I hope this finds you enjoying what’s left of the weekend and feeling ready for the week ahead.
I have a Sunday “randoms” post for you with a little bit of everything from seeking travel recs from you guys to highlights from last week to food pics and more.
Tell me what you know about Portland
I’ll be heading to Portland the week of Halloween for a blog trip but I’m tacking a few extra days on to check out the area since it will be my first time in the Pacific Northwest. If you’ve traveled to the Portland area (or live there!) tell me what you would do with 48 hours to explore. Please and thank you much!
Meals for friends
A yoga student and friend of mine has been dealing with a family illness so last week I spent an afternoon in the kitchen making a meal to take to her. I made the PaleOMG buffalo chicken casserole (I reduced the hot sauce by half and it was still PLENTY spicy and added cheese on top), a salad and salted fudge brownies.
You can never, ever go wrong with these brownies. They are so easy to make and incredibly delicious!
My most interesting photo shoot yet
I got booked on a photoshoot last Friday for Queens University here in Charlotte. I won’t spoil the surprise on what the ads will be promoting but I can share that arm balances and inversions in business clothes and high heels ain’t easy!
Fellow yoga teacher Rodolfo. I volunteered him for the splits. Haha. We had a great time at the shoot and I’ll be sure to share the final work/ads when they’re released in early December!
My current favorite breakfast
Plain full-fat Fage greek yogurt, a swirl of Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter, diced banana, Whole Foods pumpkin spice granola, almond butter and fresh quartered figs…layered in the bowl in that order!
Our dinners last week
Monday and Wednesday nights were chili and cornbread night. Chili recipe here. Cornbread recipe here.
Tuesday was leftover shredded rotisserie chicken breast tossed with salsa and served over a bed of spinach and cilantro-lime rice. Topped with a spoonful of plain greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro, green onions and lime wedges.
And Thursday was the buffalo chicken spaghetti squash bake. Verdict = YUM! Just as good as the PaleOMG pizza spaghetti pie!
Scandal Season Six
Chilly fall nights have me bundled up under a blanket (here for those of you who were asking where it’s from) with my slippers. Tanner and I are catching up on season 6 of Scandal and HOLY COW! It’s so intense I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time. Ice cream makes that better. 🙂 I’ve been loving a 50/50 split of cookies and cream and pumpkin pie.
Tell me you didn’t miss this photo of Sullie…
I posted this on Instagram on Monday night. I swear it’s not posed…Sullie just LOVES to lounge on her back and she’ll stay like this forever. And gosh, that smile just kills me. <3
Send me your Portland recs!
What show are you currently watching?
Favorite “take them a meal” ideas? I have a few more coming up soon.
I have lived in Portland for the last 7 years and it is the best! You have to go to Forest Park and Mt. Tabor. Both our amazing and in the city. You will love Harlow for lunch and also New Seasons Market. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Thank you for the recommendations! Doing tons of research and booking now!
HI!!!! Long-time reader here and I live in Portland! You will LOVE it! I think for something healthy, definitely hit up Prasad for a meal or bev, for something sweet, you NEED Salt & Straw and Blue Star Donuts (skip the voodoo thing, trust me, Blue star is better), and for a true Portland food experience, Ava Genes and/or Tusk is a must. They are two of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at anywhere.. top priorities. 🙂 I’m very passionate about food here ha!
ALSO! I’m a local photographer, so let me know if you want to collaborate at all! Would love to meet ya!
Hope the weather cooperates a bit for you while you’re visiting!
Hi Janine! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment with your recommendations! I’ve heard great things about Prasad and we cannot wait to try Blue Star. Also, Ava Genes and Tusk are both fully booked but have you ever had luck walking in and eating at the bar?
RE: photography…it would be great to do some shots while I’m in town but the first two days are crazy with Under Armour and then Tanner and I only have about a day and a half on our own….and it’s supposed to be raining! 🙁 🙁 🙁
Ava Genes for dinner is a MUST. AMAZING food and wonderful wine!
Ahhh, it’s fully booked. Have you ever had luck walking in or eating at bar?
Olympia Provisions. Out of all of the restaurants we tried, this one stuck out to us the most. We had the most amazing brunch there and the friendliest servers. So fu !
Oops So fun!
Awesome, thanks for the recommendation!
-Must try the Goose. Best Mexican you’ll ever have!
-SALT AND STRAW
-Bird and Bear
Thank you Kristen!
You will love running in Portland–the river loop across the pedestrian bridge is beautiful! We loved the whiskey library for a pre-dinner cocktail, very cool. Don’t miss Pok Pok, by far the best meal we had! If you have a half day, the Willamette has some wonderful wineries and delicious food as well.
Hi Rayne! Thanks for these great suggestions! 🙂 We are hoping to make a wine tour happen and Pok Pok sounds so interesting!
I just spent 5 days in Portland last month! My favorite restaurants were Harlow and Tasty & Sons for brunch. Definitely try Salt & Straw for funky ice cream. I liked walking around Alberta Street, doing a wine tour in Willamette Valley, and seeing Washington Park’s gardens and Pittock Mansion.
Thank you Maddie! We are hoping to swing a wine tour! 🙂
I have a question regarding the chili recipe. I made it this afternoon to have for dinner tomorrow night. I only had. 16 oz can of diced tomatoes when the recipe calls for 28 oz can. It tastes great, but I’m wondering if I should add more canned diced tomatoes to it before warming it up and serving tomorrow evening??
I think you could if you were going to simmer it on the stove for 30 mins or so to reheat, otherwise, I might just leave it with a little less tomatoes! 🙂
Thanks so much! I love your blog so much 🙂
My absolute favorite coffee shop is in Portland. Heart roasters! Their coffee is amazing and they make their own nut milk in house. So good!!!
Added that one to the short list!
I’m just wrapping up a work trip here in Portland where I’ve had to drive thru the Willamette Valley every day to get to my destination. ALL the wineries!!! I am so bummed my trip didn’t allow time to explore them but you should! Luc Lac Vietnamese restaurant downtown gave me THE best coconut chicken curry of my life! Went to Salt & Straw. It’s good…but not memorable. Personally I don’t like Blue Star donuts because they’re made with brioche dough and that’s just not a donut to me. Voodoo wins for me. Also went to the Portland Japanese garden. It’s pretty but not worth the $15. If you could go to the Columbia river gorge, that is where it’s at. Sadly it’s still under repair.
Thank you so much for your recommendations. We are hoping to make it for a winery tour!
Ditto to salt and straw for ice cream! We also love the pedestrian bridge waterfront run. Powells books too! Have fun!
So many votes for Salt and Straw and Powell’s. Thank you!
Williamette Valley for sure if you have time! We love Witness Tree. It’s super tiny but they have a blend called Chainsaw with a great story. I suggest renting a car and driving out to the Columbia River Gorge. We went to the falls and watched the sunset from this amazing overlook. It was stunning.
We are going to try very hard to make a winery tour happen! I would love to see the Columbia River Gorge but not sure what’s going on there after all the fires.
If I had an extra two days in Portland, I would use one of them to make a day-trip to Cannon Beach! Rent a car and make the 1.5 hour drive to Cannon Beach. The Oregon Coast is stunning, even if it’s cold/rainy (which it likely will be, so pack a rain jacket and some warm layers!) Cannon Beach is a cute little town, you can grab a coffee and then park at one of the public beaches and walk along the rocky, wind-swept coast to see the famous Haystack Rock. Then, drive a few minutes to Ecola State Park for a little more walking, up on a high bluff overlooking the coast. (Seriously just google Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach for pictures, it’s so beautiful).
Hey Ana – thank you. We are DEFINITELY doing this as one of my must-sees for the trip is the Oregon coast.
Salt and Straw for sure – Voodoo donuts too! I also liked Dove Vive (unique cornmeal crust pizzas in a funky neighborhood). My friend who lives in PDX also swears by Cheese & Crack – where they do Cheese boards with every accompaniment imaginable!!
Of course the food trucks – which are stationary! They don’t go anywhere!
Thanks Emily. That’s Cheese & Crack place sounds insane!
day one: forest park (perhaps the 4T hike if you have time, but the rose garden and arboretum will keep you busy enough) and prasad for lunch, day two: mt. tabor and next level burger for lunch. dinner options abound, go with what you’re in the mood for. departure at the nines and picnic house are likely your jam. stay away from the screen door, if anyone says “let’s go to screen door for brunch!” run! basically any brunch in portland is an all day affair, plan accordingly. pixie retreat is a great spot you’ll love if there’s time. the pearl location is easiest to get to, but the east side spot is nice if you’re on that side of the river. great for a quick bite of healthy awesome. blue star donuts is better than voodoo; don’t waste your time. salt and straw is another tourist attraction that is more hype and long lines than it is delicious, skip. NW 23rd is a fun area for shopping/eating. OH! and gotta visit waterfront park, of course. have fun!!
Hi Laura – I found this list to be so helpful! Thank you very much for taking the time to share!
I’m really interested in that cozy blanket! There’s no link?
Jen – would you mind sharing the link to those cozy, adorable, slippers? Thanks in advance!
Hey Wendy! They are not glamorous! Isotomers that I got at belk! I can’t find the exact link online but they were a good price and they are cozy!
You’re coming to Portland! I’m a native Oregonian and have lived in Portland 69 years. I’m probably one of your oldest followers. Definitely take a run along our waterfront and across the pedestrian bridge. Beautiful views and no traffic except bikes! We are known for our food trucks so be sure to visit any of them in downtown area. We love Andina in the Pearl for dinner. Another favorite is Mediterranean Exploration. Tasty and Alder and Toro Bravo are excellent too. Blue Star is ok. Voodo is fun and the maple bacon square is THE BEST. Go to Powell’s Books in the Pearl. Best bookstore anywhere. northwest 23rd is fun for shopping and lots of good restaurants. Can’t wait to hear what you think about Portland. Be prepared for rain!
Karen – it made me SO EXCITED to receive your comment. I love that I have readers with diverse backgrounds and all ages. I love your recommendations and made a reservation at Andina on Thursday night! 🙂 We are also considering Tasty n Alder but they don’t take reservations. I do think we’ll experience some rain but hopefully it won’t be too bad. Thanks for taking the time to share this! 🙂
I ran the Eugene Marathon earlier this year and visited Portland and LOVED LOVED LOVED Bamboo Sushi, the world’s first sustainable sushi restaurant. It’s pricey but oh so worth it!
That sounds AMAZING!
I have lived here for several years and I haven’t even tried half of the offerings in town but here’s my best try! Tasty and Sons is fantastic but only if you have time to wait in line– I’m still trying to use a year-old gift certificate to that place & even arriving before they open, I would run out of time before work just standing in line! There are plenty of fantastic places all around town. The traffic is pretty bad in the afternoon, but it’s a walkable place. On the east side of the river, there’s Mount Tabor for in-town nature, Heart Coffee or Cellar Door Coffee Roasters for a fabulous cup, Delicious Donuts (real, honest donuts and run by a loving family) and Tapalaya for an incredible breakfast, brunch or dinner experience. Tapalaya has live music Tuesdays and Thursdays! I think you’d like Townshends Tea. They have Brew Dr. kombucha on tap. There is a great market/food truck lot called the Portland Mercado that features food trucks from different countries and regions of Latin America. They also have a wine bar inside and you can take your food truck meal in with you. Base Camp Brewing is a brewery that supports a lot of local causes/nonprofits, plus great atmosphere. If you’re staying downtown, Forest Park is a great natural area that’s easily accessible. Rent a bike if it’s not raining too much. I ride every day in Portland but I don’t love the rainy rides. I hope you have fun!
Oh wow, this list makes it sound like we would stay for a week and not even scratch the surface! How great that you live here!
I’m from the Portland area, so excited you’re going there!! I also recommend Powell’s, walking/running the waterfront, and Forest Park (huge, there are a lot of trails). I personally like Cathedral park as well because the bridge architecture is so unique. For food, you can go to any neighborhood and find something amazing, but my general recommendations tend to be Ox, Bollywood Theater, Salt and Straw, Cheese and Crack (very fun for a lunch or snack!), and the breakfast sandwich at Roman Candle Baking. For donuts, always Blue Star, Pips (they do mini donuts AND five kinds of homemade chai!), and the buttermilk bar at Coco donuts!
Melissa – this is an awesome list. Thank you so very much! That Cheese and Crack place sounds crazy…and amazing! Haha.
Salt and Straw ice cream is 100% the wait. BEST ice cream I’ve ever had…get the flight. The olive oil ice cream was to die for.
So many great recommendations for this place!
SULLIE…I love that sweetie! Pasta and Provisions and Viva Chicken are two of my “go-tos” for “take them a meal”