Guest Posting on [In]Complete Magazine


I'm over at [In]Complete Magazine today guest posting my favorite value wine finds: "Eight Exceptional Reds Under $20." Check it out to read up on some real gems that are easy on the pocket book. Cheers!

Friday Faves


Sacramento River, Castle Crags State Park. Photo from our honeymoon last Fall.

Wahoo! It's Friday! (even though I am working an event tomorrow, so technically not my Friday) Here are my Faves from this week:

This illustration by Emily McDowell of "What's Really In Your Bag?" on A Cup of Jo.

7 Wonders of Oregon. Love these promo videos from Travel Oregon. I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived in Oregon for over ten years and have only visited 3 of the 7. Looks like I have some exploring to do.

Wanting to make several dishes from this round up of Caper friendly dishes. Especially the radicchio salad. I love capers, however I know they're not everyone's cup of tea.

Savannah over at Maiedae actually wrote this post on Postpartum Must-Haves for Mommies a couple weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to sharing it now. I'm saving this valuable information away for when we have our little one this summer. Postpartum isn't easy.

This amazing installation by paper sculpture artist, Li Hongbo, of busts. It's currently on exhibit at Klein Sun Gallery in Manhattan.

 Personal Faves

Feeling Little Lady Laubernds more this week. She's been crazy active, in fact on Tuesday she was moving and kicking non-stop. It's really a joy to feel her moving in my belly.

Taking my first prenatal swim class. I've been pretty good about keeping up with an exercise routine while pregnant. However, lately my routine is starting to take a toll on my body. I feel it especially in my hips and knees at night. The swim class was a good workout, but gentle enough that body felt good the night and day that followed.

Returning to my blog. Rather, I should say returning to my writing and blog. It is such a welcomed return after this long absence and I am pretty proud to start it back up. I just need to be realistic about my limitations. Will is good at reminding me that keeping up my blog is not all or nothing.

Recipe: Who Doesn't Love a Good Mocktail?


Who doesn't love a good mocktail? We all know cocktails can be fun, but so can mocktails just by using the same principles as if there were booze in it. I love making drinks and having them when I go out. I was a little disappointed when I became pregnant and asked for a mocktail at a few restaurants and received a puzzled look, or the response that "we have soda" or "we have lemonade". One server actually responded by telling me they had Camomile tea! That one actually ticked Will off the most. At home I've been having fun experimenting with various syrups and drinking vinegars. I recommend on stocking up on syrups, drinking vinegars/shrubs, or cordials. I used Som drinking vinegars by Pok Pok, as well as Rhubarb syrup by Morris Kitchen for this post. Both of these are readily available in stores or online. Better yet, if you have the time, I recommend making your own. You can find recipes online, as well as the book, Making Wines, by Beshile Grimes.

The three recipes you will find in this post are for Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub, Thai Basil Shrub, and Pineapple and Mint Shrub. Basic tools you will need are a shot glass, bar spoon ( a normal spoon will work if you don't have this), muddler (or handle of a wooden spoon), highball glass and straw for serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub serves 1

  • 2 strawberries, plus one for garnish
  • 1 oz rhubarb syrup
  • ice
  • soda water
Begin by chopping up the strawberries, then add to a highball glass and lightly muddle to release juice. Add rhubarb syrup, then top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients till well incorporated. Garnish with strawberry and enjoy!

Thai Basil Shrub serves 1

  • 3 torn basil leaves, plus sprig for garnish (preferably Thai Basil when in season)
  • 1 1/2 oz Som thai basil drinking vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • ice
  • soda water
Begin by adding torn basil to a highball glass and lightly muddle basil to release oils. Add drinking vinegar and lime juice and top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients until well incorporated. Garnish with basil sprig and enjoy!

Pineapple and Mint Shrub serves 1

Begin by adding torn mint leaves to a highball glass and lightly muddle mint to release oils. Add drinking vinegar and lime juice and top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients until well incorporated. Garnish with mint sprig and enjoy!

Awesomely Bad Maternity Fashion


First I want to say that it is a complete joy to be pregnant. Sometimes, a little shocking and amusing to see my body change so drastically. However, I feel pretty lucky that I am experiencing it and try to keep my complaining to a minimum. I'm half way through my pregnancy now, 20 1/2 weeks and definitely not fitting into a lot of my pre-pregnancy clothing. I've bought a few maternity pieces to wear, some of them I can wear post pregnancy. It's been quite entertaining to see what is out there in maternity fashion. Instead of boring you with cute clothes (there's plenty of it) I wanted to share with you some awesomely bad maternity fashions (because there's plenty of it, also it's more fun). So without further ado, my current favorites of awesomely bad maternity fashion:

First up, cutesy or ironic t-shirts. I don't really wear t-shirts to begin with, and most women don't, however for some reason some women do when they're pregnant. Honestly, the less strangers I can attract from touching my belly, the better. These shirts just scream, COME TOUCH ME! 


 I don't even know where to begin with these shorts. Maybe they are trying to cater to rural teen moms? It seems to me that the shorts should be longer than the sash that is holding them up, but what do I know?

Some people may scoff at me for saying that this falls under awesomely bad, but the architecture of this dress just does not work for pregnant women. What is up with the dust ruffle above the bump? Is she trying to catch the food she drops for a snack later? Make it stop.

 Lastly, the article of clothing that inspired this post, as I was shopping for a maternity swimsuit. I cannot even begin.

A Long Overdue Return


Hello! I have returned from my sudden and never-ending (what seemed like) sabbatical. I apologize for the nearly year and a half return, but unfortunately life got in the way of my blog. To be honest, I am a horrible procrastinator that struggles with the whole work/life balance thing. Sometimes, I find that when I come home from work I tend to retreat into myself and take to lazy habits instead of taking time for my hobbies. A lot has happened in that time and I finally feel at the place in my life where I have the drive to return to my writing whole-heartedly. I don't want to make empty promises of scheduled posts and regular content. The only thing I can say is that I hope to share my life with you as often as I can and within my own limits. 

Before I dive into all the changes that have happened in my life during my absence, I want to tell you a few changes around Fork and Vine. You will find that my domain name has since changed to to make it easier for those trying to find my blog, as well as to better brand myself. Fork and Vine will continue to be the fun loving lifestyle blog that you remember, full of posts on my life and family in Portland, food and drink recipes, wine posts, and general interests. Please find links to all my Social sites on the right hand navigation bar to connect with me elsewhere.

Where do I even begin? How do I dumb down all my life changes in nearly 2 years to a summary, without sounding contrite? Well, I can't. However, in the weeks to follow I plan to bring you individual posts that highlight these milestones in their own special posts.

By far one of the most significant change that has happened is that I married my best friend and greatest love, Will. It was a whirlwind and incredible day. We had an intimate wedding surrounded by 90 of our closest friends and family. I look forward to sharing a sincere post with you soon. For now, enjoy this pic from our first look together:

2013 also treated us to the opportunity of becoming home owners. Will and I are now proud homeowners of a cute ranch house in SW Portland. Our home feels like a little cabin in the woods. I wake up everyday thankful we have a cozy home to call our own. In the Spring/Summer I like to enjoy a good lounge on our back deck. Doesn't it look like a forest back there?

For our honeymoon, Will and I took a road trip down to California. We spent most of our time in the Northern Redwoods, camping, hiking and biking. We also spent a few days in Santa Rosa and toured wine country through Sebastapol and Healdsburg. On our way home, we camped near Shasta at Castle Crag State Park. By far, my favorite (and I think Will's too) was the time we spent in the Redwoods. It was beautiful, peaceful and exactly what we needed post wedding craziness.

In late Summer, my sister, Sarah, moved to Portland to attend college. I'm so happy to have my sis here and feel blessed that both my siblings live in the same city as me. She is quite busy with school, but it's nice to take the time to attend soccer games with her, or grab lunch or dinner and chat. I'm so proud of her accomplishments and cannot wait to share more of our time together on the blog. 

Lastly, the most welcomed and significant change is that Will and I are happy to announce that we are pregnant and will be welcoming a little girl into our lives in July 2014. We are overwhelmed with joy and cannot wait to meet this special little person.

I appreciate your continued readership and look forward to getting back in the blogging game. Stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks and moving forward. Cheers!