Rested in Seattle

If you want a vacay that feels a world away, but is actually only a few hours from Portland, I present you with Seattle…let’s just pretend you weren’t aware of the obvious for the purposes of my blog post 🙂

Staying downtown is essential for me, because I like being near the sights, and within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco is perfect for this.

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The lobby is bright, cheerful and fancy. I love the colors and details, just makes you feel at home away from home.

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Summer is the best time to visit Seattle for me. The weather is perfect, no worries about the rain, fruits and veggies are in season, and tourism is in full swing.

While you’re downtown, you have to visit Pike Place Market, of course. There is everything from flowers to food, fish markets, souvenirs and of course, the original Starbucks.

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Don’t forget to wander around some of the less touristy areas, as well. The Seattle Public Library is one of the many beautifully designed buildings to marvel at, including other modern and historic ones around the city.

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Most importantly, there is some really great food in Seattle. London Plane is a favorite, with local ingredients and an eclectic, ever changing menu. Oh, and the most amazing tahini chocolate chip cookies. YUM!!

Pressed Juicery is a fresh and healthy spin on frozen yogurt, made from all fruit and natural ingredients. It’s like a healthy indulgence.

You can’t forget the coffee. Synonymous with Seattle, Starbucks now has a special Roastery  cafe and tasting room for their best ‘reserve’ beans.

The menu is unlike any you’ve seen, with specialty drinks like cardamom espresso, freshly baked brioche pastries (these also rotate), smaller batch coffee beans and specialty merchandise for purchase.

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Luckily my fave time to visit Seattle and Mother’s Day coincided, so my mom and I got to visit this year a little early in the season. The only hard part was figuring out where to eat. No need for a rain jacket this weekend!

Kimpton has The. Most. Comfy. Beds. And cozy little corners. So cute!!

The hotel restaurant, Outlier, was trendy and delicious. I’m not usually a fan of steak fries but man these were SO good! And the steak was juicy and flavorful.

Kimpton made this weekend so relaxing and easy. I can’t wait to come back to Seattle soon, as there is always more to do and see!

 

* this post was sponsored by Kimpton / Hotel Monaco seattle

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California Dreamin

Hola from Los Ángeles!

I just spent the best weekend in one of my favorite places. Ready to see what fun things you can do with just a few days in a southern CA? Let’s go!

 

When in LA, do as the Angelenos do…impromptu photo shoots are very normal.

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I lived in LA for a long time, so no touristy locations here. I like to dig deeper into the culture and lesser known spots, because it’s what I like and what I find interesting. I’m more about what makes places and people tick, rather than getting the 4 millionth photo of the same average ice cream cone…but that’s just me, and authenticity is what you’ll always get 🙂

Some of my fave things around the city are the COLORS. If you’ve been following my instagram for any amount of time, you know I’m all about fun, bright and colorful. These buildings and flowers (bougainvillea) just make me smile.

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There is even fun wall art everywhere, now that we all live through Instagram!

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So….when do I move in?

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This. Is. My. Jam.

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Food is very importante in LA. Of course I gotta try the new spots, and of course, they have to be delicious. The Hart & The Hunter was such a pleasant surprise. The outdoor patio was comfy, the almond iced coffee is beyond gorgeous and the spread. Omg. The butter biscuits are, well, sinfully buttery. The crab Benedict was equally decadent, albeit expensive ($20!)…but when in LA? Lol!

Next I gotta get my fill of Mexican food while I’m in town. Salazar has amazing quesadillas, chilaquiles, agua fresca, micheladas, and more. The tortillas are made in-house and everything is a dialed up version of some of your fave street foods.

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You cannot forgot the aguas frescas you’ll see at most Mexican restaurants, and it’s not just the standard Jamaica (hibiscus). I tried watermelon, cucumber lime, blood orange watermelon, and if I wasn’t going to float away, I would have tried more. So good and so refreshing.

If you’re indecisive or want to try a million things, like me, you should definitely visit Smorgasburg in downtown LA. It is a large food ‘market’ that has everything under the sun from handmade paletas to churros, aguas frescas, burritos, dumplings, ice cream, noodles, bbq, fried chicken & more.

My #1 can’t miss are the ultimate dessert: churros. Churros Don Abel is all you need to know. There is literally nothing better than fresh fried carbs rolled in sugar.

 

I was lucky enough to stay at the luxurious Kimpton Everly hotel during my weekend and rest between all those meals. The lobby is impossibly beautiful with the clean lines, tufted leather chairs and giant glass-pane walls. Did I mention you can also enjoy these views during wine hour? Yes. There is wine hour at all of the Kimpton hotels.

Wake up with the morning LA sun and get ready to peel yourself out of the most comfortable bed OF. YOUR. LIFE.

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Kimpton isn’t only a comfy place to stay, but turns out high quality food. JaneQ one of the most gorgeous, modern, clean spaces I’ve ever seen. The food of course made it easy to order in and just chill in the hotel. Who needs to go out?

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I, in fact, did not go out for several meals. The smoked salmon rilletes were so perfect and light for the hot LA weather. The pizza was fresh, light and had a perfectly chewy, crispy crust. I even ate the crust, which Im not usually a fan of!

Can you say AESTHETIC AF.

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If you need me, Ill be waiting by the pool, with my grapefruit spritzer.

 

I was blown away by the beauty, convenience and class of Everly Hollywood. The location was perfectly central for everything I wanted to do (including the Burbank airport).  From the moment I walked in the door I knew I wouldn’t want to leave! There is no question that all of the Kimpton hotels are beautiful in their own way and style, but this place…This place is just heavenly.

Goodnight from Southern California, one of the most beautiful places in the country!

Everything’s bigger in Texas

I honestly thought the sayings about Texas were exaggerated and over-used; but based on the freeways (dozens!), architecture, sunsets and cowboy hats, it’s official.  Everything literally is bigger in Texas.

I was lucky enough to fly nonstop with Alaska Airlines on a weekend adventure to Dallas, and they made that part super easy. You literally just hop on the plane at PDX, and a movie and a snack later, you’re there and ready to explore.

First things first. When you hear Texas, the first two things that come to mind are BBQ and Mexican food. I made sure to fill up on these, as they’re local specialties, and I was not disappointed.

The brisket BBQ at Pecan Lodge was super tender; and with side dishes like collard greens and Mac N Cheese, you really can’t go wrong.

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Mexican food is another local specialty, as the city has a large Latino population. I was really excited to see how the Mexican food differed regionally, and again, was really impressed with the flavors and variety of items on the menu.

The pulpo (octopus) taco was tender and spicy, and the barbacoa was juicy and packed full of flavor. My absolute favorite was the cucumber lime agua fresca. Wow! So refreshing in the Texas heat, and a really unique flavor combo I may have to try to make at home!

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Of course you can’t forget to do some cowboy boot and hat shopping during your visit to the Lone Star state. Take your pick, there is anything and everything to choose from. I’ve never been into cowboy boots and I even found a cute fringe pair that I could definitely see myself wearing if I lived there!

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Some of the other unique places I visited were the up and coming neighborhoods of Deep Ellum and Bishop Arts. These were really unique and fun to stroll around. With lots of boutiques, restaurants and wall murals, these were fun spots to visit and see where locals like to hang out and take their own Instagram pics!

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My other favorites of the trip were the unique structures in downtown Dallas. One was the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (see sunset pic below), and the other was Thanks-giving Square. This is a non-denominational building shaped like a cinnamon roll on the outside (seriously!). When you walk into the structure, there is a small cork board that acts as a wall of thanks, where you can write down something you’re thankful for, and oh yeah, this GORGEOUS stained glass ceiling.

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If y’all havent booked your trip yet, what are you waiting for? Alaska Air has the best service and makes flying so seamless, that I could honestly fly every couple of weeks to a new place and not worry about much else. They take care of everything, which is why they’re rated as the top airline in the country.

Dallas was a fun quick weekend trip, and I’d definitely love to explore other parts of Texas now. Have you been to Dallas? Let me know some of your favorite things to do in the city!

Till next time… hasta luego!

 

* this post was sponsored by Alaska Airlines

 

 

Bienvenidos a Miami

Miami. MYami. My city!

I hadn’t been to south Florida for quite a long time, maybe a decade or more, and I was pretty excited to come back. I had only spent a very short time north of Miami near Palm Beach and a few days in Key Largo and Key West, but Miami has a much different vibe.

Cubans are probably the most well known population in Miami, and the culture pervades through the entire city. Everywhere you go, people are speaking Spanish, drinking cortados, and eating Cubanos. But more about that later.

My number one fave thing about Miami is the beach. The sand is white and the water is a perfect turquoise just asking to be enjoyed. It’s almost like a moth to a flame, as the color is so hypnotizing. Just check out the view below from my stay at the Residence Inn at Sunny Isles. As I am sure you can imagine, it was almost impossible to leave this view.

 

As I mentioned before, Cuban food is one of the main things you have to experience to really know Miami. At El Maga de las Fritas, you get the 1000% authentic Cuban experience.  This includes a frita, which is a thin hamburger with fries inside the bun. My only regret is that I didn’t get two patties. You know it’s good, too, because if you look around the restaurant, you’ll see memorabilia from Obama’s visit to this family owned business. I even got to talk to the daughter of the Maga (magician) de las fritas (Cuban hamburgers). They were so proud to tell us the story of the President’s visit, and how hard they work to keep their business afloat. I would highly recommend coming here if you want an authentic experience and a really good, cheap meal! The owners even offered me their business card to use if we needed suggestions, help or anything during our stay in Miami. You don’t find this a lot, without ulterior motive. They were truly nice people and I can’t wait to go back!

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Probably the most famous Cuban place to visit is Versailles. There is a Versailles in Los Angeles but they are unrelated. I still don’t know why there are so many Cuban restaurants with this name, so if someone knows, please message me!

Anyway, the classic dish here is ropa vieja. Literally meaning old clothes, this is actually a shredded beef stew with peppers and onions, served with rice and maduros (caramelized plantains). If you go the ventanita (little window) next door in the mornings, you can get your cortadito or cortado (Cuban coffee) with a Guyaba (guava) pastry, or any of the dozens of pastries offered. It’s not really on my diet but omg they’re SO good.

I love being in Little Havana. It’s like traveling outside of the country, yet you’re in Miami. If you stay around this area or many other areas, you can exclusively hear Spanish and other languages spoken, played on the radio, and meet so many interesting people from different backgrounds.

Don’t forget the famous Cubano. I actually prefer the Media Noche, which is the same sandwich (pork, ham, Swiss) but on a sweet bread bun.

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Probably the most famous thing you know about Miami is South Beach and the Art Deco buildings that were featured in movies like The Birdcage and the TV show Miami Vice. I like to call Miami the capital of pastels, and also where lots of the Portland aesthetics in plant and ceramic shops originated.  Here are just a few buildings below that improve Miami is impossibly cool.

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Even the lifeguard stands are cooler than we are.

That beach though!!!

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The pastels and chic designs aren’t limited to South Beach. One of my fave areas, still being developed, was the Design District. My absolute fave spot of the whole trip was OTL MIA.

Their menu was legit. Usually there are only one or two things I like, but I wanted EVERYTHING. The style, colors and atmosphere were on point. Whether you realize it or not, atmosphere has a lot to do with how people experience their meal. Of course we all want to Instagram our food and this place makes it very easy.

I also love visiting off beat places like Palacio de Los Jugos (palace of juices). Im not sure if this place was Venezuelan or Colombian or Cuban, br who cares. It was definitely a local spot, Spanish only, but don’t let that stop you. Sometimes those places are the most fun, and you can always order something…Even if you have to point at the menu. The juices are also seriously amazing, and cheap. I wish I had places like this at home! And I really regret not getting their tres leches cake.

You can also find plenty of fresh, clean eats all over the city, like these toasts from Green Berry.

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…and hipster joints like Panther Coffee (also serves cortados. Duh), and Suviche which had an Asian/Peruvian fusion menu. The happy hour menu was amazing and cheap. So I was able to get multiple dishes – a must for any foodie.

 

Museum of Ice Cream

You guys know I went to the MOIC in San Francisco and loved it, and the colors and ocean view at the Miami Beach location just sucked me right in. It’s cool how each MOIC has a different theme and vibe, which makes it special (and gets you into going to each location)! This one was no exception. I felt like this one was more interactive with sand exhibits, lots of different types of ice cream, and more elaborate rooms. Check it out for yourself!

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Most importantly….the view

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If you’ve ever heard about any of the most famous places in Miami or listened to any Pitbull songs, then you’ve definitely heard about Calle Ocho/Little Havana. This short stretch of Cuban business is the proud home to one of the largest immigrant groups in Miami. I’ve never been to Cuba, but I’m pretty confident in saying that this is probably the next best thing to being there. Even their traditions are upheld here, playing dominoes in the town square, playing music on the street, and chatting with friends about politics or the day’s events.

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You can even get a taste of the Island, without a passport, or traveling 90 miles south.

If you go to Calle Ocho, you have to try Azúcar, a Cuban ice cream shop serving up tropical flavors and other local specialties you can’t find anywhere else.

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Don’t forget to visit the chicken welcoming you to Little Havana. There are tons of super touristy shops, but it’s still fun to take a look at some things you really can’t purchase anywhere else: coffee, cigars, guayaberas (those white Cuban shirts), and of course FOOD.

 

Wynwood Walls

Murals are the hot thing, now that Instagram has taken over how we experience our own city and new places. I really believe that Miami was the originator of this trend. I had no idea, but the Wynwood Walls are actually located in a gated park-like setting, where people can walk around and view the murals like an outdoor art gallery. The artists were commissioned for each piece. Some personal, some political, but all colorful and interesting.

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Sorry this is such a long post, but you can see how much I love Miami. It is colorful, literally and figuratively. The people are fun, diverse and full of life. I think having a mash of different people with different backgrounds and cultures is what makes our communities great. We learn how others live, and broaden our minds, knowing that we are all on this planet together with the same goals: to live, to eat, to enjoy and to laugh.

If you haven’t been to Miami, I highly recommend it, and hope these photos have given you another reason to make the trip!

Selfie selfie on the wall

Selfie selfie on the wall, who’s the cutest mural of them all??

Please forgive me in advance for the most basic blog post Of all time. At least I didn’t take these all the same day? Lol!

Here goes, selfie your heart out!

 

SW 6th St & SW Oak St

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La Moule

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SE Hawthorne St & 7th Ave

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NE Alberta St.

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Kainos Coffee

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NE Alberta St.

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NE Morrison & NE 15th St.

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Never Coffee

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NE Alberta St.

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NE Alberta St.

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24th & Glisan

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Millennial avocado toast goals

Once upon a time a poor sad multi millionaire  said millenials are too busy wasting money on avocado toast, and will never be able to afford a house.  I mean that would actually be ridiculous since avocados are like $2 and you can buy a loaf of bread for $3-4 and split the avocado into 2 meals…so that’s actually like, I dunno, $1-2 per meal. But I digress. Anyway, if you’re not making your avo toast at home, here’s where you can get it in Portland and support local businesses. Get your wallets ready for some beautiful green eye candy!

 

Kure

At $5 a pop, you can get 2 of them… like it’s a sale! The price is so cheap,  I almost feel like it’s free, so I have to share the tip. Of course it’s gram friendly, but also tastes really really good too.

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Accanto

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Guilder

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While I had to rearrange the avocado to fit the entire slice, I really liked this version with a fried egg. I prefer eating lighter, and this was the perfect amount, even with a little side salad. The shaved pecorino gave a little salty kick, and gotta love that big flake sea salt. The egg was also perfectly cooked, and the bread wasn’t too thick, meaning you can enjoy all the toppings!

 

Little T Baker

This brekkie version is suuuuper filling and made on the most delicious croissant. I actually got avocado added on this breakfast sandwich in lieu of meat, so I consider it a win win to call it an “avocado toast.”

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Kingsland Kitchen

Avo toast seems simple right?! Wrong. It has the be the perfect level of chunky smash with the correct percentage of seasoning. Well, when you have that mastered, why not put an egg on it? Not just any egg, one cooked with love, like you’ve never tasted before. I’m hungry now.

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Cup & Bar

Of course I had to save the best for last, because, otherwise you wouldn’t have to read my annoying descriptions when you just want to look at pictures! I don’t know what to say about this avocado toast w/ lemon ricotta & olive oil. LITERALLY. THE. BEST. Cup & Bar just take my money and feed me forever!

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Winter is hard

Anyone else lamenting these short winter days, wishing and hoping for Spring to be around the corner? Although we’ve had quite a mild winter this year, and it’s been in the high 50s all week (knock on wood), here are a few ways to beat the last month (hopefully) of winter blues around Portland.

 

Book a massage

How long has it been since you’ve treated yourself? Well, now is the time, especially with long, long days and Valentine’s Day coming up. No need to wait for any gifts. A massage is one of the best ways to relax and renew. Not only is it a great treat, but it’s proven to have not only mental but physical health benefits…so it’s kinda like a fun doctor’s appointment! I’ve been going to Dawn Pearce for 5+ years now, and she is amazing. If you’re looking for someone that listens, cares and is just an all-around nice person, go see her and tell her I sent you! She is the best. Not sponsored, I just really believe in her, and know you guys will love her! I almost always fall asleep during my sessions.  Book now  and feel the zen set in.

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Enso Float

This is a new wave relaxation technique I’ve seen pop up all over the country, from LA to Hawaii and here in Portland. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but warm water and spas are right up my alley, so this sounded perfect! Enso Float is located in the Pearl district, and offers a sensory deprivation experience that they say can lower stress, relax your muscles and mind, and provide other health benefits. Each room is set to 82F, has a shower, robe, slippers and a pool containing 1000 pounds of epsom salt. Inside the pool, there are several lights you can turn on or off depending on how much sensory deprivation you want. earplugs are also provided so you don’t get salt in your ears. Once you’ve rinsed off, strip down for the best and least messy experience (it can be slippery inside the pool from the salt), turn the ceiling ‘star’ lights on or off, and just relax. The salt lets you float in the pool (like the Dead Sea) where you can actually fall asleep and let the salt relax your muscles. Each session is 90 minutes, or less, depending on whatever works for you. I am a tad claustrophobic and find it difficult to relax sometimes, but I felt the minutes pass really quickly and, surprisingly, almost fell asleep. Would you try it?

 

Become a plant lover

It’s pretty well known that being in nature is one of the best therapies. Can’t get somewhere tropical before Spring? Head to one of the many plant shops around Portland and breathe in the negative ions. Two of my faves are Solabee Flowers (there’s also a resident shop corgi, so there’s that), and Pistils Nursery, which boasts several rooms of greenery heaven that’ll instantly make you relaxed. Maak Lab is another favorite. It’s just beautiful and an oasis right in the middle of Downtown Portland. It seems silly, but it actually works! Both of these shops have such a relaxing greenhouse, jungle-like feel, and for some reason all of the plants really put me at ease. While you’re at it, but a few of those tropical plants and give your home that same tropical feel.

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Suttle Lodge

Instead of escaping to warmer temps, why not go all-in and experience a full-fledged winter? This gorgeous lodge near Sisters, OR is a wonderful retreat only a few hours away from Portland, yet feels like you’re a world away. Ski at Hoodoo or even just romp around the snow at Santiam sno-pass and go sledding. Even better, relax inside the lodge all weekend and just watch the snow from the comfort of the lobby OR your bed! One of my favorite memories as a kid in the Midwest is waking up to fresh snow on the ground, and you can get that here. After you’re done playing in the snow, don’t forget to try the delicious drink menu and appetizer list. My faves were the Grandpa’s burger and fries purple cabbage. If you time it right, you can go on a weekend with a chef series dinner. These are amazing collaborative dinners with chefs from all over the country, including our very own from Portland. Suttle Lodge is even great for summer, but prices are amazingly low for winter…hint hint

 

Eat and drink like you’re in the tropics

Can’t get to Hawaii, or just want to feel like you’re there? Head to No Bones Beach Club and feel like you’ve stepped into an old Elvis movie with the most kitschy tiki atmosphere. Bonus: food is so good! It’s vegan and I promise you’ll find something you like without missing the meat. If you’re new to the meatless meal or trying out meat free Mondays, keep an open mind and try something new. Trade your buffalo wings for buffalo cauliflower. You might be surprised how delicious it is. Even if you can’t decide on the food, there are always the amazing drinks!

 

Take a mental break

Winters in the PNW Can seem long, and sometimes you just need to take your mind somewhere else, from the comfort of your own home. Powell’s is your place. Being the largest bookstore in the world, you can peruse the travel section, read about places you’ve never heard of, or do research and plan your next vacay.

What would you add to my list?

Boba, bubbles, pearls, tapioca

The first time I discovered bubble tea, I had a few thoughts in mind: are these chewy ball things going to choke me? Do I swallow them whole or chew them first? What is this odd texture and why are they in my drink?

After a few bubble teas, I was more than hooked. More accurately would be obsessed, as I still crave this drink at least weekly, but resist, or I’d weigh considerably more than I do now!

There are quite a few bubble tea places in Portland, with more opening all the time. Many of the bigger chains are in California and Seattle, but the ones we have here are also great. Here are just a few that are my most visited spots, I still have more to try!

 

Tea Bar

This health conscious tea shop offers all natural bubble tea flavors including Thai tea, beetroot, matcha, lavender and more. My favorite bubble tea flavor is Hong Kong Milk tea, a sweetened black tea. The drinks are a bit more pricey, but after having many artificial/fake tasting drinks, it feels good to taste something delicious and not feel guilty. Bonus tip: they also have great soft serve. Matcha and Golden Milk tea (seasonal flavor) are my favorite.

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Zero Degrees

This CA based chain recently opened two franchise locations in Portland and Beaverton, much to my satisfaction. I had actually been dying to try the Orange County locations, when I saw their unique flavors like spicy watermelon and Mangonada (w/ Tajín chili & like flavoring). The menu has a Mexican flair with these drinks as well as my personal favorite, Coffee horchata. Wow. This has to be my all time favorite. It’s such a great combo, but don’t sleep on their fresh fruit drinks. The Peach blossom with chunks of real fruit are mega-craveworthy.

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Townshends Tea

If you want a basic-flavored bubble tea on the natural side, go too Townshend Tea.  My faves here are blueberry, raspberry and Honeydew. Especially refreshing in the summer, several of their flavors use real fruit rather than artificial flavorings. Also, look at the huge amount of boba you get!

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Bubble Bubble

When I worked in Beaverton, I literally went here 2-3 times a week. Most places only have a few handfuls of flavors, but not this one. I stared experimenting with flavor combos, boba vs. jellies, iced drinks vs. hot, and really upped my bubble tea expertise. I learned that I don’t care for hot boba drinks too much, and my all time favorite is just a simple peach jasmine green tea with bubbles. Point being, you need to go there now and start trying everything! They’ll even lessen the sweetness and use Splenda instead. Luckily I don’t have to go to Beaverton anymore because there’s a location inside Fubonn on SE 82nd.

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Lucky Bite

I recently discovered this food cart serving unique bubble tea flavors, and of course, I had to try one. I got the jasmine green tea with matcha and loooooved it. I love anything matcha but also, my all time favorite tea is jasmine green. The fragrance matched with the  creamy matcha earthiness was great.  They also had really unique choices like ice cream boba and other things I’d never seen. I would definitely try a different one next time!

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Honorable mentions: Fat Straw, Thai Sky food cart & Lilly Thai Market

 

What other places should I check out??

 

 

Hotel Vintage staycation

Sometimes you need a vacation right where you are, a home away from home, of sorts!

I stayed at Kimpton’s Hotel Vintage in downtown Portland this past week, and let’s just say, I could really get used to living a spoiled life with them!

The vibe of this hotel is cool, modern, chic and sexy. With dark leather quilted couches, mirrored pillows, and a bar that is back-lit by an array of rainbow bottles, I knew this was my kind of place. From the second you walk in the door, Hotel Vintage just oozes style, and I knew I was in for a treat once I got settled into my room.

 

Even the light fixtures are impossibly trendy.

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THOSE. PILLOWS. They make me wanna do glamour shots with them.

 

Once I arrived to the top floor of the hotel, I was stunned by the beautiful light leaking through the window paneled roof. Gorgeous! I also loved discovering that the hotel is, in fact, wine themed. (See elevator doors).

Hotel Vintage leaves no detail untouched. My room had a cork wall (clever!), there is a map of Oregon wine country outside the elevator on the way to your room, and the rooms are named after local wineries (mine was Love & Squalor).

The room, as you can see below, is absolutely gorgeous. I stayed in a sky loft, where you can take full advantage of the slanted window roof, enjoy the sights of downtown below, and the light of day, even when it’s cloudy.

The bathroom. Wow. Not only are the angles of the room incredible, but the bathroom is luxurious. The products are the most deliciously-smelling soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. You can purchase them downstairs, because you will love them so much. Even though the ring light mirror can show you a little too many flaws, they are my absolute favorite. Imagine spending the night in a spa…well this is what that was like. I even brought my own clay mask, to treat myself, while I laid in bed watching one of the MANY channels on the huge TV in my room.

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Don’t forget to check the views of downtown Portland below.

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The restaurant attached to the hotel is currently undergoing a transformation, so I dined at the Bacchus Bar, and it was excellent. I didn’t even look at the menu in advance, and I was pleasantly surprised. I ordered the most amazing seared ahi tuna with barley. Doesn’t sound like much but omg…I need that barley like every night!

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Oh, and the chocolate olive oil cake, say no more.

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I told you the bar was beautifully back-lit by all of the colorful bottles!

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I would love to have a group happy hour here, as those leather chairs are begging to be enjoyed. Also, the chalkboard wall is hilarious, yet educational, declaring “Wine is food!”

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Ask Cody to make you a drink. He is the best!

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I don’t know how Kimpton finds the best, most cozy and comfortable beds, but I need one. Honestly, I have stayed in a lot of hotels, and none are as comfortable as Kimptons’.  It’s one of life’s greatest luxuries to just lay in bed and simply enjoy the feeling of doing nothing. This is a great place to do that. While you’re at it, order room service breakfast in the morning. Not only is it delish, but they serve local products like Stumptown Coffee and Pearl Bakery pastries.

Between the great service, delicious food, and comfortable stay, splurging at Hotel Vintage is so worth it.

Go ahead and treat yo self!!

 

 

* this post was sponsored by Kimpton & Hotel Vintage

The easiest ramen recipe EVER

 

When cooking at home, my motto is: the easier the better. By easier I mean few ingredients and even fewer steps. I have a full time job and I know how tired you can get at the end of the day… and on weekends, you just wanna relax!

Here is a foolproof ramen recipe that is super comforting for winter, and tastes just like ubereats brought you takeout. Let me know how you like it!

 

Ingredients:

1 large carrot (sliced)

1 pkg shiitake mushrooms 4-5oz

2 pkg dried ramen noodles

1 32oz carton veggie or chicken broth

2 tbsp grated ginger

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

 

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Directions:

Heat olive oil in medium sized pot

Add ginger and let sizzle for 1-2 min.

Add broth, soy sauce, mushrooms & carrot

Bring to boil and let simmer 10 min

Add noodles and serve when tender

Top with seaweed or soft boiled egg, as desired

 

*loosely adapted from Damn Delicious

Snow mood

When you wake up and see fresh snow on the ground, suddenly you’re a kid again. It snowed maybe 1/4 inch (if that), so I  had to take full advantage by getting some shots around town, since we don’t (usually) get lots of snow in Portland.

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It might have been cold outside, but I still couldn’t help myself from skipping around in the snow and walking around town, like I was Bridget Jones looking for Colin Firth at the end of the movie!

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The streets just looked so charming and beautiful, but sometimes the view is better from inside… with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Excuse my experimental marshmallow snowmen.  When you shoot pics outside, sometimes Mother Nature has a different plan. The wind blew these guys straight into the cup, rather than leaning on the edges like a chocolate hot tub. Oh well!

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Even the greenery looked especially beautiful.

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Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and has a very happy new year!