Wednesday, November 30, 2011

White Friday

We spent the Friday after Thanksgiving snowshoeing on mt. Hood. It was a beautiful clear day with lots of snow to frolic around in. We tried a new spot (and my current favorite) White River Trail.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from that day...



 Check out Olive's cute holiday scarf!



 Olive, tapping into her inner Mountain Dog...
Believe it or not there are a few even cuter photos that I have saved for a future date.  You'll just have to wait and see!

Cheers,
Brooke

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful

We had a very relaxing holiday weekend.  Luke was home for 5 days in a row!  We spent our Thanksgiving with our good friends Courtney and Nabil.  Courtney is a pro at cooking a bird, and we were excited for the invite! 

Look how cuh-ute her table setting was!  She made those awesome place mats herself AND homemade apple butter to take home.

I made some roasted and cream braised brussels sprouts...
My world famous bacon wrapped dates...
A corn spoon bread...
An apple cider cream pie and a pumpkin cheesecake...
I also brought ingredients to make my favorite TG cocktail (Clearcreek Cranberry Liquor and Champagne)
The pups were well behaved and were happy to spend the holiday together...

Check out Luke's beard.  He is really taking this no-shave-November thing seriously.

So much to be Thankful for!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Olive wants to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  She is thankful for romps in the park and of course her very loving family.  I am currently making my first pumpkin cheesecake (the real kind in the spring form pan and all) as well as an apple cider cream pie.  Fingers crossed that they turn out as delicious as the look/smell.  I will pass along the recipes if they turn out fabulous.  I am also making my famous bacon wrapped dates, as well as a corn casserole.  Mmmm!
Luke is home and we are excited to spend the long holiday weekend in Portland with friends.  We hope to go snowshoeing this weekend as well.  I am thankful for my husband and that he gets to be home for 5 days in a row!

So much to be thankful for!
Cheers,
Brooke

Monday, November 21, 2011

Busy Weekend!

This past weekend was a busy one!  I had a photography class, Luke had his division championship soccer game, AND my Alma mater played for the National Championship in volleyball.  Amongst a few other things it made for a busy and exciting weekend.

The photography class was held over two days at a suite in The Ace Hotel in downtown Portland.  I have been in the lobby of this hotel, as it is connected to one of my favorite Portland restaurants (Luke and I had our first dinner date there) - Clyde Common.  I had never seen the rooms in the Ace though.  How cool!

On day two we did an actual photo shoot with a model and everything.  She was thankfully, very patient with us.  Here is kind of a funny photo of some of us trying figure out our camera settings and get the perfect exposure.
Good news first, 1) we had a plumber come out to fix our clog and replumb the drain line properly.  So, that way when we go to remodel the kitchen in a few years,it is all ready to go.  I am SO glad to have the sink back.  It's hard to get the motivation to cook when you know you will have to do the dishes in the bath tub.  2) My photography class was a success.  I learned to use my camera (wedding/birthday gift from the hubby) properly and hopefully I will now take better photos.  There were a lot of ah-ha moments, the class was exactly what I needed  3) Wittenberg (my alma mater) won their first volleyball National Championship.  Ever.  Something the program has been working towards for over a decade.  Many of us got close, but this year they went all the way.  It was exhilarating to watch via live stream on the internet (wish I could have been there in person though).  Super proud to be a Tiger!

Not so good news, Luke and his soccer team sadly lost their soccer game in a shoot out.  It was so fun to watch and they guys fought hard, but victory was not to be had this year.  The team has improved so much and they will move up a division to D1, so there will be many more exciting games in their future.  Go purple!

Thankfully Luke only has to work 2 days this week, and we are looking forward to Thanksgiving with the Zerizef's!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Plumbing Woes

Well, our Saturday didn't go as planned. Turns out we have a conundrum of the plumbing sorts to work out. Luke will have to do a little deconstruction of the cabinet under the cutting board to allow the plumber to get in and fix our problem. Hopefully it won't be too costly or time consuming. The fix will even be better in the long run when we decide to update the kitchen and add a deeper sink and garbage disposal. Luke (the cutest plumber I know) did his due diligence to fix our issue, but now it's up to the pros.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Welcome Home Woody!

It's heeeerrrre!  We found the perfect dining table.  After a hike in Forest Park on Sunday, I took Luke to visit a dining table that I had my eye on.  The size, color, finish and edges were perfect.  We purchased it at a locally owned furniture shop that specializes in handcrafted furniture from salvaged and sustainable hardwoods.  This particular table is made of Indonesian Ingas wood. 

The owner offered us a deal if we could take the table that day, since he was getting in a container load of furniture on Tuesday and he needed the space.  At this point my heart was leaping out of my throat and I was looking at Luke with eyes that said "please, please, can we get it, huh huh, can we can we, please??".  So, we took the deal, and loaded this bad boy in the back of the Subaru with the gate open.  Luckily we didn't have far to go, since the store was just a few blocks away. 

By the time we got home with the legless table, all Luke wanted to do was park it on the couch and watch football.  I looked at him in horror as if he just suggested we burn the table.  "We can't just leave it here, we have to set it up and see it in all its glory".  This is how Luke looks when he's really annoyed.
I think it fits nicely in the space and still has room for seating for eight.  The chairs in the photo are just some random chairs from around the house.  They are much too small in scale, but they help me get a feel for the space and what is needed.  So, I am on the lookout for chairs and a bench that are the proper size and scale.  I like the idea of arm chairs for the ends of the table - and I'm even liking the look of the wicker.  I think it brings a nice different texture into the room.  I have my on on some at Ikea that I might try out.  As for the side chairs, the eco-friendly furniture store has some that might work perfectly. 

It took some getting used to but after a few days of living with the new arrangement, we officially love it.

Cheers!
Brooke 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living Room Re-Mix

Luke had to work this past Saturday so I took it upon myself to move around the furniture in the living room to create a shared dining/living room space. I alluded to my plans in this post.  Yes, I moved it all around myself.  There was a moment when I was carrying the giant leather ottoman down to the basement, teetering forward towards imminent devastation of both me and the ottoman when I had a Tim Gunn 'make it work' moment and mustered the balance to get safely down the steps.  That's when I realized that moving heavy furniture down the stairs by myself in wool socks was not a good choice.   

Here is how it looked after I shuffled everything around.  I set up our folding table and some boxes under a tablecloth to mimic a dining table in front of the window.  I wanted to get a feel for how the space would work and what size table the room could accomodate.  Let me say that we are well aware that the furniture is a bit too large in scale for the space plan that we have currently worked out here.  It looks much more crowded in this photo than it feels in real life.  My friend Courtney can attest to this. 


Here is a view from the front door:

Here is the view from the hallway.  We plan on aquiring a dining table that seats up to 8, preferably with a live wood edge.  We plan to have a bench on the window side of the table so we can just push it under the table when not in use.  This set up still has plenty of space to move the table out from the window when set for 8.  Also, did you notice my little trick with the curtain rod on the large window?  I extended the curtain rod out a few feet on each side to give the feel of a larger window and balance the table out more.  Luke is going to hang the rod a bit higher for me so you can's see the window frame.  This helps make the table look centered on the window.

I also think the the glass bookcase with its current contents makes that area look a little cluttered and busy.  I have plans to remoce the books and replace them with our white serving dishes.  I think it will look more crisp and also help transform the space to more of a dining area.  
 And the view from the opposite corner:
Here is a view of the giant blank wall where I intend to make a gallery wall of photos and such, as I previously mentioned here. I have been talking to Luke about this project for weeks, and the first thing he said when he walked in the door is "That wall is going to need something" well duuuuhhh!  More on this soon.
Maybe in the next year or two we will get some new, smaller scale furniture for this seating area.  Perhaps a settee and two smaller chairs.  But for now, we are going to leave it as it is.  The furniture is nice, and comfortable (just ask Olive) and well, free.  And, truly the space feels open and cozy and not at all crowded when you're in it.  Now we just need the perfect table...

More updates coming soon!
Brooke

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

If You Can't Stand it, Spray Paint it!

I have a handful of projects going on right now. I think my New Year's resolution is going to need to be to finish current project before starting a new one. Anyhoo, I have a pile of things that I want to re-purpose, but they need a little makeover. So, I turned to my trusty can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

I got these frames from Walgreen's for TWO BUCKS!  They are 8x10 matted for a 5x7 photo.  Just the matting itself was worth the $2 for me.  Only problem is - the frame is gold and just not my style.  I knew I could give them a little makeover to make them less heinous.  Enter - ORB spray paint.  I am working on a gallery wall for the living room (more on that soon), and I want all of the frames to coordinate in color.  I had these 5 frames below that I wanted to transform for he wall.
I also had some drawer pulls and towel racks from the bathroom makeover that I thought I could repurpose once they had a more updated finish.  For the frames, I simply remocved the glass and sprayed away.   

And there you have it.  Another modern update made possible by....spray paint!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mini-moon

I don't think we ever properly shared photos from our mini-honeymoon. Right after the wedding we took a couple of days for some R&R at this cute little cabin on the salmon river at the base of Mt. Hood.



We were super excited that we could bring Olive with us.  I think this is my favorite photo I've ever taken of her. 




The river was right outside the backdoor and we spent a lot of time just laying on a blanket in the sun, reading and listening to the water.

.



We took a road trip to find Lost Lake - found it!  The view of Mt. Hood over the lake was gorgeous!  There were several campsites and a few cabins for rent.  It would be a great place for a camping trip!


Next up, in about 7 weeks is our major-moon in Thailand!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Fall Fur Model


I took advantage of the sunny weather and the colorful tree in our front yard to snap a few festive fall pics of Olive.  What a cutie!







Friday, November 4, 2011

Carlton, Oregon

Last weekend Luke, Olive and I went to Carlton, Oregon to meet up with some friends.  It was a gorgeous fall day filled with wine tasting and shooting guns - BUT dont worry - not in that order.
Olive was pumped that her friend Drake was there too.  There were also 4 other farm dogs that she got to romp with.






We found some cleared land just outside Carlton where we could get our shoot on. Luke, of course, is a great shot. Seriously, what is this kid NOT good at? 



 Erik worked the thing-a-ma-bob that shot out the clay pigeons.  I think this is what boys would do all day if we girls weren't around.  Well, shoot guns and watch football.
 Even the ladies got in on the action.

This was my very first time shooting a gun.  Ever.  And, although I know it may look like it in the photo, but NO I did not fall over after shooting that big 'ole gun.  Once I learned to aim, I actually hit my targets including some flying clay pigeons.  I think I had more fun shooting photographs of people shooting guns.  But I can confidently say that if I HAD to, I could shoot a bad guy.  In the face. 

After all of that fire power, I was ready for some wine and a snack.  Let's be serious though, when am I NOT ready for some wine and a snack?  We walked around the cah-ute little town of Carlton to see what they had to offer in terms of vino, and they did not disappoint.
 They're not lyin'.  It IS a great little town.

The Scott Paul winery had some nice wines.  You may even recognize their Pinot Noir as Food and Wine magazine's current cover girl.

We enjoyed the last of the sunny weather as the fog started to roll in on the farm.  Oh, sunny fall days - please stay a while - k?
Thanks to Erik and his aunt for inviting us to hang out and enjoy their farm, and Carlton.

Cheers!
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