Jun 17, 2014

a little update during my blogging break

I have been M.I.A these past few weeks and will continue to be taking a break from blogging the rest of the month. I have been super busy preparing for a few trips I am taking this month, and I was in San Francisco for 5 days last week! I work two more days and am off to Texas for ten days and then am taking my family to the beach for four days for 4th of July weekend.  I am a busy bee this month and I love it! I have been super excited for June to arrive and now that it's here, I want it to slow down so I can savor all the sweet moments and bottle up all the memories. Photos are my ways of bottling up those moments, so here are just a few photos of my road trip to San Fran (I'll eventually restart Travel Tuesdays and share more!)

tall redwoods in the redwood national park
San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts
Napa Valley's Castello di Amorosa
Point Lobos in Carmel, Ca

Be sure to check my instagram  (elle_alice) for photos from my adventures this month! 


Jun 4, 2014

june goals

May Goals
++  spend 1/2 hour each week reviewing journal articles and notes on nursing-related education
(I did not do this all month, but I did it last week. Hey, I gotta start somewhere, right? I reviewed some peer reviewed articles on skin conditions as well a listened to some podcasts on "bulletproof radio".)
++ choose a day each week to pray for the clinic I work at.
(I need to remind myself to do this more consistently and purposefully throughout the day because I tend to only say a prayer in the mornings prior to getting to work, but then when the stress and worries arise, I often forget to just get away a few minutes and pray.) 
++ get off phone and computer by 11pm & no electronics in bed 
(Not completely there yet, but getting closer! In bed by 11-11:30)
++ daily journal 3 gifts 
(Yes! Though I have slacked recently, I catch up midweek)
++ memorize 3 new verses
(Neh.9:17b; Neh. 8:10; John 4:13-14)
++ blog 2-3/week, including the current series: Travel TuesdayPraising through Pain,  Cooking with Elle, & Elle's Book Reviews
(I have slacked on blogging this month, but I did post some recipes, revisited my spring goals, and shared pics from Seattle.)
++ Continue using She Reads Truth studies and journal prayers/thoughts
(I just finished Nehemiah from She Reads Truth and it was amazing!)
++ 4 new paleo recipes
(Yes! Chicken Gumbo, Healing Vegetable Bisque, Honey Lemon Chicken, Colorful Winter Salad, Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon!)
++ Finish reading The Explicit Gospel. 
(Yes! Took me 2 months, but it is easily one of my favorite books on theology) 

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June Goals
This month is going to be FUN! I've been waiting months and months for June to roll on by! It's my birth month, so it's always been my favorite, but I've also always loved the sunny days and fragrant blooming peonies of June. Well, this June I get to add a few more reasons to love June. I have two exciting trips this month (and another the first week of July!). I am going on a road trip to San Francisco with several of my siblings and then a few days later, I visit a few of my favorite people in Texas :-) 

Here are some goals for this fun month!

+ memorize 2 verses 
+ learn 3 new paleo recipes
+ finish the Food Elimination Diet I started 2 weeks ago to evaluate any food sensitivities
+ start a new She Reads Truth study (I got my Titus and Ruth packs ready!)
+ read 2 out of the 4 books I plan to read this summer: Hope Rising ( Scott Todd), Sarah's Key (Tatiana de Rosnay), Bittersweet (Shauna Niequest), & Meet Me in the Meadow (Deborah Hedstrom-Page)
+ blogging might be less frequent this month due to all the traveling, but I'll try to post at least once a week. 
+ post a 6-month update on the goals I made in January
+ read pediatric health-related articles or old power points to brush up on topics (30min at least 2 weeks)
+ listen to atleast 2 new Bulletproof Radio podcasts (call me a nerd, but I have been fascinated about learning about ketosis and using (good) fats to help you lose fat. Sounds ironic, right?)
+ get to bed by 11:30pm
+ jog outside twice a week and find new trails and/or roads
One of my favorite places to jog, sit and read, or walk with a friend

Jun 3, 2014

Spring Date // Downtown Portland

City of Roses, Bridge City, Rip City, PDX. 
So many nicknames for this urban masterpiece called Portland!
I had an awesome time exploring downtown on a sunny day last April with my boyfriend.
It was his first trip visiting me as a couple (and his first visit to Portland!), so it was special (although I was pretty awkward and nervous part of it, haha!) 

 Portland's Waterfront
We walked alongside Waterfront Park, crossed the Willamette via Hawthorne Bridge, hung out on the docks of Eastbank Esplanade, then made our way back to Waterfront via the Steel Bridge. The total walk was somewhere between 2-3 miles and was perfect on this lovely sunny day. We made a full circle to Waterfront Park and rested on the grass before heading to dinner. 
our first "couple" photos. Awwww :)


Pearl District
A few days later, we explored another corner of downtown Portland, the swanky Pearl District. Brimming with local specialty shops, cafes, restaurants, and the urban Jamison Park and Tanner Springs Park, the Pearl has become an iconic pearl of downtown, pun certainly intended. 
 Tanner Springs Park

Jamison Park

Portland Saturday Market
 We explored another iconic Portland spot: the Saturday Market. We goofed around, smelled all the homemade soaps and lotions, and our bellies growled at the smell of all the delicacies around us. 
And then we enjoyed a little more time on the waterfront (so much busier on the weekend!)

Pittock Mansion
We ended our tour of downtown Portland by watching the sunset at Pittock Mansion, which boasts a gorgeous view of downtown and is just minutes away from my favorite downtown shopping area, 23rd Avenue. 



Laurelhurst Park
Quite possibly my favorite park in Portland, Laurelhurst boasts several miles of walking paths, a spring-fed pond, picnic areas, and plenty of trees to take shelter under and read a book or share a picnic. We only had a short time there and opted to take a short walk and then rest on a bench by the pond. It is a few minutes away from Belmont, a hip area full of great restaurants, so it is a great place to work off some calories before enjoying a good meal!

Day Trips Near Portland
We also took a few short trips out of Portland, which made for some dates filled with gorgeous northwest scenery for this Texan to enjoy!

Seaside & Ecola State Park
The Oregon coast is something beautiful to behold no matter the season. This spring beach trip was a bit windy, but we didn't mind since it was dry and sunny! We walked around Seaside, enjoyed sushi at Tora Sushi Lounge , through the frisbee on the beach (or atleast I tried to "through it". I blamed the wind for my bad aim, haha!), and relaxed on a bench overlooking the gorgeous view from Ecola State Park.  Less than 2 hour drive from Portland, it makes for a great escape from the busy city!

Angel's Rest
This beautiful hike is located about 45 minutes outside of Portland, on the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. It boasts an exposed bluff that gives a nearly 360 degree view including Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain, and the Columbia River. It is a 2.4 moderately easy trail and is worth the view. G and I made 3/4 up this time around because we wanted to relax and chat at a nice spot we found, so we let my brothers go ahead to the top. 

Spring in Portland is gorgeous! G and I loved exploring the city as well as escaping to the coast and the gorge, especially since the rain stayed away all week (which is quite a miracle in April!).