Portland

Bottle & Bottega Portland

Bottle & Bottega Portland hosts paint and wine events. They are a fun, simple, and entertaining way to learn how to paint beautiful masterpieces.

Bottle & Bottega Portland

If you’ve been dreaming of learning how to paint a landscape setting, but have not the slightest clue how to get started, Bottle & Bottega will walk you through the entire process.

I’ve seen friends on Facebook paint masterpieces from Bottle & Bottega and had been wanting to learn how to paint one myself. When my co-worker and I were discussing painting over lunch one day we decided to book a class and go for it. We painted a rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Portland style. Van Gogh’s Starry Night has been one of my favorite paintings for years so it was fun to learn how to paint our own version of it in less than three hours.

The instructor stands at the front of the classroom and walks you through every step and is painting right along with you. When we went there were also two other employees walking around and willing to help you out if you needed it. They go at a perfect pace and give you plenty of time to complete each step. I love how no one painting looks exactly the same as there were over 20 people in our class.

What do you wear to Bottle & Bottega?

Wear clothing that you won’t mind if you get a little bit of paint on. I opted for a gray long-sleeve shirt that I’ve had for a few years, a fun floral scarf, and an older pair of jeans. You will be painting with acrylics and the instructors said they’d be able to get it out if you spilled. I’ve spilled acrylic paint multiple times over the years and never have successfully gotten it out (clearly I need to learn the instructor’s trick). Therefore, I still opted for older items of clothing to wear to this event and highly recommend wearing older items if you go.

Bottle & Bottega is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday night with a friend. I can’t wait to go again sometime!

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Fitness

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

Tips on What to Wear to Pure Barre

On the first of April, I decided to try something new and went to my first Pure Barre class. As I walked into the studio I was greeted with smiles and warm hellos, which was such a relief. As I continue to try new things in the area interacting with friendly people makes it all the more fun.

How did I hear about Pure Barre?

I’ve been doing barre3 for over two years and wanted to see what other barre classes were like. Also, I’ve read posts on other bloggers sites (Oak+Oats & Shawna Leeann) and have always been intrigued to try it, but never gave it a try. When one of my friends from college announced she was opening up a location in West Des Moines, Iowa, I decided to finally see what all of the hype was about.

How was the first class?

After my first Pure Barre class, I’ve decided Pure Barre is no joke. I was advised by the instructor prior to class beginning that she was switching things up a bit today and that it would be harder than normal for the whole class. It was one of the harder workout classes in a studio that I’ve done and I’m glad I conquered it. Let’s be real here, the majority of my workouts are runs around the neighborhood, which means I’m not the strongest so Pure Barre might not be as hard for you as it was for me. Thankfully, Pure Barre classes are nowhere near as hard as high school sports practice was. Anyone who has had to carry medicine balls above their head while running the halls and stairs of the entire school would agree that Pure Barre is more fun.

Why do I workout?

I workout because I want to healthy. Working out for me is not about losing weight. It’s about getting fit and becoming stronger. I workout because I want to be better, a better wife, employee, friend, etc. Working out puts me in a better mood and helps me stay emotionally balanced. Also, the confidence I gain from conquering a hard workout is a great feeling.

Class Attire Essentials

To be prepared for your first Pure Barre class I highly recommend getting a pair of sticky socks or you’ll be slipping all over the place. Pure Barre studios are carpeted and they encourage you to wear sticky socks. The studios carry them so you can easily pick up a pair right before class begins.

lift, tone, burn -Pure Barre

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Fashion

Just Wear A Thong

Avoid the ever dreaded panty lines and just wear a thong

Location: N Buffalo and N Interstate, Portland

Outfit: Sandals | Dress | Thong | Bracelets | Necklace | Earrings | Nail Polish | Lipstick

Just Wear a Thong

As a note: hang in there with this post. I know this subject can be a bit controversial, but before you judge, just see where I go here. …and hey–we’re getting pretty used to controversial things on the internet these days.
Let’s start out with something also controversial: the legging. This is ultimately what spawned this thought process and I figured “hey, this is a fashion blog for women so I’m going write a post about fashion for women.” (guys…just go read one of my other posts or something from my hubby) It’s not explicit or anything, though…

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Fashion

I’m Not Afraid Anymore

I'm not afrid anymore, Allison wearing the Portland Traffic Tee at the Kenton Mural in Portland, Oregon

Location: Kenton Mural, N Denver Ave. and N Willis Blvd. near the Kenton/N Denver Avenue Max Station

Outfit Details: Shoes | Leggings | Tee | Necklace | Headband

I’m Not Afraid Anymore!

One of my favorite movies as a child was Home Alone. If you’re as big of a fan as I am I’m sure you remember the scene where Kevin is yelling,

“…I’m not afraid anymore! I said, I’m not afraid anymore. Do you hear me? I’m not afraid anymore!”

This scene is what God brought to mind after a day of walking downtown Portland and taking the MAX home by myself. Obviously without the screaming as in the movie…but figuratively. The image was beautiful. As I sat on my bed cross legged I boldly declared, “I’m not afraid anymore!”

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Fashion

Date Night

Allison in front of the Aquila Glass School mural on a date night in Portland, Oregon

Location: Aquila Glass School, N Columbia Blvd. Portland

Outfit Details: Jacket | Tee | Scarf | Jeans | Booties

Date Night

Recently my hubby and I had a date night. We had zero plan of where we were going to go or where we were going to eat when we left the house. Which typically, would have been a huge stressor for my Type-A, love-to-plan personality. The night turned out incredible, which clearly means I need to keep learning to go with the flow more often.

Before dinner, I wanted to swing by a mural that I saw on a garage door on Columbia Blvd. on our way to our Bridgetown Community Wednesday night. The mural is on the Aquila Glass School and after the driveway that made my hubby super nervous with our low-profile tires (never again…they came with the car) we were able to get some great shots!

Every time we walk Alberta Street I make mental notes of places I’d like to try sometime. I’d remembered walking by Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on Alberta Street and suggested that maybe we go there. Peter was up for a fun adventure and quickly agreed.

I’m always on the hunt to find Italian food that tastes as good as the food I had in Florence and Sienna. Enzo’s was one of the first places I’ve been in Portland that truly brought me back to the flavors of my Italy trip in 2014. Now I’m dreaming of the day my hubby and I take a trek to Italy together.

On a fashion note, the most important tip I have with a leather jacket is to get it tailored. I waited nearly a year to tailor this Ann Taylor jacket and it was a year too long. I would have worn the jacket a lot more often sooner had it fit better. Now, I wear it weekly because it fits great and I feel great sexy in it.

Italy is famous for leather. Wearing my faux leather jacket and black booties makes me feel a bit like I’ve transported back to the streets of Florence. I also feel sexy and confident in this outfit.

When you go on a date wear an outfit that makes you feel beautiful,  you’ll radiate beauty because of it.

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Fashion

MeKha Restaurant

If you're looking for incredible Vietnamese and Cambodian food in Portland, you totally want to stop at MeKha Restaurant

Location: 6846 NE Sandy Blvd Portland, Oregon

Outfit: Sweater | Leggings | Shoes | Sunglasses

MeKha Restaurant

If you’re looking for incredible Vietnamese and Cambodian food in Portland, you totally want to stop at MeKha Restaurant. I’ve been searching for incredible Vietnamese food since 2009 when I interned at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, California and spent the summer living with my great uncle and great aunt. That summer we had quite a few trips to Pho Lee Hoa Phat 1. I’ve finally found a place that reminds me of that sweet summer. To make it even sweeter they have a mural outside of the restaurant that captures the beauty of Portland. Continue Reading

Fashion

One of My Favorite Outfits

Allison wearing a favorite outfit in front of Glisan Garage in Portland, Oregon

Location: Glisan Garage NW Glisan Street and Broadway

Outfit Details: Shoes | Jeans | Turtleneck | Lipstick

Do you ever find yourself scrolling Instagram without knowing it trying to find a new favorite outfit? You find a beautiful garment on someone else and instantly want to see how you could pull it off. So you search the internet to see if you can find it or something similar. After week or longer of waiting, it arrives in the mail. You take it out of the package, all excited. Then the moment of disappoint hits and you start feeling like an imposter.

There are a lot of outfits that I try on and instantly feel like an imposter. To give you a few examples, metallic skirts, anything floral, v-neck shirts, almost all blouses that are sold in stores these days, and the list goes on and on. But time and time again I still find myself trying to pull these things off. They almost always get returned or if on the rare chance I do end up keeping them they end up in the back of my closet, never being worn and eventually being donated to Goodwill.

On the other hand. Do you ever find yourself not comparing yourself to others? Wearing what you love because you love it, not because you want to look like someone else. Picking an outfit out for the day because you feel sexy when you wear it.

When I put on an outfit like the one in this post, I instantly feel like myself. I’ve loved a good turtleneck since the second grade. My favorite outfit never makes me feel like an imposter. It makes me feel bold, confident, ready to take on the day and it never fails to disappoint. Added bonus, I feel a bit like my style icon, Audrey Hepburn every time I put on a turtleneck and red lipstick.

So, how are you trying to dress? Like yourself or like the person you’re following on Instagram?

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Fashion Portland

Rise Up – to the perception of depression

Rise Up Mural in Portland, Oregon on NE Schuyler and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Location: NE Schuyler and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Outfit Details: Dress | Leggings | Boots (similar) | Scarf (similar) | Lipsense in Bombshell

Peter and I have been driving by this Rise Up mural for months and every time we pass it I can’t stop admiring this artist’s work. This mural inspires greatness. The color, the shapes, the message. I love it!

What does it mean to me to “rise up”?

To me, to rise up means to show up. To love others. To be present. Giving your best. Be brave. …no matter what peril or hurdle is in your way.

I’ve been hiding behind the publish post button for awhile on this blog post. Would I ever feel ready to share how I’ve been? What would others think if they found out what I’ve been dealing with? Would I ever feel ready to be real and let others in to the hell of emotions I’ve been feeling? Don’t worry, I’ve let others in, but that’s only a few people that I’m close to.

People love to post all of the “pretty stuff” on the internet, myself included. It’s time that we are real with each other. So, today I’m pressing go and opening up a bit.

Did you know on average 1 in 6 deal with depression? But yet, it’s never talked about.

We all have our own behind the scenes. Some people have life-threatening struggles. Others have emotional or physical struggles. For me, moving to Portland has been quite the adjustment. Through this process, I have shamed myself into thinking that my issues were foolish, selfish, all in my head. I understand that my struggles are not comparable to dying of cancer or starvation.

I understand that I’m extremely blessed and that everything that I call mine is most certainly God’s and I am just a steward of it for the time being. That doesn’t mean that the emotions that were involved with uprooting my husband and I’s life were not a struggle, though. We pulled up our stakes in Corvallis and jumped on board for an adventure that was sure to be riddled with everything from spiritual attacks, physical attacks (surgery + illness), and emotional attacks. We moved to be a part of a church plant here in Portland and as with anything that is purposing to bring forth God’s Kingdom in a bigger way–adversity is bound to be present.

So why this back story that many of you have possibly already read?

  1. My “online” life might consist of fun pictures, but some days are hell: you are not alone if you also have days where the last thing you want to do is smile.
  2. Stepping out in faith will hurt. We’re called to live like Jesus–and when was his life easy?
  3. We are all able to rise up.

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Fashion Portland

Everyday Portland Style

Allison's Everyday Portland Style standing near colorful wall on Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon

Location: 29th Avenue and Alberta Street

I’ve fallen in love with this city, this place we call home, especially everyday Portland style. On any given drive the art I see on the walls captivates my creativity. It inspires me to add a little spice of color to my life, especially in the form of red lipstick.

While I love color, the longer I live in Oregon the more I fall in love with neutrals. It’s perfect because everyday Portland style is full of neutrals.

I love how neutrals can be mixed and matched. Accessories can transform a neutral colored outfit into a totally different look.

When I’m not in dresses or skirts for work or leggings for a workout, I’m typically in a look similar to this.

Allison’s Everyday Portland style consists of:

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What’s your favorite everyday outfit?
Disneyland

Mad Tea Party

The Ramsing's love the Mad Tea Party ride at Disneyland!

Ah, I can still feel the joy radiating from our spin on the Mad Tea Party. If I had to pick a favorite ride at Disneyland or Disney World it would definitely be the Mad Tea Party. The teacups, the laughter, the color, the sounds, the spinning oh so fast, I just can’t get enough of the ride, it’s so, much fun!

The rain sure made for incredibly short lines at Disneyland. Sadly, my favorite ride was temporarily closed due to weather because of the rain (yes, there is photo proof below of how sad I was). Don’t worry, I perked right up when we went on It’s a Small World after finding out the ride was temporarily closed.

Later in the day, we went back to Fantasyland to ride Dumbo and Peter realized that the Mad Tea Party was back open. Peter was totally the hero of the day for noticing that it was back open. I’d given up hope that it’d re-open since it was also closed for weather the day before we went to the park. Being that it was back open we had to maximize our time left in the day, so of course, I convinced Peter to go on the ride with me three times in a row. Oh, the fun we had!

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