Beginners Guide to Liquor 04: The Daiquiri

The Daiquiri

The Daiquiri is the first rum drink everyone should learn how to make. And I’m not talking about finding the best way to open those ready-t0-drink Daiquiri bottles. I’m talking about a Daiquiri the way it was meant to be, using three simple ingredients: rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. Incredibly simple to make and drink, making it perfect for beginners. There are a million different variations of the Daiquiri and ways it has evolved. From a trip through the blender, an extra fruit or herb, etc. But, this is the original Daiquiri and the base you need to make any variation…

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Best Nursing Bra Ever & The Runner Up

Best Nursing Bras

I’m starting a new column dedicated to researching and finding the best mama, baby, and kid products out there currently, along with the runner’s up. A consumer reports for mothers, if you will. Only it (hopefully) won’t put you to sleep.

I thought I’d start with the best nursing bra to date. Go big or go home, right?

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Beginners Guide to Liquor 03: The Paloma

Paloma cocktail

 

Turns out the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico’s most beloved cocktail. Though I love me some margarita, I think the Paloma  cocktail is incredibly delicious, and would be a perfect introduction to tequila. The various tart juices, teensy bit of sugar, and some club soda make this cocktail so easy to drink.

It’s obviously perfect for summer enjoyment with how light and refreshing it is. However, my favorite time to drink it is in the winter! Citrus is in season during the winter months so the grapefruit and lime juice are perfection. Plus, who doesn’t love a good daydream about laying on the Mexico beaches in January?

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Coconut Oil: The One Hit Wonder

Coconut Oil Beauty

The other night when I was rubbing coconut oil on my face, my nightly ritual that I swear by, I discovered another magical thing coconut oil can do…

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Style 05: Date Night

Style 04

Style 04

Whenever I have time to peruse the internets for myself, I always end up staring at a beautiful white top of one kind or another. I even go so far as to put it in my cart and get ready to checkout. Then I remember: I’m a mom. Consequently, I own the white blouse I’m wearing in these photographs and maybe one other, and those tops are reserved for date nights. Date nights far, far away from sticky toddler fingers…

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A Local’s Guide to Portland: Megan Hart

Shop Summerland Megan Hart

I actually haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Megan yet. Thankfully we are remedying that soon. I am an admirer of her gorgeous shop, Summerland, and I learned more about her through other Portland artists and entrepreneurs, then stumbled upon her lovely Instagram feed, etc…The common, new way I’m meeting people these days. Take one look at Megan’s shop and it’s clear she has amazing taste and an eye for quality, and her guide to Portland is no exception.

Megan lives in the quaint, up-and-coming St. John’s neighborhood which made me even more excited, as we haven’t had the pleasure of having a local north Portlander do a Portland guide yet. Megan lets us in on all the gems in St. Johns, as well as other sweet spots in other parts of the city. Enjoy!

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My Other Half: Paul and Emily

P's and Q'sPs and QsI’ve decided to start another new series called My Other Half. This series will feature a different couple every month, complete with some fun facts about each person, the story of how they met, where they like to frequent for date nights in Portland, what they do for a living, and a few questions more specific to the couple. And, of course, beautiful photography by my ever-generous friend, Alyssa Elliot, who humors me and all my crazy ideas.

This idea was born from my other series Heart & Craft, a series that features entrepreneurial mothers and how they balance their craft/business with motherhood. When I started meeting and hearing about other amazing people, doing amazing things, but who just weren’t mothers, I had to figure out a way to interview them too. Paul and Emily were some of those people. It was their relationship that gave me the idea to try introducing you to more incredible artists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc., through the angle of relationships. Who doesn’t like to hear a good love story?

Exactly.

So first up for this series I bring you Emily Anderson and Paul Davis, the owners of P’s and Q’s Market

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Beginner’s Guide To Liquor 02: St. Germain Gin and Tonic

St. Germain Gin and Tonic

Last week I launched this new beginner’s guide to liquor with my favorite spirit, bourbon. This week I bring you my second favorite spirit, gin. Gin gets its flavor predominantly from juniper berries. I crave it during the summer months so before summer is officially over (sob) I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to drink gin. This cocktail also happens to be super drinkable, making it perfect for those of you new to gin. Gin and tonic, commonly referred to as G and T, is a well-loved cocktail. But this recipe takes the G and T to a whole other level. This recipe has you add St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur to the mix which I think makes it even more approachable and easy to drink. It sweetens it a bit so if you don’t prefer sweet you can omit the St. Germain or you can start with just half an ounce and add as you like.

I realize I posted this cocktail awhile back but it fit too well for this series not to share again! Keep reading for the details of how to make this tasty drink…

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4 years

Wedding Day

Wedding Day

My husband and I are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary tomorrow! Though, we haven’t been married long we sure have crammed a lot into these four years. Traveled a bit, job changes, became parents, bought our first house. There have been a lot of highs and definitely plenty of lows. In fact, my highest of highs and lowest of lows have been within these four years. Needless to say, we have learned quickly that no lasting marriage is made easily. I thought I’d share four of  the most significant things I’ve learned in these four intense, beautiful years.

1.  It’s never fifty-fifty.  It’s always more like seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. And you have to let that go and let it be and enjoy your thirty percent when you get it.

2.  Try something new together—regularly. This is something my husband and I have more recently discovered. We’ve been good about scheduling date nights often, especially since Eleanor was born, but it’s still so easy to get stuck in ruts. Going out to dinner for every date night and watching way too many episodes of Breaking Bad and, more recently, True Detective. There’s nothing wrong with going out to dinner, we love trying new restaurants around our incredible food-rich city. But there is something a little more thrilling about doing something completely new together—like karaoke (Alanis Morissette and Prince. Yeah, that happened) or playing a game instead of watching a movie or show, taking a dance class together, playing pool together, taking a day trip somewhere, staying the night away, even just locally (we’ll be doing that for the first time without Eleanor to celebrate our anniversary in a couple weeks!). It’s a really amazing way to keep injecting novelty into our relationship. It keeps things from getting too stale.

3.  Let there be spaces in your togetherness. This has proven to be so important for our marriage. For me, as an introvert, only child, and mom, having time alone is imperative to my sanity. It recharges me in a deep way and I come back able to be a better partner and mom. My husband, though not an extrovert, is not as introverted as I am, but still needs his space. Even if it’s just going on a hike or grabbing a beer with a buddy, going for a run, or getting a cocktail or a cup of tea alone (one of my favorite things to do). We both enjoy spending time apart and then love coming back together refreshed and excited to see one another.

4.  Being in love is an awesome thing, but it is not necessarily the best thing. As I mentioned above, it didn’t take us long to learn that no lasting marriage is made easily. There have been times when I’ve been so angry, hurt, depressed, tired, burnt-out, sick of the chores and mundane, that the choice to love or not has been so present and real. It’s in those moments that I’ve seen the reality of what marriage is. It has nothing to do with the feeling of being in love—as wonderful as that is. I know this is all old news. I thought I knew all this before I got married. For me, it was easy to talk about love not really being a feeling and say I believed it and knew it in pre-marital counseling. But it wasn’t until we were both going on 3 hrs of sleep due to a fussy baby, facing financial sacrifices and stresses, dealing with a disagreement that had no compromise, and getting lost in the endless dishes and laundry, that I really knew what it meant. That I really realized I couldn’t rely on a feeling to last and I couldn’t make that feeling the basis of a whole life.

Wedding Day

Wedding Day

What have you all of you learned about relationships over the years? I would love to hear all your sage-wisdom! And, D, thank you for being the best companion. You’re love and support are ceaseless and I couldn’t be more grateful to do this crazy marriage thing with you. xx

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A Giveaway! A Midsummer’s Feast Cookbook – Now Closed

A Midsummer's Feast by Rosemarried

A Midsummer's Feast by Lindsay Strannigan

So excited to be posting my very first giveaway! And this one is a good one you guys! Lindsay, creator of the amazing well-loved food blog Rosemarried, wrote a cookbook!! Her cookbook, A Midsummer’s Feast, was just recently released (congrats again, Lindsay!) and because I’m so excited about it I wanted to celebrate and share it with all of you too!

I love Lindsay’s motto “slow food for a fast life.” Everything she makes she strives to make simple and attainable but also seasonal and whole and not compromising quality. I also love Lindsay’s passion for encouraging community through the medium of food and her belief that “cooking is a means to an end; a way of bringing people together.” This mini-cookbook reflects both of these passions so well. It is a beautiful collection of summer-inspired recipes, all perfect for a summer gathering.

Jenni Kupelian, a talented local photographer and graphic designer, is the magic behind all the gorgeous photographs and design work in the cookbook. I love her use of natural light in her photographs so much. It is really stunning and so inspiring. Big congrats to you too, Jenni!

A Midsummer's Feast by Lindsay Strannigan

To enter to win A Midsummer’s Feast:

Simply comment below with your favorite summer meal and share this post including the hashtag #midsummersfeast. I will choose the lucky winner next Wednesday, September 10th. All entries must be submitted by next Tuesday, September 9th, by 11pm PST. Good luck and thank you for playing and spreading the love! 

Just to give you even more incentive, in addition to the giveaway, Lindsay and Jenni were so generous and let me share a recipe and some pictures from the cookbook here with you as well! A beautiful, tasty sparkling rosé sangria that summer would not be complete without.

Rose Sangria A Midsummer's Feast

Photo by Jenni Kupelian

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