Jul 242014
 

license

Michael and I got off work a little early because we were on a mission: a mission to apply for our marriage license! In Multnomah County you can apply for the license 60 days before the wedding, no sooner. It was something easy to cross off the to-do list and I wanted to take of things that were easy to do early on. The last thing we need is to be rushing around trying to finish stuff after procrastinating.

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I met Michael at the office where you apply. I had already applied online earlier in the day and that saved us a lot of time. We barely had to wait even 5 minutes before our number was called. The lady at the office was super nice and had us proofread and double check everything before signing the application. All we had to do was show our ID’s, which felt really simplistic. Seriously, the whole process took about 10 minutes long!

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Michael was super cute and said I couldn’t back out now, then he gave me a little peck on the cheek. Ta-da! Here it is. The “decorative” wedding license that will be filled out by our officiant and signed on the wedding day. Here it is:

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Seems real now! At this point there isn’t a whole lot more to do until closer to the big day. A lot of the pending stuff on my list depends on how many guests RSVP yes (i.e. making programs and place cards). I’m excited about seeing some old friends that I haven’t seen in years. Getting their “yes” in the mail was like a little gift. :)

After getting the license we went home and while we should have done something to celebrate…we really didn’t. Michael had Tour de France to watch and I wanted to get a run in. Since Portland has decided summer is over and it was just pouring rain outside so I headed to the gym to run on the treadmill.

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running

It was the first run I did since my 5K. I took about a week and a half off from running after learning my lesson many times with going back into it too soon. So while I recuperated I did other things–biking to work, swimming, yoga, some weight lifting. Just not running.

It was kind of a bummer to be on the treadmill but it was better than doing it in the rain and wind. Other than that, it was a really decent run and I was happy that I was back at it. I took a few walking breaks but overall was able to run for 2.5 miles. I’m ready to go back outside to run!

In other news, my blog has apparently been broken this week and I didn’t know it. I got a kind email from another blogger friend who said my blog was eating her comments. Ugh! I have no idea why it was doing that and I *hope* it’s fixed now…I have gotten a few comments here and there so maybe it’s okay. So let’s test it out, shall we?

flower

Can anyone name the above flower for me? It’s growing in my yard and I have no idea. I hope the comments are working now! :)

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Jul 222014
 

Last summer I wrote about making some infused vodka. I didn’t make a ton because I ended up eating MOST of the blackberries that were ripe… Ooops! (One of my goals this summer is to go berry picking…which will be hard because I end up eating more than I pick…) Anyways, I made this blackberry vodka and let it sit for awhile.

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It was easy to make. I picked a ton of blackberries from our yard, combined them with vodka in a mason jar and stuck it in the fridge. About once a week I would turn the jar over to mix it. It sat in the fridge for about two months.

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It was time to take the blackberries out. I strained the blackberries (which weren’t black anymore) and then put the vodka in a clean (and smaller) mason jar.

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Of course I had to sample my creation! I had a teeny sip.  It was very potent. Michael asked, “What kind of Moonshine are you drinking?!” And yes, it was strong like Moonshine! It was sweet, too, which was interesting because I did not add any sugar to it. It wasn’t overly sweet, though.

I gave a small sample to a friend who absolutely LOVED IT and I rationed out some for myself throughout the winter. By spring it was all gone. I started writing this post months ago and then promptly forgot about it in my drafts folder. Now seems like a good time to share it. :)

I tried two different recipes to use the infused vodka and wanted to share them here. Here is the first:

Berryoska Blackberry

From: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food/cocktails/vodka-drink-recipes-berryoska-blackberry#slide-6

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Russian Standard Vodka
  • 4 blackberries
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

  1. Muddle the lime juice, sugar, and blackberries in a glass.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
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It was potent! I took a sip and added a splash of lemon lime sparkling water and that lightened it up just a tad. It was great!

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The next night I tried a different recipe. When I was making it Michael asked me what kind of “hillbilly concoction” I was making. What is it with him and Moonshine?!?! What does he have against some good homemade stuff? ;) Here is the second recipe:

Blackberry and Basil

From: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/cocktails/stolichnaya-blakberi-vodka.asp

Ingredients

  • 1 part Stoli Blakberi
  • French or Italian sparkling lemonade (in bottles at specialty food stores) or San Pellegrino Sparkling Lemon Beverage (in cans).
  • Fresh basil to taste

Instructions

  1. Muddle basil with Stoli Blakberi.
  2. Serve on rocks and top off with Italian sparkling lemonade.
  3. Garnish with additional basil leaves.
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I liked this one because in my opinion there isn’t anything better than fresh basil. (In fact, I need to plant another basil plant this year. For some reason I didn’t do that this spring like I usually do…) I used some of the Newman’s Own lemonade — loved it! I need to buy this more often. I used just a splash of it in my drink.

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Of the two recipes, this second one was my absolute favorite. The flavors all balanced nicely and took some of the “bite” off the vodka. It tasted more like a refreshing summer drink than an alcoholic beverage. The minced basil was an excellent touch. I loved the flavor of the basil with the vodka. I am so sad now that it’s all gone. :( Perhaps I shouldn’t have chopped down all our blackberry bushes this year so I could make some more….Anyways, hope you enjoyed this post and give some of the recipes a try. They were really good! Cheers!

 

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