Dreaming About Boots

Fall is my favorite season now that I am an adult. It used to be summer, but  that ended the first time I had to work 5 days in a row of nearly 100 degrees and couldn’t go to a body of water. One of my favorite things about fall is getting to wear all kinds of boots.

Every year I fall in love with a pair of boots, and typically they are so far outside my price range it is comical. This year is no different. The boots I fell in love with this year are by rag & bone.

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The full retail price of these boots is $495.

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I love the grey color, and for some reason I am drawn to suede shoes. Maybe some day I will win the lottery and be able to afford these boots.

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Challah Bread- My Go To Comfort Recipe

Living in Oregon means I have many days off where it is raining or cold outside. I know I’m a true Oregonian because I love these days, I get so much more accomplished. Making comfort food from scratch is something I love to do on these days. I find baking very relaxing, which I know some people find strange. There is also the added benefit of the oven warming up the house.

My favorite comfort food to make on these days is challah bread. It is a Jewish recipe made for holidays and on the Sabbath. I am not Jewish so I don’t know much about the bread beyond that, but it is delicious! Also it is simple as far as bread recipes go, and not too many ingredients (yeast, water, sugar, flour ,eggs, butter).

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  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg for wash
  • 3 1/2 to 5 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

This recipe is adapted from  one I found by Caprial Pence. Fun fact: When I was 6 I wanted to be a chef and I loved her cooking show. I got to meet her that year because my Mom’s friend was good friends with her, I was so happy I could barely talk.

Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Make sure the water is warm, but not hot otherwise is can kill the yeast. Let this sit for 10+ minutes. There will be a foam at the top from the yeast and sugar, this is good.

Add the melted butter. I let the butter cool a little while before adding it in. Then add the eggs one at a time and mix. It is best for the eggs to be at room temperature, but not totally necessary if you are in a rush.

Add flour 1 cup at a time then mix. after 2 cups of flour have been added I put the salt in. 3 1/2 cups of flour is the least I have ever used, typically I use just over 4 cups for the dough. This amount of flour in this recipe will vary by season. The important thing is for the dough to not be too sticky.

Once mixed enough place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes. Next place into a well buttered bowl (you can also use oil if you do not have enough butter). Turn the dough onto the other side so all the surfaces are coated. Cover with a towel and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes. It is important to let it rise somewhere warm. Typically I close my kitchen doors and place the bowl on top of my refrigerator.

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This is before the dough has risen. You want it to double in size.

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This was after letting the dough rise for just over an hour. I let it rise for another 15 minutes after I took this picture. Once it is done rising you want to punch down in the center.

The next step is to section the dough into 3 equal part. The more equal the parts are, the more evenly the bread bakes. Roll them out with your hands to make long strips. Then braid. I started in the center this time because just to try a new way. Once the dough is braided and on the baking sheet, brush it with an egg wash. I have learned with my oven it takes 32 minutes exactly, but each oven is different. Make sure to pre-heat the oven to 350 long before you put it in.

This is what the finished product look like. If you have any leftovers the next morning it makes great french toast.

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Summer Without A Budget

I love summer clothing. Normally I don’t spend much on these items because I don’t get to wear them often in Oregon. If I didn’t have a strict budget my summer wardrobe would consist of the items below.

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Young Fabulous and Broke Noel maxi dress $116.

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Young Fabulous and Broke Carla jumpsuit $99.

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Young Fabulous and Broke Alva maxi dress $202.

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Gingham J. Crew sundress $138.

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J. Crew stripe maxi dress $110.

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Sabo Skirt Botanical dress $79.

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Free People play suit $290.

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Stone Fox Banana Leaf Bikini $188.

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Seafolly Boyleg one piece $148.

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Citizens of Humanity shorts $168

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Frye Rachel T-Strap sandal $188.

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Jimmy Choo Pallis Wedges $329.

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Alexandre Birman Sandal $595.

Hiking as Self Care

During the nice weather months in Oregon my favorite day off activity is to go hiking. To me it is the best form of self care. For anyone unfamiliar with the term self care, a basic definition is intentional actions to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. In today’s technology obsessed society I think everyone should try some type of activity that puts you back in nature. Hiking is my favorite because it gets me out of the city, I get to see beautiful scenery, and it is a good work out which has physical and mental benefits.

Like most mid-twenty-somethings I have a fairly stressful job that will hopefully lead to a bigger and better job. This has made me truly appreciate my days off. Since  I had today off, a friend and I decided to try a new hike in the Columbia Gorge.

Angel’s Rest

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Our Hike started just before 10:30am.

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We are both out of shape and had to take a few breaks. We are smiling big to convince ourselves that the hike will be worth it.

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This bridge was tiny and adorable.

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Great spot to sit and eat a snack on the hot rocks.

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It is always nice to enjoy nature ad the relative peace & quiet.

Ties- The Underloved Accessory

Men’s accessories are not talked about enough. They can make a man’s outfit more individualized, and look much better. Living in Oregon has made me really appreciate men’s ties, because unfortunately lots of men are opposed to them.

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I pulled this image of Andre 3000 from Pintrest because he has very bold style, and he is one of my only celebrity crushes. His tie choice here is bold, but the pattern is a different enough size from the pattern on his shirt that it works.

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I pulled this from the GQ website, the article was best shirt and tie combos of the week. This entire combo looks great, and it shows how good it looks when your tie and pocket square perfectly match.

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People seem to be afraid of patterned ties, don’t be. This black floral one is from tie bar. They offer a huge selection and at reasonable prices, most I found (including the above) are $19.

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Emerald green is my favorite color, so unsurprisingly I love it as a tie color. This option from Tie Bar is only $19.

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This is the perfect alternative to a novelty neck tie, especially in our technology obsessed society. The circuit board tie above is $39. Scatterbrained Ties is an Etsy shop with very unique and beautiful ties.

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Paisley is seen as old fashioned by many, but I love it. In a world of people that want to blend in with the crowd this pattern will stand out. This John W. Nordstrom tie would go great with a charcoal suit.

Ties are a great way to have fun with men’s fashion.They make a man look better, and more put together. I hope some day they become vastly popular again.

Saving Money When You Are A Shopaholic

Money is a very taboo subject in the United States. It is important to talk about sometimes even if it makes people uncomfortable. A friend of mine asked me to write a post about saving, so hopefully others find this helpful as well.

I love to shop and even though I have self control now, I am a shopaholic. I mostly window shop now, but in my early 20’s I spent far too much. In spite of this I have always been a saver. Ever since I was a kid I have had a savings account. As an adult I have two savings account (one is strictly travel). Last year I put 10% of my income into my personal savings accounts, I have my retirement savings taken directly out of my paycheck. I like the feeling of safety that comes with having money in savings.

If you constantly feel tempted to shop and spend money here area few tips.

1.) Evaluate your wardrobe

Knowing exactly what is in your closet can help you shop less.  Ask yourself when you are about to buy something “Do I really need this? Do I have something similar already?” Some people might argue about needing clothes, a certain amount is necessary for work and everyday life. Another reason to evaluate your closet is if you have too much or things you have not worn in a long time you can sell it at a resale shop. Normally that wont make you much, but it is nice to have extra pocket money.

2.) Make a list with a budget

It is important to set spending limits on your wardrobe. When I realize there are things missing from my wardrobe I make a list of the items and next to them write the maximum price I will pay for it. I also limit myself to one article of clothing or pair of shoes per paycheck, unless its a special occasion like a holiday or tax return season.

3.) Don’t go places with shopping temptation

Not spending money on clothing and accessories is so much easier if they are not right in front of you. Avoid places you know will tempt you, like pedestrian shopping districts or malls. Also try not to look at websites that tempt you to online shop. I used to have Revolve Clothing, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Sports Authority, and Victoria’s Secret on browser so I wouldn’t even have to type anything to go to their sites. Once I got serious about saving and paying off college I deleted them and removed them from my bookmarked pages as well.

4.) Save money every month before bills

This tip can make the biggest difference. I know so many people who spend excessively the first 3 or 4 days after they get paid because there is extra in their bank account. To avoid doing that I started the practice of transferring money to my savings account the moment my paycheck was in my account. The amount you save varies of course, but if you put it in savings before you pay anything else you won’t miss it as much.

5.) Set a 24 hour rule

If you a re shopping and unsure of an item, don’t buy it. Wait on it for 24 hours. If you are still thinking about and want that item 24 hours later, it is probably worth getting.  Often times however, after 24 hours I don’t feel like I need the item or anything would be missing from my life without it.

Saving money is a very personal thing, but if you area shopaholic like me this tips could help you save money. Saving money with a purpose always makes it easier, so have a goal in mind. Paying off my student loan is a constant thought, and the bachelor’s degree on my wall reminds me. I also have pictures of places around the world I want to go, so it encourages me to save. Hopefully this helps some of you save money and reach new financial goals.

Portland Fashion NXT

Sometimes I am a bit scattered. I think all adults are, but I openly admit it.

In October I went to Portland Fashion NXT with a dear friend from college. It takes place the week after Portland Fashion Week. It was super fun and I was very impressed with the show. This past week I found where I had saved the pictures from the show. Sorry they are so behind.

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The Mayor of Portland and his wife gave the opening speech. They were very cute, and she is incredibly stylish.

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This was the first designer, and my favorite, of the show. All the designers the first night of the show were from China. It was the second year of an exchange with Portland Fashion.

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The theme of the collection of m favorite designer was peonies. These are my favorite flowers. I even have a tattoo of a red peony on my ribs.

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The collection was very cohesive.

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This middle garment was my favorite. This model was also my favorite. She had the best walk, and is breath-takingly beautiful. I found this picture on her istagram @modeltiffanysade

The final collection was all high quality cashmere garments. Every single thing looked cozy and warm, yet fashionable.

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This was my favorite piece from that collection. It is what I imagine somebody would wear in a ski cabin/chalet.