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19 November 2010

My birthday this year was wonderful – despite my husband being gone.  My brothers and sister-in-law took me out to The Nines in downtown Portland (my mother was supposed to go as well, but came down with the stomach flu a few hours before hand).  I loved it – it’s hip and vibrant, and was an unexpected surprise for me.  I guess I haven’t been out in Portland all that much, because if there are any other places like that here, I have yet to hear about them!  Anyway, it was a great night – even if a bit too late for a weeknight (sorry, Elyse!).

*all photos of the event were taken by Jakie

Crispy Pig Belly

My Air Plant from Colin and Susie

Always finding places for photo shoots! hee hee! Ashley - you would have been proud!

Bumped into a good friend who was in town from Amsterdam....

The long night, of course, made my day yesterday a million times harder!  I used to go out all the damn time, get up and head to work at 7 am, and be ready to hit the town again soon after.  Now, I stay up later than midnight and I may as well call the following day off.  I was DRAGGING! But, I found out that my two best friends, Renee and Gina, are both coming to visit!  Renee comes tomorrow (Saturday) and leaves on Tuesday morning.  Gina arrives late Tuesday night and leaves on Saturday.  I can’t tell you how insanely happy that makes me!

I’ve been having a hard time finding the inspiration and motivation to start preparing for Thanksgiving, but the news of their arrival got me started!  First thing I knew I always conquer is the decor.  I figure that I can cook while guests are here, but it’s much harder to decorate when they’re here (not to mention a little off-putting).  So today I spent the entire day getting the living room in the holiday mood.  I love Thanksgiving, but it seems to me that finding fresh, hip, new ideas for decor is almost impossible.  Seems to me that 90% of the “decorations” out there are cheesy or campy.  Martha Stewart even seems to gloss over the decor part of this food holiday.  I searched for some moment of inspiration, but when I came up empty handed, I just looked back on last year’s blog entry and started with something similar.

I think last year's arrangement was smaller....

Luckily, I had brought in lots of fallen leaves and dried them a few weeks ago – because after the crazy wind storm we had the other day, the trees are completely bare and devoid of leaves or color!  The corn stalks I had saved from Halloween came in handy, too, and soon I was throwing Thanksgiving everywhere!

Then came the mantle.  I don’t know why in the world I had such a hard time figuring out what to do with the darn fireplace!  Usually it’s my starting point, but this year, I had decorator’s block (I have no idea how else to say this)!  I’d start with something, take it down.  Try another something and take it down.  After three COMPLETE tries, I settled with simple branches and leaves – reusing the wreath I had used over Halloween as the focal point.  I’m still not sure I love it, but at least it’s not overwhelming and brings the feeling of fall inside!

The curly willows aren't there anymore

Dining room (with my $20 mirror that I found at TJ Maxx on Clearance!)

I can hardly wait for the next week – having my girls here is going to be awesome!  WOOO HOOO!  Great way to start the holiday season!


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