Travel hack: Head straight for the bar

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I’ve lost half a bottle of none-too-cheap cleanser to the inside of my suitcase for the last time. With pumps that never quite lock and bottles that leak, I’ve traded in my liquid face cleanser for the Volcanic Bliss bar.

It’s made here in Portland by Molly Muriel with tea tree oil, charcoal, lava and neem in a base of coconut and olive oils. It manages to cleanse, gently exfoliate, detoxify and leave skin soft and supple.

To sum up, it travels well, works even better, and the black bar is quite stunning. This might just become my full-time face wash. Béa the dog may start getting some Molly Muriel love now that I’ve spotted their Clean Canine bar.

If you’re in Portland, you can find Molly Muriel products at New Seasons or visit their Milwaukie apothecary shop. Otherwise you can order directly from their site or browse their where to buy list. Stocking stuffer, anyone?

A better boyfriend

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I don’t need to tell you that a good boyfriend can be hard to find. So when I stumbled on the ideal version, I had to share. The slim boyfriend jean at Uniqlo checks all the boxes for me on what makes a great boyfriend jean.

They’re flattering– not too tight, not too baggy and hold their shape well. The rise is a bit below the belly button. Both shades of “blue” are versatile with just a bit of distressing.  They hit me right at my ankles– perfect with boots, booties, heels and sneakers. And you can’t beat the price at under $40. Continue reading

You can take it with you

Scenes from NYC

I was in New York this past week, staying in the East Village with one of my dearest friends and visiting my other favorite New Yorkers. Now that I live in Oregon, I don’t make it to New York all that often. But I keep a running list of new ideas and old favorites for when I do. And my favorite way to explore NY is on foot, so I don’t miss a thing.

Besides the photos and memories, it’s always nice to bring a little piece of New York back with me.

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November wishlist

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All things cozy yet refined feel very right now. Here are a few items that strike the perfect balance:

  • I can’t wait to get my hands on Flavor Flours– an exploration of non-wheat flours by baking genius Alice Medrich. This has “new favorite baking cookbook” potential written all of over it.
  • I want to wear these wide-ish leg, cropped, pleated and pinstriped wool pants everywhere and with everything this fall.
  • I cannot tell you how good this Smoked Tea Vanilla botanical syrup is. I’ve been putting it on vanilla ice cream, in my earl grey tea and chai lattes, whipped with heavy cream for desserts, in hard cider, ginger beer and whiskey. This would also be a win on a sweet potato or baked into desserts like pumpkin bread. It has a few simple ingredients that mingle together to give you a smoky-sweet and complex, yet subtle flavor. Handcrafted by two amazing women in Portland, but also available in Seattle, Denver, New York, and online. They have two other delicious flavors, plus a gift set of all three if you can’t decide (great present!).
  • The folks at Kate Spade Saturday have nailed it with this gorgeous Colorblock A Satchel. I love the black/rosewood color combination. It’s rich and sophisticated, neutral enough to go with everything, but not at all boring. And it’s the perfect medium size.
  • These homey stoneware plates are both pretty and rustic. Their simple design is elevated by thoughtful details– the eye-catching design around the side, and the 1″ lip that helps make sure you’re dinner stays put while you’re cozying up on the couch. They’re made in Portland by Kati Von Lehman and available only on Provisions.

Happy November!

Spooky style

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Picture 1
Twisted branch wreath
Happy Halloween garland
Black branch candles
Skull and black rose appetizer plates
Dia de los muertos decanter
Smoky faceted votive holder

Picture 2
Lace platter

Picture 3
Beverage tub
Carved wood ravens
Sugar skull pillow
Black and gold pentagon votive candles
Porcelain and gold fall figurines
Flock of ravens plate
Spooky tree food toppers
Black cake pedestal
Skull candle

Picture 4
Full moon tee

Happy Halloween!

Leather boots for wet weather: 2014 edition

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Straight outta Portland, where we know a little something about rain, I give you this year’s roundup of stylish shoes that won’t leave you all wet. Clockwise from the top left.

Even more picks below…  Continue reading

Cinnamon and spice scented zucchini bread

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This past winter, I was on a bit of a weekend muffin-making kick. This fall, I’m really feeling breakfast/snack breads. Up first… zucchini bread scented with fall spices. I wanted to make a simple and wholesome version that was gluten-free, moist, and of course, delicious. This fits the bill. And ohh… the smell.

Let me introduce you to a secret ingredient that makes this bread wonderfully fragrant and adds subtle background spice– Penzey’s Baking Spice. This is that special something, that makes people ask “What is in here?” as they gobble it up. It has notes of anise, allspice, mace and cardamom, along with two kinds of cinnamon. Of course, you can use all cinnamon and the bread will be delicious. But if you can get your hands on this, it is so worth it.

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