this song makes me want to throw on my polka dot dress and drink a fancy cocktail. luckily, the weather is beautiful here in portland, so we're off to an outdoor happy hour with friends. i see a few st-honore 75s (champagne, st-germain and lemon juice) in my future. happy friday!


thoughts, part two

every other morning, i've been spending an hour at yoga before work. what started out as a desire to stretch my limbs has turned into something way more for me. the teacher that i'm going to now has really been focusing on one particular lesson for us to meditate on before we begin our practice. she asks us all to acknowledge one person or situation that we feel is toxic to our health, hold onto it for a moment, and then let it go. when i got sick recently, it was easy for me to feel helpless and complain. i have also struggled with uneasiness and stress brought on by other people over the course of my life. but these meditations have shown me that letting negative feelings consume me is exactly what toxic people want: they want their own unhappiness to be met by someone else; their insecurities are projected on to others. instead of dwelling on these thoughts, i am making a conscious effort during yoga (and off the mat) to acknowledge their presence, but only for a moment before letting them go.


bill cunningham new york

i'm off to class tonight! last spring, i scheduled my two courses for this term to be back-to-back, with the idea that it would be best to just dedicate one day a week to class. but now that i've been on summer vacation for almost four months, i'm slightly regretting that decision. here's hoping that i can stay awake and focused for both...

i did take the day off from work today and was delighted to see that bill cunningham new york is now on netflix. it chronicles the life of new york times photographer bill cunningham and his uncanny ability to capture fashion through the years. he revolutionized the whole concept of street style! if you have netflix, i highly recommend this documentary.


alexa chung for madewell

alexa chung is one of my top fashion idols. i am always envious of her outfits and look to her for inspiration when building my own wardrobe. for the second time, alexa has teamed up with another love of mine (madewell), and the result of this genius collaboration is a truly lust-worthy collection.

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


scenes from the weekend

this was the last weekend before (my final year of!) grad school begins. on saturday evening, drew + i saw bon iver. turns out, justin vernon's voice makes me melt just as much (if not more) live. on sunday, i went to the design*sponge craft event that was held at the beautiful ace hotel in downtown portland. grace bonney was so warm and friendly, and led us through a stamp diy out of her new book. alexandra hedin came from seattle to provide us with tasty treats + drinks. i ended up making two different stamps and placed them on a canvas tote together. and as if the weekend couldn't have been any better, it started to feel like fall! the cool, crisp weather prompted me to make a batch of this curried butternut squash and lentil soup.

1. happy bon iver fans.
2. a glimpse of the stage (we were pretty far back on the lawn).
3. adorable table display.
4. cupcakes.
5. (a blurry) grace bonney and i.
6. sporting my newly stamped tote bag.
7. curried butternut squash and lentil soup.


that grandma sense

i can't wait to be a grandma someday. most of the time, i already act like one. i have a bad back, like to wear large knitted sweaters + typically get into bed before most people go out to party. but regardless, i can't wait to have that sixth sense that grandmas tend to have (they somehow always know everything all at once).

between my stomach troubles, back to school anxiety, and discovering that penny has feline asthma (yes, there is an inhaler for cats called the aerokat), i've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately. yesterday, i came home to a package on my doorstep from my grandma containing the cutest old framed photograph of my parents on their wedding day + me as a youngster. the attached note read, "thought you would want this to warm your little home in portland". how did she know? how could she tell that this cute old photograph was exactly what i needed to cheer me up? must be that grandma sense.


let's go scamping

dreamy pictures of decked-out campers all over the internet lately have sparked some serious wanderlust. much to drew's dismay, while i love the idea of spending a night under the stars away from all distractions, i'm not the biggest fan of traditional camping (blame it on the spiders). but with a scamp, all of our camping problems would be solved! now all we have to do is save the absurd amount of money it would cost to bring this idea to fruition, plan our journey + hit the road.

images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


salted caramel pumpkin brownies

despite the lengthy name of these delicious treats, they were so easy to make (with some cheating involved). i got the idea in my head for salted caramel pumpkin brownies and i knew i had to have them. like within two hours at most. do you know how long it would have taken me to make my own caramel sauce? and my own brownie batter from scratch? and to go to a pumpkin patch, find a pumpkin, cut it up + puree it? a lot more than two hours. so i cheated. 

for the boxed brownie mix, i chose the kodiak cakes big bear brownies. initially, i was drawn to the name of this brand, but the ingredient list is wonderful too (100% whole wheat flour, all natural dark chocolate chips). i was supposed to add 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp oil + 2 tbsp water to the dry mix, but i had other plans (a 15 oz. can of pumpkin can be used as a tasty and nutritious substitution for most wet ingredients in recipes)!

salted caramel pumpkin brownie

1 box of brownie mix 
1 egg, or two if the batter is not moist enough 
15 oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!!!) 
a few soft caramels or caramel sauce 
pink himalayan sea salt
    preheat oven to 350 degrees. pour contents of brownie mix into a large bowl. add the egg + the pumpkin and mix until everything is incorporated. pour batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish. quarter caramel squares and drop them into the batter, making sure to distribute them evenly. sprinkle the top of the batter generously with sea salt before baking. depending on your oven, bake for about 25-30 minutes.

    for a different take on these pumpkin brownies: omit the caramel + sea salt and add cinnamon, chopped walnuts + top with vanilla ice cream!


    polka dots

    polka dots are in this fall, and i couldn't be happier. i love the classic, retro feel that they add to any garment. i've already invested in a polka dot umbrella, scarf, blouse + dress, but i think i'll let myself go a bit crazy with this trend and get as many polka dotted items as possible.


    images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


    scenes from the weekend

    phew! i am exhausted. saturday morning i was up at the ungodly hour of 7 am to set up for the orientation that i planned (only to realize that the janitor had not unlocked the room where it was being held, causing the entire event to run behind schedule). luckily, we pulled it together and i spoke in front of an audience without throwing up or passing out! overall, i'd say it was a success. post-orientation i let myself unwind the best way i know how: shopping, tacos + ice cream with jill. i also welcomed this weekend's chilly and rainy weather with open arms as it gave me an excuse to cozy up with annie hall and a giant mug of tea on the couch all day sunday. 

    1. awkward/terribly lit orientation co-planner photo.
    2. flutter has the cutest store displays.
    3. they even have birds!
    4. jill, in line, in the cold rain... we're true ice cream fans (or idiots).
    5. salted caramel ice cream with a macaron on top from salt + straw.
    6. whole wheat tofu + veggie burrito from cha cha cha.


    j.crew spring 2012

    the j.crew ready-to-wear spring 2012 collection is up here and i'm in love with so many pieces! here are just a few looks that i'm smitten with ...

    images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


    wise words

    here is the motherly advice that i received in an email yesterday regarding my current parasite troubles...

    "personally my darling i think you should stop being an almost vegan. can't trust the produce these days. if you ate burgers, fries, potato chips and drank lots of red wine.. you wouldn't have any problems.. life would be great i promise you!"

    ...and that is why i love her so much.


    autumn inspiration

    one of the most difficult things for me to adjust to here is the absence of the four seasons (i think of portland in terms of either rain or no rain). fall is my absolute favorite season. each year i look forward to the foliage, the crisp cool air that warrants a cozy sweater, and pumpkin spice lattes. since i can't have my quintessential new england fall, i've been finding other ways to be inspired by the upcoming season: through fashion and food.


    autumn quesadilla 

    1 whole wheat tortilla 
    a few slices of brie 
    a few thin slices of an apple 
    handful of fresh baby spinach 
    1/2 tbsp honey apple butter

      on one side of the tortilla, spread the apple butter. then layer spinach, apple slices + brie on top of the apple butter and fold the other side of the tortilla over. place one side of folded tortilla in a warm pan until it is crispy and brown, then flip + repeat on the other side. best enjoyed while wearing the outfit above and sipping a pumpkin spice latte.

      images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7