Monday, March 31, 2014

Divergent

We went and saw the movie over the weekend and it was a fun way to spend a rainy Portland day. My best description of it is Twilight meets the Hunger Games...only better than that.

What I really liked was that the main character "Beatrice" also known as Tris, was a strong female character who fought for what she believed in and to be who she wanted to become.

What I didn't like was the James Bond'ish finish to the story where they ended up all HEA...well, sort of.

It was a perfect set up for a sequel and when it comes out, I'll undoubtedly go see that one too.

How 'bout you....have you seen it? What did you think?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Easter Bouquet that's Good Enough to Eat

These treats are so easy to make. All you do is melt some white chocolate, color it with food coloring then stick some marshmallows on a straw or lolly pop stick and dip them into the warm chocolate. Then sprinkle them with pretty candies and they look like little flowers (well sort of). Then stick some floral foam into a vase and you're almost done.

If you use straws and not lolly pop sticks, you have to pre-punch holes into the floral foam - which you can do easily with a pencil.

Then stick your chilled marshmallow pops into the pre-punched holes and garnish with some pretty paper grass.

Then wah-lah!!! Pretty Easter bouquet that's good enough to eat.





Tulip Festival - It's a Bloomtiful way to Spend a Day



March 28 to May 4, 2014 is the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

Daily activities at the Tulip Farm
  • Tulip Fields
  • Tulip & Daffodil Display area
  • 4 Acre Wooden Shoe Event Garden
  • Children’s Play Area: Duck races, slides, swings 
  • Onsite food Court
  • Tram/haywagon: free ride to field
  • Gift Shop
  • Tulip Market
  • Photo Cut-out Boards
  • Cow Train: $2 per person (for the young at heart)
  • Field Train: $3 per person (elderly friendly)

Weekend activities at the Tulip Farm
same as weekdays plus:

  • Crafters Market Place
  • Pony Rides ($5 - under 80 lbs)- weather dependant
  • Authentic Mexican Food
  • Dutch Sausage provided by: Mt. Angel Sausage Company
  • Wooden Shoe Making Demonstrations
  • Steam tractors- weather dependant
  • You-Pick Tulip Area: $.75 per stem or 20+ $.50 per stem
  • Wine Tasting: 12 noon- 5pm Located in Field Greenhouse 
  • Weather permitting- Activities run by MADJEK- Jump Tents & Events  Jump Tents, Bungie Jumper, Pony Rides, Rock Wall, & Zip Line  ($3-$7)
* New in 2014:
*        New in 2014 Archery Tag: $5.00 per person- 10 minute game of dodge ball with blunted bows and arrows
*       New in 2014 Paint Ball Shoot: $5.00 per person-Climb onto our paint ball shooter and paint the tulips, 50 paintballs included in price.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Red Door of Doom

Sometimes when I go for a jog, I see a door and I have to stop and sometimes I even need to snap a photo.

This red door made me wonder. . .

Who lives behind that red door...

Is it a sign of something . . .

I don't know. . .

But I thought it was pretty enough to make me stop and snap a photo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Portland Oregon so many Places to See

I love running on Burnside. You can always find beautiful sights to see.

As I approached this entryway, I thought "that's too pretty not to take a picture."

So, I did. . . or maybe a few.

It looked like a little tunnel of trees and bushes...

Sort of like entering a doorway into another world...



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Portland in Pictures

My husband and I went for a run on Saturday. This is the view of downtown Portland from the middle of the Burnside Bridge.

Portland is also known as BridgeCity and you can see why...remember, I'm standing on the Burnside Bridge while I'm taking these pictures and you can see a few of the other bridges that line our skyline.

The Cherry Blossoms are so fragrant and beautiful as you enter the city core.

From every inch of the Burnside Bridge you can see beautiful views.

What a way to spend a day...




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Eggsactly what you need to celebrate Easter

It's fun and easy to make festive treats especially if you have cereal sitting in the cupboard.

If you want to make an egg shaped treat all you need is a plastic egg form. Fill it with your rice krispie treats and let them settle.

Then you can decorate them with sprinkles and/or chocolate drizzled over the top.

Then they are cute and yummy.




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Day of Spring



Spring Equinox is finally here! One way to celebrate is with a new wreath and if you have a glue gun and a couple boxes of peeps in the cupboard it's easy. All you have to do is glue the peeps and some plastic eggs on the form and wrap it with some feather boas.

All I did was take my St. Paddy's Day Wreath and add a few touches with things I had hanging around the house.

I simply wrapped a pink boa right over the green and white ones and glued on the eggs and peeps and WAH-LAH!!! Spring is here.






Word for Wednesday

WORD: Freecycle

This is such a Portland word. It represents recycling at its best, in the form of free goods. Many times when you pass through neighborhoods, you will see goods sitting on a curb with a sign that says "FREE". Anyone is welcome to take these goods home with them and to use them however they choose.

I love this new word and the meaning behind it. FREECYCLE!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Writer's Groups

We all like to talk with people who share our interests, whether it's the same book, the same music, or the same movie. But, if you're a writer, there are a few groups you might want to look into joining.

One is the SCBWI or the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

or the RWA or the Romance Writers of America

or Willamette Writers

and there are many more. If you write in a certain genre, just google it and you'll probably come up with some great groups you can join. And, if you do, you'll most likely meet more than other writers...you'll probably make a few friends. So, what do you have to lose?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Shamrock Run 2014

It was an early morning. We all met at my house to get geared up and take off together.

Then my wonderful husband drove us down to the start. We had a little time so we walked around and checked out a few of the people who were dressed for a fun run.

There were a lot of runners dressed all in green from their heads (literally) to their toes.


Even some pups were geared in green and happy to be seen.

Then we had to wait for the start. And with an anticipated 35,000 runners, it took a time to make it to the start line. But then we were off and running.

Of course I had to grab out my phone and snap a few shots along the way.

There were plenty of tutus and even some people running in pink capes with shamrocks sewn on their backs.

But then I had to focus on the run because we saw a couple people trip and fall because they were so busy watching some of the outfits and I didn't want to be one of them. . .  because, believe me, I've fallen on a run before and it is one way to make sure you don't have a fun run.

Finally, we finished! And we all had a great time.








Friday, March 14, 2014

St. Paddy's Day is Coming - Monday, March 17, 2014

Are you getting ready? Planning on celebrating? Maybe going to mix in a little green food coloring into the mashed potatoes, or drop a dribble of coloring into your seltzer? There are so many ways to celebrate but this weekend I'll be running in the Shamrock Run in Portland along with 35,000 other runners.

There are all levels of runs: a 5k, 8k and 15k. And it should be fun because the runners dress for the event.

So, I hope you too will be having a wonderful weekend filled with food, festivities and maybe even a fun...run.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Taking it to The Next Level

Taking it to The Next Level is easy when you get help from experienced writers and another one of these great events is coming.

Yes, this is a wonderful writerly opportunity to learn some new things and network with some other people who are passionate about the same thing as you: writing.

So get ready. The Next Level is set for this Saturday at TaborSpace, located at: 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. If you are interested in coming, look here: https://oregon.scbwi.org/events/ Plus, while you're there, you might as well click around the events tab and see what other great events are coming up.

There's another date to mark on your calendar too, it's July 26, 2014. This will be another summer edition of The Great Critique.

So, keep your mouse at attention and make sure you check back often to see what wonderful writing opportunities are waiting for you. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Columbia River Gorge

The Pacific Northwest is one of the prettiest places in the world - at least in my opinion. Check out this view and see if it's not the truth. This is the view you will get from Crown Pointe. But it's hard to say if this is the most spectacular view . . .  or not.

Just drive a little bit further and you'll find falls and lots of them: Bridal Veil, Horsetail, Multnomah...just to name a few.

 In the view above, you can see the Benson Bridge, which is out of commission for now. There was a landslide that hit the bridge and left it unstable. It's a shame because we used to hike over this beautiful old bridge all the time in the summer.



But there are still a lot of trails to hike and pretty falls to seek out. So don't let the one bridge keep you back. And if you're planning a spring break trip, this would be a great destination: the Columbia River Gorge and the entire route along the way.

Run for Fun

 I love to run through this park but as you can see today the park was flooded.
 There were ducks floating in little makeshift ponds. But none of this water is usually here. There is a pond but it's on the other side of the park. Still it was a bright spot in a cold, damp day going for a run through this wet but beautiful park.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Family, food and fun

It was a busy weekend. We had a family dinner and wanted to have a little something special after the meal. So my husband played a few songs for everyone after we all ate and before everyone showed up, he practiced a bit.

And it was so fun to have family here all the way from Denmark.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Homemade Holiday Cards

I always want to celebrate but my bank account doesn't always allow me to party the way I want. So, I have to come up with ways to create, bake and make my own gifts, gear and goodies.

Here's one easy way to make cards if you, like me, aren't always so crafty.

I take some construction paper and a cookie cutter (yes, a cookie cutter) and etch the outline in the paper.

WAH-LAH holiday card created for only a few pennies.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Bouquets - Sweet Enough to Eat

I love holidays and baking and making things to celebrate. This was an easy choice.

First off, I found these "vases" at Joann Fabrics and grabbed them in a hurry. Then I stuck some floral foam in each one.


Then the fun began.

I melted some white chocolate and colored it with food coloring. I made pink and green and yellow.

Then I poured the tinted chocolate into the candy molds.

Then I stuck food quality lollipop sticks (also bought at Joann's) into the chocolate.

I used rubber bands to give them support. Then I dipped some marshmallows into the chocolate and added sprinkles.

And then I started building my bouquet.

This was the first time I made these and now I have a few ideas for next time but I think they turned out sweet ;D







DIY Floor Re-Do

                                           BEFORE                              AFTER



Maybe some of you remember the work that's gone into this.

Like how my hubby had to make his own flooring because there were no floor boards in a couple of places

and he put his hand-made tongue and groove into place


because what was there needed to be sanded or patched



And he has been refinishing this old floor

And it has taken a long time for him to sand this entire floor, after work.

But he finally finished.

And then it was time to varathane it.

And it took four coats of the liquid to seal it. So, even I helped.

And I think it turned out really pretty.