A very good weekend.

I managed to fit a lot of my favorite summertime activities into the last 24 hours:

Drive-n movie theater

Food carts

Ride the OHSU tram


Milwaukie farmer’s market

Get someone a birthday present

Visit the dog park


Sleeping in

Time in the hammock

Yard work


Visit the rebuilding center

Learn to cook on a charcoal grill

Thrift shop


Buffalo wings

Dinner date

Sunset beers

I guess it’s okay with me that this is the last weekend of August. Now that the deck project is done, I’m working to get the most out of my remaining summer.

Erin’s First Post-High School Book Report and Hey March is Women’s History Month

We should all be feminists.

That’s what I came away with to after reading this essay by Chimmamanda Ngozi Adichie. Although I’ll admit, I held this belief long before opening these pages. I’ve recently read Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun and loved them both, so when I saw this 52 page book, I knew it would be a perfect bus reader.
We Should All Be Feminists on Hey Hey Erin May
If you’re interested in an articles that well summarize this book, I’d recommend this article that calls it the most important book you’ll read all year, or here.
One thing I like about this book is that it’s accessible as a primer on what it is to be a feminist. It uses plain language and interesting anecdotes.
On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the message is nuanced enough for the well versed and well established feminist by speaking to the  inherent complexity in the term.
I especially identified with the way Adichie felt she had to qualify what “type” of feminist she is:
…since feminists are women who are unhappy because they cannot find husbands…I decided to call myself a Happy Feminist.
These qualifications keep going until she’s calling herself a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men.”…when really being a feminist is being “a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Doesn’t that sound simpler?
This resonated with me in so many ways; as a woman, a hardworking professional, a wife, a blogger, a fashion loving lady, a sister to three boys– and all aspects of my values, traditional AND modern, are part of how I identify with being feminist.
Because March is Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share a few links I found particularly relevant, given my recent read:

2014 Resolutions? I only got one.

Last night, I couldn’t go to sleep. Partially because I took a long, migraine-induced nap in the afternoon, and partially because I was just too darn excited.

When the clock struck midnight and suddenly it was 2014, it hit me like a ton of bricks. As silly as it sounds, I can’t stop grinning over the fact that this is the year I’m getting married.

131208 - Erin and Kyle Engagement-137

photo by Joe Tobiason

Now normally, I am pretty snarky about New Year’s Eve, with its high expectations and low returns. I tend to make fun of the resolutions people make, and laugh about how my gym will be empty again come February.

That doesn’t keep me from making a million of my own resolutions, however. To be more creative, read more, be more attuned to my fitness, go camping, spend time with loved ones—the list goes on and on.  I normally try to come up with a yearly theme or saying to help guide me. Past examples include Eat the Marshmallow, Balls to the Wall, and Reckless Abandon.

This year, at the NYE party that unexpectedly included fire dancing (!), I was encouraging friends to come up with their sayings, with the prompt “2014 is the year of the ______.” Some of my personal contenders included:

“2014 is the year of physically reaching my peak, then slowly letting myself go” (this was mostly a joke. Mostly.)

“2014 is the year of the fire dance” (Okay, so I may have gotten a little excited at the party. This was a very “of the moment” resolution.)

“2014 is the year of getting a dog” (I’m still holding out for this one.)

…but what I keep coming back to is that 2014 is the year I get to marry the best guy I know. And that’s why I’ve just been too excited to sleep.

So there it is, my one simple resolution for 2014: Get Married!

Happy 2014, everyone!

I think I may be a cat lady, but with dogs.

So I’ve always kind of made fun of people who are crazy for their cats. You know, the kind of people who pose them with props, or use the word “purrrrfect” to describe them. To illustrate my point, I found this gem of a definition via Urban Dictionary (note that this was the third definition given. The other two were either too specific or too mean)

cat lady

Definition: a woman that finds too much happiness in her cats. This often results in the following actions:

  • Dressing up her cats
  • Taking videos and pictures of them
  • Telling other people stuff about her cats that they do not care about
  • Thinking that her cats are really intuitive
  • Wearing clothes with cats on them
  • Owning things with cats on them
  • Not being lonely because she has her cats!

The thing is, I realized this weekend that I am probably a cat lady, but with dogs.

This weekend, we got to dog-sit for Kyle’s mom, and I had a lot of fun with little Hamilton, here:

The only thing Hammy likes more than wearing sweaters is sporting the green and yellow! Go Ducks!

The only thing Hammy likes more than wearing sweaters is sporting the green and yellow! Go Ducks!

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky–try to take over the world!"

“The same thing we do every night, Pinky–try to take over the world!”

Hamburger 1

Notice the posing and excessive picture taking? The little dog outfit? I would totally  wear/own clothes with dogs on them. And here are a few direct quotes from the weekend as well:

Me, to Kyle: “I like having a third life form in the house to talk to instead of you.”


Me, after a little sweeping: “I think Hammy is a stress-eater. He shoves his face in his food every time I sweep.”

I guess my point is, maybe everyone has a little crazy cat lady hiding inside them. You just have to find their version of “cat” to bring it out.

Happy Halloween!

halloween graphic-01

Hey there!

I’ve been learning some new effects and adding to my eerie design skillz, can you tell?

So, I like Halloween. I like dressing up and eating candy, and I like the excuse to be creative with costumes. One thing I’ve never quite gotten the hang of, is handing out candy to kids on the actual night of Halloween. I grew up in a more rural area of Happy Valley, without sidewalks or streetlights, and down a loooong driveway that would make even the bravest kid decide to forego their candy. Since then, I’ve lived in apartments or areas that didn’t get Trick or Treaters, and so I never got used to passing it out myself!

I’m excited for this year. I can’t wait to see all the kids in their costumes, and hand out candy, and say “Oooh, and what do we have here??” to their costumes. There’s something really fun about going back to those simple days, but experiencing them again from the perspective of an adult. I’m going to pop a movie in the DVD player and have a blast!

And it sure beats the more “grown up” halloween parties this year, with all their couples dressed as Robin Thicke & Miley  🙂

Happy Halloween!

Manic Monday

Hey there, my friends! Whew, did that weekend (and the week preceding it) fly by! I’ve got a lot of big things in the works- wedding stuff, work stuff, crafts and around-the-home projects.

And boy did we do a lot of stuff around the ole homestead this weekend, including winterizing the yard (read: cut it down until our yard waste bin is full four times over) and deep cleaning our house for a family gathering we put on to celebrate our engagement! We also cooked a whopping 11+ lbs of pork butt, which was tasty as pulled pork and fed a happy party of people.

Some photos of fall-type items around the house, post-deep clean:

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

And here are some links I’ve enjoyed to start off your week!

  • With the weather turning and all of us heading indoors these days, I love these indoor trees from Remodelista. What a great way to have a little nature in your space!
  • I don’t need a coffee table (and arguably don’t need any more projects, haha) but I love this idea for a coffee table using found materials.
  • Taking something out-of-the-box and putting your own spin on it to make it unique is a fun hobby and a great way to have meaningful, unique belongings- this is a great idea for special occasion ballet flats (if they don’t fall apart as the day goes on!)
  • A pretty great reminder about the importance of being a multi-dimensional person. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!
  • I love this shelf Elise Blaha installed in her entry way! So versatile, and it just might be me but she makes it look pretty dern easy as a DIY.
  • I’m living in big sweaters this fall, and am pretty in love with this small collection from Oh Joy (especially #3). If loving big oversized sweaters is French, then heck yes I’m in!
  • As a lover of the GIRLS series, and even more so of the amazing female role model Tina Fey, I was pretty excited to see these two obsessions collide in the video below: