Fashion

Cozy Coast Style

Cozy Coast Style in Lincoln City, Oregon

Location: Hwy 101 Lincoln City, Oregon

Outfit Details: Fleece (Similar) | Shoes | Leggings

Cozy Coast Style

The coast is calling and I must go.

Going to the coast is one of my favorite ways to unwind and relax. A few weekends ago we went to the coast with Peter’s family and stayed at the luscious Salishan Resort. It’s my new favorite place to stay on the Oregon coast. The rooms are incredible and there is a beautiful hiking path that leads you straight to the ocean.

We arrived at the coast to the sunshine, which was the best surprise! We even had the best of both worlds weather-wise, as we fell asleep to the sound of raindrops and awoke to another radiant day of sunshine.

When I go to the coast I love to transition out of my work wardrobe into the weekend cozy coast style. I pull out my favorite fleece sweaters, leggings, Nike shoes, and rain boots to walk the coast with. My hubby even pulls out his nearly matching fleeces (yes, we’re that couple and I love it!).

Now, to book our next adventure back…

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Fashion

Portland Murals | Rent the Runway Badgley Mischka Sequined Dress

Rent the Runway Badgley Mischka Sequined Dress at Portland Mural

Location: Side of Grocery Outlet – 7741 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203

Outfit Details: Badgley Mischka Night at the Oscars Gown, Rent the Runway c/o | Allison’s Red Heels | Allyson’s Red Heels (similar)

Rent the Runway Badgley Mischka Sequined Dress

When Rent the Runway upgrades you to the dress you’ve been dreaming of wearing for months for free on your birthday you message a dear friend and ask her if she wants to wear one of these gems with you. These sequin dresses are too beautiful to not be shared with a friend.

How did I get a free dress?

Because bloggers tend to leave you wondering how they wear things for free. I’m going to answer how Allyson and I wore the Badgley Mischka Night at the Oscars Gown for free.

Last summer/winter I rented enough dresses for weddings (see other Rent the Runway dresses I’ve worn: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) that I upgraded to Rent the Runway Pro to have free shipping and insurance on each rental. I did the math to find that Pro pays for itself within your first two rentals.

To me Rent the Runway is cheaper than buying a new dress for every wedding you go to. I love wearing dresses and I love not wearing the same one to every event I go to. Work is another story, many weeks you’ll find me wearing the same dress on the exact same day of the week as the last week.

The best part of Rent the Runway Pro is that you get a free birthday rental. When I placed my order I had the option to pick an alternative dress to upgrade to. This sparkly beauty was one of the options, so I only selected that option. When the dresses arrived in the mail I opened up and found the alternative dress that I’d selected!

Any time you rent a dress they send you the size you request and a backup size. Allyson wore the size I requested and I wore the backup size.

She even dressed her little one up for our adventure and Peter captured some adorable photos. I convinced Peter to dress up for a few photos as well.

Want to try Rent the Runway yourself? Get $30 off your first Rent the Runway order.

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Fashion

Hope Mural

Allison at the Hope Mural in Vancouver, Washington

Location: 1515 Broadway St, Vancouver, WA 98663

Outfit Details: Hat | Sweatshirt | Tee | Jeans | Shoes

Hope Mural

If you haven’t noticed yet… Exploring the Hope Mural and other murals in Portland and Vancouver area is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend now that we live in a city full of art.

Where flowers bloom so does hope.

The murals in the city have given me hope. Hope to explore. Hope to fill my life with color once again. Hope to try new things. Hope to create. Hope to be bold and paint again.

Because of these mural adventures, I took the leap and went and bought canvases, brushes, and paint and began painting. Huge bonus, I happened to hit Michael’s on a 70% off canvas sale! Now every time I walk into our living room the splash of color on the wall brightens my day. This hope mural reminds me to keep creating and to never give up.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31

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Fashion

It Doesn’t Matter What You Wear

It Doesn't Matter What You Wear

Location: Across from the Kenton/N Denver Avenue Max Station – Portland, Oregon

Outfit Details: Sweater | Jeans | Sunglasses | Lipstick | Shoes

It Doesn’t Matter What You Wear

What you wear doesn’t really matter. It just doesn’t.

Stop judging others based on what they are wearing. That person is more than their outfit. You are more than your outfit.

In 2014 as I sat in the airport on a layover I wrote this manifesto that I’ve re-shared below. One of the lines in it says it doesn’t matter what brands you wear.

Don’t care about whether you’re wearing the latest Nike’s, or dressing like a Portland Hipster, or if you’re in style or on trend. Simply wear what you love, because you are enough.

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.
God is going to do something amazing through you.
Why are you okay with being just mediocre?
Why are you okay with following others?
Follow Christ.
Stand up and be a leader.
Go do what God has called you to do.
Don’t know what God has called you to do?
Seek Him on a moment-by-moment basis as He unfolds His plans for your life.
Be bold. Be courageous.
Speak life and speak truth.
Go and make a difference in others lives.
Go live out the plans God has for you.
Abandon comfort. Abandon control.
Free your mind and focus on God.
Rid yourself of anger.
Break those chains.
Breathe a deep breath.
God gave you those lungs and they are good.
Feel your heartbeat.
God gave you that too and it is also good.
You are beautiful.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
It doesn’t matter what others say.
It doesn’t matter what others do.
It matters that you go and make a difference.
It doesn’t matter what brands you wear.
Be you.
Build relationships.
Get real. Get messy.
Relationships are messy.
Dive deep.
Embrace your story and use it for good.
Choose joy. Choose peace.
Start doing those things that you are talented at that you have neglected.
Start fully using your God-given talents.
Create. Love. Show empathy. Show compassion. Travel.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.

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Fitness

Foot Traffic Hop Hop 5K

Foot Traffic Hop Hop 5K in Portland, Oregon

Foot Traffic Hop Hop 5K

Easter weekend my friend Allyson and I ran the Hop Hop 5K put on by Foot Traffic. She was running her first 5K race and I was running my seventh.

My first 5K in 2006, I ran quickly at the start, walked the majority of the rest of the race, and then ran to the finish line. After that race, I vowed to myself to never walk during another 5K race. I quickly broke that vow when I did my next 5K in 2011 when the race finish was up a huge hill on The University of Kansas campus.

Thankfully, I’ve made it through 2/3 of the 5K races I’ve ran without walking, the Hop Hop 5K being one of them! Both Allyson and I had personal-best 5K times and placed in the top 20 in our age division.

The Foot Traffic Hop Hop 5K is a well-organized, fun event. The course was also great, and a huge bonus to any runner, it’s fairly flat.

Half-way through the race, you typically have a water station. Typically, I quickly breeze past them. This time they were handing out Peeps and jellybeans. On an Easter themed race we had to have a Peep and shortly after felt the sugar high.

At the end of the Hop Hop 5K there were egg croissant sandwiches and mimosas. Having a breakfast at the end of the race was such a treat and reminded me of that first race in 2006 when we were treated with omelets at the end.

I’m eagerly awaiting next Easter to do this race again!

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Portland

Bottle & Bottega Portland

Bottle & Bottega Portland hosts paint and wine events. They are a fun, simple, and entertaining way to learn how to paint beautiful masterpieces.

Bottle & Bottega Portland

If you’ve been dreaming of learning how to paint a landscape setting, but have not the slightest clue how to get started, Bottle & Bottega will walk you through the entire process.

I’ve seen friends on Facebook paint masterpieces from Bottle & Bottega and had been wanting to learn how to paint one myself. When my co-worker and I were discussing painting over lunch one day we decided to book a class and go for it. We painted a rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Portland style. Van Gogh’s Starry Night has been one of my favorite paintings for years so it was fun to learn how to paint our own version of it in less than three hours.

The instructor stands at the front of the classroom and walks you through every step and is painting right along with you. When we went there were also two other employees walking around and willing to help you out if you needed it. They go at a perfect pace and give you plenty of time to complete each step. I love how no one painting looks exactly the same as there were over 20 people in our class.

What do you wear to Bottle & Bottega?

Wear clothing that you won’t mind if you get a little bit of paint on. I opted for a gray long-sleeve shirt that I’ve had for a few years, a fun floral scarf, and an older pair of jeans. You will be painting with acrylics and the instructors said they’d be able to get it out if you spilled. I’ve spilled acrylic paint multiple times over the years and never have successfully gotten it out (clearly I need to learn the instructor’s trick). Therefore, I still opted for older items of clothing to wear to this event and highly recommend wearing older items if you go.

Bottle & Bottega is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night with a friend. I can’t wait to go again sometime!

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Fitness

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

On the first of April, I decided to try something new and went to my first Pure Barre class. As I walked into the studio I was greeted with smiles and warm hellos, which was such a relief. As I continue to try new things in the area interacting with friendly people makes it all the more fun.

How did I hear about Pure Barre?

I’ve been doing barre3 for over two years and wanted to see what other barre classes were like. Also, I’ve read posts on other bloggers sites (Oak+Oats & Shawna Leeann) and have always been intrigued to try it, but never gave it a try. When one of my friends from college announced she was opening up a location in West Des Moines, Iowa, I decided to finally see what all of the hype was about.

How was the first class?

After my first Pure Barre class, I’ve decided Pure Barre is no joke. I was advised by the instructor prior to class beginning that she was switching things up a bit today and that it would be harder than normal for the whole class. It was one of the harder workout classes in a studio that I’ve done and I’m glad I conquered it. Let’s be real here, the majority of my workouts are runs around the neighborhood, which means I’m not the strongest so Pure Barre might not be as hard for you as it was for me. Thankfully, Pure Barre classes are nowhere near as hard as high school sports practice was. Anyone who has had to carry medicine balls above their head while running the halls and stairs of the entire school would agree that Pure Barre is more fun.

Why do I workout?

I workout because I want to healthy. Working out for me is not about losing weight. It’s about getting fit and becoming stronger. I workout because I want to be better, a better wife, employee, friend, etc. Working out puts me in a better mood and helps me stay emotionally balanced. Also, the confidence I gain from conquering a hard workout is a great feeling.

Class Attire Essentials

To be prepared for your first Pure Barre class I highly recommend getting a pair of sticky socks or you’ll be slipping all over the place. Pure Barre studios are carpeted and they encourage you to wear sticky socks. The studios carry them so you can easily pick up a pair right before class begins.

lift, tone, burn -Pure Barre

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Fashion

Just Wear A Thong

Avoid the ever dreaded panty lines and just wear a thong

Location: N Buffalo and N Interstate, Portland

Outfit: Sandals | Dress | Thong | Bracelets | Necklace | Earrings | Nail Polish | Lipstick

Just Wear a Thong

As a note: hang in there with this post. I know this subject can be a bit controversial, but before you judge, just see where I go here. …and hey–we’re getting pretty used to controversial things on the internet these days.
Let’s start out with something also controversial: the legging. This is ultimately what spawned this thought process and I figured “hey, this is a fashion blog for women so I’m going write a post about fashion for women.” (guys…just go read one of my other posts or something from my hubby) It’s not explicit or anything, though…

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Fashion

I’m Not Afraid Anymore

I'm not afrid anymore, Allison wearing the Portland Traffic Tee at the Kenton Mural in Portland, Oregon

Location: Kenton Mural, N Denver Ave. and N Willis Blvd. near the Kenton/N Denver Avenue Max Station

Outfit Details: Shoes | Leggings | Tee | Necklace | Headband

I’m Not Afraid Anymore!

One of my favorite movies as a child was Home Alone. If you’re as big of a fan as I am I’m sure you remember the scene where Kevin is yelling,

“…I’m not afraid anymore! I said, I’m not afraid anymore. Do you hear me? I’m not afraid anymore!”

This scene is what God brought to mind after a day of walking downtown Portland and taking the MAX home by myself. Obviously without the screaming as in the movie…but figuratively. The image was beautiful. As I sat on my bed cross legged I boldly declared, “I’m not afraid anymore!”

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Fashion

Date Night

Allison in front of the Aquila Glass School mural on a date night in Portland, Oregon

Location: Aquila Glass School, N Columbia Blvd. Portland

Outfit Details: Jacket | Tee | Scarf | Jeans | Booties

Date Night

Recently my hubby and I had a date night. We had zero plan of where we were going to go or where we were going to eat when we left the house. Which typically, would have been a huge stressor for my Type-A, love-to-plan personality. The night turned out incredible, which clearly means I need to keep learning to go with the flow more often.

Before dinner, I wanted to swing by a mural that I saw on a garage door on Columbia Blvd. on our way to our Bridgetown Community Wednesday night. The mural is on the Aquila Glass School and after the driveway that made my hubby super nervous with our low-profile tires (never again…they came with the car) we were able to get some great shots!

Every time we walk Alberta Street I make mental notes of places I’d like to try sometime. I’d remembered walking by Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on Alberta Street and suggested that maybe we go there. Peter was up for a fun adventure and quickly agreed.

I’m always on the hunt to find Italian food that tastes as good as the food I had in Florence and Sienna. Enzo’s was one of the first places I’ve been in Portland that truly brought me back to the flavors of my Italy trip in 2014. Now I’m dreaming of the day my hubby and I take a trek to Italy together.

On a fashion note, the most important tip I have with a leather jacket is to get it tailored. I waited nearly a year to tailor this Ann Taylor jacket and it was a year too long. I would have worn the jacket a lot more often sooner had it fit better. Now, I wear it weekly because it fits great and I feel great sexy in it.

Italy is famous for leather. Wearing my faux leather jacket and black booties makes me feel a bit like I’ve transported back to the streets of Florence. I also feel sexy and confident in this outfit.

When you go on a date wear an outfit that makes you feel beautiful,  you’ll radiate beauty because of it.

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