celebrating

Playing Hooky & Celebrating

On Friday I took a vacation day at work and we played hooky! It was a planned hooky…It was our friend Shawna’s 40th Birthday and she planned a day of wine tasting to celebrate with friends and family. Her parents were visiting from California.

So I took Logan to daycare, went to the gym, and then Michael and I drove out to the Gorge to meet up with everyone!

The first stop was at AniChe Cellars in Underwood, WA, just across the bridge from Hood River. Ironically, it was about a mile away from the little house we rented last 4th of July and we had no idea there was a cute winery nearby!

I really liked this winery. Shawna was a member so we all got complimentary tastings. Yay! And we got a tasting plate that paired with each wine tasting. It was different kinds of dried fruits, cheese and chocolate.

My cousin Anna, her husband, her sister Carrie and their parents came, too, plus some friends.

I ended up buying a bottle of the “Lizzy” (Southern Rhône styled blend of 62% Marsanne and 38% Roussanne). From their website: This dry wine elicits a more complex palate of chamomile, dried herbs, honeysuckle, beeswax and green tea. Enjoy with fresh fig, salty proscuitto, and baked chicken with Provencal herbs.

I liked how crisp and slightly sweet it was.

I also bought a bottle of “Be Holden” (a blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot, from the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills).  Bold quince and blackberry followed by rich vanilla, tobacco and spice. YUM!

I loved that they named all their wines references literary greats. After the tasting we ended up buying a bottle of red and white to share with everyone outside. It was a drizzly, cold day in the Gorge but the firepit area was covered and the firepit was warm. So we all hung out and snacked on the pimento cheese, crackers and the sheeps cheese Michael and I brought.

Then it was time to hit the next place. Michael and I made a pit stop at a random taco truck. He got a small burrito and I got a street taco. It was really good! We will definitely stop there again in the future.

The next stop was Syncline. We used to be members there but suspended it last fall. I hope to start up again in the future. It’s a great place for the summer. It definitely looked different in the winter! No hammocks, corn hole, bistro tables…but there was a great fire pit!

It was raining a bit. But somehow it wasn’t miserable. It was just fun hanging out by the fire, doing our tastings, chatting, celebrating Shawna.

There weren’t a lot of people there, either, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Shawna brought a bunch of cheese, bread, crackers, fruit and Anna brought an amazing pasta salad. I did half a tasting but we were short on time and had to leave to get back to Portland in time to pick up the munchkin from daycare. Hugs and well wishes and then we went home. The rest of the group was going to head to another place and then out to dinner.

It was an excellent day. PLUS, Michael and I were kinda celebrating, too, because….HE GOT A JOB!!! As you can guess, we are SUPER excited and relieved. I might tell you guys in the future where, because it’s pretty awesome. 😉

It’s a contract-to-hire type of thing. So hopefully like at his last place, it was a 30 Day contract and then they hired him permanently. We’re crossing our fingers for this time.

We picked Logan up from daycare and the other big news: we converted his crib to a “big boy” bed by taking one side off. He’s been successfully climbing out his crib for a few weeks now. It was definitely time!

So that was our exciting weekend! How was yours?

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!