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Create or Learn Something Every Day


Last week’s ‘Create or learn every day’ goal was a success! Here’s what I created and learned last week…

Monday: Create – Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing design and background

Tuesday: Create – P&L Statement for Nicaragua Coffee Farm
My dad has been in the process, for the last couple years, of working on his coffee farm in Nicaragua. So after talking a few weeks ago, I decided it was high time he had a Profit & Loss statement to play with, so he can start making projections and really start planning for the future. Funsies!

Wednesday: Create – Pattern Making for Sewing a Skirt
I bought a cute skirt this summer that promptly ripped after a first wear. I was fairly annoyed because it wasn’t an easy fix like re-sewing a seam. Instead it was like the front of the fabric shredded! So in my anger at [cheap clothing store], I decided to just reconstruct the skirt into a pattern and make my own instead of returning it. I haven’t done a massive sewing project for oh… 12 years. So it’s been fun remembering things as I go.

Thursday: Create – an adventure with an impromptu solo day trip to the Oregon Coast
Don’t judge. You can create an adventure. Still counts as create/learn. :)

Friday: Learn – Creative Mornings
I attended this month’s Creative Mornings meetup at Pacific Northwest College of Arts. Julie Sabatier of podcast and radio show Destination DIY spoke about her process of story telling. Fun times.

On to week two!

What are you creating or learning?

Cook at Home Month

The month of January has officially been deemed the month of getting back into cooking at home. Sounds tame right? Well, then you add in a few “little” extra rules like no alcohol, no extra sugar/treats (except for cooking, so cookies = no, small amount in a recipe = yes), less dairy (this one might make a liar out of me), no coffee (1 cup of black tea per day allowed), no junk food/snacks, and only going out to eat once per week.

What the what?! Yes, January is [self-imposed] Be Healthier: Cook at Home month. So in the name of healthiness, it’s really not too challenging (like going raw for a month or doing a cleanse), instead it’s about refocusing on cooking at home, being healthy, and saving money. My once goal of going to more new restaurants turned into a bad habit of going out to eat almost every day, and with so much good/cheap eats in Portland, it’s an easy habit to continue. My one loophole since I work from home, is that coffee shops are ok, where I shall order the largest mug of tea available and stare longingly at the pastry case. Otherwise I would be homeward bound for the month!

How the first week went down:
For my bit of complaining, I’m eating fantastic meals, and having a lot of fun actually cooking every night, and wasting less time on the Internet (yes, seriously).

Breakfasts have been avocado banana smoothie, fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice, green drink juice, avocado egg chipotle breakfast sandwich, oatmeal, banana peanut butter w/Amazing Grass smoothie, pear custard pie, and fruit/nuts.

Lunch and dinner has seen tasty kale, squash, chevre tacos, slow-cooker veggie & chickpea coconut curry and rice, tomato and feta dill orzo, Spanish tortilla, this delicious avocado citrus salad:

and all the tasty leftovers!

The downside? My limited caffeine intake of 1-2 cups of tea a day (& the resultant headaches) took four days to power through. I’m also missing restaurants, so picking my ONE restaurant for this week was a tough choice.

January 31 at midnight, you’ll find me at Rum Club with an Old Fashioned followed by a bowl of cheese. Kidding… kind of.

What have you been cooking up lately?

Pacific Northwest Love #indie30


Prompt #13: For some people, no matter how much they love traveling, there’s always no place like home. Other travelers make their homes wherever they happen to be. Tell us about your home – where is it and why do you consider it your home?

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow” –Lin Yutang

What is home? I’m over again on my work blog for today’s 30 Days of Indie Travel prompt: My 169,680 Square Mile Home

Where is home to you?

Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel project and share your story.

i heart my Small/Cool 2011 home

I’ve really enjoyed the inspiration [and excuse] to spend time on my home, making it a place I love to be — ever since I first read the Apartment Therapy book five years ago. The first year of this blog, in 2007, things were a little AT heavy around here, as I completed my first “home cure” and joined the AT community.

Although I’ve been pretty quiet in the Apartment Therapy community the last year or two, I entered my place in the Small Cool 2011 contest last weekend. The contest has been running all month, and voting ends this week, so I’m a little late to the game, but it’s still really fun to see my place listed. :)

At 600 square feet, my place falls into the “Little” category, which is fairly massive compared to “Teeny-tiny” and “Tiny”. Makes me want to downsize!

Do you Apartment Therapy too?

#25: Start a Grown-up Liquor Collection – 30 Before 30 List

Yoga one month, drinking the next. :)  The only liquor I have at home is Pastis, and the occasional vodka or gin. So when I decided to do a bit of research for #25 on my 30 Before 30 list, I first of all discovered that I should call it a liquor collection, as alcohol collection is clearly the wrong name. So what belongs in a liquor collection?

According to my dear friend Martha (who likes to hide information in 20 page photo galleries and downloadable pdfs, of which I don’t have the patience for) the following items belong in your liquor collection. Also, after realizing that I know very little about alcohol, other than that gin tastes like juniper trees, I looked up each one on Wikipedia as I went, so it’s kind of like a 4th grade report, only more fun….

How to Stock a Home Bar


Base Liquors:

  • Bourbon: Bourbon is an American whiskey, a type of distilled spirit, made primarily from corn (maize) and named for Bourbon County, Kentucky. It has been produced since the 18th century. While it may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the Commonwealth of Kentucky. I purchased: Maker’s Mark. Drink of choice: Whiskey ginger.
  • Gin Gin is a spirit whose predominant flavor is derived from juniper berries. Although several different styles of gin have existed since its origins, gin is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories: distilled gin and compound gin. Distilled gin is crafted in the traditional manner, by re-distilling neutral spirit of agricultural origin with juniper berries and other botanicals. There are several distinct styles of gin, with the most common style today being London dry gin, a type of distilled gin. I purchased: Beefeater London Dry Gin. Drink of choice: Pink Gin Fizz!
  • Single malt Scotch or Irish whiskey Single Malt Scotch is a type of single malt whisky, distilled by a single distillery in a pot still, using malted barley as the only grain ingredient, in Scotland. Irish Whiskey is a whiskey made in Ireland. There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: Single Malt, Single Grain, Pure Pot Still and Blended Whiskey. Most Irish whiskey is distilled three times while Scotch is distilled twice. I purchased: Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
  • Tequila Tequila is a blue agave–based spirit made primarily in Tequila, Mexico. I purchased: Jose Cuervo Especial Gold. Drink of choice: Margarita.
  • Vodka is a distilled beverage composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made from fermented substances like grain and potatoes. I purchased: Rain Organic Grain Vodka. Drink of choice: Vodka tonic.
  • Rum Light rum is a dry, light-bodied rum, light in color and lightly sweet in flavor. It is produced from sugarcane juice and molasses, and normally has a short aging period. I purchased: Barcadi Light Rum Drink of choice: Mojito!

Other/Extras/Stuff I Wanted:

  • Pastis Pastis is an anise-flavored liqueur and apéritif from France, typically containing 40–45% alcohol by volume.
  • Kahlua Kahlúa is a well known Mexican coffee-flavored liqueur. It is dense and sweet, with a distinct taste of coffee, from which it is made. Kahlúa also contains sugar, corn syrup and vanilla bean.
  • Baileys Irish Cream Baileys Irish Cream (the registered trademark omits the apostrophe shock!) is an Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur, made by Gilbeys of Ireland.
  • Brandy Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine, the wine having first been produced by fermenting grapes. Brandy generally contains 35%–60% alcohol by volume and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink.
  • Triple sec Triple Sec is a variety of Curaçao, an orange-flavored liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter oranges from the Caribbean. Triple sec, which is French for Triple Dry, is one-third as sweet as regular Curaçao.

Base Mixers:

  • Angostura bitters often simply referred to as angostura, is a concentrated bitters made of water, 44.7% alcohol, gentian root, and vegetable flavoring extracts by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. They are typically used for flavoring beverages, or (less often) food.
  • Cointreau
  • Dry (white) vermouth
  • Juices: orange, pomegranate, and grapefruit juices
  • Seltzer (club soda)
  • Tonic

Next up: declare a signature drink… other than Pastis mixed with water/ice. Also, I currently have an embarrassing amount of alcohol at my house, thanks to shopping on the Interwebz.

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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