Monday, April 29, 2013

A much needed weekend

Alright Bloggy McBloggerson - it's time for a heart-to-heart.

The weekend before last was an amazing weekend.  It's exactly what I needed physically, mentally, emotionally, everything.

I've been in Portland for a little over a year.  If you asked me before I moved if I was excited or not I'd say, "How am I going to make friends?"

I'm not in school anymore.  I don't go clubbing.  How do you make friends outside of college?  Troll the local grocery store and approach every 22-30 year old female I see?

Get my point?

As expected, it really is hard to make friends when you live in a new city!  Boyfriend works nights and sleeps days with Tuesday-Thursday off work.  Basically we have 100% opposite schedules.  So I typically spend my weekends blog-stalking, errand-running, and gym-going.  And the few couple-friends we've made here have similar schedules.  It's like working M-F 8-5 is uncommon around these parts.

ANYHOW - I digress.

So the weekend before last I went home. 
Originally I booked my flight to meet my new niece and nephew baby twinnies.

But then boyfriend popped the question.  And this "quick trip home" turned into a hunt for a wedding venue (more to come on this later).

So between seeing my family, playing with babies, and hunting for venues, I wanted more than anything to see my friends. 

As you can tell Lou was a little more than excited to see me too.

It was a wonderful weekend. 
I laughed. 
We drank. 
We danced. 
We stayed out till 3:30am. 
We wine-walked. 
Our diet consisted of junk food (see: blue Symphony bars and Doritos above)
We just had a typical Reno weekend with some amazing people.
I really just needed this kind of a weekend filled with those "instant connection" type of friends.  It's not forced.  It's easy.  And it's even more easy to pick up where you left off.  When I left Monday morning to fly home I felt like I was leaving a boyfriend.  I felt like I was going through a breakup.  I felt like I couldn't believe it was ending - and I didn't want it to!

It was a wonderful weekend and I can't wait for my next trip back home.

Papa Mark doing his DJ thing.

I also can't forget the pictures of Tahoe from the Fire Lookout :-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Planners vs. Do-ers - $$$$

This post could go in a few directions, but I'm taking it in the financial direction.

I'm frugal.

Not super crazy frugal, but I'm always crunching numbers and thinking about how much we need to save each month for trips/gifts/wedding etc. 

I was chatting with the fiance a while back and he said
"There are planners and there are do-ers."  

And it's really so true.  Together, he and I make a decent income.  
According to one of my professors in school, we are DINKs (Dual Income No Kids).  
We have some friends who are not DINKs but still manage to constantly be spending and buying and traveling.  
Living the life, really.

That's when this conversation happened.  I asked, "how can we NOT afford to do all of that also?"

It's not that we can't afford it, it's that we choose not to in order to save an extra buck.  For what?  For retirement?  Yep - I'm that anal 26-year old who is saving for retirement.  I'm clearly a planner.

This is how I budget - envelope system

  • We plan and live for the future.  
  • We scout out hotels far in advance for the absolute best deal
  • We miss out on opportunities because we are concerned with not wanting to spend that much money.  Why buy a brand new car when you can buy a perfectly good used car?
  • If we can't pay cash, we aren't buying (aside from homes, cars, etc).  Things like mattresses, furniture, computers, etc.  If you have to take out credit, how badly do you really need it?
  • We avoid credit like white socks and flips flops
  • Appetizers just mean more $$
  • We max out our 401k
  • We coupon (ok, not all, but it helps stretch the dollar!)

  • You live in the now
  • You live spontaneously and plan last minute trips, just for the heck of it.  You don't think twice about having fun when us Planners are concerned with, "What can I cut out of my budget this month to afford this?"
  • Happy Hours are your thang, $7 here and $7 there - it's no big deal
  • You don't stress about whether or not you can afford something - if you want/need it you get it
  • You pamper yourselves and others - why buy a used car when you can spend a little more to get something brand new?
  • You do all of the things the planners are planning for

I'm not saying either is right or wrong.  In fact sometimes I'm jealous I'm not a do-er.  I like to believe I'll be set when it comes to retirement, but sometimes I think it's ludicrous that I'm planning for my life that's over 30 years away.

So, dear bloggy friends, are you planners or do-ers?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm not praying for Boston

This post could go over really poorly.  
But this is the real me.
Hear me out.
If you don't like it, don't read it.
If you don't agree, I don't mind.

I followed the Boston marathon tragedy when it was first happening.
My co-worker received a text from her friend who was at the event before anything even hit the news.

So we followed the news throughout the day.

My heart goes out to the three people who were killed.  
And my heart goes out to their families.
And to those who were injured.

But I'm not sure my heart goes out to Boston

I've been scouring the internet and news trying to see if part of Boston blew up and is destroyed.  
If people are now homeless and the streets of Boston are filled with mayhem.

I'm not finding any of that.

There is undoubtedly more hype about the Boston Marathon tragedy than when 26 people were murdered at an elementary school this past December.  Why are we not praying for Sandy Hook?

 I just feel like it's being a little sensationalized.  And for the families/people who were actually affected, I feel like they're being overlooked.  Why pray for them when you could pray for BOSTON. 

But just so people don't think I'm a total ice queen I thought I'd add this lovely picture a friend sent me. 

Bulb Urge

I'm not sure what has gotten into me, but I have this urge to plant flowers.

Not just any flowers.

and Ranunculus


My mom was in town and we went to home depot where I found bulbs.  Dahlia bulbs


So I bought.  
And planted.  
Then two weeks later Polly ate them.  All of them.  That whore bad dog.

Moving on. 
So we were driving home from the Tulip Festival and passed something called, "Swan Island Dahlias."

Well, that's a no-brainer. 
We went. 
We conquered.
Tempest from Swan Island.  You bet your booty this will be in my garden this summer!
So homeward bound with even more Dahlia bulbs.

THEN while googling Dahlias and how to be the best Dahlia-bulb-planter and thrive in my new obsession, I found RANUNCULUS.

And these are to die for. 
They're beautiful. 
Really just lovely.

... so then I bought some. 
Because naturally my Dahlia bulbs had to have some Ranunculus bulb friends as well.

The bad part is Dahlias can't be planted until the end of April.  So the more I wait, the more inpatient I get, and the more I google new flowers, and the more I want to buy!!

I already have no idea where I'm planting all of these sun-dwelling flowers.  So I'm not sure what I'm going to do if I keep buying bulbs I can't plant.

Again - moving on.

So Aaron and I made a quick run to Winco to get some dinner (I like my groceries like I like my wine - cheap).  While walking into the store LO AND BEHOLD I find some RANUNCULUS!

... so I bought them.  Because my Ranculus bulbs would need some more mature Ranunculus mentors to look up to.  

Just thought I'd fill you in on my latest obsession.  GOODNIGHT!