The Year in Review // 2016

I love the idea of wrapping up the year with a little overview of what it looked like. Remembering the moments, photos and the places makes the year what it was and I want to be able to remember that! Even though 2016 was definitely eventful and many can’t wait for it to be over, my 2016 was a time filled with lots of exploration and love and it’s a year I will look back to with fond memories forever.

J A N U A R Y

Renwick Gallery DC

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Life Lately

From the looks of Instagram, it’s probably been a little hard to tell where I’ve been. With moving back to DC and simultaneously having the nostalgia of Portland and Paris on my mind, it looks as if I’ve somehow figured out the art of time travel. I assure you, I have not. And if I ever do… don’t worry. You’d surely be the first to know. I still have so much to share from Paris and Portland, so stay tuned.

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1// Returning to DC after 15 months away      2// Cupcake ATM? Yes, please.      3// Coffee bar lovin’      4// Remedying my coffee shop hiatus      5// Mint green + cafe creme = happy me      6// I’m such a sucker for some unexpected street art       7// Portland vibes are always my favorite       8// My bestie (and the person who taught me to love coffee) visited Paris, inspiring me to write up a guide to my favorite coffee shops in Paris       9// Flower carts are always a mood booster. Always. 

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Heart Coffee // Portland, OR

the ideal spot to have a coffee meeting or grab to go

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Name: Heart Coffee

Address: 537 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-6pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-6pm

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Vibe: The go-to spot that underground Portland hipsters and creatives frequent  for coffee meetings and quick cups to go. Inside, there’s a cool juxtaposition of being extremely bright (thanks to the large windows) and white while also having a lot of darker accents. It makes for a cool, creative space. They describe it as industrial chic and there really is no better way to describe it.

Wifi: Yep!

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Coffee & Food: Already having binged on Blue Star donuts, I skipped the food and went straight for the coffee. Although, they do boast “gourmet pastries” so maybe next time I’ll have to go for it. As for the coffee, I decided to change things up a bit and went for a vanilla latte. I had never really seen one of those on a menu, but it sounds right up my alley. This one happened to be just about perfect. From the moment it arrived, it looked frothy, light and everything I wanted. When I took my first sip, it was an incredible mix of sugar and coffee. As the shop’s beans come from their own roaster, it’s safe to say that they know what they’re doing and it shows… or in this place, tastes. It was only slightly humorous the next day when I met a friend for coffee and she ordered a vanilla latte, stating that they were the best coffee drink around. Lesson learned. Maybe mochas have some competition. But overall, vanilla lattes are fab. And this vanilla latte in particular, 10 out of 10.

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Seating: When I first walked in, I got nervous because almost all of the seating was taken! While there is a lot of seating, it can also be quite busy depending on when you go. They have a back wall, pictured above, that has three small, two-seater tables. They also have bar seating along the large window, a communal picnic-style table as well as some seating outside.

Overall: I really enjoyed my time at Heart coffee. It’s an easy location to get to (near Blue Star donuts may I add…) and it has a really nice general vibe. I like their bright white aesthetic with darker pieces and their coffee was also exceptional which of course, is the core of any great coffee shop. Heart, well done.

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Commissary Cafe // Portland, OR

the ideal spot to meet friends for coffee or GSD

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Name: Commissary Cafe

Location: 915 NW 19th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 8am-3pm

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Vibe: Portland meets Santa Barbara in the most beautiful lovechild ever. Inviting, bright and spacious.

Wifi: Yep- it’s right on the board when you order!

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Coffee & Food: I found this spot through work/shop, one of my new favorite spots in NW Portland… so I was excited to try this place out. I became even more excited when I saw that they have a plethora of different flavors that you can add to your coffee (hazelnut, lavender, coconut, cardamom etc). So many coffee shops are snooty about “destroying the flavor” of the coffee, so it caught me by surprise that this spot featured this. I therefore went with my longtime favorite, a coconut mocha. Thinking it was going to be out of this world, I took a sip and was extremely disappointed with what I tasted. Thin (maybe because of the coconut milk, I’ll give you that), lukewarm and overly sweet, I wasn’t feeling it. BUT I’m gonna give this place another try because I think I ordered wrong as I could have potentially avoided two of those three things I wasn’t fond of. I also got a cookie as their display had tons of them and they were just screaming my name. And let me tell you, that cookie is one hell of a chocolate chip one. WOAH. So yummy. So big. So good this one guy even said he had to get one because he saw mine. They also have an assortment of sandwiches and salads that looked pretty good as well as a brunch menu that I just missed but smelled amazing.

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Seating: I’m so happy this spot has lots of seating because it’s the kind of place that you could stay all day. It has seven seats along these big, beautiful industrial windows, one communal bar table and several seats outside. Even though there’s plenty of seating, it’s so busy that sometimes it can be hard to find a seat… but you never know. You could get lucky if you wait around for a bit.

Overall: Of all the coffee shops I’ve been to in Portland, the vibe here is my favorite. I love that it’s so open and bright. They have mint and kelly green accents that add a fun touch as well. There’s just something about this spot that’s hard to describe but instead needs to be felt. It’s a feel-good spot and a very creative one at that which will surely ignite your creative juices and leave you feeling happy and productive for the rest of the day.

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