East Burn

Happy Christmas Holiday!

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. 🙂

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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 chair 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!

Rose City Rollers

I wouldn’t say last week was a great one. Lots of stress and by Friday I was just cranky and in a poor mood. I went swimming and had plans to go to a friend’s party and almost bailed I was in such a bad mood. I’m so glad I didn’t! It was a blast and something very out of the norm that was a lot of fun. My friend Debby was have a “divorce party” and instead of burning her ex in effigy 🙂 we had a craft part at K. Marie’s in downtown Milwaukie. It was an arts and crafts store that held workshops and parties.

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There was champagne, artichoke dip with crackers and veggies, chocolate, cheese, punch and cupcakes! Look at these things:

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There were a bunch of us there, maybe 15 (and several were awesome coworkers), and we enjoyed our glasses of champagne while the shop owner started to describe what we were going to make. I used to be pretty crafty but haven’t done much in a long time. I missed making something out of nothing! It was so much fun and it was easy with just a few instructions and guidance.

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The final product was a fancy shoe made out of paper on a gift box! I was pretty happy with mine. Some of the other ladies there were super creative and did wild things with their supplies. It’s cool seeing people’s creative side. I had one cupcake because it looked just too damn good to pass up:

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On Saturday I slept in a little bit and then went to the gym. It was one of those workouts where everything felt good, which was nice. I did a bunch of squats with the 30 pound bar and also did pushups, ab work, some glute exercises and the chest press. I finished up with the elliptical because my IT bands were a little sore from a recent massage. I just didn’t want to push it with a run yet.

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When I got home from the gym I spent an hour in the yard pulling weeds and tackling the MONSTER blackberry bushes we have. I feel like I spent my entire life in the yard pulling weeds. And then next weekend they are back. It never ends! But I got a ton of stuff done and managed to chop down more than half of the blackberry bush:


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There’s still a ton left to do but I’ve found that doing more than an hour of yard work in one day is a recipe for back ache. I’m always surprised at how much work gardening is and if you have any doubts, check out how many calories I burned doing one hour of work:

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Nearly 400 calories! Holy cow! That is so crazy. I probably didn’t need to go to the gym. I could have just worked in the yard. 😉 After all that it was time to meet my cousin Anna and her friend Shawna for happy hour at East Burn. The restaurant/bar had a big screen TV up showing the World Cup (which I had no interest in but everyone else did!) and we shared two happy hour items–the giant pretzel with cheese sauce and the goat cheese and kale dip with fresh foccacia bread.

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The goat cheese and kale dip was tasty but the kale needed to be chopped smaller and the consistency was a little on the runny side. It wasn’t like your typical spinach and artichoke dip, thick and gooey, like I was expecting. The foccaccia bread was fresh, warm, airy and buttery. Our “dinner” was just the right amount of food, with of course a tasty adult beverage–

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A Moscow Mule! Light and refreshing! After that Shawna took off and Anna and I went to the Memorial Coliseum for the Rose City Rollers championship. For years I’ve wanted to go check out the roller derby tournaments and for some reason never made it. It sounded like so much fun! I had no idea what to expect and had never seen it before. The place was pretty packed but not uncomfortably so and we got some decent seats towards the front.

There were two different matches– the first was the Guns-n-Rollers versus the High Rollers. The second bout was the Heartless Heathers versus Break Neck Betties. The names of the team members were fantastic! I think some of my favorites were Jala Pain Yo, Scratcher In The Eye, and Minstrel Psycho. HAHA!

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I posted some short videos on my Instagram that are pretty good. The bouts were absolutely fascinating. Since it was my first time I really didn’t know what the rules were but the announcers explained a bit during the competition and there was a handy guide on the game and rules in the booklet. It was pretty easy to follow. Basically the girl with the large star on her helmet was the one that was trying to get through the pack from the back and then skate around the track. The other team’s goal was to block her (or knock her down) from passing them and scoring points. Both teams had the leader with the star on their helmets and it switched out periodically.

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During half time they had some really hilarious competitions! Like the picture above, and then also some little kids on roller skates playing capture the flag, then there was a group of guys with balloons tied to their ankles and they had to stomp on the other’s balloon to pop it and win. The second set of derby girls was much more exciting than the first (I think it was the Break Neck Betties and Heartless Heathers). They were SUPER aggressive, fast and more violent than the first group of girls. It was so much fun!

Overall it was a much nicer weekend than my week had been and I got to try a bunch of new things! A quick update on Michael: he’s feeling a little better and moving around easier but by no means healed. I think it will be awhile. 🙁