Christmas Blessings

You might wonder why this post is on the travel week but . . .this year I have felt blessed beyond measure on my own life’s journey. It has been a year full of ups and downs. I have cried many tears but I have smiled to the depth of my soul. In this year of so many changes and growth beyond compare; I decided that I needed to share my gratitude for those blessings with those that might not be able to see the goodness still in the world. I resolved this year to relieve some of the suffering that I have seen in those around me by creating homeless kits. I know that my effort was the tiniest drop in the bucket but . . .the love that I have felt while working on the project and the culmination of that love while delivering the kits this week will probably never be matched.

I found a location in downtown Portland that could use the kits and set to creating them with a few of my friends and family. We were blessed along the way with others that wanted to help and had donations given to us of items we were seeking. In all we had 52 kits created. I will never know the reason why some of these people who received a kit are in the situation that they are in but I hope, in some small way, the kit reminded them that they are loved.

Our kits were filled with toothbrush/toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, gum, protein bar, hard candy,  crackers, nuts, water, small pkg of wipes, Kleenex, Chapstick, soap, band-aids, socks, Advil, hand warmers, and poncho or emergency blanket.

As we were delivering we heard people exclaim how excited they were for the socks and the gum. I know it was Christmas early for some of these people and I feel so grateful to have been apart of that Christmas exchange.

One thing I have learned over the years . . .you will never know the impact you have on the life of another. My heart is forever changed and buoyed up with love from this.

As a thank you to those that came with us last night–there was a small little celebration at Ruby Jewel afterwards. Enjoy the few pictures from our small event.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

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Snow day (or week)

Just a reminder to everyone . . . I live in Portland. I don’t live in Utah. It does get cold in Portland and sometimes it decides to ice and on a rare occasion it will decide to snow. You know, the kind of snow that falls in the morning but gets washed away in the rain before dark. Apparently this year, old man winter is a bit confused. (Maybe he is really just too old to do the job anymore).

We are on our 4th (count them 1, 2, 3 . . . 4th) snow storm this winter. Most of them have come and gone and we get a lingering day of ice but the storm this week; can I just say that I was waiting for the snow plows to come through and clear the street. To my dismay, Portland has nothing to clear the streets with and the city has been dumping gravel by the truckloads to try and make the roads semi-movable (it’s not working).

So I have been stuck in my house for the whole week. I could have gone to the office on Monday and Tuesday but I slipped on the ice that had formed from the prior snow storm on Saturday night. Then Wednesday morning I wake up to about 8 inches all around me. Now I am barricaded in my house because that snow turned to ice and it isn’t melting with our temperatures hanging out in the 20’s. I am a little confused.

So that brings me to my top 5 things I like about being forced to stay home.

  1. I don’t have to wake up to an alarm since I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night.
  2. I can take a nap in bed on my lunch break.
  3. I can hang out in “comfy” clothes all day and I don’t have to put makeup on.
  4. I can watch nature outside of my windows instead of staring at a parking lot.
  5. I don’t have to make the commute.

New Portland Favorites

I have a lot of people visiting me or the last couple of months and all of them have been to Portland before with me so naturally they have all experienced my tried & true favorites. Now I have 5 more food and places to add to the ever-growing list.

Food

  1. La Provence: Small plates and small desserts. A great place to have a conversation with friends.
  2. Koi Fusion: Can we say Korean tacos?!
  3. Toadstool Cupcakes: The little cupcakes are soooo cute and pretty tasty as well.
  4. HK Café: The place to go for a plethora of Asian food options including the ones that you only get when in those countries.
  5. The Fireside: A great cozy place that you can chat with friends at and watch all the foot traffic on 23rd Avenue.

Places

  1. Collage: This is the greatest little store of craft and art supplies I have ever seen!
  2. Roloff Pumpkin Patch: I think this is a great place to look for a pumpkin and entertain little children
  3. Monticello Antique Marketplace: This place is huge and what I love the most about them; they have a ton of furniture and other big items to pick through.
  4. The Iron Gate Cottage: A great little place to just peruse on a rainy afternoon.
  5. Lee Farms: This is right by my house and is a great place for a last-minute gift, produce, pumpkins, activities and of course, apple cider donuts!

Make it Cold and Creamy

Just in case anyone is wondering . . . I love ice cream. I love that it can be extremely simple or complex. Take for instance the difference between country vanilla and Tahitian vanilla. Then you can add anything to it. You can purchase rocky road or top your chocolate ice cream. You can put it on a cone or in a dish. You can mix it up and have a shake or malt. Sky is the limit! So here are a few fun thoughts I had about ice cream while I was eating my favorite: Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter. Yum! 

  1. Okay, first thing first. Where did it come from and who do I have to thank? Ice Cream History from Wikipedia.
  2. What are the top 50 ice cream flavors? Thanks Ranker for your ever-changing list and to ActiveBeat for you list!
  3. Where can I eat ice cream in Portland? Thanks RedTri for your list that I will be exploring as the summer continues on!
  4. What kind should I make at home next? This Sea Salt & Honey No-Churn Ice Cream looks fantastic from Kitchen Treaty! 
  5. What should I serve it in?Thanks for the bowls Williams-Sonoma!