Love is in the Air

I love weddings!!

This weekend it was finally time for my cousin Anna’s wedding. <3 I was in the wedding so I didn’t get a lot of photos but I wanted to share a few of the good ones I managed to get.

The wedding was on Sunday Feb 19th. My friend Ashley kindly agreed to do my hair for the wedding. She doesn’t do hair professionally but she always looks super cute at work with her hair styled in creative ways (seriously, how does she have time to do that every day?!) so I asked if she’d be up for doing mine. I was so glad she said yes! And I am SO happy with how it turned out. Here are a few pictures:

She did two braids in the front, tied them in the back, did a bunch of curls and hair-sprayed the hell out of it and then put the clip in my hair. (I got the clip on amazon and it matched my dress really nicely). Here is the dress:

The dress was from Macy’s (and on sale, even better). It was a dark plum/purple floor-length dress. My heels were a dark raspberry color. It’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but here you go:

The wedding was at The Secret Society in NE Portland. It’s a cool place with a separate bar, lounge area and then a big ballroom. Michael’s work Christmas party was there last year and it was a fun space.

So I got to the venue early with Ashley so she could do my hair and then I did my makeup. Immediate family started to arrive and the groom was bustling around getting stuff set up. Anna’s dress was gorgeous!

Here is a picture of the bar as they were setting everything up and getting ready:

It’s a fun, unique place. The Ladies Lounge was really big with two huge, comfy couches and private bathroom stalls. This was where we were getting ready. Finally the bride arrived and her mom and soon to be mother-in-law and the other bridesmaid, Shawna, helped her get dressed.

So much fun, so much positive energy. And the gorgeous bride:

Someone grabbed a bottle of wine that was especially set aside for Anna and we had a toast. Then it was time to rush through the official family and wedding party pictures as guests were starting to arrive.

She had some sustainable bouquets that were such a cool idea. I love that they were made out of paper and other reused products. They were really pretty and will last forever.

The ceremony started and we walked out to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The groom’s brother performed the service and it was funny and sweet and the perfect ceremony for the couple. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

The party got started. It was an open bar and there were munchies and mini cupcakes.

A little bit later, a few of us made speeches. I was really nervous about getting up there in front of everyone (even though I knew more than half of the guests!) but I did it (and barely made it through my speech without crying) but I think Anna liked it. 🙂 People were super nice afterward and came up to me saying it was a great speech and they cried. PHEW! Success!

Ezra, the groom, got up and made a speech and thanked everyone and then he had an announcement. He had a surprise for his bride: he hired her favorite band to perform for the reception!! Anna was blown away and it was such a cool surprise! You can see a clip of Sassparilla playing on my Instagram page here.

They are kind of a bluesy, bluegrass, Americana, punk hybrid. The music was really fun! I think everyone had a good time. The wedding was really one big party and that was the vibe all night. I’m so happy for the bride and groom! And slightly jealous they are off on their honeymoon soon. 😉

I was kinda bummed that Michael was home sick with a sick Logan, too. 🙁 It would have been nice to have my guy there to dance with…Weddings are so romantic.

It was a really fun, special night. I’m super happy for the lovely couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness!

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I didn’t mean to take two months to celebrate Michael’s new job. But the whole holidays-are-filling-my-schedule thing happened and we kept putting it off. I wanted to do it before the end of the year so I made a reservation and then did everything I could NOT to cancel it (like we’d done twice before). I had a Groupon deal for Portland Prime, a nice steakhouse in downtown Portland that neither of us have been to before.

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The best steak house I’ve ever been to in my entire life, is of course Craft in Vegas. It’s my favorite restaurant on the planet (so far) and I’ve yet to have a steak that compares. Sadly, I can’t say that Portland has ever given me a fantastic steak (yet) better than Craft.

Michael and I had an early dinner after work one night after Christmas. I ignored the feeling that we were entering early bird special territory, and just went with it. Sometimes it’s nice having an earlier dinner, missing the crowds, avoiding traffic, and then going home at a reasonable hour (sheesh, when did I get so old?).

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The restaurant itself was beautiful and classy. The service was fast, friendly and attentive. Michael was dying to get onion rings and I caved, after all it was his night! The onion rings were just as huge as they look in the picture. They were fried in Ninkasi beer batter and were crunchy and tasty. I ate three of the smallest ones there. I’m not a huge onion ring fan simply because it’s fried, but these were good!

A small chopped salad came with the entrees. The salad was by far my favorite part of the meal. It was crisp and healthy, slightly sweet with a raspberry vinaigrette and topped with all my favorite things: tomatoes, pickled red onions, sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

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There was also some focaccia bread with the salad course. It was soft and spongy, a little on the greasy side with the olive oil, but rich in garlic and salt flavors. After that, they gave us a small bowl of lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate (so fancy!).

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The sorbet was great. I loved how strong the lemon flavor was. Finally, the entrees arrived. Michael got the New York Strip steak which was covered in peppercorns and some glaze. He loved it.

My flat iron steak was sweet–sweeter than I’m used to–and I think it was balsamic. The sweetness was balanced with the melted blue cheese on top and the roasted beets underneath the cheese.

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It came with a risotto cake, which was made with squash and greens. I liked the risotto cake for most of it, but by the end of the cake it tasted a little grainy and I was too stuffed to finish it.

The green beans were overdone. I happen to like my green beans a little on the soft side so I didn’t mind, but I imagine a food critic slamming them for that. I had one glass of Malbec with my steak. It was earthy and rich and balanced the flavors of the sweet steak.

We rolled ourselves to the car, completely full. I definitely ate too much and could have skipped the onion rings and probably have been better off.

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On the way to the car, we passed by the above sign. 🙂 Awesome. I’d planned on going to Ben and Jerry’s for dessert (had another Groupon) but we had zero room for dessert. So I used the groupon to buy two cartons of ice cream for later.

We got home at 7 and while I was tempted to immediately go to bed (red wine and red meat tend to do that to me), I decided to stay up a bit and start packing up the Christmas decorations. I hate that! I wish they could stay up just a little bit longer…and Maya is definitely unhappy that we are removing her hiding place (under the tree).

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I also finished the book I was reading. I really recommend it if you’re looking for a good read. It’s called “The Hangman’s Daughter” by Oliver Potzsch. I really liked the book because it was an easy and interesting read. I think the title is misleading, because the main characters were not the daughter. Other than that, it’s worth a read!

QUESTION: Do you have anything to celebrate?