inspired adjective
- of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse

Friday, August 26, 2011

Open Road.

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. 
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
[ Robert Louis Stevenson ] 

There is a wonderfully freeing feeling to having everything packed in your car, maps in hand and the open road ahead.  I am finding myself again in complete awe of the beauty of the roads out West, and it is amazing to take note of how drastically the landscape often changes. Winding roads through the mountains lead to tree-lined paths through National Forests, soon to open desert before signs for a city or two. The few small towns that dot the vast land along the Interstate, the ever-present McDonalds, the patches of farmland, and the wildflowers that border the road are becoming familiar sights along the way. 

My brother has joined me as the easy-going travel buddy, and we are excited to hit the road and get to a lot of places that are new to us (camping in Arches National Park outside of Moab is looking to be the highest anticipation, for sure). We are staying with friends, couch-surfing, and camping as we go along the planned ten-day journey across the country. Having taken a more northern route through Chicago and to Yellowstone on the trip to Oregon last year, I am excited to see more of the beautiful parts of the country via a different course. 

 (on-the-road dinner of champions :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Long, Oregon.

"What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies."
- Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 2, Ch. 8

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

gems of the weekend.

This weekend was full of live music, good food, happy hours in tall buildings overlooking the city, bike rides, friends, and last minute things for the cross-country roadtrip back East. This included stocking up on Oregon beer to take home, filling up mason jars with snacks from the co-op for the long car ride, snagging some window panes and drawers from the Rebuilding Center for future apartment decoration ideas, and saying goodbyes. 

As much as I could have done without that last part (never been too big of a fan of goodbyes), I am thankful to take these memories with me. I will forever treasure this time spent in such a beautiful part of the country, with all that I have learned and all of the people I have met, and all of the photos, memories, and stories that I have picked up along the way. 

I will hopefully be able to post often from the road, as the camera will be in hand and my mom will be glad to know that I am alive. Journey across America round two is a go.

Friday, August 19, 2011

friday, cheers!

This beautiful video is a bit old, yet I was reminded of it by the recent
Move, Learn, Eat series and it is still a chill-inducing favorite.
Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend!

If you're really listening--if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break, it's purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonder. -Andrew Harvey

Thursday, August 18, 2011

new things brewing.

Wooohooo! I am so excited to announce that I will be starting a new job with HOLSTEE once I return back to New York City! I cannot think of a company that I would be more proud to be a part of than this one. I have long been a fan of their Manifesto and am so impressed by the authentic passion that this wonderful team of people has for their work, for the environment, and for a life lived fully. Aside from HOLSTEE's beautiful Manifesto (that has been hitting the airways like wild), HOLSTEE produces and curates lifestyle goods, designed with a conscience. Their values as a company are authentic & outstanding and I am so excited and energized by what they are all about.

Especially after reflecting on my ideals and values for what I would like my next job to contain, (see: 'On Work') I am so thrilled for how perfectly this job matches those values. I will be the "Community Engagement Officer" for HOLSTEE, which will include running their social media outlets and posting to the blog.  I am completely stoked because this community is amazing- I am continuously blown away by the people that HOLSTEE attracts and am privileged to be a part of it.

As I am tying up everything in Oregon, I am so thankful for the opportunity to have lived out here and every chance that I have had to explore, learn, discover new things, and grow. I just re-read my 'On Living in Oregon' post, and it is so wonderful to be able to reflect on all the amazing things of this past year. Working with PeaceJam through my Americorps position has been such an amazing experience and I have met so many beautiful people (and have been so encouraged by the youth that have been inspired through the program). While I will miss many aspects of living out West, it is with much excitement that I get ready to hit the road to get back to Brooklyn and start a new adventure. Exciting times, for sure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

silver falls state park.

i thank you god for most this amazing day: 
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; 
and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes [e.e. cummings]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

gems of the weekend.

This weekend was full of bike rides around the city, farmer's markets, and picnics by the water--soaking in all of the wonderful things that make Portland such a perfect place to be in the summertime. I finally had a macaroon from the famous Pix Patisserie (per Lauren's appreciated insistence) that was definitely worth the hype. We ate the healthiest brunch of our lives at Verde Cocina, a farm-to-fork-promoting food stand at the PSU Farmer's Market that cooks up the fresh veggies that are being offered at the market that day. A long bike-ride along the river to the opposite side of town got us to drinking craft ale out of Mason Jars from a school bus brewery at the Alberta Street Fair. I think it is safe to say that biking and eating comprised majority of the weekend, so it was the best sort of weekend, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have been losing a lot of stuff lately. I am not sure why--I am usually pretty good about not losing things, yet there it is and I have been kicking myself every time. Major bummer and only myself to blame. 

All frustrations aside, my recent adventure in losing things has allowed me to continue to reevaluate my relationship with 'having stuff' and offers another reminder towards the aim of simplicity. A while back I wrote this post on the things we value and have since been trying to consciously value simplicity over consumerism. Losing things works as another reminder for me to keep things simple and not buy things I don't need, because then I do not have more stuff that I could potentially lose. 

I have started the process of packing up my things for the upcoming cross-country trip back East. There is nothing like packing up all of your stuff to fit in your tiny car to allow you to really think about all the stuff you have (and if you really need it). In a culture that constantly demands us to buy more stuff or screams that we are inadequate if we do not have this or that new product, I am trying to pick out these ways of keeping myself in check and keeping it simple. I have found Zen Habit's Simple Living Manifesto to be a thorough and inspirational list of great tips for doing just that (and definitely worth checking out). Hopefully, I can master the art of simple living and still manage not to lose any more stuff. Those are my goals. ;) Hope you had a great weekend!

The more you read about minimalism, the more the whole concept starts to sound pretty spiritual. It’s about having less and enjoying the things you have more—it’s about cutting through the excess to discover what is essential.

-I Love Your Style, Amanda Brooks

Friday, August 12, 2011

Have a farm fresh weekend!

It is National Farmers Market Week this week in the US, woohoo! Find a Farmers Market near you via this search engine. Plus, check out this great guide for picking fruits & veggies. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Notes for the Wine Aisle.

For my fellow winos, check out this post that I wrote for the HOLSTEE blog 
about why choosing cork over plastic wine stoppers is the way to go. 
Hope you are having a wonderful week, cheers!
[photo 1, 2]

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

a cover song playlist.

I am a sucker for a good cover song.
Here are a few for you to enjoy:

1. Rocket Man by My Morning Jacket (Elton John Cover)
2. This Must Be the Place by Strand of Oaks (Talking Heads Cover)
3. Maps by Rogue Wave (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Cover)
4. Free Fallin' by John Mayer (Tom Petty Cover)
5. I Can't Make You Love Me by Justin Vernon (Bonnie Raitt Cover)
6. Where Is My Mind by Maxence Cyrin (The Pixies Cover)
7. Against All Odds by The Postal Service (Phil Collins Cover)
8. My Boys by Taken by Trees (Originally My Girls by Animal Collective)
9. Iron Man by Four Tet (Black Sabbath Cover)
10. Your Love by Bon Iver (Outfield Cover)
11. Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez (The Knife Cover)
12. I'm On Fire by Ari Hest (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
13. Animal by Javier Dunn (Miike Snow Cover)
14. Heartless by William Fitzsimmons (Kanye West Cover)
15. Crazy by Ray LaMontagne (Gnarls Barkley Cover)
16. Kids by The Kooks (MGMT Cover)
17. Graceland by The Tallest Man on Earth (Paul Simon Cover)
18. I Want You by The Tallest Man on Earth (Bob Dylan Cover)
19. Boots of Spanish Leather by Nanci Griffith (Bob Dylan Cover)
20. Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine (The Postal Service Cover)
21. Blackbird by Brad Mehldau Trio (Original by The Beatles)
22. All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan Cover)

photo m.roman via pinterest

summer days

This weekend was full of perfect leisurely summer afternoons: picnics under the shade of trees, views of Portland's bridges while walking along the water, roaming through rose gardens, and sneaking a glimpse of an older woman sketching the symphony's free concert in the park in front of her. Appreciating the savored details and simple pleasures of summer days.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty,
and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before,
and which shall never be seen again. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]

As I am finishing up my year in Oregon, trying to fit everything in, tying up loose ends and excitedly preparing for what is next, I have been trying to consciously focus on each moment even more. It is always a challenge to stay present, isn't it? I find it so easy to slip into thinking about things of the past or about what is to come in the future. I always have to keep the mantra of 'living in the present moment' at the forefront of my mind, as I have come to realize we miss so much of the present if we are always living in that way (past/future). Once I realize that I am actively doing just that--being here now--it is quite the wonderful thing. Hope you enjoy a great weekend wherever you are. Much love.

Links to Check Out:
The GOOD 30 Day Challenge for August : Unplug After 8pm
Perfect Inspiration for Perfect Summer Meals : A Round Up
Loved this Video from HelloGiggles : On Girl-Bashing Girls
Music for Summer Days: Mike's Days of Wine & Roses Playlist
Wonderful Project to Help Wildlife Hurt by BP Oil Spill (Thanks Emily!) : BirdProject Shop
You Are What You Eat: Fascinating Photo Project of What's in Your Fridge (Thanks Kate!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

hello there, travel bug.

How rad is this?
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films = a trip of a lifetime.

Seeing things like this evokes so much excitement in me for life, as silly as that may sound. There is so much out there to see, to do, to learn, to explore, to discover, to eat (yes!), and so many people to meet along the way. That'll get ya off the couch, eh? ;)

Watch the other two videos 'Learn' and 'Eat' here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crater Lake.

The lake with its deep clear blue waters was one of the most awe-inspiring wonders I have ever been privileged to see (and it truly exceeded my expectations with its beauty). The weekend consisted of mornings waking up to sunlight on tall trees through the mesh windows of a tent, days spent exploring an area that was once a former volcano, and nights spent around a campfire with good friends and good food. We climbed up to the top of the mountain to get the full scope of the lake's entirety, and then climbed down the edge to get to the level of its waters. And then, we jumped:

Considering that the lake is so clean because it only holds water from rain and melted snow (there are no rivers or streams feeding it), the waters were preeetty cold. However, the jump was worth it. It was an epic adventure throughout, and Oregon yet again continues to blow me away.

 I thought that I had gazed upon everything beautiful in nature as I have spent many years traveling thousands of miles to view the beauty spots of the earth, but I have reached the climax. Never again can I gaze upon the beauty spots of the earth and enjoy them as being the finest thing I have ever seen. Crater Lake is far above them all. 

[Jack London, 1911]

For more photos, check out my Flickr page.
Also notable, have you ever tried putting peanut butter on s'mores? 
The addition was another favorite discovery of the weekend. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

a perfect summer meatless monday


I had a zucchini left over from the trip to Sauvie Island last weekend, so figured it would be perfect for a light summer dinner dish on a Meatless Monday. I have been loving using Quinoa in a lot of dishes lately. It is packed-full of nutrients, protein, and fiber, making it a great & filling staple for MM. This dish was so simple and tasty that I made it again the next night, only with added chopped red peppers (delish). It is wonderful on its own, or would be the perfect side dish to complement salmon or to bring along for a picnic.

Quinoa with Zucchini, Lemon and Feta (Serves 4)

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
2 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 Zucchini, cut in half and thinly sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of crumbled Feta cheese 
Zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed under water 
2 cups of water

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic and onion. Let cook for a few minutes or until the onions are soft, and add the wine. Once the wine cooks off, add the zucchini and a little salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, put the water, quinoa, and a sprinkle of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer until quinoa is cooked through (about 15 minutes or so). Add the quinoa to the pan of zucchini and toss with the lemon juice, zest, s&p to taste. Top with the Feta, serve & enjoy (even more so with a glass of that Chardonnay!).