Wednesday, June 29, 2011

La Chamba Cookware

Can you ever go home again?  I ask myself this question every time Zach and I venture back to our hometown, Half Moon Bay in Northern California.  We were there for the last week, and it is odd how many things have stayed the same.  The pace of life... the way you inevitably see people you know every time you go to the grocery store... and the foggy June weather.

But one thing has changed, and that is the addition of an amazing kitchen shop called Toque Blanche on Main Street.  Zach and I could have stayed in there for hours, but in our cursory walk-through, I fell in love.

Do you believe in fate?  If so, then I am meant to own this chicken pot:
I first saw the La Chamba cookware at Toque Blanche.  I promptly fell in love with it.  It feels so organic.  The look of it is deceiving because it is much lighter than it appears.  Also, it can be used in the oven, on the stovetop, in the microwave, and it is so gorgeous it can go straight to the table.  Aren't all the pieces so beautiful?

But I resisted. I didn't buy the chicken pot.

And then... the next day... in a different store, in a different city, I saw the chicken pot again.  It was like fate.  Twice in two days.

Alas, the sales-tax-free nature of Oregon has ruined me for shopping California.  I couldn't bring myself to pay the extra 10% in tax, so I returned home.  Chicken-pot-less. 

I am still thinking about La Chamba.

Friday, June 24, 2011


We are on vacation!  And having a great time, being (for the most part) unplugged.

Please bear with us while we play!  Back soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Middle Kingdom (and Manor is online!)

You all know about my love for Manor Fine Wares, perhaps my favorite home store in Portland (not only for their excellent products but also because the owners are so nice- they make it a pleasure to shop there).  When Lissa was visiting, she spotted these beautiful bowls from Middle Kingdom.
I love these bowls for so many reasons.  The colors are beautiful and so fresh, and the contrasting tones on the inside and outside make for a striking display.  The porcelain is thin and fine.  The shape is utterly practical and yet completely feminine.  They are a modern representation of traditional Chinese porcelain.  (Also, they are really reasonably priced).

I have already given sets of nesting bowls as gifts, most often to celebrate a wedding, and they have been so well-received. 

You can now buy them online from Manor, since (happy day!) Manor now has an online shop!  It has been months in coming, and I have already spent too much time perusing their wares.  As if I didn't spend enough time physically in the shop, I now find myself wiling away the hours dreaming about which bed linens I should buy...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In Bloom!

Despite my predictions, an unseasonably cold and rainy and dreary May and June, a blight that seems to kill the buds every year, and the fact that I stubbornly refused to cage them (refused, I tell you,  because after 4 years of disappointment, how was I to know that this year, of all years, would be the year), the peonies have bloomed!

I love peonies.  Zach and I had them at our wedding, and they are still one of my most favorite flowers.

Ours are as big as plates, and brightening up the house.  They get prettier every day.

In other happy summer growing news, our CSA starts this week!  I am predicting rhubarb... lots and lots of rhubarb...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Castle Blocks

Aren't these wooden castle blocks from Imagine Childhood amazing?  I want to play with them.  Apparently, each piece is hand drawn (bark and all), cut, sanded and finished.  Beautiful.

Other items I am loving from Imagine Childhood are these crayons:
and this awesome table-top paper cutter:

Monday, June 6, 2011

30- Whew!

I'm 30!  It doesn't feel much different than 29, to be honest.  Except that I got to spend a weekend away with Zach in wine country, eating, drinking and celebrating.  We had a phenomenal time and it was nice to just get away and kind of check in.  It had been awhile since we had done that, just sort of a "where are we?" and "where are we going?" conversation. 

Do you and your families ever do that, friends?  Kind of purposefully set out to check in?  Zach and I do occasionally, but this one was long overdue.  We have recently had so many potential major changes to our life together, and the discussions have been stilted, between bathtime and playtime and work and cooking dinner and planting flowers and and and.  So this time, I actually made an agenda.

I really did.  I typed it up.  It had Roman Numeral bullet points.  And so we talked about everything on the list.  And now I feel like we are moving forward on the same page, with our priorities aligned, with our dream compasses pointed in the same direction.

One of the things I have been thinking about is the future of this blog.  Why does one write a blog?  What does it really offer the world?  And is there a place for me in the conversation?  I hope you don't mind I took some time away to think about, since a 30th birthday seems like a good reason to reset.  Happily, I feel like I am in a remotivated, recommitted place (plus, with summer coming and oodles of backyard party ideas out there, I mean, who can stop now?). 

So prepare to see more.  And in the meantime- some weekend pics!
 At dinner in McMinnville, home of the famous Oregon pinot noirs. We went to a Spanish restaurant and ate tapas and drank cava for hours and reminisced over our 2 weeks in Spain a few years ago.  Our dinner was 3 hours long. The picture is blurry, but after a few bottles of wine, that is kind of how we both felt, so I find it an appropriate representation of the evening!
 I wanted to spend the day of my actual birthday celebrating with Zach, of course, but also Tate and Mom and Dad.  We decided to go to Multnomah Falls, a famous waterfall near Portland.  Mom and Dad leave Oregon in just a few weeks, so this was a "must-do" before they left.
 Could Zach's eyes get any bluer?
In a rock cave.  Zach slays me, he is so handsome.
Speaking of handsome... Tate has moved beyond walking and is officially running.  Happily, he now has a pair of shoes.  And in this outfit, doesn't he look like such a little boy?  We might have officially passed babyhood...