Archive for 2013

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!


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?


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.





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!