If there are two things Tyler and I love, it's travel and food. We're constantly looking for the best restaurants and desserts everywhere we go, and our list of dream destinations never stops growing! When it came time to plan Tyler's birthday gift this year, I wanted to be a little more creative than usual, so combining those two things seemed like the natural choice.
The result was a donut tasting adventure in Portland! I set a challenge to rank our favorites, and did a little research about which we would try. The "rules" were simple: spend a weekend in Portland exploring the city and its popular spots together, but be sure to visit the 3 most talked about donut shops to determine a winner.
Pip's Original Donuts and Chai
Our first stop was Pip's, which had a long line but plenty of seats. I grabbed a table while Ty ordered us a variety dozen and a cup of their famous tea to share. Pip's makes mini donuts and our flavors included Nutella & Sea Salt, Cinnamon & Sugar, Honey & Sea Salt, "The Dirty Wu" (all of the above flavors combined), and Candied Bacon.
My favorite was definitely the Dirty Wu, followed by the more classic Cinnamon & Sugar. They were the perfect bite-sized samples, which made it easy to form a full opinion of what Pip's had to offer. Crispy and flavorful, I thoroughly enjoyed each bite - plus a dozen of mini donuts is the perfect dessert to share after window shopping!
Tyler's favorite was the Candied Bacon, which came as no surprise to me. He even says he would have swapped some of our Cinnamon & Sugar for more bacon, which safe to say would not have gone over well with me.
And while accompanying drinks aren't part of our overall evaluation, I still think it's fair to include our thoughts on the chai, seeing as how it's a part of their claim to fame! As a big fan of spiced chai lattes, I was super excited to try one at Pip's. Unfortunately I was disappointed with my choice, the "Smoky Robinson". Smokey was definitely the right name for it, and we both felt it tasted more like smoke water than a tea drink - however I totally blame myself for choosing something that wasn't a good fit for my taste. Since we didn't have the opportunity to try other chais I hope to go back again in the future and give them a second chance!
Blue Star Donuts & Coffee
The next day we swung by Blue Star, which is a popular local chain. Finding a location was super easy, and when our plans for the day changed a couple times it was still convenient to stop by for a taste. Out of our 3 destinations, Blue Star made the most "typical" donuts. While they did have some more gourmet/adventurous options, they also had many old favorites.
I decided to go for a more unique flavor, and chose the Cointreau Crème Brûlée. It was crunchy on the outside from the torch fired sugar, and filled with custard on the inside! Overall the flavor and texture was good, but I was surprised to find I wasn't a big fan of the citrus liqueur in the dropper. I probably would have enjoyed the donut more had I not squeezed the orangey flavoring all over it, but otherwise I can't complain.
Tyler on the other hand went the classic route with the Hard Apple Cider Fritter. He says it was "very tasty", soft and chewy but still had a crunchy outside like he likes. "A very high quality apple fritter".
And finally, our very last stop before getting on the freeway to head home was the Portland celebrity, Voodoo Doughnut. At this point in the trip we were starting to get sugared out (if you watch my instagram stories you saw that doughnuts were not the only desserts we ate during our 48 hours in the city), and we had tried Voodoo on a previous trip so we decided to just choose one flavor each.
While I love the craziness of Voodoo flavors like the "Old Dirty Bastard" (oreo with peanut butter) or "Oh Captain, My Captain" (Cap'n Crunch), I can't resist the cute little voodoo doll. Looking back I probably should have gone for one of their more loaded flavors, but like I said I was full from all the sweets and couldn't imagine eating something like that! Either way I enjoyed my last donut.
Tyler decided to continue his lucky streak with bacon after enjoying the Pip's so much, and went with the Bacon Maple Bar. He said it was good, but now that the crazier donut flavors have gained popularity you can find a bacon donut almost anywhere. Not a disappointment, but not a stand out either.
And the winner is..... Pip's!
We both really loved Pip's and it was a unanimous decision. The wait was worth it, and I usually prefer mini donuts anyway. Tyler usually opts for a standard sized donut whenever possible, but said Pip's were the best minis he had ever tried.
Overall we had a great time, and plan to keep trying more donut shops in future trips to Portland. They have so many to choose from beyond these 3, and since Portland is only a few hours away we will definitely be back!
I spent the last week wishing I could trade the snow covered streets of Seattle for Holiday Hogsmeade, but since that's outside the realm of possibility I'm getting my act together and sharing some of my favorite shots from my December trip to Universal!
This year my sorority little, Kiran turned 22 and is preparing to graduate from the University of Washington! She's one of my best friends, so I wanted to celebrate her birthday and gradation in a really special way - we had met after my big, Taylor recruited her to Sigma Kappa and quickly bonded over our love for Harry Potter so a weekend at Universal Studios felt like the perfect thing. We both donned our house scarves (she's a clear Slytherin, and I've always identified most with Ravenclaw) and drank butterbeer from morning to night. I'm so grateful for our time spent together, and the fact that we were able to travel together to a place we both love so much! The magic was so alive for the holidays ?
Now I just have to hope that Kiran doesn't leave me to move back to Washington DC anytime soon. These past 4 years we've had as Big and Little are everything I hope for when joining a sorority and I can't wait to share this friendship for the rest of our lives ?
You can shop my Hogwarts student-inspired look below, as well as some of the items I couldn't leave the parks without!
Items from the park aren't able to be linked via LTK, but can be shopped at the Universal site below:
PS. If you're interested in more HP pics, check out my previous post from Universal Orlando!
One of the best parts about planning a trip to Disney is picking what you're going to wear! Disneyland is a place where it feels easy to be yourself and wear something on the quirkier side, which is why I knew my December visit was the perfect opportunity to rock a vintage style dress covered in carnival food 🥨
I talk non stop about the snacks at Disney, from ice cream bars to those cheese sticks from Corndog Castle. I just had to share my love for all things fried and Mickey shaped! And then when I found these handmade ears from ShinySkyRainbows on insta I about died. They're inspired by the Mickey burger merch from Tokyo Disney, which I've been wanting to get my hands on forever, so not only were they a great compromise, but honestly the ideal way to complete my look. I lost count of how many compliments I received, and how many people asked where they could buy them. Unfortunately they're a little tricky, since the shop is restocked rarely and with limited quantities but if you love food ears as much as I do it's definitely worth trying! Fingers crossed that I can land a pair of the lollipop ears next time 🤞🏻
My next visit to Disney is in the end of March after my week at Alt Summit, and I'm overflowing with ideas for more #DisneyStyle so stay tuned ☺️
"What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year." - Leslie Knope
February is the month of love, and in my opinion there is nothing better than supportive female friendships! Galentine's Day is a celebration of that love and support and the perfect excuse to gather your girls for a day of pampering, a cute brunch, or a bff date night.
I wholeheartedly believe that behind every strong woman are strong women, and I'm so grateful for all my girls - especially my fellow Seattle bloggers. These 3 ladies (Lashonya, Amy, and Alex) are so lovely and make #communityovercompetition a reality! Setting up our Galentine's Day "Styled Shoot" made for such a fun day, from decorating the GRLS studio in Tacoma to getting to work with a professional photographer and florist for the first time (shout out to Vetiver Designs and Swolfe Photography ?)
We all have very different personal styles, so it was exciting to lay all our pieces out on the floor and choose our looks together. Normally I make a mess of my room trying to figure out what to wear, and resort to asking Tyler his opinion ? It was a nice change having my fashionable friends around to help with those decisions! Another plus is that Valentine's colors are 100% my personal aesthetic - there was no shortage of possible outfit combos in my closet.
We also made sure to cover a variety of occasions, with looks ranging from casual denim to dressy lace!
I'm still smiling looking at all the photos and thinking about how perfectly everything came together for this shoot! Everyone had a vision and they blended together for our dream Galentine's Day. A highlight for me were the gorgeous flower crowns by Vetiver Designs ?In my ideal world I would get to wear a flower crown everyday, but I'll settle for the fairy princess feeling I had during our shoot.
Whether you're planning a Galentine's Day event of your own, or are just looking for that perfect date night look I hope this post can help! I've linked our looks (and similar pieces for those that are sold out) below, along with some fun party decor:
Galentine's Day Decor!
A couple items we styled are still available online, but couldn't be linked by LIKEtoKNOW.it:
I just want to start by saying that not only is this one of my favorite Disney looks to date, but is also probably one of my favorite looks overall!
When I saw this coat at Target, I knew immediately I was in love (in the words of Marie Kondo - it sparked joy) and Tyler convinced me that I should definitely buy it. I'm so glad he encouraged me to go for it, because when it came time to pack for my December trip to Disney packing was so so easy! What better place to rock hot pink fur than the parks? A few years ago I don't think I would have had the confidence, but I couldn't stop smiling when I wore it!
Pink and yellow is the color combo I can never resist, and I often pair this dotted top with another bold shade. In fact I previously styled it here, with a white cardi in front of what I consider the best photo spot in Seattle! Plus the top is flowy and light, which ended up being a saving grace seeing as how I was wearing a giant fuzzy coat in 75 degree weather ?
As for shoes, I always recommend choosing comfort over style (to a degree at least) when you're visiting the parks. Converse are too flat for some people, but I'm usually lucky enough that they don't bother my feet too much. We were walking back and forth between DLR and DCA for a full 12 hours two days in a row, so naturally I was a bit sore but had I opted for a trendier pair of shoes like booties or my heeled sandals I would have been in much worse shape!
If you're interested in shopping this look, I've linked some of the pieces below! Luckily the fur coat is still in stock in most sizes, and also comes in a taupe shade as well. The yellow top is a couple years old, but I've linked a few alternatives:
24 | Seattle, Wa