A Moment of Gratitude

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I’m having a real moment today. I had the same moment yesterday as well as the day before and I have a sneaking suspicion that it will return tomorrow. I’m having a string of these moments of intense gratitude. I’m feeling insanely grateful for my life and I thought in the spirit of Thanksgiving (Hallo-whatttt?! Give me turkey), I’d write about it.

I’m grateful to own my own business and for the fact that complete strangers want to pay me to do what I love. I’m sorry, but what kind of dream world am I living in? I’ve wanted to be a business owner since my early days of barbies and dress-up. As a kid, I subscribed to magazines like Real Simple, and Martha Stewart Living. Instead of watching Saturday morning cartoons, I flipped the channel to watch Martha in all her glory (pre-prison, ya’ll!) I’ve always had a box/drawer/closet/room stuffed to the brim with craft supplies from various hobbies I’ve picked up (knitting, painting, drawing, sewing, scrapbooking, fashion design, making miniatures, doll-making, paper-mache, calligraphy, jewelry-making, beading, weaving, baking, and so many more). I’m grateful to my parents for funding all that shit and allowing me to create with my hands rather than rot behind a TV screen.

I’m also grateful to my parents for pushing me and never allowing me to settle for being average. I’m grateful to them for believing in me even when I do things that are nontraditional like going to art school to get a marketing degree or quitting a stable job to be a florist with almost no floral experience under my belt. Even when they give me sideways glances I know they believe in me and will do anything in their power to help me succeed.

I’m grateful to the internet for existing and allowing me a platform to spread my ideas to people I might not have otherwise reached. My years of blogging have taught me how to connect with strangers through this new format and it has also opened up my eyes to a world of creatives bringing incredible ideas to the table every single day. The inspiration is overwhelming and also insanely motivational.

I’m grateful for my youth and my lifestyle. I love living in a girly apartment in the middle of a city surrounded by insanely kind and talented friends. I love the late night laughs, spontaneous beers, crafty nights, Gilmore Girls Netflix binges, stories about awful blind dates, and shared meals with these people. I’m so grateful for the ability to wake up every day and choose how I spend my time. I’m in love with this life I live. My heart is so full of gratitude and love for everyone and everything. I love that I am a woman and I have the options to dress how I please, say whatever comes to mind, work and support myself, go to school, and be autonomous. I know this is not an option for ladies in certain parts of the world and I do not take this opportunity lightly.

Recently these feelings of gratitude have had my heart so full I’m pretty sure I’m going to burst. And I know this is just the beginning of a long road. So, to those who believed in me, thank you. And to those who did not believe in me, I want to thank you too. You are the fuel to my fire and are just as responsible for these incredible days as anyone else in my life. I have some exciting projects in the works and I can’t wait to share my life and dreams with you as it all unfolds.

xoxo

So apparently I’m a feminist

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There’s this big resurgence of the word “feminist” going around. I have to somewhat shamefully admit that I was really opposed to this term until very recently (and I still cringe a little when I say it). But the older I get, the more I realize what feminism truly is and it’s an idea I can really fucking stand behind.

The past four months I have been working full time for myself. I am building a company and, much to my very pleasant surprise, I’m finding that this is something at which I can truly excel. When you’re in the trenches of starting a new business it’s basically the only thing you think about/want to do/want to talk about. I’ve had to actively force myself to calm down on the shop talk in other aspects of my life because I think my friends are getting sick of it. No matter how much success and happiness I’ve created in my business, I still get one comment that just fucking floors me. Every. Single. Time.

“Don’t focus so much on your business that you forget to find yourself a nice guy”.

I’m sorry but whaaaaa…..?

If I was a young man building an empire, I am confident no one would be concerned about my marital status. BUT because I’m a lady, everyone feels it necessary to remind me of my place in life; which, apparently, is in the kitchen with some homemade buns in the oven and perhaps a bun in my own oven… I find it deplorable that I am constantly reminded that being single is something to be ashamed of when my male counterparts are encouraged to first chase their dreams and once they’ve done so, then they can find a pretty trophy wife to lean on their arm and bask in the glow of how great they are.

So, to bring this bad boy full circle, I want to extend a challenge to all my free-thinking, feminist ladies out there. Chase your dreams, girls. Don’t let society tell you that your dreams can wait until you’re in better shape / you’ve found a man / you’ve finished school / you’ve worked X number of years for someone else / etc. etc. Do your damn thing and once you’ve built your empire, hit the streets and find a trophy husband to hold your hand so you can bask in the glow of how great YOU are. OR, better yet, find a man who has been out chasing his own dreams. Find the Jay to your Bey. Ladies? We flawless.

What I ate on my PNW Vacation… (Part 3: Portland)

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Ah, the third and final part of my food journey through the Pacific Northwest.

PORTLAND

Pok Pok

We started Portland on a high note with Pok Pok. This meal was amazing. They have such a beautifully constructed menu and we had a difficult time deciding what to order. Ultimately, we went with an order of the wings and the Kaeng Heng Leh. I don’t like anything from the sea but I actually enjoyed the wings (they’re made with fish sauce) and I died over my Kaeng Heng Leh (pork belly served in this incredible curry sauce).

Salt & Straw

OH MY GOD THIS ICE CREAM IS NOT REAL LIFE! I first heard about Salt & Straw on Unique Sweets a few years ago. The bone marrow ice cream immediately landed on my to-eat list and it was at the top of my list of places to hit in Portland on this trip. We visited the first night and sampled the bone marrow & bourbon smoked cherries, tomato water with olive oil, green fennel & maple, carrot & watermelon, and honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper. I ended up choosing the tomato water with olive oil and it completely lived up to the hype that I’ve heard for the past few years. We went twice.

Screen Door

We waited 100 years to eat here but I think it was worth it. We ordered the garden grits (cheddar grits with seasonal veggies) and added andouille to it and we ordered the heirloom tomato eggs benedict. The amount of food was insaneeeee. We could have ordered one dish and still had some leftovers. The best part of the meal was the potatoes served with the eggs benny!

Rogue Brewery

Flight of beer + tater tots? YES! My favorite was the Marionberry Bragget.

Voodoo Doughnuts

This totally lived up to the hype! Another Portland mainstay. We got the classic maple bacon doughnut, ordered an ol’ dirty bastard (oreos and peanut butter), a french cruller, and one topped with Cap’n Crunch! Amazing!

Lardo

This was the last meal of our Portland adventure! It was suggested by a friend of mine with awesome taste so I’m thrilled we were able to check it out. I ordered the Pho’rench Dip (roast beef, hoisin, sambal mayo, bean sprouts, and pho beef broth) and the PBLT (pork belly, arugula, tomato, and a dreamy aioli). This was so delicious. I highly recommend!

What I ate on my PNW vacation… (Part 2; Seattle)

When I vacation, my main goal is to try as many amazing restaurants as possible. Last week I posted about the food I had while in Tacoma and today we’re talking about Seattle. This is good stuff, ya’ll! (If you missed my Tacoma post, you can check it out right here, and you can read about Portland tomorrow)

Seattle-EatsWhat I ate on my PNW vacation… (Part 2; Seattle)

SEATTLE

Piroshki Piroshki

Delicious, delicious, delicious. I have never had a piroskhi so I’m going to assume you haven’t either. It’s a sweet or savory hand pie made with the most insanely flaky crust and a variety of fillings. I tried the beef and cheese (good) and the mushroom, chicken, and rice (mind-blowing). Eat it on a curb while people watching at the Pike Place Fish Market.

Il Corvo

This is the best meal I’ve eaten in my entire life. I didn’t even know food could taste this good. Every day the menu changes and features 3-4 scratch made pastas with the most incredibly well-executed sauces. We ordered two of the three choices on the menu for the day and it was so good that even when I got hungry I didn’t want to eat again because I knew that no food would be as good as these dishes. For only $9 a bowl I feel like I practically stole this meal and I cannot believe how upset I am that this place exists so far away from my home. Go there immediately.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Not really a full restaurant but that’s okay. The team at RGB create an array of seasonal, fresh brewed ginger beers that are unlike any soda I’ve ever had. They aren’t too sweet and feature flavors such as white peach and hibiscus. It was an excellent refresher for a hot afternoon and I can’t even imagine how delicious it would be with some booze in it (Gin…I’m lookin’ at you!)

Seattle

You aren’t tired of hearing about my PNW vacation yet, right? Awesome. Here are my favorite snaps from my days in Seattle. I got to spend time with my sweet friend from college and her baby girl, eat a piroshki, blow through the fish market, visit the gum wall, eat some incredible pasta, and look out on the gorgeous water views. I’ll have a Seattle food post up later this week but for now, a few photos from my visit!

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