hearts day happiness

It's cold and gloomy, and I had a canceled class, so what better way to brighten up a groggy Wednesday afternoon than with a dip into the sparkly business of Valentine's Day?  I've already made a few things to hang up in the room, including a banner (OBVIOUSLY). The great thing about hearts day crafting is that you can basically cut out dozens of hearts in all sizes and throw them everywhere and it's golden.  I will post pictures of the room once it's attacked by hearts.  In the meantime, listen to this Valentine's Day 8tracks.  It's pretty perfect, and I'm not even half way through it.

Looking forward to more lovey-dovey-ness, glitter glue, rom coms, and festive treats.  xoxo

photo diary: ted's visit, day 4 & 5

Bagels & Les Mis
Ted was determined to get some bagels, so we found some at Kokobelli and then headed to the theatre to see Les Mis.  Didn't cry as much as anticipated, but maybe that's because I was so happy Ted was in AZ with me.

Sushi with the fam
After being turned away at our first sushi attempt (too full), we found ourselves at Sakana. It was delicious, and we even tried real wasabi for the first time.

Baking & Sherlock
Ted takes his baking seriously.  So naturally, he doesn't want me to interfere.  He made me watch Sherlock and lend an occasional hand while he made brownies from the baking book I gave him last Christmas.  Boy, were they good.

Grandma & Papa's for lunch
On Sundays, my family and I always go to to my grandparents' for lunch.  I was so excited to have Ted come with us!  We had a wonderful home cooked meal and spent some quality time with the family and dogs.

SandwichesCrème brûlée, & Coupling
Ted and I are a sucker for a good sandwich, so we picked up some avocados from Sprouts and make some awesome turkey and chicken sandwiches.  Yep, multiple sandwiches.  Oh so good, especially with cider.  Then my mom and Ted were the cutest ever and made crème brûlée.  Unfortunately it had to be refrigerated for three hours, so Ted and I watched some episodes of Coupling and blow torched one later that night.  C'etait magnifique!

The next morning Ted went back to CA, and I was sad. But now we are back in Portland, so hooray!

photo diary: rachel getting married

 The ceremony (at a local lake with the wedding party and family) and reception (at a local artist's studio) were beautifully unique and DIY.  Nuff said.

eat here: st. francis in phoenix, az

Erin and Domenico took Ted and I to St. Francis to have a late lunch/early dinner before Rachel's wedding.  It was so wonderful, and we split almost everything on the menu.  The pumpkin soup, baked goat cheese, fingerling potatoes, pork chile verde, and french onion burger. Whew!

photo diary: ted's visit, day 2

Downtown Mesa
We walked around Mesa Arts Center and its small gallery, then we got a cookie at Sweetcakes to share with a chai at Lofi Coffee.  Lovely.
Lunch with Kate
After much anticipation, Kate and Ted finally met over delicious sandwiches and fries at Flancer's.  It was wonderful!  It was about time these two met.  I love them both so much!
Once school was let out, the three of us went to visit my much-loved yearbook advisor.  It was great catching up and introducing Ted.  Yearbook will be a part of my heart forever.

After a lovely dinner with my family, I went to make myself useful to Rachel for the impending wedding day.  Thankfully Ted didn't mind playing video games with my dad while I did this.  What a keeper.

photo diary: ted's visit, day 1

Merchant Square & Pittsburg Willy's
I introduced Ted to my favorite antique store and pierogis.  We had fun taking pictures outside in the junkyard.  Ted is such a goose. 
Homemade curry at Dahlya's
After antiquing, Ted and I went to Dahlya's to hang out and try some of her wonderful veggie cooking.  She's pretty much a goddess.    
Zoyo with Melanie & Rachel
Wednesdays are half-off if you wear pajamas, so we got in our pjs and had a lovely time.  Of course we ran into 238293 people from high school, just as I warned Ted of.  We split two yogurts.  Ted works at Golden Spoon, so you can probably guess which one he did.

After our day out, Ted and I relaxed and watched Just Friends.  It was so nice to finally have him here with me!

outfit for: bike ride & coffee

dress/forever 21 (gift), cardigan/nordstrom rack, belt/thrifted, necklace/kate spade (gift), hairpiece worn as pin/boutique, hat/vintage, bracelets/gift, tights/h&m, shoes/vans (handed down to me by my little sister's friend.....)
Ted and I had a lovely time in Tempe yesterday.  We took a bikeride around the lake, warmed up with a cappuccino and chai (and a free "screwed up" mocha, that was delcious) at Cartel, and explored Mill a bit.  More posts about his visit are to come, but for now I will leave you with a Where's Waldo picture of Ted and a sad longing-to-help-stray-kitties picture of Ted.

get inspired: interview with erin

photo by kate, graphic by me
I have a series of posts about my two favorite things:  creativity and inspiration.  As a "creative" person, I am constantly searching for inspiration to fuel my creativity, and I thought it would be interesting to ask others about what they are passionate about.  This is the forth interview in the series.  See the previous ones here.

I've known Erin since elementary school, and we have been best friends since seventh grade. We've been in multiple English classes together, and let me tell you--she is a queen amongst peasants when it comes to writing.  My favorite thing about her is that she one of the most talented and humble people I know.  

Ever since I've known you, you've written beautifully and thoughtfully. How did you get into writing?
Well, thanks for the praise! I started writing as soon as I learned how words and meanings worked. First grade was really when I began to fill my school journals with stories – my notebook-packed closet can attest to that. My crowning glory of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s was a laminated and bound story entitled “The Leopard.” And I quote: “Father was looking for brekfest. He didn’t come back for a long time. Mother and Father knew they would have to make some sacrifices. The leopards got hung and thirsty.” That genius launched my literary career.

But truthfully, I started writing because I realized I could, while my parents and my teachers praised me. I continued to write because I found language was a remarkable tool with which I could learn about the world and my place in it.

What authors and/or books do you admire most and why? (PS I admire you.)
My favorite literary era is the first half of the 20th century, mainly mid-century. Some of my favorite works include George Orwell’s 1984, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I think that each of these books is a beautiful combination of macro-social studies, personal history, and poetic expression.

My favorite contemporary author is Dave Eggers. I truly admire not only his writing, but also his success in creating the publishing company/everything brilliant McSweeney’s.

Where do you usually find inspiration for your work?
Absolutely everywhere. One time, I started writing a fragment of a story about a chipped baseboard. I love creating lives and stories for things that, to some, are meaningless or dull. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the city bus. It is a historically good place for people watching, and, as I have to ride it for 40 minutes a day, I find it to be quite conducive to story-making.

What do you do to combat writer's block?
Try not to fight it. Writer’s block is painful and irritating, but I think it is a crucial part of the writing process, the same way editing or cutting is. Sometimes, I just push through it and write absolute crap until I break through to something decent. And then I DELETE. Other times, when I want to pry the keys off the keyboard, I go eat a snack and watch My So-Called Life. It’s o.k. to leave your writing and your thoughts for a little bit, because, often, they have silently worked themselves out by the time you come back to them.

What goals do you have for your writing?
Not too many, actually. I write for myself as a way to understand the world I witness and what I feel about that world. Mostly, I never want to lose the passion I now possess for writing. I would rather write nonsense occasionally in my free time and relish it, than become a novelist or columnist who is only concerned about deadlines and word counts.

You are always making the most adorable things. What are your favorite ways to get crafty?
I love to knit and wrap presents. Christmas is great for me, because I can get cozy with a homemade blanket, knit tiny gifts for my friends/family, and tie up the packages with leftover yarn.

How would you describe your personal style or aesthetic?
I would say it’s pretty eclectic. I think I’m aiming for a classic, vintage look with lots of color and patterns thrown in. Currently, my favorite pieces are a green and aqua plaid coat with a 60’s silhouette and Domenico’s old loafers. I also wear a gold Kate Spade pen necklace nearly everyday. I feel like it epitomizes my style goals and love of writing.

You are the coolest. I love you.
I love you too! Thanks for sharing your coolness everyday. We all admire you.

desert hike with friends

The last day of 2012, Melanie, Erin, Dahlya, and I went on a beautiful hike.  See some more pictures and a video here.