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!
Hello heat wave! As the great rap legend Nelly put it back in 2002, it’s getting hot in here *so hot*! This past week was further confirmation that I am never going to leave the Pacific Northwest. Although this past week got into some pretty high temps, we can all console ourselves knowing that it’s only going to last a few weeks and will be over before we know it. Some people live in this kind of heat YEAR ROUND!! No thank you. Plus there is just way too much cool stuff in Oregon and I took full advantage of just a few things this week.
Ken’s Artisan Bakery – After doing a walk-through of our venue 🙂 🙂 early Sunday morning, we needed a quick coffee fix and bite to eat. We drove by Ken’s Artisan Bakery on NW 21st Avenue and are so glad we stopped in! We each got a ham, gruyere and thyme croissant paired with an iced coffee. I will eat just about anything if it’s wrapped in a buttery, flaky croissant but when you pair ham, gruyere and thyme together there is just something so decadent about it! I’m trying to take more pictures so these posts aren’t as word heavy buuuutttt, I ate it all too fast. We both can’t wait to make another trip into NW Portland so we can make another stop and grab another croissant or other delicious treat (or all of the above, obviously).
Tom Dick & Harry Mountain – I’ve come to realize that I don’t venture out to the Mt. Hood area nearly enough. After a few failed attempts at snowboarding in my high school and early college days, I find myself admiring Hood from afar and making my way towards the Oregon coast or the Gorge. This past Monday my old college roomie, Steph and I decided to venture to the Mt. Hood wilderness and explore the Mirror Lake Trailhead. Even on a Monday morning the lot was full and we saw plenty of people out and about trying to get in a hike before the temperature got too unbearable. While I have no doubt that this hike is overly crowded on weekends, I still think it’d be worth it. Mirror Lake is a lot smaller than I originally thought and I recommend walking the circumference to get the full effect. The hike up to Tom Dick and Harry Mountain starts off pretty mild with a few rocky areas and the final climb up a steep section just before the summit. I can’t stress enough how worth it this hike is, you get to the top and are immediately hit with a view of Mt. Hood and if you’re lucky, a view of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams. To the south you can sneak a view of Mt. Jefferson, too. It is absolutely breathtaking!
BTU Brasserie – It’s great having friends that live in different pockets of the city, it has definitely encouraged us to get out and explore more that we probably would have never found on our own. BTU Brasserie is a perfect example of one of many little gems our friends have introduced us to. It’s a Chinese restaurant and brewery and they have all day happy hour on Tuesdays. I tried the Princess Peach beer which was light and refreshing and a great compliment to all the delicious flavor packed food. It’s a family style restaurant so we all picked dim sum, small plates and large plates to share. My favorite things were the spicy chicken wontons, dry fried green beans and the chow ho fun with smoked tofu.
Illume Candle – My sister gave me an Illume candle for my birthday and I think it’s the best candle we’ve ever had. Not only did it smell amazing when we hadn’t even lit it, but once you light it, it immediately fills your home with the best smell ever! We’re currently burning the Grapefruit Oleander candle and I need to go stock up on more to keep up this scent in our home constantly, I’m a sucker for anything citrus based. The beautiful ceramic holder sits perfectly on our counter top and I can’t wait to try out some more scents. These candles can be found at your local New Seasons Market (honestly, what can’t you find at New Seasons??).
Brew Dr. Kombucha – I’ll pretty much drink any kombucha you put in front of me, but lately I’ve been drinking a lot of Brew Dr. Kombucha (partially because I’m collecting the brown bottles for a wedding craft) because every single flavor I’ve tried has been delicious. My favorite by far is the Nutritonic flavor. It’s light and refreshing and subtle flavor is a compliment to anything you’re eating. With how hot it’s been, drinking one of these instantly gives you some relief! I get mine from the local New Seasons (I think this blog is slowly turning into a promo for New Seasons…) and feel free to send any of your empty brown, glass bottles my way 🙂