Perception Collection | Round Up 2 |

Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple: mawlovesbsd |tempusfugitrapidus + Leading Lines: algbeyer | tdsuth
Distortion: cherylsorg | laurenkeim + Repetition: smidgebox | likewantneed
Shadow: macfilipe | shalaghhogan + Boundless: homestilo | tkreisky
Neon: living_in40beemer123 + Treasure: annacgunn | greenwithrenvy

Lauren and I are so happy with the second installment of our instagram challenge, #perception_collection. One of my favorite parts of how both challenges have gone is how much people interact with each other, comment, compliment, and start conversations. It feels like such a kind and passionate community of people that have joined in both time (and many of you returned. yay! that's a good sign, right?) and, really, for me personally I just couldn't ask for more - a challenge with like-minded and supportive people, yes please. 

So last time we pulled pictures from each of the seven days to feature on our blogs which meant we featured a bit more, but with the hectic nature of the summer coming to a close we decided to do just one post this time for both weeks. If you know me, or read this blog, I like to curate so this is a mix of my favorites (i mean they are all my favorites, so how do you choose?), I choose by curating the pictures that I like grouped together and trying to get a good mix of those who participated. There were so many amazing photos and many with lovely stories/thoughts/quotes with them. So thank you so much to everyone who participated and to so many of you who followed each other, liked each others photos and sent a kind word or two to your fellow instagramers! Our next one will be sometime in October, we will get word out when we set a date.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I am going to see Frozen sing-a-long movie in the park tonight with my boys, my BFF and her kids as a little pre-birthday celebration for M+L. They will be 6 on Tuesday, ohmygosh. 

Wall Planters | Red Envelope |

Wednesday, August 20, 2014






I've been eyeing these wall planters for awhile. I love the way they look in so many of the photos I have seen of them on places like pinterests where I am often finding myself thinking, I need that! I want that! But as many of you know who have followed me for awhile here on this blog - indoor plants are not my strong suit and so with that I kept passing them up. So I was really excited when RedEnvelope reached out to me and gifted me these! Right now they are up in my living room filling up a small wall space that needed a little "something" but I also keep envisioning in my kitchen with some chives or above my bedside table, maybe with something fragrant in them. 

Now I know it's still summer and we are all going to be kicking and screaming our way towards fall here soon enough, but when I received these in the mail I couldn't help but think of the holidays. They came in this big red box with a lovely ribbon wrapped around it, and I thought this would be the perfect place to buy gifts for loved ones who may live far away. Even though it was about 90 degrees when I got my package it immediately felt like christmas morning. 

This is a sponsored post by RedEnvelope though all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

A Bird Ballet

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



This is just something I came across this week and it immediately felt soothing to my soul in the way that reminded me my soul needs soothing sometimes. Summer is almost to an end here. Going on our mini-vacation was so wonderful, but it was a lot of miles to drive in a short time, and seemed to span years, lifetimes even. So it wasn't exactly relaxing. Not to say that's a bad thing. 

I also realized, upon returning, that I often don't feel like I get a lot (enough) done in a day, but coming back to piles of work I realized it is a lot on most days. Just keeping up is a lot. And being able to do that on a daily basis is pretty awesome. But while it was a good objective perspective time for much reflection on it was sidestepped (after my quick pat-to-self on the back) by trying to catch back up. Also with the close of this summer M+L will be starting school. And the truth? I am excited. And a heartsick. I keep trying to focus on all the positive because, well, it's how I like to roll, makes you feel better and all. But also something that makes you feel a bit better is being honest. 

And honestly there are so many positives to think about. The friends they will make, the things they will learn, the (uninterrupted) time I will have during school hours to work (omg!!), the artwork they will bring home, school performances - even after Fisher left his kindergarten class I still always watched the little ones at all performance because, d'uh, there is just nothing cuter. But of course they are my little tiger and all-day everyday so my mind sometimes slips and thinks of other honest things and feelings like "what if their faces flood with embarrassment and I am not there? what if someone teases them? what if they get hurt? what if they don't know all the answers?!" I know, none of us know all the answers. Being embarrassed can make some of our best stories later in life and everyone gets hurt sometimes. The logical person in me who truly wants them to grow to be strong independent people knows these things. But the mama in me is a little bit sad. Not because of those things really. I am afraid to say it's more selfish than that. It's the time and that realization that it slips, or has slipped and you want to catch it and hold tight in your fist but you can't. You have to let it go.

And for a laugh, or maybe a bravo, this amazing little piece of satire on being a mother.

Photo Diary | Idaho |

Monday, August 18, 2014



















Are you guys starting to feel like I am your grandma holding you captive while showing you thousands of slides from my latest cruise? I know. I know. So many pictures! Since being back from our mini-vacation I have been trying to play catch-up, both on some rest and lots of work. It's amazing what a few days away from both can do to you. With that my only leisure time on the computer has been going through photos. These ones here are from the town of Wallace, Idaho. 

When we first got into Idaho, I had booked a hotel, sight unseen, in Kellogg which is trying to bring tourism into the area with a resort and its 3 mile long gondola that takes you up to Silver Mountain. Last time I went we stayed there and that's pretty much where I lingered in said town. My memory betrayed me of the rest of the town. Oy. I don't like to hurt peoples feelings, in fact I hate it. I also don't want to come across as a snob, because I really don't think I am. But. This hotel was so awful, I walked in and immediately walked out, we handed back the keys. I just couldn't. We then took a little walk around Kellogg and the whole time I was thinking "I need to get to Wallace. I need to see something cute." Wallace is the only place in America where the entire town in on the national register of historical places. It is so cute. The population is just over 700, even though the town sign says closer to 1000. It's also in the Silver Valley and has suffered the same fate as everywhere else in this area as the mines have closed down. I kept thinking what a perfectly quaint town it was. How it seemed suspended in time. It looks like a place where people would come for that quaint small town charm, it almost feels like it's a movie set. But of course if people came there it wouldn't be what it is. That whole circle of thought spun in and around my head a lot while I was there. 

We happened upon a parade while we were there too, and while it only lasted about one minute, I am thinking it was probably pretty good luck. The fact that it turned out to be an accordion festival convinced that it was indeed quite lucky. In fact the parade was so small that when we took a little trolly tour around Wallace while we were heading up to go to the mining tour, M+L were convinced that were another parade and proceeded to wave to everybody we passed. On our trolly tour were given a few factoids about Wallace. And if you didn't know Dante's Peak was filmed in here. That's right. Dante's Peak!!! It's the claim to fame and you can't go anywhere without anyone who was alive 1996 letting you know this fact. And if they happened to run into Pierce Brosnan, well, he was the nicest guy ever. And Linda Hamilton used to sit at the bar and shoot the breeze with locals. The other big news I learned on our trolly ride was that Teddy Roosevelt visited once in 1903, and in 2003 they had a commemorative festival. So if anyone out is there is looking for a place to make history or perhaps a movie, I hope you will consider Wallace, the tour guides need some more material as he told us the same two stories both there and back. And seriously, Pedro Chang's sounds like some good movie material. 

PS Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our instagram challenge. Lauren and I will be posting some of our faves on Friday to share with you all. 

Photo Diary | Ghost Town |

Thursday, August 14, 2014






















One of my favorite places to visit when I went back to Idaho with my grandparents was the ghost town of Burke which resided in Burke canyon in the panhandle (that's north) of Idaho (there are lots of canyons and gulches in this area.). The Silver Valley, as this region is called, was once filled with boom towns and this was one of the first and most profitable mining areas which housed the Hecla and Star mines where silver, zinc and lead was mined (you can see from the last photo the lead mineral deposits still turn the creek rocks a deep rust). People came from all over for the mining in the late 1800's. My great-grandfather on my mother's side, once a runner for the pony express, came here for the mining, as well as my other great-grandfather also on my mother's side ended up in this area looking to make money in the mines. This is where my grandparent's grew up, where they met (they were neighbors - their houses within inches of each other) where my mother was born and where I was raised for a few years in my early childhood. 

I have always been fascinated by the history of this area. Once Burke was busy and bustling with mining and so many people flocked to the area that houses were precariously built on the hillside and scrunched up against one another on any and all available space. The road was so narrow through here that, The Tiger hotel, had two train tracks and a creek running through it's lobby. Shop owners had to pull in their awnings to let the trains pass. My family worked the mines when they were still running. My grandfather's father and brother both died in the mines as well as countless others that they knew. There were fires and mining disasters and it was overall a very hard life. And when my grandfather had children, my mom and uncles, he left the area to come to Portland to ensure that his children would never work the mines. My mom moved back for a short time when I was about two until I was 5. When I lived there people still worked the mines, in fact most everyone I knew worked the mines, but there were only a few left in operation. Now I believe there is just one. The towns were fairly depressed then and even more so now. 

As I said in my last post, going back here is literally like stepping back in time and in so many more ways than just visiting ghost towns. I took to calling the area the detroit of the pacific northwest. Things are so unchanged from my perspective, which is a trip (for lack of a better term) in and of itself, but also they have changed so much from when people first flocked here, when these ghost towns were anything but that. When the towns were filled with millionaires and people actually traveled from all over to find work here. Now it is a very depressed economy, really a quite desolate place. And to me there is something so beautiful about the preservation of history in this abandonment, but of course something so pervasive in that as well that seems to spread for miles and miles.

As you can imagine mining practices in the late 1800's was probably not up to the environmental standards that it would be today, and even that, well. So the one thing that I can say has changed since the time that I have lived there is trees have grown in so thick. For years the landscape was strangled out along these mining gulches likely because of all of the toxins and minerals that were released into the soil. My great-aunt who has literally lived up two mile gulch since the day she was born (that is where my grandparents lived after the moved from Burke canyon) her whole life mumbled something about the "goddamn EPA messin' with stuff," I just smiled and nodded happy to hear the EPA is messin' with stuff around there. 

Of course I had to visit Burke again on this trip and due to peer pressure, for the first time one or more of us, may or may not have, hopped the no trespassing fence (no children were involved in this crime). Which completely took me back to my teen years as I found myself saying "i don't think this is a good idea guys." But I finally saw the "other side" and was able to get some photos of this place that has always made my imagination run wild. We also took a mining tour in a different mine, which I took last time I went as well, where they take you into a mine and show you all the in's and out's of mining. So those photos of the actual mines - don't worry, I would never in a million years go unattended into a mining shaft. That would be crazy.

You can see some photos of Burke back in the day here, here, here, here and here.
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