coworkers

So Much Love

Over the weekend, Michael and I got to witness a wonderful wedding between two friends. My good friend Samantha married the love of her life at the East Fork Estates, with rolling country hills and Mount Hood in the background. It was hands down, one of the best weddings we’ve ever been to!

Logan was home with the grandparents so we could go out and have some fun. We arrived a little bit early because I wanted to get a good seat (and take some pictures!). I was SO excited for Sam’s big day.

They were still taking photos when we arrived. I go a sneak peak at the happy couple and it was so cool. I absolutely loved her dress and could not wait to get a closer look.

The venue was so cute. There was an indoor area, a covered patio with trellises and fairy lights, there were trees with lights on them, too. There were table set up underneath some tents, which was nice because the sun was pretty hot. Thankfully, despite weeks of 90+ degrees and hazy smoke from wildfires nearby, the Big Day was clear and hot but not miserable. I was so worried all week that it would be smoky for the wedding but it wasn’t.

The cake and bar was set up inside. I loved their cake! If Michael and I were going to have a traditional wedding cake, this is exactly what I had wanted to have to go with our fall/rustic theme. It was so pretty:

And they had some gluten free vegan cupcakes, too. Sam thought of everything. She’s very considerate and cares that everyone is catered to.

I absolutely LOVED her flowers. They were so gorgeous. There were sunflowers and dahlias, both my favorites, in various shades of red, peach and orange.

Sam and John met through friends years ago. They were both Timbers fans (Sam had season tickets) and finally met at a game. I remember back when Samantha first told me about meeting John and then after I met him in person, I knew they were a good match. Samantha is the wittiest, funniest, smartest person I know and John is her equal in that regards. They both have a wicked sense of humor. I am so happy they found each other!

The above scarf is a Timbers Army thing, in case you didn’t know. The chairs were set up in the field. It was such a picturesque place to have a wedding. I definitely recommend that venue if you are in the area and looking for an enchanting place!

Okay, so I knew I’d be emotional during the wedding but when I saw Sam and how beautiful and happy she looked, I got very choked up. Her dress was perfect and a friend of hers did her hair and THAT was perfect, too! She looked like a princess. She was truly glowing. Just looking at the photos now, I get choked up. <3

I cried quite a bit during the ceremony. It was a sweet, romantic, and FUNNY ceremony and they also paid tribute to Sam’s mom’s memory in a sweet way. It was absolutely perfect.

After the ceremony there were appetizers passed around. One was a little tiny biscuit with a candied bacon topping (SO DELICIOUS) and a chorizo/pizza flavored appetizer. We all mingled and had drinks and snacks. It was nice to see old coworkers, too, and catch up on everything. It was also cool to see the ladies I got to know at her bachelorette party.  🙂

It was finally time for food. It was a buffet style that had chicken, a mac n’cheese bar (!!!!!), a salad bar and veggies. The presentation was nice. I was too hungry to get a photo of the buffet. 😉 The mac n’ cheese was fantastic! They had bacon, fried onions and jalapenos for toppings, if you so desired. It was a build your own salad because there were a lot of vegetarians and vegans at the wedding. The salad was great. I got lettuce, walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries for my salad.

I told Michael that we need to renew our vows just so we can have a mac n’ cheese bar. WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THAT FOR OUR WEDDING?!?!?!

After dinner there were the toasts and then the first dance. Then they cut the cake. It’s funny because when Michael and I were planning our wedding we knew we didn’t want chicken because chicken at weddings is ALWAYS dry and not very good. AND we didn’t want a traditional cake because again, always dry and the frosting is gross. Sam and John nailed it with both the chicken and the cake. Both were moist and delicious. They changed our opinions on wedding food. 😉

The cake was lemon and to die for. Michael and I had some cake and then went back outside to dance the night away. It was so much fun (and the DJ was the same one we had at our wedding, so it was nice to talk to her).

The wedding was perfect. We had so much fun. I wanted to stay until the end and keep dancing with my hubby but we had to call it a night and relieve the babysitters! 😉

Nutritional Facts and Fauxs

Recently I went out to lunch with some coworkers to celebrate another coworker’s birthday. It was a different kind of birthday celebration, more a memorial. Some of you long term readers might remember last August, my office experienced some tragedy. It was a really sad, dark time and no one should ever have to attend two funerals in one day. But this post is not about sadness, it’s about food!

So to celebrate Flo’s birthday, we all went out to lunch to her favorite place, Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Portland. It was a nice way to kind of honor her memory. It’s still weird not having her in the office and I think we all think about her pretty frequently still.

Anyways, back to the food. I rarely eat at chain restaurants. Michael and I are kind of foodies and love trying new (or new to us) restaurants. Portland has a fantastic food scene, many restaurants boasting Michelin chefs, so it’s fun exploring that. In preparation for going out to lunch, I checked out the Rock Bottom menu online to see what they had. This is the norm for me. I like going into a restaurant prepared. This doesn’t mean I always go with the “healthier” option but I at least try.

I was happy to discover that this place offered nutritional stats for all their food! You have no idea how exciting that was (I know, I live an exciting life). It’s just rare that I get to know ahead of time actual stats.

I’d already decided I was probably having a salad or soup. That’s what I was craving. I looked through their stats and was shocked. Here are a few of the ones I had considered getting:

Blackened Chicken Salad – 1026 calories

Salmon Spinach Salad – 927 calories

Crikey! That’s too many calories for a salad. But guess what I discovered? Those calorie counts do NOT include salad dressing. There’s a whole section for that. And that section was really eye-opening.

Balsamic Vinaigrette (the one I usually order because it’s a “safe” bet) – 200 calories for 1 ounce

Caesar Dressing – 174 calories for 1 ounce

I’m not sure how many ounces of dressing a typical salad has, but it’s probably not one. Counting calories is tricky enough, it’s even harder when you realize that you’re not counting correctly! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been mislead by a tricky label that doesn’t clearly state it’s multiple servings, or restaurant foods with hidden add-on calories that I forget to count. It’s easy to miss these little things, but doing the best you can is better than throwing in the towel completely.

Being tricked by labels and servings is easy to do. Look at that above label. What the heck is it telling us? Can YOU figure out how many calories are in whatever that was? I sure can’t. I think I need to sit down with a calculator, a protractor and some graph paper to figure it out…

I ended up ordering the soup of the day, creamy chicken with artichoke. It was fantastic! I am definitely a fan of creamy soups, which I know can tack on the calories but they are simply my favorite. The calories for a bowl of the soup was 183 calories according to their website. I rounded up and called it 220 just in case my hunch that they were a bit off was right. It also came with a roll.

The soup was creamy and had carrots, artichoke and celery in it, too. I loved the flavor and creaminess. I definitely detected a heavy-hand with the salt, though. I’m really glad I ordered what I planned on ordering and I managed to stay within my calories for the meal.

A few of my coworkers ordered the Chicken Fried Chicken–it was Flo’s favorite thing. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and coleslaw. It looked absolutely decadent. Another coworker got the nachos–which ended up being big enough for 5 people to share! Way too much food. (I realize this post is kind of all over the place, forgive me!)

We reminisced about the old days and Flo. She would have been 56 this year. Her cancer took her really fast and it’s still weird that she’s gone. I was glad we could all get together to remember her and have a laugh about the old days.

QUESTION: Have you been tricked by deceiving labels before?