July 31, 2014

oh, hello!


Oh hi there! Just a little pre-work outfit pic…hence the dead eyes…

…I’m tired.

But the dress is good, no? One of my best scores from the Madewell sale a few weeks back. Sadly, it’s sold out, but they have lots of similar styles (see a few of my faves below). Madewell is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands, rivaling even its big sister, J.Crew (Kelsey, pretend you didn’t hear that). I need to rein it in before my entire closet is overrun with their boho/prep summer pieces. Any other Madewell fanatics out there?

July 30, 2014

easy dill pickles


You can always count on fresh produce to get your culinary wheels turning, not that dill pickles are groundbreaking, but they are fresh, homemade pickles and did I mention amazing? I’ve always really loved dill pickles, stealing them off friends plates or standing over a pickle jar in my kitchen, I can’t get enough.

So when I was at my mom’s the other day, and saw a jar in her refrigerator, I was pleasantly surprised to learn  how easy Smitten Kitchen’s recipe was. Like peanut butter and jelly sandwich easy.

Easy Dill Pickles

8 pickling cucumbers
3 teaspoons salt
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup vinegar

Slice your cucumbers very thin and place in a 1-liter lidded jar. Add salt and dill, then pour in white vinegar. Shake jar to distribute ingredients and place in the refrigerator.

Interesting fact I learned from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, is that the salt draws moisture from the cucumbers, adding to the vinegar liquid to make a balanced pickle brine.

You can eat them as little as 1 to 2 hours later, but they become ideal at 6 to 8 hours. Enjoy!

July 29, 2014

marine layer

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

I don’t know about you guys, but at this point in my busy adult life, I’d say I do about 90% of my clothes shopping online. I’m a sucker for those emails advertising sale events at my favorite brands (I cleaned up recently on Madewell.com‘s 40% off sale price offering), and I’m always scouring shopbop.com for good deals on special pieces. And once I’ve ordered something, it gives me such a thrill to see a brown package laying at my doorstep when I get home from work, even if I know exactly what’s in it. Thanks for the present, Mr. Mailman!

That being said, there are still certain brick-and-mortar retailers that create such an enjoyable shopping experience, you can’t help but pay them a visit in real life. Marine Layer on NW 23rd is one of them. The recently opened, too-cool-for-school Portland shop is a blue, two-story house nestled in at NW 23rd and Johnson next to Bamboo Sushi and Salt & Straw. (So convenient for stocking up on tees while you wait for your table at Bamboo or, you know, sending your man off for ice cream while you shop.) Here, let me show you around a bit.

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

Could not get enough of the white and bright decorating scheme.

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

Softest tees in the universe. I snatched up that navy number on my last visit.

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

Major “beach clubhouse” vibe, non? So in love with that desk.

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

The “man cave” on the bottom level boasts a pinball machine and shuffleboard table alongside its undeniably cool threads.

marine layer | TWELFTH AVENUE

Oh, did I mention the store has a backyard? Silly me, how could I forget! Kind of ideal for hosting special events or inviting shoppers to take a breather during a marathon NW 23rd retail adventure. Meet me in the hammock, say, noon-ish?

Honestly, I had never heard of Marine Layer until they reached out, but as I started asking around, I discovered a sort of cult following here in Portland. After trying out the goods myself, I can see why their consumers are so loyal. Their basic t-shirts are so soft and beautifully cut, especially their v-necks, which is a style I always struggle with due to the plunging neckline. I also fell head-over-heels in love with their striped t-shirt dress, which is just as soft and drapey as their tees.

If you’d like to pay a little visit to Marine Layer yourself, you can find them here:

828 NW 23rd Ave
Portland, OR 97210

Happy shopping, friends!

July 23, 2014

love notes

Christmas Tree Hill
{My sister and I at the top of Christmas Tree Hill last weekend}

Cherry Tomato
{I’m very proud of this little cherry tomato plant, very proud}

Marin County
{Another beautiful view from Marin County}

Pug{I’m sorry, are these getting old yet?}

July 22, 2014

reading list

reading list | TWELFTH AVENUE

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. After playing coy with one another for a year or so, I finally picked up this novel at Powell’s last Friday and took it on a date to Clear Lake over the weekend. I’m about a third of the way in and deep into the can’t-put-it-down phase of our relationship. This book is beautiful, heart-wrenching, clever and funny all at once. I cannot recommend it enough.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. This novel is patiently waiting on my nightstand while I finish Beautiful Ruins. Although I am very excited to read it, I am also bracing myself for intense heartbreak. The Light Between Oceans is a tale of isolation, courage, loss and difficult choices in the face of morality. I’ll have my box of tissues at the ready for this one.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. One of my favorite things to study and discuss is why we (as humans) do what we do. This wildly popular book uses a narrative style, backed by scientific research, to explain why habits exist and how we can change them. My friends and family are probably sick of me referencing this book, but I can’t help it – it’s so interesting!

Summer Food by Paul Lowe, Nina Dreyer Hensley and Jim Hensley. Food porn alert! How can I resist a book brimming with recipes for light and flavorful summer fare? This would also make such a lovely hostess gift.