West Side Story

Last night, our friends were joking about being “west-siders” meaning we live on the west side of the Willamette River. Our city straddles the river and I’ve grown up on the west side my whole life. I love venturing to the east side of the city and checking out all the amazing restaurants, thrift shops and breweries that side has to offer, but the west side will always be home. Looking back on this week I realized how many fun things are close to us that we managed to do all this week!

  1. The Little Prince: I remember reading The Little Prince as a kid and thinking it was a pretty neat book with a good message and some quirky illustrations. Tim told me that Netflix had just released an animated movie of the story, so of course we had to sit down and watch it. Holy cow!! I was not expecting the level of animation and story telling that Netflix brought to this movie but it was absolutely amazing. Whether or not you like animated films, I can’t recommend sitting down and watching The Little Prince enough. The true test of this film, for me, is that it kept me engaged throughout the entire hour and 46 minutes (which is a big deal for me considering how antsy I always get in movies). See the trailer here and please take a moment to watch this movie. You won’t regret the happy (and sad) tears you cry.

  2. Vertigo Brewing: Our family friends introduced us to Vertigo Brewing years ago and it has remained a family favorite. Based out of Hillsboro, the two Mikes have created consistently delicious beer and a fun atmosphere to hang out, eat some food truck grub and play a board game. You can also bring your own food but make sure to take a look at their website before going on a Friday night to see what food truck will be outside. We stopped by Vertigo before the Hops game on Friday and grabbed a burger from Boro Burger. Not only does Boro Burger serve crinkle cut fries or tots, but their burgers are great! I paired mine with the Vertigo Razz Wheat (my favorite!) and it definitely made the 90+ degree temperature a little more bearable. You can find Vertigo beers at various restaurants throughout the city and you can enjoy a bottled version of a few of their beers sold in select stores.

  3. Hillsboro Hops: It was a sad day when the Portland Beavers baseball team was moved out of town. Portland may not be the biggest supporter of baseball, but it’s one of my favorite past-times and when the Hillsboro Hops came to town in 2013 I was pumped. Not only do they sell Vertigo beer at the stadium, but it’s affordable, easy to get to and a really nice and clean stadium. The Hops are the minor league short-season A team that are affiliates of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Their season ends on Labor Day so if you’re looking for something fun to do with a group of friends or your family, take a trip out to Ron Tonkin Field and catch a game before summer ends.

  4. Beaverton Farmer’s Market: I love waking up Saturday mornings and hitting the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. It opens at 8 am and runs from May-September and I highly encourage you try and hit it earlier than later because it gets crowded. I feel like they could definitely improve on the layout to make it flow better, but the variety of vendors and great stuff you find makes it worth weaving through the crowds. I’m a big fan of sampling everything and then buying some produce or a Mindy Bun from Decadent Creations (if nothing else, just go for the Mindy Bun, words can’t do it justice!). However, on our most recent trip to the market, we stopped to try some pepper jelly and were instantly sold! Tim tried the Ginger Garlic jelly by Rose City Pepperheads and we bought a jar to bring home and put on anything we can. We’ve started dreaming up recipes for a chicken stir fry, mixing it in with a marinade and yesterday we put it on our breakfast sandwiches and it was so good. We also grabbed some carrots, broccoli and some flowers for our bud Hayley! You have a few weeks left to make it over to the Beaverton Farmer’s Market and you don’t want to miss it.

  5. King Harvest Hummus: I don’t think I’ve met a hummus I don’t like but there is one that tops all others in my book. King Harvest Hummus is based out of Portland and has the best texture and flavor options of any other hummus you can find. I am currently eating the Sun Dried Tomato hummus that I love paired with carrots (putting that farmer’s market purchase to good use) or on top of an English muffin. The other two flavors we like to have on hand are the Garlic hummus and Jalapeño hummus (not too spicy but definitely has a little kick). We buy ours at our neighborhood Fred Meyer in the natural food section.

Have a great week!

Mischief Managed

animatedMy inner child was awakened this week and it was EVERYTHING. Like many other people who were born in the late 80s/early 90s, this past week was spent with my nose in a Harry Potter book and I couldn’t be happier!

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: People are losing their minds about the format of this book and need to calm down. I’m not sure why people are getting angry, yes angry about the new Harry Potter “book“. As it clearly states on the cover it’s the script to a play that J.K. Rowling helped create with a few other individuals. While not a traditional novel it still brings us into the Harry Potter world that we’ve all been desperately waiting to get back into and for that I am grateful. I personally loved the format of the book because it not only brought out the Harry Potter fan in me, but also the theater kid. This bizarre look into what Harry’s life is like as an adult is a fun and easy read and I recommend it to anyone wanting to once again be back in the magical world of Harry Potter.

  2. Renegade Craft Fair: It’s no secret that I love all things crafty. My sister Kim told me about the Renegade Craft Fair that was here from July 30-31. Holy dream! I always have the best of intentions and want to make it to more craft fairs but I forget and never actually get to one. This past Sunday was different! My mom, sister and I drove out to SE Portland and it was amazing! Each vendor had such beautiful displays and items for sale. Definitely added getting to that crafting level to my goal list 🙂 The Renegade Craft Fair makes its way to Chicago in September (Chicago fam, definitely check it out!), San Fran, Austin, Seattle and a few other cities. If you can go, I highly recommend it – go support local artists and their crafts! We ended up buying some Pip’s Donuts, Jacobsen Sea Salt and I got a cute lapel pin by Beetle Ink Co.

  3. Kork Ease: I don’t have a lot of brand loyalty when it comes to shoes, if they’re comfortable, cute and affordable then they end up in my closet. I’ve learned over the last few years that an emphasis on comfort is becoming more and more important. I can’t tell you the last time I wore stiletto heels and now opt for a low platform heel or wedge. There is one brand that I’ve continuously gone back to (three times in fact) and have been extremely happy with their shoes. Kork Ease shoes are comfortable, cute and you can find them at Nordstrom Rack on occasion so they can be affordable 🙂 I own a closed toe platform sandal that I can’t find on their website anymore as well as the Natalya wedge boot and Velma boot.

  4. Joseph, Oregon: I can’t explain the excitement I feel when I know we’re driving to the east side of the state. It either means a hike in to Gorge, a day trip to Hood River or a weekend away with my future in laws. This weekend was no exception on how relaxing, peaceful and fun it is to head to Northeastern Oregon and adventure around with Tim’s parents. We spent all Saturday in Joseph Oregon which has quickly become a new favorite spot for me. Tim’s mom and I bought matching dresses at To Zion ?, I drank a delicious cider at Embers and we ended the day walking a nature trail near Wallowa Lake. Joseph is a great small town that’s definitely worth a visit.

  5. D’s Wicked Cider: I’ve become a huge fan of ciders over the last year and will try one if it’s on the menu of a restaurant or tap house. Surprisingly, the two ciders I’ve liked the most, have been discovered when I’m visiting Eastern Oregon! Milton-Freewater Oregon is home to the Blue Mountain Cider Company and they produce an amazing Cherry Hard Cider – tart and refreshing! This past weekend, I tried D’s Wicked Cider Baked Apple out of Kennewick Washington and I was blown away. It really does taste like a baked apple and I can’t wait to find it on this side of the state and drink it this Fall.

Have a great week!

Return with Honor

I made this sign after seeing a few other law enforcement wives post about one similar. Being a significant other to a law enforcement officer is something I’m very new to, but am very proud of. In light of recent events, there are many individuals who feel differently than I do. It is not a police-friendly world and that is very apparent. Having the man I’m going to marry, suit up and serve his community is a mixture of feelings: pride, inspiration, fear, excitement, etc. My partner in life has chosen a career path where he serves and protects others, he gets to share his love, brilliant mind and patience with people that otherwise may have never met him. He gets to see a side of our community that while not always glamorous, is humbling.

Given the reality of what’s happening currently, we’ve had a lot of serious talks, we know where the other stands and we’re standing on the same side. I will support him in the decisions he makes while on the road and he will return with honor. Our conversations go along the lines of, as long as you come home knowing you did the right thing and and you can come home with honor, you have done your best.

We as a society are hyper-critical of police officers right now. We are taking Facebook videos, media coverage, and attention-grabbing headlines as the only facts. These situations are far too complex to fully understand after seeing some pictures or videos. That goes for both sides, we do not know any of the individuals involved in the situations or what has led up to that point when someone decided to press record or snap a picture. As a whole we are angry, hurt and scared and we’re set on trying to prove the other side wrong. Take a moment. Feel your feelings, have your opinions and let them form, and share them if you must. I am not here to change anyone’s opinion or make you agree with my own, there is no honor in that. However, there is one thought I would like for everyone to expand on – one or two individuals are not a representation of all. This applies to everything, everywhere, everyday and everyone.

My priority right now is to make a life with Tim and a future, to have him home safe so we can adventure and live our lives together. No relationship, path, or life is easy, we have a lot to learn and a lot of room for growth. But we have each other, we have an incredible support system within our friends, family and department, and we have hope.

Owl Always Love You

Another week come and gone and now we’re approaching the last week of July! Where has this summer gone? Having Tim home has been awesome 🙂 We had a routine while he was at the academy but now I feel like we’re finally back to “us”. His schedule is constantly changing and still all over the place but I feel a little more like myself knowing I get to see him everyday if only for a few hours. This week was filled with food, beer and crafts – what’s new?

  1. Diaper owl – Did you guys know that people have baby sprinkles? Instead of a full on shower they’ll have a sprinkle and have friends get together to celebrate baby number 2! So cute!! This particular sprinkle I was invited to asked for diapers and my mom suggested I find a cute way to gift the diapers. I found a bunch of diaper cake ideas but this one caught my attention the most. Come on!! A diaper owl!? Who even comes up with this stuff?? I love it. Now I’m trying to figure out what other animals or cool things I can make with diapers…to be continued!

  2. Bailey’s Taproom – Our friends introduced us to this place a few months back. Bailey’s Taproom has 25 rotating taps with a strong Oregon brewery presence. These types of taprooms are my favorite: they’re an easy place to meet up with friends for a drink, they let you bring your own food or order from Santeria across the street and they serve great beer! Bailey’s is where we met up with our wedding photographers this week so we could get to know them better – they are awesome!! So looking forward to working with them!

  3. Bacon wrapped yums – I should have had you at bacon wrapped, who cares what’s being wrapped by bacon, but if you must know this past Sunday I made bacon wrapped sausages for a family brunch. Huge hit!! I was surprised anyone got to try them since Tim kept sneaking them before it was time to eat. These simple brunch bites are easy to make and are so yummy! To really drive it home, after wrapping the little smokie in bacon, you sprinkle brown sugar on top to create a sweet & salty delicious bite. I only used 1/4 cup brown sugar because 3/4 cup seemed excessive but I won’t judge you 🙂

  4. Pork tacos – We have had a lot of celebrating to do this past week! On Monday evening my family got together for dinner and I made all of us pork tacos with this recipe. I don’t want to toot my own horn too much, but Mr. Miles who can sometimes be a picky eater (who isn’t at 4 years old?) said that he loved the tacos! Go Auntie Juice! Crock pot recipes are my favorite when serving a big group and this one got rave reviews from everyone. To top off the evening, we got a special performance from the whole family dressed in graduation caps and gowns singing Tim a song to congratulate him. ♥

  5. Living Room Theaters – Friday evening turned into an impromptu date night at the Living Room Theaters so we could watch the Secret Life of Pets in 3D! We don’t often make time to see movies in theaters because I get too antsy and we always seem to be out of the loop on what’s playing. However, we both have a soft spot for animated films and when Tim found out that Living Room would have the Secret Life of Pets playing we jumped on the chance to have a night out. First of all, tickets are $12 for a 3D movie ($10 for a regular film) which I feel like is unheard of these days with overpriced tickets basically anywhere else you try and see a movie. They have a great menu and bar that you can order food from to have delivered to you while you’re watching the movie, comfy theater seats and reserved seating! They have a small selection of films playing at any given time, they try to focus on independent films with a sprinkling of more mainstream movies. I highly recommend checking this place out for a fun date night 🙂

Have a great week!

My life would ‘suc’ without you

Today’s post will be short and sweet because after 4 long months, Tim IS FINALLY HOME FOR GOOD! This weekend was a blast and filled with family time, tons of food, happy tears and beer. After his graduation ceremony we did a BrewCycle tour through Old Town Portland and I can’t wait to do it again. Seriously, if you have something to celebrate, friends or family in from out of town or want a fun group activity, I highly recommend signing up for a BrewCycle tour. Other than celebrating Tim and his amazing accomplishments, I got to ask my sisters a very special question. I knew that I wanted to give something to my sisters as a little token of appreciation for all their support and ask them officially to stand with me in our wedding. When it came to what gift I wanted to give them that was a no brainer. I LOVE puns and thought I was so funny when I came up with “My life would ‘suc’ without you!” while gifting each of them a succulent. The terra cotta pots were $0.55 cents each at Fred Meyer (originally $0.79 cents but there was a 30% off deal – I’m not kidding, Fred Meyer’s has everything!) and I picked out these succulents at New Seasons at $2.50 each. I made the tags with my handy dandy gift tag maker and did a simple water color card to write each of them a love note. I don’t know about you, but presents don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Sure those presents can be great but spending $3 on a fun little gift and personalizing it to make my girls feel special is what I was going for and now they have a new succulent to add to their collections! Recognize that photo backdrop?