Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oregon State Fair

My life is on track to be back to normal. Summer is over and school has started. I'm officially a senior and determined to have as much fun as possible this year. I'm finally doing all of the things I've said I should do over the past 3 years. First on my list: Oregon State Fair. 

I went with my best friend, Will. Between the animals, food, and music it was a great day for both of us. Here's a look into all the fun we had:

I discovered the deep love I have for Eastern Oregon over the summer. It truly is my home. Coming back to Portland for school always makes me homesick for the first couple weeks, but after having an amazing summer in the country this time it's extra difficult. The fair was a great way to bring home to the city. My friend and I spent quite awhile looking at the animals and watching them be showed. It's so fun watching so many talented kids work with their beautiful animals.

When I decided to go to the State Fair I just planned on consuming thousands and thousands of delicious calories. The first thing we did after awwing over the animals for a bit was grab some grub. We had lunch from Mt. Angel Sausage Co. Will and I both had bratwursts (he had his with a bun, I had mine without) smothered in sauerkraut and onions as well as a side of curly fries. If you're ever around Mt. Angel definitely stop by their restaurant. So delicious.

For sweet treats we stopped by the Umpqua Ice-Cream booth. I had a huckleberry cheesecake cone. 

... I was really excited about this ice-cream. They better sell this stuff in stores.

One of the exhibit hauls had a giant Umatilla County display. I'm from Morrow County, not Umatilla, but it's still part of my homeland. It was heartwarming to chat and bond with people over being from Eastern Oregon. I just already miss that place so much. 

In North Eastern Oregon we have two things to brag about: the Pendleton Round-Up, and Hermiston watermelons. Will always thought I was exaggerating how much folks love watermelon out in Eastern Oregon until we went to the Umatilla County exhibit. From free watermelon to a watermelon seed spitting competition there was watermelon  fun everywhere. 

Of course there was lots related to the round-up. It was neat to look at all of the old photos and artifacts. We spent quite a bit of time there ... mostly because the exhibit haul is a nice break from the heat.

I was pretty stoked to find this Morrow County banner. Gotta stay true to your roots. #MoCo4Lyfe

We were lucky enough to attend the fair on one of the days that James Drury (The Virginian) was visiting.  He told lots of good stories about filming the show and  stayed a gentleman when answering questions about some of the ladies from the show. There were probably 75 people listening to him speak and, no exaggeration, Will and I were the only people there under probably 50. Classic. 
Soon thereafter we called it dinner time. There were numerous BBQ places to eat, but we chose Adam's Smokehouse because it seemed to have the most competitive prices. It was also tucked away from the crowd by a nice shaded area with a Bluegrass band playing nearby--score. I had ribs and there grilled corn. It was so good. Probably the best ribs I've had outside the Midwest and Texas. I'm not sure which was messier the corn or the ribs, but I was a mess by the time I was done. Hopefully I'll be able to visit their restaurant in Salem soon.

A major reason for attending the fair on the day we did was because Chirs Young (see: my boyfriend) was performing that night. I found this out well after VIP tickets were sold out so our plan was to get in line early for the best free seats. Gates opened at 5:45 (concert at 6:45) so we got in line at about 5:00 and were able to sit in the first seats available behind the VIP section.

Before getting in line we went and had a mixed drink. Literally the weakest drink I've had in my [almost] six months of being 21. My Pendleton and diet might as well have just been diet. After that we stuck to beer which is my suggestion. (Also excuse this gross picture of me. It was a long and hot day.)

The concert was great, as expected. Even though I have already watched him open for George Strait I was crazy giddy the entire time. Like I said, we sat pretty close which was awesome. Before Chris sang "Who I am With You" a guy proposed to his girlfriend on stage. Chris was super adorable about. Just saying but the bar for proposing has been set high...

That was my experience at the state fair! If you're able to visit the Oregon State Fair next year I highly recommend it. I am not one for carnival games and rides but there's plenty of that for those of you who are interested! Were any of you able to visit your local fair this year?

And incase you were wondering about my tunic, it's from Ariat and you can buy it here :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer of Books

During the school year it's nearly impossible to find time for leisure reading. That's why I'm making sure I take advantage of having a lot of free time this summer by reading often. It's the last summer before I finish undergrad so I'm really trying to figure some existential things out, and I am a total sucker for learning life lessons from books. I plan on sucking in as much wisdom as possible.

Most of the books I'm interested in are classic literature or set somewhere in American history. This post isn't some "10 Books Every Woman HAS To Read" list. Your literary interest might be completely different. This is just what I am excited to read this summer. Hopefully some of them might interest you as well!

(All summaries below are borrowed from Powell's.)

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of non-fiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry  
The Last Picture Show is one of Larry McMurtry's most memorable novels, and the basis for the enormously popular movie of the same name. Set in a small, dusty, Texas town, The Last Picture Show introduced the characters of Jacy, Duane, and Sonny: teenagers stumbling toward adulthood, discovering the beguiling mysteries of sex and the even more baffling mysteries of love. Populated by a wonderful cast of eccentrics and animated by McMurtry's wry and raucous humor, The Last Picture Show is a wild, heartbreaking, and poignant novel that resonates with the magical passion of youth.

Heaven Is Real by Todd Burpo 
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed — a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back. Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery — and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love — and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Song Of The Lark by Willa Cather

Perhaps Willa Cather's most autobiographical work, The Song of the Lark charts the story of a young woman's awakening as an artist against the backdrop of the western landscape. Thea Kronborg, an aspiring singer, struggles to escape from the confines her small Colorado town to the world of possibility in the Metropolitan Opera House. In classic Cather style, The Song of the Lark is the beautiful, unforgettable story of American determination and its inextricable connection to the land.

Fire On The Mountain by John N. Maclean

In this acclaimed bestseller of investigative journalism, John N. Maclean chronicles the deadly 1994 Colorado forest fire that was wrongly identified at the outset as occurring in South Canyon. This misidentification was the first in a string of seemingly minor human errors that would be compounded into one of the greatest tragedies in the annals of firefighting as fourteen men and women firefighters — experts in their field — lost their lives battling the South Canyon blaze.

The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck
First published in 1939, Steinbecks Pulitzer Prize–winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

What book are you reading or planning on reading this summer?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer 2014 Wishlist

I've been getting summer catalogs from various companies over the past couple weeks and I am in love with basically everything. This is a huge concern because my bank balance is currently lowww and with my summer travel dreams there's not alot of shopping allowance. For the most part I will be waiting to shop until end of summer sales come along, but until then I can dream ... 

Taste of My Wishlist: 

Delia Shift in Watch Out (Lilly Pulitzer) - $178

This dress looks like a classic Lilly shift in a Vineyard Vines print. It's fun while being a little more toned down than most Lilly print. And the price is pretty good as well, I had expected it to be about $100 more ... so that's a plus.

Circle G Brown Crust Boot (Corral) - $129.99
I haven't bought a fun pair of cowboy boots in a couple years. The ones I have are also from Corral and they have held up really well so I've been looking to buy another pair specific from them. Their new Circle G line look great and the price is nearly half of what I paid for a pair from the Vintage line. I want a darker boot and the texture of this one is really neat (seriously check out the close up photo, it's gorgeous) and the selling point for me.

Anchor Shep Shirt (Vineyard Vines) - $125

I really dislike the color red. Alot. Like, you will not find a single red item of clothing in my closet. People have told me that I look good in red, but until now I have actively avoided anything in the color. As a goal for my closet I'm hoping to add a teeeeensy bit of red. This shep shirt is the perfect item to do so. 

Dip Dye Dress (Judith March) - $98

This dress came out a while back, but it's new to my wishlist. I saw it while shopping on Sideline Sweetie (my favorite online boutique <3) and fell in love. It's just so sweet and fun. It's even red! (ish.) 

Gold Arizona Sandle (Birkenstock) - $129.99
I love my Birks just as much as every other Portlander. They're the Jack Rogers of the Northwest. I only own one pair that I bought when I was 15 so it seems about time for another. They have alot of fun colors and designs. I'm particularly fond of this gold one.

There's a glimse of my current wishlist. Share with me something you're eying ... 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On My Mind ... 06 | 08 | 2014

Since spring break I've had trouble getting back into my healthy eating patterns. It's frustrating to think of how fit I was only a couple months ago. By the time summer ends I am determined to be more fit than ever and I decided to start by starting a juicing diet this week. This is really exciting for me. I found a good deal on a juicer at Macy's that the sale associate assured me was a great buy. If you're looking to buy a juicer check out the Cuisinart CJE-500BW juicer. I'll definitely post about my juicing experience after a couple weeks. Until then, has anyone juiced before? What was your experience like? I figure if juice led to Lilly Pulitzer, it can only be good. ;)

George Strait

The King of country music has officially retired from touring. Saturday he performed his last concert ever at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. I've always been a fan which made it a huge honor for me to see him perform this past April when he performed in Portland. Last night I listened to my favorite George Strait songs and (maybe) cried a little bit. He is the heart of true country music. Last night's show ended his touring career appropriately by breaking the all time concert attendance record. More than 104,000 fans crammed together to witness the show. That's just ... amazing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Buy Lilly Pulitzer For Cheap

I love my Lilly. Unfortunately she doesn't quite fit the Northwest-vibe so it's rare to see her colorful patterns around Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia. (Once I saw a strapless Lilly maxi in the spring break section of my local Nordies and almost had a heart attack ...) Not only do I have to buy all my Lilly online, this also means no warehouse sales, boutique clearance racks, or finding fellow Lilly lover's old pieces at a thrift shop.

As a result I've learned a couple ways to shop for Lilly (and other brands) without breaking the bank. You might already be aware of everything I have to share, but hopefully I can help you find a new shopping secret.

Official Sales // 
Lilly Pulitzer puts on three major sales every year. A warehouse sale (WHS) and two online sales. 

The warehouse sale generally takes place around early June near the Lilly headquarters in Pennsylvania. They sell leftovers from the past year, slightly damaged seconds, and samples. The women who shop the WHS often camp out days ahead of time to be one of the first in line. Since it's across the country I've never been, but you should check out this post from a fellow blogger about her experience at the sale.

The online sales take place around the beginning of January and the middle of August. I buy quite a bit of my Lilly from these sales. It is mostly stuff from recent seasons and the prices are good. (Dresses often marked down $200!)

Facebook Resale // 
If you haven't discovered the underground resale world you're missing out. Thousands of women connect through resale groups/pages to trade and sell their clothes. The socially accepted prices are far lower than they are on Ebay (I bought a Wiley top off resale for $12 and Ebay is currently selling the same one for $33). My favorite resale groups are Re-Lilly, Preppy Resale at Exceptional Prices, Perfectly Preppy Resale, Vineyard Vines Addicts, and Kate Spade Resale

Ebay // 
If you're looking for something in an old print this is a good place to look. There is always quite a bit of Lilly on Ebay. The only problem I have is that (in my opinion) the prices are often outrageous for used clothes. Prints colloquially referred to as "holy grails" (Hotty Pink First Impressions, You Gotta Regatta, etc ...) often go for 200%-300% their retail value. 

Check out misspellings by using and you might find some better prices. I do this all the time for different brands (it's amazing how many people spell Vineyard Vines incorrectly). Enough people do the same that usually the prices aren't significantly better, but it's worth a shot. At the very least you'll have more items to browse. 

PoshMark //
If you haven't checked out PoshMark it's similar to Ebay, but a phone app just for reselling clothes. I have quite a few complaints about the app itself, but it is alright and another place to browse for clothes at good prices. If you have anything to get rid of I like selling here because it's so easy.

Online Discount Stores //
Have you signed up for Rue La La? It's a great site that has different featured sales every day. If you aren't a member yet you'll need an invitation, click here. They often feature brand new Lilly at great prices. Try to shop early because they run out quickly. Rue La La has exciting sales for alot of other brands I like too. Just a while back they had a great Jack Rogers sale ... 

Another website to check out is 6pm. They always have Lilly up on their website at decent prices. 

That exhausts my Lilly shopping strategies. I hope it was helpful. 
Do you have any tips for shopping for your favorite brand?

P.S. Portlanders: Check out Mabel & Zora! It's an adorable boutique in the Pearl. They sell all sorts of clothes that I love, but it's especially exciting because they have Lilly. For those of you non-locals Mabel & Zora also have an online store you should check out! Their prices seem to run lower than retail. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

On My Mind ... 06 | 01 | 2014

After having trouble sleeping last week I found this app and decided to try it out. To my surprise it has been a miracle. Not only has it helped me fall asleep quicker and more calmly, but it also has helped keep me asleep without having nightmares (which I deal with often). They have a free version available, and an upgraded version that has more options and tracks your sleep history. If you've been having trouble sleepingIt is available for both iPhone and Android.

Stanley Cup Playoffs 

After the Sharks lost in the first round I've been a bandwagon Blackhawks fan. They're a classic team that I've always admired. They're currently battling for the Western conference title against the Kings (who I despise). Hockey is always "on my radar," but I am featuring it this week to encourage you to watch the game tonight (Sunday, June 1st at 5:00 PST on NBCS). Who ever wins this game goes on to the Stanley Cup finals and if it's anything like the past two games in this series it's going to be good. 

Lilly came out with the rest of her summer line and so much of it is adorable. The Watch Out print is my favorite in 2014 thus far (or maybe Jellies Be Jammin... or Lobstah Roll ...) If you haven't checked out what's new do that NOW. 

Any exciting discoveries this week? 

How To Clean Your Longchamp

After seeing Longchamp's spring line full of fun pastels I finally committed and bought a large Le Pliage bag. Many people carry a Le Pliage as their everyday bag. I bought mine with the intent of using it to hall around my laptop, pens, water, etc. at debate tournaments. When I am stressed looking put together is the only thing that keeps me from falling apart and a clunky backpack will ruin any outfit.

I am utterly obsessed.

To my surprise I have been carrying my Longchamp every where. I use it for class as well as my casual purse. I love it. The only downside thus far ...

After only having it for a couple months it looks like it has been through hell (I did carry it in Vegas so that could explain it …) with various stains all over. I scrubbed it and scrubbed it, but these are the kind of marks that won't come off with a rag and soapy water. Everything I read online told me the same thing -- throw it in the wash. (WHAT? No. Definitely no.) My instincts told me that sending my nylon and leather bag through the wash was a bad idea so I ignored the advice and continued to carry the stain-covered bag. After another month the bag was looking more and more dingy. I decided to bite the bullet and wash it.

The good news is that all the advice was correct! You can totally throw your Longchamp in the washing machine. The bad news is that the process is still scary no matter how much the internet tells you it's okay. This post is intended to easy your anxiety about washing your Longchamp.

Here's how I cleaned mine:

This before picture doesn't do the dirt justice. 

1. Try spot cleaning first. Use soapy water, a Tide To-Go pen, or whatever your secret stain-remover is. Most marks will come off this way and I imagine your bag will wear out much faster if you throw it into the washing machine regularly. 

2. Put stain remover where needed. I swear by Grandma's Secret Spot Remover, but use whatever you normally do. (Note: I noticed my bag had the slightest bit of fraying in a spot so I clipped that before washing. You might want to check and do the same.)

3. Set your washer. This is the part to be most careful with. Wash in in cold water for the least amount of time possible. If your machine allows you set it to a slow spin cycle as well. This will prevent the leather from getting wore out.

4. Let it wash. I sat in front of the washer scared to death for all 19 minutes. You can let your anxieties float away, because I promise you your beloved bag will be fine.

5. Air dry it. Use a cloth to dry the inside and gently dry the leather. After that I hung mine on a door knob and it surprising dried fast. 

... and ta-da! Practically brand new.

Let me know how it goes for you!

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