Monday, September 21, 2015

I've been to the Oregon Coast a few times, but not for at least a decade, so when Raz and I were batting ideas back and forth about what to do for his mom's birthday, the Coast was at the top of my idea list.

We had SUCH a great time at Adrift on the Washington Coast for Raz's birthday, and when I saw the same owners were opening a sister hotel in Seaside this summer, our plans pretty much made themselves.

I'm starting to have a real obsession with cruiser bikes. 
We arrived in Seaside on Friday evening, and made a beeline for the Saltwater Taffy Outlet. That place was PURE BLISS and I loaded up on all my favorite flavors, with special preference for Buttered Popcorn. Everyone in Seaside ate ice cream and taffy. It's a place that really understands the important things in life.

Oh, and I got to spin the WHEEL. OF. FORTUUUUNE. I won more taffy!

Obligatory hair flip.
The coolest thing about Seaside, though, is it has one of those flat, straight promenades like I like. Perfect for strolling and cruiser biking and staring at other people's houses. Plus, if I ever wanted to try longboarding again, I wouldn't feel as likely to break my face a third time.

Pretty wood-shingled houses to my left, beach to my right. I was in capital H Heaven.

How cute is this setup?!

Down by the Seaside. 
My in-laws said I had to see Cannon Beach, and I had the Haystack Rock on my bucket list, so on day two, we drove the few miles down the road to find lunch and massive adventure.

But, first, BUNNIES. While we were standing in line waiting for our seat at Mo's, a famous local chowder haunt, I went nuts over the cute little bunny family that was just casually hopping and eating around the lawn.

I mean, COME ONNNN. He kinda looks like Harrison tbh.
We had a super fun lunch on the deck watching whales and people, and drinking bloody mary's. What's scary about my old age is, on weekends especially, I just don't feel human until I've had at least one coffee and one alcoholic beverage. You, too? Just me? Sometimes I have to double fist them. 

Anyway, there were whales EVERYWHERE close to the shore. Grey whales, we were told. Orcas a few days prior. We kept pointing and oohing and discussing every thirty seconds or so. The restaurant staff said they hadn't seen anything like it in twenty years! 

And then we strolled again. Raz told me I was getting my shoes dirty. He's such a city diva.

The famous Haystack!

And of course I had to make Raz take some greasy-hair photos of me in my new fave grey crewneck
Ain't we cute?
Who? Me? Just over here being fab. 
Hate to see you go, but love to watch you walk away ;)
Kites. Everywhere.
So many pretty beach houses I need.
After we walked along the beach, we went to a secret surfer park. I've been really wanting a casual mountain walk and this one was exactly what I was looking for. Little wooded glens. Not too hot. Not too many people. Not too steep or full of ninety degree switchbacks. And! Fun stuff like this suspension bridge.

It was kind of scary and kind of not. I LOVED IT. 
And we walked to this. 
Growing up, my mom filled our yard with driftwood. Totally tastefully, of course.
People and their "go anywhere" hammocks. I'm nervous and intrigued. 

And there we have a beautiful little weekend on the Oregon Coast I couldn't wait another minute to share. We got back into Portland, gave me my first Pok Pok experience, and let me loose in the stationary store across the street. For so many reasons, I'm going to have to make these #exploregon adventures a thing. 

Year Three

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Again, we unknowingly planned a getaway my dad would have loved on the third anniversary of losing him. It's become kind of funny, actually, that we subconsciously do or see something he would have enjoyed so much. This year it was Shania.

Always so handsome, so composed, so outdoorsy.

We missed Shania in Seattle because we were on vacation in Florida. She kept saying it was her farewell tour, so Raz obliged and got us tickets to see her in San Diego for my birthday month. Much to my excitement and extreme fangirling, he got us VIP tickets that came with some weird reusable tote bags, VIP tags, a poster of Shania and two photo books. I felt special and only slightly jipped—I hear VIP tickets to Kenny Chesney and Katy Perry came with BEACH TOWELS. I will get my celeb beach towel one day. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. In the meantime, my Shania bags have taken a few trips to Safeway and held a change of clothes after the boys golfed all day and came to hang out with the girls and eat pizza and watch football. We're getting our use out of them. 
She was tiny like my mom and RIGHT THERE. Unlike my mom, her nails were left unpainted. I didn't even judge.

We jumped and bopped and squealed (okay, maybe just I squealed...) and drank 25 oz beers (an extra ounce!) and it was life-affirming. Shania even swung around our heads on a saddle contraption in the sky. I was beside myself. 

And afterward, we ate and I made Raz girl-talk with me all about it. 
Can't go to SoCal without hitting In-N-Out.

We also rode cruiser bikes and ate Cali burritos and said hi to Dennis Rodman when he randomly showed up at our hotel at the same time we did after Shania. It was weird and incredible all at once. 
Out there doin' mah thang. 
I don't know what to say about it all. It's always hard. It's always weird. It's always kind of...gnawing. But it's also eye-opening and soul-deepening, and motivating. We may still have some sad and unfortunate family awkwardness, and we may be a little broken sometimes, but we're all coping the way we know how.

No matter what, though, I carry him everywhere, and I get to see his little winks. It's small, but it's something. And boy does it feel big when it's happening.

Also, I got to have a great time in San Diego with my husbro, Shania, and Dennis Rodman. Who gets to say that?

Book Club—Dirty Rush

Friday, August 21, 2015

Raz and I are heading to see SHANIA VIP STATUS in San Diego this weekend, so I thought it was time to talk about one of my favorite reads of the summer - NAY! The year! I read quite a few books at the beginning of the summer and I'll write about a few more later. 

If you like my sunglasses, they're cheap and from Target. The Red Card is dangerous and incredible, guys
But for now, if you want a quick, really good, juicy beach read, Dirty Rush is EVERYTHING. If you liked White Girl Problems, or think you would based on the title (which really explains it all), this book is for you. I cannot recommend it more highly.

And it doesn't have to be just for sorority girls, even though they/we all get it on a totally intense level.

Outtakes! This is what still life photo shoots look like when you have two cats. 

Anything we MUST see or do while we're in SD? We have quite a few ideas and are staying in the Gaslamp. Thinking burritos and bike rides.

Also, it cannot be ignored that Sunday is my dad's three year deathiversary. It's hard to believe it's here, but it is. Last year we were in Hawaii for it. We didn't think about it when we booked the trip and our whole time there was so, so special.

Shania was my dad's favorite. It's amazing how all these things work out. I cannot wait to report back.

Brand Next Door - Rocksbox

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I was so excited when Rocksbox reached out to me because I've been thinking a lot about upping my accessories game. I go back and forth on that all. the. time. I want to invest in some good pieces, but I still like some costumey stuff sometimes but I can't wear that to work and type and I don't love bracelets and I usually just wear my big stud earrings but I need to diversify and UGH.

So the thing with Rocksbox is for $19/month, you get three pieces of super nice jewelry and they guarantee at least one of those pieces will be from your wishlist you create on the site. You do a little style profile, update your wishlist (they recommend keeping about 15 items on it) and you're up and running!

Shipping is free both ways and you can return/exchange your box at any time.

Plus, the boxes are SO CUTE and come with THE BEST little personalized card in them to make you feel extra special. 

This druzy number is my favorite. I've been wearing it NON-STOP. I'm wearing it today, actually. I got a cool rose gold double layered druzy guy I wore to a wedding a few weeks ago and some great gold earrings I wore last week. It's been fun to change it up, AND, if you use my code - whitpopaxoxo - you'll get your first month free! So go 'head, add to that collection! You can buy the pieces you love for a discount, too!  

Destin-ation, Florida

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I always wanted to go on family vacations. We've always had Chelan, and I would occasionally tag along to my parents' work conferences if they were in cool places, but we didn't plan annual adventures away. It just wasn't how we prioritized.

Shortly after my mom started dating George, she began talking about his family and their big biannual vacations. George and his four siblings would agree on a destination and the kids and grandkids would come if they could. This year, Raz and I joined in.

The sibs had decided on Destin, FL. We didn't know much about it, but it sounded like a tropical vacay and we were in big need of one of those, so it could have been Yakima for all we cared and we would have had a great time. 

And you know what? I was right all along! Family vacations are just as fun as I always imagined they would be. I'm about to make sure I have many more of them.

Raz's new woman, Payton
Hurricane season makes for some epic sunsets 
My beautiful, fierce momma

One thing worth addressing, and why I think it's taken me a while to write this post, is the tropical elephant. My dad is gone. My mom has moved forward. We all have, but we haven't forgotten, and we never will. George's family adopted us so immediately and completely, it was hard to resist them. And you know what? I realized pretty quickly I didn't want to. 

It's a fallacy to believe a person can ever have "enough" family. Sure, sometimes (often) it can be a lot to manage. I've had experiences that have proven how completely invaluable as much family as you can get is. I don't hate it.

There will always be another side of me, and a part that will be sad. But I believe that whatever you believe in - God, the Universe, Allah, my dad as our guardian angel, whatever - is trying to fill some of my little soul potholes. S/he/it is doing a pretty good job.

My one piece is sold out, but if you want the two piece, there are still a few here and here 

Aside from caddying for Raz on the golf course (got an outfit for it and everything!) and learning what "the turn" is, Crab Island was my favorite part of the trip. White sands, clear water, lots of floats and beers. It was THE BEST. 

How fabulous are we? 

Our next big adventure will be my first time to Cabo this November. We're taking some time just the two of us, and two sets of friends decided to join in because they just couldn't miss out on the fun. 

There will be a lot of mini travels before and after, but Destin ranks high on the list of great family getaways. And to think we've only just begun. 

I'll Wine If I Want To

Monday, August 3, 2015

The past several years, I've spent my birthday at our family cabin at Lake Chelan. My great grandfather bought it when my grandma was eight, so it's been around a lonnnng time. The older I get, and maybe given our experience with my dad, I've become aggressively obsessed with my maternal family. They are my most intense, passionate, offensive, confrontational, disorderly, and fantastic asset. 

This year, I wanted to do something I'd never done there before—a limo wine tour! I invited my mom and my aunts and uncles and cousins and hoped for the best. 

But first, I had to get a Jenner-inspired manicure that was sure to scare grandma.

On my birthday, we woke up to really smoky skies from a fire up lake. It was pretty ashy, but it made the sun this crazy red color that made the lake look incredible. 

Plus, George said the right thing—that the air was full of smoke because everyone was lighting candles for my birthday. 

I will never get sick of this view. If you like my Kendall x Kylie x Topshop x Nordstrom dress, you can get it here.
Our tour took us to three wineries in the area and we all came home with lots of bottles. Miraculously, my mom and her brothers barely bickered and even Grandma and Papa came for the after-potluck. AND WE HAD ICE CREAM CAKE I WAS SO SURPRISED AND EXCITED. 

I felt pretty fabulous all day, cuz like hihelloheyyy, I prefer to be driven. 

I can't wait to get this birthday month going. I'm slowing down in my old age, so we're gonna keep it contained to brunch, babies (other peoples', to be clear), and Taylor Swift and Shania concerts. 

And not to be preachy or anything, but I think I'm starting to gain that wisdom thing. I've learned no matter the history, you can have a whole lot of belly laughs telling politically incorrect jokes with your family over wine, cheeseburgers and ice cream cake. That's why I give myself a full month—not because I'm a complete narcissist, but so I can always start with my family. 

After all, life deserves to be celebrated, always and often, with as many people as you want to fit in it. 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My GFs and I have been talking about Malibu for a while. Not only is it where the celebs hide, it's a part of the Pacific Coast none of us had been. A few months ago, after much prodding from me about miles I had that were set to expire, we booked a super cute airbnb right on the water and set to planning to not have a plan (very hard for me).

That week was one of coast to coast vacations for me - I jetted off to Florida straight from LAX (more to come on that). While we were in Malibu, though, we walked along the PCH (do not recommend), tried some SUP (do not recommend at rising tide - I have the battle wounds to show for it), ate at Nobu (recommend), shopped on the pier (recommend) and did a little celeb spotting (always recommend).

The whole place was in bloom when we were there and Nobu was a short walk from our little condo. I have to admit, Manhattan Beach is higher on my list, but if someone asked me to come back to Malibu, I wouldn't deny them.

Plus, it made for some really pretty pictures. 

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