A Crafty Halloween

Time has seemed ever so much more precious and valuable after having our son. Productive free time also seems to be rare anymore between our work schedules and time with Monkey. Not that our time spent with him isn’t productive…it is just productive in an entirely different way ;-) Often times, by the end of my work days or days at home with Monkey, all I want to do is sit in front of the television and veg out. And, for those of you who know me, this is definitely not part of my usual M.O. I have never before been big on television watching on a regular basis, and I hope to be able to change this again.

So, that is my excuse for such a long delay here on the blog. Lack of time.

I have, however, somehow managed to carve out a few little windows here and there to craft some Pinterest finds. One in particular is Monkey’s dinosaur tail for his Halloween costume.

We will be answering the door for Trick or Treaters as dinosaurs tomorrow, which should be fun for him to experience and for us to take in.


It is really adorable to see him walking around with his tail on. He seems to enjoy wearing the thing.

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone! We will be looking forward to seeing some of your photos and costume ideas.

And, I will try to get on here more than once a month too!




I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends! We had a really lovely time. This was my first year celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas with my brother in about 15+ years. Since he has always worked in the service industry, he has had to work on all of the holidays, and then we lived away from one another for about eight of those years. I continuously pinch myself to believe that he truly lives here in Portland.

Josh and I gifted Sterling and Eric a pair of jeans each. The running joke since they came to Portland has been that we were going to give them skinny jeans for Christmas, but we opted instead for a regular fit so they would actually wear them. Sterling’s however were so small on him that they ended up looking like skinny jeans and now he truly believes that we are trying to convert him into some kind of Portland hipster. Don’t worry dear brother…I will not do such a thing. I was just trying to bring you into 2010, but I guess you can roll with the 90’s – especially after Portlandia comes out! (S-N-A-K-E!!!!!)

Unfortunately, Josh had to work on Christmas Day, so Sterling and I brought out the ol’ Male Nurse figurine and made sure Josh would be represented.

He mostly hung out around the chips and dip, mingling and partaking in the food and imbibing. It seemed as though that would be an accurate representation of the real Josh.

Brad and Tiffany and their mini Schiff-on-the-way even joined us for Christmas Eve dinner! It was wonderful to have them!

We also had the pleasure of having my two cousins and aunt and uncle here for a visit as well! It was so wonderful having family here with us, and since we won’t see Alisha again until her graduation in the Spring, it was really nice to get to hang out some. I call her my “Soul Sister,” because although we are cousins, we have always felt more like sisters throughout our lives. (And just for the record, we started using the term Soul Sisters long before the song by Train). LOL.

A family photo op:

Anyhow, thank you to all of you who travelled out here from afar and Season’s Greetings to those who we could not spend the holidays with! Our loves goes out to all of you!

Tiny Treat Boxes

First off, thank you so much to those who left encouraging words for me in my last post. They were greatly appreciated!

Over at our little abode, we have been working on little gifts for some family members. Apparently, the Montgomery’s are really into Almond Rocca, Cashews, and Chocolate Truffles. Are there any families that aren’t though? Really!

Anyhow, Instead of buying little candy tins, I decided it would be a great idea to just make origami boxes to put them in and tie a bow around the three individually boxed treats.

Josh is pretty sure he now has a future career in box making, given that his boxes were so perfectly constructed (in comparison to mine).

He was feeling quite proud of the creations…really he is just trying to appease me in my little craft idea. But it worked. It was a fun thing to do together with Christmas tunes playing in the background.

Spring Brunch and Beverage Hunt

Every year, on Easter Sunday, our friends get together for a brunch to celebrate Easter and Spring’s arrival (finally!). Somehow in that first year, one of us had the idea to have an adult Easter Egg Hunt after the kids do theirs. It sort of morphed in ways things do and without getting too detailed, it became a “beverage hunt.”  Our guests get crafty and decorate beverages ahead of time and show up ready to hunt. One of the years the weather was actually nice enough to sit outside.

For the brunch this year, we had a waffle bar and delicious savory treats that other guests put together. Josh accidentally scheduled himself to work this year, but thanks to my great friends Tiffany and Johnna, I had two fabulous co-hosts for the party. The food spread (waffle bar) was Tiffany’s brilliant idea and it was a hit!

tiffany and laura helping to set up the party

They actually came over on Friday to help me put the space together (thanks girls!). They even assisted me in tying bows around slippers (actually they were just new socks but slippers would be better) for the front entry so people would remove shoes at the door. I made some signs and purchased some nice baskets at World Market for everything to go in…


It is always so muddy around Easter and our house gets trashed if we don’t have people take their shoes off. So, this was my solution. I like it as a new rule for our house. It makes things feel cleaner. Josh and I have been following the new policy so far. Anyhow, more about the party and less about my shoes off signs. ha!

First, the kids searched for the eggs hidden by the easter bunny (in past years they have also decorated juice cans or sodas for the easter bunny to hide as well).

Then it was the adults turn…

…much fun was had by all…

Whoever said adults can’t have fun too?!

Love Always, PDX

love noodle.

Last year, I had the best Valentines Day imaginable. And, it was not because of diamonds, fancy locales, or any other gesture of the sort. It was because we spent the entire day disguised, handing out handmade valentines to complete strangers.

a clean getaway

Not only was it marvelous to spend the days leading up it with two of my favorite girlfriends, Alisha and Johnna, making all 175 valentines, but handing the valentines out to people just felt so wonderful!

We went to brunch that morning at Broder Cafe and then piled into the car, clad in curious and secretive disguises (It all felt very Amelie). Scott and Josh, in fake mustaches and sunglasses, drove us around town while we jumped out of the car in black bandit masks and bouncing heart headbands to give the valentines to random strangers.

What did we call the project? Love Always Portland. It was supposed to be a super-secretive project that we vowed to tell no one about, but when some photos landed on facebook about a week ago, I took that as an opportunity to share it here and potentially recruit more LAP members to join in on the fun this year!

clean getaway #2

the valentine bug!

Look how confused those little girls look at the store that Alisha is coming out of. “Okay, I know about Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny, but WHO was that?”

At the days end, when we arrived home exhausted and needing a re-charge,  Alisha and I logged into the blog to see if anyone had left a comment about their valentines. There was one single comment on there (not that we had expected any at all). This comment alone made all of the time we put into the project more than worth it. It was from a woman who had gotten one of the valentines we had left on her car late in the eve of Valentines Day. She had found it that morning.

She said that her late husband used to leave little love letters on her car for her. Ever since he had passed away three years prior, the holiday had always been quite lonely and difficult for her. When she came across the card the morning of Valentines Day, she said she cried tears of joy, as if in some way he were speaking to her through the universe…or through this little project.

I cried too. It was the most touching moment for all of us involved.

How to Plan a Wedding in One Week

The answer to the title of this blog post is: WITH GREAT FRIENDS!

First, you send out an email invite telling people that you are going to be legally marrying your husband the following Sunday and despite the fact that it is the busy holiday season, you hope some people might show up. Then on Monday you pick up Prosecco, pomagranite juice, pom seeds, sparkling water. and tea so you have the drinks covered. (Drinks which Lucinda ended up pouring for the guests — a big thank you).

(photo by Jessica Collins)

Then, you start thinking about what you might wear on Tuesday (out loud to your super fancy fashionista friend Johnna Wells). In turn, your super fancy fashionista friend then happens to find the most perfect vintage 60’s shift dress that you always wanted to wear at your wedding but never knew it. (thank you for having such great style and for being so thoughtful). You then try on said dress right before getting ready for a Thursday night holiday party and realize that it might need some last minute adjustments to actually work out to wear on Sunday.

at the Wema studio...

Then, while attending the Thursday evening holiday party, you run into your dear fashion designer friend Wendi Martin of Wema Designs who asks what you are going to wear and when you explain she tells you to stop on by her lovely studio in the morning and she will see what she can do. On that same night, your friend Julie arrives from Tortola, BVI to stay with you for the week and you are so happy to have her that you stay out together laughing with friends until 2:30AM.

the dress fairies - Wendi on left, Johnna on right

The next morning, you stop by the studio after having slept for maybe four hours and Wendi takes in the extra 8″ on the dress so it fits like a glove, surges the straight stitch, cleans up the seams, then tells you there is no charge.  (thank you immensely!)

You’re feeling pretty sure of yourelf at this point now that it is Friday and you have a dress for Sunday AND have a pretty good idea of which heels you are going to wear with the dress. But then you start thinking more about the food menu on the way home from work that day and you know that is still the big task left over but you are too tired from lack of sleep the night before that you can’t bring yourself to stop by the store on the way home to pick up the fixings. Plus you need to save energy for the other holiday party at Kris’ house that evening. Another big breakthrough occurs when you get home and Brad and Tiffany show up to the house with a few dozen extra champagne glasses they loan you for the party! (Thank you – they were definitely used).

With a cat nap to recharge you, you head out again in cocktail attire and high heels to another fun-filled party. That night, Kris offers to come over early on Sunday and prep food. (How would I do all of these things without wonderful friends? Need I remind you that I never truly stressed out longer than a minute about anything!)

This time, you get home at a reasonable hour because you know that Saturday is going to be a very busy day…meanwhile you are still trying to wrap up a project in Santa’s sweatshop you are running in your basement so you can have Christmas gifts to hand out!

Tthe little elf in Santa's sweatshop!

As if Andy Paulson was not doing enough by marrying you and your husband on Sunday, he stops by the house to help us troubleshoot some screen printing questions  — (this is Josh’s frist project with his new printing equipment)!

Josh prepping the screen

Once you finish up the Christmas project, (which hopefully people don’t think is the lamest gift ever) Josh and Andy do a little Blazer’s secret handshaking.

andy and josh doing the blazer's handshake

When you wake up on Saturday morning, your lovely friend Julie proposes a plan: we will go to breakfast together, plan the menu, then head to the store and pick up everything we need. So we go for bagels and lox at Kenny and Zukes in NW where we happen to run into Henry Kibit, chef at DOC restaurant in Portland as we are planning the menu. He gives some really great suggestions on how to make your tea sandwiches pop! (Thank you for the tips!).

(photo by Jessica Collins)

So you leave from there and stop by Pearl Bakery, and New Seasons for the final items. At this point your friend Julie makes you smile when she spends time testing out the different salami and pate in the deli and says that now it really feels like a wedding because she is sampling the food for the menu.

On Saturday night, after bringing home the groceries and just before the next evening of parties, you are able to complete your white elephant gift just in time to be at your friend Anthony’s by 6pm. At which point, you feel as though you had accomplished enough and should celebrate by having a few glasses of wine (keep in mind that I am not really a drinker). As you are leaving that party to head over to Matt and Jessica’s annual holiday party, you decide it would be a great idea to talk to your husband while walking backwards out of the house and turn just in time to find yourself falling down 4-5 concrete stairs. During the frenzy of making sure the injured person is going to live, the world slows down and you watch how incredibly thoughtful and carefully your husband is in taking care of you and suddenly you remember once again (for your second wedding) that this is what this is all about. You and him. This is the man who is your rock in life. The person who lifts you up when you are down, or literally picks you up when you fall and dresses your leg with gauze:

pre-wedding mishap

The morning of the legal wedding ceremony arrives and you are so glad that you happened to buy those cute grey boots recently so you can wear them instead of heels to cover up the bandages. Julie starts cooking up the super amazing latkes she is so good at making. Kris Dyer and Ali Rahimi arrive to make the tea sandwhiches and salad (Alicia Paulson helps too once she arrives). Josh runs to Sweetness Bakery to pick up an order of pastries and then to Stumptown to get more coffee. Before you know it, your house is packed with about 30 wonderful friends and some family that are able to make it to your second wedding.

When the time comes, Andy reads a sincere speech with some good humor thrown into the mix. You and your now legal husband say “I will,” and you finally, after three years of already being married (without the paperwork), you become a Montgomery. And, you were able to look deeply into eachother’s eyes during the process (something you were both too nervous to do in the original ceremony) and know that you mean it and that your love truly has grown greatly over the years.

our neighbor told us we looked very "mad men"

THAT is how to plan a wedding in one week! With a group of wonderful and supportive friends to stand by your side without even needing to ask for their help! They just do it because they care.

tis the season….

…for crafts, weddings, and holiday gifts!

It’s been a while since my last post. Josh and I have been busy cutting fabric over the weekend for our little christmas project we are working on. It is super fun to get crafty with the husband. Speaking of “husband,” Josh and I are planning on an official wedding certificate signing in the upcoming weekend (three years past our Mexico wedding in 2006)! We were going back and forth on just heading down to the courthouse verses putting something together at home and hiring an officiant. Our answer came to us as Josh was passing by his buddy Andy Paulson in the halls at work and said in a joking manner, “You don’t happen to be ordained, are you?” To which he answered, “YES! I AM actually…I filled out a form I saw in the back of a Rolling Stones magazine and now…I’m ordained.” Apparently, Mr. Paulson has never married anyone. He just thought that something like this would come up one day…and it has! For those of you who do not know Andy, this story sort of sums up his personality in a nutshell. As some of you remember, the lovely Miss Johnna Wells performed our original ceremony, and although we thought it would be funny to have her auction us off (she is an auctioneer), we went with the more thoughtful, loving ceremony. For family out of town, I am going to try to learn by Sunday how to video stream the signing so you can witness it, but if that doesn’t work out, I hope a photo of us signing the certificate will suffice!

For those of you who do not know, we are, for all intents and purposes married.  We just never made it official with Big Brother when we returned from our out-of-the-country wedding. There are reasons why we waited this long…related to student loans and such things. But, next Sunday, on our 3-year anniversary, we are making it official AND I am changing my last name! I look at it as if we are renewing our vows already!

Every couple has a different way of doing things. Although this was not what we had planned, in some cultures there is actually such a thing as “trial marriages,” where couples are married for one year, and on the day following the year mark, they revisit the minister and announce their decision of whether or not they will be staying married. I think it is brilliant actually! Do you know how much our divorce rate would go down if more people did this!? The term is called “handfasting.” To learn more about this seemingly odd custom that we accidentally fell into, click here. I didn’t know about this until someone recently told me it was as if we have had a trial marriage up until this point and gave me the history.

On to other topics…for Christmas this year, Josh and I finally make the expensive leap to purchase blinds for the kitchen (which is fully surrounded by windows as if it were a sunroom) after living in the house for almost five years! Recently, our neighbors built an apartment above their garage and the new tenants windows and deck look right into our kitchen. Furthermore, a delicious new philly cheese steak restaurant moved into our neighborhood and when they are open in the evening, we feel the full affect of living in a fish bowl.

I took this picture of Josh inside Steakadelphia from our kitchen window. I had to use my zoom but you can see the need for blinds! We ordered the honeycomb, top down/bottom up blinds so we can have the blinds open on the top section and still get privacy. They just arrived in the post this weekend. Hopefully the installer will be able to get them in this week! It should help to insulate the room as well.

And, on a final note, I am so excited because I went to the MAC store yesterday to get a new set of headphones since mine have been shocking me when it rains, and I walked out of their with a brand new iphone 3G, and new headset….and the best part…it was all FREE OF CHARGE due to issues that were more expensive to fix than to replace with my Apple Care Plan. It felt like Christmas came early this year!

i am grateful

This was my first Thanksgiving not spent with any family and I have to admit that it felt a bit strange (Josh was working too and didn’t  join us until the end of the evening for about an hour), but being at Ali & Holly’s is like being with our family in its own right.  I had such a nice time with everyone. Thanks to Chef Ali for the delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and roasted veggies!

I spent the morning yesterday sleeping in for the first time in what I think has been months! It was so nice. With Josh being at work, it was just Belle and I hanging out together at home. I then proceeded with my very first attempt at making pie…mini pies at that! I found the link to the recipe on Alicia Paulson’s blog and was so inspired by the cuteness of these little pies in mason jars.

I would like to send huge, loving, thank you ‘s to both Alicia (Paulson) and Karen (Vitt) for extending invitations to me to join their family dinners in case my existing plans fell through (since I was orphaned by Josh’s mandatory holiday work schedule).  I am sure both your dinners were incredibly warm and fuzzy!  I missed out on Karen’s “special” pie (the non-dairy, glueten- free delicious pumpkin pie).

We sat down to dinner last night and said our thank you’s in Farsi, German, Spanish and English. Josh got off work just in time as we were sitting down to have dessert: Gilberto’s most delicious mexican chocolate mouse with shortbread cookies, and the individual mason jar apple pies…and still to try because I had no more room after the mouse is Ali’s pumpkin pie. All was home-made, and wonderful just how I like it!

I am grateful for so many things in my life right now – friends, family, work, and this 4-day stetch of time off!

pumpkin time!

fall time

We are now in the thick of fall, and when I say “thick,” I am referring to the inches of leaves accumulating in our yard. Josh and I spent yesterday afternoon walking around Hawthorne and came home with two pumpkins ready to be carved. He made a “Ralph” pumpkin (from the Simpsons) and I made a lopsided owl. It was a fun and relaxing way to spend our saturday night. I wonder though if a trick to carving pumpkins might be to clean them out one day then wait overnight for them to dry out a bit before starting the actual design. Something to try next year I suppose.

One other picture I wanted to share with you was this one I took when leaving the Portland Art Museum on Friday night:

Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum

I love when they hang lanterns in the sculpture garden area.

“freedom mallet”

playing a little *freedom mallet*

sterling - the champ - playing a little croquet

Have you ever seen a more idealic setting to play croquet before?  A game that Josh renamed “freedom mallet” over the weekend to give it a little Independance Day flare. I think it has a certain ring to it. Our weekend adventures will continue on for the next few days as my brother, his family, and my childhood friend are all in Oregon for a visit. The above picture was taken while in Florence on July 4th.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends…