I’m so excited to finally be introducing you to another talented and inspiring entrepreneurial mother. My goal for this series has been to feature one mother per month. My apologies for not being able to make that happen in August. Summer schedules are hard, turns out. But, I have quite the line up for the next few months, promise!
This month I bring you, Anna Joyce. Anna is a maker of beautiful handmade and hand-printed textiles that are truly a labor of love. Anna believes in quality craftsmanship and it shows in every brush stroke, stamp, stitch, and seam. Anna started her business, Anna Joyce, in 2009, using a sewing machine she was given as a wedding gift. Vintage fabrics, shapes in nature, color, and pattern inspire each collection.
I have admired Anna’s work for years now. I love all of the color and fun patterns she creates. Whenever I visit her web shop I feel an immediate lift in my spirits perusing all her gorgeous, color-soaked patterns. I want it all!
Anna was so kind to invite us into her—not surprisingly—incredible, colorful, art-filled home. It is the stuff artist fantasies are made of. She even let us take a peek into her new home studio space her husband helped set up for her not too long ago.
It was such a gift to be there with them, in the intimacy of their home, and a real privilege to meet and get to know Anna and her two wonderfully spirited daughters. I hope it is for you too!
I recently had a request for cocktail recommendations from a reader who’s a bit “gun shy” when it comes to liquor. I’m so glad she asked because I have a feeling she’s not the only one! Liquor is a commitment financially, and we’ve all had that one bad experience, way-back-when, and have never dared to revisit that particular spirit since…
This new, short-series will hopefully remedy that. It will feature five of the main, commonly used liquors in different cocktails that are tasty and easy to make and drink; perfect for beginners.
I thought we would start with my favorite liquor: bourbon. It’s also unfortunately the liquor many shy away from. But, just like with anything, if you get a quality bourbon and mix it well you will be drinking it neat in no time…
It was the Old Fashioned that originally got me into bourbon. You can find the recipe I like here. But I think the Mint Julep might be even more toned down, and easy to drink. The mint and simple syrup subdue the strong bourbon flavor and you can easily control the sweetness by adding less or more simple syrup. It’s the perfect cocktail to ease someone into bourbon. Plus, it’s such a great, refreshing drink for the end of summer.
After I posted this style post, I got a few requests for breast-feeding friendly jumpsuit options. Here are five options I thought were super chic, look incredibly comfortable, and make it easy to pull out the boob and feed your baby. Continue reading for the links…
I recently had the privilege of being featured on one of my favorite lifestyle blogs, Say Yes. I was a part of the fun and inspiring series, Secrets of Stylish Moms. A series that proves you don’t have to live in sweatpants and lose your sense of style once you become a mom.
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!