From Portland with love

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Happy shopping!

Currently loving…

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Plummy and browned-down red polishes like this one. Exactly what I want to wear this fall.

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This leopard-spotted number with an exposed back zipper to dress up or down, and of course, to layer up when it gets chilly.

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The moody autumn colors of this custom handmade leather wrap bracelet from Flor de Noche Studio. I’ve been wearing mine non-stop.

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This mismatched set of quirky-cool geometric studs. Perfect with everything.

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The gorgeous color, unique details, and versatility of these ankle boots.

See more favorites on Pinterest. Happy fall!

20+ thoughtful gift ideas

Can you believe we’re under the two-week mark? I put together some of my favorite gift ideas and made them customizable, so you can choose your own gifting adventure. 20131211-231804.jpg

Who doesn’t love jam? Especially really good jam. Package up a couple of the following for a sweet gift:

  • Vintage jam spoons from your local antique/vintage shop, etsy or ebay
  • A jam cookbook, if they cook (or would like to)
  • Homemade jam, if you cook
  • Great jam jars, perhaps with a recipe tucked inside
  • Artisan jam from the store or farmer’s market, like Ayers Creek here in Oregon (so good!)
  • Fresh-baked bread or scones

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For those who like to entertain, mix and match items to spice up their next soirée:

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For new homeowners, choose a selection of heirloom-worthy ornaments like these from Schoolhouse Electric to help start their collection.

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For those who appreciate creature comforts, help them get cozy with one or more of the following:

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Jewelry is always a great option. Pair a stylish jewelry box with something sparkly. Or if you’re feeling unsure, tuck in a gift card for a local boutique or etsy. (Necklace, earrings and ring shown above.)

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Know someone who’s serious about teatime? Any combination of the following would be perfect:

Happy shopping!

November wishlist

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These Dieppa Restrepo black nubuck lady booties to wear with everything from jeans to leggings to skirts with tights.

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A cozy merino and alpaca cardigan to wrap up in.

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This thoroughly natural and intensely healing moisturizing balm to hydrate and protect hands through the winter.

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A handful of insulating (and very affordable) Heattech tops from Uniqlo in seasonal solids and smart prints. So perfect under a cashmere tee.

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This Joomi Lin rose gold and hematite spiked bracelet to dress up weekend wear or to add some edge to a silk blouse or three quarter-sleeved sweater.

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A chocolate-focused breakfast and dessert cookbook for delicious holiday baking ideas with no gluten or dairy.

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A pretty mix of modern and rustic pieces for serving Thanksgiving dessert.

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This genius, no-fuss, wine-saving carafe that I spotted this weekend in wine country. For when you can’t quite finish the whole bottle, but you want to make sure you can later.

Friday finds: Curl up for the weekend edition

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EAT + DRINK: All things apple. Sip some cider from the experts at Finnriver. Their elegant and easy-to-drink champagne-style artisan sparkling apple cider perfectly balances crisp and tart notes with the slightest bit of sweetness. Great on its own, but also pairs easily with food from apps to dinner to dessert. Bake this apple gallete from La Tartine Gourmande, my hands-down favorite source for simple and delicious gluten-free baked goods. Mix up some fall warmth with this simple cocktail made of bourbon, ginger beer and apple cider, courtesy of Portland’s own Tampopo Press. And last but not least, dig into this slow roasted pork shoulder with apple onion gravy from Simply Recipes. It’s nearly effortless and super delicious. Did I mention it’s paleo?

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READ: Ann Mah’s Mastering the Art of French Eating. Think of it as a food-focused French vacation for your brain for less than the cost of dinner. According to Ann, eating is every bit as much of an art form as cooking. I pretty much love her and will be curled up with this book over the holiday weekend.

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TABLETOP: It’s the time of year when Heath Ceramics releases its limited edition winter seasonal collection. The serving bowl and mugs featuring their striking seasonal color, blue pine, are my favorite.

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WEAR: Handmade porcelain and gold jewelry with a flair for the nautical from Boston-based jewelry designer Kimberly of Porcelain and Stone. Her love for her craft is evident in each of her unique and stunning pieces that work equally well with jeans or a wedding gown.