Archive from June, 2010
28 Jun
2010

#19: Get an iPhone – 30 before 30 list

Last week I announced I was finally selling out and getting an iPhone. First off, I totally heart my new iPhone 4! Heart, heart, heart. I would guess this might be one of the more life-changing items on my 30 before 30 list. 🙂

After hearing about all the crap that went down for people who tried ordering with AT&T and those who waited in line for hours to pick up their pre-ordered iPhones at Apple stores, we were so glad we pre-ordered with Best Buy. They called the day before to set up a pick up time and we simply waltzed in on June 24 to pick them up. So easy! Did I mention, I hate waiting in lines?

We had one little hiccup, as the first phone they gave me had a dead space on the touch screen. It wouldn’t let me type the letters G and V when turned landscape. It was completely unresponsive on the middle left portion of the screen, even after several hard resets. (Initially I planned to take it anyway and exchange it in a few weeks for a white iPhone 4, but there is still not an anticipated arrival date and the phone was pretty jacked up.) Now that I’m madly in love with my new iPhone, I don’t care that it’s basic black.

Since this is my first iPhone, I’m not always sure which features are new for the iPhone 4/iOS4 versus the 3G and 3GS. For the last four days I’ve been glued to my iPhone 4. I admit, I’ve become one of those iPhone-obsessed people who evangelizes about how much it changed my life. I LOVE it and let’s just say I’ll be spending considerably less time on my laptop.

My favorite apps so far:

Sleep graph from iPhone sleep cycle app

The iPhone 4's screen shot feature is quite fun.

1. Sleep Cycle – How cool is it to track your sleep cycles? And I love the mesmorizing “warm breeze” wake up sound.

2. Words with Friends – If long, drawn-out scrabble games are not your thing, you can wait for hours or days between turns.

3. Shazam – For those “What song is this?” moments.  It just feels magical.

4. Facebook

5. My24 – Great for checking class schedules for the closest 24 Hour Fitness.

6. Realtor.com – Super fun for scoping out real estate. The app is faster and easier to use than the website, go figure.

7. Groupon – Not only can you browse and buy Groupons on the go, but you can use the iPhone app to present your Groupon to the cashier. (No more printed out Groupons floating around in my purse.)

8. Camera and HD Video – More of a feature than app, but I love having a great camera and HD video capabilities on the go. My Canon will be very lonely in the coming months.

26 Jun
2010

Made it: Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and Dill

Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and DillThis has been my hands-down favorite dish since the recipe came out in Gourmet magazine (July 2008). It’s super quick and makes perfect use of those summer cherry or grape tomatoes! And if it’s too early in the season for harvesting from your garden, you can always use store-bought tomatoes and dry dill instead of fresh chopped dill.

The recipe takes about 15 minutes (from tomato washing to plates on the table):

Mix olive oil, tomatoes, dill, lemon zest, salt and pepper in your serving bowl. Let mixture marinate for 10 minutes while you boil water and cook orzo for 8 minutes. Drain orzo and toss with tomato mixture. Add feta, toss again and serve.

I could easily eat it three times a week. It’s that good.

Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes and Dill

22 Jun
2010

Top-of-mind: Basic Summer Blouse from Zara

zara polka dot blouse navyAnd now for another work top of the week. While I’ve had my fill of sheer and semi-sheer blouses, this polka dot cotton one from Zara is so cute! I would definitely snag it for $30 if I had a Zara close to me. (However, the closest Zara to Portland is Vancouver, BC –  a 5+ hour drive.)

For work, I would wear this with white pants or a summery skirt, and on the weekends I’d pair it with my new favorite linen short shorts from the Gap (as usual).

10 Things Loved in May

It’s time for another things loved list. Without further ado:

Issey Miyake1. Issey Miyake’s L’eau D’Issey
Nordstrom sent me an offer for a free atomizer with my choice of perfume. I chose the Issey Miyake scent and have absolutely fallen in love. Sephora says Miyake’s fragrances are fueled by “technology, minimalism, and nature.” OK, I’ll take the technology-fueled scent. …now to get a larger version for when my freebie runs out so I can be the woman your woman could smell like.

Springwater Trail2. The Springwater Trail
The Springwater Trail is part of a 40-mile paved loop in Portland. When I was marathon training, I did my longer runs on the trail, but biking has always been my favorite Springwater activity.

3. Hash Restaurant
Hash Restaurant happens to be just a block north of the Springwater Trail, and is a great destination for a weekend morning ride… good luck pedaling home. Hash is a classic Portland/NW style with many sustainable and local ingredients. I love their French toast with whipped creme fraiche. They also serve mini scones with their coffee, which is a nice touch.

photo by greenhem, because I'm too lazy to get out in the rain and take my own

4. Peonies
I have two different varieties of peonies in my yard – magenta in the front yard and pale pink in the back. The magenta ones always bloom first in mid May and the pale pink peonies usually bloom the last week of May (and often get rained out). I just love the choppy texture of peonies. Very scissor-hands!

5. Sexy Boot Jeans
As I have been hinting, we’ve had a ton of rain in Portland, which really made May feel like winter or fall. I took the opportunity to stock up on my favorite Sexy Boot jeans from the Gap and ordered dark wash, medium tint and distressed finish. I won’t need new jeans for at least a year!

6. Pacific City, Oregon
In May, we took a mini-break anniversary vacation to Pacific City and stayed at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, which was very beachy and cozy. Haystack Rock and the Pelican Pub and Brewery are the highlights of this postcard-perfect town. (And it happened to be featured in the June issue of Sunset magazine, so we felt like we went at the perfect time before it is “rediscovered” for the season.)

She and Him7. She & Him
Genius collaboration project between Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I was able to see them at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend over Memorial Day weekend. My absolute favorite song on Volume 2 is “Gonna Get Along Without You Now” which is a Skeeter Davis cover. During the concert “She” forgot the lyrics and asked to start over, which sounds annoying, but she was absolutely adorable.

aqua-blue-santorini-table-world-market8. Santorini Table
I finally scored my summer cafe table! I drooled over the Santorini table at World Market last year but wasn’t convinced on the red or green. This year it came out in a new color – aqua – and it is PERFECT. I used a $10 off coupon to get it for $90. Then I got home to find purple marks all over the tiles so by the time I went to exchange it, all the Santorini items were on clearance and I ended up getting it for $50!!! I’m picking up outdoor “wicker” chairs at Target to go with it.

9. Dreaming about a vacation to Greece and Turkey
Speaking of Santorini, visiting Greece and Turkey is #20 on my 30 before 30 list and there’s a good chance I’ll be crossing it off my list this fall. I’ve been researching trip ideas and airfare (ouch) and planning the ideal itinerary. Fingers crossed it works out with work schedules and budget.

10. Career Changes
I spent about half of May contemplating a big career move (which was the real #21 on my 30 before 30 list). I applied for two jobs, scored interviews for both, negotiated and accepted a great new position. Change is on the way and next week I’ll start a new job after seven years with the same company!

16 Jun
2010

#19: Get a smart smartphone – 30 before 30 list

iphone 4 white and blackI’m proud to announce I’ve successfully pre-ordered an iPhone 4. Despite the Apple and AT&T ordering disasters, we were able to pre-order at Best Buy.

After a 5+ year hate-hate relationship with Apple, I’ve finally sold out. (I love how Apple is now capable of being “the man”.) My only regret?  Settling for a black iPhone 4 since the mod-cool white iPhone 4 is rumored to be delayed until mid-August. Are you kidding me? I can’t wait that long using my phone that only makes phone calls.