Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

It's officially fall and nothing feels like fall as much as visiting a pumpkin patch!! Over the weekend I took my niece and nephew to Roloff Pumpkin Farm which you may know as the farm from TLC's hit show Little People Big World! It was opening day and I think the afternoon grayness kept many farm goers away as we almost had the place to ourselves! We did the farm tour and if you watch the show you can see some pics of the farm here that you may recognize :)

Here are some cute pictures of the adorable Eli and Lily with their favorite auntie having a fun day at the pumpkin patch!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I have 3 student groups that I meet with on a weekly basis and something that I have not been very good at since starting in my current position is providing snacks for our meetings. It is common knowledge in the education field that if you want students to come to an event you need to provide food! Well, I think the same is true for having them stay invested in meetings :) Many of the current students I work with are strict vegetarians and many are also vegan so I was glad when I found the following vegan recipe for a perfect fall cookie...keeping my fingers crossed that they like them!

Vegan Maple Syrup Cookies

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp applesauce
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 cups flour

Mix together and bake at 350 for 8-10 min

Drizzle with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2-1 tbsp soy milk, 1 tsp vanilla

*last week was a zucchini recipe, this week maple, so that only means that pumpkin should be in order next week for my last fall baking project for students!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Into Reading Challenge

I have a pile of books sitting on a bench in my apartment that I have been wanting to read ALL SUMMER! Well, summer is over so I better open the books and finally get to the reading! Today I saw that there is a Fall Into Reading Challenge popping up in the blogworld so I thought I would join! Maybe it will be encouragement for me to turn the tv off (except for Thursday night when Grey's Anatomy and The Office finally returns!!!) and dive into a world beyond my own outlined on the pages of these chosen books:
*The Dive From Clausen's Pier by Ann Packer
*Suite Francaise by Viene Nemirovsky
*Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Last Days Of Dogtown by Anita Diamant
The Audicity Of Hope by Barack Obama
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
*Books I'm in the middle of reading. I'm one of those who read multiple books at one time!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Straight From The Farmers Market

I love going to Farmers Markets and when I thought about how today is one of my first free Saturday's in a long time I thought it was perfect timing for checking out the Beaverton Farmers Market that I have never been to. I loved seeing all the rich fall colors in the produce and flowers growing this time of the season!
After picking up some flowers, apples, and pears, I stopped by the last stand to get some veggies and items for Salsa. The produce was being sold by a very nice Hispanic couple and when I asked the man how much for my items he said $2...what, that is not nearly enough! I asked if he was sure and he said "yes, only $2 for you and your bonita ojos"...awww, I think I might have to go back to them next week as compliments like that will make any girl happy!

It's really easy to make Salsa on your own, you just mix a few ingredients to together!

Here's what I mixed, try it and feel free to adapt to your liking! 5 Roma Tomatoes, 1/2 Onion, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1 Jalapeno Pepper (with no seeds), Cilantro Lime Juice, and Salt. Chop items and mix together...Enjoy!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ending The Week On The Right Foot!

Wow, what a LONG week this has been! When my alarm went off this morning I immediately turned it off and got mad at myself for setting it for the weekend...then reality hit, it is only Friday...grrr, so up I got and off to work I went :( But, as my title mentions, the week ended "on the right foot!" I finally went and purchased the last pair of Dasko Mary Jane's I have been dying to get! One year ago I bought my first pair and now I am the proud owner of four...yipee! Two have been presents (thanks mom and sissy!), one I found brand new at a consignment store, and this last pair was a purchase totally justified in my mind as a reward for all my extra hours at work lately! Aren't they adorable!!!And the other exciting thing that happened to end the week on the "right foot" was that I got my Sisters Swap Package from Jane in Australia! It has been great getting to know Jane via emails/blogs this past month and let me tell you, this gal hit her package out of the ballpark! Just look at all the goodness she sent my way...
I love the Japanese dragonfly bag she made that holds everything! Jane, I LOVE bags so thank you, thank you, thank you! Inside was some yummy Australian choc/caramel candy (my favorite combo!), a cool picture of Puffing Billy (a famous train/destination in their part of Australia), cute sticky notes from a local charity of hers, a cool card for me as well as my friend Carrie and her sister Monica who hosted the swap, and an AWESOME CD by an Australian artist named Missy, what did I do to deserve all of this?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Portland Swifts

Every fall, about 4 blocks from where I work, a natural phenom happens and tonight I went to witness it for the first time this season. For about 3 weeks in September, anywhere from 20,000-40,000 swifts nest in a chimney of an elementary school as they migrate south for the winter. What makes the nesting pretty spectacular is that at sunset the birds literally begin swarming in from all directions and start circling the chimney. They circle in one direction, all dive and start circling another direction, do more massive dives and fly-by's over the hundreds of spectators, then start circling the chimney again. Then just as the sun disappears they form a vortex and quickly the thousands and thousands of swifts head down into the chimney feet first where they latch onto the insides of the chimney and find rest for the night. This vortex of thousands of birds looks like a spinning tornado and the whole crowd cheers them on until the last swift is safely inside...pretty amazing!

I forgot my camera tonight so here are some pictures I found on flickr...enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Zucchini! Zucchini! Zucchini!

A few weeks ago my mom gave me some zucchini from her garden...thanks mom! I heard that you can grate zucchini and keep it in the freezer for future baking so I gave it a try. Well, here I am on a cool and somewhat rainy night and nothing sounds better than a little baking for a meeting I have tomorrow :)

Zucchini Brownies
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
6 oz plain yogurt
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cups chopped nuts (optional!)

Stir dry ingredients together and set aside. Combine wet ingredients and zucchini. Stir wet and dry ingredients together. Pour into 9x13 greased pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes...enjoy :)

Here is the large bunch of zucchini and yellow squash my mom gave me...
I think I had zucchini at every meal for a week but I didn't mind as Zucchini Basil Lasagna and Zucchini Coins are two of my favorite late summer meals!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hiking With Eli

My birthday was on Saturday and I could not have asked for a better way to spend it than with Eli, my favorite little boy in the whole wide world! My mom and I took Eli on a hike and he did a GREAT job walking the 3 miles all by himself! I think getting bribed with skittles from Auntie Lisa helped his little legs keep going :) He also has recently learned the story of Hansel and Gretel and was very concerned the whole day with dropping enough pine cones and sticks on the trail so they could find their way out...what a good little boy wanting to make sure his fairytale friends get out of the woods safely :)

We hiked to Bagby Hot Springs which is an amazing area in the Mt. Hood National Forest. The trail was absolutely beautiful and I loved being surrounded by so many trees!! I truly live in a beautiful part of our country and I was so glad to spend my birthday enjoying the sights and smells of the forest, as well as being responsible for saving Hansel and Gretel, with two people I love!!

Here is a true Oregonian if I've ever seen one!
I thought it was great that they left fallen trees down (perfect for little boys to play on!) and simply cut parts away so people can continue safely on the trail :)

One of the beautiful bridges we had to cross
Eli inside a HUGE tree stump!

Look at the size of this tree...AMAZING!
Loved seeing all the many shades of green!
Reward for the day was playing in the hot springs!! Way to go Eli!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Joyeux Anniversaire

Happy Birthday to Wendy, my nature loving, amazing pastry chef, days away from moving to France friend! It was a beautiful day and as I was taking a walk around NW Portland I decided to celebrate your day at St. Honore, the best French Bakery in town! Hope you had as sweet of day as my Canalet was!

Craft Time

I just found my new craft project to try...
Thanks Danny Seo!!

I love the idea of using a recycled book that fits the theme for a specific room...
now I just have to decide which room I am making my clock for and hit the
thrift store (or my favorite used bookstore in Salem!!)
for the perfect book just waiting to be used for this project :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Finally Ready For Fall

Oh my gosh, it's hot here! These poor sunflowers just don't know what to do with this late summer heat...poor things!
I'm ready for Fall! I'm ready to put the flip-flops away, pull out my favorite sweaters, enjoy my scarfs, and watch the leaves turn!! I'm ready for some of my favorite fall activities like visiting the local pumpkin farm, making apple cider with family, baking pumpkin muffins, and parking my car a few blocks away from work so I can enjoy a crisp morning walking through the leaf lined streets of NW Portland...hurry up Fall, we are all ready for you!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lessons From Photo-A-Day

One of the most rewarding challenges I have ever given myself was to join some friends in a project called "Photo-A-Day". For 365 days straight we were to take a picture that represents some part of our day and post on our individual Flickr pages. This project created a wonderful community of people near and far and many of these friends are still doing the project into their second or third years...what dedication! I really enjoyed this challenge because of the community it built but also because it was a fun way to share my life with friends and family who are not living near me to share in all the day-to-day fun!

Now, each day does not always have a great photo documenting things like a fun outing with friends, the beauty I saw in travels, or something totally adorable my nephew did. Some of my daily photos where just documenting the day to day blah things of life. Like September 6, commute. And it is funny that this is what I posted exactly one year ago because just this morning, September 6, 2007 I was dreading this tunnel as much as I dread needles or a dentist appointment because sitting at my desk is the last place I want to be today...the beach just sounds so much more enticing!!!
Looking through my Photo-A-Day Project today was a good reminder that sometimes you have to keep your head high and eyes on the lookout for the spectacular of the blah days (like today) to appreciate the moments that create some pretty amazing memories and treasure nuggets of life that can and should be found at every flip of the calendar page!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I love my new Envirosax reusable shopping bag...
hasta la vista to those thousands of plastic bags
the stores just love giving away!

This is a great company to support if
you are looking for ways to help reduce
unnecessary waste in the environment :)

Three Day's of Fun

Labor Day Weekend could not have come any quicker!! As much as I thought I wanted to be a hermit for 3 days I ended up doing some fun things with friends and family :)

The weekend started out with my friend Julie and I meeting at our favorite Chinese Restaurant before seeing a movie at the Laurelhurst Theater, the best little retro theater in Portland. We saw the movie Waitress (really cute!) where they get you with all the beautiful shots of pie...I swear you can almost smell them! So of course we couldn't end the night without getting some dessert and the Pied Cow and their homemade Marionberry Pie did not disappoint! Saturday was spent with family as we celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday. The best part of the night was when Eli prayed for our dinner and he thanked God for his toys and marshmallows...what a cute cute cute little boy! Eli and I also made plans for taking him and Lily to the Roloff Pumpkin Farm later this month where he is extremely excited to see the tractors. I might just have to call TLC to make sure tractors will be there :)Saturday my mom and her friend Leslie came into town and we enjoyed the amazing sunny weather strolling along NW 23rd and enjoying the forest up at the Pittock Mansion. The night ended at the Billy Bob Thorton concert that was simply ridiculous...what a joke! We thought it would be laid back as he does bluegrass type of music but it was hardcore wanna-be rock concert! And the man is just yucky, chain smoking on stage and just being all around slimy...ick!
And Monday, glorious Monday, was spent not doing anything! Finally got my hermit time in and feel ready for a new week! I wonder who I need to talk to about making every weekend a 3 day weekend? Here's to hoping...