Thursday, July 31, 2008

Looking For Something To Do Today?

Sara shared this list on her blog.  The idea is to bold all the things on the list you have done.  And then go do some of the things you haven't.  Here's mine:

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise

15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster

31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach

41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving

52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't

56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie

60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check

68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (that's how I got to Portland)

73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph

80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about

87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad

93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (does a fish count?)
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

97. Been elected to public office (does a high school election count?)
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream

99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you 
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours

106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe

113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco

118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style

124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant

127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise

132. Made a hole-in-one (At McMenamin's Edgefield)
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon 
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class

139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment (but it's still hard)

145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted (my dad keeps trying to get me to take it from his house)
148. Written a fan letter

149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox

160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers (I think I had knicker overalls in denim, yikes!)
167. Ridden in a limousine

168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life

176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt

179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union (Just recently for my new job)
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog

190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend

199. Helped solve a crime
200. Commented on a friend's blog today.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Music Monday - 7/28/08

This weekend I went to PDX Pop Now and made plans to go to MusicFest NW.  I love Portland for so many reasons and the great music scene is one of the biggest.  But seeing how big it's getting is also worrisome.  Do you remember when MFNW was mostly local bands and a wristband cost about $12?  Well, now they are $50.  This spring, I went to SXSW in Austin.  I don't mean to say I didn't like it, but it is definitely an industry event with lots of private parties.  I guess this post is just to say I hope that doesn't happen in my adopted hometown.

So enjoy a few songs by some of the best that Portland and the Pacific NW has to offer.

Oviedo (mp3) - Blind Pilot - About to start a West Coast tour (on bicycles)
Ragged Wood (mp3) - Fleet Foxes
Those Bold City Girls (mp3) - The Shins
Dashboard (mp3) - Modest Mouse
Noel, Jonah, & Me (mp3) - The Spinanes - The first band I ever wrote a review of in the Student Review, an off-campus college paper.
Wild Mountain Nation (mp3) - Blitzen Trapper
Los Angeles, I'm Yours (mp3) - The Decemberists
Catch Me Jumping (mp3) - The Dimes
Fuel for Fire (mp3) - M. Ward
Evil Bee (mp3) - Menomena
Holland, 1945 (mp3) - Canoe
Between the Bars (mp3) - Elliott Smith

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Find Your Own Design Style

I found this link to a "find your style" design quiz via The Inspired Room.  It's fun!  You get to choose your favorites from series of images and then it tells you your style.  I think it's accurate for me.  

I'm retro chic: You have a collector's eye for individual pieces that give your home a real sense of personality and style, that special je ne sais quoi. The overall look may be retro, but it's anything but kitsch; your innate understanding of what works together (not to mention the origin of each piece) embosses your home with an enduring elegance of its own which is neither overtly modern nor faux-period.  

Then they show you items that match your style.  Like these super-cute pillows.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Music Monday - 7/21/08

OK it's Tuesday once again but I haven't been to sleep yet so it still counts as Monday.

This week marks my last week of this travel assignment.  But it also signifies so much more.  It's my last travel assignment.  I'm staying here so it means I will once again be a Portland resident.  It means I will need to buy furniture.  But the best thing it means is that I have a new job. I'll be working for Kaiser at an outpatient clinic, seeing a few patients but mostly as a phone advice nurse.  It will be so different than what I am used to but I think I will like it.  Here's what I know I will like... 9 hour shifts, 4 times a week, no nights, no weekends, no holidays.  It has been so nice to already accept invites to things in August and know I can go even though I don't have my schedule.  I'm sure my friends have heard it enough (well they probably reached that point several weeks ago) but I am so excited to have no more nights or weekends!  To celebrate, the theme this week is all about hospitals, weekends, nights, and holidays.

This week, it's one big mix.
  • Lonely Holiday - The Old 97s - No more of these.  No working on Thanksgiving and eating cafeteria turkey while everyone else is watching football or asleep on the sofa.
  • Goodnight Goodnight - Hot Hot Heat - I plan on having many good nights, and also saying goodnight at a reasonable hour.
  • Sleeping Aids and Razorblades - The Exploding Hearts - I have been taking way too much Benadryl.  Not sure what to say about the razorblades, maybe if I'm not so tired I won't cut my legs when I shave?
  • A Roller Skating Jam Called "Saturdays" - De La Soul - One of the many things I can do on a Saturday since I won't be working.
  • Each Coming Night - Iron and Wine - I can look forward to each coming night, I won't be working on any of them.
  • Nightswimming - REM - What a fun way to spend a night off.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Beat the Heat in the Kitchen

A few days ago I saw a link to some beautiful jewelry at Lost Button Studio.  I'm crushing on the square hoops.  Every girl likes to be pretty but it's hard when you are sweating over a hot oven.  So how perfect was it that the jewelry designer had a post on her blog about no-cook recipes.  I can't tell you what to do, but if I could, I would tell you to check out both of her sites. 

Here's another good idea for those summer days when you can barely get off the couch to make some food much less go out to buy the groceries. has 20 recipes that use 20 ingredients.  At first I thought that sounded way too complicated but none of the recipes use all 20, just that if you have these things on hand, you have lots of good options.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Last Knight

Last night I...
  • Had one of the best BLTs ever at Gotham Tavern (the bread was a perfect balance of toasty but not mouth-shredding)
  • Saw lots of previews, the best of which was The Mummy 3 (how sad!)
  • Spent almost 3 hours watching the new Batman (currently rated #3 of all time at IMDB, perhaps a little too high, but it was really good)
  • Mourned Heath Ledger (again!)
  • Apologized to the poor guy next to me when I laughed way too much at the Joker looking for hand sanitizer (not a spoiler, I promise)
  • Was reminded of how much I like William Fitchner (can't think of anything parenthetical for this one but didn't want to break the trend)
  • Couldn't decide between Aaron Eckhart and Christian Bale (sadly neither of them was asking me to choose)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dreamy Outdoor Party

I don't have the space for these or really need them but don't these chairs make you want to throw all logic out the window and throw a party...

Reasons to Love Summer

The temperatures in Portland have been much higher than they should be and I don't have AC.  I was feeling a little grumpy and hot so I decided to post about reasons I love this season.
New sandals.  Thanks for the tip, Sara

Fresh cherries and nectarines

Reading on my porch after the sun sets

Hydrangeas and pretty much all other flowers

How late the sun sets here above the 45th parallel

New summer dresses

The Farmer's Market and First Thursday in full swing

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vive la France!

Yesterday was Bastille Day. I was lucky enough to live in France about 10 years ago. So I got mes amis together and went to Le Happy. What better way to celebrate the revolution than eating delicious crêpes and enjoying the disco ball. I had the salad crêpe but switched out the gorgonzola for some chèvre. It was, quite possibly, the best crêpe I've ever had. And then I had the strawberry and nutella crêpe too. We all had at least a salé (savory) and a sucré (sweet) crêpe. Afterwards, I was reminded of this saying:
J'ai bien mangé, j'ai bien bu, j'ai la peau du ventre bien tendue (It's better said out loud, it rhymes. Literally: I ate well, I drank well, the skin on my stomach is well-stretched)

Can you tell I'm excited I just learned how to do accents on my keyboard?!

Music Tuesday - 7/15/08

Ooops, I forgot all about this yesterday.

Lately these three songs have been stuck in my head or CD player.

"The Underdog" (mp3) by Spoon. Need proof this is a band you should love? When you do a Google search for Spoon, the Wikipedia entry for the band comes before the entry for the eating utensil. Several years ago, Britt Daniel had a cameo on Veronica Mars, such a good, underrated, cancelled-too-early show, and sang karaoke to Elvis Costello's "Veronica." I didn't know it was possible to have that many things I love in one place without the world imploding. Still not sure... Britt did the music for Stranger Than Fiction. And Britt and I both recently chose Portland over Austin.

"Mona Lisa" (mp3) by Blair. I don't know nearly as much about this artist as I do about Spoon. But I do know this; it's on a recent mix CD and I am always skipping through the other songs to get to this one and then hit repeat at least once. Her voice is so clear and personal. She cites Neil Young and Liz Phair as influences. You can buy her CD on CD Baby who calls her a mix between Dolly Parton and Radiohead. Intriguing, no?

"Gotta Have You" (mp3) by The Weepies. Truly, the song that is most often stuck in my head is Hideaway but I just included that on a mix I shared with you and since I already repeated a song with Mona Lisa, I wanted to give you something new. This adorable husband/wife duo sing happy, summery songs without being too sugary. And her voice is the one I would choose for my own if I were ever given the option. You'll wish you had a convertible just to drive in the sunshine listening to their music.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Need Some Design Help... From You!

At the end of the month I will be moving into a new apartment. My current apartment is furnished so I have nothing! That means I need to buy some new furniture. In the past, I've done a better job of decorating my living room than bedroom. This time, I'll have a roommate, the dishy Lizzy, so the living area already has some furniture. Since I don't like sleeping on the floor, I want to focus my first efforts on the empty room, my personal space, the bedroom. I want to be daring but comfortable. I have no problem finding images of rooms I like or don't like, I am just not so sure about executing it myself. I like too many different styles, I get scared of being "too original" as in bizarre, scared of committing, hesitant to spend money, and I end up being boring and bland. Since I'm starting from scratch, I think this is a chance to create a room I LOVE! Will you help me? If I post some ideas, will you comment, tell me the truth, help me come up with better ideas?

About me... I like clean lines. Right now I am in love with mid-century style but I worry that a room full would be too linear and boring, and expensive. I am leaning toward black furniture but I don't want to just go buy an entire bedroom suite, that's too boring. But then I worry about mixing too many styles. Can I mix black furniture and brown furniture? The room has hardwood floors so that's another wood color to throw in the mix. And I have a hard time knowing how to mix patterns. And also, not so great at hanging or clustering art. I grew up in the South in a very traditional, preppy town so I tend to lean toward classic styles but just like the green cardigan with pink and white argyle I just got rid of, it's easy but sometimes it's too boring.

Here's what I'm thinking so far...

The room is pretty big, probably 10x10 or maybe 12x12, and basically a square with only one nook/cranny.  If I remember correctly, here's what it looks like.Right now the walls are bright blue. It's a fun color but not what I'm looking for. But it does mean painting the walls is OK. I'm pulled in 2 directions, a patterned duvet cover and medium grey or brown walls, nothing too dark but not white. Or white bedding and painted walls. I'll be honest, painted walls scare me so the diagram above has the walls colored in a way I think might work for my two sides, scared and daring. I could paint the wall behind the bed dark orange and the other walls a light grey. Then do white bedding with black and white accents, throw in a little orange and maybe some green. This image from Crate & Barrel is beautiful, the walls are green, but you get the idea.
I also liked this orange duvet cover but I think I like the idea of white bedding and colored walls better. What about you?
The Bed: I'm thinking black and no footboard. I don't like how it cuts off the room or how it makes it harder to just flop onto the bed.

Next question: Bedside table. Here's the problem...The closet is small so I will have to store things in creative spaces. So a bedside table with drawers or shelves and baskets would be best. But I just found and bought (completely returnable) this one at Target. I love it but am not sure it's the most practical. Here are a few others:I think I'm leaning towards the last one but using an actual bookcase, more storage but in not too much more space. I love how it's painted green inside. And I think the white could look amazing against the orange wall.

Last thing: Desk. I probably need one with a big hutch but I don't like how it takes over the whole wall. Plus I wouldn't keep it organized. Here's the one I like most right now. This would be against a grey wall. I like mixing it with the green file cabinet which also adds more storage. A few other ideas:
Well that's about it for now. I'm sure I'll ask for help with rugs and artwork later. Thanks!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bad Music Monday

I'm sure that only 2 posts into Music Monday, you've already figured out that I have varied musical tastes. But here's one thing I can promise, I will never post any Josh Groban. I know some people like him but I think only one person should have this much Groban merch, his mom. This car was parked in front of me at work yesterday.

Music Monday - 7/7/08

I had a different post ready to go but then I got my hair cut.  It's the most I've ever paid for a cut and color but also the first time, in a long time, that I left the salon already liking my hair. To celebrate, songs about hair:

Love Plus One (mp3) - Haircut 100
Supernova (mp3) - Liz P(hair)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

One More Reason I Love Portland

Portland has amazing fireworks shows! I've been to a few in the past, the Fort Vancouver show, the Oak Hills Neighborhood show, but the best, for being uniquely Portland, is the show on the Willamette River. They set up barges in the river and shoot fireworks off of them. The fireworks light up the whole city and reflect in the river. I love that it feels as if the entire city is out, celebrating with you. I met up with friends for a BBQ and then took the streetcar to the waterfront. We found an open area, set up our blanket, and about 5 minutes later, the fireworks started. We had just enough crazy, drunk people around us to make it interesting but they we feeling very patriotic and just kept yelling, "America!" and "Freedom!" We thought about yelling "Beauty" and "Truth" a la Room with a View. Afterwards, we got appetizers and dessert at Lucier. It's a beautiful restaurant, right on the waterfront. Everything we had was delicious or so I was told. I don't like creme brulee so I had to take everyone's word on that one. The outside seating was perfect. The plates and tea service were the prettiest we'd ever seen, an adult tea party. The valet was flirt-worthy. The waitstaff was friendly and knowledgeable, they even gave us a tour of the dining room so we could see the river that flows around the tables, the white wall with white grafitti carvings to represent the urban feel of Portland, and the mirrored, angled, dome to represent Mt Hood. It's a splurge but we're worth it.

Here are some fireworks photos from Sara's flickr.

P.S. If you go to Lucier, be sure to go to the bathrooms, they are gorgeous!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Very Merry-Go-Round

Need a smile today? Read this story from my alma mater. A BYU professor and 5 students went to Ghana and built a merry-go-round for a school playground. As happy as that is, here's the best part, when the kids play on the merry-go-round, it generates electricity that then powers LED lights in the school. These LED lights are portable, so at the end of the day, the kids can take them home to light their houses. Now they have something to play on and lights. In Ghana, over 10,000 schools don't have electricity. I believe that ideas like this, ideas that seem so simple and small are really the way to change the world. Want more information? Go to the Empower Playgrounds website.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Design Inspiration

D'Arcy just asked where I find design ideas. In no way do I profess to be a maven of design but I do know some people who are. I've always said I'm not creative just a good copycat. Here are some of my go-to places for inspiration.

If it wasn't already obvious, I love Crate & Barrel. I think their products are reasonably priced, well made, classic but still fun. And while they may introduce new styles, I never get the feeling that they want me to redo my entire house every year. My dream dinnerware:
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has lots of furniture that I covet. And you can peruse their catalog online. My current obsession:
Dwell Studio Beautiful bed linens. OK they sell other things, but for me, it's all about the bedding.
The Conran Shop The online shop is great but if you ever get to NYC, be sure to go to the brick-and-mortar store. I had 2 star sightings in one visit.  Also, it's the first place I ever heard of Tord Boontje.
I love pretty much anything by Marimekko. They help me remember that as much as like white and beige, color is worth the risk. I might be more organized if my home office were covered in these bright red flowers.
In Fredericksburg, TX, one of the stores on Main street sold a lot of stuff from Company C.  I haven't bought anything yet but I visit the site often.

Sometimes I just let other people do all the work for me. Here are a few blogs I like that focus on pretty things.

emma's designblogg
How about orange...