A recipe book fit for a bride!

My husband's brother is getting married to a wonderful lady in a few weeks.  For a bridal shower gift, I was asked to put together a recipe book that combined the recipes of all of their family and friends.  (I can't take credit for the idea or leg work of procuring the recipes - that was all Karen Spina!).

For ideas, Karen & I looked at these on Pinterest.

found here
found here

found here

From those, here's what I came up with.

I decided on two books since there were so many recipes.  You can get these books at Michaels in all kinds of colors which was great! I love color coding, don't you?

The blue book was dedicated to the main meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. 

The pink book was all about the beginnings and endings: soups, salads, dips, and dessert.

For the cover, I didn't do anything fancy, just a little stamp in the corner. 
"Put a bird on it".

For the dividers, I picked up these cute patterns at Michaels and made my own tabbies with scrap paper. I also purchased cute stickers to spice it up a bit. 

Now for the inside. Simple! Using the 4x6 page protectors, I inserted either a recipe, note, or picture. If the recipe or note was short, I added some scrap paper to the bottom for some color. Look at Megan, isn't she cute?

See that handsome guy on the left? That's the hubs. The groom is all touristy on the right.

I added some quotes and washi tape to add interest and flair.

My favorite is the "away we go" cloud on the right. So whimsy.

The groom...gosh, he was so cute.

The best part was adding the pictures of the family and personal notes. This is a picture of the boys' grandparents. 

Fun, right?

Here is the couple as little ones. You can't see it, but Phil is wearing a necklace with the letter M on it...coincidence? Fate? You pick!

Oh, and I got these little doo-dads to be used as bookmarks. Who doesn't love a mustache?

A very personal and fun project that can be made for anyone. It inspired me to organize my own recipes and add some personal touches.  The best part is that she can now add her own recipes and help the book grow.  What a fun "hand-me-down" this would make for future Donnellys!


Hello, Seattle!

In Portland, we decided to rent a car for a few days to see the sights outside of Portland that transit doesn't reach.  On one of these days, we decided to travel to Seattle as it was only 3 hours away. And boy, was it worth it. 

Seattle is absolutely breathtaking. Honestly, I would live here in a heart beat if the cost of living wasn't so steep. 

Here's the view as we pulled into the city.

As we came in, we headed towards Fremont Street which is known for some cute local shops and a pretty nice record store. As we went to park, we needed to break a bill to park in a lot which turned out to be pretty lucky as we stumbled into Seattle's Sunday Market which reminded me of Ardmore's Clover Market.  It was SWEET!

Later after visiting some of Seattle's shops, we decided to stop into Hale's Ale House for an afternoon cocktail.

From there, we headed to Kerry Park as it is known for its spectacular view of the city. And that was an understatement.  You can see EVERYTHING from here.

After some sushi for dinner, we just had to go to the first Starbucks on Pike for some coffee located by the infamous flying fish market. Coffee was delicious of course and the place was pretty awesome.

I'm loving this city life on the West Coast. A day in Seattle just wasn't enough!


Portland, Oregon

As many of you know, the Donnelly's flew across the US of A to the beautiful Portland, Oregon for their summer vacation. We have wonderful family who drove us to and from the airport & also cared for our furry children so that we could lay back, get fat, and enjoy all that Portland has to offer. 

Warning! Content will contain lots of pictures.... I couldn't help it people!

The plane ride both ways was long & uncomfortable. I don't know how people fly often OR sleep on planes. But luckily, that was the worst of the trip!

Our hotel room was centrally located which made everything really easy to get to.  The MAX station was right there...do you see it? It made for easy traveling (that is..once we figured out how to ride it...)

The Sights.

This is a movie theater...we didn't go in but I love the sign. Very classy.

I feel like ALL of the houses looked like this. Cozy, warm, midcentury modern-ish. 

These two houses in particular were located in the Hawthorne district. Our favorite of them all.

I am not a fan of living in a house such as this one, but it's pretty neat, yes?

Portland is big on being green so they reuse A LOT of things.  These caught my eye.

This is an understatement. Bikers were everywhere! You should see the legs on these people! 

And here you have it. Portlandia! Voted one of the ugliest buildings in the country. Woot!

The great thing about walking is actually SEEing everything. Even at night. Crossing over this bridge with all of the lights was just beautiful.

This. Sign. It makes you smile every time you cross over the bridge into Downtown. (But I won't tell you how many times it took us to get this picture...). Fun fact: In the winter time, the deer gets a little red nose! 

The Shopping.

I was in crafty heaven. I mean, it was honestly shop after shop of handmade goodness. If I had a kajillion dollars, it'd spend it all here. A few of my favorites were:

Crafty Wonderland. It's like an amusement park for craft lovers. 

Wanderlust. Vintage. Handmade. Wander this way you say? You don't need to ask me twice.

Tender Loving Empire. They had cuddly little sewn creatures. I have no need for them but I wanted them. All of them.

The "Pink" Store (we aren't sure what it is actually called but it should be called that..)

The prices here were unbelievable! I almost wished we had driven so I could cart back a load of these beauties. 

House of Vintage. This place was HUGE. Not a great set-up or selection but fun nonetheless. If you are interested in cowboy kitties and freaky dolls, it is right up your alley!

Rerun. I almost bought a $3.00 tea holder that was adorable. But alas, it was our last day and I had zero room left in my suitcase.

My absolute favorite...Flutter. We went back twice. And I bought things twice.

Ryan was in vinyl heaven of course. I have to say, the set-up/decor of these places were way cool. 

We have Jackpot Records Store #1 (with the super nice dudes)...

...and Jackpot Records Store #2 which was visited twice as it had a better selection.

This was hanging at Mississippi Records. I thought it was cute.

There were more record stores of this nature but of course I forgot to take pictures. I think we visited 5 stores total. And Ryan took away something from each.  We have a lot of listening to do at home.

Together, we walked through Portland's famous Saturday Market. It had some handmade items. For all of the hoopla, I wasn't too impressed. But it made for a nice morning. (Didn't meant to get shirtless dude and honestly, it was a little chilly this morning!)

And no, we aren't lost...at least in this picture. We were trying to navigate Powell, a famous bookstore in Portland. Yes, it was so big, it needed a map. And we were a little overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, we couldn't find the exit.

The Food. The Beer. (Or the reason why we are now officially on a diet).

We agree. The food was amazing. Even more amazing was the beer. We took the motto of "It's five o'clock somewhere" to heart and that justified us having a few yummy tastes at say, noon?

Starting off, we have Deschutes Brewery. So good, we went again later!

Then, Portland's own Rogue! Best pizza ever. And Ryan said he would have food babies with his burger. Not sure how I feel about that.

A mid-day taste at Ambrosia Brewing out in the patio. 

Two dinners were had at Widmer Brothers

 We took a day off of breweries and went to the Bite of Oregon for the afternoon. It had food and drinks from all over the city. We settled in for ribs and steak topped off with some homemade ice cream. We also were serenaded with music and sat at a great spot for people watching.

Off to the Bridgeport Brewpub for some fabulous soup & pork concoction. (Yes, the swine was our friend this trip.)

We did do a "fat kid" day and got ourselves a big ol' mac & cheese plate from Mac.  Honestly, this makes my belly sick just looking at it...how many calories are in that big boy?

Can NOT forget Coalition. Best burger ever. And yummiest porter. 

Love doughnuts? Ever have a bacon doughnut? Don't knock it 'till you try it. It was utterly delicious at Voodoo.

On our last day, we had brunch at Tasty n' Sons who is known for their fabulous brunch items served family style.

We started off with blackberry french toast. 

Followed by ham over toast with an egg & heirloom tomato.

And finished off with a chocolate potato doughnut. 

We also hit up the Hopworks Bike Bar (very cool green bar) for a "hit the road" brew.

All in all, a wonderful trip. If you love cities as much as we do, this should be top priority for you. The people here were super nice. I mean, they would apologize if they bumped into you or said no worries if you ran into them accidentally. People let their hair go gray...it wasn't uncommon to see 30 somethings with some gray hair and rock it. And the prices here were beyond anything we've seen.  A night out in Lancaster could easily set us back over $60 for good food & drinks whereas here, we spent on average $30-40 bucks per meal including drinks. I mean, whatttt??? With all the positives of the trip, it is still great to be home with our little guys and resting our tired feet. Gosh, we have to go food shopping again...back-to-reality!