{a letter to my sister on her birthday}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dear Heather,

We didn't always get along when we were growing up. It took me going off to college to realize how much I missed you. I remember the first time that you came to visit me & we really spent time together outside of family events. I remember thinking "wow this girl is so much fun, I cant believe it took us this long to realize this". From that moment on we've been the best of friends & I think we've more than made up for lost time. :) I remember our parents always telling us "all we want for Christmas is for you two to get along"! It's so funny to look back & think about that, becuase we couldn't be farther from that now.

We even ended up living together again in college & after college, too. You were the best roommate. We had our moments every once in a great while where we'd get irritated with eachother, but we knew that at the end of the day we're family & everything would go back to being great.

We have way too many inside jokes to count & we reminisce about everything from our childhood. I'm so glad that I have someone that has known me for so long (and vice versa) & understands every detial of my life, but would never judge me - & only offer the utmost love & support. It's really amazing if you think about it.

I'm so greatful for you. You're the best little sister a big sister could ever ask for!



Porto Terra (in PDX)

Monday, June 25, 2012

A few weeks ago Luke & I went out to Porto Terra for a date night. A little while back, our realtor gave us a Passport Dinning card & with your card membership you get a free second entree at a lot of restaurants in town! When we go out for date nights, we try & go to places on the passport dining list, because we're all about saving money!! :)

Porto Terra is a Tuscan Bar & Grill, in downtown Portland. It was our first time dining here & it certainly wont be our last. This place was like the definition of Italian comfort food (photos below to prove it). With such a warm & cozy environment, it was easy to get lost in a glass of wine & a delicious pasta dish. At one point during dinner I told Luke that my meal reminded me of snuggling up with a blanket in front of a warm fireplace. Serious, it was just that good.

My handsome date :)
My Northwest Red Wine Flights.
arborio rice, chicken breast, artichokes, roasted tomatoes, green goddess pesto, goat cheese
Bolognese, mascarpone, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce

Happy BBQ Season!

Friday, June 22, 2012

First of all, Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend! All I've been thinking about lately is summer BBQ'n - so you can expect that's what we'll be doing this weekend!

One thing that we love SO MUCH about our house is that we have a nice backyard with a deck & a patio. It will be perfect for long summer nights. The way the trees are situated in the backyard allows for a lot of privacy from our neighbors & it sometimes feels like were in the middle of the woods, despite being only a few short miles from downtown Portland. It's the perfect setting for backyard dinning!

All products can be found at Target!

Happy Summer

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yesterday was the first official day of summer & we couldn't be happier around here! For us, summer means backyard BBQ's, river floating, beer drinking, music festivals, traveling, hiking, camping & spending lots of quality time doing all of this with our very best friends & family. Our summers are usually fully booked with weddings & plans to do something new every weekend. This summer we have a break from all the weddings & lots of time to just relax & enjoy Portland. Here's what our summer looks like so far:

-1st week of July we're in Chicago
-2nd week of July we have friends from Miami staying with us
-4th week of July we have friends from Indiana staying with us
-Last weekend in July is the Oregon Brewers Festival
-August - NO PLANS! :)
-Sometime in September we're taking a very long weekend trip to Napa & San Francisco
-& I'm sure we'll make a few weekend trips to Seattle, too

A very light summer for us & we couldn't be happier! Well we'd be happier if we could afford to take more trips... But you buy a house & pay a mortgage every month & then get back to me... :) Anyways it will be nice to have a lot of time just enjoying Portland weekends without feeling like we're on-the-go all the time. Plus, plenty of time to make sure I complete my summer bucket list!

What do you have planned this summer??
Please share!!

Bloggy Updates

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hello friends! I'm working on a few things over here that I can't wait to share with everyone!! Here's a lil sneak peak at what's coming up soon...

  • We took a weekend trip to Seattle & I have some awesome photos to share. We also have a Chicago trip coming up in a few weeks. I'm sure I'll have even better photos to share then, too!
  • Remember that 30 before 30 list that I was working on completing? I'm working on a project re-cap to share!
  • Also, there was that Photography Challenge that I attempted, but didn't quite finish... I'm bringing that back soon, too!
  • I'm also working on a new blog! This one won't change a bit, I'm just working on a little side project that I can't wait to share with you all! Look for updates on that very soon! Do you have any ideas on what it could be? :)

What have you all been up to lately??

Hope you're having a fantastic Tuesday!! :)

puppy love

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We've had Gracie for about 6 months now. From the day we brought her home to right now, she has turned into such a different dog. She was once scared of everything (stairs, couches, cars, walking outside, strangers, leashes, baths, the brush, the hairdryer, etc.) You name it, she was afraid of it. But every day she keeps getting better & better. We try & work with her as much as we can & show her how much we love her. And we do, we love her so much. I wanted to share a few things about Gracie; a few things that she's done for us so that we know she loves us, too...

--- A few months back I was really sick for a week. The whole time I was on the couch Gracie didn't leave my side. She would come lay by me & always had to have a part of her body touching mine. When I got the hot/cold shivers, she did too. It was really sweet, but kinda sad to see her shivering so bad, too.

--- A few weeks back Luke had a pounding & splitting headache to the point where he thought he might throw up. Sleeping on a pile of blankets on the floor seemed like a better idea than the bed, so Gracie paced back & forth on the bed, keeping a watchful eye over Luke on the floor. She would walk over to me, whine, & then walk back over to Luke & whine even more. Eventually she jumped down from the bed to curl up in a ball next to him. When I woke up the next morning, I found Luke in the spare bedroom & Gracie curled up in the corner, because she's too small to jump up on the bed.

--- Last night I woke up in the middle of the night not feeling good at all. I would walk around the house until I felt better then try & go back to sleep. Every time I got up & came back to the bed, Gracie was sitting in my spot waiting for me to come back. She even jumped down a few times to come look for me. When I woke up in the morning she was snuggled right up next to me, like she always is.

The point I'm trying to make here is that even though Gracie can't talk to us, she doesn't understand if we say something to her, but she still knows. She already knows us so well that she knows when we need her. It's comforting to know that our little doggie is doing what she can for us, because she loves us. She's absolutely the sweetest thing & I don't know what we'd do without her. Dogs really truly are special animals & I'm so thankful that she's in our lives.

{Photo from Adam Garcia Photography

Rainy Days

Saturday, June 9, 2012

It's officially June-uary (ya know, January weather in June...) in Portland! It's been pouring down rain here for the last few days. Unfortunately it's pretty normal around here though. While I really do love the rain, I am ready for the sun to come out! I put together some items that make all this rain not seem so bad :)

Summer Bucket List

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Every year our summer is jammed-packed & full of things to do. This summer might not turn out to be any different, although I would love to carve out some free time to just hang out, relax & knock some items off my summer bucket list! We're headed to Chicago for a week in July & my number #1 item is to ride the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. I'm sure it's super touristy, but I don't care :) Other than that, I'm hoping our summer is filled with backyard BBQ's, a few camping trips, a few river floats, bike riding, hiking, dining al fresco & everything else that summer should be!

(check out my list from last year)

picture perfect peonies

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I bought a few potted peony bushes a little while ago, planted them in the backyard & this past weekend I walked outside to find the most beautiful blooms! I couldn't help but snap a few pictures to share with everyone.

Speaking of snapping a few pictures... I bought a new camera a week ago & I'm so in love with it already. I traded in my Canon T1i, that I bought used, for a brand new Canon 60D. The new camera came with the new lens I've also been wanting, so it was too good of a deal for me to pass up. In a perfect world I would've purchased the 5D, but it doesn't exactly fit in my real word budget. Oh well :) I can already tell I'm going to be more than happy with the 60D!

And although it doesn't really feel like it in Portland right now, summer is right around the corner. I'm working on putting together a summer bucket list to share with you all. I made one last year & had so much fun with it - I decided it needed to make an appearance again this year! :)

Hope you're all having a fantastic Tuesday!

- Photos © Holly Carman -