October Summary

Just like that, October has come to a close!

This was quite the busy month with a big and vague announcement at work, a long distance to run and several projects to keep me busy.

In Portland, summer ended and the rain made its comeback for the next 9 months. With its presence a fun new hashtag was born on instagram for PDX’ers to embrace the gloomy days: #WhenItRainsItPortlands (started by Gilganizer)

Drum Roll Please……………………………..


  • I finished my first marathon on October 7th, 2012
  • I Voted!
  • Completed 21 Days of the OctNOber Challenge (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3)
  • I didn’t drink alcohol for 35 days – the longest streak since turning 21!
  • Current Running Stats: 100.2 Miles
  • My new best Nike+ FuelBand Day: 11,585


  • Watched all 54 episodes of Breaking Bad that have aired to date. Only 8 left starting Spring 2013!
  • DIY Family Name Art for the beach house.
  • Halloween Decorations (here and here) but no costumes.

Great Memories:

  • A wonderful Beach weekend with my parents, Bailey and Dan!
  • The Macklemore Concert with Brooke and Brad
  • Seeing Dan after his visit home to Chicago
  • Dan said “I love you” for the first time. I cried smiled, hugged and kissed him and said it back…about a hundred times. He took my breath away.

Thanks for coming back for the monthly recap series! Onward, November!

❤ JE


OctNOber – Last Day Update!

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 |

Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 |

Day 15Day 16Day 17Day 18Day 19Day 20Day 21 |

The day Dan has been waiting for… the last day of our 21 day OctNOber challenge!

Actually, tomorrow is the day he’s really excited for – I think I may have to hide the Halloween candy from him. Then again, he may have to pry from my fingers take the pumpkin ice cream from me.

We had a great Halloween weekend together at my house watching sports, finishing season 5 (part 1) of Breaking Bad and firing up the grill for some juicy steak!

It was also his half birthday weekend so I wanted to make sure it was extra special for him especially with my 25th Birthday coming up.

{Not pictured are the three latte’s we each enjoyed, the 6 pack of Angry Orchard Hard Cider that was gone within hours, or Saturday’s brunch scramble made to perfection with the help of meats from Otto’s Sausage Kitchen.}

^ NY Boneless Strip Steak and Filet Mignon from Trader Joe’s ^

^ Garlic Potatoes and Haricots Verts from Trader Joe’s ^

^ The good stuff is meant for sipping ^

^ Not as friendly as the Ticket Oak ^

^ Never waste the guts of a pumpkin ^

After the Chicago Bears won what seemed like it could have been the Super Bowl based on Dan’s cheers and chants, we set off to celebrate with a southern Half Birthday brunch at the Screen Door where lines are long because the food is unbelievable. I’d been meaning to take Dan here for a long time, but he’s always had golf, I’ve had marathon training and we’ve just both been busy. I knew that his eyes would light up at the sight of 4 pieces of fried chicken over a sweet potato waffle impaled with a steak knife. When it came to the table I heard something I’ve never heard from him before.

Wow, you and I could have just split this.

Next time we will, but I enjoyed my Tofu Hash both for brunch and leftovers last night. The brunch that keeps on giving.

^ Screen Door Brunch Menu ^

^ Coffee while you wait ^

^ Fried Chicken + Sweet Potato Waffle ^

^ Tofu Hash ^

I do plan to have something sweet on Wednesday, but I don’t plan to binge and/or make it a habit. I feel empowered to say no!

❤ JE


I hope that everyone had a safe and haunting Halloween weekend! It feels odd that Halloween is on a weekday this year and I truly hope to make it home in time for the cute little ones knocking at my door for candy.

I do my best to celebrate Halloween for an entire month as it’s one of my favorites.

Typically I only decorate at work since that’s where I spend the most amount of time and it’s also the place where the most people will see everything. This year, I spent a lunch hour the first week of October and set up my work area with reused decorations that have been waiting patiently in a bag since last year. The fake spiderwebs are fun to work with and are an easy way to dress up any area for an authentic haunting feel without too much gore.

I love the Styrofoam glitter pumpkin and glitter “Boo” sign –  they add a girly touch and were both less than $5 at Target last year. I have been meaning to go back and collect a few others, but also am trying to limit the amount of glitter that makes it into my home as it’s impossible to clean up afterwards.


^ Where all of the magic happens ^

^ Glitter pumpkin ^

^ Dangling ^

^ Tootsie Pop Ghosts ^


^ Look what I caught them doing when I got home ^

^ Skeleton Garland ^

^ Cinnamon Broom ($3.99 @ TJ’s) on exposed brick ^

^ Pumpkin Beer Bucket ^

^ Skeletons on the guitar wine rack ^

Do you decorate for Halloween? Is your style more playful or scary?

❤ JE

DIY’s I’m Itching to Do

Happy Friday, everyone!

This weekend I’m staying out of the weather and getting after some projects I’ve been DIYing to do. #feelingpunny

I’ve been in a crafty mood and I’m not sure what to make of it Oh wait, I’m about to share a list of things I want to make.

I can always find inspiration from Pinterest and am adding these sites to my bloglovin’ list that my friend Leslie shared yesterday. Inspiration Gold

In a few home design blogs I’ve seen lately it’s what people make themselves that they love and cherish the most, not what expensive vase or bookend they bought at West Elm. It’s amazing what a personal touch can do for creating your own unique style.. even if you got your idea from a tutorial!

Time for some Craft Talk!

Hint: Click on the images below to learn more about the project!

^ Painted & wrapped bricks ^

^ DIY Tile Coasters ^

^ Preserve beautiful colors of the fall leaves ^

^ Spraypaint  glass using rubber bands to create the clear lines ^

^ Add a sequin elbow patch to an old or thrifted sweater ^

^ Chalkboard paint ^

^ Add a print to a plain sweatshirt ^

^ With dad’s help – amazing table ^

^ Use a curtain as a headboard ^

DIY date soon?

❤ JE

Halloween Decorations (Preview)

What besides candy, costumes and pumpkins makes Halloween one of my favorite holidays? Halloween is SO much fun to decorate for. It’s not overly religious, it’s not overly patriotic and it’s all about a spooky playful vibe in your own way.

Here’s a preview of some of my favorite decorations and how I dress up my home and work spaces.


^ Boo! ^

^ Fake spiders ^

^ The new fall line ^


^ Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Broom – $3.99 ^

^ Trader Joe’s Mini White Pumpkin $0.69 each ^

^ Dollar Tree ^

Stay tuned for next week’s all-out Halloween Monster Mash!

❤ JE

It Never Hurts To Ask

As some of you may know, I purchased my fancy DSLR camera at Costco in July before heading on a 2 week European vacation.

At the time, I thought I was getting a steal of a deal in the 2 lens bundle with 18-55mm IS, and 55-250mm IS Lenses, 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card, Canon Rebel Gadget Bag, Mini-HDMI Cable and a Tutorial DVD at $879. Boy was I wrong!

On Monday afternoon when I went in for a 3 TB External Hard Drive which I’ll never be able to fill, Costco had once again reduced the price by $50 to $779, which is $100 less than what I paid (and $200 off of MSRP).

I had previously received $50 cash back when the price dropped down to $829 a week after I bought it, so I decided that it would be worth it to ask the member services desk if I should even bother searching for the receipt to get an additional adjustment. I chose the desk attendant who looked like she had some authority, and her response was very positive that if I found the original receipt then they would be able to help me out. At the time, she probably didn’t think I – a 24 year old young woman – could find a receipt from 3 months ago. Little did she know that it was tucked safely in my car and was presentable within 5 minutes of our initial conversation.

When I came back in with a smile beaming on my face, the woman who had helped me was busy with another customer. I chose two others that I had initially overlooked and made sure they knew that I was just in and was given the green light. Among excuses they tried to use were “you’ve already received an adjustment“, “you’ll have to return your camera“, “you’ll have to buy a new one“, “The adjustment policy is actually only 30 days“. After the final advice that “a manager will make you buy a new one” I said “okay, then can we get a manager over here to tell me that?

The woman who initially helped me came back over and called up the Yes-Man who would undoubtedly approve of the adjustment and just like that I had $50 in my hand! I couldn’t have been more appreciative of the employees or proud of myself for being persistent and willing to do what it took to get the best price possible on my beloved Canon.

Moral of the story: It never hurts to ask.

❤ JE

OctNOber – 14th Day Update

Day 1 | Day 2Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 |

| Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 | Day 14 |

| Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 |

Only 7 days remaining in the OctNOber challenge!

I am proud to say that I survived the beach weekend without making hot cocoa and although I begged, Dan kept me from the mini marshmallows meant to be enjoyed straight from the bag with that same hot cocoa. I mostly stayed out of the candy drawer except for a few packs pieces of gum, and made it an opportunity to toss my dad a treat instead!

Last week for a work dinner, I enjoyed a several course meal at Ringside Steakhouse and didn’t partake in the bread or desserts which looked to-die-for. I can’t complain. I couldn’t even finish my main plate instagramed below, so Dan lucked out with a hot lunch for the next day.

Downside: now he wants to go there. Maybe for a really special occasion, hun?

^Surf & Turf at Ringside Steakhouse^

Adding to the work temptations were the bowls of candy in front of me during a staff meeting. I came armed with water and coffee and took the ‘likes’ on my instagram as support from friends. Thanks all!

^Full bars, are you kidding me?^

Then, at the grocery store on Sunday night I saw PEPPERMINT holiday special ice cream on display and had anxiety that by the time the 21 days are over there would be no pumpkin limited edition half churn left. This impulse buy led to Dan taking custody of it, burying it deep in the freezer, and writing on it with sharpie, “NO JESS! – NOT TIL 10/31!” Can a girl not be trusted?

^But really, it’s necessary^

Even though popcorn isn’t on the naughty list, I’m sure caramel / cheese soaked corns are. After the Family shared bag was almost gone, Dan got back in line for a Large bag of a Large Caramel Whale on Steroids and a Large Cheese Whale. Both bags have been demolished. Yes, I may have helped a little!

^Then we replenished my dad’s bag^

So, for now and the next 7 days I’m keeping the fruit bowl full, the water bottle uncapped and the green tea steeping.

❤ JE