My Favorite Desktop Backgrounds

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

In the past I would always have a calendar as my laptop desktop background. I would get so behind on updating them from month to month that I would have a July background up in September, oops! Determined to still have a cute background without having to update it each month, I found Design Love Fest's "Dress Your Tech" downloads. You guys, there are so many good ones on Bri's site. I listed my favorites below, but click over to her page and take a look as there are hundreds! The first one I shared below is currently on my screen!

Enjoy :)

Life and Blogging

Monday, March 9, 2015

On life currently and the state of this blog...

Let's be honest, my blog posting has been inconsistent for a while now. If there's one thing you can count on around here, it's inconsistency. I would love to say I'm going to change that, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. I've had this little space for over 5 years, so I'm rather attached to it; it's not easy to just walk away from. So I keep coming back from time to time. I'm okay with that because it's really always been that space to me... my creative outlet and my space to document my life and interests. I know that in 10+ years I'm going to look back here and think "wow, I posted THAT?! what was I thinking?". I actually do that now (psssst don't click on the link for 2009 archives, it's not pretty). I know that I'm also going to be glad that I have documented something that I can look back at. It's fun to see how you grow over the years and pretty cool that you have a space to look back so easily.

Now for what I've been up to lately...

I recently started a more permanent role at the company that I've been working for, for almost the past year. If you remember in this post I took a leap of faith and really did something that has made me so happy. I love coming to work every day and I couldn't have better people to work with. There are so many great, inspiring and FUN people that I get to spend my days with. This job has by far been one of the best things to happen in my life this past year. Thankful doesn't even begin to cover it.

Luke had major eye surgery in January. Long story short, his surgery is for an existing condition that he's had since he was a teenager. It was a rough and emotional few weeks in the Copeland household with an unexpected lengthened recovery time. He was off work for approx. 3 weeks. Good news is that his eyesight has improved and his recovery is now officially complete, 7 weeks later. Yay!

My sister and I took a trip to LA last month (Luke was supposed to go, but the eye surgery recovery prevented him from flying for 7 weeks). It was a great getaway with my sister and we did so many fun things! Luke and I just booked another trip there in May, actually. I can't wait to go back and do everything that I didn't get to do last month. After LA in May, we're off to Chicago in the summer to visit Luke's parents. I can't believe that it's been three whole years since Luke has been home; we're definitely overdue for a trip!

We've been working around the house A LOT lately. We're trying to get our yard looking nice, so we've been spending a lot of time outside in the SUN! That's right, Portland has had so much sun lately, we've been going on lots of walks and trying to be outdoors as much as we can.

That's about all from me. What have YOU been up to??

Los Angeles Sisters Trip

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My sister and I took a little girls trip to Los Angeles this past weekend. I can't even believe it myself, but this was my first trip there! It's long been on my list of places to explore, so I'm glad that I finally made the trip. I loved every second of our stay and can't wait to go back and visit again in the future. From cruising around nice neighborhoods and admiring all the gorgeous houses to hanging out in eclectic coffee shops and dining at delicious restaurants; this trip was full of a lot of things I love.

See below the photos for a list of my favorite restaurants and activities in and around the city.

Santa Monica Pier | Beach Art between Santa Monica and Venice | Runyon Canyon hike
Love wall in Culver City by Smashbox Studios | LA Street Art | Malibu Beach
Malibu Farm Cafe on the pier | Sweedish Pancakes | DTLA views from Hollywood Hills
Alfred Coffee {Melrose Place} | Macchiato in a waffle cone @ Alfred | Biking on the beach

Restaurants: Gracias Madre, Plan Check, Umami Burger, Lemonade, 800 Degrees, Malibu Farm Cafe, Poke Poke, Alfred Coffee
Activities: Pedicures at the W Hollywood Bliss Spa, Wandering around the LACMA, Visiting Griffith Observatory, beach walking in Malibu
Urban Workouts: Renting bikes in Santa Monica, hiking the secret stairs of Beachwood Canyon, hiking Runyon Canyon

Fancy Date Night at Home

Friday, January 16, 2015

Some Friday nights when we feel like indulging in a nice meal, but don't want to spend a lot of money at a restaurant, we'll create a fancy date night in. A few weeks back I picked up some fresh ingredients from my favorite local market, Zupan's, and got right to work on an Italian dish I've had my heart set on re-creating for quite some time. I lit some candles, put on some music, poured my favorite wine and enjoyed a delicious date-night dinner with Luke. The Blazer game quickly followed :)

Pasta with Shrimp and Herbed Cream Sauce
Serves 2-4

1 pound pasta (I used fresh tagliatelle pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
1 (15-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 pound asparagus, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes (if using fresh pasta) If using boxed pasta, cook for 8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink and is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and set aside.

Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the wine, chicken stock, and heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes until the sauce thickens. While the sauce thickens, blanch the asparagus and add to the mixture. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp, the cooked pasta, and the remaining herbs. Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Top with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

(Adapted from Giada's recipe which can be found here)

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Home Tour: Bathroom "before" photos

Sunday, January 11, 2015

These pictures are rather embarrassing to share. These are the "before" photos of our upstairs bathrooms. Yes, we've been living with this awful green linoleum for the past three years. We always knew that remodeling these bathrooms would be a project we would eventually tackle, so when we bought our house we were OK with them because we knew it would be temporary. We have two bathrooms upstairs (one off the hallway and one off our master bedroom). What's silly is that these pictures are actually an improvement from what they used to be... these bathrooms once had sponge painted teal walls and neon flower drawer handles, eww!

Sometimes it takes living in a place for a while to see what you can live with and what you'd like to live without. We're happy to see these green bathrooms go & can't wait to show you what they look like closer to the end of the week... So check back soon for the big reveal. Muhahahah!

Don't go too hard on us with the photos below...

Sonoma, California #wineweekend

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

On our second day in wine country we ventured towards the Sonoma Valley. This area was much more our style! We started out with a delicious brunch and then worked our way a little north, making stops at a few wineries and exploring downtown Sonoma. Sonoma had a more relaxing vibe and the people seemed a little friendlier. The first two wineries that we visited offered free tastings (yippe!) so I made sure to make a few purchases at their gift shops to show my appreciation. See below for a list of the places where we tasted and dined.

Fremont Diner in Sonoma. So good! We had the ricotta pancakes, a breakfast sandwich, chili bacon and cheesy grits. Definitely recommend!

Wineries Visited:
Cline Cellars Free tastings of really good wines!
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards A beyond gorgeous winery and across the street from Cline. Also offers free tastings! We received so many free tasting that we lost count... 
Roche Winery Quaint little tasting room on the edge of downtown Sonoma. We sat outside by a fire pit and sipped some delicious wines.
Kunde Family Estate Awesome winery that offers cave tours on-site. 
Kenwood Vineyards We got here close to closing time so they gave us free tastings!

La Casa Delicious Mexican food in downtown Sonoma. We had the bean and chese fundido and street tacos. 

Ristorante Allegria Amazing Italian in downtown Napa. We had the Dungeness crab cakes, carpaccio, penne con pollo and pappardelle allo zafferano.

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Napa, California #wineweekend

Monday, January 5, 2015

Last month Luke and I flew down to California wine country for a long weekend. Other than driving past a few times, this was our first time really exploring the area (and definitely won't be our last...). On our first day in wine country we spent a good part of the day exploring in the Napa Valley. We started off with a yummy lunch in downtown Napa and then worked our way up north to stop by a few wineries. With temps in the mid-60's a a few sun breaks, we were feeling pretty lucky with the weather (Oregonians have low weather expectations, haha). 

Gott's Roadside in downtown Napa. Yummy burgers and fries!

Napa Cellars To be completely honest there was nothing special about this place, the guy pouring our wine was really rude.
Cosentino A gorgeous winery with delicious wines. 
Markham Vineyards This is the place where I discovered that I don't hate merlots; they have a great one!
Francis Ford Coppola Okay, so this was more in Sonoma Valley... I loved everything about this place. I've been wanting to visit this winery for the longest time and I'm finally glad that I was able to. I recommend everything here! Next time I'd like to dine at their restaurant, Rustic. 
Ridge Great wines with sweeping views. We took our glasses out to the patio and chatted while we enjoyed our wines. 

Zuzu in downtown Nappa. The most amazing spanish tapas we've had. We had the Ceviche del Dia, Tunisian Brik Pastry, Flat Iron steak and Paella del Dia. I highly recommend it all!

*Since Napa is a little on the pricey side, we found a lot of 2 for 1 coupons here, they really helped :) 

- Photos © Holly Copeland -\