a sauvie island blueberry pie

as we move into the second half of 2015 and i continue to be freaked out by how time is passing exponentially faster as i get older (dear old dirty bastard i’m getting older), i have made some self improvement promises to myself.

1. to sew more. caftans, kimonos, muumuus, palazzo pants, ponchos, jumpsuits, rompers. a new wardrobe is severely overdue.

2. to form a rad momma & me co-op situation in our new neighborhood. i need reinforcement to travel smoothly through parenthood. and i need a few hours each week where sebe gets his playtime on with other kiddos and momma can do more of numbers 1, 3 and 4 on this list.

3. to play dress-up more like i did pre-kiddo and less like i have been post-kiddo, which is just a fugly travesty and i won’t stand for it any longer.

4. to cook more. for years, i have been an avid stalker of a few foodie podcasts and blogs. i click on them every couple days, drooling over the gorgeous photography, the recipes and the ability of the women behind the blogs to balance baby daddies, kiddos, housekeeping, a social life, a steady social media presence AND the seemingly luxurious hours necessary to peruse farmers markets for the freshest ingredients out of which they craft decadent meals. these women are either half robot or just simply better human beings than myself, a hard truth i’m willing to accept. for now. until now. so here we go.

my very, very favorite food blog is all vegetarian, which is how heidi swanson first won my heart. she has been cooking and writing about her cooking for a long time and she is damn good at it. her blog, 101 cookbooks, was inspired by all the cookbooks she uses to find her next meal idea, many of which she tweaks to make even better. all her recipes are taste-tested, which is huge when following someone else’s recipe. you know an actual person has made it, eaten it and not spit it out. a new journey starts with a single step, or something like that. i decided mine would begin with pie.

last weekend, sebe woke up from his nap and i thought it would make for a fantastic date if we drove out to sauvie island and picked blueberries. it was going to be his first time and i always get geeked up about first times. they include having dance parties while we pack our outing bag and scream-singing, “whoooooooooohooooooooooooooo” complete with raise-the-roof hand motions the entire drive to wherever we’re going. this summer’s fun caliber is symbiotically affixed to the number of whoohoos being made at any given time. we’re doing pretty okay so far. i’m proud of us. sauvie island, if you’ve never been (insert empathetic facial expression here), is a mega magical place where anything can happen. in my lifetime, these things have most often included but are not subject to; playing on the beach and swimming in the water, driving from farm to farm, picking fresh fruit, veggies and flowers, attending the best pumpkin patch in all the land every year in October (complete with a corn stalk maize/maze, barnyard full of cute animals and another barnyard full of farm fresh edibles and in my more adult years, fashion photo shoots with brianne wills, my photographer partner in crime, who has recently moved to nyc to become famous. the photo above was my attempt to show off the gorgeous sauvie island bridge without getting out of the car because, you know, fast highway cars and toddler in the back seat. anyway, i’m telling you guys, it is an actual island! you get to drive across a beautiful little bridge which (little known portland fact coming up) was constructed as a mini trial version of the golden gate bridge in san francisco. how. rad. is. that. super rad. it’s super rad.

every summer growing up, my parents would take my brother and i to the blueberry house to spend hours plucking the ripest and most delicious blueberries that we got to take home and eat ourselves silly off of. in my childhood memory, it was a gigantic white house with lots of dogs running around and blueberry fields as far as the eye could see. going back with seb last weekend, i had a good giggle about childhood memories and am thankful that at least while not entirely reality-representative, mine were at least overly optimistic. the blueberry fields are there and they still stretch as far as you can see. the house is big but not gigantic nor white and the dogs (i know they had some) were not there to run or roam. but everything else was as if time has stood still the last 30-something years. the same buckets you can borrow to pick, the same scale used to weigh your bounty and the same woman who started the farm way back when is still sitting, chatting with every wide-eyed picker who comes calling. we arrived around 4:30pm and the farm closes at 6pm but for that entire hour and a half, my little boopie, not yet two years old, sat in the hot afternoon sun and picked blueberries with me. okay, he more like pulled the branches and grabbed at the berries and they were less blue, more green but he was a goddamn trooper and i was bursting with momma adoration. every once in a while, he would bring his bucket over to my container and dump his goods in. “oh my gosh seb! look at all the blueberries you picked! you’re doing such an awesome job!” he seriously looked proud and would walk back to another bush and begin his pulling/grabbing again. then i would quickly try to toss all his green berries out of my bucket before he could see. at least i try to find every opportunity for a learning lesson. “see these? these are blue. see these? these are green. just try to pick the blue ones. they’re ripe and you can eat them. don’t eat the green ones. they will make your baby tummy hurt.”

and so it went, with me picking and seb pulling until all three of my containers were full. we had exceeded all my expectations for the amount of fruit we could haul home. we were hot, sweaty, dirt-covered and so, so happy. i can’t remember how much per pound it was but for $22, we walked away with 11 pounds of blueberries, a jar of farm fresh honey and two honey sticks (seb luh-huved his).

we both had blue tee shirts on while picking blueberries. sometimes cute shit like that happens accidentally and i’m totally okay with it. but back to the business of pie. i realized while picking with the utmost joy that blueberries are my dad’s most favorite fruit and father’s day just happened to be the very next day. perf-ect. i would drop off fresh picked blueberries and the card seb and i made for dad. noooooooooo! i will drop off fresh picked blueberries, a hand drawn card and a pie! a pie that i made! game. on.  so after putting seb to bed (after we had both eaten way too many blueberries) i hit heidi’s site and searched for berry pie. i found this, my inspiration/fear factor:

heidi pie

crust. riiight. a real pie includes a real crust. not one purchased in the freezer section of a grocery store, rolled out and baked, no fanfare whatsoever. no. i would make the crust from scratch. luckily, in addition to heidi’s fancier rye pie crust she included a link to a simpler crust, one that after reading the recipe over and over, i decided i could do it. i had some sebe-free hours on sunday so i grabbed the few ingredients i didn’t have on hand at new seasons and got to work. the crust would need at least one hour to sit in the fridge before rolling out so i did that first.

i decided to go the cuisinart route for blending up the cold chunks of butter with the flour rather than hand chopping it. 1) it had been sitting in its original box, taunting me, gathering dust, since it was given to us as a wedding present almost two years ago 2) enough was enough (self improvement promises and whatnot) and i would attack this cuisinart business with the same blind gusto that i used teaching myself to sew that first garment – fearlessly and with the clarity that it could all be a huge disaster. that’s where i like to live, right on the edge. and btw, i wore the hell out of that flamenco tube top. i rolled the dough into a ball on a floured surface, wrapped it in plastic and stuck it in the fridge. then i followed heidi’s recipe for the berry filling and it was way less panicky than i thought.

i even got to bust out this vintage lemon juicer i found years ago at a garage sale and realized how fun it is to juice lemons.

dough out of the fridge, it rolled flat so smoothly. i might have done a little private kitchen dance.

put it all together, baked for exactly 45 mins. and holy crap of craps, there was pie. in the last few minutes, the fruit started bubbling over the edge and spilled out onto the oven floor. it’s still sitting there. i have no idea how to clean it. but it was awesome to look at. there were hot, sticky blueberries all over the oven and i didn’t even care because there was pie. the whole apartment smelled like pie. it was glorious.

aside from needing some (a lot of) assistance in the crust presentation department, i was thrilled. that night, my parents and i shared good company, good laughs and some damn good pie. i can’t wait to make another one.

the happiest father and grandfather’s day to you pops! we love you so, so much.

 

diyds (do it your damn self) : toddler pant pattern drafting

heyoooooo!!! i hope it was the most delicious baby momma day for anyone who has ever changed a poopy diaper! my brother just became a baby daddy! they gave birth to their mini me three days ago and it’s been bittersweet talking with him and seeing photos pop up in my inbox because it ursher hurts to be so far from him (new york) but amazing that our sibling relationship is solid enough that he shares his life with me. it was a great ma day in our flock. woke up to a single rose (picked from our garden by babby daddy but it was a good one) and a 3×5 index card with a beautiful scribble by seb and a lovey, sappy note from baby daddy. cuties. then we fam biked to pambiche for a cuban brunch of eggs, black beans & rice and sugary cafe con leche oh my. and then. then i put boopie down for a nap and got to hit the pattern table for the rest of the afternoon. uugghh. it felt so good.

seb is growing – we really need to stop feeding and watering that kid – and he’s in semi desperate need of pants and shirts for summer that fit him. i usually love sewing kid clothes out of 100% cottons but they are mad hot so i was thinking something in the linen family. i had the chance to hit fabric depot over the weekend. the buttonholer on my janome broke eons ago so i put her in the car wishful thinking that i would find time to make the drive out to 122nd & stark at some point. saturday we decided to hit the annual st. johns parade. god do i love me some lombard street and downtown st. johns. my brother and i were born and raised just off lombard street before st. johns and it feels like you’ve traveled back in time when portland was just a sweet, small town full of hard working blue class families who smiled at you for no reason. it was amazing. this parade is a big ol’ deal every year. folks already had their fold-up chairs ready and guarding front row seats hours before the main event.

st. johns 4

st johns 2

there were corn dogs and cotton candy and strawberry lemonade and a cowboy riding a unicycle and we just had a damn blast. seb rocked out at the st. johns swap n’ play table and leigh and i found hound and the hare, a sweet vintage shop where seb started typing out his memoir. i also finally had the chance to case out the menu at proper eats, a vegan diner and grocery i’ve heard about for years. it looks bomb. i’ll have to go back.

st johns 1

st johns 3

the parade crowd grew, it got hot and seb fell asleep in the car on the way home so we decided to keep driving alllllll the way to montavilla sewing so i could drop the janome off. bang. getting shit done. seb still asleep we kept on down the road to fabric depot. bang. getting more shit done. it’s been some time since i got to fall down the rabbit hole that is the depot and their buyer is doing big things. there’s a couple racks of delicious japanese linens that are luxurious and definitely out of my normal price range but it’s been so long since i made anything and the kid needs pants – what’s a concerned ma to do? so sunday after brunch, i kissed seb’s little baby forehead, closed the door for his nap, and hit the pattern table. i grabbed one of the pants he has that i like the fit of to copy. they’re knit and the linens i bought are wovens but that won’t make a huge difference.

to start, i grabbed some graphed pattern paper – i bought a roll of this here years ago and it’s lasted well beyond its price tag. i drew a grain line in red down the center of the paper. if i was copying a piece that had a consistent center front (CF) or center back (CB), then this red grain line would indicate the CF or CB. but in this case, i’ll place the front pant piece more or less over the center of this grain line, making sure it runs perpendicular to the hem, as this is a good indicator of straight grain hang when worn on the body.

pant 1

then i tacked down the front pant as flat as possible and used the tracing wheel to trace around the front pattern piece, making note of the knit cuff and the waistband situation.

pant 2

next, i lifted up the pant and penciled in the trace lines, smoothing and trueing out lines as i go. trueing just means to smooth out any jagged or jogged lines (lines are aren’t consistently straight or curved as you want them to be).

pant 3

pant 5

then i flipped the pants over and did the same thing for the back pant piece, starting with a fresh piece of graphing paper and a red grain line.

pant 6

pant 7

you want crisp 90 degree angles at crucial places, like where the outseam and inseam meet the top hemline/waistband, where the end of the crotch/stride line meets the top of the inseam and in this case, at the hem.

you can check if lines are making a smooth transition between where pieces will be sewn together by placing either the front onto the back or vice versa and look at your lines. the best way to do this is to trace your pattern piece lines on the opposite side of the paper so that you have ultimate accuracy. now you can easily look at your lines like the stride and waistband if shaped, as in this case.

pant 8

the back waistband is about an inch higher than the front (to account for bulky baby diaper booty) so i wanted to copy that shaping. i dropped the front waistband by 1/2″ and then using the side-by-side method, i could look at the shaping at the side seams and make any adjustments. to true up a line when you have your pieces layered on top of each other is to take your tracing wheel and create a new line that is smooth. the tracing wheel dots will show up on both pieces! keep fussing until you’re happy.

pant 9

pant 10

i also try to notate pattern pieces as soon as i make them. helps in the sanity department down the road when you want to make another of whatever you’ve just spent hours patterning. for notation, here’s what’s what:

– date
– name of garment (either a made-up name or if using a commercial pattern, the company name and style number of the pattern)
– size
– name of pattern piece (top front, bottom front, pant front, pant back, waistband front, waistband back, top front side, top back side, etc…)
– how many to cut (x2, cut 2, x4, cut 4 – however you want to notate that)

so a complete notation would look like this:

5/10/15
Sebe summer pull-on pant (if i wanted to indicate that it had an elastic waistband)
18 months
front pant
cut 2

then, before you go any further, do what i hastily in all my rusty, over-excitedness forgot to do: double-check the flat paper pattern measurements against the garment you copied to make sure you’re on the right track. had i done this, i would have realized i forgot to double the waistband amount (since it gets folded over to form the elastic casing) and i wouldn’t have cut and sewn pants whose stride was too damn short. whoops. no worries. it was nice practice and i’m sure my boo-boo pair will fit a kiddo somewhere. and i love/hate making mistakes like this because they’re always a good reminder of the process. i’ll show that alteration in a bit when i make the second pair of (better fitting! gah!) pants. but back to where we were.

now that you have everything measured and trued and pretty, it’s seam allowance time. i chose to go the industry standard 3/8″ most everywhere except places like the waistband and the cuffs, which get their own special situation. when drawing in seam allowance, remember to make crisp 90 degree angles at those crucial places where one piece will be sewn to another piece. there are exceptions to this rule but generally, this will do you right.

pant 11

after putting in all your seam allowances, throw in a couple notches where you need them. for this garment, i wanted a notch at the outseam and the inseam. you want notches wherever you’re matching up curved pieces – will make your life waaay easier when you go to construct the garment. i chose to put the outseam notch 6″ up from the hem on both front and back pieces.

pant 12

and a notch at the inseam 3 1/2″ down from the end of the stride. for measuring curved lines, i use my indespensible clear flex graphing rulers. they are the absolute bomb. i always cope mine at columbia art and drafting at se 15th & burnside. they always have them in stock and they’re cheap, as they should be.

pant 13

a single line works just fine for indicating a notch. you can go back after you cut out your pattern and actually notch those with a notcher.

pant 14

the last piece i drafted was the cuff. i just measured the cuff on the sample pant, did some fold-over measuring and voila, the easy rectangle cuff.

pant 15

i cut out all the pieces.

pant 16

i started with the knit cuff – just happened to have some light grey medium weight sweatshirt jersey in the closet stash and thought that’d suffice.

pant 17

next up, the pant pieces, out of the fancy yummy japanese linen (since we don’t have a washer/dryer, to get rid of shrinkage, i always dunk new fabric in hot water with a pinch of soap and set it out to air dry before making anything with it)

pant 18

first, i tore a small strip across the top cross grain so that i could match up both the grainlines and the cross grainlines when folding the fabric in right sides together. place pieces on top, making sure both pieces were going in the same direction as the cute little animals on the fabric. (one of the pieces is flipped onto the other side so that it fits but this is totally fine! as long as the main grain line is going in the direction of the animals on the fabric, as it is. boom.

pant 19

to know that the paper pieces are placed exactly on grain with the fabric grain, i place the ruler three times down the red grain line (top, middle, bottom) and measure from the red grain line to the edge of the fabric. like this.

pant 20

pant 21

pant 22

now i can and cut them out and clip the little notches i made. and start putting them together. i did these the traditional pant way, sew front to back outseams first and press.

pant 23

pant 24

sew inseams and press.

pant 25

place one pant leg inside the other pant leg so that whole stride can be sewn and pressed.

pant 26

pant 27

sew in cuffs to hems.

pant 28

fold over waistband and sew closed, leaving one small space open. thread elastic through. sew ends of elastic together. for a final sporty touch, i sewed another line down the middle of the elastic.

pant 29

try on boopie! realize that they’re cute but that something went awry in the fit because crotch is too small and tight. curse quietly to self. regard pattern and sample pant. see what went wrong. vow to remedy that for next pair. still make boopie wear too-tight crotch pants to new seasons. just for my hard-on of having accomplished something at the sewing table.

pant 30

i’ll put up the tight crotch alteration soon! go make some pants! love you mean it!

make shit : super duper easy thrift store dress alteration & the story of my life

i am a community college proud whore. attending a cc allowed my not so ivy league ass to attend a very ivy league university for the last two years of school and graduate amongst a throng of folks much nerdier than myself. and then, years later, while experiencing a mild quarter life crises, a cc allowed me to take affordable classes that fit my work schedule to discover a brand new life passion / part-time career. if it weren’t for portland community college’s (pcc) continuing education department (which is one of the largest in the country – booyah), i know for a fact that i wouldn’t have had banging classes taught by teachers who gave a shit. more than a shit. so much more that, one of my teachers, eileen celentrano, was thoughtful enough to bring me a threads magazine that profiled nicolas caito, the talent behind new york city’s most prestigious pattern making atelier. and oy vey, what a seriously handsome frenchie.

nicolas caito 2

in a heady, naive move, i contacted the atelier via their website asking about internships and after a short interview over the phone the following week, i was asked to come into the studio for an in-person chat and a draping trial. i have never been more motivated in all my days. i draped and re-draped every garment i could in the weeks leading up to the interview and then with money i didn’t have, i flew across the country to compete with students from fit and parsons and central saint martins for one of three internship slots. and then the email came. whatever amount of desperation i exhibited in that studio must’ve been palpable. for the next four glorious months,  i worked 40 hours a week (no pay, not a dime) learning my dream trade while at night i slept on an air mattress deep in brooklyn and ate beans and rice for dinner. but holy fuck was it worth it. it was the most exhilarating, nerve wracking and marvelous experience of my life. i still sit sometimes and daydream about climbing those five flights of stairs up to the studio, hanging up my faux fur coat, hat and gloves (dead of winter in nyc is NO. JOKE.) and being handed a design sketch by proenza schouler or creatures of the wind or one of a handful of esteemed nyfw designers and being told in that perfectly curt, i’ll-cut-a-bitch tone by one of the head pattern makers to make it happen (a muslin prototype of the garment). which i would spend the next 8, sweaty, nerve and adrenaline-filled hours doing. i had the esteemed privilege to create a skirt from scratch for proenza schouler and work on the finale runway dress for creatures of the wind. here’s some of the other entrees to come out of nicolas’ studio, most which end up somewhere fancy, like the new york times fashion magazine. and here’s a proenza schouler jacket i spied in the times mag many months after being back home from new york.

nicolas caito in ny times

nicolascaito.com

i’m telling y’all – internship of a LIFETIME (and last time, i told myself, that i would likely ever work again for free). nicolas is such hot stuff that a fashiony blog interviewed him at the studio while i was knee deep in a muslin draping and this photo ended up being published. i love it because when i feel like the whole experience was something i dreamt up, this reminds me that it did in fact go down.

me at nicolas caito

oh, the things you can do before chillrun!!! dammit. just kidding. sort of. aaanyway, four months later and having had the easy opportunity to stay in new york and get work with my newfound pattern making chops (my mentor at the studio, the incomparable dylan abrams, is now the senior studio manager for alexander wang, NBD), i made the decision to come back to portlandia where my folks and my fuck buddy were patiently waiting. my folks were happy to see me and my fuck buddy proposed two days after my return so you know, all things for a reason.

(another fun piece to the whole nicolas caito story is that after my interview while waiting to hear if i landed the internship or not, i was googling the hell out of caito and stumbled upon a blog portlander hannah flor used to write where she essentially had the exact parallel experience as i, just a few years before me. i became enamored with her after reading her blog posts and after my stint with caito, i ended up contacting hannah and got to meet her lovely self for coffee and pattern making gossip. it was wonderful. i believe she is still in new york, working as a freelance pattern maker out of a studio in brooklyn!)

a recent and welcome addition to my mom life lately was the offer from pcc to teach a beginning sewing class, the very same beginning sewing class that i had taken several years ago. i actually took over the class after my dear friend and sewing mentor of sorts passed away suddenly. it was a bittersweet moment accepting the position but i do it for jean and i think about her each week in that classroom. i’ve enjoyed the teaching so immensely that i started offering new classes so here we are – a shout-out to my side gig! in a totally undeserved move, after teaching just two semesters, pcc interviewed me and put it in their fall 2014 catalog. i also owe this press to jean, as it was the story of how i became a teacher that interested the school. thank you miss jean. here’s that ink and the info for the three summer courses coming down the pipe, if you or anyone you know is interested.

 

PCC1

 

pcc 2

pcc learn to sew description

pcc pattern manipulation description

pcc alter your wardrobe description

aaanyways, i say all that to say this; i miss sewing. hella hella. i miss cranking up a podcast of the splendid table or fresh air or starting the entire suede-bound box set of sex and the city series over and blacking out for hours on end at my patterning table tweaking a garment. pushing sebe out was definitely a game changer on many levels and not that i’d want to change anything, i just wish for double the amount of hours in the day so that i can be super momtastic and get my seamstress on. i fo sho cherish the sweet sebe-free hours i get every here and there. one of those here and theres was this past weekend, which started with a bike ride to delish vegan eatery vita cafe on alberta street to suck down multiple cups of coffee and indulge with girlfriends. after brunch, we walked across the street to bristlecone, a most adorable vintage shop run by my girl audie.

bristlecone 1 look how cute she is! such a patootie pie.bristlecone 2i rummaged through her candy-colored racks of clothing and her $3 bins and pulled out this diddy. oh haiii sebe happy at his train table.

bristlecone 3

i’m having the most bubblegum pink moment of my life and the gingham was so springtime-picnic that i snagged it. after trying it on at home, i realized i wasn’t in love with the elastic waistband nor where it was placed (these dresses are never built for the short torso’d among us, are they?) and i wasn’t sure i was into the marmy length. again people, just because you have the chillrun, doesn’t mean you can’t dress like your inner ‘yonce is asking you to. since it’s been fo-ever since i did anything with a needle and thread and i’m hoping this blog will put a stop to that, let’s do a little garment altering shall we? word.

first to go was the waistband. when i turned the dress inside out, i realized that i had in my presence a lovingly handmade piece.

bristlecone 4

none of the seam allowances were finished, which is a fail and one i’ll have to go back and remedy by zig-zagging all the seam allowance edges so that the fraying doesn’t get so bad that it compromises the sewn seams but other than that, the dress was put together adorably. oh haiii sebe happy playing with his hamburger stickers.

bristlecone 5

trusty seam ripper in hand, i first undid the elastic casing holding the elastic in place and then took out that casing and elastic. like this.

bristlecone 6

bristlecone 7

bristlecone 8

than the dress looked like this.

bristlecone 9

getting better! i could have left it like this if i wanted – tented oversize thangs are so on trend right now, right? but i was like, ah to hell with it, i’m already spending time on this, let’s keep going. so next i took out the collar and collar facing. so now the neckline looks like this.

bristlecone 13

at this point, taking apart the collar and using some of that fabric to make a cute little neckline and then hemming the skirt length to whatever (from ankle-grazing to cho-cha grazing) would finish this off but i really want to turn the long skirt into palazzo’ish pants, throw in a center front zipper and rename this cutie a jumpsuit…i will try and take the appropriate time/photos/explanatory verbiage and do this in a separate post! love you mean it!

bristlecone 10

bristlecone 14

* experiment with what your diddy will look like if you decide to a) shorten the hem or b) go for the jumpsuit! *

 

DIYDS (do it your damn self) Chinese Dumplings

IMG_0082

i’m not a big birthday whore. usually, it’s a very non-descript day that ends in dinner out with baby daddy. but in the last few years, in the cutest sibling gesture ever, my brother started calling the husband, asking him what present would make me go whoah. this year, it was a gift certificate to take a Chinese dumpling class. i had seen flyers around the neighborhood and must’ve mentioned to babby daddy that i would totally give up a weekend afternoon of doing dishes/laundry/my son’s poopy diapers to leisurely spend three hours crafting pillowy, delicious dumplings. my nickname for Leigh is little dumpling and we could both easily eat our weight in those suckers. daily. the class idea was two-fold, i’m sure. she’ll have a blast aaaand maybe there will be more dumplings around this dang house. thought baby daddy. and so, on a recent Saturday, the dumpling-hungry husband took Sebe and i got to skip off to make dumplings.

IMG_0071

Kristina was not Chinese as i imagined she might be but she did live there for a while and can boast that she speaks Mandarin fluently. she’s been teaching Mandarin lessons around town for a long time and at home, cooking lots of authentic Chinese food. the food part got out to friends and now, once a year in the months leading up to the Chinese new year, she teaches cooking classes. bring on year of the goat!
Continue reading

IMAG0534

lunch : pad thai

IMAG0553i can’t pinpoint when exactly my obsession for thai food began but over the last couple years, it’s reached an all-time level high of daily bonkers. as a married couple raising a kiddo and trying to keep everything in check, baby daddy and i are fairly frugal people. early on in our dating, we endorphined-out by spending hours together at the goodwill outlets (coined, “the bins”), digging for the cheapest treasures around (literally – 1 lb of goodies is under $2). it was probably our top choice of entertainment. now we’re just waiting for seb to be a couple years older so we can stuff him full of carbs and then drag him to Sellwood or Vancouver or Beaverton so we can sweat it out, searching for hidden gems from the 80’s and 90’s. (it’s a definite sickness. i even wrote an ode about it on trillaboos, a blog my bestie and i had for several years. oh, the good old days, for real! aside from hoarding too many worn-before clothes, we really don’t splurge on anything with regularity.

IMAG0554except eating out. specifically, lunch. but in my defense, Portland makes it really hard not to. with hundreds of crazy cheap and mouth-watering food carts peddling $5 meals from every corner of the globe (and usually prepared by natives of those countries, who, lucky us, decided Portland was a good place to live and cook) and just as many restaurants who compete with their lunch menu offerings, we probably grab lunch out at least half of the week. and to be honest, i’m, usually too tired after doing mommy and me things with seb all morning that the last thing i want to do is spend precious free me nap time in the kitchen. but as i bceome more and more of a mom home body who realizes those innocent $5 lunches add up, i’ve decided lately that i simply can’t continue the indulgence. and i really do want to cook more, especially, specifically, thai food. so, on a recent day as i returned home with pad se ew in hand from one of my favorite places in town, it was definitely a sign that this book showed up in the mail, ordered online the week before for $.99 (less than one lunch out), from an indie bookstore (i feel the need to say).


i can’t pinpoint when exactly my obsession for thai food began but over the last couple years, it’s reached an all-time level High of daily bonkers.


 

Continue reading

DSC_0395

Knitted Hudson Bay-inspired Crib Blanket

DSC_0393

While the rest of country seems to be covered in snow, Portland has been sunny and warm. Now don’t get me wrong… I love being able to go for walks without getting frost bite or else having to wear 15 layers of long underwear. But I can’t lie, I missed winter this year. As a Midwest girl, I need all four seasons. So I decided that I needed to get back into my ‘winter’ knitting, just to get those cozy feelings.
Continue reading