I've been thinking about doing a list like this for a little while now. Now that I am blogging more regularly I realized that I don't know all of my followers personally (although my grandma is still my #1 reader - hi grandma!). Since I have been writing about a few collaborations and reviews lately, I figured it would be nice to also take a minute to reintroduce myself.
Blogging always feels really personal to me, but still has a layer of anonymity that creates such a strange dynamic. Hopefully this list gives you a better idea of who I am outside of Instagram!
Last month Tyler and I celebrated our 5th anniversary together. Every year he really out does me in the gift giving category, so I knew I wanted to give him something really special for such an important milestone in our relationship. My best (and honestly, only) idea was to try and get tickets to see his favorite hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, so when I found out they were playing the Vancouver Canucks only a month after our anniversary I knew it was fate. Since the NHL has so many teams, a visiting team may only come once per year and we got super lucky that it landed on a Saturday when we wouldn't have to take off work.
Since Vancouver is several hours away from our home in Seattle I knew I wanted to make a weekend of it, that way we could have a day spent at the game and another exploring the city. I had been following the Burrard on Instagram for several months and felt like it was the perfect place for our mini vacation. As a vintage-motel-turned-trendy-hotel the Burrard always looked so cute online, and I loved that it was walking distance from tons of restaurants and shops.
While the Burrard allows dogs, we decided that the drive would be too long for Noodle and that we would rather have the freedom to explore the city and take a break from potty training. Not to mention the fact that Noodle recently learned to bark - a fact that no doubt would irritate other guests. Luckily we were able to have a good friend watch our pup, so we grabbed some snacks and hit the road.
As soon as we arrived it was clear that the Burrard takes good service very seriously. The staff was incredibly friendly, welcoming us with genuine smiles and great recommendations of what to do with our spare time.
In our room we found some complimentary sweets and a great view of the city. The interior decor was pretty standard for hotels, but there was plenty of color to brighten the space. Unfortunately I spaced on getting any pics before Sunday, but you can see more on their site. For reference, we were in a queen +.
What really set the Burrard apart for me was the overall aesthetic, especially with the exterior design. All of the rooms face into a courtyard, with seating around a fire place and tons of palm trees. All of the doors are painted fun colors, and some walls and stairways are painted with really cool murals like the one I posed in front of above. I also loved that they provided free bike rentals, making it even easier to get around.
My only real complaint was that I felt the cost of parking was high, but we did feel at ease since our car was safe inside a locked garage rather then out on the street. We have a friend who had his passport stolen from a parking garage, so I know Tyler slept easier knowing his car was secure - even though we never leave our passports unprotected.
As for the rest of the weekend, one of the highlights for me was visiting Rodney's Oyster House. Tyler has only recently started eating seafood, and as a lifelong seafood lover (back in preschool I once told my grandma that I was craving lobster) I am ecstatic that we have been able to expand our list of places to try. Only a 10 minute walk from our hotel, this place did not disappoint. We got lucky that we beat the rush, since it seems most guests try to get reservations ahead of time. The prices were really reasonable since we arrived during their happy hour, so I got steamed clams and a cup of chowder. Tyler got lobster poutine, a combination I would not expect but was super impressed by. If you ever have the chance to try Rodney's, I would recommend ordering the poutine.
After dinner we headed over to Roger's Arena for the Penguins' game. Parking was a challenge without data for GPS, but after driving around for quite some time we were able to find a spot a few blocks away. Since I bought the tickets on a budget we were really far away from the ice - only 3 rows from the top. Luckily the ushers were right when they said there weren't really any bad spots in the arena, and our view ended up being just fine. While the Penguins lost, we had tons of fun. Tyler is always excited to see his team play, and I had never been to an NHL game before.
Sunday was definitely more mellow. We slept in for a bit, then headed over to Granville Island to walk around the shops and grab a bite to eat before driving back to Seattle. Since we had to check out of the hotel lot, we drove to the market, but there are also water taxis if you want to save on parking. The island market was a lot like Pike Place, but with a food court and a ton of boutiques. Our big purchases for the day were a jar of horseradish pickles and a stuffed moose for Noodle. Overall the trip was exactly what we needed. I am glad that we chose to take it easy and not try to do too much, since I've been desperate for relaxation lately.
If you have any recommendations for more short getaways let me know in the comments! I am always excited to plan trips, and even driving just a few hours away can really help you reset and unwind.
I am not usually one to use hair products. My routine is super simple: wash my hair with a natural shampoo and conditioner, and blow-dry. I heat style every 2-3 days, since my hair is naturally straight, but typically don't use any styling creams or sprays when I do. However, when I heard about Living Proof (and smelled them) I decided to give products a try!
Besides further complicating the getting ready process, my main concern about styling products is that I don't like to wash my hair too frequently and am hesitant to introduce any oils that might make it greasy the next day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to stick to my wash schedule without a noticeable change in grease! This could have been because I used the Prime Style Extender, but I want to use this one a few more times before I can safe for certain!
Since I prefer a more natural/soft wave to my curls I usually skip the hairspray, but the Flex Shaping Hairspray didn't make them crunchy or heavy feeling. I was able to wear the curls again the next day, brushing through to eliminate tangles. They bounced right back, only slightly looser than the day before! I honestly probably wouldn't purchase this product, just because my hair is thicker/dryer and tends to hold well on it's own. However, someone who needs the help maintaining a style might like it more.
My favorite product was definitely the Blowout spray. It was so easy to use, since I just had to mist all over before blow drying, and it smelled amazing. I would for sure buy this product, because I felt less snags when brushing out to dry, and my hair honestly looked much softer and shinier than usual. I was actually really worried that I wouldn't hold a curl because it was so soft, but it really didn't seem to cause any problems.
T.B.D. was a little more challenging for me. I have always struggled with creams because I really feel like I can't get them evenly applied and I worry about the product being too concentrated in one area. Then I end up using too much...
Overall I am pretty happy with my experience with Living Proof, and I would recommend them to those who are more likely to using styling products in their routine. Blowout was easy to use and seemed worth the (small amount of) effort needed, so someone as lazy as me would definitely benefit from giving it a try.
Have you tried any Living Proof products? Any others I should take a look at? Let me know what you think!
PS. Can we take a minute to appreciate the fact that Noodle sat still long enough for photos?? And I *barely* even had to bribe him with any treats!
Clutch: Melie Bianco
Thank you to Influenster for collaborating on this post! These Living Proof products were provided at no cost, in exchange for my review. However all opinions expressed are my own.
This past week I was honored with the opportunity to collaborate with one of my favorite local brands, Trophy Cupcakes!
Those who know me on a personal level may be surprised by this collaboration, as I am pretty vocal about my dislike for cake. However, Trophy is an exception to this rule! I've typically found cake to be dry, with not enough frosting (which is the part of the dessert I'm always willing to eat) but at Trophy this is definitely not a problem. The cake is always moist and the buttercream frosting on top is thick and super delicious. I first discovered my love for Trophy when living in the U District, since every year they provide free UW cupcakes on campus during Homecoming weekend. The shop was also next to Kids Club which meant I would occasionally stop in after a long shift. Treat yourself, am I right?
Previously I had been a repeat offender when it came to which cupcake I would order, always going for the chocolate peanut butter. I was definitely excited to get out of my cupcake-comfort-zone and try some wilder flavors and this bag of featured sweets did not disappoint! I was given Yumfetti and the Ava , which is inspired by the popular mermaid aesthetic. Out of the two, the Ava was for sure my fave. Not only was the Valrhona chocolate cake super delicious, but the toppings were cute and yummy as well. I am starting a petition to make all cupcakes include edible glitter!
Since I am usually hesitant about whether or not I'll like cake, I was pumped to see that they included some of their other new items as well. Macarons are in my top 5 fave desserts, which is not an easy list to make. Again, the edible glitter was an awesome touch, but I would have to say that the Circus Animal themed macaron was the best of the 3 I tried.
As for the homemade marshmallows, I recommend you don't try to eat these after taste testing everything else unless you want to enter a food coma. Talk about sugar overload! The combination of gooey marshmallow center, rainbow sprinkles, and animal cookie topping was super duper sweet. There's no doubt that kid's will love these however, and one marshmallow will definitely be enough for their dessert!
Now I just have to figure out how to keep myself from stopping in for more everytime I'm near the shop. Wish me luck! It's hard to control this sweet tooth.
Thank you to Trophy Cupcakes for collaborating on this post! These treats were provided at no cost, however all opinions expressed are my own.
There is no better excuse to get together with friends for a BBQ than the 4th of July, which is exactly what I got to do this year. When we get lucky with weather like we did on Tuesday, some of my best friends gather at Spencer's to watch fireworks and cool off in the water. With the gorgeous view of Mt Rainier, the lake has been one of my favorite places since we were sophomores in high school. I have so many wonderful memories of our days at Spencer's house, like the fact that a lawn chair gets broken almost everytime, or that something always goes wrong when we use the paddle boat.
This year was no exception to either rule, since Brandon leaned too far back in his chair after placing it on an incline, and I once again let Spencer convince me that watching the fireworks from the boat was a good idea. Our trip to the middle of the lake was cut short when he accidentally dropped a lit smoke bomb, staining the back of my dress a bright orange and leaving some unfortunate scorch marks on me and my seat. Luckily I was fine, but it's safe to say I won't be getting into any boats with him any time soon.
Before the Great Paddle Boat Fiasco of 2017, we had a nearly perfect day of board games and good food. Forever terrible at making decisions especially about what to eat, we ended up with hotdogs, hamburgers, and 2 different types of fish in addition to a ton of snacks. I also "made" a cheesecake for dessert, which in this case means I purchased a cheesecake from the store and put strawberries on top. Despite my lack of baking-from-scratch skills the cheesecake was a hit and didn't last long into our game of Risk.
Once the sun started to go down we brought out the sparklers (I'm glad I got a few pics before the smoke bomb incident) and started the campfire for s'mores. Sitting around the fire and bringing back old inside jokes always makes me so happy, and in moments like those there is no place I would rather be. I'm grateful for my lifelong friends, for our traditions, and all of the shenanigans we accidentally let ourselves get into. While I'm going to pass on the smoke bombs next year, I'lll never turn down a chance to spend a night exactly the way I spent this 4th.
Dress: Forever 21 (sold out, but a similar romper available here)
Shoes: Steve Madden
22 | Seattle, Wa