mac and cheese

NYE

My New Year’s Eve started with the gym:

Per usual! Thankfully the gym wasn’t crowded! I did my body weight exercises, free weight routine, weight machines then finished up with the elliptical. I was feeling ok but a little on the run-down side. I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for summer…!

After the gym Michael’s mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan while we had a date! I had NO idea what our date was. Michael planned it all and it was a surprise. He just said we had to be ready to go at noon.

First stop: lunch! I had no idea where we were going and was pleasantly surprised when we went to Papa Haydn’s! One of my favorites. It was pretty busy but we got a table right away.

Michael got the Pale Ale on tap and I got this gorgeous looking Bloody Mary:

It was spicy! YUM! Lunch was slow, which was perfect! We had time to relax, didn’t feel rushed, could have ADULT CONVERSATION and enjoy each other’s company in a calm, quiet setting…can you tell we were ready for a date “night”? 😉

We both got the Croque Monsier except Michael got his with ham and I got the turkey. Instead of fries or a salad I asked for the seasonal vegetable because it turned out to be Brussels Sprouts and I love sprouts! They were really good, too. Of course, the fries at Papa Haydn’s are to die for, so really you can’t lose whatever you order. I’m super happy with my lunch.

We chatted about Vegas and planning a potential trip in 2017. We’ll see if it actually happens. We’ve been away from Logan overnight once and will be away from him overnight in January, but a whole weekend? I don’t know that I am ready for that quite yet. But it was fun to imagine a little vacation getaway. We both agreed that it would be nice to stay at The Venetian.

We hung out and finished our drinks and relaxed and then got dessert to go for later. As we left the restaurant it started to SNOW!!

The next stop was nearby in Sellwood, The Moreland Theater. We’ve never been to that theater and we’ve both been curious, so it was cool to finally check it out. It was built in 1926! It was really old and reminded me of that old fashioned theater we went to in LA. (I wish I could remember the name of it.)

We saw Rogue One. It was okay. I am not a Star Wars fan so it’s kind of lost on me. But I can see how fans would be excited about it. I told Michael that I just can’t get into movies or TV shows that have fake creatures and fake languages…and he countered with Game of Thrones, which I love. So, yeah, I really can’t explain why GOT is ok but Star Wars doesn’t do it for me.

After the movie we had one more surprise stop to make for our date.

A new phone!! A Christmas tradition we have is giving each other a card and in my card this year he said that I’d get the rest of my present on NYE. YAY! My phone (the iphone 5S) has been buggy for awhile and every other day a message pops up saying I am out of space on my phone–no matter how much I deleted off it! It is so nice to have an upgrade.

We went home and we had originally planned on making Cornish Game Hens for dinner but they weren’t defrosted! Even though we took them out of the freezer two days ago….sooo we put in a frozen lasagna. And opened a bottle of wine that was a gift from Michael’s sister:

Pretty fancy New Year’s, huh? 😉

Dessert was the Bourbon Ball we bought at Papa Haydn’s:

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Day

Our tradition for New Year’s Day has always been snowshoeing on Mount Hood. I even did it last year when I was like 30 weeks pregnant (and my snow pants didn’t fit)! But this year we skipped it. Logan is too small right now to take him up there in the snow. Hopefully next year!

I was a little bummed about not snowshoeing. But I went swimming and was pleasantly surprised that the gym and pool was pretty much empty. I guess everyone else was nursing a hangover.

Sunday night we had some friends over for dinner. Michael made his mac n’ cheese:

Turned out great as usual! Our friends brought a delicious salad: spinach, blueberries, pine nuts and a homemade basil vinaigrette.

Comfort food + wine + good friends! We played Cards Against Humanity and talked into the evening. It was so good to have some adult time and catch up with friends. Being sick so much lately we’ve kind of been holed-up in our house.

It was a good New Year’s!

Lots of Visiting

What a crazy couple of days! The weekend started with President Obama visiting Portland for two days. He just so happened to be staying in a hotel nearby where I work! We got to see all the activity with the Secret Service, Portland Police, Bomb Squad, what looked like National Guard troops, and lots of adorable K-9/Bomb-Sniffing Dogs! Then on Friday we couldn’t get into our office in the morning because there was a pretty large perimeter of streets completely shut off around the President. We stood outside and watched as the motorcade came by.

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We saw snipers on the hotel roof, the super long motorcade with about 20 vehicles went by and President Obama even WAVED at all of us as they drove by! I got video but it didn’t turn out great and unfortunately can’t see that he waved! Bummer! But what an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment! Like holy shit we saw the President!!!

Anyways, that was Friday morning. Then Friday after work I had a girl’s night with my bff Rachel! She drove down from Seattle to spend some quality girl time together. I think the last time we hung out was my wedding. Way too long ago. I was so excited about her visit.

We went out to dinner at the Savoy Tavern on SE Clinton Street.

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I’ve wanted to try this place out for awhile now and Rachel and I got a seat outside in the sun, which was super nice. It was in the 80’s and just gorgeous weather. We shared an appetizer of the fried cheese curds and each got a glass of wine (I got the Syrah).

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The cheese curds were good, but could have been better. We both agreed they needed some salt, or something…We both got a burger. Mine came with cheddar cheese and bacon on it. I got a side of coleslaw. The food was average. It wasn’t bad but it was just lacking something…the patty was small, which was good because I wasn’t looking for a monster huge, messy burger that is 2,000 calories. It was just the right amount of food. But once again, it was missing something.

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The coleslaw was kind of boring. I’ve had better. Again, the food wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t fantastic. What was fantastic? The shoestring fries Rachel got with her burger. They were to-die-for good. I was kind of disappointed that food wasn’t better, because I had heard some good things about that place. Not sure what happened there.

After dinner we went to a wine bar and spent a few hours gabbing and catching up. I got one glass of the Soave Classico Pieropan white wine from Italy. I’d never heard of it before and so I gave it a try. It definitely had lemon flavors to it. It was okay, but not my favorite white wine. Rachel got a red wine flight and we shared an order of chocolate covered blueberries. Yum! It was so nice to spend some girl time talking about stuff and reminiscing.

Saturday

Saturday morning Rachel, Michael and I went to Sckavone’s for breakfast. It’s a good breakfast joint that never has a line. I got coffee and the smoked salmon scramble that came with amazing potatoes. They also bring out mini scones for the table that are drizzled with honey (so good)!

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Michael got the huevos rancheros and Rachel got a Bloody Mary and the steak and eggs. They even had a Bloody Mary “garnish bar”. LOL Had I not been driving I might have had to partake. I <3 Bloody Mary drinks. 😀

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After breakfast Michael went home and us girls went over to the Hawthorne district to do some shopping. There’s a bunch of cool, quirky, fun shops and several consignment stores. I was looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding I’m going to and we had fun checking out the sometimes awful and sometimes cute clothes. Also saw these shoes:

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So tempted. 😉 After a few hours we went back to the house and Rachel had to hit the road. I was sad that it was such a short visit but I was glad to be able to spend some time together. After she left I went to the gym for some light weight lifting and the elliptical.

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Sunday

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Our dog walker sent me this photo, from Bella of course. 😀

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We hosted dinner at our place for Michael’s family. It was a combo birthday/Mother’s Day party for his mom. It was also a good opportunity for everyone to see the new kitchen counters.

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Since there were going to be 8 people over, Michael decided to make his famous mac n’ cheese since it’s a favorite and feeds a lot of people. I picked up some gluten free macaroni at Bob’s Red Mill for it. It was a huge hit, of course.

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Michael’s sister brought a delicious salad and made her amazing green beans wrapped in marinated steak (they are so good).

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Michael’s brother brought a veggie tray and some spinach dip, plus strawberry shortcake for dessert.

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I definitely ate too much. No secret about it. Everything tasted so great. The evening was a success and we are both happy we were able to entertain a fairly large crowd comfortably. Honestly, I think 6 people is the sweet number for a dinner party. 8 is doable but difficult. Our house isn’t huge and we need a bigger dining table to do that comfortably.

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Doesn’t that dessert look decadent? It was a nice treat. I haven’t had strawberry shortcake in a million years! Homemade is even better. 😀

Hope everyone had a great weekend/Mother’s Day!