Category Archives: Salem, OR


What Not to Eat

If you are allergic to milk fat and trying to cut carbs so you can drop ten pounds to fit into your suits from 18 months ago so you can start a job that requires you to look professional, this should not be your lunch.

If, however, you fit into the 99% of the population who isn’t allergic to milk fat and/or isn’t trying to lose 10 pounds, then make sure to follow this method of making grilled cheese and also use milk instead of water to thin the concentrated tomato soup. Make sure you have lots of butter in the fridge.

What I’m trying to say is…I’m both allergic to milk fat and trying to lose ten pounds…and I had grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch.

Fail. But so delicious.

PS. The first meeting of the brand-spankin’-new Salem Etsy team was last night! Jessica of DIY Studio wrote about it here. I’m excited to get to know these ladies and introduce Salem to Etsy and handmade. And vintage, of course.

PSS. I’ve been caring for an invalid today and I must say, I feel pretty helpless. The invalid (aka Isaac) had one of his wisdom teeth removed today. The two dentists he went to today were wonderful – he called this morning to say he wasn’t able to sleep last night because of the pain. The dentist got him in for x-rays at 10, and then the emergency tooth removal was at 2. Both were unplanned. I’m pretty impressed that both of those doctors were able to fit him in and I’m super glad he will be able to eat regularly without pain now. Lesson from today: I don’t think I’d be a very good nurse. I would feel so bad all the time because I can’t fix anything.

At least I’m pretty good at heating up tomato soup.


Christmas Lights!

There’s a neighborhood in Keizer where almost all the houses decorate with tons of Christmas lights. Isaac and I got hot chocolate and drove through tonight.

Love this saying :)

Go Beavs!

I took a million photos of this Pooh & Tigger display but it moves and it took so long to take the photo that I couldn’t make it not blurry. Oh well. Still cute.

If you’re trying to get to the North Pole, don’t follow this sign…it’s pointing west.

We’re going to go walk through Magic at the Mill for all the lights and singing, hopefully on Thursday. I’ve never been but it’s supposed to be beautiful. I’m excited.

Give a Shirt

Homeless students.
900 of them last year in Salem-Keizer, OR, alone.
Not even 18 years old and life has gotten off to a rough start.
One of the biggest barriers between their present and a better future is their education.

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act attempts to remove all barriers to homeless students succeeding in school. It does a great job of this–it provides free transportation, free food, lets them choose any school in the district, and protects them from being discriminated against. One thing it doesn’t do is provide clothes.

What difference do clothes make, don’t they have steeper challenges than that?

Imagine not changing your clothes for the next sixty days.

Many of these students have one outfit. One smelly, dirty, doesn’t quite fit, wouldn’t-wear-it-if-I-had-something-else outfit.
Many of these students, not wanting to smell, stand out, and wear their poverty on their sleeve, only come to school a few days a week. People are less likely to notice if they’re at school less.

Not having more than one outfit is a valid reason to not want to go to school every day.
Not having more than one outfit is a stupid reason to not finish school someday.

The problem is…there is nothing they can do about it.

The solution is…there is something you can do about it. What’s that?

GIVE A SHIRT. Literally.

For every shirt sold $10 will be given to help these local homeless students get the clothes they need.

Get a shirt you want–give a shirt they need.
When you stand out–they blend in.


If I had heard about this project a while ago, I would have thought, “there are much better ways to help homeless kids than buying them new clothes.”  But after learning more about Give a Shirt and reading and reviewing The Glass Castle, I realize now that new clothes is an important way to give kids the opportunity of a better life.

Give a Shirt was started by a group of local high school students.  Each shirt costs $15 – totally reasonable for a cool tee – and $10 goes directly back to the organization.

I bought a teal shirt today and I can’t wait to wear it.

Give a Shirt.


Glockenspiel Restaurant in Mt Angel

Judging by the crowds in Mt. Angel yesterday, it’s quite possible that I’m the only person in the Mid-Willamette Valley who’s never been to Oktoberfest.

So much to see!  Arts, crafts, beer….

German dancing…

Authentic German food from Mt Angel Sausage Company

Authentic festival food like blooming onions.  Haha.

Chicken hats wearing traditional German clothes:

And the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen.

I had never been into a Catholic church…do they all look like this?  If so…wow.

I’m quite proud of this picture…I’m trying to learn how to use our new camera and it took me a long time to get this looking like I wanted.  Anybody more experienced care to give a little critique?

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Salem!

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was in town last week!  It was so cool.

Extreme Makeover is going extreme this year…at least that’s their tag line.  Instead of redoing houses, Makeover is working on schools, nonprofits and community organizations.  The project here in Salem was a renovation of the basement of the Oregon School for the Deaf and building the first phase of new dorms.  (Why the basement, you ask?  I asked too…apparently the school does a huge haunted house but they had to cancel it last year due to seismic problems.  It’s a huge fundraiser for the school so canceling it caused some hardship.)

Anyway, I “borrowed” my boss’s VIP tickets since he was out of town and Isaac and I went.  The VIP tent had catered food, a jazz band, and a way better view of the build.

I had signed up to volunteer on the landscaping crew but the were way ahead of schedule so things got pushed up and I had something else going on so I couldn’t go.  But…Isaac worked a full day and snagged me a shirt.  Score!

It was organized chaos at the build site.  The only way they can build something like this in a week is because 1000 people volunteered their time and talent.

We learned alot about how Makeover works…and I don’t think I really liked what I learned.  I mean, they’re doing a great thing, but here’s the thing: ABC and the celebrities on the show don’t really do anything except provide the vision and TV cameras.  The community raises all the money and does all the work.  In a week, 1000 volunteers completed a million dollar project.  Everything is donated by businesses in the community – building supplies, equipment, labor.  While it’s cool that ABC brings the idea, the project itself is really a story of a community’s extreme generosity.

That being said…it’s pretty fun to have all the celebrities in my little ol’ town.  Isaac saw everyone except Ty while he was working and I got to see Michael Maloney “work.”

PS.  Here’s the story about the reveal in our local paper yesterday if you’re interested.

PS 2.  The other thing I did this weekend was work on a new craft that I’m so excited to write about.  I had a little photo shoot this morning so I’ll be showing off my little zoo soon!

Self serve frozen yogurt: the new cupcake?

Driving to work a few weeks ago, I saw a sign on the sidewalk outside this little strip mall that simply said “Self Serve Frozen Yogurt.”  No shop name, just an unassuming sign: “Self Serve Frozen Yogurt.”  Kind of odd, I thought.  What does that even mean?  I can just walk in, grab some yogurt and go?  Hm.

Friday night was one of those “we-had-plans-but-bagged-them-to-just-relax-and-hang-out” nights.  Isaac and I ended up at Borders, skimming all 2467 books on the Nikon D5000.  We were going to stop at Dairy Queen on the way home, but ran into another one of those “Self Serve Frozen Yogurt” signs – only this time, it was a real, blinking, lighted shop sign.

All I can say is…amazing.  There were eight or ten frozen yogurt dispensers along the wall and every topping you could ever think of in a kiosk in the middle. Pick your flavor, dress up your yogurt with fruit, candy, nuts and sauces, and pay by the ounce.  I don’t remember how much it cost per ounce, but we both got all the yogurt and toppings we wanted for seven bucks total.

Isaac’s was way prettier than mine.  I put oreo cookies, caramel sauce, strawberries, raspberries, almonds, two kind of yogurt and chocolate sauce on top.  Amazing, but definitely not pretty.

So, two shops in Salem, and just yesterday I saw one in Portland.  Is self-serve frozen yogurt the new cupcake?

Can it be summer all the time?

I love summer.  Love it, love it, love it.

Just a few things that make it amazing:Flip flops…and tan lines

Road trips with amazing views

Flowers and strawberries and herbs on my deck

Yep, I love summer.

PS. I was going to submit this post to the Alphabet Walk over on One Sydney Road.  Unfortunately, I didn’t read the instructions (as usual) and it’s over.  Good job, me.  Oh well…check it out anyway.  Super cute.