Why Knot {Explore}: Oregon Wine Country

This past weekend, my mom flew in to spend some time in Portland (where it's not 106 like back in Sacramento).  I knew I wanted to do a day trip while she was here and because neither of us had seen Oregon wine country, we figured that would be the perfect spot. So it was off to McMinnville, OR we went!

Here's a little (or maybe not so little) run through of our trip:

 First stop, Coeur de Terre. This was the absolute best place to begin our trek. The tasting service was great, the view was unbelievable, and they had little slots in the chairs for wine glasses! The winery is family owned and you can see the family's home from the tasting room. There's something about that level of service that will always make me choose a small, family owned winery over one that is large and well known.

Then we went to Coleman Vineyard. Another family owned winery with the family still very much hands on with the process! We had great service here as well and even got to try from the barrels! That's one of my absolute favorite parts of wine tasting if the place allows. 







We ended the day relatively early, a) so one of us could drive still and b) because the place we were staying at was a winery!! We did try to taste at one more place but there was a wedding about to begin! We stayed at Youngberg Hill and you need to put this place on your list for either a place to stay in McMinnville or just to taste their wine. It's another family owned winery with 3 of the wines named after the three young daughters and the owner greeted us with a nice glass of Pinot as we checked in. pleaseandthankyou

I can't rave enough about this place. It was definitely not cheap but absolutely worth every penny. We went to dinner in McMinnville (at Nick's) and drove back early enough to watch the sunset from our private patio while sipping on some complementary tea in the giant mug you see above. In the morning they provided a gourmet breakfast and we got to chat with people while sitting around a family style table. The inn is at the top of the hill and the views are breathtaking!




On Sunday, after breakfast, we drove out to Bella Vida Vineyard in Dundee for one last little excursion. I'm so glad we did because the views from this location were unreal. You taste in the home of the farmers and if that doesn't scream hospitality, I don't know what does. This vineyard is unique in that the owners only farm the grapes and outsource to local wineries. Five of the wineries they outsource their grapes to, make wine specifically for Bella Vida and that is what you get to taste on location. 

It's almost like going to 5 different wineries in one stop! A win-win in my book!

My mom and I couldn't rave enough about McMinnville, Youngberg Hill and all the wineries we went to. Growing up near Napa and around vineyards in general, I was used to larger wineries or ones that have outsourced almost too much and it was so refreshing to get back to that small town feel with the Willamette Valley Vineyards. We are already trying to plan another and longer trip back!! 

Have you been? If so, which wineries?!

(hover over the names of the wineries to get links to their sites)

Cheers

coffee, please.:
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The other day I was walking to my car, yoga mat tucked into my bag, texting my friend I was on my way, texting another friend how excited I was about her new apartment and the bay windows (!! #goals) and it hit me. I am living the life I always dreamed I would when I was 12 years old. 
 
In middle school or elementary school I would fantasize about my 20-somethings. I imagined waking up to the sound of the coffee maker, hurrying to work, wearing amazing clothes and having a tight knit community that I loved. Oh, and we would always end the day with cocktails because we were so sophisticated. 
 
It's fun to say that my life is not all that different from the one I imagined. Most mornings I make myself tea (no coffee every day for me anymore, unfortunately), spend quiet time with the Bible, hurry off to school, sometimes attend a yoga class after, and always make plans for cocktails at some point in the weekend. Usually fit some adventure in there as well. 
 
Oh, and did I mention I'm living in a city? Even my young heart couldn't dream up some of this stuff. 
 
All of this to say, sometimes it's nice to allow ourselves to be content with where we are. To stop wishing for just one more thing to "complete" me. I don't ever want to be "completed" till I am long gone and dead! Who determines what we need or don't need in life?? #society that's who. 
 
I am a 23 year old badass grad student who will have her masters by the time she's 24, has lived in a city, has made great friends, gotten involved, explored, dated, traveled, etc. and still has so much more living and learning to do! If you don't mind me tooting my own horn, I'm doing juuuuuuust fine. :) 
 
And I can bet, so are you. Exactly where you're at. 
 
Celebrate the everyday and the now my friends! 


Wine Tasting in the Sierra Foothills

 While my friends were visiting my hometown of Sacramento, we decided to stop for some wine tasting in the Sierra Foothills. We stopped at Miraflores (where the first couple photos were taken), Villa Toscano (where the last photos were taken) and Terra d'Oro.

 Wine is my drink of choice with whiskey or bourbon behind that so I'm a sucker for any wine tasting trip. I think it's because of my time in Italy but I have such an appreciate for wine and the many different varietals. I also loved getting to spend time with my family and my friends on this day. 





I just got this Free People dress and am obsessed with the dramatic sleeves. It was a blast to snap some photos of the dress in the vines. I bought it to wear for my sister's grad party but it was in the upper 90's that day so I opted out. :) I can't wait to wear it around Portland this summer though. (Although it was in the upper 90-100's this weekend so who knows!)

What did you do this weekend? 
I went to the farmers market, saw Me Before You with some friends, went to the Starlight Parade for the Rose Festival and today I tried out a new church and watched my Warriors absolutely destroy the Cav's. Even though I did quite a lot this weekend, I still felt antsy the whole weekend! It was so frustrating! I think I'm ready to get back on a routine even though it's been nice to just breathe the last few days. Anywho, happy Monday!

The One Day Guide to San Francisco

 I recently showed two friends from Portland all around San Francisco and the day went so smoothly that I had to share. It not only was smooth though, it was a blast! So here is my one day guide to SF! 


We started the day at around 11/11:30 and went straight from the Bay Bridge to the Golden Gate so we started at the furthest end of the city first. This way we wound up towards the Bay Bridge when it was time to head back into Sacramento. I absolutely love Chrissy Field and the old military buildings so we started here.





We then followed signs for the walking path that leads you to the Golden Gate and walked halfway across the bridge. It was such a beautiful day and the city was truly showing off. This was, somehow, something I had never done before (at least from what I remember) so it was fun to incorporate something new for the person who has done almost everything in the city.

 We then drove over to the Marina District/ Cow Hollow for some more incredible views and lunch. My friend Stephanie had seen that a coffee shop recently put in Rifle Paper Co.'s pineapple wallpaper in this area so that was our main attraction. We walked to Umami burger from the coffee shop and had the most amazing truffle burger as well!



 How fun is the wallpaper?? The coffee shop is called Wrecking Ball Coffee and you should definitely stop in next time you're in the city. 

 We then went to Alamo Square to see the Painted Ladies! Unfortunately the park is under construction so you can't sit and admire them from the park slope but they're still fun to look at! 

 San Francisco has the largest Chinatown and exploring this area was something the three of us had never done so we figured, why (k)not?! (had to) It was quite the experience to say the least. We also walked into Little Italy and the church of Saint Francis (the patron saint of San Francisco) just to look around. I felt like I was back in Italy for a minute and walking into all the little churches in tiny alleyways throughout Italian towns.

We ended the day in the Mission District at Dolores Park. We picked up some smoothies and Acai Bowls from a place right down from the park and ate them sitting on the stoop as dinner. I think sitting at a park and people watching is one of my absolute favorite things to do. 

There is still so much more to see in that beautiful city but we definitely hit some great spots and never felt exhausted. I don't recommend doing a city like SF in just one day, but if you have to, I think planning it out a bit like this is the way to go! 

95% of these photos come from my talented friend, Dominique!! Check our her instagram HERE!

Why Knot {Explore}: Yosemite National Park


Are you ready for a ton of Yosemite photos? :)

We just got back from one of the places that means the most to me and I can't wait to share all that we did. You see, starting before I was born, my dad's side of the family has been going up to Yosemite every single year for 30 years!! The first year they didn't go (and now my sisters and I plus cousins are included) was when my grandpa passed away and then they started again but it subsided again with the passing of my grandma four years ago. My family and I have now gone the last 2 years and each time it feels like coming home.

 Yosemite Falls

 Bridal Veil falls- so much water!!!

 This is the tunnel view outlook! 

climbing down from Nevada Falls (behind us)

 Glacier Point- hi Half Dome!

 There's Nevada Falls again!



There are so many photos of my sisters and I as little kids and babies at these exact same spots. I'm so grateful that a place as beautiful as this is also as familiar as a second home. Also, what a diffrence from last year with how green it was and how much water was everywhere!! We stayed at Yosemite Lodge and you could hear the pounding of Yosemite falls in your room! 

On this trip we wanted to lie low a bit and not exhaust ourselves. We really wanted to soak in the atmosphere and pay homage to my Grandma Ginnie. The first evening of being in Yosemite she would always make homemade potato salad and grilled chicken with some homemade lemonade as well. We continued that tradition this time and my sister made my grandma's potato salad just right! We all sat around the table reminiscing and being grateful for the many, many years we have spent up there. 

As you walk around the valley floor and look up at the giant rocks surrounding you, it's easy to be humbled at what a giant and beautiful Earth we live on. There's truly nothing like it. If you haven't explored Yosemite yet, I highly recommend booking a trip. But act fast, everything fills up extremely quick!! (like, book the lodge a year ahead of time!)

Happy Monday!! 
I've still got a full week at home and I'm soaking it up prepping for my sister's graduation and my friends coming into town for Memorial Weekend!!  

Hey there!

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I FINISHED ONE YEAR OF GRAD SCHOOL!!!

I get three weeks off now and you best believe it will be spent doing absolutely nothing related to school. I'm headed home soon and just in time because Portland has allllll the rain headed it's way. Yesterday was the first time I had to do something outdoors-y in the pouring rain and it definitely wasn't pleasant. I participated in Wanderlust 108 and guys, if it's in your city, DO IT! So. Much. Fun. But running the 5K in the pouring rain meant I was soaking wet and my rain jacket can only take so much haha. 

I thought I'd round up some of my favorite things around the web as a celebration of sorts. I miss doing posts like this, so let's get started! 

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1. Have any of ya heard of Grapefruit Seed Extract? Apparently it has all these amazing health benefits and I'm very tempted to try it. Have you tried it?

2. Brothers Osborne. I am absolutely obsessed with their song "Stay a Little Longer". Every time it comes on the radio I turn it all the way up and sing my absolute loudest. 

3. The Simplified Planner. Holy smokes I want one of these planners so bad. I just can't justify it!! Someone help me make a decision!

4. Hydro Flask. These are designed out of Bend, Oregon and they are all over the place here. I just got the light blue one and I swear I'm drinking more water than ever before. Maybe it's because of its pretty color? :)

5. The Anthro Costa Midi dress. I just bought this beauty as my last purchase of working for Anthropologie. It was fun while it lasted but this summer is about to be crazy with school and my new placement so I'm excited to have a little reprieve. But I can't wait to wear this dress all summer long. 

What are some things you're loving?

One Placement Done!

Thanks Ashley for the photo!

Yesterday was my final day of my first clinical practicum! I ended my last day celebrating with my supervisor and the preschool teachers and aides I worked with all semester and then hopping over the Columbia and to the east side to celebrate with friends. Driving over into Vancouver, WA twice a week, at first, seemed like a frustrating task and it turned into such a great experience. I loved my time working in an early intervention preschool and in an elementary school! But I am also glad to move on and experience a new placement now with a completely different population. 

Getting to experience placements in the community is one of my favorite things about my program. I am getting to see, first hand, what the real life of an SLP is like. Every semester we switch where we are placed and the type of location as well. I'm SO excited that my summer placement is in the city, walking distance from my apartment!! Yippee!

Also, I'm so glad that there are friends in my cohort who appreciate a proper celebration like I do. We decided to try out Produce Row and all loved it! Sit on the patio and order some of their happy hour drinks (from 4-7!) and yummy food. I ordered the whiskey ginger and it was delicious! We then drove more north and got churros at 180 Xurreria! GUYS. If you're in Portland you have to try out this little place. They make authentic Mexican xurros and they even have one stuffed with chocolate and other deliciousness. I got the chef's special, which was a cookie & creme covered churro. A-maz-ing.  

Happy Friday! I'm so excited for the weekend to start because my best friend, Monica, gets in late tonight and will be here till Thursday (!!!) and I have an Aphasia Workshop to attend tomorrow. Let the festivities begin!! 
What do you have going on?

An Ode to Portland

 This week is the anniversary of finding out I got into grad school. This time, almost exactly a year ago, everything began to fall into place. All the hard work, the tears, the anxiety and the unknowns all came together to create the most perfect plan. And it wasn't how I would have had it go down at all, but God felt differently. 

And I wouldn't take a second back.


On Sunday I was driving back from church, listening to some music play softly in the background, the windows rolled down, as the trees swayed in the wind and thousands of leaves and flowers fell to the ground. It was like a scene out of a movie. A beautiful tree-lined street, the protagonist in her car thinking about other things when she all of a sudden notices how much beauty surrounds her and it stops her in her tracks. 

I always wanted to step into one of those movies and live in one of the tree-lined neighborhoods like in Father of the Bride with a big white house and black shutters. On Sunday it felt like I had finally found myself in one of those scenes and it made me take a minute to be thankful for this place that I'm in. 

And life isn't all perfect. I don't want anyone to think that I'm walking on rainbows day in and day out without any trials (currently my face is breaking out like I'm 13, so there's that), but it becomes really difficult to complain when Portland gives you a sunny day and there's a general buzz in the air. I'm living according to God's plan for me and while each day has its unknowns, I know the general trajectory of my life is set according to the path He's placed before me. 

Portland has been the ultimate gift for the girl who, a year ago, doubted everything and didn't know left from right. April 23nd, 2015 was the day everything turned around and it's a day I'll continue to celebrate year after year. 

We all have those moments in our lives where there is a key change. The build up is often complex and frustrating, filled with potholes and triumphs, but it makes the reward that much sweeter. It's the moment you get the job, you realize you had feelings for that person all along, you decide you have to move if you're ever going to grow, you leave the job for the one you are made for, or you climb the mountain you thought was impossible to climb. 

Portland/grad school was and is all of that to me.


ps. if you want some goosebumps, read THIS post from April 15th, 2015. spooky. this is why i blog.

pss. and for fun, HERE'S the post when i announced i got into grad school :)

psss. tired of me yet? just have a great Portland story from yesterday. we were on Division (always a kind of crowded 2 lane street) and trying to fit two large pieces of furniture into my friends car and secretly hoping some strong man would come help us because #weak when 1 man completely pulled to the side of the road-illegally-to help us out, then 2 more guys come over and basically take over the whole process. 3 strangers totally helped us out!! How amazing is that in such a busy, individualistic society that we live in that 3 guys of all different ages would help some sisters out. it made me grateful to live in this sweet community once again.