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!

Girl Power

This week has flown by! With all the excitement and the very beginning of wedding planning, I feel like I floated through this whole week on a little love cloud. Also, you guys are so nice! Whether you’re sending some love because of our recent engagement or sending encouraging notes about the blog, it is so appreciated! Without getting too sappy, I can’t thank you enough. This creative outlet has been a fun project and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, too 🙂

Switching gears a little, do you guys remember that funny little weaving I created and wrote about during week 2? Well guess what?! It was totally featured on The Weaving Kind’s Instagram this week! How cool is that?? I can’t really describe how it felt, it was a combo of feeling so included in a creative community, plus it was a huge suck-it sandwich to that self doubt going on in my head and it was validation. I am owning my creativity and releasing that self doubt (woo hoo!) And on that note, here’s what I liked this week:

  1. Sisters – I have always considered myself incredibly lucky to grow up with sisters. Obviously I’ve never known anything different, I’m sure brothers are great too, but there’s something special about having a sister or two. And let’s be honest, a sister doesn’t have to be a cool lady in your life in the traditional sense of the word. A sister can be a cousin, friend…you name it! Sisterhood is that community of women you surround yourself with that lifts you up and empowers you to be confident, self-loving and honest. I am incredibly lucky to not only have my two big sisters, but I also have amazing sistercousins, friendsisters and soon to be official sister in laws (sisters in law? I don’t know)! I mean, look at how cute my sisters are in that photo above!! I am constantly learning from these women and growing into a better version of myself because of them. We benefit from having other women in our lives that help make us feel good about being who we are. There’s an incredible amount of confidence that radiates off of a woman that has a strong network of other women around her, so go give your “sisters” a hug, glass of wine and thank them for being in your life. ♥

  2. Darling Magazine – My old college roomie Christine is such a creative butterfly and has opened my eyes to Darling Magazine. How did I not know about this before?? It is such a cool, empowering, creative magazine that is such an inspiration. Their articles are quick and easy reads that can appeal to any woman. The other day I was browsing some blogs that I follow and I kept thinking how cool and established and successful they are! I will admit, there was a bit of envy in those thoughts because I want that kind of success, too. And wouldn’t you know it, I check my email and I have this little reminder from the universe with this article tucked inside. We should not be sitting back, behind the comfort of our screens feeling jealous or envious about someone else’s success. Why waste the energy?? Channel that energy into something else constructive for you and give a high five to that guy or gal living their dream. Let’s rise above the petty feelings to allow ourselves to rise to success in our own fields and industries.

  3. Southwest Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – Ok, ok I’ll start with the healthy recipe for this week. With the summer-ish weather trying to break through lately I have been on a salad kick. Don’t stop reading here just because you see that cilantro is in the title of the dressing…I know not everyone likes cilantro as much as I do, and you’re definitely  missing out on the best part of this salad but if you’re one of those people that think cilantro tastes like dirt or soap, use something else! Normally I’m not a huge fan of eating a salad as an entree because I think salads are boring and don’t fill me up enough, but I have found a winner. This quick and easy salad from Damn Delicious is the perfect light and flavor packed salad that you need in your life. And for those of you that like cilantro, this dressing is the bees knees! At one point I started dipping tortilla chips in it and I highly recommend trying it out.

  4. Cornflake Crispies – Now onto the not as healthy recipe 🙂 I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like rice krispie treats so I’m just going to go ahead and assume that everyone will enjoy this recipe for corn flake crispies that I found on, you guessed it, Pinterest. First off, it comes from a blog called High Heels & Grills (adorable) and is one of the easiest desserts to make for you to eat by yourself or bring to a party. This time I’m happy to report that I did not eat the whole batch to myself (unlike those Strawberry Oat Bars). The best part about the corn flake crispies is that after you spoon them out on some parchment paper to set up, they are ready in a matter of minutes so you can enjoy them almost immediately!

  5. Escape Room – Alright, some of you may have heard of escape rooms and some of you may be like me and not understand the appeal of them. I can’t encourage you enough to go out and try one with a group of friends or your family!! I too was once a doubter and didn’t really understand what was so cool about trying to “escape” a room. I was wrong!! We did one with Tim’s family back in February and I had a pretty good time…wasn’t totally sold yet but would try it again if the opportunity presented itself. Well, this weekend we signed up for another one with Tim’s family and it was THE BEST! We booked through Escapism and did The Ritual Room. I don’t want to give anything away but go grab 6-8 people and sign up. I am proud to say that we kicked ass and completed the escape in 40 minutes (you have an hour to escape!) there’s only a 40% success rate so we were all pretty pumped 🙂 If you like solving puzzles, thinking outside of the box and some serious teamwork, you’ve got to give it a try!

Have a great week!

Jess Likes Being Engaged to Tim

This whole week I was struggling to get in the mood to blog and couldn’t come up with content that I was excited about. Little did I know, that was because Friday night would trump everything and would make me throw out all drafts I had compiled for this week anyway. WE’RE ENGAGED! It’s still sinking in and doesn’t feel real yet but as I sit here typing my eye keeps going to that sparkly little number on my left hand. Holy shit! Exactly 5 years and 1 month ago Tim Facebook messaged me to ask if I wanted to meet him in downtown Eugene at a bar called Luckey’s for $0.25 PBRs which ended up being our first date (I think they were a quarter each…I may be remembering that wrong but the point is, it was cheap beer at an even cheaper than usual price). Fast forward to now and ya boy done surprised me like I’ve never been surprised before. I knew that we’d be getting engaged sometime this year since we had talked about a wedding in 2017 but I had NO IDEA when it was going to happen and that was driving me crazy. I’ve had a secret Pinterest wedding board going for a few years that was starting to accumulate dust 😉 Patience pays off and our families and friends are the best at keeping secrets because no one ever let on that they had any idea he was planning on doing it so soon. Good job, guys!!

How he proposed: Alright, time to gush. Tim had mentioned that Friday evening he’d be home a little late because of a study group. I thought nothing of it knowing that these last few weeks of the Academy are pretty intense and he needs all the time he can get to focus on his studies. So, instead of working out after I got home from work, I cozied up to a box of Milton’s Multi-Grain crackers and watched Gilmore Girls on Netflix (I’m currently obsessed and don’t know how I didn’t get into this show earlier). Then I fell asleep and was woken up by Tim walking in the door saying, “Hello! Hello?” He came upstairs and knelt behind the couch that I was so peacefully snoozing on and woke me up. I finally got it together and agreed to get up so we could get some dinner, I stalled a little longer but when I stood up and turned around there he was down on one knee with a little white box. WHAT?!? I have no idea exactly what we said to each other after that as it’s all kind of a blur in memory and because we were both crying so hard I couldn’t really see anything…but after a ton of I love yous and kisses, I knelt down and hugged him and he put a ring on it.

He told me that he had asked for my parent’s blessing a year and a half ago and had made so many plans to propose since then but life set us on a slightly different course. I knew that this was something we were both planning on but I didn’t realize how much time and thought he had put into all of it and for that I am truly grateful. My calm, cool and collected rock of a man has brought so much happiness to my life these past 5 years and now it’s official that we get to continue in that happiness together for the rest of our lives. He had a whole thing planned for next weekend when our families will all be in town together but instead of being at a study session, he was really picking up the ring and he said he couldn’t wait anymore and just had to do it as soon as he got home. If you know Tim and I, we’re the worst at  surprising each other and always get too excited to wait and give each other presents when we’re supposed to, so this made sense 🙂 Look out world! You’re about to see a whole bunch of wedding crafting and planning coming at ya and I’m so pumped for all of it! Thank you for all the love we’ve received so far. We truly do have amazing friends and family in our lives and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!

My top 5: Hiking Essentials

This week I want to change it up a bit. Instead of highlighting the top 5 things that I liked this week I want to highlight the top 5 things I always take on my hikes. I’ve mentioned this before, but I love getting outside! I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I’d put myself in the middle of the pack as an intermediate hiker. I can dig it when it comes to elevation gain, prefer if the distance is about 5 miles round trip, and like to have a view at the end hopefully involving some kind of water feature. In the past two weeks I’ve already talked about the hiking boots I can’t live without and the pants that I love to workout and move around in, so here are 5 other things that I always make sure to wear, bring or pack when hitting the trail.

  1. Keep on truckin’: the hat – If you know Tim, you know he’s most likely always wearing a Patagonia trucker hat. I never really understood the appeal of wearing trucker hats, I mean they were super big circa Ashton Kutcher in the early 2000s, but I didn’t really think they were for me. Finally, I was sucked into the trend almost two decades later and bought a Patagonia trucker hat because it had a picture of a bison on it. Now I won’t hike without one of these hats! It keeps my hair out of my face (a pretty big feat considering the massive amounts of hair I have), protects my head from the sun, is breathable and the snap back is adjustable depending on how unruly my hair is being that day.

  2. Lay(er) it on me: the base layer – I always start out a hike wearing a lightweight, breathable layer. You never know what the weather will be like on your Oregon hike and it’s good to bring layers in case the temperature drops or the weather shifts. I’ve used the Arc’teryx Phase AR zip-neck top for four years and it’s my absolute favorite. It’s comfortable, stretchy, washes well and doesn’t retain odors (sometimes hiking/workout gear can get a little funky!). Plus, it’s light enough to stuff in my pack or tie around my waist when I get too hot which inevitably always happens.

  3. Sock it up: the socks – The SmartWool Hiking Ultra-Light Mini Socks are my go to hiking socks. They keep my feet warm, dry and comfortable in my boots and they don’t itch! The sock is thin enough to fit in my hiking boot comfortably but thick enough to make walking around for a couple of miles on uneven terrain no biggie. I like the low profile of these socks which is just high enough for me to stuff the bottom of my leggings in but not too high where they feel restrictive.

  4. Get your drink on: the hydration – Tim introduced me to Hydro Flask water bottles in 2011 and I haven’t purchased a different brand of water bottle since. For hikes I use my beat up 21 ounce, standard mouth Hydro Flask because it’s lightweight and fits in my bag easily. For longer hikes I’ll use my Camelbak but I still prefer using the Hydro Flask. Why? Because it keeps your bevie ridiculously cold and bringing a water bottle means I have a perfect excuse to stop and take a casual break 😉 I recently purchased the 32 ounce, wide mouth Hydro Flask in mango and I can’t get enough of it. Seriously, go check out all the new colors they have! Plus, the new wide mouth tops have an easy to carry handle that is a definite upgrade from their old lids.

  5. The cat’s out of the bag: the pack – I am in love with my Timbuk2 bag, but when trying to find a link for this post, I couldn’t find anything because they apparently don’t make this bag anymore…whoops. It’s a smaller version of their classic messenger bag and I use it everyday as well as on hikes. This is the closest thing I could find. My second go to bag is the REI Flash 18 pack. It’s a lightweight, small and affordable pack that fits all the essentials. We took these packs as our carry-on bags to Puerto Rico last year and they were a life saver! I like this one for longer hikes since I can fit my Camelbak in the hydration compartment. There’s a small zipper pocket towards the top for anything you need to get to quickly and it has enough room to stuff a rain shell or puffy jacket inside, plus plenty of room for snacks! Because you should always hike with snacks.

Bonus: A selfie stick! I know this is silly and I will be the first one to admit how goofy it looks pulling this thing out of my bag while in the wilderness, but sometimes you just want to get a good selfie! Or groupie? Usie? What do people call it when it’s not just you in the pic? I don’t care. I bring this baby with me on every hike because it’s nice to have pictures of Tim and I together doing something we love and not have awkward chins or have to ask someone else to take our photo. Self sufficiency, ya dig?

So what are you waiting for? Get outside and have a great week!