I’ve had a lot of time lately to think. Too much time to think. I often think my mind is my own worst enemy.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about comparison, comparing yourself to others. It is so, so difficult not to do this with our social media crazed world. And with television and magazine articles and definitely with my career of choice. And lately, it has really been getting to me.
I read a lot of blogs for inspiration. I love looking at images on Instagram. I like being in the know with friends on Facebook who I don’t talk to enough. I love using social media to share my story and my photos and to hopefully inspire others in some, even minute, way. And I want to root for other people. But I think I need to take care of myself first.
I guess what I’m getting at here is I need to shift something…maybe take a break. I want to continue blogging because it provides an outlet for me. I want to continue to share on Instagram. But I may start shying away from magazines and celebrity news stories and even from Facebook. It’s not doing anything except providing an excuse for people to not interact in real life. It’s easy to feel isolated, and Facebook isn’t helping that. I say all the time how I wish my future children didn’t have to grow up with technology, but here I am, using it on the regular with no benefit to my life. Too much information can cloud the brain and spark anxieties and fears you don’t need to have.
If we are friends in real life, you can reach me by phone or email (it’s listed on my Facebook- I will not be deactivating it) or see me in person. If we aren’t friends in real life, I’m actually looking for a pen pal! Comment below if you’re interested.
Onto only good things…
A little update on my 25 for my 25th list:
1. Visit Portland, Oregon √
I have been dreaming of visiting Portland for quite some time. And though we are traveling a lot in these next few months (for the holidays), our anniversary week was as good a time as any to make the trip. So we bit the bullet and bought plane tickets and stayed with my husband’s cousin. Read about our trip here and here.
3. Make my own sandwich bread √
This has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and the other week I finally decided to just go ahead and attempt it (lucky me I had all the ingredients on hand). I used this recipe but used all unbleached white flour since my wheat was expired (I also use the rapid rise yeast that comes in little packets). And it was so much easier than I imagined it would be (at least with a stand mixer to knead the dough)! It took a few hours from start to finish and was SO GOOD. My husband and I literally downed an entire loaf straight out of the oven. We froze one, and he took the rest to work for sandwiches. Needless to say, this will have to be a regular/weekly occurrence around here (just have to keep a lot of flour on hand).
4. Go apple picking √
This has been another something that I have been wanting to do for a while. Last year we were planning on going, but we missed the season (it ended early last year). The closest orchards to LA are at least 2 hours away, and we couldn’t find a weekend to make it this year, so we threw “apple picking” into our Portland itinerary, and I’m so happy we did. My husband jokes that we only had to fly 2 hours to Portland to go apple picking, but we both really enjoyed it (and yes we brought bags of apples home in our carry-on luggage). Once I get those photos developed, I’ll be sharing more about it.
I’m also making progress on my reading list:
6. Read the entire Anne of Green Gables series / on book 3 of 6.
16. Read Harry Potter / on book 2 of 7 and so incredibly invested in the magic of this series that I must now read them all.
P.S. These are all Instagram photos. You can also follow my progress on Instagram through #sams25for25
I have been spending more time in the kitchen as of late and am loving it. Fall is the perfect excuse to spend mixing and pouring and baking and smelling the wonderful aromas coming out of the oven. And now that the weather is starting to cool off, I’m happy to have my oven turned on while I listen to some smooth jazz. Here are a couple of recipes I’ve made that were such huge hits, I have to share them.
Everyday Sandwich Bread : Simple to make and oh so delicious. We downed an entire loaf straight out of the oven, my husband took one to work, and we froze another (recipe makes 3 loaves). I didn’t have any wheat flour on hand, so I used all unbleached white. It was so good I ate it straight without any toppings. My husband used it and thought it was maybe a little too buttery for sandwiches (though the only butter I used was to glaze the top after taking it out of the oven). I on the other hand thought it was amazing and will definitely be making it again. Looks like weekly sandwich bread baking will be in our future.
Apple Muffins : After our trip to the apple orchard up in Oregon, we naturally came home with bags of apples. I’m visiting family in Texas this week and wanted to bring a special apple treat along with me. These muffins were so easy to make (the hardest part, for me, was peeling the apples) and came out so good. I followed a commenter’s suggestion and used 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1/2 cup oil (instead of 1 cup oil), 1 1/2 cups sugar (instead of 2 cups sugar), and added an extra tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. This was my first time baking or eating an apple muffin, and I am in love. Plus, my kitchen smelled heavenly.
Happy fall baking! Are there any recipes you just have to make each autumn? Any apple recipes you would suggest? If you’re not on Pinterest, I’d highly suggest checking it out. It is an amazing resource for any recipe you could so desire (and how I found both of these).
Sunday was our “nature” day, and our first stop was Multnomah Falls. It is the second largest year round waterfall in the U.S. and the biggest Oregon attraction. We started the hike to the top, but as we didn’t have all day, and my knee started bothering me (ugh), we turned around. But the area was really so beautiful – so much green and moss! We loved it. And just outside the city. Whitney is already planning to come back for a camping/hiking trip.
Afterwards we enjoyed the (again) beautiful drive along the Columbia River out towards Hood River County and the Fruit Loop (a big loop of orchards and wineries with a view of Mount Hood). I have to finish that roll of film, and I’ll be back to share photos of that adventure as well.
You can find the first part of our trip here.
We have been wanting to take a trip to Portland, Oregon for a while now, as we kept hearing how great the city is. So we bit the bullet and bought plane tickets up there this past weekend to celebrate our two year anniversary. I am happy to report that we were not disappointed. We fell in love.
We were lucky that the rain held off, but even with it, I can’t imagine not loving the place. It has all of the charm and quirkiness of Austin (Texas) but even more beautiful scenery. The neighborhoods and downtown area were so cute and quaint (reminded me of the North East), and the plant life was so lush and green and beautiful. We were only able to make it a weekend trip, but we will definitely be visiting again soon.
My husband’s cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend live in an adorable house in Portland, so we were fortunate to get to stay there during our visit. After dropping off our luggage, our first stop was to get a cup of coffee at Stumptown and stand in line at Voodoo Doughnuts.
My favorite was the Maple Bacon Bar, but what you aren’t seeing underneath that first row of donuts is the Tex-Ass, which is the size of 6 donuts (naturally).
The downtown area is actually pretty small – after breakfast with his cousin, we were left to wander around the city all day on our own, as everything is within walking distance.
They hold a Saturday market along the waterfront (I think it may actually be all weekend), so we spent some time walking through it and making a few purchases. Whitney finally got a new belt (above), and I got a couple new additions for our gallery wall.
Lunch was a giant turkey leg next to the water.
My husband designs structures for a living, so he could definitely appreciate the enormous amount of bridges in the city (Steel Bridge above).
The photo on the left is ridiculously blurry, but it encapsulates how pretty the streets are. The right photo is their famous Powell’s Books, a book store that takes up an entire city block and is several stories high. There were so many books that it was a bit overwhelming; we spent quite a bit of time in there but didn’t even come close to seeing every section. I’m pretty sure they have every book (and other things like cards) that you could so desire; it’s definitely worth a visit! We came home with a cookbook.
We took a break at Deschutes Brewery, where Whitney had their sample tray. I had a cider (I don’t drink beer) and actually enjoyed it because it tasted like sparkling apple juice! We had a batch of their curry fries (so good), while Whitney was able to catch a little bit of some football games.
I don’t have more photos of the rest of the night, but we went to this super fancy Whiskey Library (it’s exactly what it sounds like and was probably Whitney’s favorite part) and grabbed a late night snack at a food truck park.
Besides the obvious awesome things I mentioned above, Portland is wonderful in so many other ways. Walking/biking/public transportation is encouraged so much that the bike lanes are almost as wide as a regular car lane, and pedestrians really do always have the right away. I could go on and on about how I love it so much I now want to live there, but I’ll be back to share more of our little day trip just outside of Portland.
P.S. All photos taken on film.
Today marks our second wedding anniversary. And an excuse to look at wedding photos. And watch our highlight reel. ;p
Happy two years of marriage to the best husband. I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.
P.S. If you’re in the mood for more, check out my “Wedding” archive.
A friendly sign on my walk.
Dessert after watching a UT football game with friends at Blue Dog Beer – a bar with framed photos of dogs covering their walls (i.e. Heaven).
My personal best bowling score in my entire life (and miraculous that we all got over 100).
Finding and baking the most delicious sandwich bread recipe.