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 ❤️

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! 🌸

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! ❤️

From the Mountains to the Ocean

From the Mountains to the Ocean

One of the amazing things about living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest is that you can go from snowcapped mountains to the Pacific Ocean in just a few hours’ drive. In last week’s post, I shared a glimpse of Mt. Hood, and this week–you guessed it–I’m sharing one of my favorite spots on the Oregon Coast.

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.

Recently, my best friend and I took a day trip to Cannon Beach, which is only about 90 minutes from Portland by car.

We got so lucky with the weather! If you’ve ever been to the Oregon Coast, you’ll know it’s usually quite windy and chilly (even for summer visits, I always wear layers). But on this particular day, it was sunny and in the mid 50’s, with almost no wind! Considering we were there in the middle of winter, it was an absolutely perfect day.

If you visit Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock is a must-see landmark (shown above). It’s also within walking distance of a great local restaurant, Mo’s, whose famous clam chowder is one of my personal faves!

To shop this outfit, click here.

I wore casual layers for our day trip, with an olive green utility coat and my beloved high-waist jeans (both from Topshop). The coat is from a previous year, but I linked similar options above.

As for shoes and accessories:

My faux fur beanie is by Kyi Kyi, and I adore the fun, oversized pom pom and the overall quality and durability. My Blondo boots are such a go-to in my closet, and–as you can see demonstrated above–the waterproof leather makes them safe to wear even on the wet beach as the tide came in.

My nylon crossbody bag I’ve had for several years (from Marc by Marc Jacobs), and I found a super similar Marc Jacobs style on the Nordstrom Rack site (linked above and currently on sale for under $100!). My scarf is an old TJ Maxx find, but I found some similar black and white options. And of course, my classic Ray-ban Clubmaster sunglasses kept my eyes both safe and stylish.

Last year I read Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winner All the Light We Cannot See, and his precision of language and beautiful imagery were things I truly admired (for my more detailed review of this novel, click here). This passage from All the Light We Cannot See felt fitting for this week’s post:

“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads.

It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.”

Doerr paints such a vivid image of the sea in this quote, from its various colors that change with the time of day to the more abstract idea that its sheer size could hold anything you could possibly feel. I love standing in the ocean as the tide comes in because it makes me feel like a kid again, and I think sometimes it’s good to feel that way. It keeps things in perspective when you stand next to something so vast and powerful, something that seems to go on forever.

What do you think? Do you prefer the mountains or the ocean?

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

Tulle Skirts and Snow Days

As I mentioned in my previous post, this month marks my one-year blogiversary! In honor of that milestone, I want to share a glimpse of the Pacific Northwest wonderland and the beautiful state of Oregon that I’m lucky enough to call home. So for this post and the next one, I’ll be highlighting two very different landscapes here in Oregon: the mountains and the coast.

Though we don’t usually get a ton of snow in the Portland metro area, Mt. Hood is less than a two hours’ drive away. Every winter my husband and I go snowboarding up at Mt. Hood Meadows or Timberline (after a long day of snowboarding we stopped to take these photos–thankfully my husband is quite patient ❤️).

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.

To shop this outfit, click here.

I wanted to style a playful winter look to contrast the majestic snowy backdrop, and I knew this tulle skirt would be perfect. It’s from one of my favorite local designers, Tulle On Lace. Tulle skirts always remind me of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Sex and the City character and the iconic skirt she wore for the show’s opening credits (this is my Queen Elsa meets Carrie Bradshaw look 😉).

My double pom beanie is from the collection Lindsey Vonn did with Under Armour (unfortunately this beanie is sold out, but I linked some similar styles above), and my off-the-shoulder top was a TJ Maxx find (comparable options also linked above).

Celebrating one year with my blog, I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how I’ve grown, what I’ve learned so far, and goals that I have for the future. A few years ago, I would’ve been afraid to share my personal style–let alone my thoughts and experiences–with complete strangers. I would’ve also been afraid of what those in my real life think–would they make fun of me? Would they think that my blog is silly?

I’m so glad that I shook off those fears because this blogging journey has been so rewarding. Connecting with so many of you and having real, honest conversations were things I didn’t foresee when I started last year. And as for my friends and family, I feel so fortunate that the vast majority of them have shown tremendous support and encouragement.

Yet as much as I love sharing what I’m wearing and what I’m reading, I want to share more of myself this year—personal struggles and successes. If you know me in real life, you likely know I struggle with OCD. You might know I had an eating disorder back in my teens. You know my family means everything to me, even though we have a complicated history (but seriously, whose family is without problems or complexities?).

With social media it’s easy to think someone’s life is picture-perfect, but we have to remember that what’s shown is a curated glimpse into that person’s life. And though I strive to share positivity here on my blog and on Instagram, there are times I want to share topics that are a bit more serious–even if it just helps one person who’s going through a similar situation realize that they’re not alone.

Going back to Sex and the City, I was recently reading an article about the show, and this Carrie Bradshaw quote really hit home: “So just love, make mistakes, and have wonderful times, but never second-guess who you are, where you have been, and, most importantly, where it is you are going.”

I hope to share more wonderful times with you all this year. I know who I am, where I’ve been, and though I may not know exactly where I’m headed (does anyone?), I’m for sure going to enjoy the journey and wear some fun outfits along the way. ❤️

Thank you for stopping by!

Up to Snow Good

“There’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on.” –Carol Rifka Brunt

As much as some people are dreaming of spring, winter is still very much here (yes, yes, cue the Game of Thrones theme song 😉… Who else can’t wait for the final season?! More on that another time!).

My husband and I got to enjoy some fresh powder up at Mt. Hood last week. It was perfect for a day of snowboarding and playing in the fluffy snow!

Camel coat: Calvin Klein (similar styles also here and here) Cable-knit sweater: TJ Maxx (similar here and here) Black leggings: Under Armour Boots: Ugg Australia (similar here and here) Beanie: H&M (similar here and here)

I’ve been wearing this Calvin Klein camel coat on repeat the past few months, and it’s one of those versatile pieces that transitions from the city to the mountain with ease. I love its classic cut and color and know it will last for seasons to come. It’s currently on sale on Bloomingdale’s website (unfortunately only two sizes are left, but it also comes in red and black). I’ve linked similar camel options above and on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app!

For our snow day, I paired it with a cable knit sweater and matching beanie, Under Armour’s ColdGear leggings that are perfect for layering in chilly temps, and my lace-up waterproof boots by Ugg Australia. I couldn’t find this exact style of boot online (except for resale on sites like Poshmark and eBay), but I linked some similar styles above.

What’s your favorite winter activity? ❄️ Do you like to snowboard, ski, snowshoe? Or maybe a weekend getaway in a cozy cabin?

Have a great week, loves! Thank you for stopping by. ❤️