Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One thing I have found that I love about blogging is that it can make you more aware. I am, at least, finding this true for me. Often times I think I notice things I normally wouldn't because blogging, for one, has made me rekindle my love of photography. I never go out without a camera, the way I used to when I had an old analog SLR and took photography in college. Or even the days when I was constantly  purchasing a new disposable one to pack in my vacation bag or take along on a girls night out.  After awhile I actually questioned whether or not I was too involved in capturing the shot rather than enjoying the moments, so I kind of let it go, not a lot but a little bit. I guess you could say I let the photographer in me go and became a picture taker. I think parenting had a lot to do with it, I just didn't want to be more concerned with capturing photos of my kids than being in the moment with them. But now that I once again have my eyes opened for great shots I realize I find beauty in the smallest things. I still enjoy the moments sans photos when needed but I also get to enjoy the more abstract moments that I might have simply passed by otherwise. 

The other thing I have noticed since blogging is patterns. One such pattern is, well, let's call it "visualization." The other day I was thinking I wanted to find some feathers. So later that day, without this thought actually in my mind at the time, we set out on one of our daily walks. In this little walk I found 6 feathers! Since blogging almost daily I have noticed this with other things too. I think about something - I think about it (whatever it is) and voila there it is in front of me. So it makes me wonder, is it the visualization of thought that makes something happen? It's definitely a popular belief, you know you put it out into the universe and you will it to happen, you see it happen in your mind and so it does. Or is it the thought that allows you to see what would have been in your path in the first place; I am just noticing it all more because I am paying attention to the details as well as documenting both my wants and finds? I think I like to believe that it is the act of visualization but I don't know, I have been visualizing a million dollars for a long time and that has yet to happen!

These photos are things that I found recently: feathers, a piece of honeycomb, a wishbone and a twig in the same shape, a little lonely horsy on the sidewalk, a spool of wire thread in a free box at a yard sale and a smooth little piece of wood that M+L found.

Are you a photographer or blogger, or both? Have you noticed that it offers you a new perspective?

Favorite Finds | 12 | Cut & Paste Collection

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Cut and Paste collection is the result of a collaboration between Kiki Van Ejik and the Director of Secondome, Claudia Pignatale. I don't know why I love it so, maybe it's because I am more of a re-inventor than an inventor, so seeing just such things makes me happy. Or maybe it's because it has an almost Alice in Wonderland quality that can't help but evoke feelings of enchantment. I feel like these items would be in houses with secret rooms and hidden stairways, or maybe even start talking and walking on their own one day. Whatever your taste might be, you can't deny that these pieces stir the imagination.

I can say that I am definitely intrigued. What do you think?

Local PDX: Being Small Has No Shame | Food Cart Love |

Friday, July 27, 2012

After suffering from actually having all the rain we are known for here in Portland and being on lock down with my twins for the last few years (they are runners!), I found myself falling out of love with my city. I was at a place where I felt like I have to find that lovin' feeling or I was going to go crazy! When having little ones it's hard to think of places to go and things to do that are enriching for both 3 year olds, a 14 year old and a 36 year old! Lord knows we have traversed the parks and gone for about a billon walks. I love these things but I really needed to connect culturally to my city. So, now that taking my twins M+L out and about isn't always filled with near death experiences I have been trying to enjoy the best that our lovely city has to offer and, you know, kind of remember what makes it so great. This is where my food cart journey began because one thing we all love - food! Food carts in portland are just about everywhere, the prices unbelievable, authentic food from all around the world can be attained, as well as new twists on old staples. So, it's a great and inexpensive way for me to take my kids out and experience the culture of our city.

So I guess the way back to this girls heart was right through the stomach! This little journey through visiting food carts reminded me of one of the things I love best about Portland - we are a city where people just do sh*t and they do it well. There's no fear here about where you begin not being good enough. We are willing to try new things because we have a lot of talented people in this creative city. One doesn't have to be fancy or perfect to start your own thing or launch your talent. Here, you don't have to have gone to Parsons to be a designer or to have gone to cordon bleu to be a chef and be taken seriously. Really Portland thrives on people following their dreams and their passion, our little community embraces it and supports it.  This gives the city not only fabulous new and creative places and things to discover but a "you can do it vibe" - this city is creative rain or shine and I think our many lands of food carts is a true testament to that. You have a talent for cuisine? Well selling it out of a truck is actually a plus here and the fact that is so, started making me remember why Portland is so cool. I know there's a thread of this city that afforded me the confidence to start my own business from nothing, and I really mean nothing, because here you can totally do that. In fact if you didn't do it that way you might actually be considered a lot less cool. This is true, may be unbelievable to some but you could say Portland is completely pretentious about being unpretentious. I know . . . but if you can look past that contradiction of thought to the results, you will see it makes complete sense. So if you visit Portland and you see a parking lot filled with food carts, stop the car! They have some of the best food around, you will truly be amazed.

Images from top to bottom:

Fifty Licks - Maple Bacon ice cream anyone? It's sooo good!

Seared Ahi Fish tacos - I am a glutton for fish tacos and ahi tuna, so this combo was a dream come true for me. Seriously one of the best tacos I have ever had. So sad I can't remember the name of this cart!

The Honey Pot - Chicken Curry Pot Pie. The pie was good, the filling was comfort food with a kick. But the crust, oh my goodness! After woofing this down I went back and gushed so much about the flaky, yet thick and creamy tasting pie crust they gave me a free calendar. They also have the most beautiful and delicious fruit pies in town!

Pupusa's - First I just love saying Pupusa! And I love eating them too. It's a salvadorian dish, like if a quesadilla and a tamale got married and had a baby. I got these at La Cochina De Chepe and they were so good! Bonus - most items were about 2.50! I also ordered fried plantains which came with rice and beans and a "cream" - sour cream maybe? I didn't ask because that sounded weird but tasted so good! Didn't want my brain to ruin the moment for my tastebuds.

Is there something in your city that reminds you why you love it? Do you have any favorite local haunts or outings to share with your family or friends? Do tell!

Happy weekend! xo

The French Loft | House Tour |

Thursday, July 26, 2012


As someone who works from home (and also wishes I lived in France) this house tour immediately pleased my design senses. This beautiful french loft belongs to a couple, one who is an interior designer the other an illustrator, both work from home and also have three children.  They have incorporated storage in order to accommodate their work needs and family, with the help of architectural designer, William Terver. There are so many things I love about this how this loft is designed, of course all the storage is wonderful but the modern elements mixed with the old world french luxury, oh my goodness!

So what can we take away from this little tour besides house envy? Think color and cohesiveness. Yes, it's eclectic but with the rich yellow making an apparence in every room, it offers both a punch of color as well as fluidity between spaces. From bold ones like that amazing chair, to smaller touches like the base of the lamp or the plate hiding in the hutch. This use of color is such a simple design element to incorporate but has such a fantastic affect. It can also be a really great starting place when decorating your own nest.

Do you see any other elements in this fantastic space that you could incorporate in your own? 

As always with my house tours I say, le sigh . . .

Full story and images visit Marie Claire Maison.

Food: fresco de ensalada

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



This is a summer favorite at my house. It is a traditional Salvadorian ensalada drink and is so easy to make; this variation of it is too and it's, oh, so refreshing on hot summer nights. My kids think it's a dessert and that is fine by me!

What you need for 48oz:

Fruit: Apple, pineapple, orange and mamey are the traditional fruits used. I used mango, apple, orange, coconut, plum and nectarine. 1/3 cup or so of each.

Coconut water: I used two fresh young coconuts and cut it open so I could use the pulp as well as serve it in the shell, my kids love that too! I also used about 12 oz of coconut water I bought at the store. It's everywhere these days - not hard to find at all! No coconut water? See bottom of post for variations.

Mint - about 1 tablespoon minced plus some sprigs for garnish if you are feeling like getting fancy. 

What you do:

Cut up all your fruit into tiny little bit sized pieces. I am no master chef so this takes me forever! Place fruit in a serving pitcher and pour coconut water over top. Mix in minced mint. Refrigerate for at least one hour so the fruit juices are released. I usually make mine at night and just let it sit overnight. 

That's it! It's a great non-alcoholic drink to serve to kids or non-drinkers during summer parties too. If you are looking for something a little more creamy you can also add some coconut milk. And if you don't have coconut water you can just add water with a little citrus juice. As always with my recipes they are really just basic ideas that you can do what you like with! There are so many ways to get creative with this drink. 

Oh, and if you find yourself with no liquid left and extra fruit at the bottom of your pitcher put it on top of ice cream of yogurt, yum!

Photo Diary / 3 / The Great Outdoors

Monday, July 23, 2012

This weekend I took my twin boys M+L on their first camping trip. I had all of these visions of relaxing while maybe thinking about work in a different environment so I brought books I've been meaning to look through, my sketch book to jot down nature inspirations and my mole skin journal where I keep my ideas list - well, I didn't even open the bag they rested in. Work totally gave way to throwing rocks in the river with my boys (and then throwing more rocks in the river) and setting/tearing down camp, finding crawdads and tadpoles, picking wild flowers and sitting by the camp fire staring into the flames thinking about nothing, but the moment I was in. So I have to say it was sublime! Total success and a good reminder that everything has its place and time - enjoying the moments of being lost in thoughts of nothingness, just clearing my mind and finding good rocks for my twins to throw was exactly where I suppose to be and I am so glad I allowed myself to be so very present in those moments.

Are there certain times in your life or places you find yourself when you can let go of all your ideas and thoughts and be totally present in the moment at hand?  

Favorite Finds | 11 |

Friday, July 20, 2012

Little things make me happy. Little trinkets and little moments alike. This weekend I will be enjoying the little things in life  while on an impromptu camping trip with my wee tots. I am so excited, it's my 3 year old twins (M+L's) first camping trip so I am certain it will be filled with tons of precious little moments - and maybe some not-so-precious little moments. But as I sit here listening to the thunder storm roll in (eek!) thinking about the abandonment of my to-do list and the likelihood that I will remember half way there all the vital items I forgot sitting on my kitchen counter, I am also thinking about how the sweetest parts of life are those small joys  - and I am happy I will be relishing in them for a day or two. No distractions for me to miss any of life's little moments.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Until next time enjoy these fabulous little things I have found!

p.s I am love-love-loving that leather clutch!!

p.p.s the vases (image 1) is a little tutorial so check out the link. Looks like a super easy project . . . maybe to do over the weekend perhaps?

1 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Make: Lined Envelopes | With Guest Lisa Fyfe of Little Monster |

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First let me introduce Little Monster, one of my newest favorite finds. Lisa Fyfe, the woman behind the Little Monster brand, is a successful graphic designer who has designed several book covers (I even have a few of them in my bookcase!) She has also recently opened a new shop on Etsy, where you will find fantastically designed paper goods (see bottom photos).  Lisa is also the author of the Little Monster blog, here you will find beautiful taken photos and delicious recipes (that you will want to make immediately btw) - these are just a couple of my favorite elements in her fabulous blog!  And as a super special treat Lisa is sharing with us a tutorial on lining envelopes using fun graphic paper.


This is a great DIY project to step-up up any envelopes you have lying around. You can use any pretty paper that you like. Once you have made your template it is so easy to keep duplicating these pretty inserts into all of your envelopes. I made some this weekend to go along with some of my cards.

    Tools you will need: Ruler | Pencil | Scissors and/or exacto knife | Glue | Envelope | Pretty paper

    Cut out the middle section of your envelope; so that, you are left with the back and top flap of the               envelope.

Cut out the glue portion of the flap of the envelope.

Trim of 1/8 of an inch off the sides and bottom. This will allow the liner to fit into your envelope. 

You have now created your template. Slide your template into an envelope to make sure it fits correctly
Use this template to trace an outline on the back of your paper. Follow your outline and trim.

 Glue the insert into a new envelope.


Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing this tutorial with us. Be sure to check out her shop! Lisa is currently offering 10% off all her wonderful paper goods (find the coupon code at her etsy shop)!
Like these here:

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