random order

March 29, 2013
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It's almost-the-end-of-the-day on Friday and all I want is to be in Portland at this table, eating this pie.

only for today

March 26, 2013
My grandmother would have been 89 today.

I have a small envelope of some of her things. Miscellany, mostly. Notes, a pocket mirror, church brochures, a bobby pin. There's also a small stack of worn cuts of binder paper. You can tell they were held and read over and over-- she hand wrote about a dozen prayers and would read from these throughout the day.

I miss her. Her delicate cursive is so telling of who she was. They make me cry so I try not to look into this envelope too much.

But today, it's okay. Happy Birthday, Mama Hely. Mahal kita.


March 25, 2013
Happiest birthday to the guy who picks up and delivers a 100-person cake for my niece's baptism, re-watches episodes so I can catch up, travels at the same pace, adores donuts as much as I do, and says, "that goes without saying" when I ask if I look cute.

You are forever thoughtful and surprising and sweet. I'm glad you're mine.

scenes from portland

March 21, 2013
1. An overcast view
2. The cutest breakfast nook in our listing
3. My favorite Portland breakfast
4. A smoothie break
5. The world's best banana creme pie
6. Details in my host's apartment
7. Channeling my inner Leslie Knope
8. Purple ice cream is best, especially with friends
9. A crackling fire to celebrate our first night in town

pine state

March 18, 2013
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Outside of eating, we didn't have much planned for Portland. I won't overload this space with food photos (for now) but Pine State Biscuits was one of the places we loved, were fortunate to stay within walking distance of, and ate at two days in a row.

We may or may not have been sad without the biscuits for a third day once we were back home.

spring came early

March 14, 2013
One of my favorite things about Portland is that it's wild and overgrown. None of the green life seems to be tended but it continues to grow beautifully however recklessly. Aside from the camellias, I don't know what any of these flowers are. They look unreal-- straight Seussian if you ask me. But even so, they were bright, plentiful, and a colorful peek of the season to come.

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s'mores brownies

March 6, 2013
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I always fancied myself the family baker and then my cousin's boyfriend, Cory, made these. Good Lord.

S'mores Brownies
adapted from Cory

your favorite brownie recipe
graham crackers

Bake your brownies. Once a toothpick comes out clean, layer marshmallows on top. Continue to bake in the oven for a few minutes or until the top becomes a soft golden brown (like when you toast marshmallows for s'mores!). When the marshmallows are ready, press graham crackers on top and let cool. Bring to a family gathering to impress everyone.


March 4, 2013
In November, David and I went to Tiergartenquelle for our last night in Berlin. It was recommended by a friend as "very German" but with "American-sized portions" (which I still giggle at whenever I remember). For the record, he was right: the portions were enormous (and delicious).

Beyond portion sizes, I loved this place for its charm and warmth. It's located directly underneath the S-Bahn so while you're eating, you can hear and feel the train come and go overhead. I suppose this might be unnerving for some but I found it comforting. I can't explain it. That, along with communal seating, dim lights, and sitting across from one of my favorite people made for a lovely last evening.

I miss Europe.

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little miss raven

March 1, 2013
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Those cheeks! That hair! Gah, I love her so much.

I can't believe I'm a godmother!