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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 :]

our second anniversary! :]

Engaged. Married. Anniversary 1. Anniversary 2.
 Burton & I celebrated our wedding anniversary a few weeks ago in Bend, OR & it was absolutely magical. I just can't get over the fact that we've been married two years already! It still feels like we're newlyweds & I wonder if it will always be like that :]

 Burton & I were happy to spend our anniversary trip exploring more of our new state. While driving out to Bend, we were able to see the five tallest mountains in the state from a single vantage point! It was breathtaking. Bend itself was gorgeous, especially because there was some unexpected snow the week we were there. The bungalow we rented had a fireplace & hot tub that got a lot of use :]

Bend has plenty of good breweries, so of course we visited a few.
There were even a bunch of deer that visited  Deschutes Brewery with us :]

Hiking up Pilot Butte, where we had a good view of the city.

Tumalo Falls. Wow! This was my favorite part of our trip.

We spent a day hiking around Deschutes National Forest. It was total eye candy!

The top of Tumalo Falls.

Speaking of eye candy...

Myla had A BLAST in the snow! It was her first time seeing it & I loved watching her prance around & eat it. Although, when we were at the bungalow, she kept whimpering to go back outside. Then it became less cute.

I loved the droopy tree branches :]

I'm so happy to be married to this man :] I told Burton that it was one of the best & easiest decisions of my life. I'm looking forward to at least 65 more anniversaries with him!

The Deschutes River.

Thank you for the memories, Bend. You're absolutely beautiful! I'm sure we'll be back again soon!

all bundled up!

Colorful leaves everywhere, crisp air, drizzly bike rides, raincoats & galoshes.
I really love the fall season, especially now that I live in a state where that means something :]

you are my sunshine

My mama & I got matching tattoos! I never thought I'd see the day :] I got my first two tattoos behind my parents' backs when I was 18 because they always seemed against it. A couple years ago, however, my mom seemed interested in getting one. So we began figuring out & designing a concept, picked an artist whose style we loved, & set a date for when my mom would be in town. What better place than Portland for my mom to get her first tattoo? ;]

The original sketch & the stencil placed on my shoulder cap.

I got this little heart tattoo as well. It's the letter B (for Burton!) when tilted ;] I'm such a sap!

It's been almost 9 years since my last tattoo, but I'm happy to have another on my canvas. I'm sure these new ones won't be my last, either ;] This was such a wonderful experience I got to share with my mom & I'll be sharing more photos from her visit soon. But for now, I'm happy to cross another goal for 2014 off my list! Happy Monday, folks!

our calendar is filling up!

Burton & I must have adventurous spirits because we're already planning out vacations from now until summer! I'm glad I found a fella who loves to travel & explore :] Here are the exciting trips we've got planned so far for 2014-2015:

November 2014: Bend, OR!
For our 2nd anniversary (I can't believe it's here already!), Burton & I will be exploring our new state for a long weekend! We're going to be renting this cute bungalow in Bend, OR so Myla will get to come too! Bend offers more mild weather, lots of breweries, & as you can see from the picture, lots of beautiful scenery. There are quite a few rivers, lakes, and mountains in the area, so we'll be doing plenty of outdoorsy activities :]

December 2014: South & Central Florida!
Burton & I will be spending our winter break back in the sunshine state to visit family & friends! We'll be spending the holidays with my family in south Florida, but will also carve out a few days to spend in central Florida. Most of our friends are in that general area, so we'll be asking someone to offer up their house for a big party. We wanna see as many loved ones as possible!


February 2015: Las Vegas, NV!
My favorite cousin, Nikki, will be turning 21 soon & wants to celebrate in Las Vegas! I've never been there before and it's not a city I've ever felt compelled to visit, but I'm so insanely excited about going! Nikki is one of the most incredible people I know & I can't wait to spend some time spoiling her :]

March 2015: TBD!
Burton & I have no plans for spring break yet, so we'll just have to wait & see where we wind up for our week off.

Summer 2015: Hawaii & Japan!!!
This is going to be EPIC. Burton's mom teaches on a military base in Japan & we've been aching for a chance to go visit her. I drool over all of the pictures she posts on Facebook & we are so ready to see some of those places in person! We will be spending TWO FABULOUS WEEKS exploring Japan, visiting historical sites & temples, climbing Mt. Fuji, and shopping in Tokyo. So Burton & I thought, "We have a layover in hell with it! We should spend a couple nights in HAWAII on our way out there!" Before I knew it, we were looking at beach rentals on Airbnb & fell in love with this studio in Kailua. Hell yes! Burton & I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to have these opportunities. Seriously.

Summer 2015: Colorado Camping!
Our friends, Isaac & Amy, visited Portland with us in summer 2013, & we'll be seeing them in Florida in December, so we thought it would be better if we could vacation somewhere else. We decided to meet roughly halfway in Colorado! We camped for a few days in North Carolina a few years ago, so we're going to do it bigger & better this time in The Centennial State :] I can't wait!

Our World Travels map is really starting to fill up & I couldn't be happier about it!

boy, september flew by!

My dad and his girlfriend visited during Labor Day weekend!
We showed them some of our favorite parts of Portland in a very short amount of time.
(I can't wait to see my mom & her boyfriend out here in just three weeks!)

The first day of school was September 2nd & it's been a whirlwind!
Teaching out here has been pretty much nothing like my experiences in Florida,
so I feel like a first year teacher again, but it's keeping everything so exciting!
I can't believe the first month of the school year is already over!

One of my favorite things is actually being able to ride my bike to work!
It's only 6 miles roundtrip & the commute is really pretty. Lots of lovely trees & cute houses :]
The weather's been beautiful, but I bought some rain gear for when it gets drizzly!

Burton & I took a weekend trip to Lincoln City to visit my aunt & uncle.
The Oregon coast is so breathtaking (& also a great place to fly a kite!)

In keeping up with my 2014 goals, I finally started learning how to crochet!
& I'm nearly done with my first scarf :]

We did some more hiking in Forest Park where we found the tallest fir tree in the park,
& a stone house built during the Depression. It was a bathroom for construction workers!

We celebrated Burton's 28th birthday with an incredible view from a rooftop dinner,
some massages, and a spectacular Ben Folds concert (accompanied by the Oregon Symphony)!
Of course, there were treats & libations throughout the weekend ;]

We're ready for you, October!