The Autumnal Equinox rolled in this week and as you’re already well aware, I am pumped! This week was a total grab bag of random things I did so it’s a little bit all over the place, but isn’t that how life is most times? These rainy days have me indulging a little more, whether that means a glass of wine, baking something yummy or buying something new to try out…and I did all three of those things this week. Also, I did a little wedding dress shopping this weekend!! Obviously can’t post any photos of that, but holy cow is it starting to feel real. I’ve really been trying to pace myself with wedding planning, but September 2017 can’t get here soon enough 🙂
Vista Hills Wine – My friend Mandi is a wine club member at Vista Hills Vineyard and she invited a group of us to go out there with her and do a tasting. The vineyard is out in Dundee and is absolutely beautiful, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an ugly vineyard…but this one has a huge tasting room and was so cozy during the rainy, cloudy weekend. Fortunately the rain stopped for a little bit and we all snuck outside for some selfie stick fun, obviously. Love having all these awesome gals in my life!! We tried 4 of their wines and my favorite was the Treehouse Pinot Gris. I know we’re moving out of white wine season, but I can honestly drink white wine year round and this pinot gris is light, crisp and has a nice fruit flavor that is so refreshing. I’m a firm believer that you can wear white and drink white wine even though it’s after Labor Day 😉
Herbivore Hydrating Face Mist – With the change in temperatures I’ve noticed my skin has become significantly drier. I don’t claim to be very knowledgeable about beauty routines, products or really anything related to skin care, but I found a write up about the Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist by Herbivore Botanicals and decided to give it a try! After one week of using it my skin hasn’t freaked out which is a good thing. I tend to have sensitive skin and I think when you introduce any new beauty product there’s a bit of a transition for your skin to adjust. I have a lot of dryness around my nose and on my chin and I’ve noticed it go down a little bit, I do still use a face moisturizer as well as the mist. I don’t really expect immediate results so I’ll do a follow up once I’ve been able to use it for a longer period of time. If anything, the fresh rose and hibiscus scent smells so good!
Oreo-Doodles – What to do with all those leftover Oreo halves from last weekends owl cupcakes? Find a dessert that needs Oreo crumbles of course! Some of you may know that Tim LOVES snickerdoodle cookies. I found an Oreo-Doodle recipe on Pinterest and had to give it a try. You take Oreos and crush them up into a super fine texture so you replace the typical cinnamon sugar mixture with Oreo crumbs to coat the outside of the cookie. Genius! They turned out so yummy and for all you chocolate lovers, you have got to give these a try. They are a little bit messy because of the Oreo cookie coating, but it’s totally worth it and I definitely ate 1 or 2 right out of the oven. It’s chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. YUM!
Citizens Academy – I’ve finished up my third week of the Citizens Academy and I’d love to share this experience with all of you. What is the Citizens Academy you may ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s an 11 week course where you get to learn about the inner workings of the police department in your city. Cities across the United States offer citizens the opportunity to apply and gain insight on what their police officers do from the training and hiring process to a tour of the jail and even a ride along! Yes, I’ve had a lot of exposure to police life and all of the training that they go through, but hearing about all of these things from other officers and individuals involved in the department gives me a different perspective. It’s also so cool to hear everyone’s questions and it’s encouraging to see 30 other people wanting to learn more and educate themselves on what it takes to be a cop.
BHLDN – This week marked the first wedding dress shopping experience! I have had my eye on a few dresses from Anthropologie’s bridal shop, BHLDN for a few years now so I knew I had to get an appointment. For a while the only store location nearby was up in Seattle but this summer, Portland opened a remodeled store and included their bridal shop! Meant to be 🙂 My mom, sisters and I were all at the appointment, and let me just say how lucky I feel to have both my sisters and mom in town to dress shop with me! Having all of us back in Oregon is the best.thing.ever. I don’t have much to compare it to since this was my first time wedding dress shopping, but I loved the layout of the shop and had so much fun! Kate was my stylist and she made the experience super relaxed and made me feel so comfortable. I tried on 7 or 8 dresses in my one hour appointment and I may have found the dress. We’ll see!
This weekend my family and I threw my sister and her husband a baby shower for their first baby! It’s been an exciting year in our family and I am so looking forward to being an auntie of 3! We don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl so we’ll have to wait until November to find out – correction, my brother in law is the only one who knows the sex but he’s kept his lips sealed! Here are a few of my favorite things from the party.
S’mores party favors – Apparently I’ve got s’mores on the brain ever since the s’mores kit we got a few weeks ago. My mom found this cute idea for a party favor and we just had to do it! You can see we tried to stick to an outdoorsy, woodland theme for the shower because my sister and bro in law love to camp and be outside. We cranked out 40+ favors each complete with enough supplies to make two s’mores. Once again my handy tag maker was used and each note said “We’re adding s’more love to our family.”
Owl cupcakes – Another Pinterest find, duh. I was really nervous about these because this looked like a Pinterest fail in the making. You know when you see super cute ideas online and then when you do them they look like crap? Fortunately these turned out being a lot easier than I expected! Separate two Oreo cookies so you can have two “eyes”, use frosting to attach a brown Reese’s Pieces to each Oreo half and then use an orange Reese’s for the nose. I used store bought chocolate frosting and after spreading the frosting on, I took the flat side of the knife and gave the frosting some texture so it looked like feathers. I am so thrilled with how these turned out!
Acorn treats – I know some of you think I’m super crafty, but I’ve got to admit…I got it from my mama. Peg is incredibly talented at crafting and she found these cute “acorn” treats to make for the shower. You take a Hershey’s Kiss, a mini Nutter Butter cookie and a chocolate chip. Everyone is lucky that these lasted until the party because I would have eaten them all. As a side note, I don’t think it’s worth messing with separating the Nutter Butter cookie…they’re so small that you can just pop the whole cookie on top.
Books for Baby – My co-worker mentioned that one thing she really loved about her baby shower was replacing cards with books. I searched around on Pinterest and found this cute rhyme to use and sent a little insert with each invite (I didn’t use this particular Etsy listing but how cute is that!?). For me personally this was special because when I was little, Amy used to have me read to her every morning while she got ready for school. It was a fun routine we had and it helped me practice reading aloud, plus I got to hang out with my cool older sister. With a special little note on the inside cover, you can always remind baby how much they are loved by those around them.
Canva – I’m sure there are so many other programs out there that my more tech savvy friends use, but I found Canva a few months back and have really enjoyed using it! It’s a free resource that you can make all kinds of stuff on. I decided to make the invites for the shower and because of a few graphics I used from the library, the card was $2 to make. My sister Kim sent me some inspiration she found off of Etsy and this is what we came up with! The back had little graphics like a tent, bonfire and tree and a photo of Amy and Mikey. I printed these through Vista Print and I’m so happy with how they turned out!
My favorite month has arrived!! September marks the beginning of fall (the best season), cooler weather, the transition into shorter days, boot weather, and everything gets so damn COZY! You kick off the month with a long holiday weekend and you know that the holiday season is right around the corner. Oregon Septembers are the best with the mix of cool temperature days, but still some summertime vibes. This weekend also marks the one year countdown to our wedding day! (what!?)
Portland Gear – Cozy weather calls for cozy sweatshirts. I have been eyeing this little number for a few months and they finally got it back in stock. It’s light weight and so soft, plus I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many sweatshirts. The guy that started Portland Gear is a fellow Oregon Duck and has created an incredibly successful apparel line that features a simple design and all things Portland. Happy to support this local business and proud to rep my city!
1927 S’mores – Our wedding photographer sent us the sweetest little package a few weeks ago. She included a hand written note, some stationary for Tim and I to write love letters and a honey graham s’mores kit! We cracked into the s’mores and they are quite possibly the best s’mores I’ve ever had! The honey grahams are better than any graham cracker you’ve ever had from the store and the marshmallows are those homemade, fluffy ‘mallows that don’t even have to be roasted over an open flame. This treat was the perfect way for us to end our summer.
Pip’s Donuts – Did you know you get a free dozen donuts on your birthday or 7 days after at Pip’s Donuts? We definitely took advantage of this over the weekend and got Tim some belated birthday donuts! The line was worth waiting in and even though we stuffed ourselves on Noho’s down the street, we grabbed a dozen and I had to try one of each 🙂 Yes, you counted right…I snagged a taste test of each of them before remembering to snap a picture. Tim’s favorite was the candied bacon (go figure) and I enjoyed the Nutella/sea salt because you just can’t go wrong with that combo!
McDonald Dunn Forest – I ventured down to Salem this Labor Day to get outside with my friend Caitlin. We took her adorable pup Rex out for a hike near Corvallis and it was so cool! It definitely kicked our butts, the moderately difficult label is not to be ignored. I do recommend picking up a map since we got a little lost, but we did the 4+ mile loop on Trail 36/Powderhouse Loop and got some amazing views, I still can’t get over how beautiful Oregon is. The hike ended by the lake and Rex showed off his swimming skills. The McDonald Dunn Forest is a research forest for Oregon State University and is absolutely beautiful…but still, Go Ducks!
Taproot – After our hike, Caitlin took me to one of her favorite spots, Taproot and I’m SO glad she did! This place serves Salem beers, has super cool decor, and the food is so good. I got the grilled cheese with tomato (cheddar and goat cheese) and a side of fried brussel sprouts. YUM! I tried the Salem Ale Works Slow Roller Raspberry Mint which was super refreshing and the perfect beer after our hike. Once again I took a picture halfway through eating my lunch so there ya go!
Last weekend I was in CA for a wedding and took full advantage of being on vacation. I don’t think I stopped laughing the entire weekend! Being reunited with my college pals and two of my cousins is a pretty silly time 🙂 As I’ve mentioned before, traveling can be a bit anxiety ridden for me, which I think is true for a lot of folks. However, this weekend I tried to fully embrace going with the flow and it made for such a memorable weekend.
Petaluma – One of my college roomies lives in downtown Petaluma and I was so excited to get to see where she lives and works! It’s so fun visiting your friends and getting to see where they live and the local spots they go to. Petaluma has a charming, little downtown area complete with a fun tap house located on the river, a PIE COMPANY (yes, we purchased 4 mini pies that were all divine), a cute coffee shop and so much more. We may have stayed up all night messing with different Snapchat filters but we woke up early on Saturday morning to get in a hike. Petaluma is so cozy and comfortable and I can’t wait to visit again.
Santa Rosa – I didn’t get to explore much of Santa Rosa or Healdsburg where we were supposed to stay in a tiny house (let’s just say the idea of driving down narrow, curvy roads at night to get to a place where we had no cell phone reception just did not sound safe), but the wedding was at a vineyard called Paradise Ridge and was absolutely stunning. I may be biased because it was my friend’s wedding or maybe I’m just paying more attention because I’m in a wedding planning state of mind, but they were so thoughtful in everything they did! The wedding was intimate and elegant and we all tore up the dance floor! I mean come on, just look at this view!
Potrero Hill – When in a hip, new city what else do you do but brunch? My cousins took me to their neighborhood spot and I’m so glad they did! We snuck in just before they closed and I want to go back and try one of everything on their menu. We walked all over their neighborhood sneaking views of the bay and city skyline and checking out all the succulents, cacti and amazing houses! How does everyone live so close together? And why does everyone have their houses painted in the coolest ways? I loved walking through their neighborhood, not only because the hills are a good work out or because we got to play with a 12 year old St. Bernard, but because we got to explore together and all of a sudden we’d stop talking because we’d catch a breathtaking view of the city.
The Mission District – What a fun and funky neighborhood! All the activity, murals and different places to eat or grab a drink. We stopped at The Armory Club for a cocktail 😉 and then had dinner and drinks at Burma Love. Fair warning, if you think it’s a green onion or bell pepper, you’re wrong. So so so wrong. Try their coconut rice and dried fried green beans. After dinner, we danced the night away to some eclectic music at Baobab which apparently is a restaurant by day and dance club by night. How did I stay alive through this weekend?? Too much fun was had and not enough pictures!
San Francisco – I’m not usually a fan of big cities. They overwhelm me and really aren’t my style, but there’s something about San Francisco that really made me love it. My cousin Nick took me on a motorcycle ride to see Dolores Park, the Painted Ladies and all through the Golden Gate Park. I obviously now feel like a total badass. This picture is from the back of his motorcycle while I desperately clutched to my phone, a bit blurry but totally worth it. Looking forward to going back to SF to visit them and explore more 🙂
This week I scooted out of town and flew down to San Fran to celebrate the first of my college gal pals to tie the knot. Updates on the wedding and trip coming next week 🙂 Traveling for me is a love/hate relationship. As a child I would get incredibly motion sick on airplanes which has resulted in some very negative associations with flying. The irony here is that I absolutely love to travel and I’ve fortunately created a routine that gets me through the flight. Here are a few things that you’ll always find in my purse when I venture to the airport.
Motion sickness bands – I’m not really sure if it works but if it’s a placebo effect then so be it. My sister gave me these cute motion sickness bands a few years back and I use them for every flight. The trick is to put them on about a half hour before boarding and make sure they’re not too tight. They’re not 100% fool proof and don’t really stand a chance against intense turbulence, but they’re a comfort and do help my uneasy stomach when it comes to take-off and landing. I also throw in some ginger candies to help settle my stomach!
Anything with a hood – A hooded sweatshirt is necessary for multiple reasons, you can bunch it up and use it as a pillow, put it on when the airplane inevitably gets too cold even though you’ve closed the little air vent above you, and you can throw the hood on to protect your head from whatever funk the person before you left behind. I’m not too much of a germaphobe, but the idea of sitting all up on a seat that someone else was just in kind of grosses me out (same thing with movie theaters). My favorite hoodie currently in my closet is this Patagonia zip-up that’s light weight and super comfortable. Throw in an extra pair of socks, too! Cozy socks help me feel more comfortable and keep my feet warm.
Snacks – Did you ever doubt that food would make this list at some point? I’m not talking about just one or two snacks. I need a variety of snacks and textures to get me through any flight, whether it’s 2 hours or 12. You’ve got to have something crunchy like a trail mix or my personal favorite, Gardetto’s (the rye chips are the best!). Something gummy: fruit snacks, Swedish fish, Sour Patch Kids, it doesn’t matter. Something substantial: a protein bar, beef jerky, a tuna pouch if you want to be that asshole that brings tuna on an airplane (been there done that). There’s really no wrong way to do snacks for a trip just make sure you bring them! I also stash an empty water bottle in my purse so I can fill it up at the airport and stay hydrated throughout the flight.
Entertainment – The creation of tablets and iPads was a glorious thing for so many reasons. The ease with which you can put a book on an iPad and carry it around with you is the main reason why I invested in one years ago. I always make sure to have a book queued up for a flight and this week I’m re-reading The Iliad. Bring a journal to jot down ideas, thoughts and travel memories and don’t forget your ear buds to listen to the sweet playlists on your phone. My sister got me this cute little robot headphone splitter that lets you and a friend listen to the same device.
A little zipper pouch – You need a safe place to stash your jewelry when your fingers swell up and you can no longer comfortably wear your rings, but also a place to keep some ibuprofen, band-aids and kleenex. This beautiful little pouch was a gift from my friend Hayley who just got home from Vietnam. How cute is that!? This little pouch makes those essentials easy to get to and keeps everything secure. You can never have too many adorable little pouches to pick from!