Best Friend Date.

The plan for Natalie Squared included:

1) Walk at the park early with coffee and catch up.
2) Get pedicures.
(Okay STOP right here because pedicures were not open until 10am and we needed to get on the road.  Insert glitch 1 in my plan.)
3) Head to Portland.  Check.
Walk around, maybe do some shopping, and of course listen to the playlist of all songs that reminded me of Nat.  
(Let me just say.... we shopped until we DA-ROPPED, people.  How it happened, I don't know.)
4) Eat lunch together on a picnic blanket in a park with food purchased at Whole Foods, which I had never been to.
(Insert lunch at McMenamin's instead for close-proximity-to-NW23rd street and shops)
5) At lunch, exchange a pair of socks so that we can each wear a pair and take pictures of our feet for 6 months, tagging each other on instagram wherever our socks might go.
(I still have my socks in the car.  She still has hers at her house.)
6) Drive back to Salem and go to Create-A-Memory to make mugs, or something to always have with us while we are separated for 6 painful months.
(Insert pedicure, walking around Salem, and eating froyo instead)
7) Conclude evening with a dinner spent together and maybe some steam room action at the gym.
(Insert dinner with her entire family, our friend who is about to get married and her fiance, groomsmen, friends from Australia, and little brothers.... and one heck of a meal cooked by the Zukowskis).
And then we steam-roomed.  And went to a SECOND McMenamin's for drinks and live music.

Somewhere in there, we changed our hair at least 5 times, changed our outfits even more, laughed until we cried (when trying to convince the other that they had bigger eyes), took a million videos (random boy at park, what is your name?) and much more. 

 Thanks, Nat, for being my best friend and making those kind of days so special and unforgettable.
Though I don't know if anything will ever top the night we went snowboarding together before you left for Panama.......

On a more ironic note, I now share some of my husband's ... pain?  frustration?  entertainment?  in planning a date for someone and having it turn out totally differently.  
But you know what.
I love me some spontaneity.
And it was a dang good date.

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When you sleep through your alarm..

... and wake up at almost 10am instead of 7am, watering flowers + writing a blog about an entire best friend date + awkward and awesome thursday + eating breakfast + going to the coffee shop just isn't all going to happen before nannying begins at 11.

so, hi! wish I could stay longer! But this morning, sleep took precedence.  
Oh, and thank-you all for the wonderful best-friend date ideas.  It would be an understatement to say that I was exhausted from that day of girl-fun.

So here's a sneak peek.  Enjoy your Thursday!!

[shoes & pants: GAP // tank: j.crew // bandeau bra thing: nordstrom rack // watch & sunglasses: nordstrom's]

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T-shirts: Day 7

The final day of t-shirts.  As you can tell, I am itching to be OUT of t-shirts and back into the 90% of my closet that is staring me down every morning, wondering why I have abandoned it.  I kind of feel like a striped-V-neck tee is cheating.  But. I also feel like it's not.  

[shoes: Style&Co ($10 at Goodwill... I know) // skirt: F21 // t-shirt: j.crew]

By the way, I need your help.
Tomorrow I am spending the entire day with my best friend before she leaves to study abroad in Argentina.  I'm planning kind of a.... pseudo-date (seeing as how we are not dating, but at the same time....)  
So to all you girls out there who have a best friend, what would YOU do on your last day with them for like 7 months?  Any ideas are welcome.  I've got a temporary itinerary.... but still, the more minds to put this together the better.  It needs to be the special-est.  :)
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Trips, good-bye's, and t-shirts.

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing. 
Especially when it's to two people who have been so encouraging, so inspirational, and so fun to be around.
So instead of saying goodbye to Eric and Hannah, I want to say "see you later".  Goodbye implies something that won't be a reality for us - it implies forgetfulness.  But I think it will be quite difficult to forget the impact you've had on our lives here, so, see you later, hopefully around New Year's. :)

Eric and Hannah, thanks for the example you have set for the couples around you at our church.  Thank-you for your selfless attitudes and willingness to serve - you have impacted Outward more than you know and you will be dearly missed!!

[Hannah - however you escaped most of the pictures is kind of beyond me.]
[steph and I enjoying the most bomb-est salted caramel hemp drinks at Backporch Coffee Roasters]

[the only picture of Hannah!!!! and Annika and Steph looking great as always]

[does this really need a caption?]

[plenty of unexpected pictures were taken]

[the centers of attention]

[eric and zoe]


And just when you thought I was done overloading you with pictures.....
T-shirts Day 6!!!!!!
[hat: h&m men's section // shirt: from mrs janelle lecount // skirt: consignment shop (gap brand) // shoes: blowfish // watch: nordstrom's // bangle: F21]

[THANK YOU to Janelle for giving me this awesome t-shirt when she found out about my t-shirt challenge! I love it.]

[in the backseat - in disbelief at the length of my own locks.]

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This one time, somebody invented the idea of "work" as hanging out with other people's children.
Somehow, I just can't seem to fit "work" and "hanging out with Ruby" into the same sentence.
I mean look at her.
And she's only that much sweeter in person.

Another day of t-shirting on the books...
Any Packers fans out there?!?!?!   :)
[thank you bestest friend of mine for the wonderful coffee date, for sharing your heart, and for taking my t-shirt picture.  I love you Nat!]

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Awkward and Awesome Thursday!!

It's Thursday, right? 
My days are all confused in my head.
How can it be possible that yesterday all day I thought it was Thursday, and today I also feel like it's Thursday?
Brains are weird.

Anyway, on with it then.


The collapsable-pile-of-worthlessness that I became as I got a hand cramp while carrying a bag of ice at work.  The customers could probably have written it off as a psychotic outbreak.

The guy who ordered tea at 10 minutes to closing last night.  He looked particularly confused, and then stood at the cream and sugar station for a solid 6 minutes, making different faces at himself in our mirror.  What.  The.  

The long pauses and stares I have adopted while having conversations with people.  Yep, I am that person now.  The one who is awkward to talk to because she stops and just stares at you and says nothing.  

My travel-appearance choices.  I decided to wear no makeup, a t-shirt, and jean shorts.  Oh and don't even mention my rat's nest hair. 


Heading off to nanny the cutest 4 year old on the planet today.  Miss Ruby Roo.

Realizing it's almost July.  Which means I am 1 month closer to graduating from college next year.  (Yes, I am already anticipating graduation.)

Getting to spend Father's Day with my father in Mississippi.  It was truly special and a never-to-be-forgotten trip.

Alright.  How about you people out there?  Awkward moments from your week? 
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A website, and inner-beauty guest feature.


Check it out.  I seriously can't get enough of this website.  Authors write about challenging topics that are usually left undiscussed, addressing issues that every woman faces.  It has challenged me deeply and I hope it can do the same for you.

Also, you can find me over HERE today at The YouAre Project writing about fashion tips and finding inner beauty!
It's almost time for a week of t-shirts again.... are you ready to join me??
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Family is a beautiful thing.
It holds no grudges and considers love to be unconditional.
It forgives quickly and pursues viciously.
We bond regardless of time separated,
we feel deeply regardless of path choices.
We are welded together permanently,
unwilling and unable to break the chains.
I love you Dad, and I love you Michael.
It was one heck of a Father's Day, and you, my family in Natchez, are so special to me.

[father's day.]

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New Orleans and Giveaway Winner!!

I know it's supposed to be awkward and awesome Thursday... and trust me, this week has been filled with both of those things.  I could tell you all about passing out on a plane (AGAIN) 
[thank goodness my husband works in diabetes and knows how to cure low glucose levels.  OJ to the rescue.]
and how I rode for a solid 45 minutes in the galley with my sweet husband...

or how I tripped and fell flat on my face at work and turned bright red.  Shad can attest to this.

OR I could just show you this picture..

and have you marvel at the awkwardness of it all on your own.  

And then of course if I were to share some "awesomes", I would probably tell you how cool New Orleans is, and how I grinned like an idiot for an hour or so straight listening to live jazz music that blew my mind.  

But that's probably all I'd have to say about all that tonight. 

On another note, congratulations to NOEL for winning the $50 giveaway!!! 

Thanks for posting about said giveaway on your FB and following along! Send me an email!!

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[shoes: Dankso // dress: Free People]


Tomorrow morning/afternoon I will be on a plan headed to see my Dad.  This means...... for all you people who are waiting on a giveaway winner.... I will conjure up the random number generator sometime in the evening.  :)

Happy hump day and stay tuned for some giveaway pizzaz!
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