Alive in Portland

Portland Bridge

It’s true, but it wasn’t until the Portlandia song, “Dream of the 90s” was completely stuck in my head while exploring the city of Portland as I have done many summers before and it just clicked. Everything that I love about the city is a flashback to the 90s, and in such a good way. It’s a casual city, where you’re not expected to dress up, but encouraged to be as eccentric as possible. The city is alive with culture, local artists and always something fun happening. You’ll see tatted up hippies, retro hipsters and adorable outdoorsy families.

Keep Portland Weird

Cool neighborhoods like the Pearl District and Mississippi Avenue make the city even more interesting. With a stellar transportation system (check out the MAX) and short, walkable blocks throughout the city center, Portland is easy to get around and bonus: everywhere you go is beautiful.

Places like Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell’s Booksstreet fairs and weekly markets make Portland, Oregon weird and in the best way possible. I always say I could live there one day. I love the rain, I love the outdoors, the proximity to the beach and the smell in the Oregon air. Best of all, the people are so great: very chill and friendly. It’s the best of the 90s wrapped into one great place.

FRED ARMISEN (as “Jason”):  Do you remember the 90s?
CARRIE BROWNSTEIN (as “Melanie”):  Yeah?
FRED:  You know how people were talking about getting piercings and getting tribal tattoos?
CARRIE:  Yeah?
F:  And people were singing about saving the planet and forming bands?
C:  Yeah?
F:  There’s a place where that idea still exists as a reality.  And I’ve been there.
C:  Where is it?
F:  Portland.
C:  Oregon?
F:  Yeah.

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PDX Resources: @TravelPortland|www.travelportland.com @TravelOregon|traveloregon.com

Celebrating Life at 90

My grandpa, George Dewey was born in 1923. Fast forward 90 years later, and the Zieser/Dewey clan (from Texas, Arizona and D.C.) came together to celebrate his milestone birthday. As a family, we visit Oregon every summer – usually a trip to Portland, Cannon Beach, Wilsonville and Salem, to name a few, but this trip was different – mostly because we all know that our time with Georgie is limited, and this trip would be for him.

After a family photo sesh in a local park, we gathered around a table in my aunt and uncle’s colorful backyard in Salem for a celebratory feast. We laughed, shared memories and moments that hopefully Georgie will remember and be proud of for the rest of his years. There was so much love all around, and it was very surreal to sit around a table and know that not one of us would be there if it weren’t for him and Nana.  The two have been married for 64 years, and last night, we relived the memory of how they met, their engagement and so many sweet stories in between. Sure, I’ve seen them bicker and argue like any other couple, but the love, compassion and gratitude they share for each other is extremely hard to put into words. It’s a rarity these days to see a couple share a lifelong bond like they do and all I can do is learn and be grateful to be a part of it.

Not many have the chance to meet their grandparents, let alone share a full bank of lasting memories with them, but if you’re grandparents are around, give them a call, write them a letter, make their day, tell them you love them and cherish them for everything they have done for you. After all, if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be here.

Georgie's 90th Birthday
Cheers to these two!

What – Yoga on a Paddleboard?

I thought it seemed crazy too. For some reason, the idea of yoga – on a paddle board – on a beautiful body of water – seemed so unreal to me, and completely out of my reach; little did I know that Lake Worth Marina Park is a simple short 15-minute drive from downtown Fort Worth and is a beautiful, refreshing oasis. Earlier this summer, a group of the Sumits crew went to try it out, and we had so much a great time. We all walked away feeling accomplished for trying something new, but also refreshed as we took the yoga we are so used to practicing inside (in a controlled, heated environment) to the great Texas outdoors where there are so many fun and delightful distractions. SUP Yoga on Lake Worth

The first yoga class we did on the water was incredible, and I found the stand-up paddle part to be surprisingly more fun and easy than I imagined. Although I definitely fell a few good times, I impressed myself in some poses, too, particularly Tree which is 1,000x harder on water. SUP and SUP Yoga offer a great core workout, but it’s a lot more natural of a movement than you might think. The board is  a wider, longer and more stable version of a surfboard, and standing up, paddling on the calm, glassy lake is one of the most relaxing and freeing experiences. We paddled to a quiet spot along the shoreline and dropped our anchors [to stay afloat as a group] in about six feet of water. When we started the yoga class, I experienced so many of the poses I do daily in such a different way. In down dog, you really have to use your abs to distribute your weight and stay up, whereas on land it’s more of a resting position. We went through a class just like normal, with splashes along the way as people fell into the water, and it was so fun and refreshing to eventually let go of the feat of falling out of poses, when it’s such a sweet treat to have the cool water break your fall.

After that class, I realized that I needed to be a part of sharing this amazing activity with each of you, and so I am so excited to be teaching Saturday mornings through October at the Lake Worth location.

SUP Yoga in Fort Worth

SUP Yoga is a chance for yogis to expand their practice, and it’s a fun challenge for those that may be first time yogis as well. After a class on the board, you will not only appreciate the gift of balance so much more, but you’ll learn how to paddle, you’ll explore your poses in a way you’ve never experienced, and after an incredible savasana to close out class, you’ll feel renewed and at one with nature.

Fort Worth SUP Yoga 

Visit Lakeside Paddle online to book a class.  Equipment is provided and class includes an intro to paddle session.  Have a question about SUP Yoga? Comment below!

Going Vintage off Vickery

Everyone knows one of the best places to find vintage decor & furniture  in Fort Worth is right off I-30 and Montgomery, Montgomery Antique Mall, but if you continue on Vickery towards Bryant Irving, you’ll find a antique boutique-style shop owned by a lovely woman, Joanne Jenkins, who has an eye for the best finds! Each time I walk in, I fall in love with another incredible piece to add to my antiques by Joanne collection; thus far: a bedroom vanity, bedroom dresser and an adorable step stool. Best part of all three purchases is that they’re in amazing shape, no work needed and all at an affordable price.

French Art Deco Vanity circa 1940 with Moroccan-mirrors 

When buying an antique vanity: Make sure to check the mirrors-as that could bring on a bigger project than you might be expecting. Also, keep in mind where and how you might be sitting and lastly, how much storage you need.

Vanity

Dresser with “fire” wood design 

The most important thing for me, when purchasing an antique dresser is to make sure the drawers work; otherwise, it’s not going to be functional. You can most definitely play up different woods which in my case, they are both in the same family, but not matching to the extreme.

antique dresser

Italian-made wooden step stool

Especially if you are vertically-challenged like myself, a step stool can be a really fun accessory. I bought this one below and although it looked great in the natural wood, I painted it a bright turquoise to be that pop of color I needed in the kitchen.

Happy antiquing! What are your favorite finds?

Fairmount Forever

Near Southside

The Fairmount Neighborhood, just off Magnolia Avenue is one of the most precious neighborhoods I’ve ever seen and now am a part of.  What makes it so sweet isn’t just the uber-friendly people, hipster vibes, historic homes, local artisans, restaurant row, or the incredible transformation it’s undergone as of late, but there’s a sort of quirkiness that’s comfortable and inviting, but also inspiring, a little weird, (in such a good way), and always happening.

This entire area is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace; in fact, most of the original Fairmount homes have been completely restored or renovated, and much of those that are in bad shape will be flipped in no time. The housing purchase process was a testament to that it won’t be long before all of the homes in this area are brought back to their full potential. What was once a not so good area of Fort Worth, has now been referenced as a little pocket of Austin, somewhat like South Congress 15+ years ago. <<<See Austin Statesman article>>>. There’s something special at work here, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you. In the past couple weeks, Fairmount hasn’t failed. No matter what kind of mood I am on the way home from work, turning onto Magnolia makes me happy, giddy–partly, because it’s I’m coming home to my first house, and that’s such a great feeling, but as you drive down Magnolia, you can sense the heart and soul of the neighborhood alive and all around. So alive, it’s making it a little dangerous living here.

As much as I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s and my new kitchen, I’m finding every excuse to go out for dinner. There’s so many places I’ve somehow yet to try, and every place is just as delicious as the last. Bearded Lady, a new bar/patio that reminds me of a localized version of the Ginger Man just started serving food, so I definitely need to try that. I also just discovered the amazingness of Hot Damn Tamales and had no idea it was a full-service restaurant…amazing. Oh, and those french macaroons I mentioned last week? I’ve ordered them three times since…Avoca Coffee, which backs up into our backyard is always a temptation when walking Oliver in the morning, and about 1/2 of the time I give in. Next on my list to try other than Bearded Lady’s eats: King Tut’s, Cat City Grill and Z’s Cafe. Do you have a favorite place off Magnolia I should try? Let me know in a comment below!

Magnolia Avenue

Cool off with a Maui Wowi

Maui Wowi

Hot days call for cool cocktails, and nothing tastes better than a slushy-style martini during the summertime.  I highly recommend purchasing a magic bullet. Actually, I have two somehow so if you need one, let me know! It makes it so easy to blend small ingredients together like the mangos below that make this cocktail. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • Vodka
  • Mango lemonade from Trader Joe’s
  • frozen mangos
  • Topo Chico or any soda water

Mix 2 parts vodka, 1 part lemonade and stir (or shake if you’re fancy). Blend frozen mangos, 1 tablespoon water, and a couple ice cubes. Mix with the lemonade and vodka, and enjoy.  You could also add in mint, lime (I squeezed 1/2 into the bullet and it was delish) or more vodka 😉

Date Night at Temaki Sushi

Last weekend, I spent 30 hours in a car with my sweet boyfriend, Scott, my lovely mother, Kim and my crazy talented and fun sis, Hannah. We road tripped it to Cedar Rapids, Iowa from Fort Worth for my cousin, Ellie [now] Hamilton’s wedding. Slight diversions (like visiting KC’s Jack Stack BBQ or cruising through OKC; and, of course the fact that Kimbo completely underestimated the drive time) made for a long car ride. We bonded. We ate lots of crap. And, we had an absolute blast in Iowa. Coming back to my dad’s roots and my childhood was so refreshing-from jumping on the trampoline I was obsessed with as a kid (and still am) to chatting with cousins I haven’t seen in years and picking up conversations like old friends. After what felt like a freaky-fast flashback to good ‘ol family times, it was kind of hard leaving and coming back to reality. After a long Monday and an even longer Tuesday, Scott and I decided we were overdue for a desperately-needed date night.

Cayenne Roll

We headed out to a spot we’ve been meaning to try along Magnolia and while walking towards the restaurant, we had to fight the urge from getting a table at our usual go-to for weeknight dinner & drinks, Benito’s. We branched out to check out Temaki Sushi (directly across from Ellerbe). This spot looks like nothing fancy from the outside; but step inside, and you’ll be so excited to find modern, clean lines amongst comfortable colors and welcoming environment. Expect scrumptious sushi, sake, shrimp chips, fried rice and french macaroons. For this evening, that’s all I can vouch for, but it looked like Temaki had some pretty delicious rolls, and apps, among other things. Try the Cayenne roll. The owner, Alex is super friendly and helpful; after recommending french macaroons for dessert, I knew this was a place I needed to come back to again and soon. They take sweet, chewy french macaroons and stuff them with fresh fruit, a mascarpone/cream and you’ve got yourself a macaroon version of an ice cream sandwich. It’s a little dangerous how close Temaki is because I could make a serious habit of those.

Temaki Sushi |1504 W Magnolia | 817.810.0438

Check it out for lunch or dinner. Open Tues-Saturday.

Welcome!

It’s hard to write this first post. For a while now, I’ve wanted to create a blog encompassing this slightly bizarre time in my life where I’m now no longer in denial about graduating college and a few years into the real world. I’m learning so much from change, relationships, weeknight dinners, juggling jobs, being a homeowner and most importantly, how to find the balance in it all. Now’s the time to reflect on these moments, capture them in some form, and why not, share it with the world?

My hope for this blog is that you find some inspiration, positivity, maybe even humor and a shared connection. And, I hope to find some peace and joy from learning, cooking, living, practicing and being grateful for all that’s around.

Why Magnolia? For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a yogi from Arizoni (Thanks, Heather) living in Fort Worth, Texas. I moved here when I was 18 to attend TCU, and little did I know that my college decision would affect my life so much, and that Fort Worth would be such a huge part of it. Two weeks ago, I moved to Magnolia Avenue, located in the heart of the Near Southside, my favorite neighborhood/district in Fort Worth. It’s the sweetest, funkiest, most unique and fun place, lined with coffee houses, bars, restaurants just beaming with a welcoming vibe. The people and places that make up the area remind me of a simpler time in this fast-moving high-tech world. They remind me to enjoy walking to breakfast, sitting down for coffee, talking with strangers and to sit on patios whenever possible.

Magnolia Avenue

Moving to this area brought about a whole new set of change: brand-new house, new restaurants, new friends. It gave me that extra nudge and inspiration to start this blog. So, welcome, enjoy, and I hope you too, find some inspiration from Magnolia.