Sunday, August 26, 2012

Local Lovin': Bamboo Grove

A great local spot in John's Landing is Bamboo Grove, a traditional Hawaiian restaurant. Huge portions and a casual, family atmosphere are what makes this place so popular with local PDXers. They even serve a luau style Kalua pig in the summers - though I'm not into watching a dead animal be rotated over a fire in front of me, but that's another blog post. The decor is over-the-top Hawaiian, with tiki torches, Hibiscus paintings and other classic Hawaiian paraphernalia on all the walls. Nonetheless, it's a great escape from gloomy Portland weather.

(Images from Bamboo Grove's website)

Start off small with a bowl of their house-made kimchi. It's the perfect light precursor to your entree. Choose from a small, medium, or large sized entree, aka, "Island Grinds" (note, even the small is almost unfinishable by a hungry person) and you'll receive a generous scoop of rice and their famous macaroni salad on the side.  My husband loves their ahi tuna stir fry and their teriyaki chicken, while I stick with the vegetable stir fry (Hawaiian food isn't notorious for their vegetarian friendly dishes, but Bamboo Grove definitely makes an effort). The crunchy, seasoned vegetables combined with the creamy macaroni salad makes for a killer combination. Follow this up with a slice of their Kahlua cheesecake and you're in heaven.

Since my husband and I are jetting off to Hawaii tomorrow for our honeymoon, we were thrilled our friends suggested Bamboo Grove this weekend. We always end up with tons of leftovers to enjoy the next day!

If you want to make a night out of SW Portland, hit up Jolly Roger's on Wednesdays at 9pm for bar trivia!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Product Rave: Origins VitaZing

I've always shied away from skin matching type makeup items. Personally, they oxidize poorly on my skin and turn orange. I figured Origins VitaZing would be no different when a friend introduced it to me the other day. The girls at the Origins shop were kind enough to give me a sample to take home to try it out....

....and I'm in LOVE!

It's smoother and more malleable than my favorite Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, and a little bit really goes a long way. After hours of wear I have no orange tint and no harsh line between my neck and face like I normally do with this type of makeup. My face is left feeling light and refreshed with a gorgeous glow that's hard to get naturally.

What I love about Origins in general, is that there products are almost entirely all natural and don't contain parabens, sulfates, or weird chemical fragrances.

A bottle of VitaZing will run you $35 - it seems outrageous until you actually try the product and realize how little you actually need for full coverage.

Try or buy?

My opinion, try first and then buy. The medium coverage may not be what you are looking for and it can leave your face looking greasy if not followed up with a powder.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Five Things I Can't Wait For

Fall is coming!

1. Salted caramel hot chocolates at Starbucks

2. Cloudy days, orange leaves, and scarf weather

3. Autumn walks with my dog

4. Halloween!!

5. Corn mazes, caramel apples, and apple cider

Are you happy to see summer go? 

The best of the best: P-town Pizza

My husband (eek! So odd to get to use that word now!) and I are big foodies - if you hadn't noticed by now. We love to try new recipes, eat at new restaurants/food carts/hole in the walls and watch any and all cooking channels.

Most of our meals consist of discussing the next meal - that's how into it we are.

Portland is one of the ultimate foodie cities - there is something for everyone here. So today we'll start with the basics and talk pizza. Here are the four ultimate pizza joints to hit when you're in PDX.

#4. Sizzle Pie:
(Picture from
We actually just made it to Sizzle Pie this afternoon, after me drooling over their menu for the last year. There are two locations on Burnside, one in the south and one in the east over the bridge. Pizza by the slice is available, as well as whole pies. Another great thing about PDX is their lunch combo options and their happy hour options, and Sizzle Pie is no exception. They offer a combo of a slice of pizza and a salad for $6. I went with the Gold Ring pizza, with white truffle oil, goat cheese (yes!) and green onion. The slices are large and thin - great for folding in half. Try the Word salad and enjoy greens, sunflower seeds, red onion, pepperoncinis, and their famous vegan pink peppercorn white wine vinaigrette (YUM!). Some of their awesome whole pies with tongue-in-cheek names consist of: the Gene Parmesan (Arrested, anyone?) with shaved beef steak, broccoli, and parmesan peppercorn sauce; the Napalm Breath, crushed garlic, pepperoni, onion and fresh jalapenos; and the Italians Do It Better - with breaded eggplant, crushed garlic and fresh basil. Pop in for a slice or a whole pie!

#3. Ken's Artisan Pizza:
(Photo from
Mentioning this name will make the locals eyes light up. Have I mentioned this place before? Can't remember. Legend has it that Ken opened a bakery in Portland years ago and was quite successful. When his friends would come to visit the shop, he would make them pizza, a special treat that wasn't on the menu. His friends started bringing their friends and so on and so forth until he decided to open up his own pizza place. Ken's is located in NE Portland near Laurelhurst theater and features some seriously good pizza. This is a much more traditional thin crust pizza with classic Italian toppings like prosciutto, rosemary, and house made pancetta. If you like a bit of spice, order the Arrabiata - a blend of tomato and spicy Calabrian chiles, mozzarella and basil. Get there early 'cause there's always a line and they don't take reservations.

#2. Dove Vivi:
(Photo from
This place is in a caliber all on it's own. Tucked away on NE Glisan in a strip mall with a cleaners and a Plaid Pantry, this is one of the best kept secrets in Portland. Their claim to fame is their thick, cornmeal crust. Chewy and delicious, this special crust gives the pizza an extra somethin' somethin' that keeps you coming back for more. Our personal favorite is the goat cheese pizza, smothered with creamy goat cheese, balsamic soaked tomato slices, green peppers and fresh rosemary. If you're into trying something really different, the corn pizza is another good one sprinkled with fresh sweet corn and marinated onions. Every visitor we've taken here has been wooed by the deliciousness that is presented to them. Pair your pizza with their delicious kale salad, a simple but flavorful addition to your meal. I would eat this every day if I could.

#1. Apizza Scholls:
(Picture from Google Images)
Now, if we're talking just straight pizza, just melt-in-your-mouth cheesy carbloaded goodness, then we're talking Apizza Scholls. This place also doesn't take reservations and the wait can be upwards of two hours. The chefs make their dough for the day, and when they run out, that's it - so better get there early. I can't recommend just one pizza here, since they are all incredible - but I do recommend starting your meal off with their roasted vegetable platter. This place was recommended to us by some friends who used to live here. It took us a little less than a year to get there, but we finally went and it was absolutely delicious - one of those places that makes you wish you had two or three stomachs to keep on eating.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Wedding

Free time, FINALLY! Not that wedding planning wasn't wonderful (it was), but I'm so glad to have a little extra time (and some sanity) back. I miss blogging when I'm not doing it daily!

My wedding was an absolute dream. We got married on August 12 at Temecula Creek Inn in southern California. Aside from the triple digit heat, there's not a thing I would change. All of our family, friends and loved ones were present to witness the most important day of our lives. The wonderful flower arrangements, the quaint setting next to a stone cottage, everything was perfect! Here are some guest pictures that we've received on Facebook and the like. I truly can't wait to see the professional shots by Hollin Brodeur-Whedbee and her husband Eric Whedbee!

My incredible dress was by Martina Liana and my bridesmaids dresses were from BHLDN. I can't tell you how many compliments we got on the girl's dresses - the mustard yellow/chartreuse color was so stunning next to the foliage. 

I'll post more pictures when I get some of the professional ones back - in the mean time, I'm going to go back to being a newlywed :)