Category Archives: winter

#WCW

I feel compelled to write a #wcw post as I just got back from visiting my favorite Mick, Crystal, in Philly. Though advised not to travel while Mercury was retrograde, I had booked my flight over a month ago and was not going to change it, and thus was lucky enough to be engulfed by snowstorm Jonas. I was actually looking forward to it – I always enjoyed the snow in Detroit, and seeing as how we rarely get it in the South, it was a fun experience! That said, trekking through 2 feet of snow for approximately 6 miles each day was definitely challenging. Crystal gets a special s/o for putting up with my ass for insisting we travel 45 minutes to get Polish food across town, getting naked in the snow, and hoofing it through the city to sled down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

After getting off of work at VStreet (where Crystal saved me a cruise ship sundae, which I’m now craving constantly), we were both starving, so she took us to David’s Mai Lah Wah, where we promptly ordered everything off of the menu and destroyed the restaurant with duck sauce.

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right before she squirted duck sauce all over herself

I arrived on Thursday night, and had almost all of Friday to explore before the snow started. By Saturday morning, her roommate had to shovel out a path to leave the house and we began the search for warm beverages and brunch. The storm was intense – we might as well have been in the Eastern Bloc, the way everything looked.

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the virgin mary of south philly

After hemming and hawing as to whether or not we should go to the museum, we decided that we had to go, because why not? How many times does one get to sled down the famed “Rocky” steps? Since we weren’t able to get into NYC, we had to do SOMETHING. The expedition over there was a little daunting, but we were prepared with sledding materials and beer – all the necessities. Not only was the local ABC affiliate shooting footage, but The Weather Channel was at the museum as well! We could hear yelling and laughing several blocks away, as tons of people of all ages had come out to sled. Many thanks to the 90’s ravers who opened our bottles for us!

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the path to a Dateline episode

Once we got home, and because we have no boundaries and no shame, we stripped down and ran around naked in the snow with the cats for a few minutes. A space heater and down comforters have never felt better! After all of those shenanigans and multiple mile slogs in the slush, we pretty much collapsed for the night.

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assholes

Sunday night was a Very Important Night as it was the premier of the new season of “The X-Files.” I mean, I was legit crying over my pierogis earlier in the day in anticipation. I ordered us some Santucci’s while the wife set up the cable box, but of course, Comcast was fucked up due to the storm. It was nearly a disaster, but I luckily found a live stream on the internet and the crisis was averted, spaghetti enjoyed.

There will be a food post upcoming, as I still managed to eat some crazy good food despite Snowmageddon. The only thing I didn’t get to eat was a 31 cent pretzel (so sad, Ainsley!) BUT I will be back there in no time, and devouring one as big as my face.

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Thanks for letting me crash, Flanagan. Next time, I’m stealing Loaf.

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Bostonland

So many Boston Terriers! While visiting Nicole in Olympia, I got to meet her two Boston babies, Lucille Marie and Kumba, Rosie’s BFF and boyfriend, respectively. LM is kind of a celebrity, having been on the cover of magazines and the winner of many photo contests, so it was a pretty big deal! She’s a feisty little fireball, and bosses her much bigger son, Kumba, around all day!

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Sweet Kumba!

Kums wears the most adorable bow ties-both pups are always in their Sunday best, and that day was no exception. Lucille even got a package of new dresses while I was there!

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Lucille & her mama, Nicole

Nicole and I made sure to dress appropriately, as well: Boston-themed clothing so everyone would know we were crazy dog owners when we went exploring!Surprisingly, only one person asked about our clothes – she inquired as to whether or not something was going on with our dogs that day. We replied that there is ALWAYS something going with them! On our way into the city, we stopped at her neighbor’s house and found ourselves a Wee. Willie, aka “Wee,” is another Boston who lives down the street from her and who often spends time at her house. He is soooo cute – I’m going to go back and steal him!

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WEE!

During our trip to the Farmer’s Market, we stumbled upon a craftsman who forms displays out of metal. Not only was there a Boston, but a Basset Hound one, too! I would have gladly bought both, had I had enough room in my carry-on to take home.

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Needed this for my garden!

When we got back to the house, we were pleasantly surprised by the appearance of yet ANOTHER Boston. Moose, another of Lucille’s children, had come to visit! Moose decided he was going to hide in the laundry room, as he was a little nervous. The only pup missing that day was Lulu, Lucille’s daughter, who was at home with her family. Four snuggly Bostons in one day, though! It was almost too much to handle!

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Moose, a little Nervous Nellie

Naturally, we had to exchange Boston presents. Nicole gifted Rosie a super cute dress and shirt, and some socks for me! Boston Terrier owners will buy ANYTHING with a BT print on it. ANYTHING. And we will stop at nothing to get it all!

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presents for my well-loved rescue pup

When Nicole came down into Portland that following Monday, we got to stop in the best dog shop, Lexi Dog, and got our babies a few items. If you are looking for the perfect outfit for your pup, they really have the best collection. I picked up a little t-shirt that I felt adequately described Rosie’s sentiments toward me on leaving her for several days.

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bad-ass Rosie

Now that the holiday season has arrived, we’re starting to collect little trinkets for our Boston friends. More importantly, we will be giving back to the shelter pups (and kitties!) who won’t get to enjoy the luxuries of presents, special treats, and warm houses. One cause that is near and dear to our hearts is that of our Instagram friend, Booger Dawg. They’ve fallen on hard times and desperately need our help while stuck in the frosty Colorado snow. Please donate or send any items you can! Their GoFundMe account can be found here. It’s imperative to remember that this could happen to any of us at any time, and we should always help when we have the resources to do so. Rosie and I hope you will join us!

Oh, Canada!

I’m so excited to finally be able to share more of our trip to Michigan & Canada with you! One of the ways I prepped for this trip was by collecting, if you will, shops and places to visit via the Instagram accounts of the makers and shakers of those who reside in those cities. One such creative is Megan Campagnolo, the designer behind Rosehound Apparel. Her sweatshirts, totes, & dresses make my heart race, and her Twin Peaks-inspired collection pretty much did me in this season. Through her account, I was hipped to Toronto store Victoire, one of the shops that carries her wares. Victoire also stocks such lines as Yo Sick and Falconwright, two other labels of which I can’t get enough. It was difficult to not go into straight fan-girl mode, as we walked into Victoire, but I tried to play it cool. The Birds of North America and Samantha Pleet dresses had me salivating, any of which would be perfect paired with the ‘Mild at Heart’ tote by Rosehound. Sit me down with a copy of Worn in one of those frocks and I’d be content for days!

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How great is that storefront?

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                “Black as midnight on a moonless night”

I was there with a mission, however, and that was to take home one of Megan’s new ice cream sandwich pins. I was eternally bummed that they were sold out, (but happy for her!), so I just got a Yo Sick pizza pin to add to my collection and the Rosehound Twin Peaks matches that are unavailable for mail order. Take that, customs! HOWEVER! Megan and I had been in touch via that lovely little social media outlet, Instagram, and had been trying to make plans to meet at her studio for coffee at some point. Matt and I ended up stopping by the next day where I was able to see that pink haired lady in person and purchase my coveted ice cream sandwich pin. Her studio is in Chinatown, and is pretty amazing. The snowstorm that was happening around us only added to the magic! Now, if I could only learn to be less awkward, I’d be set…

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                               Big snow in little China

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            Mastering the art of being socially awkward

One of my friends gifted me a super cute animé pouch from Korea when I got back home, and I decided to use that as a new home for my pin collection. Here, you can see my Rosehound pins and matches, the Yo Sick pizza pin, and an assortment of other goodies!

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Getting back to the topic at hand, Victoire was everything I imagined it would be. Toronto is amazing, especially when it’s 12 degrees and your hair is full of big, fat snowflakes. I keep trying to convince Matt that we need to move there asap!
Next up: my search for vegetarian poutine & visiting the dreamy Bicyclette!

Fetch!

Each time I travel, I make sure to pick up a little something to bring back for Rosie. Our holiday trip to Detroit & Toronto was no exception! Having worked in a dog treat bakery for 7 years, I love to find similar shops in every city I visit. I found Cass Corridog on one of my previous Michigan trips, and since it’s by one of my favorite shops, Nora, I always make a stop there to pick out a little treat. This trip, I got a couple “truffles,” for Rosie’s friends, Lucille & Kumba, too. They are Boston Terriers who live in Washington state, and have become good friends of ours, thanks to the power of Instagram!

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We also have some dog friends in Toronto, who shared with us the names of some cute dog boutiques in the city. One in particular, Arrow, is a “party” dog- equal parts Pug, Frenchie, & Boston- and one of the cutest girls ever! Her mom recommended we stop in at Timmie, a sweet little shop on Queen St. West. It was closed the first day I went by, but I made a special trip the next day so I could get a peek inside. It had started snowing pretty hard that afternoon, but all the pups on the street would be well prepared for the winter weather thanks to the bountiful supply of sweaters, jackets, and dog boots in the shop. They had adorable hoodies with logos on them for all of the different areas of the city that I absolutely loved! Those definitely made me wish we lived up north! We live in a warmer climate, though, so there was no need for me to stock up on winter gear for Ro. Instead, I picked out a little stuffed penguin for her and a pin for me, to add to my ever-growing pin collection. Toronto is so dog-friendly, and I wished I could have had her there with me! Next time, perhaps?

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Happy girl, mid bark, with her cookies, penguin, and a blanket I swiped from Delta. (Those are free, right? Ha!)

Deep Roots

Most Saturdays (and some Fridays during my lunch break!), one can find me perusing my favorite nursery looking for the perfect new plant babies to take home. My apartment is brimming with furry, four-legged children, as well as green, sometimes furry, potted ones! When I was really little, we would visit my grandparents at their office downtown- a space in which they also lived- with an old-fashioned Coke machine in the back room, operas playing on the stereo, and where the scent of oil paint, tobacco, and butterscotch candies filled the air. When I wasn’t sitting atop a filing cabinet playing with a collection of small ceramic mice, gnomes, and other various fairytale creatures, I could be found by my grandmother’s side, watering can in hand, as she let me help her nourish the plants. Because it was it favorite activity to do there, I don’t know how I didn’t end up killing them all, since I begged to water them all the time! I still remember standing on my tippy toes in white stockings and Mary Jane shoes, tipping a pale blue watering can just over the lip of a pot, and pretending that the leaves and flowers were growing before my eyes.

One of the most frustrating things about apartment living is the inability to have a truly magnificent garden. At my old house, I grew strawberries, nasturtiums, every herb you could imagine, snapdragons, hyacinths, gerbera daisies, dahlias, etc. I’ve had to re-imagine how to bring the outside in, and in doing so, sharpened my green thumb. Ten years ago, I killed my first cactus-now, I have several who are thriving! So, for any of you who fear you have a black thumb, you may just not have found a type of plant that works with your sentiments and lifestyle. For example, ferns don’t really flow with me, but orchids are easy. I’m really enjoying finding new varieties of indoor plants that will bring the magical feeling I had as a kid into my home as adult.

When we travel, I always look for greeneries, florists, or any shop that sells plants. In Royal Oak, Michigan, one of my favorite shops has the most adorable collection of succulents. Rail and Anchor is pretty much one of the best home & gift shops ever. From Herbivore Botanicals to Found My Animal, they have something for every aspect of one’s life. They even serve hot tea! Their succulent collection, however, always leaves me wishing they could all fly home with us.
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Another store I like to visit is Nest, in the Cass/Canfield area of Detroit. I usually pick up some sort of stationary or violet candy, but what I really want is all of the air plants! This holiday season, they some really wonderful ceramic air plant containers that I still regret not buying. Those, and the watermelon ornaments!

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How gorgeous is that terrarium?!

My sweet boyfriend and I exchanged one gift apiece while we were on vacation. He’s pretty good at digging through my Pinterest account to see what I’m dreaming about, and finding just the right thing. That item was a pair of vintage, Japanese gardening shears, which he said he thought I would enjoy using for all of my gardening needs, combined with my love for all things vintage and Japanese. *insert heart eyes here*

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Since we didn’t go to the greenhouses this past Saturday, we went on our day off today. He’s a pretty good sport to put up with my indecisiveness, hemming and hawing to find the right plants to join our home. His sister and brother in law gifted me a beautiful terrarium over the holidays and I’d had yet to start to fill it, so I decided that today was the day to do so. I picked up one of my favorite moss varieties, Leucobryum, and a little dark green Peperomia. I’m going to have to take the terrarium with me next weekend, to pick out everything else! I also added a Gasteria carinata, an aloe-like succulent, to my plant family.

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We went to the nursery just as the afternoon light was starting to fade, and had the hothouses all to ourselves. One of the cats who roam the property followed us around, and it was like being transported to a quiet, tropical getaway for the day. Do you have any hobbies that you were interested in as a kid, and cultivated as you became an adult?

Weekend Summary:
New plant babies, gin drinks aptly named “Fortune Teller,” vegan Pad Thai with friends, listening to the boy spinning sweet sounds, and sleeping in until noon- I’d say it was a success! How was yours?

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

I hope everyone’s holiday break was as wonderful as ours! After a quiet holiday with my parents, I flew out to Michigan to spend the remaining part of the year with Matt and his family. Rosie and I were separated for a long ten days, and while I missed my little meatball, I had a blast in Detroit and Toronto. I’ll be playing catch up this weekend and telling you all about the places we visited, where we ate, and, off course, where we shopped!

The beginning of the season starts, for me, when I break out my favorite holiday albums. I usually have this gem on repeat at home and in my car! KC, forever!

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This year, I opted for a jewel colored theme for wrapping presents. As with stationary and other paper ephemera, I collect unique wrapping paper for various occasions throughout the year. This one is a two sided kind I picked up at IKEA several years ago.

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With some rainbow colored popcorn from a new gourmet popcorn shop in town, these gifts added an unexpected pop of color under the tree! I picked up my dad an original cast recording of Porgy and Bess on a 78, and ordered my mom a Lentil ornament and sticker. My favorite part of the gift giving is filling everyone’s stockings with their favorite candies and little trinkets. Dark chocolate oranges, petit fours, marzipan, and a fresh orange each, these stockings hold traditions that nothing can replace. I usually try to get some chocolate coal for my dad’s stocking, but I couldn’t find any during my last minute venture out into the crazed retail world. Next year, pops!

My parents put sweet little surprises in my stocking as well! I have so many little collections, lovely smelling soaps being one of them. The French Macaron and Rose & Green Tea bar soaps my mother found are not only pretty in perfect pink, but smell sooo heavenly! The best surprise was the Leo Zodiac candle I’ve been dreaming about for months. I plan on finally lighting it on the 23rd this month, my half birthday, and making some special wishes!

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Rosie will be with me everywhere I go with this Boston Terrier keychain- how cute is she? Rosie herself picked up several presents this Christmas, too, from family to friends all the way in Washington state. She’ll be sharing her holiday fun over the weekend!

While we enjoyed some delicious treats, I still owe my mom a Yule log! My favorite flavor in the past has been to make a white chocolate one with fresh raspberry filling and marzipan mushrooms, but she has requested a dark chocolate one. I can’t wait to show you the finished product! They are so fun to make!

So, did all of your holiday wishes come true? What was your favorite item to give or receive?

Lavender Nights

In the past few years, I’ve grown fonder of cooler temperatures. While I still love to bask in the hot, sultry summers, I’ve been finding a sort of symmetry in embracing crisp winters.

I love feeling the brisk air on my face, the bundling up in coats and scarves, and most of all, the coziness that the winter brings. Because my sweet Matt hails from Canada and his immediate family lives in Detroit, I’ve learned the special art of couch and blanket sitting. It involves a lot of staying in, the perfect ratio of blankets to person, and usually a hot beverage, preferably with a little something “extra” added to warm you even more.

These days, the weather has been perfect for cozying up on the sofa and re-watching episodes of Twin Peaks, like we have been doing. It’s also been inspiring me to bake more, as the sweet scents wafting from the kitchen just add to those magical holiday feelings. This week, I decided to try my hand at shortbread, a cookie that I had actually never made before.

I slightly adapted a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano, THE ladies when it comes to vegan baking, and hot damn! They’re so good! I chose to make lavender shortbread, as I have a bunch of organic lavender that’s been begging to be used. Lavender can be a tricky flower to bake with, simply because so many people are adversed to the taste. (Or think they are!) What is so great about this recipe is that you can really taste all the layers of flavoring, as well as the textures. The floral, slightly anise-y flavor of the lavender hits your palate first, but then fades away to the familiar sugary vanilla that we all know and love. Combined with a crunchy, then chewy texture that eventually melts in your mouth, you wind up with a childhood favorite that has evolved to an elegant adult. Pair it with a glass of rich chocolate almond milk (hey, I didn’t say you had to ACT like an adult!), and you’re good to go.

And with that, bring on the cold weather, a comfy couch,  and a plate of warm cookies! I’m ready for ya!

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