Real Party: Tapas Potluck and Wine Tasting

Tapas Potluck

Tapas Potluck and Wine Tasting:

I love tapas. The Spanish small plates style of dish is one of my favorite ways to eat. Seriously, give me all the appetizers any day over a full meal. I like the option to try lots of different flavors and dishes without feeling like I need to be rolled out from under the table. So, after a recent wine tasting with some of my foodie friends I had the idea that we NEEDED to have a tapas party with the area food bloggers. (Anytime I can get someone to cook for ME I’m a happy girl.) After a bit of deliberation and collaboration the idea for a Tapas Competition and Spanish Wine tasting was born. Food bloggers brought dishes to the friendly competition, Whole Foods Market hosted a informative (and tasty) wine tasting, and several companies came together to award the winners with prizes! It was a grand time. Enough with the talk… onto the pictures! All the amazing photos are taken by food blogger extraordinaire (and my friend) Bee of The Spicy Bee.

Tapas Potluck for Food Bloggers' Meet-Up

wine tasting


whole foods market wine tasting

Our evening started out with Justin from Whole Foods Market in Portland pouring and teaching about four Spanish wines. If you were going to recreate this at home you could use the wines listed and read a little information about each, or pick your favorite Spanish wines and try pairing them with cheeses. Wines we tried: Marques de Gelida Brut Reserva Cava 2009 (light and refreshing white wine); R Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Vinos Finos de Roja Vina Gravonia 2003 (I wouldn’t even try pronouncing that one, but it was amazing if you love a rich white wine); Dehesa La Grania 2006 (A tasty Tempranillo); and finally, a Manzanilla La Gitana Sherry.

Tapas Competition

Tasty Tapas

Pork Siracha Tapas

Tapas for a Tapas Potluck

Tapas at a Tapas Potluck

Recipes Galore

You get food bloggers together and have them bring food items that they’ve made and then you suddenly also get a full deck of recipes that you’ve tried yourself. It is amazing and I will be utilizing this tactic in many more events. 😉 If you are drooling from the photos above then check out these recipes (I’ll add more as they are published):

Tapas Party Goodie Bags

A gigantic thank you to…

A huge thank you goes out to all of the companies and people that made this shin-dig possible. Obviously, the Portland Food Bloggers group is awesome and I was so excited to be able to work with them on this project. Whole Foods Market is one of my favorite local companies because they continually make efforts to teach, interact, and just plain get-to-know their customers and local influencers. Tiny Prints provided the beautiful printed signs, thank you cards, and personalized napkins. Ulysses Press provided books for the winners of the Tapas Competition— You’ve got to check out their awesome titles. I’ll be reviewing one of their titles in the near future. Goodness Knows donated snack squares and coupons to the goodie bags and prizes— seriously tasty and handy sized snack squares for kids and adults alike. Black Rock Coffee provided gift cards for the gift bags. Pukka Herbs sent an array of teas for the blogger’s goodie bags— I’ve tried the “Love” blend and thought it was the perfect way to end an evening with my hubby. And, thank you to all the lovely bloggers who attended, brought food, and shared about the event.

Can’t get enough?

Check back next week for free printables that coordinate with the Tiny Prints Potluck Invitation designs. I’m dubbing next week giveaway week because I’ll be giving away some awesome party goods and lots of free printables throughout the week. Follow along via BlogLovin, Facebook, or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun!

To learn more about the sponsors connect with them on Twitter:

Disclaimer: Companies donated products, event space, and services to help make this event happen. I was not financially compensated for working on or posting about this event. All opinions are honest and my own!


Featured on Tiny Prints: A Tapas Potluck

tiny prints potluck party // a well crafted party

Photo taken by Portland Food Blogger Bee of The Spicy Bee

A Tapas Potluck featured on Tiny Prints

I’m excited to say that some of my work on a recent Tapas Potluck is featured over on the Tiny Prints blog today! Go check it out! And, don’t forget to come back here later to see more images from the event, get links to some of the tasty recipes, and receive some free printables to coordinate with the Tiny Prints items used in the party. Photos and recipes go live later today and the printables will be a part of my “giveaway” week next week. Follow along via BlogLovin, Twitter, or Facebook so that you don’t miss out on a full week of giveaways and free printables!

A few words about Tiny Prints: I’ve now ordered three orders from the company and I can’t begin to tell you how awesome they are. The website works with ease, you can have a designer look over the work before printing, the print quality is AWESOME, and each order arrived in a timely manner. I’ve ordered business cards, invitations, gift tags, and personalized napkins. All beautiful. Definitely check out their website and pin a few items for future events. Since registering on their site I’ve also received discounts in my inbox. Sign up on their site for a free account to see discounts in your email inbox as well.

Follow Tiny Prints via social media: Twitter Pinterest Facebook

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary party invitations, thank you notes and personalized napkins from Tiny Prints and The Wedding Divas in exchange for using the products in a party and sharing it with the Tiny Prints blog. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Welcome to Twosville: A Town Themed Second Birthday Party


Entering Twosville

When it came to planning my son’s first birthday I had a theme in mind for AGES before he turned one. I prepped weeks before the big event. I did it all. As his second birthday came tumbling around I had NO idea what I was going to do to celebrate the big day.

I finally happened upon the idea of creating the town of Twosville. I thought it would be so much fun for the kids to have a town themed second birthday party. It gave me a ton of ideas to work with! It also allowed me to reuse and repurpose many items that I already had in my home— saving a bundle on the party! I used cardboard, tape, paint, and paper to create the town. My family and friends came over to help build the town. We did discover that we should have used some more sturdy and not-so-used boxes to create the town… ours looks a little Suess-like, but I still found it cute and the kiddo’s still loved it. Printables and my son’s toys helped put together the rest of the party. I feel like this is a theme that can be taken to the next level with time and supplies or done even simpler with imagination.

I posted some of my inspiration earlier in the month and a few of the party pics (and the story of the event) were featured on Tiny Prints this weekend. Throughout the week I’ll be sharing items from this party in addition to regular posts. I’ll be sharing town-themed activities, free printables, town-themed food ideas, town-themed favor ideas, and more ideas on how to make the town theme work for any age. Follow along via BlogLovinTwitter, or Facebook to make sure you don’t miss any of the Twosville Party posts!

invitation party hats

Twosville DMV

twosville hat shop

Twosville Tattoo Parlor

twosville cafe

twosville-bakery twosville-fastfood Twosville Ice Cream Truck


Twosville Birthday Party Cake Eating

All photos are by Portland Lifestyle Photographer Macey of Motormouth Studios. If you are looking for an awesome, affordable photographer in the Portland area then check her out!

The invitations and gift tags (pictured on the party hats) were sent complimentary from Tiny Prints.

Featured on Tiny Prints: Welcome to Twosville Birthday Party

party hat invitation from Tiny Prints

Twosville Party featured on Tiny Prints Blog— Photo by Motormouth Studios

One of my all-time favorite invitation companies, Tiny Prints, sent me some lovely invitations and gift tags for my son’s second birthday party. They are now featuring the event photos on their blog!

I’ll be back tomorrow sharing even more from his “Twosville” party. If you are dropping in to see more from the party and to see some free printables, then follow along via Bloglovin, Facebook, or Twitter to know when the post is live!

A few words about Tiny Prints: I’ve now ordered three orders from the company and I can’t begin to tell you how awesome they are. The website works with ease, you can have a designer look over the work before printing, the print quality is AWESOME, and each order arrived in a timely manner. I’ve ordered business cards, invitations, gift tags, and personalized napkins. All beautiful. Definitely check out their website and pin a few items for future events. Since registering on their site I’ve also received discounts in my inbox. Sign up on their site for a free account to see discounts in your email inbox as well.

Follow Tiny Prints via social media: Twitter / Pinterest / Facebook

Disclaimer: I was sent complimentary party invitations and tags from Tiny Prints in exchange for using the products in a party and sharing it with the Tiny Prints blog. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.


Life has gotten so busy lately that I ended up taking an unexpected break from blogging. I’m not complaining… the busy has been wonderful, creative, and full of inspiration. It has also given me a TON of new content that I just have to get around to finding the time to craft and share posts about. Below are a few snapshots of life lately and some looks into what you’ll be seeing on the blog in the very near future.

Disclaimer: I received some free product and/or free entry into an event. Everything is disclosed below. All opinions are my own.

new dress and shoes

I was invited to a Portland Fashion Week event to meet designers and see some samples of their work. I wore this lovely new dress and shoes!


I was so nervous to meet the designers… but, they were so sweet and their work was awesome. Look forward to seeing more about local designers at the end of the month and into September. Sushmita of Amrapali was a beautiful soul and her work is fabulous.


I cannot wait to go visit Sun Jin Lee’s bridal shop in downtown Portland. Her work is out-of-this-world gorgeous. Lots of pretty wedding dresses will be featured soon!


I received an awesome VIP box from Puffs that included some fun workout items and their new Fresh Faces products. Look for a review soon!


Received a Lolly watch in the mail yesterday… it is cute AND it smells good too! Can’t wait to share my style post and an exclusive discount! Go check out their site and keep in mind which one you want so you can use your discount soon.

birthday boy

My little guy turned two. The party was fun and I have lots more wonderful photos from Macey of Motormouth Studios to share soon. And, I’ll have some cool free printables as well!


I’m still trying to get to my Athletic Club as much as possible and am still writing about my fitness journey on their blog. It is a slow process— but, I am seeing results!

Pukka Tea

I’ve been working hard on a fun Portland Food Bloggers’ event that is slotted for Saturday. Pukka Herbs sent some of their teas to share with the bloggers… it smells amazing. I can’t wait to open mine and try it!


Even though I was taking a break from blogging… I have been busy working. Lots of designs, emails, and plans have been made. Hopefully you’ll see the results here on the blog!


If you really just can’t get enough of me (why, thank you!) then check out my guest posts from the past week or two:

Or, follow me on Instagram or Twitter for lots of fun party updates this weekend!

Recipe: Brix Layer Cocktail from Aviary

Disclaimer: I received a complementary happy hour and cocktail instruction from Aviary Restaurant in SE Portland for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated. Check out my review of the Aviary Happy Hour.

at-home-version of the Brix Layer Cocktail

Photo created from a photo taken by Bee of  The Spicy Bee

While enjoying several tasty dishes and cocktails at Aviary’s Happy Hour last week the barman Russ Hunsinger shared how he came up with one of Aviary’s most popular cocktails, the Brix Layer. Not only did he share his inspiration and thoughts behind the tasty concoction, but he pulled together a make shift bar in the dining room and showed us how to make it!

Russ came up with the drink while hanging out with friends, drinking Cabernet. He really wanted to figure out a way to create a cocktail that utilized the wine. He started off using a basic old fashioned recipe and working from there. The layering of the drink happened naturally and changes with the type of whiskey or cab used.

This recipe is only an approximation of the awesomeness we tasted at Aviary. But, I wanted to share with those of you that didn’t live in the Portland area and just have to schedule a trip to Aviary in to a future visit to our lovely city.

BrixLayer Ingredients

orange, cherry, bitters in glass

Muddle Well

sitr it up

fished product

Ingredients for the At-Home-Version of The Brix Layer:

  • 1 slice of orange
  • A few Parisian Brandied Cherries (Affiliate Link)
  • 1 Sugar Cube
  • 8 dashes of angostura aromatic bitters (Affiliate Link)
  • 2 oz House Sour*
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Tools: ice, mixing tin, muddler, strainer, stirring spoon, large cocktail glass

*You can use any sour really, but the Aviary House Sour is made with lemon, lime, orange juice, and sugar. So, to get a similar taste you should use a homemade fresh sour that has orange juice in it. Try out this sweet-and-sour recipe from Baked Bree.

Directions for the At-Home-Version of The Brix Layer:

  1. In a mixing tin put one slice of orange, a few Parisian brandied cherries, 1 sugar cube and 8 dashes of bitters
  2. Muddle all ingredients in tin VERY WELL, releasing all of the oils and juices in the orange
  3. Add 2 oz of sour to the mixing tin
  4. Add 2 oz of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (or your favorite bourbon) to the tin
  5. Add ice to the tin and STIR with spoon
  6. Double strain the mixture into the cocktail glass
  7. Using the spoon (as in video below) to slow your pour, pour the 3/4 oz of Cabernet into the cocktail glass
  8. DRINK!
[youtube id=”RP_ibSlCRPo” width=”600″ height=”340″ position=”left”]
CHEERS! (My friend Bee with her Brix Layer cocktail!)

CHEERS! (My friend Bee with her Brix Layer cocktail!)

Portland Restaurants: Aviary Happy Hour

Disclaimer: I was invited by Aviary to try out their Happy Hour drinks and food items with other bloggers free of charge. I was not otherwise compensated.

Aviary Happy Hour Drinks

Opera Sidecar— Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Tuaca, and House Sour

I had heard about Aviary Restaurant from a few of my foodie friends, but hadn’t ventured out to the SE restaurant until this past week. I’m sort of kicking myself for not trying it sooner. It was seriously amazing.

I brought my DSLR to take amazing photos. But, when I got it out to shoot it flashed the dreaded, “No CF Card” message at me. Of course. So, I iPhoned it the entire night. I did manage to catch a couple of beautiful photos…however, if you wanna go check out some really amazing photos of this event then check out my friend Michelle’s Hummingbird High post about the event.

Portland Happy Hour at Aviary Restaurant

OMG Oysters!

I’ve been craving Oysters for so long. I ate three of them by myself at Aviary. I want more.

Pig Feet Done Right

Pig trotters with egg. I didn’t even listen when they told me that it was pig trotters. I just ate… and, I’m glad I did. They were delish!


Happy Hour Food from Aviary

These Pork Sliders had a Banh Mi taste too them. SO GOOD.

The food and drinks at Aviary were filled with complex flavors, prepared in a simple and delicious fashion. I even ate pig feet and loved it (still happy I didn’t know what it was before I tried it!) We enjoyed several of the Aviary Happy Hour menu items including: kusshi oysters, tempura green beans, pulled pork sliders, brussels sprout nachos (OMG—why have I never made this at home!?), trotter n eggs, and bread and bagna cauda. So good. You could totally see the references to Japanese and Korean food in the menu. But, it was completely its own style of food. The Happy Hour food prices range from $2 to $6. I didn’t try one thing that I didn’t like (though, admittedly, I don’t meet many foods I don’t enjoy.) My favorites were the oysters (a little bit of spice!) and the brussels sprout nachos.

Cocktail from Aviary Happy Hour

milkplus vellocet
cantaloupe, nigori sake, lemon hart 151 rum, lime, mint

Happy Hour Cocktail from Aviary PDX

This tasty cocktail, Pinkerton, was made with cazadores reposado tequila, grapefruit, chardonnay, and white soda.

The only bad thing about going to a cocktail party is that I want to try as many different cocktails as possible, but I also want to remain a responsible person and not get sloshed at the dinner table. Thankfully for me, many of the food bloggers weren’t too worried about germs and were very generous in allowing sample sips. I was able to really taste several different cocktails! Coming from a bar background I have to say that I was incredibly impressed with the quality ingredients and beautiful preparation of each of the drinks that I tried. The drinks that I tried include: pinkerton, one night in bangkok, high and low, milkplus vellocet, brix layer, and the opera sidecar. All of them were delicious. Drink prices range from $9 to $10— which is common for the quality ingredients and large pours.

While at Aviary barman Russ Hunsinger shared with us how he came up with and makes the Brix Layer cocktail. I’ll be back tomorrow to share with you some of his tips and how he made this brilliant drink.

Happy Hour at Aviary Cocktails

The one night in bangkok cocktail is made with monopolowa vodka, kafir leaves, lemongrass, lime. It tasted like an incredibly complicated (and delicious) lemon drop. Great for people who like sweeter cocktails.

My favorite moment of the night was when Natalie (of Twelfth Avenue) asked Russ (the bartender) the name of her drink? The conversation went something like this:

Natalie: “What was this one again? One night in Bangkok? Or nights in bangkok? 

Russ: “For you, it can be as many nights as you want.”

Laughter ensued.

Give me more…

Check out the Aviary Restaurant for more information about their business hours, location, and menu. A big thank you to Aviary for inviting me out to try Happy Hour and teaching me to make the Brix Layer!

Check out these awesome blogs whose bloggers joined me in Happy Hour at Aviary: 

What is the BEST cocktail you’ve ever tried?


Things to Do in Portland: GoodnessKnows Wellness Lounge


This is part of my series featuring things to do in Portland , Or. I have several PNW readers and like to share some of the fun items that residents and visitors can do in the area!

Anyone who is in the Portland area this week and want to get out for an afternoon of fun and learning is invited to the GoodnessKnows Wellness Lounge. I think this would be a fun activity for stay-at-home moms and dads looking to get out of the house for the afternoon, homeschooling parents looking for a little educational field trip, or for a fun lunch break experience to those people (like my husband) who work downtown.

The Deets:

When: Wednesday, August 7 from 11 AM to 3 PM

Where: Pioneer Square, Morrison Corner, 701 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, Ore. 97204

Cost: Free admission!

What is going on!? 

  • Local registered dietitian Megan Roosevelt joins GoodnessKnows to bring the Goodnessknows Wellness Lounge, nutrition tips, and samples.
  • Portland’s “Wall of goodness” photo mural. For each photo taken on-site, goodnessknows will donate a snack square to St. Vincent de Paul, Portland.
  • Family friendly activities like hopscotch and tic tac toe drawn by a local Portland chalk artist
  • Fun exercise sessions hosted throughout the day
  • Giveaways and prizes provided by local radio station, Z 100
  • High quality, affordable nourishment by local food truck – Thrive. (The first 75 guests are getting a $10 voucher for Thrive!)

** This is NOT a sponsored post. I thought this information might be useful for some of my PNW followers. **

Snapshots: Amtrak Trip to Seattle

Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free trip courtesy of Amtrak for review purposes. The photos, videos, and opinions are entirely my own, based on my experience.

King Street Station


Yesterday I spent a lovely day traveling to and hanging out in Seattle, WA. I’ve never traveled on a train before. Sure, I’ve ridden the MAX (Portland’s Light Rail System) but, that isn’t the same.

The trip was one of my more relaxing and enjoyable trips I’ve ever had. I didn’t have to deal with traffic or making sure I had enough gas in the car. I was able to easily get up and walk around. The dining selection was tasty. The seats were big and comfortable. And, I had an outlet to plug in my phone. I will be riding with Amtrak again.

I had been super excited about having wifi on the train and being able to get some work done while traveling. Unfortunately, the wifi was a little spotty on the way up to Seattle and nonexistent on the way back. The conductor came on overhead and conveyed apologies for the problem, and several signs explained that having more reliable wifi was one of the things that Amtrak is working on. Honestly, if I had driven or flown I wouldn’t have had the option for free wifi either. So, I wasn’t too fussed.

Amtrak’s website even added a handy dandy guide of things to do when visiting Seattle. Next time I take a trip up I’ll be bookmarking this page as well and making sure I visit more of Seattle!

*** CONTEST OVER: Currently Amtrak is having a promotion trying to find the best photo or video for promotional purposes through its Instagram fans hashtagging “#amtrakgram” until August 11. Winners will receive travel vouchers! Check out the AmtrakGram website for more information.****

Local Plate: Bringing the Ingredients to Cook Local Meals at Home

Local Plate Ingredients

Disclaimer: I was provided a Local Plate meal for two to review for this post. All opinions are my own. See my policies page for more information. 

Local Plate Provides ALL the Local Ingredients for a Delicious Meal

I know it isn’t just Portland that is on this trend to try to eat more local and support the local businesses. I’m glad that the trend has been sweeping the nation. I’m not as much as an alarmist as my husband, but I do believe that we will someday need the skills to source our food locally, be able to grow food, and definitely need to know how to cook items instead of having things that have been processed for us.

I was thrilled when Nicholas from Local Plate approached me about their new business providing the ingredients for delicious meals with all locally sourced ingredients. I was even more excited when he said that they deliver! The hard thing about eating locally is finding all the ingredients for a meal in one place. If you are lucky and can think on your feet, you can find local ingredients for entire meals at your local Farmer’s Market. But, I’m not that good. I would have to visit at least three different stores on many occasions to get ALL the ingredients I need from local suppliers. Having the fixings for an entire meal delivered to my  door was stinking awesome.

Local Plate Ingredients Closeup

Why would you want ingredients delivered instead of a full meal? This was my first question when I was thinking about whether I would use this service. I mean, I grocery shop every week and purchase ingredients for meals that I cook. If I’m getting something delivered then I’m getting a full meal cooked and ready to go so that I can avoid the kitchen and the mess afterwards. However, after creating this meal, here are my thoughts on the subject: 1. It was a quick meal with all the ingredients and directions. I barely had to do any prep at all and I think I had a delicious, healthy, and local meal out on the table in 30 minutes flat (with photos). 2. It was a meal I had never prepared before! I hadn’t ever made a meal with Tahini sauce and would have had to go out and buy several sauces/spices in order to create this meal at home. I loved that I could try something new without purchasing a large container of sauce or a new spice that I didn’t know if I’d enjoy or ever use again. 3. Boy oh boy, was my husband impressed! I put out this beautiful meal that is nothing like I’d cooked before. It was a a fun surprise for sure. 4. As I said above, it was all local and I didn’t have to drive all over town to get the ingredients.

Local Plates Ingredients with Tuna

Would I pay their price? The prices of the meals at Local Plate varied from around $8.50/serving to $10. Often when I am cooking meals at home my ingredients cost around $5 or less/ serving. A restaurant would cost around $12+ per serving (but, someone else would do the cooking and cleaning.) This is a biggie for me and my family… we need affordable food and eat on a budget. It wouldn’t be a service I could do 5 days a week for sure. However, when I want to cook for a dinner party, try something new, or impress the hubby I will certainly be using this service. I calculated how much it would cost me to source all of the ingredients myself and it would have been much more than the $9/serving because I don’t own many of the spices and sauces I used for the dish.

Local Plate Simple Asparagus

How did it taste? AMAZING. No, seriously, I loved it. I ordered the Sesame Noodles, Oregon Albacore Tuna, and Simple Asparagus and was surprised at the full flavor from such a simple preparation. I am terrible at directions and ended up mixing the tuna into the noodle dish instead of serving it on the side. I’d highly recommend that because the Tahini sauce on the tuna was SO good. They list ALL of their recipes online as well!

How was the portion size? Perfect for our family. The asparagus was just enough for two servings for us veggie loving people. The noodles with arugula and tuna made enough for my husband, child, myself and for leftovers the next day.

Sesame Noodles, Arugula, Oregon Tuna, and Asparagus

When do they deliver? Local Plate provides local delivery free of charge on Mondays and Thursdays. You can also pick up your ingredients on those days if you’d prefer. The delivery comes in an insulated, reusable green bag with an ice pack (just in case you aren’t home). The idea is that you order food and love it so much that you order again, reusing the bags along the way.

How do I try it? Hop on over to the Local Plate website, choose the meal that you want to try, choose the number of servings needed, and follow the directions for purchase. It is SO simple. If you are trying Local Plate for the first time then get 10% off your purchase by using the following coupon code: AAJUL24.

Local Plate Delivers Local Ingredients

Man, I don’t live in Portland, but that looks amazing! How can I try it? While I can’t get the food delivered to you outside of Portland, the Local Plate website does have all of their recipes listed. So, you can source some local ingredients through your Farmers’ Market or find some quality ingredients from your local grocery store and make them yourself! Seriously try the tuna dish… it is out of this world.

Would you use a Local Ingredient meal supplier? When do you think this service would be great for you?

PS. Don’t forget to get your 10% off for your first try of Local Plate! Use the coupon code: AAJUL24

Event Review: Field and Vine Events Dinners in the Field

I was invited to attend and review the Field and Vine Events’ Dinners in the Field over this past weekend. I had an amazing time with my friend Bee from The Spicy Bee. We drove just outside the city to Woodburn, Oregon and Iverson’s Farm for our dinner. The views were pretty much epic. The day was beautiful. And, the food—delish!

Mt Hood View

The first thing I noticed when we drove up to Iverson’s Farm was the amazing view of Mt. Hood.

One of the attractions of the farm was the pink tractor sitting in the garden area. Not only was in beautiful amongst the flowers, but it was painted pink in honor of those dealing with breast cancer.

One of the attractions of the farm was the pink tractor sitting in the garden area. Not only was in beautiful amongst the flowers, but it was painted pink in honor of those dealing with breast cancer.

Our Menu

Our menu for the evening

Simply decorated tables were lined with candles, dinner menus, and hydrangea arrangements.

Simply decorated tables were lined with candles, dinner menus, and hydrangea arrangements.

Chef Pascal

Chef Pascal chatting with guests before the dinner.

Dinners in the Field

Chef Pascal Dressing Dessert / Artisanal Charcuterie Plate / Grilled “Carlton Farms” Pork Rack with corn succotash, andouille sausage, & cauliflower


Heirloom Tomates with truffle scented mozzarella, pesto & pine nuts / marinated olives / grilled bread


Romaine salad with prosciutto, Oregon blue cheese vinaigrette, roasted hazelnut, and shallots.

Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

Dessert being prepared

Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries

Olive Oil Cake with Strawberries, Lavender Syrup, and creme chantilly

Bee and Jenni

Bee (The Spicy Bee) and myself

moon in oregon

A big, bright moon greeted us on our drive home to the city.

Dinner in the Field at the Wooden Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR

The meal was served family style and we were all able to chat with the people around us. It was fun listening to the different stories, talking about the foods, and getting to know a little bit more about the other people attending the event. I’m a weirdo about parking, heat, and bathrooms at events… so, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the parking was just fine, they placed us under tents for dinner, and the restrooms (though porta potties) were clean and had running water/soap for hand washing. The service from the team of Field and Vine events was AWESOME. Everyone dressed in flannel shirts (perfect for a dinner in the middle of the field) and worked hard at making sure drinks were full and everyone had enough food. The chef even prepared items off menu for the vegetarians in the crowd.

The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (or Iverson’s Family Farm) was an amazing venue for the event. They have over 1600 acres with plants being planted and harvested throughout the year. I honestly couldn’t even keep up with everything they told us about the farm. I was so impressed. Some highlights— In the Spring there is a field of gorgeous tulips! Beautiful photos. In the Fall they have a corn maze and haunted corn maze. There is a little train for the kiddos that looks like a bunch of cows. So cute. I can’t wait to bring my kiddo this fall.

Overall, it was a lovely evening. I actually can’t wait to set up a date night to go later in the season.

Additional Dinners in the Field Events: Currently there are three more dinners scheduled: August 10 at AlexEli Vineyard & Winery, Molalla, September 14 at King’s Raven Winery, Oregon City, and September 22 at Morning Shade Farm, Canby. Additional Farm & Vineyard dinners are being added to the schedule as well, including: August 25 at Bekham Estate and September 7 at Apollini. To find out more or to find out how to purchase tickets visit the Field and Vine website and check out the “Farms & Winery Dinners” section. The events cost $75, but include a six-course family style meal, gratuity, and wine.

More about Chef Pascal: Pascal Chureau is the chef/owner of Field and Vine Events. He is also the owner/ chef at Allium in West Linn. Follow along with his twitter feed to see updates on all the fun dinners he has planned for the future!

Disclaimer: I was given free entry to this dinner. I was not asked for a post in exchange for my visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If I sound super excited it is because I am super excited… welcome to me.

Have you ever been to a dinner in the middle of a field? Do you want to, or would you rather have dinner indoors?



Snapshot: Field and Vine Dinner

Tonight I got to enjoy a fabulous night as a guest with Field and Vine events for dinner with my good friend Bee from The Spicy Bee. I’ll chat more about the event tomorrow soon… But, I wanted to share a few snapshots of the fun. Poor Bee got in on a lot of photos because I was wielding the camera!

All photos are from my iPhone 4 other than one that is an iPhone 5.

The Spicy Bee, Chef Pascal, and A Well Crafted Party

Bee, Chef Pascal, and myself— blurry photos are totally in, right?

Mt. Hood Rep and The Spicy Bee

Annie from Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory and Bee

Meat Platter

An amazing starter for an amazing meal

Bee, "No Pictures Please!"

Bee loves my camera… she really does.

Iverson's Farms Dinner in the Field

Lovely Olive Oil Cake for Dessert

West Elm Event: Paper Flowers with Lia Griffith

Paper Flowers with West Elm and Lia Griffith

Paper flowers by Lia Griffith

Cutting out the paper flower templates

Paper flowers cut out

Curling the paper flowers

finished paper flowers

finished paper flowers

West Elm invited me to check out their Paper Flowers workshop with Lia Griffith last week. I’ve been really impressed with the events at West Elm thus far and was excited to join in on another one. Even more excited because I had met Lia a few other times and really wanted to see how she did paper flowers.

I’ve made hundreds of paper flowers for different projects. But, I’ve never had a pattern and no two flowers ever looked alike. It was a lot of fun seeing the ways that Lia did her flowers and how she made them more accessible to everyone by creating printable patterns. Her website has a TON of paper flower tutorials with easy to follow images for each step—Check out one of her Paper Rose Tutorials. She also has printables available so you can print off and make flowers that look exactly like hers. She will be adding videos for the tutorials soon too!

My mother-in-law and my brother-in-law’s girlfriend went to the class with me to try their hands at making the flowers. All three of us came out with gorgeous looking flowers… and, I’m still in awe that you couldn’t tell the difference between our three roses in the end!

One of the big secrets to making beautiful paper flowers? Curl the paper with the back of your scissors! Similar to curling a bit of ribbon, put the back of your scissors against the paper with your thumb lightly pressing the paper to the scissors. Then, pull your scissors back quickly, pulling the paper down as well. Try not to rip the paper, but you can do this several times until your paper has curled a tad. (Hard to explain, easy to execute.)

WestElmEventAbout West Elm: If you haven’t heard of West Elm, then you are missing out. West Elm is a modern  home decor store affiliated with Pottery Barn. The store does SO many awesome collaborations with artists across the world and different local vendors. I’m sort of in love with a ton of their furniture, everything from their new Market section (think old school general store), and many small home decor items. But, I also love that they have events like these that work hand in hand with local artists and bring something more to the community. I mean, West Elm sells paper flowers… they certainly didn’t have to host a class on how to make them. But, I liked that they thought it would be a fun idea to bring this skill to customers so that they could make their own flowers for their home and mix and match with the flowers in the store. Portland locals can check out the West Elm Portland Facebook Page for updates on future classes. This weekend West Elm is hosting “Get Creative with Color” a fun class on how to decorate with color.

About Lia Griffith: Lia is a DIYer that shares her projects on her blog, “Lia Griffith: Handcraft Your Life.” She does so much more than just paper flowers… though, her tutorials for those are pretty amazing. Lia got started in the paper craft world (the business side of it all) with her Papier Couture  (wearable paper!) dresses. Seriously gorgeous work. Check it out and follow along. She posts party crafts as well as home crafts. Lia will be doing more of these fun classes in the Portland area, as well as possibly more in the PNW. So, keep updated with her blog for more information if this is something that interests you!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the $10 Paper Flowers course.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

pretty paper flower gift topper

Things to Do: Field and Vine Events’ Dinners in the Field

Disclaimer: I was invited to join one of the upcoming events as press , complimentary. No further compensation was made. The choice to post about the event was my own. All opinions are my own! Enjoy!

If you’ve followed my blog at all you might have noticed that I’m a big fan of wine, food, and Oregon. So, when Field and Vine Events contacted me about Dinners in the Field, I had to say YES immediately. And, I’m telling the absolute truth when I say… I can’t wait! I promise to share my experience after the event. But, I wanted to share a little about the Dinners in the Field events and the upcoming schedule so that you have the opportunity to sign up if you’re in the area and love food and wine as much as I do!

Dinners in the Field Oregon Events

About the Dinners in the Field: An Oregon Dinner in the Vineyards Event Series

The Dinners in the Field events are a kick off to the new venture in catering & events by chef-owner Pascal Chureau of Allium Bistro in West Linn dubbed Field & Vine Events. Field & Vine has partnered with Oregon Farm Loop for the dinners. Each diner will have the opportunity to either arrive at the field on their own OR ride the vintage school bus to the vineyard. (I totally opted to ride the school bus!) As guests stroll through the vineyard with glasses of wine in hand they will arrive upon community tables filled with candles in the middle of the vineyard! Then they are served a 6-course dinner made from native ingredients of the Northwest, and as often as possible, sourced straight from the host farm or surrounding farms.

Are you as excited as I am!?

Here are the upcoming Dinners in the Field Dates & Locations:

July 20, 2013 | 530p Iverson’s Farm ‘Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm,’ Woodburn
August 10, 2013 | 530p AlexEli Vineyard & Winery, Molalla
September 14, 2013 | 530p King’s Raven Winery, Oregon City
September 22, 2013 | 530p Morning Shade Farm, Canby

Cost: $75 per person, including six course, wine and gratuity (additional $5 for bus from Allium)
Advance Tickets Only by contacting Field & Vine Events: 971-258-8389 or

For more information check out the Molalla Farm Loop website or the Canby Farm Loop website.

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