Sometimes your 3 year Portlandversary comes up and, after reflecting on the past six months, you realize life just has gotten in its own way and had started to stumble over itself.

So I made a huge irrationally spontaneous (and very much not me) decision to cash in my miles, pack my bags, and step away from my little Portland life for a week.

I know taking a trip home to stay with your parents for a bit isn’t always everyones idea of rest and relaxation. But they’ve probably never experienced the tiny town I hail from.

My mornings consisted of soaking up the sun and making friends.

And my evenings were spent soaking up the view.

I’m rested. I’m recharged. I’m ready to get back to living.

A Whale of a Time

Seattle is all of the wonderful things I love about Portland and reminds me of all the fun things I enjoyed in San Francisco.

I had chosen to visit The Whale Wins based on a picture that popped up in my Instagram feed (@thisvalleyblog) a handful of months ago. Naturally, I looked up the restaurant (and its sister restaurants) and obsessed over their menu*.

When I learned of the cookbook Renee Erickson had written, I immediately pre-ordered it.

I got to relive all the dishes I gushed over at The Whale Wins and The Walrus and The Carpenter.


Here are a few pictures of the most amazing meal I’ve ever had. Enjoy.

2014-08-26 20.14.002014-08-26 19.41.052014-08-26 19.37.312014-08-26 19.17.372014-08-26 19.07.192014-08-26 19.02.582014-08-26 18.56.12Things that make The Whale Wins my most favorite restaurant to date:

  • the food (the most amazing marrow bones and the goat cheese plate that stole my heart)
  • the perfect date night ambiance (look at that kitchen, the lighting, and the patio)
  • the wonderful staff (that was so very accommodating)

If you ever get the chance to visit Seattle, go to The Whale Wins. I promise you will have the best dining experience.

*I will fight someone over marrow bones and tartare makes my heart skip a beat.



Watching// Anything I can figure out how to watch on my laptop. I don’t own a TV so I’ve really had to step up my internet game in order to find live streams of the news and decent movies on Netflix.

Reading// Anything and everything. I’ve recently discovered the library and I’ve got e-book copies of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg for Ladies Who Brunch Book Club and Look At Me by Jennifer Egan because I kicked myself for leaving it at the used book store after I started reading a few pages.

Listening// Quite obsessively been listening to Noah Gundersen’s newest album, Ledges. And you should to. His songs were absolutely hauntingly beautiful live and totally moved me in a way I’ve never experienced with music.

Making// My own lunches. I’ve been a full time nanny since the beginning of January and since the family and I have different diets and I hate eating other people’s food, I’ve been packing salads and snacks to get me through my days.

Feeling// Tired. Sleep is hard to come by lately and I’ve made things harder by trying to get to the gym before work (5am).

Planning// A trip. I haven’t taken a vacation in close to ten years and I strongly believe I deserve one. I’ve been tossing around going to Vancouver,BC by train, visiting the BFF in Philly, and more long term, Iceland.

Loving// The idea of having a week to myself between nanny gigs. Rest, relaxation, and exploring Portland are on the agenda.

Currently idea taken from the lovely Erin over at

A fresh start

I started the new year with a clean slate. I got a new apartment in a new building. It was the fresh start I needed after ending the past year on a low note.

Now, I’ve known people who are completely against moving into new building until all the kinks have been worked out, but I find it to be quite lovely knowing you’re the first person to use the washer and dryer and sit on the toilet.

My new place is small but is just the cutest little thing and I’ll be calling it home for a while.