Escape from the City

Escape from the City

Last weekend (September 5th), Kenneth and I decided to get away from the city for the day. We rented a ZipCar and explored the Lewis & Clark State Recreation Site and Salish Ponds. It’s amazing how nature is so very close to us. It only took 10-15 minutes to get from our place in the Central Eastside to our first destination: the Sandy River!

Located at the western gateway of the Columbia River Gorge, Lewis & Clark State Park is situated near the mouth of the Sandy River where it spills into the mighty Columbia River. There are hiking trails and picnic tables. We saw a few people come here with their bicycles and rock climbing gears as well.

To the Sandy River we go!

Crossed the Sandy River Bridge for more views of the river + a quick lunch at the Sugarpine Drive-In (sandwiches, chips, soft serve goodness!).

Lots of wild berries and river views. Kenneth even got to sit down and sketch twice. We headed back to the car and drove through Downtown Troutdale (the gateway to the Gorge). Wish we could have walked through the cute little town. Made a note to explore the next time around! Next stop is Salish Ponds Park in SE Portland. I had high hopes for this one but it both underwhelmed us. Maybe a better park to visit around fall/winter. It felt a bit like a park in the LA suburbs with the dryness and lack of shade. Regardless, here are photos!

Where are you, Shrek?

Last stop of the day: Fubbon Supermarket! This is an Asian supermarket that was recommended by Kenneth’s coworker. We stocked up on Filipino ingredients like lumpia (egg roll) wrappers, tamarind soup mix, kare-kare mix, Pancit Canton, a big ol’ 20lb sack of jasmine rice, etc! Last Asian grocery haul for a bit, I think.

As I write this, wildfires continue to ravage Oregon, California, and Washington. We actually had to cancel a car rental this weekend because of the hazardous air quality. The state has closed most parks and local Portland businesses are closed up. Hoping and wishing for the safety and courage of all firefighters and first responders and everyone affected during this time.

Seasons Bucket List

Last weekend, I journaled about heavy thoughts in hopes of trying to feel better. At the end of this journal session, I was inspired to write down a ‘seasons bucket list.’ Summer came and went so quickly, right? Shortly after Labor Day, it had started to feel like fall/autumn here in my new home city of Portland, Oregon. We got so much rain in September! Even a work colleague has mentioned this is weird because typically, Portland starts seeing this type of weather around October and not September.

Fall, to me, means renewal. The feeling of fresh beginnings, possibility, potential. This could mean rearranging my space, getting new plants (which we’ve been great at!), starting a new project (I see you, art and photos yet to be framed and hung!), getting a new haircut, etc. Hopefully, through all of these activities, there is a felt sense of joy, order, and clarity too.

“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

To combat the cold and to greet a new season, here is a seasonal joy list. Too often, seasons come and go in the blink of an eye before I get to do any of the things that bring me joy and give my life excitement. Here’s to nourishing the soul, fighting the dark and depressive thoughts that far too often match the grey clouds in Portland, and cultivating joy during a limited-time-only first season in our new home city. More things to look forward to this fall? I have some volunteering work lined up, activities that I’m all really excited for.

Laine’s Joy List: Portland Fall 2019 Edition

“Fall has always been my favourite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano

– Decorate a pumpkin
– Carve a pumpkin
– Start learning embroidery. The plan is to even make a plant embroidery for my sister (her birthday is on November 15th!)
– Collect a sweet collection of autumn leaves
– Catch some falling leaves and make a wish
– Press the fall leaves I catch/collect in an old, thrifted book so that I can frame them later on to remember our first fall in Portland

“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and colour are their last days.” – John Burroughs

– Do some momijigari (Japanese for leaf-peeping!) at Forest Park/Hoyt Arboretum, Eastbank Esplanade, Cathedral Park, Mount Tabor, and other Portland parks
– More momijigari! Perhaps peep some fall foliage at the Portland Japanese Garden
– Go to a corn maze + pumpkin patch with Kenneth. The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island looks fun!
– Go watch the Portland Trailblazers play! So far, thanks to work, we’ve got tix for the 50th Anniversary preseason opener vs Denver Nuggets at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

– Sip on some homemade Bowl of Soul (inspired by Verve Coffee’s comforting chamamile tea drink).
– Make a batch or two or three of Golden Mylk Latte to sip and enjoy with b~
– Order seasonal pumpkin/pumpkin spice/maple/cinnamon everything! I read that Sisters Coffee Company makes pumpkin spice lattes with real pumpkin. Oooh. A good list is here.
– Make homemade pumpkin cheesecake
– Make a hearty homemade vegetarian chili and cornbread with Kenneth
– Try some other fall-inspired recipes
– Visit Pip’s for some homemade chai and donuts. Do they have pumpkin ones?

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” Chad Sugg

– Stepmom (1998)
– Autumn in New York (2000)
– Rushmore (1998)
– Practical Magic (1998)
– The Great Gatsby (2012)

“October, here’s to you. Here’s to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples, the winey smell of ripened grapes, the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke.” – Ken Weber

5 de Mayo Weekend

My weekend in photos: May 3-5, 2019. Plant propagation at home, cleaning day and a sunset stroll to the park, compost drop-off at the farmer’s market, and watching the season premiere of Roy Choi’s new show ‘Broken Bread‘ at the Wiltern.

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We got a neat concrete propagation set from Folia Collective so I placed some cuttings from our happy Pothos bathroom plant to make more Pothos babies! Also, it’s watering time for the beautiful String of Pearls my sister got me. Look what I found though! An unexpected bloom.


I’ve started incorporating jade rolling into my skincare routine.


Saturday turned out to be a major cleaning day around here. We cleaned the bathroom, dusted, mopped, mopped some more. Afterwards, we online shopped for laundry soap (bulk refill) and groceries. Then, homemade burgers and rosemary fries for dinner.

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We went for a walk just in time for sundown.

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Played with the Hujifilm app a bit.

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We share good memories here.



Passed by the old Bob Baker Marionette Theater! Retro, and gave us fsociety (Mr. Robot) vibes.

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Sunday means finally dropping off our food scraps for composting at the Atwater Village Farmer’s Market. We also bought avocados (future guac!) and lots of strawberries. Pocket Coffee made v good coffee + Delmy’s had yummy black bean/cheese pupusa!


Dropped by Out of the Closet and loved the colour-coordinated book display. Couldn’t find a vase I liked. Thrifting is a game of patience.

I had some books waiting for me at the Glendale Library so we picked those up. Got juices and our free shots at Pressed Juicery, went to Target for toothpaste and nail polish remover, and then stopped by Warby Parker.

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Entertaining myself by browsing through art by Jason Polan while Kenneth got his sunnies adjusted and spectacle screws replaced.

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Back home to wash some strawberries for eating + freezing.

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We took the bus + metro to the Wiltern. Glad I got us tickets ahead of time but did not expect the queue to wrap around the whole block!






A few food stalls and food trucks were at the event. Mmm tacos de camaron from Mariscos Jalisco. My favourite tacos in all of LA!

From 2016 to 2019

Much has changed since 2016. I’ve always wanted to be more consistent with blogging/journaling and I hope this time around, I’ll stick to it. I take a ton of photos in my daily life but don’t post much of these photos on social media at all. So, here’s a go at it. As previously mentioned, much has changed. I’m back in Los Angeles after starting and finishing a Master’s degree in Human Rights + living in Vienna, Austria and the Philippines for my studies and research. Of course, it’s hard to really put into words all that has transpired in the past three years. A lot of pain, battling depression and anxiety, a ton of learning, and even more struggling with difficult emotions. Maybe in blogging frequently and reflecting upon my experiences back home, I’ll learn to appreciate California (and especially LA) a little bit more.