HOME TOUR: Updated Master Bedroom  

Over this past weekend while Luke had a guys weekend in San Diego, my sister came over and we got to work on a little master bedroom makeover. I had recently purchased a new set of sheets and a duvet cover, while my sister helped me choose the curtains and some of the accents to complement the bedding.

I always try to keep our master bedroom on the simple side. I opt for minimal decor and try to keep clutter at a minimum. The only decor we have in our bedroom is a framed watercolor on my nightstand from a trip to Paris and two framed photos from our wedding. We each chose our favorite photo from our wedding and have them placed above our respective nightstands. The goal for this space has always been to create a comfortable and relaxing environment. This room after all is our one place in the house to escape for some peace and quiet. This room also gets the most natural light in our house and I wanted to keep it light and airy. I love how it all came together!

(see sources cited and linked at the end of this post)

A while ago we removed the mirror closet doors and installed a new shelving system in the closet, embracing the open closet concept. It turned out that it was a little too open for our liking, so I installed a curtain rod and placed white curtains on both sides of the closet. I love that we can now semi-embrace the open closet, or pull the curtains together to close it off from the room. It’s all about having choices my friends!

A Girls Weekend in Lincoln City, Oregon

Back in June my mom, sister and I spent a weekend at the Oregon Coast. Getting just the three of us together was long overdue and much needed. My mom found an apartment with a patio that looked out over the ocean and I have to say, staying at the beach is always better when you can go to sleep and wake up to the sound of crashing waves, am I right?! This particular weekend the temperatures were over 90 degrees! Yikes! That’s some extreme heat for this coastal town. 
Where we stayed: This apartment The best part about this apartment was the balcony/patio overlooking the ocean. 
Where we ate / drank: Mo’s (a must in our family) Kyllo’s, Mojo Coffee 
What we loved: What’s not to love about the Oregon Coast? I’ve been coming here since I was little. The Oregon Coast holds so many memories from my childhood and growing up throughout the years. It’s a great place to relax and recharge. The Lincoln City Kite Festival took place on our weekend visit, so I purchased a mini kite for $10 and ventured out on the sand to fly it with the big kites, haha!
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

Visiting the Family Castle in Northern Ireland

Growing up my Grandma Georgia would tell me about our Irish heritage and how our ancestors came over from Ireland. They were the O’Kennedy’s in Ireland, and upon moving to New York they dropped the “O” from their name. She told me about the castle that our family once lived in and had a photo of the castle framed on her wall. I always knew I would visit the castle someday, at some point in my life. Growing up I wish I would have paid more attention to her stories, or tried to remember in more detail. When I started to show an interest in learning more she wasn’t able to recall the details. I reached out to her younger brother, my Great Uncle Ed, in hopes that he’d have something to share with me. A few months after I made contact with him, an envelope showed up in my mailbox with two photos of the castle with his hand-written notes on the back detailing the year he visited and the address of the castle. Receiving those details were an absolute dream come true. The castle is named Necarne Castle, but is also referred to as Castle Irvine. I kept the photos in my passport holder on this trip, to see how much, if any, the castle had changed since our last family members were here.
The castle is located about 3 hours north of Dublin, in the town of Irvinestown, Northern Ireland. After a stressful drive north, I peeked at the GPS when we finally arrived to Irvinestown and were about 5 minutes away from the castle. I got a bit nervous. I’ve been wanting to see this place for the better part of my life and I couldn’t believe I was so close. The GPS told us to take a left and the road was closed and blocked off. We got a bit creative and re-routed our path to the old equestrian college that was on the castle grounds. We arrived a few minutes later in the parking lot. As we got out of the car and walked in the direction of the castle I had a thousand thoughts floating around in my head. I had always envisioned what the castle would be like and I hoped the reality lived up to my expectations. We had to walk around the equestrian college’s facility so there was some paths, stairs and walking around buildings. I just wanted to be there already! Once we finally had the castle in view I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Necarne Castle was built in the 17th century and the last time the castle was occupied was 1945. There hasn’t been any restoration work done since then. It’s in critical condition and continues to deteriorate. The windows and doors have been boarded up for decades. It’s sad to see such a beautiful building falling apart, with no plans to save it. Northern Ireland now owns the castle and through extensive research on my part, I’ve found that there is no budget to save Necarne Castle. There are many local groups advocating for restoration, but it doesn’t seem there’s an interest. I can only imagine how amazing the castle was in its prime. I’m thankful to have seen something that was such a special place to my ancestors.
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Back in March while we were in Europe we rented a car (the trusty Renault!) and drove from Dublin up to Northern Ireland. We only had a few days of driving around we so picked one big bucket-list spot to visit in Northern Ireland – Giant’s Causeway. This place. Wow. Luke and I both agreed that this is seriously one of the most amazing sights we’ve ever seen. Giant’s Causeway was formed after a volcanic eruption and the result is over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, most of them hexagonal in shape. The best part about visiting the Causeway is that you can walk all over the columns! We spent over an hour taking in the natural beauty around us and walking up and down the rocks. I must have walked away with 100+ photos!
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

That one time we went to Austin, Texas | APRIL 2016

I can’t believe that I missed posting about our time in Austin, Texas! Austin had been on my travel list for as long as I could remember. We booked a trip last year (for my birthday) and had the absolute best time exploring for a very, very long weekend. Heather even met up with Luke and I! This is a city I definitely want to spend more time in. I see another Austin trip in my future!

Where we ate/drank:
Hotel San Jose: We stopped here for drinks right when we got into town. A rainstorm came through right when we arrived but the patio was covered, so all was good!
Fixe: On our first night in town we met some friends that live in Austin for dinner at Fixe. It was one amazing meal!
Torchy’s Tacos: We might have gone here three times… This is the place where I discovered my love of breakfast tacos. They are seriously life changing.
Tacodeli: We were told you either like Torchy’s or Tacodeli. We liked Torchy’s…
Gourdough’s Doughnuts: So indulgent! We got one doughnut and shared it between 3 people.
The Salt Lick: Because we were looking for some good old Texas barbecue.
Winflo: We met Jessica and Matt here for happy hour one night and it was so much fun. I met Jessica through blogging and this was the first time meeting in person. She was the sweetest and we all had a great time getting to know each other.
Licha’s Cantina: Our last meal of the trip, so sad. We discovered green salsa here and I’ve tried to re-recate it at home multiple times.

What we loved:
Everything on South Congress, the Mexican food, Barton Springs, walking around the UT campus, touring the Texas State Capitol building, exploring different neighborhoods, becoming addicted to breakfast tacos, finding murals all over the city,

FUN FACT: We met Mark and Sara in Mexico, just days before our wedding. We met them at the swim-up bar at the hotel we were staying at and they became instant friends with our group.
We invited them to our wedding and Mark caught the garter! We’ve stayed friends in the past few years and met up with them for my birthday dinner on our first night in Austin.
These are the breakfast tacos that changed my life. No joke. 
They are from Torchy’s Tacos and they are nothing short of absolutely amazing. 
*The nice camera didn’t make it on this trip, all photos are courtesy of the iPhone. 

A trip to Indianapolis, IN

Back in March we spent a few days in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our good friends Pat and Andi live there and they’ve been out to Portland to visit us multiple times, so we were overdue for a trip to see them. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high expectations for this city. Don’t get me wrong, I was beyond excited to visit our friends, see their new house and spend time catching up with them, I really just had minimal knowledge about Indy. After spending a few days there, I have to say it kind of blew me away. It exceeded my expectations. We ate at amazing places, had good beers, took awesome walks and saw a lot of beautiful murals and street art. I seriously loved our time there and would love to go back soon.
How adorable is Pat and Andi’s house? Their neighborhood was so beautiful and reminded of some of the neighborhoods in NE Portland. The houses were unique and there were so many trees!
They know we like a good brunch, so they took us to Milktooh.
It was delicious! We all shared a few bites of each others meals and it was all so good.
We visited our friend Andrew at Mashcraft, a local brewery that he started a few years back. Its been so successful that they just recently opened up a 2nd location, so we met his wife Brittany there later in the afternoon. They visited us in Portland a few years back before they opened Mashcraft and I remember them showing us the logo when it was just a work in progress, so it’s amazing to see all their hard work come to life. Plus, the beers are amazing!
After an afternoon of beers Andrew treated us all to dinner at Rook.
We seriously have the coolest and nicest friends!
We ended the evening at a tiki bar and it just happened to be our 4-year wedding anniversary that day, so Andi took a romantic picture of us. 🙂
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

A trip to Bloomington, IN

For as long as I’ve known Luke (and it’s been a while…) he’s always told me how special Bloomington is. Bloomington is home to IU, where Luke went to college. For years I’ve heard all about this place; the bars, the sports, the campus and the college stories. Oh the college stories. This past June we finally planned a trip back to the Midwest to visit this magical place. After a few days in Chicago and visiting Luke’s parents in Valparaiso, we drove down to meet up with our friends in Indianapolis for a few days – and take a day trip to B-Town.
We started off our Bloomington day with a visit to Oliver Winery on our way south, because why wouldn’t you stop at a winery?! My only regret is that we were flying with carry-on luggage and not checking our bags, because there were so many wines I wanted to take home with me. Another time. Once we arrived in Bloomington we went strait for campus! Luke, Pat and Andi kept me entertained with all of their college stories. Seriously, around every block someone in the group said “Oh I had a lot of classes in that building”, “We went to this bar every single weekend”, “I walked along this path to class every day”… The memories came flooding back for this group. It was the highlight of the trip, to be able to see Luke’s alma mater, especially with Pat and Andi.
After a lot of walking around campus we had to stop for food and drinks. We ate at Big Woods and it was just what we needed. Quality food and delicious local beers. It’s like they knew we were coming!
How adorable is the gazebo below? Rumor has it if you kiss under the gazebo you’re granted good luck. Scroll down for the cutest thing ever (it’s the last photo)!
Not pictured: We met up with more of Luke’s college friends, Shawn and Lynn, for drinks at Kilroy’s, Nick’s and Function Brewing and then dinner at My Thai Cafe. You guys, it’s like we were all back in college or something, haha!
– Photos © Holly Copeland –

Wine Tasting

One of our favorite things to do (okay, MY favorite thing to do) is to spend a few hours out in wine country on a sunny weekend day. This past Saturday we ventured out to a cute little spot about 45 minutes from Portland. We packed a picnic to take along with us and enjoyed a quiet morning outside amongst the vines before the afternoon heat rolled in. We’re trying to visit more places outside of the usually crowded Dundee/Newberg area. There are just so many wineries in Oregon and off the beaten path! I can’t wait to check off more wineries on our list next weekend 🙂