A Night Out in Portland

I’ve worked in downtown Portland for years, and I often get asked about recommendations for a night out. So in this week’s blog post, I’m sharing where we ate, drank, and were merry when an old college friend recently came to town.

There are so many amazing bars, restaurants, and local hot spots in Portland, and in future posts I’ll detail some of my favorites by category. But for the purposes of this post, I’m sharing our stops on a single night out in the downtown area near Pioneer Square–from happy hour drinks to late-night treats.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Shop this look here.

One of my favorite little bars is Barlow, who’s Jazz Age vibe appeals to my personal love for all things Gatsby. I enjoy the “Summers Ago” cocktail (pictured above) because it combines local marionberries with lemon and vodka to create a drink that’s the perfect mix of tart and sweet.

We started here for happy hour and then walked next door to Barlow’s sister restaurant The Picnic House.

Their meat and cheese boards are incredible and were such great options for sharing with our out-of-town guests.

I’m always a sucker for a great charcuterie board, and I love that theirs includes deviled eggs. When we first tried out this particular board months ago, we were a bit leery of the “edible duck fat candle” that is also included. This time around we knew what to expect, and it’s actually quite delicious to spread on the bread!

We also enjoyed the sausage trio, and each meat is sourced locally. Here in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region, we pride ourselves on our local food!

My husband usually orders their fried chicken (shown above) and it’s soooooo good.

I’m a big fan of rosé, so we ordered the rosé flight and highly recommend it! Three of the wines are from the West Coast, and one is from France.

Shop this look here.

Our next stop was Departure, a rooftop bar on top of The Nines hotel just a few blocks from Picnic House. It’s a popular spot amongst tourists and locals, and for good reason: it has some of the best downtown views in the city.

Though definitely bring a light jacket or coat, especially in the evening. Even in the summer, it can get quite windy! (As illustrated above lol 😂)

My favorite time to go is just before sunset, which was when we arrived. We got lucky and snagged a corner table as a group was leaving. It was the perfect spot to hangout because we were on the corner of the balcony, which provided panoramic views of the Portland skyline.

Our last stop of the evening was for late night food at The Original, a “dinerant” once featured on the Food Network’s TV series Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. It’s located just a few blocks north of Departure on 6th and Oak.

Most of us ordered milkshakes or floats, and as you can see we definitely enjoyed them!

My friend ordered a crispy fried chicken sandwich. I had a bite, and it was excellent!

They also serve various pastries and desserts, if you’re in the mood for something sweet other than a shake or float.

One thing that was a priority when planning our route for the night was making sure everything was within walking distance of each other. From our starting point at Barlow to our final treats at The Original, the distance is only about nine blocks.

Cheers to a memorable summer evening, filled with old college stories, amazing views, and delicious food and drink! 🥂

Have you been to Portland? What’s your favorite spot for a night out?

Let me know in the comments! Thank you so much for stopping by ❤️

Let’s Go to San Francisco

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

This quote is often attributed to Mark Twain (though the internet can’t seem to confirm that either way). Regardless, whoever said these words was well aware of San Francisco’s temperamental summer climate.

Having grown up in Portland, Oregon, I thought I was accustomed to unpredictable downpours and sudden shifts in temperature from one day to the next. But San Fran takes this to another level, and even during our quick weekend getaway, we discovered for ourselves how dramatically the weather can change from one hour to the next. Even different neighborhoods within the city often have remarkably different weather (more on that later).

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Friday

Shop our matching tees here.

First of all: would it even be a girls’ weekend if matching tees weren’t involved? The best part is that when we ordered these from Etsy, there was never any discussion about whose shirt would belong to whom. When you’ve been BFFs for 13 years, you just know who the troublemaker is 😉 These fun tees are linked above, and we highly recommend the Etsy shop Lovemighty (our shirts are great quality and arrived so quickly!).

We flew out of PDX after work, and the flight to San Fran from Portland is short and sweet. We took an Uber straight to our hotel, the Westin St. Francis at Union Square.

This historic hotel has hosted multiple US presidents and even the Queen of England in 1983! We loved the location, with lots of restaurants and stores within a short walking distance.

After a yummy Italian dinner at Cesario’s, we perused the area around our hotel to get our bearings and see what was nearby. We then called it an early night, knowing that Saturday would be packed with sightseeing.

Saturday

Shop this outfit here.

Though the weather might look sunny and warm, don’t be deceived by those blue skies in the photo. It was comfortable at times, but quite chilly when the wind picked up. I was certainly glad I’d layered a long-sleeved tee underneath my linen blazer, but to be quite honest, I should’ve brought along an additional jacket or scarf!

Our first stop that morning was to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for pastries (and, of course, to take pics with their famous neon sign!). ✌️

Unfortunately they were sold out of their signature “cruffins” (a croissant/muffin pastry), so instead we purchased some of their croissants. I got the raspberry rose flavor, and it was as pretty as it was delicious!

Next up, we walked about one and a half miles to the Painted Ladies, the iconic Victorian homes made world-famous by the opening credits of Full House. I grew up watching Full House and was a huge fan of the Olsen twins as a kid, so I truly enjoyed getting to see this California landmark in real life.

But as any true Full House fan knows, the actual “Full House House” is not one of the Painted Ladies. Instead, the home that was used on the show for the exterior shots is actually located 1.2 miles away from the Painted Ladies at 1709 Broderick St.

On our way to the “Full House House,” we stopped for some lunch and sangria at the Spanish restaurant Barvale. We shared their amazing steak and eggs!

Afterwards, we decided to make the long trek to the Presidio of San Francisco and see the Golden Gate Bridge. Keep in mind we were walking everywhere, and the hills in San Fran are no joke!

This pic was taken shortly after we’d entered the Presidio, which is a 1500 acre National Park.

The Presidio still has over 400 historic buildings, from the nearly 150 years it served as a US Army Post.

As you can see, when we reached the beach, the fog nearly obscured our view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Even though we’d had plenty of sunshine as we journeyed through the city, the weather couldn’t have been more different by the bay!

I was a little disappointed to not get the Golden Gate views I’d hoped for, but as I’ve said on previous travel posts, c’est la vie! It was a lot windier by the water, so we decided to take an Uber over to Fisherman’s Wharf for some seafood.

And look! At Fisherman’s Wharf, there were blue skies. I’m not exaggerating about the weather varying greatly from one neighborhood to the next!

Fisherman’s Wharf is admittedly filled with tourists, but we still felt that it was definitely worth the visit! We perused several shops (and also bought a beanie because my ears were cold 🥶) before eating yummy clams and appetizers at Cioppino’s.

We also stopped at Ghirardelli Square. Once the headquarters of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, the square now has a variety of shops and restaurants.

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop had a veryyyy long line, so we instead stopped at the nearby Cheese School of San Francisco for a glass of rosé. Their charcuterie boards looked incredible, but we weren’t hungry again quite yet.

However, after perusing some more shops and working up our appetites, we decided we couldn’t pass up a burger at the only In-N-Out in San Fran!

The only locations in Oregon are about a 4 hours’ drive away from Portland, so pretty much every time I’m in Cali, a stop at In-N-Out is a must.

San Fran has a lot of really cool murals and street art, and these two were some of my favorites that we stumbled upon throughout the day.

After miles and miles of walking (and all the incredible food and wine along the way!), we headed back to our hotel for the night. We joked that we must be getting old since we passed on bar-hopping, but after exploring the city primarily on foot we were exhausted.

Sunday

Sunday morning greeted us with mist and fog, though I’ll admit that it looked pretty cool contrasted with the green copper of the historic Sentinel Building.

I’d learned my lesson from the day before and dressed in warmer layers, thankful I’d packed my wool moto jacket (and remembered to grab my beanie!).

We perused Chinatown on the way to our lunch destination and this bright blue dragon caught my eye.

Don Pistos came highly recommended, and it certainly did not disappoint! I looooove tacos, so I’ve eaten my fair share over the years, and these were among the best I’ve ever had.

I had the carnitas, and the pork was so flavorful and cooked to perfection.

Shop this outfit here.

After lunch, we walked to the Ferry Building, a busy place where you can catch a ferry (go figure 😉), but also buy a variety of goods and foods in a large, indoor marketplace.

We had some tea and pastries for an afternoon snack and ambled leisurely through the various shops.

And, as you can see, the weather had cleared to become a glorious afternoon! ☀️

It was such a pleasant stroll back to our hotel to pick up our bags, as it was just about time to head back to the airport.

After we arrived at the airport, we saw that our flight would be delayed by a couple hours. Not long after, we checked the departures monitor again to confirm our gate, only to discover that our flight had been cancelled!

Thankfully, we were able to get on the last available flight back to Portland that evening and still make it home Sunday night.

We had such a fun weekend, and it was so nice to have one-on-one time with my bestie. We’ve been friends since we were 15, were roommates in college, and were maids-of-honor at each other’s weddings.

I’m truly grateful for our friendship and all our adventures together ❤️ Cheers to more girls’ trips to come!

Take Me to Paris

We celebrated my mom’s 60th birthday with a much-anticipated trip to Paris! It had been her dream to see the Eiffel Tower since she was a little girl, and this bucket list trip had been in the works for many years. My husband and I were in charge of the planning, and it was such a joy to see my mom experience the City of Light for the very first time. (Our matching “Take Me to Paris” tees I found on Nordstrom Rack’s website last year and saved them for the trip!)

In this post, I’m going to share where we stayed, places we ate, and everything we managed to fit into five and a half days. If there’s something I particularly enjoyed, I’ll let you know. If there’s something that was disappointing or “just okay,” I’ll let you know that as well.

Towards the end of the post, I’ll also be sharing the details of various outfits—from casual chic daytime looks for museum hopping to classy evening attire.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Friday

We flew into Charles de Gaul airport on a Friday afternoon and—because we were a group of five—decided to share a cab to our hotel. There was a decent amount of traffic going through Paris, but we’d expected that based on our arrival time.

We stayed at the charming Hotel Le Clément, in the 6th arrondisement (also known as the Latin Quarter because of the historic universities in the area, and that the academics spoke Latin here during the Middle Ages). This is the second time I’ve stayed in the Latin Quarter, and I very much like the location—it’s within walking distance of sites like Notre Dame and Sainte-Chappelle and has lots of great little shops, restaurants, and cafes in the area.

That night we ate dinner at one of our favorite spots from a previous Paris trip, a restaurant called Au Pere Louis.

We then surprised my mom with tickets to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower (something we’d booked about five weeks earlier).

I will never forget the look of awe and wonder on my mom’s face as she stood beneath the 984-foot Tower and gazed up at the golden lights.

I also won’t forget how windy it was at the top! I wish I’d brought a beanie and a thicker sweater!

Saturday

We ventured out to Versailles that morning, via the RER train line. We started at the Petit Trianon (above) and then visited Marie Antoinette’s rustic Hameau de la Reine (“The Queen’s Hamlet,” pictured below).

This charming farmland served as a playground of sorts for the Queen and her close friends—though it wasn’t entirely for show, as the Hamlet was actually capable of producing dairy products for the Queen.

We then made our way through the vast estate–so many beautiful buildings, landscapes, and foliage!

We decided to skip the Grand Trianon and walked over to the Grand Canal area to break for lunch. We ate next to the Canal at La Flottille restaurant and enjoyed a bottle of white wine as we watched people row in the little boats or relax on the grass.

We paid the extra fee to go through the Gardens, part of which is pictured above. Our museum pass covered the entrance to the rest of the grounds, just not the Gardens because of the Musical Fountains Show that’s held on certain days. (More info on that here)

After we finished touring the Gardens, the line to get into the Chateau was extremely long (we’re talkin’ Disneyland long), so we decided to return later that week to tour the Chateau. The jet lag was starting to hit everyone pretty hard, and we wanted to have enough time to power nap and change into our formal clothes for our river cruise on the Seine that evening.

The river cruise dinner was one of the highlights of our trip. We booked through the company Bateaux Parisiens, and I truly can’t recommend them enough!

We went to the 8:30 dinner, so we got to see the city at dusk (which is magical). The soft pastel colors of the sky behind Notre Dame is something I will never forget.

We splurged for the pricier seating area so we were at the very front of the boat right next to the large glass windows (as you can see below with the picture of my mom and her bday candle).

Our view of the sites and the Seine was truly incredible, and the live music and singing provided a lovely ambiance (one of the singers sang a sweet version of Edith Piaf’s classic“La Vie En Rose.” A song that always makes me think of Paris!).

The service was impeccable, and the food was fabulous! My husband was brave and even tried the escargot for his appetizer! (Above photo. More food pics shown below.)

Sunday

The next day we visited two museums—the Musee de l’Orangerie and the Musee d’Orsay.

The d’Orsay has a great selection of Van Gogh, but the l’Orangerie is my personal favorite because of Monet’s Water Lilies (shown above and below). There’s something soft and dreamlike about the Water Lilies that I find truly mesmerizing.

Between museum hopping, we took a pleasant break in the Jardin du Tuileries (“Tuileries Garden”).

It’s the perfect place to stop and relax (as my brother and my husband are illustrating in the above photo 😉).

After the Tuileries, we walked the short distance to the Louvre Pyramids to take the obligatory tourist photo “touching” the top of the pyramid (my mom’s pic turned out so cute!).

That evening we attended a show at the famous Moulin Rouge. Some people might argue that it’s just a tourist trap, but I’ve seen this show before, and I honestly enjoyed it just as much the second time around!

In addition to the iconic can-can dance, the show included some stunning acrobatic acts (juggling, swimming with snakes, roller skating, etc). *Note that no photos are allowed during the show.

Monday

Monday morning we visited what is quite possibly the most colorful street in Paris, the Rue Crémieux. Though it’s a favorite spot for bloggers, photographers, and tourists, keep in mind that this street is residential and people do indeed live there. As such, we were as quiet and respectful as possible while visiting this area.

We then ventured over to a world famous bookstore that was a bucket list visit for me, the iconic Shakespeare and Company.

It’s a small bookstore that’s been visited by world-renowned authors over the years, so if you’re a book-lover like me, this is a must stop while in Paris. It’s pretty cramped and crowded inside, and they don’t allow photos, but it’s definitely worth perusing this adorable shop.

I purchased a beautiful leather-bound copy of Romeo and Juliet. And also a coffee mug—which is one of my favorite souvenirs to buy while traveling because it’s something I can enjoy when I’m back home and be reminded of my travels!

Due to the terrible fire that ravaged Notre Dame in April of this year, we were unfortunately unable to visit this 856-year-old church (which is just a short walk from Shakespeare and Company). The bridge adjacent to Notre Dame was barricaded (not sure how long it will remain that way), so we onlookers could only view the church from afar.

After Notre Dame we had planned to tour inside the nearby Sainte-Chapelle (which was once the royal chapel), but the line stretched around the block so we rearranged our schedule a bit and instead decided to go see the Arc de Triomphe and wander around the Champs-Elysees.

That’s definitely something I’ve learned over the years whilst traveling: be flexible with your itinerary if you can! Sometimes it’s better to swap one site for another and come back later to see if the line is better!

On our first trip to Paris, my husband and I climbed the steps to the top of the Arc de Tripmphe. It’s quite a climb (284 stairs to the top) but is well worth the panoramic views of the city. This time around we were on a bit of a time crunch, and our group collectively decided not to climb it.

On the Champs-Elysees we ventured into the massive Louis Vuitton store and then had tea at one of my favorite sweet shops, Laduree, which is world-renowned for its macarons.

We had just a short wait to sit in the restaurant area and very much enjoyed the beautiful decor and our yummy macarons (last time my husband and I ate at their bar area in the back because the wait for the main dining area was veryyyyy long).

Laduree also has their famous little key chains that are perfect gifts or souvenirs!

That evening we had dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel, which is on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. If I can give you one piece of advice if you plan to eat dinner there: give yourself plenty of time to arrive.

We were all dressed up for dinner and thus decided on a cab from our hotel to the Tower, instead of taking the Metro. Even so, by the time we got through the Eiffel Tower security, checked in at the restaurant’s booth on the ground floor directly beneath the Tower, and then waited in line for the elevator, we made our 6:30 reservation with just a couple minutes to spare.

However, the multiple lines and logistics were well worth it! We’d booked a window table about five months before our trip, and the views of the city were magnificent (shown above: our window view of the carousel, the Seine, and the Trocadero).

Eating dinner on one of the world’s most iconic landmarks is one of those “pinch me if it’s real” type of moments, and it was something that we all enjoyed. The food was excellent, and the dinner service runs seamlessly, with each course coming out in a very timely fashion.

After dinner, we headed over to the Trocadero (located directly across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower) to take photos during the hour before sunset, when lighting is at its best. This is a very popular area for photos and it was quite busy at that time of day, so my advice is to just be patient and realize that there are likely going to be other tourists in the background of your photos.

Shop my outfit here.

I’m also gonna let you in on a little blogger secret: the Louboutin shoes I’m wearing in this picture? I packed them with me in a bag and put them on immediately before pictures! 😉 (I actually wore ankle boots to dinner!) The reason for this: I knew that even with the cab we’d have a decent amount of walking to get up to the Tower and then there would be the walk across the bridge to the Trocadero for photos. I love my Louboutins, but they are not meant for long distance walking! 👠

After photos, we watched the sunset and stuck around for the first light show of the evening at 10pm (the twinkly lights of the Eiffel Tower at night are a must see!)

Tuesday

We started our day with a visit to the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden). The French Senate resides in that beautiful building in the background, but the park area is open to the public, free of charge.

It showered a bit while we were at the Garden, but a little rain couldn’t phase these Oregonians! (If you don’t know much about the state of Oregon, let me tell you: it rains a LOT here). 🌧

Afterwards, we took the Metro over to Sainte-Chapelle and—to our pleasant surprise—the line to get inside was extremely short!

Sainte-Chapelle is one of my favorite churches, and it’s because of the vibrant stained glass windows. I love how each panel of stained glass illustrates different scenes.

The scenes begin with the Creation story in Genesis, continue on through the New Testament, and then go beyond Biblical times to tell the story of how the Crown of Thorns relic that was once kept in Sainte-Chapelle ended up in Paris via King Louis IX.

The Crown of Thorns that is claimed to be the very one that Jesus wore on the cross resided in this chapel from the 13th century until the French Revolution. In 1806 it was moved to Notre Dame’s treasury and was one of the relics saved during the recent Notre Dame Fire.

After Sainte-Chapelle, we took the Metro over to Montmartre and climbed up the many stairs to Sacre-Couer. This Romanesque-Byzantine style church sits on a hill that overlooks Paris, providing a stunning panoramic view of the city.

Something amazing about this particular church is that during World War II the area surrounding Sacre-Couer was bombed 13 times, and yet there were no casualties. The only damage to the church itself was that the stained glass shattered (and was rebuilt after the War).

Wednesday

On our last full day in Paris we took the RER train back out to Versailles, this time to tour the Chateau itself. The line was far shorter than it had been on Saturday afternoon, and it took us about half an hour to get inside.

The Chateau of Versailles is stunning and opulent, with the most ornate decor imaginable. From the artwork to the French Baroque architecture, this palace is truly a sight to behold.

It does get quite crowded in certain areas (especially the famous Hall of Mirrors, shown above), but is well worth the visit.

We had lunch inside the Chateau at Angelina, a famous French tearoom that has multiple locations throughout Paris. Their Mont-Blanc pastry is their trademark dessert, but it is the Mont-Blanc tea that truly has my heart. Without a doubt, it is my favorite tea in the whole world (and unfortunately they don’t ship to the US 😭).

Angelina opened its first location in 1903, and according to their website, a famous visitor from those early years was none other than Coco Chanel herself.

After lunch, we ambled outside to the large Orangery, which was one of my favorite spots on the estate. The elaborate landscape and darling orange trees made for a pleasant stroll in the early afternoon sunshine.

Later that day on our leisurely walk to the Louvre, we stopped at the Bar du Marche on the Rue de Seine and ate some of the best hot dogs we’ve ever had in our lives.

The French hot dog is different than the American hot dog, as it’s served on a baguette with lots of cheese baked on top (and I’m not talking that fake dipping cheese you’ll sometimes see paired with pretzels at American sporting events. I’m talking authentic French cheese in all its gooey glory).

We sat outside enjoying our hot dogs, drinks in hand, and toasted to our last night in Paris and a trip well spent. However, the night was young, and we still had one more museum on our list: the Louvre.

I’m no art expert, so if you want a thorough rundown of this vast museum, you’ll need to look elsewhere (though we highly recommend following the path that Rick Steves outlines in his Paris guidebook! It helps you find all the notable works of art and provides some brief context and history).

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Venus de Milo

Another gem of wisdom from the Rick Steves guidebook that we utilized on both of our Paris trips: visit the Louvre in the evening because it’s less crowded.

On Wednesdays and Fridays (except holidays), the Louvre has extended evening hours (open until 9:45pm). We’ve had great luck visiting this world-renowned museum during that time frame (you can actually get fairly close to the Mona Lisa instead of just viewing her from the back of the room!).

Though if I’m being perfectly honest, I find the Mona Lisa to be a bit underwhelming, and I find the story of why she became so famous in the early 1900’s to be a far more interesting tale (She was stolen from the Louvre in 1911 and then recovered two years later!).

What I Wore

Shop this outfit here.

For wandering around the vast estate of Versailles: I wore a casual chic look in neutral tones, with a classic beige trench coat thrown over my otherwise monochromatic look. These layers were perfect for all the walking we did and the variety of weather (a mix of sun, clouds, and a few scattered showers).

As I’ve mentioned in other posts before, I LOVE boots by Blondo because they’re comfortable, stylish, and waterproof! We averaged over 12 miles of walking almost everyday in Paris, and my feet were comfortable in these boots the whole entire time (*not an advertisement or sponsored, just my honest review!).

Shop this outfit here.

For our visit to the Rue Crémieux and afternoon tea at Laduree: This was one of those days we did a large variety of sightseeing, so I wanted my outfit to transition well for different settings, and a striped blouse with black skinny pants accomplished that.

Shop this outfit here.

For dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel and sunset photos at the Trocadero: I wanted something that was more timeless than trendy, and that was elegant, but not ballgown fancy. This dress is currently on sale on Nordstrom Rack’s website for under $50 and comes in blue, black, and red (some sizes are already sold out!). I’m wearing the blue color.

Shop this outfit here.

For touring the Chateau of Versaille and lunch at Angelina: I wore a lace top, my fave high-waist Levi’s, and white Jack Purcell sneakers. I love the contrast of the classic white lace with distressed denim (this top was an H&M sale find from earlier this year, and I linked similar styles above).

Shop this outfit here.

For a casual dinner and visiting the Louvre: My “J’adore Dior” tee was a vintage find from the RealReal several years ago (reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw’s Dior tee that she wore on Sex and the City). I paired it with a black and white blazer and distressed Levi’s for a casual chic look (one of my favorite daytime outfits from the trip!).

Travel Hiccups

Perhaps this is something people don’t talk about enough when they discuss their travels abroad, but it’s pretty much a guarantee that at least one thing is going to go wrong or be delayed.

From renovations, to train strikes, to lost luggage, somewhere along the line you’ll likely experience a metaphorical (or literal) bump in the road. And you know what? As the French say: C’est la vie! (“That’s life” 😉) I try to go into trips being patient, open-minded, and with a grateful heart.

Also, be kind to yourself and your fellow travelers! Jet lag can be rough, so try your best to schedule in some down time, when you can relax at a cafe with some coffee or take a power nap in your hotel room. I know you probably want to see as much as you can in the time you have, but if you’re constantly exhausted or starving, that’s not going to be a pleasant experience for anyone.

Shop this outfit here.

And if you want to wear a beret in Paris, wear it! (That’s my way of saying carpe diem or the more contemporary YOLO 😉… But as you can see, I did wear a beret!)

If you have any questions or shared experiences, I would love to hear in the comments below! ❤️ Have you been to Paris? If so, what was your favorite thing you did?

In my next post, I’ll be sharing where my husband and I journeyed to after Paris: Positano and the Italian Riviera.

Twirling Through Tulip Fields

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower.” –Marianne Williamson

I recently visited the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. I hadn’t been since I was a kid, and I was thrilled that my grandma, my mom, and my brother could come along as well (we also got so lucky that it didn’t rain on us!). 🌷

This gorgeous field of flowers is a local favorite spot of photographers and bloggers, but also a wonderful day trip for couples and families.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

We went on a weekday afternoon–which I highly recommend!–because the line to get in on the weekends can get super long. The Wooden Shoe Farm said on their Instagram page that if you do visit on a weekend, try to come closer to opening at 8am or later in the day towards closing time at 5pm (though as of May 5th, the festival has ended for the 2019 season).

Shop this look here.

I also recommend coming prepared with rubber wellies or a pair of old boots because the ground between the rows of tulips can get pretty muddy. It hadn’t even rained for a couple days before we went and the ground was still muddy in some areas.

My denim skirt is by Madewell and was a Nordstrom Rack find from earlier this year. I love the button details, the classic shade of blue denim, and the flattering length (not too short, not too long!). This exact style is unfortunately no longer available, but I included similar options for this entire outfit in the link above.

A floral dress and ankle boots are also great outfit options if you’re planning a photo op in a field of flowers, whether for engagement photos, family photos, etc.

Shop this look here.

Lavender has been a very popular color this spring, and I really liked the color palette of this particular floral print. I’m also a big fan of wrap dresses (as I mentioned in my previous post) because they tie at the waist and are usually adjustable.

I unfortunately couldn’t find this exact style online anywhere (the brand is Studio B by Bobeau) but I linked similar options above.

My Panama Hat is from J. Crew and has been a go-to of mine for years. It’s a versatile, classic style that looks great with so many outfits (denim, dresses, skirts, etc).

We also took some family photos at the Tulip Fest, and this one of my mom, my grandma, and me is a personal favorite. I’m really close with my family, and I truly cherish the time I get to spend with them.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Thank you so much for stopping by ❤️

Chasing Cherry Blossoms

Chasing Cherry Blossoms

“One moment they breathed pink, the next they faded. Cherry blossoms were as much an inspiration for beautiful verse as they were a reminder of life’s fickleness…” –Alice Poon, author

We’ve had quite the rainy April here in Oregon! But on a rare dry day, we managed to visit the lovely cherry blossoms at the Portland Waterfront before the delicate pink flowers disappeared for the season.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Shop this look here.

Not gonna lie: I specifically chose to wear this Band of Gypsies dress for a reason! The floral print has soft pink blossoms very similar to the real life ones, and I knew the light fabric would flutter gently with the breeze (sometimes we just #DoItForTheGram! 😉).

I’m also a big fan of wrap dresses–since they tie at the waist and are usually adjustable, I think they’re such a flattering silhouette. Honestly, I think wrap dresses are the dress style I have most in my closet!

This dress is a couple years old, so unfortunately this exact one is no longer available, but I linked a bunch of similar styles in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app! They would be wonderful options for Easter, bridal showers, or Mother’s Day.

Because it had been so rainy and the ground was still damp, I paired this dress with my go-to ankle boots by Blondo Waterproof. When heels aren’t appropriate for the weather, I always think ankle boots can be a great alternative to wear with floral dresses!

I also brought my Levi’s denim jacket to throw over my dress when the wind picked up. As I’ve said in a previous post, classic denim jackets are wonderful layering options for unpredictable spring weather.

On a different note, I wanted to provide an update on one of my New Years goals! Writing and journaling have been big parts of my life since I was a kid; at the beginning of 2019, I started working my way through Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists for Happiness, and I’ve been LOVING it.

Each week has a different writing prompt that helps you identify the things in your life that bring you happiness and fulfillment (and the things that don’t!). I’ve found the variety of prompts to be very insightful, and they’ve helped me re-evaluate situations in my own life.

One of my favorites so far has been: “List the things in your life you are actually able to control.” That one was pretty eye-opening for me because I’ve always been a worrier, and as I was putting together my list, I realized how many things are truly beyond my control. So why am I bothering to worry about such things?

In short, I highly recommend this journal (especially if you’re like me and enjoy making lists!). I really like that it’s just one list per week, and that each list includes a practical action plan on how to incorporate what you learned into your life.

One of my other favorites from 52 Lists for Happiness: “List all the little things that happened today that brought you joy.”

For my list, I wrote: snuggles with my hubs and our sweet little dog, spring flowers in bloom, planning for upcoming trips, and a great cup of tea.

Today, what would that be for you? I’d love to hear in the comments below! ❤️

P.S. A big thanks to my best friend Aundria for coming with me on a busy Saturday afternoon to see the cherry blossoms and being my photographer! 🌸

Milestones and Mimosas

Last week my amazing mom turned 60–and can you guess where we’re headed later this spring to celebrate this milestone birthday? 😉

You guessed it! Paris!

A little back story: a large canvas print of the Eiffel Tower has been hanging in my mom’s office for over 10 years. It’s been on her bucket list to travel there since she was a little girl.

I’m so thrilled to soon experience this trip with her and show her some of my favorite places in the City of Light. She’s worked so hard to get to where she is in life and has the kindest heart. I’m truly proud to have her as my mom.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

In keeping with the Parisian theme, we celebrated my mom’s birthday lunch last week at one of our favorite local spots, La Provence. It’s a French-inspired bistro and bakery, with multiple locations in the Portland metro area.

We’re big fans of their brunch, but we also love the tuna melt for lunch (shown above). The colorful mimosa flights were perfect to toast the occasion (and you get to choose which flavors you want!). 🥂

For dessert, I definitely love their macarons, but I’m also obsessed with the tiramisu.

If you’re local to the Portland area, La Provence is definitely a popular choice for Mother’s Day brunch, which is coming up next month!

Shop this look here.

It was a comfortable spring day (one of the few sunny ones we’ve had so far in April!). I wore some of my go-to basics for weekend wear: a denim jacket, a sleeveless turtleneck, and high-waist black jeans. I especially love sleeveless turtlenecks this time of year because they’re so easy to layer under lightweight jackets for unpredictable spring weather.

My Louis Vuitton bag is the Phenix PM, but unfortunately is no longer sold on their website.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week! As always, thank you so much for stopping by! ❤️

P.S. What’s a travel destination on your bucket list? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Spring Style Staples

Spring Style Staples

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” –Charles Dickens

During the early days of spring, the weather is often unpredictable–or, as Dickens so rightfully pointed out, that we’re existing somewhere in between winter and summer, and it all depends whether we’re in the sun or the shade.

So how do we dress for such weather? By layering, of course!

In this post, I’m rounding up some of my favorite spring staples that are functional, fashionable, and easy to layer.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Puffer Vests

Hat: Portland Gear

Shop the rest of this look here.

A puffer vest is one of those timeless staples that is such a perfect piece for transitional weather in both fall and spring. It keeps you cozy but not too warm and can be worn for casual weekend vibes (as shown above) or styled for an effortless athleisure look (as shown below).

Shop this look here.

Duster Cardigans and Kimonos

Shop this look here.

Duster cardigans are so versatile–something about the longer length makes them elegant and chic. They can be worn over dresses, but also look great with jeans and a classic white tee. I personally love J. Crew tees for their quality and fit (the J. Crew v-neck I’m wearing above I’ve had for several years, and it’s held up so well!).

Shop this look here.

Necklaces: 6th Borough Boutique

Floral kimonos are perfect for spring layering, whether worn more casually over jeans or over dresses and swimsuits in warmer weather (I also love packing them for vacations!). The one I’m wearing is a purchase from last year and is by the brand Band of Gypsies. I could no longer find this exact style online, but I’ve seen kimonos in so many lovely prints lately at a variety of price points (several options are linked above).

Leather Jackets

Leather Jacket: Rubbish (similar here and here) Slip Dress: Billabong (similar here and here) Heels: (similar)

Leather (or faux leather) jackets are definitely a cool option for lightweight outerwear during spring. I’ve had my leather jackets for years, and I think they’re the type of item that keeps getting better with age! I personally love wearing leather jackets for a fun night out, whether over a dress for dinner or over a concert tee to see my favorite band.

Above, the leather jacket provides a great contrast to the pink floral print. Below, it’s the classic finishing touch for a recent concert in downtown Portland (My bestie and I got to meet Andrew McMahon last weekend before his concert at the Roseland Theater! We grew up listening to him in the bands Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, and we’ve seen him perform in concert 9 times over the years 😍).

Leather Jacket: Wyatt (similar here and here) Concert tee: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Denim Jackets

Shop this look here.

Last but certainly not least, this is one of the most classic wardrobe items: the ever-versatile denim jacket. It’s a great layering piece at almost any time of the year, but especially practical for the temperate days of spring. I love throwing one on over a floral dress for effortless, chic style almost as much as I love pairing it with a casual athleisure look (as shown below).

Hat: Portland Gear

Shop the rest of this look here.

For this post I really wanted to show you pieces that are versatile, easy, and will help you transition from winter to spring. Most of these pieces are not only my spring go-to’s but are also true wardrobe staples that can be worn for many occasions throughout the year. Both leather jackets and denim jackets, for example, have that timeless appeal that won’t just last you one season, but will be items that you can wear for years to come.

As fun as trends can be, I personally love these classic staples that always make me feel great and can mix and match with so many items in my closet.

What’s an item in your wardrobe that you reach for again and again?

Hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by! ❤️