Homemade chili
Caramel apple dip
Fun friends
Holiday t-shirts
Modern Family Halloween episode
Chocolate cream pie
A punctuated pumpkin
And one that's more carved than it is pumpkin

Happy Halloween!


year one

We spent our first anniversary in central Oregon in a cute townhome our friends let us borrow. Can you believe it's been a year since I was blogging about this? And this? And this? I hardly can. All month I've been thinking back to one year ago, and I've been filled with happy, happy memories. Our wedding day was the beginning of so much for us; it was a beautiful day, one that I look back on with fondness and yet one that I wouldn't want to go back to because that would mean leaving where I am now.

Taken at Eagle Crest 10.22.11. We got some non-goofy ones, but I really just love this one.

One year of marriage is hardly something to brag about, but regardless, it's changed me, a change that affects me in the ways I most need it, a change that is the best change, even when it's hard. I know more about stepping outside of myself to see a bigger or different picture. I'm learning that there's no such thing as the perfect wife or husband. I'm practicing how to give both Josh and myself the benefit of the doubt. I'm increasingly more grateful that this marriage is forever, because that means that I don't have to get it right immediately. Really, I have forever to get it right.

No one has a manual for the perfect marriage. Sure, you can reference self-help books, attend classes, and even hearken to prophetic guidance, but the fact is, marriage is a series of trials and errors, a risk that will pay off through listening, loving, and learning. If you ask me how I've adjusted to marriage after one year, I'll say that I take it one happy moment, one frustrated moment, one disagreement, one apology, one hand-hold, one minute step at a time. And I'm happy exactly where we are, just as we are.

So yeah, I'll always look at our wedding day with unabashed love and fondness.

But I'd so much rather be here, in my pajamas, enjoying a glass of sparkling grape juice and getting ready for some serious Modern Family–watching with my husband of one year.

We are more than ready to embark on year two.


the Oregon experience

When Rachelle came to visit I wanted to give her a thorough Oregon experience, even though my Oregon experience is still relatively new. We started off with a day in Portland, a day that included the Thai Peacock, Powell's, and Cupcake Jones.

One night we went to Deschutes Brewery for dinner, and another night we hit up Nicholas's.

One day when I had to work, Rachelle and Karen went to the outlets, and I was oh so jealous.

Then we went to the coast, and seriously, I couldn't have dreamed of better weather. First we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (which was a first visit for me too).

We took the self-guided tour, posed in the cow heads, and ate the best grilled cheese sandwiches we'd ever had along with the best milkshakes we'd ever had.

Are you surprised that I had to document the punctuation errors on Tillamook signage?

Then we made our way to Rockaway Beach, and parked at this cute Catholic church. The beach was right there just waiting for us.

The skies were clear, the breeze cool but not cold, the air briny and crisp.

In attempting a far-off ocean picture, a sneaky wave caught me off guard.

The ocean wasn't so far off then. In fact, the ocean was in my pant legs.

After walking around for a bit, we settled down on our blanket and beach chairs. I read, Rachelle people-watched, and we both napped at some point. The wind started getting colder, and we were glad we brought warm clothes.

At one point the fire department, the police, the Coast Guard, and the sheriff all came to the beach in response to a lost surfer. We saw rescue boats out on the water, men scanning the horizon with binoculars, and guys in ATVs cruising down the beach. Thankfully they found the surfer, and I'm not entirely sure what the full story was, but it was exciting nonetheless.

We filled our non-adventure time with The Sing-Off, crepes, rockclimbing, and shopping. I'm so glad that Rachelle could come out to visit, and we had such a great time.

I love indulging in Oregon. And I love doing it with one of my best friends. I hope you had a full Oregon experience, Rachelle!

Anyone else up for the full Oregon experience? Though, please give me some recovery time before taking me up on that offer. I'm exhausted.


a styled break-in

Imagine me:

:: Greeting Rachelle at the airport in my new favorite outfit, a plaid wool skirt (that I sewed myself) with a simple mustard cardigan

:: Automatically locking the car door because that's how programmed I am now

:: Realizing that I locked my doors with the keys still in the ignition and the car still running

:: Relieved that I remembered to pop the trunk before locking the doors

:: Thinking that I can probably break into the car through the trunk--Nancy Drew does it all the time

:: Climbing into my trunk still wearing the cute skirt

:: Disregarding the weird looks I'm getting from fellow airport-goers

:: Calling Josh for help on figuring out the trunk break-in strategy while still sitting in the trunk

:: Finding the tabs that push the back seat down

:: Crawling through the trunk and into the car as gracefully as possible, trying hard not to flash the other airport drivers

:: Turning off the car, unlocking the doors, and exiting the car through the doors and not the trunk

:: Feeling awesome because I just pulled a Nancy Drew

Did you imagine all that? Good. Because it wasn't made up. That really happened. And it was probably one of the funniest things I've ever done.


I'm back!

Oh, readers, I feel like it's been forever. The past two weeks have had me in a whirlwind of happenings, leaving me in a current state of exhaustion and home-messiness, not to mention the 700 unread blog posts in my Google Reader (can you see that some blog-reading simplification is needed here?).

I have so much to tell you. I want to tell you about Rachelle's week-long visit, the perfect weather for a day-trip to the coast, Cupcake Jones, my part-time bookstore job, the beautiful autumn we've been having, my first truly aesthetically pleasing cake, Dracula being the perfect October book, and our first wedding anniversary.

For now I'll satiate your reader thirst (because I know you've been compulsively checking for a new post on this blog--right? Right?) with this month's 12-on-12. The pictures really were taken on the 12th; I honestly just didn't have time for putting the grid together and blogging it until today.

01. A clean stovetop and kitchen
02. An organized magazine basket
03. Cute flower panels hung above the laundry closet (I've had those plaques for almost a year and hadn't hung them up till now)
04. Some freelance writing research
05. A trimmed pattern for a fall dress
06. The cute wall-art I bought at Homegoods using Shoppers' Math
07. The fall dress pattern all cut out, ready to be sewn
08. Changing leaves by Costco
09. Work--does anyone else find the Twilight-esque covers for works of classic literature a little off-putting? I mean, we talking Jane Austen here. Come on.
10. A mint truffle with some Dracula in the airport waiting area
11. The inside of my trunk (this deserves its own blog post entirely and involves a resourceful Nancy-Drew-like break-in into my car while wearing a skirt)
12. I thought I had 12 photos at this point in the evening and didn't--obviously.

I've had a fun few weeks, but honestly, I can't wait to find normalcy again. Tomorrow my priority plans involve cleaning the bathroom and folding laundry, and I'm positively giddy about it.


things you never thought you'd hear me say

At Nicholas's Lebanese Restaurant in downtown Portland with Karen, Josh, and Rachelle: "Oh, this hummus is my favorite!"

PS--My best friend Rachelle is visiting me, and it's been a blast. I still have a few days of quasi-vacation and will resume regular blogging mid-week, including my 12-on-12 grid!


needed clarification

In light of recent political dialogue, let me set a few things straight.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--I am a Christian. I believe that through Christ's grace--and only through His grace--are we redeemed from our sins. I believe that Jesus Christ Himself restored His church through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that we have prophets and apostles today who receive revelation from God.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, that He both lived and died for me, that through His atonement I am able to return and live with Him and His Father someday. My relationship with my Savior is what defines me.

I'm a Mormon.

I am a Mormon.
I am a Christian.


shoppers' math, or a lively discussion about gift cards

Let me start off by saying that Josh hates shoppers' math. In fact, as I was writing this we had a heated debate about it. That's how much he hates it.

My mom taught me shoppers' math growing up, and it's a hard mathematical field to explain; you learn best from observation. Shoppers' math involves not only numbers and percentages but also factors like needs-versus-wants, frugality, on-hand cash, and gift cards. Let me use today's errand trip to demonstrate to you shoppers' math.

I've been needing a new pair of professional shoes. My Danskos are getting a little ratty, and while I have several pairs of dress heels, I'm lacking a good pair of sophisticated, professional footwear. I found a style of loafer I like and put it in my mind to find a good deal.

Professional loafers: needed purchase

For my birthday my grandpa gave me a gift card to TJ Maxx (which can also be used at Homegoods). Gift cards present a whole new factor into the shoppers' math equation: gift cards are presents, and in my view, should be used to buy something you really, really want, something you wouldn't normally buy for yourself, or both. Yes, it's money, but it's in a different category. (But even that's not a hard-and-fast rule. Were I to receive a gift card to Target and also had no money to grocery shop, I would feel great about using that gift to support my family.)

Today I decided to check out JC Penney's current sale, with 50- to 70-percent markdowns. I found a darling pair of platform, heeled loafers for 50-percent off of their regular price and put them on hold while I checked out the selection at TJ Maxx.*

Their selection wasn't great. So I perused and found a pair of stretchy pants to use for rock climbing.

Stretchy rock-climbing pants: needed purchase, but something I might talk myself out of

Then I headed to Homegoods, where my shopping experience was overwhelmed by my many options. What did I want to spend my gift card on? Kitchen gadgets? Eight-inch cake pans? Wall art? Halloween decor? Or did I want to put it toward a larger purchase of a side table or nightstand? Because I still had a decent amount of money left on my gift card from the stretchy pants purchase, I browsed for things that caught my eye. (And if nothing caught my eye, I would have been content to leave without buying anything. Don't spend money, gifted or otherwise, just for the sake of spending it.)

I decided on purchasing a silicon spoon, a large glass liquid measure, an orange ceramic pie plate, and a cute piece of wall art.. After I exhausted my gift card, I ended up spending $7.00 out of my bank account.

Silicon spoon: needed purchase, but something I might rationalize not needing
Large glass liquid measure: needed purchase, something I would probably buy without a gift card
Pie plate: wanted purchase
Wall art: wanted purchase

Back to JC Penney's. Since I didn't find a cuter and/or cheaper pair of loafers at TJ's, I decided to go back and buy the pair I'd put on hold at the mall. I had a lingering $20 bill in my wallet that I hadn't used in a few weeks and decided to offset the amount of money put on my debit card by using the cash (Josh really hates that facet of shoppers' math).

To sum up my shopping trip, I bought one item that I needed, a few items that I needed but not immediately, and a couple of items that I didn't need but really wanted, with $20 coming out of my wallet, and less than $30 coming out of my bank account--a pretty thorough and versatile trip, in my opinion.

Through Josh's lens, money is money, regardless of its form, and a gift card is no reason to splurge when you otherwise wouldn't. Through my approach, a gift card is inherently a good reason to buy something you wouldn't (or wouldn't be able to) normally. When I use gift cards in my shoppers' math equations, I subconsciously put myself on a longer frugality leash, like part of the gift card is the gift of not worrying so much about how you spend your money.

What camp are you in? And aren't you glad that shoppers' math helped me to buy these?

*A note about sales: Even though an item may be a million percent off, the money you spend on it is still real. Don't buy something just because it's a billion percent off. Factor in your needs, wants, and budget, as well. In this case, I had already decided that I needed a new pair of professional shoes, and I wanted a good quality shoe. So even though the shoes were half off, I can't overlook the fact that I'm still spending real money. Sometimes you still shouldn't buy something even if it is on sale. I have come to that bitter conclusion many times.


spooky to-do list

To-do before Halloween:

:: read Dracula with Miranda (remember my scary book from last year?)
:: go to a corn maze and maybe even a haunted house
:: carve a pumpkin
:: watch Wait Until Dark, Sixth Sense, What Lies Beneath, The Others, and maybe even The Ring
:: attend the ward Halloween party

{via} on Pinterest (obviously)

I am very excited for the spooking that's going to be going on here at the Wilsons'.


legitimate, sort of

At the behest of my darling sister-in-law, I present you documentation of the first official Wilson family climbing night. If we're going to climb with Nicole and Josh Snow, a.k.a. climbers extraordinaire, we needed to establish some semblance of climbing regularity and legitimately.

The rock gym where I've been a few times with Karen was having a screaming deal on rock-climbing passes, and Josh and I decided to commit and buy some. Our commitment furthered when we invested in legitimate climbing gear (and seriously, it's an investment). We bought shoes for Josh (Karen let me have her too-small-for-her pair) and harnesses.

So Thursday night after dinner at Jimmy John's we Wilsons, along with our friend Ian, headed over to Club Sport where we tested out our new gear and made our first steps toward becoming rock climbers. (Yeah, you heard me right--I'm calling myself a rock climber.) I'm even belay-certified now. I know.

The boys loved being photographed for the blog. Obviously.

This time rock climbing I worked more on my pivots and leg work. (Take it from a seasoned climbing novice--get that, a seasoned novice?--the work should come from the legs and hips.) We climbed for two and a half hours and were completely beat by the end of it. We have plans for many more climbing excursions, and I'm looking forward to getting better and more confident in my ability.

 And really, how could I turn down a sport in which you wear stretchy pants?


a birthday cake for Grandma

My late grandmother's birthday was yesterday, and in proper Petersen-clan form, I baked a cake in her honor. I tried a new recipe taken from my new book (which I'm in love with), and I was excited to try more cake baking.

It didn't turn out great.


So instead of eating cake to page homage to my grandma, I tossed one straight into the trash. I couldn't even convince myself to have a piece for breakfast.

Grandma knew when to throw a cake, and hell, I do too.

**Edit: I'm sure the problem has more to do with my baking skill than it does the recipe out of the baking bible. Baking Illustrated is super, super awesome.**



Remember the time when I successfully installed an invisible zipper on the first try without crying even once (unlike my first experience with an invisible zipper)?

Because I do, and it feels awesome.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...