Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Dress for a Fall Adventure

dressing for fall
green hunter wellies
how to dress for a fall adventure
Happy Halloween, friends! Did you dress up today? My team at work is dressing up as the Addams Family, and I'll be Morticia. It's probably the least nerdy costume I've had in years which makes me a little sad, but I wanted to share in the team spirit. I hope we win the group costume contest! (We're even singing and dancing, haha). After Halloween, it always feels like a mad dash to the end of the year, doesn't it? It would be lovely to squeeze in more brisk, rosy-cheeked adventures this fall—even if it's doing something simple, like visiting a working farm or finding the best cup of apple cider. Just make sure to wear something warm and cozy. I like to wear a big grandpa sweater, my oldest jeans, simple jewelry, and tall boots. :)

{I'm wearing an Abacus Row necklace, a cardigan from H&M, Seven jeans, and Hunter wellies.}

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Maui Vacation Pictures

maui surf
POG served on the plane
Last Thursday, Alan and I hopped on a plane and flew to Maui for a 4-day vacation. The only thing we had pre-planned was that we wouldn't do any work so we could focus on just hanging out. It worked out perfectly! Here's how we spent our leisurely days... 

Monday, October 29, 2012

We're Back!

life's a beach
Happy Monday! We just got from our Maui adventure. Stepping off the plane into the cold grey morning was a little bit of a shock to our systems (I was wearing a sleeveless dress and Alan was wearing shorts, ha!), but I feel relaxed and rejuvenated. I have to go wash the ocean out of my hair now since we took a red-eye flight after swimming and beaching all day, but I'll be back with more pictures soon.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Work-Week Wear

what to wear to work

What do you normally wear to work? Sometimes I'll get stuck in a rut and wear the same thing over and over. I tried to mix it up this week and wore a sparkly top for a rainy Monday, thick grey tights for a chilly Tuesday, and my favorite kelly green sweater for a meeting-filled Wednesday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ike's Sandwiches on The Alameda

ike's sandwiches on the alameda
Last week, we noticed something super exciting across the street from us: a new restaurant! Alan and I are forever lamenting the absence of good places to eat within walking distance of our apartment, so this was big news. Neither of us could remember what had been there before, but it's now Ike's sandwiches. I don't usually get very excited about sandwiches, but I'd heard so many good things about their fun ingredient combinations and sauces. Bonus: Their sandwiches have funny names like the Stupid Eggplant, and they have a huge non-boring vegetarian menu. 

I ordered a vegan chicken and pesto sandwich; Alan tried the meatball. They were so good! The bread was fresh and hearty, and all the different flavors worked so well together. We ended up going there again the next day and tried two more sandwiches. Just for fun, I'm going to try a new vegetarian sandwich each time until I've tried them all. Next up: vegan meatball! 

ike's lair on the alameda
{just a hop, skip, and jump away}

ike's sandwiches
{corner sandwich shop}

ike's lair decor
{vintage lunchbox decor}

ike's the damon bruce
{The Damon Bruce: tri-tip and beer-battered onion rings}

ike's the andrew luck
{The Andrew Luck: chicken, bacon, avocado and provolone}

{free lollipops with every order}

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We're Off to Maui!

maui cliff jumping
Tomorrow, Alan and I are headed to Hawaii! I've never been, so I'm doubly excited to visit the beaches, eat some Spam, and relax. So far, the only planning we've done is to visit a dive shop to buy snorkel gear (something else I've never done!) and to decide that we won't be doing any work while we're there, ha! I've gotten tons of recommendations, but as two non-planners, we need as many as we can get. Know of any good hiking spots? You can follow along on our adventure on Facebook if you'd like :) I've scheduled some posts here on the blog for the next few days, too, if you're in need of some blog-reading breaks from work. See ya back here on Monday!

(photos by Rick Poon via his iPhone! so many more gorgeous ones here.)

DIY: Golden Pumpkins

gold painted pumpkins
Since painting pumpkins last year was so much fun (and so much easier than carving!), I decided to do it again this year. I got three mini white pumpkins from the pumpkin patch because they were too cute to resist. Then for the fun part, I used this gold paint marker—my new favorite craft tool!—to draw decorations on two of them. And for the third one, I sprayed glue onto the stem and sprinkled gold glitter on top for a shiny, metallic pumpkin trio. Did you decorate pumpkins this year? 

gold glitter stem
gold scalloped edge
gold-stemmed pumpkin
white and gold-painted pumpkins

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Peter Pan Collared

fall boots and sweaters
j. crew peter pan collar sweater
I think the last time I wore a peter pan collar was some time in elementary school. There's something really sweet and quirky about them. Back then, I'd wear them on my dresses, but seeing them pop up on sweaters this season is just as cute. This sweater in particular, with its bracelet-length sleeves, has me sold. 

{I'm wearing a J. Crew peter pan collar sweater, AG polka dot jeans, Frye boots, and a purse and bracelets from Anthropologie.}  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weeklies 10/15-10/21

hunter wellies
{fave fisherman boots—thanks, Sophie and Jordan!}

Did you have a good weekend? We went on a hike, tried a new neighborhood restaurant, and finally watched Moonrise Kingdom (I love this redesigned movie poster by Ioana Urma). It's one of the cutest movies I've seen in a long time. The weather also started cooling down, and I was super excited to break out my wellies for leaf-crunching walks.

gold and tinsel ribbon
{Nathalie and I spent a good hour in Michael's looking at ribbon. (Yes, we are unabashedly at the height of excitement in our lives). I couldn't resist this tinsel one for Christmas this year!}

raindrop ring
{golden raindrop rings from my friend Jennifer}

garrett's caramel and cheddar cheese popcorn
{Garrett's famed cheddar cheese and caramel popcorn—a funky, but definitely addictive combination}

Friday, October 19, 2012

Adventures in Juicing

raspberry orange juice
hurom slow juicer review
Do you have a juicer? I've wanted one ever since I saw Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. A lot of my friends have started juicing recently, too, which made me want one even more. So, the other week, I finally got one! I got the Hurom Slow Juicer—which my friend Roy also has and really likes—and was super excited to start using it (think about all those micronutrients!). It's really easy to use and clean; I've been juicing almost every day. My standard juice so far consists of a ton of kale and spinach, half an orange, and half an apple. And on the weekends, I'll make freshly-squeezed orange juice which, for some reason, feels really decadent and awesome.

(Juice in top picture: raspberry orange; juice in bottom picture: kale, spinach, apple & orange)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nerdy Design T-Shirt

the social dept. design nerd t-shirt
Ha! I love it. I'll never forget the first time a designer explained the difference between serif and sans serif fonts to me. In very technical terms, serifs are fonts that have little dangly-bobs on the ends of the letters, while sans serifs don't. :)

(t-shirt by The Social Dept.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cake

Spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese swirl
pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese topping
pumpkin spice cake
The weather lately has been weird. It's even supposed to hit in the high 80s tomorrow! Since the weather isn't exactly putting me in a cozy, sweater-wearing mood, I decided some baking might do the trick. And what better ingredient to induce autumn comfort than pumpkin?

This pumpkin spice cake was really moist, light, and not too sweet. I wasn't in the mood for frosting, so I opted instead for a cream cheese swirl top which was really good. The next time I make this, though, I think I will make a cream cheese frosting because the cake's texture is so nice and fluffy. This also made our whole apartment smell wonderful, which is reason enough for me to bake this again :)


Spiced Pumpkin Swirl Cake
As adapted from Not So Humble Pie (original recipe by Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking) and The Food Network

yields 2 8" or 9" cake rounds

3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg (I didn't use freshly ground nutmeg, although I'm sure this cake would taste that much better with it)
1 cup golden brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups canned pumpkin puree (I used one 15 oz can)
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil


Cream cheese swirl:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare two 8" or 9" round cake pans with a light coating of non-stick spray and then line the bottoms with parchment.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Once sifted, give it a good mixing with a whisk to ensure everything is evenly distributed and then set aside.

In a second large bowl, add the brown sugar and a third of the pumpkin puree. Combine the two with a spatula, pressing firmly to ensure there are no rogue lumps of sugar.  Once lump free, add the remaining pumpkin and oil. Blend with a whisk and then add the eggs, one at a time, stirring with the whisk to incorporate after each addition.

Add the dry ingredients a third at a time, blending after each addition.

Divide the batter between your two pans, reserving 1/2 cup of batter.

For the cream cheese swirl, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the cake batter in the pans. Dollop the remaining cake batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.

Place pans into the oven on a lower-middle rack.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.

Let the cakes stand in the pans on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then unmold onto the racks and turn right-side up to cool completely.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pretty Wallets

kimchi blue lasercut wallet
How pretty are these wallets? My friend Lauren had the blue one sitting out on her desk last week, and I immediately wanted to run back to my computer to buy one for myself. They would make great Christmas gifts (for you early shoppers out there) or a nice present for one of those just-because-you're-awesome-and-you-deserve-it-treat-yo-self kinda days.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weeklies: 10/8-10/14

glass skull vase
{Halloween decor: a requisite skull for our coffee table}

I've been having a hard time getting in the Halloween spirit this year. I don't even have any costume ideas yet! But then this week, I overdosed on candy, visited a pumpkin patch, and did some fall baking. We also went over to Nathalie's to watch The Walking Dead premier last night, and now I'm happy to say I'm starting to feel a little more Halloween-ready.

j. crew peter pan collar sweater
{happy shopping find: this J. Crew peter pan collar sweater scored on major sale}

snail mail!
{writing notes to faraway friends just because}

French nut and lemon meringue tarts
bavarian cream tart
{the reason why I've implemented a no-candy challenge (which just started last Friday)—these French nut, lemon meringue, and Bavarian cream tarts from my friend Roy—dangerously good}

Friday, October 12, 2012

Corn Mazes

fazio farms corn maze
sauvie island corn maze
Have you ever been to a corn maze? Sophie told me about these huge ones on Sauvie Island right outside of Portland, and ever since then I've wanted to go. All the pumpkin patches near me just have those inflatable bounce houses (for kids only—lame). Wouldn't it be fun/eerie getting lost in one?

(Top photo by Fazio Farms, second photo by 30 Years In, third photo by flickr user grrlTravels, bottom photo by Burton Girls)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Crazy Cafegoers

looking on

When I was living in L.A., I used to do a lot of work at a cafe near my apartment. It was connected to a laundromat which I always found amazingly convenient, and it had cozy tables and artwork by local artists for sale on the walls. Along one side of the cafe was a row of outward-facing computers that people could use to browse the Internet. I liked to sit next to them at the tables in the back where I could hunker down and concentrate peep at what people were looking at. Mostly, people used them to check their email or chat with friends, but one time a woman (who looked just like anyone else in the room) sat down and started looking at...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Philosophy's Purity Face Wash

philosophy purity face wash review
Today's second beauty tip is a product recommendation for a really good face wash. When my old face wash was discontinued, Sophie recommended I try Philosophy's Purity gel cleanser, and now I don't even miss my old one. It does a good job of removing makeup and oil so that your skin feels soft, refreshed and squeaky clean. And it's not overly drying which is good for sensitive skin types. Washing my face late at night when I'm sleepy and tired is the last thing I want to do, so anything that makes it feel like less of a chore makes me happy :)
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