I know what you’re thinking. Miller high life, Amber? Really? The combination seems questionable. I had my reservations when I first heard about it too. But then my friend, Lindsay, recommended it and I decided to give it a shot. If you saw her guide to Portland, you’d give this a try too.
This combo is gooood, my friends. Real good. It reminds me a lot of Stiegl Radler, a summer drink I look forward to all year long. But when you don’t have access to that refreshing german grapefruit beer, this is the next best thing. The champagne of beers and some grapefruit San Pellegrino. Easy, simple, and not at all lacking in deliciousness.
All these people keep waxing sentimental about how fabulously well I am doing as a mother, how competent I am, but I feel inside like when you’re first learning to put nail polish on your right hand with your left. You can do it, but it doesn’t look all that great around the cuticles.
- Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions
The two’s have lived up to their reputation around here—in Eleanor-land anyway. And I keep hearing the three’s are worse. Which, I can’t at all imagine. So I won’t and instead hope that Eleanor will, for the first time in her little life, be the exception to the rule. Because it’s brutal, folks. It has been brutal from the beginning but just in very different ways. Then, it was endless nursing, fussiness, and sleeplessness. Now, it is a whole lot of, I want what I want when I want it, big—often conflicting—emotions, and it is imperative that she does everything herself. Everything but using the potty—of course.
It is brutal, and I am not nearly as patient or as lovely of a person as I once fancied myself as.
It doesn’t look all that great around the cuticles.
But the thing that makes motherhood really nuts is that it’s simultaneously beautiful. Even when I’m not, and when a moment ago it was ugly and terrible. It can all turn beautiful in a second. In an attempt to be grateful and freeze some of that beauty, I wanted to write down a few things I love about two and a half year old Eleanor right now…
She says I love you. Not often at all, but when she does, voluntarily, in her sweet little voice, my heart feels like it’s going to burst out of my chest.
That I get to be present in the beautiful and not so beautiful moments she has. As hard as that can be on me and her, it is really such a gift to witness all of someone. To watch her grow and become who she is.
She is starting to say the most hilarious things. For example (this may be a little TMI, but it is too good not to share), I hadn’t shaved my armpits for a couple days and reached over her for something. She looked up and said, “Mama, you has a beard in your armpit.”
It is probably the cutest thing in the world to watch her play. She has imaginary friends and offers them snacks and tea all day long. I (an only child) think it’s out-of-this-world adorable and could watch her all day long. My husband (the second child) thinks she needs a sibling. He just doesn’t get it. Imaginary friends are awesome.
She sings. Oh man. Maybe this is actually the cutest thing. She sings everything. Everything must be a song. She even wants us to sing her the stories instead of reading them at bedtime.
My husband loves her shameless dancing. I love it too. She’s still not really self-conscious and it’s wonderful. It helps us forget ourselves too as we dance and be silly with her.
I can still hold her. She’s a whopping 33 pounds so I know the days are numbered. She doesn’t ask to be held nearly as much anymore either, which breaks my heart a little. Or maybe a lot. So when she does, I drop everything and soak it up—no matter what I’m doing.
Eleanor, you are a gem. You are sweeter than honey, and the most magnetic little creature. You’re stubborn like me (I suppose that’s karma), but you are focused like your Papa and I know you will channel and use it so well someday.
I love you in all your two year old glory. Even when I show it poorly.
Even when it doesn’t look all that great around the cuticles.
I went a little crazy with the nasturtium seeds this year and now they’re taking over my garden. I keep cutting them and they keep relentlessly growing back, climbing up and around everything! I had no idea they could be so aggressive. Thank goodness they are edible! The only thing is I have only had them and heard of them being eaten in salads. One can only have so many salads.
You can imagine my excitement when my friend, Anna, told me she has a friend who makes Nasturtium pesto! I was so intrigued and excited to find a recipe to use up some of my nasturtiums! I emailed Anna’s friend, Julz Nally, immediately for the recipe. After emailing her I learned Julz is not only a pesto guru but she is an illustrator as well. She is based here in Portland, Oregon and creates the cutest illustrations that she has for sale here. Her portfolio website is in the works and coming soon!
After learning about her talents in illustration and pesto making, I asked if I could share her recipe here on my blog. She kindly agreed and then went on to give me the darling illustration seen above to share as well! I love it so much and can’t wait to try this recipe!
Continue reading for further details and the step-by-step for Julz recipe…
For this week’s Portland Guide I bring you Marissa of the killer blog Portland’s Pretty. I’ve been following her blog since the beginning and I am a big, BIG fan. Marissa appreciates and loves the street style of Portland, takes photos of the best looks she finds around town, Portland’s fashion shows, etc., and posts about them all on Portland’s Pretty. As you can see, her own style is pretty bangin’ as well. Marissa is fearless and has amazing energy. I admire those things about her. It is no surprise her blog has grown and become as successful as it has.
Not only does she know the style scene in Portland, but she also knows the food scene. This guide to Portland is packed with incredible places to try from fancy, authentic pizzas to the tastiest, cheapest pizzas by the slice, some of Portland’s best vintage clothing spots, good thrifting, and all the dives…Because Marissa rules Portland’s dive bars….
This sangria is literally summer in a glass. You can switch the fruit to your liking, but whatever you do make sure it’s fresh. Since it’s August I used a lot of nectarines and blackberries, fruits that are in season right now. The fruit really shines in this cocktail and after it has soaked in the wine and St. Germain (because St. Germain makes everything better) for a solid amount of time it tastes exactly as summer should: glorious!
This darling little book, The Odd One Out, by Britta Teckentrup is one of Eleanor’s favorite books right now. It’s a beautiful search-and-find spotting book with the sweetest rhyming text. On each page they tell you about a group of animals and then ask you to find the odd one out – the bird who has caught the worm, the flamingo perched on just one leg, the turtle hiding his head. Eleanor loves it so much. Sometimes I’ll catch her looking through it all by herself – totally captivated. It makes my mama heart full to see her enjoying a book so much.
Eleanor pointing out the bird who caught the worm.
I swear these guys at Big Picture Press can’t make a bad book! Their MAPS book looks incredible too. I think I will get that for Eleanor soon. They just came out with a new MAPS activity book that looks amazing as well. When Eleanor gets a little older it would be so good to have around on a road trip or flight for entertainment and education.
What books are your littles loving right now? We love discovering new books to add to our library!
One of my favorite things about summer is dining outdoors. Every evening during the summer (as long as the Pacific Northwest rain stays away) we pack up and move outside. There is something really magical about meals spent in the backyard, park, or even the tinniest balcony.
Making homemade pizza is a favorite of mine but since the summer months are all about being outside and not inside with a 500 degree oven going we have been cooking our pizzas on the grill!
You can obviously use whatever toppings you like but below is a recipe for one of our favorite kinds to make. Plus, some simple instructions and tips for cooking a pizza on the grill.
I actually met Julie’s mom before I met her. Her mom is probably one of the sweetest, loveliest people I’ve ever met. When I met Julie, it was no surprise to find that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. She’s the kind of person you wished your paths’ crossed with more.
As well as being lovely, Julie is the owner of Studio Olivine, a custom letterpress print studio located here in Portland, Oregon. Julie makes the most beautiful paper goods. She prints a variety of media from business cards and wedding invitations, to coasters, custom orders, and beyond—she does a little bit of everything. She loves collaborations and experimental projects with other artists and unique projects.I feel like any time I visit a hip, beautiful place in Portland I’m going to see her work there, whether it be the coaster I set my cocktail on or the charming little business cards at the register as I’m about to make my purchase. I’m always so impressed and inspired by Julie’s creativity and the quality of her work.
Needless to say, I was floored when she agreed to be a part of this series and share some of her favorite spots around Portland. Not surprisingly, her value of quality and beauty translate over to her taste in food, style, and everything else….
For the longest time I feel like dresses and skirts weren’t considered an option once you became a mom. At least not an everyday option. Pants seemed most practical and comfortable for the life of a mother. But, with the come back of the maxi’s, midi’s, and abundance of comfortable cuts and styles, I think women are realizing how perfect skirts actually are—especially as a mom…
I don’t know about you, but I love Bloody Marys. These days, people are getting really creative with their recipes, including ingredients like clam juice, pickled vegetables, hot sauces, and bacon. Yum, yum, and more yum. I think my favorite way is however they do it at Broder Nord. One of the best brunch spots in Portland. The genius behind this bloody mary does some kind of herbal infused magic. I wish I knew his secrets.
There is something so satisfying about the salty, spicy tomato juice that I just love and crave. I have looked at so many recipes and below is little bits and pieces of all of them. Heavy on all the things I prefer: the lemon juice, olive juice and hot sauce. It’s a pretty classic Bloody Mary, but I think what makes it stand out is…