have a great weekend…

IMG_2257things are just as busy as ever here at the house of mayhem and chaos!  last weekend we went to portland to the oregon museum of science and industry and then to hood river.  we had a blast!  IMG_2280 IMG_2296i have work tonight and tomorrow night but on sunday, i am hosting a little gathering for my best friend’s 3rd annual 29th birthday (see what she did there?)  i’m looking forward to friends and food and kids running around!   then, on monday, christopher and i are thinking of taking the boys to see the new minion movie.  it should be a fun, action-packed weekend with a little relaxing mixed in. IMG_2331

i hope you have plans for a fantastic weekend!

around the house…

i know i said i’d be back with some new posts, and i am, but it just took longer than i thought.  we’ve been really busy around the house and i just haven’t made the time to blog as much as i thought i would.  i’m also trying to stay off my computer a little more because i am actively trying to be more “in the moment” with the boys.

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a few weeks ago i was able to take a never-before whirlwind trip with my three best girls to portland to go to ikea.  harry had broken his bed and i wanted to get the boys new twin beds.  i made sure they were in stock before we made the four hour trip.  we made a day of it and stopped at pFriem Family Brewers in hood river on the way.  once we got to ikea, of course they didn’t have the beds i needed!  i am not gonna lie: i was pissed!  but, i changed my outlook and just enjoyed the day with my girls.  even though i didn’t get a bed, i did get the much-needed light fixtures for my kitchen, and for the first time ever, i didn’t spend a ton of money at ikea!  we had lunch at Miss Delta in the mississippi district (which is just the coolest neighborhood, aside from my own) and, as always, it was incredible.

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christopher and i have been doing some spring cleaning and improvements around the house lately too.  we found a great leather couch at goodwill–my karmic reward for not getting the bed i wanted at ikea–and our good friend found us the perfect bed at the Habitat for Humanity store in town!  now i just need another similar twin bed and the boys’ room is almost done.  i built a console for the living room to store our vinyl records (see picture at the top); we had our first-ever garage sale, and got rid of a lot of stuff that was cluttering up the garage; and i also totally refinished our front porch, which badly needed a new coat of paint and/or a complete new surface replacement.  i chose to go the refinishing route and used the Olympic Rescue It paint/resurfacer from Lowes (this is not a sponsored post–i wish–but i just liked the way this product worked and wanted to give a shout-out.)  now my porch looks awesome!

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you can see how it filled in the cracks in the wood!

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we still have a lot to do as the weather continues to warm up: planting the vegetable garden, re-seeding the lawn, adding a small patio extension in the backyard and getting our compost bins going.  whew, that seems like a lot!  oh, and we decided that we will homeschool the boys for kindergarten, so i have curriculum to research, classes to choose for them and all the planning that goes into this new endeavor.

i have some fun things in store for the blog too: a tutorial on re-covering a midcentury chair, some home decor styling tips, a peek at the boys’ room decor (when i get it done) and i’m going to start doing some room tours through the house!

hope you have a happy monday!

cheers,

e

vacation planning…

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christopher and i didn’t take a vacation at all last year.  we didn’t even get to the north american organic brewer’s festival — which we’ve gone to ever year for the past 6 years except the year the boys were born.  but this year, we are going on vacation.  as a family.  more than once.

beer fest

i just finished booking our reservations for a camp spot at the glorious wallow lake in eastern oregon.  it’s not too far a drive, it has a fabulous lake and lots of fun things to do, not to mention terminal gravity brewery in enterprise, oregon, right on the way there.

i really want to teach the boys to fish. there is a great little creek running through the campground with lots of trout.  i was about their age when i first started fishing and they’ve been asking lots of questions about where meat comes from.  i’m pretty sure jack thinks when an animal dies it magically turns into food, so this will be a very eye-opening experience for them.

vacation

christopher and i want to make sure we are taking the time as a family to travel and experience our summer vacations.  this spring, we are planning to drive to phoenix to see my family.  we contemplated flying, but getting on a plane with twins is a nightmare (we did it once when the boys were nine months old) and we think driving will be better and we can take our time.  we are planning on going the utah route for it’s scenic beauty and the fact that we can stop at uinta brewery and squatter’s along the way.  we are also going to be going to the north american organic brewer’s festival this year, come hell or high water, because it’s portland, organic beer, family-friendly, and in the mississippi.  we go with our friends and it’s a great time.

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since it’s been so long since we’ve gone on an actual vacation with the boys, we are a bit out of practice.  any tips you have for mega-car-traveling with small children are appreciated!

here are some blogs and pictures of places on my “wanderlust list” (which you can see on my pinterest feed on the traveling wilburys board) and some other things i like to look at about traveling:

a great camping with kids checklist

a weekend away in a treehouse.  can you just imagine? via creature comforts

i’m pretty sure my fairy godmother lives here

these pictures are the washington cascades.  and also, hello, the blog name is f-ing fantastic!

this is my dream

cheers!

e

my birthday weekend in portland…

the week between christmas and new year, christopher asked me what i wanted for my birthday.  i casually replied that i wanted to go to mcmenamins edgefield just outside portland, oregon (i think i said, “for three days, by myself” but christopher didn’t hear that bit.)  on new year’s eve he surprised me with a weekend away, just us, at that very hotel outside of portland.

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my cake from last year

portland is probably my favorite city.  we live an equal distance between seattle and portland, but seattle makes me tense–i hate driving there–and portland instantly melts the stress from me.  i don’t know what it is, but it’s a magical place.

we took our time, didn’t over schedule the days, and just enjoyed one of our favorite cities.  we also were very mindful of just being together.  since before the boys were born, he and i have been away together exactly twice.  this weekend and once last february.  the boys had a wonderful time at their first sleep away over at their aunt and uncle’s house.  there was a really sad moment when we were face timing with them before bedtime on saturday and they lost it.  which meant that i lost it.  lots of tears.  then the boys went to bed, we turned off the video chat and chris took me for a scotch so, things got better.

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happy (grainy) selfie at double mountain brewery in hood river, oregon

since we both work in the beer/wine/spirits industry, a lot of our trips revolve around some type of beer.  this trip, we took the time to stop at a couple new breweries that christopher represents.  double mountain brewery and pfriem family brewers in hood river, oregon.  i can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful everyone was, how incredible the food was and how outstanding the beers were at both places.  matt and phil at double mountain made sure all our questions were answered and took the time to give us some in depth info on the brewery and it’s mission.  thank you guys so much!  we were offered a tour, but due to timing on friday night, we had to decline.  josh pfriem took time out of his sunday to meet us at his brew pub and give us a backstage tour of his state of the art brewery.  thank you so much, josh.  we will wear our new pfriem t-shirts with pride!

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pfriem family brewers in hood river, oregon

our portland stay began with friday night at the mcmenamins white eagle pub and hotel.  we like to stay there because they have live music every night and it’s haunted.  i swear our door opened in the night by itself!

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mcmenamins white eagle hotel in portland, oregon

then, the next morning we drove up to the mississippi district and had breakfast at miss delta.  this is one of our favorite places to eat.  mimosa basilicas and chicken and waffles.  yummy!  toys for the boys from black wagon (thank you to all the ladies there–the store is always so fun and the staff is always so kind!), and some art for me from land.  this is such and awesome part of town; if you are in portland, check out this street!

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mimosa basilica at miss delta in portland, oregon 

one of the highlights was going to the horse brass pub in south east portland.  there is a beer that christopher and i love but they don’t distribute in washington, so we never get it.  the rumor was that horse brass has a dedicated russian river brewing company pliny the elder tap, so we wanted to check it out on saturday.  the rumors were true and i enjoyed my first piney the elder on draught on my birthday.  hugh, the bartender was fabulous and we fell in love with that pub.  it will be a regular stop for us.

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birthday pint of pliny at horse brass in portland, oregon (i hate having my picture taken)

after shopping and pints, we drove out to troutdale and checked in at the mcmenamins edgefield hotel.  there was a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us in our room and we immediately headed to ruby’s soaking pool.  there is nothing quite as relaxing as sitting in a 102 degree soaking pool while it rains.  oh, how i love portland!  dinner, drinks at the bars around the property and lots of time spent just talking (without tiny people screaming or interrupting) was how we spent the rest of the night.  oh, and one more soak in the pool before bed.

as much as i missed my boys and as wonderful as it was to come home to them, i couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

thank you, christopher.

cheers,

p.s. stephanie and clint, we love you so much for watching our boys this weekend. you guys are the best.

e