Getting Back into Action!

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We are over three weeks into the new year and this is where many start to fall off on their goals or motivations. The past year I worked full steam till the very end, with not much of a break, but I am going to be honest my real motivation was the few weeks I planned off for the beginning of January. I wanted to lay low, gather my thoughts and really just sleep.

 
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The first week was all about health and rejuvenation with re-aligning my mind & body. I ate only raw foods to kickstart my system and help start my first goal of intergrading more of them into my daily eating habits. Yes, the end of the year for me was lots of work but it was also filled with snacking and indulging. While not to be hard on myself I strongly believe balance is so necessary for a productive lifestyle. I feel cleanses are not meant to be done often, but when done properly they can help with healing your body. It is more about having a consistent lifestyle of healthy eating, movement and self care but even as much as you can possibly do at one time we are still subjected to pollutants naturally and let’s be real we get busy, sometimes we just have to get shit done so we allow other things fall by the waist-side. I am definitely guilty of that but it is about doing the best we can and the goal is to make little improvements on one thing at a time, soon enough you will acquire good, long standing healthy habits.

Along with that I mostly relaxed, read and spent some Netflix time with my fiancé & family of two cats. A good staycation was just what I needed! My second week was all about planning, finishing up my home office, brainstorming and feeling out my core values for the 2019. I definitely had just as much fun planning out my year with a shiny my new daily planner.

As for the rest of the year I have some fun events in store from boudoir marathons & engagement session giveaways to adventurous styled photo shoots & expansions on other photography services. Stay tuned for announcements to keep up on what’s is happening next…

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A Fall Wedding Inspiration to Live By.

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You may think now that Summer is over so is the time for Weddings. Well I am here to tell you, you are wrong! Fall can be the most beautiful time of the year to have your special day. The changing of the leaves along with a bit of mist in the air makes a beautiful setting for such an occasion.

Taking place at Tumwater Vineyard this inspirational setting will hopefully give you some thoughts about your own fall time wedding. This winery, located in West Linn, O.R.,  creates a warm and comfortable setting for your friends and family to gather. Along with the warm tones of Fall, we have added pops of Teal throughout our stylings to compliment the season and give a modern vibe.

 

Our invites bring a clean and stylized design, created by Letters & Dust, giving your guest all the information needed while staying in a modern and up to date style.

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I love these rings by VK Designs, a clean and classic style while allowing a bit of a distinction between you and your partner with keeping one matte and one polished. Their brand also only uses ethically sourced materials making them top on my list of go to’s.

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Our flowers by Gifford’s Weddings have an organic feel, along with the delicate tones flow nicely with our warm settings throughout

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Cocktail Hour, my favorite hour of the day. Even cooler is having the bar come to you. This mobile bar from Wandering Spirits PDX brings everything to you, including a bartender!

Having professionals taking the wheel makes it easy to hand over your signature cocktails along with other options of wine and even a beer tap. This adds an up to date and luxury feel to any event.

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Our table scape is where the colors really come together and for me it’s all about that gold! I love the accents of gold with our blues and greens making the tones very calming. Modern with a bit antiquity keeps our table dreamy and stylish on this vineyard location.

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Table stylings by As You Wish Events, along with table rentals by Country Garden Tables, are all about the details. Hiring a pro will help keep your main style focus on point and keep the day flowing.

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Let’s not forget about the dessert! I love me some sweets, so being able to choose from more than just cake allows room for a stylish variety. Mini desserts are all the rage, they allow you to have many treats without over doing it. These tasty bites by Trés Bella Cookies are more than that, they are beautifully hand crafted, while still accenting our modern cake.

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The cake, brought to you by Bees Custom Cakes, shows a modern watercolor feel using teal with accents of edible gold foil and florals bring a bit of the season onto our dessert table.

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Details are the little things that you and your guests will remember, so when wondering how to get the best out of your wedding day hire those who know what to do, allowing you to enjoy your day in style.

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If interested in learning more about everyone that brought this styled day together check out all the vendors involved below.

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Venue: Tumwater Vineyard : 375 SW Barrel House Way, West Linn, OR 97068

www.tumwatervineyard.com              Instagram             tumwatervineyard.com/Blog

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Event Designer: As You Wish Northwest asyouwish.wedding

Table Rentals: Country Garden Tables countrygardentables.com

Florals: Giffords Weddings giffordsweddings.com

Rings: VK Designs valkasinskas.com

Invites + Signage: Letters & Dust lettersanddust.com

Cake: Bees Custom Cakes beescustomcakes.com

Desserts: Tres Bella Cookies tresbellecookies.com

Mobile Bar: Wandering Spirits PDX wanderingspiritspdx.com

If you Love Wine you will Love Tumwater Vineyard...

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I have had the privilege of not only consuming their tasty wine, but have also attended events and created some gorgeous images at this beautiful vineyard location. Welcomed by the owner and their fabulous manager Pascale, with wine & a kind smile, how could I not love this place. Located on Pete's Mountain Road in West Linn, O.R. this close, yet peaceful, location creates a warm and comfortable space to gather with friends.

Their Barrel House, replicated after an authentic barn, was built using timber framed mortise and tenon joints. After careful planning professionals were brought in to asses what grapes would flourish, rows were plotted, the soil turned and stakes were set in place. All was left to do was wait!

 

The public had first access to the vineyard in July for the 2016 NW Natural Street of Dreams show, which lasted through August. Since then Tumwater Vineyards has won many awards and produced lots of delicious wine.

As a wine lover I had to ask Pascale what the best part of her job is and the variety of it all is what peaks her interest.

"It's never a dull day. It is such a variety of tasks, ordering, educating, marketing and of course the wines!!!!"

 

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A challenge for this secluded vineyard is just that, it being hidden a little too well. Bringing more awareness to the public is what Tumwater is currently focusing on.  Many locals are still finding this hidden gem and I hope to help with that by spreading the word.

 As for any future plans, they are working on increasing the amount of private events and to distribute their wines more locally. Let's not forget about getting a few more high scores from those wine critics.

 
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Styling: As you wish weddings & events // Tables: country garden tables //  Mobile Bar: Wandering Spirits

Styling: As you wish weddings & events // Tables: country garden tables //  Mobile Bar: Wandering Spirits

 

"It's so pretty and just a great place to hang out with friends, loved ones and enjoy a glass of wine."

We know wine is yummy to drink all year around but Summer is when this Barrel House really goes off! 23-acres of vineyard, a wine tasting room, trout pond and breathtaking Mt. Hood views, perfect for events, parties and just because you can.

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"Next year I plan on creating a fundraising event, a winemakers dinner and few other happenings as well."
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When not at the vineyard Pascale enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, exploring the nature of Oregon. We both hope you stop by for yourself to explore Tumwater VIneyards and what they have to offer.

Enjoy a flight of Tumwater wines, and of course all are available to enjoy by the glass.  They also offer a complimentary tastings for Wine Club Members and just created a second level in their wine club with 4 releases a year. Make the experience last, take some home and enjoy it anytime you want.

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Tumwater Vineyard : 375 SW Barrel House Way, West Linn, OR 97068

www.tumwatervineyard.com              Instagram             tumwatervineyard.com/Blog

Eat Your Sprouts Kid!

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I was like many kids, if it was green I would not eat it! My family liked to hide my veggies in a pile of mashed potatoes so I would finish, because in our house there was no leaving that table till all your greens were done. Especially with my Nanny & GiGi (what I call my grandparents), one time I got a nice big spoonful of spinach pushed down my throat and never looked at cooked spinach the same but there is hope. I was not completely traumatized, flash forward to now, greens make up a majority of my diet and brussel sprouts are one of my favorites. 

 

PAN SEARED BRUSSELS  - up to 45 min to make

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  • 1/2 pound Brussels Sprouts (the smaller sprouts taste a little sweeter)
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil or Vegan Butter 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • Dash Red Pepper

First prepare you sprouts by cutting the ends, trim old leafing and cut into halves.

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In a bowl mix sprouts, 1/2 tablespoon of oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Give it a good mix, ensuring all the sprouts are covered. 

 

Heat your skillet on a meduim high heat. Mince your garlic and in the heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) melt the rest of oil or butter over a moderate heat, toss in garlic and stir until golden.

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Reduce heat to medium and arrange sprouts in skillet, in one layer. Cook for 5 minutes, without turning or until crisp and undersides are golden brown. Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes if you like some heat, stir and let cook for 2-3 more minutes or until tender.

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These are so tasty, easy and fast to make. They go great by themselves as a snack or as a side to your favorite meal. Looking to pair it with a yummy Eggplant Parmesan? Head to my previous post for the recipe!

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I would love to see your results and hear about your favortie veggie recipies.

5 Ways I Keep My Business & Life Organized

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This past month I have been all about cleaning up current systems and keeping my organization skills fresh. Right around this time of year I need bit of a reminder to step back, breath and keep on task, not allowing the rest of the clutter to take me out.  As the year rolls by I have my goals scheduled but other tasks, ideas and jobs get added into the mix, creating chaos which can become too much without a proper structure behind it.

Keeping your life and business organized can be a huge task all on it's own, but once you have your own systems in place it gets much easier. We are almost half way through the year and this is when some of us have started to drop the ball. To help get back on track I am sharing 5 ways I keep my life together, mind you this should be called "Top 5 ways to make sure I don't loose my sh*t!".

 

1) PRIORITIZE

At the beginning of the year, you should have had some goals laid out, but things get tweaked, changed and added as the year progresses. So before putting the next month's calendar together, I make a basic list of what I have planned for the month along with my other daily tasks. Once you have your list identify your "Big Rocks", which are your major tasks for the month.  Place those deadlines in first as they become the hardest and sometimes most daunting, which often end in some procrastination. But being most important we want to make sure those are placed on our calendars first. From there I bulk my similar tasks into groups and place as in need of importance. During each day of the week, I also have my daily tasks set and that way I can focus on a specific task for the day, instead of a bunch of random ones. Let us not forget to take a personal day, I like to take at least one day a week to do what I need to do for myself and my home.  


2) KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE TIDY

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As basic as it sounds keeping your area organized will help you keep on task. It will cut down on your feelings of anxiety and stress, while improving your productivity. Clutter keeps our minds stimulated and draws our eyes away from work, creating those feelings of frustration and guilt. I know for me trying to focus while in filth and clutter can be a completely overwhelming feeling. It just feels so great after everything is clean and put away properly, I love that satisfying feeling of sitting down in an organized and clutter free space, it's amazing!

So go through your creative space, get rid of anything that is not needed and organize your files. Consider the help of electronic apps to organize your receipts and other bookkeeping needs, all this will help with de-cluttering.


3) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ORGANIZING TOOLS

There are many tools out there to keep your weeks flowing! I use an array of apps to stay organized and help me keep things moving while at home or on the move. Dubsado is a great CRM system to keep workflow with your clients on time, help from automated emails, questionnaires, invoicing, bookkeeping and more, it's a life saver. It can take some time to set up your program but once set, you are ready to flow. I also use Buffer to plan my Social Media calendar and Evernote is a great tool to put my thoughts on photoshoots and group events together. Evernote also allows me to keep all the visuals, timelines and collaborator information  in one area, as well as being able to share it with others. But my number one go to is just an old-fashion planner, I do use my google calendar for some appointments but I am old school. Writing out my thoughts and placing them into my calendar is almost cathartic for me. I love the Franklin Covey planner system it works so well for me from my yearly goals down to my daily tasks, they also have books that help your productivity.


4) DELEGATE

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This is always a hard one for me, but it's ok to let go and pass the task along. I am a controlling person, I will just flat out admit that, so when starting my own business I was just consumed with many small and large things that needed to be done. I would do everything myself, which is a never ending list of tweaking and perfecting, but once I was able to put a little more money into my business I started hiring people to do the things I did not want to do. It makes sense right? Hiring others do what they are skilled in, instead of somewhat doing it correctly myself or having it take twice as long because I am figuring it out as I go. I put in money on the tasks that are my least favorite to do allowing me to focus on the important tasks that I enjoy.


5) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

It is so important to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually. Many people do not realize how much your health can effect your business and life. It is very simply connected, if you are not at your best how can you give your best? Take time for yourself, meditate or take a nature walk, make sure to eat healthy and get physical, often. I know that it can sound impossible with a full plate but its more important to say no to one thing and to keep your health in mind. Do what you can when you can, get creative because a little activity and movement is better than nothing.  Feeling great will bring you more focus and a clearer thought process when coming to work. Besides that who doesn't like feeling good?


We all deal with chaos in some aspect of our lives and nothing will ever be perfect, but having some systems in place with good organizational skills, it will be much easier to handle it all. As you tweak your systems to meet your needs don't over do it, as I said things will never be perfect but it will get a heck of a lot easier.  

Any tips or tricks of your own? I would love to hear about them!

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