Gabi's Downtown Duplex

Isn't it interesting how people from your past pop up when you need them most? My friend Gabi did just that when I was in a bad bike accident last year. We went to middle/high school together and while I think we would both agree we were friends, we were never very close (sad!). I had been stalking her blog for quite some time and was thrilled to reconnect with her, even if the circumstances weren't the most positive.

Speaking of her blog, I am completely obsessed with her style. She's one of the most beautiful people I've ever known - inside and out - and I had the privilege of "touring" her house in our hometown of Augusta, GA this year. While she remains humble and points out the imperfections of her home, I see nothing but a beautiful and inspiring retreat that I would die to come home to every day.

birthdays, businesses, and butter.

There have been a few pretty significant life events that happened over the past few weeks. You know, things like celebrating my 29th birthday which is weirdly more uncomfortable than the idea of turning 30 for some reason. Maybe because I feel like I have to work out all the kinks this year or "really live it up" before I turn the responsible and actual adult age of 30. More wine please.

One of the more exciting events was officially turning Nixon & Copeland into an LLC with my partner Michelle! We're both chomping at the bit to launch our home staging and interior styling business, especially with how the Portland real estate market has been punching ahead. Though it's just the beginning, it really feels like we're one step closer to doing work we love. Love love love.

And last but not least at all, I spent about a week exploring Iceland with Melissa (the super muscly babe in the Blue Lagoon photo below). If you ever get the chance, GO. I've never seen so much beauty packed into one small space. There's a waterfall (foss) or hot spring (laug) every few miles - if that - and the landscape is utterly breathtaking. We spent a few nights in Reykjavik to get the lay of the land then set out exploring the south and the west. I can't put into words what we saw and pictures hardly do it justice, so I'll leave you with these meager snapshots.

P.S. Iceland has the best butter (smjor) and feta in the world. Don't come home without them.

Trial by Fire

They say the best way to learn a new skill is just to DO IT. "They" have never been more right. I recently had my first design project (outside of my house) essentially fall into my lap thanks to, well, a series of fortunate events and some very trusting people.  The space is stunning - polished concrete floors, exposed beams, massive windows and beautiful wood-beam walls. If I could dream up the most ideal space to work within, it would look very similar to this one.

I'm sure a couple years of design school under my belt would be extremely useful right now but that wouldn't be as fun, would it? We're in the very beginning stages but I'm so excited to see how all the little details come together to create a space that people love to work in every day.

if i could vacation forever...

Traveling is probably one of my most favorite things to do, even if it's just a quick roadtrip somewhere close. A few weeks ago I went on a  much-needed vacation to Mexico to drink margaritas and lay on the beach. It was glorious. I ate my body weight's worth in tacos and have yet to recover from the all the "sipping" tequila. 

Todos Santos is a super colorful expat community about an hour north of Cabo. I have a few Canadian friends living in the area and we all caught up over Pacificos and Don Julio. There are almost no all-inclusive resorts in town and even fewer drunk spring breakers. With the exception of maybe sorta being filmed (not by choice) on a stupid reality TV show and bringing down the house during karaoke night at the local biker bar, it was about as relaxing and uneventful as I could have hoped for. 

Pescadero, Mexico

Pescadero, Mexico

Todos Santos, Mexico

Todos Santos, Mexico

I spent last weekend in New Orleans celebrating my college bestie's 30th birthday. I had never been to NOLA and I left wondering why the rest of the world doesn't eat like they do at all times. Huge oysters, smoked gumbo, crawfish poutine, and the best cubano I've ever had. We listened to great jazz and ate great food and that's about all I could have asked for. Here's to more vacations whether you need 'em or not.

B.M.C.

B.M.C.

Grace & Ali

Grace & Ali

Beautiful pottery I found at a flea market in NOLA

Beautiful pottery I found at a flea market in NOLA

no such thing as a stranger

If you know me at all, you know that I know no strangers, they are just friends I haven't met yet. (Should I say "know" again?) I can talk to anyone and take great pleasure in getting beyond the small talk. Friends laugh at me - and probably get annoyed - when we share cabs together because it doesn't take but a few minutes for me to get the driver talking about religion and purpose, his family, poverty, or things that stress her out. I love to talk. I love finding commonalities. I love connection.

I have lots of friends and love making them. I could hang out with a different group of people on any given night. I have friends for deep, purposeful conversations; I have friends for light-hearted banter; I have friends who would go on an adventure at the drop of a hat; I have friends who understand (and LOVE) wine the way I do; I have friends who rage and friends who like to just be together. The list goes on.

I also have a handful of best friends...a few people who know me almost better than I know myself. I cherish those relationships and do everything I can to nurture and grow them, even when we're miles apart. We pick up where we left off no matter what. They're my people. 

But what does it take to become "best" friends? A few things in common, overcoming hardships together, having some really good laughs? Is it having a history together? Is it just a chemical thing you can't really explain like falling in love?

After flipping through some photos from over the years, I realized there's quite an obvious theme when it comes to the people I can't quit. You can probably see for yourself, but nothing draws me in and keeps me hanging on more than a really deep, gut-busting laugh. The kind that you cry over. The kind that makes you grip your knees or grab your sides because it hurts so good. Sharing a sense of humor is the connection I value most. Because if you can’t laugh together, well, then maybe we will remain strangers.