Oct 262015

What a week! Last week was kind of a roller coaster of emotions.

My week started with an annoyance…I had to wear a heart rate monitor for 24 hours. I was having issues with heart palpitations off and on–which my doctor said can be a normal part of pregnancy because of increased blood levels, lower blood pressure, etc. She didn’t seem too concerned about it and gave me the option of either wearing the monitor, or waiting to see if they go away. Michael panicked a little bit. :) So I wore it.

I got fitted Monday afternoon, with electrode pad things attached to various parts of my chest like this:


And then the device hooked to my waist (about the size of an iPhone). I was supposed to hit a button on the waist device whenever I felt a palpitation or got dizzy. Then I had to keep a paper journal of what time the event happened. Of course the 24 hours I wore it, I barely had any symptoms. I got to take it off Tuesday evening–thankfully! The sticky pads kind of irritated my skin, it was a nuisance to wear and I felt self-conscious wearing it. It takes about a week to get results. I’m not too worried. I’ve had my heart checked before (a regular EKG) and everything was fine.

It was a super busy week, Michael was busy and had plans Wednesday night, I was busy with the usual routine…I was feeling tired and burned out and even though we got great news about the baby and feeling happy, I was ready for a little break. The ultrasound was amazing but emotionally draining (which neither of us had anticipated!). And, sadly, we’ve barely had any time for our usual walks and playtime with Bella.  :(


Thursday we finally had some free time and could actually spend it together so…date night! We let Bella stay out of her crate (we’re still testing her again) while we went out to dinner.


We went to Fillmore Coffee in NE Portland. I’ve wanted to go for awhile now because a coworker’s husband is the owner and she’s been telling me about the place for months. She gives me updates on the rotating beer taps (before she knew I was pregnant) and I wished I could actually partake! The rotating taps are great! All local beers.


Michael got the Double Mountain Killer Green IPA. (ABV 7.6%, IBU:96) He said it was outstanding. I’ll take his word for it. Double Mountain is usually a great beer, so I trust his opinion. They also had a few other local beers and a cider on the menu.


So Fillmore is a coffee shop with a little bit more. It’s a big, open space with concrete floors, cool art on the walls, high warehouse ceilings and repurposed wood on the walls and bar. Nice jazz music mellowed out the mood. They have coffee, tea, beer, wine, cider. Plus they have some pastries, bagels, etc. The menu is small and simple–and all vegetarian or vegan. They had half a dozen pizzas on the menu to choose from and a few salads. The pizzas are super cheap, too.

We ordered the spinach salad to share and the White Truffle Oil Ricotta Pizza. My coworker has been raving about this pizza for months and I’ve been dying to try it.

First, the salad. Simple but fantastic. I know for a fact they get all their ingredients from a local organic place. The salad was fresh and delicious, full of flavor. Spinach, tomatoes, red onion, cheese and vinaigrette dressing. Michael raved about the salad–especially the onion. He said it was the perfect red onion (crunchy and spicy, his words). I liked the salad a lot and wished we’d ordered two instead of sharing.


Now, the pizza!

We watched them make it, periodically rotating the pizza in the oven, and as he brought it to our table I could smell the garlic and truffle oil. It smelled heavenly.


I guess the pizza chef used to work at Apizza Scholl’s (Michael’s favorite place in Portland) and the pie was very similar. It was small (6 slices total) and the crust was very similar to Apizza Scholl’s. The dough was fresh, perfectly baked, the truffle oil was amazing (I love truffle oil). There was seasoning and ricotta cheese and fresh mozzarella–it was decadent. I am a HUGE fan of this pizza!

We both agreed that we wished the pizza was slightly larger. While we both felt satisfied and certainly didn’t need any more pizza after eating the whole thing, we both WANTED one more slice… it was that good! 😉 Seriously, loved the pizza! I would definitely go back for this pizza and the salad, too. It was a nice treat.

The place had a cool vibe and lots of local people came in to hang out and seemed like regulars. There was also one of those wooden train tables for kids to play with. There was a cute little toddler there having a ball with the train set. It was fun to watch (and we might need to get one of these things for our little nugget!).

Our stomachs full and satisfied, we got home to discover this:


Shenanigans. I have no idea what they were getting into but I know when I walked in the door Bella and Fat Kitty were racing through the hallway. SIGH. Chaos in our house. Always! Just wait, fur-babies, when there’s a real baby chasing both of you!

I spend the rest of the evening relax, thankfully, thinking about that truffle pizza… :)

Apr 072015




I knew I wanted to plan a surprise party for Michael’s 40th birthday. It’s a big date! I wanted him to be surprised and I wanted it to be special. I started thinking about it a few months before his birthday and was feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve never thrown a surprise party before. I did throw a “sort of” surprise party for Michael’s 35th birthday where I took him to his favorite pizza place and surprised him with a bunch of his friends also being there. That was a lot easier to plan.

But this time around there were more details to coordinate. I was throwing it at the house and at first I thought the kitchen remodel would be done beforehand but then some unforeseen scheduling things happened and I realized it wouldn’t be. Bummer. Oh well, going forward I still wanted it at the house. It’s cheaper than renting a location and easier to plan than trying to coordinate it at a restaurant (and I didn’t want people to be expected to go out to eat).

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get Michael out of the house so I could get everything ready and everyone could arrive. Michael’s friend Jeremy came down from Seattle and he helped get him out of the house while I cleaned and set everything up!



I wanted to have a Star Wars themed party because that’s Michael’s thing (and I hate Star Wars and it makes him crazy that I won’t watch the movies). It was actually surprisingly hard to find Star Wars themed party stuff. I went to a bunch of different party stores and ended up getting a few items on Amazon. Then I discovered that Michael had a bunch of old Star Wars posters in the garage. Perfect! 😉


I had a Star Wars table cloth, plastic cups and plates. Then I got a Star Wars cupcake tower that I used for the donuts. I used the posters for decorations. I attached old photos of Michael as a child to the balloons and put them all over the house. I liked that idea (also from pinterest) and people seemed to enjoy seeing goofy pictures of Michael as a kid. 😀

I knew I wanted to get Michael’s favorite foods: pizza (of course), donuts from Krispy Kreme (his favorite), and other munchie things. Michael’s mom made her amazing blue cheese dip and a veggie tray.


I saw something on Pinterest that I wanted to make for the party: a PunchBox. It was pretty simple to make but it took a LONG time to do. I ended up doing it when I was in Seattle visiting family. My mom helped me do it and it turned out great. I got a bunch of fun and goofy items and then we went to Archie McPhee’s to get a few more items. Basically a PunchBox was for party favors but a fun way to do it instead of making party favor bags. It was fun to make and I got a bunch of crazy things! Several toy unicorns, a blow-up unicorn horn for cats, a Big Foot air freshener, some various candy and mini booze bottles. I think there was a pirate eye patch in there and some other kid toys that I thought would be funny for adults to play with. So I made it in Seattle and then had to sneak it into the house when I got back and hide it from Michael.




Everyone seemed to have a fun time with the game, so that made me happy! Thankfully the weather was nice so the kiddos could run around outside and play. They all got hopped up on sugar from soda, candy and the donuts. Sorry parents….!




Mmmm Krispy Kreme!

Most importantly Michael was SURPRISED and he had a great time and I’m so glad so many of his friends and family were able to come out for it. Our house is pretty small, but somehow we managed to fit in about 21 people. The birthday boy:


We did presents and some of the people had to leave but a bunch hung around for awhile longer and we hung out outside while the kiddos played with a ball until it got dark.





I would call the party a success! Happy birthday babe!