Monday, November 29, 2010

A lovely holiday.

It was the perfect holiday weekend to celebrate the season of Thanksgiving and what was fall.  It was a pleasant and full day filled with family, a feast, blueberry pie and pumpkin cheesecake, and just as my heart desired, were the dusting of snow across the lawn.

Upon returning home from my in-law's country home, nestled in the trees, Husband and I slipped into bed to watch Eat Pray Love.  I'd been wanting to put film to memory since I read the book, but just as many say when comparing books to movies, the book was far more enjoyable.  However, Julia still makes me smile on the inside when she grins.  This must be the reason that I have a small collection of Julia Roberts movies in VHS in a box somewhere.  And while I am on the subject, can I just say how awesome it is to watch her in her element,  post babies?  It makes a mother feel good, and is quite empowering. 

Other than this and a couple of afternoons in my pj's fighting off a cold, while Husband was off helping his Dad harvest his elk meat, the weekend was relatively relaxed.  So relaxed, that when today fell upon us, I secretly hoped that I could be on holiday until January!

What was the best part of your holiday weekend?  I hope it was enjoyable!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Friendship Relay

A little bird sent me a lovely surprise a few days ago!
I want to thank Ana*, from The World Through My Eyes, for choosing me to be a recipient of the
baton of the Staffetta Dell'Amicizia Friendship Relay!
It means a lot to be listed as a blog that has inspired her.

Now, I will do the same, answer the questions and pass this award along to bloggers who I happily follow and reap an abundance of inspiration!  Thanks ladies, you are lovely.

Kara Lynn of Life in Technocolor

Stephanie of The Crimson Owl

Tricia of Baby Night Night Boutique and her creative crafting blog

Joyce of I Love Pretty Little Things

Bonnie of Daily Cupcake

Jen of Pasquali Rumpus

Amber of A Little Bit Biased

Brittany of Davis Ink

If you've been chosen as a recipient for the friendship relay,
I'd love for you to answer these questions for yourself! 
I look forward to reading your responses!

1. What did you first want to be when you grew up?

I was born to sing.  I wanted to be a pop star, and I sang everywhere.  I even sang while rollerblading around my garage.  My parents often had me sing for the guests in the house.  I would mic up and belt her out.  The memories are slightly embarrassing.  I sang in choir all throughout grade school, took voice lessons for four years, sang in various competitive choral groups and a jazz ensemble, and was awarded an alternate position for the Washington State Soprano competition.  Unfortunately, I let that passion fade over the years.  Mainly, I assume, because of the tremendous insecurity issues that I let get the better of me when I was a teen.  It is hard to reckon this ridiculousness. 
But today, I am reclaiming that gift.  I am self-teaching the guitar and enjoy very much singing loudly in the car.  God gave me a voice for singing.

2. Favorite childhood game?

Barbies!  I spent many many hours of my younger years playing Barbies.
My friend, Tricia and I owned enough Barbie items to cover my entire pool table.  We even extended our surface with a 48x48 inch chalkboard that we'd use as a parking lot and area for shopping.  On at least one occasion we took our imaginations to the backyard and played jungle Barbies in the grass.  I'm not sure if we even took breaks to eat throughout the day!

3. Most favorite birthday?

The details of my life before my children, are hard to remember.  I very much enjoy spending my birthdays today, worry-free, with my family, wearing a cute frock, and indulging in a divine dessert. 
I am easy to please.

4. Something you've always wanted to do and haven't done yet?

Take a creating course from Sabrina Ward Harrison and/or Christine Mason Miller.

I also have a strong desire to visit Ireland.  The desire is so deep, that I have a hard time not feeling as if there is something wonderful that will meet me there~an epiphany of sorts?  Do you ever have such feelings that you can't explain?


5. What was your first love?

Singing, with writing a close second.  I have journals dating back to phonetics, and I am proud of them.

6. First musical idol?

Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. 
I am sure attempting to sing along to these ladies was hard work and full of passion!

7. Favorite gift?

So far, I'd have to say my Laccase cowboy boots.  I received them last year for my 27th birthday and each time I slip them on, I wear them with fondness.
Here they are.

8. If a theme song played for you everywhere you went, what would it be?
Vintch was spot on with Blessed by Martina McBride. 
Another Martina song that I find applicable, is Anyway.
The theme song for my marriage is something along the lines of Trace Adkins, Ladies Love Country Boys.  A friend mentioned how appropriate this was for me and Husband, and I had to smile when I heard it.

9. Favorite city to visit?

Portland!  How blessed I am to have such a fantastic city just a hop, skip and a jump away. 

Ana* thanks again for the fun!  What a great way to get to know more people!

Friday, November 26, 2010

SALE in the shop!

That's right!

Hop on over to my shop to receive 20% off any listed book mark.
Enter coupon code blackfriday at checkout.

I'll be throwing in a few more throughout the day.

SALE ends sunday night 11:59pm.

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!
Ours was perfectly low-key and lovely.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

feast preparations and a thankful heart.

I just pulled my Pumpkin Cheesecake from the oven, and have been trying to shoo my children to bed for the last hour.  I guess I'm not the only one excited about tomorrow.

In the morning, I'll be whipping up Candied Yams with Cranberries, my requested Potato Salad and homemade rolls.  How I am so looking forward to an entire day spent with family, and nothing to do but talk, laugh and tease.  We're spending it up at my in-laws, whose property is nestled up in the woods on the edge of town and a dash into the country.  Its been snowing up there, so I'm crossing my fingers for at least a dusting of white to make it an even more festive holiday.

There are so many things to be grateful for this year, but first and foremost, I am grateful for family.  I'm grateful for the unconditional love that exists between us, to see each other through thick and thin, and  whose roots grow deeper and deeper with each passing day.  Family is truly a blessing.  I love my family--those who are living both near and far, and I'll be thinking of them all this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to you wherever you are!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Candied Yams with Cranberries

Last spring, while visiting my oldest sis in Montana,
she treated us, visiting family members, to an early Easter feast,
for old-time-family-gatherings sake.

When I tasted these candied yams, I almost fell over. 
Some things are just that delicious.

They were so good, that this year, they've made their way onto the Thanksgiving menu.

Take note...

Candied Yams with Cranberries
by Tammy in Montana

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter

2-17oz can yams, drained

2 cups cranberries (you can use 2 cups canned cranberries instead....I use fresh.)

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Combine flour, sugar, oats and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly toss 1 cup crumb mixture with yams and cranberries. Arrange in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows and return to oven until marshmallows are lightly browned. They sometimes take a while to brown, but keep your eye on them or they can burn.


Will you be in the kitchen come Thursday, too?

Write-up your favorite Thanksgiving dish
in a post and link it below.
I'll keep my eyes peeled!

An Anniversary Hunt

We don't get out much.  Not with two little ones at least.  I know there are all sorts of folks who juggle children and adventures simultaneously with much grace, but in our family, Husband and I can only handle so much.  Thus is the same reason we haven't traveled hardly anywhere since we married and began having children.  We reflect fondly on our honeymoon, spent in NYC, five long years ago.  I'd show you some pictures, but our computer was stolen during a move some years back, before I ever thought to back up photos.  I cried that day.  However, I do have one shot sitting on my nightstand, and it is perhaps the best shot--hence the reason I framed it.  

So this year, with the big five on the horizon, and unable to fathom leaving our children and flying cross-country to celebrate in the Big Apple, (though we dreamed of doing so) we opted for something much more memory worthy, and far from our past years' sushi dinners.

This is what I'm talking about.

Some of you are probably wondering if this is serious?
But I'll just tell ya, there are some things you do when you're in love.

Husband is an avid hunter, and comes from a long family-line of hunters.
This year was his first since we've had children that he's been able to get away as much as he's wanted and hunt to his heart's content.  He got himself a buck on Halloween, and I can't wait to tell you more about it.
It is pretty interesting what these hunters go through to hunt animals, recover them, and harvest them.
Husband takes great pride in this process, so it was with much excitement that I was able to learn a few things before and during Friday's hunt.

Thursday, we went to the shooting range.
Yay!  I can cross something off my list,
and good news!  I have a good shot.  I felt all the more ready for my rookie hunt.

Friday it was early rise--4:15am and out the door at 5am.
Husband's hunting buddies drove with us up into the mountains,
where we departed our separate ways by 7am.

It was quite adventurous.
I felt a bit like a female version of Rambo, as Husband insisted I lead the way, rifle-ready.

I think my subconscious may have prayed that we wouldn't see anything.

Husband was quite handsome with his binoculars.

The views were incredible.
What beautiful country surrounds us.

As you can see, the loggers have been at work.
Still beautiful nonetheless.

After we hiked up and through the clearing,
we headed for the trees.
It is there, Husband taught me, that the deer hide.
It was a cold, and at times rainy morning,
so the deer, like humans, take cover under the trees.
The hunt took on a new level of adventure once we entered the dense forest.
The trees hung low in places, often requiring us to crouch or duck under.
There was snow on the ground in places, too, that we had no choice but to walk over at times.
We did our best to be as quiet as possible.

Husband told me before our trip, that this experience would be perfect for me,
"because it was just my pace--slow."
And it was.  Slow and quiet.  It was quite intriguing.

We followed the prints for some time:

{a buck}

and prints I wanted nothing to do with:

{a coyote}

Me with my hat up so I could hear more closely.

A couple hours into the hunt, we came across Husband's hunting partner, Rickey, in the woods.

We continued on as a group, and for a moment we stopped to listen intently
to Rickey's calls and any other commotion.
He even pulled a couple of antlers from his vest and hit them together, so as to call in another deer.
Things got pretty intense for a few minutes, as we heard some noise through the trees,
but never did we see an animal.

Personally, I wouldn't have had it any other way. 
I'd like to get to the shooting range a few more times before I come face to face with an animal.
I think my heart may have near bulged out of my chest if I actually saw one.
Deer really can be quite large, and Elk, they are far too huge for my comfort zone.

We called it a day after our PB & J's for lunch.
I fell asleep in the warm truck, and again as we headed down the mountain for home.
Husband told me he's never had a hunting partner need a nap mid-day,
but I still believe I am his most favorite hunting partner ever.
It was a blast being together in the great outdoors, doing the thing that Husband loves,
and learning from him on our special day. 

In the evening, we had dinner at our favorite, local Italian eatery in downtown Camas,
and settled in early with tea and a movie. 
All in all, it was a perfect anniversary, and the adventurous memories make for perfect segue into this next portion of our journey together.

Husband, cheers to many, many more years!

a snowy glimpse

It snowed on the way home from church today. 

After we piled out of the car, Asher stood in the grass with his arms out, gazing at the snowflakes.
It touched me to watch him entranced by the snow.

Shortly after, I had to make a trip to the store, before the somersault of the week begins.
After close to a two hour shopping fiasco, with those who thought we might be snowed in for a month, and the on-the-ball Thanksgiving shoppers, I left the store to find that the snow had turned to rain.  I felt my heart grow heavy as I pushed my cart to the car, realizing I had just spent the brief, snowy hours amidst chaos, instead of watching it fall, as my children had been doing when I left.

But, I smiled when I pulled into the driveway and found my
sweet childrenin their mismatched,
non-snow-shoe, one glove and eating carrots,
daddy-lovin glory.

It made my afternoon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Seattle

Plain and simple--
You are lovely. 

Even your rainy tendencies aren't enough to put a damper on the 
umbrella clad, coffee lovers who fill your streets.
Even the out of towners want to feel your rain.
Did you know that even in the fog and the mist that fill these late fall days,
your energy inspires and renews?
I could walk your streets with nowhere in particular to attend
for hours on end--with an umbrella, of course.

I love the way your streets collide with the Puget Sound.
If there was ever a harbor on the edge of a city that took one's breath away,
it is yours.
Give a thanks to your fishermen,
for their abundant catch is jaw-dropping,
and for the florists who introduced the cabbage flower bouquets.
I'd like to personally thank the man who owns the mini-cheesecake shop
and tell him how divine his pumpkin cheesecake. 
I'd like to order one up for each day left in November!
Please tell the European bakeries whose aroma stopped me in my tracks,
to keep baking up that french goodness! 
Next time I visit, I'm yours!

Your antique shop was exquisite (minus the woman who walked the aisles with her arms crossed and her straight-faced glances, making me feel like a juvenile delinquent), 
but you buttered me up with your kind-talking, laid-back baristas and many a warm cup of joe.
Thank you, thank you, for becoming the coffee-capital!  Oh, how we love your brew!

You don't disappoint in the shopping department, either.
Were you hoping to melt hearts when you positioned Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie side by side?
Thank you for this dynamic duo, and their aesthetic, dreamy goodness!

Seattle, you've been good.  Real good.
You've sent me home refreshed and excited,
even about the rain.
Thank you.
I can't wait to walk your weathered streets again.




p.s. Heather, you were as fabulous as ever!  Thanks for letting me crash at your place,
 and for all the entertainment!  You are dear to me. xo

Friday, November 19, 2010

five years ago today...

I married my best friend,
the one who I adore,
and the one who makes me happier than I ever imagined I could be.

Husband, thank you for sharing in this journey with me. 
There is never a dull moment between us,
and for this I am lucky. 
You've shown me unconditional love,
and for this I am blessed.
You've given me endless encouragement and support to seek,
strive and reach for my dreams,
and for this I am truly grateful. 

Thank you.
Because of all these things, I know love.

Here's to the next five...and to an awesome anniversary weekend!
xo, cbm

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a lovely parcel

My intentions were good before I left for Seattle last week.  I planned to write about where I was headed beforehand, and my experience during, but none of that materialized.  The five days were somewhat tumultuous, and I have been attempting to regroup since.  I look forward to sharing with you once I've had the chance to sort the information and the feelings.

Regardless, it is good to be back!  I am excited to catch up with you, and fill you in on the exciting things that have been unfolding around here.  Until then, one thing that I do want to share is that I received a lovely package while away,
and I was so excited to visit my mailbox today,
knowing that this sweet little parcel was waiting for me. 

Bonnie, who writes the lovely blog, Daily Cupcake, hosted a giveaway the other week and I won!! 
Isn't winning such a lovely surprise?!  Bonnie takes the most beautiful, vintage photographs and captures moments that are so perfect they make you want to climb into the picture. 
The grouping she sent is the epitome of fall~
pumpkins, cupcakes, leaves, coffee mugs, and rust colored flowers. 

Here are a couple of my favorites. 

~Autumn Wish~

~Sunshine Spice~

They make the perfect addition to my fall decor, and make me want to
whip up another batch of pumpkin cupcakes.
I love them!

Thank you Bonnie!

To check out more of her work, visit her Etsy shop, While Wandering.
It'll warm your spirit.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It was a long, good weekend.

I high-fived Husband on Saturday around 3pm, when I realized and loved that we were still in our pajamas.  He was enjoying it as much as I.  This does not happen every weekend, in fact, I think this is the first that we didn't have any obligations since summer!  Then I grabbed my fuzzy socks, whipped up some hot chocolate for the children and we ordered in The New Karate Kid.  I survived most of the movie and only started dozing off at the very end.  Seriously.  I don't think it is in my blood to be able to begin and finish movies.  It is really an unfortunate thing. 

After the movie, Husband did some wire-work for me.

Boy, is it nice to be able to use in-home resources for things needed!
Thanks Husband!  Craft coming up!
Then we finished off the evening with some homemade BBQ chicken pizza.  Perfect. 

Sunday we went to Portland to go to REI, and a few other stops.  We are on a mission, and I can't yet discuss the details.  Then we returned home to climb back into our pajamas and finish off the weekend like real relaxing should be handled.

I even threw in most of monday as a time to mentally leave my shoes off and relax.  I found daylight savings to be just the ticket in helping me curb my up-late-sleep-in-late-routine that I found myself living while Husband was hunting. 

Now, I'm back to the grind,
and it's a big week...

The beginning of something big.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

did you know

that you can have your blog or shop button advertised for free on
for the months of Nov. and Dec.??

This is big news for people like me with an Etsy shop!

Very cool.  Very generous.
Plus there are a lot of pretty buttons to check out.
Click on over!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday? Is that you? and Link Love.

Its been one of those weeks when time does a double-back flip somersault into each day, making me hunger for more sleep, more caffeine, and a few naps.  It has been the same sort of week that has led me to wonder why God didn't create more hours in the day, and then I remember, that maybe jam-packing my days is in fact my problem, and not His.  The life lessons--they come in the most peculiar ways.

In effort to reclaim this week's bounty of lovely things, I'll send you along with a few links to some recent favorites.  Oh, how I love to look through my favorites!

Wouldn't this be the sweetest fall treat to receive every year?

This photography blog.  I am head over heels in love.
I'd love a piano like that too!

I love this Family Fall Camping Tradition from Playing Grown Up.

A Build It Yourself Cupcake Party
 from Enjoy Cupcakes via A Beautiful Mess.
Wouldn't this be the best party? 

Rouche--a sweet vintage-esque online clothing boutique.
Spotted via Unruly Things.
And finally,

also spotted on Unruly Things.
Happening in my parts this weekend.
I hope I can make it!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.

~William Cullen Bryant

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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