Friday, March 27, 2015

Pine State Biscuits: Lay Off Me I'm Starving

If you follow me on here or Instagram... you have probably come under the correct conclusion that I eat quite healthy Monday-Friday (healthy eating generally only lasts until lunch on Friday). Let's be clear that I do that because I have to, not because I want to in any way, shape or form. I like to eat. The only reason that I started really focusing on what I put in my piehole is because at about age 27 my metabolism decided to be a bit of a tortoise rather than the hare I had known most of my life.
^If you're going to cheat on your diet, make sure it's with someone super hot.
Anyway, as much as I focus on weekday food, I still generally eat what I want on the weekends and I will maintain that as long as I possibly can. So if I'm going to eat like Future White Goodman on the weekend, I may as well make it worth it, right?

So when one wakes up well-rested on a Saturday and is excited for brunch with the hopes of eating as much badness in quality ingredients that one can at one meal: One heads straight over to Pine State Biscuits.
^Always ready yourself for a wait around the door at any of their locations. If looking for the restaurant and new to the PNW, here's an insider tip: Just look for the long procession of fleece jackets & tennis shoes.

^After a 20ish minute wait, we have made our way in the door. This is one of those places where I always hope to try everything but will tragically never deter from what I always get: The Reggie Deluxe (2nd from top or seen here).

^Brunch without drinks is no brunch at all. Mimosa for me & a Bloody Mary for Jay (My deep yearning to like Bloody Marys discussed here)

^'Oh look, their name is branded on the stool. That's cool.' - I said to myself as I waited faux-patiently for my food.

^Behold its splendor: The Reggie Deluxe - Fried chicken, bacon, fried egg & cheese topped with gravy.

^Jay and I split a 'side' of hashbrowns. See them back there? We only could eat a tiny bit.

^Everything is homemade, therefore, it is incredible. From the bun to the breaded chicken to the gravy- so delightfully sinful (even though I have never finished an entire one in a single sitting).

^Fatter, fuller & happier. I remember how starving I was for the twenty minutes we waited in line but after we left, I felt like I had never known what it felt like to not be stuffed full.

^Mural right outside read some poignant words: 'You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."

^Loving all that art. The east side of Portland (where this restaurant is, on the other side of the river), is a bit more artsy.

And after that, it was a much better day. Though I think I'm still full and after two brunches in a row last weekend, I can pretty much promise that I will eat like a peasant this weekend instead.

But it sure was fun while it lasted.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let's Discuss "Teen Mom" ... any takers?

So... in the spirit of full disclosure: I am truly obsessed with "Teen Mom" - not TM2 but the current girls right now airing on "Teen Mom OG". And ever since I started watching them back whenever that show started, I have the habit of getting into psychoanalytic conversations with everyone who will listen about what I think they're doing, the reasons behind their decisions, etc. Anyway, needless to say the fact that they are on again makes me so happy. 
^Watching 'Teen Mom' and soooo excited
In summary, here's what I think about all the girls...

Maci: Love her, earnestly tries to be the best Mom she can be.

Amber: Um... wish her well (and Leah is so adorable). Not really someone I encounter much but I think she at least is a good person at heart. Hope she figures it out.

Catelynn & Tyler: There are not enough words to explain what special people I think they are. They came from SUCH a rough upbringing and they continue to amaze me with their selflessness, wisdom and general kindness. I just love them. I so want to meet them and hug them both in real life. I just... there are not enough words. What sweet souls. If they ever came to my area I would without a doubt go see them and wait in line to meet them after and be like: Hi, I'm roughly 85 years old and waited here all night in a tent crying, can I hug you?

And Farrah... I'm not sure how many people are really into "Teen Mom" AND "Game of Thrones" so I'm not sure if anyone will get this reference... but honestly, Farrah's parents interacting with her is the same as Cersei speaking with Joffrey when she's terrified of him. And as a matter of fact, she is Joffrey. It's not what she has done in terms of a lifestyle (ahem...) but it's more so the way she still dispenses rude advice to everyone and acts as if she's NOT doing all the stuff we clearly see her doing. I don't know, I could go on and on... but I'll stop. But in conclusion - Farrah = Joffrey (does Joffrey whisper cry?). Case closed.

Anyway, that's basically where my head has been at the last few days. Rapid moving text messages with a few select friends who actually give a $#!% about these uneducated analytical conversations as well. 

Do any of you watch that show? Thoughts on any of them? I weirdly would actually love to read them all...

... and with that, I bid you a wonderful Thursday.
#ThisIsTheWorstPostEver (Just know I know)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wide Open Spaces, Room to Make Your Big Mistakes

^Images for this post are from Chandler's first trip to the beach (here), June 2014. They represent the an example of when we did leave town. And I just love all the pictures of Chandler running free in the sand at Cannon Beach so I figured I'd find a way to post them at some point.

A few weeks ago as I waited to use the hot water spout to pour some tea at the office, I started making chit-chat with a coworker of mine. We started discussing our shared love of pets and how much joy they bring to our lives. Not surprisingly, this topic was a gateway drug for us to both start discussing more about our own lives.

Him: "You just got married, right?"
Me: "Yup, last September!"
Him: "And no kids yet? Or do one of you have kids?"
Me: "Nope, no kids yet. Just the puppy."
Him: "And then you live nearby the office, don't you?"
Me: "Yeah, I live downtown - I walk to work sometimes it's so close."
Him: "Man, sounds like you guys have it made. No kids yet, double incomes, live downtown- you must have the time and energy to do whatever you want, huh? Like just leave town on any given weekend? I miss having all that free time."

 ^Cracking up because if you look at the ball between Jay's legs, you can tell that it has just fallen from Chandler's mouth and he's looking down thinking "NOOOOOoooooo!"

^Orange dress information here. And the immediate photo above is from the next beautiful morning.

As he exited the kitchen, I stood there zoning out while I filled my mug with steaming hot water. As I pressed on the pour button and watched the tea leaves circle around the cup, I couldn't stop thinking about what he said. Me?! I have free time?? Ha! That's a joke.

But I get exactly why he said it [for the record: I am in no way offended by these words. I say them to others a lot! It just made me realize something deeper in this moment.]. I suppose on paper it looks like we just 'have it made' right now and can go when we want, spend when we want and make decisions on a whim. I mean, I guess I can see why he thought that. And we for sure do enjoy to venture off on a moment's notice to spend a couple nights in a hotel. Or to randomly go hiking and try a sampler of local ale after. I get that we are able to do those things at this point in my life because we have less baggage than some given our childless status.

^A day of the beach, dog running & coastal wine tasting. It doesn't get much better than this. 

 However, I just kept thinking about how wrong that guess was as well. The biggest gripe of my adult life is that I have no free time. I feel like I am constantly pulled thin and stretched to my limit. Working all day, exercising after, eating a sound dinner, doing chores, exercising the dog, etc. leaves barely anytime on the weeknights to even put my [tired] feet up. I don't get to start dinner at 3 PM like I remember my mom doing growing up. And I rarely have the chance to just 'afternoon' on a whim and go to a museum or mosey around downtown like I could in college or prior. Additionally, I always have large organizational plans for most weekends but they fall by the wayside because it's someone's birthday or the floor needs to be mopped or it's my one time in the week that I can possibly go visit my infant nephew. I spend most Sundays bummed out that I didn't cross more off my list even though I usually devote that entire day to cramming a week's worth of chores into one afternoon. Life is constantly moving and I spend so much time falling asleep feeling like I failed to do what I had hoped to when I arose that morning. And that sucks.

His comment made me realize how little we understand someone else's narrative because we see everyone's 'on paper' qualifications. Just before he went down the road of me having free time and as we were discussing dogs, I told him how lucky he was that he has a huge backyard for his puppy as well as grown kids to help take care of the dog's needs. "Do you know how much time and stress it would save me (and Chandler) to just open my back door and throw fetch with him before work? Without having to factor in the leashing, the elevator ride down, the trek to the park... etc., all at 5:30 in the morning?" To me, wow- he sure has it made!

And to him, I sure do.

The conversation just served as a reminder to me about how we perceive others. Do I have a lot of good in my life right now? You bet. Do I have shared stresses that this man does as well? Of course. Do I feel like I'm falling short at things? Yes, always. 

But I try my best. And that's all we can do. 
Let's all remember that that's what most people are just trying to do.

PS: How cute is my dog and how pretty is the Oregon Coast? Swooooon.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekend Rewind: March 20-22, 2015

After work on Friday, I shut off my corporate brain and headed to a restaurant with friends to catch the end of the March Madness Oregon game (Yay, Ducks!). Once victory was secure, I made my way home and watched "Mystic Pizza" while I let my brain decompress from a crazy busy week. Upon conclusion of the film, I did not pass Go, I did not collect $200 and rather, curled-up in bed for an early night in.

Saturday morning: I rarely enjoy the coveted "Weeknight night's sleep on a weekend". You know the one where you head to bed after drinking some tea, sleep over 8 hours (which I never do on a weeknight anyway so who knows what I'm saying), and wake up feeling refreshed & rejuvenated but without having to rise immediately for work? Oh my is that the dream. But having done it Friday night miraculously; I arose Saturday morning with stars in my eyes and a new zeal for this day. So the first thing we did after coffee was rush off to brunch (which I'll post more in-depth about this week because it's a Portland gem)....
Followed by a some antique stores & estates sales and a glorious cat-nap. I arose from the catnap and put my now un-glorious hair to good use when I went over to my Sister's house to visit my nephew and soak up that indistinguishable newborn smell...
^Bonding bonding with the little guy. He chilled on my chest like that for about an hour.

... and then back home to get ready to meet up with my girlfriends. Some wanted to go out, some didn't- so I erred on the side of caution and got dressed to go out just in case the night went that way. It didn't. What we ended up doing was watching Dateline & doing a GD puzzle (like a physical, cardboard puzzle), so needless to say I was quite overdressed in the beginning. But after slipping into my girlfriends' sweats & socks, a puzzle & a murder mystery wasn't too shabby.
^See Michael Scott back there? Told you that show is always on in my house. Always. And here's me saying bye to my little one before leaving Jay & Chandler to their own devices when I went to see my girlfriends.

And then there was Sunday.

I rose, guzzled some coffee at home and loved up my dog because it was our family anniversary. Meaning, we had finally had Chandler one whole year. More on that later and I'm sorry if you aren't into dogs, or pets, or just this feeling of thankfulness for another species. I can't help myself to gush. And after an inappropriate amount of kisses & belly scratches, I scurried out the door to meet another girlfriend for Brunch at one of the most popular places in Portland.
^Brunch at Besaw's in Portland w/ my beloved, Miranda. We waited 1.5 hours for our table and I will say the food was worth it. As was the gift of all the wait time to catch up with her. I got the Crab Benedict special above. I don't have a picture of it because after 1.5 hours waiting for a table, I got to eating immediately. But, if I had to describe it in two words it would be: Hamada, hamada.

Followed-by grocery store shopping at Trader Joe's & the usual Sunday Food Prep while we watched the Ducks bow out of March Madness :(
^All my Sundays. I made THIS and it was incredible.
Anyway, it was a fun weekend for sure, even though I basically ate my way through each hour and I now feel like a giant ball of dough heading into the week. Oh well.

Happy Monday guys, let's all feign excitement and have a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Almost Time To Weekend

If I have learned anything from Instagram (besides the fact that 'fitness' posters think it's necessary to take a d*mn selfie every single day like vapid self-promoters) it's the fact that I really would like to have Mexican/Italian children ala mode Snooki and her husband. Because have you seen her children???? They are spectacularly adorable. I really just can't get enough.
^Image VIA Jionni LaValle Instagram

Well, we made it another week! Hallelujah! The clock is officially ticking towards the weekend and that is a feeling that forever makes my heart soar (I know it's just me right? What an original thought). But truly, I know we'd all as humans like to think that we are best represented by some amazing poem by Maya Angelou or best exemplified by prolific speeches by the likes of Abraham Lincoln. HOWEVER, if we're really being honest as a united community, let's cut the BS and admit that "Everybody's Working For The Weekend" by Loverboy is really our nation's battle cry and you know it.

Anyway, I will leave you with this since it's Friday and I'm in a good mood. I know this came out in about 2013 or 2012? But I seriously watch it almost 20 times a week. I'm SO in love with the beautiful sound they created.

So anyway, I win the 'Random & Pointless' post award for today.

Happy Weekending!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wine, Farms, Food & Shutter Speed

I've come to the conclusion that I need a tangible goal for this spring & summer. Not an overly-thought out one, or a super serious one (I have enough seriousness in my day job) but one that speaks to my passions, heightens my joy that day & enriches me in something I deem important.
^My glass of red after the hunt for the perfect pumpkin.

So without further hesitation: My Spring/Summer goal is to practice photography at Farms, Outdoor Markets and Wineries while the weather is warm.
^Berry-Picking in Sauvie's Island, Oregon in 2013

If you're thinking I'm just finding a way to drink more fine wine overlooking a hillside vineyard or peruse a farmer's market and nosh on fresh bread covered in sticky honey or simply carving out time for me to run through a field & pet goats... well you're right. I love doing those things. And I need to remind myself more to get up early on warm weekend mornings to go explore said beautiful places where you get to sip & eat off the very land you walk upon (not to mention wholly support your local merchants).
^Taken in Woodinville, WA last Spring.

But more than that, with photography courses under my belt and my ongoing (and neverending) work on understanding my camera, I think I've come pretty far from when I first received my DSLR. But I want to really reign it in now, I know what I'm good at and I know what lingering questions remain. Questions that can be easily answered through practice ... practice ... and practice.
^Post-pumpkin patch wine tasting in Hillsboro, Oregon 2013

And outside lighting with cold wine, delectable eats & farm animals lingering in the peripheral is the perfect place to do just that. I want to focus more on DAY plans this summer than NIGHT plans. Hobbies are important after all.

Any fun goals for yourself you'd like to accomplish this spring?