The Art of Giving Better

I have to say, for several years, Cuyana has been the place I find special gifts for anyone on my list. I know they are care deeply about the quality of their products. Last year, I bought my mom the softest alpaca wrap – she wears it daily. Several other relatives received the awesome leather travel cases, which I have as well and they can be used for just about anything. This year I’m loving their new mini jewelry case, perfect for travel or bringing with you to work in case you need to make a quick jewelry change throughout your day!

Cuyana’s philosophy of fewer, better things is perfectly aligned with my beliefs of giving quality over quantity. In addition, they have items from all over the globe. Many are made by family-run partners in Italy, Argentina, Peru, Turkey, and beyond. When you purchase something from Cuyana, you can find fewer better gifts and feel great about giving them!


This year, I’m adding this stunning jewelry case to my gift-giving list, plus a few of my above favorites. Not only is it handcrafted magic, it also functions so well for traveling. Maybe that will be my excuse to book my next trip!

This post is a partnership with Cuyana. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Life’s Simple Pleasures + The Perfect Hostess Gift

This year, my family and I are cutting back on the number of gifts we are giving each other this year. All of us feel we need less “stuff” in our lives. Less is always more in my eyes. So this year, I’m looking for gifts I know loved ones would use to be able to enjoy in their own home.

One of my favorite design stores on Sacramento Street – March is my go-to spot for holiday gifts for both family, friends and clients. Every time I walk into this store, I want to go home and simplify my surroundings.

New favorites at March were:
Apple Butter (warning – this is addicting!)
Fig/Sumac Jam
Peppermint Loose Leaf Tea

What I love about their pantry items is that they not only are things that people don’t normally purchase for themselves but they are something that make whoever you give them to think of you when they use them. I love having little hostess gifts at the ready and all of these are perfect, thoughtful gifts that are sure to be enjoyed!

Photos taken by Ashley Kane, Edited by me

Travel Guide: Portland Holiday Shopping Made Easy

This holiday season, we went to Oregon to visit family and friends. It was nice to get back and catch up with the people we love. One thing I decided to do this year, was to do all of my holiday shopping for my loved ones in Portland while I was there. Thanks to all of you readers, I got some great recommendations on places to visit.

To avoid the hustle bustle and fight over limited parking, I decided to pop around town using Uber. It was great to be able to move around town using scheduled rides and not have to be fumbling for quarters for the meters, or circling the block looking for a coveted parking spot. I could just jump out of my Uber and enjoy my day of shopping.

I had such a fun shopping day and hit all of the places I had hoped to visit. Here are some of the places I was able to go to using Uber.

Spartan Shop

I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I walked into Spartan Shop. I found all kinds of home décor items for my family. I wanted to move into the space with the ceiling to floor windows and soaring ceilings!

Sammy’s Flowers

Sammy’s Flowers is where we always bought flowers when we lived in Portland. I just love the well-curated selection of items in this flower shop. I have been known to bring all kinds of pods and dried flowers back with me to San Francisco.

Tea Bar

I’m always in favor of a place specializing in tea. I’m a committed tea drinker and Tea Bar was a great place for a goodie and a delicious cup of tea.

Alder & Co.

Alder & Co. has been one of my favorite home décor stores in Portland. I never get out of this place without a bag of beauties! They have an extensive selection of Astier de Villette and other handmade items that are perfect for gift giving.

WM Goods

I have to admit, I stopped into WM Goods for me. It was so fun to see all of their beautiful clothing. I bought a great navy blouse that I’ve been wearing way too much!

Schoolhouse Electric

I love popping by to see the lighting and other items Schoolhouse Electric has in person. I order from their catalog all the time, but having the chance to look at things in person was great!

Consider using Uber to get your shopping done efficiently and painlessly. I had a great day and loved checking out shops in Portland!

This post is a partnership with Uber. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Lifestyle: DIY Holiday Smudge Sticks

With the holidays in full force I’m already beginning to think about how the New Year is just around the corner. It is always a time of reflection of the past year, a time to purge, and a time for a fresh new start. I’ve been a long-time fan of smudge sticks. When we moved into our apartment, I used them to clear the energy and start fresh. Whenever I use them, I feel as though their is a sense of positive energy that flows through our home and that translates to our daily life. I usually use them once a week.

This season, I partnered with Natalie to create a simple DIY holiday smudge stick that you can all create on your own. They smell incredible using a little bit of holiday greenery. Read on for more details from Natalie herself!

What was your inspiration behind creating these holiday smudge sticks?

The definition for the Latin word for sage (“salvia”) is “to heal”. The act of burnin sage will ground your home and bring a cleansing of the of the energetic properties in your home. And, if not thing else, it makes your home smell good. I burn sage and palo santo sticks in my home daily. I find that it clears the space and redirects our attention be triggering our sense of smell but of course it also goes beyond that. I find that the act of making the sticks can be very meditative. I think this is the perfect time to burn the sticks, as we approach New Years and think about intentions for the future.

What did you use to create them?

Sage is the base element you want to use as it has the energy cleansing properties. They key is to find earthy fragrant elements that dry well. I like to mix in other elements that bring in the season and what is accessible. I used cedar in these sticks and often use rosemary. Lavender is a nice touch as well as gomphrena and celocia. When I made these the first time, I used what my Mother had growing in her garden in the same patch as the sage. There are many different varieties of sage. My favorite is “Grandfather Sage” (also called “Montana White Sage”) which his what my mother grows.

What is your step-by-step process for creating your own smudge sticks?

1. Gather your materials and cut stems in similar lengths 3-5” long.
2. Bundle stems together and start to wrap with baking twine from the base towards the top.
3. Pull your twine tight and add more stems are you reach your desired thickness. II find at least four stems of your main elements works well. Pull the string as tight as possible as it loosens while it dries.
4. Add in more delicate elements such as rose buds.
5. Let it dry for a few days.
6. Burn! You can use the same stick multiple times. When you burn the sage use a feather or your hand to move the smoke around. It can also help to move the smoke in a circular direction leading it out a window or door so that you bring the energy outside and release it.

How long do you have to wait until you use them? Do they have to be completely dried?

You only have to wait a few days for them to be dry enough to burn. It doesn’t take long and they last for nearly forever.

THis was such a fun project to work on with Natalie. I love finding ways to create items that you can easily do yourself. To get inspired by Natalie’s past flower posts – click here.

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Caitlin Flemming for Sacramento Street