I'm sitting outside on one of the most beautiful fall days, taking in deep breaths of the cold autumn air. I watch Tyler run in his little boots...back + forth across the fallen leaves. Our dog is sitting against my legs as I pat her side and rub her ears. My husband is standing in the doorway, smiling at me from across the yard where I'm sitting, wrapped in my favorite grey sweater under the birch tree. I'm reminded of this quote, "I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" -  Kurt Vonnegut 

This...this is nice. xot


Pdx ace hotel session

I thought it might be time to share some photos from my Portland trip. I'll start off with the photo session I had with a friend, her mom and her 2 beautiful daughters. We ended up doing the majority of our session in the room Jamaica and I stayed in at the Ace Hotel. I grabbed a bouquet of bright orange ranunculus from a local organic grocery store + a cheap white posterboard from Dick Blick to use as a reflector. (man, I wish we had one of those here) The room didn't need anything else but the energy of this vibrant family.

I had such a good time photographing at the Ace. I plan on returning to Portland in the fall (September or October) and doing a couple more sessions. If you're interested, email me


Meet Max


Last week my husband tells me he found us a puppy. Totally out of the blue. My first reaction was not of joy. We only just lost our dog a month ago and I just wasn't ready to have another.

But. We always said that we would know when we found "our dog". It had happened with the last 2 and it was always by chance. My first, mama bear (official name Crystal) was given to me by my brother when he was in high school. I had already moved out but never desired to have a dog. It was pretty much love at first site when I saw her crystal blue eyes, hence the name Crystal. She was a little crazy but protective and fiercely loyal to me. She passed a few months after I was pregnant with Tyler. I'm sad he never got to meet her.

Then our second, Butters (official name Jesse) was the runt of a Catahoula litter. A person was trying to give him away at a garage sale. He definitely looked the scrawny next to his brother who was already set to be adopted. She said no one wanted him. Well that was our sign. He was extremely skittish but a cool dog who only wanted to be loved. He passed last month.

Now our third....Max. Half Husky, half German Shepard. His litter + mom were rescued from owners who couldn't afford to feed them so they were a little starved. He's pretty chill which is nice since Jesse was always so alert and nervous. He reminds me a lot of Crystal....the German Shepard is what attracts me to him since she was half GS.

It took a few days for me to adjust to having another dog in the house other than Jesse or Crystal. He's a cool litle dude though.....his charms are slowly creeping there way into my heart.

5th times a charm

It took me five tries to finally get this carmel sauce right and honestly, it still wasn't perfect. The final batch still has some sugar crystals and I could have let it cook for a minute or 2 longer to get more of a rich amber color. I tried 2 separate recipes 2 times each, both MAJOR FAILS. Oy.

1st attempt with this recipe and a big lesson learned. DON'T WALK AWAY FROM THE KITCHEN AND FORGET YOU'RE MAKING CARMEL SAUCE. What a mess. 2nd attempt with this recipe. Lesson learned? DON'T STIR THE SUGAR. I ended up with rock candy. 3rd attempt, same recipe above. Apparently lesson wasn't learned because I got impatient and stirred again. Don't ask. 4th attempt, first recipe. I f!$&king burnt it again. !@($$&#($*(!!! Jeff proceeded to ask why I just didn't go out and buy a jar of carmel sauce if I was craving it that bad. That comment was followed by an evil glare. He didn't say another word. 5th attempt, this recipe but added butter and vanilla. Success! I didn't walk away. I didn't stir. But I was too afraid I would burn it again so I was premature in adding the cream and butter. Still had an excellent flavor though. Delish over my favorite vanilla ice cream. The second day I used it as an apple dip. Victory is mine!


Continued Construction

Still trying to get things updated around here. Please excuse the mess. :)

On another note, I got some pretty mail last week that I forgot to show. It's a new "paper kit" called Olive Box. I wasn't really sure what to expect but with the introductory price of $15 I thought why not. I subscribe to her Retail Recipes newsletter. Pretty informative and motivating if you're an entrepenuer looking to have your goods in a retail setting. I don't know all the details about the creator but she does own a stationary store in NYC so I knew there would be some pretty paper items included.

The box is beautifully packaged and I was delighted to see items from the Rifle Co. Seeing my name handwritten on a card was a nice touch as well.


I personally opted to not subscribe to this paper lovers kit. The cost isn't in my budget at the moment which makes me sad. That said, these would make great gifts. I have a few people in mind who would love to receive a box of pretty stationary and unique finds.



weekend salad

This salad is in my top 3 favorite salads of all time. You have to be a fan of blue cheese, which is something I didn't like until I was in my late twenties. And that's what makes this so good....lot's of blue cheese.

I got the idea from what used to be a favorite local restaurant of mine (Glacier Brewhouse) until I received some pretty sh*tty service a few years back which was unusual but still, I'll never go back. So when I crave their famous blue cheese salad, I make it myself for half the cost.

Here's how I make it.

I buy romain hearts, wash and cut into bite sized pieces. (bagged romain will do just fine) Dry it off well if you wash so the dressing doesn't get all watery. (the worst in my opinion) Dress the lettuce with your favorite blue cheese and be generous. (I like Marie's) Place into a bowl, add some sweet seedless red grapes, a palm full of crumbled blue cheese and candied pecans. Now you can buy candied pecans already made but I always keep raw pecans in my freezer (something I picked up from my grandmother) and candy my own. I just melt a few tablespoons of butter and add a couple spoonfuls of brown sugar. Mix well and add your pecans. I just crush them in my hand. Put it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for maybe 10 mins in a 375 oven. I just wait until I smell the pecans, then I know they're done. Don't burn them! I'm usually in a hurry to eat so I throw the candied pecans in the freezer to let them cool, then top off your salad and enjoy!

It's the combination of sweet and savory that I love. So good. xot.

20 months later

Being the mom to a busy toddler is extremely different than being a mom of a newborn. Neither is better or worse, just different. There are several books you read in preparation of becoming a mom, mostly on caring for newborns and scheduling and feedings. No one ever prepared me for parenting a toddler and I have to say part of me was not ready. The words I say the most these days are "Tyler" and "no". I feel he is constantly testing the waters aka me + his father to see how far he can get. And why wouldn't he? He doesn't know any better and that's where extreme patience comes in. (and breathing techniques) Sometimes I find that I have to walk away for a moment, especially after a long day of running and picking up after him. This isn't an everyday occurrence. I'm not the mom of a raving lunatic. I know this is just the norm for our life right now.

I started talking with other moms of toddlers. They confided in me about their tot's not so good ways and I did the same. It was such a relief to know what I felt was normal. Tyler is my sunshine. He can turn a frown upside down in a split second. I've learned a lot from him and myself because he is so much like me personality wise. Maybe that's why I get so frustrated...I'm dealing with a miniature Tina.

There are times I crave solidarity, peace and quiet. Oh do I love a clean quiet house. I never knew how much I loved those 2 things until I had a kid. If I can steal an hour to myself out of the day which is usually nap time, I'm happy. Even happier when the boy wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to give me a work out and a million laughs.


(Everday I love you more and more digital element is from Paislee Press's newest release, Meant To Be)

Silver Salmon Fishing

Dad and I set out on a little fishing adventure this week. We took the boat down to Deshka River which is about a 2 hour drive from Anchorage. The day started out on the gloomy/rainy side but the sun peeked out and made for a great day of fishing. I had a great time on the river. It was so peaceful. The repetitive motion of casting and reeling is quite a calming effect on the mind. Then you get a bite and the fun part begins. It was a trip to actually see all the salmon swimming up stream. All in all, it was a great trip having caught 1 Silver and 2 Pinks which we threw back. Apparently Pinks aren't a great fish to eat so those guys were lucky. The Silver, not so much. Dad caught 3 himself but they came home with me. :) Guess what we'll be having for dinner tonight?