THE pepper EXPRESS: April 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hiking Multnomah Falls

Our original plan was to fly Southwest up to Portland, Oregon. However, the plane flights are usually cheaper if you buy them three months in advance instead of the week before. So Plan B was to drive 10 hours straight up I-5 and get there by my sister's birthday. We left on Friday by 5 pm and drove straight until we hit a rest stop. We took a little nap, then drove another 3 hours the next morning to Vancouver, WA where my sister lives. We arrived around lunch time. Immediately after lunch my dad recommended going to Multnomah Falls. We were all for it until he said we were going to hike it. We didn't bring the hiking backpack for the baby, so each one of us took turns holding Solin once she fell asleep. It was a simple 2 mile hike that was moderate. Although it was up hill both ways we had a giddy ole time talking and getting soaked by the falls. This is definitely a hike I would recommend for any age!
My dad spoiling Solin with rock candy:
Love LOVE these photos:
She fell asleep before we hit the mile marker:
Here is a photo of my step mother, me, my sister Katie and my dad. We all made it to the top.
I was too scared to look down the falls. So I took a photo instead:
This hike was so worth it. My dad is  60 years old and he was able to do. I highly recommend it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Powell's Books - Portland, OR

My sister moved from Arcata, CA to Vancouver, WA last year and we were finally able to take a road trip up there a visit with her for her birthday. (Check out theses posts here and here!) While we were up there I had a road trip bucket list. Portland was a must. And in Portland there were a few places I wanted to go and a few places I wanted to try out. Powell's Books was a must! I new that we would get lost in the labyrinth of the store and be there for hours. There was a point when I actually lost my sister and I would go into random aisles and call out "Katie, Kayyyyteee, Kayayatay, K T!" I found her looking up books on Jonestown... don't ask! Solin had fun running up and down the stairs and climbing up the shelves. I was really excited that Powell's actually shared one of our photos on their Instagram page here. After searching for a few Kinfolk books I just started following Solin around and started snapping pictures. We had too much fun getting lost in this book store:
A few hours later we grabbed some food at Los Gorditos which is a great place to stop if you are Vegan or Vegetarian. They also have a regular menu as well. Then we shopped in the Pearl District and I spent a little too much money at Madewell, but these jeans and this sweater was well worth it!
More from our Road Trips HERE!

Monday, April 25, 2016

VooDoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR

These photos were taken way back in February when we took a road trip up the Pacific Coast to visit my sister Katie for her Birthday. Our required road trip stop in Portland, OR was VOODOO DOUGHNUTS! It was crazy that my dad recommended this place, because some of the names of the doughnuts are a little out of this world. I always go old fashion and choose a bear claw and my husband is a fan of their Portland cream doughnuts. My biggest recommendation is to go early in the morning before 10 am. There was nobody in line when we got there. However, when we left the line was out the door. I loved stopping at this doughnut shop because it was a little weird and that's kinda the point of downtown Oregon!
Another delicious doughnut was called "The Dirty Bastard!"
My little sister Katie and Solin:
Solin couldn't wait to get her hands on these:
Another required insta snap in Portland:
Next post coming up will be our day trip to Powell's Book Store down the street from VooDoo Doughnuts!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Mommy Blogger Started Kit

Mommy Blogger Started Kit

Full disclosure... I am not a hypocrite. I actually have all of these items. But after blogging for the last couple years, I have realized that I have been susceptible to advertising from other mommy bloggers. I have a handful of mommy and lifestyle bloggers that I love to follow. Each and every day there is another story that I love to read. I like how everyone gets to share their individual lives in each and every way. I have just noticed a few items that follow a trend. Personally, all of these products are great quality and I totally would recommend them all to anyone who has the money to purchase them. However just be cautious of how much money you are spending when you follow these bloggers. Including my self. I often have links and sponsored posts here, in which I am occasionally compensated. Be careful with your time and money. Don't go into debt just because you GOTTA HAVE the best new hat from Madewell. Make sure you are financially stable and you are able to afford these items. There was a point when I was charging everything on my credit cards and my husband and I had to start talking about finances and how we handle them. This is an on going conversation of course. 
What I am trying to preach is: keep an eye out on the items that truly stand out to you as an individual. The reason I compiled this list is because I realized I wasn't an individual for buying all of these products. I am one in the same as the next blogger. Ladies be different. Make sure your blog is about you. Don't try and be somebody your not. Be you!

(If you purchased everything on this list it would be: $2,850. You could go on vacation. You could put that money towards your dream wedding. What about that laptop that you want? Invest in something for yourself.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My Life #Instagrammed

On Solin's second birthday I took soo many photos. I was so proud of my self for documenting the beginning of her terrible twos until I zoned in on the "No Memory Card" WARNING! I could of kicked myself! The only photos I had from that day were on my snapchat and from relatives and their cell phones. Thankfully we have these photos to put in her memory book... just in case Silly Solin doesn't remember her terrible twos! 
I don't know if you noticed, but we officially have a salt water problem. Auntie Kristen bought Solin a pair of Navy Blue Salt Water Sandals for her birthday and now I am tempted to go buy a pair to be all "matchy matchy!" I have three pairs of salt waters now: Red, Black and Brown!
My husband and I are celebrating nine years together. Back in 2007 when we first started dating he took me and the kids on a trip to Monterey. This year we started driving south and I had no idea where we were going until we actually checked into The Monterey Hotel... literally no clue. It was a surprise and our original plan was to go camping. However, he wanted to stop in downtown Monterey to have dinner on Alvarado Street. But first I had to pee ( I always have to go pee!) We first looked into a coffee shop and they said bathrooms were for customers. Then we went next door to The Monterey Hotel. My husband said there must be a bathroom in here. We walked down the historical hallway looking for a bathroom until my husband turned and said: "Hello, we are here to check in." Completely fooled. I am yet to finish my blog post for our Monterey trip but I promise promise there will be more to come soon. But until then here are the things I snapped for Instagram:
The next day we took a bike ride to Carmel where we window shopped and wine tasted.
I started missing my family so much that I thought this was our daughter Carlie Rae:
When we got home. Solin gave us the cold shoulder for leaving her with grandma.
Now that the weather is getting better I've been trying to spend more time out side in the sun. I took a half day at work and Solin and I enjoyed some fun in the sun at Lodi Lake. Plus we had to stop for a treat at Sno-White's
Just this past weekend the weather turned on us. One day it was in the 90's and the next it was pouring rain. Perfect weather to stomp around in our Hunter Boots:
If you want to follow along on Instagram you can find me @pepperexpress. My username on snapchat is the same!
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