Portland OR

I’m about the most inconsistent blogger ever.  I can attribute my inconsistency to a lot of things, most of which I am ok with taking priority over a blog.  Some I am not.  I have realized my trouble is I have no real purpose in blogging.  I am not documenting a child’s life, I’m not promoting a business, I’m not altering the course of history in any way.  I’m just writing when I have something to write, which, for my OCD nature, purposeless writing often becomes more frustrating than it is rewarding.

Alas, the other side of my OCD nature kicks in that reminds myself that I do not like things to go unfinished.  The main reason that while watching ‘You’ve Got Mail’ for the 3,021st time last night I picked up a cross stitching project I’ve had going for about two years to keep my hands busy.  I take the cake for being the most complex while simultaneously uncomplex creature God ever set his mind to.

There is a blog that I read that posted an update the other day.  Its first since October.  I was elated.  I love reading her blog posts.  I am now realizing that I, too, have not posted since October of last year. So much has happened since October.  We are five months closer to William finishing graduate school (he finishes in May or June…I should know, but I cannot remember).  We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at home in Texas with our families.  I went Christmas crazy on our house again.  No glitter though, William vetoes all Christmas decor with glitter.  We had company staying with us for the first 16 days of 2013.  And most recently, we’ve bought a new car and we’re headed to LA in 9 short days!

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Our new wheels! 2013 Toyota Rav4!

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Here she is from the front!

And here she is from the back!

And here she is from the back!

I am so thankful we were able to buy this car!!  We have had one car since moving to Portland and it has been very tough.  I know that a HUGE part of the US population lives as a one car household, however, when you grow up in the South in cities that are not bike/walking friendly, you’re really used to having your own set of wheels.

My sweet husband is such a trooper.  I drive at least three days a week for my job so there was no question who was getting the car when we consolidated to one before moving to Portland.  He diligently rode his bike all year last year in the rain and cold.  So glad he’s not going to have to do that any longer!


In nine short days, we’re headed to L.A.!  This will be my first visit to CA that I can remember!! Apparently I went when I was a young child, but that doesn’t count because I don’t remember it! William and our dear friend, Eric Trine, are having a show together (read about it here) at Poketo in downtown LA.  I’m taking a few extra days off and Heather (Eric’s wife, aka one of my favorite people on this Earth) is going to show me all of the awesome places in L.A.!!

So much happening in our little life.  I have a craft project nearing completion that I hope to be able to share soon.  I’m pretty proud of it, not going to lie.  Other than that, life is the same here at Dixieland Delight!


Well I thought this would be fun and/or interesting.  I’m actually sitting here waiting on my iMac to download the new OS, which is taking forever, and started looking back through old pictures stored in my iPhoto.  The thought crossed my mind how different each of our places of residence have been since we’ve been married.  We’ve lived in 2 apartments (in Austin) and 1 house (in Portland).

Apt. #1/Nelray Blvd., Austin, TX

Our first place! The Nelray Condos! We had our very own Ms. Kravitz who monitored how you threw your trash away, and a guy downstairs growing a large amount of marijuana.  Interesting times…

In my opinion, the first place was much more “William” than me.  We were both still trying to figure out what we liked around us, and I was still trying to figure out how to make William not live in Grandma’s house.  We were convinced there for a little while that my love for quilts and plants might drive him away, but luckily the story has a happy ending.

Quick funny story about the apt. on Nelray.  I never saw it until we walked in on move in day.  We were so busy between graduating from college, Christmas with our families, and the wedding that I never had time to go look.  AND we thought we were moving to Portland after we got married until about a month before the wedding, so that made things a little difficult.  William and our amazing friends Brad and Tiffany went down to Austin to scope out/sign a lease on the first decent place without roaches that they could find.  When I first walked into the apt. I cried.  It was so small.  I sat down on the floor in the living room and cried like a little brat.  And as the story goes, or as William tells it, after I ate some Chick-fil-A and my mom and I started unloading all of my new dishes and kitchen appliances into the cabinets, I perked right up.  I did have a little meltdown, I’ll admit it.  But looking back, that apt. was my favorite.  I loved it.

Top left: The guest bedroom (see, my love of quilts is in full force!), Top right: Kitchen, Bottom left: Living room, Bottom right: Living room book case from IKEA that my husband and father put together. Surprised that things stood as long as it did!

Other than our bed and coffee table, which are STILL on loan from my parents, everything in our first place was from IKEA.  My sweet dad and husband built our whole place!  Ha!  It was 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms in 600 square feet.  Yeah, you read that right.  There was only one spot in the whole apartment you could go and not see everything/everyone else in the place…made our first marital fights quite interesting.

Apt. #2/Bull Creek Rd., Austin, TX

Our second home equipped with neighbors with 2 yapping pups we wanted to kill and a communal garbage shoot that apparently no one knew how to use because they’d just pile their trash outside the door. It was gross.

After living on what seemed like each other’s laps for a year, we decided we needed more space.  My amazing husband spent his afternoon with a horribly annoying real estate person and found our second apartment.  We moved into the Post West Apartment complex which was closer to work for me and was brand spankin’ new!  I didn’t know what to do with stainless steel appliances AND a garbage disposal (something that I no longer have here in Portland and it makes me sad).  We definitely traded ‘character’ for ‘newness’ in our second place, but we made it our own as best we could.

Top left: Our Bedroom, Top right: Living room, Bottom left: Entry, Bottom right: Same IKEA shelving in apt #2!

This apartment felt more like me than William, in my opinion.  Looking back, it was a little too feminine I think.  We got to paint accent walls in this place which we were thrilled about.  We bought the vinyl trees from Etsy but failed to consider what the Austin heat and humidity would do to their ability to stick on the wall.  Word to the wise.  Do NOT use Gorilla Glue to re-apply vinyl on walls.  That stuff does its job.  The vinyl will not come off.  Ha!!  Oops.

House #1/34th Ave., Portland, OR

And last but not least, our humble little Portland abode. I have no complaints about it, except I miss my garbage disposal. But they make you compost here anyway…

And last, but certainly not least, here is our home now.  We rent this place from a lovely couple who lives in California.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know that we had a heck of a time finding a place to live in Portland while still living in Austin.  Words cannot express how thankful I am for this house.  This one FINALLY feels like both of us.  It has so much character anyway and we took our time with the details.  We built our headboard, shelving, and dining room table.  All of our artwork (or new artwork) fits us both perfectly.  I’m just thankful that after almost 4 years of marriage we finally have a place that feels like home.  And more importantly feels like a perfect combo between our styles.  WHEW!

Top left: Dining room with Loretta posing for the photo, Top right: Living Room, Bottom left: Kitchen, Bottom right: Our bedroom

I am really really proud of this place.  It is finally some place that I have room to entertain, which I do often.  We finally have two full sized beds so company doesn’t have to sleep on the floor.  I’m convinced that I will never again be able to live in a house that does not have a basement.  That is one thing these PacNW folks have RIGHT!  BASEMENTS ARE THE BEST INVENTION EVER!  Texas, get it together!  It’s cool in the summer, spacious, only semi-creepy, and I can throw things down there and forget about them (which I never do.  HA!  Do it all the time).

I can definitely say that while Portland doesn’t yet feel exactly like “home”, our house definitely does.  I’m proud of us for making a house a home.  And there you go!  For those of you who like house tours like I do, I hope this was an enjoyable read! 🙂

Occasionally I have really brilliant ideas.  (stress on the word occasionally)  And though I already know they are brilliant, they tend to take a bit of convincing to get William on board.  The building of our Cornhole set was no different.

Momentary pause because I have been told as of late that PacNWestern folk are not familiar with Cornhole (aka Baggo, Corn Bag Toss).  I want no accusation that this is a crazy Southern game, even though it is, because it is legit.  It has its own Wikipedia page!

I have always loved Cornhole.  We played during college on game days and they are wonderful memories for me.  It’s the little things, you know.  Throwing a bean bag at a hole.  Doesn’t get much better than that.  I found this site that had step-by-step instructions (amazing by the way) for making a Cornhole set and I decided that it was nothing that we couldn’t do!  After we got the project underway, which involved me convincing William we needed this for our backyard, it was a pretty simple process. Like anything William and I undertake, our creative minds clashed from time to time, but we were both SO pleased with the way these turned out.

Mr. Fancy Pants hard at work!

The first few steps were to sand, stand, and tape off our design. I will say that I and I alone did the amazing tape job. Pat me on the back!

They are exactly what I wanted.  Old school backyard game feel–very vintage varsity.  LOVE THEM!  I thought I’d share our building process via photos.  Our new favorite is to pack them up and take them to Laurelhurst Park for games.  There is SO much more space and we always pick up a few extra players who want to join in.

Going to be totally honest. I did not make these. Didn’t really even consider it. There are so many people who sell them for VERY reasonable prices on Etsy. I purchased mine from this lady who is selling to help her children pay off their college loans!

Painting progress after one evening.

And the design is revealed! Tape came off wonderfully (thanks to me) and all we had left was William’s hand painted type!

Just drying away in the shed…

TA-DA! A finished product! Above is our inaugural game. I lost. 24-18.  It was probably the intimidating type! I think I was playing on the ‘Nice Try Sucker!’ board…It gets in your head if you don’t watch out!

**Note:  The Bryant’s added a rule to the traditional Cornhole game which you should know if you ever come play with us.  We have our amazing friend Ryan to thank for this one.  If you make a ‘swish’ into the Cornhole, we’ll give you 5 points rather than the traditional 3 points…because let’s be honest, while I’m aiming to become the next Cornhole Champion, William is just using this as another way to try and impersonate his childhood hero.  So for that, we have to honor MJ.  Michael Jordan, not Jackson.  Though I’m not sure either of them play(ed) Cornhole.  

First of all, I was going to apologize for how long it’s been since I’ve posted, however, I then thought there is no reason to apologize.  Y’all have other things to do with your life other than reading my blog! A lot has been happening up here in the Northwest in my absence, though.  One thing I can say for William and I, we don’t like sitting around on our rumps!  I do have a ton of things I want to blog about over the next few days, but I’m going to start with my fabulous evening that I had last night with my newly established Portland Bunco group!  Yes, you read that right, Sally has brought Bunco to the NW.  Well, I’m sure I’m not the only one but hey I’ll give myself a little credit with initiating this group of ladies to the Bunco world!

I didn't have a ton of options for "dice inspired" invites so this one had to do the trick.

The idea came during a Supper Club that I was recently invited to join with a group of Junior League ladies.  I am not sure how we started talking about it, but it was mentioned that none of the girls knew how to play Bunco.  I thought to myself, “BLASPHEMY!” and vowed to teach the girls one of the greatest Southern ladies games known to man.  You need tables of 4 and there were 8 of us there so we each invited one friend to play which gave us a great group of girls and several that I hadn’t had a chance to get to know yet, so I was really excited for the chance to meet some new girls!

In classic Sally fashion, I got carried away with my decor.  I want to come back in my next life as Martha Stewart so just don’t judge me, ok?  I will say, everything that I did was quite simple and had a great effect.  I used some leftover burlap and painted large dice in the center with some paint I had lying around.  The table cloths actually turned out better than I had imagined! AND they can be reused each month, though our house did smell a bit like a barn.  I printed out large dice from an image I found online and backed them with cardboard for the table markers to the girls knew how to travel between tables.


Tables 2 and 3 for Bunco Night!

And lastly, I made our Bunco cards to keep up with your games and buncos as you go along.  These I wasn’t too pleased with, however I am hoping I can bribe my husband into helping me with a new design before next month.  Not going to hold my breath on that one though…


Close up of our "score cards" that I made. These help us keep track of how many games and Buncos each gal has won.


Close up of the table cloths that I made. Super easy--Just some left over burlap and I painted dice on them to make them a little more festive!

If you’ve never played Bunco, let me fill you in a little bit.  You’re trying to trying to roll 6’s on three dice and when you roll all three at the same time, that is called a Bunco.  When one is rolled, everyone at the table wants to grab them.  Let me paint you a picture, 12 women, 12 wine glasses, three tables of rolling dice, excitement everywhere, a Bunco is rolled, women screaming, jumping out of their chairs, there is grabbing involved…

Lets say this.  It is a MIRACLE none of the wine glasses went crashing to the floor because we were all SO into the game!  [Spoiler alert for my Bunco ladies] So, I emailed to my sweet family friend, Whitney, owner of Polka Dot Parties, who has been my go-to on amazing party/tailgating accessories for a while for help!  If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I have ordered some amazing Alabama/MSU cups and koozies from her that were a huge hit at our tailgate this year in Mississippi. Check those out here.  Thanks to Whitney, I’ll be ready for next month’s Bunco night with these amazing cups!  Drinks may still go flying when a Bunco is rolled, but at least cups don’t shatter on the floor!  Now us ladies can let the Buncos roll in style!

Coming to a Bunco night near you! (well only near you if you live in Portland), but seriously, how wonderful are these!?

Little side note: please check out Polka Dot Parties‘ website. Whitney is fun, talented, and everything I’ve ever purchased from her has been amazing!

And now for some photos from the evening.  We had such a great time and it was awesome getting to know the girls who came I hadn’t spent time with yet.  I can say that I have successfully roped them all into the fun world that is Bunco!  As a friend once said, “All good things really do come from the South!”


Sweet ladies starting at Table 2!


Ladies starting at Table 3!


Sweet Kate and Casey! Great picture of you two ladies!


Lucky ladies of Table 1 at the start of the game!


Action shot! These girls were really great sports with all of my photo taking. (Side note, Casey I see you trying to sneak a punch on your card!!)


So far, so good! NOTE! I have a Bunco punch! I actually rolled TWO Buncos last night! I never roll Buncos!


Mrs. Corrine looking beautiful and me trying to be silly blowing on my dice for good luck.


Our winners! Abby: Most Buncos, Anna: Low Games, Shannon: "Boobie Prize" or Consolation, Corrine: High Games, Marnie: 2nd High Games


AND...of course, a group shot with our final Bunco cards! Quite a successful first go around if I do say so myself.

Have I mentioned how much I love these ladies?!

I had been looking forward to our next supper club for weeks!  And like always, these ladies never cease to be amazing and fun.  Casey and Ashley co-hosted our December supper club in the Pearl district in Downtown Portland!  Our significant others were also invited which made it SO fun!  All of the girls were able to make it except for our sweet Camden who had given birth to her first baby the day before!  (Woo Woo Camden!  We missed you!)  I am sad to say I did not take a picture of all of our food!  I’m not sure what is wrong with me!  It was a spread like you’ve never seen!

Beautiful invitation for our December JLP Supper Club!

The theme was surf ‘n turf!  Ashley made an incredible pork tenderloin and Casey had fantastic salmon!  I brought bacon wrapped green bean bundles (a family favorite) and a mushroom and rice dish.  We also had roasted potatoes, candied yams, a spinach salad with pecans and pears, AMAZING cornbread, and spaetzle!  I had never had spaetzle before but I loved it!  We had a bread pudding dessert and peppermint bark that was melt in your mouth good.  And after typing all of that out I’m regretting once again that I didn’t take a picture!

Beautiful ladies. Courtney, Caitlin, Shannon, and Larissa
Hostess with the mostess! Casey and I!
More lovely ladies! Ashley, Kate, myself, and Casey.

William had met a few of the guys before, but I am so glad he got to met the rest of the gang. Everyone mixed and mingled so well…not sure why we wouldn’t but it is wonderful how well we all get along.  We do all share one important thing in common…the South (well other than Shannon and she’s our Northerner that we love dearly).  One thing is for sure about Southern women, we’ve never met a stranger!  There is so much personality in the room when we all get together–makes for a wonderful time!

Funny side note, this picture pose was not my idea, however my mom has a photo just like this of her and her sister and some of their cousins at the beach years ago.  They have tried to recreate the picture a few times at different family gatherings and it always made me laugh.  Now look at me…doing the can can pose myself, WHICH I might add was no small feat in that pencil skirt!  And I would like to give a supreme shout out to Miss Courtney who has an excellently pointed toe in this picture!

If you only knew how hard this photo was to take…
Courtney and I…and me with a hilarious face because Ashley’s dog was licking my chin.
The OTHER hostess with the mostess!

A good time was had by all!  Already looking forward to January’s dinner!  Love love LOVE these girls!!!

Funny side note about Mrs. Ashley who I’m posing with in the above picture.  Her and her husband are amazing and we love them so much already.  But, when we were first meeting we realized that we have some really good mutual friends!  Ashley grew up right down the street from one of my little sisters in Pi Phi from college, AND Alex is in a program car dealership owners with a good friend of mine from home!  Texarkana is a small place my friends…but we get around apparently!  (in a good way!)  Small, small world!

The whole gang!

This Christmas marks several firsts.  Some I’m excited about, some not so much.  Tomorrow will mark the FIRST time in my 25 years of life I chopped down my own Christmas tree.  THIS I am very excited about.  I researched a lot of tree farms (and there were a lot to choose from).  But, I have made my selection.  We’re headed to Helvetia Christmas Tree Farms in Beaverton, OR.  I grabbed these from their website.

Getting them all ready to go to their Christmas home!
Check out all of those trees in the background! And if someone has to be carryin’ a tree…it isn’t going to be me!  Sorry Mr. Fancy Pants.

I’ve picked out exactly where I want to have the tree.  I think we need a tall, skinny one.  We have pretty high ceilings so I’m looking for an 8 footer.  We’ve got sunshine in the forecast for Portland tomorrow (shocking for this time of year) and we’re headed out early!  We’re going to have breakfast at our favorite spot and then head out!  Cannot.  Wait.

On another note, I start decorating our home tomorrow for the first time alone.  My mom has been with me every year to make our apartment Christmasy and wonderful.  This year I’m on my own and there is SUCH pressure!  Mr. Fancy Pants is helpful for the tree but decorating isn’t his cup of tea.  I’m not sure if I have mentioned it before but Mr. Fancy Pants has a serious glitter aversion.  I have to limit the amount of glittery decor that enters our house in December or he’s not a happy camper!  Not sure if you’ve ever noticed, but the words Christmas and glitter are almost interchangeable (not in the meaning or what they stand for–that’s not what I mean, it’s just EVERYTHING has glitter).

This is also the first year for me to do a count down of Christmas presents for Mr. Fancy Pants.  I’ll dedicate a couple of posts to this but for your previewing pleasure, I’ve included days 1 and 2 captured below.  One the first day of Christmas his true love gave to him…a Pendleton scarf!  And on the second day of Christmas his true love gave to him…an Alabama tshirt!

Days 1 and 2 down…23 to go!

I started him out with good ones.  All of them aren’t so fancy.  I bought 25 gifts and stayed (almost) at my budget.  So expect to see some funny stuff over the next 23 days.  I thought this would be a fun change to the norm, and we have to travel to Texas with every gift we’re giving this year, so I was thinking ahead!  We’ll only have to travel with the last 3 of his gifts!

T-minus 1 week until our annual Christmas party!  We will miss all of our Austin friends this year but are excited about the plans for the celebration!  AND Mr. Fancy Pants finished our Christmas card today and it’s off to be letter pressed.  He never ceases to amaze me.  I hope everyone has survived the Thanksgiving turkey coma and have pulled on their Christmastime britches!  We sure have!

Invite for our “Italian Night” Supper Club!

I was looking forward to our next Supper Club from the day after our first one ended!  We had such a good time!  Camden, our mommy-to-be, offered to host the second supper club because her first baby is due soon and she wanted to host before he was born (SO sweet of her by the way).  She picked an “italian style dinner party” as her theme.  Pasta and bread?  Sign me up!

The way we do our rotation, the month after you host, all you have to bring are beverages.  So I wasn’t in charge of any food this go around.  But boy can those other ladies cook!

Our wine collection for the dinner–notice the alcohol free Merlot in the middle for our mommy-to-be!! 🙂
And the running joke that we were going to steal Camden’s china because we all loved it so much.

Camden was so generous to offer to host before her baby was born.  I can’t imagine getting ready for a baby and throwing a dinner party at the same time but she did it like a pro!  One of the best parts of doing this in each other’s homes is seeing where we all live.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know these ladies so much but seeing them in their environment and their own home makes it really fun as well.  And let’s be honest, what Southern lady (and I mentioned in my first post that a lot of us are from the South) DOESN’T like an excuse to whip out all of her fancy china and serving pieces!?

Well Camden put us all to SHAME with her china.  We joked all night about how we were going to steal it.  I am fairly certain she still has all of her plates, but LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY ARE!  As a side note, when I got married I swore that I wasn’t going to be the lady with all of the dishes.  I was going to be practical.  All I needed was one set.  HA! Hilarious!  I’m worse than any one I know.


For our dinner, Camden had pasta with two different kinds of sauce: a traditional Bolognese and a creamy gorgonzola.  To.  Die.  For.  She also had prosciutto wrapped asparagus.  Casey brought bruschetta–probably some of the best I’ve ever had! Shannon brought a wonderful salad with pears, nuts, and goat cheese.  Larissa made chicken marsala that was insanely good.  And Caitlin brought these chocolate cookies that for the life of me I cannot remember which cookbook she got them out of but they were incredible!

Beautiful ladies. Caitlin, myself, and Larissa.
More lovely ladies! Myself, Camden, and Casey.

Needless to say, at the end of the evening I was quite full.  I cannot remember if I had mentioned this before but we’re going to make a little cookbook of all of our recipes!  Not sure how long we’ll go before we put it together but I am hoping a good while!  More time with the girls and more recipes!  I am in charge of photos so the handy dandy tripod made the trip to the supper club as well.  I promise I DO leave home with out it–though you never know when you’ll need a tripod!

Our next supper club is our holiday party and is going to involve girls and dates/husbands!  REALLY excited about that one because we’ll get to meet everyone’s significant other!  The theme is “surf and turf”!  I can’t wait!  SO thankful for these ladies!

Group shot! Myself, Camden, Caitlin, Larissa, Casey and Shannon!