May 30, 2014

hood river vacation home tour

Last weekend, Lane, the kids and I got away for a couple days to Hood River. And it was perfect.

We shopped, played, ate, and even relaxed. I will post a full story later about all our activities and the yummy restaurants we ate at. But for now, I want to tell you about where we stayed.

I really didn't know what to expect about the location of the cottage because I have only visited Hood River once (but will be making up for lost time with many vacations in the future). I did know that the house would be adorable because my dear friend (who bought the house and flipped it along with a few of her family members) is extremely creative and has a great eye for decor.


The house sits in a beautiful neighborhood with tree-lined sidewalks and charming old homes that have all been well kept up. It is close enough to down town Hood River that we were able to walk to shops, restaurants, and parks, yet the neighborhood itself felt so comfortable that Elle and I went for a morning stroll in our pj's on Saturday.


The moment we drove up to the house, it was obvious that we were in for a treat. The welcoming walkway has been lined with fragrant herb bushes and the front porch has Adirondack chairs to laze in as you watch passers-by.


Upon entering, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I ran from room to room awing at all the charming old details of the home itself (which have been beautifully restored) and gasping at all the thoughtful and adorable decor. James exclaimed "It's so cute, I can't even believe my eyes!" Agreed.


The house has four bedrooms with large, comfy beds. There is also a pull-out couch, allowing the house to easily sleep nine people. Each bedroom carries the fun touches of the rest of the home- original artwork by a family member and photography by a family friend, as well as a unique vintage style. The two upstairs bedrooms look out toward the river, allowing for natural light to filter in and impressive views. The other two bedrooms are downstairs, along with a second bathroom and a bonus room that is the perfect place to snuggle up and watch a movie.

The kitchen is so gorgeous that it almost made me sad to eat all our meals out. Stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and white subway tile back splash formed the ideal base for chalkboard art and other decorative details. The snacks we did eat at the house we enjoyed in the quaint dining area or on the spacious back deck, where we could view the Columbia and the hills over on the Washington side.


Clearly, I was a fan of the house. It was cute and roomy, comfortable and convenient- everything you could want in a vacation rental. If you are looking for a place to stay that is not too far out of town (it took us one hour to get there), I highly recommend Hood River. It has wonderful restaurants, great shopping, and tons of fun outdoor activities for families or adventure seekers. If you do visit Hood River, do yourself a favor and stay at this cottage.

Click here to view the house on VRBO

Happy vacationing!

PS Did I mention it is also super affordable? I told you, this place has it all!

Although the owners of the rental house are personal friends of mine, all opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own. And I wouldn't lie to you.

May 23, 2014

happy friday

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! We are off on vacation today, and will be back to host a BBQ on Sunday. I am so looking forward to some time away and a chance to explore Hood River. I can't wait to share all about it next week.

Lane buzzed James shaggy hair yesterday. Here is the before:

And here is the after, a lighter 'do for summer:

I love when he gets his hair cut because I think it makes him look younger. He is, after all, only "fwee and fwee quarters!" (three and three quarters).

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading,

May 21, 2014

summer time fill-in-the-blank

I feel like I have taken an unintentional and unwanted early summer break from blogging.*

The truth is, each day a million things pop into my mind to blog about, then I sit down in the evening, begin a post, and my mind goes blank. I blame the baby.

I hope to post about maternity style (or the little I have, anyway), but I feel like I need to be just a tad larger and for that post.
I have jotted down recipe ideas I would like to attempt, but I have been too tired, and just resort  to the old stand-by's.
Crafts and kid projects have been planned and, even if carried out to completion, there is little or no documentation before I forget all about them.
I am in the very slooow process of re-decorating the living room/dining room area, but I want a finished project before presenting it in whole. (Don't get excited about the beloved before-and-after photos, as I forgot to take any "before".)

All this to say, I can guarantee you a post next week about an awesome and local vacation we will be taking.
You see, a dear friend of mine decided to buy a house, flip it, and rent it out for vacationers. We leave Friday and will be there all weekend. I am getting so excited, and I can't wait to share with you all about it.

Until then, let's do a fill-in-the-blank! Summa-themed, in honor of all the sunshine we have had lately:

Favorite summertime activities:

Your summer drink:

Music that reminds you of summer:

Favorite local(ish) summer vacation spot:

Best place in your 'hood to eat outdoors:

Summer uniform:

Tastes that remind you of summer:

Best way to cool down:

Here are my answers to get us started:

Favorite summertime activities: hiking, exploring parks, tubing, picnicking, backpacking. biking.... basking in the sunshine 

Your summer drink: this summer, cold brew coffee, arnold palmers, fruit smoothies

Music that reminds you of summer: Tom Petty, BOY, Caedman's Call, Leagues, and (no shame) JT

Favorite local(ish) summer vacation spot: Lake Merlin, Jefferson wilderness, Hood River, Sunriver

Best place in your 'hood to eat outdoors: McMenamins' Edgefield

Summer uniform: usually, shorts and Threads 4 Thought t-shirts; this summer, skirts, dresses, and leggings

Tastes that remind you of summer: basil, berries, and corn on the cob 

Best way to cool down: popsicles and sprinklers

Please share your answers in the comments, I look forward to hearing what summer is for you!


*note- I won't actually be taking a summer blogging break

May 14, 2014

and it's a...

On Monday we had the anatomy ultrasound (the doctor called later in the day to report that everything looked healthy and normal) and we found out the gender...

Let me preface this announcement by saying that I knew all along it was a girl.

The pregnancy felt just like it had with Eleanor, except I was even more sick and even more emotional. 
We talked about girl names, planned on Elle and the baby sharing a room, and called the baby a "she". James referred to it as his "baby sister" and gave us name suggestions such as: Natalie Snow White Light Lockhart.

Then, we found out.

We are having another boy!

I seriously can't believe it, but it was very obvious during the ultrasound. We are thrilled, of course. Boys are so much fun.

Now, to decide on a name. Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading!

PS explanation of the photos: 
Photo #1: James at Mother's Day brunch dressed in the outfit he insisted on wearing "My t-shirt with the tie on it, cool jeans, fedora, crocks, and sunnies!" I insisted he wear a polo shirt over the t-shirt.
Photo #2: The hanging basket I won at Mother's Day brunch for- get this- being the youngest mother there! There was one other pregnant 27-year-old, but she didn't have two other children.

May 08, 2014

the best oatmeal ever (yes, ever)

Strangely enough, I was never served oatmeal as a kid. At least, never any memorable oatmeal.

It was in college that I really fell in love with oatmeal. So filling. So versatile. So cheap.

 About once a year I overdose on oatmeal and vow to never eat another bowl. But then, usually about a week later, I remind myself how easy and inexpensive it is, and how, if you make it correctly, it tastes just like dessert.

 The Best Oatmeal Ever

5 cups water
pinch salt
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup 10-grain hot cereal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 heaping cup frozen berries
1/2 cup greek yogurt (or Nancy's vanilla, oh yum)
nuts (such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts) and ground flax meal for serving

Heat water over the highest heat you have, adding the pinch of salt when it gets close to boiling. Stir in oats and hot cereal. Turn heat down one click (on my stove I turn the "10" down to a "9")

Cook oatmeal, stirring frequently, until water is dissolved, about 20 minutes. Turn the heat to low and stir in coconut oil until it has melted. Stir in brown sugar, then berries; then remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
Spoon into bowls and sprinkle nuts and flax meal on top, if desired.


May 06, 2014

18 weeks

I am currently eighteen weeks along (kindly ignore that I may appear more like thirty weeks). The baby is the size of a bell pepper, according to my sources.

I am feeling great emotionally and physically despite the constant sensation that I may fall asleep at any minute, even standing upright.

A friend said to me today "I can't believe you are almost half way through!" But, the truth that we mamas know is that the third trimester is the longest. I am almost half way, but I must remind myself that I still have five whole months before I get to meet this little gift!

PS We find out next Monday what it is! (I sure hope it's a baby... ha)


May 02, 2014

baby fowl

They're here! The ducklings and goslings arrived at "our" pond (the one behind our house) some time last week. I finally snapped some quick pictures of them this week.

There are four ducklings (that we have seen) 

And eight goslings!

Gosling bums:

Both Mr. and Mrs Mallard and Mr. and Mrs Goose are bursting with pride.

Happy Weekend!

PS This time of year always reminds me of this book, one of my all-time favorites.

May 01, 2014

meal plan for the month of may

Hi everyone! Holy shnikies (sp?)! It's May!

Here is the meal plan for our family for this month (remember, because I am being super-organized... ha).
If you can't see it well, but you are interested, I can always email it to you. Just send me an email at ...(I promise I won't spam you. Neither would I know what to spam you with. I am very anti-chain letters.)

Happy May Day!