As I write this, 2015 is only hours old. I’m reminded of C’s (very wise) philosophy on buying the occasional lottery ticket. She says it’s not about winning, rather it’s the space to dream really big that’s worth your 2 dollars.
January 1 feels to me like that ticket, and I’m trying to dream as big as I can about the year ahead and those to follow. For me, 2015 feels like a year to shake things up and make big strides towards the life I want to live. And not one for treading water.
I was reading recently about turning points in people’s lives and what they went on to accomplish. The takeaway– it all depends on how brave you’re willing to be.
So my intention for this year is to be very, very brave. Both in the dreaming and in the follow-through. And I wish that for you as well.
In Portland, there is no shortage of talented and creative folks making beautiful and useful products. These are a few of my favorite things made right here in Portland. Great for gift giving!
Gorgeous hand-thrown mugs, cups, bottles and more from Mazama Wares. If you’re local, you can stop by Mazama’s open house at their North Portland studio this Sunday, December 21st for the best selection.
Covet-worthy chopsticks from Hank by Henry— handmade from untreated hard woods and free of chemicals. I can’t resist red, but the subtly metallic versions are really lovely, too. I first spotted these at the holiday gift shop at the Portland Japanese Garden, where they’re selling individual pairs and boxed sets.
This handcrafted mixer from RAFT Botanicals makes a very chic and tasty mimosa when mixed with prosecco. And it’s delicious in soda water with lime, for a fizzy agua de jamaica. I’m also a big fan of their smoked tea vanilla syrup. Can’t decide on a flavor? They have a gift box with mini versions of all three and don’t miss their recipe archive for inspired drink ideas.
Delicious jams with a savory twist from 3 Little Figs. These versatile jams are great with biscuits and the like, but are also fantastic on a cheese plate or grilled cheese. The citrus and smoked salt is my absolute favorite.
This Grayling necklace is clearly for someone very special. Like all of Grayling’s pieces, it’s handmade at their NE Portland shop. Not only is it gorgeous, it cleverly converts from a short to a long necklace.
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.
1) Tie your silverware or napkins with a small piece of velvet ribbon in a seasonal color like they did at this Tennessee wedding.
2) Add gold candleholders in various heights for sparkle.
3) Scatter some of these handmade felted wool acorns around the table, heap them in a small bowl, or put one or two at each person’s plate.
For some, Halloween might kick off the holiday season, but to me it’s all about Thanksgiving. I’ve gathered up a slew of ideas to help get your table set for the holiday. Continue reading