30 June 2014

Hopes & Plans {Link Up}

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams and aspirations or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

Alright. Sooo. Not awesome on last week's hopes & plans...

|| Visit Denali National Park -- Nope. The weather last week was rainy and gross. Had we made the drive up there we probably wouldn't have been able to see Mt. McKinley, much less wander around. :( In fact, I'm pretty sure they are having crazy floods up there as a result of all the rain/melting snow. 

|| Hike Flattop Mountain Done. Well, mostly done. Stay tuned for a post on this hike sometime this week!
|| Take a photo a day This got off to a lame start. On day 1 I only took a photo of the ingredients I needed for a recipe (weak!), but I picked up the pace and finished out the week strong!

This Week's Hopes & Plans ::

one || Continue one photo a day. We are leaving tomorrow for Cincinnati and I'd love to have candid photos documenting our trip. 

two || Catch up on blog reading.  We are all out doing tons of fun things this summer! As a result I haven't had much time to blog and even less time to actually read  the blogs I love. Hopefully I can spend some time relaxing and catching up. :)

three || Go to a Cincinnati Reds game, have lots of fun and buy a hat. We already have tickets to at least one game while we are in town!

four || Enjoy our time with family. Too easy!

In honor of Independence Day I will be having an ad sale!! All ad spaces will be 50% off this week only! Purchase { HERE } using promo code :: FREEDOM.

What are your hopes & plans this week?

Marry Mint

27 June 2014

It's time to get serious...

Alright, I know I talk about light hearted things on this blog, such as cancer, but it's time to get serious. I have a birthday next week which means my birthday wish list is long over due. 

Here is what you can get me :: 

one ||  This color block baseball tee from ASOS is perfect for day to day wear up here in the Tundra. Longer sleeves, casual, would hide spit up relatively well...
two || I want these Ray-Ban sunglasses. I've been reppin' knock offs for years and it's time to step up my game. 
three || Have you seen this necklace by Tiny Tags? I love that it is dainty and customizable! Want.
four || Hunters. Maybe I should just buy these already. I've been wearing the same yellow rain boots from Target since my freshman year of college! In Alaska, I'd definitely get my money's worth with these babies!
five || Turning 25 (unlike any of my previous birthdays, duh) means that i'm not getting any younger. I few months ago I got a sample of this truth serum collagen booster from Sephora and loooooved it! It's one of the first products that I could really feel working. 
six || Over the years, my expansive Converse collection has thinned out a bit. I want to put these "dainty" black Chucks back in the game!
seven || And to maybe knock out that massage from my summer bucket list---- a gift card to  Sheraton Ice Spa in downtown Anchorage. 
eight || Since I don't have enough lipstick already, I want to get my hands on this Lime Crime lipstick. It comes highly recommended by this gal
nine || A birthday is just another excuse to purchase a new Michael Kors bag, am I right?
I'll be accepting gifts the entire month of July. Thanks in advance. 

I'm totally kidding. 
(No I'm not Kyle.)

25 June 2014

Independence Mine

A couple of weekends ago, Kyle, Mallory and I found ourselves with a free little Sunday on our hands. There is a gold mine (literally) in Hatcher Pass called Independence Mine, which is just a short drive from our house! 

We have been meaning to check this spot out, but frequently get distracted by other hikes along the way. (OR somebody wears the wrong shoes. Hey! The walk from the parking lot the mine is deceivingly long.) This particular Sunday however, we were determined! The weather wasn't particularly impressive, but one thing we have to credit Alaskans for is that they are not fair weather outdoorsmen. Rain or shine, they get after it! So we do too...

The kid was such a trooper in the backpack! She just looked around, yelled and smacked the back of Kyle's head. Baby paradise. 

 Don't be too impressed with us. Most of that climb was done in the car... However, if you are local, the top parking lot was closed, so we did walk up to the mine from the lodge and broke a little sweat.

Walking through Independence Mine, we were able to read and see what it was like to work/live in a 1930's ish gold mine! The old machinery, buildings and living conditions were amazing! I felt like I could imagine everything working and running... so cool! Kyle kept asking if I thought there might still be some gold there... the hell if I know! 

This building just screams engagement photos to me LOL! 

About thirty minutes after we got to Independence Mine it started to rain. Mallory was cool with it initially, but we knew we had a good thirty minute walk back to the car so we decided to cut the exploring a little short. 

Can you spot my husband and child? 

We spend quite a bit of time hiking in Hatcher Pass and have even stumbled on a few other random, abandoned gold mines! If you ever visit Alaska, I highly recommend checking out Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine.

Have you ever visited a gold mine?!

24 June 2014

Lip Lovin'

Lipstick. How in the world is one ever supposed legitimately shop for lipstick? I mean really? Aren't there like 90 bajillion options?! A couple of weeks ago my online shopping guide and friend Kelsey @ Pardon My French posted this lipstick tag and I thought it would be fun to join in. 

Here goes nothin'!

1. Favorite Lip Balm || Nivea Lip Butter || This stuff is so hydrating and so affordable! I keep some stashed everywhere! I did recently purchase Dior's Creme de Rose lip balm and really enjoy it so far, so that is my honorable mention in this category ;)

2. Best Eye Catching Red || Lip Tar in the color "Psycho" || RED. Like red red. Lip Tars have amazing color pay off!

3. Best Luxury Lipstick || YSL Rough Volupte in Nude Beige || As you know, I only recently hopped on the YSL bandwagon and it was so easy to fall in love with this stuff. It feels amazing on the lips and its staying power really caught me by surprise. In my opinion, YSL lipsticks are definitely worth the price tag. 

4. Best Lipgloss || Mac Cremesheen Glass || If I'm going for a glossy look, I reach for this stuff every single time! It's not heavy or sticky but stays put with excellent color payoff. 

5. Favorite Drugstore Lipstick || Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick from the Kate Moss Collection || This stuff was a pleasant surprise! I was initially drawn to the color selection of this line and for the price figured I'd give it a try. This lipstick smells great, has a nice matte finish and lasts!

6. Most Disappointing Lipstick || Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain || I really want to love lip stains. They seem like such a "no-fuss" product but I literally have to sit for 5 minutes applying the stuff to get any sort of color on my lips. That's a no go for me. :(

7. All Time Favorite || Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick || This stuff is it! Wonderful color options. Affordable price point. Lasts all day long! SOLD.

I tag any girl who wears lip products! 

Send me to Sephora to try out some of your favorites! (I may have gotten an early birthday gift card that's burning a hole in my wallet...)

23 June 2014

Hopes & Plans {Link Up}

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams and aspirations or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

First, I wanted to thank everyone who joined last week's summer bucket list link up! I thoroughly enjoyed reading each and every post and may have even "borrowed" an idea or two to add to my own bucket list. ;)

Lets kick off this week with a fresh list of hopes & plans, shall we? 

one || Denali. My dad is in town this week and we plan to head up to Mt. McKinley! Not too shabby, huh?

two || Hike Flattop Mountain. Pretty sure this has been on my list before but Kyle failed to dress appropriately. (Anyone else suspect that he did that on purpose to avoid breaking a sweat? I do!) SO, I think I'm going to make ask Dad go one day this week while Kyle is at work.

three || Take a photo a day. Over the next month-ish we will be visiting with family and doing lots of fun things and they must be documented! ONE photo a day isn't crazy, right?

What are your goals this week?

Marry Mint

20 June 2014

Confessional Friday

It's FRIDAY! Time to confess :)

I started watching a show about cancer. *gasp* This is something I haven't done since I was diagnosed with cancer myself. For whatever reason, I feel semi "ready." Each week I will be sharing my thoughts over at I Had Cancer on the show Chasing Life. Have you watched the first two episodes?

I lied. Remember last week I told you that I wasn't impressed with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush foundation? Well, that's not true... kind of. While I didn't like the powder, Hanna encouraged me to try the liquid version and I LOVE it!! I've been using it every day this week and plan to purchase the full size once my sample runs out. Great coverage and staying power, plus it has SPF!  

I actually tried to justify purchasing a new bag by saying "Mallory needs me to have it." Yep. No joke! I had a lengthy conversation with myself about how Mallory needs me to buy this Michael Kors bag because it will hold all of her stuff on our upcoming trip. Then I left empty handed after realizing  I truly am insane... (Unless any of your agree with my logic, then I will hop back on the crazy town express.)
I will legitimately be pissed if I don't catch a salmon this weekend. Kyle has caught 4 so far this season and I have caught ZERO. EVER. Not ok. We are going back to the Russian River on Sunday with my dad and I'll be damned if I leave empty handed!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Linking up with Leslie from A Blonde Ambition.

19 June 2014

Mallory's 8 Month Update

Um, 8 months old? Really? For real, this is my favorite age. Do I sound like a broken record yet? Each day really gets more and more fun! Don't get me wrong, some days she completely wears me out, but she is just learning so much every single day that I can't help but love the craziness. 
We did have to go to the doctor this month thanks to an upper respiratory/ear infection situation so we learned Miss Mallory is weighing apx. 20 lbs!! 

baby update

baby update

She is still regularly giving me 6 hour stretches at night but getting those new teeth this month has required some restless nights. We are still having a lot of fun with food and Mallory is eating more of it. She is working on boosting her status as a true Alaskan baby. This month she ate halibut, elk and bison! Honestly, we are doing a lot more squeeze pouches than I thought we would, but Mal loves them! Since she still doesn't take a bottle, squeeze pouches have been the key to a baby free pedicure or two ;) Breast milk is still her primary source of nutrition.
independence mine

Russian River
Mally is sporting FOUR teeth now, two up top and two on the bottom. Her latest activity is grinding them...yuck! 
As far as clothes go, we are officially at the "hold it up and see if it looks right" stage of the game. Most of her leggings are 12 months and most of her tops at 2t... but who knows really. We have switched from "bodysuits" to mostly leggings and t-shirts. The girl still can't get behind the whole sock movement. 
baby dog
Not too many changes this month in the baby gear department other than Kelsey gave us this bouncy seat that Mallory really enjoys and we purchased this play mat
Mallory is now rolling with a purpose to get around the house! She gets up on all fours but either slides backwards or just rocks back and fourth. Soon enough we will have a crawling baby!! She loves grabbing everything and immediately sticking it in her mouth. Current favorite targets are rocks, cords, and grass. Lovely. Put toys in your mouth Mallory! 
cincinnati reds baby

She definitely responds to her name and knows how to clap. Mallory is still pretty anxious when I leave the room and/or someone else holds her. I know this is just a phase and I'm trying to soak in all of the extra snuggles. I'd be lying if I said I didn't love that I'm her sole source of comfort right now. 
My Dad/Mallory's Papa is coming to visit us then we are off to visit family for a couple of weeks!  We plan to soak up these precious moments with family and enjoy the Alaskan summer! So thankful that Mallory is an easy going traveler and enjoys being out and about. 
We love you kid!

17 June 2014

Where are you from?

Am I the only person who struggles when answering this question? Growing up, we moved around because of my dad's job, and now I move around because of Kyle's job. I love moving around! Every 3 ish years I definitely get an "itch" to pick up and explore someplace new. Living in different places has taught me so much and I really couldn't imagine a life living in just one spot. 


So far I lived in New Jersey, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alaska. 

As I get older and meet new people  I find that people really want to know where you are "from"... 

That conversation usually goes something like this:

[Rando] I'm Billy Bob. Cute kid. Big dogs. How 'bout this weather we've been having?! Where are you from?

[Me] What do you mean? Where was a born? Where did I live most recently? Where do my parents live? Where do I sleep at night? 

I mean come on. This shouldn't be a challenging question, should it? Before I moved out of my parents house I would frequently say New Jersey, since that's where I was born. BUT I know nothing about New Jersey since I was so young when we lived there. It was when I got to college and my parents continued to move around that things really started to get hairy. 

It is always funny when people ask Kyle and I together where we are from. Kyle quickly responds "Cincinnati", I hold a blank stare and now we've added Mallory to the mix and she was born in ALASKA

Where are you from?
Did you grow up moving around? If so, how do you answer this question?

16 June 2014

Hopes & Plans || Summer Bucket List

Welcome to the "Hopes & Plans" link up! Any hopeful or goal-oriented post is welcome! It can be your life's dreams and aspirations or simply your chore list. Share with us! I hope for this to be a place where we can come to be inspired and motivated by the things other people have in the works. The possibilities are endless! Most things in life begin by first having a hope and then some kind of plan.

Our weekend plans didn't quite go the way we well, planned. The weather wasn't ideal so we changed our fishing/camping trip location only for Kyle to get a phone call on Saturday night resulting in him having to work the remainder of the weekend. Ummmm helllloooo Army, didn't you know were were busy ;) 

Here is how I did with last week's Hopes & Plans.

|| Shop for new tableware. I think I want to stick with the mismatched look, but kick it up a notch with random antique/thrift store dishes.

|| Try a new dessert recipe. Does buying a few bags of candy count?

|| Wake up before Mallory every day this week. Now, if only I had used that time before Mallory woke up to actually be productive...

summer bucket list

Summer 2014 Bucket List

one || Make our own popsicles. No, freezing regular juice doesn't count Amanda. Complete curtesy of Mallory's first fever. [ July 30th. ]

two || Camp at the Russian River Campground. This is our favorite place to fish for salmon. It's an atmosphere unlike any other and we want to get the full experience by camping there!

three || Catch a salmon. I mean come on...

four || Visit Mt. Mckinley. Or Denail as it is called up in these parts...

five || Take Mallory to the Alaska State Fair. Kyle and I went last year and really enjoyed ourselves! We think the abundance of people, loud noises and random animals and things to look at are right up Mal's alley.

six || Spend a weekend in Homer, AK. This is our "shoot for the stars" item. Weekend getaways aren't free folks...

seven || Get a massage. 

eight || Lose 5 more lbs. Thanks Mallory...

nine || Take three yoga classes.  I really enjoy practicing yoga and just haven't kept up with it since moving to Alaska.

ten || Go to an MLB game. We live in a state without a major league team!! Can you even imagine?! We went to TWO Cincinnati Reds games while we were in Cincinnati in July. 

eleven || Go on a couple of dates with Kyle... without the baby! Apparently we used to routinely share meals at restaurants without someone pooping their pants or breastfeeding...

twelve || Buy fresh flowers once a month. 

thirteen || Experiment more in the kitchen. Kyle, you better get your pizza delivery guy on standby, because its goin' down!

fourteen || Explore our town. Totally guilty of making extravagant plans to explore Alaska when I haven't really gotten to know the small town we live in. I've tried several new restaurants and we have even visited local parks! This is still in progress of course. ;)

fifteen || Surprise someone. This doesn't have to be anything major, just something happy and unexpected. 

Marry Mint

13 June 2014

Confessional Friday

Let's confess!

one || We are taking Mallory on her longest "road trip"to date this weekend. We are heading about 5 hours north to the Copper River to fish and camp. I'm so excited about this trip! The salmon are turning up in record numbers this year!! The drive however, makes me a little nervous. Well. The drive and the mosquitos.
two || I tested the new Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation the other day in Sephora and didn't love it... I have read so many rave reviews of this makeup and it just didn't do it for me. By the time I was finished browsing the mall, it looked as though I had no makeup on at all. To be fair, the lady who applied it to my face did not use the brush that was designed for this foundation, and I read that is key. 

three || I've joined the dark side.  Of the lipstick world that is. During that same Sephora trip I purchased this YSL lipstick and I'm totally in love! Hefty price tag, but so far, I have to say it's worth it. Great matte finish, long wearing and feels amazing!

four || My husband asked that we purchase an additional candle warmer so he can keep one in his office. I don't think we need to say any more about that.... So. Manly.
five || My nearly 8 month old daughter dine and dashed me for the first time this week.  She nursed, sat right up and went about her business. Didn't look at me, talk to me, play with my face, nothin'. Where is the pause button?!
six || I'm so excited to see everyone's summer bucket lists on Monday!! Don't forget to link up :)
What do you have planned this weekend?

Fourth of July Home Decor

Sheesh! Mallory and I have not been seeing eye to eye these past few days. She has a particular schedule in mind that looks nothing like the one I plan out in my head. She has won this week's battle, but she will not win the war! 

Anyway. I LOVE the fourth of July! I mean hello, I am an American and damn proud to be one. Kyle and I aren't hosting a 4th of July party or anything (can you hear me laughing as I type that? Host. A party? With, like people? HAHA!) but I do like to spice up our home decor for the holiday. Thanks to Pinterest I've found a good handful of things that I'd love to add to our home and of course created a couple of 8x10 prints for good measure.

This 4th of July subway art was created on pallet wood. We already have an American flag in our living room, also made from pallet wood, so I think this would be a great addition! It's rustic and patriotic, perfect for the space and for the 4th!

Our house is straight up littered with mason jars. We hung on to the ones we used in our wedding and now use them as our drinking glasses, bathroom storage, wall decor, etc. I just love the patriotic twist of these three mason jars. They'll fit right in!

I mean come on. How cute is this red, white and blue star garland?! I'm really thinking I also need a chalkboard to go with it. Hmmm.

I've only recently hopped on the wreath bandwagon, and now I'm thinking I need one for each holiday. I'm loving this DIY American flag wreath. There is something about having a wreath on your front door that really makes it feel like home.

Now this is a project I think I can handle! A drop cloth or burlap, some tape and markers/paint. Too easy! This red, white and blue table runner is right up my alley. 

Finally, below are the two 8x10 prints I created for the 4th of July. I like these in my kitchen, but really, they could work well in any living space. They are yours if you want them! 

Are you hosting a 4th of July party?
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