Portland Travel Guide

Out of all the places I’ve been, Portland is definitely my favorite. It is such a charming city! It’s filled with blooming flowers, charming buildings, and is surrounded by the most beautiful scenery and nature. I’ve traveled there a few times, and I have narrowed down my top 5 experiences to do in and around Portland, Oregon!

#1: Forest Park + Rose Garden
Forest Park is such an interesting park. One moment you’re walking through the bustling city, but then all of a sudden you’re in a serene, beautiful forest feeling as though the city is miles away. It is just so lovely. Within the park, I would highly recommend visiting the rose gardens. Is it even a trip to the City of Roses without it?

#2: Ecola State Park
If you take a trip to the Oregon coast (which you basically have to), go to Ecola State Park.    It’s a very short drive from Cannon Beach, but in my opinion, it is much better. While Cannon Beach is iconic and beautiful, it is always packed with people. When we visited Ecola State Park, however, it was quiet and we were nearly alone while taking in the gorgeous scenery. Seriously, this was the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen of the ocean. Check out our photos from Ecola State Park to see for yourself…

#3: Salt & Straw
DON’T LISTEN TO THE LOCALS WHEN THEY SAY IT’S NOT WORTH THE LINE. THEY’RE WRONG. Sure, it’s touristy- but for good reason! Salt & Straw is an iconic ice cream shop that has locations in Portland, LA, and San Fransisco. The employees at Salt & Straw do a really great job at making a trip to the ice cream shop into an experience. You can try as many flavors as you’d like, and they’re all so very unique! This is an indication of how much I like their ice cream: I’ve been to Portland twice but I’ve eaten Salt & Straw ice cream six times… You do the math. IMG_1096.JPG

#4: Salmonberry River Trail
Coolest. Hike. Ever. The Salmonberry River Trail hike is on an abandoned railroad track that was washed out by a flood in 2007. Nowadays, the tracks are broken and trains are unable to drive on them, but hikers hike along the tracks into the Oregon forest. The hike is ridden with broken tracks, amazing bridges, beautiful forest, and some interesting wildlife. During the day we went there, we hiked along the track while it drizzled rain and it was basically all of my PNW dreams come true.

Salmonberry River Trail is a little difficult to find, which is actually kind of nice because we only saw one other couple while walking this trail! There is NO cellphone service on the trail, so GPS will not help you get there. I suggest buying this book which will give you very precise directions to the trail from Portland.

#5: Hawthorne Neighborhood
The Hawthorne Neighborhood is only a short distance from downtown Portland, and you can get there quickly by just walking over the Hawthorne Bridge. Once you’re there, I can name a few fun things to do! First of all, the neighborhoods are beautiful. Ladds Addition is a gorgeous neighborhood with old, charming homes that I could walk through for hours. Also, there are tons of fun vintage shops, farmers markets, and crazy little stores that you should peak your head into! At one of the markets, I picked up cucumber soda which was odd but very refreshing. For the foodies, the Hawthorne Neighbhorhood is where the famous Portland food trucks are located! Most people say that the food trucks are a must when visiting Portland, and I’d have to agree. However, I ate at a restaurant last time I was in the Hawthorne Neighborhood and it was AMAZING. I would highly suggest Blackbird Pizza because- DANG, they had some good eats.

That’s all for today, folks! If you have any questions about Portland travel, please feel free to reach out! Also, if you go on a trip to the city- I’d love to see your photos and hear about your experience. The City of Roses is one magical place!

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen


Sundress & Blooms

Spring is finally blooming here in North Dakota and summer is on it’s way! To me, that means flowy sundresses, smoothies, and long walks through the trees. Zainah and I ventured out to the apple orchard to capture these lovely blooms before they were gone, followed by smoothies and online shopping.

This white dress is one of my absolute favorites ever. It is so easy, pretty, and versatile! You can definitely style it down (like I did by adding sandals and a straw hat) or style it up with heels for a more formal look. It also comes in a gorgeous pale pink, and I will link both colors below. This dress was sent to me by Red Dress Boutique which is one of my favorite online shops. You can’t beat the prices and trendy pieces! Check out how I styled my white sundress below:

Dress in white: Red Dress Boutique | Dress in pink: Red Dress Boutique | Sandals: Steve Madden from Nordstrom Rack (on sale!) | Hat: Blue Harvest ApparelBlue Harvest Apparel | Lips: Glossier in shade “zip” | All photos by: Zainah Haider

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Boho Jumpsuit

Currently, my biggest trend obsession is definitely jumpsuits and rompers. There’s so much to be said for putting on one piece of clothing and looking put together! Not to mention, it feels like wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. Seriously, they’re the easiest things to wear ever.

I recently picked up this black off-the-shoulder jumpsuit from Proper & Prim for under $50 and I love it so much! For this look, I took it a more casual and boho route by adding a vintage bohemian belt and one of my hats. However, I plan on dressing it up for a wedding this summer by adding heels and some jewelry. This piece is so, so versatile and I feel like everyone needs a classic black jumpsuit in their wardrobe!

I’ll be posting more ways to style this jumpsuit in the future, but for now, check out my casual bohemian look…

Jumpsuit: Lush Clothing from Proper & Prim (call to order) | Hat: Target | Belt: Vintage from White House Co. (similar + similar) | Shoes: Lucky Brand (similar) | Photos: the lovely Zainah Haider

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Explore More

This month, I picked out the most adorable graphic tee from Lot2029! Graphic tees are a staple in a girl’s closet- they are so fun to style! They can transition to every single season, depending on what you pair them with. For this outfit, I styled mine with a bandana scarf and denim skirt for a cute and effortless look. I topped the look off with a hat (per usual) and some black sandals. This look is something that I would wear to class, or running errands on a warm and busy day.

Check out my explore tee here…

Tee: Lot2029 (call to purchase) | Bandana: Levi’s (in red) | Hat: sold out (similar) | Skirt: Free People (similar) | Sandals: sold out (similar) | Photos: Zainah Haider

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Overall Lovely

This month I had the absolute pleasure of collaborating with some of my favorite brands!  I was able to work with a lovely boutique that I hit up every time I go to Colorado called GG Boutique! It is a lovely shop with kind folks behind the counter and darling clothing for adventurous spirits. I also had the perfect photographer to shoot this look, Becca of Rebecca Lynn Lifestyle! This girl has an insane amount of talent and I’m so honored to work with her on this greenhouse styled shoot!

We also were able to shoot at my favorite greenhouse in the area- Sheyenne Gardens. They have SO many plants on their expansive lot and I could walk around gawking at the beauty for hours.

Check out this spring look featuring overalls + greenhouses + even cute dog named Bella:

Hat: GG’s Boutique (not available online) | Overalls: GG’s Boutique | Crop Top: Forever21 (in black) | Shoes: Secondhand Lucky Brand from ThredUp (similar) | Earrings: Rocksbox | Location: Sheyenne Gardens | Photos: Rebecca Lynn Lifestyle

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

70’s with Revel Woods

This most recent spring look has a lot of 70’s vibes. I was dying to wear my new pale pink platforms, and this is what I came up with. I’ve had all of these pieces in my closet for a while, so it’s fun to mix and match until you’re wearing an entirely new outfit!

I had the honor of shooting this look with the lovely Kaitlyn of Revel Woods Photography. This girl is fun, sweet, and passionate about creating! I love her style and her spunky red hair because hey, who wouldn’t?

Check out Kaitlyn + this fun spring look!

Top: Shop Stevie (sold out) | Skirt: Proper & Prim (similar) | Hat: Target | Shoes: Amazon (also comes in black) | Photos: Revel Woods Photography

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen

Cute to the Maxi

This Easter, I’ll be rocking a floral maxi dress from one of my favorite stores, TJ Maxx. I love everything about this dress: the slit, the floral pattern, the ruffle sleeves, the length… The best part, however, is that it was only $19.99! That’s right, less than $20 for the perfect Easter dress. I could not find it online, but I got it in the Fargo TJ Maxx location- so if you’re lucky, you still might be able to snag one of these floral beauties!

Happy Easter, lovelies!

Dress: TJ Maxx | Shoes: GoJane | Photos: Nicole Midwest

Happy trails to you,
Maria Helen