Hello hello, and Happy Friday from rainy, cold, windy and hail-stormy Portland Oregon. Awwww, it’s so good to be back in this perfectly wet little wonderland!
Despite a depressingly progressing head cold, I’ve been having a blast storming around my old stomping grounds, exploring and visiting and eating ALL THE THINGS. This post is pretty much going to be an ode to P-town, because, well, P-town deserves it!
Today is the first day of Vida Vegan Con, the international vegan blogging conference. I’m speaking on a panel this afternoon (Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting) and moderating a panel tomorrow (Privacy Lines and Over-Sharing), and I’ll also be doing a stint in the “experts corner” on Sunday answering questions on vegan pregnancy and raising vegan kiddos. Im so very excited, to speak and share but mostly to learn from all these amazing vegan movers and makers here. Plus there’s tonight’s Veggie Grill Welcome Reception Dinner, and late night pop-up shop at the vegan mini mall for gorditos and ice cream sammiches, then the Galarama on Saturday night, and of course, Sunday evening’s big goodbye. It’s gonna be a wild weekend!
And now for my favorite Friday ritual, where we take a moment to pause and reflect on all the little ways in which life shows us the beauty of the world:
Le Love List!
1. The reactions my friends are having when they see me . . .
“Oh my god, you’re all glow-y!!” and “You’re like a different person, you’re so freakin’ happy!” and just the simple “Wow, you look great!”
My Portland friends knew me through a difficult time in my life, as I suffered with postpartum anxiety, undiagnosed illness, and a failing marriage. It’s so amazing to come back to them, just 6 months later, so completely transformed both physically and emotionally. It’s so clear to them that my life is better by leaps and bounds, and seeing myself reflected through their eyes has made me realize how much I’ve changed. How the path I’ve chosen is the right one.
2. An epic dinner at Portobello.
On Tuesday night I got to eat an absolutely divine dinner with one of my dearest friends, Libby, and her husband Taylor. I’ve written about Portobello before (Here [wow that was sort of weird to read] and here) and it is truly some of the best vegan fine-dining I’ve ever experienced, easily on par with LA and New York and San Francisco’s Millenium.
We had a long, luxurious meal with many courses and many cocktails (because their cocktail menu is off the hook and their mixologist is seriously skilled) and I even had a Bonzai reader come up and introduce herself while we were waiting to be seated. Hi Marjorie! The Salty Fog was my favorite drink (though the Maui Mule was a close second) and the roasted cauliflower pizza with harissa sauce on cornmeal crust blew me away, getting better and better with each bite. Our salad was covered in tiny fresh flowers and the grilled fennel on my cauliflower steak was like no fennel I’ve ever had. I think the high point was the hot fudge sundae with house-made salted caramel ice cream topped with light fluffy whipped coconut cream and toasted pine nuts. But my personal favorite was the cheese plate, because . . . well, because ♥ ♥ ♥
3. An impromptu party at the Bye & Bye.
On Wednesday night I had plans to meet up with a few of my girlfriends – all mama friends, actually – at the Bye & Bye (an all-vegan bar). Jacqueline was a Bonzai reader who first emailed me when I was pregnant with Waits, and at the time she was living in Ohio. We got to know each other over email and when Waits was born she sent me the sweetest handmade burp cloths and bibs. A few months later, her family relocated to PDX, and we’ve been in-real-life pals ever since.
Jacqueline and I walked into the Bye & Bye, and standing right there at the bar was my dearest Jo – holding her baby and ordering a Spanish coffee, haha. That’s my girl! I ran up and hugged her, started chatting, glanced over my shoulder and saw my friend Joanna running towards me. I totally squealed – was NOT expecting to see her there – but as it turns out, she had invited a bunch of our mutual friends to the same bar at the same time. Serendipity!
The next few hours were a series of squeals and glee, seeing old friends walk through those doors. I got to see Krysta and Ami and Kittee Bee and more. We ate amazing food, took turns holding the baby, and dished all about the past 6 months. It was so special and just what I needed. Love my Portland girls!
Also! my sister’s sheets are the softest squishiest most comfy sheets ever .|. Portland hail storms .|. spending my ENTIRE first day in Portland holed up in a coffee shop working on plans for my clients ♥ ♥ ♥ .|. walking in the rain in search of veggie juice and raw BLTs and local truffles (success!) .|. finally meeting Libby’s baby daughter! .|. long phone calls .|. French press coffee in bed .|. dancing to Macklemore with Libby and her baby girl, who can totally keep a beat! .|. Portland cocktails are really impressive .|. photo booth shenanigans with my girl Gena .|. being in a space full of SO SO MANY AMAZING VEGANS!!!
Alright guys, now it’s your turn – let me know what you’re loving this week!
This happy little post will stay at the top of the page all weekend, so stop by any time to leave your Love List, ask a question, or offer some feedback! Or if you’re new, feel free to just introduce yourself and say ‘Oi!’! This is your community, so get involved!
Hope you all have an absolutely amazing weekend!