Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pastel Pink


Outfit Details:
Pastel Pink Shirt
Old Navy Skater Skirt (Similar)
Nine West Tertia Sandals (Similar)
Thrifted Longaberger Basket Purse (Similar)


I already know that I'll be gravitating towards pastel shades throughout this spring season. I didn't have too much of an opportunity to experiment with color during fall and winter, and I feel that incorporating more bright colors is a good way to switch things up. I suspect that wearing bright colors will also bring out a more feminine side in my style, which I feel has been missing from my wardrobe for quite some time. I'm hoping this brighter and warmer weather will stick around so that I can ditch my boots and pants once and for all--or at least for a few months.

In other life news, I took a much-needed trip back to California and was greeted with gray skies and rain. So much for trying to escape Portland weather! I was in town to celebrate my mom's birthday, which is actually today, and it was nice getting to spend time with her and the rest of my family before going back to my regular routine.

xoxo,

Helen

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cooking with Sun Basket


My meals have been pretty repetitive as of lately due to my busy work and school schedule. Although I love trying out new recipes, it's hard to find the motivation to break out of the routine and it can also be expensive to purchase ingredients that I may only use once. That is why I was very excited when I had the opportunity to review Sun Basket, a new healthy meal kit service that delivers sustainably sourced organic ingredients and delicious recipes for cooking at home. 

I have to admit that I was a bit afraid of having produce mailed to my doorstep due to the possibility of items spoiling during transport. However, all my ingredients arrived in good condition inside a denim cooler, complete with ice packs to keep meat and seafood frozen until ready for use. I also liked that the packaging is environmentally friendly and all parts can be returned for reuse or easily recycled. 


Sun Basket gives you the option to pick 3 meals per week, including Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options. You can also choose to have meals delivered for 2, 4 or 6 people, depending on the size of your household. Since I'm a single lady, I went ahead and ordered meals for 2 people, which was great because the produce lasted me for 6 meals. The 3 meals that I ordered were Chicken Garam Masala with Yogurt and Toasted Naan, Shrimp Coconut Curry with Purple Sweet Potato, and Beet and Cabbage Borscht with Grilled Ciabatta.

I really loved that all the ingredients were perfectly proportioned since I hate having things go to waste. The recipes were also easy to follow, even for a person like me who has trouble following instructions. I do have to admit that prep time usually took longer for me than what it said on the recipe card, but that might just be due to my horrible knife skills and the fact that I get easily distracted whenever I'm in the kitchen.


My favorite part of using Sun Basket was having the opportunity to try out new and delicious recipes. I tend to stay away from making meals that are outside my comfort zone, but Sun Basket made it very easy and fun to be a little adventurous in the kitchen. I really loved being able to try out new ingredients that I will be incorporating into my everyday cooking from now on. 


Sun Basket currently ships out to California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho, but is working on expanding its services to other states in the very near future. So be on the lookout for them if they're not currently available in your area. 

I highly recommend trying out Sun Basket if you're a person who is a rush and is looking for easy meals to cook up, or simply if you're feeling adventurous and would like to try out a new recipe. I had a so much fun using the service and all the meals were delicious. You can head on over to Sunbasket.com right now and receive $30 off your first order! The box is valued at $68.99, so that's an amazing deal at almost half off! 

xoxo,

Helen
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This post was put together in collaboration with Sun Basket, but all opinions are my own. A special thank you to Sun Basket and everybody who helps to keep this blog up and running! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Stripes and Blocked Heels


 Outfit Details:
Gray Pea Coat (Similar here and here)
Striped Shirt (Similar here and here)
Loft High Waist Black Jeans (Similar)




I have been on the hunt for a pair of shoes that are office-appropriate but also cool enough for every day wear, which is why I had to buy a pair of Madewell's Hanne Heels when I saw they were on sale a few weeks back. Although these shoes make me appear about four inches taller than I actually am, the blocked platform heel makes them comfortable enough to wear all day and practical enough for my daily bus commute. I also love the pointed toe because it adds a subtle feminine touch to the tomboy style I've been rocking lately.

This striped top is also another item I know will be a wardrobe staple for me this upcoming Spring season. This piece may not appear to be very versatile at first glance, but it can easily be styled in a variety of ways. It can be worn with black pants/jeans or a pencil skirt for a more formal vibe. You can also wear it with a flared skirt or shorts if you're going for a more casual look.

Speaking of Spring, I'm really looking forward for warmer weather and brighter days so that I can switch up my wardrobe every once in a while. Maybe it's that I haven't yet learned to dress for Portland weather, but I feel like haven't been able to get out of either my parka or rain jacket this winter season. I'm hoping that a change in the weather will eventually lead to more sartorial experimentation for me.

xoxo,

Helen

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mt. Tabor Park


I realize that I haven't been uploading many pictures of my life in Portland since I moved up here, so I've been making more of an effort to travel on foot and bring my camera along with me. Although sunny days are rare here in Portland, we did have a few days of gorgeous weather a few weeks back. I took advantage of the sunshine and made my way over to Mt. Tabor Park for a leisurely stroll. This patch of green space is located around an inactive volcano and includes stairs and paved paths, all which are perfect if you want to enjoy an easy hike. This park is also a great place to sit and read a book all while taking in a gorgeous view of Downtown Portland. 

I forgot to mention this earlier in the week, but thank you for all your kind words and advice when I was feeling homesick a few weeks back. I have always prided myself on being very independent, and you would think that at 27 years old I'd be much better at adjusting to change, but I miss my loved ones more than ever. I can't say that the feeling has completely faded away, but I feel so much better knowing that there are people out there who have experienced being homesick as well. I am also thankful that distance has taught me to appreciate my family and home so much more. 

xoxo,

Helen

Monday, March 21, 2016

Honey Mango Oatmeal



Having a sit-down breakfast in the morning is becoming more and more of a luxury to me since I'm often rushing out the door on my way to work or school. Oatmeal has become one of my favorite meals to eat when I do have time to enjoy breakfast because it's very warm and comforting, especially on nice and chilly mornings. I also like it because it's easy to mix in different foods such as fruit, nuts and chia and flax seeds. My latest favorite combination includes honey and mango, which you wouldn't think would taste great in a warm meal, but totally works! It's so good that it would be selfish of me to keep this recipe all to myself, so today I'm sharing it with you.



Honey Mango Oatmeal

Ingredients
1/4 cup of dried oats
1/2-3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of mango
Honey to taste
3 Tbsp sliced almonds (Optional)
1-2 Tbsp chia seeds (Optional)

Mix dried oats, milk, mango and honey in a small pot // Place the pot over medium heat and bring milk to boil // Lower heat and let the milk simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring the mixture constantly so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot // Remove the pot from heat once the oats are tender and let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes// Top off with almonds and chia seeds

This recipe is simple, delicious and perfect for slow mornings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

xoxo,

Helen

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weekly Links

(Photo from my Instagram)

This lady is officially done with finals and her second term of grad school! That means I have a life again! Although I'll be dedicating time to applying to internships and trying to figure out my life in the upcoming week, I'm also hoping to set apart a day or two to work on this blog so that my content is a bit more consistent in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, I'll leave you with these fun links:

I teared up a bit while watching the trailer for City of Gold and I can't wait to watch it when it premieres out here in Portland. After all, what's not to love about a documentary on food and Los Angeles?

I'm obsessed with Rae's blog Love from Berlin as well as her amazing deep blue/teal hair! Seriously, talk about hair goals!

This recipe for "Sukiyaki" Soba Noodle Soup from Two Red Bowls looks delicious!

I've been having major cravings for pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and feel like owning a pair of these earrings would be appropriate to symbolize my love for these delicious treats.

Check out this list of 11 Feminist Etsy Sellers!

I enjoyed reading Geneva's list of ways to get over a creative rut!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Salvation Mountain


After having Salvation Mountain on my California bucket list for quite some time, my siblings and I woke up before sunrise and finally made the three-hour drive to visit this amazing place this past December. This gorgeous piece of artwork is the brainchild of folk artist Leonard Knight, who built this tribute to God for all to see out in the middle of the California desert. Thanks to social media, this monument brings in several visitors to the otherwise quiet and deserted city of Niland, CA. 


Regardless of your beliefs, it's hard not to admire all the thought, care and effort that Leonard Knight invested in creating Salvation Mountain. The monument includes a stairway up to the top of the mountain, caves and a painted Sea of Galilee at the bottom, making navigating through it quite an experience. It's also interesting to see how people interact with the space, using altars to commemorate loved ones or leave a memento behind. My siblings and I spent a few hours at the site to fully appreciate all its details. 


I'll end this post by saying that these photos are all I had left from my California archives, so I'll be breaking out my camera soon enough and bringing you more updates from Portland. Since I've been kind of a hermit as of lately, I'm hoping that this blog will once again serve as motivation for me to get away from my homework, work and job search and have more adventures around my new home.

That being said, it's been a while since I have gotten personal on this blog, but lately I've been feeling extremely homesick for California. Portland is a fun city and I love my graduate program, but I also miss my family, the food and my favorite spots back in LA. It definitely is not helping that I've been re-watching Parks and Recreation, which is filmed in my hometown of Pasadena, and it makes me constantly think about home. Does anybody have any suggestions of how to deal with being homesick?

xoxo,

Helen
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