Poor & Pretty Travels: 10 Things I Loved in Portland

10 Things I Loved in Portland_feat

10 Things I Loved in Portland

Last weekend was incredible! I won a ticket to the blog/creative conference The Hello Sessions, so my friend Brittany and I headed to Portland, Oregon for a long weekend. Here are a few things I fell in love with, in no particular order:

The Hello Sessions Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

1. The creative community. Portland is a haven for creatives, but they don’t just keep it to themselves. I felt an incredible sense of community during The Hello Sessions conference on Friday, but also throughout the city. People were very friendly, and businesses seemed to be very collaborative. For example, Salt & Straw’s ice creams are handmade with candies, chocolates, and other ingredients made by other Portland businesses. You can buy bags of Stumptown Coffee practically everywhere (even in our hotel).

International Rose Test Garden Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

2. The roses. Thursday evening brought unseasonably beautiful weather to Portland, so Brittany and I took advantage of it by visiting the International Rose Test Garden. It felt like walking into Alice in Wonderland, sans the murderous Queen of Hearts. The garden is home to about 600 unique rose varieties in over 8,000 plants, and is the reason Portland is nicknamed the City of Roses. 

Olympia Provisions Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

3. The food. We had some incredible food in Portland, so if you’re a foodie, definitely add this destination to your bucket list. We had delicious baguette sandwiches at Addy’s Sandwich Bar and sampled savory charcuterie and cheese at Olympia Provisions (formerly Olympic Provisions), which I also brought home for Stan. 

Salt and Straw Ice Cream Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

4. The ice cream. Salt & Straw = best ice cream ever. Really. They’ve been voted among the best ice cream places in the US several times over. They’ve got all kinds of crazy flavors that you’d never think would be good (like Arbequina Olive Oil, made with local olive oil) but are. Enthralled with their Halloween flavors, I had a combo of A Potion of Malicious Delight (Pop Rocks + some kind of fruity jam + all kinds of other amazing weird ingredients) and Chocolate Gooey Brownie (made with Portland’s own Holy Kakow Chocolates). Brittany went for a scoop of Arbequina Olive Oil combined with Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper (yes, that’s all one flavor).

Voodoo Doughnut Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

5. The doughnuts. I’m not really a doughnut fan, but I would eat Voodoo Doughnut daily if I lived in Portland. Though now that Whisk + Brush are opening up a doughnut truck, I may become a convert.

Lan Su Chinese Garden Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

6. China. Visiting Lan Su Chinese Garden felt like visiting the Chinese countryside (or what I imagine it would be like). It’s a soothing atmosphere that takes up a full city block (40,000 square feet) in Chinatown, and makes you forget you’re actually in Portland. Brittany and I toured the garden, dined on delicious Chinese appetizers, and partook in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Of course I brought home some tea!

Powell's Books Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

7. The books. I used to work for Borders (and I’m a total bookworm), so bookstores hold a special place in my heart. Naturally, I fell in love with Powell’s City of Books, and Brittany and I wandered amongst the stacks for a good hour or so. I left with J.K. Rowling’s Very Good Lives, her 2008 Harvard commencement address.

Saint Cupcake Portland Oregon via @poorandpretty

8. The cupcakes. I make it a point to try cupcakes everywhere I travel. Happily, we stumbled upon the aptly-named Saint Cupcake (the cupcakes are heavenly) during our Saturday city walk. I had a mini Red Velvet, a mini Salty Captain (chocolate cake with caramel buttercream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and sprinkling of sea salt), and a full-sized Confetti (vanilla cake topped by vanilla frosting, both mixed with edible confetti). They were all incredible, but the Salty Captain was my favorite.

Portland Saturday Market via @poorandpretty

9. The Saturday (and Sunday) Market. The Portland Saturday Market runs Saturdays and Sundays March through December, and has over 250 local vendors. We found a lot of great souvenirs here!

10. No sales tax! Brittany and I kept forgetting there’s no sales tax in Oregon, and whenever we remembered, we were so giddy! No more odd dollar amounts or pennies to deal with. It was pretty great.

After seeing the shopping bags I was lugging around with me, one of the employees at Saint Cupcake remarked on how we’ve hit all the great Portland spots! The only thing we didn’t cross off our list was eating at Pok Pok because the line was over TWO HOURS long. Crazy. But, Brittany discovered there’s one in New York, so we’ll just have to try it a little closer to home.

Where have your travels taken you lately? Where are you itching to go next? I’m headed to New Orleans this weekend!


What to Bring to a Blog Conference

what to bring to a blog conference feat via poorandpretty

what to bring to a blog conference via poorandpretty

I’m gearing up for The Hello Sessions in Portland this Friday — I can’t wait! It’s the first blog conference I’m attending in-person, so I’m pretty excited/nervous. I have a feeling I will be spending a good portion of tomorrow night packing, but here are some of the essentials (besides underwear) I’m bringing:

1. The perfect notebook. I love notebooks! I have so many unique ones, all filled with teenage angst and creative ideas. But this? This is the perfect notebook for creative conferences. It’s pretty, spiral bound (so you can slip a pen into it), and has a pocket (for all those business cards you’ll be collecting)! And, like everything ban.do makes, it has a sweet surprise in the way of a colorful yellow spread that reads: “Your face is like sunshine.” Get it: Ban.do Rough Draft Spiral Notebook.

2. My favorite pens. I’m pretty particular about my pens — I like colorful, smooth, ballpoint pens, preferably with a rubber grip — and these are my favorites. The hot pink is my go-to, of course! Get ‘em: Paper Make InkJoy Retractable Ballpoint Pens, 24 Pack of Assorted Colors.

3. Backup juice. I plan on doing a lot of Instagramming and Tweeting during my trip to Portland, so I know I’ll need an extra charge for my phone. This tiny power bank is about the size of a lipstick and holds an estimated 1.2 additional charges for the iPhone. It’s got just about 3,000 reviews on Amazon, and a 4.5 star rating. Oh, and it’s pink! ;) Get it: RavPower Portable Charger 3200mAh Power Bank.

4. LOTS of business cards. I ordered more business cards just for this! My goal is to run out again. :)

5. A bag to fit it all in. With all this stuff, you’re gonna need a bag to carry it all! I’ve been eyeing the Camp Director Tote for a while now — it’s pretty roomy, and will even hold a 15″ laptop. Get it: Camp Director Tote via ModCloth.

6. A cute dress. Why not wear a floral dress to the Rose City? I so wish this cute number was available in my size! Get it: Luck Be A Lady Dress via ModCloth.

7. Layers! Ever have that problem where you show up to an event in a sleeveless dress, only to discover it’s FRIGID inside? I definitely have! So now I pack layers, and J.Crew’s Jackie Cardi is one of my faves. Get it: Jackie Cardigan Sweater via J.Crew.

8. Cute-but-also-comfy shoes. The only thing worse than be freezing all day because you forgot to pack layers, is getting blisters from those shoes you bought just for the event that ended up murdering your feet. So go with something pretty, but also comfortable. Get it: In a Classic of Its Own Heel via ModCloth.

Did I leave anything out? Have you been to any awesome creative/blog conferences lately? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


Flora {a photo shoot with Mojalvo}



I’ve wanted to do a dreamy flower child photo shoot for a while now. A few weeks ago, local filmmaker/photographer Maya Oren of MOJALVO and I finally did it — bare feet and all. It was magical.


I’m using some of the photos for my upcoming eBook (sign up here to be notified when it launches!), but they’ll also be used for a super-secret project I’m working on.

Continue reading…


Poor & Pretty Travels: Portland & New Orleans

Poor & Pretty Travels - Portland New Orleans feature

I was going to post about something completely different today, but I’m too excited about my upcoming travels! I have to share them with you. :)

Poor & Pretty Travels - Portland New Orleans

Next month, I’m heading to Portland, OR for The Hello Sessions (I won a ticket!) and the week after, I’ll be in New Orleans for the Being Boss meet-up. I can’t wait! I have a few must-see’s/must-do’s on my list, but I’d love for your input too!

I’m even more stoked about Portland because my friend Brittany is joining me, so we’ve got this whole girlfriends’ getaway planned. Here are a few things that are definitely on our list:

  • Grab doughnuts at Voodoo Doughnut
  • Sniff around the International Rose Test Garden (hopefully they’re still in bloom!)
  • Ice cream Salt & Straw
  • Sip tea in Lan Su Chinese Garden
  • Eat at Pok Pok
  • Nerd out at Powell’s City of Books
  • Shop in Union Way

New Orleans 2008 via @poorandpretty

And New Orleans — I have been wanting to go back there ever since Suzi and I went in 2008. The food, the music, the voodoo, the culture! We had such an incredible time. I’m really bummed that our tour guide, Lloyd Sesat, passed away a few years ago. He was so fun, and I was hoping to tour with him again. ♥ Besides attending the Being Boss events, here’s my agenda for NOLA:

  • Beignets at Café du Monde (and buy the beignet mix to make at home)
  • Get a tarot card reading
  • Do a walking tour
  • Take a ride on a streetcar
  • Eat. A lot.

Have you been to Portland or New Orleans? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments!


Why I Refuse to Shop at Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby

I have never shared my political views on this blog because it never felt like the place to do so. Lately, though, I’ve become more aware of how I vote with my dollars. As an entrepreneur, I know the value of a dollar acutely. When I spend money on Kate Stepehen Jewelry rather than Charming Charlie’s, I know that money is funding a local artist’s passion and livelihood. And I know that I’m getting a ring or necklace made of superior quality metals, lovingly handmade. More and more, I’m carefully putting my money toward people and causes I care about, and keeping it out of the pockets of organizations that fund the opposition. And that is why I refuse to shop at Hobby Lobby.

I am pro gay marriage, pro gender equality, pro-choice, pro environment, and pro American-made. I am ecstatic that bans on gay marriage have been declared unconstitutional and I am pumped to be living in a time when we might (hopefully) stop obsessing over gender and sexual orientation, kick religion out of politics, let everyone have equal rights, and focus on things like student debt and global warming. You know, actual issues, not “problems” made up by intolerant people hiding behind religion.

Like Hobby Lobby. If you’ve been reading Poor & Pretty for a while, you know I’m all about crafting and encouraging creativity. But I will NEVER step foot or spend a penny in a Hobby Lobby. Why? Because founders David and Barbara Green have donated MILLIONS of dollars on anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-women policies through the National Christian Charitable Foundation. [Read more about this here, here, and here.]

You probably know all about the Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, but in case you don’t, it’s the case in which Hobby Lobby fought against the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that birth control be covered under the company’s health care plans. And they won. Because the Greens believe that using birth control is the same as getting an abortion (nevermind what science says). Essentially, Hobby Lobby is able to claim religion as a reason to exempt itself from federal law. I find Tyler Coulson’s reaction totally appropriate: 

The Old Testament is a foundational document for those faiths that we call Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And the language is clear – at the end of seven years, the Lord commands that creditors shall forgive the debts of their neighbors and brothers. It is called the Lord’s Release.


It is my sincerely held belief that this language applies directly to student loans guaranteed by the federal government. I believe this because, although the words “neighbor” and “brother” are a bit dodgy, the addition of what I call The Foreigner Clause in Deuteronomy makes clear the meaning:  Creditors, including the federal government, must forgive all debts owed by debtors belonging to the same nation, tribe, or clan, or who are citizens of the same state.

Tyler Coulson

What if a female Hobby Lobby employee is raped and can’t afford Plan B? Hobby Lobby isn’t paying for it. Looks like she’s going to have to have the child, and I’m sure they’re not going to help her with those bills, either. She might even end up on food stamps and taking government aid because she’s only paid $10/hour. It’s an extreme case — one that I hope would never happen — but you see where I’m going. Thankfully, however, Obama found a loophole to this whole fiasco — if the company won’t pay for birth control, health insurance will.

This isn’t a rant about religious intolerance. I consider myself “religion-free,” but I’m all about believing in whatever makes you happy, as long as it doesn’t tread on anyone else. That’s why you’ll never find me in a Hobby Lobby. I’ll buy my craft supplies elsewhere, thank you very much!

P.S. I’ve chosen to close comments on this post because I don’t want to get into a political debate. Please remember this blog is an expression of my viewpoints and lifestyle, and while I totally encourage independent thinking, this isn’t the place for a political discussion. Thanks!

P.P.S. Don’t worry. I won’t make a regular habit of blogging about politics. I just thought it was important how — as a penny-pincher — every cent counts. Vote with your money by supporting your local entrepreneurs and businesses who put their money towards employee welfare and the betterment of humankind. ♥

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