MD HANEY & Co. – McMinnville, Oregon

If you happen to find your self strolling around McMinville make sure to stroll off the main street and up to NE 7th street. It is easy to miss, MD HANEY & Co. as you drive by on the main highway into or out of town. It just looks like a cute house. Which it is, an exceptionally cute house turned into a truly stunning home goods store.

The house itself was beautifully remolded by the owners of the store, and each room is set up as if it were a house. I want to live in this house! But scattered about are small collections of store stock in a way that you don’t really notice at first and everything is for sale.

The offer a variety of carefully home decor items, luxury small batch kitchen goods and will help you with any specialty painting you may need done. I stop in every time I go into town just to experience the beauty of the store and usually walk out with a perfect gift for someone I love.

Additional Information:

  • 4925, 636 NE Baker St, McMinnville, OR 97128
  • (503) 857-8176
  • Closed Sunday through Tuesday.
  • Open Wednesday through Saturday 10 to 5.

Danubius Hotel Astoria – Budapest, Hungry

I don’t have the highest regard for traditional hotels but that doesn’t mean that I dislike them all. And certainly in many travel situations a hotel is the easiest way to travel. Particularly if you are planning on seeing multiple locations in a short period of time. Or if you are the type of person with the type of budget to eat at restaurants for every meal when you travel.

That being said I would whole heartedly recommend the Danubius Hotel Astoria in Budapest. It was in fact the first hotel I ever stayed in outside of the United States (excluding Canada) on my first ever European adventure. I was 17, a senior in high school, traveling with some of my best friends and some very kind teacher chaperones.

After driving to Portland getting on a plane, laying over in Chicago, laying over again in Frankfurt, landing in Budapest and taking a shuttle stuffed with 15 of my class mates, we were all tried, hungry, cranky and totally regretting our decision to come on the trip. Admit it, we have all been there. Travel fatigue is real.

Looking at the pictures I think they have done a few renovations, not a real surprise given I was there 15 plus years ago. But it still appears to retain the simple old world comforts I recall.

As a side note we were all thrilled at staying at a hotel called Astoria (since we were from Astoria). Whether or not the name was coincidence or on purpose remains to be seen. The rooms were impeccably clean, with traditional twin beds or twin beds pushed together depending on the configuration of the room. Clean white linens, duvet covers (which most of us uncultured youth thought were too short sleeping bags) and beautifully tiled showers. Speaking of uncultured youth we were all convinced the hotel was haunted. In retrospect we were just dealing with a very old finicky elevator, but we spent our time riding the service elevator and sneaking through the back kitchen to the lobby because we were too scared to ride the main elevators.

My favorite thing about the hotel was the dining room and breakfast. When we landed it was late but our teachers made us walk around the city until lights-out to help us adjust to jet lag. We were tired, cranky and mostly just walking with our eyes half open.

So my first real European experience was the stunning banquet room and European style breakfast provided to us. I vividly recall stuffing my face with croissants and cheeses whose names I could never even begin to pronounce and the MANY trips back to the silver samovars filled with hot chocolate. I felt like royalty sitting in a marble dining room, with velvet tufted chairs and floor to ceiling windows overlooking a city halfway across the world to where I was 48 hours prior.

As an added bonus the hotel was nicely situated walking distance to quite a few locations, in the three days we were there we got to see the Great Market Hall one of the oldest indoor markets in Hungry. As well as the main market square in the inner city that hosts outdoor vendors on a regular basis. The Hungarian State Opera House is in walking distance.  Which I loved and never wanted to leave after our tour.

It is also a quick jaunt to the Danube River and the Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd) which takes you directly across the river to the Gellért Monument and Döbrentei squareRudas Thermal Bath (Rudas gyógyfürdő) and the Citadell which was built under the Haspburg name during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I hope someday to get the chance to revisit this beautiful hotel and enchanting city. As my first European jaunt and the first view into a wider world at large it holds a special place in my heart. And stomach, I seriously cannot stop thinking about that breakfast!

Side note on the pictures, these were taken pre-digital age so the quality is expectantly poor. Also I am not cropping out anyone out of unkindness, just protecting the innocent.

Ireland Hiking – Quarter Four

I honestly cannot believe that in in a month and a half I will be in Ireland. Every time I go somewhere new it feels so surreal that in no time I will be standing in a new place, looking at a part of the world that I have never seen before.  All the planning and research culminating in standing in the place I had been dreaming of.

But this time will be different, this time I will be standing in the place I have been training very hard for entire year. Without further adieu, the last of my Ireland training plan!

The weather turned again, but instead of turning my exercises from outdoors to indoors I just doubled down. I have been steadily walking my dog at least 6 miles a day since last summer. And on top of it I added an indoor exercise routine that you can do anywhere as long as you have the internet.

I decided to do a three month high intensity workout plan focusing on cardio and strength which will be ending here in a couple weeks. Then to get me through the last month and a half before the trip I am switching things up again to focus more on balance and flexibility.

All exercises are done once a week for a month, prepare to be very very sore.

Month 1:

  1. This Hit and Abs workout is only 15 min, but I was doing it twice through.
  2. Jessica Smith has some killer workouts, for a low impact leg workout I chose this workout which I did three times through each week.
  3. Then to loosen things up a bit I did a dance heavy workout also from Jessica Smith.
  4. I followed that up with a pilates workout focusing on hip strength and joint rotation.
  5. Then did a killer leg day, again with Jessica Smith…I clearly really like her workouts.
  6. After that leg day another dance heavy cardio was needed to stretch out the muscles.
  7. Day 7 was stretching, relaxing and resting.

Month 2:

  1. Low impact leg strength.
  2. A full body cardio weights routine with PopSugar.
  3. Abs with Fitness Blender again.
  4. I kept the leg day workout from last month, it is a killer but so good.
  5. Pilates for strength and flexibility.
  6. Switching traditional cardio up for a good old fashioned core power yoga.
  7. Day 7 stretch, relax and rest.

Month 3:

  1. For AAA (*ss, Abs, Arms) I picked a PopSugar workout.
  2. For Cardio Flow day I am keeping the trend of Core Power Yoga, so I chose this 45 minute Power Yoga.
  3. LEG DAY! I got a little tired of the one I had been doing for two months so switch it up with a Fitness Blender lower body workout.
  4. A new core workout for the month, once again with Fitness Blender.
  5. Pilates for cardio core day!
  6. And for booty day I am adding another Pilates routine but with workout bands.
  7. Day 7 stretch, relax and rest.


Last few weeks leading up to the actual trip I am cutting back on traditional workouts and went strictly with Pilates and Yoga. So while I am getting a great workout, I am also trying to focus on flexibility and stability. All without risking knee injury which would put a bit of a damper on a hiking trip. So below is the series of workouts I plan to employ up until the day I leave!



California Adventure – Anaheim, California

I am old enough to remember a time when the California Adventure park in Anaheim California was a parking lot. Literally it was, we parked in it once. Now its a neighboring park to Disneyland, and you can buy a ticket that will get you into both parks in the same day.  The park boasts slightly more grownup rides than the Disneyland site but does still pack in plenty of kiddie things, including my favorite The Little Mermaid Ride.

I have much fewer memories of this park, as it is relatively new. I at least feel like it is new, but I did just look up the open date which was 2001. 17 years ago?! That was a big year for me, but I don’t recall at the time the opening of this park being front and center in my mind. I do however recall my parents going to Disneyland for the first time that year without me and telling me that there was a new park that they visited and “boy was it fun” said they, while their daughter was busy studying in college. Alas education first, and I have since had the chance to visit plenty of times and I do love it.

As far as real estate goes it is a much larger park, the walk ways are wider and there is more space in the waiting areas. It tends to lend itself to a much more relaxed less frantic atmosphere than Disneyland. We often get park hoper tickets when we go and skip over to California Adventure when the afternoon crowds start to get the best of us. But for all intents and purposes it is just as well executed as Disneyland. Rather than the sole focus on cartoon characters California Adventure celebrates the adventurous spirit of the state, while still managing to stay true to its brand. I really can’t say enough good things about either park. If you find your self having to decide between one or the other I would just do your research because they are both equally fun, but in very different ways. But either way you are sure to have a blast, we always do.

Disneyland – Anaheim, California

I love Disneyland. I have loved Disneyland since I first went when I was nine years old and I will continue to love it for the rest of my life. I am not a Disney fanatic, I don’t wait impatiently for every movie, I don’t obsess about it’s history or collect certain souvenirs. I just really love the park.

There is something truly magical about it that manages to somehow manifest the nicest behavior in everyone. Despite being jammed into a park surrounded by thousands of complete strangers, everyone every single day I have been there is nice. So usually about once a year we pack off for a long weekend and head south to Anaheim with the singular purpose of spending a couple days at the park.

Part of the draw is the sunny dry climate. After sitting around in our perpetually rainy state it is a welcome reprieve. And for better or worse, even though it is a very intentional carefully planned type of magical atmosphere, the place really is magical. The attention to detail in everything, the cleanness, the kindness, the nostalgia…for a couple days a year it really hits the spot like nothing else does. But also Dole-Whip (see picture above).

My love of Disneyland is multi layers.  I love art and models and history and the park itself is a living breathing work of art in miniature (or perhaps more accurately 75% scale). I am and continue to be totally blown away by the attention to detail and seamless creation of an entire world and mood. I could sit in one place in the park all day and be happy just observing all the minuet details that have been put into the place to create the mood of which ever part of the park you are in.

Then there are the rides, if you are a roller coaster person there isn’t a lot of rides in the park for you. They are all small, low key and even the fastest not all that daring. But I love them all the same, and again part of that is the attention to detail. The rides aren’t just about the thrill. Its about waiting in line and being surrounded by this new world, which is approximately 20 feet from a totally different world. I like the nostalgia and the fact that these rides were invented and have been operational longer than I have been alive in most cases.

I first went when I was nine years old with my mom, step-dad and three step-sisters. I was very tiny at the time, and didn’t get to go on many rides. The first time I rode splash mountain was actually several trips later when I went with my dad.

He stood outside the Splash Mountain ride and told me he was going on and either I was going with him or I was waiting at the entrance by myself until he got back. He claims to have no memory of this. But it happened,  and I went on the ride with him. Do the things that scare you right. I loved it.

My husband and I went there to celebrate a big job change for me. We celebrated by Mom’s 50th and 60th birthdays there. I have ridden Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain so many times I can repeat all the announcements and warnings in my head right now, in both English and probably in Spanish as well if I thought about it hard enough.

Yes the park is crowded, yes the food is expensive, yes the lines can be long. My only suggestion is to find what works best for your family. Once you have an idea of what kind of experience you are looking for a simple web search will be given more options than you know what to do with. For me though the point is to go to a place with a history of family joy and memories. Its bobbing and weaving through crowds and still being able to pick out your people among thousands. Its standing in line with the people you love most in the world and having conversations you might not otherwise because when do you stand still with another person for more than 20 min. It’s about sharing and experiencing the expensive food that you have worked hard as a family to afford. And then going home and having all those memories to cherish for years to come. It’s about parents and aunts and grandfathers and kids and everything in between all getting to be kids at the same time.

It’s magic. Pure and simple.


Have you ever been to Disneyland? What are you favorite things about it?

Denim & Linen


The material of a piece of clothing is very important to me. Regardless of my travel status I have a very low tolerence for tight, unforgiving, scrachy fabrics. I am the person that walks around the clothing store touching everything before I even pull something out to look at it. If it isn’t soft, there is no point in even looking at it.

For summer in particular I prefer denim and linen. Mind you, despite what I say every year in August, Oregon is very temperate.  I would certainly not be wearing jeans all summer if I lived in Palm Springs.

dress and all the shoes

Pink Nikes // Kork-Ease Leather Brogues  // Black Flats // Thrifted Tory Burch Leopard Flats – Similar // Old Jeffrey Campbell Pink Flats – Similar //  H&M Jacket   // Old Banana Republic Dress – Similar


I particularly like white linen because it provides versatility with accessories and shoes. Meaning you could wear the same dress (above) or shirt (below) and just change your shoes to fit the outing.

jeans and all the shoes

Pink Nikes // Kork-Ease Leather Brogues  // Black Flats // Thrifted Tory Burch Leopard Flats – Similar // Old Jeffrey Campbell Pink Flats – Similar // Old GAP High Waisted Skinny Jeans – Similar // GAP Straight Leg Jeans // Thrifted Linen Shirt – Similar


I also wear a decent amount of patterened dresses, though my favorite travel dress is this older Boden dress. The length and cap sleeves provide enough modesty for most European desinaitons while also being cool and comfortble enough to wear all day.

Boden Linen

Kork-Ease Leather Brogues  // H&M Jacket   //  Thrifted Boden Dress – Similar

Edgefield Hotel – Troutdale, Oregon

You all already know my feeling on concerts. I mostly dislike them. But if I can sit, and sit outside while we are making demands then I mostly don’t mind them. The Oregon Zoo has a nice summer concert series  which I enjoy. But in my opinion the best venue in the Portland area is the Edgefield Hotel.

The Edgefield Hotel is much more than just a concert venue. It is, as surmised by the name first and foremost a hotel. It also includes a winery, a brewery, a spa, a golf course, a movie theater, and includes several bars and restaurants all on property. The property a former poor farm was bought and restored by the McMenamins company and has been operational for more than a couple decades now.

The summer concert series that they host are some of the most popular in the area and sell out quickly. And the venue is so popular people generally book hotel stays nearly a year in advance of the concert schedule being published on the off chance that a coveted band will happen to be playing that night.

This last summer I went to see Blonde and Garbage both of which were quite fun. But as it is with cell phone photos, the zoom isn’t stellar so none of the picture turned out very well.

I have in the past had the pleasure of seeing some of my favorite bands while sitting outdoors in the large lawn, munching on pizza and ice cream from the food and drink vendors inside the concert area. All in all if you are a concert goer, or even if you are not like myself I would highly recommend the experience.

One Shirt – Five Ways

I am a big fan of fashion. I had at one point wanted to be a fashion designer, but my lack of sewing skills provided a reality check. Now I just own a lot of clothes. Probably too many, but I do try to keep it in check. I stick to sales and thrift stores and I make sure to only buy things that can be worn a number of ways.

Enter my favorite summer tank. I have been waiting out this miserable Oregon spring for some warmer days so I can slap on the tank and not cover it in three warmer layers. It is still not quite there every day, so I decided to try to style it for a variety of spring climates and adventures.


Farmers Market

This week is shaping up to possibly be warm enough to sans sleeves and in celebration of my farmers market opening again I couldn’t resist paring it with my favorite overalls. Anyone familiar with the 90’s classic ‘Clueless’? Every time I wear my overalls (which is a lot) I think of the line “She could be a farmer in those clothes.”. Yes. Yes I could.

Hat is last season Target – similar // Sunglasses are old Betsy Johnson – similar // Shoes are many years old Birkenstocksimilar  // Tank is thrifted Caslon – similarsimilar //  Overalls are GapFactory


Date Night


Next I tied it over a strapless jersey dress. Perfect for date night and perfect for warmer weather. The denim jacket is at the ready in case the night turns chilly.

Hat is last season Target – similar // Sunglasses are old Betsy Johnson – similar // Shoes are many years old Birkenstocksimilar  // Tank is thrifted Caslon – similarsimilar // Dress is thrifted – similar // Demin Jacket is H&M


casual sunday
Running Errands


We all need a good comfortable outfit for running errands. No one likes them, and hitting up endless stores in uncomfortable clothes just makes for an even worse experience. I tend to stick to boyfriend jeans and a long cardigan. Easy, cute and no need to be constantly adjusting when getting in and out of the car endlessly.

Hat is last season Target – similar // Sunglasses are old Betsy Johnson – similar // Shoes are many years old Birkenstocksimilar  // Tank is thrifted Caslon – similarsimilar // Cardigan is old Zara – similar // Jeans are Anthro

Super Casual
Sunday Fun

Sunday’s are for ultimate comfort. Yoga pants, an oversized terry cardigan for ultimate comfort.

Hat is last season Target – similar // Sunglasses are old Betsy Johnson – similar // Shoes are many years old Birkenstocksimilar  // Tank is thrifted Caslon – similarsimilar // Cardigan is old JCrew – similar

black jeans
Girls Day


One of my favorite girls day adventures is visiting our local wineries. Even if you don’t drink the views are worth the trip out here in Oregon.

Hat is last season Target – similar // Sunglasses are old Betsy Johnson – similar // Shoes are many years old Birkenstocksimilar  // Tank is thrifted Caslon – similarsimilar // Yoga pants are GAP // Denim Shirt is GAP


**Disclaimer:  I do not have paid affiliate links. I receive no cash or goods payments of any kind to advertise or link these items. All opinions are my own. **




The Rainflower – Amity, Oregon

Despite the Portland Metro region Oregon is a fairly rural state. Lots of small towns, lots of old buildings, many of which have been abandoned. It does seem like though as Portland has become more a more popular destination the tourism and money that comes with it has started to trickle out into the smaller communities.

It is not uncommon these days to drive through a one stop light town that looks all but abandoned, which actually houses at least one or two gems worth stopping for. Amity Oregon is one of these towns. Founded between 1848 and 1849 by by two Oregon Trail survivors the town today is home to about 1600 people. There is a school, a store, a gas station, and a whole lot of houses that look like they have seen better days. The downtown houses an antique shop, a pretty decent coffee shop and then right in the middle of the main street is a little shop called The Rainflower.

Almost other worldly in how out of place a boutique flower and chocolate shop are in this tiny little town, especially one so perfectly styled. A blend of 1940s architecture and modern day simplicity it is worth the stop if ever find yourself in the area.

It quite honestly feels like something that all the big city gift shops are trying to pull off, the high ceilings, antique fixtures, minimalist paint, sumptuous details sprinkled around.  But you get the feeling that unlike other shops this wasn’t intentional, but an organic result of the surroundings. It is perfection. As are the chocolates, of which I ate far too many. For hours and other details check out their facebook page, and visit soon it’s worth it I promise.

LACMA – Los Angeles, California

As far back as I can remember visiting art museums has been a tradition between my dad and I. No matter where it was that we were at, there was always a museum, or gallery or store full of art to be visited. He is an artist and I have always wanted to be just like him. Real life happened  and I didn’t go into the arts, but I do appreciate them as well as paint from time to time.

There is nothing like one of the best art museums on the west coast to light the artistic fire in you. After visiting the LACMA I spent the rest of my summer afternoons painting in our backyard.

The LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) opened in 1965 and has expanded in both its collection and physical size ever since. The museum is huge, far too much to see in a single day but worth every minuet if you enjoy the arts.

We wandered around for a few hours, had lunch in their cafe which is actually pretty good and then wandered around for a few more hours. Our taste in art differs a lot but mostly in the type that we create. In many cases we do tend to like the same things in other people’s work. Which means spending a lot of time standing around a few pieces and then breezing through entire exhibits that don’t interest us as much.

Aside for the exhibits, the museum itself, like most museums has some pretty impressive architecture as well as exterior installations.  The museum shares a campus with the La Brea Tar Pits, so even if you don’t have time or the energy to go through the museum itself just walking around and taking it all in is an experience. All in all it was a really great visit!