August 29, 2014

Dog Pool Party!

Happy Friday y'all! I'll be real honest I thought about not showing up today. My blogger brain is just fresh out of ideas and motivation.
Dogs swimming in the pool
But since it's Friday, and since I had one REALLY awesome experience this week, I wanted to bask in it again this Friday. It just makes me happy, because my favorite furry guy was the happiest I've ever seen him. (Sorry in advance if you already saw this all over my social media!)
dog jumping in a pool
Here in Boise our city parks and recreation department teams up with our humane society every year to put on a doggie pool party called See Spot Splash. It is held at one of our local pools after it has closed for the season, but before it is drained. It works out perfect because they have to clean and drain the pool for the winter anyway.
Dog Pool Party
Hundreds of dogs and their puppy lovin' owners swarm to this event and it continues to grow every year. It is one of those things you go to and realize "I'm coming EVERY SINGLE YEAR." There's just that much joy that comes out of seeing so many happy dogs!

Golden Retriever swimming

Gunner jumped in over and over after the tennis ball, puppy paddling his little heart out. I also took my parents older dog Bailey, and she blissfully did laps around the pool, wading down the ramp into the pool ever so often. Gunner's GF Macy, my friend Jena's Golden, also came to the party and she made local TV!

Dog retrieving a ball in the pool

Overall it was one of my FAVORITE events of this whole year!

dog jumping in a pool

Golden Retriever in a pool

Dog Pool Party

So as I leave you for the long weekend here's my hope - that you have as much fun this holiday weekend as these dogs did at their doggie pool party!!

Happy Dog


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August 28, 2014

Leather and Lace | Creative Closet

Here I am, late to the game again...
I always forget to get my fashion post photos over the weekend, and once Monday rolls around, it's almost impossible. 
Blouse: LOFT (old) | Shorts: Our World Boutique | Clutch: Bakers (old) | Shoes: Target (old) | Earrings: American Eagle (old) | Braclets: old/misc. | Sunglasses: Lane Bryant (thrifted)

Today I'm channeling leather and lace (more the lace) for the Creative Closet. I have don't really own leather pieces other than shoes, belts and bags, so I pulled in those items to offset the lace.
These shoes are "rocker chick" enough to be my leather right?
I love these black lace shorts. They are my second pair of lace shorts (I also have cream) and I love that the look polished even though they feel almost like you are wearing athletic shorts!
The shorts went nicely with this blue shell blouse that has been my favorite multi-tasking pieces forever. It goes well tucked in a pencil skirt (or shorts!), or un-tucked and belted for a more casual look. Plus the color is phenomenal! (Please ignore how wrinkled it is - I wore the blouse all day at work!)
And let's talk about this over sized clutch. HELLO. I love the texture and the mix of suede and patent leather. The rossettes really make it a statement piece.

And per my goal last week I added a couple extra accessories, bracelets and some chandelier earrings.

Overall I was pleased with how this look turned out - it is something I would have never put together before the Creative Closet!

Thanks Jana and Maegan for this link up! Join in the fun as we head into Sepetember!

The Creative Closet


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August 27, 2014

Sober ‘till October | 50 Day Challenge

For my 150th post - I'm taking on a 50 day challenge!

My relationship with alcohol started in college. To say I ever drank in moderation would be a complete lie. Sitting around with my girlfriends now, looking back on how we drank 3+ nights a week in college, makes me almost physically ill. Sorry liver…

Yeah, that's not just juice...

In college there were several occasions my drinking was out of hand. I would do horrible, ridiculous things while blacked-out and assed-out. I am embarrassed even thinking about them now. I can remember how it felt to be told the day later what had happened the night before and being mortified. 

I even wen t to Havasu... which I do regret
While I thoroughly enjoyed my college experience and still graduated with honors despite my active party life, it is not a lifestyle I could ever go back to. Sure I miss not getting hang overs, not having to go to class till 11:00 AM and having summers, spring break etc. OK – let’s be real, college is AWESOME. But now there is no way my body could handle it.

Somewhere between 24 and 25 my body had had enough. Enter hangovers. The bad kind, with puking (which is more of me violently screaming why projectile vomiting/crying) until late in the evening. This is usually followed with 1-2 days of recovering from the puking, which makes my whole body hurt.

Yes, that is a fish bowl of beer...

Now a days I don’t go out all the time. But when I do, I usually over-do it. I end up throwing a fit or crying at the end of the night and wake up the next day completely useless.   

And I’m over it.

That’s why after talking to Blake over at Blake’s EverydayAdventures I decided it might be a good idea to give it up for a while.  Thus “Sober ‘till October” was born.

Blake and I have challenged each other to stay sober (not a single drink!) until October 15th, 50 days from today. It is something we feel strongly about and are going to help each other with. Our goal is that by the end of 50 days we will not only feel incredibly better, but we will have broken our dependence and desire for alcohol, so that we no longer over-do it when drinking.

50 days is a long time. I know it will be hard. I know I am going to want a cold beer while I watch football. But 7 weeks from now I might not feel the same – and that’s the feeling I’m after.

I was pretty proud I finished "das boot" all in one chug!

I will just have to keep in mind all the reasons I am doing this:
  • Because I want to be successful in my fitness and health goals
  • Because I want to stop poisoning my body
  • Because I want to feel comfortable in social situations without alcohol
  • Because I want to be OK going to the gym on a Friday night instead of the bar
  • Because I want to have productive Saturdays and Sundays
  • Because my boyfriend/friends should never have to take care of me because I’m intoxicated
  • Because I will have more energy throughout the week
  • Because I will lose weight and feel better
  • Because I will save money
  • Because my money can be better spent than on poisoning my body
  • Because I need to learn how to have fun without alcohol
  • Because I don’t ever want to have a hangover again
  • Because I need to harness and strengthen my willpower
  • Because I have accepted this challenge, and I am not a quitter.

These, and so many other reasons, prove it makes sense for me to take a break. I need to do this for myself, and prove to myself that I can do it.

Yes, it will be a challenge.  But nothing good in life comes easy.

If you want to follow along with Blake and me on this journey, check in on Thursdays (starting next week) as we re-cap how the challenge is going and highlight the benefits of going alcohol free. We will be keeping up with it on social media as well, with #sobertilloctober. We would love for you to join in. Feel free to use the hashtag with your sober fun!

This is not sober fun... just to be clear... look how shocked the lady is in the background

What are your thoughts? Do you want to join us on this challenge? Whether taking on the challenge or just being supportive, we hope you follow along.

And since all this drinking and my goal to give it up for a while IS a confession! Let's link up with Kathy!

Vodka and Soda

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August 26, 2014

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad (in a jar)

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

Remember those healthy recipes I promised back in this post?

Ok well I'm finally getting around to some. I couldn't be more thrilled to share this little gem with you! 

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

First off, if you haven't tried salads in a jar yet you are missing out! I love how versatile they are and they last for several days - perfect for packing lunches! You could make just about any kind of salad - taco, oriental, Greek, Cesar, and the list goes on and on...

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

As the last of the summer strawberries are still in season, I decided to buy a big batch at Costco. I cut them up and used them throughout the week - but these salads were really what I had in mind for them.
Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

There's something so refreshing about fruit on a salad. I love the combination of sweet and savory.

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

I was able to put together two salads very quickly - in about the time it took me to cook the bacon, I had assembled and chopped everything else.
Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

Aren't they pretty? Keep upright and refridgerated and these beauties will last in the fridge up to 5 days!

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

If you use a different container, be sure not to put the dressing on until right before you eat it.

Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Salad

You will need (for one salad):
  •  a 1 Quart Mason jar (wide mouth works best) or other container for your salad
  • 3 TBS of balsamic dressing (or your favorite vinnegrette)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cut strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked turkey bacon (or real bacon)
  • 2 TBS feta cheese
  • 1 heaping TBS chopped pecans or nut
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach

Directions: Start with a clean, dry jar. Put dressing in bottom of jar. Start to layer ingredients starting with the onion and strawberries. These will "marinate" in the dressing and are OK touching it. Next is the bacon, followed by the nuts and cheese. Finish off your jar with spinach, to the top, without packing too tightly.
To serve: I like to dump my jar in a large bowl and then eat. If your jar is not tightly packed you can shake it up and enjoy it right in the jar!

Have you made salads in a jar? What is your favorite combination?

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August 25, 2014

Whitewater Rafting Bachelorette Weekend!

I spent this weekend celebrating one of my best friends in the whole world, Hillary.

Doesn't she make the cutest bride to be ever? The big day is October 18th!

I started the weekend prepping materials on Friday. I was charged with bringing the booze and the veil (obviously the two most important parts).

Saturday morning we met up and headed up into the mountains for some whitewater rafting! It was such a fun thing to do for a bachelorette. Sure it wasn't dress up and strut around down town  - but a fair amount of alcohol was consumed never the less.

After rafting we got back into town and enjoyed a pool party, ate tasty ribs and smoked salmon and just enjoyed each others' company. It was my first time spending time with some of the other bridesmaids so it was awesome getting to know them! We drank, laughed, jumped on the trampoline and passed out in various places around the house and in the yard... my attempt was under the stars on the trampoline...but I migrated inside before the night was over due to noise (boys) and discomfort.

This guy was our mascot for the night.
Our "guides"(boys) were supposed to cook us breakfast in the morning, but since they were up till 4:30 AM we decided we didn't want to wait for them to wake up and cook. So I took all the girls to my favorite breakfast spot and we finished off the bachelorette party with mimosas (beer-mosa for me) and much needed breakfast.

I spent the rest of the day recovering, but it was well worth it. Cheers to #hillbachel !

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August 22, 2014


We have all heard the question -

"If you were stranded on a deserted island what would you take with you?"

It is a question I don't think I have ever really asked myself though, at least not until I was contacted by Man Crates a couple weeks ago.

If you haven't heard about Man Crates, you better go check it out. They are the go-to Man-Gift site and have something tailored to every kind of guy. I wish I had known about Man Crates for Christmas last year. Because most of us know, the men in our lives are difficult to shop for!

So they posed this challenge:

 If I had a "crate" of the things I could not live without if stranded somewhere - anywhere - what would those things be?
  1. My Galaxy s5 - I am new to the Andriod world as of June, but I can say without a doubt, I'd want my phone (and a charger/plug in and service of course) wherever I got stranded. These days our phones are our connection to the world, literally. Our social sites, email, music, videos and photos of all our memories are on that little device. It's safe to say I couldn't do without it.
  2. My Dog Gunner- Because look at him - how can you resist that face? I honestly would prefer his company over pretty much any human. He can make me smile in the worst of times, is always by my side, and that nose of his could probably sniff us out some grub. He also would provide hours of entertainment providing I had something for him to retrieve. I'm assuming there are sticks on my desert island?
  3. ChapStick - I am an admitted chapstick-aholic. I apply easily close to once an hour. I hate dry lips. So in my survival crate I would need a year's supply of chapstick, preferable ChapStick Candy Cane or Cake Batter or my first love, Strawberry Carmex.
  4. Chips & Salsa - I thought long and hard on what kind of food I could eat forever. Hands down it would be chips and salsa. I would bring all the chips and salsa I could eat in my survival crate, preferably Chili's chips and salsa - because it's the best!
  5. A Beverage Container - I am that person that ALWAYS has water or something to drink with me. I would need a water bottle or drink container, like my cute ball mason jar glass, so that I could stay hydrated during my time of desertion. If it could automatically re-fill itself with water, or another tasty beverage that would be ideal.
So there are my 5 MUST HAVES if I was stranded somewhere.

Tell me, what would you bring with you?!

Check out Man Crates: | Facebook | Twitter

Happy Friday! Linking up my 5 things with Karli at September Farm

Have a wonderful weekend friends!
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August 21, 2014

Fixing Myself | An Update and Announcement!

It's been one week since I declared I was going to makes some changes for myself. I feel the only way I will hold myself accountable is to keep you up to date on my progress, so here's where I stand so far after a little more than a week - in a list form because that's more fun:
** Gym sessions - 3
** Runs - 1
** Volleyball (which totally counts as a workout) - 1
** Weekday healthy, packed lunches consumed -5
** Healthy Recipes blogged - 0 
** Alcohol consumed - approximately 7 beers (it was cheat day and a cabin trip)
** Cheat days taken - 2
** Soreness - Obliques, abs, triceps and quads
**Sleeping - better than I have in a really really long time

As you can see, I've been less than perfect so far, but I never expected to be. The good news is that I AM making progress. I already feel less hungry during the day (the first few "healthy" days were torture) and it is getting easier to get myself to work out. It's all about establishing healthy habits right? They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit, so one week in I'm 1/3 of the way there!

Now here's the big announcement! 
In order to help meet my goal about limiting alcohol I am teaming up with Blake over at Blake's Everyday Adventures. Her and I have talked a lot about how we struggle with drinking just "casually" and how we always over do it. Together we decided we were going to give up alcohol completely for a set amount of time and to hold each other accountable.

This goal was set forth to help us both overcome our lack of self control when it comes to alcohol. Does anyone else have that issue? If so feel free to join us on our journey! Starting August 27th, Blake and I will be going cold-turkey, beer-less, champagne-less, and completely alcohol free until October 15th! That's 50 days completely sober. 

So who's with us to stay "Sober 'till October?!!"

Blake and I will be doing updates every Thursday about how our challenge is going and fun that we had over the weekend/week that we did soberly. 
Check in next Wednesday for the official kick off post with more information.

If you are interested in participating, please comment below. If there is enough interest we will make it a link up - or you can just follow along with us.

Cheers to the last few days of drinking for me! I have one last fling (bachelorette party) this weekend and then I'm calling it quits for 50+ days!

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