a taste of portland

we’re in portland right now and visited portland last year at the same time. i’m just getting around to writing this post from last years trip. better late than never. right? we visited portland for the first time  to attend my brothers wedding and fell in love with it the instant our plane touched the ground. this visit was dedicated solely to exploring, eating, shopping, bike riding and taking in the beauty of the city and it’s epic neighborhoods.

we stayed in a sweet little neighborhood called sellwood. we woke up every morning, rode bikes to the coffee shop and wandered around the town getting to know its ins and outs. we meandered through little antique shops and took our time stopping at each little boutique that caught our interest. i love this feeling. the feeling of not needing to be anywhere at any time. the feeling of losing track of the hour. i think this is what being present feels like. it seems when we are in our most hurried states we get lost in the cycle, think ten steps ahead, need to be somewhere else before we’ve even arrived at the first destination. we spent a rainy day at this amazing antique shop in sellwood. we literally spent hours carefully scouring each aisle, taking in the history of each item. we came home with the most amazing treasures.


we found the cutest little shop filled with modern/vintage lace dresses and baby clothes here. i love the idea of reusing vintage material to create something new and more modern while still keeping the essence of  a vintage style.

we ate lunch at an amazing tai restaurant, jade bistro in sellwood. they have a great selection of gluten free items, rice noodle bowls and a nice selection of loose leaf teas. the perfect place to eat or sip tea on a rainy day.

the first few days were bright and sunny and every time we stepped outside i felt a sense of awe and amazement to be surrounded by such beautiful colors. the leaves of gold, pink, red, yellow and orange hues glistening in the sunlight. the world is a canvas of beautiful colors and textures. we spent every morning taking in this masterpiece as we rode through the streets and down the sidewalks scattered with leaves.


i’m fascinated by trees. i love the essence of what they represent; strength, endurance, expansion, stability, life.

sometimes i lose my breath just standing beside a beautiful tree…other times i find it.b27the bright orange and red hues of these leaves took my breath away.

orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. it is associated with joy, sunshine, and warmth. orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, produces an invigorating effect, and stimulates mental activity. as a citrus color, orange is associated with healthy food and stimulates appetite. orange is a symbol of strength and endurance.


i’ll never stop climbing trees. i always see life from a different perspective perched atop a tree. i’ve often wondered what it’s like to be a bird. to sit amidst the branches of trees and soar above the clouds. during times of hesitation or worry, when fear creeps in, i remind myself that I am truly free, like a bird, it’s only fear that keeps me in my self-contained cage and i’m free to fly wherever i choose, whenever i choose.


i’m crazy about these minnetonka moccasins. you can find them here.

we don’t make a lot of plans when we travel and like to stumble our way through new places. we often stumble into the best spots like this incredible restaurant biwa in lower burnside.


it’s a quaint little izakaya style restaurant with a variety of delicious small plates to choose from and share with others. the energy is always warm and inviting. my husband and i loved it so much we went three times during our visit. my favorite dishes are the homemade kimchi and the rice balls and once you taste the homemade popcorn they bring to your table you’ll be hooked for sure. i’m working on re-constructing the recipe and hope to share soon –  here’s a hint (sesame oil, brewers yeast, cayenne pepper, seaweed flakes…), if you’re in portland this restaurant is a must try!

have you been to powells books? if you’re a book lover, this place is a book lovers dream!  it’s a great likelihood you’ll find more than your share of books that interest you.


after visiting powells books on multiple occasions you can imagine my excitement when i found that they were carrying my book!

if there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” toni morrison

i plan on sharing more about this topic in the future…i truly believe we all have a book in us…ready to be written and shared and if you have a passion or desire to write a book you should go for it…after all, what do you have to lose?

on our last trip to powells i picked up this great read , awake in the world -teachings from yoga and buddhism for living an engaged life by michael stone. a beautiful and insightful book on how to live a balanced life in unbalanced times. after all, isn’t that the secret to truly enjoying life, finding balance?


this little shop north of west in downtown portland  is quaint, modern, minimalist and filled with beautiful and unique handcrafted artisanal  items. i’m all for supporting local shops that emphasize products made locally and ethically.



i’ll leave you with this quote…


i always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth, then i ask myself the same question” harum yahya

travel somewhere new, step out of your comfort zone, cultivate more balance in your life, be present enough to take in the beautiful colors around you, never stop climbing trees, read good books, let go of fear, be free

much love, Shawnee



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