Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The One About Monday Nights

So for almost as long as I can remember...or at least for the last 7 or 8 years, Monday nights are always busy.  7-8 years ago when I was still in college Monday nights were Bridgeport Brewery Nights with my housemates/friends...for the past 6 years Monday nights are normally spent (and by normally I mean 7 months out of the year) at dance practice...and on the off season Monday nights belong to my favorite show. One that just started back up...yes The Bachelorette.

I LOVE IT!!! And we've started to get really serious about watching it...and I mean really serious. The kind of serious that involves research, betting pools, diagrams, charts...we started the pool last season with Ben and are now continuing it with Emily.

The rules go kind of like this.  You are allowed to watch the first episode without locking in your top 4 choices.  After the first episode everyone must turn in a blind bet (meaning you write your guys' names down secretly and put them in an envelop), after all bets have been cast everyone turns in $10.  Then the diagram is made.  See we do them blindly so that it avoids people choosing men/women that don't have many votes...because the way it works is, winner(s) split pot.  Anyway...each week, at the end of the episode we cross off the guy that was eliminated - and last one(s) standing win!! We have 11 people playing...that's $110 bucks!! Although non of my choices are stand alone so I will have to split the pot regardless...but nonetheless I'm excited to report that after week 3 all 4 of my guys are still alive!!!!

Check out the pool.
Exciting huh!!! Monday nights really are a good time!

Also a good time...and good tasting! were the cupcakes I made today! For my Winterhawks end-of-the-year party!! I've been really into this cake decorating stuff...pinterest really isn't helping either (well I stand corrected...technically pinterest IS helping... that's where I am finding all of the addicting ideas) I'm anxious to see what all I create/learn/make/do over the course of the summer...you know me and projects...apparently I have a problem with sitting still and doing nothing.
Here are my little mini cupcakes!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The One About Turning 27

So apparently I woke up on Tuesday and was all of a sudden 27.  Not sure how that happened, last time I checked I was in Vegas turning 21...huh...It's crazy to me to think how fast time has flown by.  I mean when I sit and think about all the things I've done over these past 6 years the list is pretty lengthy....

  • Finished up and graduated with my bachelors degree from University of Portland
  • Danced for the Portland Lumberjax (Lacrosse team - no longer here...they were bought out by Seattle)
  • Traveled & studied in Europe for 6 weeks.
  • Worked for a couple of years doing PR at a Marketing Agency
  • Started coaching the best dance team ever, met my best friend, and have won two state title with her...we have a lot of fun with those girls!
  • Went back to school and got my masters degree
  • Became a teacher and am currently a substitute (still on the hunt for a full time gig)
  • Danced for 2 years with the Portland Winterhawks Dance Team - The Rosebuds
  • Bought a new car of my very own
The list could continue...and nonetheless when I spell it out, it seems like a lot of things... but that still doesn't mean that it hasn't felt like it hasn't gone by really really quickly.  Cause it has! It must be one of those relative things...like how when you're little and it's December 10th and it feels like Christmas WILL NEVER EVER EVER come...and now days it gets to December 22nd and I'm all like what?? I know Costco has had light up reindeer and wrapping paper since they sold out of 4th of July fireworks but still Christmas is in 3 days?? Uh...crap.

I think 27 also just feels weird cause it's like late 20s!!! Lots of my friends got freaked out when they turned 25...that didn't really bother me so much...but 27? Humph, I guess I'm all grown up now.  Maybe it just feels extra weird because my OCD planner self had all these life plans - if you would have asked me 10 years ago where I thought I would be when I was 27/28...I'm not sure I would say where I am...and I'm still trying to decide if that's ok with me or not...But I'm trusting in the fact that I'm doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I've always been one of those that has tried to follow my gut, not force things and always try and do what I love and enjoy - what feels right.  It's worked for me so far...and it's led me here, so I'm trying to trust that this is where God wants me to be - even if it's maybe not where I saw myself at, exactly.

At any rate, I had a really really great birthday!! I'm just so lucky to have such great friends and great family to make me feel special!! It really was a week of celebrations...I  kept thinking I should do something big and extravagant on my actual birthday, but then it rained and I didn't feel like doing anything at all...haha - so I went to the gym, my mom, sister and I decided to have a tea party (a few of my mom's friends came over to participate), I was feeling crafty so I opted to make myself my own birthday cake (I got some new frosting tips and have been wanting to try them out but it's always such a process to make all the frosting and get everything set up --- anyway, what better event then my birthday to teach myself how to make frosting roses!), and that evening my parents took me to dinner to my fav place ever (and a birthday tradition) - the spaghetti factory! It was a perfectly great day!!! Here are some pictures!

Some tea sandwiches from the tea party...rasin bread, turkey, scallion cream cheese, and basil sandwiches.
 these kinds are cucumber mint tea sandwiches, and the other is a turkey, havarti, dijon sandwich.
 these were our little treats - chocolate croissants and vegan almond/apricot scones!!
 Everything was AMAZING!

 oh...and here was my masterpiece. It was a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting that I made from scratch...then I made a decorating frosting (just like a butter creme kind) I piped the edges and the letter (I need to work on my lettering ...not the best), but then I did the roses (took me a few practice tries) but I think they turned out pretty great!!!!! and then I just went for the little rosebuds first try on the cake...it was fun! Totally old school, but I suppose if I can't ever find a job in teaching maybe I could look into cake decorating?? ha.
and if this wasn't frosting enough on the day...here was my present!! EEEK! an iPhone 4s!!! And sister got me that totally cute hot pink and polka dot kate spade cover!! It was a total surprise!! My stupid droid was having serious issues but I wasn't due for an upgrade until August...I was so excited and I LOVE IT!!!
It was a great day! and a fantastic week!! - full of fun, surprises and really really nice friends and family. I'm a lucky girl! If I have to be 27 at least I'll be rocking the late 20's with a cute new phone and some awesome new heals and outfits from the Nordstrom half yearly sale (thank you gift cards!)...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The one where I went to the Beach for a long weekend

We had our beach house this past weekend, I always planned on going down for Saturday/Sunday but I didn't get called in to work Thursday so I decided to be spontaneous and hitch a ride with our neighbor- they have a house in Neskowin also, and my mom and her friends were already down at the beach - sister and dad were coming down Friday after work so rather than hanging out at home with no major plans, I decided beach time would be way better!! Plus blue skies and sunshine at the Oregon coast are hard to pass up, especially in May!  It was so fun, relaxing and nice to get away!! I'm going to spend a full week there in August and I'm already looking forward to it!! I LOVE the beach!! Something about it is just so fantastic.  We've been going there since my parents bought the house when I was 8 maybe??? (young!) and somehow I still find new things to do, see and learn about.

Like for example on the drive down I learned about the Delphian School - ever heard of it?? Don't feel bad, neither had I - which surprises me kinda, beings I'm in Education and was also a Theology Minor and did a big research project for one of my classes in Modern/Contemporary Religions on Scientology...anyway the Delphian School is on the road to the beach...past Dundee, a little before Spirit Mountain Casino (and yes, I know I landmarked wine country and casino - but let's be real, I am my mother's daughter...but don't pretend like we're the only two people that make stops along the way...I would have land marked the fruit shack right at the OR-18 junction off 99 where they make the BEST strawberry shortcake of all time...but my guess is the other two are a bit more common) At any rate - did you know the Delphian School is a Scientology boarding school? The have around 250 students (it's up on this secluded hillside) - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman sent one of their older adopted daughters there - it's only a bargain deal of ...ready for this?? $42,000 PER YEAR!!! 

Or did you know there used to be a mini amusement park right at the 101/OR-18 junction? A tiny past the itty bitty town of Otis?  Apparently my parents had heard of it - my mom had even visited it a couple of times when she was little!! It was only open for 4 years - it was called Pixieland - Not sure what happened to it, I think maybe they were just too ambitions especially considering there are only about 2 months out of the year that an outdoor amusement park would really even be visted at the Oregon Coast...it was a 57-acre park.  They brought in 2 prior Disney employees to help design, build, and operate the park...totally cool!! The character has a striking resemblance to Peter Pan, if you ask me...

Anyway, must be the history lover in me - but I think things like this are AWESOME! But I also think fun days on the beach are awesome to - don't worry I'm not always boring...
Here are some pictures and notes of things we did over the weekend!! It was a perfectly needed weekend of fun!
Me and the momma!! Walking on the beach...

One of the things I have ALWAYS loved about our beach house, besides the fact that is RIGHT on the beach...is that it's right on a beach that is practically always empty! On a busy day there are probably 10 people...along the whole stretch...but this particular day we got a special treat - they had the horses out!! I know it's no surprise, I am NOT a horse rider - not sure why, I've just never really enjoyed it - they make me nervous, I mean it's not like I don't think they are pretty or cool, but they are cooler for me from a distance...don't get me wrong, I've ridden my fair share of horses (including along this beach) but it's usually always when my sister begs me to do it...because she LOVES horses. Anyway look how cute...
 On Saturday I convinced my mom and her friend Karetta to go down to the beach for an extended stay (not just a walk) so that I could build a sand castle.  It was gorgeous out and when it's sunny building a sand castle is one of my very favorite things to do! Sometimes I get really into it, but when we got down there and I got started I realized it was actually kind of cold...so it was kind of a quick build and then a let's go back up to the deck and get out of the wind...here is the May 2012 masterpiece....
the blank slate
 the final product
  the final product close up!
While I was busy working so was my mom and her friend Karetta...My mom found this contest in her Food Network magazine...so they spent the entire hour working on the perfect name.
the contest was called "Name That Dish"....you can kind of see in the picture, it was this really tall sandwich that had hotdogs on it...
They finally settled on the name "The Mile High Weiner Club." Frankly (no pun intended) I thought it was brilliant...they submitted it and I think they should win.

On Friday evening we went up to our neighbors house to visit, watch the sunset, hang out....sister and I got Tillamook ice cream on the way up, ended up having a word find competition and spent 30 minutes trying to find the song they use in the trailer for that new disney movie "Brave"...oh the important things you do while on vacation....LOVE.
 the sunset...so pretty!
 Saturday my family put together a little surprise birthday celebration for me!! It was so thoughtful!! They tried really hard to make me feel special and it was so nice of them!! I'm a lucky girl. They brought some of my favorite champagne (well technically I guess sparkling white wine) - from Korbel winery and pog juice so I could make my FAVORITE rendition of a mimosa...if you haven't ever tried the combo, I highly recommend it...especially with summer approaching! My mom also made my favorite dinner!! and they got me an ice cream cake!!! It was banana split blizzard kind from DQ. YUM! They also got me a new nail polish color - Tiffany Blue shade - (I've been looking for it for months!)...My sister and mom even tried to surprise me by getting the bestie Hayley to drive down but she has crazy busy at work and it didn't work out - but regardless, it was so nice of them to really go out of their way to make me feel so special and so loved!! Thanks family!! You're the best!
 it says..."5 days a week my body is a temple...the other two it's an amusement park" Haha...we found it in the pantry. Good find!

It was an awesome trip to the beach! Outlet mall shopping, beach walking, tv watching, lounging, reading, lots of scattergories/yatzee playing, yummy food, birthday cake, and fun good laughs with the family!! 

On a side note - I can't hardly believe I'll be 27 years old tomorrow...WOW!! When did I grow up so fast!? I'm not sure everything in my life is exactly how I had planned it to be at this age...but I'm starting to learn that's the beauty of life! And learning to appreciate the things that truly bring me joy and happiness!! I'm lucky!! Amazing family, fantastic friends, healthy, happy and ready to take on my late 20's!! Cheers to the next chapter in life - excited to see what God has in store for me!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The one about Mother's Day

It's really no surprise - I'm a family girl.  I know most of you know that about me already...but it's true.  My very favorite days are the ones when I get to just hang out with the family!! Plus of course, it's especially great when the weather is just so dang perfect.

It was THE BEST weekend in Portland.  Not going to lie, I won't be happy if this sunshine goes away - I'm ready for it to stay for the next 4 months, straight. But I hear things might change next Tuesday, of course...why wouldn't they. That's my birthday - so of course it will probably rain. I'll keep my fingers crossed though. At any rate, the weekend was awesome!! Filled with lots of fun, family and of course food...

My mom opted to make brunch on Sunday - not because we wouldn't do it for her but because she wanted biscuits and gravy...but only her kind, so she made them for herself...I didn't complain it was fan-freakin-tastic.  We gave her our present - a hanging fuchsia basket (we are humming bird fans around these sticks) right after we ate - she loved it!! It's a really cool variety...I should have taken a picture but I didn't...anyway then sister had to go to school - (I know whaaaa??) Lewis & Clark - grad program - she had an all day Saturday/Sunday class on Indians and Coyotes (ok, I added the Coyotes part) ...but she said it wasn't nearly as cool as she thought it would be, that it was boring and she listened to a chief talk reaaaally reaalllyyyyy slowly about stuff that wasn't even all that exciting - nothing like how to run a casino, built a teepee or do a rain dance, just other stuff that made her wish she was hanging out back at home in the sun with us!  

I helped the mama out in the yard some, hung in the sun and then early afternoon I kicked her out of the kitchen so I could get to work!! Cousin Josh, Jen and baby Liam came over along with Karetta, Frank and his mom Mary.  I was doing appetizer and also thought it would be nice to make all the moms bouquets!! Of course for the menu I hit up the trusty pinterest...(seriously though...I can't get enough.)
My appetizer menu was GOOD!
I made these - delicious morsels of amazingness - baked zucchini sticks and homemade ranch dip! 
I made these - pizza bites (and yeah they were really really great - not because I'm that great of a cook but because the idea is brilliant!)...oh and a little tip!! You don't even need to buy the grands biscuits!! Cause now grands makes pizza dough!! It's SOOO easy...I just unrolled it, cut it, stretched it a bit, stuffed it, folded it up...and bam-o - perfection!
I jazzed up some hummus, threw out some pita chips and carrots - and yeah it was soooo GREAT!!
And also for drinks I re-created the Starbucks shaken passion iced tea lemonades! I made some homemade simple syrup, seeped some Passion tea, made some lemonade (thanks to the frozen can I found in the freezer!!) It was a good bunch of snacks to hold us over before dinner!

you can see the bouquets I put together back in the scenery of that last pic to!! Picked out a bunch of gerber daises (for pretty cheap!) at Trader Joe's, and the rest my dad and I got out of the yard!! They turned out really pretty!

Of course besides getting to spend the whole day with my mom, I also got to play with Liam!! AHH I seriously can't get enough! This kid is hilarious. And thank you uncle John for introducing him to the John Deer lawn mower...I think I spent about 1/3 of my day taking him on rides...but I just couldn't say no!...especially when I kept hearing "pweeee" - his word for please... "ca-ca-ca"  - his word for tractor - though I'm not sure how he get's that...he has a thing where he only says part of the first syllable of his words (unless they are short words like cat, mom, dad) so there is ah (Allie), ka (Kendall), de (Debbie), ja (John), beh (Bentley, of course.) Anyway, tractor is ca...I'm thinking he must hear the "c" in there and latch on to that or something...I dunno...also the kid can drive!! I'm sure it's been all that practice on his little John Deer power wheels, but that two year old steered that thing around that yard like a champ, yikes!!  Anyway he is cute as can be...I didn't get many good pictures, mostly cause I was just enjoying the day - we played some catch (with my old tee-ball glove I found in the garage and a soft baseball), he rode his bike, we played with Bentley, ate a lot of ice cream, went on a walk...did the family thing - it was AWESOME!! And the best most exciting thing...Jen finds out tomorrow if she is having a girl or a boy!! eek, I'm almost as excited as they are I think!!!

It was a really great day!!! I'm blessed to have such a giving, kind, loving and dedicated mom - I always kind of thought when I grew up I wouldn't need her as much, but the truth is I think I need her more the older I get...she's one of my best friends! And sure, shit can get crazy sometimes (yeah lady...you know what's up with that...) but really, they don't get much better!! Happy Mother's Day Mom lady...I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The one about Cinco de Mayo

I'm thinking that Cinco de Mayo + supermoon do not equal a good combination.  It was a wild day, but since this is a public blog I'll spare the details of the more insane parts of the celebration - not for my own humility, but for my el parents...who knew a 54 and 60 year old could party so hard, in Happy Valley.

Despite playing mature adult chaperone to my not-so-mature-for-the-evening parents there were some good moments throughout the day!!

It all started with my early morning prank - made even more fun beings that sister didn't come home till 3am. So it was actually kind of more funny...I decided it would be fun to kick start the day off with a little mariachi fun - at 7am.
I'm not sure sister really enjoyed it. She laughed about it a tiny bit like 7 hours later...but I'm thinking it might take her a little while longer to really appreciate the efforts I went through to pull this off...

After breakfast my dad and I drove down to Mt. Angel to visit cousin Josh, Jen and baby Liam...we went to Josh's nursery to get some roses and a few other plants, then to lunch.  I just have so much fun hanging out with them - I can't get over how cute that Liam is!! I'm obsessed with him!! I kept telling him how cute he was ....
"Liam! You are just so cute!!"
"ca caaa" (his word for candy)
"Liam no, not candy - you're cute I said."
"Liam, does everyone just tell you everyday how cute you are?"
"Do you like when people tell you how cute you are?"
My uncle (dad's brother) bought him a John Deer power wheels truck not too long ago - he is obsessed with it and drives it around like a miniac...he's actually pretty good at it! It has reverse and two gears...and he knows exactly how to shift it!!
Ah!! I just love him!! And the best news is Jen is knocked up again so we get to have another baby in the family soon!! YEEE!!! They are coming over Sunday for Mother's day I'm already excited to play with him more!

Later in the day we decided to hit up La Costita for some Mexican food and margaritas! I mean ya know it's only one of my favorite meals of all time AND it's Cinco de Mayo so it seemed mandatory. I ended up scoring a table in the bar - for 6!! which was pretty lucky considering the wait was nearly 2 hours for the restaurant side - chips, salsa, enchiladas, $5 cadillac margaritas (uh oh...), music, sombreros, HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The one about some of my new favorite things

I wish I could say my week was full of lots of projects, crafts, activities and fun...but really I just worked a lot. Which isn't all bad...it just makes for more of a boring week where it's harder to come up with some fun blog posts.

I always hesitate to blog about some of the funny things I see, hear, do and experience at school - it's just that whole privacy thing I struggle with.  And I know, I know you're all like...lady you're worried about privacy? You have a twitter, a blog, you're on Facebook all the time - but really, I am very conscious about the things I post - I have to be.  I wish I didn't have to be, I used to just post whatever I wanted to...back in the day...but I can't anymore, and I wish I could sometimes because there are a lot of hilarious and awesome things that happen at school... like on Monday when I was teaching 7th graders.  I was helping them review for a test they had later in the week on the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs.  The conversation went something like:
Ms. Shepherd- "Can anyone tell me what the Aztecs are best known for?"
Student - <raises his hand REALLY fast. almost before I could get the words out>
Ms. Shepherd - "Yeah! Go ahead!"
Student - <realizes he maybe forgot what he was going to say...get's that nervous panicked look...dear in a head lights kind of things> "ummmmm.....uhhh...mmmmm.......Tamales?"
Ms. Shepherd - "uhh...well, no. Not their tamales" < I couldn't help it...I chuckled...I tried not to but the poor guy, he was serious, and it was just so sweet...and funny>
Student - <kind of quiet and a little embarrassed> "ohh...I think never mind, that's Azteca."

It was too awesome.  And that stuff happens almost all the time. But I have to be careful about what I post. Cause not everything is meant for sharing.  At any rate when I have busy work weeks...it doesn't mean I'm not doing anything...it just means I'm not doing the type of stuff to share on the blog.

But hey - that's ok. I didn't get called in yesterday...and I was totally ok with that because I was playing major catch up. I had to do a bunch of errands and house stuff and you know, adult things. Like buy this new nail polish that I am obsessed with!!! and if you know me, you know how in to nails I am...I guess I get it from my grandma maybe. She was a nail beauty queen - I'm not quite as extreme, but I do appreciate fun nail colors. Sometimes when I paint my nails I even feel prettier. I've been on this mission to find a Tiffany blue shade of nail polish - so far no luck...at least not an affordable one.  Mostly I can thank pinterest for my obsession with this color (and about a million other things I'm into right now). But while on that mission I came across a GREAT find!! it's called Mint Sorbet. $2.49 at Target...Sally Hanson kind!

Anyway I'm totally really into it. If you're a nail polish junky - I recommend it for sure! One coat of that bad boy and you will feel fancier.

And since I titled this thing "some of my favorite things"...plural...I guess that means I have to include another item. The other things I bought at Target were boring. Like mouth wash, mascara, face wash...so I will post a picture of my cat. Cause she rocks...and she's into this new thing were she thinks it's funny to act like a human. Like the other night I came home and she was just finishing up eating some spaghetti and drinking a glass of wine. I was all like, are you serious? I get home from a long day of work - school teaching private lessons....and you're just sitting here drinking wine and enjoying a nice dinner? She was all like, well....yeah. So I said hmm ok well hold on a sec imma take a picture of you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The one about James Morrison

Ok - well first of all...it's no surprise that I am a James Morrison fan. I mean after all he is SO cute...AND has the most amazing voice...BUT last night I became an even bigger fan...because my and the girls got to go see him sing LIVE at the Aladdin.  I've never seen a concert at the Aladdin, but I anticipated it would be something like the Roseland - small, intimate, pretty up close and personal...well, I think it was BETTER than the Roseland!! We definitely had the best seats in the house!! Front and CENTER! only like 3 feet away...it was amaaaaazing.

We got there at 6:15ish or so...and waited in line. We waited for about 45 minutes outside....but we definitely weren't bored.  Southeast Portland isn't a boring place to hang out in. Always something going on...we even met Jafar.  Which we thought was appropriate, since we were headed inside the Aladdin...I wish I had a picture...but this will have to do...imagine a mix between him
and him

This crazy guy with a long scraggly beard kept walking up and down the line asking people if they had extra tickets - Caroline had an extra one because one of our friends got sick...so we told him that we could sell it to him for $30 - I mean we bought them for $27 online...he freaked out on us and was all like
"you crazy --<rolled his r's>--- they selling for $22 at door, why I buy from you for thirddeey. you crazy. you not sell that ticket. good luck."
No more than 10 minutes later - The Return of Jafar - he was back again with two 5 dollar bills...he says "I buy for 10."
We said "No it's $27. That's what we paid. That's what we will sell it for."
"I no buy for $27. I get for $22 at door. No one pay $27 to you.  You think you special?? YOU not special! I see thousands of you around thinking you're all special. You not special...if you wanna sell for $10 you let me know" it went on for a bit like that...Caroline put him in his place...until I started to get nervous that maybe he would pull out a rusty knife or something and stab her...he finally peaced out.

When they started letting people in the door and we got up to the front...we saw Jafar selling tickets to people right in front of the ticket office for $20...haha - of course he was. Wheelin and dealin....if he didn't make me so nervous I would have sold our ticket for $10 to his "clients"...next time.

At any rate, made for an entertaining wait time!

We got inside and staked out our spot. RIGHT UP IN FRONT!!! We were like...people, why are you sitting down in those seats when you are allowed to stand right here!! front and center!!? But whatever. It was awesome for us!  Plus we also discovered a new band!! Honeyhoney there were AMAZING!! Like seriously. So good.  I'm downloading their music today...if you haven't heard of them they are worth checking out.

Cheers to a good night of laughs, music, fun and friends!!! Oh and we even ran into two of our favorites...One of our "soon to be senior" dancers - Kate and her mom Lori!! We all danced the night away together 36 inches away from James Morrison. It was awesome. And he even gave touched my hand. Just sayin.

James...I love you.