Get Mortified.

screen-shot-2015-04-18-at-4-29-22-pmHave you seen Mortified? I discovered it on Netflix a few years ago with their documentary, “Mortified Nation.” It’s a show where real adults read their personal diary entries from their most cringe-worthy teenage years. They have live performances all over the place, and Will and I have seen a few shows in Portland now. We went for the Valentine’s special this month. Each time we go, we laugh until we’re nearly crying. This time an amazing guy showed the audience the music videos he made in the 80s in attempt to win over the love of his high school crush. It was amazing in all its mullet-hairband glory. Sometimes people read their horrible poetry or perform the awful songs they wrote in all their teenage angst. I love it.

Would you ever read something from your teenage diary to an audience of strangers? I don’t know if I’d have the guts, haha. How often do people publicly confess to their bad ideas or how wrong they were about something? It’s great! I wish I hadn’t thrown my dairies away long ago – I’d love to read them now. I think I enjoy the show so much because it’s a hilarious reminder that the human experience is so connected. No matter where you end up as an adult, we all went through puberty. We all did a wild amount of embarrassing things until we figured out how best to be ourselves and move through the world. Check out the Mortified website and see if there’s an upcoming show near you!



Our Valentine’s Tradition

Some couples go out to a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day every year. While I do love a good restaurant date, on Valentine’s everything seems to be more expensive with longer lines. Will and I have avoided that mess for the past 5 years by cooking at home. We make heart-shaped pizza every year! Pizza is the way to my Italian man’s heart, haha.

The pictured desserts are from the loveliest bakery by my work, St. Honoré Boulangerie.

Quest for a Sushi Burrito

Willamette Weekly posted an article on Sushi Burritos last week, and this weekend I trekked to the food carts to find one. I went to the Happy Valley Station Food Carts and was pleasantly surprised. (Frankly, I didn’t want to admit that anything cool could be in the suburbs of Happy Valley.) I found Wasabi Sushi PDX that serves sushi burritos!.

heart-eyesI am a sushi AND burrito connoisseur, so I’m pretty happy that sushi burritos exist now. haha. Apparently, Sushi Donuts are the next frontier.

Recipe: Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze

Last weekend I made a bundt cake to bring to Will’s grandparents’ house. I thought I’d share the recipe because it was tasty!


Double-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze from Food & Wine Magazine

This cake had a rich chocolate coffee flavor, but it was still very light and moist. My only complaint was that I should have added more liquid to the ganache so it would have dripped onto the cake a little prettier. It was an easy recipe and everyone loved it. It gets our “5 stars – would make again” rating.

Fake news?

Will and I attended the Women’s March on Portland the day after Trump’s inauguration.  It was wild and amazing. We marched the streets of Portland with nearly 100,000 fellow feminists in the pouring rain. It was a remarkable display of solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families. It recognized that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. It told the world that we don’t support Trump’s politics.


I’ve really been struggling with the current state of our political system. Trump’s constant claim that the media is “the opposition party,” “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people” is frankly the most absurd thing I have ever heard. Good journalism is the only way we can be informed, active, involved citizens. Trump’s attempt to make Americans distrust all new sources is a sinister plan to try to silence all content that disagrees with his antics. I’m disheartened that a large portion of Americans don’t seem to care about the truth or facts anymore. I feel like I live in a new world where the loudest lies are winning over the true fact-based reality, and that honestly is making me a little crazy. Woof.


I love snow. In Portland, it’s such a rare occurrence that even a hint of snow in the forecast makes me giddy. I love the way our neighborhoods transform into white winter wonderlands. I love how the snow absorbs sound and makes your own street feel like a foreign environment of sparkling bright light.

Portland is usually known for its mild weather. We typically only get pitiful amounts of snowfall that aren’t worthy of snowmen. However, this winter has been different. We’ve had three major storms of snow and ice that have basically shut down the city for days at a time. Portlanders just do not know how to deal with snow, and we definitely don’t know how to drive in it. I love a good snow day or two – but unfortunately work never gets cancelled when you work in Healthcare. The Oregonian said our current winter is the coldest Portland has seen in 10 years!

In the past month, Will and I enjoyed more snow walks than we can count and even built a small snowman of our own. This morning, there were threats of a worst-case-scenario 18 inches of snow. I hate to say it, but we were delighted to wake up to no snow at all.

Travel Planning | Japan

93298_itinerary_maps500We are leaving for Japan in two months! We’ve been looking forward to this trip for a very long time, and I can hardly believe that it’s almost here. Will and I are intrigued by Japanese culture, and we can’t wait to explore a new country. Will minored in Japanese in college, and we want to go before he forgets it all. And let’s be honest – Japanese food is my favorite. You best believe that I’m looking forward to eating all the authentic ramen, sushi, and zazzy street food that we can get our hands on. We’re staying 5 nights in Osaka, 2 nights in Kyoto, and 4 nights in Tokyo. We haven’t ironed out a legit itinerary yet, but I’ve written about a few activities we’re interested in below.

Osaka is a cosmopolitan city best known for being the culinary center of Japan. It’s the second largest metropolitan area in Japan, after Tokyo. We’re staying in Dōtonbori within the Namba district, renowned for its nightlife and street food. We plan to visit the Osaka Castle, eat some amazing sushi, take a biking tour, explore some popular neighborhoods, and see the shark whales at the Osaka Aquarium.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over one thousand years, before moving to Tokyo. It’s full of ancient temples, shrines, and gardens. We plan to visit the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple and the Nishiki Market. Maybe we’ll wander to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove and look for monkeys. Maybe we’ll participate in a traditional tea ceremony or watch a Kabuki Dance Performance?

Tokyo is the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, so we plan on doing some major people watching and exploring. We’ll wake up early to catch the Tsujiki Fish Market and eat fresh sushi for breakfast. I want to see the Harajuku district and Will is set on us going to a crazy robot restaurant, haha. I can’t wait!


Photos used in this post are not my own. Links to the image sources are listed within the photo captions.

Women’s March on Portland


(Sign credit: Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX.)

I’ve been more actively engaged in political news in 2016 than ever before. Unfortunately, being well-informed on our country’s political state of affairs this year has been very upsetting to me. It was a depressing election, and I’ve been feeling a real sadness about the impending Trump presidency and the impact it will have on America.

Will and I are going to participate in the Women’s March on Portland on January 21st, the day after Trump’s inauguration. We will march to stand up for equality and justice for ALL. We will march for all the reasons discussed in this editorial. Portland’s march already has over 25,000 people who have registered on the EventBrite link above. It’s predicted to be one of the larger branches of this march in the nation.


How have you all been holding up since the election? How are you dealing with this new reality? I had to download a meditation app to help me sleep at night for when I read too much news, hahaha. I have joined a few online forums that have been helpful, like Pantsuit Nation. I found some volunteer opportunities in my community to get involved with in the New Year. I think that in all this hateful political chaos, we have a responsibility to be the kindness that we want to see in the world.

Holly Jolly Holidays

November & December have been a total whirlwind. Thanksgiving and Christmas were really nice, but very busy. We got a real-live snow storm which turned Portland into beautiful winter wonderland. We threw our annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at Voicebox karaoke lounge, and it was amazing. Will also finished his last courses of his Computer Science degree, so there’s been lots of celebrating. We’re excited for our newfound free weekends full of adventures and projects. We’re also very excited to spend more social time with our friends and family.

My annual Christmas cookie platters were rad this year. I like to bring them to each family gathering we go to and gift them to our neighbors. I enjoy baking a lot, especially when I can share it with others. Here are the recipes I tried this year:

In other news, one of my very best friends is moving away at the end of the week for school. I’m very happy for her new chapter and her path to a new career. Her determination and commitment are inspiring to me, and I’m super proud of her. (On the flip side, I will miss her so much! 2017 must involve some sort of shedding of my introverted tendencies. I need to meet some new people – especially as my dearest friends move away one-by-one!) On New Year’s Eve we’re going to brunch to wish her farewell. That night, Will and I made a fun late-night dinner reservation, and we plan to ring in the New Year in SE Portland. So long 2016, you’ve been a real challenging bitch. lol. Cheers to 2017! May it be full of love, light and opportunity.

Madam President?

Woof – It’s been a tough week. I was so ready for Hillary to win.

I’ve drafted many posts about the despair that I’ve felt since election day, but they have all fallen short. A Facebook friend just reposted a blurb that articulates my thoughts really well, and I thought I’d share it below:

Not all Trump supporters are racist, misogynist, xenophobes. All Trump supporters saw a racist, misogynist, xenophobe and said “this is an acceptable person to lead our country.” 

You may not have racist, misogynist, xenophobic intent, but you have had racist, misogynist, xenophobic impact.

Impact > intent.

So when you get called racist, misogynist, and xenophobic — understand that your actions have enabled racism, misogyny, and xenophobia in the highest halls of our federal government, regardless of why you voted for him.

You have to own this. You don’t get to escape it because your feelings are hurt that people are calling you names. You may have felt like you had no other choice; you may have felt like he was genuinely the best choice for reasons that had nothing to do with hate.

But you have to own what you have done: you have enabled racism, misogyny, and xenophobia.

Impact > intent. Always.

-Written by Phillip Howell