gift guide #1 // gold foil

We all have that one friend who is just a little extra. Let them shine as brightly and glittery  as they want--their light is why you keep them around, after all! 

just my type: handmade design

I've always been in the "I'd rather it look a little handmade than perfect" camp. But a little messy doesn't mean it can't still be beautiful! It's messy because it has heart. I want to see the stitches that hold together a design. Sterile design has its place, but it's not my go-to. As long as the message is clear, give me all of the handwritten type, quaint inconsistencies, cut-outs, and brushstrokes.

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

perfect places

We have officially been in New York for a month and I'm already trying my best to carve out my "places." I had a lot of places in Portland, and the city got smaller each time I found a new one. Of course New York City is much larger than Portland, but in some ways, it feels smaller, since I can walk everywhere and don't have to cross bridges or residential areas to get to different neighborhoods. West Village, East Village, Soho, Chelsea--it's all within walking distance, and so much to see, do, and eat. Emphasis on the eat part.

A few routines have been put in place since we've arrived and gotten settled in.

Last Thursday Pierre and I walked with Ted to get coffee at Think (our go-to) and to bring him to class. After he went inside, I finished my coffee on a bench in the courtyard and watched everyone trickle into the building. It was nice to see the smiles Pierre brought to their faces! Afterwards, I brought Pierre to the dog park across the street at Washington Square Park, where Pierre was a lil' wallflower of a pup. He had a few spurts of energy, but mostly kept close to momma. I vowed to make this dog mom/son date at least a weekly occurrence, since Ted has this early class Tuesdays and Thursdays and I don't have to be at work until 11.

Oh yeah! I have a job now! I work at a very cute dog boutique in the East Village that I get to walk to from home. It's a pretty sweet deal. I'm already planning Pierre's Fall wardrobe.

Another Tuesday/Thursday routine: the GYM! I know, it's hard to believe, but I'm really trying. The fact that the gym is literally nextdoor is very helpful. And by trying I mean totally bribing myself. I literally give myself a sticker for every five minutes I work out so that I can "earn" money to go shopping for new clothes. I have to treat myself like a toddler to get myself to do things I hate... It's a struggle. But hey--I AM getting better at doing the dishes. So ya know...I'm getting there.

Also: Thirsty Plant Thursdays. We have plants! They are all still alive (so far).

Another thing that needs to become routine: getting cocktails at this place.

nyc: first impressions

We out here! New York City is now our home, somehow. It seems a bit hasty, committing myself to a city as high-maintenance as the Big Apple after one whirlwind of a five-day trip. It kind of feels like marrying someone I had a fun, but stressful date with two years ago. Against all odds, I think it's going to work out.

We really hit the jackpot when it comes to neighborhoods. We are smack in the middle of the Village, which is home to dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and shops. It's enough to keep us busy for the next three years! Washington Park is only a couple of blocks away, paving the perfect morning walk for me and Pierre. I'm absolutely smitten.
I've ventured out on my own a few times now, and have survived! It feels very impressive, although I know that it's not that big a deal to the countless strangers and pups I've passed. It's been sunny and humid most days (although right now it's raining), so I've been hiding behind my sunglasses, quietly ogling at every new part of my daily life: the beautiful buildings, the expensive menus outside restaurants, the chic outfits of passerby, the heaps of garbage on the side of the street, the adorable dogs...

A few NYC firsts:

Pierre's first New York pup pee (outside Think Coffee, where I bought my first NYC nitro cold brew because you can take a girl outta Portland...).

Our first family walk through Washington Square Park, where I acquired major heart eyes for our new neighborhood.

My inaugural black and white cookie from Sweets by Chloe, where I realized vegan sweets can be just as tasty as non-vegan sweets.

My first rat spotting and my first public urination spotting. Enough said.

Here's to many more firsts! XOXO Gossip Girl

portland city guide: 6 tea spots to sip at

Strictly tea shops are harder to come by in a city drowning in coffee like Portland, but there are still a few spots that stand out as tea-centric havens. My favorite will always be Tea Chai Te (specifically the NW 23rd location, which is a few blocks from our place and is dog friendly), but there are a handful more to take note of!

Tea Chai Te

just my type: 70's style lettering

I'm a total typography nerd, and pretty much start drooling when I spot an awesome old poster from the 60's or 70's that is somehow simultaneously a psychedelic mess and a graphic design masterpiece.  I love the chunky, fluid lettering characteristic of that time--a time where so much was new, and people were doing their best to make sense of it (or just goin' with the flow, man...). Suffice it to say, I LOVE it, I always have, and always will. Here are just a few examples of this 70's-inspired style of lettering. Sources here.

obsessed: denim + linen

I'm totally gobbling up this whole trend of minimalist fashion lately--but with one caveat: Statement accessories must accompany! Huge vintage jewelry and scarves are a MUST. Here a just a few minimalist favorites, to be dressed up with funky flair. Sources and more inspiration here.

inspiration: bedroom mood board

Since we're moving soon, I'm already daydreaming about our next apartment's decor. It will probably be a tricky space to decorate exactly the way I want it since it will be more dorm-y than home-y, but I'm determined nevertheless.

I think bedrooms should be calming and comfy.  I'm super into the all-white trend, but with a dog, it's a little less appealing. This grey and white pattern seems like a good compromise. Also, LOTS of candles are crucial, because they are a physical reminder for me to "chill out" once I light them. And yes, I've also been taken in by the fur trend, so a faux fur touch seems like a fun addition -- so soft!

I've wanted this butt pillow for ages. To be quite honest, this butt print was my color pallet inspiration! I also have a few weavings I've made that have inspired our current bedroom that I know will help bring together our next one. We'll see how the end-product is once we move! I'm hoping to aquire a few of these pieces (tax free! Go Oregon!) before we make the move, so we should have an easy time getting our place settled.


Faux Fur



photo diary: tokyo day one

Battling jet lag, we headed out on our first day in Tokyo with our clear umbrellas, which we later found out were the status-quo around the city. Coming from Portland, the land of umbrella-shaming, we were quite surprised and very pleased. Stores even had little disposable umbrella sleeves for ya!

We searched for and found the sweetest coffee shop Kayaba Coffee. I'm a sucker for cute coffee shops, and this one was a winner. We even chose to make a trip back our last morning because we loved it so much. I kind of lost it over the tiny milk steamer that held the receipt... Inspiration was everwhere!

Despite the rain and the multiple random Tuesday closures (I guess it was some kind of holiday?), we managed to make the most of our first day wandering somewhat aimlessly around the busy and overstimulating city of Tokyo. We ended up seeing some kabuki theatre and chatting up an old couple who were as cultured as we hope to someday be.

Itoya happened. Oh, it HAPPENED. I bought $50 worth of stationary within the 1 hour we spent exploring the 8 stories. Oh the damage I could have done with more time! Definitely a highlight for my paper-loving heart.

Lastly, we landed in an hour and a half hour long line for the best ramen and dipping noodle experience of our lives. We were so delirious and tired, but it was worth it, completely. The environment was calming, intimate, and well, we got to eat the most delicious noodles... Heavenly. I'll be dreaming of Kagari for years to come. The perfect way to end our first day in the bonkers city of Tokyo.

portland city guide: 14 coffee shops to try out

There is no shortage of coffee shops here in Portland, which is one of the many things I love about living here. When I first moved here, I didn't even like coffee, but I've always loved the atmosphere of cafes. There's something magical about a place where people meet to take a moment to sip and talk or get down to business and work on a project. I always find coffee shops extremely inspiring. Here are just a few of the dozens of options around town that I recommend you try out.

Sweet + Unpretentious
Dragonfly Coffee House
Costello's Travel Caffe
Java Hound (Dog friendly!)

Too Cool for School

Study Break
Cathedral Coffee

Cup & Bar
Southeast Grind (Open 24 hours)

Favorite Roasters
Water Avenue
Five Points 

vintage nyc


portland city guide: top 5 brunch spots

As Ted and I gear up to move this summer to NYC, I've been thinking a lot about the places that I will miss when we don't live in Portland anymore. I figured, why not share a few of my favorites? Not surprisingly, most lists will involve food.

Before I moved here almost six years ago, I did not fully understand the meaning of brunch. I never was too big on breakfast foods. I had not seen the light. It didn't take much time for me to catch on. Portland takes brunch seriously here. Expect a wait, and embrace it. Grab coffee nearby, and relish each moment of anticipation. 

Screen Door
It doesn't get much better than this. The chicken and waffles and the garden grits are my go-to dishes. They are large portions--perfect for sharing! Everything on the menu is indulgent and delicious. Heart coffee is down the block if you need somewhere to get cozy while you wait.

This place is so Portland it almost hurts. I love it. The breakfast sandwich (add bacon and avocado, duh!) and the corncakes are me and Ted's standbys. The Salted Honey Pie s also my favorite slice in town. Grab some coffee and walk across the street to hang out in the grass if it's nice out.

Tin Shed
A new favorite! Pretty standard fare, but done well with flair. They rotate their french toast offering, and it's always good. The best part? Their enclosed, heated patio is dog friendly! Pierre loves Tin Shed just as much as we do.

Classy and reliable breakfast spot, with all the usual offerings, as well as some offbeat options like Crunchy French Toast and Breakfast Nachos (best for sharing!). If they happen to have the bourbon pecan pie, I highly recommend getting a slice.

The Steak & Eggs are the best I've had! Ted and I like to split this dish with something sweet, like the Dutch Baby or Rum Cake.

use your words!

I used to have something against t-shirts. I don't know what it was, but I definitely feel differently now. Why? Because they are the perfect opportunity for you to say something very specific without ever opening your mouth, they're damn comfy, and any reason to use stellar typography is a win for me. Here are a few of my current favorites:

1/ Always In the Mood

2/ Girls Support Girls 

3/ Gentle & Kind

4/ I Did My Best