sulu-design on serious sale!

Who: 11 Portland boutiques all in one place
What: A huge end-of-season sale
When: Saturday, March 1 from 10-5 & Sunday, March 2 from 11-5
Where: The Cleaners at The Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark Street, Downtown Portland
Why: Score serious deals!!!

Stop by the Tumbleweed Boutique booth to find previous seasons' sulu-design earrings that retailed for $28 marked down to $10 - $18 a pair!  I'll be there... hope to see you.


Beach at Fort Stevens


Fort Stevens

The second day of Barry's birthday weekend at the coast took us to Fort Stevens State Park.  We explored the old battery there which, with all of the moss, rust and water stains that have taken over, looked like it was covered in abstract paintings.


Thinking Back This Cold, Wet Weekend

To last weekend, which was colder and wetter.  And perfectly so.  But before I fill you in on the details of last weekend,  a quick bit about this weekend.  The rain toady encouraged us to do something we haven't done much of at all this winter.  We laid low at home.  We stayed in most of the day today, fussing with the apartment, finishing up a couple books, and enjoying a weather-appropriate meal - carbonnade of beef with prunes.  So, so good - all of it.

Last weekend, we took off for the Oregon Coast to celebrate Barry's birthday.  We started with a picnic at Ecola State Park under the cover of a heavy wool army blanket - it was freezing and windy, but not yet wet.  We then headed up to our destination, Astoria, where we stayed at a favorite hotel, the Commodore.  We came prepared with a few DVDs and, after walking around the town for a bit, we hunkered down and watched a couple movies as the rain began to fall.  We had dramatic views of the rain pitching sideways under the streetlight outside our window.  Eventually, we bundled up and headed out for dinner at Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro (another of our favorites) and then out for a beer at Fort George Brewery.  We ran back to the hotel in the pouring rain and fell asleep to wind and water thrashing against the windows.  It was awesome.  More from the coast to follow...


Happy Valentine's Day

And, more importantly, happy birthday, Barry!

Those little hearts up there?
Leftover dough from this recipe.
One of many treats in the Big Bear Birthday line-up.
Hope you have a sweet day.


Eat. Eat some more.

Barry and I have been going out to eat a lot in the recent weeks.  A lot for us comes out to about three times a week, often all on our work weekend of Sunday/Monday.  For us eating out usually means a pastry and coffee or snacks and drinks, but once in a while it means whole meal.  This recent bout of going out to eat is actually a bit of a resolution of mine.  Portland is full of great restaurants, bars, and cafes, and new ones are always popping up.  I love to try new places.  It's so satisfying to find spots that do things (food, service, decor, music, etc.) to our liking.  I enjoy searching out and supporting such places, so I've decided to be more intentional than ever about trying new-to-us places and adding the ones we like to our regular rotation.  Also, most of you who know me know that I'm not a big consumer of stuff.  I've come to realize that I prefer to spend money experiences, like having meals out and traveling, rather than on tangible things.  So let the eating begin!

A few spots that we've tried in the past month or so (other than the ones I've already mentioned here):

At Grassa we enjoyed two hearty bowls of tasty pasta: Italian Ramen for Barry (he was feeling the pork belly and egg), Sunday Pork Ragu for me (I had a taste for rigatoni).  We sat at the bar and had fun watching the pasta being made by hand.  We liked the music selection a lot.  And we enjoyed an easy, thoroughly comforting meal.  It's one of many restaurants in Portland that's doing the "order at the counter and take a seat" thing, which I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of.  But for lunch downtown or a casual dinner on a cold night, I'd definitely go back.

Smallwares/Barwares has been around for a while now, but it's taken us some time to finally try it out (thank you, resolution).  I know it's silly, but I get worried at places that serve small plates that I'm going to leave hungry.  I have to remind myself that I can always order more.  (Side note: I get the same worry every time I eat a burrito.  A burrito!)  Anyhow, Barry and I split several small plates and each was interesting and delicious.  There were ingredients that we were familiar with used in ways that were new to us.  And there were several things that we'd never heard of on the menu that were exciting to try.  And happily after four plates we were stuffed.

Ataula is a newish tapas spot close to home.  We shared three fantastic dishes and a bottle of wine that was a great recommendation from the waiter.  The place had a fun, lively buzz to it the night we were there.  There's no question we'll be back.

We've also found the happy hour at Tasty & Alder to be right up our alley ($2 mugs of dark beer from Munich and a radicchio with lardons, manchego, chopped six minute egg hit the spot).  And the few pastries we've tried at Roman Candle were perfection.

I'll be back with more in a bit.  Thanks to friends' recommendations and this blog, our list of restaurants to try grows longer all the time.


Working at Home on Snowy Days



Portland was hit with an unusual amount of snow this weekend.  Since we're a city that's not prepared for that sort of thing (the roads are crazy scary), lots of places around town have been shut down, including the shop where I work.  And a multi-boutique sale at which I was going to work (and at which I was going to offer previous seasons' sulu-design earrings at sale prices) was cancelled.  Since I've found myself at home with extra time on my hands, I thought I'd offer some of those marked-down earrings in the sulu-design etsy shop.  All of the earrings above retailed for $28 at boutiques here in Portland.  They're on sale now in my etsy shop - most for $16 a pair.  As a reminder, I am now charging a little shipping fee on purchases from my etsy shop, but it's a small flat rate regardless of how many items you order.  Sounds like a good time to pick up a few pairs to me.




While strolling around our neighborhood this weekend, Barry and I stopped into a new little luncheonette that I've been excited to try - Maurice.  It's a cute, cute, cute little spot.  We weren't hungry enough for a full meal, so we ordered a couple sweet treats to share.  The carrot and seed tea cake was ridiculously good (the stick of butter on top - yep, that's butter down there - didn't hurt), and the lemon souffle pudding cake was tart and sweet and creamy and pure goodness.  My one criticism is that we felt a little too doted upon, but that won't keep us from going back again.  And again.  Next time, savory.



New sulu-design at Tender Loving Empire

Those sulu-design earrings up there?  Not new.  But a few of those not new earrings are now hanging out with a totally new collection of sulu-design earrings and necklaces at Tender Loving Empire.  Love that shop.


Angel's Rest

 I've had a lot on my mind recently.  Last weekend the skies were gorgeously clear and sunny, so I decided to head to the Columbia River Gorge for a hike.  I wanted to be by myself, have lots of uninterrupted time to think and figure things out.  I brought my camera and a notebook.

I hadn't considered that tons of other people might be drawn to hike Angel's Rest on such a beautiful day.  Solitude was not to be had on this hike.  I also didn't realize how insanely windy and cold it would be at the top of the trail.  I had to hold on to trees to keep my balance as the wind whipped through the gorge.  Making lists and jotting notes wasn't in the cards up there.  My figuring things out plan was totally foiled.  I did, however, get stunning views of the Columbia, and I began the break-in process on my first pair of real hiking boots.