Underground Panna Cotta with Grapefruit & broiled Orange

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Wow!  Feel like i’ve been gone forever, we have successfully moved into our own home, but not successfully unpacked yet. It has been awesomely stressful as with most things that are good decisions.  I have also gone to Seattle, and to the coast, not to mention registering Ava for school, Ari’s birthday, and an awesome visit from my homeboy SMP!  On his recent visit he brought along some Underground Herbal Spirit made in my hometown and I decided today was the day to make a quick and easy dessert with the herby elixer before I drank it all. Continue reading “Underground Panna Cotta with Grapefruit & broiled Orange”

Kapama style Lamb Ragu with whole wheat orzo and rainbow chard and house hunting in Portland, Oregon.

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Over the weekend we went house hunting here in Portland. My husband and I have been wanting to get our own place here and feel like now is the time. Our family has been here for three years and my daughter will be going into the 2nd grade in the Fall and we want to hopefully have our own property and not be giving our hard earned dollars to rent. Currently we live in a great area, the Hollywood district, schools are good, it’s safe, but it seems like we just don’t quite “fit in here”. We did ask our landlord about selling his house to us, but he was not too keen on the idea, and it’s probably out of our price range anyway. Continue reading “Kapama style Lamb Ragu with whole wheat orzo and rainbow chard and house hunting in Portland, Oregon.”

Thrifty….the new rich?

I’ll tell ya, growing up in Ogden, UT…I’ve done a bit of “thrifting”, second hand shopping for those not in the know…haha!  Now when I was salvaging good will (DI…Utah natives will understand) it was not considered “cool”.  You see much of my youth was spent in the consumerist 90’s where accumulating mass produced items new and often was the chic and yuppie perspective.  I was neither chic, nor yuppie, quite the opposite…my moo-mu clad mother would load us up in whatever “pimp mobile” car from the 70’s that my dad had gotten from Breaktime Bob on the cheap and school clothes shopping was done at “Savers” or “Vintage Thrift” .  Nowadays that would be cool….back then….we would hide our faces when my mom dropped us off in the “Aspen”.   But I digress…..This is about thift store shopping not my upbringing in a hyper-conservative place by an ubber liberal pair of parents.  I still remember my super awesome “Nirvana unplugged” look a like sweater that my sister “Tex” found for 69 cents.

Unbelievably not cool in the 90’s.

In the current market however, perhaps due to a more competitive global market.  “Thrifting” has become cool, some mainstream brands actually have a “vintage” line where they send out their “stylists” to raid thrift stores and charge you 10 x what they paid for it!  Portland is thrift Mecca, my favorite spot being “Better Bargains” it’s old, huge, unorganized, and all those things make it a goldmine!  Great for finding vintage items because after many years of people dropping off what they don’t want the stock piles and many things dropped off in 1982 don’t get opened and sold till 2012.  Beautiful.


The less cool it looks the better…steer clear of anything with “hip” decor or being in a “cool” part of town.  I do have a great consignment shop by my house…but if you wanna get the super duper under appreciated awesome….go dirty.  Proud to say my high chair $3, double jogging stroller $40, and Gianfranco Fierre resort dress from the late 70’s $12, Keen’s for Ava $3 were all purchased and found at Better Bargains.  I bought 50% of Ava’s school clothes for pennies on the dollar, and most of Ari’s clothes that aren’t “hand me downs”.   Buying good quality items used, is like upcycling in the best possible way, it benefits everyone!  Money can’t buy ya happiness, and so much of our culture is based purely in commerce, it is necessary I agree, but I also think conservation is necessary.  When I was a kid upcycling was instilled in me, and now it’s actually a fashionable activity!  So weird….its like that pair of shoes you bought in the height of a trend, then 10 years later you see high schoolers rocking em….I love nostalgia and maybe that is why I love thrifting so much.  I never thought I would feel this way but I am so incredibly glad my mom raised me to be so “uncool” , the funny part of life is that in one’s lifetime many things come full circle.  Being wealthy for me isn’t spending the most….but being wealthy in life experiences.  With our blown out economy, and changing global vernacular “Thrifty” might just be the new “Rich”.  Next time you are browsing “Urban Outfitters”, get some ideas then get out and buy it in your local goodwill….chances are something cooler, cheaper, and full of nostalgia will be waiting for you, and with the money  you save you can do something awesome with your family, whether it be a vacation or simply an outing for ice cream.

Note: the other baby is Ava's doll, get a lot of weird looks when we load the doll in this fashion.
Note: the other baby is Ava’s doll, get a lot of weird looks when we load the doll in this fashion.


$1 vintage sunglasses
$1 vintage sunglasses






Alameda Brewing

Yes, it’s raining in Portland…..but that is really ok because it’s great stout beer weather!!! My featured brew du jour is Alameda’s Black Bear XX. Moving to PDX two years ago from Utah, I never really understood what a “brew house” really is! A true pub is like a neighborhood gathering place, a much better alternative to what many a Utahan has done…going to the ole’ TGImcNasty pants chain restaurant, where if one asks for a beer it takes an hour to get and you are looked at like a criminal…no joke one time at a BBQ chain in Layton I got ID’d five times!! I was done eating before I got my beer. Here in the rose city you can take your kids at “happy hour” (Alameda has especially great food, btw…a lacking theme with some other brew houses with great beer but less then mediocre fare) reduced price brews, great $5 meal options (Lemon pepper chicken strips, beer battered goodness…yes please!), on Tuesdays Alameda even has all their brews for $3, which should make ya holla! The service is competent without being phony and you CAN BRING KIDS!! Bringing kids saves us parents who like to enjoy a brew without dropping $20 an hour for a babysitter….God I love you Portland! Stout beer should be rich, delicious, creamy, a head of copper, and like any good stout tastes great with chocolate (they make an out of this world milkshake with it!). I take everyone that comes and visits me to the Alameda. If you are native to P-town or planning a visit they are located at 4765 Fremont or check em’ out on the web alamedabrewhouse.com. I am just a fan, and wanted to share my love of what they do….yellow wolf imperial IPA is also a must try. Have the black bear on nitro! Also they frequently have awesome seasonal beers depending on what is in season My bloody valentine saison (blood orange), white peach IPA, huckleberry IPA, bad bunny cream ale….never a dull gulp.