown coffees and Voodoo Doughnuts. I’ll admit the Voodoo Doughnuts thing is over-hyped. Lots of locals hate the place but tourists can’t get enough of the quirky, deep-fried creations. Personally, I don’t discriminate against any doughnut SO BRING EM ON.

Bry and Kyle returned an hour later toting Stumptown mochas and an array of sugary sweet doughnut combos that, admittedly, turned us all into giggling little kids. We got bacon maple bars, a chocolate doughnut with Cocoa Puffs, some staples like an old-fashioned and cake and then mine – The Loop. Yes, my friends. A vanilla frosted ring of sumptuous glory, dipped in none other than Fruit Loops.

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Turns out M was just as enthusiastic about my doughnut so we shared, much to the chagrin of her parents who shook their heads at her tenacity towards the rainbow-colored cereal covered in bits of vanilla frosting. When in Portland, kid. When in Portland.

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After breakfast (if you can call it that), we decided to walk off some of those delicious calories and head into downtown for a bit of shopping. Obvs the Rack had to be pillaged and I was happy to see everyone find some awesome finds (tax-free!).

For lunch, we went to the Nordstrom Café per Melissa’s recommendation and it turned out to be EXACTLY what we needed. Good food, good prices and speedy service. How does Nordstrom always get it right?

After lunch we reluctantly bid adieu to our friends, gave M MASSIVE hugs and sent them on their way back to Washington. Bry then mentioned the idea of heading over to McMinnville for a little wine tasting and wandering. Hmmmm…”OKAY”, was my reply.

The little downtown of McMinnville is literally SO cute, lined with restaurants, little boutiques and of course plenty of tasting rooms. We sauntered around a bit before hopping in the car to visit Eyrie Vineyards.

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Apparently this place bottled the first ever Pino Gris in America back in the 70’s…which is my fave wine. Who knew!?

Next we wanted to try someplace with a view. And we totally found it at Durant Vineyards! The tasting room was very well appointed, with rustic and tasteful décor and a really nice sampling of wines to try. Bry and I decided to just get glasses since they were closing down and headed outside.

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It was heaven.

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His and Hers

All in all, a very successful weekend indeedsy.

Honeymoon Haul + Wedding Bits

As some of you may or may not know, Bryan and I are going to Bali for our honeymoon. We leave on a red eye basically 24 hours after we say “I DO” and could not be more excited.

We figured since we’re putting ourselves through that crazy red-eye, Hep A shots (which were a little B, btw), typhoid vaccinations, and the possibility of Bali Belly, we deserved a few odds and ends to make our stay a little more comfortable and yes, stylish.

Bry hit the mother-load at the Rack, procuring himself swim trunks, a few tee shirts and maybe the odd tank top. My trousseau shall be filled with travel-friendly (read: comfortable) and fun (read: cheap) vacation-wear. In addition was the SAS at Victoria’s Secret and a pair of falsies spotted at Sephora that I just HAD to try.

Here are the goods!

From Target:

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I chose this bikini for two reasons. One, the top is push-up and two, the bottoms ARE NOT string-tie. Why doesn’t target have a 30 years + swim section?

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I am usually not a fan of maxi skirts (ON ME) because I always end up feeling like they are a bit too short and I don’t think it is appropriate to “sag” your maxi skirt. This one however, I am excited to wear with, wait for it…CROP TOPS. Yes, m’friends. I shall don a crop top and bare my upper tum-tum to the world!

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I decided to grab this little white pocket crop-top to pair not only with the tulip skirt but also with a pair of shorts to wear possibly over a swim suit. We shall see how I feel about it.

From T.J Maxx

There is the classiest T.J Maxx downtown Portland. You wouldn’t think it, but every time I go, I am treated to perfectly arranged clothing racks, sparkling dressing rooms and a well-stocked candle section. A + downtown T.J. A+.

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Boring navy tank. I SWEAR this brand from T.J Maxx makes the softest tees and tank tops. They are always under $7.99 and I mean, you just CANNOT beat that.

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Shorts like these were all over the store. And being the true Maxxinista that I am, I had to partake. Dare I say, they look a bit like pajamas but I feel like Bali will welcome this look. Plus, they have a stretchy waist band. YES please!

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They had a TON of makeup brushes this time around. Some off-brands that I had never heard of, but also ones by Borghese and Models Own. I decided to grab this little blending brush because it was $2.99 and it looked decent.

Sephora & Victoria’s Secret

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I spotted these at Sephora a few weeks ago and was all, “yeah right”, they cannot be real mink. Well, jury’s still out. I haven’t the slightest idea of what they are truly made of, but really, I don’t care. Just look at that crazy lash action. I think these might be a wedding-day contender, and at $10, they didn’t break the bank.

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I spent a mere $13 on ALL of these goodies (gotta love that SAS). A VS Heavenly (my FAVE VS scent) body wash, Lip Plumper in Baby Pink, purse-sized Heavenly Body Mist and a nail polish in String Bikini. Don’t mind if I do!

And that’s it for my haul – check back soon for a re-cap of our awesome weekend!

Happenings

Bryan was in San Francisco for 3 days this week. While he was gone, here is what I did:

  • Woke up super early in the morning and immediately made the bed.
  • Painted my nails purple (which is NOT an approved color around here. HUSKIES) And let it be said that Zoya might be my new favorite brand of polish.

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  • Watched Orange is the New Black Season 2. V scares the BEJESUS outta me and wtf was the part with her and her son? Like, no V. I definitely DO NOT want to see your sweaty boobs.
  • Ate an entire box of Fruity Cheerios.
  • Did one 20 minute elliptical sesh.
mmm

mmm

WINNING at life.

While OITNB fed my appetite for racy, over-the-top sensationalized television, I still needed something to wet my wholesome-TV whistle. Enter, The Paradise. Has anyone seen this? It takes place in a period I like to generalize as, the olden days and focuses on a cast of characters whom all work at the “first ever department store”, The Paradise. Basically it’s amazing and the main character looks kinda like Legolas. It’s BBC and is getting me through the weeks until PLL is on.  DON’T judge.

We receive wedding gifts to our home what feels like on the daily. Beautiful things are unwrapped, squealed over and then sadly, tucked back into tissue paper and stored for later use #threekitchencupboardsproblems.

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I am going through candles like cray kinda like m’programs. Therefore, I visited my BBW during the semi-annual to stock the F up. No such luck. 50% off. 50% percent off!? Like, no! I want $6 3-wicks. $5 3-wicks. I want foaming handsoaps for $2.50 and wallflowers for $5. Maybe I missed the opening days and good deals, because mama wasn’t happy.

My gal Lacey and I went out for lunch to La Provence and had the best time chatting over salads and of course Diet Cokes. The place was adorbs and I kind of wanted to move in. We both got stuff from the pastry cake on our way out because really, how could we not!?

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Lemon, Chocolate and Almond Macarons

I FINALLY got the throw from Pottery Barn I have been DYING OVER for like 2 years. It only comes out on the floor during the winter months and rarely does it go on sale. We had a couple of gift cards and decided it was time to take the plunge. Yes, $129 is a lot for a throw but it is worth EVERY PENNY.

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Our First Portland Hike

Hey hey hey!

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Last weekend, as a treat for Bryan completing the CFA exam, I decided to grace him with my presence on the hiking trail.

You see, while living in Jackson Hole, I lured Bryan into my clutches by pretending that I was somewhat of a hard-core hiking lady. Of course this couldn’t be further from the truth, but months of running had given my body the aptitude to take on 10 mile + hikes and thousands of feet in elevation gain. So, I would ho-hum along the hiking trail, impressing him with my ugly-but-cool hiking pants and alleged excitement of yet 75 more switchbacks.

Since then, things have somewhat changed.

While I do enjoy the out-of-doors and the odd camping trip, the boy is mine (as Brandy and Monica might say). I no longer have to work for his affection, and thus – I let my freak flag fly.

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I wear whatever I feel suits me best when I hike. Be it a sparkly VS hoodie circa 2006 or knee socks with shorts. Within the first 15 or so minutes, at least 2-4 complaints have escaped my mouth and probably another couple requests for the water bottle, granola bar, etc. I am needy. I talk too much. I get mad. But I’m also a darn good time.

Bryan and I decided to do a loop around Multanomah Falls, the largest waterfall in Oregon. We started out on a paved black-top and I must have made the comment, “Oh, I just love that this is paved!” about a million times. It was steep, but at least it wasn’t all rocky and full of tree roots.

The hike was full of twists and turns, bridges over bubbling brooks and mini waterfalls. It was DEFINITE unicorn territory.

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As the pavement slowly faded into earth, so did my motivation. My muscles were tired, the muggy air made my whole body sticky and I knew we weren’t even halfway done. Bryan told me we had gained about 1,200 feet and for that, I was grateful.

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Just before we reached our destination towards the top, I realized that my sentiments towards hiking, mirror the stages of grief.

1. Shock and denial – The initial shock of going uphill is never good. I’ll often ask myself, “I don’t remember signing up for this!”

2. Pain and Guilt –   The pain has set in. I’m hurting and I want to stop and devour all the m&ms out of the trail mix. But I don’t. I keep going because I will feel bad if I poop out now.

3. Anger and Bargaining – Then I just get MAD. Real mad. I see Bryan easily handling the steepness and I just wanna throw my water bottle at his head. Why is he putting me through this? Then I’ll try to barter, “Hey, if you go down and get the car now, I’ll make cookies for you tonight!”.

4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness – After the anger has subsided, I’m just sad. Why is this hike so hard for me, yet so easy for all these other people? A tear might escape my eye. Bryan is now a good 15 paces ahead of me. “He doesn’t even care”, I think.

5. The Upward Turn – This is usually when we reach the top, or whatever destination we have been going towards. I know we are now going downhill and so I smile.

6. Reconstruction and Working Through – I’ve now told Bryan that I hate this hike, I hate these trees. I’m recovering from my tantrum and as the sweat dries up, so does my anger.

7. Acceptance and Hope – I’ve done it. It is over and I am better because of it. This is where I get really chatty, lovey-dovey and want to stop for little breaks to snap pics, hold hands and breathe in the moment.

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You see? It totally applies. Which brings me to my next idea, which is – hikes that ONLY go downhill. Yes please.

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Influenster Spring Fling Vox Box

So.

If you are active on the social medias, have a blog or BOTH than you need to be signed up for Influenster if you haven’t already.

It took me about 10 minutes, I linked up all my SM accounts and BAM – 2 weeks later I was notified that I would be receiving the Spring Fling Vox Box. FOR FREE. Yes, my friends. I actually received free things. I feel like a real, live beauty blogger. Who is begged by major brands to promote their goods and services on the daily. I’m SO cool you guys.

AnyWHO – yes. Anyone can sign up, so give ‘er a try. I have no referral link and am not getting a dime for talking about any of these products. I just like free stuff. Simple as that.

Here’s what I got!

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Kiss Press-On Nails

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I am really excited to put these on. I have tried the Impression ones and they were SO thick that I couldn’t run my fingers through my hair without ripping out 20 strands. These look pretty and fairly natural, obvs I will report back.

Nivea Skin Firming Body Lotion

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I am already a huge fan of Nivea. This formula seems like it’s RIGHT up my alley though – skin firming!? Yes please.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Retro Glam Mascara

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When I think of retro glam eyelashes, I think Twiggy. Yes, I will take a set of those! I am not sure about the hourglass brush, but of course I will give it a shot.

Peach Cobbler Air Freshener

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This was to promote the movie Labor Day…whatevs. You guys know I love me some car air fresheners, esp the ones by Yankee. Not too sure about the peach cobbler scent and how that would mix with dirty hiking clothes in the back of Bry’s Jeep.

Softlips 5 in 1 Cube

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I am SO PUMPED to try this little sucker out. It seems all the chapstick brands are trying to emulate the EOS balms (which I find to be fairly waxy, btw, they do work well as a lipstick base though). This will get lots of use this summer!

Playtex Sport Tampons

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Let’s just go ahead and discuss this, shall we? Ew. Free feminine hygiene products are always a win in my book, I hate buying them. Also, I love that there is a chick hurdling on the box. It’s the stupidest predicament to feature, like how many women that buy these actually hurdle? Why not show a woman sitting on the couch with seven blankets, a Bud Light tall-boy and a Dance Moms marathon. MUCH more accurate if you ask me.

That’s all she wrote, folks.’Til next time!

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