Portland Home Tour: Lesia + Sean’s Light-filled Pearl District Studio

DSC_0179.jpgI love discovering how other people live: How they decorate their space, how they spend their downtime, what their habits and rituals are…you get the idea. Maybe I’m nosy? (I prefer to think of it as naturally curious.) People are just so fascinating! And since our homes often reflect a lot about who we are, I’m always intrigued to see “inside”. So I’m thrilled to feature my second-ever Home Tour today, bringing you into the Portland apartment of my friends Lesia and Sean.

DSC_0254.jpgLesia is an account executive at influencer marketing platform company Little Bird and a photographer, and Sean is a visual artist. They live with their dog Bosco in a 636 sq ft studio in the Crane Lofts building in Portland’s Pearl District. Built in 1909, the building was completely restored and renovated in 2006, and features massive windows and beautiful red brick walls.

Here, Lesia and I chat about what it’s like living with her own Bob Ross, entertaining in a small space, how she makes her home smell great,  and what she daydreams about while gazing out their giant windows… Continue reading

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Empathy vs. Sympathy

photo-1451471016731-e963a8588be8Last week I came across this great short video that beautifully illustrates the difference between empathy and sympathy. It’s narrated by Brené Brown, a well-known researcher, speaker, and author who studies human connection.

I consider myself a pretty empathetic person, and always try to connect with the perspective of how someone’s feeling when they’re sharing something difficult with me, but this rang a few bells! It grates on my nerves when someone immediately tries to ‘silver line’ an issue I’m sharing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve used the words “at least” (as shown in the video) more than once when trying to help. Continue reading

‘Round the Web: January 2016

photo-1445820200644-69f87d946277* How cool is this tiny house on Sauvie Island?

Minimalist Wardrobe Resolutions for a New Year

* The Hollywood Reporter’s 2016 Actress Roundtable (with Carey Mulligan, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling, and Kate Winslet)

What Being a Single Parent is Really Like

* Are you addicted to distraction? (Are we all?)

* These awesome women have created an invisible bike helmet. For real.

* Joe and I love making this pizza that’s super easy and actually healthy

Against the open office trend

7 Things You Can Actually Do About Climate Change

Amanda De Cadenet interviews Hillary Clinton on The Conversation. (All personal, not political.)

6 Rules for Great Storytelling

Lastly, thank you for all your thoughtful comments on my ‘By Chance’ post. I appreciate them very much. xox

(photo by Dominik Lange)

An Easy DIY Pick-Me-Up (your face will thank you)

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My friend Lesia (pronounced La-sha) is the kind of person that literally brightens up a room the second she enters it. This woman exudes a happy glow that’s proven to be contagious.

When we get together, we usually block out a whole afternoon, as we have the kind of conversations that need time…for backstory, analysis, and a lot of digression. We also like to fit in little mini-adventures around Portland, which have included a hike through Forest Park, a wander through the Lan Su Chinese Garden, a trip with our guys to nearby Sauvie Island, and a photo session at the beautiful downtown library, which we did for this blog post.

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A few days ago Lesia shared a homemade recipe for Continue reading

Inside Portland’s Maker Movement: A Conversation with Kelley Roy, Author of ‘Portland Made’

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Sometime in the last couple of years, I started hearing the word ‘maker’ used to describe people who…make things.

I wasn’t sure what to make of ‘maker’. Why not ‘artist’? What makes someone a ‘maker’? And would the term, like ‘artisanal’, become obnoxiously ubiquitous?

Then, earlier this fall, I learned of a new book (launching at Powell’s this Wednesday, Dec.2!) called Portland Made: The Makers of Portland’s Manufacturing Renaissance. Continue reading

Line Break: ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire

3500no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay. Continue reading

On Seeing Hozier (and Choosing Our Experiences)

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I’m a sucker for a beautiful voice.

Musically speaking, I don’t care about light shows and theatrics and complicated chord progressions. What I crave are lyrics that sound like poetry and voices that make my soul light up.

A handful of male vocalists have impacted me in this way over the last 20-odd years: Eddie Vedder, Bob Marley, Otis Redding, Ben Harper, Neil Young, Ray Lamontagne and, most recently, the Irish singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne.

Recommended to me a year or so ago by my friend Gaeli (who, now that I think of it, also introduced me to Ray Lamontagne—thanks, Gaeli!), Hozier instantly became a new favourite. His voice has so much power and sensitivity. He’s just 25 years old but his lyrics sound like the reflections of someone very wise.

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So when I heard he would be performing in Portland in October, I really wanted to go. But Joe and I treated ourselves to a few live shows this summer (Alabama Shakes, Beirut, Ben Harper etc.), and in an effort to be responsible adults/save for the future, we had to draw the line somewhere. Continue reading

The (One) Book I Read this Summer

Keaton_Then-AgainYou know those ‘summer reading lists’ people apparently compile when the weather gets hot?

I’ve never done that.

As much as I love the idea of lounging with a book at the park/beach/cafe, summer never seems to be when I spend much time reading. (Aside of course from the daily online articles…of which I probably read too many.) Joe and I spent four days in July camping with friends at a lake in B.C., and other than flipping through Vanity Fair one lazy afternoon, I didn’t read a single thing. (Too busy chatting!) For me, downtime in summer is more about little trips, socializing or exploring the city or nature. And this summer I worked on several extra client projects in addition to my usual workload, which left less time for straight-up chilling. (And less time for blog writing, hence my infrequent posts!)

But I did read one book. Then Again, a memoir by Diane Keaton, was recommended by my friend Kate, who wrote in a comment on this post about my dad: “On child-parent sentimentality and getting to the heart of our parent’s life experience: have you read Diane Keaton’s memoir? It’s superb and I think you would adore it, likely eating it in one sitting.” Continue reading

Tonight in Portland: Alabama Shakes!

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A couple years ago, I saw a band I’d never heard of perform on Saturday Night Live that blew me away. The singer Brittany Howard’s voice and stage presence was so distinct and powerful that I was completely mesmerized by her.

This is the clip…

Tonight I’ll be seeing Alabama Shakes live at Edgefield, an outdoor venue outside of Portland. Joe and I got tickets a few months ago and will be joined by our good friend Sam and a couple other folks. The band released their second album, Sound & Color, in April, and are touring across North America. After watching these recent performances from Lollapooza, I’m even more excited — they’re incredible!

In an excellent New York Times profile, the writer Joe Rhodes describes Howard on stage: Continue reading