Gifts from Bend, OR

Live in Bend, Oregon and want to give a gift from Bend, Oregon? Follow my local gift giving series!

Green your coffee routine

Save 23 lbs of waste this year and start using a reusable coffee cup to keep you caffeinated.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DIY Natural Lemon Vinegar Cleaner

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it. Lemons are a staple in our house and we always have peels left over. I was inspired by this recipe by Wonky Wonderful.

  • Fill glass jar with lemon peels
  • Fill glass jar with vinegar
  • Put jar in dark place and forget about it for 2-3 
  • Strain liquid from the jar and mix 50/50 water, vinegar
  • Put liquid in container and clean away
It smells great AND is non-toxic.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meatless Monday: Sally's Super Salad

Remember Soupcon? Well, Steven and his pal Joel ditched their cart and opened a neighborhood Spanish kitchen called Barrio in downtown Bend.

I had all these plans to eat there when they opened in March but my doctor put me on bedrest the night we had a sitter and were going. It wasn't until they were opened 6 weeks that I had a chance to visit and as I thought, the place is amazing. They still serve the cart items at lunch but the night menu features different tapas and paella that change often.

Last week, my husband and I meet some friends for lunch while the kids were at daycare/pre-school and I had this AMAZING salad called Sally's Super Salad. I was so obsessed with it, I savored it, scheming how to recreate it at home.

The surprising ingredient of the salad was quinoa ... something I will now keep in the refrigerator to throw on all my green salads. Since quinoa is high in protein, it actually helped me stay full!  Enjoy!

Sally's Super Salad
inspired by Barrio

1 head of lettuce, your choice, washed and cut (we used romaine)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 grapefruit, cut skinless into slices
1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1/2 cup of nuts (we used sliced almonds, they used pumpkin seeds)
red wine vinaigrette dressing (buy or make your own)
1 avocado, sliced and cubed

Mix everything together but the avocado including dressing to your desired amount and toss. Add avocados and then eat! Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DIY eye makeup remover recipe

use California Baby body wash
to make your DIY eye makeup remover
Since March, when I went on bed rest, I'm going to admit to you some things I'm not proud of. One item: I really haven't done much with my hair other than try to go without using shampoo. That is an ongoing saga -- one that I almost gave up on. I'm down to using no shampoo but clean my hair using 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water every other day. Most of the time, my hair is shiny but does still have greasy days.

Another item I'm not proud of ... I really don't care to put make up on. It really all started out this way because I couldn't stand for long periods of time. Then I had the baby and I used the excuse of being sleep deprived. So what is now my excuse? I guess I realized that I don't really need make-up. I will put on mascara a couple times of week when I have meetings but that's about it. What leads me to the next story.

Last Friday, I took the kids to pre-school and day care and met a colleague for coffee to talk about some content writing I was doing that involved the company she worked for. When I got there, I realized I was not wearing any make-up and was super worried. "What would Cathy think of me?" I thought to myself. She didn't say anything and then I apologized about not wear make-up.

Cathy admitted that she hated taking it off mascara and that sometimes the remover she used hurt and stung her eyes. I then remember that I never posted this cool recipe I discovered for DIY eye make-up remover that I made almost 18 months ago. I ran out in February and I haven't made a new batch.

Here you go Cathy ... visit this site and make your own tear free eye makeup remover. Instead of Johnson and Johnson, I use California Baby.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Meatless Monday: Ricotta and Pea Quinoa

I've always been intrigued by quinoa since it's a grain loaded with protein. It's pretty easy to make but I never know what goes well with it. I found this recipe on Fit Sugar and had all the ingredients on hand to whip up one Saturday afternoon.

This dish can either be a main dish paired with  hardly salad or a great cold side dish for a picnic or potluck. I've made it a few times since discovering this recipe over a month ago and enjoyed it as a light lunch.

Ricotta and Pea Quinoa
adapted from Fit Sugar

1 cup dried quinoa
1 cup shelled peas (about one pound in the pod)
4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced (I don't like radishes so I left these out)
½ cup ricotta cheese (plus a bit extra for garnish)
½ cup torn basil
½ cup chives, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

To cook quinoa, first rinse and drain. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add quinoa and lemon zest (reserve juice). Simmer covered for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool. I like to spread it on a cookie sheet to cool while I’m preparing the remaining ingredients.

Meanwhile, blanch your peas in salted, boiling water. They’ll only take a minute or so and will float when they’re ready. Strain the peas and place them in a bowl of ice water to cool for a few minutes. Then strain again and set aside.

Use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave the radishes. Add the peas, radishes, ricotta, basil, chives, olive oil, lemon juice, a few big pinches of salt and pepper to the quinoa. Stir very well, taste and adjust seasoning.

Garnish with a few dollops of ricotta and serve.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Doing other work is not selling out

That title is courtesy of Princess Lasertron, a Nebraskan, crafter and social media maven. I adore her blog, her hard work ethic and the way she uses social media. I look to her for inspiration on all those levels. She works hard, even with a two year old in tow. What a role model.

I haven't publicly written about what has been going on so here goes ... I lost my job a few days before I was returning from maternity leave. I loved that job and gave it 110% but 110% wasn't enough. Not even working my butt off on bed rest was enough. Not even doing work from home after hours was enough. My skills, talent and knowledge of interactive marketing was not enough. I spent 11 weeks dreading going back because I knew no matter how much I gave to it, I wouldn't have the leadership support I needed.

I haven't blogged much because I felt the title of this blog didn't exactly match my current state of mind. Yes, we are still green, buy organic and strive to live the lifestyle but I'm not a working mom. I'm a mom who is conflicted -- start my own business or go work for someone.

I want to work for myself but I'm swimming in doubt. Maybe it's hormones? Maybe it's the fact a big part of my life is now gone. Within an hour of losing my job, I announced on Facebook a project my husband and I had been working on for a while -- Just Get Me Going Interactive Media. It hasn't been a secret that I have helped businesses with their digital marketing needs on the side. I'd spend my lunch breaks at the library, got up early or stayed up late to work on projects. After announcing that endeavor, friends started sending me referrals and I had a few monthly contracts! Yay, I was living the Bend dream -- home with my kids, working for myself and having flexibility!

Through the Oregon Employment Department, I can apply for the Self-Employment Assistance program and get unemployment benefits while working on my own business. I started that process but I applied for health insurance for myself (my kids can be covered under my husband's insurance but it's too expensive to add me) and was denied due to my recent c-section and high blood pressure (which is now lower as it was due to pregnancy). Then the hospital bills from EmmyLu's birth started rolling in. Then it started to get hard to pay the mortgage. At the same time, a few jobs opened up that I would totally love doing so I applied. They would offer me the flexibility to work for someone and also work for my clients.

I was feeling guilty about pursuing both until this blog post from Princess Lasertron.  I had been wishing for a sign or some sort of direction and then she wrote these words "doing other work is not selling out." I'm not selling out ... I'm doing what I have to do to make it. My life isn't just about me anymore. I have a husband, two kids and a mortgage.

I have also thought about spending the time to monitze this blog which means I need to get rolling on the content again.

Thank you, Princess Lasertron for being an inspiration and for not selling out. That sentence was exactly what I needed.


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