Whimsical Waterfall

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

Beautiful Oregon definitely doesn't lack in whimsical waterfalls. But they're especially whimsical when I get to prance around them in heels, a flowy romper-dress, sparkly jewelry, and my handsome husband. Lucky for us, that's just what we got to do when my brother-in-law's cousin (who's an excellent photographer!) just happened to be visiting Portland and wanted to photograph a local couple.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

We ventured to Silver Falls State Park, about an hour and a half away from Portland, and Kelly captured these gorgeous shots. I'm low key obsessed with them and want to redo our entire gallery wall to feature them or, better yet, DIY another gallery wall.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

We took these back in September but I wanted to use a few for our Christmas card and didn't want to spoil any surprises by posting them on here until those went out. So here we are at the beginning of 2018 (how is it 2018 already?!) and I finally get to share these beauties with you all.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

I don't know about you, but I'm so happy to get a fresh start in 2018. I'm ready to take on the new year with a fresh perspective, new goals, redefined priorities, and big dreams. I know a fresh start doesn't have to wait until the new year, but there's something about the first of the year that's really motivating, don't you think?

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

2017 saw a lot of growth for me. Let me tell you, people: the quarter-life crisis is real. I don't know that I'm fully through it yet, but I at least know I have an incredible support system to help me find my way.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life

I read a few quotes lately that are inspiring me this new year:

That itch in your heart to live for something greater was put there by God.
We cannot love what we do not linger over.

These quotes speak volumes to me - especially this past year, I've had this nagging feeling that I want to do more of the things I love or that I'm not fulfilling my life's purpose (whatever it may be). When it comes to my passions, I'm usually 0% or 100% -- here's to finding a better balance in 2018.

โœŒ๐Ÿป Peace out 2017. You were great, but I have a feeling 2018 will be even better.

Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
Silver Falls State Park | This Dainty Life
 

Pure Magic // Christmas 2017

This year was our first year traveling for Christmas since we moved to Portland 4 years ago. We went to Vegas to spend Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, mom, brother, and other brother-in-law. It was simply pure magic seeing Christmas through the eyes of a 1-year-old. Though I don't think she quite gets it yet, it was fun getting to experience her reactions and sweet personality during this spectacular time of year.

Before we left, Tim and I dressed up our tiny apartment with Christmas decorations that we're still enjoying โค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ

We arrived in Vegas wearing Christmas Vacation t-shirts I found on Amazon. Mine read "Why is the carpet all wet, Todd?" and his read "I don't know Margo." We thought we were hilarious at 4:30 a.m. when we had to arrive at the airport for our 6 a.m. flight. But no one noticed the shirts except one flight attendant and our family. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Oh well, at least we got a kick out of it. I'm bummed we didn't take any pictures wearing them together, but I felt kinda gross after flying and wasn't too thrilled about the concept of picture-taking that day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tim took pictures galore of Mila, however. You're welcome:

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We mostly stayed in and spent lots of quality time together catching up, baking, and drinking wine ๐Ÿท The first night we arrived we made at least 100 peanut clusters (seriously one of my favorites) and what my sister calls "Christmas Crack," our family's delicious toffee (Tim approved, which says a lot considering he's a toffee connoisseur). ๐Ÿ˜‹

Christmas Baking

My sister & brother-in-law's friends came over for Christmas Eve dinner (we had tamales ๐Ÿ˜‹) and brought their adorable daughter, Charlotte, who's only a month younger than Mila. The two of them together are a crack up. Charlotte LOVES Mila, but Mila wasn't too sure about all the affection. They still ended up having fun sporting their matching jammies and exchanging gifts ๐ŸŽ

Christmas 2017 // This Dainty Life

Christmas Eve night we all got cozy in our matching jammies (thanks, Mom!), played the oven-mitt gift game (it was hilarious), and watched Christmas Vacation. It was perfect โค๏ธ

Christmas morning came fast and swift. We woke up and enjoyed coffee, cinnamon rolls, and bagels with cream cheese and lox. We exchanged gifts and helped Mila open hers. My favorite Mila gift was her cute kitchen set. Just look at that farmhouse sink!  It's ridiculous how cute it is.

Christmas 2017 // This Dainty Life

Spending time with family always goes by way too quickly. But we definitely cherished it while we were all together. I hope your Christmas was just as magical as ours! 

 

Lavender is Life

Oregon Lavender Farm | 2017 Lavender Festival

Last weekend, Tim and I braved the 100โ„‰ weather and ventured out to Oregon City for the Lavender Festival at the Oregon Lavender Farm. With views of Mount Hood and bright purple lavender all around us, it was so, so beautiful. Not to mention the scent! Imagine taking a luxurious lavender-soaked bath - that's what the fragrance was like walking through the fields.

While wandering the farm listening to the awesome local bands, I sipped on lavender lemonade, which is probably the most refreshing drink I've ever had - yes, it was really that good. I mean, just look at the photo from my Instagram! The festival also hosted vendors - everything from handmade rugs, jewelry, and artwork to candles and natural beauty products. There was lavender wreath making and a distillation demonstration, which was so interesting! I've read about the process, but I've never seen it in person.

Tim and I also enjoyed lavender beer and lavender cider - serious yum. And on our way out we picked up a Killa Dilla, a quesadilla larger than our faces, to share ๐Ÿ˜‹ It was absolutely delicious. We ordered the "basic dilla," which comes with mozzarella, cabbage, marinated red onions, and a "secret tangy dressing," and we added grilled veggies. Holy moly, you guys. I can't do its tastiness justice.

Oregon Lavender Farm | 2017 Lavender Festival

As the title of this blog post suggests, I use lavender constantly, so I thought I'd share how I work it into my daily and weekly routine.

My favorite ways to use lavender essential oil:

  1. Combine your favorite non-scented, natural lotion with one drop of lavender to moisturize and treat yourself to a little at-home spa experience ๐Ÿ’œ
  2. Put one drop into your mascara bottle to support strong, healthy lashes ๐Ÿ’œ
  3. Diffuse 3-4 drops at night to aid sound sleeping or make a pillow spray with it for the same benefits ๐Ÿ’œ
  4. Add 2-3 drops to your laundry detergent, especially when washing sheets or towels ๐Ÿ’œ
  5. Add 3 drops to your wool dryer balls when drying laundry ๐Ÿ’œ
  6. Use a roller bottle to experience lavender's calming properties on-the-go ๐Ÿ’œ

Do you love lavender essential oil? What are your favorite ways to use it?