Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome Weekend

(photo by Irene Suchocki)

This week proved to be extremely hectic. It went by quickly (because I hardly had time to breathe), so I look forward to some much-needed relaxation this weekend.

We don't have much planned, but I have a couple of ideas.... Hiking, strolling, swimming, cooking...I'm sure no matter what we end up doing it will be wonderful. Isn't every summer weekend? Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unexpected Evening

We're feeling very lucky to live in our beautiful apartment tonight. Around 9 o'clock we walked out onto our balcony to discover a pleasant, warm breeze and sweet jazz music floating in the air. The Armory is putting on an exclusive event on the block directly below us, and we have the best seat in the house. A private terrace on which to slow dance as we watch the sun set over the West Hills.
I must say, life is good.

Go Now: St. Honoré Boulangerie

Quaint and alluring, all the while rustic and unsuspecting, St. Honoré Boulangerie gives you a taste of Paris right here in Portland. On a warm Sunday morning, this charming French-style bakery welcomes you with oversized, open windows, romantic bistro tables and a bread wall to-die-for.

For such a modest, specialized eatery, you would suspect a small but gracious menu. Fortunately, that's not the case. From divine pastries (like a simple almond croissant) to organic salads and paninis, St. Honor
é has a large menu that tempts you to linger from breakfast to lunch just to experience more of their mouth-watering fare and airy atmosphere. Although it can get a bit crowded on the weekends, the expansive community table always has seating. If you're willing to wait it out, you can even nab one of the outdoor tables that pepper the bakery's parameters. No matter where you sit, or what you choose to feast upon, there's really no way you can go wrong at St. Honoré .

[please excuse the poor iphone pictures. They don't do the place justice!]

Monday, July 27, 2009

Case of the Mondays? You’re Not The Only One.

Every Sunday, without fail, I wake up thinking “Mannnnn. Tomorrow I can’t sleep in. The weekend is over. This SUCKS.” While some of my activities can make me forget these sentiments for little moments here-and-there, I mostly spend my entire Sunday dreading Monday. Isn’t that awful?

After I pout about it for a while, I then start fantasizing about what job wouldn’t make me dread Monday. Is there such a thing? For a while, I convinced myself that if I worked from home as a full-time blogger this shameful Sunday routine wouldn’t ensue. But then I realized something: If blogging is my job, then all of a sudden it’s a duty, a chore. It’s no longer something I do for fun. So maybe I’ve glorified this blogging thing a little too much?

There was only one way to find out. E-mail one of my favorite bloggers, Joanna Goddard, of A Cup of Jo and Smitten and ask her for the scoop.

Here’s what she had to say:

“I sort of dread Mondays, to be honest! I have to sit in my white armchair from 9 to 7 and blog intensely all day for glamour, cup of jo, cookie, an advertising blog -- and return a million billion emails. I'd much rather be outside riding bikes, hanging out with friends or just lying around watching movies :) 

Cup of jo is REALLY fun to blog for -- i definitely don't consider that work and it's so much fun -- but the rest of my work can be hard, like all jobs -- with contracts, photo permissions, budgets, expense reports, client reports, intense traffic goals, demanding bosses, long meetings, and the like...

Not sure if that's the answer you were looking for, but it's the truth!”

So there you have it folks. If you need to make a living off whatever it is you’re doing- there are some things you just can’t avoid (budgets, contracts, etc.). And you still have the dreaded Monday.

I can’t decide if I feel enlightened, or just more depressed.

Happy Monday to you! 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Sunny Weekend to You!


Ah.... Another week, another half-day Friday, another afternoon at the pool.... Summers are so wonderfully monotonous. 

I've got a couple fun things lined up for this sweltering weekend (temps are going to get close to 100 degrees!). Today I'm lounging by the pool with Corey and my good friend and college roommate, Jenna. Then tonight we're bbq-ing and seeing the ridiculous chick flick, The Ugly Truth (I can't wait, ha!).

Saturday we're heading to the beach with our favorite Argentinians, Juan, Sofia and baby Lourdes. 

And who knows what Sunday will bring!

Happy weekend to all!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

In honor of Carly's birthday, I rolled up my sleeves, threw on my apron and bought a mixer... And made these delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting. They turned out darn good, if I do say so myself.

I also threw in a healthy twist and used whole-wheat flour instead of white flower. And that totally makes up for all the butter, oil, sugar, etc. etc... Right?

I could really get into this whole baking thing. I bet Corey wouldn't mind!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How Did We Miss This?

(image courtesy of stumptownchallenge.com)

This past Saturday, while on our ritual morning walk, Corey and I noticed people running around the Pearl like crazy people, in crazy outfits. Who were these strangers with Mickey Mouse ears invading our neighborhood? We caught a glimpse of a t-shirt and found out they were part of the Stumptown Challenge. 

Of course, the second I walked in the door I scrambled to my computer to find out what this so-called challenge was all about. Here's what I found out:

"The Stumptown Challenge is a race that tests body and mind. Teams of two solve clues and visit eleven checkpoints scattered throughout Portland. There are no restrictions on clue-solving strategy, but travel is limited to foot and TriMet. The first team to successfully photograph themselves at each of eleven checkpoints and make it back to base is the winner."

Oh my gosh, so fun! I can't believe we missed this! It's kind of like Amazing Race (which we watch religiously and secretly want to be contestants on), but with trivia instead of language barriers. A must-do for next year, don't you think? 

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Header

I am over-the-top excited to have a new addition to my blog: a beautiful new header! Lucky for me, I am good friends with Jena Brown, a talented graphic designer (and dancer, and actress..need I go on?) who was willing to help me out with this little project. I love what she came up with! What do you think? 

See more of Jena's work here. And follow her on Twitter here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend

Sprinkle in great food, great company and a c-list celebrity siting (Timothy Hutton & a few other cast members of Leverage) and this was my weekend in a nutshell:
Ah, sweet weekend... I miss you already...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bikinis!

You won't find this nearly as exciting as I do, but I scored four bathing suits + shipping for under $100 from VictoriasSecret.com! Now I'm just waiting patiently (yeah, right) for them to arrive...

P.S. I'm definitely going to look just as hot as all these models in my new suits. Just in case you were wondering.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fun Day

(image courtesy of Thayer Allyson Gowdy)

What was life like before half-day Fridays? I can't remember. All I know is I am blissfully happy to be starting this weekend right now!
 
Today, I plan on sleeping off my late-night (midnight on a work night, oy-vey!) on a lounge chair in the sun. And hopefully finishing my book while I'm out there. 

Not sure what the rest of the weekend holds in store, but I'm wishing for quality friends and family time while enjoying the hot, hot heat.

Happy Weekend, Friends! 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Just Wrote to Say "I Love You"


(Art courtesy of Freya Art)

Play Time


This is my horoscope today:
"There's a time for fun and games and that time is ... now. Yes, really! The stars want you to go and play. Put down those books, turn off the TV and get out of the house. Come on now -- no rolling your eyes and grumbling about how you just want to 'relax.' Grab your sweetheart or best pal and plan a fun adventure somewhere out there in the great wide open. You might end up having such a fantastic time that you make it a regular event."
It intrigues me as I have been all about relaxation lately. Maybe I'm relaxed enough and ready for some adventure?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lavender

I'm freshly infatuated by lavender. It is so beautiful and smells so amazing. I walked by a potent barrel of it at Whole Foods and it took everything in me not to buy some right then and there (it's ridiculously over-priced). Instead I think I will make my way out to Sauvie's Island (again) and pick some myself, for a much better price. 

I'm excited to dry it, decorate with it, relax while smelling its soothing aroma, and maybe even cook with it
(images courtesy of The Oregon Lavender Festival and Hicker Photo)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ken's Artisan Bakery: Pizza Night

(image courtesy of the Portland Mercury)

Every Monday night, Ken's Artisan Bakery turns into a pizzeria. Made with a crispy, thin crust, the pizzas crafted in this small bakery off bustling 21st street are simple and delicious (think classic Margherita or Sausage and Fennel). The cozy dining room becomes crowded with everyone from families to starry-eyed couples. And as phenomenal as the pizza is, I think my favorite part is the free loaf of bread you get just for coming in on this special evening. Last night, Corey and I got two: A yummy Parisian Baguette and a Walnut Loaf (which is perfect buttered for breakfast). Next Monday won't come soon enough!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Go See Now: Valentino: The Last Emperor

What do women want?
"They want to be beautiful."--Valentino

Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary portrait, "Valentino: The Last Emperor" takes you through the last two years of the Italian couturier's career. This film is a back-stage look at serious, Haute Couture fashion, a trade dying at the hands of superficial super-trends.




Food Trucks

This weekend, the Mississippi Street Fair was swarming with food trucks from some of the city's most famous (Voodoo Donuts) and understated (The Whole Bowl) eateries.
How's a girl to choose just one?


Friday, July 10, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I am currently enthralled in The Time Traveler’s Wife. I want nothing more than to curl up with this story until I’ve read the very last word. Good thing I don’t have much planned this weekend! If you haven’t read it, and you enjoy a cheesy (and pretty far out there) love story, I highly recommend it.

A little bonus: The movie based on this book is coming out in August and stars Rachel McAdams (one of my personal favorites). 




Thursday, July 9, 2009

Romantical

It seems like Chris Craymer's book of enchanting photographs, Romance, is popping up on blogs everywhere. It's wide-spread popularity makes me think that you just can't help but love love. With every flip of the page, your heart pitter patters and you can't help but grin. Love can be a difficult thing to explain, but Craymer does a marevlous job of showing us exactly what it looks like.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Body Art

This is too adorable. What a great idea!

(via le love)

Yo Hablo Espanol


With our South American adventure just 5 months away, Corey and I have been practicing our Spanish as much as we can. We're really good. I mean, just tonight Corey looked deep into my eyes and said these sweet, sweet words: Me llamo. Me llamo mucho.

Wait... What? "My name is. My name is very much?"

"Did you mean
te amo?"

"Oh.. yeah..."


We've got a long way to go... But it's the thought that counts. Let the practicing continue.

Portable Windscreen

Boy do I wish I had this clever contraption at the beach a couple weekends ago. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, but the wind was blowing with a vengeance. No matter where we went (up high, down low, behind logs, etc. etc.) we could not escape the unyielding wind. I was getting a legitimate sand facial. It was all over. Even in my teeth. Yuck! If I were at all crafty, I would make this super-handy windscreen to avoid the sand exfoliation in the future. Here's hoping someone out there is more capable than I am!

(Image courtesy of Marthastewart.com)

Tools and Materials
Heavy canvas is best for this project because it is sturdy and machine-washable
6 yards of 54-inch-wide preshrunk canvas
Four 1 1/4-inch wooden dowels or broomsticks measuring 59 inches in length
Clothesline
Four tent stakes
Cut a 191-by-46-inch piece of fabric for the windscreen and a 15-by-13-inch piece for the pocket.

Portable Windscreen How-To
1. To make the screen, fold in a 1/2-inch hem along the top and the bottom, and sew securely (any gaps in the stitching will allow sand to collect in the hem). At both ends of the hemmed fabric, fold in 3 inches and turn under the unfinished edge; sew along this edge to make a channel for a dowel. To form the middle two channels, measure and mark 65 1/2 inches from each end.

2. On one end, fold the cloth over onto itself at the marked spot so that the overlapping portion is 3 inches wide.

3. To make the channel, sew along both of these folds through three layers of fabric. Repeat on the opposite end.

4. For the pocket, turn under 1/4 inch on the two sides and the bottom, and press. Hem the top edge (which is the wider measure) by 1/2 inch. To attach to the screen, position the pocket 20 3/4 inches from the bottom and 22 1/2 inches from one end. Sew into place along the two sides and the bottom, backstitching at the pocket's top edge to reinforce. Slide dowels into the channels. To set up the windscreen on the beach, drive the dowels into the sand, and secure them with guy lines made by tying rope to a stake and to the top of a dowel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beach Cruiser

I stumbled upon some his-and-hers beach cruisers on Craigslist this weekend. Now I can't stop daydreaming about me and Corey riding along the waterfront, cruising over to the east side to explore, and doing the Providence Bridge Pedal (I've always wanted to!). We're going to go check them out Friday. If all goes well, we'll be riding around town all weekend long. Fingers crossed!Isn't it cute?! Maybe I'll even get a basket for the front :)

Weekend Recap

Our no-plan weekend turned out to be extremely busy! But in a fantastic way. In the way that at our heart's desire, we could get up and go anywhere and do anything. And that we did.
Here's a quick recap by day. And a few pictures, too!

Thursday:
Fenouil Happy Hour
Pearl District Farmer's Market
Cocktails and Calamari @ Paragon for First Thursday

Friday:
Nuvrei Pastries on the Balcony
Sauvie's Island w. the Cutest Baby Ever!Saturday:
BBQ and pool time up at the Denfeld's
Silk Happy Hour
Fireworks from our BalconySunday:
The Flavour Spot (yummm)
Trillium Lake
Mio Gellato
More pictures here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lingering Weekend...

The week is off to a speedy start... I didn't have a chance to blog about the weekend today... Perhaps tomorrow. For now, I'll leave you with a photo of our awe-inspiring trip to Trillium Lake. More to come soon....(photo by me)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday

(image courtesy of Abby Try Again)

Thank God it's Thursday! Maybe it's the allergies. Or the comforting warmth beneath the covers contrasting with the crisp air conditioned feel of our bedroom in the morning, but for some reason I have had the hardest time getting up these last couple of days. And Corey and I are on a no-dairy diet this week (more on that later), so my ritual morning coffee + cream has been replaced with a weak iced tea. Let's just say it's not getting the job done.

For all these reasons and more I am so incredibly thankful it is a
3-day-weekend. And the best part? Corey and I have nothing planned. That's right. Not one. single. thing. Ahhh.... That's the sound of relaxation calling my name. Happy weekend, Friends...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pickled Things

I don't know why, but these felt foods absolutely crack me up. I have no idea what they would be used for (give them to a small child to play with?), but they're awfully fun to look at!(images courtesy of Pickled Things)