Monday, August 31, 2009

Joy The Baker

(via Joy The Baker)
I have to take a moment to express my intense admiration and adoration for new-to-me blog, Joy The Baker. After running across her blog via Design Crush's "Mad Props" series, I got stuck reading recipes, comments and simply staring at her scrumptious photos. She covers recipes of all sorts, from traditional and delicious baked goods like Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies to super-inventive sweets like Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake (she swears it's not as weird tasting as it sounds).

But my favorite part of her blog is her witty and hilarious writing. You seriously feel like you're long-lost friends after reading through just a couple of posts. She's extremely inviting and charming and I cannot wait to whip up some of her amazing creations! Stop over and check her blog out ASAP!

Old Soul, New Heart

I’m feeling a bit blah today. Maybe it’s just a case of the Mondays. Maybe it’s thanks to all the excitement of the weekend juxtaposed with the monotony of the work-week…. Either way, I am simply in the dumps.

When I’m feeling this way, there are only a few things that make me feel better:

  1. A Corey cuddle sesh. I close my eyes and lean my head on his shoulder and somehow my sadness/stress/blah-ness disappears.
  2. Really, really bad food. And by bad, I mean so good (think fried foods, pizza, sweets…). And wine. Lots of it.
  3. And lastly, and sadly to say perhaps the most effective… Buying something. I know you know what I’m talking about. That high you get when you take home a new piece of clothing (or shoes) and envision all the outfits you’ll wear with it… Please say it’s not just me.

Well, #1 and #2 are most definitely being put to work tonight. Unfortunately, #3 isn’t really in the budget (I’ve been so good saving lately!). But if it was…. Or if I buckle under pressure… I know exactly where I’d spend my cash. The cutest new shop in the universe: Old Soul, New Heart. It is getting tons of attention in the blogosphere, and for good reason. I love how everything has a vintage, classy feel. Just looking at the pictures make me feel a little bit more feminine, don’t you agree?

(image via Old Soul, New Heart, via A Cup of Jo)

Photo Booth Fun

Corey and I took full advantage of the photo booth at Tyler & Talia's wedding. Unfortunately, I don't own a scanner so I had to take a picture of the pictures with my iphone. Though not the best quality, you can still kind of see how fun and silly the photo booth was!I loved the little thank you message printed on each set of pictures. The couple will get a copy of every single picture taken in the booth on their wedding night. Hope nobody got too frisky in there (we actually saw a guy come out of the booth with his shirt completely unbuttoned! HA!)!!!

P.S. Still love this photo booth. Such a great idea.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Was Your Weekend?

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Ours was an absolute blast! Friday night Jess organized an unbelievable surprise party for Rob, complete with a Hummer limo and scavenger hunt! The wedding was absolutely stunning and the photo booth was so much fun. I'll post pictures of the wedding and the photo booth this week. For now, I'll leave you with pictures of the backdrop for the ceremony. Simply breathtaking!
Zenith Vineyard in Salem, Oregon

Friday, August 28, 2009

Week's End

(via Once Wed)

Is it seriously the weekend again? I mean, I'm not complaining. But this week seriously whooshed past me! I feel the weekend will do the same as we are busy, busy all three days. The highlight will most certainly be Tyler & Talia's wedding. Taking place at a winery in Salem and rumored to feature a photo booth and mini ice cream cones. I can't wait!

What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? Do tell!

Nerd at Heart

This girl is totally rocking these vintage frames. I so badly wish I could pull them off. But I know I would just look silly. I'll just live vicariously through her. 
P.S. If you haven't checked out the amazing new blog, Urban Weeds, you must do so now! It's a genius Portland street style blog. That's all!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Map It!

By now, I think you have become familiar enough with my obsession with traveling. I've clearly got the bug. My newer obsession is traveling with Corey. I love discovering new places with him by my side. I feel like it bonds you like nothing else can. We've been all sorts of places. All around Oregon, Chicago, L.A., Seattle, Costa Rica. And this November we're adding Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil to the list. I saw this idea on Oh Happy Day! and now I am determined to start our own map pinpointing our growing number of travels. Not only will it be a happy reminder of all of the sights we've seen together, but also a way to keep us thinking about future excursions (not that I don't do that without a map in front of me...). It can be as simple as some tacks on a map, or you could get more elaborate with pictures, postcards, dates. etc. It would make for a great conversation starter!

Don’t you think this is a cute idea? Would you put this up in your home?

The Lions Gate Inn Bed & Breakfast

Speaking of Oregon Wine Country, after much deliberation, searching both near (Arch Cape Inn & Retreat) and far (Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge), Corey and I have finally booked our weekend getaway in celebration of our upcoming two-year anniversary.

We will be spending two nights in the quaint and romantic Lions Gate Inn Bed & Breakfast in Newberg, Oregon. Back in 2006 owner Loni Parrish purchased what used to be the Maggie Littlefield historic house and took on a huge remodel. She was able to keep the historical charm of the original home, but refurbish it into a breathtaking oasis to stay and enjoy our local wine country.

The Lions Gate Inn is a small four-room Bed & Breakfast. Each room is named after a season. Corey and I will be staying in the Autumn room, which is complete with a huge soaking tub and double-sided fireplace. I’ll report back on the cuisine (the chef, Lauren, was trained in Italy!) and all of the accommodations after the stay (early November). For now, just wanted to share my excitement!

(images courtesy of the Lions Gate Inn)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's Not to Love About Love?

Swoon-worthy wall art by Rockett St George. Don't they just warm your heart?

Link(image courtesy of Rockett St George, via Belle Maison)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Calling All Wine Lovers

(image courtesy of Portland Monthly)
The current issue of Portland Monthly Magazine really makes me wish I was on their staff. The cover story reveals Oregon's 50 best wines, including 20 bottles that cost less than $20. To narrow the list to 50, wine columnist Condé Cox had to sample 650 wines in three weeks. Talk about a dream job! Perhaps he's in need of an assistant?

In all seriousness, I was blown away by Cox's qualifications. At 55-years-old, he's been tasting wine for more than 30 years (currently
at a rate of nearly 12,000 bottles a year) and was recently accepted to study at the London-based Institute of Masters of Wine, a program that has graduated only 275 wine tasting experts in its 56-year history. He's that guy who can actually taste those "hints of blackberry with a spicy oak finish", or whatever the flavor may be. Basically he is my idol. So, here's a toast to you Mr. Condé Cox. Thanks for taking on the rough task of choosing Oregon's 50 best wines. I confidently take your word for it.

Weekend Recap

The weekend turned out just as wonderful as I was expecting. So lovely, in fact, that it is nearly Wednesday and I am still having a hard time adjusting to the work week!

Here are some glimpses into the Sunriver fun:
More photos here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Away We Go

{Sunriver pic found here}

Happy Friday! We’re taking off for a little couple’s weekend with my best friend Jess and her boyfriend, Rob. We’ll be playing in Sunriver for the next 3 days: biking, canoeing, star gazing, lounging by the pool, etc. We are so excited!

 What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Something Pretty

Hydrangeas from my Mama's garden make me happy. Especially during this crazy hectic week. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A New Perspective on Portland

(via this is naive)
I really love getting other people’s take on my home city. Joanna has given a couple shout-outs to Portland and I always love a good New York Times nod to the Rose City. This weekend, I stumbled upon this blog, and got sidetracked quite quickly after discovering her quasi-city guide to my fair Portland. Very interesting to see an outsiders point of view, indeed.

Her overall impression upon her first visit:
“Is there something about the water in Portland? “The City of Roses” is too nice people are friendly, service is excellent, and motorists actually give way to pedestrians! I didn’t get honked a single time, much less, ‘Watch where you’re going, bitch!’”
We can almost be a little too nice.

I completely agreed with most of her call-outs: Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Byways Café, Ace Hotel, Kenny & Zukes, Powell’s Books (my neighbor!), Mother’s Bistro, Oba! (first date spot :) )

But I disagree with just a few. One being Cupcake Jones. Anybody who’s anybody knows that St. Cupcake totally takes the cake on that one. And also, pointing out Mary’s Club as a “downtown Portland landmark”. That’s a no-no.

Other than that I found her insights intriguing and entertaining. Hope you will too.

Weekend Recap

{via my iphone}
How was your weekend? Hope it was wonderful! Corey and I did a little bit of everything: Date night, Street of Dreams, Bridgeport Brewery's 25th Anniversary Block Party, long walks, sidewalk chats over coffee at St. Honoré... The list goes on. It was packed with activity, but actually felt quite relaxing. Trying to savor the last bits of summer...

And P.S.: Tried to make waffle cones and was not successful. Not surprisingly, Corey still found a way to enjoy my concoction. Which made me feel just a little less like a failure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sweet Friday

(via Sweet Paul)
This photo inspired me to make homemade waffle cone ice cream sandwiches (well, not a cone 'cause it's flat... but you get what I'm saying). I hope to get around to making them this weekend. I'll let you know how they turn out.

Tonight, Corey and I are having a little dinner-and-a-movie date. Yakuza Lounge and The Time Traveler's Wife. I am beyond excited!

As for the rest of the weekend? Maybe a trip to the Street of Dreams (conveniently located in my neighborhood!). Maybe some pool time if the weather allows. What are you up to?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

J.Crew Envy

I am seriously pining after these J. Crew ensembles. Don't they look casual and effortless with a touch of unruliness? I have a feeling if I put them on I would look way overdone. I always look like I'm trying too hard when I put something like this together. Why is that?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Normally, I'm not a big fan of clouds. They block our bright, shiny sun, after all. But when they look this beautiful, almost as if they were painted in the sky, I can appreciate them for what they are.
I took these pics from our balcony last night:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Infusing Vodka

After months of good intentions, Corey and I finally got around to infusing some vodka. Here's a quick how-to guide. It's too easy not to try!

1. Buy a glass container (preferably with a spout).
We found ours for $20 at Cost Plus. A worth-while investment if you plan on doing this often.
2.Choose your flavor.
We wanted to do something easy for our first time. We chose Raspberry & Blackberry. An infusion we like to call Blazberry.

3. Choose your vodka.
The key here is to go with a middle-of-the-road spirit that has been distilled at least three times. This avoids that unpleasant after taste (or shiver). Don't bother buying premium vodka as most of your flavor will come from your ingredients. We
went with Smirnoff.

4. Add your ingredients to the jar.
Make sure you wash your ingredients thoroughly first.
Here's a quick guide to how long you should let some more popular choices infuse:
3-4 days: Vanilla beans, citrus fruits, mint, garlic, tarragon, basil, oregano, dill and thyme
1 week:
Berries, melons and peaches
Up to 2 weeks: Chili peppers, pineapple, fresh ginger, lemon grass and other delicately flavored ingredients

6. After a couple of days, remove ingredients (before they become bruised or brown). Wash the container and replace the vodka, sans ingredients.

7. Add a new batch of your ingredient for appearance.

8. Enjoy! It's so good you can enjoy it on the rocks with a bit of lime.
This was so easy, and berries are just the beginning. You can infuse your vodka with anything, including Skittles! Think of the possibilities!

Happy infusing :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Family Weekend

What are you up to this weekend? Corey's brother Jordan and his wife, Caitlin, are in town from Chicago to celebrate his 30th birthday! We started the weekend off with a family dinner, then lots of wine as we watched videos from when the boys were kids. It was one of the best ab workouts I've had in a while-- we laughed hysterically for hours!

Tonight we'll have dinner at Bridgeport Brewery in the Pearl, then go out celebrating somewhere.

Hope everyone has fun plans! Talk Monday.

Pictures of Corey when he was just a wee little one. So in love!

Copy Cats

Remember this? Well, a couple weeks ago at the beach, Sofia and I recreated this cute picture!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Travel Bag

Although our South American extravaganza is a painfully long four months out, I’ve already been thinking about what I’ll wear while I’m there. Unlike our relaxing trip to Costa Rica, for this excursion we’ll be exploring a huge city, so I’ll have the challenge of looking cute but more importantly, being comfortable to roam miles and miles each day.

I stumbled across this 49 Square Miles hobo and thought it looked just perfect for our long days sightseeing in Buenos Aires. It can be worn across the body so my hands can be free to take disgusting amounts of pictures, and it’s big enough to hold my travel essentials (water, maps, etc.). Plus it has that perfectly worn look that makes it look casual yet sophisticated. There’s only one problem. It’s reallyyyyy out of the budget.  Hmmm.  Seems that’s always the problem. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tandem Bike

Oh my gosh. I am completely in love with this yellow beach cruiser tandem! Ever since the birthday bike ride Corey and I took on a blue cruiser tandem, I've dreamt of having our very own. I've even considered stealing one that lives in our building's garage... But figured that may be a little too obvious. 
P.S. This couple rode on a tandem bike at their wedding! Genius!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Photo Chic

Someday, when I own a Digital SLR, I will also own a fun and colorful camera strap, much like this one. So even if I'm just learning how to take awesome pictures, I'll at least look the part!(image via Urban Weeds)

Mt. Tabor Park

Mt. Tabor Park promised, and it delivered. A few months ago, I flaunted my puppy love for Portland Parks. Still quite the amateur, I was on a quest to enjoy a few more of my city's urban havens. First up was Mt. Tabor Park, which sits on top of an extinct volcanic cinder cone, giving it a spectacular view of the west side of Portland and Mt. Hood. Miles of trails and roadways lay below high-reaching trees and wind all the way up to the spectacular viewpoints. It's the perfect place to lay a blanket and uncork a bottle of wine while you watch the sunset with your love.

The best way to enjoy the park during the summer is for their outdoor concerts and/or movie showings. Corey and I packed up some creamy brie, greek orzo salad and some yummy beer and wine and met Jess and Rob at the park. We all sat beneath the towering trees and enjoyed the sounds of the local 30s swing jazz band, the Stolen Sweets. Afterward, we took a quick walk up to the top to watch the sunset. It was pretty much the perfect summer night.

See more photos here.