Tag Archives: Twitter

When Mana Shim of the Portland Thorns Came Over to Make Salad and I Force-fed Her Gazpacho

So this funny thing happened.

I got a direct Twitter message last August from @meleanashim: “Will you teach me how to cook?! :)”

I’m not kidding! Look! It really happened!

Mana Twitter. MomsicleBlog

You know who Meleana Shim is…. (Hint: She’s a midfielder for the Portland Thorns who scored five goals last year, and she mostly goes by Mana.) Here she is, being force-fed gazpacho.

Meleana Shim eats gazpacho. MomsicleBlog

(If you don’t know who the Portland Thorns are, then go educate yourself here and here, because I’m not going to tell you everything a person like yourself, who is smart and delightful and progressive, should already know.)


I love the Thorns, and I’m gullible, and I have a lot of enthusiasm for cooking.  So after receiving this Twitter message, I jumped out of my seat and thought:

Maybe someone hacked Mana Shim’s account and is playing a cruel joke on me. Who could it be? Family? Angry birds? Baby Woww? (He’s strangely brilliant–like all two year olds–with technology.) 

And then I thought:

She used an exclamation point AND a smiley face: We are TOTALLY going to get along!! 

(I abuse the exclamation point and smiley face to the point that they practically hang around my head in a perpetual cloud of amped-up emotion.)

@evelynshoop @meleanashim. MomsicleBlog

Sometimes my life is a surrealist painting, and this happy interaction was adding some new melting clocks to the scene.

There are a lot of Portland chefs and home cooks whose ninja skills in the kitchen far exceed my culinary belt color, not to mention their being überhip. So I remained skeptical, and tried to be open about my kitchen landscape.

@evelynshoop @meleanashim. MomsicleBlogI hit myself over the head for using wild twice in a row. But Mana didn’t seem fazed.

@evelynshoop @meleanashim. MomsicleBlog

It was probably because I’d replied to a tweet of hers. Mana was profiled at the last home game and I looked her up afterwards and started following her.

Here I am at the game. (Thanks for the photo, Dad.)

Portland Thorns. MomsicleBlog

I came to love the Thorns not because I’m obsessed with the beautiful game, but because of being a confident, nerdy kid who always felt like women could do anything men could do. Then I went to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and the equality sword got sharpened to a fine point. And then I married my husband who rekindled my love of sports, and we now have our two preschool-age boys, who also love sports, and we watch a lot of ESPN, which seems to constantly hedge its bets on whether women’s sports are really a thing.

When I saw the Thorns’ motto, “She Flies With Her Own Wings,” and felt how the crowd went crazy for the team, I was in love. THIS was how women’s sports should be supported. [Editor’s note: Mike, down in the comments, woke me up to the fact that this is also Oregon’s state motto. Way to go, home state! You are more awesome than I thought, if that’s possible.]

She Flies With Her Own Wings. MomsicleBlog

So Mana and I arranged to talk on the phone, and I cyber-stalked her so that I would have a few questions I could lob to see if she was the real Meleana Shim. Like, what’s the mascot of Kamehameha High School?

In the end I went with, “So you got a yellow card in yesterday’s game?”

“Ha! Yeah! It was such a stupid one.” And then she said something else about the yellow card that I don’t remember, but made her seem like a legitimate soccer player and not one of my family members.

Bro. MomsicleBlog

[Family member, not Mana.]

Mana and I set up a time to meet at my house.

And I started sharpening my knives–what any chef or serial killer would do.

Mana said she didn’t really cook, but she did own a Vitamix, which made me jealous: Our 1995 Hamilton Beach blender had about 300,000 miles on it and smoked a little every time we used it.

Being summer, I thought we would make panzanella, the Italian bread salad that I had learned thanks to Barefoot Contessa. I had grand plans for a three-course meal in my mind, but if Mana really didn’t cook that much, learning some knife skills on willing vegetables and making homemade vinaigrette and croutons would be impressive enough… I hoped.

Homemade Croutons Prep. MomsicleBlog

Plus I’m very chatty when excited, so getting just one dish done could be a challenge.

I was nervous. Would she like me? Would she really show up?

My husband was nervous. I was giving out our home address to people we’d never met, who may or may not be real soccer players.

And Mana, well she probably should have been the most nervous. She was showing up to a house in a labyrinthine neighborhood where none of her teammates would be able to find her, meeting a woman who was sharpening butcher knives. Hopefully she wasn’t going to be chopped up into bits and buried in our backyard.

But she came! And she was a real girl not a tweetbot or a psychopath!

Mana Cooks With Evelyn. MomsicleBlog

And we had wine and made panzanella and chopped up bread for croutons. And we sort of spun around the kitchen with clouds of amped-up emotion hanging over our heads.

And then I made her try everything in my fridge. Right after Mana said she hated Bloody Mary’s, I made her eat my gazpacho–the cold-tomato-soup cousin of the Bloody Mary.

Meleana Shim Eats Gazpacho. MomsicleBlog

I think I won her over. I mean, my gazpacho is silky and delicious, and we topped it with prosciutto, chopped tomato and cucumber, and hard-boiled egg.

So that’s the story morning glory.


Mana came back for more cooking.

Mana Cooks With K-Pants And Bro. MomsicleBlog

And she invited me to visit her in Hawaii. Although I think I really invited myself.

Mana Evelyn Hawaii. MomsicleBlog



FACEBOOK NOTE: If you enjoy reading the blog, I encourage you to sign up for an email subscription (right, above). Facebook is making it harder and harder for little blogs like mine to show up in feeds of people who like us without paying (something most bloggers can’t afford). So if you like reading Momsicle: Something to Suck On, sign up via email (only one or two post notifications per week). Thank you!! Interacting with readers is a huge reason I love writing this blog!

Creative Genius: Scout’s Honor Clothing Company for Modern Tomboys

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

I get goosebumps when I see friends boldly following their creative passions. I imagine it’s like ripping your heart out and putting it on display for everyone to step on, toss around, and ultimately–hopefully–lift up and make successful.

It takes GUTS. And there’s risk.

(Risk is a four-letter word that I tread lightly around.)

So I’ve got goosebumps all over seeing see my friend Clare Marie from college (top right, wearing her shirt The Scout) starting Scout’s Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys, out of San Francisco. 

I love androgyny. I love seeing a woman rock a good “guy’s” look and make it her own. Most of all, I love this scarf. 

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

It was the scarf that inspired me to become a Scout’s Honor backer on Kickstarter. I’ve never backed anything before. But I wanted that scarf. And for $38 I could have the scarf and be one of the founding backers.

(Do you know about Kickstarter? I didn’t. It’s an online way to fund creative projects. The artist creates a campaign and sets a target amount. If the target amount is pledged by the campaign’s end, the project gets its funding: If not, no moolah. Scout’s Honor is in the final week of its Kickstarter campaign, and is 76% funded–just $2,144 to go.)

Although I can appreciate and drool over a kick-ass braided scarf, I have no idea what it takes to start your own fashion line (besides raw talent and creative cojones) so Clare let us into her world to talk about what it’s like being the genius behind an upstart little fashion brand–or as she calls it, her “extremely unpaid internship.”

Scout's Honor Clothing Company logo

Me: Starting your own business is brave. I’m scared thinking about it. What pushed you to finally dive in?

Clare Marie: But you do have your own business! [Editor’s note: Sort of.] And it is really scary; I think the scariest part of it is how public it is, but sharing my journey with friends, family, and strangers has also been part of the fun.

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

I’ve wanted to study fashion since I can remember. Almost a decade ago, I was getting set to apply for the Masters in Fashion Journalism at the London College of Fashion, but life happened, so that didn’t. Later I made a new plan: work full-time until 2014, save some money, and if you’re still not happy, go to fashion school full-time.

But, again, life happened.

A couple years ago I lost one of my two part-time jobs (still haven’t managed to get that full-time thing going) and decided to just go for it. I couldn’t afford to go to private design school, and I couldn’t afford to leave my other job, but I could take a ton of evening classes at the local community college–and honestly, while we don’t have as much fancy equipment, the instructors at CCSF [City College of San Francisco] are bar none, and that’s what really matters.

Most of them also teach at those private schools I’d dreamed of attending–often they teach the exact same class. They are industry experts, and are very generous with their skills and knowledge. I feel very lucky to have found the program.

Me: Yes, but classes are one thing. Actually doing it is another beast entirely.

Clare Marie: One of the classes I took was “Creating a Garment Business.” That’s where Scout’s Honor was born. I’d been trying to figure out what I really wanted out this experience. Who did I want to work for? What did I want my role to be? And how was I going to make that happen?

I never thought of myself as a business-oriented person. I’m a creative person; I like to make things. But as I worked my way through the business class, I realized that starting a business is the ultimate creative pursuit, not to mention the ultimate learning experience. You get to do it all! It’s your vision, coming to life!

In the class we had to make timelines: production schedules, projected budgets, plans for growth. I would always title them “Scout’s Honor fantasy timeline.” And then one day I realized, well, the first date on my fantasy timeline hasn’t actually passed yet. What if I followed it? What if I did the thing I said I could do by that date, and then I did the next thing, and the next thing? It wouldn’t be easy, but at least I had a plan.

So I set off. I sometimes like to call it my “extremely unpaid internship.”

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

I learned to do as much as I could on my own, and I would work with experts when I needed to. Sometimes hiring people–mostly patternmakers and samplemakers, because at the end of the day, the garments need to be perfect.

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

But a lot of it has involved just picking the brains of friends and acquaintances. You’d be surprised how many people have a connection to the garment industry, or have other skills and knowledge that have helped me find my way. And they’re almost always happy to help.

Me: What was it like to do your first fashion photo shoot? Glamorous, right??

Clare Marie: Oh, of course. No. I don’t know. I over-prepared, but maybe not in all the right ways. My models were all friends, helping me out of the goodness of their hearts, so I wanted to be sure to keep them happy–maybe even happy enough that they’d do it again!

So I wound up bringing a whole bunch of food–cookies, hummus and veggies, sandwich makings–plus all my shirts, plus a whole bunch of other clothes. All this, essentially to the middle of a forest. A city forest, but still. And then once I got there, I sort of had a “What now?” moment.

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

What I can say from this whole experience–not just the photoshoot but all of it–is, wow, I have amazing friends. Both the photographer and another friend–she became my stylist-slash-director–helped me prep for the shoot.

They encouraged me to come up with a story, and I think that was really helpful. The story: we were old friends, reliving our memories of summer camp together.

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

The idea was a little, well, campy, but that helped make it fun, and loosened everyone up. Once we started, I was more than happy to let Stephanie (stylist/director) and Liz (photographer) take the reigns. They both had a lot more experience in that sort of situation. My main role was to make sure everyone was happy, to thank them profusely, and occasionally make requests like “Can we get the red Wrangler with those jeans?”

A few days into the Kickstarter campaign, I decided I wanted to supplement the photos we had with something a little more hip and current, and I was fortunate to be able to coordinate with one of my studio-mates and a good friend who has the perfect look. [Editor’s note: That’s this photo, from the top.]

Scout's Honor Clothing Company for modern tomboys

That shoot was totally different, much more relaxing for me, I think because it was so much less of an unknown. I didn’t bring a picnic, only had one change of pants. It was much more impromptu. At the end of the day, I’m really happy with the results of both, and I learned a ton about what I can do in the future to make it even smoother.

Me: Where do you want Scouts Honor Clothing Company to be in a year?

Clare Marie: Good question! Well, the building where I currently share studio space with nine other people–leatherworkers, printmakers, woodworkers, a photographer–has a funky little storefront [1564 MRKT] that we’ll be bringing to life over the next couple months, so I’m excited that I’ll be able to sell my shirts to folks in person as well as online.

BUT that building is scheduled to be torn down in one to two years (our rent is dirt cheap because of this), so I need to figure out what’s going to come next. I’d love to continue to have access to a storefront, but that may not realistic, financially, so one of my major goals is to find accounts with local boutiques so that I can continue to have a physical presence.

In a perfect world, Scout’s Honor will be self-sustaining in a year. That is to say, it will be my job, and earn me enough to stay afloat in the expensive but magical city [of San Francisco]. In order to make this happen, I’ll need to expand the collection. I have a couple other shirts in the works, and after that I’ll add jeans and shorts, after that a coat. I’d like to partner with other designers who are working on similar projects. I’d like to be making all my own patterns.

Me: Well, it’s happening! Go Clare! 


You can get your own scarf, or camp mug, or postcard, or Wrangler shirt, or Scout shirt here.

But don’t feel pressured. Here are some other ways to follow Clare’s journey and show your support for this fledgling fashion line:

Like Scout’s Honor on Facebook

Shout at Scout’s Honor on Twitter (@wearscoutshonor)

Follow Scout’s Honor on Instagram (scoutshonorclothingco)

Or just leave a little love note or smiley face in the comments to tell Clare Marie what you think….