Friday, May 30, 2014

Monthly Favorites // May

Photo via my Instagram...also, peonies are permanently on my favorites list always :)
So I know I sound like a broken record and I say this every month, but the time is seriously flying by this year. This was a particularly busy month for me (hence the lack of posts this month) with moving into our new house, having my family come visit Portland, taking a camping trip to Zion National Park, going to Michigan for 10 days (!! - I'll be sharing some photos next week), and it's hard to believe that tomorrow is already the last day of May! Because I've been so busy, I feel like I don't have a ton of favorites this month, but I thought I'd still share a few of the things I've been enjoying lately:

I'm a big fan of this brand, and they just opened up a store in downtown Portland! I'm loving all their summer stuff - lots of navy, white, and chambray, with lots of cute dresses and relaxed separates.

The 'Green Being' smoothie from Greenleaf Juicing Company
I'm really not a huge smoothie person and I don't particularly care for green juice, so I was surprised to find that I really like this green smoothie! It has pineapple, banana, spinach, ginger, lemon, and ice and it's super refreshing! Plus, Greenleaf has four locations around PDX, which is super convenient.

John Legend - All of Me
I'm pretty sure this is literally the most overplayed song on the radio right now...but somehow, I'm still not tired of it yet. The video is a little racy (warning...LOL) but I think it's such a beautiful song!

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush
I actually just got this earlier this week, but I can already tell it's going to be a summer favorite! It's pigmented but kind of sheer at the same time, and it seems pretty moisturizing. Thumbs up from me!

Podnah's Pit & La Taq
If you live in Portland and haven't been to these two restaurants up in Northeast yet, you need to put them on your list! They're right next door to each other (and owned by the same person) but they offer very different (yet equally delicious!) menus. We tried out Podnah's Pit while my parents were in town; they have fantastic barbeque (I loved their ribs!), and their menu is very Southern-inspired (as seen in the picture above). However, La Taq has a Tex-Mex menu with lots of amazing tacos, plus they have delicious queso! Both places are casual, reasonably priced, and worth checking out!

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
This month, I tried out some new skincare products from Mario Badescu, and while the jury is still out on a few things, I do really like this eye cream. It's so moisturizing, but doesn't sting your eyes like some products tend to do. Plus, it's very reasonably priced compared to many eye creams out there!

I've been wearing my gold Navajos a ton this month and I know I'll be wearing them all summer long. They're such a classic sandal that can be dressed up or down, definitely a perennial summer favorite! 

Maya Angelou Quotes
Sadly, Maya Angelou passed away this week and I feel like my Facebook/Instagram feed have been blowing up with people sharing all her amazing quotes. She truly led an inspiring life and didn't let her circumstances define who she was. I've really appreciated seeing all her wonderful words of wisdom shared across social media this week! (You can find links to these quotes here)

Have a great weekend everyone!

PS: None of the items in this post are sponsored, they're just things I felt like sharing :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Outdoor Adventures // Red Rock Canyon

Happy Wednesday everyone, we're halfway through the week!
(Gotta love a short week after a holiday weekend, right?)

So I promise, these are the last of the photos from our camping trip earlier this month as I realize the last week or so has been nature photo overload. However, I just couldn't let May end without sharing them! After spending the weekend camping in Zion National Park and visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, we headed back to Las Vegas to fly home. However, we had heard really good things about Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, which is located only 17 miles from the Vegas Strip, and since we had a late flight we decided to check it out before heading home.

Red Rock Canyon is a really beautiful area that definitely has some of the same feel as Zion or Bryce. It's not quite as breathtaking or dramatic, but given the proximity to Vegas it's definitely worth exploring, especially if you don't have time to drive to the National Parks in Utah. Red Rock Canyon is also really well designed for people who are not active/outdoorsy, as I think they get a lot of visitors from Vegas who just want to see it without getting out of their car. There is a 13 mile scenic drive through the park that allows you to see all sorts of beautiful rock formations, and then there are stops along with way where you can get out and take photos or go hiking if you want. We ended up doing a short hike (I think it was around 3 miles?) that gave us a great view of the Strip, and it was the perfect way to stretch our legs before the plane ride back to Portland.

Here are some photos from our day at Red Rock Canyon, if you'd like to see...

There are lots of educational exhibits at the visitors' center to help you learn more about the area.
There are also lots of desert tortoises in the area, very cool to see!
At the end of our hike!
The view of the strip of in the distance...

If you're visiting Las Vegas, I'd highly recommend taking a quick visit to Red Rock Canyon! It's only 20 minutes from the strip and it really offers a great glimpse into the Southwest's beautiful desert landscape. I'm really glad we decided to check it out!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bryce Canyon National Park // Snow Day

Happy Friday everyone!

I haven't had as much time to dedicate to blogging these past few weeks, which is a little frustrating, but it's also good because my time has been taken up by other exciting things like getting together with friends and getting settled into our new house. We actually traveled to Michigan earlier this week, and are looking forward to celebrating Memorial Day weekend with family!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few more pictures from our recent camping trip. Sorry if you're getting sick of all the national park photos lately, but they are just too pretty not to post. As you may have read, we traveled to Zion National Park earlier this month to go camping and on Saturday while we were there, we had nice sunny weather and did a great hike! The next day, we decided to drive further northeast up to Bryce Canyon National Park as we'd had multiple friends tell us that they liked it even better than Zion. However, we weren't expecting this:


Unfortunately a storm had blown in bringing snow and cooler weather, plus Bryce Canyon is at a much higher elevation than Zion and so there was it was just much, much colder. Driving through the Dixie National Forest on the way there though was really beautiful!

We had initially hoped to do some hiking in Bryce Canyon, however, once we got to the park we realized that wasn't going to be an option. Due to the weather, some of the roads were closed and the temperature was right around 30 degrees - definitely colder than the 90 degree temperatures we had experienced the day before! We ended up just driving through the park, stopping at a few different overlook points to take photos, and then running back to the car to warm up. And although it was kind of a bummer that we weren't able to hike, it was kind of neat to see things covered in snow!

 In addition to being cold, it was a little windy as well. Ha.
 Also, my apologies for the annoying amount of selfies in this post - with the awful weather, there weren't many people around and so we had to just make do if we wanted a picture together, ha!

Thank goodness Cam found this fleece hat in his suitcase - it really came in handy for me!
I'm sure the views are much better on a sunny day, but it was still pretty even though it was overcast!
I was trying to be excited even though I was freezing, haha :)
The rock formations were really incredible!
We love a good selfie haha :)
The canyon looks much more vibrant in this photo for some reason, which is more true to how it was in person - the colors are stunning!
And because we felt didn't take quite enough pictures (yeah right!), we finally found someone to take one of us together before we left...whew :)

Bryce Canyon is a really beautiful place, and I'm so glad we got to see it...even if it was only for a short time and the conditions weren't ideal. I'm sure it would be even more incredible on a nice day, and a lot of the hiking trails looked awesome. It's close enough to Zion that you can easily make it to both parks in a weekend, and it's definitely a place worth visiting!

Have a fantastic holiday weekend everyone!


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