Thursday, October 25, 2012

Portland, OR

A few weeks back I got the chance to end my season of traveling with a fantastic trip to Portland, OR!  I love this city and my lovely friend Heather, who happens to live there!  
I hadn't seen Heather since living in New York - this year has just been one fantastic reunion after another. :)  
Heather is one of the best things that came from my experience in NY - it would have never been the same without her there and I am so lucky to still have her in my life! 

Some highlights of the trip:

I just love a good farmer's market - at the Beaverton Farmers Market

Staying at the Ace - a Portlandia clip is modeled after this hotel.  So hipster, yet so cool.

Watching Heather run the Portland Marathon!  She was AMAZING - I was so proud of all the runners and enjoyed being part of the crowd, cheering people on.  Woohoo Heather!!

I loved the return to "our theater" - best place to watch movies.  

As Portland is home to many local brews, I enjoyed several beverages.  I love a city that loves good beer. 

Being in Powell's reminds me of being in Strand in NYC.  There is something to say about rooms and stories of mostly used books.  Its inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time.  

After a visit to Portland State University (future grad school for me???) I went to Portland City Grill for yet another local beer and contemplative afternoon.  After eavesdropping on the perfect candidates for "Real Housewives of Portland", I looked over the fog-covered city, river, and mountain and just had a moment to enjoy.  
To enjoy being right where I was and to think of where I may be.  Its frustrating when a picture doesn't do a view justice, but this photo still triggers that moment for me...

And just like a photo sometimes cannot properly capture a view, it often fails to properly capture a feeling... but this one is close. 
I wish you could bottle up the perfect fall weather, breeze, and change, combined with a calm happiness and sense of being.  Simple joy is sometimes the best joy. 

If I were to describe the trip in a few words, they would be:

A big thanks to my lovely Buxton hosts!!

It was lovely, Portland - until we meet again...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Juice Cleanse

After a very busy September/early October of fun and traveling, I decided to kick off my return to healthy habits with a juice cleanse!  I have been intrigued by the idea of doing a cleanse for a while, and there was no better time to try!

I researched the web and found some recipes that sounded the easiest and yummiest... and at home recipes are WAY cheaper than cleanses you can buy. 

1  beet
2 red apples
1 large carrot
It has a beautiful red-orange color and the combo of flavors is actually quite tasty! 

Lunch, Dinner: The Green Machine
A few handfuls of kale
A few handfuls of spinach
1 green apple
1 kiwi
1 banana*

*Blend banana in a blender with other juiced ingredients.  Technically this is a juice cheat, but it adds a LOT of substance to a very light diet. 
This tasted... somewhere between nothing and earthy. haha

1/3 pineapple
1 red apple
1 cucumber
A yummy way to end the night!

The juice cleanse also allowed for coffee and herbal teas (no milk or sugar added). 

So... how do you feel?
For lack of a better word, I feel empty... in a good way.  
The past three days were a good exercise in self control, discipline, understanding hunger, and changing my relationship with food.
I have also gained a new found appreciation for solid foods... so much that I dreamed I ate grapes last night... such an odd thing. 

Overall, glad I tried it and will probably use juicing sparingly in my future food choices. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

OUPS Weddings

OUPS ("OU Party Squad") has been my biggest, loudest, most entertaining, and closest group of friends in my life.  I love them all so dearly.  Since college, we have all gone off to various adventures, but recently weddings have brought us back together for joyous reunions and times of great celebration.  

I'm so happy that this year we got to celebrate Kirsten and Preston in Colorado:

 and Megan and Mike in Ireland... and again in Dallas this weekend!

I am beyond happy that they have found such wonderful people to share their lives with!!

3 years ago, we were celebrating graduation and preparing for the next phase in life.  
I remember thinking we would be life-long friends, and hoping that life changes and distances wouldn't destroy our fantastic friendships.   
Turns out I was right. :D

I can't wait to see where life will take us in years to come, and I know we'll always be in it together. 

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
- Marcel Proust