Friday, April 29, 2011

Friend Friday: Fitness and Fashion

I love reading the responses to the FBFF topics and so I'm joining the cool kids today. This is the perfect week to join in as fitness is a subject that I am very passionate about.

1.  Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why?
I try to. However, without fail, every winter I fall off the exercise bandwagon and for several months work out once, maybe twice a week. For the rest of the year I try to do something active at least 4 times a week. Besides my years at University of Oregon, I've never belonged to a gym so my workouts are typically a couple mile jog one day, yoga the next and 30 Day Shred the next. Every Spring I find myself drawn back to Bikram yoga (90 minutes in a 100+ degree room) and just last week I bought a groupon for 20 Bikram classes, so that will be my fitness routine for the next couple months.
I work out for many reasons: 1. I have always struggled with body image and staying active helps 2. A doctor once "prescribed" running to help with anxiety 3. Fitness is the closest thing to the fountain of youth. 4. I feel 10x happier and healthier post-workout.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that
nature, helped with your own perception of body image?
When I am dedicated to running or Bikram yoga and workout hard several times a week I don't lose weight; however, my whole perception of my body and my self drastically improves. One would think that this would encourage me to always be so active, but the mind is an interesting thing and as so many of us know, staying motivated is usually the biggest challenge.
workin' it with my best friend
3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what
do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion?
Functionality, without a doubt. I like to be comfortable and not worried about skin jiggling about and making me self conscious. During the winter runs my outfit is laughably horrible, I remember walking out and telling my boyfriend, "take a long look, this is all yours" and him laughing hysterically.
A more mild outfit at Yosemite
4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be
doing for your own physical fitness?
I do. I think in general there is endless pressure on women to stay healthy (typically meaning thin). Unfortunately, many are focused on working out to lose weight and while a healthy weight is a great goal to work towards, in a perfect world, girls and women wouldn't face social pressures to be thin from a very young age and instead encouraged to be active and healthy for their body. There is such a strange message to women that says, "love who you are! be healthy!" but also, "thin is beauty! fat is ugly!".

5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal.
Before I turn 30 it is my absolute goal to run a half marathon. I have wanted to do this for years and always seem to hit a block halfway through the training. If there's any Portlanders who like to jog (slowly), let me know, I'd love training buddies!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Romper Room

Yesterday was the day of me. I have been feeling slightly exhausted and overworked and so I took the day to recuperate. I found this romper at H&M this weekend and quickly realized it was one of the most comfortable things to wear. I can't wait to wear this up the river and on the beach. It's so easy to dress it up in so many ways.

I really had a fantastic day. I cleaned the apartment in preparation for my mom's visit this weekend, ordered my 5 frames from Warby Parker (one of the raddest companies, check 'em out!), walked to the library and spent my lunch at a cafe reading solo. I love friends and family, but I cherish my alone time so much. I need a day every now and then when I can do what ever I feel like and read all day uninterrupted if I so desire.
Romper-H&M $14.95
Belt-Ross $4.99
Cardigan-H&M -$10ish?
Tights-NY&Co. $5.99
Flats-Target $12.99
This outfit was perfect for my lighthearted day. Comfy, fun and added a little spark to my typical weekday work appropriate clothes. I am feeling so much better and ready to face the rest of this week!

Currently listening (and dancing) to:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30x30-Apply To Graduate School

I have a list of thirty things I would like to accomplish by the time I'm thirty (only 2+ years, yikes!) and this winter I was able to mark another off my list.
I have always been a bit of a self proclaimed nerd. One that typically prefers a night in with a good book over a party and always knew that more education was in my future after I completed my Bachelor's. I started a graduate degree in International Studies in New York but dropped it quickly as it wasn't the type of program I saw a future in. I knew I wanted to find something right for me and this January I realized the application deadlines were fast approaching. I spent several weeks requesting letters, writing statements and ordering transcripts. Finally, I finished. I ended the arduous process with a quick click of the submit button and began the wait.
Well, the wait is over. Last tuesday I sat in my car on my lunch break for a phone interview and two days later I received the email. I was at work and hesitant to open it; however, I have no impulse control and clicked on it and saw the only word necessary: Congratulations!
I got accepted! I'm beyond excited. Now I just have to decided: New York or Portland.
I didn't have a camera handy to capture my reaction, but I imagine it looked a little something like this:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


When I wasn't strolling the streets on saturday I was enjoying the tiny shared "backyard" in my apartment building. It's basically a smoke spot, but hopefully with rising temperatures the plants will take on some beauty.
It was lovely outside, but being the cold blooded person I am, it just wasn't warm enough for my bare legs. However, this being the first sandal day of the season was a day of celebration for my toes.
As you walk through Portland you will notice purple everywhere. The trees seem to be bursting with beautiful purple blossoms. As someone who loves purple, this has only increased my need to drape myself in the color. I was so comfortable in this outfit and the hat kept the sun out of my eyes nicely. My boyfriend calls this dress my "maternity" top, but I still think he secretly likes it.
Dress-H&M, gift from my sister $0
Jeggings-H&M $14.95
Sandals-Report (Ross) $12.95
Hat-TJ Maxx $7.99
How about you, are you drawn to a specific color this Spring?

Monday, April 25, 2011

I hope everyone had a lovely Passover, Easter or just all around good (agnostic) weekend like myself!
On Saturday, it was beautiful in Portland. The first day of the year that was truly warm. We've had a few sunny days but this was the first I didn't need a jacket. So exciting.
I spent hours walking the streets of Portland. It was the first time since moving here that I really got to explore the city my favorite way possible: by foot. After seeing off the boy on another bike trip I headed towards the waterfront passing by the beautiful Synagogue and hoards of people squinting as though they had been in a cave all winter.
I strolled through the Pearl District, by far one of my favorite neighborhoods in Portland. I passed Chinatown and the Japanese gardens, finally making it to the waterfront and my first Saturday Market experience. This place was popping! Crowds of people, amazing style and fantastic street musicians and performers.
After an hour at the Market I stopped by H&M to pick up a romper and finally headed back to the apartment. It was so amazing to get some sun on my skin and explore Portland. Sadly, today I woke up to rain and clouds, here's hoping the sun becomes more reliable!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I dig that tribal look

This past weekend my boyfriend and I did a 24 hour "crack head" trip to Seattle to hang out in our old stomping grounds. As a result of this spontaneity, we pulled into Portland around 1am last night. I was up a few hours later for a 9 hour workday and yada yada yada I have been throwing on whatever is around me. This morning I had no time to shower (TMI?) which translates into side braid and hat. Luckily, I ended up liking the look.
Scarf-Gift from my sister
Jacket-Nicole Miller
Hat-Crocheted by yours truly
Crazy eyes-C/O exhaustion
I just got back from an amazing run through my neighborhood. Birds chirping. Trees blooming. Hipsters roaming free. Spring is so close I can smell it. I am so madly in love with the sun and I've missed it so.
In the meantime, have you seen (quite possibly the most hysterical show ever made) Portlandia? It might be old news, but it never loses its appeal to me.
As a born and bred Oregonian, this show brings to life everything I've ever mocked, laughed and griped about this crazy state. I love this state, but some of the characters here? Man do they take themselves seriously. Watch and learn:

This is funny to me because it's real. So so so painfully real. Oregon, I love you.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cherry Bomb

Spring is in the air. Kinda. Last night and this morning Portland had freezing temperatures and yet, I just came back from a lunch break filled with reading and basking in the (warm) sunlight. We are having some crazy weather here and with that comes some crazy allergies courtesy of the beautiful blossoming trees.  
The streets are alive with puffy pink blossoms, the air musky and thick with pollen. It's beautiful and I will gladly take some sniffles if it means warming weather and much needed sunlight. With rain around the corner, I took full advantage of the day and draped myself and purples. Purple has quickly become one of my favorite colors to wear, I am continuously drawn to everything in this hue.
Every year in the pacific northwest I get to a breaking point where I begin to obsess about the weather. I am plagued by SAD and come March and April the dark days get me down. With the arrival of spring comes hope, awakening and a feeling of led weights being lifted from my shoulders. I live for bright sunny days and hope more are around the corner!
When I went out this morning to an appointment I swapped flats for these boots and added some tights, but just that little pop of color made my day. Now the weekend is upon us, any big plans?

Monday, April 4, 2011

sing for your supper

For several years now I've been hearing about the famous New York Times No-Knead bread recipe. I wanted to try it but always wanted same day results and forgot that it was a 20 hour process. Finally, I tried it and I can't say enough good things about this recipe!
It is shockingly easy. Absolutely no kneading. The only thing is the time, so plan a day ahead.
All you need to do is mix together 3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp INSTANT yeast, 1 1/4 salt. To that add 1 5/8 cup water (I used warm water because I feared killing the yeast but the recipe doesn't mention it). Mix the ingredients a few times till it's all blended. Cover with saran wrap and place someplace moderately warm for 12-18 hours.

After the wait, heavily flour a service and fold the dough over once or twice. I've found the dough to be really sticky and therefore sprinkled a light handful of flour over the dough. Cover with saran wrap for 15 minutes.
Next. Heavily dust a towel or cloth with flour or cornmeal (I prefer the cornmeal for its crunch) and lightly mold dough into a ball. Place on cloth, sprinkle with flour and cover with another cloth for about two hours.
After an hour and half place your cast iron in the oven and heat oven to 450 for half an hour. Place dough in heated cast iron, cover with another cast iron and place in middle wrack for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and cook for additional 15-20 minutes. Done.
It sounds like a lot of steps, but it is the easiest. Not only is it easy and delicious bread but it has the fancy artisan look that will impress everyone around you ;) Next I'm going to experiment with mix-ins. I'm thinking cinnamon and raisins first.
I wanted to have some soup last night with the bread and decided to try the African Sweet Potato Stew recipe posted on the lovely JenLovesKev. The soup was not my favorite, but good. My boyfriend really liked it and I have a feeling it will taste even better today for lunch. 
How's every one's Monday? Mine is rainy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

so that the waves can complete themselves in the sky*

 a final (picture heavy) recap of my trip down the coast to my hometown a week or so ago.  
 visit to the dock
 fresh off the boat dungeness crab
born of the sea
I wake up to utter darkness with no sound but the steady pounding rain outside my window.  I'm home.Port Orford is a step back in time, a much needed break from the fast paced rest of the country.  The quiet used to wake me. Startled out of sleep, without the comforting roar of Harlem outside my window I'd wonder what was wrong.Now, the darkness unencumbered by street lights, the sound of rain, the wild turkeys and bucks wandering carelessly in the yard.  These things are comforting, a reminder of my past.Oregon.I'm home. 
fresh crab for dinner 
With my Dad

my dad, the radical with his homemade sign. seriously, he's awesome.
Annie girl
Battle Rock beach
Not a bad place 
fiesta moustache party
*Pablo Neruda, I love you.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A certain boy rolled into Portland late last night after a week on the road and not only did he bring himself but also my camera! I took these pictures on a cloudy day on the Oregon coast about two weeks ago on my mom's property.
When I'm in my hometown I'm either barefoot or wearing these boots. I'm always hiking and wandering through the woods so durable shoes are a must. When I was in Ray's Market an old timer came up real close to me and exclaimed, "You got a horse?", "excuse me?" I say. He gestured at my boots and repeated again; unfortunately, I had to break the news to him that I was merely a faux cowgirl who likes the style.
 It's always refreshing to visit my hometown. There are only 1,000 people and it's completely isolated on the western tip of Oregon. A cliche as it sounds, life really runs at a different pace. I lived there for 18 years and knew just about everyone. Now when I go home, I don't know everyone but everyone seems to know me. Makes me feel like a local celebrity!
 Dress-Urban Outfitters