Honeymoon to Canada: Montreál

Virtually my entire life, I’ve lived in a state that shares a Canadian boarder, but it wasn’t until semi-recently ( when I took a year of French language classes in college ) that I’ve had any desire to travel there. When we were brainstorming where we wanted to go for our honeymoon, we realized that a beach getaway wasn’t very “us,” but a transatlantic trip sounded too exhausting/expensive/long for the amount of time we could afford. But Canada was unexplored territory for us, and with some of the oldest settlements in the “New World,” we could certainly spend our honeymoon among cobblestone streets and historic buildings.

Montreal

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Our Wedding

Vista Hills Wedding Portland

I’m having trouble trying to put into words how I feel about our wedding weekend. After much planning and craziness with friends and family arriving in Portland from all over the country ( and all over the world! ), The Big Weekend arrived so quickly, I felt like the wind was knocked out of me.

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A Certain Kind of Fairytale

 

Fairytale

We met freshman year of high school…technically. Being in the same English class, but seated on opposite sides of the room didn’t lend much introduction time to two awkward teenagers (one of us with braces), and to be honest, I was more interested in a classmate who went by the same name and sat two chairs behind me.

But I guess we officially “met” online (or as “online” as things got back in the pre-Facebook days). He had just starting dating one of my best friends. One afternoon after school, she and I were chatting on AIM (remember AIM? I’m pretty sure my theangelgurl07 screen name is still active…) about this “new guy” who made her “so ridiculously happy.” I was thrilled to see my friend with someone who made her so happy.

“Tell him I say thank you,” I typed, excited to convey how much I approved of this new guy.

A few seconds later, a notification blinked across my screen from ind00rsunglasses. I didn’t recognize this screen name, so I warily accepted with my cursor hovering over the “block” button in case this turned out to be one of those internet creeps who find out where you live from your IP address and try to murder you while you’re babysitting if you don’t forward their chain email (isn’t that how it worked?).

“You’re welcome,” said ind00rsunglasses. “This is Alex.” Continue reading

Coffee Date

Coffee Date

If we were meeting for a coffee date, I’d probably squeal a little too loudly when you walked through the door. I’m sorry, it’s something I can’t help when I get too excited.

“It’s been so long!” I’d say, pulling you in for a hug and squeezing you for a second longer than usual because I’ve just missed you so much. “How are you? You look great!” ( Oh, by the way, thank you for not mentioning my greasy day-old hair )

We’d slip in line to order drinks, wondering aloud how long it’s been since the last time we truly got a chance to catch up. I would order a regular coffee with room for soy because even though it’s hot outside, the air conditioner is kicking strong in here, and besides, I need the caffeine. I’m getting married in 16 days, and I’m exhausted. You’d probably order something more weather appropriate because your sanity is still in tact…an iced coffee? A blended drink? Iced tea? Continue reading

Vegetable Pulp and Almond Flour Grain-Free Pizza Crust

 

paleo grain free pizza

Don’t trust anyone who says they don’t like pizza.

Pizza is one of those junk/comfort foods that makes even the most iron-willed health nuts go weak at the knees. As we’ve approached our 100 Day Wedding Countdown mark, Alex and I have been making an extra effort to clean up our diets and move around more so we’re both looking and feeling great on our wedding day. But sometimes weekends call for a treat.

We recently joined the NakedWines.com club and got another shipment this past week, so what better way to welcome the weekend than opening a bottle of wine + indulging in some pizza while we take care of some wedding planning details and map out our honeymoon plans?

We had experimented a couple weeks ago with making a grain-free almond flour pizza crust that turned out deliciously, so we decided to create our own recipe using some leftover juice pulp + almond flour for a pizza crust that is high in fiber, reduces juice pulp waste, and is high in heart-healthy fats and protein.

Paleo Grain-Free Pizza Crust Continue reading

That’s So Portland

That's So PortlandOh Portland, you beautiful weird city, you!! I love this city and all it’s quirks. Here are the few of the oh-so-Portland things I experienced this week:

On our way back down from our hike up to Angel’s Rest, we passed a fellow hiker peeing off the edge of the cliff with a cockatoo perched on his shoulder. I mean I know it’s important to take your pet on walks but… Continue reading

Photography Workshop with Portland Bloggers

You may start to see things get a little more “photograph-y” around here. I absolutely love photography and taking photos, but just like my writing, it’s something I’m deeply self-conscious about. I think both of these “arts” are things that SO many people try to attempt and just aren’t that good, and I just don’t want to be one of those people who goes along thinking I’m good at something when I’m not. Then again…why should I care?

ANYWAY this weekend Portland Bloggers had a photography workshop meet up, so naturally I dusted off my beautiful camera, ready to pretend like I knew anything about photography.

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Photographer Margaret Jacobsen

There were several breakout groups depending on what you wanted your photography focus to be ( portraits, objects, interiors, etc. ) and while I’m interested in EVERYTHING, I ended up following the hilarious, spunky, and gorgeous Margaret Jacobsen outside in the Portland rain to force us out of our comfort zones and get up in each other’s faces. Continue reading

Angel’s Rest/Devil’s Rest Loop

Angel's Rest

After two weeks without a hike, this weekend was a hike-no-matter-what sort of weekend, so Saturday came with overcast skies and the threat of rain, but we laced up our hiking boots anyway and brushed it off as a benefit that at least not as many people would be on the trails.

Our weekend adventures was the Angel’s Rest/Devil’s Rest loop of the Columbia River Gorge. This hike is considered moderate level/family friendly as the first part (up to Angel’s Rest) is only a 2.4mi hike up to the exposed bluff of the Columbia River Gorge with amazing views.

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That’s So Portland

That's So Portland

I know it’s difficult to tell ( she says with a heavy note of sarcasm ), but I am ridiculously in love with Portland. This city is absolutely beautiful and there’s always something new to explore, but the thing I love most about Portland is that traditional stereotypes do not hold true here, making everything surprising and yet totally expected at the same time. If you’ve ever seen the show Portlandia, it is only a slight exaggeration of what you’ll actually find here, which is probably why the locals either love or despise the show.

Since many of my family and friends back in the Midwest have never experienced this wacky gem of a city, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite oh-so-Portland experiences in my new home each week, not to poke fun or judge, but to highlight some of the main reasons I love this city and how we’re truly all doing our best to keep Portland weird. Continue reading

Paralyzing Insecurities

 

Insecurities

Last week was a week of insecurities.

Now I’m a pretty healthy eater, but as our wedding draws nearer, I have been making an extra effort to amp up the healthy, cut out the unnecessary and artificial, and focus on clean eating and healthy living, mostly because that is important to me, but I’d be lying if it wasn’t also because I want to look awesome for a day when all the eyes of my family ( and future family ) and friends will be glued on me and because this is how I will forever be preserved in photos I will look upon fondly for the rest of my live. I haven’t been as active as I was at the beginning of the year, thanks to some knee problems which have rendered me a running gimp, and I’ve been acutely aware of that decline in activity. But after a week of extra-clean eating and a focus on recommitting to making yoga a part of my every day, I was feeling amazing when the UPS delivery man knocked on my door with a box the size of my torso.

My heart fluttered in my throat as I gave my electronic signature ( which never looks like the real thing ) and closed the door, setting the box on the floor and staring at it, breathless, for a good five minutes before tearing into it with reckless excitement. I scooped up the garment bag and ran upstairs to my full-length mirror, shedding my clothes and pulling the most important dress of my life from the bag as the smell of new fabric filled the room. I stepped into the dress, beaming as I remembered how beautiful it is, how excited I am, and how amazing this day is going to be.

But it wouldn’t zip.

The fit was snug around my hips, very snug. This wasn’t a caught zipper situation, the dress was too small.

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