scenes from rhode island

over the years, our family vacations have gone from lasting for two weeks to lasting less than 24 hours. a typical family trip will go a little something like this: 
  • set alarms ambitiously early, but oversleep.
  • mom tells dad to buy lunch supplies + pack the cooler. dad forgets. no lunch.
  • mom, sister and i wait impatiently in the car while dad inspects all locks + appliances.
  • finally drive away, but have to turn around after 10 minutes because dad firmly believes that he left (insert appliance here) on. 
  • within the first hour of the trip, sister and i have already found something ridiculous to fight about. this morning, it was her screaming profanities at me for "stealing" her bathing suit.
sounds pleasant, right? that's why our day trip to rhode island today was short and sweet. it was just enough time for some family bonding + bickering + getting lost. we spent the afternoon on the beach in rhode island, followed by an outdoor dining experience in mystic at s & p oyster co., and ended up at the j.crew outlet (my happy place) on the ride home.

rock shrimp + asparagus over whole wheat pasta + lemon butter sauce.


summer playlist

every summer, i find myself listening to the same songs over and over again. driving with my windows down + a cd playing all of my favorite summery songs is my idea of perfection.

{bon iver : beach baby}

{she and him : i thought i saw your face today}

{beirut : elephant gun}

{paul simon : me and julio down by the schoolyard}

{wilco : she's a jar}

{tennis : bimini bay}


five things friday

one of my favorite blogs has a fun feature called "five things friday" that i'd like to adopt. it's essentially a list of five things that i'm loving right now.

i treated myself to a mani + pedi because i'm going to a wedding tomorrow. i love the subtle light pink color (essie: fiji) that will go with practically everything.

the new york times travel section. i love sitting out on my deck and getting lost in the beautiful descriptions and pictures of dreamy places that seem so far away. sunday's paper featured provence, madrid and naples + gave me a serious case of wanderlust. 

my grandmother's vintage ray-ban aviators. i went to visit my grandparents today for a cup of tea, and i left with these beauties. i'm absolutely terrified to wear them for fear of losing or breaking them.

my voluspa candle. i have another one in my room in portland, but i forgot how much i loved the scent of the one in my room at home. it's definitely my favorite. 

seeing old friends. tonight i visited my childhood friend, emily, to borrow a dress for tomorrow's wedding + go out to dinner. fun fact: in 7th grade, emily punched me in the stomach and we did not speak to each other until we were forced to make amends as lab partners in 10th grade biology. i'd like to think we've matured since then.


scenes from new york

recently, two people that i absolutely love (my best friend from high school and best friend from college) became roommates. i knew a trip to nyc would be necessary to see them and their cute little apartment in brooklyn.

a little piece of portland in brooklyn.
fresh papaya margarita at mesa coyoacan.
grilled tilapia tacos with avocado salsa + pickled cabbage slaw.
the bagel + lox that i waited 30 minutes for + spent $14 on. worth it.
favorite magazine for the train ride home.

i miss them already.


for dad

happy father's day to my lovable, overprotective and quirky father. 

picture stolen from my sister.

i'm a total daddy's girl. when i was young, my mom worked full-time in new york city, so my dad stayed home and cared for me. he chaperoned my field trips. he made me spend countless hours in his music room listening to everything from the band to traditional ukranian music so i could develop an appreciation for all different types of sounds. in honor of father's day, here are some life lessons i've learned from my dad:
  • remember to lock your doors. creeps are always on the prowl. 
  • constantly check expiration dates + smell food before you consume it. 
  • you can never have too many cacti. 
  • successful thrift shopping is an art form that takes true skill and dedication. 
  • making native american crafts + jewelry doesn't make you less of a man. 
  • at every opportunity, try to embarrass your daughters. this includes but is not limited to: conducting family fire drills while the neighbors are watching and wearing a huge furry hat when you pick them up from school. 
  • don't put anything important on top of the car before you drive away. it will fall off and you'll never see it again.
today, we took my dad + grandpa to a lovely spot by the river for some bbq. i'm so grateful to be home with my family and i know i'm going to thoroughly enjoy the next three weeks.

dad's cacti collection.
dreamcatcher that he made.
where we dined.
mom + sister.
picture stolen from my sister. i need an iphone.
bring your own wine.

happy father's day, dad. thanks for making me the loving, paranoid and quirky person that i am today.


leaving on a jet plane

tomorrow night, penny and i will be on a red-eye flight home. 

she's thrilled.

as much as i'm looking forward to spending quality time with family + friends, driving my car again, and eating an authentic new york bagel (or three), there are a few things i'll miss in portland while i'm gone. 

for example, living with my best friend.  

who else would go on a nighttime stroll with me under the guise of "burning off dinner's calories", despite having a clear destination in mind?

i ordered two macarons. i will miss these so. much.

salted caramel nuggets of joy.

another thing i'll miss? portland's access to healthy choices. despite the occasional indulgence (see above), it's easy for me to lead a healthy lifestyle here. tomorrow, i'm squeezing in a vinyasa yoga class to alleviate stress and stretch my body before i sit on a plane for six hours. afterward, i plan on grabbing a vegan brown rice + edamame bowl from my beloved cafe yumm in lieu of an airport dinner.

one thing i certainly will not miss? the bus. good riddance, #14. you are never on-time and always filled with lunatics. also, good riddance, bus driver who always pulls over to chain-smoke for ten minutes while i'm stuck inside next to a man putting pink lipstick on his eyelids.

and with that said, see you on the east coast!


scenes from the weekend

this was my last weekend in portland for a while (i'm going home for almost a month-long visit). luckily, we were graced warm temperatures + a little bit of sun.

fried rice remix (serves two) adapted from this recipe

1/2 lb brussel sprouts 
1/4 cup sesame oil 
pinch of salt 
2 cups cooked brown rice 
1/4 block of tof 
1/4 cup chopped scallions 
1/2 cup edamame
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp tamari 
2 tsp minced ginger 
1 egg
    start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. cut off ends of brussel sprouts and discard any leaves that fall off with it. quarter brussel sprouts and lay on a baking sheet with 2 tbsp sesame oil and a pinch of salt. roast for 20-25 minutes or until brussel sprouts are brown and crispy. next, place a large pan on medium heat with remaining 2 tbsp of sesame oil. once hot, add minced ginger and scallions. after a minute or two, add in rice, tamari, and lime. stir rice mixture every minute or so for about five minutes. add in tofu, brussel sprouts, and edamame and cook for another two minutes. move rice mixture from pan to a bowl and fry the egg (i like mine over medium) while the pan is still hot. top fried rice with runny egg. i also garnished this with roasted seaweed (nori), toasted sesame seeds, and cilantro.


    summer goals

    what? i just announced that i'm officially on summer break and i'm already looking for ways to give myself more things to do? yes, of course. i like lists. i like that store that sells all the containers. behind the lazy girl who is reluctant to wake up before noon and put on real people clothes, there is an obsessive compulsive workaholic that doesn't know what to do with an abundance of free time. hence, my summer goals:
    • organize the millions of papers and articles i've accumulated over the school year.
    • update my resume. 
    • donate the big bag of clothes that's been sitting in my closet for months.  
    • stop shopping so much (see above). 
    • yoga two-three times a week. 
    • try to make a little money via our ebay store + etsy. 
    • take advantage of the many farmer's markets for fresh produce and other treats. 
    • sign up for a fun class (art, photo, cooking) at the local community college. 
    • explore more of oregon (hikes, ocean, vineyards).
    i'm also looking forward to reading for pleasure again. during the school year, i keep a running list of everything i want to read for when my brain is free from textbooks and research articles. i just finally finished this book, even though i started it back in november. i had to put it down when a section would get too graphic, reflect, and then resume reading. any guesses as to why i no longer eat meat?

    currently, i'm reading this and absolutely loving it.

    next on my list is this book. it won the national book award in 2009. i'm two years late to the party, but i'll finally get to see what all the fuss is about.

    today it's forecasted to be beautiful. we're going to a picnic in the park for jill's graduation. i'm bringing a yummy pasta salad + supplies to make mimosas!

    summer pasta salad

    1 lb. whole wheat elbow macaroni
    1 pint cherry tomatoes
    1 jar of artichoke hearts in water, drained
    1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    1 small container of crumbled feta cheese
    fresh basil

    3/4 cup olive oil
    big handful of salt
    big handful of cracked pepper
    juice from 1/2 a lemon
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar

    cook the pasta according to package directions, strain and let cool. quarter cherry tomatoes + artichoke hearts and place in a mixing bowl. add cannellini beans + chopped fresh basil. combine dressing ingredients and pour into mixing bowl. stir all ingredients before adding pasta.

    i wouldn't recommend adding the feta in until right before you're going to serve it (not what i did, now it's a bit soggy... fail).