Monday, November 26, 2012

My outfit Monday- Fact!

This video (along with several others from the same user on YouTube) has been seen playing a lot on our laptops lately.  They are too funny and I because of these videos, I now have several new phrases to add to my everyday collection- one of them being "Fact!"

So in honor of the above video...some simple facts that can be learned from this picture:

Cardigans are my friends.
( I do own more than 20 in every shape, size and color.)
I was trying a "new pose."
This pose (and my expression) is neither normal or attractive.
I was going for a normal face.
This is my normal face.

Cardigan: Loft
Shirt: J Crew
Tights: Rue 21
Boots: Bass Outlet

Monday, November 19, 2012

My outfit Monday

So the other day, my very good friend and I showed up to a meeting with almost-identical outfits.
While my outfit included a light navy striped colored blazer, red tank and tan skirt, her outfit was a black blazer with white stripes, red tank and black skirt.
Oh, and we sat right by each other.
What can I say? We have a lot in common.

Blazer: Maurices
Tank: Old Navy
Skirt: Romy
Shoes: Two Lips

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whatever blogger...

So I pre-wrote a blog post, that was supposed to be published today.
HOWEVER, blogger chose to place it right after the first installment of "Where I've been and what I've seen."  The new post was the second installment of our travels.
Anyway, if  you're interested click here to read today's post.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My outfits Monday

I've been going through a closet overhaul lately, deciding what to keep, what to show a little more love to and what to get rid of.  
So, why not show you what I've been digging out of the worm hole I call my closet and wearing?
(although, I realize now that some parts of these outfits may need to be changed or altered before they are worn out in the public again)

I finally found some yellow/gold shoes!!

Scarf: Maurices, old
Cardigan: Old Navy, new
Skirt: Thrifted, Goodwill
Shoes, Dr Scholl's: DSW, sale

A bit blurry because it was taken on a phone :/
Scarf: Boutique
Shirt and Quilted vest: Fred Meyer
Grey pants: Ross, purchased last week 
Shoes: Ross, old

I LOVE the prints on these scarves.
That's it for now...until next Monday...maybe :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall's lazy Sunday

I've been craving a lazy Sunday and dying to try a new recipe.
So, I pre-scheduled today to be just that in order to complete both.
I'm so happy I did!

Today's recipe came from (yup, you guessed it) Pinterest.  It is Pumpkin Pull Apart bread with salted maple glaze.  Oh my goodness! It was a little more time consuming than I anticipated ( I really have to learn to read through recipes before I begin them...) but still completely worth it!  Just to let you know, the original recipe I followed does not have directions for the salted maple glaze, that came from another recipe, so I'll include it in the recipe below, along with a few more minor tweaks I made while cooking.  Also, don't be deceived by the pumpkin as you can't really even taste it.  A bit counter-productive if you ask me, but it still tastes great!

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Monkey Bread with Maple Glaze
yield: 6 servings

for the dough
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 2/3-3 1/3 cups bread flour ( I used whole-wheat flour and it turned out fine)

for the coating
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

In large stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir milk, water, yeast and sugar together ( I stirred mine with a spoon, to fully dissolve the sugar). Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to proof yeast. If mixture is foamy, then you can continue (I kinda skipped this stage....who has the time?). 
Stir in salt, egg, butter, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half the flour and mix. With mixer on, pour in remaining flour bit by bit until dough pulls away from the sides and is sticky but when touched doesn’t really stick to your hands. Once you reach this stage, turn mixer on for 4-5 minutes to knead. Lightly grease dough and bowl and cover to rise for 1 hour. Stick it somewhere warm and draft-free.
Lightly grease a bundt or angel food cake* pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside. Create a coating station by placing sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and melting the butter in another bowl. Punch down dough and remove from bowl. Cut dough into small pieces about 1 tablespoon in size. Roll in butter, coat in cinnamon sugar and place into prepared pan. Repeat until no dough remains. If there is extra butter or sugar, pour over the top of the dough pieces in the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let rise another hour in a warm spot in your kitchen.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake monkey bread for 25 minutes or until the top begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.
While monkey bread is cooling, prepare glaze by mixing powdered sugar, maple syrup, milk, salt and vanilla together in a small bowl until smooth.
Remove warm pull aparts onto serving dish and drizzle with glaze. Serve warm.
*I used an angel food cake pan that had a removable bottom and some of the butter and sugar mixture leaked out of the bottom and made a mess of my oven! If you are going to use a similar pan, make sure to place on a baking sheet, or wrap the bottom of the pan with foil.

We had our pull-apart bread along with some turkey bacon as part of our very unbalanced but truly delicious breakfast.
It is so worth the effort if you feel like you want to try this recipe!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The grass was pretty green here yesterday...

(What I'm listening to as I blog...come know you're curious!)

We always have humble plans to stay home and take care of the important/not-so-important/small/great things in our everyday lives.
But then we.....wait a minute, I'm going to stop here, throw Aaron under the bus, and just say it's 99% Aaron's fault (hi baby!).  Aaron gets bored and we just have to do something...anything, about it.  But, every once in a while, I'm guilty of "just wanting to get away," too.  There, I said it.
Anyhoo, yesterday was one of those days.
We finished a full morning in our ministry, but then we weren't quite sure just what we wanted to do.
We thought driving to Medford to eat at a good restaurant and maybe shop, sounded like the perfect idea.  We asked some friends if they would like to go, but they had other plans.
So then we re-considered our feelings on this matter and decided we didn't care if we stayed home OR went somewhere else.  So we decided to do the mature thing and stay home to "save money."
But we didn't really save money at all.
We decided to stop by some of our favorite spots here at home and leave a little money trail as we went.  As a result? We had a lot of fun spending time together and seeing, at that moment, that home isn't always as bad as it seems.

Our first stop was the Mermaid Garden Cafe downtown on main.
They specialize in lunch only that consist mainly of panini sandwiches, salads, wraps and special pizzas.
I went there years ago and remembered liking it, but never returned for some reason.
So in the name of adventure and trying something different, we chose to go there.
We loved our food!  I ordered the smoked salmon pizza ( thick crust, brushed with olive oil and garlic and topped with a white cheese, smoked salmon, capers, pineapple and fresh parsley) and a beautiful, green side salad.  Aaron ordered the blue cheese chicken wrap (chicken breasts, dried cherries, blue cheese, spinach served in a spinach tortilla) with the same salad.
The food was awesome and so was the service in this bright and cheerful cafe.
We are so going back!

The colors in the room are aquas, greens
and the orange-yellow you can see here

Each table has a different painting of a fish

Their crazy/cool fridge

From there we walked to a specialty clothing and gift store, Royal Touch.
This store has brands of clothes that can be found in the likes of spendy boutiques and even Anthropologie.  They also carry cute and trendy home decor.  Several times now, I've ended up finding the perfect thing to finish off a gift or gift basket at this store.  I just love this store and feel wrong if I haven't bought at least one thing from it before I go. 
However, I kept this visit short since Aaron was stuck holding my leftover pizza at the front of the uber-girly store.....all in the name of love ;)

We then walked further down main to our local the Oregon Gift Store.
If you aren't familiar with this type of store, everything available to purchase is made somewhere in Oregon....but that's not why we went there.
They also have a wine and beer tasting room downstairs.
A seasonal beer for Aaron is why we went there yesterday, but it's nice to know that we finally have a wine bar of sorts to stop by.
As a bonus, the owner is so friendly and we stayed and chatted with her for a while.  We finally parted ways then headed to our next stop downtown.

Aaron likes to go to a local bike shop, Hutch's Bicycles and needed to, to pick up a bike he was having work done on.  I always like to walk through the rows of bike to check out the different styles of frames and colors and found my next want: A bright turquoise bike with brown leather-like grips and seat.
A lot like this:

But while Aaron was in there, I got bored and skipped (no, not literally) across the street to the liquor store to buy some peppermint schnapps for my hot chocolate.
(I wonder why I needed to tell you this....full disclosure in the name of blogging?)
I always feel like such a phony/drunk because they always put it in a brown paper bag.  So as you step out of the store, all the passerbys driving by can see the loser carrying the paper sack.  In this case, me! Bleh.  Anyway, don't judge.  It is winter time and Whitney needs hot her drink to warm her bones.
True fact, yo.
Speaking of drink, after Aaron finished at the bike store,we went in search of another type of beer for me this time: Elysian's the Great Pumpkin beer.  The label is ugly, but the taste divine!
Anyway, we found this beer, and maybe a couple more, at the beloved Portland Street Market
(referenced by me many times before)
I also snagged a couple packets of Pop Rocks and Zots for Aaron to try since he had never had them.

After that, we did some other random shopping for things we actually needed and headed home.
Home sweet home.  On the way home, we both agreed that it was a pretty good day and we were glad we did stay home. 
By the way, maybe if some of you out-of-towner's want to come visit us, we could drag you to our favorite places too!?
Hope you had/have a good day too!

Where I've been and what I've seen- Part 2

Our next scheduled trip fell on the last weekend of September.
We were invited by friends to camp/wake board for 3 days at Shasta.
(You may remember me mentioning my attempts at being active here.)
And camp we did.
In the dirt. With no flushing toilets (just the good ol' outhouse crappers) showers.
Oh! And crazy-hot, face-reddening, sweat inducing weather.
(the above mentioned scenario include three, no! FOUR things I hate by the way:
dirt, sweating, outhouses and then no showers.)
But I went for it anyway.  This video may as well have been me:

Here I am after the first night:

I have little pride.  Not pretty at all.  So happy.

But besides those age-old gripes of mine, Shasta was truly beautiful!
(especially when we were on the water looking up!)

Photo not mine :(   go here to see it.
The first night we arrived at night and set up our tent in the dark, and chose to make our camp down a hill and a trail for a little privacy. 
We camped in a group camp spot (also never done that) with about 20+ other people: friends and friends of friends, etc.
So the next morning when I woke up, I found that we had a perfect view of the lake, as we were close to the edge (without falling off or down the hill.  We were in a safe spot Moms!) Since there was so many people, it also looked like a little tent city.  There was also a trail down to the water where the boats were parked, so there was also pretty good access that way.
Now, this was my first time actually being at Shasta Lake.  I've only ever driven past it on other trips and stared down at the ant-size boats floating in the blue water from the bridge. Of course, for this trip, we went in the off season, so there were no crowds and the water had dropped quite a bit from earlier that summer. Whatever, it was still beautiful.
We all pretty much did our own things (sleeping, reading, hiking, swimming, floating, boarding, boating or sweating),but then got together at night to eat/make our dinners.
Aaron spent most of the days and well into the nights wake boarding.  While I tried it out a little too, I also had a lot of fun meeting new people, sampling their food- (one girl had nothing but gourmet camping food: homemade marshmallows, spicy canned pickles...amazing!) and sitting around the huge campfire swapping stories.
Sadly, no pictures were taken of any of these things or people because I was too busy sweating.
This trip, too, reinforced our strong desire to own a travel trailer where you can actually stand up to get out of wet clothes, take a little shower and then relax with AC, if you so desire. 
Our tent had none of this.  Poor me.
Overall though, the trip was a lot of fun and we will most likely do it again.
After all, I did not die.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Where I've been and what I've seen - Part 1

When asked : "So what's new, what've you been up to?"
My standard answer is usually: "Nothing really, just working."
After the said exchanges, I usually re-evaluate exactly what I have been doing with my time (or at least my free time outside of working.).
The truth?
Not every moment has been awe-inspiring.  But, we have been on the move.  You see, sometimes I forget that trips were taken because of the simple fact that I forgot to snap thousands of photos.  So I decided to take you along with us on some of our trips, since I've forgotten to share them.
Not all posts will include photos from yours truly, but I'll try my hardest to include links to available websites so you can check it out for yourself.
I think some, if not most of the places we've hit are worth looking into.
P.S.  Most of our trips revolve around food, so beware if you're on a diet.

Our first trip was a quick one taken in July of this year.  We went to Portland for a day, then ended up in Salem.
As I've said time and time again, I (we) love Portland.
We are still exploring this grand metropolis and finding places we plan to return.  On this trip, we re-visited old favorites and found some new.  We got there around noon.  So our first stop was for lunch at a Cuban restaurant, Pambiche.
This usually crowded (good sign, in my opinion) restaurant is colorful and original, delicious and totally worth getting lost for (directions always lead you down one way streets that will get you lost).

I ordered a dish (I can't remember the name) with oxtail in a "special sauce."
It was delicious.
Aaron (the little plate across the table) ordered a Cuban Sandwich with plantain fries.
Oh and a mojito was mine to have as well.
Did I mention that all of it was delicious and always has been?

When we first reached Pambiche, we parked across the street from it and noticed a brewery.  After lunch, we ran across the street to a brewery: the Migration Brewing Co.
The vibe of the brewery was layed back, open and would be a great place to just be for a while.
As for the beer? Only Aaron had a pint here, as I was stuffed to the gills with oxtail and a mojito.  Verdict was that the beer was "pretty good."
That's saying a lot for Aaron to say that about a beer.

Our final destination was the Cascade Barrell House.
This was Aaron's choice as this brewery is known for its craft beers and sour beers.
We ordered some appetizers and a couple flights to test things out, mostly sours.
It turned out to be such a good idea.  I'm not a sour beer fan, but even I found some I liked.

As I said before, this was a quick weekend trip, so we didn't get to cover much else.
This pretty much sums up our weekend in NW Oregon.