Friday, July 31, 2015

Books // The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Oh my gosh, it is SO HOT in Portland right now.
The high was 104 yesterday and the high is 102 today. Yeah.
As much as I love summer, I'm getting pretty excited for fall...

Anyway, enough about the miserable weather here...I want to pick up on where I left off in my last post.  I didn't want it to come off that I'm totally neurotic and need to have some perfectly clean house all the time because that's definitely not how I feel. My main frustration is more that I'm tired of feeling like a hamster on a wheel when it comes to housekeeping, constantly scurrying but not really getting anywhere. In an effort to change that, I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and I wanted to share my thoughts, as well as they impact it's had on me...

As you can see from the cover, this book is quite popular and has garnered a lot of buzz over the past few years. It's been on my list for awhile, but when my friend Kelsey raved about it I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about. The book is written by a Japanese home organization guru and it makes some pretty hefty claims. Basically the author's philosophy (or the KonMari Method) is that you need to go through everything in your home not room by room but category by category and get rid of anything that does not "spark joy." She really emphasizes the fact that you need to do a big massive purge all at once vs. doing things little by little and she claims that if you follow her method you will never relapse and your home will stay tidy forever. So it's definitely a little extreme, but I think that's a big part of the reason it's so popular. The first section is all about why people can't keep their houses in order in the first place, the second section explains to you how to get rid of things, the third section explains more specifically how to tidy by category and how to store things, and then the end section is the impact that tidying will have on your life. She makes a lot of very thought-provoking points and so I thought I'd just give a quick rundown on what I personally liked/didn't like about it...

-In the beginning of the book, she talks about how she works with her clients to understand why they want their home to be tidy in the first place and asks them to envision in lots of detail what their life would be like if their house was like that all the time. I feel like this is extremely motivating to think through what your life would look like if your house was the way you wanted it and what you would do with that extra time.
-She has a whole section about family and the complicated relationship that can exist when it comes to clutter, which I think is an important thing to address. Basically she says if you don't need something, chances are your family members don't need it either so don't pass it off to them just because you feel guilty about getting rid of it. I think lots of people are guilty of this, not really wanting to part with something so they take it to their parents' house when really it's just burdening loved ones with extra junk. Also, I'm totally guilty of taking things from family members when offered, specifically my sister when she's getting rid of clothes. Granted, she has given me some awesome stuff but then she's also offered things that I had no business taking aka clothes that don't fit me, both in terms of size and personal style. The stuff ends up just sitting in my closet and taking up space, so it's a good reminder that just because someone is getting rid of something doesn't mean you need to take it.
-She has a section of the book titled "Storage experts are hoarders" which I thought was funny. Basically she says that you don't need to come up with all these super creative ways to store things in order to have your house be tidy, you just need to get rid of excess stuff, plain and simple.
-She talks about the reason so many people hold on to things they don't need is they feel guilty getting rid of them, but I like how she talks about giving yourself permission to let things go by acknowledging that although the item in question is no longer something needed, you can thank it for the lesson it taught you about what you like and don't like.
-She advocates for being extremely critical of what you keep in your house and really encourages you to get rid of as much stuff as possible. One thing I really liked was her suggestion to just get rid of all manuals that come with electronics. I always save stuff like this but her point is that chances are if something breaks, you can go online and get the info you need on how to fix it or you're going to end up taking it somewhere to have it repaired, so either way you really don't need to keep the manual.
-I also like how she explains that it's better to err on the side of throwing more things away than less and that if by chance you do get rid of something you needed later down the road, there's usually a way that it can be fixed.
-When if comes to her suggestion about tidying by category, I do think this makes sense as it is super easy to have belongings spread out across the house and not realize how many of something you have. I also liked how she advised starting with things that are easy to throw away in comparison to starting with mementos that you're going to want to sit and look at and reminisce about.
-I liked how she really encourages thoughtfulness and appreciation for the material things that you own. After all, these are the items that you use each day that serve various purposes to support your lifestyle and so taking the time to be thankful for them is not a bad idea.

-My BIGGEST issue with this book is that the author doesn't really address the issue of kids, because that's a game changer when it comes to trying to be tidy. Kids have a LOT of stuff, and it can be tough to manage the onslaught of material things that go along with having a child. I wish she would have touched on this because I feel definitely an issue for people that causes them to have a problem with clutter in the first place.
-Going along with that, my other issue is with her method is how she strongly recommends making tidying a special occasion and tidying everything in one fell swoop. I totally agree that's great in theory but when you have kids, it can be tough to be able to find the time to do a major cleanout like that.
-The book is somewhat repetitive, which I've found is typical for non-fiction advice-type books.
-It's also very clearly geared towards a non-American audience, which is not bad, it's just the writing style and some of the tips (like how to make a shrine in your house for your religious statues) were not super applicable to me or my life.
-Some of the stuff just sounds straight up wacky (to me) and it was hard to take it seriously, like when she describes clothing as having various human characteristics. I realize she's coming from a place of having different beliefs and therefore may look at material things as more than just things...but when she goes into detail about how you need to fold your socks a certain way because they're tired and they need to rest and essentially take a vacation when they're in your sock drawer, it was hard for me not to roll my eyes just a little.
-She constantly claims how all the clients she's helped have adopted her method perfectly and no one has ever relapsed, and I feel like this is very intimidating. She's so all or nothing about the way her system works and it can be a little intense.
-Finally, I wish she would have spent more time detailing how to keep from accumulating too much stuff again in the future thus preventing a relapse because I feel like she kind of just glosses over this aspect a bit.

As for the impact this book has had on me, I have not done the full KonMari method and my house is still a work in progress. But I did do a big closet cleanout that was partially motivated by this book, and it's been amazing. This weekend, Cameron and I took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill and made some headway with getting the house to be more tidy. However, with Henry we can't always spend hours and hours doing that sort of thing, so we still have more stuff to go through...but we are working on it!

What I've really taken from this book is that there is a big difference between tidy/messy and clean/dirty. When I get frustrated that I feel like I don't have time to clean, it's because I'm spending so much time trying to get our house tidy first. So ideally, if I could get our house to be more tidy all the time, I could more easily do things to actually keep the house clean...that's the goal anyway! This summer, I'm really trying to continue to be aggressive in getting rid of things we don't need so that way our house can become a more tidy (and as a result, a more clean) place. As for the book, I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for a quick read that will get you motivated to get your house in order!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Life // A Season to Simplify

Happy Wednesday, friends! I have lots of photos from our trip that I'll be sharing (hopefully) soon, but before I get to that, I wanted to talk about something that's been on my mind the past few months...

I shared earlier this year how we made the decision that I would stay home with Henry and I have really been enjoying it so far. I just love getting to spend so much time with him and I genuinely like taking care of him all day! I feel really thankful to have this opportunity to be home full-time and it's definitely been the right choice for our family. I've been pretty active about getting out and doing things with him during the day, but we also do spend quite a bit of time at home each week as well. And although I did work from a home office before Henry was born, I feel like being a stay-at-home mom now has definitely changed my mindset when it comes to the state of our house.

Before, the house would get messy but Cameron would be at work and I'd be in our office on the computer pretty much from the time I woke up until the time he got home (and most nights I would have emails to send for work after he got home too) and so the mess wouldn't really bother us all that much. We'd both do things here and there to pick up the house, but since we were both working full-time during the week, any major cleaning was usually a joint effort that took place on the weekends.

Now that I'm home all day with Henry, I feel like the house being messy has started to bother me a lot more, especially over the past few months. It's not that our house is always messy, and  but I just feel like it's this losing battle where it will be clean for like half a day and then it just starts becoming a disaster again. And if it's like this when our kid can't even walk, how much worse is it going to get?

I think before Henry was born, I had this idea that if I stayed home full-time, our house would just be spotlessly clean all the time. But now that I've been doing this SAHM gig for a few months, that's definitely not the case and it's a little disheartening for two reasons - 1) Although my primary focus with staying home is (obviously) taking care of Henry, I also view keeping the house in order as a part of my "job." Which is not to say Cameron doesn't help out in this area, because he does. A lot. And I'm not saying that every single little thing that needs to get done around here should always fall on my shoulders because I'm not working outside the house, it's just from a practical and logistical standpoint, I'm the one who is actually home all day, so it would make sense that this is an area that would be more of my responsibility. That's why it's frustrating to constantly look around and feel like you're falling short. And 2) I'm the one that's actually in the house all day, and so when it's not clean, it's just not the most pleasant environment and it's annoying to feel like you're living in a disaster area.

Granted, I'm exaggerating a little bit, our house is not that bad. And I realize that when you have kids, your house isn't going to be spotless and I'm really not trying to hold myself to some unrealistic standard of perfection. It's just seemed like I was making this whole housekeeping issue much harder than it had to be and that's what's been bothering me. I just felt there has to be an easier way.

On top of my frustration with the house, I was also feeling somewhat frustrated with myself. It seemed like every day I would go to get dressed and literally have nothing to wear. I'd have baskets of clean laundry in my room waiting to be put away that I'd pick through to try and find something because most of the items in my overflowing closet either didn't fit or didn't work for nursing. I'd inevitably end up just wearing workout clothes most days, regardless of the day's activities. I didn't want to come to terms with the fact that my body isn't exactly where I thought it would be at this point in time, so I was avoiding the issue by settling for going out in public feeling really blah about myself.

The thing is though, I really do love being a stay at home mom. And so I started to realize that going through life being dissatisfied with the state of my house and my appearance is a really foolish thing to do, especially when I'm doing something I love so much. It was around this time that two different concepts crossed my radar - a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and capsule wardrobes. Both of these things have been pretty popular in the blogging world for awhile and although I had heard of both before, over the past few months they're things that have really been a huge focus for me. And although they aren't really related to one another, the core principle behind both things is really the same. It's all about simplifying your life when it comes to material possessions and it's an idea that's really been resonating with me lately. It's the concept that your house and your wardrobe should be these things that support the life you want, not things that should add stress.

There's a quote that I love that says "If things in your life aren't adding up, start subtracting"...or something along those lines :) I've just had such a strong desire this summer to just purge and declutter and get rid of things, thanks to those two concepts. Because what this all boils down to is that I really just want to fully embrace and enjoy this season of being at home with Henry and I've realized the way to do that is by simplifying and getting rid of the extra "stuff." It's not rocket science, I just want to be able to easily get dressed in the morning in something besides workout clothes and to have a house that I feel comfortable in. That way, I can focus my attention on what's really important, spending time with family and friends and being the best mother to this little guy that I possibly can.

That's not to say that this whole idea of simplifying is easy for me...quite the opposite. I'm a Midwestern girl that loves nothing more that going to Target or HomeGoods and blowing money on random stuff I don't need. And although I'm trying to move in the right direction, Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm definitely not there yet. But at least now I feel like I have some tools to actually help me put a more simplified life in place and that in and of itself is really exciting!

Since this post is already pretty long, I am planning on doing two separate posts to go into more detail about the concepts I mentioned, with one reviewing The Magic of Tidying book and how I've been trying to apply that this summer and then another about my take on a capsule wardrobe/mom uniform. I'm looking forward to sharing these more specific posts with you soon, but for now it felt nice to ramble and share what's been on my heart this summer!

This post was also the perfect opportunity to share a few photos my friend Ali took while we were out in wine country last month :) These were taken back in mid-June before we left for our trip and it's crazy to me how much different Henry already looks!

PS: I had this post prepared for today before I heard the news that one of my favorite Southern bloggers, Leslie from A Blonde Ambition, passed away earlier this week. I was incredibly heartbroken to hear this news because even though I obviously didn't know Leslie personally, I loved reading her blog because of her sweet personality that shined through all of her posts. I remember thinking she was the cutest pregnant girl ever when she was expecting and I loved following along as she became a mom to two beautiful girls. When she started posting about her health issues earlier this year, I specifically remember telling Cam about her because I was honestly so floored by the incredibly positive attitude she seemed to maintain despite going through such a hard time. She just seemed like the nicest person who was truly beautiful inside and out and I'm so saddened by her passing. I read on Kelly's blog (which I totally did not realize that's how Leslie and her husband met) that some bloggers would be sharing posts about her today and so I wanted to just share my thoughts. My prayers go out to Leslie's family at this difficult time and I encourage you to keep them in your prayers as well.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Life // Instagram + My Favorite Accounts

Happy Friday everyone! Today's post is a fun one that I've been meaning to share for awhile :)

I don't think it's any secret that I haven't been as blogging as regularly since Henry's arrival. On one hand, I do really miss it because I like putting together a post, sharing it, and feeling like I'm contributing something to this online community. But I am also loving this current season of my life where I'm not spending quite as much time on the computer and instead I'm out enjoying the summer with my family. However, being the compulsive oversharer that I am, I will definitely say that since I'm not blogging as much, my obsession with Instagram has definitely hit an all-time high!

My husband rarely posts photos to Instagram but he thought it was hilarious to take photos of me taking Instagrams on our trip...ha ha :) This one he took did seem kind of appropriate for this post though so I couldn't help but share it :)
What do I love about Instagram? Let me count the ways...First, as a more visual person, I love how it's such a visual medium that focuses on beautiful photos, plain and simple. I love how you can just share something in the moment and it's so much easier for me to quickly share a photo there when I'm out and about vs. sitting down to put photos in a post. Granted, I know some bloggers do take photos from their "real" camera and then only share those on Instagram...but this mama just ain't got time for that and the large majority of photos I post are taken with my iPhone. (I will say though that the free Photoshop app really helps when it comes to editing iPhone photos!) Beyond being such a great way to share photos on the go, Instagram is also just really fun to scroll through. It was a great way to kill time when Henry was brand new and nursing ALL.THE.TIME...and I still spend quite a bit of time looking at it now.

When it comes to other forms of social media, Twitter gives me a headache because it's just a huge stream of text. I do really like Pinterest, but it can be overwhelming and frustrating as it's sometimes tough to search for what your looking for and it's riddled with dead links and source-less images. As for Facebook, I do still use it but not nearly as much as I used to. I don't share albums of photos on there anymore and I'll only occasionally share one of my Instagram photos to Facebook. I just feel like Facebook is kind of negative these days and I'm really just not all that into it? When I click on my newsfeed, it seems like all I see are super-opinionated articles on politics or baby-related things (with really idiotic comments) and it's just sort of depressing. Plus, because I've had my Facebook account since high school, so there are a lot of people I'm "friends" with on there that I don't talk to anymore, nor do I really care about what they're doing. So although I'm not at a point where I've started deleting people or have considered deleting my account, I really just don't feel like it's an audience I want to share tons of my photos with anymore. (Also, I don't currently have Snapchat...and quite frankly, I don't think I'll be making one any time soon. I know a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon but I sort of think the concept is dumb? Maybe that makes me old, but that's just my honest opinion. Plus, I don't really need another thing to try to keep up with or make me spend more time on my phone!)

Now granted, my Instagram account is public, so yes, people do follow me that I don't know personally. However, I feel like because I have only had an Instagram account for the past few years, people who follow me there are more genuinely interested in what's going on in my life now. That's why I don't feel bad for sometimes (ok, a lot) posting tons of photos of things like what I ate for dinner or flowers around Portland or my coffee or my baby. The way I see it, Intstagram is the place to share those little snaps from my day to day life, so if you think that stuff is boring, then by all means, feel free to unfollow me! (But if you want to follow me and you aren't yet, it's @inthepinkandgreen!)And on the flip side, I feel like I've been able to get to know people better through their Instagram, both some of my favorite bloggers/celebrities as well as in-real-life friends. It's this little window into someone's world and it's definitely allowed me to connect with a number of people here in Portland that I may not have otherwise. I also love how Instagram makes it easy to interact with and discover businesses and brands. So often, I'll see someone someone wearing a cute top or piece of jewelry in a photo (or ok, if I'm being real, I'll see someone post a photo of food that looks delicious) and I love how it's so easy to just click the shop if it's tagged or look at the location to see the restaurant. (Sidenote - I don't currently use, mainly because I don't want to get an email every time I like someone's photo and also, I don't do a ton of fashion-related Instagrams so I haven't had a huge reason to...but that's just personal preference and I know a lot of people love it!) 

Finally, I really love how Instagram is really a forum to just share these lovely little snippets from everyday life. I know that sometimes people like to hate on the fact that all those perfectly styled little squares can tend to create this unrealistic image of what someone's life is actually like, especially when it comes to mommy bloggers. However, I personally love it because I am a glass half full person and I like putting out things that are positive and beautiful because it helps me focus on finding the good in every day. Do I have times when Henry is screaming and I've got piles of dirty laundry everywhere? You bet. But I don't usually put up photos of that stuff, not because it doesn't exist, but just because I'd rather share and remember the times when my baby is smiling or when my house is clean (sooo that might explain why there aren't many house photos on my feed...ha!) Don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping it real every now and again because I do enjoy when people share some snaps of the not-so-perfect parts of their life too. It's just that on my Instagram feed, both with what I share and who I follow, I'd rather focus on the good is all that I'm saying :)

So after that unnecessarily long diatribe about why I love Instagram, I thought I'd share some of my favorite accounts to follow! These are in no particular order and it's a somewhat random list...

Barefoot Blonde (@amberfillerup)
Umm all I have to say about this one is #goals. Like I'm not actually sure that she is even a real person because her life looks ridiculously perfect and I'm kind of obsessed with her...ha! Her photos are basically just her just being gorgeous and living the life in NYC or jetting around the world with her adorable husband and son all while sporting beautiful clothes and amazing braided hairstyles. Oh and she's currently pregnant with her second baby (a girl) so it's even more fun to follow along with her.
The Fat Jewish (@thefatjewish)
I follow quite a few of these funny accounts on Instagram but I feel like this one was kind of the original and it's still the best. Some of the stuff is pretty inappropriate but most of it is seriously funny.

National Geographic (@natgeo)
Growing up, my parents subscribed to National Geographic magazine and I always loved looking at the amazing photos each month. Their Instagram account features these same incredible photos, it's amazing how their photographers can capture such perfect shots!
I Have This Thing With Floors (@ihavethisthingwithfloors)
I feel like this account is a perfect example of what makes Instagram awesome. It's such a simple concept, people taking pictures of floors, but the photos are so mesmerizing!
Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling)
I heart her and I'm SO glad the Mindy Project isn't cancelled! Her Instagram is random and funny and I always enjoy seeing her posts because even though she's a celebrity, she seems very aware and appreciative of how awesome certain perks of her life posting an excited photo about the fact that Starburst sent her this thing with her name with just red and pink Starbursts. Amazing.

Margo from The Overseas Escape (@margo.paige)
I actually discovered Margo's wonderful travel blog via Instagram and then reached out to her after she posted some gorgeous pictures from her time in Lake Como. She was super sweet when we traded emails and her recommendations are spot on if you're traveling to Europe! She and her husband are going to be traveling to SE Asia soon so I'm excited to follow along as she takes stunning photos!

Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)
I'm unabashedly a huge Taylor Swift fan and I'm super bummed she isn't coming to Portland this summer. But I've been enjoying keeping up with her tour via Instagram and I think it's cool that she's had so many surprise guests at her shows...and I'm sorry, this photo is just hilarious. Oh Lena :)

Elle Rowley (@sollybabywrap)
I have used my striped Solly Baby wrap SO much with Henry and so I enjoy following along with Elle, the mama of three who runs this cool company. She not only posts beautiful photos of her own family living their cool, carefree, California lives but she also posts lots of photos of mamas (and dads!) wearing their sweet babes in her wraps. I love that she is so passionate about what she does!

Travel Oregon (@traveloregon)
I follow a bunch of different Oregon photo accounts and I feel so thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful state! This account is constantly posting photos of the diverse landscape here so if you like photos of the ocean/waterfalls/mountains, then you should definitely check it out! (@oregonexplored and @bestoforegon are great ones to follow too!)

Emily Henderson (@em_henderson)
I've loved Emily ever since she won HGTV's Design Star and I really like her playful, relaxed design style. She features tons of great house inspiration photos, and then she also posts cute photos of her son and her adorable baby bump (she's got a baby girl on the way!) Plus, she's from Oregon!

New Fork City (@new_fork_city)
I feel like I keep a pretty good pulse on the food happenings here in Portland through my circle of friends and websites like Eater PDX. But when it comes to my other favorite city, I do follow quite a few New York-based food specific Instagram accounts which give me ideas of where to eat next time we're in the Big Apple. Of those accounts, this is one of my favorites (I mean come on, a black and white cookie ice cream sandwich? All the heart eyes) and it's fun to tag my sister in photos so she can go eat this stuff for me...ha!

Lauren Hartmann (@thelittlethingswedo)
This Portland mama is one of my favorite "mom blogger" accounts to follow because 1) She's local 2) Her kiddos are adorable (and since she's a stylist, they're always dressed in these cute but not trying too hard PNW type outfits that I love) and 3) She keeps it real and has a good sense of humor :)

Lesley Murphy (@lesleyannemurphy)
True confessions, I love the Bachelor and follow an embarrassing number of past contestants on social media. But hands down, Lesley (who was on Sean Lowe's season) has the best Instagram account. She lives in Argentina and is a "luxury adventure travel blogger" now and her photos are amazing.

Jamie (@jamiesmoore) and Steve Moore (@sinclairandmoore)
This husband and wife wedding planner team based in Seattle are some of my favorites to follow along with because not only do they post the most gorgeous wedding photos ever, but they also have a super cute little boy who is just a little younger then Henry. They actually went on a trip to France for a wedding right before we did so I was totally stalking all their pictures before we left :)

Man Repeller (@manrepeller)
I think Leandra Medine is awesome and this account gives me a good mix of NYC, fashion, and humor.

Trevor Lee (@trevlee)
This guy is an amazing photographer based in Yosemite, which is one of my favorite places. His images are seriously stunning and make me want to go back to Yosemite really badly.

Andrea Reed (@girlgreybeauty)
I follow a lot of my favorite beauty YouTubers on Instagram, but then I also follow quite a few beauty accounts of people I never watch on YouTube or who don't have YouTube, but just post amazing makeup photos. Andrea posts some super creative stuff and I love seeing her creations!

Jillian Harris (@jillian.harris)
I didn't really watch Jillian's season of the Bachelorette, but she's someone who seems like she's taken that show and used it to propel herself into having a really awesome legit career. She's on HGTV and is based in Vancouver, BC and just has a really pretty Instagram feed. She posts great home design photos, she's got cute style, and she's also got a super cute boxer dog so you know I love that!

Lauren Bryan Knight (@aspiringkennedy)
I'm a big fan of ex-pat blogs and this is one I've been reading for ages. I just think Lauren is awesome and as someone who loves to travel, she is definitely a big inspiration to me! I love following along with her European adventures and now that she has two kiddos, her feed is just that much cuter :)

A Beautiful Mess (@abeautifulmessofficial)
I feel like it's a blogger rule that you have to follow this account? I'm only kind of joking...but it's hard not to be inspired by these sisters' colorful and fun style! Their account has a good mix of content as well and I really enjoy the creativity and whimsy in their photos.

This may seem like a long list, but these are just a handful of the accounts I follow. (And honestly, they were just the first ones that came to mind in the time that I had before Henry's morning nap ended...ha!) Basically I'm a sucker for accounts with gorgeous travel photos :) What about you? What accounts are your favorite to follow on Instagram? Let me know in the comments so I can start following along! Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oregon // Summer Weekend in Bend

Happy Thursday everyone! This week seems to be flying, I swear the summer always seems to go by so quickly after 4th of July! I was at Target the other day and they had all the school supplies out, so sad! As much as I love fall (and I freaking love school supplies...ha!) I'm just not ready for that yet. 

This past weekend was quite summer-y for us though because we spent it in Central Oregon! (And checked another item off my summer list, woo!) My husband's brother and his family live in Bend, OR and it's such a great place to go for a little getaway, especially in the summer. It's only about 3 hours from Portland, but the climate/environment is very different as it's much more dry and desert-like and surrounded by mountains, more similar to Colorado than what people usually think of when they picture Oregon.  Cam's brother's family was moving houses in Bend so helping with the move was the purpose for our trip...although, admittedly, I didn't actually move anything and just stuck to watching Henry :) I didn't even bother bringing our "real" camera either because I knew we'd be spending time by the water and I'd most likely just end up using the good ol' iPhone instead. I posted quite a few photos from the weekend on Instagram already, but I thought I'd still do a post and share some of them here too (as well as a few that I didn't end up sharing on Insta) because it was a really nice weekend!

Driving east over Mt. Hood, it's such a pretty drive!
 Quick nursing/diaper change stop and someone wanted to take the wheel...

On Friday night, we hit up Crux Fermentation Project which, in my opinion, is the best of the many breweries in Bend! (I didn't take many pictures this time, but you can read more about it in the post I did last year about some of my favorite spots in Bend.) The nice thing is that breweries in Oregon tend to be super kid-friendly and Henry even had on his little Crux onesie for the occassion :)

On Saturday morning, we had breakfast with Cam's family at The Original Pancake House. We have OPH in MIchigan and for a long time I totally thought those were the only ones, however, it's a franchise and it actually started in Portland! (And they have them a bunch of other places now too, including Asia!) It's good for a big group and their chocolate chip pancakes are the best!
We stayed at a hotel in the Old Mill District this time and it worked out really well. It was nice to be close to the river as that's the popular place to be on a hot day in Bend and it's great for walking!
 One of the things I love about my blogger friends is that they always have the best recommendations for places to eat when we travel! My friend Erin suggested the adorable Foxtail Bakeshop to me via Instagram and it was super cute. I loved the branding/vibe of this place, however, they seem to be more of a wedding cake bakery and they didn't have a ton of stuff ready to just walk in and buy. I was a little bummed because they were out of macarons when I went on Saturday and that's what I was looking forward to trying...but somehow I managed to eat this piece of vanilla bean cheesecake in consolation.

After the moving was done on Saturday, we headed up to Elk Lake and it was perfect weather!

I love stand-up paddleboarding, and I hadn't done it since our trip to Bend last summer (where I was pregnant!) so it was nice to get out there again. From the middle of the lake there was an awesome view of South Sister that I was not expecting and when I saw it, I literally almost fell off the board...ha! Stand-up paddleboarding is so relaxing, if we lived on a lake I would totally want to have one!

Taking selfies with Henry is my favorite, he's just the funniest little guy :)

The water in the lake was so clear!

Saturday night, we tried out a place near the Old Mill District that just opened up called Craft Kitchen and Brewery. This place has kind of a unique mix of counter service and traditional table service, but I liked the concept. It's definitely geared towards families with kids, but I really liked the food and beer!

Sunday morning, we hit up Sparrow Bakery (where I got this delicious vanilla bean latte!) and it was just as good as I remembered! I talk more about Sparrow here, but it's a must if you come to Bend!

Sunday afternoon on our way home, we stopped to swim at Suttle Lake. This is a great little spot and I'm so glad we decided to check it out as I'm sure we'll be going here on future Bend trips.
 It was fairly hot on Sunday and the water in the lake was pretty warm...Henry was loving it!

 Now that he can sit up really well, it was so much fun to have him in the water splashing around. I thought he might get cold or get kind of tired of it, but he seemed to really enjoy it!

Nothing like a weekend in Central Oregon to relax you, I'm already looking forward to our next visit!


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