Saturday, October 29, 2011

On a foggy, Saturday morning...

Woke up to the fog and frost this morning (my dad is getting excited, because it probably means chestnuts will be ready soon). I have stayed warm under a blanket, with the cat on my lap, eating oatmeal, drinking apple cider, bloggin', messin' around Facebook and Pinterest, while watching college football.

Some of my messin' around has resulted in:

A blog suggested by my dear cousin Kylene: Snippet & Ink. A Portlander's daily wedding blog and local shop owner of Ink & Peat {home and floral design/decor.}

I love the great earthy/healthy recipes presented by Roost: A Simple Life. I specifically want to try these two recent recipe posts that remind me of this foggy weather: Butternut squash & hazelnut bouchons with toasted nutmeg ice cream and Riesling poached pear tart with chai spiced custard & almond crust. She also has a great Pinterest to follow: Coco.

Speaking of weather, I've been keeping an eye out for the forecast in Boston, because my best friend Meagan should be expecting their first snow of the season (in their new home)! Already, there is snow coming down in York, Pennsylvania and New York City.

Now, I wouldn't mind some snow in Oregon this year.

Back to cat snuggling...


Friday, October 28, 2011

Just Opened "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

As I do every night before bed, I open a book, unwinding with every turn of a page (a real page, no digital page for me!) and relax in the literary word. A beloved friend of mine told me about this book by Barbara Kingsolver (author of The Poisonwood Bible and other great works) about eating organic and eating local. I was immediately interested, as I already strive to purchase produce from our local farm stands and products made in Oregon. In times like these, I find it is important to support our state economy the best I can and eat at local restaurants and shop at our small businesses.

Last night I was able to read the first chapter in which Barbara and her husband Steven, moved their family from Tuscon, Arizona to Steven's farm in Northern Appalachia. Through the pressures of the economy, they found it necessary to make the move and re-establish themselves on the farm, eating and drinking from the land on which they live.

Barbara stressed the importance of eating local by discussing 'oily foods,' foods in which super markets and the commercial food industry invests. This food is produced through the consumption of mass amounts of oil. Petroleum is used to till the land, plant the land, harvest the land, package the food, transport the food, and refrigerate the food in transport and in store. If each household ate one organic meal from local food each week, a substantial amount of oil would be saved.

With the current condition of our economy, we will either continue to deplete our American resources and shop around the world, or (as I hope) more Americans (and hopefully the next generation) will revert back to the region—they will eat and live in the same 70 mile radius.

Already, I am beginning to see the change. Several times this week I have heard that New York City has already invested in eating and living local, so much so, that their average life expectancy is more than the national average. Mayor Giuliani was on "The Chew" early this week and talked about how important it was for the local restaurants to purchase fresh produce and ingredients from Upstate New York. Hue Laurie was on Jay Leno the other night discussing the high life expectancy and how restaurants are utilizing state grown fare. Then while reading this book last night, Barbara even mentioned this. So my thought is—in a city that never sleeps, that is bright with lights and culture—this could be accomplished anywhere in America. And in a place like Portland, Oregon, eating local is as easy as looking in your own backyard!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pinterest: two new inspiration boards.

For those who follow me on Pinterest, I have two new inspiration boards. The first is Local Gems, which features local finds/small businesses in the Portland metro area. The second is Another Time, Another Place, which I am most excited about, because if you know me I have always said that I was born in the wrong era. This board features glimpses into the past. A time when life was simpler, rustic, and in my opinion—romantic. Yes, just like everyone I know, I'm a Pinterest addict. It has helped me gather ideas for my wedding planning, craft projects, recipes, and future home. Plus, it's a great way to spend your free time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Budget conscious bride...

I know there are so many bridal blogs out there, and in this economy, there are just as many blogs on planning a wedding on a budget, but I don't only want to just focus on finding great deals, but I also want to support our small businesses and buy local.

So as I write this blog, I hope I can also use this as a way to get the word out there about our local wedding vendors and small business owners.

I would love to hear from you about other local businesses, not just for weddings, but also for the everyday woman/{fill in your role}.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Location, location, location

Since arriving home from Hawaii it has been a whirl wind trying to find a job post grad school while planning a wedding. Thankfully I have many loving friends and family who have been ready to tackle anything I throw at them. The stress of wedding planning has been rather limited thanks to these wonderful people. I am so blessed!

Already we have found our ceremony/reception location, and I couldn't be any happier! Kenny and I were thrilled, and just as easy as it was to find my dress, we were able to find our location. So here it is: the beautiful, Youngberg Hill Vineyards & Inn.

View the beautiful wedding photo album on the website here: Wedding Photo Album—Youngberg Hill

The proposal...

After a long and stressful year of work, Kenny's reconstructive knee surgery, and my grad school program, Kenny and I set a goal for ourselves to take a week long trip to Hawaii to relax and enjoy each others company. So on August 2nd we set out for the Hilton Waikaloa Resort. I was so ready to relax in the sun, drink yummy tropical drinks, and have fun with my boyfriend. We planned for a luau, swimming with dolphins, a couples massage on the beach, a trip to the BJ Penn gym in Hilo, and a lot of laying out and relaxing by the pool.

On Friday, August 5th, Kenny and I attended the luau at the resort. It was a wonderful evening. We had preferred seating, which meant a table close to the stage, a three course meal brought to our table, and unlimited drinks. We spent the time eating, enjoying the company of our table mates, drinking bottomless Blue Hawaiians, and watching the hula and fire dancers. Kenny even went up on the stage to dance the hula!

By the time the show was over, we were tipsy and tired, but so pleasantly content and happy. I was ready to get comfortable and call it a night. So Kenny and I headed upstairs to our room and I was just about to take off my shoes when he said, "Since you still have your shoes on, do you want to go get us some ice for a night cap?" A 'night cap!' I was thinking. After all the drinks we just consumed! "Oh, babe, I think I'm good, but I guess I can go get us some ice, and you can have a drink. I'll just have some ice water." Begrudgingly, I took the ice bucket and walked the long corridor to the ice machine. Unfortunately, when I got there, I discovered the ice machine was out of ice. Well, I wasn't about to go hunt down another ice machine, so I just headed back to the room.

When I reached the room, Kenny was pouring champagne and I told him the ice machine wasn't working (he said he wasn't expecting back so soon and quickly shoved the box into his pocket). I set the ice bucket down on the cocktail bar in our room as he offered champagne on the balcony instead. I relented and we headed out to the balcony, while I started to take off my lei. "Keep your lei on," he told me. Too tired to protest or suspect anything, I put my lei back in place.

The warm tropical breeze felt good on the balcony.

"Look!" he said, pointing out the fireworks across the bay. "Oh, wow!" I responded as I saw the fireworks go off, reflecting on the water. It was such a cool site. 

The next thing I knew I turned toward him and he was down on one knee. Gasping, I put my hand to my mouth and started crying. This moment is still a blur in my memory, as if it were a dream, yet so vivid. "Will you marry me?" he asked, opening the box. I immediately said "yes!" (he later told me that this was the longest second of his life, because he could not tell if I was crying out of joy or sadness). We embraced and kissed, and I couldn't stop from simultaneously laughing and crying.

Realizing, I had not seen the ring yet because of the dark balcony, I ushered us back inside so I could get a good look at the ring and have Kenny put it on my finger. Wide awake now, we decided to change into comfortable clothing and take a walk.

For the remainder of the evening, it was nearly 11 by this point, we walked the whole resort (which is quite big), hitched a ride on the gondola to its dock, and then walked past the lagoon. We stopped at a hammock and lay down, holding hands and gazing up at the stars while we reveled in our betrothal and the warm night. On our way back to the room, we stopped and watched the dolphins swimming their midnight laps. Happily tired, we crashed as soon as we got to our suite, and woke up with smiles on our faces.