The Monaco

No, I did not make it to the South of France (yet) but did get to have a wonderful experience at the well known chic ’boutique’ hotel in Portland. Did not realize that it was First Thursday, MLS, and The Bite all starting during our stay. It was a perfectly hot summer day, and upon walking in we instantly felt refreshed: powerful AC and the smell of luxury. While checking in we were offered complimentary ice cream (how did they know?!) in their lavish red living room lobby. I had already heard about their cocktail hour, pet friendly rooms, and even morning tea or coffee with yoga classes to get your day started. I didn’t think it could get much better until I saw our room– It was like all the crazy of Portland wrapped into one beautifully coordinated package~

Hummingbirds swooped along the walls over the blue and orange octagonal print carpet leading to the green themed bathroom. It was complete with an artistic City of Roses tile decoration and green landmarks wallpaper. The adjoining room held a desk and love seat area which was actually a pull-out bed with B&W checkered pillows on top. A flat screen sat atop a mirrored cabinet along with a tray of pricey goodies on the coffee table. The water looks free but don’t be deceived, it’s Freed (the brand) and $5 a pop. Two gray sliding doors separated the living room from the bedroom– King size bed with a plush headboard in bright orange and purple plaid were the main focal point of the room. Another flat screen was on the dresser next to a piece of art that reminded me of a futuristic heart rate monitor. The hummingbirds didn’t seem to mind.

Opening the closet I discovered the quintessential mark of character in this Portland boutique hotel: the two bathrobes, one zebra print and the other cheetah. Hey, why not– I’m sure it’s easier to clean than white ones! It was not much later after waltzing around in my new robe that I noticed we already had a message- red light blinking on the room phone. I assumed it was some generic welcome message as I tried to retrieve the voicemail, accidentally calling the front desk– a very nice girl told me she could check the message for me, saying that there were some amenities to be delivered and asked when I would want them. I couldn’t think of a thing missing from our place so I suggested it be delivered soon. A bit later came the knock on the door, I peered out to see what amenities could possibly be brought up. It looked like an ice bucket. *shrug* After he set up on our table I realized they had just given us Spanish Champagne and chocolates. Thinking they had magical ESP powers I realized I had mentioned something to our check-in manager Andrew. HE had the goods delivered with a card for the celebrations! I’ve personally never had that kind of service, except by accident (The Nines, lol). I have to say it was a surprising gesture, showing thoughtfulness and just one of the few reasons this hotel gets awards every year–

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Beautiful Music

The MSMJR collection of jam sesh music vids, all in once place– I know there are more out there! Feel free to comment or message me links to the others so I can add them on here…










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It seemed like an abnormally quiet Sunday– I was admittedly bored- thinking about how the current traffic (or lack thereof) was affecting my paycheck. I continued to look busy, sizing, folding, and rearranging accessories– While doing so I edged closer to the children’s shoe area where an adorable young girl (maybe 6 or 7) in a bright aqua dress and red coat (accompanied by a man {who did not look anything alike}) were searching around; “Maybe she can help you?”

He pointed at me.

I jumped at the chance to service someone, and as quickly as I could replied, “Sure, what are you looking for?” The little girl was sweet and soft spoken, but not at all shy when she said “I want red Toms, red glitter — or just red if there is no glitter.” I again responded, “Sure, what size? I will go check upstairs!” The man had stated that she needed a 13, and while I was running up the stairs to the stock room I was hoping against hope that we had both in stock. However– we just had the plain red.

I brought the box down, explaining with a laugh (as I always do with bad news) that we just had this style– The other right side of the shoe was the one on display, which I grabbed for her so that she could try on both feet. “Is this the same size?” she asked while looking at the other shoe. I laughed again, “Yup, it should be!” The man said, “Yes, that’s why she brought it out for you, try them on!” She slipped both shoes on and it looked to fit perfectly. I encouraged her to take a little stroll to see how they felt which she quickly did, making a loop and coming back to stand right next to me.

I felt the tops of her toes in the shoes just to make sure, while the man did the same. I let them know about the fit info, just in case he was skeptical. Again, it was the right fit and the man gestured that she was going to wear them out. “They match your coat,” he said. “Yes they do,” I chimed in. That’s when she looked up at me and said

“I’m wearing these to my dad’s memorial. Red was his favorite color…”

It’s difficult to describe what happened next. Honestly, did not know how to respond– it’s admittedly a fault of mine, made even more troublesome by the innocent face of this child. A slight inhale and “Oooh…” I continued wrapping up the sale, while checking them out. I was madly looking for scissors to cut the tags off of the shoes but the man was already biting them off with his teeth. I looked down at the box, still processing what was happening. The man handed over payment, and the little girl came to stand right next to me. I was utilizing one of the slowest registers, which gave the girl time to stare up and me and say “You’re really pretty.” I told her she was so sweet and beautiful, to which she thanked me. When the cash drawer popped out she was standing on tip toes trying to look in, as I had a feeling she would. The man asked her to “stop being little Miss Nosy” to which I shrugged him off and smiled that it was alright– but she wasn’t listening to him and quietly responded “But I wasn’t being nosy.”

I did my normal routine– as much as possible keeping it together to send them out with a ”Thank you”, and on their way to what I can only imagine to be the funeral. Walking back to my department I could feel the sadness weighing on me.

Why wasn’t I more understanding, and why couldn’t I say anything meaningful? It crosses my mind that on a daily basis I do not let my emotions frolic about for the anyone to see. I squash them, protecting myself from what could be vulnerable positions. It’s “easier”– probably the reason I draw things rather than speak them. Added to that is the competitive nature of my profession where it works to be confident and unfazed on the outside. I think somewhere down the road I adopted the “It’s not personal, this is just business” attitude, and I’m not sure when that became status quo. My main point is that I never want to be disingenuous… so how did I let it happen at the place I spend a hefty chunk of my time? Thinking that my “work” self and “real” self could not be the same. Yeah, strange… These everyday interactions, especially this one really put things into perspective. Just a thought.


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The *great* Snow of 2014

I only say great because this is the first time in years that I have not worked on a Saturday.
Snowpocalypse! Snowmageddon!
I cannot believe that just 1 week after returning from Hawaii, Oregon receives a dumping of the white stuff.
Time for the next adventure. Thankfully no frozen pipes or power outages (just cabin fever). unnamed-2 unnamed-3

It also gave me a lot of time to work on this…


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Not sure if it was the weather or being back to work
(probably both) but I had been itching to get another piercing.
I knew I didn’t want to deal with it before my vacation
and being back for only a few days
this random Tuesday night seemed like the perfect
time to get it done. The process itself was mild,
surprisingly thought of as the most painful piercing
I don’t really agree. Jori was quick and professional,
and I was done from start to finish in less than 10 minutes.
The nice part about it being on the inner ear
is not accidentally bumping it or any hair getting
tangled and yanking it. So glad it’s done!
Let the 90 day countdown begin…unnamed-1

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Foggy, drizzly day!
Da Kitchen for lunch (Teri Burger/Kalua Pig/Spam/Hamburger Steak– oh my!),
Fun Factory (lost at air hockey but discovered an awesome game to collect on tickets),
and Whole Foods for some Cold Pressed Pinapple Juice, oranges, Shaka Pops (Lava Flow <3 ),
Rosemary Garlic Boule, and Coconut Gouda!

Video to be uploaded soon–

In the meantime, check out:

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