how to: Make a Welcome Home to the States Kit.

A dear friend of mine just returned from almost a year abroad. Given that she returned a week after the 4th of July (and a lot of the hard-core patriotic stuff then went on sale), I put together this “Welcome Back to America” basket!

Many of the items chosen below wound up being “remember how awesome Summer in Portland is?” presents.

Manic Monday!

Mondays wouldn’t be extra-manic if this blog poster weren’t always a little late.

This last week has felt especially busy, but the kind of busy that is productive, fun and confirms the fact that you love what you do and how you do it.

I went to the zoo:

I smoked cigars with this modern-day philosopher:

I went camping with a bunch of friends:

I celebrated this handsome stud’s birthday:


And I managed to read these things from the internet that I want to share with you today!

  • Something that’s hard for everyone: How to Say No.
  • I love and miss Gilmore Girls (and watch it at least once a week) and will now strive to read each of these books! 134 down….many more to go.
  • This is an adorable answer to the question “Does She Love Me?
  • An interesting rant on how much is too much sharing in the blog world- and when to know you’re too bland as a result of withholding the personal stuff.

That’s it, folks! Here’s to another terrific week, with my family reunion and the Pickathon!!

Erin’s Fashion Philosophy

I’m pretty proud because I kept myself from naming this post “Erin’s Phashion Philosophy”….but only just barely.

On Monday I alluded to the fact that I would start posting about fashion– outfits, combinations, when to wear what- all that typical “woman blogging” stuff.

I’ve resisted doing this before because it seems  a little girly, a little self-absorbed…and just a little silly. But in all honesty, I think a lot about what I wear and how I comport myself. For me, dressing every day can be an experiment in creativity- I view it as another outlet for solving creative design problems using shape, color and texture.

That’s why I wanted to clear things up and share some of my philosophies when it comes to what I wear.

  1. Dress for the occasion- but also dress for the character you are playing that day. I have a friend who is a self-professed “Dress Up Queen”, and I like to think that my years of playing dress up as a child significantly influenced my views on fashion. I am very much a person who dresses in subtle “costumes” to get through the day. Have an important corporate meeting? I’m made up to look like a librarian in my glasses, heels and tight bun.  Need to come across “artsy”? I throw on a silk scarf and a vintage dress from my grandmother with untamed tresses. These “costumes” are a way for me to act the part- even if I’m not particularly feeling it that day. 
  2. Don’t adhere to one set of rules- just dress in a way that makes you comfortable. This rule is two-fold: don’t feel pigeon-holed into dressing in one strict style. I love to dress in some of my vintage clothing one day, then sport a graphic T shirt and cut off shorts the next- I try not to let barriers in terms of style keep me from wearing an outfit I really enjoy. That being said, I don’t condone dressing in a way that feels uncomfortable- whether it’s a skirt that’s a little more skimpy than you’d like, or an outfit that’s just a tad too outrageous to pull off with confidence. Whatever I wear, I want to feel like I look good and look like I feel good.
  3. Play with color, shape, texture and layers. Mix retro and modern, clean cut and unkempt. Out of all my f[ph]ashion philosophies, this ties most into being a designer. Because I’m a morning person, I have the luxury of energy first thing in the morning to look at my closet, try on a few (or six) outfits, play with the above mix, and head out for the day in a new outfit every time. Because of this playful approach to mixing and matching, I like to think I start out my day a little creatively- and jump-start those creative juices flowing for work.

I guess overall, I want to say that I am by no means promoting a sense of fashion or not. I am not trying to say I am “fashionable” in a traditional sense. So there’s my caveat: don’t take anything I say on this subject too seriously.

Keep an eye out for future fashion posts!

Manic Monday

I’ve decided that I’m going to start showing off outfits on this blog from time to time- partly because I’m sort of a girly-girl and like that outlet for creativity, and partly because some days I feel like I need to document the outfits that WORK for the days when NOTHING seems to fit right.

More about this to come!

Today’s Manic Monday:

On that note- anyone doing anything fun/creative/wild this week? Need a partner in crime? I’m planning on being up to my ears in creative adventures, tutorials and secret projects .

Have a great week!

how to: Make a Gourmet Campfire Dessert

The last time I went camping, I made these for breakfast and was VERY happy with the results.

  1. Without peeling, cut a slit into the banana lengthwise.
  2. Put chocolate pieces and peanut butter in the banana!
  3. Wrap the whole thing in aluminum and put it on the fire!
  4. When the chocolate is melted, eat it up with a spoon.

nom nom nom.