In Bloom

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

For at least two months, I had this crazy sinus cold that would not go away. One week it was so bad that I felt like my face was exploding. I stayed home one day and when I went into work the next, I got two comments as soon as I walked in:

"You look like you've been crying for four days."

"You look like your face hurts."


Advil Cold & Sinus helped a little, but it never went away, this weird sinus cold thing. I thought a little harder and then I wondered, could it be? Could I have ALLERGIES? 

The cold had started in January and I'd Googled the Seattle air allergens index at one point to rule out allergies (Dr. Google had assured me they were low), so I started spiraling into that dark maybe I have cancer place many rational humans find themselves in from time to time.

Then I took a leap and asked Facebook what I should do. Trying Claratin was the consensus, and what do you know? I've been mostly cured for weeks now. Today was the first day I forget to take my drugs and felt like I didn't need them. I might take a pill for good measure, but I'm feeling like maybe since the tulips are drying up and the gorgeous apple blossom tree in our driveway has lost its fluff, the pollen that had been bothering my nostrils might be dissipating. Or the bees are now eating all of it? WHATEVER THE CASE, it feels nice to breathe again.

Here are some pretty pics of spring blooms. I may have to take Claratin for the rest of my life to look at them without sneezing, but that feels like a small price to pay.

Gimme All Dat Ivy Park

Monday, April 18, 2016

I've been thinking a lot about how to create a little more consistency in the randomness I write here. I've been holding back, outlining adventures, and providing little details, but not really saying anything substantive. None of it has felt like it's contributed anything unique or helpful.

That stops today.

Before my dad died, he told me to never lose my writing. I've been struggling to find the kind of writing I want to do here, and what I want this creative outlet to look like. I'm reading Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes and as she was talking about telling stories, it hit me that I needed to recalibrate how I talk about my life here.

Each time I talk about something I've done, a trip I've taken, a book I'm reading, a brand that speaks to me, I'll tell a story to go with it. As much as I love and appreciate my fashion bloggers, I know I'm not the perfect clothes horse or a next-level photog, but story is where I find myself most at home. The pictures may be a little underexposed or over-edited, but I'll do my best to keep the stories interesting, at least to me. They may be short or long. They might have some grammar errors. But I can promise that they will speak to my soul and give me a sense of purpose for what I put here.

So. Stories.

Stories, stories, stories.

When Raz and I had our engagement photos taken, I knew I wanted the shoot to be pretty aspirational. Very gritty, very fierce, very #goals. I didn't want just A Day In The Life. That bored me. I wanted to kick off our public commitment to each other above and beyond A Day In The Life. I love me a bold maxi, so I put together some looks with primary colors and lots of texture. Our photographer took us to the top of the old Amazon building in Beacon Hill for some of the shots, and had me do a Tyra booty tooch while feeling my fierceness.

When the photos came out, I got this text:

That was almost three years ago. Zach gets me. He got our vibe, and he said exactly the right thing, as Zach does. It's no wonder I've saved that text for years. 

Several months later, I got another text from Zach while I was at work: "Got last minute tix to Bey and Jay tonight. It'll be your birthday present. Wanna?" We have a tradition of seeing "bad bitches" for my birthday each year (we've seen Adele, Beyoncé, and Taylor so far, and only one has resulted in our being threatened with face punches, but that's another story for another time). 

So we went. It was top two most epic concerts of my life. We drank too much and scream-sang with Bey and Jay and discussed what she did while she was in Seattle (def something involving a helicopter, probably not the Four Seasons) and Raz picked us up and probably regretted it, but we were grateful. I wear my $55 On The Run Tour t-shirt when I need to feel fierce after a hard day. 

Zach and I text about Beyoncé often. We discuss her new albums, dissect her music videos, and sing the praises of her boss bitch bidness moves. 

Which brings me to Ivy Park. Since I'm currently living the housewife life, I have few reasons to wear anything besides workout clothes. Beyoncé collaborating with Topshop and making me bad bitch workout outfits at reasonable price points? Shoooooot. Girl's gone and done it. Again.  

Good on ya, Queen Bey. Check out the Ivy Park things I put on my Nordstrom Wish start:

And if you have any Beyoncé stories you want to share with me, I'd love to hear them! 

My Methow

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I just love birthdays, and I love spoiling Raz for his. This year, I plotted to take him to the Rolling Huts near Winthrop, in north/central/eastern Washington. I planned the adventure months before we actually rolled out (see what I did there?) and had so much fun teasing him about it beforehand.

The huts were just as cute as you'd imagine, but in like a totally cool and architectural way, because, you know, we're hipster and Seattle like that. It was a little bit of a hike getting to them from Seattle since the scenic highway people usually take to them was still closed for the winter. 

Regardless! We made it and they were fantastic. We had a little kitchenette, and I got us breakfast package with pastries through the Huts' main office. You don't have to check in or out with any humans, which is another HUGE plus for those of us on the introverts spectrum. 

Solitudeeee. I let Raz open a gift I helped my mom pick out for him so we could play it by the fire—a travel poker kit. We're working on beating the dealer at Blackjack, so we played cards and Raz lost first and we read books and chatted and drank wine and put logs on the fire and looked at the snow and felt very cozy. 

The only thing that was slightly scary was the bathroom situation. There is a very nice outhouse attached to every hut, which is something I'm pretty used to. HOWEVER, there is no light in it, and I was terrified I would drop my cell phone into the deep Honey Bucket abyss while I was using its flash light, but thankfully I keep a pretty white knuckle grip on the thing, so we all survived. Showers are in another building very close by, which is somewhat less than ideal for divas, but I'm trying to be more outdoorsy, so I sucked it up and put on some shower shoes and tried to embrace it for the adventure it was. 

In spite of our lack of access to indoor plumbing in the snow, the place was fantastically beautiful and we stared and stared. Raz's birthday is on the first day of spring, which coincides with this semi-weird winter to spring weather transition. The great part about that is I find us fun little places to see during what is usually the off-season. We have had these killer birthday adventures in epic places mostly to ourselves! Talk about Very Important Popas. 

We bummed around all over the Methow Valley, taking in the views and making lots of photos. Of all the places we've visited the past few years, this is one we can't stop talking about. We're already plotting cabin-y New Year celebrations and seeing it at some point in the summer months. 

We're headed to Missoula tonight for another weekend of adventure and I can't wait to see that Big Sky. We'll come back with lots of memories and maybe a new pair of cowboots. I'll try to write about it faster than I did this. 

Happy belated public birthday, bro guy! I love adventuring with you. Here's to plotting for next year and continuing to discover the best of the west. 

Oh, and on the car ride there, I devoureddddd this. Read it if you haven't. It's a quick one and just so, so good. 

Get this and the other celeb books I'm reading here:

Take Us to The Tulips

Monday, April 11, 2016

I'd been seeing a lot about the tulips on Facebook and such the past few years, and figured it was time I see them myself. I don't have any special feelings toward tulips, but it felt like an experience, so Raz and I ventured up to the Skagit Tulip Festival yesterday. I do like that tulips and daffodils are the first signals of spring. Happy, blooming feelings full of new beginnings.

It appeared everyone had the same idea we did, which resulted in something that should have taken about two hours taking nearly five.

But! They were pretty.

And we took lots of photos of them. 

As did everyone else. 

Raz is such a good sport!

Then I sat in the dirt to get closer to the tulips and Raz could not get over it. He was glad my sweater covered my "dirty butt." City kids :). 

They had some cool varieties like really feathery tulips and really fluffy ones that look almost like peonies. I was into those. 

So fluffy!
It was hugely touristy and full of children, who were nearly infinity times better behaved than their parents were, but it was an adventure nonetheless. We hit a brewery on the way back, and then the Lulu outlet up north. Since I wear mostly work out clothes now, it was a very exciting addition to our journey. We concluded our day at a delicious Asian fusion restaurant in Burlington—I'd go back for that place alone. 

And that's it, that's all. Here's my new fb profile pic because that's what we were all after anyway, right?
In my defense, I didn't go into this looking for a new profile pic. Sometimes profile pics just find you.
Follow more of my adventures on Snapchat! Just add whitpopa to your friends list. 

Professional Help

Friday, April 1, 2016

I am a believer in hiring professionals—for hair, nails, relationships, photos, cleaning...these are all things I can probably do myself, but not nearly at the level they can. I also consider the opportunity cost of it all. I can do my own nails, yes, but it'll take time away from other things, and it'll cause a lot of frustration because I always get that one nail that keeps getting gross and bunged up. It's just not worth it to me. Also, I'm a grown ass woman and if I want to spend my money on getting my nails did I'll spend my money on getting my nails did (RT!).

So when we moved into our house and had this big front room that I couldn't quite figure out how to fill, and HATED walking into and seeing our old slip-covered couches every day, I werrrrrked on Raz until he agreed to consult professionals with me.

We got such a good response to my first post about our house (thank you!) that I wanted to make sure I waited until we got profesh photos back to share them with you.

White Space Design in Seattle worked on this whole project with us. I'm hoping they'll do our kitchen nook next. They're currently working with my mom on a HUGE project in SoCal I'm going to go supervise in a few weeks (mostly just to keep her in line, which is a feat on its own, and very exhausting—wish me luck!).

Brava to the two incredible women who took my random Pinterest board and non-negotiable existing items and ran with them, who convinced Raz how worth it it is to invest in professional help, who totally understood my need for all things to be cat and baby-proof, and who helped me make our house into a real, adult home.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom for many of the sources of our furniture and details and trimmings. Much of it is sold out, but the sites will suggest similar items. Or, you can just hire WS and have all the fun we did!

Way better than planning our wedding tbh...shhh.

So posh rn

All photos courtesy of Cleary Photo

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