So I mentioned here that my previous weekend in review post got deleted somehow before I was able to post it. I decided to just do one giant (and oh so exciting) weekend in review post this week...hence the "double whammy."
I feel like some of these pictures were taken forever ago, but I didn't want to skip over them entirely.

reader beware: photo overload!

For date night two weeks ago we decided to try out the dinner at one of our favorite breakfast places, Broder

We were celebrating Thursday the 16th, which is a significant day to us and they don't come around too often...
Chris first asked me to be his girlfriend on Thurday, October 16th, 2003.
After a year or so, we decided to break up for about six months, then got back together on 
(unbeknownst to us) 
a Thursday the 16th.
Realizing that this was kind of a special day, Chris ended up proposing on Thursday, June 16th 2005.

So now, we like to celebrate a little whenever a Thursday the 16th rolls around!

Look! Something other than stretchy cotton over the bump:
I actually still (somewhat) fit into this dress!
On our drive over to the restaurant I almost called to make reservations .
(since it's typical to wait an hour to get seated for breakfast)
When we walked in, we were delighted to see only one family just finishing up their dinner. They left around the time we ordered our food, and we had this all to ourselves for the rest of the evening:
I have no clue why we were the only ones enjoying Broder at this hour. 
 The dinner was just as amazing as their breakfast.
 (which is ahem, served all day everyday = no more waiting!) 
I couldn't wait to dig in:
(sorry for the super dark pictures!)
lamb burger with potato gratin:
swedish meatballs on brioche with lingonberry and a cream sauce, and an amazing, creamy pea salad:
Last Sunday we had Abi come over to take some updated family pictures.
Afterwards we filled our bellies with tasty lattes, peanut butter chocolate chip biscotti , red velvet crinkle cookies and 
(which is SO good...and I'm not just saying that because I made it!)

While B was napping, I decided to nest a little by organizing our breakfast/snack cupboard:
(I had a giftcard to Container Store and used it to buy these, which I am loving)
Bennett has been getting stickers for staying in bed at naptime/bedtime.
After earning seven stickers, he gets to choose a big treat...
he finished his second row of stickers earlier this week so we all went out for milkshakes!
I love how proud he looks:
Lauren and Fern came over for a little hang out time.
Bennett shared his stuffed animals with her while they chilled on his sleeping bag:
Bennett has been sleeping better (for the most part) which means more than 5 hours of sleep for me...just in time for the 3rd trimester exhaustion to kick in.

I thought it would be nice for Chris to show me how to use his grinder and espresso machine in case I ever want to make myself a latte. I made a pretty good one with his help, but I'm still too nervous to make a drink without him here...getting the tamp pressure juuust right is quite intimidating (and I don't want to waste Chris's freshly roasted beans)!
I guess practice makes perfect though.
Thursday night we went out for a family date night at Por Que No.
We got our usual chips and guac, Bryan's Bowls and agua fresca...mine was strawberry prickly pear and it was delicious!
Saturday was D-Day for little brother's nursery.
Chris' brother and dad came over to close up the opening, move the doorway into the hall, and insulate the walls. They got a lot done in one day and I'm so greatful to have such handy people in the family! 
While the guys were tearing the room apart (and making a ginormus mess) Bennett, my mom and I went over to my grandma and grandpa's house. 

My grandpa introduced B to the latest in technology including 
a walkman:
and gigantic boomboxes:
Bennett followed my grandpa around the whole day and I'm not sure who wore out who, but everyone looked like they were going to pass out by the time we left.

This is what it looked like when B and I got home that night:
(they actually discovered that the door to that room was indeed there makes me feel good that we are putting the house back to how it was supposed to be in the first place)
They even installed the fauxdenza, which looks awesome!
We still need to get some wood to finish the top and sides but I'm loving all the added storage in our living room...can't wait to see it completed!
 Sunday morning we made this baked apple pie oatmeal for breakfast and it was so good!
We pretty much had to force ourselves to stop eating...and Chris ate the last of it for lunch.
We will definitely be making it again soon...thanks Elizabeth! :)
Chris hung Bennett's new light fixture:
We spent an uncessesary amount of money on doorknobs and blinds:
We also got a little sneak peek of our pictures from Abi and they turned out so great!
If anyone in the Portland area needs a photographer for any reason, definitely get ahold of Abi from Vanilla and Lace...she is pretty much amazing and very reasonably priced!
oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm almost 31 weeks and rather large:
 (and uncomfortable)

Time is seriously FLYING!

That's it for the double whammy...
Happy Tuesday Friends!
Just popping in to say that I'm still alive!
(I'm sure all two of you were worried)

I had written a weekend in review post earlier this week, and when I went to post it I realized that it had been deleted somehow. 
Super lame (especially since it was awesome and really long and funny) but I guess you'll never know...unless I feel like doing a double whammy weekend in review post. 
We'll see.

Speaking of this weekend...

This is happening.
(well, really the tearing down walls/insulating/drywalling/making-a-new-doorway part is happening)

The fun stuff will come in a few weeks, but for right now I'm so thankful to have a handy bro-in-law and father-in-law who are willing to sweat a bit to give little brother a proper nursery.

Can't wait til it's finished!

Happy Weekend Friends!

So Little Brother will be here in approx. 11 weeks. 
Right now his room is non-existient. 
Well, it exists but it's more of a play room that's open to the rest of the house than an actual bedroom. 
Somewhere between 1954 and July 18th, 2011 someone decided it would be a good idea to turn the 3rd bedroom
(which is in the front of the house) 
into a tv room. 
(we are assuming it was probably was an old man wanting one of those newfangled "man-caves")

When we bought the house, we knew we would be turning this room back into a bedroom once we had another little wiggly one around these parts. 
The time has come to figure out what we want decor-wise and to do a little construction. 
(with help of course. I love Chris, but have you met him?)

So this is what the room currently looks like from the dining room:
And standing in the room looking at the dining room:
(that whole opening is going to be walled off, and the new doorway will be moved to the
 very left side of the wall so we will be able to close off all of the rooms in the hallway)

We get to find homes for Bennett's toys and all of the other stuff we inadvertantly filled the space with! Not. 
Goodbye fort. 
(it's not you, it's me)

So once all of that is out of the way, we get to do the fun stuff. 
That is where I come in.

The walls will be kept bright white to match the rest of the house.
(yes, I know we are boring...but it all flows together like a mid-century ranch should)

I present you:
( I don't know why Polyvore shrunk it all into the center. Hopefully you can still read the labels.)
nursery inspiration

We actually don't need to buy much since Bennett's room was/is so similar. 
We are re-using his old crib and changing table/dresser. 
We are also moving the cube lamp from B's room into the nursery. 
(the soft glow is perfect for night time diaper changes and feedings) 
The same green chair is being used
We have already bought the rug and the pendant light

All that is left is the shelf,
  (I LOVE that IKEA came out with a lacqured version of this!) 
and the artwork.
  (one of which is just a piece of fancy wrapping paper...though I'm still trying to convince Chris that the map is awesome and kind of makes the room)

The inside of the closet will be painted the same gray color that we used in Bennett's room, for a little added interest.

I can't wait to see it all come together!
(thank you tax refund)

What do you guys think? 

Happy Friday Friends!
Friday was grocery shopping day.
Pretty uneventful, but I did discover these:
(ridiculously good)
 Also, I decided to try to put Bennett in Playland while I shopped at Fred Meyer.
I felt like I was doing something wrong by putting him in there, but he kind of loved it! 
I think I may have loved my quiet hour sans noisy toddler even more...I was more focused on shopping which meant we were out of there sooner and back home before he got too wound up for nap.
Totally a win win! 

Friday night, we met up with Craig and Lauren for dinner at Red Onion (yes I know, we go there a lot!) The food is always good, but services was definitely lacking this time. Such a bummer.

B has been getting a sticker each time he stays in bed for naptime/bed time. 
He earned 7 stickers, which meant he got a big treat, so after dinner we grabbed gelato.
Bennett pretty much was in heaven.
(this was before he had a dance party...fueling up I guess)
 so excited:
 Saturday moring I had some time to make a crafty birthday card for my neice.
Pencil erasers and stamping ink pads are my favorite medium:
 Lauren sent me this awesome picture of hipster B:
 Saturday night we took a family trip to IKEA to grab stuff for some crafty organizing that needs to take place once we make the playroom into a nursery since we will be losing a closet.
This is being made!
 Sunday morning consisted of peanut butter banana popovers, fruit and yogurt and lattes:

Happy Monday Friends!

I have been craving soft, chewy pretzels for a while, though I've never attempted them because they seemed so daunting. Now that I have a stand mixer at my fingertips I thought I'd give it a go. 
(though it's not necessary to make these pretzels, just knead the dough by hand)
Recipes that require yeast usually intimidate me but this couldn't have been easier.
Added bonus: making them at home means you know exactly what goes in them!
Soft and Chewy Pretzels
adapted from Annie's Eats via Alton Brown

(makes 8 pretzels)
1/2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 T sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (or one packet) 
about 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 T unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil for greasing the bowl and parchment paper
20 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
parchment paper or silpat

For topping:
if you want an egg wash: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T water
if you want a butter wash: 3 T melted butter
pretzel, or coarse sea salt
cinnamon and sugar


To make dough, combine the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Once the yeast is foaming (after about 5 mins) add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on med/low speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl (about 5 mins).
Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased/sprayed with vegetable oil, turning once to coat.
 Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (I put mine in a somewhat sunny window), for about an hour or until dough has doubled in bulk (it took my dough about an hour and a half to double).
Bring the 20 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a large stockpot.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 
(I used my silpats which worked great)

Divide the dough into eight equal parts:
(just keep halving the parts until you get eight)
Working with one piece at a time, roll them out until you have a 24 inch rope:
(I found it much easier to roll once I cleared all the flour away)
To make the pretzel shape:
-start with the rope in a U-shape.
-holding the ends of the rope, cross them over (either once or twice, depending on how you want your pretzels to look) and bring them down to the bottom of the pretzel.
-press the ends lightly onto the pretzel to make sure they stick.
-once shaped, place onto the lined baking sheet.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water two at a time for 30 seconds. 
Remove with a slotted skimmer/spoon. 
Return to baking sheet. 
Once pretzels have all been boiled, brush tops with egg wash or melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. If you are doing cinnamon and sugar, have c&s mixture ready in a pie dish and dip the tops of the pretzels in it after brushing them with butter.
(You can by all means choose to bake your pretzels at this point, but after reading comments on the Annie's Eats tutorial, I decided to freeze mine after boiling, but before baking in lieu of a more chewy texture. I'm not really sure if it would make that much of a difference if you didn't freeze before baking, so if you are tired and just want to get the pretzels into your belly then skip the freezing step and bake away!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

If you chose to stick it out and freeze your pretzels:
While your oven is preheating, let the pretzels thaw on top of the warm oven.
Once thawed, place in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
When your pretzels are done, place on a cooling rack (very important so they don't get soggy) for 5 minutes and then eat those babies up!
These definitely taste best straight from the oven, so if you can't eat 8 right away (or at least within the day) then I would suggest only baking what you plan on eating and transfering the rest of the frozen, unbaked pretzels into a ziplock bag until you are ready for more.

Plan on setting aside a few hours to make these. They aren't difficult, but there are a lot of steps to follow. Totally worth all the effort though, I think I will be making another batch this weekend!
Let me know if you guys make them!

Friday, B and I met The Carter's at the park. It was super windy but it felt so good to be out in the sun!
 For date night, we decided to do something a little different. 
We grabbed some lattes, walked through Powell's and relaxed over some dessert and appetizers at Mcmenamins. 
Probably our most relaxing/most needed date night ever. 
 this mocha marble cake was so good!
Saturday morning we met up with my mom at Bridgeport. 
We had a tasty lunch and B got to run off some energy on the little playgound:

Chris and I also made our first nursery purchase for little brother!
We had been eyeing this grey and white striped rug for a while and finally bit the bullet:

Saturday evening the Carters joined us for some park time. 
It was Avery's first time in a wagon and you'd think we were torturing her by the sound of her screams.
She finally warmed up to it once we were almost to the park! 
 best friends:
 Sunday morning Chris and I made a double batch of my favorite scones to take over to The Hartmanns.
(unfortunately, these scones give me heartburn like none other right now. Things like water and scones are giving me heartburn but fries and burgers are totally no big deal. I only got heartburn at the very end when I was pregnant with Bennett. So not fun.)
Baby Fern has grown so much since we last saw her two weeks ago!
B pretty much is in love with her and kept giving her sweet little kisses on the head. 
B has been choosing not to sleep at night and isn't really taking that great of naps anymore either. 
He has always been an amazing sleeper, 12 hours at night and 1.5-3 hour naps. 
Not anymore.
He has been functioning on virtually no sleep for two weeks. 
(as have Chris and I)
I would like my champion sleeper back please and thank you.
It's pretty obvious he is exhausted because he's been passing out in the car everyday.
If I've seen you lately and been grumpy or out of it, I'm so sorry!
(I don't handle lack of sleep very well, especially since little brother gives me swift kicks all night long and the heartburn is super uncomfortable when I lay down)
 Lastnight we went to take our bi-annual photobooth picture.
It's the first time that B has actually interacted and did the faces with us!
 Afterwards we went to church and heard yet another amazing teaching from John Mark.
He just started a new series on 'work' and it's exactly what I needed to hear, even as a SAHM.
Can't wait to hear the rest!

Happy Monday friends!