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Monday, December 12, 2016

Happy Monday, friends!! Right..?!
We have a company Christmas dinner party (at The Broadmoor), a preK Christmas program, and a double-date night with friends to look forward to; soooooo, I'm kinda pumped about this week.

Today I'm over at Whitney's blog, Work It Mommy, as part of her Mommylogues series, a fun collection of mom bloggers, sharing their journey in and stories about motherhood.

Check out my post here. I get a little honest about what motherhood is like for me and share a few of our new family photos (by Allison Easterling Photography).

Simple & Festive: [Christmas Cards with Tiny Prints]

Monday, December 5, 2016

Oh, it's the MOST wonderful time of year - the calendar is packed, the lights cast the most perfect glow, and no matter how dark and cold it is, I'm always game for checking the mail in hopes of finding a festive card with greetings and smiling faces from loved ones.
As much as I love to receive cards, I LOVE to send them as well. However, this year, I'm all about keeping it simple and easy, yet festive. Tiny Prints to the rescue. With Tiny Prints, it was a smooth process tagging favorite designs as I sorted through the specific themes/styles (FOIL-stampedglitter!, classic letter press), having the ability to see our picture in the cards as I scrolled through, and all sorts of custom options.
This year I couldn't resist the custom envelopes and personalized stamps. I love the simplicity of addresses already printed and extra fun details to send off to help spread holiday cheer. We of course went with the 'Merry Christmas' message foil-stamped on one of our new family pictures, and I just LOVE them!!
Disclosure: These products were provided to me free of charge, all opinions and desire to keep it simple are my own.
Check out Tiny Prints HERE for current promotions and make it easy, yet festive, on yourself this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas, friends!!

A long weekend in Portland: [Part 2]

Sunday, December 4, 2016

[Check out the first part of our long weekend in Portland here.]
Saturday we had more plans to explore (waterfall day!!) and a new place I wanted to try for breakfast, Tasty & Alder. We arrived about 20 minutes before opening (since I knew it was a popular spot). Sure enough, there were already a few groups ahead of us and by the time they actually opened, the line was wrapped around the building/block!! The menu was unique, very eclectic - small plates that you order to share, just not your typical brunch menu. We started with a chocolate potato doughnut with creme anglaise - melt in your mouth, I could've eaten a dozen!! Then a biscuit breakfast sandwich of sorts and the Tasty steak and cheddar eggs, served on a cornmeal pancake in cast iron. Let me tell you, these flavors have my mouth-watering as I think back to it, such great seasoning and flavors, all cooked to perfection.
After breakfast, we grabbed another latte and headed out to see some waterfalls. Thanks to tips from Karra, we knew to expect a super-touristy visit to the first one and a more off the beaten path second stop. First, we checked out Multnomah Falls. About 30-45 minutes outside of Portland, we parked and rode the shuttle, which was a great idea as parking closer was a MESS during this particular time of day (we unfortunately didn't heed Karra's advice of going early, sorry we had to eat first, ha!!). Once we saw the falls in the opening, it really was cool, with the bridge mid-way up fitting into the scenery seamlessly - very picturesque!!
We made our way through the crowds, walked up to the bridge, snapped a few pics, and headed back to the shuttle. I don't want to downplay the beauty of this waterfall, it was gorgeous!! 
Don't let these pictures fool you, it was just way too crowded. Karra suggested if we went, don't stay too long, that the other one was way better, so we went on our way to Wahclella Falls. To get to this waterfall, it's about a mile out 'hike' and MUCH more exclusive, in comparison. 
Again, this place was hard to leave as it was SO refreshing, invigorating, yet calming, and just plain beautiful. It was such a gorgeous and special little corner of the earth that we had the privilege to come upon. There were rocks and logs and perfect places to just sit and take it all in. There was a rock right down in the water, about 25-30 yards from the waterfall that you could climb to and stand RIGHT THERE, so. refreshing. It was beautiful.
We headed back into Portland and it worked to swing by another place I wanted to try, Por que no? taqueria. There was a line out the door, but it moved quickly and was worth it!! We grabbed a few tacos, chips and guac, and drinks. I'm pretty sure these were the best little street-style tacos I've ever had - DEFINITELY the BEST corn tortillas ever!! 
We were on that side of town, so we tried out another brewery Dan had his eye on, Cascade Brewing. They make mostly sour beers so it was a good opportunity to have smaller portions and try what they have to offer.

When we first booked our trip to Portland, Dan sent me a link to an outdoor grotto/church where they held Mass, it looked awesome so I was excited to add it to our itinerary. It ended up being a beautiful, peaceful, and perfect ending to our trip.
The Grotto has a large, perfectly beautiful statue of Our Sorrowful Mother - equal parts heart-breaking and calming; this place holds a special place in my heart and I'm so glad we were able to visit. We had a late afternoon flight out so we made the outdoor noon Mass, walked around the grounds and Stations of the Cross, then headed to the airport.
It was one of the best long weekends seeing a new part of our beautiful country and spending one on one time together; it was SUCH a gorgeous place and the food was out of this world..!! Of course one of the best parts was getting back home to our babes and back to 'normal'. 
Looking forward to planning our next adventure..!!