Vashon Island Wedding Recap    

Turning an idea into reality is really quite an inspiring activity. We took our lovely house with a too-small kitchen, came up with a plan, and knocked out some walls. Better location for a fireplace? Underway. Bigger garden? Check. Matt and I are feeling like an unstoppable duo, even if it means our plate is pretty darn full.

Full, but could handle more…so comes yet another off the cuff idea: event planning! We have always talked about how well our skill sets aligned to run events. Matt has killer kitchen skills, catering experience and an eye for detail and logistics. I love dealing with ideas and vision and people. Perfect combo for a wedding planning team. It was always a hypothetical idea until this spring when the opportunity to help a couple plan and execute their Vashon island wedding. They were in LA and needed some local contacts to run and help source things…and so our trial event was born!

For months now we have been their go-to contacts. Receiving shipments, sourcing products, and also expanding our scope to be event producers, caterers and designers. Matt took on appetizers for 200 guests, building a chuppah for their ceremony and designed a beautiful theme around vintage silver platters.

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Finally the event was here. Last weekend we worked our tails off, found 4 amazing helpers and pulled off a wonderfully perfect wedding. Lights and bunting ran above two long banquet tables and the party went well into the night. It was beyond rewarding to execute every last detail above and beyond the expectations of the bride and groom, have ideal weather, friendly helpful guests and make some great island contacts. We are still riding the high from how great it was!

So yes, this trial event was a success, and we are moving forward with making it part of our already busy repertoire as a side gig with the goal of doing 5-7 events each year. We have a website ready to launch as soon as we come up with the right name. Suggestions welcome!

 

Return to Port Townsend

For our third anniversary (how has it been so long already?!) we wanted to go back to Port Townsend for a weekend getaway. An Airbnb was selected, but no availability till October…so we booked a late anniversary weekend for the fall. It turned out to be exactly what we needed. August was busy enough with house painting and other weekend commitments, and the fall colors were great this time of year.

Last Friday we headed out. I still am in awe of how much closer to everything we feel living on Vashon Island. Well, close to everything except maybe the cascades. Surfing is 2.5 hours away, Port Townsend 1.5 hours. We are near to Seattle, and Tacoma, AND the Kitsap Peninsula (and therefore the lake property). It is pretty awesome. After the short ferry ride to Southworth we were on our way, and before we knew it, arrived in Port Townsend.

First order of business was dumping our stuff at the Airbnb. It was a cute little 1 room tiny house, 10×12 with a small bathroom, kitchenette bed and outdoor shower. Perfect!

Then we went out for long walk around Fort Worden. I was in a bit of a funk because my main camera was cardless (argh!) and my phone memory was full. No pictures was hard for me. We walked around and discovered a new part of the fort and reminisced at our wedding site.

We walked until sunset and then headed to town for dinner at Waterfront Pizza (they catered our rehearsal dinner). Service was slow, and then made slower by some issues with our order so our pizza was on the house. Turns out the slow dinner was a good thing so we spent less time at our Airbnb.

When we got back “home” for the night we were pooped and headed to bed. That is when the trouble began. We were both really bothered by an odor in the room. We are still not sure if it was mold or an air freshner or what, but it kept us up for hours. In the morning, we decided we could not handle another night there and reluctantly shortened our trip. The day was supposed to be rainy and we knew we did not want to spend time in that room.

So we loaded the car, and headed to town for breakfast. Pastries and coffee at Sweet Laurette’s, cruising the farmer’s market were a great way to start the day. We wandered all the standard shops along the waterfront and found a vintage 1940s or 50s art deco framed print for our house at an antique shop.

By 1:00 we were ready for another Port Townsend tradition: ice cream sundae at Don’s Pharmacy soda fountain!

We took a second lap around the fort (this time with a camera!) to work off the ice cream and then hit the road home.

All in all it was a great trip, and being home Sunday was really quite nice. The cats and chickens were happy to have us home and it make the weekend stretch just a bit longer. Most importantly, it reminded us how much we just love spending time together wherever we are.

Remembering August 10th

It has been nearly 3 years since our wedding but I am just now getting around to putting our photos in album form. I made a beautiful book for each set of parents, but wanted a special copy with just our favorites in one for us.

Fast forward 2+ years and those beautiful images are still just sitting on the computer. I just finished two albums for other people and decided to power through and just finish mine. Two marathon sessions and two very tired eyes later I had the book complete, just in time to still apply a 60% off code.

I am thrilled with the design, and even more excited that our photos will finally be in our hands!

The process of making these books is one of my favorite things to do. I am getting a system down to take other people’s photos and create books for them and it is going smoother each time. I hope to eventually start a side business where I do this for busy people who don’t have time to get their photos into books.

Here is a sneak peek ours:

http://www.adoramapix.com/app/productembed/?bookID=725f9de1-b005-427d-8a17-9dc1dee9e9f6&size=570&background=ffffff&logo=true

PNW Summer Adventure: Camping, Wedding & Anniversary in the North Cascades

The moment our laundry was done it was packed up again for another weekend adventure. Towels were crammed into our beach bag, tents folded, cooler stocked…we were off for an anniversary/wedding/camping weekend in the North Cascades!

Our first stop was a visit at my parents in Ferndale. We played croquet, ate tons of food, explored the garden, visited with visiting grandparents and cousins, prepped camping meals and had some good down time. And I made pie crust. Sour cream super easy and amazingly delicious pie crust!

Early Friday morning we jumped in the car (only an hour later than planned…) and drove out Hwy 20 to North Cascades National Park. It was a glorious day for a drive! Our goal was a campsite at the Colonial Creek Campground. After one loop around the campground we began to get nervous…there were hardly any empty sites left! We managed snag a private site with HUGE trees…not exactly riverfront but still pretty nice. Our mini looked tiny next to those trees!

After setting up camp and filling water bottles we packed our for our first hike: Diablo Lake. 7.5 miles from the Diablo Dam all the way up to Ross Lake’s dam. Beautiful hike, saw only 4 other people. Perfect! We were hot and dusty from our hike, and with no showers at the sites what were we to do? Swim in the lake of course! Yes, we were a little nuts to jump in the FRIDGID glacial waters (hey, the color looks like the Caribbean!) but it felt so good!

 

Dinner was epic. Homemade buffalo kabobs with mushrooms, peppers and onions. Completed with corn on the cob, cucumber salad and champagne we have been saving from our wedding. With plastic camping wine glasses we toasted to two years of marriage!

 

The next morning we made pancakes and geared up for another hike, this time on the Thunder Creek trail. We trekked two miles along a beautiful river, crossed a bridge, and then made our way back to camp…to grab swimsuits and chacos! With our water –adventuring attire we ventured back down the path until we found a side trail to take us to the water. We waded across the wide, sparkling (ahem, FREEZING!!!) river to a beautiful rock sandbar. We splashed and swam and bodysurfed rapids until we could not feel our legs. It was SO COLD! But the sunshine was warm and we dried off quickly. Swimming in glacial rivers really makes you feel alive!

 

Refreshed and clean, we put on wedding clothes and drove over to the North Cascades Learning Center for my good friend and old apartment-mate’s wedding! Too much wine, a canoe-full of beer, lots of food, many friends I had not seen in ages, and topped off with karaoke…it was a fun night.

The next morning, not so fun. Poor Matt was cursed with a camping hangover. While he recovered I broke camp and loaded up the car for our drive back to Seattle. A quick stop at Costco for groceries, some gelato and a hot dog to share (great hangover food) filled every last space in the car. We managed to pull into the ferry line just as one was starting to load. Great timing!

As always, it felt so good to be home. We cleaned and unpacked. Watered the garden and visited with the kitties. And to celebrate our actual 2 year anniversary, we had leftover kabobs in the back yard. Matt gave me an antique sapphire necklace from the antique store on Vashon. 

Two years. It has been great. What a glorious end to an epic PNW summer weekend.

 

Happy Things

It was another full weekend full of happy things.

  • Costco and pho date night on Friday
  • Lazy Saturday morning
  • Garage sale – with a great 1920s oak antique cabinet find for $100 (and he delivered it!) isn’t it beautiful?

  • Farmers market
  • Finding ground buffalo on sale
  • Making FBI approved red sauce with legit San Marzanos in Matt’s Grandma’s old Le Cruset
  • My high school prom date’s wedding…and catching up with great friends from those days
  • Seeing a sweet friend’s baby bump!
  • Dressing up and commuting by bus and ferry
  • Another sale: tile saw for $5! And some free silverware and an glass oil lamp
  • Getting two rooms prepped for drywall repair and new paint

  • First plantings in the garden: strawberries, spinach, chard, beets and carrots

  • Sleeping with the kitties
  • Visiting Grandpo for dinner…there are not many more of these left

It was a fabulous weekend. Crazy weather! We saw the brightest rainbow of my life on Sunday! Now here is to a great week full of drywall repair, a crazy messed up house, and sunshine!

Our First Anniversary!

On August 10, 2012 we said “I do” in front of friends and family on a perfect PNW day in Fort Worden’s Battery Tolles. Matt and I still talk about our wedding all the time, reflecting on how it was exactly what we wanted…melting cake and all.

Saturday marked our first anniversary, and we celebrated by kicking back and taking time to enjoy it. No house projects, no plans. We wanted to kick back and enjoy our house and each other. We slept in, went to the farmer’s market and strolled through the grocery store (might sound like a chore but we love to grocery shop). We stopped by the dairy and bought raw milk. We took the scenic way home. In the afternoon Matt made pizza dough so that we could celebrate with homemade pizza for our anniversary dinner. Yes, there is a story there: pizza was the first dinner Matt made for me. We drank champagne with peaches in the hot tub and then feasted on fresh, homemade pizza while watching the Food Network. It was so us, so simple, and exactly how we wanted to round out our first year.

Dessert: yep, our wedding cake top! We pulled it out of the freezer to thaw and even after much transportation + a move, it tasted perfect. The decoration was smeared, and yes, eventually ALL the frosting melted off (just like our wedding day!), but it was perfect.

What a year it has been. Wedding, honeymoon, 1st year of grad school (me), new job (Matt), buying a house…yep, life is pretty dang amazing. I feel so lucky to share it with my best friend.

…..

On Sunday, life was back to “normal”. We worked on the house all day, clicking off projects non-stop.

Paint dining room ceiling: check

Paint dining room trim: check

Build 4 shelving units: check

Swap out mattresses: check

Deep clean bathroom: check

Make butter: check

Move boxes: check

Water plants: check

Yep, it was a very good weekend in our house!

Oregon Wedding Road Trip

*apologies for so few photos with these posts…I have been savings posts as drafts, hoping that I will download a few off my camera, but time has not presented itself  🙂 I will get around to images one of these days, but for now, just stories.

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This past weekend, one of my best friends got married. Bo was the very first person I met at WSU, and we stayed good friends throughout all 4 years in Pullman. Life after college has taken us to different cities, but we still have tried to stay in touch, and reconnect with our group, the “Honor’s Posse” whenever possible. Bo is currently in medical school and his rotation last summer conflicted with my wedding, so I was extra excited to make it to his. His beautiful and sweet fiancé Ashlea and I had only met once, but I really liked her a lot, and was so excited to celebrate their marriage in Oregon – summer road trip!

Road trips to weddings hold a special place in our hearts because the first “trip” that Matt and I took was to a wedding in Idaho for our friends Joe and Ellie. Hours in the car, spotting cool places along the way, and staying in cute B&Bs are all part of the package. To make sure this wedding road trip lived up to our expectations, I booked a B&B the day that I got Bo and Ashlea’s save-the-date card. I found a cute place called the Feller House – a two room cozy 1860’s house in the heart of farm country only about 10 minutes from the wedding. Perfect!

Since we were road tripping to Oregon, we decided to pack even more friends in and spend Friday night with Benny and Lana at his parent’s house in The Dalles. Lana ended up riding down with us, and we had a great Mexican food adventure in Yakima with real roadside tacos and a visit to the local grocery store for ice cream. We got to The Dalles really late, and had to leave pretty early, but it was a great visit and we cannot wait to go back. Benny’s parents are awesome and we were so thankful for their hospitality to let us crash…and do a load of laundry!

We set out around noon the next morning on our beautiful drive to Canby, OR. It was Matt’s first time through Hood River and the gorge, and it is (no pun intended) gorgeous! There were many waterfalls and viewpoints we wanted to see, but after our experience of nearly missing Joe and Ellie’s wedding after a long drive, we kept on driving to give us time to change at the B&B. We made it to the wedding with time to spare. The venue was gorgeous. A big barn nestled in farm fields with ceremony chairs set up under huge old oak trees. Ashlea looked stunning in her gown, and both she and Bo were glowing. I am so happy for them.

We danced and ate and caught up with the Honor’s Posse, but were pretty exhausted by the time it all ended at 10. I was glad our B&B was so close and we did not have to drive back to Portland for the night! Matt and I crashed hard, and slept right up until breakfast the next morning. Breakfast was awesome. Homemade quiche with peach/blackberry galettes. Yum! We talked with the owners and learned about their communal garden (10 families tend the beautiful and productive garden and share big outdoor meals every Tuesday!) and the history of the house. These stories are one of my favorite parts of staying in B&Bs.

We took one more wander through the garden (inspiration for us…) and then started out towards home. A quick stop into a barn full of reclaimed housing pieces gave us more inspiration, and we took our time driving the long way through the beautiful countryside back to Portland. We also stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond to take advantage of tax-free shopping (hooray exciting bathroom stuff) and then were on the long slog back home. Traffic between Seattle and Portland is AWFUL. It was stop and go (emphasis on the stop) literally the entire drive from the border to Tacoma where we peeled off I-5 to visit Grandpo. Matt did extremely well with his stick-shift driving confidence in heavy traffic! We had a great dinner and visit in Tacoma, then took the ferry ride back to Vashon and were home.

Home. On the island. It still is sinking in how cool it is to have OUR house.