Dec 282015
 

After much hemming and hawing I took Christmas Eve off from work. I was planning on saving as much time as possible for maternity leave but work was SO dead the day before Christmas Eve I knew Christmas Eve would be even more boring. I was glad I took it off. I slept in, went to the gym, got a haircut, ran some errands and then spent a few hours working on the soon-to-be-nursery. Lots of stuff to go through!

Christmas morning Michael and I opened presents. He got me a new camera! I LOVE it! It’s a Canon and a lot of the features are similar to my old Canon but it’s still going to take some time to figure it out. Michael said that there’s a feature on the new one that will make it easier to take pictures of moving targets–like babies and dogs. It’s so hard getting a good photo of Bella, even using all the tricks I know with my current camera, because she just moves too fast! I’m looking forward to practicing.

Fat Kitty enjoyed the wrapping paper and boxes. I got Bella a new squeak toy and she loved the sound but didn’t want to play with it, which was weird.

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We took Bella for a walk–thankfully it was finally NOT raining here in Portland, then my parents arrived from Seattle and the four of us went to Gracie’s for our annual brunch!

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We love Gracie’s. The food is always perfect and the service is as well. This year they had a champagne cocktail menu! Dang it! It looked so good. But I did splurge and order some freshly squeezed orange juice that was absolutely amazing.

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I ordered the ham and cheese omelette this year. It came with potatoes and I got sourdough toast. Michael got the Huevos Rancheros, of course, and my mom got the crab and avocado omelette. Everyone’s breakfast was fabulous. It was a nice, relaxing brunch. I’d kill for some more of that OJ.

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Back to the house for presents with my parents. Fat Kitty decided my dad’s lap was the best place to be, apparently. šŸ™‚

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My parents got us a glider for the nursery (to be delivered next month when the nursery is finished). They also brought down this super cute chairĀ and stool:

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One of my dad’s friends got it in Arizona and it’s so cute! It’s small but sturdy and will be a great addition to the nursery. After spending a few hours with my folks, they took off for the beach and Michael and I went to his mom’s house for dinner. There were deviled eggs, I made a veggie tray, Michael’s sister did these pork buns that were really good.

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It was a very full day but it was nice that we got to see everyone and spend time with them. I got to talk to my brother on the phone for awhile and that was good, too. Maybe one of these years we’ll all be together for Christmas. Who knows, things might look very different next year!

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Saturday evening Michael and I went out with another couple for dinner. Michael had been planning a big group dinner with some of his childhood friends and in the end it was just the four of us, which was nice! Much more intimate and it was nice to catch up with friends we wish we saw more than a few times a year–especially since it’s not like we live all that far from each other!

We went to East Burn for dinner. The three of them shared the goat cheese and prosciutto appetizer that looked really good:

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I wish I could have had some! For the entree Michael got the burger (I had a bite and it was quite tasty). I got the steelhead entree that was to die for. It was nestled on top of pumpkin risotto with cranberries. The dish sounded like it would be really sweet but it wasn’t. The pumpkin risotto was slightly sweet but tasted more like butternut squash than pumpkin and it was mild. The cranberries gave it a really nice, tart finish. There was brown sage butter drizzled on top and the steelhead was crispy and perfectly prepared. I LOVED my dish!

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It was so so good! I wonder if I can recreate a dish like this at home…

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We decided to share a dessert–the Fudge cake. It was giant! Thank goodness we split it four ways. It was really thick and rich.

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It was a nice evening and we spent a few hours hanging out with them, even after the food was done. It was also nice to pick their brains about birth and babies and such as they have two of their own. It was a decadent weekend!

Nov 102015
 

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That’s what Portland looks like these days–except more rain and it’s often sideways. So much for a mild autumn! But I can’t complain too much because we got super lucky with a mild winter/spring this past year and honestly, Mt. Hood needs some snow this winter!

Since the weather has been crappy and I’m feeling less and less motivated to do things (I’m blaming the pregnancy nesting), I’ve been catching up on TV shows. First, Bones. I had watched some of the TV show when it was first on TV years ago but never kept up with it and this summer when I was suffering fromĀ morning sickness all day long and just not feeling good at all…I spent a LOT of time laying in bed watching Bones. I started from the beginning and grew to love the show.

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It took me about 5 months to watch 10 seasons. I’m now caught up but haven’t started season 11 yet. I like the show and the characters, even though Brennan annoys me at times, and I was super bummed out when they killed off a character I liked. šŸ™ I’m taking a little break from the show and then will try and find the current season online.

Second, Longmire is back! Once I finished Bones I was able to catch up on Season 4 of my favorite show (also another good book series). Longmire is so great. It’s similar but different from the books so the stories feel fresh when reading or watching. I LOVE the main characters. Growing up I had a huge crush on Lou Diamond Phillips and I’m happy he’s a more prominent character in Season 4.

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Season 4 is alsoĀ dealing with some serious issues regarding rape on reservations and jurisdiction issues and how prosecutor’s hands are often tied in these issues when white men attack American Indian women on reservations. So infuriating and sad, but I’m glad they brought the issue up in the show. I’m sure it happens a lot more than anyone ever hears about. šŸ™

I’m super excited the show will be back for Season 5!

I mentioned a bit ago about starting to read the Wallander seriesĀ and enjoying it. I had watched an episode of the TV show on Netflix but for some reason didn’t get into the show and gave up. I decided to give it another try since I’ve read and liked a few of the books in the series. I’m glad I did because I like the TV show much better now! It’s really well done. It’s gritty and dark and kind of reminds me of Luther (another fantastic show you must watch!).

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Fat Kitty loves it when I have veg-out-watching-Netflix days:

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I need some suggestions for TV shows to watch on Netflix. What are your favorites? Anything new and fantastic I must see?

Speaking of chilling, I had a really nice dinner date with my friend Robyn this week. I’d been craving Pad Thai lately. Robyn was sweet to indulge my craving and suggested we go toĀ Sivalai, a Thai restaurant in SE Portland. I’d never heard of it and was happy to check it out. The restaurant was kind of hidden in a residential area but it was pretty easy to find.

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The prices were super cheap! Robyn got one of those Thai bubble teas for only $1. I got some hot tea and ordered Tofu Pad Thai. They brought out a little roll for us to share while dinner was cooking.

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The food came out really quickly. The portions were not obscene, like most Thai restaurants. It was more of a serving and a half instead of huge family-style 3 or 4 servings to a plate.

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The Pad Thai was decent but not my favorite. It wasn’t greasy and I liked the tofu. It just wasn’t spicy, like I wanted it, and that made itĀ average. But I ate all of it (hungry!) and it definitely satisfied my craving.

It was nice hanging out and catching up. It had been way too long since we’d gotten together and had lots to chat about. Robyn said she’s going to the newly opened Warrior Room in SE Portland. I’m excited to check it out–someday. It’s a second location and in the old Yoga Union studio space.

Last year I was going to the Warrior Room on a pretty regular basis–2 or 3 times a week, but around January needed a little break. I was starting to have some aches and pains and wanted to avoid potential injury or tendinitis so decided to take a month off. Then a month came and went and I realized I wanted a little more time off. Then I got sick. Then I hurt my back. Then I got sick again and once all that was FINALLY over with and I was ready to get back to the Warrior Room, I got pregnant. I didn’t think that was a good idea since I’d taken 5 months off from it. Had I been going the whole time, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But…yeah…so I am waiting until next year and then I’ll try and get back to going!

Anyways, I got an order of the fresh veggie spring rolls appetizer to-go and I’m having that for lunch today! Looking forward to it. Robyn and I spent a few hours catching up and then I went home and pretty much went to bed right away. I was so tired!