finding my inde-pendants

I moved to Portland for many reasons: to explore a new city, to be around like-minded folks, and to be independent.

When you get a boyfriend a month into your freshman year, that last reason takes on new meaning.  Sure, we explore the city almost every weekend, and we have a blast.  But that's just it--we.  The rare few times I have gone into the city on my own, I end up meeting up with Ted after a couple hours.  I love Ted, and I love that we get out so much together to experience Portland.  Just last night we saw War Horse (INCREDIBLE) at the Keller for free thanks to school connections--the second time we've been there in the last few days (Swan Lake on Friday).  We get to do a lot, and I feel very lucky to have found a guy that loves to do the same things.

This school year I have been working on reclaiming that last reason for moving away from everything I know.  I've been looking for the independence I had hoped to embrace in coming here.  It hasn't been easy.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a pro at being on my own--I am a homebody through and through, and love a quiet night in drinking tea and working on a project.  But even when I'm at home in Phoenix, I don't really go out on my own much unless I have to run an errand, go to an appointment, or have plans with someone.  When I have free time to myself, I usually opt to stay in and craft, hang out with my family and dog, or have a friend over. I never think to myself, "I should go get lunch and go window shopping today--on my own!"  I think part of this is to save money, but mostly it's because I just never thought about it as necessary since I already spend a considerable amount of time on my own crafting and whatnot.

It's necessary.  For the kind of person I am, at least.

This past Sunday I went into the city truly on my own for the first time.  I didn't meet up with Ted, or anyone else.  I went downtown on the school shuttle, took a bus to Northeast (the part of Portland I know least about), and spent the afternoon exploring the Alberta neighborhood, looking at shops, doing some homework with a iced chai at Barista, and taking a two-hour jewelry class at Collage where I made two pendants.  It was an absolutely delightful day, and such a refreshing experience for me.  As silly as it may sound, I am so proud of myself for doing this because one, I'm horrid with directions and got there without a hitch, and two, I really needed a "Kaylie" day to remind myself how important it is to my happiness to go out and do my own thing once in a while.

Independence and two pendants--what could be better?

i love you, you love me

On Valentine's Day, I found a beautifully done menu in my mailbox. I mean, look at those fonts!  There is no greater love than one that appreciates a good typeface.  That night, Ted made us a delicious home-cooked meal.  Really, he's incredible.  I don't usually like to brag, but come on. This guy is the best.  Unfortunately he had to leave that night to catch a flight to the east coast for a family gathering.  That's okay though, because I was sick (my nose matched my red dress!) and ready to go back to sleep after such a heavenly meal.
This Friday, we dressed up (my dress is from my awesome grandparents who knew how much I loved it when I saw it months ago) and wrapped up our festivities with a date night.  We went to Bamboo Sushi (pricey, but really top notch) for dinner and dessert next door at Salt & Straw where we got our favorite, Pear & Blue Cheese, and also tried Oregon Kiss. We are obsessed.  If I had one of these in Phoenix, I would go broke during the scorching summer months.  

After dinner and dessert, we went to the Keller for Swan Lake.  I found us cheap tickets on Groupon and we were looking forward to trying something new.  I've only been to The Nutcracker, and Ted's never been to the ballet at all, so it was a great first experience!

It was such a lovely night.  ♥

from me for you

For my parents & Kendal.
For my self-proclaimed pear-shaped, pear-loving roommate.

For my Ted.

These are a little too late to be any holiday inspiration, but I thought I'd post them anyways.  The patterned paper was from a pack I found at Paper Source. Each page was double sided, which I loved.  It served well at the valentine-making party!  This is practically a sin to type in this day and age, but I absolutely LOVE paper.

Hope everyone's hearts day was wonderful.  I will post more about mine probably next weekend, since Ted was gone this weekend and we still have a little more celebrating to do!


hearts day sweets & crafts

This past Saturday night my roommate and I had a Valentine's Day get together with some friends.  It was a great turnout, and I was surprised how easy it was to get people to make valentines with me!  I really should just follow my mom's footsteps and become a kindergarten teacher, because it made me so happy to get my guy friends to make Valentines for their moms...
The benefit of using heart-shaped measuring cups.
I made brownies (with the heart-shaped tins I got last year from my grandparents) and Claire made chocolate chip cookies, courtesy of the Baked book I got Ted our first Christmas together.

iheart crafting

In love with this dish cloth that I stole from home!  Gotta show my AZ pride.
Some lovely lotion my grandparents gave me a while ago, an altoid tin shadow box of my two homes (whose birthdays are on Valentine's day!) made by Erin, and...
...the seasonal gourd!  This lil' guy is the cutest.  He is a magical gourd of all seasons.  The heart is because he loves me and Claire.
This little AZ shrine has been up all year, but it seems appropriate given Arizona's Valentine's Day Birthday.
Adorable banner made by my friend's mom.  We're pretty much kindred spirits.
That's it FOR NOW.  Who knows what else will crop up.  ;)

eat here: la petite provence

This past Sunday morning Ted and I finally succeeded in getting up early enough to drive somewhere for breakfast.  We were definitely rewarded.  We went to Southeast Portland to La Petite Provence.  I loved the vibe, and the food was très délicieux.  The standout dish was definitely the flavorful and savory Salmon Hash--the perfect companion to the croissant and sweet berry french toast.  We will definitely be picking up a Valentine's Day pastry in the near future.

I love our little outings.  We have tried to cut back on them this school year because we're broke college students, but that makes the times we do go out even more special.  I'm so lucky to have found an adorable foodie boyfriend to share a nice meal with once in a while.  Excited for our Valentine's Day date already!