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valentine's day AM & PM

1. Heart-shaped turkey bacon breakfast   2. Fresh lillies :]
3. Cutesy card exchange   4. Forest Park v-day hike!

1. Healthy lasagna (our v-day tradition)   2. Bubbly makes everything fancier :]
3. Salt & Straw Thai Peanut Butter ice cream!!   4. Mortified's Doomed Valentines!

What a lovely, lovely day! I hope yours was, too <3

recent happenings that made me smile:

 
  1. Feeling cute in tomboyish outfits!
  2. Our date night at Powell's (& the books we stumbled upon!)
  3. Funny advertisements since Oregon's marijuana legalization
  4. Seeing Mt. St. Helens from my school's parking lot!
  5. Discovering a new favorite snack (I'm obsessed!)
  6. Corgi picture text messages :]

surrounded by beauty

 
 

"Look deep into nature & you will understand everything better." -- Albert Einstein

Burton & I recently re-hiked Angel's Rest Trail. If you'd asked me 10 years ago if I was interested in hiking, I probably would've looked confused. Growing up in flat Florida, I'm not even sure if I fully understood what hiking entailed. But now, it is one of my absolutely favorite hobbies! As long as the weather's decent, I'd probably do it every weekend. It's free, stress-reducing, healthy, fun, & visually astounding. Plus, it makes my dog super happy & I share some of my best chats with Burton on our excursions :] Have you enjoyed nature lately?

Meeting The Decemberists!


Did I really get arms-length away from my favorite band of all time? Did I have a conversation with the member of the Decemberists? Pinch me, I'm dreaming! This amazing occurrence was a few weeks back, but I still struggle to believe it happened! I have been IN LOVE with this band since I was 15, so much so that I once e-mailed their manager to ask how much it would cost for them to perform at my hypothetical wedding. Still awaiting a response. That was maybe 10 years ago, long before I even had a serious boyfriend.

One of the major perks of moving to Portland is that The Decemberists are from here. So not only will I have more opportunities to see them in concert, but I'll have access to more intimate events like this signing. Many bands, including The Decemberists, don't even extend their tours into Florida anymore, which is one of the many reasons why we had to get out of there. I haven't seen them live since 2007!

But in January, I got to chat them up! Or rather, they chatted & I responded in short answers, while Burton carried on most of the conversation. I was completely starstruck! We talked about when Laika would finally turn Wildwood into a stop-motion movie & a stolen crane sculpture from their Hazards of Love tour. They signed some merch for us & then I burst into tears as soon as we left.

I love this band. I'm so grateful they're still together, still churning out amazing songs. Check out their newest album when you've got the time :]

enjoying january

 
New year, new calendar! I love this silly calendar & look forward to making these scrumptious meals with Burton each month :] We're actually kind of going through an inspired cooking Renaissance right now & I've got a feeling 2015 is going to be a delicious year.
 
 
This month, Burton & I celebrated the fourth anniversary of our first date! In some ways, I can't believe we've been together for only a mere four years. We've done so much & know each other so incredibly well. Then you think of couples who've been together for decades & four years just seems like a drop in the bucket. The passage of time throughout our lives is such a fascinating concept. That must be why I like Linklater films so much ;]

 
Despite the winter weather, my friends & I have been hiking up a storm. We did a 5 mile hike near Mt. Hood, where I saw my first frozen lake! Kids were sledding, the puppies were prancing, snow was falling, and it was magical.

 
 

 
I GOT TO MEET MY FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME, THE DECEMBERISTS!!! It was only a few weeks into the new year, but I can tell this is probably going to be one of the top moments of 2015. WOW. You know what? I'll just have to dedicate an entire post to this experience later on :]

Last weekend, there was uncommonly great weather in Portland for this time of year. It got into the 60s & the sky was crystal clear. A group of six of us checked out the Hoyt Arboretum and Latourell Falls in the Columbia Gorge. Then we treated ourselves to some fancy coffee at Case Study while the dogs looked on :] Have I mentioned how much I love living in Oregon? Wherever you may live, I hope you're having a lovely January so far!

The Skeleton Twins



If you're in the mood for a fantastic movie, then look no further! "The Skeleton Twins" is definitely one of the best movies I've seen this past year. It's funny, sad, & endearing, yet does a great job of balancing out all the emotions. And let me just say that Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig absolutely KILLED IT. They're chemistry was phenomenal & just reaffirms my theory that comedians can really kick butt in more serious roles. Seriously, do yourself a favor & check it out :]

Just for good measure, here are some other recent movies that I'd wholeheartedly recommend: Laggies, Gone Girl, Boyhood, Interstellar, The Boxtrolls, St. Vincent, The Theory of Everything, and Nightcrawler.

How about you? Seen anything good lately?

snippets from winter break

How's winter treating you? Burton & I escaped the cold Portland weather to spend the holidays in Florida's 80 degree heat. While I loved visiting with family & friends, I actually really didn't enjoy the warm weather. I understand why snowbirds visit Florida in the winter, but (call me crazy) I just don't like sweating on Christmas Day!

We had a lovely time & were able to squeeze in visits with a surprising amount of loved ones :] I loved the slow, lazy mornings, the funny chats about family history, and the copious amounts of delicious food I'd never normally buy for myself. I even had a glorious reunion with a Publix sub or two ;] It was a beautiful holiday break & I'm glad to already have plans in the works to see some of those lovely people again in the not-too-distant future :]

Winter break 2014 was wonderful :] Thanks for the memories!

15 things to do before 2016!


Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season & are as excited as I am about 2015 :] I am a big believer in learning/growing/improving in various ways each year & love goal-setting, to-do lists, & reflecting. My goals for 2014 were mostly a success - I read more than just the 10 books, contributed more than $5k to our house fund, got tattooed, & crocheted a BUNCH - but I didn't meet all my goals (& that's okay!). I should've exercised more (are you surprised?), I didn't do all 10 Pinterest DIYs, and I wound up buying some waterproof clothes to adapt to the Portland weather, but c'est la vie :] I'm proud of myself & loved 2014. It was a great year, but I'm excited to greet 2015. So here we go...

15 Things to Do Before 2016!
  1. Begin grad school!
  2. Read 15 new books (this will be book #1)
  3. Start selling my artwork at craft fairs
  4. Teach at only one school for the 2015-2016 school year
  5. Send snail mail at least twice a month
  6. Put at least $5K in our house fund
  7. Make the meal represented each month in this calendar
  8. Travel internationally!
  9. Update my blog at least once each week
  10. Learn to print with linoleum blocks
  11. Become more comfortable with using a kiln
  12. Get my weight down to the 150s
  13. Try a new crock pot freezer meal at least once a month
  14. Use Duolingo for 15 minutes each day
  15. Possibly consider the idea of maybe starting a family?!
I'm ready to start tackling my new list. Burton even gave me the cutest planner for Christmas, to help keep me in line ;] I hope you all have a fun, safe New Years Eve & an exciting new year! XO.

happy holidays!

I hope you all created beautiful, warm memories throughout the holidays. Be merry :]

baby, it's cold outside

DECEMBER IS HERE! It's definitely in my top 5 for favorite months :] Winter break, holidays spent with family, warm beverages, cozy scarves & hats. What's not to love?!

Burton & I even experienced our first ever snow day!! We spent it bundled up with hot cocoa & watched a couple silly movies. It's possible we enjoyed our day off more than our students did :]

We spent some time this past weekend decorating our tiny apartment. We "put up" the cutest 2.5ft Christmas tree, strung up some lights, & listened to some holiday tunes. I absolutely can't stop listening to this one! I hope you're enjoying this magical month as much as I am :]