Weekend Recap {Oceanside Getaway}

My girlfriends and I escaped the bustle of the city for a little piece of heaven this weekend. Emily’s co-worker rents out this little Oceanside sanctuary, about 9 miles from Tillamook, Oregon, and was gracious enough to let us borrow it for the weekend. The place was seriously stunning. In fact, I wanted to just pick it up and plop it right in the city and call it home. We immediately settled in, aka, popped open a bottle of wine.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and haven’t been feeling quite like myself. A getaway to a secluded, beautiful and reception-free cabin with my best girlfriends and all the wine available at the Tillamook grocery store was just what the doctor ordered. Below are some pictures of the house itself. I’ll share more pics from the trip later this week. I went a little trigger-happy!

Seriously, this tub.


I attempted to help build the fire but you see that little piece of wood in the corner…that’s what I handed Catherine to start to fire. She had me go open the wine. 

Oh, and we had these little monsters with us. I can’t even describe how happy they made me. Puppy fever – high alert. More puppy cuteness to come.


Photobooth Fun

I was chatting with my friends over the weekend about how much I adore photobooths. What a fantastically simple and creative tool to capture a person’s personality. I love how silly props can turn a camera-shy person into a “model.” Or how it is totally acceptable to act like a dork or pack on the PDA inside the booth. And let’s face it, they are always the highlight of any event.

One friend had the genius idea of setting up a photobooth at the corner of her street and see what fantastic photos are captured of perfect strangers. Imagine the stories you could assemble? You can even piece together the photos into an entertaining coffee table book.

Wine Tasting {Dobbes Family Estate and Sokol Blosser}

I know what you must be thinking. Amanda, might we have a drinking problem? Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to “Wine Romance” because let’s face it, vino has pretty much been the content filler for this blog all summer long. But fear not, I simply enjoy delicious wines, great company, gorgeous countryside views and road trips. Wine tasting just happens to mesh all my favorite things into one activity. So really, what else is a girl to do??

A few of my lovely girlfriends came down from Seattle to enjoy the wine country we Oregonians are always bragging about! Plus, my sissy surprised my papa for his birthday so she tagged along with us. It was one of those perfect days that made me fall in love with this state again and again.

For those of you who are actually interested in the wine (ha!) I’m going to do a post on all the wineries I’ve visited this summer with information on the tasting room, the wines, the ambiance, etc.for anyone who might be planning a trip out this fall!

When City Meets Country

Well folks…I know what I’m about to say might be a little shocking but I have never attended a rodeo. Well, until now. Oh yes. I popped my county fair/rodeo cherry lat week when I attended the Clackamas County Fair Rodeo.

My company sponsors a lot of county fairs and I’ve never understood the draw. So as part of my research duties I put on my borrowed cowboy hat and boots and headed for the fairgrounds with my two favorite country girls.

I’ll spare you the multitude of embarrassing comments I made during my time at the fairgrounds. Let’s just say I wasn’t quite expecting some of the rodeo events (cough calf roping cough) and the regular fair-goers were less than amused by my mortified expressions. But what was supposed to be a one-hour trip resulted in us closing down the fair! We were quite the naturals and dare I say, I can’t wait to go back!

Inspiring PDXers!

My sweet and old (time not age) friend Erin May has graciously featured me on her blog as an inspiring PDXer! I have loved this feature series on her blog because all the women she has featured are also inspiring to me!

Erin, herself, serves as quite the inspiration in my own life. She has always lived so true to her values, her dreams and herself. It has been a privilege for me to grow up with her and watch her bring her aspirations to life. Not to mention I take full credit for setting her and her longtime beau, and also longtime friend of mine, up together! (Remember that letter I exchanged for you guys during track, Erin and Kyle??) She also happens to be an amazing freelance designer and I’ve used her myself more than once. So do yourself a favor and go check out her delightful blog and call her up if you are ever in need of design services! You won’t be sorry! Thanks again for the feature, Erin!


Playing Hooky

Can you believe August is here?! Holy smokes this summer has flown by. I’ve been cracking down on my summer to-do list and checked one more off the list today! My best friend from high school is in town for the week so I decided to play hooky today and spent it getting tan, catching up on girl talk and drinking the northwest’s best vino.

There is something about being reunited with old friends. It half feels like no time has passed and half feels like so much has changed. Conversation and wine never stopped flowing today as we reminisced about the days of our youth and dreamed about the possibilities of our future. We’ve come such a long way since we sat next to each other in orchestra class 13 years ago and I’m so grateful for the influence and role she has played in my life. She has always been my biggest fan, my toughest critique and my constant motivator. I adore her to pieces. Please don’t go back to Cleveland, Gracie!! I’m going through the dozens of photos I took but here is a sneak peek of our day. More to come including details on the wineries (aka possible wedding venues) we visited!

Summer BBQs and Perfect Sunsets

Barbecues are a right of passage into the summer season. I’ve been taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather and going on a full BBQ binge. There is something about that smokey aroma, charcoaled-flavored food, fire pits and ice-cold beer that has me blissfully dreaming of more of these perfect summer nights. As part of my “learning to be more domestic” education, I had one of my favorite grill masters show me how to make the perfect salmon dish on the barbecue. This is a super easy recipe that even I can execute so it is pretty idiot-proof.


  • Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Salt

How to:

  • Poor Tommy had to fillet the massive fish. However, if you are preparing this dish, most grocery stores (cough cough, go to Fred Meyer, cough cough) will fillet it for you.
  • Cut the salmon into pieces of 2 x 4 and season with pepper and garlic salt.
  • Then dash about 4-5 drops of low sodium soy sauce on each piece of fish.
  • Take a finger full of brown sugar and sprinkle over each fillet. Pack down the sugar with your hand.
  • Grill each piece of fish for about 7-10 minutes. Be sure to flip sides half way through.
  • Pair this entrée with a fresh summer salad or some grilled veggies and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer meal.

oh, and what’s a summer BBQ without beautiful florals and best friends…

And the evening ended with a picturesque sunset.