Outdoor Voices makes the best cropped top out there, I think. Just look at this top/leggings combo from the Man Repeller x Outdoor Voices collab, plus you get a colorful jump rope and a chocolate bar to go with it! I love their aesthetic, and OV is definitely going places: they just raised over $1 million in funding. Here's my Racked interview with Tyler Haney, the 26-year-old founder of Outdoor Voices!
This was me, running around the airport in Portland, pointing at various things like an artisanal gin display and saying, "That's so Portland." That's not annoying at all, right.
Look, the iconic PDX carpet!
We would go on to buy socks with this design, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. First things first on this vacation, we drove to a beautiful cabin in the Mount Hood area to meet our friends.
Kind of like Ferngully. So lush. We went up to Mount Hood to see the historic WPA-era Timberline lodge. It's incredible! The murals reminded me of the Coit Tower in SF.
After a few days in the wilderness (our friends climbed Mount Hood!), we drove back to Portland for a non-stop eating and boutique-shopping tour.
This marks the spot where I first heard the Portlandia theme song, within five minutes of arriving in the city.
I know it makes sense for a dumpling food truck, but is this really the name you want to go with? This is in the food truck pod downtown. I ordered a Hawaiian-inspired plate instead.
I also had plenty of time to photograph this giant carrot.
File under, activities that don't involve eating, the test rose garden was gorgeous! We probably went at such a great time to see it.
This was a banner day in Portland. If I lived here, I would take Katie to Laurelhurst park every day.
But my greatest hope is that this person finds their sock. Let me know where I should visit next time we get to Portland!
This is all the tops I have left for summer after the great Marie Kondo-induced purge. That's what I wrote about for Racked, trying to incorporate all of Kondo's life-changing tidying tips into my routine without disturbing Joe's life too much. I'm still folding all my clothes into these tiny envelopes. Joe's clothes I just fold normally. I loved writing that essay and amazingly, The Atlantic linked to it!
But now I'm faced with the fact that I got rid of the clothes that didn't spark joy, and that turned out to be almost all of them. Unfortunately, I'm also following Kondo's advice in The New Yorker: "If I want to lose weight, I do that first, and then go shopping." Which means I can't go shopping until that happens, gah.
When we adopted a six-year-old whippet in July and named her Katie O'Chapin (Katie is her given name), my mom the dog trainer asked me when we would get her into dog class. I saw a summer stacked with weddings and tennis matches, so I demurred. "We're a little too busy right now to commit to six weeks of class," I said. My mom was horrified. "You know, I've heard a lot of people say over the years that they're too busy to train their dogs. But I never thought I would hear that from my own flesh and blood," she said.
GUILT TRIP. Mom has never really guilted me about cleaning my house or eating less or visiting more. But not training your dog is a mortal offense to her. So finally things slowed down after the holidays and we enrolled Miss Katie in Petsmart's beginner Saturday dog class.
As dogs go, Katie is completely chill. She sleeps for maybe 20 hours a day. She'll sleep in however late you want to sleep in, and on this, we are kindred spirits. She is the perfect blogging dog. She's currently curled up next to me, sleeping, as I type this.
The only time she gets excited is when we come home, even if we've only been gone for 30 minutes. It's called the zoomies and she tears around our tiny apartment, leaping over the coffee table and flying across the couch. It's very exciting to watch, so we haven't discouraged her. (Hopefully Mom isn't reading this.)
Katie is a little angel but she does have her foibles, though. She will steal anything off the counter. One day, we got a nice loaf of bread from Union Market. We ate half of it, which was probably too much. I came back from the bathroom and said, "Wow, Joe, did you eat the rest of that bread?" He hadn't, but the bread was gone. Katie's dog bed was full of crumbs, however.
A week or so later, I came home and Joe said, "You'll never going to believe this. You know that bag of shredded mozzarella? When I got back from work, the bag was on the ground and all the cheese was gone. Katie must've grabbed it."
"Oh yes! That's exactly what must've happened. It was...Katie," I said. It was the dog. It wasn't me lazily shoving handfuls of shredded cheese into my mouth straight from the bag as I blogged and then tossing the bag on to the ground. Couldn't have been.
So Katie is a great little scapegoat. She's also way more cuddly than anything this skinny has a right to be. And she did so well in dog class! Way better than I thought. I think she liked to engage her mind, she seemed happier too. She can do all the major things (sit, down, stay), well, she can do them in theory. She has to have the right mindset.
My mom didn't cut us any slack in dog class, even though it's her granddog. She wouldn't even pose for this photo. In fact, we often got showed up by a tiny dog named Boo Boo who wore a bowtie and was the star pupil. No favoritism at all. But Katie held her own. And after her perfect attendance in class, she received her Petsmart Beginner Dog Certificate. It's totally social promotion, but Katie O'Chapin is certified! Now if only we can convince her to stop pooping on my $80 Anthro bathmat.
Here's Katie modeling my crazy new silver backpack purse while wearing her orange fleece pjs. I'm thinking she could be an astronaut for Halloween, maybe I could make some kind of helmet. Do you see it?
It's been so long since I've written here. I couldn't even remember my password on the first try. And then I did and Squarespace looked completely different, I could barely figure out how to post anything. But here I am! I've missed writing on Gosh Gee Golly (but I have been doing quite a lot of writing here and here).
Joe had the brilliant idea that I write a post to announce our engagement! That's a good reason to bring the blog back, right?
It happened last week on a little hike at the National Arboretum. If you were there that weekend, and saw a couple sitting on a bench drinking Clicquot out of orange champagne flutes with tears streaming down the girl's face, that was us. Also, our dog was there, so she was a witness.
And since it's Tuesday, Tunes Tuesday, I'm picking this beautiful Jessie Ware song that I have on repeat: "I only wanna team with you/ We could dream it all/ Don't wanna stop the thought/ With you and I forever."
Yesterday was my 30th birthday, but it felt kind of anticlimactic because last week, Joe threw a truly epic surprise party. I never saw it coming! Even though I demanded months ago that he throw me a surprise party. Apparently, he actually started planning it, and then I had a change of heart and told him, "No, wait, whatever you do, don't throw me a surprise party." That's confusing.
But because he's such a smart guy, he forged ahead and sent who knows how many emails and amazingly coordinated some of my best friends to be in the same place at the same time for super-fun 30th! I feel so blessed everyone could make it, from places as far flung as Richmond and New York!! It was so righteous of them!!
Here I am looking surprised. "Wait, you're here and you're here, and you're here?" If I had known about it, I would've gotten my hair done!
Debie found the 30th-themed Hello Kitty decorations, God bless her.
So not only did Joe organize a party, he got me a dog too! He is the best boyfriend!! Her name is Katie O'Chapin and it's been a week since we got her and I love her so much already. We had wanted a dog for a long time, but it felt right now. My mom is a dog trainer, and I knew we needed to go though her. She said a whippet is a good apartment dog because they don't bark, they naturally sleep all day, and they're small but a good size to hike and run around.
So last Friday, we drove to the breeder's house in Lexington to check out an older dog who was returned after her owner couldn't care for her anymore. She was beautiful, but pretty skeptical of us. She gave us the side eye, like she knew something was up. I felt so bad to take her away from a lovely farm in the mountains with 10 of her whippet buddies to bring her to our tiny D.C. apartment. But the breeder was so kind and said that Katie would be happy getting more attention than she could give her with nine other dogs.
So here we are! I think she is still getting her bearings. Whippets supposedly love to run, but we take her to dog park and nothing. Joe is so sad that she won't really play with us. She is a very easy dog so far though! We pat ourselves on the back for how well-behaved she is, but we didn't do a single thing to achieve that. And she gets along with my mom's dog, which is very important.
And I didn't realize that people are so much friendlier when you have a dog. Everyone chats with us about her, and everybody seems to love her. Except two guys actually got out of their car to point and laugh at her, for at least five minutes. One of the men slapped his thigh. She is skinny, yes, but I'm not getting how it's that funny. Don't give my dog body issues!