Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Go Big or Go Home!

It's nice to be able to look out the kitchen window and see a back yard that makes you smile. I remember when we first moved in, the back yard was such an eye sore. We had a legion of dandelions that mocked me daily until I couldn't take it any more. Christopher likes to take it slow and steady so I can only imagine what he felt as I came full force with a mission to re-landscape the back yard.
He is a good sport and a wonderful carpenter who brings my dreams to reality. (I never tire of our before and after photos)

Here is the start of our 2nd arbor and privacy screen.
 Our neighbors felt like they were on set of Lord of the Rings waiting for the Orcs to scale the fence.

That is a 6 foot ladder for comparison. Go big or go home, eh! It really feels like we are in the home stretch. Tear out some grass to create a fire pit area and jack hammer the existing patio and re-pour a new patio and the back yard will be done of big projects. When that day comes there will be a big Par Tay!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keystone, CO

Christopher's son Nathan finally tied the knot to his one and only Bre. It was my first time in Bronco land and I couldn't believe how flat it was. Christopher and his three other kids drove to the wedding and made a Griswald family vacation to Yellowstone then picked me up at the airport.
First impression -- Denver traffic sucks big time. When we finally made it out of Denver proper we started to see the mountain side of Denver ,but only on 2 lanes. A 90 mile trip took just short of 4 hours. 

We thought we would have plenty of time to freshen up for the Friday rehearsal dinner, but with traffic we rolled into the Dam Brewery straight from the airport.

We got to meet Bre's family, Nathan's mom side of the family and the bridal party. It was fun watching Christopher beam as a proud parent. Nathan and Bre painted Chinese sayings and framed them as gifts for the bridal party and their parents. Christopher's says joyful and kind (if i can remember correctly) Nathan and Bre are both poets and the poem Nathan penned for his dad was so thoughtful and touching. Christopher tears up every time he reads it.

On the day of the wedding, we took a 30 minute gondola ride to the ceremony. It was beautifully situated on the mountain top. I believe Bre's dad and brother made the trellis.

I unfortunately did not get any photos of the happy couple with their dad. Nathan and Bre gave Megan and Elizabeth the duty of handing out the programs and mini bottles of bubbles.

William had the duty of walking Bre's mom down the isle. Quite the job for the young man! I say these two look dazzling.

Nathan and Bre are totally think outside of the box kind of people and they cut the cake first before dinner.
 Yes that is all cake. The logs look so real!

Check out the dessert table. Yum!
Can you say Candied Bacon S'mores!

The couples' first dance was by a band I never heard of called Cake and they made sure to get their groove on.

One of the fun things Nathan and Bre planned for their wedding was a photo booth with props. I think Megan loved the photo booth the most. We were able to put our photos in their scrapbook and take an additional copy home with us. What a great idea!
Here are some of our photos.

This is just a snippet of the photos the kids took. It pretty much consumed them all night long. The next day we attended Nathan and Bre's farewell brunch and said our goodbyes as we headed home and they head back to China on Wednesday. It was super special to be apart of their wedding and I pray many blessings their way.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I have the best partner ever! He took the day off yesterday so we could go to my favorite spots in Portland, OR for my 41st birthday.

First stop was downtown Portland for lunch at BluePlate. I was torn between BluePlate and Kenny and Zuke's Deli. Next time we will try Kenny and Zuke's, but we had no complaints at BluePlate. I ordered the northwest sliders and Christopher had the rueben both came with a side of mashed potatoes. They make their own sodas so no Dr. Pepper for me. I had the Karl Marxx which was sparkling lemonade and iced tea. Next time I will get what Christopher ordered - the Tooted Fruit (lemon, orange, strawberry and ginger) Yeah, that good!

After lunch we went to a favorite of mine -Cargo. I just found out they will be moving in a month so I will have to keep track of that. Fun import store, I hope the new store has A/C!

Once we were done in downtown we headed across the bridge to the Belmont District to an all-time favorite store - Artemesia. If you love succulents and terrariums this shop is for you.

Seattle has Midnight Blossom in Ballard that is comparable for sure, but there is always that one golden item I find here that I can't find anywhere else. I brought home a cute pink mini sea urchin shell, 2 large pink sea fans, black hematite sand and mustard green mood moss. I left one happy customer!

We also drove to the Portland Nursery and walked around in the hot heat only to come up empty handed. Christopher was a gem when I suggested we go to Lloyd Center. I know he isn't a fan of malls, but I wanted to get some tax free clothing. I found 3 pairs of pants and 2 shirts at Macy's at such a great price. I heart shopping in Portland!

For dinner, which is the main reason I wanted to go to Portland for my birthday was to relive the tacos at Por Que No? 

We started with the chips and salsa which are delicious. They make their own chips and Christopher was kind enough to give me all the chips that had extra sea salt. He ordered the pollo verde and al pastor and I ordered the al pastor and carnitas. I drank a watermelon marrionberry juice to wash down the spicy al pastor.

We left feeling full and satisfied and made one more stop before leaving Oregon at Lowes. Couldn't resist tax free plants!

So thankful for Christopher for taking me to my favorite spots in PDX! Love you babe!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Happy

Hello there! I haven't visited my blog in awhile because I've been busy busy with the garden. So much progress has been made. We planted sunflowers again that have taken off and should provide a nice privacy screen. Isn't it lovely to be able to see your neighbor washing dishes, ack! The vegetable garden has grown tremendously to my delight. I have eaten all the cauliflower and am waiting on the red cabbage, zucchini and cucumbers. We also ate most of the radishes and had plenty to share with neighbors and coworkers. Our pumpkins have taken over the garden bed and Christopher will need to do some pruning if he wants his watermelons to come in. I am so happy we planted blueberry bushes. Been picking big fat juicy blueberries.

Christopher built our first arbor and it turned out exactly as I'd hoped. I kinda messed up on the stain, but hoping it can be remedied. I can't remember if I mentioned he built a new fence in the front yard courtesy of our neighbor. It makes such a huge difference going from a small rickety white fence to a taller 6ft fence.

I also pressured washed a couple hundred feet of our fence in the backyard and wow, what a difference. Let's see what else have we painted the shed a shade of Gentle Wave by Valspar, which I am really digging. I also painted our front door the same color. Added stone edging to the front yard. I bought 2 container pots and made my own arrangements that make me smile every time I look at them. I seriously need to take some new pictures tonight.

Back in June we celebrated Christopher's girls 11th birthday. We had Megan that weekend and I made her this card.

Hoping to be able to get some more scrap time in this week.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

More Sweat Equity

So happy to report the garden beds have been built and stained. Next step is filling those big boys. Didn't realized how much top soil we would need. One bed is ready for planting and I have already planted my favorite vegetables - cauliflower and red cabbage. Slowly but surely we are hauling dirt to and fro.
I am also happy to report we finally put retaining wall blocks around two of our lobes. We planted blueberry bushes, japanese maple, lithodora, coral bells, mexican feather grass, lamb's ear and hebe in one lobe. The other lobe has artemesia, elijah blue fescue and ornamental grasses. I ordered two Italian plum trees to go there as well and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Here is what we started with.

And here we are now

Next up two trellises...

Sunday, April 13, 2014

3 out of 4 is not bad

The sun came out in force and Christopher and I worked like dogs in the front and back yard. Christopher built 3 out of 4 garden beds and hopefully by Monday night the 4th will be completed. We used untreated douglas fir and corrugated steel and I really like how they turned out.

 Will and Elizabeth helped build beds #2 and 3
My job was to stain the wood then I was off to the front yard reworking the strip of grass I pulled out last year. Weeds and clumps of grass were invading my handy work, but just a couple hours of retilling and pouring red mulch turned my barren patch of dirt into a manicured front yard. or at least i like to think that! i also planted some lavender for my viewing pleasure.  Christopher, Will and Elizabeth moved the railway ties from the back to create a little fence in the front yard. photos to come :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

You're Amazing

made this birthday card for a dear co-worker. used webster's pages background paper, glitter paper, heidi swapp "you are here" resist star, label and happy birthday stamp, MME "you're amazing sticker.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Let there be Tavern Oak

So Christopher outdid himself last weekend. Not only do I have a new half bath,  he put new flooring in the laundry room which I have been wanting for so long. My original plan was to buy a runner to cover the awful carpet, but we had some leftover flooring from the bathroom. I can't believe how much it transforms the room.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Half Bathroom Makeover

So after the beach hike Christopher started the process of gutting our half bathroom. I was so excited because I got a sweet deal on this marble top vanity at Lowes. There were 5 pages of reviews with people loving or hating it so I went for it because I was of the kind who loved it.

Here's the bathroom when we moved in. Not terribly bad. They put in new flooring which I didn't care about. The vanity top wasn't bad either, I just wanted something that screamed modern and new. What I absolutely hated was the mirror and cabinet straight out of the 70's. Also the faucet was hard on the wrists to turn on.        

 Here Christopher has gutted the bathroom, woohoo!
 I bought Tavern Oak Floor Laminate at Lowes, which I am pretty happy about. I love that reclaimed vintage look.
I bought everything at Lowes since they are close to where we live. It makes me so happy to have something nice to look at in my older home. I also bought the tri-fold medicine cabinet and a Delta wide spread faucet.

Pretty inexpensive with Christopher doing the labor. Flooring, baseboards, marble vanity top, faucet, and medicine cabinet. The only thing left is installing a new light fixture. Babe, thank you so much for working on this project! I love it.