2013, What a year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 is on its way out the door & 2014 is right around the corner. What an amazingly fantastic year this was. Seriously. It will go into the record books as one of the best years, ever! Here are my 2013 highlights...

January: We traveled to San Francisco to visit our good friends Mike & David.

February: We traveled to New Orleans with some really good friends. Luke & I embarked on a healthy eating & fitness journey with Myfitnesspal & really got our butts kicked into shape!

March: We celebrated Luke's birthday with a quiet dinner out, just the two of us.

April: I finally experienced a meal at Screen Door! We celebrated my birthday with some close friends at an old favorite of ours, Nostrana. I got asked to photograph my first wedding, next year in Mexico! I had the most lovely bridal shower hosted by my aunt & cousin.

May: We dined on the most delicious dinner at OX. My bridesmaids & friends blew me away with the most amazing bachelorette party in Hood River. Luke also had his bachelor party during this month.

June: We saw Kenny Chesney in Seattle for the 3rd time. We went to three Seattle Mariners games in a row. We got married TWICE (1, 2)! We had the most amazing time in Cabo with our family & friends. I decided that when I travel, I always want it to be with friends now! We attended the Organic Brewers Festival & the Portland Brewers Festival. I also shared my summer bucket list.

July: We sifted through some awesome wedding photos. We thoroughly enjoyed every nice summer day that Portland provided us with. We floated the Clackamas River with cousin Abby.

August: Tried a few new great Portland restaurants (Grain and Gristle & Luc Lac). I busted out my Pentax 1000 and rekindled my love affair with film cameras.

September: We visited Gina in Bend for the Bend Brewfest. Dined at Tasty n Alder & loved every minute of it. We purchased our plane tickets for our friends wedding in Mexico next year!

October: I had my first green juice & soon became obsessed with buying a juicer for our house! I took some family photos for a sweet family. We visited my first pumpkin patch - it was everything that I had hoped for! We tailgated at a Beavers game. We had happy hour with a big group of friends to celebrate my cousin James being in town from Philly for a bit.

November: This was our long month of traveling! We traveled to Arizona for my good friend Erin's wedding. I then traveled to San Diego for my good friend Katie's bachelorette party. It was nice to have so much sunny weather & palm trees in November; a rarity for this Oregon girl. We ended the month with Thanksgiving at my parents house in Gig Harbor, WA & a rather chilly visit to Vancouver B.C., our favorite relatively close International city.

December: We are one step closer to the installation of the built-in shelves in our living room! We had some of Luke's good friends from college visit for a long weekend. I shared our 2013 holiday card & holiday photos. We celebrated Paul & Katie's wedding at Edgefield & it was a blast. Luke traveled to LA with his family for Christmas, while I stayed at home - our first married Christmas apart :(

All in all, it was a very fantastic year for us; probably our best yet! Each year seems to keep getting better & better so I can't even imagine what this new year is going to bring us! Cheers to ending a great year & welcoming an even better one! :)


Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from me to you!
My family will be in town for roughly 24 hours & I'm dropping Luke off at the airport so he can see his parents for Christmas. It will be the first time in almost 7 or 8 years that he'll be able to spend Christmas day with his mom & dad - so I'm okay giving up my first married Christmas with him, because I know how much it means to the in-laws :) Plus, I get him to myself all the time anyways.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

(1, 2, 3, 4)

San Diego shenanigans

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last month I went to San Diego for my dear friend Katie's Bachelorette Party. It was the absolute most perfect location for eleven girls to get together & celebrate Katie's final days of freedom (I joke!!) before her wedding next weekend! Our San Diego weekend was packed full with a lot of laughing, lots of drinking, a crazy night out on the town, gorgeous sunsets, a roller coaster ride & one giant ice cream cone - plus a few other unmentionables :)  It was quite the weekend & looking through these photos make me want to hop on a plane back to blue skies & sunshine!

^^ Our Mission Beach accommodations ^^
^^ Clear skies, sun & palm trees all weekend! ^^
 ^^ Karen, Traci, Kacie, Brandi, Megan ^^
Katie (the Bachelorette!), Jenny, Audra, Abby, Kara & me!
^^ Had to! ^^

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Married for 6 months... what what?!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

We've been married for 6 months! Well somewhere right around 6 months... See we actually got married twice, once for reals & then once for fun! (read more on that here) We like to keep life interesting like that :) Exactly 6 months ago we were actually on an airplane to Cabo to really celebrate our wedding with all our best friends & family!

We got married for reals on June 8th (legal ceremony in Portland) and then again on June 15th (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico beach wedding with all our friend & family). People ask us which date we're going to celebrate & I always say BOTH! The dates are exactly one week apart, so we have a whole week of celebrating - sounds kind of awesome to us :)

Our (kind of coastal) Holiday Photos

Monday, December 9, 2013

I had asked my sister to take some "holiday photos" of Luke & I when we ventured up north to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with the family. When we woke up Thursday morning it was seriously so beautiful! Clear & sunny skies; a rarity this time of year! So we ventured down to the Gig Harbor waterfront & she snapped these photos of us. I love how they turned out :)

OH! And since these photos were taken in November... Luke still obviously has the Movember 'stache! Don't you worry though, on the morning of December 1, he shaved it off - thank goodness :)

^ This was our holiday card photo winner!

Thanks again, Heather! :)

Our Minted Holiday Cards

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We ordered our holiday cards from Minted last year & loved them SO MUCH that we used Minted again this year! We got the "holiday postcards" and there's actually a little extra surprise on the back of them. But I don't want to spoil it for all our friends & family that will be receiving them! Let's just say the doggie makes a fun little appearance on them :)

I cannot recommend Minted enough! I wasn't paid for this, I just genuinely love the quality & service!
Check out our Minted cards from last year here

Our first Airbnb experience...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

We drove up to Vancouver BC after spending Thanksgiving with my parents in Gig Harbor last weekend. We'd been planning this trip for quite some time & thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out Airbnb! We ended up staying in the most amazing condo in Yaletown; one of our favorite parts of the city. The place was just too perfect not to take advantage of! Our host was very quick with all of his responses beforehand, and ended up being super friendly & very accommodating. We really couldn't have asked for a better experience! Plus, the apartment was on the 27th floor of a high-rise building & had floor to ceiling windows, showing off Vancouver's amazing city views. If you plan on visiting Vancouver & are looking for a great place, great location and great price... e-mail me & I'll give you all the details.

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

I'm Off Again!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I just got back from Arizona & haven't even had a chance to upload my photos & re-cap our trip! I've actually barely had a chance to do my laundry either! I've been working 10 hour days this week so I can attempt to save up my vacation time for all of our fun trips next year! But... I'm taking off again this weekend for San Diego! My friend Katie is having her Bachelorette Party there & her twin sister Kara rented the cutest little house in Mission Beach. I absolutely cannot wait to get there & start celebrating with those girls!

This is our cute little house for the long weekend!

Hope you all have a GREAT weekend!!

Dear house, I love you so much!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

This week is the 2-year anniversary of owning our house! Here's a quick little check-in I did two years ago when we were knee deep in un-packing. Here's another post I did before we even signed our paperwork! Boy, was I excited. Looking at that post makes me realize that we actually have done SO MUCH to our house by ways of improvements. I expressed my frustrations about our house not being what I thought it would be after two years of living here, you can check that out here. After reading that post it might leave you believing that I don't think too highly of our little abode. It's actually quite the opposite though...

I just want to shout it out from the rooftops that I'm so thankful for this little house & I couldn't be happier that it's all ours. Our living room has seen many Friday night movie marathons, lazy Sunday naps & lots of snuggles on the couch with the puppy. Our kitchen has produced some pretty tasty dinners (plus a few mishaps here and there... lemon chicken gone wrong *cough* *cough*) and our dining room was once wedding planning central, housing everything from our invitations, to various craft projects found from Pinterest. Bottom line is - this house is filled with so many special moments & amazing memories. I feel so lucky that we get to live in it! We don't know how long we'll be living here... at some point we'll need to upgrade to a larger home (if we want to start a family...) But that's an entirely different post for another day :)

Dear house, I love you so much!

Day 1 | Day 730 (I forgot to take our one-year picture #fail)

Fall Scarf Wish List

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall is scraf weather & who doesn't love a good scarf?! I have a mini-collection of everything from stripes, to cashmere to plaid & I have a scarf to go with any outfit combination my little mind could think up. Here are some of my current favorites that really need to work their way into my collection. Serious - I want each and every one of these below!

And because this is my blog & I can basically post whatever I want... :) 
Here is my dream scarf!

On Owning a Home

Monday, October 7, 2013

At the end of this month, Luke & I will have owned our home for two years. I can't believe it has been that long! Sometimes it only seems like a few months ago that we were looking at houses after work with our realtor. We've slowly spent the last (almost) two years making our house our home. While I do love our house (it's small, perfect for just Luke, Gracie & I), I find myself often getting frustrated with how long it has taken us to complete all the projects that we originally sought out to.

When we decided this was the house for us, we knew that there were a few things that we wanted to change. Here's what we've changed thus far...

  • Painted the kitchen & dining room from a canary yellow to a toasted almond
  • Replaced all the knobs on the kitchen cabinets
  • Refinished all the hardware on all the doors
  • Built shelves in the garage for extra storage
  • Painted an extra bedroom from fiesta red to dark granite
  • Painted the other extra bedroom from teal/purple to the toasted almond that is in the kitchen and dining room 
  • Painted our master bedroom from brown to grey

    And what a difference all that painting made! But the list goes on...

    My first must-have was a gorgeous kitchen. While ours is okay, it's not what I wanted. The countertops are a swirly green & white marble with wood on all sides (odd, yes). The backsplash is made up of two-toned white & grey tiles with images of seed packets on every few tiles. Totally not MY style. But we loved this little house so much & saw real potential in what it could be with a little love. We then came to an agreement that we'd replace the countertops & install a subway tile backsplash.

    My second must-have was built-in shelves. The first house that we toured had these amazing built-in shelves & I could just picture myself sitting on a cozy couch with a cup of hot cocoa, listening to Christmas music, in front of my built-in shelves. They just looked so cozy to me. So that was also something that we agreed we would eventually tackle; building built-in shelves in the living room around the fireplace.

  • ----- ----- -----

    Well, like I said above, it has been almost two years & all these grand plans of countertops, blacksplashes & built-ins haven't even been started. A meltdown or two might have taken place over the last month or so & my husband may or may not have had to pull me back into reality... Bless his heart. Bless his heart for his willingness to help me finish all these crazy projects to make this tiny house our dream home. We've dedicated the next 6 months to finishing the built-ins, countertops & backsplash! I can hardly wait; I'm absolutely beside myself in excitement! (see now that I put it on the blog, out in the universe, I'm holding ourselves accountable to finishing it!) You're all invited over in March to our "new" home! :)

    Maybe I'll finally get around to posting photos of our house now; a house tour if you will. Something I've been wanting to do for the past two years :)

    In PDX: Old Salt Marketplace

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Last Friday we tried out Old Salt Marketplace while double dating with one of our favorite couples. This place had been showing up on Urban Spoon's "Talk of the Town" so I decided we all needed to try it! The prices looked reasonable & everything looked delicious. As it turns out... everything tastes delicious, too! Nestled away in a cozy spot in NE, this place just felt cozy the instant you walked inside. It's totally one of those places that you can just sit & chat the night away after you've finished your meal, it's that comfortable.

    ^risotto baked inside a little squash, topped with pistachio salsa
    ^baked fish with a mustard sauce

    - Photos © Holly Copeland -

    *In PDX is a series where I feature local Portland establishments. If you would like your business to be featured, please contact me here.

    Oregon Wine Tasting (on a rainy & chilly fall day)

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    We're pretty lucky here in the Northwest. Our wine country is filled with so many amazing places and although I've never been wine tasting in Napa or in Tuscany - I've heard so many people say that Oregon wine country really rivals the competition. Of course I'm going to have to go check out those other places so I can properly report back! But in the meantime, I'm content checking out the large number of places that are basically in my backyard.

    This past weekend we went out to Stoller Vineyards to celebrate their 1-year Tasting Room anniversary. Luke's friend and old co-worker now works out there, so it was fun to see him & some other people that Luke & I used to work with. The weather was less than stellar, but when you're inside all warm & cozy sipping on a variety of delicious wines, who cares that the wind is blowing the rain sideways in chilly temps! :)

    Other favorite Oregon wineries include:
    Argyle, Archery Summit, Cooper Mountain, Erath, Ponzi, Sokol Blosser

    And I'm not ashamed to admit this, but Trader Joe's sure make a good wine for $2.49!
    I just picked up a bottle of Shriaz & for the price, it's pretty amazing.

    Fall Bucket List

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    If you've been reading this blog for a bit, you might have caught on that I'm a big fan of lists. 
    I've created numerous bucket lists around here & I don't plan on stopping anytime soon! :) 
    So in honor of every bloggers favorite season, here's my Fall Bucket List!

    Seriously though, yesterday was the first official day of fall & it sure made its presence known around here! 
    We had rain off and on accompanied by strong winds & lots of falling leaves. 
    No complaining here though,I like the changing of seasons.

    see previous years lists: