Two Months as The Popas

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We're in the thick of wedding season and I admit I'm a little behind. But! Raz and I finally have some wedding photos to share. I'll be giving you a little taste of our day here and there over the coming weeks, and, for now, I've included some of our favorites.

Marriage is still a trip and we're slowly figuring it out. I love knowing I have a permanent partner and the whole "wife"/"husband" thing is still sinking in. It sure is sweet.

Our wedding day was amazing, but we know it's just the beginning.

My beautiful bouquet. I bought the gold ribbon especially for them and my aunt brought my my grandmother's pearls I had in the bouquet as I walked down the aisle. 
My Manolos. Got these my first week at Nordstrom and saved them for this day. 
My favorite place in the world - Chelan. 
Tying me into my dress.
First look. I felt like a caged animal until I saw Raz and lost it as soon as we were reunited.
The cutest flower girl ever.
We did it! 
The party. Every girl should have a bridesman. 
First dance  ;) - my dad was there.
Fierce street portraits. People honked (in celebration) as they drove past us. 
Oh, to live with this level of joy. 
This photo just makes me stop and stare. I made it my phone lock screen :)
I would love to hear your wedding stories. I'm sharing mine in bits and pieces. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it. We will treasure it all forever and ever.

Photos: Andria Lindquist
Dress: Des Hartsock

Two Years Later

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This year, Raz and I are spending the second anniversary of my dad's death in Hawaii - the place I decided to call him Kouka decades ago now. Last year, I wrote that the missing him feeling will be a long journey. That's still true.

But, in true Kouka fashion, it's become very clear what a difference a year makes. I've worked hard to believe he's still with me - even when all I want is a hug, even when I want to feel resentful, even when I wonder "What if?" Because the reality is he won't ever be physically here again. I do know, though, in every inch of my (very full) heart, he is here in every capacity he can be - circling us as a bald eagle, following us along the beaches of Maui as a humpback whale, sunning himself as a yellow pussy cat in Tahiti, appearing as a shot of white light

Our photographer shared this photo of me dancing on my wedding day - a day, as you know, I wondered how he'd show up. She said she's never seen anything like this in her career as a photographer, hundreds of weddings later. 

Raz noticed the rainbow is coming out of my heart. How cool is that? 

She shared the photo on Facebook and Instagram, too (search Andria Lindquist on both platforms). The below Instagram comments are exactly what I hoped our story could give someone else. 

All I've ever wanted was for my story to help someone. This gives me hope it has.

When we planned our trip here for our friends' wedding, I didn't think about my dad's deathiversary. And now there's a cute irony to it. A moment of celebration for new beginnings and long-lasting love in a place so truly spiritual, I know I will find him here, too. And he will bless them, just like he did us. Onward we go missing and living in him the best we know how. 

So mahalo for love, romantic or otherwise. And follow our time here - #matsumeier and me, @whitpopa. 

Photos courtesy of
Andria Lindquist.

Brand Next Door - Munchery

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Raz was gone for a week spending time with his family who flew in from Romania for our wedding, so Prima and I were on our own (#girlsweek!). One night after work, on a quest for food, I took myself to Assembly Hall, Tom Douglas' latest venture in the Via6 apartment building. Not only does this place house an awesome Asian restaurant (TanakaSan) but it also has a little market (Home Remedy) to buy fancy organic foodstuffs.

But this post isn't about that. When I had finished eating my little salad bar items from Home Remedy inside Assembly Hall and was about to leave, I saw two guys walk in with big canvas bags that said Munchery on them. 

Since I'm a sucker for anything new and tastemaking, I wanted that bag and whatever was in it. I remembered seeing a Facebook ad the day before for this Munchery place and decided then to investigate it further. 

What I found was really awesome. Decently-priced meals, sides, desserts (and even kids meals!) prepared by local chefs from new and old big-name spots like Portage Bay Cafe, Brasa, Microsoft and MOMA. The company also offers a one for one promise to give back - for every meal you purchase, they give one away. Plus, the portions are HUGE (and trust me, at their prices I did not think my meal would be so big). All organic, biodegradable packaging, etc. I was in heaven.

So on that Friday, before I had to catch the bus to join Raz in Portland (I know - very not-fab, but sometimes I have to sacrifice for love, savings and sharing a car), I ordered my first meal and BOY WAS IT WORTH IT. Did I mention the menu rotates every day so it's always fresh? You can order a day or so in advance and pick what time you want it delivered. Ballin.

I got a fantastic glazed salmon with chow mein. Honestly, I scarfed it before I had to run out to my not-at-all-fab bus experience so there was no time for pics. And I paid about $3 for it because of the aforementioned Facebook promotion where you use the code SEATTLENOW to get up to the price of a main dish off your bill.

THEN! Because I was a new customer and they were excited to be in Seattle, my BEAUTIFUL CANVAS BAG LIKE THE ONE I SAW AT ASSEMBLY HALL was filled with my meal, a handwritten welcome note, free stickers, a branded oven mitt (!!!!!!!!!) and A! COOKIE! I practiced some self-restraint and saved the cookie to stress eat while the obnoxious women in front of me tried to bogart my outlets and stream a three hour movie from my bus ride's spotty wifi, but that's neither here nor there.

What matters is Munchery also has an app. And that's going to save my life any time Raz isn't home to cook for me.

So check it out, give it a spin and know, for the next ten weeks, all meals are under $10. That is ridiculously fab and I will definitely be indulging. I could go on and on (obviously), so let's just leave it at Munchery is delicious, takes amazing care of its customers and they may just give you a free cookie to stress eat on public transportation. It doesn't get better than that.

All photos courtesy of the Munchery Facebook Page

Brand Next Door - Rising Sun Produce

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The big news in our apartment is Raz and I are now on a house hunt. It's exciting and not really that scary and frustrating because when I shop, I just want to buy what I want, but house hunting is more like a prolonged eBay auction and I'm not into getting outbid.

So, in our ongoing quest for a nest, Raz and I have been exploring a lot of neighborhoods. We love finding new spots of all kinds and when we were aggressively pre-stalking a house before our next day tour, we drove by this cute little spot.

Doesn't it look like the sun is kinda "rising" behind it? Or to the side? Either way, blame my awesome photo skillz.

Take Eastern Washington's fruit stands and stick one close to the U District with vegan/GF products and check out people wearing bandannas and you'll find Rising Sun Produce. It brought me back to the other side of the mountains and how much fun I have weighing out loads and loads of freshly picked awesomeness. The 2 for $3 pineapple sign got us in and the old school glass bottles of pop kept us there. 

Coconuts! One time my dad brought one home, cracked it with a machete and we drank the juice right in the kitchen. I saw these and thought about that. Maybe I'll make Raz reenact that moment for an upcoming date night/Watching Raz Cook.
We bought some not-pictured tomatoes that tasted almost as good as Papa's and I poked at these tomatillos. I have a very special affection for salsa verde.

Tomatillos are weird looking and I don't get them, so I obsessively stare/take pics of them.

I have to admit, I didn't actually purchase any of these cookies, but I did appreciate the catering to my GF and vegan friends, particularly my GF GF, Carlovilla, who is now stateside and texting me from SoCal. 
Get. In. Mah. Bellayyyyyy.

AND THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE - THE ANCHOR ROOT BEER. I should have hidden one in our basket at check out, but I've been trying to be good and get my Fuel score pumping, but not my extra cals. I'm not counting them or anything, just trying to shop the perimeter. Technically, though, these were on the perimeter, so the moral of this story is Anchor Root Beer Bottles, I will be back for you. 
How cool are these old school bottles? I used to drink Henry Weinhard's sixers almost daily when I was little spending summers in the Chelan. Obviously I can't sustain that lifestyle now, but it was good while it lasted. 
Rising Sun is open 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. every day. We got a basket of all sorts of goodies and spent $10. If you're driving by, stop in. They have a parking lot and everything.

Follow my adventures on Instagram: @whitpopa.

Brand Next Door - TerraBella Flowers & Mercantile

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Since 28 was a year I had been looking forward to since I was a little girl, I decided it deserved more than my usual plastic birthday crown(s). In a stroke of genius, I emailed TerraBella Flowers & Mercantile in Greenwood, one of my favorite neighborhoods (when my dad died, the most beautiful arrangement I received was from them), asking for a bold, lush, real flower crown. I had considered one for our wedding, but our vibe just wasn't boho enough for one. Plus, I wore my hair up.

I really loved the results - and the shop itself is super cute. I'm going to need to go back and stock up one some of their paper and pretty products. It felt like being in the secret garden + Yolanda from RHOBH's fridge at the same time. Plus, in true Seattle fashion, they are completely organic and committed to local sourcing. And that, of course, is my jam.

Dress: Betsey Johnson via Nordstrom Rack

Those After-Work Walks

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

One of the biggest priorities in our house is hitting my Nike+ Fuel score every day. I'll write more about the band Raz got me for my birthday in a forthcoming post, but its whole gamification thing is really doing it for me. When we got it all set up, Nike told me most people my age, height and weight set their Fuel goal at 2,000. Since I need to set the curve, I set mine at 2,200 and have been in a competition against myself for the past week.

It got to the point that on Friday I had about 100 Fuel points to go until hitting my goal. It was around 10 p.m., we were at my grandparents' and Raz was exhausted. My grandparents' "workout room" is exploding with equipment, so the elliptical from my parents' old house is currently in the hall. I woke Raz from his (not even REM!) nap and told him I had to hit my goal or I would lose my streak! He suggested the elliptical. "Good idea!" I said, bounding onto it and aggressively watching my points go up. "That thing is TOO loud!" he shouted from my mom's childhood bedroom, full of stuffed animals and plush blue carpet. "Go run outside!"

"Rude," I shot back. "This was your idea!" My grandma was walking by and she loves Raz more than she loves me (it's an issue), so she asked what we were bickering about and told me to be nice. I reminded her we are married now so she can totally love me more again and kept ellipticalling away. He could complain all he wanted. I needed to earn my Fuel points and was catching up on Twitter.

Usually, though, when we're not driving over the mountains, Raz and I go on nightly walks around our neighborhood during which I make him literally stop and smell the roses with me.

See? Aren't these roses phemon? That shade of lavender, thoooo. 
We chat about our days, our life/career/wardrobe/feline-rearing/vacation goals. We look at houses. We dream. We ogle little outdoor seating areas people have created for gatherings and/or sunset-watching.

I could handle some morning coffee out here.
Sometimes I even get us to leave our phones at home! I love our walks because they force us to check in with each other and look at all the pretty things around us. They take us past dozens of Little Free Libraries. We watch the seasons change in a very up close and personal way. What were rhododendron bushes earlier this spring have been replaced with incredible hydrangeas.

Like, look at this lushness.
Plus, I get to maintain my Fuel score streak without getting on the elliptical in my grandparents' hall. Although, that will likely happen again.

To see what we see on our daily walks, follow me on Instagram: @whitpopa.

Brand Next Door - Anchorhead Cold Brew

Friday, August 1, 2014

As I'm sitting at my desk wearing my birthday crown and drinking my morning coffee (it's my birthday!), it only makes sense I'd write a little about coffee. I'll leave it to Carol to tell you more about my birthday. I get to relive that story every year.

I've been hearing a lot about cold brew. It's pretty hard to escape living in Seattle. The night we landed after our honeymoon, Raz's entire Romanian family surprised us at the airport. We took his cousin off their hands for the weekend and walked ourselves to my favorite place - the Queen Anne Farmer's Market. We hadn't slept, we'd been flying for hours and I was actively resisting how crabby I wanted to be. Go ahead and call me a trooper. Totally worth it, though, because I'm pretty sure I had more fun being 12 for a weekend than either of the boys closer to 12 I spent it with. Space Needle, garlic fries, baseball, Molly Moon's. It was AWESOME.

We walked into the market and saw a booth near the front entrance with an anchor and sign about coffee. I was already in. Enter: Anchorhead Coffee After speaking with the co-founders a bit, it was decided that I'd bring home a four pack to try. I drank two before photographing them.

Anchor + America. I'm in.
The founders were right - these individual bottles are so good on their own, you don't need to add any sweetener, any cream, ANYTHING. You can be really cool and Seattle by drinking it black. And it's perfect for hot summer days when you don't want to be drinking warm liquids.

America caps. If you were my uncle in college, you would have flipped these onto your popcorn ceiling along with a bunch of Budweiser caps. My grandparents deny their children were such party animals, but I know better.
The coffee itself isn't made with anything extra, bad for you or special. It's just good old organic, fair trade coffee and purified water.

Bottled happiness.
If you want to try some for yourself, they're in a bunch of stores (Whole Foods, PCC, local farmers' markets, etc.) and rapidly expanding. Click here for more.

And enjoy something delicious for my birthday, will ya?

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