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.


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!

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. 

Weekend Recap {Graduation in Arizona}

It was quite the nostalgic experience when my parents and I flew over to Arizona to attend my baby sister’s graduation. I have to say, telling people that it has been three years since I walked across the stage to receive my diploma from the University of Oregon was a hard reality to swallow. But the weekend reminded me of how far I’ve come since I switched my tassel from right to left. But it also made me realize that very little about my life has turned out the way I planned. And while Type A, control freak inside of me is sitting here tweaking out about it, I’m happy. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all strive for?

So to all the graduates out there this year…remember that this is just the beginning. The beginning of a life full of unplanned adventures, mistakes, challenges and lessons. It is also the beginning of a life you can create to be whatever you want it to be. Congrats baby sister!! I am so incredibly proud of you.

And what kind of post would this be without pictures? Here are a few photos from our weekend!

Tulip Festival

When spring comes, so do the tulips and in Oregon, that means only one thing…the Tulip Festival! Arielle and I strapped on a pair of rain boots, grabbed our cameras and ventured out to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm to see her favorite flower in full bloom! The festival begins in late March and lasts until early May but with the rainy, cold spring we’ve had the tulips are just beginning to open up! Usually the festival is packed with spectators but because of a little overcast, we beat the crowds and proceeded to get snap happy! These pictures really don’t do justice to the breathtaking beauty of endless rows of tulips so I highly recommend you check it out for yourself if you are ever in the area!! Oh, and be sure to go over to Arielle’s blog to check out her gorgeous photog skills!


What was scheduled to be an uneventful weekend turned out to be jammed packed with great friends, wonderful conversations and tons of good old fashioned fun! It is easy to forget the beauty and magnetism of your city until you see an out-of-towner experience its splendor for the very first time. But how do you show off Portland’s finest on a dreary, rainy day? You drive to wine country, of course!

We drove out to Newberg and stopped at the first blue sign that signaled a cluster of wineries. Lucky for us, Ponzi Vineywards is where we ended up first. If you have never had a wine by Ponzi, stop reading right now and go to your local grocery store! I insist. We tried their rosso flight and the 2009 Pinot Noir is unreal. I would’ve purchased every bottle if it wouldn’t break my little piggy bank. We visited two other wineries that day – Cooper Mountain and Hip Chick Do Wine back in the city.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the wines at other location. However, we did mark Cooper Mountain as a return spot on a sunny, summer day when we can take a glass of wine outside and enjoy the views from the lovely red picnic tables outside. Wine and girlfriends…really, what could be better?