Europe on my mind

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Luke & I booked out first trip to Europe for this upcoming holiday season. To say that we're excited would be a major understatement! We're over-the-moon ecstatic! We'll be visiting London, Paris and Amsterdam. We'll be spending Christmas in Paris and New Year's in Amsterdam. I'm fully expecting a magical experience with all the cities lit up for the holidays (and also hoping for a dusting of snow in Paris on Christmas, fingers crossed!). Have you been to any of these cities? Please send any recommendations my way, I'm all ears!

(photo via)

Lighten Up Your Summer Sleeping

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Here in the northwest our weather has been on the warmer side. When I say warm I actually mean H-O-T! Did you know that a lot of homes here do not have air conditioning? It's true! Most of the year it's definitely not necessary, but these last few weeks (maybe even month?) have really had me wishing for it. Trying to stay cool at home has been a fine balance between art and science. Knowing when to keep your blinds shut and when to open the windows, to the strategic placement of fans. We've got our little system in place.

Most importantly is how we keep our bedroom cool and comfortable during these hot days. From the ac unit in the window (we had to for our sleeping sanity!) to a lighter set of sheets and some soothing scents. A few tweaks here and there make all the difference to a good nights sleep despite the summer heat.

Here are my must haves and tips 'n' tricks to achieving a cool and restful sleep during summer months.

Fresh sheets from Parachute (Luxurious sheets that also make a worldly difference)

Cooling Pillow (Definitely a luxury)

Lavender vanilla pillow mist (I don't go to sleep without a quick spritz on my pillow)

Striped Chemise (Anthropologie is my favorite place to shop for lounge and sleepwear)

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are (I keep this on my nightstand as a light read before I drift off to sleep)

AC window units (A must have to keep temperatures cool)

Saturdays are made for brunch

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's true. Saturdays are made for brunch. It's also best to bring along a few good friends and order a few mimosas while sitting out in the sun. It's definitely the best way to kick of your day (and the weekend)! This past Saturday we brunched at the NW Olympia Provisions location. It was a date with laser potatoes... and eggs benedict... and kielbasa for the table... I'm already looking forward to next Saturday. Just gotta make it through the week.

Summer Bucket List

While I don't consistently blog anymore... I consistently put together a Summer Bucket List every year :) Here's my list for 2015!
  1. Spruce up the patio
  2. Summer BBQ with friends
  3. Health / Fitness challenge
  4. Take the boat out on the lake
  5. Get a summer haircut
  6. Find a good spot to go swimming
  7. Make a summer playlist
  8. Visit the beach
  9. Make fresh fruit margaritas
  10. Find a new and fun summer nail polish color
  11. Find the perfect peach cobbler recipe
  12. Buy lots of fresh fruit, veggies and flowers from the local farmer's market
Check out my lists from previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Around Town

Yesterday we took a walk along the waterfront because it was just so nice outside not to. Portland, you've really been spoiling us lately... 

A Simple Fruit and Cheese Plate

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Last Sunday we had Easter brunch over at my cousin Abby's place. She invited her parents, brother and Luke & I. We chatted while sipping on mimosas (with a mix of half orange juice and half pineapple juice, so good) and then she prepared a delicious brunch for us. Everything was so delicious! My brunch contribution was a simple fruit and cheese plate that we all snacked on beforehand. It's definitely my go-to when contributing to a small gathering and I usually have a good number of the ingredients on hand.

My Fruit and Cheese Plate Tips:

1) Start with a base. I own several wood trays and serving platters in different sizes depending on how large or how small I want my presentation to be.

2) Add Variety. I like to have at least 5 different items to mix and match. For this specific plate I used fruit, brie cheese, macadamia nuts, crackers and fig spread. Some other favorites to include are prosciutto, cranberries, pears, honey, mustards and more cheeses!

3) Mix sweet and savory. Brie, fig and strawberry is my favorite mix of sweet and savory. Blue cheese, pear and honey is a very close second!

4) Add height and interest. Incorporate a few small bowls for the extras and a few fun knifes for the cheese. If I have more than one cheese I try to include a knife for each.  

5) Have fun. There is no wrong way to go about this. In my opinion, fruit and cheese plates are fool-proof and are always a hit!

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Portland Dining Month: Bar Avignon

Monday, April 6, 2015

(Disclosure: A PR firm on behalf of Travel Portland reached out and offered me a gift certificate to dine at a pre-selected restaurant participating in Portland Dining Month. All opinions are my own.)
Before dinner we stopped into the Double Barrel Tavern for a quick drink before dinner. This place is like a nice diver bar. Haha.
Bar Avignon was the second restaurant that we dined at for Portland Dining Month (see the first one here). Luke and I were very excited to try Bar Avignon; their menu looked phenomenal and the location is in a fun up-and-coming part of town.  We definitely enjoyed this opportunity to try a new-to-us restaurant and a Saturday night date night.
Now on to the Portland Dining Month specials... 
jacobs’ bloomy: oregon cow + honeycrisp apple 
Groundwork Organics spring lettuce with shallots and honey-apple-cider vinaigrette 
Seared pork chop with Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider-glazed new potatoes, rapini and thyme
Roasted half chicken panzanella with asparagus, radish, Grana Padano, baguette and lemon-garlic dressing
Gooey chocolate brownie with Jacobsen smoked salt caramel sauce
Carnaroli rice pudding with vanilla brown butter syrup

Minus a little rudeness from our waiter at the end of the evening (we received some weird and accusatory questioning when we presented our gift certificate...) we did enjoy our experience at Avignon. By far our favorite was the entrees! I'm still dreaming of that roast chicken over a panzanella salad; so delicious!

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Home Tour: Our Dining Nook and Dining Room

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A few times a year I get tiresome of our furniture layout and on a whim decide to re-arrange everything. It usually happens out of the blue and without much thought at all. A few weeks ago I switched out some items in our living room and dining room to add more interest and love the results! I took my grandmas bench from the living room wall and slide it on the other side of our dining room table to create more seating. I also took our wood-top bar cart and moved it to the living room and placed bar stools on the ends. I basically took two pieces of furniture that weren't being used, moved them around and now they get more use than they ever had. That's a win in my book.

Dining Nook

Dining Room

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Home Tour: Bathroom "after" photos

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I'm sharing these photos a little later than I had planned on. While the bathroom remodel was just finishing up, Luke underwent a planned eye surgery and ended up having a more complicated recovery than we both expected. His recovery consisted of him laying flat (face down) for two full weeks. My time was spent taking care of him and making sure his recovery went smooth... and not taking photos of our renovation :) I finally got around to taking photos of the finished space and here they are! We're very happy with the outcome. (let's not forgot what this space looked like before)

- Photos © Holly Copeland -