Health, Love & Fire: November 2013

Tree Day!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, So Full From Yesterday You Can't Move Day, and for me . . . . one of my favorite days of the year TREE DAY!!! To me, it doesn't feel like the holidays until my 12 foot tree is standing with its white lights and beautiful ornaments in the corner of my living room. Now i've mentioned this before, but I truly have a problem with christmas time. There are probably tons of people who want to puke when they hear about how all out I go for this time of year, but hey it's me and I am okay with that! I am a total christmas freak. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my birthday is 6 days before christmas, so the holidays are just always such a happy time for me. 

No matter the reason, I LOVE CHRISTMAS! Which is why, weeks in advance I look at the calendar and figure out what day we will be able to go pick out our christmas tree! Its a group effort since we are looking for such a large tree, and always a fun tradition to go with Dan and my parents. My brother has never really been in to the whole tree hunting experience (maybe because I would drag him in a sled for hours in the freezing cold and snow when he was little while I tried to find the perfect tree), so we go just the four of us. 

Growing up, we always went to a christmas tree farm and chopped our own tree down. Something about the experience just stuck with me! Hot cocoa in hand and hopefully one (I've been known to visit several farms before choosing "the one") lot later, we have our tree! Since today is the day and I'm sure I'll be too busy picking out "the" tree and decorating it to share a whole post about the tree search, I decided to share tree pictures from the last few years :) 

This is the first year Dan and I got to spend Christmas together. The year before we had only been dating about a month and a half so it was fun to get to spend the holidays with him. This was the year that started my obsession with super tall trees because this year I convinced my parents to get a 14 foot tree for their living room!! 

The Tree I really wanted . . . we ended up getting a smaller one (which for some crazy reason I don't have pictures of)

This was the first year we had our own house to decorate for Christmas. We had only been living in our house for a couple weeks when I convinced Dan to get this GIANT tree! Here he is before cutting it down and then the tree in the house! We have now learned to look for a tall but thinner tree! 

Our first Christmas with Cooper and a little bit thinner tree for our house! 

This was our last Christmas with my parent's dog who I'd grown up with so here she is under their tree on Christmas Eve. 

Here's my tree from last year! I got smarter and created my own pvc pipe measuring stick to bring with me tree hunting so I can tell how tall the tree is and if it will fit in our living room! 

I can't wait to go tree hunting today and to share pictures with you all! Make sure to keep and eye out for my instagram because I'm sure I'll share pictures there before I get to posting on here!! Are any of you crazy about your tree like I am? 

Reasons Why Dan Would Be A Great Blogger

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I was sitting here thinking what to write today and got to wondering what Dan might write if he could take over my blog for the day. (which I might have him do in the future) He's always suggesting ideas for posts or what wineries we could go to for me to write about (i'm pretty sure he just wants a reason to drink more wine). But it got me thinking about what type of blogger he would be if he could blog and honestly I think it's a blog I would probably read! Here are some of the reasons I think Dan would be a great blogger! 

  • He says whatever's on his mind. Literally, I'm pretty sure he rarely thinks through what he's going to say before he says it, which makes for some pretty entertaining conversations. 

  •  He loves to shop! When he and I first met and started dating, he was the spender and I had to teach him to look at sale racks and not just buy everything he liked the first time he saw it. It's nice though, because he never gets annoyed when I want to go shopping :) 

  • He's a firefighter/paramedic and goes on some pretty hilarious calls . . . too bad he can't share cause of privacy rules . . . . but really do you need to call 911 for a nosebleed or because you can't sleep? Cute guys in uniforms, pranks on each other, and crazy calls . . . I would be entertained! 

  • He loves wine and beer and even makes his own! I don't think this even needs more explanation! 

  • He gets confused easily and forgets how common sayings work. I could totally see him thinking that the saying goes it's raining cats and birds instead of its raining cats and dogs. That's probably a bit of an exaggeration but he says goofy stuff like that all the time! 

  • He runs and loves to be active! 

  • He Loves to travel and try new things . . . . He's always planning out our next trip! 

  • He's super crafty and he makes furniture, sews, and brews his own beer and wine. I see tons of DIY posts covering his blog . . . if he had one! 

  • He has a great personality. He is goofy, sweet, and nice to everyone! 

Can you see your husband, boyfriend, or significant other as a good blogger that you would follow? 


Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Monday! I am so thankful for this being a short work week. My boss decided to close our office early on Wednesday so I only have to work today and tomorrow! I haven't had this many days off in a row in over six months and it couldn't have come at a better time! 

I won't bore you with the lack of excitement from my weekend but just remind you to be thankful this week and every week. Over the past few days, I have become more and more thankful for my health, and the love and support of my family. My father in-law has been in the hospital on and off for the last two weeks and it has been really difficult to watch. He had heart surgery about a week ago and ever since that day we've seen him age so much. It's really difficult to watch someone you love go through some of the struggles he's going through. It's even tougher to watch Dan have to see his Dad like this. 

So our hope this week is that he is either home from the hospital or moved to a facility that is closer to home. Right now we have to drive about 45 minutes to get to the hospital he's at, and so does Dan's Mom. It would be nice to have him closer so that we all can spend more time with him and less time in the car! 

This thanksgiving I know we are so much more aware of the blessings we have and how lucky we are to have such a supportive and loving family! So as you go about your week, be thankful each and every day for the people in your life, the blessings you have, and the health and well-being of the people you love. 

10 Things Most People Don't Know About Me

Friday, November 22, 2013

I've been noticing on facebook lately, this post going around about things you may not know about someone. I'm not really about the whole "like this post and i'll give you a number" thing, or "repost this or we aren't true friends". While I'm not one of those people, I did think it would be fun to share some things that most people don't know. 

One:  I hate dark chocolate . . . and I'm not even a huge fan of milk chocolate. But I will devour white chocolate any day of the week! 

Two: I clean when I am mad or stressed. It's usually how Dan knows something is wrong because I just start organizing everything in sight. This week has been really stressful with a lot of family stuff going on with Dan's Dad in the hospital, so I plan on organizing tomorrow morning to help me feel better! 

Three:  I'm afraid of the dark, and thunder and lightning storms. I have been afraid of the dark since I was a little girl (it's truly amazing that I am fine being home alone a third of the time). I have also been in a building that's been hit by lighting and also on a boat in ocean in the middle of a horrible storm. You can basically count on me bursting in to tears when I have to deal with a bad thunder storm (not that I did that in the middle of my cousins outdoor bridal shower or anything).

Four: I love crime and detective shows, but I won't watch them when I'm home alone. My new favorite show lately is The First 48. I'm pretty sure Dan thinks I'm completely nuts, but it's my way of feeling like a detective or cop but not having to actually do anything since I'm such a wimp. I will also watch any show about firefighters, no matter how far fetched. There's just something about that inside view in to the fire station that I love. Like I love Chicago Fire and you bet I will be DVRing the spinoff Chicago PD. (Gosh they get me every time). 

Five: One of my dreams is to buy an older home with some property and fix it up. I see antiques, older architecture, a swimming pool, and happiness in my future. Now if I can just win the lottery! 

Six: I always hold my breath in tunnels (if I can) because my Grandpa always told me it was good luck to do that. He also said that if you are riding in the car (not driving) and are going over a bridge to lift my feet off the car floor. It's amazing the things that we are told as children that just stick with us forever. 

Seven:  I have a serious obsession with christmas. (okay so this might not be a huge surprise to anyone) It just brings me so much joy and happiness. The last two years we have even had two christmas trees just because I wanted two different color schemes or themes on my tree! 

Eight:  I'm working on starting an etsy site with different homemade goods such as bunting, bags, and scarves. Its definitely still a work in progress but I'm really excited about it. 

Nine: I love animals! My favorite animal is a Panda (I bet if you asked Dan even he wouldn't know that) and I have always dreamed of owning my own horse! 

Ten: Very few people in my every day life know about my blog. I am nervous to share my innermost thoughts with some of those people and afraid of the judgement it might receive. I have a hard time putting myself out there and can be really shy. So for now only my parents and Dan know about it and have read it. (or at least as far as I know)

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I know I am looking forward to catching up on some sleep, organizing my house and life a bit, and hopefully watching the new Hunger Games movie! 

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 22

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Well unfortunately 22 for me was several years ago, but my little brother is turning 22 today! I still remember the day we picked him up from the airport (a little different than meeting your new sibling in the hospital - but still just as exciting). Adopting my brother when I was four years old is one of my first memories! As you can tell from some of these pictures below, he brings so much laugher, joy, and love to our family. While he hasn't technically been my "little" brother since he was about 8 and I was 12, he will always be my "little" brother to me.

Being four years apart, we had different friends, were in different schools most of the time, and were involved in different activities. I spent hours cheering him on at the baseball and football fields, and he would sit in the audience for my band concerts. While we may be four years apart, and growing up I never thought we would actually like each other, I love spending time with him and watching him grow up (even though I'm not really ready for that). Tonight, as we get together as a family to celebrate his birthday, he's bringing a girlfriend for the first time ever. It's a little bittersweet to see him growing up and becoming so mature. I couldn't be more proud of the amazing man he is and love him more and more every day!

It's funny how as children, it's the younger sibling who feels so excited when their older brother or sister wants to spend time with them. Now the tables have turned. I feel so honored when he wants to spend time with me and cherish any conversations and time together. I am thankful that our family lives so close together and enjoys each other's company so much. While I've reached out to my birth parents the past few years and gotten to know some of my other siblings, Taylor will always be the most important one! From the jokes and memories, to the laughter and tears, growing up with him was all but boring and always entertaining!

Happy Birthday Taylor! I'm so thankful that we get to celebrate with you! I love you more than you know and am so proud of the amazing person you are!

Thanksgiving Pinspiration

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This year I have been really excited for Thanksgiving. For the past few years, we have shared thanksgiving with both of our families instead of either doing one or the other, or having to eat two thanksgiving meals in one day. Normally I enjoy thanksgiving and spending time with family, but I never really go all out like I do with Christmas. This year, I can’t tear myself away from pinterest boards, blogs, and daydreaming about the perfect thanksgiving décor.

I’m dreaming of gold, burgundy, burlap, and gourds. Placemats, bunting, and candles. I just can’t get the endless possibilities of our thanksgiving table out of my head. Since we haven’t officially decided who’s hosting at their house this year, I haven’t gone all out decorating our house. But I decided to compile all my ideas into a mood board so once that decision is made, I can get started crafting!

Is anyone else inspired to deck out their home for Thanksgiving this year? I would love to see your inspiration or past year's table decor! Oh and if you think I'm excited for Thanksgiving, just wait until christmas, and of course my birthday that is exactly a month from today!! YAY! 

If you're looking for some other bloggers favorite things, make sure to jump over to Down with the Dearmore's, The Good Life, and Cheers Y'all for their favorite things link up! 

Cara Box Reveal: Fall Happiness!

Monday, November 18, 2013

I was so exited to participate in Cara Box for my first time! Getting the opportunity to meet two amazing ladies, to put together a fun box to send to one of them, and get a fun box of my own was the best! I loved getting any mail, but this box literally made my week!

The theme of this Cara Box was fall, and who doesn't love to send some fall goodness to some fellow fall lovers! The two awesome ladies I was paired with were Karis and Veronica. I couldn’t believe how many similarities I found between each of us. From gluten-free eaters to fellow photographers, these ladies and I could be best friends – besides the fact that none of us live close to each other.

Veronica sent me the most awesome box filled with things I absolutely loved, and honestly you would think we had been friends for years by the way she sent things that were so me!

Here’s what was in my amazing box: She even included a cute little fall card, which I loved.

- An infinity scarf with birds on it – I LOVE this and have worn it over and over!!
I wore it the day after I got it and have worn it tons of times since! 

- Her and her husband’s favorite gluten-free cereal that has become a staple in my breakfast routine! (I don't have pictures of the cereal cause it never lasts long enough :)) 

- A fall candle and fall scented hand sanitizer that has helped make my office smell and feel more like fall!

- Fall themed kitchen towels that go perfectly with my fall décor and the colors in my kitchen

- Leaves to add to my fall décor around the house!

If you have never participated in a Cara Box with Wifessonials before, I highly recommend it. The next opportunity to sign up is in the beginning of December, and you can bet that I will be joining in! This is such a fun way to get to know fellow bloggers and have the opportunity to make new friends and put together a fun package to brighten someone’s day. 

Our Second Vintage - Pinot Noir Rose'

Friday, November 15, 2013

So as I promised, here is our update from our day picking and processing our pinot noir grapes. . . . 

Because Dan worked at a local vineyard this fall helping with harvest, they were nice enough to let us pick some of their "seconds" from their pinot noir vines. "Seconds" are what's left on the vine after they already picked. Many vineyards will go through and pick the fruit that hangs lower on the vine because it is more mature, has more sugar, and is more mature. The fruit left on the vines after that is still good, just not as bold in flavor, which would make a perfect pinot noir rose'. 

Picking wine grapes is a race against the clock here in Oregon. You want to pick before it starts to rain, because that drops the sugar, before the birds start eating them, and before they start to rot. Because we were picking the "seconds", we had to pick and choose the grapes that were still good and hadn't gone rotten yet. This meant that it took a little bit longer, but when it's free and delicious fruit you don't care.

The Saturday morning we went to pick, it was a beautiful, cool, foggy fall morning.  

We brought along mom and dad to help make the picking go a little faster. (Unfortunately I couldn't get Dad to leave the ridiculous hat at home). Having four people really helped make the work go a lot faster, and made it a lot more fun. 

We picked an entire barrel full! 

Because we are making a rose', we had to clean and press the grapes that day after we picked them. 
So we cleaned out the press and the carboys that we would put the wine in. 

Then we put all the grapes in to the press, and tried to press as much juice as possible out of them! 

They will sit in the glass carboys for the next couple months. Dan will add certain nutrients and yeasts  every so often to help it ferment. I let him do all the chemistry work, and I am just the taste tester! Can't wait to see how this new batch and type of wine will turn out!