March was…crazy. I published this post early on Tuesday morning before going to work. It’s rare that I post something really emotional, and what followed that day was startling and sad. Not only is March 17th the day we will remember Grammy, but it also became the day we will remember Max Cash.
What do you do for your dogs 2nd birthday? Take him to the beach…Obviously!
Back in April (yes, this is a super belated post) we went to Westport, WA to meet up with my friend Morgan and her family (her new pup included)! We arrived on Friday afternoon and it was a beautiful day to hang out with Otto on the beach…
What a great start to January! We have had a world record month of beautiful dog walks and sunsets. Even though it’s dark and cold half the time, I don’t mind when it’s clear and crisp outside.
Mt. Hood like BAM!
Sunset silhouette tree like BAM!
Cotton Candy Clouds like BAM!
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Above is the view from the Sorrento Hotel from my very missed and beloved city of Seattle. The weather of course had been really crappy in the days leading up to this, but we had the most perfect day for my friend Ursula’s wedding, and this sunset proves it! Seattle, you win. Continue reading
One of our greatest trips yet – The Painted Hills near Mitchell, Oregon.When we moved from Seattle to the Portland area, I knew we wouldn’t lose out on exciting weekend trip opportunities. The Painted Hills has been on my list for quite some time, the photos of the hills that I had seen were always so mesmerizing, a geological beauty that you instantly accept for what it is.We left early on a Saturday morning and drove through the pass at Mt. Hood. The drive is beautiful. One of the things I love about the Northwest is how quickly you can seem to get yourself in the middle of nowhere. Driving along, you feel like you and your companions are the only ones in the world. It’s an amazing and calming feeling…until you start wondering if maybe the zombie apocalypse happened, and you just don’t know it yet? This is also when you realize you really need to stop watching tv, and it’s a good thing you are getting in touch with nature for the weekend.Our first stop was in Prineville, where we stopped for lunch at Solstice Brewing. The beer and food were good, and there was a perfect back patio where Otto was able to join us. Anything dog-friendly is always a priority for us and we lucked out big time on this trip.When then left Prineville behind and headed for a hiking spot that was on our way to the Painted Hills. We turned off the main road (which was already in the middle of nowhere) to an even more remote gravel road, and headed up to the trail head. We knew we would end up seeing something called “Stein’s Pillar.”The hike was gorgeous and well worth the pit stop. It was Otto’s first big off-leash hike and we were so proud of how great he did! We past several different groups and the worse thing that happened was him licking a girl’s leg (he was happy she was saying hi to him, she was not happy about the slobber). You end the hike rounding a corner, and boom – there’s Stein’s Pillar…a Giant’s huge dagger that he just stabbed into the earth.After our hike, we drove to the tiny town of Mitchell and decided to grab dinner at The Little Pine Cafe. Again, we lucked out and were able to grab a table outside and have Otto sit with us. The town felt like you had stepped into the Wild West…Maybe this is because we overheard something of a nearby rodeo, but that doesn’t change the fact that the town is 1 road and everything there seems old and Western. We had some damn good people watching (the tourists we saw may have been more interesting to watch than the locals). And apparently they were scouting for a movie down the street.
After our dinner, it was finally time to go to the main attraction – The Painted Hills! I heard they were best at dusk, I am relieved we made it there before the sun went down, but man, I could have stayed at this place all day!
It was pretty much dark by the time we left, and our evening ended with some wild horses blocking the road!The next day we decided to drive home a slightly different route, we exited off the pass and drove through Hood River for some WINE TASTING!I intended to visit several wineries and breweries in Hood River since there are tons of places to choose from. Our first stop, just right outside of Hood River was a place I had read about called the Gorge White House.
Not only did this place have wine tasting…But beer tasting…AND cider tasting…AND u-pick flowers and berries! And best of all…awesome food!Jordan got a burger and I opted for the caramelized-onion-pear pizza (adding bacon per the chef’s suggestion, as if he had to suggest it). There was more on the menu, including pizza with cherries, one with blueberries…I need to go back and try them all!
After going to this one-stop adult playground, we figured our trip couldn’t get much better and headed home. We will definitely be back to Hood River for round 2…Stay tuned!
We started off this July HOT – 99 degrees. This calls for my favorite summer wine (seriously, I could drink it all year) Rose!This was the Rose we served at our wedding. When I found it I instantly loved it (and the price point). It was perfect for our wedding. However, I *accidentally* bought too many bottles, so we had a few cases leftover after the wedding…Hence why I’m still drinking it almost a year later. It is seriously my fave, and it brings back great memories, even though I didn’t drink it on the actual big day (I was more worried about the bartenders making our Cherry Limeades correctly).
But hot days lead to warm nights…And then of course there is the 4th of July, which, sorry everyone…is my least favorite holiday. Of course I like BBQing and the festive and patriotic food, but nothing has ever trumped my memories of it as a kid. There have been too many years now where it lands on a Wednesday and you just have to go to work the next day. Or you don’t want to travel because it’s crazy out there during the 4th. The woes of being a full time adult, right? However…this year it was on a Friday and on the 5th we went on a little excursion…To the Alpine Slides on Mt. Hood! The amazing Erin was visiting us and we took her up for a little adventure. If you have never been, Alpine Slides are fun, fast, and DANGEROUS! Well, only if you get a clear shot all the way down. You can get stuck behind a line of people going slow. But sometimes that is for the best, considering the fact Jordan wiped out. The giant scabs are still all over his body to prove it…There is an entire Adventure Park up at Mt. Hood. With go karts, ziplining, mini golf and tons of other stuff to do besides Alpine Slide. We chose not to go in the giant blow up hamster balls on such a hot day…On our way back we had to drive through Hood River, for another epic stop at The Gorge White House. It’s kind of like a very small scale adult Disneyland – Wine, beer, AND cider tasting. A gourmet food truck on site, berry picking, flower picking, and a market all await you. Plus this tractor, and I love Erin:Usually when we are heading back home through Hood River we are too wiped out to stop at all of the wineries and breweries around that the town has to offer, so The Gorge White House is the perfect one-shop stop. However, we did make it to a packed Double Mountain Brewery:After this we almost gave up. But we decided we had to hit one more stop before going home, the East Wind Drive Inn in Cascade Locks. (Keep in my Jordan was extremely worried about his open and gaping wounds from the alpine slide).If you have read Wild you know exactly where this place is. They have giant ice cream cones that make many people happy everyday…Wait in line, you know you want these ice cream cones!
The rest of the month was pretty relaxing and your standard summer. This is good, because August and September are going to be madness! Below we have a farmer’s Market Bounty…Heck yeah.And OBVIOUSLY 7/11 Slurpee day! We didn’t go on July 11th because that shit was crazy, so instead we bought these cheesy “mason jar” slurpee cups and mustache straws…Because we are suckers for any gimmicky promotional item. These will come in handy later, trust me.
Clyde Common for Brunch. Let’s just say I can’t wait to go back here for dinner.
THE CUTEST! Otto loves swimming, but what he loves most is bobbing for those torpedos that you throw in the water. Shallow end only, of course. But watching him dunk his head into the water to get them is one of the greatest things on earth.
Other than that, I’m trying to savor the summer and be outdoors as much as I can. Running in early mornings before it gets too hot, and more than anything lap swimming at the local Outdoor Pool. An outdoor pool where I can work out but not have to worry about the drama of my next swim meet is truly a happy place for me.That’s about it for July. Let’s hope I get some more posts in before August rolls around…
I’m going to *try* to start doing a few more life-ish posts, because hey, it’s all about the self-documenting these days. However, I *hate* selfies, so there won’t be too many of those in these self-documenting posts.
Here are highlights from the month of June:
Sunset Picnic with my boys. Otto’s tongue is insanely amazing in this pic. The view aint bad either. I am thankful for the area we live in, even if it’s a little far into the boonies for me.
We saw Michael Ian Black, and it was amazing, obviously. However, there is a side story about how I decided I wanted to sit down in an empty chair, and then maybe kind of fell asleep there at the end? It’s a never-ending problem in my life. My friends all know about this issue, however they don’t really understand why (including the husband). I don’t get it either. But I find myself wide awake in the wee hours of the morning.
One of our neighbors has BEAUTIFUL roses in their garden. And I have started taking pictures…They probably have seen me and think I’m weird. Sorry…
We went for it and purchased McMenamins Passports. They look like real passports, and you get a stamp for every McMenamins you visit throughout Washington and Oregon. Once you hit all of the locations in a region, you get a prize like a free appetizer, burger, growler, tshirt, etc…McMenamins also has beer flights, wine flights, and liquor flights, which come to your table all at once and make you feel like a total lush…
We went to Apizza Scholls. I have heard about this place many times over the years, and we finally got to go! It was amazing, some of the best pizza I have ever had, outside of Italy. Try to get there when they open at 5, or else you are in for a long wait.
Firepit Time! One of the best life decisions you can ever make it having a firepit in your yard, or knowing someone who does. The biggest cons are getting sick of smores (yes, it’s possible) and smelling like a smoky campfire all summer (things could be worse).
Firepit time also includes your friends and their adorable kids, and also tiny green spiders.
Seeing the I5 bridge go up between WA and OR. I really didn’t think traffic would be as bad in Portland as it was when we lived in Seattle. Dear Lord…I was wrong. Being caught between two states is weird. More weird than I ever remembered. There are the Pros…and the Cons. It’s hard to even get into it. I don’t know if I can quite make the leap over the river, if any Oregon residents want to start convincing me, go for it!
Girls Weekend | San Francisco
I ended June with a girls weekend in San Francisco for a joint Bachelorette party. We wine tasted in Napa, went out, walked around the city and had a great time.
Obligatory #pdxcarpet photo at the Portland Airport…
Tasting some bubbles at Domaine Chandon in Napa…
The crew on Lombard (aka Lumbard) street…
Wishing these donuts were real at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Just having the best time with the girls. All in all I would say a pretty good June!
I’m one of those people who can shamelessly polish off about a pound of trail mix in under five minutes. And I’m not picky either…Yes, I like to make sure I’m getting a balanced handful, and I never pick out all of the chocolate before everything else. You’ve gotta plan ahead for the last perfect bite!These cookies make trail mix less complicated. All the goodness of trail mix in one cookie. Totally portable, and perfect for a road trip or camping weekend. And if you are a germ-o-phobe (I’m def not) these are good because a bunch of people aren’t sticking their hands into one bag…
This recipe can be adapted. I almost added butterscotch chips, but wanted to keep it as classic as possible. Peanut butter chips, other nuts, golden raisins, tons of other stuff would work, make your own favorite trail mix into a cookie!
Trail Mix Cookies
adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook
makes about 3 dozen cookies
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups M&M chocolate candies
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
- 3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butt and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for 1 minute between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla until thoroughly incorporated.
Stop the mixer and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat on low speed until just cinforporated. Add the M&M’s, peanuts, and raisins. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and finish incorporating the cookie batter with a spatula.
Roll generous tablespoonfuls into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.
Cookies will last at room temperature in an airtight container for about 5 days.
BUT!!! We spent our holiday in Oklahoma City this year with family. I had never been! I was super excited, and even though we landed and the city was half covered in ice, it all melted and we had beautiful weather the rest of the time. Here are the trip highlights:
Not far from Oklahoma City, you can hop onto famous Route 66 and check out a few cool places. We stopped at the Arcadia Round Barn, America’s only truly round barn, and what used to be the most photographed landmark on Route 66.