Pre Thanksgiving Diner in Portland

Every year, since high-school I’ve cooked at least two Thanksgiving dinners, three being the typical number. This year isn’t going to be any different. We threw the first of three at our home with a few friends. We still don’t have a dining table, so we ended up bringing our patio furniture into the dining room. It actually worked out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.

To make the table more festive, I reused some of our old wedding decorations (burlap table runner, candle votives and vases) and filled the table with un-carved pumpkins from our Halloween decorations and fall-colored leaves from around our neighborhood. It took me about 15 minutes and cost nothing!

The food was simple: roasted chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, roasted butternut squash and an apple, pear and quince crostata. The crostata was definitely the highlight for me.

I’ve already made a delicious, yet simple chicken vegetable soup and a chicken rice porridge with the carcasses. I love leftovers. 

DIY Halloween Outdoor Movie Night

We decided to stay home on Halloween, so we could pass out candy to all the kids in the neighborhood. 

I still wanted to do something fun/scary, so we threw a mini outdoor movie screening on our front porch. 

For the movie screen, I used an old white full-size bedsheet (IKEA also has twin-size sheets for less than $5) and nailed it to the porch. I wanted to screen a silent movie so that we wouldn’t have to blast sound and disturb the neighbors. We used our projector and Apple TV to screen “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, which I highly recommend if you haven’t already seen it. (I believe it’s also available on Netflix.)

We served popcorn, apple cider hot toddies, homemade roasted pumpkin seeds (from the pumpkin I had carved the day before) and pizza. 

For the apple cider hot toddies:

  1. I heated up some unfiltered apple juice in a large pot.
  2. Threw in some mulling spice packets and steeped them for 5 minutes.
  3. Put a shot of bourbon into each mug and added the apple cider.

For the pumpkin seeds:

  • Pumpkin or Acorn Squash Seeds
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Cayenne
  1. Clean the seeds, spread onto a cookie sheet and let them dry overnight or until they are completely dry.
  2. The next day, put seeds into a bowl and mix in olive oil, salt and cayenne (you don’t have to be exact). 
  3. Roast at 275 degrees for 10-20 minutes until lightly toasted. Keep an eye on them, as roasting times can vary. 
  4. Let cool and enjoy. 

The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island

I was very eager for the holiday season to begin, so I convinced Ian to go pumpkin picking way earlier than normal (the last week of September). We headed to Sauvie Island and started our search for the perfect pumpkins.

There were a ton to choose from and we were particularly obsessed with the white ones. 

We were a little nervous that they wouldn’t even last till Halloween, but they are all still looking great. 

Home: Upstairs Bathroom Makeover

We’ve been taking it slow on updating and furnishing our new home. Each room needs to be painted/wallpapered and furnished exactly to our liking and it’s really hard to make decisions. 

The first room we decided to take on was the upstairs bathroom, because it’s small and easy to work with. 

I knew I wanted to paint the walls black. Of course, I used Pinterest to find some inspirational photos and these were the two bathrooms (12) that I fell in love with: 

Our upstairs bathroom is extremely small and doesn’t get much natural light, so painting it black was a bit of a risk, but we went for it anyways!


I used Sherwin Williams Chip It website to figure out what color of black paint we should get and the results came up with SW 6258 Tricorn Black.

It took a lot longer than we expected to paint such a tiny room, but we did manage to finish in one day. 


We added some hints of wood, white, mint and red to brighten up the room and I can’t be happier with the results. For the first week after the transformation, whenever I entered the bathroom I couldn’t help screaming out to Ian, “I LOVE THIS BATHROOM!” 


one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine


one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

A few things we need to fix, but haven’t yet had the time/money for:

  1. Rip up the linoleum and put in tiles.
  2. Possibly paint the cabinet white.
  3. Change all the fixtures (sink faucet, bath faucet and shower head) to gold. This probably won’t happen for a long time since gold bathroom fixtures are insanely expensive. 
  4. Get a better light fixture above the mirror. 

Spoken For - A Portland Wedding Event

Wood & Grain will be at our first ever wedding show, Spoken For, on September 22 from 12:00 to 07:00 pm in Portland!

  • "We believe that a party need not be dictated by tradition or limited by lack of options, but instead reflect the unique personalities and values of two people. It is from this notion that Spoken For was created, an upcoming event that aims to put a fresh spin on the typical wedding show." - Spoken For 

Check out our feature on their website. We’re super excited and extremely nervous!

Come visit us if you’re in the Portland area! There will be so many talented local vendors at the show and I can’t wait to visit their booths. 

The event costs $10.00 online or $15 at the door but I have 8 FREE tickets to share with you guys. Send me a tweet @woodandgrain and we’ll figure out a way to meet before the show. 

We’ve been working nonstop building the booth, but it’s going quite slowly. Here is a photo of our planned layout minus the leftest pallet:

Last Thursday on Alberta

Last Thursday is a street fair in Portland that occurs on the last Thursday of every month, hence the name. The best thing about it is that anyone can sell their handmade/homemade goodies for free. No booth or registration fees required! 

We decided to join in on the fun and sell some homemade coconut cupcakes and I used our old wedding decorations to jazz up the table.

Our goal was to sell at least one cupcake. Things were not looking so good the first hour. We were overhearing tons of people say “Are those real?” “No, those are candles.” It was quite frustrating. A kid would scream, “CUPCAKES!” and the mother would respond with “No, those aren’t real” and pull the child away from our table. This happened THREE times.

Luckily, by the second hour we had sold one! I was super excited and ready to go home…just kidding. By the end of the night, we had sold all except one lonely cupcake (out of fifteen). I think the one cupcake on a big 4 foot table made people nervous. So Ian scarfed that bad boy down and we packed it up.

It was a lot of fun and a completely new experience. We were practicing for the real deal coming up on September 22, which I’ll be posting about soon.

Birthday Weekend in Victoria, BC

I turned 27 last weekend and Ian surprised me with a trip to Victoria, BC! 

We packed our backpacks, drove 4 hours to Port Angeles, WA and took a one and a half hour boat ride to Victoria. Not bad for going to a different country! The only disappointing part was that they didn’t stamp my passport. Boo! 

It was a surprisingly relaxing weekend of sleeping in, eating, shopping and exploring. We stayed in a well-designed loft in Chinatown that Ian had found on AirBnB

I was a little nervous at first when I saw the door and hallway.

But once you go up the stairs, beams of natural light hit our faces and we were in awe.

I was seriously blown away at how well the loft was decorated. It was so simple, yet perfect…particularly the walls. 

The kitchen, however, was by far my favorite.

We didn’t have access to Yelp or Internet during our stay, except for little bursts of stolen WiFi, so we relied on recommendations from our host, local shop owners and just looking for long lines. 


  • The Reef (caribbean) - Get the plantain chips…the jerk mayo that comes with it was so addicting. 
  • Jam Cafe (brunch) - SO GOOD. The Charlie Bowl was really tasty and apparently the french toast and banana pancakes are supposed to be amazing, though we didn’t get to try them. 
  • Pizzeria Prima Strada (pizza) - Delicious pizza with great local beers on tap
  • Red Fish Blue Fish (fish food cart) - We waited in line for almost an hour and the scallop tacos were definitely worth the wait.


  • Beacon Hill Park 

  • Peacocks at Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

  • Enjoyed the view at the end of Cook St. in Beacon Hill Park

Ditched the birthday candles this year and replaced them with a dandelion. 


The Damage

one | Brixton via Still Life for Her
two | Red Cap Cards via Paboom 
three | Erin Templeton via Still Life for Her
four | Wolf Circus Jewelry via Suasion 
fivefelt factory via The Milkman’s Daughter  
six | laonato via Paboom

Film Friday - Palmer, Alaska

This week’s film photos are from our trip to Alaska in the winter of ‘09. We went cross-country skiing for the first time around Hatcher Pass and Independence Mine State Historical Park.

We rented skis from the REI in Anchorage and headed over to Hatcher Pass Lodge. We skied all afternoon until the sun went down and want sledding all night until it was time to sleep. Our lodging for the night was one of their rustic cabins. The same cabins were in an episode of Mythbusters about cabin fever and also in An Idiot Abroad

Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim 

A Place to Call Home

After years and years of renting, we finally bought our first home! It is a newly renovated, hundred-year-old home in an amazing neighborhood in the Northeast. This is a side view of the house. 

It has dark hardwood floors throughout and gorgeous wainscoting on the first floor. 

One of my favorite features is the nook. It’s not huge and we’re not sure what we’re going to do with it yet, but I love nooks.

Some other features that are awesome but not really useful are the beautiful french doors that open up to the living room and the cool pocket doors that lead into the dining room.

The seller also put some amazing light fixtures with antique-style bulbs throughout the house. 

It’s going to be a challenge furnishing this old home and I have no idea where to begin…but I’m super excited! 

Film Friday - Vancouver, BC

I love shooting with film. The only problem is I rarely have time to scan the developed film, so I end up never actually seeing what I shot until several months later. Well this series is going to force me to get on it. I’ll be picking a random set of film strips from my unorganized pile of developed film and posting a few of my favorites from that set, unprocessed. 

First up are from my surprise birthday trip two years ago to Vancouver, BC, Canada. These are from our bike ride around Stanley Park. 

Pentax K1000