Browsing Category "happy"
29 Mar

#16: SAIL! – 30 before 30 list

Finally, I’ve been sailing. This was one of the most fun accomplishments on my 30 before 30 list. Not that it was much of an accomplishment because I just lounged about on the boat waiting to be told to pull and let out various ropes … but it was enough to know that the sailing life’s for me!

Some lovely friends bought a new boat and it was our lucky day to be invited for a blustery spring sailing adventure. I’m hooked, even if it’s just dreaming about learning to sail. I can see in my future that I will need to buy a boat, retire and join a flotilla.

20 Mar

13 books in 13 weeks: “The Alchemist”

I finally read “The Alchemist” and, indeed, it is magical. I really enjoyed the simple but inspiring tale, but rather than attempt a review, I’ll share some of my favorite quotes:

“Don’t be impatient … Eat when it’s time to eat. And move along when it’s time to move along.”

“There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

“… when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

“Don’t say that again. Life might be listening, and give you less the next time.”

“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”

Four books down, nine to go.

19 Mar

10 Things Loved in February

The depths of winter weren’t so bad since I spent it eating comfort food, rocking out on roller skates and exploring on foot and snowshoe. Here are my top ten from February.

1. Green bean sandwich from Meat Cheese Bread. They also sell the amazing Boylan ginger ale. Southeast Portland is such a foodie haven.

2. Walking Powell Butte and finding this little critter. He told me it was a little too cold to be out crawling around.

3. Soup Spoon in Welches. Best soup ever. I visited a few years ago and have been dying to go back. Problem is they aren’t open on Sunday and they close early on Saturday. It is imperative that you snowshoe early in the day so you can make it here before 3 p.m. The baked potato soup was amazing, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their soups, salads, breads or desserts. Nom.

4. Snowshoeing Mt. Hood. Sometimes it’s fun to park in Government Camp and just wander up the trails. This time we hiked around Enid Lake.

5. Google’s roller skating concert. Google Hotpot/Places hosted a series of concerts in Portland called the “Best Ever” series. They gave out free passes/wristbands to the secret shows by tweeting the location you could pick them up. Pretty cool concept, but kind of a fail because of the disconnect to their actual Hotpot/Places product. But I still pledge allegiance to Google and I’m sure they got the local/WOM buzz they were looking for. But back to the rollerskating at Oaks Amusement Park. This place is awesome – even has a classic Wurlitzer. I rollerskated for three full hours and The Thermals were great. Even though it was my first time on skates in 10 years, it came back fairly quickly. It truly was a best ever concert!

6. This kitteh of mine. He never ceases to amuse me.

7. Jam on Hawthorne.  don’t mind waiting in line for Ty’s big breakfast.

8. Snow in Portland. Yes!

9. Deviled eggs are so delicious. And so is my farmers egg crate from Anthropologie.

10. The movies. One day I will see all of the “Best Picture” nominees before the Oscars. This year I only saw two: “True Grit” and “The Kings Speech.” They both reminded me of how much I love going to the movies.

6 Feb

10 Things Loved in January

I had a great January. Here are 10 things that rocked my month.

10 Things Loved January

1. Winter hiking: What’s better than bundling up and trekking out into a cold, but not freezing forest?

2. Santoku knives: I received a wonderful, belated Christmas gift of a santoku knife. It is crazy sharp and after a few weeks of using it, I’m lucky to still have fingers.

3. Little Dragon: Caught them at the Doug Fir in Portland. Great show at a great venue.

4. Cooking class at Sur la Table: Definitely my best use of $70 in the past few months.

5. Shuffleboard: I am tempted to buy a shuffleboard. Hmmm… I do have the space for one.

6. Strawberry marshmallow snacks: They take me back to our Tokyo trip. I did a taste test on two different varieties this month. If you must know, the Hello Kitty brand marshmallow snacks won by a long shot.

7. Snowboarding: Where have you been all my life? I feel incredibly guilty for squandering the last six snowboarding seasons. We headed up to Mt. Hood and were rewarded with fresh powder!

8. Timberline Lodge: We spent a wonderful weekend at Timberline (that’s where you’ll find the snowboarding and shuffleboard mentioned above). Despite having season passes seven years ago, we never actually made it inside the most beautiful, historic lodge of all time. (“Red rum, Red rum” … part of The Shining was filmed there too.)

9. Pambiche: Cuban food in Portland – who knew? The avocado salad was pretty good, but the desserts are what made my day.

10. A new year: January was a great start to my new year. I am feeling blessed.

23 Jan

#15: Take a cooking class – 30 before 30 list

If you ever feel like quitting your job and going to culinary school … take a cooking class first. Me, I’ll be fine taking a few classes per year and saving cooking school for my midlife crisis.

I signed up for the “Provencal Sunday Supper” taught by the lovely chef Caitlin Koepsell at Sur La Tabla. What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon! We wandered down to the Sur La Tabla in Portland’s Brewery Blocks and joined a group of about 14 to create a cozy French dinner.

The menu was:

  • Caramelized onion and chevre  flatbread with herbs de Provence (pizza!)
  • Tuna Nicoise salad with winter greens, seared tuna, fingerling potatoes, green beans and soft-boiled eggs
  • Lemon-scented chicken stew with fennel, olives, capers and tomatoes
  • Chile-garlic rouille (mayonnaise)
  • Lavender creme brulee

Our class was three hours, which was quite a bit longer than I expected, and included a full dinner and wine. While I didn’t learn an awful lot, taking the class was great fun and if anything, validated my cooking skills. For those looking for a prix fixe menu and something to do in Portland for an evening, $69 isn’t bad! Plus you get to work for your supper and you get 10% off anything in the store on the day of your class.

I plan to recreate this menu for a dinner party, which is #13 on my 30 before 30 list.