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Food, Portland, Social Work

Neighborly Love: Bake America Great Again

December 18, 2016

Hey friends, after last year’s successful Bake Sale for Refugees, Portland bakers and bloggers and local businesses are coming together for a repeat to Bake America Great Again. All proceeds this year go to Portland’s Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), a 40 year old nonprofit known for welcoming and caring for new neighbors in our city.

If you’re in the area, come buy terrific homemade treats enter the fantastic raffle and show solidarity with our neighbors who have come to call this land their home: Sunday 12/18/16 from 6-9pm at Pip’s Original in NE Portland.

Bake America Great Again Bake Sale

P. S. I’m contributing homemade Creamy Eggnog Fudge.

Super rich: be warned. Continue Reading…

Food, Oregon, Portland, Tidbits About Us

Birthday (not Birth-Day)

February 3, 2016

Since early last summer, today’s hovered on my mental calendar as an exciting unknown: February 3rd. My 32nd birthday, and the day before my baby’s due date. Celebrations were in order, of course, but would they be for a girl in her third decade or a baby in her first days?

Would we be a family of three or a family of four?

Knowing there’s little use making concrete plans during such an up-in-the-air season, I didn’t really anticipate what today would look like until it arrived…but now that it’s hours from over, I can happily go on record saying it was just about perfect.

No baby (yet), but so very many favorite things from this life I love.

Continue Reading…

Musings, Oregon, Portland, Tidbits About Us

Over the City and Through the Fir Trees

May 10, 2015

Full circle.

Back to the upper gardens of The Grotto…

My first visit: fall 2011, before flying away into a wild unknown. Most recently: late afternoon, in a tiny hollow of the week. Ted, relieved to take a break from finals. Me, momentarily disconnected from project deadlines and life juggling. Lucie, happy to walk and scamper on her own.

Sunbeams streaming low, over the city and through the fir trees. A stolen few hours awash in quiet calm… Continue Reading…

Food, Portland

So These Guys from Budapest Walk into a Portland Coffee Shop…

April 23, 2015

That’s it. No punchline. They walked into a Portland coffee shop, bought me an iced latte, and invited me to share pictures of food. Next thing you know, I’m cooking shrimp and sharing a photo of it on their beta app.

I love my life.

Slow cooker sweet corn polenta and chili lime shrimp, made today and shared (virtually) with my new friends over at @piqniq.

Last night’s Instagram post started it all: “Slow cooker sweet corn polenta and chili lime shrimp, made today and shared (virtually) with my new friends over at @piqniq.” I wasn’t even going to blog about it anytime soon, but with so many of my friends replying on the post (or texting direct!) asking for the recipe, I thought I’d share it here for ease of distribution…and I might as well include a little bit of the backstory. Continue Reading…

Brunch, Food, Oregon, Portland

oso market + bar: oh-so thankful for friends

November 30, 2013

Earlier this month, we bundled Lucie in her little beige sweatshirt and bright yellow leggings and set out for Saturday brunch with friends at Portland’s newly opened Oso Market + Bar.

After all the meals around the world, there’s still nothing like breaking bread (or splitting charcuterie plates, as it were) with people we’ve known since childhood.

“The Six of Us” are three couples who have palled around for decades (since grade school in several cases), and considering we’re only hovering at three-decade mark in median age, that’s saying a lot. Darian, Rebekah and their daughter Ashlynn were home visiting Oregon from transplant life in Nebraska, and Ryan, Sara and their daughters Genevieve and Madeleine made the hour drive up from Molalla. As part of our Portland reunion, “The Six of Us + Offspring” planned to start our day together at Oso Market + Bar, where Ryan’s brother Jason is executive chef.


Ryan, Ted, and Lucie with Oso owner Holly Johnson

“Spanish Brunch!” boasted the clever little shop sandwiched among the trendy taverns and tasty restaurants of the Central Eastside Industrial District. The bright orange chairs popped against sidewalks of Portland cement, and blustering fallen leaves chased us in the front door. Lucie slept contentedly, bundled in her blanket, oblivious to the cold and the commotion. Continue Reading…

Destinations, Emilia Romagna Tourism Board, Featured Partners, Italy, Portland

Portland, Meet Your Sister {City}

June 4, 2012

You know how everyone talks about traveling to Italy to connect with distant family? We’re not Italian, but it turns out we had a long lost relative waiting to surprise us with a welcome.

You should’ve seen the look of bewilderment on our faces.

Like that scene from The Parent Trap: Hayley Mills, meet Hayley Mills.

Portland meet Bologna.

We blinked twice.

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. and Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy were declared sister cities on June 5th, 2003. It’s nearly our ninth birthday.

Where have we been all of each others’ lives?! Continue Reading…

Musings, Portland, Social Work

What To Do With Open Eyes?

December 26, 2011

This post is part of the 2011 #TBGB Travel Bloggers Give Back project.

In an earlier post, Moving a Mile to Live Abroad, I shared about our recent 18-month experience starting a transitional housing community for formerly homeless families in Portland, Oregon and how the season of unconventional travel opened my eyes anew to invisible cultures.

In letting you in on my thoughts, I’ve honestly shared that I’m still learning what these lessons mean and wondering how to carry the responsibility of awareness.

My conclusions thus far: We do well to be actively acknowledging the existence of the troubles, connecting with people, partnering with programs, and resisting cheap guilt-assuaging fixes that only feed the problems.

Continue Reading…

Musings, Portland, Social Work, Tidbits About Us

Moving a Mile to Live Abroad

December 26, 2011

Our story of cross-cultural travel and seeing the world with new eyes.

This wasn’t the trip I expected.

I’d been talking for years about traveling the world, chirping in Ted’s ear about experiences in foreign cultures, fresh perspectives, and challenging the middle-class-American-outlook we unwittingly take for granted. (And of course I tried enticing him with prospects of exploring foreign markets’ colorful stalls and opportunities to sample Portland Food Cart fare in situ.)

Winter 2009: One of those What-If? pillow talk conversations. Normally, travel was my suggestion, but this time, it was Ted advocating for scenery change and promising new experiences. He painted a vivid picture of connecting with people willing to share their unique histories and and share their cultures and perspectives, and I agreed to the adventure.

Within five months of that exchange, we woke up in a new land. Continue Reading…