dressing the bump / pregnancy

Dressing the Bump – 28 Weeks

January 6, 2017

turtleneck: Old Navy | maternity jeans: Madewell | oxford: Madewell

Happy third trimester to us! Also, happy this-apartment-is-big-enough-to-stay-inside-for-outfit-photos to me & my trusty photographer that was almost late for work because of me!

I can’t believe the words “third trimester” apply to me & this bump. I fell asleep to baby hiccups last night & woke up to a bouncing baby this morning (at 4am, but that’s fine), & realized I can already barely remember what it was like to just barely be able to feel movement back on our anniversary trip, laying on my stomach to apply pressure to feel the tiniest flutters. I can also barely remember what it was like to lay on my stomach.

In celebration of entering the 7th month of pregnancy, I thought I’d share some fun facts about this little journey, mostly for Future Kelsey, & the rest for those of you who aren’t sick of reading the words “bump,” “baby,” & “pregnancy” coming from me.

  • This baby was a surprise. If you had asked me about babies any time in 2016 leading up to August 4th, I would have said, “We think we might maybe start trying next year possibly maybe. Maybe.” Of course, the timing has been perfect & God knew it had to be a surprise or else I never would have thought the stars were aligned just perfectly enough.
  • Ask me sometime about my experience purchasing my first pregnancy test ever. It’s a good one, involving expensive paper towels and the nosiest CVS cashier ever, because of course.
  • I got to plot all day while I was at my part time job about how to tell Jared about the baby. Longest day EVER. I ended up leaving post its from our mailbox, up the stairs to our front door that started with “Jared & Kelsey, sitting in a tree…” & ending with “then comes…” on our front door. I still can’t watch the video I secretly took of him opening the door without weeping. It was a great day.
  • If baby’s birth date is in fact in April, it will be the first April baby on either side of our immediate families.
  • Oooo. Remember that part that I was like, “YEAH, we’re for SURE gonna tell you what the baby is once I figure out how!” a few posts back? I lied. We told just enough people the baby’s gender to decide we didn’t like telling people. It’s always been our plan to keep our babies’ gender a surprise until they’re born, but I thought it would be really hard to keep it to ourselves after how hard it was to not tell people I was pregnant. Turns out, it’s really not that hard to refer to the baby as… the baby.
  • I’ve been very lucky with pregnancy symptoms, with fatigue being the real killer 1st trimester (like, asleep on the couch for the night at 7pm) & headaches following me around in 2nd trimester. I had soooome nausea between weeks 8-12, which really only snuck up if I didn’t eat often enough. Heartburn is my current plague, with things like, oh you know, granola bars, bread &, I’m not kidding you, a cup of ice setting it off. Super great. My hair has definitely seemed greasier during pregnancy (a fact I had to prove to myself by cutting faux bangs) & my skin has been way more dramatic than ever, which they say to expect if you usually have well-behaved skin. I did find out recently that I am, in fact, NOT genetically predisposed to stretch marks, so fingers crossed…
  • I’ve so far had two cravings: Fresh pineapple & cauliflower. Both lasted about a week, but I can still go for either of those things at any time of day. Seriously, any time.
  • On the other hand, I haven’t been able to eat corn tortillas, pulled pork or cilantro since I was about 6 weeks pregnant, when I assumed I could eat our staple meal of homemade carnitas tacos with Jared & his sister & found out two bites in that it was a no go. Jared’s heart is broken, but I’m SURE I’ll come back around to them. Probably.
  • A fall/winter pregnancy has been lovely, though wearing jeans while sitting & pregnant is a special form of torture.
  • Gush Alert: If you know him, this won’t surprise you, but I can’t even find the words to describe how incredible Jared has been throughout this entire pregnancy. He’s 15 steps ahead of me at all times, & has somehow managed to make up for my lack of energy/mental capacity/strength by 100x. It’s been a truly amazing thing to witness him become a dad, even in these months leading up to sleepless nights & newborn snuggles.

I’m sure there are more fun facts, but the one thing I didn’t mention is the pregnancy brain that is hitting me HARD. I forgot my wallet when I went to the grocery store the other night, & yesterday had to google search “guest for gifts at wedding” because I could not think of the words “wedding favors” on my own. & I’m a wedding planner. So. There’s that.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

xx,
kelsey

-

So long, 2016

December 31, 2016

Well! To round this year’s season of “Holidays, what holidays?” out, we did it! We moved! & survived! I am left marveling at my social media friends who are able to carry on with regular posts & photo-taking in the midst of moves, seemingly going from one put together home to the next. Our boxes have NOT magically unpacked, sadly, & I’m currently writing from bed because there isn’t currently an outlet near enough to the couch nor a desk to work at. What a thing to whine about. This whole process has been slooooooow goin’, since Jared is doing nearly 100% of the work while I try really hard to help & then end up regretting it. Moving while 6 months pregnant is definitely a “hahaha” worthy memory for years from now.

This Christmas/December was not much different from last Christmas… With losing my grandmother so close to Christmas, it was just hard to get into the holiday spirit. I kept telling myself that after the two holiday parties that Tart hosts, Christmas would begin. Instead, I was in the car the day after the 2nd party, on my way to my parents with my sister, & then eventually to St. Louis for my grandmother’s funeral. As soon as I got home, the packing game began, & Jared & I quickly adopted the mantra, “Next Christmas is going to be so awesome.” Thanks to our dearest friends & family, our stuff was moved while I either guarded the moving truck or pointed at where a box should go.

But the new apartment is GREAT. I’m supposed to be working on our list of Things That Need to be Bought RIGHT NOW because our decor:furniture ratio is just a bit off. We emptied out our storage unit on Christmas morning (another “hahaha” worthy memory…) & were reacquainted with a plethora of things that really should have been tossed two years ago when we filled the thing, leading me to believe that this is a storage unit’s only real purpose in life: Prolonging the eventual purging of things you don’t actually need. Ahead of me today awaits 6 boxes marked “decor” that I just know are full of dried flowers, weird thrifted vintage glass, & at least one thing involving burlap. If anyone has 2010’s phone number, please let me know so I can return all of its stuff. While our style has changed, I’ve also decided that interior design on a budget is, to me, 0% fun, so this should be really interesting. If you need me, I’ll be sitting here waiting for nesting to kick in.

The real reason I popped in here was to say a fleeting farewell to 2016, which I’m hoping is the close of two very weird years in my life. Not to say that I WOULD have put together one of these crazy year in review posts like I used to (because they take no lie, like 8 hours to do), but even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t have the photos or the blog posts to back the memories up. As a chronic memory hoarder, this actually pains me. I think it all started with our nice camera not working, followed by getting into the groove of Tart + part time job, completed by an overall sense of never-getting-it-together in our old, tiny apartment.

At any rate, with a babe on the way, I have no choice but to DO BETTER in 2017. I feel like this pregnancy has been to me how other women refer to their 2nd pregnancies… Time flies by, you don’t have time to stop & enjoy the milestones, the monthly bump photos don’t happen. With so many other baby announcements the past few months, it’s been easy to feel like I’m doing it wrong. I start getting hivey about maternity photos & where to register & if I’m sharing too much or too little on social media. STUPID, right? Comparison & thief of joy & whatnot. I’m working on it. With 6 months of non-stop craziness behind me, I’m hoping/praying/wishing that 2017 brings a change of pace. That I can intentionally slow down & enjoy these last few months of just Jared & I, while oversharing baby gushing if I want darnit & preparing a home for this little one. So, there’s my transparency.

2016, you were… Like one long breath being held. Whether it was Jared’s intense jobsearch turned 24-hour job switch, pregnancy tests on the bathroom counter, part-time job quitting, insurance drama, sick relatives, election year craziness in the most political city in the country, or apartment hunting, this has been quite the year of bated breath. In part, I have to thank you, because this is the first year that I’ve truly understood & appreciated yoga. I’m also so glad to see you go only because I am so hopeful to see the fruit of what we’ve sewn over the past year.

So, in the midst of dramatic Facebook memes about what a rotten year you were, thank you! & cheers!

Cheers to a year of deepened friendships.
To a healthy 1.9 lb acorn squash baby.
To Snapchat filters & Instagram stories getting a liiiiittle better with every update.
To safe travels to Atlanta & Canada & Seattle & New York & St. Louis & Nashville.
To the ever growing Tart Event Co.
To midwives & doulas & birthing technique research.
To a new brother-in-law.
To a husband that can make a mocktail as killer as his cocktails.
To making this city feel a little smaller, & a little more like home.

See you in 2017, guys.
Happy New Year!

 

dressing the bump / style

25 Weeks – Dressing the Bump with Hatch

December 22, 2016

jumpsuit: c/o HATCH, The Emmanuelle Jumpsuit in Black | heels: Madewell | lips: NYX Liquid Suede in Orange County

Back at it again with Hatch & this incredible black jumpsuit. Apologies for the 2984798 photos, but I really wanted to show how it looks with & without bump, since I have high hopes of wearing this silk piece of heaven as often as possible, even post-baby. This makes black jumpsuit #3 for my closet, & not even a bladder with a baby jumping (trampolining, really) all over it can talk me out of wearing a one-piece. Hatch has done it again with bringing all the modern, chic vibes to mama style. I wore this jumpsuit twice, once with the tie above the bump & once below, making two completely different looks with one simple switch of the sash. Hurry, hurry – This puppy is on final sale!

I have been out of town for nearly three weeks, starting with Tart events & ending, sadly, with a lot of traveling for my grandmother’s funeral. It was wonderful to spend time with family, reflecting on my beautiful grandma’s life & being together, which is all she ever wanted. The last week has definitely been a blur.

I’m back in DC now, wishing I could be taking in holiday goodness like City Center (pictured above), but instead up to my ears in boxes, cleaning supplies & paperwork as we prepare to move to a new apartment in the city. All. The. Things. I have so much to do but honestly would rather be wearing this jumpsuit, on the couch, drinking sparkling apple cider that I’m pretending is champagne, ignoring it all. It’s so strange that our last baby-less Christmas is going to be such a non-traditional. chaotic one, but hey! What has been NORMAL about this year, anyway? Wake me up on December 29th, when all our things are in our nearly-twice-as-large apartment.

Back to packing our little life up. There’s approximately two necklaces & one paper notebook I’m especially excited to see turn up… Hopefully. Also, my blow dryer blew its last breath this morning (BEFORE my bangs were dried, OF COURSE), so at this rate, I’ll just be able to throw everything away as I go instead of packing it. *face palm* I’ll be okay guys, really. REALLY.

xx

christmas

The More, The Merrier

December 15, 2016

https://www.tinyprints.com/shop/upload+your+own–picture-christmas-cards.htm
Favorite Memory: White Flat Holiday Photo Cards
 

Our Christmas cards this year are a pretty great example of me getting an idea & not being able to rest until I’ve seen it through to completion. This is our third year partnering with TinyPrints, & even though they have a MAGICAL & vast selection of predesigned cards (I had 10 designs favorited… Like this one, this one, & this one), I couldn’t get this phrase out of my head for this year’s card. Fortunately… TinyPrints feels me on all the levels, & their create-your-own option was the perfect fit.

Also, I’ve probably spent as much time talking about how life altering TinyPrints address printing services as it would have taken me to write the addresses myself. But seriously… Life altering. May I never write our nearest & dearests’ addresses on another envelope. It was LOVELY.

It’s hard to imagine that we’ll have a nearly 8-month-old babe joining us on next year’s Christmas card. AHHH. But it’s about time. Six years worth of just Jared & Kelsey on Christmas cards is like fiiiiine… But the world’s prettiest baby will make it 934857983745x better.

The Cards of Christmas Past
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

dressing the bump / style

23 Weeks – Dressing the Bump with Pink Blush

December 6, 2016

style_pinkblush-2style_pinkblush-8style_pinkblush-13style_pinkblush-14style_pinkblush-4style_pinkblush-6 style_pinkblush-16 style_pinkblush-3style_pinkblush-9 style_pinkblush-7dress: c/o Pink Blush – Grey Heathered Soft Knit Maternity Sweater Dress | boots & scarf: Madewell

This was the day that we wandered out to pick out a Christmas tree, & I debated back & forth on what was probably the last day of 2016 that I could get away without tights. Seasons seem to come & go with a bang in DC, throwing a random week here & there of too warm or too cold weather that both throws your wardrobe off & often gets your husband sick.

It’s tradition for us now to pick up hot chocolate from Dolcezza, which we consider to be the best hot chocolate in the city, when doing anything Christmas tree related. It’s hard EVERY year not to pick up a decadent, INSANELY rich hot chocolate (with a perfect hint of cinnamon) from literally around the corner, but even harder this year when my caffeine intake is limited & every single even mildly unhealthy thing seems to pop up somewhere between my knee caps & my hip bones, wheeeeee.

So far, my search with cute maternity clothes that don’t SEEM like maternity clothes has been far less daunting than I anticipated. YAY! As a fat bottomed girl, I’ve always known I’d have to go full on Kim K. with my maternity style, while working hard to avoid what could be a Jessica Simpson pregnancy situation… Minus the personal trainers at the end. Fitted maternity dresses like this one from Pink Blush have been my saving grace, pairing super well with either tights & layers or even my black coated denim leggings that still just barely slide under my belly. Also crucial has been the breathability factor, since I fluctuate between seasonably cold & OMG GET THIS COAT AND SCARF AND CLOTHES OFF ME in the blink of an eye while walking the city. It’s great.

This week, the baby & I have starting poking wars, which is both funny & sweet. Given its parentage, there’s no way this little babe won’t have an outrageous personality. Fresh pineapple continues to be my only craving, & sleeping through the night already seems to be a thing of the past… Which seems cruel with an impending newborn on the way. But c’est la vie. I spent a good 30 minutes of my insomnia last night just staring at the 3D ultrasound photo we have, imagining the nights I’ll spend awake, able to touch that very same face. How very surreal.

xx

christmas

a very bethune christmas mix | 2016

December 1, 2016

It’s crazy to think that this is our FOURTH Christmas playlist, & also that this time last year, I really truly believed with every ounce of me that I would be managing a puppy this time this year, & am instead currently being kicked in the bladder by the sweet angel (…) in my belly.

I’m still holding out for that puppy next year, btw. Just putting that out there, 2017 Jared.

Well! I was worried there wouldn’t be any good songs left after last year’s two hour & thirty-one minute playlist but GUESS WHAT! I FOUND THREE HOURS & TWO MINUTES OF MUSIC FOR THIS YEAR. Guys, this one’s real wack. All over the place. But Jared’s Nat King Cole pick & my gospel choir winner are all there, complete with Weezer, Run-DMC, & Leslie Odom Jr… The only man who can convince Jared & I that My Favorite Things should be played at Christmas.

I managed to cut into our tiny copper Christmas lights string as I was trimming a stray branch on our TINY tree (read: this was really hard to mess up, but I somehow managed it), & our replacement lights are due to arrive today, so we will for sure be listening to our new playlist while we REDECORATE our 3.5 ft. of miniature tree tonight.

A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2013
A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2014
A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2015

Enjoy!
xx

dressing the bump / style

22 Weeks – Dressing the Bump with HATCH

November 30, 2016

Dressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCHDressing the Bump with HATCH 
sweater dress: c/o HATCH, Waffle Crew Dress in Wine | clogs: Old Navy (similar)| necklace: Madewell

HONORED to announce that I am one of HATCH‘s first brand ambassadors in their #HATCHgal program. I’ve been following this brand for what seems like 100 years years, but is in reality more like five – When we were freshly married & babies were a far-far-away-someday dream. Shout out to Cup of Jo aka the Queen Mother of Lifestyle Blogging & Really the Reason We’re All Here.

I tried SO hard to put off any maternity clothes purchases for as long as I could, & it was a weird personal victory to make it halfway through without giving in to maternity jeans. I have a very long waist, so it took a little longer for my bump to show up, which helped prolong the boyjeans & stretchy highwaisted jeans of pre-pregnancy. But when 20 weeks hit & that whole rubber band jeans hack was NOT working, I knew it was time. I went kicking & screaming, but it was time.

THE THING IS that there really was no glory in forcing myself into my “normal” clothes, which mostly just resulted in unbuttoned jeans under the restaurant table & wearing my largest flowy shirts that were cute & oversized pre-baby, but at 19 weeks, were just hugging my weird baby-or-big-lunch bump. It was a strangely emotional thing to admit it was time for maternity clothes, especially at this point in weekly growing pains & weight gain when my waistline feels like an old friend from middle school that I remember fondly but doubt I’ll ever see again.

That’s where HATCH’s collection of chic apparel swoops in, offering a line of clothing that I would & could honestly wear post-baby. It’s a perfect blend of elevated tomboy & classic styles, redefining maternity with nary a pleated side seam in sight. This sweater dress is so perfectly heavy & warm, but thin enough that I feel really confident about my winter coat zipping over it for at least another two months. I’ve already worn this dress 3 times in a week. It doesn’t count if it’s with different people every time, right?

Weird body image issues & style redefining aside… It’s pretty surreal to be writing a post about my pregnancy style. For what felt like SO many months, I waited for this bump to show up, just for physical proof beyond headaches & falling asleep on the couch at 8pm that this is real. For YEARS, I dreamed about what these little kicks would feel like, & now I can reliably feel this tiny human at mostly any given moment. The human body is incredible & miraculous & really awesome for growing this babe without me having to even think about doing it. Crazy, right?

So! Now that you know where to get your maternity clothes, send me all your maternity POSES. The baby bump is still small enough that I feel like you can only see it if I’m squishing it with both hands (as demonstrated by these photos), a pose that always annoyed me when OTHER people did it. WHO AM I.

As a final note, if you’ve never been to DC in the fall, you’re missing out. These yellow lines streets are everywhere, & it’s almost enough to wish that fall would stay forever… But Christmas.

xx

dressing the bump / style

Lately

November 18, 2016

img_8026dress: Forever 21 | boots: Madewell | hat: Biltmore

Whoo! Things really don’t ever actually slow down. Is that some revelation I was supposed to have had a lot sooner as an adult? I’m still processing that the busiest part of my November has already come & gone, so I definitely haven’t gotten to the part where I realize that Thanksgiving is next week. NEXT WEEK.

First up, baby things:
Speaking of time passing, I’m somehow halfway through this pregnancy? Like… What? We’ve had some pretty big moments recently, from finding out the baby’s gender to Jared feeling the baby move for the first time. (To answer the burning question, we will be revealing the baby’s sex at some point, we’re just really trying to figure out how to do so without using pastel pink or blue. It’s amazing how difficult it has already proven to be to avoid the stereotypical gendered colors. But I’ll just go ahead & put it out there that this baby is NEUTRAL FOR DAYS/ALL THE GREY & WHITE. /end rant)

Our anatomy ultrasound was truly incredible… Seeing how big the baby has grown since the last time we saw it at 10 weeks was more surprising than finding out the gender, honestly. We were also given a 3D photo of the baby’s face, & immediately transformed into the parents that believe with every ounce of their being that they have the most beautiful baby in the world. It was practically instantaneous. We keep showing the photo to people, who try really hard to see what we’re seeing, then smile & agree with us while we beam at our cloudy 1st baby picture. It was literally less than 6 months ago that ultrasound photos meant nothing to me, but surpriiiiise! When it’s your own baby, those images are the most precious thing you own.

But seriously, I’m pretty sure the baby has my nose.

Next up, other major life changes:
Having a baby in four months (omgggg) has been a catalyst for some other pretty major life changes for the two of us. When we first moved to DC, Jared saw our current apartment for all of 2 minutes before we had to sign a lease, & I saw it for the first time the day we moved in. “12 months, just 12 months” was our mantra, as we tried to finagle our life into 580 sq. ft of space. 12 months definitely turned into 24, as it goes, but we are finally moving three days after Christmas. SO grateful for our new space, even if we are saying goodbye to the best DC neighborhood, & our dishwasher. Okay, & also central air & our own washer/dryer. But SPACE. There is SO MUCH SPACE. & the tiniest, most adorable nursery in the world. Can. Not. Wait.

We also took the giant / major / terrifying step of me quitting my part time job to focus solely on Tart, this blog & the impending bébé. Tart is definitely at the point that we can only grow more if we are putting more into it, & taking the step off that cliff has been a scary but necessary next move that we’ve known was coming. I’m excited to see what happens, & prayerfully hoping that I don’t drown in stress when an extreme upswing of business doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve started slipping into “WHAT AM I DOING??!” madness a couple of times, but then I remember last week, when we had a styled shoot, a wedding, new website deadlines & holiday event prep that there seriously were not enough hours in the week to handle. Having unadulterated time to concentrate on the business is going to be good. It’s going to be great. Being able to own our own company while also having families has been a dream for Amelia & I since Day 1, so this is just Step 2 in dream realization.

Organizing my time is going to be a major process for me, since I’m so used to giving up entire days to my part time gig, but I’m excited for this next phase. It’s been a loooong time coming… & with Jared’s help, I’ve now fulfilled my promise to myself to not work retail this holiday season. *high kick/fist pump*

I’m taking a celebratory day trip to NYC with my baby sister tomorrow, so I’m off to make sure the snacks are packed, the external phone charger is ready to go & the itinerary is all set. I’ll be back soon with some more baby updates, bumpin’ style posts (from a real camera), our Seattle city guide & moments from Thanksgiving weekend!

Happy weekend!

xx

travel

Vancouver, BC

November 11, 2016

Processed with VSCO with q1 presetOur five year anniversary was supposed to be marked with a giant trip. A tropical trip. It was going to be great. But 2015 was an intense year for us, & as October 23rd grew closer, we had neither the time to research nor the money to book a big trip. We settled for a day trip to Philadelphia, followed by a day in the Virginia mountains, & honestly, it was exactly what we needed. sittinginourtree-vancouver-21But we promised ourselves that Year 6 was going to be the year for that tropical vacation. The kind where you arrive at a resort, & spend your days on the beach, with a waiter putting another margarita in your hand every time your last one is empty. The kind of resort that you pay extra not to deal with kids in the pool. The kind with a swim up bar & 6 restaurants to choose from. sittinginourtree-vancouver-40
We dutifully put money away all year, & I planned our entire trip. For about a month, we went back & forth sending resorts to each other over email. We settled on Mexico, & debated if we cared about the Zika factor, but decided that by the time we were ready to try to have a baby, we’d be safely out of the hazard window. We’d get tested, it’d be fine.

You can imagine that it was a little ironic, a little comical, & very unreal when about 48 hours before Jared was going to officially book the trip, I took a test that read, “Pregnant.”
sittinginourtree-vancouver-22
So! We regrouped. More than ever, we needed to get away together. We read all about how Zika could just be a big pharmaceutical conspiracy & blah blah blah, but neither of us were comfortable risking it. With our anniversary falling on a consistently gorgeous autumn weekend, we decided to finally take the Seattle/Vancouver trip we’d heard a family friend gush about a few years back. Bonuses including 1) another stamp in our passports & 2) seeing my dear friend Chelsea, whom Jared hadn’t met yet.

We flew into Seattle & immediately hopped in a rental car, making the trip to Vancouver in a little over two hours. It was a really pretty drive (confession: I slept for part of it), & driving through border control was a bit of an andrenaline rush for Jared.
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Based on advice from my Twitter friends over at Treasures & Travel, we found an amazing Airbnb in the Vancouver neighborhood of Gastown. Perched in a super eclectic, modern loft, we were really in the heart of Gastown, with seemingly every shop & restaurant that had been recommended to us a very short walk away.
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Perfectly cool & a little drizzly, we got into town around 5pm & wandered the streets a bit, orienting ourselves & deciding where OH WHERE to eat. We happened to be staying about a block away from Tacofino, a taco spot that at least 45 people plus 90% of the internet said we needed to try. & guys… I’m so glad we did.

It’s pretty hard to impress a margarita connoisseur that can’t currently drink, but between their mocktail menu & (I am not exaggerating) THE BEST FISH TACO I’VE EVER HAD EVER, I was one happy pregnant lady. Tacofino was also the first time we stopped & realized that everyone in Vancouver is basically a model, & that every brick & mortar had perfect styling & branding. We decided this is a town filled with graphic & interior designers, who get married & then open really cool shops together.
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One thing we did notice is that Vancouver is a sleeeeeeepy town. Or at least Gastown is a sleepy neighborhood. Maybe we were staying in the Georgetown equivalent of Vancouver, but we were up the next morning & hitting the sidewalk at 8:30am, & there was not one single spot open. The clean up crew was out, cleaning up the streets from the night before, & we walked around the neighborhood until Nelson the Seagull opened at 9am, then partook in the first of many avocado toasts on this trip. The PNW loooooves its avocado toast.sittinginourtree-vancouver-13 sittinginourtree-vancouver-12
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My lovely Instagram friend @adrianasinke was so kind to make some recommendations of spots for us to visit in her former city, & brilliantly directed us to Lynn Canyon Park. When you start investigating Vancouver, you see all of these insanely gorgeous photos of a giant suspension bridge, called the Capilano Suspension Bridge. We were really excited about it before we realized that it costs $45 a person to go! Not quite at that point in our traveling lives. Fortunately, Lynn Canyon’s suspension bridge is FREE (though not quite as big/extensive) & has trails that kept us busy for a solid three hours. It was a beautifully scenic hike.sittinginourtree-vancouver-15 sittinginourtree-vancouver-39 sittinginourtree-vancouver-17Processed with VSCO with a4 preset sittinginourtree-vancouver-18 sittinginourtree-vancouver-19 sittinginourtree-vancouver-38 sittinginourtree-vancouver-44
(Even though we switched our swimsuits for beanies, my margaritas for bottled water, & our search for Mexican ruins for continual searches for the nearest bathroom, this was still our best anniversary yet.)sittinginourtree-vancouver-23 sittinginourtree-vancouver-24 After our trek back to Gastown, we explored the shops in the neighborhood, where I tried to capture the impeccable branding on basically every window & we managed to only buy one thing: A 100% Canadian blanket for the baby. It’s very cute. You’ll see.sittinginourtree-vancouver-41
I can’t think of a single thing that DC is obsessed with the way that Vancouver was obsessed with butternut squash. Nearly every restaurant featured a seasonal item with butternut squash, & I feel like I ordered that item every single time. This sandwich & tea from The Birds & The Beets was a perfect pick me up. SUCH a fresh food scene in Vancouver.sittinginourtree-vancouver-26 vancouver-47 sittinginourtree-vancouver-28
We ran down to Crab Park, which was basically directly behind our loft, to try to watch the sunset, but the cloudy skies had different plans. Still a pleasant walk, with the sound of seagulls & bells dinging everywhere. This is also where it seems like all the dogs hung out. I had been very concerned about the lack of dogs up to this point.vancouver-48
Right around the corner, but not pictured, was Alibi Room, where Jared got to try a flight of Canadian beers. Having frequently visited Toronto over the last year, he’d be convinced Canada didn’t have great beers, but Alibi Room’s selection changed his mind. So there’s that. I had a ginger ale & it was great, thanks for asking.sittinginourtree-vancouver-27 sittinginourtree-vancouver-45
We finished our actual anniversary off with a fancy dinner at L’Abattoir, which was insanely delicious. In case you can’t tell, my meal came complete with an apple rosette, so like, sold. sittinginourtree-vancouver-32sittinginourtree-vancouver-43 sittinginourtree-vancouver-31We spent our final breakfast in Vancouver at Le Marché St. George, which a shop kid had tried to discourage us from visiting the day before, but we were SO glad we ignored him. As the weird kid that grew up with crepes on Saturday mornings instead of pancakes, this little corner spot won me over with their quiche and crepe selection, topped off with a nice spicy chai.vancouver-26Processed with VSCO with j5 presetThe golden doodle parked right outside out window waiting dutifully for his mom also helped in my decision to move to Vancouver & stay forever. I’ve since changed my mind, don’t worry, but between the neighborhoods & that brie + apple crepe… It was close.sittinginourtree-vancouver-30 sittinginourtree-vancouver-42
We got back in our terrible Mitsubishi rental & started our journey back to Seattle, but not without a fond farewell to Vancouver, its autumnal glory & surprisingly incredible food scene. Not going to lie, I was expecting more CANADA than I got (maple syrup & poutine were simply NOT a thing in Vancouver), but I guess that means we just need to head to Montreal next!Processed with VSCO with h1 preset

EAT
Tacofino
Even though you don’t think you’re heading to Vancouver for tacos, you need to stop here. Best fish tacos we’ve ever had, with a really great drink menu, including mocktails. Bumpin’ on a Saturday night, but plenty of space at the bar & a great aesthetic.
The Birds & The Beets
A gorgeous shop tucked away in the heart of gastown, this little cafe had the most beautiful organic vibe & a bonus flower shop in the back. Featuring a small salad/sandwich menu & the right amount of mid-afternoon-pick-me-up drinks, it was a perfect refuel stop.
L’Abattoir
A little on the pricier end, this restaurant was a perfect fit for our anniversary dinner. Just the right amount of comfortable & fancy, the interior was gorgeous, with an indoor courtyard that you see from the outside & assume a $300 tasting menu awaits you. Not so! Super friendly service & perfect portions from this French-inspired menu.
Le Marché St. George
This is a tiny spot right in the middle of a neighborhood that will make you second guess if your directions are correct, but they are & you will be so glad you made the trip. Savory quiches, the best spicy chai I’ve had in a long time & crepes made by employees with accents (try the seasonal) make this place a must stop. Heads up: It was empty on a Monday morning, but we could see this getting a little cramped on a busy weekend.
Other spots that were recommended that we didn’t get to try:
Guilt & Co.
Juice Truck
La Mezcaleria
Field & Social
Cafe Medina
Meat & Bread
Nuba
& “any Asian place.” We were told this multiple times.

DRINK
Nelson the Seagull
This little coffee shop was right around the corner from our Airbnb, & had a small breakfast menu – Just enough of a morning boost to get us through hiking for three hours.
Alibi Room
After a walk through Crab Park, Alibi Room is right around the corner for a flight of Canadian beers. Though this stop would have been slightly more fun if I were able to drink, their small bites were a perfect late afternoon pick-me-up for the pregnant lady with a 8:30pm dinner reservation.

COFFEE
They’re all delicious, according to Jared who drank way more than my allotted 12 oz. a day 😉 But also aesthetically pleasing, which is what I’m here for.
Revolver
Timbertrain

Matchstick

SHOP
Old Faithful Shop
Luke’s General Store
Litchfield
Meadow
Parade Organics Baby Co.

DO
Lynn Canyon Park
Smaller but FREE suspension bridge with a super scenic hike.
Crab Park
Waterfront park on the other side of Gastown, for those who enjoy seagulls & dogs.
Other spots that were recommended that we didn’t get to:
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Lighthouse Park
Stanley Park
Granville Island

RESOURCES
Local Wanderer’s Vancouver City Guide
Design Sponge’s Vancouver City Guide (A little dated, FYI.)
Treasures & Travel’s Perfect Vancouver Day
Vancouver Dinner Restaurants

TIPS

  • RENT. A. CAR. I learned after Chelsea & I visited Nashville not to assume that every city is a walking city like DC… Or London/Paris. We were so grateful to be able to get around where we pleased, but be sure to look into overnight parking before your trip!
  • Just prepare yourself to lose cell service once you cross into Canada, unless your plan makes sense to pay for international service. (Ours did not.) We got a lot of use out of pulling up walking/driving directions on Google Maps while we were on wi-fi, then leaving the app open. Even though you don’t have service, GPS will still follow you/show you the directions. Thank goodness Vancouver is all about some Starbucks, & thank goodness even Canadian Starbucks is all about some free wi-fi!
  • Gastown is a super cute little neighborhood that felt very central to the places we wanted to visit. Our trip was short, so we didn’t run out of things to do in this area, with its shops, parks, restaurants & cafes. If you’ve ever visited Norfolk, VA or Philadelphia, this is very much a mash up of those two cities. However! There is definitely an intense sidewalk population, just to be aware of in the late evenings/early mornings. East of Columbia St. definitely has a different vibe. We never felt unsafe, but a heads up if you’re not used to that!

fall / halloween

The Bethune October Movie List

October 28, 2016

fallmovies

We’ve just returned from an oh-so-needed vacation, & while I’m aching to edit photos, I’ve spent nearly all of today playing catch up on upcoming Tart projects, cleaning up the night-before-we-leave storm we left behind, & unpacking five days worth of clothes that smell like the great outdoors. MMMMMmmmm.

Our trip was great (you’ll see), but it is actually very wonderful to be home. Nonstop access to my Brita filter, being close enough to my Whole Foods to walk there with my eyes closed to satiate this week’s nonstop craving for fresh pineapple, sleeping on my own pillow… The comforts of home can’t be beat. But! We’re also able to resume our October movie-thon, which I’m probably irrationally excited about but also is a little bit one of the best parts of marriage.

This list has been unofficial for years, growing annually as we hone in on our favorites. We almost never make it through the entire list, but it’s nice to have options. It includes some movies that are simply very autumnal, & some movies that are more Halloween-centric. Both of us grew up with Halloween not REALLY being a thing, so a lot of Halloween classics for other people won’t be found here. In fact, last year was the first time either of us ever watched Hocus Pocus (& loved it), & this year, we’re trying out Beetlejuice, Halloweentown, & Rocky Horror Picture Show. I guess you’ll have to check back next year to see if they make the cut!

In general, I don’t like scary movies, gory movies, horror flicks, anything dealing with demonic anything/spiritual warfare, or end of the world movies where the dog dies. Consider that your disclaimer that this should probably be titled The Tamest Halloween Movies You Can Watch With Your Kid Sister. Jk, my kid sister is way more intense than I am.

OUR OCTOBER MOVIE LIST

Juno
There’s nothing about this movie that is particularly fall, except for the opening scenes. But! I love it, & Jared likes it enough to watch it once a year. Watching it this year was particularly hear-warming since Juno is a month behind me on the pregnancy timeline. Cue tears because Jennifer Garner is an angel.

When Harry Met Sally
Easily one of my Top 5 movies, & Jared is now a firm believer. This is usually the first movie we watch in October. This movie spans both years & seasons, but there’s that one scene that is so quintessentially fall in NYC that this has always stuck with me as an autumn movie.

You’ve Got Mail
Easily one of Jared’s Top 5 movies (he once watched this like 4 times in a row while sick, including the soundtrack-only version), & I am now a firm believer. Not that I wasn’t before, but he just kinda… enlightened me. There are some fall-y elements to this one, though we also find it appropriate for Christmas & welcoming spring.

Garden State
Another movie that Jared got me hooked on, way back in 2006. We LOVE Zach Braff. Have fun exploring the infinite abyss!

Remember the Titans
If you’ve been reading this blog or following me on social media for any amount of time, you probably know that this is inexplicably my favorite movie. What better fall theme than high school football? (The only kind of football either of us can stomach, tbh.)

Nightmare Before Christmas
UMMMMM, duh. I see the case for this being a Christmas(ish) movie, so this is usually my preferred Halloween night movie of choice. Because yes, Halloween night is typically us on the couch, watching a movie. #apartmentlife #nokidsinthisneighborhood #wedontparty Side note: Vitamin String Quartet covered selections from the soundtrack. Listen here!

Coraline
Just a good ol’ cute but creepy but good movie, & a perfect follow up to Nightmare Before Christmas.

Corpse Bride
Have to complete the creepy stop-motion Halloween trifecta with this one. Aside from the pretty full storyline, the soundtrack is also really great in this movie.

Hocus Pocus
A new-to-us-classic-to-everyone-else favorite.

Ghostbusters
How can you nooooot watch Ghostbusters in October? We might give the new one a try this year, but I’m just not convinced there will be enough Bill Murray.

Harry Potter anything
This is a good option when we both still have work to do in the evening after dinner. Just pop any one of these in & we at least FEEL like we’re being festive.

Young Frankenstein
I have Mama Essmann to thank for my love of this movie. It’s an oldie, & if you’ve never experienced a Mel Brooks movie, be prepared for some weird humor. But you just can’t go wrong with Gene Wilder, so trust us on this one.

Shaun of the Dead
Okay, this is for sure one from Jared, & I’ve fully adopted it. As previously mentioned, I don’t like gore or horror, so most zombie movies don’t make the cut. But this one is funny/British enough that I can get past the ick.

Labyrinth
Honestly, I don’t love this movie… It’s pretty weird & makes me question everything I know about muppets. But thanks to my older sister, I usually watch this one every other year.

Edward Scissorhands
The first of the Johnny Depp trifecta. This was the first cult classic movie I ever forced myself to watch & like at probably too young of an age, but it stuck. Also, nice to revisit baby Wynona after a summer of Stranger Things, amiright?

Sleepy Hollow
This movie does not get enough creepy credit, in my humble opinion. If you haven’t given this one a go yet, let this be the year. 2 of 3 for your Johnny Depp Halloween-athon.

Sweeney Todd

Maybe it’s the musical theatre kid I married, maybe it’s just the nostalgia of Johnny Depp’s good years, but this is just a solid movie with plenty of tame *ish* gore. 3 of 3 for your evening with Johnny (this time he’s the bad guy), but also how about a nice round of applause for Tim Burton, who is the personification of Halloween, basically.

The Mummy
Jared hates that this is on the list *heheheh* but GOSH I love this movie. Just enough scarabs to make your skin crawl, just enough Brendan Fraser to make you feel safe & warm. Bonus: There’s a 70/30 chance that this is movie is playing on a cable channel RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Seriously, it’s always on.

The Village
Eerie, weird, & aesthetically beautiful, Jared would watch this movie once a week if I’d let him. The bad guys aren’t what they seem = my kinda scary movie.

The Sixth Sense
I’m still surprised every. time. at the end of this movie. Besides Ghostbusters, this is about as ghostly as I get at Halloween. (Yes, including Casper. I didn’t grow up watching it, & as an adult, I just can’t deal.)

As a ps. I linked most of these to IMDB, only because it shows you if any of these movies are going to be broadcast on TV any time soon… Which is nice, if you don’t have $3.99 to blow on 20 movies in 31 days. Happy marathoning!

xx