When the Kids are Away…

My dear friend, Deb, offered to take both kids on a sleepover yesterday and I promise you, as soon as they drove out of our driveway, I yelled with my arms high in the air, “We’re free! WE’RE FREEEEE!”

They got picked up at five and it wasn’t until eight that Brant & I left for the start of our date. In the three hour time frame that we were at home, I’d say that we were pretty productive: We recorded the video announcements for church on Sunday, Brant edited those announcements, as well as other photos he’s been working on, and while he was busy working without interruption in a quiet house, I was busy laying in my bed catching up on my shows – uninterrupted. In a quiet house. See? We both were busy and productive last night. πŸ˜‰

We ended up going to a spot we regularly end up at on date nights, the Bear Tooth. We’ve been doing a Keto lifestyle since the end of May, and I don’t know if it’s because we knew the kids weren’t going to be home when we got there or what, but we went crazy. Crazy with our food choice, that is. For the first time in almost two months, everything I ordered was NOT Keto friendly. We shared chicken nachos (with beans on corn chips- gasp!), chicken skewers (that are lightly breaded and deep fried- gah!), and the cherry on top of it all was the fish tacos that came in flour tortillas with the side of GARLIC CHEESE FRIES. Y’all. We were SO NAUGHTY. πŸ™ˆ Alright, alright. And while I’m confessing to what we ate, I should probably also let you know that we shared the chocolate mousse for dessert, too! UGHH. *Covering face in shame*

We talked a bit about moving our date over to Lowe’s to get stuff for our rental property, but we decided against that and came home. Normally, I would have suggested we do something else like head to the Carousel, our new favorite dive bar on Spenard, or go see a movie. But I was A-OK with heading home, taking off my bra and putting on the comfiest, most hideous pair of leggings I own, a t-shirt and wrapping my hair up on the top of my head with a scrunchy. And that’s what I did. Is this was adulting has come to? Because if wanting that was wrong, then I didn’t want to be right. We did a quick photo shoot for a project we’re working on for Far North Fashion’s Instagram page when we got home, and then we watched a movie together.

In two weeks, we celebrate being married for 12 years. TWELVE YEARS!!! And I can honestly say that being married to my best friend is like being on a roller coaster – and not in a bad way. Throughout our 12 years of marriage, we have experienced our low points (and I mean L-O-W, low) as well as our high points. And I’m not going to tell you that I’m expecting it to coast the rest of our life together, because that’s not real. I’d say we’re enjoying a high part together right now but I’m in this to ride out any future lows. I’m not getting off this ride. ❀️

It does help, though, when I’m going crazy with the kids, that Brant sends me to the Nordstrom Anniversary sale to get things that I’ve been wanting. (It’s true. He did do that. And I took him up on it OF COURSE).

I picked up a few things like this camel cocoon cardi:

https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/bp-stitch-curve-hem-cardigan/4864766?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&color=pink%20cedar

I got it for under $32.

I snagged those checkered slip on Vans that I’ve been eyeing all summer, but they’re not part of the sale. But you can find them here:

https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/vans-classic-slip-on-sneaker-women/2880146?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&color=black%20%2F%20woodland

I also picked up a blouse and a tee but you’ll have to continue following me on either Facebook or Instagram to see those finds. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned to my page. Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve got a project we’re working on and I’m sorry I’m being so top secret about it, but I can’t wait until it’s finished!

I hope you have a great weekend! See you next time!

XOXO,

Les

6/19 Outfit

This top is one of my favorite purchases of the summer – along with the shorts (I’ve been living in them!). And I found out yesterday that shopping at the Banana Republic Factory and Gap Factory Outlet stores don’t just have to be done in stores. You can order from them ONLINE!!! My closet says πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜πŸ‘πŸΌ but my bank account says πŸ˜©πŸ™„πŸ˜©. Below is the link to my top.

https://bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com/browse/product.do?pcid=1038093&vid=1&pid=317734001&searchText=Off+the+shoulder

The link to the shorts can be found on yesterday’s post (6/18 Outfit), so go check that out. πŸ˜‰

And though I can’t find these exact shoes, I’ve linked similar ones – same shoes, just different colors.

https://bananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com/browse/product.do?cid=1076675&pcid=1045369&vid=1&pid=260880011

As you can see, I’ve styled this shirt two different ways. These jeans are SUPER comfy. I got them a while ago when they were on major sale, but right now the promotion is buy one, get one 50% off. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/high-rise-jean-legging-9961719?categoryId=61203682&ofp=true

And the shoes, which were super awesome to hike in, are from heaven on earth. 🎯

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-emery-espadrille-sandals-universal-thread-153/-/A-53098085?preselect=52896373#lnk=sametab

Of the two looks, which is your favorite? Styled with jeans or shorts? Comment below. ⬇️

As always, thanks for visiting! See you soon with some new looks!

~Lesli

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πŸ“Έ: @mbrantolson (IG)

6/18 Outfit

I’ve had a few people ask about my outfit pieces from today’s IG post and where I got them from, so I’m going to do y’all a solid and provide the links to the items I’m wearing. Kinda like Like To Know It. πŸ™‚ Except I’ll temporarily call it “Lesli Knows It” until LTKit scoops me up and adds me to their business. (A girl can dream, right?)

This super cute cardi isn’t available in this color combo online anymore from Old Navy, but other colors are still available. I’m wearing a Large. If you like this color, go to your local Old Navy and see if it’s in stock!

https://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cookieInitializationAttempted=true&cid=60783&pcid=20408&vid=1&pid=207745032

And here’s the link to a similar looking tee (mines a M from the Gap).

https://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pcid=5058&vid=1&pid=241902032&searchText=crewneck&autosuggest=true

These shorts are currently on sale for $29!! I ordered another pair this morning. Whoop!!

https://www.abercrombie.com/shop/us/p/low-rise-shorts-10914871?ofp=true&seq=08

And I scored with these $12.99 slides from Target. They were actually 5% off bc I used my Red Card but I can’t do math to tell you the exact price with the discount. My day job is being a choir director, so I can confidently count to 4, but anything beyond that is a struggle. 😜

https://www.target.com/p/women-s-kerrigan-slide-sandal-universal-thread-153/-/A-52862838?preselect=52805930#lnk=sametab

Thank you for visiting my blog! And if you haven’t yet, head over to @farnorthfashion on Instagram and give me a follow. One last thing: if you liked today’s post or found it helpful, comment below on what piece was your fave. Thanks for the l❀️ve!

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All pics on this post were taken by my hubs. More of his work is on IG @mbrantolson or check out his web page http://www.brantolsonvisuals.com.

Date Night/Photo Shoot

Tonight was a success. After two and a half weeks of being away from the hubs, we hired a sitter and went on a much needed date. We drove out to Girdwood (which, for those of you not familiar with Alaska, is a town about 25 miles outside of Anchorage that has one of the world’s most breathtaking views in its commute) and got seated immediately in the solarium at the Double Musky. I wish I would’ve taken a picture of the pepper steak I inhaled but as I just said, I inhaled that sucker.

^That’s a pic of my hubby at dinner. The only pic I took there. Notice the Molson sign right next to him? I’m pretty darn clever, I tell you!

After dinner, we went to a number of different spots in that area to take pictures for my IG Page, Far North Fashion- follow me if you haven’t already at @farnorthfashion! I’ve decided to use today’s post as an outlet to show a bit of tonight’s adventures. I’ll also let you know where my clothes are from. Are you ready? Good! Because you don’t have a choice.

We did the tiniest bit of hiking after dinner to Virgin Creek Falls. Gosh, I WISH I would’ve thought to pack my hiking boots to use on the hikes to our shooting locations, but noooooo. I brought my change of clothes. And I brought my make up. But sensible shoes did not make the cut.

See those super-cute-not-made-for-hiking slides? They’re from Target ($12.99) and so is the dress ($29.99 – but cheaper if you use your Red Card so you can save 5%!).

After the shoot in the red dress, we got in the car, drove back towards Anchorage, and parked at Bird Point to do another short hike to a top secret location to take some more pics.

I felt so torn. I really wanted to honor that trespassing sign but that “Be Free” sticker spoke louder to me than the sign it was on and we continued on our trek.

This shot isn’t making the cut to my IG Page because I wasn’t aware that my belly was showing and I can still hear my mom telling me that good Christian girls don’t show their midriff. Just kidding. My mom never used the word “midriff.” But I promise she said something pretty similar. Shirt is from Old Navy (2 years ago), shorts are from Abercrombie and I got them with a tee for $34 last month (it was a promotion), and I just got the slides at the Gap Factory Outlet in San Marcos, TX last week for $17.

But this picture is the reason why the previous picture shows my hair up in a bun. It was so windyyyyyyyyy.

Time for another outfit change. After Bird Point, we continued our drive back to Anchorage and stopped at the Chugach State Park Headquarters and explored a bit and took more pics.

My husband got in the pics with me at this last location. I love how this turned out! My top is from the Banana Republic Factory Store at the outlets in San Marcos ($17.99) and the shorts are the same ones I wore in the previous pic.

Stay tuned to Far North Fashion’s Instagram Page for the shots that made the final round – some of them took my breath away. Oh, and go follow my photog/instagram husband/real life husband at @mbrantolson on Instagram. He does some pretty kick ass work.

Til next time, friends!

Traveling alone with a 5 and 6 yr old – SEND HELP

Why is traveling so exhausting? I mean, really? You wait in various lines at different places in the airport, all to board a plane and SIT. We sit for hours. And nice ladies and gentlemen come by pushing carts with drink and snacks to serve us. So why is it so tiring? Despite how many times I’ve traveled, how much I psych myself out before a trip, I find myself spent by the time I get to my seat on the plane.

Today is no different. I rewarded myself with a mini bottle (and by mini bottle, I mean mini bottle) of wine on the leg from Dallas to Seattle. Damnit, I deserved it! I’m currently sitting in the children’s play area at Sea-Tac and with the events that have transpired, I now am deserving of a freaking keg. No, a kegerator. One that pours endless chilled pints of Double Shovel Forget- Me- Hopped cider. (If you haven’t tried it and you’re in the Anchorage area, you are missing out!)

You see, when my daughter is tired, she gets SUPER sensitive and emotional and breaks down with just a look. And when my son is tired, he loses whatever tiny amount of self control that five year olds possess and just gets naughty. Well, it’s my lucky day, folks. Both of my sweet sweet children are tired. No, wait. They’re FREAKING EXHAUSTED. Sigh.

We land in Seattle and we’re all starving. I want Qdoba. Isla wants Subway. And Terje wants McDonald’s. Totally doable and easy if the food court had all three restaurants together. But they don’t. And before you judge me about spoiling my kids and accommodating their different cravings, let me tell you THIS…

…I have nothing to tell you. I don’t know why I went to three different places at this huge airport. But I did. I guess I thought I just wanted to minimize the whining and pouting because I’m choosing my battles. And because I’m parenting alone right now. And because I love food so much and I know what it’s like to have a craving for a particular food and I hate that inner demon that comes alive when that craving isn’t met.

So I got Isla her Subway and I got Terje his McDonald’s and we make our way to Qdoba because good parents feed their kids first or something like that. I set the kids down at a table inside Qdoba and got in line to get my food. I guess I should’ve set them up before I left them to get in line. You know, took out their food and placed it right in front of them, opening up all containers and packages, yada yada yada. But I didn’t because that damn Qdoba line was long and, well, #hungry. So I just sat them down and got in line. Before I even got up to start my taco salad order, my daughter had dropped her sandwich on the floor and my son’s fries spilt on the ground. Sigh. Ok, Les, deep breaths. I asked the lovely lady behind me if she would hold my spot and she obliged and I went and consoled my crying daughter and tried to find some fries hidden in the cracks of that happy meal box – because you know there’s always some that never make it out of that box! I settled Isla down by agreeing to go BACK to Subway but she’d have to wait until I was done with my food. She didn’t have to wait too long, you know that? Because five bites into my delicious salad with guacamole (that didn’t cost extra!), I saw a previous student of mine who graduated five years ago. And in the excitement of seeing an old student, I knock my salad -and all that free guacamole!- to the ground. Well, a lot of it landed on my backpack, some on my pants, some on the table and some on Isla’s American Girl Doll carrier. None of that salad was salvageable. No worries, though, because at that point, I wasn’t f%*+ing hungry.

Luckily, the line at Subway the SECOND time wasn’t as long as the first visit. And I’m super happy that there’s currently no toddlers right now in the airport play area because I’d have to pay attention to my kids to make sure they don’t knock them over. And we board in an hour. I’m almost home, friends. As soon as I’m done with this post, I’m calling my husband and sending him to Double Shovel to bring home a growler for me tonight. Maybe two. To all the parents out there who travel solo with their kids, I’m gonna raise a very expensive but very small glass of wine to you in a bit. This stuff is hard. But we’re strong and we’ve got this!

I survived the first leg because of snacks and electronics. Hallelujah.

I actually survived the first leg because of this. HALLELUJAH.

If you’re at SeaTac and you’ve got kids, look for this sign. It’s an oasis.

The kids play area is right across from this place- which is the real oasis.

This play area has its own bathroom, nursing room and lots of outlets for charging the electronics.