wine country | mcminnville, oregon

This Summer we decided to stay local and return to one of our favorite areas of Oregon. Rolling pastures of vines & queen anne’s lace, fields as far as you can see. The landscape West of Salem speaks to me in ways that I dream English countryside would. We stayed in Gaston, Oregon in a vineyard on a hill. The bedroom was surrounded by windows on every side connecting you to the hills and faced the sunset.

We love McMinnville. The thing that really sealed the deal for me wanting to visit here again was food. Paella to be exact. There’s no restaurants back home that make this traditional Spanish dish and I’m obsessed. It’s a foodie town and that’s kind of all I really needed to know.

We spent our days exploring different parks and going on drives through the countryside while Ivy napped in the car. We ate a lot and rested a lot. It was perfect.

Stayed here. It’s a lighthouse shaped tiny home on a hill in Beacon Vineyard. We loved their wrap around porch that overlooked the vines. Ivy could just run around while we relaxed on the porch each evening.

 I love these two Airbnbs as well… This one has the most amazing view and a pool. This one doesn’t allow children but is so fun for a romantic getaway.

Ate at Community Plate, a little too often, I think because it felt really laid back…they had a toy box & I just have a thing for focaccia bread. Everything they make is really fresh and delicious +beer. Win win! A couple other restaurants to wet your whistle: Thistle, Barberry(eggs benne!), Jem, Pure Vida…there’s too many!

Shopped here, It’s a beautiful old school house turned antique mall.

Played at this fun park in town that had a water pad. Ivy loved it!

You can head north to Newberg, just a few minutes away and go to a drive in movie! There’s nothing more fun than that in my book.

There are endless farms & vineyards to explore. We haven’t been wine tasting much these days with a toddler running around, more of a go buy a couple bottles and relax at the rental, enjoy the view, time in our life. We will eventually get back to our wine tasting days, I’m sure, but I will NEVER be the one spiting out my tasting in a bucket, what a waste! Until then I like the adventure of learning to travel with kids. It makes it more challenging at times, but most of the time it’s filled with more wonder & joy as they discover new places. It gives me new eyes for sure.

Red Ridge Farms – nursery, olive grove, farm stay & vineyard

Black Walnut Inn – this place is a dream! When the day comes that we get to stay overnight without kids, this baby is it!

Opal Wilderness A-frame Cabin | Oregon

Just east of Salem in a forest of old growth trees, flows the Santiam River. Clear turquoise waters , grey mossy boulders & fern covered grounds. It’s kind of a secret, perhaps, because we hardly saw any people the week we were there. It’s serene and one of the most beautiful rivers I have ever seen.

This Airbnb has been on my wish list for a few years, so it was a dream come true and we cannot wait to return! The a-frame cabin was perfectly located on the little north fork road with so many areas to explore. There were a few campgrounds as well, right on the river.

Lyons, the nearest town, doesn’t have much, not even a grocery store. So bring everything you could possibly need, coffee, ketchup, all those little things are more difficult to come by so stop in Salem before you head east. Mill city is a bit closer to Lyons than Salem, about 15 minutes away and there is a Select Market there & a few restaurants, but plan on settling into this cozy cabin and making all your meals.

The more we travel with Ivy, the more I realize how important home base is for us. When the rental has a view, room to play and just feels good, like we could just hang out there all day and still feel like we’re having fun, then I know it will be a good trip. Before kids we never spent much time at the rentals, just to sleep basically, always exploring, so I didn’t put a lot of time into finding that just right place…a bed and mini fridge was good enough. Now that we need to take things slower, have a nap, make meals and have time to rest and be together, Im finding that putting an emphasis on the rental and it’s proximity to the areas we want to explore is the most important because it sets the tone for me (when mama’s happy everyones happy) and we can all relax and have a good time even if we are not out and about.

The most memorable parts of this trip were in the cabin. Even though it was August I couldn’t help but keep the wood stove burning. We were always swimming, so the warmth felt good and there’s just nothing like the smell and feel of a wood fire. We star gazed in the hot tub with the sounds of the river below, it was truly magic. I couldn’t even remember the last time I actually took time to look up at the stars.

We stayed here Ivy is still talking about the ‘treehouse’!

Our favorite swimming spots were Three Pools and Salmon Falls. We swam in three pools after everyone had left and the sun was barely there. We felt like mermaids and it will be something I never forget.

There is town called Jawbone Flats at the Opal Wilderness TH, you can hike three miles to the town, population 10. 10! And stay in these cute cabins there as well. Maybe when Ivy can handle a longer hike we will get to explore more of the wilderness. The forest there was really beautiful.

If you’re visiting Oregon, Silver Falls is only 40ish minutes away!


pennington farms | grants pass, oregon

Pennington farms is a family owned berry farm & bakery just outside Grants Pass on William Hwy. I spent a couple years making jam on their antique pink oven, dreaming of the day I would someday get to bring my future children here and spoil them with cookies and berries. The orange glazed tea cakes are something other worldly Im telling you! I think back fondly on my jamming days, missing the smell of strawberry jam and the process of jarring up every variety of berry. You can order over the phone if you live out of the area or the bakery is open monday-saturday till 3pm. They also bring all their goodies to the grower’s market each week, but definitely plan a trip out to the barn and experience the aroma of fresh jam and pies for yourself.







Oh I love Pennington Farms! They’re pies might just be the best pies I’ve ever had. I drive by there every week on my way to work, but I don’t get to stop as often as I’d like 🙂

What to pack for delivery + our birth plan | oh baby!

A few essentials during labor and after birth that I loved:

A yoga ball- bouncing on one during labor helps bring baby’s head down, dilating your cervix more quickly. Check with where you’re delivering and they might have one already.

diaper bag

Nursing bra with a robe that can be easily removed- I was just naked, haha! I didn’t come prepared with laboring clothes and was so hot that I couldn’t keep the hospital gown on… but next time I’m packing a few more things to labor in. I was extremely hot than suddenly freezing, laboring in and out of a tub, so having something comfortable and that you can remove quickly is helpful.

Witch hazel wipes– for your face and your downstairs after labor to sooth and promote healing. I just couldn’t live with out these. After delivery its painful to sit or even walk, dont get me started on pooping. These wipes soothe your lady parts and cleanse in a natural way while healing.

Period undies– who wants to wear giant paper underwear with a huge pad? Bringing several pairs of period undies sounds so much more comfortable.

Nursing pads & extra nursing bra- bring more than you think you need of this one. We ending up needing to stay at the hospital a week in the nicu and I was not prepared for that. I was drenched in dried milk and tears for days. Being in the nicu is so tough. Every meal and clean shirt people brought us meant so much.

Yoga pants or something stretchy & comfortable to wear home.

Minerbs mama bundle. The mama glow serum and rose water are my favorite products to indulge in.

Infant car seat- My sister in law just bought this one in ‘moon birch’ and I think it’s so cute. We initially bought a convertible carseat but it was still too big for our new little girl so Billy had to run to wal-mart and grab an infant one 🙂

Something comfortable for baby & a swaddle- bring a couple sizes in case one doesn’t fit. My friends shop will always be my favorite. Her soft bamboo newborn things are so sweet.

pacifier – just in case. I didn’t get to stay the night with Ivy her first two nights (biggest heart break of my life) so Im glad I packed this paci. Its a natural rubber from a tree.

You can bring music and essential oil diffuser or anything to create that atmosphere you want to bring your baby into.

A printed out birth plan. This saved me because we had to deliver at a hospital we had never been to and with a different dr. than planned. Being able to hand over my birth plan to the nurses on staff made everything so smooth. All the nurses honored my wishes and supported me.


Healthy snacks or have family/friends bring you things. Hospital food is not the best! I just discovered these lactation bars from Oat Mama that I want to try the next time around.

Personal toilettries

Massage oil

Hair tie

A camera

Baby book for footprints and to write anything down if you have time. Artifact Uprising just came out with this cute one. Love this Promptly one as well!

Our birth plan if you need it to help come up with your own.

tiny tudor house | the design

We just closed on our next fixer!

and it’s a bit frightening. We were immediately overwhelmed by how much work this house needs, but after thinking about the design for a couple days and just focusing on the first steps, I’m super pumped to see how the transformation will take place! Knowing we won’t be doing all the work ourselves this time is encouraging and meeting with a contractor this week felt like a good first step. Hearing him say over and over, “that’s easy” as I walked through the house with him put me at ease! It’s a tudor style on the outside, inside, it’s completely void of anything original, but the almost one hundred year old floors are still there and beautiful. Transient people have been living in it for a while and everything has been stolen, even the door knobs. It’s so sad, but we are happy to make this old lady a beauty again and see someone fall in love with her!

Tudor is traditionally an old world style, with lots of stone and wood. There’s not much of that in there now, but I’m bringing it back in a way, with earthy stone& woods, plaster & lime wash. These are my soul elements and I’m excited to finally have a home to put them in! Im going for a really clean, simple feel, with lots of natural elements. Old world spa, I’m calling her!

We’ll be using the hashtag #nelsonsbeflippin if you want to follow along and insta-stories to see the before & progress!

p.s. Dear Mail Man, Im so sorry for the amount of things I am about to order on top of my Amazon Prime problems.