Friday, September 30, 2011

crunch time

Can it really be October already??  holy smokes.  I remember being little and time lasting an eternity.  No matter what I was waiting for, good or bad, it was always a million light years in the future.  Now, with each blink, the months fly by and instead of waiting for dreams in the future, I try to live in the here & now because all to soon it will be years that pass me by.  Then decades. And then a lifetime.

Anyway,  back to October.  I need to pick a Halloween costume for the Sam-a-ram!  His first Halloween he was the cutest porcupine you ever did see.

And last year he was the cutest little sea otter you ever did see.

I'm sensing an animal theme here...

I'm having trouble deciding on a costume this year, I want it to be unique but sometimes creativity eludes me.  I saw this on pinterest:

Love it.

It's crunch time now.  Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

shabby chic conversion

We got this bakers rack for free.  The owner of our last house had left it when she moved out.  It was outdated and ugly, so we just moved it out to the patio and used it to hold gardening stuff.  It sat there in all its wood/green metal glory for 4 years.  yep four.  And then it managed to make the move up to Portland with us.  At this point I thought to myself, "this sucka' needs a facelift".  So that's just what I did.

I forgot to take a before picture, so in the above pic I had already covered half of it in primer, but you can still see what it originally looked like.  The top shelves were the same wood color as the desk portion, and all the rest of it was that dark green metal.

1 coat of primer + 2 coats of Rust-oleum spray paint in Blossom White + distressing with fine sandpaper + 3 coats spray on water based polyurethane =

I love it!  Maybe I should drop out of school and become a furniture refinisher.  No?  Okay, maybe I am getting a little ahead of myself.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

to the orchard

We went apple picking in Hood River over the weekend.

It was a gorgeous sunny, warm day.  Probably the last one for a loooong time.

The loot:  the small red ones are called Akane apples.
You should try 'em sometime.

We fed and pet some goats.

We fed and did not pet some pigs.  Jon made the comment that they smelled like poop-mud.

We later discovered how true this observation was.
{the above picture is what happens when you let your husband express his artsy side}

And we took in some glorious views.

All in all, a wonderful way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

summer joys

Summer is leaving our little home.  School is starting for me again on Monday.  I'm feeling a little sad about saying goodbye to all the summer joys and pretending to be a stay-at-home-mama.  I'm just not feeling ready to leave behind the slow-paced, Sam-filled days.  I think what makes it especially hard is knowing that this was my last summer break. ever.

On the bright side, I'll finally be graduating next June. Which equates to no more homework and an income.  can I get a hallelujah?

Monday, September 19, 2011


Every September, birds called swifts stop in Portland for several weeks on their migration south.  And every time they pass through they roost in the chimney of the Chapman Elementary School.  At  dusk, people will gather to watch as the birds fly back to the chimney for the night.  Thousands and thousands of tiny birds swarm back and descend into the the chimney.  It almost looks like backwards smoke.  We brought a big blanket and some pizza, and settled in to enjoy the show.

Friday, September 16, 2011

two and a half


This little guy is two and a half today.  I can't believe how fast it has flown by.  It really does seem like just yesterday that he was my tiny baby, cuddled up in blankets, sleeping in my arms.  I would just stare at him, soaking it all in, and wondering what kind of person he would become.  Now in his mid-toddler-hood {a technical term...} his little personality is in full bloom.  He is growing into a loving, affectionate, easy going, silly, energetic, talkative, outgoing little boy with a great sense of humor.  Even better than I could have imagined.

I love you to pieces Mr. Sam-a-ram.  I'm so grateful to be your mama.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

it's a comin'...

{found on pinterest}

Whether I'm ready or not {I'm not} fall is on its way in.  Fall was probably my favorite season before I moved to Oregon.  Now fall means the beginning of the rainy season, which lasts until the following summer.  But no matter where I live, I will always have fall fashion to look forward to.  For example, how great is the above outfit?  I love everything about it, so much in fact that it almost makes me forget about that impending rain.  Now that's a great outfit.   So, just pass me a nice pair of high-waisted flare jeans, a lovey blazer and a great bag {along with a pair of galoshes, rain coat, umbrella, and enough lumber to build an ark} and I'm ready.  Bring it fall.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

must try

This recipe is a must try.  It is Jon's favorite dessert that I make.  Not that I make very many desserts, which leaves him with very few options really, but that is neither here nor there.  I am not big into cooking.  I have very little skill as a cook/baker.  But this recipe even I can do, which means anyone over the age of 8 can also do it.  Seriously, try it.  You'll be glad you did.

Chocolate Chip-Cream Cheese Squares 
 {aka the most delish cream cheese brownie/cake you've ever eaten}

Very first, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

This dessert is comprised of two simple batters.

First batter
In a medium bowl mix:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat mixture with electric mixer until smooth.

When done mixing, stir in 6 oz chocolate chips {sometimes I put in a little more.  chocolate chips=the more the merrier}

Set aside.

Second batter
In a large bowl mix:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa {I prefer Hershey's}
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water
Stir all ingredients together with a spoon (the batter will be thin).

After it's all mixed, add 1 TBS vinegar.  As you begin to stir the vinegar in, the batter will begin to look like this:

Keep stirring until it looks like this:

Pour the second batter into a 9x13-inch greased pan.

Drop first batter by spoonfuls over second batter in the pan.

As you can see, I like to go around the edges first in an attempt to make them more desirable because everybody knows the middle is always better.  Except in the backseat of the car, then the middle is not better.

After you have transferred all the cream cheese mixture to the pan, grab a butter knife to swirl through mixture, making a simple S shape, like so:

Now that baby is ready to pop into the preheated oven.

Set the timer for 35 minutes and wait.

While waiting, pass the time by laughing at the cookbook this recipe came out of.

Yes that pig is carrying a purse and yes that pig looks like it's going to crush that horse.

My grandma gave me this cookbook as a wedding gift.  That was five years ago.  This is the only recipe I make out of it.  I tried to make one other recipe from it the first year we were married, Georgia Lee's Pumpkin Roll.  It was too hard for this then-aspiring-cook.  I've since accepted my fate and so has Jon.

After 35 minutes, check your cake.  I know most people say to check it with a toothpick, but that's too fancy for me.  Seriously, do people use toothpicks at home other than for cooking purposes?  I would think not; why not just use floss if you've got something in your teeth?  Anyway, I check mine with a knife.  If it comes out clean, you're good to go.


Grab yourself a tall glass of milk and enjoy!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I  had a wonderful extended weekend visiting my family and taking a Sunday road trip with my two men {the big one and the little one that is, not like the pool one and the landscaper one...}.

My little sister just started high school this year {can't believe my baby sister's in high school} and she made the soccer team.  Sam and I drove down to watch the first game.  Her team won and she did awesome.

Have you ever seen a more picturesque field?  Hills, trees, a farm house.  I kept waiting for the film crew to show up, it was seriously something out of a teen movie circa 1999.  The picturesque soccer field, plus the football team practicing on the next field over, and the cross country team running 58,413,584 laps around them all.  All we're missing is Freddie Prinze Jr.

I kept trying to get a "real action shot" of little sis, and all of them looked very similar to the above picture.  Hello slightly wedgied ref butt.  Hats off to sports photographers.

I had been talking ALL week about how I needed to go to Cannon Beach this weekend because the temps were supposed to be mid 80's.  In order to truly appreciate this forecast, there is something you need to know about the Oregon coast:  it's always chilly.  No  matter the time of year, as soon as you cross the coastal range, temperatures drop and clouds move in.  So 85 and sunny is truly miraculous.  Dressed in our shorts and t-shirts, we packed up our towels and sunscreen, I even brought Sam's swim trunks.

If it's possible for a local tourism bureau to pay off a weather forecaster, this was it.  30 degrees colder.  55 stinking degrees at the coast; not exactly shorts and t-shirt weather. We turned our scantily clad butts right around and found a warmer place to play.

{he's "fishing"}

{picking huckleberries}

{eating huckleberries}

Thursday, September 8, 2011

lost in translation

Lovey and Sam

So a lady asked me the other day if Sam was speaking a different language.  I politely smiled and said "no" while thinking only if you consider two-year-old a different language.  Granted, I frequently need to work as an interpreter on Sam's behalf, but come on lady with a four-ish year old child of your own, you can't recognize toddler babble when you hear it?  Maybe her child came out of the womb speaking fluent English.  Or maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, maybe she thought Sam and I looked particularly sophisticated and assumed we were fluent in multiple languages {not including two-year-old}.  Sometimes when he really gets going he does have the tendency to get some guttural sounds going on, which could potentially sound a bit German...  I should have said "Ja".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a quick rewind

This picture is old, it's from last summer, but it still makes me laugh.  You try to take a nice picture while visiting your alma mater and somebody has to go and stick a finger up his nose.

But he's lucky he's kinda cute, so I guess I'll keep him.

 Future Zag?  My heart says yes, but my bank account says no.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

childlike honesty

Sam was looking through our wedding album and stopped to examine this picture from our honeymoon.  He pointed to Jon and said, "who is dat?".  I said, "that's daddy".  He looked at it again and said, "dat look like Shrek."  Seriously? Okay, I'll admit that this is not the most flattering picture of either of us, but Shrek??  I couldn't stop laughing, so I texted Jon to inform him of his newest celeb look-alike.  He texted this back:  :(

The next morning, I turned on the computer and this was our new desktop:

Hahaha!  Love him and love it!  {this is another picture from our honeymoon, although the original does not include so much green}

Here's a few more pictures from our trip to Puerto Vallarta; you can see for yourself that I did not in fact marry an ogre.

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