Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Since I've Been Gone....

It's hard to believe that I've only been away from blogging for a couple weeks, because SO MUCH has happened in just those few days. Here are a few of the things that have occurred since my computer died.

1) My car also tried committing suicide. (When it rains, it pours, right?) I mean, I HAVE been driving the thing for 10 years, and it wasn't new when I got it. I really couldn't blame it for giving up at this point. Thankfully, Tyler's dad is a pro when it comes to cars, and what I thought was the transmission going out was just a transmission fluid leak (a bad one, but one that's now fixed!). While he was at it, he also replaced a bad CV joint, fixed my blinker, AND fixed my rear window that's been held up with duct tape since October. Can you tell that my car isn't a thing I like to spend money on? Necessary repairs only, folks. This thing is in better shape now than it's been in years. Needless to say, my father-in-law is up really high on my list of awesome people right now....and my husband's, since he doesn't have to drive me around everywhere anymore.


2) My mom had double knee replacement surgery. Talk about ouch. I didn't think it was *that* bad until she started telling me exactly what that entailed. I have a pretty strong stomach when it comes to that kind of stuff, but it was truly nauseating. Look it up at your own risk! The worst part is, bad knees run on both sides of my family (my mom and maternal grandmother, plus paternal grandfather and my aunt on my dad's side all have had one or both knees replaced at this point) AND I did gymnastics for years and years, which is notoriously rough on the ol' knees....so I'm screwed. AND now I know the gory details of what's going to happen to me. Bah! Anyway, back to my momma--she had some minor complications, so I went to stay with her for a few days. Even though the situation wasn't great, it was awesome to have some time with her.

3) The blogger world blew up. Scandal, drama, thievery, and a good, ol' fashioned calling out. I may have been unable to blog for a couple weeks, but I definitely still read....and there was plenty to keep me occupied. I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I will say that I think there is a lot to be said for artistic integrity and for those who'll defend it. I have immense respect for anyone who will stand up for what's right, even if that means backlash or losing followers. Blogging is great, but there are more important things than how many readers you have, and integrity is one of those things.

4) There was also good news; the royal baby was born! You guys, I gushed. I checked my phone at work about a million times. I was one of THOSE people. I swear, I'm English at heart. I just love England so so so much.

5) Speaking of England, I also watched the entire World Without End mini-series on Netflix (amazing), and the promptly went on a British history binge. Between that and the upcoming "proper" burial of King Richard III, I've been going through my collection of British history books like I only have a month to live. I'll spare you the details, though. You're welcome.


6) The best news of all: Tyler got a new job! We're so so so excited (him probably more so than me)! After months of job searches, he now has a job (1) in his field (business/marketing) (2) that isn't 45 minutes away from home and (3) he doesn't dread going to every morning. Oh, and we'll actually have most weekends off together now. So life is pretty darn good around here.


We also got Starbucks to celebrate on the day he got the big news. Happy all around.

So what have I missed? Any big things happening in your world? I feel behind. :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm back!

Did you miss me? I never realized just how much I rely on computers until I suddenly didn't have one. I still had my phone, so I wasn't totally without, but typing on a phone? No bueno. The good news is, I picked up a Chromebook on Friday, so I'm back! It's definitely different than a full-fledged laptop, but I think it will do nicely until we can save up for a *real* computer...and hopefully we'll get a nicer one now that we won't be buying out of necessity. In the meantime, I'll be getting creative trying to find online alternatives to programs I regularly used. Wish me luck!


P.S. I really appreciate you guys hanging with me through the drought. I even managed to pick up a few new readers (hi guys!). I promise things aren't usually this quiet around here. :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Hey folks. Sorry it's been a bit quiet around here. My computer gave up on life late last week; I thought it might have been the power cord, so I ordered a replacement. It came in today, so I rushed home, plugged it in, hit the power button, and.....nothing. We're looking at options right now, but it might be a bit before we get everything ironed out. I'll try to check in periodically until then, but I won't be posting as frequently or on a regular schedule. Thanks for understanding.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a waterfall in Oregon. Yay, waterfalls!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July Wishboard

Sources: 1//2//3//4//5//6//7//8//9

I'm extra excited about this month's wishlist. It has some of my favorite things from my childhood with a grown-up twist, and everything about it just feels like me. (1) I was obsessed with unicorns as a kid. Yep, I was that girly-girl who loved rainbows and unicorns and frilly dresses...when I wasn't riding fourwheelers, climbing trees, and having mud wars with my brother. Can I be honest? I still have a soft spot for unicorns. (2) Lavender coconut roobios! Yum. And guess what it's called? Jessie's Tea. No lie! (3) I've been looking everywhere for this fox case! Foxes are my grown-up favorite animal. (4) I've been uber-nostalgic lately, and this tshirt is killing me. The Little Mermaid was my favorite childhood movie. When I found out that it's coming out on Blu-Ray on my birthday, I might have freaked out a little bit. I told Tyler it's like Disney is acknowledging that it belongs to me. Haha. (5) I'm going to buy this to hang up in the apartment. Maybe Tyler will begin to believe it after awhile. (6) Floral & leather backpack. Swoon-worthy, and perfect for toting around my camera. (7) This little pocket mirror from Depeapa is so sweet. (8) I've been keeping my eyes peeled at the thrifts & fleas for some vintage paint-by-number paintings, but I haven't had much luck so far. This little pouch would tide me over nicely. (9) In love with these lace-up ballet flats.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Stylized Shoot with Peaces Photography

A couple months ago, I posted a picture in a weekly Instagram update that was a sneak peek of a stylized shoot I did with Peaces Photography. I've known Paula, the owner and photographer, since college through a friend, and when she sent me a picture of a gorgeous vintage dress she found and asked if I would consider being a model for her, I jumped at the chance. I completely swooned over this dress, and it was a perfect fit! I'm definitely much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, but I love the way they turned out, and we had a blast. (*They're also making me miss my long hair suuuuuuuuper badly.) I swung by her apartment last weekend and she gave me a disc of some of her favorite shots from the shoot.   Having to pare her selections down for this post was suuuuper hard, but I didn't want to flood you all with pictures of me. There are still a ton, though. :) Thanks, Paula! I had so much fun!

You can see more of Paula's work here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ha Ha Tonka in Film

As promised, here are the film shots of the lovely Ha Ha Tonka State Park. I'm learning more and more about the little quirks of this camera, and the lack of perfection they create is so endearing to me. As before, they're unedited. Enjoy!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Music Monday: Summertime Playlist

There's something about summer that gets me pumped up, and I want all the upbeat music to go along with that. I bid Bon Iver goodbye until fall; I want something I can sing at the top of my lungs with the windows down. It's the time of year where I really wish I lived in Portland, so I could go to the park and dance around with my iPod, and nobody would look twice. Here, people would probably think I was high and call the cops (and also laugh at my terrible lack of dance skills/any rhythm whatsoever).

I went ahead and made my perfect summer soundtrack/ park-dancing playlist anyway. Maybe I'll get brave...or maybe I'll just dance around our apartment.

Summatime 2013 by Jess on Grooveshark
Mobile link: click here.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Day at Ha Ha Tonka

A little over two years ago, right before our first date, Tyler spent a day hiking at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, a couple hours from where we live. Ever since, he's been trying to go back and take me with him, but our schedules (and the weather) never seemed to cooperate. Thanks to an extra-long weekend, we finally had our chance last Wednesday.

Ha Ha Tonka was absolutely amazing. It combined five of my favorite things: hiking, nature, history, castles, and ridiculous names. We stopped by the visitor's center on the way home and snagged a book by the local historical society so we could read more about the story of the park. Here's the Cliff Notes version:  Robert Snyder bought Ha Ha Tonka  in the early 1900s as a place to escape from everyday life and began building a castle to retire in. He was killed in an automobile accident before it could be finished, but his sons continued his work. A fire in the 40's claimed all but the outer stone walls, which have been preserved, and sit like a skeleton high above the park. The ruins were were captivating; the rest of the park wasn't half bad, either. :)

This is a view from the lookout in front of the castle. On the left, you can see the water tower, which provided water to the castle and estate.

That last panoramic shot of the castle is my favorite. I would die to just spend a single night in there.

A closer view of the water tower. It was untouched by the fire that claimed the castle, but the inside was destroyed in the 70s by a fire lit by vandals (read: idiots that infuriate me. Mini-rant: I can't STAND to have history destroyed, particularly by people who have already had the chance to enjoy it for themselves. It feels very much like being robbed of something I love). The roof has been replaced, but the inside remains empty.

 After seeing the castle and water tower, we spent the rest of the day on the trails...and loved every minute. That sign up there didn't scare us away.

The spring at its source. That water is SO blue. I just wanted to jump in--springs are pretty much my favorite places to swim, cold water or not--but it definitely wasn't allowed.

View from near the spring. If you look REALLY closely, you can see the castle ruins peeking over the trees at the top.

We made a friend while we were there. This little muskrat swam right up close to us, ate some vegetation he had snagged, went back for more, and then came right back to us. We watched him for probably 15 minutes, talking normally, and he never spooked at all.

If it were legal, I would have taken this piece of wood home with me. 

We also saw giant bluffs....

...more views of the spring...

...and the old Ha Ha Tonka post office.

If you're a local, Ha Ha Tonka is well worth the trip. I grew up on the other side of the state and still felt a little robbed at having never been before. I can say with near 100% certainty that this won't be the last time we head up there for the day. As you probably noticed in one of the pictures above, I brought my film camera with me, so I'll be sharing those shots soon, too....just in case you aren't convinced yet. :)

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