December 21, 2011

May 20, 2011

project : staining

This year we had the fun task on the "to do list" of staining the patio furniture. Yay, right? Due to our forgetfulness of putting the furniture away once the fall rain kicked in, the furniture needed a full sanding, re-stain, and seal. So... once the weather cooperated for a few days, I got on it!

First, sanding! (No pictures, because that was not very exciting. Not even a little.)

Second, stain color. We had so many colors to choose from! We wanted it to look like the third one up from the bottom on the right side, but because the wood already had somewhat of a red hue we went with the third one down from the left side to help darken and draw out the red features.

Here is a pre-stained but post-sanding shot of one of the tables:
And the difference once it was stained:

After doing the lovely "wipe on the stain" then "wipe off the stain" method, I let the furniture sit overnight to completely set. The next day I used teak oil to seal the lovely stain and keep water from getting into the wood.

And, after many hours of hard work... the finished product!
The biggest lesson learned? Take the furniture in BEFORE the rainy season!

May 19, 2011

visiting : oregon gardens

Jordan and I had a fun night away in April for a visit to the Oregon Gardens. It was a relaxing time for us both, and even though the gardens were not yet in bloom, we still enjoyed ourselves!

The cute little patio we had with our room (however, it was too cold to sit out!)

The very "lush" gardens

I thought this sign was hilarious. The "passion flower" looked very passion-less!

All bundled up, but at least the sun was shining!

This beautiful home was the last home Frank Lloyd Wright designed. It was moved to the Oregon Gardens a few years back because a family (that Jordan actually knew!) bought the property where it originally presided.

We would highly suggest staying at the Oregon Gardens... but in the summer!

May 18, 2011

mother's day fun

We had a wonderful time celebrating the moms & grandmas this Mother's Day! Jordan and I have a fun little breakfast with Grandma Rachel and then joined her at her church for their 10am service. There is a beautiful garden just outside the sanctuary and it was in this garden that they spread Grandma Stan's ashes. I was blessed to see the beauty of where his remains were put, and loved meeting Grandma's sweet friends!

The Garden
Jess & Grandma Rachel
Jordan & Grandma Rachel

Later that day Michael & Erica treated us to a FABULOUS brunch buffet at the Heathman to celebrate my mom! We had a great time toasting, tasting, and talking. I was quite full after our eating extravaganza!

The whole family (I think this is our first one all together!)
One of the many plates of food we consumed =)

We are so very thankful for the many wonderful women in our lives!

May 11, 2011

spring flowers

I thought I'd share the beautiful spring flowers I was gifted over the past few months that each turned into beautiful decorations during the gloomy weather!

Jordan got these sweet little roses that are so cheery on our entry table!
Erica gave me these beautiful purple tulips on Easter, which became part of this centerpiece for the table =)
Jordan gave me this beautiful bouquet of pink flowers that lived on our table in April
Our AMAZING neighbors left these amazing gifts, including a wonderful Orchid, on our table for us to welcome us home after our trip to Florida. They took care of the the house and Cali and left US a gift! Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? They are just that good to us!

April 27, 2011

Kahluie Louie

Every March I get to make my Kahluie Louie cake for our dear friend Phil. Over the years Louie has adapted, changed, and gotten better, hopefully just like ourselves. The basics of Louie has always been the same: coffee, Kahlua, and a chocolate cake base. This year I decided to make almost a "torte" of sorts. The layers consisted of chocolate cake, kahlua ganache, chocolate cake, kahlua cream cheese frosting, and then repeat!

I would share the recipe with you, but really it is just a collaboration of tasting, adjusting, and making up the recipe in the moment! Louie originated in several failed attempts to make a tiramisu cake and has become a special "recipe" in our home. Cooking & baking is the beautiful art of failing, learning, adapting, creating, and rejoicing. The more I cook, the more I learn to carry these traits into the rest of my life.

Here's to Phil and a wonderful year ahead of joy, blessings, and new surprises. May you, like our dear Louie, continue to become better each year. =)

April 26, 2011

painting project ahead!

I just ordered this stencil and can't wait to paint it in our entryway! I'll post pictures once the project is complete. =)