explore // bend, oregon

i can finally tell you about the surprise trip!! to catch everyone up...last week B & I celebrated 4 years together (that's a long time! I joked that we now have a college degree in one another...I've definitely spent more time with him than I ever did with a textbook.) and today is is birthday. I wanted to do something special, and he's definitely more into experiences than things. we've been so busy the past couple months, and i really wanted to celebrate with a quiet trip, just the two of us, relaxing.

i decided to take him to bend, oregon. bend is pretty much right in the center of the state, near mt. bachelor and the three sisters mountains, in the high desert. it's absolutely beautiful. i had gone there once as a kid, but barely remembered it. aside from the natural beauty and tons of outdoor activities, bend is known for it's great beer. coincidentally, b is known for his great taste in beer. match made in heaven. the city has set up the bend ale trail, a map of the fourteen breweries in bend. at each stop, you get a stamp, and after you've visited all 14 they give you free stuff. obviously we couldn't hit up 14 breweries in a day.

once we were in the car, the surprise was revealed (side note: he was shocked. and so excited. and i totally killed it with this whole surprise trip thing. yes!) upon arriving in bend we immediately went to the visit bend office and picked up our map. i let b decide which breweries he wanted to visit the most, and we headed out. we went to two that are a bit outside of the town first, then parked downtown and walked to the rest. we ended up visiting six breweries: worthy, 10 barrel, silver moon, bend brewing company, boneyard, and deschutes. we probably wouldn't have stopped at deschutes, since there is a location in portland that we frequent, but we had a gift card, and decided to use that for dinner and save a few bucks.

we loved each place we went, they all had really different vibes and really good beer. the people were so friendly everywhere, and really just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. i would definitely recommend visiting all these spots. worthy, deschutes, bend brewing co, and 10 barrel are all bigger joints with restaurants, if you want a meal or snacks. silver moon has more of a bar feel, so it's mainly bar food. if you go, hopefully patrick will be there -- he was a hilarious and friendly bartender. boneyard is in a warehouse-type building in a neighborhood, and is very small. they just do small tasters (first one for free and $1/each after) and growler fills, but don't let it deter you, because the beer is totally worth it.

after our long hard day tasting beer in sunny-and-70 weather, we hopped in the car and headed about 30 minutes south to la pine state park. (i tried to find a spot closer but tumalo state park in bend was closed for repairs) it was dark when we got there, but didn't care. i had reserved a small cabin for the night, which i had always wanted to try. it was really nice and clean, and even had a heater. we were able to have a campfire, make s'mores, and stare at the stars. being from the lake tahoe area, b knows and loves a beautiful starry night, but being away from it for so long, we were both blown away by how many stars we could see. there's no light pollution there at all, being so remote.

we woke to another sunny morning, cooked bacon and eggs on the bbq and packed up. on the way out we stopped at a pretty lookout point in the park along the deschutes river and the big tree. the river is calm and curving, forming big S shapes, surrounded by trees with the mountains and hills in the distance. we could have sat there all day. "big tree" is literally a big tree -- its the largest ponderosa pine in oregon. cheesy, yes, but also really impressive. it was so massive i couldn't even take a photo of it -- it wouldn't fit in my camera frame.

overall, it was a really incredible weekend, that, despite the bit of travel, we felt so relaxed and happy at the end of it. we seriously can't wait to go back, we loved it so much. this trip was, fortunately, the end of our crazy travel season, and i'm looking forward to lots of weekends spent at home and exploring our own city.


she's charming feature

hi everyone! just popping in on a tuesday to let you all know that my first post as the monthly decorate contributor for she's charming was published yesterday! as we all prepare to spend more time indoors, i pulled together some tips to warm up your home for fall (with dollars to spare for a hot latte). and while you're on the site, look around -- what katie and dani are building is a beautiful community, and i'm so happy to be a part of it!


dream home // american in london

when saw the photo of this living room, i fell in love. clearly assuming it was located in america, i was surprised to find out that it's actually a home in london! turns out the flag was a gift, but the american rustic charm shines throughout this cozy south london apartment. scroll through the photos, then click over to the designsponge article to read more. from the wood-filled fireplace to the farm house table, to the gilded details sprinkled throughout, i can say that this is a place i'd love to spend lots of time in.


weekend reading

the rain has arrived in portland and i am very happy about it. we've had beautiful sunny autumn days as well, and the unpredictable, moody weather has been wonderful, and i'm looking forward to more of it. after our nine months in north-central california with little-to-no change in weather for months on end, i'm happy for a change. i've had a funny off-and-on relationship with rain throughout my life. we're "on" right now, and i'm happy rain is back in my life. we'll reevaluate in a few months ;)

this weekend is finally the surprise trip! i can't wait to share it with you all next week. i know B will love it, and though it will be a couple-hour drive out, it will surely be more relaxing than some of our recent trips. he has his high school golf friends coming in next week for a week of golfing, so i'll be able to hide away and catch up on all the things i've let slip away from me in recent weeks (including this here blog!) as i've said before, i'm looking forward to the quiet weekends coming up, and i'm glad we're ending our long busy-weekend season with this trip. 

if you're anything like me, you're ready for a mindless friday. here's some reading to sneak in between tasks at work, or to read through with a glass of red this evening. you deserve it.

// paris ruined me, and buzzfeed reminded me. been feeling major wanderlust lately and this is NOT helping. 

// we've likely all heard the term "basic bitch" start popping up everywhere. do you use it? i really enjoyed this article. (my two cents: stop saying it!)

// shauna niequist speaks my soul language, and this piece on using technology to connect really hit home for me, as i've faced loneliness through my moves.

// some great, french, relationship advice. great timing -- B and i celebrated 4 years together yesterday!

// really want to pick up this cookbook. always looking for easy recipes.

// finally, this quote is everything to me right now. grace is the most beautiful gift.

bon weekend!

image source: anna with love


four pins

it's been a little while since i did one of these, and i'm just in the mood to share pretty images with you today. i'm in full-on autumn/winter mode...i want to spend most of my time snuggled indoors, and the time spent outdoors i want to be wrapped in flannel standing under damp pine trees (i'm way too northwest). i think my pins are reflective of that mindset...

a favorite quote of mine on a pretty picture. this statement has been drifting through my mind quite a bit lately. (free people)

going to try cinnamon rolls (again) this fall, and this recipe looks amazing. (mbakes)

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randomly obsessed with moon images of late, always a fan of stoneware, and constantly looking for a new mug to add to my collection. so this mug is a win-win. (small spells)

very into rustic vibes in the home. i can't stop staring at this pile of timber under a beautiful industrial staircase, with the trees and flannel hung in the background. i wouldn't mind spending the colder months here. (grey and scout)


etsy faves // october

truth be told, i've never bought a single thing from etsy. i can't vouch for any of these products' quality or the service of the shops, but i love looking at all the pretty things on the site. some items i save because i think i might like to buy them one day. others i click the heart button because it's an item that inspires me to make something similar, but my own. the joy of finding something new and exciting on etsy never ceases, and that's what keeps me coming back. here's four of my current favorites...

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