Return with Honor

I made this sign after seeing a few other law enforcement wives post about one similar. Being a significant other to a law enforcement officer is something I’m very new to, but am very proud of. In light of recent events, there are many individuals who feel differently than I do. It is not a police-friendly world and that is very apparent. Having the man I’m going to marry, suit up and serve his community is a mixture of feelings: pride, inspiration, fear, excitement, etc. My partner in life has chosen a career path where he serves and protects others, he gets to share his love, brilliant mind and patience with people that otherwise may have never met him. He gets to see a side of our community that while not always glamorous, is humbling.

Given the reality of what’s happening currently, we’ve had a lot of serious talks, we know where the other stands and we’re standing on the same side. I will support him in the decisions he makes while on the road and he will return with honor. Our conversations go along the lines of, as long as you come home knowing you did the right thing and and you can come home with honor, you have done your best.

We as a society are hyper-critical of police officers right now. We are taking Facebook videos, media coverage, and attention-grabbing headlines as the only facts. These situations are far too complex to fully understand after seeing some pictures or videos. That goes for both sides, we do not know any of the individuals involved in the situations or what has led up to that point when someone decided to press record or snap a picture. As a whole we are angry, hurt and scared and we’re set on trying to prove the other side wrong. Take a moment. Feel your feelings, have your opinions and let them form, and share them if you must. I am not here to change anyone’s opinion or make you agree with my own, there is no honor in that. However, there is one thought I would like for everyone to expand on – one or two individuals are not a representation of all. This applies to everything, everywhere, everyday and everyone.

My priority right now is to make a life with Tim and a future, to have him home safe so we can adventure and live our lives together. No relationship, path, or life is easy, we have a lot to learn and a lot of room for growth. But we have each other, we have an incredible support system within our friends, family and department, and we have hope.

Owl Always Love You

Another week come and gone and now we’re approaching the last week of July! Where has this summer gone? Having Tim home has been awesome 🙂 We had a routine while he was at the academy but now I feel like we’re finally back to “us”. His schedule is constantly changing and still all over the place but I feel a little more like myself knowing I get to see him everyday if only for a few hours. This week was filled with food, beer and crafts – what’s new?

  1. Diaper owl – Did you guys know that people have baby sprinkles? Instead of a full on shower they’ll have a sprinkle and have friends get together to celebrate baby number 2! So cute!! This particular sprinkle I was invited to asked for diapers and my mom suggested I find a cute way to gift the diapers. I found a bunch of diaper cake ideas but this one caught my attention the most. Come on!! A diaper owl!? Who even comes up with this stuff?? I love it. Now I’m trying to figure out what other animals or cool things I can make with diapers…to be continued!

  2. Bailey’s Taproom – Our friends introduced us to this place a few months back. Bailey’s Taproom has 25 rotating taps with a strong Oregon brewery presence. These types of taprooms are my favorite: they’re an easy place to meet up with friends for a drink, they let you bring your own food or order from Santeria across the street and they serve great beer! Bailey’s is where we met up with our wedding photographers this week so we could get to know them better – they are awesome!! So looking forward to working with them!

  3. Bacon wrapped yums – I should have had you at bacon wrapped, who cares what’s being wrapped by bacon, but if you must know this past Sunday I made bacon wrapped sausages for a family brunch. Huge hit!! I was surprised anyone got to try them since Tim kept sneaking them before it was time to eat. These simple brunch bites are easy to make and are so yummy! To really drive it home, after wrapping the little smokie in bacon, you sprinkle brown sugar on top to create a sweet & salty delicious bite. I only used 1/4 cup brown sugar because 3/4 cup seemed excessive but I won’t judge you 🙂

  4. Pork tacos – We have had a lot of celebrating to do this past week! On Monday evening my family got together for dinner and I made all of us pork tacos with this recipe. I don’t want to toot my own horn too much, but Mr. Miles who can sometimes be a picky eater (who isn’t at 4 years old?) said that he loved the tacos! Go Auntie Juice! Crock pot recipes are my favorite when serving a big group and this one got rave reviews from everyone. To top off the evening, we got a special performance from the whole family dressed in graduation caps and gowns singing Tim a song to congratulate him. ♥

  5. Living Room Theaters – Friday evening turned into an impromptu date night at the Living Room Theaters so we could watch the Secret Life of Pets in 3D! We don’t often make time to see movies in theaters because I get too antsy and we always seem to be out of the loop on what’s playing. However, we both have a soft spot for animated films and when Tim found out that Living Room would have the Secret Life of Pets playing we jumped on the chance to have a night out. First of all, tickets are $12 for a 3D movie ($10 for a regular film) which I feel like is unheard of these days with overpriced tickets basically anywhere else you try and see a movie. They have a great menu and bar that you can order food from to have delivered to you while you’re watching the movie, comfy theater seats and reserved seating! They have a small selection of films playing at any given time, they try to focus on independent films with a sprinkling of more mainstream movies. I highly recommend checking this place out for a fun date night 🙂

Have a great week!

My life would ‘suc’ without you

Today’s post will be short and sweet because after 4 long months, Tim IS FINALLY HOME FOR GOOD! This weekend was a blast and filled with family time, tons of food, happy tears and beer. After his graduation ceremony we did a BrewCycle tour through Old Town Portland and I can’t wait to do it again. Seriously, if you have something to celebrate, friends or family in from out of town or want a fun group activity, I highly recommend signing up for a BrewCycle tour. Other than celebrating Tim and his amazing accomplishments, I got to ask my sisters a very special question. I knew that I wanted to give something to my sisters as a little token of appreciation for all their support and ask them officially to stand with me in our wedding. When it came to what gift I wanted to give them that was a no brainer. I LOVE puns and thought I was so funny when I came up with “My life would ‘suc’ without you!” while gifting each of them a succulent. The terra cotta pots were $0.55 cents each at Fred Meyer (originally $0.79 cents but there was a 30% off deal – I’m not kidding, Fred Meyer’s has everything!) and I picked out these succulents at New Seasons at $2.50 each. I made the tags with my handy dandy gift tag maker and did a simple water color card to write each of them a love note. I don’t know about you, but presents don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Sure those presents can be great but spending $3 on a fun little gift and personalizing it to make my girls feel special is what I was going for and now they have a new succulent to add to their collections! Recognize that photo backdrop?

 

Uptown Girl

It’s been an interesting week and an emotional one at that. There is fear, confusion, anger, helplessness and heartbreak. These things have always existed, this is nothing new in the world we live in, but sometimes it all hits closer to home. I am grateful for the friends, community and family we have in our lives. Thank you for your conversations, love, and the prayers that you’re sending out to everyone in the world at this time. I am choosing to focus my energy and thoughts on the positive things that happened this week and the stuff I really liked, so here’s the lineup for this week:

  1. Uptown Market – A few years back Tim and I lived in a divey, tiny apartment in a semi-OK part of Beaverton. The highlight of living in that complex was that it was down the street from Uptown Market. This market sells home brew supplies, has a great selection of beers in bottles and cans that you can’t always find in your standard grocery store, and has a variety of beers and ciders on tap. Within the past couple years they’ve expanded to a second location in Lake Oswego and they now serve food! Uptown Market is the first place I spotted the Crush Cucumber Sour to try it out and we all know how that went 🙂 It’s also a favorite spot for us to meet up with friends, grab a beer or two and catch up.

  2. St. Honoré – I have only been to St. Honoré a handful of times and that’s probably for the best. Everything I’ve ever had from there is absolutely delicious and such a treat! I’m not even kidding EVERYTHING is good from there. This most recent time I had the quiche lorraine and Tim got the Vol au Vent which is like a fancy, French chicken pot pie in a puff pastry. Holy cow I want to go back right now. I’ve only ever been to the location on NW Thurman but they have two other locations, one in Lake Oswego and one off of SE Division. Wherever you live, figure out a way to get to one of the locations ASAP and don’t forget to grab a bag of chouquettes when you order your food. Seriously, you won’t regret this especially after you bite into the fluffy, rock sugar-covered pastry ball of greatness!

  3. Columbia Jacket – It’s a little ironic that last week I talked about the heat and how summer had arrived! Leave it to Oregon to throw in a few rainy days to really mix it up. Luckily, I had just bought the perfect light-weight jacket from Columbia. It’s called the Alter Valley jacket and I got it in the Pulse color which is an easy color to match with everything. It has an adjustable draw cord at the waist and some cute picnic blanket patterned piping on the inside to add some character. It’s good for that light Oregon drizzle we’ve been experiencing lately and keeps you just warm enough. It’d work great on an easy hike but I love that it’s a stylish alternative to my rain shell or soft shell jacket so I can wear it to work and still feel put together.

  4. The Kingkiller Chronicle series – My college roomie told me about this book series a few years back and I finally got around to reading it. The first book of the series is titled, The Name of the Wind and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a trilogy but only the first two books are currently out and I can’t wait for the third. The series follows the story of a man named Kvothe and I don’t really want to tell you much more. It’s a fantasy novel and a tad bit long, but the story absolutely sucks you in and you won’t even noticed the 700 some odd pages. I have been riding the MAX for almost 3 years to and from work and I’ve always gotten off at the right stop. On Friday, I was so into reading the second book of the series, The Wise Man’s Fear, that I forgot to get off at my stop and ended up going one stop too far! Worth it.

  5. img_20160704_132526.jpg20160710_103138A few weeks back I wrote about our visit to The Rebuilding Center on Mississippi Ave that I absolutely fell in love with. A DIYer’s heaven! Tim and I had picked up some reclaimed wood so that we could make a backdrop for some of my blog photos. After getting to use our new circular saw (and wearing proper eye protection) the two of us created this beauty! I know it doesn’t look like much, but next week I’ll be putting it to use to show you all some gifts I crafted this weekend. Stay tuned!

 

Have a great week!

All Summer Sixteen

Isn’t that new blog header the coolest?? When I finally decided to start a blog, I texted Tim’s youngest sister Karissa to pick her brain. She’s a crafty soulmate of mine and she’s always game to bounce around ideas and gives great feedback! She offered to design a blog header and look at what she created! We had started brainstorming ideas for wedding invites and she used some of that inspiration. Voila! A new Jess Likes header is born. I am over the moon with how it turned out and love how talented and creative our little sis is 🙂

So, is anyone else thrown off by this heat? I feel like summer started two months ago in Oregon and just isn’t quitting. Not that I’m complaining about having beautiful sunny days – just sweating all the time – I mean, it’s definitely a nice change of pace from the constant Oregon rain, but with all this sun I’ve had to get my act together quick. Here are a few of my favorite things to help me beat the heat.

  1. La Croix – Let’s not kid ourselves, I drink La Croix year round no matter the weather. However, it’s extra satisfying and refreshing on a hot day and I’ve started to branch out and try different flavors. My absolute favorite flavor is apricot followed closely by grapefruit. Passionfruit is pretty amazing as well. Tim has been really interested in the new flavors so we tried the pineapple strawberry, which was good, just not my favorite. The cheapest place I’ve found La Croix was at Winco and they had more than just lemon, lime and plain, I was able to pick up a 12 pack of grapefruit for just under $3!!! My co-worker told me that Target has a really good variety and if you want to get a hold of some of the newer flavors you can usually find them all at New Seasons or Whole Foods if you’re feeling fancy. I consider my obsession with La Croix pretty healthy, yes it’s true that multiple people gave me La Croix for my birthday this year because they know how much I love it, but how can you not love this no calorie, no artificial sweetener alternative to soda??

  2. Crush Cucumber beer – For those of you looking for a satisfying and refreshing alcoholic beverage might I suggest you give 10 Barrel’s Crush Cucumber Sour beer a try. You can find it in select stores canned or you can visit their somewhat new location in Portland to try it on tap. I just went to their Portland location for the first time last night and while the rooftop is incredibly crowded, it’s a really neat spot and definitely somewhere I’d go back to, as long as you don’t mind having to push people over to get to the bar 🙂 As for the beer, I’ve been getting more into sour beers over the past year and this beer is light, tart and has a hint of cucumber flavor. It’s confusing when you think about the fact that you’re drinking a beer and not a cocktail but a few of these next to the pool on a hot summer day is absolutely perfect.

  3. The perfect summer dress – I got this dress from Kohl’s a few weeks ago and it has become my favorite summer dress! Yes, I am a proud member of the Crazy Kohl’s Club and love using my Kohl’s cash and coupons to score sweet deals. The Apt 9 brand is by far my favorite because their items are simple, classic colors and patterns, and are so comfortable. I own the same shirt in 4 different colors because they’re basic and easy to throw on with jeans, boots and a scarf and get out the door (which is the standard Oregonian wardrobe). I’ve been trying to find a t-shirt dress that’s flattering because you toe the line of looking like you’re wearing a garbage bag. I have finally found a cut that’s flattering and I will most likely go back and buy 4 other colors once I get my next Kohl’s coupon (fingers crossed for that 30% one!) I don’t get how Kohl’s stays in business because all of their items are already discounted in store and then they let you use coupons for days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about that, but are they really making any money??

  4. Sandals – I have been on the hunt for a new pair of brown sandals that I can wear with anything. I’ve had a pair for a few years and they’re on their way out because I wear them all the time. I found these online and picked them up from DSW this week. They are incredibly comfortable and under $30, can’t beat that! I got the dark brown color because I feel like it will go with everything and normally I’m not a fan of sandals that have a piece between my toes, but these don’t bother me. It’s also nice because the sole has a little bit of cushion to it, a lot of sandals lately are just a flat plastic sole…what is with that? We aren’t doing ourselves any favors by wearing uncomfortable shoes. These also come in black if you’re looking for a new black sandal to add to your wardrobe.

  5. Sunscreen – I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me way too long to understand the real benefits of sunscreen. I remember laying out by the pool or in the backyard with SPF 5 on and baking myself for hours. However, I think a lot of the reason why I hated wearing sunscreen was because it always felt greasy and gross. I’m so glad I picked up some Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch sunscreen because this stuff is perfect. It goes on easily and doesn’t feel greasy at all! My friends and I used this sunscreen while we were in Arizona a few weekends ago and I’m happy to report that none of us got sunburned!!

Have a great week and wonderful 4th of July!