Looking back on 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

(image via)

2014 was a great year for the Copeland's! While nothing significant happened in our lives, our time was mostly spent settling into life and enjoying time with friends & family, which is alright by us. While we don't have much planned for 2015... I am looking forward to maybe a trip or two (we've been talking about Austin, TX or Charleston, SC - we've also talked about taking one huge trip...), so we'll see what happens. Either way, this new year is sure to be a great one. Here's a look back on all the memories we made this past year in 2014...

January: We started off 2014 by booking a trip to NYC & Boston later in the year.

February: Celebrated our friends' birthdays with a 90's night dance party at Lola's Room. We also bought our first new car, a 2014 Ford Escape!

March: My parents moved from Gig Harbor, WA back to Madras, OR. We took part in Portland Dining Month at the County Cat and had a delicious 3-course dinner. We participated in the Shamrock Run and I managed to run the entire race (go me!). We're excited to participate again in 2015!

April: I started a new job with a company that I've wanted to work with for the longest time. It was a change that restored my happiness and put me on a more promising career path. I couldn't be happier with my decision.

May: Had a great time attending Blazer playoff games with friends. We took a trip to NYC & Boston with my dad. We had the best time walking around each city & trying out the local cuisine & craft brews. One day we walked a half-marathon! It was much needed with all the good food and beer we consumed.

June: We celebrated one year of marriage in the middle of the month. We then took a trip to Playa del Carmen for Kara & Donny's wedding. It was the first wedding that I photographed & I had a lot of fun in the process. Unfortunately I contracted bronchitis the day before we left. It ended up being a great trip despite the illness. :)

July: Spent the 4th of July weekend in Central Oregon with my family & friends. There was lake swimming, river floating, parade watching, grilling & beer drinking - everything you're supposed to do on this holiday weekend. :)

August: We had friends visit from the Midwest & had way too much fun taking them on a brewery tour of Portland. We also spent a lot of time outside this month... this summer in Portland was exceptionally amazing, weather wise.

September: We traveled to the Oregon Coast for Labor Day weekend. I had the bright idea of camping out in our SUV in the casino parking lot... Let's just say that between the uncomfortably cramped air mattress wedged in the back or the car, the non-stop panting dog & bright overhead lights in the parking lot... it was not a brilliant idea. We also debuted our built-in shelves project, making our living room my favorite room in the house. The project was also featured on Apartment Therapy!

October: Went to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island to meet up with friends, although had a miss-communication and went to the wrong spot... We traveled to Bend, OR to see the newest addition to the Schmitt family. I also had the honor of taking newborn photos for them.

November: We finished remodeling one of our bathrooms, a project that was more intensive than I had planned for... the second bathroom remodel is currently on hold, haha. Luke's parents came to visit from Indiana for a week. We had a packed schedule full of dinners out, sight-seeing & visiting my parents in Central Oregon for Thanksgiving.

December: We traveled to Napa & Sonoma Valley for a wine tasting weekend. That weekend might be one of my favorite vacations to date. Great food, great wine & we also met up with great friends along the way. We also traveled to the Oregon Coast for Christmas, where we rented a house for a few days with my family.

Here's to 2015!!

Just for fun... a look back on past years: 20132012, 2011, 2010

Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 21, 2014

How are are holidays already here? (and how have I not blogged for months?!? oops!) Here's our holiday card we sent out to friends and family this year. We took this photo at my parents house this Thanksgiving. Gracie is fixated on who the heck knows what, which is pretty normal, and the sun got in Luke's eyes - it's the best we could get :). I hope you all have a wonderful holiday this year!

xo - The Copelands

Just for fun, here are our holiday cards from the past few years... 

Grown Up B.L.T.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If there's one thing that I love doing in the kitchen, it's putting a new spin on old classics. Why re-invent the wheel, when you can just improve upon it?! This grown up B.L.T is the perfect example. I made these for Luke & I yesterday for lunch and they were a huge hit! See below for the ingredients that I used... 

Grown Up B.L.T.
Ingredients that I used...

Dave's Killer Bread - Blues Bread (lightly toasted)
Tomatoes on the vine
Spring mix lettuce (dressed with balsamic vinaigrette) 
Hempler's Pepper Bacon
Aged white cheddar cheese 

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

A trip to the pumpkin patch

Sunday, October 19, 2014

There's a funny story that goes along with this post. Our dear friends (Kara and Donny & Katie and Paul) invited us to the pumpkin patch at Sauvie Island one weekend. I was beyond excited to hang out with everyone, I told a co-worker of mine that I was going to meet my friends at the pumpkin patch and she said "oh Kruger's Farm?". I thought, sure, that one. Little did I know that there are a few pumpkin patches on Sauvie Island and we ended up going to the WRONG one; totally missing out on hanging out with our friends. It was a major bummer, but we ended up meeting up with them for lunch later in the day, thankfully.

Here are a few photos that I took from the day while we were "waiting for our friends" at the wrong pumpkin patch, haha.

We joked that this looked like it could be a pregnancy announcement...
We also joked that this looks like it could be senior photos... haha!

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Home Tour: Our Black & White Gallery Wall

Monday, October 6, 2014

I've always wanted a gallery wall in my house and over the years I've had a few. Those few were always miss-matched; a mix of photos, artwork, old frames and new frames (see here). I could never quite get the combo just right though. This time around I wanted to go with something simple, timeless and classic, something that wasn't a hot new trend in interior design. I think I finally got it right this time! All photos are my own; taken from different places that Luke & I have traveled to.
I bought these frames from Ikea. 
 My favorite photo. Luke & I at Fenway Park
How'd this one get in here?!? Gracie was following me around while I was snapping photos of this project... She always has to know what I'm doing! 

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

In PDX: Pizza Maria

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A few weekends ago, Luke & I visited Pizza Maria for a little date night. Pizza Maria is located on Division (an area that is quickly becoming one of my favorites), tucked right into a row of other cute restaurants. On the menu, they have only four different kinds of pizzas. At first I thought, WHAT only four?! Then realized that they make those four pizzas extremely well, so you really don't need more options to choose from.
We started off with a salad, the "Spring Greens, Spanish Almonds, Piave, Smoked Paprika, Sherry Vinaigrette" and it was fantastic.
We ordered the "Tomato, Red Onion, OP Sausage, Chili Flake, Pecorino Romano" pizza and it was amazing. They bring out these little cups of red pepper flakes and salt to add to your pizzas. Although ours was seasoned perfectly when it was dropped off in front of us, those little cups were just too cute!
We finished off our meal with the homemade shortcake, blackberries and cream. 
So good!

We will be back soon to try the "Market Vegetables, Cream, Parmigiano" pizza, that one came in a close second!

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

Home Tour: Built-In Living Room Shelves

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It has been a dream of mine to have built-in shelves in our living room. See this post where I explain a little bit more about them. Although it took a little longer than expected to get this project completed (doesn't it always??) as well as a few unexpected roadblocks... we're supper happy with the final results!

The whole process was quite an ordeal and really made me question if I'm cut out for any future home renovations, haha. My dad came over one weekend and helped to remove all of the trim on the wall, the existing mantle and all the tile around the fireplace. We even installed new tile on the hearth. When the shelves arrived and were installed they were just so beautiful, I was starting to re-think painting them white (which was the original plan). We explored some wood stains and moved forward with the plan of staining them a dark chestnut. Well, I got about 1/3 of the way through staining and it looked absolutely horrible! The stain wasn't soaking into the wood evenly, it was pooling up in some areas and soaking deep into others. It looked like a mess. I let it sit for a day, gathered my thoughts and eventually scrapped the whole idea of staining. I went down to the hardware store, picked up a gallon of white paint and painted THREE coats on the shelves. We now have the white shelves that we originally wanted, haha.

Truth be told, I think they look amazing and I'm very happy with the end results.

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

**Update: This project was also featured on Apartment Therapy!! **

IN PDX: Pono Farm Soul Kitchen

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This past weekend Luke & I tried a "new-to-us" restaurant in the Hollywood district (my 'hood, haha). Pono Farm Soul Kitchen is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers a variety of dishes with a Japanese twist. Their beef and pork menu options come from their farm in Central Oregon and their animals are grass feed and live a cruelty-free life (you can read more about that here). After reading up on this restaurant & loving the concept, we were beyond interested & excited to try it out! 

We arrived just as they opened for dinner and grabbed a few items off of the happy hour menu, as well as a few larger plates. The arrival of each item was perfectly timed. One thing being delivered to our table at a time. Just as we finished one plate, the next one arrived shortly after. They definitely knew what they were doing :) We were pleased with everything we tried & can't wait to go back & try some other items we weren't able to get to.

Miso Soup, Silken Tofu
Wagyu Tacos, Smoked Tomato Salsa
House-made Crispy Pork Gyoza
Top Sirloin Tartare, Ponzu, Yuzu Kosho, Pono Egg Yolk
(our favorite dish of the evening!)
Red Snapper Ceviche, Shiso Yuzu Vinaigrette, Apple, Pear, Plum Paste
Tomato Braised Pork Shank, Cheddar Polenta, Carrots, Potatoes

- 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.