Further Destinations

Long Weekend in Portland

Eats and Drinks in PortlandVoodoo Doughnut / Salt & Straw / Stumptown Coffee / Screen Door

The best part of travelling is most definitely the food and it’s always the first thing I research when planning a trip.  With Portland known for their coffee, beer, and artisinal anything, I made sure to try as much as possible during my few days there.

Stumptown Cold Brew

Voodoo DoughnutAll the food and drinks were top notch (okay, maybe the doughnuts from Voodoo were overhyped), so I had to balance the overindulgence with some physical activity. Luckily Portland has its fair share of beautiful nature that distracted me from my ambitious food itinerary.

Mt. Hood, Portland

dewy spider web

A small detour on the way back down Mt. Hood led us to some surprise roadside farms selling fresh produce and pick-it-yourself lavender. Can you even stand it?

farmer's market blackberries

Lavender farm, Corbett, ORI’m already itching to get back.

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Into the Wild

Alaska

It’s been a whirlwind August, but it’s finally time to be still and enjoy this last bit of summer.  I spent the last couple weeks on back-to-back adventures in Alaska and Portland so staying at home is all I need right now.

What a wonderful and mysterious place Alaska is. I went with my parents and we spent time in Anchorage, Soldotna, Seward, and Homer – all beautiful. The long days, chilly summer weather, and hauntingly gorgeous scenery felt like such an escape from the normal day-to-day hustle.

AlaskaAntler decor is seriously everywhere in Alaska. It’s a hipster Americana interiors dream.

AlaskaThe glassy Alaskan water and the low-hanging clouds that snake around the mountains look beautiful and ominous, don’t you think?

Alaska

AlaskaA highlight of the trip was definitely fishing on the Kenai River with this guy, Jeff King.  I loved fishing for salmon, but the true experience was in the quiet conversations with Jeff while floating on the river. He talked about his life in Alaska and we couldn’t help but express wonder over the modesty and clarity of it. He has life and happiness figured out and he casually stated that it’s just about knowing when you’ve got it. It’s simple, but I can’t stop thinking about what he said. And for that, I’m thankful.

Mast Brothers Chocolate

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Last week I visited the Mast Brothers Chocolate store in Williamsburg for a tour and tasting. Like most others, I fell in love with this brand at first sight. The packaging is absolutely beautiful – they have a full time designer on staff who designs the paper and helps create the look and feel of the factory and store. What a dream job!

Behind the pretty packaging is delicious chocolate. The ingredients are simple, but the flavors are anything but. All you need is cacao and sugar to make chocolate, but the wonderful and complex flavors come from the beans. Everything from bean type, weather, and soil, to the roasting process define how the chocolate will taste. So when you taste notes of citrus, stone fruit, or slate, that all comes from the beans. Cool, huh?

After a little 101 on cacao beans, we got a behind the scenes look at how the chocolate is made. And each step of the way, we got to taste the chocolate.

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn

And here they are! All packaged up and ready to go. Did you know that all the Mast Brothers Chocolate you see in your local Whole Foods and specialty stores come from this very factory?

If you’re in New York, stop by the store for the tour or even just to browse. You can taste chocolate either way!

Weekend Inspiration

NYC
This is the first time I’ve been to New York as an adult and I’m now appreciating just how beautiful this city really is. Even with a pretty rocky start to this trip, I’ve felt lucky to be here. I’ll be calling this place my home for the next 2 weeks for work and play and I already don’t want it to end. If anyone has any suggestions for food, drinks, shopping, or any must sees, leave a comment below!

 

image via

A Southern California Winter

Pelicans at Laguna Beach, California

For the holidays, I spent 2 weeks at my parents’ house seeing family and old friends scattered across Orange County and LA.  After being away for months, everything came with a mixed sense of newness and familiarity.  It was a welcome break, but I’m so glad to be back in the bay.  These are some of my favorite snaps from the trip.

Laguna Beach, California

Flowers from Mom's garden

The cheese case at Joan's on Third, Los Angeles

Baguettes from Joan's on Third, Los Angeles

LACMA lights

Southern California Sunshine

Seaside

This weekend, Grace and I are headed down to Orange County for our dear friend Kelsey’s wedding.  Say what you will about the OC, but it’s a special place for me – it’s where I’m from, it’s where I went to college, and it’s where Grace and I started this blog.  Don’t get me wrong, I love living in San Francisco and I now consider it my home – but sometimes I miss the southern California beaches and sunshine.  There’s nothing quite like it.

I can’t wait to visit and hopefully I can sneak in a quick trip to the beach.  These images have me lusting for warm sun and sand, especially during this cold and gloomy day in SF.

Lounge on the beach

images via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4