Wednesday, August 31, 2011

midweek inspiration 19 :: a new obsession?

This week I am not really talking about one inspiration, but rather the organized chaos that is Pintrest. I joined recently so that I would have a place to store my inspirational findings with out filling up my computer or making a mess out of my desktop. I had no idea at the time how addicting it would be! There are so many amazing boards to discover and follow and I feel completely overwhelmed at how much beautiful imagery there is out there (but in a good way, if that makes any sense). I could not have come in to this at a better time either. Being recently engaged, this is the PERFECT way to organize any wedding related inspiration that I want to hold on to, complete with the ability to link back to original content so that no DIY or vendor is ever forgotten. This will be especially helpful since we are not beginning the planning process quite yet.

I might have to switch up my midweek inspirations a bit to include my fave Pintrest items of the week, or start a new feature or something... there are too many good ones I will want to talk about!

Click Here to check my boards out or follow me if you want, I have several and am constantly adding to them. (pinterest.com/jennblech).




[[ screen shots of my boards. ]]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

weekend adventures 39


Well everyone, I am FINALLY back to my regular blogging format after almost two months of New York and backtracking posts. It feels good, though I had a lot of fun working on those features and hope to do more of that type of thing in the future. 

Last weekend was spent with Pat and my best friend Megan (per usual), but this time in Corvallis. (It was also Megans first time seeing our new place). The weather was gorgeous! Sunny and hot! I even got to spend a little bit of time outdoors on Saturday afternoon. Sunday was spent at my moms place where we had a little "August Birthdays" BBQ, a yearly tradition because between me, my little sister, and my step dads family, there are several.


friday night
Megan left Portland pretty late, so by the time she got into town, me and Pat were over at Murphey's eating some dinner. (It was way too hot to cook anything). She gave me my birthday present which was a sweet canvas backpack I saw a few weekends ago and fell in love with. Now we just need to go on some little trips or day adventures so that I have a valid reason for using it. I have not actually used a backpack since probably my Freshmen year of high school. She also showed up with a box with some desserts in it, chocolate covered strawberries, and a very mutilated cupcake that tipped over during the drive. It was really funny opening the box to see pink frosting everywhere and a muffin essentially. It still tasted good!

[[ my backpack. cupcake box. ]]


saturday
We got up slowly, very very slowly, and it felt great! After some breakfast, complete with fresh squeezed orange juice, and a movie, us girls went out to run some errands while Pat busied himself with misc. home improvement projects.

I wanted to get my little sister something special for her birthday other than clothing, so we headed to one of the local antique stores so that I could search for a nice colored glass candy dish for her. I love to collect these and store my jewelry and other misc. items in them! I now have five and no chance of stopping anytime soon. I found the most beautiful blue glass rounded dish complete with lid and stem, so I scooped it up for the little one. There was the prettiest little teacup and saucer there that I did not purchase but am dying to pick up asap. I hope it is still there the next time I go! Antique stores can get me in to a lot of trouble with all their lovely little trinkets.

After a quick pitstop at 7/11 to grab Pat a slurpie, we posted up with lawn chairs in the backyard to do a little sunbathing. I do not think I got much sun, but it felt great to sit outside in the heat planning out our future tattoos. (One of my favorite subjects).

[[ blue vase top left is the one i bought for my little, i forgot to take a picture of it. amazing glassware! the teacup i must own. flower tin. sunbathing in the bright backyard. scenery. ]] 


saturday night
Our old roomate Adam, who recently became a daddy to twins (a boy and a girl), was having a BBQ for  Mama Robin's birthday so we went over to our old house for a while. It was totally weird hanging out at the home that we lived in for four years, and seeing none of our stuff in it. I am sure we will be over there more when school starts and Pats little brother is back, but it will still feel very strange. Hayden even moved in to the master which was me and Pats old room.

The food was delicious. Grilled chicken, pasta salad, real salad, bread, brownies, etc... This was also my first time seeing the babies and boy were they tiny! They were over a month premature, so they are just getting to newborn size. Adam made me hold baby Tyler, which freaked me out a little bit admittedly, but Pat was totally fine with him in his arms. Newborns just seem so breakable when you have never had one of your own! Nice to meet you babies Tyler and Brynn!

After a while we said goodnight and headed home for another movie and some silliness.

[[ pat holding tyler. ]]


sunday
Me and Megan lazed around for a while looking at wedding inspirations and laying in my bed while Pats played some video games. Before parting ways we all went on a little longboard ride together. My goal is to get a lot faster, but it was a lot of fun. I seriously love my new toy and take it out as much as I can after work.

[[ longboard ride! ]]


After the ride we got ready, said goodbye, and headed to Tigard for my moms house and a birthday BBQ. It is always really good to see my grandparents and chat with some family I do not get to see very often. We had a delicious dinner, and I had way too many snacks! Everyone on Dean's side of the family knows how to make this dip called Chili Cheese Dip which is just terrible for you but oh so good. After dinner we exchanged gifts. I think my little sister liked her present, I sure hope so because I loved it, and she typically likes everything I like (aside from food and music). For my mom whos birthday was in July, me and Pat composed a little frame of some pictures we took in NYC right after we got engaged. I thought that an appropriate mother gift. She got me and Pat a SodaStream, which is something I have really wanted since I first tried it at her place over a year ago. Now we can make our own sodas and tonics! Less waste without all the plastic bottles, and much more cost effective. After that it was ice cream, cake, goodbyes, a long drive home, and sleepy time.

[[ meagan being silly. me. bday cake. mom and grandpa. ]]

[[ my awesome wrapping jobs. ]]

Monday, August 29, 2011

ground kontrol to major tom

This post is a bit overdue, but hey, life gets crazy.



tuesday 8/16/2011

Pat's birthday (August 16th) was on a boring old Tuesday, so I decided to scheme with some of his friends and arrange a little get together in Portland for the occasion. I only told him that he was being taken on an adventure after work. I got off a little bit early, headed home, and got myself ready to go. Shortly after Pat got home, and we were out the door.

He had no idea that I was actually taking him somewhere outside of town and was very confused trying to figure out my surprise the entire duration of the trip. As we got on I-5 he suggested that we were going to Nate and Alicia's house for dinner in Albany. Nope. As we got closer to Salem he thought, his dads house? Nope. Keizer, dinner with Tony? Nope. Finally he decided it was either Portland or my dads place close by, and once I kept heading for downtown I am sure he was putting it all together. We parked near Bridgeport Brewery, headed inside, and were greeted by Tony, Chris, Brad, Alia, Colleen, and Megan. Not too bad for a last minute plea by me. When Megan walked in a few minutes after we did she had a giant pink box from Voodoo Doughnuts. A Voodoo Dozen in place of a birthday cake worked out quite nicely.

As we finished up our dinner I brought up from my purse a "present" for Pat, which was also his clue as to where we were going next. I had wrapped up a ton of quarters in a little case, and the second he got it open he said, "We are going to Ground Kontrol!" Smart cookie. This was the main part of my plan, get the boyfriend some beers and dinner, and then take him to the arcade/bar he has been wanting an excuse to go to for a long time.

[[ beer. voodoo. brad telling a funny joke? bday clue. quarters. ]]


On the walk over to the arcade we stopped into Rogue so that Pat could get his free birthday shirt and beer for being a Rogue Nation Member. (Seriously an awesome deal for a free membership). He walked over with a giant mug in his hand that we all helped him drink while "playing" some of the board games provided in the bar. Check out Alias astonished face. Fan-tastic.

[[ walking to rogue. alias best face ever - giant beer! board games. silly. ]]


Next stop, Ground Kontrol. This place was... interesting. It was fun, I will admit, but the cliental was certainly entertaining to watch. Also, I am terrible at video games, arcade or otherwise, and pretty much sucked at everything but racing and a little Street Fighter vs. Megan. The boys were all super into it, and us girls had fun running around being silly.

[[ ground kontrol. boo galaga beat us. pacman. tony. pinball machines. house of the dead. xmen. super serious. ninja turtles. up view. rock band battle. discs of tron. ]] 


crazy drive home
Finally we were all ready to take off, but weren't on the road until after one. The drive home was much longer than expected as well... While we were going through Salem (speed limit 60mph), a white truck got right behind me out of nowhere and was tailing me super close... which was weird, because there were no other cars around us at all, and I was in the slow lane. It did not take long for a cop to pull out behind him, (who was still behind me), and flip on their lights and siren, BUT to my surprise, the truck did not pull over... I got over in to the fast lane to get out of the cops way for fear of being rear ended if I pulled off, and the truck followed me over with the cop shortly behind him, so I got back into the slower lane, and the same thing happened. At this point another cop pulled on to the road behind the truck, and when I got in to the fast lane again the truck sped up (still in the slow lane) and began a high speed chase down the freeway! It was so freaking scary, because I had NO idea what I was supposed to do. For the next ten minutes me and Pat got over to let a total of eight more cops pass us heading for the truck several miles up the road. Finally we saw a cluster of lights ahead and had to slam on our brakes to avoid hitting the suddenly stopped semi trucks ahead with their hazard lights on (this was right before Albany). At this point it was after two, and we were super over it and anxious to get home. Twenty minutes later we were able to move again and could see the truck sideways in a ditch off the side of the road, tons of cops out of their cars, and no suspect around. The weird thing about this whole situation was that there has been nothing at all on the news about it... Seems a little bit fishy to me. But anyway, we made it home close to three, jumped in to bed, and were out.


I have a feeling Pat will remember this birthday for a while. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

while we are on the subject of birthdays...

I was going to post about the surprise I had for Pat on his birthday last week, BUT after making some birthday cards for my mom and little sister that took WAY longer then I thought it would, I am spent. Lots and lots of image layering. My computer is a little bit mad at me right now.


[[ for madre. for meagan. ]]


Have a great weekend!! I know I will.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

birthday surprise :)

Yesterday was not too shabby after all, even for a boring old Wednesday...


work
I had to work all day, of course, but around here people make a big deal out of birthdays, and since I let it "slip" that I did not really care for cake but would much rather have ice cream... an 'ice cream social' it was. They won me over with Mint Chocolate Chip (my favorite) and some rainbow sprinkles! I even went back for seconds. While I was at lunch everyone made me a really ridiculous card and my bosses youngest daughter Elise even brought me a "Happy Birthday" crown to wear, and a pen with a creepy cheerleader girl doll thing with pom-poms that move and light up. Why not? I even got some flowers. I thought I was in the clear from the happy birthday serenade people insist on signing to you, but towards the end of the day I was sneak attacked by two of the girls who work with me. Damn. Almost made it. (I hate it when people sing "Happy Birthday").

I also got a sweet card from Fran via Skype first thing in the morning. Thanks for making laugh Fran! That awesomeness is going on the fridge!!
[[ birthday card from my friend francisco. ]]


my birthday surprise
At the end of my work day I finished up my blog post and headed out the door. I was super excited to get home and discover my surprise. Pat had been boasting for a few days about the awesome gift he got me. (Keep in mind that we both agreed not to get the other person anything this year. Cheater!) He told me that I needed to come home after work and get my present before we made any official evening plans because it might influence them, but that is all he told me. I rattled my brain all day trying to think of anything that it could possibly be but I got nada. I was seriously thinking "did he get me something to use in the kitchen even though I don't cook?" Megan suggested it was a midnight trip to Tahiti.

So I get home, brace myself for a moment, and he makes me sit on the couch and close my eyes. Then he drops something in my hands and it is heavy and hard, like a box, so I figured it was something I would have to open. Finally I get the go ahead to open my eyes, which I do, only to discover that I am holding an amazingly beautiful longboard of my very own!! (It is a Sector 9, Mo'Sake Carver Series). 

I have wanted a longboard since I was in high school hanging out with the guys, watching them skate, and pretending to do the same on a borrowed board at a snails pace. I have always made plans to buy one, but never actually get around to it. For the past few months I have been borrowing my old roomate Rory's board, but since it is for a guy, it is really big and hard for me to turn, so I was not using it as much as I would have liked. But not this one, this one is perfect. It is just my size, handles great, and is a beaut. I immediately slipped on some Vans and we headed out the door to take the two boards on a test run through the neighborhoods down the street. So much fun! I am really stiff though, I need to get more practice in for sure. This weekend my friend Meguenther is coming to visit and bringing her board so we can roam around for a bit on Saturday. I would love to be able to use it as a form of transportation from time to time, but I am not that confident quite yet.


dinner & drinks
Anyway, after all of this business we decided to spruce back up, (yes, I had spruce back up like an old lady), and head 'downtown' to Bar 101 for a nice little dinner and some cocktails. I love 101, it is one of the nicer bars in town, but without that air of pretentiousness. I got a pear martini followed by a greyhound (my favorite), and Pat got a peach martini, some french thing, and a classic martini. (I have an olive story, but I will save it for a moment so that I do not get off track). We split lamb taquitos (delicious!) and a pizza (also delicious!) for dinner before heading home to wrap up the night with a few more drinks, some hookah, and a movie. It was a good day.

[[ dinner and drinks. circus elephant cloud!! fountain. posing with my new board. it in all of its beauty. ]]


The Olive Theory:
Do you watch "How I Met Your Mother"? if you do you might know what I am talking about. If you do not, you should! It is hilarious! Just this week we were re-watching some of the first episodes from season 1, and on one of the initial ones they explain The Olive Theory, in which a perfect couple is made up of one part olive lover and one part olive hater, because then the lover always gets the discarded olives. Well, Pat might not be an olive hater, but I sure do love olives, and whenever he has a drink with green olives in it, he always makes sure to save one, or all for me. SUPER CHEESY. But seriously... that is love.


Thanks everyone, I had a pretty damn good birthday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

omg i'm 25?!




Hmm, where to begin...

Last night when I got home from work I was feeling a bit depressed about my impending birthday. It is a weird feeling to be getting older and no longer appreciating it, when for your entire life it is the one thing you desire. Me and Pat have been so super busy this summer that we did not get around to planning a big joint party like last year and I was feeling a bit bummed out about it. It seems like Quarter Century is such a big one and it was almost like it was not even being acknowledged. That is part of the problem with having a midweek birthday as well, though I do have somethings planned with friends for the weekend.

BUT

Then I began to consider it from another angle. I am 25 today, and in my 25 years of life, I have accomplished so much to be proud of, and have so many great things in my future to be excited about. Not only that, but there is really nothing more I could want right now. Sure, a raise would always be nice, or a trip to Europe... but I have all I could possibly need and 24 was a pretty good year for me. I think I will save the specifics for a little 24th year recap, but the gists are: An amazing boyfriend/bestfriend/fiance. A wonderful family. Great true friends who I love very very much. A real job. A side career. a home of my/(our) very own. A sense of self.

And in terms of being a year older and not too excited about it... thank goodness all of my friends (but three) are older than me, I am not the oldest child in my family, Pat has a year up, and everyone at work has several... phew, back in perspective.



I do not have many childhood pictures at the moment because they are lost in the mountainous landscape that is my parents garage, but I did manage to wrestle some up for my little post. 


((( by the way. above is my picture from my profile. the little bunny stuffed animal is one i have had (and still have) since i was a baby. i took it everywhere, even loosing one and having a replacement purchased and concealed to look like the old one by a crafty grandmother (i saw through that by the way). it is appropriately named bunny-bunny )))


 
[[ grandpas guitar. exploring. me & dad. pouting. grandparents backyard. looking awesome. halloweens. onsie/garfield slippers. preschool picture. me & dad at disneyland. messy eater. holding babies. ]]

((( stay tuned for my 30 before 30 list i hope to start crossing off soon. i will be posting this sometime within the next few weeks after i finalize it )))

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

brasada ranch :: part IV

Here are the rest of our posts from Brasada two weekends ago. These include a little bit more pool time at the private owners pool, and some golfing action.

[[ playing around at sunset. jackrabbit. view. morning golf. pats par. dragonfly. bunnies! owners pool. ]]

Monday, August 22, 2011

brasada ranch :: part III

Two weekends ago me and Pat headed back over to Brasada Ranch to spend the weekend with his family and enjoy some summer weather. These are not exactly a continuation of Parts I & II, but since we only visit there every so often and have picture heavy posts, I thought I would carry on in that format. 

This portion of the posts is the beautiful sunset from the drive over, scenery around the house, and a little trip to the big pool (complete with water slide). 


[[ sunset on the drive over. good morning. scenery around the house. pats birthday present. pool time. ]]