Health, Love & Fire: March 2016

New Easter Traditions

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Easter weekend was low-key and filled with lots of time just the three of us, which was exactly what I was hoping for!
I was able to get off early from work since it was our school's spring break and work was pretty slow so I got to enjoy a nice afternoon walk with Dan and Harper, followed by dinner at our favorite mexican restaurant.
The Fire Department in town (the one Dan works at) hosts an easter egg hunt every year so we met up with neighbors/fellow fire department family and walked down to the park a few blocks from our house for the egg hunt. Even though Harper couldn't walk around and pick up eggs, she still enjoyed grabbing an egg or two and putting them in her mouth. It was so fun to be able to attend an event we've been to in the past, but this year we finally got to participate with a little one. We got to see most of our fire department family including several of their spouses and children.
That evening we hosted our annual Egg Your House fundraiser where we go around after dark and put Easter eggs and people's yards for their children to find in the morning. Our fundraiser grew a lot this year and we ended up making over $700 for our Relay For Life team. Not only is it a great way to fundraise, but it's also a lot of fun and something we will definitely continue to do.
Dan got the day off from work so we all got to go to church with his mom for Easter service. Unfortunately they were doing an Easter performance and the music and costumes scared Harper so we didn't stay too long. We spent the rest of the day just hanging out around the house and spending time together. It was a really low key day, but a nice relaxing Sunday.
 The holidays really are so much more fun with Harper in our lives, especially as she grows and becomes more aware of the traditions and activities we're involved in! It makes me so excited for the summer and year ahead!

Getting Motivated To Get Fit

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Get Motivated To Get Fit
Being a working mom can be tough. Juggling everyone's schedule, plus your own is no joke! Add in blogging on the side and I feel like the only time I have to get anything done is after 8pm once the little one is asleep and the hubby is either working, studying or watching TV.

I've been working hard to add in some workout time to my busy schedule, with the goal of every day but happy if I can get at least 4-5 time a week fit in. After having Harper I got right back in to walking almost every day, but didn't push myself too hard on the weight loss front until I stopped breast feeding. The majority of my baby weight came off rather quickly and easily and now I'm stuck with those last 5-7 pounds to loose, plus the extra weight I'd like to loose on top of those few pounds.  I find myself being really down on myself lately, upset with how my body looks or what the scale says. I know I should be proud of what my body accomplished, bringing my little girl into this world, but in the same breath it can be hard to look in the mirror and not like when you're seeing.

But it can be difficult to get motivated after a long workday when all you want to do is join your husband on the couch in sweats with your glass of wine. But this is my main opportunity to fit in my workout. I've also started adding in some running either in the mornings before Harper wakes up, in the evenings while Dan gives her a bath or at work on my lunch hour. Hopefully with spring and summer on their way, the nicer weather will help make it not so tough to get out there and get my workout in.

But I do live in Oregon, where it rains a lot and I need more than just the sunshine as a motivator. Having comfortable clothes to wear that also make me feel and look good is the biggest factor that gets me out the door! If I feel like I don't look good I feel self conscious the entire time and am much more likely to end the workout early. Enter these amazing yoga pants. has so many awesome workout pants, capris and really any other item of clothing you would need to not only look good, but feel good while working out. These yoga pants are so comfortable that I want to wear them around the house constantly, not only for my workouts.

I am really enjoying the more sunshine in my life and the time I'm putting into my exercise. I never regret a workout, unless I don't look good doing it. But I don't have to worry about that with me new workout clothes! Trust me, sunshine and a cute outfit makes all the difference in the world!

What are your workout motivators? I'll take all the motivation I can get!
Yoga Pants  ::  Sunglasses  ::  Sneakers(similar)  ::  Sweatshirt (similar)  ::  Tank Top  ::  Water Bottle
This post is Sponsored by YogaOutlet. I received a complimentary pair of yoga pants in exchange for my review. All thought and opinions are 100% my own. 

Tuesday Ten . . . I'm On A Boat, Plane, Kayak . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

10 Favorite Vacations
Since it's Tuesday, I am linking up with Karli over at September Farm with the 10 Things On Tuesday. I am definitely a fellow list gal, and been looking for a good linkup to join in on, so this is perfect!! Lately I have had traveling on my mind constantly! With everyone and their mother going on spring break (okay maybe not everyone, but it feels like it when you work in academia) it has been lusting over some travel. So I decided to share 10 of my favorite trips we've taken (in no specific order).
One: Cabo San Luca, Mexico 
This was my first trip with Dan and the first time traveling without my parents. In hind sight, I'm not sure why my parents let me travel to Mexico with my boyfriend and our friend when I was 19, but at the time it seemed like a fine idea. We stayed at the Dreams Resort in Cabo San Lucas. This is still one of my favorite trips and definitely a place I would love to go back to, especially with this view from our room!  

Two: Caribbean Cruise
This was one of our married bucket list items that we wanted to do before having kids, and we did. We've gotten the opportunity to go on many fun trips, but we both wanted to see the Caribbean before starting a family. Add in the fact that we also fit in a spring training game to watch the Braves and it was the perfect vacation!
Three: Sunriver 
This is a summer trip we've taken to central Oregon several times with family. It's a sports weekend with different races taking place each day. The entire weekend is mostly spent outdoors either running, biking, swimming or kayaking and it makes me never want to leave! Just a 3 hour drive from home, it's definitely a trip we will take again and again as Harper gets older!

Four: Las Vegas
We've traveled here several times, some times with friends and sometimes just the two of us. No matter the group, it is always such a fun place to visit, and I'm always up for a return trip! Our Babymoon, and room upgrade on that trip probably top my list for favorite visits there though!
Five: Southern California
This trip was just the two of us! We snuck in some time at Disney, a bit of exploring around San Diego and Coronado, and of course a Braves baseball game! It was nice get away just the two of us, exploring new places and getting to visit a new stadium! My goal is to try to visit all of the active baseball stadiums, with most of the games being Braves games of course :)
Six: Colorado
This was a family trip and sort of family reunion of sorts. It was a week spent with some of our favorite people getting in lots of laughs and time outdoors. I'm so excited to travel back there in a couple months to do more of the same, but this time with Harper too!

Seven: Riviera Maya, Mexico
This was our honeymoon trip, and while it definitely didn't go as planned, we still loved visiting this area!

Eight: Mexican Cruise
My last spring break of college, Dan and I drove 18 hours down to San Diego and took a cruise from there to Mexico. It was my first time on a cruise and our second trip to Cabo San Lucas. This is the only real spring break trip I ever took and definitely one to remember!

Nine: Riviera Maya, Mexico - Again
This time we traveled with our good friend, who we also went to Cabo with on our first trip to Mexico together. We stayed at The Grand Mayan, a gorgeous resort, went snorkeling, saw the ruins and just had a great time in the sun in the middle of December. The perfect winter escape!

Ten: Upstate New York
While this is probably the least glamorous of any of our top vacations, it was one of my favorites. I moved to Oregon at the beginning of my freshman year of high school so it was so fun to travel back to where I spent my first 15 years and get to show Dan around. From the food to my old schools and house, it was fun to be able to share all my memories of a place that is so special to me. Plus since I grew up just an hour from Niagara Falls, we were even able to sneak in a day trip there and a ride on the Maid of the Mist.

What are your favorite vacations or places to travel? I'm ready for my next adventure!

Dining Room Reveal

Monday, March 28, 2016

A few weeks ago I share a bit about our dining hutch project and I told you I'd be sharing our dining room reveal shortly. Well today I have just that for you. While I'm still working to find the perfect finishing touches on this space, I decided it's finished enough to share on the blog, especially since I'll probably always be adding to all spaces in my house and never be 100% finished.

When coming up with my vision and plan for our dining room I wanted this to be a large enough space to host dinner parties for friends or holiday dinners for family. I wanted it to be comfortable while still looking finished and complete. We searched everywhere for a new dining table before finally finding the top to our would be table at a furniture store in the sale section. The legs of the table had been damaged so they were just selling the top for $40. So we added some farmhouse style legs that we painted white, some white chairs, and a bench for the other side and it was perfect! I love when the vision in my head actually becomes a reality! #winning

We've already hosted several dinner parties and a few holiday meals. I guess that's what happens when you take a year and a half to finally reveal a space in your new home. But here it is, our finished (for now) dining room.

During construction we were over at the house constantly, taking in every new element! Here's the progress of the dining room space.
And here's the finished product . . .
After posting about our dining hutch before and after, I realized I needed to add some more color to the room before I shared our final reveal. So I'm working on adding some more color in the decor. I really love how this space has come together and being able to sit down most nights and eat dinner together in this space. Growing up, having everyone sit down for dinner together was something that we did every night we were all home. Between travel and strange work hours, this didn't happen every night, but every night we had the opportunity to all share a meal together and talk about our day we did. I look forward to having this space to do the same thing as Harper gets older.

What are your favorite parts of a dining space? Any suggestions to add a little more color to our space?

Much Needed Date Nights That Include Wine

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When you become a parent, people will inevitably tell you not to quit dating your spouse and boy are they right. I think it should also be included that you shouldn't quit dating your friends either, if that makes any sense at all. basically what I'm saying is that just because you're becoming a parent doesn't mean your entire adult social life should change. It's easy to just hang out at playdates or spend all of your time at story time or on zoo trips, but it's also important to take time for you, and your spouse, and your friends.
So taking some of the advice we've been given, a couple weeks ago we planned a date night out with some friends. It was a Friday night, and I am always the one who's unsure about making plans after a long week, especially one that also included house guests. But by Friday at 5 I was so ready for a break, and some wine! We headed about 30 minutes from home to Sip! McMinnville Food & Wine Classic at Evergreen Air and Space Museum.

We've attended this event several times, but always look forward to going again. The event included over 40 wineries, 7 distilleries and a beer vendor. So basically there was a little something for everyone. One of the things I like most is that it gives you the opportunity to try out some wine from places you haven't heard of or visited before. There are several vendors who we've tried before, but we try to stick to the ones we haven't to give us some ideas of new places to visit outside of the event. Once you work up an appetite there are food vendors to try including many serving deserts. I'll go straight for the pie, thank you very much! The event also encompasses some art and decor vendors intermixed to give you something to browse and look at while you taste your wine.
All in all it was great night out with friends and a nice break for the parents. There are so many fun evening outings right in our backyard to help get us out and about every now and then. Being a parent is the most amazing thing we've ever done, but it's important to take time for our marriage and our friendships too. We look forward to next year's Sip! event and even more wine tasting outings in our future!

A Day In Oregon Wine Country

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Oregon wine country boats several different AVAs or American Viticulture Area and hundreds of potential wineries to visit. If you're looking for the perfect balance of good wine, beautiful scenery and welcoming atmosphere, here's your perfect day in wine country itinerary.
Wine Tasting In Oregon's Wine Country

Vista Hills Vineyard: 

                                                                                                                                                                 Between the wonderful wine, amazing view and fantastic people, this place is truly a favorite. Every time you walk in you feel like family, and that's not just because their tasting room, wonderfully named the treehouse is gorgeous, but the people who work there are amazing as well. You can almost always find their record playing in the tasting room playing something fun and their location is great to explore. You can taste your wine next to their fireplace, outside on their deck, or outside looking out on the hillside of vineyard. Their tasting flights normally contain one white and three to four pinot Noirs. Pack a lunch or snacks to enjoy while you taste and watch other's visit via car or horseback tour. Just a short drive from downtown Dundee, you find yourself up in the hills and quietly tucked amidst a setting that makes you never want to leave!



Stoller Family Estate
If you missed the post a few weeks ago about working a wine harvest, this post featured Stoller and gave an even better look at how they make their amazing wine. With a new tasting room just in the last couple years, they've really expanded their space for visitors to taste the wine, hang out and enjoy the gorgeous view of the vineyards! One of the best parts about Stoller is that they have a little something for everyone from Reisling and Chardonay to Pinot Noir and Syrah. I guarantee you'll find something you'll love. Their grounds have picnic tables and a tire swing, or if you're feeling adventurous you can play a few holes of disk golf. Stoller makes you want to spend the entire afternoon there! They also have some awesome indoor and outdoor event space to host your next party or wine tasting afternoon. This is truly a must visit in Oregon Wine Country!



This is definitely the most well known and widely distributed of the wineries on your itinerary, but still worth a stop! Most known for their bubbles or champagne, they have a large variety of wine to taste from Chardonnay to Pinot and obviously their amazing selection of bubbles! If you're going to stop, make sure someone in the group orders the "Pop Flight" so you can taste what they are really known for! They just recently went through an extensive remodel and created an amazing indoor and outdoor addition to their tasting room. Right in the middle of Dundee their tasting room is rustic and gorgeous!

Each of these locations are perfect from bringing along a picnic or some snacks to get you through the trip and keep you full, but if you're looking for somewhere to stop while you're out I'd check out the Red Hills Market. It's located less than a block from Argyle in Dundee and features amazing wood fired pizza, sandwiches and salads. For something a little more formal, the Dundee Bistro is great too, just across the street from the Market. Both can be busy during lunch time on the weekends, but definitely worth the wait!

You really can't find a more beautiful place to visit, or live if you ask me. It's the perfect afternoon day trip from Portland and the places to visit are endless.

Harper - 7 Months

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Harper at 7 Months 

She has seriously changed so much this month . . . maybe the most in any single month yet! She is sleeping in her own room in her crib, finally! Yes I probably waited too long to make the transition, but after a few tough nights, she finally got the hang of it and is in her crib! She also learned how to sit up by her self this month and is playing way more independently now and constantly on the move. We are working on the crawling thing, but she's still not quite there yet. Anytime something is close to her, she's reaching and grabbing and constantly wants to be holding something. I feel like she really looks way more grown up over the last month and I'm not sure how I feel about it!
This month she's really started to know who her people are and is unsure about being around strangers. She still gets so excited when I come home from work and will freak out if I leave the room or am not holding her right away. She also loves play time on her blanket and in her jumper. Her awake time during the day is becoming much more active and playful which is so fun! She's also still loving the outdoors, which can be difficult with all of the Oregon rain we're having, but we try to sneak outside anytime the rain stops. This month she also really started to notice the cats and dogs and is always wanted to pet them! They've quickly learned to keep their distance unless they are feeling extra brave!

We're working on incorporating more solid foods every week, and she's still trying to figure out holding actually solid foods and feeding herself. We tapered off on breastfeeding and she's getting more formula, but also eating solid foods at least twice a day.

Like I said, we transitioned to her crib this month. It only took 3-4 nights of restless sleep for Mom and Dad before she got the hang of it. She's definitely waking up more often during the night to get her diaper changed or get her  than she was when she was in her rock and play, but overall it's going well. She typically wakes up between 6 and 7, eats and is awake for about an hour and then takes about and hour morning nap. Then she's awake most of the rest of the morning and takes her afternoon nap between 12 and 1 for anywhere from 2-3 hours. Then we start the bedtime routine about 6:30 and she's typically asleep for the night no later than 7:30. It feels good to have a routine and a schedule for both her and us. It gives us some more time in the evening to get stuff done or just have time together which is really nice.

Photos from this month . . .
First time on the swing . . .
 We celebrated her best friends birthday this month, so of course the needed matching bff shirts!
 And it was her first Valentine's Day!