office inspiration

We’re firm believers that a workspace should promote productivity, creativity and a sense of calm, but if we’re being completely honest we don’t always treat our workspace with the respect it deserves (its primary role is ‘dumping ground’). Feeling inspired (and hey, guilty) we swept the clutter off the desk and got to making our space just a little prettier. It’s not much, but we sure do like blogging here. Whether you’re working from a corner office or the corner of your couch, we encourage you to make the most of your workspace – it’s a big part of our lives, after all!

office inspiration by {OH} Victoriaoffice inspiration by {OH} Victoria

He brings the zen.

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

Full disclosure: none of the pencils are sharpened.

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

Ripped out of a magazine years ago, this Andy Warhol quote has guided us through some pretty big life decisions.

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

Postcards, handwritten notes, and photographs. Our everyday inspiration.

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

office inspiration by {OH} Victoria

Always on the desk: a pile of cards picked up from our favourite local businesses.

This post was inspired by WeWork, a platform that offers creatives co-working office spaces from Seattle to Amsterdam to Tel Aviv. We love the idea of a space made just for creatives who otherwise might be working solo at their kitchen table. Their mission really hit home: To create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living.

We wish you happy working!

{oh} santa monica

Santa Monica beach

We love the beach. We grew up on it, and we’ll never be able to live away from it. It’s why we decided to do a west coast road trip, and it’s why Santa Monica was top on our list of California destinations. Our three-day stay was not without hiccups (a car that wouldn’t start, a record-breaking heat wave, and a bad motel) but it remains a highlight of our trip. From phenomenal food to bicycle beach tours, here’s our take on the SoCal city.

eat

Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe

Weeks after eating there (twice) we still think about Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe. The family owned and operated bakery and cafe is all about fresh, seasonal food – from savory sandwiches and lush salads to artisan baked goods that pair perfectly with their gourmet coffee. The casual space is pretty and rustic, and seems to be eternally full of chic and attractive SoCal residents looking for a gourmet grilled-cheese, a quinoa bowl or fresh-baked doughnut hole.

Tacos, tacos, tacos. The best tacos we’ve ever had can be found at Blue Plate Taco on Ocean Avenue, a cool restaurant with an energetic vibe, killer patio and an even better drink list. Tacos range from veggie to short rib, but the shrimp tacos won us over with pumpkin seed pesto, cilantro crema, jicama and cilantro. We recommend you make a reservation – this ain’t your neighbourhood taco truck. We’ve heard rave reviews about their sister restaurant Blue Plate Oysterette and have added it to our ‘Next time we’re in Santa Monica’ list.

Sometimes (or always) it’s okay to skip lunch (or dinner) and have ice cream instead. We discovered Sweet Rose Creamery at the Brentwood Country Mart and found out mid-cone that the quaint shop (with flavours like fig sorbet, lemon chiffon and salted caramel) is in fact owned and operated by the very couple behind Huckleberry.

do

Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier should be seen by day as well as night. It’s definitely a mecca for tourists, but worth a stroll. When you’ve had enough of the crowds, grab a bike from one of the rental huts and cruise down to Venice Beach for some top-tier people watching. From body builders to street performers, there’s plenty to see. Watch the locals fish off the end of the Venice pier as the cranes swoop and dive around them.
Venice Beach, bird

The Third Street Promenade is a shopping lover’s dream. The beautiful three block stretch is lined with shops (Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Madewell, to name a few) and restaurants. Magazine kiosks and cafes give the Promenade a Parisian feel, and any of the restaurants have sidewalk patios perfect for dropping your bags and enjoying a late afternoon cocktail.

Venture into upper class Santa Monica and check out the Brentwood Country Mart where you’ll find upscale boutiques like Unionmade and Kendall Conrad. To give you an idea of just how trendy the ‘country’ mart is, goop was rumoured to have a pop-up shop there just days before our visit – yes, goop as in the divine Gwenyth’s goop. Our favourites are the slightly more affordable but still o-so-chic Diesel, A Bookstore and Sugar Paper. Unless you’re rollin’ like Gwen, pass on the designer leather handbag and grab some fresh garden grub at the (gorgeous) Farmshop. Finish off with that gourmet cone from Sweet Rose Creamery we mentioned – it’ll help ease the pain of passing up all those fancy threads.

Hollywood

Technically it’s not in Santa Monica, but we couldn’t write this post without mentioning our detour to Anaheim. Yes, we went to Disneyland. As childless adults, Disneyland is the MOST FUN. The best part about experiencing Disneyland as an adult is noticing and appreciating the sheer amount of detail in every design. To understand that it began as one man’s crazy dream is a pretty wonderful thing. While we’re on the topic of not-in-Santa Monica, make sure you explore the Hollywood hills, too.

Route 66

Stay tuned for our take on California’s Central Coast and the glorious wine country!

 

{oh} portland

Portland travel blog

We’re back! It was a helluva trip and we’re so excited to share all of our vacation favourites with you over the coming weeks, starting with Portland. Technically, this was our second time visiting, but we experienced so much more of it this time around and fell deeply, deeply in love. There’s already talk of another visit, soon. Here’s our take on a city we can’t get enough of…

shop

Portland travel blog

It seems every second Portland address is a charming shop, whether it be clothes or books. Start with the Portland Saturday Market (open Sundays, too) for a look at artisan goods both weird and wonderful. When the market wears you down, recharge at one of the many food trucks and have a seat in the beer garden.

Union Way is a trendy indoor shopping alley connecting Southwest Burnside with Southwest Stark. Walk through for a look at local and designer shops, like the Oregon boot brand, Danner, and makers of beautiful bags, WILL Leather Goods.

Leave a little room on your credit card for the nearby Powell’s Books, the world’s largest new and used independent bookstore. Forget the bargain bin and check out their Rare Book Room for a glimpse at some real literary gems.

Finally, there are plenty of vintage shops to choose from, but there’s one in particular that caught our attention. BillyGoat Vintage on SW Broadway is far more than clothes. We were swooning over old school lamps, vintage drapes, and antique typewriters.

eat & drink

Portland travel blog
Portland does coffee and comfort food like no other. Start your day with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a Portland staple. Bonus if you’re staying at the Ace, the Stark location is adjacent to the trendy hotel lobby.

Once your caffeine addiction’s been fed, head next door to Kenny and Zuke’s. If you love an authentic delicatessen with a great pastrami, then this is your place. Traditional latkes, bagels, and a breakfast that will last you all day long are featured alongside a huge assortment of sandwiches, burgers, and salads. Oh, and Pastrami Cheese Fries, too.

Portland travel blog
Leave room for donuts (doughnuts?) and worry about your waistline another day. If you’ve never been, then Voodoo Doughnuts is a must if only to say you’ve been there, done that. Call us traditional, but we love the Portland Cream and the Apple Fritter. Someone a little more adventurous might try the Bacon Maple Bar doughnut. For a real gourmet treat (not to mention shorter lines) try the more subtle Blue Star Donuts where you can sample a Blueberry Bourbon Basil donut and a Red Berry Rhubarb Fritter. Our favourite? You’ll have to visit both and be your own judge.

Nothing washes down pastries like a cold beer. Henry’s Tavern on 12th Street offers an impressive selection of local brews and their urban patio is the ideal place to enjoy Happy Hour.  If you feel like going straight to the source, Hair of the Dog Brewery offers tastings at their spacious SE Portland spot.

If you have the stamina, stroll around the Pearl District come dinner time. You can’t go wrong with a restaurant pick in this neighbourhood.

explore

Portland travel blog

Getting lost in a new city is an adventure, and sometimes the best way to find the real hidden gems. We drove to Nob Hill in search of PBJ’s Grilled but sadly, they were closed. Had the line not been a block long we would have drowned our sorrows in ice cream from Salt & Straw. Instead, we went exploring. The nicest views and prettiest houses are always at the top of the hill, so we jumped in the car and drove up – way, way up. Long and aimless drives proved to be the best way to explore a town’s most beautiful neighbourhoods, and ended up being one of our favourite vacation activities.

sleep

We’ve heard rave reviews about Ace Hotel and The Jupiter Hotel, but we lay our heads down at the vibrant Crystal Hotel. Part of the McMenamin’s group, the Crystal Hotel is located just across the street from the legendary Crystal Ballroom. Each unique room is inspired by a song or performance from the Crystal Ballroom’s past 100 years. The staff was the friendliest and most helpful we’ve come across, but it was the salt water soaking pool that really won us over.

thirty for thirty

Turning 30

I am turning 30. Soon.  There was a time (long, long ago) that I thought 30-year-old Jessica would be a married mother of three.  When I think back to the lofty goals of my younger self it’s easy to laugh at the ridiculous plans I had and the speed at which I thought I’d accomplish them, but it’s an excellent reminder of how fast time flies.  Birthdays pass us by at warp speed, and while I in no way regret missing the boat on ‘kids by 30’, I do wish I hadn’t put off some of the smaller things. Inspired by my dear friend Chelsea, I’ve reviewed my mental catalog of wants and complied a list of 30 things I aim to do as a 30-year-old. I’m not one for making resolutions at the stroke of midnight.  It’s probably why I’ll never do a juice cleanse, why I never make it to pilates, and why I only floss when the threat of a dentist appointment looms.  So before we continue here today, let’s get one thing straight – this is a not a list of resolutions. This list is simple.  It’s a collection of the little things I want to do, and none of the things I should.

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

Turning 30

What do you want to do?