Sammy’s Flowers

Sammy's Flowers, Portland, Oregon

To say that I was a boy-crazy adolescent would have been a pretty serious understatement. My parents were repeatedly called by youth group leaders and teachers because of my behavior around the boys. That’s just the way I rolled — and I started early.

I started “going out” with boys — my mom was constantly asking me, “What does that mean? Are you going somewhere?” from mid-elementary school. That just meant we’d sit together on the bus and not talk to each other, but I still thought I was pretty hot shit — with a 10-year-old “boyfriend” who was 8 inches shorter than me. Where I was most in my element was Skate World. How could you beat it? It had nachos, roller skating, partner skates and special requests and dedications from the DJ.

I realize now that the boys I was chasing were probably horrified, embarrassed and totally unsure of how to get away from me, but isn’t that what the game of chase is all about? I’d save up my allowance money and on the weekend, when it was time to skate, I’d dedicate songs to my main man of the moment and buy him a plastic flower that lit up. I’m such a romantic.

Sammy's Flowers, Portland, Oregon

The point is, who doesn’t like to get flowers? Even if those flowers are a trap set by a wild-eyed adolescent girl who wants to share the next partner skate with you?

Sammy's Flowers, Portland, Oregon

The flowers at Sammy’s Flowers are some of my favorite (just after light-up plastic roses, of course). Not only because their arrangements are fresh and dynamic and beautiful, but because the way they display them outside their two shops in NW Portland is enough to brighten up your day just driving or walking by. I’m so glad they do that — it really brightens up the neighborhood!

Sammy's Flowers, Portland, Oregon

Sammy’s Flowers is at 2280 NW Glisan St., and their other location is in the Pearl at 1124 NW Lovejoy. Check out their blog for even more fabulous floral inspiration.

ink + peat

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

Summertime, and we were carefree! No school, no obligations. That summer, the one between 6th and 7th grade, was one of total relaxation. We laid by the pool and we ate ice cream and otherwise just relished the hot weather and lack of schedule.

I also had a great idea that summer — why not show everyone how fun I was by lightening up my hair a bit? My mom wouldn’t let me dye it, but she did buy me a bottle of Sun-in and let me  go to town. I sprayed a light shimmer across my hair that first day. Disappointed by the lack of results, I sprayed in more the second day. By the third, I was practically soaking my hair in it. Please tell me I was not the only kid who tried this.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

By the end of the week, I was blonde. Bleach blonde. I thought it was awesome, and I continued to show my damaged blonde hair around the pool until August rolled around. I’d probably still think that I looked pretty awesome, if I hadn’t been forced to attend school picture day that year. My ensemble consisted of: a lilac T-shirt which made me look more than a little jaundiced, my bleach blonde summer experiment (full-bodied from all that sun damage), the eyebrows I inherited from my dad that hadn’t undergone any tweezing yet in my life and a full set of braces with pink rubberbands stretched across them.

When I got the photos back, I was horrified. By then, I had roots. Dark brown roots. But the rules hadn’t changed — I still wasn’t allowed to dye my hair — so I was stuck with the growout for the next 8 months.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

My point is, I wasn’t always what you’d call put together. But I did have great ambitions. I think I keep it together most of the time now, but when I step into a place like ink + peat (a local shop that seriously has it together) I wish I could be cooler. The good thing is, they let you hang out and take cues from their stylish wares, which are always impeccably chosen and make a perfect gift — to someone else or to yourself.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

ink + peat is at 3808 N. Williams Ave. It’s always impeccable — as is their home decor blog, housemartin.