Thursday, April 25, 2013

chili cook off


A couple weeks ago, I ate my weight in chili and cornbread and drank my weight in wine. Not as bad of a combo as you might think! Twas a great night. 20 or so friends. 7 pots of chili. And 6 bottles of two-buck-chuck. We tasted, we voted, and we tasted and voted some more.

Chili winner: Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili was the clear chili winner.
Wine winner: well, we liked them all. What can I say, my friends like wine!

The only loser was me, who was having so much she forgot to take any photos. Maybe next time!

Friday, April 5, 2013

love you long time




As I prepare for my own marriage this year, I feel so blessed and honored to have such a great example of commitment and love in my life. And look at this photo. From their love, they created all this other love. There’s now 18 of us in our family, and we all have Pam and Terry Burt to thank for that. Thank you for teaching me and so many others what love should look like. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

off to texas



The theme of the past few months has been this: spoiled rotten. A fabulous Christmas was followed by a fabulous birthday, followed by a LOT of folks who just decided to be extremely generous.

This week’s generosity? BFF Jenna and fiancĂ© Sean went in halfsies on a plane ticket for me to go to Austin, TX. You hear that? A real vacation!

For me, wedding planning has basically equaled budgeting. I have a few big triumphs where I saved us hundreds (thank you, JCrew dress!) but I’ve also had a few setbacks where I realized I just can’t do all the things I want to do (ferris wheel? Sadly won’t happen). Other things that weren’t going to happen? Vacations.

I’m shouting thank you from the roof tops! Can’t wait to get that tan sprayed on so I can go enjoy some 80 degree days giggling with my Jenna.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

sugar sugar


Pictured: yummy, perfect brownies that I craved for the entire month of no-sugar-February.

Not pictured: the salted caramel gelato that was served a top these brownies.


Worth every last gram of sugar. Mmmm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

good grief



One year has passed since I lost someone who meant a lot to me. And in that past year, I’ve learned a lot. About me, about others, about life in general. For those of you who haven’t experienced it, grief isn’t joking around when it takes over your life. It can eat you up inside. But, if you’re lucky, it can transform you inside too. It can make you love more, smile more, hug more, appreciate more and give more. For me, as the shock and sadness faded, that emptiness was filled with all those good things.

My life was so blessed with the presence of this person. And while my heart still aches that he is gone, he blessed my life with his passing as well. I’ll always be grateful for that.

Monday, January 28, 2013

pretty darn good



Some things have happened over the past few weeks and I straight up forgot about the world of blogs. Didn’t write anything, didn’t read anything. 

Instead, I made this craft. I cooked a LOT of vegetables. I had a girls day and a few date nights. I worked a few late nights too. I met my goal for my donation drive. I finished printing and cutting out my wedding invitations. I cleaned my whole house top to bottom and then back to the top again. I celebrated some birthdays {two bffs, two nephews, and my own}. And I saw my whole-big-happy-family {can you believe there are 18 of us now?!}

So far in 2013, you won’t see me winning any blog awards. But hey, life is pretty darn good.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

help wanted


I recently became aware of a huge problem in our city— Portland was ranked 2nd in a federal investigation for the most children found in forced prostitution. Law enforcement officials encounter cases of commercial sexual exploitation nearly every day. Luckily, many of the children are able to get into shelters to get the help they need.

Here’s where you and I come into the picture. With the Junior League of Portland, I’m organizing a donation drive for new undergarments for young women in Portland shelters who are victims of sexual exploitation. Bras and underwear are some of the most needed yet least donated items for these young women. My goal is to collect at least 100 garments—and I’m asking for the help of all my faithful readers.

The average age for young women in these shelters is 13, however there is a wide age range so a wide variety of sizes and styles is needed.  We have set up wish lists on Amazon and Target if you need ideas or want to purchase items on the list. 

Friday, January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I hope you’ll join me in acknowledging this problem in our city and taking a small part in helping these children. If you have a questions or would like to contribute, please contact me at justineburt@gmail.com. I will be collecting garments through the end of January.