As some of you may have noticed (particularly if you’re hanging with me on Instagram), I’ve been spending a little more time in San Francisco and a little less time in Portland, OR lately. But, last month I had a fantastic excuse to hop back over to PDX and see what’s new. And I’ve been missing so much! One thing about Portland is that it’s always, always changing – turn your back for a second, and there are 15 new restaurants, 7 new boutiques and at least 2 new food trends you can’t miss.
So, I thought I’d share an updated list of my favorite things to do in the City of Roses. Some are new finds, others are old favorites, but all are 100% SMC-approved! Read on →
For those of you that haven’t guessed, I have a pretty serious sweet tooth. In fact, one of my fantasy careers has always been to own a candy shop. I’d be like Dylan Lauren…but probably about 50 lbs heavier from being around all that Cadbury (and, sadly, without the billion-dollar family legacy and a private yurt).
But I’m also a food snob. So, while I’ll certainly dig into an Oreo from time to time, it’s really the handmade goodies that make my heart sing. I’m what you’d charitably call a decent baker, but I’ve always dreamed of mastering the art of candymaking. Candy is as much chemistry as culinary art, and since even my college chem professor agreed I was a disaster in that particular field, I’ve always been openly in awe of those who do it well.
All this to say that when I got word Jami Curl (she of massive local fame for perfecting what is, quite simply, the best cupcake in Portland) had opened a chic new candy shop in town, my ears perked up. And when she told me that, instead of stocking the usual pre-produced fare, she was making her wares from scratch? I went from interested to obsessed in a hurry.
Portland and San Francisco friends (well, Austin and Seattle too), brace yourselves: you are about to love me. (Wait. You didn’t already?) Not that the rest of you should tune out…this brainstorm is sure to sweep the nation.
Am I right that the most annoying, let-down quality of online shopping is delayed gratification? You spend two hours a few minutes scrolling through Shopbop, buy a couple of things, and then you have to wait three whole days (first-world problems, I know) for that beautiful brown box to grace your doorstep. And if you went with Nordstrom or one of my other standbys, it’ll be even longer. (Don’t even get me started on how long it takes Banana Republic to deliver a box. Are they using carrier pigeons?)
Plus, in your heart, online shopping wasn’t even what you wanted. What you wanted was to pop out to a few boutiques in town – shopping local is always nice, of course, and you get to take your goodies home right then. But…ugh. Parking, conspicuously leaving work (and returning with shopping bags), all that driving around…and, of course, there’s the let-down when you’re on a spending spree and you walk out of a store empty-handed. (Damn it, I cam here to spend!)
That’s right, I have a pair of eye candy goodies this week. Because two is almost always better than one. Also, how could I possibly choose between these lovelies? It’s like a Twix bar of retail delights – and you get both pieces, my friends. Dig in!
A gauzy pile of new Épice scarves for spring has appeared at Una, one of my all-time favorite Portland haunts. If you’re not local, you can call the shop and they’ll happily ship one (sales tax-free, I might add) right to your door. There’s no need to tell you how much temptation is going on in my head right now.
And then, there’s the matter of these beautiful, impossibly delicate new baubles from jewelry designer Blanca Monros Gomez, which just arrived at Steven Alan. Consider my pennies being counted, friends.
That’s right – no clever title, no beating about the bush. This post is a mission. It’s also ungodly long, so settle in.
For all of the shopping I do (and believe me, it’s a lot), I’ve never been able to find truly perfect basic black leggings. I’ve tried just about everything, but nothing hit the mark. Either it was a ponté knit that pilled after a few wears, or a matte knit fabric that quickly looked worn and gross, or a fabric that looked too shiny and athletic, or it was too thin and showed more than it should. I’m pretty sure this makes me the Goldilocks of black leggings, but that’s okay.
All of this is compounded by the fact that…well, I don’t really believe in leggings. That is – let me say this loudly, and with gusto - leggings are not pants. No matter how many celebrities or 19-year-olds we see doing it, I have a real problem with any sartorial use of leggings in which my ass is that plainly visible to anyone. Sorry, but I need layers – or at least pockets, for the love of god – to cover that sh!t up.
But of course, the tunic-and-leggings pairing went out with the ’90s. So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to wear her PJs out into the world without being judged?
Well. I had big plans to tell you about face cream today, friends. But instead, this arrived on my doorstep.
Finally! After months and months of exhaustive cardio, I can show you what I’ve been working on all this time. Meet the 2013 Zagat Portland City Guide! I was lucky enough to work with some of the best writers in town (including my dear, dear pal, Jen Stevenson, whose foodie cred is second to none) to cook up this insider’s guide to all things PDX: food, nightlife and (of course) shopping!! And I’ll admit – I’m pretty darn proud of it. I’m on Amazon.com and everything, you guys. Big day for me!
If you’re a local and want the skinny, or have PDX on your travel agenda, I’d be super flattered to know I was tagging along with you, tucked in the bottom of your very stylish handbag. In a non-creepy, non-Lilliputian sort of way, of course.
Still stumped by someone on your gift list? Believe me when I tell you a spa gift certificate works for literally any woman on your list. If she’s into serious pampering, she can nab herself a facial or a body scrub; if she’s a high-power exec, I’m sure she’s in need of a massage; and if she’s one of those weird people who doesn’t like spa treatments (hi, Mom) she can still get a pedicure…or even a few excellent beauty products.
For my Portland peeps, let me save you the agony of hunting through a plethora of Aveda chain spas and hemp-wearing hippies: head north, a bit off the beaten path, and straight to Blooming Moon Wellness Spa.
Welcome to Fashion’s Night Out, friends! As usual, I’m blue as a pair of overdyed jeans about not being in NYC to celebrate, but luckily most major cities (and even a fair share of minor ones) are hosting great FNO events these days.
To find out what’s going on in your neck of the woods, check out the official FNO website, which links to all of the cities participating. In Portland, for example, most of the downtown retail shops are hosting special in-store events (free booze is often involved) and the Downtown Business Alliance is teaming up with all of the most fashion-forward stores in town to put on a fashion show in Director’s Park, which is always stellar. Also, swag bags! A minimum purchase gets you free parking and loads of awesome goodies – I got a sneak peek, and it’s pretty fab (think free eats, discounts at some of my favorite shops and free parking for the night!). If you see me out and about tonight, come say hi!
Or, if you’re a lazy homebody, fret not – plenty of Fashion’s Night In awesomeness happening too. The one-night-only discount codes are starting to roll into my inbox already, so check back here periodically today and I’ll update the list with all of the best! And of course, if you find a goodie, share it in the comments – shopping should always be a team sport.
London Sole: Finally splurge on those ballet flats you’ve been coveting. Use code FNO from 4-8 pm (EST) for a very rare 15% discount.
LAMade: One of my all-time favorite tee brands is offering 30% off, plus a free tee & free shipping with orders over $150. Use code FNOLA.
Kate Spade: Extra markdowns in a “Surprise Sale” happening today only.
So, tell me…are you headed out to partake of the FNO excitement tonight?