Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Last Time...

the last time...

This photo is so ordinary and grainy and dark and ugly but it's one of my favorite photos in the world now. I was just cleaning out my phone and came across it and looking at it feels like both a punch in the gut and like I'm cloud nine. I remember quickly taking it as I put him to bed the night before I left for New York, knowing it would be the last time I nursed him.

I cried a little bit and stroked his hair but mostly just smiled.. a lot. And he looked up at me like what?? I mean, I had done this every single day since the day he was born...I couldn't stop without (quite) a few tears. It's funny because I didn't really intend on nursing him past the year mark but when he turned one I/we just weren't ready. He would be about 18 months when I left for my trip and we decided that was probably the best way to go about it, clean break. He did fine and I did fine. And he's still the cuddliest little man on the planet so all is well in the world.

I know I'll have and nurse more babies (like 1,000 more if I could) but excuse me while I cry for awhile about my baby not being a baby any more. (and lets REALLY not talk about how he'll be turning 2 in a few months). Being a mama is so emotionally exhausting, am I right????

Monday, August 10, 2015

Portland Favorites - NW Portland

Portland Favorites with Public Bikes
I'm so excited to be sharing all of my favorite places in Portland to eat/drink/shop/etc over the next couple weeks/months. People that are planning trips or just moved here ask me alllll the time where they should go so it's about time I put it together. It'll also be nice for when I'm being indecisive about where we should go on a date (happens every time).

I'll be splitting it up by the quadrants to make it easy! First up is NW Portland since that's where we live and spend most of our time. It's a beautiful area for going on long walks or riding bikes, has some of the nicest parks in Portland, gorgeous neighborhoods ($$$$) and of course amazing food every five steps.

I'm not going to detail each place since I would probably say "THIS IS THE BEST PLACE EVER" about all of them. So just know, these are best places ever.

Kung Pow (best chinese food in the world)
Nuvrei (sandwiches, pastries)
Little big burger
Los Gorditos
Stepping stone cafe

Salt & Straw (which I've mentioned here before)
Blue Star Donuts
Nuvrei Macaron Bar
Ken's artisan bakery

Tea chai te (get the black milk tea with boba)
Coffeehouse NW

Childs play toy store
Powells Bookstore
New seasons market
West elm

Wallace park (Beck's favorite park)
Jamison square fountains
Hiking/walking up in forest park
I also enjoy casual strolls through the pearl district and on NW 23rd

Portland Favorites with Public Bikes
Portland Favorites with Public Bikes
Wallace Park
Portland Favorites with Public Bikes
(My bike is a V7i from PUBLIC bikes)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Portland Favorites with PUBLIC Bikes - The showroom grand opening

Portland Favorites with Public Bikes

Hey Portland friends! Did you know PUBLIC bikes opened up a cute pop-up shop for a bit in NW Portland? I have been wanting this to happen foreeeever and when I finally got an email about it I freaked a little bit. If you've been wanting to hop on one of their bikes and try it out, the time has come!

Portland Favorites with Public Bikes
Tomorrow is the grand opening party with food and beer, bike giveaway and other fun shenanigans. I'll be hanging out there for awhile and I hope some of you can make it too! And Salt & Straw is next door if you want to round out the day with the best ice cream ever. You can find all the details on the facebook page here. (11am-3pm, 828 NW 23rd ave)

Portland Favorites with Public Bikes

p.s. I'll be sharing some favorite places to ride, eat, drink and shop in each quadrant of Portland over the next couple months. My first post will be covering NW Portland (since thats where we live!) and it'll be up on Monday! Finalllllly! Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

5 Favorite Reads

scary close

So after spending virtually all of last year not picking up a single book I was craving to jump back into reading. I didn't realize how much I had missed it and how lifegiving it was to take time every night to read. I have averaged a book a week most of the year so far (with a few lags here and there) and my to-read list grows almost daily... so many good books out there and not enough time!

I love reading book recommendation lists so I figured I should post mine. I'll preface this by pointing out that I'm obviously into best-seller books... I mean, they are best-sellers for a reason right? So if you're looking for some cool indie books, this ain't that! That said, these were all books I read in just a couple days because I just couldn't put them down. Lots of late nights and trying to squeeze in pages while cooking dinner happened reading these.

Here we go!

top 5 books

1. Unbroken
I just heard in passing that this was a good read and decided to give it a shot. So much more than just a good read... it was captivating and SO unbelievable (in the best way). It's a true story of a WWII veteran and his whole story from childhood and beyond is incredible and inspiring. Plus its always good to read about history. (They butchered the movie by the way, just read the book!)

2. Gone Girl
This is a really fun one. Her writing style is phenomenal and sucks you in immediately. It's a dark, twisty, insane quick read. I can't even say much without having spoilers sooo just read it! The movie is great too, but like usual the book is better.

3. The Husband's Secret
This is written in multiple first person narrative and it takes some time to get familiar with all the characters but it all comes together perfectly and about a quarter of the way through I was so invested I couldn't bear to stop reading. The story unfolds at the perfect pace and the payoff is far and away better than I was imagining. Also, the title and cover makes it seem like a weird romance novel but it totally isn't. I think I finished this 500 page book in 3 days... that might be a record for me.

4. The Girl On The Train
Another multiple first person narrative and this is the definition of a page turner. I know this has been on the top sellers list pretty much since it came out and it initially didn't sound that interesting to me but once I started I couldn't stop (there's a theme here..) and if I had to pick an absolute favorite from the year this one might take the cake. It moved me to tears, it was suspenseful and it was riveting through and through.

5. Yes Please 
A book written by Amy Poehler, thats all it takes to convince me it's a great read. But seriously, this was super funny and really interesting to read about her childhood, her early comedy years, her years at SNL and all that. I even cried. She's perfect.

Honorable mention: Scary Close by Donald Miller
I feel weird that I didn't include this just in the main list because I read this one twice already this year and feel like I'll read it over and over forever but when I was making the list I was only thinking about novels/memoirs and this is more of an inspirational book. But I need to still include it!
Anyway, this is the first donald miller book I've read so I can't say I've been a fan forever but this book alone makes me his biggest fan. He speaks so open and honestly about dropping your "act" and being yourself no matter what the cost. In a world where we're so caught up in impressing people and virtually presenting an entirely different version of ourselves, this book was like a breath of fresh air. He talks candidly about the risk involved in impressing less people in order to connect deeply with a few people and the freedom that comes along with that. I wish I could force everyone in this generation to read it.

Any must-read books you've read recently I should add to my reading line-up for the rest of the year?