Portland Picks Website presenting
  life + style to you: every Friday
April 21st, 2006

When did buying jeans become an all-day adventure in pain? We recently jammed ourselves in a dressing room with at least a dozen pair, from eight different brands, and each pair was more comical than the last. One pair had pockets that went from the butt to halfway down the thigh. Huh? Another pair had a 2-inch rise, which was genius for showing off the secret tattoo we've had since college (and should probably remove), but not so much for walking, bending, or doing anything other than standing in the dressing room.

And finally, two were cut with the specific designation to destroy the self-esteem of anyone who dares try them on. The legs were so skinny that Kate Moss or a 14-year-old girl would be like, "These are some damn skinny legholes," so for us, um, "athletic types," they were nothing but sinister sleeves of denim that taunted us with their silent whispers of "Big girls don't wear these jeans...move along, Sister." What?!? Frankly, we don't need a soul-crushing from a pair of pants. Our jeans should be a best pal, not a nemesis.

We don't ask for much--just to have our jeans, and eat cake, too.


Portland Picks:


Get Smart

We love to give the illusion that we have good taste.  Course it’s hard sometime and we have to pretend.   We could definitely use some help, notably when it comes to our home.  We’ve just moved, after essentially camping the last two years, to a grown up house.  There were no baby steps to this transition, we basically jumped from coveralls to fancy pants.  The movers would unload the truck, bring in the barcalounger and we’d direct them right up into the attic.  Nothing seemed to go.  So here we are in a grown-up house with no furniture, which is better than our old furniture, but people might begin to talk.  It would also probably be nice to sit down and eat one day, like at a table.

Well lucky us.  There’s a new store in town called Gingko Home that really makes us look good.  Gingko, as an herb, is supposed to make you smart, and this Gingko makes us look very smart indeed.  We like an eclectic mix and that’s what they provide.  These are Asian elements for modern living. Gingko style is a unique combo of Asian design aesthetic, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary sensibilities.  They’ve only been open since April 8th, downtown near Canoe, another favorite.  Whether you’re in the market for a nightstand, a sofa, a bed, a rug, or even a table, all their furnishings are one of a kind and timeless.

 Be smart and check out Gingko, and tell them Portland Picks sent you.

Gingko Portland
 610 SW 12th Ave.
 Portland, OR 97205




What a Trip

I was talking with a friend recently about first jobs.  There are definitely some doozies out there.  Take me, I always wanted to be a teen model.  I took a Polaroid of myself, with my tubular curls framing my buck teeth, atop my gangly body, and sent it to Teen magazine when I was in seventh grade.  “I could be a model for you,” I offered.  My modeling never came to fruition so at the ripe age of 12 I faked a work permit and instead got a job at a retirement home next to my school.  I was essentially a glorified waitress…well, maybe “glorified” is too generous.  I was to deliver the “chef’s surprise” to each table under a certain amount of time so we could be done and call it a day.  My supervisor, the head cook, was a murderer (but just manslaughter), so suffice it to say, this should have been incentive for speed. Instead, though, I’d wistfully saunter from table to table and chitchat dreamily with the seniors.  After just two months I was fired.  I also worked in a coffee shop making espresso for a room filled with red and maroon adorned Raj Neeshies.  Then there was the boutique, the cookie job, I painted half a house when I was 13 (what were they thinking?) before I got bored.  As an early entrepreneur I sold petrified years-old Halloween candy to the neighbor kids, until there mother called my mother.  I was a summer nanny once and when the baby had a poopy diaper I would call my friend who would have to drive over and change it.  My high school boyfriend was an ice cream man and dug graves in the cemetery on the side.  Dream Jobs?  Maybe not.  But now we can experience our dream with Portland’s vocation vacations (www.vocationvacations.)  We can be fashion designers, vintners, horse whisperers, whatever our hearts desire.

Or if that just seems like way too much “work” you can simply watch them on tv from the lazy comfort of your sofa.  Locally based Vocation Vacations is the basis of a new show on the Travel Channel called "This Job's a Trip."  The first episode airs Thursday, April 27th at 8 p.m.  The show follows two individuals who are test-driving their dream job, their dream of being White Water Rafting Guides.  Their mentor is Mark Zoller of Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys in White Salmon, WA (www.zooraft.com).  Good television.

I know Teen will be calling any day now, but until then, there’s always Vocation Vacations...or we can just dream and watch the tv show.






Just In Time for Mother’s Day

Nothing warms a mama’s heart like jewelry.  Sure, Tiffany is fabulous, we might enjoy a diamond ring, but if that baby bauble isn’t gonna happen this year, we’ve found something better, something that will still bring her tears of joy.  The perfect gift:  La Picosa Jewelry .

La Picosa makes custom heirloom necklaces and bracelets of photographs new and old and one of a kind pieces from beads and semi-precious stones.  LP uses imagery under glass with her "signature" pieces which have become very popular locally.  These custom pieces range from $100-$200 and the average runs about $54.  There are also many strands of gorgeous stones and vintage beads that go well with just about anything!
If you’re interested in the perfect Mother’s Day gift, visit La Picosa studio by appointment or pay a visit on First Thursday mornings for coffee, tea and shopping for treasures.

Seriously, La Picosa Jewelry makes the perfect, meaningful, precious Mother’s Day gift.  We would weep to receive one....and you can give one to your own mother.  Priceless.

Michelle Rajotte
La Picosa Jewelry




It’s all in The Foundation

Foundation Garments, Inc. is a brand new, locally owned clothing boutique located in the heart of the Alberta Arts district. The shop features modern, stylish, sustainable clothing and accessories from independent designers in the US and Canada. These guys strive to find lines and designers not currently represented in Portland, the smaller the better.

For the month of April they are featuring designer/artist Troy Linden from Portland who takes inspiration as much from the natural setting of the damp Northwest as his North Portland neighborhood.  But don’t let that dismay, Troy's amazing apparel work, presently available only through Foundation Garments, includes men's and women's shirts, (some remarkably office-unfriendly) neckties, and cufflinks.

Stop by and view other beloved lines such as the adorable, hand-made, and infinitely wearable skirts and dresses of Greenbaum Clothing Company, cute and morbid tees from Blood is the New Black, hand dyed "dainties" from Ship to Shore, and acrylic jewelry in the form of pirate ships, octopi (that’d be more than one octopus!), and ninjas from Little Ghost Designs.

Foundation Garments, Inc.
2712 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211




Hey, Sugar

We love email…it’s a problem, really.  We find ourselves sending and receiving in our sleep, when we wake in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, we even cut out of our own dinner parties for a quickie.  But we still know how important it is to send a handwritten note on occasion.  After all, a sweet little thank you sent snail mail, in the perfect unique design, leaves such a ladylike impression.  But it must be unique, nothing cheesy, or it negates the act and you might as well email.

When we are in the market for precious impressions, we go to Sugar Lily.  Sugar Lily is a little Portland shop that makes simple sentiments for sweet people (that’s you!)  Sugar Lily has clever thank-you notes, just-because notes, birthday notes, and boxed sets.  Sugar Lily is the brainchild of Brenna Giannini, and it’s named after her daughter Lily.  

And when you get them, you’ll suddenly want to drop everyone you know a little note.  Now that’s sweet.





The Core of It

We covet good posture.  When we were little we walked with books on our head…seriously.  As we get older, and fear, well, everything, we are suddenly noticing everyone’s posture.  We notice women who have amazing posture, which always reminds us to stand a little taller.  We notice bad posture, too, which gets us really statuesque, for a sec.  And we’re trying to do everything we can to keep ours, to prevent any darn shrinkage, short of a dark ages stretching machine (but do they have those?  And do you know where we can hook that up???)

Where do you go to keep your posture, your strength, your flexibility and meet great people?  We’ve got just the ticket. Gyrotonics at Core Pilates.  Gyrotonics is quickly gaining popularity in Portland.  Not only does it increase range of motion and strength, but it can be used to rehab injury or regain some of those lost inches of height.  At Core Pilates they also offer Pilates equipment and mat classes, personal training and even body rolling.  It really is a great community of people who all come for various reasons, but share the common thread that they all want to be there.  Each workout is customized to your own goals or needs, whether it is preparing for a marathon or recovering from a surgery.  

Core Pilates...for the best body of your life.

Core Pilates
1500 NW 18th Ave.
Portland, OR




Big New Store, Bold New Flavors!

New Seasons has just opened a jumbo of a store on Boones Ferry.  And one of the bright spots is the Gelato counter.  This is the best Gelato we've ever tasted, from a company in Eugene called Stella Gelato, and this is their first venue in PDX, with more to come.

The owner squeezes the lemons for the lemon-pine-nut-mascarpone, and “pulls” the espresso shots for the espresso, all by hand.  And the pistachio is to die for—so buttery. You must check it out for yourself.  The gelato is next to the coffee counter near the deli.  And New Seasons is our favorite supermarket in town.  And now with Stella Gelato, we’re even happier to shop there.

Want the scoop?  Three families and about 50 of their friends decided in late 1999 that they wanted to create a business that they could be proud of—a company that had a true commitment to its community, to promoting sustainable agriculture, and to maintaining a progressive workplace. The result is New Seasons Market. It isn't just another grocery store. It's the store that they always wanted to open: easy and fun to shop and locally owned and operated...and we heart them.

New Seasons
3 SW Monroe Parkway
Lake Oswego, OR 97035




Magically Delicious

We can’t say enough about Organics to You.  Our lush little bin shows up porch-side, filled with our fresh organic fruits and veggies du jour.  

Plus we get our milk delivered too.  Kinda like when we were little and we had a milkman.  And it’s a surprise every time, like Christmas.  Plus it forces us to use it, to feed our kids all the right stuff, maybe even go crazy and make soup!

We forever love Organics to You.  I mean we LOVE them!  They make us so happy.  And you can be happy too.  Just go to www.organicstoyou.org and pick out your bin.  It’s just so darn easy and delicious.  And it just magically appears every week. Poof, like that.  

You must give them a go.  Just try it once...we dare you not to get hooked.




  iTunes Mix of the Week:

Dave Matthews is finally available on iTunes.  He’s released his 2006 album, Some Devil. We love him desperately…and we love whoever we are with when his music plays in the background.  

His voice, his music is so darn sexy.  It’s a slim start, but we want to applaud him for this small step.  He was one of the few that held out, and we’ve been holding our breath.  Sigh...

Baby, Grey Blue Eyes, Trouble, Stay or Leave, Save Me...so many good songs on this album just waiting to hop into your iPod!

  Chick Picks:  


Maybe it’s the new mattress, or probably I have something seriously wrong with me, but I’ve been so stiff and sore lately, like I’ve exercised a lot even though I haven’t.  My dad would just say “drink more water.”  That has always been his cure-all for everything.  Well, Dad, I flunked. “Drink more water.”  Dad, I’m fat.  “Drink more water.”  Dad, I’m pregnant.  “Drink more water.”  Dad, I’ve had too much water.  “Drink more water.”  Granted the old h2o is very important, and not to dis dad, but I’ve found something more fun.  Tspheres.  These are so cool.

Tspheres are little aromatherapy balls designed to bring massage and aromatherapy into daily life.   It’s like a portable massage.  Just lie on them, roll them across your body, or between you and any surface, or just roll them between your hands and inhale the subtle aroma for a moment of relaxation.  They feel so amazingly good.


Run With It

These are sooo cute. You can be a serious runner but look like an adorable girly girl.  It’s enough to get us running!  The running skirt was designed by identical twin girls with a passion for running.  They were bored with what was out there so they designed their own.

Just in time for spring training, these are designed with the long run in mind... made with special sweat-wicking tactel/lycra blend high performance fabrics with no interior seams, and that means no rubbing or chafing!  There’s an attached brief that stays put  in all the right places and flattering low-rise waist that sits comfortably.  

The skirt does not flip up and the briefs don't ride up so you can be cute sans wedgie...priceless.


Preggers and Proud

Are you preggers n’ proud?  Okay, girl...flaunt it! Check out Preggers n’ Proud and all of their popular items for Moms, Baby and Dads.

As seen on Kate Hudson and Britney Spears, Preggers n’ Proud is the way to share the news with the world! Wear your belly out loud with these expressive maternity tees.  And through these trendsetting designs, Pn’P are here to truly embrace the fact that you are Preggers and Proud!  

Check them out and then pick up a shirt for your stud muffin, like one that proclaims “men who change diapers rule.”


Hey, Bartender

OMG! Here you are, having a party, and someone asks for a Flaming Whiskey Cobbler. Egads, what are you going to do?!  No worries.  Now there’s iPod Bartender.

The iPod Bartender and the iPod Bartender shuffle allow iPod owners to take a list of drinks with them, wherever they go. The iPod Bartender contains all the drink recipes available. The iPod Bartender shuffle lets you have a little fun, and then theres the BoozeMix to really shake things up.  

What will they think of next?


Bag It

Don’t you just hate those perfect moms?  The ones that actually have time to make their kids an elaborate gourmet lunch and super-healthy snack that make us other moms feel like bad moms.  And they always tuck a little note in, everything’s Martha gorgeous.  Blech!  You know the ones?  Even their Easter eggs and Halloween decorations are brilliant works of art.  Hate her!

But now you can pretend to be a good mom, a thoughtful mom when you send your little one off to school with these designer sandwich bags.  These clever pouches will you give you big points in the mom department, even as it hides the Twinkies and Ding Dongs.

Next time, pack those yummies in these and be stylin. Get 20 for only $5.


Hip Happenings:


Earth Day Savings at Greenloop

Save some "green" at Greenloop's annual Earth Day Sale! From Satruday, April 22, to Saturday, April, 29, you can save 10-60% storewide on apparel, bags, shoes and bodycare!

Look for EcoFashin and Organic Bodycare by Loomstate, Stewart+Brown, EcoGanik, English Retreads, Kathy's Family, MiEssence, TerrEssentials, Inara and more!

Come by the store in West Linn or shop online at www.thegreenloop.com. (The new Greenloop website launches today! But the full sale selection will not be available on-line.)

Located in the Historic Willamette District in West Linn off I-205, between 13th and 14th Streets, down the garden path.
Store Hours: Tues-Sat. 11-6 Sun & Mon by Appt.

1785 Willamette Falls Drive, Suite 9
West Linn, OR 97068


The Da Vinci Series

You are invited to 3 Lectures Exploring the Provocative Theories of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.  The series will expand upon Dan Brown’s best selling novel The Da Vinci Code, by exploring several themes from the novel that have piqued the curiosity of readers everywhere. Closely following the May 19 release of Columbia Pictures’ movie of the book, The Da Vinci Series will build upon the interest in the theories the murder mystery proposes about history, religion, and the arts. The Series will be completed in three evenings, with each event focused on a unique topic and Guest Lecturer (additional information about the series can be found at: www.davinciseries.com.

Guest Speakers and Topics:

  •  Wed. June 14, 2006 @ 7:30pm
     Dr. Elaine Pagels - Jesus, Mary Magdalene, & Da Vinci
  • Wed. June 21, 2006 @ 7:30pm
     Dr. Jeannine O'Grody - The Art of Leonardo Deciphered
  • Wed. June 28, 2006 @ 7:30pm
     Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince - Inside The Secret Societies of The Da Vinci Code.


Great Gadsby

The Gadsby building will be having an Open House on Saturday, April 22, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The building has recently been restored and the third floor would like to invite you to an evening of live music, appetizers, fresh-baked cookies, art, photography and wine tasting. Come and stop by the eight open studios including Gallery R. Damore, FriedArt Studio, A-List Hair Studio, Innerscape Art Center and Treatment skin and body.

The Gadsby Building is located in the Pearl District and there are beautifully renovated spaces currently available for lease www.workspaces.net. It’s located at 1306 NW Hoyt St. Take the elevator on the 13th Avenue entrance.

This party is a great start to a Saturday evening in the Pearl.

Download Flyer

Chic with Soul

Please join Lucina for its spring trunk show - just in time for Mother's Day. Lucina's entire line will be available for sale. Be the first to shop indulgent new spring and summer styles - and find some special deals, too.

  • When: 6-9 pm, Thursday, April 27
  • Where: Lucina designer Ronda Kelly's home at
    134 NE  Sumner St. in Portland

Co-hosting the event are Lucina designer Scarlet Chamberlin and founder Shauna Alexander Mohr. In addition to the delicious jewelry, there will be wine, light hors d'oeuvres and…chocolate! Who can say no to that?





Things to add to the springtime to-do list:

  • See more live music.
  • Take more afternoon walks.
  • Take more afternoon naps.
  • Edit our ever-growing handbag collection.
  • Think about what we want, and what we want out of life.
  • Be grateful for what we have.

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