Oregon: Desert to Ocean

Who knew Oregon was 1/2 desert and 1/2 lush mountainous land?! We recently traveled to the west coast for my brother-in-law’s wedding and decided to make a week long trip out of it. Here are a few of my favorite things we did and photos!

P.S. This was probably less than 10% of Oregon. There were so many other places we wanted to go but didn’t get the time.

Bend, Oregon

The main purpose of our trip was to witness the marriage of my beautiful (now) sister-in-law and brother-in-law. A lot of the places we visited were based on their wedding events, which was completely fine with us because we were introduced to amazing sights.

  1. Smith Rock

The wedding place and a spectacular place to hike, bike, and sight see. I didn’t climb the Rock because a steep hike for a pregnant woman isn’t advised. Tim climbed and said it was one of the best climbs he’s ever done!

https://www.smithrock.com/


2.  Main Town – shopping

Check out all of the adorable shops on the main drag. It’s pricy in Bend, so budget well for shopping.

3. McMenamins Old St. Francis School

If you’re looking for great food and endless hings to do, McMenamin’s is a place you’ll want to visit. Every McMenamin’s in the state of Oregon is a restore piece of history. In Bend, it’s the old St. Francis private school and has been refurbished very tastefully. We didn’t get a chance to visit the Greek Pool, but I can assure you, the next time we visit Bend it will be at the top of our list.

https://www.mcmenamins.com/old-st-francis-school

4. Pilot Butte

Or, as my husband would like to say, “Pilot Butt”… You can drive to the top or hike to the top of this extinct volcano. On a clear day you’ll see the most spectacular mountain views. It won’t take a long time if you drive, but it’s worth it for the view.

http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=33


5. Deschutes River – Parks

Deschutes River cuts right through the center of Bend. The river has a spectacular flow coming from the melting snow caps in the summer, and is the main source of water for the surrounding areas. Crisp, cold water. It’s fantastic. Try some sun crisping, visiting any one of the many parks along the river, or some local and affordable water activities.

Seaside, Oregon

After visiting with family and wedding festivities in Bend, we traveled to Seaside to try and catch a sunset on the west coast. This has been a long time bucket list item of mine. Surprisingly – We caught an amazing sunset and I’ve got another checkmark on my bucket list (flying first class, travel by train cross country, and hopping on the next flight out, remain on the list – for now.).



I won’t go into specifics of Seaside, their season doesn’t technically start until mid-June so it was a quiet town while we were there. The Seaside Aquarium, shopping, and restaurants are great places to spend some time. My favorite part of the two days was going to the community sports area where they had an indoor, heated pool. During their open swim time, the large pool accommodated the older kids with a slide, rope, and the freedom to jump in as much as they wanted. The smaller and pleasantly warmer pool, accommodated parents with 4 feet deep water and a calm environment for smaller children.

Jack’s first pool experience was a success and we haven’t been able to keep him out of a pool since. 

Portland, Oregon

Finally, we ended up in Portland again. We arrived early enough to see the Portland Zoo. A great place to take the kids. Our favorite part of Portland were the food trucks! Visit 9th and Washington. There you’ll find over 15 different food trucks lined up for the lunch rush.

The city is one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen (with the exception of Horgen, Switzerland) and is known for it’s amazing restaurants. I’m fairly certain anywhere you go in Portland will be wonderful.


Now – Back to every day life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seed Ordering

So, we are a little behind on our order of seeds, but they are on their way! We placed our order of seeds from Johnny’s Seeds with their 20% deal. Lots of herbs, veggies, and flowers are coming our way!

Here is what we bought:

HERBS

Genovese Compact Basil Seeds 

…because, I’ll be making A LOT of pesto.

Link here

 

Staro Chive Seed

Link here

Common Mint Seed

One word… MOJITO (for when I’m not pregnant)

Link here

Summer Organic Thyme Seed

Link here

German Winter Thyme Seed

Link here

Giant of Italy Parsley Seed

Link here

Rosemary Seed

Link here

FLOWERS

Sun Ball Organic Craspedia Seed

I will be using the flowers to dry and making wreaths to sell. Dried flowers can hold their color and last for a long time. It’s a great way to hold the beauty of summer all year long.

Link here

Carmine Gomphrena Seed

Link here

Johnny’s Sublime Formula Mix Larkspur Seed

Link here

Apricot/Peach Mix Strawflower Seed

Link here

 

Veggies and Fruit

 

Diablo (F1) Brussels Sprout Seed

Link here

Juliet (F1) Tomato Seed

Link here

Supersweet 100 (F1) Tomato Seed

Link here

Emperor (F1) Spinach Seed

Link here

Penelope Pea Seed

Link here

Sugarsnax 54 Pelleted (F1) Carrot Seed

Link here

Athena (F1) Melon Seed, Arugula Micro Green Seed

Link here

 

Seeds were ordered on Thursday last week and just arrived today, Monday!

 

 

 

Family Progress.. Big News!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage… right? In our case that is exactly what happened, two fold! Yup! Baby #2 will be arriving around October 2nd, 2017!!

In January, Tim and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We felt complete. We have Jack, our new land, and each other, what else could our little family need? Everything was coming together so beautifully. On our anniversary date night, I expressed to Tim how much I wanted to wait to have another baby. My last pregnancy was more than rough, it was brutal. With multiple visits to the ER and feeling traumatized by giving birth, I didn’t feel ready to welcome a new little one into our family. Three (3) years was the perfect waiting period for another baby.

On the morning of our anniversary (January 24th), I realized I was a day late. With natural family planning you begin to know your body better than you ever thought you could. I had noticed I felt different in the days before. Thinking I had control over everything in my life, I thought it was impossible. But, I took a pregnancy test just to make sure I could safely drink the glass of wine at our homemade anniversary dinner that night. Tim was planing with Jack in the family room, I took the test, and while I was doing my makeup I looked down at the test expecting a negative only to see “PREGNANT” in all caps.

Shock.

It has taken me a few weeks to realize how much of a blessing this new baby is. My “plan” didn’t include a baby. God’s plan did. Fast forward 9 weeks (13 weeks pregnant currently), the completion we felt as a family in January has magnified. We are so in love with this new baby and all that he/she signifies! Sure, things happened a little fast, but that’s the point of NFP. We want to be open to God’s will. He knows better than us.

I feel lucky to have a beautiful little boy, a caring husband, and a rapidly growing family. I dream of working on our little farm together and teaching our littles the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Our lives continue to be busy with work, surgeries for me (wisdom teeth removal), and getting the greenhouse ready. Here’s to hard work and a life filled with love! [Cheers with my imaginary and greatly missed glass of blush wine]


 

Blooming Holland in Philadelphia


On Saturday we took the day to return to the city where we first met, Philadelphia. For the first time ever we attended Philadelphia’s Flower Show 2017. There was so much to explore we couldn’t possibly see it all! The crowds alone made walking around feel like you were in permanent human traffic. The smells, colors, and beauty of blooming flowers was just the event we needed on a cold winter day!

The theme this year was Holland. Being the WWII history buff that I am and part Dutch I loved the theme. There were so many bikes, cows, shoes, and native flowers to Holland. Besides the amazing colors and smells there was a great space for local businesses to buy a space and sell their goods. My favorite shop was the dried flower shop (dried flowers are so under rated). I’ll be making a wreath and center piece soon.

I don’t know if we’ll return next year. The massive amount of people and indoor setting made it all seem superficial. If you decide to go, keep the stroller (and maybe the kids) at home. My advice, If you want to see real flower beauty in the Philadelphia area, try visiting `Longwood Gardens this spring and summer. Their winter indoor green house will make you swoon with envy.

These were made from wood!

 

The Perfect Coffee Bar

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but my husband is. When we recently moved I knew I wanted to surprise Tim with his own space in the kitchen.This space would be somewhere he could go every morning to the feel joy and relaxation of the day before beginning a long commute to work; thus was born ‘The Coffee Bar’.

What is a coffee bar? A coffee bar is a place where you can have every thing you need to make a great cup of Joe in the morning. “Just add water” mentality went into the design. Coffee bars are great functional filler for dead space. We had a little nook by our backdoor that needed some life. With some mugs, a coffee maker (must have), canisters for essentials (sugar, tea bags, etc.), and some cute pieces of art my nook was a coffee bar!

Coffee bar’s don’t need to be just about coffee. I store my teas in some of the canisters and often use our Verismo for hot water. For the kids, you can try adding some clear containers with marshmallows and hot cocoa mix.

 

 

Materials Used:


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On the “Road” to Success (Greenhouse Update)

 

We’ve had yet another monumental week! Jack cut his first tooth, which surprisingly has made him sleep through the night for the last 4 nights. That makes me a very happy Mama. He’s growing  up so fast and we have a feeling he’ll be walking before his first birthday. Time will tell.

Jack watching the big machines making the new road.

 *Red rain boots in photo can be found here

The greenhouse is coming along. Tim has been reading up on how to best utilize the space which makes me a proud wife. 2 years ago I thought I was marrying a really handsome and funny chemist, little did I know I was marrying Mr.Fix-it! He is working on a list of fruits and veggies to grow that are low cost and high in profit. So far, tomatoes and basil have made the list. I’m trying to convince him to write a post on his methodology.
We’ve had a lot of discussions about the steps forward. We need a barn, road, tractor, and many other key tools to making this all work. One of the major (and slightly costly) steps is a road back to the greenhouse. Since we’ve moved in, we have been walking back to the greenhouse through the field. Delaware is one of those lovely places where every time it rains your yard becomes a swamp. A road was a necessity. We invested the money in a recycled material road, I love the end result. We are already feeling the positive effects!


I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all of the changes happening in our lives, but I know that we are on the right “road”. I’m encouraged by my husbands enthusiasm and we’re growing so much closer as a couple. I’m really looking forward to the day we get to start weeding and harvesting the fruits and veggies! I have so many delicious dinners planned. Pesto has made the list!

Oh – We are also hoping to get a kitten in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Game Night Fun!

Finding it hard to entertain yourself during the winter? Yeah, I think we’ve all been there. If you’re an outdoor family like we are, the winter months can be boring and sometimes lead to expensive outings. One of our favorite things to do is GAME NIGHT!

Invite some friends over, make some fun finger food and enjoy these games.

Disclaimer: Games were chosen with adults in mind. 

Click the name of the game for a direct link to purchase the game.

8+ People

Taboo

(4+ Players)

It may sounds like a taboo game to play with lots of people, but this game gets your competitive nature flourishing and a some good laughs in. The object of the game is to get your teammate(s) to say the word without using 5 commonly used words to describe it. The team that has the most points at the end of the game wins!

Example:

Word: House

Cannot Say: Live, Residence, Address, Home, Family



Apples to Apples

(4-8 Players)

In our group you can follow the rules or make up your own. The object of the game is getting the judge to choose your card (we base it on what answer made us laugh the hardest). Whoever gets the most green cards wins! 



6 Players

Risk

(2-6 Players)

Yup. This game made the cut. I used to think it was a game for nerds but in reality it’s quite fun. You should have at least one experienced player at the table to explain the rules. I like to describe it as a mix between Monopoly, Catan, and Freeze Tag. Not a game for those looking for something quick but definitely something that will make you feel accomplished in the end.

The object of the game is to take have the strongest army and concur the most continents.

Deer in the Headlights

(2+ Players)

This game is a great game to play where you can chat with your comrades. Make sure you read the rules carefully and don’t roll more than 1 deer in the headlights! The object of the game is to get rid of your cards first. Those remaining with cards will have them count against you in points. The one with the lowest points wins.

Phase 10

(2-6 Players)

Bring out that card game from your childhood and give it life again. Race your competitors to completion of all 10 phases first. You’d be surprised just how much fun you can have playing this game with a good beer in hand.

4 Players

Catan

(2-4 Players [6 with the expansion pack])

Talk about obsession! Takes one game to get the hang of it, but once you do you’ll want to play it every time you and your friends are together. The object of the game is to get to 10 points first. Gaining resources and building the longest road is key – but watch out when the number 7 is rolled, you could lose more than you bargained for.

(Click here for the expansion pack)

 

I’d love to know what games you play for game night!