Archive for January 2013

M & D Visit Los Angeles

Mom and Dad Ward joined me for a weekend in Los Angeles a few months back.

It was one of those gloriously flawless weekends that remind you how awesome life is and why you should appreciate everything around you.

getty

We spent Saturday afternoon at the Getty, looking at fine impressionist paintings, strolling through gardens, and enjoying the (clear!) views of LA.

mom and me

dad

Dad found particular interest in the imported stone materials used to build the museum itself…Geology majors never quit!

md bw

It was a beautiful day to spend outside, catching up and sharing stories.

mbpost

Our evening was spent dining at the Manhattan Beach Post, a post office turned social house, with long wooden tables and a modern earthy vibe. Dinner started out with bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with maple butter, and was followed by several small, family-style dishes that were unique and delicious. MB Post cocktails do not disappoint either, mine consisted of Chopin, grapefruit, basil, raspberry, and pink peppercorns. Definitely check this place out if you’re in the LA area!

cyla_0050

Los Feliz welcomed us for breakfast on Sunday, followed by a short visit to the Griffith Observatory. Though 48 hours isn’t enough time to really experience LA, I was happy to show the rents a few of the places I’ve come to love the most, and I can’t wait for the next visitors that come my way!

L

Sound Advice

paul

“Husbands and wives should have separate interests, cultivate different sets of friends and not impose on the other. You can’t spend a lifetime breathing down each other’s necks. We are very, very different people and yet somehow we fed off those varied differences and instead of separating us, it has made the whole bond a lot stronger.” - Paul Newman

This is one of my favorite quotes from a gem of man (and my all-time favorite actor). He and  Ms. Woodward certainly seemed to have something special.

M

Do you cook for each other?

There’s nothing better than bringing people together through food. And while I enjoy throwing dinner parties and sharing my favorite recipes with my favorite people, sometimes it’s pretty damn awesome to be on the receiving end of a wonderful home-cooked meal in an intimate setting.

photoLast year, Josh and I decided we’d like to spend more time exploring new cooking techniques and recipes…and came up with a (brilliant?) plan. Each week we’d cook one meal for each other. The catch? We had to explore foreign land and create something we had never attempted before.

We’ve carried this plan into the new year, and I must say it’s pretty rad. Each week I get to improve my skills in the kitchen and look forward to having someone cook a delicious meal for me. What’s not to love?

M

(photo: hasselback potatoes with spinach cashew pesto, and seared pork chops au poivre)

This Season’s Style: Ankle Boots and Booties

Let’s talk about boots, baby! Boots are one of my favorite wardrobe elements. I love their versatility, and the way the perfect pair can tie outfits together to create a unique style. Here are some of this season’s loveliest pairs:

Pictures

1. Classic leather ankle boots made in the USA by the Vintage Shoe Company.

2. These Italian-made leather and suede booties are of the latest additions to the Madewell boot collection.

3. The Zipcode Boot. Meg and I each have a pair of these ankle boots, and couldn’t be more pleased with them. Wear them with tights and skirts, dresses, or skinny jeans…or for a more laid-back look, a slouchy pair of denim. In addition to black and brown leather, these boots also come in four shades of soft suede.

4. Camp boots, hand-crafted in Maine. For sale right now at Creatures of Comfort, one of my favorite online clothing shops.

5. The Greyci Bootie by shoe style-icon Aaron Osborn. Osborn shoes are hand-made and use textiles and patterns from South America. Check out the Greyci, as well as many other colorful booties, oxfords, and flats here.

What are your favorite boot styles?

L

The Klettersack

I’ve been admiring TOPO Designs for more than a year. Their bags are made of Cordura and lined with coated pack cloth to protect gear against adverse weather conditions (bonus: they are handmade in Colorado). I recently received their classic Klettersack as a gift, and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s the perfect size for toting school books, office necessities or everything you need for a long day hike. Heavy duty Cordura paired with buttery leather – it’s a modern take on a classic design. I’ll be using the Klettersack for years to come.

Topo BagIt looks like they’re currently sold out of the Navy/Leather color combination, but check out these other awesome options (and these sweet tees)!

M

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Nevada City Today I’m leaving rain-soaked Eugene for five days and heading down to Nevada City, California for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival (and the gorgeous High Sierras). Five films my organization co-produced will be featured at the festival, along with dozens of other amazing works (like this!). I’m stoked to hang with talented individuals, do a little hiking and see what the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festival is all about.

Look for photos next week!

M

(photo from Liz Rusby)

the best caramel sauce & a few winter treats

If you’ve been searching for the world’s best caramel sauce, look no further. Meg introduced this recipe to the family last year around the holidays, and this year I made some for all of my close Portland friends (…and myself). Who knew sugar, butter, and cream could produce such a heavenly substance!

caramel 1

 This rich, buttery sauce makes the perfect topping for ice cream, warm apple pie, or a large spoon.

caramel 2

Here’s the recipe (courtesy of Deb at the Smitten Kitchen).

A few more Winter favorites are Douglas Fir Spring Tips tea, and Joy the Baker’s Orange Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting, which go hand in hand and are best accompanied by a good book and a fireplace.

caramel 3

Relish the charm of the Winter season, Spring will be here before we know it!

L

MCMC Fragrances

Anne McClain is doing it right. The creator of the Brooklyn based MCMC Fragrances is inspired by personal stories and memories, uses natural ingredients for every fragrance and ensures all MCMC products “come to life in a way that feels natural, fun and elegant to the wearer.” Anne is also pleasantly wonderful when it comes to corresponding via email about special requests and inquiries.

Lauren and I each have a favorite MCMC fragrance. I love Hunter, which was inspired by an old friend of Anne’s who played guitar and taught her to love the natural world. It has notes of tobacco, vanilla and fir, and is perfect for winter days in the Northwest. Lauren prefers Noble, the fragrance that started it all. It’s both floral and woody and can be worn 365 days a year.

The best part about her fragrances is that they are all subtly rich, and never overbearing. And for all of the bearded men out there, MCMC has something for you too. Meet Dude No. 1, a beard oil inspired by her husband. It’s 100% natural and with cedarwood, coriander and peppercorn it’s both woody and spicy.

What are your favorite fragrances?

M

Here’s to Healthy, Happy 2013

I rang in 2013 with a few of my closest friends and one of my favorite places in Oregon. Any post-New Years Eve drowsiness couldn’t keep us away from a beautiful day of hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.

hike01

hike03

hike06

hike04

Neighborhood blocks lined with naked Christmas trees remind us that the holiday season has come to a close, and by now most of us are back in the swing of things…work is once again in full force, as is the hussle and bussle of our daily lives. But, before we sail through another year, I think it’s important to take these first few days to reflect and reenergize ourselves. I’m not really big on resolutions, but I do see the importance of being mindful of accountability and growth, so I have made a few goals for myself in 2013. My biggest goal is to stay happy and healthy, and DO what makes me happy and healthy (because, as I have learned recently, it’s never about what you say, it’s always about what you do).

2013 is bound to be full of new opportunities and exciting adventures. Here’s to an amazing year filled with great friends, delicious food, and lots of laughter. May this be the best one yet!

L