My People

G’Day Gents.

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Last weekend I drove to Seattle to see my homegirls.  We try to organize this event yearly, but it is painstakingly clear each time we rendezvous that more meetups are desired. Nay, necessary.

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These girls are a part of me. They listen and nod their heads as I talk incessantly about Dubsmashing Frozen like ‘err day. They try to get me to ingest organic vegetables. They reassure me that my snaggletooth and man shoulders are cute. They just get me. And I am so grateful for them.

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We never get anything accomplished during these weekends. In fact, we’re lucky if everyone’s dressed by 4 pm. Dry shampoo is optional.  This time around, we submitted to small 20-minute walks around the neighborhood, wine, cheese and OBVS a hair session instigated by yours truly.

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We had a delicious meal at Local 360 (cheesy grits) and later somehow fit all four of our bodies into one bed for a chat. Come Sunday I was not ready to leave and our traditional four-way hug couldn’t last long enough.

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To Carey and Holly and Bek. I love you guys.

Christmas 2014 Re-Cap

yyyyello!

Miss me? I’m sure ya did!

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Shoulder Padzz

I’d love to tell you that my absence was due to a brief volunteering stint in Africa, or that I was cleaning up our entire house with eco-friendly products. Heck, I’d settle for a debilitating injury. But the truth is…I’ve been lazy. The shameful kind. The just-one-more-episode-of-Gilmore Girls kind . The mmm-this-pirate’s booty-is-GOOD kind.

You get it.

But I’m back and I’m here to stay. It’s a New Year afterall and hopefully an eventful one for me and the huz-cat. We’ve got some trips lined up (one to FRANCE) and a new-found affinity for hummus so LET’S GO!

Our 2014 Christmas was great. We kicked it off by leaving the afternoon of the 23rd after we were both off work. Oh yeah, I got a JOB. It’s amazing isn’t it? Go me. Anyweez, we got home and after a million kisses from McDoogal and some dinner, we hit the hay in preparation for yours truly’s birthday! I’m officially “in my thirties” now and I find it both disgusting and liberating at the same time. Go fig.

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My birthday kicked off with a trip to IHOP, because, duh. I have NEVER been to IHOP and, well, I suddenly had the urge to order a stack of 500-calorie pancakes. So we went. Check out the array of syrups! Buddy the Elf would have been in heaven.

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After breakfast and a little walk, Nan and I decided to get our nails done. It was there, at the nail salon, where we discovered a new show that had us both on the edge of our seats (literally). Blacklist. Anyone a fan? The 20-something sweet boy who was doing my nails said it was his favorite and he kept telling me what was about to happen. I was thinking “SHUT UP!” but his enthusiasm was just too presh.

Of course we attended the 6 o’clock mass that night where my Dad played a little clarinet and sax. Father Richard was en pointe this year and the homily was actually uplifting – WIN! After church we all went over to Megan and Ben’s for my birthday party.

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We had crab, crab cakes (Ben made them and they were so good!), manicotti and one of Rachel’s famous cakes. She did a funfetti cake for me with MACARONS on top!! Does this girl know me, or DOES SHE KNOW ME?

cake!

The next morning was Christmas! And true to Danielson form, things were a bit wonky. Sister Amy and her fiancé weren’t able to drive over until later that day and Sister Megan had her new family to celebrate with. That left Bry and I to fend for ourselves. So we did what anyone would do in our situation – we went to see the Hobbit! IN 3-D! It was SO amazing to watch in 3-D but the movie itself? Mehhh.

After the movie we came home and helped my mom with a few last minute touches on the ol’ Christmas ham and then Amy and Shannon arrived! They brought with them one of their many fur babies, Ellie. Or as I like to call her, Elle Belle.

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Guys, I seriously fell in love with this dog in a matter of minutes. She is the sweetest, liveliest little baby ever and I want her. My grandparents came over at that point and it was positively ADORBS to watch them interact with little Ellie. My heart melted into a gigantic pool of love.

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We had dinner then opened presents and it was a magical evening. Except I got a Downton Abbey puzzle for Nan and discovered she already had one..asjnasdoinwnNL!98324joa. whatevs. I LOVE Christmas.

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Oh, Gare

Oh, Gare

The next day Bry ventured back to Seattle to spend a little QT with his bro before he left on a trip to Thailand. I stayed back in Kennewick to spend some time with m’girls and yes, Ellie absolutely had something to do with it. We went to lunch, shopped (BBW was a MADHOUSE) and played cards – it was a good day.

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On Saturday, Meg, Nan and I drove over to Seattle so they could see my Aunt & Uncle and I could do a little Christmas with the Nash clan. Did I mention how much I love love LOVE being a part of this family!? We opened more gifts, drank champs and got ready to head out for dinner.

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Maxamilien is a Nash tradish and one I am proud to help uphold. It wasn’t the same without Bryan’s brother KC, but we had no problem putting down some steak with truffle fries and a bottle of wine!

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The next morning we begrudgingly said goodbye to our fair state and drove back to Portland. Our NYE was very uneventful, with a couple glasses of champs and lights-out at 9 BUT New Years Day was a blast!

We went skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows and I actually did decent for my first time back. Yes, I felt like my legs were filled with boiling acid, but all in all, it wasn’t too shabby.

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Here’s to 2015!!

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Happenings

Random stories from my life:

Recently, I have gone into the city TWICE for dinners with Bryan. I always feel so grown-up and jet-setting, when I drive into the city for dinner. I like to think that it’s no big deal. I imagine myself a spontaneous, totally together woman who weaves in and out of traffic, tossing my perfectly coiffed hair and listening to french hip-hop. Sadly, that’s not the case with me.  I am only willing to brave such journeys at the promise of champagne, a good meal and ALWAYS the ballet. Last time, it was Place Pigalle. A french restaurant tucked away in Pike Place Market which has become a favorite of Bryan and I’s.We shared some delicious food, drank our bubbles and even ordered dessert, a rare but welcome occurrence.

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New tights!

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Champagne and creme brulee!

Another weekend, we met our friends Lacey and Danny for cocktails at Lot. 3 in Bellevue. We arrived at 4:30 and the hostess was like, “we can seat you but the table needs to be available by 7:30 for a reservation”. In all my years in food service, I have not encountered such a request. But whatevs, we sat down and thought for sure 3 hours would be enough time. But, as drinks with these two go, we were basically planted there. They did make us get up and move to the bar at 7:30 which I did with only a modicum of contempt. Obvs it didn’t stop our party and canijustsay, I love a couple who knows how to GET DOWN. An unexpected round of tequila shots? Hear, hear! These guys always bless us with such great conversation, its easy to lose track of time.

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PB&J + Bacon Slider = perfection

My parents bought me a cute little vanity for Christmas. I opened the enormous box on my birthday and squealed with delight. But then. It was broken, so we sent ‘er back. A million years later, the replacement arrived. No directions. No screws. No vanity stool as pictured. The mirror needed to be attached somehow to the table and we did not own power tools. POOP. My mom was in cahoots with the owner so she asked him to please send us directions, screws and the stool. 82198 days later, the stool arrived and then there was the matter of procuring a power drill. MY LIFE. The predicament ended happily, with Bryan successfully screwing the mirror to the base with our newly-purched Ryobi drill. We were both sweating and kindof mad at no one in particular but we did it. And behold! HEADQUARTERS:

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So happy and so scraggly

Also, we painted the walls of the bedroom pictured above. More appropriately known as “the ladies quarters”, this room is where I have been doing my makeup. The AWFUL blue color HAD to go, it was so unsettling!  So, one weekend I got all motivated and went to Home Depot, picked out a color and that was that. 3 days later I had a perfectly “cottage white” room. YES, it took me 3 days. Multiple coats and ceiling touch-ups were needed. I’m such a homeowner right now!

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BEHR Cottage White

And here is how it looks on the walls:

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Definitely NOT our house 😦

Upcoming excitements include:

  1. spray painting an old nightstand
  2. mom and megan coming in two weeks to do wedding things!
  3. the bag of original goldfish crackers in my desk

That is all.

November Favorites

Yep! I’m about 6 days late on this.

(I was just about to add the #sorrynotsorry hashtag but I’m sick of seeing it and I would wager you are too!)

So let’s get to them products!

Makeup

1. Stila eyeshadow in Bliss: Top row, middle shade

This color is my GO-TO crease color. It’s matte. It’s effortless. I love it.

s1346667-main-Lhero2. Wet’n’Wild Lipstick in Cherry Picking

Such a pretty deeper, bright pink. I heard about it from Fleur and I am so glad I did. Also, it costs $2!

4503. Starlooks Eye Pencil in Topaz

I received this in my November Ipsy, which I had mixed feelings about. At first, I didn’t know what to do with a silver metallic eye pencil…in 9th grade this would have been great 🙂 Anyways, I smudged a little on my lower lash line last weekend and kind dug the whole “snow fairy” effect it gave.  Since then, I have been smudgin away!

GemEyePencil_grande_1024x1024Bath & Body

1. Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter

Ermahgerd. This smells like pumpkie pie and I have contemplated licking myself after I apply this to my skin just to see if it tastes good. It doesn’t.

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2. Purity Face wash by Philosophy

After an hour long conversation with a sweet sales-woman at Ulta, I decided to give this crazy-popular face wash a try. I explained to her my concerns: nearing 30, currently no skincare routine and looking for a little wrinkle prevention. Among several other things (like a Clarisonic) she recommended this stuff, noting that it completely removes makeup, can be used to wash brushes and most interestingly, it removes the wax coating from fruits! So far, I am really liking it and Bryan does too!

s407304-main-Lhero3. Montana Mountain Air Foaming Hand Soap from BBW

I got this for 2 reasons: the blue matches our powder room and because it said Montana. I mean, whaaaat?! Anywho, I am OBSESSED with the smell of this and sadly, BBW only came out with the soap (which I can’t find online anywhere) and nothing else!

pBBW1-15966150v850Random Faves:

1. My SEAHWAKS shirt a’course!

photo2. Having this car jar in my life:

christmas-cookie-car-jar69946293. Kristin Gehm and her husband, Bob on YouTube

I happened upon Kristin’s YouTube channel through Emily Noel or “Beauty Broadcast”. I absolutely adore her videos, especially the weekend vlogs. Also, her dear husband Bob is seriously hilarious. His demeanor is so great and I love the way they interact. Check out both her makeup and vlog channel!

Megan’s Bachelorette

Aloha Blogerinos! (Name that YouTuber!)

With the traces of my hangover bidding my body a reluctant adieu,  I finally feel up to the task of attacking this momentous occasion with my vernacular words and set it free on the internets. So, let’s go.

Friday began with a much needed highlight. I went to C.Joy Salon here in Redmond and told the stylist Kimberly of the saga that is my hair. We agreed on a full highlight – combining some bright blonde with a few low-lights for S’s and G’s.

Here’s the before:

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Accidental Ombre

And the after:

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My car is the best for selfies

Saturday morn – I got up and slathered instant-tan all over m’self, curled the eyelashes real nice and headed to the Q to pick up mimosa fixins and a box of Top Pots (donuts) to take to the nail place we reserved at 11 am. I dispensed mimosas, pink feather boa donuts and of course my Danielson-charm as we dipped our feet into the swirling blue water and slipped into pedi-heaven.

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The spread

The nail place turned out to be perfect – hat tip to Karen for the recommendation! I loved the power ballad instrumentals they played and the Sharper Image chairs…the “upper-back roll” was my jam.

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Meg and Jen

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“Everyone look at the camera!” Nan looks down. hahahahhha

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Amy is participating!

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Lil Meg

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After that, ’twas off to Purple Cafe in Bellevue where we were seated in our own personal wine cove.

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We had a delicious lunch of sandwiches, salads, soup and of course – the signature salted caramels and then scampered off to Bellevue Square for a little shopping.

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Paparazzi shot

The Nordstrom Anniversay sale is on and oh law – the money I could spend on limited edition Mac gift sets. Swoon. We had fun trying on lipsticks for the wedding, ogling over Tory Burch purses and hyperventilating over anything at Chanel. Oh, and sadly the Soliel Tan de Chanel  is completely sold out like everywhere :(.

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Rachel trying Candy Yum-Yum

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Angel and Creme-Cup

Ray-Ray and I left the mall a little early to head back to my house to prep for the party. I picked up my bestie Holls (that is the balls) and squeezed the bejesus out of her little body. We hung up my paper chains, made peeny linguine and hung up a poster of the Bieber. So basically…

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Cutouts courtesy of Miss Coleman

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Rachel’s Famous Oreo Balls

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Cotton candy cookies

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Be jealous.

We all slipped in to our LBD’s, heels and mini-tiaras and that was that. It was sweltering and because we have NO A.C everybody’s faces were melting into the carpet.

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My LBD from Targs

So, we carried the food, dranks and other bits on to the patio and resumed our phallic conversations in the comfort of my apartment’s courtyard.

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Holly showcasing her straw

The drinks were flowin and the shenanigans, growin. We moved inside to open presents where Meg received negligee of all kinds.

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She also got a  surprise from our other favorite YouTuber, Az4Angela! I ordered Megan candles from her online store and Ang was kind enough to send Megan a lil’ something. Thanks Angela!

After the formality of opening gifts, we moved on to more indecent activities like blasting rap and 1D while dancing PG-13. A conga line may have formed, I don’t know.

We played a rousing game of pecker toss, which is much harder than it looks and I may have accidentally played Party in the USA like on repeat.

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Wrong on sooo many levels

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Tossin’

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Frisbee method

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Not sure about this method

Holly and I then decided it the appropriate time to introduce the evening’s signature cocktail – chocolate cake shots.

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Draaanks

Since the party has ended, the chocolate cake shots have been subject to public conjecture as to whether or not they were to blame for the craziness that ensued through out the evening. Jury’s still out.

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Cake topper from Etsy

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We piled into a couple of cars (the driver’s sober) and were whisked into Kirkland with the goal of filling out our trusty bachelorette check-list cards before the night ended.

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Holly started us off with vodka-redbulls and Meg got right to work by asking a group of older gentlemen if any of their names were Ben Johnson. Aww girl.

Upon arrival at the bars, I pulled out my phone to send a location update and realized drunk logic made me grab Amy’s work phone since they were both white iPhone 4s. #FAIL. Also, Rachel forgot her phone and Meg had 2% battery left. Everything was SO organized.

The night was a veritable circus of all things bachelorette – we took shots of Fireball (delish), danced with Kirkland gays (hey-o!) and managed to get down to the tunes all the youngins are listening to. All while accumulating marital advice on paper napkins and nearly convincing a man to give us his underwear (Amers was in charge of that one).

Megan made friends with a couple a Russian men and I thought it cute to come bombing into the middle of their conversation, sloppily proclaiming “BORSCHT!!” (the one and only word I know in Russian), laughing like a hyena and trying to be funny.

We managed to stuff ourselves into a cab around 2 am and for me, things got all kinds-o-hazy. Rach set out for Jack in the Box while I (apparently) helped get all the air beds inflated and bedding distributed.

I am told that everyone else had a smashing time upon Rachel’s return, feasting on burgers, fries and gulping water while watching late-night television.

I, on the other-hand took a different route:

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So did Amy

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Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaahhahahhahaa

Bryan made his return from camping around 11 am the next morning and got to experience the text convo between Rachel and I.  So hilar – I can’t remember when I have laughed so hard.

The rest of the day was spent nursing my hangover with Chipotle, popsicles and Lincoln on Redbox. Planning and executing an entire day of activities at multiple locations was fun but completely exhausting – therefore I am using that as my excuse for my decision to PTFO.

Yes, indeed.

Last Weekend, Part Deux

Wellll, now it’s more like two weekends ago. MY BAD!

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Sunday I met up with my sister-in-law Karen. Ok, so technically she isn’t my “sister”-in-law because she married my cousin, but these are just minor details. Karen invited me to go to the Fremont Sunday Market, including a ride. Yeehaw!  Driving into Seattle scares me, much like bangs.

We arrived at the market around noon and the sights blew me away.  Booth after booth of just about anything you can think of. Vintage lawn gnomes and blown-glass baubles. Re-stored furniture, sanded down and painted bright turquoise for a mere $150. Soaps perfumed with lavender and honey, vintage clothing –  some with pit-stains, some without. Welded metal bent into peculiar shapes like Ren & Stimpy or a melted-faced fairy princess.

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Or this.

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Duh.

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Technicolor Bow Staffs, Obvi

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Washington Onesie!

Food trucks a’plenty, pedaling everything from modestly sized pulled pork sandwiches for $6.50 to elephant ear sized naans, dripping with cilantro and garlic infused butter.  Oh yeah, and chocolate-chip-coconut macaroons – j’adore!

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Veraci Pizza

Veraci Wood Fired Pizza

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We stopped at nearly every booth, save for the one with the giant black metal sculptures of demon-possessed Ravens (yikes!). The artist himself seriously could have walked out of the Nightmare Before Christmas, threw on some leather and rolled around in white talcum powder. He kinda reminded me of the people who worked at Hot Topic when I was a wee lass in high school. Yes, I was scared of that store. I would literally run in and run out, clutching my bag of face glitters and trying to get whatever Marilyn Manson song (or so I thought) out of my head.

We sampled the enormous naan and debated our ability to re-create the carb laden masterpiece in our own kitchens.  We laughed at people who look like their dogs and noted how very cute pugs are, despite their incessant out-of-breathness.

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Massacred.

After walking by the hula-hoop booth several times and both of us agreeing how impossible this seemingly easy activity should be, I decided to give it a whirl (see what I did there?).

I was instructed to keep one foot in front of the other and move my hips rythmically back and fourth.  Despite the fact that this white-girl completely lacks any kind of rhythm,  I did decently for my first lesson. Karen stood by, laughing at my sorry attempts and happily snapping pictures along the way.

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Meee I want a HULA HOOP!!

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We were given flyers for a hula-hoop class (hey yo!) and childishly snickered at the large puffs of hair protruding from the hula-hoop gal’s armpits. Funny is funny.

One of the last stops was a retailer of all things toys. With Karen being an educator, she was able to clue me in to the new “it” toy called a Kendama.  All the rage with Karen’s classroom, we tried mastering this Japanese game of coordination. As expected, I was terrible. Karen on the other hand was brilliant at it. She haggled with the owner for a few minutes (obviously a Policar) and scored 2 Kendamas at a great price.  Oh how I love haggling.

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Loot

After we had done the martket,  we decided to grab a brewsky at one of Karen’s old college haunts, the Red Door.  Lots of wedding talk was had and future plans were made.  I felt so grateful to have spent this glorious day with Karen. Being a new gal in a big city aint easy and it’s nice to know that she is just a phone call away #imnotastalker.

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All for now. Stay tuned for tales of my wisdom teeth, bridal shower preparation and maybe some new reads.

Always a Bridesmaid…

Never a bride.

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In just a few, err…um cough-thirteen-cough months this statement will no longer be true. I will be the bride. But for now, I can beg for sympathy and attention since I will be bridesmaiding at sister Megan’s upcoming nuptials.

While I have bridesmaided before, this will be my first MOH experience. For you acronym illiterates, I will be the maid of honor. The right-hand-woman, the speech-nailer, the wiper of  tears – the dancing ENFORCER.  I take my duty seriously and aim to be the best I can be, much like the army or marines or whatever.

First things first, we needed to find the bridesmaid attire.  With Megan being fabulously unconventional and fashion-minded we quickly opted out of the typical experience at a run-o-the-mill bridesmaid dress store.   One reason being that we have 3 bridesmaids with 3 very different styles and also the fact that none of us felt like paying $300 for a satin monstrosity in some hideous hue with matching Dyeables brand shoes.  Do people still dye their shoes to match the dress? Oy vey!

However, locating a garment with specific coloring, silhouette and length proved to be quite taxing.  Hours upon hours of internet-browsing, phone calls, angry texts and unavailing appointments were logged and many glasses of wine were consumed.  So, I decided to make the pilgrammage over to the Tri last weekend and put this dress-baby to rest.

I arrived in Kennewick on Friday evening around 5:30 and it was gloriously warm.  Pulling into the driveway at my parents house and stretching my legs after the 3.5 hour drive was made even more amazing by taking in the familiar smell of the spring air. I was fed taco salad, local white wine and a healthy dose of good ol’ fashion Danielson gossip.  My sisters Meg and Rachel J and I made a plan to visit a couple of stores the next day, having seen a few new spring dresses pop up on the internets.

The next morning I made coffee and cuddled with Chloe McDoogal, our ill-tempered chihuahua whom I love more than anything.

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She Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful

 I did my makeup real nice and then took a picture of myself in the main bathroom. #totallynormalforme

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Oh, and I got new makeup brushes. I heart them.

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A photo is needed.

First stop: David’s Bridal (no judgements, please).

Megan refers to David’s Bridal as the “Wal-Mart of bridal stores”.  I didn’t believe her until I stepped foot inside and was greeted by, well…The People of Wal-Mart.   We made a bee-line for the rack we came for as I wove my way through the sea of carnies (harsh).  Recently, Vera Wang designed a line for David’s Bridal and the photos online looked quite pretty and not so bridesmaidy.  Here are the dresses I tried on:

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It actually turned out to be a fun experience because the gals who worked there were very sweet and helpful.  The crowd thinned out a little and the carnies that remained were all pretty fun. They were fun carnies.  We spent a couple of hours trying on, re-trying on and then needed sustenance.  After a quick lunch at Twigs (love that place) we shopped around Macy’s and came out empty-handed.   We did make it into BBW where I secured an adorned wall flower plug-in for Nan’s new kitchen.

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We decided to try the other 2 bridal/bridesmaid stores in Kennewick, namely Amy’s Bridal and The Purple Parasol.  Amy’s Bridal is a very cute little shop and the owner is super nice. Also, it is right next to Bruchi’s which just happens to be delicious. I found 2 bridal gowns that I have torn out of magazine’s and inserted into my wedding binder but alas, no bridesmaid dress caught our eye. So, we did what anyone would do.  Headed across the street to MyFroYo to drown ourselves in tubs of yogurt a’course.  I had strawberry/raspberry + rainbow sprinkles.

Megan was a tad upset about having nothing to show for the fruits of our labor.  We tried to remind her of the cute Vera Wang dresses and decided we would go home and maybe make a list of our favorites. Lists are good. So we drove home but ended up getting a wee bit side tracked with YouTube makeup tutorials, the taco-truck delicacies that fiance Ben brought over and a competitive game of Catch Phrase.

On Sunday, we woke up with new-found focus and sheer determination.  So we hiked up our britches, slapped on the ol’ warpaint and made our way to beautiful downtown Kennewick in pursuit of a dress at the Purple Parasol.  ‘Twas closed 😦

“Oh blah-dee, oh blah-da, life goes on ohhhh brah!…Lala how the life goes on!”

Luckily, the day was saved by a trip to Calloway Gardens with Meg, my Mom and my Aunt to visit one of my all-time favorite peeps, m’G-Dot. Grandma Dorothy for those of you who don’t know this sassy little lady. She can’t remember much these days and enjoys her food mushed up a little, but girlfriend is still fierce and I love her so very much.

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Dorothy in Tribal Print

I left Kennewick just in time to make it back to Bryan’s parent’s house for a mother’s day dinner.  We had Qu’ed up shrimp, the Canlis Salad and a yummy strawberry-rhubarb crumble ala mode.  Bry’s mom cooked for US on mother’s day…yeah, we owe her big time.

And then a miracle happened! EUREKA! Megan went back to the Purple Parisol on Monday and found the perfect MOH dress.  I texted her my measurements and we are well on our way to bridesmaid perfection.  Btw, apparently I have a large rib cage.

Up next will be her shower and then the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the Bachelorette party.

Oh yeaaahhh!