looking good in stripes

 

Sam is getting so fun and we are loving this stage. He's getting so alert and loves to "play" with us. Last week Dave made him a little play gym with some wood scraps we had (and his dad's awesome wood tools). He gets wide-eyed and so jumpy like he's just going to burst with excitement. It's really cute. 

Last week a friend came over with her little girl who is a month older than Sam. They had a little "play date" on the floor and it was pretty cute. Mostly they just swatted at the toys, breathed loud together and probably had a fun squawking conversation. 

He's also started fitting into some of the onesies I made over the last year (although some of them he could have fit into earlier and he'll grow out of them too soon! gerber onesies say 3-6 months and he's not even 3 months and he's pushing some of them)

sunday best

 

This week I wanted to find a little church outfit for sam. I'm sure no one cares what babies wear to church but I still wanted to get him a little white dress shirt because, well, >> cute. 

I looked a few places and finally found the onesie and the little pair of pants. Oh, those pants. Most places don't have dress pants for boys until 12m, but there was this one pair on the sale rack at h&m and I ended up getting them for a steal. 

Paired with a little st. patrick's day bowtie and he was good to go.

2

 

Sam is 2 months! He is getting so fun and gives us some big smiles sometimes. Not always when there is a camera in his face, but I've caught a few. He is a sweet little boy and we can't get enough of him.

cake anxiety

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for the relief society. I signed up to bring a dessert and wanted to make a cake because, as I've written about before, Dave doesn't like cake and I love opportunities to make cakes.

Since I've already found a chocolate cake recipe I know and love, I wanted to move into vanilla/white, my preferred flavor. I also wanted to try a new decorating technique. And oh boy. I started searching on just a few dessert/baking blogs and are there are lot of cakes. Sweetapolita, for example, has about 8 different vanilla cake recipes alone, and they all look delicious! How do I choose? dense? light? rich? 9 egg whites or 193? whipped? folded? dry first or wet? and on and on.

I somehow landed on a white cake recipe by iambaker. Then decided I would just make a list of all the cake recipes I want to try and just go down the list and save myself from deciding each time. The same for decorating techniques. I wanted something cool, new and relatively easy since I don't have a ton of extra time. I decided to go with this pastel swirl idea. I was pretty pleased how it turned out. I liked the colors she used but thought that the yellow/orange/pink ombre was a nice spring look.

I don't put nearly as much frosting on as most cake decorators do and I also don't have as much practice. But I have seen much improvement in my cake decorating skills over the past few years. I am excited to keep practicing. I used this buttercream and I loved it. The last buttercream recipe I tried (I don't remember from where) was terrible as far as looks go (or at least it was a major user error) and I thought I failed when it came to buttercream. But this worked up really well. I still don't know how baking bloggers get their frosting to look so perfect but...I'll just keep trying.

The cake tasted really good but I think I prefer a vanilla/yellow cake over a white cake, which has almond extract in it. It was still very good. Definitely one I'd make again (a go-to white cake recipe). Of course, I'm still looking forward to the day I have a perfectly flat cake...this one turned out a little dr. seuss-y but...oh well.

japanese garden

 
When Sara was in town we met up at the Japanese garden. Since it's portland and they were only here for a few days, it was nice and rainy. But we braved it anyway. Sara was super nice as I am still figuring out going out with a baby. She helped me carry the stroller over places, waited as I put the wrap on once it stopped raining and even let me borrow her umbrella since I forgot ours in the car.

I also decided that yes, I do need some rainboots and a rain jacket. Not sure why it took so long for me to be sure about that. Too bad I can't get some rain-friendly hair. ugh.

The gardens were beautiful. Unfortunately, there were hardly any cherry blossoms but it was still nice and green and we had a good time looking around. There was an art exhibit of lithographs done by a woman who is turning 100 this year. If you have an extra $15,000-40,000, you could buy one of her prints! They were really cool though. Modern, clean and had great colors. I haven't been to the Japanese garden, so thanks Sara for the fun afternoon!

pizza!


Last week our friends sara and kyle were in town interviewing for jobs and we were able to meet up with them for some dinner and dessert. We tried Ken's Artisan pizza on the east side and it was delicious! Really great pizza and the best caesar salad we've ever had. (excuse the dark phone pictures)

For dessert we went to salt & straw and had some ice cream. I tried a chocolate lemon sorbet (weird but soooo good) and everyone loved the lumberjack stack--a maple ice cream with blueberry pancake pieces. They had some fun flavors in celebration of Portland's soccer team, the portland timbers. Can I just say that people here LOVE that soccer team? Dave and I don't really get it, but I suppose it's like how much the provo area loves the cougars.

It was a fun night! We love having people come visit and eating at delicious places.

these days in portland

 

I can't believe we've almost been in Portland for a year! I really do like it here and I'm excited to get to know the city better this year as we are all up and running again. (well, not literally because running, in my opinion, is the worst). We did do some biking/walking last year and we saw awesome views of portland that way. I can't wait to do another ride along the promenade.

I love the bridges (first picture is the view from our favorite bridge that I've tried to capture a thousand times. enter: rush hour traffic; the second is a crappy picture taken from inside the car on another bridge), the buildings and the weather (60 degrees today!). 

One of my new year's goals is to do the portland bridge ride this summer. I'm excited! Although, that means I should get back on a bike sometime?

I also love our little Portland baby.