Sunday, May 27, 2012

Favorites - Weekend Edition

Memorial Day always signifies the beginning of summer for me. This weekend we ate at some fun new restaurants, visited the Farmer's Market downtown, and cracked open a bottle of delicious Santa Barbara wine to enjoy before watching Game of Thrones this evening (woo!). Here are some fun things I picked up this weekend.

A fun scarf from Nordstrom - light pink with purple giraffes? Yes plz. It's a massive scarf made of light cotton and will be perfect on Portland's summer nights.

Salt and Straw is an uber hip ice cream shop in PDX. Today I got two scoops of Rhubarb Crumble with Toasted Anise flavor - a creamy and sweet concoction that tasted like a bite of a fresh made cobbler. Heavenly.

Old friends. We met up with a high school friend of mine and her husband for a movie and coffee. It's always nice to catch up with people you haven't seen in years.

Stunning Portland sunsets.

Blue cheese stuffed deep fried mushrooms from Fire On The Mountain. SO good! We followed these up with freshly fried oreos...bad for the waistline but AMAZING for the taste buds.

Hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day weekend as well!

Manicure Monday

I've been majorly slacking on nail art posts. Here's what's been on my nails this weekend:

I attempted a half moon manicure, but that didn't necessarily work out. I'll figure it out eventually, but in my defense, it was 11pm and I was watching a movie at the same time in the's that. I like the color combo, though (Essie's Tarte Deco and Turquoise and Caicos).

Also, guys, I went for a gel manicure a couple weeks ago before my bachelorette party in Santa Barbara. I'm not that impressed! Maybe I went to a bad salon, but mine was peeling at the end of the day and hardly lasted a week. This picture was taken a few minutes after getting it done, and I did love the glitter polish. Maybe I'll give it another shot in the future at a different salon.

Product Rave: Slatkin&Co. Candles

I don't know about you, but I live for Bath and Body Works two for $20 large candle sale. Slatkin & Co's Boardwalk collection came out recently and these scents are to die for!

It's pretty much the beach in a jar - minus all the things I hate (i.e. sand, sun and people)

(Photo credit: all photos from

I purchased Beach Cabana and Beach Grass, which are both refreshing and sweet scents. Yum! Head there while the sale is still going!


Friday, May 25, 2012

Designer Lovin': Jacquie Aiche

I think in a past life I was a jewelry designer, because I have this obsession with finding cool new lines. My latest object of affection is Jacquie Aiche. I first was introduced to the line by one of my BFF's, Meagan, who had just gotten engaged. Her ring was completely unique! A tiny rose gold band with pave diamonds with labradorite as the stone.

Since then, I've been exploring Jacquie Aiche online through and various other outlets. Her line is super modern, with delicate pieces and a boho vibe. Though she's a little pricey for me currently, I'm looking forward to owning several of her pieces in the future. Here's a few favorites:

You can find Jacquie Aiche at her online store, here. I also love to shop through

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Times and Girlfriends!

This past weekend was my bachelorette party in Santa Barbara. I can't tell you how much fun it was to just relax and have a great time with my closest girlfriends. My maid of honor knew I'd just die if she went the traditional bachelorette route of male strippers or male genitle-shaped paraphernalia, so instead we spent a relaxing weekend wine tasting and dining out at some delicious restaurants. I'm honored to know each and every one of these girls.

Meet my bridesmaids!!

(From left/back: Ashley, Kelli, Amanda, Andi, me and Caiti. Front: Tess)

Ashley: My maid of honor and best friend - we've known each other since sixth grade and roomed together when we went to the UK for our first semester of college. She put this entire thing together and truly gave me the weekend of a lifetime! Ashley's wedding was two months ago, and getting to plan everything together was so much fun! Maybe even more fun than actually getting married.

Kelli: Kelli and I met each other doing competitive swimming when we were about 6 or 7 and have stayed friends ever since. She's the sweetest person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. We used to dream about being detectives together, and now we're going to be nurses together.

Amanda: Amanda and I met at our alma mater. We had a bunch of classes together since we were both journalism majors and developed a fast friendship. Our senior year we served as the EIC and Managing Editor of our campus newspaper. I can always count on her to make me laugh!

Andi: I met Andi in church when we were both babies. Our parents were friends before we were even born and we spent the majority of our Saturday's growing up eating at fun restaurants and playing in the Huntington Gardens (where I happened to get engaged, and where my fiance employed Andi to take the photos of us). Andi and I are the type of friends who can go weeks or months without a word and pick up right where we left off. She leads a busy life as a sought after photographer in NYC and LA. I've loved getting to watch her career completely take off.

Caiti: Caiti is another friend who I "knew" even before I was born. Our dads went on Heart Team trips together across the world and her mom, Karen, visited my mom in the hospital when I was born. Karen is like a second mother and Caiti like a sister.

Tess: Tess and I met in high school when I happened to sit in front of her on the bus during a school sponsored trip to the beach. She had me in stitches the entire ride down, and I knew from then on out we'd be great friends. I always admire her sense of style - so chic and effortless - and her creative abilities. When I buy my first home, I'm employing her to decorate it.


Favorite Places and Spaces

The Veggie Grill

Growing up on a vegetarian diet I'd had my fair share of veggie meats, tofu and soy products. Sure, I still ate meat here and there, but was totally comfortable with vegetarian products. Now, I know most carnivores cringe and run when they hear words like "tofu" and "veggie meat" but The Veggie Grill, a restaurant based out of southern California, can make any meat eater a serious veggie lover. I was so excited to see they had expanded to Oregon this last winter! Just looking at the picture above is making me hungry...

Rimsky Koraskoffee

Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in PDX. With that being said, I guarantee you've never had anything like Rimsky Koraskoffee. This place opens at 7pm and stays open late. It's stationed in an old two story house with creeky wood floors (and what I imagine to be a creepy basement underneath) and parlor-like place settings. A pianist plays old music on a tinny piano, and creepy old photographs hang on the walls. Known for their desserts, this place gets packed in the evenings and frequently runs out of the house-favorite, the Raspberry Chocolate Fool - a white chocolate mousse with raspberries and chocolate swirls. Before you leave, head on upstairs to check out the bathroom. I won't ruin it for you, but don't go in if you're at all jumpy. It's cash only, so come prepared.


Monday, May 21, 2012

A rose is a rose is a rose...

Lately I've become more interested in flowers. The perfect arrangement, the names, the best colors to choose and when each flower is in season. I imagine much of this curiosity is stemming from deciding on my own wedding bouquet and centerpieces. Here's a collection of some of my favorite arrangements.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Run For Your Life

(Photo credit:

I've never been able to get "into" running. Maybe because my high school PE coach used to tell me I should just roll over and die I was so out of shape - that kind of faith in another human being really motivates. Give me a workout DVD or spin class and I will do the shit out of those - but for some reason I can only handle like five minutes of running.

In order to try and force myself to start running more, my fiance and I signed up for the Run For Your Life 5K. If you're not a zombie loving freak like everyone seems to be these days, it's a 5K zombie-infested obstacle race. You start the run with three health flags and can pick up hidden health along the way. If you survive all the obstacles, and the walking dead, with at least one flag, you're considered "alive" and your time will count. Don't make it through? Congratulations, you're now infected.

Considering when I get frightened I curl up into the fetal position, I probably won't make it a few feet past the start line, or at least until the first zombie starts chasing me - I'm an easy target. And my loving fiance has already warned me he won't wait for me. In any case, because I'd like to say I beat this challenge like a badass, I'm going to attempt to do some training so I'm not a complete waste.

The race takes place August 4, 2012 in our area. Be sure to check out to see if there's one near you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wedding Inspiration

Here's some of my favorite wedding blogs and sites that have given me the greatest inspiration for my own wedding.

Style Me Pretty - a great blog with tons of cool ideas and photos of other real weddings. After a while, all of the posts start to look the same, but it's great for getting started and finding cool ideas to make your own.

Green Wedding Shoes - a similar blog to Style Me Pretty - tons of gorgeous photos and DIY ideas

Wedding Bee - My go-to site for DIY, budget concerns and advice on etiquette and the like.

BHLDN - What girly girl doesn't love the idea of an Anthropologie wedding boutique? This was where I started looking for gowns - I didn't end up getting my gown from them when it all came down to it, but I go on every few days just to drool over things and see what's new. They have a delicious selection of bridesmaids dresses - and I'm happy to say my girls will be wearing dresses from here on my big day!

Tessa Kim - GORGEOUS veils and accessories for the big day.

Project Wedding - a great hub for wedding information, vendors, and decor ideas.

Hope this helps get you through the week! This weekend is my bachelorette party and I can hardly wait until Friday to see all my bridesmaids!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Europe, you are missed...

I've been fortunate enough to have traveled quite a bit. It was important to my parents that my brothers and I were well-educated, well-traveled, and had open minds. They encouraged travel, learning other languages and trying new things on a regular basis. Because of their generosity, I was able to attend my first semester of college in England with an amazing friend, and later return to Europe post-graduation to travel all over with another best friend. Here's a few photos:

Pret-a-Manger was my favorite place in England. It was a quick-stop for sandwiches, sushi, salads and juices to go. Everything we had there was delicious! Anytime Ashley and I ventured into London, we'd always make a stop there.
My best friend Ashley and I having tea on campus. Looking back now, we were quite brave for venturing out at barely 18 and in our first semester of college all the way across the world.
A visit to Ireland over one of our winter holidays. Dublin was an incredible city - full of the nicest people I've ever met (a rarity considering most everyone hates Americans) and incredible food and drink. I'd love to settle in Dublin for a while.
A small village outside of Dublin that we ventured to. It was completely picturesque - small homes, stone walls and rolling green hills. Pretty much the exact picture one gets when they imagine Ireland, right?

Seeing Imogen Heap in December 2005 - just after her second solo album, Speak For Yourself, was released. It was a tiny, intimate show with some great little opening bands and lots of dancing and singing along. Imogen is stunning in person.
This photo's from my later trip to Europe. Florence was an unbelievably romantic city. Every little alleyway and cafe and coffee shop felt like the perfect lover's retreat. I wished I'd had my boyfriend at the time, now my fiance, there with me. It's definitely on our list of things to do as soon as we can afford it!
A lovely shop in Rome, Italy.
The Roman Colosseum - it's frightening to think of what went on in the Colosseum, but it was incredible to get to see it in person. Such a beautiful piece of history still so intact.
The Parthenon in Greece, and one of my roommates throughout the trip - who has ended up becoming an insanely good friend, Meagan.
This is apparently illegal. Haha! Luckily, since we were a group of cute girls, the police didn't bug us much. We had to sidle up next to a shady looking old man and pay him to give us the bird feed. The pigeons went crazy, as you can see from this picture - but it really was a fun experience.
Versailles Palace. We got to tour through Marie Antoinette's stomping grounds. It's such a stunning palace, with everything trimmed in gold. The gardens were equally as gorgeous, though I've been told they are thinking of opening one of the old guest quarters as a hotel.
A cathedral in Prague, my all-time favorite city. I've dreamed of going there before getting to visit in 2009 and the three days I spent there wasn't enough. Full of gothic architecture and windy cobblestone roads, it feels like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel, though I suppose Kafka is more fitting.

Friday, May 11, 2012

embrace who you are

Sure, the title is cheesy. I felt cheesy writing it - but I mean it. All of this introspection I've been doing lately has really led me to this one little thought - people should just embrace who they really are. Obviously, if you're embracing being a pedofile or a person who is cruel to animals, I'm probably not talking to you.

I spent years of my life trying to be the person I thought every one would like. My speech, my attitude, my dress and my world views would change with each group of friends I had, each relationship I was in, and each trend that occurred. I constantly wondered why I ended up with friends who never got me - I never felt good enough. The older I've gotten, the more I've realized what I like and what I want to do and that I'm allowed to like and do these things. I no longer judge people for their decisions I used to deem weird.

Here's some things about me that I'm embracing full-force. Don't like it? Too bad.

- I hate the beach. I don't like going to it. I don't like the sun, the sand, the people, the sticky air. I effing hate it. Does that make me a poor sport? Do I turn down opportunities to hang out with friends because they're going to the beach? Yes. Does that make me feel bad? No. I don't have to do what I don't want to do and neither do you.

- I love horror movies. Cheesy, gorey, bad acting, good acting, no story plot, I don't care. It's practically all I watch anymore and anything else, to me, is a waste of time.

- I prefer my dog, and all dogs, to just about any person in the world. I value animal's lives over people's lives and I don't feel one bit bad about saying that. Animals have an innocence that no human being can ever encompass - and I feel insanely protective of that.

- I think it's weird when girls can't get along with other girls. It shows bad character. I used to be one of those girls - but I've since grown up.

- I don't like exaggerations. If I tell you you "always" do something, you'd better believe I'll have at least three examples of specific incidents and I expect the same from others.

- I love the color pink and anything glittery. I'd probably decorate my room with My Little Ponies if my fiance would allow it. I'm a super girly girl and I don't pretend not to be.

- I don't like camping! No part of not showering and sleeping on the ground sounds fun to me.

- I'm perfectly content to be marrying the guy of my dreams and spending the rest of my life with him. I don't believe in divorce and I don't like the pressure that the media puts on people to cheat or to look elsewhere for affection when things aren't 100% great at home.

- I love Kate Middleton

- I don't like art. I don't get it, can't do it and can't get into it. I'm not creative and I'm okay with that!

- I'm really old fashioned and not all that fun. I like going to bed early and I expect men to open the door for me and treat me like a lady. I like to dance and hang out and have a cocktail or two but when I'm done I'm done and I don't like people pressuring me to stay out.

- I appreciate good manners - like Emily Post good manners.

- I do what my parents want me to do. They are always right and have never steered me in the wrong direction. Any time I have veered from what they think I should do, it has always been a mistake - hands down. To me, it's the ultimate sign of respect to do what your parents expect of you. They have done without their whole lives so that I could have the things that I have. Granted, not everyone's parents have their best interest in mind, and that's a sad fact.

I'm sure there's a ton more where these came from, and I'll let them form their own posts another time perhaps. In the mean time, I'd love to know some things you've embraced about yourself recently.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Want Wednesday

Let's face it, life's a little more fun when you have items in mind you want. It gives you something to save for, to drool over, and to get excited over. Sorry for ending with a preposition. Here's a few items I'm lusting over right now:

(Dress from

(Tunic from - how cute is this?!)

(Running dress from

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

30 Things I'd Like To Do (and a few I already have) Before I'm 30, Pt 1:

As I hit the end of my 24th year of life, I've been spending some time looking at a few of my accomplishments. Along the same vein, I've also been spending some time figuring things out and deciding on some things I'd like to continue to accomplish. Some are serious, and some are silly. Here is the first part of my list of 30 things I'd like to do, and may have already done, before I hit 30:

  1. Be less catty: Women are practically born and bred to tear each other down. I've always admired friends who took the high rode and refused to gossip about another girl, or who always recognized the good in other people. It's not cool to be mean, and that's something I've been actively working on.
  2. Travel the world: This one's in purple because I've done quite a bit of this! Though I don't think one can ever be done seeing the world, I've certainly seen enough of it at this point to feel okay until the travel bug sets in again.
  3. Eat two Chipotle burritos in one sitting: Sounds fun, right?
  4. Run, run, run: Like math and tomatoes, running is something I've avidly avoided my whole life. I'd like to learn to embrace it and make it part of my daily routine
  5. Host a dinner party: Like, a real dinner party. With formal invitations, properly coursed meals, place cards and corresponding wines. I think the art of entertaining is somewhat lost these days and I'd love to have a group of friends that wanted to help me bring it back!
There you have it, the first five off my list of 30 things to do before I'm 30. :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

All Things Wedding Stationery!

I realize I've hardly commented at all, save for a brief mention here and there, about my wedding. While a lot of the details I prefer keeping private, I do want to share the wonderful experience with various paperies I've used for my wedding stationery.

Save The Dates
The Save The Dates (usually abbreviated as STDs, but I can't bring myself to use that) are a really fun addition to wedding stationery. They are especially appropriate if you have guests coming from out of town/state, or if you are doing a destination wedding, so that your guests can prepare appropriately. The selection is virtually endless, as far as design, customization and size goes. I've had girlfriends who've done magnets (SO cute, but a little pricey) and those who've stuck with traditional paper. My fiance and I used Minted, a popular online paper company that offers everything from wedding invitations to customized everyday stationery. We went with the following design and customized it to fit our needs:

(Photo credit: - obviously this isn't ours, this is the sample featured on the site)

My experience with Minted was nothing short of perfect. They are efficient, quick, and high quality. They also offer a choice of 100% recycled paper, which was important to us, since my fiance is quite the environmentalist. Some other great sites for ordering Save The Dates online are:

  • Wedding Paper Divas - link, here (my bridal shower invitations are from this site, though since they haven't been sent out yet I decided not to share them)
  • Zazzle - link, here (more exciting stuff about Zazzle in a sec!)
Wedding Invitations
I loved picking out invitations, and my mom and I took our sweet time doing so. In fact, they are in the final processes of getting finalized and printed as we speak. We really wanted a thick, weighty paper with gorgeous type, a direction card, of course the RSVP card, and a beautiful French envelope/sleeve to put the invitation in prior to the actual outer envelope. We found all of this and more with Smock Paper. Smock offers letterpress invitations and stationery (letterpress being one of the more expensive, but chicer, methods of printing) that are completely customizable and very modern. The following examples are not what we went with, but are some of the choices that Smock offers on their website:

We loved the range of choices, the beautifully thick bamboo paper (again, a huge plus to my fiance and I) and my favorite part -- custom postage stamps! Smock designed a PDF format of the stamp that would match our invites and be personal to us, and we used Zazzle to order the stamp itself. It's little personal touches like that which I think really make the invitation special!

Smock Paper wasn't cheap - luckily, my parents are traditional and are funding the whole thing (thanks, guys!!!), but it was important to us to not scrimp on such a big day. There are plenty of options out there that are just as nice for much less -- you just have to decide what is important to you, the bride, and what's not so important.

Questions or comments? Leave 'em below!