Thursday, April 30, 2015

Travel: Eugene, OR

Hello there all,

As I have already mentioned, The Mister and I went off to Eugene over the weekend. Eugene is pretty my speed  and known as "Hippie Town USA." However, the town is not raiding with hippies! There is just an ambiance of the hippie culture like the rainbow school bus with the chicken coop (complete with chickens) on top of it or the couple of drum circles that are constantly going. Man, I love Oregon!

The Mister and I have been to Eugene together before, and some of the places that we went to made such a lasting impression that we decided that we had to go back to experience some of these places again.

Here are just some of the things that make Eugene wonderful.


  • Owen Rose Memorial Garden which is more than roses, and it is such a pretty little walk. It is especially wonderful right now because everything is starting to bloom.

  • Skinner Butte Park has a great view of Eugene and the surrounding area. Also, it is part of the land where EUGENE Skinner lived-as in the Eugene of Eugene. They have a great walkway and one of the neatest playgrounds that I have ever been to. It is so interactive and has a neat-o historical theme.
  • Downtown Eugene has some drool worthy old buildings with lots of character and great public art throughout the area. I especially was crushing on some of the murals.

  • Beer Lovers- Last trip, we hit up Oakshire Brewing, Ninkasi, and Falling Sky and only chose to return to Falling Sky. Although, the other two were great, too. There is just something about the Falling Sky gastropub in the downtown area. Plus, who doesn't love flights shaped like clouds? The beer here is more for caramel-y lovers, though. We also experienced Hop Valley Brewing this trip, and I pretty want to marry all of their merchandise and their beers.
Falling Sky flights
Hop Valley Flight

  • Breakfast Lovers- The last trip that we were in Eugene, we had these EPIC waffles at Off the Waffle. We have been dreaming of these waffles ever since, and they were just as wonderful as the last time that we went there. Also, I had the best chai latte that I have ever had before. I wouldn't mind having this breakfast every meal for the rest of my life.

Off the Waffle noms

  • Coffee and Snackies can be found in a delightful plenty at Perugrino which is a coffee and wine bar, but it also has a tasty selection of pastries for those that need a glucose lift in the middle of the day. We liked this place and the vibe so much that we went yhere twice over the weekend.
Lavender cremosa and cinnamon mocha from Perugrino
  • Sweet tooth lovers will love Toadstool Cupcakes and Crumb Together (get it?). You go to Toadstool if you have a hankering for some deliciously, intricate cupcakes, or you go to Crumb Together if you want to nibble on some of the biggest and tastiest cookies tever. Or you can be like The Mister and I and go to both in the same hour!
We got a bag full of cookies! If you saw their selection, you'd understand.

Oh, these cupcakes. Swoon!

I love this chart. It has the anatomy of all of their "toadstools." Brilliant!

  • David Minor Theater is one of the most intimate theaters that I have ever been to. The theater was playing two movies at once, and we only had theater seating for about 30 people which that were all comfy chairs and couches. Great setting where you can watch a movie (for cheap), grab a meal or grab a drink! Also, we watched The Theory of Everything which I really enjoyed it!

  •  Level Up Arcade is a great place to pop into to play some pinball, Pac-Man(!), air hockey, or if you just feel like lounging and sipping on some adult beverages. It is a family friendly arcade by day and "barcade" by night when only the 21 and over can pop in. Also, the games are cheap which I've been seeing less in arcades lately, and I appreciate that these are all affordable.
Level Up's Pinball selection
  •  Hollywood Treasures and Reruns-There is no secret that I love thrift stores and antique shopping, but this little antique mall stole our heart with a couple of finds last time. So, we visited it again. I love that this place embraces that it used to be a "Hollywood Video" and just runs with it for the name!

  • Eugene Saturday Market which is a great location for finding fascinating works from artists, fresh farm produce, or a couple of drum circles. For those reasons, it is wonderful location for strolling and people watching.

  • Funagain Games is a great place to fuel your gaming addiction if you are like The Mister and I. We picked up two more games (because we obviously need more), and we had the great assistance of a very knowledgeable staff member to help the unnatural love we have.

What places do you love in Eugene?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vacations Are For... 2

Hello there all,
Last month,  you may recall that The Mister and I were going to go on a vacation in this post.  Welllll,  we are currently Basking in the glory of a three day weekend in Eugene (more on the blog later this week). Vacations are such a powerful thing that can really help it in the middle of a burnt out rut.
Last November,  I posted this article which has inspired me to post a reminder on why we need vacations to force me to do this more often.
Vacations are for letting problems melt and forget about burdens for awhile.
Vacations are for gaining perspective on what really matters in life.
Vacations are for making memories.
Vacations are for going slow and being in the present.
Vacations are for new adventures and chats about old adventures.
Vacations are for seeing beautiful things and eating delicious things.
Vacations are for learning about yourself,  the ones you love,  and things that you love.
Vacations are for regeneration and renewal with those that you love.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Hello there all,
This week was a whirlwind of feelings and emotions that ended with a wonderful weekend vacation in Eugene.

Got some new glasses which I love.  It is still weird to look in the mirror and be all "who is that?"  But that should dissipate soon. 

Earth Day love.  I seriously think that I love this holiday more than most...or all. 

Just my new glass bird breathing smoke.  It was a salt and pepper shaker,  and The Mister suggested making it an incense burner.  I love how it looks with the smoke coming out of its mouth. It is pretty badass looking. 

I love wonderful mornings that start like this:  where The Mister and I sneak in a morning together to take it slow.  We eat breakfast together at a delicious place,  and he takes me to work instead of dealing with the morning commute.  During this time,  we take extra long to get ready and chat about life. 

Always leaving rocks around.  "Celebrate every breath,  every smile,  every person,  every day.  They are all grand and all make you... You." 

A great diagram on the perfect way to eat a cupcake at Hungry Heart. 

Weekend trip to Eugene.  More on that later this week. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Coloring

Hello there all,

Since just about birth, I have been pretty smitten with coloring. I have always attributed it to my love for creativity and that it created a safe haven for me to make without the fear of failure. Recently, I have been overcoming this fear more and more, but it is something that I continually struggle with. Coloring always seemed a failure free art activity which was so very liberating to me.

With articles like this and this surfacing everywhere, it makes me feel even better about wanting to color even though I am 28. I've always felt like coloring is a therapeutic process: the repetition, the continual practice of creating, etc. Additionally, I feel like spotting articles like these can vindicate getting my adorable olderlies to color, too.

When I worked with kiddos, I used to have more opportunities to color, and it has been awhile since I have colored. I did so this week to help weed out some stresses. And I think that it really worked. It was so wonderful! Coloring is just about the cheapest form of therapy, and I will definitely be practicing this more often. Adult coloring books are topping the best sellers list on Amazon this week (Check out this article). Perhaps others are also discovering this "therapy," too.

Stressed? Try coloring. I'm thankful that I did.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Five Things to Know About Dementia

Hello there all,

I have a topic to talk about today that is very near and dear to my heart, but it is also a subject that so many try to avoid because of its devastating inevitability. And I hate to break it to you guys, but the truth of the matter is that if your life has not already been affected by dementia then it is going to happen to you real soon. There are a staggering amount of statistics everywhere alluding to the startling fact that 33% of our seniors are going to be inflicted with dementia. This is disgustingly alarming, and if you are interested, here is a very short video loaded with information about dementia and what it means for America.

However, I thought it would be helpful to create something that isn't just information about our impending situation but create something that could be of service and assistance to those in the future. This is where I thought of the idea for Five Things to Know About Dementia.

1.) No, it isn't just about forgetting. Dementia is the malfunctioning of the brain, so this disables the ability of making connections. This may mean forgetting where their keys are in the beginning stages of the disease, but it looks more like losing sequencing knowledge of how to brush your teeth later on. Further down the disease, the brain stops being able to make connections to swallow food or how to fight infections. This is why the disease is terminal.

2.) Nobody exhibits the same behaviors and everyone progresses individually. The saying in the dementia field is "if you have met one person with dementia, you have met one person with dementia." This is because behaviors and symptoms are so individualized and based according to our individual uniqueness as people. As we are all different, the way that our brain works is individualized and the way that it degenerates and where it does is also individualized.Yes, there are helpful symptoms to look out for, but everybody demonstrates a varying degree and multitude of these symptoms. They also will probably develop their own individual set of behaviors.

Additionally, the progression for the disease varies greatly for some people. It can be something that is diagnosed and the person passes within 6 months, or it can be something that can last for years.

3.) Live in the reality of the person with Dementia. The person is already going through such an altered state of reality that we need to live and assist them in that reality. Do not argue with them about their reality because then you become someone that is calling them a liar. If they tell you that they already showered, they really think they showered. This is where the use of "fiblets" or "therapeutic fibbing" comes along. You would use these in situations where an individual is dealing with a troublesome situation created by their altered reality, and you tell them something to assist them to deal with that reality. For example, if someone is looking for their mother and their mother has been deceased for 50+ years, you do not tell the individual that their loved one is dead. You give them information like "she is at the grocery store." Otherwise,you are forced to tell an individual that their loved one is dead over and over again. Imagine the traumatic experience of dealing with the pain of losing someone over and over again! If you uncover such truths, this is the reality that you are creating for the person with Dementia.

4.) Flexibility is key. For each individual, everyday is new and every adventure is new, so they need individuals to be patient and understand that this is something different and a little nerve wracking. Throughout the progression of the disease, your sentimental items are probably going to disappear from their locations because the inflicted individual is probably going to hide the object, give away the object, or not recognize the object and put it in an "inappropriate" location. It happens and unfortunately there isn't anything to be done. Keep priceless heirlooms hidden, but also be flexible with some objects flying away.

5.) They are doing the best that they can with what they have. Right now, they are living in a crazy, hazy world where things are not what they seem and unfamiliar places seem too familiar, so they do things deemed "inappropriate". However, they are trying to be the person that they once were with what they have. It is very difficult for them to live the life that they once had, but they are trying! These people went from being fully functional adults and are forced to regress back in ways that they don't even notice. Remembering the fact that they are trying will help through most rough days.

Knowing these things really equips you for dealing with most of the obstacles  of the disease. As it is something that will be incredibly prevalent soon, it is important to educate ourselves and others on what to expect.

-Autumn (Memory Care Life Enrichment Coordinator for the past 2 years)

Monday, April 20, 2015


Hello there all,

This week has been dramatically less busy than the last couple of weeks, but I still got some memorable shots to remember the week by. I love this practice of shooting the everyday stuff because it is so fun to look back at the little changes of some things that don't seem important at the time, but they end up being a big deal.

Just some cutie mushrooms that have been popping up around here.

What  would a week be without a trip to Hungry Heart? It is a magical way to start a weekday morning-before work.

Also, yay to trips to Jim and Patty's Coffee! Complete with delicious food and baked goods to go for later!

An adorably, sweet present from my grandpa.

Major garden planning has been happening around here.

Dear Dogwood trees, you should stick around all year.

Just leaving sweet notes around for strangers.

A week of photos without feet photos? NEVER!

Waiting for friends before dinner at Muu Muu's, it is never a chore to wait around for others in this gorgeous city.

Made some pretty tasty noms this weekend including these guys. This weekend, The Mister and I were so busy getting things done around the house, and this was just one item on the checklist. Yay for a life where chocolate chip cookies are on the to-do list.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Before Garden

Hello there all,

With the approach of Summer and wonderfully beautiful days like Portland has been having, I started with my plans for our garden. Last year, we were way too late with our plantings, and we yielded some greenery but barely any edibles.This year, I am hopeful that this will change. Thought it would be neat to see how boring the place is before the garden takes over. Here is what our backyard space looks right now.

I'll keep ya'll updated with the progress.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday: A Little Walk

Hello there all,

Today was one of those days. You of THOSE ones. However, I had this wonderful hankering after getting home to go for a walk. Let's be real with the weather how it has been lately, it really isn't a shocking idea! But this walk made the day, it was just a little walk with The Mister exploring new nooks and crannies of the neighborhood, but I saw things that I hadn't seen before which is always good for the soul. The endorphins, Vitamin D, and quality time probably didn't hurt either. It really turned the whole day around. Isn't it funny how something so simple can just turn around your whole day?

It was great to notice little details of my environment that I pass constantly, but I don't always take time to pay attention to or go down streets that I've never explored before. Exploring is some of the best medicine. It allows you to see things in a new perspective and get a refreshed view on things.

Today, I appreciate little walks.

Just in case I haven't convinced you on the importance of gratitude. Check this out.

What do you appreciate today?


Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Hello there all,

Take a look at what is going on around these parts of late.

Finally made it to Blue Collar Baking Company which serves Water Avenue coffee (my favorite). The coffee was delicious!

Some wildflowers picked from The Mister.

Went to Bottle and Bottega for my mom's birthday celebration. It was super fun, and we were able to sip on mimosas while we all just painted away. I'm excited to try it again someday!

The whole class. We all were taught how to paint this painting from the same instructor/from the same painting, but they all turned out so different. It is neat to see the difference.

I love this gigantic PDX sign that was at Bottle and Bottega.

Just playing Caverna. one of the best games ever.

So, this place is about a block away from Voodoo Donuts, and we walked by Voodoo with this ridiculously long line to come here where NOBODY was. Portland, you are insane! This is where to get fresh, delicious donuts! This place is waaaaay better than Voodoo, shorter line, and it also has a neat-o science lab theme. The guys working there even wear lab coats. If Mini-Donuts are your thing, try out Donut Bye Labs.

Look at the goods that we got there. They were so amazing. These are the Peanut Butter cups and the bacon maple bars. We also got candied bacon and a cheddar beer biscuit, but we ate those too fast for pictures!

Hat day at work!

Twirly new dresses, coffee, and feet pictures. What else does a girl need?