Vancouver Washington

The first time I lived in Portland I never once crossed the river to explore the neighboring city of Vancouver, Washington. I never really felt the need to. Portland had more than enough to keep me busy. Now that I am back to stay in the area; it is a different story.

In some ways I am blessed to live in Portland but work in Vancouver and because I try to avoid as much traffic as possible; I find myself hanging around in Washington and exploring.

So here are 5 of my new favorites haunts in Vancouver.

  1. Frontier Public House. This was a recommendation by my hairstylist and I am glad she shared! 
  2. Speaking of my hairstylist . . . I love the salon I frequent! Way to offer excellent service Vata Salon!
  3. In an effort to stay cool this summer during the MANY 100+ degree days, I discovered this local gem–Moulton Falls. 
  4. I love my many options of farmer markets in the northwest but I love the lazy summer feeling of the Vancouver Farmers Market. 
  5. If you need to travel to Seattle, you should consider taking the train and avoiding the traffic and if you are going to avoid the traffic and the parking fees, you should take the train from Vancouver instead of Portland. But before you park and catch the train at the Vancouver Station, make sure you grab a bagel to eat from Sunrise Bagel Bakery. 

Kindness Matters

To everyone that has been effected by Harvey–my heart goes out to you and I pray fervently that all will be made right soon. Hang in there and know that you are loved by people miles and miles away from you.

To all the rest of us–let’s take this tragedy and make it a positive turning point in our lives toward kindness and understanding. Always remember how far kindness goes; it can and it will change the world if we let it. All it starts with something simple. So here are my top 5 simple ways to show kindness everyday.

  1. Wake up every morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself good morning with a smile on your face. It might sound funny and you may not want to do it but your day will start better and it will be easier to show kindness once you are really awake.
  2. Say good morning, afternoon or evening to a stranger(s) you pass by and SMILE while you do it. Stop ignoring the people around you.
  3. Hold the door open for someone. I know, it might mean you have to wait 30 seconds longer to get inside and continue your day but a kind gesture (while small and seemingly insignificant), can really influence the other persons outlook going forward.
  4. Leave a note of kindness on a car. Try this one for instance. 
  5. Always keep a humble heart and remember how blessed you are then share those blessings the best way you can with those around you. 

Purging for the Second Time

Yes, you heard me correctly—I am purging again. My sister asked if I had anything left to purge and unfortunately the answer is yes. It was good to go through the initial purge and get the clutter out. Now that the clutter is gone, I can think and look through the items that are left. That has led me to this second purging and an old saying from the Great Depression—

Use it Up

Wear it Out

Make it Do

or Do Without


So here are 5 ways I plan to tackle the new purging round.

  1. Use it Up: Group everything together that is the same thing and start using it. For example: I am a sucker at Sephora and I buy items that I don’t need (especially when it comes to hair products). Over time those items started piling up and now I can open my own hair salon. Grouping the items together in one place showed me the whole picture—I had too much stuff. So I have started from the top and am working my way through, one product at a time until they are all gone. Once I have a bin that is empty, then I can go buy something new.
  2. Wear it Out: No one wants to use or wear things that look tattered and old but we live in a society where we use things a couple of times and move on to something that is newer and supposedly better. This is where it is nice to have the skill of sewing for instance. I have fixed numerous items and been able to make them last a lot longer. This keeps me from overspending on clothes and also helps me see that I don’t need 4 black sweaters.
  3. Make it Do: Keeping in line with the above comment about getting something newer; brings us in line with making it do. I know that there is a great sale on an 84 inch plasma TV but is it really time to replace the 72 inch plasma that you bought last year? Ask yourself this question every time you are going to make a purchase: Is it replacing something that is already gone and I need or is it something on my want list? This tactic brings me to my abundance of craft and art project supplies. When I go to do a new project now; I pull all of the stuff out and use everything I possibly can without buying something new.
  4. Do Without: The above question also applies here. I have realized that there is a LOT I can do without. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t love to have an 8 burner gas stove but my 4 burner electric stove is working just fine for right now. Evaluate your life and decide accordingly.
  5. When All Else Fails: Take a look at the object(s) you are contemplating. Does it add anything to your life? Is it a keepsake that when you look at, brings happy memories. Is it used regularly? Is it something that 100 years down the road, someone will pull out and remember you lovingly? Is it something you care deeply about? If you can’t answer yes to these questions than it might be time for the item to leave your possession.

Through all of this purging, I have one final thought . . . baby steps. Don’t go manic and get rid of everything at once. You can purge and re-purge as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable. Also, don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel about something. If you want it because you truly love it; keep it. If you don’t want it but someone else seems attached to it; give it to them to take. Time is your friend in this adventure.

Back to School Music

Can it possibly be this time again? Didn’t school just get out?

Years ago Minute Maid had a commercial encouraging everyone to enjoy summer one sip at a time. As I get older, it seems to be more pertinent to head their advice. However, we have sadly left summer fun for a return to the books. Everyone hang in there! (The holiday breaks will be here quicker than you think)

Here are 5 songs to get you back in the mood and yes, some are of the sarcastic nature. What songs do you think of when headed back to school?