Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oh my goodness, where on earth did the time go?! In two weeks from this exact day...

Luke & I are going to be on a plane to Mexico!

What's even more exciting is that our families & so many of our good friends are going to start making the trek down right as we are, too.  We've been spending a lot of time with various friends & family that are coming along with us & naturally that is all that we can talk about. My mind is just blown away by how soon it is going to be here. It really seems like not that long ago when we picked a location, picked a date, then started planning this wedding... when in reality it was almost a year ago - oh how time flies.

I've also already started practicing packing my bags, you know, just to make sure that everything fits :)

(from our engagement photos - by Linnea)

Neon Obsessed

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

That's right. A trend I thought I'd never take to... but I'm obsessed. It all started when my sister & I got pedicures a few weeks back... I was reaching for the colors that I always reach for, the colors that I already have in my bathroom cabinet. I kept thinking, hmmm, I already have this one, I already have this one... Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted the brightest shade of hot pink & on a whim decided to try something different. I walked out of the salon with electric toes & haven't looked back since! :) Now I'm slowing trying to incorporate neon into my wardrobe & I might have just recently reached obsession status, oops!

A sneak peek at my Cabo suitcase...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

With any vacation that I go on, I'm probably going to buy a few new items to wear. But for our wedding & honeymoon, I'm DEFINITELY going to buy a few new items to wear! I'm been searching high & low for summery skirts, tops, sandals... you name it! When we're in Mexico, it's going to be the hottest time of the year - like up towards the 100's - And I'm perfectly okay with that! Here are some items that I'm going to be taking with me in just a few short weeks... (ahhhhh!!):

Okay, so I've actually already purchased everything on this list except for the Kate Spade bag, I'm still working on that one... :)

Whey Bar & OX

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

We're always early, Luke & I.
A few Fridays ago we picked up our marriage license downtown
& then headed over to OX for dinner.
The restaurant doesn't open until 5pm, and it was 4pm.
Lucky for us, there is a bar next door where you can grab a few drinks & snacks while you wait.
The best part is that you can put your name on the list while you're waiting with your beer(s).
Once we finally got into the restaurant, we could hardly contain our excitement.
Seriously, we were like kids in a candy store.
I was running around snapping photos of everything (typical)
& Luke dove straight for the beer list & food menu (also typical) :)
Trying to decide, but there are too many yummy choices.
You're served fresh baked bread with homemade chimichurri. 
If you're lucky, you'll receive a few samples of the coconut curry bisque, compliments of the chef... 
(I kid! I'm pretty sure they give this to everyone...)
Spring Onion, Blue Cheese, Potato & Poblano Empanada
- and -
Fresh Clam Chowder, Smoked Marrow Bone, Spring Onion, JalapeƱo
Now this chowder... I have to say that I was a little skeptical to try bone marrow, as I've never had it before. But Luke talked me into it. I'm not lying when I say this is one of the best soups I've ever had. Ever. It's going to be real hard to go back to a traditional clam chowder now.
The Asado Argentino
Grilled Short Rib, House Chorizo & Morcilla Sausages, Skirt Steak, Sweetbreads, Fried Potato, Green Salad
OX most definitely caters to the meat eaters. 
And while I'm typically not the biggest meat eater (I usually stick with chicken)
I found everything to be mouthwatering & amazing.
Through the duration of our meal we kept saying how great everything was
& how we didn't want to stop eating!
But, since I'm not a fan of being uncomfortably full, I stopped pretty early on -
which meant we had a lot left to take home with us :)

(all photos are iphone photos. don't even get me started
on how upset I was about forgetting my dslr at home...)
- Photos © Holly Carman -

My Bachelorette Weekend

Monday, May 20, 2013

My bachelorette weekend was one that will go down in history as one of the best weekends of all time. My bridesmaids (Heather, Kaitlin, Gina & Abby) went above & beyond with all the planning & preparations. They picked out an awesome house, planned all the meals, all the activities, planned a full day of wine tasting... there wasn't a single detail that was left out of place (they even made sure we had plenty of penis straws & penis balloons - a must for bachelorette parties). We even had a night in watching Magic Mike, that was accompanied by plenty of mimosas & lots of cheering from the ladies.  Every moment was better than the last. New friendships formed & existing friendship got stronger. It was really & truly the best. I couldn't be more thankful for the relationships that I have with each & every one of these ladies. Unfortunately there was another bridesmaid that was supposed to be there, but she ditched out on the weekend. I'm not going to re-hash old events, but I will say that I learned a valuable lesson of letting go of what you cannot control or change.
In the end, this weekend was perfect & I'm always going to remember how amazing it was.

The most beautiful girls, inside & out.
Also, I didn't get the no-squatting memo... wah.

a moment in my day

Thursday, May 9, 2013

When I saw this topic listed, I instantly knew which moment I wanted to write about. There was a moment in my day from a few months back, in January. 

We were flying into San Francisco, one of my favorite cities, on a Saturday morning. We woke early & took the light rail from downtown Portland all the way to the airport, a good 45 minute ride. I was anxious for the few days leading up to our trip & especially the morning of. You know those excited nerves that you get before a trip that you're looking forward to? Yes, I had those :) There was something specific that I was waiting for, too, something specific that I couldn't wait to experience.

I was actually waiting for this moment for months & months. I would even bug Luke about it occasionally okay, often :)

I was waiting for the moment that I could look down & see the Golden Gate Bridge from the plane.

Sound silly? Probably. But that's okay.

It's something that I've always wanted to see from up above, but never had. Every time I've visited San Francisco, I've always driven there, so I never got to see the city from the sky's point of view. It was one of those little bucket list items that I was going to get crossed off my list. It was also the perfect way to start what turned out to be a fantastic weekend in my perfect city. (I just wished the picture could've turned out a little better...) But don't worry, that moment in my day was everything I hoped it would be.

But don't worry, our friends drove us to a viewpoint to snap a much better photo :)

what I'm most afraid of

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Every morning I'm afraid I'm going to wake up with a giant zit on my nose. I'm even more afraid that I'm going to wake up with a giant zit on my wedding day.

I'm afraid that my wedding day is going to go by too fast. I'm also afraid that I won't get to spend enough time with everyone that is traveling in for the big day.

I'm afraid of the dark. It's sad, but true. I think things hide in the shadows. Everything is just creepier in the dark.

I'm afraid that Gracie is going to escape the back yard & get hit by a car in the street. There are some times (eh hm, many times) that I find her wandering around the neighborhood because she found yet another way to sneak out of the backyard.

In many situations I'm afraid to put myself out there. I've always been more on the reserved side.

I'm afraid of loosing someone close to me. I can't even think about loosing anyone close to me, the tears will start flowing. I'm afraid that since I'm so close with my family I might not recover well if something were to ever happen to one of them.

Basically I'm a big scaredy cat :)

What are you afraid of?

This is what I do

Monday, May 6, 2013

If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

I am so happy to answer the question of "what do you do" with a response other than my job. When you're asked this question, you automatically think of answering with your job. I like my job, but in no way does it define me. My job isn't a reflection of who I am. When I get home each evening I make a deliberate decision not to talk about work & and push my focus to my personal life. When I get home my focus is on Luke, the puppy, my family, my friends... all things that I'm happy to answer the above question with :)

So without further ado, this is what I do...

I keep a smile on Luke's face. 
Seriously, I might be the silliest person on earth - Luke is always laughing at something I'm doing. 
I'm most likely saying something ridiculous here... 
It's probably safe to say that one of the things we do best together is laugh. 
I have way too much fun with some amazing friends. We take trips together, tailgate together, go on pub crawls together... you name it - they make life so much fun. 
I share a lot of love with an awesome family. The awesomest (is that a word?) family. We compliment each other almost too good. We have the most fun & make the best memories together. 

I keep my passion for photography alive any moment I have. I snapped the photo below while in a moving car... Any opportunity to snap away. 

a different kind of Cinco de Mayo

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Our Cinco de Mayo this year was a pretty quite one. Sunday is our day of relaxing, so there were no margaritas for us today. We did venture over to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for a burrito though :) If we were more up to it I would've loved to try any of these fun recipes below... they all have a fun twist on some classic Cinco de Mayo ingredients!

And because I'm following along with the #BlogEveryDayInMay challenge, I wanted to include some of my favorite blog links to stick with the theme today... linked below are just a few of my favorite food blogs!

travel the world

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I've been thinking about this quote a lot lately. I have a million places on my travel list. If money weren't an option I'd visit all of them as soon as possible & start right now. But alas, my reality is that I need to save up & I only have a limited number of vacation days that I can use through work.

The majority of my traveling has been inside of the United States & I feel lucky to have visited quite a few places (some favorites are: Boston, NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Diego, Miami, Denver). My favorite thing to do in a new city is to go in with no plans, just wander around & live like the locals do. My best way of immersing myself in another surrounding is to just embrace everything about it.

As dramatic as this sounds, my heart aches to visit Europe so much; it's true though. I can't even tell you how happy I am going to be once I finally make it over there. As soon as I step foot off the plane, it's going to be a dream fulfilled. I can't wait for the day that I can walk around the streets of Paris & eat fresh pasta & drink large amounts of red wine in Italy (because those two places are number one and two on our list right now).

I know there is so much more to the world than what we see in our day-to-day lives. There is so much to learn, so much to see. The world is a book and those who don't travel read only one page. In the next few years we hope to have a a few chapters read in our travel book.

May Goals

Friday, May 3, 2013

Here are some May Goals of mine. It's kind of light this month, but there are still some things (as always...) that I'd like to accomplish! I really only hit a 50% completion rate on my April Goals (yikes & oops!) but the good thing is that I can roll them over to May. Sneaky, sneaky! :)

- Stick with our Health/Fitness Plan! I haven't talked about it on the blog yet, but Luke & I have a PLAN & we've been sticking to it! We've been working really hard towards changing our health & fitness routines. We've each lost 12 pounds so far (did you hear that!!!??) We feel amazing & are loving the results. The best thing is that it isn't a diet, it's more of a lifestyle change. Ohhh and the wedding is next month, so it's crunch time (no pun intended, hehe)
- Volunteer! We have some friends that take one day a month & use that day to volunteer in their community for a day. I do some volunteering at work, but not nearly enough as I'd like to.
- More photography practice! I was just recently asked to take 6 months photos for a friends baby girl! I'm excited for the opportunity because I think it will be great practice!
- Shampoo those dang carpets! It WILL happen in May. It will.

April Goals

- Do something really nice for my mom's birthday (on the 8th) - I sent her a little something in the mail & my gosh it arrived on time (thankfully). I wish I could've done more for her, she is quite an amazing lady.
- Price out/plan our kitchen remodel! - OK, I got so excited for this one that I completed it before I even published it here! We priced out our kitchen remodel & started purchasing the supplies for it! We're going to tackle this project after the wedding - so starting this summer Luke & Holly will have butcher block counter tops & subway tiles in the kitchen! I envision myself just standing and staring in awe, upon completion...
- Shampoo the upstairs carpets (hello boring homeowner chore!) - Well this didn't get done... But I did research some carpet cleaning companies & I am thisclose to clicking the purchase button!
- Finish a few sewing projects that I've been putting off for a long time. Finished up the sewing projects that  needed to do for the wedding!
- Hit up some garage sales (is it time for those yet)? - Not yet!
- Plan our own garage sale! - With everything going on, this will have to wait until after the wedding to plan!
- Figure out what needs to go in our garage sale... - Ongoing!
- Continue working on a personal photography project. Something kind of big happened over the weekend - something big that I need to start working towards & practicing for... :) I got asked to photograph a friends wedding, so I have big plans to practice my little heart out for her big day next year!

I'm skipping the topic of the day for the "Blog Every Day in May Challenge" because I really wanted to get my goals out there this week, but I'm still blogging today, so it counts! :)

Day 2: Trying to Convince you I'm Good at Something...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Okay, I really had to think about this one. I'm not one to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm really good at... Cooking! Was that a lame answer? Whatever, it's true! I cook for Luke & I almost every single night when we get home from work & on the weekends, too. Unless we have one of those lazy days where Thai take-out sounds like a better idea... Seriously though, I can usually be found in the kitchen whipping up something delicious! I keep meaning to take more pictures & share recipes on the blog, but the lighting isn't usually that good by the time dinner is ready (now that's really thinking like a blogger, isn't it?) or I'm really just hungry & can't wait to eat! Well since I've been slacking on sharing food photos & what not, I thought I'd share some of my favorite meals that I've recently made for Luke & myself. I tried to find similar recipes to what I've been making lately & have linked them below. When I make something, I very loosely follow a recipe as I always like to put my own spin on our meals - or I just completely make it up as I go! Usually I get it right... although there was this one time, this one meal, I can't even talk about it - it was horrific. Okay, I better stop right there, I'm supposed to tell you I'm good at something, not bad at it :) Well without further ado... what we've been making & loving lately... (and as soon as a few more hours get added to the day, I might find some time to share some recipes of my own...)

Black Bean Burgers
Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Tostados
Spring Onion Potato Salad
Lemony Orzo with Grilled Chicken
Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa
Baked Coconut Shrimp
Edamame Puree
White Bean Burgers with Roasted Red Peppers
Rockfish Ceviche
Panzanella Salad
Baked Chicken Egg Rolls

Day 1: The story of your life in 250 words or less

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My name is Holly, but almost everyone calls me Holls. For the duration of my life I've had a nickname; different ones for different stages.

I grew up in the country. My childhood was spent my riding bikes, climbing trees, building forts, riding horses, always playing outside. This simple upbringing is something that I'll be forever thankful for. These days I spend my time in the city & love it. I'm thankful that I've been able to experience the best of both worlds.

Speaking up growing up... my parents really deserve a big THANK YOU. I don't know how I got so lucky to be their kid, but I did. They are the most honest, trustworthy, kindest, generous & most supportive people on the planet. They've been the best role models & I hope to raise my kids the same way they raised me.

I also can't forget to mention my sister. I really won the sister lottery with that one. She is the most selfless person & is a shining example of what a sister should be. Growing up we didn't realize that we had a built-in best friend in each other - it took us a little longer to realize that. But when we did, we became best friends.

The story of my life could really go on to be pages & pages. I could ramble on about different jobs I've held, what I learned in college, how I dealt with a bad break-up... all defining moments in my life, no doubt. But they story of my life is really shaped by the people that I love & choose surround myself with.


Okay, that is 274 words, I went over the limit. But trust me, it was a struggle to get that few... I could've wrote pages & pages about the story of my life. So many instances over the course of my life have helped shape me into the person I am today, but my family first & foremost have been always been there to guide me along the way - helping me write the story of my life.

Check out Jenni's blog & what others are linking up, here!