Blogroll | My Favorite Sewing Blogs

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Just for the record, this is officially becoming a sewing blog. Sewing is quickly replacing all of my other hobbies, so it’s not surprising that this blog is reflecting that as well. I still love to photograph, read, go on hikes, and travel, so this blog won’t always be 100% about sewing. It will always be 100% about me. But right now, 90% of my brain is on sewing, so you’ll have to bear with me there. If you love it as much as I do, reading about all the fun things people can make instead of buying, I made a list of my favorite sewing blogs (about 50% of the blogs I currently read are about sewing… Surprised?). I tried to narrow it down to 10, but I just couldn’t. I have 11 absolute favorites, and I couldn’t pick one and say “eh, maybe this one not so much” so you are stuck with a top 11 list.

Best of Roisin from Dolly Clackett | Anita Boeira

1. Dolly Clackett – Let’s just preface this with a lot of my favorite sewing blogs are in the UK. A LOT. And it was Dolly Clackett’s (not her real name) that introduced me to a bunch of those. She is one of my favorite bloggers out there, because she knows her style so well, and makes the craziest girly dresses out there. She is not afraid of prints and color, and whips up dresses as quick as I can finish a bag of pretzels. My absolute favorite dress she’s ever made, though, is one that’s not even within her style. It’s the Anna maxi dress with the split. I bought the pattern immediately after seeing her Anna. But she makes so many many many beautiful dresses (just scroll through her handmade wardrobe section). This is the wardrobe I aspire to own. One just like hers (and ps: check out her shoes too when you are looking at her makes—a Melissa fan like me). I’m going to try to choose just a few favorites, but get ready for a huge list: the Rachel Dress (*insert appreciative whistling sound here* a Anna and Charlotte mash up, and the reason why I need to own ALL By Hand London patterns), the parfait dress (which she doesn’t actually like), the Poppy Heather dress (that fabric! Swoons), and the Deanna dress (another Anna bodice, yes, I need to match my Anna bodice with different skirts).

Best of Lauren, from Lladybird | Anita Boeira

2. Lladybird – A close second for my favorite blogger, is Lauren’s Lladybird blog. Mostly, what I like about this lady’s blog is that she is just so darn mouthy. She does not mince words, and ends up being the most hilarious sewist blogger out there. Her projects are also beautiful, I really love her choice of fabrics and patterns. The only thing is, she’s probably a size 0, so it’s hard for me to gauge how a project would look on me by looking at them on her, but that’s life! She also shares a lot really great tutorials. She is a very experience sewer, so I’ve learned a lot following her tips. I’ll also have a hard time narrowing down my favorite projects she made, but here’s my attempt: the Crazy Paisley Hollyburn, the Vogue 1610 (both of those for the fabric choices, so pretty), the Lacey Georgia (hand of london scores again), a Sheer Anna Dress, the lakeside pajamas (that I still need to make), and the Tiger Lady Skater dress is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Best of Fiona, from Diary of a Chain Stitcher | Anita Boeira

3. Diary of a Chain Stitcher – I found this blog when I was browsing for Anna inspiration ideas. Fiona (how cute is her name?) has made quite a few beautiful Anna dresses (such as this one, this one, and THIS one). Another thing I love about her blog, she has extraordinary skill, but has not started sewing too long ago, kind of like me. She is a lot of inspiration. Another thing I love on her blog is that she does a monthly roundup of Indie Patterns, and I’ve found a lot of cool indie designers through her blog. Favorite projects: the Tania Culottes (on my to-sew pile, pattern purchased after seeing Fiona’s version) and her Flora dress.

Best of Tasia, from Sewaholic | Anita Boeira

4. Sewaholic – One of only three pattern makers who made this list. I’m not sure why, but pattern makers blogs in general are not as exciting to me as the ones from regular girls just making clothes! One of the exceptions is Tasia, from Sewaholic. I haven’t sewn a ton with her patterns, but I adore her blog. I like that she sounds just like one of us, and she makes clothes from a diversity of pattern makers. Her styling is also spot on, and I love the things she chooses to make. And she is also partly to blame for me now seriously considering making my own lingerie as well as clothes. What’s next: making my own shoes? Some stand out projects from Tasia: Brown and blue lingerie set, the gray quilted hollyburn, and the leopard anemone.

Best of Lizzie, from Cotton and Curls | Anita Boeira

5. Cotton & Curls – I haven’t read this blog a lot yet, and she just posts sporadically. But when she does, her projects are absolutely flawless, and so is her photography. I’d suggest this blog even for people who couldn’t care less about sewing, but that love a good fashion/daily outfit blog. It’s a pleasure to the eyes. Favorite projects: DIY Perpendicular Striped Skirt (what a fun twist on a simple knit pencil skirt!) and the DIY Modern Pleated Skirt (reminds me of my wedding dress).

Best of Anna, from Paunnet | Anita Boeira

6. Paunnet - Anna blogs from Italy, so she is a bilingual blogger just like me! Although, I haven’t blogged in two languages since Occupy the Wardrobe in 2012… It’s a lot of work, so I can definitely appreciate all the work she puts on her blog to make sure it reads in two languages. The clothes she makes are absolutely adorable. She has a pretty clear style, opting for neutral colors and prints (with a touch of color here and there), and a lot of fit and flare silhouettes. I really love her style, and I like seeing how patterns look on her because she has a body type more similar to mine, and also seems to like the same sort of clothes I do. So it’s perfect! Some of my favorite makes of her are: the heart cut out belladone dress (the styling is also impeccable), and her birthday anna dress (surprised?).

Best of Katie from What Keite Sews | Anita Boeira

7. What Katie Sews – This is one of the blogs I just recently started reading, mostly because I fell in love with her Crazy Diamonds Centauree dress. Like really, just look at that dress. Is this the real world? Isn’t this fabric the most brilliant fabric ever? I’m in love. I wish this was a dress I could actually buy at a store and have it too, exactly like that. Otherwise, the option is hunting the web for this fabric. Maybe I can do it. Maybe I should be doing that instead of blogging. Oh Katie, your crazy diamonds fabric is making me crazy! Okay, I stopped blogging and found the provenance of this fabric. It’s from Ikea. It’s not on the website, though, so I think the dream is over. And so is this tangent. Some other favorite projects:  the Celebration Anna (I love all Anna’s!)  and the Kitty Dress (do I need to even say why I like this one?).

Best of Kate, from See Kate Sew | Anita Boeira

8. See Kate Sew – Style wise, me and Kate wouldn’t agree on anything but colors. But other than that, Kate shares a plethora of tutorials and ideas of easy and fast projects. I have made a quilt duvet inspired by her triangle quilt, and used a pattern for a envelope clutch she shared (free) several times, especially to make gifts for friends. She does also have a line of patterns for children’s clothing and women’s clothing.

Best of Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch | Anita Boeira

9. A Fashionable Stitch – Sunni actually owns a brick and mortar shop by the same name, and said store is just a 10 minute walk from my house. The best part about that, is that her shop carries a lot of very unique fashion fabric, and she also offers a bunch of classes. I was following her for a long time before realizing we were basically neighbors. She is super nice in person, by the way, and I swear I didn’t completely geeked out when I met her and said “you’reoneofmyfavoritebloggers” all in one breath. I kept my cool. Be proud of me. Sunni is super stylish, and she looks even better in person than she does in the pictures, and her style fits her perfectly. Some of my faves includes the coming up roses top, her invisible zipper tutorial is the best I have ever read (and my zippers look a thousand times better now), and this self drafted skirt she made has the best fabric ever (I know I say that a lot, but fabric is cool, friends).

Best of Sarah from Ohhh Lulu... | Anita Boeira

10. Ohhh Lulu… - Ohhh Lulu is also a super adorable Etsy shop. Well, two Etsy shops. She sells the most beautiful handmade lingerie on one shop, and patterns for you to make your own at home on the other. And then on her blog, she posts about shop updates and extra tutorials for the people that buy her patterns. I love how beautiful and whimsical the stuff she makes is, and this blog has made me seriously consider learning how to make my own lingerie. It doesn’t need a lot of fabric, and you could come up with so many cute fabric combinations, much cooler than store bought lingerie with “PINK” written on the butt (no offense, VS). Favorite projects: the Zooey Bikini pattern (I’m a sucker for anything with bows in it) and this pattern hack on how to add cups to one of her bra patterns.

Best of Tilly from Tilly & The Buttons | Anita Boeira

11. Tilly & The Buttons – Another sew adorable blog, and Tilly also makes patterns. She has a book out (in the UK, but I think you can order it internationally) with a lot of easy projects for someone learning how to sew, or even an advanced beginner like me could enjoy (I kind of really want to get the book just for the dress pattern). I like that her style is very minimalistic but with a vintage flair. It’s cute, and totally wearable. My favorite projects of her are: the Contrast Yoke Coco and the Moonrise Kingdom Jacket (check out that pink!).

What sewing blogs make your list of favorites? Any good ones I am missing?

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Anita Boeira is now Sew Anita

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New SIte | Anita Boeira

Hello! You might have noticed that things look a bit different around here today. That’s because I spent this past week coming up with a new brand for my blog and website! I felt it was time for a change, my latest blog redesign dates from early 2012, and at that time, it was just a small upgrade from the version I had been using since 2009. Yes, 5 years without a major rebrand, it was definitely time. I loved my old branding, the color scheme and all the little details that made it my home, but one thing bugged me: everything looked so tight and cramped in that 900 pixels columns. Oh, and another fun fact about the new website: Michael built it! I designed it on Photoshop, showed it to him, and he made it happen. This is not our first collaboration online, but this is definitely the biggest one. And let me say that it also saved me a lot of hours of frustration and yelling at the computer.

WHAT CHANGED: I expanded the size of my columns, and added as much white space as I could deal with. Which apparently is a lot. I also kept the same color scheme I loved so much: charcoal gray, light gray, golden yellow, and white, but with a lot less gray. A LOT less. I also kept the stars, and just evolved to a less computer generated image, to something more fluid. The fonts also changed! I loved my dear old Trebuchet from the last logo, but now I have two new ones! “Sew” is a script font called Wolf in the City (free download on dafont.com) and “Anita” is LeagueGothic (also a free download on fontsquirrel.com) – I tried some other script fonts but I just couldn’t: I’m too much of a sans-serif girl.

Sew Anita New Logo | Anita BoeiraAnd yes, the blog named also changed! It’s now “Sew Anita,” same as my Etsy Shop. I played with a few different ideas, but Sew Anita was the catchiest. But I want to make it clear that changing the name won’t mean this blog will be exclusively about sewing, I’ll continue to talk about all things I love, but since sewing has been a big part of my life right now, that’s probably what I’ll talk about the most. And I also got a new URL: sewanita.com. Don’t worry, if you’re coming from the old url (anitaboeira.net) it will still work, so no need to update your bookmarks!

The Sidebar also changed! I added links to my Etsy Shop (where I sell Baby Dresses) and to a new section on the website called My Handmade Wardrobe, where I’ll just put all the projects I completed, and you can always browse and see everything I made to wear. I’ve seen this section on a couple of other blogs, and was excited to add it to mine as well. And now we also have a Facebook page, so you can “like” me on Facebook and I’ll share more related content there!

And in case you already forgot what the old website looked like, here’s a screenshot:

Old Website | Anita Boeira

There’s still a few things that I’m working on, and testing is still happening, so if you see anything that is not working properly, please let me know on the comments! I’ll be so very grateful.

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Completed Project: Simplicity 1419 Dress

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Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

Ta-da my latest completed sewing project! The Simplicity 1419 dress. It looked so adorable on the package, I had to have it. It went straight up to my to-do pile, where it ended up being held up by a couple of shirts (I need separates more than I need dresses) and hanged unfinished in my sewing room for almost a month. All it needed was a zipper, and since that’s my least favorite part of sewing, I didn’t rush to finish. But now it’s done, and I’m quite happy with it!

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

It was a very simple dress to make, so I took extra care with each step so the finishing would be perfect. Lately, I care more about doing a good job than finishing it as quick as possible, as frustrating as it ends up being. But when this dress is done and there’s not a single thing at fault with my work, I am happy. The only thing I wasn’t super happy about was the fit: it was a tiny bit large for me. The photo of the model on the pattern package is way more fitted. On the upside: this fabric is a thick cotton, so tighter would have been hell, but if I make this dress again, I might go down two sizes and use a fabric with a bit of stretch so it will look more fitted. As it is, I ended up with a beautiful dress that is also very comfortable. And even though I can start wearing it now (the AC in my office will guarantee I won’t be overheated in this), I think this dress will be something extra special in the winter.

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

The details in this dress are beautiful: the peter pan collar, the opening at the collar, and the pockets. Girls love pockets in dresses, did you know? And this fabric is a dream. I bought it a loooooong time ago, and my goal was to make a dress like this one from Jessica Quirk (from What I Wore blog), but after reading through the pattern instructions I didn’t think I wanted to tackle it yet. So the fabric sat on a pile for over a year, till this Simplicity 1419 came into my life. It was the perfect pattern to get this fabric off the pile and into the wardrobe. I really love how intricate and detailed it is, it might be hard to tell from the photos, but up close it is a thing of beauty.

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

The color is off the charts too. That blue and ecru, with a tiny bit of gray thrown in just cause. Such a dream to look at. I can’t wait to wear it!

Simplicity 1419 | Anita Boeira

And did I mention… POCKETS?

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Sewing Inspiration | Tropical Skirt and Top

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Sewing Inspiration: tropical print skirts and dresses | Anita Boeira1 | 2 | 3

It’s summer, and even though I’m not a fan of hot weather, I can’t help but be inspired by the other things that the hot weather can be reminiscent of: time spent at the beach, vacation, palm trees, and tropical everything.  And then I saw this awesome fabric from Michael Miller, the Tropical Madness Border Print, and knew it would look amazing as a skirt or dress.

Tropical Madness Border Print, by Michael Miller Fabrics | Anita Boeira

This print is very large and unique, and I think it looks beautiful in the dress above (sources: 1 & 2), but I think it would shine even more as a pleated midi skirt, like the third photo on my inspiration photo. You don’t want too much of that white showing if you are me, because if I am wearing something white, I will drop something on it. It’s an universal law or something.

M6842 and M6709 Skirts | Anita Boeira

For that skirt I would like to get a pattern already on my stash, and those two look like they would work the best with the print. The McCalls 6706 would probably be the best bet, but the McCalls 6842 has that really nice wide band on top which I also like. I’d love to add a bow like my inspiration photo #1, in a beautiful shade of green. Speaking of green, when I started planning this skirt, I thought I’d also have some fun and plan a top to go with it. If you’re the flat-belly type, a crop top that ends just at the edge of the waistband, or an inch higher would look amazing. If you’re more of the average-body-with-a-little-belly type, like me, then the crop top is really not the way to go, in my opinion. So a tucked in top with a very simple cut, like girl in inspiration photo #3, would be ideal!

GREEN_EYELET_FABRIC

But just because you are going with a simple cut, doesn’t mean the fabric needs to be simple! How cute is this Fancy Eyelet Kiwi? And since eyelet has a little transparency, a Cotton Voile in Light Green could be used to line it. I can’t decide on a pattern that would be perfect for this fabric, though! I like the Sorbett0, from Colette Patterns, but I’d have to add cap sleeves to it (I like sleeves). The Belcarra, from Sewaholic, is my favorite blouse pattern, but I don’t think the sleeves and cuffs would work with this fabric. So another possibility is using the same pattern I used for this shirt I did a few months ago (and wear a lot), but two green shirts with the same pattern? Seems a bit too much. Maybe I need to go to my fabric store and find some other patterns, or adapt a top from a dress. What do you guys think?

 

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Vogue Patterns Fall 2014

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Vogue just announced last night a bunch of new patterns for Fall 2014. Fall is not as exciting as Spring/Summer, so all patterns felt very bleh. But a few stood out, so I thought I’d make a quick pattern wishlist for next $5,99 sale!

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 1408 | Anita Boeira

V1408 – At first glance this dress doesn’t look very exciting, but look at that line art! Imagine this as a fun color block, with bright colors. Winter doesn’t need to be so somber, Vogue! This would have been great in blues with a pop of orange and yellow, or grays with yellow accents. Just looks like it could be a pain to put all those little pieces together and matching. Another point in its favor, though, is that you only need about 3 yards of fabric total, including the accent pieces, and if you are a master at cutting (which I try to be), you could probably squeeze the accent pieces out of left over fabric you already have. Hmmm… the possibilities are endless.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 9031 | Anita Boeira

 

V9031 – This skirt is very similar in idea to the above dress. Different pieces and cuts. It’s embarrassingly similar to its sister brand’s McCall’s 6842 skirt, but this up the game a bit. It reminds me of a skirt I saw at Zara last year, and it could be beautiful in color blocking as well. Good possibilities here! I especially love View C.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 9030 | Anita Boeira

V9030 – This skirt is just pretty and simple. I probably have something very similar already in my stash, but Vogue sure does some nice presentation on the package. I want that outfit exactly as the model has it. I don’t care for the hi-lo version though, someone needs to tell all those pattern makers that hi-lo is not in anymore.

Vogue Patterns Fall 2014 1411 | Anita Boeira

V1411 – In general, I don’t very much care for pants patterns, but this one I had to do a double take, cause those pants are cool! I love the skinny version, even though the line drawing makes it look almost like work out pants, so thanks for the picture for a more accurate look! This one I wouldn’t color block, though! I know, surprised? But really, color blocked pants, no thank you. I like the example in the photo, the subtle print dark red, and then the stitching details. Really nice, and great for the work place. Just got keep my eyes open for a good fabric for those too. Note to self: add pockets.

So, that’s it for wishlist! What do you guys think? Any stand outs from the collection besides the ones I picked for my wishlist?

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#SundaySewing |A Sewing Room Tour

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Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

Hello, hello, come on in. Don’t mind the mess. I thought today would be a great day to share what my sewing room looks like! I was away the past two weekends on a road trip (hope you checked my posts on Portland and Seattle already!). I have a dress that I almost finished before the trip just waiting to have a zipper put in, and I’ll be sharing it with you guys as soon as possible! In the meantime, let me take you on a tour of my sewing room.

A more accurate description would be a sewing loft. My sewing room sits just at the top of the stairs in the townhome we live in. It was a space that didn’t have much use before I started sewing, it just sat there, with that glass table, and I folded laundry on it once a week. When I started sewing, my machine was in the basement with my office, but as I grew in experience (and sewing supplies), I knew I needed to expand. My cutting table is still in the basement, unfortunately, but this is the room where the magic happens.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

It’s not very big, as you can see, and it’s 90% contained on this half of the LOFT, so the other half can remain free for walking between the stairs and the master bedroom. The only exception is that I leave the fan on that side as well. It gets pretty hot up in the loft! Which might be a reason why my productivity in the summer declines, it’s just so much nicer to stay in the basement watching Netflix and keeping cool.

My machine is a Brother CS6000i, and I love it. It’s my second machine, the first was a very cheap Brother I acquired in the hopes of learning to sew and figuring it out if it was worth the investment getting a nicer machine. And clearly, it was. This one was a Christmas gift from Michael last year. I asked for a new one, he picked this model, and it works nicely! It’s much quieter than my last one, but apparently not quiet enough, because just yesterday a neighbor I don’t see very often asked me if what I was wearing was something I had made. Ooops, sounds like she might have listened to my machine hard at work! But just so everyone is clear, I don’t sew past 9pm, or earlier than 10am. Mostly, because I’m not entirely awake those other hours.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

This glass desk used to be my dining room table (it sits 4) on my old apartment, but when Michael and I moved in together he had a nicer set, so this one was relegated to the loft. It’s not the best sewing table, because it’s round, but I had it, so that’s the one I’ll use till we move somewhere else. The top of the table is usually pure chaos, but I try to keep it clean when I’m not in the middle of a project. The machine shares its space with my laptop (to watch Netflix and YouTube sewing tutorials), a basket with the tools I need more often, a small garbage can, a lamp, and that cute little owl that absolutely loves acupuncture.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

One thing I did buy new for this space was those shelves from Ikea. The Expedit line is our absolute favorite, and we have a bunch of those 2×2 through the house. You can see I’m not too much of a fabric hoarder (yet), because there’s only two cubes set aside for fabric (not counting the box of scraps). The pile #1 is mostly large left overs from previous projects, or a couple of fabrics that I haven’t found patterns for them. The pile #2 is fabric already matched with a pattern and waiting to be sewed (I don’t go in order). The rejects cube contains a box of projects that didn’t work out (can use the fabric for scraps later, or other experiments), and atop the box is a few patterns I kind of regret buying now that I have had more time and experience sewing. No idea what to do with them, but if you’re interested, let me know.

That patterns box above fabric pile #2 is actually a comic book box. I got the idea from the Colette Patterns blog, where she shared how she used those comic book boxes and comic book plastic slips to separate all her patterns. She has way more than I do, so she has several boxes, but all of mine fit comfortably in that one box, and there’s space to grow! Lucky for me Michael is a comic book reader, and was happy (I assume) to share. So far, he does have more comic books than I have patterns, but we’ll see how long this will last.

That mini ironing board is very crappy, but it comes in handy to have one so close to the sewing machine. I got it at Ikea (same with pretty much everything in this room) for less than ten bucks. It is in sore need of an upgrade, so I shall tackle this project sometime soon. Maybe put some of that batting scraps for good use.

Sewing Room Tour | Anita Boeira

And now just a closer look to my small collection of fashion and sewing books! Thanks to the internet, you can find a lot of info online, but having some of those books come in handy often. The Vogue Sewing book is just the best thing in the world, and I recommend it to any beginner sewer out there. It is full of explanations about everything you never thought you would need to know. I grab mine every time I need to figure out how to do something the pattern is asking for but I don’t understand, or when something goes wrong and I don’t know how to fix. The other two sewing books in that pile are the Colette Sewing Handbook, which I used to start learning how to sew clothes. It’s very beginner oriented, so I don’t really use it that much anymore, but I love the book and all the rich information inside. The sewing in a straight line was another great book I bought when I started learning. A few of my favorite projects in it are pillowcases and an easy gathered skirt. On top of the sewing books are some cute fashion books I have just for fun, topped by a little clear clutch and a stuffed whale (I call her Wally) I made a while ago. She also moonlights as a ham (it’s a sewing thing, look it up) when I need to do some tricky ironing. Always helpful.

And that’s it! That’s the end of the tour. Hope you enjoyed it, and expect more sewing projects soon!

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Nachos Quest: BBQ Nachos in Boise, ID

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MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

It’s been WAY too long since I blogged about my Nachos quest, over a year to be exact (blame it on the healthy lifestyle). If you’re new here, you might not have heard about my quest to find the best nachos I ever ate, and that pretty much sums it up: I go out, I eat nachos, I blog about them.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

The newest nachos I tried and am here to talk about are also the weirdest ones I ever had: BBQ nachos. The restaurant in question is the MFT in Boise, ID, that we decided to try after reading good reviews about it on Yelp. The MFT is, check this out, the “best BBQ and Vegan restaurant in Boise.” So, is it the best BBQ place in Boise and also the best Vegan, or is it the best BBQ AND Vegan? Because I’m pretty sure there are not many of those around, especially not in small Boise, ID. Nevertheless, it was intriguing, and we headed out there.

The restaurant is hard to find, but we hd been warned about that from the Yelp reviewers. The MFT is attached to the Rodeway Inn hotel, right next door to a big Sunshine Lounge sign that pretty much blinds you to anything else. It’s right under it, folks. As noted by other reviewers, the ambience is pretty shabby, and it’s a very hole in the wall place. The menu, though, is quite interesting. They have your usual appetizers and barbecue food, but then they throw you a curveball with a Bigfoot sandwich (which Mike ordered) that has meat and mac & cheese as filling. But if that wasn’t enough, the Broodwich might amuse you: it’s the Bigfoot, Monte Cristo style. Oh yeah.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Bigfoot Sandwich | Anita Boeira

I ordered the nachos (of course) after briefly toying with the idea of ordering from the Vegan menu. Turned out the Spicy Spaghetti Squash item was a sandwich, while I expected spaghetti squash (which I love). I ordered the nachos with the tri-tip (for the non meat connoisseurs, myself included, that’s a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin subprimal cut) and everything on it. The everything had an interesting twist: BBQ sauce instead of salsa. My nachos arrived and it consisted of: tortilla chips, nacho cheese, tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos, tri tip, and BBQ sauce. You know my thoughts on nacho cheese (not a fan), so I’m always a little disappointed when I see it. But this one was good (maybe I need to rethink my nacho cheese opinions), not better than real melted cheese, but it worked very well with the meat and BBQ sauce. Michael and I very much enjoyed eating the nachos, but I wouldn’t put them on my top 5. I left the restaurant satisfied, but under the impression that I had just had the most redneck meal ever.

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

MFT BBQ & Vegan
1115 N Curtis Rd - Boise, ID
Price: $ (full nachos $7, half $5, added pork is $3, added beef is $4)
Presentation: 4 out of 5
Taste: 4 out of 5
Restaurant Ambiance: 2 out of 5

MFT BBQ & Vegan, Boise ID, Nachos review | Anita Boeira

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Seattle Trip Report

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It was just so much fun writing and taking pictures of our trip to Portland, I made sure I did the same in Seattle. We didn’t eat out as much as we did in Portland, but on the other hand, we covered a lot more touristy attractions in the emerald city.

Places we visited:

Seattle, WA | Anita Boeira

(from left to right, top to bottom:)

1. Pike Place Market – This is one of the “must do” in Seattle, but I’ll confess to have been underwhelmed by it. It was very very busy, and I’m not a big fan of crowds (there’s a reason why I only go to Disney on the off season!), and the smell of fish turns my stomach. I didn’t really see much of the market, partly because people blocked the view, and partly because I just didn’t hang out there long enough.

2. Chihuly Garden & Glass – by far my favorite thing we did on this trip. I was already a big fan of his art without really knowing it was his: I have long admired the glass sculpture in the Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City and the ceiling installation in the Bellagio in Vegas. Going to the Chihuly museum put everything into place, and I had a chance to admire much more of his work, and was blown away (pun intended). Just watch out for a post just about it on my photography blog, I have many beautiful images to share from my real camera (not the ones from the camera phone that go with this post). Also, I squeezed one more collage from my phone pictures below because I just really loved it:

photo 4 (4)

3. Boat tour - I really wanted to get on the water to check out Seattle’s skyline from a boat. We took the 1-hour tour from Argosy Cruises and thought it was pretty nice. It wasn’t as breathtaking as a San Francisco boat tour, but it was still a nice activity. The Seattle skyline is pretty nice too.

4. Space Needle – We didn’t actually go up, but it’s hard to miss the needle when your hotel is just a couple of blocks away from it. We walked by it several times, but going up is not really the sort of thing that I cared about doing. It’s kind of like going up to the top of the Empire State: cool view, but then the Empire State is not on the skyline anymore, and what’s so fun in that? The Top of The Rock is a total different thing, and something I think is worth the money. Anyway, that’s why we didn’t go up on the needle! But I loved watching it from every angle, and tried to get as many different angles and compositions of it as possible.

5. Washington University – Mike had visited the university on a training a few years ago, and sent me a picture of the library and it was pretty awesome. So when we found ourselves driving into that direction, we decided to stop by so I could check it with my own eyes too. And it IS pretty amazing, the whole campus is beautiful. The beautiful room in the library is their quiet study room, and I can’t imagine a place where I’d have a harder time studying at. I’ll probably get distracted by the beauty of it and not do any studying. Another cool thing at the university: they have some pretty killer views of Mt. Rainier.

6. Seattle Great Wheel – Another attraction I didn’t feel the need to actually do, but that I really wanted to see. I  just love how ferris wheels look like, and knew it would be interesting to see.

7. Monorail – The Disney nerd in me reaaaaaally wanted to go on the monorail. No cares about where it actually went, I just wanted to ride the monorail somewhere, and lucky for us, the monorail went from the Seattle Center (right next to our hotel) to pretty close to downtown. And it was cheap. And it drove through a museum (EMP). It made me happy.

8. Well, this isn’t exactly a tourist attraction, but a business behind our hotel had this beautiful wall graffiti and I really liked this part of it. Plus, I needed a picture for every little square in this collage :)

9. Museum of Flight – My second favorite thing we did! I mostly wanted to go because it’s a space and flight museum, and the kid who wanted to be an astronaut in me gets really excited about seeing anything space related. We were not disappointed, the space exhibits (including the original trainer shuttle the astronauts practiced on) were fairly big and well designed. So much information and so many cool things. The World Wars exhibits were also very cool, I especially enjoyed reading the info about all the women pilots in WWII.

Things we ate:

Kylie's Chicago Style Pizza in Seattle, WA | Anita Boeira

Kylie’s Chicago Pizza – It is not, I admit, the most photogenic pizza. It doesn’t even look that good on the photo. But trust me, the flavor more than makes up for it. This was only my second time eating Chicago-style pizza, but I am a fan. I like how it’s made differently, with all the toppings hidden by the tomato sauce, and looking like an actual pie. Even the crust is different. I haven’t eaten a lot of this kind of pizza, but Kylie’s had good reviews, so I’ll trust the locals and recommend this place as well. It’s a small operation, and it’s located in a pretty nice neighborhood.

The Pink Door, Seattle WA | Anita Boeira

The Pink Door –  This place was VERY hard to find, and I think it is intentional. We wanted a place to eat with food we hadn’t tried yet, and Italian (well, excluding all the pizzas) was one of them. The Pink Door also came highly recommended on Yelp, so we decided to check it out. We probably went up and down and around it three times till we kind of finally figured it out. There were no signs, but then I saw a pink door on top of the stairs and it had to be it. The restaurant is very pretty, we sat on the balcony even though it was kind of chilly (probably a nice warm day for the locals) and had a pretty nice view of the Eliot Bay. The food was what I called fancy simple food. Mike ordered a meat ball panini (top right) and I ordered a caprese salad (bottom right). Mike’s was delicious, mine was too but a little (okay, a lot) too salty. Not the best meal I ate all trip, but it was far from being bad too.

Sweet and Savory Pie, Seattle WA | Anita Boeira

Sweet and Savory Pie – For the 4th of July, we went to the food court in the Seattle Center and got those two mini pies from this shop. This area is full of small and local restaurants, even though it’s technically a food court, it’s not the kind we’re used to. This pie place only has two locations, and it seems like they also have a truck. It was tasty and simple, a good meal to sit and eat in the park.

Daily Dozen Donut Co. Seattle WA | Anita Boeira

Daily Dozen Donut Co – My friend Johanna also recommended this donut place (she knows me too well) in the Pike Place Market. They have 4 types of donuts (all very small): regular, sugar, powdered sugar, and sprinkled. We ordered a mix of all and enjoyed on our walk through the waterfront (okay, they were gone by the time we hit anywhere near the waterfront). They were good, more interesting for the novelty than for the actual flavor, but no match for Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland.

The first Starbucks at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA | Anita Boeira

The First Starbucks – We walked by in 3 separate occasions and the line was at least 100 people long. There’s no way I’d make that much of an effort for coffee I can find in another 136 locations in downtown Seattle. But we kind of really wanted to check out the merchandise that was unique to that one store, so we woke up at 5 am on Saturday (post 4th) and arrived at the first Starbucks location a few minutes before they open. And magic happened: only 4 people were there before us. We went in, looked at all the cool mugs with plenty of comfort and space, selected one we liked, then ordered some coffee for the road. Apparently it is atypical for the store to be that empty on a Saturday morning, but I think a lot of people stayed up late for the 4th of July fireworks and who else but tourists would wake up early to go to the first Starbucks? Then after purchasing a venti sized coffee, we hit the road back home.

Where we Stayed:

Inn at Queen Anne in Seattle WA Review | Anita Boeira

Inn at Queen Anne – What the Inn at Queen Anne had going against it was that our hotel in Portland was pretty amazing and at a fairly decent price. The Queen Anne for 3 nights was more expensive than our 4 nights in Portland, but it was the the cheapest price/rating/location math I do to choose  hotels. And that was why, when we walked through our door we were just.. meh. “Let’s stay the least amount of time here.” The room was much shabbier and smaller, even though it had a kitchen and a full closet. The bathroom is in sore need of updates, well, actually everything is, and the AC is a window unit, and it doesn’t really cool the room. But what this hotel has going on for them, is the location. Just a block away from the Seattle Center, where a lot of touristy attractions are, plus a good food court with local restaurants and the monorail downtown. We took advantage of it and visited a bunch of times, and it was a fun little area to just walk around.

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Portland Trip Report

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Portland, OR Trip Report | Anita Boeira

We just wrapped a 4-night stay in Portland, OR, and I wanted to make sure I wrote all about our trip before I moved on to our next stop and completely forgot all the cool things that we did. To be fair, I have been using Instagram and Diptic (a collage app for the phone) to keep track of all the places we’ve been going to, so this post should be easy to put together!

Places we visited:

Portland, OR Things to Do and See

1. Japanese Garden – everyone told me the gardens was a must on this visit to Portland, and the Japanese was my favorite of them. It was beautiful and a perfect little quiet oasis in the middle of the city. The Mt. Hood view from the garden wasn’t too shabby either.

2. Rose Garden – I don’t think I visited this garden at its peak, but it was definitely still full of roses to enjoy. I bet earlier in June or late May it is much prettier, at this point a lot of the flowers had bloomed and were dying already. But it was still a lot of fun to walk around and see the flowers, and we even caught a little elopement happening in the garden, and I felt very nostalgic about my own wedding. Good choice of venue for an elopement!

3. Cannon Beach – first thing on my list of places I wanted to see in Oregon was the Goonies beach. One of my favorite movies as a kid, I really wanted to see the beach where the movie has its epic finale at, and the rocks that are such a driving force on the movie plot. And yes, it was absolutely beautiful. We had a really good time at the beach there, sitting, enjoying the ocean breeze and watching everyone’s dogs playing in the sand and water. No treasure was found on that day.

4. Fort Stevens State Park – My friend Adina posted a picture from this beach from her Oregon Coast challenge on Instagram and I instantly knew I wanted to go as well. The beach wasn’t as nice as Cannon Beach, and it was actually quite a few degrees hotter there than it was in CB, so we walked to the ocean, dipped our feet till they froze in the cold water, then took some shipwreck pictures and made our way back to our car and Portland.

Not Pictured:
5. Powell’s books - the largest independent library in the world (or so they claim). It was this massive building full to the brim of books and more books and more books… I thought I was in heaven.

Food we ate:

Kalé, Japanese Restaurant in Portland, OR | Anita Boeira

Kalé – We ate at this Japanese restaurant on our last night, and we almost didn’t go because traffic was so bad that night! In the end, I’m happy we made it, because this meal was one of the highlights of the trip. Kalé is the most popular Japanese comfort food, which is basically a stew/curry, that found its way to Japan in the late 1800s, when a Japanese man ate it in Europe and raved about it. The dish became so popular, that it is now considered a Japanese dish even though it has European/Indian roots. The menu of Kalé is pretty simple with about 6 different combinations of dishes that they can make, and some of then can be ready in 2 minutes. Michael ordered the classic Kalé, which is the curry and rice, and I ordered that smothered in cheese (that’s so not Japanese!). Good food and very simple, I think it’s my new favorite comfort food.

Old Town Pizza, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Old Town Pizza – We hit up this spot after we visited the gardens, and we were starving. We were so hungry we didn’t even take warning that this restaurant is rumored to be haunted. Well, if it is, the resident ghost was probably on a break during our lunch. We ordered a house special, and probably devoured it in 10 minutes.

Pine State Biscuits, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Pine State Biscuits – This breakfast place in the Alberta Arts District (super close to our hotel) was a recommendation from my friend Johanna, who visits Portland often. We decided to head over there the day we went to the beach, to get a hearty meal for breakfast so we wouldn’t have to worry about lunch later. I really only went for the biscuits, so I ordered a simple egg and cheese and biscuits. Mike got the biscuits and sausage gravy, and we also got a BBQ sandwich to share. It was probably more food than we needed (the biscuits were large), but they were very good and kept us well fed through the day.

Salt & Straw, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Salt & Straw – I was going to meet my friend Melissa for coffee, but I thought that after 6pm I probably would like a dessert much better than coffee, so I suggested the Salt & Straw, a place that also came well recommended by my friend Johanna. They have all sorts of exquisite ice cream flavors, and Michael and I both ordered the sea salt caramel, but I also ordered a stumptown coffee and burnside bourbon scoop, and Mike got his with a second scoop of the chocolate brownie flavor. I’m not even a big fan of chocolate but I really liked that brownie Mike ordered.

Stumptown Coffee, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Stumptown Coffee – Speaking of stumptown coffee flavored ice cream, we also tried the real deal at Stumptown Coffee downtown. I’m not really a coffee connoisseur, but I ordered a latte and found it pretty good. Strong coffee that didn’t leave any after taste. That’s pretty good on my book!

Tin Shed, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Tin Shed Garden Cafe- We ate at the Tin Shed our first night in Portland, and it was definitely a good choice. They have a pretty basic menu, with salads, sandwiches, and other American-style fares. I ordered a goat cheese burger because it had goat cheese and chipotle aioli in it, and Mike got the daily special of bolognese pasta. Another highlight of this restaurant is that they are very dog friendly and they even have menu items just for the pups.

Verde Cocina, Portland OR | Anita Boeira

Verde Cocina – every time I travel I make a point of trying a local Mexican restaurant. Mexican food is one of my favorites, and I was very happy with the food we ordered at Verde Cocina. We shared a queso fundido chorizo appetizer, then I had pollo quesadillas with tons of marvelous and well-cooked veggies, and Mike had a carne assada dish with organic grass-fed beef and sweet potatoes mash that was pretty tasty. And everything is gluten free!

Voodoo Doughnuts – there was a huge line when we got there for breakfast (but not as huge as it got later in the morning!) and it took us 20 minutes in line to order, but I have to say: BEST donuts I ever ate in my life. I got a mango tango donut that had just the right amount of icing, sugar, and citrusy jelly, while Michael opted for a cream-filled donut with chocolate icing. Just to round up our breakfast, we ordered an apple fritter and ate slowly through the rest of the day. I’m afraid I’ll have Voodoo Doughnut cravings for the rest of my life now.

Where we stayed:

Best Western Inn at the Meadows, Portland OR, Review | Anita Boeira

Best Western Inn at the Meadows. It’s always hard to pick a hotel room online, you have so many variables to consider: location, price, other users reviews, photos… I had a hotel in downtown Portland ready to go, when I did another search and found this Best Western. The reviews were better than the other hotel I had booked, the photos looked better… but the location was away from downtown. Did we really want it… The site said 15 minutes from downtown, but what about traffic? In the end, the price and the photos swayed me and I booked it, and I am SO HAPPY I did. The hotel was just at the border with Washington, the location was very industrial and just off the freeway, so not a charming Portland neighborhood you can walk everywhere. But hey, if you have a car, this is the hotel for you. We truly only took 10-20 minutes to go anywhere in town (outside the rush hour, of course), and it was the best hotel room I ever stayed at in an economy hotel. The photo above speaks for itself. And we had a tiny kitchen with fridge and a microwave, so the perfect spot to heat up some Verde Cocina left overs for dinner one night. The free breakfast wasn’t crazy, but it was decent and worth the visit on days we didn’t have any other breakfast plans. It’s definitely a place I’d go back to and recommend to friends.

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June 2014 Recap

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May was a crazy whirlwind of a month, I had so much going on, I wrote one of my longest recaps ever! So I guess I needed to slow down in June, and that’s just what I did! June was a very introspective month, with most of my free time dedicated to reading and sewing.

In June I,

Park City Reading Weekend II - June 2014 | Anita Boeira

Went Places: Park City, to be exact, which doesn’t sound like it’s very far (it isn’t), but it was a trip nonetheless. A group of friends and I packed our bags full of comfy clothes and more books that we can read in a month, let alone a weekend, and headed out to a rental home in PC to read for 72 hours straight to read, sleep, and eat lots of treats. I managed to read 3 books before sundown on Sunday (SCORE!), but this large number is due in part of my selection: trashy romance novels that you can read in one sitting. It’s a weekend of indulgences after all, not serious reading! I love those reading weekends, and hope to have more of those in my future.

First 10K | Anita Boeira

Ran my first 10k: I think the subtitle can be a little misleading, I ran 10 kilometers, but I didn’t run a 10k race. I just ran 10 kilometers as practice to a 10k race I signed up for in July. I wanted to make it to a 10k in my practice sessions at least a few times before I tackle an official race. So I ran 10k and I felt awesome. I mean, it kind of hurt in the end, but I made it. The farthest I had run before was 5,77 miles (a 10k is 6,22 miles), and I did that in one hour and a half. I’m hoping to do a little bit better time at the actual race, so I’ll try to bring my time down till then. 85 minutes to run 10k is not really ideal race time :)

Watching the World Cup | Anita Boeira

Watched Some TV: By watched some TV you just know I’m talking about exclusively World Cup. There was almost no series watching this month, even though I’m late catching up on 24, and haven’t even started on the new Orange is the New Black season. But I have spent dedicated time to watch the World Cup games, so much that I even succumbed to subscribing to cable again. Just for this month, of course. But before I cancel it, I must make sure I watch Fargo on FX, then I can officially let go of cable. And to be fair, I’ve been watching all the important games at the Beer Bar or Brewvies anyway.

Sewing June 2014 | Anita Boeira

Made things: Even though I spent a good part of June reading and watching the World Cup, I also got some sewing done. I’m set on using up most of my fabric stash before shopping for fabric again, so a lot of projects that were sitting on a pile are getting made. I started the month with a wrap dress, followed by a top made with the same fabric (which I had already done another top with, and still have enough for a third top left…). Then I sewed a super fun fruity dress. Then I sewed another 2 tops, all in one weekend and started a dress that I ALMOST finished before the month was over… it just needs a zipper and hemming and it will be done. Whew!

Polaroid Class | Anita Boeira

Took a Polaroid Class: Craft Lake City offers a bunch of cool workshops around the year, the first one I went to was in December last year and learned how to make some fabulous bows, and this year, my friend Jenn Rohn (pictured above holding her favorite polaroid from the class) invited me to go with her to do a workshop to learn how to use the old Polaroid cameras! ACME Photography was teaching the class, and they brought all those old cool cameras for us to play with. I loved it. I am very tempted to get a polaroid camera now, but I might refrain from doing it till my birthday and maybe I can just ask Mike to go to ACME and grab me one! Good plan, right?

Did Not Blog a Lot: What? I know, June was a very slow month for me on the blog front.I only had a few blog posts, and ALL about sewing. Should I just admit it that this turned into a sewing blog and go for it? Or do I want to keep my options open, because I don’t sew enough to ONLY blog about it. But on the other hand, that’s all I blogged about. See my dilemma? I think it’s time to regroup and rethink where I’m going with this blog. I’m still keeping the travel photography I do on a different blog, because I think that one works better as a photo blog, and this one not as much. But maybe I could redesign this one and combine both blogs. It’s an idea. Maybe after the road trip I can sit down with myself and plan what to do with this blog for the next few months. So help me out, what would you like to see here?

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