Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cute Cutoffs

As I start to ponder what items to pack for my upcoming trip, I just keep imagining myself on the beach, walking through shops, wearing an awesome pair of cutoff shorts.  I haven't ever had a pair of my own.   I always see girls with the most amazing cutoffs but never have found a pair of jeans that would look that awesome cutoff.  I have scoured the racks of Goodwill and other thrift shops.  I recently peeked into my boyfriends old jeans for a candidate.  Mostly turned up some major 9 inch inseams and realized mens jeans are NOT for my body type - instant 90's mom jeans on a female.  Where do these cute cutoffs come from!?  Does anyone out there have any tips for me? 

Via 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portland Coffee Cake

I have a confession.  I am an addict.  I am totally, and utterly, addicted to Starbuck's Portland coffee cake.  I love it so much, I would eat it every morning if I could.  I even dream about it.  Recently a co-worker made a copycat recipe that turned out ah-mazing, so amazing that I decided I needed to do a little recon to find the recipe for myself.   I found a Starbucks Portland Coffee cake recipe here and decided to give it a go. 

Cake batter

Batter with topping, pre-baked

Just like Starbucks :)


1 c flour

1 c light brown sugar packed

1/2 c butter softened

1tsp cinnamon

1 cup butter softened

3/4 c light brown sugar packed

1/2 c sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 c milk

preheat oven 325°

Make topping by combining flour w/brown sugar, stick of butter and cinnamon in medium bowl. Mixture should have consistency of moist sand.

In large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, sugar w/mixer til smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and mix well
In a Separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt. Add dry mixture to moist ingredients, a little at a time. Add milk and mix well. Spoon batter into 9 x 13 pan, buttered and dusted with light coating of flour.

Sprinkle crumb topping over batter, be sure topping completely covers batter. Bake cake for 50 mins or until edges begin to turn light brown. 

My tips for this recipe after making it:

This recipe could be easily halved.  Also, you could use an 8 x 10, make the same amount of cake mixture and just us half the topping to cut out some calories.  Adjust baking time accordingly.

 I always stick a small oven proof bowl of water in the oven anytime I bake to be sure to keep my baked goods moist. 

Not sure after watching 2 whole sticks of butter go into this recipe that I can realistically excuse myself to have this more than once a week, or maybe even only as a treat.  Now I know why it is so good, and addicting.  TWO STICKS of butter.  Sigh.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ladies day out.


 Avocado with crab & Beets with pickled vegetables

 Cupcakes at Saint Cupcake

Toasted coconut & The Big Top (chocolate chip with buttercream) cupcakes

Sangha Room with foot baths
* stock image because I was too excited/relaxed to remember to take photos :)

Had a gorgeous Saturday with some wonderful lady friends.  We met for lunch, had dessert, and followed it up with several hours at the spa.  Here is the  long version of how it all went. :)

First we started with lunch at Andina, a popular peruvian restaurant.  I ordered sangria and the other girls got the ever popular and oh-so-delicious sacsayhuman (habanero pepper vodka shaken with pureed passion fruit and cane sugar,served up with a sugar rim and a cilantro leaf garnish).  Both drinks are SOOOOO good.  We ate a light lunch of tapas style plates and shared conversation with lots of laughs.  Mostly laughing at a guy who was visibly drunk trying to impress his date, over lunch, with his most recent Rosetta Stone lesson.  This guy was literally SCREAMING "GRACIAS, BONITA" and "DE NADA, NO POR FAVOR" - literally just screaming out spanish phrases completely out of context and to the total embarassment of his female companion.  Sometimes the public really does just bring out situations you have to just laugh at.  People are crazy!!

After lunch we headed over to Saint Cupcake for a pre-spa day treat.  They have the most delicious frosting and yummy cupcakes in large and small sizes.  I had the toasted coconut and the bigtop.  Both of which I could have eaten several of, debated about having more several times, forced ourselves to leave, and made sure to bring a few home for K who loves a good treat!

The center of the whole day was a spa day at the Dragontree spa.  All 3 of us got the spa package called the Element Infusion.  When we got there we were served the delicous herbal house tea, changed into robes and relaxed alongside a little waterfall on large fluffy couches.  We were then escorted into the Sangha Room, seated in elevated couches, and our necks were wrapped in hot packs.  Large copper bowls were wheeled under our feet, where we were scrubbed with salts on our feet and legs, and left to bathe our feet in a warm relaxing bath.  After this our heads were drizzled with warm oil and massaged.   Once we finished our Sangha room treatments, where we got to enjoy the spa treatments together, we all went away to private 90 minute massages.  After all of this pampering we were all very drowsy, kinda puffy, and ready for a nap.  

It was all in all a wonderful, calming, spirited day filled with lots of laughs and girl time.  It doesn't really get much better than this. 

Via 5

Friday, February 24, 2012

This week.

Celebrated a special little nephew's 3rd birthday.  Due to allergies and food restrictions my sister has managed to find a way to bake without all the usual/"normal" ingredients, no wheat, no dairy, no soy.  But she created these orange creamsicle cupcakes that were delicious and you would never know were missing a thing.

...and now I am on a cupcake kick.  Did you know these little gems existed?  Cupcakes with a donut on top.  These just shot to the top of the 'must eat' list.  I love crazy food.

Had a moment this week, while I am still deep into the skinny jeans, I still L-O-V-E a wide leg/flare trouser jean.  Especially with a stacked wedge heel.  Doesn't get any more casual chic than this.  

Been under the weather this week.  Had to leave the office early a few days.  I will spare the details but I have logged some serious hours on the couch and in bed recently.  I just feel so crumby I can't even enjoy it. I need to start feeling better STAT because my vacation starts in less than a week and I REFUSE to be ill on this vacation.  Boring I know, but that is what has filled this week, lot's of sleep and dreaming.  When I dream I have some of the most creative moments.  I am going to start keeping a notebook next to my bed, I gotta start writing this stuff down.   Now if only I could get this much sleep on a normal basis. 

Spring has sprung.  Spotted these pansies in an outdoor mall.  Don't they look like the talking flowers from Alice in Wonderland?   Little bread-and-butterflies kiss the tulips....

Snagged this VIB gift from Sephora while on a routine trip for BareMinerals and foundation.  Love to get a little bonus, especially NARS.  These make the perfect purse size additions to my 'to go' bag of make-up.

Have yourself a wonderful Friday and weekend. 

Via 2/ 3/ 4/ 56

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Urban clearance

Spring Displays @ Urban Outfitters

Time to head out to Urban Outfitters for a major sale - take an additional 30% off clearance merchandise.  HELLO!!  They are clearing out the winter fashions, home items, and jewelry.   As seen below, I picked up this awesome neon green belt with tortoise shell buckle for less that $7 and these long, luxurious peacock feather earrings for around $4.50.  I stopped in with some co-workers on lunch break so I didn't have too much time to dig through the racks but am very happy with my steals!!

While you are there be sure to peek at their new spring pieces.  Super cute stuff, lots of bright colors, and sheer pieces for layering.

Go swiftly and get some major deals ladies!!

Neon Green Belt - Originally $24 - Now on Sale $6.99

Long feather earrings - Originally $24 - On sale for $3.49

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Little bit country

Love the look of the rugged ladder with the Pendleton Wool Blanket hung - Lucky for my sister, she has this exact blanket.

The throw on the end of the bed is the perfect pop of rustic charm for this lovely room

Quite simply done

Pendleton Wool blankets are hung over the chair backs and sofa arm to make this country chic room cozy

Pendleton Wool covered dining room chairs - perfect contrast to the shabby table

A collector's display

A touch of Pendleton wool throughout

This is my blanket.  Isn't it gorgeous!!?

Something I am becoming more and more obsessed with lately is my Pendleton Wool blanket.  I love the way it looks against my french country decor.   Something else I love about this blanket, it represents home and comfort.  I was raised not far from Pendleton, Oregon and the woolen mill.  My mother makes a daily commute into Pendleton to work, and on a cold winter day early in my youth she made the decision to purchase a large woolen blanket from the Pendleton Mill for both my sister and I.   She gave these blankets to us with the terms that we keep warm with them but keep them forever and to always take very good care of them.   And we have.  Mine is cherished alongside two quilts made by women in my family many generations ago. 

As in true Oregonian style, these items are often a legacy passed down from generation to generation.  Most families have at least one of they blankets around the house.   Some homes I have seen decorated floor to ceiling in these rustic vibrant prints.   And while I don't fully stick with true Oregon and western flare for my home, I feel there is always room for a little bit of country in every room.  I proudly use and display my blankets and quilts to the envy of my close friends.  As seen in the above photos, even the most elegant rooms benefit from a Pendleton blanket in the midst of the decor.

For those of you still close to home, the mill does have sales and much more reasonable prices than retail stores.   Those of us in the Portland area, we have our very own Pendleton store in the Pearl District that has every imaginable good made from this special wool.   And for the ultimate score, always look for these blankets when thrifting.  This is an amazing way to find prints that are no longer in production, or the possiblity of finding an antique quilt which can be worth their weight in gold.

Via 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Soles

Look at this uber cute shoe selection for spring.  American Eagle online is now carrying some major footwear brands.  They are just creeping up out of the cracks on their website.   For example, I spotted on, Sam Edelman, Minnetonka, Birkenstock, DV by Dolce Vita, BC Footwear, Havaiana, Clarks, and the list goes on.   I don't know when this collaboration started, but AE is ramping it up with this majorly cute spring footwear.  It gets even better - yesterday everything was 25% off with free shipping AND buy one pair get one half off on sandals, flip flops, and wedges.  You can use your rewards and discount coupons to apply towards some pretty major shoe labels, which I love, love, love!!!  Time to stock up for spring ladies! 

Also...this goes for the PDX region...Minnetonka is popping up at TJ Maxx and Marshalls around town.  Same sandals as AE but half the price.  Score!

All images via

Monday, February 20, 2012

Flower Power

Reading through the March edition of Allure magazine I saw a feature where 6 different girls styled these H&M floral pants ($14.95!!).  Every single girl looked super cute and stylish, regardless of body type, just like all the ladies in the photos above.   Reading this article made me want to  immediately run out and snatch up a pair for myself...then I looked at the clock...FOILED, the mall was closed!!

I love these pants!! They are so bold and yet so versatile - work, out on the town, brunch, etc.  The key to wearing a pant like this successfully, or any other bold pattern, is to pair it with neutral pieces.   Although the styling in picture 1, floral on floral, is pulled off well in the photo, this is not everyday wear for the rest of us.  I can only imagine the taunting and 'what the hell' looks I would get in the office if I strutted in with a floral on floral get-up.  Also important, be sure to rock these with a heel or bootie...not a flip flop or a sneaker.

Now it is just a matter of time before I make these mine...H&M Washington Square, please, please, please have these in stock in my size tomorrow!!!

via 1/2/3/4/5/6

Friday, February 17, 2012

This week.

Our Valentine's Day cupcake.  Don't let your eyes fool you.  That is not a tiny plate...that is a HUGE cupcake.  It was delish.

Me at the age of 2.  I was always into roses.

Quite a few rainy days this week.  To be expected in Portland, Oregon.  Even though I grew up with the rain, sometimes it can really get to you.  Constant drizzle, dark grey skies, it is times like these that I really start to ponder moving south.

Let's talk NY Fashion Week.  Saw a lot of bright colors, as to be expected.  There was a lot of royal blue and a lot of orange...but what I loved was the blue and orange color combinations.  Super fun colors that compliment each other.  Definitely on the must try list for spring.

Did you know these existed?  Neither did I!  Special edition, limited release Oreos that REALLY taste like birthday cake.  These were released to celebrate the 100th birthday of Oreo's.  Did you also know that it takes less that 5 minutes to eat 6 of these, which also equals one whole row?  Whoops.  Don't judge!  :)

I have a hair appointment tomorrow.  Giving this gal one more shot (4th visit with her) to get me closer to my hair goal (see above).  I don't actually want it to be solid platinum, but I love this look.  After being dark for a few years it has been quite the process getting my hair closer to it's natural (dirty) blonde.  I have spent well over $600 at this point and am still far from where I want to be.  Let's hope that my honest and direct talk with this stylist gets me closer, otherwise it is back to the drawing board.

Have a happy Friday and a beautiful weekend!!

Via 3/4/5/6/7/8