Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beer Pick: December 2014

Hello there all,

It is already December! How did this happen? I can legitimately feel my youth slipping away from me. Enough with the theatrics: Onto the important stuff in life-beer pick!

The holiday season is often a time of nostalgia and remembering beautiful moments of years past. This past weekend, the mister and I went to PROST!, and I had one of my favorite beers: Maisel's Weisse Dunkel. The mister suggested that I use this for my December beer post, and it really is a perfect selection for me. I am enamored with this beer because of its delicious taste, caramel-y goodness, and it reminds me of my time living in Germany. A time in my life that really changed me and something that I still think about almost daily. This beer tastes like Germany to me. In Germany, I grew a lot, and I became more in tune with myself. Along the way, I also grew a taste for beer. What a better nostalgic beer then this one

Prost! in Portland always gives me an opportunity to taste on this favorite of mine while in Germany, and they also give me a bit of the German atmosphere that I yearn for. It is like they gift me a bit of myself each time that I go there, and I feel so "awwwww" when I'm there. Does that even make sense?

Moral of the story: try Maisel's Weisse Dunkel, and you'll taste a bit of a non-weird way.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

DIY: coffee filter snowflake

Hello there all,

We have an obscene amount of coffee filters in our house, and we don't actually use them at all. With the holiday season coming up, I've been looking for inexpensive, DIY holiday decorations. So, why not make snowflakes with these guys?

It is a nice way to make snowflakes without having the leftover paper from copy paper. Also, it eliminates a couple of steps of making the snowflakes because you don't have to cut off the excess.

Let's make these bad boys!

1.) Gather supplies:
  • Coffee filter
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with water (optional)
  • markers (optional)

You can leave it like this, but I choose to spray it with a little bit of water. If you spray it with a little bit of water, you can make the coffee filter a little bit more flat. See below.

The bottom picture of the above collage is made with markers. To do this process, you just need to take the coffee filter and draw on it with markers. Once you have completed your design, you spray on it with water. It creates a neat little tie dye effect.

I attached a couple of these guys to the string to make a garland. I'm goo goo for garlands.

A friend in high school once told me that the way that I make snowflakes is I've always wondered what exactly that meant. Any ideas?


Friday, November 28, 2014


Hello there all,

The theme of this week has been food and preparation. You'll see what I mean.





The Lowdown:
1.) Some street art that I spotted on my rock hide adventure this week. I saw A LOT, but I didn't want to bombard the blog with all of my photos.
2.) Made mulled wine for Friendsgiving this year. It is one of my favorite festivities during the holiday season. I forgot to take pictures at the event....must have been having too good of a time.
3.) Our kitchen has been a non-stop making, baking, and cooking zone this week. Much. more. than. normal.
4.) I had to take a picture of this telephone pole. It reminds me of the Gum Wall in Seattle. I pass it at least once a week, and I never noticed it until the day that I snapped this shot.
5.) The Pumpkin Pie Playdough that I made was a hit with more than just my nephew. The adults played around, too.
6.) Today, I dedicated the day to cleaning and getting some holiday decorating done. 


Holiday Music

Hello there all,

It is that time of year (when the world is full of love...). So, I bring you my playlist of Christmas songs that I jam out to each year. Some of these are old favorites, and some are ones that I have discovered within the last couple of years.

No matter what. These are guaranteed to get you cut loose and enjoy the holidays this year.

Happy beginnings to this crazy, beautiful season!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Surviving Thanksgiving

Hello there all,

Thanksgiving in my family is usually celebrated with plates and plates of food and loud yelling from football enthusiasts. However, incase you can't tell, I'm not really a football type of girl. And the mister isn't really a football type of guy, so we have devised a plan for this Thanksgiving. We shall call this mission: Surviving Thanksgiving.

What is the execution plan?

1.) Load up on a billion board games. 

Board games are a bit of a hobby in this house these days, and one of the things that I am the most excited about is having some time to play these games. Games that I'm going to make sure that we include are CavernaLost Cities, and Scrabble. Hmm, I should probably think of some better storage for our games, too. The games are filling the top AND bottom of our coat closet.

2.) Pumpkin pie playdough- I'm constantly trying to buy my first place as best aunt to my nephews. This Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie playdough is my attempt at winning their love. The recipe that I made is based on this recipe, but I changed it just a smidge.

            What you'll need?

    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1 cup of salt
    • 2.5 TBSP of Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • 2 TBSP of cream of tartar
    • 1 TBSP of cinnamon
    • 2 cups of water
    • 2 TBSP of oil
    • food coloring (optional)
            What you'll need to do:
    1. Mix together all dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl.
    2. Heat the wet ingredients over medium-high heat in a pot. You are heating the liquid until the liquid warms up and before it starts to boil. There is a big gap here.
    3. Throw the dry ingredients in with wet ingredients and mix well. You should start to see the dough coming to life.
    4. Remove from heat and wait until dough cools down to the touch.
    5. Knead the dough a bit. It is now ready for play time, and it will leave your hands smelling delicious!

3.) Thankful Memories
It is common for people to reflect on what they are thankful for, however, I am adding a bit to that to make it more reflective. This year, I am going to start a tradition of writing down what we each of us is thankful for, and I'll put it into a scrapbook. This way, we'll be able to peruse it on future Thanksgivings. I just cut some construction paper and wrote " (Insert name here) is thankful for..." and on the bottom, I wrote " 2014. It gives a clear indication of who/when the list was created, so we don't have to try to interpret that later.

4.) Laptop with movies.
Just in case we find a nice quiet spot, we'll bring a laptop to watch some episodes of a thing that we've been watching together or to watch some movies.

Overall, there doesn't need to be too much needed planning because Thanksgiving is about being together, but it certainly helps being together when you have a plan!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rock Hides

Hello there all,

I always think that it is fun to do a little something that brings a smile to someone's face. There is something to be said for the happiness of bringing joy to others. As the old saying goes, giving is better than receiving.

Recently, I got a little idea to write/draw on some rocks and hide them around town. So, I did that today :). There was some exhilaration of finding a good spot that someone will notice, but you also don't want others to notice what you are doing. You feel like a secret agent hiding the disposable phone underneath the mailbox.

Here are the goods:

What it said: "It's a good day to have a good day!"
Where I hid it: 2nd avenue in downtown Portland 

What it says: "Be okay with where you are, even if you know you want to change."
Where I hid it: The left foot of the Dragon outside the Chinatown gate.

What it says: "You must do the thing that you think you cannot do."
Where I hid it: Across from the Bancorp tower

What it says: "It takes a very long time to become young."
Where I hid it: SW Alder St in Downtown Portland

What it says: "You have such a great smile!"
Where I hid it: The statue that stands in Pioneer Square

What it says:" Have more. Do more. Be more."
Where I hid it: Blue line train heading west.

What it says: "You look particularly good today."
Where I hid it: Westbound Waterfront near Japanese American Historical Plaza

What it says: "Love each other."
Where I hid it: Eastbank Esplanade near the Steel Bridge

Here is to bringing more joy to others and to bringing a bit of whimsy to our lives.


Friday, November 21, 2014


Hello there all,

Here is the week in review through little glimpses. This was a pretty uneventful week, but it was also good with all of its simplicity. In the past, I worried when life wasn't chaotic and crazy because it felt like life was losing substance and growth. However, what I am learning is that when you find a perfect mix of simplicity, you can grow more and explore the person that you want to be.








What's the deal?
1.) The Supreme Bagel from Bagel Land in Portland. We didn't really go out to eat this week which is a rarity for us. This is one of the only places that we went.
2.) I have been drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee this week. Usually, I try to not drink it because I don't like to be reliant on caffeine. However, there has been quite a bit of coffee this week. It hasn't been to deal with lack of sleep or anything. The reason that I've been doing it is because I just like coffee.
3.) Teepa Snow conference which literally changed how I work with my residents. I seemed to have such positive experiences with residents today.
4.) Lurve is lovely, and i am obsessed with Instagram right now.
5.) Last weekend, I found a dress that I've literally been dreaming about almost my whole life, and it looks awesome on me. Woot! Double woot? It was being sold at a thrift store.
6.) I've raved about how good these muffins are. On Sunday, I will be making some more.
7.) We have been making Christmas lists left and right, and I cannot believe how soon it is until the day. I l


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Work Thoughts

Hello there all,

Today, I went to this incredibly spirited, educational, and inspirational talk lead by Teepa Snow today. Many of you are probably like: who? If this is so, you can check her out here. She is an occupational therapist with an incredible understanding of people inflicted with dementia. And incase you are not aware, I work as a life enrichment coordinator in a memory care community. It was so wonderful to hear her speak because she really understands what is going on with those with dementia. Hearing her talk made me really contemplate why I love my job.

During the presentation, Teepa mentioned "dementia is not just memory loss-it is brain failure," and I think that this is an important thing to understand. Individuals are being stripped of the moments that form their identity, and they are also losing their skills that keep them independent. Daily, I am so lucky to be able to be there to create some happiness in their whirlwind of decline.

Yes, there are days where I feel like I am going to pull my hair out. However, when I put it into perspective, they must be having a much more difficult time! Their sense of familiarity and comfort is being stripped, and they are losing the language and muscle ability to control activities of daily living. Working with these people, I get just a moment of creating happiness and joy in their life. Additionally, they teach me so much about patience and educating. These individuals have gone through decades more of time than I have, and they have beautiful stories and advice to share. Constantly, I feel like they are giving me these sweet nuggets of information that they have learned throughout the years. They teach me things that took them their whole life to learn.

While having dementia, you lose filters and inhibitions that you had in the past, and this can create problems (saying harmful things they wouldn't have said before,  etc.). However, I feel like it creates these genuine moments with residents where they are willing to try things that they would've thought childish or immature in the past. They are so appreciative for the little things and beautiful moments, and you really impact their entire day by giving them just a moment of happiness.

There is a quote from Maya Angelou that I constantly come to when thinking about my approach in working with my residents.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

This quote is so incredibly true in the world of a resident with dementia. They will not remember the moments that you had, but they will have the feelings you give them. Therefore, it is important to gift them happiness. They deserve it during this dark and lonesome period.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

His and Hers

Hello there all,

The mister and I are very alike with some things, but are we are ridiculously different in some instances. This inspired me to create a little series where I compare us. I'm going to call this series: His and Her.

Favorite shoes:
Hers: Moccasins that I've beaten into the ground. They are just so comfy and match most of my clothes. Bought at Goodwill brand new.
His: He had been looking for shoes for awhile to no avail, and he found these. Literally, he found these by a dumpster downtown along with an entire outfit. We're thinking that someone tweaked out and ran around Portland naked/shoeless, but hey, he got these shoes out of it.

Guilty pleasure food:
Hers: Peanut Butter. I could eat it by the jar full if I knew that it wouldn't make my heart stop beating.
His: Originally, he said the pumpkin muffins that I just made yesterday with this recipe, but then he added that Kit Kats are pretty good, too. 

Currently Reading:
Hers: Amber Spyglass- The third book of the Golden Compass series.
His: Consider Phlebas-The first book of the Culture Series.
Oh man, this makes us look so nerdy :).

 Our mustaches:
Enough said...Also, his is so long that it won't even fit all into the picture... The picture below shows it in its swirly curly glorly.